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Wednesday, 4 December 1974
Page: 3093

Senator SIM (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs. It relates to a recent article in the 'Peking Review', the wellestablished mouthpiece of the Chinese Government, which refers to Soviet control of the Baltic States ' as ruthless suppression and a policy of arbitrary assimilation of the national minorities'. As the Prime Minister has referred to Australia's relations with China as most closely representing Australia's new aspirations and in view of the Government's de jure recognition of the incorporation of the Baltic States in the Soviet Union, does the Minister agree with the statement of China 's opposition to the Soviet incorporation of the Baltic States?

Senator MURPHY - It is nice to see that senators opposite are starting to read and agree with some of the statements that are being made around the world by powers that they once accused of being almost in league with the devil. At one time the fact that anything was said by Russia or China was automatically sufficient indication of the error of the statement. Now Senator Sim seems to be starting to use China as an authority. Soon no doubt we will have him using Cuba and what Castro says as an authority for some statement. The real issue is: What is the right thing to do? What attitude should Australia take? It is nice to know that our views may be shared on occasions by other countries. Sometimes our views might be opposed. There might be differences, but at least under this Government Australia is taking an independent attitude and assessing for itself what its foreign policy should be, free of the subservience that characterised it under the previous Government.

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