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Thursday, 25 May 1972
Page: 3148

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I want to warn all honourable members - many were not here when I issued this warning before - that there has been far too much frivolity in this chamber this evening.

Mr DALY - The seriousness of the matter and the need to suspend Standing Orders are exemplified by not only the facts I have stated in regard to the closing hours of hotels in Western Australia and South Australia. How do we know that the honourable member concerned did not ring the wealthy wine growers in some areas and give them an advantage over the less fortunate-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I know that the honourable member for Grayndler will respect the wishes of the Chair, and I suggest that he come back to the motion before the Chair, which is the suspension of Standing Orders.

Mr DALY - You know, Mr Speaker, you have quite certainly and correctly said that rarely, if ever, would I doubt your wise rulings and the wisdom of your approach, but I feel that this matter is so serious that I cannot help being carried away somewhat emotionally by the action of the honourable member for Angas. Let us look at its implications. A Minister prepared to make a statement at 8.30 p.m. He made it at 8.37 p.m. He might just as well have torn it up, because from one end of Australia to the other the Press has blazoned forth that that custodian of the wine growers' interests - who would not vote on his own motion in the Parliament on one occasion - had announced it prior to the Minister coming before the nation to announce it. With your great knowledge of the Parliament, Mr Speaker, have you ever experienced greater contempt of the Parliament? That is why I know by the look on your face tonight, Mr Speaker, that you feel the same as I do.

Mr SPEAKER -I think that the honourable member would be unwise to judge me by my face.

Mr DALY - If I might say so, Mr Speaker, you did look so kindly. This matter has serious implications in respect of the issuing of ministerial statements. It is a matter that should be debated in this Parliament, and the only way to do so is by the suspension of Standing Orders. This is a matter not connected with the issues you have stated, Mr Speaker, but connected with whether or not a Minister can place an embargo on a document and have it released by a private member about 3 hours in advance. That is the matter on which we are to decide. I believe that the honourable member concerned should have the matter debated in this Parliament and at least be given an opportunity to say why he took this unprecedented action which, in my mind, is unparalleled in the history of this Parliament. I formally second the motion. I hope that it will be carried, because a high principle is involved and the honourable member for Angas must answer to this Parliament for his infamous conduct.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member's time has expired.

Mr Barnard - I think this is a very serious matter, Mr Speaker, and I intend to move a motion in relation to it.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! We have had 2 speakers from the Opposition side, and I now call the honourable member for Angas.

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