Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 24 September 1970


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The House will come to order. In relation to the point of order that has been raised by the Opposition, the Chair has no means of knowing whether the flags were there or not.


Mr Morrison - Neither has the Minister.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! II the honourable member keeps interjecting I will deal with him. The Chair has no way of knowing whether the Vietcong flags were there or not. It really developed into a personal explanation by the Leader of the Opposition and therefore I do not think there is a point of order on which to rule. The Minister may continue to answer his question.


Mr NIXON - J think if the Leader of the Opposition is in any further doubt about this he might well ask the honourable member for Lalor and some of the other supporters who were there with him on the day. To conclude-


Mr Uren - I rise on a point of order. My point of order is that the honourable member for Lalor was in Canberra last" Friday when Mr Whitlam-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! There is no point of order. I allowed the Leader of the Opposition the privilege of making more or less a personal explanation on a very important matter. But the honourable member for Reid cannot debate the question.


Mr Uren - I am not debating it.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! 1 suggest to the honourable member that he come to the point of order in accordance with the Standing Orders.


Mr Uren - The point of order is that the Minister stated that the honourable member for Lalor was there. He was not at the meeting.


Mr SPEAKER - There is no point of order.


Mr Uren - In other words, he can say a lie?


Mr SPEAKER -Order! He can but he will be pulled up if I know that his statement is incorrect The Chair is not in a position to judge the accuracy crf statements and you cannot debate this question on the floor of the House. The honourable member for Reid will resume his seat.


Dr Patterson - He just made a lie.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Dawson will withdraw that remark.


Dr Patterson - Mr Speaker-


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member for Dawson will withdraw the remark.


Dr Patterson - What I said was-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable, member for Dawson will withdraw the remark.


Dr Patterson - I withdraw it and say that it is an untruth.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Dawson will withdraw the remark unreservedly.


Mr Charles Jones - I rise to order.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! You shall not debate a point of order at the stage I have reached in the proceedings. The honourable member for Newcastle will resume his seat. For the last time I ask the honourable member for Dawson to withdraw the remark unreservedly. As the honourable member has refused to do so I name him.


Mr Snedden - I move:

That the honourable member for Dawson be suspended from the service of the House.


Mr SPEAKER - The question is:

That the honourable member for Dawson be suspended from the service of the House.

All those in favour say Aye; to the contrary No. I think the Ayes have it.

Opposition members - The Noes have it.


Mr SPEAKER - Is a division required?

Opposition members - Yes.


Mr SPEAKER - Ring the bells. (The bells being rung)


Mr Cope - I want to move as an amendment that the Minister for the Interior be suspended.


Mr SPEAKER - I do not know what the honourable member-


Mr Cope - This was taken into account on a previous occasion. My amendment is not a direct negative. I move:

That the Minister for the Interior be suspended.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The Standing Orders provide that there shall be no debate on a question that a member be suspended.


Mr Cope - This is an amendment.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I wish to dissent from your ruling.


Mr SPEAKER - The honourable member can do this later.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I want to do it now. If you rule that I cannot, I will move dissent from that ruling.


Mr SPEAKER - You may do that later.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I am doing it now.


Mr SPEAKER - The honourable member for Hindmarsh will resume his seat.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I will not. I want to move dissent from your ruling.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable member will resume his seat.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I will not.


Mr SPEAKER - I shall deal with the honourable member for Hindmarsh when the present matter before the Chair has been resolved.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I move that you leave the Chair.


Mr Hayden - I second the motion.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! We will deal with one question at a time.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I move that you leave the Chair; do it now. A few months ago you allowed a negative of a motion. Now you reject it. Why do you not be more consistent? You are making a farce of Parliament; you are making a joke of Parliament. This is just a rabble and we might as well all go home. You are making a farce of Parliament carrying on as you are.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable member for Hindmarsh will resume his seat.


Mr Cope - It is not a direct negative according to your rulings in the past and I move:

That the Minister for the Interior be suspended from the service of the House.


Mr SPEAKER - The Chair cannot accept the motion. Lock the doors.


Mr Cope - I am going to move a motion of dissent from your ruling that you will not accept my amendment.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable member will resume his seat. The question is: 'That the honourable member for Dawson be suspended from the service of the House'.


Mr Cope - On another point of order, Mr Speaker, I am going to move a motion of dissent from your ruling that you cannot accept my amendment.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable member will resume his seat.


Mr Cope - I will not be seated. I am going on a previous ruling you made in this House and my motion is not a direct negative.


Mr SPEAKER - I appoint the honourable members for Henty and Mallee tellers for the ayes and the honourable members for Gellibrand and Hunter tellers for the noes. Is there no teller available from the Opposition?


Mr Cope - Count them yourself.


Mr SPEAKER - I declare the question resolved in the affirmative. The honourable member for Dawson is suspended from the service of the House. (The honourable member for Dawson thereupon withdrew from the chamber.)


Mr Whitlam - I rise to order. In answer to an interjection that the Minister for the Interior could tell a lie in his reply to a question you said: 'Yes, he could, but the House would deal with him'. I ask--


Mr SPEAKER - I am not quite sure that that is the phraseology I used, but if I did I qualified it by saying that the Chair was not in a position to judge this question.


Mr Whitlam - Sir, I might be able to help you because the Minister for the Interior stated that the honourable member for Lalor was also there on Friday.


Mr Sinclair - He did not. He said: 'Ask him'.


Mr Whitlam - The Votes and Proceedings of the House show that on last Friday the honourable member for Lalor was not present at any time during the sitting.


Mr SPEAKER - With all due respect, this is not a point of order. The Chair cannot sit in judgment on a question such as this. This is a matter of debate and is not a point of order.


Mr Gorton - May I speak to the point of order because I believe that a great deal of what has happened here has been the result of a misunderstanding. I believe that it is unquestionably true that the honourable member for Lalor was not here last Friday because he was engaged in leading demonstrations in Melbourne. I also believe that the Leader of the Opposition, during the course of his remarks, had referred not only to last Friday but to last May and that the Minister for the Interior was saying that last May the Leader of the Opposition spoke with Vietcong flags flying and that at that time the honourable member for Lalor was also there. I do not know whether that was true or not, but I suspect that it was true and I do know that last Friday, though the honourable member for Lalor was not there, there were Vietcong flags in evidence above the crowd to whom the Leader of the Opposition spoke.


Mr Whitlam - On the point of order, I am told that the words the Minister for the Interior used were: 'He should ask the honourable member for Lalor and others who were there.' If the Minister for tha Interior said that, it was not accurate. The honourable member for Lalor was not here.


Mr SPEAKER


Mr Nixon - As a point of explanation on all this- -


Mr SPEAKER - Before we go any further I would like to say at this stage that there has been a tendency to develop this into a debate and not take a point in relation to the Standing Orders of this House and I believe that this practice should be discontinued.


Mr Bryant - I move:

That so much of the Standing Orders


Mr SPEAKER -Order! 1 have called the Minister for the Interior on a point of order.


Mr Nixon - I am entitled to answer the question. I have not said that the honourable member for Lalor was there on Friday, noc have I said that the Leader of the Opposition was under a Vietcong flag on Friday.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Sydney and the honourable member for Newcastle will come to order.


Mr Nixon - I am trying to assist. I was talking about the Mav demonstration. I do not know whether the honourable member for Lalor was present or not at the May' demonstration and the record will show that I did not say that the honourable member for Lalor was present in May either. Let the record stand as it is. What I suggest to the Leader of the Opposition is that if he is in any doubt about the point I raised, he ask the honourable member for Lalor and some other supporters of the Labor. Party as to whether or not there was a . Vietcong flag at the May demonstration . and whether or not the Leader of the Opposition was seen sneaking under a Vietcong flag at the May demonstration.


Mr Bryant - On a point of order, Mr Speaker: The Minister for the Interior appears to me to be debating the subject. I personally believe that we ought to suspend Standing Order.; so that the matter - may be resolved foi the benefit of the House and I am prepared to move that so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent the resolution of this problem forthwith and perhaps the return of the honourable member for Dawson to the House.


Mr SPEAKER - Before I deal with that I call upon the honourable member for Hindmarsh to apologise to the Chair for disorderly conduct.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Yes, Mr Speaker, I do apologise.


Mr SPEAKER - I also call upon the honourable member for Sydney to apologise for disorderly conduct.


Mr Cope - No, Sir, I do not intend to apologise. I am only going on a previous ruling of yours that if there is not a direct negative-


Mr SPEAKER - Order! I again ask the honourable member for Sydney to withdraw.


Mr Cope - I will not withdraw it.


Mr SPEAKER - I name the honourable member for Sydney.

Motion (by Mr Snedden) proposed:

That the honourable member for Sydney be suspended from the service of the House.


Mr Whitlam - Mr Speaker, will you bear with me on this matter? Sir, I have not had the opportunity to speak with the honourable member for Sydney. I think you would concede, as we all would, that his conduct in the House has not given rise to any disorderly conduct at any time, and he is one of the senior members of the chamber. I would not contest your having called on the honourable member for Hindmarsh to withdraw because, in heat, he said things to you which should not be said to a Presiding Officer, and he has had the grace to withdraw unequivocally and promptly. But my recollection is, and I trust your recollection is, that the honourable member for Sydney said nothing unparliamentary to you at all.


Mr SPEAKER - That is correct.


Mr Whitlam - He was trying to take a point and move an amendment. You said that you would not take it at that stage, but he has an arguable case that a member can move an amendment to a suspension, relying on your ruling, of which I was the subject, that a motion to censure the Minister for Labour and National Service as Leader of the House could be negated by an amendment to censure the Leader of the Opposition. Whatever you do about the honourable member for Sydney and if I have the opportunity I will ask him to comply with your wishes but I have not had that opportunity I do hope that his failure to act in this matter as the honourable member for Hindmarshhas acted will not prejudice the return of the honourable member for Dawson who was incensed at the reference to the Vietcong flag. The honourable member for Hindmarsh has done what he can to facilitate the return of the honourable member for Dawson. I do ask that you do not-


Mr SPEAKER - Order! I suggest that the Leader of the Opposition may talk with the honourable member for Sydney. (The Leader of the Opposition having conferred with the honourable member for Sydney) -


Mr Cope -I withdraw the remarksI made, Mr Speaker. But I should like also to make a personal explanation after question time.


Mr SPEAKER - Very well. Will the Leader of the House withdraw his motion for the suspension of the honourable member for Sydney?


Mr Snedden - Mr Speaker, I think that I do not need to ask for leave. I will ask for the indulgence of the Chair to withdraw my motion.


Mr SPEAKER - Very well. The question now before the Chair is the motion proposed by the honourable member for Wills.







Suggest corrections