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Wednesday, 8 December 1976

Mr SPEAKER -Order! There is too much conversation in the chamber. I remind the House that this is a debate on the defence statement. The honourable member for Swan is speaking. He is entitled to be heard. I do not want to take disciplinary action but if I need to do so then I will do it.

Mr MARTYR - I am pessimistic about the whole situation surrounding us. I think my colleague from Tangney (Dr Richardson) alluded to a speech by Brigadier Serong, and I agree with a great deal of it. I do not think we are in the position where we can sit back and do nothing. We have a tremendous problem. We are alone in this part of the world. It is all very well for us to base our present defence ideas on being helped by allies. But I think, as the defence White Paper admits, we cannot really rely on anybody. We are on our own, probably for the first time. I think honourable members in the House have to develop a Churchillian attitude to matters of defence.

Mr Innes - What about Santamaria?

Mr MARTYR - I think Mr Santamaria is doing a wonderful job. If only honourable members opposite would listen to him they would be better informed.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I want to maintain order in the House. I will take care of the interjections if the honourable member will continue with his speech. If he replies to an interjection he encourages a continuation of interjections. I call upon him to continue his speech.

Mr MARTYR - We are on our own. We can no longer rely on anybody. That is the message which everybody in this House, including honourable members opposite, have to take to the Australian people. I am a great believer in going about and talking with the people in my electorate. There is no door at which I do not present the case for Australian defence. I can say without any equivocation that the people in my electorate want the country defended. There is no doubt about that. When I speak to people as individuals I find that they want the country defended. We have to take the message to them and keep on telling them just how much it will cost and what sacrifices they will have to make. If we do this I believe that we will lay a foundation for the yean of danger which we will face in the terribly alone situation in this part of the world.

Amendment negatived.

Original question resolved in the affirmative.

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