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Thursday, 9 May 1957

Mr TOWNLEY (DENISON, TASMANIA) (Minister for Immigration) - Australia's action last year as a result of the troubles in Hungary earned expressions of admiration throughout the world. We were almost first, if not the very first, to help the Hungarian refugees with their problem. We gave £30,000 for immediate relief of the troubles of the people who were in Vienna. Then, we said we would bring 3,000 refugees to this country. We increased the number to 5,000, and later to 10,000. All those people have now been processed and are either here or on the way. That was an emergency procedure and involved 10,000 people. By taking that number, we gave greater assistance than any other nation did in proportion to its population. The honorable member mentioned Yugoslavia. That country presents a very difficult problem, because it is an iron curtain country and we have no representation there. We are now trying to ascertain what we can do for people in Yugoslavia and in other places. That assistance will not form part of the emergency movement of Hungarians to Australia but will be a part of the quota in the normal immigration programme for the next financial year.

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