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Wednesday, 7 December 1983
Page: 3461

Question No. 419

Mr O'Neil asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 6 September 1983:

Does the Philippines receive Australian Government aid; of so, (a) what form does this aid take and (b) does the Government intend to continue to provide aid to this military dictatorship.

Mr Hayden —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(a) Yes. Aid is provided as development assistance, principally as bilateral projects, training and food aid. There is also a modest defence co-operation program, details of which can be provided by the Minister for Defence.

(b) The Government intends to continue its development assistance program to the Philippines, in the belief that by so doing it can best help to improve the lot of the Philippine people. Suggestions that Australian aid should be discontinued to certain countries overlook the fact that the result of such action would be to punish the most needy people in a developing country without influencing those who direct affairs.