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Tuesday, 10 December 1974
Page: 3300

Senator STEELE HALL (South AustraliaLeader of the Liberal Movement) - Of course, Senator Geenwood is exactly right. I hope that, whether I disagree or agree with any honourable senator, I will do so on the logic as I see it and as I interpret it. I agree entirely with Senator Greenwood that the Senate is being intimidated. As I said earlier, if this Bill should be amended and await the pleasure of the House of Representatives it will not be the fault of the Senate, it will be the fault of the Government's programming of the sitting days of the 2 Houses of Parliament.

Senator McLarenhas no difficulty with this Bill. He is quite right to get up and attack my amendment and to defend his situation, as he did, because this Bill falls completely in line with what he wishes for the governments of Australia. He is a centralist. He believes in centralising power here. He believes in removing power from the States. It is written in the objectives of the Australian Labor Party to which he is bound hand and foot by the pledge he has signed. So Senator McLaren does not have to argue with anyone to defend his case. Like all of his colleagues, he is committed to a centralist course of finally abolishing State governments. Of course he would therefore approve this legislation as we have it before us. Not only would he like to obtain the power of revocation over State governments; he would also like to strangle them. That is where he stands, and he is quite right in saying once again to the Australian public that he wants to strangle the State governments and to have more legislation like this. The honourable senator has pledged himself to that course. He would be yet another victim of his Party if he denied it.

That view has led to the power of revocation being written into this Bill. That is the view of the people intent on upgrading technical education in Australia who need this assistance. Many of the people whose names the honourable senator read out share his view that there should be one central government in Austalia. They would have no quarrel with that. In this issue those who speak on behalf of the States may very well be outnumbered in many quarters. I am the first to admit that. I admit the right of people to write releases as they wish about those who stand up for some remaining State powers, as indicated in this amendment. Let me say to the honourable senator and to the Minister for the Media (Senator Douglas McClelland) that the inclusion of this all pervading power in the Bill is one of the reasons why people in Queensland voted as they did on Saturday. Can the Labor Government not understand the reaction against this sort of attitude? I am not a supporter of the Premier of Queensland in the sense that I would not sooner see a Liberal Premier there. I am free to say that at any stage. The honourable senator cannot understand that by the inclusion of this type of power he is activating those who will destroy his Government.

Certainly the inclusion of this power to revoke will give me added impetus to fight him out in the electorate. If I needed that, I am given it by this Bill. I will go out and I will be pleased to tell the electorate that this is what Senator McLaren believes in and that any re-election of him or any election of his colleagues in the Lower House will mean a continuation of the stranglehold which the Australian Labor Party now has on the States and their governments. I am pleased that this matter has been ventilated. I am sorry that it is obvious that this amendment will not be carried. Because of the haste and the intimidation, because the 2 Houses are not sitting in conjunction, I suppose we will have to wait until we go out on the hustings to refight this issue in the electorate, as we cannot do it in this House.

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