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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1841

Mr GARLAND (Curtin) - Mr Deputy Speaker,I rise for the 2 or 3 minutes that are left to draw the attention of the House, as one has tried to do by interjection on occasion, to the lack of full and responsive answers by the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) and Ministers of this Government to questions put at question time in this House by members of the Opposition. I think the House will simply have to hear more of this because the evasion that has been witnessed by us has been tremendous, and I protest on this occasion and I hope that the Opposition, if it continues, will take stronger action. It is all very well for the Prime Minister to come in here - he is a man with many abilities - and to wipe off the questions. It is all very well to assume that every one of them is asked for a Party political purpose. Members are entitled to receive information, given to the best of Ministers' ability, in reply to questions which they raise.

Time and time again, particularly in the last few sitting weeks, we have seen a deliberate attempt to evade. That is put into some relief by the detailed transcripts of Press conferences which the Prime Minister is holding almost weekly, at which journalists sit about in some room - I do not know where it is - and put to him a number of questions. They have a number of advantages over members of Parliament; they are able to follow up some of their questions and they receive, on the whole, answers, and full answers, from which one can elicit some information. I compliment the Prime Minister on circulating those Press releases because we learn far more facts and Government reasoning from those transcripts than we do at question time.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Scholes)Order!It being 11 o'clock, the House stands adjourned until 1 1 a.m. tomorrow

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