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Tuesday, 29 March 1966


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Mitchell will have his chance.


Mr WHITLAM - No, Sir. He has had his last chance. The Prime Minister then referred to notes of newspaper reports concerning some debate at the Conference. He has not the newspapers in front of him. He did not authenticate the notes from which he was quoting. We have, but he did not have, the platforms of the Labour Party for 1963 and 1965. He referred to a debate on new terms which were inserted in the preamble. The only difference between the preambles of the Labour Party's foreign affairs platforms of 1963 and 1965 is that the following commencing words were inserted in 1965 -

The Labour Party, as a democratic socialist and internationalist Party, believes that every nation must share in the skills of mankind and the resources of the world according to its needs and must contribute to those skills and resources according to its capacity.

The Labour Party believes Australia cannot isolate itself from the struggles of the peoples of the world for economic development, security and self-government.

Those words I have just quoted are new features of the Labour Party's platform, and are completely consistent with the attitude that Australia should have universal or regional treaty arrangements.

The Prime Minister has been caught out in a half truth. He quoted the words which had been dropped from the defence platform concerning treaties. He did not quote the phrases which my Leader has quoted from the defence platform and which remained in it concerning regional defence treaties. He did not quote the references to specific treaties which remained unchanged between 1963 and 1965 in the foreign affairs platform. He did not mention the new general statement concerning treaties which was put in the foreign affairs statement. He did not mention the new sentences in the preamble to the foreign affairs statement. He wanted his audience to believe that significant words on treaties had been omitted - dropped from the defence platform. He did not tell his audience last night that those words had been transferred to the foreign affairs platform and that the foreign affairs platform had been augmented by a new preamble. As I have said, the right honorable gentleman has been caught out in a half truth. I believe that I am to be followed in this debate by the Minister for Trade and Industries (Mr. McEwen) who is the Leader of the Australian Country Party and who is at an advantage in that no copy of the Country Party platform has been printed since S.E.A.T.O. was drawn up.







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