Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
French nuclear tests



Download PDFDownload PDF

iseipAiJsirijffleMV ® f P®KBO®K) :

N E W S R E L E A S E

N Q D A T E

10 June 1974

FRENCH NUCLEAR TESTS

The Australian Government deplored the prospect of further French atmospheric nuclear tests in the Pacific this year, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Willesee, said today, commenting on French official announcements

on 8 June»

The reasons for Australia's opposition to the tests had been made clear on many occasions, Senator Willesee s-aid, and they remained as valid as before. The French G-mrornment * s announcement also reflected a continuing

disregard for the interim order made by the International Court of Justice last June, that France should desist from tests which deposited radioactive fallout on Australia.

Senator Willesee said that Australians naturally welcomed any assurance from any government of its intention to limit or end its tests in the atmosphere, and this element of the French announcement was seen by the Australian Government as a move in the right direction. These moves reflected, in part, an appreciation by the new

French Government of the genuine concern °elt by many countries, including Australia, regarding the hazards created by atmospheric testing. Senator Willesee noted, however, that the official announcement fell short of a specific undertaking by France to end all atmospheric tests in the Pacific after this year, so that the possibility of a /

resumption by France of atmospheric testing next year could not be completely ruled out at this stage.

As for France's announced intention to test underground, the Australian Government's view was that, while underground testing may produce less serious hazards than atmospheric testing, Australia was opposed to all nuclear weapons testing by any power and in any environment. This view had been clearly expressed by the Prime Minister in a joint

statement with the New Zealand Prime Minister in January last year.