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Tuesday, 9 May 1972
Page: 2267

Mr Reynolds asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Has there been a reduction in the staff of the China Section of his Department from 5 officers to 2 in the last 2 months. .

(2)   If so, why has this reduction been made when the question of relations with China has become so important.

(3)   Who are the present members of the Section and what are their qualifications and status.

(4)   What new appointments are. intended to be made in the immediate future.

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   There was no reduction in the normal number of positions in the China/ Korea Section, but for a period of some days recently only. 2 officers were actually working in the Section.

(2)   This situation arose because of the resignation of the research officer, the temporary absence overseas of the China desk officer, and a short gap which occurred during a routine .transfer of duties from one officer to another"

(3)   and (4) The structure of the Section and details of the officers occupying the positions at present are as follows:

Foreign Affairs Officer, Class 4: Mr 8. B. Hickey.

Foreign Affairs Officer, Class 3: Mr R. W. Cottrill.

Foreign Affairs Officer, Class- .2: Mr J. G. Powys. ,

Senior Research Officer: Mr C. J. Hole (acting).

Foreign Affairs Officer, Class 1: Miss S. A. Warner (acting).

There was in addition a further research officer working in the Section who has resigned. Of these officers, Mr Cottrill has undertaken 2 assignments in East Asia and has a fluent 'knowledge of the Chinese language and Mr Hole and Miss Warner, both of whom have recently joined.: the. Department, have just returned from studies in Taiwan, and have a high proficiency in the language.

It is proposed that Mr Powys Will shortly be posted, and that his successor will be Mr R. C. B. Brown, who also has a good knowledge of the Chinese language.

In addition, the Department .advertised the Senior Research Officer position in the Commonwealth Gazette of 6th April as a - first- step in locating and appointing a suitable permanent occupant of this position.

Until the appointment process is completed, Mr Hole will act in the position.

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