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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3133

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 12 October 1 977:

(1)   In which countries is there, or has there been, a Rhodesia Information Service.

(2)   What action has been taken by the governments of these countries on the continued operation of official information centres in those countries.

(   3 ) What are the major arguments in favour of the closure of the centre in Australia.

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

(   1) Other than the Rhodesia Information Centre in Sydney, there is a similar office in Washington and until recently one in Paris.

(2)   The French Government, in January 1 977, took action by decree to close the Rhodesian Information Office in Paris. With regard to the Rhodesian Information Office in Washington, I understand that it is the United States Administration's firm intention to give effect under United States law to the resolution which it co-sponsored in the Security Council on this question.

(3)   Australia is bound by the terms of Security Council resolution (No. 409) which was adopted unanimously on 27 May 1977. The Government has made it clear that in meeting the terms of this resolution legislation will be drafted so as to avoid infringing the civil liberties of Australian citizens.

Children involved in Custody Proceedings: Withdrawal of Passports (Question No. 176S)

Mr Jacobi asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 1 3 October 1977:

Will he arrange, in conjunction with his colleagues, for the withdrawal of the passports of any citizen or citizens who appear before the Family Court in relation to child custody matters to ensure that children are not removed from jurisdiction.

Mr Peacock - Australian courts already have the power to order a parent or guardian involved in a custody suit to surrender a travel document in which a child 's name appears.

The illegal removal of children from Australia is of continuing concern to the Government and the procedure for the issue of passports taking into account the danger of child abduction is under active review involving appropriate Ministers and departments.

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