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Thursday, 29 November 1973
Page: 4078

Mr MacKELLAR (WARRINGAH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Prime Minister aware that some countries have recognised the PRC - Provisional Revolutionary Government - as being a legitimate government within South Vietnam? Is he also aware that one of his acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Secondary Industry, has publicly advocated Australian Government recognition of the PRG? Did his consultations in China include the question of recognition of the PRG and is his Government going to recognise it?

Mr WHITLAM - The Government has not considered this matter for some months. It was in fact discussed at the Federal Conference of the Australian Labor Party last July. I expressed my views that in the circumstances then obtaining it would be inappropriate to recognise the PRG. I am not aware of any change in circumstances since that time which would persuade me otherwise. I am not aware that my colleague the Minister for Secondary Industry has expressed a view on this matter. He has not discussed it with me. I have not discussed it with the Foreign Minister. The honourable gentleman also asks whether 1 discussed the matter in Peking. I suppose he means with Chairman Mao Tsetung or Premier Chou En-lai or Foreign Minister Chi Peng fei. No, I did not raise it, nor did they.

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