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Thursday, 2 November 1967

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

Mr CLEAVER - Yes. I claim to have been grossly misrepresented in another place by speeches made by Senators Tangney and Cant last Friday, 27th October, and published in the 'West Australian' on Saturday, 28th October. The speeches purported to relate to my conduct as chairman of homes for the aged known as Swan Cottage Homes Incorporated. They were a repetition of similar charges made by the same people on earlier occasions and are obviously based on the complaints of a few disgruntled tenants.

Mr Speaker,I do not propose to waste the time of the House by replying to the charges in detail. Suffice it to say that my work for the homes is entirely voluntary and I am proud of it. There is nothing in the conduct of the homes which would justify any reasonable criticism; indeed, they provide a model of what a retirement village should be.

Dr Patterson - I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The honourable member has claimed that he has been misrepresented, but he has not given any evidence up to date of the way in which he has been misrepresented.

Mr SPEAKER -I think the honourable member is entitled to explain where he has been misrepresented. In the opinion of the Chair the statement he is making is relevant to the two cases of misrepresentation to which he has directed attention.

Mr CLEAVER - Thank you, Mr Speaker. If the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) wants to be associated with the charges made in the other place I simply say that I challenge his intelligence.

Dr Patterson - I do not know what the charges are.

Mr CLEAVER - They have been published in the newspapers to which I have referred. Our designs and methods have been gladly shared and used by other charitable bodies and churches. All our procedures regarding housing elderly people have been endorsed by the Department of Social Services. That is a distinct answer to one of the charges that have been made. Out of almost 400 old people residing in the homes, there is a very small percentage of dissatisfied people - perhaps 2%. Honourable members are sufficiently aware of human nature to know that if the number of dissidents is so small, there cannot be very much wrong with the homes.

The charges made, as published in the Press, are indignantly repudiated by myself and the splendid group of men and women who are members of my board of management. We are satisfied that we enjoy the goodwill of the great majority of the residents and we are encouraged by the oftexpressed gratitude of the Western Australian community.

If the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) wants me to deal in more detail with the charges that have been made let me indicate to him that I will release my answer to the Press.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member has made his personal explanation.

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