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Thursday, 10 March 1977

Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the Prime Minister reiterated to President Carter the views on the Indian Ocean which he expressed to President Ford, in particular his view that it was unreal to believe that the Indian Ocean could be a neutral zone? Does he now agree with the view of the President, expressed at his news conference a few hours ago, that the Indian Ocean should be transformed into a zone of peace free from nuclear weapons? Does he support the President's suggestion to the Soviet Union that the super- powers should agree to demilitarising the Indian Ocean? Will the Government now reconsider its attitude towards the proposed zone of peace, freedom and neutrality which has been proposed and supported by the littoral countries of the South East Asian and Indian Ocean areas, by the United Nations and at the last Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, but not by his Government?

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