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Wednesday, 20 February 1980
Page: 106

Mr HODGES (PETRIE, QUEENSLAND) - I direct my question to the Prime Minister. Is the Government adopting double standards in allowing exports to Russia while adopting a stance of boycotting the Olympics? Will the Prime Minister state the reasons for the Government's action in boycotting the Moscow Olympics?

Mr MALCOLM FRASER - I have made it very plain and the Minister for Trade and Resources has made it very plain that in relation to matters of trade we have a position which is very similar, if not identical, with that of the United Kingdom and the United States. Part of the purpose in my going overseas- part of the purposewas to help to establish a common position with those other major trading countries. That would seem to make sense. But when one comes to the Olympic Games I think that nearly everyone in this House has a very firm belief that a boycott or a movement of the Games from Moscow would bring home to the Soviet Government and the

Soviet people more strongly than anything else the disapproval of the independent nations to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In the last resort, any trade sanction or any embargo on trade can, in fact, be hidden from the Soviet people. But in the light of all the publicity within the Soviet Union in the last two or three years, building up the Moscow Olympics, building up the knowledge that athletes from all countries will come to meet when they visit Moscow for the Games and building it up into a great political event- as they say, political before a sporting event- the absence of significant nations from the -

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I ask the right honourable gentleman to resume his seat. The honourable member for Melbourne has continually interjected all day. I warn him to cease interjecting.

Mr Innes - If he had the decency to turn around and talk to the Opposition -

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I indicate to the honourable member for Melbourne that if he does not cease interjecting I will have to discipline him according to the Standing Orders.

Mr MALCOLM FRASER -The absence of significant countries from the Moscow Olympics would plainly bring home to the Soviet Government and people more clearly than any other single peaceful act the abhorrence of the world at the Soviet invasion of an inoffensive non-aligned state; that is, the invasion of Afghanistan. I believe that that view is shared very widely indeed. I have stated before that the Soviets themselves have handed out to Communist Party activists within the Soviet Union a million copies of a document which says that the awarding of the games to Moscow is a mark of the correctness of Soviet foreign policy. If the Labor Party wants to lend support to approval for Soviet foreign policy, so be it, but honourable members on this side of the House and the great majority of Australian people most certainly do not. Mr Speaker, I believe that there is great sense and great justice in what we have done in relation to this matter. In support of that statement in part at least I should like to quote from page 36 of yesterday's Hansard, where it is stated:

I have said from the beginning that an effective boycott or the transfer of the Olympic Games away from Moscow would have embarrassed the Soviet Union deeply and could have been expected to drive home to many of her own people the point that the invasion of Afghanistan was repugnant to and rejected by most countries of the world.

I would have thought that that is a statement that basically every member of this House would support. It is a statement that was made by the Leader of the Opposition. But then he went on in the very next paragraph to say:

There is no sense and no justice in the Government's continued pressure for a boycott of the Moscow Games by Australian athletes.

In other words, the Leader of the Opposition has said that even though an Olympic boycott would be the most effective way of bringing home the repugnance of the world to the Soviet Union, it should not be done and we should not do anything to achieve it. Indeed, the Labor Party is saying, and the Leader of the Opposition is now saying, that we should do everything to thwart and prevent that message getting home to the people of the Soviet Union.

I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.

Mr Hayden - I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister is relapsing into his compulsive behaviour of dishonesty. He is misrepresenting what we said.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Leader of the Opposition is entitled to make a point of order. He is now arguing the issue. Furthermore, he used terms which I have indicated I will not accept from any honourable member; that is, terms imputing dishonesty to another member. I ask him to withdraw that imputation.

MrHayden-Well -

Mr SPEAKER - I ask the honourable gentleman to withdraw.

Mr Hayden - If I can get a word in, of course, I withdraw unreservedly- massive mendacity.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I have also indicated that when I call for the withdrawal of a term that imputes dishonesty I will not accept a substitution of other words which are meant to mean the same thing. I ask for a withdrawal unreservedly.

Mr Hayden - I withdraw unreservedly, Mr Speaker.

Mr Malcolm Fraser - I have asked that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper. I just want to reaffirm that I quoted from the Leader of the Opposition's own remarks, made during his speech yesterday, which are recorded in Hansard.

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