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Tuesday, 17 October 1972
Page: 1560

Senator CAVANAGH (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. As document 11 on the Foreign Affairs file, which is a cable from our Ambassador in Cambodia to the Department of Foreign Affairs--

Senator Wright - Can you tell me the date?

Senator CAVANAGH - 7th January 1971. As that cable has been withheld from the general file in accordance with the criteria stated by the Minister on 27th September, and as clause 2 of the document does not come under those criteria, will the Minister make clause 2 of the document available to the Senate as it could well establish that the American Ambassador notified the Cambodian Government of Australia's gift of aeroplanes to Cambodia before the date of advertising the aeroplanes and definitely before the date of inspection of the aircraft?

Senator WRIGHT - In my statement to the Senate on 27th September I said that from the documents from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Supply which I tabled some few documents were excluded. I said that these were available for perusal by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and the Leader of the Democratic Labor Party. Senator Murphy, who leads the Party to which Senator Cavanagh, the questioner, belongs has not asked for a perusal of those documents, but they are readily available to him for perusal. Having said that,I want to say that a much more appropriate way to discuss disclosure of any paragraphsin those documents would be by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate with the Minister. I shall be happy to discuss that at any convenient time. I refer specifically to the document that the honourable senator mentioned - a cable dated, I think he said, 7th January. I do not remember it paragraph by paragraph, but it may give some information on the facts about which Senator Cavanagh is concerned. I will have a look at it and advise him at the earliest opportunity whether there is any part of his suggestion to which I think it is proper to accede.

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