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Thursday, 16 May 1968

Participants in the Trade Union Lobby Day for Peace support the Trade Union policy of opposition to the Vietnam war and to Australia's participation in it.

We consider that the war is immoral and unjust.

It is causing the most tragic loss of life and destruction in Vietnam.

It poses a constant threat of world war which can be a nuclear war.

It is harmful to Australia's interests in its diversion of Australia's economic resources to war purposes and its loss of young Australian lives.

It substitutes relations of hostility and war in place of relations of peace, trade and friendship with the peoples of Asia.

We therefore call upon the Australian Government to take positive steps to end the war, and request all members of Parliament, irrespective of Party affiliations to support in Parliament the following proposals-

All of them, in my view, completely unexceptional -

That the Australian Observer at the Paris Peace talks be instructed to publicly declare that the Australian Government is in favour of immediate action by the United States Government to stop the bombing and all hostile military acts against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

That agreement be reached for an end to military hostilities by all sides.

The commencement of peace negotiations with the basis of such negotiations to be the provisions of the 1954 Geneva Agreements.

The withdrawal of the present proposed amendments to the National Service Act.

That the Government introduce provisions to Section 29a of the National Service Act which would allow conscientious objectors to the Vietnam war or any particular war to be granted exemption from service.

I have received a statement from the Methodist Youth Fellowship of Armidale, New South Wales, and it says the same things. To summarise, it calls on the Government to repeal the National Service Act 1951-65; urges the Government to set up further systems whereby Australians may take part in the development of the underprivileged nations; and urges the Australian Government to encourage young men and women to give such service, either at home in a local social problem, or overseas in civil aid projects.

Mr Charles Jones (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) - Is that a Communist organisation?

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