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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1793

Mr FOX (Henty) - I join with the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr Lynch) in protesting about the treatment which the Leader of the House (Mr Daly) seeks to mete out to us. The Leader of the House and the honourable member for Chifley (Mr Armitage) are critical of the Opposition because we are protesting about the attempt of the Government to muzzle our opinion and to ride roughshod over what I believe to be an increasing measure of public opinion which is diametrically opposed to that of the Government. If Government supporters doubt that, I suggest that they read the results of last Saturday's gallup poll to see. just how much out of step they are with public opinion. The honourable member for Chifley referred to a similar debate which took place at about this time last year. As a matter of fact, he should have referred to a situation in May 1971 relating to the debate on a number of Bills which did not include, as the honourable member for Chifley suggested, the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill. I suggest that not one of the Bills involved at that time was anywhere near as important or far reaching in its effects as the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill we are discussing today.

I wish to quote a statement made at that time by a very prominent member of the present Government whose name I will tell honourable members later. The then Leader of the House said that he had sought unsuccessfully to negotiate with the Opposition over the Bill. I remember that our Minister explained that he negotiated with the Opposition and that it was aware of the time, to be allotted for the debate. The very prominent member of the Labor Party to whom I referred had this to say:

The Minister said that he consulted the Opposition. What he did was to walk around to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and say: 'This is what we are going to do. We will bring it in this afternoon.' That is the Liberal method of consultation with the Opposition. When a party is a few numbers short, what can it do with an arrogant, overbearing Government which is perpetrating at this moment what we might term the rape of democracy?

He went on to point out that every member had a right to speak in any debate whatsoever in order to express the point of view of the people he represents. The honourable member for Chifley suggested to you, Mr Speaker, that he would not use the word 'hypocrisy' because you would rule him out of order, and quite rightly, too. But let me tell you this: Webster's dictionary says that the actual prac tice of pretending to be. what one is not or pretending to have principles or beliefs that one does not have is an act of hypocrisy. I will not use the word because you would rule me out of order.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The word 'hypocrisy' has never been ruled out of order. It is out of order to call an honourable member a hypocrite.

Mr FOX - 1 see. I will not call anybody a hypocrite because you would rule that out of order, but l ask you, Mr Speaker: How would you describe a person who, when in the Opposition, complains about not having the right to speak on behalf of his constituents and says that he places on record his condemnation of the Government for its treatment of the people even more than for its treatment of the Opposition, but changes his attitude when his Party achieves office? The honourable gentleman to whom I have been referring is the honourable member for Grayndler (Mr Daly), who is now Leader of the House and is meting out to the House exactly the same treatment that he previously condemned. I ask you, MrSpeaker: Would you describe a person who adopted such an attitude as a hypocrite? I will leave it to you.

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