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Tuesday, 13 March 1973
Page: 533

Mr Garland asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Did he state that he was unable to give the name of Australia's Ambassador to the People's Republic of China before it had been agreed to by the government of that country?

(2)   Was the name of the Ambassador widely publicised as a fact in the media prior to official announcement?

(3)   If so, will he give an assurance that neither he nor his staff gave the media that information?

Mr Whitlam - The answer to this question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   and (3) There was unofficial speculation by the media without authority from me or my staff about who might be appointed and the name of the Ambassador-designate was mentioned in that context.

Nuclear Tests by China (Question No. 146)

Mr Garland asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice;

(1)   Has the Government information on the reported intention of the People's Republic of China to explode nuclear devices in the atmosphere shortly, either on the Chinese mainland or elsewhere.

(2)   If so, will the Government immediately lodge with China and the United Nations a note of protest in the strongest terms.

Mr Whitlam - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

(1)   No report of China's intentions has been received.

(2)   As I stated in the House last year (Hansard, 16 August 1972, page 221), I protested to the then Acting Foreign Minister of China, Mr Chi Peng-fei, against the continued testing of nuclear weapons by China when I was in Peking. The Government will in the United Nations and elsewhere emphasize Australia's opposition to all forms of nuclear weapons testing by whatever nation.

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