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Friday, 16 August 1974
Page: 1101

Senator Rae asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(   1 ) Is it a fact that a letter together with a copy of a number of speeches by the Prime Minister was circulated to

Local Government Councillors during the period shortly before the May 18 election and referendum; if so, was that letter circulated to all members of Local Government bodies in Australia.

(2)   How many copies of the letter were sent out and by whom were they sent.

(3)   By whom was the letter prepared and what was the cost of the preparation and postage of the letters, and copy of the speeches.

(4)   Who paid the cost.

Senator Murphy - The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Copies of a letter and speeches were sent during that period to the Clerk of each Local Government body in each State with a request that they be distributed to all members of that body.

(2)   9,800 approximately, which were sent from the Prime Minister's Office.

(3)   The letter was prepared in the Prime Minister's Office. The cost of printing the letter and the speeches was approximately $2,045. The cost of postage was approximately $790. It is not practicable to identify other administrative costs; the task was carried out as pan of the normal duties of the staff involved.

(4)   The printing costs were a charge against the Department of the Media, the postage costs against the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

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