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The Acting Deputy-President (Senator Jessop) informed the Senate that the President had received a letter from Senator Haines advising that this day she intended to move-That in the opinion of the Senate the following is a matter of urgency: ""The reprehensible conduct of the Government in-

(a) selling out all future Australian home buyers by deregulating the interest rate ceiling for new home buyers;

(b) selling out to banks and discriminating against building societies;

(c) making home ownership the exclusive preserve of the wealthy in Australia; and

(d) creating the possibility that Australians will be paying over 20 per cent for home loans,

and the urgent need for the Government to-

(e) reimpose the interest rate ceiling on new home loans;

(f) guarantee that the interest rate ceiling on existing loans will not be removed; and

(g) introduce as an alternative the plan proposed by Senator Haines which would provide subsidised and affordable interest rates for home loans so that all Australians could afford to own their own homes''.

And at least 4 Senators having risen in support of the motion-

Senator Haines thereupon moved the motion.

Debate ensued.

Suspension of Standing Order 64 to permit an amendment: Senator Archer, at the request of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Chaney) and pursuant to contingent notice, moved-That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Chaney moving an amendment to the motion.

Question-put and passed.

Senator Archer, at the request of Senator Chaney, thereupon moved an amendment to the motion, viz: Leave out the statement of the matter of urgency, insert

""The reprehensible conduct of the Government in-

(a) maintaining artificially high interest rates;

(b) proceeding with the introduction of a capital gains tax;

(c) announcing plans to eliminate housing negative gearing; and

(d) providing direct assistance to banks and not to building societies,

leading to-

(e) an increased burden on new home buyers;

(f) penalising existing home owners with mortgages other than from the savings banks;

(g) higher house construction costs;

(h) discrimination against home owners generally and lower income earners particularly;

(i) reduction in the availability of rental property; and

(j) significant increases in rental levels''.

Point of Order: The Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Chipp) raised a point of order that certain portions of the amendment moved by Senator Archer were not in order in that they were not relevant to the motion to debate the matter of urgency.

Discussion ensued on the point of order.

Ruling of President: The President ruled that, whilst a suspension of Standing Orders enabling an amendment to be moved to the motion to debate a matter of urgency had been agreed to, such an amendment must, under Standing Order 139, be relevant to the Question to which it is proposed to be made, and that, accordingly, paragraphs (b) and (c) of the proposed amendment were not in order.

Debate continued.

Question-That the words proposed to be left out (Senator Archer's amendment to Senator Haines' motion) be left out-put.

The Senate divided

AYES, 62

Senators- Archer Aulich Baume, Michael Baume, Peter Bjelke-Petersen Black Bolkus Boswell Brownhill Carrick, Sir John Childs Coates Coleman Collard Cook Cooney Crichton-Browne Crowley Devlin Durack Elstob Evans Foreman Georges Gietzelt Giles Grimes Guilfoyle, Dame Margaret Hamer Hill Jessop Jones Kilgariff Knowles Lewis McClelland MacGibbon McIntosh McKiernan Maguire Messner Morris Newman Parer Puplick Ray Reid Reynolds Richardson Robertson (Teller) Ryan Sheil Short Sibraa Tate Teague Townley Vanstone Walsh Watson Withers Zakharov


Senators- Chipp Haines Macklin (Teller) Mason Sanders Siddons Vigor

And so it was resolved in the affirmative.

Question-That the words proposed to be inserted by Senator Archer's amendment be inserted-put.

The Senate divided

AYES, 37

Senators- Archer Baume, Michael Baume, Peter Bjelke-Petersen Boswell Brownhill Carrick, Sir John Chipp Collard Crichton-Browne Durack Guilfoyle, Dame Margaret Haines Hamer Hill Jessop Kilgariff Knowles Lewis MacGibbon Macklin Mason Messner Newman Parer Puplick Reid (Teller) Sanders Sheil Short Siddons Teague Townley Vanstone Vigor Watson Withers

NOES, 31

Senators- Aulich Black Bolkus Childs Coates Coleman Cook Cooney Crowley Devlin Elstob Foreman Georges Gietzelt Giles Grimes Jones McClelland McIntosh McKiernan Maguire Morris Ray Reynolds Richardson Robertson (Teller) Ryan Sibraa Tate Walsh Zakharov

And so it was resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment agreed to accordingly.

Main Question, as amended, agreed to.

Pursuant to Sessional Order, consideration of Government Papers was called on.