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Thursday, 18 October 1973
Page: 2326

Mr BARNARD (Bass) (Minister for Defence, Minister for the Navy, Minister for the Army and Minister for Air) - Mr Speaker-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! Is the Minister for Defence making a personal explanation?

Mr BARNARD - Mr Speaker, during question time-

Mr SPEAKER - Does the honourable gentleman claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr BARNARD - I do, but there is one other matter that I want to deal with first.

Opposition members - Oh!

Mr BARNARD - I only wanted to table the information for honourable members opposite.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Deputy Prime Minister will have to seek leave to make a statement. Is leave granted?

Mr Snedden - Yes.

Mr SPEAKER - Leave is granted.

Mr BARNARD - I am not asking for leave. Mr Speaker, I will deal with the other matter. I claim to have been misrepresented.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! Does the honourable gentleman claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr BARNARD - Yes, I have been misrepresented by the honourable member for Warringah (Mr Mackellar). Quite frankly, it does not surprise me that he would make the kind of insinuations that he made in this House this morning. While it is not my prerogative to refer to members of the Tasmanian State Parliament, I inform the honourable member that it is true that the person in Tasmania who initially made the allegation did refer to me. I was referred to because I was then the State President of the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Labor Party - indeed, I had been for some years. I correct what the honourable member has said by informing him and this House that as the former State President of the Labor Party I completely cooperated with those who were conducting the investigation. I gave them complete information concerning my activities as the State President of the Labor Party, and the source of any donations that came to the Party was conveyed to the officers concerned. 1 suggest to' the honourable member that if he believes that these kinds of insinuations are directed in this House to damage my reputation, he might make the same statements outside.

Mr Mackellar - Mr Speaker-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I ask the Minister for Defence: Was it his intention to table a paper? Is that what he wanted to do in the first place - to table a paper?

Mr Barnard - I did propose to table a document providing information in relation to the question that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition asked me this morning. The information is available and, accordingly, I table the document.

Mr Wentworth - On a point of order-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! Do not get excited.

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