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Wednesday, 19 November 1986
Page: 2540

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(9.34) —I thank Senator Puplick for the complimentary remarks he made about the Department of Arts, Heritage and Environment. I will refer the matter of the film Death of a Soldier to the Department. I firmly believe in Hiram Johnson's comment that the first casualty of war is truth. If I really wanted to be pretentious I could quote Voltaire and say that to the living we owe our good wishes; to the dead we owe nothing but the truth. They are important quotations in coping with this sort of situation. If it is true, as Senator Puplick says, that this film is not being shown because of pressure from trade unions or any other body, I believe that is wrong. I believe that it is important that we know the truth of our history, warts and all. Therefore, I will take a personal interest in any response that may come from the Department. I think Senator Puplick knows that the matter of the number of non-statutory bodies operating within the Department of Arts, Heritage and Environment and the potential consolidation of such bodies and committees is being looked at by the Department at the moment. In view of his committee's good relationship with the Department, I hope that he will be satisfied with the responses he gets in the near future.