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Tuesday, 20 November 1973
Page: 1903

Senator GREENWOOD (VICTORIA) - My question is directed to Senator James McClelland in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs. I ask: How many meetings of the Committee have been held this year for the purpose of considering the reference by the Senate on 7 December 1971, namely, the law and administration of divorce, custody and family matters. Is it a fact that only one meeting of the Committee has been held? If so, when will the Committee present to the Senate its report on this term of reference?

The PRESIDENT - Order! I have previously ruled that a question may be answered by a senator who is Chairman of a committee in charge of some business of the Senate only on the basis that the committee authorises him to make a statement. If Senator James McClelland has been authorised by the Committee to give an answer on these matters which have been raised by Senator Greenwood, he may do so.

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have not been so authorised, Mr President. However, I would have no objection to answering the question if you rule that this is permissible.

The PRESIDENT - You must take it to your Committee. That is my ruling.

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I bow to your ruling, Mr President.

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