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Wednesday, 8 December 1971
Page: 4280

Mr BRYANT (Wills) - Mr Speaker,nothing demonstrates the incompetence of this Government to run the country more than the way it handles this House. Privilege takes precedence over everything else. The notice paper carries on the front page 'Privilege to take precedence1. Standing order 96 states that a matter of privilege at any time arising shall, until disposed of, take precedence. This report has been hanging around for some time. We came into the House today with the understanding that this was a matter to be dealt wilh early today so as to get it out of the road. This matter concerns not only the House but also, of course, the people who have been under consideration I believe that it demonstrates exactly the incompetence of this Government in the way that it handles everything, that we are going to defer the only matter in which, I think, the Parliament takes precedence over the Govern ment. You might say: 'Well, it is only for a few hours'. We do not know how many hours, because day after day the order of the Parliament is continually confused by chance statements from the Government, by the way it handles them, by not having legislation ready, and so on. I just lodge my objection to treating parliamentary matters in this way. Anything that has to do with the Parliament is deferred. Anything that has to do with the pottering of the Government gets thrown into the ring in some ad hoc fashion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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