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Thursday, 22 November 1973
Page: 3680

Mr FULTON (LEICHHARDT, QUEENSLAND) - Does the Minister for Defence have any information concerning the attitude of the United States of America to his policy of providing information to the parliamentary Opposition on security matters, in particular, the sensitive issue of United States' bases in Australia?

Mr BARNARD - I presume that the honourable member is referring to a statement made by the United States Ambassador, Mr Marshall Green, in a Press interview yesterday, I believe. As I understand it the Ambassador was asked a question concerning Australian co-operation with the United States, particularly in matters of joint installations in this country. I have not seen the full text of his statement but I saw the report in which he was asked did he consider that the United States .Government would bt closer to a Liberal government than the present Government. As I understand it his answer was that it would perhaps be closer to the Labor Government because this Government allows the Opposition to know what is happening. I think he had in mind, as I said last night, indeed as I have said before in this House, that this Government has taken the opportunity to keep fully informed the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Minister for Defence on matters that concern Australia in terms of its security. That has been done. When members of the Opposition were in government information of this kind was denied to the Leader of the Opposition at that time and to other responsible spokesmen for the Opposition.

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