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Wednesday, 26 November 1980
Page: 37

Senator WALTERS (Tasmania) - by leave- I wish to make a personal explanation. I refer to a report in today's edition of the Canberra Times under the heading : 'Sir Garfield snubbed by Labor senator'. The report describes how an Australian Labor Party senator snubbed the Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir Garfield Barwick, at the opening of Parliament yesterday. It gives a rather long dissertation on the actions of one senator. It states that the senator refused to stand for Sir Garfield Barwick but rose to his feet when the former Attorney-General, Mr Justice Lionel Murphy of the High Court, passed by. This lengthy report is accompanied by a photograph of me under which the words 'Senator Walsh' appear. This incident has caused considerable amusement in some quarters in the Parliament.

Senator Ryan - Senator Walsh wasn't amused.

Senator WALTERS - Nor was 1. 1 believe that this amusement was caused among those who know both Senator Walsh and me well enough to realise that there is not the slightest possibility that on any occasion would Senator Walsh and I comment or act in any similar way on any subject whatsoever, lt is because of our diametrically opposed views that I feel entitled to call upon the Canbera Times for the publication of an appropriately worded apology. I think it should appear on page one. To put the record straight it should contain photographs of me and Senator Walsh. The Deputy Whip has suggested that they be in colour which might be appropriate. In all the circumstances I am sure that I can call upon all my colleagues in this chamber to ensure that the matter is dealt with to protect the dignity of the chamber and to correctly inform the people of the Australian Capital Territory not only that Senator Walsh is not a woman--

Senator Ryan - How do you know?

Senator WALTERS - I will not answer that interjection. Senator Walsh may care to answer it later. Not only is he not a woman but also I am a woman and I am very proud of it. In no circumstances whatsoever would I behave in the fashion in which he has behaved, even towards Mr Justice Murphy.

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