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Thursday, 21 August 2003
Page: 19228

Mr CREAN (3:06 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. I ask: now that he has had more than a week to reflect on his statements to the House last week, will he apologise for misleading the House about the contents of his meeting with Mr Honan on 1 August last year? In particular, will he apologise for his claim: `when I met Mr Honan, we did not discuss pending imports of Brazilian ethanol either generically or the specific Trafigura shipment'? Prime Minister, isn't this claim directly contradicted by the minute of your meeting with Mr Honan on 1 August 2002 which outlined the Prime Minister's discussions with Mr Honan about `cheaper Brazilian product'?

The SPEAKER —The member for Blair is warned!

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —The answer to the Leader of the Opposition's question is the same as the answer that I have given persistently, and that is that I do not believe that I have misled the House. I simply repeat to the Leader of the Opposition that the context in which I answered questions, the context set by the member for Chisholm when she asked the question, clearly indicates that I did not mislead the House. I therefore will not be acceding to the invitation so graciously extended to me by the Leader of the Opposition.

The SPEAKER —The member for Chisholm will withdraw that remark.

Ms Burke —I withdraw the remark, `The Prime Minister lied.'