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Tuesday, 9 May 1961

Mr HAYLEN (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Can the Minister foi External Affairs assist in any way the fourteen Australian timber workers who are stranded on the Dutch island of Adi, which is 40 miles from Hollandia? To illuminate my question, I inform the right honorable gentleman that these men were working for an Australian company which has gone into liquidation. They are living now on fish which they catch themselves, and on an occasional meal of pork when the natives kill a pig. They have no fresh fruit and no medical supplies. Some of them are sick from malaria and other tropical diseases. The Dutch patrol vessel no longer visits the island, and the company cutter is in Darwin under distraint for debt. The men are owed many weeks' wages and their wives and families are enduring great hardship as a result. Will the Prime Minister approach the Dutch authorities so that rations and medical supplies can be sent immediately to these men? Will be consider the credentials of companies similar to Adi Timber Limited, which induce Australians to work abroad in remote islands and then leave them stranded and starving?

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