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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<hansard xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="../../hansard.xsd" version="2.1" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<session.header>
<date>1962-12-06</date>
<parliament.no>24</parliament.no>
<session.no>1</session.no>
<period.no>2</period.no>
<chamber>REPS</chamber>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
<proof>0</proof>
</session.header>
<chamber.xscript>
<business.start>
<day.start>1962-12-06</day.start>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. Sir John McLeay)</inline>took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers. </para>
</business.start>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>ABORIGINES</title>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
<type>miscellaneous</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>Petition</title>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<para>
<inline font-weight="bold">Mr. ARMITAGE</inline>presented a petition from certain citizens of the Commonwealth praying that the Government remove section 127 and the words discriminating against aborigines in section 51 of the Commonwealth Constitution, by the holding of a referendum at an early date. </para>
<para>Petition received and read. </para>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>ROAD SAFETY</title>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>BV8</name.id>
<electorate>MELBOURNE, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">CALWELL, Arthur</name>
<name role="display">Mr CALWELL</name>
</talker>
<para>- I ask the Prime Minister a question. In view of the mounting death toll of the roads, and in order to promote greater road safety, will the right honorable gentleman consider including on the business sheet for the next Premiers&#39; Conference a discussion of the report of the Senate Select Committee on Road Safety which was presented a couple of years ago? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>N76</name.id>
<electorate>KOOYONG, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party>LP</party>
<role>Prime Minister</role>
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MENZIES, Robert</name>
<name role="display">Mr MENZIES</name>
</talker>
<para>- Naturally I will give consideration to the suggestion of the honorable member. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>THE PARLIAMENT</title>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>3V4</name.id>
<electorate>HIGINBOTHAM, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">CHIPP, Don</name>
<name role="display">Mr CHIPP</name>
</talker>
<para>- My question is directed to the Treasurer in his capacity as Leader of the House. I refer to published reports that the Government yesterday sustained its fourth voting defeat in the House of Representatives in the life of this Parliament. Is it not a fact that at no time since this Government took office after the December election has any member of the Government parties recorded a vote in the House of Representatives hostile to the Government, or deliberately abstained from voting? Also, is it a fact that there have been many more occasions than four on which, for one reason or another, the Labour Party has failed to muster its full voting strength in the House of Representatives? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MC</name.id>
<electorate>HIGGINS, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party>LP</party>
<role>Treasurer</role>
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HOLT, Harold</name>
<name role="display">Mr HAROLD HOLT</name>
</talker>
<para>- I welcome this question. It enables me to put some of these published reports in their proper perspective. It is a fact that this Government, which, as we are all somewhat uncomfortably aware, was returned with a majority of only two members in the House of Representatives after the December election, has on four occasions been defeated in votes taken in this place. None of those votes was hostile to the Government in the sense that any Government supporter joined the Opposition in voting against the Government. At no time during the period that has elapsed since the election has any member supporting the Government in this chamber- </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KX7</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WARD, Edward</name>
<name role="display">Mr Ward</name>
</talker>
<para>- I raise a point of order, <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker.</inline> The purpose of question-time is to elicit information. All the information which the Treasurer is now supplying to the House is on record in &#34; Hansard &#34;. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>10000</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">SPEAKER, Mr</name>
<name role="display">Mr SPEAKER</name>
</talker>
<para>- Order! There is no substance in the point of order. The Treasurer is in order. </para>
</talk.start>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HOLT, Harold</name>
<name role="display">Mr HAROLD HOLT</name>
</talker>
<para>- The statement to which the honorable gentleman has referred has been the subject of front-page reports in at least one major newspaper circulating in New South Wales and, for all I know, in other newspapers throughout the Commonwealth. It is a matter of considerable importance that the community at large should know the facts, so that the Government&#39;s position may be seen in true perspective. I have stated the facts. When I said yesterday that arrangements had been made for five pairs the Deputy Leader of the Opposition said, and he is reported to this effect in this morning&#39;s &#34; Sydney Morning Herald &#34;-&#34; That is not the truth. The arrangements were for four pairs &#34;. I am sure that on reflection the honorable gentleman will recognize that he was in error. I do not press the point but I make it clear so that the record will be accurate. Had the Labour Party yesterday honoured the pairing arrangement as we understood it the Government would not have been recorded as having been defeated. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3029</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>6U4</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WHITLAM, Gough</name>
<name role="display">Mr Whitlam</name>
</talker>
<para>- I wish to raise a point of order, <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker.</inline> I submit that the Treasurer, who is the Leader of the House, is not entitled to assume that the Chairman of Committees would have exercised his vote in favour of the Government if, in the circumstances which the right honorable gentleman has alleged, the committee had been evenly divided. Irrespective of the pairing arrangements which were made, one Government member was available who was not in the House and who was not paired. What the right honorable gentleman has said is only true if the Chairman had cast his vote in favour of the Government. Surely, in fairness to the Chairman, the Treasurer is not entitled to make that assumption. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3030</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>10000</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">SPEAKER, Mr</name>
<name role="display">Mr SPEAKER</name>
</talker>
<para>- Order! I am concerned only with what happens in the House. I cannot remember what happened in committee. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3030</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HOLT, Harold</name>
<name role="display">Mr HAROLD HOLT</name>
</talker>
<para>- I merely set the record straight by stating that pairing arrangements had been made which, if adhered to, would have enabled the Government to carry the vote, assuming that it had received the Chairman&#39;s casting vote, and assuming also that the honorable member for New England, whose loyalty to this Government has never been questioned, nor is being questioned now, had supported the Government as undoubtedly he would have. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>The &#34;Hansard&#34; record will show that during this year the Labour Party, for one reason or another, on many more occasions than the four recorded against this Government, has failed to muster its full voting strength. </para>
<para>I conclude by paying a very warm tribute to the Government Whip and Deputy Whip for the manner in which they have organized their teams. </para>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3030</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>ROADS</title>
<page.no>3030</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3030</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KNM</name.id>
<electorate>BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HARRISON, Eli</name>
<name role="display">Mr E JAMES HARRISON</name>
</talker>
<para>- I direct my question to the Treasurer. Having regard to the vast amount of Commonwealth money which already has been expended on what are called beef roads in northern Australia, will the right honorable gentleman have compiled, for the benefit of all honorable members, information relating to, first, the location and distances of all beef roads already completed in the north of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland, showing the total cost and the average cost per mile of these roads; and secondly, the location and distances of all beef roads currently being constructed, showing the cost per mile already expended and the expected cost per mile of the roads in their completed state? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3030</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>LP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HOLT, Harold</name>
<name role="display">Mr HAROLD HOLT</name>
</talker>
<para>- The honorable member for Blaxland will appreciate that the gathering of the information he seeks will involve a good deal of analysis and contact with the various State governments concerned. He will also appreciate that the type of construction varies from State to State. A road may be sealed with bitumen or it may be a gravel road, or it may have to be constructed through difficult country, and so on. I shall see how far I can meet the honorable gentleman&#39;s request, and he may be assured that he will have the information to the full extent that I can supply it. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3030</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>NEW GUINEA</title>
<page.no>3030</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3030</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KEE</name.id>
<electorate>CHISHOLM, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">KENT HUGHES, Wilfrid</name>
<name role="display">Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES</name>
</talker>
<para>- I wish to ask the Prime Minister a question which is supplementary to one that I asked on 15th November about the arrest in Djakarta of the West New Guinea antiDutch guerrilla leader and Indonesian member of parliament, Silas Papare, for subversive action in advocating Papuan independence. On 30th November the Prime Minister kindly replied to the question in these terms - </para>
</talk.start>
<quote>
<para>It has not been announced that Papare has been arrested, but we have seen press reports that he was to be released from custody. Whatever the facts of the case, I do not think it would be appropriate for the Australian Government to raise the matter in the United Nations or else where. </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">I desire to ask: First, will the Prime Minister ask the Department of External Affairs why it did not advise him that the arrest of Silas Papare, and the reasons for such arrest, were also published in press reports? Secondly, why is the Australian Government not prepared to direct the attention of the United Nations to the Indonesian campaign to make the clauses of the agreement regarding Papuan self-determination a dead letter? Thirdly, will not such a policy of non-alinement cause Papuans in east New Guinea to doubt the sincerity or, at least, the effectiveness of Australia&#39;s policy of eventual self-determination for Papua and New Guinea? </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3030</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>N76</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>LP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MENZIES, Robert</name>
<name role="display">Mr MENZIES</name>
</talker>
<para>- I will be glad to have the matters raised by the honorable member looked into at once. I will communicate to him the result in writing as soon as possible. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>BROADCASTING</title>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KQY</name.id>
<electorate>ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">SEXTON, Joseph</name>
<name role="display">Mr SEXTON</name>
</talker>
<para>- I preface a question to the Postmaster-General by stating that in South Australia the Australian Labour Party makes regular weekly broadcasts over station SKA and that the Liberal Party does likewise over station SAD. Can the Minister explain why SKA rejected the regular Labour broadcast on the Friday before the recent by-election in that State on the grounds that to broadcast after the Wednesday immediately preceding an election would contravene the law, whilst 5 AD allowed the Liberal Party&#39;s spokesman, <inline font-weight="bold">Sir Thomas</inline> Playford, to make his regular broadcast on Thursday night? Will the Postmaster-General take immediate steps to enforce the law in this matter, and also to ensure that all political parties will be treated equally in the forthcoming byelection to be held at Mount Gambier on 15th December? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KCA</name.id>
<electorate>DAWSON, QUEENSLAND</electorate>
<party>CP</party>
<role>Postmaster-General</role>
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">DAVIDSON, Charles</name>
<name role="display">Mr DAVIDSON</name>
</talker>
<para>- I can assure the honorable member that it is the practice of the Australian Broadcasting Commission to treat political broadcasts on an equal basis as between parties, as do commercial licensees because they are required to do so. The happening mentioned by the honorable member, on the face of it, would appear to require some explanation, and I will certainly look into it. The act provides that no political matter shall be broadcast after the Wednesday night just prior to the date of an election. I have no doubt, however, that it will be found that the matter has been properly treated. I shall let the honorable member know the result of my inquiries. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>EUROPEAN COMMON MARKET</title>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KWP</name.id>
<electorate>MALLEE, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">TURNBULL, Winton</name>
<name role="display">Mr TURNBULL</name>
</talker>
<para>- My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. As it has been reported that the six countries of the European Economic Community are seeking a speedy decision by the United Kingdom regarding entry to the European Common Market, and as this House may be in recess at a critical period of the negotiations, will Australia, when final conditions for the entry of the United Kingdom are known, have an opportunity to express its views on the definite proposal? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>N76</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>LP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MENZIES, Robert</name>
<name role="display">Mr MENZIES</name>
</talker>
<para>- The answer to that question is, &#34; Yes &#34;. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>CITRUS FRUITS</title>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KGL</name.id>
<electorate>HERBERT, QUEENSLAND</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HARDING, Ernest</name>
<name role="display">Mr HARDING</name>
</talker>
<para>- My question is addressed to the Minister for Primary Industry. Is it a fact that citrus exporters in New South Wales and South Australia have been undercutting one another in Asian markets, and particularly in the Philippines? Has there been any request from the citrus industry for the establishment of an export board to eliminate such harmful price wars between Australian exporters in overseas markets? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JLR</name.id>
<electorate>FISHER, QUEENSLAND</electorate>
<party>CP</party>
<role>Minister for Primary Industry</role>
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">ADERMANN, Charles</name>
<name role="display">Mr ADERMANN</name>
</talker>
<para>- I am not conversant with any undercutting in the marketing of citrus fruits, because such fruits would be marketed under the auspices of State departments. The marketing of these fruits does not come directly within the province of the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industry. I cannot recall any representations for the establishment of an export board having been made. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>EXPORTS AND IMPORTS</title>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>DQF</name.id>
<electorate>BRUCE, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">SNEDDEN, Billy</name>
<name role="display">Mr SNEDDEN</name>
</talker>
<para>- My question is directed to the Treasurer. I ask: Is it a fact that in November Australia had its best export month for more than eleven and a half years, with exports of a total value of &#163;102,600,000? Also, is it a fact that in the same month imports were at the high level of &#163;95,100,000, or &#163;7,500,000 less than the value of exports? Is the Treasurer able to give the House an assessment of likely future trends in regard to the value of exports and imports? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3031</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>LP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HOLT, Harold</name>
<name role="display">Mr HAROLD HOLT</name>
</talker>
<para>- Naturally, we watch movements in the import and export figures very closely. My colleague, the Minister for Trade, is more directly conversant with the details of these matters than I am, but, of course, they are of significance also to the Treasury, principally because of their influence on the balance of payments. I think that we all can be gratified at the November figures, which, as the honorable gentleman has indicated in his question, reflect the highest monthly total of export sales for Hi years. Undoubtedly, our success in holding costs in this country at stable levels has enabled us to keep our exports competitive in the world&#39;s markets, and we are now seeing something of the benefits of that situation. The period from November to April is normally the flush season for our exports, and I imagine that, with the demand for wool remaining strong and a good wheat season apparently assured, our export income over what is normally the flush period will continue at an encouragingly high level. </para>
</talk.start>
<para>The position in respect of imports is not quite so clear, because we have yet to assess the degree to which the rather sharp increase in the level of imports is due to restocking after a comparatively quiet period for overseas ordering, and also the degree to which the increase in the level of imports has been influenced by the very buoyant level of sales in the motor car industry and by the use of a somewhat greater proportion of imported components in motor cars. But I think that, by and large, we can feel confident that our trading position is strong and assures us of a high standard of living for our people. </para>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3032</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>FAUNA</title>
<page.no>3032</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3032</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KLL</name.id>
<electorate>BONYTHON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MAKIN, Norman</name>
<name role="display">Mr MAKIN</name>
</talker>
<para>- I desire to direct to the Prime Minister a question dealing with the preservation and protection of Australian fauna. Has the right honorable gentleman received a letter from Professor A. J. Marshall, head of the Department of Zoology and Comparative Physiology at Monash University, expressing concern that the current slaughter of massive numbers of kangaroos for commercial purposes could lead to the end of the species? I ask the Prime Minister whether he will consider the resolution adopted at a public meeting chaired by Professor Marshall in Melbourne on 29th October, to the effect that - </para>
</talk.start>
<quote>
<para>The Federal authorities should be asked, through the Prime Minister, to place a ban on the export of kangaroo meat for a period of five years. </para>
</quote>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3032</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>N76</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>LP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MENZIES, Robert</name>
<name role="display">Mr MENZIES</name>
</talker>
<para>- I did receive a letter from Professor Marshall, to which I sent a reply. I do not have the correspondence here before me, but I will be very happy to let the honorable member see the reply I sent. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3032</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>COMMONWEALTH FINANCE MINISTERS</title>
<page.no>3032</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3032</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>4U4</name.id>
<electorate>MORETON, QUEENSLAND</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">KILLEN, James</name>
<name role="display">Mr KILLEN</name>
</talker>
<para>- I address a question to the Treasurer. Did the British Treasury ever officially recognize the terms of the resolution agreed to by the Commonwealth finance Ministers at the Accra meeting? In view of the clear possibility that negotiations by the United Kingdom for entry into the European Common Market will be called off, can the right honorable gentleman say when the next Commonwealth finance Ministers&#39; conference will be held? Further, has a meeting of Commonwealth finance Ministers ever considered the concept of a Commonwealth economic consultative council with a view to fashioning a more cooperative effort throughout the Commonwealth? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3032</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>LP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HOLT, Harold</name>
<name role="display">Mr HAROLD HOLT</name>
</talker>
<para>- I am not quite clear what the honorable gentleman has in mind about the passage in the communique issued at Accra, but I can tell him that it has been the practice for the finance Ministers of the Commonwealth to meet in joint consultation in the week preceding the annual meetings of the International Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This was the first year for some years in which a full-dress meeting of finance Ministers was not held. The Prime Ministers were holding their conference in London at the time and several of the finance Ministers were in attendance at the Prime Ministers&#39; Conference as members of their national delegations. However, the Chancellor of the Exchequer did call a meeting of finance Ministers in Washington. That occurred during the course of one afternoon. It was not the kind of full-dress meeting that we have had over recent years. My understanding is that it would be the intention to resume those meetings in the future and conduct them on the same regular basis. Normally, the meetings are regarded as meetings of the Commonwealth Economic Consultative Council, and so we are in a position to cover not merely purely financial matters, but also other matters of wider economic significance and of general Commonwealth interest in the economic field. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3032</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>PUBLIC SERVICE</title>
<page.no>3032</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3032</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>K0I</name.id>
<electorate>BOWMAN, QUEENSLAND</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">COMBER, Jack</name>
<name role="display">Mr COMBER</name>
</talker>
<para>- My question is directed to the Treasurer. The right honorable gentleman will recall that last week I asked him about the possibility of making early payment of salaries to members of the Commonwealth Public Service at Christmas time. I now ask him whether he has given any further thought to the suggestion. If so, will he say what decision he has reached? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>LP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HOLT, Harold</name>
<name role="display">Mr HAROLD HOLT</name>
</talker>
<para>- Yes, I have fully examined this matter since the honorable gentleman put his question. At a very early hour this morning I put my signature to a letter which I had written to him giving him the details of the decision on this matter. I will give them to the House now, as it is a matter of general interest. When the question was addressed to me, I looked constructively at the possibility of meeting the honorable gentleman&#39;s suggestion. I find that to do so would create some complications and, in fact, would not meet the wishes of all members of the Commonwealth Public Service. Indeed, that procedure would be out of line with the decision announced in this House about the middle of November last by my colleague, the Minister for Social Services, in relation to social service payments. The same position is to apply in relation to repatriation payments. Social service payments, repatriation payments and Public Service salaries will now be paid on 27th December, which is a working day for the Commonwealth Public Service in all States. There is some complication in South Australia because 28th December is a public holiday in that State, but I am told that 27th December is a working day in all States. One of the points put to me was that some members of the Public Service - this consideration applies to pensioners also - felt that they would be better convenienced by avoiding the three weeks gap which would occur if payment were made a week early. I might add that what we are now deciding to do is consistent with the decision reached by my predecessor when this situation last existed in 1951. Those public servants who are on leave at the time will have received their payment in advance, but as for the remainder, it is proposed to adhere to payment on 27th December. </para>
</talk.start>
<para class="block">&#34;HANSARD&#34;. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KET</name.id>
<electorate>WIMMERA, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">KING, Robert</name>
<name role="display">Mr KING</name>
</talker>
<para>- My question is directed to you, <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker,</inline> and deals with the distribution of the daily and weekly numbers of &#34; Hansard &#34;. As there appears to be quite a delay before these publications reach their destinations, will you look into the matter and see whether some improvement can be effected before the next session? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>10000</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">SPEAKER, Mr</name>
<name role="display">Mr SPEAKER</name>
</talker>
<para>-I will look into the matter raised by the honorable member, and anything that will be in the interests of honorable members will be done. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL BENEFITS FUNDS</title>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JM9</name.id>
<electorate>MITCHELL, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">ARMITAGE, John</name>
<name role="display">Mr ARMITAGE</name>
</talker>
<para>- I direct a question to the Prime Minister. In view of widespread public disquiet concerning the dispute between the Hospitals Contribution Fund of New South Wales and the Medical Benefits Fund of Australia, and keeping in mind that Commonwealth legislation has an important bearing on the activities of those organizations, will the Government intervene in an endeavour to resolve the dispute? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>N76</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>LP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MENZIES, Robert</name>
<name role="display">Mr MENZIES</name>
</talker>
<para>- I will refer this matter to my colleague, the Minister for Health, who is in another place, and obtain from him such information as I can. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY</title>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>0095J</name.id>
<electorate>FAWKNER, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HOWSON, Peter</name>
<name role="display">Mr HOWSON</name>
</talker>
<para>- I direct a question to the Minister for Defence. I have seen a report this morning in which it is alleged that Rear-Admiral Gatacre, Flag Officer of the Eastern Area, yesterday asked Father Christmas for a new aircraft carrier and some submarines. In view of the Minister&#39;s obvious resemblance to that distinguished character, and in view of the time of the year, is there any chance that the Minister will stand in for Father Christmas on this occasion? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KWH</name.id>
<electorate>DENISON, TASMANIA</electorate>
<party>LP</party>
<role>Minister for Defence</role>
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">TOWNLEY, Athol</name>
<name role="display">Mr TOWNLEY</name>
</talker>
<para>- If Rear-Admiral Gatacre is to get submarines and an aircraft carrier for Christmas, they will have to come from the conventional Father Christmas. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>STEEL</title>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KE7</name.id>
<electorate>CUNNINGHAM, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">KEARNEY, Victor</name>
<name role="display">Mr KEARNEY</name>
</talker>
<para>- I ask the Minister for Trade whether it is a fact that new production records have recently been made by Australian Iron and Steel Limited, Port Kembla. Also, is it a fact that exports of steel to New Zealand and elsewhere have fallen? Finally, and particularly in relation to the latter part of my question, I ask the Minister whether it is a fact that the high shipping freights are militating very seriously against Australia&#39;s efforts to increase exports of steel and other products. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3033</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MB</name.id>
<electorate>MURRAY, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party>CP</party>
<role>Minister for Trade</role>
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MCEWEN, John</name>
<name role="display">Mr McEWEN</name>
</talker>
<para>- I understand that new production records have been established at Port Kembla steelworks, and I offer the congratulations that the House would wish me to offer to the company and to all who have been associated with this record production of which Australia is proud, and from which Australia will benefit. It is true that there are problems associated with the export of steel to-day, problems of shipping freights and problems of intense international competition. All I can say is that the company and the Government are acting along parallel lines in endeavouring to exploit to the maximum possible extent the opportunity to sell in export markets; and great achievements are being made. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3034</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>DEFENCE</title>
<page.no>3034</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3034</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KKB</name.id>
<electorate>LA TROBE, VICTORIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">JESS, John</name>
<name role="display">Mr JESS</name>
</talker>
<para>- I direct a question to the Minister for Defence, further to information given by him on the comparative defence strengths of Australia and other countries. Is it a fact that the Australian Army is anxiously awaiting a decision with regard to re-equipment with anti-aircraft weapons, either missiles or conventional guns? Is it a fact that except for Williamtown, anti-aircraft defences throughout Australia at the moment are practically nil? Is it a fact that the Army is considering purchasing Bofors anti-aircraft guns similar to those used in the 1939-45 war? Does he consider that these would be in keeping with the modern Army concept or would provide adequate defence against modern aircraft? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3034</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KWH</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>LP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">TOWNLEY, Athol</name>
<name role="display">Mr TOWNLEY</name>
</talker>
<para>- I point out, first of all, that the country is not at war; and there is, in the country, quite a large stock of antiaircraft weapons, but, of course, they are not displayed. In regard to re-equipment with new guns or with guided missiles, the Army is anxious to get new missiles for antiaircraft defence. The Army has been examining the position for quite a long time. In regard to this sort of equipment, the Government and I must be guided by advice from the professionals. They are studying all the various modern guns and&#39; missiles available at the present time and I hope that, as soon as it is possible, they will recommend to me the type of weapon they want. When that time comes I feel sure the funds will be available to pay for the equipment. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3034</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>TRADE</title>
<page.no>3034</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3034</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KCB</name.id>
<electorate>BRADDON, TASMANIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">DAVIES, Ronald</name>
<name role="display">Mr DAVIES</name>
</talker>
<para>- My question to the Minister for Trade refers to the recent visit of the Australian trade mission to the </para>
</talk.start>
<para class="block">Caribbean. Is the Minister aware that no Tasmanian representative was included in the mission despite the fact that Tasmania is the largest producer of apples and pears in Australia, and with refrigerated vessels available on the &#34; Boomerang &#34; line, there appear to be good market possibilities for us in the Caribbean, particularly in the light of inquiries received in Tasmania from Trinidad prior to the departure of the mission? In view of Britain&#39;s proposed entry into the Common Market, will the Minister give consideration to the inclusion of representatives of the Tasmanian fruit industry in any future missions to areas served by refrigerated shipping, and where there exists the likelihood of new trade opportunities? </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3034</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MB</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>CP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MCEWEN, John</name>
<name role="display">Mr McEWEN</name>
</talker>
<para>- I assure the honorable member that Tasmania is never forgotten in the circumstances he mentions. It is my recollection that quite recently I invited a Tasmanian to lead a trade mission. The fact is that the Department of Trade sounds out people who are willing to go on trade missions, as I said before, at their own expense, but the missions are serviced by the Government and officers of the Department of Trade. No restriction whatever is imposed by the department as to who may participate in such missions. Assistance is provided, but the Government does not pay the fare of private individuals who go overseas to sell their own products for their own profit; and I do not think the Parliament would wish the Government to do so. If any interests in Tasmania are unaware of an impending trade mission and for that reason fail to participate I will take double precautions to see that there is no likelihood of an unawareness of an impending trade mission; but I cannot undertake to select carefully those who may desire to go. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3034</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>EGG MARKETING</title>
<page.no>3034</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3034</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>L19</name.id>
<electorate>MOORE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">LESLIE, Hugh</name>
<name role="display">Mr LESLIE</name>
</talker>
<para>- My question is addressed to the Minister for Primary Industry. Earlier in these sittings I asked the Minister what action was being taken in regard to a proposal to stabilize the egg industry, and the Minister stated that a plan had been submitted to him through the Australian Agricultural Council, and he was looking at it. I ask the Minister whether he has looked at the proposal to stabilize egg marketing in Australia. I ask further whether it is intended to implement the proposals submitted by the Agricultural Council. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JLR</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>CP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">ADERMANN, Charles</name>
<name role="display">Mr ADERMANN</name>
</talker>
<para>- The Government has considered the matter, which involves discussions with the State governments. The Commonwealth has recommended that certain action be taken by the State governments concerned. To date we have not had replies from all of them, but no doubt they are considering the matter. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>UNITED STATES NAVAL COMMUNICATIONS STATION</title>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>EE4</name.id>
<electorate>REID, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">UREN, Tom</name>
<name role="display">Mr UREN</name>
</talker>
<para>- I address my question to the Prime Minister. On 29th November, in reply to a question by my leader in regard to the proposed United States naval communications station at North-west Cape in Western Australia, the right honorable gentleman said - </para>
</talk.start>
<quote>
<para>Whether or not legislation will be required to implement it will be known when its terms are settled, but if the Parliament desires to debate the matter when it is worked out, the Government will make every effort to provide an opportunity to do so. </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">As it is proposed that the Parliament go into recess until late March or early April, will the Prime Minister assure the House that no treaty will be signed before that time, and that no tenders will be called and no work commenced on the site until the House has debated the proposed base? </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>N76</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>LP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MENZIES, Robert</name>
<name role="display">Mr MENZIES</name>
</talker>
<para>- The negotiations on this matter, although proceeding, are far from reaching conclusion. I do not expect that we will have arrived at a state of finality before the House resumes. If that prospect arises, I will certainly be prepared to consider the suggestion that has been made. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>KANGAROOS</title>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MM</name.id>
<electorate>WAKEFIELD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">KELLY, Bert</name>
<name role="display">Mr KELLY</name>
</talker>
<para>- My question is addressed to the Minister for Primary Industry. Is the Minister aware of the great damage done to the pastures of Australia by the depredations of kangaroos, which often appear in plague proportions? If he is aware of this does he resent interference by people who, though no doubt well-meaning, know all too little about the problems of inland Australia? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JLR</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>CP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">ADERMANN, Charles</name>
<name role="display">Mr ADERMANN</name>
</talker>
<para>- Having represented at one time the large electorate of Maranoa, </para>
</talk.start>
<para class="block">I am conversant with the activities and the depredations of kangaroos. Indeed, a grazier recently stated that in the last ten years on his 71,000 acre property he had destroyed no fewer than 70,000 kangaroos, and they seemed to be as thick as ever. Some of these well-meaning folk ought to go out for a trip to the western part of the country to see just what is happening. </para>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>ARTIFICIAL LIMBS FOR CHILDREN</title>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KBH</name.id>
<electorate>STURT, SOUTH AUSTRALIA</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WILSON, Keith Cameron</name>
<name role="display">Mr WILSON</name>
</talker>
<para>- I address a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Health. In view of the fact that children who have lost a limb or who have lost the use of a limb tend to become accustomed to life without that limb and lose the urge to use artificial limbs unless they are supplied while the children are young, and in view also of the fact that artificial limbs are costly and need to be changed regularly as the children grow, will the Minister suggest to the Minister for Health that in cases in which the need exists some assistance should be given to parents towards defraying the heavy cost involved in the provision of artificial limbs? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KVR</name.id>
<electorate>DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND</electorate>
<party>LP</party>
<role>Minister for Repatriation</role>
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">SWARTZ, Reginald</name>
<name role="display">Mr SWARTZ</name>
</talker>
<para>- I will certainly discuss this matter with my colleague, the Minister for Health, and also with my colleague, the Minister for Social Services. It is not a matter that comes directly within the jurisdiction of my department. When problems of this nature arise they concern one of the two Ministers I have mentioned, depending on the age of the child. As I have said, I will discuss the matter with the two Ministers. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>SOCIAL SERVICES</title>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JUX</name.id>
<electorate>WEST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">MINOGUE, Daniel</name>
<name role="display">Mr MINOGUE</name>
</talker>
<para>- I wish to ask the Minister for Social Services a question. With your permission, <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker,</inline> I shall state my reason for asking it. In the &#34; Sydney Morning Herald &#34;- </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- Order! If the honorable member is going to quote from a newspaper report he must vouch for its accuracy. </para>
</talk.start>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JUX</name.id>
<electorate />
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<para>- I am not quoting from the newspaper, but I am telling the House- </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3035</page.no>
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<para>- Order! The honorable member can direct his question to the Minister, but he cannot give information or instruct the House. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3036</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JUX</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">MINOGUE, Daniel</name>
<name role="display">Mr MINOGUE</name>
</talker>
<para>- Is the Minister aware that an organization is inserting advertisements in newspapers, inviting pensioners to pay a fee for advice which they should be able to obtain from the Department of Social Services? Will the Minister examine this matter? I will hand him a newspaper cutting for his information. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3036</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KZE</name.id>
<electorate>RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party>CP</party>
<role>Minister for Social Services</role>
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">ROBERTON, Hugh</name>
<name role="display">Mr ROBERTON</name>
</talker>
<para>- I am indebted to the honorable member for West Sydney for addressing this question to me. My attention has been directed to advertisements appearing in newspapers from time to time offering, for a fee, the services of a certain organization to pensioners and applicants for social services. The practice is to be deplored. There are some 2,700 people in the Department of Social Services, all trained to give information and assistance to people who may require it from time to time. They are available at the directorates in all the capital cities. In addition, there are regional officers, registrars and clerks of petty sessions, all capable and all eager and willing to give people the information they require. There are innumerable voluntary organizations all over the Commonwealth willing to help those who require assistance of this kind, and there is no need whatever for any organization to advertise and offer assistance to applicants for social services for a fee. I should be grateful if all honorable members would assist me to discourage the practice. After all, there are 184 members of this Parliament, all capable of giving advice, and all eager and willing to do so throughout the various parts of the Commonwealth, and they are usually available at all times. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>QUESTION</title>
<page.no>3036</page.no>
<type>Questions</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONE SERVICE</title>
<page.no>3036</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3036</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KWP</name.id>
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<name role="metadata">TURNBULL, Winton</name>
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<para>- I address a question to the Postmaster-General, who, on Monday of this week, represented Australia at the official opening of the extension of under-sea telephonic communication facilities between Australia, New Zealand and Suva. To what extent is it expected that this link will contribute to the development of closer relationships and better trade opportunities between Commonwealth countries? Are further plans being considered for the extension of this communication system to South-East Asian member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations? </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3036</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KCA</name.id>
<electorate />
<party>CP</party>
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">DAVIDSON, Charles</name>
<name role="display">Mr DAVIDSON</name>
</talker>
<para>- The honorable member refers to the further link that has just been opened in what is known as the Compac cable; that is to say, the cable from Australia to New Zealand to Vancouver, linking up through the Canadian telephone system, with the trans-Atlantic cable. The honorable member asks whether this should encourage closer relationships and better trade opportunities. That certainly is our expectation, and it is our experience that such closer relationships and better opportunities for trade have resulted from the link in use between Australia and New Zealand. Honorable members will be interested to know that already the telephone traffic between Australia and New Zealand has increased by more than 150 per cent, compared to the traffic prevailing when the old radio-telephone system was in use. It will be seen that this link has provided great opportunities for closer personal and trading relationships, and that these opportunities have been availed of. </para>
</talk.start>
<para>The honorable member asked also whether there were any further plans for extending this telephone cable system to the South-East Asian areas, where other Commonwealth countries are situated. The reply is: Yes, consideration has already been given to this matter, and there have been further discussions between the four Commonwealth partners involved in Compac, and also such countries as Singapore and Malaya, with the idea of extending the submarine telephone cable up the coast of Australia, past New Guinea and then to Singapore and Malaya. These discussions are proceeding, and if present plans come to fruition work will commence on that part of this world-wide system after the Compac cable is completed, which will be in about 1964 or 1965. </para>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>EUROPEAN COMMON MARKET</title>
<page.no>3036</page.no>
<type>miscellaneous</type>
</debateinfo>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3036</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MB</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
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<name role="metadata">MCEWEN, John</name>
<name role="display">Mr McEwen</name>
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<para>- I undertook to make a statement to the House on the existing situation with regard to the European Common Market negotiations and how they are affecting Australia. I now seek leave of the House to make a statement on the matter. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3036</page.no>
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<para>- Is leave granted? </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3037</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>6U4</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="display">Mr Whitlam</name>
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<para>- <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker,</inline> no leave will be given until there has been an opportunity to debate the statement which the Prime Minister <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Menzies)</inline> promised to make on education. Leave will be granted to the Minister for Trade to make his statement before the House rises, but only if the making of the statement will not prevent the House from having reasonable time to debate the statement on education at a reasonable hour. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3037</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>N76</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">MENZIES, Robert</name>
<name role="display">Mr Menzies</name>
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<para>- The Labour Party gives priority to a debate on education over a statement informing the Australian public about developments in the European Common Market negotiations. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3037</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MC</name.id>
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<name role="metadata">HOLT, Harold</name>
<name role="display">Mr Harold Holt</name>
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<para>- Let me tell the House what the Government had in mind with regard to an opportunity for debating the statement on education. As the Deputy Leader of the Opposition <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Whitlam)</inline> will be aware, and as he has no doubt told his leader and his colleagues, the Government has been anxious to ensure the passage of all the legislation that must be considered by the Senate. There are also two important statements on government policy to be made. In the present instance my colleague, the Minister for Trade <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. McEwen),</inline> has a statement to make regarding the present stage of negotiations concerning the European Common Market. Then there is a statement on restrictive trade practices, which the Opposition has repeatedly asked the Government to make to the House. I am sure all honorable members will agree that it is important that both these statements should be made before the House goes into recess, and at an hour when all honorable members will be able to hear them and when they will be acceptable for publication. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<para>I believe that, with reasonable cooperation from the Opposition, we can conclude the legislative programme by dinner-time to-night. Then, assuming that my colleague, the Minister for Trade, makes his statement on the Common Market this morning, it is proposed that the statement on restrictive trade practices will be made upon resuming after dinner. This statement is expected to conclude before 9 o&#39;clock. From then on we could have a debate on the education statement. That seems to me to be a very reasonable programme, and the course which I had proposed would have enabled this programme to be implemented. </para>
<para>I hope that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition will reconsider his refusal of leave to the Minister for Trade, who has been conducting these vital negotiations for the Commonwealth. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3037</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<electorate />
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<para>- May I amplify the reasons which prompted me to say that we would not give leave at this stage? The Opposition concedes that statements on the Common Market and on restrictive trade practices are necessary. We welcome them; we shall facilitate them. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister was asked to make a statement on education and he later made it; and, in reply to two subsequent questions, he has said that he would do his best to see that an opportunity was given to debate the statement. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<para>We on this side have not limited the debating time available to the House; the Government parties voted to limit it. We are willing to have these statements made and to have them debated, but if the House is to rise to-night or to-morrow morning we will not forgo the promised opportunity to debate the statement on education. We will not give leave for either of these new statements to be made unless a guarantee is given that the debate on the pending Prime Minister&#39;s statement on education will commence at 9 o&#39;clock to-night. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3037</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MB</name.id>
<electorate />
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<para>- The Deputy Leader of the Opposition has amplified his statement and I wish to amplify a comment on it. One point emerges clearly: The Labour Party seeks to exploit a debating opportunity to take a trick in the political arena by attempting to force a debate on an issue upon which a debate could have been conducted many months ago. In addition, the Labour Party seeks to do this in a manner which would preclude a considered explanation by the responsible Minister of the state of negotiations in relation to Britain&#39;s entry into the Common Market - perhaps the last explanation which can be made before a critical stage is reached in the negotiations. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<para>This is a question of comparing the presentation of a statement on a matter of immense substance to the entire Australian economy, now and for many years to come, with the Labour Party&#39;s exploitation of an opportunity to debate a statement on education which involves no time limit. I appeal to the Leader of the Opposition to permit the Parliament to hear the report that I have to make. If he does not it will be no trouble to me to hand the report to honorable members on both sides of the House and to the press, but how often have I heard Opposition members say that this procedure should not be followed and that important statements should be presented first to the Parliament? Now there seems to be an abrogation of all that the Labour Party has advocated in the past. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3038</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>BV8</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
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<name role="display">Mr Calwell</name>
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<para>- I take it that the Treasurer, who is the Leader of the House, has given an assurance that the debate on education will take place about 9 o&#39;clock to-night following the presentation of the statement on restrictive trade practices by the Minister for the Interior. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3038</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MC</name.id>
<electorate />
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<name role="metadata">HOLT, Harold</name>
<name role="display">Mr Harold Holt</name>
</talker>
<para>- Subject to the legislation having been passed. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3038</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>BV8</name.id>
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<para>- We have always been cooperative. We want to facilitate the working of the House and we want an opportunity to debate the very important statement of the Prime Minister <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Menzies)</inline> on education. At the same time we do not want to preclude the presentation of a statement on the Common Market because that issue is of tremendous importance to the future of this nation. I will grant leave now to the Minister to make his statement on the Common Market but I look for co-operation from the Government to facilitate a full debate on education at a reasonable hour this evening - about 9 o&#39;clock - so that all honorable members on both sides of the House who want to take part in that important debate can do so. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3038</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- Is leave granted? </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3038</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>BV8</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
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<name role="metadata">CALWELL, Arthur</name>
<name role="display">Mr Calwell</name>
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<para>- Yes. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3038</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MB</name.id>
<electorate>Murray</electorate>
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<role>Minister for Trade</role>
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<name role="metadata">MCEWEN, John</name>
<name role="display">Mr McEWEN</name>
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<para>. - by leave - The purpose of my statement to-day is to inform the House, before it goes into recess, of the present position in Britain&#39;s negotiations for possible accession to the European Economic Community. These negotiations, which had been adjourned on 5th August, were resumed in October following the meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers. The position reached in August and the discussions thereon by the Commonwealth Prime Ministers were described in the statements which the Prime Minister <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Menzies)</inline> and I made in Parliament in October. </para>
</talk.start>
<para>At that time - to summarize the position - very few items of interest to Australia had been negotiated by Britain with The Six, though they had of course been extensively discussed between Australia and Britain. It had been provisionally agreed between Britain and the European Economic Community that Commonwealth preferences on &#34; hard &#34; manufactures would be phased out and disappear by 1970. Imports of these products from Australia into Britain would then be dutiable at the rates laid down in the common external tariff. </para>
<para>Certain broad understandings had been reached about international trade in temperate foodstuffs. First, Britain and The Six, at the time of Britain&#39;s accession, would declare their intention to call as soon as possible an international conference to endeavour to negotiate world-wide agreements for wheat and other grains, meat and dairy products and sugar. Secondly, there would be a declaration by the enlarged Community expressing its intention to pursue in respect of its own agricultural production &#34; a reasonable &#34; price policy. This policy, to use the Community&#39;s words, &#34; would offer reasonable opportunities in its markets for exports of temperate agricultural products &#34;. Since the resumption of the negotiations, discussions have continued on the whole range of issues involved. Little progress has been made. It now seems that the negotiations will continue for at least some time in 1963. </para>
<para>There are, of course, other major questions to be settled besides the complex of trade issues affecting various members of the Commonwealth. There is the question of the adaptation of the British system of agricultural protection, based on a policy of cheap food imports and deficiency payments to its producers, to the Continental system. The Continental system, as it has been applied in individual members of the European Economic Community and as it will be applied under the Community&#39;s common agricultural policy, would make subsidies to United Kingdom domestic producers no longer necessary or permissible because duties and levies would be used in place of subsidies to raise internal market prices to levels high enough to be considered profitable to producers in the enlarged Common Market. </para>
<para>This change in Britain from low prices plus subsidies to high prices protected by tariffs and variable levies would be the most fundamental change in British trade policy since her abolition of the Corn Laws more than 100 years ago. </para>
<para>To cushion this change, Britain has proposed to The Six that deficiency payments to farmers in Britain should be phased out during a transition period of several years. Thus, the change to the Common Market&#39;s common agricultural policy with its system of variable levies, sluice gate prices, &#38;c, would be more gradual. If this were not so, a sudden increase in the price of many basic commodities would be inevitable. The consequential impact on the British economy and the cost of living of such a sudden and dramatic change could indeed be serious and an embarrassment to the British Government. </para>
<para>For example, it has been calculated that if deficiency payments had to be suddenly abolished, the market price of English wheat would have to be increased by about one-third over the average level of the past couple of years in order to provide the producer with a return equal to the present British guaranteed price. I interpolate to comment wryly that the British Government attached such importance, a few years ago, to resisting a proposed increase by 5 cents of the maximum price of wheat under the International Wheat Agreement that it withdrew from the agreement. Apparently the British Government was prepared then to wreck the International Wheat Agreement in order to save 5 cents per bushel. Now apparently it would be prepared to contemplate an increase of 5s. a bushel to be paid to foreigners, not to Commonwealth countries. If that sounds a sour comment, the explanation is that it is meant to sound sour. Similar calculations for fat cattle and fat sheep indicate increases of about 25 per cent, and 40 per cent, respectively. These calculations assume that production grants could still be made by the British Exchequer. </para>
<para>I emphasize that these calculations refer to the extent of the immediate increases in British market prices that would have to be brought about - presumably by levies on imports - to ensure that the present guaranteed prices to British producers were made effective. No one yet knows the levels to which British market prices would have to move to harmonize with prices in an enlarged Common Market at the full Common Market stage. The necessity for Britain&#39;s request to be able to move slowly from her low food price policy to a high food price policy is obvious - though apparently not yet to The Six. </para>
<para>The Six have made the counter-proposal that Britain should abandon its present support system and adopt theirs immediately upon entry into an enlarged Common Market. The Six are concerned to see that British farmers are not placed in a more favorable position than those in the European Economic Community countries and that the British economy does not get the benefit of having lower food prices than other members of the community. The Six suggested that temporary consumer subsidies be introduced in Britain to off-set the abrupt effect of higher market and hence higher consumer prices. They have not indicated how these subsidies would operate. Britain, understandably enough, is anxious to avoid any sharp rise in consumer prices for food. She has informed The Six that the proposal for consumer subsidies is not acceptable. </para>
<para>An important factor in the pace at which the negotiations in Brussels can be carried on is that The Six themselves must concurrently deal with a wide range of matters affecting the evolution of their Common Market. Moreover, the negotiations about safeguards for the treatment of Commonwealth trade in temperate foodstuffs have to take into account the stage reached by the community in the development of its own agricultural policy. </para>
<para>The community has within the past several months brought into effect regulations dealing with trade in cereals, eggs, poultry, pigmeats, wine and fruit and vegetables. These regulations have turned out to be no better from our point of view than I had anticipated. They clearly represent a giant stride towards a completely regulated market, insulated from reasonable competition from efficient and economic traditional exporters. The community has, however, still to settle the regulations that will govern trade in such important products as beef and veal, dairy products and sugar. The prospects in regard to these regulations seem no better at this stage than I have indicated in the past. </para>
<para>It seems that the sugar regulations may not be completed before Britain makes her decision whether or not to join the community. This, of course, is a matter of particular concern to us. However, as I recently anounced, Britain has agreed that the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement should be extended for a further year - that is, up to the end of 1970 - so as to continue to maintain it in operation for eight years ahead. I should also mention that Britain in its negotiations is adhering to the position that the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement should be continued, if Britain joins the community, or be replaced by an arrangement giving equivalent benefits to sugar producers in the Commonwealth. </para>
<para>Before referring more particularly to the discussion of Australian trade interests in the recent negotiations, I will briefly mention some other issues that involve the trade interests of other members of the Commonwealth. The question of association of British dependencies and certain Commonwealth countries with the European Economic Community has been the subject of further discussions between Britain and The Six. </para>
<para>It will be recalled that the community has offered associate status to British dependencies and to the independent Commonwealth countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Nigeria, Ghana and Tanganyika have notified Britain that they have no wish to accept this offer. Britain is therefore discussing the position of alternative arrangements for these countries. Britain has proposed, and The Six have agreed, that there could be trade agreements between those Commonwealth countries and the community. The possible form and substance of such agreements, and hence the degree of safeguard they would provide for the trade interests of the countries concerned, has not apparently been discussed. The European Economic Community has also agreed to leave open to these countries the opportunity to apply for association should they opt for it later on, and have agreed to a zero tariff on tropical hardwood timber, which is a major export item from Ghana and Nigeria. </para>
<para>In the context of the arrangements being made for other producers in the Commonwealth of tropical products, this Government is continuing to watch the interests of Papua-New Guinea. We are concerned that means should be found that would enable this Territory to market its exports on fair terms as compared with like exports from British dependencies that may gain associated status. Arrangements for India; Pakistan and Ceylon have also been under; further discussion since the negotiations were resumed. </para>
<para>The Six had previously offered to negotiate comprehensive trade agreements with these three countries by 1966 at the latest. In the meantime, transitional arrangements were envisaged that would involve the phasing out df preferences iri the British market on products produced by these Commonwealth countries. This means that they would face a worsening of their terms of entry to Britain ahead of the conn pletion of negotiations for the comprehensive trade agreements. </para>
<para>Since the resumption of negotiations* Great Britain has asked that the progressive application of the common external tariff to the trade of India, Pakistan and Ceylon should be suspended until the promised trade agreements are concluded. This request has been refused by the European Economic Community. It has, however, been agreed that negotiations for the trade agreements would begin within three months of Britain&#39;s accession to the community. </para>
<para>With regard to the problems affecting Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the provisional agreement regarding what are called &#34; hard &#34; manufactures, to which I have already referred, still remains the only one which has been completed. This is the only sector of our trade where we have had clearly presented to us the situation we shall face after the end of the transitional period. That means in 1970 - no preference. </para>
<para>It is true that some broad understandings, as I have mentioned, have been arrived at about trade in temperate agricultural foodstuffs. But in actual fact, all we have at present in regard to our major bulk foodstuff items is a possible framework within which solutions may or may not be found after the whole of our preferences have gone. I shall say more in a few moments about the Government&#39;s policy to obtain better international trading arrangements for primary products. </para>
<para>Before the Prime Minister&#39;s Conference, the European Economic Community had agreed that transitional arrangements would apply to the trade of Commonwealth countries in commodities for which there is a levy system under the common agricultural policy. On those cereals on which there is a preference in the British market - on barley there is 10 per cent., on oats there is &#163;3 per ton, but there is no preference on wheat - the Commonwealth countries would benefit until the end of 1969 from a diminishing proportion of the preference that the members of the enlarged community would extend to one another. This diminishing preference over lion-Commonwealth suppliers during the transition period would not be as valuable or as effective as our existing preferences. Our present form of preference would be lost to us as soon as Britain joined the European Economic Community. : As far as wheat is concerned, all that The Six have offered by way of transitional arrangements is the general assurance that they would review, in consultation with countries of the Commonwealth, the application of the intra-community preference if that preference caused a sudden and considerable alteration of trade patterns in the British market. This assurance is expected to apply to all products for which the community would use a system of import levies. The community has not been prepared to give any undertaking as to what, if anything, it might do by way of remedial action in such circumstances. lt has not yet emerged from the negotiations what The Six may be prepared to do even by way of transitional arrangements, other than the general assurance I have just mentioned, for such important commodities as beef and veal, mutton and lamb, and dairy products. The British preference on our beef and veal is three farthings per lb. for chilled, two thirds of a penny per lb. for frozen and 20 per cent, for boned and boneless. Canned beef and veal enjoys a preference of 20 per cent, as do beef extracts. Mutton and lamb do not receive a duty preference. For dairy products, our butter receives a preference of 15s. per cwt., whilst the preference on cheese is 10 per cent, for blue veined and 15 per cent, for other cheese. </para>
<para>If The Six apply variable levies on these products, as has been proposed in the case of beef and veal and butter, our preferences, on the current proposals, would go and we would enjoy a temporary preference of a different type for a limited period only. </para>
<para>As honorable members will appreciate, Australia has a very large interest in the British market for mutton and lamb and dairy products, but New Zealand has a greater interest at stake. Apart from wool, New Zealand&#39;s export income depends almost entirely upon these products. The Six have recognized that New Zealand has a special problem but have not agreed to any solution. </para>
<para>In his statement in the House of Commons on 7th November, <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Heath,</inline> the chief British negotiator, stated that when the general arrangements for butter, cheese, mutton and lamb had been negotiated, it would then be possible to say what additional requirements were necessary to meet the special needs of New Zealand. </para>
<para>There is here the prospect that the Six may agree to arrangements for New Zealand products that would not apply to like products from Australia. We have made it clear to Great Britain that we would expect that there would be no discriminatory treatment as between Australia and New Zealand. We want to see New Zealand accommodated. It is essential that this sister country should be accommodated, but the whole concept of post-war international discussions as sponsored by western countries has been a concept of nondiscrimination, and it would be a travesty at this stage to introduce again into so important a document as this the doctrine of discrimination. We will fight for New Zealand as New Zealand will fight for itself, but we will resist discriminatory treatment. Britain has assured us that her object is to avoid such differential treatment. </para>
<para>Up to the time of the Prime Minister&#39;s Conference, there had been no discussion at ministerial level during the Brussels negotiations about what arrangements might be made in respect of processed foodstuffs of interest to Australia and Canada and New Zealand. </para>
<para>In our case, this category of items embraces such important commodities as canned and dried fruit. Only recently have the Ministers in Brussels got to grips with this sector of the negotiations. The Six have opposed the proposition of tariff preference quotas which was put forward by Britain in line with our own ideas of what would represent a reasonable solution consistent, as we saw it, with both the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the Rome Treaty. </para>
<para>Their opposition would appear to be based not on any legal grounds but merely on doctrinal dislike of preferences. Their proposition is that all our preferences should be phased out during the transitional period. Again, I refer, sourly and wryly to preferences against all the rest of the world outside the European Economic Community, whether as it is or enlarged including associate members. They are disposed to abolish or suspend the common external tariff - we are grateful to hear - on kangaroo meat, rabbits and fish liver oils. This has been their response to Britain&#39;s request for safeguards for our important interests in the category of foodstuff items subject to the common external tariff. </para>
<para>Before she commenced her negotiations Great Britain herself had made it crystal clear that safeguards would have to be found for our important trading interests before she would finally decide whether to join the Common Market. There is, it has to be acknowledged, no prospect that Great Britain will be able to secure tariff preference quotas of indefinite duration over the whole range of our commodity intrests. In fact, if The Six maintain their completely unyielding attitude towards preferences, even the preferences that are so crucial for such important items as canned and dried fruit would be whittled away within the space of a few years. </para>
<para>In arguing for the continuance of preferences we are opposed not only by the Six but also by the United States. It has its doctrinal objection to preferences - well, to our preferences, anyway. It has also its own trade interests in products like canned and dried fruit. However, despite our difference of opinion on the preference question, we have been able to enlist strong American support for action with The Six which would limit the degree of protection afforded in the Common Market to the production of certain items of critical importance to us and of importance also to the United States. These items embrace the major bulk foodstuffs, the major processed foodstuffs and certain raw materials. </para>
<para>The United States is now willing to put its negotiating strength behind getting worthwhile reductions in the common external tariff on a number of commodities of concern to us. I welcome this support. I say to the United States, &#34; We express gratitude for this support &#34;. These matters were discussed by the Prime Minister and myself in Washington earlier this year and the United States support is the direct outcome of these discussions. The forthrightness of American support is heavily evidenced by the clear and unequivocal statement recently made in Paris by <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Orville</inline> Freeman, the United States Secretary of Agriculture. This statement has been reported widely in the Australian press. The attitude of the United States, coming as it does after those discussions, is very heartening evidence of the improved prospects for a renewed and successful attack on the problems of trade in agricultural products and raw materials to which I have many times drawn attention in the House and overseas. </para>
<para>Another important part of the negotiations concerns the treatment of certain raw materials of interest to Commonwealth countries for which duties are at present provided in the common external tariff. Items of interest to Australia, as I have pointed out in previous statements, are lead and zinc metal and aluminium. There is on this matter still an impasse in Brussels. The British requested zero tariffs. The Six opposed this. It cannot be said at present how this impasse may be resolved. But here again, American willingness to enter into negotiations for reductions in the common external tariff may prove of inestimable value. I hope that Australians who were a little doubtful when I spoke somewhat roughly of certain American policies, will realize that direct speaking has made a really constructive contribution to a review of American thinking on this matter. I express gratitude to the American administration for its willingness to help us to-day in these critical matters. </para>
<para>In making this report to Parliament I cannot at this juncture offer any opinion as to when Britain will be able to conclude her negotiations, or add to what I have said in earlier statements about the impossibility at this stage of making an assessment of what will be the effect on Australian trade. The British Government knows - the Governments of The Six know - what we have regarded, and still regard, as being the sort of arrangements that would safeguard our trading interests. </para>
<para>At the time of the Prime Ministers&#39; Conference there was no evidence that adequate assurances would be obtained for our trade interests. That is still the position. Of course, it will be for the British Government to weigh up the outcome of its negotiations. It rests solely with the British Government to decide whether it has carried out the assurances which it gave to us and others before it began its negotiations - and which, let me remind the House, that Government has repeatedly affirmed. We, for our part, have looked for arrangements that would clearly and definitely protect our trade - and not just for a transitional period. </para>
<para>I have mentioned broad understandings about trade in temperate foodstuffs. We do not think that Britain should rest her judgment on what constitutes adequate safeguards for our interests on the basis of general assurances only. If she does, then the Commonwealth will have good grounds for feeling that this is less than it was entitled to expect from both Britain and The Six. It is the view of the Australian Government that we are entitled to expect of Britain, and of The Six, that they will demonstrate a willingness to begin to translate their statements of good intent into practical terms before Britain joins the Common Market. </para>
<para>They will have ample opportunities to do this. I mention three that are in the offing. There will be - on the initiative of the United States and Canada - a ministerial meeting of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade early next year. That meeting, it is proposed, will pave the way for a further round of tariff negotiations following the recent passage of the United States Trade Expansion Act. It will also consider the equally important questions of how to improve international trading arrangements for primary products - agricultural and mineral - and how to ensure better access to international markets for the products of less-developed countries. </para>
<para>Then, there is the Gatt cereals group. Starting from a French initiative about a year ago, this seemed to offer prospects of getting to grips with the whole complex of problems affecting international trade in wheat. These problems have been thrown into much sharper focus and made more urgent by the common agricultural policy of The Six and Britain&#39;s prospective membership of the Common Market. Indeed, many of the problems would be the direct outcome of the formation of an enlarged Common Market responsible for the greater part of existing world trade in many items of concern to agricultural and raw material producing countries. But when this cereals group met last February it was the attitude of Britain that was the factor, more than any other, that frustrated progress. We do not intend to let the matter rest there. </para>
<para>I believe that progress is possible if Britain will join in further discussions in a constructive and realistic manner. The crux of the problem is simple. It calls for a willingness on the part of Britain and The Six to give to external producers what they have promised to their own domestic producers, that is, remunerative and more stable prices. Britain has accepted that membership of the Common Market would involve the abandonment of her cheap food policy. The argument I have pressed in all my talks in Britain is that, whilst it is Britain&#39;s business to decide how much it is prepared to pay for what it imports from Common Market countries, it is not equitable to pay us less than a remunerative price. </para>
<para>Finally, in the opportunities we will have to advance the Government&#39;s international commodity policy, I mention the prospective world conference on trade and development. This proposal has commanded widespread support in the United Nations. It is a challenge from the under-developed and developing countries to the more industrialized nations to translate into concrete terms all the worthy declarations that have been made that international action must be taken to ensure that world trading arrangements are such as to provide fair and balanced opportunities for all countries. Britain, as the principal importer, should be in a position, if she so desires, to show us that real progress in the trade policy field is a probability and not just a hope. We want to know - we are entitled to know - whether there is any real meaning in the general assurances which The Six have given and to which Britain has subscribed. </para>
<para>In conclusion, I say this: Britain assured her partners in the Commonwealth that she would not join the European Economic Community unless she could make arrangements to safeguard their vital trading interests. She is the one who is doing the negotiating, not Australia. She is the one who will have to make the judgment whether or not to join the Common Market. If she joins without adequate safeguards for us, then, however serious the consequences, we shall be compelled to adapt ourselves to this new international trading situation. We will not be defeatist. But let no one think that there will be any easy solution to our problems in that event. We are entitled to expect reasonable access to world markets at prices remunerative to efficient producers. Other producers outside the Common Market have similar entitlements. In this regard, I speak not only for us, but also for all countries in similar circumstances, and especially, as I have done time and again in this House, for the under-developed countries, which, if they have not an opportunity to earn the income with which to pay their way in the world, will neither be politically stable nor respect the Western world. </para>
<para>This Government has pressed and will continue to press with vigour the case for better international trading arrangements for primary-producing and developing countries. In pursuing this objective, we have, in the past, not succeeded in attracting the support of some major importing countries and certainly not sufficient support within the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to make real progress. However, it is heartening that this position seems to be changing. In the United Nations and in Gatt itself, there is very clear evidence that we are moving now in company with the great majority of the countries of the world towards a common objective. But it will not be easy to reach this objective. Especially is this the case in the face of the frighteningly protective devices already being used and in prospect in the Common Market in respect of trade in many primary products. </para>
<para>It is encouraging for us to hear <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Freeman,</inline> the United States Secretary of Agriculture, representing the views of the United States Administration. In the statement to which I have already referred, he said - </para>
<quote>
<para>The actions the Community is now taking are going to be the largest single factor in determining whether the agricultural systems of the world are mindful of the need for international harmony or whether agriculture retreats into a shell of nationalism . . . We have been sharply troubled by the mounting evidence . . . that the E.E.C., instead of moving toward a liberal trade policy for agriculture, actually is moving backward with regressive policies that could impair existing trading arrangements. We cannot be internationally minded in the industrial areas of our respective economies and nationally minded and protectionist in the agricultural sectors. . . . My Government, of course, is aware that one way to deal with some of the troublesome agricultural trade problems would be through the negotiation of international commodity arrangements. . . . </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">We, on both sides of the House, who have sponsored this for so long welcome this assurance. This is Australia&#39;s policy. <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Freeman</inline> added - </para>
<quote>
<para>We think that a pragmatic approach is best, one which undertakes to examine, commodity by commodity, beginning with grains, the possibility of using commodity arrangements as a means of maintaining trade . . . </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">Those words could have been lifted from a statement that I made on behalf of this Government and Australia at the great trade and economic conference of representatives of the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations held at Montreal more than four years ago. <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Freeman</inline> continued - </para>
<quote>
<para>Greater attention must also be paid, both in the short and long-term, to the effect on agricultural trade of non-tariff obstacles: import restrictions, quotas, subsidies, dumping, export aids, and various other non-tariff devices in use by member countries, including my own. </para>
</quote>
<interjection>
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<name role="metadata">WARD, Edward</name>
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<para>- Give us your views. Never mind about quoting those of somebody else. </para>
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<para>- We know that many of the honorable member&#39;s constituents in the electorate of East Sydney perhaps are not interested in these very great issues. But the Australian community is very deeply interested in them. </para>
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<electorate>BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA</electorate>
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<para>- Order! The honorable member for East Sydney will cease interjecting. </para>
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<para>- He should cease trying to make cheap political capital out of this issue, which is of such great importance. </para>
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<para>I observe that I recognize in much of what <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Freeman</inline> has said the sort of things that I have been saying for years. It is encouraging to hear them said by a member of the great United States Administration. It is encouraging also to have the knowledge that the United States is closely co-operating with us in a variety of specific ways to contain and limit the serious damage which would otherwise be inflicted upon us by the accession of Britain to the Common Market and the adoption by Britain of the Common. Market&#39;s frightening array of protective devices. </para>
<para>I have said before, and I repeat: There is nothing that we are fighting for on Australia&#39;s behalf which we are not fighting for equally on behalf of all the young countries of the world. This Government is entitled to take some credit for the new attitude towards world commodity arrangements. </para>
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<para>- Rubbish. </para>
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<para>- Order! I warn the honorable member that if he does not cease interjecting I shall deal with him. </para>
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<para>- May I appeal to you, <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker,</inline> not to stop the honorable member interjecting. He is helping me and damaging the Australian Labour Party tremendously. Please let him continue. </para>
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<para>- Whose decision will prevail? </para>
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<para>- Order! The Chair will decide. </para>
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<para>- There will, as I have indicated, be ample opportunities for us and others to see whether there is a will to translate this new attitude into action. When it comes to particular commodities - wheat, for example - we shall concert our approach with the United States and the other big wheat exporters. We are indeed keeping in close touch with the United </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para class="block">States and other important producing countries over the whole range of our common commodity interests that stand to be affected by the developments in Europe. The international trade convulsion - and it would be nothing short of that - which would be brought about by the establishment of an enlarged Common Market in Europe would in itself create a new situation where fairer trading conditions for all countries must be seen to be essential. </para>
<para>In any event we will not let our own producers down whatever the economic problems they may have to face. There may well be for some industries difficult problems of adjustment - problems not of our seeking, but thrust upon us. As the Prime Minister has expressed it, &#34; We are not going to wander away from these industries &#34;. </para>
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<name role="metadata">POLLARD, Reginald</name>
<name role="display">Mr Pollard</name>
</talker>
<para>- I suggest that the Minister undertake to make more copies of this statement available to honorable members and that he move that the statement be printed. </para>
</talk.start>
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<para>- I am glad to comply, <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker.</inline> I undertake to make an ample number of copies of the statement available to honorable members immediately. </para>
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<para>- The Minister interpolated when he read it. Will the interpolations be included? </para>
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<para>- I shall circulate immediately copies of the statement as prepared for me to read. This does not mean that I wish to avoid having the interpolations incorporated, and I shall see what I can do about incorporating them. </para>
</talk.start>
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<para>I lay on the table the following paper: - </para>
<quote>
<para>Common Market - Britain&#39;s Negotiations - Ministerial Statement, 6th December, 1962- and move - </para>
<para>That the paper be printed. </para>
</quote>
<para>Debate (on motion by <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Pollard)</inline> adjourned. </para>
</speech>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>ASSENT TO BILLS</title>
<page.no>3045</page.no>
<type>bill</type>
</debateinfo>
<para>Assent to the following bills reported: - </para>
<quote>
<para>Customs Tariff Bill (No. 5) 1962. </para>
<para>Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Bill (No. 4) 1962. </para>
<para>Excise Tariff Bill 1962. </para>
</quote>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>BILLS RETURNED FROM THE SENATE</title>
<page.no>3046</page.no>
<type>bill</type>
</debateinfo>
<para>The following bills were returned from the Senate without amendment: - </para>
<para>Australian Coastal Shipping Commission Bill 1962. </para>
<para>Derby Jetty Agreement Bill 1962. </para>
<para>Western Australia Grant (Beef Cattle Roads) Bill 1962. </para>
<para>National Health Bill 1962. </para>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>PRINTING OF PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS AND GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS</title>
<page.no>3046</page.no>
<type>miscellaneous</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>Appointment of Joint Select Committee</title>
<page.no>3046</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3046</page.no>
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<name role="metadata">SPEAKER, Mr</name>
<name role="display">Mr SPEAKER</name>
</talker>
<para>- I wish to inform the House that I have received the following message from the Senate: - </para>
</talk.start>
<quote>
<para>The Senate having considered Message No. 87 of the House of Representatives has agreed to the following resolution in connexion therewith - </para>
<list type="decimal-dotted">
<item label="1.">
<para>That the Senate concurs in the resolution transmitted to the Senate by Message No. 87 of the House of Representatives with reference to the appointment of a joint committee to inquire into and report on the printing, publication and distribution of parliamentary papers and all government publications. </para>
</item>
<item label="2.">
<para>That the provisions of that resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the Standing Orders have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing Orders. </para>
</item>
</list>
</quote>
<para class="block">I wish to inform the House of the following appointments of members and senators to be members of the Joint Select Committee on Parliamentary and Government publications: <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Erwin, Mr. King</inline> and <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Wilson</inline> have been appointed by the Right Honorable the Prime Minister, and <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Johnson</inline> and <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Stewart</inline> have been appointed by the Leader of the Opposition. Senators Breen and Marriott have been appointed by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, and Senators Murphy and Toohey have been appointed by the Leader of the Opposition in that House. </para>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>ALICE SPRINGS WATER SUPPLY</title>
<page.no>3046</page.no>
<type>miscellaneous</type>
</debateinfo>
<subdebate.1>
<subdebateinfo>
<title>Report of Public Works Committee</title>
<page.no>3046</page.no>
</subdebateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3046</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>LLW</name.id>
<electorate>Robertson</electorate>
<party />
<role />
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<name role="metadata">DEAN, Roger</name>
<name role="display">Mr DEAN</name>
</talker>
<para>- In accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1913-1960, I present the report relating to the following proposed work: - </para>
</talk.start>
<quote>
<para>Provision of additional wells, reticulation and tank, to augment the Alice Springs Water Supply. and move - </para>
<para>That the paper be printed. </para>
</quote>
<para>In support of that motion, may I say that the committee is satisfied that the correct way of providing additional water at this stage is by exploitation of the Outer Farm Basin. It recommends the implementation of the work proposed and as referred to the committee. The estimated cost of the work proposed is &#163;271,000. The committee believes that any scheme which might jeopardize the replenishment of the Inner Farm Basin would not be suitable and recommends that an examination of all aspects of surface water storage should be made in relation to any future development of the water supply. </para>
<para>Question resolved in the affirmative. </para>
</speech>
</subdebate.1>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>SPECIAL ADJOURNMENT</title>
<page.no>3046</page.no>
<type>special adjournment</type>
</debateinfo>
<para>Motion (by <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Adermann)</inline> proposed - </para>
<quote>
<para>That the House, at its rising, adjourn until a date and hour to be fixed by <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker,</inline> which time of meeting shall be notified by <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker</inline> to each member by telegram or letter. </para>
</quote>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3046</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>BV8</name.id>
<electorate>Melbourne</electorate>
<party />
<role>Leader of the Opposition</role>
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">CALWELL, Arthur</name>
<name role="display">Mr CALWELL</name>
</talker>
<para>. - I move - </para>
</talk.start>
<quote>
<para>That the following words be added to the motion: - &#34; , such date and hour to be not later than the end of February, 1963.&#34;. </para>
</quote>
<para>The amendment will be seconded by the honorable member for East Sydney <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Ward).</inline> The Opposition regards the recess which the Government proposes as being too long. The Minister has not said for how long the House will adjourn, but we hear along the grapevine that it will not meet again until 26th March of next year. The reason given is that the Government does not think it desirable for the House to be meeting while Her Majesty the Queen is in Australia. Superficially, that might seem a very good reason, but when Her Majesty was here on her first visit, this Parliament was opened by her and sat after she had left Canberra and was visiting other places. </para>
<para>There is no constitutional reason why the Parliament should not sit after the Queen first arrives in Australia, or indeed before she arrives in Australia and continue to sit after she arrives. There is no reason for an adjournment during her visit. She will be in Canberra for a couple of days in February and she will be returning to </para>
<para class="block">Canberra some time in March. The business of the Parliament is important enough for honorable gentlemen to be summoned in February and not to be kept waiting until the end of March. The Queen will visit Canberra, then she will go to other States. The only reason that I can guess for the proposal to keep the Parliament in recess is that the Government wishes to afford honorable members of this House and another place the opportunity to be in their own States while the Royal visitors are visiting those States. But that seems to me to be no reason at all for the absence of honorable members from these legislative halls. The times are difficult. There are a lot of problems to be solved. The international situation is far from being as good as it might be. It is much better than many of us thought two months ago it might turn out to be. We have every reason to be thankful to providence that we escaped a dreadful war and that the prospects of peace are at least a little brighter than they were not long ago. But there are still difficulties. For instance, there is a war between China and India. It may not be a declared war, but it is a very real one for the unfortunates who are taking part, and it could affect the peace of the world ultimately. The question of the Common Market is a very live and real one for the people of Great Britain, the people of Australia, and indeed, for the people of the whole Commonwealth. We have had an important statement today from the Minister for Trade <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. McEwen)</inline> and we may wish to discuss it much sooner than March. Perhaps there will be other developments in the matter to which we should address ourselves very soon. </para>
<para>On looking back over recent times, I find that the only occasions when the House of Representatives had adjourned for periods of four months or thereabouts have been when elections were about to be held. In 1955, 1958 and 1961, adjournments of the then parliaments took place and the new parliaments did not meet until four months later. I hope that the adjournment proposed by the Government on this occasion does not mean that this Parliament is about to be dissolved. I would like honorable members opposite to have a more peaceful Christmas than they would have if there were to be an election. An election now would suit us admirably. I could not wish for anything better. Santa Claus, in his most generous moments, could not give us a better gift than an opportunity to seek the verdict of the people on the performance of this Government over the last twelve months. However, because I do not believe there is to be an election, I think the House ought to come back in February and not in March. If the House met again in February, there would be an opportunity for it to consider a bill to amend the constitution so that we could put into effect the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Committee. It would enable us to get a proper redistribution and an enlarged Parliament and to establish proper relationships between the two Houses of the Parliament. If we come back in March, it will probably be too late to pass the necessary legislation to take a referendum before the August Budget session. If we come back in February, we will have time to put the referendum to the people and, I hope, to carry it. </para>
<para>I commend to the Minister and particularly to the Prime Minister the leading article in this morning&#39;s &#34;Sydney Morning Herald &#34;. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3047</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KDI</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">EINFELD, Sydney</name>
<name role="display">Mr Einfeld</name>
</talker>
<para>- It is a good newspaper! </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3047</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>BV8</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">CALWELL, Arthur</name>
<name role="display">Mr CALWELL</name>
</talker>
<para>- I am glad to hear some one say it is a good newspaper. It recommends the very course of action that I put forward in my speech the other night. Of course, that is not merely coincidental. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3047</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KYS</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">REYNOLDS, Leonard</name>
<name role="display">Mr Reynolds</name>
</talker>
<para>- It recognizes merit. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3047</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>BV8</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">CALWELL, Arthur</name>
<name role="display">Mr CALWELL</name>
</talker>
<para>- It recognizes merit and it proves, too, that great minds sometimes think alike. The article suggested the taking of a referendum. It suggested an alteration of the Representation Act and it said that we must now allow electorates to grow in size so that the Parliament becomes unrepresentative. The will of the House - it was not declared by vote, because the Government carefully avoided that, but the Prime Minister was able to sense the will of the House - was that there ought to be a better system of distribution than that put up by the commissioners. We wish that the Government would take early action on that matter by altering the Representation Act. That is a task that it might very well undertake and bring down in February. We at least want to work, if members on the Government side do not feel as anxious about it as we do. They remind us of the position of Wellington at Waterloo. He looked for night or Blucher. They are looking for a long recess, and the longer the better, because when they are out of the House there is no danger of defeat, even in committee. But, of course, Wellington was luckier than the Government was yesterday. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>I have moved this amendment and we will put it to a vote. We hope that there will be at least one defection from the Government side so that the House will come back at a reasonable time and the Parliament will be able to get on with the work that it was elected to do. I am sure that the honorable member for Mallee <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Turnbull),</inline> who has an impeccable record for attendance in this House - he has never missed a day of sitting or a vote - will be here if we decide to come back some time in February, no matter who else is missing. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3048</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KIH</name.id>
<electorate>LYNE, NEW SOUTH WALES</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">LUCOCK, Philip</name>
<name role="display">Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock</name>
</talker>
<para>- Is the amendment seconded? </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3048</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KX7</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WARD, Edward</name>
<name role="display">Mr Ward</name>
</talker>
<para>- I second the amendment. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3048</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>DB6</name.id>
<electorate>Mackellar</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WENTWORTH, William Charles</name>
<name role="display">Mr WENTWORTH</name>
</talker>
<para>. - I wish to address my brief remarks to the original motion rather than to the amendment. We all thought that the House would rise to-night. When we thought that we did not know, and could not know, that the Minister for Trade <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. McEwen)</inline> would be making in this House the very important statement that he made a short time ago. That statement was, as he Minister told us, made off the cuff in relation to events now taking place in Europe. It is fairly obvious from what he said that it had not been cleared by Cabinet and did not necessarily represent the views of Cabinet. </para>
</talk.start>
<para>There are some of us on this side of the House who would not entirely agree with the emphasis placed on these matters by the Minister for Trade and would rather incline to the emphasis placed on them by the Prime Minister <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Menzies).</inline> I think it would be a great shame if the House were to adjourn and leave in the minds of people in England, perhaps, the impression that the emphasis placed on these matters by the Minister for Trade is unanimously agreed to by the Government parties. I am wondering whether there will be an opportunity before we adjourn to debate this statement. I say that this may be urgent in view of the fact that the statement has an impact, and, I believe, was primarily designed to have an impact, on the negotiations at present taking place in Europe in regard to Britain&#39;s entry into the Common Market. I wonder whether the Minister can give us any assurance on this ground. As I say, I address my remarks to the motion and not to the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Calwell).</inline></para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3048</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JSU</name.id>
<electorate>Wills</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">BRYANT, Gordon</name>
<name role="display">Mr BRYANT</name>
</talker>
<para>.- I will be brief in supporting the amendment. It is very important that this Parliament avoid long recesses of the nature being suggested by newspaper reports. It is symptomatic of the way in which the Parliament is treated that honorable members learn when we may meet again from newspaper reports, not from the Minister who moved the motion or from the Leader of the House. This is a continuation, in effect, of the principle we discussed yesterday. The Government takes every opportunity to dive into a recess. </para>
</talk.start>
<para>We have an increasing amount of business. We have shorter meetings and we have more members in the House. I took out some figures on the business of the House. In 1914, 32 bills were before the Parliament and the Parliament sat for 61 days. In 1915, the Parliament dealt with 53 bills. In 1956, it dealt with 113 bills; in 1957, with 103 bills; in 1958, with 83 bills; and in 1959, with 105 bills. In 1960 there were 115 bills before the House, of which 111 were passed. In addition, 103 papers were dealt with. We on this side of the House believe that the Parliament must have adequate opportunity to debate the matters before it. I regard it as an affront to me personally and to the Parliament generally that the Minister for Trade <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. McEwen)</inline> should take this opportunity to read an important statement to us and then preclude us from debating it for at least four months. </para>
<para>My remarks apply also to the business on the notice-paper. Fourteen members on this side of the House wish to speak on education. Every one of them has an important and studied contribution to make, but how can they possibly do so? This applies to many other matters on the noticepaper. I would expect honorable members on the other side of the House to be sympathetic at least to the point of view we are expressing. </para>
<para>The argument that we must adjourn until March because the Queen will be in Australia then is not valid. She is, after all, a part of the Parliament. If she is here, she is here as our monarch. If we suspend operations on this specious ground, we place very poor value on our deliberations. I hope that the honorable member for Mackellar <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Wentworth)</inline> and those on the other side who express their views will see that, by supporting the amendment, they do something to help the parliamentary system. If the amendment is carried, it will not be a rebuff to the Government, and I do not suppose it will be a defeat. It will be a direction from the body of members of the Parliament that we will not tolerate a long recess. Therefore, I hope the amendment will be adequately supported. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3049</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>4U4</name.id>
<electorate>Moreton</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">KILLEN, James</name>
<name role="display">Mr KILLEN</name>
</talker>
<para>.- I regret entering into any form of conflict with my friend, the honorable member for Mackellar <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Wentworth),</inline> but some of his remarks should not go unchallenged. He started by saying that the Minister for Trade <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Mewen)</inline> had made an offthecuff statement regarding the European Common Market negotiations. I do not think that the honorable gentleman is at liberty to assume that that is so. Then the honorable gentleman carried his assumption, I thought, to a rather rash degree when he said that the Minister had no authority to make this statement, that it was not cleared by Cabinet. What relevance this has to the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Calwell),</inline> I do not know. </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3049</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>DB6</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WENTWORTH, William Charles</name>
<name role="display">Mr Wentworth</name>
</talker>
<para>- I spoke to the motion. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3049</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>4U4</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">KILLEN, James</name>
<name role="display">Mr KILLEN</name>
</talker>
<para>- Do not assume to yourself a role of infallibility to rival that of the Holy See. The honorable gentleman said the statement had not been cleared by Cabinet. How does the honorable gentleman know that? </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3049</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>DB6</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WENTWORTH, William Charles</name>
<name role="display">Mr Wentworth</name>
</talker>
<para>- Because a Minister told me. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3049</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>4U4</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">KILLEN, James</name>
<name role="display">Mr KILLEN</name>
</talker>
<para>- If any Minister told the honorable gentleman that, the Minister was in error. I concede a measure of sympathy for the point of view put forward by the Leader of the Opposition <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Calwell),</inline> but if the House is going to be tied now to a definite time of meeting, that is just as dangerous as the House not knowing approximately when it is going to meet. The present arrangement is quite flexible. If there is occasion for the House to resume in February, I believe quite clearly it would be the duty of the Government to recall honorable members, but as we stand at present, it seems a little unreal to expect this House to lift to-day or early to-morrow morning. There would be a great deal more sense in a proposition that the Parliament meet next week rather than that it sit to-morrow. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3049</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>6U4</name.id>
<electorate>Werriwa</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WHITLAM, Gough</name>
<name role="display">Mr WHITLAM</name>
</talker>
<para>.- I rise to support the amendment that has been moved by the Leader of the Opposition <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Calwell)</inline> and I also want to put arguments why, if the amendment is defeated, the motion itself should also be defeated. The arguments of the Leader of the Opposition in supporting the amendment were two-fold. First, there is no reason, in the light of either internal or external circumstances, why the House should be asked to adjourn for a longer period than it has adjourned for the last eight years. Secondly, there is no reason why the House should be asked to adjourn because Her Majesty the Queen will be in Australia. On the occasion of Her Majesty&#39;s previous visit to Australia ten years ago, she was in Australia at the same time of the year as she will be during her projected visit next year. The Parliament sat while the Queen was in Australia and there was no disrespect in the Parliament sitting at that time any more than there is when the Parliament of the United Kingdom sits while the Queen is at home. </para>
</talk.start>
<para>The Government&#39;s attitude is that it wants to anaesthetize political discussion during Her Majesty&#39;s visit and wants to make it appear to be unpatriotic or disrespectful to the Queen to discuss any economic or political issues at that time. </para>
<para>I need say no more in favour of the amendment. If some honorable members feel that they cannot support the amendment but nevertheless feel that the House should be given an opportunity to debate some of the statements we already have on the notice-paper and the statement on restrictive trade practices which will be made later in the present day&#39;s sitting, then they should vote against the motion itself. Honorable gentlemen will have two opportunities to vote. They will be able to vote on the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition. If that were carried Che consequence would be that the House would adjourn to some time before the end of February. On the other hand, if the amendment is defeated, honorable gentlemen will still have to decide whether they will adjourn to a date that <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker</inline> advises. If they do not think we should have such a special adjournment but should come back next week, as the Standing Orders provide, then they will vote against the motion. </para>
<para>My party has decided that if its amendment is defeated, it will vote against the motion, and I invite honorable gentlemen on the Government side to vote against the motion also. This is not a crisis of confidence in the Government. I know that many honorable gentlemen on the Government side have criticized aspects of the Government&#39;s administration or even its legislation. I know they have, on earlier occasions, refrained from voting against the Government because they thought they would be out of the frying pan into the fire and instead of being grilled, would be roasted. But on this occasion, they are not being asked to defeat the Government. They are not being asked to provoke an election. They are not being asked to put in office a Labour government. They are being asked to give the parliament an opportunity to conclude the deliberations on which it is at present engaged on matters which are on the noticepaper which we have before us, which have been put on the notice-paper this morning and will be put on the notice-paper later in the day. </para>
<para>I cannot agree with the remarks made by the honorable member for Mackellar <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Wentworth)</inline> and still less with those made by the honorable member for Moreton <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Killen).</inline> They do not agree among themselves. I do not think the ecumenical spirit has spread so far that we can resolve the differences within the Liberal Party or between the Liberal Party and the Australian Country Party. My view is simply that the Parliament should be given an opportunity to debate its business. We would certainly support it being given that opportunity next week or, if that is denied us, before the end of February. But the Government is proposing to have the longest adjournment in eight years and it is proposing to hide its own misdeeds behind the presence of the Monarch. Honorable gentlemen who wish to show their genuineness in this matter can show their devotion to parliamentary principles by voting against the motion. </para>
<para>The statement that has been made by the Minister for Trade <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. McEwen)</inline> and the statement that will be made later in the day by the Acting Attorney-General <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Freeth)</inline> should be debated. There is another matter, as we have already indicated, which has been on the notice-paper for some weeks and which the Prime Minister <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Menzies)</inline> has twice promised that he would help to have debated. We also want to debate this matter. Honorable members know very well that even if the debate on t&#62;&#62;at matter commences to-day, it will not be possible for all honorable members who have indicated their interest to participate in the debate if we rise for the recess at the end of the proceedings to-day. </para>
<para>We certainly contend that we should meet next week because matters on the noticepaper under Government business and not merely under private member&#39;s business, would fully take up next week&#39;s proceedings. Even if honorable gentlemen opposite cannot support our amendment which would mean that the Parliament would have to come back befor.e the end of February, I invite them at least to vote against the adjournment which will preclude us meeting next week to deal with business already listed. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3050</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JLR</name.id>
<electorate>Fisher</electorate>
<party>CP</party>
<role>Minister for Primary Industry</role>
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">ADERMANN, Charles</name>
<name role="display">Mr ADERMANN</name>
</talker>
<para>. - The motion that I moved originally does not name any date. </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3050</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KX7</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WARD, Edward</name>
<name role="display">Mr Ward</name>
</talker>
<para>- But you know the date. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3050</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JLR</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">ADERMANN, Charles</name>
<name role="display">Mr ADERMANN</name>
</talker>
<para>- I neither affirm nor deny that the date suggested or mentioned in the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Calwell)</inline> is a fact. It is the usual practice that we leave it to the good graces of <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker</inline> to determine the date for the resumption of the Parliament. Naturally, that is done on the recommendation of the Government. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3051</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KX7</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">WARD, Edward</name>
<name role="display">Mr Ward</name>
</talker>
<para>- It is not done by <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker</inline> at all but by the Government. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3051</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JLR</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">ADERMANN, Charles</name>
<name role="display">Mr ADERMANN</name>
</talker>
<para>- I have said that naturally <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker</inline> decides on the recommendation of the Government. When the Deputy Leader of the Opposition <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Whitlam)</inline> said that honorable members should determine this matter and that in doing so they would not be taking the business out of the hands of the Government, he knows that is not a statement of fact. The issue is whether the Government or the Opposition should run the business of the House. If I am to judge by the waste of time caused in the debates yesterday by the Opposition and by the waste of time that has occurred to-day which is already evident- </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3051</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JSU</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">BRYANT, Gordon</name>
<name role="display">Mr Bryant</name>
</talker>
<para>- I rise to order. The Minister for Primary Industry has reflected on the discussions of the House and on the Opposition and should withdraw his statement. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3051</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>10000</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">DEPUTY SPEAKER, Mr</name>
<name role="display">Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER</name>
</talker>
<para>- Order! No point of order is involved. The Minister may proceed. </para>
</talk.start>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3051</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JLR</name.id>
<electorate />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">ADERMANN, Charles</name>
<name role="display">Mr ADERMANN</name>
</talker>
<para>- We could have had much of the business before us despatched by this time. So quite frankly, the Government cannot accept the amendment. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3051</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KUX</name.id>
<electorate>Lang</electorate>
<party />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">STEWART, Francis</name>
<name role="display">Mr STEWART</name>
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<para>.- It is quite obvious from the way in which the Minister for Primary Industry <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Adermann)</inline> ha9 evaded the point as to when the House should resume that he knows the Parliament will not meet again until March or early April. To suggest that it is the Speaker who makes up his mind on these matters is merely to pull wool over the eyes of the people. Everybody knows that the Government decides when the Parliament will resume and that <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker</inline> is told to send out the relevant notices to honorable members. For the Minister for Primary Industry to suggest that the decision is not made by Cabinet or the Government is completely begging the question. </para>
</talk.start>
<para>It is utterly ridiculous in these days of rapid changes in international, economic and local affairs for any national parliament to consider going into recess for something like four months. The alleged reason why Parliament should not meet before the end of March next is the visit next year of Her Majesty the Queen. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3051</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>4U4</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">KILLEN, James</name>
<name role="display">Mr Killen</name>
</talker>
<para>- That has not been given as a reason. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3051</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KUX</name.id>
<electorate />
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<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<para>- I said it was the alleged reason. What other reason could there be? If the honorable member for Moreton <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Killen)</inline> wants me to give some reasons I could say that the Prime Minister <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Menzies)</inline> and other members of the Government do not want Parliament to meet too soon next year because they want to watch the cricket tests in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. I might suggest also, for the benefit of the honorable member for Moreton, that the Government wants a lengthy recess in order to allow the Minister for the Interior <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Freeth)</inline> and other Ministers, and in particular the committee of the Cabinet that intends to study the redistribution proposals, sufficient time to work out a gerrymander that will meet with the approval of the Country Party. It is obvious at this stage that the Liberal Party has been pulled around by the nose by the Country Party so far as redistribution is concerned. On Tuesday night we witnessed the abject withdrawal- </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3051</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>10000</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">DEPUTY SPEAKER, Mr</name>
<name role="display">Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER</name>
</talker>
<para>- Order! I suggest that the honorable member confine his remarks to the motion before the House. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3051</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KUX</name.id>
<electorate />
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<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">STEWART, Francis</name>
<name role="display">Mr STEWART</name>
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<para>- I am seeking reasons why this Parliament is being sent into recess until March or April of next year. The Minister for Primary Industry has not given any reasons. The honorable member for Moreton has suggested that I am wrong in submitting as a reason the visit next year of Her Majesty. Surely I am entitled to canvass what the reasons may be. One reason why the Parliament will not resume for such a long time is the disunity that exists in the ranks of the Liberal and Country Parties. They are rent apart by disunity, schism and heresy. The honorable member for Moreton and the honorable member for Mackellar <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Wentworth)</inline> are at each other&#39;s throats. Throughout the life of this </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para class="block">Parliament the Country Party has been leading the Liberals by the nose. The resignation of the honorable member for Wentworth <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Bury)</inline> was forced on the Prime Minister because the honorable member disagreed with the policies of the Country Party. </para>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3052</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>10000</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">DEPUTY SPEAKER, Mr</name>
<name role="display">Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER</name>
</talker>
<para>- Order! I ask the honorable member to address himself to the subject of the motion before the House. A few moments ago the honorable member claimed that he was justified in giving certain reasons for opposing the motion. That may be so, but he is not justified in giving as reasons matters extraneous to the motion under consideration. I so rule. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3052</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<name role="metadata">STEWART, Francis</name>
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<para>- I must obey your ruling, <inline font-weight="bold">Sir, but</inline> I cannot see how any government, in these days when international politics and local politics move so swiftly, can afford to go into recess for the long period that has been rumoured. The honorable member for Mackellar has suggested that the Parliament should not go into recess for such a long time. The Leader of the Opposition <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Calwell)</inline> has moved an amendment to the motion, seeking to have the Parliament meet again in February. If the honorable member for Mackellar is not prepared to vote for our amendment, having regard to the words that he uttered a few moments ago he should have the moral courage to sit with the Opposition when we vote against the adjournment of the House. The Parliament has so many matters before it for discussion. We have had so little opportunity to discuss them. We should be sitting again towards the end of February &#163;&#62;r even into next week in order to discuss these important matters. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2.15 p.m. </para>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3052</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KUX</name.id>
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">STEWART, Francis</name>
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<para>- Before the suspension of the sitting, we were discussing the motion that had been moved by the Minister for Primary Industry <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Adermann)</inline> for the special adjournment of the House and the amendment proposed by the Leader of the Opposition <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Calwell)</inline> jo provide that the Parliament re-assemble some time towards the end of February. The Minister, in moving the motion, gave no reason at all why we should adjourn for the length of time that has been suggested in the newspapers. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Whitlam)</inline> asked the Minister to state when the Parliament was likely to resume, and the Minister was unable to give any time at all. Members of the Opposition feel that, this being the National Parliament, honorable members should be ready and available on all occasions to discuss matters of urgent importance. We believe that adjournment of the House for about four months would be far too long. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>We feel that we are paid to be here in order to discuss matters as they arise. Since the Government has been in office, it has brought down very few items of legislation of national importance. The items that it has brought down were, in general, proposed by the Australian Labour Party in its policy speech at the general election in December last. There are so many things to be done. There are so many problems that still confront Australia and this Government, but it is likely that we shall have nearly four months&#39; long service leave. This Parliament has been in existence for just on one year. The elections were held in December, 1961. Yet we are now to take a break of from three and one-half to four months. </para>
<para>It is quite obvious why the Government wants a long recess. In the past week or two it has become patently clear that the Government has lost control of the House. It is fighting with the Country Party behind the scenes. On a few occasions this has become obvious in the House. It is obvious to every one, even to those who have only a superficial interest in this Parliament, that the Country Party, the rump party of the coalition Government, is really the master of the Government. The Country Party has been pulling the nose of the Liberal Party during the whole of this sessional period. The Deputy Prime Minister <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. McEwen),</inline> who is the leader of the Country Party, forced the resignation of one of the Liberal Ministers because the latter had made a statement which was considered to be not conducive to Cabinet solidarity. Yet on the other hand, only a night or two ago, we found the Deputy Prime Minister casting aside all consideration of Cabinet solidarity, coming into this House and speaking against the proposed redistribution of electoral boundaries. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3053</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KSC</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">SPEAKER, Mr</name>
<name role="display">Mr SPEAKER (Hon Sir John McLeay</name>
</talker>
<para>- Order! I ask the honorable member to come back to the motion before the House. </para>
</talk.start>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3053</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KUX</name.id>
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<para>- I am giving the reasons why this Government does not want to meet the Parliament. The Labour Party says that we should meet much more regularly than we do and that there is no reason for the Government to adjourn the Parliament for such a length of time. The Deputy Prime Minister - the Leader of the Country Party - and his bovine, bucolic colleagues on the corner benches- </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3053</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KDS</name.id>
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">FAILES, Laurence</name>
<name role="display">Mr Failes</name>
</talker>
<para>- <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker,</inline> I take strong exception to that remark and ask that it be withdrawn. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3053</page.no>
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<para>- Order! I ask the honorable member to withdraw that remark which reflected on certain honorable members. </para>
</talk.start>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3053</page.no>
<time.stamp />
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<para>- I withdraw the remark, and say that the leader of the Country Party and his dull, rustic colleagues who sit in the corner have indicated during the whole of this session that they are masters of the Government. They are the bosses. They have called the tune on matters of policy. They have called the tune on electoral redistribution. They are calling the tune now on the length of time that we are to go into recess. The main reason why we are to go into recess for such a long time is that the schisms, hatreds, bitterness and disunity of the two Government parties are now coming to the top. 1 recall that not so many years ago a former leader of the Country Party described criticism of his party as, &#34;Another stab in the back in a long line of such actions by the Liberal Party &#34;. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>There are great reasons why we should be here. The honorable member for Mackellar <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Wentworth)</inline> a few minutes before the suspension for lunch indicated that he wished to participate in a debate on the statement on the European Common Market which had been made earlier this morning by the leader of the Country Party. He was taken to task by the honorable member for Moreton <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Killen).</inline> The honorable member for Mackellar will have the opportunity either to vote for the1 amendment which has been moved by the Leader of the Opposition, to the effect that we the Parliament should re-assemble some time at the end of February, or to vote against the motion, moved by the Minister, that we should adjourn to a date to be fixed. The people of Australia expect us, when there are such major problems confronting us, to meet much more regularly than we have been meeting. Opposition members are quite happy to come back next week, if necessary, and to come back early in February, if necessary, in order that we shall give some indication- </para>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3053</page.no>
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<para>-Order! I ask the House to come to order. If it does not, it will be necessary to deal with some honorable members on both sides who are persistently interjecting. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3053</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KUX</name.id>
<electorate />
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<para>- We are quite prepared to sit here in order that matters of national importance shall be discussed. On the notice-paper at the present time are about 14 items of general business and private members&#39; business and about 27 items consisting of bills and ministerial statements. All these matters should be debated by this Parliament. I for one object most strenuously to the proposal that the Parliament will not resume until late in March or early in April. The people of Australia expect the members of this Parliament to be in their places in this House rather than around the electorate, going to test cricket matches, enjoying themselves at spearfishing, or doing something else after that style. If the honorable member for Mackellar has any courage at all, he should be prepared on this occasion to back up the statements he has made. He is of the firm opinion that this Parliament should not adjourn for the length of time suggested. He will have two opportunities to vote - one for the amendment to provide that we shall come back late in February, and the other against the motion moved by the Minister. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>The Deputy Leader of the Opposition has indicated that the Opposition will vote for the amendment and, if unsuccessful, that we shall vote that the special adjournment shall not take place. I expect the honorable member for Mackellar, for once in his life, back up the words that he has uttered this place. He has spoken very many times on matters of principle, expressing policies counter to those enunciated by the </para>
<para>Government, but never once has he had the moral courage to support the Opposition on any of the matters on which he has opposed the Government. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3054</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KEE</name.id>
<electorate>Chisholm</electorate>
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">KENT HUGHES, Wilfrid</name>
<name role="display">Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES</name>
</talker>
<para>- - <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker,</inline> the Deputy Leader of the Opposition <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Whitlam)</inline> and other members of the Opposition may consider that I am a donkey but they had better understand definitely and clearly that I am not fond of carrots. I have no intention of voting against the motion, for two very good reasons. First, there is no need to take the business out of the hands of the Government on what is a major matter. Secondly, the special adjournment motion does not fix any definite date. If the Government has made a tentative decision on the date of resumption, I am perfectly certain it will alter that date if, in the light of international events, the date should be altered. And who is to say at the moment whether the international situation will grow worse or better? </para>
</talk.start>
<para>It is surely a laudable objective to try to give to as many members of this Parliament as possible, and to the citizens of Australia, an opportunity to pay homage to Her Majesty during her visit. But that is not to say that Parliament will not meet if the external or the internal situation should warrant a meeting and I believe, unfortunately, that the former, if not the latter, will demand it. The one regret I have is that the Minister for Trade <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. McEwen)</inline> should have chosen to-day to make a statement on the Common Market negotiations. The House is to rise to-night and so the statement cannot be debated. The timing and the tactics are such that only one conclusion can be drawn. I therefore conclude by agreeing, in the main, with the honorable member for Mackellar <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Wentworth)</inline> that it is a pity that there is no time to debate the contents, which must be embarrassing not only to the Government but also to many members of this House who disagree with certain statements. In my humble opinion, it was, though probably quite unintentionally, one of the most anti-British and anti-Australian statements that I have heard In a long time. Whether we sit to-morrow or next week, in January or in February, let us not deny to the British Government and to The Six, the same right as we claim for ourselves to act in the best interests of the security and prosperity of the free world and of our own people. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3054</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JM9</name.id>
<electorate>Mitchell</electorate>
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<name role="metadata">ARMITAGE, John</name>
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<para>.- I think it is obvious, having just heard the honorable member for Chisholm <inline font-weight="bold">(Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes)</inline> and interjections from the honorable member for Moreton <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Killen)</inline> as to the motives of the Government in wishing to adjourn the House for this long period- </para>
</talk.start>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3054</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>6U4</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
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<name role="metadata">WHITLAM, Gough</name>
<name role="display">Mr Whitlam</name>
</talker>
<para>- The Chisholm schism </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3054</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JM9</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">ARMITAGE, John</name>
<name role="display">Mr ARMITAGE</name>
</talker>
<para>- That is right, the Chisholm schism! In addition to the disunity between the Country Party and the Liberal Party as a whole we have individual members of the Liberal Party indulging in cross-fire in this House. That obviously is the main reason why the Government wants to adjourn the Parliament for such a long period. At this stage we have very vital legislation to be dealt with. We have the complaint lodged by the honorable member for Mackellar <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Wentworth)</inline> in this chamber this morning that the statement on the Common Market, should have been brought forward at an earlier stage and that this House should have been given an opportunity to debate it. We have other important items of business to deal with. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>We had the extraordinary spectacle only last night of the Wool Industry Bill being pushed, rushed, and gagged through this House although it is a vital measure. If ever there was legislation that should be given every opportunity for full discussion, this is it. Yet it was deliberately gagged last night and would have been forced right through had it not been resisted by the Opposition. We also have on the noticepaper a statement on education, one of the most vital issues facing this country to-day and one that members of this House should be given an opportunity to debate freely. As it happens, only a limited number of members will be able to speak on that subject. We have before us also a statement on the Common Market, and to-night we are to hear a long overdue statement on restrictive trade practices. Here again there will be no opportunity for debate. Accordingly, I think it is very obvious that the Government should take action to see that the Parliament is called together again at the earliest possible date so that we can have a complete discussion on these important issues confronting this country. </para>
<para>I repeat that the Government&#39;s main motive for rushing into recess for this long period is that it is balanced on a razor&#39;s edge; there is widespread disunity within its ranks, and even within the Liberal Party itself, as we saw only a few minutes ago. Earlier this week we saw the Prime Minister <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Menzies)</inline> abjectly abdicate his authority to the Country Party. </para>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3055</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>10000</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">SPEAKER, Mr</name>
<name role="display">Mr SPEAKER</name>
</talker>
<para>- Order! I ask the honorable member not to refer to a previous debate. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3055</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JM9</name.id>
<electorate />
<party />
<role />
<in.gov>0</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">ARMITAGE, John</name>
<name role="display">Mr ARMITAGE</name>
</talker>
<para>- We have seen the authority of the Government surrendered on vital issues. Clearly both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the House <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Harold Holt)</inline> want to place us in a position where we can no longer take the offensive as we have been doing. Honorable members opposite know that the Government is balanced on a razor&#39;s edge. We have seen examples of the disunity which exists within their ranks and they know that the Country Party to-day is deliberately holding up the Liberal Party to ransom. Therefore they are trying to get into recess as quickly as they can in the hope that their ills will be cured in the meantime. Accordingly I ask the House to support the Opposition&#39;s proposal that the Parliament should be called together again at the earliest opportunity. I think that is the only way in which we can resolve the important national issues which exist to-day. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3055</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MC</name.id>
<electorate>Higgins</electorate>
<party>LP</party>
<role>Treasurer</role>
<in.gov>1</in.gov>
<first.speech>0</first.speech>
<name role="metadata">HOLT, Harold</name>
<name role="display">Mr HAROLD HOLT</name>
</talker>
<para>. - <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Speaker,</inline> the honorable member for Mitchell <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Armitage)</inline> apparently has not yet learned to distinguish between taking the offensive and being offensive. I concede to him that many members on the Opposition side have sought to be offensive in their own way, but earlier today I was able to give the House some practical evidence that, despite our narrow majority, so far from taking the offensive against the Government, honorable members opposite have not yet succeeded in putting a dent in our armour. </para>
</talk.start>
<para>I will deal with the merits of the amendment very briefly in a moment, but in view of the way in which the debate has proceeded, perhaps I will be permitted two preliminary observations. The first deals with allegations of division in the ranks of the Government. Again I refer the House to the evidence of where we have stood together by vote in this House during a year in which the Opposition has pulled every trick it could in order to embarrass us and produce division. The Government parties do not dragoon their members; they permit individual expressions of view. It is a constant embarrassment to members opposite that whereas Caucus runs the rule over every member of the Labour Party, the Liberal Party and its ally the Country Party have always preserved the tradition of enabling their members to express their views except on matters that are vital to the existence of the Government. That is well understood. We respect independence of mind. There is room for independence of mind inside the ranks of our party. I can tell honorable gentlemen opposite that if they have a New Year wish that somehow or other they are going to produce a division in the ranks of this coalition, in which members on this side would have to choose between supporting those with whom they have been allies against the forces of socialism and supporting those in the ranks of the socialists who have flirted all these1 years with communism, we know where the major loyalty lies. Honorable members opposite will find that our unity is their continuing embarrassment. </para>
<para>The other preliminary comment that I wish to make, <inline font-weight="bold">Sir, is</inline> on the fact that earlier we had from the Leader of the Opposition an assurance that the Government could look for the co-operation of the Opposition in getting the business remaining on the notice-paper dealt with in a reasonable fashion so that we could then go on to a debate on education. I leave it to the judgment of those who have watched these proceedings to determine whether a performance of the kind we have had on the present motion represents reasonable cooperation as any normal person would define it. It is one thing for the Leader of the Opposition to put a view point, which he has been able to do, and for the House to vote on that according to its judgment, but it is another thing to use stone-walling tactics. To-day we have had honorable members jumping up all over the place to carry on a debate about when we should resume sitting next year. Now they know the facts. The honorable member for Chisholm has just, very properly, given expression to them. All members of this place look to the Government - and, in this instance, to me as the Leader of the House - to give them some indication, so that they may make their own electorate arrangements, of when the House is likely to re-assemble in the normal course of events. Normally the Parliament meets about the middle of February for the autumn session. Under ordinary circumstances that would have been done next year, but it so happens that we are to be favoured next year with a Royal visit by the Queen and Prince Phillip. If honorable gentlemen opposite wish to tell us that in the absence of some grave international development or domestic economic development they want to deprive members of this Parliament of the opportunity to be in their own States while the Royal couple are there, let them get up like men and say so. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3056</page.no>
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<name.id>KX7</name.id>
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">WARD, Edward</name>
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<para>- We have said so. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3056</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>009MC</name.id>
<electorate />
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">HOLT, Harold</name>
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<para>- All right. If it may now be taken that honorable members opposite have said so and if, in the absence of some economic development or some international development, and regardless of the Royal visit, they are determined to be here, the people of Australia will judge them on their attitude. That attitude is not the attitude of members on the Government side - and that implies no neglect of our normal parliamentary or constituency duties. </para>
</talk.start>
</continue>
<para>I have stressed the fact that in the event of some grave international development - a possibility whose existence we do not deny - or some grave internal economic development - frankly I, as Treasurer, can see nothing in the immediate future which would call for an earlier summoning of the Parliament to deal with economic matters - the Parliament could be called together. I also stress the fact that long before the Parliament would meet under this tentative programme we shall have met representatives of industry, we shall have met the Premiers and we shall have made a thorough review of the economy. We shall be in a position to put before the Parliament, when it meets, our assessment of the situation arising out of these many contacts with people who are in a position to give the Government views of how the economy is moving. </para>
<para>The second point I make is that we recognize that the Parliament is supreme. Without a parliament and its support there could be no government. But, of course, a country must have a government, and the Government, being dependent upon the majority will of the Parliament, must be responsive to the decisions of the Parliament. I have already said that if circumstances make it necessary or desirable to recall the Parliament before the present tentative date, the Government will not hesitate to call the Parliament into session earlier. But, subject to that consideration, we feel that there is value and merit in enabling honorable members to be in their States over the period of the Royal visit. </para>
<para>I think it is worth a minute or two of the time of the Parliament to make some honorable members, particularly the newer members, aware of the structure and activities of government. It is all very well for some honorable members to say that we should sit next week or the week after or early in this month or that month; but the plain fact of the matter is that the business of government must be carried on. The business of government is carried on under the utmost difficulty while the Parliament is sitting. Only this morning, at the time this motion was moved in the House, I was engaged in a committee meeting of Cabinet on a matter of considerable urgency and importance affecting this country. We in the Cabinet will not be away from our business next week or the week after. So far as Cabinet is concerned, this recess of three and a half months just will not exist. This year the </para>
<para class="block">Cabinet met early in January. We met representatives of industry and we met the Premiers long before we met the Parliament. There is a great deal of departmental spadework to be done before matters arising from such meetings can be brought to the point where the Parliament can deal with them. </para>
<para>We happen to live in a federation. That involves us in regular consultations and frequent discussions, by way of correspondence and personal contact, with the representatives of State governments. I question whether there is a democratic administration anywhere in the world which has pressures falling on it more heavily than they fall upon the members of the Cabinet in this federation of Australia. So I think we are entitled to claim that there is a need for us to have the opportunity to do the necessary preparation for legislation and to have Cabinet discussions to produce government decisions, and that there should be reasonable intervals in the parliamentary sittings for this purpose. </para>
<para>Having said that, I do not feel it is necessary to delay the House for much longer. I make this point in conclusion: Because of the long interval which may occur on this occasion, we are not proroguing the Parliament. That means that if some situation arises which calls for the early meeting of the Parliament we shall not have the delay that would arise from having a formal official opening of the Parliament. We can meet the week following any decision that the calling together of the Parliament is desirable. I hope the House will accept my assurance that we are not unmindful of the considerations which have impelled the Leader of the Opposition to move the amendment. In order that we can get on with the important business before us, I move - </para>
<quote>
<para>That the question be now put. </para>
</quote>
</speech>
<division>
<division.header>
<time.stamp />
<para>Question put. The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. Sir John McLeay.)</para>
</division.header>
<division.data>
<ayes>
<num.votes>56</num.votes>
<title>AYES</title>
</ayes>
<noes>
<num.votes>55</num.votes>
<title>NOES</title>
</noes>
</division.data>
<para>Majority . .. .1 </para>
<para class="block">
<graphic href="037131196212062_28_1_3_P.jpg" />
</para>
<para>AYES</para>
<para class="block">
<graphic href="037131196212062_28_1_1_A.jpg" />
</para>
<para>NOES</para>
<para class="block">
<graphic href="037131196212062_28_1_2_N.jpg" />
</para>
<division.result>
<para>Question so resolved in the affirmative. </para>
</division.result>
<para>Question put - </para>
<para>That the words proposed to be added <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Calwell&#39;s amendment)</inline> be so added. </para>
</division>
<division>
<division.header>
<time.stamp />
<para>The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. Sir John McLeay.)</para>
</division.header>
<division.data>
<ayes>
<num.votes>55</num.votes>
<title>AYES</title>
</ayes>
<noes>
<num.votes>56</num.votes>
<title>NOES</title>
</noes>
</division.data>
<para>Majority . . . . 1 </para>
<para class="block">
<graphic href="037131196212062_29_1_6_P.jpg" />
</para>
<para>AYES</para>
<para class="block">
<graphic href="037131196212062_29_1_4_A.jpg" />
</para>
<para>NOES</para>
<para class="block">
<graphic href="037131196212062_29_1_5_N.jpg" />
</para>
<division.result>
<para>Question so resolved in the negative. </para>
</division.result>
<para>Question put - </para>
<para class="block">That the motion (vide page 3046) be agreed to. </para>
</division>
<division>
<division.header>
<time.stamp />
<para>The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. Sir John McLeay.)</para>
</division.header>
<division.data>
<ayes>
<num.votes>56</num.votes>
<title>AYES</title>
</ayes>
<noes>
<num.votes>55</num.votes>
<title>NOES</title>
</noes>
</division.data>
<para>Majority .. .. 1 </para>
<para class="block">
<graphic href="037131196212062_29_2_3_P.jpg" />
</para>
<para>AYES</para>
<para class="block">
<graphic href="037131196212062_29_2_1_A.jpg" />
</para>
<para>NOES</para>
<para class="block">
<graphic href="037131196212062_29_2_2_N.jpg" />
</para>
<division.result>
<para>Question so resolved in the affirmative. </para>
</division.result>
</division>
</debate>
<debate>
<debateinfo>
<title>CONTRACTS FOR PUBLIC WORKS</title>
<page.no>3058</page.no>
<type>miscellaneous</type>
</debateinfo>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3058</page.no>
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<para>- I have received a letter from the honorable member for Scullin <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Peters)</inline> proposing that a definite matter of urgent public importance be submitted to the House for discussion, namely - </para>
</talk.start>
<quote>
<para>That the method whereby contracts are let for public works is urgently in need of revision to safeguard the interests of taxpayers and to give satisfaction to contractors. </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">I call upon those members who approve of the proposed discussion to rise in their places. (More than the number of members required by the Standing Orders having risen in their places) - </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3059</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KXZ</name.id>
<electorate>Scullin</electorate>
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<name role="metadata">PETERS, Edward</name>
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<para>. - I wish to make this very dear at the outset: I am not accusing any firm of builders of having employed discreditable means to secure a contract, nor am I suggesting that any public official or member of Parliament has used his position to give preferential treatment to any firm of contractors. It will, therefore, serve no purpose for members of the Government to defend their integrity or that of anybody else, because it is not now in question. </para>
</talk.start>
<para>Debates that have taken place in this Parliament during the last year have revealed that the methods of letting contracts are not above suspicion, that there is a widespread belief that improper practices may be indulged in, and that grave dissatisfaction is growing among contractors. It should be borne in mind that the preparation and submission of a tender for big public works involves the tenderer in the expenditure of several thousands of pounds. Therefore, tenderers who, from the outset, obviously have no chance of being granted a contract should not be encouraged to submit tenders. </para>
<para>I shall now give the House details of a particular contract, exactly as the story is told in &#34;Hansard&#34;. On 29th August, 1961, the honorable member for East Sydney <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Ward)</inline> stated in this House that certain firms had been invited to tender for the construction of a building in Martin-place, Sydney, for the Reserve Bank of Australia. The honorable member&#39;s remarks appear on page 591 of &#34; Hansard &#34;. He said that although the successful tenderer had not been announced, the firms that had submitted the lowest and second lowest tenders were informed that their tenders had not been accepted. He also stated that the financial standing and capacity of the firms had been examined before they were invited to tender. He said that the unsuccessful firms, which had submitted tenders lower than that of the successful one, were entitled to explanations, as were the public, whose money was being expended. On the same day the Minister for Works <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Freeth)</inline> said, as reported on page 593 of &#34; Hansard &#34;- </para>
<quote>
<para>In this case, I agree that if the decision is not awarded to the lowest tenderer there must be some substantial reason for it . . . the Government will undertake to give a full report to the House on the circumstances of the contract and the tenders. </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">On 31st August, as reported at page 784 of &#34; Hansard &#34;, the Minister for Works said - </para>
<quote>
<para>Before invitations to tender were issued some investigation of the financial position, technical ability and organizing and accounting capacities of each of the registered contractors was made by the bank . . , </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">He also said that the bank decided to invite tenders before the investigations could be completed, and invited fourteen firms to tender; and that there are other things besides price that determine whether a tender should be accepted. He concluded that speech by saying that that was the situation that he undertook to report to the House. </para>
<para>On 14th September, the honorable member for East Sydney, as reported at page 1269 of &#34; Hansard &#34; said that tenders closed on 4th August; that in July all tenderers had a discussion with the bank with reference to contracts; and that not one of them was informed that any investigations as to their capacity to carry out the work were not completed. I point out that all the firms were of the opinion that they had the fullest qualifications. On 27th September, as reported at page 1397 of &#34; Hansard &#34;, the honorable member for East Sydney pointed out that he was not satisfied with the Government&#39;s explanation. He said that the preparation of tenders costs from &#163;2,000 to &#163;3,000 each; but, although invited to submit tenders, contractors had no chance of securing contracts because the Government considered that they did not have the necessary qualifications. He also said that the tenderers and the public were entitled to know why the lowest tender was not accepted. The honorable members for Bonython <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Makin),</inline> Parkes <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Haylen)</inline> and Dalley <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. O&#39;Connor)</inline> expressed dissatisfaction with the statement of the Minister for Works when speaking on the estimates of the department. </para>
<para>On 27th September, as reported at page 1421 of &#34;Hansard&#34;, the Minister for Works said that the governor of the bank was the person to make a statement on this matter and that he, the Minister, would not express an opinion as to whether the governor was right or wrong in refusing to give the reasons why he accepted a certain tender. On the same date the honorable member for Lang <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Stewart)</inline> expressed dissatisfaction and stated that the Government should secure from the bank the reasons for the rejection of the lowest tender. </para>
<para>On 4th October, as reported at page 1613 of &#34; Hansard &#34;, the Leader of the Opposition <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Calwell)</inline> asked the Prime Minister <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Menzies)</inline> for the reasons. The Prime Minister said that he would look into the matter. On 11th October, as reported at page 1693 of &#34;Hansard&#34;, the Leader of the Opposition again asked that question. On 18th October he asked the Prime Minister the same question, and the Prime Minister said that he had not had the necessary opportunity to talk about the matter. On 26th October, the Leader of the Opposition again asked the Prime Minister for information, and the right honorable gentleman said that he expected to get it that afternoon. That afternoon, as reported at page 2649 of &#34;Hansard&#34;, the Prime Minister said that it was a matter for the bank and he was satisfied that the bank was right. </para>
<para>Let me go back a little now. On 19th October, 1961, as reported at page 1306 of &#34; Hansard &#34; in another place, <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Willesee</inline> gave clear evidence of another case in which the lowest tender was not accepted by the Department of Works from a contractor who had been invited to submit a tender after his capacity to carry out the work had been carefully examined. In a communication dated 13th September, 1961, and addressed by the Minister for Works to the Minister for Health <inline font-weight="bold">(Senator Wade)</inline> the following passage occurs - </para>
<quote>
<para>As you know, contractors cannot be prevented from submitting tenders, but if they have been warned beforehand that it is unlikely their tenders, if lowest, would be accepted, any cost of preparing the tenders is their own responsibility. The Department&#39;s procedure, after reviewing registered tenderers, is to call in doubtful tenderers and to tell them, if their interview confirms the opinion of their unsuitability for the particular work, that it would be unlikely their tender would be recom mended and suggest that it would be a waste for them to go to the expense of tendering. </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">Despite the fact that that appeared in that communication, that is not and has not been the practice. <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Willesee</inline> said, as reported at page 1306 of &#34; Hansard&#34; - </para>
<quote>
<para>When tenders other than the lowest tenders are accepted, Commonwealth departments are laid open to charges of graft and so on, although such charges could easily be avoided. </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">That is the point. They could easily be avoided. <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Willesee</inline> continued - </para>
<quote>
<para>As I have already said, if the department adopted the open tender system it could, if necessary, use an escape clause and not accept the lowest tender. But it has adopted the system of, so to speak, vetting the field and saying that certain people will be starters. If, under those circumstances, the lowest tender is not accepted, there must be good and sufficient reason for that action. The reason for not accepting the lowest tender should be as clear as day. The people should be able to find out, if they want to do so, why the lowest tenderer did not get the contract. </para>
</quote>
<para class="block">The position now is that the Department of Works is inviting tenders in exactly the same manner as the Reserve Bank of Australia. On 29th August, 1961, the Minister for Works said - if the decision is not awarded to the lowest tenderer there must be some substantial reason for it. </para>
<para class="block">The Minister, of course, must believe the same thing in connexion with the tender complained of by <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Willesee.</inline> At that time the Minister also said - </para>
<list type="lowerroman-dotted">
<item label=".">
<para>. the Government will undertake to give a full report to the House on the circumstances of the contract and the tenders. </para>
</item>
</list>
<para class="block">On 31st August he said that the bank decided to invite tenders before investigations could be completed, and invited fourteen firms to tender. The implication in that statement is clear. It is that, if the bank had completed its investigations, only firms fully qualified would have been invited to tender. That is at least an excuse, but it is an excuse that does not exist in the case of the tenders called by the Department of Works, which were the subject of <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Willesee&#39;s</inline> statement. The qualifications of all contractors were vetted fully before they were invited to submit tenders; yet the lowest tenderer did not get the contract and no explanation of that has been given. </para>
<para>On 27th September the Minister for Works said that he would not express an opinion as to whether the governor of the bank was right or wrong in refusing to give the reasons why he accepted a certain tender. Does the Minister take up the attitude that he will not express an opinion as to whether his department is right or wrong in refusing to give <inline font-weight="bold">Senator Willesee</inline> the reasons why it accepted a certain tender and why it refused to accept other tenders? </para>
<para>I do not want to go into any further lengthy details in connexion with this matter. It must be obvious to every one that we do not say that the lowest or any tender should be accepted. But we do say that when certain people are asked to submit their qualifications to carry out certain works and those qualifications are considered carefully by the department concerned, if those people go to the expense of thousands of pounds in the preparation of tenders and submit the tenders and the lowest tender is not accepted, there is room for suspicion. We make no accusation, but we say that the Minister should be, as it was alleged Caesar&#39;s wife was, above suspicion. There should be no grounds upon which the contractor who submitted the lowest tender and was not awarded the contract should be able to express dissatisfaction, but I believe that in those circumstances he should not be prevented from doing so. </para>
<para>The honorable member for East Sydney and the honorable senator in another place who raised this matter deserved the approbation, first, of the taxpayers of this country whose money pays for the construction of public works, and secondly, of the contractors who, having submitted tenders for government works and having had their financial and other qualifications examined, do not secure the contract although the tenders submitted may have been the lowest. Although the members to whom I have referred deserve the greatest appreciation of the contractors and the taxpayers, they are accused of muck-raking when they raise this most important matter. </para>
<para>I have mentioned no particular firm; I have mentioned no particular individual. I have merely put the principle before the House. </para>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
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<page.no>3061</page.no>
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<para>- Order! The honorable member&#39;s time has expired. </para>
</talk.start>
</speech>
<speech>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3061</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>JXI</name.id>
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<para>. - I agree that the honorable member for Scullin <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Peters)</inline> has been completely reasonable in his approach to what is an interesting problem. He commenced and finished his remarks by saying that he made1 no accusation against any public servant, any contractor or any member of this House. The thing which interests me at the outset, therefore, is that this subject should have been raised at this time as a matter of urgent public importance. I agree that it is an important problem, but yesterday when a motion to bring on government business was before the House honorable members opposite complained that private members had no opportunity to debate matters. This morning they claimed that they must have time to debate a statement on education and they wanted to lay down conditions under which the Government was to allot time to debate that subject. </para>
</talk.start>
<para>Now the Opposition has introduced a completely new matter, which has no real relevance to any of the important issues which the House is considering, which it claims is of urgent public importance although no accusation has been made against any public servant, any contractor or any member of this Parliament. I leave it to the people of this country to judge whether honorable members opposite are sincere in their desire to give high priority to the other matters which they mentioned this morning and in their offer to the Government to co-operate to conclude the business before the House, or whether this is just another time-wasting device that they have embarked upon, as they have done so often during this year when they raised matters of so-called urgent national importance such as the use of a car by a certain member of Parliament and the like. </para>
<para>The honorable member for Scullin rather misunderstands the procedure followed by the Department of Works in cases where there is a departure from the completely open method of tendering. I have not the exact figures but I should think that in nearly 100 per cent, of cases tenders which are called for by the Department of Works for public works are based on the open tender method. I understand that the honorable member has no complaint about that. When tenders are called it is made quite clear that the lowest tender is not necessarily accepted. In the main, the same procedures are followed when tenders are invited from a restricted field of contractors. In certain cases it is desirable, and it has become the practice, to restrict the number of people from whom tenders are invited. Persons who are interested in obtaining a contract are invited to register with the department. </para>
<para>This has very real advantages, first, in relation to time. Quite frequently it is both necessary and desirable to let a contract fairly quickly. If the department knows in advance those persons who are likely to tender and to be considered for the job, it can get on with the task of investigating the qualities and capacity of those prospective tenderers before the tenders are actually lodged. Therefore, there is a very great advantage from the time aspect. Secondly, there is a great advantage in preparing the tender documents, plans and specifications and the like if the department knows in advance the number of persons or firms who are likely to tender. It will be seen that there are great advantages on occasions in inviting prospective tenderers to register, both in relation to time and expense. </para>
<para>When a matter is urgent as to time it is not always possible to complete the investigation of tenderers. It may well be - as I understand was the case with the Reserve Bank building in Sydney - that, because of the time factor, after prospective tenderers had been invited to register they were told to tender but they were given no guarantee that the investigations had been completed. Those are the circumstances to which the honorable member has referred as being suspicious in that the lowest tenderer did not get the contract. Investigation of their capacity and all the other things which go with it, as well as an examination of their tenders, had not been completed. </para>
<para>There are occasions when selected tenders are invited from people who have a particular capacity for a particularly technical kind of job. In that case the department may invite tenders from two, three or more contractors. A case that comes to mind which involves a matter of security relates to work at the Weapons </para>
<para class="block">Research Establishment at Woomera. Very often highly technical and highly scientific work has to be carried out which limits the field of tenderers, so it would be a waste of money for the department to call open tenders and to put many contractors to the expense of preparing tenders for work that they could not do and to involve the department itself in preparing the necessary preliminary documents for those contractors. In addition, when the security aspect is involved the field of prospective tenderers has to be vetted fairly carefully, and this again limits the number of people from whom tenders are invited. Those are some of the reasons why it is not always possible for the Department of Works to proceed by the open tender method. </para>
<para>Many government and semi-government instrumentalities, such as the Reserve Bank, do not always follow precisely the same policy as is followed by the Department of Works. They are their own constructing authority. The Reserve Bank very frequently employs the Department of Works in much the same way as it would employ a private architect to do its designing and detailed planning and to advise as to tenderers. But once we have furnished that advice the only other duty of the department is to supervise the actual construction. The concern of the Department of Works is then at an end. On other occasions the Reserve Bank and other instrumentalities, such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, TransAustralia Airlines, the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories and the National Capital Development Commission, employ outside architects as consultants. They do not follow precisely the procedures followed by the Department of Works but basically tenders are called and examined by the tender board. When the lowest tender is not accepted the tenderer, if he is interested enough to inquire, is told why it has not been accepted. That is the very reason why the honorable member for Scullin can cite no instance of a complaint in relation to the Department of Works. It is very difficult to guarantee to publish the reason why a particular tender has not been accepted. It would be a great deterrent to many contractors if they knew that the department would publish the reason for not accepting their tender if, in fact, it happened to be the lowest. </para>
<interjection>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3063</page.no>
<time.stamp />
<name.id>KX7</name.id>
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<in.gov>0</in.gov>
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<name role="metadata">WARD, Edward</name>
<name role="display">Mr Ward</name>
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<para>- Not publish the reason, but give it to them. </para>
</talk.start>
</interjection>
<continue>
<talk.start>
<talker>
<page.no>3063</page.no>
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<name role="metadata">FREETH, Gordon</name>
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<para>- The Department of Works does give them the reason. </para>
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<page.no>3063</page.no>
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<name role="metadata">COPE, James</name>
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<para>- That is not my information. </para>
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<page.no>3063</page.no>
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<para>- Whenever any contractor inquires, in relation to a job for the Department of Works, why his tender has been refused, he is, I can assure the House, given the reason. Publication of the reason is another matter. That would be a great deterrent to contractors. We may have found that performance of a past job was unsatisfactory. That is one reason - there are many others - why a tender for a job might not be acceptable. However, the contractor concerned might be entirely satisfactory for a job of a somewhat different nature. </para>
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<para>Sometimes we work to a tight time schedule. A contractor might not have the kind of plant which would make it possible for him to work to a schedule of that kind, and his performance of past jobs might show that that was so. Another contractor, however, might be able to work to a tight time schedule. If the Government is putting up a building that will cost &#163;3,000,000 or &#163;4,000,000 and the contractor is twelve months late in completing the building - believe me, I do not exaggerate when I say that very often contractors are twelve months late with projects - that means a great loss of money to the Commonwealth, quite regardless of the contract price, because a large amount of money is tied up and is not being used profitably. </para>
<para>The honorable member suggested that the public and the contractors, which possibly have conflicting interests, require protection in this matter. Let me deal with the contractors first. The contractors, in general, have expressed complete satisfaction with the methods adopted by the Department of Works. About the time when the question of the Reserve Bank building came up, I had some correspondence with <inline font-weight="bold">Mr. Barton,</inline> the president of the Master Builders Association of New South Wales. He had a list of sixteen points relating to what he regarded as desirable matters in connexion with the calling of tenders. The only difference between his sixteen points and the procedures adopted by the Department of Works related to the fact that with departmental jobs there is no public opening of tenders and listing of the prices tendered by each contractor. There are very good reasons for that. One of the reasons is that the public must be protected. Occasionally contractors get together. If you announce the tender prices, you find very often that the lowest tenderer, before his tender is accepted, is invited by a higher tenderer to withdraw his tender and take a share of the profits of a higher tender. That does happen. Therefore, after the opening of tenders we simply announce the names of the contractors. In some cases the names are announced in the order of tendering, but not always. This information is made available immediately to the public. Minutes are kept of meetings of the tender board. </para>
<para>It is very difficult, when you have opened tenders, to see at first glance who is the lowest tenderer. There is the time factor. One tenderer might be able to do the job in twelve months and another might not be able to do it in less than two years. Alternative methods of constructing the building might be offered in a tender. Then again, some tenders may contain rise and fall clauses providing for adjustments of the prices in accordance with movements of wages. All these factors have to be taken into account, and you cannot always say at first glance who is the lowest tenderer. That is another reason why we do not publish tender prices after the opening of tenders. Contractors, in general, accept our reasons. </para>
<para>The only other request by the Master Builders Association of New South Wales was that tenders should be accepted within a certain period. I think honorable members will agree that that is not always practicable, because all kinds of factors are involved, but we do, as a matter of general policy, try to accept tenders as soon as possible. </para>
<para>I have confined my remarks, as far as contractors are concerned, to the Master Builders Association of New South Wales, but the president of the Master Builders Federation of Australia, in a speech published in a magazine called &#34; Building: Lighting: Engineering &#34;, and delivered on the occasion of a farewell to <inline font-weight="bold">Dr. Loder,</inline> a former Director-General of Works, paid a remarkable tribute to the Department of Works. He said - </para>
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<para>I am quite serious when I say that one of these few items on which our Federation members stand as completely unanimous, is the high regard we hold for the Commonwealth Department of Works. lt is our view that this country doesn&#39;t hear enough of this department and the job it is doing for Australia. </para>
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<page.no>3064</page.no>
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<para>- Order! The Minister&#39;s time has expired. </para>
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<page.no>3064</page.no>
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<name.id>KX7</name.id>
<electorate>East Sydney</electorate>
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<name role="metadata">WARD, Edward</name>
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<para>.- For the past eighteen months I have been endeavouring to solve the mystery surrounding the rejection of the two lowest tenders for the erection of the Reserve Bank building in Sydney. If the Minister for Works <inline font-weight="bold">(Mr. Freeth),</inline> the Treasurer <inline font-weight="bold&quo