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Statement by Mr. E. G. Whitlam, Q.C.



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CI4-0M- £ fh)S FOR PRESS

STATEMENT BY MR. E. G. WHITLAM, Q .C. ζ· <2 72.

I am informed by the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. L e y ,

that it may well be the end of next week, i „e. Friday,

15 Dec ember, before the counting can be completed in certain

electorates where the voting is close. In the light of this,

it would not seem possible or proper for the Federal

Parliamentary Labor Party to meet before Monday, 18 December.

There are certain things which I believe must be put

in hand by the incoming, government before then.

One example is action on abolishing conscription.

Another is the reference to the Tariff Board covering

colour television.

A third is an application to the Commonwealth

Conciliation and Arbitration Commission to reopen the Equal Pay

Case so that the new government can support the claim.

There are also several matters in foreign a f f ai rs ,

including votes in the United Nations General Assembly.

Each of these is urgent. There are other examples.

Accordingly, consideration has been given to ways in

which administration could be taken up immediately by the

incoming government.

Therefore, I have today recommended to His Excellency

the Governor-General that he swear my Deputy, Mr. Lance B a r na rd ,

and me to all existing ministerial offices. His Excellency

has agreed and the swearing will take place this after no on .

This allocation of portfolios is, of c ou rs e, temporary.

It will operate only until such time as the full Ministry is

selected and can be sworn. I have given His Excellency an

assurance on this point.

Attached is a list showing the allocation of portfolios.

2.

Where decisions are to be taken, M r „ Barnard and I

shall, of course, continue to consult with our appropriate

colleagues as necessary.

I have told Mr. McMahon that he and his ministers and

their staffs should feel free to use their present offices and

facilities till the end of next week»

Canberra

5 December 1972

ATTACHMENT

Portfolios

Portf olios

to be administered by Mr. Whitlam

Prime Minister Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister for External Territories Treasurer

Attorney-General Minister for Customs1 and Excise Minister for Trade and Industry Minister for Education and Science Minister for Shipping and Transport Minister for Civil Aviation Minister for Housing Minister for Works Minister for the Environment,

Aborigines and the Arts

to be administered by Mr. Barnard

Minister for Defence Minister for the Navy Minister for the Army Minister for Air Minister for Supply

Postmaster-General Minister for Labour and National Service Minister for Immigration Minister for Social Services Minister for Repatriation Minister for Health Minister for Primary Industry Minister for National Development Minister for the Interior