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Tuesday, 30 November 1976

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Melbourne will remain silent.

Mr MALCOLM FRASER - I was surprised, when I appeared briefly on the program for the inventor of the year award a week or two ago, to learn that in Sydney there was a view that the Government had directed that the program State of the Nation be cut. I do not know how this view came abroad. If any element in the management of the ABC has ever said anything to give that indication to any employees of the ABC it is acting completely falsely. In any case, to suggest that that particular program ought to be cut as an economy measure seems rather ludicrous. It is a most economical program to produce. It is an entertaining program. The players who appear on it generally do so without fee. In fact, they are queued up waiting to get on the program if they can.

Mr Hunt - Are you queuing up?

Mr MALCOLM FRASER - I have asked if I can be in the queue for this week so I can go on the program to defend it and say that it ought not be cut. I hope that it will not be cut. On that sort of basis I hope that those operating the ABC will understand the Government's view on this matter and will not listen too much to the propaganda from what I believe would be a minority element in this organisation and which does not depict the views of the Government. Members of that minority element, just as much as those opposite who are unable to listen and who are uninterested in the truth, do little, if anything at all, to promote the truth.

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