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Wednesday, 10 November 1976
Page: 2525

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock (LYNE, NEW SOUTH WALES) -Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr BEAZLEY -On 2 November the honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Wentworth) presented a petition to this House on behalf of a number of Australian citizens concerning alleged harassment of Jews residing in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and of Jews who seek to emigrate from the USSR to Israel. At the time of moving that the petition be printed, the honourable member for Mackellar outlined to the House his intention to submit the petition to the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence for examination.

I inform the House that the Committee has considered this request and has agreed under section la of its terms of reference to undertake an inquiry into the subject. Owing to commitments on current inquiries the Committee cannot undertake this investigation immediately but anticipates that it will be able to do so early in the coming year. The terms of this petition open up a very wide subject and the Committee will be shortly determining its strategy for the conduct of the inquiry.

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