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Wednesday, 24 August 1960

Mr CALWELL (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - I should like to direct to the Postmaster-General a question supplementary to that just asked toy the honorable member for Chisholm. I wish to preface my question by stating that I raised this matter with the former Minister for External Affairs about seven years ago. That was about the time when Mandarin was first adopted by the Australian Broadcasting Commission, at my suggestion, for these broadcasts. I put forward the proposal then that if Australia's voice was to be heard in Asia - that was just as important as that the voices of America and Great Britain should be heard - we should have booster stations, not only at Darwin, but also at Wewak or somewhere along the northern part of the mandated Territory of New Guinea. I now ask the PostmasterGeneral: Will he examine anew the whole question of strengthening the position of Radio Australia in the light of the developments that are taking place at Shepparton, but also with a view to ensuring that whatever messages go out from Australia, they will reach as big an area of Asia as possible - both free Asia and captive Asia - so that our messages against communism can be heard by all the peoples who have the sense to listen?

Mr DAVIDSON - I think the honorable gentleman's question was more in the nature of a statement. I assure him that the importance of this matter is well realized by all involved in its handling and development. It has not been possible to do a great deal yet, but I assure the honorable member that all the points he has raised have been under consideration for some time.

Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes - For over a year now.

Mr DAVIDSON - Yes. It is a matter which has not been lost sight of.

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