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Thursday, 8 December 1983
Page: 3535

Senator GEORGES(5.13) —I seek leave, Mr President, to make a statement on the matter raised by Senator Gareth Evans.

Leave granted.

Senator GEORGES —I find it regrettable that Senator Gareth Evans has sought, by personal explanation, to make an attack against Senator Primmer.

Senator Robert Ray —Oh, come off it, George; sit down.

Senator GEORGES —Mr President, let me say something to Senator Robert Ray who has not been here for very long.

Senator Robert Ray —That is right, but I have learnt something, I will tell you.

Senator GEORGES —I have learnt something. But let me say that Senator Primmer, on a number of occasions, has brought information before this Parliament which on first consideration appeared to be exaggerated. Let my say, on behalf of Senator Primmer, that on both previous occasions-

Senator Peter Baume —He is here now. He can speak for himself.

Senator GEORGES —Yes, he can speak for himself, but I am speaking on his behalf. On both previous occasions the information that he brought before the Parliament was subsequently substantiated.

Senator Gareth Evans —That is not true.

Senator GEORGES —I would suggest that the matters which Senator Primmer has brought before this House ought to be accepted and ought to remain not challenged in the way in which Senator Gareth Evans has challenged them for some time yet. There have been occasions on which matters to which Senator Primmer has referred have been brought before other forums of this Parliament, and the doubts which he has raised have been raised elsewhere. I do not think that it is quite fair that Senator Primmer should be put under the pressure that he has been put under by Senator Gareth Evans on this occasion.