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Thursday, 25 February 1971

Senator MILLINER (Queensland) - Like the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (.Senator Murphy) I wish to voice my opposition to the proposed amendment. I believe that it is illconceived: it is most certainly ill-considered because it was brought into the chamber this morning with a flurry and people were running around the chamber trying to win support from those honourable senators who might purport to be their political opponents but in truth are their political friends. My main objection to the proposed amendment is the insult it offers to the student commune In the Bill the Government is prepared to concede that students have a right lo participate in the control of a university. The proposed amendment insults students by suggesting that they would put forward one oF their number who is unworthy of their confidence. I submit, wilh respect, that that is a ridiculous situation.

The proposed amendment contains the words, 'has a sense of responsibility and a regard for the good name of the university'. Who is to determine the standard of responsibility required in relation to the words 'has a. sense of responsibility'? A student may wish to associate himself with the conduct of affairs within a university, but at the same time he may rebel against a decision that has been made. He may take appropriate action by organising people to reject that decision. Would those in authority believe that he was acting with a sense of responsibility. If they wanted lo get rid of him or did not want him associated wilh control of the university they would automatically say that he had no sense of responsibility or regard for the good name of the university, notwithstanding that he may have a legitimate right to oppose a decision of someone in authority

The proposed amendment also contains the words, 'which would be manifested for example in a rejection of crude pornography'. Again, who is to determine what is crude pornography? What may be crude pornography to one elder of a university may be quite acceptable to others. What constitutes crude pornography becomes an individual determination I have no wish to support anybody who circulates crude pornography. lt is objectionable to me and, I believe, to the vast, majority of honourable senators. However, what may be regarded by some as crude pornography may not be so regarded by others.

Senator Young - The latter group must be odd people.

Senator MILLINER - I have heard Senator Young on this type of thing before. I have heard pious resolutions from him and others, but if they had an opportunity to see some crude pornography, smutty pictures or anything like that they would be running around to the toilet to study it. On more than one occasion 1 have seen them do these things. Do not worry about the pure intentions of some honourable senators opposite. Will they say in this chamber that they have never had a look at crude pornography? 1 fail to hear an answer to that.

Senator Young - Do you agree with it?

Senator MILLINER - 1 do not peddle or worry about crude pornography.

Senator Young - Do you agree wilh it?

Senator MILLINER - I challenge you again: Have you ever had a look at crude pornography?

Senator Young - Yes.

Senator MILLINER - Then according to the proposed amendment you are not fit to be in the Senate. If you support the proposed amendment you are saying that a university student who has had a look at crude pornography is not fit to lake part in the councils of a university, but you admit that you have read crude pornography and it consequently follows that you should not be a member of this Parliament. The proposal is offensive to students generally, lt is offensive to lads who probably would become responsible leaders of the student group and probably would participate in its upper councils.

In the past I have known of instances in which words such as those of the proposed amendment have been applied so indiscriminately that it has not been funny. I have known of apprentices who, after having been granted their apprenticeship papers, have had them cancelled because it was subsequently discovered that they had pinched some water melons when they were kids, and had been convicted but not fined. Honourable senators opposite may say that that is not true. I say with respect that it is true, and it happened on more than one occasion. Those are the things that worry me. I am sorry that the Government has committed itself to accepting the proposed amendment. 1 believe that it will regret its action in years to come.

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