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Thursday, 28 September 1972
Page: 1362

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesLeader of the Opposition) - The adjournment motion that has been proposed, if carried, would interrupt the debate that was before the Senate when that motion was proposed. We desire that the debate on the second reading of the Commonwealth Electoral Bill 1972 be brought to a conclusion. For that reason, the Opposition proposes to oppose the motion for the adjournment. There has been some criticism of the way in which the matter was brought forward. I indicated that the Bill would be brought forward for debate at the earliest opportunity. It was. The manner in which it has been brought forward has been with the concurrence of the Government. I presented the Bill and was given the opportunity to make a second reading speech with the concurrence of the Government. The arrangement that it would come on for debate tonight was with the concurrence of the Government. In view of the latter remarks by Senator Withers, but in any event because of the importance of bringing this matter to a determination, the Opposition proposes to oppose the adjournment motion in order that the debate may proceed to a vote and that the Senate may proceed to the disposition of this matter.

The Opposition does not get much opportunity to bring forward Bills in the way that the Senate is run. True the opportunity may be there to introduce Bills but very rarely is the opportunity available to bring them to a conclusion. We think that we are entitled to a vote on this matter. There is a feeling that there are endeavours in certain quarters to prevent the matter coming to a vote. Therefore, we will oppose the motion for the adjournment in order that a decision might be reached on the legislation.

The PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Davidson, I have considered the matter raised earlier by you. You asked for leave of the Senate to move a certain motion. We will see whether the Senate grants leave for you to do so. I cannot accord it to you.

Senator Davidson - I have already asked for leave to move a motion for the adoption of the 19th report from the Publications Committee.

The PRESIDENT - ls leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Motion (by Senator Davidson) - by leave - agreed to: That the report be adopted.

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