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Monday, 23 March 1987
Page: 1284


Mr HOWARD (Leader of the Opposition) —Madam Speaker, I seek leave to make a personal explanation.


Madam SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr HOWARD —Yes, I do.


Madam SPEAKER —Please proceed.


Mr HOWARD —On the Sunday program yesterday and again in Parliament today the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) made the totally and outrageously false statement that the policies now being proposed by the coalition would increase the Budget deficit by $16 billion. I take the opportunity of taking permissible parliamentary language to its extremity in saying that this particular misrepresentation of the Opposition's position scales the heights of dishonourability so far as the Prime Minister is concerned.


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The Leader of the Opposition must show the House how he personally has been misrepresented. The Leader of the Opposition has not done so.


Mr HOWARD —To be very precise, the Prime Minister yesterday said of me that I would add $16 billion to the Budget deficit. He repeated it again today. That is the most blatant untruth that this Prime Minister has used in the five or six years that he has been in the Federal Parliament. Let me give but two illustrations. He draws upon a list of--


Madam SPEAKER —The Leader of the Opposition has not in any way shown the House how he personally has been misrepresented.


Mr Young —Why don't you raise it in debate? Let's have a debate about it.


Mr HOWARD —Any time. Would the Leader of the House like to have a debate on the fiscal policies of the Government and the Opposition?


Madam SPEAKER —Order! The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. The Leader of the Opposition is not showing the House or the Chair how he personally has been misrepresented. He has raised what the Prime Minister said on television and again in the House today but he may not now debate the issue. He has pointed out to the House that he has been misrepresented. He may not now debate that issue.


Mr HOWARD —I do not seek to debate it but, in further enlightenment of the House as to how I have been misrepresented--


Madam SPEAKER —You did tell the House how you have been misrepresented. You are now attempting--


Mr HOWARD —I gave the example--


Madam SPEAKER —Order! You will resume your seat.


Mr HOWARD —You think I am debating it, do you? Well, I will have a debate on the issue later on, when I can debate it with very great gusto.


Madam SPEAKER —You are debating the issue. Please resume your seat.