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Friday, 3 December 1976

Mr Garrick asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Has his attention been drawn to reports that the Indonesian Government is attempting to isolate East Timor from the outside world.

(2)   Is his Department monitoring events in East Timor and, in particular, endeavouring to ascertain if the alleged attempted isolation is to be used as a cover-up for the carrying out of atrocities.

(   3 ) Will he investigate and report fully to the House on the allegations that Indonesia is attempting to starve out Fretilin supporters in the Highlands by cutting them off from proper food supplies.

(4)   If the allegations are found to be correct, will the Government still recognise Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor.

Mr Peacock - The answer to the honourable member 's question is as follows:

(1)   The Government has noted a statement by a spokesman for the Indonesian Government on 18 September 1976 that East Timor is closed to all visitors.

(2)   and (3) There is no Australian representation in East Timor the Government is therefore not in a position to investigate the allegations referred to.

(4)   In my statement of 20 October 1976 I made clear the Government's position on the question of the recognition of the integration of East Timor into Indonesia.

Personal Staff at Posts (Question No. 1305)

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the following question on notice of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(   1 ) What is the number of (a) butlers, (b) valets, (c) chefs, (d) kitchen staff, (e) waiters and waitresses, (f) 'nannies', (g) governesses or tutors, (h) commissionairs, (i) official hostesses, (j) watchmen, (k) guards, (1) chauffeurs, (m) gardeners and (n) other staff employed at the Australian taxpayers' expense in each country in which Australia is represented by an Ambassador, High Commissioner or Consul-General.

(   2 ) What is the total cost of such staff in each post.

Mr Peacock - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Staff employed in these categories are the personal employees of Heads of Mission and those Australia-based officers of Australian Government Departments who are in receipt of local allowances. Within these there is a component, fixed by the Public Service Board, to cover such employment, based inter alia on the Board's assessment of the needs of officers at each level at each post, in the light of conditions and community practice.

It would not be practicable, in terms of the manpower and time required, to provide the totals requested for numbers and costs of domestic staff employed in Australia-based officers at each post.

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