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Thursday, 29 November 1973
Page: 4173


Mr SPEAKER -Is leave granted?


Mr BARNARD - Let me turn to one other misstatement of the honourable member. He referred, with what he inferred was great knowledge, to the strategic basis document and he said that this flowed from the Department of Foreign Affairs. The honourable member knows this is a complete distortion of the facts. I said in this House that the strategic basis document arose as a result of my instruction to the Department of Defence to inform me and the Government on what was the strategic position of Australia between now and the 1980s. The strategic basis document was drawn up. I will again enumerate the persons who comprised the relevant committee, for the benefit of the honourable member. He needs to be informed on these matters, because he deliberately distorted the facts. It included the Chairman of the Chief of Staffs Committee, Sir Victor Smith. It included also each of the Chiefs of Staff, that is, the Chief of the Air Staff, the Chief of the General Staff, and the Chief of Naval Staff. It also included the Secretary of the Department of Defence, and also a representative from the Joint Intelligence Organisation. These are the men - they are not members of the Government - who made this recommendation to the Government.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! Leave is granted to incorporate in Hansard the document which the Minister sought to incorporate. (The document read as follows) -

 


Mr BARNARD - I indicate to the honourable member that this is the recommendation of those who have been appointed to lead the armed forces in this country. The honourable member inferred, deliberately of course to distort the facts, that this was something that had flowed from the Prime Minister and the 'Department of Foreign Affairs. 1 think I am quoting him accurately. The honourable member needs to be informed on these matters. We are now spending 2.9 per cent of the gross national product on defence. The honourable member should do his homework on these matters. If he compares our expenditure with that of New Zealand and most of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries he will find it is considerably higher. In New Zealand the expenditure in terms of gross domestic product or the gross national product, whichever term the honourable member prefers, is 1.7 per cent. Canada spends 1.7 per cent of its gross national product on defence. West Germany is spending no more than we are here.

Let me come to the next point. The honourable member said that we were reducing the number of forces in this country. I think that the honourable member would like to go back to a situation of conscripting the youth of this country - to a situation where young men who have reached the age of 20 years are selected by means of a ballot with a marble drawn out of a barrel to be conscripted into the armed forces of this country. This is the type of service that he would support. Now-


Mr SPEAKER - Order!


Mr BARNARD - ....


Mr SPEAKER


Mr BARNARD - ....


Mr SPEAKER


Mr BARNARD - ....


Mr SPEAKER -Order! All words after the first time I said 'Order' will be eliminated from Hansard. It being 11 o'clock, the House stands adjourned until Tuesday next at 11 a.m. or such later time as Mr Speaker takes the Chair.







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