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Thursday, 2 December 1965

Sir ROBERT MENZIES - It is a most fascinating thought that we should pick out statements made by the Opposition on this matter. I would find it very difficult to discover one that had the slightest ring of conviction about it. We are frequently told that the Government's views and the reasons for Australia's participation in the conflict in Vietnam are not sufficiently well known. After all, we are the Government of the country and we have our responsibilities to the country. It is because of decisions of the Government that our troops are participating in Vietnam. We have, therefore, not only a right but also a duty to make known to the public the reasons for such participation, and these reasons are set out with considerable detail in the pamphlet referred to. The most effective way to have these matters made known to the people is not just to make a Press statement, which would be a considerably abbreviated account, but to arrange for the distribution of a complete document, as we have done, to such leading people as educationists, clergymen and the heads of various bodies, and also to various libraries. This is a discharge of what I regard as a clear duty on the part of the Government.

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