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Monday, 23 March 1987
Page: 1112

Senator JESSOP —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Is it a fact that a $600,000 slush fund exists in the Department of Foreign Affairs for the specific purpose of sponsoring visits of anti-apartheid advocates to Australia to place their views before the Australian people? Can the Minister say whether the cost of the impending visit of the President of the African National Congress, Mr Oliver Tambo, is to be paid for from this taxpayers' fund? If so, in the interests of presenting a balanced account of alternative methods for developing a post-apartheid society in South Africa, will the Government use the same fund to bring to Australia the internationally known anti-apartheid exponent, Chief Buthelezi, who is the chief of the KwaZulu and also the traditional first Minister to the Zulus, the largest ethnic language group in South Africa? Is the Minister aware that Chief Buthelezi is also the head of Inkatha, which is the largest political party in South Africa, and the chairman of the South African Alliance?

Senator GARETH EVANS —If there is a fund to bring distinguished visitors to Australia-and I will have to seek further information from Mr Hayden in that respect-I am sure that it is nothing like the size of the fund that exists in South Africa to bring redneck supporters of apartheid, such as the questioner, to that country in order to take advantage--

The PRESIDENT —Order! I ask Senator Evans to withdraw that remark.

Senator GARETH EVANS —I do not think that Senator Jessop would object to the expression `supporter of apartheid', but I certainly withdraw the word `redneck'.

Senator Jessop —On a point of order: The President and the Senate are well aware of the fact that I am an anti-apartheid exponent. It is a question of what course of action should be taken to resolve that problem and that is how I differ from some senators opposite.

The PRESIDENT —Senator Evans, I ask you to withdraw under standing order 418.

Senator GARETH EVANS —Certainly, Mr President. On the part of the question that is directed specifically to a visit by Chief Buthelezi, again I will seek Mr Hayden's response to that specific matter.