Plans for the latest series of French nuclear tests in the South Pacific have aroused a storm of protest in Australia.
Plans for the latest series of French nuclear tests in the South Pacific have aroused a storm of protest in Australia. On Thursday, two days after the Australian government had protested to the United Nations, demonstrators marched on the French Consulate in Sydney.
Leaders called on the Consul to urge President Pompidou to call off the tests. There was later a mass meeting where various speakers attacked the French test programme.
At the same time, the Chilean training ship Esmerelda arrived in Sydney for a five day visit, and Captain Raul Lopez declared he was willing to sail for the test area as an additional protest gesture if he was ordered to do so.
He estimated the 3,000 ton sailing ship could reach the test area at Mururoa Atoll, 4,000 miles from Australia, in about 20 days. The Canadian yacht Greenpeace III is already in the area, and there have been reports that its presence has delayed the tests--although the French have officially refused to accept responsibility for anyone entering the test area.
Australian Labour Party M.P. Dr. Jim Cairns has telephoned the secretary to Chilean President Salvador Allende asking permission for himself and several other Australians to sail to the test area aboard the Esmerelda.