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Thursday, 29 October 1970

Mr Daly asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

(1)   What was the last occasion on which Government and Opposition Members of the Commonwealth Parliament were members of the Australian Delegation to the meetings of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva.

(2)   On how many occasions have members from both sides of the Parliament attended these Conferences as delegates.

(3)   What were the names of those who attended.

(4)   In which years were these Conferences held.

(5)   In view of the importance of the deliberations of the I.L.O., why has the practice of sending Parliamentary delegates been discontinued.

(6)   Will he consider including delegates from Government and Opposition parties in future delegations to the Conference; if not why not.

Mr Snedden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   to (4) Opposition members of the Commonwealth Parliament have never been included in delegations to conferences or meetings of the International Labour Organisation. During the period 1944-1947 it was customary for a Minister to lead the Government delegation to conferences of the I.L.O., with one or more members of the Government as members of the delegation. Late in 1947 this practice was discontinued by a decision of the then Prime Minister, Mr Chifley. Since 1953 Ministers for Labour and National Service have attended the conference in Geneva, not as a delegate but in accordance with I.L.O. custom as 'Minister attending the conference'. This practice was varied in 1957, when the then Minister for Labour and National Service, the late Mr Harold Holt, was included as a delegate because it was known that it was likely that he would be elected President of the Conference, and it is usual for the President of the Conference to be appointed from delegates. He was, in fact, elected President.

(5)   and (6) The main business lit an l.L.O. conference is conducted by means of technical committees which sit simultaneously throughout the greater part of the conference. In order that the Government can be represented on the various committees which concern it, in appointing the delegation it is necessary to take into account their suitability in relation to the technical items on the agenda.

Commonwealth Secondary Scholarships (Question No. 1349)

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) en - An answer lo Question No. 1349, asked by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) appeared originally in Hansard, pages 573-574 of 26tb August 1970. The question dealt with the numbers of Commonwealth Secondary scholarships available for 1970, the number of students who competed for them and the number who received awards. Whilst the information provided in the answer was correct, 1 think that a revision of the text of part 2 is called for in order to remove any possibility of a misunderstanding arising over the year of award of these scholarships. A revision of part 2 of the answer is as follows:

The number of students who competed for these awards for 1970 totalled 83,821. Of these students, 10,034 (or 12.0 per cent) successfully competed for and accepted a Commonwealth Secondary scholarship.

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