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Thursday, 29 April 1971

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Supply) (9.55) - 1 accept some of the significant comments made by Senator Willesee on the proposal that the Senate take note of the paper. Apparently Senator Greenwood has been involved in this matter and he may well wish to continue his interest in it. I am -sure that he will, but. it is a question of how he displays and applies that interest. Senator Willesee asked me to initiate some further inquiries to see what regard had been given to the debate in this chamber on the motion to take note of the paper after Senator Wright presented it in February. I will certainly undertake to do that.

Senator Byrnein his comments made reference to the creation of the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel. I. think it is fair to say that that Office .was created less than .12 months, ago, in. about mid-May 1970. This matter was raised originally in the Estimates Committee in about September. I do not think the Parliamentary Counsel could have hoped by that time to have made any significant impact on the issues involved. Indeed, I would think that even at this time the Parliamentary Counsel is still trying to fill "the positions that the Act provided for him. We all know that the basic problem is the inability to obtain the necessary skilled people. That is why the Parliamentary Counsel Bill stepped outside the bounds of the Public Service. For that very reason I think it is still early days to expect the results from the Parliamentary Counsel that Senator Byrne reflects upon. However, I will accept the- responsibility to take up the matter he has raised and circulate a memorandum in order to ascertain whether anything further can be done in relation to this matter. I move:

That General Business Order of the Day No. 18 be made an order of the day for the next day of sitting.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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