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Tuesday, 30 November 1976

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - (Mr Ian Robinson)-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr VINER -In June and July this year I had the honour to lead a delegation from this Parliament to Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. The Delegation was drawn from both Houses of the Parliament and from both Government and Opposition parties. The members of that Delegation were Senator G. D. Mcintosh, Senator S. J. Collard, Mr L. K. Johnson, the honourable member for Burke, and Mr P. C. Millar, the honourable member for Wide Bay, and myself accompanied by my Senior Private Secretary, Mr R. W. McHenry, who was Secretary to the Delegation. The visit lasted from 23 June to 15 July. I was required to return to Canberra on government business on 13 July, and my colleague Senator Mcintosh assumed the leadership of the delegation for the remainder of the visit.

The delegation was both a fact finding and a goodwill mission. Its purpose was threefold: to observe the political, social, economic and cultural circumstances of these countries and to develop a greater awareness of their implications; to see how aid from Australia was being used, to make contact with the people involved in aid projects and to study ways in which Australian aid can be most effective; to further goodwill and friendly relationships with our neighbours and particularly with parliamentary colleagues in the South-East Asian region. We believe that our report will show that the mission achieved its aim. It is in 2 parts. The first deals with topics of regional significance such as Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), regional economic development and within this context Australian assistance by way of investment and aid and regional and national aspirations. The second records for the Parliament the collective observations of the delegation in the individual countries visited.

Throughout the visit we were received with every kindness and courtesy, and on your behalf I have expressed this Parliament's thanks to the parliaments and governments of the host countries and to the various authorities, community organisations and commercial interests involved with our visit. I would also like to express our thanks to those who were responsible for the organisation of the visit; to the Heads of Australian missions and their staffs in the countries visited; to officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra and to the Legislative

Research Section of the Parliamentary Library which provided us with a very comprehensive brief. Finally, I would like to thank my colleagues of the delegation for their ready cooperation and willing support at all times.

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