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Thursday, 15 November 1973
Page: 3476

Mr Peacock asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Were Australian diplomats recently stopped by armed soldiers or police at road blocks in Tanzania.

(2)   If so, were the diplomats harassed without reason and their diplomatic status ignored by the authorities involved.

(3)   Was one of the diplomats threatened with an automatic weapon.

(4)   Has a protest been made to the Tanzanian authorities over this incident.

(5)   If so, what form did the protest take, and when was it made.

(6)   What assurances has the Australian Government received that Australian officials in Tanzania will not in future be subjected to such treatment.

Mr Whitlam - The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   The officers concerned were ordered to open their cars to be searched, but in one of the two cases when it was pointed out to the police that an official protest could result, the requirement was dropped.

(3)   The police officers concerned were armed with automatic weapons which were cocked.

(4)   Yes.

(5)   A formal protest note was handed to the Foreign Ministry by the Australian High Commissioner on 5 October 1973.

(6)   No formal reply has yet been received to the High Commissioner's Note.

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