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Thursday, 26 November 1936

Senator BROWN (Queensland) . - I endorse the remarks of Senator Grant that money is being wasted at Australia House.

Senator ALLAN MACDONALD (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - When was the honorable senator last in London?

Senator BROWN - I was there last in 1911. Mr. Forgan Smith, the Premier of Queensland, who, like many Commonwealth and State Ministers, has visited England several times during recent years, has criticized Australia House rather severely. In the Brisbane Telegraph, of Tuesday, the 23rd June, under the heading "Australia in the United Kingdom", the following appeared: -

It is rather disturbing to know that the Premier of Queensland found Australia House in London in an unsatisfactory condition as a clearing house of information for the Commonwealth. Mr. "Forgan Smith is a shrewd observer and has the interests of his country ut heart, so that it can hardly be thought that this criticism is established on slender grounds . . . Not only the Premier, but numerous citizens have returned from the Old Country with views corresponding to those expressed by Mr. Forgan Smith.

That comment could well be applied to Senator Grant, who also is a shrewd observer. The extract continued -

It has been said that New Zealand is " putting it all over Australia " in the matter of publicity.

The newspaper article proceeded to point out that New Zealand is more active in England and is receiving better service for the money spent on its London office than is Australia. For years there has been criticism of the service rendered to Australia by Commonwealth officials at Australia House, and in view of what has been said here to-night, the Government is in duty bound to obtain a full and complete report on this matter. Other countries, such as Denmark and Argentina, have 'Chambers of 'Commerce or other agencies in most of the ^principal centres of population in the Old Country and, in consequence, the sale of goods from those countries is bound to increase. I hope that the Government will take steps to see that better service is obtained for the money expended on Australia House.

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