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Wednesday, 16 March 1966

Mr HASLUCK - Professor Titterton, with the agreement of the French Government, attended some meetings in Paris to discuss precautions to be taken regarding the tests which the French intend to carry out in the Pacific. I have not yet received a written report from Professor Titterton. He was reporting in the first instance, I understand, to the National Radiation Advisory Committee, which is responsible for advising the Australian Government on these matters of safeguarding the Australian population but, indirectly, through my Department, I have received at second hand from Professor Titterton an oral report. The general effect of that report was to allay completely any immediate anxiety that harmful effects are likely to accrue to the Australian population or to any form of life in Australia as a result of these tests. As I have said, I have not yet received a written report. I understand that is in course of preparation and possibly in course of consideration by the National Radiation Advisory Committee. When we sent Professor Titterton to Paris we again indicated, through our Ambassador in France, that we deplored the fact that the tests were taking place. I might take advantage of this opportunity to say in this Parliament that the Australian Government deplores and regrets the fact that the French Government persists in carrying out these tests, but as it does persist in carrying out these tests, we are applying ourselves primarily to ensuring that no ill effects accrue to the Australian population.

Mr Whitlam - Will the Minister release the report?

Mr HASLUCK - I would like to see it first.

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