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Tuesday, 20 April 1971

Senator KEEFFE (QUEENSLAND) - Is the Leader of the

Government in the Senate aware that a statement made on behalf of the Government a few days ago indicated that the amount of overseas aid exceeded 1 per cent of the gross national product for the first time in any given year? Is the Minister aware also that the percentage quoted included overseas commercial profitmaking investments, thus creating a false figure? Will the Minister make available to the Parliament a table setting out the percentage of Government aid to overseas countries, such figure being properly related to the gross national product by stating only the amount of Government funds so used and excluding privatelyowned funds which are used, in the main, for the exploitation of people in under-developed countries?

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON - I do recall that a statement was made about the percentage quota of Australia's overseas aid in recent times. I do not concede, as Senator Keeffe suggested by way of question, that the presentation of that statement in any way distorts the position. I will have his question referred to the appropriate Minister. The honourable sena tor is asking for a statement in some depth and he has nominated his own conditions on which that statement should be made. I want to be satisfied, as will the relevant Minister, in preparing the statement for which Senator Keeffe has asked, that it does not distort the figures in some other way in his mind.

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