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Thursday, 28 September 1972
Page: 2097

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

1.   The people of Australia are vitally concerned about the welfare of the people of Bangladesh. Tens of millions of people in this afflicted war-torn country will starve to death within the next few months unless massive relief operations are immediately and urgently undertaken. The involvement of Australians is evidenced by their willingness to contribute substantial funds to voluntary agencies, working for relief and rehabilitation in Bangladesh.

2.   The problems of hunger, privation, malnutrition, the threat of epidemics and lack of shelter are faced by millions of displaced persons within the country. The worst cyclone in the history of mankind was followed by the wrecking of roads and bridges, the destruction of crops and fishing fleets, and the killing of key personnel, in the recent war. The reconstruction of the shattered economy of Bangladesh requires millions of tons of food, hundreds of thousands of the most primitive dwellings, restoring of communications and rehabilitation of agriculture and industry.

3.   Your petitioners therefore most humbly' pray that in tackling these great human problems in Bangladesh, by far the greatest this century, the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled, will request that a special meeting of Cabinet be called to provide$10m for relief purposes in Bangladesh, and a further $100m over three years to help the reconstruction of its economy.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray. by Mr Foster.

Petition received.

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