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Thursday, 8 November 1973

Senator MURPHY - It is not often that I differ from the Prime Minister, but let me say that on this occasion it is hard to see why a song which has, as its theme, the death of a swagman caused by his jumping into a billabong should not be appropriate for a funeral. As to the rest of the matters raised, they are questions on which people differ. It is pleasing to know that conditions are so prosperous for everyone in Australia that the main bones of contention in this chamber are cultural questions, such as what ought to be the national anthem of Australia. I do not agree that God save the Queen' has served the peoples of the Commonwealth all that well, because many of them have dispensed with it, and there has been a great deal of criticism when there have been such events as the Commonwealth Games or even the Olympic Games and Australia has suffered from not having an anthem or a song which indentified Australia as being apart from the other parts of the Commonwealth. Be that as it may, the people of Australia will be given some chance to have a say on the matter. I will ask the Prime Minister whether there is anything further he would like to add on the matter.

Senator LILLICO - I wish to ask a supplementary question, Mr President.

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