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Thursday, 2 December 1976


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I call upon the Leader of the Opposition not to interject in that fashion. He knows that it is provocative and unnecessary.


Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - So was the misleading reply.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman will remain silent.


Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -How far back did the documents go?


Mr Nixon - When you were Prime Minister-


Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -Church had not reported.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Minister for Transport and the Leader of the Opposition will stop this crossfire of interjections to each other.


Mr Nixon - He is not even decent.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Minister for Transport will remain silent.


Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - You are covering up.


Mr Nixon - I take a point of order. The Leader of the Opposition just made the allegation that I am covering up. In May this year I went through the files of the Department of Transport- right through the files-


Mr Keating - I take a point of order. On what basis is the Minister speaking?


Mr Nixon - I want a withdrawal.


Mr SPEAKER - I am hearing a point of order and the honourable member for Blaxland will resume his seat.


Mr Nixon - I want a withdrawal of those words used by the Leader of the Opposition.


Mr Keating - Tell me on what basis he is speaking.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Blaxland will resume his seat.


Mr Nixon - I would like a withdrawal of the words used by the Leader of the Opposition.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I do not know which words you want withdrawn because there was a crossfire between you and the Leader of the Op- position which I could not hear. I asked both honourable gentlemen to cease interjecting.


Mr Nixon - Well, I will repeat them.


Mr SPEAKER - I could not hear what was said during the crossfire between the 2 honourable gentlemen. In such circumstances, if insults are offered across the chamber I cannot deal with them. If a matter is pursued in that fashion it will not appear in Hansard. I have not heard it. I do not have the opportunity of calling for the withdrawal of something which I have not heard and which may not appear in Hansard.


Mr Nixon - Mr Speaker,I am sure that Hansard will have recorded the words used by the Leader of the Opposition. He said that I was being a party to a cover up. I want a withdrawal of those words by the Leader of the Opposition, please.


Mr Morris - Speaking to the point of order raised by the Minister for Transport; when this matter was raised in May and after an official request had been made in writing to the Government to produce the documents, the Minister refused -


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Shortland will resume his seat. What he is saying is not relevant to the issue raised. I ask the Leader of the Opposition whether he used the words about which the Minister for Transport complains.


Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -Mr Speaker,I replied to his interjection. When he disobeyed you I disobeyed you and responded. I said that he had covered up. I do not want to disrupt the proceedings of the House. I will withdraw the remark. However, I would point out that the AttorneyGeneral was very provocative in his misleading reply. There are no documents that he has been given going back to the relevant period.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable gentleman will resume his seat. The withdrawal will be unqualified. In the interests of the House I ask the Leader of the Opposition to withdraw unqualifiedly.


Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -In those interests, Sir, I withdraw.


Mr Sinclair - I rise to a point of order. In yesterday's 'greens' of the parliamentary debates, following a comment by the Attorney-General, there appeared this interjection by the Leader of the Opposition: 'It would not wash in Japan'. Those words have been deleted from Hansard. I would ask on what basis they have been deleted. They were deleted in the green copy. I have not checked elsewhere.


Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -They have not been deleted. They are in Hansard.


Mr Sinclair - If they are in Hansard I have no worries. They had been deleted in the green copy.







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