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Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 2542

Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Attorney-General. Has the Minister's attention been drawn to the publication 'Australian Health Insurance Program- The Plain Facts' issued by the Community Hospitals Association? Is the Minister aware that the Association has used the format of an official Government publication, yet the purpose of the pamphlet is to attack the Government's health scheme? Does he agree that this is a breach of ethics and contravenes normal business practice and, if continued, could cause confusion in the community? Has the Government given any consideration to having copyright placed on all Government publications with the right of republication subject to Government approval?

Senator MURPHY - There is, in general, a copyright on Government publications. I have not seen the publication referred to, but if the honourable senator hands it to me and if it is, as he suggests, an attempt to deceive the public as part of the gimmick of getting them to read it, this is not something that ought to be encouraged. It ought to be discouraged not only in commercial affairs but in political affairs. Deceptive and misleading propaganda such as this ought to be deplored by everyone. I suppose it is an indication of the weakness of the arguments if false and misleading approaches have to be made in that way.

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