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Wednesday, 3 April 1968

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I have already warned the honourable member for Yarra for interjecting during question time.

Mr McEWEN - Mr Newton has enjoyed this remuneration, which is only a basic retainer, for a year without ever revealing the fact that when he sold his publications to the business houses of Australia, and when he sold to 'he business men of Australia a system of private letters denouncing the tariff, amongst other things, he was a paid agent of the Japanese Government and that therefore anything he wrote was to be interpreted against the background of his being such a paid agent. The contract which has been published, and published authentically, provides that Mr Newton shall perform certain other unspecified services when called upon, and that he shall be paid appropriately further unspecified amounts for those services. The House and the community at large can judge whether Mr Newton is a paid agent who has been deceiving the Australian public, and deceiving the people from whom he has been receiving a lucrative income, having undertaken to furnish them with objective assessments of the facts and objective opinions, whereas in fact his negotiation of the contract 1 have referred to means that he is unable to make an objective assessment of the facts or arrive at objective opinions.

Perhaps I can assist the Leader of the Opposition, who is quite inquisitive about Mr Maxwell Newton, to get a further glimpse of Mr Newton's activities. Most honourable members will bc aware thai last year a booklet called 'The Great Hoax' was published. This booklet attacked the Australian dairying industry, lt was provided free to every member of Parliament and it was printed in great numbers. The background of the publication of 'Iiic Great Hoax' is this: It was an attack on the Australian dairying industry authorised b> some company or institution described as Australian Commodity Research. This organisation was registered in Canberra and I invite any honourable member who is interested fo discover who is behind Australian Commodity Research. This booklet, which was printed and distributed in lens of thousands, included a leaflet which bore a picture of Mr Russell, the only man who has admitted that he is a member of the Basic Industries Group. But the really interesting aspect of it is that this publication was produced and, I believe, written by Mr Maxwell Newton. He, I believe, wrote this and other propaganda against the dairying industry and against the Australian tariff. But the production of 'The Great Hoax' was partly paid for by a cheque payable to Maxwell Newton Pty Ltd, and Maxwell Newton told the Press gallery here thai he has never had any connection with the Basic Industries Group. The cheque, which was for S20.000. was drawn on the Newtown branch of the Australia and New Zealand Bank Ltd by Marrickville Holdings Ltd and signed by Mr R. C. Crebbin. Mr Maxwell Newton endorsed this cheque for $20,000 on the back with his own signature, and that was part payment for The Great Hoax'.

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