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Thursday, 12 November 1959

Mr HASLUCK - The honorable member for New England may be confusing several persons of the same name. I understand that Rao is a fairly common name in India. Recently we had in Australia, as Dyason lecturer, a noted economist named Rao. At the conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association there was a parliamentarian named Rao. So far as I know, neither of those two gentlemen made any statement regarding New Guinea, but a representative of India on the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations General Assembly, who is also named Rao, is reported to have made some criticisms. So far as I know, that particular Mr. Rao has not visited Australia, and has certainly not visited New Guinea. Without disrespect to the trusteeship functions of the United Nations, I think I should say that we have become accustomed over the years to the fact that statements are often made in the United Nations for political reasons, rather than as the result of a considered judgment. In fact, the Trusteship Council's statements on New Guinea which are based on firsthand information are those contained in the report of the visiting mission. That report was highly favorable to the Administration of the Territory. Statements subsequently made by political representatives of countries in the United Nations have very seldom been based on first-hand observation or knowledge.

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