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Wednesday, 2 October 1974
Page: 1574

Senator WITHERS (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) -My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. What is the Government's justfication for spending half a million dollars on the painting Woman V the highest amount ever paid for the work of a living artist- when all the Government spends on unemployment relief in Tasmania, where there is distress and concern because of the inability of people to find work, is $1 m?

Senator MURPHY (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Attorney-General) -I recall, and I think I have some note of it, where the previous Government, with taste that was not so good as this Government's, spent a considerable amount of money on some landscape by Turner. If what I was told was right, the price was in the $400,000 range. But to compare one thing with another such as that is hardly logical or good sense. If one wanted to talk about the waste of money one would only have to think about the thousands of millions of dollars which were spent by your Government in the dreadful war in Vietnam. You spent billions of dollars bringing death and destruction to people who had done us no harm. We will still be paying millions and hundreds of millions of dollars in the years to come for the repatriation and other results of that senseless, immoral war, and the honourable senator dares to talk about the Government of Australia spending sums of money on works of art.

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