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Tuesday, 26 February 1980
Page: 337

Mr NEIL (ST GEORGE, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I direct my question to the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs. Has he seen reports that the Australian Embassy in Moscowspecifically the Olympic attache- has been instructed to cease assisting in arrangements on behalf of the Australian Olympic Federation? What is the position in relation to the attache?

Mr MacKELLAR - I confirm that the Australian Embassy in Moscow has been instructed to cease the functional arrangements it has been making on behalf of the Australian Olympic Federation. These arrangements were being made by Mr Harrison, the Third Secretary at the Moscow Embassy, in his role as Olympic attache. Mr Harrison's appointment as Olympic attache was made by the Australian Olympic Federation to the Soviet Olympic organising committee. I should like to emphasise that it is not a government to government appointment. The appointee is usually not an official and need not even be a national of the country whose Olympic body appoints him. In the present case, the Australian Olympic Federation requested the services of a diplomatic officer, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs agreed because of the protection afforded him by his diplomatic status and his access to Soviet officialdom. In view of the Government's firm view that Australia should not participate in the Moscow Games, appropriate steps will be taken with respect to Mr Harrison's continued availability and designation as Olympic attache.

Mr Morris - Mr Speaker,I raise a point of order. Under Standing Order 321,1 require the

Minister to table the documents from which he has been reading and quoting.

Mr SPEAKER -The requirement to table applies only if the honourable gentleman was reading. Was the honourable gentleman reading from a document?

Mr MacKellar -No, I was not reading.

Mr SPEAKER -The honourable gentleman has said that he was not reading from a document.

Mr Morris - I raise a point of order. Standing Order 32 1 does not refer to reading; it refers to quoting. My request under that Standing Order was for documents from which the Minister was reading and/or quoting. He certainly was quoting, as you saw, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER -Is the document a confidential document?

Mr MacKellar - Mr Speaker,I was quoting from a confidential document.

Mr SPEAKER -The Minister has indicated that he was quoting but that the document is confidential. I therefore will not require it to be tabled.

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