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Thursday, 9 May 1968

Mr Hayden asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:

1.   Who are the members of the Australian National Airlines Commission?

2.   Is he able to say what directorships of companies, if any, are held by these Commission members? If so, what are the details?

3.   Have any business dealings taken place between the Commission and any company of which a member of the present Commission is a director? If so, what are the details?

Mr Swartz - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follow: 1 and 2. Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick Scherger, K.B.E., C.B., D.S.C., A.F.C. (Chairman): Australian National Airlines Commission; Plessey Pacific Pty Ltd; I.B.M. Australia Pty Ltd; Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Pty Ltd.

Mr K.H. Vial (Vice Chairman): Australian National Airlines Commission; Frank Vial & Sons Pty Ltd; Australian Services Canteens Organisation.

Air Vice Marshal E. C. Wackett, C.B., C.B.E. (Member): Australian National Airlines Commission.

Mr J.E. V. Murdoch (Member): Australian National Airlines Commission; Swan Quarries Ltd.

Sir ReginaldGroom (Member): Australian National Airlines Commission; Commonwealth Bank Corporation; Consolidated Rutile Ltd; Mount Isa Mines Ltd; Brolite Industries Ltd; The English Electric Co. of Australia Pty Ltd; P. & O. of Australia Pty Ltd; Besser Vibrapac Masonry (Qld) Ltd; Fire Fighting Equipment Ltd; General Rubber Co. Ltd.

Mr R.R. LawSmith, C.B.E., A.F.C. (Member): Australian National Airlines Commission; Qantas Airways Ltd and subsidiaries; Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd and subsidiaries; National Bank of A/asia Ltd and subsidiaries; Australian Mutual Provident Society; Massey-Ferguson Holdings (Aust.) Ltd; Commonwealth Industrial Gases Ltd; Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Pty Ltd; Fairlie Investments Pty Ltd; Garden Towers Pty Ltd.

3.   Sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 14 of the Australian National Airlines Act 1945-1966 have a bearing on the direct or indirect involvement of any commissioner in a contract between the Commission and any company with which that commissioner is personally concerned. These subsections follow the principles applicable to the proper conduct of affairs of public companies, i.e., that a commissioner is obliged to disclose to the Commission the nature of bis interest in a contract and to take no part in the decision thereon. In addition to complying with the terms of those sub-sections, every member has on joining the Commission disclosed the names of the companies of which he is a director, and further disclosed any additional directorships to which he is subsequently appointed.

I would point out that in the Australian National Airlines Commission, as in other bodies and companies of comparable size, the Commissioners are principally concerned with matters of policy and material or major contractual arrangements. In dealing with these matters, the directors consider the recommendations of the Commission's management and executive staff. Arrangements for the provision of normal supplies and services for the Commission's day to day operations are controlled by its senior departmental officers.

To specifically answer this part of your question would entail examination of the procurement activities of the Commission over a period exceeding 10 years, a task of such magnitude that it would not be a practicable undertaking. However, if there is any special case which you have in mind, some inquiries could be made.

You may be assured, however, that the possibility of conflict of interest is adequately guarded against.

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