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Transcript of radio interview (extract only) : 29 May 1979

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Office of the Leader of the Opposition

Parliament House Canberra, A .C.T. 2600 ·


Q: Mr Hayden, the Prime Minister says that breaking political promises is justified by the economic circumstances. How do . you see it? .

A: Quite frankly, Mr Fraser's either confessing that he doesn't understand the implications of simple economic measures which he promised.earlier, or else he's seeking a massive deception of the Australian public. On either score, he

shouldn't remain in office. To quote Mr Fraser himself when he spoke in the Parliament on November 11, 1975, he said then:'There is no excuse for not telling the truth and the whole truth to Parliament. There's no place for verbal the Parliament.' Now if he stands by those remarks, then he must make himself answerable for the long and growing list of broken promises oh matters such as unemployment, interest rates, taxes, pensions, and a lot of other such matters. There's only one consequence if he's going to follow

the proper conduct established by tradition; that is, he ought to resign.

Q: Given that he's not likely to, what can Labor do from •' here on?

A: Well, we're not going to make life comfortable for him. We're going to try to make him accountable for the way in which he's deceived the Australian public on a massive scale.Mr Fraser makes and breaks promises more quickly than the average man can pull off his boots. It's not good enough where our

national leader has reached the stage where he no longer has the respct of the Opposition or the credibility of the public.

Q : Opposition members have been calling across the chamber to Andrew Peacock that he's looking better all the time. Do you have any information of moves in this direction ?

A: There's quite obvious evidence of disaffection and demoralisation among Government backbenchers. 1 should expect that Mr Fraser feels very uneasy. .

Q: But does Labor see Mr Peacock as a possible replacement?

A: Well, Mr Peacock has been speculated on as a replacement. There have been press reports that Mr Peacock has a number · of supporters in the ranks of his own party who have been doing work for him to promote him. For instance, Senator Withers who was once a friend of Mr Fraser's until Mr Fraser pushed him

out of the ministry for taking the rap for the Prime Minister, is reputedly now promoting the fortunes of Mr Peacock. It's all very interesting.


Q: Do you think Labor Party tactics of recent days are getting at Mr Fraser ? -

A: Well, the whole purpose of our tactics isn't to disrupt the Parliament. It's our job to bring issues before the Parliament where a Minister should be accountable. Now, Mr Fraser1s responses to questions are quite curious because obviously he feels highly embarrassed and extremely disconcerted by the qhole process, and quite apparently he's losing his

self-control. That only reinforces our suspicion that Mr Fraser's many promises in the past have not been based on ignorance of their economic implications but they've been given as a matter of political expediency. The rest of the community now pays a high price for that. We have a respon­

sibility to make Mr Fraser accountable, to make him answer, to make him own up. A Prime Minister can't run the country unless he has the confidence and respect of the public and all of the Parliament. Mr Fraser at this point doesn't have either.


May 29, 1979