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Thursday, 29 October 1964

Senator GORTON - This matter would primarily fall, I should think, within the purview of the Minister for External Affairs, as it is his Department which brings to Australia Colombo Plan trainees to carry out courses which are decided upon by their own governments before they are brought to this country. I do not recall cases in which Colombo Plan trainees have been brought to Australia to do machine shop work. I gather from the honorable senator's suggestion that he has in mind people who are being trained as apprentices or are learning to be technicians and working in factories.

Senator Fitzgerald - They are taken to workshops to see them in operation.

Senator GORTON - Quite. But if they were brought here for the purpose of learning the management of workshops and things of that kind there would be no requirement that I can see for them to engage in the actual operation of machine tools in workshops. I would have thought that it was the training of skilled tradesmen or technicians which would require the operation of machine tools in workshops. I am trying to make the point that I do not know of any Colombo Plan trainees who would come to this country to do that sort of work. Most of the training of that kind is done in the home countries by Australian instructors who go there to teach people who are training to be tradesmen. I shall make inquiries to see what is the position, having given the honorable senator my own impression of it.

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