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Tuesday, 6 April 1965


Senator BENN (QUEENSLAND) - Will the Minister representing the Prime Minister ask the Prime Minister to increase the present number of Ministers by one and to make the additional Minister the Minister for Papua and New Guinea? I ask the Minister whether he will point out to the Prime Minister that, for the following reasons, it will be essential for the proposed Minister for Papua and New Guinea to reside in the Territory during the whole of the time the Commonwealth Parliament is not sitting: First, that in the financial year 1963-64 Commonwealth taxpayers provided £25,841,698 for the ordinary annual services of Papua, and New Guinea, that the sum voted for the current year was £28,496,000 and that the appropriation may be increased to something in excess of £30,000,000 in the next financial year. Secondly, that the practice of permitting such large sums of money to be spent annually without the close supervision of a Minister of this Parliament is not good government. Thirdly, that the investigations of United Nations visiting missions concerning native welfare intensify progressively and it is necessary, therefore, to have a Minister residing at Port Moresby or Rabaul so that he can give the Administration his personal attention.







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