House of Representatives
11 May 1950

19th Parliament · 1st Session

Mr. Speaker (Hon. Archie Cameron) took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.

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– Has the Treasurer’s attention been drawn to a published statement by the Queensland Minister foi Mines, Mr. Moore, that the Australian Government is subsidizing the importation of coal from India and South Africa to the detriment df the Queensland coal industry ? If so, has he also read the claim by that Minister that Queensland is in a position to supply 100,000 tons of coal this year to the southern States of Australia and that the Queensland coal industry is therefore entitled to at least the same assistance from this Government as the Government is now giving to India and South Africa?


– I have not seen the press statement to which the honorable member has drawn my attention, but 1 shall examine it and give him an appropriate answer.



– I ask the Minister for “Works and Housing a question relating. ‘ to war service homes. Whilst .1 believe that the policy of the War Service Homes Division of his department is to make adequate provision for recreation facilities where large areas are being built upon, several local governing bodies have intimated that in instances where groups of between 70 and 80 war service homes are being built in semi-populated areas no provision has been made for recreation areas. Will the Minister give consideration to having the War Service Homes Division adopt a policy of reserving sufficient vacant land for the purpose of establishing recreation areas and children’s playgrounds where groups of war service homes are being erected in areas that are not served by other recreation facilities?

Minister for Works and Housing · LP

– I shall examine the matter raised by the honorable gentleman and shall give it the most sympathetic consideration.

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– I desire to ask you a question, Mr. Speaker, concerning your-‘ statement yesterday that you will suspend, under the provisions of Standing Order 303, any honorable member who draws attention to the state of the House if, when you have made a count of the House, you find that a quorum is present. To avoid any injustice being done to the honorable member involved will you order the doors to be locked immediately attention has been drawn to the state of House, so as to prevent the entry of any member until you have counted the number present?


– No. There is no provision for the doors to be locked. The standing order provides that they shall remain open.

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– Has the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture seen the report in to-day’s press to the effect that the Australian Dairy Produce Control Board has made a recommendation to him to terminate ‘butter rationing? Will the Minister assure the House that the position will be fully examined with a view to the lifting of butter rationing in Australia, but having particular regard to Great Britain’s requirements ?


– I have seen the newspaper report to which the honorable member has referred. Last Monday, while I was present at a meeting in Sydney of the Australian Dairy Produce Control Board, which I attended for another purpose altogether, the board recommended to me that butter rationing should be terminated and that the ban on the sale of table cream should be lifted. 1 informed the meeting that I would place its recommendations before the Government. The board did not provide me with any statistics to substantiate its recommendation, and I have asked it to do so in due course. At present I am having a separate investigation made into the statistical position of butter in respect of both production in this country and the requirements of the United Kingdom Government. As soon as those facts have been assembled I shall place them before the Government. The purpose of butter rationing and of the present ban on the sale of table cream is to ensure that adequate supplies of Australian butter shall be made available to the United Kingdom having regard to our responsibility to make a reasonable contribution to the needs of the United Kingdom. The rationing of butter is not maintained for any other purpose, and should it be established that, on those grounds, it is unnecessary to continue rationing, I am sure’ that the Government would not wish to continue it.

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New Australians


– Having regard to representations that have been made to me, not directly by displaced persons but by other persons in my electorate, I ask the Minister for Labour and National Service what arrangements are in operation for the supervision of food supplies and for the heating of accommodation provided for displaced persons employed at the Government’s munitions establishments at Maribyrnong ? Is the Minister aware, first, that there is a lack of heating in quarters with concrete floors provided for families, including those with small children, during the hours when electric current is available to private residences in the vicinity; and, secondly, that odoriferous meat is supplied to migrant workmen for cut lunches on the “ take or leave it “ basis which prevents any change to food that may be preferred, suchas cheese ; and, thirdly, that highly flavoured soups are offered to children which they refuse or are unable to eat? If food supplies to these migrants are provided under the contract system, will the Minister take steps to ensure that the condition requiring contractors to supply food of good quality shall be complied with ? If detailed complaints about this and other similar matters have not reached the Minister, will he have an investigation made to ensure that displaced persons and their families shall bo treated fairly?

Minister for Immigration · HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP

– No complaint has previously been made to me about the lack of heating in accommodation provided for the displaced persons to whom the honorable member has referred. I shall investigate that complaint immediately. With respect to complaints about the food supplied to migrant hostels, I personally have inspected a number of those hostels. So far as I have been able to ascertain the quality of the food supplied has not altered since the Government in which the honorable member was a Minister was in office, and I am certain that his colleagues, the former Minister for Immigration and the former Minister for Labour and National

Service would assure him that the food supplied then was of high quality and was prepared under hygienic conditions. The only complaint that has previously been made was in respect of food that was supplied to men who were working under hot conditions with the result that some of the food became tainted. I assure the honorable member that the food supplies generally are of high quality and have given general satisfaction. I shall bring his inquiry to the notice of the supervisor of migrant workers’ hostels and obtain further details.

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– I address a question to the Minister for Supply. My constituents, and the Victorian Wheat and Wool Growers Association, have drawn my attention to the serious shortage of . 22 calibre ammunition and 12-gauge cartridges filled with number three and number four shot. Is . 22 calibre ammunition being exported? If so, to what destination is it being exported, and for what purpose? Will the Minister use every avenue open to the Government to ensure that adequate supplies of this ammunition are mads available in country districts for vermin destruction ?

Minister for Supply · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– The honorable member’s question appears to be based on the premise that the Department of Supply is concerned at present with the manufacture of . 22 calibre and shotgun ammunition. That is not so. It is true that some government annexes which are engaged in the manufacture of ammunition and ordnance accept civilian orders, but none is at present engaged in the manufacture of . 22 calibre or shotgun ammunition. As far as I am aware, Imperial Chemical Industries Limited is a large manufacturer of ammunition of that type. Its output is distributed in the ordinary way through the trade. I am not aware that any such ammunition is being exported. Indeed I doubt whether any is being exported. I understand that, on the contrary, some ammunition of the type referred to by the honorable member is being imported from foreign countries. I shall inquire into the position and advise the honorable member of the result. He will appreciate, I am sure, that the Commonwealth has no control over the distribution of ammunition. The Department of Supply has very good relations with Imperial Chemical Industries Limited and, if it is possible to do something to bring about a better distribution of this ammunition, I shall be glad to do what I can to achieve that end.

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– Is the Treasurer aware that Williamstown, an important port in Victoria with a population of 27,000, and containing 7,000 homes, has no branch of the Commonwealth Bank, that the Williamstown City Council does its banking business with that institution and that the residents of that city are much inconvenienced thereby? May we look forward to the holding of a ceremony at which the right honorable gentleman will lay the foundation stone of a new Commonwealth Bank building at Williamstown? Failing that, will he consider the provision of temporary Commonwealth Bank premises in that city?


– I shall bring the subject-matter of the honorable member’s question to the notice of the Commonwealth Bank.

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– In view of the excellent natural conditions and the favorable economic outlook that at present exist in Queensland for the growing of cotton, can the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture indicate the Government’s proposals for the future of the cotton industry so that farmers may be encouraged to plant cotton during the planting season this year?


– I am aware of the opportunity that exists for stimulating the production of cotton in Queensland. The honorable member and some of his colleagues waited on me a short time ago and emphasized the desirability of the Government taking some step in that direction. I have since had conversations with the Minister for Trade and Customs, whose department has traditionally handled the stimulation of the cotton industry from the federal angle, and also with my colleague, the Treasurer. I assure the honorable member and the Australian cotton industry that the matter is under consideration and that the relationship of the planting season to the announcement of the policy of the Government on this matter is well recognized. I assure him, too, that what might properly be done by the Australian Government, in co-operation with the Queensland authorities, will be done. We shall not overlook the aspect of the time factor in the planting season.

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Prime Minister’s Second-reading Speech.


– On Tuesday the Prime Minister was required, by weight of evidence to the contrary, to make a statement to the House admitting gross inaccuracies in the names and positions of a number of persons whom he had named when he presented to the House the Communist Party Dissolution Bill last Thursday week. The Prime Minister named in his list Frank Ticehurst, of Newcastle, as being president of the Newcastle branch of the Transport Workers Union of Australia. The right honorable gentleman said on Tuesday that Ticehurst was not and had not been president of the Newcastle branch of the union and that his name should not have appeared in the list. In view of the Prime Minister’s statement, will he inform the House whether Ticehurst has ever been a member of the Communist party and, if he had been previously a member of the Communist party, whether he 19 still a member of it? If Ticehurst has not previously been a member of the Communist party and is not now a member of it, can the right honorable gentleman say whether Ticehurst was a member of the party at the date specified in the bill now before the House, that is the 10th May, 1948? Will the Prime Minister inform the House and the people of the Newcastle district in particular whether the Government considers that Ticehurst is a person who would come within the scope of the bill, so that Ticehurst will be able to clarify his position to his relatives and friends?

Prime Minister · KOOYONG, VICTORIA · LP

– I do not propose to pursue all these various interrogatories. “What has happened is that Ticehurst was wrongly described in the list provided for me, and the error having been discovered, he has been removed from the list, which is, of course, quite proper. I have directed that in any reprint that may be made of my speech his name is to be omitted.

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– I desire to ask the Minister for Supply a question relating to a statement which was made recently regarding tourist activities. Is the Minister in a position to indicate when the proposed Australia-wide conference might be held and will he include amongst the representatives of other organizations representatives from local governing bodies which have large tourist areas within their districts?


– It is for the Prime Minister to decide when the Australiawide conference to which the honorable member has referred will be called, because the small division which has been established to deal with this activity is in his department. However, I am sure it will not be very long before the conference is called. I shall draw the attention of the Prime Minister to the suggestion made hy the honorable member and I am sure that it will be given consideration.

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– Will the Prime Minister inform me whether the Government has approved of the phosphate rock project on Christmas Island, which the Chifley Government entered into jointly with the New Zealand Government? If the Government intends to proceed with this most important project when will the working of the Christmas Island phosphate rock deposits commence? I ask this question in view of the growing demands for superphosphates from Australian primary producers.


– The matter raised by the honorable member is not one for attention by my department, but I shall have a full answer prepared for him.

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– A statement has been made that the Minister for the Interior is investigating the matter of government occupation of private offices and buildings. When will an investigation be made of the situation in Tasmania ?

Minister for the Interior · WAKEFIELD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP

– A committee has been appointed in Tasmania but I do not know when it will begin its investigations. I shall make inquiries and will inform the honorable member of the result.

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– Is the Minister for the Interior aware of the circumstances of a seventeen-year old full-blooded Australian aboriginal girl named Mercy who is reported to have attained a high standard of education and to be an accomplished violinist? The girl is now in training at Bathurst Island. Has the Government given any consideration to her future welfare? If so, what are its intentions ?


– This matter has been brought to my attention and I am having inquiries made in order to ascertain what can be done with the girl. Normally she would have to go back to the native quarters but, owing to her educational attainments, that course of action seems to be undesirable.

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– Has the attention of the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture been drawn to the fact that problems which hitherto have prevented- the use of ramie fibre on a commercial basis have been solved ? In view of the fact that the plant that produces the fibre can be grown successfully in Australia, and that the fibre can be used as a substitute, for cotton and linen yarns, will the Minister take action to promote the production and processing of the fibre in Australia?

Minister for Commerce and Agriculture · MURRAY, VICTORIA · CP

– I have no detailed knowledge of the ramie fibre industry, but I know that efforts have been made to produce and process ramie fibre in Australia for at least fifteen years without success. I received a letter a few days, ago from a Mr. Wise, who informed me that he had discovered or had learned of some method of processing ramie fibre successfully. I have no capacity to form a judgment on the matter, but I have asked the appropriate officers of my department to investigate the claim made by Mr. Wise.

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– I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation whether plans are in hand for extending the aerodromes at Australian capital cities in order to enable them to accommodate jet-propelled airliners? At least five types of jet-propelled airliners are being constructed in Great Britain at present, but they require not less than 3,000 yards of runway for take-off. There is no aerodrome in Australia at present that could accommodate such types of aircraft.


– I understand that an appreciable lapse of time will occur before jet-propelled aircraft will be in operation in Australia. Plans are in prospect for the extension of existing runways at capital city airports so that they will be able to cope with jetpropelled commercial airliners by the time they are likely to be operating here. I believe that the runways at Darwin are already long enough to . accommodate such machines. I remind the honorable member, however, that other considerations than the length of runways must also be taken into account. One of these is the difficulty caused by the scorching of runways. These matters are being considered by the Department of Civil Aviation.

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– I ask the Minister for Immigration whether it is a fact that passports were issued to Messrs. James Healy, Ernest Thornton, Walker alias Dixon, E. V. Elliott and other Communist party leaders before ‘ the advent of the Curtin Government in October, 1941. If so, will the honorable gentleman indicate whether it was the Lyons Government, the Menzies Government or the Fadden Government that issued or reissued passports to those and any other

Communists? Is it a fact that, under the Passports Act, the Minister may cancel any passport at any time? If so, why has he not cancelled the passports of Messrs. Thornton and Elliott, who left Australia recently, and why did he allow Mr. Elliott and the Minister for Auto leave Australia together in the same aircraft last week-end?


– It may be true that during the period that the honorable member has mentioned, passports were issued hy previous governments to the gentlemen to “whom he has referred. At no time has any restriction been placed on the issue of passports to persons on account of their political or industrial activities. The only limitation, as was indicated yesterday, has been in the case of passports for travel to India. Specific requests from that country have been received by this Government, and previous governments, that passports issued to known Communists should not be made available for India. There has not been at any time a policy of refusing passports along the lines indicated by the honorable member. The Government has under consideration at the present time, as was mentioned earlier, the question of what should be done in relation to passports when requested by known Communists. The decision of the Parliament on the Communist Party Dissolution Bill now before it will no doubt have some bearing upon the attitude of the Government in this matter. I do not know whether the honorable member who makes the strong representations in favour of refusing passports to Communists is stating the official policy of his party. If he is, I shall be glad to have confirmation of his statements from his leader. Such confirmation would be of great assistance to the Government in its consideration of this problem.

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– Haying regard to an answer given by the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture recently to a question concerning the supply of cornsacks to Australia, will the Minister bear in mind the necessity for similar action relative to the supply of onion sacks ? The harvesting and storing of the onion crop requires the provision of a special type of sack; ordinary sacks cannot be used. Further, the harvesting of the onion crop is due to start in Queensland in two or three month’s time, and considerable anxiety is felt by the oniongrowers in regard to the availability of such sacks.


– I recognize the importance of the matter that the honorable member has raised, and I assure him that due regard will be paid to the means of securing adequate supplies of onion sacks. While answering this question, I am happy to be able to say that since I replied to a recent question on cornsacks, I have been informed, that, as the result of a direct request by the Prime Minister to the Indian Government, 70,000 tons of cornsacks and material for making cornsacks have now been allotted to Australia. This quantity is slightly less than the’ total amount we shall require, but it gives me good reason to hope and expect that there will be no acute shortage of sacks in any of the industries needing them. There are some matters associated with the ultimate shipment to Australia of the sacks which are still a matter of negotiation, but I have no doubt that the basic problem has been solved.

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– The Treasurer informed me in answer to a question yesterday that it was not proposed to make any funds available for new developmental projects anywhere in the Commonwealth. Will the Prime Minister, in the interests of economy and in accordance with his election promise to release surplus man-power from Commonwealth employment, take the necessary action to disband the Department of National Development, which is a most expensive organization and which, apparently, will serve no useful purpose?


– The question that the honorable member has asked imputes to the Treasurer a statement which, I am sure, he did not make.

Mr Riordan:

– Will the Prime Minister have a look at the “ flat “ ?


– I am always willing to have a look at the “ flat “.

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– In order to assist and encourage students to complete their higher education, will the Treasurer give urgent consideration to the advisability of granting, as a deduction from taxable income, the amounts expended on the education of young people beyond the present age limit of eighteen years?


– The Treasury will consider the matter during the preparation of the budget.

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– I desire to address a question to the Minister for Health. I understand that a deadlock has occurred in the negotiations between the right honorable gentleman and the British Medical Association over the proposed national health scheme. I am informed that the scheme submitted by the Minister was not acceptable to the British Medical Association, and that the British Medical Association’s scheme is not acceptable to the Government.


-Order! Is the honorable member asking for information or is he giving it?


– I am now asking for information. Will the Minister inform me whether it is a fact that that deadlock has been resolved by the complete capitulation of the Government to the British Medical Association?

Minister for Health · COWPER, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP

– The honorable member often acts on false information, and he is doing so on this occasion.

Mr Ward:

– That is not so. I have a letter which I shall produce-


– Order ! The honorable member has asked a question, and he should hear the reply in silence.


– There is _ no deadlock between myself and the various federal organizations which provide medical services. I should like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the very great assistance that I have received from, not merely the British Medical Association, but also the Pharmaceutical Service Guild of Australia, the friendly societies, insurance societies and hospital managements in connexion with this matter. I think that the result will he a very satisfactory health scheme for everybody.

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– Will the Minister for National Development inform me whether it is a fact that in 1938, for the purposes of defence and of development, the construction of a railway line was commenced from Maryvale to Sandy Hollow? Perhaps I should explain that it is better known as the line from Dubbo to Newcastle. Is it also a fact that that project has cost the State of New South Wales approximately £2,500,000 to date, although not one steel rail has yet been laid? Is it a fact, too, that the route traverses one of the greatest open-cut coal-fields in Australia? It is situated near Wollar, and its estimated area is approximately 5,000 square miles. If those are facts, will the Minister confer with the Government of New South Wales with a view to speeding up the construction of that line either by the provision of steel rails manufactured in Australia, or imported rails, thereby saving coal haulage and making additional sources of coal available to the people of Australia?


– My recollection of the matters to which the honorable member has referred generally supports the points that he has made. I shall certainly be willing to go into them on the lines that he has suggested.

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– As the Government’s plan to provide centres for British immigrants develops, will the Minister for Immigration give consideration to vacating properties in the metropolitan area of Sydney which his department now occupies for immigration purposes but which are required by local councils? I mention as an example that in my own electorate the Department of Immigration occupies some land and buildings known as Broughton House which is required by the Burwood Municipal Council for the establishment of an urgently required library and recreation centre for local inhabitants.


– As the honorable gentleman is aware, it is necessary, in order to cope with the immigration scheme, to make such use as we can of emergency accommodation and to avoid, as far as possible, eating into the supply of materials required for the home construction programme. I am not aware that any extensive use has been made of buildings or areas that are required by municipalities for their own purposes, but I shall make an inquiry into the case mentioned by the honorable member and see how soon it would be practicable for my department to relinquish the property mentioned by the honorable member.

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Second Reading

Debate resumed from the 10th May (vide page 2407), on motion by Mr. Menzies -

That the bill be now read a second time.


.- This measure is unique insofar as it provides for what is a very drastic innovation to come before any British parliament. That innovation is the outlawing of a political party that has from time to time submitted candidates for election to this Parliament. Because of the transcending importance of that innovation I consider that the issues attendant upon it should be discussed dispassionately in an atmosphere of calm consideration and not in an atmosphere of hysteria in which wild, irresponsible statements that are quite incapable of substantiation are made. The British Government, despite repeated requests to ban the Communist party, one of which was made only last week, has resolutely set its face against the banning of that party. Up to the present the United States have not outlawed the Communist party, partly because the American Constitution forbids the abridgment of speech and assembly and partly because the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mr. .T. Edgar Hoover, had implored Congress not to ban the party and so drive it underground. Mr. Hoover considers that the Federal Bureau of Investigation can tackle the Communist party far more successfully if it is allowed to remain a lawful political party than if it were driven underground. The banning of the Communist party in this country will not solve the menace of communism here. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to assume that the majority of the electors of Australia at the moment approve of the banning of that party. In other words, they approve of the bill up to clause 4. I have taken an unofficial Gallup poll during the last two week-ends to ascertain the opinions of my electors regarding the bill, and I say quite unhesitatingly that a great majority of them favour the Government’s proposition up to the point that I have indicated. It would be useless to try to develop an argument to show that that is not the case. It can also be generally agreed that the Australian people are united in their detestation of underhand, harmful, communistic methods. To use a vernacular term, they have “ had “ the Communist party. I suggest that the Communists, by a succession of anti-social and anti-national actions, have forfeited whatever sympathy the community may have had for them in the past. Nevertheless, a very thorough examination should be made to determine whether communism and its attendant evils could not in fact best be suppressed or defeated through the adoption of a more democratic policy in this country and by putting such a policy into action to the fullest possible degree. As I said a moment ago, the banning of the Communist party will not suppress the evils attendant upon the machinations of Communists themselves. I consider that, irrespective of the merits or demerits of the present measure, the main, battle-ground of the Communist party is in the trade union sphere. However, this legislation, for what it is worth, is certainly deserving of the support to the proposal I have mentioned to see what it can accomplish as a method of combating the Communist party and some aspects of its activities.

A close examination of the bill, however, has led me to believe that endless problems will present themselves for solution once the measure has come into operation. Of course, it is the Government’s responsibility to face up to those problems, and I shall leave the Go vernment to face them, but I consider that it would be wise at this juncture to mention some of the problems that may arise when the measure has become law. Experience in the last war has shown that in spite of a most efficient police and counterespionage system in the countries occupied by the nazis, underground organizations were able to carry on with a great degree of impunity. I believe, therefore, that irrespective of certain of the provisions contained in this measure the Communists will still be able to operate underground. I know that it has been said that they are underground at the moment, and I also know that at this very moment they are making definite plans ahead in order to harass the Government and the community by the use of underground cells. It is possible that when, by virtue of this legislation, certain Communists who hold office in the. trade unions have been removed from such office, the prestige of the people persecuted, or rather prosecuted - honorable members may use whatever term they please according to their points of view - will be enhanced and their advice will be clandestinely given through groups or by medium of men who are in secret sympathy with them, and in such circumstances the advice may perhaps find more general acceptance than it does under the present conditions. The Communists, working underground, will undoubtedly make efforts to continue their policy of causing industrial disputes.

Although I see these eventualities, I cannot deny that the people in their present frame of mind are prepared to give this measure at least a trial. Despite the sneers of honorable members opposite that the Labour party has not fought the Communist party in any way, I consider that it is impossible to contradict successfully the fact that the Labour party and trade unionists have consistently fought the Communists on whatever ground has been available to them. It is my deliberate and calculated opinion that, irrespective of the merits or demerits of this legislation, the battle against communism must still be won in the trade union sphere, and I hope that honorable members opposite and the people of Australia will not be led to believe that if this legislation is carried the battle with communism will have been successfully concluded. Nothing could be further from the truth. In recent years many Australian trade unions have successfully rejected Communists who had previously held those unions under their sway. I am prepared to concede that all unions have not yet been successful in doing so, but a great number of them have been successful in that respect. The Labour party has organized industrial groups that have already provided very stubborn and successful opposition to the Communists. Those groups will continue to fight the Communists under whatever name they may come to be known in the future. Perhaps, they will call themselves progressive, or militant, Labourites. In that way, ultimately, the Labour party, will eliminate Communist influence from the trade unions. The Australian Labour party industrial groups were formed as the result of the growing realization by trade unionists that it was their responsibility individually to deal with this matter and that they should not leave it to the Government, to a few trade unionists or to a few energetic members of the Labour party. Communism will be eradicated only when trade unionists themselves realize that that responsibility is primarily theirs. They can discharge it by taking a more active part in the management and conduct of their organizations, particularly by supporting only men who are not Communists in the election of their office-bearers.

Although the Labour party has consistently preached opposition to Communism, supporters of the Government have attempted to line our party up with the Communist party. They have said that the objectives of both parties are similar, and that members of the Labour party are only staging a sham fight against the Communists. The history of the Labour party disproves that allegation. Indeed, the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) himself, in his second-reading speech, laid great emphasis upon the fact that the Labour party has from time to time made strong declarations against the machinations of the Communists. He quoted a strongly worded resolution that was passed unanimously at the 1948 conference of the Federal Executive of the party, in which the party as a whole castigated the Communists. As recently as last Sunday, Dr. Sydney Berry, a visitor from England, when speaking at Wesley Church, Melbourne, said -

Trade unionists in England are the inplacable enemies of communism.

That is the attitude of the Labour party towards the Communists, not only in Australia, but also in all countries within the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Mr. Herbert Morrison, the Deputy Prime Minister of Great Britain, epitomized Labour’s detestation of Communist methods in a speech that he made on the 23rd March last when he said -

The Communist programme was “trickery in politics, treason in matters concerning the defence of our homes, trouble-making in industry, and tyranny wherever they can seize control’ by hook or by crook “.

There has been, in the last year or two, a great and healthy rejection of Communists in our trade union movement, but they still hold some positions of importance. They should be democratically got rid of as soon as possible.

No doubt it will take some time to cleanse our trade union movement entirely of this taint, but no day should go past without members of trade unions reminding themselves who are these men in key positions who are pledged to subvert the unions to their own purpose of conspiracy against the nation, men who are responsible to the Communist party rather than to the trade union rank and file.

We cannot pretend that all is right with cur economic democracy as -long as men, who are heart and soul committed to destroying democracy and damaging our economic wellbeing, occupy key positions in our great democratic trade unions, or, for that matter, in the co-operative movement.

Those are the sentiments of the Labour movement throughout the world.

Despite the fact that the main purpose of the bill, which is to dissolve the Communist party, is accepted generally, considerable uneasiness exists in the public mind concerning certain machinery provisions of the measure. We must remove every vestige of justification for the claim that the measure is in any way totalitarian in nature, and also all doubt whether it will bring about a state of affairs that will be worse than that which it seeks to remedy. We must ensure that in the present revulsion of feeling against the extreme left we shall not precipitate circumstances that will encourage the extreme right to impose its will upon the democracy of this country. During recent weeks many people have informed me that they believe that certain provisions of the measure constitute a threat to the liberty of the ordinary individual. That uneasiness has been expressed in the columns of newspapers throughout Australia which consistently support the nonLabour parties. Those journals have questioned the wisdom of certain provisions of the bill. For example, the Melbourne Sun of the 4th May, in a leading article, dealt with the amendments that the Opposition has foreshadowed and stated -

Some of the provisions of the bill which the executive urges should be amended have already aroused doubts and questionings in the minds of persons unconnected with the Labour movement and unswervingly opposed to Communism.

The Melbourne Herald in a leading article on the 3rd May stated -

At the same time it must be recognized that many Liberal-minded people who are not members of the Labour party and who are staunchly opposed to Communism are concerned about some machinery aspects of the bill which they fear may imperil longcherished principles of civil liberty. The placing of the onus of proof on the accused, the wide powers of search given in the bill are two of the things that are causing some uneasiness.

On the 4th May, the same newspaper published an article by E. H. Cox, its political correspondent at Canberra, in which he said -

After six days of study and examination, some uneasy reactions to parts of the Communist Party Dissolution Bill are emerging in Canberra.

Those who have these misgivings are neither Communists nor, in general, members of the Labour Party. They are advocates of vigorous and sustained measures to stamp out Communism lock, stock and barrel.

After referring to the general criticism that is being made of the machinery clauses of the bill, the writer continued -

There are fears in the first place that the Bill puts the Security Service in a role never intended when it was created, and into one which by traditional British standards is a little sinister.

Also causing some concern is the principle of the right to break into premises and search them without warrant when it is suspected that the premises contain Communist property.

The Bill confers this upon very vaguely named authorities who will presumably be Commonwealth Security or Commonwealth police officers.

This is a power which contraverts the perhaps hackneyed but deeply-seated principle of British community life that a man’s home is his castle.

If I had sufficient time at my disposal I could give many more illustrations of the uneasiness that exists in the community concerning certain provisions of the measure, but I have produced sufficient evidence to show that the public and the press are of opinion that the bill should be amended along the lines foreshadowed by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Chifley). The implications of the bill as a whole should be examined most carefully. For that reason, I regret that the Government has decided to guillotine it.

I should like a definite assurance from the Government that this legislation will not at any time in the future be applied to non-Communist militants in the industrial movement. It may be that at some time in the future militants in the trade unions could be accused of doing what the Communists are now accused of doing. Will the provisions of this bill be extended to them? What will be the reaction of the Government if, when Communist activity ceases, at least officially, as the result of the implementation of the provisions of this bill, strikes still continue? Will the Government then turn against the trade unions as a whole? Has not the protection of the individual been diminished by the decision of the Government to use undisclosed sources of information, by its reversal of the principle of the onus of proof, by the retrospectivity of this legislation and by giving to certain persons the right of search without warrant? These serious questions should be very carefully considered before a final decision is reached. In my view this bill places too much faith in government decrees. We accept the position that if this bill becomes law it thereby becomes the policy of the country, but we do not believe that everything in the garden will then be rosy. In its proposals to implement the principles of this bill the Government has adopted ideas which are foreign to the Australian set-up. For that reason the Opposition proposes to submit four amendments during the committee stage. I hope that the Government parties will not pre-judge them and airily dispose of them by saying, “ The whole bill or nothing “. I understand that the Prime Minister has already said that he will not accept any amendment that interferes with the principle of the bill. The underlying principle of the bill is the banning of the Communist party. The Labour party endorses that principle. The method by which that principle is to be implemented is, however, a vastly different matter. The four amendments which Ave propose to submit will deal only with matters of method. I express the opinion that if the Government does not accept the proposed amendments this legislation, in the course of time, will become unworkable and will cause more dislocation, confusion and chaos than exist at present.

I conclude by stating the opinion of a very influential newspaper, which by no stretch of the imagination can be regarded as a champion of Labour, on the amendments proposed to be submitted by the Labour party. In a leading article entitled “ Next Move Rests with Ministers “, which was published in the Melbourne Age, on the 9th May, the following paragraphs appear: -

The general tenor of machinery amendments suggested by the Labour Party shows that it is in close touch with public opinion. Of the disputed questions, that relating to onus of proof is the most contentious, closely followed by that dealing with the right of search without warrant. From the outset, many people who have no partisan interest in the bill, but approve its main purpose, were somewhat taken aback at the radical departures from established usages and procedures and the fact that these things were proposed by a Liberal Government.

Since discussion of the bill began, the conviction has grown that objections to infringements of British practice have substantial validity, and that these proposals invite resistance unless it can be shown beyond doubt that the main purpose would bc defeated without such novel, drastic, and even revolutionary provisions. When the gravity of the circumstances provoking this legislation is acknowledged, it is a very serious step to write into one of the most far-reaching pieces of legislation a principle that denies to the individual the normal assumption of innocence till proved guilty, while excusing the Crown from the normal obligation of proving its case by facts and evidence.

This legislation, as varied by the four amendments which are to be submitted by the Leader of the Opposition, will be worthy of a trial. I have grave doubts of its efficacy, but at least if the Government accepts the amendments to be submitted by the Leader of the Opposition the legislation will have the support of the people as a whole. Time alone will prove whether this very contentious experimental legislation is effective.


.- In this Parliament we legislate under the provisions of a Constitution which was drafted by some of Australia’s greatest men representing every walk of life in the community. They were steeped in the British ideas of freedom - freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of political views. The framers of the Constitution realized that it was necessary to provide means for the protection of these freedoms. So, engrafted in our Constitution, are a number of sections designed for that purpose. Any act of this Parliament which invades those freedoms i? ultra vires the Constitution. Accordingly, no citizen of this country need fear that any of his vital freedoms may be infringed by an act of this Parliament. Those who drafted the Constitution realized that it a government is to exist it must be able to protect itself against its enemies, whether from abroad or within. So. they engrafted in the Constitution the words -

The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to legislate for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to . . . the defence of the Commonwealth.

Another section of the Constitution not only confers on the Executive the right but also imposes on it the duty to preserve the Constitution. This bill has nothing whatever to do with free speech. It ha.s nothing to do with .the political views of any person. The preamble to the bill sets out that there are certain enemies of Australia within this country and that this Parliament will do its duty by protecting the Constitution and the people of Australia from the activities of those enemies. This, then, is a defence bill. Indeed, insofar as it ceases to be a defence bill it is obviously ultra vires the Constitution. As a defence bill it recognizes what has been proved beyond doubt, namely, the existence of enemies within this country and it states that this Parliament and the Executive have the duty of protecting the people of Australia from their activities. There is nothing particularly new about the provisions of this bill. It merely proposes a re-imposition of the ban on the Communist party which was imposed on two occasions by a previous government but in a more complete form. The earlier legislation failed because it went only a part of the way. They did not fill up all the holes in the legislation.

The Communists were able to carry on their traitorous and seditious activities because of the loopholes that existed in that legislation. On a previous occasion, the Communist party was banned by the Menzies Government, but when Labour came into power it removed that ban. I suggest that that was the Labour party’s undoing. In 1947, this party which had legalized the Communist party realized that these men were traitors to the country, that they were fifth columnists and that they were working for the overthrow of our constitution and the destruction of our rights and liberties. So the Chifley Government passed an act to deal with the Communists and to place a partial ban on them under the defence powers of the Commonwealth because it realized that they were traitors to the country. I have before me the bill that it passed. It is entitled “An Act to Provide for the Protection of Approved Projects and for Other Purposes “. This act was passed by the Chifley Government with only one purpose, which was to prevent traitors in this country from interfering with its defence. There is no better way in which the need for the bill before the House can be proved than by quoting the words of a very distinguished lawyer, a former justice of the High Court of Australia, a former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and the present Deputy Leader of the Opposition - the right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt). When the right honorable member introduced the bill to which I have just referred, he was attacked by the very same men who are attacking the Government and its supporters at the present time, namely, Communists and fellow travellers. The right honorable gentleman had to defend himself and his Government and not only did he defend himself with the spoken word but he also produced this little book - a very excellent book - bearing the Australian flag on its cover with the title, “Hands off the Nation’s Defences “, by the Right Honorable H. V. Evatt, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. In this book the right honorable gentleman first asked whether the Labour Government had a mandate to do what it proposed to do. 1 ‘lst as it is being asked to-day whether the present Government has a mandate to ban and outlaw the Communist party so the right honorable gentleman first inquired concerning his mandate and then cited the mandate that he had. It was a mandate from his own party to pass that particular bill, a mandate given in a resolution of the Australian Labour party which was passed on the 10th May, 1949, and which read as follows: -

It is apparent that the propaganda recently issued by the .Communist Party in connexion with this undertaking is for the sole purpose of defeating the Australian defence policy in the interests of a foreign power.

That is the mandate that was given by the Australian Labour party to pass the bill to which I have referred. The object of the bill was to deal with people who were traitors to the country and were destroying Australia’s national defence in the interests of a foreign power. The right honorable gentleman gave a history of his bill. He wrote -

In June, 1947, the Chifley Government introduced, and the National Parliament passed with only one dissentient, the Approved Defence Projects Protection Act. The necessity for this measure in the interests of the defence and security of Australia was clearly shown by the recent attempt by a few persons of Communist sympathy to bring about a “ black “ ban of the long-range weapon project in central Australia.

There was no mincing of words in that statement. This bill was aimed at the Communist party. Why? Because, as the former deputy leader of the government stated, it was a traitorous party. The right honorable gentleman went on to say what people are saying to-day, in these terms -

Critics have alleged, for example, that the new act goes further than is necessary for defence; and that the act unduly curtails freedom of expression.

That is exactly what honorable members of the Opposition have been saying. The right honorable gentleman proved in this book that that argument was entirely fallacious when he wrote -

I assert, in reply, that the act strikes at the would-be saboteur - exactly the same man as the bill before the House strikes at - and not at the legitimate critic

That bill now before the House does not strike at the critic or at the person who believes in Communist philosophy. It strikes at the’ person who believes in revolutionary tactics. As the Prime Minister said, it is the method of the Communist party that is wrong, not necessarily its political ideas. Reference has been made to the fact that both the Socialist party and the Communist party believe in socialism. They both believe in the socialization of the means of production, distribution and exchange. But the Socialist party is a democratic party. It does not believe in revolution. It believes in accomplishing reform by democratic means and that is why the bill before the House will not touch one Labour man and will not touch one Socialist unless-


– Can the Government guarantee that?


– Of course the Government can guarantee it. The Constitution guarantees it. The bill will not touch one Labour man or one Socialist unless that Labour man or Socialist - or Liberal for that matter - desires to bring about the overthrow of the Constitution by revolutionary means. The Communists are being dealt with in this bill under the defence power of the Commonwealth because they are attempting to overthrow the Constitution by revolutionary means. In this little book the right honorable member for Barton wrote -

I assert in reply that the act strikes at the would-be saboteur and not at the legitimate critic and that the act safeguards freedom of speech and expression as fully as though that fundamental democratic right were written expressly in the Constitution.

Similarly this bill will protect the freedom of the people because it will defend the Constitution against those who propose to overthrow it by revolutionary means and destroy freedom of speech and expression. On page 2 of this excellent little book-

Mr Curtin:

– It is very handy for the honorable member.


– Tes, because it was written by a distinguished member of the Labour party and is a very well reasoned document. The author included a passage under the heading “A very ugly incident “-and I remind honorable members that the Communists have caused many very ugly incidents in Australia during the last few months. That passage states -

Although the attempt-

That is, the attempt to sabotage the defence project in central Australia - has temporarily fizzled out, it constituted a very ugly incident, and it has undoubtedly opened many eyes to the menace to Australian defence interests involved in a facile acceptance of proposals put forward by members of the Communist party..

On page 3, the right honorable gentleman stated, referring to the Labour Government -

The Government also felt that in its attempt to prevent sabotage the full co-operation and support of organized labour would be better assured, and misunderstanding prevented, by avoiding any resort to the Crimes Act.

This Government could have resorted to the Crimes Act. In fact, some members of the Opposition have suggested that it should have done so. But why did not the right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt) resort to the Crimes Act, when he was Attorney-General, as he has said in his booklet that he could have done? Why did he introduce a measure to impose a partial ban upon the Communists? The truth is that he knew that it would be better to do that than to invoke the Crimes Act. The only fault of that measure was that it did not totally ban the Communist party; it merely excluded Communists from the defence project in Central Australia because they had placed a ban upon the undertaking. Had the right honorable gentleman gone the whole way and banned the party entirely, we should be enjoying now greater prosperity and happiness than we have. In stating the reasons why he did not make use of the Crimes Act, the right honorable gentleman wrote -

For instance, section 30k, which makes the “ averments “ of the prosecutor prima facie evidence against a defendant, can be used and has been used, in effect, to cast on an accused person the onus of proving his innocence. Similar provisions might be justified in very special circumstances.

In other words, the right honorable gentleman claimed that the Crimes Act, which was in existence during the entire eight years of Labour government, could be used to cast the onus of proof upon a defendant, and in certain circumstances could properly be invoked for that purpose.

A second measure to ban the Communist party was introduced by the Labour Government last year, and it provided that the onus of proof should be upon the defendant. Honorable members will recollect that the Communists caused tremendous loss and destruction last year by fomenting a political strike on the coal-fields. Because of their action, the right honorable member for Barton, as the Attorney-General of the day, introduced a bill for the purpose of placing a ban upon them, but again, unfortunately, only a partial ban. .That measure was entitled the National Emergency (Coal Strike) Bill, and it was passed and became law. It is interesting to note that the act provided not only that the onus of proof should be cast upon the defendant but also that there should be the right of search without warrant. As the right honorable gentleman has stated in his booklet, when dealing with traitors there are circumstances in which the onus of proof should be placed upon the defendant. After all, it is not very difficult for a mail who is innocent to summon up the courage to declare, on oath, “ I am not a Communist and I never have been a Communist “. By doing so, he can completely discharge the onus of proof.

Mr Curtin:

– Does the honorable member believe that?

Mr. WILSON__ I know that it is so.

The law is abundantly clear.’ If a man declares on oath, in answer to an averment, that he is not a Communist and has never been a Communist, and if the state ment is not broken down under crossexamination, the court must acquit him of any charge on that count. The crux of the matter is that the persons who will be charged under the bill that we are now considering will prove the case against themselves out of their own mouths when they enter the witness box. Those persons have been Communists for many years and they have engaged in sabotage for the purpose of destroying the defences of Australia. Section 10 of the National Emergency (Coal Strike) Act, which was introduced by the Chifley Government only last year, states - (1.) The Registrar, or a person authorized by the Registrar to act under this section-

Not a Minister of the Crown ! - may, for the purpose of ascertaining whether there has been a non-compliance with any of the provisions of this Act-

  1. for the purpose of any such inspection, enter, with such assistance as he considers necessary, any premises used or occupied by the organization or branch of the organization in which he believes any such books, documents or papers to be.

That simply meant that the Registrar was empowered to walk into any premises where he believed papers to be. That measure was introduced by the Labour Government for exactly the same purpose as the bill now before the House has, namely, the purpose of dealing with the Communist party of Australia.

Speaking candidly, I do not like the provision for searches to be made without warrant, and I hope that the Government will be able to accept an amendment providing that a magistrate’s authority shall be obtained before a search is conducted. However, there is nothing novel in the provision. It is practically identical with the provision that the Chifley Government introduced last year and which the right honorable member for Barton has described, in his pamphlet Hands off the Nation’s Defences, as a necessary precaution in certain circumstances. The only question for decision is whether the Communist menace is serious enough to be dealt with in a way that is a departure from the usual. Section 11 of the National Emergency (Coal Strike) Act which was passed last year by the Labour Government provides -

Where an organization has committed an offence against this Act, every person who, at the time of the commission of the offence, was a member of the committee of management, or an officer, of the organization or of a branch of the organization shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence, unless he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he used all due diligence, to prevent the commission of the offence, and shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine not exceeding One hundred pounds or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both.

Once an organization has been proved guilty every officer of it, under the act passed by a Labour government, is deemed to be guilty unless he can prove himself innocent. It is utter humbug for those who passed this bill last year to say now in this House that the Government, by this legislation, is destroying the principles of freedom and liberty.

Mr Curtin:

– The bill was passed to deal with an emergency.


– I agree entirely with the honorable member, but a state of emergency exists at present. Unless we get rid of fifth columnists, quislings and traitors, they will get rid of us. Section 12 of the same act also is interesting. Again I remind honorable members that this act was passed only last year by a Labour government. Section 12 reads -

In any prosecution for an offence against this Act, a payment or receipt, or a promise to make a payment, shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been a payment or receipt, or a promise to make a payment, for the purpose of assisting or encouraging directly or indirectly, the continuance of the strike.

In that case the previous Government was dealing with a political strike caused by Communists. It said in section after section that the onus of proof should lie on the defendant. Honorable members car. rest assured that we who are, as our forefathers were, steeped in the love of freedom and liberty, shall not agree to any legislation which interferes with fundamental freedoms. We have fought two wars in the cause of freedom and we are certainly not going to lose that freedom now. Prom time immemorial it has been recognized that freedom can be protected only if one is prepared to stand up to those who try to destroy it. I shall read a little further from this very interesting book Hands off the Nation’s Defences, written by the right honorable member for Barton. At page 5, the right honorable gentleman wrote -

A strike is an action by workers to improve their industrial conditions. But a boycott or black ban of the character contemplated by the Act is not for the industrial purpose of improving the conditions of workers, but for the seditious purpose of sabotaging the accepted defence policy of the Government and the Parliament.

Last year the Labour Government recognized that the quislings and saboteurs were at work. Therefore the Government dealt with them. I now ask honorable members to listen carefully to further remarks by this eminent lawyer, former justice, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and member of the Labour party, the right honorable member for Barton. He says -

No person can claim the right to use expressions of such a nature, and in such circumstances, as to create a clear and present danger to the community.

I bring that to the attention of the people who are to-day saying, “ You must not pass this bill because it interferes with freedom of speech or freedom of the subject “.


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.


.- On one point at least honorable members on both sides of the House appear to be in agreement. That is that this bill is one of the most important that has yet been discussed in any Parliament of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Because of the importance of the subject, which is that the bill is aimed at the suppression of a political party, it behoves every member addressing himself to this measure to approach it in the correct way and to justify the reasons for his remarks so that in this most important debate there will be a complete absence of party disputation and unworthy aspersions. This should be a discussion on a plane which will be in accord with the importance of the subject. In the course of the debate explanations have been made by honorable members on the Government side in regard to their change of opinion concerning the Communist party.

I refer to the second-reading speech of tie Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) on this subject. He said that at one time he was not in favour of a ban on any political party, but that time and circumstances had caused him to revoke his former opinion. In the same way I say, in my own humble capacity, that at one time I should never have approved or supported any measure which banned a political organization, but I believe that the circumstances of to-day are different. Because the pressure is urgent, because of the world march of events and the clash of great forces, and because of the critical position of Australia, I express here and now my sincere support of that portion of the bill which deals with the Communist party. In regard to certain other parts of the bill, however, I shall later make some observations which I trust will be considered and accepted -by the Government parties. Therefore, I preface my first, remarks in this debate by saying that I disagree entirely with the honorable member for Sturt (Mr. Wilson) who, if I heard him correctly, said that communism was a political creed. If I am correct in my researches-

Mr Wilson:

– I said that it was a revolutionary creed.


– A revolutionary political creed. If the conclusions from my researches into this subject are correct, and those researches have extended over a long period of years, communism is more than a political creed. It is a code of life, a philosophy, a code of procedure and a political dogma. From the mouths of those who expound the Communist theories that form the principles on which the party drives its objectives closer to their goal, we gain the best condemnation of communism. That is my justification for supporting certain provisions of this bill. I propose to read at length quotations from the works of Communist leaders, past and present, and I shall not apologize for doing so, because I believe that, on this most important subject, an honorable member should justify his attitude. I consider that the Communist party should be banned or abolished and I shall endeavour to justify my opinion by showing that, in all states of society, the Communist party is a menace to man’s dignity, to religion, to civilization, to law and order, and to the normal processes of democracy. I give my approval to certain clauses of the bill because I believe that we must support those essential features of our society that the Communists seek to destroy. I have said that communism is a code of life and of morals, and reduces man to the indignity of being a mere cypher. Marx himself said -

Man, of and by himself, has no value. A man has a value only in as much as he belongs to a revolutionary class. As soon as he ceases to belong to that class, his usefulness also ceases.

Marx also wrote -

The idea that every single man in the world has value is the essence of democracy, and democracy was born of a Christian notion that every man has an immortal soul. We deny that man has a soul, we deny a man has value. It is only as a member of the class that he has worth.

In that postulate, man is reduced to the position of a cypher without a. soul. Communism is opposed to freedom. Engels, who was one of the great fathers of materialistic atheism., known as communism, said -

Freedom is the right to do what you must.

We can imagine the sneer on his face when he pronounced those words. Engels illustrated the point by saying -

If I drop a stone from my hand, the stone is free to fall because it obeys the law of gravitation: so, under the Communist system, you are free so long as you obey the mind of a dictator. .

I repeat that I make no apology for reading at length extracts from the works by the fathers of communism, because, whatever may be the faults of the Communists, there is this to be said for them, that they follow slavishly the doctrines that have been expounded by Ludwig von Feuerbach, Marx and Engels, and translate them into ordinary practice. They never deviate from the words and from their interpretation by the latterday apostles of Marxism, namely, Lenin and Stalin. Whatever else may be said of communism, that thread runs true throughout its history in the world, and it is on those gospels - the inverted gospels - that modern communism is based. Let us examine the Communist attitude towards religion. Marx said -

Where Atheism begins, there communism begins. We must replace God by man.

Using the phrase of Charles Kingsley, he applied it to communism of his day, and to his creed, as enunciated in Das Kapital, and repeated -

Religion is the opium of the people.

Lenin carried the point further in 1913 when he said -

All religious ideas are an unspeakable abomination. God is, historically and socially, a complex of ideas engendered by the ignorance of mankind.

At the Seventh Soviet Congress, which was held in 1935, a Communist made the following statement: -

We shall fight without mercy all who bar our way in the struggle against God.

It amazes me that, in view of those fundamental Communist philosophies, some ministers of religion have the effrontery to appear on platforms with Communist speakers and mouth the platitudes of empty communism.

Honorable Members. - Hear, hear


– Let us consider the attitude of communism towards ethics. Regardless of our political differences, we recognize that there is a certain code of ethics in democratic societies. But the Communists reverse the rule of ethic3. I cite the writings of their High Priests on the attitude that Communists are to adopt towards codes of behaviour. Lenin said -

In communism, every form of ruse, deceit, lying and knavery is permissible.

Stalin, in supporting that particular statement, said -

Communism is founded upon violence which recognizes no law and is restricted by no duty.

Trotsky wrote -

Communism is founded on the principle that the end justifies the means and anything is good which furthers the revolution and anything is bad which deters the revolution.

Dimitrov, the Secretary-General of the Comintern in 1935, said -

We are sometimes accused of departing from our Communist principles. What stupidity! What blindness! We should not be Marxist and Leninist revolutionaries, nor disciples of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, if we were not capable of completely altering our tactic* and our mode of action as circumstances may dictate.

When a party is based on such philosophies, it presages no good for the country in which it is functioning. Tor the reasons that I have enunciated, I believe that some of the early provisions of the bill are justified. The future, for Australia, is forbidding if the Communist party’s principles are allowed to be engrafted on the body politic. The Communists, if they are permitted to flourish undisturbed, will pursue their policy of class warfare and the enthronement of the proletariat, and that objective is to be accomplished by a sanguinary revolution that will destroy the principles and the things that most Australians hold dear. I shall read another extract from Left Wing Communism in which Lenin wrote -

Dictatorship of the proletariat to be achieved by the fiercest and most merciless war and a resolute and persistent struggle, sanguinary and violent.

In Infantile Sickness, Lenin also stated -

I warn our followers to expect a war a hundred times more difficult, more drawn out, more complicated, and the most blood-thirsty war that could be possible between nations.

In his book Insurrection, Lenin wrote -

The victory of the proletariat could be achieved by wading through rivers of blood.

His remarks were supported by the Communist text-book on international revolution, Armed Insurrection, by Neuberg. The following statement appears on page 215:-

The masses must realize that they are going into a bloody and desperate armed struggle. Contempt for death must become widespread amongst the masses so as to make victory secure. Their watchword must be to attack, not defend; their objective - the pitiless extermination of the enemy.

I pause at that stage. In all sincerity I am amazed at the temerity of honorable members opposite in accusing the Labour party of sharing the objectives of the Communist party. I point out to them that the Labour party in Australia and Labour and socialist parties throughout the world are the first parties marked down for destruction in the Communist upsurge- If honorable members opposite will read about the strategy and tactics of world communism in a book that was not produced by any Communist authority but by the United States Office of War Information, they will find confirmation of my statement on almost every page. The capitalist classes are not singled out by the Communists to be destroyed first. The classes and parties akin to the Australian Labour party and the Australian working class are singled out for destruction by the Communists. The whole history of the Communist upsurge in the countries of Europe shows that the Communists’ first desire is to exterminate the socialist parties which represent the working classes.


– Only socialistic countries have been taken over by the Communists.


– I refer honorable members to the case of Poland, where a government known as the Lublin Government was established as a result of a wicked decision by the Big Three at the Yalta Conference. When that government was firmly ensconced in the saddle the men picked out for liquidation were not the capitalists but men like Froelich and Zoehler, who led the socialist parties in that country. When the Communist party was firmly established in power in Czechoslovakia who were the people to whom the Communists immediately turned their attention? They were the representatives of the labouring classes who belonged to the equivalent in that country of the Australian Labour party. Communism hopes to see society fall into two classes, an upper class and a proletariat, the latter of which it will be able to dragoon and discipline for the destruction of the former. In Australia and in other British countries the class represented by the Labour party is the barrier between those two classes, and that is why the Communists seek to destroy it. Honorable members opposite have alleged that the Labour party has a kinship with the Communist party. Such allegations are unfair and unjustified. To support my statement about violent revolution being the aim of the Communist party, I again quote from the Communist text-book Armed Insurrec tion, by Neuberg, which states at page 266-

Street fighting, aiming at the physical extermination of the enemy, should be entirely without quarter. Any sign of human feeling from the proletariat to its class enemies during the armed struggle merely creates fresh difficulties, and may, if circumstances go against us, lead to the failure of the movement.

With those thoughts in mind it is obvious that these are inward manifestations of the outward methods that are repugnant to all of us. They lead us inevitably to the conclusion that it is consistent with Communist principles and practices that a state of economic disorder should exist and to the fact that in countries in which the Communists exercise power their aim is to exterminate the classes opposed to them. It is also consistent with those practices and principles that there should be a constant and unremitting war against religion. That is revealed by the imprisonment of distinguished members of religous orders whose only crime was that they upheld the law of Christ. I repeat that illustrations could be given indefinitely and extensively to show that these manifestations are but an outcome of the inward drive of Communist philosophy.

I now turn to the amendments that are to be submitted by the Labour party when the bill is at the committee stage. As this subject has been very extensively canvassed during the course of the debate, it would be idle and repetitious if I were to go over the whole of it again, but I submit that if this bill is to be workable and not to be a negation of human liberty and fundamental rights in this country, the Government might be well advised to accept the amendments that we propose to move. I know that honorable members opposite can cite measures adopted by this Parliament that have contained the onus of proof provision, but the general application of the law in this community is that the onus of proof is upon the accuser and not upon the accused. I believe that the Government could, without sacrificing the effectiveness of this measure, accept the Labour party’s amendment in that respect. Other matters that are to be the subject of amendments are the right of search without authority, the right of appeal and some other matters that are allegedly fundamental features of the bill. Closer analysis, however, shows that they really are not fundamental, but are unnecessary applications of the authoritarian principle. It seems to me that if those provisions are to be retained in the bill we might just as well revert to the conditions that operated in Russia in the times of the Czars and decide that we shall have another Ochrana at work in this country. I deplore, as does every decent democrat who hates communism, the drift towards authoritarianism in this country. We have had indications of that drift in the course of this debate. We have had, for instance, the statement by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) that certain members of the Labour party could be declared under the bill when it becomes law. I consider that by that statement the Prime Minister has lost the estimation that many Australian people had for him because of his undoubtedly fine presentation of his secondreading speech when he introduced the bill. His statement is an indication of the present trend to authoritarianism. If that trend continues the Government will be doing more to accelerate the advance df the Communist party, whether above ground or underground, than it could possibly imagine. I suggest that the inclusion in the bill of the amendments that this party proposes to submit, will not impair the effectiveness of the measure. I sincerely trust that the bill will achieve its first objective, which is the suppression of the Communist party. I shall shed no tears over the Communist party when it has been suppressed, because I recognize its evils, and so does practically every honorable member on this side of the House. When honorable members opposite suggest that the Labour party is closely akin to communism I wonder whether they are just political fools or are just raking in the political ash-cans of their own imagination. Do they honestly believe that that imputation has any substantial basis? They know as well as I do that even though there may be Communists and fellow travellers under cover in the Labour movement, the same thing applies to the Liberal party. During a strike by engineers in 1947 the plans of the Chamber of Manufactures in Melbourne leaked out to the Communist party. It became fairly obvious that one member of the Chamber of Manufactures was letting these plans become known to the Communist party. It was subsequently discovered that a member of the Chamber of Manufactures had told his wife, who was a Communist, of the plans, and that she in turn had passed them on to the Communist party.


– Was he a Liberal?


– He was a Liberal, but his wife was a member of the Communist party, and all the plans that were being prepared by the Chamber of Manufactures to break that particular strike or lockout were leaking out to the Communists. It would be well, therefore, for honorable members opposite, when they make the imputation that we have Communists in our ranks, to ask themselves whether that might not be true of their own party. Any Communists in the Labour movement are not known Communists. As soon as they are discovered to be Communists they are expelled. Over the years the Labour party, by its unremitting opposition to everything communistic, has steadily put its house in order. Could the same statement be made about the parties opposite?

I leave the matter at that stage and shall now summarize what I have had to say. There is no room for communism in this land of Christian ideals and democracy. I shall not weep over its suppression, but I do weep over the attacks on man’s fundamental freedom and personal rights that are contained in this bill. I think that in order to make this bill workable the Government and its supporters might be well disposed to accept the amendments that we shall submit.

Mr Hasluck:

– The Prime Minister has indicated that he will accept some of them.


– Let him accept all of them. That they are reasonable most honorable members know. The imputations that have been made from unworthy sources attacking the Labour movement and alleging that there is a distinct bond of love between it and the Communist party are not true. I am but one humble member of the Labour party and while I have been a member of it I have stood for election eleven times. I have always been opposed by a Communist candidate except on one occasion. The bitterness and virility of the opposition between the Labour party and the Communist party exist not in theory but in fact. The honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell) could tell the House that I had the great honour to have a brother who made his mark in the Victorian political sphere and who was respected by all people. His life was filled with fights against communism and his death was accelerated because of the worry that resulted from his recognition of an evil that the members of the Liberal party did not wake up to until a very late stage.


.- First we should disabuse our minds of the claim that the apparent reduction of the number of registered Communists is due to any governmental action or tactics employed by a Labour government, because it was disclosed in evidence that was given before the royal commission that inquired into communism in Victoria that it is part of the Communist tactics for members ostensibly to leave that party and to work under cover in some new guise. Therefore, the claim that there has been a substantial reduction of the membership of the Communist party is false.

A Labour columnist, Dr. Lloyd Eoss, in expressing opposition to this measure, said -

The bill should not be judged on its intentions only, which are presumably good, but it should be judged on its applications, which are presumably bad. It should not be judged on the principles but on the methods necessary to carry those principles into effect.

We can cancel out that opinion by citing the purpose for which the bill has been introduced, and by realizing that communism is subversive in its intentions and dangerous in the application of its principles. Dr. Eoss also said -

There is no act of sabotage, or sedition, that cannot be tried or prevented by existing laws or under the normal practices of the law.

That view does not take into account the danger that arises in relation to the defence of the country. If we do not deal with sedition until after the event, it will be a case of too little too late; and should we act too late in a matter of national defence our failure could have the effect of bringing about complete national paralysis. Perhaps, the Czechoslovak people comforted themselves with that belief, but it did not prevent a “ red “ coup, the effect of which was to subjugate the vast majority of the people to the tyranny of the few. In short, this measure does not deal with isolated acts of sedition ; it is aimed at an international plot that threatens the whole economic structure of this country. Is it not better to take legislative action of this kind in order to prevent that possibility from becoming a reality than to delay action until it is too late and then try to comfort ourselves with melancholy reflections about what might have been?

We must concentrate upon the intention behind the bill. We must realize that for the first time in our brief history we are face to face with a condition of affairs that has been a common experience in all European countries down the centuries when there has always existed the obligation not only to secure their frontiers but also to protect their ideologies and internal economies against the risk of sabotage by foreign agents. This bill is an assurance that the Government recognizes that obligation, and in spite of doubts or fears upon the point, we shall either succeed or record for ever our unfitness for the task that the people have entrusted to us.

I shall consider, first, the principles of the measure, and, secondly, the objections that have been raised to it. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Chifley) quoted a statement by the Prime Minister of Canada in which he said that it is impossible to submerge an opinion. But who is dealing with opinions in this instance? This bill is aimed not at opinions but at subversive activities. In order to make clear what it does aim to do I shall quote a statement that was made by another Canadian, Mr. Drew, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the Canadian House of Commons. Recently. when he proclaimed his intention to submit to that legislature a motion calling for legislation similar to this, he said -

We are dealing with the most terrifying, brutal reality the world has ever known.

Nazism fades into insignificance by comparison.

In five years 600,000,000 people have been brought under the Communist form of tyranny and the Red tide is at the flood - nowhere has it receded.

In the simplest possible language, this bill means that we know of 8,000,000 Australians who will not be added to that number. Let us face up to the problem from that standpoint. The honorable member for Port Adelaide (Mr. Thompson) said he believed that the bill was aimed at the leadership of the trade unions. There might be something in such a contention if we had reason to believe that the following words of Scott could be applied to a substantial number of Australian trade unionists: -

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,

Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land!

However, the vast majority of trade unionists in Australia are, first and foremost, Australians who will not allow their country to be vitiated, or perverted, by foreign-inspired traitors. On that belief I base my case in support of the measure.

In military terminology successful defence in warfare, whether it be of the cold war variety or a shooting war, depends upon an accurate anticipation of the intention of the enemy. In order to do that, one, first, makes a general appreciation of the situation, and then considers all the factors for and against; and from those factors deductions are made on which ultimately plans are based. I believe that that procedure is absolutely essential for success. It is generally acknowledged that the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) in his second-reading speech made a first-class appreciation of the cold war situation that we in common with other democratic countries are facing to-day. Of course, doubts have been expressed about the efficacy of the Government’s plan. At first glance those doubts may appear to be reasonably well-founded, but I point out that in peace-time no legislature in Australia has ever had thrust upon it a greater responsibility than now rests upon this Parliament in its consideration of this measure which will spotlight every honorable member and reveal whether he is for, or against, it. Ultimately, this measure will determine whether the Parliament is the custodian of democratic privileges or whether it is actuated by motives of expediency or altruism. In order that a proper assessment of values may be made in a debate of this kind, I remind honorable members of the following phrase that Was uttered by Abraham Lincoln in his famous Gettysburg Address : -

The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

Those words can be aptly applied to this occasion when we are actually leading the world in legislation to proscribe a tyranny that makes human life a continual trial in misery and frustration instead of the joy that God intended it to be. Therefore, I repeat that the world will little note nor long remember what we say in dealing with this measure; we shall be judged entirely on what we do. Consequently, a heavy responsibility rests upon each honorable member and it is our duty, shorn of all political considerations, to judge on its merits every single factor associated with the intention behind the measure.

Communism according to its dupes and adherents has a spiritual side and a practical side. So far as the world is aware its spiritual side is merely a facade behind which is hidden the gross materialism inherent in the final objective of communism. On the material side is communism’s immediate objective of worldwide revolution either by peaceful penetration or, as it is termed, the cold war, or, if necessary, by violence. Proof of that statement is provided in the following remarks that were made by Mr. F. W. Paterson, in his maiden speech in the Queensland Parliament, of which until recently he was a Communist member-

A revolution is a complete change inthe economic bases of society. The question does arise, however: how will this complete change be achieved? Will it involve the use of violence or not? That, the Communist Party asserts, will depend partly on the strength of the organization of the banker-capitalist class that will be deposed, and partly on the strength and organization of the Government and the unions and other people’s organizations that will support the aim to achieve socialism . . . We have a democratic constitution under the capitalist system of society, and if a government constituted of representatives of the Labor movement is elected by the majority of the people, has not that Government the full right to make the laws of this land in accordance with its socialistic objective, and to use its armed force or police force, and its judges, to deal with those who oppose socialism and endeavour to sabotage it, in older to compel them to keep the law?

Violence of that kind means civil war. If ever there was a doctrine which emanated from the blackest depths of hell it is a doctrine that depends for its fulfillment upon a blood bath, that is, civil war, which means mass murder and turns family against family, father against son, and brother against brother. And every other disorder that we can think of is associated with such a doctrine. But out of this welter of blood and rapine is expected to emerge the Communist final objective - the rosy, red dawn which is the dream-child of the Red Internationale, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, and the desire of all the miserable traitors in other democratic countries whom it can attract to its banner.

That any man or woman in a democracy can subscribe to such an objective surpasses understanding; yet, in this country we have men and women who support it. Those people can be divided into three groups, two of which are directly communistic. The first Communist group consists of intellectuals, foolish idealists who are dangerous because they pretend to see an aesthetical side of communism, and with soft words and high-sounding phrases turn the heads of impressionable youth. They represent the planners and strategists and, possibly, would form the politburo in the new red heaven of their dreams. The second, and lesser, Communist group consists of camp followers who, as we all know, are morons, failures, loafers, sadists and thugs. They are always looking for something for nothing. They interpret communism as a system which transfers goods, money and power from the “haves” to the “have-nots” in the hope of gaining some glistening reward for themselves. They are easy prey to the foreign-inspired seditionists who form the third group. The lastnamed are the ready-made traitors who have already sold out their country to a foreign power. They are not necessarily native Australians. Mostly, they are the unwanted product of other countries that owe no allegiance to God, king, or country. They are already at work in the interests of their foreign masters trying to overthrow the existing order in this country which gives them protection and security. Human behaviour could not possibly be lower.

Sitting suspended from1 2.45 to 2.15 p.m.


– Before the suspension of the sitting I had referred to what I termed the third group of Communists. It will be noted that when these people are challenged they squeal for protection to the very institutions which they seek to destroy.

Mr Bryson:

– I rise to order. Is it not customary, Mr. Speaker, for a Minister to be present in the House?


– It is. Ring the bells.

The bells being rung,


– A Minister is now present.


– The members of the group that I have just mentioned are engaged in what we call a softeningup process to ensure that when their D-day arrives all points of resistance and all industries considered essential to the successful defence of this country will be rendered useless. History recalls the rise and fall of many nations such as ours which had been developed by the wealth of material things, by high morality and by the skill and sacrifices of their soldiers. Oddly enough their downfall was brought about by too great a reliance on those things. That reliance begot an easy and contemptuous complacency, which set in train a moral rot which led to their undoing. Like Belshazzar at the feast, the leaders of those nations were unable to interpret the writing on the wall. Let us remember that Great Britain, whose main strength rests in its character and sense of justice and a willingness at all times to foster the cause of the underdog, was almost dragged to its knees by too great a reliance on the false and impractical idealismof the Ramsay MacDonald type which was preached to British youths and nurtured in their minds prior to the last war. Had it not been for the inspired leadership of that great national figure, Mr. Winston Churchill, we might not be here to-day to debate this or any other measure.

As the Prime Minister has said, it would be an act of criminal folly to allow this conspiracy to go further. To do so would be to invite national disaster and indicate that we, as members of this Parliament, are false to our trust. Governments of the past have been much too tolerant of the Communists. Indeed they have been tolerant to a degree that it would be charitable to describe as foolishness. That tolerance has ended. In this bill we recognize the danger and accept the challenge. The Labour party, if it can be considered as an entity separable from many members who subscribe to its doctrines, opposes this bill. Let us have no splitting of straws about the measure. We know perfectly well that the overwhelming majority of Labour members in this House think on this subject the same as we do, but we also know that several meetings of the Labour party were required to determine the party’s attitude to this bill. These several meetings were necessary to enable the Labour party to do two things. The first was to placate the warring factions in its own organization; and the second was to devise a formula under which it might fight a rear-guard action for the purpose of delaying the passage of this bill and at the same time give an appearance of not offering any objection to it. If the Labour party had no intention to delay this bill or to protest against it Mr. Monk would not have been against it holus bolus. I need not remind the House that Mr. Monk exercises a great deal of influence in the affairs of the Labour movement. If every Labour member in this House was permitted to vote as his conscience directed one meeting of the party would have been sufficient to ensure the speedy passage of this bill.

I am prepared to examine any amendments that may be proposed if they are designed to retain or maintain the cardinal principles of British justice; but in doing so I shall relate the object to the subject. I shall be guided by the principle that desperate diseases require desperate remedies. If a man is dealing with a snake, he does not approach it in the same careless manner as he would approach a rabbit. Delay may be dangerous. The Communists may be encouraged to make one last desperate throw of the dice. They may say, “ If we are to go down, we shall go down fighting “. If, as the result of any action they may take, there is a major dislocation of industry throughout Australia which brings misery to millions of people, who- will be blameworthy? Will it be those who are trying to legislate against the possibility of such an action, or will it be those who, in one way or another, are trying to encourage it? I believe that there is merit in the case that has been submitted by the Opposition. Its merit is recognized by the Government.

The first objection of the Opposition is to what the honorable member for Port Adelaide (Mr. Thompson) has described as interference with the rights of trade unions to elect their own officers. That criticism is based on a wrong premise. The Government is not in the slightest way concerned with union officers as such; but it is concerned, and rightly so, with who or what shall be the inspiring force in industries that are considered essential to the development and successful defence of this country. Let us not forget that this is a defence measure. The Government has said that it is the responsibility not of the trade unions but of the Government to determine these matters. The Government will not shirk its responsibility. If this bill is honestly interpreted it will be seen that it constitutes no danger whatsoever to any law abiding citizen. Any person who deliberately propagates a belief in the contrary opinion, whether for personal or political advantage, is just as guilty as the persons whom we seek to control.

The second objection of the Labour party to this bill is that it proposes what is considered to be a reversal of the principle in the British process of justice that any man shall be deemed to be innocent until he has been proved to be guilty. There is some merit in that criticism. I have given some thought to it. I have tried to find out whether there is any difference, and if so, how great a difference between that principle and the principle embodied in the measure now before U3. Under the present system, a person who i« suspected of a serious crime is arrested, hi order to arrest him a policeman may enter his home, and, if necessary, forcibly take him out of his bed. The person is subsequently charged and arraigned before a court. Acting on the assumption that he is guilty, the Crown prosecutor gives him everything he has in the “ locker “. In the eyes of the prosecution the accused man is guilty until he himself or his counsel has proved that he is innocent and that he has been wrongfully charged. If his defence is successful, lie is released. Under this legislation a person deemed to be guilty of an offence against the provisions of this legislation will be declared. Declaration under this legislation is equivalent to a charge under the existing laws of the Commonwealth. A declared person may protest his innocence and engage counsel to defend him. If he is subsequently proved to be innocent he will be released. So, the distinction between the system proposed in this bill and that which applies commonly in the laws of the Commonwealth is in some respects rather illusory. How different are the methods now proposed from those employed in Communist countries where accused persons are tortured into making an admission of guilt !

The third objection is that the security officers may enter the house of a suspected person with the right of search. That power is as old as the hills. It is contained in many legislative enactments and in many National Security Regulations which were promulgated during the war. It has been the practice of all governments to utilize such a power. It is commonly used in the spiritual home of the Communists, but with this vital difference, that the occupants of a home so entered in Communist countries probably disappear for all time. It cannot be conceived that the Communists will be so disloyal to their own creed as to object to the vesting of such a power in approved persons. However, such a provision is most unpalatable to Australians who, for the first time, find themselves victims of an international conspiracy. I hope that if it is necessary to put this legislation into practice, only persons of the very highest character will be authorized to use the powers proposed to be conferred by it. I reiterate that law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear from the exercise df this prerogative of the Government. I am sure that every man and woman in Australia will willingly co-operate with the officers of the law in any steps considered by them to be necessary to ensure the security of their country. As I have said the use of this power is as old as the hills. I have before me copies of several acts which confer such a power which I would cite if time permitted me to do so.

In the brief time that remains to me I want to refer again to the subject of human rights. Much has been said about this subject of human rights. Whose rights are considered? Are honorable members opposite considering those whose rights we seek to protect, or the rights of the suspected saboteur? Why do they not say something about the rights of the multitude instead of the rights of the few ? I am an ardent supporter of the principle that an accused person must bc proved guilty before he is penalized. Under this bill an accused person will not he obliged to assemble the whole of the cumbersome machinery of the High Court to prove his innocence. He may appeal to a single judge. In considering the methods of application in this legislation, let us not lose sight of its intention. I shall conclude my speech with the words with which I began it. This bill imposes a most grave responsibility on every one of us, and if we regard our duty seriously we shall devote our energies to the furtherance of the principles which inhere in our national motto, “Advance Australia “.


.- We are all fully aware of the seriousness of the Communist scourge throughout the world, and particularly in Australia. We are also fully aware of the seriousness of the bill now before us. If this legislation is passed it will undoubtedly have a great effect on the lives of the Australian people. Therefore, while this bill is before the House it may be wise for me to remind the Australian people of their obligations under this democracy. With your indulgence, Mr. Speaker, I shall proceed along those lines. Democratic government is a two-way street. With its benefits goes the necessity of giving service. That is a fundamental of democracy. When society is threatened by war and aggression people scamper hastily home to the fundamental realization that it profits a man nothing to gain possessions, knowledge and power if he loses the freedom on which they are founded. But when the danger has passed the individual once more becomes self-interested and his claim on his right to profit obscures the realization that an individual’s welfare is plainly tied to that of his nation. Too many people believe that they can buy off their responsibility in this country by the payment of taxes. The nation’s strength is not to be found in its Treasury’s statements but in the national character of its people. It is to be found in their willingness to sacrifice leisure and comfort to the welfare of the nation of which they form part. That is not the policy of the Communist party, whose one idea is to disrupt and confuse the people. Self-government is not a luxury. It is an instrument by means of which men can safeguard their individual freedom in pursuit of happiness and a fair reward for their ingenuity, their labour and their intellect. But weighted as heavily with responsibility as it is with privilege, democratic government tries its people with a sterner test than any other system. It asks the generosity and the brotherhood of its people. Those are characteristics entirely foreign to Communists who believe in a reign of force and terror. Democracy asks that the people co-operate willingly and voluntarily for their common welfare in order that each may benefit according to his merits.

At a time when the people of many countries throughout the world are being courted by an aggressive statism that would have them abdicate their personal share in government and entrust their welfare to rule by clique, the people of the democracies must put their faith not in less, but in more personal responsibility in regard to the affairs of the community and the nation. Because personal freedom does not grant to the individual licence to trespass upon the rights of others, a democracy must protect by regulation or by government action the common welfare of its people against transgressions by special interests. As the industrial economy of this country matures, it has been found necessary to ensure greater equality of opportunity by the wise intervention of government in the enterprise of individuals. The depth of this invasion into the freedom of the individual, however, must be limited by compromise. In an effort to provide equality of opportunity through sufficient government, this power should not be abused lest initiative be stunted through too much government. Apart from its economic implications, the habit of turning to the Government with troubles conceals a political danger. Because when men become so addicted to the benefits of government that they lose sight of their responsibilities then that government is in danger of being seized by any leader or minority group that can promise greater benefits to the people in return for the abandonment of their freedom and rights. When men become so intent upon selfish exploitation of their rights that majority interests are side-tracked in favour of a greedy minority, then freedom is also threatened. For only so long as freedom remains a force for the welfare of all people will men cherish it in their hearts and die for it.

Why have people come to believe, Mr. Speaker, that democracy is a free ride which does not require them to earn their way? One major cause is certainly a declining sense of responsibility in the home and in the community. Because the family is the basic unit of society, it is there that responsibility begins and unless the young men of this new generation can be taught to feel that the security, the well-being and the happiness of his family are also part and parcel of his own responsibility there is no hope of teaching him later on his broader national and world obligations. The modernization of our living habits in western society has made too many of to-day’s youngsters look on their homes as a refuge during their period of adolescence. A family is no longer a group whose members depend on one another for companionship. The urge of each individual in the family to pamper his own wants has suffocated the instincts of good citizenship at the very source. If men are to cherish the freedoms that come to them under democratic selfgovernment they cannot be disciplined into devotion. They must be brought to value the great spiritual possessions to which they are bom by assuming from childhood a share of the responsibility for safeguarding those possessions. Good citizenship springs from an appreciation of the great values of our institutions and from an active participation in them. It is immoral to claim the freedom of the ballot unless one is ready to share that freedom with every other man. It is hypocritical of people to insist upon freedom of opinion unless they grant equal freedom to those who oppose them. It is fraudulent to insist upon the freedom of the press if that freedom i3 denied to others.

Democratic institutions will continue to flourish only so long as they are fed on freedom for all, not on an abridgment for some, whether they be Communists or some other oppressive section of society. This contest between the integrity of the individual and the integrity of the State could conceivably last to the end of our lifetime. Theoretically, the odds are on the side of the forces of freedom because where the .State is an instrument of government employed by individuals for their common welfare the progress of the State is naturally propelled by the progress of the individual. Unfettered people will advance further and faster in spiritual truths, social improvement and material reward than any slave people, irrespective of the lash under which they labour. Democracy cannot be defeated in a struggle against communism. It can lose only by default. It can only lose, Mr. Speaker, if people deny, through indifference and neglect, their personal responsibilities for its security and growth. When one sees the tentacles of communism reaching out to grasp power in every country to-day one can only come to the one conclusion that communism must be stopped somehow at some point, otherwise at some time in the future we shall all be suffering Communist domination - that is to say, all of us who are still alive. The questions that have to be faced in this country are how best to deal with the Communist menace without unjustly affecting the lives of the vast majority of Australians who are not Communists and how to protect their civil liberties.

I intend to support the second reading of the bill. I do not oppose the banning of the Communist party or any fellow traveller who espouses the cause of a foreign power which is not acceptable to Australia. I only question the method of putting the objectives of this bill into operation. The political and industrial rottenness of the Communists is well-known to me and to other honorable members on the Opposition side of the House. I have believed that they could be better fought in the open. I have believed that, by making the social and economic conditions of the people better and by giving them security, Communists would disappear politically and industrially. That would be so if it were not for the apathy of the majority of the people who take no interest in their own welfare or the welfare of this nation. The fight against communism in Australia has been left to a comparatively few people, In short, the leaders of Labour organizations have fought the Communists more vigorously, more bitterly and more effectively than any one else. That is why Communists always oppose Labour candidates at elections. One does not hear of many of them opposing the Liberal or Country party candidates.

I wonder where the members of the present Government were during the coal strike of last year. Did I see them on the coal-fields, fighting the Communists in an endeavour to get the miners back to work? Did I see them suffering the abuse, the threatened violence and the actual violence which I and some of my comrades from this side of the House suffered? I did not see any Liberal party or Australian Country party, men there, trying to do a job for this country. Their only interest in the strike on that occasion was to discredit the Australian Labour party. They stood back hoping that the Communists would destroy the Labour party. But we did not fail. We persuaded the miners to return to work, and we defeated the Communists. That was proved later in a ballot that was conducted by the northern branch of the miners’ federation, which threw the Communists out of office. It was also proved by the results of elections conducted by the Federated Ironworkers Association, the Waterside Workers Federation and the Federated Clerks Union of Australia, all of which tipped out their Communist office bearers. The coal strike last year was the result of a Communist conspiracy. Many other industrial disturbances are fomented by the Communists. I have always fought Communists when they have instigated illegal strikes and I shall continue to do so, but nobody should imagine that every strike in Australia is caused by the Communists. That is not so. Many strikes occur because the workers are unable to secure justice by any other means. When the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) named a number of Communists in industrial unions during his second-reading speech, why did he not at the same time name some of the top-line Communists who carry on their activities underground?

Mr Roberton:

– Who are they?


– The Prime Minister can tell the honorable member. It is a well-known fact that Communists are to be found in ranks other than those of the workers. Many Communist party leaders are professional men, commercial men, and heads of industrial organizations, but they remain in the background, although they play an important part in directing Communist activities in Australia. I believe that the Prime Minister is fully aware of that fact. I only hope that, if this bill becomes law, the men of whom I am speaking will be screened just as effectively as will be the Communists in the ranks of the trade unions. The Government would be wise to accept the proposed amendments that have been foreshadowed by the Labour party and thereby protect the people who may be wrongfully accused through a misuse of power, false information, or the spleen of some person in authority. We have had experience of the misuse of delegated authority by officials who sometimes look upon themselves as little Hitlers. I repeat that I intend to support the motion for the second reading of the bill, but, at the committee stage, I shall oppose the vicious and undemocratic clauses that it contains.


.- The most illuminating feature of the debate so far has been the division that was taken in this House last night to determine whether the bill should be declared an urgent measure. Members of the Labour party to a man opposed the motion, thus indicating that they did not consider it an urgent measure. Fortunately, we on this side of the House realized the urgency and extreme importance of the bill and therefore we provided for its passage to be expedited. We have heard much wailing and gnashing of teeth from members of the Opposition. As the bill merely sets out to deal with Communists and communism, one would expect it to have the support of all true Australians. However, by their impassioned criticism of certain essential clauses of the bill, various members of the Opposition, either wittingly or unwittingly, have taken up the cudgels for the Communists. On Tuesday night we heard the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Chifley) at his inglorious best. I use the word “ inglorious “ because nothing is so hollow as hypocrisy. He said that clause 9 struck at the heart of British justice. The right honorable gentleman had no qualms about British justice when, in 1947, he forced upon an outraged people the legislation that was designed to nationalize the banks. British justice did not matter to him then. The protests of the people went unheeded and he completely ignored their demands for the holding of a referendum, a procedure that would have been of the essence of British justice.

Mr Bryson:

– What about holding a referendum on this proposal?


– Order ! There are altogether too many interjections, and many of them are coming from the honorable member for Wills (Mr. Bryson) and one or two other members of the Opposition. I ask that the honorable member for Bass be given an uninterrupted hearing. Others will expect similar courtesy in due course.


– It is significant that the nationalization of banking was advocated by those arch-conspirators and founders of communism, Marx and Lenin. That was one of the essential steps in the procedure that they advocated to convert the world to communism. There was no sincerity in the pious reference that the Leader of the Opposition made to British justice.

I remind honorable members that, under the National Security Regulations that were in force during the war, the onus of proof rested upon accused persons in many cases. That was essential in time of war, of course, but as the Prime Minister has said, we are technically at war with Russia now.

Mr Bird:

– What rot!


– Order ! I ask for silence. If honorable members wish to dispute my request, they can take the proper course to do so.


– I remind honorable members that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Act, which was introduced by a Labour government, conferred upon the Government the power to compel any person, whether he be relative, friend or enemy, to inform against a claimant for benefits. The penalties provided for failure to inform were a fine of £50 and imprisonment for three months. Yet, members of the Labour party complain about the provisions of this bill!

Mr Curtin:

Mr. Curtin interjecting,


– If the honorable member for Watson (Mr. Curtin) interjects again, I shall deal with him.


– I do not mind the interjections, Mr. Speaker, because they show that the truth is hurting members of the Opposition. Referring to the bill, the Leader of the Opposition said that the Government was using a steam hammer to crack a nut. Why is the right honorable gentleman attempting to play down the importance of this extremely urgent measure? Why is he attempting to minimize the seriousness of the Communist menace ? I remind him that about 90,000 primary votes were cast for Communist candidates at the last general election, which indicates that the Communist party is gaining strength rather than weakening. The coal strike of 1949 has been mentioned often during this debate and the Labour party has admitted that it was Communist-inspired. That disturbance cost Australians untold millions of pounds in terms of lost production and wages. The Opposition has suggested that the bill will drive the Communists underground, unless it is amended. Everybody should know that the Communists have been underground for a considerable time past and that this legislation will not have the effect of driving them further underground.

The Leader of the Opposition declared that Communists had gained leading positions in the trade union movement because they had been able to obtain benefits for the workers when others had failed to do so. Is that the real reason why some members of the Labour party have refused to come out in the open to fight communism? This morning the honorable member for Sturt (Mr. Wilson) read some revealing quotations from the writings of the right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt). We have also heard the meanderings of the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) along the garden path. In view of such utterances by leading members of the Labour party, there can be little cause for wonder at the fact that the sincerity of members of the Opposition on this issue has been called into question. I do not believe for a moment that the average member of the Labour party is in favour of communism or is working with the Communists. Nevertheless it has been demonstrated beyond dispute that certain objectives of the Australian Labour party and the Communist party are identical. I defy members of the Opposition to disprove the assertion that their party’s platform provides for the complete socialization of industry, production, distribution and exchange. That objective is identical with one of the objectives of the Communist party.

The members of the Opposition are making a valiant attempt to avoid the real issues involved in the bill, but we have only to consult a map of the world in order to expose the real aim of .Soviet Russia. That aim is complete domination of the world by the Communists. There are Russian agents in our key unions. Such agents are also working actively in the State Departments of Education and in the transport and coal industries. In those positions, they are able to tie up the nation completely and hopelessly. Any cessation of coal production would paralyse our manufacturing industries. Australia is badly in need of iron and steel and other materials that are needed for home building. The blame for these shortages can be laid fairly and squarely at the door of the Communist party, whose disruptive tactics have succeeded as the result of the ineffectiveness of the policy if the former Labour Government. I emphasize the fact that I do not regard rank and file members of the Labour party as being opposed to the bill in principle. However, progress would be assisted if they would be more honest about their attitude to the measure. I believe that, if they were allowed to speak according to their consciences, many of them would openly support the bill as it stands. But caucus has ruled that they must not do so, and a great deal of time has been wasted by useless talk about the protection of British justice. I have spoken of the similarity between the objectives of the Australian Labour party and the Communist party. That fact brings to my mind a point that was debated yesterday by the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Clyde Cameron), who produced the old chestnut about the Blackburn interpretation of the Labour party’s objectives. The honorable member’s story does not cut any ice with most thoughtful people, but, lest anybody should be fooled by it, I shall make the facts absolutely clear. The Blackburn interpretation was never officially passed, and it never became a part of the platform of the Labour party. Rule 6 of your own conference clearly states that any matter affecting the policy or platform must be passed by a clear majority of all your delegates.


-Order ! The honorable member should address me and not the Labour party.


– I am sorry, Mr. Speaker. At this particular conference a majority did not vote for the Blackburn interpretation.


– Was the honorable member at the conference?


– I have seen the minutes. Despite the fact that this interpretation was re-affirmed in 1948, it still is not. part of the platform of the Labour party and so the platform of that party is indisputably one of complete socialism. On that line of thought the Labour party runs parallel to the Communist party. No attempt will be made to ban bona fide members of the Labour party, and provision will be made to protect them. However, it is perfectly clear that by espousing a system of socialism the Labour party is wittingly or unwittingly running on parallel lines to the Communist ideology. Therefore, it is not remarkable that people sometimes raise very serious doubts about the sincerity of the members of that party. Some very reasonable expressions of opinion on this bill have been heard from honorable members opposite, notably from the honorable member for Hoddle (Mr. Cremean) and the honorable member for Burke (Mr. Peters). I think that generally speaking the Opposition agrees that this is an essential measure. If it really wants to get rid of the red brand which people have placed on it then it should amend its own platform so that its ideology does not run parallel to that of the Communists. The most important aspect of this bill is that it sets out to deal with the King’s enemies - the Communists - because communism strikes at the very root of British traditions. Communists, throughout the years, have proved themselves to be ruthless saboteurs, and as such they must be ruthlessly stamped out. That is the real purpose of this bill. Tinder this legislation nobody other than a Communist need have any fears but known Communists should have much to fear.


.- In rising to make my contribution to this debate I first say that I shall not make any apologies for declaring myself a militant trade unionist. I have been an honorable member of an honorable trade union for 36 years. That is the Boilermakers Union of Australia. Whilst I strenuously oppose the Communist party as un-Australian, I am a trade unionist in every sense of the word and I have the courage to declare my views anywhere at any time. I do not intend to allow myself to be forced into a panic by the statements of some individuals who call themselves empire builders. Although they give themselves that high-sounding title, they are really under-cover agents for fascism. I am also completely opposed to fascism. I am a member of the Australian Labour party which has been built up over the years by the pioneers of this great country of ours, and I make no apology for my membership. Nor do I apologize to any honorable member on the Government side for saying that the Labour party must fight both communism and fascism. We shall carry on the fight against disruptionists despite the money that is being poured out against us and the character assassination of our members. The Labour party needs no excuse; it has a definite policy.

I oan speak with some experience about industrial matters because I have dealt with both employers and employees. I have sat at the same conference table with employers, and in all my experience I have never met such a vindictive group of men. They employ lawyers and personnel officers to try to wring the most out of tha employees by some clause or word that they insinuate into awards. They do that to try to rob the workers of their just rights. Such actions are the cause of most of the trouble in industry to-day. The trouble is not always caused by the Communist leader, who after all has only one vote in his trade union. In my industrial organization, every member is entitled to vote. Every member can exercise his vote in a compulsory ballot.

Mr Hamilton:

– Are there any Communists in your union?


– Yes, there are, and that is due to the very foolish and apathetic attitude of the rest of the members. There are 166 Communists in the Sydney branch of the Boilermakers’ Union. There are 5,000 members of that union and if those who are not Communists were all to attend their union meetings and not listen to the propaganda that comes from honorable members opposite, a Liberal Government would never hold office. I was very interested to hear the speech of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) on the second reading of this bill. While listening to that speech, I recollected the time when the right honorable gentleman held the portfolio of Attorney-General in the Lyons Government. He travelled abroad as a representative of that Government, and after visiting all parts of Europe he returned to Australia. The first person that he spoke about on his return was a chap called Hitler. I shall read to the House an extract from Smith’s Weekly of the 5th November, 1938. The extract is -

On October 4th occurred the most ominous event to date - the speech by Mr. Menzies, Federal Attorney-General, to the Sydney Constitutional Association, in which he frankly declared his admiration for Hitler’s dictatorship and his contempt for Australian democracy.

That is something for honorable members on the Government side to think about carefully.

Mr McColm:

– What did the Prime Minister actually say?


– The right honorable gentleman was backed up by another honorable member of this House who formerly was Minister for Education in the Stevens Government in New South Wales. He said -

There is no use in having a democracy unless it can rise to a crisis as well as a dictatorship.

I do not mention any names, but they are two of the people with whom we have to contend in this Parliament to-day. I see in this bill a deliberate attempt to fasten the shackles of fascism upon the Australian trade unions. We have heard well known trade union executives named in the Prime Minister’s speech on the bill. One night we were told of the uncanny methods .adopted by the secret agents of our security service. We were told remarkable stories of their powers of deduction and of the way suspected persons are shadowed night after night and how their activities are traced even though they meet behind closely guarded doors. The following night the House was told that a mistake had been made and needed correction. That admission was made by the Prime Minister himself. I suggest that before any further action of any sort be taken the security service should be vetted to ascertain whether there are any foreign agents amongst its members.

Mr Mullens:

– There are a few foreign agents here amongst the members of the Australian Country party.


– The honorable member is quite right. When a bill of this character comes before the House it strikes at the very basis of our economic life. It is an insult to the average trade unionist, the man who after all produces all the necessaries of life and works very hard despite the fact that he is constantly told that he is a loafer. I have a great admiration for the working man and for his efforts to further the interests of Australia. I worked very hard also. I have worked for 36 years in industry producing something for the benefit of the community-

Government members interjecting,


– Order ! The honorable member for Watson will be better able to deliver his speech if there are no interjections.


– I thank you, Mr. Speaker. Last Thursday night the House heard the Prime Minister, in his advocacy of the Constitution Alteration (Avoidance of Double Dissolution Deadlocks) Bill 1950, accuse certain members of this House of being direct followers or associates of the Communist party. The honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) interjected to the effect that the right honorable gentleman could declare a couple of the Labour senators. The Prime Minister replied -

I am obliged to the honorable member for the suggestion. I can think of at least one Labour senator whom it would be easy to declare.

I suggest to the House that that was a threat. Then the honorable member for East Sydney said -

The Führer has spoken.

And no truer words were ever spoken. The Prime Minister replied -

I can think of one member of this House who might escape only by the skin of his teeth.

That was actually another threat. I am concerned by those threats, and if the Prime Minister looks around the House for somebody to declare, then most members of the Liberal party may be in danger of declaration. I am concerned about why the people of Australia should have to be shackled by legislation of this kind. After the remarks during the Prime Minister’s speech to which I have directed attention, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Chifley) interjected -

The right honorable member is on dangerous ground.

And I say that he is on dangerous ground. Then the Prime Minister remarked -

I agree - on dangerous ground. If this is dangerous ground I suggest to the right honorable gentleman that he might restrain his interjectors. . . .

That is the very thing that Hitler did.

The Prime Minister continued - but, of course, the problem does not arise because-

The Leader of the Opposition then interjected and stated -

I suggest that the right honorable gentleman should not make threats.

The Prime Minister replied -

I never make a threat that I do not carry out.

People of Australia, I want you to listen to that-


– Order! The honorable member may not address the listeners over the air. He must address the Chair.


– I am sorry, Mr. Speaker ; I should like to be able to recall those words, but they have already gone over the air. I shall now deal with another obnoxious provision in the bill, and that is the clause which places on a declared person the onus of proving that he is not a Communist. Many of my constituents have asked me, relative to that provision, “ What is the Government up to now ? “ They know that an ordinary police informer or pimp appears in court to give evidence against the person whom he has accused, and they want to know why a pimp who alleges that a person is a Communist is not required to do so. No one likes informers or pimps. Every honorable member opposite will agree that the people of Australia are decent in their outlook, and have no time for informers. The Prime Minister has informed his supporters that the Government must establish an organization that will employ informers, and, according to some reports, 2,000 of them will be roaming the length and the breadth of the land to inform on all and sundry - at a price. I suppose that they will be paid under the incentive system, if things go according to plan, because there is nothing surer than that this bill provides that every member of a militant trade union will be declared. government supporters.- No.


– If that is not so, let a safeguarding clause be inserted in the bill. Opposition members do not take the word of Government supporters about their intentions in this matter. We want to have the assurance in writing, and on the statute-book, because in the past, the trade union movement has been led up the alley.

Government Supporters. - The Garden path.


– We were told last week that the Government would not accept any amendments to this bill.

Mr Beale:

– That is not true.


– The Prime Minister said, “ No amendments ‘”. He stood in all his glory at the microphone and said, in effect, “ This bill in its entirety must go through “.

Mr Beale:

– That is not true.


– What has caused the change in heart of the Government in this matter? Perhaps the explanation is that since the Prime Minister introduced this bill Gallup poll investigators have been very busy throughout the country for the purpose of finding out the reactions of the people to some obnoxious clauses in this measure. Government supporters, on returning to Canberra after last weekend, have adopted a more moderate tone. The rank and file members had the first intimation of the .people’s hostility to the bill in its present form and they want it to be watered down a little. That news reaches the Prime Minister, who assures them, in effect, “Well, if some clauses of the bill are too strong, we may water them down “.

Mr McColm:

– Is this another of Aesop’s fables?


– I am sure that honorable members opposite will carefully consider the amendments that the Opposition proposes to move to certain clauses in this bill. The leader of a government who introduces legislation of this kind will find himself where he rightly belongs - out. That is where you people-


– Order! Will the honorable member address me? That is why I am here.


– I almost made a facetious remark, sir.


– That is a currency in which I deal.


– There is no doubt that the clause which places on a declared person the onus of proving that he is not a Communist will be amended, because many Government supporters are keen to water it down. Indeed, some of them would like to get rid of it. They hope that the Parliament will go into recess shortly so that the shouts of indignation from the Australian people will not reach their ears while they are in Canberra.

The provision under which a declared person may appeal to a justice of the High Court is most contentious. We believe that one justice alone should noi sit in judgment in this matter. The Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Spender) told us a very childish story to the effect that all a declared person had to do was to go into the witness box and say, “ I am not a Communist “, and he would be acquitted. ‘ Fancy an intelligent man telling this House a thing like that ! A declared person will need to appeal to a justice of the High Court if he desires to establish that he is not a Communist. Where will the ordinary working man obtain the money that he will require to take his appeal to the High Court? Does the bill provide that financial assistance shall be granted to a declared person who desires to establish his innocence before a justice of the High Court? Will the Government defray the legal expanses of a declared person who wishes to establish his innocence? Of course, it will not! The bill does not contain such a provision. Honorable gentlemen opposite laugh. They say, “ We mean that “. The Opposition is not satisfied with that kind of assurance. We want it in print, and incorporated in legislation, in order that Australian citizens may have the protection of the law of the land. The Opposition proposes to submit an amendment which will provide that a declared person who successfully appeals to the High Court shall he entitled to compensation. Can Government supporters quarrel with the fairness of that proposal? An ordinary working man, who is declared a Communist, will not he able to bear tha cost of an appeal to the High Court in order to establish his innocence. Let us consider what may happen. A peace officer at, say, Alice Springs, who has nothing better to do than go around peeping through people’s windows and through keyholes to see what the horrible trade unionists are doing, may knock on the door of a house, arrest the man who occupies it, and drag him to .Sydney or Melbourne, and the victim will ‘have no course open to him other than to lie in gaol and wait until the court can hear his appeal. Of course, whether he will be able to appeal will depend upon the ability of his friends to raise the money that will be required to bring witnesses from central Australia to the capital city in which he is awaiting trial.

Mr Bowden:

– Why does not the honorable member read the bill?


– Do not worry! We shall endeavour to incorporate a safeguard in the measure against such a happening as I have visualized. The Opposition also believes that a declared person should be permitted to appeal to the court to revoke that declaration. Is not that a just proposal? Taking everything into account, I believe that the bill should have been given deeper consideration than it received before the Prime Minister introduced it. I shall not oppose the motion for the second reading-

Mr Beale:

– Why not ? The honorable member has strongly criticized the bill.


– I shall not oppose the motion for the second reading of the bill, but I shall strongly support amendments designed to meet the objections that I have expressed. I told honorable members at the beginning of my speech that I was opposed to communism in any shape or form, and I have not heard any honorable members opposite make a similar declaration. The honorable member for Newcastle (Mr. Watkins) has very pertinently asked Government supporters to tell the House where they were during the coal strike last year, when the interests of the country were at stake.

Mr Osborne:

– For that matter, where was the honorable gentleman?


– The honorable member for Evans (Mr. Osborne) was very busy at that time, because he was trying to get the pre-selection for the Evans seat.

Mr Osborne:

– And I got it, too.


– If honorable members opposite had shown some enthusiasm for the national interests during the coal strike or if they had taken picks and shovels in their hands instead of telling other people what they should do, Australia would have been in a much better position to withstand the siege. But it was left to the so-called collaborators with the Communists - I refer to the Labour party-

Mr Graham:

– No, it was left to the army, after the Communists had called the strike.


– All that I hear from honorable members opposite in this debate is, “ Communism, communism, communism “. They know in their hearts that there is no substance in what they say. Every member of the Labour party whom I have known over the years, is a good Australian and has produced something for the benefit of the community as a whole. Can honorable members opposite make a similar claim? Of course, they cannot! They merely preach that the worker must work harder and even harder in the interests of the country. They want somebody else to do the work. The Minister for External Affairs made his speech on this bill in his usual glib, arrogant, cheap and crude manner. I realize that it is the only manner he knows, but he insulted the people of Australia, and attempted to link the Labour party with the Communist party. Yet I recall that his first action as Minister, when he went abroad, was to collaborate with a notorious Communist, Dr. Soekarno, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, who collaborated with the Japanese in the murder of the sons of Australia. That shows what the Minister thinks of the Communists. He collaborates with them at every opportunity, and when he is accused of it he says, in effect, “ When the people of Indonesia decided that Dr.. Soekarno should be their President- “


– Order ! The honorable member is now dealing with another subject which appears on the noticepaper. He may not discuss international affairs on this bill.


– But the subject is wrapped up with communism.


– One of the items on the notice-paper relates to a debate on international affairs.


– One honorable member who spoke on this bill discussed the Commonwealth Bank Board. I do not know whether you heard him.


-I heard him.


– The Minister for External Affairs collaborated with Communist conspirators in various ways, yet when he is accused of having done so he says, in effect, “When the people say that this man is their leader, that is good enough for me But when the wharf labourers decide that a certain person shall be their leader, it is not good enough for the Minister. We then see evidence of the fascist touch. The Leader of the Opposition was assailed with untruthful statements by an honorable member opposite who said that he had, when he was Prime Minister, appointed well known Communists to various Commonwealth boards and commissions. Such a statement is a deliberate lie, and the honorable member knows it.

Mr Beale:

– I rise to order. The observation of the honorable member for Watson that the statement made by another honorable member was a deliberate lie is offensive to me, and I ask that it be withdrawn.


– Order! I ask the honorable member for Watson to withdraw the words to which objection has been taken.


– In deference to the Chair, I withdraw the words “deliberate lie “.

Dr Evatt:

– Say the statement was false.


– Yes, Mr. Speaker, it was a false statement. The honorable gentleman knew that it was false. There is a definite procedure observed in the appointment of representatives of trade unions to Commonwealth boards and commissions. If a government establishes a board on which the representation of a trade union is desirable, the organization concerned is informed of that fact, and its members elect their representative. His name is then forwarded to the Government. I recall that the Chifley Government informed the Waterside Workers Federation that its two representatives on the Stevedoring Industry Commission were not acceptable to the Government. The Waterside Workers Federation insisted on sending those two persons as its representatives on the commission, with the result that the Government abolished that body and established the Australian Stevedoring Industry Board. All honorable members opposite will agree that the honorable gentleman should withdraw his statement publicly. Despite his criticism, the Labour party’s great leader, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Chifley), is a very great Australian who is revered the world over for his tact, his generalship and his guidance of this great country during the period of transition from war to peace. The Australian people are very grateful to him for putting Australia on the sound financial footing on which it stands to-day.


.- Honorable members opposite have stated that certain provisions should be removed from this measure. But what is the reason for the introduction of this bill? Many members, and a big proportion of the leaders of the Communist party are people who are not Australian-born, but who have come here with a ready-made doctrine to soften our nation up and to prepare us as victims in readiness for their masters to come and absorb us. Trior to the last general election the parties at present in office left no doubt in any one’s mind about how they regarded communism. We said on every possible occasion that we would ban the Communist party. We are now in the course of carrying out that promise. For years our heavy industries, our transport industry and our building industry have been subjected to a series of industrial troubles. Our economy has thereby suffered, not for the benefit of Australian workers, but for the application of a foreign doctrine. On every occasion when trouble loomed in the industrial field, whether it was imaginary or real and deliberately caused, the Communists have stepped in and have been able to sabotage our economy for their own ends.

Much has been said in this House about putting value back into the ?1. I remind honorable members that it is not possible to put value back into anything, particularly the fi, unless we have a satisfactory level of production. The first thing for us to do in seeking to put value back into the ?1 is to find out how the value was lost from it in the first place. As far as I know no statement has been made in this House up till now attaching blame to any person, or to any party, for the loss of value from the ?1.

Mr. Pied. ; We have been told the Chifley Government was to blame.


– I suggest that the Government that was led until last December by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Chifley) was responsible, to a degree, for depriving the ?1 of some of its value because of its procedure which had the effect of aiding and protecting communistic policy in this country.

Mr Lazzarini:

– That is just humbug.


– That is where the blame lies. The years in which Australia was under socialist rule were the years in which our production dropped. Due to the unprecedentedly high prices that we have received for the commodities that we export money has flowed into this country at an ever-increasing rate. That money has accumulated because people were unable to spend it owing to the fact that production was lagging with the result that the goods that they would otherwise have bought were not available. That accumulation of money has produced the spiral of inflation that has gained in strength to such a degree that we -are now forced to ban the Communist party and break its control of certain key trade unions, so as to allow honest trade unionists to follow their vocations peacefully and to produce the goods that our nation so urgently requires. This will eliminate one of the main causes of inflation. When money is plentiful and goods are scarce the people suffer most. I remind honorable members that it is the people who make up the nation and who suffer most at the hands of the Communist party. Coal is in short supply. Industry is hamstrung. The output of even the simple necessaries of life has shrunk until it is almost impossible for people to obtain all their requirements. Value has gone out of the ?1, money is accumulating each year, and we are now caught in an inflationary spiral. It is necessary to ban the Communists in order to achieve full production. Consider the transport industry. Due to the communistic control of certain trade unions the movement of this country’s transport has been hindered and slowed down by “go-slow” tactics and rolling strikes. Who suffers in the long run from such tactics? Do the shipping companies suffer? No. They can pass the extra cost caused by those industrial troubles on to the manufacturer. Does the manufacturer suffer? No. He is able to pass his added costs on to the wholesaler. Does the wholesaler suffer? No. He can pass his added costs on to the retailer, and the retailer in turn can pass his added costs on to the little people who, in the ultimate, comprise the nation. That is one reason why the Communist party has by its actions driven the people to ask for this bill. On Tuesday night I listened to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Chifley) when he appealed for British justice. Are people who have sabotaged our nation and who would sabotage it again if they were allowed to do so entitled to British justice? The Leader of the Opposition apparently wants British justice on a one-way basis. Such people would give no justice to the British, and we are an integral part of the British Commonwealth. Yet we heard from the Leader of the Opposition an impassioned appeal for British justice. I hope that any justice to be given will be justice for all. Russia still holds 370.000 prisoners of war who were captured in Asia, as well as a great number of prisoners who were captured in the European theatre of war.


– Order! The honorable gentleman should return to the bill. He is getting well out of Australia now.


– If the Communists gain control in this country they would treat us in a similar manner. No decent man need fear this measure. All he will have to do, as has been pointed out, will be to declare that he is not a Communist and he will be able to go free. Honorable members opposite have had a great deal to say about the clause that relates to the onus of proof. The statutebook contains acts that were introduced by Labour governments which include provisions that the onus of proof shall be on the individual charged with an offence under those acts.

It is evident that the red tide is coming our way. It is significant that the advance of the Japanese forces during the last war was first halted in Australian waters just as the first setback to the Communist party will also bc administered by this country. The foreign doctrine that the Communist party has brought here is such that the people demand that it shall be driven from our shores, that our people shall be free and remain free, that our economy shall not be depressed, that our production shall be buoyant and that we shall be able to buy the goods that; are so necessary for our national development. For these reasons, and also for the reason that Australia is the land of my birth and I should not like to see it slip into the hands of an enemy through any negligence upon my part, plus the reason that the Communists have made the people of Australia suffer, I support the bill.


.- This bill purports to deal with the Australian Communist party and its ancillary and subsidiary bodies either already formed or which may be formed as a cloak to cover up the real aims and objectives of international communism with which the Australian Communist party is linked. One of those aims is the overthrow of constitutional government by force and bloody revolution. The bill is also designed to deal with individual Communists and to disqualify them from holding office in the Public Service and in industrial organizations. The grounds on which the Government requests the power to take those steps are related to the defence and safety of Australia and its people. It is taking this action by virtue of the defence power of the Commonwealth because the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) alleges that Australia is menaced by a fifth column that is operating in the interests of a foreign power with the object of undermining our economy, sapping our industrial strength, softening the will of the people and weakening the defence of this country generally. Those interests” regard Australia as a ripe plum, and are waiting for it to fall into their lap. Our potential enemy has been said to be Russia and its satellites in Europe and Asia. “Whilst it is true that we are now at peace, it is also clear that, virtually, we are engaged in a cold war which many people believe will inevitably develop into a shooting war. In any event, we must admit that to be a strong possibility. We have been warned of the imminence of a shooting war by noted American service leaders. According to the Sydney Daily Telegraph of the 3rd May, General George Kenney, who was war-time Commander of the Allied Air Forces in the Pacific, said -

Hie Russian leaders probably had gone so far as to set the year for their attack. The international situation is now so explosive that war could start at any moment through a diplomatic blunder.

Rear-Admiral Walter Boone, who was Commander of the United States of America Seventh Fleet, was also reported in that newspaper of the same date as saying-

To-day, with the world political and military situation as it is, war might break out at any time. However, war was not necessarily imminent.

In view of those warnings together with the outline given by the Prime Minister of fifth column activities by the Communist party in this country, there would appear to be little doubt about the constitutionality of the main provisions of this legislation. However, grave doubt exists about the constitutionality of those provisions which will affect the liberty and rights of the ordinary individual. In that respect, the Government’s proposals go far beyond what is warranted even in an emergency of the kind outlined by the Prime Minister. At the same time, the Government is charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the nation and it must act as it deems fit. Obviously, it Has access to information that is not available to the Parliament or the public. In addition, we must have regard to the technique of modern warfare. Modern inventions indicate that the next -war will be somewhat in the nature of a push-button war and that it will be fought with supersonic guided missiles and atom and hydrogen bombs. One can confidently forecast that such a war will practically be over before the peoples of the world even know that it started. In comparison with such, a conflict Hitler’s blitzkrieg and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour fade into insignificance.

The Prime Minister very capably outlined the situation with which the Government must deal, and he impressed upon the people the real danger that confronts the nation. However, one might ask whether this is the opportune time for the action that the Government declares it must take, and whether the action proposed to be taken is too drastic. The right honorable gentleman said that the measure was both novel and far-reaching, and that it provided for the first time in the history of this or any other English-speaking country, for the complete banning of a political party. Of course, the Communist party is now regarded not as a political party in the accepted sense of the term, but as an international conspiracy. This measure will create a new class of citizen, the “ declared “ person. In future, such persons will be dubbed “ Commos “, and they will be social pariahs. They will be deprived of certain citizen rights. Whilst the Government, under this measure, does not go so far as Hitler did when, under his decree, every Jew in Germany was branded on the back with the name Juden, we must be careful that it shall not be enabled eventually to follow in his footsteps and later apply this legislation to social democrats, radical leaders and, ultimately, to heads of churches and other leaders of thought in the community.

The views of the Labour party on this measure were clearly expressed by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Chifley) in this debate as well as in his policy speech at the recent general election. The right honorable gentleman emphasized that the only effective way to deal with the Communists is to meet them in the open and by the ordinary processes of the law relating to treason and sedition. On this aspect of the measure, warnings have been expressed not only in the Australian press but also in newspapers overseas. The Melbourne Age in a leading article in its issue to-day, states -

Although the central purpose of the Bill is generally approved second thoughts have induced a widespread conviction that dangers are implicit in the measure drafted and would be removed if some of the amendments suggested by Labour were adopted.

Within a few days of his opening speech, designating 53 individuals as communists the Prime Minister found it necessary to make several amendments as to names of communists in the key unions.

Such things suggest the fallibility of officials and exemplify the risks inherent in a power to declare and impose penalties without having to substantiate the case before a court of Law when the person concerned appeals.

I venture to say that if the Prime Minister had taken the members of the Government parties into his confidence and submitted this measure to them before he introduced it in the Parliament, it would be entirely different from its present form and would embody some of the amendments that the Leader of the Opposition has foreshadowed. The Manchester Guardian, another conservative newspaper, commented upon this measure as follows : -

  1. . A State could protect itself without taking such wide general powers. Mr. Menzies tries to justify his Bill by arguing that We are not, except in a technical sense, at peace ‘ But neither are we, even in a technical sense, at war. Nor is war yet imminent. As it comes nearer, restraints on the freedom of those who might be dangerous must increase. But to use extreme measures at this stage might turn out to be a boomerang. There might be dangers in following the more liberal course, but risks must be taken. Risk is the very essence of Democracy.

Criticizing the proposal to place the onus of proof upon the accused, the same newspaper said -

It should not be difficult to argue that this proposal is an innovation from the Cominform’s own idea of law. How can a man prove he isn’t a member of the Communist body?

The New York Times, another conservative newspaper, in an editorial on the 29 th April last, said -

Any move such as Australia was taking in banning the communist party called for circumspection as well as firmness. To equate genuine socialist or social democratic parties and movements with communism is foolish and dangerous. The problem is not so simple as it seems. One danger, as we arc learning to our cost, is the temptation to foster witchhunts, to use fear of communism for partisan purposes, to get hysterical, and set norms that carry into the field of genuine liberalism and legitimate freedom of discussion and social experiment.

A similar warning is contained in a recent minority judgment of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in relation to the validity of the non-Communist nath to which trade unions are obliged to subscribe as a qualification to have their claims dealt with by governmental tribunals or to engage in collective bargaining with employer’s associations under the sponsorship of such tribunals. That dissenting judgment was given by Justice Hugo Black, who stated -

Individual freedom and governmental thought-probing cannot live together. The majority decision rejects that fundamental principle. The real danger is that the noncommunist provision, some day, might be used as a weapon against minority parties, other than communists. It is not too farfetched to imagine a day when a man might be barred from a union post, simply because he advocates Socialism.

Further evidence of the danger of arousing hysteria about the Communist menace is provided in a statement made recently by Mr. Harold Ickes, who was formerly Minister for Interior in the United States of America. A few days ago he said -

The only issue in Washington is which party sees the most Communists. Everywhere in Washington there is a feeling of fear. Any day you may be called before a Congressional committee to explain why you happened to pass a communist in the street.

In view of the claim made by supporters of the Government that the Labour party is linked with the Communist party, it is not improbable that a similar situation will arise in this country in the near future. It is not a new idea to dub one’s political opponent as a Communist. Indeed, that practice was indulged in in this country nearly 100 years ago when Sir Henry Parkes, who was several times Premier of New South Wales, was dubbed “ a socialist, Communist, uprooter of law and order and an arch-anarchist”, because he had joined the AntiTransportation League that had just been formed to advocate the cessation of the transportation of convicts to this country. That accusation was made by William Charles Wentworth, who was a leading conservative of that day. That practice seems to be an hereditary trait among those who bear his distinguished name. These are some of the matters that we have to consider before we come to a decision in regard to this measure.

The Leader of the Opposition and other honorable members on this side of the House have said that we appreciate the fact that the Government has been given a mandate by the people to outlaw the Communist party. The Labour party bows to the verdict of the people. In the spirit of democracy, we accept the bill in principle and for that reason we do not intend to oppose its second reading. The Labour party upholds the use of constitutional methods in the achievement of its aims and ideals. There is no justification for the adoption of revolutionary methods in this country. Although the Commonwealth Constitution imposes many disabilities on this Parliament it at least provides that the Australian Government shall face the people every three years. The people may elect a new government whenever they think it wise to do so. No matter what government may be in power, no matter how incompetent, corrupt or reactionary it may be, at the end of three years it must face its real masters, the people of this country. The Almighty has given us brains to use and reasoning powers and one expects those who attain to high positions in this Parliament to set an example to the rest of the nation. There is no need for any political movement to resort to the methods of the jungle to achieve its objective. The Labour party abhors the methods and tactics of the Communist party and of revolutionary communism. It appreciates the fact that communism is a foreign ideology which is not in keeping with the aspirations of the Australian people. The methods adopted by the Communist party involve the utilization of direct action, force, bloody revolution and civil war with all its miseries and horror. These methods must inevitably defeat the very purposes which they are intended to serve.

Worthy % ideals cannot be achieved by unworthy methods. The end does not justify the means. In Russia and its satellite countries to-day what may have first been intended to be a great ideal has been turned into the greatest tyranny the world has ever known. There is a tendency on the part of honorable members opposite to refer to socialists in terms of derision. I remind them that the principles of socialism were first enunciated by great Christian gentlemen, such as* Robert Owen, Keir Hardie, William Morris, and others. They were actively engaged in the field of social reform long before Marx, Lenin and Stalin were ever heard of. They were visionaries who envisaged a new social order in which what Christ referred to as the second commandment would be nut into effect and all men would be brothers in every sense of the word and share equally the good things of this earth. The Russian tyrants who have taken control of a great portion of the earth have shattered the dreams of socialists the world over. Marx and Lenin based their teachings on material philosphy and overlooked human and spiritual values. In order to evaluate what international communism stands for, we must consider its leading protagonists, and, in the light of modern psychology, endeavour to understand, if we can, their approach to the problems of mankind. Many of them, including Marx, Lenin and Stalin were frustrated in their own personal and domestic lives. All were ambitions and hungry for power. They adopted the technique of the bandits of old. They were the modern Robin Hoods, the Dick Turpins and the Ned Kellys who “ cashed in “ on the social injustices of their times and set themselves up as the champions of the people. Their role was ostensibly to rob the rich and give to the poor. They cashed in on the struggle that has gone on through centuries between the “ haves “ and the “ havenots”; but they remained bandits and they established the greatest reign of tyranny the world has ever known. Let us consider Stalin’s background. Stalin was a Georgian who was born and bred in a district under the heel of the Czars which centuries before had been overrun by Genghis Khan. The Communist International adopted the fifth column methods that had enabled Genghis Khan to overrun Europe and Asia and establish a reign of tyranny. They improved on those methods by the application of modern science and industrial infiltration and the world has seen the result. In the old days the reign of the tyrant could be successfully ended on the death of the tyrant. To-day with Russia under the control of the politburo the world finds it much more difficult to deal with world communism than it did to deal with the tyrants of old. We may take some consolation from the fact that all gangster regimes break up from within. The first rift in the iron curtain is to be seen in the struggle that is taking place between Tito and Stalin. I trust that that struggle will continue, that the Communist regimes will meet downfall, and that the peoples of the world will be able to co-operate in a spirit of true democracy.

Whilst we approve of this bill in principle, considerable doubts exist in the minds of Opposition members, and of the people generally, whether this measure is on the high national plane that the Prime Minister has claimed for it. We wonder whether or not the right honorable gentleman is motivated by political considerations to turn the existing situation to his advantage. The bill was launched in an atmosphere of sensationalism. Government members said that it must be. accepted holus bolus or there would be a double dissolution. By advance publicity disseminated throughout the States the Prime Minister sought to create hysteria among the community. In effect, the Labour party was put on the spot. The Prime Minister pointed the bone and said that the Labour party must accept the bill without amendment. It is pleasing to note that the right honorable gentleman has since changed his attitude and has now indicated, that he will accept reasonable amendments. I have not time to deal with the individual clauses of the bill; but I point out that they go very much further than waa indicated by the Prime Minister in his secondreading speech. In that utterance which lasted more than an hour the right honorable gentleman devoted 90 per cent, of his remarks to the preamble of the bill which explains the implications of revolutionary communism. Everybody throughout the country and in this House was led to believe that the sole purpose of the measure was to deal with revolutionary communism. An analysis of the clauses of the bill proves otherwise. The preamble, to which the Prime Minister devoted so much attention, merely contains a recital of the position from a constitutional angle and has nothing to do with the legality of a number of clauses that follow. I refer honorable members to the definition of a Communist in the first part of the bill and also to the provisions relating to a body of persons in clause 5 (1.) (c).

It is clear that the bill is not confined to Communists, as such, or to revolutionary communism for it includes provisions which might relate to other schools of socialist thought. To-day many socialist doctrines are advocated by various bodies. The Christian Socialist Movement, the Catholic Social Justice programme, and the “World Council of Churches all advocate reforms of the kind that were advocated by Marx and his successors. It may be contended that the advocacy of such doctrines will bring members of those organizations and supporters of those programmes within the ambit qf this legislation. The preaching of the doctrines of free education, the right of trade unions to organize, the sharing of the profits of labour and the like might bring the persons concerned within the ambit of this legislation. A hundred years ago such doctrines would have been regarded as revolutionary and those who propagated them would have been summarily dealt with, and as was the case with the Tolpuddle martyrs, transported to other parts of the world. I remind honorable members that the Tolpuddle martyrs were seven devout Methodists who 100 years ago endeavoured to form themselves into a trade union. They were the forerunners of the great trade union movement, but because in their day they were regarded as reactionaries, they were transported for life. The bill should not contain any ambiguities. It should be definitely restricted to those with whom the Prime Minister has said it is intended to deal.

Mr. Ryan

– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.

Mr. WIGHT (Lilley) [4.14J.- This bill is of national importance and as such it should he considered only from the national point of view. No suggestion of party political advantage should arise in the consideration of a bill of such great importance. The establishment and proof of the allegations contained in the preamble of the bill is complete justification for the implementation of any measure, however stringent its provisions may be, for the complete destruction of the Communist party in Australia. I agree that the bill cannot convert or alter the traitorous or treasonable trend of thought that exists in the minds of individual members of the Communist party. It does, however, destroy the efficacy of the organization of those members. The present procedure of the Communist party has been developed with the object of causing a red revolution in this country, and has been cunningly conceived as part of a well executed attempt to gain control of the trade union movement. The people of Australia are well aware of the effectiveness of Communist control. Mr. Thornton has stated that, according to the teachings of Lenin, without control of the trade unions revolution is impossible. For that reason the Communist party set itself out to gain control of the trade union movement of Australia in accordance with directions from Moscow. If anybody thinks that the Communist plan for a red revolution in this country is melodramatic I suggest that they examine the cunningly conceived plan of the Australian Communist party which fits the pattern laid down in Moscow. This plan is revealed in a letter which emanated from the red International Labour Union and was published by the Bed Leader, a Communist party publication, in 1934. This letter reads in part as follows: -

One of the greatest shortcomings of the work of the militant minority is in regard to the war preparations in the Pacific, particularly to the war preparations of the Australian Bourgeoisie. The militant minority must develop a big campaign against preparations for an anti-Soviet war.

Orders are to develop a wide activity amongst the workers, particularly in the transport industry, and attempt to organize demonstrations and strikes against Australia’s participation in the war plans of the imperialists

The Communist party has followed that procedure. I think that fact was indicated in Queensland during the recent railway strike. That strike fitted a deliberate pattern to tie up Australia’s transport and was not aimed at attaining any other objective. It was a test strike which was aimed at testing the degree of tolerance of the members of the union. Deliberately, government documents which were sent by the Premier to the trade union were withheld from the knowledge of the trade unionists. When the patience of th, unionists was completely exhausted a meeting which had been called in Ipswich Trades Hall was closed down in order to stop them from ending the strike. Those were the tactics of the trade union’s Communist executive. The good trade unionist will have nothing to do with the Communsts but to-day the trade union movement, to a large degree, is controlled by the Communist party and the good trade unionist, who is one of the finest citizens of the country, cannot express himself. I found proof of that during a conversation with a member of the staff of the railway workshops at Ipswich to whom I suggested that he should rise to his feet and protest when he complained about the action of the executive at the meeting which I have referred to. He said, “You forget that I am a married man with children and I work at the railway workshops and it would be very easy for a large piece of machinery to fall “. This man was not exaggerating. Recently I was discussing the Communist domination of the Waterside Workers Federation with an inmate of the Greenslopes Military Hospital, who was himself a member of the Wharf Labourers Union. He insinuated almost the same thing concerning the tactics adpoted by the Communists in the tradeunion movement.

The culmination of the Communist plan was only too clearly expressed in e passage in a book entitled, Readings in Leninism Number 4. It states -

The task of the party is to utilize these minor everyday needs ‘as a starting point from which to lead the working class to the revolutionary struggle for power. This mass action includes: Strikes; a combination of strikes and demonstrations; a combination of strikes and armed demonstrations and finally, the general strike conjointly with armed insurrection against the state power of the bourgeoisie. The latter form of struggle, which is the supreme form, must he conducted according to the rules of war ;

This plan is being constantly developed and it is the duty of this Government to protect the country from these servants of Moscow, who are perpetrating an act of undeclared war within our country and on our people. In order that they may fulfil their plan, it is necessary for them to gain control of the trade union movement. To destroy their plan it is necessary to destroy their grip on the trade union movement. Unfortunately, the Australian Labour party industrial groups which have attempted to do this have met with a very small measure of success. It is because their attempts were unsuccessful that this bill is necessary in order to eliminate the Communist control from trade unions. An example of the failure of the Australian Labour party industrial groups is given in a Communist publication called the Building Workers’ Journal. This confirmed report states -

The attitude of well known Queensland anti-Communists and leaders of Australian Labour Party Industrial Groups in their respective unions towards Communists has undergone a remarkable change. Each well known anti-Communist and leader of Australian Labour Party Industrial Groups expressed at the recent Q.T.TJ. Congress their admiration of the Communists in clear and forthright terms when arguing on a resolution calling upon the workers to defeat Menzies and Fadden and vote and work for the Labour or Communist party. These speakers said, “ There is no doubt about the fact that the Communists are always good trade unionists. They fight for better conditions on the job but I disagree with them politically “. “ We should vote for the official Australian Labour Party ticket “, said another speaker. “ I know the Communists are very good industrially but they will only split the vote.”

That report by the industrial group of the Australian Labour party indicated only too -well that those particular members of the group had had the wool pulled over their eyes. For the success of the Communist plan it is absolutely necessary that these “red” unionists should appear to be good unionists. A majority of the Communist leaders have been trained in Moscow. Such men as Thornton and Sharkey have had training in Communist schools in Russia. Those men, because of their training and because of their knowledge of trade union affairs, have been able to express themselves most vocally at trade union meetings and have gradually risen to the top of their organizations. Only by an apparent show of interest in the trade unions have they reached those positions. It is absolutely essential that the Communist party should select men who- can impress the trade unionists that they are fighting for them, for such men can rise to the top of the union. Thus, can the union be controlled by the Communist movement.

The trade unionist should be assisted to destroy the Communist influence in his union. Anybody who suggests that the Communist party does not exercise control of the trade unions need only examine the strikes that have occurred in this country during the past year. Excuses, not reasons, were given for causing those strikes. Many of them were absolutely uncalled for. I believe that the Communist party’s plan provides for a deliberate pattern of strikes in order to test the tolerance of the various trade unionists so that in the event of a general strike being called these men will know how long they can maintain such a state of affairs, and how long it will take to develop a course of action which will result in a revolution. The “ red “ tactics have not benefitted the trade unions. Statistics prove that whilst moderate trade unions improved the conditions and wages of their members by 75 per cent, last year, Communist-controlled unions improved the wages and conditions of their members by only 72 per cent.


– What does the honorable member mean by “Communistcontrolled unions”?


– I mean unions in which Communists exercise control over the members. The Waterside Workers Federation would, I think, be an example. It seems strange that the unions which have succumbed to Communist domination are those which are most important to our defence. They include metal trades unions, the maritime unions and the miners’ federation. The Communists also plan to gain control of the food unions. They have combined all the metal workers into one union with the idea of bringing under the domination by one small group of Communists of a vast group of good Australian trade unionists. I suggest that honorable members of the Opposition, instead of making facetious objections and interjections should consider giving this bill their support. The implementation of this bill will cause a definite reaction on the part of the Communist party of Australia. Every soap-box throughout the country will be mounted by members of the party, who, with their customary rantings and ravings, will declare that the measure is fascist-inspired and aimed at the destruction of the trade union movement. The Government does not seek to destroy the trade union movement. On the contrary, it regards the trade unions as an essential part of the nation’s social structure. I sincerely hope that the Labour party will support the Government in implementing the bill when it becomes law, because the Communist party will endeavour then to cause industrial havoc throughout Australia. It will try to persuade unionists that the measure is aimed at the heart of their movement. That will be a deliberate lie. Members of the Opposition would be well advised not to rise, with their tongues in their cheeks, and, after criticizing the bill bitterly, declare in effect, “I shall support the bill because I have been ordered to do so “. When the Communists begin to stir up trouble in industry after the bill becomes law, the Labour party should exert its influence with unionists in order to gain their support in emptying Communists out of the trade union movement so that it may continue to flourish under sane administration. The Communists will tell the workers that the bill is designed for the purpose of destroying their organizations. The object of their propaganda will be to cause the overthrow of the Government, but I warn the Opposition that it is constitutional government, not this Government in particular, that the Communist party seeks to crush. The bill should be considered from a national point of view, not from a party political point of view.

Debate (on motion by Mr. E. James Harrison) adjourned.

page 2518


Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 1) ; Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Amendment (No. 1)

In Committee of Ways and Means:

Minister for the Interior · Wakefield · LP

.- I move- [Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 1).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1949. be amended as hereinafter set out, and that, on and after the twelfth day of M g One thousand nine hundred and fifty, at nine o’clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected in pursuance of the Custom Tariff 1933-1949 as so amended.
  2. That, without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1.) of these Proposals. the GovernorGeneral may, from time to time by Proclamation declare that, from a time and date specified in the Proclamation, the Intermediate Tariff shall apply to such goods specified in the Procla’mation as are the produce or manufacture of any British or foreign country specified in the Proclamation.
  3. That on and after the time and date specified in a Proclamation issued in accordance with the last preceding paragraph, the Intermediate Tariff shall apply to such goods specified in the Proclamation as are the produce or manufacture of a British or foreign country specified in that Proclamation.
  4. That any Proclamation issued in accordance with paragraph (2.) of the;e Prop):als may. from time to time, be revoked or varied by a further Proclamation, and upon the revocation or variation of the Proclamation, the Intermediate Tariff shall cease to apply to the goods specified in the Proclamation so revoked, or, as the case may be, the application of the Intermediate Tariff to the goods specified in the Proclamation so varied, shall be varied accordingly. -
  5. That in these Proposals, unless the contrary intention appears - “ Proclamation “ means a Proclamation by the Governor-General, or the person for the time being administering the government of the Commonwealth, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, and published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette ; “ the Intermediate Tariff” means the rates of duty set out i i the Schedule to these Proposals, in the column headed “ Intermediate Tariff “, in respect of goods in relation to which the expression is used.
[Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Amendment (No. 1).] That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) 1933-1949 be amended as hereinafter set out and that, on and after the twelfth day of May, One thousand nine hundred and fifty, at nine o'clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected in accordance with the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) 1933-1949 as so amended. The resolutions that I have just tabled will give effect, as from 9 a.m. to-morrow, to the tariff concessions undertaken by Australia during the tariff negotiations at Annecy in 1949. They will not fully implement the tariff concessions granted by Australia as, in some cases, concessions in primage duty were involved. Primage proclamations have accordingly been prepared and they will operate from the same time. In accordance with the usual practice when introducing tariff amendments, a comparative memorandum has been circulated to honorable members showing the effect of the proposed tariff alterations. As it is some time since the tariff negotiations were concluded at Annecy, I should perhaps trace events in the meantime. On the 11th October, 1949, the then Minister for Post-war Reconstruction made a statement regarding the results of the Annecy negotiations, and circulated for information schedules giving details of the negotiations as they affected Australia. At the Annecy tariff negotiations, ten countries sought to accede to the General Agreement and at the conclusion of the negotiations the contracting parties decided that accession of the new members and the putting into effect of the concessions should be carried out in two distinct stages. The first stage required approval by a two-thirds majority of the then 23 members by the 30th November, 1949, for admission of the ten new countries to the agreement. This decision was taken by the previous Government, and tile United Nations Secretariat was advised that Australia agreed to the accession of the ten countries. *[Quorum formed.]* The second stage required each government to notify the United Nations by the 30th April, 1950, of its intention to apply the Annecy concessions, and application of the concessions had to take place within 30 days of notification. Australia i3 at present provisionally applying the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and has also agreed to the accession of the further ten countries. Taking these factors into consideration, it was decided to apply the Annecy tariff concessions, and the Secretariat of United Nations was notified accordingly on the 28th April, 1950. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 2521 {:#debate-24} ### COMMUNIST PARTY DISSOLUTION BILL 1950 {:#subdebate-24-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed *(vide* page 2518). {: #subdebate-24-0-s0 .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- Before I proceed to discuss the terms of the bill, I propose to finish the story that was begun by the honorable member for Lilley **(Mr. Wight)** . {: #subdebate-24-0-s1 .speaker-JPE} ##### Mr BIRD: -- A fairy story! {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- No, it was not a fairy story. I have been gravely concerned throughout this debate by the attitude of Government supporters who have attempted to speak about the trade union movement without showing any regard for accuracy. If any proof were required of the seriousness of their misstatements, it was finally supplied by the honorable member for Lilley. When I asked the honorable gentleman to nominate the transport unions that he alleged were under the control of the Communist party, he made some remark about my interjection being facetious. He evaded the question, which I asked deliberately and in all seriousness. When the honorable gentleman made his accusation, he was referring to a trade union of which I am the federal president. He told only half of the story of the Queensland strike and, in the process, he attempted to brand good trade unionists with the stigma of communism. The honorable gentleman does not know enough about the Queensland strike to be able to tell the whole truth about it. I notice that he has left the chamber. That is in keeping with the attitude that honorable members opposite have adopted throughout this debate. {: .speaker-KQJ} ##### Mr McColm: -- Nonsense! {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- It is not nonsense. The honorable member played about with a subject that he did not understand and then left the chamber. As the federal president of the Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen, I summoned the meeting in Brisbane that sent the first body of men back to work after the Queensland strike. I know what happened. There was no dropping of bags of wheat or pieces of machinery at that meeting. The hall was packed when the decision was made and, at my direction as the federal president of the union, the men agreed to go back to work. The honorable member for Lilley should obtain the facts before attempting to brand my union as a Communist organization. Concessions that had been denied to unionists for twenty years were won as the result of the Queensland strike. Those of us who are prepared to lead the trade unions in their efforts to gain their ends by conciliation and arbitration must be concerned about the manipulation that consistently goes on behind the scenes in order to assist people who acknowledge the Communist doctrine that strike action is always best. Such activities are a constant source of worry to all decent trade unionists. The Communist Party Dissolution Bill, like every other measure that, is introduced in this House, must be either good or bad. Honorable members should concentrate their attention upon that issue rather than upon the general principles that have been discussed during this debate. Nobody will deny that the principles embodied in *the measure are* important, and I agree with the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies),** who said that they were very far-reaching. Therefore, the bill deserves the closest examination, not so much for the things that it says, but for things that will happen after it becomes law. The provisions of the bill are so far reaching that they may interfere with the liberty of the subject- {: .speaker-KBH} ##### Mr Wilson: -- It will preserve liberty. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- Before I was elected to this House I had almost six years experience in another legislative chamber of this country, where the leaders of liberalism were ever on their feet demanding that there should never be any interference with the liberty of the subject. Consequently, when I came to this House and discovered that the first big measure to be dealt with was legislation which could interfere with the liberty of the subject, I analysed it very closely. If the liberty of the subject is to be interfered with, it is necessary that there shall be two important safeguards: First. that the grounds for the interference are important enough to warrant an interference - and in this case I think we can agree on that point - and secondly, that the machinery used will not introduce a set of circumstances which might easily result in fascism. There is no honorable member on the Government side, and I appreciate that there are many young men there who rendered good service to this country during the war, who was in the real fight against communism in this country. {: .speaker-KQJ} ##### Mr McColm: -- Honorable members on this side were fighting fascism, which is just as bad. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- Let us agree that they were fighting fascism. But I warn them to be very careful not to take any action which may allow fascism to raise its head in this country. {: .speaker-KQJ} ##### Mr McColm: -- The honorable member need not tell us that. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- That is a warning that must be given here. There is not a member on the Government side who appreciates the attacks that have been made by Communists upon decent trade unionists during past years. I shall support any action that has for its purpose the extermination of communism in Australia. However,I shall not knowingly enter a battle that may result in the institution of the very system that some honorable members of this House left Australia to fight. That is fascism. The possibility of fascism being brought about by this measure worries me. First of all that possibility exists. Secondly, will this measure really abolish communism in Australia? It may be that this bill will actually improve the position of the Communist party in Australia, as happened in 1940. I hear interruptions from honorable members on the Government side. I suggest to them that they know nothing of the Communist activities in 1940. {: .speaker-JRJ} ##### Mr Bowden: -- Perhaps the honorable members means 1921 and not 1940. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- I heard the interjection of the honorable member for Gippsland **(Mr. Bowden),** but shall deal with what occurred in 1940. I suggest that the honorable member knows very little about the matter because I heard him say this afternoon that the Government is concerned about the leaders of trade unions who have the power to influence great decisions. I say that the Labour party is also concerned about that matter. I declare now that there has been no dispute regarding where the Labour party stands in respect of the Communist party. My fight with the Communist party has been in progress for many years. The beginning of the fight goes back beyond the memory of many honorable member on the Government side. It extends back beyond 1930. Let me refer to the Communist manifesto. I doubt whether honorable members of the Government parties, except perhaps the old hands, have ever seen that manifesto, because otherwise there would have been some reference in their speeches to indicate their familiarity with it. {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr CHARLES ANDERSON:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP -- I referred to it. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- - The manifesto issued by the Communist party in 1930 states- >The Labour party is able to function as a better agent of capitalism than the Nationalist party precisely because it is able, through the mobilization in its' support of the Social Fascist trade union bureaucracy, to tie the official machinery of the unions to its policy of treachery and betrayal. Thus it has formerly been able to tie a considerable section of the working class to the political party that actually has as its .basis the' bankers, bond holders and industrialists whose interests lie in the development of Australian industry, a class that is more and' more striving toward an imperialist policy of its own. The Communist party has never deviated from that statement of function. My fight against communism had commenced prior to that date. Now let us test whether this measure is good or bad by the standard of what actually occurred to decent trade union leaders during the time the Communist party was banned. I relate this story not because I was concerned in it, but because if this bill is to succeed the Government must devise ways and means of overcoming a situation similar to that which existed in 1940. I doubt whether that would be possible without the introduction of one-party government. I want honorable members to follow closely just what did happen. There can be no question that the Prime Minister has always held opinions about communism that are nearly fanatical. Proof of that can be found by looking back to 1941, twelve months after the banning of the Communist party. {: .speaker-JXI} ##### Mr Freeth: -- Yet the honorable member now supports the Prime Minister's views. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- If his views are capable of being translated into action, I do support them. I have made it clear that I shall be in any fight that will succeed in exterminating communism in this country. But I do not want to take part in a fight the result of which will be the same as that of 1940. {: .speaker-KQJ} ##### Mr McColm: -- It would be a pity to be on the losing side. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- On many occasions in the trade-union movement I have been on the losing side, bur I have not yet squealed. **Mr. Churchill,** the Prime Minister of England, broadcasting on the night of the 22nd June. 1941, announced that his Government had offered to the Government of Soviet Russia any technical or economic assistance needed, and stated positively tha: whereas he had been a consistent opponent of communism, that attitude had faded away before the spectacle then unfolding On that night the Prime Minister of Australia **(Mr. Menzies)** declared thai his Government dealt with Communiston a purely domestic basis. That statement followed **Mr. Churchill's** broadcast. The Prime Minister of Australia averred that the attitude of his Government towards communism was then based on its domestic subversive activities and not on its international ramifications. I emphasize the domestic basis first of all, because that was the Government's concern in 1941. To-day it can bc called an international matter, and I agree with the statement of the honorable member for Lilley **(Mr. White)** that the ramifications of communism extend throughout the world. In the final analysis Australian communism must be dealt with on a domestic basis in thi> country. The Communist party in Australia was strengthened as a result of its beingbanned in 1940. The present leaders of communism in the industrial field, including those nominated by the Prime Minister in his speech on this bill, had their positions as leaders in the trade union movement strengthened because of the readiness of the employers to bargain with them. Their bargains in many cases side-tracked the Arbitration Court. Those of us who were really fighting communism in the trade unions found our own strength diminishing because of the policy of employers in collaborating with the Communist leaders. At that time they were Communists no longer, because the Communist tag had been taken off them. Early in 1941 a judge of the Commonwealth Arbitration Court criticized the Minister for Labour and National Service, the same gentleman who holds the portfolio in this Government, **(Mr. Holt)** for calling a conference to discuss industrial matters without paying the court the courtesy of notifying of the matters that were to be discussed. That was the sort of thing that confronted the decent trade-union leaders. The Communists were able to capitalize at every point, even to the extent of having a Minister of the Crown with them when it came to a matter of dealing with things that should have been dealt with by the Arbitration Court. That sort of thing has put them into their present position. {: .speaker-K7J} ##### Mr Cramer: -- Is that how Ratliff and Thomas got out of gaol? {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- I noticed a report in the press to-day that the Prime Minister took the right honorable member for Barton **(Dr. Evatt)** to task for something he said yesterday about a red herring across the trail. To introduce the Ratliff and Thomas episode is to do far more than draw a red herring across the trail. On the 17th March, 1941, during the hearing of a case, Judge 0'Mara asked one of the employers' representatives whether he proposed to call as a witness the Minister for Labour and National Service. **(Mr. Holt),** in connexion with evidence given by the general secretary of the Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen's Union. That evidence was to the effect that in the presence of **Mr. Sutherland,** an organizer of the union, the crane drivers at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard, who were members of the union, had been promised an increase of 6s. a week in marginal rates. In the case it was stated that those crane drivers went back to work because of the assurance that they had received from the Minister. This system of bargaining on the part of a Minister and the masters of industry made untenable the position of the Australian Labour party union leaders who believed in a policy of conciliation and arbitration. That was because the tag had been taken off the Communist leaders. Consider for instance Wright, who was mentioned by the Prime Minister. He became an Australian Labour party leader. In consequence of the ban al] decent Australian Labour party men will never forget and will never forgive the government for preventing them from dealing with the Communists who were then and still are our enemies. The Minister adopted the policy of collective bargaining. I challenged the honorable member for Lilley's statement that Thornton had been trained for two years in Moscow, but the honorable gentleman avoided the issue. Thornton did not have to do two years' training in Moscow. He got his build-up, and most of his strong support, because he was consistently able by bargaining with the employers to achieve results that we trade unionists could not obtain through the Arbitration Court. At the moment, Thornton is "on his way out" as the general secretary of ths Federated Iron workers Association, not by reason of any action by this Government, but because the decent trade unionists are coming to the surface, and are taking the control of the organization out of the hands of Thornton and company. If we were trusted, we should prosecute our campaign until we had achieved that objective. Let honorable members opposite make no mistake about that. {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr CHARLES ANDERSON:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP -- For how long? {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -It depends on how long the Government is prepared to drive them underground, where we cannot get at them. {: .speaker-KMD} ##### Mr Osborne: -- Is the honorable member voting for the bill? {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- If the past is to be taken as a precedent, Thornton is not worrying two "hoots" about the effect that this bill will have on him. {: .speaker-JXI} ##### Mr Freeth: -- Did Thornton tell the honorable member that? **M"r. E.** JAMES HARRISON.- If the honorable member for Forrest **(Mr. Freeth)** desires to collaborate with Thornton, that is his business, but I shall not do so. I shall explain to the House what well may happen in these matters, without our knowledge. That is the danger. If I were aware of the details, I would divulge them. The Communist party has some one to take Thornton's place. That person may have an Australian Labour party ticket ; he may be a member of the Liberal party; or, at the moment, he may not belong to any political party. But that is the line that the Communists will follow. If Thornton is removed from his office in the Federated lion workers Association, it will soon be found that another officer of that organization will be bargaining with the employers outside the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration in order io achieve objectives, and he will gain victories that cannot possibly be won in the court itself. Let us be honest about our approach to this matter, and cast our minds back to what happened to those decent trade unionists who were members of the Sydney Trades and Labour Council in 1941. We members of the Australian Labour party had control of it in the late 1930's, but in 1941 I had the mortification of hearing the *Bed Flag* and the *Internationale* sung in the Trades and Labour Council. We got the Communists out into the open, but it took us a considerable time to get rid of them. However, I am gratified to be able to say that decent trade unionists did regain control of the Sydney Trades and Labour Council, because we were able to put the tag on the Communists. At the present time, we have a two-thirds majority on the council, not because of the effect of legislation like this bill, but because we are courageous enough to fight communism in the highways and the byways. {: .speaker-L0D} ##### Mr CHARLES RUSSELL:
MARANOA, QUEENSLAND · CP -- This bill will assist the honorable member. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- If you are honest, and I believe that you are - - {: #subdebate-24-0-s2 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order ! I ask the honorable gentleman to address me. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- I shall do so. I assume that Government supporters are expressing their honest opinions when they criticize the stand that the Labour party has taken on this bill. They wonder why we are so bitter about this matter, but those of us who have played an active part in the Australian Labour party in fighting the Communists know that we are right. HughesEvans and Company were able, in the guise of the Labour party tag, almost to capture control of the Labour movement in New South Wales, and decent trade unionists and Labour men realized at that time that they came so close to success only because the government of the day had pulled the tag of communism from them. May I be excused for being somewhat sceptical about this bill, because once again the Prime Minister and the Minister for Labour and National Service are leading this campaign against the Communists. May I also be excused for having doubts about what will happen when this bill becomes law. The events of 1940 may be repeated. {: .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr Wentworth: -- What is the honorable member's views about the HughesEvans group? Are its members Communists? {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP **- Mr. Speaker,** you insisted that I address my remarks to you, and " cockatoos on biscuit tin9" should be outside this chamber. People like the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)** pimply do not .understand the position. An Honorable Member. - Keep it clean. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- I shall keep it clean as long as he keeps it clean. The next matter that worries me is the method that the Prime Minister employed when introducing this bill. A measure of its proportions should not have been introduced in an atmosphere of hysteria, yet, in' my opinion, such an atmosphere was deliberately generated in anticipation, possibly, of a double dissolution. I cannot dismiss that thought from my mind. Precisely the same hysterical kind of approach led to the establishment of fascism, about which one honorable member has spoken. This bill should not be discussed in an atmosphere of hysteria. After all, the question of whether or not it means what it says, and whether the ramifications of the various clauses are as Government supporters interpret them, are not the fundamentals that should cause all of us the most concern. Our principal concern should be the necessity to preserve the liberty of the people, and our Australian way of life. There is not one honorable member who would not do anything in his power to banish, if it were possible, the doctrine of communism from Australia. The matter about which we have to be certain is not whether the machinery clauses of the bill should be amended. What we should keep in mind all the time is whether or not this bill will have the results that the Government claims it will have. This is my answer to an earlier interjection. If I thought that it would give to the people of Australia freedom from Communist domination in any form I would say, " Make it a most urgent measure ". However, I am fearful that the bill will merely have the results that a regulation, similarly framed, had in the past- Honorable members will recall that regulation. It provided that a police officer with the rank of sergeant or higher bad the right to search any dwelling in Australia for any paper or record that might be subversive. The purposes of that regulation were similar to the purposes of this bill, although the verbiage of the two is different. I say confidently that that regulation did more than anything else to build up, not communism in the accepted sense, but a structure of those things that we abhor. I am worried about the possibility of a repetition of that state of affairs. I am disappointed because this bill was introduced in an artificial atmosphere of hysteria. The Prime Minister put on a show, with which his speech was in keeping, and it still rings in my ears. The right honorable gentleman himself described the proceedings as a show, because on the following day at Grafton he said that the show he was then attending was different from the one at which he had been present on the previous night in this House. {: .speaker-KIF} ##### Mr Hulme: -- The Prime Minister's speech certainly aroused hysteria in the Labour party. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- It did not. Only one thing is causing the Labour party concern. {: .speaker-KIF} ##### Mr Hulme: -- And that is the honorable member? {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- No. Our concern is to ensure that the Liberal party shall not again be enabled to befriend the Communist party. {: #subdebate-24-0-s3 .speaker-KMD} ##### Mr OSBORNE: -- Is the honorable member supporting the bill? {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- I have already defined my attitude to the bill. This measure should not be discussed in an atmosphere of hysteria. I shall support it if honorable members opposite will give me an assurance that it will remove communism from Australia. {: #subdebate-24-0-s4 .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr CHARLES ANDERSON:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP -- I think that I can safely say that every honorable member on the Government side realized with great sincerity, when the mandate was received from the people to introduce this bill, that it would not be an easy measure to present to the Parliament. It is significant, too, that the drafting of thi! bill took a considerable time, and T thought that the Opposition would have noted that fact. It is the most important bill in the Government's legislative programme for this session, yet many weeks passed before the PrimE Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** introduced it. That, in itself, is evidence that we did not approach the problem of dealing with the Communists in a spirit of, " Now we have these ' varmints ' we can destroy them ". Of course, we did not ! It must be remembered that in the history of federal government in Australia, the political parties that are now in office have had the greater part in forming the Australian way of life, of which we are so proud. Members of the Opposition have tried to claim on several occasions that that development has been their own prerogative, but it is indisputable that the government of the federation has been in the hands of the political parties now in office for a much longer period than it has been in the hands of the Labour party. Several Opposition members have read comments from overseas newspapers on this bill. Those critics, too, realize that the task that confronted the Government in drafting this measure was not easy. The bill is a new venture in democracy, but we all realize the necessity for it, and I believe that all the overseas criticism is in agreement with the Government's action, although some of the critics have been as nervous as we were until the bill was actually introduced lest it should infringe the liberty of the subject. I consider the bill itself to be sufficient evidence of the sincerity and ideals of the Government in this matter, and a reflection of the deep thought that has been given to the problem. Its provisions are the very minimum that could achieve the desired objective. Some speakers have indicated that the Government will probably be prepared to accept amendments, particularly any that incorporate certain safeguards, but do not destroy the efficacy of the bill. If the Opposition proposes the inclusion of certain safeguards, we shall hear their submissions, and if the proposals are valuable, they may be accepted. However, in my opinion, this bill is the very minimum that can be effective to destroy the menace of communism that is in our midst. In passing, I remind the Opposition that the Chifley Labour Government seldom, if ever, accepted an amendment that was submitted by a member of the then Opposition, but we are a democratic party and will carefully consider reasonable proposals. Government supporters were very keen to learn of the attitude that the Labour party proposed to adopt to this bill, because the Communist- menace is a national menace. I listened carefully to" many Opposition speakers, and, quite frankly, I was disappointed, as I usually am when I listen to them. The Opposition's attack on this bill is dictated largely by political motives. Its approach to the measure may be summed up in these words, " How does it affect us politically? It would be political suicide for us to oppose the bill. What is the least that we can do? Let us support it in principle and vote for the second reading, but we shall pull the fangs in the committee stage, because the Government already possesses power under the Crimes Act to deal with the Communists ". Members of the Opposition know that there is political dynamite in the bill. {: .speaker-KYC} ##### Mr Pollard: -- Is that why the Government introduced it? {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr CHARLES ANDERSON:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP -- I have gained that impression from listening to the speeches of Opposition members. The Labour party is not giving honest, whole-hearted support to a bill that is designed to preserve our national life. Can anybody doubt that the present period is critical? Yet Opposition members are playing party politics and are forgetting the real issue - the safety of Australia. {: .speaker-A48} ##### Mr Chifley: -- The honorable member himself may find that there is political dynamite in the bill. {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr CHARLES ANDERSON:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP -- I do not consider that the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Chifley)** gave any sincere reasons for the Labour party's objections to certain provisions of the bill. He said that history and his own knowledge had shown him that at no time had repres sive measures stopped the birth of new ideas in nations. He cited as instances of that fact the nationalist movements in India, Pakistan, Ireland and so on. But these were nationalist movements inside each of the nations concerned. Communism is an international movement, and so the right honorable gentleman's arguments fall to the ground because they are not sustained by facts. Communism is a foreign conspiracy. I do not believe that the right honorable member for Barton **(Dr. Evatt)** can find much wrong with this bill. Honorable members know his reputation in connexion with his appearance before the Privy Council in relation to a very different measure from this one. There was no time limit on his remarks on that occasion, and he spent day after day arguing before that body. He was not speaking under any time limit to-day, yet he spent only three-quarters of an hour covering one point over and over again. A reasonable conclusion is that the point was not really very good. The honorable member for Port Adelaide **(Mr. Thompson),** whom I and other honorable members on this side of the House respect very much, and other honorable members opposite, have told us that they have fought communism all their industrial lives. The only thing wrong with that claim is that honorable members opposite have not yet realized that communism has defeated them. That is the reason for our having introduced this measure. They say, in the words of the honorable member for Hunter **(Mr. James),** "We fought them with our hands ". Yet communism is stronger now than it was ten years ago. The honorable member for Watson **(Mr. Curtin)** also had something to say on this matter. He is always amusing to hear, but his speeches are dangerous. He said, in effect, that people who are seeking out traitors to this country are police informers. Would he shield a man whom he knew to be a traitor to our country, or would he tell the police? Speeches like that do no service to a country that is in fairly serious danger. We all must realize that we should not be blind to the fact that a cold war is at present in progress, and that that cold war is no child's play. It is not "Kiss in the ring " or " Postman's knock ". From where is this cold war being directed? From Moscow ! Furthermore, its directors have a highly trained staff that does nothing else but direct the cold war outside the bounds of the Iron Curtain. Skilled men direct those agents and they know their job. How are we fighting them? We shall be fighting them uselessly until this measure becomes law. It is a curious fact that right throughout the proud history of the British nations we have never had to worry about traitors or renegades. Why has that been so? There have been civil wars in Britain, but once an external enemy has shown his teeth the British race has always united. Why do we now have traitors, not only in Britain, but also in Canada and other British countries? The reason is that the British race has developed its democracy on a basis of spiritual values, and while that democracy was based on those values there was never any treachery. But communism is a materialistic concept. That is one reason why we are in conflict with the Labour party on this matter, because socialism is also a materialistic concept. Now that materialism has come into the picture we have traitors to deal with. {: .speaker-JLW} ##### Mr Andrews: -- That is a very narrow interpretation. {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr CHARLES ANDERSON:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP -- Honorable members may read in a book which is in the Parliamentary Library the report of the royal commission held in connexion with the Canadian spy trials. It is an ugly story of Canadians and other British people who were enticed away from their loyalty to their King and country to treachery and treason by people who preach the gospel of communism. We can remember how in Australia, at the outbreak of the last war, the Australian Communists were sabotaging our national effort. Were not the Communists doing their filthy work behind the lines while our men were fighting on the battle fronts? Yet those are the people who are almost supported by honorable members opposite. What has been happening in Australia during the post-war period, and how has it affected us? We have seen a prominent trade unionist, **Mr. Monk,** the president of the Australian Council of Trades Unions, going up and down the country saying that this bill will interfere with the rights of the trade unions. What right have the trade unions to arrogate to themselves the further right to harbour traitors in their ranks? Are not Communists traitors? Why should the trade unions be allowed to harbour them? We must remember that one of the plans of the Communists is to infiltrate the trade union movement. Let me read an extract from **Mr. Justice** Lowe's finding on communism in Victoria. He said - >The means and stages by which the Communist party aims to achieve its objective are - > >Leadership of and influence in trade unions. > >The use of political and general strikes. > >The education of the masses to the use of their political power through such strikes. > >The use of strikes, demonstrations and armed demonstrations where the Communist party considers them necessary ... and so on. I believe in trade unionism, but I do not believe that any section of the Australian community has the right to harbour traitors in its ranks. We have a lawfully constituted Parliament, elected by the people, and the country should abide by the provisions of measures that it passes. When we discuss communism we are inclined to forget just what it has cost us in the last half-century to preserve our way of life. Honorable members will recall that between 1914 and 1918 we lost thousands and thousands of fine men, and that many thousands of others were maimed, in a dreadful war. The same thing happened again in the last war. What were those men fighting for? They were fighting for our way of life and for their country against external enemies who threatened both. What did they die for ? What were their last thoughts? Their last thoughts were that they were dying to preserve our liberty. Yet we now find in our midst traitors and treacherous people who are trying to destroy thevery things for which those men gave their lives. We should have less bickering in relation to a bill that is of such national importance as is this measure. We are confronted with a revolutionary movement that emanates from the Kremlin in Moscow. I ask people to think forward into the future. We do not know when the storm may strike us. We can read daily in the press the warnings of eminent soldiers and sailors, both British and American, that the storm can break at any time. Let us look at it from our own point of view as members of this Parliament. After all, we are the representatives of the people and the safety of this country lies in our combined hands. It lies not only in the hands of honorable members on this side of the House, but also in the hands of honorable members opposite. If an international conflagration were to start, where and with what forces do honorable members think the Russians would attack ? What forces would be used against Australia ? Would they be white and Russian? Not that I consider that there is any advantage in being destroyed by white Communists rather than Asiatic Communists. The forces that the Russians would employ against us would be neither white nor European. They would be Asiatic. T have had unhappy experiences of Asiatic forces. We must consider this whole matter very carefully to ensure that we do not, by our neglect and by putting party politics before the national interest, cause posterity to regard us as "guilty men". We have heard not once but a dozen times during this debate that the number of Communists in this country has been and is being reduced. The number is now about 12,000. I remind honorable members that the Communist campaign against the security of Australia is not being conducted by amateurs. Surely honorable members must realize that the brains behind this movement are not stupid. Why should the Communist leaders in Russia keep their "fifth column " in this country plainly in view ? What is the use of a " fifth column " that can be seen readily? The Communist activities that we see above-ground are only for propaganda purposes. Most of the Communists are operating underground. Honorable members opposite have said that this measure will drive the Communists underground. As I have said, many of them are already underground and have been for a long time. Nobody knows how strong they are. All that we do know is that they are strong, and it is high time that strong measures were taken against them. Numbers do not count. The number of Communists in Australia may be falling, but just remember how many Communists it took to win control of Czechoslovakia. The Czechs were people very much like ourselves, a liberty loving and a cultured people with a great record for fighting for their freedom. They won that freedom after World War I., but the Communist party, representing only 14 per cent, of the people *oi* Czechoslovakia, took it from them. On' 14 per cent. ! A few cells, and when are the Czechs to-day? How many Communist cells have we in this country to-day? Where are they? We are not playing a game. We are in a cold war. and the more the people realize that fact;- {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- What about Hitler? {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr CHARLES ANDERSON:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP -- Hitler was the same sort of fellow as those that we are fighting. He was a Nazi, a totalitarian ruler, and Nazi-ism was a form of socialism. We have heard quite a lot of bickering over this measure between the political parties represented in this House. We have actually alleged that the objective sought to be attained in the Labour party platform is similar to the objective of the Communist party. We have not made that allegation for party political purposes. Honorable members must realize that it is possible to have totalitarianism in a democracy if the Government is of one side only. Had we had such a democracy we should have taken the first steps to a dictatorship. That is what happened in Germany and Russia. We could not have a real democracy with a Parliament that had only one party represented in it, consequently I do not wish to destroy the present Opposition and should probably never succeed if I tried to do so, but I should like to ensure that it shall be a safe Opposition, and for a long time to come- {: .speaker-KYC} ##### Mr Pollard: -- Who will bp the judge of the safety of it? Does the honorable member consider that he should be? {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr CHARLES ANDERSON:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP -- I am a democrat. The honorable member foi Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** attacked capitalism, yet he is the son of a capitalist family. He attacked capitalism yet boasted about his way of life. We have heard too much loose talk about capitalism. Capitalism is democracy. Some people forget that capitalism is the only philosophy that allows men freedom of thought, freedom of speech and political freedom. {: .speaker-KYC} ##### Mr Pollard: -- Go back to the kindergarten. {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr CHARLES ANDERSON:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP -- I shall do so if the honorable member can prove that capitalism and democracy are not one and the same thing. The honorable member for Melbourne **(Mr. Calwell)** once said, "We are plucking the fowl of capitalist society". But we are still living in a capitalist society and the honorable member for Hindmarsh enjoys the way of life that that society has given to him. In our capitalist society every man has an opportunity to succeed. I do not say that democracy is perfect, but we have means of reforming and improving it. When honorable members opposite talk about capitalism they should remember that capitalism and democracy ar. one and the same thing. Monopolistic capitalism is a different matter. The honorable member for Hoddle **(Mr. Cremean)** failed to finish his story; he did not tell us what was the biological result of the Labour party's flirtation with the Communist party. I am not aware of what it was, but there are certain things that cannot be denied. The Communist party has exercised an important influence upon the framing of the labour party's platform. The fact is that **Mr. Jock** Garden was a member of the Socialization Committee of the Labour party as late as 1947. Did he not have some influence in the framing of the party's platform? As I had intended originally *to* speak in this debate next Tuesday, I have not with me copies of the Labour party's platform and the Communist manifesto, but several points of similarity in the objectives of the two parties come to mind. The Labour party's objective to amend the Constitution to clothe this Parliament with greater powers is in line with the Communist policy of centralization. The Treasurer **(Mr. Fadden)** made a lengthy comparison of the Labour party's platform with the Communist manifesto. The two documents advocate compulsory unionism. Further evidence of the influence of the Communists in the framing of the Labour party's platform, is provided in Labour's objective to socialize the banks. The only countries in which banking is nationalized are Communist countries. Again, whilst the Communist party is opposed to arbitration - that is one weapon that it has consistently used in order to dislocate our economy - the Labour party advocates that the duty of determining wages and conditions of employment . that now devolves upon the Arbitration Court, which is above party politics, should be transferred to this Parliament. Like the Communists, Labour also opposes universal military training. Next, the Labour party advocates the training of workers to occupy managerial positions in industry. Of course, Government supporters' and honorable members opposite place different meanings on the term " workers ". The Labour party regards only a certain class as workers. But that objective is advocated also by the Communists as part of their aim to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. Whilst I shall spare the blushes of honorable members opposite on that point, I emphasize that during the last four years the Communist general staff, which is directing the Communists in Australia, has succeeded to a very great degree in sabotaging our heavy industries. The effect of such tactics upon our way of life is obvious, and, in addition, they prevent us from rendering assistance to those countries that need our economic help. To that degree Communist sabotage has seriously affected Australia's foreign policy. There are pariahs in every race, and I classify the Communist as a pariah. However, as he is human and as we have a democratic system of government, we cannot destroy him ruthlessly. At the same time, we must not permit him to continue to spread his foul disease throughout this Commonwealth. The only way to deal with rabid Communists, as they are human, is to pull their fangs ; and the object of this bill is to do just that. {: #subdebate-24-0-s5 .speaker-KZ9} ##### Mr RIORDAN:
Kennedy .- At the outset of my remarks I accept the invitation that was extended by honorable members opposite, particularly by the honorable member for Lilley **(Mr. Wight),** to members of the Opposition to announce their support of the measure. However, never before has a bill been introduced in this Parliament with so much ballyhoo, reminiscent of a Hollywood premiere, as that which marked the introduction of this measure by the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies).** In advance of the event, the announcement was made over the air and was published in the press that the people would hear from the right honorable gentleman words that would shake the nation. The Labour party owes nothing at all to the Communists. Politically and industrially it has always fought the menace of communism in this country. The honorable member for Gippsland **(Mr. Bowden)** made much of the fact that a Communist, Paterson, was elected to the Queensland Parliament. That is true, but Paterson was not elected by Communist votes alone. I have firsthand knowledge regarding his first success at the polls in that State because on that occasion the Labour candidate whom ho defeated was my uncle. Paterson owed his election mainly to the support he received from the Country party, and I shall tell honorable members why members of that party gave their support to him. After that election was over Country party supporters made no secret of the fact that they had voted for the Communist candidate, in the belief that if he were elected he could easily be knocked over at the following general election. However, at the subsequent poll he was re-elected. It is idle for supporters of the Government to say that the Labour party is a political bed-fellow of the " Comms ". The Communists have move in common with the Government parties than they have with the Labour party. They have always endeavoured to smash the Labour movement, and at every general election they have attacked not non-Labour but Labour candidates. The workers of this country have already awakened to the growing menace of communism within the industrial movement. This bill is the outcome of a realization on the part of the Government that the " Comms " are already on the way out as the result of Labour's consistent fight against them. In this instance, the Government is resorting to Communist tactics. It has introduced this measure in order to get on to the band-wagon and to be in at the kill so that it will get the kudos for the destruction of the Communist party; but that party will be destroyed, not by any action on the part of supporters of this Government, but by the efforts of Labour supporters who commenced this fight and are determined to finish it. On that point, the Melbourne *Ag,* of the 28th April had this to say - >One aspect of communism that should bc borne in mind is that the influence of Communists and their powers of mischiefmaking have been on the wane for some time, largely because of counter-action by the moderate and responsible elements of the trade union movement. The honorable member for Hume **(Mr. Charles Anderson)** said that representative comment overseas upon this legislation endorsed it without exception. If the honorable gentleman had read yesterday's newspapers he would have seen a report that a motion that was submitted in the Canadian House of Commons by the Progressive Conservative party for the imposition of a ban similar to the ban proposed under this measure was defeated by 147 votes to 32. The same honorable gentleman also said that Labour's criticism of this measure was dictated by party political motives. The people will recall the Goebbels-like propaganda that the Government poured out during the last general election campaign in order to foster a fear complex in the public mind. It achieved that objective, and it well knows that this measure will be ineffective. It has introduced it merely in order to maintain that fear complex for party political purposes. This measure reeks of party politics. Let us examine the background of the bill. Reference has been made to the ban that a former Menzies Government imposed on the Communist party. I remind supporters of the Government that during the period of operation of that ban the membership of the Communist party reached its peak of 30,000, whereas since the ban was lifted the membership of the party has decreased substantially. It is not merely coincidence that Canada has had a similar experience. When the Canadian Government banned the Communist party, that party was revitalized and continued to carry on its work under the name of the Progressive Labour party. It was because of that fact that a few days ago the Canadian House of Commons, as I have already said, rejected a motion for the extension of that ban. Just before the last Parliament was prorogued, the banning of the Communist party was discussed at a meeting of the Liberal party. At that meeting the present Prime Minister, as Leader of the Liberal party, opposed the proposal because he realized that the ban would be ineffective. However, the honorable member for Henty **(Mr. Gullett),** who submitted the motion, won the day by one vote. The Australian Labour party is the only political party that has persistently fought the Communists in this country. In Germany, the Nazis and the Communists collaborated and destroyed the Social Democrat party and smashed the free trade unions. Subsequently the Communist party was smashed by the Nazis. In this country members of the Government parties and their supporters join with the Communists in singing a hymn of hate of the Labour party. As happened in Germany, there is an alliance between vested interests, members of the Government parties and their political bedfellows, the Communists, when a general election campaign is in progress. When a general election is imminent Government supporters and their friends, the Communists, join forces in a common attempt to destroy the Labour party. Unlike the Social Democratic party in Germany, the Australian Labour party cannot be smashed. This bill was born in fear, and it is being nourished by fear in the hope that at the next general election the people will again rally to the support of the Government parties. The Prime Minister knows very well that the provisions of this bill cannot be effective for at least two reasons. This legislation cannot bc effective, first, because this Parliament does not possess the legal ifr. Riordan. powers to do what the Government, by its means, proposes to do. I do not intend to discuss the legality of the bill because that aspect of it has already been very fully dealt with by the right honorable member for Barton **(Dr. Evatt).** **Mr. Rosevear.** - I rise to order. I direct your attention, **Mr. Speaker,** if you have not already noticed it, to a coterie of Government supporters, one of whom has just concluded his speech, who have not ceased interjecting since the honorable member for Kennedy **(Mr. Riordan)** commenced his speech. There has been no reproof from the Chair. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I have had to direct the attention of other honorable members who had already spoken to the fact that they were indulging in the same practice. It must cease. {: .speaker-KZ9} ##### Mr RIORDAN: -- I know from my slight knowledge of the legal position that the Government does not possess the powers to do what in this bill it has set out to do. I know something of Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights. I have read some of the decisions of superior courts in this country in relation to matters affecting the liberty of the subject. This legislation will provide a rich harvest for members of the legal profession. I foresee many attacks being made on it first in the High Court and, ultimately, in the Privy Council. The references in the Prime Minister's secondreading speech, to the existence of a cold war will not influence the decisions of the High Court, which on numerous occasions has delivered judgments relating to the powers of this Parliament. In relying on the defence power to justify this measure the Government is leaning on a weak reed, though it hopes to make some sort of show of possessing the necessary authority, in order to justify its introduction. In actual fact the power of the Parliament to legislate in this connexion is limited to legislation relating to Commonwealth employees. The High Court has already decided in the petrol case that the Commonwealth Parliament cannot rely on the defence power in peace-time. Legal enactments authorizing action against persons who commit treasonable offences, including the Crimes Act, are already *on* the statute-book. The second reason why the bill will fail to achieve its purpose, even though it withstands legal challenge, is that an ideal can never be destroyed by an act of Parliament. History has .proved the truth of that assertion over and over again. Although these facts are known to the Prime Minister he disregards them because he looks upon this bill as a necessary part of his campaign to capitalize politically the fear that exists in the minds of the people in relation to communism. That the outlawing of the Communist party cannot be effective is obvious to those who have studied history. In all countries Communists have always been a jump ahead of the legislature and of judicial machinery. Let us consider what success has attended the efforts of governments of other countries to ban the Communist party. In Canada, the Communist party was banned in 1940. The party merely changed its name. In Switzerland also, when the Communist party was banned in 1940, tie party changed its name. "When the ban was lifted later it did not bother to revert to its original title. In Brazil, the Communist party, although banned, carried on its activities underground. In Franco Spain, ruthless suppression of the Communist party was equally ineffective. In that country the Communist party is flourishing vigorously underground. In Russia in the years prior to 1917 all efforts to destroy the Communist party failed notwithstanding that they were accompanied by expulsions and gaolings. This Government seeks to achieve what the governments of other countries have failed to achieve. When, in 1917, the Russian Revolution had attained some measure of success, Communists who had been expelled from other countries flocked to Russia and all efforts to destroy the Communist party throughout the world completely failed. Communism grows stronger where wealth and abject poverty, misery and degradation exist among the people. Another depression could smash the living standards of the great bulk of the people of Australia and swell the army of the hopeless. The Communists would then intensify their efforts in a very fertile field. Communism cannot be stamped out by suppressing the Communist party, by challenging it in nega tive terms or by taking purely negative action. Communism can best be combated in Australia, and for that matter in any part of the world, by ensuring the security and freedom of the people and by uplifting their living standards. These are the means by which communism can best he attacked: First, it can be combated by reducing the great social gaps so that there shall be no very rich and very poor people in the community. That can be achieved by the reduction of taxes, the lowering of prices, and the raising of living standards. Secondly, communism can be attacked by strengthening and continually expanding social security, and by increasing unemployment, sickness and accident benefits, age and invalid pensions and the like. President Truman is facing the same sort of problem in the United States of America. He is being assailed by vested interests of all kinds. He realizes that if he is to succeed in his fight against communism, *he* must fight it in the economic and social fields. Thirdly, communism can be rendered' ineffective by making our economy depression-proof by the provision of safeguards against stagnation and the immediate implementation of a programme of national developmental work9. I have endeavoured unsuccessfully on many occasions during the last few weeks to obtain information from the Government about its plans for national development. Up to the present the only information T have received is that the Treasurer **(Mr. Fadden)** will not make money available for that purpose. A programme of national developmental works should be drawn up for immediate implementation in the event of a recession. We do not want a repetition of the . conditions that existed in 1932 when onethird of the people of this country walked the streets looking for work. We should foam from the bitter lessons of the past. Surely honorable members opposite realize that if another such catastrophe should hit this country a glorious opportunity would be provided for the growth and expansion of communism. Fourthly, the menace of communism can be dealt with by making provision for a greater flow of goods between one country and another. Fifthly, we can attack communism by removing currency barriers and by restoring the convertability of currency. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -The honorable member is getting outside the scope of the bill. {: .speaker-KZ9} ##### Mr RIORDAN: -- I am endeavouring to indicate, **Mr. Speaker,** the means by which communism in this country can best be attacked. Sixthly, we can stem the tide of communism by a return to the Christian way of life and living. Finally, we can combat communism by establishing complete economic and social security. We should fight the Communists with weapons that the people understand. Wc should improve the living standards of the people and ensure to them that security and freedom which every man desires for himself and his family. *Sitting suspended from 5.58 to 8 p.m.* {: #subdebate-24-0-s6 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Bradfield **.- Mr. Speaker,** there is something unprecedented in this measure, not only in its range and scope, and the' circumstances under which it has been introduced, but also in the manner in which it has been received in this House. Everybody is for it, but some are not so much for it as others are. It is a bill which, by general consent, is aimed at a party to which every honorable member in this House is opposed. Scathing denunciations of communism have been made by honorable members in all sections of the House. Surely the Government might expect whole-hearted support of its policy a9 set out in this bill. But whilst everybody, as I have said, is for the bill and everybody denounces communism, the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Chifley)** approaches this measure in a characteristically cautious manner. Except for one brief interval in his career, he has always been against driving the Communists underground. The very name of communism is, to him, sacrosanct. He approaches the matter with doubt and hesitation and deprecating words. He says that communism should not be sent underground, because while it has legality it can be fought. "What has he done to fight it? Until this bill was brought down, nothing. Communism is acknowledged to be more powerful in this country to-day than ever it was. The right honorable member cannot rid himself of the heavy responsibility for the fact that during his eight years of office he did nothing whatever to fight it and nothing to avert its advance. I except on the one occasion to which I have referred, when he showed that even he could be pushed too far by these gentlemen who now clamour for free speech and the rights of free citizenship in this wonderful country of ours. This is a tolerant country; a country that permits sedition and treachery which has been aimed at its very heart to pass unnoticed or, at any rate, untouched. But during the coal strike, which happened not so very long ago the right honorable member showed that he could not be driven too far and that people should not take all that he said about communism too much to heart. After talking to the coalminers in a very friendly way and bidding them return to the paths of righteousness, but without avail, he unloosed the full force of the powers of this Commonwealth and sent the soldiers to work the mines. I have as much right as any man to speak about Labour, and I say that I never knew a Labour leader who would have dreamt of doing such a thing as this until the right honorable member for Macquarie did it. He did not like unloosing the armed forces of the Commonwealth, but he did so because he dared not call upon the Australian Workers Union to do the work. The Australian Workers Union was prepared to work the mines with union labour. . {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- They were not. That is a lie. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! What honorable member said that the statement was a lie? {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I did. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The statement will be withdrawn. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I shall not withdraw it, because it is a lie. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order ! I name the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron).** That expression must not be used in this House. {: .speaker-JWT} ##### Mr Francis: -- It is my unpleasant duty to move - >That the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** be suspended from thu service of the House. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I shall give the honorable member for Hindmarsh a final chance to withdraw and apologize. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I say that the statement is false. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Does the honorable member withdraw the word " lie " ? {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I withdraw the word " lie " and substitute the word " false ". {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Order ! The honorable member cannot substitute another word. He must withdraw the expression without qualification and apologize to the Chair for having used it. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- If I do so shall I have an opportunity, on the adjournment, to speak on the point? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member will have an opportunity, on the adjournment, to explain himself if he has been misrepresented. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- On the adjournment? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -I cannot say at the moment whether or not the honorable member will be able to speak on the adjournment. He must now withdraw unreservedly and apologize. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- If I am to have that opportunity, I do withdraw the statement. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Order ! The honorable member may not withdraw the statement conditionally. Does he withdraw and apologize? {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I have said that I withdraw. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- And does the honorable, member apologize? {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Yes, because of the opportunity I shall have to explain my position. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The withdrawal must be unconditional. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I withdraw and apologize. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- The statement is still false. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order ! The honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward)** should contain himself. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- I shall leave that matter because it is evidently a sore point with some honorable members. As I have said, honorable members on the Opposition side of the House have made the most scathing denunciations of communism, yet in the eight years during which they were in office they did nothing whatever to check its progress, but, on the other hand, by their spineless inaction encouraged its growth. This is borne out by the fact that it is stronger far to-day than it was when they assumed office. Let us get to close grips with this matter. The people of this country stand for liberty of thought, of speech, and of action within very wide limits. *No* people in the world enjoy a wider measure of freedom than do the people of this country. I remind honorable members that this liberty has come to them under our free system of government. Yet under this system capitalism has had free scope. The honorable member for Hume **(Mr. Charles Anderson)** reminded us that under this system those who were cast down have now been raised up. Every man in this country has had and now has the freest possible scope for his abilities. He can raise himself, if he has the ability, to any position in the country. I myself am a living example of that. Under this system the Labour party has become a great power in the land. I would nor suggest for a moment that the Labour party, as a party, is communistic. Bur I say that members of the Labour party must accept the responsibility for the alarming progress of communism in this country during the last eight years. What does communism stand for? I shall quote Lenin's own words in which he set out the objectives, aims and methods of communism. He said - >The basic rule is to exploit the conflicting interests of the two imperialistic states and systems. We cannot live peacefully - either one side or the other will win out. Wc have not forgotten that war will come back. Wc cannot live in peace - memorial services will bs sung either over the Soviet Republic or over world capitalism. But until this takes place, the principal rule is to dodge and manoeuvre . . We must be prepared for every and any sacrifices and even, if necessary, to practice trickery; to employ cunning; to resort to illegal methods; to sometimes overlook or conceal the truth - all for the sake of penetrating into the trades unions; to stay there and by every and all means to carry on the work of communism. That is a revelation of communism which ought to find its way into the hearts of the people of this country and of every honorable member in this House. Rut the Leader of the Opposition refers to this treacherous, subversive and seditious purpose as "Ideological Philosophy" and implores us not to drive it underground. What can communism do underground that it cannot do now? Communism is a dagger at the heart of this country. Everything that we value, material and spiritual, is in deadly peril. The world fears war. From what quarter can war come except from Russia? Russia is communism and communism is Russia and;i as Lenin says, we cannot live in peace; one party or the other must go down. Which is it to be? The Leader of the Opposition and some of his supporters say that the Government must pull its punches; that it must not hit too hard ; that whilst it is permissible for it, in an academic way, to say something about communism, it must not do anything lest it infringe the rights and liberties of these gentlemen who are our fellow citizens. The right honorable member said that he saw a great danger to unionism in this attempt to limit the power of unions to select their own leaders. He demanded, in effect, that we should allow trade unions to continue to engage Communists as their leaders - and there is no doubt whatever that, with the notable exception of the Australian Workers Union, all the great 'Unions of Australia to-day are led by Communists. We are asked to believe that those Communist leaders are in their positions because that is the wish of a majority of unionists; but any one who is familiar with the workings of unionism knows that there is no truth whatever in such a statement. The Leader of the Opposition should know that perfectly well, because he is a unionist. He should know that, in practice, most unionists leave the business of their unions to the few. They do not attend union meetings or, if they do attend, they are over-awed or outmanoeuvred by the disciplined minority that represents the Communist party. I speak from the great experience that I gained with one set of unions. For twenty years I was the executive officer of the Sydney Wharf Labourers Union. I established the Waterside Workers Federation and was its president for fourteen years. I was the head of the transport workers' industrial organization, for which some members of the Opposition can vouch because they were members of that federation. Unionism flourished and became the power in the land that it is under the system of government that is imperilled by the Communist party and its adherents in Australia. I repeat that the peoples of the world fear war. From what quarter do they apprehend attack? No power threatens them save Russia. People speak about the cold war, but that has been proceeding for many years. There is also a hot war, a shooting war, and nobody has attempted to do anything about it. Look where Russia is to-day. Russia is communism. Without Russia, communism would be at large without a directing force. When World War I. ended, Russia's security was more effectively assured than it had been at any other time in its long and chequered history. To-day, Russia has gained half the world. It now controls effectively, either *de jure* or *de facto,* 1,100,000,000 people- half the population of the world. Communism is not an insignificant movement confined within narrow territorial limits, and with objectives which threaten the security of no other nation. It is a world force which aims at the enslavement of mankind, as some honorable members have suggested. Members of the Opposition have even asserted that this Parliament has no power to deal with the Communist party. Tell the people of Australia that we have no power to deal with the organization that has cawed countless strikes, stoppages and labour upheavals and that threatens us with war, and listen to their reply! The honorable member for Kennedy **("Mr. Riordan)** declared that the bill was *ultra vires* and that the Parliament lacked the power necessary to enact any measure that could deal effectively with the deadly peril that menaces everything that we cherish. Let us consider where we stand. War may break out, but other perils besides a shooting war threaten the nation. The population of Japan is increasing at the rate of 2,000,000 a year and now totals almost 84,000,000. All populations are limited by food supplies. Saturation point has been reached in Japan. Where are the surplus millions of Japanese to go ? They must get out of Japan or perish. Where in the world, is there room for these millions? Where can they find food or make homes for themselves? Where is there a country at once so inviting and so vulnerable as is Australia? Throughout my political life I have done my best to arouse the nation to a realization that *ve* can hold this continent only if we prove ourselves fit to develop its resources and, should the need arise, to defend it. We have done great things in defending our country. The White Australia policy, which was mentioned by the honorable member for Melbourne **(Mr. Calwell)** in this House a few days ago, has been in force since the very establishment of this Commonwealth. That policy would have been but an empty boast but for the fact that we had behind us the strength of the British Navy. We nestled securely under itr wing for 160 years, but those days arc gone. The security that we owed in part to our remoteness has gone. The command of the seas is no longer the dominant factor in the maintenance of world peace. We have the atom bomb, we have conquered the air, and revolutionary changes have taken place in the outlook of men. After all, in this world " there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so Communism is an everpresent terrible danger to the free nations of the world because hundreds of millions now lisp its litanies. The people of Australia must do everything within their power to arrest the onward march of Russia and communism. As I have said, communism now prevails over 1,100,000,000 people. All Eastern Europe is under its sway. It stands with its foot on the very edge of the Mediterranean, which will give it command of Africa and the Suez Canal, the gateway to Australia. Yet we are told to do nothing! Russia is an armed camp. It can put millions of men into the field. Its naval, land and air forces far exceed those of any other country. Yet we are told that we must not drive communism underground. I should be the last to claim, even for a moment, that this measure represented in any way an attack upon Labour. I would never lend myself to such an attack. My political career would provide a complete answer to such a charge if ever it were made against me. But I believe that Labour must be up and doing if it wishes to continue as a great force in this country. It must purge itself of the evil forces of communism. It must smite its enemies hip and thigh. It ought to be the very vanguard of those who wish to defeat, or at least arrest, the onward march of communism. The right honorable member for Barton **(Dr. Evatt)** has said that the bill is not constitutional. Tell the people that this danger, which threatens everything spiritual and material that they value, is beyond the control of this Parliament and they will rouse themselves and raise a shout that will move men to action, demanding that the power shall be given to us. This National Parliament ought to have the power to deal with all national problems. A threat is aimed at the heart of the nation and, if anything stands in the way of our defence against that danger, the impediment must be removed. I have spoken very warmly because I feel warmly on this subject. I warn honorable members that there is an unbridgeable gulf between communism and us. Communism is opposed to everything that we believe in. We believe in liberty, they sneer at liberty. We believe in the rule of law and in. arbitration. I remind the right honorable member for Barton of the fact that, although the law forbade all strikes in the coal industry and he had the power to launch prosecutions against lawbreakers when he was Attorney-General, the prosecutions that he did launch could be counted on the fingers of one hand. This country depends absolutely upon the power that is derived from coal, but he did virtually nothing to prevent strikes in the coal industry. We believe in arbitration; the Communists spit on arbitration. They use arbitration when it serves them and put it behind them when it does not serve them. That applies in particular to the Waterside Workers Federation, to which I gave some of the best years of my life. It has fallen into the hands of avowed Communists, who lead processions on May Day. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order ! The right honorable gentleman's time has expired. Debate interrupted. {: .page-start } page 2538 {:#debate-25} ### DISTINGUISHED VISITOR {: #debate-25-s0 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I desire to inform the House that the Right Honorable Malcolm MacDonald, CommissionerGeneral for the United Kingdom in SouthEast Asia, is within the precincts of the chamber. With the concurrence of honorable members, I shall invite him to take a seat on the floor of the House beside the Speaker's chair. Honorable Members. - Hear, hear ! *The Right Honorable Malcolm MacDonald thereupon entered the chamber, and was seated accordingly.* {: .page-start } page 2538 {:#debate-26} ### COMMUNIST PARTY DISSOLUTION BILL 1950 {:#subdebate-26-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed. {: #subdebate-26-0-s0 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Has the honorable member been misrepresented? {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Yes. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Personally misrepresented ? {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Yes. The right honorable member for Bradfield **(Mr. Hughes)** made a statement that my union- {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order ! The honorable member cannot speak for his union when making a personal explanation. The honorable gentleman is not a union. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I am a member of the controlling body of a union. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member cannot make a personal explanation for anybody but himself. {: #subdebate-26-0-s1 .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr FRASER:
Monaro · Eden -- The right honorable member for Bradfield **(Mr. Hughes)** is naturally concerned about this measure. The reputation as a dictator which he established when Prime Minister is to be made a pale and colourless thing by comparison with that of the present Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** if this bill is approved. The right honorable member for Bradfield spoke of fighting Communists. In this connexion it is fair to recall the efforts of the right honorable gentleman himself when fighting Communists during the year 1941 when Australia was in the midst of war. We all remember the Australian Democratic Front. We shall all remember the secret funds and how the right honorable gentleman fought the Communists at that time by making money payments to them. That is all I wish to say except that he will be remembered best for happier days, even though to-night he has shown that he still possesses ability and logic far superior to that possessed by most honorable members on the Government side. The Labour party has described this bill as repugnant to the democratic concept, and it is well asked why therefore we shall not oppose it by vote on the second reading. The grounds for that are of great importance. First, the Liberal and Country parties made the dissolution of the Communist party a prominent plank in their general election platform. They did not sail under false colours on that issue. They set out their undemocratic proposal nakedly and in specific terms. The Labour party stood against that proposal and was defeated in the election. The verdict of the people has been given and a mandate can be claimed by the Government. But I do not accept such a mandate on such a matter as sufficient reason, by itself, for this kind of legislation. I hope to show later why that is my attitude. For the moment I shall proceed briefly to the other grounds in answer to the question I posed in ray first remarks, because I know many people with true liberal ideals, in this country are deeply troubled by this very question of the attitude of the Labour party to the second reading of this bill. Because we declare our view that the Government's policy in this matter is unsound, both in principle and practice, it by no means follows that we do not recognize the need for some positive policy in relation to the Communist party. On the contrary, the Labour party has always unreservedly declared that the Communist party is a menace to the wellbeing of every Australian home. It is a menace in the same way as are the provisions of this legislation. The Labour party has always pursued a positive policy against the Communist party and during the eight years of Labour in office the number of members of the Australian Communist party in this country was reduced from 25,000 to 13,000. With a continuance of the Labour Government the number would have continued to fall until it had become insignificant. But Labour no longer being in office cannot now apply its policy; instead it can merely thwart the application of any other policy than its own through its Senate majority. In the result there might be no policy at r.ll on a matter which it is agreed needs strong action. It could be argued that that would be an untenable position for any political party to take up. There is another matter of major importance, and that is the Government's claim to special knowledge of dangers facing this nation. That is information which the Government says it cannot reveal to this House. The dangers are supposed to flow from the imminence of a shooting war with Russia. We are only technically at peace now, says the Prime Minister, and he alleges that a criminal conspiracy exists amongst the top Communists aimed at the internal destruction of this nation. Every government is charged with the prime duty of defending Australia. This Government makes these grave statements of the imminence of war, and of the existence of a treasonable plot, not on the mere basis of press reports that are available to everybody but on the basis of secret information of the kind that is available only to governments and which cannot be revealed. The Opposition has no access to that information and no means of weighing or checking it. The responsibility for those statements and the responsibility for the defence of Australia both rest upon the government of the day, not only this Government, but whatever government might be in .office. An immense and improper responsibility would be assumed by any Opposition which chose to set aside completely such statements merely because it has not had fin opportunity of checking or weighing ;.hem. Likewise a responsibility rests upon the government of the day to obtain the power that it claims its secret despatches show that it requires. I put forward these considerations briefly at the outset because there are so many citizens who hate this legislation as much as I do, to whom this matter is of very great importance. I trust that they will recognize the weight of these contentions. Some honorable members on the Government side have said that it is enough that the Government has a mandate. They say that that is all the justification that it needs for its legislation. I refuse to bow to such a contention as that. The principle advanced by these honorable members rests on the unqualified acceptance of majority rule. If another Nazi-minded government obtained an electoral majority to imprison and send to lethal chambers all Jews, or members of any other minority religion, would the right to do that have to be conceded to the Government because the majority had spoken? To reverse the case, if the Government of Israel received an electoral majority for a proposal to suppress and annihilate the Arab minority, must all good democrats accept that mandate simply because the Government had won a victory at the polls? By no means; all individual human rights could be outraged if that principle were correct. The Labour party tells the Government that there are well-defined limits to its mandate on this subject. It says that the Government is seeking to exceed its mandate with unexampled tyranny. It is making an assault on the rights of ordinary people. The Labour party will fight these excesses, and for that reason it will propose a number of safe-guarding amendments to the bill. The Labour party puts them forward as being necessary, and as therefore being the minimum changes needed in the bill. Passage of these amendments will still enable the Government to fulfil its pledge to the electorate to dissolve the Communist party, but the amendments will substantially reduce the very wide powers which the Government is seeking under this hill. The proposed amendments are to safeguard the people, and at this point another question may well be asked. That is: Why safeguard Communists; why should disloyalists be defended at all? The defence is not of Communists, or disloyalists as such; it is a defence of rights and freedoms which long experience has taught us that all men must possess unless they are removed from them by due process of law upon proof of guilt. There must be proof of their guilt and a conviction in a duly constituted court. That is our British system. Despite those who to-day sneer at Britain's difficulties, who praise every country except their own and who preach a foreign ideology, let us be wise enough to recognize the imperishable value of the British concepts of freedom and justice, and let us hold fast to every one of them. " {: .speaker-JRJ} ##### Mr Bowden: -- Even at the expense of annihilation ? {: #subdebate-26-0-s2 .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr FRASER:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- I know the Communist party as the subtle enemy of these concepts. I accept that honorable members opposite are similar enemies because they would destroy those concepts by this infamous bill. Far from defending Communists, the Labour party has fought them and is fighting them to-day in both the political and the industrial world. It is fighting them and winning. I see with me to-night colleagues who, during the last twenty years, have never ceased from opposing the Communists. There are men here who have been set upon in dark streets by gangs of bashers. They have been kicked and left for dead, but have risen to carry on the struggle. They are still fighting. The Labour party is the enemy of the Communist party, and until that party has destroyed the Labour party it cannot obtain power in this country. What happened in other countries will happen here. The big business Nazis and the rural Fascists are the allies of the Communists and are fighting for the destruction of the Labour party. We shall not deliver ourselves into their hands. *Honorable members interjecting:,* {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- There is altogether too much interjection. The honorable member is entitled to a fair and uninterrupted hearing. {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr FRASER: -The Communist party can be a deadly menace to Australia's well-being in two ways: first, by the actions of its members either singly or in joint enterprises; and secondly, by the spread of the ideas that it holds, and their acceptance in this community. Since the spread of the ideas that it holds, and their acceptance in this community. If we have to deal with those two deadly menaces, let us examine the first of them - the Communist actions that may be injurious to this country. To deal with those actions law enforcement agencies exist; the laws themselves exist and they are very wide and stringent; the police forces, the special police forces, the peace forces and the security forces exist; the law courts, the magistrates, the justices and the judges exist; and the prison cells, the reformatories and the prison camps are already in existence. If the existing laws to deal with illegal actions are not strong enough - and they are very strong - then they can be strengthened. {: .speaker-ZL6} ##### Mr Hasluck: -- As they are by this bill? {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr FRASER: -- No, I shall show how they can be strengthened. If the law enforcement officers are insufficient - and there are many thousands of them - they can be reinforced. The peace forces and the security forces can be doubled in size. Similarly, if there are not enough courts, magistrates, and judges and if there are not enough prisons to hold those who have been proved guilty and convicted in the courts, they can be provided. The honorable member for Curtin **(Mr. Hasluck)** considers thai, such remedies will be provided by this bill. That is an entirely innocent belief. The Government will not accept the way I am describing. It insists on tearing down the structure of British justice and British freedom and of branding as " un-British " all those who stand in its way in this matter, because - and this is the point that I wish to make - it seeks to tear down the fundamental principle that the law is no respecter of persons. When acts or utterances are made illegal under British law they must be applicable to any person irrespective of who commits or makes them. That is the principle. The bill ignores it by placing persons and groups of persons beyond the law. I do not for one moment believe that the ordinary people of Australia are unaware of the vital importance of maintaining that principle of British law, of the importance to them, to their families and to their neighbours. I am sure that whenever the opportunity comes, they will show just how much importance they do attach to it. So much, then, for the means of dealing with the actions that members of the Communist party could commit against the interests of this country. But it is equally essential to counter ideas that are promulgated by the Communist party. This Government seeks to do so by an Act of Parliament, by a law, and by the forces that are arrayed to implement it. Is there anyone foolish enough to think that it can be done by those means? The Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Chifley),** in his second-reading speech, quoted Pandit Nehru's splendid statement - >You cannot impale an idea on the point of a bayonet. Of course you cannot, and the whole lesson of history is that every attempt to suppress an idea actually spreads that idea. This bill will have that effect unless every lesson of history is wrong. The Government, by this kind of action, will arouse sympathy and support for men who may not deserve it. It will issue a challenge to young and adventurous minds to study and to uphold the ideas which, by this legislation, it will become dangerous to possess. It will place a stone in the path of every man who seeks by persuasion to defeat those idea.3, because it will enable him to be nortrayed even wrongly, as an ally of those who seek to defeat those ideas by force. The only way in which the idea that is propagated by the Communist party may be defeated is by presenting a better idea, and by making it a read and living thing in our community and in our lives. What is that better idea? Surely it is the idea of the supremacy of the individual over the State - the State as the servant of the individual and never his master. Surely it is the idea of the dignity of human personality, of the right of every ordinary man to even-handed justice, of his right to worship his God as he chooses, of his right to express his opinion freely, of his right to useful work and to choose the work that he will do and of his right to provide for his family and to enjoy their society - the sacred rights of hie home. That is the better idea which the Labour party poses against the Communist idea. {: .speaker-KCQ} ##### Mr Graham: -- The honorable member is quoting from Liberal party policy. {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr FRASER: -- That policy is belied by this bill. I believe that all those rights to which I have referred are extinguished in the countries that to-day are ruled by totalitarian governments. I believe also that the Communist party method, by which the end justifies the means, by which fraud, falsehood and slander are permissible against every one who stands in the party's way, does represent a potential threat and danger to all those things that I have just described. But the very provisions of this bill are an equal threat to the existence of those essential ingredients of individual freedom and individual justice. To escape a Communist dictatorship, we do not have to cast ourselves into the hands of a Fascist dictatorship, and I am certain that the Australian people will never knowingly do so. {: .speaker-KXW} ##### Mr Pearce: **Mr. Pearce** *interjecting ,* {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr FRASER: -The honorable member for Capricornia **(Mr. Pearce)** apparently thinks that the people would knowingly do so. He is very frank. {: .speaker-KXW} ##### Mr Pearce: -- Approximately 95 per cent, of the people are in favour of this bill. {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr FRASER: -The honorable member does not mean that 95 per cent, of the Australian people would knowingly cast themselves into the hands of a fascist dictatorship? However, there i3 no need for them to do so. It is by the strength of the democratic idea, and by our adherence to it, that the strength of communism has been minimized in this country. It. is only by a departure from the democratic idea, as is intended by this bill, that we shall open the way for the victory of materialist ideas, in which all moral considerations are swept aside like chaff before the wind. We shall have no need of fascist and repressive laws if each and all of us make our democratic faith a living and a burning thing in our lives; if we defend the right to express -even those opinions that are most repugnant to us.; if we assert the cause of even the humblest -citizen who is threatened with injustice, no matter what his political opinions may be; if we curb the exercise of executive power and establish unquestioned the supremacy of the Parliament over the officials; and if we proclaim the family as the basis of our society and the rights of ordinary men and women as the crowning glory of the State. We should .give that lead to the Australian people, .and be ready to examine with open and welcoming minds every proposal for the improvement of their social and -economic lot. If we do those things we shall gain from the people of this nation' such an overwhelming response as will submerge every totalitarian concept, 'Communist and fascist alike. That is the task of the Australian Labour party, as I conceive it, and the -task to which I believe it a3 standing in its determination to amend this measure. There have been some departures from that concept. It was inevitable in the fury and emergency of a desperate war that some mistakes should occur, that some individual rights should be trampled, and that some injustices should be perpetrated. Even so, as I look back on those days, T am proud that "the Labour 'Government, under the great leadership of the late **Mr. John** 'Curtin, and on the initiative -of the right honorable member for "Barton **(Dr. Evatt)** as Attorney-General, even in the midst df that struggle, established : a committee to correct those 'mistakes, 'to remedy "those injustices and 'to restore those individual rights as far as it was possible to do so. Even in the midst of that struggle the Labour "Government paused 'to -study the recommendations of that committee and to give substantial effect 'to -them. "I refer particularly 'to the striking out of many averment provisions from the National Security Regulations and 'the restoration, so far as was 'possible, of the proper onus of proof. That 'action was taken by the right honorable member if 01- Barton as Attorney-General in the Labour Government,in the midst, of the war. But I have never heard so snivelling and contemptible an argument as is now produced that because some had provisions have crept into some laws and that because some British rights ha¥e been prejudiced in some instances, the Australian people should now permit far greater excesses to be committed against their British rights. That argument will he unhesitatingly rejected by every Australian to -whom it is submitted. The claim of the Government to bt invested with these powers rests on one main argument. It is that they are necessary for defence, and that those' whom it seeks to attack have abused their freedom under our laws. I think that I .have given a fair statement -of the argument in support of the .granting of those powers to the 'Government, but I .remind the Hongthat exactly the same argument has been produced by -every government in history that has sought to suppress unpopular minorities in its midst. From the Athenians who killed Socrates to the Nazis who .hounded the Jews into concentration camps and to the Communists who, in Russia, .and in other countries to-day, suppress minorities, the justification that has been put forward in every instance - and no doubt it ira* been fanatically believed - has been and is that such action has been necessary for the security of the nation, and that the minority has been abusing its freedom. That has always been the argument. Those who advocate the repressive provisions df this bill must in future abstain from all -outcry ^against totalitarian methods in other lands, or they .must assert that, although every-one-eke everywhere and at -every 'time who has claimed -that justification has been wrong, .they, in .the year 19.50 in -Australia >are the first 'ever to-be right. let us glance .again .at -some of the tyrannical provisions of this, legislation. I have only a few 'moments :in which to do so, and, therefore, 'I choose only two of them. It is true that the' Government pro.poses, I understand, 'to accept some amendments, not because it believes that "they are necessary, but because it realizes that it has misjudged public opinion, and, therefore, is prepared to make .'such ^concessions 'as :it believes to be necessary to -meet the ^situation. Under clause 9, the Government is still seeking power to declare an individual without his first having anyright to hear what is alleged against him or to be heard in his defence. That declaration is equivalent to a brand of treason, despite the fact that the person concerned has not had an opportunity to hear the charge alleged against him or to say anything in his own defence. The brand of treason will be placed on him, and even if the courts later vindicate him, the slur of the declaration will remain, and in a heated state of public opinion, will do him and his family incalculable barm. Under clause 5, any organization may be declared an unlawful association if the Government claims that its policy was even substantially influenced, not by members of the Communist party, not by persons of any political affiliations at all, but by persons who supported any of the objectives or principles that were expounded by Marx and Lenin ) and, again, if the Government declares it to he a body that is calculated to be likely to interfere with the safety of the nation. That is the kind of power which the Government is seeking. It is completely undemocratic in concept, and- I am certain that the Australian people will not endorse it when an appeal is made to them on the issue. By whom are those wide powers to B* used'? It may be' said *that.* although: they are1 tremendously wide, the' Government can be trusted *with them,* because- ft will use them wisely" and1 safely: Who stand's" *st* the head' of the Government that seeks those powers? He: is ai dangerous man,, bee Suae he' is" a political renegade. He- i» a political renegade because: once he knew the importance o£ those; freedoms' and Supported' them,, ami opposed the very course- tha-t now,, f.orr the sake of the; political- advantage, and! expediency which have placed him. at the head of the Government, ha has espoused-. There is no manmore dangerous" than1 the renegade, because! he is= a- man who will go to the utmost, excess- just as- this man will if heis. ever given the opportunity to-do so. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order ! Mk FRASER'.- Look at His record when, he was Prime Minister before. He iff a man of such a character that' he brought about the dissolution of his own Government, and he was branded by his own supporters as completely untrustworthy. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr FRASER: -- Then look at the extraordinary development of this man in this chamber even in recent weeks. Every one has been able to observe his growing arrogance, his impatience of all criticism, his blackguarding of every opponent. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr FRASER: -- That makes him completely unfit to exercise these powers. **Mr. MCCOLM** (Bowman) [9.1 J Before I turn to the bill itself - Mf. SPEAKER.- Order" ! Roth sides of the House are showing a tendency to become boisterous. I hope that calm will prevail. {: #subdebate-26-0-s3 .speaker-KQJ} ##### Mr McCOLM: -- Before turning to the bill itself, I should like to express my pleasure at the very great honour that is mine in being the first Government speaker to follow the right honorable member f of Bradfield **(Mr. Hughes).** Not only is it a great honour to do1 so, but it is also extremely disconcerting because the right honorable gentleman's great record *®i* service to' this country aid his undoubted ability are' rather awe-inspiring for' a comparative newcomer to the politi cal field. When I made my maiden Speech- in' this House I stated1 that f consider! that one of the most important of the measures foreshadowed in the GovernorGeneral's Speech wa's- a' measure £o deal with' subversive activities and' parkcularly to Baa the Communist party! *1* aim' pleased1 1/hat' the Government nas- been a'ble' to" introduce* legislation to deal with those organisations and' with' the Communist party so' soon' after' it£ return' fid power.. Itf is- Wile-that *A'* few measures that' are perfect from the" start come' before any Parliament and I believe' that it is the duty df an' Opposition to submit' amendment' that it considers justifiable in the interests of the' country. But such amendments should riot' be- submitted in a"ny- spirit o"f political hypocrisy or of political expediency. I consider that some portions'- of the present measure could be improved1 Ky amendment1, and I trust that amendments to' them will Be submitted) but, as I have said, I hope that they will be submitted in the right spirit. The first thing that we should consider, as other honorable members, including the right honorable member for Bradfield, have stated, is that this bill has been introduced as a defence measure, with the purpose of defending His Majesty's realm and our Commonwealth of Australia. There are few matters of greater importance to the Australian Commonwealth or to the British Empire. It is amazing that almost every honorable member opposite who has risen to speak on this matter has started off by saying that he proposes to vote for the measure. Honorable members opposite agree with the preamble to the bill and that the Communist party of Australia is a subversive and dangerous body. They knew that long ago, and so I consider that they stand condemned out of their own mouths because one of the prime functions of au Australian Government is to protect the Constitution and the Commonwealth. They failed to do that when they were in office. They failed to take any action against treachery and treason, although they admit that there are treasonable organizations in this country. I now turn to some of the statements made by the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Chifley),** because I believe that they should never have been made by a man of his experience and intelligence. To start with he said that history had more or less shown us that every minority group that had been suppressed had eventually come to power. He implied by that statement that one day he expected to see Russian communism in power in Australia. That is truly an amazing statement to nome from a man who is an ex-Prime Minister of this country and who is now Leader of His Majesty's Opposition. He mentioned among other things that other countries of the British Commonwealth and of the world are opposed to this legislation to ban the Communist party because they believe that it is an undemocratic measure. Yet we find that the governments of countries like Canada and the United Kingdom agree with us about the danger of communism, because now when they find dangerous Communists in posts that demand secrecy they withdraw them from these posts if, in their slowness, they find them in time. I believe that removal of men from their positions merely because they are members of a party that is considered to be legal or of an organization that is recognized as being legal, is the greatest negation of democracy of which I have ever heard. The honorable member for EdenMonaro **(Mr. Fraser)** has stated that hu believes that history has proven to us that this legislation cannot succeed because similar legislation has never succeeded in the past. He used the same argument as his leader that minority groups that have been suppressed have eventually come forward and taken control. I remind him of the atomic bomb. If he believes in his own theory he could never believe in the existence of the atomic bomb, since there had never been one before. There has to be a first time for everything. I believe that this Government is leading the other countries of the British Commonwealth by introducing legislation that will prove effective in dealing with the enemies of our Commonwealth. The Leader of the Opposition mentioned at one stage that sections of the Commonwealth Crimes Act confer sufficient powers to enable the Government to deal with Communists. He seemed to forget that as Leader of the Labour party he is pledged under the terms of that party's platform to repeal those sections of that act. I consider that a gentleman in his position should reason more wisely before he makes such statements. The Leader of the Opposition asked all honorable members on this side of the House to make themselves clear about where they stood concerning their opinions of the associations or affiliations between the Labour party and the Communist party. I should like to make myself very clear on that point. I do not believe that there is any direct association between the Labour party and the Communist party, or that there is any desire in the Labour party to have such a direct association. But I dislike fascism and communism and in that respect I agree with the honorable member for "Watson **(Mr. Cm tin),** so I cannot help remembering that Nazi-ism in Germany was " National Socialism ", that Russia is the Union of " Socialist '' Soviet Republics and that the Labour party has recently boasted of socialistic intentions. I have no fear that there is any immediate desire on the part of the Labour party for an association with the Communist party. I think that honorable members opposite sincerely believe that their socialistic theories can assist our Commonwealth. 1 consider, however, that they forget that history has shown that no government has ever adopted a policy of full governmental control of the means of production, distribution and exchange without eventually being led, whether it wanted to be or not, to totalitarianism. Any totalitarian State is akin to communism. In that respect 1 believe that there is a danger, not in the ultimate objectives of the Labour party but in the ultimate results of the actions of the Labour party. The main opposition that honorable members opposite have advanced to this hill - although they say that they will vote for it, which is a most peculiar position with which I shall deal later - seems to spring from the Government's proposals in relation to communism in the trade union movement. Honorable members will recall that before this bill was actually introduced the Leader of the Opposition and other members of his party said that they believed that the bill was intended merely to smash trade unionism. {: .speaker-K8B} ##### Mr Curtin: -- So it was! {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! {: .speaker-KQJ} ##### Mr McCOLM: -- I am very pleased to hear the honorable member say that. He is talking nonsense but he is at least consistent. Honorable members opposite will by now have realized that this legislation has been very carefully prepared to ensure that it shall not interfere with trade unionism. If honorable members opposite cla'm that any trade union has the right to harbour a Communist within its ranks and to he directed by known Communists and known traitors, then I claim that such trade unions must give way to the power of the elected government of the country, been use any trade union- {: .speaker-K8B} ##### Mr Curtin: **Mr. Curtin** *interjecting,* {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! {: .speaker-KQJ} ##### Mr McCOLM: -- No trade union hasthe right to dictate to the Government of the country. 1 believe that a great majority of honorable members opposite know of, and believe in, the sincerity of the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies).** Most of them are familiar with the splendid work that he has done for trade unions in the past, and they talk with their tongues in their cheeks when they say that they are afraid that this legislation has been designed to damage the trade unions. Its purpose is to root out the traitors in our midst and in the midst of the trade unions. I, for one, would take strong exception if this legislation were merely intended, or were used in any way, to damage the genuine trade union movement. Most other honorable members on this side of the House would feel the same about it. I believe that honorable members opposite who represent the great trade union movement should remember that they have said that the trade unions themselves can defeat communism in their ranks. They did not add the words " given time ", but it is quite obvious that they would need time to defeat the Communists. I know and believe that the majority of the trade unions are doing what is in their power to root out the Communists in their midst but all the dangerous Communists in our Commonwealth who are in positions in which they can do harm are not necessarily members of trade unions. So that if the matter of rooting out Communists was left entirely to trade unionists their work against the Communists- in their midst would not affect these other Communists in any way. It could not affect a Communist who was working on a secret or defence project, in one of the armed services or in the Commonwealth Public Service. This legislation amply covers Communists who are outside the trade union movement and who incidentally are among the most dangerous of Communists. I ask honorable gentlemen who represent the trade union movement to hear that in mind, and to be sincere in their expressions of opinion either for or against this measure. If they are' in favour of the measure T should like them to say so without as much hypocrisy as we have had in the last day or so. Honorable members opposite have also displayed an intense dislike of the provision to place the onus of proof upon the accused instead of the accuser. I, personally, have always believed that except in extreme circumstances that procedure can be extremely dangerous. It must be handled wisely when it is used; and it has been used, because all countries at various times in their history have been compelled to put aside ordinary laws in order to ensure their national safety. This is an instance of that kind. I remind honorable members opposite that during the war not only were individuals taken into custody and put in prison secretly without trial, but also that a number of them were executed secretly with the public knowing nothing about the matter until after the war had ended. Such cases are sad, but at times they are unavoidable. I have a particular interest in the provision to place the onus of proof upon the accused, because T have appeared before a court martial at which the onus was placed upon me to prove my innocence. I know how hopeless such a task can bc. As the result of those proceedings I spent several months in solitary confinement, and I realize how hopeless a person feels when he does not know why he has been confined and has no knowledge of the specific charge 5ping made against him. Nevertheless, if this provision is necessary in order to smash communism, I support it. Some honorable members opposite have indulged in arrant hypocrisy and cant. Before I was elected to the Parliament I w83 employed in the Queensland Public Service and it was part of my duty to assist in the administration of building control legislation which, in certain circumstances placed the onus of proof upon the accused. I carried in my pocket-book an authority signed by he Minister concerned which gave me ;be right to enter upon or into the property, or premises, of any person if [ suspected that illegal building operaions were being carried out thereon, ir therein. That legislation was enacted n a State in which a Labour government tas been in office for 35 years with a break of only a few years. Therefore, ome honorable members opposite who know of the existence of that legislation should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for adopting the attitude that they have adopted in this debate. I have already said that I believe that one, or two, clauses of the bill should be amended, and I shall be interested to learn the details of the amendments that the Opposition proposes to put forward. However, honorable members opposite should make up their minds about whether they are supporting, or opposing, the measure. I am certain that any one who has listened to their speeches will not be able to decide exactly what they really think. It appears that for political expediency they say that they support the bill, because they realize that the people are strongly behind the Government in this matter. Having made that declaration, however, they have proceeded to tear the. bill to pieces merely as a pretext to get some political propaganda off their chests. The Americans very aptly describe persons who behave like that as mugwumps - they have their mugs on one side of the fence and their wumps on the other ' Again, I ask honorable members to tell the Parliament which way they are facing because it has been impossible for any one to decide that point up to date. {: #subdebate-26-0-s4 .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY:
Fremantle .- The Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** opened the debate on this legislation with a speech of the greatest emotional power that I have ever heard delivered in this Parliament. His speech dealt very little with the provisions of the bill, but very extensively with the right honorable gentleman's views on the tenseness of the international situation, the history of communism, the writings of Marx and Lenin from which he quoted extensively, and Australian trade unions. If the menaces are such as the Prime Minister has described them, it is high time that the debate was removed from the emotional level and changed to cold thinking and clear analysis. Supporters of the Government have described the bill as a treason measure and have referred, in support of that argument, to one of the nine " whereases " that make up the preamble. .Somewhere among those whereases appears this statement which is the only real reference to treason in the bill - >And whereas the Australian Communist Party is an integral part of the world Communist revolutionary movement, which, in the King's dominions and elsewhere, engages in espionage and sabotage and in activities . . . I ask honorable members to direct their attention to the words " espionage " and " sabotage " because the meaning of those words might more conveniently be summarized as mass murder. The spy, or the saboteur, is a mass murderer of his own people. As the bill declares that the Communist party engages in those activities one would expect it to provide for the punishments to be applied in respect of mass murder, espionage and sabotage. Surely, that is a logical inference to be drawn from such a preamble. But the peculiar significance of this measure is that after thundering against espionage and sabotage it turns into a simple declaration that " Joe Smith" shall not be allowed to remain secretary of his union if he is declared. It is rather contradictory legislation. At the base the bill deals with the industrial power of the Commonwealth but, at the same time, contains in its preamble a reference which invokes the defence power of the Commonwealth. If the position of the world is as the Prime Minister has said it is, two measures should have been introduced into this House: first, a proper treason and sedition bill; and secondly, a bill under the Commonwealth's conciliation and arbitration power, presenting to the Parliament the Government's view of the additional industrial powers which it believes the Commonwealth should take in order to cope with what it considers to be the menace on the industrial front. If that had been done we could have discussed the Government's intentions in dealing with the Communists and with what it calls their treasonable acts and its intentions in dealing with their industrial activities. {: .speaker-JXI} ##### Mr Freeth: -- We already have a treason law. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- I refer the honorable member for Forrest **(Mr. Freeth)** to his party bible, which is the policy speech that the present Prime Minister submitted at the recent general election. In that speech the right honorable gentleman said that the laws against sedition and treason would be strengthened and that a conviction under those laws - and that presupposes a court action - would qualify a person for the punishment that the law deemed suitable. The curious feature of the bill is that after beginning with a preamble relating to treason it proceeds to talk about industrial activities and provides for punishments that no one could regard as commensurate in respect of treasonable acts. Surely, if a man is a traitor, engaged in treason and sabotage, and the Government is aware of that fact, the Government will not deal adequately with him by disqualifying him from holding office in a trade union. Surely, supporters of the Government can see the farcical climax in this instance when the preamble to the bill first refers to the most hideous crimes known to humanity and then ends by providing that the penalty shall be that offenders shall not hold office in a trade union ! This is one of the strangest measures that has yet been introduced into this Parliament. What, then, does the Government seek to achieve under it? What is the significance of this combination of the defence power that is contained in placitum (vi.) of the Constitution and the industrial power that is contained in placitum (xxxv.) ? Only one sensible assumption can be advanced to explain why the preamble to an industrial law should invoke the defence power. The Government, because of the limitation of the industrial power, is trying to extend that power through the exercise of the defence power, and, no doubt, it intends that its action shall be tested in the High Court. It has always been recognized that under the industrial power the Commonwealth can make laws only with respect to unions under federal registration. The preamble to this measure invokes the defence power in order to embrace all industries whether they affect unions under federal registration or unions under State registration and to submit all of them to the power of the Commonwealth. The Government under this measure is asking for an extension of its powers in respect of arbitration and conciliation. Honorable members opposite have spoken very emotionally on this bill. However, some of the emotional sting has been taken out of the debate, although some honorable members opposite do not appear to be aware of the fact, by a statement that the Prime Minister issued to-day to the press in which he declared his preparedness to accept certain amendments which, as is well known, the Opposition proposes to submit. But in referring to one of the amendments the Prime Minister made a most peculiar statement. For the edification of the honorable member for St. George **(Mr. Graham),** I shall quote from that statement, in which, I note, the right honorable gentleman twice usurped the prerogative of using the plural. That statement reads - >The hill does not, in our opinion, touch the place cif a member of the Parliament. But we are quite willing to put that beyond doubt by a provision similar to that in the Crimes Act (Section 22), which is as follows: - > >Nothing in this Act shall derogate from any power or privilege of either House of the Parliament or of the members of committees of either House of Parliament ns. existing- at the commencement of this Act. The psychological background of that statement is obviously the exchange of pleasantries, that took place .between the right honorable gentleman and the honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward)** when, jokingly or otherwise, the Prime Minister suggested that certain members of the Parliament could come within the scope of the bill. If this is a treason bill, why should members of the Parliament be exempt from its provisions? The mere fact that the right honorable gentleman has stated that he is willing to amend the bill by inserting a clause exempting a member of the Parliament from its provisions is a clear sign that this is not a treason hill and that its emotionally powerful introductory preamble has no real relation to the text of the measure. {: .speaker-KCS} ##### Mr Drummond: -- The honorable member is entirely overlooking the oath of allegiance that is taken by a member of the Parliament. If a member of the Parliament violated his oath by commuting treason he would come within the provisions of the bill. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- That is true. I remind honorable members that in one British dominion the activities of a member of the Parliament were questioned. A member of the Canadian House of Commons who, if my memory serves me aright, was named Rose, was indicted for treason and was convicted. No sensible person would suggest that any member of the Parliament should be exempted from the provisions of any treason law. The fact that the Prime Minister is prepared to amend this measure by inserting such a clause is a clear sign that it does not deal with treason at all. We should be more sensible if we confined our attention to the measure now before us and took fewer opportunites to wax emotional on the subject of treason, as has been done so frequently by honorable members opposite during this debate. I want to make only one request in relation to the second-reading speech of the Prime Minister. I ask the right honorable gentleman to state in his closing speech what he meant by the expression " We are technically at peace ". If he considers war with Russia inevitable, and that we are virtually at war with Russia now. it seems strange that there still remains in this capital territory of the Commonwealth a Russian legation and a Russian ambassador, and that the first psychological steps to mobilize for the conflict should be taken by Australia and not by the United States of America and the United Kingdom which, normally speaking, would be the first powers to bear the brunt of an assault. Honorable members opposite have referred to the destruction of the right of the Communist party to appeal against its dissolution and to the preservation of the right of. accused persons to appeal to a single justice of the High Court. It is not posible to Fay whether they are right or not. That would depend upon whether the High Court would consent to hear a Communist party challenge of the legality of this legislation when its provisions had been first applied to the party's property and organization. There is a precedent for such a challenge. During the war ?i organization known as Jehovah's Witnesses, which was declared to be an unlawful organization, challenged the declaration in the High Court. The court had to determine whether a body which had been declared unlawful had a right to appear before it. It determined that the organization had such a right. All I can say is that the last decision in a similar case gave to the declared body the right to appeal on the ground that its declaration of illegality was beyond the Commonwealth's defence power. I believe that if the bill remains unamended, the Communist party will be the only organization to which the legislation applies that will have the right of appeal. The Communists will have the initial right to challenge the legislation in the High Court, and to call upon the Commonwealth to prove that they come within the ambit of this bill. If the legislation is validated, the right of appeal of persons who are merely suspect will be extremely limited. {: .speaker-JXI} ##### Mr Freeth: -- That has been changed. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- The honorable member for Forrest may be referring to a decision at a Liberal party meeting to amend the legislation. If he denies that there is a limitation on the right of a person to appeal when that person is confined to appealing to a single judge with the onus of proof resting on himself, the honorable member's view of what constitutes a limitation does not coincide with mine. The legislation before us is contradictory. A person who is declared, and is removed from his occupation because he has been declared, will have a right of appeal to a justice of the High Court. If the Government is absolutely certain that its declarations will be correct, why should it allow a right of appeal at all? If the Government is not absolutely certain that its declarations will be correct, why does it place a limitation on the right of appeal? That seems to me to be a problem that no honorable member supporting the Government has attempted to explain. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr Holt: -- How would the honorable member deal with the problem? {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- The Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. Holt)** asks how I would deal with the problem. He knows very well that we intend to submit certain amendments which are designed to broaden the right of appeal. That is how we propose to deal with that particular problem.. I should be grateful if the courtesy that honorable members on this side of the House extended to the Prime Minitser during his second-reading speech could also be extended to me during the course of my attempt to justify those amendments. The proposal before us amounts to a perversion of normal operations of the court. The ordinary procedures of evidence are to be set aside. An accused person will not know of what he is accused. He will be asked to prove a negative. He will not know what accusations have been made against him. He will be asked to prove that he is not something. He will not be confronted by his accusers and he will have no ready access to the court. {: .speaker-ZL6} ##### Mr Hasluck: -- The National Emergency (Coal Strike) Act contains somewhat similar provisions. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- That legislation was purely of a temporary nature and it contained a provision to the effect that at the moment the Governor-General declared the state of emergency to have passed the whole of the act was repealed. The honorable member is advancing the argument that these powers will not be abused. He should remember that the Government proposes to place this legislation permanently on the statute-book. He is not in a position to guarantee the actions of governments over the years. I remind honorable members opposite that when the Immition Act was passed in 1901 it was said the dictation test would never be applied to Europeans and Britishers. That intent emerges quite clearly from the initial debate in this House, but as time has gone on the dictation test has been applied to Europeans and Britishers alike. If we put on the statute-book legislation in permanent form we should consider it as permanent legislation and not imagine that because we believe that a certain government may be trusted to wield its powers effectively and fairly, they will never be abused. For that reason I surest that legislation of the character of tb 9 t now before us should bp very carefully examined. In the course of this debate some honorable members opposite have been at pains to explain the limitations of this measure. They believe it to be an arrow directed precisely at the Communist party. Some have been at pains to give us an indication that they believe that its provisions should be much wider. As usual, the Leader of the Australian Country party **(Mr. Fadden),** who is also Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, had the temerity to suggest - I do noi know in which of his several incapacities he was speaking - that the Australian Labour party and the Communist party are identical, the logic of his argument feeing that this legislation should' cover u wider field. The inference that could he drawn from his remarks was subsequently denied by a succession of Government speakers and, in fact, it was completely denied by the Prime Minister :'m his statement to the press that the Government is prepared to amend the bill to provide that it will not apply to members of the Parliament. Government members cannot sit quietly and endure the expression of one unpopular opinion. I hope that the mentality that has been displayed by Government members during this debate will not be the mentality that they will exhibit when they are wielding the powers to be conferred on the Government by this legislation. During the Queensland general election the Treasurer said that the Labour party in Queensland was the forerunner of communism because it had sought to compel the Governor of that State to act on the advice of his Ministers and because 22 years ago, it was responsible for the abolition of the Upper House in that State. His ideas about communism are very vague. I believe that this measure will fail in its purpose because it lacks precision. Honorable members opposite have never sought to imagine how this legislation will operate. A person may be declared and removed from office in a trade union. How does the Government propose to prevent him from exercising authority in his union? Does the Government propose to direct special police to attend all trade union meetings? Does it intendto place a cordon of police around the trades halls in order to make sure that a declared person shall not influence the decisions of a union? If a person is declared and has a proper chance to clear himself before a court of justice, the attitude of all the members of his union towards him will be that he has had his chance and that he should get out of his difficulty as best he can. A person in "Western Australia may be declared. The Government will say to him, "You can pay the fares of witnesses to Melbourne, meet the cost of their board and lodging in Melbourne and pay their fares back to Western Australia. If you do not do so you will not have an opportunity to defend yourself. When you appear before the High Court you will not know with what charge you are confronted but you will not know who are your accusers ". {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr Holt: -- The honorable member is erecting a straw man. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- The Minister for Labour and National Service, who knows a great deal about the psychology of unionists, well understands that in such circumstances the average rank and file unionist would be far less disposed to take his declaration seriously than he would be if he had the right to appear before a State court, to which he had ready access, to prove his innocence. The Prime Minister could very well accept an amendment to the bill to give him such a right. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr Holt: -- Certain amendments have already been agreed to by the Government. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- The Prime Minister has agreed to make certain amendments that have been indicated in a very unsatisfactory manner in his press statement, simply because of the stand taken by the Opposition in regard to this matter. I wish to make certain that the Prime Minister shall embody those amendments and consequently I am advancing a case for them, as I have a right to do. Because I do so, I do not expect the Minister for Labour and National Service constantly to interrupt me. The other proposal before us concerns the right of search in relation to which the Government is, I understand, shifting its ground and may be prepared to accept amendments. I cannot see why the Cabinet should be guilty of so cavalier an attitude towards the ordinary rights of the individual as to advance proposals which it is now prepared to retract. The requirement that the Government shall obtain a warrant by establishing to the satisfaction of a magistrate that there is a case for breaking and entering is a safeguard for authority as much as for the person concerned. If there is to be a whole class of unknown security agents with unlimited rights of entering there must exist an opening for all sorts of imposters to enter all sorts of premises on any pretext and the necessity to produce a warrant will be a safeguard for authority as well as for the individual. Those honorable gentlemen opposite who have spoken on this bill have described it as a treason measure, but they have failed to justify its lack of precision as a treason measure and have failed to explain why industrial powers are embodied in a measure that has a defence preamble. I very much suspect that this legislation was drafted in haste and was presented to the House because the Government believed that it would sever the parliamentary Labour party from the trade union movement or split the parliamentary Labour party down the middle, or that it would be a good political ground on which to force a double dissolution. As an instrument for giving effect to the purpose of its professed aim of dealing with treason it does not bear analysis. As an instrument of industrial legislation it incorporates the new and dangerous principle of endeavouring to expand the industrial power of the Commonwealth in peacetime per medium of the defence power. If the Government had been sincere it would have brought down two pieces of legislation of the kind that I mentioned at the beginning of my speech. This measure looks, socially and politically, very imprecise, and, in the clauses which apparently the Government is going to retract, it manifests a most cavalier attitude towards the individual. {: #subdebate-26-0-s5 .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr HAMILTON:
Canning .- The honorable member for Fremantle **(Mr. Beazley), Mr. Speaker,** first put up Aunt Sallies and then proceeded to knock them down. He deliberately endeavoured to deceive this House by stating that the Government, after continued pressure from the Opposition, had at last decided to accept some amendments to this measure. Had he been paying attention to the debate, the honorable member would have heard the Minister for External Affairs **(Mr. Spender),** very early in the debate, say that the Government would be prepared seriously to consider any amendments that were submitted during the committee stage. This Government, thank heaven, is showing an attitude altogether different from that of the previous Government, which, in the three years during which I sat on the Opposition benches, refused to accept amendments except on two occasions when it changed a " but " to an " and " and changed the word "religion" to " Christianity ". {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- That is not true. {: .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr HAMILTON: -- It is true. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- I accepted three amendments which were quite different from that sort of nonsense. {: .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr HAMILTON: -- The honorable member for Fremantle did not say either that he would support the bill or that he would oppose it. I grant that he has not acted as the rest of his party have. They, if I may use an Australian colloquialism, " have had two bob each way ". The honorable member may have spoken in the way he did in case his speech caught up with him at a future date. But other honorable members of the Opposition have been endeavouring to back every horse in the race. The Labour party knows very well that it opened its ranks to the inrush of communism in 1921 when, at its ninth annual conference which was held in Brisbane, I think on the 21st and 22nd October, it adopted *in toto,* the resolution put by the All-Australian Council of Trade Unions. The year 1921 was only four years after the October revolution had occurred in Russia, by means of which the Communist doctrines of Lenin and Marx were first put into effect. The first Communist leader in this country, **Mr. Jock** Garden, secured the adoption of that resolution at that conference. Honorable members the Opposition have spoken about a Blackburn declaration, but such a declaration has never existed. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- How does the honorable member know that? {: .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr HAMILTON: -- I have seen the minutes and records of the 1921 conference and the requisite majority to carry that resolution was not obtained. Years after that conference the Labour party persecuted the man who had tried to talk that' meeting into showing some sense. Years afterwards, members of that party came into this House- {: .speaker-JSW} ##### Mr Bryson: -- I rise to order, **Mr. Speaker.** My point of order is that the decisions of a conference of the Australian Labour party in 1921 have very little, if anything, to do with the bill before the House. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I have heard quite a lot about Fascists, Nazis, Socialists and Communists,, and other such references during the debate. {: .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr HAMILTON: -- I hope the honorable member for Wills **(Mr. Bryson)** will remember that he is not at a football match now. I do not intend to lay the whole of the blame on the Australian Labour party, but I repeat that that party laid its ranks open for the inrush I have mentioned and to-day is endeavouring to get rid of its effects. Quite a number of unions which support the Australian Labour party, have, for years past, realized this danger and have taken the action necessary to prevent the increase of the power that had been obtained by Communists in trade unions. Before dealing with the measure before the chamber, I want to pass a few remarks about the speech of the honorable member for Eden-Monaro **(Mr. Fraser),** who said that he absolutely hated this legislation, but was going to vote for it. That, to me, seemed a strange attitude to adopt. He hates the legislation and yet he is going to vote for it. If he were true to his colours he would at least vote against the measure. But he realizes that he is caught in his own trap. He referred to the Nazis. I do not refer to members of the Australian Labour party as Communists because I know that the description would not be true, and I remind the honorable gentleman from Eden-Monaro that nobody on this side of the House has had the audacity to do so. What we have tried to drum into your heads is that you have been travelling along the wrong road for many years. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable gentleman will address me. I am still here. {: .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr HAMILTON: -- I have been trying to explain to honorable members of the Opposition, **Mr. Speaker,** that the policy of the Labour party parallels that of the Communist party to such an extent that this danger has been in existence for some time. The honorable member for Eden-Monaro has said that there is no need for this legislation but that the existing law should be strengthened. If he was referring to the Crimes Act I would remind him that it is the intention of the Australian Labour party to remove those sections of the Crimes Act that deal with industrial matters. If their detestation of this bill is as great as some honorable' members of the Opposition would have us believe why, in the eight years during which they were in office, did they not strengthen the Crimes Act ? I have yet to be reminded of any statement by any honorable member of the Opposition that such a thing would be done. The remarks of the honorable member for Eden-Monaro did not ring very true in that respect. It has been said by some members of the Opposition that during the coal strike the present Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** and the present Deputy Prime Minister **(Mr. Fadden)** were nowhere in evidence. Honorable members know what happened in those days. The right honorable member for Kooyong, from his place at the Opposition side of the table, made an offer to the then Prime Minister that he and the Leader of the Australian Country party would accompany the right honorable gentleman to the coal-fields if he would go with them, but the offer was declined. For any one to say that the leaders of the present Government did not offer any assistance to the government of the day during that coal strike is for him to utter a deliberate untruth. We did not oppose the legislation on that occasion. We supported you right up to the hilt. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order ! The right honorable gentleman will address me. {: .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr HAMILTON: -- That legislation, **Mr. Speaker,** went through in very good time. What are the objects of this bill? As the Prime Minister stated, its objects are to outlaw and dissolve the Communist party, to pursue it into any new or associated form and to deal with the employment of Communists in certain offices and under certain circumstances. In dealing with the last portion of that statement, honorable members of the Opposition have said that once a man is declared he will lose his employment. That is not so. Under the bill, a declared person will lose his employment if he is employed by the Commonwealth Government, Also, the fact that a person has been declared will prevent him from holding office in a union but only if that union is declared to be one connected with a key industry. So why all this hullabaloo about a man being deprived of his employment? There is nothing in this legislation to stop the individual from expressing his opinion or from thinking whatever he wishes to think. There is provision for stopping an individual from carrying out actions which would be to the detriment of this country, but the statement by honorable members that every one is going to be deprived of his or her employment immediately is far from the truth. It has been said that this Communist party which it is intended to abolish is a revolutionary body. Some people say that it is not. Honorable members will recall that Lenin said that it was necessary to use any ruse, cunning, unlawful method, evasion or concealment of the truth in the carrying out of the policy of what we now know as communism. The Soviet Government employs " fifth columns " in all countries in which it is permitted to install them. It issues orders to them and they obey. Those underground organizations are in the habit of camouflaging themselves as political parties, and the title that they usually choose is that of the Communist party. These, fifth columnists take full advantage of all the democratic liberties, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly, while attempting to destroy the system that affords such protection to them. I cannot understand any Australian, in this Parliament or elsewhere, trying to defend such a revolutionary movement. The Communist party is a cancerous growth in our midst. Everybody knows that the best means of attacking such an organism is to tackle it while it is yet young before it has had time to spread. Gardeners and farmers do not allow noxious weeds to grow and spread their seeds until eventually they overrun and destroy the cultivated plants. They attack the pest as soon as it appears and destroy it if possible before it has time to cast its seeds. The Communist party should have been attacked in the same way long ago. I do not say that the Labour party sponsors communism, but at any rate it has been beguiled by the movement so' that it has failed to take any action to eradicate it. When members of the Opposition were in power, they did not attempt to enact legislation against the Communist party because they knew that they would have to face its representatives in order to gain endorsement for re-election to this Parliament. They have been somewhat timid- {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- That is not true. No Communist can vote in a Labour party pre-selection ballot. {: .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr HAMILTON: -- The honorable member may say what he likes, but I should like to know why the Labour party failed to take action against the Communists. The Chifley Government acted during the coal strike only after it had been forced to do so by outside pressure. It did not move in the early stages of the dispute even though it knew that it could have prosecuted the instigators of the strike under the Crimes Act. I recall an occasion when the honorable member for Melbourne **(Mr. Calwell),** who was a member of the Chifley Government, declared that, if an opportunity presented itself, he would be the first to repeal the repressive sections of the Crimes Act. The Communist party of Australia has openly avowed that it is opposed to the democratic liberties that we enjoy. It has acted under the protection that our system has afforded to it in order to destroy that system. Australia is in the position of a man with a newly furnished home in the path of a bushfire. A man in that situation would not waste time removing the furniture from the house. He would tackle the bushfire first and try to stop it from burning down the house and all its contents. We must treat the Communist menace in the same way. Militant Communist minorities in other countries have swooped and gained control at propitious times. We must guard against such betrayals. The Government has a mandate from the people to enact this legislation. The right hon,orable member for Barton **(Dr. Evatt)** and the honorable member for Fremantle have declared that it is unconstitutional. At least let us enact it and then put it to the test. If it should be proved to be unconstitutional, we could amend it accordingly. The fact is that the Government is honouring its obligation to the. electors. Do members of the Opposition want to have an ogpu or an N.K.V.D.? Do they want to live under a regime that has developed spying as a fine art and that has. slaughtered men, women, and children in millions until fear has become the dominant feature of life under Communist control? 1 have heard very few people say that they would like to live in Russia. Those who advocate the Russian system can readily obtain passports, and go. to live permanently in the Soviet Union. The Opposition, has objected to the proposal to place the onus of proof of innocence upon persons declared under the measure. They ask too much. Accused persons are given *no,* chance- to. prove their innocence under a Communist regime-. Alt members of the Opposition who have spoken have agreed with us that communism is repugnant. Why, then, do they insist that Communists should be allowed to enjoy complete liberty and the protection of our society? If they are sincere in their declarations, they should support, the Government whole-heartedly. We will gladly support the ordinary trade unionist, who wants to ger rid of Communists from his. industrial organization. What encouragement is there for the Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen's Associa-tion to try to rid itself of Communists if. it cannot obtain the support of the.Laho.Br party? That organization, has been trying for years to purge itself of Communist influence and I believe that it has not had a Communist in office for many years. The firemen, the cleaners and the engine-drivers who operate the locomotives are doing their job, but the mcn in the guard's van are applying the brakes. While the Labour party continues to withhold aid' from the unions, it is up to the Government to come to their assistance. As Lenin wrote in the publication, *Infantile Sickness of Leftism in Communism -* {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr Calwell: -- There seem to be plenty of students of Lenin amongst the Government's supporters. {: .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr HAMILTON: -- We take the opportunity to read and study this evil doctrine. Apparently members of the Opposition have been content to allow themselves to- be led along like blind fools, although at- last some of them are beginning to realize the seriousness, of the danger that threatens their organization. Lenin- declared - >We are. living- not merely in a state, but in a system of states; and it is inconceivable that the Soviet Republic should continue for a long period side by side with imperialist states. Ultimately one or the other must conquer. The advocates of "communism in Australia, protected by the freedom that is granted to them in thi3 country, openly support that declaration. Its meaning is clear. The inevitable result of its prosecution by Soviet Russia must be war with, the democracies. Shall we tolerate the- Communist fifth column in this country? The members of that organization are prepared to betray us new, m the near future off at any distant time upon orders from Moscow. This Governnent is tackling the problem in the right way by proposing to get rid of the traitors before they can increase their influence further and perfect, their plans foi* causing chaos. The Government will not retreat from the principles that are embodied in the bill, hut its views in relation to the actual phraseology aim not hard and fast. Tb* Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** declared to-day in a press, statement that he would he prepared to consider seriously any amendments that might be proposed. Members of the Opposition say that they hate communism. Why, then, do they not support the Government in enacting, this measure so that tha growth, of communism, can. he stopped.? Any reasonable, sensible and logical amendments that they propose will be treated on their merits. We shall, not forsake the principle of the bill because we were elected to power, by the people upon, our promise to deal with the Communists and we shall not lot the people down. Neither shall we let down the trade unions, which, members of the Opposition claim to represent, though I dispute that claim. In my opinion, some members of the Opposition were elected merely because they boarded the band wagon of unionism. Lenin told his disciples that they must use any ruse, cunning and concealment of the truth that would1 help them to gain their objectives. We must fight cunning with cunning. We must conceal from the *Communists* the methods by which we learn of their activities and run them to earth. If we were to prosecute them by the ordinary means, the object of this bill would be? defeated immediately. After the first trial of a declared person, they would know how we obtained information about their activities and would be able to evade the effect of the legislation. I remind honorable members of the Opposition of what Stalin wrote in his book, *Problems of Leninism,* which is available in the National Library for them to study. He stated - >The development and the support of the revolution in other countries is an essential task of the victorious revolution. Thus the revolution victorious in one country must not consider itself a self-contained entity, but a support, a means of speeding the victory of the proletariat in other countries. > >That the dictatorship of the proletariat is a stubborn fight - bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative - against the forces and traditions of an old society. The strategy of the Communist party, directed from Moscow, is to spread its disciples throughout dependencies, colonies and countries, in which people are striving for liberation. They have conquered China. They became active in southern China many years ago, but Chiang Kai-shek was too strong for them then and they retreated to north-western China, from which they moved again in their Latest successful advance.. To-day, the 400,000,000 people of China, aa-o dominated by the Communists, who are at our very doorstep. If the word to go was given by Stalin, to-morrow, Communist fifth-columnists would join in an uprising from one end of the country to the other in readiness to support the hordes that would, come from the north. This legislation represents the first step in the right direction and has my wholehearted sup~ port, and I am sure it has the support of a great majority of the Australian people. {: #subdebate-26-0-s6 .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL:
Melbourne -- Communism was mentioned in Australian politics much earlier than 1921. It was first mentioned in this country almost as- soon as the Communist manifesto was issued. {: .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr Hamilton: -- - Not by the Labour party. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- No, but it was once used against the Liberal party. I have a clipping- from the Melbourne *Herald* of the 31st May, 1927, under the heading " "Fifty Years Ago To-day". It reproduced the following item from the *Herald* of the 81st May, 1877, just on 73 years ago :- >The government policy speech delivered at Geelong last night by the Premier, **Mr. Berry,** will undoubtedly have the effect of disarming those political adversaries of the Liberal party who have tried to affix the objectionable nickname of " Communists " to those who are only a few degrees less conservative than themselves. I move on now to 1925, in which year advertisements were inserted in the now defunct *Morning Post* of Melbourne by Stanley Melbourne Bruce under the heading " Democracy or Communism ? " Those advertisements declared - >If democracy i* to prevail, the Government must be returned with a majority in both Houses. That Government was returned to office, but it did nothing about communism. It is true that an act was passed in 1926 at the instance of the present Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, who was then Attorney-General, under which certain people who were alleged to be Communists, Walsh and Johansen, were to be sent out of the country. The law was passed in July, 1926, but the people affected appealed to the High Court. The present right honorable member for Barton **(Dr. Evatt)** represented them and the view that he expressed was upheld by the court and the appeal was allowed. Until 1932 no further attempt was made to deal with communism. The 1932 amendment became a dead letter from the day it was enacted. Therefore, all this talk about communism has been more of a political weapon than an earnest desire to do anything in regard to communism. Speaking now parenthetically, the same Thomas "Walsh who was a Communist leader and who was so declared, if that term can be used, in connexion with the 1926 legislation, some time later left the Communist party. After a time he became an organizer in Newcastle for the Nationalist party. He was interned during the war because of his pro-Japanese activities. That illustrates that, many men have many changes of view in their lifetimes. I he Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies),** in his secondreading speech, quoted resolutions of the Austraiian Labour party at its federal conferences and at meetings of its federal executive. Unwittingly, by his recitation of the terms of those resolutions, he showed the uncompromising opposition of the Labour party to communism. By so reciting he unwittingly nailed the false and vicious propaganda of the anti-Labour forces that me Labour party and the Communist party are allies, or that socialism leads to communism. I know those resolutions well. .L took part in drafting them in the same way as I have had a hand in drafting every resolution of every federal conference and every federal executive meeting of the Labour party during the last twenty years. I voted for those resolutions as did the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron),** the honorable member for Port Adelaide **(Mr. Thompson)** and many other honorable members who were delegates. Some honorable members who have been talking about communism have been trying to repeat the stories they have borrowed from America and other places. They have tried to smear socialism with all the social sins or whatever other pins there might be. of the Communist party. We have always known where we stand in relation to communism. It is an axiomatic principle that human greed breeds human misery, and human misery breeds communism. I am and have always been anti-Communist; I am and have always been anti-capitalist. No political organization, political party, association or section of the Australian people more completely and utterly rejects the beliefs *and* the practices of the Communist, party than does the Australian Labour party. The Labour party is completely and unequivocally opposed to communism. It is sometimes embarrassed by communism, and extremely irritated and annoyed by specific Communist activity. The Labour party believes that in one sense this Parliament is not banning communism. It believes that the Communists ban themselves, not by what they say or by what they teach, but by their anti-social actions. They have sorely irritated and exasperated the Australian people. The Government claims, very piously, that it wishes to protect the community and the nation. The fact is that under our democratic system the : ( community and the nation can protect themselves very well not only from communism and fascism but also from the ruthless and hungry monopoly of capitalism which these selfappointed protectors propose to reimpose on them. What the reactionary forces in this country really want, and what they ask for, is the right to establish a:id maintain a regime of poverty, insecurity, inequality, depression and malnutrition if they can do so. The system that they represent, to me and to every other true Labour man, is as bad as communism itself. Like communism it is a system that can be maintained only by force and fraud. The Prime Minister quoted a list of 50 dangerous men. He said that they were 50 Communists. I could quote another list of 50 dangerous men who are not Communists, men who hold within the hollow of their hands the control of the monopolies, trusts and combines of this country and who, by their anti-social activities, and by the way in which they fix prices and control banks, insurance companies, mines, the iron and steel industries, the pre&s and every other agency of propaganda and profit in this nation, exploit the whole of the Australian people from the cradle to the grave. Communism, under a well-ordered, prosperous and democratic system of government, will wither on the vine. I need hardly add that in such conditions monopoly capitalism will wither and disappear in the same way. If we had a just order of society we should not be troubled by monopoly capitalism. The fact is that both these extreme, materialistic and cruel beliefs are withering rapidly throughout the more enlightened countries of the western world. But the harder fight for survival will certainly be made in Australia by monopoly capitalism, because in this country it is more deeply entrenched. That system represents a real threat to the happiness and well-being of future generations of Australians. If monopoly capitalism is to have another long and dreary term of office in this country, then communism, which is not and has never been a political force in Australia, may yet become one. When people suffer from the pangs of hunger they are not content with gradual and orderly social progress. When men and women are prevented by economic circumstances from performing to the full the duties of parents towards their children, they are inclined less toward thought than toward action. When young men and women go out into the world strong and eager, educated to make a full contribution to the life of the nation, and they are deprived of the opportunity to work, marry, make homes and raise families, they listen to strange doctrines. It may seem odd to honorable members on the Government side who have never known poverty, privation or frustration to hear of these things and to realize that they exist in this country. In all the capital cities of Australia to-night there are many thousands of people who cannot get homes. In all our cities there are fetid centres of human settlement where there are as many as 49 houses, or so-called homes, to the acre. In such places communism grows. This legislation may or may not be passed. The Communists may be driven underground, but communism will never be defeated unless it is defeated by a better idea. The honorable member for EdenMonaro **(Mr. Fraser)** has told the story. What are the facts of history? The first country to become Communist was the first country to ban communism. That was Russia. Then the example of Italy may be considered. In 1923 Mussolini, a renegade socialist, came to the aid of the monopoly capitalists in that country. He banned communism and it remained banned in Italy. There were islands of exile for those who were Communists or who had dangerous political thoughts. It was not until 1945 that the people of Italy had an opportunity of expressing themselves in their own way. In that year Mussolini was assassinated. Two years later a free election was held in Italy, and after 24 years, during which no election had been held, 22 of them being years of fascist rule, the Italian people went to the polls. One out of every three Italians at that election voted Communist. In Germany nobody, apparently, destroyed communism more effectively than did Hitler. Yet, after Hitler's death the Communist forces became almost the strongest power in Germany. Why are we worried about the peace of Europe to-day? We are worried because the Communists, under Russian tutelage, are the most formidable menace to the peace of the western world. Communism is a danger throughout the world and it was created by the forces of capitalism. Do honorable members really want to get rid of communism? If they do, they should first get rid of capitalism. The honorable member for Flinders **(Mr. Ryan)** honoured me with an interjection. He can go back to his Melbourne club, the most reactionary body in Australia, and get the plaudits and cheers of its members for the speeches that he and his colleagues make in this Parliament, but unless they do something to destroy the present basis of society, there will not be peace in this country. There will not be industrial peace in Australia and the antiAustralian force/; of revolutionary socialism will operate here as similar forces operate elsewhere. When the farmers produced the good things from the earth in the depression years and did not get a reasonable return for their produce, in their grinding poverty they had no reason to- be satisfied with, the system, of society in. which, they lived. When, the workshops of the country were empty, when the larders of the nation were bare and the unemployed camps, and prisons were full, the Communist agitator' had kia-, chance ani communism changed, from a political theory into a red andi ravenous revolutionary blaze. It flamed for a time._ It began, to flicker in. the years of the- Chifley Government because of the improved social conditions which that government brought about. The Labour Government distributed the: wealth of this community more equitably than it had ever been distributed before, as. is shown by the income tax laws of the nation. That was one of the- retarding forces operating against those who wanted to stir up strife so that, they could impose their false philosophy and their alien ideology upon, the Australian people.. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order 1 The honorable member must deal with the bill. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- I am dealing with capitalism and communism. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Order I There is nothing about capitalism in the bill. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- But it rs my opinion that this- country will not Be rid of communism until it gets rid of capitalism-,, and I am replying to all sorts of people with all kinds of views and voices who seem to think that all that is necessary in our present society to ensure peace in industry and full production is to get rid of the Communists and communism. That is just arrant nonsense. I do not think that the Australian people will ever accept again the situations that existed in other times. The leaders- of honorable members opposite will not be quite happy about the future of society if full employment is not maintained. That is if G. J. Coles can be called a leader, if **Sir Walter** Massy-Greene, one of the representatives of the Collins House group can be termed a *mentor, or* if Arthur G. Warner, M.L.C., of Victoria can be caller a leader. Honorable members opposite fear the growth of communism. I refer them to an article in the March-April issue of the *Review of the Institute of Public Affairs, Victoria* in which they will read this sentence under the heading, " Full Employment audi New Economics " - >The invariable lesson of economic history is that tha- greater the boom, the deeper and more disastrous the subsequent depression. It is. one we would do well to heed in Australia; just now. We have already Tot the post-waT boom in- Australia develop beyond the- bounds of all. reason: and commonsense. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order f The honorable member is getting- right a-way from the bill. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- Surely I am entitled to point oUt, that people who say that the present system, of society will collapse are worthy of being quoted here ? If you will bear with, me while I read two. more sentences, **Mr. Speaker,** you will see that these people are really concerned. The quotation continues - >We should endeavour to. re-trace our- steps while there is yet time and time is running out. Without a decent measure *of* responsibility, we will fall again into depression and unemployment and in that eventuality. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member is getting away from the bill altogether. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- Will you listen to this, sir? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -If the honorable member tries to get away from my ruling I shall not hear him at all. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- I shall obey your ruling. But this is a sentence from the same statement which must throw fear into the hearts of every capitalist member in this Parliament. It is conceivable that we would vote ourselves into the economic tyranny of the totally planned state. That has a lot to do with the bill. Only people who are doing well out of modern society are concerned about protecting It. There are other people whose views are entitled to be heard when they talk about communism. They talk about it in no uncertain voice. There was a religious Justice Forum at the Newcastle Town Hall, and I read from a Sydney newspaper of the 18th April a report of its proceedings. I quote what one Catholic priest said at it, because of the attempts of the Treasurer to try to exploit religious sentiments in support of this bill - >Communism was an evil system in every respect. Capitalism, since it respected the right of private property, was not evil in itself. It was evil because of the abuse of the system by the individual capitalists. The three most flagrant abuses of capitalists, especially when they were combined in trusts and monopolies, were contempt for the rights of the worker in the interests of profits, the use of money to elect agreeable governments or to corrupt elected members of governments, and to war for reasons of trade. How true that is. I could quote from the report of the committee of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria which has as its appendices the decisions regarding communism and -other matters from the Amsterdam Assembly of the free churches of the Protestant world and of the orthodox churches of the eastern world. They headed their statement " Communism and Capitalism ". They are not defenders of capitalism, and if they condemn communism in strident terms they equally condemn capitalism. The Lambeth conference of the Church of England gave careful consideration to the evils of both communism and capitalism, and warned the church in these words - >The church ought not to allow itself to be identified with social reaction. Its members should be ready for social and economic change and quick to welcome into the counsels of the church men and women with a workers experience of living conditions. I could quote from other authorities, including the Catholic bishops of Australia. If I quoted some of the things that they said honorable members opposite would want to declare them as Marxists. {: .speaker-KDH} ##### Mr Eggins: -- Is the honorable member supporting the bill ? {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- I am supporting the Christian churches of this country which condemn capitalism and communism alike. The Social Justice Statement issued in 1946 and published by the Australian National Secretariat of Catholic Action, Melbourne, stated - >The real evil which we face and which we must overcome is this: Australia is already divided into two classes of men, separated by an unbridgeable gulf. There is the minority composed of those who own the means of production. There is the vast majority composed of those who have no share in the-m whatsoever. The former are really free. For the masses freedom is an illusion . . . {: .speaker-KFQ} ##### Mr Gullett: -- Who said that? {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- The Catholic bishops of Australia. Would they be declared under this hill? The Minister for External Affairs **(Mr. Spender)** came back here and told us in his statement on international affairs- {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order 1 The honorable member will not be in order in referring to international affairs now. An incomplete debate on that subject is still listed on the notice-paper. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- May I not quote what the Minister said about communism ? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order ! The honor able gentleman should relate his remarks to the bill. It does not condemn capitalism, it condemns communism. On some other occasion, no doubt, we shall hear the honorable gentleman on the subject of capitalism. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- I assume that, at least, honorable members enjoy the freedom in this House of relating evils, and condemning one as the cause of the other. Surely that is a valid argument. We should tackle communism, I suggest, in a certain way, and not in the spurious way that the Government suggests. The words that were used here recently were that we could not move too quickly if we were to tackle the problem of communism in South-East Asia, and that we had to move by giving economic aid to that part of the world. Well, we should learn a lesson ourselves- {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order ! Communism in South-East Asia may not be discussed during the debate on this bill, which relates to communism in the Commonwealth of Australia and nowhere else. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- Communism in this country can only be met in the same way as communism in South-East Asia can be met, and that is by dealing with economic considerations. You, **Mr. Speaker,** say that I may not discuss capitalism during the debate on this bill. Surely 1 can discuss the actions of people in this country who are Fascists, and who promote communism. Surely I may be permitted to quote the words of the general manager of the Bank of New South Wales, **Mr. Heffer,** who was reported in the Melbourne *Sun NewsPictorial* on the 10th September, 1947, as having said in relation to the banking bill- >A bloodless revolution it may be for a start, but I don't doubt that later Mood wil low, because men will fight for freedom. If people can be declared Communists for the things that they may say in advocacy of revolutionary socialism, surely people should be made responsible and punishable under this bill for the things that they may say in the guise of revolutionary fascism. The Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. Holt)** had an article published in the Melbourne *Herald* last Saturday, in the course of which he stated - >Under the bill, onus of proof is placed on the parson declared, but the moment that person states on oath that he was not a Communist within the specified time, the onus of proof reverts to the Commonwealth. I think that the Minister will not claim that he has been misreported. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr Holt: -- No. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- Many of his colleagues have made that plea here frequently during the la=t few months. The Minister is one of the few people left in the Government who can describe himself as a Liberal, and write the initial consonant with a small " 1 ". If the quotation that I have read is the Government's view, and I hope that it is, I suggest that, instead of placing the onus of proof on a declared person absolutely, the fact of a declaration should be made prima facie evidence against him. That would result in the onus being cast upon such person to negative the presumption. If the person concerned were able to produce evidence to negative the presumption, or declared on oath that he had not done anything to justify the declaration, the onus of proof should then shift back to the Crown. If the matter remained in doubt, the declaration would not be substantiated. If the Minister will incorporate in the bill a provision to give effect to my suggestion, or express his own thoughts in it instead of leaving it capable of the other interpretation that the onus is on the accused to prove his innocence absolutely, we may he making some progress towards protecting the liberty of the subject. I make another point. Before a declaration is made, the person concerned should be advised, so that he may have an opportunity to disprove the allegation that he should he declared. It would be an awful thing if a person were presented with a copy of the *Gazette,* or were told that his name appeared in it as a potential or actual traitor, and that he had been declared under this legislation and could lodge an appeal if he wanted to clear himself. No principle of justice is observed when a person is declared, and is then told, "Well, you have to clear yourself from the declaration ". The Minister should ask his colleagues to examine the proposals that I have outlined, particularly the point that a person should be given an effective right of appeal, in addition to the opportunity to disprove the statements that had been made against him. If my suggestions are adopted, many people in this country, who want this bill, and who are not tied to any political party, may be satisfied that we are not what they think we are, namely, a people in a frenzy and fear who are doing things that we should not do. The Communist party, if suppressed, might go underground and take another name. It might call itself the "Progressive Liberal party", although that would be a contradiction in terms, because I have never known a Liberal who was progressive. The " Retrogressive Liberal party " would be more apt. The Communists might even salvage in the dust-bins of history and collect one of the numerous aliases that our political enemies have used. They might blossom forth one day as a kind of re-incarnated United Australia party, or Nationalist party. {: .speaker-JPA} ##### Mr Berry: -- Or Socialist party. {: .speaker-BV8} ##### Mr CALWELL: -- If the honorable member for Griffith **(Mr. Berry)** says too much, he may provide them with ideas. But they will function underground while the conditions of our society are propitious. If we want to protect our society and the security of this nation to-day and to-morrow, and if we desire to maintain our position in a world that is now fraught with many dangers for us, we must not hesitate to attack the evils that I have outlined at some length. I refer to the evils of modern society, out of which communism grows and flourishes. 1 repeat the words of the honorable member for Eden-Monaro, who said, in effect, "If you want to beat communism finally, beat it with a better idea I conclude with the words of Pope Pius XL- >The great scandal of the 19th Century was that the workers of the world were lost to Christ. {: #subdebate-26-0-s7 .speaker-JXI} ##### Mr FREETH:
Forrest .- I hope that the House will not be unduly bored if I discuss the Communist Party Dissolution Bill 1950. This measure may be considered under two headings. I had hoped that the first heading, namely, the desirability of introducing legislation to dissolve the Communist party, would not require much discussion, because I had heard a suggestion that, broadly, the Labour party was in favour of it. Some Opposition members announced that they intended to support the bill for a variety of reasons, yet they proceeded to attack the general principles of it with every argument that they could muster. The Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Chifley)** took the stand that the Labour party would support the bill, because the Government had obtained a mandate from the people at the last general election to introduce legislation of this kind. If the right honorable gentleman was sincere, I find it difficult to understand his uncompromising opposition to the Commonwealth Bank Bill 1950 and the Social Services Consolidation Bill 1950 because the Government also obtained a clear mandate from the people at the last election to introduce those measures. Therefore, his arguments must be treated as inconsistent and hypocritical. Another reason that honorable members opposite advance for voting for this bill, of which they strongly disapprove, is that they regard it as ineffective. Those honorable members are members of the federal legislature of this country. They are paid for the services that they perform ; yet they have the audacity to say that, in carrying out their duties as members of Parliament, they will vote for legislation that they consider to be ineffective. If they are genuine in the expression of their intentions, they need a lesson in the duties of a member of Parliament. Not only do they suggest that this measure may be ineffective, but also some of them have gone so far as to say that the bill is unconstitutional ; yet they say that they will vote for it ! What a queer view they have of the duties of a member of this legislature. There is a very important principle involved in the introduction of this legislation. All legislation interferes to some degree with the liberty of the subject, but this bill is paradoxical. To protect the liberty of the subject, it takes away certain liberties by unusual methods. The reason for that paradox is clear. The evil that the bill is designed to combat uses the liberties that we desire to protect in a constantly changing form, and in a constantly underhand and disguised manner, to destroy the liberty of the subject. Certain honorable members opposite have been extremely abusive, of the Communist party. They have said that communism is a hase creed, that it lacks morality and ethics, and that it threatens the democratic way of life. All these things are quite true. The honorable member for Hoddle **(Mr. Cremean)** was most eloquent and effective in that strain; but if that alone was his reason for supporting this bill it still would not justify the action that this bill proposes to take to curb the Communists, because that action involves interference with freedom of expression. I do not believe that ideas, no matter how base they may be, should be stifled by legislation. The honorable member for EdenMonaro **(Mr. Fraser)** made a most eloquent defence of the principle of freedom of thought, and with his remarks on that subject I agree, but this bill does not attempt to interfere with liberty of thought as such. The Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Chifley)** gave instances of revolutionary ideas which subsequently had gained general acceptance. I remind the right honorable gentleman that the Communist party, wherever it has seized power, has always been in a minority. Ideas prevail in a democracy, regardless of their validity, only when they are held by a majority. There are eleven Communist countries in Europe, and in not one of them did the Communists rise to power with the support of the majority of the people. Therefore, the Leader of the Opposition is not correct when he says that this bill is aimed purely at the suppression of ideas. It is aimed at preventing ideas that are held by only a minority of the people from being forced upon the majority. Therefore, I contend that this bill is justified, and I propose to show that the methods provided in the bill to which honorable members opposite take such great exception are also justified. A great song has been made about the liberty of the individual being threatened. I think that it was the Leader of the Opposition himself who said that in no other country had such extreme legislation been passed. I remind him that in the United States of America, in the Constitution of which there is written a protection of the rights of the individual - it is commonly called the people's " bill of rights " - legislation very similar to that now before this House is being enacted. The Hatch Act in the United States of America prevents any person who holds subversive ideas from being a government employee. Then there is the Taft-Hartley Act, which also deals with subversive activities in trade unions - a matter to which this bill directs attention. {: .speaker-L08} ##### Mr Rosevear: -- Yet more secrets have leaked out of the United States of America than any other country. {: .speaker-JXI} ##### Mr FREETH: -- That may he, but in spite of the written guarantee in the American Constitution of the liberty of the individual, the people of the United States of America are facing the Communist problem in much the same way as this Government is facing it. There is no such guarantee in our Constitution, although the liberty of the individual is traditionally protected. In the United States" of America also, there *is* the Voorhis Act, which requires the registration of subversive organizations. All these enactments are legal infringements of the liberty of the individual. Australia's problem is similar to that of the United States of America. By reason of our written Constitution we have a limitation on interference with the liberty of the individual, and for that reason we must justify any action that we take to restrict that liberty. If we can show - and I submit that we have done so - that the Communist party alone is a menace to this country, then we are justified under the defence power in introducing this legislation. Honorable members opposite have expressed fears that that provision will he abused and will be directed against trade unions. They have even expressed fears that it may be directed against the Labour party or other political parties. They should be well aware from their own experiences that the High Court of Australia is a jealous interpreter of theConstitution and its interpretation of it would not allow the misuse of the defencepower of the Commonwealth that honorable members opposite have suggested ispossible. The mere fact of claiming in an act of Parliament that its provisions are within the defence power does not automatically bring such legislation actually within the ambit of the defence power. Such legislation has to be bona fide and genuinely directed towards the use of the defence power. The fears of honorable members opposite are therefore entirely groundless. The honorable member for Fremantle **(Mr. Beazley)** suggested that a great number of constitutional cases would come before the High Court as a result of the passage of this legislation. I do not doubt that people will try to test the legislation, but the honorable member was entirely wrong when he said that only the Communist party would be entitled to test its constitutional validity. It would be open to any person or organization accused or declared under the act not only to take advantage of the right of appeal but also to test the constitutional validity of the act. That is a protection given by the Constitution that this Parliament could not, by its own action, withdraw. I turn now to the statements of the right honorable member for Barton **(Dr. Evatt)** who said that in his view the legislation was too sweeping and too general and that the Government of which he was a member had taken certain definite measures against communism that, he claimed, were examples of the right way in which to proceed in definite instances where communism was proving a menace to this country. He instanced the general coal strike last year, the rocket range case and the twosedition cases in which charges were laid under the Crimes Act against members of the Communist party. Those actions were successful. They dealt with particular cases as they arose. I suggest, however, that the- right honorable gentleman has lost sight of the whole problem that we face. That problem is whether this country can stand many more coal strikes such as we faced last year. Can it stand the continuing and daily interference of the Communists who are infiltrating through all our democratic organizations ? He has lost sight of that aspect of it completely and he has also forgotten the air of respectability with which the Communist attempts to disguise his activities. Although specific instances do arise, they usually arise too late. It is time that we had on our statutebooks legislation for the taking of specific steps to cope with the general and continuing nature of the Communist problem. The right honorable gentleman has asked why the bill does not provide that the ordinary procedure of the courts shall be followed. I should have thought that the reason why was fairly obvious. If it follows that unusual legislation is necessary it can only be because the legislation already on the statute-book has proven ineffective. That legislation has, in fact, proven ineffective, although it may, as I have mentioned, be successful in isolated instances. Therefore, we must take the action of declaring people and by so doing prevent them from holding government employment and from holding an office in a trade union. We have in mind particularly key trade unions. In spite of all the successful prosecutions for which the right honorable member for Barton claims credit, the Communist party has continued to be active. As it is continuing with its work, some more drastic action has to be taken against it. What exactly is the liberty of the individual that is to be interfered with by this measure? First of all, the individual affected is to be denied the right to be employed by the government. I do not know whether any provision is written into, or understood in, our Constituton that any man has an undeniable right to be employed by the government. la this provision of the bill, therefore, such a gross interference? Surely any government which is trying to carry on effectively has a right, even without legislation, to dismiss any of its employees who are engaged in subversive activity. This bill merely lays down specific instances in which the Government may dismiss employees who are members of the Communist party or of an organization affiliated with Communist activities. What is the other interference with the liberty of the subject? The bill simply debars a member of the Communist party from holding office in a trade union. If honorable members opposite had their way employment by a trade union would almost be government employment, because once everything else had been socialized the trade unions would be socialized too. No member of the community has any inherent .right to hold either a government job or an office in a trade union. That is the whole crux of this bill so far as the liberties of the individual are concerned. Suggestions have been made that the bill goes too far, because it goes further than naming and dissolving the Communist party. It must be admitted that if we are to take action against the Communist party we must follow its members in whatever direction they dissolve, because it has been our experience in the past that the tactics of the Communists that are laid down by the organization include an arrangement that the party should have simultaneously a legal and an illegal sphere of operations. So strenuously have the Communists tried to cloak their above-ground activities with an air of respectability that they have even that holy of holies, the Labour party. I understand that the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)** can prodared, in the face of all the opposition that we have heard about from honorable members opposite, to attempt to penetrate duce documentary evidence that there has been a certain degree of association between the Communists and the Labour party. We accept the protestations of honorable members opposite that they loathe the Communists, but there can be no denying that the Communists have tried to penetrate the Labour party organization and to confuse the issues in the Labour party. When a Communist was elected to the Queensland Parliament he voted with the Labour party and he tried to tell the public that because he was a socialist and the members of the Labour party were also socialists they were all pursuing the same objective. {: .speaker-KDB} ##### Mr Edmonds: -- The honorable member knows that that is not correct. {: .speaker-JXI} ##### Mr FREETH: -- Through certain of its members the Labour party has in the past associated itself with Communists. That is indisputable. I do not say that the Labour movement as a whole approves of such an association, but we had an example only recently when the Peace Council was declared by the Australian Labour party to be a Communist organization. Yet a member of the Senate said that it is quite a harmless body. The air of respectability with which it clothes itself dupes other people who cannot see where is it leading. I propose to say something now concerning the onus of proof about which honorable members opposite have made a great deal of fuss. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- Put a bit of ginger into it ! {: .speaker-JXI} ##### Mr FREETH: -- The honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward)** can be relied on to supply all the ginger that is necessary. Because the bill places the onus of proof upon the individual, it has been alleged that it transgresses a fundamental principle of English law. The fact is that since the eighteenth century one principle of common law, which has not needed the support of any statute, has been that when the facts of a particular matter are peculiarly within the knowledge of one party the onus of proof lies fairly upon him. A person who has been " declared " under this legislation should know better than any one else whether he has been a member of an association that has engaged in activities connected with the Communist party. He should know, too, whether he himself has been engaged in dangerous activities. Of course, special statutes have continuously imposed an onus of proof of innocence in certain cases where the facts of particular matters are peculiarly within the knowledge of individuals. Examples of that are. supplied by the Official Secrets Act a"d the Larceny Act in England, and by the Criminal Codes in Australia, as well as by similar acts of the various States, most of which require that a person who has been charged with having in his possession goods reasonably suspected of having been stolen shall bear the onus of proof of his innocent possession of the goods. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: **Mr. Ward** *interjecting,* {: .speaker-JXI} ##### Mr FREETH: -- I doubt whether the honorable member for East Sydney would be very happy if he realized that if he went walking abroad at night with a screw driver and a penknife in his pocket he could be arrested for having housebreaking implements in his possession, and the onus of proof would be on him to establish his lawful purpose. Where a particular type of offence is of unusual danger to the community it has been the habit of legislatures to place the onus of proof of innocence on an accused person. This bill is different, however, in that an individual who is affected by it will not be charged with having committed any offence, but will merely be " declared ". However, where a person is charged under the penal provisions of the measure, as for example, with carrying on the activities of the Communist party, he will be prosecuted in the ordinary way, and he will be given the benefit of the doubt by the courts until the prosecution establishes its case. As **Mr. Justice** Isaacs said in the case quoted by the right honorable member for Barton and also by the Minister for External Affairs **(Mr. Spender)** - >The general requirement of the law is that the onus of proof is placed where the interests of justice are best served. If honorable members opposite realized that fact they would recognize that there is no grave injustice in placing a certain onus on a person or an association that is declared under the bill. In the debate that has taken place there has been a certain amount of loose talk about the onus of proof resting upon an accused person. All that any person or association that is " declared " under the bill will be required to do will be to make out a prima facie case that he or it should not have been declared under the bill. The appellant will be required to bring a certain amount of evidence of innocence, and if, on the balance of probabilities, the evidence is credible and the appellant has made out a case, the Government must either show its full hand and give him an opportunity to rebut it, or the court will accept the appellant's evidence and allow the appeal. No arduous or impossible task will be imposed upon any person or association. The bill merely places upon a person or an association the onus of showing on what grounds he or it contend that the declaration should not have been made, and then it places on the Government the onus of answering the evidence adduced in support of the appeal. Certain wide responsibilities are placed upon the Executive by the bill. The Executive has the responsibility of deciding whether a person or an organization is engaged in activities that are prejudicial to the defence of the country; but it has always been the responsibility of the Executive to make decisions of that kind. In this connexion **Mr. Justice** Isaacs stated - >The nation has the strongest right to trust its executive officers, who are administering the law, to be both vigilant and careful. Honorable members opposite have imputed all sorts of improper motives to the Government for having introduced this legislation. However, if we are to discuss it intelligently we must realize that whatever Government is in power it must be presumed that it will do its best to administer the law fairly. Of course, the present Government has also been accused of all sorts of improper motives in introducing the Social Services Consolidation Bill to extend child endowment payments, and other recent bills, but I suggest to honorable members opposite that they do not do their cause any good by making such suggestions, because, in doing so, they expose the lines on which they would be likely to act if they again attained power. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Daly)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 2565 {:#debate-27} ### ADJOURNMENT Coal Strike: Australian "Workers Union ; Armed Forces - Invalid Pensions. Motion (by **Mr. Beale)** proposed - >That the House do now adjourn. {: #debate-27-s0 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I desire to bring to the notice of the House the fact that certain statements have been made concerning the Australian Workers Union. On several occasions a statement has been made by people who should know better that the Chifley Administration used the army to mine coal when the Australian Workers Union had offered to supply labour to work the mines. That statement does not contain a scintilla of truth but in relation to the Australian Workers Union is completely false. {: .speaker-KDS} ##### Mr Failes: -- Who made the statement ? {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- As honorable members are aware, I am not permitted to say who made the statement, but it was made by a person who should have known better ; in fact, I go so far as to say that he did know better. I wish to clear the good name of the Australian Workers Union, of which, I am proud to say. I have been an executive officer continuously for the last eleven years. 1 have held the highest administrative office in that union in South Australia, and at present I am a member of its federal executive, and federal vicepresident. I have indicated the positions that I hold in the union in order to support the statements that I am about to make in relation to that union's attitude towards the use of its members as strike breakers and to indicate that my statements bear the imprimatur of authority. The Australian Workers Union, at no time, discussed the question of supplying labour to work in the coalmines or open-cuts in New South Wales, or anywhere else, during the last coal strike. If such a proposal had been mad< to the federal executive I am as certain as *I* stand here that it would not have agreed to it under and conditions. The Australian Workers Union has a truly Australian outlook, and would never be prepared to allow its members to act as strike-breakers or industrial scabs. {: .speaker-KFQ} ##### Mr Gullett: -- What about the use ot the army? {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I am noi talking about the army. The general secretary of the Australian Workers Union, **Mr. Dougherty,** has on many occasions been accused by several people who should know better of having offered to provide labour from the Australian Workers Union to work in the op n-"ti mines in New South Wales during the last coal strike. He did not at any time make such an offer to the Prime Minister of the day, who is now the Leader of t. Opposition **(Mr. Chifley).** I have t1 authority of that right honorable gentleman to make that statement and also to say that the right honorable gentleman himself, when he was Prime Minister, did not ask that members of the Australian Workers Union should be used as strike-breakers. No such request was ever made by the then Prime Minister and no such offer was ever made by **Mr. Dougherty.** Therefore, **Mr. Dougherty** has been slandered by people who have carried out their nefarious attacks under privilege. If they had not enjoyed that immunity their statements would have rendered them liable to a charge of criminal libel. Not one of those persons is prepared to say openly that the general secretary of the Australian Workers Union offered to the Prime Minister of the day to supply labour from the Australian Workers Union for the purpose that I have indicated. Such a statement is a deliberate lie. Yet, the Liberal party in its propaganda has stated repeatedly that the Australian Workers Union was prepared to supply labour for that purpose, but that the Government would not accept the offer. {: #debate-27-s1 .speaker-K7J} ##### Mr CRAMER: -- That does not do credit to the Australian Workers Union. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Yes it does; because any trade union that is prepared to allow its members to go as strike breakers into any industry in which the employees are on strike, is not worthy of the traditions of Australian trade unionism. The Australian Workers Union is the last trade union in this country that would ever stand for such treachery. {: #debate-27-s2 .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr DUTHIE:
Wilmot -- I wish to refer to a matter relating to social services that has been brought to my notice by many of my constituents. I am sure that other honorable members have received communications from their constituents upon the same subject. I shall outline the problem by reading the following letter which I received from a police officer who has a family: - >The facts are that on the 15th July last year a claim for an invalid pension was heard before the pension magistrate here, **Mr. R.** P. > >Furmage, in respect to my son, Donald Alfred - , born the 11th October, 1932. Don is a " blue baby " and will never be able to work and will be an invalid for the short time he will be with us. I took him to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne last October with a view to having an operation performed to try and give him a bit longer life, but after a week in there, one of the foremost surgeons in Australia, **Mr. Officer-Brown,** informed me that he was a hopeless case and that nothing could be done for him. The next sentence in the letter is one of a kind that I have seen frequently, and against which I again protest. It is as follows : - >The application for the pension was refused on the ground "that he was adequately maintained by his relatives", meaning, of course, me. The letter continues - >This I think is most unfair after all the years I have contributed to the Social Services Tax, and if I had not taken care of my earnings, and had nothing he would have no doubt received the pension. > >After the age of sixteen years he is not an allowable deduction from income tax, although he is wholly maintained by me. Two doctor's certificates were lodged with the claim that he will never be able to work owing to his heart condition. The writer of the letter has asked me to take up this matter. I have received similar letters from invalid young people. It is a tragedy that young persons between the ages of sixteen and eighteen years should be pronounced unfit ever to do any work. Their maintenance throws a tremendous strain upon their parents, who must also incur considerable expenditure in respect of medicines and medical treatment for their afflicted offspring. I believe that the social services legislation should be extended to cover these young persons. Probably there are many hundreds of them in Australia. They should receive invalid pensions unconditionally, irrespective of their parent's incomes. In most instances, their parents are now earning reasonable incomes, but later as the result of an economic blizzard, their incomes may be reduced. I see no reason why special provision should not be made for young persons from, say, sixteen years of age who have been certified by doctors as being permanently disabled, either mentally or physically, and I urge the Government to consider making the necessary financial provision in the budget and extending the scope of the social services legislation. {: #debate-27-s3 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HOLT:
Minister for Labour and National Service and Minister for Immigration · Higgins · LP -- I listened with, interest to what was said by the honorable member for Wilmot **(Mr. Duthie).** I represent in this chamber the Minister for Social Services, but I have no detailed knowledge of the facts that the honorable gentleman presented or of the policy that underlies the decision that was made. I shall ensure that my colleague is informed of the comments that have been made and the facts that have been presented. Doubtless, he will examine the matter sympathetically and consider whether anything can be done to meet the situation. I do not think I should allow the very remarkable speech, if I may so describe it, of the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** to pass without comment. Through the years the Australian trade union movement has developed a fine tradition of solidarity and comradeship, and I should be the last person to criticize that tradition. Properly applied, it is a splendid Australian attribute. But some persons who claim to represent the trade union movement have developed a perverted sense of loyalty. They appear to have a completely wrong conception of the values that should be applied in matters that involve the constitutional authority of a democratic government and that affect the best interests of Australia. There could be no more striking illustration of that perverted sense of loyalty than that which was exhibited to-night by the honorable member for Hindmarsh. He referred to the general coal strike and claimed it as a virtue that not only was a great Australian trade union with a fine democratic tradition not asked to assist the Government that was then in power to break a Communist-inspired and unlawful strike but that if it had been asked to do so, it would, according to his solemn assurance, most certainly have rejected the request. That was an extraordinary statement for any member of this Parliament to make. It would have been extraordinary if it had been made by a trade union official acting in his official capacity, but when it is made by a man with a long ex perience of trade unions who also has the responsibility of being a member of the democratic Parliament from which the Government of this country is chosen, we may well ask ourselves what has become of the democratic tradition in Australia and what hope there is for democratic government. A Labour government came to the conclusion - a conclusion that it publicized by public statements and advertisements throughout the length and breadth of Australia - that the general coal strike was Communist-inspired and directed, and that it was a treacherous strike. It was regarded so seriously by the government of the day that special emergency legislation was introduced, under which the fund? of trade unions were frozen and terms of imprisonment of officials of trade unions were stipulated under certain conditions. The Government also called upon the armed forces of the Commonwealth to assist in maintaining coal production although that action was contrary to the printed platform of the party from which the members of the Government were drawn. In circumstances such as those, what duty is owed to the government by citizens of the Commonwealth? Whether they be members of trade unions or whether they be persons who, although not members of trade unions, regard themselves as true Australians, the duty of all citizens is to give the best support that they can to the government of the day. No objection was raised by the members of the armed forces, whose services were utilized, although the job of acting as strike breakers must have been just as distasteful to them as it would have been to members of the Australian Workers Union. They sought no part in that struggle and they had no desire to act in that way against fellow Australians, but they were asked by the government of their own country, in a crisis that had been stigmatized as Communistinspired, to assist in maintaining essential services. I say that any man with a true sense of public spirit and patriotism, whatever his occupation, who was asked at that time to assist the government in maintaining essential services should have acceded to the request. I do not accept what was said by the honorable member for Hindmarsh as a true reflection of the attitude of the rank-and-file members of the Australian Workers Union, which is a patriotic trade union. If it has stood for anything, it has stood for the determination of industrial disputes by the peaceful method of arbitration. It has supported arbitration throughout Australia, and has thereby earned the respect of the Australian community. I say that the honorable gentleman slandered a body of his fellow Australians when he said that, if a Labour government, in a crisis of that kind, had appealed to the members of the Australian Workers Union to help it to maintain essential services, they would have rejected the request. The honorable gentleman may speak for the officials of the union. As I have said, the officials of some trade unions have developed a perverted sense of loyalty. Their first loyalty is to their country and their second loyalty is to the democratically elected government of that country. Before they place their loyalty as trade union officials first, they should re-examine their standards of value and decide where their true loyalty should lie. {: #debate-27-s4 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD:
East Sydney .- I should not have intervened in this debate had it not been for the utter rubbish that was uttered by the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. Holt).** The honorable gentleman may have a knowledge of some subjects, but he certainly has no knowledge of trade unionism. The honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** merely stated the fact that his organization was not asked to participate in the dispute to which he referred, and he then said that, in his opinion, if the request had been made it would have been rejected. I believe he is more qualified to judge the opinion of members of the Australian Workers Union than is the Minister, who probably has never been a member of a trade union. The honorable member for Hindmarsh has been a prominent official of that organization for very many years. [ know how disappointed honorable members opposite must have been that the members of the Australian Workers Union were not asked to work the open cut mines. Listening to honorable members opposite and not knowing their record, one would think that they were the champions of the trade unions.. Over the years anti-Labour governments have directed legislation of the most repressive kind against the trade unions. They are now contemplating further action to smash the trade unions. They wanted the members of the Australian Workers Union to work the open-cut mines for the sole purpose of driving a wedge between the workers in the coal-mining industry and workers in other industries. The workers are not likely to be misled by the statements of the Minister for Labour and National Service. They are much more likely to take notice of their own trusted officials. I prefer to believe what the honorable member for Hindmarsh has said about this matter than to accept the word of the Minister, who, during his life time, has never been associated with a trade union. I could cite instance after instance in which antiLabour governments have used strikebreakers in what were purely industrial disputes, not because they believed that the safety of the nation was at stake, but because they wanted to smash the unions. That is their record throughout the years. It is sheer rot for the Minister to say that bo believes in the great traditions and the solidarity of the trade union movement. nti-Labour governments, of which some Ministers of the present Government were members, have used coercion of all kinds to compel the workers to undertake tasks which they regarded as unpalatable. The honorable member for Hindmarsh was quite justified in stating the facts of this matter. I do not intend to go over the whole sorry history of the coal strike. 1 merely rose to support the honorable member for Hindmarsh who honestly told us what he knows to be the facts merely for the purpose of protecting the members of his organization from the unwarranted attack that had been made upon them by a member of this Government. {: #debate-27-s5 .speaker-KFQ} ##### Mr GULLETT:
Henty .- I do not propose to comment on the remarks of the honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward)** because, as usual, he has in this debate, as he invariably does in every debate in which he participates, made a bitter and deliberate attempt to stir up further ill feeling in the community. That is his stock-in-trade in this House as it always has been outside this House. 1 propose to refer to one aspect of the matter that has been raised by the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Glyde Cameron).** In particular the honorable member characterized as strike-breakers and scabs those who were called upon to work in New South Wales open-cut coal mines during the coal strike last year. In fairness I should remind the House that some one had to do that work at that time. The strike took place only a short while ago and we all remember the state of affairs that resulted from it. We remember the terrible plight of the people of Sydney as the result of that strike. Not only was the entire population of Sydney put to great inconvenience and forced to suffer grave hardships, not only was unemployment daily growing so rapidly that a state of total unemployment would have been quickly reached, but also the hospitals were forced to refuse to accept patients, most of whom were workers. In a hundred and one ways life in Sydney had become intolerable. It is the most terrible nonsense for honorable members opposite to claim that they are the representatives of the workers. Do they know anything of the inconvenience and suffering inflicted on the workers in Sydney as the result of that strike? Do they regard the sufferings of the people of that city as a matter of no account? No work was being done in the northern coal mines of New South Wales. As the result of the very carefully organized planning of the Communistcontrolled miners' federation, there were no reserves of coal. Almost immediately after the strike began ovc nev was in chaos. Someone had to produce coal and it was clearly the Government's task to provide the means by which coal could be won. Surely the most obvious persons to select for that task were the members of the Australian Workers Union. Members of that organization were still working at the Leigh Creek mine in South Australia and in certain mines on the south coast of New South Wale9. No indication had been given by the organization that its members were not prepared to undertake the work. They were the obvious choice and we expected the Government to ask them to undertake the work. Instead, the Government took a most contemptible and cowardly step. It did not ask the members of the armed forces to undertake the work; it ordered them to do so because they happened to be under its control. In my view the Government was guilty of the most disgraceful act in. ordering the troops of this country, who are drawn largely from the rank and file of the people, to go into the industrial areas and to undertake work which should have been undertaken by the membersof the Australian Workers Union. When the Government was faced with the choiceof asking the members of the Australian Workers Union to undertake the work or of directing members of its armed forces to do so, it placed political party consideration first and the interests of the country last. Every honorable memberknows that as the result of its action,, great bitterness was engendered in theminds of many people towards the members of the armed forces. It has never been the practice in British countries to call in troops to undertake work that theworkers refuse to undertake. I very much resent the application of the terms " strike breakers " and " scabs " to the se soldiers who worked in the mines, not of their own volition, hut under compulsion by theGovernment. They were, in reality, the benefactors of the community. They were the scapegoats of the Government which exercised its authority over them, as an easy solution of a problem which it did not have the guts to face squarely.. Motion (by **Mr. Beale)** agreed to - >That the question be now put. Original question resolved in theaffirmative. {: .page-start } page 2569 {:#debate-28} ### PAPER The following paper was presented : - >Seat of Government (Administration) Act- - Notice of variation of plan of lay-out. of City of Canberra and its environs,, dated 4th May, 1950. House adjourned at 11.45 p.m. {: .page-start } page 2570 {:#debate-29} ### ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS *The following answers to questions were circulated: -* Housekeeper Services. Education. {:#subdebate-29-0} #### Immigration {: #subdebate-29-0-s0 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Minister for Immigratian, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What contributions has Australia made to the International Refugee Organization during each year since it became a member nation? 1. What amount has been expended each year by the organization on the provision of shipping, camps, medical treatment and other facilities for the resettlement of displaced persons in Australia? 2. Have any ships been made available to bring displaced persons to Australia; if so, by what member nations and what are the names of such ships and the passenger-carrying capacity of each? {: #subdebate-29-0-s1 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr Holt:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 1947-48, £860,000; 1948-49, £860,000; 1949-50, £1,142,000; 1950-51, £436,000 (the increased contribution for the financial year 1949-50 was due to sterling devaluation) ; (anticipated contribution only). 1. Information provided by the International Refugee Organization of International Refugee Organization expenditure on the Australian mass resettlement scheme expressed in United States dollars in each year is as follows: - Totalcost,July,1947,toMarch, 1950- 49,660,000dollars.Acomparisonofthese figuresillustratesveryclearlytheadvantages accruingtoAustraliafromitsagreementwith theInternationalRefugeeOrganizationto acceptdisplacedpersonsforresettlement.By June,1950,Australiawillhavecontributedin accordancewiththepercentageallottedtoher undertheconstitutionofInternationalRefugee Organization£A2,862,000towardtheadminis- trativeandoperationalbudgetsofthatorgani- zation.Bythatdatewewillhavereceived approximately142,000 {: type="1" start="3"} 0. The InternationalRefugee Organization, as an agency ofthe United Nations,has chartered afleet of vessels from various sources for thecarriage of displaced persons to their country of resettlement. The vessels comprising this fleet of some 35 ships are mainly fitted with standee accommodation as for wartime troop transport.The charterings fall into two categories - (a) Commercial shipping either on time charter or block space contract; (b) United States army transports chartered from theUnited States Army Transportation Corps.Vesselswhich havebeen employed at various times on the Australian run and their carrying capacity are - *Thefollowingshippinghasalsobeenemployed butisnowoutofInternationalRefugee Organizationservice:-Protea,Svalband,* *CharltonSovereign,andCanberra.* Defence. Dr.Nott asked the Ministerfor the Army, *upon notice -* >In view of the fact that the United States of America, apart from all Marshall aid considerations, is actively engaged in training many hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors . and airmen in Europe, parts of Asia and elsewhere, will he consider the possibility and practicability of also making training and supply facilities available in Australia to the United States of America in the defence of democracy and as a source ofvastdollar income to this country? {: #subdebate-29-0-s2 .speaker-JWT} ##### Mr Francis:
LP s. - Theanswer tothe honorable member's question is as follows : - >The honorablemember's question relates to a matter ofGovernment policy, a decision on which is not usually given in reply to a question raised in the House. However, any decision on sucha policy would, in the first instance, be dependent upon the attitude of the United States Government thereto. As stated by my colleague,the Minister for External Affairs, in his recent statement on foreign policy, our policy is to maintain the closest and best possible relations with the United States of America. For themaintenance of peace and security in the Pacific region Australia and the United States of America canact in concert to our mutual advantage. {:#subdebate-29-1} #### Communism {: #subdebate-29-1-s0 .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr Wentworth: h asked the Prime Minster, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is it a fact that a Communist-sponsored body, known as the Democratic Rights Council, sent delegates to Canberra on the 27th April to take part ina Communist-led demonstration ? 1. Is it a fact that this council is an off-shoot of another Communist-sponsored organization known as the Council for Civil Liberties? 2. Is it a fact that the following are named as vice-presidentsof this same Council for Civil Liberties in its last published list of office-bearers: - The honorable member for Fremantle, the honorable member for EdenMonaro, the honorable member for Lalor, the honorable member for East Sydney and the right honorable member for Melbourne Ports? 3. Is it a fact that the right honorable member for Barton and the Honorable Clarrie. Martin, Attorney-General in the present New South Wales Government, have been named by this Communist-sponsored body as its legal advisers in. the past) {: type="1" start="5"} 0. Will he make inquiries to ascertain whether the above-named gentlemen still retain any connexion with this Communist front mid inform the House of the result of his inquiries I {: #subdebate-29-1-s1 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies:
LP -- I shall endeavour to -obtain answers to the honorable member's -questions and advise him as early as possible.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 11 May 1950, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.