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Thursday, 18 November 1976

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Dr Jenkins (SCULLIN, VICTORIA) -Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr MORRIS - Yes. I do not wish to delay the House, but to enable me to make my personal explanation I will have to read what was stated in a question placed on the notice paper. It appears at page 2742 of the Hansard record of 16 November 1976. It is question upon notice No. 935 and is directed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Peacock). In parts 2 and 3 of the question I asked:

(2)   Did the Secretary of his Department advise me that my telegram of 7 December was delivered by Telex to the Department's Communications Centre during the evening of that date, but that it did not reach the Secretary, that efforts to discover what may have happened to it have been unsuccessful, and that he was sorry his earlier advice was incorrect.

(3)   If so, will he make further efforts to ascertain what happened to the telegram, how the Department learnt of its contents, and advise me of the result.

The Minister's answer to parts 2 and 3 of my question which appeared in Hansard reads as follows:

(2)   and (3) See the answer to Question No. 934, part 2. The Department learned of the contents through a telephone call made by the honourable member to the office of the Secretary on 1 1 December 1975.

That is completely untrue. On 10 December 1975 I telephoned the Department inquiring after an answer to my telegram. The officer who spoke to me gave me a message. I asked him: How can you give me a message in reply to that telegram if you have not received it'. He said to me: 'We heard it on the program AM on Monday morning'. I wish to make the point clear that I did not tell the department. I was told that they had heard it on the radio.

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