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Tuesday, 29 October 1974
Page: 2021

Senator MILLINER (QUEENSLAND) - I direct a question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate in his capacity as Attorney-General. Has the Minister's attention been drawn to reported remarks of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate that the Prime Minister, in a fit of arrogant pique, had decided to boycott the Constitution Convention and that the Government's insistence that Senator Hall should be represented at the Convention was totally unreasonable? Is it a fact that when the Constitution Convention was held in 1973 there were 8 Government representatives and 8 representatives agreed to between Opposition parties? Was there included in the 8 Opposition representatives representation' from the Australian Democratic Labor Party? Are we to assume from this arrangement that Senator Greenwood was prepared to accept a representative of the DLP as being entitled to be in attendance at the Constitutional Convention but is not prepared to give like representation to Senator Hall, who is a selfprofessed Liberal?

Senator MURPHY - The fair assumption which I am asked to make- and no doubt the whole of the country would make it- is that in some way his Liberal colleague is anathema to Senator Greenwood. But regardless of the petty attitude of the Opposition in this chamber, which is prepared to wreck the Constitutional Convention rather than have Senator Hall attend in the place of the former Australian Democratic Labor Party representatives who mercifully are no longer represented here, it appears that the Convention could not be held in any event. I am informed that the South Australian AttorneyGeneral, who was to preside over at least the executive session, announced last night not only that he was aware of what was happening in the Australian Parliament and of the breakdown because of the Opposition's attitude here, but also that he had been informed by the Premier of Queensland that there could be no delegation from Queensland due to the dissolution of the Queensland Parliament preparatory to the State election to be held there in December. So it appears that between them the Liberal and Country Parties have succeeded in wrecking the Constitutional Convention.

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