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Thursday, 29 November 1973
Page: 4148

Mr HAYDEN (Oxley) (Minister for Social Security) - May I reply reasonably quickly, with your leave, Mr Speaker? We were proposing-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! Is the honourable member speaking to the motion before the Chair?

Mr HAYDEN - Yes.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! There are so many Chairmen and Deputy Speakers in the House I do not know where I am. The Minister is speaking to the motion before the Chair.

Mr HAYDEN - We were proposing that the debate should be resumed next Wednesday evening. We thought this would suit the convenience of members of the Opposition. We had noted that so many of them have been absent from the sittings of the House in recent weeks and the great difficulty experienced by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr Lynch) in attending the sittings of the House this week. We have noted, with some concern for the interests of members of the Opposition, that quite a number of them have bookings at luxury holiday resorts to be effective from the end of next week. The last thing I would ever want to do would be to interfere with the recreation and rest of members of the Opposition.

As the spokesman for the Opposition on matters relating to health and welfare, the honourable member for Hotham (Mr Ohipp), and members of the Opposition want to sit for a further week and thereafter. I have discussed the matter with the Leader of the House (Mr Daly) and we are quite happy to accommodate them. We are prepared to defer the debate until Thursday of next week and to return the following week to continue the debate. We will be very happy. I trust that those members of the Opposition who have put deposits on their holiday homes will be able to get refunds.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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