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Tuesday, 18 April 1972
Page: 1732


Mr COPE (Sydney) - I think that the amendment moved by the honourable member for Riverina (Mr Grassby) is worthy of full consideration. I was most impressed with some of the. views put by the honourable member for North Sydney (Mr Graham) regarding this amendment, but I was not impressed at all by his trying to score political points when this is purely and simply a non-political amendment concerning the. Standing Orders of this House. He said that it was still the policy of the Australian Labor Party to nationalise the banks. He and the right honourable member for Melbourne (Mr Calwell) would know that we do not have the power to nationalise a lolly shop or even one of the sex shops in Sydney about which we hear so much. The fact is that bank nationalisation could be brought about only by a change to section 92 of the Constitution through the will of the people of Australia. To try to score these political points in a non-political argument is, in my opinion, a hit below the belt. The honourable member for Mallee (Sir Winton Turnbull) also tried to score on this occasion by introducing politics into this non-political debate.

I would suggest, as did the honourable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr Crean), that this amendment will put petitions on a higher plane. It would mean that they would be given ample, consideration by a petitions committee of 7 appointed from this House. The honourable member for Mallee asked why 7 was chosen as the number of members of that committee. Of course we have to start somewhere. If honourable members examine most of the joint House committees they will see that normally there are 7 members of the House of Representatives on such committees; so I would believe that 7 would be the appropriate number to examine the petitions presented to this House from time to dme and to bring down reports to the House. I know that there are many other speakers, and we have quite a lot of standing orders to go into. I will conclude by saying again: Please do not bring politics into this matter. It is not a political one. If you bring politics into it, you are going to make a farce of this debate.







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