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Thursday, 23 August 1973
Page: 367

Mr MCVEIGH (Darling Downs) - Thank you, Mr Chairman. I appreciate the fact that the age of democracy and decency is not lost while you are in the Chair. I compliment the honourable member for Wannon (Mr Malcolm Fraser) for exposing the rather cavalier remarks of the Minister for Immigration (Mr Grassby) in his references to Australian citizens. I congratulate the honourable member for Wannon for bringing to the notice of the Australian people the shoddy tactics of the Minister in declaring in this chamber that he was basing his immigration policy on the result of a gallup poll. In my view what is proposed by the Minister is a very unwholesome method of describing a citizenship ceremony, which is very important in the life of a new citizen. It is an occasion which should be made as meaningful and as purposeful as possible. These ceremonies should be specific in their meaning and deliberate in their intent. One cannot but express concern at the fog of uncertainty contained in the Minister's speech. I shall deal with the first proposal concerning the deletion of the words renouncing all other allegiances. I could not hope to press the case so strongly as did the honourable member for Wannon, but in my humble way I shall endeavour to reinforce the logic of his argu ment and the quality of his expression. What type of citizenship do we desire for our Australian ethos?

Mr Keogh - Australian citizenship.

Mr McVEIGH - That is what the Country Party desires.

Mr Keogh - Then why not vote for the amendment?

Mr McVEIGH - That is not what the Minister desires.

Mr Keogh - Why not read the amendment and vote for it?

Mr McVEIGH - The Australian Country Party, as always, is consistent in its attitude. This is a consistency which was shared by members of another place who have thrown open a challenge to the minority Government that sits opposite in this place. As the Leader of the Country Party (Mr Anthony) said this afternoon: 'We are after a double dissolution; we will call your bluff. We await it.'

THE CHAIRMAN (Mr Scholes)- Order! I suggest that the honourable member should debate the question which is before the Chair, that is, the amendment moved by the Minister for Immigration. The honourable member is debating many other questions. This is a debating committee and the honourable member must debate the question before the Chair. If he does not do so I will ask him to sit down.

Mr McVEIGH - Thank you, Mr Chairman. Once again I bow to your knowledge and accept your ruling. The Country Party submits that we should have a citizenship which owes its complete allegiance to this country, a citizenship in which no other country has any claim in law on the incomes and services of its former citizens. We want our new citizens to be completely free and safe from seditious influences that seek to undermine and veritably destroy the liberty and freedom of their children. The deletion of the words proposed by the Minister could inculcate in the minds of the people of other countries, which are somewhat jealous of our resources - Jo Bjelke-Petersen will look after them in Queensland - that we do not care if our citizens do not formally renounce their previous allegiances. We should declare where we stand. Make no mistake about it, the Country Party knows where it stands. We declare forthwith and in resolute language that citizenship of Australia should be granted only on the formal renunciation of any former ties. The Minister should use all his efforts in this regard. During the recess I noticed from newspaper clippings that he certainly did his share of globe trotting and tripping to have multilateral treaties and bilateral arrangements whereby-

Mr Morris - What are they?

Mr McVEIGH - We know that the Government is spending 92 per cent more revenue on education. It would have to with people of the calibre of the honourable members opposite us. I was referring to arrangements whereby the acquisition of a new citizenship cancels the original citizenship and all its obligations. In our view, one cannot and must not be a servant and disciple of 2 masters. That would be untenable and could not be tolerated. We hope that the Minister will show initiative in this regard and will safeguard the lives of children, for example where one parent being a Yugoslav journeys to his homeland and that country claims jurisdiction over the children of an Australian born citizen. Unless the Minister moves in this regard, and if he deletes from the Bill the amendments passed by the Senate - the House of propriety and dignity - he will in effect be declaring to the world that Australian citizenship does not grant protection where it is most needed. The least we can do is state our views and stand firm in our convictions.

Mr Keogh - I gave the honourable member a copy of the amendments. Why does he not read them?

Mr McVEIGH - I will report the honourable member to Bob Hawke, so he should watch out. I do not know how you put up with honourable members opposite, Mr Chairman. I turn now to the second item under discussion. I marvel at the loose interpretation of fact and the playing with words. In his speech on the Royal style and titles for Australia the Honourable E. G. Whitlam, the self-styled, courteous and dignified Prime Minister of this country, said in this chamber that the removal of the words 'Defender of the Faith' has no historical or constitutional significance for Australia. Be that as it may, one can only express amazement and astonishment that the Minister for Immigration has deleted words which are of great traditional significance. What does tradition imply?

Mr Armitage - It is a good job that the honourable member is reading this.

Mr McVEIGH - The honourable member cannot even read. We should acknowledge our debt to those who contributed towards establishing our culture and way of life. 1 marvel at the deliberate attempts made by the Whitlam Government to break our traditional allegiances and friendships in the Commonwealth. I refer to such things as the removal from our postage stamps of the monarch's head, the removal of the word 'Commonwealth' from our bank notes and the deliberate waste of public funds in removing the word 'Commonwealth' from the magnificent building erected by the previous Government which unfortunately has to house such people as the honourable member for Bowman (Mr Keogh) and the Labor administration.

The CHAIRMAN (Mr Scholes - Order! I suggest to the honourable member that he speak to the amendment.

Mr McVEIGH - I am developing a point.

The CHAIRMAN - I think that the honourable member is developing the point in a very expansive manner. I suggest that he contract his remarks.

Mr McVEIGH - I was making the point that the Government has removed words such as 'Commonwealth' at great public expense, and this money could have been-

The CHAIRMAN - I suggest to the honourable gentleman that he come back to the question.

Mr McVEIGH - Thank you very much, Mr Chairman, I thought that the money could have been better spent on cheaper rural telephones. I just want to make that point. The sum total of all this, as indicated in the suggested form of allegiance, is that the Labor Government is aiming deliberately at isolationist republicanism. Gone are our displays of affection for the monarch personally. This point was excellently raised by the honourable member for Wannon (Mr Malcolm Fraser). In case honourable members opposite do not know their history-

The CHAIRMAN - Order! The honourable member's time has expired.

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