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Tuesday, 28 May 1968

Mr MUNRO (Eden) (Monaro) - The honourable member for Gellibrand (Mr Mclvor) and the honourable member for Wills (Mr Bryant) who spoke before him seemed to neglect completely the fact that there are some processes of law which are appropriate for trial by jury and others which are not. Not a single member of the Opposition has done other than indicate that every point of law should be handled by a jury. As my friend the honourable member for Parkes (Mr Hughes) has said it is an attempt to convince by catchcry. Nothing has been advanced by the Opposition in support of its amendment this evening other than a whole series of catchcries. Though perhaps it is not strange to expect complete paradoxes and contradictions from the Opposition, it is a little strange to hear its members apparently at least crediting themselves with supporting civil liberties. [Quorum formed] As I was saying before the 'honourable member, for Reid (Mr Uren) started to feel a little lonely, it is paradoxical and a little contradictory to hear from the Opposition that they at least credit themselves with supporting civil liberties, particularly if we look at the ghastly totality of their own platform and programme which, if it were ever put into effect, would deprive most Australians of most of their civil liberties. But this is not unexpected, lt. shows the same contradiction as displayed in the arguments advanced by honourable members opposite in their opposition to the war in Vietnam. This is an undeclared war which the Opposition has consistently failed to recognise as an attempt to prevent a fully declared war and the subsequent total mobilisation that would occur. In the same way the Opposition has failed to recognise the inappropriateness of jury trials and the appropriateness of trial by magistrate where it is simply a question of establishing a matter of fact, whether a notice has been served or not. I do not suppose many members of the Opposition would be opposed to the proposition that we should fight fires in order to put them out: However, members of the Opposition cannot recognise the justice of the proposition that we should fight wars to put them out. From time to time some members of the Opposition have cited the case of Martin Luther King, but these honourable members forget that Martin Luther King lived in a society which is controlled by law which is upheld by law enforcement officers. We have no such world law or world law enforcement officers.

What Opposition members are advocating - and it shows the same kind of mistaken thinking with which it advocated jury trial in this instance - is a complete withdrawal from the situation in which we are fighting to put a war out. But they fail to recognise the fact, and I think this is the great pity of it, that if we stopped fighting to put this war out, we would leave a situation in which there would be infinitely greater slaughter. History shows that this would be the probable result, ft would be an infinitely immoral act as compared with the moral act of trying to do something about the situation in Vietnam.

The Opposition shows exactly the same conflicting thinking as it has demonstrated in its advocacy of trial by jury for the simple establishment of a straightforward fact of the presentation of notices. Accordingly, I oppose the amendment.

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