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Wednesday, 4 April 1973
Page: 1047


Mr SNEDDEN (Bruce) (Leader of the Opposition) - Mr Speaker, 1 wish to make a personal explanation.


Mr SPEAKER -Does the Leader of the Opposition claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr SNEDDEN - Yes. I claim to have been misrepresented in the suggestion by the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) that the Leader of the Opposition can use words which he, the Prime Minister, must continue to use. The suggestion that he did not want to use the word 'conspiracy' and that I had forced him to use it comes as an extraordinary statement when we have seen the arrogance of the man during question time.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! That is a personal reflection. I ask the right honourable gentleman not to use those words.


Mr SNEDDEN - The question I put was:

Is it the clear conclusion from the answer that the Prime Minister has given that the Foreign Affairs Department and the Attorney-General's Department conspired to lead the Prime Minister and the Government to a lie. to which he has referred?

That was my question. It was put to the Prime Minister. I asked whether it was a clear conclusion that there was a conspiracy. The honourable gentleman, as with almost every other question, one exception being a question about Michelangelo's David asked by the honourable member for Casey today, has sought to avoid answering questions.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The question asked by the honourable member for Casey has nothing to do with the right honourable gentleman's personal explanation.


Mr SNEDDEN - As the Prime Minister was about to sit down, having failed to answer the question, I said to him:

What about the conspiracy between AttorneyGeneral's and Foreign Affairs?

It was open to the honourable gentleman at that time to say that there was no conspiracy or that he was not satisfied that there was a conspiracy, or to use any other words that he wished, instead of which he used these words:

It would certainly, on the face of it, indicate that there was a conspiracy between public servants to withhold the truth from the Parliament.

There is no use his trying to avoid that today.







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