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Wednesday, 12 December 1973
Page: 2747

Senator CANT (Western Australia) - I wish to address myself to the motion moved by Senator Milliner. I clearly recollect what Senator Webster had to say. He quoted from a document or a letter sent to someone in Queensland by a British doctor and used it as an argument in defamation of a national health scheme.

Senator Rae -But he did not produce the document here.

Senator CANT - He quoted it as being from a doctor. The first question I wish to ask Senator Webster is whether the writer of the letter was a doctor of medicine. When I look at the plates outside the medical surgeries of the medical profession in Australia I find that the great majority of them are marked 'M.B. B.S.'. They are Bachelors of Medicine and Bachelors of Surgery and they pose themselves as doctors of medicine, which they are not. I quite assume that the person who wrote to the person in Queensland is also in that position. They are all disillusioning the public in presenting themselves as doctors of medicine. They are not doctors of medicine. I have tested this position in the courts and my case has been upheld.

The PRESIDENT -Order! Senator Cant,you should address yourself to the motion.

Senator CANT - If Senator Webster wants to bring information in here and quote it as the opinion of a doctor in England let him stand up and substantiate that the person who wrote the letter was a doctor. He wrote to a person in Queensland. Senator Webster said it was a letter written by a doctor in England. Let him prove that the writer was a doctor. Let Senator Webster stand up and say so because I deny members of the medical profession the right to call themselves doctors without processing themselves through the proper examination. There are doctors in this gallery today and I say straight to them that they are misrepresenting their position to the public of Australia.

Senator Rae - On a point of order, Mr President. The relevance of this entirely escapes me.

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