Today marks the 76th anniversary of the greatest military tragedy in Australia's history, the fall of Singapore.
In the fall of Singapore, 5,000 Australians lost their lives fighting and 15,000 Australians went into captivity and faced the horrors of Changi and the Thai-Burma railroad, where thousands lost their lives.
It was a tragedy that exposed the lack of preparation in Australia, a lack of preparation caused by the Liberal Party when they were in government, by the appeasement of Robert Gordon Menzies, a man who was pro-appeasement before World War II and, incredibly, pro-appeasement in World War II.
He wrote, 'I feel quite confident that Hitler has no desire for a first-class war,' and 'Nobody really cares a damn about Poland as such,' 11 days after Hitler invaded Poland. They were defeatists as well. They were the party of the 'Brisbane line'. They were the party that refused to fully mobilise Australia.
This was all laid bare when Singapore fell.
Labor will never be lectured on defence by those opposite—the party of the fall of Singapore, the party of the Vietnam War, where 500 Australians lost their lives, and the party that brought us into the second Gulf war based on a lie.
The Liberal Party are a bunch of hypocrites on defence and we will never be lectured to by them.
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, CANBERRA
THURSDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2018