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UN official exposes Labors' republican argument



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NEWS RELEASE

JOHN HOWARD, M.P. MEMBER FOR BENNELONG SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, EMPLOYMENT & TRAINING

U.N. OFFICIAL EXPOSES LABORS' REPUBLICAN ARGUMENT.

The comments yesterday by Mr. Rafeeuddin Ahmed, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, that whether or not Australia became a republic was irrelevant to the development by Australia of close economic and other ties in the Asia Pacific region, have discredited one of the major arguments advanced by senior Government Ministers in favour of Australia becoming a republic.

Mr. Ahmed, a native of Bangladesh, was addressing the Rotary International Convention in Melbourne.

Senior Government figures have frequently claimed that Australia could never be accepted as a full regional participant until it becomes a republic. The Treasurer, Mr. Dawkins, has even made the ludicrous claim that changing the Australian flag would boost

trade.

Such claims have always been fallacious. Equally they have been both demeaning and insulting to the nations of our region.

The truth has always been that Australia's constitutional arrangements are a matter for this country and this country alone. Mr. Ahmed's comments have driven home the immaturity of one of the Governments' principle republican arguments.

Canberra 25th May 1993

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