Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 9 March 1971
Page: 691

Dr J F Cairns (LALOR, VICTORIA) - I think the point recently made by the honourable member for Bradfield (Mr Turner) is an extremely relevant point to the matter before the House at the moment but I would give a completely different interpretation to that point from the one that he has given. This House has been engaged this afternoon in considering something which relates to the position of the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) and a senior Minister, the former Minister for Defence, in which one has alleged against the other serious disloyalty. This has come into existence as a result of stories that have been published in the Press of this country, stories that have been published in a way that is common in this House. One of the daily newspapers called this a shoddy and tawdry game that is played a lot here. It is played a lot here both by Ministers and the Press and what the Press does in this matter is relevant to what this House does. This House has an opportunity now in supporting the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) to look a bit more closely at the conduct of the Press and Ministers. It has an opportunity to decide here who is telling lies and who is not telling lies, because somebody is telling lies. The House has an opportunity here lo judge for itself whether or not we are going to have government by lies, innuendoes and false impressions. As the Prime Minister said-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The motion is that so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent the Leader of the Opposition from moving such and such a thing. The motion itself cannot be debated as the honourable member for Lalor is attempting to do. The matter to be debated is the reason for the suspension of Standing Orders.

Dr J F Cairns (LALOR, VICTORIA) -- I think the House would want to know, if it is to make up its mind whether or not Standing Orders should be suspended, what would happen if the Standing Orders were suspended. What can be done *as a result of the suspension of Standing Orders? The House would want to know ' what it may be able to do, what it may be able to hear and what it may be able to decide if the Standing Orders are suspended, and I suggest these are some of the things that it can decide. 1 do not think it is reasonable to allow a situation to continue in which the reputations of a member of the Press, a stranger in this Parliament, and Ministers in this Parliament, are at stake without fully taking every opportunity we can to arrive at the truth. It seems that this motion moved by the Leader of the Opposi tion gives us a better opportunity to arrive at the truth than if we do not support it.

Suggest corrections