France resolved on Wednesday (21 June) to push ahead with its nuclear tests in the South pacific, despite widespread international pressure to abandon them.
SV PAN police watch demonstrators chanting and holding placards (2 shots)
SV French Ambassador speaks (SOUND ON FILM)
SV Australian Prime Minister speaks (SOUND ON FILM)
FRENCH AMBASSADOR: "First of all, it should be known that partly as a direct consequence of the strong protests expressed from your government to mine, on many occasions expressed on behalf of your population, as well as the populations of the area, France has felt compelled -- compelled to devise, at very great expense, a series of precautions never before designed and carried out. These precautions have efficiently reduced the hazards of atmospheric tests an extent never before achieved by any other country."
AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: "Let there be no misunderstanding on this score. I and my present government want the present tests abandoned. Further, we have taken every reasonable stope can to persuade out French friends to cease them. You will be aware Mr. Ambassador, that I have already conveyed personally to the President of France the views I have now expressed. And I want to confirm to you that none of the explanations you have given, will in any way, or in any shape at all change my or my government's attitude or the Australian people's attitude to an atmospheric nuclear testing by any country."
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Background: France resolved on Wednesday (21 June) to push ahead with its nuclear tests in the South pacific, despite widespread international pressure to abandon them.
After a cabinet meeting, called by President Pompidou, a government spokesman said, "A new series of nuclear tests will begin at Murorea Atoll in the Pacific, France has assured all governments concerned that no danger is involved."
New Zealand and Australia, 4,000 miles (6,400 kms) west of the test site, have each seen some violent anti-French protests. Demonstrators threatened the life of Roger London, French consul in Melbourne. A firebomb attack gutted a French airline office in Auckland and the French embassy in Wellington was the victim of a telephoned bomb threat.
Protestors also gathered outside the Australian Atomic Energy Commission establishment in Sydney on Tuesday (20 June). The demonstrators were protesting against the French nuclear tests and what they said was the lack of firmness in Australia's attitude. Inside, French Ambassador Gabriel Van Laethem and Australian Prime Minister McMahon, spoke at a ceremony opening new equipment at the establishment.
The French nuclear tests were discussed by both men, as seen in this Australian Broadcasting Commission film -- satellited to London for syndication.
It is not yet known when France will begin the new series of nuclear tests in the Pacific. Reports from Paris on Monday indicated that the tests were due to start on Tuesday (20 June), but so far no testing has been carried out.
SYNOPSIS: Protests against the upcoming series of French nuclear tests in the South Pacific continued in Sydney on Tuesday, outside an Australian Atomic Energy Commission establishment. Inside, French Ambassador Gabriel Van Laethem and Australian Prime Minister William McMahon commented on the tests. First, Ambassador Laethem.