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Wednesday, 16 November 1983
Page: 2783


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —The honourable member for Bruce is suspended from the service of the House for 24 hours.

The honourable member for Bruce thereupon withdrew from the chamber.


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —I call the Prime Minister to complete his answer to the question.


Mr HAWKE —I was giving my reasons for the support of the casino. Two reasons motivated me. Of course, there are also the considerations that have been indicated by the Minister-that the actual economics of the operation without the casino are a relevant consideration. I was conveying to the House the two basic considerations which impelled and motivated me in this matter. I think it is a matter of very considerable regret that the collection of people opposite have descended to such despicable depths that, by way of allegation and innuendo under privilege in this House, they are imputing other motives to me. The honourable member who has just been suspended followed this practice in regard to a Minister in another Parliament-the Minister for Police and Emergency Services in Victoria. He made totally unfounded allegations that impugned the integrity of Mr Mathews, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services in Victoria. He did that under privilege in this House. He was then challenged to repeat those statements outside this House so that the processes of the law--


Mr Sinclair —Are you not man enough to do it while he is in the House?


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —Order! The Deputy Leader of the National Party will cease interjecting.


Mr HAWKE —The person who has been suspended, of course, because he is totally lacking in morality and integrity, declined to repeat outside the House the allegations he made against the Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services.


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —Order! I ask the honourable gentleman to withdraw those remarks.


Mr HAWKE —Which ones?


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —'Totally lacking in morality and integrity'.


Mr HAWKE —I withdraw the remark that he is totally lacking in integrity and say that he is totally lacking in courage.


Mr Sinclair —Mr Acting Speaker, I ask that the Prime Minister withdraw the implication about morality.


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —Do I understand that the honourable gentleman has withdrawn unreservedly?


Mr HAWKE —Yes. I say to the person who has been suspended from the service of this House that he should--


Mr Sinclair —Honourable, to you.


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —Order! I warn the Deputy Leader of the National Party.


Mr Peacock —Mr Acting Speaker, I take a point of order. The Prime Minister has waited until the honourable member has been suspended from the service of the House to start detailing criticism of him, thus preventing the honourable member from making a personal explanation today and responding to it. If courage is being called into question, honourable members should have a look at the man at the dispatch box opposite.


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —Order! The House is entitled to hear from the Prime Minister the answer to the question. There is no point of order. I call the Prime Minister.


Mr HAWKE —I make the point that in the question asked by the person who has been suspended--


Mr Carlton —The honourable member.


Mr HAWKE —The person, as far as I am concerned. He has, by way of his question, repeated the same tactics in which he engaged before. I simply say, in respect of the honourable member, that, if he is imputing other motives to me in the vein that he has followed in his attacks on the Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services and upon me, I challenge him, I request him, to make those statements and allegations and to say whatever he will outside this House. If he has the courage to do that, I will invoke the full processes of the law, which is the only way--

Opposition members interjecting-


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —Order!


Mr Peacock —Are you going to try to gaol him as well?


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —Order! The Leader of the Opposition will cease interjecting.


Mr Peacock —This man tried to gaol him--


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —The Leader of the Opposition will cease interjecting.


Mr Peacock —It is ludicrous; he cannot take it.


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —I ask the honourable gentleman to come to order.


Mr Peacock —If he is so worried, why does he not take action against the newspapers that have already reported it beforehand?


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —Order! The Leader of the Opposition is asked again to come to order. I call the Prime Minister.


Mr HAWKE —I repeat that, while this honourable member continues to use the privilege of the House not only against me but also against the Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services for making allegations and innuendoes which are baseless and which he knows, if made outside this House, would be the subject of action, then he continues to deserve--


Mr Sinclair —Mr Acting Speaker, I take a point of order. I think you should alert the Prime Minister to the fact that under sessional orders there is an opportunity for a Minister to respond in the 10 minutes after the adjournment debate.


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —Order! There is no point of order. I call the Prime Minister.


Mr HAWKE —I conclude by saying that, until such time as the honourable member for Bruce has the courage to take that course of action, courage which he did not exhibit in regard to Mr Mathews, and courage which he has not exhibited in respect of me, he will continue to have what he has, I would think, not only on this side of the House but also in substantial measure on the other side- complete and utter contempt.