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Wednesday, 29 November 1944

Dr EVATT (Barton) (Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs) . - Following the suggestion which the honorable member for New England (Mr. Abbott) made earlier in the debate, I discussed this matter with the Treasurer (Mr. Chifley), and he expressed the opinion that the Commonwealth Treasury prefers to have its interests watched, not by a member of the commission, hut by an officer associated with the work of the commission. The Government is not able to increase the personnel of the commission in the manner suggested by the honorable member, because the agreement with the State of Tasmania provides for a commission of four members, and the acceptance of the amendment would destroy the agreement. I agree that the Treasury should be closely associated with the operations of the commission, and that will be done in the manner which I have indicated. The Treasury officer will act as watchdog over the expenditure of public money.

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