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Tuesday, 18 April 1972
Page: 1744


Mr DALY (Grayndler) - I wish to speak briefly on this matter. The present Government is pretty free and easy with titles as can be seen from the title of the

Members - Use of academic and other titles, where appropriate, in House documents.

That a Member entitled to use the title 'Doctor' or 'Reverend' or having a substantive military, academic or professional title should, if be so wishes, have the title used with his name as it appears from time to time in official House documents such as the Votes and Proceedings, Notice Papers, List of Members, etc. (Paragraphs 42 to 46).

Where does this title business start pad finish in parliamentary records? ls a soldier entitled to put his name in as 'Private Smith'? How does die Government intend to stop a person from doing that? Is a person entitled to do that? If a brigadier can do it why should not Private Smith be able to do it? Can Corporal Jones have his name entitled 'corporal'? What about a leading aircraftsman or an able seaman? Will they be entitled to use their titles? ls this to be allowed? Or is it to be only for the upper strata, the top brass? Where do we start and finish? Perhaps the Minister for National Development (Mr Swartz) who is sitting at the table can explain this to us. He is knowledgeable man and a distinguished man and no doubt he will come amongst these titled people. I would like to know just where this starts and finishes. A chap who is a private in the Army might with very great pride look back on that title and record of achievements in that respect, but evidencely because he is not from the upper strata of the military Service or the top brass he cannot use that humble though no doubt to him very distinguished title.

I think that the Government, by incorporating this recommendation in the Standing Orders, is only perpetuating many of those fortunate records of people who have been honoured with a title by the present Government. I would like the Minister to tell us where the question of title starts and where it finishes. Who will be entitled to use titles? Will it apply to all branches of the Services? Will it apply to everybody? For how long is a person a reverend gentleman? ls he a reverend gentleman when he leaves the ministry and goes into Parliament? Does his title go with him forever? This is a matter which ought to be clarified for the Parliament because it can be very confusing. As I look across the floor of this Parliament I recall that one of my colleagues once said: 'In Canberra now there are almost more knights than days'. It is a city as he once described it, of dreadful knights. The situation is confusing. No doubt persons with titles will have to be listed in parliamentary records as 'Sir', 'Lord' or whatever the case may be, but where does it start and where does it finish with those minor titles of persons who if this proposal is accepted proudly might still desire to have them placed among the records.







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