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Friday, 19 October 1984
Page: 2078

Senator GARETH EVANS —Further to my response to Senator Mason on 17 October to about a Central Intelligence Agency manual relating to Nicaragua, I am advised that there have now been reports which indicate that such a document was produced by the CIA. According to these reports the Chairman of the United States House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, Congressman Edward Boland, has released a letter he wrote to a fellow Democratic congressman in which he confirmed that the manual in question was prepared by the CIA in 1983 and that his committee is currently investigating the reasons for the document's production and distribution. A White House spokesman has issued a statement that the Administration has not advocated or condoned political assassination or any other attacks on civilians, nor will it. Reportedly, this statement divulges that President Reagan has ordered an investigation.

The Australian Government's position remains as I stated it two days ago, namely, that Nicaragua and other countries in Central America should be allowed to determine their own affairs as sovereign, independent nations free from outside interference. This position has been stated on a number of occasions and has been made known to the United States Government. We would consider the advocacy of political violence from any quarter as totally unacceptable and in this regard welcome the reported statement from the White House spokesman.