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Wednesday, 4 December 1985
Page: 2907


Senator GARETH EVANS —Yesterday Senator MacGibbon asked me a question about alleged leakage on the subject of submarine tenders about which I undertook to seek further information from the Minister for Defence. In response to Senator MacGibbon, the Minister for Defence has replied that inquiries were made about the source of the leak, but the source could not be determined. Certainly, there is no basis in anything that the Acting Commonwealth Ombudsman said in his letter or anywhere else for Senator MacGibbon's assumption that, as he said, the leak obviously occurred from the Minister's office. While the leak was unfortunate, the Minister for Defence endorses the thrust of the reply given to Senator MacGibbon yesterday; namely, that since the discussions by the Caucus committee and the Cabinet endorsed the conclusions of the exhaustive examination processes of the Department of Defence, which processes were commended by the Ombudsman, there is no basis whatsoever for allegations of any improper influence affecting the outcome.