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Thursday, 2 May 1957

Mr Bryant t asked the Minister for Ex- 'ternal Affairs, upon notice -

1.   Has any money been paid by the Government to assist in the clearing of the Suez Canal?

I.   Upon what terms was (he payment made?

3.   To whom, and upon whose authority, was the payment made?

4.   From what vote is the money drawn?

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

1.   In January, 1957, the Government made an advance of 1,000,000 dollars towards the cost of clearing (he Suez Canal.

2.   When the offer was communicated to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, it was stressed that the advance was a loan to be repaid by the United Nations, that it did not commit Australia to any further advances and that it carried no implication that Australia accepted any obligation to share in the final allocation of the cost of repairing the damage done by Egypt.

3.   The loan was paid to the United Nations in New York. Payment was made on the authority of the Australian Government. 4 The amount paid will be covered by an item in the Additional Estimates for 1956-57.

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