Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 5 March 1947
Page: 0

Mr SPEAKER - No point of order is involved. Any Minister may refuse to answer any question.

Mr Holt - Does the Prime Minister refuse to answer the question? That is the point.

Mr SPEAKER - Order ! Any Minister may refuse to answer any question, and it is quite in order for him, if he so desires, to refer it to the Minister administering the department concerned.

Mr McEWEN (INDI, VICTORIA) - I take a further point of order. I accept the ruling that a Minister may refuse to answer a question. I now ask whether any Minister is in order - except by leave of the House - in making a reply to a question which was not asked of him?

Mr SPEAKER - The procedure covering questions is that a Minister may be asked questions dealing with his department. My view is that that provision should be observed, but I have noted on quite a number of occasions that questions not connected with his department have been asked of the Prime Minister. He, like previous Prime Ministers, has courteously replied to them. I personally consider it a reasonable view to take that if the Prime Minister is not seised of the whole of the facts involved in a question, the inquiry should be directed to the Minister who has the available information. However, if the honorable member for Indi does not wish to pursue hi3 question I shall not call upon the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture to reply to it.

Mr McEwen - I only want an answer by the Prime Minister, not otherwise.

Mr SPEAKER -The honorable member is out of order in insisting on a reply after a Minister has refused to answer.

Suggest corrections