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Tuesday, 23 May 1972
Page: 1890

Senator GUILFOYLE (VICTORIA) - I direct a question to the Minister for Health. I refer to the Mason report which was tabled in the Senate on 17th May 1972. Has he seen an article in the Melbourne 'Herald' of 20th May which criticises the omission from his statement of adverse comments by the judge on the Australian Medical Association? Has he any further information to give on this report?

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON - Yes, I saw the article about the Mason report. Obviously, the author of the article had not done his homework. Honourable senators can bear testimony to that because it will be recalled that in tabling the report last Wednesday I made a statement in relation to it. Not only did I table the document in the Senate, but also - as anybody who did his homework would know - a copy was made available to every honourable senator within an hour. A copy of the document was placed in the Press gallery on the same afternoon and also some hundreds of copies were sent to the other end of the building. So a very glamorous story about trying to withhold information just does not stand up. I received the document on the preceding Friday afternoon. As a result of my labours in the intervening period, the Government gave consideration to it. When I tabled the document - I had sent copies to Senator Murphy and Senator Gair a little earlier - I announced the Government's decisions in relation to it. The document is still before the Senate. Perhaps we should send another copy to the Press gallery to the fellow who wrote the story, which had no validity.

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