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Thursday, 24 August 1972
Page: 441

Senator O'BYRNE - I accept your apology. Senator Sim said that we must be tolerant. I do not think that the word 'tolerant' was. well chosen because tolerance is more or less paternalism. The New Guinea people have, chosen the word 'Niugini' in their pidgin spelling to describe themselves. There are all these hundreds of little ethnic groups that live there. They have not even known of one another's existence from one mountain ridge to another. They have engaged in their love life, their war life and their communications over the years in their own quiet way. I think that when someone writes the history of- New Guinea the Australian intervention perhaps will be looked at as a benevolent and beneficial interlude without any important effect on the eventual destiny of the New Guinea people. What we are doing is handing back to them what they really always had for themselves. We are making an Act of Parliament to hand back this power to choose the members of their own Parliament. I do not know whether the Westminster system can ever be fixed on to them.

Senator Milliner - I hope . that you do not send a Tasmanian up there.

Senator O'BYRNE - If we want something sewn up; we will send a Milliner. I am sure that New Guinea will find its own way of solving its own problems. It has survived to produce a virile and lovable race of people. Having met these people in their own environment and seen them up in the Highlands and various parts of New Guinea, I ' can say that they are lovable people. They are simple, humble, cooperative, friendly people. They will find a way. I think that what will possibly brush off on to the New Guinea people will be a cooperative socialist society. The only way in which they will ever solve their problems is to have a co-operative socialist society. I think that they lived in that way until the capitalist society came in and disintegrated them and tried to detribalise and exploit them. Senator Sim has conceded that we have been very good to them and that it has taken us a Jong time to become as good as we are and that it will take a long time for them to become as .good as we are. I am very pleased to support-


Order! Senator O'Byrne, this is a matter of some seriousness and I would be pleased if you would treat it as such. 24 August 1972

Senator O'BYRNE - Mr Acting Deputy President,do you know the Bill that we are dealing with at the moment?


Senator O'BYRNE - In conclusion, I say this: We are taking part in a new phase of the history of Papua New Guinea. I think that it is opportune that we should hand this authority to the new New Guinea Parliament to enable it to design and direct its own destiny. I am certain that with or without us they will continue to thrive and to prosper, to love, to multiply and to hold their heads up as another race of people with equality under the sun.

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