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Wednesday, 20 September 1972
Page: 1052

Senator COTTON (New South WalesMinister for Civil Aviation) - Senator Turnbull in the broad sweep of his innuendoes included the Department of Civil Aviation and referred to the Khmer Republic. This is a country with Which we have a long and very friendly association. The country of Cambodia is in quite a singular position. My friend and colleague Senator Wilkinson was president of. the AustralianCambodia Friendship Society. Like myself he has been in that country several times. Like myself I think he is very fond of the country and its people. He would understand why Australia has had a particular interest in trying to help that country. They are a fine people. They have had their problems through the . years. Ethnically they are not of the, region. They are really of Indian stock.

Senator O'Byrne - I rise to order. The first reading of this Bill which is a money Bill enables us to debate various matters. A list of speakers was supplied to the Chair. The Minister for Civil Aviation was called and if he speaks he closes the debate. 1 would like an assurance that the Minister is not closing the debate on the first reading of the Bill.

Senator COTTON - I certainly have no intention of doing that. I am looking forward to an evening of fascinated listening to a wide range of subjects. Far be it from me to close the debate.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Wood) - Order! The position is that lists are supplied to the Chair. Naturally the Chair abides by them. When somebody from the side opposite the honourable senator who has just spoken wants to speak it has always been the practice to insert his name. The Clerk drew my attention to the fact that the Minister closes the debate. Consequently I was trying to have somebody pass the Minister the word when Senator O'Byrne raised his point of order. If the Minister speaks he will close the debate. I take it that the Minister does not want to close the debate.

Senator COTTON - I seek leave to continue my remarks.

THE ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Senator Marriott - But the debate is half closed.

THE ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - The Minister does not want to close the debate?

Senator COTTON - Certainly not. That is the last thing I want.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - -Order! The next speaker is Senator Keeffe but before he commences I want honourable senators to understand that while the list is here, if somebody on the other side of the chamber wants to speak, the usual practice is to alternate. Senator Davidson has had his name inserted following Senator Keeffe. I want it to be clear that there is no intention of cutting off the debate. I call Senator Keeffe.

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