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Friday, 30 October 1964

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) - by leave - I am glad that the significance of this incident was dwelt upon. Due to the drift of the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition, I feel that it is not presumptuous of me, and indeed that it is my duty, to rise. This is not an occasion on which we should be debating our defences. We have done that, and we will do so again. According to the Minister's statement, Australian troops, for the first time, are confronting Indonesian troops. This is so important that the Government has seen fit to report the matter immediately to the United Nations. I hope that every endeavour will be made and that every agency of that Organisation will be used to prevent further contact between the two countries.

Never let it be forgotten that the attitude of Indonesia towards Australia has been moulded largely by Australia's attitude to the emergence of Indonesian independence. The hope lies, first, in the disintegration of the Indonesian Government and the irresponsibility that prevails in it, and secondly, in the possibility that, by diplomatic means, this incident may be prevented from spreading. I rise to emphasise the importance of preventing, by diplomatic means and the agencies of the United Nations, the significance of the first clash between Australian and Indonesian troops from becoming intensified.

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