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Thursday, 17 August 1972
Page: 328

Mr CALWELL (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - I desire to ask the Prime Minister a question. Has he seen a report in today's 'Australian' that he had visited Sir Robert Menzies recently to secure advice on how to win elections? If so, is there any truth in the statement? Is there any justification for a man named Alan Ramsey, who acquired some notoriety here a little while back, to write such a story? Worst of all, is it a fact that one of his senior Ministers leaked this information to Mr Ramsey?

Mr McMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Prime Minister) - I think it is well known - I certainly saw it reported over 10 days ago - that I did pay a courtesy visit to Sir Robert Menzies in his home.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - What did you talk about?

Mr McMAHON - I think that if the honourable member had been there he would have been delighted to listen to Sir Robert because he has lost none of his old form and is one of the best conversationalists that I or my wife have ever talked to. I think I can assure the honourable member that Sir Robert talked to her just as much as he did to me, not about my problems.

Mr Whitlam - Did he talk to her about her problem?

Mr McMAHON - The honourable member would want to gossip about everyone's problems. He is a somewhat different person from Sir Robert Menzies. This will always be so.

As to the substance of what was published in today's paper, [ can assure the right honourable member that it is totally false. I did not go to seek any advice from Sir Robert Menzies but I had a most interesting conversation with him.

Mr Cope - Did he give you any advice?

Mr McMAHON - I can assure the honourable gentleman that if he paid Sir Robert Menzies a visit he would find that he was just the same pleasant conversationalist. He was in a very good mood; he had lost none of his punch; and I enjoyed myself immensely.

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