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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 2068

Mr FOX (HENTY, VICTORIA) - I ask the Prime Minister: Does he know whether there is any substance in the matter which was raised in the Senate and in this House last night and reported in the Press today concerning the Minister for Housing?

Mr McMAHON - As most honest members of this House will know, the debates which took place last night were a contrived and crude political stunt mounted by the Left wing of the Australian Labor Party, aided and abetted by the Australian Union of Students and, I believe, by 'This Day Tonight'

Dr J F Cairns (LALOR, VICTORIA) - Mf Speaker, I take a point of order. The Prime Minister commenced his answer to this question by saying, 'all honest members of the House', implying that some members of this House are not honest. He then went on to-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I ask the honourable member for Lalor to state his point of order.

Dr J F Cairns (LALOR, VICTORIA) - He then went on to specify-

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I ask the honourable gentleman to state his point of order and not to debate the question.

Dr J F Cairns (LALOR, VICTORIA) - I think it is out of order for anyone to imply dishonesty to a member of this House.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! There was no implication and there is no substance in the point of order. I call the Prime Minister.

Mr McMAHON - I believe that the Australian people are sick and tired of smear campaigns against- (Opposition members interjecting)

Mr SPEAKER -Order! If honourable members want question time to continue, I suggest that they come to order.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The Prime Minister is glaring at you, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER -I can look after myself. I call the Prime Minister.

Mr McMAHON - I believe that the Australian people want to get on with the business of government and that they expect the Opposition not to impede the responsible conduct of business by frivolous motions and statements. I have confidence in my colleague, the Minister for Housing, and, from discussion with him last night and again this morning, I believe that he will ask for leave to make a personal explanation to show where he has been misrepresented. I hope that, after that, members of the Opposition - the left wing members - who were critical last night will at least have the decency to apologise to the Minister for Housing for what has been said.

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