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Thursday, 1 May 1980
Page: 2021

Senator MESSNER (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs: Has his attention been drawn to a report in this morning 's Age that $ 1 .7 billion in cheap credit to the poorest Asian nations has been threatened by a funding crisis in the Asian Development Bank? Is it a fact that this crisis is due to the Congress of the United States of America having failed to sanction a $445 m contribution to the fund which has effectively frozen a further $1 billion previously pledged to the fund by other countries? Since Australia is a contributor to the Asian Development Bank, what action will the Australian Government be taking to influence the United States to resume its normal level of contribution?

Senator CARRICK -I have not seen the article in this morning's Age. I will refresh myself on that matter by studying the article. I understand that there has been some difficulty in the United States Congress on the matter but I do not know the specific point that this matter has reached. I will ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs to study Senator Messner 's question as it is an important one. The matter of aid to developing Asian nations is of vital interest to the world and specifically to Australia so I will study the article and seek information and comment on it.

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