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Wednesday, 31 May 1972
Page: 2348

The PRESIDENT - Order! Whether it be a private member's Bill or a Government Bill, the forms of the Senate must be observed. You must ask for leave for the Bill to be read a first time and then, in accordance with the normal process, move that the Bill be read a second time.

Senator HANNAN - I did that but at your direction I shall do it again. I move that leave be given to introduce a Bill for an Act.

Senator Murphy - We have agreed to give you leave.

The PRESIDENT - Leave was given to introduce a Bill for an Act.

Senator HANNAN - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Hannan, would you mind resuming your seat while we sort out the procedure to be followed.

Senator Murphy - I rise to order. The Opposition has agreed to the Bill being introduced. Any honourable senator, as a matter of free speech, should have the right to introduce a Bill. But now another element comes into the question and it involves the priority which the Bill should be given. We have had the important Conciliation and Arbitration Bill guillotined this morning. Is it the intention of the Government that some special priority be given to this Bill, even over Government business? Was it for this reason that the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill was guillotined through the Senate? The Opposition does not object to the honourable senator being heard but surely, as a matter of priority, it is unreasonable that this Bill should intervene. After all, we would be proceeding with general business, in the normal course, on a Thursday night. Does the Government want to give priority to this Bill?

Senator Drake-Brockman - All that Senator Hannan is doing is seeking leave of the Senate to introduce a second reading speech. The honourable senator put this Bill down some time ago and in the interests of Government business, particularly the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill, he has in this place asked for leave to postpone this Bill and that has been done continually. I agreed last week that I would give him the opportunity to seek leave to introduce a Bill, move the first reading and make a second reading speech. I said that I would then move that the debate on it be adjourned. I agree with Senator Murphy that any honourable senator should be allowed the opportunity of introducing a private member's Bill. The Senate gave Senator Milliner earlier in this sessional period an opportunity of doing so. Now 1 am asking the Senate to give Senator Hannan the opportunity of doing so.

The PRESIDENT - Is leave granted for Senator Hannan to move that the Bill be read a second time? There being no objection, leave is granted.

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