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SEATO Day- September 8 1959



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FOR THE PRESS

N ot f o r p u b l i c a t i o n o r b r o a d c a s tin g

b e f o r e 0001 a .m ., 8 th S eptem ber.

R e le a se d o n ly i n C a n b erra .

DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

CANBERRA

PR 118 ·

7 th Septem ber igg9

S .E .A .T .O . DAI - SEPTEMBER 8. 1959

S tatem en t by th e A ctin g M in is te r f o r E x te r n a l

' · A f f a ir s

The A c tin g M in is te r f o r E x te rn a l A f f a i r s , S i r G a r f ie ld B arw ick,

commented t h a t th e S o u th E a s t A sia T re a ty O rg a n is a tio n was to d a y c e l e b r a t i n g

i t s f i f t h a n n iv e r s a r y u n d e r th e shadow o f renew ed Communist t h r e a t s t o A sia .

The e v id e n c e now b e in g p r e s e n te d t o th e w o rld o f Communist a c t i v i t y i n T ib e t,

L aos and on th e n o r th e r n f r o n t i e r s o f I n d ia c l e a r l y d e m o n stra te d th e n eed

f o r c o n tin u in g v ig i la n c e and p re p a re d n e s s on th e p a r t of th e f r e e w o rld

c o u n t r i e s . I t u n d e r lin e d once a g a in th e im p o rtan ce o f th e i n i t i a t i v e ta k e n

a t M anila i n 1954 b y th e e ig h t SEATO p a r t n e r s t o p ro v id e a f o c a l p o in t f o r

su ch v ig i la n c e and p re p a re d n e s s i n S o u th -E a s t A sia .

S i r G a r f ie ld s a id t h a t th e SEATO p a r t n e r s had e s t a b l i s h e d a sy stem

of in t im a te c o n s u l t a t i o n w hich had e n a b le d them to m a in ta in a c o n s ta n t w atch

on Communist a c t i v i t i e s in th e T re a ty A rea, to c o n c e rt t h e i r e f f o r t s i n

ex p o sin g Communist s u b v e rs io n , and g e n e r a lly to c o - o r d in a te t h e i r p o l i c i e s

of c o u n te r a c t i o n . SEATO c o u n t r i e s w ere n a t u r a l l y s tu d y in g th e c u r r e n t

s i t u a t i o n i n Laos w ith th e c l o s e s t a t t e n t i o n .

I t was w e ll known t h a t one of th e p u rp o s e s o f SEATO was t o

b u il d up th e d e fe n c e p re p a re d n e s s of i t s members. However, c o - o p e r a tio n i n

th e m i l i t a r y f i e l d rem ained s o l e l y d e f e n s iv e . The fu n d a m e n ta l aim of a l l

i t s members was t o s e e t h e i r in d i v id u a l and c o l l e c t i v e r i g h t s and r e s p o n s ib i­

l i t i e s u n d er th e U n ite d N a tio n s C h a rte r m a in ta in e d i n th e i n t e r e s t s of

i n t e r n a t i o n a l peace and s e c u r i t y .

Through th e c o n s u l t a t i v e m ach in ery e s t a b l i s h e d by SEATO th e e i g h t

member n a t io n s had d e v e lo p e d , in th e s h o r t span of f i v e y e a r s , a h ig h d e g re e

o f c o - o p e r a tio n and had a c q u ir e d a d e e p e r know ledge and a p p r e c i a t i o n of each

o th e rs p ro b lem s. · T h e ir r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s met to g e th e r f r e q u e n t ly and th e

/ v a r i e d n a tu re

v a r ie d n a tu r e of th e o r g a n i s a t i o n 's a c t i v i t i e s had b ro u g h t t h e i r ptepple

i n t o i n c r e a s in g ly f r e q u e n t and m utual b e n e f i c i a l c o n ta c t. New form s of

c o - o p e r a tio n w ere b e in g d ev elo p ed on th e econom ic and s o c i a l s id e . The

member c o u n t r i e s had, f o r exam ple, em barked on a r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t on th e

c o n t r o l and e r a d i c a t i o n of c h o le r a i n A s ia , and i n Bangkok to d a y th e SEATO

G rad u ate S chool of E n g in e e rin g was b e in g f o rm a lly opened.

S i r G a r f ie l d s a id th a t SEATO was t o be c o n g r a tu la te d on t h i s

n o te w o rth y c o n t r i b u t i o n to th e developm ent o f e n g in e e rin g s k i l l s i n S outh­

E a s t A s ia . To mark th e o c c a sio n he s a i d he had s e n t th e f o llo w in g m essage

to th e S e c r e ta r y - G e n e r a l of SEATO, H is E x c e lle n c y N ai P o te S a r a s i n : -

"As SEATO c e l e b r a t e s i t s f i f t h a n n iv e r s a r y to d a y

w ith th e o p en in g o f th e SEATO G rad u ate S chool of E n g in e e rin g

i n Bangkok I w ould l i k e to convey t o you, on b e h a lf o f th e

A u s t r a li a n Government, my b e s t w ish e s f o r b o th th e su c c e ss

o f th e S chool and f o r th e c o n tin u e d developm ent and s tr e n g t h

o f th e o r g a n i s a t i o n ."