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Thursday, 23 March 1972
Page: 856

Senator O'BYRNE - My question is directed to the Attorney-General. This morning, on the Australian Broadcasting Commission programme 'A.M.' reference was made to arrangements which are well under way for a national conference on the Commonwealth Constitution. I ask the Attorney-General: Will he inform the Senate whether any progress is being made by his Department or himself in preparing a paper for the forthcoming conference on the role of the Federal Government?

Senator GREENWOOD - I think it is well known because the Prime Minister announced it earlier this week that the

Prime Minister has requested me to prepare for the Government a statement on the issues involved in any proposed changes in the Constitution and also what is involved in ways and means by which changes can be effected. That work is well advanced but it is work which the Government has asked for. I will be supplying it to the Government as soon as possible. With regard to the convention, this is a matter in which the States have taken the initiative. I have not received any indication from the States as to what role they anticipate the Commonwealth is to play or should play. I have information about the matter only from the newspapers. As to whether I will prepare a paper, I have indicated that I am doing that for the Government.

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