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Thursday, 3 December 1959

Mr CASEY - I do not recollect any formal proposal being made to Australia in this connexion, but, informally, the suggestion has been made to me personally. 1 expect that that approach will be followed by a formal suggestion that we undertake this work. I believe that the present phase of the investigations for the Mekong valley project is likely to continue for an appreciable period - I have in mind four or five years, or some such term - and that this preliminary work will cost a considerable number of millions of dollars. Without committing the Government to it, I believe that the carrying out of geological investigations of the dam sites sounds a practicable proposal, and I think it would be within our competence.

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