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Wednesday, 24 October 1956

Mr McMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - My attention was drawn to certain allegations relating to an alleged report to me on central import licensing. I can well understand the attitude of mind of the honorable member for Hume. First, he desires that the reputation of honorable members of this House should be sustained at the highest possible level and, secondly, he wishes to prevent any thought that members of the committee to which he refers may have had unofficial discussions with people outside. The simple fact is that, up to a late hour last night, neither a report nor a draft report had been dictated. Therefore, there is no truth in the allegations, first, that there has been criticism of the administration of central import licensing by the department; secondly, that there has been criticism of high civil servants; and, finally, that recommendations have been made to the Government. It is to be regretted that there may have been an attempt to create the impression that some of the Statements appearing in inverted commas were from a verbatim report of the committee's alleged findings. This is not correct because, as I have said, up to a late hour last night there had not been even a draft report.

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