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ANDREW PEACOC& Leader of the Opposition


3XY BROADCAST 7 APRTT. 1985 (Embargo; 9.QQ pm 7.4.85)

The greatest task confronting us is the avoidance of nuclear war not only for our own sake, but for the sake of the generations to come.

There is a profound community concern about nuclear war.

It has been reflected in the Palm Sunday peace marches and the emergence of the Nuclear Disarmament Party.

The complexity of the subject of nuclear weapons, deterrence and disaramament, means however that we must be careful not to allow fear, or specious philosophy, to dominate the debate.

One of the developments that concerns me is the growth of neutralism and anti-American feeling in Australia. This has called into question our involvement with the maintenance of deterrence, and our relationship with the United States.

For what is proposed by many well-intentioned people not only challenges our traditional role in the world,

-- --- but~ΐ ~ betreve- rf— implemented- would undermine the basic source of global peace and stability.

It is important to emphasise at the outset that our involvement with the Western Alliance and nuclear deterrence is not just about security.

We are also defending a way of life and a set of values and beliefs.

The Western Alliance is not just a grouping of powers, protecting its political and economic interests in the world,

- it is also the embodiment of id e a s . Peace, freedom

and justice are only to be found where people are prepared to defend them.

No-one denies the nuclear peril and yet we have not allowed those fears to get the better of us.

Not only is this morally sound, it is politically sound.

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History offers no comfort to those who would argue for appeasement and weakness in the face of a strong and determined opponent.

The fact is that nuclear weapons are problems requiring practical solutions. But disarmament is only one part of the answer. The other is the continuing necessity of an effective deterrence policy. Deterrence and disarmament are complimmentary concepts.

I want to see nuclear disarmament. I want to see conventional disarmament as well. But those reductions must be mutual, they must be balanced and they must be verifiable.

The most menacing thing to Western security is nuclear weakness. Any scheme for dealing with the nuclear balance that would disarm even in part, one side only, or upset the balance between the two sides, would leave us more

threatened, not less.

A nuclear war, wherever it occurred, would have catastrophic consequences for Australia. Not least of these could be the likelihood of a so-called nuclear winter.

We cannot opt out of the world.

We would be fooling ourselves and our children if we thought that nuclear free zones or unilateral disarmament measures would contribute to reducing the risk of nuclear war.

I have to tell you it would make war more likely.

It is thus vital that we take practical measures to preserve peace through the maintenance of deterrence and by realistic disarmament initiatives.

---- r am committed to- pur-suing- every responsible- path leading to reduced world tension and disarmament.

These are objectives which the Liberal Party consistently purused in Government.

It was the previous Liberal Government which achieved Australian representation ort the prestigious U.N. Committee of Disarmament, participated so prominently at the U.N. Special Sessions on Disarmament, and developed, despite Labor criticism, the most stringent safeguard system in the world.

In pursuing a more stable world, however, the Liberal Party remains consistent in its belief that a strong, deterrent is also essential.