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Tuesday, 8 March 1966


Mr HAROLD HOLT - If they do, let them stand and be counted when the time comes. We cannot be isolationist or neutralist, placed as we are geographically and occupying, as we do, with limited national strength, this vast continent. We cannot leave it solely to our allies and their national servicemen to defend in the region the rights of countries to thenindependence and the peaceful pursuit of their national way of life.

I am confident that a majority of this Parliament and of this country will warmly support this increase in the Australian contribution. It has been heartening to the Government to have had, from the outset, the unanimous support of members of the Government parties for Australian participation in resisting Communism in South Vietnam. The overwhelming support given by the Congress of the United States of America in recent days to the amounts sought by the President for the conduct of military and aid operations is encouraging testimony of the strength of purpose of the American people. The free world has cause to be grateful for the clear sighted view President Johnson has held at all times of the menace and fundamental character of the challenge to freedom in South Vietnam, and we have admired the resolution with which he has met that challenge.







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