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Wednesday, 31 May 1972
Page: 2382

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) (Minister for Works) - I speak only because I happen to be present. I have no responsibility with regard to Estimates Committee B. My colleague Senator Greenwood, who is otherwise engaged, has. I rise to notice the importance of the recommendation and to express my appreciation of the interest that Estimates Committee B has taken with regard to the ambit of information to which the Parliament is entitled with regard to the administration of public authorities. I understand the motion to be simply a reference of the recommendation by Estimates Committee B to the Standing Orders Committee for comment by that Committee and for any recommendation that that Committee might make to the Committee of the Whole as to the substance - that is to say, the consistency of principle - of this recommendation from the point of view of parliamentary principle as well as procedures. I think it is desirable that the matter should be referred to the Standing Orders Committee. I do not think it will be made a means of undue delay. I concur with the view that it is desirable that the matter be considered by the Committee whose particular function it is to get various proposals for procedure in line with the general trends of which the Standing Orders Committee has custody.

I rise to notice the matter and to mention what I have mentioned because the motion was moved suddenly and not all senators would have brought it into focus. I do not claim to have contributed anything to the debate but just to have occupied 2 minutes from the point of view of weaving the thoughts of Estimates Committee B together in the hope that all honourable senators will be appreciative of that Committee's recommendation and will approve the course proposed - for the matter to be considered further by the Standing Orders Committee - so that we can make a judgment on this most important matter in modern politics.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill reported without requests but with a resolution expressing an opinion: report adopted.

Third Reading

Bill (on motion by Senator Cotton) read a third time.

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