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Thursday, 18 October 1973
Page: 2386

Mr DALY - Yes. Today while I was in my office I heard certain members of the Australian Country Party, not all of them, quoting from the proof issue of yesterday's House of Representatives Hansard.

He claims misrepresentation through eavesdropping. I think this was the first time I have ever heard such a claim made in this House. But of course it was not misrepresentation at all; it was the truth. He then went on to say:

That copy of Hansard is the uncorrected copy which was printed late last night. What I said actually was: not many members of the Country Party'. I said that on 2 occasions and I didmake a mistake in regard to the honourable member for Moore.

He said that his actual words were: 'not many members of the Country Party'. That was false. That was absolutely and completely false. His words were recorded in Hansard. If honourable members will look at the text of Hansard they will see that it is not very easy to amend it in the way that the Minister wanted to amend it and falsify it. The fact that he was prepared to go to these lengths of believing he could make these major alterations to falsify Hansard rather than coming here like a man and saying: 'I am wrong; I made a mistake', which is pardonable, shows something of the character, I fear, of the Minister.

He did not end there. In the debate on the adjournment that night the matter was raised again by the honourable member for Cowper (Mr Ian Robinson). The Minister then said again that he had been misrepresented and again I quote what he said:

I remind the honourable member for Cowper that he is quoting from a proof or uncorrected copy of my speech last night. If he had been in the House earlier tonight and heard my explanation, he would have understood the position perfectly.

The Minister is out to falsify Hansard, not to apologise for his mistake, and then accuses the honourable member for Cowper. But it did not end there. In the adjournment debate I brought the matter up further and asked the Speaker to have a look at it and verify what the Minister had said. A most disgraceful thing was said by the Minister. He implied that I was speaking falsely, because he said I had been asleep during the speech. That was utterly untrue. It was a disgraceful, filthy imputation. The Minister does not seem to be ashamed of himself, as indeed he should be.

The matter came to a conclusion at the next sitting of Parliament. The Minister was overseas, but the Speaker, by what means I do not know, verified Hansard. I imagine - I do not know - that he listened to the taped recording of proceedings and he found out that what the

Minister had said was utterly and completely false and was not very far from being a concerted conspiracy to falsify, because it was not just one thing. Here we have a Minister who, when he is caught out, tries to cover up. He uses his majority; he uses every form of the House; he abuses his position as Leader of the House. He is lost apparently to all sense of honour when he does things like this. Let me quote what the Speaker said as recorded at page 730 of Hansard:

(1)   I am satisfied that the report is accurate.

(2)   The passage in Hansard will not be altered.

The Minister even now has not apologised. He has not apologised to the House for his dishonourable conduct. All I can say is that I have tried to put this on the record and I shall endeavour, by every means at my power, to have this matter published in the Minister's electorate so that his constituents can gain some kind of knowledge of the standard of truth which is embraced by the honourable member who represents Grayndler in this Parliament. What I have said is factual and to the point. Everything I have said is verifiable in Hansard and cannot be answered just by some kind of smear that the Minister is capable of emitting on any provocation. His only defence is to try to bring forward more falsehoods when he is cornered. I have seen him in this position before.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Scholes)Order!The honourable gentleman's time has expired.

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