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Thursday, 27 November 1986
Page: 3821

Mr SINCLAIR (Manager of Opposition Business)(10.04) —I think the nature of this motion demonstrates how inadequate in practice are the processes of any such inquiry now required by the House of Representatives Standing Committee of Privileges. When we have to seek leave of the Senate in order to enable this House of Representatives Committee to pursue an inquiry the whole thing tends to be a bit of a farce. I do not oppose the motion but I think it highlights the fact that inquiries of this character really are extraordinarily difficult to pursue. It is not as though anybody in the Senate is being accused of being responsible, but it makes it extraordinarily difficult in the climate of relations between the Houses. Unfortunately, I think the result will be that, whatever the quality of the original reference, it is highly unlikely that it will be possible for the House of Representatives, during committee, to be able to pursue its inquiries to an adequate conclusion. With those rather cynical remarks, the Opposition certainly does not object to the motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.