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Friday, 30 October 1964

Senator PALTRIDGE - On 22nd Octo- ber Senator Cohen asked me a question without notice as to whether the Government, since the explosion by mainland China of a nuclear device last week, had made any approach to the Chinese Government urging it to sign the Nuclear Test Ban

Treaty. In view of the fact Australia had no diplomatic relations with China, Senator Cohen asked through what channel of communication the Government had made its views known, if in fact it did so. I am now in a position to state that the Government has not made any approach to the Government of Communist China since the explosion of an atomic bomb by the Communist Chinese, urging that Government to sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Prior to the explosion, the Government did, on more than one occasion, express its belief that all countries should sign and abide by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and, as early as August 1963, the Minister for External Affairs, in a parliamentary statement dealing with Australia's ratification of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty noted that China had rejected the Treaty and expressed the hope that the Chinese Communist leaders would reconsider their position. More recently, after the Chinese exploded their bomb, the Minister for External Affairs, in a public statement on 17th October 1964, again said that, in spite of disappointment, Australia would continue to work for the acceptance of the Test Ban Treaty by all countries, including Communist China.

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