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Wednesday, 1 November 1967

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member either gives leave or does not give it. He may not debate the matter.

Mr Crean - I do not give leave.

Mr Snedden - I ask for leave to make a short statement.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr Snedden - Discussions have taken place over a period of time between myself and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr Barnard). The purpose of those discussions has been to make the proceedings of this House work smoothly. I am glad to be able to say that the arrangements have worked very well during this session. I had arranged with the Deputy Leader of the Opposition that we would be given leave to present this Bill. Indeed, last night a precis of this Bill was given to the Labor Party Caucus and Executive for their consideration. This was done so that the Executive could take its recommendations to the Caucus meeting this morning. ( would be amazed if Caucus had not discussed this matter. In point of fact, the informal business sheet which everyone in this House knows about discloses that these two second reading speeches would be made today when stocks of the Bills were available. 1 find it extraordinary that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is so bereft of authority in his Party that a front bench member of the Opposition can get up and refuse leave in direct contradiction of the arrangement that was made. Because of this I formally move:

That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent the presentation and passage through all stages of a Loan (Qantas Airways Limited) Bin 1967 and a Loan (Airlines Equipment) Bill 1967.

Mr Crean - I admit that there are sometimes misunderstandings in this House. They can be either deliberate or accidental. All I suggest is that at this morning's Executive meeting and Caucus meeting I had notes of the Loan (Airlines Equipment) Bill 1967 which I understand relates to a loan of about $3m to allow six aircraft to be purchased for TAA. However, the only knowledge I have of the Loan (Qantas Airways Limited) Bill 1967 has been gained from the columns of this morning's Financial Review'.

Mr Snedden - Did the honourable member read the informal business sheet?

Mr Crean - I am not arguing about the business sheet. I am speaking of what happened in the Executive meeting and the Caucus meeting this morning which took place before the informal business sheet appeared. The honourable gentleman's Party was good enough to circulate information on the Loan (Airlines Equipment) Bill and I would have hoped to have infor- mation regarding the Loan (Qantas Airways Limited) Bill. I am not refusing leave in respect of the Loan (Airways Equipment) Bill, but I am refusing leave in respect of the Loan (Qantas Airways Limited) Bill which has not been contemplated by either my Caucus or Executive. The Minister can say what he likes about arrangements that have been made for reasons which I cannot explain here in the absence of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of the House knows that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is not here tonight because he is attending an important international meeting as, I believe, is the Prime Minister. However, no sanction has been given by my Caucus or by my Executive to the Loan (Qantas Airways Limited) Bill which is listed first.

Mr Snedden - Your Deputy Leader gave leave for both Bills to be introduced at the same time.

Mr Crean - All I suggest is that if there is an understanding with you about this Bill, there is misunderstanding about it so far as my colleague the Deputy Leader and I are concerned.

Mr Snedden - It happens so frequently that you have a misunderstanding.

Mr Crean - The honourable gentleman can make innuendo if he likes. I am not one in this House who makes innuendo.

Mr Snedden - You are capable of your share of that too.

Mr Crean - I ask for a withdrawal of that remark. The Minister said I am capable of my share of innuendo. I would like a withdrawal of that.

Mr Chipp - You introduced the word innuendo'; the Minister did not.

Mr Crean - The Minister on the front bench said I am capable of my share of innuendo. It is offensive to me. lt has been addressed to me.

Mr Chipp - You introduced the word innuendo'.

Mr Crean - I do not care how the word was introduced. The Minister on the front bench said that I am capable of my share of innuendo. I resent the remark and I ask that he withdraw it.

Mr Snedden - Mr Speaker, do you ask me to withdraw it?


Mr Crean - Well, I am asking for a withdrawal and I am entitled to a withdrawal. The Minister has made a remark that is offensive to me.

Mr SPEAKER - -Order!

Mr Snedden - If the remark is offensive to the honourable gentleman I will withdraw it. I remind him, thought that he introduced the subject of innuendos. The point I made was that his Deputy Leader had given leave for the introduction of these two Bills.

Mr Crean - I still want a withdrawal of the remark; it is offensive to me.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The Minister has withdrawn it.

Mr Crean - If I may, I will get back to the matter that is in dispute and I will be careful since apparently I must be careful about the terms I use. The Labor Executive and Caucus have considered the Loan (Airlines Equipment) Bill. We have not considered the Loan (Qantas Airways Ltd) Bill. If it assists the Minister who was making the assertions about the business of the House, we have had circulated to us details in advance of the Bills. We are making a serious departure from the usual procedure. We do not believe in giving our sanction to Bills until they have been presented in the House. I ask the Minister at least to accept my word - I hope he can - that we had a digest of perhaps 200 words on the Loan (Airlines Equipment) Bill. We have had no digest whatever on the Loan (Qantas Airways Limited) Bill. I am not speaking about whether a document was issued yesterday or early today and whether it should have been brought before the Executive and Caucus and who should have been responsible; all I say is that it was not brought before either the Executive or Caucus and I am refusing leave for the first Bill. I am willing to give leave for the second Bill. We have agreed upon our stand in relation to it.

With all respect to the Leader of the House, my only knowledge of the first Bill comes from reading the 'Financial Review' this morning. It suggested that this Bill provided for a loan of the magnitude of some $70m, which is about half the total capital expenditure of Qantas in the whole of its existence. We are expected to contemplate it here this evening without its having been considered by either the Executive or Caucus. I am refusing, leave on those grounds. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition has left me in charge of the House for the Opposition this evening because he is somewhere else. I had no knowledge until now of the Bill entitled Loan (Qantas Airways Limited) Bill and I un refusing leave to proceed with it at this stage.

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