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Tuesday, 2 June 1970

Mr GORTON (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Prime Minister) - I had not seen the offer from the Queensland Bar Association to make barristers available on a rationed basis of 1 per week for 35 weeks. I can see considerable difficulty in endeavouring to present a case before a royal commission if the advocate were to change week by week. But I think it is of importance to Australia that all matters concerning this very significant inquiry should be fully argued and made known before the commission. The commission itself, as I understand it, is able to decide what witnesses would be able to assist it and to provide travelling expenses and fees for such witnesses as come before it. That, as T understand, is within the purview of the commission itself. Should there be organisations or a group of organisations which the commission feels could be assisted by the provision of an advocate before that commission then I would certainly consider approaching the Queensland Government to see whether any action could be taken jointly along those lines.

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