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Tuesday, 10 April 1973
Page: 1217

Mr DALY (Grayndler) (Minister for Services and Property) - I move:

That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent -

(a)   the Prime Minister moving forthwith a motion of confidence in and support of the AttorneyGeneral;

(b)   during the debate on the motion reference being made to the subject matter of order of the day No. 9; and

(c)   upon the conclusion of the consideration of the motion, order of the day No. 9 being then called on and disposed of without further debate.

I have moved this motion because it concerns a matter of very great importance in the view of the Government. We feel that it should be dealt with expeditiously and in a way that will allow all concerned to express their views and at the same time allow debate to proceed without undue delay in any respect. The matter to which the motion refers has received considerable publicity and certainly it is a matter of vital importance to the AttorneyGeneral (Senator Murphy) and to the Government. We see no reason why we should not proceed with this motion forthwith in view of statements made by the Leader of the Opposition and members opposite of their pronounced intention to debate this matter today immediately the Parliament assembled.

The motion I have moved will give to members of the Opposition the opportunity that they demanded over the weekend and at other times for an immediate debate when the Parliament assembled today. Nothing could be more prompt than for me, on behalf of the Government, to accept one minute after the Parliament has met the challenge of those who sit opposite and to give them the opportunity to debate this issue. I see no reason why my motion to suspend Standing Orders should not be agreed to. Order of the day No. 9 on the business paper, which is headed Croatian Terrorism', is inevitably linked with the subject we are seeking to discuss in regard to the Attorney-General. Does any honourable member opposite believe that he could debate the question relating to the AttorneyGeneral without referring to item No. 9 on the business paper? It is to prevent the honourable members opposite from so consistently being ruled out of order that we have very generously included in the motion the opportunity to debate the issues in toto. Honourable members will be able to link together the various matters under discussion, make speeches that will be easily comprehended and at the same time make full and complete reference to what is under discussion. It cannot be said that the Government is not giving ample time for such a discussion. The Government is prepared to give the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) 45 minutes in which to discuss these questions. That should enable him to cover them.

I do not wish to take up the time of the House unduly. I summarise by saying that the purposes of this motion to suspend Standing Orders are, firstly, to give members of the Opposition the opportunity to fulfil their pronounced desire to debate, immediately the Parliament met, the questions that are under discussion and, secondly, to allow them to make their speeches in recognition of the fact that they must refer to item 9 on the notice paper. There is no intention to evade anything. This is a clear declaration of where the Government stands on this matter. Honourable members opposite have the opportunity to take this up. They have asked for it and I would have thought that they were so anxious to debate the subject that they would agree to the suspension of Standing Orders. But am I now to take it that you are running away from this debate? Am I to take it that you do not want to face up to the brutal use of the majority in another place--

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