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Monday, 20 May 1957

Mr CASEY - The story of Communist China and Tibet is now, unfortunately, an old and lengthy one. Towards the end of 1950 Communist China invaded Tibet with force of arms and about six months later imposed - I do not believe that that is too strong a word - a treaty on Tibet under which that country was incorporated in Communist China as a so-called autonomous unit. Foreign affairs and defence were to be dealt with by the Peking Government, but otherwise, under the treaty - in words at least - the normal institutions that had been built up in Tibet over the centuries were to remain. In fact, that has not happened. There has been a continuous incursion of Chinese migrants into Tibet. They have settled on the land in very considerable numbers, and this has been greatly resented by the Tibetans. Over the last five, six or seven years, from memory, in eastern Tibet particularly, there have been many uprisings - some supported by arms - against the new Chinese masters.

Clearly, the treaty of mid-1951 was imposed on Tibet by duress. The Dalai Lama is still the spiritual head of Tibet and a force in the land, but recently, ostensibly for medical purposes, he has been to Peking and the current fear is that, being physically in the hands of the Communist Chinese, he may have improper pressure brought to bear upon him to permit the final subjugation of the Tibetan people and the incorporation of that country as an ordinary part of Communist China. The honorable member asks whether this has a parallel with Hungary. I should think it could broadly be said that this is another example of the enforced subjugation of a people under an international Communist regime. As to Mr. Nehru's views on the subject, I have not the benefit of his confidence in this regard.

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