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Tuesday, 15 April 1980
Page: 1456

Senator Walsh asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 19 February 1 980:

Will the Prime Minister cite any precedents wherby previous governments have refused to disclose whether Cabinet or Cabinet Committee meetings have been held, as indicated in his answer to Senate Question No. 2061 (see Senate Hansard, 23 November 1979, p. 2292).

Senator Carrick - The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

My answer to Question No. 206 1 , in indicating that details of Cabinet and Cabinet Committee meetings have been regarded as confidential by successive governments, was based upon, and was entirely consistent with, the best practices under the conventions of Cabinet confideniality and collective responsibility. Successive governments in Australia have accepted those conventions.

I would not propose to have the Hansards combed to check whether previous governments have, on all occasions, observed those conventions. J merely repeat that I do not intend adopting a practice of making public, details of Cabinet or other meetings of Ministers, such as who did not attend particular meetings.

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