Sunday . . Page.. 814 ..
I seek leave to table the article from the Sunday Herald Sun to which I referred.
MR BERRY (12.09): I would like to speak briefly to the amendments that have been moved by Mr Moore. The Opposition’s position is that we will oppose the amendments because, as I think Mr Moore has acknowledged, they water down the initial proposal, and that is not something we would support. In any event, anticipating that our motion will succeed, we wait with eager anticipation for an outcry from the Mayor of Versailles against the French Government. I am sure that, if that were to be the case, we might join forces. We would at this point oppose those amendments because I think they water down the effect of the motion that has been moved by Ms Follett. If there were a cry of outrage from the Mayor of Versailles, we would be very happy to reconsider our position; but at this point the amendments will be opposed.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (12.11): Mr Speaker, the Government will support the amendments put by Mr Moore. I think Mr Moore raises a very good point. I do not know what the political flavour of the present government of Les Yvelines is. I do not know whether it is the same as, for example, the French Government at the present time or has some different connotation. I just do not know. Even if it were of the same political persuasion as the present French Government, it is entirely possible that they take a different view on the testing of nuclear weapons in the South Pacific. It would be a great tragedy, I think, to have us sever the relationship with a government which actually supported the view we were proposing to take. That would be senseless and quite stupid. Mr Berry says that he is happy to join forces with the President of the Conseil General - - -
Mr Berry: I am not holding my breath, though. I do not think it is going to happen. He is probably like all the community groups. He is not game to yell at the Government, for fear that they get defunded.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Berry says that he is probably like all the community groups, who do not want to be defunded. I just do not think we know. I have no idea what the view of the Government of Les Yvelines is. It really seems to be quite senseless to say, “We are going to judge you; we are going to lump you in with the French Government, we are going to cut off our sister city relationship, and, if it turns out subsequently that you happen to agree with what we are saying about the French testing in the South Pacific, sorry, we might try to resume it”, or something stupid like that. That really does not make much sense. I hope that Mr Berry's colleagues can talk some sense into him about that, because this does not make any sense.
If the result of this motion, as amended, were to be that we discovered that the Government of Les Yvelines was not inclined to support the view we take in this place but proposed to support the French Government's decision, the logic in turn to remove our relationship with them becomes stronger, I suppose. Certainly, in the present environment it does not make a lot of sense - Mr Berry has not thought this through very well - not to give them that opportunity to express support for our point of view. I would therefore support the amendments.