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Friday, 26 May 1972
Page: 2168

Senator McLAREN

The PRESIDENT - If honourable senators will permit me, I shall make a reference to Senator McLaren's request a few minutes ago to ask a supplementary question. It has not been the practice or the custom for the Senate to allow supplementary questions. Since 1 have been the Presiding Officer I have occasionally allowed supplementary questions to enable an honourable senator to pursue a point which he felt was not answered by the Minister to whom he directed the question. Apart from that, 1 try to distribute evenly among honourable senators the call to ask a question and leave second questions until all honourable senators who are desirous of attracting my attention have been called. If Senator McLaren wants to elicit further information, as he has indicated to me, I am prepared to allow him to ask his supplementary question in precedence over other honourable senators, but 1 do not wish to make the practice a constant one. 1 call Senator McLaren.

Senator McLAREN - I thank you for your indulgence, Mr President. The reason why I sought to ask a supplementary question was that 1 felt that the Minister representing the Minister for Housing did nol comprehend the meaning behind my question. I now ask him: Does he not consider that it would be economical and would facilitate the completion of applications by persons making applications if the information to which I referred were included inthat clause of the application form which states that the applicant must furnish a marriage certificate or a birth certificate or extracts therefrom? Does he not consider that it would be quite simple to add that photostat copies of these certificates would suffice?

Senator WRIGHT - As I hear the suggestion from the honourable senator it attracts approval from my mind; but I abstain from committing the Minister for

Housing, whom 1 represent, because the matter is one of detailed administration within his Department. I have no doubt that before he expressed an opinion he would take the advice of senior officials of his Department. I shall see that the Minister has the matter for consideration. Personally, it seems to be quite a practicable proposal.

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