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Thursday, 8 September 1949

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honorable member is not entitled to read questions from a newspaper.

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON - I do not propose to read the question. I merely desire to refer to an advertisement, or at least to matter published as an advertisement which .appears on the back page of the newspaper and purports to be a reproduction of a letter signed by Mr. E. G. Bonney, who is Director of Information in New York. It is contained in a comic strip and extends an invitation to a gentleman called Mr. Joe Palooka to visit Australia. I should like to know whether the Minister is aware that this comic strip, published in Sydney to-day, and also published widely in newspapers in the United States- of America, incorporates what purports to bo a letter of invitation sent by Mr. E. G.

Bonney, who, I believe, is still Director of Information in New York, to a comic strip character. I also desire to know whether the letter reproduced is fictitious and, if so, whether the Minister will take action to prevent the Department of Information or its officers from being used in this capacity for comic strips published in either Australia or the United States of America. If the letter is not a forgery will the Minister for Information inform the House whether it is the policy of this department to advertise in comic strips? If Mr. Bonney did, in fact, write the letter reproduced, did he seek official approval from the Government for the invitation to Mr. Palooka and his girl friend to visit Australia? If the invitation is accepted does the Minister intend to sponsor a further comic strip on the arrival of the honeymoon couple in Australia depicting him extending to them a " real " Australian welcome as Mr. Bonney promised in the letter reproduced in the comic strip? Will the Minister inform the House whether he will arrange to have a movie picture taken for another comic strip in which he will have himself portrayed in the act of kissing Mrs. Palooka?

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