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Wednesday, 19 March 1980
Page: 773


Senator BUTTON -I ask the AttorneyGeneral whether he has seen reports that he, the Attorney-General, had approached Mr Justice Staples of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission through a third person to persuade him to accept a transfer to the Law Reform Commission. Is this report correct? If it is correct, did he make his approach as a result of a Government decision that he should do so or was he acting on his own initiative?


Senator DURACK -The reports to which Senator Button refers are correct, I think, in broad terms. The position is that as a result of discussions within the Government I did take steps to make inquiries as to whether Mr Justice Staples would be interested in an appointment to the Law Reform Commission. The object was simply to find out from Mr Justice Staples whether he would be interested. If he had been interested, the appointment would have been offered to him.


Senator BUTTON -Mr President,I wish to ask a supplementary question. My question asked the Minister: Did he make his approach as a result of a Government decision that he should do so? The Minister, in his answer, replied 'as a result of discussions within the Government'. The supplementary question is, therefore: Was there a decision of the Government or not?


Senator DURACK - I do not propose to add to the answer. How governments make decisions is a matter which I do not propose to disclose and which I do not disclose. As I said, the approach was made as a result of discussions that took place within the Government.







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