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Thursday, 11 April 1957

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The Minister is in order in referring to notes.

Mr OSBORNE - The constitutional position of the new state is exactly that of Australia, lt is an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations, a status which it has chosen voluntarily. The Queen has been recognized as the Queen of Ghana. So, in every respect, its constitutional position is the same as ours. I was asked whether the question of Australian representation had been raised while I was there. It was. Indeed, I myself raised it with the Prime Minister of Ghana, and told him, with authority, that Australia desired to be represented in Ghana as it is in the other dominions, and that this question would receive attention in due course. That is, of course, a matter for my distinguished colleague, the Minister for External Affairs, and it was with his knowledge that I took that line. The difficulties of the Australian Government in providing representation in many additional parts of the world are well known. The new state of Ghana has naturally even greater difficulties in providing representation for itself in the other dominions and in countries outside the British Commonwealth. So the question is not an issue at the moment, but the Australian Government does wish to be represented in Ghana, and I hope it will be in due time. I was asked, also, whether I was well received in Ghana as Australia's representative. I am happy to say that I was received with the greatest courtesy and friendliness by the representatives of the Ghana Government, as were also the representatives of the other dominions. The new Government gave the most conspicuous place and attention to the representatives of the United Kingdom and of the Dominions, and I think it showed in this way that the people of Ghana value their new dominion status and intend to hold to it. I believe that there is every prospect of stable and effective government in Ghana. If I may be permitted to say so, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the new Prime Minister, is a remarkable man and one to whom I felt myself drawn on terms of warm friendliness.

Sir Arthur Fadden - There is one doctor a prime minister, then?

Mr OSBORNE - Indeed there is, and he commands the unwavering support of his own party and the respect of his people. I believe that there is every reason to expect continuing stable and effective government in Ghana. The British Commonwealth has been strengthened by the addition of another dominion which will form strong and friendly relationships with the rest of the Commonwealth.

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