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Thursday, 1 March 1973
Page: 146

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I suggest that the honourable member may enlarge that argument during the relevant debate.

Mr Keogh - I take a point of order. Mr Deputy Speaker, the honourable gentleman is defying your ruling. While it may be very interesting for members of the Opposition to show a new-found interest in back bench members-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I am quite capable of deciding whether or not the honourable member is defying my ruling. I was pointing out something to the honourable member for Wannon.

Mr MALCOLM FRASER - Mr Deputy Speaker,I shall finish very shortly. I thank you for your ruling and I understand its context. I finish on this one point: This might appear to be a small matter but it is important to preserve the principle that Standing Orders be changed only after agreement. That is the only way in which the rights of all members in this Parliament may be preserved. Even though this proposal in itself may appear to be a small matter, we need to ask what the Government may attempt to do next. During a later debate there will be some discussion of a further proposal. But there are other changes that could well be in the Government's mind, but which have not yet been put down. The Government may, for instance, be considering changes in the procedures for suspending Standing Orders, or doing away with general business days and grievance days, all of which affect the rights of private members. I believe that the Government will be trampling rough shod over these matters in the course of time.

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