WASHINGTON — The United States bowed to Australian public opinion today and announced it will conduct tests of its controversial MX missile without using Australian support facilities.
Secretary of State George P. Shultz made the announcement after a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
It was the second jolt this week to the three-way ANZUS alliance composed of Australia, New Zealand and the United States. On Tuesday, Washington angrily called off a joint military exercise after New Zealand, citing its anti-nuclear policies, refused to let the U.S. destroyer Buchanan dock there during maneuvers. (Story on Page 7.)
News reports in Sydney, Australia, said Hawke had decided without advance consultation with U.S. officials to withdraw a four-day-old offer to let U.S. monitoring aircraft use Australian facilities during MX missile tests.
Hawke, appearing with Shultz in the State Department lobby, denied that the MX decision will have any impact on the ANZUS mutual defense treaty.