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Thursday, 7 November 1946

Mr GULLETT (HENTY, VICTORIA) - Will the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Customs inform the House whether a newspaper is correct in reporting that, when the Minister for Air returned to Australia from America recently, he demanded of the local customs officer in Sydney that a locked bag be passed through the customs without examination by customs officials ? Did the customs officer insist that the law be obeyed and that the bag be opened? Did the Minister for Air then communicate with some higher authority, and was the bag eventually passed. without examination on the instruction of that higher authority? Will the Minister inform me who was that higher authority and 'what was in the bag? Were the contents, in fact, those of the Minister for Air or a member of his family who accompanied him? In conclusion, were the contents dutiable, and -has duty been paid on- them ?

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