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Wednesday, 4 March 1970

Mr GORTON - I find it strange to hear the implication in this question from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition that Australia should slavishly follow some American suggestion. Whatever the Gates commission may have to say about what it believes appropriate for America and whatever it has to say about what it might believe appropriate for Australia has no significance in this country for this Government. We have been examining for some time the way in which Australian forces can be kept to the level that is necessary for the defence of this country and we have come to the conclusion -I believe the correct conclusion - that the only way that can be done is by the existence of a scheme of national service and we propose to continue this scheme while it is necessary to do so, asI believe it will be for long ahead.

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