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Tuesday, 30 May 1972
Page: 2283

The PRESIDENT - Order! You cannot take a point of order on Senator Murphy. I request you to resume your seat.

Senator Murphy - I understand that there has been some difficulty at the Committee stage of the debate. Would it not be more sensible if apologies were called for, Mr President? I suggest that the matter should be dealt with in a manner which is consonant with the dignity of the Senate. If something has caused some offence to the Chair it should be dealt with but it should be dealt with sensibly. Honourable senators on both sides of the chamber should endeavour to keep the debate progressing without any suspensions of honourable senators or any procedures that do no credit to this chamber. If an explanation or apology will be sufficient for you, Mr President, will you indicate your agreement so that we will be able to go about our business in an orderly and sensible fashion.

The PRESIDENT - I point out to honourable senators that the Standing Orders must be obeyed and that no honourable senator must defy the authority of the Chair. I am perfectly aware that in the heat of a debate honourable senators tend to entrench themselves in situations from which they are reluctant to withdraw. I have served with Senator Cavanagh and Senator Poyser for a long time. Therefore

I would be grateful if they would give consideration to the dignity of the Senate and the authority of the Chair.

Senator Cavanagh - My understanding was that I would be called upon to make an explanation rather than to offer an apology. No-one has respected the authority of the Chair more than I have since I have been in the chamber but one cannot bow on this occasion to the display of arrogant stupidity that has led me into this situation. In protest I would say that until this evening we had always had reasonable directions from the Chair and I will obey reasonable directions.

Senator Poyser - I think that the whole incident has been built up out of nothing by a new Temporary Chairman who has come into the Chair.

The PRESIDENT - Order! I cannot allow a reflection on the Chair.

Senator Poyser - As far as I am concerned the intervention of the Temporary Chairman was unwarranted. I take the same position that I took before and I have no intention of apologising to Senator Withers.

Senator Greenwood - I move:

That Senator Cavanagh and Senator Poyser be suspended from the sitting of the Senate.

Senator Murphy - I rise to order, Mr President. Surely the senators are entitled to be dealt with separately. The Senate must be entitled to express itself in respect of senators individually and I ask you, Sir, to rule the motion out of order.

The PRESIDENT - I rule that I can deal with the senators together in the terms of the Standing Orders only by leave of the Senate. Otherwise I must deal with them separately. I prefer to deal with them separately.

Senator Murphy - There is no motion to that effect.

Senator Greenwood - Mr President. I moved a motion dealing with 2 senators. According to your ruling I must ask for leave to do so. I ask for leave to move a motion to deal with Senator Poyser and Senator Cavanagh in the same motion.

The PRESIDENT - ls leave granted?

Opposition Senators - No.

Senator Greenwood - I move:

That Senator Cavanagh be suspended from the sitting of the Senate.

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