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Wednesday, 19 June 1946

Mr ABBOTT (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I ask the Prime Minister whether various Communists like Mr. Thornton have from time to time been sent abroad to represent Australia at international conferences and whether their expenses have been paid by the Government? In view of the decision of the Labour party conference in Sydney recently, does the Prime Minister propose to continue this practice, or has the Government also decided to declare its "red " Communists "black"?

Mr CHIFLEY - All governments have paid or contributed towards the expenses of representatives of trade unions at conferences abroad. It may be that contributions have been made towards the expenses of Mr. Thornton when he has been overseas in a semiofficial capacity; at the moment I cannot recollect the facts. When he made his last trip to Paris no contribution was made from Commonwealth funds towards his costs. If will be remembered that. J answered' questions about that in the House. However, I shall ascertain what, the practice has been regarding the payment by the Commonwealth of the expenses of trade union delegates when .they have gone abroad, sometimes on government nomination and sometimes on union nomination.

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