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Wednesday, 13 May 1970

Dr FORBES (Barker) (Minister for Health) - Because I have suffered from this process in the past, I desire to pick up the point made by the honourable member for Oxley (Mr Hayden) and settle it once and for all. On at least 2 or 3 occasions in the period 1 have been a Minister I have suffered from this Goebbel's technique. Through continuous repetition, something which I have not said is claimed to have been said by me and has thus become part of the folk lore. I describe this as the Goebbels's technique. I have suffered from this and I intend to make the matter absolutely clear because the honourable member for Oxley is indulging in precisely this technique. He began it some weeks ago in a telegram to mc. The tactics he is adopting stick out as plain as a pikestaff. He is asserting that I established tonight that the Government, in this Bill, is introducing something different from the promises made by the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton), during the election campaign, in respect of the benefits which the public would receive.

Mr Chairman,I deny that assertion. I have never said that and the Prime Minister did not say it in his policy speech. The policy speech was carefully drafted, as was my statement to this House in March; as was my second reading speech on this Bill; and as was every public statement that I made on behalf of the Government or that anybody else made on behalf of the Government. We have said that the benefits which would be made available in this Bill would relate to the fees most commonly charged by doctors.

Mr Hayden - Did he not say-

Dr FORBES - On every occasion-

Mr Reynolds - No more than $5.

Dr FORBES - Before you start this lie going-

Mr Reynolds - It is not a lie. It was in the headlines.

Dr FORBES - I am not talking about headlines.

Mr Hayden - I raise a point of order. This is offensive. I suggest that the Minister contain himself and not be offensive to the House.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (Mr Drury) - Order! The expression is unparliamentary.

Di FORBES - 1 will withdraw that remark if it is offensive to the honourable member and still more because it is unpailiamentary Every statement made officially on behalf of the Government has emphasised that the benefits - the promises abou! S5.80 and $1.20 for a domiciliary visit and so on - are clearly related to doctors who charge the common fee. Let nobody suggest otherwise, because it would not be possible to provide otherwise. The only other thing I want to say on this is that when the Opposition comes clean, when it comes out into the open and stands up and says thai it is going to provide that ali doctors in Australia charge a common fee and tells us how it is going to do this, thou we will take it seriously in relation to any charges it makes about us in connection with this Bill.

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