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Tuesday, 9 October 1973
Page: 1743

Mr SNEDDEN (Bruce) (Leader of the Opposition) - I seek leave to make a short statement, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER -Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr SNEDDEN - At the commencement of his statement the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) referred to dropouts. These referenda proposals fit precisely into that category - they are dropouts. The second point I wish to make is that the Prime Minister just cannot resist resorting to personal abuse whenever he is challenged on his policies. There was no reason whatever for the Prime Minister to refer to the recent health of the honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Wentworth) and make nasty insinuations about it. The Opposition will always give the honourable gentleman leave to make statements about policy, but it regards it as reprehensible on his part to seize the opportunity, when challenged on policy, to make a personal attack upon the honourable member for Mackellar. It is unfitting of a member of this House. It is particularly unfitting of the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said in his statement:

No doubt those who voted against the proposals will also be arranging for arguments to be prepared for submission to the Chief Australian Electoral Officer.

I will be making arrangements, on behalf of those who voted against the proposals, for the preparation of an argument for submission to the Chief Australian Electoral Officer.

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