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Thursday, 28 November 1985
Page: 2464

Senator CHIPP —I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs: Will the Government undertake to cut all aid to the Philippines if the Marcos Government does not institute real reforms? Has the Government yet officially castigated the Marcos Government this year for its appalling violations of human rights? Can the Government give a categoric undertaking that under no circumstances will Australia support, militarily or economically, the corrupt and decaying Marcos regime?

Senator WALSH —The Minister for Foreign Affairs said in a statement to the House of Representatives only yesterday that the Australian Government had made a substantial commitment to the people of the Philippines in terms of aid. Our intention is to continue to give development assistance. This Government, like other donor governments, gives most of its aid through the governments of the recipient countries. The provision of aid in this form does not imply endorsement of those governments' policies. Australia's development assistance to the Philippines is aimed at making an effective contribution to the welfare of the needy. Withdrawal of that aid would harm their interests. In response to the second part of the question-Senator Chipp's reference to violations of human rights in the Philippines and so on-I have nothing further to add to the statement made by Mr Hayden yesterday in the House of Representatives.