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Thursday, 28 February 1985
Page: 382


Mr SINCLAIR —I ask the Prime Minister: In the light of the New Zealand Government's position that nuclear ships are not welcome in New Zealand ports and the British Prime Minister's position that no British naval ships would visit New Zealand while this policy prevailed, could he advise the House what steps he and his Government are taking to ensure that defence co-operation and the exchange of intelligence under the five-power arrangements between Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Britain do not terminate in the same way as they have under ANZUS and in the defence relationship between New Zealand and the United States of America?


Mr HAWKE —I shall make just two points in regard to the question asked by the Leader of the National Party of Australia. Firstly, I remind him that I said yesterday that we will take every step, as far as possible within the province of this Government, to ensure that, as a result of the decision that has been made by the United States, the position of Australia is not prejudiced in any way whatsoever. The Minister for Defence's answer to a question asked by the right honourable gentleman yesterday also made it clear that we would be more than prepared to brief him and the Leader of the Opposition as to what was being done to ensure that the proprieties and Australia's interests were protected.

I assure the right honourable gentleman that, in this other area to which he referred, the Minister for Defence will be holding the appropriate discussions. If any action has to be taken which is necessary in the circumstances it will be taken according to the same principles. In other words, our principles are the same in that area; that is, Australia's interests and the contributions that it can make in the region will be protected. If there is any consequential flow-over into that region from the action that has been taken by the United States in regard to New Zealand, that will be taken into account in precisely the same way.