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Wednesday, 27 February 1985
Page: 238

Senator CHANEY —My question is addressed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. In light of the Foreign Minister's statement of 13 February that the United States of America would inform Australia of any move to restrict the flow of intelligence to New Zealand, I ask: Has Australia received advice from the United States of the list of measures which the United States proposes to take as a response to New Zealand's ban on United States ships? Is he aware of the statement made only hours ago by Mr Lange in Los Angeles that the United States has told him that it would be stopping the sharing of intelligence information of a raw military type? Did Mr Lange say that this constitutes an end to the United States-New Zealand defence relationship? What are the implications for Australia?

Senator BUTTON —I did hear something of Mr Lange's statement in the United States. I assume that the suggestion implicit in Senator Chaney's question about the contents of that statement is correct. In answer to the question generally, the Government sees this as primarily a matter between the United States and New Zealand. Irrespective of what might eventuate between the United States and New Zealand there will be no reason for a diminution in the flow to Australia of United States origin intelligence.

It is a long-established principle, as I understand it, in intelligence exchanges between countries that a recipient of intelligence undertakes not to pass that material to any third country without the authorisation of the originator. Australia has always scrupulously observed such undertakings and will continue to do so.

Australia will, whatever the outcome of the contretemps between New Zealand and the United States, maintain active intelligence co-operation with New Zealand, based on materials of Australian origin and reflecting the close relationship between the two countries.

I repeat that our understanding and practice as a government have been that material obtained from a third country is not sent to or exchanged with another country without the consent of the originating country.