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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 5378


Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/06/1980

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 5378

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The Government has considered in detail the question of
compensation for firms, organisations and individuals affected
by our actions taken against the Soviet Union and Iran. Our
actions in these cases have been designed to express Australia's
strong condemnation of the invasion of Afghanistan and of the
seizure and continued holding of the US hostages. The specific
range of measures applied in each of these distinct cases
has been designed to have the maximum impact within the limits
of Australia's capabilities and our desire to act in concert
with our allies.
During the months since action has been taken against the
Soviet Union and more recently Iran, Government statements have
referred to the fact that compensation claims from affected
firms, orqanisations and individuals would be considered
symrpathetically. We have now decided upon the principles which
will underly consideration of claims and the criteria on which
examination will be undertaken.
The essential principles involved which apply to the present
case are those which have been applied in consideration of ex
gratia payments by the Government over the last decade or so:-
paymentls should relate to the necessary financial effects
of Government policy or actions to the extent that effects
are outside the control of individuals;
Sthe policy or-. actions of the Government should either have
adversely affected the reasonable, well-founded expectations
of persons and/ or have had disproportionate effects on
diff-2: et sections of the community; and
offers payment should be restricted to financial
con. s ces which are the direct result of Go: ernment
colit.-or actions.
Firms, c:.'. isa tions or individuals-which consider they have a
justifie: claim should make that claim direct to the Secretary,
Depart of Finance, Canberra. Claims should contain full
documentation and evidence relating to the claim, and must be
lodged wvithin six months from today. Where it is inappropriate
to provide" final claims within that time, interim claims are
required to be lodged. In addition, claims will only be

consi: d er for amounts in excess of $ 1,000, except where loss
to individual is demonstrated, and should refer only to
total unrecouped expenditure, not including overheads, nor
orofits foregone or reduced profits. Payments in respect of
effect on trade will be made only where clai. mants have made
ever. ffor to find alternative markets.
In t-case of trade with Iran, claims will be considered only
i : ect of losses incurred in the period to 29 April 1981
re firm contracts w.. ere held on or before 29 April 1930,
on which the Minister for Foreign Affairs announced
th. t a full embargo on trade in items other than food and
e. cir-e would be applied if there was no substantial progress
in th-hostage situation by 17 May. He also stated on 29 April
that no new contracts in such items should be entered into from
the ti-. e of his statement.
Further details regarding the basis on which compensation will
be granted and the information to be supplied can be obtained.
from the Department of Finance. A number of individuals and
firms have already foreshadowed claims and these will be
considered by the Government. These claimants will be informed
if further and more detailed information is needed.
The various actions which we have taken in respect of the
Soviet Union and Iran have been carefully selected to constitute
a measured response directed to specific objections. Where
those actions, taken for foreign policy reasons, have directly
resulted in financial loss to particular individuals or firms,
we propose to consider sympathetically claims for compensation
from such people. We do not wish to see particular individuals
and firms within the Australian community suffer a disproportionate
burden resulting from actions which the Government believes are
in the interests of all Australians. 000---

Transcript 5378