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Thursday, 4 December 1986
Page: 3460

(Question No. 1543)

Senator Jones asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 20 November 1986:

(1) Has the Minister for Foreign Affairs' attention been drawn to a press report in the Canberra Times dated 19 October 1986, that the Simon Wiesenthal Centre had forwarded a list of suspected Nazi war criminals, believed to be living in Britain, has been made available to that government, and does the report also claim that a similar list has been forwarded to the Australian Government some 2 weeks ago.

(2) Is the report correct; and has such a list been examined, or is there any proposal to take action to investigate these matters.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) My Department has drawn my attention to the article in the Canberra Times of Sunday 19 October 1986.

(2) I can confirm that the report is correct in respect of the Australian Government. While attending the 41st Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, I met Rabbi Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles who gave me a list of suspected war criminals believed to be living in Australia. I arranged for the list to be brought urgently to the attention of Mr Andrew Menzies, O.B.E. who is heading the review of Material Relating to the Entry of Suspected War Criminals into Australia. It is understood that the Review would examine and assess the material in the list along with other information available to it. The question of further action will be examined by the Government in the light of the Report from Mr Menzies.