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Thursday, 5 March 1970

Dr MACKAY (Evans) - Yes, Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation. I have been misrepresented. There are three areas. The Leader of the Opposition stated that he referred to 'cocoa' and not coffee'. The transcript of what he said taken from persons who were present-

Mr Whitlam - Mr Speaker-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I do not think that the honourable member was involved in the question in relation to cocoa or coffee or whatever it might be. Therefore, he has the right to make a personal explanation as to where he has been misrepresented, not in relation to any other matter, nor shall he introduce any new matter.

Dr MACKAY - I would like to table the speech that he made, because I believe that it is germane to what has been discussed. But, in particular, it was alleged that I was vouching for a lie when I vouched for the substance of my question.

Mr Whitlam - I did not make that allegation.

Dr MACKAY - I went to New Guinea-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I do not recall this being made by the Leader of the Opposition at all.

Mr Whitlam - 1 did not make it. The honourable member for Fremantle did and he will vouch for it.

Mr SPEAKER -I do not know who made it. This is not a question in relation to a personal explanation regarding what has been said in the House.

Dr MACKAY - I am sorry; 1 did not hear you, Sir.

Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member now is making a personal explanation regarding something which has not officially been said in the House.

Dr MACKAY - lt has been stated-



Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I wish to take a point of order.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Evans will resume his seat. I call the honourable member for Hindmarsh.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My point of order, Mr Speaker, is that you stated that the remarks, that the honourable gentleman was vouching for a lie, had not been made in this place.

Dr MACKAY - It was.


Mr SPEAKER -I said 'officially made in this place'.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - It was officially made and noted in Hansard. It was made by the honourable member for Fremantle who has repeated h and said that what he said he stands by.

Mr SPEAKER - This was by means of interjection, I take it? Well, I did not hear this. But I will take it. The honourable member may have the opportunity now to refute this statement.

Dr MACKAY - I vouch for the accuracy of my statement in the question. My question was based on an accurate statement that the Leader of the Opposition on 8th January last made a public attack on the integrity of the courts in Rabaul and that he wrongly alleged homicide against a young Australian whom he knew to be on bail and about to stand trial before the Supreme Court. There is a tape recording of what the Leader of the Opposition actually said before that Council. We interviewed the ABC and other officers who were present and took from them a transcript of what he said. I would like to read about 6 lines of that transcript. The extract reads:

One of the m.a. leaders who is well-educated and speaks very good english is now in jail for assaulting a council officer. Pending the m.a. trial he was refused bail. An Administration Officer who accompanied us-

That is to Keravat gaol - was engaging in revolver practice during which a child was killed-

The District Commissioner interjected: Excuse me, sir; that is not quite correct'. The transcript continues:

Whitlam: You withdraw, or I will remain seated.

Silence. The District Commissioner said: 'I withdraw, sir, but the child was injured. He was not killed'. The transcript continues:

Whitlam: I thank you for the correction. Anyway the officer concerned is still at large.

These and the other comments that I made, Sir, are based on the substance of information that we received directly from eye witnesses.

Mr WHITLAM(Werriwa- Leader of the Opposition)- Mr Speaker, I have been misrepresented in this matter. I refer to a new matter which was introduced concerning the conduct of the District Commissioner. This was not the first time, when we were visiting council chambers at the requests of councils, that District Commissioners interrupted. On this occasion, the District Commissioner had to be put in his place. He has since, for this and earlier incidents, been withdrawn from Rabaul.

Mr Jess - I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Earlier, when the honourable member for St George was endeavouring to make a personal explanation, you gave him guidance as to how he should keep to the point and said that, indeed, he should -not debate the matter. I suggest that the Leader of the Opposition is most definitely debating the point.

Mr Hayden - This is a reflection on the Chair.

Mr SPEAKER - There is no reflection on the Chair. If the honourable member for La Trobe had continued, I would have taken your point of order. However, this is in the discretion of the Chair.

Mr Jess - Thank you, Sir.

Dr MACKAY(Evans) - Mr Speaker, there is a second point on which I was misrepresented.

Mr SPEAKER -Does the honourable member claim again to have been misrepresented?

Dr MACKAY - Yes. In the statement just made by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam), he said that this statement of mine was incorrect because these Mataungans had been refused legal aid whereas the Australians were not. I point to the document of Mr Quinlevin, the Senior Magistrate, who makes a special point in his statement from his bench to indicate that every assistance - documentary, legal and every kind of assistance - was given to those who sought to obtain the release of these Mataungans on bail. He states that they then withdrew from this application on their own standing. Does Mr Whitlam deny that he said - and it was quoted in every Australian newspaper - that there were glaring race discriminations in law in the Territory?

Mr Whitlam - Yes, I do.

Mr Kirwan - I take a point of order.


Mr Kirwan - Mr Speaker, my point of order is this: Can an honourable member refer to another honourable member in the House by name rather than by his title or by his seat?

Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member is quite right. The latter is the correct procedure.

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