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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 2517


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - Make your point of order.


Senator O'Byrne - I ask you to rule whether the reference to Major Peter Young has any relevance to the Bill.


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - Senator Hannan,kindly connect your remarks to the principle which you were enunciating.


Senator HANNAN - The point I was going to make was that this Prime Minister has a discreditable record of broken promises. We come now to the meeting held in the Festival Hall in May of last year. This was- I want to point this outwhat the then Leader of the Opposition would regard as a loaded audience. About 3,500 people attended this meeting. They included Senator Webster, Senator McManus, the now Prime Minister, myself and a number of other people. It is certainly true that the then Leader of the Opposition- the present Prime Minister- was prepared to trim his sails to what he thought this audience wanted to hear, and he said that no existing educational benefit would be eliminated under Labor. Now, without batting an eyelid, he is prepared to go through this ridiculous nonsense and take from about 55 per cent of the students of independent schools the benefits which he promised would not be removed.


Senator Little - They are not benefits but the return of their own tax money.


Senator HANNAN - I did not want to debate the principle of that because I have only a couple of minutes left in which to speak.


Senator McAuliffe - That is too long.


Senator HANNAN - I know that may be too long for people over there to hear the truth. It is refreshing to hear at least some sound from over there because the Government speakers, as I said earlier, have been guilty of a crashing silence for most of the night. They are ashamed. I think it is true to say that there are some honourable gentlemen opposite who are ashamed of what is being imposed upon them. We have had recently an example of the integrity of a senator from

Queensland who was prepared to attack one of his own Government's administrative acts, for which I give him credit. But there are men opposite who are ashamed of this switch- this betrayal- which is being imposed upon them by their Cabinet. I know that if Mr Beazley were still Minister for Education it is unlikely that this imbroglio would be taking place. We know what are Mr Beazley 's views. We know that Mr Beazley is ashamed of what the Government has done. I cannot help but feel that most of the problems that have arisen over the past few days would never have arisen had he been here.

There are many other matters to which I would have wished to draw to the Committee's attention but I feel that this will have to suffice in order to prove, with my colleagues, that the present Government is guilty of a grave breach of faith.







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