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Tuesday, 26 August 1980
Page: 690

Mr KILLEN - (Moreton- Minister for Defence)- by leave-Last week the Treasurer (Mr Howard) announced that $3.54 1 m had been allocated to defence in the 1980-81 Budget. I propose now to give the House more detail concerning this year's defence Budget, and to explain why the Government considers an increase in defence expenditure is necessary and how the money is to be spent.

I begin by referring to the main features of the 1980-81 defence Budget. The outlay for defence is $3, 541m, an increase of 17.7 per cent over 1979- 80. This outlay is assessed as representing a real increase of no less than 7 per cent, and about 2.8 per cent of the gross domestic product. Firstly, SI, 7 19m is allocated to manpower. This is a 2 per cent real increase over 1979-80 expenditure, and represents about 49 per cent of defence expenditure. Secondly, running costs take up SI, 004m. This is a 6 per cent real increase over 1979-80 expenditure and represents about 28 per cent of defence expenditure.

Thirdly, $638m goes on capital equipment. This is a 19 per cent real increase over 1979-80 expenditure, and represents about 18 per cent of defence expenditure. Fourthly, $138m will be spent on capital facilities. This is a 34 per cent real increase over 1 979-80 expenditure, and represents about 4 per cent of defence expenditure. Finally, defence co-operation is given $39m. This is a 26 per cent real increase over 1979-80 expenditure, and represents about 1 per cent of defence expenditure. There is also a small net provision in the defence outlay for future salary increases and revenue.

On 25 March 1980, 1 informed the House that my Department had been instructed to plan for 1980- 81 on the basis of at least a 5.5 per cent real increase above the 1979-80 level, and that expenditure would be further increased, if necessary, to cover requirements for the purchase of the fourth FFG guided missile frigate. The real increase in defence outlay above 5.5 per cent takes account of the decisions to accelerate acquisition of the fourth FFG. to establish the operational deployment force in Townsville, and to accelerate the growth of the Army Reserve to 30,000. These figures should also be seen in the context of the Government's five-year defence program.

The Prime Minister (Mr Malcolm Fraser), in his statement on 19 February 1980, referred to the Government's acceptance of the need for a sustained increase of resources to improve defence capabilities, to maintain a higher state of preparedness, and to expand activity in the Indian Ocean and in other areas in our neighbouring region. The Prime Minister and I announced details of a program totalling some $1 7,600m~~in August 1979 prices-over the next five years, involving an average real growth of about 7 per cent per annum, increasing to around 3 per. cent of gross domestic product by 1984-85.

The Government is increasing expenditure on defence in response to significant trends in the strategic environment. The Government's assessment of these trends has not been made in any abstract way. The assessment has been made following advice to the Government from its professional defence advisers. It deserves to be emphasised that the character of that advice is professional in every respect.

Some observers of the defence scene assert that government takes decisions on defence issues according to some curious political formula. Assertions of this kind are mischievous and do great injustice to all those who advise government in what is a highly complex field. To take but one significant example; the purchase of a new fighter aircraft will be the largest investment ever made by Australia in defence equipment. It is not merely a matter of choosing one highly complex piece of machinery rather than another, though that task in itself is extremely complicated. Strategic circumstances, supporting facilities, maintenance equipment, training of personnel, their living and working accommodation, the involvement of defence industry - all these matters are studied in detail by experts from a wide range of professional disciplines. Vast amounts of data are checked, examined, refined, and synthesised into a report to Government. I ask honourable members to keep in mind the high seriousness of purpose in these matters and to appreciate the complexity of judgment involved. These are vital issues in the real but often misused sense of the word. They demand a responsible approach.

I propose to say little more, in this statement about defence administration, other than to express my gratification that, at last, there are signs that the petty and irrational 'knocking' of earlier years is being replaced by more sober and more knowledgable appreciation within the media - and, I hope, in this Parliament- that the task of managing the nation's defence affairs is an enormously complex one. It is a task which is in very capable hands indeed in the Department of Defence and the Defence Force.

The re-organisation of the 1970s has, on the overwhelming balance of things, worked outstandingly well and, given opportunity now to settle down, will continue to do so. The enlarged responsibilities which the defence organisation must now shoulder make it the more imperative that it be given that opportunity. I have said before, and I repeat, that complacency is the last quality to be found in that organisation. Selfcriticism and hard-headed analysis of weaknesses are amongst the first.

My Department is contributing to the widening of knowledge and understanding of defence matters by improving public information programs. It has held two-day public seminars in four capital cities this year. Another seminar will be held in Sydney early next month. I am proud of these efforts. No other major department of state since Federation has made such an effort to account to the community for its activities and to explain its organisation and objectives. I am pleased at the welcoming response these seminars have received from those who have participated in them.

There have been significant strategic developments in the world this year which merit close consideration. The Prime Minister and I have made a number of references to those developments. In March of this year I summarised the longer term implications of what had been occurring as follows:

First, there will be recognition that super power relations are now characterised not only by tension but by mistrust. There is scope now for crises deeper and more frequent than we have hitherto experienced. Secondly, there will be few now who can confidently assert that, wherever favourable opportunities may occur for manipulation, subversion and interference, including the Asian and Pacific regions, The Soviet Union will not exploit them. Uncertainty and instability everywhere are stimulated by this.

Nothing has occurred since I spoke in March that significantly alters the uncertain prospects I then described. Relations between the superpowers continue to be dominated by tensions and apprehension. No easing of the massive accumulation of Soviet armaments is occurring or is in sight. The Soviet Union is devoting 12-14 per cent of its GDP to this effort. In 1979 it spent almost 60 per cent more than the United States of America on its military forces. Its ability to project power across the oceans into places distant from the Soviet Union itself is constantly increasing. Of particular concern to us is the pattern of current and anticipated Soviet naval construction. It appears to indicate that the role for the Soviet fleet is now moving towards a capability for limited sea control and an improved capacity to intervene in conflicts in the Third World.

We are bound to ask: 'Why? Why is the Soviet Union developing military strength, both conventional and nuclear, far beyond the proper and understandable requirements of its national defence?' Let me quote the judgments of three experts in the field - one Russian, one British and one French. First, Soviet Admiral of the Fleet, S. G. Gorshkov, has written:

The constantly growing maritime might of our country ensures our ability to enlarge our exploitation of the colossal natural resources of the world ocean. The exploitation of the natural resources of the world ocean combined with the advance of science and technology, making such exploitation possible, open new vistas of economic and political integration for the socialist states, widen the sphere of their international co-operation and heighten the prestige of the Soviet state on the international arena.

Admiral Gorshkov has also written:

Today we have a fully modern Navy, equipped with everything necessary for the successful performance of all missions on the expanses of the world oceans. Naval forces can be used - in peacetime - to put pressure on their enemies, as a type of military demonstration, as a threat to interrupting sea communications and as a hindrance to ocean commerce. The flag of the Soviet navy now flies over the oceans of the world.

Second, the British Secretary of State for Defence said in the last British White Paper:

There is also an explicitly aggressive motive for the Soviet military build-up. It is a basic, if nowadays, seldom stated tenet of Marxist-Leninist philosophy that communism will ultimately be extended to every nation and its spread should be promoted, if necessary, by military means when circumstances are right. The Soviet Union has already demonstrated that it will use force to maintain the Soviet brand of communism on Eastern Europe. The invasion of Afghanistan, at the end of 1979, was the first example of military intervention to ensure the Soviet hold on a country outside the Warsaw Pact. The Soviet Union will, we believe, continue to watch for opportunities to build up its influence in further countries and will be ready again to use force. The objective of this drive for influence is to limit and reduce first the influence and then the security of the West.

Third, Raymond Aron, a notable French writer whose competence in international politics has long been recognised, wrote recently:

In the 1930s the threat was on our front doorstep staring straight at us, and yet it went unrecognised. Today it is diffuse, shifting and unpredictable. Every country from the Suez Canal to Pakistan is astir with revolutionary movement, some of them inspired by religion, the rest by Marxist ideology. The Soviets are closer to that theatre than the United States and they have no hesitation about despatching Red Army military advisers or Castro's Cuban soldiers. Interrupting oil supplies would be a far cheaper and safer way of bringing Western Europe to heel than by nuclear warheads from an SS20.

I do not challenge the veracity of any of these blunt statements. Rather, I endorse them. The truths they contain are illustrated plainly by recent events. Soviet aggression in Afghanistan has not ended and an end to it is not in prospect. Soviet forces continue to crush a people whose non-aligned independence presents the Soviet Union with no conceivable military threat. Our concern with the situation in Afghanistan and the neighbouring region must not obscure for us the aggression by Vietnam - a treaty partner of the Soviet Union - on the border of our own area of primary interest. Vietnamese military occupation of Kampuchea has not ended. Vietnamese forces are still conducting military operations there against Kampucheans. Military attacks have been launched across the border against Thailand.

Let there be no doubt on this point. One quarter of the armed forces of Vietnam - that is some 250,000 Vietnamese military personnelare outside Vietnam, in Kampuchea and Laos. Well may we ask: 'Why?' I know of no external threat to the integrity of these once independent states - apart from Vietnam itself. I am pointing to public facts - Soviet military expansion, Soviet military suppression of the Afghan people, Vietnamese military suppression of the Kampuchean people, aided by the Soviet Union. I declare that Australian policies cannot remain unaffected by these facts. The Soviet and Vietnamese military operations must profoundly affect the prospects for stability in the international order which we now know and which, by and large, supports our own security. A most uncertain decade looms ahead.

How then, against this background of heightened tension and increasing instability, can Australia best act in our national security interests? First, we can act in concert with our friends. Second, we can build up our independent capability. We seek to co-operate with our friends in our common security interests, to sustain peace and to help contain the risk of threats to the independence of nations. We harbour no aspirations to dominate any nation. We do not wish to involve our forces abroad unless in the support of these objectives.

The central burden of deterrence of the Soviet Union must be borne by the United States. Its willingness and ability to carry the heavy load of defence expenditure, and to lead its friends and allies in an international deterrent effort, are critical to the independence and security of nations. In that effort, our American ally has Australia's full support. This is the reason why, wherever we can, we should look favourably upon United States requests for assistance in projecting its deterrent strength into the Indian Ocean. The Defence Department has been discussing with United States authorities ways in which we can assist their forces which are operating so far from continental USA. At this time no specific proposals have been received from the United States authorities.

An Australian task force will shortly be deployed into the Indian Ocean. The Government has stated publicly that its purpose will be to demonstrate our concern, in support of many nations' concern, that new Soviet threats in that area be deterred. Our operations, while co-ordinated with those of the United States, will be independent. Many of Australia's neighbours are increasing their military defence capabilities in response to the recent disturbing global and regional developments. As foreshadowed by the Prime Minister in February, the Government believes that cooperation with the independent nations in our neighbouring regions is a long term measure of major importance. Within our limited resources, we are, therefore, giving particular emphasis to providing practical support to the improvement of the independent capability of our neighbours to protect their own security.

Following visits earlier this year by an Australian training team to the Association of South East Asian Nations and later to Papua New Guinea, and consultations by the Secretary of my Department with senior defence authorities in the ASEAN countries, action is now in hand to expand the training and defence co-operation programs with our friends in the region. The activities involved in these programs bring the Defence Force into direct and practical co-operation with more than 1 1 countries in South East Asia and the South West Pacific. As an example of our policy interest in this I mention that, at the request of the governments of Papua New Guinea and of Vanuatu, we have made our loan servicemen in Papua New Guinea Defence Force available to assist, in non-combat roles, the operations of the PNG Defence Force in Vanuatu. Our Defence Force is also giving practical assistance to Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea in other ways.

In addition to international defence cooperation we must improve our independent defence capabilities. The 1980-81 Budget introduces a commitment to sustained development which will lift the Defence Force and the national defence infrastructure to a higher level of capability, preparedness and self-reliance. We will continue to develop the basic capabilities we need. These include surveillance, reconnaissance, patrolling and strike capabilities, mobile and versatile land forces, air defence and strategic and tactical air support. Extensive opportunities will open up in defence industry - vitally important for increasing our self-reliance - in design, development, production and continuing support of a wide range of new equipment.

Technological skills will be upgraded. We will continue to emphasise the development of this essential component of our capability. We will achieve this year a higher state of defence preparedness through these measures and through increased training levels- more flying hours, more steaming time, more track kilometres. We will move to a higher level of investment in capital equipment and facilities, as well as adding to the numbers of our defence manpower.

I wish to mention specifically our plans regarding the Army Reserve expansion. I repeat the

Prime Minister's call to young Australians to contribute to Australia's future security by joining the Army Reserve. We will be spending $25m this year, including $7m for equipment, on the expansion of the Army Reserve from 22,000 to 30,000. Let me say unequivocally that the Government regards the nation's Reserve forces as an integral part of our - defence preparedness and a foundation of our policy for timely expansion to meet a future defence emergency. We need these forces. We welcome the men and women who form them. We are proud to have their support.

I draw the attention of the House to some of the more significant elements of our capabilities and to the expenditure being committed this year on their development. First, however, I feel impelled to make a point I have made before in response to those who may be urged to comment that the decisions and developments I will be describing are 'nothing new'. Decisions the Government has taken in the Budget are consistent with the fiveyear program I announced earlier this year. At that time,.many items now in the Budget were approved only in principle as part of the planning process.

I take it as a compliment that there are those who suggest that much of what I say today has been heard before. It reflects my intention to keep this House informed on not only those matters for decision now but also on our plans for the future. We could of course keep our deliberations and decisions secret with a view to accumulating 'news' for Budget time. But 1 doubt that honourable members would wish me to refuse to announce - except at Budget time - decisions taken over the past 1 2 months. I doubt whether they would wish me to refuse to discuss in this House possible developments in our defence capabilities. I doubt whether they would wish me to tell my Department to cut out those public information programs to which I referred earlier. If my assumptions are correct it is surprising that people should seek to draw public attention to the absence of totally unforeseen announcements.

We have a vital interest in expanding our maritime and surveillance capabilities. Warships, patrol boats, aircraft, airfields and support facilities all contribute to the modernisation and development of our strength in these areas. The Government is allocating substantial sums of money this year to their improvement. An amount of $ 167m will be spent on the four FFG guided missile frigates. The third and fourth frigates will be fitted with a close-in weapon system for defence against attack by aircraft and missile.

It has been my practice to keep the House informed of developments affecting the cost of these vessels because this subject was in earlier years the source of some considerable but misinformed commentary. Once again I can report that there has been no significant change in real costs. There have been some minor changes upwards and downwards in some items, with the overall effect being no change in real terms. The cost for the first three vessels now stands at $76 lm in January 1980 prices, which is $38m more than the previous approval. This is the product of inflation and exchange variations. I re-affirm that the cost of the fourth FFG is $280m in January 1980 prices. That ship incorporates more recent developments in the ship's design, and improvements to a number of systems which are in the first three ships. It has been fashionable in the country to concoct criticisms of the defence administration over supposedly escalating costs of these destroyers. Most such criticisms have been spurious, based upon comparisons between unrelated figures. I should add that it may not be possible to decide finally on a suitable helicopter for the FFGs for another two years. The United States Navy is presently fitting its ships with an interim helicopter while a suitable aircraft is being developed. We will wish to evaluate the new United States aircraft for use with our FFGs and possibly for Navy utility tasks. We are examining our own options for an interim helicopter for Royal Australian Navy FFGs.

The Oberon submarines, the guided missile destroyers - DDGs - and the River class destroyer escorts - DEs- are being substantially modernised; and we are looking ahead to the acquisition of follow-on destroyers to replace the destroyer escorts. We now have recommendations regarding ship designs for these vessels and I expect to announce a decision on this in the near future. We intend these vessels to be built at the Williamstown Dockyard, which is undergoing extensive modernisation to prepare it for this and other shipbuilding programs to commence later in the 1980s. Facilities there to enable the efficient construction of hulls in line with modern technology are largely complete. Work is in hand to provide more efficient fitting-out facilities for ships.

The management arrangements at the dockyard are also being reviewed. The Public Service Board and the Defence Department are conducting an internal review of management procedures at the dockyard. In addition, consideration is being given to establishing a high-level external review of the dockyard. We need to ensure that the planning for the construction of the follow-on vessels is done thoroughly.

Modern naval vessels require extensive support facilities. At the naval base, HMAS Stirling, Cockburn Sound, Western Australia, work has already commenced on the construction of an armament depot, and further works will commence this year to provide fuel facilities. Additional housing will also be provided. Subject to parliamentary processes, work will commence this year on the modernisation of the fleet base and dockyard at Garden Island, New South Wales. This is a major and long overdue task which will give better support to modern high technology warships, will improve the efficiency of operations and will greatly enhance the appearance of the area.

We will spend $27m this year as we continue our acquisition of the 1 5 new Fremantle class patrol craft. The first craft, HMAS Fremantle, arrived in Australia two weeks ago, after passage from the United Kingdom. We expect the first Australian-built boat, HMAS Warrnambool, to be launched later this year. We have decided to proceed with an order for the first five of an additional 10 patrol craft to be built in Australia. Our patrol boats will be supported by the construction of new bases at Darwin and Cairns.

Our surveillance capabilities will be further improved by the development of a new military airfield 30 kilometres south of Derby and improvements to existing airfields at Learmonth and Pearce. The Department of Defence is cooperating with the Department of Transport and the Northern Territory Government in planning a new airline passenger terminal and general aviation complex at Darwin airport.

The Royal Australian Air Force will acquire a flight simulator for the P3C Orion long range maritime patrol aircraft, which will release an additional 1,000 flying training hours every year. Modernisation of the older P3B Orions is being planned to see what new radar, sonics and navigation systems should be fitted. Eighteen new light helicopters will be acquired. Twelve of the helicopters will be used for training Air Force and Navy pilots and six will be used for Navy survey and utility tasks.

The Government will continue to give a proper emphasis to the provision of facilities for the use of the Defence Force in the north and north-west part of the continent. It is, at the same time, important that this House and the Australian people have a sensible perspective of Australian defence as it relates tc the location of defence facilities within the country. It makes much sense for the Defence Force to have available to it airfields and places where ships can take on supplies and so forth along the northern littoral - 'bare base' facilities or a little more. But it does not make sense for components of the Defence Force to be strung out in penny packets permanently located at a large number of such facilities dotted around the country. I want to emphasise this because of the perhaps understandable but nevertheless not very rational pleas that I sometimes hear to locate this or that unit in such and such a remote area of the country. On the whole, it makes more strategic sense and is certainly more cost-effective for our main forces and our main facilities to be located in the more heavily populated parts of the country, along the east seaboard and in the south-west corner. Such a policy does not mean that other areas of the country are being left 'undefended' or 'more vulnerable'.

Naval vessels require support at sea as well as on land and a substantial sum will be spent this year on construction at Vickers Cockatoo Dockyard of the new fleet underway replenishment ship, HMAS Success. The Government also recently decided to proceed with an order for a second such ship, also to be built in Australia. The very complex task of selecting the appropriate way of providing for an Australian maritime air capability to follow the retirement of HMAS Melbourne in the mid-1980s is nearing completion. The Government will announce its decision in the near future.

Important developments are being planned in our air defence capabilities. The TFF program continues to attract substantial interest. It is good that this is so. The program will be the most expensive ever entered into by this country. We will be purchasing an aircraft which will be in the service of the RAAF for at least 25 years. We are dealing with a technology which is one of the most advanced in the world. Suggestions that there has been undue delay in reaching a decision on the particular aircraft are nonsense. I refuse to be influenced in the least by the views offered by some people on this issue which range from imperfect to wildly irresponsible.

The new fighter aircraft will be an absolutely indispensable feature of this country's defence capability. It will occupy that role for many years ahead. I expect a major uplift of the technology of the Australian industry to be a consequence of the new fighter program, and the industry has been directly involved in the planning with the overseas manufacturers. The Government is nearing a decision on this most important project. The Government and I, as the responsible Minister, are absolutely determined not to make a decision which would in any way jeopardise the defence capability of this country and pay scant regard to the position of the Australian taxpayer. In the meantime, the Government is allocating substantial sums to the structural refurbishment of the Mirage fighter, to ensure that these aircraft will be operationally capable until they are completely replaced. An amount of $ 17m will be spent this year.

Mobility is an essential element of any defence force. Let me take two examples. First, the Army will be replacing its 2i-tonne and 5-tonne trucks with about 2,200 four-tonne and eight-tonne vehicles to enter service from 1982 onwards. A number of these trucks will be allocated to the expanding Army Reserve. A significant Australian content is intended in this project. Second, there will be Slim spent this year for construction, in Australia, of the amphibious heavy lift ship, HMAS Tobruk, which will be commissioned in the next few months. She will be able to carry combinations of up to 550 troops on amphibious operations, a squadron of Leopard tanks and a flight of Wessex helicopters.

The Defence Force must keep up with modern technological developments. I note particularly two examples. The first is the purchase of 36 Ml 98 155-millimetre Howitzers from the United States to replace the Army's 5.5-inch guns, now obsolete. An initial quantity of ammunition will be sought from overseas. But it is intended that Australian industry will manufacture the high explosive ammunition for the Howitzers. Secondly, we are programming major improvements to enhance the Fill capabilities. The United States Air Force has now been asked to provide a letter of offer and acceptance for the purchase of the Pave Tack target system. This system uses lasers to deliver conventional bombs more accurately and to use precision-guided munitions or 'smart' bombs at any time, in adverse weather and at high speed.

The pace of technology is unrelenting. Four Fills were approved to be fitted for reconnaissance capability. Three have been completed. This gives to this country a strategic reconnaissance capability unique in our region. These aircraft can carry out reconnaissance missions in all weather, day and night. These aircraft incorporate systems which, among others, include an infrared line scan which can detect changes of temperature so slight that it can tell when parked aircraft have recently moved and can detect camouflaged aircraft and vehicles. Trained manpower is vital to operate and maintain the Defence Force's weapons and equipment and we spend more on manpower than on any other element. This year direct defence expenditure on manpower is estimated to cost $l,719m; $1,1 18m for the Defence Force; $397m for civilian staff; and $204m for the Defence Forces Retirement and Death Benefits Fund.

The Government is very conscious of the constraints that high manpower costs place on our ability to provide funds for other purposes, such as the acquisition of new capital equipment, and since 1975-76 manpower costs, as a proportion of the Defence Budget, have fallen from about 58 per cent to 52 per cent in 1979-80. This year it is estimated that this proportion will fall to about 49 per cent. Nevertheless, as I have previously informed the House, some increases in manpower are necessary to support the increased capabilities and levels of activity planned. There will be a growth of 1 ,580 in regular Service manpower, lifting the overall target strength for 30 June 1981 to 72,591. Increases will be for Army 840, Navy 370, and Air Force 370. This growth will provide for 580 of the 630 additional men required to bring the Army's Third Task Force at Townsville up to full operational strength, as the basis of an operational deployment force. Some 250 houses will be provided for them. The operational deployment force is to be trained for airportable and airmobile operations as the Army's immediate response force for low-level contingency operations. The civilian ceiling in the Department of Defence is also to be increased by 450 in 1980-81. This growth will be channelled to support areas directly affected by the expanded defence activities. Additional manpower is required in the dockyards, for technical services, in stores areas and for the repair and maintenance of equipment.

I wish to remind the House of two other important matters. One is the work of the internal and external reviews of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation. I expect to receive final reports on these matters later in the year. The other is the Parliament's approval for construction of the Defence Force Academy. I have already announced that the Academy will not be established as an independent university. The University of New South Wales has approved in principle the establishment of an arrangement whereby the University would ensure the academic integrity of the Academy, perhaps by establishing a college of the University. Negotiations with the University of the terms of an agreement are under way. It is planned that the Academy will open in 1986, on a site adjacent to the Royal Military College, Duntroon. A start will be made this year on site works. The need for a highly trained officer corps to serve this country in the years ahead remains absolutely vital. I repeat the assessment of my professional advisers that the establishment of the Academy will further that goal. I agree completely with that assessment.

In conclusion, the Budget I have been describing provides for substantial increases in the nation's expenditure on defence. With this Budget and future defence expenditure envisaged, we shall maintain and develop what we already have - the largest and the best equipped and supported Defence Force that Australia has ever had when not engaged in combat. Yet I must make clear to the House that what we are doing is still limited. Essentially, we are rounding out and upgrading the Force we already have. We are improving our expansion base but- except in the recruitment of reserves - we are not expanding the force in any substantial way - in numerical terms but rather in terms of defence capability with a strong technological basis. I have made clear to the House why the Government considers this enhancement of our defence preparedness a prudent and necessary measure.

It would be irresponsible for me not to acknowledge that the program on which we are embarked raises formidable financial demands in future years. Maintaining the nation's defence preparedness is an extremely costly business. Given the responsibility we must now accept to improve our self-reliance and our capacity to operate independently, the costs are bound to remain high. The Government has no illusions about this. Defence is long in preparation. If the costs, as I say, are high, the future price to the nation of neglect now could be much, much greater. Sustained defence effort must therefore be accepted if we are to influence the shaping of our national destiny and to provide for our future security. These are the basic objectives for the present Budget. I commend it to the House.

I present the following paper:

Defence Budget 1980-81- Ministerial Statement, 26 August 1980.

Motion (by Mr Garland) proposed:

That the House take note of the paper.

Suggest corrections