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Thursday, 5 April 1973
Page: 1130

Mr SNEDDEN (Bruce) (Leader of the Opposition) - Mr Speaker, I move:

That the ruling be dissented from. (Mr Snedden having submitted his motion in writing.)

Mr SNEDDEN - Mr Speaker,your ruling is that it is unparliamentary to say of any member of this House- -I take it, Mr Speaker, that you are not giving a privileged and special position to the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) - that he should be ashamed of himself-. This is a quite unsupportable ruling. I believe that it is proper for a member of this House,'- in the course of debate or question time, to say of another honourable member 'Your actions are such that you should be ashamed of them' and then, explain why that honourable member should be ashamed of his actions. ;

Indeed, that is what May's 'Parliamentary Practice' indicates at page 428. It states that, if a man or. a - woman in Parliament says something of that kind, that person should be given the opportunity to explain the context in which, the statement was made. You, Mr Speaker, in .what I believe to be the most grievous error of judgment ever made during my period in' this House from the chair that you occupy; refused to give a man, who served for about 3 years as the Prime Minister of : this. country and who enjoys the title of right honourable as a member of the Queen's Privy Council, the opportunity to say why he believed . that what was said should have been said. Let me remind you, Mr Speaker - perhaps you, need, this reminder - of the context in which the statement was made. The Prime Minister has, in this House during his term as Prime Minister, constantly abused-

Mr McLeay - Vilified.

Mr SNEDDEN - He has done that, but not in the context I am using. The Prime Minister constantly has abused question time in this House. He has not answered one question directed to him, except one of which he had notice and which was a Dorothy Dixer. He constantly has refused to answer any questions without notice-

Mr Daly - Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. The. motion before the Chair is one of dissent from your ruling. The conduct of the Prime Minister has nothing to do with the motion before the Chair.

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