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The Prime Minister has further damaged the standing

of SEATO, its potential for constructive change and Australia's

standing in the eyes of our Asian neighbours.

as has been reported, that Thailand and the Philippines need to

be nudged into a realistic situation. This is a presumptuous

and diplomatically unacceptable statement. It can only have

given offence to two Asian countries with whom we have close

relations and with whom we ought to be building stronger links.

much wider role as a regional body on matters other than defence,

though defence co-operation ought to remain an essential element

of SEATO. ¥e should encourage the possibility of SEATO playing

a role in co-ordinating assistance to member countries and in

regional consultation. This is just as important in ensuring

regional security as military exercises. I made this point in

my second speech in the House of Representatives in 1956. I

stand by it. The Prime Minister is not saying anything new about

SEATO, but he is saying it in such a way as to alienate our allies

and neighbours. Nor has the government contributed to the adjust­

ment of SEATO by precipitate withdraival from exercises without

adequate explanation to the other nations involved or to the

Australian people.

the United States and have caused a further deterioration in our

relations with the United States. It is absurd for Mr. Whitlam

to even imply that Australia has ever been a r satellite’ of the

United States or any other country. He is indulging in misleading

politicking to lull his own extremists. He should be confirming

Australia’s standing as a reliable international partner.

to say ANZUS has never been the "be-all and end-all" of our

relationship with the United States. It is the key to that

It is inexcusable for the Prime Minister to suggest,

I have said beforfe, I believe that SEATO can fill a

The Prime Minister's statements have clearly embarrassed

It is playing with words to deceive his own left-wing

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vital relationship. AHZUS expresses a mutual relationship that

has lasted for two decades and will continue for many more. It

is much more than a defence pact and expresses our common values,

our shared purposes and the co-operative spirit that should,

and has in the past, epitomized our relationship with the United

States as well as New Zealand.

The Prime Minister has failed Australia and the

Australian people by his undiploma.tic statements,