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Thursday, 8 December 1960

Mr HASLUCK - Certainly not. In reply to the honorable member for Balaclava, I think that in matters relating to the relationships between races we should take some care over the definition of our terms. As Iunderstand it, the word "apartheid" is a word which is given official use in the Union of South Africa to describe the method that the Union of South Africa has chosen to deal with its internal problems of how two communities and more than two races can live side by side within the same territory. As I understand it, the solution there is that the racial communities live and develop in two separate compartments within the same constitutional framework.

Using that exact meaning of apartheid, that policy is directly contrary to the policy we have adopted in New Guinea; because the policy to which we are working, and the policy that has been expounded to this House and the nation on many occasions, is for such instruments as a common electoral roll, one single parliamentary body and full participation of people of all races in all instruments of government. That is the clear policy of the Government and it is, of course, completely contrary to any policy of apartheid. I would, however, like to say that one cannot go, at one leap, from a community jr. which, in fact, two races do exist, to a community in which race becomes of no importance. We cannot escape the facts. I can illustrate my meaning perhaps by a reference to one field of government - education. At the present stage in Papua and New Guinea we have schools which are attended by European children only, and in which the teaching is wholly in the English language, because those children have English as their mother tongue and can be taught in English. We have other primary schools which are attended by native children only, because English is not their native language. They do not have the same cultural and social background as the European children, and for the simple purposes of efficient education you need to put them into a school where they can be taught by a method different from the method that is applicable to children who have English as their native language. Yet at the same time we have established, and are carrying out, a policy in the Territory by which, at the secondary school stage, all children will go to the same schools, because at that stage they are capable of profiting from the same education, and eventually in the Territory there will be only one set of schools. I want to emphasize that you do have a transitional stage in which there may be a superficial appearance of treating the two races in separate compartments, but there is no doubt that Australia's policy in the Territory is for a common development towards a common future.

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