220 Memorandum from Mullins to Department of Foreign Affairs

Wellington, 2 November 1982

MWL10107

New Zealand: Closer Economic Relations with Australia

Reactions to the visit of Deputy Prime Minister Anthony last week have been cautious and optimistic.

2. Prime Minister Muldoon, speaking to journalists after Cabinet on 1 November, confirmed that Cabinet had approved the agreement reached with Mr Anthony. He repeated several times that the substance of the agreement would not be disclosed 'to anyone' until it had been considered by both Cabinets (i.e., New Zealand and Australia). He said that the terminal dates remained non-negotiable but that there had been some changes on the question of access ('I think we have been able to help him a little without damaging our own manufacturers. But I cannot go beyond that'). Mr Muldoon said 'we have an agreement' on CER, subject to confirmation from the Australian Cabinet, and added that Mr Anthony was 'hopeful' of obtaining this confirmation quickly. Asked about the situation should such confirmation not be forthcoming, Mr Muldoon said 'I think really we have just about got to the end of the possibility of negotiating any further changes'.

[NAA: A1838, 37011119/18, xxxiv]