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Wednesday, 27 September 1972
Page: 1263

Senator KEEFFE (Queensland) - Mr Temporary Chairman,in view of the discussion that has now taken place - and 1 particularly resent the offensive remark that was made by Senator Young as a result of your ruling-

Senator Young - Who? I said nothing.

Senator KEEFFE - If it was not Senator Young it was someone with a foghorn voice like his.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMANOrder! Senator Keeffe, you must not refer to people like that.

Senator KEEFFE - But, Mr Temporary Chairman, reference to 'foghorn' is complimentaryto some Government supporters.

Senator Young - Senator Keeffe is completely off the beam. I remained completely silent and passed no comment whatsoever. I want to make this perfectly clear.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - Senator Keeffe, you made an accusation against Senator Young. Senator Young denies that he said anything.

Senator KEEFFE - Senator Youngwas gentlemanly enough not to ask for a withdrawal, but I apologise to him. Before 1 proceed with this debate, can I make further reference to certain timber companies and certain principals of those companies who hold major interests in an area where some of the money being appropriated under this Bill will be used to tear down eucalypt forests for the purpose of growing exotic pines? I assume that that is now in order.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN -I ask you, Senator Keeffe, in referring to such facts to relate them to the Bill.

Senator KEEFFE - Mr Temporary chairman, this is related to the Bill because I want to know the shareholdings in a particular company in an area where this money will be used for the purpose of growing exotics. I think that is a fair and honest question, and I would expect the Minister to give me a fair and honest reply. One assumes that in this place one can indulge in a fair and honest debate.

Senator Willesee - I do not know why you should assume that.

Senator KEEFFE - Even when I am being assailed I am charitable.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMANOrder! A remark was made by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Senator Willesee, in relation to a remark by Senator Keeffe who said he wanted a fair and honest debate in this place. Senator Willesee stated: 'I do not know how you could assume that'. That is a definite suggestion that you cannot expect an honest debate in this chamber. Under those circumstances, Senator Willesee, I ask you to withdraw that remark.

Senator Poke - How petty can you get?

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - Order! It is not a matter of being petty; it is a matter of running the Senate on dignified lines. I ask Senator Willesee to withdraw that remark.

Senator Willesee - Mr Temporary Chairman, I made that remark because 1 am intrigued by the rulings that have been given lately. I was intrigued the other night when Senator Georges was accused of being a man who condones and encourages violence in this country. When he took objection to those words the ruling was that they were not offensive. I do not think that you could charge a man with anything worse than that he encourages violence in his country. It personally offended Senator Georges.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - Order! Senator Willesee, I ask you to withdraw those words. The words about which 1 am concerned are that you do not think that a person can get honest debate in this chamber.

Senator Willesee - Sure, I withdraw them.


Senator Cavanagh - It may have only referred to while you are in the chair.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - Oh, Senator Cavanagh.

Senator Cavanagh - I do not know;I am trying to find out.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - Senator Cavanagh,I am surprised at you.

Senator Cavanagh - We do not get this trouble under the President.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMANOrder! Senator Cavanagh stated that Senator Willesee's remark about honesty of debate probably applied only while I was in the chair. Under those circumstances 1 ask Senator Cavanagh to withdraw that imputation.

Senator Cavanagh - All right, Mr Temporary Chairman, I withdraw it and say that Senator Willesee's remark did not only refer to you while you were in the chair; it referred to others, too.

Senator Drake-Brockman - Mr Temporary Chairman, in accordance with the arrangement made earlier today between the Minister for Works (Senator Wright) and the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Murphy) I move that we report progress.

Senator Willesee - Withdraw those remarks.

Senator Drake-Brockman - Do not let us get to that stage.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - I would ask the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Senator Willesee, not to try to make a fool of the Senate chamber.

Progress reported.

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