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Tuesday, 10 April 1973
Page: 1254

Mr WENTWORTH (Mackellar) - I move:

That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would preclude the re-opening of the debate upon order of the day No. 9 on today's business paper.

Order of the day No. 9 reads:

Croatian terrorism - Ministerial statement - Motion to take note of the paper-

I do this because under the motion which was carried earlier debate on this matter was entirely truncated. In point of fact, there has been no substantial debate on this aspect of the matter. The Government said that it would allow free and full debate. It cut down the speakers to 3 a side. That was known in advance, but in addition, because there were many items in the compendious motion of the Government, the aspects of the statement relating to Croatian events and affairs were not sufficiently debated.

I believe it is important that this House should debate this statement, and there are many reasons for this. First, I believe it is necessary to correct public misapprehension fostered very cunningly and very, competently by the Government, which is creating prejudice against all Croatians. A one-sided case has been presented. This goes right back even to the historical perspective. The Prime Minis- ter (Mr Whitlam) today and last week spoke in this House about the history of the matter, and most of the facts he gave were correct, but they were not the whole facts, and by selection he gave a quite distorted and false picture of what has occurred. It is important for honourable members to remember that in the country which is now Yugoslavia there have been tensions for well over 100 years. These are racial tensions - ethnic tensions - which go back for a long time. It is perfectly true, as the Prime Minister said, that Croat organisations-

Mr Scholes - I take a point of order. The honourable member is debating the question for which he is seeking the suspension of Standing Orders to debate and not debating the motion for the suspension of Standing Orders.

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