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Monday, 14 October 1991
Page: 1810

Mr TIM FISCHER —-You will be aware, Mr Acting Speaker, of the Australian Government's invitation to President Bush to visit Australia, and particularly Canberra, in the first week of December. Further, you will recall the related proposal that, following the address by Prime Minister Hawke to a joint session of Congress in the chamber of the House of Representatives in Washington, President Bush might be invited by the Parliament to speak to a joint sitting of this Parliament. Will you ensure that such an address, if it does take place, takes place quite properly in either the House of Representatives chamber or the Senate chamber and not the Great Hall of the Parliament? Because of the procedures involved and the fact that the President is scheduled, in any event, to attend in the Great Hall later that day for another function, will you indeed, Mr Acting Speaker, report to the House what progress has been made on this quite important matter since I last raised it with the Speaker of the House during the September sittings?

Mr ACTING SPEAKER —-I thank the Leader of the National Party for his question. In fact, today I have received a letter from the Prime Minister proposing that President Bush be invited to address members and senators in the House of Representatives chamber. I am sure that honourable members would warmly welcome this. I will be discussing the matter with the President of the Senate. I have already asked the officers of the House of Representatives to commence preliminary arrangements so that we can conduct such an address from President Bush.

Mr Carlton —-What date?

Mr ACTING SPEAKER —-The date proposed is 5 December.