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Wednesday, 21 September 1983
Page: 1073

Mr Groom proceeding to address a question to the Prime Minister-

Mr SPEAKER —Order! I think the question the honourable member is raising is getting into the area of the sub judice rule in respect of the Hope Royal Commission on Australia's Security and Intelligence Agencies. It is a matter of evidence that would go before that Commission. It is opening up a fresh area and is rather dissimilar to the questions we have had previously.

Mr Groom-I wish to speak to that point, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER —I am willing to hear the honourable member.

Mr Groom-First, the Prime Minister has already developed the content of his statement, made on 23 August, and I am now speaking to that in this question. The second point is that it is in the public interest that these matters be properly debated. The third point is that the Royal Commission is taking place before a senior judge. One of the issues concerning the sub judice rule is whether a tribunal can be prejudiced by any comments that might be made. My point is that this is not a matter before a judge and a jury. It is a matter before a senior judge. I therefore submit to you that it is a proper question.

Mr SPEAKER —That is not relevant. The question is out of order.