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Thursday, 10 May 1973
Page: 1962

Mr LYNCH (Flinders) - Mr Speaker,I claim to have been misrepresented.

Mr SPEAKER -Does the honourable member wish to make a personal explanation?

Mr LYNCH - Yes. I do not intend to extend this debate for many minutes because of the matters which are shortly to come before the House. However, the general tenor of the comments made by the Leader of the House (Mr Daly) indicate that I as Deputy Leader of the Opposition, in conjunction with my colleagues behind me, was not prepared to co-operate with the Leader of the House in relation to arranagements to be made for the debate on the Medical Practice Clarification Bill. The simple facts are that I informed the Leader of the House that the Opposition parties regarded this matter as one for a conscience vote, therefore speaking in the House would not be subject to party discipline. But I make it perfectly clear, lest there be any doubt on either side of the House, that at all times the Leader of the House knew full well that the view privately expressed by all of the members of the Opposition parties with whom 1 had discussed it both formally and informally was that the amount of time which was to be allowed by the Government for debate made it a complete farce and a mockery. That was consistently made clear. I am sure the Leader of the House would accept that as putting the matter in the right context. He will also recall that yesterday when this matter was the subject of debate I commented in relation to the shortening of speeches. It is recorded in Hansard. The Leader of the House will also recall that the question of-

Mr Bryant - I rise to a point of order. The honourable member is really debating the issue before the House and taking up time unnecessarily. I believe that he is completely out of order.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I think the Leader of the House is about to follow on another point of order which could adequately explain the position and overcome any misunderstanding.

Mr LYNCH - The simple fact will not be lost on you, Mr Speaker, that it was quite clear yesterday that the Opposition parties were prepared to meet on Friday and beyond that time.

Mr DALY(Grayndler - Leader of the House) - I wish to say briefly, and every honourable member sitting-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! Is this a point of order?

Mr DALY - I have been misrepresented.

Mr SPEAKER - Then it is a personal explanation.

Mr DALY - Nobody knows better than I that the Medical Practice Clarification Bill should have been debated without any of the restrictions of Standing Orders or procedures of that nature. I reported to my colleagues that I had seen the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr Lynch) and that he had reported that there had been about 2 hours of discussion on the matter within his Party; his colleagues had decided that it was not a party matter and that they would not be tied to any arrangements. It was impossible on that basis to arrange for the debate to finish at a specified time, particularly having in mind my friend the honourable member for Mackellar, unless we had some form of discipline or arrangement. Consequently, negotiations fell through. Had the Opposition been prepared to negotiate T think we could have arranged a more reasonable time. That is all we could do.

Question put -

That the motion (Mr Snedden 's) be agreed to.

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