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Wednesday, 9 November 1983
Page: 2485

Mr PEACOCK —My question is directed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Minister will, of course, be aware that a principal objective on both sides during the Prime Minister's forthcoming visit to Thailand is to repair the damage to relations between the Association of South East Asian Nations and Australia caused by the Government's attitude to Kampuchea and Vietnam. I draw the Minister's attention to the reported statement of the Singapore Foreign Minister in today's Melbourne Age that ASEAN will be seeking assurances on four specific issues in considering whether to restore regular dialogue with Australia. Given that the Foreign Minister has chosen not to join the Prime Minister during the Bangkok talks, and given the now obvious futility of his Indo-China initiative, will the Minister be recommending to the Prime Minister that he give the assurances sought by ASEAN.

Mr HAYDEN —It is always diverting to receive lectures from one of Australia's longest serving and least remembered Foreign Ministers on the conduct of foreign affairs. I invite honourable members to recall the achievements during the five years the Leader of the Opposition was Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Mr Young —Shirley MacLaine.

Mr HAYDEN —The honourable member for Port Adelaide is correct. Faded sepia prints of a celluloid thespian are about the best he can produce. The recollection that the Australian community has of him is as a sort of fag end of the Peter Stuyvesant jet set.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! I ask the Minister to answer the question.

Mr HAYDEN —I think from the response of the audience, it is much more engaging than--

Mr SPEAKER —As Speaker, I am more interested in parliamentary procedures than the responses of audiences.

Mr HAYDEN —Let me say in a nutshell, Mr Speaker, in deference to you and to serve the cause of compactness of expression, there will be a debate in a few minutes on this subject. I am sure I will be addressing some of those points.