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Wednesday, 16 March 1977

Dr J F Cairns (LALOR, VICTORIA) -I ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs a question about the Banaban people. Does he not agree that the people from Ocean Island have been most cruelly and unjustly treated over a long period, beginning with their exclusion from their island over 40 years ago, the fact that most of their superphosphate rock has been taken without any benefit to them and, finally, by the dismissal of their appeal for compensation in a British court? If he agrees that they have been cruelly and unjustly treated, can he say whether any suggestions or proposals have been put forward by the British Government or the New Zealand Government to the Australian Government to assist in compensation? Whether such submissions have been made, can be assure the House that the Australian Government will do everything in its power to ensure that these people are fairly treated?

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