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Thursday, 31 May 1984
Page: 2256

Senator MacGIBBON —I seek leave to make a personal explanation as I claim to have been misrepresented.

Leave granted.

Senator MacGIBBON —I just want to answer the charge the Senator Chipp made that I had said that I was in favour of nuclear weapons. I did not say that. I asked the question, by way of interjection: What would the position be if some or all of our neighbours had nuclear weapons? Later I said that we might find that a large number of Australians would demand that their parliamentary representatives do something about it. That is quite different from saying that I personally favour nuclear weapons. I do not believe in the acquisition of nuclear weapons for Australia. I never have. I am consistent in my position. I support the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and I abhor the spread of nuclear weapons around the world. I will support any practical moves to limit them. Normally, I would have let a minor misrepresentation like this pass without talking about it but quite obviously Senator Chipp, as he is entitled to do, will distribute this speech widely around Australia. It is unacceptable to me that on such a major issue my position will be misrepresented in the Hansard.

Question put:

That the Bill be now read a second time.