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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 1391

Senator GEORGES (Queensland) - I seek an assurance from the Government that, if we are prepared to allow the incorporation of second reading speeches, they will be incorporated also on the days when the proceedings of this chamber are broadcast. This would ensure that second reading speeches are not read on some days while on others, when the Government is able to transmit its message to the public - despite the fact that it might be repeating what was said in another place - the second reading speeches are read. Therefore, if we are to accept incorporation on days when there is no broadcast, the Government should accept that the practice be applied to all sitting days. As to the limitation of 2 hours being applied to the debate on committee reports-

Senator Murphy - The proposal is that there be a limitation of 2 hours debate on any one day. The Senate might deal with one report for 2 hours on a Thursday, but then the debate can continue on succeeding Thursdays. The proposal is not for a limitation on a report.

Senator GEORGES - That explanation satisfies what was to be my next complaint: that is, that 2 hours would be insufficient for a debate on a particular report. I now understand that a report could be debated on, say, 4 different days.

The PRESIDENT - Order! On these matters on which undertakings are required of the Government, I. prefer to deal with them as they arise. Senator Georges has asked the Leader of the Government whether the Government will give an assurance that second reading speeches will be incorporated also on days when the proceedings of the Senate are being broadcast. Senator Drake-Brockman, are you willing to answer Senator Georges, without in any way inhibiting your right to speak further?

Senator Drake-Brockman - Senator

Murphy's motion relates to the proceedings of the Senate on a Thursday. The proceedings of the Senate are not usually broadcast on that day. As I have already indicated, the Government is willing, on that particular day, subject to the approval of the Senate, to incorporate in Hansard second reading speeches or Ministerial statements. I think I can give an assurance that it will be the Government's endeavour on the other days to try to get over the problem to which Senator Gair referred by incorporating material wherever possible. There will be instances, as I have already indicated, of statements being made concurrently in the two Houses. These could not bc incorported in Hansard in this chamber. I shall draw Senator Georges' comments to the attention of the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson) in an endeavour to get confirmation of the point he has made.

While I am on my feet I would like to point out that there is one other point which the Government wants to make in indicating its support of Senator Murphy's motion as amended. The Government's support of the motion, as amended, is without prejudice to the Leader of the Government being able to move, whenever appropriate, that Government Buisness take precedence over all Senate and General Business on Thursdays.

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