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Thursday, 15 November 1973
Page: 3386

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -In quoting that letter the honourable member is tending to adopt it. It is casting a personal reflection on the Prime Minister, and I ask him to withdraw it.

Mr KING - I cannot very well withdraw what I am quoting out of the letter.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -If you are to do that, you will not quote the letter. I ask you to withdraw the quotation in that section of the letter.

Mr KING - I will have to withdraw the words 'arrogant buffoon'. The letter continues:

.   . where he-

That is, the Prime Minister - will no longer have the pretence of representing the free democratic majority of people of this free and independent country of ours. It hurts me to write this letter and I have always felt loyalty to the leaders of our nation, but I cannot pledge loyalty to our Prime Minister. Thank God for the Queen and a Governor-General for whom I swear undying loyalty.

That was one letter which was sent to me. I have a whole swag of them here which have arrived in recent days. I do not know how much more I need to say to convince the people who occupy the Government benches.

Another letter I received requests that the Queen be invited to set up a permanent residence in Australia. I will quote from it without mentioning the name of the sender. It reads:

It appears that we are rapidly heading for a Republic with a dictatorship and the general population (the electors) are being ignored.

Another letter - I referred to this one a minute ago - reads:

In fact now that Great Britain will join the European Economic Community and Her Majesty has accepted the title of 'Queen of Australia' a logical step would now be to provide suitable accommodation in Canberra so that she could make her home here for at least part of the time.

I have put forward some of these suggestions because I do believe that the people outside this place are certainly very upset with what has taken place. Last weekend was only a short weekend for me because of the long sitting. I had only a few hours at home but I did have the privilege of attending 4 functions. At each of those functions this question was raised and at three of them this was the dominating question.

I went to a Legacy function. Most people would appreciate that if ever true loyalty was displayed it would be at such a function. They are sticklers for protocol but when the toast of loyalty was announced the people present got up and spontaneously sang the national anthem. That is the first time in quite a long period I have heard it sung when this toast has been made. That would indicate to the people of Australia how these people feel and what is their thinking on this subject. If we are to make a change in relation to these sorts of things I want to know, firstly, whether we do want a change; secondly, if so, what the change is to be; thirdly, how we are to select a new anthem; and, fourthly, how we are to go about making the change. These are things that I think should be challenged in this House. I think it is up to the Prime Minister to reconsider the decision that he has made which in my opinion deprives the people of being able to voice their opinion on such an issue.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Berinson)Order!The honourable member's time has expired.

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