227 Telegram from Ministry of Foreign Affairs to New Zealand High Commission in Canberra

Wellington, 15 September 1981

No 3220. CONFIDENTIAL PRIORITY

ANZCER: Timetable

You will recall the discussion at the JWP meeting1 on Mr Fraser's commitment to a three-month period for full consultations with state governments and interested parties before any 'final' agreement would be reached on ANZCER. It seems strange to us that an agreement struck between the two governments should then be submitted to other 'interested parties'. Would they be able to demand changes? NZ could hardly be expected to reopen a package already negotiated and balanced. If they could not demand changes then the consultations would be a purely internal matter, to be undertaken before the agreement actually enters into force. The Prime Minister will want to clarify this during his talk with Mr Fraser at CHOGM. There was, however, a suggestion that the Australians would set out their views on a piece of paper, spelling out what this might involve for the timetable. We would be grateful for more details of the Australian position as soon as possible.

2 At the JWP Australian officials made reference to Mr Fraser's statement to the House of Representatives. We assume they were referring to his statement on 25 March 1980 (sent under cover your memo 89/411 of 27 March). This makes commitment to consultations before 'substantive decisions are taken' but there is no mention of a three month period as such. Is there another statement? Grateful for any general light you may be able to throw on this, in addition to whatever the Australian paper may reveal.

[ABHS 950/Boxes1221-1226, 40/411 Part 39 Archives New Zealand/Te Whare Tohu Tuhituhinga 0 Aotearoa, Head Office, Wellington]