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Wednesday, 14 November 1973
Page: 3283

Mr HAMER (ISAACS, VICTORIA) - My question is directed to the Prime Minister. I preface it by saying that at his weekly Press conference yesterday the Prime Minister went back on his commitment to open government by refusing to repeat an assurance that his Ministers would answer questions put by the Leader of the Opposition on what interdepartmental committees their departments participate in. I ask: Is it true that one of the Prime Minister's closest advisers told those present at that Press conference yesterday that the Prime Minister refused to give this assurance as he had been snowed by the Public Service? In what way has the Prime Minister been snowed by the Public Service? Will he now assert his authority to ensure answers are provided as he promised on 7 November?

Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not believe that I have been snowed by the Public Service. I certainly welcome the advice of the Public Service. Where I do not accept that advice, I have no reason to believe that the Public Service does not accept my decisions.

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