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Government's silence on foreign affairs policy



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/tut, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

f ' i yMR. R.J. SOUTHEY, C.M.G. DIRECTOR:MR. B.G. HARTCHER, O.B.E.

FEDERAL SECRETARIAT BLACKALL & MACQUARIE STS.. BARTON, A.C.T. G.P.O. BOX 13, CANBERRA, A.C.T. 2600 TELEPHONE 73 2564 TELEGRAMS 'FEDLIB" CANBERRA

NEWS RELEASE:

FROM THE HON ANDREW PEACOCK, MP OPPOSITION SPOKESMAN ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Mr. Andrew Peacock today accused the Labor Government of trying to bury Foreign Affairs as an election issue.

"The silence from the Government has been shattering, " Mr. Peacock said.

"it seem s Mr. Whitlam is able to control those self-appointed foreign affairs spokesmen such as Dr. Cairns, Mr. Connor, Mr. Cameron and Mr. Uren during an election campaign far more easily than he can when he is trying to govern. ____

"From the c^miutiiiuemexii ux uxe juabor Government, these Ministers began . commenting**^ matters reserved for the Foreign Minister. Labor said this was democratic but now the election campaign is on, these disaster prone Ministers are silent.

"Are we to believe they will confine themselves solely to their own jobs if returned to Government? Of course not.

"I n late 1972 they were co-erced into the same zone of silerice on foreign affairs during their electicn campaign. But the moment it was over they were shouting down policies from every State in the country.

"The same could happen again. Their present silence is caused by Mr. Whitlam's fear that Australians will be reminded of this mvlti- attitudenal Labor Party. "

Mr. Peacock asked if Mr. Whitlam would state before the election which section of the Labor Party currently controlled foreign affairs thinking.

"is it Dr.. Cairns with his advocacy of dual recognition - that is recognising both the Government and the subversive movement that seeks to destroy it.

"is it Mr. Grassby with his instant on-again, off-again visa policy.

"is it Mr. Connor with his bullying and blustering.

"Or is it Mr. Whitlam with his advocacy of armed revolution in Southern Africa, " Mr. Peacock asked.

Mr., Peacock said the Labor Party had so far not placed before the people any Foreign Affairs policy for the next three years which took a realistic view of world affairs and stated Government intentions on such crucial areas as the Sino-Soviet conflict, the consequences of this conflict for

Asia, or post-independence relations with Papua New Guinea or overseas aid.

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April 28, 1974. For Immediate R elease.