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Friday, 22 March 1985
Page: 778


Mr PEACOCK (Leader of the Opposition) —Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a personal explanation.


Mr SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr PEACOCK —I do.


Mr SPEAKER —The honourable member may proceed.


Mr PEACOCK —I would just like to say, Mr Speaker, that this is about the third or fourth time in nearly 20 years in this Parliament that I have sought to make a personal explanation. I normally allow comment to go through.

Government members interjecting-


Mr SPEAKER —Order! I would remind the House that the period for explaining personal misrepresentations is a very difficult time for the Chair and should be heard in silence so that the Chair can hear clearly what is said.


Mr PEACOCK —In a report in the Sydney Morning Herald of today's date allegedly written by a Hugh White it is stated, inter alia:

On Wednesday in Parliament Mr Peacock asked the Government to release an ONA assessment on the CTB which said that a test ban treaty would be destabilising, unverifiable and disadvantageous to the Western alliance. In making his request, Mr Peacock gave every indication of endorsing the views that he attributed to ONA.

That is a lie. It is in fact an outright fabrication. At no stage in either question-and honourable members will see it at pages 574 and 575 of Hansard dated 20 March-did I give any indication at all, let alone every indication as the person whose name appears on the byline indicates, of endorsing the views of the Office of National Assessments. My views on the comprehensive test ban-CTB-are on the record and I will stand by them. To ask a question in this House is not to affirm a view. For a journalist to write that I did and gave every indication--


Mr Hayden —Gee, you are thin skinned if you are going to get upset by something which has been said by a journalist.


Mr PEACOCK —The Minister knows what both of us have had to cop over the years. I will cop any criticism on comment but I am not going to have put on the record without any checking with me that I have said something which is just not there. I do not think that any member of the House, frankly, has to put up with an allegation that he said or gave an indication of a view when he did not, and that would apply to anyone here. It is just a false and fabricated report. All I want to do is to nail the author for that and indicate that it is the fabrication I have mentioned.