Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 25 September 1974
Page: 1385

The PRESIDENT -Is leave granted? There being no dissent, leave is granted.

Senator TOWNLEY -This matter relates to a personal attack that Senator Everett made upon me in my absence last night, ostensibly whilst the Senate was discussing something which was of no importance to my State of Tasmania and so I was not in the chamber. I have told Senator Everett that I would be raising this matter today. The Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) in a celebrated speech said:

I'm a bit jack of people who blackguard us with lies. I have nothing but contempt for those that accept and peddle lies.'

The Prime Minister said that a couple of days ago. I also have nothing but contempt for those who peddle lies, as we saw done in the Senate last night. I do not care what Senator Everett says about me when it is truthful but when it is blatantly untrue and a deliberate attempt to smear I feel that I do have some right of reply.

Last night Senator Everett saw me in the corridors just before he came into the chamber. Yet he did not have the usual decency to let me know that he was going to launch a personal attack upon me. This is just what I would expect because that is the way of socialist propaganda smear campaigns.

Senator Georges - I rise to order. This is not a personal explanation in the true sense. Senator Townley has the right to answer Senator Everett.

Senator Webster - But you interrupted him.

Senator Georges - No, but in the proper way. He can do that during the debate on the adjournment motion but he cannot claim time at this stage to make a personal explanation and launch into an attack on Senator Everett. He can merely say that what has been said is untrue and that in due course he will take the matter up. But he should not at this stage open up a subject that needs to be debated not only by Senator Everett but also by others here.

The PRESIDENT - Senator Townleywas graciously given leave to make a statement- to claim that he was misrepresented and to make a personal explanation. I hope that he will confine himself to that.

Senator TOWNLEY - I take heart from the fact that a few years ago the Labor socialists carried out an organised smear campaign upon another Townley when he joined the Liberal Party of Australia and, perhaps due to that attempted smearing, at the following election that Townley received a record vote. I invite Senator Everett to continue this smearing, particularly when it is done behind my back, and if he likes he can become the Labor Party's smear leader. But I can assure him that I will not be too worried. I have lived all my life in Tasmania and 1 know how the electors will view-

Senator Murphy - I rise to order. What was put before by Senator Georges is correct. The occasion of making a personal explanation has always been treated as an extremely important one. It is only on an extremely rare occasion that the Senate has declined to allow a personal explanation.

Senator TOWNLEY - I did not ask for that.

Senator Murphy - The reason for this attitude is that it is an occasion for a person to clear, if one might put it this way, his own reputation. It has always been understood in this chamber that it is not to be used as a vehicle for making an attack upon someone else. There are other opportunities for doing this. It could be done in the adjournment debate. Mr President, I suggest and request that Senator Townley obey your injunction. If he wants to say something about some other member let him do it on some other occasion such as during the adjournment debate. He should not use this occasion to do anything other than to clear up matters concerning himself. He should not use the occasion for any kind of attack on someone else.

The PRESIDENT - I uphold the point of order and ask Senator Townley to confine himself to making a personal explanation.

Senator TOWNLEY -Perhaps I could finish by saying that I refuse to attack Senator Everett personally. I refuse to descend into the mire in which he grovelled last night. Suffice to say that his outburst was a distortion of the truth and his campaign was part of an organised campaign that I knew was to be wrought against me by the Labor Party.

Suggest corrections