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Tuesday, 6 November 1973
Page: 1527

Senator WRIEDT (Tasmania for Primary Industry) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a first time.

Senator Sir KENNETHANDERSON (New South Wales) (3.12)- As this is a money Bill, I crave the indulgence of the Senate to speak for about 2 minutes on a matter related to a question I asked earlier this afternoon and the response given by the Minister for Primary Industry, Senator Wriedt. The question referred to an alleged leak of a Tariff Board report which appeared in the Sydney Press last week. In his response the Minister said in passing that he felt sure that there was no impropriety on the part of any Minister. I wish to make it abundantly clear that I never at any stage suggested that there was. During a period of eight or nine years I came to understand very well the procedures adopted in relation to Tariff Board reports. When the Board makes a recommendation, it is handed to the relevant Minister and is then examined by Cabinet. The Ministers very properly have to have access to that document before they make a decision which becomes a collective decision of the Government. The report is then tabled in the Parliament with the recommendations of the Government. I was not suggesting any impropriety in any way at all on the part of any Minister. What I was suggesting was that obviously there was a leak, and that some other person must have had access to the document and that is the way the leak occurred.

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