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Tuesday, 26 March 1985
Page: 812

Senator TOWNLEY(5.29) —I did not realise that so many people would want to speak on this subject. There are so many aspects of this matter that I feel it deserves much more time than the few minutes that we have available today. This is something we must look at in total perspective. I do not believe that what Senator Sibraa said is correct; that the police in South Africa are consistent. That is what I think he said. In other words, he was trying to imply that this was almost done on purpose by the South African police.

Senator Jones —It has been happening for 25 years.

Senator TOWNLEY —I am not making apologies for the fact that it happened; I am just trying to keep this debate in some perspective, because if we force South Africa into a situation where it is entirely by itself we will not be helping the blacks of that country at all. I have been advised that if we help ruin the economy of South Africa the people who will suffer first will be the black people. As I see it, the only way things can be improved in South Africa is gradually and sensibly, and certainly by countries of the world admonishing occurrences such as we have just seen. When attempts are made in a genuine way to improve the situation, it is about time that some of the leaders of the world made some comments. They are only too pleased to criticise something that is obviously deserving of criticism, but how often do we hear them trying in a genuine way to assist the process of change that we all know has to happen in South Africa? I feel that this matter is one on which we should have a thorough debate. It is time that people showed some encouragement to the country to change rather than force it into a position whereby too rapid change will result in a very dangerous situation.