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Tuesday, 9 June 1970

Mr LUCHETTI (Macquarie) - I rise to express my indignation and utter disgust at the attitude of those who are responsible for controlling the affairs of this House - the Leader of the House (Mr Snedden) and the Government Whip - for the manner in which they have repudiated obligations made to the House and members of the Opposition. A few moments ago the gag was applied when one of the supporters of the Government stood to speak in the debate which has just concluded on the second reading of the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation Bill. I had been promised earlier that other honourable members would be permitted to speak on the second reading of the Bill and take the debate to the Committee stage.

This promise has been repudiated. It has been dishonoured. If the Government acts in this fashion how can it expect members on this side of the House or its own members to respond to promises made by those responsible for those controlling the Parliament? This is one of the most disgraceful happenings in the history of Parliament. Rarely do I speak on an adjournment debate but I do so this evening because I feel that the House has been reduced as a result of the conduct of the Leader of the House and of the Deputy Whip who moved the motion that the question be pui.

The matter being debated concerned the establishment of a Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation. It was a matter of great importance to all Australians and it should have been debated at length. The views of members from both sides of the House should have been heard on this matter for it transcends party considerations. It affects every person in the Parliament just as it affects every man, woman and child in Australia and as it will affect future generations of Australians. 1 deplore the conduct of the Government. I condemn it and I say to those responsible that they can expect a return of kind in relation to actions of this nature. I resent it, I condemn it and 1 deplore it. It is one of the most shameful things that has occurred in the history of the Parliament.

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