Strange things go on in Canberra late at night – like this additional material relating to a question on AWB that Foreign Minister Alexander Downer gave to the House several hours after Question Time yesterday:


Oil for Food Program

Mr DOWNER (Mayo—Minister for Foreign Affairs) (8.58 pm)—Mr Speaker, I seek your indulgence to add to an answer I gave today to a question from the member for Wills.

The SPEAKER—The minister may proceed.

Mr DOWNER—He asked me whether there had been any imports of oil from Iraq which had been in breach of UN sanctions or Australian Customs regulations and I told the member I was not aware of any such breach. Just to add to that answer, my department has reminded me that the Australian Federal Police is investigating a possible breach in relation to one shipment of oil. As the investigation is under way by the Federal Police, it is not something I wish to comment on further.

Supplementary answers are often desperate attempts to avoid a charge of misleading the House. Whatever the case here, it’s an answer that raises more questions.