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Wednesday, 23 November 1960

Mr REYNOLDS (Barton) .-I am concerned, naturally, about the motion in my name which has been on the noticepaper for months. My feelings about it are pretty strong because I know that many people outside are aware that the motion has been on the paper and are looking forward to the Government's giving some reconsideration to this very important issue. Perhaps not a lot of people are involved, but the people who are involved are very sorely involved.

The other important issues which have been referred to by the honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Duthie) are constitutional reform and decentralization of population and industry. Those are matters which concern the people outside very importantly.

The only other point I want to make is the effect that this constant gagging of the Opposition is having on the conduct of this Parliament. Last Friday, most of the newspapers reported in rather lurid terms the events that took place in this chamber last Thursday afternoon and evening. The Government must take a lot of responsibility for the irritation that was caused to the people's representatives who come here after weeks of consideration to deal with legislation such as the Crimes Bill and who are gagged. It is their duty to put before the Parliament the opinions of the people that they represent. Yesterday, we had the farcical spectacle of provisions going through without debate at all. Not a word was spoken or a shot fired. The people outside would be very disappointed with the Opposition if it allowed these procedures to continue. We had to take the steps that we took yesterday. "They were probably more extreme than we would like, but we wanted to direct the attention of the .people to the overbearing and arrogant manner of the Government and the most unfair treatment 'that is meted out to a big section of the people's representatives in this Parliament. I protest accordingly.

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