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Thursday, 14 September 1972
Page: 824

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - During the course of question time 4 questions were directed at Senator Rae and 2 of those questions were answered. The Leader of the Opposition asked 2 questions. Senator Cavanagh asked a question . which was not answered, and Senator Durack asked a question. Senator Murphy then suggested to you, Sir, that you should discuss this matter with Senator Rae.

Senator Murphy - No; make a statement to the Senate on the implications to the Senate of what he said.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - Let me finish. Senator Murphy suggested that you should discuss this matter with Senator Rae and then make a statement, Sir, about it if you think it is fitting for you to do so. Senator Rae has now risen in his place and sought leave to make a statement. While I think that you have taken the right attitude, I believe that Senator Rae is trying to clarify an answer that he gave. Quite often Ministers rise in their places towards the end of question time and elaborate on or give further information in answer to a question. I have the feeling that this is what Senator Rae is endeavouring to do. I do not think that it conflicts with the proposal that Senator Murphy has put to you, Sir.

The PRESIDENT - On the basis that Senator Rae wishes leave of the Chair to make a statement in clarification of an earlier answer, I call Senator Rae.

Senator RAE - I now have a copy of what 1 said earlier. I said:

I suggest to Senator Murphy that the Committee's report has not been delayed in any way for any purpose, but there have been some times when perhaps less interference of a political party nature may have enabled the Committee to spend more time on the preparation of its report.

I wish to say in amplification of that answer which I gave that notwithstanding the suggestions which have been made by Senator Murphy for what I might describe as 'instant reporting', the Committee has continued to work with a commendable cohesiveness and co-operation in the unanimous desire to preserve the integrity both of the Committee and of its report. I wish to emphasise that what 1 said earlier -

Senator Cavanagh - What is the party political interference?

Senator RAE - I have already suggested that Senator Murphy has a number of times made it quite clear he thinks that the Committee should engage in instant reporting. That was the matter to which I referred.

The PRESIDENT - With the concurrence of honourable senators, we will now deal with answers to questions upon notice.

Senator Murphy - In view of what has been said by Senator Rae by leave of the Senate, I would ask for leave to make a statement because his answer does not merely explain his own position. He has made some statement in relation to me.

The PRESIDENT - I have called for answers to questions upon notice. We will have the answers and then I shall call you to make your statement by leave.

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