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Tuesday, 12 October 1971
Page: 2182

Mr ANTHONY (Richmond) (Minister for Trade and Industry) - I would like to take this opportunity to correct a slight error I made last Thursday night when the estimates for the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Primary Industry and the Department of Customs and Excise were being debated. In a brief reply which I gave I mentioned that there was a dissenting report of the Tariff Board and that I had received the report about a week earlier and immediately sent it to the Government Printer so as to have it ready to table in the Parliament as soon as possible. I would not normally worry about this but one of the newspapers picked up the point that I had received it only a week before. What I had meant to say was that I had received it only a few weeks before. The actual facts are that the Tariff Board's annual report was received by me on 30th August 1971 and forwarded to the Government Printer on 31st August 1971. I referred it to the Attorney-General's Department on 1st September 1971 for an opinion. Copies of the bulk annual report were received on 28th September 1971.

Mr Bryant - A point of order, Mr Deputy Chairman.

Mr ANTHONY - I need only about one second in which to finish, if the honourable member does not mind.

Mr Bryant - I do not care about that. You have voted for the gag on every occasion. I am wondering what provision of the Standing Orders applies to the Minister's statement.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (Mr Cope) - Order! No exception was taken by the honourable member in charge of the Opposition side. The Minister did speak to me about this.

Mr Bryant - Is the Minister speaking with leave? I do not mind, but after all he is the last one to give us any courtesy.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN- It is a personal explanation.

Mr Barnard - May I speak to the point of order raised? The Minister would not have been denied the opportunity to make a personal explanation to the House or to correct some figures. But I think it is a matter of courtesy that we should be told. If he had spoken to me about this there would have been no difficulty at all.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN- He is making a personal explanation with the permission of the Chair, which is quite in order.

Mr ANTHONY - Certainly had I thought it was going to cause any inconvenience or have any political content 1 would have discussed it with the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. I conferred with the Chair. My final remark is that I tabled the annual report of the Tariff Board the day after receiving them. I just wanted to get on record the actual dates because there seems to have been some confusion.

Sitting suspended from 6 to 8 p.m. APPROPRIATION BILL (No. 1) 1971-72

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