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Thursday, 11 October 1956


Mr Whitlam m asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice -

1.   After Her Majesty's accession, did her Australian Government accept from an Ambassador new letters of credence in which his Government was described as the Government of Ireland?

2.   Did the latter Government later refuse to accept from Her Majesty an Australian Ambassador with letters of credence addressed to the Government of the Republic of Ireland?

3.   Have the United Kingdom and Canadian Governments subsequently despatched Ambassadors with letters of credence addressed to the Government of Ireland?

4.   Why does the Australian Government still refuse to despatch an Ambassador with letters of credence addressed in a form which is acceptable to the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland?


Mr Casey - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Yes. The then Irish Ambassador presented new letters of credence in which his head of State was described as the " President of Ireland ". The view was taken at the time that the Australian Government should not contest the terms in which the Government of the Republic of Ireland chose itself to describe its head of State; this did not affect the Australian Government's own position, which was that it would not itself use such terms in any letters of credence signed by Her Majesty in respect of any Australian Ambassador who might be appointed.

2.   Yes. The Government of the Republic of Ireland refused to accept an Australian Ambassador with letters of credence addressed to the "President of the Republic of Ireland".

3.   In the case of Canada, the Canadian Ambassador is accredited to the "President of Ireland ". The United Kingdom Ambassador is not accredited to the " President of Ireland ".

4.   As I have said, the United Kingdom has not used letters of credence in the form described by the honorable member. Otherwise, this question is covered very adequately by the answer given by the Prime Minister in reply to the honorable member for West Sydney on 27th September .







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