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Monday, 23 June 2003
Page: 17167

Mr ANTHONY SMITH (2:03 PM) —My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Would the Prime Minister inform the House of the government's response to the reference by the Senate to the ASIO, DSD and ASIS committee of the parliament relating to pre Iraq war intelligence?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —I thank the member for Casey for his question. The government remains very much of the view that this inquiry is quite premature. However, we will not raise any objection as a government to an appropriate response from the three agencies covered by the relevant intelligence committee. If, in fact, requests are made to ONA or DOI to make submissions, we will not raise any objection to that. The only other comment I would make is that, of course, in its behaviour and conduct the committee will need to observe its charter. In particular, it should be cognisant of the provisions relating to the use of foreign source intelligence.