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Thursday, 18 October 1973
Page: 2396

Mr Nixon (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) asked the Prime Minister, upon notice.

(1)   Is a Canadian of British birth to be appointed permanent head of the Department of Transport.

(2)   Did he criticise General Motors-Holden's for not appointing an Australian citizen as head of that organisation in Australia.

(3)   Is there an apparent inconsistency between these two actions.

Mr Whitlam - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   to (3) During a Press conference I did say that I thought the appointment of an American to head General Motors-Holden's was ill-timed. I would make the point that this is an American concern operating as a multi-national corporation in Australia and that the appointment of an American as its head further reduces the degree of Australian participation in its management.

The proposed appointment of Mr C. C. Halton to head the Department of Transport is in no way comparable. The Department is of course entirely Australian and is the Government's executive arm in the transport field. Mr Halton will be bringing to our Department the benefit of the wide experience he has obtained during a distinguished career both in private enterprise in Britain and in public service in Canada.

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