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Wednesday, 8 December 1976
Page: 3561

Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) am asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Is a team of officials making a study overseas of legal and treaty safeguards on the supply of nuclear materials.

(2)   If so, what are the team's terms of reference.

(3)   From what departments and levels do the members come.

(4)   What countries are they visiting.

(5   ) When are they expected to return.

Mr Peacock - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: ( 1 ), (2 ) and (4). A group of officials led by a senior officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs departed on 22 November for informal discussions on nuclear safeguards matters with government officials and with international organisations in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, the Federal Republic of Germany, Canada, the United States and Japan. The discussions will be concerned with international measures which are applied to nuclear material supplied for peaceful purposes to verify its non-diversion to nonpeaceful or explosive uses. The matters to be discussed will encompass the preliminary thinking of the government in this area as outlined to the Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry, the measures proposed in the first report of that inquiry and recent international developments both in this field and in relation to other initiatives for the strengthening of the international non-proliferation regime.

(3)   The mission comprises officers from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of National Resources and the AAEC. The leader is an Acting First Assistant Secretary, the other departmental officers are of Class 1 1 and Class 9 level and the AAEC officer is Director of the Australian Safeguards Office (Senior Principal Research Scientist).

(5   ) The mission is expected to return on 22 December.

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