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Thursday, 22 November 1973
Page: 3688

Mr SPEAKER - Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Dr FORBES - Yes. The Minister for Defence (Mr Barnard) on at least 3 occasions lately - the last occasion being during question time today - persists in saying-

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Mr Speaker, did I hear the honourable gentleman ask for leave to make a statement?

Mr SPEAKER - No. He is making a personal explanation. He claims to have been misrepresented.

Dr FORBES - The Minister persists in saying that the secrets of the Department of Defence have been made available to me as Opposition spokesman on defence matters. Indeed, in an answer to a question today, he implied that this has enabled so eminent a person as the United States Ambassador to believe that that is correct. The Minister quite clearly has implied that I have only to ask and I will receive. I have explored this Pandora's Box which the Minister has said he has opened up to me and I have discovered, as a result of inquiry and these explorations, that, in fact, I have been specifically denied any information which would enable me to make any judgment at all about the credibility of the Government's defence policy. In particular, I have specifically been denied access to the strategic basis of defence policy from which the Minister has been quoting large chunks to public audiences all around Australia.

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