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Thursday, 1 December 1983
Page: 3235

Question No. 556

Mr MacKellar asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 21 September 1983:

(1) Is he able to say whether the United States of America regards any ban on nuclear-powered ships and nuclear-armed ships as contrary to the ANZUS Treaty.

(2) Did he discuss the question of nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed warships with the New Zealand Leader of the Opposition during his recent visit to Australia: if so, what was the outcome.

Mr Hayden —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The United States clearly regards access to Australian ports for its naval ships, including nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed ships, as of importance for support of its operations in our region and for carrying out its Treaty responsibilities. For its part the Australian Government considers that such visits support important Australian strategic and defence interests. However, the question of how the United States would view any ban on visits by nuclear- powered or nuclear-armed warships in relation to the ANZUS Treaty has not arisen between the United States and Australian Governments.

(2) My recent discussions with the New Zealand Leader of the Opposition, Mr Lange, ranged across a number of topics, including nuclear issues. The outcome, as intended, was that we are both better informed about our respective positions .