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Wednesday, 12 February 1986
Page: 171

Senator VALLENTINE —I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether the Australian Government supports the views of the new United States Ambassador to Australia, Mr Lane, that New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy makes it the Hartley of ANZUS and that New Zealand will be readmitted to ANZUS if it gets down on its knees and follows the rules. Does the Minister consider this an appropriate analogy especially when the ANZUS Treaty requires the United States to withdraw from ANZUS if it disagrees with New Zealand's stance, rather than requiring New Zealand's expulsion? Would not the Australian Labor Government agree with its fraternal New Zealand Government when Mr Lange notes that statements such as Mr Lane's serve only to reinforce the New Zealand people's determination to have a nuclear-free and independent country?

Senator GARETH EVANS —The Australian Government has maintained a position of scrupulous impartiality in the controversy which presently obtains between New Zealand and the United States. We have made our views known to New Zealand on our reaction to the policy issues involved but beyond that we have not sought to mediate or intervene in the dispute in any way. We have not regarded it as appropriate in the past, nor do I regard it as appropriate now, for the Government to comment on the matters that have been raised in the way that they were raised by Senator Vallentine.