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Tuesday, 25 May 1993
Page: 1163


Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (11.13 a.m.) —Unhappily, as Senator O'Chee will know, Mr Dewes's remains were found on Mount Fuji on 22 May. The police believe that he may have fallen from a walking track and suffered a head injury. Weather conditions at the time were extreme. His death is thought to have occurred on 2 or 3 January. In terms of the issues raised about the role of the embassy in the search, and matters raised in the letter to me from Mrs Dewes, I have this morning sent off a very detailed reply to her, expressing my and the Government's condolences on the tragedy as it has now been demonstrated to be, and responding in as much detail as we can to the various issues that were raised about the role of the embassy and the coordination of the search and so on. It should be possible, I guess, to get all that same basic information to Senator O'Chee today. Indeed, I have also signed a letter to Senator O'Chee this morning—I have just remembered—not attaching a copy of my letter to Mrs Dewes because that is obviously private correspondence, but setting out a detailed chronology of events, which I hope will be a complete response to the issue that Senator O'Chee raised with me. I think there were also some other honourable senators who have raised this subject with me. I am not sure whether there has been correspondence. Senator Burns certainly has raised the matter. I will also be contacting him with the same information.