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Fifty years on: food convoys to Murmansk should resume

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Tim Fischer mp Federal Member for Farrer

Leader of the National Party of Australia

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources


Fifty years after the World War II convoys to Russia commenced, the need exists for a resumption of the convoys to Murmansk Federal Leader of the National Party Tim Fischer said today when addressing the 76th National Congress of the RSL.

"The northern winter is rapidly creeping up with the prospect of millions facing severe deprivation and starvation throughout Russia and the other Republics formerly of the USSR.

"As Federal Shadow Minister for Primary Industry Bruce Lloyd points out, the Soviet grain crop will be down 40 million tonnes this season and production of meat and dairy products have also fallen.

"The European Community and the United States should resume the food convoys to Murmansk, to Leningrad and other open ports and should commence moving food trains from European stockpile depots through to Belorussia and beyond.

"This is not only a chance to provide much needed help to Russia at a critical hour in the history of the world but also is a

chance to dispose of a large amount of the EC and US stockpiles of agricultural produce currently overhanging the market place.

"Many Returned Servicemen went on the land in Australia after World War II and faced decades of hard labour exacerbated by the vicissitudes of the Australian climate. They and their families have to battle just as hard today to stay on the land as they did

in the past.

"Here is the opportunity for Europe and the United States to 'do the right thing' and also directly help Australia who has been 'doing the right thing' for years now and getting burnt in the process.

"Australia for its part should look to sending to Russia and the other Republics technical help to rehabilitate their downstream wool processing plants as a direct form of assistance to boost their economies.

Mr Fischer confirmed in his address that the National Party was totally opposed to the Republic of Australia not for sentimental reasons but for many practical reasons. Ends ■ , ------- — .. . 4 September 1991



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