Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 27 April 1961

Mr L R Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) son asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice -

1.   Have reports of a large-scale sea and air invasion of Cuba been confirmed?

2.   If so, is he able to say where and by whom the anti-Castro forces were trained and from where the attack was launched?

3.   ls he also able to say what was the country of origin of the ships, landing barges, gunboats, aircraft and weapons used by invaders?

Mr Menzies - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   The recent landings in Cuba were on a somewhat larger scale than the guerrilla warfare that has been going on for some time in parts of Cuba against Dr. Castro's Government. It appears, however, that they were confined to a few hundred men, most of whom have been killed or captured by government forces.

2.   No. Various allegations were made in the General Assembly of the United Nations, but no conclusion was reached by that body.

3.   No: it is possible to buy armaments freely in several parts of the world.

Mr Haylen n asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice" -

1.   In view of the delicate and alarming situation in Cuba, will he, as soon as possible, make a statement' to the House, based on the most recent and authoritative reports, on the background of the outbreak of hostilities in that country?

2.   Can he say if this outbreak is limited to the Cubans or if it is being fomented from outside?

3.   Will he deal in particular with the published allegations that the invasion of Cuba is a foreignbased attack with head-quarters in Florida and Guatemala?

4.   Is he able to say if the United States is involved in this matter or how far the outbreak is a genuine counter-revolutionary move against Dr. Castro?

5.   Is there any danger of the present situation in Cuba becoming another Laos?

Mr Menzies - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by a statement from me at the present time. The General Assembly of the United Nations has had a full debate on the matter and the record is available to honorable members in the Parliamentary Library. 2 and 3. The conclusions reached by the Government on the allegations made by the representatives of Dr. Castro and by his Communist friends are set out in the statement by the Australian delegate, Mr. J. Plimsoll, in the General Assembly on 20th April, 1961.

4.   As Mr. Plimsoll pointed out, the statements by President Kennedy and by the United States representative in New York, Mr. Adlai Stevenson, made it clear that it was not the intention of the United States to wage an aggressive war against Cuba.

5.   There is no evidence to support this view. The situations in Cuba and Laos are distinguishable in various respects.

Suggest corrections