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Thursday, 22 August 1985
Page: 235


Senator COONEY(10.30) —I repeat that it deserves support, firstly because it achieves an acknowledgment of an horrific event in history-the cruel, calculated execution of a myriad of innocent people in the name of perverted and pernicious belief; and secondly, because this motion does not descend to the abuse of those who maintain that the Holocaust did not occur. That is a great achievement.

It has been debated how those who gainsay the Holocaust should be addressed. It is to be expected that those who accept its occurence will react to it with great emotion. This can lead to calls for censorship of publications inpugning the historicity of the Holocaust. It can lead to claims that freedom of thought, speech and research are prejudiced by the very people condemning the Nazis for their negation of human rights.

We can entertain great sympathy for those who might want to suppress publications denying the Holocaust. It ranks amongst the most horrible events in the history of mankind but, in the end, it is best to approach the issue as this motion does. It notes in simple and stark terms the circumstances that have evoked the proposals. It denies no one civil rights and it does not condemn any expression of opinion. It declares positively that about 40 years ago there was a period in history when events occurred which are really beyond description, but which should be kept forever in the minds of people who seek the advance of humans away from the dark and into the light. I congratulate Senator Baume for the motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Senator Peter Rae —I ask that it be noted that the question was carried unanimously.


The PRESIDENT —Yes, it was carried unanimously.