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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3125


Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) am asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 22 September 1977:

(1)   On what date, at what place and in whose company has he met Mr John Bracey.

(2)   Has he spoken to him by telephone; if so, when.

(3)   On what occasions has he (a) sent communications himself or through others to him, or (b) received communications himself or through others from him.

(4)   On what occasions and at what addresses have former or present members of his staff met him.

(5)   On what occasions have former or present members of his staff themselves or through others (a) sent communications to Mr Bracey, or (b) received communications from him.


Mr Lynch - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) The honourable gentleman will recall that, because his Government sought at every turn to cover up its attempts to borrow through unorthodox channels billions of dollars from overseas, many people provided information to the then Opposition, including a number who were themselves negotiating certain loan raising propositions with the former Government. Mr Bracey was one such person. I met with him in Sydney as Deputy Leader of the Opposition on 4 June 1 975 in the company of my Principal Private Secretary.

(2)   No.

(3)   I am informed that, prior to 11 November 197S, a number of telephone conversations took place between my Principal Private Secretary and Mr Bracey. I am also informed that, on each occasion that Mr Bracey has contacted my office since 11 November 1975, the matter has been referred to the Treasury in accordance with the procedures made public in my press statement of 17 December 1975.

On 21 January 1976, the First Assistant Secretary, Revenue, Loans and Investment Division, Department of the Treasury, telephoned Mr Bracey at the request of my Principal Private Secretary and advised Mr Bracey of my Press statement of 17 December 1975 and of the Government's guidelines in relation to unsolicited loan proposals. A copy of that Press statement together with the guidelines was forwarded by the Department of the Treasury to Mr Bracey on the same day.

On 14 May 1976, the then Acting Assistant Secretary, Loans and Debt Management Branch, Revenue, Loans and Investment Division, telephoned Mr Bracey at the request of my Principal Private Secretary and again reminded Mr Bracey of the Press statement of 1 7 December 1 975 and that any unsolicited loan proposals would need to be submitted in writing to the Treasury where they would be assessed against the guidelines attached to that statement.

The foregoing is in marked contrast to what occurred under the former Government and no doubt the honourable gentlemen will recall sacking two of his Ministers for their role in the 1975 'loans scandal', thereby making them scapegoats for his own complicity. I remind him of what I said in answering one of his previous questions on notice: namely that the network of intermediaries and conmen that was involved in his Government's clandestine attempts to borrow massive amounts of money from overseas was built up, not only because of the desire of his Government to deceive the Australian public, but also because the administrative arrangements which were then in force were not being observed by Ministers.

(4)   See (1) above.

(5)   See (3) above.

Recognition of the Australian Antarctic Territory (Question No. 1564)


Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) am asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 4 October 1977:

What changes have other countries made in their recognition or non-recognition of Australia's claim to the Australian Antarctic Territory since' Mr Casey's answer to me on 9 April 1977 (Hansard, page 678).


Mr Peacock - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

There have been no changes in the situation since Mr Casey's answer on 9 April 1957. Without wishing to exaggerate the significance of it, it is worth noting, however, that, with only one' exception (the United States of America), there was no response from any state when Australia extended to the AAT the Convention of the World Meteorological Organisation in 1955 and the Universal Postal Convention in 1959.

Determinants of Australia's Foreign Policy (QuestionNo.1588)


Mr Kevin Cairns (LILLEY, QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 4 October 1977:

(1)   When has a particular conception of human rights represented the sole determinant of Australian foreign policy since World War II.

(2)   Does it explain the official Government attitude towards China, Russia, Vietnam or Cambodia; if so, when was this made clear.

(3)   Did it ever explain the Australian attitude towards Indonesia on a Government to Government basis.

(4)   Did Dr Evatt rely on these principles to explain Australian-Indonesian relationships in 1947; if so, has it applied in subsequent Australian-Indonesian relationships.

(5)   Can the Government indicate that this narrowly based conception of Australia's overseas relations will not be allowed to poison the necessarily dose and friendly relations with the Association of South East Asian Nations considered individually and collectively.


Mr Peacock - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

(   1 ) It is unlikely that it could be said that a particular conception of human rights has represented the sole determinant of Australian foreign poliCy at any time towards any country.

(2)   The official Government attitude towards China, the USSR, Vietnam and Cambodia has been stated in the Parliament on various occasions by the Prime Minister and by me, including in my ministerial statement of 1 5 March 1977.

(3)   See answer to ( 1 ) above.

(4)   The present government cannot speak on behalf of a previous government

(5)   The government is dearly on record in its wish to maintain and develop the CloSest possible relations with ASEAN countries individually and collectively.







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