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Wednesday, 19 October 1949

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -The honorable member is getting away from the bill, which deals with certain specific matters. He must connect his remarks with the bill.

Mr McEWEN - It must be relevant to the bill for us to consider whether those who are elected to the Legislative Council of the Northern Territory shall enjoy an opportunity to express themselves freely,

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - I am afraid not. There is nothing in the bill about that.

Mr McEWEN - The bill deals most particularly with the area from which a representative of Tennant Creek is to be elected. There is already on the council, a representative for Tennant Creek, and his position will be affected by this measure. When electoral boundaries are altered, the character of the representa tion may also be altered. The present representative of Tennant Creek is Dr. Webster, who had the temerity, as the representative of those who elected him, to speak from his place in what passes for a parliament-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - If the honorable member tries to evade the ruling of the Chair, I shall ask him to resume his seat.

Mr McEWEN - I am referring to the proposal to extend the Tennant Creek electoral area.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - I know what the honorable member is referring to. He is not entitled to canvass the matter. There are only three important clauses in the bill before the House, and the honorable member must confine himself to the subject-matter of those clauses. One of them relates to the calling of meetings of the Legislative Council ; another to the alteration of the title of the administrator from " chairman " to "president" of the council; and the third to the actual boundaries of the Tennant Creek electoral district. The honorable member may not discuss any other matter.

Mr McEWEN - I am speaking of the boundaries of the Tennant Creek electoral district. The alteration of those boundaries may affect the choice of a representative by the people, just as the alteration of the boundaries of some of the electoral divisions for the Commonwealth Parliament was designed to change the representation. The present representative of Tennant Creek, whose position will be affected by the alteration of the boundaries, is Dr. Webster, a public servant.

Mr Johnson - He would not have been returned even if the boundaries had not been altered.

Mr McEWEN - I do not know him.

Mr Johnson - I am telling the honorable member.

Mr McEWEN - So far as I know, I have never met Dr. Webster, but I know that as soon as he, speaking in the Legislative Council of the Northern Territory, criticized this Government, he was dismissed from his position as a public servant.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order ! The honorable member will resume his seat.

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