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Thursday, 31 May 1973
Page: 3010

Mr DALY (Grayndler) (Minister for Services and Property) - Mr Speaker-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I remind the Leader of the House that he must speak to the amendment only. I ask honourable gentlemen to resume their seats and to remember that this is not a circus; this is the Commonwealth Parliament.

Mr DALY - I can speak with great knowledge of either the motion or the amendment. We have just witnessed the third most important member of the Opposition speaking from the other side of the House. He is what might be called the innocent young bridegroom who is courting that dear old lady, the Democratic Labor Party. I suppose one could liken them to Kane and Unable.

Mr Hunt - I rise to order. I crave your indulgence, Mr Speaker. You said quite rightly that this is not a circus. Do we permit a clown to parade in the chamber?

Mr SPEAKER -I ask the honourable gentleman: What is the point of order?

Mr Hunt - I do not know whether the clownish performance is in keeping with your injunction.

Mr SPEAKER - There is no point of order involved.

Mr DALY - I am sorry that the honourable member took offence. I thought I was being complimentary in view of the ages of the respective parties. Won't it be a great marriage, when it comes about, with this handsome, young, valiant crusader fighting for the leadership against the aging Senator Gair or Senator McManus? What fluency they will bring to the Parliament; what knowledge. This is the union that is running away from the name of the Country Party. Members of the Country Party always speak about the country people, and now they want to change the name of their Party. If you were in the Country Party or the DLP, why would you not want to change your name? Why would they not be ashamed of their record? The Country Party reduced the rural industries to ruins and the DLP has practically reduced this country to ruins by its actions.

It will be a great union. They may marry. It will be lovely when they are churched, because as a good Christian I do not like to see people living in sin. Let us hope that we are all there for the filming of the wedding night. Won't it be great. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) will probably be the bridesmaid. His colleagues in the Senate will probably be train bearers. Won't it be a magnificent marriage. It will be one of those we all dream about - Mr Gorton and Mr Fraser arm in arm singing. What a disaster that would be. We can see them as they sing Here we are Again' or 'For they are Jolly Good Fellows'. Members of the Labor Party might even go along to look at it.

These are the honourable gentleman who say that this Government does not have a magnificent record. They talk about disagreements in public between Government members. I suppose that the right honourable member for Higgins (Mr Gorton) was being complimentary when he said the other day of the honourable member for Wannon (Mr Malcolm Fraser): If he became leader it would be a disaster'. Is that the kind of friend you want to have around? Both these honourable members walk along together and sit pleasantly on the front bench, each hoping that the other will drop dead politically. Smilingly sitting in the wings is the former Prime Minister, and he does not care much about either of them. I can see him nodding assent.

Mr Viner - I rise on a point of order. Even I, a new member of the House, have heard this speech before. Is the honourable member in order in repeating himself tediously?

Mr SPEAKER - Order! There is no point of order involved.

Mr DALY - I think the honourable member must be the only maiden in the House.

Mr Viner - Mr Speaker, I have been seriously misrepresented. The Leader of the House has not known me long enough and obviously I have not known the Leader of the House long enough, but I am the father of 7 children.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The point of order is taken. The Leader of the House cannot make such an accusation unless he can prove it.

Mr DALY - Might I say, Mr Speaker, that in spite of your comment I have no intention of proving it even under the Gorton motion. On a more serious note I want to say that it ill behoves the Opposition to say that this Government does not have a magnificent record. Tonight as one saw the benches on the Government side crowded by members listening proudly to the great record of achievement of this Government one could not help but wonder how those who sit opposite had lasted so long to do so little. The situation is, and I put it on the record, that since the first day of this year we have initiated 114 Bills and that in the Senate another 12 have been initiated. The total time of the sitting, including suspensions of the sitting, up to and including 30 May was 355 hours 21 minutes. Adjournment debates, which have been allowed to take place every night except one when the Opposition, led by the honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Wentworth), stopped the business of this Parliament, totalled 29. Every due Thursday the grievance debate has been called on and on 4 occasions general business has been considered and disposed of on every occasion. Only 5 matters of public importance were raised by the Opposition and they were given adequate time for debate.

Mr Anthony - Five Bills were guillotined.

Mr DALY - Despite what is said by the Leader of the Country Party - the handsome, young, smiling bridegroom who does not know what he is in for - on only 2 occasions was the guillotine used, and that was to put through Bills of tremendous importance. There have been 89 divisions, and the Government won the lot. On only 37 occasions did we need, because of the obstruction of the Opposition, to curtail debates, and we are still about 300 behind on the number of gags that were moved by honourable members opposite when in Government. There have been 690 petitions presented. Open government, freedom of the people - this is what we stand for. Questions placed on the notice paper numbered 722, which is not really a large number, but I think the Opposition gave up the prospect of asking intelligent questions openly and honourable members opposite hid their light behind a bushel by putting them on the notice paper. There have been 504 questions without notice. I will tell the House what else was done. We have not sat till 3 o'clock in the morning. The question that the House should now adjourn is put on Tuesday nights at 10.45.

Mr Lucock - So that the Leader of the House may haveone gag from this side, I move:

That the question be now put.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Question put:

That the words proposed to be added (Mr Snedden's amendment) be so added.

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