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ANDREW P E A C O C K ^ Leader of the Opposition ' i



A three-columned structure has had one column knocked from under it. Any bilateral relationship between the US and Australia will be weaker in security terms for the absence of New Zealand. Worse still with the operational aspects finished

the legal and moral standing of the Treaty's Security guarantees are opened to question. The SEATO Treaty is still on the books but what value is it to anyone now? None I

We have let slip a high degree of security and certainty for something much less after the MX fiasco and ANZUS - What are we left with? A weakened Prime Minister, a Foreign Policy in disarry , a sceptical United States, an embolded anti-American Left Wing in the ALP and an ANZUS Treaty in limbo.

We should be completely clear about the value of the Treaty, and what we have potentially lost. As the Labor Governments own review of the ANZUS Treaty said in 1983 "it remains relevant and vitally important to the shared security concern, and strategic interests of the three "partner Governments" and as the Minister for Defence said last week it is the "ultimate guarantee".

The fact is though that Mr Hawke has failed to put the national interest beyond the reach of party factions. Even now the rhetoric does not match the substance. The Australian people are entitled to ask why the Prime Minister has refused to actively involve himself in the ANZUS dispute. They are entitled to ask what actions he proposes taking to breathe life back into that Treaty. The Prime Minister has a duty to work

immediately towards the restoration of ANZUS. His belated meeting with the New Zealand Prime Minister next month, pressed on him by Mr Lange, will provide him with one such opportunity. The Prime Minister must start to display leadership and

confront the Labor Party factions. If he allows the left wing of his Party any more victories such as over the MX and ANZUS he will further jeopardise Australia's defence relationship with the United States.

The ANZUS treaty has been an anchor for our security, that anchor has now been drawn up and we have been left to float on turbulent waters. Moreover we have a weak Captain and a mutinous crew. Mr Hawke must share responsibility for the

demise of ANZUS. He cannot run away from the fact that he fiddled as ANZUS burned.