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Tuesday, 26 October 1971
Page: 2480

Mr SWARTZ (Darling Downs) (Minister for National Development) - The motion that has been moved and seconded is a procedural motion for the suspension of Standing Orders and it deals only with the procedures which were referred to by the honourable member for Wills (Mr Bryant) when he moved the motion. Naturally, however, some comments went beyond the bounds of the procedural motion, and what has been mentioned during what developed into a part of a debate of course strikes a responsive cord on both sides of the House. Honourable members on the Government side of the House as well as honourable members opposite have raised this matter fairly constantly over recent weeks. As has been stated, the Government has taken some substantial action to assist in this field to date and some further action was announced only recently. However, as I indicated when a similar motion was moved the week before last, this is not the appropriate form to deal with this matter, however much sympathy we have with the subject that has been raised.

The position at the moment is that the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr N. H. Bowen), since his return from overseas, has been in close consultation with the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) on this matter. At present the Minister for Foreign Affairs is in the process of preparing a statement which he will make to the House concerning action which the Government will be taking. I hope that that statement will be made to the House tomorrow. I have already mentioned to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) that when that statement is made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs some debate will take place on its subject matter.

Mr Bryant - Mr Acting Speaker, I-


Mr Bryant - Can I not close the debate?

Mr ACTING SPEAKER - I point out to the honourable member for Wills that the honourable member for Corio also is on his feet.

Mr Bryant - All right,

Mr ACTING SPEAKER - I call the honourable member for Corio.

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