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Breach of International conventions

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Η' m sSTATEMENT BY THE RT. HON. LEADER OF THE OPPOSITIONB.Mo SNEDDEN, Q.C., M.P ■ CANBERRA - 16/5/1973. Breach, of International Conventions

The Government should introduce legislation to make it an . offence for an individual or group of individuals to engage in strikes or bans or to incite others to do so which are politically motivated, especially when the effect would be to

contravene international agreements.

This takes the conduct of foreign affairs out of the hands of the elected government and it reduces Australia^ standing in international affairs, *

The Prime Minister has already expressed to the A.C.T.U. Executive his anxiety that it should not take'any action in relation to the French Nuclear Tests which would breach international agreements. He cited in particular the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Consular Relations and the Universal

Postal Convention of 1964,

By its actions the trade union movement is interfering in the conduct of foreign affairs by the Australian Government. By taking direct action against France in Australia, it is acting in a way da to breach international' conventions,

l . An important principle is at stake. The Australian Government must be able to calrry out on behalf of theAustralian people and in accordance with their wishes the necessary and sometimes delicate formal relations with foreign countries. There must be no interference in the Government * s ability to perform that role, nor any incitement t© usurp that role and to destroy the reputation and the standing of the Australian nation in the eyes of the world. ·The Prime Minister agrees with the necessity to preserve international agreements. He must regard action by the A.C.T.U. on this question as a direct challenge te his and his govern­ment * s authority.. fHe has a responsibility t© act firmly and quickly. He should introduce legislation to stop strikes and bans fe n political , vpurposes. ; ; : ΪThe A.C.T.U. and individual unions will know they can do as they wish if the Government does not act.