PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6467


Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/09/1984

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 6467

2J Li
FRIDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 1984, 9.10 a. mi.
E 0 E Proof only
PM4 There is nothing on vubjch the government: can be attacked.
In their desperation they have rqsorted to this tactic of smear and
innuendo in respect of issues for which there is absolutely no basis
whatsoever. I think you know, Derryn that there is no figure in
public political life who has bedn around for so long whose life
h& 2 been such an open book as znize. I a-m not a crook, I am not
a criminal, I'm not directed by 6rooks, as your friend, Andrew
Peacock said. Perhaps the best illustration of whall. wight you
can attach to these people and their tactics was provided yesterda~ y
by Mr Steele Hali, acting in coll'usion and conjunction and presu-n. ably
under the direction of My Peacock. He, in the house, at questiJon
time, by way of question, accused. mec of sending my principal
advisor, Mr Peter Barron to spe the editor of the Age, to secure
the supression of a story about judge, and a safe deposit box
in a~ Switus bank. That statement,' that allegation, was absolutely
without foundation. No foundation at all now what were the ou-ise
of events? When that wa-put-to ire in the parl-iament at questionl
time yesterday, I reppdiateda, I S~ id iyavsr r~ ro a
cerltainly seen M,' r Creighton. Burns, but T said thcere was absolutely
no basis to the allcosation. Late): that day, : late-r yesterday, X;. r
Creighton Burns izssued thoi sta-to-c~ rt. * I ' would like listenerz; to
hear cexactly what it was that the -ditor of the Acqe said in 1&. 3
fcce of that al ton bsx " 1rPeter Zarron, brinciple
advisor to the Priwul ocna z to inJzt Thursdny, A-L
hi. i rcciuest. lie 6id riot ! obby r\, rl ~ oa: ything, He didl rot
ji,, onti. nn a Sig~ h Courit YiGdqc, or n or, ;. nythincj 1C "! o
7~ 1 V' ra e t -bo: in a S diqs_ I ; rk 17 a, oI o bn
flt Lk m to " UPr c . ny iyor : oph hi ay soyi

fact he did not ask me to do any~. hing, and he certainly didno
threaten Mr Burns concludeii " I do not know Mr Steele Rall,
and to the best of my recoll.', ction I havec neve--r spoken to him.
Certain~. y not about any matter re lating to a High Court Judge or
Ms4 Morosi7 Now Derryn, when tiat statement caine from Mr Burns
quite unsolicited by me,* I weat i nto the Parliament after givin~ g
notice to the Opposition that I W~ as going in to add to my ansver t()
question timne. I-read that out, adI attacked the Opposition.
I said, now there you are, you~ r tactics of, innuendo of allegation
are totally revealed for what they, are, and gave them -an opportunity
to apologise. They sat there lik 1e stunned mullets. Later on in
the evening the member for Boothby, MLr Steele Hall came in and
acknowledged that Mr Burns had made a-statement, but did not withdraw
the allegation at all. He said, the information put to the Opposit~ ion
in regard to the story, was corroborated from separate . sou~ rces, and
for-that reason the Government war, tested at question time. I ask
you to understand what Steeleo Hall., Peacock area saying. They are
* saying that they ca-n fabricate, m~ ake up any story, get somtething f rom
two different people, three different people and say that a corroj'Xration.
The only way that that allegation, that was so recklessly made in tlle
Parliament could be corroborated wqas by one of two people, that
Mr Burns or Mr Barron. Mr Barron'. is not in the country and certainly
it isn't true. if my principle ac~ visor-is going to tell an untruth1
about this. Mr Burns, the man in $ uestion repudiated it a-nd yet, these
miserable, desperate and increasingly rejected people on the Opposition
knowing they cannot touch this Go'ernrnent on polilcies are getting up
in that Parliament, and making ab~ olutely baseless allegations-.
When repudiated,. by someone of the standing of Creighton Burns,,
repudiating them absolutely, they: say " Ch, its corroborated." 1
By definition its not corroboratedi because it car, not be. This
tactic means that you can make up* a smear, an allegation-and get
two people to say it and because two people say-it: thats corro.-bo,. rat ion.
D Well outside thie Parliam~ nt.. outside of Parliainentry privilege
w'hero, Mr Peacock cannot bo touched, he did nay that-he bnlievcs,
said, that you asso0ciate with r. mnl That iw-as said on 1' tt. onwid-
: la't night.
PM I can assure you Derryn, IhItI: Pe: coc)' S statomcrlta re
baein carefuilly looked a am ifl' Uiis very' 6. fficut p2ositiofl .1A)-1:

con 3
asoon as I say to you that thos ! e statements outside the Parliamenc
are being looked at by my legal advisers what is said, I'm trying
to stifle you. You are put in a z'. o win situation.
DH Yes, I'll agree, its like if you esued Andrew. Peacock, or'
Andrew Peacock sues you, you are Parliamentry leaders and are meant
to have freedom of expression at b~ 1l time. if you gag either one,
it is going to look sinister.
yet, I must give very serious consideration to it a a
I repeat to you, as I put at the very beginning of . the program, there
is no person who has been in public life in-Australia, as long as I
have who at all times has made rpyself open to the public and to the
p ress. An open book.....
DH........ Because of what is said.., in the house yesterday I can
come on this morning, as long as T quote it 06rrectly and don't add
to it, and I can quote all these hings about somebody saying that
* the Prime Minister of Australia ig a crook. That you are involved i
a cover up of organised crime. A~ l t-hose things can be said, sc
what do you do about it and how'dQ you feel about it. Because you
are the Prime Minister of the coup'try.
PM I noticed at the beginning that you said that my office is
demeaned, my office is not demeaned by these tactics of R1r Peacoc-k.
There is only one person, and one:: off ice that is demeaned and that
Is Mr Peacock and his office. Because, I woiUd suggest it is no
wonder that on the polls, the majority of Liberal voters prefer me
to be in the position of Prime œ iinister t1-ihn Mr Peacock. it is
no wionder because he has been suc i _ n abject failure.* Wha t I
honestly feel sorry about is that; Andrevi Pcacock having desperaL-oly
failed as the leader of the Cpposition has been judged a fail-ure
by his own people hasii't got the trength of character to act
decently. lie knows that ths lea~ osaenttu. Dsh
believe that if these things were true he would havie ir. xcd with ate.
I-ad close friendly relations prcv~ u 3y. ud. hc-haye donc those
things if he believ-, d that I am z. croc-,] and directiad by ro?
I me-an, the questCion ~ s;~ sitzeldf. It in thr, despcrat~ tO ci
of a man not only rejcct(. d by the lctrt but atpised by hir;
own party. The mbajor t-alk here.. iuntil th last tuor tlh-ree v-eck hao hec~ n the-I activity gcnmoatcd tinh;. nIartV a9FaJraJL

Cda t
Now unfortunately, he hasn't got. the j; Lrength of chiaracter to rise
above these things, and it is a tr69g-dy.
Last time I talked toyou'ori the program, I asked you about
your personal. relation! 3hip with. Anarew Peacock, and it had obviously
deteriorated then, can it get any: lower than it is now?
PM I don't think he can get any lower than he is now. But as
far as the relations I simply can not accept a ma. n who makes
unfounded allegations, tell--lies,:: and k; nows they' are lies. This
is a reflection on the nature of the man and I just am sad about it.
I accept the detioration of the character of. 7 the man. I simply obser-ve.
The majority of Liberal voters are correct in their rejection of his.
DH I know you have to go, but ne quick guestion. Why did you
have to leave the Chamber yesterda7 which triggered the final outbu-zst?
PM Very simple, they get up nd move a censure motion which
everyone in the press gallery treaLed with contempt. I mean, it
was treated with conitemnpt by the professionals in the gallery, bat
treated by everyone in the Parliament. Now when it is so manife. 3tly
contemptuous I amnot going to digriify it by, being there. if there
is a legitimate motion of censure on the G7overnment, then of cou:: se,
as I have in the past, I'll be tho~ e. and as I did at the end* of ': he
last session, destroy MrI Peacock i'l debaite. But : 1 am not going
to dignify this tactic by getting pap and giving it the status of
warranting a Prime Mliniste-rial particpto. Ta hni h
course oZ that this sort of thing hoes on and Mr Steele' Hall in
conjunction -with Mr Peacock issues these lies then I will repudize
them. As, indeed, as I say, they bavq been repudiated by Xr Crelightc-
Burns. The tragedy of al'l. this iz, not the tragedy of the moral
deteri oration of Mr Peacock and J~ i re. pudiation by his ow,, n people~.
That is a phenom~ enon of politic-, nbt of itself tragedy. Perhaps
sad for some. The tragely is thtIthin dis: piritod ' imoral ~~ s~ o
resorting deliberatc]. y 11o lies nd' Leing expos)! ed ag liers i. r&-cprdntt
by? Eœ r Creighton ) 3urns3; the traqejy i' t -t nr-: ey are der.-ianing ths
DI Yci, tv311 that j. r; no tbh: i ce kiotyoczs on C~
scme length, I hrio-r thz-L 2'' oil Ea~ ut u4Of t-inc, and I thankz you
orYour tiiz. n jA
el: n: y VC-'*
Dil ' Yhen! k -ou v I/: r Tlw

Transcript 6467