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Friday, 1 June 1984
Page: 2344

Senator HARRADINE(10.30) —I preface my remarks by saying that I know of no misinformation that has been put out by any principal or Catholic parish priest in respect of education, none whatsoever.

Senator McIntosh —Are you implying that there was none?

Senator HARRADINE —Yes, I am quite prepared to state that there was none in respect of the parish priests or principals of schools that I know. They were most meticulous because they had studied the documentation. The comment by the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs appeared to me to be irrelevant. She said that a fact sheet or factual sheets had been prepared by her Department last year for distribution. Under those circumstances, the information presumably is still being sought under the survey for which the 35 grand is provided. There is still attempting to zero in, in a big sister way, on the activities that may be undertaken quite legitimately or are undertaken quite legitimately by those who have the responsibilities in the educational area. Honourable senators should bear in mind that we are talking about groups such as parent groups and the like which are spending an enormous amount of money on education in this country and, perhaps in most of the cases that I know of, are making extraordinary sacrifices to do so. It is offputting to say the least, that Department of Education and Youth Affairs officials should propose such a survey to the Minister. It is extraordinary to see that the integrity of the Public Service has been reduced to such a low level. I intend to pursue this in another way that is available to me. So I ask officers of the Department of Education and Youth Affairs to keep their files intact because I intend to proceed with this in another way.