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Thursday, 29 March 1979
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Mr BOURCHIER (Bendigo) -by leave-The honourable member for Newcastle (Mr Charles Jones) mentioned the untimely death of Paul Ward. I register my deep sorrow and regret. Those who have had a privilege of attending an inter-parliamentary union conference know the value that Paul Ward was to the organisation. I support the comments of the honourable member for Newcastle concerning the value of the work to Parliament of a person such as Paul Ward. I refer also to the matter that I have raised at IPU meetings in this place. I have suggested that the IPU should have a permanent secretary. I congratulate the honourable member for Newcastle for making that point. I think we should have a look at that matter. He also raised the point about a separate briefing for Opposition members. I remind him that the present practice was carried out when we were in opposition. I accepted the role I was given when I attended conferences as a member of the Opposition. I was going away to represent the Government of Australia and not just the Opposition. I supported, on that basis, the stance of the Government on foreign affairs matters. I think that the matter of evenhandedness is involved in this approach. I ask the honourable member for Newcastle to keep that in mind. Honourable members should not apply their own views to a particular situation.

I regret that the honourable member for Prospect (Dr Klugman) spent little time, even though he apologised, attending the IPU conference. It is a worthwhile organisation and provides a tremendous forum for us to meet fellow colleagues irrespective of their country. It gives us a chance to meet them personally and also creates, I believe, a lot of goodwill. The honourable member for Newcastle spoke about delegations voting in blocs. He said that they voted along government lines. I remind him that I have yet to see him cross the floor and not follow his party vote.







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