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Tuesday, 27 October 1970

MrDAVIES -I present the following petition:

To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of the Division of Braddon respectfully showeth

1.   Thatthey are not gravely concerned that moral standards in the Australian community may be changing, particularly in regard to the community's willingness to treat adults within it as reasonable and responsible people who are capable of making up their own minds as to what may be perfectly acceptable or unacceptable material in books, magazines, plays, films and television and radio programmes, and particularly when this material depicts life in human society, including language habits and sex habits and gives warning of the dangers of the use of violence and narcotic drugs;

2.   That they in fact welcome this change, having regard for the fact that it demonstrates an increasing tolerance of and respect for the rights of individuals to think their own way through their own lives, free from information-withholding restrictions which people of one religion or one standard of morals may seek to impose on either the majority or minority who do not hold the same views;

3.   That they question the simplistic view that nations 'perish' because of a so-called 'internal moral decay' unless such 'decay' is taken to include an increasing unwillingness to face the facts of life in open discussion and freedom of thought;

4.   That they welcome the statement by the Honourable the Minister for Customs and Excise, Mr Chipp, that the concept of censorship is abhorrent to all men and women who believe in the basic freedoms and that, as a philosophy, it is evil and ought to be condemned -

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that Honourable Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled will seek to ensure that Commonwealth legislation bearing on films, literature and radio and television programmes is so framed and so administered as to give the maximum freedom to adults to choose what they will watch, read and listen to, even in the face of pressure from those who seek to impose their ideas and morals on others who do not share them.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

Petition received and read.

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