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Wednesday, 4 November 1992
Page: 2544

Mr REITH —My question is directed to the Treasurer. Treasurer, if you have nothing to hide, why will you not appear before the Senate parliamentary inquiry into the Loan Council?

  Opposition members interjecting

Mr SPEAKER —Order! The House will come to order.

Mr DAWKINS —If the honourable member is so interested in the Senate, why does he not go and join it? After his very disappointing record down here, he might do quite well up there.

  Opposition members interjecting

Mr SPEAKER —There is far too much noise.

Mr Tim Fischer —Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. As a matter of interest, under Standing Orders, no member is allowed to reflect on the competence of the other House. I ask you to rule the Minister out of order.

Mr SPEAKER —I am sure all honourable senators will thank the Leader of the National Party for coming to their aid.

Mr DAWKINS —If you want some views about the competence of the Senate, just read what Senator Walsh has to say about it from time to time. The point is that the practices of this Parliament are well understood. As Senator Coulter said today, there was no way in which any committee of the Senate could require any member of the House of Representatives to appear. If, as Senator Coulter intends, this should be an inquiry into the Loan Council and how it might better perform its functions in the future, then the Government would, as we do with all other Senate inquiries, cooperate as best we can.

Mr Reith —Will you appear?

Mr SPEAKER —Order! The Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party will cease interjecting.

Mr DAWKINS —However, if this is just a Liberal Party stunt, as I expect, then we will treat it accordingly.