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Wednesday, 7 March 1973
Page: 282

Mr GILES (ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Is the Prime Minister aware that since the infamous Harradine case in Tasmania he has not exactly been famous for protecting his friends? Does he propose properly to support his deputy leader - another Tasmanian - or does he intend to continue to act as a deaf mute by consistently sitting on the fence? Can he yet feel the eyes of the Minister for Overseas Trade and Minister for Secondary Industry boring into the small of his back?

Mr WHITLAM - If the opposition had proceeded with the motion of lack of confidence in the Deputy Prime Minister - who is the Minister for Defence - to which it devoted its debate this morning honourable members and the country as a whole would have seen that I have not only as great confidence in my Deputy as I have had in the 18 years we have served in this Parliament together but that I have greater confidence than ever. If the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party were again electing its Ministry the Deputy Prime Minister would be returned to that position unopposed and I, as the Prime Minister, in allocating portfolios, would allocate to the Deputy Prime Minister the 5 portfolios he now holds.

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