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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 2672

Mr NICHOLLS (BONYTHON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I preface my question to the Prime Minister by stating that I am inter.ested in a request by a naturalised Australian Chinese constituent whose aged parents, who are also naturalised and live in Sydney, are not enjoying the best of health. I shall be pleased to make the details available to the Prime Minister. I ask: Will the honourable gentleman in his forthcoming discussions with the Premier of the People's Republic of China request that sympathetic consideration be given by his Government to the granting of exit visas to Chinese citizens who desire to be reunited with their families in Australia?

Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Prime Minister) - I shall be very happy to discuss this matter and seek the opportunity to discuss it on my return visit to China next week. One of the great advantages of having diplomatic relations with China is that the Australian Government can now discuss such matters with the Government of China. There have been, for more than a century, Australians of Chinese ancestry. They are now able to be in touch with their relatives in China much more readily. I hope that the situation can be achieved where Australians who have relatives in other countries, whatever those countries may be, are able to have them visit or come to live with them. The issue of visas in the case of China and every other country is a matter for the governments of those countries. I thank the honourable gentleman for the suggestion.

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