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Thursday, 13 October 1949

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order ! The honorable member may not do so now.

Mr WHITE - I mention that matter merely to show that during the discussion of the general Estimates we did not have an opportunity to review-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order ! The honorable member must discuss the motion before the Chair.

Mr WHITE - I have mentioned these incidents merely to emphasize my point that the Government is adopting a contemptuous attitude towards the Opposition. The Prime Minister (Mr.Chifley) is most adept in these matters. He rises in his place, merely mumbles a few words relating to the application of the " guillotine " and then sits down. Only a comparatively few minutes are given to us to debate most important items. The Parliament is being asked to vote £51,000,000 for works as a mere formality. It is sufficient for the Government that these Estimates have been passed by the Labour caucus, but that is not good enough in a democratic country. This is supposed to be a deliberative assembly. We are the representatives of the people. Members of the Labour party are mere delegates-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member is not in order in making a speech about matters which have no relation to the motion before the Chair.

Mr WHITE - I shall say no more on that aspect of the subject.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - The honorable member must speak to the motion before the Chair or not at all.

Mr WHITE - It ill becomes the Prime Minister of a democratic country such as this to treat the Parliament in such a scurvy fashion. I object to the altogether disproportionate time proposed to be allotted for the discussion of these Estimates.

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