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Wednesday, 10 November 1982
Page: 2997


Mr CHARLES JONES —by leave-I wish to support the comments that have just been made by the honourable member for Prospect (Dr Klugman). I do not always agree with him on everything but the facts are that there is a need at the Inter-Parliamentary Union for the Ten Plus Group to adopt a more aggressive stand than what it has in recent years. At the first conference I attended in 1978 I found that a number of Western countries were prepared to go on the attack. Whenever the Soviet Union had a crack at the United States the United States came back and so there was a vigorous exchange between the Western and Eastern blocs. Invariably the eastern bloc was defeated in a vote. That is what happened at the Conference in Rome. When the real issue of colonialism was stood up, the Irish moved an amendment to include the Soviet Union as a colonial power and it squealed like hell when the conference carried the motion. That is an indication of what can be done. For example, when the Brits moved an amendment to delete the Falkland Islands as a colonial territory from the resolution the motion was defeated because our colleagues from across the Tasman-the New Zealanders-packed up, left the conference and went home the day the voting took place. Why the hell did they go to a conference and leave the day the voting took place? If delegates have only a limited amount of time to spend at the conference they should come one day late, but they should stay for the count. We saw the same thing happen with the Americans. At the final count they had one delegate present which gave them five votes out of the 22 that they hold. At the conclusion of the conference America did not have a delegate present.

We should go to the conference and be prepared to put forward a point of view. For example, at the seven conferences that I have been to in recent years I have put forward a motion on East Timor that embarrassed the Government and one of my colleagues. I was successful in writing into the decolonisation resolution very strong amendments-they covered both the preamble and the operative clause- concerning the need for Indonesia to give the people of East Timor the right to self-determination. I say this even though my former leader is in New York saying certain things which I believe are a monstrous fabrication.

We all have an opportunity of putting forward a particular point of view at these conferences. If the delegates of various countries will not stay until the vote is taken, if they are not prepared to put their points of view but are prepared to be kicked around by the Soviet bloc, I think that the best thing we can do is to wrap it up altogether and say to the coms: 'You can have the damn thing'.