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Tuesday, 10 October 1972
Page: 1372

Senator JESSOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - In view of the apparent intention of the French Government to continue atmospheric H-bomb tests in the Pacific next year, will the Minister for Foreign Affairs say whether it is a fact that the Australian Government has attracted the support of 15 other Pacific countries in order to mount a further campaign against these tests? Will he say also whether this campaign will be mounted in the current session of the United Nations?

Senator WRIGHT (TASMANIA) (Minister for Works) - 1 am able to say that the Government has very little knowledge of the French plans for further nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific. But we do expect that the French Government will continue with its plans to develop thermo-nuclear warheads for its missile forces. The Australian Government, of course, strongly opposes any such programme. This year, the Government has continued actively to oppose atmospheric nuclear testing in the Pacific, particularly by mobilising international opinion against the French testing programme. At present, Australia is, with New Zealand and other Pacific countries, acting at the United Nations in New York to prove the extent of international opposition to nuclear weapons testing, especially in the Pacific area. That is the point, I think, that responds to the question asked by the honourable senator.

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