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Thursday, 29 November 1973
Page: 2272

Senator LILLICO (TASMANIA) - I ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate: Is it not a fair proposition that a reply to a question on notice forwarded through a Minister in this place from a Minister in another place should be a properly couched reply and not merely a reference to Hansard of another place, which reference may or may not be relevant to the question asked? I am not blaming the Minister for the reply I have received in that manner, but should not consideration be given to ruling such replies out of order for the reasons that they constitute an indignity to this chamber?

Senator MURPHY - I am conscious of the fact that that happened recently. I must say that I have a good deal of sympathy with what the honourable senator is putting. When in Opposition I felt the same way myself when I sometimes asked a question and the reply referred to a Hansard, especially a Hansard of the other House. Some better arrangement than that ought to be made. Even if it means some repetition, I think it would be more satisfactory if a definitive reply were to be given rather than simply a reference to some other document. I will pass that message to those who prepare the replies.

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