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Thursday, 8 September 1983
Page: 571


Mr ANTHONY —Did the Prime Minister tell the House yesterday that he had not discussed with the honourable member for Port Adelaide earlier this week the honourable member's desire to return to the Ministry? In view of reports by Miss Michelle Grattan of the Age, Mr Greg Hywood of the Australian Financial Review and Mr Paul Kelly of the Sydney Morning Herald that the Prime Minister did discuss this matter with the honourable member for Port Adelaide, will the Prime Minister now say who is telling the truth?


Mr HAWKE —Mr Speaker, in answering the question yesterday I said that I did not meet the honourable member for Port Adelaide to discuss his desire to return to the Ministry. That answer was correct and remains correct. I imagine that everyone is getting tired of the repetitious attempts of the Opposition to drag around in this matter.

Mr Speaker, the position is quite clear. I have answered the question on a number of occasions. Let me make it quite clear that the circumstances surrounding the resignation of the honourable member for Port Adelaide go to matters which are being considered by the Hope Royal Commission on Australia's Security and Intelligence Agencies, and nothing will be done in regard to this matter until that report comes down.

I repeat what I said yesterday in regard to the question. The question was: Did I meet with the honourable member for Port Adelaide to discuss his desire to return to the Ministry? My answer is no. In the discussions that arose in the meeting I had with him the issue of his return to the Ministry did arise. The only conclusion to be drawn from the question yesterday and the question today is that the members of the Opposition ought to learn how to get their questions straight.