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Wednesday, 24 October 1973
Page: 1392

Senator GEORGES - I wish to ask a question of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs which is supplementary to the question I asked previously. Is the Minister prepared to re-read the statement on the 'Alleged Council Letter' which he tabled last night? Is he prepared to accept that it goes beyond the comments made in the newspaper and infers and speaks of a second meeting between the Council for Aboriginal Affairs and directors of Applied Ecology Pty Ltd? Will he accept this and, in fairness to the directors of Applied Ecology, since the statement has been made and tabled, table the letter?

Senator CAVANAGH -The letter which 1 tabled was in reply only to newspaper reports. The newspaper reports accused impropriety by the Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in that he was endeavouring to influence a committee of the Parliament or that he was rigging evidence before a committee. In reply he stated, justifiably, that this was not so because the letter referred to another meeting in the afternoon. The drawing in of the other letter in relation to the afternoon meeting was completely in reply to the newspaper report. It was a necessary part of explaining the inaccuracies in the newspaper report. As to whether I will table the letter, for reasons given before, the answer is directly no. I do not think that the letter would be new information to those who want it tabled. I think it is just a desire to get a private letter made public.

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