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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 2529

Senator POYSER (Victoria) -I want to say a few words because of the remarks made by Senator Wright. He said that he did not think it mattered whether it was a 'G' or a 'geegee' but we have listened to some asses from the other side of the House tonight. I am absolutely amazed that Senator Wright should make the references that he made to Senator McLaren after the vicious, unwarranted and proven untruthful attack which Senator Webster made on Senator McLaren. It was the most untruthful, undocumented, unfactual attack ever made. Senator Webster is a member of a committee concerned with the Northern Territory and allegedly has an interest in the Northern Territory, but on the evidence that Senator McLaren raised tonight he does not find it convenient even to attend meetings of that committee. He quoted from a document which he claimed to be a declaration. When we asked him to say from where it came, he said that it was a copy of a statutory declaration. This was a completely undocumented, unfactual case that he put before this Senate tonight.

It surprises me that Senator Wright, who is a legal man with a long history of declaring himself to be a person of fact and of honour should defend the deplorable case which Senator Webster put to the Senate tonight. Senator Webster deliberately set out to destroy 2 honourable senators because of statements they made in the process of exercising their rights in this place. Then when he got down to tin tacks, he tried to speak a second dme: He wanted a second bite of the cherry. In the final analysis, what did he have to do? He had to apologise to Senator McLaren because he had completely misrepresented the case that he wanted to make. As was said earlier, Senator Little and Senator Webster are fighting for the fifth Senate position in Victoria and they are cutting each other's throats. We put up daily- and hourly- with speeches from Senator Webster which bore everybody in this place to tears. He would talk under water with a mouth full of cement because he thinks he is getting to the people in Victoria. He thinks that the people even read Hansard; he honestly believes it. He believes that all the words that he has ever spoken in this chamber will be read with avid interest by the 3.5 million people in Victoria. He honestly believes that this happens. I think that probably he believes in Santa Clause too. The inevitable result of his activity is that he has been condemned for all time as a person who would make unsubstantiated charges on flimsy and unfactual evidence against an honourable senator who had all the powder in the gun. I think it is shameful for any honourable senator to come into this House and make an attack as did Senator Webster tonight on 2 members of this House. His case was based on facts that do not exist. As he said earlier, I think he should be ashamed of himself.

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