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Wednesday, 15 May 1968


Mr HOLTEN - It is a system based on just this sort of thing, I remind the honourable member for Cunningham, against which we are fighting in Vietnam. Informing is fundamental to the Communist system. The Opposition cannot have it both ways. This is one of the things we are fighting against. Several members of the Australian Labor Party, including the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam), have talked about justice, freedom and democracy. How much freedom and democracy did the honourable member for Batman (Mr Benson) find in the Australian Labor Party when he joined the Defend Australia Committee?


Mr Bryant - He did not join it.


Mr HOLTEN - Yes, he did. Because he would not resign from it he was 'expelled from the Labor Party and now sits in this House as an independent. Yet the Leader of the Opposition and other Opposition speakers talk about freedom and democracy. They are hypocrites. The honourable member for Cunningham spoke in dramatic if inaccurate terms about the Government wanting a khaki election in 1964 and introducing the national service scheme in that year to panic the people. All I can say is that the Australian people accepted the scheme. They showed this clearly by the way they voted in the 1966 election.


Mr Bryant - You cried wolf too often.

Mr SPEAKER (Hon. W. J. Aston)Order!The honourable member for Wills will cease interjecting.


Mr HOLTEN - The honourable member for Cunningham said that the national service boys did not really support this scheme. Let me tell the House of a conversation I had at an army establishment at Bandiana in my electorate, where the Australian Army has the biggest military stores depot in the southern hemisphere. A Regular

Army soldier said to me on Armistice Day in 1966: "If Arthur Calwell thinks he will get support from these national service boys, of whom we have 600 here all the time, he will fall flat on his face.' That is exactly what this soldier said to me. In my opinion the national service scheme boys have been absolutely marvellous. Australia can be proud of them and of the way they have accepted the scheme.

The honourable member for Cunningham spoke about jury trials. The honourable member for Parkes (Mr Hughes) proved conclusively that the proposed method of dealing with these matters leaves no cause for complaint at ali. He showed that there is no need for juries in such cases. All the Crown has to do is to prove that a notice has been served, which is merely proof of a physical happening, that the accused person is liable to render service - and that depends on his agc and physical fitness - and that he has failed to render service. Those are the three things that must be proved. Why have a jury of twelve people to decide whether a notice has been served on a man, whether that man is liable to render service and whether he has failed to render service? There is absolutely no need for a jury.

The honourable member for Capricornia made a few comments which constituted expressions of opinion. He may be entitled to hold such opinions, but I suggest that some of his statements were inaccurate in fact. He said that 45% of the people of Australia had voted against the national service scheme, and perhaps he might have added that they voted against the war in Vietnam. The position is, of course, that about 37% of the people voted for the Australian Labor Party in the 1966 election, not 45%, and there is no proof that all of them were opposed to the national service scheme. He went on to say that the people in the United States of America had voted against participation in Vietnam.


Dr Everingham - No - against Goldwater's policy.


Mr HOLTEN - I do not know about that. The honourable member said that the majority of the American people were opposing the war in Vietnam. To my knowledge only one vote has been taken on this subject in the United States. That was in

San Francisco about 6 or 8 months ago, and the result showed 70Cc of voters for and 30% against. The honourable member went on to say that he has no admiration for our soldiers in Vietnam.


Dr Everingham - 1 did not.


Mr HOLTEN - The honourable member said he had no admiration for our soldiers in Vietnam. I will just let that remark speak for itself. He also spoke about censorship of the Press and said that people were afraid to write what they wanted to write. 1 can remember honourable members in this House holding up a newspaper in this chamber when the Labor Government was in office during World War H. That newspaper, the Sydney 'Daily Telegraph', had great holes cut in it as a result of the censorship imposed by the Labor Government. The honourable member should be the last one to talk about censorship. He also said that everyone should have the right to object conscientiously to a particular war. Acceptance of this idea, of course, would give a wonderful opportunity to any interested organisation to organise objections to a particular war. The honourable member made statements which were not only inaccurate but which were also totally out of touch with the feeling of the majority of the Australian people.


Mr Bryant - Time!


Mr HOLTEN - At least I think about what I am going to say. 1 cannot say as much for the honourable member for Wills. As i said before, I am proud of the lads who are being called up for national service. Australia should be proud of them and the way they have conducted themselves in accepting the national service scheme and their duty to Australia. The main purpose of the amendments to the National Service Act is to catch the draft dodgers, the people who are deliberately evading their responsibility to the nation.


Mr Bryant - The Young Liberals.







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