43 Letter from Muldoon to Fraser
I am very glad we had the chance to have such a useful talk about Australia - New Zealand relations in Lusaka. The fact that you and I were able to discuss the exercise and arrange how it should be handled will make it a lot easier for the work to go ahead in the positive spirit that we both want. You asked me for a note on how we have been handling the matter in public. I think you have already seen the press statement I made after our meeting, and I attach to this letter a copy of what I said at the National Party conference just before I left for Lusaka. In summary, the line I have been taking and, subject to any views you may have, will continue to follow is that the idea emerged naturally from our discussions following a NAFTA meeting. We agreed that NAFTA, valuable though it had been in the past, no longer seemed to be providing a sufficiently strong impetus for the economic cooperation that makes sense in the difficult economic environment in which both of us live. In pursuing this cooperation both of us would, of course, have to avoid sudden dislocations of our economies-whatever we worked out would have to be to the benefit of each, otherwise it would not endure or command public support. We could not predict the result of our examination of all the options but we would approach the exercise constructively, in a strong positive spirit.
[ABHS 950/Boxesl221-1226, 40/4/1 Part 19A Archives New Zealand/Te Whare Tohu Tuhituhinga 0 Aotearoa, Head Office, Wellington]