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Thursday, 11 October 1973
Page: 2041

Mr DALY (Grayndler) (Leader of the House) - A few minutes after 10 this evening- between 10.5 and 10.10 - the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) appeared in the chamber and moved that progress be reported. I presume he intended then to raise the matter to which he has just spoken. As the Standing Orders provide that a matter of privilege may be raised at any time, I saw no reason why the debate which was about to conclude should be interrupted and the business of the House delayed. The Leader of the Opposition had no more right than any other member to intervene in the debate as he knew that full opportunity would be given to him later. As a matter of fact, judging by the time it took him to deliver the speech that he has just made, when he first rose to speak he would not have been able to conclude his speech before the point was reached when the question that the House should adjourn would be proposed. In consequence, there was no purpose whatever in seeking to report progress when he did as his subsequent speech would have finished in mid-air. I suggest therefore that he should not say that I endeavoured to prevent him from speaking. I presume that the only reason why he wanted to speak at the earlier time was that at that stage the proceedings of the Parliament were being broadcast. That is no reason why ordinary practice should be departed from and the debate then in progress should not continue. The Leader of the Opposition has his rights under the Standing Orders. He has exercised them. If he were to read the Standing Orders more carefully and not try to play to the gallery, he would get into a lot less trouble.

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