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Friday, 25 September 1970

Mr WHITLAM (Werriwa) (Leader of the Opposition) - The first time I contested an election as Deputy Leader of my Party the Liberal Party and the Australian Country Party were in the same position of electoral jeopardy as they are now and the same state of tension existed between them as exists now. At that time the Leader of the Country Party, the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr McEwen), took an attitude which was regarded as statesmanlike. He said that he would never sink to branding any leader of the Australian Labor Party as unpatriotic. It suited him to say that at that time. It gave him a reputation for statesmanship. He had every hope that, as the Liberals were going out, he would become even more important politically in this country than he was at the time. It is sad to see the deterioration in this man in the intervening 9 years. This has been a last round-up for the right honourable gentleman. He is no longer taken seriously in this Parliament. His style and his material are dated in the extreme. He is no longer taken seriously by any British government. He is no longer taken seriously by any government of the Common Market countries in the European Economic Community or by its Council of Ministers. He is no longer taken seriously in the United States of America. The Tariff Board no longer takes any notice of him. There is no economist of any standing in this country who will endorse his attitudes and his policies.

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