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Thursday, 17 August 1972
Page: 157


Senator MURPHY - Is the Minister for Works aware that he misunderstood the question put to him a few minutes ago by

Senator Wriedt? Senator Wriedtwas referring not to the Australian Council of Trade Unions but to the Federal Executive of the Australian Labor Party which includes Mr Whitlam, the Leader of the Party, the Deputy Leader of the Party, Senator Willesee and myself, and a number of other Labor members of this Parliament. The majority are Labor members. Will he take note of this statement by me that my recollection is that on an earlier occasion in this chamber I protested against the Chinese tests? However, that is a matter of recollection. Will he take note of my statement, on behalf of my Party now, that the Australian Labor Party objects to the nuclear tests.


The PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Murphy, you are out of order. You may ask for leave to make a statement in this context at the end of question time and I will invite the Senate to grant leave.


Senator MURPHY - The minister said he has not heard any protest from my Party and I am asking him whether he will take note of this statement by me that we are opposed to tests of nuclear weapons by the Chinese, by the French or by any other nation.


The PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Murphy, you are making a statement. Senator Wright, you may or may not wish to answer the allegations.


Senator WRIGHT - In answer to so much of that which fell from Senator Murphy as would come under the description of a question, I would like to be forgiven for confusing in Senator Wriedt's question his reference to the Federal Executive of the Australian Labor Party with the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The President of the ACTU has assumed such prominent representation of the Australian Labor Party of late that I made reference to the organisations as being in effect interchangeable and identical. But I am glad to be corrected. The same comments apply whether it was a statement from the ACTU or from the Federal Executive. The date indicates that the statement was made in the context of the controversy over the French tests, and the significance of the statement quoted by Senator Wriedt is that it does not make any specific reference to the Chinese tests.

I have noted Senator Murphy's statement. I note with great gratification that the questions of my colleagues yesterday and the question asked by Senator Wriedt today have now prompted Senator Murphy to take the opportunity at this late stage of denigrating the Chinese tests.







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