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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4506

Mr McMAHON (Lowe) (Prime Minister) (12:54 PM) - We on this side of the House feel that it is regrettable that in another place some of the salaries of statutory offices should be reduced. They were legitimately granted in accordance with proper work value appreciations. However, we feel that the Bill should go through because unless it becomes law the officers will not be entitled to the salaries that are presently payable to them. The Australian Labor Party must, of course, take responsibility for the failure to permit these people to obtain the money to which they are justly entitled. I now refer to what has been said by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam). What he has said about speaking to me behind the Speaker's chair is totally untrue, and this can be verified by my colleague, the Leader of the House (Mr Swartz). It so happened that I spoke to him immediately before question time and not in the evening. I never feel it is appropriate to refer to what has happened behind the Speaker's chair-


Mr McMAHON - Yes, hear, hear. But the Leader of the Opposition took this liberty himself.

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Speeches are all right but we do not want to hear the other things.

Mr McMAHON - We did not want to hear the honourable member for Hindmarsh (Mr Clyde Cameron) too much either. The Leader of the Opposition came to rae and said: 'The Opposition will be objecting to (a) and (b).' 1 said: 'What do you mean by that?' He said: 'Really, 1 do not know'. That was the actual conversation I had with him.

Mr Keogh - He could not have told you that after question time.

Mr McMAHON - lt was before question time. I will not go any further. The Leader of the Opposition referred to one or two details. My colleague then said that this could be stood over for the time being and a few other remarks were passed. I do want to point out that the time was wrong and the substance of the statement was wrong. Having said that, it at least indicates where the accuracy of memory resides.

Mr WHITLAM(Werriwa - Leader of the Opposition) - I wish to make a personal explanation.

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