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Thursday, 19 February 1959


Mr SPEAKER - The right honorable gentleman can obtain leave to continue the debate.


Dr Evatt - I want to make a statement on some urgent matters now. If the Minister will withdraw his motion until a later stage, that will allow me to make a statement in reply. That perhaps would facilitate it.


Mr Freeth - In those circumstances, the right honorable gentleman would have an opportunity to make two speeches on the same subject.


Mr SPEAKER -The position is that the right honorable gentleman has asked for leave to make a statement.


Mr Freeth - With respect, I submit that the question before the Chair is, " That the paper be printed ".


Mr Calwell - On a point of order: The Leader of the Opposition is to be prevented from making a brief statement now and also engaging in the debate at a later stage, yet the Minister for Territories, who has made his statement now, will at a later stage, if the Minister for the Interior proceeds with his motion, have an opportunity to make a second speech. I suggest that that would be most unfair, and we do not want to have it that way.


Mr Hasluck - May I suggest that the Leader of the Opposition commence to speak to the motion which is before the House and then ask leave 'to continue his remarks? I will give an assurance on behalf of the Leader of the House that if, when the Leader of the Opposition wishes to continue his remarks, he comes up against some limitation of time, we will move tor an extension of time.


Dr Evatt - I want to take the usual course. The procedure now being followed is unheard of; the Government has never done this before. There are a few matters on which I want to comment immediately, but we will not have the basic documents to examine until a later stage.


Mr SPEAKER - May I suggest that there is a motion before the Chair, which has not been withdrawn? If I put the motion and the debate is adjourned, the right honorable gentleman could then seek leave to make a statement.


Mr Calwell - On a point of order: You called the Leader of the Opposition and he rose to speak. Then the Minister for the Interior interposed his motion. I suggest that, having called the Leader of the Opposition, you have no right to call a Minister to move a motion other than the motion " That the question be now put ".


Mr SPEAKER - The position is that when the Minister for Territories tabled the paper, the Minister for the Interior rose in his place and moved that the paper be printed. When he sat down I called the Leader of the Opposition.


Dr Evatt - Is that not the whole point? The Minister made a statement first and I wish to make some comment on it. Is that in order?


Mr Hasluck - We do not want to prevent the Leader of the Opposition from speaking.


Dr Evatt - Then why does the Minister adopt this unusual course? I am seeking leave to make a statement, not to deal with the documents.


Mr SPEAKER -I suggest that the only course is for the Leader of the Opposition to move that the debate be adjourned, and for me to put that motion. If it is agreed to, the debate will be adjourned. The right honorable gentleman may then seek leave of the House to make a statement, and the matter will take its normal course.


Dr Evatt - If the Minister agrees to that. I am satisfied.

Debate (on motion by Dr. Evatt) adjourned.







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