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Wednesday, 4 November 1992
Page: 2552


Mr REITH —My question is directed to the Treasurer. Treasurer, last Tuesday you released documents in an attempt to explain your role in the Loan Council affair. Last Sunday you selectively released some more—

  Mr Brereton interjecting


Mr SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member for Kingsford-Smith will cease interjecting.


Mr REITH —And yesterday you again selectively released another document. I ask the Treasurer—


Mr Beazley —I have a point of order. The standing orders relating to Question Time are quite clear: questions must not contain imputations, epithets or like material. This question, as all questions asked by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition are, is replete with those things. Sooner or later it would be nice to have him brought to order.


Mr SPEAKER —Order! The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will get to his question.


Mr REITH —I certainly will—thank you, Mr Speaker—if I am not interrupted. So I ask the Treasurer—


Mr SPEAKER —Order! And he might do it quickly.


Mr REITH —Well, you are not denying I was interrupted. I ask the Treasurer: can he guarantee to the House that all relevant documents—

  Government members interjecting


Mr REITH —Look, here is another interruption!


Mr Beazley —On a point of order: the last reflection of the epithet of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition was not in fact added to the question; it was directed to you. It was a direct criticism of your correctly drawing attention to him the fact that he ought to conform with Standing Orders.


Mr SPEAKER —Order! If the Deputy Leader of the Opposition made a reflection on the Chair, he should withdraw it.


Mr REITH —I certainly did not, Mr Speaker, as the record will show.

  Government members—Withdraw!


Mr SPEAKER —If the Deputy Leader said he did not, I will take him at his word. The Deputy Leader might now quickly get to his question. Honourable members on my right will cease interjecting.


Mr REITH —I ask the Treasurer: can he guarantee to the House that all relevant documents relating to his role in the cover-up have now been released?


Mr SPEAKER —Order! The Deputy Leader of the Opposition might rephrase his question to delete the words about the cover-up. That is an imputation against the Minister.


Mr REITH —I will rephrase the last sentence. I ask the Treasurer: can he guarantee to the House that all relevant documents relating to his role in the Loan Council matter have now been released?


Mr DAWKINS —Here they go trying and trying again to get a little bit more juice out of this particular lemon. As the Deputy Leader knows, he has made an application under the Freedom of Information Act. That application will be processed under the provisions of the Act in the normal way.


Mr SPEAKER —I call the honourable member for Forde.

  Opposition members interjecting

  Mr Ruddock interjecting


Mr SPEAKER —Order! The House will come to order. The honourable member for Dundas will cease interjecting. I call the honourable member for Forde.