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Wednesday, 15 September 1971
Page: 1393


Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   From whom, for what period and at what cost has Australia hired a Hercules aircraft during the civil war in East Pakistan.

(2)   Can he say what is the (a) nature and (b) value of relief measures which other governments have taken in the course of the war.


Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The Australian Government has not hired any Hercules aircraft to provide aid to East Pakistan. One such aircraft was ' hired to assist distribution of aid to refugees who came to India from East Pakistan, lt was hired from Pacific Western Airlines Ltd of Vancouver initially to make fifteen flights from Singapore to Katmandu from 14th June to 7th July to carry equipment for an aid development project in Nepal. Following a request received from the Indian Government on 10th June for assistance in airfreighting supplies direct to refugees in Assam and Tripura, an additional contract was concluded for the same aircraft to ferry to Agartala some of the relief supplies already consigned to Calcutta. This flight was made on 1 7th June at a cost of SA4,200.

The Government has arranged 7 RAAF Hercules flights from Australia (5 to Agartala and 2 to Calcutta) at weekly intervals from 17th June. Excluding their cargo, the estimated cost of these flights is $100,000. A further flight has been offered to the Indian authorities.

Acting on behalf of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Government hired a Hercules aircraft from Pacific Western Airlines Ltd of Vancouver to make 3 flights to India in June. The costs of the aircraft and the loads of relief supplies were borne by UNICEF.

(2)   Since the appeals for international assistance for Pakistani refugees in India and for East Pakistan were issued by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 19th May and 16th June respectively, the following pledges have been announced by governments other than Australia:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 







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