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Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 2542

Senator HANNAN (VICTORIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In view of the commendable- if possibly a little weak-statement yesterday by the Prime Minister on Israeli prisoners of war, is the Minister aware that when the Israeli forces retook the Golan Heights from Syria they found the bodies of 28 of their fellow soldier prisoners of war who had been bound, tortured and shot and the bodies hidden under brush and rocks? Is the Minister aware that Syria has a horrible record in respect of Israeli prisoners? Will the Government take its courage in its hands and, standing up against its new Third World friends at the United Nations, demand in the General Assembly that Syria be called upon to comply with the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war?

Senator MURPHY - I am not aware of the facts which the honourable senator states. It is important that some humanity be preserved in war and it is that at which the Geneva Conventions are aimed. Australia would certainly want every country to observe the Geneva Conventions. The honourable senator may be interested to know that certain activity is going on to update these conventions. I will refer to the Minister for Foreign Affairs the honourable senator's suggestion.

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