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Tuesday, 11 October 1983
Page: 1539


Mr PEACOCK —My question is directed to the Prime Minister. It is clear from the Prime Minister's answer to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition that a full and open disclosure was not made to him by the Minister for Finance. Will he, therefore, obtain that full and open disclosure from the Minister now? Will he obtain from the Commissioner of Taxation a statement setting out the liability of the shareholding of Coomel Pty Ltd in Metro Industries Ltd?


Mr HAWKE —Before I say anything in answer to this question, let me say that I am appalled by the unbridled hypocrisy of the people on the other side of the House . This Government has taken the first step towards the disclosure of a situation which can reveal the possibility of any conflict between the public responsibility of Ministers and their private interests. We have taken that historic step.


Mr Howard —You did not say that about John Reid.


Mr SPEAKER —Order! I ask the Prime Minister to resume his seat.


Mr Howard —You slandered John Reid.


Mr HAWKE —I have not slandered John Reid.


Mr SPEAKER —When the House comes to order I will call the Prime Minister.


Mr HAWKE —I am sorry, Mr Speaker. As I have said, this Government has taken the historic step of making sure that there is a public disclosure so that there can be no possibility of a conflict between the public responsibility of Ministers and their private interests. In taking that step we have met with nothing but cynicism and opposition from those on the other side of the House. The sincerity and integrity of those on the other side of the House, in pressing these questions, will be able to be judged when they show a preparedness to expose publicly their private interests.

In respect of the question that has now been asked of me by the Leader of the Opposition, I have no reason to question in any way the integrity of the Minister for Finance. I repeat what I said in answer to the previous question: I believe that the Minister for Finance will address himself to the questions that have been asked. I have confidence that, having addressed himself to those questions, he will fully apprise the House of the situation.