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Monday, 12 November 1973
Page: 3166

Mr THORBURN (Cook) - I rise to refer to a statement attributed to the Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr Anthony) concerning the appointment of the former Federal Secretary of the Australian Labor Party to the staff of the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam). I indicate at the outset that I can see nothing inconsistent or incorrect with the appointment of Mr Young. Indeed, I believe that it is important for the Australian Prime Minister to gather around him the best expertise that is available in any area. After all, one of the great problems facing industry, government and other areas of activity - the honourable member for McMillan (Mr Hewson) referred to some of the industrial problems that are prevalent in the community today - is the lack of communication. There is a great need for people to communicate. I believe that Mr Young will play an important role in this regard and make a significant contribution to the proper functioning of the Prime Minister's Department.

With the present climate of industrial relations in Australia, with an inflationary trend and with wages possibly not able to keep pace with the trend, there is discontent in the community. There is a great need for people to thrash out these matters and that is the whole basis of our conciliation and arbitration system. The system is based on discussion, and I am quite sure that Mr Young will make a great contribution to the Australian Govern ment in this regard. What amazes me is the attack by the Leader of the Australian Country Party. After all, if one looks at the record of the previous Government in providing jobs for the girls and the boys, one sees a very significant list. As I was sitting here talking to my colleagues they wanted to add another twenty or thirty names to the list that I have compiled myself.

The first person on the list is Sir John Spicer, who was a Liberal. He was appointed to the Commonwealth Industrial Court. The next is Senator Dame Annabelle Rankin, who was appointed as High Commissioner to New Zealand. Then there is Senator Dame Ivy Wedgwood, who was appointed to the Metric Conversion Board. The next on the list is Sir Denham Henty, who was Leader of the Liberal Party in the Senate and who was appointed to dozens of committees. Then there is Sir Howard Beale, who was appointed as Ambassador to the United States of America. Next there is Mr Dan Mackinnon, the former member for Corangamite, who was appointed as Ambassador to one of the South American countries - I think it was the Argentine.

The next person on my list is Sir Hubert Opperman, the famous cyclist, who was appointed as Ambassador to Malta. Mr Gordon Freeth, upon his defeat at a general election, was appointed as Ambassador to Japan. The next on the list are His Excellency Sir Paul Hasluck, who is the present Governor-General, and Lord Casey who was a former Governor-General. Mr Roger Dean, when he was defeated for the seat of Robertson, was appointed as Administrator of the Northern Territory. Subsequently he was appointed to an Ambassador's position. Mr Fred Chaney, on his defeat in an election, was appointed Administrator of the Northern Territory. There is a classic example in the case of Mr Ian Allan, who honourable members will recall was the former member for Gwydir. He was not defeated; he had to get out.

Mr Charles Jones - He had to make way for the President of the Country Party.

Mr THORBURN - He had to make way for the Honourable Ralph Hunt who was then the President of the Australian Country Party. Mr Ian Allan was appointed to the War Graves Commission. Mr Bill Arthur, who was the former member for Barton, was appointed as an adviser to Mr Gorton. Mr Peter Brown, who was defeated for the seat of Kalgoorlie in the early 1960s, was appointed to Treasurer Holt's staff. The next person on the list is Mr Frank Davis, who retired from the seat of Deakin. He was appointed as Chairman of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories. Percy Joske, a former member for the seat of Balaclava, was appointed to the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory.

Mr Morris - There was Sir John Pagan.

Mr THORBURN - Yes. I guarantee that the five or six Opposition members present in the chamber could add another 2 dozen names to the list. I think that Government supporters, if they exercised their minds, could add many more names. Many of the people I have mentioned have made a very significant contribution in their positions. Just because a person has served in government, I do not think means that he is not capable of rising to a higher position or of serving in a greater capacity. I fail to see why the Leader of the Australian Country Party should launch his attack if it is for no other purpose than to gain political advantage. If he wants to gain political advantage perhaps I could hand to the Press the extended list of names that my colleagues and I could compile. Over the 23 years of the former Government's administration, almost every member who was defeated or disposed of in some other way because it suited the political climate at the time, got another job.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! It being 11 o'clock, the House stands adjourned until 11 a.m. tomorrow.

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