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Monday, 6 December 1976


Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Foreign Minister a question which I have asked him and the Acting Minister 5 weeks and 8 weeks ago. The Sub-Committee on the Middle East of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence has now reported that its Chairman, the honourable member for Fremantle, wrote on 24 August to the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs to the effect that there are strong humanitarian reasons for the re-establishment of a reasonably sized immigration team in Damascus and that he wrote on 1 October to the Foreign Minister concerning diplomatic representation in Damascus and aid to Lebanese refugees in Syria and Cyprus.

I therefore ask: What progress has been made in establishing an Australian embassy in Damascus in order to reinstate facilities for processing immigration applications from persons fleeing from the Lebanon? Has the Government decided to give aid to Lebanese refugees in Syria and Cyprus?







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