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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Number 19, 1976.]

Campaign Against Nuclear Warships

page 3

Campaign Against Nuclear Warships

Canwar Policy

The Campaign Against Nuclear Warships declares its total opposition to the entry of nuclear powered and nuclear armed warships to any New Zealand port.

Believing that such visits
(a)pose an unacceptable environmental and health threat to the people of New Zealand;
(b)will inescapably entangle us in the nuclear consequences of world power rivalry;
and Affirms that the interests of New Zealand would be best served by the creation of a nuclear free zone in the South Pacific.

Canwar Activities

These are activities organised by Canwar. We invite your parcitipation in them to keep nuclear warships out of our harbour.


Vigil: Cenotaph. Thursday August 5. All night as a prelude to the march.


Forum: VUW Union Hall 12-2pm Thursday 5 August. Assorted prominent speakers.


March: Assemble 7.00pm Bunny Street Friday August 6 - Horoshima Day. The march will move through Wellington to the Town Hall. A demand to the city elders will be affixed to the doors of the Town Hall calling on them to prevent the visit of nuclear warships.


Seminar: 1.30 - 5.30pm Sunday August 8 - Nagasaki Day. Victoria University Students Union Building.

Dave Morgan. President New Zealand Seamens' Union. The history of opposition that New Zealand maritime workers have had against nuclear warships and how that struggle will continue.

John Seddon. Lower Hutt City Council. John Seddon has been vociferous in his attempts to stop the possible visit of nuclear warships to Wellington harbour.

Terry Auld. Lecturer Wellington Polytechnic. On world power rivalry and its consequences for New Zealand.

Dr George Serralach. Biotechnology Department Maasey University. Safety and danger aspects of nuclear power and armaments.

Dr Ken Hulls. Organiser Peace Squadron. Nuclear Free Zones.

Chris Wheeler. Values Party. Values Party policy against the nuclear warships.

Peace Squadron: Ring Ken Hulls (SV-6058) and join the peace squadron with your boat or as a crew member.

When The Ships Arrive: Rumours are rife about when the ships will come. When they do arrive a vigil picket will be held at Queens Wharf for the duration of the visit. Remember this and bring a friend.

Your help is distributing pamphlets and posters, painting placards etc is sought.

Ring Don Carson or David Tripe. Phone: 856:669

No to Nuclear Warships

Canwar—Campaign Against Nuclear Warships

by Raewyn Tate and Christine Bogle


Why this group formed

The present anti-nuclear groups are based on ecological factors. Canwar, as a Wellington based group opposes an ecological threat which exists for political reasons.

Its aims are broad in that they are concerned with the political implications of growing U.S. control over N.Z. foreign policy and narrow in that they are concerned solely with warships rather than land based reactors.

The warships are regarded as a greater threat both because of the dangers of an accident resulting from their mobility and because they carry nuclear weaponry.

Image of a boat

Canwar believes that the Anzus alliance with the U.S. and Australia does not oblige us to have foreign ships in our country. The treaty signed in 1951 states that all parties "will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack". In 1971 a Liberal Australian government banned visits by all nuclear ships. It was only on the 4th June 1976 that they agreed to have them back.

Canwar also questions the government's new safety code for nuclear ships. Firstly this code makes no mention of the presence of nuclear weapons on the ships, secondly although a nuclear warship is quite safe if there is no accident, the chances of such an accident are greater than with a land reactor. There is a greater possibility of leakages of radioactivity into the air and water.

The original code of 1971 drawn up by the N.Z. Atomic energy commission, despite a lack of clarity on some points did detail potential risks - for example contamination of food and milk - and recommended certain safety precautions - e.g. first aid stations with iodine tablets. It also declared that a nuclear accident could happen at any time. The compilers of the code felt it would be unwise for the recommended safety procedures to be made public. The new code seems little more than a political gimmick to ally the quite just fears arising out of the 1971 code.

Any morning now, Wellingtonians may wake up to an American nuclear powered, nuclear-armed warship bobbing gently in the early morning tide. The scene will be peaceful enough - the underlying political realities are not.

If this happened New Zealand will have been drawn one step deeper into the American alliance. The present Government's reversal of New Zealand support of a nuclear-free zone in the Pacific will have become reality. New Zealand will be a target for Soviet nuclear missiles. And this will happen unless we, the ordinary people of New Zealand, do not put a stop to this political madness.

Why should we oppose such visits?

The danger of a new world war is increasing. Despite their paper agreements, the rivalry between the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union is intensifying. Since the strategic arms limitation agreements were signed, [unclear: both he] Soviet-Union and the United States have developed very large numbers of missiles which carry multiple warheads which can be targetted independently. The Soviet Union has increased its land-based and sea based missile launchers.

Their rivalry extends into every corner of the world. Even small countries are affected. The Soviet Union is trying to penetrate Samoa and Tonga. The United States has sent a stream of politicians and military men to New Zealand since the beginning of the year. N.Z. has been involved in numerous large-scalemilitary exercises since Janaury.

There is considerable danger from accidents. If ships nuclear reactors are invovled in an accident, there are major threats to present and future generations. The nuclear physicist Dr William Thompson pointed out: 'The real danger would be the long-term biological and genetic effects from the dispersal of radioactive dust" (The Press, July 15/9/76).

Radiation causes all types of cancer, from bone through thyroid to skin and lung cancers. Inhalation of a microscopic speak of plutonium 239 (an element used extensively in nuclear weapons) for example, can be fatal. Other nuclear elements are equally deadly. Our meat exports would also be threatened—contaminated meat is now allowed in foreign markets.

What Can we do?

We should demand that the N.Z. Government work to turn the Pacific into a nuclear free peace zone.

Write to the Prime Minister, your local M.P. and city council and demand that nuclear warships be refused entry to N.Z. waters and that N.Z. sponsor a nuclear free Pacific peace zone.

Get your church, trade union or professional organisation, local progressive associations active on this issue.

Support Canwar's demonstration and seminar against nuclear warship visits.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" Burke.

The Nuclear Powers have stockpiled the equivalent of2 million Hiroshima sized nuclear weapons (according to a U.N. report).

U. Thant said the world spends more on armaments in one day than on aid and development in one year.

"The game is senseless - because both sides loose by 'winning' and neither side can win except by stopping the 'game'"

U.S. Congressman Robert Drinan.

"We are sliding towards nuclear war"

Rear Admiral La Rocque (USN)

The total amount of bombs dropped on Europe and in the Far East during the entire WW He was but 1/25 of 1% of the strength of our current nuclear stockpile"

U.S. Senator Symington

"Indeed I think people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of their way and let them have it".

President Eisenhower.

"I can go into my office and pick up the telephone and in 25 minutes 70 million people will be dead"

President Nixon.

"The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us".

President Kennedy.

Nuclear Sub Seadragon at Sasebo

Nuclear Sub Seadragon at Sasebo