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Tuesday, 19 March 1957

Mr TOWNLEY - The grievous position of these people in Egypt has been the subject of intense consideration by the Department of Immigration. It is singularly difficult for us to get very far in the matter. As the honorable member for Isaacs said in his question to-day, Egyptians have desecrated Australian graves and have torn down our war memorial. One of Australia's most distinguished men, Mr. Cutler, V.C., and his staff were turned out of Egypt. Honorable members will no doubt realize how difficult it is to get anywhere under those conditions. We have been doing what we can through the Canadian Government, which has a small legation in Cairo, and we have already been able to bring out quite a number of British people. We have followed various avenues to see what we could do for other people who could get, say, to Italy or to Malta. We are doing whatever we can. But 1 should like to make clear to the House how difficult the position is. The United Kingdom Government also is acutely aware of the position. It has formed a committee and is doing everything in its power to get as many of its nationals as possible out of Egypt.

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