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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1893


Mr WHITLAM (Werriwa) (Leader of the Opposition) - I wish to make a personal explanation.


Mr SPEAKER -Does the Leader of the Opposition claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr WHITLAM - If what the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr N. H. Bowen) said has been correctly reported to me, I have been misrepresented. I have been informed by some people who were listening to the radio broadcast of his speech that he said I would be attending my first Anzac Day ceremony this year.


Mr Nixon - In Parramatta.


Mr WHITLAM - If he said that it would be my first Anzac Day ceremony in Parramatta he is inaccurate, because I have attended Anzac Day services in Parramatta on many occasions in the past. It is true that next Tuesday I shall be attending an Anzac Day service in Parramatta. It will be the fourth such service I shall be attending that day. I have attended Anzac Day services in Parramatta in the past, some of them at the place I shall be attending on this Anzac Day and some at the Returned Services League Club at Parramatta. I have also attended Anzac services for school children in Parramatta Park, hut not on Anzac Day. I have done this on several occasions during the IS years or so I have represented-


Mr Jess - I rise on a point of order. It has been explained by the Leader of the Opposition that he has attended Anzac services In Parramatta. Is it then allowable for him to go on with a 5 minute speech? This privilege is certainly not allowed to the back bench members in this Parliament.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! There is no substance in the point of order. I have said in this House before, and I had occasion to say it during the honourable member's recent absence, that the House has always extended to the Leader of the Opposition additional leniency in respect of several matters, as it does to the Prime Minister.


Mr WHITLAM - From 1955 to 1969 my electorate came within one mile of the town hall and the post office in the centre of Parramatta. I frequently received invitations to attend functions in Parramatta. When able, I accepted them. I still receive wIne of those invitations, which I appreciate and try to accept.


Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I think in fairness to the Leader of the Opposition I should say that I accept the assurance he has given, but in explanation of what I put to the House myself I think, also in fairness, I should say that since I became the member for Parramatta in 1964 I have attended all Anzac Day services in Parramatta. I think that at the club the Leader of the Opposition will be attending on Sunday afternoon


Mr Whitlam - Tuesday.


Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - On Sunday afternoon there is a service to which the Leader of the Opposition has been invited. As I say, I accept his assurance. I can only say that I made my remark in good faith, because since 1964 in which time I have been attending all Anzac Day ceremonies, including I think all of the ones at the place which the Leader of the Opposition has been invited to attend on Sunday, I have never seen the Leader of the Opposition present.


Mr Whitlam - Mr Speaker-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I shall enforce the Standing Orders on this occasion.

Mr WHITLAM(Werriwa- Leader of the Opposition) - Mr Speaker, I believe-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! Does the Leader of the Opposition seek leave to make a statement or does he wish to make a personal explanation?


Mr Whitlam - I wish to make a personal explanation.


Mr SPEAKER -The Leader of the Opposition will say where he has been personally misrepresented.


Mr WHITLAM - I believe that the Foreign Minister, I would think inadvertently, has misrepresented me in what he said. On a previous occasion he and I were both present at a ceremony at the club to which he has referred, and our wives were there too. I think that on further reflection he will concede that we have both been present.


Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - If that is so, I would apologise to the Leader of the Opposition.







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