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Wednesday, 21 November 1973
Page: 1993


The CHAIRMAN - I trust you will not canvass my ruling.


Senator MILLINER -Certainly not, Mr Chairman. With regard to Senator Carrick, I refer to the debate on 23 March 1 972 in which he is reported as having said:

Against the 2 intentions of these Bills the Australian Labor Party seeks to intervene an amendment which is of massive significance and massive intention by way of alteration of the whole concept of education as it exists today in the Commonwealth and in the States.


Senator Rae - I rise to take a point of order. We have had the second reading debate. My point of order is that the honourable senator is canvassing matters which may well have been relevant to the second reading debate. They may have been relevant to questions associated with the composition of the Commission. But we have gone far past that stage and are now talking about the functions of the Commission. It is my submission that Senator Milliner is taking us back with a degree of irrelevancy that can only prolong this matter very substantially. It will certainly draw forth a very strong response from this side of the chamber, bearing in mind the total misrepresentation as to date and statements clearly made by me on a number of occasions that the Opposition accepts that the Government has a mandate to introduce legislation, notwithstanding the fact that until such time as it obtained that mandate there was opposition by the Liberal Party and the Country Party to the creation of an Australian Schools Commission. We no longer oppose it. We simply say that there is a mandate.


The CHAIRMAN - Order! I think that the honourable senator has gone beyond his point of order.


Senator Rae - Certainly. I am simply saying that this has been stated and that Senator Milliner is introducing irrelevancies.


The CHAIRMAN - I have ruled already on this matter. The Standing Orders are very clear. Senator Milliner may not refer to matters debated in the House of Representatives unless they fall within the limits of the clause. Senator Milliner, I must ask you not to persist in a general debate rather than a Committee debate.


Senator MILLINER - Thank you, Mr Chairman.


Senator Little - He can waste the time of his Government if he wants to.


Senator MILLINER - Does Senator Little want me to comment on him? Mr Chairman, I bow entirely to your decision and conclude by saying that members of the Opposition opposed the establishment of the Schools Commission before the election. They opposed it in the House last year. They are setting out to destroy the concept which they now say they believe in.







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