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Thursday, 6 December 1973

The PRESIDENT - Order! Honourable senators will be aware that under Standing Orders the President of the Senate may intervene at any stage during the course of the Senate's deliberations and I do so now for the second time today. I do so to make it perfectly clear to honourable senators that in the context of the proprieties of parliamentary life Senator Cavanagh drew my attention this morning to a matter involving standing order 427 under which Senator Cavanagh claimed that he had been misreported in an Australian national newspaper. Honourable senators will recollect that I said I would investigate the matter during the course of the day and provide an answer to honourable senators. In pursuance of that undertaking, I requested the Canberra head of 'Sun-News Pictorial' of Melbourne to come to see me just prior to the suspension of the sitting of the Senate for lunch. I had a general discussion with him on the matters raised by Senator Cavanagh. I now read the following letter that I have received from the head of 'Sun-News Pictorial' in the Parliamentary Press Gallery. It is addressed to the President of the Senate and reads as follows:

During our conversation in your office earlier this afternoon I undertook to write to you explaining how the error occurred in the report headed 'Native control to go federal' on page 27 of this morning's Sun.

As you are aware, when both Houses of Parliament are sitting, journalists in the Press Gallery have to work at speed and under considerable pressure. Yesterday a member of the Sun's Canberra staff misread an answer to a question on notice tabled in the House of Representatives by Mr Bryant on Senator Cavanagh 's behalf.

The Sun, of course, regrets the error, which will be corrected.

Yours sincerely,

L.   E. Oakes (Head of Service)

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