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Monday, 4 May 1987
Page: 2485

Mr LAMB —Can the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs inform the House of the Government's response to Mr Mansell's demands for a separate black state and a separate passport system? What is the origin of these demands?

Mr HOLDING —The Prime Minister has already reiterated the attitude of the Government to these general positions. However, I think I should point out that, despite the widespread opposition within the Aboriginal community to Mr Mansell and his proposals, Mr Mansell has not merely continued to argue his case for Aboriginal links with Libya but is now endeavouring to involve other Aboriginal people in support of his cause. I would like to assure the House yet again that the general response of Aboriginal people around Australia is to reject both Mr Mansell's arguments and his advocacy.

I should also point out that, having known Mr Mansell for many years, I had never previously heard him put the proposition that Aboriginal people wanted their own separate nation and their own passport system. Nor have I heard this argument advanced seriously or at all by any responsible Aboriginal leader or any group of Aboriginal people. I caused inquiries to be made in order to discover the source of Mr Mansell's new-found policies. Unfortunately, I did not have far to look. In the Times on Sunday of 12 April 1987 a person described as the Libyan Arab Cultural Association's spokesperson, a Mr Robert Pash, was described as handling travelling arrangements for the Australian delegation to Libya, which included Mr Mansell. Mr Pash is associated with and a spokesman for an organisation known as the Australian People's Congress. This organisation previously operated under the name of the National Vanguard and made clear its objectives in a pamphlet headed `Racial comrades of the left!'. It announced that a new dialectic was being forged in Australia, the racial dialectic. The major elements of this new racial dialectic are self-determination for all peoples of good will, maintenance of the biological integrity of the white race through complete geographic and political separation of the races, and international white unity. In Mr Pash's newsletter he stated `that we must preserve the unique racial identity of the nation and multiculturalism cannot be tolerated'.

I table these documents:

Aboriginal separatist demands-Relationship to International Green Movement-Copies of-

Certain pages from issues of Australian Socialist, Volume 1, No. 8, February-March 1987.

Leaflet headed `Racial comrades of the left!', published by National Vanguard.

Extract from article entitled `A new spirit' from the The Green March, January 1987, published by the International Green Guard Movement.

I have arranged for copies to be sent to both shadow Ministers on the Opposition side so that they will be fully informed. I will not quote from them because some of the quotes would cause great pain to many sections of our Australian community. Let me say this, however: When the shadow Ministers see them I think they will realise that in both utterance and quality these statements represent extreme right wing racial groups which probably would have been applauded, and are symptomatic of the kinds of things that were said, in Hitler's Germany and have no place in Australian society.

These comments certainly do not have any place in the range of issues which have been covered by Aboriginal leadership to date in Australia. They are, however, perfectly consistent with the white supremacy nonsense of Mr Pash. In repeating these statements, Mr Mansell is making it clear that, at the very best, he is singing for his supper or, at worst, he is being run by Mr Pash. When one thinks about it, it is an absurdity for any person claiming to be an Aboriginal leader to be run by a white racist supremacist. Hopefully, when these facts are brought to Mr Mansell's attention that will be sufficient to persuade him to disengage himself from his racist sponsors and their Libyan associates. Certainly, as far as I am concerned, having given him time to consider that, I will then be looking at other options.