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Thursday, 10 March 1966

Mr CURTIN (Kingsford) (Smith) . - I should like to associate myself with the remarks of my comrades who were included in the delegation that attended the conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in New Zealand. Particularly do I join with my friend, the honorable member for Scullin (Mr. Peters), in the remarks he has made. I should like to deal with the lighter side of the conference. When all is said and done, we dealt with the heavy stuff at the conference, which was attended by 130 delegates. The conference was very enlightening indeed and our educational needs were well catered for.

The delightful people of New Zealand impressed me very much. We went to Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch and the wonderful Milford Sound. I must not fail to mention the wonderful welcome that was given to us by the Maori people in particular. The country is delightful. I was most impressed with the co-operation and work of the people. The affectionate welcome that was given to delegates from Australia made us feel that we were at home in our sister dominion. Being teetotallers I and the leader of the delegation had a bit of an edge on most of the delegates because we had our wits about us at all times, enabling us to see things that other delegates may not have seen. The arrangements made for the conference by the New Zealand Government were remarkable. The organisation for the conference was terrific. I could not express too sincerely my thanks to all people concerned with the conference. I express my sincerest gratitude to Mr. Norman Parkes, the secretary of our delegation, for his wonderful co-operation and assistance. He looked after us as if we were his own boys, not that he is old enough to have boys as old as we are. He looked after us in a truly fatherly manner. The attention given to us by Mr. Parkes ensured that we had a wonderful time and that we enjoyed the conference thoroughly. On behalf of all members of the delegation I again thank Mr. Parkes. If we are lucky we may be chosen to accompany Australia's delegation to the next conference.

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