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Tuesday, 24 September 1974
Page: 1364

Senator STEELE HALL (South AustraliaLeader of the Liberal Movement) - I intend to say little in support of my own inclusion in this list of delegates to the Constitutional Convention. But I think that I should right one or two misconceptions. Senator Withers said that the Australian Labor Party should include my nomination in that Party's list of delegates because it would, he inferred, be helping the underprivileged, under- privileged, the weak and the poor. I want to say that under-privileged I certainly am. Having spent half a lifetime in politics, I am also poor. However, I will not admit to weakness. I therefore divide Senator Withers' 3 assessments and disagree with the one of weakness. But I think that Senator Withers is showing undue sensitivity, because what he does not understand is that I have been trying to help him ever since I have come into the Senate. He just does not recognise my brand of assistance. When he re-reads my speeches, which I am sure he will do in the few quiet moments which no doubt he has when he is travelling between Canberra and Western Australia, he will see the truth of the subject that I have tried to convey to him in my speeches in this chamber.

I draw the attention of Senator Withers to the precedent which has been established in South Australia. Another member of the Liberal Movement in that State has been appointed by the State Government as a member of the Constitutional Convention. That member is a bitter opponent of the State Labor Government, yet he has won his place as a representative of that State at the Convention. I think that probably Senator Withers, who comes from a State which generates a great deal of talk about secession from the Commonwealth of Australia, might very well need alongside him someone from a similarly small State in order to ensure that he does not go right off the rails and secede from the Commonwealth of Australia.

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