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Thursday, 10 September 1942

Mr CURTIN (FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Prime Minister) - Any comment which honorable members may feel disposed to make on that matter -would be relevant during the debate on international affairs.

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON - Will the Prime Minister lay on the table of the House the paper, or a copy of the paper, from which he read a statement in this chamber last week regarding the position, of the right honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page) in relation to he Government?

Mr CURTIN - Last week I made an announcement to the House in precise term's. I had a note in order that 1 might correctly state the matter concerning which I desired to inform honorable gentleman. What I said was that the right honorable member for Cowper had been -co-opted by myself as a member of the Advisory War Council and would attend meetings of the War Cabinet to assist the Government to dpa! with war matters.

Mr Anthony - Only when invited, or all the time?

Mr CURTIN - Only when there were matters before the War Cabinet on which the right honorable gentleman, by reason of his work in London and the United States of America, would be able to assist the Government with his experience and advice. 1 made that very clear. The right honorable gentleman's position in the War Cabinet in relation to myself, if I understand the position correctly, is precisely that which he occupied -in the British War Cabinet as the representative of Australia. He was there to state a view. The right honorable member said last night that he did not vote as a member of the British War 'Cabinet. In fact, no votes were taken.

I desire to express my indebtedness to the right honorable member for Cowper for the magnificent way in which he has assisted this Government, and the previous Government, in the very difficult and exacting work that devolves upon a Commonwealth administration in war time.

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