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Tuesday, 20 November 1973
Page: 1919


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - In suggesting that the proposed Commission should number fifteen the argument inevitably becomes interwoven with the so called representation of various bodies. What is the point of the added number except to bolster the argument put by the mover of the amendment that certain interests in the community connected with education should be represented?

Senator Rae - But I did not say that. That is the whole trouble. The honourable senator is misquoting me.

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I did not say that Senator Rae said that. I suggest that the honourable senator listen. I said that the inescapable conclusion from that argument is that we have to consider the 2 amendments together. I suggest that they are so interwoven that it is quite artificial to try to compartmentise the debate in this matter. We will get nowhere unless we have a general discussion amalgamating the amendments which are connected with the number and the composition of the proposed Commission. Otherwise the debate becomes quite artificial and pedantic.

The CHAIRMAN - Are you rising to speak to the point of order, Senator Carrick?

Senator Carrick - Yes. I speak to the point of order with deference to Senator Rae. If the point of order were upheld I would have been guilty of ranging very widely because in my remarks on clause 4 I ranged beyond numbers. Mr Chairman, I urge upon you, in fairness to Senator James McClelland, that he should be entitled to range at least as widely as I did. I hope that you will agree with me.

Senator McManus - I wish to speak to the point of order. I point out that my remarks were very brief because I believed that this discussion must take place on the specific amendment which is No. 3, 1 think. I think that the suggestion of the Minister for the Media (Senator Douglas McClelland) is the one which ought be be adopted. Let us hold over these 2 amendments which are consequential. Let us have a big, wide ranging debate on the very amendment which will determine the issue. Mr Chairman, I would like you to uphold the point of order and perhaps adopt the suggestion made by the Minister. Then perhaps we will get somewhere and have one debate instead of two.

The CHAIRMAN - I rule on the point of order. The experience in this debate is that it has been fairly wide ranging. I remind honourable senators that it is much more expeditious and progress is much more rapid in handling a Bill in Committee if objective remarks are made without trying to obtain political points. It would facilitate debate if we stuck more closely to the practice of the Senate in relation to Committee debates. Senator Douglas McClelland has made a suggestion which may be considered. He will have an opportunity, after Senator James McClelland has completed his remarks, of raising his points.

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) -the point I was making was in relation to the fundamental error in naming a particular organisation as a nominator of a person for appointment to a statutory advisory body such as the Schools Commission. The example which I was about to use to illustrate that point is that it has come to my knowledge that on 14 November a meeting of the Sydney Federation of Catholic Parents and Friends Associations decided it would not reaffiliate with the Australian Parents Council. The Sydney Federation of Catholic Parents and Friends Associations is the largest and oldest organisation of Catholic parents in Australia.

Senator McManus - That is questioned very much. It is a claim without foundation.

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Surely it would be conceded, at least by Senator McManus, that it is a substantial body representative, if one may how use that term of art -

Senator McManus - The honourable senator said that it was the most representative and the largest, which it is not.

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Senator McManus would be better informed than I am on that. My point does not depend on whether it is the most representative or the largest.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Prowse -Order! The honourable senator's time has expired. I suggest that Senator Douglas McClelland should make his suggestion and then enable you, Senator James McClelland, to complete your remarks.

Motion (by Senator Douglas McClelland) proposed:

That proposed amendment No. 3 and proposed amendment No. 4 to clause 4, by Senator Rae, be postponed until after consideration by the Committee of the Whole of proposed amendment No. 3 to clause 4 by Senator Rae.

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