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Wednesday, 7 March 1973
Page: 279

Mr SNEDDEN (BRUCE, VICTORIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister for Defence, Minister for the Navy, Minister for the Army, Minister for Air and Minister for Supply. When the honourable gentleman tabled in the House yesterday, a minute addressed to him by Sir Arthur Tange, Secretary of the Department of Defence, did he at the time, of tabling have any reservations about his acceptance of all that was contained in the document? If he did have such reservations why did he not say to the House that he had reservations? Why did he say yesterday:

This matter is related to the circumstances as outlined in the document which is before the Leader of the Opposition and which I have tabled in the House.

If the Minister did not have reservations at the time he tabled the document, what caused him to develop reservations within a couple of hours when he gave a Press conference? Will he now tell the House what reservations he has, if he has any?

Mr BARNARD (BASS, TASMANIA) (Minister for Defence) - The Leader of the Opposition has raised a matter that was dealt with in this House at great length yesterday. I tabled a document which I had asked to be prepared for me by the. Secretary of the Department of Defence. The Leader of the Opposition had the opportunity to examine it. I made no comment on that matter at all. What I did. and what 1 thought was proper, fair and reasonable, since questions of personalities were involved, was to take the opportunity to make myself available to the media.

I made a full explanation in relation to the document I had tabled in the House.

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