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Tuesday, 13 November 1973
Page: 3204

Mr DALY(Grayndler - Leader of the

House) (2.25) - The matter under discussion is the report of the Committee of Privileges relating to an article published in the 'Sun' dated 18 September 1973, together with minutes of the proceedings of the Committee. Prior to moving a motion on this matter, I wish to report officially to the House a tragic happening, namely, the sudden death of Mr B. J. Tier, the former editor of the 'Sun* who was involved in this inquiry. I know that all members of the House regret his passing. To his family we extend the sympathy of the House on a very unfortunate occasion. Naturally, it is significant that his untimely death occurred before we could discuss this matter. Therefore, the Government has decided, among other things, on certain procedures which we hope the Opposition will support. I therefore formally move:

That the House agrees -

(a)   with the Committee in its findings,

(b)   that, in view of the death of Mr B. J. Tier, the former Editor of The Sun', no further action be taken with respect to the Committee's recommendation seeking publication of an apology, and

(c)   that Mr Speaker should communicate with the President of the Parliamentary Press Gallery as recommended by the Committee

I make no reference at this stage to the action proposed to have been taken against the former editor, the late Mr Tier, other than to state briefly that I hope the members of the Press Gallery will take note of the findings and deliberations of this Committee and in future exercise a great degree of caution in relation to publication of documents, particularly documents of this kind, before they are released to this Parliament. I hope that that caution, which is incorporated in the finding of the Committee, will be borne in mind by all members of the Press gallery and editors of newspapers, who I trust will not only realise the importance of maintaining privacy on these matters until the time due for their publication but also appreciate that it does not enhance respect for the parliamentary Press Gallery or Parliament itself for that matter if such details are released in advance when their publication at the due time would be adequate.

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