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Wednesday, 19 June 1946

Mr CHIFLEY - The Minister for External Affairs went to London at the same time as- 1 did.

Mr Archie Cameron - But he did not come back.

Mr CHIFLEY - At that time it was distinctly understood that the Peace Conference would commence at a very early date. I considered, and the Government considered, it absolutely essential that Australia should be adequately represented at the Peace Conference. Charges have been made from time to time that this Government has not provided adequate representation at important conferences. After the meeting of the Foreign Ministers the date of the Peace Conference became to a degree indefinite. It is difficult to foretell just when it is likely to be held until the Foreign Ministers, who are now meeting in Paris, give some indication of the date or the governments themselves decide. We should have some one there to represent us. I do not think it would be right to drag the Minister back here and then, perhaps almost immediately, send him overseas again. He . has done a great deal of travelling and a. lot of hard work for this country. It would be a grave injustice to him to do anything like that. The date of his return cannot be determined until the matters that I have mentioned have been cleared up.

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