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Thursday, 25 November 1971
Page: 3751

Dr MACKAY (Evans) (Minister for the Navy) (12:49 PM) - I would like to add a few words to what has been said by the honourable member for Hunter (Mr James). I do not want to buy in any way into the subject matter that he has raised. I personally would agree with many of the things that he has said. But I feel that he has weakened his case and I am glad to say that I cannot agree with some of the comments that he made, particularly about Sir Jack Cassidy. Sir Jack Cassidy is the doyen of the Sydney Bar. He is one of the most senior of the Queen's Counsel in Sydney, and to say that in some way a fee affected the way in which he regarded his moral duty to the community, to say or imply that he went only for the fat fee and never took the part of the underdog is, in my own personal experience quite incorrect. On several occasions I have been asked in my former capacity while I was engaged at the University of Sydney to assist Sir Jack with cases in which he was appearing, I am certain, for a very small fee indeed because of the humanitarian content in them. I am certain also that if he was successful in the case mentioned it was because of his skill, because of his ability, and for no ulterior motive or underhand reason. While I can applaud many of the objectives the honourable member has had in raising this subject tonight - I too deplore some of the practices associated with this trade that he has mentioned - 1 cannot sit by and hear the name of Sir Jack Cassidy linked in the way that it has been, suggesting that he was in some improper way associated with the profiteering that has gone on at the expense of, as the honourable member said, the unfortunate woman involved.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 12.51 a.m. (Friday)

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