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Tuesday, 29 April 1969

Senator McMANUS (VICTORIA) -No. 1 said that there are expert opinions on the other side. I have never had an issue on which I have had as many expert opinions on both sides put to me as on this issue.

Senator Prowse - The honourable senator did not quote the others.

Senator McMANUS - I do not think I interjected when Senator Prowse was speaking.

Senator Prowse - That is true. I do not know whether the honourable senator was here.

Senator McMANUS - I have a high respect for the honourable senator. I forbore to give a reason that some poeple might give when baited with that interjection. I want to say in conclusion that obviously this is a matter on which a person like myself, who is not a wool grower, could find it very hard to arrive at an opinion. But I do not agree with the suggestions made by some people that because someone is not a wool grower he is not entitled to express an opinion or to talk on the subject. There is a very foolish attitude that I have seen adopted in the Senate sometimes by honourable senators who say, when talking on defence: 'You did not go to the war so you should not talk on it'. There are now others who say: 'You do not grow wool so you should not talk about merino rams'. This is a very foolish attitude if carried to its logical conclusion. If that were to be the rule, whenever any issue came up about 55 of the 60 senators should leave because they might know nothing personally about the question.

We are here to inform ourselves on issues that come before the Senate and that is what I have tried to do. Members of my Party have tried to do the same. Therefore I say that we will vote against the lifting of the ban because we do not believe that a clear and conclusive case has been put forward for lifting the ban. On the contrary, we are impressed with the very strong opposition, particularly among the rank and file and smaller wool growers who, in many ways, have most to lose. For that reason we believe that a decision should be made tonight. If a decision is taken tonight, we will vote in favour of the amendment.

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