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Thursday, 21 February 1985
Page: 23


Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition) —The Opposition joins the Government in supporting this motion and in expressing its condolences at the death of Mrs Gandhi. Like the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Button), the Opposition deplores the circumstances of her death. It is a matter of intense regret that the leader of one of the great democracies should meet her end in such a way. Mrs Gandhi had a long and distinguished career. It was a career which was sometimes controversial and a matter of some debate. It is significant to note that after what was perhaps the most controversial period of her reign she lost government. I suppose the best test of all of whether one operates in a democracy is that when one governs in a way which is unacceptable one is rejected by the people. Mrs Gandhi was out of office for only a short time and was re-elected and served as Prime Minister until her death. The Opposition joins with the Government in expressing sympathy and regret at the death of Indira Gandhi, and I agree with the sentiments which have been expressed by Senator Button.