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Tuesday, 10 October 1972
Page: 2238

Mr MORRISON (ST GEORGE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Prime Minister. Was I correct in understanding that the Prime Minister indicated in the television programme 'Monday Conference' last night that the purpose of the Australian battalion in Singapore was to reduce the possibility of trouble between Malaysia and Singapore? Does the Prime Minister really believe that Australian soldiers should be used as policemen between 2 Asian countries with whom we have friendly relations? Can the Prime Minister inform the House which part of the Five Power Arrangements authorises Australia to undertake this hapless and objectionable task?

Mr McMAHON - As is usual, there is a distortion relating to the implications that can be drawn from my statement. I will obtain the exact statement that I made and the honourable gentleman can look at it. If he does read it he will see that everything I said was couched in terms of possibilities. I have discussed this matter with senior representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs this morning and they see do difficulty in it at all.

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