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Thursday, 29 March 1984
Page: 875

Senator HAMER —My question is addressed to the Attorney-General in that capacity and also possibly in his capacity as Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs and concerns the constitutional position of the Queen of Australia when she is in a foreign country. I hasten to say that the question in no way implies any criticism of the Queen, who has my loyalty and admiration. My question is this: When the Queen makes a political speech in a foreign country, as she did recently in Jordan with a speech that obviously expressed the views of the British Government, is it constitutionally clear that she is speaking solely in her capacity as Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and that the views are not necessarily those of the Queen of Australia? Is this fine distinction clear to other countries, if it is not specifically stated, as it was not in Jordan? If not, what can be done about it?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I do not expect there are too many people, with the obvious exception of Senator Hamer, who would be likely to take the view that when the Queen is in Jordan she is acting in her capacity as Queen of Australia. However, for those souls around the place who are besotted with this particular form of exotica, I will endeavour to find out an answer to that question and advise the honourable senator accordingly.