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Findings Cross Report



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ΊJu AUSTRALIA,.^ MINISTER FOR FINANCE

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA ACT 2600

PRESS STATEMENT 18 January 1983

The Minister for Finance, Mr Dawkins, today challenged the Leader of the National Party, Mr Sinclair, immediately to give his detailed defence against the findings of Mr Justice Cross.

He accused Mr Sinclair of wanting to use the "coward's, castle" of Parliament to make a statement that could not be taken up in the courts.

Mr Dawkins pointed out that Federal Parliament was not due to meet for more than five weeks.

He said a prompt answer to Mr Justice Cross had become more imperative after statements this morning by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Mr Howard.

Mr Howard, according to AAP, said in a television interview this morning that he was concerned at the findings of Mr Justice Cross.

Mr Dawkins said Mr Sinclair had made the allegations which led to the inquiry by Mr Justice Cross outside Parliament.

Yet he now wanted the safety of Parliament to make his supposed defence.

The facts were that Mr Sinclair had no defence.

What could Mr Sinclair possibly say inside Parliament that he did not say when he appeared as a witness before the Cross inquiry.

On that occasion he had full privilege to make a detailed explanation under examination by his own counsel.

The strong suspicion must be that he wants to use Parliament either simply to bluster or, more seriously, to make further baseless allegations about people which will be beyond the reach of the courts.

Mr Howard has shown more appreciation of the disquiet in the community about Mr Sinclair's conduct than his leader, Mr Peacock.

While Mr Peacock is embracing Mr Sinclair, many members of the Liberal Party quite properly are aghast.

They reflect the community view that anyone who has been so comprehensively dealt with by a senior member of the judiciary should not become the leader of one of our major political parties.

MR DAWKINS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT IN HIS OFFICE BETWEEN 2 AND 3 THIS AFTERNOON.