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Thursday, 23 August 1973
Page: 359

Mr LUCOCK (Lyne) - I do not want to cover the ground that has been covered by other speakers in regard to the aims of this legislation but I should like to take part in the discussion and in the comments relating to it. As I said on a previous occasion, I was the first elected member of this House to take the oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen. A senator from Western Australia was the first member of the Parliament to take the oath of allegiance, but I, being elected in a by-election in 1952, was the first member of the House of Representatives to take the oath of allegiance to the present Queen.

Particularly in these times there is an importance in the value of the monarchy that sometimes is overlooked. I know that there are many people who say that because we sometimes talk about tradition and heritage we live in the past and forget the present and the future. I am one who believes that not only should we think of the present and the future but that also, for many reasons, we should think of our heritage and of the past. We should think too of some of the privileges that we enjoy today that havebeen given to us because of a contribution made by those who have lived in this land before us.

I think that one of the important factors in relation to the law of the land is the rights of the individual. The importance of the individual is bound up in the Crown, in the monarchy and in the place that the Crown takes in our law. For that reason if for no other I certainly would not like to see a weakening of the power and authority of the Crown. I think it is important in these days that emphasis in this respect should come from Australia because a number of people have come here from European countries. As the Deputy Leader of my party, the honourable member for New England (Mr Sinclair) said, our allegiance to the Crown exists not because of our association with the United Kingdom but because of our individual rights as Australians. Because so many people have come from European countries to our shores this is of vital importance.

A matter that was mentioned both by the honourable member for Morten (Mr Killen) and the Minister for Education (Mr Beazley) was the factor of the European Economic Community and the effect that the move by the United Kingdom into that organisation would have on the United Kingdom, the monarchy and United Kingdom sovereignty. I can remember discussions at a Common wealth Parliamentary Association Conference held in Malaysia in 1971. When this matter was raised delegates from the United Kingdom Parliament said that the importance of the monarchy and its relationship with the United Kingdom Parliament would never be forgotten and that it would be kept constantly before the authorities. Not only did countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand mention this matter. I was interested to note that many of what we might call the 'newer' countries in our Commonwealth also stressed the importance and the value of the monarchy even those countries which have become republics with the Queen as their head. I felt that this was something that gave a very important foundation to a contribution which could be made by the Commonwealth countries in the international scene. For those reasons I support the Bill. I support the remarks that have been made from both sides of the House and I trust that the importance of this legislation will be kept before the minds not only of members of this Parliament but also of the people of the Commonwealth.

Questions resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

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