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Wednesday, 6 October 1971
Page: 1996

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Riverina has spoken in this debate and was heard in comparative silence. I call the honourable member for Mallee.

Mr TURNBULL - It is not the greatest expression of national sentiment that I have seen in my time. In the last 10, IS or 20 years we have witnessed great feelings of sentiment about protecting Australia, displayed not only by offers of money but also by people being prepared to lay down their lives for this country.

Mr Grassby - Twenty years.

Mr TURNBULL - Yes, 20 years. I am speaking about our Regular Army in Vietnam, if the honourable member wants to know. The cheapest thing that we can spend in war is money. We know that. What has been said by the honourable member for Riverina and the honourable member for Capricornia (Dr Everingham) shows, I think, that they did not know exactly what the position was at the start. If I am wrong I would ask them to correct me. But I understand from what I heard the Minister for the Interior (Mr Hunt) say that this land has never been for sale so the whole thing has been built up on a false basis. We are talking about the Simpson Desert and these people have been put to the trouble of sending this money, thinking that they were saving certain fertile country. It is desert and is not for sale. That ls the position, so what a fuss to make about nothing.

Mr Cohen - You missed the point, did you not? Mr Grassby - What about-

Mr TURNBULL - If I missed the point I am sorry, but I thought the point the honourable member was making was that this land must be saved for Australia.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! If the honourable member for Riverina continues to interject 1 will have to deal with him:

Mr TURNBULL - The point I am making is, firstly, that the land is not for sale and, secondly, I do not know how the story was spread round that it was to be sold. The land itself is part of the Simpson Desert, therefore it is not worth any money to any person who wanted it for the sake of its fertility. The main thing 1 want to say is that the honourable member for Riverina said that this is the greatest wave of sentiment that-

Mr Grassby - I have known in 20 years.

Mr TURNBULL - Yes. I just want to say that it is not the greatest wave of national sentiment that I have known for 20 years because after all we have had our Regular Army going to places like Viet nam and laying down their lives to protect this country. If the honourable member likes to compare what he has described with what men have done in the 2 world wars it is a very queer thing. I think it is a funny attitude to take on national matters.

Mr Foster - Mr Speaker-

Motion (by Mr Giles) proposed:

That the question be now put.

Mr Grassby - You are a shameful old man.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! It is very late and I have already warned the honourable member for Riverina. I will not warn him again.

Mr Foster - I rise to order, if I may.

Mr SPEAKER - There is a motion before the chair. 1 will listen to the honourable member after I have put it if he wishes to speak then.' The question is that the question be now put.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Original question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 12.23 a.m. (Thursday)

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