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GV EXT. Orly Airport building
MV INT. Murphy walks to microphone and speaks to press
QUESTION: "Can you tell us what you'll be telling the French in your talks?"
MURPHY: "Well, I'll be telling them what I think they already know, that we're very greatly opposed to the French tests in the Pacific as are the other nations of the Pacific and we want them to desist with those tests."
QUESTION: "What sort of pressure can Australia place on the French to attempt them to move?"
MURPHY: "Well, I think we can appeal to the French. We've been friendly with the French for a very long time and we regard them as a civilised nation and they ought not to do in the Pacific what they were prevented from doing in North Africa and that is to infringe our sovereignty by testing and radioactive fallout over our people, over our own land and against our will."
QUESTION: "Have the French reacted to your protest in any way so far?"
MURPHY: "They've discussed it with us and we've tried to find out their point of view, and we're carrying those discussions further in an endeavour to resolve the dispute between us this week. If they don't, then Australia will have to pursue whatever other legal remedies are open to us."
QUESTION: "What will those remedies be?"
HURPHY: "Well, the legal remedies have already been announced at the International Courts of Justice, and the other remedies... well, we leave that to the future, but we take it very seriously indeed. We think the French should not do this to us and it will convert what have been friendly relations in the past to what are not so friendly in the future."
QUESTION: "Will other countries support you?"
MURPHY: "We've a great deal of support already right across the Pacific You might have seen the New Zealanders are very angry about it and other nations are also very angry about what's being done."
QUESTION: "Were there any indications that illness or tests and scientific discoveries that radiation has caused...?"
MURPHY: "There's been a great deal of scientific assessment and a lot in recent times all over the world. There's more and more study being done and more and more concern felt about the radioactivity and the known risks... and of course there are unknown risks. And of course they're still under study and there's a great deal of study going on. Of course the more study there is, the more concern there is about the effects of the tests."
QUESTION: "Senator: Now that you're in Paris, how confident are you about the success of your mission being successful?"
MURPHY: "I'll do my best. I'm no prophet because I don't want to be one and I don't want to preempt what will happen. I'm here to do everything that I can reasonably and amicably do to resolve the dispute, and I hope it will be resolved, and I hope we don't have to resort to other methods."
QUESTION: "Will you break off relations with French if they don't?"
MURPHY: "That's a matter for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for the Government to decide in the future. Let's see if they don't."
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