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Monday, July 07, 2008

US FOI delivers on Australia's 1960s nuclear ambitions

This report in The Age on Australia's concerns 40 years ago about international developments that would prevent us from developing our own nuclear weapons, was based on documents released in the US in response to Freedom of Information applications by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Details of the documents are on the NSA website which includes this comment
"The documents detail the well-known resistance to the NPT from countries like India ("China at her back, and Pakistan lurking on the sidelines") but also from more unusual objectors such as Australia (concerned that the Western Pacific security situation might worsen) and Italy (unhappy about the "second-class status" of non-nuclear states). The documents suggest that the current crisis in the NPT system has deep historical roots, but also that current headlines overlook the long-term achievements of the NPT regime."
I wonder what Australian documents of the time about this issue are available in open access at Australian Archives, and whether at our end there is still sensitivity about what we told the US all those years ago? An interesting comparative study for someone out there.

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