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Mataungan association



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DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL TERRITORIES

MATAUNGAN·· ASSOCIATION .

(Statement by the Minister for External Territories, the Hon. C.E. Barnes, M.P.)

_ I am surprised at press reports which indicate that Mr Whitlam has given his support to the Mataun, an Association against the lawfully elected Council of the Gazelle Peninsula.

The Mataungan Association has violated nearly all the democratic processes in pursuing its aims. It did not contest the last Council elactiohs... It broke off ; . negotiations with Gazelle Councillors wBich might have led

to a settlement of disputes and resorted to violence in pursuit of its aims.

_ ' The Minister commented that the present

differences in the Gazelle Peninsula are essentially between different elements of the Tolai people. The Government looks to the ^ s o l u t i o n of these by negotiation among the people themselves leading to a further test of local opinion through genuinely democratic procedures.

CANBERRA. A.C.T.

PORT MORESBY. T.P.N.G.

9 January, 1970.