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Thursday, 23 March 1972
Page: 899

Senator JESSOP (South Australia) - 1 feel that I have to rise, as my name was taken in vain by Senator McLaren while I was in my office. I can understand the sensitivity with which he spoke because it is quite obvious to me that he resents the fact that on this side of the chamber there are some people who are pointing to significant weaknesses in the Australian Labor Party. We on this side of the chamber believe that we have an obligation to the people of Australia to point out just how many weaknesses there happen (o be in the Opposition Party. (Opposition senators interjecting) -

Senator JESSOP - Mr President,if I may have your protection against the manifestations of the obvious sensitivity of the Opposition side, I wish to make this point: Members of the Labor Party are rejoicing in the fact that the Liberal and Country League in South Australia has a minor internal problem and that the public media have chosen to give headlines to it. No doubt members of the Opposition have been very grateful for this because it has effectively directed the attention of the Press away from the inadequacies and ineffectiveness of their Party's Federal Executive meeting in Adelaide. Like Senator Young, I feel that it is our responsibility to demand that some declaration come from members of the Labor Party with regard to their condoning of law breaking in Australia and their condoning and support of a draft resisting ALP candidate. This type of issue has been effectively evaded, and I believe that I have a responsibility to bring these things out. Another point is that members of the Labor Party have side-stepped quite effectively the embarrassment they are experiencing with regard to a preselection in New South Wales. (Opposition senators interjecting) -

Senator Webster - Mr Acting Deputy President, I raise a point of order. 1 am interested in what Senator Jessop is saying, but I am unable to follow what he is saying because of the noise coming from the Opposition benches. I ask that you quieten it.

Senator Cavanagh - Speaking to the point of order, I also am interested in what SenatorJessop has to say. I also think that we should have silence for the purpose of hearing the debate on the divisions that are occurring between Steele Hall and other members of the LiberalCountry League.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Cant) - Order! I ask honourable senators to give Senator Jessop, who has the call, a fair go.

Senator JESSOP -I thank you for your protection, Mr Acting Deputy President. Recently we heard a classic speech from Senator McLaren in which he endeavoured to gain political capital by mentioning the position of Steele Hall in South Australia. He is seeking to gain political capital out of a situation which, in fact, is very similar in every way to the practices employed in the Australian Labor Party. I will continue to do my duty to the Australian people and to point out the weaknesses in the Opposition. If question time happens to be the medium to do that, I shall continue the practice of asking questions.

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