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Wednesday, 5 December 1973

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - I will speak to the motion moved by the Minister for the Media (Senator Douglas McClelland) although I really wanted to speak only in relation to the grants bills. The whole attitude of the Opposition is really one of nauseating hypocrisy. The whole position just makes me wonder what is going on in the Parliament. Senators on my right will not realise that they are in Opposition. They are insisting on their proposal because they know they have the brutality of numbers. So they do every fiddling, piddling huie thing they can. You are all to blame. You are all together and you have got yourselves into a God damn mess and I hope that you rot in it. You are in a complete mess and you do not know what to do now. Independent senators have to sit here and listen to his hypocrisy all the time. Did not members of the Australian Democratic Labor Party say when the Government was elected to office that they would not be obstreperous and that they would see that the legislation -

Senator Little - See that the Government keeps its promises.


Senator Little - That is what we are doing.

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) -That is very good. That is the interjection I was waiting for. Here is the DLP acting with nauseating hypocrisy. If these words apply to anyone, they apply to you because you have just stated the position. You are insisting that the Government carries out its promises. But time and time again during this session what you have done is to prevent the Government from carrying out its promises. Now you come forward because it suits your religion to do so. That is what I call nauseating hypocrisy.

Senator Little - What is this about religion?

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) -Not your religion; I was referring to the DLP.

Senator Little - It is not my religion, thank you very much.

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - I am talking about the DLP.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Wilkinson - Senator Turnbull,please address the Chair.

Senator Little - That was a slip.

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) -That is no slip. The honourable senator is supporting the Opposition in this motion. The point that I wanted to make, and which was so beautifully exemplified by the remarks of Senator Little, is that we have seen nauseating hypocrisy on the part of the DLP. We have a Bill before us to establish a Schools Commission. It does not matter who is on the Commission. The Opposition wants the people it nominates to be appointed and the Government wants those people who it nominates to be appointed. But Opposition members will not realise that they are not the Government now. So they put up this fight. They have to fight for every little thing that is in this Bill to show that they have the numbers. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Senator Rae - What about your attitude to the National Health Bill? When we wanted to make amendments you held it up. You thought that you alone knew best.

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) -No, I did not; the DLP was with me, so the honourable senator can blame his friends as well. He should not forget that the DLP voted with us and we carried the day.

Senator Little - It was all right when you did that with the DLP.

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) -That is right, but when the Bill came up the second time, who reneged? It was the DLP. If that was not hypocrisy, give me another example.

Senator Little - You were not even here, I suppose.

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) -How could I not be here if I was moving a motion?

Senator Little - Because you never are.

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) -At least when I am here I am awake.

Senator Little - That is a change.

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - Yes, it is; the honourable senator sleeps. I do not know how he is awake for this debate: perhaps I was speaking too loudly. Normally he is sound asleep every day when I see him in his seat in this chamber. If he says that I am not here, I do not know how I can see him.

Senator Little - You must have come at my bedtime.

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) -Okay, it is the honourable senator's bedtime.

Senator Little - On the rare occasions you attended.

Senator TURNBULL (TASMANIA) - If the honourable senator wishes to pretend that he is a baby, let him do so. Let me complete my remarks, because I do not want to get up and speak on every matter, as some honourable senators do. Some honourable senators speak at every possible opportunity. The Opposition's attitude to this amendment typifies its attitude to the Bill. Its attitude to this amendment does not indicate its attitude to the Bill as much as does its attitude to the amendment in regard to grants for schools, but it is the same sort of approach. The Opposition has the numbers, so it insists on hitting the Government over the head. It does not matter whether one, two or three members of this Commission are appointed by the Government- if the Government wants to appoint these members let it do so, as long as we get the Commission going. I have not seen one telegram yet that has supported the Opposition's point of view, and this is embarrassing, considering all the telegrams that have been pouring in. It was lucky that I opened one telegram because it was a refusal by a friend of mine to go to lunch with me. Had I not seen that, I may not have been here to speak.

Anyhow, I have said what I wanted to say. I did not intend to come into the chamber and cast a vote with regard to any of these amendments, because all I was interested in was to see the Commission operating. It really does not matter which way the vote goes on some of these amendments, as they are just pin-pricking matters. Nevertheless, I felt that I should make my position clear. I have done that now, and what I have said applies to all the other amendments on this Bill that will come before the Committee.

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