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Wednesday, 4 March 1970

Mr BURY - I have had quite lengthy and continuous discussions with the officers of the Treasury and the Bureau of Census and Statistics on this subject. I am glad that the honourable member pointed out the necessity for much of this information. He will recall that from time to time many requests have been made in this House and elsewhere on behalf of business interests, social bodies and other groups in the community for the provision of reliable information upon which action of some kind or another can be based. This issue arose particularly in connection with the recent decision about the information which should be sought in the census to be taken in 1971. Representations have been heard both from those who have to provide the statistics and the users. No statistics are sought which have not been requested by users of one kind or another. It is always necessary to keep a balance between the nuisance and inconvenience caused to and time taken by those who provide these statistics, on the one side, and the benefit to users on the other. We endeavour, by a sifting process and by hearing all sides, to arrive at reasonable conclusions.

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