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Tuesday, 12 September 1972
Page: 731


Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Minister for Air) - As Acting Leader of the Government I call on Senator Georges to explain himself or apologise to the Senate.


Senator GEORGES - I would be remiss if I did not state my attitude when faced with this situation. I have stated previously that I would not deliberately seek to see myself excluded from this place, even for a short time, except on a matter of principle. I find myself having to decide whether I should withdraw my statement or my implication that the Prime Minister on 2 occasions exercised patronage.I ask you,

Mr President,to define whether in using that word I was guilty of accusing the Prime Minister of improper conduct. In my view, if I were accusing the Prime Minister of improper conduct, it would mean that I was accusing him, as was stated by an honourable senator by way of interjection - it was not said by me at any time - of corruption. This is the way that I would define improper conduct.


Senator Little - On a transaction involving$2m of the Australian taxpayers' money?


Senator GEORGES - I would term this to be improper conduct by a member of Parliament. If one were to refer to the exercise of patronage or favouritism, I doubt whether I would consider that to be improper conduct in this context. Therefore I would find it particularly hard to withdraw my statement that I believe that the Prime Minister on 2 occasions exercised patronage.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN(Western Australia - Minister for Air) - Mr President. I think the explanation given by the honourable senator does not fit the occasion. He has not apologised. In those circumstances I have no alternative. I move:

That Senator Georges be suspended from the service of the Senate.


Senator Cavanagh - Mr President--


The PRESIDENT - There can be no debate on this motion.

Question put:

That Senator Georges be suspended from the service of the Senate.







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