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Thursday, 11 October 1973
Page: 2031

Mr STALEY (Chisholm) - Members of the Opposition are persuaded by the point made by the Minister for Education (Mr Beazley) and by the honourable member for Barton (Mr Reynolds). We think they are right about the need for more than one full-time member on the Commission and we would be prepared to accept the Government's original proposal that there should be 3 full-time members, provided the Government is prepared to accept our proposal that there ought to be the sort of full participation of effective groups at the highest level of advice along the lines that we put before the House today. I have discussed this with the Opposition spokesman on education, the honourable member for Wannon (Mr Malcolm Fraser), and we put this forward in all seriousness. We would like to add that we do this in a sort of spirit of compromise and a spirit of agreement which we would hope to get from the Government when we put up our proposals in good faith.

We are upset that the Minister and other honourable members opposite have attempted to suggest that we have been indulging in cheap smears against Professor Karmel and other members of the Karmel Committee. We have done nothing of the sort. The only problem with Professor Karmel and his colleagues was that which was given to them by the Labor Government. They were given an impossible task. If they made blues, which are now being said by the Minister to be the fault of the schools in the way that they put in their submissions to the Committee, that was because this Labor Government just did not give them the time or the chance to put in the sort of information which any decent institution in the world would want to submit. That is where the problem lies. The schools were given a few days to provide details of their needs. We would be the last people to blame Professor Karmel. He was given a timetable by the Government.

Mr Mathews - Would you have kept the schools waiting?

Mr Malcolm Fraser - Oh be quiet.

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