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Mrs Carnell says, “If we pass this motion today, it will be ignored. It will get five minutes on Canberra television, and that will be the end of it”. But I put to members: If we fail to pass this motion today, what message do we send to the French? The message we send is that, in the very week when we have seen such an unprecedented ground swell of Australian opinion - from all political parties, from all levels of government, from church leaders, from community leaders, from business leaders, all uniting to express condemnation - this Assembly has decided to reaffirm a sister city arrangement with Versailles. And what symbolism of Versailles, given the historical place Versailles has in the French psyche about their military past! What this is about is the French obsession with military grandeur and their determination to be a powerful military player - their assumption that possession of nuclear weapons somehow creates them as a greater nation.

Mr Speaker, Alderman Jim Soorley immediately announced that the Brisbane sister city arrangement was terminated. I looked in vain for media comment from Liberal aldermen in the Brisbane City Council, from the National Party in the Queensland Parliament - I do not know whether the Nationals have any council members, but they certainly have parliamentary representation - or from the Liberal leader in the Queensland Parliament, Joan Sheldon. I looked in vain for their criticism of Jim Soorley - and, knowing a little about Queensland politics, I know that there is plenty of it. But all we seemed to see was acknowledgment that that was the correct symbol.

Mr Humphries: No, that is not right.

MR CONNOLLY: There may have been something, but I certainly did not see any reportage of it in our media here. You may have better sources there than I have. The symbolism of saying, “If you test nuclear weapons in our part of the world, we will not proceed with twinning arrangements and we will not maintain our sister city arrangement”, seems to have been well received in - - -

Mr De Domenico: What did he do with the sister city relationship with the Chinese city?

MR CONNOLLY: Again there is this quibbling. I can recall debating South Africa with you in the last Assembly, and you always maintained the old position, “No boycotts, no sanctions” - all of this conservative nonsense. We now focus on the issue of French nuclear weapons in the South Pacific, and all we hear from the Liberals is, “What about China? What about Japan?”.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I think that to suggest, as Mr Connolly has just done, or effectively to imply, that Mr De Domenico has sanctioned the view that there should be no sanctions against South Africa, when his position on the record is quite otherwise, is a rather tawdry weapon in this debate, and I would ask Mr Connolly to withdraw that suggestion.

MR CONNOLLY: I have no intention of withdrawing a debating point, Mr Speaker. If he wants to object, he can object in the proper parliamentary forums. If I had used unparliamentary language, I would withdraw; but I am making a statement that this Liberal, in particular, tends to have always been at the conservative end of the spectrum - - -

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