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Friday, 30 April 1971

Senator McMANUS (Victoria) -I wish to make a statement on a matter about which I claim to have been misrepresented. Last Wednesday during the debate on the Public Order (Protection of Persons and Property) Bill Senator Cavanagh when discussing illegal demonstrationsstated, on the authority of Senator Hendrickson, that I had once participated in an illegal or unlawful demonstration. Senator Cavanagh went on to say that at that time Senator Hendrickson and Senator McManus marched through the streets of Melbourne to protest against the city council by-laws which prohibited the holding of a procession on St Patrick's Day. He continued:

So it is not only Moratorium campaigners who demonstrate.

I confess that I did march in the procession. It was51 years ago. I was a school boy in short pants andI marched with my school. It was not an unlawful demonstration. At that time the Irish civil war was raging and tempers in Melbourne were running as hot as they are today in Belfast and Londonderry. When the usual application was made to conduct the procession, the city council refused permission, but in discussions held before the procession the council offered to give permission on condition that the Union Jack was carried at the head of the procession. That was agreed to and the procession was held. Therefore, in my short pants I marched with my school in a lawful and legal procession. I think Senator Willesee knows that there were certain features of the procession which have gone down in history. I merely thought I would clear the record of that occasion and assure honourable senators that I was not a lawbreaker, even when I was in short pants.

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