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Tuesday, 29 March 1966

Mr FAIRHALL (PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Defence) - The honorable gentlemen opposite can always be trusted to bring the worst out of any argument which is badly reported in the Press. Last night I used the words quoted by the honorable gentleman but they did not mean what he says they mean. What I said was that I thought it would be better if the burden for the Vietnam war were more widely distributed. If the honorable gentleman will read this morning's Sydney " Daily Telegraph " he will see that the reporter made an express bracketed explanation of the situation to say that this referred to the situation following the pacification of South Vietnam when this country would, no doubt, be called upon to join in developing a better way of life for the people of South Vietnam. The idea that any widening of the effort - and it was not referred to as a war effort - could apply only to additional people recruited for service in Vietnam is an invention of the honorable gentleman's own fertile mind.

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