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Wednesday, 28 November 1973
Page: 2186

Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Minister for Foreign Affairs aware that representatives from 31 countries are demanding that the United Nations restore to the Royal Government of the National Union of Cambodia, headed by Prince

Sihanouk, its lawful rights and recognition as the legitimate government of that country? Is it a fact that the Royal Government exercises control of 90 per cent of Cambodian national territory and 80 per cent of the peoples of that country? Is the Minister able to say whether the moves have the support of all the nations that attended the Fourth Conference of the Heads of State or Government of non-aligned countries held in Algiers in September 1 973? Can the Minister say also whether Australia is considering supporting the resolution currently before the United Nations?

Senator WILLESEE -I am not sure of the exact distribution of voting at the meeting of non-aligned countries at Algiers to which the honourable senator has referred. Our attitude in relation to Cambodia has been that the Cambodians are the people who should decide their own fate. Because of that attitude we have not taken sides in any way. In relation to the voting in the United Nations on procedural motions, we have voted with the Government with which we have contact, namely, the Lon Nol Government. As the honourable senator knows the military situation has been deadlocked for a period of time now because of the wet weather. It is quite a perennial situation that at about this time of the year as the wet weather moves away military activity commences. But everyone is hopeful that this year the situation in Vietnam where there is some sort of peace will flow over to Cambodia and that meaningful negotiation might take place. There is already one in Laos which has a coalition government. At least the fighting has stopped and hopes are being held out that that situation will obtain in Cambodia.

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