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Tuesday, 2 December 1986
Page: 3131

Senator DURACK —Mr Deputy President, I claim to have been misrepresented by the Minister for Resources and Energy (Senator Gareth Evans) during his speech.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Please proceed.

Senator DURACK —Senator Evans claimed that the Opposition wanted to see the stationing of nuclear weapons in Australia. He claimed that that was a view that we held. I claim that that is a misrepresentation of my remarks because, in speaking on behalf of the Opposition in this debate yesterday, I made it quite clear that our concern about the prohibition of stationing of nuclear weapons, which is required by the Treaty and by this legislation, is a matter of concern to the Opposition in the event of an emergency occurring or Australia being at peril or at war, and that in those circumstances we would be calling upon our ally, the United States of America, to assist us. That is the very foundation of the ANZUS alliance. If war occurred we might want American aircraft and warships to be deployed out of Australian ports and airfields. Those ships and aircraft may well carry nuclear weapons that may be vital for the defence of Australia. It was that point and that point alone that I wanted to make when I said that we were concerned about the effect of this Treaty which would prevent that happening in time of war. I specifically drew the distinction between the operation of the alliance in time of war and in time of peace. We acknowledge that this Treaty does not prevent normal visits but in time of war it may well render the assistance we would be calling upon of no value to us.

Question put:

That the Bill be now read a second time.