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Wednesday, 14 March 1973
Page: 539

Mr MacKELLAR (WARRINGAH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question ' is addressed to the Prime Minister. Is it a fact that officials travelling with the Prime Minister on his recent trip to Indonesia held a briefing with Australian journalists during which Dr Malik, the Indonesian Foreign Minister, was denigrated and described as Indonesia's Jim Cairns? Did the Prime Minister authorise or know about such a briefing?

Mr WHITLAM - Officials travelling with me on my visit to Indonesia did give briefings to the Press. The Press sought such briefings. There is no truth whatever in any suggestion that any of the officials denigrated the distinguished Foreign Minister of Indonesia. This question-

Mr MacKellar - Did they say he was a lim Cairns'?

Mr WHITLAM - To say that a person was a 'Jim Cairns' of any particular country is not denigration at all. But I am aware, of course, that there have been allegations of this nature in the newspapers. A question was put on notice in the Senate on this matter and I have answered that question. There is no truth whatever in any allegation that officials travelling with me denigrated in any way the Foreign Minister of Indonesia. 1 certainly authorised the briefings which were sought. I certainly would not have authorised or tolerated any denigration of the Indonesian Foreign Minister or any minister or official of the country where we were guests.

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