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Wednesday, 15 September 1971
Page: 1315


Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - In directing a question to the Minister for Defence, I refer to the joint United States-Australia defence space research facility at Pine Gap. Is the Minister aware of the assertion that the establishment of foreign bases on Australian soil is a piece of national treachery? Is there any justification for such a claim? Secondly, is this view representative of the thinking of any group of members of this Parliament?


Mr FAIRBAIRN (FARRER, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Defence) - During the debate last night, I did hear the honourable member for Wills say that he felt that the establishment of the base at Pine Gap was a piece of national treachery. I was amazed; or, rather, I should say that I would have been amazed if I had heard anyone but the honourable member for Wills make this assertion. I believe that treachery is perfidy or betrayal. If anyone has tried to betray anything at Pine Gap, it is the people who have tried to breach security and to betray to our enemies or to our possible enemies the secrets of the Pine Gap installation which are vital for national defence.

I believe that if national treachery of any sort has been committed, it has not been committed by those on this side of the House. It has been committed by those in the Press and some in the Opposition who have sought to uncover secrets which are vital to the defence of this country.







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