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Tuesday, 9 April 1946

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) (Minister for Information and Immigration) . - by leave - On Thursday last, the honorable member forWide Bay (Mr. Corser), quoting from a Melbourne Herald report, asked me to ascertain whether unrepresentative lists of State attractions had been circulated at the " Meet Australia " exhibition, which opened in London on Tuesday, the 2nd April. I have now received a report from Mr. Thomas Dunbabin, Director of the Australian News and Information Bureau in London, which indicates that, once again, the Melbourne Herald has gone out of its way to ascribe to my department blame which really does not belong to it. Mr. Dunbabin reports as follows: -

At the opening of the Australian exhibition, lists of State products, fauna, flora and other characteristics were not circulated among visitors, but appeared on glass panels below each State coat-of-arms. Snakes, penguins, and wombats figured on the panels, which were designed early this year by a high British Ministry of Information official. I noticed this and decided to have them altered. Mr. Pike, Agent-General for Queensland, told me he disliked the inclusion of snakes on the Queensland panel and we substituted copper, Queensland's other main products having already been included. The British Ministry of Information readily agreed to these alterations and the job was completed on Thursday morning, April 4. Apart from this and one or two other very minor blemishes which we have also had corrected, the exhibition gives a fine general picture of Australia and in the first two-and-a-half days attracted 10,546 visitors.

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