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Thursday, 18 November 1993
Page: 3189

Senator CRANE (5.46 p.m.) —I rise to speak briefly on this matter, not because I had intended to speak when the matter was first raised and when Senator Short gave his explanation of events, but because, much to my disappointment, after Senator Short had made it quite clear that he intended to make no reflection whatsoever against Mr Hand—in fact, he said words to the effect that he regarded Mr Hand very highly—other senators rose to speak. We heard a rather vigorous presentation by Senator Beahan against Senator Short. I do not criticise him for that in the circumstances. Senator Short then gave his explanation very precisely and put his position very clearly. He is one of the people in this place whom I regard with the highest esteem as he is a vigorous debater and one who tackles issues head-on; he is also a very fair person. I would have hoped that after Senator Short gave his explanation it could have been left at that, particularly in view of the fact that Senator Short highlighted the fact that he discussed the matter with Mr Hand. I sincerely hope that this matter will now come to an end, having heard a number of speakers.

  I was not at last Friday's hearing, nor have I read the Hansard, and I doubt whether I ever will read the Hansard. I think it is quite pointless to continue this debate when Senator Short has made his position absolutely crystal clear. As other speakers have said, I sincerely hope that this is the end of the matter and that it is not carried on outside. I have no doubt that at some future time, maybe even over a beer sometime—or maybe not over a beer—Senator Short and Mr Gerry Hand will discuss this matter. I sincerely hope that it is not carried on beyond this point. I do not think it was necessary for it to have gone past Senator Short's explanation.

  Question resolved in the affirmative.