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Tuesday, 24 February 1987
Page: 580

Madam SPEAKER —Order! As I reported to the House when it met, I have become aware, through a tape recording and newspaper, radio and television reports, of certain remarks made by the honourable member for O'Connor yesterday outside the House which were critical of the Speaker. I have heard the tape and I have read the transcript, so I am fully aware of what the honourable member said. His remarks included: `Speakers who are in control don't get troubled'; `Yes, I think the Speaker should resign'; `I believe the Speaker was very unfair in taking me on and ignoring Paul Keating's insult to her'; and `I think the Speaker is now just a political animal and I say she has been intimidated'. I have received a letter on this matter from the honourable member for O'Connor which I shall read to the House. It states:

Further to my very brief personal comment to you, I write to express my apologies to you and your Office regarding the publication of my comments outside the Parliament today.

I have heard the comments on radio and realise their implications.

However, as I will seek to explain at my first opportunity in the Parliament, the comments were not aimed directly at you or your Office.

I consequently apologise and unreservedly withdraw, and I seek your leave to make a personal explanation immediately after Question Time on 24th February, 1987, which will be that first opportunity.

Yours sincerely,

Wilson Tuckey.

I table the following documents: A transcript taken from the tape recording of a Press conference held by Mr Tuckey on Parliament House steps on 23 February 1987; extracts from the following newspapers of 24 February 1987-the Australian, the Canberra Times, the Age and the Melbourne Sun News-Pictorial; and a copy of a letter dated 23 February 1987 from Mr Tuckey to Madam Speaker. I am in no doubt that his remarks are a grave attack on me and my office and I think they therefore constitute a contempt of the House.