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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4642


Mr Kennedy asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(1)   During his recent discussions with the Indian Prime Minister (Mrs Gandhi), did he discuss the Indian Government's objective of a zone of peace and neutrality in the Indian Ocean: if not, why not.

(2)   If so, (a) did the Indian Prime Minister request the Australian Government's support for this objective and (b) what attitude did ha express.

(3)   Did he discuss the subject with any leader, minister or official of (a) The British Government and (b) the United States Government.

(4)   If so, what attitude was expressed by (a) Those with whom he had discussions and (b) himself.

(5)   Did the Indian Prime Minister request that he support the objective of a zone of peace and neutrality in the Indian Ocean with (a) the British Government and (b) the United States Government: if so, did he do so.


Mr McMahon - The answer to the honourable member's question . is as follows:

(1)   There was no discussion with the Indian Prime Minister on the objective of a zone of peace and neutrality in the Indian Ocean. The proposal that the Indian Ocean should be a zone of peace and neutrality was introduced into the current session of the United Nations General Assembly not by India, but by the Prime Minister of Ceylon.

(2)   See (1).

(3)   (a) Yes. (b) No.

(4)   It would not be proper to disclose the detailed nature of confidential discussions.

(5)   See (1).







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