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Wednesday, 14 October 1964

Senator GORTON (Victoria) (Minister for Works) .- Senator Cookeasked me whether I could give him any further details of how this money would be spent in Washington, San Francisco and New York. I can tell him the number of employees in each of these places. There are 68 employees in Washington, 55 in New York and 13 in San Francisco. They are employed on the type of work I have already indicated, and the check on them is that they are employed only with the permission of the Public Service Board, which is the body that looks after the staffing of all departments. The Board also sanctions the wage rates that are paid to the people in these places. There is a good deal of turnover in some of these staffs, or so I have been told when 1 have been overseas. Some people on a working trip take a job for a couple of months and then move on. Some of the staff are local residents. The point is that permanent staff is not recruited in Australia. Probably the cost would be higher if that were done.

Senator Kennelly asked a question about Division No. 240. The £245,000 is for a chancellery in the Republic of Indonesia for the Department of External Affairs.

Senator Wright - Does the Minister know what the total estimated cost is?

Senator GORTON - No. This is the amount we are being asked to vote for this year. I could obtain the total cost.

The amount of £21,400 to be spent in the United States of America is for preliminary work on the big chancellery to be built in Washington. This outlay is required for surveying, sketch plans and other work that will be required before the building itself gets under way. That amount does not represent the cost of the building, which will be extremely high. All the items under Division No. 240 relate to buildings we are constructing or to furniture and equipment for buildings. Purchase or replacement of motor cars, as mentioned by Senator Kennelly, would also be included.

Proposed expenditure noted.

Proposed expenditure - Economic and Defence Support Assistance to Members of S.E.A.T.O. and Protocol States, £1,000,000 - noted.

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