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Monday, 3 November 2003
Page: 21749

Mr ORGAN (3:42 PM) —Mr Speaker, what specific instructions did the chamber attendants receive prior to President Bush's visit to allow them to pull on the jacket of Senator Kerry Nettle and to not allow her to gain access to the President of the United States? Were the attendants given instructions similar to the use of preventable force on members of the House and senators—similar to those instructions given to keep Senators Brown and Nettle from the chamber on Friday? In other words, were the attendants given specific instructions prior to President Bush's visit to manhandle a member of this place?

The SPEAKER —Member for Cunningham, the only reason I am delaying my reply is that I cannot reply until you have resumed your seat. Let me reassure the member for Cunningham that of course no such instruction was given to attendants. I have spoken to the attendant who, in the instance the member for Cunningham refers to, appeared on the camera. Let me also indicate to the member for Cunningham that the same camera shot shows a Senate attendant, who has indicated to the President that she was in fact fearful of being pushed into the path of the President by the throng of members behind her. That was part of what caused the confusion at the time. I do not intend to take any further action. I have responded as comprehensively as I can in my statement.