House of Representatives
5 March 1931

12th Parliament · 1st Session

Mr. Speaker (Hon. Norman Makin) took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and offered prayers.

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Assent to the following bills reported : -

Patents Bill.

Port Augusta to Red Hill Railway Bill.

Wheat Advances Bill.

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The following paper was presented: -

Audit Act -

Finance 1929-30 - The Treasurer’s statement of receipts and expenditure during the year ended 30th June, 1930, accompanied by the report of the AuditorGeneral.

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Prime Minister · Yarra · ALP

– Since this House adjourned in December last, certain changes have occurred in the composition of the Ministry which is now constituted as follows : -

Prime Minister, Minister for External Affairs and Minister for Industry - Right Honorable James Henry Scullin, M.P

Treasurer - Honorable Edward Granville Theodore, M.P

Opposition Members. - Shame !

Vice-President of the Executive Council - Senator the Honorable John Barnes.

Attorney-General - Honorable Frank Brennan, M.P

Postmaster-General and Minister forWorks and Railways - Honorable Albert Ernest Green, M.P.

Minister for Markets and Minister for Transport - Honorable Parker John Moloney, M.P

Minister for Trade and Customs - Honorable Francis Michael Forde, M.P

Minister for Home Affairs - Honorable Arthur Blakeley, M.P

Minister for Health and Minister for Repatriation - Honorable John McNeill, M.P.

Minister for Defence - Honorable Joseph Benedict Chifley, M.P

Assistant Minister for Industry, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Development, and Assistant to the Treasurer - Honorable Edward James Holloway, M.P.

Assistant Minister for Works and Railways - Senator the Honorable John Braidwood Dooley.

Assistant Minister for Transport and War Service Homes - Honorable Charles Ernest Culley, M.P


– That is not a point of order.

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Minister for Trade and Customs · Capricornia · ALP

by leave - On the 18th December last, a motion was moved in this House by the then Acting Prime Minister for the imposition of an export duty on sheepskins with wool. This duty, which was proposed in the interests of the fellmongery industry created considerable difficulties in connexion with the disposal of sheepskins. The Government has now decided that the best interests of all concerned will be served by the cancellation of the duty from the date on which it was imposed. It is proposed therefore to take no further action in regard to the motion now before the House for the imposition of this duty, and it will accordingly lapse. Instructions have been issued to discontinue the collection of the duty from the 4th March, 1931, and the Government proposes to refund all amounts collected since the imposition of the duty.

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Message recommending appropriation reported.

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On Mr. Theodore rising to give notice of a motion for have to bring in a bill for an act relating to the issue of a. fiduciary currency,

Mr. Gullett. - Privilege !

Mr. Bayley. - Shame!

Other Opposition members interjecting -

Mr SPEAKER (Hon Norman Makin:

– I warn honorable members that if there is a continuance of this disorder I shall name the first offender without further warning.

Mr Bayley:

– The Government has no right to subject us to this indignity.


– I name the honorable member for Oxley (Mr. Bayley) and ask the Prime Minister to take the usual action.

Mr Scullin:

– I did not hear the remark of the honorable member for Oxley, but I heard other interjections by him at an earlier stage before he was warned. I am sure that you, Mr. Speaker, would not have named him without good cause, and I appeal to the honorable member and to other members of the Opposition-

Mr Brennan:

– I would not.


– The AttorneyGeneral (Mr. Brennan) is out of order.

Mr Scullin:

– There is a proper way for honorable members to make their protests in this House; it is not that which they have adopted. I ask the honorable member for Oxley to spare me a painful duty by withdrawing the remark to which Mr. Speaker has taken exception.

Mr. Bayley. - The Prime Minister has asked me to withdraw a remark. I understand that your objection, Mr. Speaker, was not to my remark itself, but to my interjecting after you had called for order.


– I named the honorable member for disregarding my call to order, and if he is not prepared to apologize to the Chair, I ask the Prime Minister to move that he be suspended.

Mr Bayley:

– I desire only to be clear as to the nature of my offence. I apologize to you, Mr. Speaker, for having disregarded your call for order.

On Mr. Theodore continuing his notice of motion,

Mr Gullett:

– I move -

That the Treasurer be not further heard.


-The Treasurer (Mr. Theodore) has already completed the notice he was giving.

Mr Gullett:

– I claim the privilege of having my motion put to the House. I was on my feet and submitting my motion before the Treasurer had finished his notice.


– As the Treasurer has resumed his seat no good purpose would be served by proceeding with the honorable member’s motion. Therefore I am not prepared to put it to the House.

Mr Latham:

– I rise to a point of order. The Standing Orders provide that an honorable member may, at any time while another honorable member is speaking, move that he “be not further heard “. The honorable member for Henty (Mr. Gullett) did that, and I submit, Mr. Speaker, that you are bound to put the motion to the House.


– Before the honorable member for Henty had completed his motion that the Treasurer “be not further heard”, the Treasurer had resumed his seat.

Opposition Members. - No !


– It is for me to judge of that. In the circumstances, I am not prepared to put to the House the motion submitted by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Gullett).

Mr Gullett:

– I move -

That Mr. Speaker’s ruling be disagreed with.


– The honorable member must submit his motion in writing.

Mr. Gullett having handed in a written notice of motion,


– I have received from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Gullett) the following notice of motion: -

I give notice that to-morrow I will move - “That the following ruling of Mr. Speaker - that he is not bound to put a motion that a member be not further heard in the event of the saidmember resuming his seat - he disagreed with.”

Is the motion seconded?


– I second the motion.


– The Standing Order provides that a motion such as this must be placed upon the notice-paper for the next day of sitting.

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– I give notice that tomorrow I shallmove -

That the Government no longer possesses the confidence of this House, and that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to His Excellency the Governor-General.

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Discussionof Motion of Wantof Confidence

Prime Minister · Yarra · ALP

– Because of the motion of which the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Latham) has just given notice, I move -

That the House do now adjourn.


-I enter a most emphatic protest against this delay of the consideration of the business of the country. All know how desperate is the condition of Australia at the present time. Honorable members have been brought here, at very great expense, from all parts of the Commonwealth, to give their attention to public affairs, and I should, therefore, like the motion of want of confidence to be so amended that the discussion could proceed immediately. The Leader of the Opposition is, I am sure, ready to make his speech, and the members of the Government should be able to reply to it without asking time for preparation, for the people are looking eagerly for this Parliament to do something. Thousands in Australia are unemployed, and those concerned in industry are in a desperate position. I am anxious to know if the Government proposes to take any action to assist those engaged in rural pursuits, and if not, if it will resign. I should like a motion to be made asking the Governor-General to dissolve the House, in the exercise of his power under section 5 of the Constitution. It is time wedid something; the present drift must not continue. In the circumstances, the Prime Minister (Mr. Scullin) could not do other than move the adjournment of the House yesterday; but some arrangement should have been made whereby the discussion on the motion of which the Leader of the Opposition has given notice could have been proceeded with to-day. I hope that when the debate commences, the House will sit on Saturday and on Monday and continue the discussion uninterruptedly until the motion is disposed of. We should get down to business immediately, and see if we cannot do something for the country, which is suffering so greatly at present.


.- I am at a loss to understand to whom the honorable member for Swan (Mr. Gregory) is directing his complaint. As notice of a motion of want of confidence has been given by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Latham), that gentleman is responsible for the delay of which he complains.

Mr Latham:

– I was compelled to give notice of my motion, and I took the first opportunity available to me.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 2.49 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 5 March 1931, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.