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Wednesday, 23 March 1966

Mr WENTWORTH (Mackellar) . - I think the House should take note of the fact that the honorable member for Yarra (Dr. J. F. Cairns) is not in his place. The honorable member for Chisholm (Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes) showed him every courtesy. He informed the Whip who, I am told, in turn informed the honorable member for Yarra that this matter would be raised. But the honorable member for Yarra is not in his place. This is not the first time he has behaved like this. I can remember about 18 months ago when, again, his veracity was called into question. On that occasion I sent him a message through an officer of the House that I was proposing to raise a matter and that I hoped he would be here. He was not here. I think this was the time when he earned, properly, the soubriquet of the " Yarra crayfish ". He runs away. He does not face up. It is rather an extraordinary thing-

Mr Hughes - Not when one knows his real nature.

Mr WENTWORTH - Perhaps not. This is one of those occasions on which the honorable member for Yarra is frightened of a confrontation. It is not a small matter that when an honorable member's veracity is called into question and, when he is given notice of this, he is not in his place to say what should be said in his own defence, if indeed there is anything to say. In this case those of us who did not know the honorable member for Yarra might have been inclined to think that he was merely mistaken, but unfortunately there was a previous occasion on which, according to my view of it, the honorable member for Yarra prevaricated in this House. Honorable members will remember that I put this on record and circulated the facts - I have a copy of them here again - to all members of the House at that time. These facts are on record that the honorable member for Yarra is perhaps a little careless in dealing with the truth.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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