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Wednesday, 11 December 1974
Page: 3453

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral and Minister for Customs and Excise) - May I say that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Senator Greenwood, has used the adjournment debate despicably and contrary to the arrangements which I am informed had been made between the Government and the Opposition, that this kind of behaviour which has been exhibited -

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Webster)- Order! I do not think you should use the word 'despicable' in this instance. The honourable senator took the opportunity to speak on the adjournment debate, which is his entitlement.

Senator MURPHY - Let me say that he has used the forms of the House in a way that is inconsistent with the arrangements made between the Government and the Opposition. He has chosen to mention names. I was informed by the Manager of Government Business in the Senate (Senator Douglas McClelland) that this kind of conduct by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition would for once be not indulged in. I have not heard the questions asked by Senator Greenwood becuase I have been outside the chamber most of the time, but so far as I am concerned no answers will be given to the questions which he has asked. If he chooses to put the questions on notice in the ordinary way consideration will be given to answering them. His conduct seems a bit strange in view of the way that the business is conducted here and also the fact that the utmost opportunity was given to him to ask the questions. He was here. Some of the questions, I understand, were addressed to me. I was here, but he chose not to direct them to me when I was in the House and when he had a full opportunity to ask me the questions so that I could answer them. He also had the chance to speak on the adjournment debate last night. Instead he chose in an unprecedented way to read the questions into a speech on the adjournment debate.

Senator Greenwood - You limit question time to an hour.

Senator MURPHY - Today question time ran over and was more than the normal hour. I stayed here today in order to answer questions. I ought to have been at a ceremony in the High Court for the late Sir Douglas Menzies but I thought that honourable senators opposite might have some questions to address to me so I stayed here yet the Deputy Leader of the Opposition chose not to address questions to me. At the request of the Deputy President question time was extended. I do not think it is altogether decent and honourable for the honourable senator to do this. As I say, I do not know the content of his questions because I walked out of the House when he was asking them. Despite this unfortunate interlude may I say to you, Mr Deputy President, on behalf of the Government, that we wish you well and we issue an invitation to you to come and join us at a function.

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