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Thursday, 23 August 1973
Page: 368

Mr GRASSBY (Riverina) (Minister for Immigration) - Three honourable members from this side of the House - the honourable member for Melbourne (Mr Innes), the honourable member for Bowman (Mr Keogh) and the honourable member for Shortland (Mr Morris) - were looking forward to waxing eloquent on this matter because they have deep feelings and deep dedication towards it. But time will not permit them to speak. Let me sum up the debate in this way: The honourable member from Queensland who has just resumed his seat is a member of a distinctive minority, because 71 per cent of all Queenslanders voted exactly opposite to the way he has spoken tonight. I would like to reply to the honourable member for Wannon (Mr Malcolm Fraser), who led for the Opposition. He made a most important point and I think that it is one that should be dealt with in the Parliament.

Mr McVeigh - Mr Chairman,-

The CHAIRMAN (Mr Scholes - Order! The Minister will resume his seat. An honourable member is taking a point of order.

Mr McVeigh - My point of order is that the remarks of the Minister are personally offensive.

The CHAIRMAN - Order! The honourable member will resume his seat. There is no point of order involved in any of the remarks the Minister has made. If the honourable member wishes to take further action, that is his decision.

Mr GRASSBY - New boys in school often get their fingers in the tarts.

The CHAIRMAN - Order! I will manage the House, thank you.

Mr GRASSBY - May I just say, with all charity-

Mr McVEIGH (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) - I take a point of order. The Minister's remark that new boys often get their fingers in the tarts is personally offensive to me. I ask him to withdraw it.

Mr GRASSBY - It means 'in the jam'.

The CHAIRMAN - If the honourable member finds the words offensive I will ask the Minister to withdraw them.

Mr GRASSBY - If the new boy finds that he has never had his fingers in the tarts I will withdraw it.

Mr McVeigh - Mr Chairman-

Mr GRASSBY - I have just withdrawn it. Relax. May I just repeat what I said earlier?

Mr McVeigh - I take a point of order, Mr Chairman. I understand that the procedures of this House provide that each member shall be called by the name of the electorate which he repreesnts. The Minister's words, 'a new boy', are personally offensive to me.

The CHAIRMAN (Mr Scholes - Order! A number of the honourable member's colleagues were chattering so loudly that he could not hear. The Minister withdrew those remarks. I suggest that if the honourable member's own colleagues had remained a little more silent he would have heard the Minister's remarks more clearly.

Mr GRASSBY - Let me reiterate that 71 per cent of Queenslanders disagree with the honourable member and therefore I hope that he will apply himself to the poll. The one point I want to make, and I want to make it in concert with the Opposition, is that I think all of us in this Parliament are dedicated to ensuring that citizenship ceremonies in our nation will be carried out with the maximum of decorum and dedication. Certainly we are unanimous in our support of one allegiance, one criterion, one oath and one ceremony. It is on that basis that I commend our amendment to the Committee.

Question put:

That the amendment (Mr Grassby's) be agreed to.

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