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Friday, 2 December 1938


Mr Ward (EAST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) d asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   In view of the attack by the Consul- General for Germany,Dr. Asmis, on a Sydney daily newspaper, published in the SydneyMorning Herald (page 13) of the 1st December, for having criticized Nazi activity in Australia, would the Prime Minister draw the attention ofDr. Asmis to an article which appeared in Angriff, the official organ of the German Minister for Propaganda, describing Mr. Winston Churchill, Mr. A. Duff Cooper, former First Lord of the British Admiralty, Mr. Anthony Eden, former Foreign Secretary, and Major C.R. Attlee. Leader of His Majesty's Opposition in the House of Commons, as "murderers"?

2.   Does the Prime Minister associate himself with the protest published in The Times. London of the11th November,1938, describing the attack in the columns of Angriff as "much worse than merely ludicrous; it is wholly intolerable "?

3.   In view of the Prime Minister's statement thathe desires friendly relations with all countries, will he draw the German Consul- General's attention to the fact that the recent fresh wave of murder and terrorism against the Jews in Germany, described in the leading article of The Times. London', of the 11th November. 1938. as "a tale of blackguardly assaults upon defenceless and innocent people" has done nothing to assist friendly relations with Germany?

4.   Will he also inform the Consul-General that Australia, which gave birth to Sir Isaac Isaacs, a former Governor-General, Sir John Monash and other renowned Jews, views with repugnance the activities of any consular representative here who supports the Nazi terror?


Mr Lyons - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   The honorable member is under some misapprehension; as Dr. Asmis made no attack on a Sydney daily newspaper. This particular newspaper conducted a series of personal attacks against Dr. Asmis, who then made representations to me about the incorrectness and distorted nature of these allegations. I was able to confirm that many of the allegations were in fact untrue, and replied accord ingly, as well as indicating my regret for such a campaign against the representative of a foreign country. In regard to the references by the honorable member to the attacks by the German press on certain British Members of Parliament, I would point out that that is a matter between the United Kingdom and German Governments, in which the Commonwealth Government does not intend to interfere. It might be stated, however, that there is no record of the German press having launched personal and untrue attacks on British representatives in Germany. 2 and 3. See answer to1.

4.   I would point out to the honorable member that the German Consul-General is the representative of his country in matters affecting German nationals and trade in Australia only and it is not proposed to add anything further to the letter 1 communicated to him on the 28th November.

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