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Tuesday, 2 December 1986
Page: 3166

Senator GEORGES(4.23) —I am surprised at the aggressive way in which Senator Sir John Carrick supports the cause of peace. There is a contradiction there. The Liberal Party's problem is that it has reached the position of peace through strength. Immediately one takes that position, we are all endangered. The practical end of that approach to peace is that we will continue to arm ourselves in order to match the armament of our opponents. I am not misrepresenting the position. That is the basis of our disagreement. The Opposition has no trust or faith or hope and suggests that the world should continue to arm and that we should continue to be a part of the arms race.

Senator Sir John Carrick —On the contrary; our policy is total disarmament.

Senator GEORGES —I know the honourable senator's views and I know the policy of his Party, and I know what he has said here today-peace, but peace through strength. In the circumstances in which we are placed that policy is disastrous. Fortunately, there is a breakthrough. There are some who are beginning to believe that they can take a unilateral position in order to establish some reversal of the present acceleration in the arms race.

Senator Sir John Carrick —That is not Labor Party policy.

Senator GEORGES —Could we put Labor Party policy to one side? I find that difficult to deal with, just as I find it difficult to deal with Senator Sir John Carrick. All the statements the honourable senator has made concerning uranium and the use of uranium lead to the conclusion that we should ban the mining and exploitation of uranium. Everything he has suggested seems to indicate that we are dealing with an extremely dangerous element. The best way to deal with it is to make certain that it is not used at all.

Senator Sir John Carrick —That is not Labor policy.

Senator GEORGES —I have asked the Opposition to leave Labor Party policy on one side and to look at human policy as it ought to be. The honourable senator in his argument even mentioned banks, reserves of plutonium which we are to collect and put to one side and take out of the cycle. I suggest that we should not even commence the cycle, and then we would have no problems with any part of this debate.

Senator Sir John Carrick —Three hundred nuclear reactors.

Senator GEORGES —Well, let us put them down. They are starting to run down now.

Senator Walters —You are nice and warm.

Senator GEORGES —What is Senator Walters suggesting?

Senator Walters —I am saying that people need it for energy.

Senator GEORGES —I think we are being diverted somewhat. I remember Senator Sir John Carrick making a remark in support of the use of uranium for peaceful purposes for generation of electricity by saying: `Otherwise people will freeze in the dark'.

Senator Sir John Carrick —No, I did not.

Senator GEORGES —The honourable senator said that people would freeze in the dark, and he used another term, if I recall, that was unparliamentary; but it was quite incorrect. The risks of entering into the use and cycling of uranium lead to the whole world being placed at risk. The problem is that although an understanding might be reached by the super-powers, the major powers, recognising now as they do the possibility of human destruction, the problem is that other powers are beginning to exploit and to develop their own weapons. The only way to stop that is to stop the flow of uranium, to stop mining, to exclude it from human activity, as we have excluded other dangerous products from human activity. Poison gas is a classic example.

Senator Townley —They are using it in Iran.

Senator GEORGES —Yes, perhaps, but that is not a justification for its use. Let us take it that that is one product we ban.

Senator Townley —What about acid rain?

Senator GEORGES —Acid rain can be dealt with in a generation, but the consequences of the use of uranium may take centuries to recover from, if ever. Do not let us start idle comparisons. All I am suggesting is that the disagreement is that Liberal policy as to the achievement of peace places us at continued risk. The possibility of our walking together to achieve peace can be achieved only if Senator Sir John Carrick changes his views. He might suggest that I should change my views, but I am in the pure position of saying `Not on-no violence, no armaments, no conflict'. That is my position.

Senator Sir John Carrick —No, that is the Democrats' position.

Senator GEORGES —No, it is my position. The Democrats have nothing to do with the position I take on these matters. It seems to me that Senator Sir John Carrick is not prepared to accept the real concept of peace; that is my argument with him.