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Wednesday, 23 March 1966


Mr SPEAKER -(Hon. Sir JohnMcLeay).- There is no substance in the point of order.


Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes (CHISHOLM, VICTORIA) - I will provide the evidence and honorable members can judge for themselves whether it is correct.


Mr Erwin - Where is the honorable member for Yarra?


Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes (CHISHOLM, VICTORIA) - I hope that I was right in my use of the forms of the House in asking the Whip to inform the honorable member for Yarra of my intention to make this speech tonight. He said at this stage in his speech -

.   . there must be a considerable strength In the people fighting in opposition to that- "That" being what he referred to before as the very strong American fire power. He went on - and they-

That is, the Vietcong - are fighting, as I said at the introduction to this point, mainly for national reasons.

There were more interjections of " guerrillas ". The honorable member for Yarra said -

They are fighting also.

There were more interjections of " guerrillas". The honorable member for Yarra said, in reply -

Well, what is wrong with it?

In other words, he was asking what was wrong with the guerrillas, which is almost exactly what I said on the previous occasion. 1 am sorry; I did not really do him justice. He continued - ls there something particularly sinful about a guerrilla?

There were voices of " Yes, there is ", and then there was quite a large disturbance. To be fair to the honorable member for Yarra, 1 slate that he went on after the disturbance had quietened down and said -

I have said already, and I don't want to be misquoted about this, 1 have said already that I deplore force and violence used by anybody.

Now, apparently, the honorable member for Wills (Mr. Bryant) doubts that bit of evidence. But I have further conclusive evidence and perhaps the honorable member will be able to listen to the voice of the honorable member for Yarra on a tape made-


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member will be out of order in offering some enjoyment to the honorable member for Wills.


Mr Wentworth - Mr. Speaker, could we suspend the Standing Orders to enable this to be done?


Mr SPEAKER - Order!


Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes (CHISHOLM, VICTORIA) - If the honorable member for Wills or any other honorable member would like me to play this taped record which was taken at the meeting, I will be very pleased to do so in King's Hall in the presence of the Press or in your room, Mr. Speaker, in the presence of the Press after the adjournment. However, I think I have given to the House sufficient evidence that I did not misrepresent the honorable member for Yarra in recounting what he said at that meeting at the Mosman Town Hall. Furthermore, the importance of this lies not so much in that particular part of the speech but in the reply that he gave at question time when he was asked: "Would you defend East New Guinea with Australian forces? " I should like to repeat his answer in case some honorable members may have missed it. The reply was that there were three things he would do to protect East New Guinea if it were attacked. First, he said: "I would meet the threat with Australian forces." He said, secondly: " I would refer the matter immediately to the United Nations and ask them to bring about a ceasefire." Thirdly, he said: " If that did not succeed and the Americans were prepared to assist, I would be prepared to take assistance from them to bring about a cessation of hostilities and to bring about a return to peace. In other words, the honorable member for Yarra, with all his protestations the other night and his excellent speech based on human principles and idealism, would call in American draftees, which are the equivalent of national servicemen in Australia, except that they are called up at an earlier age. He would do so in order to defend New Guinea if it were attacked. There is very little difference between an attack on New Guinea and what is happening in South Vietnam today. I leave the matter at that, Mr. Speaker.







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