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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6459


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: 13/09/1984

Release Type: Statement in Parliament

Transcript ID: 6459

13 September 1984
Madam Deputy Speaker, during Question Time today I was asked
a question concerning Mr. Peter Barron and a visit to The
Age. The House will recall that I gave a very specific
answer to that question and I want now, Madam Deputy Speaker,
to add to that answer by indicating that the editor of The
Age, as I understand, will be releasing this statement. He
may already have done it. I now read it to the House in
addition to the answer I gave and I ask particularly that
members of the Opposition here present, particularly the
Honourable Member for Boothby, should pay very clear attention
to this statement from the editor of The Age. It is in these
terms: " Mr. Peter Barron, Principal Adviser to the Prime Minister,
came to see me last Thursday at his request. He did not
lobby me about anything. He did not mention a High Court
Judge or Ms. Junie Morosi or anything to do with a safe deposit
box in a Swiss bank or any other bank. He did not ask me to
suppress any story or to publish any story. In fact he did not
ask me to do anything and he certainly did not threaten me. I
do not know Mr. Steele Hall and to the best of my recollection
I have never spoken to him, certainly not about any matter
relating to a High Court Judge or Ms. Morosi."
Now, Madam Deputy Speaker, you couldn't have a clearer or
unequivocal statement from the editor of The Age in respect to
a totally unfounded and scurrilous imputation by The Honourable
Member for Boothy and I would conclude by addition to my answer,
Madam Deputy Speaker by asking the Opposition and I am pleased
to see the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in his place, that he
should take steps to ensure that these totally unfounded
insinuations and allegations should be brought to a halt. it
is not merely, Madam Deputy Speaker, that it does no credit to
the Opposition because that is a matter that is their concern.
They have to deal with their stature and how they are going to
be judged in the public mind, but what is clearly established
now by this unequivocal statement from the editor of The Age
is that that scurrilous innuendo involved in the question by
The Honourable Member for Boothby is totally without foundation.
It does the Honourable Member for Boothby no credit and one
must presume that he speaks for the opposition when he raises
these things and therefore it does no credit to the Opposition. / 2

Now, more than that, as I say, the question of the stature
of the Opposition is a matter for them, but the stature of
this Parliament is a matter for concern to all of us,
Madam Deputy Speaker. And it does this Parliament no credit
at all that we should have responsible " allegedly"
responsible leading member of the Opposition getting up in this
place with these sorts of innuendos. It is in line with the
behaviour that we have witnessed in this House this day and
out of the mouth of the Leader of the Opposition. Now in no
way, Madam Deputy Speaker, could you have a more specific
unequivocal repudiation of the gutter tactics of the Opposition
through the mouth of the Honourable Member for Boothby.
And I conclude, Madam Deputy Speaker, by expressing the hope
that the Member for Boothby, and through him the Leader of the
Opposition, will have the decency now, having had that
scurrilous, baseless innuendo and implication completely
destroyed by the statement of the editor of The Age, that he
will have the decency one can express the hope that there may
just be a skerrick of decency left there that they will take
this opportunity which I am sure I can provide now to make
a statement in response to what I have had to say.

Transcript 6459