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        He concluded with the message that military men must not be hindered in the fight for democracy.   There was thunderous applause as he sat down.

        David Arblaster spoke next.   He praised the Air Marshal as "a great war hear."   We needed more like him to protect Australia and the things that we held dear.   How fortunate we had been to hear "some real facts about the Vietnam war from such a distinguished Australian."

        I was to be the last speaker.   How could I respond to this sabre rattling?   Obviously it had stirred latent passions in this audience.   But there was no way that I could bring myself to fawn over the "war her," as Arblaster had done.

        I decided to remind the Air Vice Marshal (Retired List) that he now worked for the Wran Government, and that his present duties involved saving life rather than exterminating it.

        Standing at the microphone, I began by congratulating Townsend on his part in heading an orginisation such as the SES, " Which has saved many lives in floods and bushfires".

        With tongue firmly in cheek, I    started on a litany of faint praise, hoping that somebody in the audience might detect my subtlety.

        It was common knowledge that Townsend had fallen from favour with Wran:

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