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Thursday, 21 May 1970

Mr McMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for External Affairs) - I gave very careful attention to the question asked by the honourable gentleman immediately before I travelled to Indonesia about 2 weeks ago. I will reply to what I believe to be the 3 points raised in the honourable gentleman's question. First of all as to parliamentary representation, as the House will know on 2 other occasions the Parliament has been represented at conferences and discussions of this kind. So, I take it that, on this occasion too, the Parliament will be represented at the forthcoming meetings in Fiji.

Secondly, as to ministerial representation, I already have given this matter consideration and shortly I will be writing to the Prime Minister asking whether he will approve of ministerial representation as well at this Conference. As to the third part of the question raised by the honourable gentleman - that is, as to which department in fact should appoint the senior commissioner - I have taken this matter up already with the Department of External Affairs which is discussing it with the other relevant departments concerned. Up to the moment, I have not received a reply from those departments.

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