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Thursday, 2 June 1960

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Attorney-General) - The honorable member, no doubt, has seen the article in the " Economist ". We are not, of course, sure at the moment what con sequences willflow from the break-down of the Summit Conference. But if there is any consistency in the statements of the Russian leaders, the delivery of nuclear weapons to Communist China would not sort very well with Mr. Khrushchev's statement that he wanted to see the easing of tension. That is a hopeful view we could take - that the Russians will be consistent in their attitude in respect of wanting peace and that they will refrain from giving nuclear armaments to the Communists. On the other hand, we do know that the Communist regime, quite apart from the nuclear complement, is well able to cause a great deal of trouble around the periphery of South-East Asia; and because of that we think there is no room at all for the nations of this area in which we are, nor for the great powers, to weaken their defensive arrangements with respect to South-East Asia. Consequently, the present meeting of Seato is being encouraged by the Prime Minister to regard the need for defence alliances and mechanisms to be strengthened in this area.

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