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Transcript 3012

FRENCH NUCLEAR TESTS

Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 15/09/1973

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 3012

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September 1973 FRENCH NUCLEAR TESTS
France's withdrawal of notice of a danger zone in part
-of French Polynesia had not ended Australia's anxiety about French
nuclear tests, the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Mr. Whitlam, said tonight.
The notice, signed by the French Minister for the Armed
Forces, appeared in the French Government Gazette of 14 September0
It cancelled, as from midnight 15 September, the notice issued on 4
July " prohibiting" ships from entering a broad zone of the high
seas around Moruroa Atoll and other islands.
Mr. Whitlam said that if yesterday's cancellation of the
shipping notice meant the end of French nuclear tests in the Pacific
it would be universally welcomed, but the French Government had
given no such indication.
Mro Whitlam recalled that in 1970 and 1971 a similar
cancellation had been followed, after a break of several weeks,
by a resumption of testing at a few days' notice. Whether this
would happen again this year might not be known for some time.
Mr. Whitlam also recalled that the French Minister for
the Armed Forces, M. Galley, was reported to have told a press
conference on 31 August that France would not give an undertaking
to cease atmospheric tests or to remove its testing centre from
Polynesia. Australia would not slacken its efforts, by all appropriate
means, to obtain a permanent halt to all nuclear tests, especially
those in the atmosphere, Mr. Whitlam said.

Transcript 3012