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Friday, 9 September 1949

Mr MENZIES (Kooyong) (Leader of the Opposition) . - I move -

That the Ruling of the Deputy Speaker - that the proposed amendment of the Right Honorable the Leader of the Opposition to the motion for the second reading of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Bill was outside the terms of the bill - be disagreed with.

This is a motion of dissent from a ruling given by the Chair. The incident out of which it arose took place some time ago, and for two reasons I do not propose to occupy the time of the House with it. First, it has been made perfectly clear within the last 24 hours - if it needed to be made clear - that any such motion will be dealt with on party lines, and automatically defeated. I am no fonder of wasting my own time than I am of wasting other people's, and it would be a waste of time to debate this motion, which ought to be considered on its merits as a matter of interpretation, but which we are now told quite plainly will be dealt with as a party matter. Secondly, if a motion of this kind is to be discussed, honorable members with a point of view regarding it might desire an opportunity to express their point of view. Although it is Friday morning, and 70 minutes before the time the House is due to adjourn, one motion of dissent has already been gagged after one speech from this side of the House. I do not propose to instigate any more such foolish proceedings. I can only express my astonishment, and indicate that I do not intend to offer any argument at all on the motion.

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