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Government showing signs of panic



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STATEMENT BY THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE, SENATOR R. G. WITHERS

The Federal Labor Government is showing signs of

panic as it nears the end of its first full year in office, the

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator R. G. Withers,

said today.

' The panic was manifesting itself in the Government's

all out attack on the Opposition parties in the Senate, he said.

Senator Withers said this attack had been mounted to

camouflage the Government's inability to administer the proceedings

of Parliament so that legislation it believed important was brought

before the Senate for discussion.

. "Dr Cairns has been one of the major actors in the

camouflage play," Senator Withers said. ,

"During the week, he has constantly berated the

Opposition in the Senate for failing to pass the A.I.D.C. Bill.

"If he is not playing a calculated role then his

charges can be attributed only to ignorance.

"The A.I.D.C. Bill, although introduced into the

Senate on 23 October, has not been debated in the Senate yet because

the Government has not brought it forward for discussion.

"This week, the A.I.D.C. Bill has moved from No. 4

on the Senate Notice Paper on Tuesday, to No. 17 on the Notice

Paper on Thursday.

Paper.

"It is not the Opposition which arranges the Notice

"It is the sole responsibility of the Government.

"The Opposition has not failed to pass the A.I.D.C.

Bill, it has not even been given an opportunity to discuss it."

Senator Withers said that the Opposition debated

legislation as it was presented to the Senate. /2

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This week, he said, eight Bills had been introduced

into the Senate and ten Bills had been passed.

. "These figures alone disprove the Government's .

claim that we are not prepared to move Government legislation,"

Senator.Withers said.

CANBERRA.

23 November, 1973.