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Tuesday, 10 December 1974
Page: 3259

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Has the Minister representing the Treasurer seen reports of statements by a senior Opposition parliamentarian on a visit to the United States of America denigrating Australia and its economic situation? Does the Minister agree that it is inappropriate for any politician to make such comment while absent from Australia, particularly when the comment is wrong?

Senator WRIEDT -Yes, I did hear the report on an Australian Broadcasting Commission program this morning of a statement apparently made by Mr Snedden in New York yesterday in which he committed the sin which any member of a parliament who is overseas should not commit; that is, he took the opportunity in another country to denigrate, in fact to bucket, his own country. One of the things one does not do overseas as a Minister or as any personality, much less the Leader of the Opposition in a national parliament, is to try to make some political capital by knocking one's own country. This is the type of tactic which was used by Mr Snedden. I do not think it would have been appreciated by his American audience, because Americans are very careful when they are overseas about making any criticism of their own country- and rightly so. I think it is a very poor reflection on Mr Snedden. If that is the standard of tactics he would use on behalf of his own country overseas if ever he became Prime Minister of Australiaheaven forbid- let us hope he stays where he is.

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