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Wednesday, 25 September 1974
Page: 1381

Senator MURPHY -Mr President,I have found my notes dealing with the question asked earlier by Senator Sim. If I may be permitted, I am now able to answer substantially what Senator Sim asked. The notes which were provided for me by the Minister state that in an article by Denis Warner in this morning's Sydney 'Morning Herald'- it may have been yesterday- the decision to give assistance to African liberation movements was attacked on the grounds that it would lead to support of terrorist movements. The article stated that Australia would give $150m to these movements. The figure is actually $150,000. Mr Warner and the Sydney Morning Herald' have constantly attacked Australia's foreign policy in this regard.

The notes that I have state that successive Australian governments have supported the principle of self-determination for the peoples of Africa. There remain some parts of Africa where large populations are still subjected to minority rule which has denied them equitable political, social and economic opportunities. The struggle to rectify this has placed on the African nationalist movements a heavy burden in caring for thousands of people in the liberated areas of the minority dominated territories and for those who have fled as refugees to neighbouring countries such as Tanzania and Zambia. In meeting these social and economic needs in areas such as medical assistance, education, agricultural extension services and temporary housing, Australia would be joining Canada, the Netherlands, West Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and other countries, together with the specialised agencies of the United Nations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the United Nations Childrens Fund, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the World Health Organisation in giving humanitarian assistance to the African national liberation movements. Of course any contribution by Australia would be modest in relation to the actual need. It would be directed solely to humanitarian purposes.

I am aware that the honourable senator prefaced his question on this substantial matter with some other matters. If he will let me, I shall also endeavour to find the answers to those questions.

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