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Thursday, 17 September 1936

Senator COLLINGS (QUEENSLAND) .- It is a verygreat privilege, indeed, to. have the opportunity to. secondthe motion which has been so very eloquently proposed by Senator Macartney Abbott. This is an unusual occasion: We have an opportunity now, by agreeing : to this motion, to do something which is not very often done by any of the. governmental institutions of any part of the world, and certainly, to my knowledge, has never been done in this Parliament. Instead of talking fear of other nations, instead of talking about defensive measures, instead of talking about guns, cannons and forts, instead of yielding to that psychology of fear which has been deliberately created by the private profit-making armament firms throughout the world, instead of adding our voices to the general chorus of war danger which we hear from every land, we have the opportunity to strike another note." We can declare to all nations that there is- at least one '-parliament in the world, and that the National Parliament of Australia, which says to -peoples of the. earth, who are- torn by fear, suspicion and international rivalries, which if allowed to"go on unchecked-, must end in the destruction- . of civilization, that there is a better way. That way is the use and development of scientific thought and achievement, not for the destruction of civilization, but for the encouragement of a. new' order, and the removal- of the problems that to-day . tear the. peoples of the earth asunder. We have the opportunity at long : last, as has been so eloquently stated by Senator Abbott, to lay the foundation stone of a new understanding. As Mr. Fisk points out in his letter quoted by Senator Abbott, scientists have given to us in the miracle of wireless the vehicle for that exchange of thought which is envisaged in the motion. Those who have wireless . sets can now, in the comfort.. of . their own homos, listen to talks from Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia, Japan and other countries, -but because . of our lack of more than one . language, only a few of us can understand what- is- said in other than our native tongue. It has been said that we are the heirs of all the. ages. It is wonderful to realize that we have now at our disposal the- mechanical means of international thought exchange, once we have devised a common language for the world. Senator Abbott and I are on opposite sides in politics, but this proposal transcends ordinary politics and party divisions. Let us, therefore, lift this motion above party levels and political controversy. Let ns realize that the only tiling that matters to-day, is the preservation of world harmony. We may pass our laws and our standing orders with all the forms and ceremonies to which we rightly have to conform, yet as Senator Abbott stated, documents may be printed and circulated, but not by documents alone can enduring peace be achieved. This motion presents the opportunity for us to show our willingness to establish peace. The wireless channel already exists, and all that remains for this Senate to do in furtherance of the ideal that is presented to us is to carry the motion, send it to the Governor-General, and ask that it be transmitted to His Majesty the King so that in time it may reach, we hope, the League of Nations or a world convention. When a universal language is agreed upon, we shall get a better understanding between the competing nations of the world, and a new conception of our relationship one to the other.

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