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Wednesday, 13 September 1972
Page: 802

Senator CARRICK asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Has the Government any information as to whether Lin Piao, former Deputy Premier of the People's Republic of China, is alive or dead.

(2)   If it is believed that he is dead, is there any information as to the nature of and reasons for his death.

(3)   Would it not be a matter for proper inquiry and debate at the United Nations level, that the Deputy Premier of numerically the largest nation on earth can disappear without any explanation being offered for his disappearance.

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) (Minister for Works) The Minister for Foreign Affairs has furnished the following reply:

(1)   and (2)In the absence of any authoritative statement from the Government of the People's Republic of China, it is not possible to say with certainty whether Lin Piao is dead or how he might have died. There is little doubt, however, that Lin Piao has ceased to play any part in Chinese political life. Beyond this there appears to be no reliable information available.

(3)   While the fate of Lin Piao must be a matter of concern to all men, it is likely that if the matter were raised for enquiry or debate in the United Nations, article 2 (7) would be raised as a bar.

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