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Wednesday, 3 October 1984
Page: 1117

Senator CRICHTON-BROWNE —by leave-I claim to have been misrepresented by the Attorney-General (Senator Gareth Evans). I will be brief on this occasion. I was out of the chamber at the time that the Attorney-General commenced his speech but I understood him to be saying as I left my office that I did not ask for a police report in respect of the allegations made by Moll and Walsh collectively because I was not game.

Senator Gareth Evans —I did not say that.

Senator CRICHTON-BROWNE —I say to the Attorney-General that he did. I will check Hansard tomorrow and if I am wrong I will withdraw it. You said words to that effect, and that implied that if I was not game I must have believed that there was some truth in the allegations. It therefore follows necessarily that the results of yesterday's finding come as some surprise to me. Either I know whether I am innocent or I know whether I am guilty. I knew all along that the truth would be well out. I knew there was a police investigation under way and that I could expect no special assistance or support from the Government in having that matter clarified and brought forward as quickly as possible, as was the case with Mr Justice Murphy.

Senator Gareth Evans —Why didn't you ask? We are all heart when it comes to you.

Senator CRICHTON-BROWNE —I would not expect to interfere in a police investigation. I expect the normal processes of the law to take place. That is what ultimately happened. I add that I was aware of the cheque stub and cheque relating to Mr Justice Murphy, as I have been for many months, but I refused to table that in the Parliament. I refused to make reference to it because I believed it had the same status as the documents that had been tabled by Senator Walsh previously, namely that they were scurrilous documents without foundation. I could find no justification--

Senator Gareth Evans —Why didn't your Leader have the same scruples? He couldn't stop himself rushing in here after it appeared in the Press.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order! Senator Crichton-Browne is entitled to make his personal explanation.

Senator CRICHTON-BROWNE —I could find no justification for dragging in the name of Mr Justice Murphy or his wife to try to muddy the water to demonstrate my innocence or the status of those cheques. All it would have done was damage his reputation in a way that Senator Walsh sought to damage my reputation. Thus I very conscientiously ensured that the information which was in my possession was not made available not only to the Parliament but also to my colleagues. The thanks I get for that is the sort of abuse I have had to put up with in the last few minutes from the Attorney-General. Month after month I have listened to what Senator Walsh has said about me. He has said that there was a prima facie case for the claim that Crichton-Browne was associated with Moll. On a number of occasions he interjected: 'Tell us about Moll'. On one occasion when that was raised and I responded to it the Attorney-General said: 'I thought you would keep your head low now after what has been alleged about you'. This is the man who claims to act with decency and who takes great exception to any suggestion of allegations against him. He sat here very bemused and amused, smiling and smirking when I was attacked. I sat here and put up with it month after month, when I could easily have got up and dragged Justice Murphy's name into it and also the names of other members of the Australian Labor Party who are well known to the ALP and to the police.

Senator Grimes —On a point of order, Mr Deputy President, I suggest that this is getting a bit beyond a personal explanation. It is now more like a tirade.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order! Senator Crichton-Brown claimed to have been misrepresented. He is covering that matter at the moment.

Senator CRICHTON-BROWNE —As has been seen, some notable names are known to the police. They are closely linked to the ALP. There are senior financial members of that Party with whom Moll has claimed association, yet I have refused also to name them.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Order! Senator Crichton-Browne, you may not progress into that area.