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Tuesday, 21 June 1949

Mr CALWELL - I read the text of the broadcast made over Radio Moscow alleging that the people who were brought to Australia as displaced persons were enslaved and were being treated very badly. As usual, I took immediate action on the matter.

Mr ARCHIE Cameron - The Government should put the Minister in charge of the coal crisis.

Mr CALWELL - If it did, I would not have the honorable member as an assistant because he would spoil my effort. I prepared one of my usual descriptive and completely factual replies. I issued it to the press last evening. If the honorable member will consult to-day's issue of the Melbourne Age he may read it in full, but he will look in vain for it in the columns of the Melbourne Argus or the Melbourne Sun-News Pictorial. I do not know how the other newspapers treated my reply; but I assure the honorable member that it was a complete answer to the rantings of Moscow radio.

People in displaced persons camps and in employment in Australia as displaced persons have themselves repudiated the statement by Moscow radio. The Melbourne Age has given publicity to a declaration by the representatives of seven nationalities in Western Australia which tells the complete story of their life in Australia. As is usual, the Department of Immigration in this instance has co-operated with the Department of External Affairs. Our relationships are complete and happy, and the Department of External Affairs will take such action as is necessary to safeguard Australia's best interests in this as in all other matters.

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