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Thursday, 21 August 1980
Page: 592


Mr HODGMAN (Denison) - Mr Speaker,I seek your indulgence to make a personal statement.


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


Mr HODGMAN - In essence, yes, Mr Speaker.


Mr SPEAKER -I will put the question to the honourable gentleman again. Does he claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr HODGMAN - I do, Mr Speaker.


Mr SPEAKER - He may proceed.


Mr HODGMAN - Thank you, Mr Speaker. I advised the Leader of the Opposition that I would be raising this matter, and it is in the following form: Shortly after 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 19 August last, I gave notice of a motion in this House in the following terms:

That this House expresses its grave concern that even though the date for the Federal election has not yet been officially announced, the Leader of the Opposition has made promises all around Australia relating to five Federal departments and involving a total additional cost to the taxpayers of Australia of $2,000m a year.

The reference is page 17 of Hansard for 19 August. Yesterday afternoon I raised in this House the fact that immediately after I completed giving my notice of motion with the words, and I quote - involving a total additional cost to the taxpayers of Australia of $2,000m a year - close quotes - the Leader of the Opposition was clearly heard to say- quote - Make it four - close quotes; that is, $4,000m. Yesterday afternoon I asked you, Mr Speaker, to listen to the official Hansard tape recording.


Mr Young - Mr Speaker,I take a point of order. The honourable member for Denison raised this question yesterday and it was not a matter of personal explanation because he was raising whether an interjection by the Leader of the Opposition had been included in Hansard. I did not believe it was a matter of personal explanation yesterday. 1 am sure it is not a matter of personal explanation. It has nothing at all to do with the way in which the honourable member for Denison may have been misrepresented in what he said. What he said has been included in Hansard verbatim. There is no correction to what he has said. He is trying to re-arrange the Hansard in respect of what the Leader of the Opposition may or may not have said.


Mr SPEAKER - Yesterday the honourable member for Denison raised with me a point as to whether an interjection by the Leader of the Opposition should or should not appear in Hansard. The Hansard was not then available, as I remember it. That is why he raised with me whether it would or would not appear. What the honourable gentleman has done so far is to recapitulate what he said yesterday. I ask the honourable gentleman to come to the point of the misrepresentation quickly.


Mr HODGMAN - Yes, Mr Speaker. As I said yesterday afternoon, I asked you whether you would be prepared to listen to the official Hansard tape recording to confirm that the Leader of the Opposition had in fact said - quote- Make it four- close quotes- and to have those very important words incorporated in the Hansard. The Leader of the Opposition immediately rose in his place yesterday afternoon--


Mr Morris - Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. The honourable member for Denison is constantly repeating a part quotation. The matter was dealt with yesterday and what he is repeating to the House over and over again is not what was related to you by the Leader of the Opposition yesterday afternoon when the matter was resolved, This honourable member is the one who is supporting $3.5 billion with promises on transport alone.


Mr SPEAKER - The honourable gentleman will resume his seat.


Mr Morris - He does not want cheaper air fares for Tasmania.


Mr SPEAKER -I call the honourable member for Denison.


Mr HODGMAN - Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Leader of the Opposition immediately rose in his place yesterday afternoon and said- and I quote him verbatim - quote- Make it four. You have never been restrained by a want of responsibility and honesty before - close quotes.


Mr Charles Jones (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) - You would be one of the best liars in this place.


Mr HODGMAN - Because of the Leader of the Opposition's assertion, I sought--


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member for Denison will resume his seat. The honourable member for Newcastle will withdraw.


Mr Charles Jones (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) - I withdraw that, Mr Speaker.


Mr SPEAKER -I warn the honourable member for Newcastle that the next time he addresses any member of this House as a liar, 1 will warn him immediately. 1 call the honourable member for Denison.


Mr HODGMAN - If I am allowed to finish, I will finish in about one minute. Because of the Leader of the Opposition's assertion, I sought and obtained the official Hansard tape of Tuesday afternoon. I have it in my hand and I would dearly love to play it to this House, but I am told that that is not possible. The tape discloses clearly that as I completed giving my notice of motion the Leader of the Opposition called out- quoteMake it four- close quotes.


Mr Baillieu - That is all.


Mr HODGMAN - That is all. I repeatquote - Make it four - close quotes. No more, no less.


Dr Klugman - Mr Speaker,I take a point of order. How can a tape recording possibly have on it 'quote, close quote'? It is just a ridiculous proposition he is putting across.


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable gentleman will resume his seat. The point of order is equally ridiculous. I call the honourable member for Denison.


Mr HODGMAN - Mr--


Mr Scholes - Mr Speaker, I take a point of order.


Mr SPEAKER - I call the honourable member for Corio.


Mr Scholes - I want to be heard. When the mouth from Bendigo shuts up I will--


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member for Corio will make his point of order.


Mr Scholes - Before the honourable member is entitled to make an allegation that the Leader of the Opposition misled the House, which is in fact what he is saying, he is also required to prove to the House that the tape recording contains all that is said in this chamber which in fact is not technically possible. All interjections are not picked up by the tapes. It depends on which microphones are turned on, for what period they are turned on and on whether persons have spoken over the interjector from other areas where better access to microphones exists.


Mr SPEAKER - There is no point of order. I call the honourable member for Denison.


Mr Ruddock - Mr Speaker,I take a point pf order. Can we have an adjournment so we can all listen to the tape?


Mr SPEAKER - No. The honourable gentleman will resume his seat. I call the honourable member for Denison.


Mr Bryant - Mr Speaker, 1 take a point of order.


Mr SPEAKER -I will not hear a point of order. I call the honourable member for Denison.


Mr HODGMAN - As I said, on playing the tape the words 'Make it four' are clearly heard.


Mr Baillieu - That is all.


Mr HODGMAN - That is all,


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable gentleman has already told the House that. He will go to the next point or resume his seat.


Mr HODGMAN - The other words claimed to have been said by the Leader of the Opposition simply do not appear on the official Hansard tape.


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable gentleman will resume his seat.


Mr HODGMAN - They are not there. He has misled the House.


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable gentleman will resume his seat.


Mr HODGMAN - He has misled the House.


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member for Denison will remain silent.


Mr Hurford - Mr Speaker,I seek your indulgence to make a point about this episode. You have allowed the honourable member to go on with what is clearly a most irresponsible intervention in this Parliament, taking time from the grievance debate and so on. He is notorious for being irresponsible and seeking publicity in this way.


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member for Adelaide will resume his seat.


Mr Hurford - I ask you to put him in his place.


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member for Adelaide will resume his seat.


Mr HODGMAN - Mr Speaker--


Mr SPEAKER - The honourable member for Denison will resume his seat. What the honourable member for Adelaide said is not correct. It is a reflection on the Chair, in fact, but I will ignore that. Until the honourable member for Denison has stated his point I must assume that there is a misrepresentation. I remind the honourable member for Adelaide that I extend great indulgence to anybody in this House who feels that he has been misrepresented. It has been my practice to do so in respect of both sides of the House. The misuse of personal explanations is as widespread on the honourable member's side of the House as it is on the side of the House on which the honourable member for Denison sits. I think the matter ought to be at an end, unless the honourable member for Denison wishes to move some sort of substantive motion in relation to it. If he wishes to move some sort of substantive motion, he will have to do so either by notice delivered to the Clerk or next week when notices of motion are called on. The question of whether the motion will be debated will then be a matter for the Leader of the House.


Mr Hodgman - Mr Speaker--


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member will resume his seat.


Mr Hodgman - I seek to table the tape.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Denison will remain silent. I will not hear more from him. I have asked him to remain silent. If he does not remain silent I will deal with him.







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