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Tuesday, 10 April 1973
Page: 1220


Mr LYNCH (Flinders) - I regret very much that the Treasurer (Mr Crean) should have sought to be involved in this debate because he knows that I have a high regard for him. I say in quite deliberate terms that on this occasion the honourable gentleman has not enhanced his reputation by his involvement in this debate because what the Government has put forward is, in fact, a very shoddy procedural motion. It is a motion which, I believe, is consistent with the jackboot approach which we have seen in this Parliament during the course of recent days. It is a contemptible motion. It is a motion which shows the Government and members of the Australian Labor Party simply for what they are. This is no group which is concerned about any concept of open government such as we heard mentioned gibly during pre-election days. This is a Government which is determined, in this House and elsewhere, to pursue a course of action which is that of closed government. The motion before the Chair is, in fact, no less than a travesty of the concept of open government. It is contemptuous of any concept of democracy in this country. Certainly it is consistent with the whole approach which the Government has followed in terms of the workings of this Parliament - an approach which would deny the Opposition parties an opportunity to show full well the extent of the concealment and deceit which have characterised this issue since the AttorneyGeneral (Senator Murphy) first brought down his statement in another place.


Mr Mulder - Switch him off.


Mr LYNCH - I would like to switch off the honourable member. He would be better switched off because that interjection shows full well that the Government is determined to switch off the Australian people from an opportunity to be involved. As my leader has made crystal clear, the facts which have been elicited during the course of this particular issue have come forward during question time and the reason why the Government seeks to suspend question time is, as is shown from a simple reflection on the proposition, that it knows it is in trouble. It is well aware that Senator Murphy in another place is running scared, if I may use that expression. He is running scared because, as the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) and other honourable gentlemen opposite would know, it is a matter of record that during the course of the last days of last week in the Senate, the Attorney-General himself, a man who alleges a sense of high principle, was seeking in the corridors of that place a shabby deal. He wanted out, according to the best information available to me which comes from the other side of this House. He wanted out. He was running scared simply because the Government realises that this is not an issue upon which it can win and it has been losing very much during the course of recent weeks. The issue is souring so far as the Government is concerned. But does it really care? It is contemptuous of the Parliament. It is contemptuous of the Opposition's right to probe, to cajole and to put facts into this debate because if there is one thing we have not had from the Attorney-General it is the facts about this matter. The Opposition totally opposes the motion.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The time for debate on the motion has expired.

Question put:

That the motion (Mr Daly's) be agreed to.







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