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Thursday, 18 May 1972
Page: 1834

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesLeader of the Opposition) - First of all, as far as the Opposition is concerned the vote on this matter will be a free vote, not a vote on party lines. Secondly, for myself 1 agree with the motion that has been proposed by the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson). I understand the argument against it. The argument is that we should not ever reduce times for debate. The counter-argument is that we have to balance the time of speaking with the time allotted for each subject matter if we are to deal in any rational way with the whole host of matters with which we have to deal. I think that the Senate fails when it has a notice paper cluttered up with a great number of matters which are never disposed of during the course of a legislative period or of a Parliament. That is a serious break down in efficiency. 1 believe that urgency motions are important. I believe also that the 3 hours set aside for such debates is an inhibition to the bringing on of urgency motions. I feel that if the time were shorter we probably would have more urgency motions before the chamber and more subject matters would be dealt with. But because the bringing on of an urgency motion involves a very serious interruption to the progress of business, there is a tendency not to initiate urgency debates, whereas if the time were shorter I think that perhaps we would have more of them and more subject matters would be discussed. I do not think it is a matter about which we should have to argue a great deal because I think honourable senators have thought about these matters. I state my views for what they are. I propose to support the motion.

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