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Tuesday, 23 November 1971
Page: 3516


Mr Grassby - Mr Deputy Speaker, I did not call the quorum. I suggest that the Minister for Education and Science is mistaken and that he should apologise.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! A quorum is at present being formed. There is no point of order in what the Minister has said. As a quorum has been formed I call the honourable member for Isaacs to resume his speech.

Mr HAMER - Communist China too has developed nuclear weapons, which will surely increase its leverage on small Asian states. If China can neutralise the threat of American nuclear power, and use her superiority in conventional arms, the dangers are obvious for those who are prepared to see them. Yet at a time of growing danger the Opposition plans to destroy our Army by abolishing national service, before the measures to build up the Army through voluntary enlistments can have a chance to take effect. Moreover, the persistent denigration of servicemen by Labor Party supporters can but hamper the recruiting. If the Opposition were serious about building a volunteer Army it would restrain the vilification of servicemen by its supporters. The Labor Party's policy of the destruction of the Regular Army is the policy of thoroughly irresponsible people. The Opposition's defence policy seems to be that of a helpless kitten which rolls itself into a furry ball and hopes that if it keeps its eyes shut tight no-one will harm it. The Opposition has no defence policy. It has only a policy of surrender.

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