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Tuesday, 7 December 1971
Page: 4137

Mr MacKELLAR (WARRINGAH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is addressed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In view of the very understandable anxiety of a number of people in Australia concerning the safety of their relatives or friends in India or Pakistan, has the Government accounted for all Australian nationals in those 2 countries, and what arrangements are being made to ensure the safety of these Australians?

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I will be dealing with this matter in the statement which I hope to have leave to make to the House after question time. But perhaps I could say at this stage that I think that most Australians in East and West Pakistan have been accounted for. Of course, one can never be certain that there are not in East and West Pakistan other Australians who have not in any way notified their position at the present time. Arrangements have been made to get these people who have been accounted for out of the country. As far as India is concerned, there are more Australians, tourists particularly, in that country, but any danger to them is much less. However, the Australian High Commissioner in New Delhi is charged with the responsibility of warning these people and of making contact with them where it is desirable. I believe that adequate steps are being taken regarding Australians in India.

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