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Wednesday, 27 October 1971
Page: 2648

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for

Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Why did the Commonwealth wait until 12th June 1969 to supply the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations with the information which, in reply to its request of 18th July 1968, the States gave it in July and August 1968 on the implementation of the principles of the 1953 Convention on the Political Rights of Women (Hansard, 3 May 1971, page 2418).

(2)   On what other dates (a) has the Commonwealth sought from the States, (b) have the States given the Commonwealth and (c) has the Commonwealth given the SecretaryGeneral the information which the Economic and Social Council on 12th July 1963 invited governments to supply on the convention every two years.

(3)   Will he table, in the House or the Library, copies of the successive information supplied to the SecretaryGeneral.

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The information provided by governments in response to the SecretaryGeneral's 1968 inquiry was published by the United Nations in two reports, namely document A/7197 dated 14th November 1968 and A/7635 dated 15th December 1969. The Australian information was not submitted in time for its inclusion in the 1968 report but its submission in June 1969 ensured that it would be included along with the reports of a number of other countries in the 1969 report.

(2)   While I cannot give specific dates of all this correspondence between the Commonwealth and States I can state that inquiries were made of the States in April 1964 (and replies received through April,June of that year), in July 1968 (and replies received through July,August) and in July 1970 (and replies received through July, October).

The information supplied to the Secretary General and the dates on which it was provided are contained in document, E/C N6/470/Add 2 of 15th February 1967, document A/7635 of 15th December 1969 and document A/8132/Add 1 of 17th December 1970.

(3)   The information supplied to the Secretary General by Australia and other Governments is available in the United Nations documents which are referred to in my answers to questions (1) and (2). These documents are available in the Parliamentary Library.

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