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Wednesday, 30 March 1966


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Wakefield has a right to obtain from the Prime Minister information on any subject matter. He would transgress if he were too long winded or if his question did not relate to a matter within the Prime Minister's responsibility. I uphold the question as being in order, but I suggest that the honorable member be brief.


Mr KELLY - He then pointed out that the sentence reading " Labour will honour and support Australia's treaties and defence alliances " was amended to read " Australia must periodically review its defence treaties and alliances to meet new circumstances as they arise."


Mr Calwell - I again rise to order, Mr. Speaker. This has to do with the personal affairs of the Australian Labour Party and with nothing else.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member will ask his question.


Mr KELLY - Can the Prime Minister say whether any public statement was made by the Leader of the Opposition, or any spokesman for the Australian Labour Party, at the time of this change, explaining its significance or the reasons why the former undertaking to honour and support

Australia's treaties and defence alliances has been so substantially watered down?


Mr Bryant - I raise a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In the past you have ruled that a Minister is answerable to the House for matters that come within his dominion, if one may use that term. The Labour Party, the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition do not come in any way within the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister, and therefore the question is out of order.


Mr SPEAKER - There is no substance in the point of order. The honorable member has the right to direct a question to the Prime Minister seeking information about a matter for which the right honorable gentleman is responsible or about a statement that he has made.







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