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Thursday, 20 September 1973
Page: 1337

Mr SPEAKER - Order1 In response to the request by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) this morning regarding the Hansard greens I wish to make the following statement. Traditionally the Prime Minister has the right to see the Hansard transcript of any part of the proceedings. Speaker Aston directed that a similar right be given to the alternative Prime Minister, that is, the Leader of the Opposition. When Mr Snedden became Leader of the Opposition the Principal Parliamentary Reporter informed him of this right and Mr Snedden uses it from time to time.

Late last night Mr Keating returned his greens, with some alterations. The Hansard office accepted some of them and rejected others, but by then Mr Keating had left the Hansard area. This morning, before the advance copies of the daily Hansard had arrived, Mr Snedden asked for a copy of Mr Keating's speech. The greens were photocopied and given to Mr Snedden. Had the Printer's copy, which did not show the disallowed alterations, been returned to the Hansard office at that time, it would have been photocopied.

The confidentiality which exists between a member and the Hansard office with respect to alterations made to the greens is, for all practical purposes, destroyed now that members are able to compare the printed report with the passage on the tape. The daily Hansard which is available now contains the alterations accepted by the Principal Parliamentary Reporter.

Mr Snedden - I accept your ruling on that matter, Mr Speaker. For my purposes, what has been printed in Hansard I will adhere to.

Mr SPEAKER -I call the right honourable member for Higgins.

Mr Keating - I accept your ruling also, Mr Speaker, but I think it is an anomalous position when the Leader of the Opposition can come into the House without any notice and-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honourable gentleman will have to seek leave to make a statement because he is interrupting a speech by the right honourable member for Higgins. I made the statement at 2.15, after I had notified the Leader of the Opposition and yourself that I intended to do so, because that was an appropriate time to do so rather than interrupt the proceedings of the House at a later stage. The honourable member will have an opportunity, after the debate is concluded, to make a statement if leave is granted to him to do so.

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