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Thursday, 18 May 1972
Page: 2841

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Mr Speaker,in the same vein 1 want to say how disappointed and concerned I am at this evening's course of events which I regard to be unprecedented during the period 1 have been in this Parliament. It is a bad indication of the shape of things to come. Concern was expressed by honourable members from both sides of the House, indeed by distinguished honourable members, about the change in the Government's attitude to this question since its Party meeting today. One must speculate about the reasons for these changes. I do not think the House can discount the very serious situation which occurred this evening when Government supporters grouped together when this surprise was sprung upon them, trying to find some reason, some justification-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I do not want to be difficult but the fact is that during a third reading debate honourable members must confine their remarks to the contents of the Bill.

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I appreciate what you say, Mr Speaker. I express disappointment that the views expressed by the hon ourable member for Wakefield (Mr Kelly) - a distinguished member of this Parliament who occupies the position as Chairman of the Public Works Committee and who was a former Minister for the Government - in asking the Government to take another look at the Bill and not to force a vote were not heeded. This is a matter of great regret which brings into disrepute the attitude that the Government has pursued on this matter. I have stood simply to say that it is unparalleled in the history of this Parliament that there should be a reversal of policy on such a critical matter. This throws a dubious perspective over the whole proceedings.

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