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The Prime Minister and Senator Cavanagh



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27/2/74

THE PRIME MINISTER AND SENATOR CAPANAGH

THo Prime Minister lms intervened in the affairs of the Aboriginal [

Affairs Department in an extraordinaxy and dangerous manner» He has i Γ

stated publicly before an;/· inquiries can be made, that he would be C

surprised if the Governor General would be advised by the Government [

to implement any adverse finding against the public servant charged. .

Not only does he deny his own Minister whom ho had not talked to

prior to the Press conference, but he has placed himself and his

Governments conduct above the law. No man can in this parliament

democratic systom place himr;elf above the law —· not even the Prime

Minister. H e ,has sought to do so.

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Senator Cavana&h has called the Implementation of Labor Government ■ ' ’ " '

aboriginal policies a_rlisaster. If it .is a disaster then he must

-explain to the Prime Minister why it-is so. The Prime Minister must

seek. an explanation. It is the -duty of the government to reconcile

its iirbernaJ. differences especially in an area such as this where the

aspirations, of . the aborigines aro liable to be lost in. the solf-

aggrandisemont of the Prime Minister's own author*!tarian views.

If Senator Gavanegh foela he is unable to carry out the task., he should

resign his portfolio. However it is up to the Prime.Minister to call

his Minister in a n d . soo in what ways the policy initiatives' they so

proudly announced in 1972 before the last election .can bo implemented.

At that time. Mr Whit lam said "Australia* a treatment of her aboriginal

people will be the thing upon which the rest of the world will judge

Australia and Australians. "

J believe the plight of the aboriginal should not be made a political

football. The Prime Minister yesterday has confused -the issues of

aboriginal rights with that of the role of government. Previously I

have refrained from comment, but the Prime Minister*s words yesterday

just cannot be left,. He has sought to place himself above the law,

and this must be viewed as~.a major issue.

lead er of the issiii Opposition S iilS '·;/ν