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Mr Barnard's Negotiations on the North-West Cape Communications Station



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PRESS STATEMENT BY DR. THE HON. A.J. FORBES, M.P., LIBERAL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY SPOKESMAN ON DEFENCE s FRIDAY 11 JANUARY 197^-

Mr. Barnard’s Negotiations on the North-West Cape Communications Station. ■

Mr. Barnard’s discussions in the United States have ' clearly had a salutory effect on his attitude to the United States alliance. He has conceded the vital importance to Australia of the alliance.

Mr. Barnard and the United States’ Secretary of Defence have stated that the North-Vest Cape Station is a key element in a complex system of communications supporting the

global balance. They have also notedj in relation to the Station, the importance of effective and reliable deterrence

for the promotion of stable relations among the major powers, the maintenance of international security and the security of the United States and its allies, including Australia. This is a clear recognition of the importance of the North-West Cape Station with respect to Australia's security, the security of the region., and: the maintenance of global stability.

Mr. Barnard obviously now recognises that Australia stands to gain a great deal from a sensible and co-operative attitude to relations with the United States.

It must be asked whether Mr. Barnard speaks for the entire Labor Party on this matter. The agreement will not satisfy the Labor Party*s left"wing whose representatives have

already stated that they see the agreement as making no concessions. Mr. Barnard set out on this mission in an effort to solve internal conflicts in the Labor Party. He has failed to implement the plank in the Labor Party’s Platform that there should be no installation in Australia controlled or operated by another country such as the United States.

The Labor Party now clearly takes a more realistic attitude to the American, alliance and has rejected the extreme views of its left wing.