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Thursday, 13 April 1961

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) (Leader of the Opposition) . - The Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) stumbled into this debate to-night and spoke about Homer Bigart, about unity tickets, and about Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Stout and other members of the Australian Labour Party. Mr. Homer Bigart is a very famous reporter. I have met him. I spoke with him for an hour and a half on two separate occasions. He does not take his stories in shorthand; he takes them in longhand. He interviewed Mr. Chamberlain for two hours and took his story in longhand. I, too, could have complained of some of the things that Mr. Bigart reported, but I let them pass because they were of no consequence. I mention the fact, however, that Lord Casey was interviewed by Mr. Bigart, and that he complained of the misrepresentation to which he was subjected. I did not then hear anybody on the Government side say that Mr. Bigart was the winner of two Pulitzer prices for accurate reporting.

In regard to Mr. Stout, it is true that he took a certain stand in relation to unity tickets, but the decision of the Labour Party is opposed to unity tickets. Mr. Stout, as a loyal member of the Labour Party, accepts and obeys the decisions of the party, and so does Mr. Chamberlain. Mr. Chamberlain never at any time said that the Formosans were expendable. The Treasurer did not have the decency last night to withdraw that remark, nor did he have the decency to do so to-night.

Mr Uren - It was repudiated in the Sydney " Daily Telegraph " of 7th March, 1961.

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