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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 3974


Mr HOLLIS —Is the Minister for Foreign Affairs aware that the African National Congress was formed only 11 years after the Federation of Australia, 8 January 1987 being the seventy-fifth anniversary of the formation of the ANC? Is the Minister also aware that the ANC still seeks a peaceful solution to the struggle to end apartheid and that for 50 years the ANC campaigned non-violently for that in the face of continuing overwhelming violence by the South African regime? Finally, will the Government allow visits to Australia in 1987 by ANC representatives so that they can put their case to the people of Australia, especially to the National Party?


Mr HAYDEN —The Government has a concern over developments in South Africa which reflects our abhorrence of apartheid. That concern is widely shared by the Australian community, including the former Prime Minister of the Liberal-Country Party Government before this Government came to office. He at least had some moral conviction and moral commitment to fellow people. Since 1983 a program has been in place whereby prominent opponents of apartheid have visited Australia. The Reverend Allan Boesak and Bishop Desmond Tutu have been two such visitors. I understand that by private arrangement Bishop Tutu will come to Australia to the electorate of the honourable member for Ballarat in the early new year. I wish to record that I am pleased to announce that an invitation has been extended to the President of the ANC to visit Australia in the first half of 1987. Mr Oliver Tambo has accepted. Arrangements are in hand to finalise the timing and program of the visit. I sincerely trust that honourable members from both sides of the House will take the opportunity of meeting and talking with Mr Oliver Tambo to get a more balanced appreciation of the absolute wickedness of apartheid. In particular, I recommend this exposure to members of the Opposition.