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The oath of allegiance

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MEDIA RELEASE 1 8 9 / 8 3


(Joint S ta te m e n t by the L eader of the Opposition, the Hon. A ndrew P eacock, M.P. and the L eader of the N ational P arty of A ustralia, th e R t Hon. 3.D. Anthony, C.H., M.P.)

The G overnm ent's decision to drop any re fe re n c e to th e Queen from th e O ath of

A llegiance will disturb m ost A ustralians.

It is a m a tte r of serious concern to th e Liberal and N ational p a rtie s.

The G overnm ent has trie d to justify its decision by saying it does not w ant to fo rce

new citizens to sw ear allegiance to a Sovereign living outside A ustralia.

This argum ent is plainly d ecep tiv e.

The Queen is not only Queen of th e U nited Kingdom.

She is our Queen - th e Queen of A ustralia - and th e re is nothing un-A u stralian in

sw earing allegiance to her.

The Sovereign is an in te g ra l p a rt of our C onstitution, our G overnm ent, our

^Parliam entary system , our so cie ty , our history and our tra d itio n .

T h erQueen and her forbears have played a vital p a rt in forging th e A ustralian nation by being a focus for th e nation's allegiance which is above politics and s e lf-in te re s t.

The Opposition believes th a t it is in the overw helm ing in te re st of n ational unity and good and fair governm ent th a t th is situ atio n continues. . - -

We can th e re fo re only condem n th e decision on th e O ath of A llegiance, which is

clearly aim ed a t underm ining th e links betw een th e Sovereign and th e nation.

It is also a m a tte r of real concern to th e Opposition th a t th is decision has not been

taken in isolation.

It occurs against a background of strong support by senior figures in th e G overnm ent and the Labor P a rty for a new A ustralian flag, as well as th e w ell-know n and

w idespread enthusiasm in th e Labor P arty , from th e P rim e M inister down, for a

Republican system of G overnm ent.

As leaders of th e Liberal and N ational p a rtie s, we ta k e this opportu n ity of s ta tin g

firm ly and unequivocally our allegiance to th e system of C o n stitu tio n a l M onarchy which has served this nation so w ell, to th e Queen herself, and to th e A ustralian flag . f

These sentim ents a re shared by th e g re a t m ajority of A ustralians, and th e G overnm ent ignores them a t its peril.

CANBERRA S D ecem ber 1983