Story: United States and New Zealand

David Lange and the Oxford Union debate

In March 1985 David Lange took part in a debate at the Oxford Union in England on the proposition that 'nuclear weapons are morally indefensible'. His opponent was the American evangelist Jerry Falwell. New Zealand's opposition to visits by nuclear-armed and -powered ships was criticised by the United States, the UK and Australia, who feared it might influence other countries. Lange denied that was the intention, but the Oxford Union debate undoubtedly focused international attention on New Zealand's anti-nuclear stance. As this clip illustrates, he also used the occasion to demonstrate his quick wit on the subject.

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How to cite this page:

Robert Ayson and Jock Phillips, 'United States and New Zealand - Nuclear-free 1980s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/32901/david-lange-and-the-oxford-union-debate (accessed 18 November 2019)

Story by Robert Ayson and Jock Phillips, published 20 Jun 2012