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Tuesday, 30 November 1965

Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes (CHISHOLM, VICTORIA) - I wish to ask a question of the Prime Minister in his capacity of Acting Minister for External Affairs. Since the Deputy Leader of the Opposition has accused the Government of withholding information concerning Vietnam and the Malaysia-Singapore split, I ask: First, were the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and other members of the Opposition the guests of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew only a week or two before the split between Malaysia and Singapore occurred, and, if so, was the honorable gentleman not in a position as good as or even better than that of diplomats to obtain information on Singapore-Malaysia relations? Secondly, was this non-official party of Opposition members given the use of a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft to fly them wherever they wanted to go in South East Asia, while at the same time at least three Government members hitch-hiked or paid their own way? Did the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the others of his party make a very brief stop at Ubon in north-east Thailand? If so, and if the Deputy Leader of the Opposition was so keen on learning about Vietnam, why did the party not go on to Saigon? Was it considered too dangerous or was the honorable gentleman in any way prevented from going?

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