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Tuesday, 28 June 1949

Mr CHIFLEY - I shall answer the question. I shall not attempt to refute the matters of historical interest that the honorable gentleman has mentioned about the origin of the Legion of Honour. However, I am able to inform him that the Minister for External Affairs had the consent of His Majesty the King in respect of his acceptance of the honour. Furthermore, the honour was conferred upon him as the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Mr Archie Cameron - But the Minister is still an Australian citizen.

Mr CHIFLEY - I am endeavouring to give the honorable member some information, but apparently he knows more about the subject than I do. I repeat that the Minister had the consent of His Majesty relative to his acceptance of the honour which was conferred upon him by virtue of his being the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations. In those circumstances, it was not a violation of the policy of the Australian Labour party. The honour has been conferred' upon him not because of his membership of the Australian Government, but because of the great international position that he occupied.

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