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Thursday, 29 March 1984
Page: 882

Senator TEAGUE —I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Leave granted.

Senator TEAGUE —I do not wish to go on about this matter but I must because of extra material on pages 790 and 797 of yesterday's Senate Hansard report of Question Time concerning an exchange between Senator Grimes and me following my legitimate and genuine question about Medicare. I asked for a withdrawal of the inference by Senator Grimes that I was not telling the truth in asking that question. He withdrew that. However, Senator Grimes, when making a personal explanation, said:

I suggest Senator Teague read the Hansard to see what I answered.

When I read the Hansard to my surprise and to the surprise of a number of people in the Senate there were some extra words spoken of which I was not aware at the time. They are these:

. . . instead of telling lies, as he is doing now.

Those words are directly contrary to the trumped up assurance that Senator Grimes gave in his personal explanation yesterday when, as recorded on page 797, he said:

I was referring to the fact that members of the Opposition on occasions get up and tell lies about Medicare. I was not referring to Senator Teague's question, as he put it this afternoon. I was not referring to the items in his question. I suggest Senator Teague read the Hansard to see what I answered.

So I read the Hansard and it says:

. . . instead of telling lies, as he is doing now.

This is directly contrary to what the Minister said in his personal explanation. I raise this matter only to say that if I am challenged by a Minister I will look up the Hansard and make my remarks accordingly. I do not believe that honourable senators should be subjected to the kinds of remarks and abuse, for which there were no grounds whatsoever, of the sort made by Senator Grimes in the Senate yesterday.

The PRESIDENT —On the matter raised by Senator Teague, my attention was drawn this morning to the page of Hansard referred to. I did not hear uttered at the time the last words of Senator Grimes, the Minister for Social Security, because at that time I was in the course of calling the next questioner, Senator Bolkus. Had I caught Senator Grimes's words at the time, I would have asked for a withdrawal of them.