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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 1


Mr HAYDEN (Oxley) (Leader of the Opposition) - I second the motion on behalf of my party and support the remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr Malcolm Fraser). Sir Seretse Khama was revered in his own country and respected far beyond it. Through the British Empire and later the Commonwealth association, Sir Seretse became known to millions around the world. His life was colourful and unusual by any standard. The son of a traditional chief, he was banished in a dispute over that chieftancy but finally achieved the leadership of his country through the democratic process. Botswana, and Bechuanaland before it, is not one of the priorities of Australian foreign policy. That, of course, is obvious. It makes it all the more remarkable that so many people in this country should share such admiration for the man who led Botswana through her preparation for independence and into nationhood.

Sir Seretse'swas always a voice for common sense and moderation. He was a person of great

As a senior Commonwealth statesman, Sir Seretse Khama made a significant contribution beyond the borders of his own country. The most recent, of course, was his contribution to a democratic and peaceful settlement in Zimbabwe. As the leader of one of the so-called front line states, Sir Seretse helped to keep alive the spirit of moderation at times when the odds were heavily against its survival. He was a genuine democrat throughout his political career and the democratic representative government he leaves behind in Botswana is a fitting tribute to his work.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honourable members standing in their places.







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