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Thursday, 9 December 1976

Mr Scholes asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(   1 ) Did the Government have any information, prior to the overthrow of parliamentary rule in Thailand, that a coup was likely.

(2)   If so, did the information implicate United States agencies in the organisation of the coup.

(3)   Ishis Department required to report on the likelihood of such developments.

(4)   Did the Government receive any information on a proposed overthrow of the elected Government from the United States Government or its agents.

Mr Peacock - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

(   1 ) In the period leading up to the overthrow of Parliamentary rule in Thailand the Government received a number of reports on political developments in Thailand which included assessments on the likelihood of military intervention in the political processes.

(2)   No.

(3)   Yes.

(4)   In the months preceding the overthrow of parliamentary democracy in Thailand, the Australian Government exchanged information on political developments in Thailand including the possibility of military intervention in the political processes, with friendly countries including the United States. Such exchanges are a normal part of diplomatic activity and are of particular value in tunes of rapid political change such as those seen recently in Thailand.

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