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Wednesday, 4 March 1970

Dr KLUGMAN (PROSPECT, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I direct a question to the Minister for External Affairs. Did Sir Alexander Downer, Australia's High Commissioner in London, say inter alia in Durban, South Africa, on 18th November last that both South Africa and Australia were rising powers, with a capital P, in the southern hemisphere and that unless he was much mistaken we would in the future have important common strategic interests? Will the Minister table Sir Alexander Downer's full1 statement and make it clear that the Australian Government does not identify itself with South African strategic interests in the Indian Ocean any more than it does with Russian interests in the same area? Will the Minister explain to some of the members sitting behind him that an attempt to show identity of Australian and South African interests plays into the hands of Russia and China?

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