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Thursday, 8 September 1983
Page: 567


Mr PEACOCK —May I say, Mr Speaker, that the Opposition supports your decision to allow cameras into the House today to film the first part of Question Time. The reason is obvious: It is, of course, that the old footage has the honourable member for Port Adelaide on the front bench. One can only speculate that you, sir, know something about the honourable member's future that the Prime Minister does not. My question is directed to the Prime Minister. Does he support the opening of an Arab League Office in Australia and has the Department of Foreign Affairs already upgraded contact with the Palestine Liberation Organisation?


Mr HAWKE —The whole question of the policy of this Government towards the Middle East will be the subject of a submission by my friend and colleague the Minister for Foreign Affairs.


Mr Howard —Your mate.


Mr HAWKE —Yes, indeed he is my mate. It is a very close and tender relationship. We have not yet got to the stage of sending flowers to one another but, as is evident from the very clear and decisive foreign policy of this Government, it is a very constructive relationship between the two of us. As I said, the whole question of the policy of this Government towards the vexed area of the Middle East, an area about which I know the Opposition shares the concern of this Government, will be examined and within that examination I have no doubt that the specific questions raised by the Leader of the Opposition will be taken into account. As we are being a little gratuitous in the asking and therefore in the answering of questions, may I on behalf of the Government say to the Leader of the Opposition that we hope that in the near future he has a happier and more pleasurable honeymoon than he has had as Leader of the Opposition.