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Wednesday, 16 February 1977

Mr BRYANT (Wills) -In giving our concurrence to this Bill, I ask the Government to take whatever steps it can in the next phase of international co-operation towards disarmament. I think Australia is in a position in which it ought to be able to use its influence in these matters. I agree with the honourable member for Prospect (Dr Klugman). In the final analysis there is not much difference between the victim who is hit by a shell, napalm, an arrow, or a bacteriological, biological or toxicological weapon. I am not too sure that Australia has played an effective role in this matter or that it has used its influence in an attempt to get a consortium -

Mr DONALD CAMERON (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - You are lucky, Gordon. You had better hurry it up.

Mr BRYANT -If you want me to keep this up all night, go ahead. I place on record that I think Australia has a function to perform in this area. I take the matter further than the honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Wentworth) who, I think, is unduly pessimistic about the people on the other side of the fence. After all, all the nasty, treacherous governments are not communist governments. I do not feel too kindly about the one in Indonesia at the moment. I think the Australian Government ought to start by taking up some other areas of international co-operation in the banning of weapons, play a much more effective part in it and perhaps start to move towards some convention which prevents the international trading in arms.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a third time.

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