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Thursday, 14 May 1970

Dr Everingham asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

(I)   Does the Government recognise that chemical and biological weapons are most dangerous to those least fit to carry arms.

Mr Malcolm Fraser (WANNON, VICTORIA) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The Government is well aware that susceptibility to chemical and biological warfare agents varies from person to person and that the weak, the young and the infirm are more vulnerable than the healthy. For this and other reasons, the Government has joined with other nations in condemning this type of warfare, in calling for universal adherence to the Geneva Protocol to which Australia acceded in 1930, and in urging rapid action to negotiate such further international measures as may be necessary to ensure complete control over chemical and biological warfare. I take the opportunity to reiterate that Australia has never acted in breach of its obligations under the Protocol and does not intend so to act.

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