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Tuesday, 20 November 1973
Page: 1937

Senator MULVIHILL (New South Wales) - Normally, I do not speak on education, but I must say that, when Senator McManus referred to all the lobbying that has gone on, that is correct. Like every other senator, I think, I was approached by people with various points of view. My approach has been consistent from the start. I have always believed in the dictum of G. H. D. Cole about preferring a little for the many to a lot for the few, and it is on that needs concept that I would always argue. With that background I take up the dialogue that ensued between Senator James McClelland and Senator McManus about representation, and particularly the fragmentation among independent school supporters. I refer to the Federation of Parents and Friends in New South Wales.

The most outstanding feature of the last 12 months has been the number of people who have had honest differences of opinion with the present Government on what we propose to do about education. My good friend and Senate colleague Senator O 'Byrne would know of a statement made by Archbishop Guilford Young of Hobart. I notice that he once said that a tribute, not a niggardly unappreciative reaction, should be paid to the Karmel report. I marry that with the initial remarks of Senator Rae. I sensed even from Senator Rae an acceptance that overall the legislation was good.

I want to refer to the principle of this amendment which concerns the method of selection. To take the New South Wales situation, there is a cleavage of opinion between the Federation of Catholic Parents and Friends Associations in New South Wales and others. Senator McManus would appreciate this next remark which I make as a comradely criticism. The general idea that taunts people seems to be that no one in those groups was supporting the present Government. But when Mrs Turner, of all people, went on record as differing from other groups, I think it is fair to ask: Who does Mrs Turner represent? She is an extremely talented woman. In the 1969 elections and in the elections up to 1972-1 do not say this in a disparaging way- I am certain that she was identified with the Democratic Labor Party, and she had every right to be. As a matter of fact, during the election in which Senator Kane was successful I was cruising in my car around the electorate of Lowe and she was handing out Democratic Labor Party how-to-vote cards. I met her afterwards and I said: 'I do not know whether you will get a political dividend from the result'. To the credit of that woman, despite the advent of Senator Kane to this chamber, what has happened? Mrs Turner is supporting what we are doing. Senator James McClelland is nodding his head in agreement. Senator Kane has been churlish in his Party. What is the position? If we appoint Mr McNamara and Father Martin to the Commission we will get a continuation of the policy that Mrs Turner is eulogising. I do not know what all this hubbub is about. I think that if the Opposition withdrew its amendments and Mr Beazley said: 'All right we will return to the status quo', Mr McNamara and Father Martin, as far as I can see, will be seen to have followed the socialist concept of G. H. D. Cole of a little for many rather than a lot for a few. That is my contribution to the debate.

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