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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 1414

Senator POYSER asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(1)   Have Sir Robert Menzies and Sir John McEwen each had allocated to them a Commonwealth car for their personal use; if so, do the drivers of these cars carry out no other duties, even when they are not required by Sir Robert and Sir John and when these gentlemen are absent from the State of Victoria or Australia.

(2)   Has former Prime Minister, the Rt Hon. F. M. Forde, been provided with similar facilities.

(3)   Which former members of this Parliament receive Commonwealth facilities and privileges and what is the nature of any such privileges and amenities provided.

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON The Prime Minister has advised the following answer to the honourable senator's question: (1), (2) and (3) I am informed that both Sir Robert Menzies and Sir John McEwen have, under decisions of previous Governments, a car and regular driver available to them in Victoria and access to Commonwealth car pools elsewhere. If either Sir Robert or Sir John indicates to his driver that he is not required for a period, the driver and car are available to the Transport pool for allocation to other duties. The use of these facilities by Sir Robert and Sir John needs no defence.

The Rt Hon. F. M. Forde, about whom the honourable senator asks, is provided with Commonwealth transport for functions to which he is invited because of his former public office. Lord Casey is also provided with car transport for official functions and other activities which arise from his service as Governor-General.

Lord Casey, Sir Robert Menzies and Sir John McEwen have office and secretarial facilities available to them. Sir John McEwen has a trunk telephone authority. Sir Robert Menzies has travel facilities provided if he travels to take part in significant occasions abroad.

I add that the subject of facilities for former Governors-General and former Prime Ministers generally is being looked at

A number of former members of Parliament hold Life Gold Passes to which they have become eligible because of their long service in the Parliament. These entitle the holders to free air travel on internal airlines, the Commonwealth railways and all State Government land transport systems. If the honourable senator requires a list of holders, then I shall endeavour to provide it for him.

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