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Thursday, 17 August 1972
Page: 368

Mr PEACOCK (Kooyong) (Minister for External Territories) - in reply - I wish that the honourable member for Oxley (Mr Hayden) would tell the truth. As far as I understand it, he knows very well that I received the request for information on Monday, the 14th of this month. Irrespective of when people put information to him, I received the request for information on Monday, 14th. He should also know that the outline of this legislation was given in this House on 9th May. He also knows that more than 24 hours ago I spoke with him and said I had some information at my fingertips, to use his own words, but that I did not think it. was sufficiently detailed to supply to him, and I sought further information.

Mr Hayden - That is fair enough.

Mr PEACOCK - I did put. this to the honourable member, did I not?

Mr Hayden - Yes.

Mr PEACOCK - Let us face it. There was no cognisance or recognition of this in what the honourable member said a moment ago. He spoke as if I had not obtained the information and was deliberately seeking to prevent him from receiving the information he requested. In fact the information has been received by me today and I. will .be conveying it to the honourable member as soon as I possibly can. When the honourable member realises that he was given notice of this legislation on 9th May, that I received his request on 14th August and that the day on which I will supply the detailed information is 17th August, I think he will agree that the record is fairly satisfactory. ..

Mr Hayden - Does this mean that you made decisions without even having the detailed Information yourself?

Mr PEACOCK -No it does not.

Mr Hayden - Of course it does.

Mr PEACOCK - No, it does not. The detail has been returned to the Investment Corporation of Papua New -Guinea, and the honourable member would well know that when he asks specific questions we have to seek the information from the Corporation, but I wanted to check with the Administration itself. The honourable member knows how the Investment Corporation is operating at the present time.

I have a fair amount of information on royalty rates which have been imposed on Commonwealth ' New Guinea Timbers Ltd, and I will be supplying this to the honourable member. I hope to be able to do it before this day is out. The information is available and, as with most other things the honourable member has sought of me, not only do I try to be as expeditious as possible but I also try to convey to him as full an amount of information as is humanly possible. I think he would agree that that has generally been done. There is no intention, as he would well know, to mislead the House. In fact the legislation was put through on the basis that there appeared to be unanimity of purpose on the matter. This is what has been indicated to us in May. So it was a reasonable presumption that in this first week of the sittings before the Budget Bills commence being introduced we would get this Bill out of the way. It certainly was not any intention of the Government or myself to mislead. I will have the information conveyed to the honourable member as soon as possible.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a third time.

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