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Wednesday, 21 November 1973
Page: 1969

Senator GREENWOOD (Victoria) - I rise only because of the intemperate, unnecessary and completely untruthful remarks which have been made by Senator James McClelland.

One has the impression that when members of the Government in this House- and, I sense, in the other House- are in trouble they resort to personalities. They put the boots in. The remarks made by Senator James McClelland about Senator Withers were gratuitous and not provoked by anything Senator Withers said today, nor were they deserved. Senator Withers stated plain facts today- and they needed to be stated because they put the record straight. Apparently the straightness of that record is disconcerting to Senator James McClelland and I can only believe that because he found them so disconcerting he decided to resort to the traditional Labor tactic of sniping at and smearing an individual who had hit home where it hurts. We on the Opposition believe that in Senator Withers we have a person who, far from what Senator James McClelland has alleged, has led in many debates in this chamber, who is constantly present in this chamber and who gives the utmost satisfaction to the Opposition. Maybe it is the fact that he has been so effective that has caused Senator James McClelland to resort to the tactic in which he has engaged. I support the motion, as Senator Withers indicated. I rise only because I want to give notice to every member of the Labor Party in this chamber that if they start to resort to the tactics to which their colleagues in another place are resorting they can expect resistance and rebuttal from every senator on this side. I give them due notice of it.

The PRESIDENT - Order! I think this debate has gone far enough. I call Senator Murphy.

Senator Cotton - I was going to say that there is a time problem in this so why should honourable senators not resolve it by keeping silent from now on?

The PRESIDENT - I think so. I call Senator Murphy.

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