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Tuesday, 17 November 1964

Senator PALTRIDGE - -On 9th November Senator Cant asked me the following question without notice -

My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Is it a fact that United States representatives in Western Australia have denied any statements that there is a colour bar at the North West Cape construction site? Is it a fact that Hardeman Monier Hutchison, the constructing engineers at the site, have also denied that there is a colour bar? Can the Minister tell the Senate whether a colour bar on native transport drivers exists at North West Cape?

At the time I indicated that I would look into the matter and obtain further information. My inquiries have revealed that Mr. Dickenson who is the Project Manager for the contractors, Hardeman Monier Hutchison, lodged a complaint with the Manager of Mayne Nickless, hauliers, that one load of stores had arrived at the site in broken condition.

On investigation a representative from Mayne Nickless found that the subject load had been driven by two inexperienced and part time aboriginal drivers. He issued in structions that not more than one inexperienced Aboriginal driver would be allowed to one truck. Apparently the words used were misconstrued in Perth to mean that no Aboriginal drivers were to be used. This interpretation was not correct. Aboriginal drivers are now being employed. There is no evidence of a colour bar or other discrimination at the North West Cape site.

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