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Thursday, 16 May 1957

Mr TOWNLEY - This Government is constantly trying to get people from iron curtain countries, but the honorable member will appreciate that Australia has no representation there and always has to make representations through some other embassy from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Roumania. However, the Government has been remarkably successful, I think. We have been able to get quite a considerable number of people in the last twelve months. With Russia we have not been quite so successful. When Mr. Bulganin and Mr. Khrushchev were in England a cable was sent to them asking them, in the name of humanity, to assist this Government in reuniting families here in Australia, but that has not borne much fruit up to date. However, we are keeping the pressure on and we are trying our best to get a number of families out. Up to date I think about 300 people have come to Australia from those countries. There are indications that Hungary, which is under a Communist government, Poland and Jugoslavia, are allowing their people to go overseas and the Government is hoping to get more people out as the time goes by.

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