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Thursday, 5 March 1970


Mr SPEAKER -Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr MORRISON - Yes, I claim to have been misrepresented. I have read the Hansard report of the statements made during question time yesterday by the Minister for External Affairs and the honourable member for Cook. I was accused of ridiculing Australia's overseas aid programme, of making quite inaccurate statements and of slurring the aid programme. What I was doing was stating some facts that I, as a parliamentarian, believed the Australian people should know. Mr Speaker, may I take up some of the misrepresentations?


Mr SPEAKER - Yes, provided the honourable member does not debate the matter.


Mr MORRISON - I will not debate the matter. I do not have to. The Minister for External Affairs said that I had maintained that our grains assistance was of the order of 50% and that it happens to be 30%. I direct the Minister's attention to a publication of his own Department, and might I suggest that he read some of these publications, particularly the first one I will mention, which I wrote. This official publication of the Department of External Affairs states that in 1967-68 Australia extended bilaterally approximately $17m in the form of food aid or other forms of commodity aid of an emergency nature. This type of aid now constitutes a major -


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member is now going beyond the bounds of a personal explanation. I would like the honourable member to condense his personal explanation and say where he has been misrepresented.


Mr MORRISON - I am quoting from an official document to substantiate a point.


Mr SPEAKER - In making a personal explanation the honourable member is not allowed, under the Standing Orders, to debate the matter.


Mr MORRISON - I wish to make the point very quickly that the figure in 1967-68 was $17m and the figure for bilateral aid to South East Asia was $34m. Admittedly the Minister for External Affairs is no longer the Treasurer, but I take it that 17 over 34 equals 50% . I should like also to take up some further points. The Minister made some point of the fact that I was not a deputy high commissioner. Admittedly, he is very new to his portfolio and some of the nomenclature of diplomatic-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I have warned the honourable member already. If he persists I shall have to deal with him.


Mr MORRISON - The point I am making is that I was No. 2 in the Australian High Commission in Malaysia. I think that what is concerning the Minister for External Affairs and also the Minister for Defence is that on a number of occasions sensitive to the Australian Government I was No. 1.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I suggest to the honourable member that if he wishes to continue in this strain it might be better for him to ask the House for leave to make a statement. He is now going beyond the bounds of a personal explanation.


Mr MORRISON - The Minister for External Affairs said yesterday: "He can contradict me if he wishes'. I ask the House for leave to make a statement.


Mr SPEAKER -Is leave granted?


Mr Gorton - How long is this statement going to be? I have no desire for any man who feels himself to have been misrepresented not to be able to get up in this House and say: 'This was alleged against me and this is wrong'. Surely the honourable member ought to be able to do that in short compass rather than ask the House to give him leave to make a statement.


Mr SPEAKER - Leave is not granted.


Mr MORRISON - I will continue with my personal explanation.


Mr SPEAKER -If the honourable member continues I ask him to be brief, to come to the point and not to debate the question any further.


Mr Barnard - As I understand the position, the Prime Minister acceded to the request by the honourable member to make a statement by leave.


Mr SPEAKER - That is not the understanding of the Chair.


Mr Barnard - He did not refuse leave.


Mr Gorton - I see; so if you do not refuse it you have acceded to it?


Mr Barnard - With due respect to your ruling, Mr Speaker, the honourable member has asked for leave to make a statement.

If he has leave to make the statement he should be able to make it in the way he feels it ought to be delivered.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable member for St George has not leave to make a statement. He has the right to make a personal explanation, which is a matter for the Chair and not the House.

Motion (by Mr Barnard) proposed:

That the honourable member for St George have leave to make a statement.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable member is out of order.







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