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Wednesday, 23 October 1974
Page: 1893

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

Senator EVERETT - I consider it proper, and in that view I am joined by the 4 other Tasmanian Labor senators, to explain to the Senate a development that has occurred today consequent upon the debate in the Senate last week on the States Grants Bill 1974. In the 3 main newspapers in Tasmania today an advertisement of some significant size appeared relating to that debate. I do not stay to read it to the Senate but I indicate that in the 'Mercury '-that is the Hobart publication- it was on page 2. There is no name of any individual associated with it. In the Launceston 'Examiner' the same advertisement appears. Again no name is associated with it. In the 'Advocate', published on the north west coast of Tasmania, the same advertisement appears but in that advertisement the name of a person whom I will not mention but who has political affiliations and associations is given as the authorisation for the advertisement.

The advertisement deals with the form of a certain amendment that was before the Senate last week and it goes on to mention in large type the names of all Tasmanian Labor senators. It ends up with the words: 'What value can we place on their promise now? ' It is not my purpose to canvass the advertisement but I wish to observe to the Senate, preparatory to stating that certain action is being taken, that the advertisements in the opinion of my colleagues and myself are a continuation of a campaign of misrepresentation and untruths which has been pursued against Tasmanian Labor members of the Australian Parliament and indeed against the Australian Labor Party itself. The time has come for action. Consequently, instructions have been issued today on behalf of the 5 Tasmanian Labor senators for legal proceedings for defamation in relation to those advertisements to be issued forthwith against appropriate defendants.

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