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strong message. We can pick up one of the themes in this motion and we can publicly advocate that French products not be purchased in this country - put an embargo on them. That would send a message to the French Government. There are appropriate ways of dealing with this; but let us deal with it in a sane way.
Mr Berry talked about future generations. I am interested in future generations, too. I would remind members of this Assembly that, for a century, the French people and the Australian people have had a very good relationship. When it comes down to combat, we fought together on the same side in two world wars.
Mr Berry: We kept pulling them out of the poo.
MR KAINE: We have a relationship based on shared hardship. Mr Berry can turn his back and snigger. I happen to have been alive in World War II. I saw what happened in Europe. I saw the way the French responded. The French were our allies in World War II. It may not mean anything to you, Mr Berry, but it means a great deal to me and to a lot of people like me. We can cut them off and say, “We do not want to talk to you”. Are we going to do that to every government that takes an international action that displeases us? If we are, we should chop off the Japanese, we should chop off the Chinese, we should chop off the United States, we should chop off the Brits. Who would be left in the world that we could talk to?
Mr De Domenico: The left wing.
MR KAINE: I suppose that there would be one or two like Cuba that would still want to talk to us. That would suit the people over the road, no doubt.
But I do not want to make this a political argument. I want to inject some sanity into it. It comes down to the fact that we have had a good relationship - an international relationship, a people relationship - with the French for a century, and these people want us to throw it away because a particular French government today makes a decision that we do not like. There are sanctions that can be taken at the national level to send quite strongly to the French Government the message that we do not like that. But let us have some sanity in here. Let us still talk to the people at the people-to-people level, because we are going to want to talk to them in 10 years’ time, 20 years’ time and 30 years’ time. The best way to resolve any differences, if there are any, is by talking to each other, not by putting up a barrier. We saw the Berlin Wall. We built a barrier, we did not even talk to people, and then we ended up with people confronting each other across the Berlin Wall with nuclear weapons. What did that do for the world? I will tell you what it did for me. It terrified me. I do not want to see that happen again.
If we have a problem with the French, by all means let us tell them about it. But we do not have to do it with a sledge-hammer. I think the action that the Chief Minister is proposing is a legitimate response from a government at this level. Tell the people with whom we have a relationship what we think. Leave the rest to the Feds. That is their business. The defence of this country is the business of the Federal Parliament. We can express our displeasure. Let us do that. Let us write to everybody. Let us write to the French Ambassador, to the French President,