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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 396

Dr Klugman asked the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 19 February 1980:

(1)   Will he provide (a) all members of the Australian Olympic Committee, (b) all would-be Australian Olympic competitors and (c) all Australians travelling to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics with a copy of the report on human rights in the Soviet Union, prepared by a sub-committee of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence chaired by Senator Wheeldon.

(2)   If so, will he emphasise that this report was a report, with minority reservations, of an all-party committee of the Parliament.

Mr Malcolm Fraser - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The report is a significant and valuable contribution to the continuing public discussion about abuses of human rights in the Soviet Union and in accordance with the honourable member's request, I have sent copies of the report to members of the Executive of the Australian Olympic Federation and to the heads of national Olympic sporting bodies.

The Government considers it would not be appropriate to distribute the report to all Australians travelling to the Soviet Union. While recommending that the report be read by anyone interested in human rights or in the policies of the Government of the Soviet Union, the Government would warn Australians visiting the Soviet Union against taking copies of the report with them. On the basis of their past record, the Soviet security authorities might be expected to create difficulties for anyone found in possession of the report.

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