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Thursday, 28 September 1972
Page: 2107


Mr ANTHONY (Richmond) (Minister for Trade and Industry) - by leave - We have just listened to what I think is one of the most pharisaic statements ever made in this House.


Mr Whitlam - How did you say that word?


Mr ANTHONY - Pharisaic- sheer hypocrisy. To put it in language that honourable members opposite might understand, it was one of the most hypocritical, parsimonious statements I have heard come from the honourable member for Dawson. He is embarrassed and red-faced because he has been proved wrong. All he has done during the course of the last 2 years has been to be a mischief maker as regards the relationship between the Australian Wheat Board and the People's Republic of China. If anything, he has made trade with China more difficult.


Dr Everingham - I rise to a point of order. Is it in order for the Minister to pass judgment on the motives of the honourable member for Dawson?


Mr SPEAKER - I think judgments were passed by the Opposition side just a few minutes ago.


Dr J F Cairns (LALOR, VICTORIA) - I rise to a point of order. I seek the basis of your judgment on this, Mr Speaker. I suggest that the honourable member for Dawson had nothing to say other than to state the facts of what he had said and done. He made no reflection upon the Minister. All the Minister has done has been to get to his feet, to ignore completely these facts and to make a personal attack on the honourable member for Dawson.


Mr SPEAKER -The point of order raised by the honourable member for Capricornia related to what the Minister was saying, not to what the member for Dawson said.


Mr Uren - Mr Speaker, surely -


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I suggest that this House should believe in what I would call, in an Australianism, a fair go.


Mr Uren - Mr Speaker, do your comments apply to-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourble member for Reid will cease interjecting while I am on my feet. If the honourable member continues to interject I will name him. There is no substance in the point of order which was raised. The Minister has been given leave to make a statement. The Minister is entitled to refer in that statement to relevant matters provided he does not reflect on the conduct or character of an honourable member.


Mr Uren - My further point of order, Mr Speaker, is that there has been a reflection on the honourable member for Dawson. Accusations have been made but no evidence whatsoever has been brought forward to support them.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! If the honourable member will show me where there has been a reflection on the honourable member for Dawson I will consider it.


Mr Uren - The Deputy Prime Minister said that the honourable member for Dawson had been a mischief maker and had connived to create problems for the Wheat Board over the past 2 years. No evidence whatsoever has been produced to this House by the Minister. He has just made a broad accusation.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Chair never sets itself, up as I have said before, as-


Mr Hayden - Fair go.


Mr Charles Jones - It depends on which side you are on.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! If the honourable member for Oxley continues interjecting I will name him. In regard to the point of order raised by the honourable member for Reid, the Deputy Prime Minister has been given leave to make a statement. He has not, in my view, reflected in a derogatory way on the conduct or character of an honourable member sufficient to warrant my upholding the point of order. I do not set myself up, and I never have in this House, as one who judges the correctness or otherwise of the actions of any honourable member unless they are directly motivated towards disparaging the conduct or character of an honourable member.


Mr Uren - Mr Speaker, my point is that the honourable member for Dawson is the alternative spokesman on primary industry. He could be the Minister responsible for the sale of Australian wheat. Every Australian here is pleased that a sale of $60m-


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member will not debate the matter.


Mr Uren - There has been a reflection on the honourable member in that it was said that he has connived against that sale.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member is raising a hypothetical question.


Mr Uren - A Minister on the front bench has just interjected and said that the honourable member is conniving.


Mr SPEAKER -I did not hear that comment. If a Minister did say that it is completely out of order.


Mr Martin - Mr Speaker, may I raise a point of order?


Mr SPEAKER - Yes, if I can hear you I will listen to you.


Mr Martin - I refer to standing order 303 which refers to the conduct of members in this House. As you have said rightly on previous occasions and again today, the conduct of some members of this House is a grave reflection on the House itself. The Deputy Prime Minister has made a statement in which he used the word 'Pharisee'. From my knowledge of the Bible, the word 'Pharisee' means a hypocrite. The honourable gentleman also used the word 'hypocrite'. Under standing order 303 I ask you, Mr Speaker, to direct the Deputy Prime Minister to withdraw the words 'Pharisee' and 'hypocrite'. They are not only disorderly; they are offensive.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I do not know the real biblical interpretation of the word that the honourable member used. I am not that well versed. I do not recall the Minister saying anything in any shape or form about the honourable member for Dawson being a hypocrite. What I do remember is that the right honourable gentleman was referring to a statement the honourable member for Dawson had made.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Mr Speaker, I think I can help you out on this. The point of order which I raise is that the Deputy Prime Minister described the statement made by the honourable member for Dawson as-


Mr Whitlam - Pharisaical.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Mr Speaker, if you had gone to Sunday school you would have known that the Pharisees were hypocrites. To make certain that those of us who were not so well versed in the Bible as he pretends to be, the Minister changed the word from 'pharisaical' to 'hypocritical'. What would you say, Mr Speaker, if 1 described a member of the Opposition as having made a treasonable statement or a criminal statement?


Mr SPEAKER -Order! There is no substance in the point of order. I call the Minister.


Mr ANTHONY - Thank you, Mr Speaker. I think the unfortunate thing about the honourable member for Dawson making a personal explanation is that he has deliberately again tried to bring a political aspect to our trade relations with China and has endeavoured to exacerbate our relations with that country. He is continuing to say that this country is hostile to the People's Republic of China. Only 5 weeks ago a statement was put out by the honourable member. Although he is reported in a newspaper today as having said that he had been expecting for the last 3 months that we would make a sale and that he was delighted, his statement of 5 weeks ago was as follows:

Dr Pattersonsaid the recent statement by Chou En-lai assuring Canada of long term wheat sales with China is clear evidence that China will not buy any wheat from Australia as long as the Australian Government continues its policy of hostility to China.

There have been some remarkable changes in attitude on the part of the Opposition in the last 5 weeks. The facts of the matter, as we have been saying all along, are that if we can normalise trade, if we can prevent embarrassment through political factors such as those which the Opposition has been playing with, we will trade with that country. The facts is that we are trading and we want to trade. We want to build up better relationships with China. This is not only a demonstration that we can sell any commodity to China, but also that China wants to improve its relations with us and we want to improve our relations with that country. A continuation of the performance we have just heard from the honourble member for Dawson will jeopardise our chances to achieve those goals.

He made some remarks about me and I retaliated. Goodness me, have I not some reason or justification for retaliating in view of the accusations he has made in this Parliament over the past 2 years, including a censure motion on me personally while I was out of the country? He knew after his trip to China that he was wrong and one member of his Party has said publicly that he was wrong. But has there been one word of apology from him? No. He has remained silent and is prepared to allow the stigma to attach to me. Well, there is always a day of retribution and this is the day of retribution. I think that what is worrying the Labor Party is that it is grievously embarrassed. It has displayed to the Australian wheat growers and to the Australian public just how wrong it has been.







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