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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3044

Mr FIFE (Farrer) (Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs) - in reply- I thank the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith (Mr Lionel Bowen) and the honourable member for Cowper (Mr Ian Robinson) for the support they have given to this measure. Indeed, it is heartening to see a measure of this nature supported so strongly from both sides of the House. In relation to the question raised by the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith concerning the terms of reference of the National Royal Commission into Drugs, let me remind him and the House of the undertaking given by the Prime Minister (Mr Malcolm Fraser) at the time the terms of reference were announced. It was, as the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith had indicated, mentioned at the time that perhaps the terms of reference ought to be widened in one way or another, and the Prime Minister pointed out that in the interests of getting the commission started as quickly as possible he felt the best course was for the commission to proceed with the terms of reference as laid down and he gave a clear undertaking that if the royal commissioner felt inhibited in any way in relation to the terms of reference then the Government would very quickly and sympathetically consider any request from the royal commissioner.

I want to make it abundantly clear to this House and to the nation as a whole that the Government is determined to do everything possible in this field to reduce the menace of the drug problem in Australia and particularly to bring to justice those people who are trading off the health of other people, those people who are trafficking in drugs and as a result destroying the lives of many Australians.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

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