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Wednesday, 30 November 1983
Page: 3131

Question No. 727

Dr Klugman asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 9 November 1983:

(1) Is he able to say whether France has offered facilities for a foreign fact finding mission to its nuclear test site, if so, when was the offer made.

(2) Is he also able to say whether any other countries carrying out nuclear tests have offered similar facilities to foreign countries; if so, (a) which countries, and (b) when.

Mr Hayden —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) In June 1983 France invited scientists from South Pacific countries to visit Moruroa Atoll to ascertain whether or not the nuclear tests have had harmful effects on the environment. The invitation was from President Mitterrand and was conveyed to Australia and to other South Pacific Governments by the President's special envoy, Mr Regis Debray. Two Australian scientists joined with scientists from New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in a visit to Moruroa Atoll and to Papeete in French Polynesia from 24 October to 6 November 1983. The report of the scientists will be made public when it is completed.

(2) The Government is not aware that any other country to have carried out nuclear tests has offered similar facilities to foreign countries.