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Tuesday, 18 April 1972
Page: 1200

Senator HANNAN (Victoria) - It is quite easy to understand why baseless, phoney charges are levelled against the Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood) so often. The reason is that he has the uncanny knack of putting his finger on the weakness, the hypocrisy and the humbug which seeps right through all the nonsense we have heard from the other side tonight. We have listened to a Gilbert and Sullivan clownish exhibition from

Senator Wheeldon.That sort of garbage is an insult to this chamber. I will not bother to deal with this nonsense. My friend Senator Douglas McClelland normally puts forward a saner point of view in this chamber. Regrettable, though it may be I have to disagree with him this evening. The whole point is that the AttorneyGeneral has pointed out that there is no evidence against the Rhodesian Centre.

Senator Keeffe - You get SO bucks a week to act on behalf of the Rhodesian Centre. What are you whingeing about?

Senator HANNAN - If honourable senators opposite, who are interjecting, do not like a country or a philosophy, they do not need evidence to convict it; that are happy to convict it on say-so. I remember a very great Labor Prime Minister, Ben Chifley, who, when confronted with certain evidence that the United States Government was not disclosing things as fully to Australia as it might, because of certain attitudes of the Labor Government, said 'This information was either stolen or forged and I disregard it', and that was the end of it. On its own assessment, the gentleman who produced the so-called evidence against the Rhodesian Centre had stolen it. I quote Ben Chifley on that and ignore the rest of what he had to say.

The Attorney-General has been completely and absolutely proper, but if honourable senators opposite are concerned with the organisations that work in this country, J draw their attention to the fact that Great Britain, a tolerant country, has recently had to expel 105 Soviet 'diplomats'. They mainly came from the Soviet trade delegation in Great Britain. Bolivia found it necessary a fortnight ago to expel 115 Soviet trade delegates. What on earth 115 Soviet trade delegates were doing in Bolivia is beyond me completely. Those gentlemen might have been more gainfully employed. Honourable senators opposite are joining in a chorus of interjections. I do not mind taking them on one al a time but when the jackels yell all together I find it difficult. If honourable senators opposite were genuinely concerned with organisations operating in this country they might well ask themselves what has happened in Britain and in Bolivia. We are about to set up in this country a full-scale embassy from Poland. I disapprove of this. It is reasonable to assume that most of those characters will be trade delegates. (Senator Poyser interjecting) -

The PRESIDENT - Senator Poyser,1 will have to look upon you with a less benign eye if you continue to interject.

Senator HANNAN - He is under a very great strain, Mr President, because of the Victorian Council of the ALP. The Victorian Council of the ALP has placed poor Senator Poyser, Senator Brown and my friend Senator Primmer under a great strain at the moment.

The PRESIDENT - Order! I would like to draw the attention of honourable senators to this situation: 1 am perfectly aware that all senators are getting tired. I am feeling tired, and I think the sooner we can wind up this adjournment debate the better. There is no profit in it for anyone.

Senator HANNAN - Have 1 your permission to continue, Mr President?

The PRESIDENT - Yes, you may proceed, but I hope at not too great a length.

Senator HANNAN - As I said, this has caused a great strain on honourable gentlemen opposite since the State Council of the Labor Party has aligned itself so openly and so flagrantly with the enemies of this country and with the enemies of our allies.

Senator Keeffe - Oh, shut up.

The PRESIDENT - Order!

Senator Keeffe - Well, he is telling lies.

The PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Keeffe, you are promoting dissension in the chamber as much as anyone else is.

Senator Keeffe - Well, he is a liar.

The PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Keeffe, don't you reply to me like that.

Senator HANNAN - I can understand why honourable senators opposite are a little tender on this point, lt shows that the Labor Party is now quite capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I am going to finish this powerful pronunciomento. I am sick and tired of hearing honourable senators stand up and, in voices dripping with synthetic emotion, declaim about some young man whose conscience has driven him to the Bastille - some young man who would take imprisonment rather than comply with the National Service Act. The admiration which they have is strangely selective. What they should remember is that some - I do not say all - of these young gentlemen found that it would be much cosier in an Australian gaol than in the swamps of Vietnam. That is something which cannot be overlooked. That being the case, the hypocrisy opposite is obvious. It is blatant. And the attacks upon the AttorneyGeneral are wholly baseless and false.

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