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Thursday, 18 October 1973
Page: 2338

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) - The obloquy which has come from the Minister for Overseas Trade (Dr J. F. Cairns) will fool no one at all. The honourable gentleman has sought to convince the Parliament by resorting to insults, and he has sought to do so by speaking in reasoned terms. The honourable gentleman has spoken reasonably in terms of quietness. He has reminded me, I must confess, of a very large, truculent, bull calf coming into the ring prior to being branded - destined to be ruined in more than one capacity.

We make a mistake in treating the Minister for Services and Property (Mr Daly) so generously. What a shy, fragile little being he has turned himself into this afternoon. He said to us: T would love to tell you the reasons why we must truncate this debate, but I dare not'. Since when has modesty consumed the honourable gentleman's being? He said to us: You have known all about this measure since 30 August'. But he did not say whether that is any indication that the Parliament has had an opportunity to debate it. I said to the honourable gentleman yesterday afternoon that I feared that he had become a victim of the

Munchhausen syndrome. Fearing, of course, that the significance of that remark has escaped the honourable gentleman, 1 am bound to say to him that if he says that the Parliament has had an opportunity to debate this great issue, and if he means it, I can only accuse him of being the most polished tergiversator of our day. The honourable gentleman can find out what I mean by that.

The Minister for Services and Property is seeking to build up for himself a reputation as the Stalin of Australian politics - the man of steel, smiling away. He cannot smile away the great traditions of this Parliament. Parliament is supposed to be a talking shop. The word comes from 'parle', meaning 'to speak'.


Mr KILLEN - The Minister for Labour, of course, has built up a sturdy reputation in Australian Workers Union politics. He is the only person ever to become the secretary of a branch of the AWU by his opponent dying during the course of a poll. If the Minister for Services and Property takes the view that he is doing a service to the parliamentary tradition I must - I hope with characteristic courtesy - say to him: 'You are in error'. It is to no avail for the Minister for Overseas Trade, in his unctuous, schoolmasterly fashion - if the Minister put his glasses on intellectually he would be better off - to seek to hector us and to lecture us. The honourable gentleman's days are numbered. I warn him of that. When the people of this country understand the miserable, contemptible way in which he is working on the parliamentary traditions, they will take to him like ants to a mutton chop - and I hope they do not miss one bit of the meat.

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