THE EDITOR: The Hansard records exactly what I said in the Senate on May 13, in direct response to a pointed question from the Opposition.
Unfortunately, my response in the Senate has been incorrectly reported by the media on more than one occasion.
To begin, the Newsday newspaper on May 14, in an article written by Sean Douglas, misquoted me and thus created the initial misunderstanding. The author reported, in direct quotes, that the US ambassador did not cite the Rio Treaty to complain to me.
Douglas misquoted my response in the Senate, saying, “There was no raising of the Rio Treaty.”
As the Hansard reflects, I never said that US Ambassador Joseph Mondello did not raise the Rio Treaty with me. I very carefully answered a pointed question of the Opposition and said, “the United States ambassador had a conversation with me, as a representative of the Cabinet level of the Government, and there were other conversations and there was no raising of the breach of any treaty.”
On Tuesday, I took the precaution and issued a statement and attached a copy of the Hansard to ensure that my exact words used were known.
Despite my action above, Renuka Singh has intentionally continued to mislead the public in her story in today’s (May 21) Guardian newspaper (page 5).
Singh and the Guardian newspapers state, “At a Senate sitting last Wednesday (May 13), however, Young said he spoke with Mondello and the issue of the Rio Treaty did not come up.”
As the Hansard reflects, this is completely false and Singh and the Guardian continue to intentionally mislead readers and misinform the public.
The Express newspaper on May 19, in an online article, with no byline, captioned “Did Stuart lie?” did worse. The Express in its last paragraph of this article intentionally misquoted me by stating that I said in the Senate on May 13, “There was no raising of the Rio Treaty.”
I am compelled to point out and correct these continued attempts to mislead the public by misquoting me so that the record reflects exactly what I said.
The previous inaccurate reporting of what I said on May 13 in the Senate has already led to unnecessary misunderstandings and must not be repeated.
I do not expect those who have agendas to mislead to do the right thing, but I don’t expect flagrant irresponsible journalism.
STUART R YOUNG, MP
Minister of National Security
Minister in the Office
of the Prime Minister