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Wednesday, 11 November 1964

Senator GORTON - The building in Washington referred to by the honorable senator is not to be used as the Ambassador's residence. It is to be used as a chancery for administrative purposes and as offices for people associated with the Department of External Affairs, and also the military attaches, trade attaches and other people who are engaged in that type of work in Washington. I imagine that it would be highly unlikely that Australian building materials would be shipped across to America for the purpose of constructing this embassy because I should think that the cost would be entirely prohibitive. The firm of architects which has been engaged for the construction of the building is the Australian firm of Bates, Smart and McCutcheon. It was selected from a panel of architectural firms by the Minister for External Affairs and his advisers from the Department of Works. The types of matters which were taken into consideration were the ability of the firms in terms of the number of employees, the capacity of the firms to carry out projects of this size, and comparable buildings which had previously been built by them. The firm I have mentioned was selected. I do not know of any other chanceries in contemplation in other parts of the world at the moment, other than those which appear to be either in comtemplation or under construction as shown in the estimates for the Department of External Affairs.

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