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Tuesday, 16 October 1956

Mr BEALE - I do not want to take up question time with a lengthy explanation. Very briefly, what happened was this: I was addressing an admirable body of people, the Liberal convention in Brisbane. I spoke about the Government's defence policy, and in the course of that speech I mentioned the very substantial amounts of money which were being expended on defence science, and I spoke of the Woomera project, which, of course, is a joint BritishAustralian project, on which we have expended about £56,000,000. I mentioned the fact that we had, on behalf of theBritish Government, first been developing, short-range missiles, and were now moving on to the development of what we calf longer range " deterrent " weapons. I speculated then on the sort of hope we had that when these weapons became perfected this might make World War III. the impossible war, in that the enemy would know that, no matter what he could do to us we could do the same sort of thing to him. These views were similar to those stated by Mr. Erroll, the British Parliamentary Secretary for Supply, who was out here some time ago, and they were also stated in newspaper articles published at the request of a Melbourne newspaper by myself somemonths ago. There was nothing revolutionary about it; and it was all published and said before. Strangely enough, the newspaper which published that article was thevery newspaper - indeed the only one - topublish the sensational report two or three days ago. I communicated with the newspaper, pointing out this fact. The newspaper published a retraction in part, but omitted, no doubt inadvertently, to mention" the fact that it had had the article in print some months before.

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