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Wednesday, 8 December 1976
Page: 3547

Mr INNES (Melbourne) - I rise this evening to discuss the plight of Chilean refugees who face deportation at the hands of this Government. On 18 November the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (Mr MacKellar) in response to a question which I placed on the notice paper some months ago stated that deportation orders had been signed against 30 Chileans who were illegally resident in Australia and that other cases were under consideration. He further stated that there was no evidence to suggest that those persons would be subject to persecution if they were returned to Chile. The Minister must live in some sort of fairyland and perhaps to the right of that. What he proposes is the equivalent of sending Jews to Germany in 1940. The members of the Chilean regime will go down in the annals of history as one of the most vicious cliques of people to ever hold power anywhere in the world at any time. If the Minister or anyone in the House is in any doubt about that they have only to browse through the many totally authoritative reports prepared by Amnesty International. Information made available in August 1976 suggests that approximately 3800 political prisoners currently are held in detention in Chile. This figure includes only those who can be accounted for. It does not include the number of prisoners who have disappeared since the date of their detention. Between 1500 and 2000 prisoners have disappeared since the military coup on 11 September 1973. More than 1000 persons have been detained at some time or another for political reasons.

People continue to disappear and this massive persecution affects a wide spectrum of political groups as well as large numbers of other opponents of the government such as lawyers and social workers who are involved in assisting political prisoners and their families. The Chilean secret police- the DINA- has refined torture and totalitarian control to a degree of which Goebbels would have been envious. Yet this regime which is one of the most inhuman the world has ever seen even has some supporters in this House. One honourable member made a speech protecting the regime. He rejected the concept that it was an inhuman regime. I direct his attention to the absolute matters of fact which are available. I am sure other speakers will support me in this. Mr Abel- I cannot draw to mind his constituency- is the man who made the speech.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - The honourable member for Evans.

Mr INNES - For example, on 16 September the honourable member for Evans- that is his constituency- made an impassioned speech in which he defended this monstrous government because, after all, it is anti-communist. If you wear a pair of red underpants around the place honourable members are looking sideways at you. The fact that the Marxist orientated government was democratically elected whereas the present group of ruling thugs was not, does not concern him or any of the sabre-rattling individuals on that side of the House.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Name them.

Mr INNES -I have named the individual-the honourable member for Evans. He is not here this evening, but he is a sabre rattler and a fascist, like the rest of them.

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