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Monday, 14 October 1985
Page: 1137


Senator MICHAEL BAUME —My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Prime Minister. In view of the constant, wrongful and unpersonable attempts of the Prime Minister and Senator Button to pass the blame for the Bicentennial debacle to the Prime Minister's Department and to the Australian Bicentennial Authority, I ask: Did the Prime Minister during the period between his instruction on 15 August to terminate Dr Armstrong's services and the final settlement on 30 August seek the advice of the Solicitor-General or any other law officers or accountant? If so, when and whom? Did the Prime Minister seek any advice from his Department before 28 August as to the terms of severance of Dr Armstrong's employment or ask for a copy of the terms of Dr Armstrong's employment, which were in his Department at all relevant times? If so, when, and what was the advice he received?


Senator BUTTON —Having regard to Senator Baume's past career as a publicist of some note, I would have thought that the word `unpersonable' would not help very much. It is not a word that journalists will pick up. It is not a very euphonic sort of expression. Perhaps the honourable senator should try something else. In respect of each of the questions asked by Senator Baume, those questions have been answered by the Prime Minister in the House of Representatives and are a matter of record in the House of Representatives Hansard.