Editor’s Note: The speech below was delivered by former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the National Press Club of Australia on September 29. It is republished here with his permission.
[…] The nagging concern about the French submarines was that they were not nuclear-powered. Nuclear-powered subs have unlimited underwater range – nuclear reactors, unlike diesel engines, do not need oxygen. Their endurance is only limited by the need to keep the crew sustained. They can operate at much higher sustained speeds underwater, about 25 knots, than a diesel-electric submarine. And they don’t need to surface, or snort, to recharge their batteries by running their diesel motors. […]
Is it credible to have a hands-off, plug-and-play nuclear reactor filled with weapons-grade uranium and not inspect it for 35 years? The US and UK will know for sure in about thirty years. And until then, if something does go wrong, both nations have extensive nuclear facilities and expertise to deal with it. […]
France believes it has been deceived and humiliated, and it was. This betrayal of trust will dog our relations with Europe for years. The Australian government has treated the French Republic with contempt. It won’t be forgotten. Every time we seek to persuade another nation to trust us, somebody will be saying “Remember what they did to Macron? If they can throw France under a bus, what would they do to us?” […]
Morrison’s response is to say that he could not be open and honest with Macron because the French might have run to Washington and urged Biden not to do the deal. That tells you a lot about how confident he is about the commitment of the Americans. Läs talet