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AUSTRALIA'S "NATIONAL" GAME UPHELD CANBERRA. Dec. 8: The Prime Minister (Mr. Chifley) was "tread- ing on dangerous ground" himself when he challenged in Parlia ment yesterday the reference by Dame Enid Lyons (Lib.. Tas.) to Australian rules football as "Australia's national game." He has aroused the Ire of Australian rules enthusiasts.

Dame Enid had complained that a football sequence in a Department of Information film, "A Site for a Village," failed to do justice to the qua lity of "our national game." Mr. Chifley suggested that she was "treading on dangerous ground,", but the honorary sec retary of the Australian Na tional Football Council (Mr. P. Page), in an urgent telegram from Melbourne today, sprang

to the defence of Australian rules football. Mr. Page's telegram to Dame Enid read; "Congratulations on your stand. The Prime Minis ter's obvious lack of know ledge of Australian sport is most regrettable. National foot ball is the only Australian sport truly originated in Australia, dating back to 1858, when the Melbourne Football Club was founded. National football is played in Tasmania, Western and South Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory. In New South Wales and Queens land its popularity is steadily increasing.