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Moss Cass – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

June 3rd, 2012 · No Comments · Australian Labor Party, Humour, Politics, Quotes

With 27 ministers in the Cabinet, inevitably much time was wasted on repetitious debates and Whitlam’s exasperation was palpable. Moss Cass, a short, dark, intense man from the Victorian Left faction, was a medical practitioner before he entered Parliament. As Minister for Environment, Cass publicly advocated the decriminalisation of marijuana smoking.

About the same time, Cass’s wife (in the Melbourne Age) bemoaned the loss of conjugal rights the wives of federal parliamentarians endured. Soon after, at the weekly Cabinet meeting, Cass argued with Whitlam about some issue, telling the Prime Minister, ‘The trouble with you, Gough, is that you know nothing about the grassroots of the Labor Party’. Whitlam retorted: ‘Moss, you know a lot about grass and your wife apparently knows something about roots, but you know fuck-all about the grassroots of the Labor Party.’ Whitlam could be bitchy. Cass passed by Whitlam and Bill Hayden walking down the government lobby, and, nodding to Whitlam, Cass said: ‘Morning, Leader.’ Out of earshot, Whitlam said to Hayden: ‘I’m glad he spoke. Now we know his face from his arse.’

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