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Tuesday, 22 August 1972
Page: 263

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) (Minister for Works) - Senator Cavanagh reminds me - not in a very clear way, because my mind has not been addressed in the interim to the particular discussion - of the debate which took place with regard to a proposed seminar. Representatives intending to attend that seminar which was held under the auspices of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission and arranged by the United Nations organisation attracted, broadly speaking, the same measure of diplomatic immunity as an ambassador. As to the number of people who would attract that immunity in Australia from time to time, I regret that I am not adequately informed at the moment. I shall ask the Department of Foreign Affairs to give the matter some consideration and let me have the approximate number involved over the last 2 or 3 years for the information of the honourable senator. I remember that the matter was debated with very great interest by the honourable senator at the time. I think we satisfied him that it was appropriate that visitors coming here to attend a seminar relating to atomic energy at the instance of the United Nations organisation should have that diplomatic immunity.

The Bill with which we are dealing today relates to immunity for consuls who I suppose would not be affronted if I described them as gentry of a different order. As indicated by this Bill their privileges and immunities are somewhat different from the full diplomatic immunity which is provided for ambassadors under the Act of 1967.

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