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Tuesday, 9 November 1976

Dr CASS (Maribymong) -I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER - Does the honourable gentleman claim to have been misrepresented?

Dr CASS - Yes, inadvertently, and probably it was my own fault. On 4 November, during discussion of a ministerial statement by the Minister for Post and Telecommunications (Mr Eric Robinson), I had observed that the Green report, which has been tabled today, had not been tabled at that time. I made the observation that I thought that the basic decisions had been taken by the Government and so it seemed unreasonable not to table the report on that day. I said: ... I think it is a slight mis-statement of the real situation to say that the Government is still considering the report. In essence the Minister is depriving the community of a chance to discuss the report while the Government itself is considering it

That is what I felt and I therefore felt that it should have been made available. But I then said, in a throw-away line:

I see no harm in that sort of approach.

By that I meant no harm in allowing the community to see it even while the Government was still considering it. I am sure that is probably the way I said it, but the intonation in my voice cannot be reproduced in Hansard and therefore the wrong impression is given. That last comment goes quite contrary to the whole of that section of my speech where in fact I was being critical of the non-tabling of the report. Therefore I seek leave to somehow correct the impression I inadvertently gave in Hansard.

Mr SPEAKER - The honourable gentleman drew this to my attention and explained it to me.

I understand the situation. As he said, sometimes the written word does not accurately reflect the spoken word. The Minister for Post and Telecommunications is not in the chamber at the moment but I shall make inquiries as to whether he would agree to some arrangements being made in regard to the printing of Hansard in order to make clear the distinction that the honourable member for Maribyrnong pointed out. If it is too late to do that the personal explanation just made will relate to that matter.

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