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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 1455

Senator PROWSE (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Prime Minister who I believe is responsible for the Commonwealth Literary Fund. Is it a fact that the Commonwealth Literary Fund provided a 6-month fellowship in 1969 valued at $3,000 for the completion of a so-called novel entitled 'The Wort Papers'. Has anyone yet succeeded in reading the whole of this book without disastrous consequences to his mental health unless, of course, he was mad before? Would the Minister examine the circumstances and criteria in and by which the Commonwealth Literary Fund disburses taxpayers' funds for the production of unreadable trash?

Senator MURPHY - Of course, this occurred in 1969. That was probably during the time of Prime Minister Gorton who would then be administering the Fund. The honourable senator said that the writer must have been mad.

Senator Prowse - I did not say that. I said that the reader must be mad.

Senator MURPHY - I cannot really give any useful information on that. As to whether the Commonwealth should be subsidising unreadable trash, I would think that probably it would be better for it to subsidise unreadable trash than to subsidise readable trash.

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