Melbourne, July 6 : The U.S. military planned to test deadly nerve gas on Australian soldiers in Queensland during the Cold War.
Newly declassified Defence Ministry and Prime Minister's office files show that Washington strongly pushed then Prime Minister Harold Holt's government in the 1960s to allow tests of two of the deadliest chemical weapons ever developed - VX and GB, better known as Sarin nerve gas.
The details of the report will be aired on the Nine Network's Sunday program, The Australian reports.
It says the top secret plan involved allowing 200 mainly Australian combat troops to be aerially bombed and sprayed with the chemical weapons. It's understood the Iron Range rainforest near Lockhart River in far north Queensland was the likely location for the tests.
Peter Bailey, a former senior official, will reveal that the request caused consternation in Canberra, and as far as he knows, the tests never went ahead.
But he says planning was very advanced in Washington, which wanted the operation to be kept secret because the weapons were illegal under international law.
There has been no comment or reaction from Washington on this revelation so far.