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Tuesday, 19 November 1974
Page: 2477

Senator MAUNSELL (QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Overseas Trade. I refer to a statement reported to have been made by Dr Cairns that relations between Australia and America were now excellent on both sides. I ask: Is it not a fact that Australian-American relations were always excellent until last year when Dr Cairns and other senior Ministers severely criticised the United States Administration? Does this indicate a change of view on the part of Dr Cairns and other senior Ministers towards the United States?

Senator WRIEDT -The implication of the question is, of course, that there has been some deterioration in the relationship between this country and the United States over the past 18 months. I have been in the United States 3 times in that period and the last impression I would get would be any sense of antagonism or frustration in relationships between the 2 countries. Every effort has been made, especially by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, to consolidate the relationship which has been established over the years and which, as we all know, is to our mutual benefit. This does not mean any slavish acceptance of everything done by the United States or of United States policies. The fact is that this Government, both by political measures and in trade matters, has maintained an excellent standard of relationship with that country. No one has done more to achieve that relationship than has Dr Cairns.

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