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Thursday, 27 September 1973
Page: 1700


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Scholes

Order! The right honourable member for Higgins will resume his seat. The honourable member for Wannon will resume his seat.


Mr Gorton - May I raise a point of order?


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Not until I have spoken. I think that the exercise the House has witnessed is a disgrace to this House. If it continues I will be forced to take action which I have always tried to avoid. The Leader of the House does not have a point of order. The procedures which were adopted by the Deputy Speaker were correct and in accordance with the Standing Orders. I therefore call the honourable member for Wannon and I ask the honourable member not to debate the question.


Mr Daly - On a further point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I ask the Leader of the House to resume his seat.


Mr Daly - Mr Deputy Speaker, I take a further point of order.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I ask the Minister to resume his seat. I have called the honourable member for Wannon. I intend to stick to that.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - This matter has been raised in this way tonight because there are power strikes and shortages in New South Wales and they have been made worse by the deliberate actions of the Minister for Minerals and Energy.


Mr Daly - On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I ask the honourable member for Wannon to speak to the motion he has moved. He is not doing so. He has moved that Standing Orders be suspended in order that he may table a document. That is the only subject matter. What is in the document is not relevant.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - Mr Deputy Speaker,I table the document that is the subject of this motion.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The document cannot be tabled without leave.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - So that the House may understand, and the Chair may understand, the significance, of this document the clearest thing I can do is to read it and refer to one short paragraph. This is a letter on the correspondence paper of the Minister for Minerals and Energy. The letter was written to Mr Reiher, the Deputy Chairman of the Snowy Mountains Council. He is also DirectorGeneral of the Department of Works. The letter states:

I write to confirm the direction I conveyed to you by telephone at about 4 p.m. yesterday-

The letter is dated 24 September - to the effect that the Snowy Mountains Council should operate the permanent works of the Authority in a manner that does not run counter to the intentions of the 35 Hour Week Committee unless-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER


Mr MALCOLM FRASER

.   in so doing, the personnel associated with the-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Wannon will resume his seat.


Mr Daly - Mr Deputy Speaker, I submit that in contravention of the Standing Orders the honourable member is canvassing the sub ject matter of the motion he intends to move later and should be called to order.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I rule that there is no point of order.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - I am merely explaning the nature of the document that I sought leave to table in the House. Let me continue. The letter states that the operations of the Authority must be conducted - . . in a manner that does not run counter to the intentions of the 35 Hour Week Committee unless, in so doing, the personnel associated with the Snowy Mountains Scheme, and/or the equipment and permanent works of the Authority, are endangered.

The letter is signed by the Minister for Minerals and Energy.


Mr Daly - I rise on a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. The point I make is that the honourable member for Wannon is debating the issue that he seeks to raise when his motion is presented and in so doing he is not within the Standing Orders.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I would ask the honourable member for Wannon to restrict his comments to the motion.


Mr MALCOLM FRASER - In view of what has happened, this is an urgent matter. A document of the nature I have mentioned ought to be tabled. The Minister himself earlier today said he was happy to table these documents but he could not find them. He was going to take 10 days or so to get them together. Well, I happened to find one lying around and I wanted to table it. The Minister and the Government have objected to the tabling of a document which at question time they said they would table and they have had all this shemozzle merely because they know quite well that with this document on the record the Minister stands condemned, his own explanation stands condemned as false and he has taken actions-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Scholes

Order! The honourable member's time has expired. Is the motion seconded?







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