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Thursday, 14 February 2002
Page: 257

Mr CREAN (2:38 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister, and it follows from the answer that he just gave that he consulted with Mr Reith on 7 November. Prime Minister, yesterday you advised the House in relation to Mr Reith's position, and I quote:

If the Minister for Defence did not believe prior to the date mentioned by the Leader of the Opposition—

that is, 10 November—

that he had received clear advice that the photographs had been misrepresented, it stands to reason that he would not have communicated to me or to anybody else a clear view that they had been misrepresented.

Prime Minister, prior to the election did the former Minister for Defence express to you, in particular on that night of 7 November, any view that might cast doubt on whether children were thrown overboard?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —At no stage was I told that advice had been received by him contradicting the earlier advice. At no stage did he communicate to me that he had received any advice that would contradict the veracity of the original advice tendered to ministers.