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Thursday, 23 August 1973
Page: 398

Mr Whittorn (BALACLAVA, VICTORIA) asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(1)   How many wives of Government employees have accompanied their husbands on trips out of Australia since December 1972. (2) What was the cost of the public purse of trips by (a) Ministers' wives and families and (b) wives of civil servants during the period.

Mr Whitlam - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Excluding overseas postings there were only twelve occasions between 5 December 1972 and 30 June 1973 when wives of Government employees accompanied their husbands on overseas trips at Government expense. For the purposes of this question 'Government employees' has been taken to include persons employed under the Public Service Act, certain statutory office holders and service personnel while persons otherwise employed in Government business undertakings such as Qantas have been excluded.

(2)   The cost of wives travel is not separately recorded but is included with those of their husbands. Information on the costs of travel by individual ' Ministers and their personal staff is given each year in the Appropriation Bill (No. 1). The costs of travel by departmental officers is shown in the Bill against the votes of the departments concerned.

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