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Thursday, 11 May 1972
Page: 1560

Senator POKE (TASMANIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. In answer to a question I asked him on 26th April about the action to be taken by the Government concerning a proposed wool acquisition scheme the Minister commented that my question was a lot of rubbish. In view of the Prime Minister's statement of 2nd April regarding Cabinet's consideration of the Randall Committee's preliminary report, does the Minister still hold the same opinion? While a Press statement which was released states that no decision has yet been taken, I again ask the Minister whether the Government will guarantee that the details of any recommended scheme will be put up for public discussion before the Federal election or whether the giving of such a guarantee will be refused because of the divisions in the coalition Government about that scheme. If no such guarantee can be given-

The PRESIDENT - Order! The honourable senator is getting away from the proper form of asking a question.

Senator POKE - If no such guarantee can be given, what opportunity will this chamber have to debate thoroughly the advantages and disadvantages of any scheme before a final decision is taken?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Air) - I do not know whether the honourable senator wants me to say yes to the early part of his question, but I do. He can treat that how he likes.

Senator Poke - The Minister is very helpful, as he has been with lots of other things!

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - Can I go on?

Senator Poke - The Minister can please himself.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - In that case I will say that I have nothing further to add to the Prime Minister's statement.

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