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Thursday, 26 June 1997
Page: 6458

Mr ALLAN MORRIS —I ask you to refer this question to the Speaker concerning standing order 321, which says:

A document relating to public affairs quoted from by a Minister or an Assistant Minister, unless stated to be of a confidential nature or such as should more properly be obtained by address, shall, if required by any Member, be laid on the Table.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Nehl) —Could you get to the question?

Mr ALLAN MORRIS —This afternoon we had the situation where a minister stated he was quoting from a transcript and was then asked whether it was confidential. My question is: can a transcript of a public broadcast or of any kind also be confidential? Can the Speaker please advise the interpretation of that standing order? We badly need it to be clarified.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —I thank the honourable member for Newcastle. I will certainly refer his question to the Speaker but, had the question been addressed to me in my own capacity, I would say that the occupant of this chair has no ability to know what personal notes may be written on any document, whether it is a transcript or not.