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Thursday, 29 March 1979
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Mr GILLARD (Macquarie) -Mr Deputy Speaker,I seek leave to make a statement.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr GILLARD -Yes I do, by the honourable member for Chifley (Mr Armitage).


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -The honourable member may proceed.


Mr GILLARD - It has been brought to my notice that the Chief Justice of New South Wales, Sir Laurence Street, has called a letter written by me to him -


Mr Young - I raise a point of order. On the subject to which the honourable member now refers I understand that Mr Speaker is to decide whether a prima facie case of privilege is sustained as a result of the honourable member for Chifley raising this matter before lunch. I would have thought that had there been any personal explanation it would have come after Mr Speaker has told the House of his decision.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -The Chair has considered the matter that the honourable member for Port Adelaide has raised and in the circumstances it has decided that the honourable member for Macquarie is entitled to make a brief statement on the point on which he is misrepresented.


Mr GILLARD - I will start again. It has been brought to my notice that the Chief Justice of New South Wales, Sir Laurence Street, has called a letter written by me to him a grave impropriety. The letter was written to testify publicly as to my high regard for Mr Vincent Francis Gordon of Bathurst, which incidentally is not in the electorate of Macquarie. The letter was written without Mr Gordon's knowledge and was similar to many I have written as Mayor of Lithgow and as the member for Macquarie. It was certainly not my intention in any way to embarrass the Chief Justice and I have written separately to him to extend my apologies. I stand by the comments I made in my letter to the Chief Justice and regret that his receipt of it should have proved in any way embarrassing. Indeed, I am very pleased in this place again to reiterate my respect for Mr and Mrs Gordon and would hope that note can be taken of their community standing in consideration of penalties recently imposed on Mr Gordon.







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