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Wednesday, 27 November 1985
Page: 2338

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(11.57) —One of the difficulties in dealing with this subject is that everyone is an expert and everyone has different views. Few people tolerate others' views. I can only say about the National Consultative Committee on Peace and Disarmament that if in the one debate in the Senate Senator MacGibbon says that there are too many lefties on the Committee and Senator Sanders says that there are too many war-mongers on it, it must be a pretty balanced Committee. I leave it at that. The community groups which are applying for Government funds will be judged not only on whether they agree with Government policy in this area. If only those who agreed with Government policy in this area were granted funds, then none of the groups with which Senator Sanders is associated would be likely to be represented. I do not think that is so. The Minister has said that it is not so. We will get a broad spectrum, as we have on the National Committee. I remind honourable senators that many members of the National Committee do not agree with Government policy. We are trying to get a broad community approach but we will never get anyone to agree with everything we have done.

The same thing applies in dealing with the whole subject of peace and disarmament generally. I have been involved as an individual with various peace and disarmament groups in this country for longer than Senator Sanders has been living in this country.

Senator Sanders —Is that a migrant slur?

Senator GRIMES —No, I welcome Senator Sanders. It is terrific. I believe the whole peace movement is important. It is also important that now the community accepts that, we can discuss this subject without calling each other Reds or Coms or anything else. It is a broad subject. I have expressed my personal view publicly, particularly in an interview some time ago, that one of the great difficulties with the peace movement in this country until recently and for a period of about ten years was that it was synonymous with the anti-uranium movement. So anyone who was concerned about peace, such as Sir Mark Oliphant and others, was excluded and derided because he did not take that narrow view. That view has changed. It is broadening. I think the International Year of Peace will broaden that view further. I hope that the Government's approach, by including a broad spectrum of people on committees such as the National Committee and on State committees, will expand the debate so that people talk to each other instead of shooting at each other from behind barricades. We all may then get to understand each other better and get some sort of consensus in the community.