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Wednesday, 21 April 1971

Senator KENNELLY - My question is directed to you, Mr President. Was the last question which was asked a question on notice, a question without notice or a question that was sent by the Leader of the Government in the Senate to one of his supporters to ask of the Leader of the Government?


With your permission, Mr President, I shall answer the question. In fairness I think it should be made clear that frequently honourable senators on both sides of the chamber - that includes Senator Kennelly's side - have indicated to a Minister that they will ask a question in a certain direction. Without naming any honourable senator I can look about me and see in the chamber honourable senators who have adopted that procedure. That is the first point. The second point is that I speak in the name of the Prime Minister and for the other Ministers whom I represent in this chamber. In fact, in my capacity as Leader of the Government in the Senate 1 could be asked questions in relation to any one of the 26 portfolios. Of necessity I try - I hope I am doing the right thing - to anticipate something that may be asked of me so that I can give a comprehensive reply. If Senator Kennelly or other honourable senators do not want me to do that. I wish they would so indicate because that would make the position very much easier for me.

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