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Wednesday, 2 May 1973
Page: 1598

Mr McLEAY (Boothby) - I wish to contribute briefly to this debate. Originally I intended to speak at the Committee stage and I may still do so. I have been compelled to take part at this stage by some of the remarks of the honourable member for Bowman (Mr Keogh). I have in mind particularly his reference to the previous Government as a government of war and to the present Government as a government of peace. I would be very pleased if someone would explain to me what is meant by the expression 'a government of peace'. The implication is that we are seeking to wage war on people. I and other honourable members on this side of the chamber resent that implication. A better description of the Government would be that it is a government of peaceful surrender. The honourable member for Bowman also said that we brought people in forcibly to serve. Clearly he was referring to national service. Today the Government is bribing people to serve on the cheap, secure in the knowledge that because it is a government of peace there will bc no fighting. This is quite a revolutionary change in the philosophy of war service.

Mr Garrick - That is a dangerous word.

Mr McLEAY - Yes, 'revolutionary' is a dangerous word. Revolutions are fought all round the world. I wish now to draw attention to the change in philosophy in this Bill because there will be no other opportunity. I have been reading through the records of the debates on war service homes legislation. The philosophy expressed in 1951 was the same as that of 1918; that is, people were assisted financially to buy homes who had rendered service to this country overseas in wartime, or had volunteered to go overseas but for some reason beyond their control had not served overseas. I did not catch the interjection.

Mr Garrick - The only difference is that yours was a small bribe and ours is a big bribe.

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