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Thursday, 15 September 1983
Page: 871

Mr DOBIE —Mr Speaker, may I have the indulgence of the House for a moment?

Mr SPEAKER —Yes, the Chair will allow the honourable member for Cook indulgence, but I ask honourable members to recognise that this is not the lead to an open debate.

Mr DOBIE —I understand that, Mr Speaker. You will discover from my words that I will respect the Chair. In answer to the remarks made by the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Lionel Bowen) I would like to say that what he said is true. I think it should also be recorded in the House, in deference to what the Deputy Prime Minister has just said, that those of us who were in attendance were, in fact, there irrespective of the party to which we belong, emotionally involved on the occasion. The occasion was, in fact, for those of us who have had a great interest in and concern for the Lebanese people. We were all moved and touched by a moving mass celebrated by the Archbishop in Our Lady of Lebanon Church. The subject spoken about following that mass was most emotional. For my part-I am sure that I speak for the honourable member for Mitchell (Mr Cadman) as well-I thought the remarks made by the Deputy Prime Minister were in keeping with the mood of the occasion. I must confess, I expressed disappointment that it was not possible for Opposition members to speak on that occasion because all of us present were very much aware that the problem of Lebanon is of such deep concern to so many Australians that it goes beyond bipartisan politics. I support what the Deputy Prime Minister was doing on that occasion.