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Thursday, 25 October 1956

Mr Bryant asked the Minister acting for the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice -

Will he make available evidence of the contravention of Article 9; 13, sections 1 and 2; 18; 20, section 1; and 23 of .the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by any of its signatories during the years 1955 and 1956?

Sir Philip McBride - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: -

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not constitute a binding obligation and is not open to signature. The declaration, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United

Nations on 10th December, 1948, by a vote of 48 in favour with two absent and eight abstentions, is properly speaking a statement of principles which can be regarded as a common goal for all peoples and nations. Therefore, it is clear that there cannot be any formal contravention of the declaration. As regards evidence of practices which fall below the principles stated in the declaration, there are, as far as I am aware, no official compilations from which the information requested could be extracted.

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