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Tuesday, 10 December 1974
Page: 3263

Senator LAUCKE (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I direct a question to the Attorney-General. Is he an acquaintance of Mr Lionel Hart who was a secretary of the company Tacitair Pty Ltd of which Miss Morosi and her husband were directors, and which was wound up by an order of the Supreme Court of New South Wales with liabilities of nearly $40,000? Was the Minister aware of the company's financial position and the involvement of Miss Morosi and Mr Ditchburn as directors at the time of Mr Ditchburn's appointment to the Films Board of Review?

Senator MURPHY - The honourable senator asks me: Am I an acquaintance of Mr Lionel Hart? Not as far as I can recall, senator. I suppose it is possible- I do not know- because one meets a great number of people, but frankly I do not recall having known the man or being an acquaintance of him. That is as far as I can take it. As to what has happened to that company, if that is the company in question, I think this ought to be dealt with rather on the basis of inquiry being made by the New South Wales Corporate Affairs Commission into certain companies. I do not know whether information on this has been properly tabled in the Senate. Some questions were asked about the telegram or telex which had been sent by Sir Robert Askin to the Prime Minister of Australia. I have a copy of that telex. I think that the telex should be put on the record: therefore I table it.

I understand that some further inquiry is being made into this matter by the New South Wales Government, so I think it is not desirable that I should say anything more except that it seems that here is a matter in respect of a company that has failed, as I suppose many companies fail. I seem to recall reading once that of all companies which were commenced some 90 per cent failed. Here is a company that has failed. Apparently some look at it was taken some time ago by the Corporate Affairs Commission. No charge was laid against anyone. The statement was made here that Miss Morosi was never even questioned about the matter by the Corporate Affairs Commission and so on. I think it would be best if the honourable senator left this matter until the New South Wales Government said any more that it had to say about it.

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