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Friday, 8 November 1985
Page: 1847

Senator MASON —My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Is the Government considering its obligations under the ANZUS Treaty in the event of an insurrection in the Philippines by the New People's Army? Will the Government give a positive undertaking that under no circumstances will Australian troops be sent to oppose an internal rebellion in the Philippines, and inform the Governments of the United States of America and the Philippines of this decision now? If the Government will not do that, will it concede that its indecisiveness may well result in another tragic involvement of Australia in a Vietnam-type situation, but on a far greater scale than in Vietnam because of the many fronts on which such a war would have to be fought in the individual islands of the Philippines?

Senator WALSH —This question is a bit tough because I do not have a bit of paper on it. Therefore, for a definitive answer I will have to refer this question to Mr Hayden. May I say that I would be extremely surprised if, under the hypothetical circumstances outlined by Senator Mason, Australian troops would be so committed. Senator Mason also drew on the analogy of Vietnam. The Australian Labor Party's record on Vietnam, of course, is well known. I trust that the record of the Liberal Party of Australia is equally well known.