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Tuesday, 12 November 1974
Page: 2278

Senator WRIEDT (Tasmania) (Minister for Agriculture) - Senator Greenwoodhas raised again the matter which was debated in the Senate this morning. I have nothing further to add to what I believe was a full statement on this matter. I emphasised then the point that there is no substantiation of any statement by Dr Cairns that the Parliament will be by-passed in respect of the establishment of the Overseas Trading Corporation. I have no knowledge other than what I gave the Senate this morning. I indicated to Senator Greenwood during the hearing of the Estimates

Committee that I would obtain whatever information I could. The information that was supplied to the Committee was that which was forwarded from Dr Cairns. I think that Senator Greenwood is making a lot out of what in fact is probably not an issue at all. That is the reason why he is the only one who appears to be expressing any great concern. Nobody else is making an issue out of this statement. It was a statement that came from Singapore. I do not think that there was any reasonable ground to assume that Dr Cairns was suggesting that the Parliament would be by-passed.

Senator Missen - It is very easy for him to deny, surely.

Senator WRIEDT - That may be, but when Senator Missen has been in this game of politics long enough he will know that there will be many occasions on which the Press will say things that Senator Missen is alleged to have said and which will cause the honourable senator to make all sorts of explanations and denials. But the honourable senator will learn that as time goes by. I think that what we are dealing with here tonight is precisely that same situation.

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