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Thursday, 3 May 1973
Page: 1677

Mr LYNCH (Flinders) - It is obvious that the benign Leader of the House (Mr Daly) does not really have his heart in what could be called the tongue in cheek motion which he has just moved. All his fine words cannot hide this one inescapable fact: That while he might well have the numbers in this House, the motion which he has moved lacks the logic of fair play in the effective working of the Parliament, which certainly will suffer as a direct consequence of the decision which has been made by the Government. No doubt the Leader of the House simply is reacting to the orders of a dictatorial Prime Minister who for reasons which are obvious to honourable gentlemen on both sides, has a preoccupation with closing this House at the earliest opportunity.

The Leader of the House mentioned that the change of government had been remarkable for a number of different reasons. I certainly would agree with that statement because, as the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) himself knows full well, that his Government has been sadly discredited by the sordid repercussions of what I could call the Murphy affair, the manner in which the Prime Minister has destroyed the reservoir of good will with the United States of America built up over a quarter of a century by the former Government, the failure to control effectively the problem of inflation, the degree to which he has ignored the interests of the rural sector, his lamentable preparedness to advantage the trade union movement by sectional legislation - contrary to public interest - the divisions in his own ranks between Left and Right and his total Prime Ministerial incapacity to control the Left wing of his Party. One can therefore understand the dilemma which faced the Leader of the House in moving this motion. He, of course, will recall his halcyon days in opposition, to which no doubt he will shortly return. I am glad to see that I have his support. He knows that he has a real problem with this motion. If he thinks back to the period when he was in opposition-

Mr McLeay - It will not be too long before he is there again.

Mr LYNCH - I am glad for that reminder from the honourable member. Of course this period during which we currently are in opposition may be seen as a temporary mental aberration of the Australian people.

The Minister will recall that during his period in opposition he was one who always gave a great lead in consistently seeking an extension of the sitting hours of the Parliament particularly when it was headed towards a recess. Now is the time for the Leader of the House to show that he is a real statesman, a man who is prepared to stand and be counted. He knows in his own heart that the Parliament should not be a matter simply of numbers. The Parliament is a great democratic institution. We ask the Leader of the House to recant, because he knows that this motion is contrary to all the principles which he so glibly proclaimed during his period in opposition. No doubt if he takes that stand he may well stand alone, but surely that would be no disincentive to a man of great national stature, a man of courage and integrity and a man who really appreciates the fundamentals. At this late stage of the debate it is not too late for him to recognise that while-

Mr McLeay - You are embarrassing him.

Mr LYNCH - 1 can see him nervously shuffling his papers.

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