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Thursday, 13 September 1973
Page: 1029

Mr McLeay asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

(1)   How many Australian servicemen are still missing in Vietnam and when were they posted missing.

(2)   What are their names and to which Service does each belong.

(3)   What steps have been taken to account for them.

(4)   Has any approach been, made in respect of them through the Viet Cong or North Vietnamese unionists entertained in Parliament House, Canberra, on 2 May 1973 by Ministers and others; if so, what was the response; if not, why not.

Mr Barnard - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) During the commitment of our forces in Vietnam four servicemen, two Army soldiers and two RAAF officers were posted as missing. The two Army soldiers Lance Corporal R. H. Parker and Private D. J. Fisher were posted missing on 8 November 1965 and 27 September 1969 respectively, and were later presumed dead. The two RAAF personnel Flying Officer E. P. Herbert and Pilot Officer R. C. Carver have been missing since 3 November 1970.

(3)   Continuing enquiries have been made through diplomatic and official sources but have failed to produce information about the fate of the missing men. After the ceasefire all lists of prisoners of war provided by the North Vietnamese were searched.

Full information relating to the missing Australian servicemen has been given to the Four Party Joint Military Team and the International Commission of Control and Supervision in Vietnam. Both organisations have undertaken to help determine the fate of missing Australian servicemen.

(4)   The visit to Australia by the North Vietnamese group was at the invitation of a number of private organisations. An official approach was not made to the group concerning the fate of the missing Australian personnel.

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