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Wednesday, 24 March 1999
Page: 4348

Mr Latham asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 17 February 1999:

(1) What were the texts of the letters that Prime Minister Menzies wrote in October 1961, February 1963 and October 1963 to Prime Minister Salazar about Portuguese Timor.

(2) What were the dates and texts of Dr Salazar's replies.

(3) Has his attention been drawn to the submission to the Menzies Cabinet on 21 February 1963 in which his predecessor, Sir Garfield Barwick, revealed that the USA had prompted the letters; if so, (a) how and when were the letters brought to the attention of the USA and (b) what responses were made by the US.

Mr Downer (Foreign Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

As the correspondence sought by the Honourable Member is more than 30 years old, it should be available on request from the National Archives of Australia.