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Thursday, 17 February 2000
Page: 13789

Mr PRICE (3:12 PM) —I have a question for you, Mr Speaker. In question time today, two ministers sought to add to answers: the Treasurer, who added to an answer after question time, and the Prime Minister, who added to an answer during question time. Have you suspended the requirement under standing orders, and in particular on page 521 of House of Representatives Practice, that ministers can only add to answers after question time or is it being selectively applied?

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Chifley would do very well to withdraw the last part of that question or find himself in deep trouble.

Mr Price —I withdraw any implication.

Mr SPEAKER —Let me then respond. As every member in the House familiar with the standing orders ought to know, the Treasurer exercised the usual courtesies and sought the opportunity to add to an answer, which was granted. The right to add to an answer is always available to the Prime Minister, but is not available to other ministers, should the Prime Minister be responding to an answer.

Mr Price —Mr Speaker, I apologise if I have not understood the standing orders

Mr SPEAKER —I shall take the matter up with the member for Chifley separately if he feels there is something in my response—

Mr Price —No, I was going to say that I understood, Mr Speaker, that more than one minister could answer—

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Chifley and I have dealt with this matter. I will take it up with him outside the House. He will resume his seat.