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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Mr MORGAN (REID, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is it a fact, Mr. Speaker, that the President of the Senate yesterday banned members of the staffs - including working journalists - of a certain newpaper, including those engaged in this House, from the King's Hall, the Library, and the Refreshment Rooms, so that they cannot even have a meal while working at the House? Is it a fact that, before the President of the Senate took this action, he consulted with you, and obtained your agreement? Is the control of the King's Hall, the Library, and the Refreshment Rooms vested in the Joint House Committee? Is it a fact that no meeting of the Joint House Committee was called to consider whether or not the ban should be imposed ? If so, do you not consider that the action of the President, and your concurrence, constitute a gross flouting of the Joint House Committee's jurisdiction? If you regard the action of the President as valid, will you state on what grounds it was taken? Why could not some more appropriate action have been taken to deal with the author of the offending article - assuming that an offence was committed - without penalizing inoffensive persons, and stifling criticism, whether that criticism was justified or not?

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