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Wednesday, 14 October 1970


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I suggest to the honourable member for Newcastle that in the circumstances he also withdraw that remark. The honourable member for Bendigo will remain silent. Mr Kennedy - A point of order-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Bendigo will resume his seat.


Mr Kennedy - Why?


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Bendigo will resume his seat. The honourable member for Sydney will resume his seat.


Mr Cope - I am taking a point of order.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -The honourable member for Sydney will resume his seat. The honourable member for Newcastle used a phrase when referring to an honourable member in this House. 1 then asked the honourable member for Newcastle to withdraw that phrase, which he did. The honourable member for Newcastle then used the phrase in general terms referring to all members of the Government.


Mr CHARLES JONES - That is correct.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - As the honourable member for Newcastle is aware, in the ordinary circumstances of general comment the Chair does not ask for that phrase to be withdrawn. However, I suggest to the honorable member for Newcastle that it was used immediately after I asked him to withdraw it in relation to an individual member, the inference being exactly the same. I suggest to the honourable member for Newcastle that, although this may not be within the normal province, in the circumstances he withdraw the remark he made.


Mr Barnard - On the point of order-


Mr CHARLES JONES - I am not speaking to any point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker.


Mr Cope - I rise to a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Newcastle is on his feet.


Mr Cope - I am taking a point of order.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -The honourable member for Sydney.


Mr Cope - My point of order is that your ruling does not coincide with that of Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker consistently has told us that we cannot refer to any single member of the Government as a Fascist but we can refer to the Government as Fascist. Vice versa, honourable members on the Government side cannot refer to us individually as Communists but they can call the Opposition Communist.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! I accept the point of order raised by the honourable member for Sydney. I explained why I asked the honourable member for Newcastle to withdraw. His remark followed immediately after my original request to him to withdraw. I suggested to the honourable member for Newcastle that his second remark was partially a continuation of the remark that he made in relation to an individual member. I have not given a ruling but I have made a suggestion to the honourable member for Newcastle.


Mr CHARLES JONES - You asked me to withdraw a certain remark I made about an individual member. I have withdrawn that. I knew that I had to withdraw it or go out - and he is not worth going out over. The Speaker in this place has consistently ruled that generalised statements such as I made are not required to be withdrawn. I remember an occasion on which a Minister sitting at the table called members of the Australian Labor Party Communists. We debated the whole subject for several hours one Friday or Thursday, and finally the ruling of the Chair was upheld. I say to you that on the basis of previous rulings of the Chair 1 am not obliged to withdraw my statement. If you are going to be consistent, please be consistent.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -I do not want to take up the honourable member's time. I have already said that I suggested he withdraw the statement. I did not ask him to withdraw it but because of the circumstances I suggested that he do so. The matter is in his hands.


Mr CHARLES JONES - Begging your pardon, Sir, you are wasting my time and already 5 minutes of it have gone. I wish to bring forward a matter concerning the snide operations of certain migrant organisations made up of certain people who are setting up clubs and are chartering aircraft to take people overseas. In the very limited time available to me now I would like to put on record a letter which I have received from a Greek naturalised Australian in which he said:

Since August this year certain Greek travel agents with their organisations have been chartering Qantas aircraft one way to Alliens, Greece the fare of which is $312.50. The poor Greek migrants have been taken for a ride and have been robbed of hundreds of dollars above the right fare. Apart from the 2 charters that have already left, one left on 4th August 1970 and the other on 23rd August 1970, and there is another departing from Tullamarine this Sunday, 20th September 1970. The poor migrants have been openly robbed and/ or at this moment also with this charter on 20lh September 1970. These travel agents are charging from $390, $400, $425, $450 and even as much as $500 and $567. They are doing exactly as they did with the previous charters and if they are not stopped they will continue to do the same. As a Greek naturalised Australian 1 am disgusted and ashamed that these things should be allowed to take place in Melbourne. I have already written lo the honourable Ministers for Civil Aviation and Immigration and as well to the General Manager of Qantas but as yet I have nol received any reply.

In the time that is available to me I cannot put on record the whole of this man's letter. But the facts are these, and honourable members can check them out with the airline operators. I have found out that the normal full economy fare is $567. Because of charter arrangements the airline operators charge 55 per cent of the full economy fare which means that the correct fare for a charter flight is $312.50. But as this man has said, some of the agents are charging fares as high as $500 and $567. Qantas Airways Ltd is aware of these facts but there is not a great deal that this organisation can do. The point is that Qantas should be taking more positive action than what is being taken at the moment against people who are forming what, in my opinion, are bogus clubs. These people are forming clubs to get people to travel overseas by aircraft. The clubs are charging all sorts of prices and are making exorbitant profits. I believe that the Department of Immigration or the Department of Civil Aviation, if need be, should be investigating these agents. Under no circumstances should the departments be doing any business whatever with them.

They should be forcing them out of business. If need be, they should be letting it be known throughout the trade just what should be done to stop these people.

For example, on most authorative advice, I believe that the Hermes Travel Agency in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, is a bunch of crooks who have been responsible for taking down people in this category. These facts are known to people in the airline industry. I hope that people who are interested in chartering aircraft will have nothing whatever to do with the Hermes Travel Agency in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. There is much more that I would like to say; but in the few seconds that are left to me let me say that it. is time the Department of Civil Aviation made a full inquiry into these fly by night agencies that are being set up to trap people and to create situations such as the one reported in the Melbourne 'Age' of 7th September under the heading Tour Tickets are No Good'. That is a case in which 100-odd Australian citizens are overseas and cannot get back here. They have had to send home for more money so that they can pay their fares from Greece or London back to Australia. It is time the Department of Civil Aviation and the Department of Immigration did something to protect and to assist people in this category.







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