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Wednesday, 18 November 1959

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK - by leaveLast Thursday, the honorable member for Werriwa (Mr. Whitlam) asked me a question as to a vote by the Australian delegate in the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations. I think the honorable member and I were slightly at cross purposes. I took him to be asking me about a resolution on which our delegate abstained from voting. I should like to say now that some seven resolutions concerning South-West African territories were before the Fourth Committee. We abstained from voting on six and voted against the seventh resolution. The honorable member asked me what our reason was for the vote and I answer him by saying that we voted against the resolution, which was designed to coerce South Africa into referring a question to the International Court, because the committee had already passed a resolution urging South Africa to negotiate with the United Nations on the very same matter. We felt that a resolution attempting to compel legal process in the midst of negotiation was not the right thing to support.

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