Australia and the non-proliferation treaty

Author/s (editor/s):

James L. Richardson

Publication year:


Publication type:

Policy paper

On 1 July 1968 the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union, and some fifty other states signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Australia has not yet signed, and this monograph examines the issues the treaty raises for her.

The study is intended as a contribution to the debate on a major issues in foreign policy. It is critical of the Government's attitude as manifest in the United Nations debate on the treaty and argues that three criteria should govern Australia's signing: the treaty's probable value as a brake on the further spread of nuclear weapons, its effect on Australia's civil nuclear development, and its effect on Australia's external security. It then proceeds to examine these considerations and concludes that Australia should sign, though not unconditionally.

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