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Tuesday, 15 October 1985
Page: 1212


Senator CHANEY —My question, which is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, follows the answer he gave to the question asked by Senator Durack a few minutes ago. In light of the message which has been sent by the Acting Prime Minister, Mr Bowen, to the President of the United States, why has the Government backtracked on his firm promise to give a message of support to the United States for the action that it took last Friday?


Senator GARETH EVANS —The Government does not accept that characterisation of the situation. The message that was sent by the Acting Prime Minister was appropriate in all the circumstances and quite consistent with the thrust of his answer given in the House of Representatives yesterday.


Senator CHANEY —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Does the Minister agree that Mr Bowen said that he would arrange for a message to be sent, which was to be a message of support for the action taken by the United States last Friday against the suspected highjackers? Can the Minister point to any words in the statement which he read which amount to a statement of support for the action taken by the United States last Friday?


Senator GARETH EVANS —I repeat that the substance of Mr Bowen's message to the President of the United States is quite consistent with what he said in the very limited response that he gave yesterday in the House of Representatives.