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'Yes' vote would remove temptation for politicians to corrupt the Senate

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A YES vote in Saturday's referendums would remove the temptation for politicians to corrupt the Senate, the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Withers, said today.

Senator Withers said that unless the Constitution was amended the'Senate would lose its dignity, authority and respect.

"All Australians who support the Senate should vote YES to protect the Senate"·, Senator Withers said. -

Senator Withers was speaking on a national television address to the nation in support of the YES case for Saturday's referendums. . .

Senator Withers said he urged people to vote YES to all four questions for a number of very simple reasons.

"As Leader of the Government in the Senate and a Senator from Western Australia, I believe totallyy— absolutely, completely and without reservation in the power and authority of the Senate as granted to us by the Constitution. .

"I would never be a party to any-.operation which v/ould reduce the power of the Senate.' . .

"Nor would I agree to any proposal which would threaten or disadvantage my State or any other State.

"The proposals will protect the Senate, and they will help the Senate to protect you. . . .

"The proposals you will be voting for are sensible,; fair and will certainly ensure decency in Australian political life.

"There is nothing complicated about them.

"What they will do is make certain that the House of Representatives and the Senate elections occur on the same day.

"Further, if the Senate forces an election on the House of Representatives we, the Senators will have to face you, the voters at the same time. .

"In addition to this, should a Senator die, resign, or be otherwise disqualified - he will be replaced by a Senator from the same political party. . .

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"Because I have such a fundamental belief in the maintenance of the Senate as a House of the Parliament, I believe that the Constitution cannot.stay the way as it is at the moment.

"At present it is possible for a. Prime Minister, if he so desired, either acting alone or in concert with other Premiers, or one Premier alone, to contrive artificial vacancies in the Senate, and then manipulate their replacements from other parties or even

from the same party." . ,- ' · .

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