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Wednesday, 26 April 1972
Page: 1985

Mr ARMITAGE (Chifley) - I wish to make a personal explanation.

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

Mr ARMITAGE - Yes, I do. I claim to have been misrepresented in a statement issued to the Press by the Minister for Civil Aviation, Senator Robert Cotton, on 21st April. As far as I know that statement has been circulated to all members and senators. It refers to my speech in this House on the adjournment debate last Thursday evening concerning the conflict between answers to questions that morning both in this chamber and in another place given by the Minister for the Navy and the Minister for Civil Aviation in respect of the possible use of Schofields aerodrome, HMAS Nirimba', as a civil airport. The Minister stated that the question directed to him in the Senate, as I pointed out last Thursday night in this chamber, had been asked by Senator Mulvihill.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member has the indulgence of the House to make a personal explanation to show how he has been misrepresented.

Mr ARMITAGE - That is what I am about to do.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member should come to the point. At this stage the honourable member is starting to debate the question.

Mr ARMITAGE - I should like to quote the Minister, who said that the question directed to him by Senator Mulvihill at my request "was framed to attempt to elicit a form of words which would suggest differences between another Minister and myself'. That was not the purpose. My purpose was to obtain the truth. I was quite sure in my mind that the information I had heard was correct and that the aerodrome at Schofields-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! Again I remind the honourable member that he has liberty to make a personal explanation to show how he has been misrepresented but I will not allow further comments outside that.

Mr ARMITAGE - Very good. Let me just say that the conflict in the answer to the question which finally resulted in-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable gentleman will resume this seat.

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