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Thursday, 7 October 1971
Page: 2135

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister repre senting the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:

What changes have been made in the shares and directorships held and management services provided on behalf of Qantas Airways Limited as a consequence of the reconstruction of MalaysiaSingapore Airlines Limited (Hansard, 9th March 1971, page 751).

Mr Swartz - The Minister for Civil Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

Qantas at present holds 347,060 shares in

Malaysia-Singapore Airlines Limited (MSA) representing 4.08 per cent of the issued capital. MSA is to go into voluntary liquidation' towards the end of 1972 as a result of a joint decision by the Malaysian and Singapore Governments. The Government of Singapore has suggested that they and the Government of Malaysia should now buy out the minority shareholders in MSA with a view to facilitating the voluntary liquidation. The latest advice from Singapore is that both Governments have agreed to allow the Governor of the Bank of Negara, Malaysia, to negotiate the purchase of the BOAC and Qantas shares in MSA, the Government of Singapore being prepared to abide by the price negotiated.

The Government of Malaysia has decided not to invite participation in the new Malaysian airline and it is understood that the Government of Singapore takes a similar view in respect of its own international airline.

There have been no changes in the directorships of MSA held on behalf of Qantas as a consequence of the reconstruction of the airline.

During the long period of association that Qantas has had with MSA there has been no formal management services agreement between the two airlines. Both Qantas and BOAC have made staff available on secondment and have provided other support services. Following the announcement that MSA would be liquidated, the Australian Government offered technical and other assistance to both Governments. The Government of Malaysia accepted this offer (in preference to offers made by numerous other foreign airlines) and Qantas has now entered into a management services agreement with the Malaysian airline under which Qantas will provide management advice and assistance necessary for the setting up of the Malaysian airline and will provide such personnel and access to such training and other specialised facilities as the Malaysian Government may require from time to time.

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