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Tuesday, 24 March 1987
Page: 1367

Mr HOWE (Minister for Social Security) —Yes. I claim to have been misrepresented.

Madam SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr HOWE —Relating to Question Time yesterday, but at a later time, the honourable member for Maranoa (Mr Ian Cameron) made a personal explanation which concluded with two quotations. He stated:

I hope that the House has noted that, and when the Minister comes into this House in future and misrepresents me--

Following some words from the Deputy Speaker he stated:

I would like to point out to you, Mr Deputy Speaker, and to the House that the comments I made were not related to one another; they were completely separate. I object to those words being tied together and used against me in this place.

If I could just indicate that the honourable member for Maranoa in the course of his remarks indicated that he did not have a transcript of a certain radio interview. All I would like to do is to explain, by way of personal explanation, where I have been misrepresented. Essentially the misrepresentation is that the honourable member either did not say the words that I suggested that he might have said or, if he did say the words, they were unrelated. I want to specifically quote from the transcript. He made two relevant statements--

Mr Ian Cameron —Madam Speaker, I raise a point of order. The words I used yesterday were from Hansard and they were the words which the Minister spoke into Hansard.

Madam SPEAKER —Order! If the honourable member wishes to make a personal explanation he will have the indulgence of the Chair to do so when the Minister has completed his remarks, which I ask him to do without losing any time.

Mr HOWE —I simply want to quote from the transcript which I had quoted from at an earlier Question Time. The honourable member for Maranoa said:

. . . when I say cuts I mean cuts that every Australian is going to squeal like a stuck pig . . .

I take that to include pensioners. The second quotation further down as part of the same transcript--

Mr Ian Cameron —Madam Speaker, I raise a point of order.

Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member for Maranoa will sit down. I will call him when the Minister has finished.

Mr Ian Cameron —This is not a personal explanation--

Madam SPEAKER —The honourable member will sit down. The Minister has completed his personal explanation, I hope.

Mr HOWE —No, I have got one other quotation, Madam Speaker.

Mr Cadman —This is not a personal explanation at all.

Mr HOWE —Those opposite just cannot take it. The interviewer asked the question:

What about pensions?

The answer was:

Pensions, I guess the pensioners might have to stand still . . . there's no reason why we should be giving pensioners or anybody else in the community any more funds.

Madam SPEAKER —The Minister will now resume his seat.

Mr HOWE —I conclude with these words.

Madam SPEAKER —No, the Minister will resume his seat.

Mr HOWE —The context was a statement emanating from the Liberal Party that would freeze pensions.

Madam SPEAKER —Order! The Minister is now debating the issue. I suggest that the Minister heed the Chair. Does the honourable member for Maranoa wish to make a personal explanation?