Security argument outdated
PATHETIC, to say the least, was the recent attack by the French Consul-General, M. Laurent Aublin, upon the students of Sha Tin College who chose to voice their concerns over the resumption of French nuclear testing in the Pacific.
Such conduct is unacceptable from a member of the consular corps, particularly from a representative of a state formerly known for its diplomacy.
I doubt that his belief that young people today are unable to understand important issues is shared by the people he represents.
M. Aublin's subsequent letter to these columns, on June 23, arguing the French position was as convincing as the letter which appeared on the same page claiming that Carlsberg's 'legs' commercials are not about sex.
It is said that the current French Government requires international conventions to compel it to behave in the responsible manner of other Western democracies possessing nuclear arms. Furthermore, other Western nations do not appear to require maintenance tests of their nuclear weapons to verify their reliability, making this French claim seem unsubstantiated at best, cause for concern about the safety of their arsenal, at worst. M. Aublin's argument that French security depends on its nuclear arsenal is outdated; that international stability is at stake is comical.
Finally, M. Aublin's allusion that only New Zealand and Australia have raised concerns is misleading.
Residents of Pacific island nations proximate to the test site are taking no comfort in unbelievable French assurances that nuclear tests are harmless.
At a time when most Western nations are attempting to foster relations in the Pacific region, these latest French actions are shortsighted.
I have ceased purchasing French products.
R. McLEMAN Happy Valley