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Tuesday, 30 May 1972
Page: 3210

Mr WHITLAM - I ask the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs: Can he confirm that in Noumea on Saturday Mr Pierre Messmer, the French Minister of Overseas Territories, said that Australia now seemed convinced that the French nuclear tests in the Pacific were necessary? If so, has he got or will he get in touch with the French Government to remove such a misapprehension?

Mr SINCLAIR - I understand that there has been a Press report about M. Messmer's statement in Noumea. I am not aware whether the reported statement accords with his actual statement, but it is certainly not true that the Australian Government has not protested. On successive occasions the Australian Government has made it quite clear that it regards the

French nuclear test programme in the Pacific as detrimental to the interests of those who live in this area. I know that my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, has made a formal approach to the French Government regarding this matter, in which he indicated quite strongly that the Australian Government is firmly opposed to the programme envisaged by the French.

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