Australia's Minister for Defence, Mr. Lance Barnard, speaking after consultations with British Government leaders in?
SV Defence Minister Lance Barnard
SCU Defence Minister speaking
BARNARD: "We have achieved a great deal. As you know this is the end of a round of discussions which involved the countries that are members of the five-power arrangement -- New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and concluded those discussions in London. From the point of view of the Australian Government I believe a great deal has been achieved."
"I have proposed this matter to each of the countries concerned. I put the proposition that the Australian government would want to replace the stationing of its forces in this area with exercises, regular exercises. Some of the countries have expressed the view that the exercises might be put on a bilateral basis rather than a multilateral basis. But all the countries involved have expressed their willingness to participate in the exercises."
"I have made it perfectly clear to all the countries concerned, and they accept the Australian Government's attitude, in the respect that they will continue to honour the five-power arrangement. And I am sure that the government's concerned accept this point of view, and understand that Australia will continue to honour its obligations under the five-power arrangement."
Initials BB/0340 IG/PN/BB/0346
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Background: Australia's Minister for Defence, Mr. Lance Barnard, speaking after consultations with British Government leaders in London on Tuesday (19 June), has said that Australia will continue to honour her obligations in the defence of South-East Asia, under the Commonwealth five-power agreement.
The agreement includes Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
At a news conference after the meeting Mr. Barnard was asked what he thought the talks had achieved.