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Thursday, 25 May 1972
Page: 2079

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesLeader of the Opposition) - I ask for leave to continue my remarks.

The PRESIDENT - Is the leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Senator MURPHY - I move:

That the resumption of the debate be an order of the day for the first sitting day in August.

The PRESIDENT - The question is, That the motion be agreed to'.

Senator Cotton - We have a situation here in which the Minister in charge of the Bill is not in the Senate. As 1 understand the processes of the previous motion which was carried, and an amendment which was lost, we were to proceed with the consideration of the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill. Senator Murphy might inform me what he is indicating he wants to do.

Senator MURPHY - This is the position. I do not want the vote taken without the Minister being here. It is unfortunate that this has happened, but I have had to take the course that I have taken. The proposition has been put that the resumption of the debate be an order of the day for the first sitting day in August. That will be put to a vote, and if carried, the debate will go over until August. It is unfortunate that the Minister is not here, but other people have commitments also. It is important that the matter be decided, but we do not want it to be decided without the opportunity for a division on it. I have indicated that. Certainly all honourable senators should be aware and warned that there would be a division on the matter. We think that because of the importance of the matter it ought not to be disposed of in the way . suggested by the Government, but instead ought to go over until August. That is the purpose of the motion. The Senate can express its view upon the matter and vote upon it in one way or the other. That is the matter that has been put by the President to the Senate, and we certainly want a division. Especially as the Minister is not here, we would not want the matter to be decided simply on the voices. We think the Senate ought to express its opinion formally on the matter by way of division. The President has called for it.

The PRESIDENT - I put the question. I have not called for any division.

Senator Cotton - Mr President, you might aid me in the processes that we are going through. Am I entitled to make any comment?

The PRESIDENT - You are the Minister here representing the Government's interest.

Senator Cotton - I presume from that that I am entitled to do so.

The PRESIDENT - By leave.

Senator Cotton - I seek leave to do so.

The PRESIDENT - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

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