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Friday, 22 March 1985
Page: 662


Senator MASON —Mr Deputy President, I claim to have been misrepresented.


The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Under standing order 410 the honourable senator may explain only what he actually said that Senator Sir John Carrick misunderstood or misrepresented.


Senator MASON —It is only two points, Mr Deputy President, which will not detain the Senate for long. Twice Senator Sir John Carrick referred to me as the surrogate spokesman in Australia for Mr Lange. I think that that is unfair to Mr Lange. I do not claim to be any such thing.


The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order! Senator Mason, you must confine yourself to what you actually said that was misunderstood or misrepresented; you cannot criticise what Senator Sir John Carrick said.


Senator Sir John Carrick —I withdraw that; it is unfair to Mr Lange.


Senator MASON —What I said was that I had had a meeting with Mr Lange in Wellington and that I had had certain discussions with him, for only an hour or so. I suggest that that does not allow any reasonable acceptance of my being the surrogate spokesman for Mr Lange in Australia-although I would regard it as a compliment in many respects. It is clear that, in Mr Lange's interests, that matter should be made plain. The second point is that I think I said that the chances of a war which would not be major conflict were very slight. In his reply to me, I think that Senator Sir John Carrick has overemphasised my point. That is a point that needs raising. There is only one further point I should like to make. I cannot understand why Senator Sir John Carrick says that we could not have a significant conventional war in the world now in the light of the current contretemps between Iran and Iraq.


The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order! Senator Mason, you are not allowed to discuss Senator Sir John Carrick's speech. You must confine yourself to what you said that was misrepresented.


Senator MASON —Thank you, Mr Deputy President. I have concluded.