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Thursday, 22 August 1985
Page: 201


Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK(5.24) —The prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons throughout this world is the paramount issue of our time and of generations to come. No issue now or for the future is of a greater magnitude. Against that terrifying background, the Liberal and National parties have brought forward a matter of urgency to this Senate. The motion comprehends the fact that a conference of immense importance will take place in Geneva next week. That conference is a month-long conference of signatories and ratifiers of the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. That Treaty is, at this moment, the centrepiece for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in this world. It is vital that the Treaty itself and its strengths and weaknesses be understood and that those who go to the meeting and who represent the various countries, particular Australia, work for the strengthening of the Treaty. Accordingly, the Liberal Party and the National Party of Australia have brought forward a matter of urgency in these terms: That Australia seek to achieve the renewed committment of all existing members to the principles of the Treaty; a vigorous effort to attract non-member nations to become signatories to the Treaty; a strengthening of the monitoring, surveillance and safeguards powers of the International Atomic Energy Agency, with universal acceptance of its functions; and, fin- ally, a positive commitment by all and specifically the nuclear weapons power states to meaningful multilateral disarmament and surveillance.

This is a very powerful motion in itself. Its strong aims and goals strike right at the heart of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. To understand the challenge to mankind, it is now generally accepted by the scientists of the world that the threat of the nuclear winter is a reality. The nuclear winter is based upon the fact that a first strike by an aggressor would be of such magnitude in its strike, in number and in megatonnage of the nuclear weapons that not only the areas on which the missiles landed would be destroyed but also the trophosphere would be so scattered with carbon particles that the world would be put into a nuclear winter and all life, flora and fauna, would be destroyed. That has been accepted by the Australian Labor Party and by its spokesmen. I believe that it has been accepted by the Australian Democrats and by the nuclear disarmanent parties. It is certainly fundamental to the Liberal and National parties.

Once that acceptance occurs it is fundamental that the real aim of everybody wanting to secure peace in this world must be to stop the first bomb from falling, wherever that first bomb may fall. It is irrelevant, once the first strike occurs, where the strike took place. Everybody suffers. No nation gains immunity by any nuclear free zones. There is no immunity by isolation. There is no immunity by having no military facilities or ships in ports. The very fundamental beliefs of the Liberal Party and the scientists of the world is that once the first bomb has fallen the world itself and its ecosystem will be perilously in danger of total destruction. Those who seek unilateral disarmament and nuclear free zones are talking a pretence or, at the most, a naivete that they do not understand. The fact of the matter is that we must stop any bomb from falling, no matter where.

Against that background we are seeking to ask the Australian Government to do a number of things at this very important conference. Firstly, we are asking the Australian Government to enthuse the existing members of the Treaty to stay in it and to strengthen it. The Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Chipp, has said that the Treaty is no good. He said that the ANZUS Treaty is no good. He rejects the ANZUS Treaty and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Instead of wanting to strengthen those treaties he rejects them. He rejects the existence of any facilities in Australia and the presence of ships in ports. He has taken an isolationist view which is totally incompatible with the theory of nuclear winter which all the scientists uphold. In fact, it is the defeatist's view. What we are saying to those 130 members is: `Stay inside the Treaty even though you think it has some weaknesses. Help to strengthen the Treaty and identify the weaknesses'.

I have talked to many of the diplomats who represent the countries which will be attending this conference. I have talked to diplomats in various countries who represent nuclear non-proliferation. Some 40 nations are not signatories to the Treaty and they include France and China-two nuclear weapons states, although France has said that she will observe the essential terms of the Treaty. One of the worries is that some six nations at least are outside the Treaty-they include Argentina, Brazil, India, Israel, Pakistan and South Africa-and are giving no commitments that they will support in principle or otherwise the spirit of the Treaty. Those six countries come into the category of threshold nations, nations that almost certainly have not only the capacity but also, to a certain stage, the ability to produce a nuclear explosive. That is a fundamental danger. In the history of the Treaty no new weapons state has emerged and identified itself as such.

We worry about the threshold nations. We must look at getting nations together to form a strengthened treaty. I do not refer to only the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; there is a Latin American treaty of great significance, the Treaty of Tlatelolco. Only a month ago I was in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, where that Treaty was signed. It has the same fundamentals as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but, regrettably, a number of the signatories have not ratified it. We should work towards their ratifying it. We should work towards gathering together more and more nations to strenghten it. The second point to Senator Hill's matter of urgency is:

. . . a vigorous effort to attract non-member nations to become signatories . . .

That is what Australia should be doing wherever its diplomats are throughout the world and wherever we travel. Here is a real chance for us to do crusading work.

A fundamental point that the Democrats sought to leave out of their motion-it is at the very heart of things-is the strengthening of the monitoring, surveillance and safeguards powers of the International Atomic Energy Agency with universal acceptance and functions. The Democrats criticised the existing IAEA for not having enough teeth but they are not willing to support a motion which aims to give it teeth, to give it more members, to give it more inspectors to go around the world. The Democrats want the key to the whole motion-the key to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is that the IAEA, a watchdog, shall be strengthened and work-taken out. I have been to Vienna and discussed with the IAEA how best it can be strengthened. I am passionately in favour of strengthening the IAEA. If it is not strengthened there is no hope for us.

Two articles of the Treaty must be observed. There is great dissatisfication amongst the member nations of the NPT, first of all amongst those nations which are pledged against horizontal nuclear arms proliferation; that is, the non-weapons states. They see themselves being forced to observe the Treaty, and they are, as far as one can see.


Senator Chipp —West Germany?


Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —As far as we can see it has. A number of nations outside the Treaty are getting benefits that NPT nations cannot have. They see that the weapons states are not carrying out Article VI of the Treaty and so there is dissatisfaction. The NPT nations want no privileges for being outside the treaty. The Liberal and the National parties fundamentally support the provision of sanctions by Australia against those countries which are outside the Treaty. We support in toto the recommendations of the Australian Science and Technology Council report which state that we should strengthen the IAEA.

It is easy to talk about the super-powers, the fact that they have a proliferation of weapons and that they have not reduced their weaponry. The horizontal non-proliferation states have a real grouch. It is very important to know that in the past two years the breakdown in the strategic arms reduction talks was not due to the the United States of America; it was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that walked out of the START talks. It is very important for honourable senators to look at the offers made by America in terms of the strategic arms reductions talks to see what it was offering-halving the weaponry, cutting down the megatonnage enormously.


Senator Chipp —Going into Star Wars.


Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —It is easy for the honourable senator to interject on Star Wars. Let me say this: It is strange that the only attack both the Labor Party and the Democrats have made on Star Wars is against the United States of America. They have never admitted that fundamentally it was the USSR that led research into Star Wars and into laser beams. The Democrats were silent when the USSR was testing missiles in the North and South Pacific. Not only has the USSR advanced its research into Star Wars but also it has actually developed Star Wars. If honourable senators look at the radar set at Krasnoyarsk in central Siberia they will find that it is directly against the terms of the treaties. Yet all honourable senators opposite are silent about what Russia does; they are silent because they know that the aim of the laser beam experiment is to do away with an offensive system of nuclear missiles and put in its place a defence system based on high density light beams. Who could want a more shining moral goal than that? We are saying that we should strive to get the super-powers to reduce their armament under Article VI of the Treaty.

I come to Article IV because time does not allow me to develop my argument much further. Both the Labor Party and the Democrats stand condemned on Article IV. Article IV enjoins any member nation to supply nuclear materials to other member nations without limit. That is fundamental to Article IV. Of course, the Labor Party does not do that; it limits the amount of nuclear materials it will send to member nations. So the Labor Party is in breach of Article IV. It is jeopardising its position on the governing body of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It should do everything it can to keep and strengthen that position.

What a nonsense it is for the Democrats to say that somebody ought to go to this treaty conference when they are opposed to Article IV. They are opposed to any kind of nuclear material moving around; they are opposed to the total Treaty.

I call upon the Australian Government to go to this conference with the strength of will and the kinds of policies that Senator Hill has put forward-they are the policies of the Liberal and National parties-to achieve a strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime around the world and to seek meaningful and very significant nuclear disarmament in this world and therefore work towards peace. We will not get that by unilateral disarmament; we will not get it by talking about zones.

I want to correct one point: What the Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Gareth Evans, said the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Peacock, said, is not true. We are in favour of a non-proliferation zone in the South Pacific, and that is what it is. Mr Peacock queried whether or not that would affect home porting of ANZUS vessels in times of crisis.


Senator Chipp —Well what did he say?


Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —That is what he said. My time has run out.


Senator Chipp —We will give you an extension of time so you can put on record what he said.


Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —I would be happy to do that if I had the indulgence of the Senate for half a minute.


The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Colston) —Order! The honourable senator's time has expired.


Senator Chipp —He is seeking leave to make a statement.


The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —Have you sought leave?


Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.


Senator Sir John CARRICK —I simply want to say that in the 7 August statement Mr Peacock said:

. . . that the Prime Minister must give a categorical assurance that the agreed nuclear free zone will not rule out any possibility of future United States home porting within the zone or Australia.

I remind the Senate that it was a Liberal Prime Minister, Mr Fraser, who actively introduced and supported the nuclear non-proliferation zone in the South Pacific.