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Wednesday, 29 September 1971
Page: 1622

Mr JAMES (HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Prime Minister. I ask: In the light of the inspired revelations published this morning concerning his correspondence with President Nixon, will the right honourable gentleman now at least send to Mr Kosygin the letter which was drafted personally by him on 20th and 21st July inviting the Premier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to visit Australia?

Mr McMAHON - It is true that I did write to President Nixon some time ago and that there has been reference to that letter in some of today's metropolitan newspapers. According to some of those newspapers the information came from overseas sources and not from Austraiian sources. Usually I would not make any comment about the contents of any letter I write to a head of state or a head of government, but I will make this one comment: Half of what is reported is accurate; the other half is inaccurate. As to the question asked by the honourable gentleman, I would not be prepared to disclose the contents of any letter I write to Mr Kosygin, other than to say that I did not invite him to come to Australia.

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