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Thursday, 25 March 1965

Senator SCOTT (Western Australia) . - I congratulate the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Hasluck) on the statement prepared by him and read out in this chamber on Tuesday night by Senator Gorton (Minister for Works). The statement covers a wide variety of subjects in particular spheres of interest in the world today. As Senator McKenna, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, has said, it is quite evident to all the nations of the world, and particularly to us in Australia, that the sphere of influence is now shifting from Europe, Russia and England to the South Pacific area and South East Asia. As evidence of this change there is, first of all. the recent announcement that the United States of America has decided to shift a section of its fleet, including one of its strongest and most modern aircraft carriers, to the Pacific area.

We now know that Great Britain is fortifying her bases east of the Suez. There is a reason for this action and it is not very hard to find, lt will be readily agreed - and I think the Minister for External Affairs is quite right in his assessment - that Russia and America, both possessing the atomic bomb for 20 years, have been able to refrain from becoming engaged in a major war. However, in the development of atomic armaments, mainland China has recently exploded an atomic bomb. Senator McKenna gave us the date.

Senator McKenna - On 16th October.

Senator SCOTT - On 16th October last.

Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2.15 p.m.

Senator SCOTT - I ask for leave to continue my remarks at a later stage.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.

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