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Tuesday, 16 May 1972
Page: 2616

Mr LYNCH (Flinders) (Minister for Labour and National Service) (12:59 PM) - This is not a matter of substance, as I understand it. It is a simple tidying up of the existing section of the Act.

Mr Webb - Does it affect these amalgamations?

The CHAIRMAN - Order! I would suggest that the House might come to order. The honourable member for Stirling has asked the Minister a question. With conversation going on, it is extremely difficult for the honourable member for Stirling to hear the reply. I suggest again that the Committee come to order.

Mr Webb - Is the Minister going to reply or not? I have asked him a question. Does clause 68 protect the position of the 3 unions that are going through the process of amalgamation? Surely that is a simple enough question and the Committee is entitled to an answer.

Mr LYNCH - The honourable gentleman should be a little more patient. As I have the opportunity of answering a question, I would like to make a comment in relation to a matter which was raised by the honourable member for Sturt (Mr Foster). I reject categorically any suggestion that this Government has sought to put this measure through under undue pressure. The honourable member may not be aware-

Mr Foster - Why are we here at this hour?

Mr LYNCH - The honourable gentleman should keep his hair on for a moment.

Mr Foster - You have lost most of yours.

Mr LYNCH - Yes, I know. I make it clear to the honourable member for Sturt and certainly to any Press correspondents who may be present at this time that, apparently unknown to the honourable gentleman, who apparently is not privy to these matters, there was a clear understanding with the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr Barnard), which understanding was also made known to the honourable member for Hindmarsh (Mr Clyde Cameron)-


Mr LYNCH - Perhaps it was not with the honourable member's concurrence. It was made known that the final vote on this

Bill would be taken at 12 o'clock. If during the debate on latter clauses of this Bill there has been a sense of precipitous haste, I invite the honourable gentleman to consider his position because the reason why this Bill has been so hurried in the latter stages is simply that the original agreement was broken by a number of honourable members on the other side of the House. I make that perfectly clear.

Mr Foster - Mr Chairman, I raise a point of order. Have I that right?

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