Australian news, and some related international items

In 1950s Australian government set scene for USA missile bases here

Australia’s untold reaction to the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Conversation, Laura Stanley, 16 Oct 12 Fifty years ago, the United States and the Soviet Union stood on the brink of nuclear war over Soviet missiles in Cuba. Since then, the Cuban Missile Crisis has been recognised as one of the most definitive moments  of the 20th Century.

In the past twenty years, declassified government records have revealed indeed how close the parties came to nuclear conflict. More records continue to be declassified……..   What has not been greatly explored to this point, however, is Australia’s reaction to this crisis.

On 23 October 1962, Prime Minister Robert Menzies addressed parliament
and declared Australia’s support for the United States. …. Behind
closed doors, the government, particularly officials in the Department
of External Affairs — now the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
— were concerned about the implications of the crisis for Australia.

On the same day that Menzies declared Australia’s policy, the Minister
for External Affairs, Garfield Barwick, and his Department Secretary,
Arthur Tange, discussed the potential effect of the crisis on future
Australian-American cooperation over missile bases.

In their view, Australia had “a distinct interest in preserving the
right of powerful allies to put bases and offensive weapons in
Australia if we want them”. That is, in October 1962, there was a
desire to host American nuclear weapons and bases on Australian soil.
The likely reasoning would have been to secure American interest in
Australia’s region and enhance Australia’s defence capabilities……


October 16, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, history

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