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Australia was prepared to take refugees from the Falklands during 1982 conflict

Monday, January 2nd 2012 - 06:00 UTC
Full article 14 comments
Former Australian PM Fraser considered several options Former Australian PM Fraser considered several options

Australia’s Malcolm Fraser Government considered taking British refugees from the Falkland Islands at the height of the South Atlantic conflict in 1982, reports the Sydney press based on the release of National Archives.

While the Government was initially lukewarm to banning Australian alumina exports to Argentina, it appeared more receptive to taking Falkland Islanders with ties to Australia.

In early April of 1982, previously secret Cabinet papers released by the National Archives reveal the Fraser Government considered a range of initiatives in support of Britain in its short war with Argentina.

While incorrectly noting that war was likely to be averted through diplomatic talks, the Government was given a series of proposals to act upon if war came.

“Consider the possibility of offering to resettle a number of Falkland Islanders who might wish to come to Australia and who have relatives here,” a briefing paper to the Cabinet suggested.

At this meeting on April 6 the Cabinet considered but did not act on a plan for a trade embargo on Argentina or a ban on military sales.

The next day, however, a letter from then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was received which urged economic and financial measures against her enemy.

Reconsidering its stance, the Government was told an embargo could hurt 41 million dollars in alumina sales which would affect a processing plant in Kwinana. Ultimately, the Australian Government decided to withdraw.

Top Comments

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  • Alexx

    Long Live Donald Eastman

    Long Live Scotland -- Long Live Republic

    Jan 02nd, 2012 - 09:01 am 0
  • GeoffWard2

    This is NOT the UK racking up the political pressure on Argentina and actively raising tensions over the Falklands.

    The revelations are simply the release of the 30 year documents into the public domain. This is the law in the UK.

    The 1982 war was exactly 30 years ago so previously unseen documents from that year find their way to the media exactly now, at the start of the year 2012.

    Jan 02nd, 2012 - 09:59 am 0
  • lsolde

    Yes, Alexx. Long live Scotland. And,
    England & Wales & lreland & France & Scandinavia & ltaly & Greece & lndia & Russia etc etc etc & Everyone else in the world.
    What are you trying to say, my good fellow?

    Jan 02nd, 2012 - 10:10 am 0
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