Informal Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Prime Minister Robert Hawke of Australia

February 7, 1985

Q. Mr. President, does the ANZUS alliance have any future, given the lack of cooperation we've been getting from our South Pacific allies?

The President. Well, the only thing that has happened that disturbs that is the New Zealand position on our vessels there and the right of entry at the ports. But, other than that, I think our ANZUS alliance is very sound and very solid. And I think the presence here of the first head of state, in the new term, the Prime Minister of Australia, is evidence of that.

Q. Doesn't the announcement yesterday of a change of plans on the MX test give you any reason for concern, Mr. President?

The President. No, because that was pretty much our own idea. We had several alternatives, and we made a choice.

Q. Are you concerned at all about a ripple effect throughout the other allies?

The President. No.

Q. What does the U.S. intend to do, sir, about the New Zealand position on our vessels?

The President. About what?

Q. What does the U.S. intend to do? Will we be considering economic sanctions or reviewing our relationship with New Zealand?

The President. Oh, this is I don't think any time to discuss that.

Q. Will you be talking to your guest about a separate alliance between the U.S. and Australia and excluding New Zealand?

The President. No. As I say, we feel the ANZUS alliance is very much alive and working.

Q. How do you feel about the reaction to your speech last night, sir?

The President. Well, that's a whole different subject. I only answered those other questions, because I thought that I couldn't avoid them on the subject they were on. But I've been pleased, yes.

Note: The exchange began at 11:35 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House.