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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 3. 14th March 1973

But we want to know More

But we want to know More

Whenever, in the bad old days of the National Government, anyone asked what was the secret of Woodbourne, or how come the USAF was tracking satellites at Mt John, or what right did the Yanks have to operate a military base at Christchurch Airport, Sir Keith Holyoake would always assure us that nothing underhand was happening and that we could find out all about it by looking up the NZ — US agreements which were published and available to the public.

Now, Mr Kirk tells us there are confidential agreements containing classified information providing for the American military presence in New Zealand. But, having exposed this minor perfidy of the National Government Mr Kirk is content to re-assure us that the American military presence is not inimical to our interests.

To allay our fears he will ask his American masters for permission to release "further factual information on the exact function of certain installations".

Go to it Norm.

Tell us about the secret agreements that allow the US Naval Communication Station at Christchurch to relay a worldwide flow of classified radio messages; and that allow the USAF to forward military air cargo to bases in Australia and the Pacific. And tell us about any other secret agreements covering the submarine warfare research we do and the Orion anti-submarine aircraft we fly on behalf of the US Navy; and all that sort of thing.

And we would still like you to answer our questions and demands, of which there were about eight in that letter.

Thanks for the offer of factual information, but we also want action.

When do we get told the secret of Woodbourne?
When does Mt John close down?
When does US military flying at Christchurch Airport cease?
When do we stop mouthing about the Antarctic Treaty and really demilitarise Antarctica?
When does the US Naval Communication Station close down?

Meanwhile, faced by governmental inaction, we will express our demands a little more positively at Christchurch Airport on 24—25 March.