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Thursday, 31 August 1972
Page: 584

Senator SIM (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Was Australia one of the first nations to recognise the state of Bangladesh? Was the application by Bangladesh, a newly independent country, to join the United Nations organisation vetoed by the People's Republic of China, a nation which the Australian Labor Party is anxious to recognise unconditionally? Is the Minister for Foreign Affairs aware of any representations or protests from the Australian Labor Party against the action of the People's Republic of China?

Senator WRIGHT - All true Australians are very proud that this Government, through its Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Nigel Bowen, was one of the first to recognise the independence of Bangladesh. In the course of his speech on 31st January the Minister for Foreign Affairs made it clear that Australia hoped that in due time Bangladesh would assume the rights and obligations of membership of the United Nations. For reasons which I should think would be fairly clear to most students of this situation, the People's Republic of China did enter its first veto on the question whether Bangladesh should be admitted to membership of the United Nations. Australia has supported the application by Bangladesh for admission to the agencies of the United Nations including the International Monetary Fund, the Internationa] Labour Organisation and the World Health Organisation. Of course, Australia is not yet a member of the Security Council, though we hope that later this year it will be, but this country will use all its efforts to influence the United Nations to accept Bangladesh's application.

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