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Thursday, 20 May 1965

Senator HANNAN (VICTORIA) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for External Affairs. Has the Minister's attention been drawn to the boycott placed upon the United States warship "Vancouver " by the Victorian Branch of the Seamen's Union on Wednesday of last week when it was visiting Melbourne on a goodwill visit for the Coral Sea celebrations? Did this ban result in the Royal Australian Navy being called out to help berth the vessel and was the act of the Seamen's Union described by the United States ship's captain as an " inconvenience "? Has the Minister seen the statement issued by the secretary of the Victorian Branch of the Seamen's Union, one B. Nolan, " that the men decided on the boycott to protest against the use of American and Australian troops in Vietnam "? Is this boycott not an attempt at the arrogant abrogation of this Parliament's right to direct the nation's foreign policy and a gross insult to our most powerful ally? Is this secretary, Mr. B. Nolan, identical with B. Nolan, a member of the Victorian State Executive of the Australian Labour Party, and if so is he eligible for selection as one of the Australian Labour Party's Victorian contributions to the 36 faceless men? Will the Minister give the Senate an assurance that the Government will brook no interference whatever with the transport of Australian troops sent overseas and it will tolerate no treacherous or treasonable interference by anyone with the supply of arms, munitions and stores for Australian troops who will be manning the front line of our defence in Vietnam?

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