Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Thursday, 17 September 1936

Senator ARKINS (New South Wales) . - I have already spoken twice on similar motions moved by Senator Abbott providing for the adoption of a common language, and I rose more particularly to say that I disagree entirely with the views expressed by

Senator Millen.Undoubtedly, the propaganda of Bolsheviks, Communists, and Fascists, is detrimental to the peace of the world, but I fail to see that the adoption of a universal language would not result in a better understanding between the nations of the world. Senator Millen suggested that the adoption of a common language might easily bring about the disruption of the British Empire. Anything tending to such a disaster I would oppose, but I think that the opposite would be the result of this proposal. Certain Britishers, including some Australians, have been deluded into believing that communism is in their interests, and because of the fact that Britishers do not understand the Russian language, and the Russians do not understand the English language or the methods under which the British people live-

Senator Hardy - Surely if any honorable senator is opposed to a common language he is also opposed to the education of the masses.

Senator ARKINS - Not necessarily. An educated person has a knowledge of many languages, and the more he knows concerning his fellow' men the more highly is he educated.

Senator Collings - And more tolerant.

Senator ARKINS - Yes. I would not support the adoption of a universal language if I thought it would have the effect of disrupting the British Empire, or, in fact, the English-speaking people. If we attempted to educate people regardless of castes, creeds, customs or traditions, we would be getting nearer to world peace. I recalled on a previous occasion the history of the British race. Two centuries ago the people of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales were enemies, and in the English counties feuds existed for centuries. The adoption of a common language has resulted in a better understanding, and to-day Englishmen, Scotsmen and Welshmen are good friends and members of the same Parliament. What has been achieved in Great Britain can be achieved in other countries also. Senator Abbott suggested that those who oppose the motion do not believe in world peace, but probably, although differing from him in regard to method, they are as anxious as he is to secure that objective. Previous attempts have been made to secure the adoption of a universal language in the interests of world peace. The League of Nations was formed so that the wise men of the world could meet in conference and by an exchange of ideas understand each other's difficulties. Much has been achieved by the League, but a good deal has yet to be accomplished.

SenatorCollings. - We are going along the right road.

Senator ARKINS - We must assist the League in every possible way. Having experienced the horrors of war, I shall do all in my power to prevent international conflict. In Spain to-day, people who speak the same language are destroying each other in the most vicious way. I trust that something may be done to ensure a better understanding between the nations, and I believe that the method suggested will have the desired effect. Steady progress is being made towards the adoption of a common auxiliary language, which may help men to understand each other better and in that way promote universal peace, which should be the objective of every nation.

Suggest corrections