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Thursday, 8 December 1960

Mr Beazley (FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) y asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   What references to (a) the extinction of the Tasmanian aborigines and (b) Australian treatment of Australian mainland aborigines generally were made by Mr. Khrushchev at the recent United Nations General Assembly meetings?

2.   What reply was delivered on behalf of Australia?

3.   Was the issue of the aborigines taken up with the Prime Minister publicly or privately by the spokesman of any other power?

4.   If taken up publicly in the United Nations General Assembly, what was said and by whom?

Mr Menzies - The answers to the honorable Member's questions are as follows: - 1. (a) and (b). Mr. Khrushchev, on 12th October, speaking in the General Assembly on a

Soviet draft resolution which proposed the allocation to the plenary session of the item entitled "Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples", said, inter alia, "... the population in a number of colonies as for example, in the Congo, has diminished almost two-fold. Every one knows in what way the aboriginal population of Australia was exterminated. Mr. Menzies, who spoke here, should not forget this. The same happened in the United States of America; the aboriginal Indian population was exterminated here, the remaining few Indians have been driven into reservations." This is the only reference made by Mr. Khrushchev in the fifteenth session of the General Assembly to Australian aborigines. Mr. Khrushchev also made a somewhat similar reference at a press conference luncheon on 7th October, 1960.

2.   These statements were made after my main speech in the General Assembly (Sth October, 1960) and passed almost without notice among delegations in New York. I and others regarded them as fantastic accusations by a person and a

State clearly on the defensive, and I did not believe it necessary or desirable to take any special notice of them.

3.   No.

4.   See 3.

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