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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 1367

Senator McMANUS - I ask a question of the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Is there any truth in the statement which I have seen publicised this week that Francis James has not been released by the Red Chinese because the Australian Government will not comply with a demand that an Australian passport be given to the journalist, Wilfred Burchett?


In the absence of the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, I regret that I cannot give a comprehensive reply to the question asked by Senator McManus. In any event, my feeling is that the question should be placed on notice because the whole history of the case of Mr Francis James has been one of speculation. Indeed I think that it might well be that speculation in this context might have a tendency to militate against an ultimate solution of the matter. I shall have the question referred to the Department of Foreign Affairs. If there is an appropriate reply to come to Senator McManus, I will see that it comes.

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