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Tuesday, 13 August 1974
Page: 783

Senator WALSH (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question refers to statements made recently by Mr Jack Hallett, former member of the House of Representatives for the electorate of Canning, at the Western Australian Country Party conference. Mr Hallett, who was a Country Party member of the House of Representatives, described Sir Charles Court, the Liberal Party Premier of Western Australia, as a hypocrite and attacked the Liberal Party for its support of the Industries Assistance Commission legislation.

Senator Drake-Brockman - I rise to a point of order. The honourable senator has asked three or four similar questions. I say that he is now giving information instead of asking a question.

The PRESIDENT - I have been listening very closely to the question. I would like Senator Walsh to put his question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Senator WALSH - I ask Senator Murphy: Does Mr Hallett 's statement expose innate conflicts between the Liberal Party and the Country Party which are normally plastered over for electoral convenience? Can it be assumed from the Country Party's trenchant opposition to the Industries Assistance Commission that the Country Party realises that an adequately informed electorate would not tolerate the sordid and secretive political pork barrelling in which the Country Party specialised prior to its dismissal from government?

Senator Greenwood - I rise to a point of order. This is not a matter relating to public affairs. It is a question asked by one senator of the Leader of the Government in his own Party, calling for comment about the other parties. I recall that the point of order I am taking was developed to a fine stage of perfection by Senator Murphy when he was Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. I submit that no better authority in this area ought to be referred to and that the question should be ruled out of order.

The PRESIDENT - I will leave it to Senator Murphy representing the Prime Minister to take up the responsibility of answering if he feels that it is within his field.

Senator MURPHY -I will do my best, Mr President. It is obvious that the Industries Assistance Commission, which has been established through the efforts of this Government, is an extremely valuable institution. There is no doubt that the Liberal Party and the Country Party are fighting about it. It is unfortunate that they use such words as 'hypocrite' and so forth in relation to one another, but I suppose that as long as they keep fighting this Government can keep on administering the country in the way that it should. I think it is best just to leave them to their quarrels and hope that they will allow us to get through the necessary legislation and to introduce some wise administration.

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