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Monday, 19 October 1970

Mr McMAHON - I am sure that not only myself but my Department gave all the assistance that was practicable to the group of young people who came out of Cambodia to try to explain the plight of the Cambodians and the fact that this was a blatant and naked assault by the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong against the Khmer people. The honourable gentleman who asked me a question earlier today was one of the first to admit that he did have the wool pulled from off his eyes, but apparently he did not have it pulled far enough so far as the implications were concerned when he referred to Communist China. As to the second part of the honourable gentleman's question relating to the parliamentary group now visiting Australia, I hope that the media will recognise that this is a group of people who reflect the true views of the Cambodian people. As far as we can ascertain, the people in the towns - the intellectuals, university students and everyone whose opinion can be ascertained - all support the present Government of Cambodia. That being so we would like the voice of the people reflected in the Australian Press. I am sure that if these people are listened to and if proper publicity is given to their views other members of the community will come to realise that this is aggression in Cambodia and that we, in Australia, must do all we can not only to see that Cambodia remains free but that it is able to assert its right to neutrality.

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