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MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General): Mr Speaker, I need to respond to some of the things Ms Follett has said.
Mr Berry: The debate is closed.
MR HUMPHRIES: I understand that I can speak twice to my own amendment, Mr Speaker, and that is what I am proposing to do.
MR SPEAKER: You will need leave, Mr Humphries. The Clerk has advised me that you will need leave.
MR HUMPHRIES: I seek leave, Mr Speaker.
Mr Berry: I thought the debate was closed.
MR SPEAKER: With leave, we can do anything, Mr Berry. I think Mr Moore has said that on a number of occasions.
MR HUMPHRIES: I thought, Mr Speaker, that I could speak twice to my own amendment. Obviously I cannot, so I will seek leave.
MR HUMPHRIES: I think it is most unfortunate to suggest that this amendment of mine in some way suggests that the Liberal Party is not concerned about the question of nuclear testing. That really is a quite discrediting argument by Ms Follett. Each one of us who has risen on this side of the chamber to speak in this debate has said that we are concerned about that testing. We do oppose it, and we are urging that something be done. That is the gist of this amendment. Ms Follett said, “You have not taken into account the end of the Cold War”. She was not listening when I began my speech, because I referred to that very fact when I began to speak. The fact that the Cold War has ended makes this action even more reprehensible. I repeat, for her interest, that we do oppose the testing of nuclear weapons in the South Pacific.
I think it is quite discrediting to the thrust of this motion to somehow argue that this is a debate between people on that side who do support a strong reaction to the testing and those on this side who do not. That is quite wrong. Particularly, the context of the first paragraph of this motion is strongly supported, emphatically supported, by the Liberal Government, and we will be supporting that part of the motion if we have the opportunity. However, it is quite wrong to suggest that therefore we ought to follow that view with a view that says that we attack every form of contact we have with the people of France. That goes too far. The difference between ending our sister city relationship with Versailles and ending diplomatic contact between the Australian and French governments only at the ambassador or government-to-government level is, I think, a distinction that has been lost on the Opposition. We do not cease to communicate with the French Government because we do not have an ambassador in Paris. We still have an embassy in Paris and we still talk to the French Government through that embassy, but we symbolically send a message to them that is very important.