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Wednesday, 14 August 1974
Page: 874

Senator SIM (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I direct my question to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In view of his attempt to equate the previous Government's decision in relation to Goa with the decision by the present Government to recognise the incorporation of the Baltic states into the Soviet Union, I ask him whether it is not a fact that Goa was a Portuguese colony populated by people largely of Indian ethnic origin whereas the Baltic states were formerly free and independent states possessing an ancient culture and traditions and whose people are witnessing the destruction of their culture and traditions and individually and collectively suffering from communist brutality and suppression?

Senator WILLESEE - In equating what happened in Goa with what has taken place in the three Baltic states, I pointed out that the technique of recognition was exactly the same in both instances. I do not think it will ever be possible to compare any two countries in the world in terms of their background, what they are doing or their ethnic types. The moment you try to do that I think you get on to an impossible track. Because there was criticism about the way we had acted in relation to the three Baltic states I pointed out that the technique used by the Government was exactly the same as the previous Government had employed in regard to Goa. The previous Government did not make any announcements. It instructed its Ambassador- strange to say, it happens to be the Ambassador who is involved in the present situation, Sir James Plimsoll- to visit Goa and that that act was to signify de jure recognition. We copied this technique from the previous Government.

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