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Tuesday, 29 May 1984
Page: 2098

(Question No. 755)

Senator Sibraa asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs , upon notice, on 28 March 1984:

(1) On what date did Mr Owen Harries take up his appointment in Paris as Australian Permanent Delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation-UNESCO-and on what date did he leave it.

(2) For how many days and for what purposes did he return to Australia between those dates.

(3) Did he make three visits to the United States of America between those dates; if so:

(a) what were the dates of his visits;

(b) what UNESCO purposes did his visits serve;

(c) what places did he visit;

(d) were his visits made at public expense and approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

(4) What countries did he visit in Europe, Asia and Africa: (a) at public expense; and/or (b) with the Department of Foreign Affairs approval; and (c) which of these visits related to the work of UNESCO.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Mr Harries took up his appointment in Paris on 3 February 1982. He departed Paris on 11 August 1983 and ceased duty on 9 September 1983.

(2) Mr Harries returned to Australia at the direction of the then Prime Minister for consultations with the Government for twenty (20) days, from 23 April-11 May 1982.

(3) Yes.

(a) (i) 3-13 March 1982

(ii) 24-31 October 1982

(iii) 26 February-11 March 1983

Note: Mr Harries also travelled to the United States of America on 14-16 May 1982 as part of the Prime Minister's party; and transitted the United States of America on 22-23 July and 8-9 August 1982 when travelling to and from the World Cultural Policies Conference in Mexico City.

(b) The visits were for the purpose of monitoring work done in the various research and policy institutes of North America, this duty being assigned to Mr Harries by the then Prime Minister.

(c) 3-13 March 1982-Washington, New York and Boston. 24-31 October 1982- Washington and New York. 26 February-11 March 1983-Washington, New York, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

(d) Yes.

(4) (a) and (b). Belgium, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom (2), the Federal Republic of Germany, Israel and Italy. All visits were approved in principle by the (then) Minister for Foreign Affairs on 17 November 1981. Prior to each visit departmental approval was sought and obtained.

(c) All visits were in connection with Mr Harries' duties monitoring work in research and policy institutions and in relation to his assignment to the Commonwealth Expert Study Group on Obstacles to North-South Negotiations.