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Wednesday, 11 October 1972
Page: 1408

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry and follows the question which I directed to him yesterday. The Minister will recall that yesterday I asked him a question concerning the pronouncement of Government policy in regard to Federal Government plans for the fruit industry by a person who is not a member of this Parliament but who is a Country Party candidate at the forthcoming elections and who stated in the course of delivering the paper that he had been deputed to represent the Minister for Primary Industry. Was the statement printed and distributed at Government expense and is the Minister now in a position to answer the question I asked yesterday, namely, why was this person who was not responsible to this Parliament chosen to speak on behalf of the Government on such a vitally important rural matter?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - It is true that the honourable senator asked me a question yesterday but it is also true that I said then that I would get some information for him as I had not seen the statement. I asked him whether he would show me the statement, and he did. I have sought some information from the Minister for Primary Industry and I have that information here. I asked earlier whether the Senate would give me permission to make a statement but I was not given permission. I ask now whether I may have leave to give a reply to the honourable senator.

The PRESIDENT - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I am informed that Mr Kronborg did not in fact make policy pronouncements on behalf of the Government. The seminar he addressed was held on 28th September, a date on which both houses of Parliament were in session. The Minister for Primary Industry, (Mr Sinclair), had hoped that the programme of the House of Representatives would have permitted his attendance at the seminar and he had prepared a paper to deliver. However, the Cabinet programme made it obvious that the Minister would not be able to leave Canberra. In the circumstances Mr Sinclair arranged for Mr Kronborg to read his paper at the seminar. No new policy pronouncements were contained in the paper read by Mr Kronborg; it was a statement of existing Government attitudes.

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