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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2625

Senator GREENWOOD - I ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate: Is the Government able to confirm the report given to the Assembly of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation by that Organisation's military committee that the Soviet Union now possesses 48 ballistic missile submarines with another 15 under construction and that it has recently introduced 3 new missile systems which, if fully developed, would give what is termed in the report a tremendous superiority in warheads and throw weight? Can the Government confirm that Soviet naval vessels in the Indian Ocean doubled in 1972, that they again doubled in 1973 and that 8 naval mooring and docking facilities are available to the Russian navy in and skirting the Indian Ocean? Is the Government prepared to give to the Australian people some assurance, which they want, in the light of those facts?

Senator MURPHY -The Deputy Leader of the Opposition asks me whether I can confirm something. He ends up by. asking what assurances I will give him in the light of those facts. He is answering the question himself. He is asserting that it is a fact. Of course, I am not in a position to confirm the information which he has given. I do not know. whether the Government would want to confirm matters in the military area. All I know is that for the first time for many years the Australian Government is in the happy position where the Australian people are concerned with domestic matters as are the people of other nations. Australia is not in the position where there is a threat of war. It is not interfering with other people's affairs. Certainly, it is npt getting into the position of conducting immoral, unjust and illegal wars as the previous Government did in Vietnam.

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