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There is a lot to be said for contact between peoples. This point was raised by the Chief Minister and, I think, by Mr Kaine, in relation to keeping the sister city arrangement. Firstly, I do not think the people of Versailles - which, I assume, has a local government - can be lumped in with the French national Government, just as the people of Canberra cannot be lumped in with things that the Keating Government might do. There are two distinct and separate entities there. We have a people-to-people arrangement with them. Mr Speaker, as you yourself have said, and as the Chief Minister has said, if we get rid of this sister city relationship with Versailles simply because we strongly disagree with what the national Government of France is doing in the South Pacific, why do we keep the sister city relationship with Nara, when the national Japanese Government continues to whale and when the national Japanese Government has not apologised for the atrocities committed against many people in Asia and against Australian troops in World War II? Mr Speaker, I think it would be a rather hollow and fairly futile gesture just to get rid of the sister city relationship with Versailles. Boycotts have been fairly effective, and it is far more sensible, as the Chief Minister suggests, to perhaps have everyone in the ACT, and maybe Australia-wide, boycott French goods until the French national Government comes to its senses.
Mr Connolly talked about South Africa. Boycotts were terribly effective there. I think Britain was one of the few countries that, towards the end, did not apply virtually blanket boycotts. Such things as boycotts of goods had a significant effect on the South African Government and certainly led that Government to rethink its position. We see considerable progress in South Africa today as a result of that Government rethinking its position. Boycotts also have been fairly effective in other areas in the twentieth century. Hollow protests did not particularly worry the Italians when they invaded Abyssinia in 1935. They were somewhat worried, though, by a fair dinkum boycott, which unfortunately did not materialise because the British and French at the time were fairly gutless. It was a half-hearted boycott, and Mussolini breathed a sigh of relief.
The Japanese did not worry, having invaded Manchuria between 1931 and 1933, when they were condemned roundly by the League of Nations as a result of Lord Lytton's report. In fact, they walked out of the league. They did not think much of that at all. They considered that it was a hollow, meaningless gesture just to condemn them. But the Japanese were terribly worried in 1941, when the British and the Americans, after continued Japanese aggression, threatened to cut off oil and essential supplies to Japan. In fact, that was, apparently, one of the main catalysts for the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbour, the Philippines and Malaya.
Boycotts certainly can send a very powerful message. I think, if the ACT and the rest of Australia boycott French goods as a result of the national Government's decision, that is a far more positive step than cutting off an arrangement with one of our sister cities - a city like Canberra, which is not necessarily responsible for the actions of its national Government. To draw that conclusion, I think, is to take a great quantum leap. It is not an appropriate analogy. Therefore, I think that most of the claimed substance of the Leader of the Opposition's motion in relation to getting rid of the twinning arrangement with Versailles is very much flawed.