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respect for the position taken by people such as Mr Berry and Mr Moore if at the end of the day they were prepared to go the whole hog and deal with matters such as, for example, Christmas.
Mr Berry: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I suspect that Mr Humphries is wasting a bit of energy. He will have the chance to do this in about June.
MR SPEAKER: I do not know that that is a point of order. The motion is: That the report be noted. You canvassed the question of the prayer, Mr Berry, and I think Mr Humphries has every right to put forward his point of view on the same subject. There is no point of order.
MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, indeed, Mr Speaker. Obviously, this is a matter that will come up for debate later on. I want to put my view at this stage and hope that it will be one we will reflect on in the period between now and when we come to debate this matter more fully in June.
MR SPEAKER: Reflection is part of the proposed amendments, Mr Humphries.
MR HUMPHRIES: If members object to Christian symbolism in our procedures, I have to ask what they do with the many other Christian symbols that pervade elements of our daily lives.
Mr Moore: Yes, like the cross in the hospice?
MR HUMPHRIES: Like crosses in the hospice, the fact that we take holidays at Christmas and Easter - Christian festivals - - -
Mr Moore: No, they are just pagan parties; they are no problem.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Moore might partake of pagan rituals at the time; but for most people they are an opportunity to reflect, at least in passing, in a very token way perhaps, on the Christian underpinnings of both of those festivals. I, for one, think you simply cannot eradicate those traditions except over a very long period, if you wish to do so at all. It is pure tokenism to say that we will abolish the prayer in the Assembly but we will still take holidays at Christmas and Easter. That is simply tokenism on the part of those people who espouse that point of view. I regret this move. I hope that the members of the Assembly realise that it is, in a way, a fairly provocative one and that they will reconsider between now and when we come to debate this.
MR MOORE (11.12), in reply: As I suggested there would be in my introduction to this matter, there are two major controversial issues: The issue of whether we should sit on Tuesday evenings and the issue of the prayer. Listening to the arguments on the Tuesday evening sittings, I do not think a significant argument has been put forward yet. However, it may well be that, when the motions that have been foreshadowed are moved and people have yet another opportunity, we may hear a rational argument. I see Ms McRae nodding her head, just busting to put that argument.