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Wednesday, 23 November 1960

Mr LUCHETTI (Macquarie) .- This is another indication of dictatorship to the Commonwealth Parliament by the Executive Government. Over the past few weeks, honorable members have had the nauseating experience of seeing item after item of important business being rushed through the Parliament at the behest of the Ministry. It is distressing to me to find on the business paper still matters affecting all members of the community. The honorable member for Barton (Mr. Reynolds) has a motion regarding ex-servicemen who are afflicted by cancer. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) has tried to have some action taken on the report of the

Constitutional Review Committee. This all-party committee dealt not only with the forms of this House but also with matters concerning the government of the country and its economic life, restrictive trade practices and monopolies. All these matters go deep into the heart of the community.

We find on the business paper also an item submitted by the honorable member for New England (Mr. Drummond) relating to decentralization, and calling upon Parliament to take action to overcome the maladjustment of the population. But members of the Government parties have had the whip cracked over them and they will come into line, abjectly deferring to the Cabinet and the Executive Government. They are fearful and are afraidto stand up for the matters to which they have addressed themselves. Here is an opportunity for the Australian Country Party to show that it rs different from the Liberal Party. During the Calare by-election members of the Country Party pretended thattney were a different entity altogether and tnat they stood for rural industries. Here is an opportunity for them to support the honorable member for New England and to deal with the question of erosion of the countryside of its population - the flood of people from the rural areas to the big cities on the seaboard. The building-up of great centres of population in the hinterland is being neglected.

Will the honorable member for New England stand in his place to speak his mind on this matter? Will the honorable member for Lawson (Mr. Failes) and the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Anderson) and other supporters of the Country Party stand in their places? Surely the honorable member for Richmond (Mr. Anthony) and other honorable members who represent dairying districts will express themselves clearly and positively against the report of the committee which has inquired into the dairy industry. The Minister for Primary Industry (Mr. Adermann) kept that report quiet and hidden away throughout the Calare by-election campaign and he will use it on some occasion in thenear future. I have no doubt that the report of the committee which inquired into the dairy industry will mean thewithdrawal of 'the subsidy of f'13,500,000--

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable gentleman should come back to the business before the Chair.

Mr LUCHETTI - I was trying to direct the attention of the House to the type of business which might be discussed if honorable members were given their rights. Those rights are being denied to us by the Government. I call to all honorable members, including those who sit on the back benches on the Government side, to join with the Opposition in asserting their rights as elected representatives of the people and to ensure that general business is taken to-morrow so that important matters may be aired in this place. Are these matters merely placed on the businesspaper for display to the people of this country? Are they meaningless and withb'u't purpose? Are they listed only to enable ah honorable member to go back to his people and say that he had a matter of importance on the business paper for Parliament? This is not convincing. This is not satisfying. The only way in which Parliament can be made to work satisfactorily is to have these matters debated. They all meritthe attention of the Parliament. This afternoon, I call upon all honorable members who believe in their rights, to stand in their places, to speak for their constituents, to assert themselves, and to declare that general business shall take precedence over Government business tomorrow.

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