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Wednesday, 24 October 1973

Senator WITHERS (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I direct my question to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and I refer to the report that Mr Dexter has submitted to him. In paragraph 2 of the report Mr Dexter stated:

I have been hampered in its preparation by the nonavailability of the departmental files. These were, by the direction of the then Minister, delivered to his office on 29 August and have not thereafter been available to the Department.

I ask the Minister: What do the files that are missing relate to? Are the files still missing? If they have not been returned, why have they not been returned to the Department? Also, if they have not been returned, does the Minister know why the former Minister has not returned them? Finally, if the files have not been returned, what action has the Minister taken to have them returned?

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