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International Conference on Narcotic Drugs

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Commonwealth and State Departments of Health are represented by

observers at a special meeting at Geneva of the United Nations Commission on .

Narcotic Drugs. The meeting, which will continue until January 3C, is to

consider uniform international action ,to control the use of psychotropic

substances such as barbituates, amphetamines, tranquillisers and hallucinogens.

Discussions at this stage are of exploratory character.

The Minister for Health, Dr. Forbes, said to-day the discussions, as

well as giving the Australian representatives an opportunity to submit views

o_n. the projected controls, would improve Australia's overseas contracts and

liaison with authorities who had many years experience in dealing with narcotic

problems which had only recently begun to assume significant proportions in

.Australia. '

The Commonwealth Department of Health is represented by the Assistant

Director-General of the Therapeutic Substances Branch, Dr. Annette Walshe. The

State Departments are represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Public Health,

Western Australia, Dr. D.J. Snow.

Dr. Forbes said the Commonwealth and State Departments of Health were

closely associated in a system currently being established on a national basis

to monitor the movement of narcotics and other drugs of dependence. This liaison

would become increasingly essential in any new programme to control psychotropic

substances. The Commonwealth had arranged for State representation at Geneva in

order that the States would be fully conversant with any proposals that might

be put forward.

Canberra, January 16th, 19?0.

Departmental no. 3