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Seven:   The war of words.

My political commitment had been formed during the turbulent days of the moratorium marches, protesting in the streets against the Vietnam war.   I had been one of the many thousands who   had joined together in the peace movement, a nebulus coalition of disparate groups who shared a common concern.   Then the Whitlam Government, within a short time of gaining office, had brought our troops home, and my interest turned to other aspects of politics.   But privately I still supported the peace movement's continuing campaign against nuclear armageddon.

        It was therefore with some trepidation that I considered by first invitation to attend    an RSL branch annual general meeting   Of course, as a state MP I was not involved in defence matters.   These were the preserve of the Federal Government.   Nevertheless, I was bound to encounter a few questions about the ALP's atitude to such issues as the American alliance, Vietnamese refugees, and perhaps even Russian spies.

        The invitation had come from the Harbord RSL, and I noticed that the office bearers were some of the directors of the Harbord Diggers Club, which had given me such great support during the Campaign.   I did not want to offend them.   They had pressed the invitiation, and I had to go.  

        The meeting was on Thursday, starting at five pm.

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