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Friday, 3 April 1987
Page: 1821


Senator JESSOP —Is the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs able to inform the Senate of the direct cost to the Commonwealth involved in transporting, accommodating and promoting Mr Oliver Tambo, the leader of the self-professed terrorist organisation the African National Congress, and his entourage on their visit to Australia?


Senator Georges —Cut it out. What nonsense are you talking?


Senator JESSOP —He is the self-professed leader of a terrorist organisation. Can the Minister also inform the Senate of the estimated cost of the security arrangements for this visit, and also the cost of the security arrangements for his visit to Nareen this weekend?


Senator GARETH EVANS —I will refer the detailed questions about cost to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Once again, I take the opportunity to reject forcefully and unequivocally the kind of description that Senator Jessop insists on applying to Oliver Tambo and the African National Congress. Of course, violence has been perpetrated in South Africa by blacks-some of them under the auspices of the ANC-in responding to the system of oppression in that country. But I think an admirable statement of the context in which that has occurred, the reasons and, to the extent that it can be justified, the justification for it has been made by Mr Tambo during his visit in his public speeches, in particular, to the National Press Club. It is grotesquely insensitive for people like Senator Jessop to continue to malign this gentleman and the movement he stands for in the unthinking and crude way which has become all too common in this place.