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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 57

The PRESIDENT - I wish to inform honourable senators that I keep a running statistical table which shows, firstly, the number of questions asked, and secondly, the time taken to ask them. Both yesterday and today fewer questions than usual have been asked because of the time taken to ask them. This has been caused, I suggest, substantially by some questions not being questions seeking information. Further, some answers have been far too long. Not only are some questions being padded; there is a good deal of padding in answers by some Ministers. I am aware that there is nothing in the Standing Orders which curtails the right of honourable senators to ask questions, but honourable senators must bear in mind that the Senate has a great deal of business to fulfil. So far today an hour has been taken up by questions. Some senators have risen in their places a third time to ask questions. Therefore I suggest, in the interest of the comity of the Senate itself, that senators might consider whether 1 hour is sufficient time to give to questions without notice.

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