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Thursday, 9 March 1972
Page: 596

Senator DRURY (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. American initiatives last year on China and economic policy caught Australia by surprise and created problems for Canberra. The problems were resolved satisfactorily, although they underline the need for continuing close consultation between Washington and Canberra. What were the good reasons for the United States not consulting with Canberra regarding its plans in such important moves?

Senator WRIGHT - There seems to be a great deal of confusion in the honourable senator's mind, as expressed in the language that he used. As an indication of the degree of consultation that is currently and has been taking place and as an indication of the usual experience between the 2 countries let me remind him that an advance copy of Secretary of State Rogers' statement of 2 days ago was given to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. That statement took the occasion to remind the 3 countries which are partners in the ANZUS Pact of the importance of and the need for the maintenance of that Pact for the 3 countries concerned. The honourable senator should know that there was the closest consultation between the 2 governments about statements relating to President Nixon's visit to China. Those statements indicated a continuing unity of purpose with regard to that important facet of our foreign affairs policy.

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