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Talks with select committee on constitutional development



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DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL TERRITORIES

70/11

talks with sele c t committee on c o n stitu tio n a l DEVELOPMENT .

( S t a te m e n t by t h e M i n i s t e r f o r E x t e r n a l T e r r i t o r i e s ,

t h e Hon. C .E . B a r n e s , M .P .)

The M i n i s t e r f o r E x t e r n a l T e r r i t o r i e s , Mr B a r n e s ,

s a i d t o d a y t h a t v a l u a b l e and c o n s t r u c t i v e d i s c u s s i o n s had

b e e n h e l d w i t h t h e S e l e c t Com mittee on C o n s t i t u t i o n a l

D evelopm ent i:from t h e House o f A ssem b ly .

- The C hairm an o f t h e S e l e c t C om m ittee,. Mr A re k , had

i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e Com mittee w ould v i s i t s e l e c t e d o v e r s e a s ;

c o u n t r i e s and w ould t h e n t r a v e l t h e T e r r i t o r y e x t e n s i v e l y .

D i s c u s s i o n s w i t h t h e M i n i s t e r w ere s e e n a s a p r e l i m i n a r y t o ;

a s s e s s i n g t h e w is h e s o f T e r r i t o r y p e o p l e .

The C o m m itte e 's r e p o r t w ould t h e n be p r e s e n t e d t o

t h e House o f A ssem bly and i f a c c e p t e d by t h e H ouse, t h e

C o m m itte e 's p r o p o s a l s w ould be p a s s e d t o t h e G o v ern m en t,

Mr B a rn es s a i d he h a d made i t c l e a r t h a t t h e

A u s t r a l i a n Government w o u ld r e a d i l y make c h a n g e s i f th e

p e o p le o f t h e T e r r i t o r y w a n ted th em . A l l t h e G o v e rn m e n t's

p o l i c i e s w ere d i r e c t e d to w a rd s t h e eco n o m ic , s o c i a l and .

p o l i t i c a l ad v an cem en t o f t h e i n d ig e n o u s p e o p le o f t h e

T e r r i t o r y t o b u i l d w i t h them a s e l f r e l i a n t n a t i o n .

D u rin g t h e i r v i s i t t o C a n b e r r a t h e Committee

h ad d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h t h e So1i c i t o r " G e n e r a l , S e n a t o r Greenwood

an d members o f t h e d i p l o m a t i c and a ca d em ic c o m m u n itie s „ They

w ould m eet t h e Prim e M i n i s t e r and t h e L e a d e r o f t h e O p p o s it i o n

i n Sydney and a g ro u p o f Members would m eet S e n a to r G a ir i n

B r i s b a n e . ,

Mr B a rn es s a i d t h a t c o n s t i t u t i o n a l d e v e lo p m e n t

was a c o n t i n u i n g p r o c e s s and c h an g e s t o e n s u r e t h a t e f f e c t

i s g i v e n t o w h at t h e p e o p le w ant a r e c o n t i n u o u s l y u n d e r

r e v ie w by t h e G o v ern m en t.

C a n b e r r a , A .C .T .

P o r t M oresb y , T.P.N.G..

4 F e b r u a r y , 1970.