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Wednesday, 16 October 1985
Page: 1325


Senator MacGIBBON —I claim to have been misrepresented and seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Leave granted.


Senator MacGIBBON —Yesterday, I made a speech in the Senate dealing with the peace groups in Australia. I was awoken this morning by a call from a representative of the Mike Walsh program in Sydney to be told that it had received a Press release from Australian Associated Press that began with the claim that a Liberal senator blamed the peace movement for the drug taking in Australian youth. I was named as the senator responsible. That statement is wrong. It falsely represents what was said.

Through the morning my office has received numerous phone calls as a consequence of this AAP release. This incorrect statement has been widely repeated today on television, radio and in the Press. I would like to quote the relevant passage of my speech from yesterday's Hansard. I stated:

Nihilism and the consequent effect on the psychology of the youth of this country is the most irresponsible act that the peace movement gets up to. This can be seen in the lack of success of scholastic attainment in the schools, with children who will not work; lack of career ambition, unemployment, drug taking and ultimately suicides in a number of cases. The peace movement must take part of the blame for this failure on the part of our youth.

After my speech yesterday I issued a Press release outlining the salient points I had made in the Senate. Both in my speech and in my Press release I took particular care with my choice of words so that they would not be misrepresented. Such was not the case. This morning I visited the acting bureau chief of AAP in the Canberra Press Gallery, who agreed that AAP had been in error in the way it had reported my speech. I have been told that a corrected report will be released by AAP.

I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard the Press release I issued after my speech.

Leave not granted.


Senator MacGIBBON —I will read the Press release. It states:

The Peace Movements in Australia were strongly attacked in the Senate today in a speech made by Queensland Liberal Senator David MacGibbon.

Senator MacGibbon said that if the policies advocated by the peace movements were followed the national security of Australia would be destroyed.

The Labor Government, by its failure to counter, in public, the arguments of the Peace Movement was contributing to this threat to national security.

``There is no disagreement in Australia about the essential need for peace. The argument is all about the way it is to be attained.''

He said the Peace Groups suffered from five failings. Firstly they had a false view of humanity. They believed that peace between nations could be obtained by naive and simplistic gestures, such as the application of pacifist doctrines on disarmament.

Secondly they had a false view of history because they failed to learn the lessons of this century. They had failed to learn the consequences of the pacifist groups actions in Europe in the thirties and the way they contributed to the Second World War.

He said thirdly they were irresponsible because they targeted specifically the youth of Australia to whom they preached a nihilistic philosophy: `By telling the young that they were going to die in a nuclear holocaust, they were responsible in part for the lack of achievement in schools, and in career ambitions which characterised so many of the youths today'.

The peace groups only promoted unilateral policies. `The members of the peace movement know that they cannot influence the Soviets, consequently their policies weaken solely the Western Democracies.'

Finally their policies were irrelevant to the creation of a secure Australia . . .