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Tuesday, 21 May 1985
Page: 2213

Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —My question is directed to the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs. I refer to the answer to a question on anti-ballistic missiles which the Minister gave to me on 15 May. In particular I refer to his statement:

Australia has made clear that it does not endorse SDI or its Soviet counterpart.

When and where has the Government previously indicated either to this Parliament or to the Australian public its acknowledgment that the Soviet Union is well advanced in anti-ballistic missile research of the nature with which the Government declines to co-operate with the United States of America, and when and where has the Government previously made it clear that it does not endorse this Soviet research and development? Finally, can the Government state with certainty, as the Minister has in his answer, that the existing Russian ABM system and the nature and directing of its radar system are within the 1972 ABM treaty?

Senator GARETH EVANS —As to the latter part of the question, I believe that I did state with certainty our impression that the overt physical installations that do exist were within the terms of the ABM treaty.

Senator Sir John Carrick —Where is the evidence?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I will take that on notice and I will also take on notice the first part of the question in order to give a more substantial reply than I would otherwise be able to do without a full brief before me.