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Tuesday, 11 April 1972
Page: 915

Senator MURPHY - My question is directed to the Attorney-General. Is it correct that the Premier of Western Australia said that he would protest to the Prime Minister about and seek the retraction of statements which have been attributed to the Attorney-General? Is it correct that the Premier of Western Australia said that the Attorney-General had shown that he was prepared to make statements recklessly, for political purposes and without belief in their truth? Will the Attorney-General explain to the Senate how it comes about that he is being accused in such grave terms by the Premier of a State?

Senator GREENWOOD - I am unable to say why the Premier of Western Australia should make statements of the character which he made - assuming of course that he did make them, and I have seen Press reports to the effect that he did. Let me say that my categorical repudiations of the statements attributed to the Premier of Western Australia were published in the Press and that it would be surprising if Senator Murphy was not aware of that fact at the time when be asked the question.

I made statements when I was in Western Australia and those statements which I made were true and were based on my belief on evidence available to me. I stand by those statements. I will not withdraw those statements because I know them, on the best evidence available, to be true. In those circumstances, if it is suggested that I have made statements recklessly or without belief in their truth, a sweeping allegation is being made by a person who never sought to inquire of me what the basis for my statements was. In those circumstances, it is fair to say that it is a smokescreen to hide a situation which possibly he does not want revealed.

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