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Monday, 22 October 1973
Page: 2447

The CHAIRMAN - Order!

Mr Ian Robinson (COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I wish to move-

The CHAIRMAN - Order!

Mr Ian Robinson (COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I wish to move: That the question be now put.

The CHAIRMAN - I call the Leader of the House.

Mr DALY - Mr Chairman, honourable members can see-

Mr Ian Robinson (COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I raise a point of order. I have moved: That the question be now put.

The CHAIRMAN - There is no question before the Chair at the moment; therefore the motion 'That the question be now put' cannot be moved.

Mr Ian Robinson (COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - All right. I will move it at the appropriate time.

Mr DALY - It will be seen that the honourable member, after about 30 years in the Parliament, does not even know the Standing Orders - and he is one of the brighter members of the Country Party. The reason this measure has been declared urgent is, as I said, that the Country Party has refused to honour agreements made in respect of this legislation. Its members know that on this occasion they are not being as intelligent as their Liberal counterparts and are not voting on this measure as they should be voting.

Mr Enderby - Not as honest.

Mr DALY - They are not as honest as they should be on this matter. The situation is that we have no alternative to declaring this Bill an urgent measure. Nobody regrets more than I do the necessity for action of this kind. Nobody regrets like I do the curtailment of debate. I like to have a few words myself occasionally. Consequently I know the agony I inflict upon others when debate is curtailed in any way. But what can you do when it is forced on you by people who irresponsibly discard all the traditions of Parliament and try to frustrate the passing of legislation? They say at the college that this should not be done and all this kind of thing. A former Prime Minister, the right honourable member for Higgins (Mr Gorton) said: 'If an Opposition is silly enough it can force you to use the gag and guillotine from time to time.' I ask honourable members opposite to take his words to heart because they are being silly and forcing the curtailment of debate. Tomorrow honourable members opposite will want to -debate a censure motion all day. Tonight they want to hold up the business of the House on an issue in which on one clause only out of 45 clauses have they been game enough to show their colours in this Parliament by crossing the floor. I am sorry I cannot give an opportunity to the Liberals to spend most of the night on this Bill. I know that the Country Party will not be game again to divide the Parliament. On this occasion, in order to get this important and far reaching legislation through, we have no alternative to taking action to stop the Country Party from endeavouring to run this Parliament from a rough corner in the Parliament, irrespective of the wishes of the majority. Ninety honourable members out of 125 want this legislation. Honourable members can see that the blood pressure of the honourable member for Cowper (Mr Ian Robinson) is up; he is roused. He missed out on making a speech the other night, but he will not miss out tonight. I suggest to honourable members opposite that they should not waste time on this debate. Let us decide this question now without a vote and without any further discussion. Let us get on with the debate on the remaining clauses in this legislation. It is an important measure.

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