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Friday, 3 December 1965

Mr BEAZLEY (Fremantle) .- I wish to make only one brief observation on this matter. Having regard to the assurance that the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) has given to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) that it will be in order for members of the Select Committee to make comments on the desirable site for the new Parliament House, I hope that it will be in order for members of the Committee to make com ments on the environment of the site. I believe that in the past there was a defect in the powers of the Parliament to arrange its own environment. The result is that what could have been a magnificent vista from the front door of this building is ruined by the King George V Memorial, which blots the whole vista. I have nothing against the idea of commemorating King George V; but the nature of the monument behind the statue of the King suggests to me that someone deliberately set out to find what could blot the vista. It was clearly intended that there be a vista. Had it been a simple statue of the King - if it was felt that he of all the monarchs of history deserved the most prominent place in Canberra - it would not have blotted the vista. But putting up the great piece of stone behind the statue of the King ruined the vista. I hope the committee will have the power to determine what ought to be on the site so that somebody, in his temporary enthusiasm, will not erect a monument with the ruinous effects that this monument has had on this building.

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