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Mr Whitlam's latest attitude towards a double dissolution



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RT HON.EM.SNEDDEN Q.C., M.P.

Mr. Whitlam*s Latest Attitude toward a Double Dissolution

Mr, Whitlam has lost his confidence and Changed

his mind about double dissolution.

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On a number of occasions in May the Prime Minister

threatened a double dissolution if the Opposition did not pass

his industrial relations legislation - "we would not brook

interference”, he said. Following Mr. Whitlam's statement

there were five similar threats from different Ministers,

including the Minister for Labour and the Attorney-General.

We have rejected it once in the Senate and we will

reject it again - as we will reject any legislation that is

as partisan and dangerous to our economic and social ivelfare

as that industrial relations bill. However, rather than it

being a 1 threat1 to us, we have come to regard the proposed

double dissolution as the great opportunity.

We have challenged Labor to hold a House of

Representatives election. This challenge has the full

authority of the Parliamentary Liberal Party, all leaders of

the Party in the States and, this week, also the Federal

Council of the Liberal Party. We have asked them to put the

government on the line so Australians can have a chance to

say what they think of the first 8 months of Labor,

Mr. Whitlam * s sudden reversal demonstrates that he

too feels Labor, in a few short months, has lost the support

of those middle voters who wanted a change last December.

He seems to have already acknowledged a bad result

in Parramatta.

Labor has performed badly in so many ways. Ministers

are causing embarrassment at home and abroad; we are at the

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centre of unseemly brawls with friendly countries; the public

is confused and anxious; national development is slowing down

and price increases are crippling all of us.

In rejecting a double dissolution Mr, Whitlam has

accurately read the change in the mood of Australians.