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Wednesday, 13 March 1968

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Less than a year ago, on 2nd May 1967, an arrogant though temporarily humble young man rose in his place and made the most abject apology that this Parliament has ever heard for having lied about the behaviour of members of Parliament; he promised all members faithfully to do what he could to redeem himself in the eyes of his colleagues on both sides of the Parliament. I refer to the honourable member for Adelaide (Mr Andrew Jones). He was apologising for remarks that he had made on 27th April at the inaugural dinner of the Adelaide Liberal Dining Club, a club which was formed by the honourable gentleman. After having a dinner of T-bone steak and claret - according to the newspaper - the honourable gentleman then rose to his feet and said that half of his colleagues were half drunk half the time and that filth, smut, jealousy and friction characterised the politics of Canberra. He said that one day he saw nine members out of 124 in the House during a debate; the rest were absent. He said three were asleep; two were doing crossword puzzles; the Minister was asleep in his chair and one member was reading an outdated Donald Duck comic.

Sir, thatwas an untrue statement. The Parliament made it clear to him, at the instigation of the Prime Minister of the day himself that the statement was untrue and an apology was expected. Moreover the gentleman who made the statement knew it was not true; he knew every word of it was untrue. So utterly irresponsible was the honourable member towards this Parliament and its members that he concluded by saying: that 'this was the way the Government was being run on that particular day.'

For this man to talk about the way the Parliament behaved was in extremely bad taste. In the Sydney 'Daily Telegraph' of 28th April 1967 the Government Whip was reported to have complained about the behaviour of the honourable member and his failure to attend a division. This is the nian who was pontificating on how people should behave in the Parliament. His excuse was that his room was too far from the chamber. The Government Whip very correctly pointed out - and these were his words - 'that the honourable member could have left his room when the bells started ringing, paused to answer the calls of nature on the way, and still have reached the chamber in time to vote.' The honourable member for Adelaide explained his real aptitude for the position that he holds down by saying, as reported in the Sydney 'Daily Telegraph' of 28th April:

It is no joke to be sitting on your backside all day, not fully understanding what is going on.

In the 'Herald' on 14th April 1967 the honourable member is reported as saying:

I'm just a prawn, a puppet in a big machine which goes on above my head.

To show that he still has the same attitude towards politics I quote from a statement of 5th March 1968 in the 'Sun':

Politicians would bc judged more on how they did their hair than on their politics.

This is what the honourable gentleman has to say about his job. He considers it is more important in doing his job correctly to comb his hair properly than to bother to pick up a book and read about politics. This jackdaw in peacock's feathers who comes here in the guise of a member of Parliament-

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