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Thursday, 23 August 1973
Page: 284

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

Mr McMAHON - I claim to have been misrepresented by a Labor Party member of the New South Wales Parliament, Mr H. C. Mallam. On the front page of the 'Sydney

Morning Herald' today there is a statement relating to - whatever his name is - Mr Alexander Barton. Mr Mallam said:

With an eye to the main chance, he formed an association with a Mr John Bovill, of 36 Drumalbyn Road, Bellevue Hill, a leader of the society set and a close neighbour of Mr William McMahon.

I would like to make this comment about Mr Alexander Barton. I have never seen or spoken to Mr Alexander Barton. I have never had any connection with him direct or indirect. I have never had any personal connection, political, business or otherwise, with him. In fact, he is a non-person to me. Mr John Bovill did live in the same street as I. I do not know whether he still resides there. I do not know where he now lives. I have never had any personal business dealings, direct or indirect, with him. Nor have I ever discussed any business transaction with him. I refer now to the other part of the statement. I can see the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) looking very anguished and intense at the moment.

Mr Grassby - He does not look anguished.

Mr McMAHON - The honourable member sees only his back and he does not reflect his feelings from behind, or so I am told. The other part of the statement to which I wish to refer states:

Mr Mallamsaid Mr McMahon signed an agreement on Boxing Day, 1970, for the purchase of 6 of these aircraft for $275,000.

I signed no agreement. I had no power under Acts of Parliament or otherwise to sign any agreement. As I pointed out on 17 October 1972 in this House and as is recorded in Hansard, I had approved of a recommendation by a very reputable person, the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, for the purchase of aircraft.

Mr Anthony - I wish to take a point of order.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! A point of order must be taken at the time. Does the right honourable senator wish to make a personal explanation on the ground that he has been misrepresented?

Mr Anthony - Yes.

Mr SPEAKER - Very well.

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