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Wednesday, 26 April 1972
Page: 1344

Senator O'BYRNE (Tasmania) - First, I remind Senator McManus that the 'Willesee Show' as he referred to it, is run by the Packer Press. I ask Senator McManus whether he has applied to the Packer family to go on its show in order to put his case?

Senator McManus - No. I always go to the man himself, not to his boss. I do not pimp on a man to his boss.

Senator O'BYRNE - That is very good reasoning. The revelations made to the Senate tonight have been startling. I was surprised at the sensitivity of the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson) who is usually a most placid and reasonable man. I was surprised that he should respond so actively to what has been put forward tonight. It was virtually the flushing out of traitors of democracy. The big question involved here is this: Everyone is wondering whether the

Minister for Housing (Mr Kevin Cairns) should be in the Government or in the Australian Democratic Labor Party, lt must be of great concern to Government members to know that they have in their ranks a person who is representative of those with whom we had so much trouble over the years, that is, infiltrators representing foreign and objectionable interests in their Party. My hope is that the Government will realise what we have had to go through during the years when we had such infiltrators in our ranks. However, the Government will learn in time to deal with them. Senator Greenwood objected when Senator Murphy sought leave of the Senate to table the document that has been referred to tonight. 1 wish to make some reference to the document which is entitled National U'. A tittle cartoon appears in the corner of the front page of this document. A little character carrying a box labelled Dynamite' is saying: 'It won't be long now folks!' The headline is: 'Federal Minister betrays Party. Secret national group.' The document reads:

Federal Housing Minister Kevin Cairns has compromised himself, the Federal Government and the Liberal Party. Documents which are reproduced in this edition of National U reveal that Mr Cairns is a member of an extreme rightwing nal iona! organisation known as Peace with Freedom. Other members of the organisation include Mr Bob Santamaria, Mr Peter Coleman (M.L.A.), Mr Peter Samuel (a Canberra journalist), Mr Peter Kelly (former Press Secretary to the Prime Minister), Professor James McAuley of Tasmania University, Dr Frank Knopfelmacher of Melbourne University, Professors David Armstrong and Peter Lawrence of Sydney University, ami Professor Owen Harris of New South Wales University. This adult section of the organisation, which has functioned secretly for many years, is closely tied to the DLP. How does this compromise Cairns?

That is a reference to the Minister for Housing. Mr Kevin Cairns. The document continues:

The last two editions of National U have revealed the existence of an organisation known as Peace with Freedom, ft became apparent that this group was co-ordinating a systematic attack on student governing bodies throughout Australia. lt was also evident that the activities of this group were both highly secretive and deceptive.

However, information has since been received which clearly illustrates that the extent of Peace with Freedom's activities and organisation range from the highest office in the land through a tightly knit organisation of politicians, academics, intellectuals, and journalists in all the Australian Stales.

For the past fortnight National U staff have investigated the membership, financing, and organisation of Peace with Freedom. Research resulting from documents obtained, listing agendas and activities of the group; interviews wilh known members and statements from those involved in its periphery are printed below. Peace with Freedom, by its members' own admission, has campaigned against the Government to which Cairns belongs.

Mr Cairnsis the Minister for Housing. It goes on:

The documents reveal that in the 1969 Federal elections the group worked to reduce the Government's majority to six or seven seats, and to max┬╗bise the DLP vote.

In addition, the group campaigned for a 'new policy approach' by the recently elected Government.

The election of John Gorton as Prime Minister, with the associated defence policies, was an anathema to PWF's objectives. It is significant that at this time Kevin Cairns publicly announced his refusal to serve under Gorton as Deputy Government Whip. By the time of the PWF meeting of March 1970, the group was actively working for the removal of John Gorton from the Prime Ministership (Documents, p. 4). Are these activities consistent with the Ministerial position Cairns holds in the Liberal Party?

The organisation has run campaigns to pressure the Government into extremist positions.

Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson - I rise in my place because 1 must again raise the question of standing order 418. There is no qualification. Reference is being made to a member in another place by inference and directly, and derogatory expressions are being used. 1 suggest that this is completely out of order under standing order 418.

The PRESIDENT - The honourable senator is entitled to read from a newspaper. I am going to ask him at some stage or another whether he will substantiate the views that, he is reading, but I cannot prevent him from reading from the newspaper.

Senator Wright - 1 rise to a point of order. I remind you, Sir, that the honourable senator's Leader in this debate used the expression 'manipulate government'. He said that that might undermine the whole process of democracy. Senator O'Byrne has referred to the group in question as traitors of democracy. Does that not involve a personal reflection upon the unit? And then there is the allegation that a Minister has betrayed the Government. 1 just wonder how clouded is our understanding or how thick are our hides that we are not to appreciate that those accusations are personal reflections upon a member of another place.

The PRESIDENT - 1 well take your point, but I was about to add for the benefit of Senator O'Byrne that he cannot go on reading from a newspaper in order to use the report as a cloak for things he dare not say in debate. I caution you, Senator O'Byrne, that you had better get to the stage of putting the newspaper down and addressing the Senate in the debate on the motion that it adjourned.

Senator O'BYRNE - I am amazed at the sensitivity of honourable senators opposite and DLP senators to this matter. I am amazed at the eagerness of DLP senators to leap to the defence of a Government Minister.

Senator Wright - It should be debated in the proper forum where the Minister can answer.

Senator O'BYRNE - I am glad to note a little activity by Government Ministers because previously they were silent. What sort of over-reaction is this? After all, it is a newspaper report. The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Murphy) asked for leave to table the newspaper. It is a simple document which contains references to all these people who are supposed to be so objectionable. It was only to be tabled, not incorporated in Hansard, but the Attorney-General (Senator Greenwood), wilh his great sense of justice-

The PRESIDENT - Order! You cannot canvass a decision already taken under the Standing Orders by the Senate. So please proceed.

Senator O'BYRNE - Why is everybody so vocal, Mr President?

The PRESIDENT - I do not know.

Senator O'BYRNE - The Government says that it is not associated with Peace with Freedom. The DLP, of course-

Senator McManus - Say something tough. Go on.

Senator O'Byrne - Senator McManus - that is something tough. You are a tough operator. Would you disclaim that you have anything to do with the Peace with Freedom movement?

Senator McManus - Nothing at all, nor has any of the whole 5 DLP senators - Senator Kane, Senator Little, Senator Byrne, myself and Senator Gair.

Senator O'BYRNE - But Bob Santamaria, your spiritual leader, has a lot to do with it.

Senator Little - He is a lot closer to the-

Senator O'BYRNE - You talk about sex at the university. That is your strong point. You are a great sex man. This reaction is of great interest to us all. This document was to have been tabled but permission was not granted. I would like to continue to quote from it.

The PRESIDENT - I have ruled that you cannot use a newspaper report as a cloak for matters which I would not allow in debate; that is, a personal reflection on a Minister in another place.

Senator O'BYRNE - May I move that the document be tabled?

The PRESIDENT - If you like. That has nothing to do with me.

Senator O'BYRNE - I ask for leave to table the document.

The PRESIDENT - Is leave granted?

Senator Greenwood - No.

Senator O'BYRNE - I insist that I may quote from copious newspaper reports.

The PRESIDENT - I have ruled on this question of copious notes. I will repeat the ruling I gave you just now. I have written it down so that I can repeat it with coherence. The honourable senator cannot use a newspaper article as a cloak for matters that he is not allowed to use in the debate.

Senator O'BYRNE - With a certain amount of reluctance, Sir, I bow to your ruling.

The PRESIDENT - I am grateful, even if you are reluctant.

Senator O'BYRNE - 1 hope you will permit me to exercise my rights to quote from another document. It states that the main objectives of political action during 1969 by this organisation were quite reactionary. It claimed that in order to implement its policy, 5 objectives were desirable in the October federal election. They were as follows:

(a)   the prevention of an ALP victory which would have destroyed national service and forward defence policy and the presence in Vietnam;

(b)   reduction of the Governments majority to a Still comfortable six to seven seats to ensure that the Government could not claim any popular mandate for its defence or Russian policies; (c) the requisite tightness of the DLP preferences to ensure the prevention of ALP policy and the reduction of the Government's majority.

I shall proceed:

(d)   The retention of, or, if possible, increase in, the DLP's primary vote; (e) the substitution of a new policy approach by a new Liberal Government.

Of course, we know what happened to the past Prime Minister Mr Gorton.

Four of these objectives have been achieved. The single negative factor was the 1.1 per cent decline in the DLP vote. 1 might mention that the DLP was not even game enough to show its ugly, snakelike head in Tasmania, because it knew it would have been cut off.

The major effects of this were:

(u)   Substitution of Fraser policy for Freeth.Fairhall policy; its limits, (b) Instructions to departments, (c) Theoretical acceptance of need to reintroduce Communist issue; only one ALP fears.

These arc the arrows that come down. Communist issues have to be reintroduced. The major problems of the Federal Government were shown as:

Cl) Total loss of morale and confidence in leadership, compounded by by-elections; (2) capitulation or weaknesses - (i) 'Jeparit'; (ii) mutiny resolution; (iii) Burchett, (iv) fear of facing Parliament. 1 think 1 have indicated that a member of this quasi-political group is acting in the worst interests of democratic government by using-

Senator Laucke - I rise to order, Mr President. Standing order 418 provides that all imputations of improper motives and all personal reflections on members shall be considered highly disorderly. Again we heard this imputation a moment ago. I think it should be retracted immediately.

The PRESIDENT - 1 have ruled earlier thai standing order 418 relates to personal reflections on a member of another place. I have been listening to Senator O'Byrne. He has been skidding around the subject. He can refer to parties to his heart's content. The point of order is not upheld.

Senator O'BYRNE - Thank you for your ruling. Mr President. ! am not referring to a member in another place; I atn referring to Mr Bob Santamaria who is manipulating the puppets in this puppet show. 1 would like to give this warning to the Government and to the Parliament: This is a very serious matter, and we should apply ourselves to the significance of this figure who has been behind the scenes for such a number of years. Although the people he represents ate being discredited in the electorate, they still exercise a very powerful influence inside the Parliament. I think that they should be exposed for what they are. Their representatives in the Senate and their ersatz representative in the Liberal Party and in the Cabinet should be exposed completely.

Senator Laucke - 1 again raise a point of order, Mr President. Reference nas been made to a member in another place, and 1 submit that under Standing order 418 this is disorderly, and should not be countenanced here.

The PRESIDENT - Order! It has to be a personal reflection, and Senator O'Byrne has not made a personal reflection. I shall ask the Clerk to take down the words the honourable senator complains of. Will he repeat them?

Senator Laucke - My point of order is that an imputation of improper motives and a personal reflection have been made on a member in another place. In my estimation, the person to whom the honourable senator referred a moment ago was Mr Kevin Cairns, the Minister for Housing in another place. That is the inference that can be drawn from the honourable senator's discussion, and that is the basis of my point of order.

The PRESIDENT - Order! I shall not uphold the point of order, but I remind the Senate that no-one is more jealous than I of the principle that neither chamber shall be used to make reflections upon members of another place, particularly when the person being reflected upon is unable to defend himself. Senator O'Byrne must bear this in mind.

Senator O'BYRNE - I feel that the situation has been developed completely. We are alerting our Parliament to affairs and situations that should be looked at in a very serious way. This Government, this Parliament and this country are under challenge by people who are trying to manipulate and dominate the democratic process, by numbers, by threats and by other undesirable means. Having raised this subject, I hope that the people who occupy seats in the Parliament will realise that the electors outside this Parliament are aware of this insidious, pernicious influence that is in our midst. It is the equivalent of the Quislings, the equivalent of the fifth column.

The PRESIDENT - Order!

Senator O'BYRNE - I am speaking about Santamaria; he is not a member of Parliament. What honourable senator is prepared to take a point of order about Santamaria? He is not a member of Parliament. Having said that, Mr President, I shall relieve you of the pressure by resuming my seat.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - On a point of order, Mr President, I invite your attention to standing order 364, which states that a document quoted from by a senator not a Minister of the Crown may be ordered by the Senate to be laid upon the table. Such order may be made without notice immediately upon conclusion of the speech of the senator who has quoted therefrom. I move:

That the papers referred to by Senator O'Byrne be tabled.

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