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Thursday, 14 September 1972
Page: 818


Senator CAVANAGH (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I direct a question to Senator Rae in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Securities and Exchange. I ask Senator Rae whether he will supply to me and the Senate information as to political interference, of which apparently he and Senator Murphy are aware, but of which I am completely ignorant. I take exception if the Committee has been impeded as a result of political interference.


The PRESIDENT - Order! I want to point out to honourable senators that it is only in recent times that the practice has developed of allowing questions to be directed to chairmen of committees. I have extended the practice because I believe that the Senate is entitled to inquire of chairmen of committees how far their committees have proceeded in the conduct of business which they are examining on behalf of the Senate. But I do not think that question time is the forum for crossexamining chairmen of committees. I would suggest that the Senate bear this in mind. Senator Rae may answer this question if he wishes, but that will be the last time I will allow a question to be asked on this matter.


Senator Cavanagh - Mr President, I am of the opinion that the question is permitted under the Standing Orders.


The PRESIDENT - No, 1 said that the practice has developed.


Senator Cavanagh - Yes, but if it is a right under Standing Orders, why do we not have the freedom to ask a question on a matter for which someone has responsibility?


The PRESIDENT - 1 did not rule your question out of order.


Senator RAE - I do not intend to supplement the answer which I have already given. I think that quite enough has been said on the subject and 1 do not intend to take it further at this stage.







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