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Tuesday, 20 September 1960

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) (Leader of the Opposition) . - by leave - The Opposition is pleased to be associated with the message of congratulation that the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) has sent to the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan on the occasion of the signing of these agreements, which are of such importance in the life of both countries. The right honorable gentleman hopes for closer association between India and Pakistan in the future, and with that hope I would also associate the members of the Opposition. We are not unmindful of the fact that over the years, when India and Pakistan have faced the problem of Kashmir, which is unfortunately still unsolved, the good offices of various Australian citizens of great distinction have been sought so that they might give whatever help they could. We are all proud of the fact that the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, Sir Owen Dixon, gave of his great knowledge and skill in an effort to find a solution to this seemingly insoluble problem.

We are happy now to be able to congratulate both India and Pakistan on their having solved the problem of the use of the waters of the Indus and its five tributaries. The governments of these two sister dominions have decided to seek the aid of the International Bank, and that bank has provided them with accommodation to allow them to do work comparable to that which we are endeavouring to do with our own Snowy Mountains scheme. We will probably spend as much on the Snowy Mountains scheme, by the time it is completed, as India and Pakistan will spend on their Indus waters project. But however long the work on that project may take, and whatever may be the circumstances surrounding it, there is no doubt that the peoples of the two countries will benefit very greatly.

We are happy to be associated with the venture. I assure the House that the Opposition is very glad that Australia has made a grant to help the two countries, with whose future our own will be so closely interwoven. We hope that India and Pakistan and all their peoples will progress and prosper, and that the living standards of both countries will be considerably raised as a result of the signing of these two very important agreements.

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