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Thursday, 16 March 1961

Mr TURNER (BRADFIELD, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct a question to the Acting Minister for External Affairs and state, by way of explanation, that it has been reported to me from a reliable source that a certain number of lathes supplied to the Polytechnic - in our terms, the University of Technology - at Singapore under the Colombo Plan are, or were in January of this year, not being used for teaching purposes in the metalworking and electrical sections, either because they were obsolete or otherwise not adapted for the purpose, or in one case because the machine was dangerous. Unhappily, I am informed, they bore the inscription " Gift of the Commonwealth of Australia ", whereas it would have been better for the reputation of this country if they had carried the insignia of the hammer and sickle.

Will the Minister obtain a full report on this matter? Will he inform his mind, and the House, regarding the procurement and inspection procedures of the department concerned, especially having regard to relevant technical advice on technical matters? Will the Minister put himself in a positron to assure the House that no Australian manufacturers are making hay at the expense of the country's reputation so far as the Colombo Plan is concerned?

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