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A diary of disaster



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A DIARY OF DISASTER

The Opposition Leader, Mr Andrew Peacock, said today the last two weeks had been a record of disaster for the Government and for the Australian people in the field of foreign affairs.

He said the record (see attached) showed that the Prime Minister had been weak and vacillating throughout his overseas trip.

"And he has been weak and vacillating at a time when firmness and strength were required both in the interests of Australia and the interests of the Western Alliance," he said.

"Instead, in the interests of his own position in the ALP and pandering to the Left Wing of the Party, he has let the people of Australia down.

"There must now be very serious doubts about how the US Administration now views Australia and the divided Hawke Labor Government," he said.

Mr Peacock said that he attached a diary of disaster that showed that Mr Hawke had not only backed down under Left Wing pressure, but had embarrassed senior Ministers in his Government as well.

"In addition to becoming a captive of the Left of the Party, he has severely damaged his reputation among other ALP factions and, most importantly, with the Australian people," he said.

"It is to be hoped that the US-Australia relationship will recover from the harm inflicted on it by Mr Hawke. Mr Hawke himself surely will not."

9 FEBRUARY 1985

Inquiries: 0 6 2 - 7 2 6 9 9 4

A DIARY OF DISASTER

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It is d i s c l o s e d t h a t the P r i m e M i n i s t e r , Mr Ha w k e , has b e l a t e d l y w r i t t e n to h i s N e w Z e a l a n d c o u n t e r p a r t , Mr L a n g e , s e e k i n g to i n f l u e n c e h i m . o n the i s s u e of v i s i t s by US s h i p s = ;

J a n 28: At a p r e s s c o n f e r e n c e , Mr H a w k e , r e t r e a t s from the c o n t e n t of the l e t t e r a f t e r l e f t w i n g p r e s s u r e w h i c h h a d b u i l t u p o v e r t h e w e e k e n d . H e d e n i e s p r e s s u r i n g Mr Lange.

F e b 1: T h e N a t i o n a l T i m e s r e v e a l s d e t a i l s of the A u s t r a l i a n G o v e r n m e n t ' s d e c i s i o n to p r o v i d e l o g i s t i c a l s u p p o r t for t h e US to monitor. M X m i s s i l e t e s t s in the region.

Feb 2: Mr H a w k e d e p a r t s for o v e r s e a s , a m i d p r o t e s t s f r o m the l e f t w i n g a n d i n d i v i d u a l s in o t h e r f a c t i o n s of the L a b o r P a r t y a b o u t th e d e c i s i o n a n d th e w a y it w a s m a d e .

Fe b 4 : F o r e i g n A f f a i r s M i n i s t e r , Mr B i l l H a y d e n , an d D e f e n c e M i n i s t e r , Mr K i m B e a z l e y , s t r o n g l y s u p p o r t the C a b i n e t C o m m i t t e e d e c i s i o n on th e M X tests.

Feb 4: Mr H a w k e c o n f e r s w i t h hi s C a u c u s " n u m b e r s m e n " , S e n a t o r s R i c h a r d s o n and Ray, in To k y o . S u b s e q u e n t l y , j o u r n a l i s t s are b r i e f e d in B r u s s e l s t h a t the G o v e r n m e n t w a s r e c o n s i d e r i n g its d e c i s i o n on the

tests, as a r e s u l t of P a r t y p r e s s u r e .

Feb 5: T h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r t e l e p h o n e s F o r e i g n M i n i s t e r H a y d e n at 5 . 2 0 a m a n d t e l l s hi m t h a t it w o u l d be in the n a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t for h i m (Hayden) to m a k e no f u r t h e r s t a t e m e n t s on the issue.

Feb 6: Mr H a w k e a r r i v e s in W a s h i n g t o n .

Fe b 7 : T h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r m e e t s w i t h US S e c r e t a r y of State, Mr G e o r g e S h ultz, a n d Mr S h u l t z s a y s th e M X m i s s i l e t e s t s w i l l go ahead, but t h a t t h e US d o e s no t r e q u i r e A u s t r a l i a n l o g i s t i c a l s u p p o r t for the m o n i t o r i n g of

the tests.

F e b 7: L a t e r the same day, a j o i n t c o m m u n i q u e is i s s u e d by Mr H a w k e a n d Mr Shultz. P a r a g r a p h 2 of the c o m m u n i q u e e n d o r s e s the US S t r a t e g i c M o d e r n i s a t i o n P r o g r a m , i n c l u d i n g the MX m i s s i l e p r o g r a m .

Fe b 7: S u b s e q u e n t l y , the A u s t r a l i a n F o r e i g n M i n i s t e r ,

Mr H a y d e n r is t o l d by the P r i m e M i n i s t e r to i s s u e a s t a t e m e n t c l a r i f y i n g the m e a n i n g of P a r a g r a p h 2.

Mr H a y d e n m a k e s no p e r s o n a l c o m m e n t on the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the P a r a g r a p h . J o u r n a l i s t s w i t h Mr H a w k e in W a s h i n g t o n are n o t b r i e f e d on the c l a r i f i c a t i o n .

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Feb 8: Senior members of the Parliamentary Labor Party, meeting as the Kirribilli Committee, meet to discuss decision making processes in the Party and Government, including the MX missile test decision.