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Wednesday, 1 April 1987
Page: 1862


Mr CUNNINGHAM —Can the Prime Minister assure the House that security arrangements in his office are adequate?


Mr HAWKE —I thank the honourable member for McMillan for his question, which is particularly appropriate on this of all parliamentary days. I can assure all honourable members, including you, Madam Speaker, that until very recently I have been more than satisfied with security arrangements in my office. However, I should report to the House a security scare which took place this morning. I was at a meeting in the Cabinet room this morning when a very urgent message was passed to me. The message was that two burly strangers of an agitated demeanour had burst into my office and demanded to see me immediately.

On responding to the message I was astonished to find the Leader of the National Party of Australia and the Deputy Leader of the National Party hovering in the corridor, claiming to have come to see me in response to my urgent invitation. When I explained that there had been no such invitation, the two honourable members looked appropriately puzzled, but I am pleased and enormously relieved to be able to report to the House that I invited them into my office and we sat down and had a pleasant and relaxed discussion on a range of matters of topical interest. Madam Speaker, I will not say what we talked about.

Telephone calls have been a matter of some topical interest lately, particularly to the honourable member for Kooyong. I conclude by suggesting to the honourable member for Groom that he could perhaps assist the Leader of the National Party who, I may report, on leaving my office was overheard to mutter to his Deputy: `I'd still like to know who made that'-expletive deleted-`telephone call'.