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Wednesday, 18 May 1960


Mr GALVIN (Kingston) .- The honorable member for Canning (Mr. Hamilton) has tried to shift the blame on to the Opposition for this Parliament's going into recess, although the responsibility f >r conducting the business of the

Parliament rests solely on the Government. The motion before the House has been introduced because of the faulty arrangements made by the Government for the conduct of the business of the Parliament and the laxity of Ministers in preparing bills. The honorable member for Canning said that the Australian Country Party would be quite prepared to continue the present sittings. If that is so, I would like to see him support the Opposition.

The fact that members on this side of the House or on the Government side may have commitments in Queensland need not stop us all from assembling here the week after next or the week after that. There is plenty of time. I have no objection to sitting next week. I have no objection to sitting on Saturday or Sunday because I believe that when there is legislation to be debated it is the duty of members to be here and debate it in a reasonable time and in an orderly manner, to ensure that the legislation receives the consideration that it deserves. The legislation will not receive the consideration that it deserves if this motion is passed and we are directed to sit here in the early hours of the morning.

I ask the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) to have some consideration for the health of members. The Treasurer himself is a very energetic man. We know that his skindiving activities keep him very fit, but let him look around the chamber at some of the elderly members. Let him also remember members who are not present at this time perhaps because of sickness contributed to by late sittings of this Parliament. Nobody can say what might happen to several members of this Parliament, including myself, if sittings are held in the early hours of the morning.

The Government has failed to marshall its business in an orderly manner. As the honorable member for Lang (Mr. Stewart) pointed out, it has been left to the Opposition to keep the business of this Parliament going. Now the Government is frantically pushing business through, gagging legislation, and denying members the right to express an opinion on most important questions. 1 suggest that we could well sit for one, two, three, or four weeks more, if necessary. We should not allow these sittings to be terminated by Ministers who are jealous of their numerous colleagues who are at present overseas enjoying warmer climes and probably hope that they, too, will soon leave our shores or trip to Queensland, not to fight an election campaign, but to laze in comfort and enjoy the warm climate. If proof were needed that this Parliament cannot sit in the early hours of the morning we have only to look at the Minister for Air (Mr. Osborne), who is now asleep in this chamber.







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