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Thursday, 26 February 1987
Page: 878

Mr GORMAN(10.46) —I wish to speak briefly on a matter which is very close to my heart. As a former member of the Royal Australian Air Force in the Second World War and as one who had two brothers who served in the Army in combat areas in the South Pacific during the Second World War--

Mr Slipper —You would have been too young.

Mr GORMAN —Thank you very much. I am appalled by the remarks of the President of the Victorian branch of the Returned Services League, Mr Bruce Ruxton, who should be in South Africa as I believe he would fit that area very well. In my opinion he is a fascist and should take leave and go to South Africa. Fortunately, I have never had the pleasure of meeting Mr Ruxton. There appear to be some differences between Mr Ruxton's record in the Army and the official record of the war in the South Pacific. Mr Ruxton claims that he joined up at the age of 17. That would appear right because he was born in the same year as I was-in 1926. He joined the Army in 1943. He claims to have been in Borneo in 1943. The official war records state that Japan still occupied Borneo in 1943 and that it occupied Borneo until the American and Australian forces attacked in May 1945, which would appear to make Mr Ruxton's statement a little incorrect. He then served for some years in the occupation force in Japan.

Many Australians fought for peace in the Second World War and, of course, in the First World War. To us, the end of the Second World War meant that we had fought for and obtained peace. Many returned servicemen, regardless of colour, class or creed, believed we would be able to live together in harmony. After all, we are all God's children and the world could do without Bruce Ruxton. He should be condemned for his outrageous racist statements. In the world's eyes Ruxton puts us at the bottom of the racist ladder. I seek permission to include in Hansard the following items: A copy of a page out of the Bulletin of 3 March--

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Leo McLeay) —No, if it can be read you cannot.

Mr GORMAN —I seek to table the documents.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Is leave granted to table the document?

Mr Beale —I would like to have a look at it.

Mr GORMAN —Mr Deputy Speaker, also-- Mr Slipper-On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker: My understanding of the rules relating to the tabling of documents is that documents can only be tabled if they are in a form which would not permit them to be read in the chamber.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Anything can be tabled by leave.

Mr GORMAN —I also wish to table a copy of Who's Who in Australia, 1985 and also a page of the official war record. It is page 510, on the seizure of Balikpapan which is dated June 1945.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —You might show that to the Opposition spokesman too.

Mr GORMAN —I thank honourable members for that courtesy. These documents cover the story pretty well. I believe that the RSL is fortunate to have Sir William Keys to enable it to be stepping stones for peace and harmony within Australia. As long as it keeps Keys there I believe it will cover the necessary requirements of peace and harmony within the area of the Returned Services League.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Is leave granted to table the documents? There being no objection, leave is granted.