Reply from ALP National Secretariat

We have today received from the National Secretariat of the Australian Labor Party a reply to our letter of 13 August 2013 to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The full text is below:

Begins

23 August 2013

Mr Paul Barratt

President Iraq War Inquiry Group Inc

Suite 406, 1 Queens Road

Melbourne Vic 3004

Dear Mr Barratt

Thank you for your letter of 13 August regarding the Federal Labor Party’s policy on Iraq. As you know, the Howard Government’s decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 was not supported by the Federal Labor Party in Opposition. That is why we had a commitment in opposition to withdraw Australian combat troops from Iraq and why we delivered on that commitment in Government.

  1. Executive authority

Under the Constitution, decisions on the deployment of the Australian Defence Force on overseas missions are made by the government of the day.

  1. Parliamentary war powers

The Federal Labor Government supports parliamentary debate over all matters of crucial national security importance.

  1. The ANZUS Alliance

Australia’s alliance with the United States of America remains a fundamental pillar of our national security and stability in our region.

  1. ANZUS

The Federal Labor Government remains committed to fulfilling all obligations under the terms of the 1951 ANZUS Treaty, which are consistent with the UN Charter’s provisions on the use of force.

  1. Iraq War Inquiry

Several inquiries have been conducted into this matter, including through a joint parliamentary committee in 2004. The Federal Labor Government does not propose to initiate or conduct another inquiry into these issues.

  1. WMD verification, monitoring and compliance

The Labor Opposition strongly supported the UN inspection regime in Iraq, including the UN Special Commission and the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Mission prior to the 2003 war.

The Federal Labor Government continues to support existing mechanisms for the verification, monitoring and compliance of global non-proliferation efforts. As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Australia chairs the committees on Iran sanctions, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Labor Governments have a strong record on WMD non-proliferation including establishing export control regimes such as the Australia Group, and ensuring the passage of the Chemical Weapons Convention through the United Nations General Assembly.

Regards

Carl

Information Services Unit

Authorised by G. Wright, 5/9 Sydney Avenue, Barton ACT 2604.

Australian Labor

PO Box 6222 KINGSTON ACT 2604

T: 1800 10 31 31 E: campaign13@chq.alp.org.au

| www.alp.org.au

Ends

by AWPR

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