fifty years ago, JUNE 23, 1972 Archives

France to ignore protests

Paris, June 22: Despite protests from nations in many parts of the world, France intends to go ahead with its nuclear tests in the South Pacific. The explosions could come at any time. Notices have been distributed and radio broadcasts in the area give frequent reminders, that ships should steer clear of the Mururoa Atoll, the test area, starting from midnight on June 20. Presumably, officials now are awaiting only favourable weather conditions for the first experiment. Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Japan have protested against the tests at the Geneva Disarmament Conference. The Canadian and Ethiopian delegates said they were associating themselves with the protests. Meanwhile the French Government yesterday formally denied that any danger existed to the populations or environment of the southern hemisphere from its above-ground nuclear test programme in the Pacific. Government spokesman Jean-Philippe Lecat said the French Cabinet yesterday discussed the test series. Mr. Lecat told newsmen that the Foreign Minister Maurice Schumann reported to the Cabinet on the reaction to the programme. 

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