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Thursday, 27 June 1946

Mr CHIFLEY - If the honorable member is not prepared to identify the person to whom he refers I cannot answer his question. One of the officers appointed to advise the Minister for External Affairs was the present SolicitorGeneral, Professor Bailey. Is the honorable member referring to that gentleman ?

Mr White - He is referring to Senator Grant.

Mr CHIFLEY - It is true that, with the consent of the Cabinet, Senator Grant was appointed to the staff of the Minister for External Affairs. It is also true that Senator Granthas returned to Australia. As I explained recently, it was anticipated that the peace conference would be held much earlier than at present seems possible; but as the peace conference had not yet commenced, and as the Government desired to have ample support in the Senate to carry its proposed amendments of the Constitution, and also as a call had been made of members of the Senate in accordance with constitutional practice, on behalf of the Government I asked Senator Grant to return to Australia. I would have been very foolish personally and politically had I allowed the passage of important constitutional bills by the Senate to be endangered when I had at my disposal means of ensuring that a majority of Government supporters could be present when the vote on that legislation was taken.

Mr Francis - Why was not. a returned soldier sent abroad with the Attorney-General ?

Mr CHIFLEY - I make no apology for what has been done.

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