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Monday, 27 February 2006
Page: 32


Mr RUDD (2:33 PM) —My question again is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the June 2003 memorandum of instruction sent to your government which directed that a list of all oil for food contracts be prepared which involved 10 per cent kickbacks in Iraq. Apart from Mr Trevor Flugge and Michael Long, Howard government representatives on the Coalition Provisional Authority, which of the government’s other 30 representatives on the CPA at that time had knowledge of this memorandum of instruction that a comprehensive list of corrupt contracts be prepared? Prime Minister, given that government officials have been reviewing the files on this matter since the beginning of the Volcker inquiry some two years ago, and given that files have been reviewed again since the commencement of the Cole inquiry, some three months ago, and given that documents have again been searched out by the Cole inquiry last week, could you please attempt to answer this question, unlike the non-answer you have delivered to the two previous questions?


Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —I have to confess a failing. I do not have the memory and mental capacity of the member for Griffith. I really do not. I do not carry—and this is a failing of mine; I know it must disappoint the member for Griffith—around in my head a photographic reproduction of every document I have read, so I beg the forgiveness of the member for Griffith. I regret that I fall short of his high standards. I will take the question on notice, and I will endeavour, however inadequately, to answer it as soon as possible.