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Wednesday, 27 November 1985
Page: 2336


Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK(11.47) —It is not my intention to make this into a broad-based debate, although it is a very important matter. I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard the letter from Dean Rusk in the New Zealand Herald of 12 April.

Leave granted.

The letter read as follows-

`No Time for Games'-Rusk

A former United States Secretary of State, Mr Dean Rusk, has written to the editor of the New Zealand Herald about the ANZUS dispute. In a letter from the University of Georgia law school, he writes:

Sir,-It would be a pity if the attitude of the present Government in New Zealand about port calls by American warships should lead to a deterioration in the longtime, excellent relations between our two countries.

Both our governments should make a special effort to see that this does not occur.

I myself helped to negotiate the ANZUS Treaty and was present for its signing at San Francisco at the time of the Japanese Peace Conference.

It is interesting to recall that one of the purposes of the ANZUS Treaty was to provide a guarantee against the revival Japanese militarism in the Pacific area.

When the ANZUS Treaty was formed, it seemed to all of us to be a reflection of the natural state of affairs.

From the United States' point of view, we took for granted that if Australia or New Zealand were attacked, the United States would have to be involved in their defence.

On at least one occasion, the ANZUS Treaty worked to the advantage of New Zealand and Australia.

When Sukarno, of Indonesia, was making hostile moves against Malaysia, I personally told his Foreign Minister, Mr Subandrio, that if elements of the Australia-New Zealand forces in Malaysia were subject to attack, that would trigger the ANZUS Treaty because those forces would be covered by its provisions.

It is a matter of record that Sukarno backed away from his threats, but I do not know what part was played by my statement to Mr Subandrio.

It is true that New Zealand is one of the least likely countries in the world to be attacked and only partly because of its geographic location.

Any would-be aggressor would recognise that New Zealand would be a prickly porcupine to take on, particularly if the would-be aggressor remembered the brillant performance of the Second New Zealand Division during the Second World War.

Such matters as the ANZUS Treaty should be treated with the utmost clarity and simplicity.

It would be beneath the dignity of New Zealand to treat the United States as a call girl who is available upon request, but who is snubbed in between calls.

Perhaps it would be appropriate for the present New Zealand Government simply to state that it considers that the obligations of the ANZUS Treaty are suspended.

That would leave the way open for another government on another day to resume normal alliance relations.

In August of this year, we shall have put behind us 40 years since a nuclear weapon has been fired in anger, despite the many crises since 1945.

New Zealand has played a helpful and important part in making it possible to speak of these 40 years.

When the American people have pledged their lives for the defence of another country, we should not play games with that solemn undertaking.

If New Zealand wishes to resign or withdraw from the obligations of ANZUS, the American people would still greatly respect and admire the people of your fine country.

Dean Rusk.

Athens, Georgia.


Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —Senator Vallentine said, in attempted refutation of what I had said, that one proof that alliances would not work was that during the Falklands War America faced a dilemma. The American regime has made a very clear statement on this. When faced with the choice between an ally such as the United Kingdom and friendly Argentina, it turned to its ally and assisted it. It was the very significant assistance of the United States of America that aided the United Kingdom towards a successful venture in the Falklands. I suggest that Senator Vallentine should look at the facts in that regard.