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Tuesday, 15 October 1974
Page: 1716

Senator MARRIOTT (Tasmania) - I rise to support both the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Murphy) and Senator Sir Magnus Cormack who brought this matter to the light of day. Following a question asked by my Leader ':a the reply given by Senator Murphy, I was honoured by receiving an official request, Mr President, to have the privilege of representing you at Fairbairn Airport on Saturday afternoon last to join in the presentation and welcome to His Royal Highness Prince Charles. On my arrival in Canberra I was given the daily brief and the instructions for participants in clear bold type. I found that the order of precedence was Mr Fry who I think came into this Parliament on 18 May for the first time as a member for one of the Australian Capital Territory electorates for the House of Representatives. He was representing Mr Speaker. I was next in line representing you, Mr President, and proudly so. I have been a member of the Senate for nearly 21 years. Then came the Chief of the General Staff, Admiral Sir Victor Smith, Sir John Bunting and Mr Scholtens. Knowing the feeling in the Senate, having some good knowledge of what went on in Caucus and knowing of the belief that there the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) had expressed the view that the holder of the office for the longer period should be the senior, I made inquiries of an unofficial nature. All I am prepared to say is that over the weekend, having made these inquiries, I was informed that as far as my informant was able to say the Prime Minister's Department had been given a direction and that direction had not been changed.

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