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Government should stop ACTU bans against France



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F R O M T H E D E P U T Y L E A D E R O F T H E O P P O S I T I O N

T H E HON. PHILLIP LYNCH, M.P. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEAS:

The Prime Minister should tell the ACTU and the unions which have.

imposed the ban on France over its nuclear tests to stop meddling in,; .

sensitive areas of Government policy, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition,

Mr Lynch, said today. ' 5

He said the Government and Mr Whitlam, as Foreign Minister,

must act promptly and effectively to ensure that the unions did not usurp

the Government's role in foreign policy. ,

' ■ "Mr Whitlam must, as a matter of national responsibility, make

it clear to.the 'unions that if they wish to protest about the French

tests, they should do so through the Australian Government. ■

"He must tell the ACTU and the unions in unequivocal terms that

the French nuclear tests issue must remain with the Government, and that '

their unilateral intervention could backfire. · .

"It would be' tragic if the union ban on French goods, ships,

aircraft and communications prejudiced Australia's case at the

International Court of Justice." . '

The Deputy Leader of the Opposition said the unions had every

right to make representations to the Government. ■ ■ ·

"But. it is not for them· to seek to insist that their, views

prevail over those of the Government." · . ■

■ Mr Lynch said the Liberal Party had already indicated its

opposition to the forthcoming French nuclear tests in the South Pacific.

"But .we believe the unions' action is precipitous and

misconceived." . . . · · '

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Mr Lynch said the situation demanded effective - leadership . . ■

from Mr Whitlam, as both Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.· - On a

previous occasion when the unions indulged in a political· strike .that

leadership was not forthcoming. . ·..·â– /

Γ.·

\ . ’ "The Prime Minister must stand up and be counted on this ■ ' ’’ ■» ■ · ·

.1 issue, or be counted out," he said. "His leadership is that in question

'and any failure by him to take a firm stand will only further erode .-the '

Government's credibility." v "