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Thursday, 15 September 1983
Page: 891


Mr ANTHONY —Does the Prime Minister recall saying in the House on 6 September that the Government at all times had acted in a way which was consistent with the integrity of the Hope Royal Commission on Australia's Security and Intelligence Agencies? Is it consistent with the integrity of the Royal Commission for the Prime Minister to assert, as he did on Tuesday, that much of the evidence given before the Commission by Mr David Combe had not been accurate ? Why is it consistent with the integrity of the Royal Commission for the Prime Minister to comment and reflect on evidence given before the Commission while he complains about the way in which the media has reported the evidence?


Mr HAWKE —The answer to the first question is yes. The answer to the second question is obviously that insofar as a question which concerned me was directed to me on the basis of an answer given to the Royal Commission which was inaccurate, it was incumbent upon me to point out that fact. It is a matter of public record. There is a transcript of the statements I made when I appeared in the box. What I have said in the House about the accuracy of the evidence of the person in question is what I said on oath in the box, which is now a matter of public record. Nothing that I have said in respect of answering that question, consistent with what I said on the public record under oath to the Commission, in any way takes away from the observations I have made in respect of the totally unsustainable action of the Opposition in this matter. I conclude by saying, as I have said on a number of occasions, that we on this side of the House are looking forward to the time when the report is available and we will be able to have an unqualified debate in this House.