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Tuesday, 24 September 1974
Page: 1365


Senator JESSOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I rise to support Senator Withers in this debate. I suggest that we are discussing the proposition that the Australian Labor Party ought to be given 5 representatives at the Constitutional Convention and the Liberal-Country Party Opposition ought to be given four, therby giving the Labor party the traditional majority which a government usually has on committees of this type. It seems to me that the whole argument hinges on whether a senator who has attracted 0.94 per cent of the vote ought to be recognised and given a position on the delegation to this Convention. I put to the Senate that that is an unfair proposition. I was distressed when the Government intruded into this debate an attack on Senator Townley of Tasmania. Senator Everett was very critical of him and suggested that he has been flying under false colours. Not long after Senator Everett spoke, Senator Gietzelt, another member of the Labor Party, said that Senator Townley has consistently suported the view of the Opposition. I believe that the 2 points of view expressd by the Government side have been inconsistent.

I believe that the Liberal Movement has already a representative at the Constitutional Convention. For Senator Hall to insist that he be given this role on the federal delegation seems to me to demonstrate a lack of confidence in his colleague from South Australia. Therefore, I support the view already promoted by Sentor Withers that it is quite fair to suggest that the Government with a 48 per cent poll result and the Liberal and Country Party Opposition with a 48 per cent result should attract the same representation from this place; and that the Government should be allowed to have the traditional majority of one from the House of Representatives. I support the attitude of the Opposition in this respect.

Question put.

That the motion (Senator Murphy's) be agreed to.







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