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Thursday, 10 May 1973
Page: 2018

Mr KING (WIMMERA, VICTORIA) - I do not wish to delay the Committee at any length on this occasion because I know that the Minister for Immigration wants to get on with the Bill and with other business. I have risen only to confirm some of the comments that have been made by previous speakers on this side of the House. I refer to the comments on the oath of allegiance and the affirmation of allegiance. I think it is a very retrograde step to remove this important feature of allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. The Deputy Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr Sinclair) has made the position quite clear as far as my Party and, I think, the other Opposition party is concerned. I am not at all happy with the Minister's reply. I really think that he dodged the issue. He indicated quite a few reasons why this provision should be deleted. I cannot agree with any one of those reasons. Therefore I offer my protest at this stage in relation to this matter.

I support the honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Wentworth) in his appeal to the Minister to reconsider this position. I cannot for the life of me see why we should go to the trouble of deleting something that, even if it is not at all effective so far as authority is concerned, I am quite sure in the minds of the people is a very important issue. Whether this is the first move towards a republic of Australia I am not too sure. I conclude my remarks by saying again that I offer my strongest protest at the removal of that part of the oath of allegiance and the affirmation of allegiance.

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