21st Parliament · 1st Session
Mr.Speaker (Hon. Archie Cameron) took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.
– It is my intention to issue a “writ to-morrow, the 21st April, for the election of a member to serve far the electoral division ofCook in New
South Wales in the place of Thomas Sheehan deceased. The dates in connexion with the election are fixed as follows: - Date of nomination, the 6th May, 1955 ; polling, the 21st May, 1955 ; return to writ, on or before the and July, 1955.
Assent to the following bills reported : -
Aged Persons Homes Bill 1954.
Bankruptcy Bill 1954.
Broadcasting Bill 1954.
Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Request and Consent) Bill 1954.
Customs Tariff Validation Bill 1954.
Excise Tariff Validation Bill 1954.
Cold-mining Industry Assistance Bill 1954.
Leigh Creek North Coal Field to Marree (Conversion to Standard Gauge)Railway Bill 1954.
River Murray Waters Bill 1954.
South-East Asia Collective Defence Treaty Bill 1954.
Stevedoring Industry Bill 1954.
Sulphuric Acid Bounty Bill 1954.
Wheat Export Charge Bill 1954.
Wheat Industry Stabilization Bill 1954.
Mr. MINOGUE presented a petition from certain citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia praying that the Parliament will increase age. and invalid pensions to £4 10s. a week.
Petition received and read.
– My question which is directed to the Minister for Health concerns the new vaccine against poliomyelitis, known as the Salk vaccine. Can the Minister inform the House when sufficient of the vaccine will be produced in this country to enable it to be made available to those who may he affected by poliomyelitis ?
– In relation to the obtaining of supplies, I have been in active communication for several weeks with thevarious manufacturing companies of the United States of America that have made all of the vaccine that has been prepared for the great Salk experiments, and on Friday I ammeeting representatives of those companies to ascertain exactly what supplies they will have available in the immediate future for Australia. We have been manufacturing this vaccine with a pilot plant that has been built and operated as a result of suggestions that have been made by Dr. Salk through Dr. P. L. Bazeley of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories who, in November, 1962, was seconded to the staff of Dr. Salk for the purpose of acquiring a knowledge of its preparation and use. “When the experiment was completed on the 1st February, Dr. Bazeley, on the advice of Dr. Salk, remained in the United States and Canada for the purpose, first, of examining other laboratories in which he had not worked and which were still in active production and, secondly, of obtaining for Australia the most modern equipment possible. That equipment is now on order, and funds Lava benn, made available for its purchase. It seems that, within -the next five pr six months, we shall have ample supplies from our own sources, irrespective of the position overseas.
– Is the Government going to place the vaccine on the free list?
– We shall deal with that question when we have sufficient supplies. We arc being assisted very handsomely by Australian citizens, and only last night Sir Edward Hallstrom offered to make available at the Sydney zoo sufficient space for monkeys in order to provide a continuous supply of vaccine. In addition, the Melbourne zoo, which is close to the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, has been asked to ensure that there will be no difficulty in the. housing of the monkeys as rapidly as they come in. Arrangements have been made for up to 200 monkeys a month to be received, which is roughly the number that will be necessary to enable us to. provide vaccine for the whole of Australia.
– My question is directed to the Minister for Health. Is it not a fact that considerable caution is necessary in the process of making the Salk vaccine generally available for use, and is not much of the outcry for supplies to be immediately available in this country,, .though understandable, mistaken? Is. it yet known, for instance, for how long the vaccine will give immunity from poliomyelitis, and is there not a risk that’ considerable and dangerous allergic reactions may be caused if supplies are not sufficient to enable repeated and perhaps frequent injections to be given? Are there not also other dangers to be overcome in the mass production of the vaccine, such as those of introducing serious diseases into the country with the monkeys used in its manufacture? Is it not n fact that a great many steps have already been taken to. establish production in this country, as a result of which Australia is in a foremost position among all countries, other than the United States of America, with regard to its use?
– To answer the last question of the honorable member first, outside the United States of America and Canada which have been actively engaged in this huge experiment, Australia is in the best position of any country to deal with the local manufacture of the vaccine. We are already making some of it, and we have the men who have the technical knowledge to make it. They have had a considerable amount of experience with thi3 vaccine during the last two and a half years. So far as the honorable member’s other questions arc concerned, there is no doubt that the protection given by this_ vaccine and the length of time for which that protection persists, are causing a great deal of mental concern to all those who are engaged in the huge? experiment in the United States to try to prevent the infection of poliomyelitis. The experiment has been going on formore than a year in the United States, and its process has given us a certain amount of knowledge and experience with regard to the protective effect of the vaccine injections. Dr. Salk himself has said that there should be three injections given within two months in order to provide immunity. Dr. Bazeley has said that if the first injection were followed by another in a month, and a third five months later, there would be a much longer protective period. One advantage that we shall obtain from the shortage of vaccine here will be the benefit of the experience of the years of experiment in the United States and of
American activities in this field during the next year. However, there is, unfortunately, a shortage of the vaccine in the United States. The National Foundation of Poliomyelitis, which is carrying out the nation-wide campaign, has been forced to reduce the injections from three to two. That is causing a great deal of concern to everybody associated with the experiment. The fact that supplies are short in America, as our correspondence with the United States’ Government has indicated, may limit our own capacity to utilize the vaccine within the next twelve months to the degree that we may desire.
– My question in directed to the Treasurer. In the recent disastrous floods in Kew South Wales, business houses throughout the affected ureas lost considerable stocks of merchandise on which sales tax and excise had been paid. Will the Government give sympathetic consideration to the widespread request that traders should be permitted to replace such stocks free of sales tax and excise?
– The honorable member has brought this matter to my notice previously. Investigations are being conducted to ascertain to what extent sympathetic and practical consideration can be given to his request. He will realize, of course, that there are various obstacles and difficulties to be overcome, even though the Government desires to give the greatest possible consideration to the request. It is not easy to police these matters in order to discriminate between merit and imposition. However, the matter is receiving consideration, and I hope to be able to give the honorable member some information fi bout it very soon.
– Oan the Minister for Labour and National Service inform the House whether the 1954 report of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Board has been prepared and, if so, when it is likely to be tabled?
– I cannot give an immediate answer. I shall make inquiries to ascertain whether the report can be made available immediately to honorable members or, if not, how soon it can be made available.
– I ask the Minister for Labour and National Service whether the recent amalgamation of the No. 1 branch and the No. 2 branch of the Melbourne Waterside Workers Federation of Australia was recommended or approved by the Stevedoring Industry Board. Did the amalgamation also receive the approval of the Communist general secretary of the federation? Is the Minister aware that this amalgamation has greatly strengthened the Communist control of the Melbourne waterfront, and, even now, has made itself manifest in a series of unjustifiable stoppages? Is the Minister also aware that the amalgamation is bitterly resented by genuine Labour waterside workers on the ground that the former No. 2 branch was composed of Communists, fellow travellers, and notorious union wreckers commonly called scabs?
– Order !
– The honorable member has introduced a. certain amount of comment into his question, which I do not think that I can deal with adequately within the Standing Orders. I should be surprised to learn that the Australian Stevedoring Industry Board had taken any direct part in the internal affairs of the union at all. However, I shall have inquiries made on that point. To the best of my knowledge, what transpired was as a result of action taken in the two unions as they were at that time, and not as the result of any recommendation or action on the part of the board. Undoubtedly, there has been a degree of militancy and industrial upheaval on the Melbourne waterfront which all thoughtful people, irrespective of their political allegiances, will deplore. I hope that in all sections of the Australian community there is a growing realization of the cost, in terms of increased transport charges, of delay in the movement of Australian shipping, and of the burdens that are imposed upon all sections of the community, including those very unionists to whom the Waterside Workers’ Federation normally looks, for support, that result therefrom I think it is deplorable that the Communists in this union -have met with so little competition or organized resistance from those persons who detest the Communist doctrine as much as we do, and honorable members opposite must have been impressed by the fact that quite recently the president and the general secretary of this union were re-elected for a three-year term without having been opposed by other candidates.
Mi-. ALLAN”.– Is the Minister for Defence aware that during the recent disastrous floods in northern New South Wales the whole of the area north of Newcastle and the entire State of Queensland were isolated from the rest of Australia for a period, of several days ? During that time, there were no road or rail communications and telegraphic communication could be made only through Darwin. In view of the fact that this dislocation was caused by floods in the Hunter Valley, where similar floods can be expected in the future, and that this bottleneck in communication would present an obvious target in the event of an attack on this country by hostile forces, will the Minister take action to give defence priority to (1) the construction of a strategic road between Brisbane and Sydney, bypassing the Hunter Valley; (2) the construction of a strategic railway link between. Sandy Hollow and Maryvale in New South “Wales to enable railway traffic to bypass the Hunter Valley ; (3) the construction of inland aerodromes north of the Hunter Valley ; (4) the establishment of military depots and camps inland in northern New South Wales; and (5) the installation of alternative means of telegraphic communication in this vital area?
– I am aware of the disastrous floods that took place early in this year in northern New South Wales and of the interruption of communications that they caused. The Commonwealth has already made a decision and is taking action to improve telephonic communications in the area, as my colleague the Postmaster-General, announced recently. I point out to the honorable member that the question of priority in relation to the road, rail and other services mentioned by him is entirely a matter for the States. It is not a question of a lack of funds for the purpose in New South Wales. The New South Wales Government holds large amounts of money in trust accounts. Where that Government spends its money and employs its men and resources is a matter entirely within its control. I am afraid that the Commonwealth has not much influence in that matter. I shall have inquiries made and shall give the honorable member any further information that I am able to give him,
– In view of the disastrous floods in the Hunter Valley and the curtailment for three weeks of the transport of gas coal from the South Maitland coal-field, which supplies gas coal to Victoria and other States, and in view of the fact that this interruption of coal supplies has occurred on many occasions, and that for fully twenty years I have asked questions upon the matter in this House and have always received an answer similar to that just given by the Minister for Defence to the honorable member for Gwydir - that it is a State matter - and in view of the fact that I have stated and-
– Order ! Will the honorable gentleman ask his question?
– In 1934 it. was stated that an all-weather railway could be provided by linking the J. and A. Brown and Abermain Seaham Collieries Limited railway with the-
-Order ! The honorable gentleman may not proceed in this fashion. He must ask his question.
– In view of the fact that in 1934 an officer of the New South Wales Department of Railways stated that an all-weather railway could be constructed by linking the J. and A. Brown and Abermain Seaham Collieries Limited railway with the West Wallsend to Cockle Creek railway at Bluegum, and in view of the fact that the line operated by J. and A. Brown and Abermain Seaham Collieries Limited has been the. only link with the coal-fields-
– Order ! I shall not allow the honorable gentleman to proceed in this fashion. He must direct a question to the Prime Minister.
– In new of the fact that for three weeks the transport of coal from the South Maitland coal-field was severely curtailed, and that for that period the local miners were unable to work in the mines and were engaged in clearing up after the floods and in rescue work, will the Prime Minister give consideration to the suggestion made in 1934 that the J. and A. Brown and Abermain Seaham Collieries Limited railway be linked, via Bluegum, with the West Wallsend to Cockle Creek railway to provide an allweather railway for the transport of coal from the South Maitland coal-field?
– I gather from the honorable member’s question that for twenty years he has raised this matter and that Australian governments have stated that it is a State matter; that is to say, that the honorable member has received that answer from two or three Australian governments of my political colour and from two Labour governments. T may say that it is a matter upon which T agree with my predecessors.
– In view of the greater damage resulting from more frequent cyclones and floods in recent times, can flic Postmaster-General assure the House that the Postal Department will proceed with all possible speed with the establishment and extension of the radio communication network to which he referred in the course of a public statement that, he made a few weeks ago? On that occasion he mentioned that this work was expected to be completed within two years. Can he say whether there is any likelihood of that period being reduced?
– Following my tour of the flood areas when I saw at first hand the state of communications, the Government decided to allocate a sum of approximately £500,000 towards the cost of establishing radio telecommunication services throughout the flood-affected areas in New South Wales and Queensland. It will take some little time to get those services going because the requisite apparatus must be obtained principally from abroad. The purpose is not simply to provide radio telephone services but to make such services part of the ordinary commercial services provided by the Postal Department. These services will be in use daily and when, an emergency occurs it is expected that they will be in first-class working order. We shall expedite their establishment to the utmostdegree, but I think that some little time may elapse before they can bc put into operation.
– I address a question to the Minister for Territories in relation to the general re-organization and reclassification of departments in Papua and New Guinea. Will the Minister fix a common date upon which payment of reclassified higher salaries shall bc effective regardless of the actual dates on which any particular department may be reclassified? I also ask him whether, when the last reclassification took place in 1949, the then Minister for Territories approved the principle of retrospectivity?
– I shall discuss the particular points that the honorable member has raised with the Public Service Commissioner for the Territory of Papua and New Guinea ; and I have no doubt we shall be able to make an arrangement that will be completely fair to all the officers of the Administration.
– Is the Minister for External Affairs aware of reports circulating in this country that a professor in the Department of Far Eastern History in the Australian National University is now in Bandung observing the Afro- Asian conference and that on his return he will report to the Australian Government? Has this gentleman’s journey been authorized, sponsored, or in any way encouraged by the Government or by the Department of External Affairs ? Further, does the accuracy of this gentleman’s observations in the past suggest that he would be a reliable observer at the conference? I refer particularly to his advocacy during the Chinese civil war of a theory that the -Chinese Communists were not Communists but agrarian reformers and, subsequently, even as late as last year-
– Order ! The honorable gentleman is getting outside the scope of a question.
– … of a theory that the Viet Minh could not be described as a Communist-controlled movement.
– I imagine that the honorable member is referring to Professor Fitzgerald. I would say that a professor-
– I rise to order, Mr. Speaker. Is the Minister in order in mentioning the name of a person who is not a member of this House ?
– Order ! Names of persons must not. be mentioned in questions.
– I withdraw the name.
– As the Minister has mentioned the name, is not the question out of order?
– I have said that I withdraw the name.
– I rise to order. You, Mr. Speaker, have ruled in the past that questions containing imputations against named persons who are not members of this House are out of order.
– The Standing Orders so prescribe, I think the question should be placed on the notice-paper.
– I rise to order. A few moments ago, you, Mr. Speaker, permitted an honorable member to ask a question, without interruption, in which repeated reference was made to J. and A. Brown.
– Order ! If my memory serves me aright, the name in the question to which the honorable member for Henty refers is a limited J. & A. Brown. The other one was that of an unlimited professor.
– Can the Minister for External Affairs state whether any Australians are present at the Afro-Asian conference at Bandung, and, if so. can he state whether any Australian present is attending as a representative, whether official of unofficial, of the Australian Government or as an observer on behalf of the Australian Government?
– I understand that two Australians at least are in Bandung. Neither is there in any official capacity. Indeed, as I understand it, they are there in purely personal capacities. -They certainly do not represent the Australian Government, and so far as I know they do not represent any other Australian body or instrumentality. I think that the two gentlemen in question would probably be the first to agree that their views differ so basically - and I might, with truth, say so radically - from the views of this Government that they would be the last persons whom the Australian Government, would ever ask to represent Australia.
– Has the attention of the Minister for Social Services, who administers the War Service Homes Division, been drawn to allegations made at a recent conference of the South-Eastern District of the Returned Servicemen’s League of Queensland, in the course of which delegates complained, and made charges of maladministration, bungling, inefficiency, and delays of up to eighteen months in dealing with applications for war service homes, and finally demanded a thorough investigation into the whole administration? If the attention, of the Minister has been drawn to those allegations, and in view of the seriousness of the returned servicemen’s complaints, has the honorable gentleman any statement to make on this important matter? Further, will he have an immediate investigation made of the whole position as demanded by members of the Returned Servicemen’s League conference ?
– My attention has been drawn to the article mentioned by the honorable member.
– Order ! If the question is based on a newspaper article, it is out of order.
– The honorable member for Brisbane was quoting from a newspaper article but nonetheless, as the question has been asked-
-Order! The question is out of order.
– I rise to order. 1. point out that my question was not based on a newspaper report. My question was based on the report given by the men themselves at the conference.
– By whom?
– By the members of the conference, the returned servicemen. I ask for an answer to my question.
– Order ! Does the Minister wish to reply?
– I do wish to say, in reply to the question of the honorable member for Brisbane, that the answer can be found in the fact that the War Service Homes Division will this year provide 12,000 homes for exservicemen. Any person who wishes to analyse those facts fairly and objectively will be prepared to admit that this is a magnificent achievement. I have heard, through various ex-servicemen’s sources, that there would be a sustained attack upon the director. I want to make it clear that I am satisfied with his activities, and I am certain that every ex-serviceman who sits behind me, and who knows the gentleman, will be prepared to defend him in this House, or, lor that matter, anywhere else. I wish to say definitely-
– Why. then, have the complaints been made, to which F have referred?
– I know that happens every budget time, because there is a desire to boost the amount of money to be provided for war service homes. In fact, some senior representatives of the ex-servicemen’s organization personally warned me over a month ago that a series of attacks would take place. As they warned me, so those attacks have come to pass. I would not take too much notice of them. I am very happy about the fact that Australian ex-servicemen will get 12,000 homes this year.
– Will the Minister for Social Services consider amending the War Service Homes Act so as to include, as eligible persons, British ex-servicemen who are now permanent residents in Australia ? Will the Minister consider making this extension, with some sort of safeguard such as a requirement that the former British ex-servicemen shall give an undertaking that they will remain residents of this country for a specific period? J point out that many former British ex-servicemen are now members of the reserves of the three Australian armed forces.
– This matter has received consideration on several occasions during the past year. It has been decided not to include British ex-servicemen within the scope of the War Service Homes Act. The reason for that is, I think, clear. It is thought preferable that all Australians should be dealt with before we extend the scope of the work of the War Service Homes Division. I know how interested the honorable gentleman is in all problems relating to British ex-servicemen. I shall see that the matter is considered again, and I shall let him know the result of the consideration.
– Is the Treasurer aware of the desperate plight of the people in the matter of housing? Is he also aware that credit restrictions now in operation are a major factor in preventing the erection of new houses ? Will the right honorable gentleman take immediate steps to ease or abolish the restrictions on finance for the building of houses? In particular, will he take steps to ensure that much greater financial resources are placed at the disposal of co-operative building societies?
– The restrictive policy of this Government has nothing to do with the position in the housing field referred to by the honorable member. More money has been made available by this . Government, and by government instrumentalities, during our term of office, than has been made available by any previous government. The fact that the trading banks have used their funds for other than the financing of houses is not a matter that cuts across government policy, or a matter in which the Government can interfere in any way. The Commonwealth
Bank, the savings banks and this Government itself have made an enormous amount of money available to alleviate distress among those seeking houses. Of course, there is not enough money for all the expansion that is necessary in Australia, nor is there enough man-power or materials to carry out all the work that needs to be done. However, the fact remains that more money has been made available by this Government for the erection of new houses than has been made available by any of its predecessors.
– I desire to direct a question to the Treasurer. As the current five-year period of the 20 per cent, yearly taxation deduction in connexion with the purchase of farm machinery, &c, will expire soon, has a decision been made regarding the proposal that this concession be extended for a further five years ?
– The honorable member’s question involves a matter of policy, which is at present receiving consideration by the Government.
– My question is addressed to you, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday, the leader of the new group in this House indicated to you that it desired to be known as the Australian Labour party (anti-Communist). On every occasion the leader of that party has risen, you have remarked, “I call upon the leader of the anti-Communist Australian Labour party “. In view of the fact that this group has itself indicated its title, and I believe the majority of my party consider your action to be an affront to Labour men who represent half of the electors of the Commonwealth.
-It is my custom to place my adjectives before my nouns.
– Yesterday, when this House met, the honorable member for Ballarat indicated that he had been appointed the Leader of the Australian Labour party (anti-Communist). It has been the invariable custom of this House - T know of no exception - that when any leader of a party has addressed the Speaker when the Parliament has met, and has informed him of tho name that has been selected for the party, the Speaker has immediately and without reservation correctly and properly accepted that name and used it when referring in this Parliament to that party. In these circumstances I consider that the description by you of a party by a name other than that announced by its leader is an affront to the party and an insult to the Parliament.
– Order !
– Would it be correct, Mr. Speaker, to sum the matter up by saying that in. your enthusiasm for your preference for preceding nouns by adjectives, yon have failed in. each case to pronounce the correct name of the party in question, and that I may take it that in future you will call it by its correct name?
– I am not sure what the light honorable gentleman is aiming at.
– You are altering the name which the party led by the honorable member for Ballarat-
– I rise to order.
Honorable members interjecting,
– Order ! The Leader of the Opposition will take his seat until silence is maintained. He is entitled to a fair hearing.
– I am asking you whether, notwithstanding your two or three bursts of enthusiasm, for prefacing nouns with adjectives, you will in future state the name of the party concerned correctly. That is all I am asking, and then no point of order can arise.
– If the House gives me a direction to alter my statement of the name of the party I shall do so. The question has arisen twice - once yesterday and once to-day. I think it is customary in the English language, though not in some other languages, to put the adjectives before the nouns.
– I am not suggesting that it is not grammatically correct or saying whether it is correct or not to do so. I am merely asking you a question in regard to a name which consists of a series of proper nouns and adjectives arranged in a certain order, which is claimed by a particular group or party to be its name. I wish to know whether you will please refer to the party by the name that its members have chosen, instead of giving your own description of it.
– On a point of order–
– Does the honorable gentleman wish to speak on the same point of order*
– Yes. If this matter has to be brought to your attention should it not properly have been brought forward by the Leader of the Australian Labour party (anti-Communist) ? However sen.sitive the Leader of the Opposition may feel about this matter, surely he has no Iocus standi to bring it before you.
– Any member of the House is entitled to bring the matter before me. It doe3 not matter who he is.
– Will the Prime Minister have prepared a list showing the names of the Ministers who have beOn abroad since this Government took office in 1949 and the purpose and total cost of nach visit? Will he also state the period of absence in each instance and the countries visited? Finally, is the order in which Ministers depart for overseas determined according to a pre-arranged roster or by a draw from the hat?
– With my usual generosity, I will do better than that. I will have a list prepared as from October, 1941.
– In order to assist country people to obtain passports without having to travel great distances fr> capital cities, will the Minister for Immigration consider the decentralization of passport issuing offices, possibly i h rough offices of the Commonwealth Employment Service in. country towns?
– I shall examine the practicability of the useful suggestion made by the honorable member.
– My question is addressed to the Minister for Civil Aviation. Have the two principal fire officers at Kingsford Smith airport, Sydney, resigned? Have they given as their reason for doing so the inefficiency and inadequacy of the fire-fighting equipment at that airport? Did a coroner yesterday condemn the fire-fighting equipment at Mangalore, the alternate airport to Melbourne? If so, can the Minister say when the equipment at Mangalore and Sydney will be so modernized and augmented that it will be able to cope fully and promptly with any emergency at those airports?
– It is true that two members of the fire crew in Sydney resigned recently. As far back as last November, we started an overhaul of all the fire services of the Commonwealth. As a result, new equipment has been ordered and there lias been a general shake-up all round. As far as Sydneyis concerned, the fire chief there - I will not mention his name - was spoken to last January about general slackness. A few weeks later, a test wa3 held at Sydney, and again it was apparent that the fire chief and some of his crews were far below standard. They were disciplined for that reason. As a result of that action and the general shake-up two of the firemen in Sydney resigned. We have now appointed in the department a special officer to look after fire precautions all through the country, and new equipment is duc. to arrive in Australia, at any minute really. With regard to the crash at Mangalore and the fire there, I have not yet received the coroner’s report, but I have been told that a statement was made which, as reported to me, was quite inaccurate. ft was to the effect that only 18 I’b. of foam compound was available. In fact, there were 2.500 gallons of foam available, sufficient to play on the fire for from six to seven minutes. The capacity of the fire tender at Mangalore was greatly in excess of that required under I.C.A.O. standards, the world standards. All our airports arc equipped with fire-fighting’ appliances of the standards laid clown by I.C.A.O. for the type of airport concerned. At the Sydney airport, for instance, the standard of fire-fighting equipment exceeds that required in similar international airports all over the world.
– I direct to the Minister for Civil Aviation a question which is supplementary to that which was asked by the honorable member for Werriwa in relation to the unfortunate air and fire accident at Mangalore. Has the Minister read the report of the inquiry into this matter in which a witness is stated to have said that the foam compound available for the machine was quite inadequate at the time?
– As I pointed out to the honorable member for Werriwa. I have not seen the coroner’s report, but I have seen references in the press to the statement that one witness said that the foam was inadequate. The report also suggested that the coroner, in his comments, had stated that, even if there had been four or five times as much foam available, it would not have been sufficient to put out this fire. I should also like to point out that the fire crew at Mangalore, which was fully equipped under the I.C.A.O. standard, as I stated before, was faced with a very difficult situation. I think those men acted with commendable efficiency and speed. They started their truck immediately they thought that the aircraft was in a. little difficulty. As soon as it started its first swing, they were on their way, but, as honorable members know, the aircraft eventually hit the ground some hundreds of yards away from the take-off track. There was no road to the scene of the crash, and the fire crew drove their truck straight through a fence, an action which displayed, I think, a certain, amount of common sense. In the process of going through the fence, a little of the equipment was damaged, and they did not get in as much foam as would be expected.
– Will the Minister for Civil Aviation examine the number of accidents, and near-accidents in which planes have had to return suddenly, over the past two or three years, and, as I suggested last year, re-examine the question of safety precautions? The time has now come when that might reasonably be done, because many of the aircraft in use are becoming very old. The honorable gentleman might look at the matter from the point of view of expert advice for himself and ultimately for the House.
– Aircraft, whatever their age or vintage, are continually under very close examination. They are submitted from time to time to certain tests and examinations that are laid down. There is a saying that no good aircraft ever wears out, for the reason that faulty or over-age parts are replaced. Officers of the Department of Civil Aviation watch that matter very closely. A section of the department, under the administration of a most competent officer, continually inquires into accidents and the methods of preventing accidents, and in addition we have constant contact with overseas bodies through the International Civil Aviation Organization. T am pleased to say that Australia’s air safety record is the best in the world.
– I ask the Minister for Civil Aviation whether it is true that Trans-Australia Airlines has sought permission to purchase DC6B aircraft. If so, has that permission been withheld?
– Trans-Australia Airlines sought an allocation of dollars for the purchase of a D06B aircraft. I am not aware of the final result. The Treasurer would know it. So far as I know the dollar allocation has not yet been approved.
– I ask the Minister for External Affairs whether it is a fact that Australia has undertaken to provide substantial aid to Burma under the Colombo Plan. Will any equipment be provided for developmental purposes, and have the Burmese authorities been able to select equipment most suited to their requirements? Have any deliveries vet been made, and, if so, when will they be completed?
– Yes, the Government has undertaken to provide considerable aid to Burma, both, economic and technical. In order to establish in the mind of the Burmese Government the type of material available in Australia which would be of the maximum value to them, a deputation of six senior Burmese public servants visited this country a few months ago. As a result of their visit, about £300,000 worth of equipment will be provided to Burma. This equipment falls largely under two headings - First, earth-moving equipment which will be used to prepare the sites for government-sponsored industries throughout Burma, and, second, equipment for a government tile factory not far from Rangoon. With regard to technical assistance, a certain amount of technical equipment, as well as live-stock to stock government farms for breeding purposes, will be sent. Also a considerable number of Burmese are to come to Australia for training, including no fewer than fourteen Burmese miners who will be trained in coal and metal mining. With regard to the time element, the first request from Burma was made at about the beginning of this calendar year. No equipment has yet reached Burma, but it will begin to flow from Australia from about next month, and all the equipment and aid that I have mentioned should be allocated to Burma by the end of this calendar year.
– Can the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture inform the House of the probable date upon -which the next payment of the outstanding Joint Organization wool moneys will be made?
– I am sorry I have not the date in my mind. I shall ascertain the probable date, which is in the very near future, and inform the honorable member.
– My question is directed to the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture. In view of the commencement of the beef cattle killing season in Queensland and the inability, as a result of congestion early this year,_ of cold storage establishments in the United
Kingdom to take any more Australian beef, will the Minister inform the House whether there has been any improvement in the position and what facilities- are available for the storage of Australian beef in the United Kingdom.
– This matter has been engaging the attention of the Australian Meat Board and the Department of Commerce and Agriculture during recent weeks. Certain arrangements have been made under which, within the terms of the long-term meat agreement, the Australian authorities have been authorized to sell, to whichever market they elect, 6,000 tons of beef, the balance to be delivered under the terms of the contract to the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom Government itself will sell to the continent some thousands of tons of beef which it has had in store for a long period. Australian beef out of the current killing season will not reach the United Kingdom for some little time. United Kingdom killings of locally produced beef are now tapering off or, 1 think, have almost ceased, and my advice is that there will not be any immediate cold storage problem such as the honorable member perhaps has anticipated. Notwithstanding that judgment of the position, it is being watched quite closely, and I have no doubt that nothing will develop to prevent the export of Australian beef to the United Kingdom.
– 1 wish to ask the Minister for Supply a question in relation to the effects of nuclear radiation. By way of explanation, I remind him of the statement that was made by the Federation of American Scientists last month that unlimited test explosions of atomic and hydrogen weapons throughout the world might cause long-term injury to the human race. Do the honorable gentleman and his advisers consider that this statement is applicable to Australia and, if so, are there any means within the Government’s competence of minimizing such injuries within this country ?
– I suppose most scientists would agree with the statement of the American scientists that unlimited test explosions of atomic and hydrogen weapons throughout the world might cause long-term injury to the human race. The matter is one of degree, but the Australian Government and its scientific advisers have it under consideration. The Government is relying upon the advice of a panel of distinguished scientists, and no atomic experiments will take place in Australia until it- has had the advice of those gentlemen and is completely assured that there will be no injury to life or property.
– Will the PostmasterGeneral state whether it is a fact that the Government plans to abolish the Australian Broadcasting Commission and to set up an authority, composed of three permanent public servants, to supervise both sound radio and television services? If that is the intention of the Government, will the House be given an opportunity to discuss the matter before a “decision is finally made?
– I have been asked this question frequently by newspaper reporters and others, and it has been canvassed in the press. No consideration has yet been given to the reconstitution of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board or the Australian Broadcasting Commission, although it is self-evident that an alteration will have to be made to bring television under the management of some authority. When the matter has been considered and when a change in the constitution of these organizations is contemplated, the Government’s proposals will be brought before the House in the form of amendments to the Australian Broadcasting Act.
– I wish to direct a question to the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture. Some time ago the Minister wrote to me and stated that he understood that a price of more than £215 a ton had been offered for egg pulp from New South Wales. Is the Minister aware that one of the principal factors contributing to the financial losses of
New South Wales poultry-farmers has been the fact that large quantities of egg pulp remained unsold? Oau the Minister inform me what opportunities there have been in the past and might be in the future to sell this pulp, which is believed to be worth a total of more than £1,000,000?
– Since the United Kingdom Government has ceased to be the sole bulk buyer of egg pulp, the Australian Egg Board, in accordance with the terms of legislation passed by this Parliament, has exercised certain authority in respect of exports of egg pulp. The New South Wales Egg Marketing Board wished to export on its own account, and the marketing authorities in all the other States wished the Australian Egg Board to negotiate the sale of their egg pulp. I intimated that, as the New South Wales Egg Marketing Board represented the producers of egg pulp in New South Wales, that board should be free to dispose of New South Wales pulp on its own account if it elected to do so, and, in fact, that was the choice taken. In the outcome, the Australian Egg Board succeeded in selling all its pulp at firm prices in two separate deals. I understand that the New South Wales Egg Marketing Board held its pulp for better prices but missed the market and failed to effect sales at improved prices. The New South Wales board has now accepted a similar offer to the Australian Egg Board’s second deal for pulp unsold early in April. In future seasons the New South Wales board will be free to continue to sell on its own judgment or to use the services of the Australian Egg Board, as it thinks fit. This is the best administrative procedure from the point of view of the Australian Government and is in accordance with the evident wish of this Parliament. While I was in the United Kingdom recently I discussed with the Minister of Food and officers of the Ministry of Food there certain arrangements that would facilitate the better and more expeditious sale of Australian egg pulp. I believe that reasonably satisfactory arrangements have resulted from those discussions and that the situation will right itself.
Report of Public “Works Committed.
– As Chairman, I present the report of the Public “Works Committee on the following subject: -
Extension of the water supply storage system for Canberra.
Ordered to be printed.
Retort ob Public Works Committee.
– As Chairman, I present the report of the Public Works Committee on the following subject: -
The proposed construction of a Commonwealthavenue Bridge, Canberra.
Ordered to be printed. communism:.
-(Hon. Archie Cameron). - I have received from the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. W. M. Bourke) an intimation that he desires to submit a definite matter of urgent public importance to the House for discussion, namely: -
The subservience of the right honorable the Leader of the Opposition and his followers to the Communist party, as evidenced by his acceptance of large sums of money from Communist sources to the funds of the party led by him.
Is the proposal supported ?
Eight honorable members having risen in support of the proposal,
– i have made this proposal so that the ‘ House may consider the subservience of the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) and his followers to the Australian Communist party. The followers to whom i refer are not by any means the majority of the honorable members seated behind the right honorable gentleman. We all know that most of those honorable members do not support him. The followers to whom 1 refer are mostly outside this House. As a matter of fact, most of them are not members of the Australian Labour party; they are also outside that party. i wish to make it clear that those are the followers referred to in this motion.
We members of this Parliament are witnessing a very sad spectacle. We are witnessing the breaking-up, the wrecking of the Australian Labour party, a party with very great traditions, which even its opponents will admit has rendered yeoman service to the people of this country. Here we see something which nobody in this country can view with equanimity. We see the Labour party being broken up as a result of the cold-blooded, deliberately worked out plot by the right honorable member for Bar-ton, a man who has won an assured place in history for himself, who will go down in history as the man who wrecked the Australian Labour party, and a man who has been the best friend that the Communists in this country have ever known. Why has the right honorable gentleman set about to wreck the Labour party and to drive out of it all the moderate element? There are many more men sitting behind him at this moment owing nominal allegiance to his leadership who will not be sitting behind him much longer but will be coming over here. Why has he set out to wreck the Labour party and deliberately drive these people out of it? The reason is that he wants to make the remnant of the Labour party which he will be leading soon a mere front organization of the Communist party so that it can give effect to Marxian socialism in internal affairs and follow a Communist-line policy in the interests of red imperialism in external affairs. Anybody who studies the record - the honeycombing of the Department of External Affairs by avowed Communists, the right honorable gentleman’s remarkable actions since he became leader of the Labour party, his appearances before the royal commission
– Order ! The honorable member cannot refer to the Royal Commission on Espionage.
– i refer to the remarkable appearances in various places by this honorable gentleman which haveculminated in the wrecking of the Labour party. Any one who studies those matters must come to the conclusion that the Communists have something on this man. 1 made the charge in the caucus of the Parliamentary Labour party - I made it deliberately and it was unanswered - and I now put it to the House that the only reasonable explanation of the remarkablecourse of conduct of the right honorable gentleman in recent years is that the Communist party has some hold on him, that the Communists are able to pull the strings and call the tune and make him dance to it, that they are able to exert some pressure on him and when they do so he has to kowtow to them. “What is the hold that the Communist party has over the Leader of the Opposition? What is the pressure they are able to exert upon him? I do not propose to answer that question at this stage. It will suffice for me at present to mention one matter, as an illustration of many that could be given of the way in which he has betrayed a,nd sold out the great mass of the people who have supported Labour in the past. In 1951, a referendum was held in this country.
– I rise to order. Mr. Speaker. Do you rule that the motion, in the terms in which it has been made and in the light of the date which has now been mentioned, deals with an urgent matter of public importance? Is it not a matter of vilification and abuse?
– If I had not so decided I should not have read the letter submitted by the honorable member.
– In 1951, a referendum was held.
– The honorable member ran dead. He is a traitor to the Labour party.
– Order ! The honorable member must withdraw that remark.
– I will withdraw it, but it is true.
– I rise to order.
– Order! I order the honorable member to withdraw the term “ traitor “ without qualification.
– On a point of order-
– Order ! There is no point of order. The honorable member will withdraw the term “ traitor “.
– I withdraw it, but I point out that the honorable member for Fawkner referred to the Leader of the Opposition as a traitor.
– I can understand why the honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) wants to delay the proceedings and wants to prevent the House from hearing the truth. The Labour party decided after much controversy to oppose the referendum on the ground that if certain powers were granted they could be abused and individuals might suffer injustice and the loss of liberties without due process of law. That attitude was adopted on two firm and definite stipulations. The first of them was that Labour’s campaign would have no association whatever with the Communists. The Communists were running their campaign. They had plenty of money available which they had stolen from the trade unions they had got control of or what they had received from members of the Russian Embassy staff. It was a firm stipulation that the Labour campaign would have nothing to do with the Communists’ campaign. Rank and file members of the Labour party carried out that instruction, but they were betrayed by the right honorable member for Barton, who authorized the acceptance of a considerable sum of money from the Communist party for the Labour party’s funds in definite contradiction of the undertaking and obligation which the right honorable gentleman gave to the people of Australia and to Labour’s supporters.
– The honorable member knows that is a deliberate lie. ‘
-Order ! The honorable member will withdraw that remark.
– I withdraw it.
– The honorable member knows that it is perfectly true that the undertaking which I have mentioned was definitely given and blatantly broken. The second stipulation on which Labour adopted its stand in respect of the referendum was that it would adopt other and democratic means of fighting communism, that is, by means of industrial groups in the trade unions. The Communists were fought in that way. But we have found recently, in the sellout, the price that was paid as a result of the machinations of the right honorable gentleman. A vacuum has been left whereby the Communists by the abolition of the industrial groups will be enabled to step in. That undoubtedly lias given gratification to the right honorable gentleman and to the followers to whom I have referred.
Regarding the first stipulation which 1. have mentioned, the pledge and obligation that the Labour party would have nothing to do with the Communist party in its campaign during the referendum, the Communist party contributed the sum of £13,000 to the Australian Labour party to what is popularly known among honorable members as the slush fund of the Labour party. That is something which people do not like to talk about, something that is dishonorable and disreputable.
– Order ! The honorable member will withdraw that term. If similar terms are used in the future I shall have no hesitation in naming the honorable member who offends.
– Judas was one of the :i poSties
– And other people have been apostles.
– Some people talk about Judas. He sold his principles for a few pieces of silver, but others have sold their principles for a few pounds from the Communist party. There is no doubt that the Labour party did receive this money from the Communist party. Let us look at the evidence. First, there is the word of the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley), who is a man of unimpeachable honour, high ideals and strong principles. The honorable member is a truthful and an honest man, whose word can be accepted. He is an independent man, who has no bias or interest in this matter.
The honorable member for Fremantle told me, in the latter half of 1953, as he told many other members in this House, the story that Senator Kennelly, who was then the federal secretary of the Australian Labour party, had related to him, in considerable detail, the conversation which he, Senator Kennelly, had had with one, Mr. Ted Hill, the secretary of the Communist party in Victoria. Mr. Hill is a high figure in the Communist hierarchy. He defended the Communist party in legal proceedings that have been current in this country recently and, all in all, he is a very prominent figure.
The story that Senator Kennelly told the honorable member for Fremantle was that he, Senator Kennelly, arranged with Mr. Hill, at the instance of his boss, the Leader of the Opposition, for Mr. Hill to call at Senator Kennelly’s home in Nelson-road, South Melbourne, under an assumed name, so that Mrs. Kennelly would not know who he was; and that Mr. Hill did arrive at Senator Kennelly’s home in South Melbourne. The ensuing conversation was related in considerable detail. Senator Kennelly argued and bargained with Mr. Hill, and spoke about who would be in Pentridge if this legislation went through. In the upshot, Mr. Hill promised that he would arrange for a contribution of £13,000 from Communist sources to the Australian Labour party funds. Senator Kennelly carried out that arrangement, and the money which he arranged to collect from Mr. Hill, a leading Communist official, was paid over and into the custody of the Leader of the Opposition. He has the records of it.
Why does not the Leader of the Opposition produce his books on this matter? Why has he deliberately evaded and avoided an inquiry into this matter? I well remember that a lot of members of the Australian Labour party, including a lot of members who are sitting behind the Leader of the Opposition how, when they heard this story late in 1953, were shocked and dismayed by it, because it indicated a deliberate betrayal of Labour supporters throughout the country and a deliberate betrayal of the people of Australia. They said, in effect, “We want an inquiry into this-matter. We want the party to have an inquiry into it “. The Leader of the Opposition told people privately, “ I will not allow this matter to be discussed in caucus”, and he did not allow it to be discussed in caucus. He and some of his supporters used methods of intimidation, and they spoke about people not getting their endorsements and so on if they raised this matter. The matter was not raised in caucus as a result of those deliberate methods of intimidation.
This matter has been placed before the federal executive of the Australian Labour party, most of the members of which are stooges of the right honorable member for Barton. Those people have had the matter put up to them. I wrote a letter to them in which I asked them, among other things, to sack the right honorable member and expel him from the Australian Labour party because of his disreputable conduct. I also asked them to hold an inquiry. I wrote, in relation to the charge that £13,000 had come from Communist sources into Labour party funds -
The failure of the executive to deal with i ll is charge during its current sittings in Melbourne has created the impression, falsely [ hope, that the executive is most anxious to avoid an investigation of this matter because it fears embarrassing consequences.
That letter was presented to the federal executive, but despite pressing requests, i he members of that body would not do anything about the matter. However,, as ;i result of publicity in the press, members of the executive had to do something. ;o, on the 3rd December last, the executive summoned me before it. Of course, all i lie members of the federal executive were not stooges of the right honorable member, and some of them said, “ We should like to hear about this matter”–
– I rise to order, and ask for the withdrawal of the word “ stooge “. f am a member of the federal executive, and the word is offensive to me. The honorable member for Fawkner will not get away with that
– Order ! It is not within my knowledge who composes the federal executive of any party.
– You have been told now.
– If a reference is made to a body which is not a body of this House, then I have no control.
– I thank the House. The honorable member for Wilmot. (Mr. Duthie) can explain, perhaps, to his conscience and to his electors, his role in the very discreditable actions of the federal executive of the Australian Labour party, in the part that it has played in wrecking the Labour party, and in the dishonest and unjust things that it has done against the Victorian Branch of the Labour party. That is a matter for his own conscience. I wish to refer to the letter that I wrote to the federal executive on the 2nd December last, in which I asked for an investigation into this matter, and for the production of the books of this so-called slush fund.
Now I can understand that there would be considerable embarrassment to the Leader of the Opposition if the books were produced in their entirety. Labour supporters in general would be shocked if they knew some of the people, some of the characters, some of the bodies, and some of the corporations thar made substantial contributions to Labour party funds. They would be shocked to know that this story that is put out so religiously, so unctuously and so untruthfully that the funds of the Labour party come from the trade unions is completely untrue. Consequently, it would be very embarrassing if the books were to be produced and all those matters came out. So, I asked that the books should be produced only insofar as they referred to the referendum of 1951. I challenge the right honorable member now to produce those hooks. I understand they are under lock and key.
I remember when this matter was first raised by the honorable member for Fremantle, and all the members, including the honorable member for Burke (Mr. Peters), who seems to be vocal now, were demanding an inquiry into the matter. There was so much shocked talk about it that the next thing that happened was that a member of the staff of the right honorable member for Barton - one of the secretaries, under-secretaries, or whoever they were - took all those books out of the House and got them away,, because those people feared the truth. If they do- not fear the truth, why do they not produce the books which show the contributions to Labour party funds in the 1951 referendum campaign?
Let me take the matter a little further. I was saying, when my time expired, that 1 was called before the federal executive of the Labour party on this matter. The federal executive, as I have said, did not consist wholly of people who were helping the right honorable member in his attempt to wreck the Labour party, and drive out all the moderate elements. Sonic of those other members wanted to question me about this matter and said, in effect, “ We are very interested in this business of the £13,000. Tell us the story about if. Tell us the facts. Tell us the evidence “. Immediately, there were protests, and the chairman ruled that the executive did not desire any discussion of the matter, and, in fact, would not allow any discussion of it. Nothing was to bc said about it at all. There again, we saw the fear, the evasion, and the suppression, because they feared the truth. Next day, a statement appeared in the press to the effect that the federal executive of the Labour party would hold an inquiry into the matter. That news was blazened forth in the newspapers. The federal executive said, in its impartial way, that this was to be an inquiry to prove that there was no substance in the allegation. That occurred on the 4th December, 1954. What has happened about the matter since? What have those gentlemen on the federal executive done since that date about the matter? I am ashamed to say that they include two members of this House, the honorable member for Wilmot and the honorable member for Swan (Mr. Webb), who will have to stand up and justify themselves before their electors for the discreditable and dishonorable role that they have played in wrecking the Labour party in this country. They have done nothing at all, because those members of the federal executive, like the right honorable member for Barton, fear the truth. There is no doubt that this money was paid over from the Communist party to the Labour party. The arrangements wore made by Senator Kennelly with Mr. Hill, a prominent Communist official, and money was paid over into the custody of the right honorable gentleman. He has had ample opportunity to disprove thi.matter if he wants to, and I again challenge him to produce the records. If the allegation is untrue it would be quite easy to disprove it. It could have been disproved ages ago. The allegation has noi been disproved, because it is true. That is just one of the actions by which the right honorable gentleman, and those followers to whom I have referred, have betrayed the Australian Labour party, betrayed the supporters of the Australian Labour party, who are anti-Communist, and betrayed the people of Australia by their indifference to the Communist party.
– I want to say at the beginning that the imputation made by the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. W. M. Bourke) that the Australian Labour party, under my leadership, received any contribution from the Communist party in connexion with the referendum, or any election at that time, or any time, is absolutely and wickedly false. It is the old story. It is said that Senator Kennelly went to some place to see some official of the Communist party. I do not believe that that statement is true. But I do believe that whisperer? and slanderers then in the Labour party spread that rumour in the lobbies of this Parliament. It was directed against Senator Kennelly in the first instance, and primarily against him. He denied it to the world, and not in the Parliament under privilege. My colleagues, the Leader of the Labour party in the Senate. Senator McKenna, and the Deputy Leader of the Labour party in this House, the’ honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell), and I, the three of us being trustees of the fund, issued the following statement on the 13th November, 1953 : -
Any statement or suggestion that the Federal Labour party organized or received any contribution whatever from the Communist party in connexion with the referendum campaign nf 1051 is a complete and wicked fabrication.
A fabrication ! That is to say, to anybody who had sought it, that was the answer, and it was given by the three of u?. The statement continues -
As trustees of the Labour party trust fund, we state that never at any time, in connection with any campaign., have vc; or the trust fund. received any contributions whatever from the Communist party.
Yet here is the honorable member for Fawkner now in his true colours. In 1953 apparently he believed it. But bc accepted endorsement in 1954 under my leadership. He did not mind going to the country with the imprimatur of the Labour party as the candidate for the Division of Fawkner. He did not raise the question at the general election. This is the man who makes those charges, and says that, because the person he charges does not disprove the charges, they must be accepted as true. I know “who started that doctrine. That is the doctrine of the Communist Party Dissolution Bill of 1951. It is a doctrine under which the onus of proof is put on the person charged. It is McCarthyism. That is the attitude of the honorable member and those associated with him The honorable member ought to be completely ashamed of himself for having brought up this slander again. I tell him again, that never at any time was a penny received from the Communist party. Senator Kennelly never received anything or made any arrangement. He assures me of that, and I believe him.
Government supporters interjecting.
– Are honorable members on the Government side so eager to further the coalition with this breakaway group that they must accept everything the members of the group say as being true? T. am sure they will not do so when they think over it.
So much for the allegation. But that is simply part of it. The honorable member has talked about “wreckers”. Who are the wreckers ? We shall see who they are. He has stated that we accepted money from the Communist party. That is false. He has referred to subservience to the Communist party. That is utterly false. The two lies are in the same submission, but one lie supported by another lie does not make the truth, except perhaps in the reasoning of the honorable member for Fawkner. Together those two lies make the big lie on which the honorable member and his group are staking their existence. They will be shown before the people of Australia to be uttering false slanders against the
Labour party. The honorable gentleman now talks about “ followers outside “. But who would have read his submission in that way? He wanted it to be thought that it meant followers of myself in the House. He is a slanderer, and he should not make such remarks under privilege. I denied this allegation in the public press. I told him to his face it was not true. The federal executive of the Australian Labour party asked me about it and looked into it. When did this slander first appear? It was in 1953. Who was the first person to utter it? Not one of the honorable members. I am not referring necessarily to all of them, but I am referring to the honorable member for Fawkner. Somebody mentions it in the lobbies, and the afternoon press in Sydney gets the story. And that night, who utters the slander? Some one under privilege. lt was the then honorable member for Griffith, Mr. Berry.
– What about the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) ?
– The then honorable member for Griffith made the statement in the House. That is the trouble that the honorable member for Fawkner is in. Bie cites the honorable member for Fremantle, but has no evidence whatever to support his charge. Do honorable members think that I would deny a charge like that if it was true? The honorable member must be mad. The books are there. They have never been taken away. They are the same books as were used by Mr. Curtin and Mr. Chifley. Everything is recorded. I say this, with regard to party funds, that nothing w7ould please me more than publication of the details of the funds of all parties, including the Liberal party, the Australian Country party, and the new party in this House.
I say that this slander was originally a Liberal party slander which proceeded from the gossip of people in the lobbies at that time. Of course, the other day they said something quite different. They said that certain trade unions had given money to the Australian Labour party. Trade unions have always given money to that party in connexion with every election, under Mr. Curtin, Mr. Chifley and myself.
What is the substance of this matter? It is an attempt to wreck the Labour party by converting it simply into a party based solely and exclusively on this cry, this bogey of “ antiCommunist “. That is what they stand for. That is what it is. In 1951, for instance, the honorable member for Fawkner, pledged to oppose the referendum, did not do so. lie sabotaged the Labour party’s case on .the referendum as did some of his colleagues. ‘When I went round Australia in connexion with the referendum, particularly in Victoria, bound to and entitled to put the Labour party’s case for a “ No “ vote in the referendum, the three honorable members I have mentioned were conspicuous by their absence, and conspicuous only on that account. They had the Victorian press with them, but Mullens and Keon were not present. In other words they were not loyal to the Labour party then in regard to one of its fundamental platforms.
The slander is a false slander. To whom are those honorable members subservient? I think we know. They are subservient to a totalitarian group. I have said it over and over again. They are completely subservient, or they would not make false charges of this character. Their methods are completely totalitarian. I have already referred to their attempt to wreck Labour in 1951. They failed then, and they will fail again, on any issue taken fairly to the people of Australia. But that is not all. The honorable mem her for Fawkner, who talks about the Labour party, and would have ‘is think he is loyal to it, tried to sabotage it in 1954, two weeks before the last general election. Notwithstanding the fact that the policy of the abolition of the means test within three years had been agreed upon by the leaders of the Labour party in both Houses, the Australian Council of Trades Unions and the Australian Workers Union, the honorable member for Fawkner opposed it and saw to it that all the anti-Labour newspapers got a copy of his statement. Of course the Liberal newspapers for two weeks up to the time of the election were full of the details of his treacherous attempt to sabotage the Labour party. I submit now that his object in 1954 was that we should be defeated. He does not deny that. We know it is true. That is what we had in our party then. I do not mind these people when they have got to speak openly, but just imagine that kind of situation developing inside the party !
It is all a part of the same pattern. Mr. Attlee visited China and then came to Australia, whereupon these people, or two or three of them, attacked the exPrime Minister of Great Britain because he had done a terrible thing. He had actually gone to China. Great Britain had diplomatic relations with China and the problem of China was a vital one, on which Mr. Attlee had often spoken. But this group, disloyal to Labour, whether it is British Labour, New Zealand Labour or Australian Labour, attacked Mr. Attlee and said that his trip to China was a pilgrimage of shame. The wreckers of the Labour party centre round people like the honorable member for Fawkner. Need I do more than direct attention to the black treachery of their colleagues in the same group in Victoria this very day? Men pledged to support Labour and a Labour Government are openly voting with the Liberal party to destroy a Labour Government. Not one of these people will say now that they disapprove of that. I challenge any of them to say that they disagree with the Barrys and Scullys and the other people in Victoria who belong to that group.
– What has this got to do with the matter before the House ?
– It has a lot to do with the charge of wrecking. I say they are the wreckers, but now, instead of trying to wreck us from inside, they have got to try to do it from outside, and that is the best thing for us. The methods that they employ are not dissimilar to those of fascism and communism, but of course they prefer fascism. The method they like is the method of slander. I should like to read one passage from a very-
– Who wrote it, Dalziel or Grundeman?
– I was not going to give the author’s name.
– Order ! I am going to insist that the House maintain order. The right honorable gentleman is replying to certain charges, and he is entitled to a fair hearing.
– The honorable member for Gellibrand (Mr. Mullens) is great at smearing and slandering people ‘who are not here. If they were here, they would be able to deal with him. People tried to slander them publicly, but they failed, as the royal commission’s report will show.
– Order ! The royal commission must not be discussed.
– I shall read the passage and then ask honorable members to apply it to the group which the honorable member for Fawkner represents. It is as follows: -
Our Australian community is threatened by powerful forces to-day. The most insidious is fascism which employs lies, slander, trickery and all manner of vilification to attain its ends. It masquerades as the Champion of Christianity and is, in fact, Christianity’s most deadly enemy. It points to other forces (such as communism) in an attempt to divert attention from itself. It works secretly, in the method of the Communist, to overthrow the democratically organized bodies.
– Who is the author?
– A very distinguished clergyman of the Church of England.
– Tell us his name.
– His name is available to everybody. That passage expresses my view, at any rate. I say it applies to this group. Are they going to smear the author of that passage too, without knowing who he is ?
Honorable, members interjecting,
– Order ! I insist that the House maintain order. A certain remark was made which caused some excitement, but I do not know what it was. I ask honorable gentlemen to restrain themselves. If they do not, I shall put the forces of the House into motion.
– Summing it up, I say that the insinuations and charges made by the honorable member for Fawkner are false. I have said that repeatedly, and I have my colleagues associated with me in saying it. I point out that it was originally a slander uttered under the cover of parliamentary privilege from the opposite side of the House. It did not stop the honorable member from standing as a Labour candidate in 1954, so long as he could try to defeat the Labour party at those elections.
I say that this kind of attack on Labour is better than the secret attack which has been launched against us so often. Let it come into the open. There is nothing in this charge. I believe the honorable member for Fawkner realizes in his heart that he is only repeating something that he has forced himself to believe. Or perhaps he is saying it recklessly because he has said it before. I assure him and all other honorable members that no contribution of that kind was made. I denied the allegation when it was made first in this House, and since then it has never been repeated by people on the opposite side of the ‘chamber. * Extension of time granted.^* Why does the honorable member for Fawkner make the charge now? This is the entry of the new group into the Federal Parliament. They start on the basis of a false statement plus a false statement.
I want to tell the honorable member and all those associated with him that the opposition of the Labour party to communism is just as strong as his own. But our opposition to fascism is equally strong. I am of the opinion that he has got to the stage when he will embrace any methods of attaining his particular objective, including the methods of totalitarianism. He must have believed in the 1951 referendum proposal of the MenziesFadden Administration. We opposed it because we believe that we must deal with communism, not by smearing, but by democratic methods and by the methods of justice and proof. The Communist Party Dissolution Bill was a disgrace and a scandal. That was the view which, rightly or wrongly, we put to the people of Australia. The Labour party decided to oppose the referendum, but when I went to public meetings to do so I found that these people, not loyal to the Labour party, were sabotaging our efforts by trying to keep conspicuously away from our meetings. In order to get this subject before the House for debate they had to get honorable members on the Government side to stand with them.
– Does the right honorable gentleman object to free speech?
– It was very good of the Vice-President of the Executive Council (Sir Eric Harrison) to assist this group to try to pillory me. Personally, I do not care about their slanders, but I am going to fight them wherever they are uttered in Australia, as I did in the Communist referendum campaign.
– Paney the gag expert being in favour of free speech!
– If this were a debate to discuss pensions for aged people, the cost of living or matters of that kind, we should have the greatest difficulty in persuading the Vice-President of the Executive Council to allow sufficient time for one or two members to speak, but I understand that, in order that we as a party, and I in particular, may be slandered and blackguarded, the arrangement which has been agreed to by the Minister most generously - I wish he would extend his generosity all round - is that we shall have unlimited time for this debate. I say it is a disgrace. They have chosen the day for the deed.
– What about the slush fund?
– The right honorable gentleman who speaks about a slush fund represents a party that is financed by the great monopolies of this country, by the shipping combine and the airways combine. That has been stated repeatedly but never denied. Honorable gentlemen opposite pretend to be good-humoured about that, ‘but we can be quite sure that they do not want an inquiry into their party funds. I have dealt with the party funds of the Labour party in exact conformity with the way in which they were dealt with by my predecessors, Mr. Curtin and Mr. Chifley. Is it to be laid down as a new rule that all contributions to party funds are to be made known to the public? If so, we shall gladly observe the rule. I should have great pleasure in doing so. I should like to see the day come when there are no party funds and when Ave have the English system by which election expenses are borne to a substantial degree by candidates themselves, without the assistance of contributions from outside. The honorable member’s reference to companies is equally false. We -have received contributions from private individuals without giving them any undertaking whatsoever, and that has been the practice in the Australian Labour party since the time of Mr. Scullin. Our main contributions come from the trade unions of Australia, and always will do so. The honorable member is quite inaccurate if he says otherwise. I tell the honorable member, through you, Mr. Speaker, that he is not going to get away with these slanders any longer.
I do not want to go into the history of the matter, but there are people who, by raising the bogy of communism, seek to introduce measures into this country that are alien to our society by methods that nobody can justify or condone. Typical of such measures are the 1953 anti-Communist legislation, and the McCarthy techniques of the United States. We cannot tolerate such measures in this country, but by his speech in this debate the honorable member has done exactly that. I have consistently denied his allegations, and my colleagues have supported me in my denials. Moreover, in the handling of the funds of the Australian Labour party, my colleagues who are associated with me in this matter have done about 99 per cent, of the work. Receipts are given by the Australian Labour party for every contribution made to it, and the charges put forward by the honorable member are therefore false. The books of the party prove them false.
I completely deny the broader charge of subservience to communism. We do not always agree upon the methods that should be adopted to deal with communism or fascism. The Australian Labour party believes that the methods adopted are important, and that we must not have unjust or wicked methods, but must proceed in accordance with the democratic ideals of our country. That is the position as far as I myself ian concerned. The Australian Labour party’s struggle with communism, when in office, is well known to everybody. We prosecuted those involved in all cases of subversion, even to the highest tribunal. During the 1949 coal strike we took very drastic action, although I do not claim virtue for that. It is enough to refute the false slander which has been spread by the honorable member for Fawkner, who would brand the members of this party as a group of reds.
The record of his supporters in the Victorian Parliament is shameful. In the early hours of this morning, although they were pledged to support the Victorian Labour Govern ment, they turned that Government out of office by combining with the Victorian LiberalCountry party Opposition. That is one of the most disgraceful acts that has occurred in the history of this country.
.- Apparently it has now become fascism to attempt to ventilate matters that very badly need ventilating in this Parliament. But I assure the right honorable member for Barton fDr. Evatt), that if it is fascism then he will get quite a. deal of it from, this corner of the House. Lot us consider the position about the receipt of this money. The first evidence in regard to it is a. statement in close detail by the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) to members in this corner of the House, and others of the Australian Labour party, about the negotiations which took place between himself and Mr. E. F. Hill, the State secretary of the Communist party, in relation to the receipt of about £13,000. That statement “was made in great detail, and included in it was the statement that Senator Kennelly had said: “We don’t want chicken feed, brother; come on, where’s the dough “. Anybody who had heard that story told by the honorable member for Fremantle could have had no doubt at all about the complete veracity of it. After that statement was made it k-gan to be talked about in this House, and that brought forth a frantic denial from the right honorable member for Barton. Later, the matter began to be talked about more freely, and further evidence came to light. Then there was the suggestion, “ Of course we did not get money from the Communist party, we got it from the Communist-controlled unions; and since the majority of the members of those unions are supporters of the Australian Labour party, why should we not get the money ? “
I do not know whether the money referred to as being handed to Senator Kennelly by Mr. Hill is the same sum of money, but I know that the right honorable member for Barton has attempted to tell the people that the money that he got from the Communist party came as the ordinary contribution that unions make to the funds of the Australian Labour i -arty. In doing that, the right honorable member is saying something that is completely untrue. I have before me minutes of a meeting of certain combined unions. Represented at the meeting were the miners’ federation, the Amalgamated Engineers Union, whose Commonwealth council was dominated by the Communist party in the person of Mr. Rowe, the Federated Ironworkers Association of Australia and the Building Workers Industrial Union of New South Wales. In those minutes it is indicated that £4,500 came from the Amalgamated Engineers Union, £3,500 from the miners’ federation, £3,500 from the Waterside Workers Federation, of Australia, £2,500 from the Federated Ironworkers Association of Australia, and £1,300 from the Boilermakers Society of Australia.
– What is wrong with that?
– Those five unions were all under Communist control at that time in New South Wales. The minutes of their meeting are before me, and it is quite plain that that was a meeting of the general staff of the Communist party in this country. Therefore, anybody from the Australian Labour party who tries to tell me that he believes that those men were genuine union secretaries, and that this thing was a genuine union meeting, knows perfectly well that that is not the truth. I repeat that the minutes that J have already mentioned, are minutes of a meeting of the general staff of the Communist’ party in Australia. Every leading Communist in New South Wales was present at that meeting which made decisions about the allocation of funds to the Australian Labour party.
– Where did the honorable member get the files from which he is quoting?
– I got .them from the Federated Ironworkers Association of Australia, and they were left behind by Jackie McPhillips when he was thrown out by Laurie Short. The file shows how that tremendous sum of money came from the Communist-controlled unions, after negotiations with the general staff. In the light of that fact can it still be said that that money was only a contribution to the Australian Labour party? The honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell) told me, and the Victorian executive of the Australian Labour party was told by its representative who came here to discuss the 1951 campaign, that we could not get £2,000 from the unions in the normal way, but about £15,000 was available from the Communist-controlled unions. Is £15,000 a normal contribution from those red unions? If honorable members look through the lists of donations recorded by the Victorian executive body of the unions that gave the £15,000 to the right honorable member for Barton, they will find that on most occasions they put hardly one penny into the election campaign funds of the Australian Labour party.
– Why did not the honorable member do something about it?
– The honorable member knows of the attempts made to stop the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. W. M. Bourke) and myself from discussing this matter within the Australian Labour party. When the right honorable member for Barton was present at a recent meeting of the Canberra branch of the party, according to the daily press he attempted to get out of this charge that he took a huge sum of money from the Communist general staff. Indeed, he denied the fact. But I was present on the platform at a meeting in the Melbourne Town Hall a few months ago, when Mr. Short produced a receipt from the records of the previously Communist-controlled
Federated Ironworkers Association of Australia, which wa.s signed by the secretary of the right honorable member for Barton for the thousands of pounds that he received from that union.
– Well, what is wrong with that? The honorable member has already accepted it.
– I have never accepted Id. from any source that the honorable member has in mind. If honorable members of the Australian Labour party feel that it is normal for their leader in this House, or in the Senate, to negotiate with five people who are the five most prominent Communists in Australia, and compose the general staff of the Communist party in this country exercising their power by virtue of their control of key trade unions, and to ask those people to provide huge sums of money, I certainly do not believe that it is normal Labour practice, and I have no doubt that throughout the country hundreds of thousands of members of trade unions, and of the Australian Labour party, also do not believe it. The right honorable member for Barton aims at being the Prime Minister of this country. What an anomalous position we should arrive at, considering the perilous position of this country in Asian affairs, if we had as Prime Minister and Ministers, people who were prepared to negotiate with the general staff of the Communist party, and be subsidized to the extent of thousands of pounds by the Communist party, and in due turn be ready to pay their debts to the Communist party?
The story of the honorable member for Fremantle was in too much detail to be doubted. The frantic efforts by the right honorable member for Barton not to have this matter investigated were also a clear indication of the position. He said that he had not received any funds from the Communist party, but honorable members will recollect that he said that he did not receive at any time anything from the “ Communist party “. I challenge the right honorable member for Barton to tell us how much he got from the members of the general staff of the Communist party, whose negotiations with hi I have already mentioned. Do honorable members believe that Mr. Hill would openly hand over about £13,000 to Senator Kennelly to bring up to Canberra?
– He did not hand it over.
– Apparently this matter is getting under the skin of the members of the Australian Labour party. They do not like it. It is quite obvious that this was an illustration of the old saying that he who pays the piper calls the tunc. A great deal of the extraordinary behaviour of the right honorable gentleman since 1951 can be explained by the negotiations that took place in. relation to this £13,000. I have here a statement by the Honorable P. J. Kennelly, who was then general secretary of the Australian Labour party, in which he calls upon all unionists to assist the work of the industrial groups in the fight against communism in the trade unions. “Motion (by Mr. Cremean) put -
That the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Keon) be granted an extension of time. (Mr. Speaker - Hon.archie Cameron.)
Ayes . . . . . . 69
Noes . . . . 44
Mr.Curtin. - Where are the Government Tellers. Mr. Speaker?
– Order ! The honorable gentleman is getting right out of order.
– What is the honorable member talking about? Are not the antiCommunist members Government Tellers?
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
– I thank the House for the extension of time. I had stated that there was a very old proverb of which everybody should take particular note, that was that the man who paid the piper called the tune. Mr. Speaker, does anybody here think that the Communist party handed over these vast sums of money to the right honorable member for Barton without getting its price? Does anybody think that the Communist party, placed in a position where it could buy for itself the right honorable member withthe prospect of his becoming Prime Minister some day, would hand over that money without making certain that strings were attached to the right honorable gentleman so that in due course the screws could be turned? Anybody who knows anything about the members of the Communist party knows perfectly well that, if the opportunity to use blackmail is presented to them, they will use blackmail. There, at the price of £13,000, we find the real secret of the attack upon the industrial groups. Do you think, Mr. Speaker, that Healy, of the Waterside Workers Federation, Williams, of the miners’ federation and those other members of the general staff of the Communist party who are in charge of key trade unions wanted a repetition of what happened in the Federated Ironworkers Association which no doubt would have happened in other unions if the industrial groups had gone from success to success? Do you think that, in the face of all that, they would have handed over those thousands of pounds without getting their price? Of course they got their price.
I referred to a pamphlet that was issued by Senator Kennelly, as general secretary of the Australian Labour party, in 1950, which called upon all members of that party to support industrial groups. As everybody here knows, that was the cry in 1950. As every honorable member behind me knows, and as quite a number of honorable members ou the other Opposition benches know perfectly well, from 1951 onwards Senator Kennelly was unrelenting in his campaign to achieve what the right honorable member for Barton has recently attempted to achieve. Irrespective of what anybody likes to think about the statements of the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley), it is quite obvious from the receipts and figures that were produced for the press at the meeting in the Melbourne Town Hall by Mr. Short, and from the minutes of the combined Communist meeting of trade union secretaries - the big five - that, whatever negotiations took place between Mr. Hill and Senator Kennelly, the people responsible for the negotiations with the big five sold the Labour party, sold its traditions, and sold their supporters to the Communist party for those sums of money. It is in the minutes, in a report by comrade Healy himself. All I say to honorable members on this side of the House is that, if they want a leader who lias been bought and paid for by the Communist party, they are welcome to him.
– I demand a withdrawal of that remark, which is untrue.
-I am not able to judge that. The right honorable gentleman may make a personal explanation later.
– I shall withdraw the remark if the right honorable member finds it offensive, but he knows perfectly well what the situation is.
– It is a lie.
– Order ! The right honorable gentleman must not use the term “ lie “.
– I say to the honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Duthie) and the honorable member for Swan (Mr. Webb), who are members of the federal executive of the Australian Labour party, that it did not matter much about evidence, justice or anything else when they were attempting to wreck the Australian Labour party and destroy the industrial groups, but the manner in which they turned away their heads and were glued to their seats when the honorable member For Fawkner (Mr. W. M. Bourke) mentioned the £13,000 was a clear indication of their attitude in the matter. If they were genuine in their desire to see that the Australian Labour party, or their section of the followers of Dr. Evatt-
-Order ! The honorable member must not use the personal name “ Dr. Evatt “.
– If they were anxious to have this smear, as the right honorable gentleman refers to it, cleared, why did they not pursue their investigation? Everybody knows why they did not pursue their investigation. They knew that, even with their own rigged set-up, they could not stand investigation into the matter, because the Australian Labour party, the trades unions and those who are traditionally opposed to communism would not have tolerated for a moment a continuance of the leadership of a man who had accepted money from the Communist party.
– Order ! The honorable member’s extended time has expired.
.- One of the remarkable features of this debate is the unusual reticence of Government supporters. Not one of them has risen to speak on this question. I think they ought to contribute something, because it was a member of the Liberal party who first brought this matter before the Parliament. It was the then honorable member for Griffith, Mr. Berry, who said, on the 12th November, 1953 -
The honorable member for Burke (Mr. Peters) said that the Communists do not favour compulsory unionism and that accordingly they favour the Government’s view on that subject. I reply to that statement by asking why the Communist party made a five-figure contribution to the funds of the Australian Labour party to light the referendum proposal to ban the Communist party.
The honorable member for Corio (Mr. Opperman) asked -
How much was paid?
The honorable member for Griffith replied -
I have been informed that the payment amounted to £12,000. It was organized by a member of the Labour party who sits in this House.
I should imagine that as members of the Liberal party seemed to know all about the matter in November, 1953, some of them would have said something about it now. It is most significant that although the charge made to-day is that Senator Kennelly collected the £13,000, Mr. Berry’s charge was that the money was collected by a member of this House. There is a delightful inconsistency, at the very least, in the two statements. All that we are getting to-day is a re-hash of rancid meat two years dead.
I have been a trustee of the Australian Labour party for a very long time. Fellow trustees with me at various time3 have been men such as the late Mr. Scullin, the late Mr. Curtin, the late Mr. Chifley, the late Mr. Beasley, the late Mr. Mulcahy, Senator McKenna. the present Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) and some others. Not one df us ever accepted a single penny from a member of the Australian Communist party or from any Communist-controlled union that was not affiliated with the Australian Labour party. None of us would stand in his place in public life if he were so recreant to his Australianism as to take a penny from the Australian Communist party or any of its subsidiaries. Every one knows my views on communism. I regard it as a vile philosophy and a diabolical way of life. It arose, like nazi-ism and fascism, from the rationalism and the so-called enlightenment of the eighteenth-century school of agnostics and sceptics, as Doctor Arthur Schlesinger, junior, of the United States of America, has said. Men like Kirkegarde, Freud, Hegel and Nietzsche charted the pattern of depravity that dispensed with the need of God while the sun of rationalist optimism was high in the sky, and, as that sun set, it was practical men like Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini, who turned that pattern of depravity into a way of life. Humanity to-day i3 suffering because of the evils of this creation’ over the last century and a half. Communism is a philosophy and a way of life that no real Australian can or will accept.
To-day the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. W. M. Bourke) alleged that the great Australian Labour party has accepted money from Communist sources. The honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Keon) varied the story. He stated that the money came from communist-controlled unions, not from funds of the Australian Communist party.
– And from miners affiliated with the Australian Labour party.
– He instanced miners, waterside workers and others. The facts in regard to Australian Labour party funds are that the party receives affiliation fees from unions that choose to affiliate with it. Some of those unions, at various times, have been under Communist control. Some which were under Communist control are no longer Communist-controlled. In some States the Australian Labour party accepts affiliations from unions under Communist control, and in other States it does not. In all instances, the contributions paid in affiliation fees are infinitesimal compared with the requirements of the Australian Labour party. Indeed, they are miserably small. Labour has given the workers of Australia political and trade-union activity at bargain prices. Though on occasion special donations for Australian Labour party campaign funds are received from unions, and though the party receives certain affiliation fees to pay for general administrative expenses, it still has to go to commercial and other interests seeking contributions. But Labour’s advertisements always appear in the newspapers. The party publicly names the trustees to “whom contributions may be made and the places at which donations will be received. No contribution is ever received with tags attached to it. So it is that the Australian Labour party struggles along from one election to the next with very little in the way of campaign funds.
The question of a slush fund has now been raised. The Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) may remember that many years ago I, on one occasion, used the term “slush fund” in this House in relation to contributions to Liberal party funds.
– I can hardly recall any unpleasant remark that the honorable member has not made at some time or other.
– My memory is equally as good as is that of the Prime Minister in that regard. I can remember, too, all that was unpleasant which he has said over the years, but I forgive him, as no doubt he forgives me. The term “ slush fund “ is an old one. The Australian Labour party has never had a slush fund in the sense in which the term is used in the United States, and Labour has nothing to fear in respect of its funds. If the Prime Minister will appoint a royal commission to investigate the sources of the funds of all parties and the charges that have been made this afternoon, the Australian Labour party will welcome such an inquiry. I shall go on to the witness stand to testify to every penny that I have ever received as a trustee of the party. I have copies of the receipts that I have issued for many thousands of pounds over the last twelve or thirteen years. I am sure that my colleagues who are now and have been for a long time trustees of the party will do likewise. We shall put Senator Kennelly and the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) on the witness stand. Let us also examine Mr. Hill. Then the Australian public will know how much falsity there is in this continuing accusation that the Australian Labour party receives money from tainted sources.
– It would be easier for the honorable member for Fremantle to speak here.
– He might do so. It would bc better still to put every one on oath. Perhaps the Prime Minister might give evidence on oath and say where the Liberal party obtains its funds.
– I would not know.
– It would certainly make interesting reading. Some one in the Liberal party knows who gets the money and where it comes from, because that party receives large sums from the banks, oil companies, shipping companies and other large commercial organizations throughout Australia.
Does any member of this Parliament believe that the Australian Communist party would hand over money to any other body? If the Communists obtain money they use it for their own purposes. They use it to create the revolutionary situation that they declare is indispensable to the revolution that they hope to create. That party has never given any one anything. If Communist-controlled unions, in association or separately, have at any time handed over money to State branches of the Australian Labour party or to the trustees of the funds of the Federal Parliamentary Labour party, they have not handed over money belonging to the Australian Communist party. They have paid over the money of the workers ; 99 per cent, of whom are Labour supporters, though, unfortunately many of them are either too lethargic or too unintelligent to throw the Communist controllers off their backs. I have always wanted every Communist union executive in Australia thrown out of office. I still want that, and so does every member of the Australian Labour party. But if the workers are so foolish as to elect Communist leaders for the time being, there is little that can be done about it. At least Labour, by introducing courtcontrolled unionism, gave the workers of Australia the first opportunity that they had ever had to throw Communist leaders off their backs. That is history, and anything analogous that has been done since has merely been an extension of the principle that Labour introduced.
In .1949 Labour had to fight what it believed was a. Communist conspiracy. I went to the coal-fields, as did many other members of the Australian Labour party, and put Labour’s case in opposition to that Communist conspiracy. I have nothing to be ashamed of or to regret in relation to that event. If I were placed in a similar position to-morrow I would do precisely the same thing again. Therefore, my views about communism are unchanged. I should like to see the present Government a little more active than it has been in recent times in relation to the deplorable conditions that are suffered by the infirm, the aged, the workers and other Australians living under deplorable conditions, because it is out of controllable but neglected misery that communism springs. The charges that have been made to-day are nothing but a re-hash of others that have been made previously. Therefore, there is no case for the Australian Labour party to answer.
– Order ! The honorable gentleman’s time has expired.
Motion (by Mr. CLAREY) negatived -
That the honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell) be granted an extension of time.
.- We have just listened to a most extraordinary diversionary utterance by the honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell), who made great play with an appeal in these terms: “I shall give evidence on oath. Give me a. royal commission “. I tell the honorable member that I shall go into any witness-box and swear on oath that the right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt) admitted to me, when challenged, that a substantial sum of money was received direct from the Australian Communist party.
– That is a complete lie.
– The honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) told me the story with a wealth of detail. I said to him, “ Go around and tell the leader “. He did- The next day I challenged the right honorable member for Barton in regard to this story. T told him that it had been mentioned that £13,000 had been donated through Senator Kennelly who was then general secretary of the Australian Labour party. The right honorable gentleman’s answer to me was that if £13,000 had been donated, he had handled only £8,000 and that Senator Kennelly must have the rest of it.
– I rise to order. I want an opportunity to reply to these statements.
– The right honorable gentleman will have an opportunity to reply by way of personal explanation.
– The honorable member for Fremantle stated that Senator Kennelly said to him, “ I said to Mr. Hill, brother, ‘ After this is over I will be going past Coburg gaol and you will be inside ‘ “. He also referred to chickenfeed as reported in yesterday’s Baily Telegraph.
– How does the honorable member know that?
– It came to me through the usual pipe-line into the caucus _ meeting. I was not there. It was evidence of my good citizenship that I was not there. The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator McKenna) has stated that the right honorable member for Barton is a magnificent leader. He is a killer. No one is a success as a leader unless he is a killer. I name the right honorable member for Barton as the most dangerous man in the public life of Australia. He is a colossal egotist who betrayed this country in the interests of his insatiable ambition, and he well deserves that pseudonym by which he is known throughout the length and breadth of the continent. He is known as a wrecker and a millstone around the neck of the party that he prof esses, to lead. He had ambition - the sin by which the angels fell. He climbed and ascended step by step, oh Lord, into hell. And this man, seeking to divert attention from his obvious alliance with communism, has embarked on a trail of wrack and ruin which Labour will rue for many decades to come. The case is easily proven. Let the right honorable member put it to the test. Let him call upon the honorable member for Fremantle to make a statement. I have great confidence in the honorable member for Fremantle as one who will tell the truth under every set of circumstances. I, myself, am willing to face any tribunal.
The honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell) has suggested theappointment of a royal commission. Let those concerned give evidence before such a commission and we shall see where the truth lies. If circumstantial evidence is required, there is enough in every paper in this country to prove that the right honorable member for Barton is keeping his bargain. There is evidence that the suppression of the industrial groups and of every worth-while anti-Communist force in this community is entirely his work. The Communist party of Australia has the screw on him and will have it on him for ever. What a cheerful destiny with which to confront our children! A potential Prime Minister who is under the influence of the Communist party!
That extraordinary manifesto which emanated from the Hobart conference of the Australian Labour party was the product of the brains of two doctors who were about to fly to Indonesia. It could have been taken word for word, t for t and i for i, from any Communist publication in Australia. It was a complete sell-out of all that we are supposed to hold dear. It was designed to weaken our morale. More than 400,000,000 Asiatics, with their claims of nationalism, are pressing down on us, and these men, who are so skilled in foreign affairs, are willing to advocate that our last line of defence should be Darwin. In the meantime, the Communist enemy would have dynamited the whole industrial structure of Australia. I see an element of sorrow among the supporters of the Leader of the Opposition. I have many friends among them. I know that they believe as I do. The most unfortunate thing that ever happened to Labour in Australia was that the Australian Labour party admitted the right honorable member for Barton to its membership. Even the suave, sycophantic Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, whose sycophancy has led him to the fame and fortune that he has achieved, has joined in the universal chorus that it is amazing that a Labour man can win an election under the leadership of the right honorable member for Barton.
I am willing to be judged. I am prepared to take an oath on what I have said. The right honorable member for Barton said to me, “You know what a. treacherous fellow Senator Kennelly is. if– 1.21
You know that he is after my scalp “. And he accused Senator Kennelly of taking the difference between the £S,000 and the £13,000.
– That is a. complete lie.
– We are all lying! Every one is out of step but the right honorable member for Barton ! But I am confident that, before the bar of public opinion, which is the constituency
– Order ! The honorable member’s time has expired.
– I claim the right of personal explanation because I have -been most wrongly and foully misrepresented by the honorable member for Gellibrand (Mr. Mullens).
– It is true.
– It is not true at all. The honorable member for Gellibrand did not discuss with me any contribution from the Communist party. I did not make any statement about a gift from the Communist party. The Australian Labour party did not receive such a gift. C did not tell the honorable member for Gellibrand that it was received. That is a pure invention. The discussion in which the honorable member alleged that I referred to Senator Kennelly did not take place in the way that he has suggested. Many other things that he said about me also constitute misrepresentation. He is motivated by passion and hatred. He cannot tell the truth.
– I wish to make a personal explanation. The right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt) said that I can not tell the truth. He can put that allegation to the test by sending for the honorable member for Fremantle. He can also put it to the test by calling on the honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell), to whom I communicated the fact that I had challenged the right honorable member for Barton and to whom I conveyed the right honorable member’s answer.
– You did not speak to me at all.
Mr. WARD (East Sydney) ‘5.5].It is quite evident from the joy which this action of the betrayers of Labour, who now sit in the corner, has given to those whose particular cause they are serving in this debate, that they are out to damage and destroy Labour if they can possibly do so. It is not a recent decision of theirs to undermine Labour. The honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Keon), who is designated as the deputy lender of this nondescript group, could nor. judging by his type of speech, represent a more appropriate electorate, not on account of the electorate itself but having regard to the tales that are told about the smelly Yarra, which flows through it. Let us examine the allegations that have been made. The honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. W. M. Bourke) said that money had been received by the Australian Labour party from the Communist party and he implied that it had been directly received from that party, but the deputy leader of his group admitted that what he and his colleagues were referring to were contributions that had been received from trade unions affiliated with the Australian Labour party. I challenge the honorable member to nominate any union inside Australia in which Communists are in the majority. The majority of members of each of these affiliated unions are supporters of the Australian Labour party and these contributions have been made by the direction of the members of those organizations.
This is no new role for the honorable member for Yarra to play. It is not merely because the right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt) happens to bo the Leader of the Australian Labour party to-day that he has been attacked by the honorable gentleman. He attacked Labour’s late leader, Mr. Ben Chifley, mo.»t viciously, in this chamber, in regard to the foreign policy that Mr. Chifley then enunciated. The honorable member has been out of step with Labour for a long time - if ever he has been in step with it. Let us look at the exact position. These trade unions over the years have contributed substantial sums to the Australian Labour party to help it in its various campaigns. It has never been denied that they have been making such contributions to the Australian Labour party. I wonder whether the honorable member, or any member of his group, has ever objected’ to members of the trade unions, which he now describes as being Communist-dominated, voting for them at general elections, or when they have appealed to them during election campaigns to sit on. their committees and help them. These honorable members now object to the acceptance of funds from those particular organizations, but they would not object to their supporting them in any way. Is it not interesting to note that members of this group, who will be branded as the betrayers of Labour, have their counterparts in the Victorian Parliament and that the latter have already destroyed the Cain Labour Government in that State? Does any member of the group argue that the Cain Government was Communist-dominated or that it was part and parcel of this plot to sell out Labour to the Communists? Whereas the Cain Labour Government has been justly lauded for putting on the statute-book of Victoria legislation of which Labour can be proud, this group, with its counterpart in the Victorian Parliament, is serving the interests, not of Labour, but those of anti-Labour, and has now brought about the destruction of that Government.
Let us examine the interests which are supporting this group. These honorable members do not mention one union, and for a very good reason. It is an organization known as the People’s Union. I do not want any one to confuse it with any legitimate trade union, because it is not such a union. It is an organization of the Libera] party which gathers funds for its particular purpose of disseminating anti-Labour propaganda. Recently, it issued a letter over the name of a Mr. Hebblewhite, who is a co-trustee of the organization, appealing for contributions from various people in this country. In that letter the following passage appears: -
Security for assets against “political” attack and sound government are long-term benefits. Businessmen in all countries are substantially increasing their support for protective publicity.
The letter goes on to say that the organization wants £25,000. That is its target. What is that for? Not to assist the Liberal party directly, but to protect the industrial groups which the honorable member for Yarra is now so anxious to protect as forming the moderate section of trade unionists. If those groups are receiving assistance and financial support from the People’s Union, with a reformed Communist at its helm, the game they are playing to-day becomes obvious. I believe that when the electors throughout Australia have the opportunity to pass judgment upon the members of this group some of them will realize to their sorrow that they are completely out of step with the trade union movement. Let us examine this matter a little further. If these honorable members say that these things happened in the ranks of Labour two, or three, years ago, why did they remain within the Labour party? “Why did they not make their stand at the time when, they argue, these great principles were at stake? They had every opportunity to raise such matters within the confines of the Labour party. If the records were produced it would be found that the honorable member for Yarra and the honorable member for Gellibrand (Mr. Mullens) in particular have had more opportunities than any other members to raise any matters in which they were interested. But they remained silent and, no doubt, to further their false and lying story, waited for a. favorable opportunity to betray. Labour. Neither I, nor any other member of the Labour party, will deny that when the industrial groups were first formed many genuine Labour people joined them and carried out great work in the trade unions. But later, as the groups grew in power, certain people, who were not members of the Labour party, saw in them not a great weapon that could be used for the purpose of helping and strengthening Labour, but a new force that could be used for the purpose of destroying the very movement which the originators of the groups set out to build up and protect.
The honorable member for Fawkner said that members were shocked when they heard certain things in 1953. I repeat what the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) has said. These men are now in the open, and I have no doubt that within the next few weeks they will demonstrate their objectives by the way in which they record their vote in this
House. “Why does the honorable member for Gellibrand set out to attack not the Liberal party but the policy that has been propounded by the Federal Conference of the Australian Labour party and endorsed by the Labour movement? He has set out to attack that policy. No doubt within the next few days be will be found voting against Labour’s policy, and in that way he will disclose the role which he is playing to-day.
– The same as you did in 1932.
– The Vice-President of the Executive Council (Sir Eric Harrison) talks about some incident which occurred many years ago. Let me tell the right honorable gentleman that on that occasion I was proud to vote against the destruction of social services in this country. But on this occasion - and I am not going to be diverted by the right honorable gentleman - he is welcome to his allies. Why did they select the honorable member for Ballarat (Mr. Joshua) as the leader of the group? There is not a person in Australia, not even a school child, who does not know the reason why he, in particular, has been selected. Did anybody regard him as being sufficiently advanced in the esteem of his colleagues to merit selection? Is not the real leader the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Keon), who represents an outside force and an outside influence in the politics of this country, who speaks for somebody else, some other group that is not in the Labour party, and speaks for it by proxy in this Parliament? There is no need for me to mention it by name, because there is not a member in this Parliament who is not aware of the organization to which I refer.
– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.
Motion (by Mr. Watkins) negatived -
That the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) be granted an extension of time.
.- The speech that we have just heard on this subject did not reflect a great deal of credit on the man who made it, nor did it imply a great deal of knowledge of the desirability of parliamentary decency. It is all very well to indulge in a series of accusations and vilifications of a group, an a n ti ‘ communist group, which has courted political oblivion because of principle, but it is an entirely different thing to do what the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) has done, to get up in this House and make allegations about an organization that he has not the courage to name. He has accused seven honorable members of this Parliament of being betrayers of the Labour movement. I think it can be said that the records of all of those seven honorable members will bear investigation, but do honorable members think that the record of the honorable member for East Sydney would stand up to the same searchlight of public criticism ? If the answer is in the affirmative, then my judgment of the good sense of this House is sadly astray.
During the whole course of this debate we have been subjected to the yip-yapping of a lot of jackals who. if they had any courage and decency, would be behind us to-day. But they are letting expedience, their desire for advancement, and their personal antagonisms stand in the way of their principles. Win en they sling epithets at us and say that we are betrayers of Labour, I know there must be an uneasy feeling on the part of those who echo those sentiments vocally but who, in their hearts, know that we are right.
Regarding the terms of this resolution, there is not a man who follows Dr. Evatt-
– Order !
– There is not a man who follows the right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt) who can throw anything at my personal reputation, or at my record in the Labour movement. When they speak about seducing the electorate at a referendum, and about sabotaging this and that, they cannot apply those remarks to the honorable member for Hoddle. I claim to be a competent and a reliable witness in this debate, and I subscribe wholeheartedly to that which has been said by the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. W. M. Bourke). I believe a price was paid.
– What price was paid ?
– You, Judas, would be on this side if you had the courage.
– I rise to order. I object to that, coming as it does from the greatest
Judas who has ever betrayed the Labour party.
– Order ! If the honorable member for Hoddle mentioned the word “ Judas “ he must withdraw it.
– I withdraw it.
-The honorable member for Burke (Mr. Peters) must withdraw it, too.
– I certainly do.
– If honorable members on this side of the House voted and acted in accordance with the principles that they have mouthed for years, there would not be only seven, but 37 honorable members sitting here as the antiCommunist section of the Australian Labour party. I subscribe to what has been said by the honorable member for Fawkner. I know all the epithets and all the imputations that will be directed against him, but I believe that a price was paid for the recent actions of the federal executive and for the creation of a bogus executive in Victoria. The price for the expulsion of men with good records in the Labour movement is the destruction of the Australian Labour party groups in the Labour movement, the sole barrier against the destruction of unions by their complete sell-out to the Communist party. The £3 3,000 that was paid to a certain senator and, in turn, given over to the right honorable member for Barton-
– You are also telling a lie.
– I think that my public reputation will bear investigation, but I question yours.
– It is as good as yours. You are making a false statement.
– The right honorable member for Barton talks about loyalty to the Labour movement. I remember that at one time in his political history, when he was a member of a State House, his loyalty to the Labour movement consisted of opposing the selected Labour candidate. Let him deny that. That is typical of the attitude that has been adopted by him during the course of his ambitious career in the Labour movement. He would say of me that I have sabotaged the Labour movement. He wi.u think that of himself, but he knows that such an accusation would fall with considerable aptness on the shoulders of quite a number of other honorable members who render him lip service to-day.
A price has been paid and the bargain is now in the process of its fulfilment. The federal executive has moved into the State of New South “Wales, and the Premier of that State again has made his particular contribution to the great sell-out of Labour. It is only a question of time before the whole of this party in Australia will be divided by two schisms. The man responsible for that division - or the figurehead responsible for it, because his own destruction is planned by those who now support him - is the right honorable member for Barton. I leave the question to the consideration of the voting population of this country - not those who render lip service to the Labour movement, but the people in the electorates. I commend, as a masterpiece of circumlocution, the attitude of the honorable member for Melbourne (Mr. Calwell) who said that this meat is two years old, and that the matter is dead. It is still a live issue as far as the people of Australia are concerned, and when they get the opportunity to express their opinion they will speak unmistakably in terms- that accord with the opinions of this despised and unwanted group of seven who sit in this part of our noble Parliament.
I submit that the case has been decisively and conclusively proved. I submit, also, that the evidence that was given by the honorable member for Fawkner, the honorable member- for Yarra, and the honorable member for Gellibrand will take a great deal of rebuttal - and I have not heard, any effective rebuttal up to this stage. Let it be paraded ! Put the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) in the box, the forum of public opinion,, and let him- sayyea or nay to the things that are attributed to him. He has not been called in this debate, and until he is called, that which has been quoted of him will be accepted as the truth and as- a. damnation of the person who is misleading the Australian Labour party and who is also leading it along the stony road to ultimate destruction.
– I call the honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard).
Honorable Members. - The honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) wishes to speak.
– I am prepared to give way to the honorable member for Fremantle.
– The honorable member may not do so. When he has completed his speech, the honorable member for Fremantle will be heard.
– There will not be time.
– There is always time for a persona] explanation to be heard.
.- Normally, when views are expressed very strongly in debates, I find it possible to wax indignant on a variety of subjects; but on this occasion, when I look at the seven people who are involved in this situation, and when I examine what they have done and the records of at least some of them, I find that they are of so little importance that it does not justify my raising my blood pressure. Have a look at them ! The honorable member for Gellibrand (Mr. Mullens) came into this House a few years ago. I challenge any honorable member to name one occasion when the honorable member for Gellibrand has made a constructive contribution to a debate.
– Of course he has !
– Not one constructive contribution ! Ail he has clone in that period has been occasionally to make a facetious speech on the motion for the adjournment; but when it came to giving good, solid service to this Parliament, he was absent, or left the conduct of the debate to his fellow members, or was on the train making for home and beauty in the constituency of Gellibrand.
Let- us now consider the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. W. M. Bourke). He came into this Parliament some years ago-, a convert or a kickout from the Victorian Country party. I do not blame any man for seeing what he thinks is a new light, but the honorable member for
Fawkner.’ from the time he .became a member of the Labour party until he was kicked out, invariably, when the House was not sitting, was behind a pillar in the King’s Hall, or the Queen’s Hall as it now is, with a member of the capitalistic press of Australia, or was in collusion with some member of the Liberal party or the Australian Country party. Does any one think that members of the Labour party talk long, fervently and quietly to members of the forces which are opposed to Labour in Parliament House without “leaking” to them something that is of value to them? He did not walk out of the party despite all the fearful allegations he has made. He has said that discussion was thwarted on the subject of the contribution of £13,000 to the funds of the Labour party for the referendum campaign in 1951. I say that is not true, and my honesty lias never been impugned.
– It is the intimidation.
– I talked to the honorable member. He was deeply perturbed. He mentioned the matter to me, and I said, “ Bill, there is not a political party in this country or any other country that does not, at election time and prior to elections, throw open the bag and say to people who think, on the one hand, that their interests can be served, and, on the other, that they are acting in the best interests of Australia, or the two can be separated if you like, ‘Put in your money, but there are no tags ‘. That applies to the Liberal party and to this party “.
– That is not correct.
– Rubbish ! I have seen the public appeals of the Liberal party. The Liberal party would have taken a quid from me if I had offered it to the collector. I have stated facts. I told the honorable member for Fawkner that our late leader, and our present leader, said on all occasions to contributors to party funds, “ No tags, no tags “. As a matter of fact, on the occasion of the referendum campaign, I. was a collector for the party. I wa3 advertised as such, and was authorized by my party to receive donations for the fight against the nefarious Communist Party Dissolu tion Act, which had been sponsored by the Menzies Government.
– The honorable member voted for it.
– Yes, after a morbid appeal had been made for sympathy. There was certain treacherous and traitorous conduct. I did what the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Keon) would not do. I accepted the decision of the majority of members of the party. You did not do so.
– Order ! Address me, please.
– Certainly, sir. T have to look at the honorable member for Yarra, but I shall do my best to obey the Chair.
– Did the honorable member for Lalor support the acceptance of the £13,000?
– Hold your tongue! You have made your speech. I was appointed one of those who were eligible to receive contributions for the fight against the Communist Party Dissolution Act. Unfortunately, I collected only 30s. ; but I did not ask the contributors - there were two of them - what their political views were, what affiliations they had, or anything else. They said to me, “ We believe that this particular act is against the best interests of Australia “. I said, “ Oh, brother, there is your receipt. I will send your money to the central executive “, and I did so. That sort of thing is common to all political parties in Australia. Let us now examine some of the other gentlemen who have spoken. Did they get out of the party?
– Did the honorable member support the acceptance of the £13,000?
– Did the honorable member for Fawkner leave the party when he heard this story, and had convinced himself that it was correct? Not on your life! He hung on to the last ditch, and had to be kicked out. Did the honorable member for Gellibrand leave the party ? No ! He held fast. In fact, he held so fast that he became degraded enough, in his moral principles, to accept as the gift of the Labour party a tour to the United Kingdom on the occasion of the Coronation. He knew of those matters that he now talks about, and he canvassed members of the Labour party, cringing, crawling and pleading
– Order !
– What is wrong?
– Order ! The honorable member must restrain his language. He may not refer to an honorable member as cringing and crawling.
– All right! That is what he did. The honorable member for Hoddle (Mr. Cremean) and the honorable member for Yarra have also spoken in this debate. What did they do? As recently as the meeting of caucus following the general election in 1954, they were round members of caucus, visiting their rooms, their ears to the ground, canvassing - canvassing mind you, the dirty things - support for election to the executive of the Parliamentary Labour party. They sought the support of the men who, they now say, have been taking Communist money. What credence can be placed on statements of such men?
We can forget the honorable member for Ballarat (Mr. Joshua). He is only a pawn in the game. He is a gallant colonel and a Protestant, and it is hoped that, as the leader, he will gain some votes. He is faced in the city of Ballarat by the Honorable J. J. Sheehan, a Minister in the Cain Government in Victoria, who i3 loyal to the Hobart conference’s decision on foreign policy, sneered at by the honorable member for Yarra. Does the honorable member for Yarra say that Mr. Sheehan is disloyal to this country, or that he is a supporter of the Communist party? Why, the seven members concerned are a lot of clingstones that hung on to the party for all the gifts that it could give until they had to be kicked out holus bolus. Then they talk the kind of rubbish that the political opponents of the Labour party have always U3ed in an endeavour to strengthen the infamous statements that they have always made about Labour - that it is an offshoot of the Communist party, that it is a socialist party, and that communism is the next step from socialism. The seven honorable members, in making this stupid declaration about the £13,000, have fed that kind of pap to our political opponents. Some of them are old in the head, but not old enough. The honorable member for Fawkner. who is a solicitor, should have had more sense than to listen to all the drivel. He talked personally to me. Contrast the conduct of the honorable member for Fawkner with my own conduct. Some time ago, a man came to me with a document regarding the professional conduct of the honorable member.
– Order ! The honorable member’s time has expired.
Debate interrupted under Standing Order 92.
– I desire to make a personal explanation. In the course of his speech in opening this debate, the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. W. M. Bourke) quoted from a private conversation that he had with me about two and a half years ago. Part of his statement was an accurate account of that conversation which, in its turn, was based on. «, private conversation that I had had with an honorable senator. I have never said, at any time, that I knew for a fact that the right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt) had £13,000 passed on to him. When I raised this matter with the right honorable member for Barton, he denied that he had received £13,000 and I accepted his denial. If, within the Austraiian Labour party, the federal executive were to ask me to give evidence on this matter, I would do so. If a royal commission were appointed and my evidence were asked for, I would give it. I believe that each man must decide in his own mind whether he is entitled to make a private conversation public. The honorable member for Fawkner has decided that he should do so. I have decided that I should not.
– The honorable member traded it round the country.
– I dare say that the Vice-President of the Executive Council (Sir Eric Harrison) has said things in the Liberal party that he would not want broadcast in Parliament.
– The honorable member did not say this only to the Australian Labour party.
Mr.Beazley. - If the right honorable member feels all his conversations can be radio broadcast he is fortunate. The honorable member forGellibrand(Mr. Mullens) said that he discussed the matter with the right honorable member for Barton.
– Order ! The honorable member for Frernantle cannot deal with anything that has been said by the honorablemember for Gellibrand unless it concerns him.
– It does concern me. The honorable member for Gellibrand made a statement which was entirely new to me to the effect that he had been to see the right honorable member for Barton about this matter. Subsequently the right honorable member for Barton denied it. The honorable member for Gellibrand suggested, as I understood him, that I should be called on to give evidence about the statement that only £8,000 was received. If 1 were called upon to give evidence on that matter, I would have no evidence to give, because this is the first time that I have heard of it. I do not want to misrepresent the honorable member for Fawkner. Part of his statement was an accurate account of a private conversation with me that, took place two and a half years ago.
Motion (by Sir Eric Harrison) - by leave - agreed to -
That Government business shall take precedence over general business to-morrow.
Message recommending appropriation reported.
In committee (Consideration of Governor-General’s message) :
Motion (by Sir Arthur F adden) agreed to -
That it is expedient that an appropriation of revenue and moneys be made for the purposes of a bill for an act to authorize the raising of a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and for purposes connected therewith.
Standing Orders suspended resolution adopted.
That Sir ArthurFadden and Sir Eric Harrison do prepare and bring in a bill to carry out the foregoing resolution.
Bill presented by Sir Arthur Fadden, and read a first time,
– I move - ,
That the bill be now read a second time.
The purpose of this bill is to authorize the borrowing of a sum of 54,500,000 dollars from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in accordance with the loan agreement concluded with the bank on18th March, this year. This is the fourth loan Australia has obtained from the International Bank,and brings the total of our borrowing arrangements with the bank to 358,500,000 dollars, The first loan of 100,000,000 dollars obtained in August, 1950, was fully used by the end of 1953, and the second loan of 50,000,000 dollars by September lastyear. Import licences have already been issued for the full amount of the third loan of 54,000,000 dollars made twelve months ago, and the greater part of the equipment licensed under this loan has been imported into Australia.
The new 54,500,000 dollar loan will enable licences to be issued for further imports of a range of essential capital equipment from the dollar area, and will ensure that we have the dollars to pay for a continuing supply of this equipment until 1956. The full text of the new loan agreement is reproduced in the schedule to the bill. The test of the Loan Regulations referred to in the agreement may be found in the second schedule to the Loan (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development”) Act 1954.
The Government believes that a measure of external financial assistance is desirable if a satisfactory rate of development of Australia’s economic resources is to be maintained. Although the bulk of the resources, both financial and material, required for our development, is found locally, imported equipment of various kinds is essential for expansion and- modernization in manyfields. The larger part of these import* conies from non-dollar sources. There remains, however, some vital equipment which can be obtained only from the dollar area, and International Bank finance provides additional dollars to pay for part of this equipment.
Honorable members will be interested to hear a few figures which high-light the uses to which the first, three International Bank loans have been put. and which indicate the valuable contribution these loans have made and are still making to our economic progress. One hundred and ninety-four million dollars of the total of 204,000,000 dollars provided under these loans have already been used and we expect the balance to be used over the next six months. Of the total, more than 60,000,000 dollars, or almost one-third, have been allocated to the purchase of tractors, agricultural machinery and earth-moving equipment for the improvement of farming techniques on existing farms and the opening up of new lands. Recent marked improvements in productivity in our primary industries have undoubtedly been due, in no small measure, to the increased supply of modern American farming equipment such as pick-up hay balers, combine, forage and other harvesting machinery and specialized tractors. Almost 20,000,000 dollars have been allocated to the modernization of railways. A large proportion of this has been used to pay for components for diesel electric locomotives whose operations here have resulted in big economies and improved services in the. railways using them. About 30,000,000 dollars have been spent on electrical equipment, mainly package power plants. These plants have been set up in areas where acute power shortages were previously dislocating industrial activity.
Import licences valued at about 30,000,000 dollars have been issued for tractors and road construction equipment, and for trucks and components for the manufacture’ of trucks in Australia. Twelve modern long range aircraft and spares worth 27,000,000 dollars for use. on both our overseas and domestic air routes are being paid for out of the proceeds of the second and third loans. The forestry and mining industries have been alter ted about 5,000,000 dollars and 10,000,000 dollars respectively, and a bout 20,000,000 dollars has. been or will be used to pay for a wide variety of equipment fox the modernization and expansion of our nian nf act u ring industries.
Every bit of the equipment obtained under our International Bank loans is essential. Much of it is being used to assist export production, not only directly, as in agriculture, mining and various secondary industries, but also indirectly in relation to the supply of cheaper power and transport. The Australian economy to-day is markedly more efficient as a result of the goods paid for with International Bank finance. The fourth loan will ensure continued access by public authorities and private industry to that productive equipment and technique which is available, generally speaking, only in the United States and Canada.
The new loan is for a period of fifteen years, which is the same period as for the third loan, but the interest rate of 4f per cent, per annum is $ per cent, less than the rate on the third loan. Interest is payable^ half-yearly on the amount of the loan withdrawn and outstanding from time to time, and the interest charge includes the 1 per cent, commission which, under its articles of agreement, . the bank is required to charge and pay to its reserves. A commitment charge of J per cent, per annum is payable half-yearly on the amount undrawn from time to time. This charge is to accrue from the date the loan becomes available or the 17th May, 1955, whichever is the earlier. Repayments of principal do not commence until three years after signature, the first principal repayment falling due on 15th March, 195S. Payments of interest and principal will then be made half-yearly in accordance with an amortization schedule on a fixed annuity basis. The final payment will fall due on the 15th March, 1970. Under the loan agreement, once the full amount of the loan has been withdrawn, and until amortization payments commence in 195S, interest will amount to 2,520,000 dollars or £ A. 1 ,125,000 per annum ; from 195S onwards, annual payments of interest and principal combined will amount to 5,790,000 dollars or £A.2,585,000.
In general the other clauses of the new loan agreement are similar to those in the 1950, .1952 and 1954 loan agreements, each of which received the approval of the House; and the terms and conditions of the present loan to Australia are in line with those of recent, International Bank loans to other countries. There is, however, one feature outside of the loan agreement which I wish to bring to the notice of honorable members. As I indicated in my press announcement of the loan, the International Bank has arranged to sell, without its guarantee, 10,400,000 dollars of the loan to eleven private banks in the United States of America. This amount represents those parts of the loan which are repayable between March, 1958, and September, 1.960. The sale of the earlier maturities to commercial banks is now common to almost all loans made by the International Bank, although the number of banks concerned on this occasion is the largest number ever to participate in such a transaction. These sales to private banks have advantages for the International Bank’s borrowers as well as for the bank itself. They increase the bank’s loanable funds, and consequently the number and size of the loans the bank may make, and they reduce the cost to the borrower because, when the bank arranges sales without its guarantee, it forgoes portion of the interest that would otherwise be payable. The sales provide, of course, additional evidence of the strength of our credit standing in the United States.
As with previous International Bank loans, it is intended to pay the Australian currency proceeds of our fourth loan into the National Debt Sinking Fund. This is provided for in clause C of the bill, and clause 7 requires the National Debt Commission to meet repayments of principal to the International Bank as they fall due. In effect, therefore, the loan provides its own sinking fund. Payments of interest and other charges are to be met from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. This is provided for in clause S. Clause 9 exempts this loan from certain provisions of the National Debt Sinking Fund Act. This is necessary because otherwise the Commonwealth Government would be obliged to make normal sinking fund contributions. Schedule 2 of the loan agreement describes tthe development programmes to which the equipment financed under the loan will contribute. It also gives examples of the types of equipment which will be financed out of the proceeds of the loan.
Although the goods to be procured have not, as yet, been precisely determined, an allocation of the new 54,500,000-dollar loan among the six programmes has been tentatively agreed with the International Bank. This tentative allocation, which may he varied from time to time with the agreement of the bank as the needs of importers become clearer, is as follows : -
As in our earlier loans, agriculture will receive a substantial share of the total. Although much of the equipment needed to develop new areas and increase output from existing holdings can be obtained either from Australian manufacturers or from suppliers in countries outside the dollar area, there are certain types of tractors and other farm machinery which are available only from the United States of America and Canada. The loan will ensure that our producers do not suffer by lack of access to the latest technological developments in the agricultural machinery field. Tractors and logging equipment for the forestry industry are also eligible for International Bank finance. Imports of electricity-generating equipment - especially package power plants - financed under our first and second Internationa] Bank loans, together with generating plant obtained from the United Kingdom and Europe, have been successful in eliminating the acute peakload shortages which hampered production and caused so much inconvenience during post-war years. Although demand for electric power continues to expand, the bulk of new generating equipment is being supplied from the traditional non-dollar sources, and consequently the requirements from the dollar area are now small. As was the case in the third loan, transport equipment represents relatively a much larger proportion of the total value of the goods to he financed under the present loan than under the first two borrowings from the International Bank. I am sure that honorable members will readily appreciate the vital need to expand and improve transport facilities by air, road and rail in a continent as large as ours, and with widely scattered centres of population and production. Moreover, Australia’s geographical position, at a considerable distance from existing and potential markets, emphasizes our dependence upon efficient international air communications.
The road transport programme, for which an amount of 14,000,000 dollars has ‘been tentatively allocated, includes not only equipment for the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges, but also additions to, and replacements of, this country’s fleet of trucks. The amount set aside for the railway programme will largely be used to purchase components for the manufacture of diesel electric locomotives and diesel rail cars in Australia. Because the value of an air service depends largely on tie performance and efficiency of the aircraft used, it is important that Australian airlines be in a position to take advantage of improvements in aircraft design and performance. For this reason it will be recalled that aircraft for Qantas were included in the last bank loan to enable Qantas to meet its expanded overseas route commitments in competition with other international airline operators. The present loan programme will complete a further stage in Qantas’s re-equipment with modern aircraft. Some honorable members may be wondering why the Government proposes to sanction the spending of dollars on aircraft when we are ail familiar with the splendid achievements of British aircraft designers. I wish to assure the House that we have not overlooked the new types of aircraft which will become available from the United Kingdom over the next few years. Certain Australian airlines have already placed orders for some of those. However, delivery of the aircraft covered under the loan will be completed early in 1956 in advance of similar-purpose British aircraft.
An amount of 7,000,000 dollars has been tentatively allocated to an industrial development programme. This amount is intended to meet most of the needs for essential dollar capital equipment in the iron and steel, food processing, mining and engineering industries.
Investment in the manufacturing field is largely undertaken by private enterprise, and the development plans of private firms at any given time are in varying stages of formulation and execution. This has been recognized by the bank and, in order to provide a measure of flexibility, a fixed sum has not been allocated to each sector of this programme. In effect, many sections of the Australian economy will benefit directly from the loan, while all sections will benefit indirectly from the improvement in our productive capacity which it will now make possible. Our efforts to expand export production, will be aided by the loan which should also help to reduce our dependence upon imports. By and large, it should enable Australian industries to become more efficient producers.
There will be no difference in operating procedures between the present and earlier International Bank loans. The Department of Trade and Customs has already taken steps to notify importers of the types of goods eligible for licensing under the new loan, and interested importers should submit applications to that department. As in previous loans, the importer will pay for the goods supplied through normal banking channels. I wish to make it clear that the new loan does not remove the need for continued economy in dollar expenditure. In general, dollar goods will not be licensed for importation against the loan if comparable goods are readily available from local or other non-dollar sources. This further loan demonstrates the Internationa] Bank’s appreciation of our continuing need to develop our resources, and its confidence in the future of the Australian economy. The loan will make possible the more rapid utilization of resources whose development is urgent and vital. It will therefore benefit all
Australians. I have the greatest pleasure in commending this bill to the House.
Debate (on motion by Mr. Calwell adjourned.
Sitting suspended from 5.58 to 8 p.m.
– by leave - In my recent journey around the world, I had many valuable consultations including talks with heads of government in Ceylon, Pakistan, Great Britain, Holland, France, Greece, Italy, Canada and the United States. I propose, however, to resist the temptation to give the House a travel talk. For my present purpose,, it will be more helpful to state in compact form the broad principles of Australia’s foreign policy, and to elaborate those principles in the light of ray overseas conferences and of the clr/-;? discussions which have since occurred in the Australian Cabinet. But be’.’c/i’e. I state the principles it might be useful .to set out the objectives of our foreign policy.
First, we must constantly seek for peace, provided that peace can be had with justice.
Second, if we are to become involved in war,, we must see to it that in such a war we ‘have powerful and willing friends.
Third, we must not only defend our rights but also the rights of others. This is the golden rule, and the golden rule operates both ways.
Fourth, we must seek to raise living standards, not only for ourselves, but for all those other nations who are struggling towards a life that we have been privileged to enjoy for a long time.
Fifth, we must live and let live; that is, we are not to interfere with the internal affairs of other people so long as they pursue the same principle.
Glib words are occasionally spoken about “ peaceful co-existence “. As I said to some interviewers in Bombay three months ago, the whole emphasis is on the “ co- “ in co-existence. Non-interference is reciprocal. It is a perversion for any nation to preach co-existence at the very moment when it seeks to overthrow the internal government of its neighbour. These, if you like, are .general words; but what is put into general words is sometimes worth remembering. It is one of the glories of the free world that what I have just stated as the objectives of our foreign policy could be stated in precisely the same w,ay on behalf of every one of the world’s free nations.
And now I proceed to state the main principles which we adopt in the pursuit of om- objectives. They are, and I state them categorically -
We work incessantly for the closest, collaboration between the British Commonwealth and the United States, who, between them, are the exemplars of peaceful pursuits and of high international ideals, contain the bulk of the military and productive power of the free world, and offer no aggressive threat to others.
Such principles are easy enough to state and, no doubt, command a wide acceptance in Australia. The difficulties arise when we seek to apply them to particular cases, for each case depends upon the current and prospective circumstances and there is sometimes much disagreement about the relevant facts. I will, therefore, as at. this date, seek to state as briefly as possible our current interpretation of the principles which I have described.
First, I will deal with the point of support for the United Nations and its Charter. Let . me say at once that this does not connote a naive belief that the D United Nations can or will protect us without effort on our part, or that good resolutions, by whatever majority they may be carried, are an answer to aggression. Those who refer blithely to the United Nations, and think that such a reference disposes either of our defence problem or of the defence problem of the free world, are living in a state of pathetic and dangerous illusion. . The only direct instrumentality of the United Nations which has power to marshal forces to resist force is the Security Council. One of the permanent seats on that council is occupied by Soviet Russia. The Security Council cannot, on any substantive matter, act except by unanimity among its permanent members. It is therefore abundantly clear that in the present set-up of the world, no Security Council decision against Communist aggression can be made unless, as in the case of Korea, Soviet Russia happens to be absent. -In brief, where the veto operates, the Security Council can marshal opinion and moral judgment, each of which is vastly important to mankind, but it cannot marshal arms to defeat aggression.
The answer to this simple and sober fact is not to inveigh against the veto, as if by some process of pure reason it can be eliminated, but to face up to the truth, which is that the Security Council is inevitably predominantly composed of great powers and that in the present state of the world, no great power is likely to he found voting to condemn its own actions or to impose military sanctions upon itself. It is therefore crystal clear that if strength is to be put into the 17 United Nations machinery for peace, it must be created and maintained by individual nations, or be the result of subsidiary agreements between nations. Such agreements are contemplated by the (.barter in a completely realistic way. We have at least three examples of them before us.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has brought together in great and growing military strength the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and a series of Western European and mediterranean nations. That it is a legitimate child of the United Nations Charter few people would bother to deny. Its existence and, after painful delays, the recent ratifications of the Agreements of Paris have done more to stabilize Europe and to check westward aggression by communism than almost any other factors in recent years. The Communists are as quick to recognize and respect strength as they are to see and despise weakness.
Australia and New Zealand have with the United States, the Anzus. Treaty ratified by this Parliament, which put into form a friendship profoundly established in critical years during the recent war, and strengthened by a constant and friendly association ever since. And latest of all we have the South-East Asia Treaty at Manila, a treaty which is, as yet. relatively undeveloped in performance, but which represents again the determination of a group of free nations, acting in the pure spirit of the Charter, not only to resist Communist aggression against themselves but to assist those other free nations of South-East Asia whose right to their own free form of government is under threat.
I have elaborated this first principle in this fashion because history does have a habit of repeating itself. We can never forget that in the few vital years before the Second World War there were millions of people who thought that the existence of the League of Nations was sufficient and that military defence provision was in some way inconsistent with belief in the intrinsic virtues of the Covenant of the League. It is therefore necessary that I emphasize that the Charter of the United Nations is no substitute for power. On the contrary, it assumes the existence of power and seeks to see that it is employed for the defence of liberty and not for the striking down or enslavement of free people.
There is a tendency in some quarters to speak of “The Charter” and “power politics “ as opposed, and then draw the remarkable conclusion that the acquisition of national military power is against the spirit of the Charter. The fact is that the Charter contemplates power and the use of force, and therefore depends upon the existence of national power. In the Preamble it declares that “ armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest “. It declares one of the purposes of the United Nations to be “ the suppression of acts of aggression “. It contains, in Chapter VII., elaborate provision for the use of the armed forces of the member nations. On this point it is unnecessary to say more.
Secondly, I will say something about our co-operation with the British Commonwealth. This was splendidly illustrated at the recent Prime Ministers’ Conference in London. I have never quite understood why any British citizen, whether he lives here or elsewhere, should expect treaties or votes out of a Prime Ministers’ conference. I say this for two reasons. One is that most international conferences between countries who are foreign one to another do not begin with understanding, but seek to reach it, and, if they reach it, they usually like to express it in some formal terms. This does not apply to a Prime Ministers’ conference. We begin with understanding. All we are seeking to do by our discussions is not to reduce that understanding to written terms, but to enlarge it and deepen a friendship which already exists.
The other point is that each British country is a democracy in which the Prime Minister is not the master of his people but their servant. He does not, therefore, enter into engagements on his own responsibility. He reports back and preserves the complete authority of his own government and parliament over the matters with which they deal.
These remarks do not, of course, mean that our discussions proceed in a sort of academic vacuum. We learn a great deal. We find sometimes elements of unity of policy which we had not entirely expected. And even where there is disagreement our individual objection to the other man’s policy becomes tempered with some understanding of why he has adopted it and, therefore, a greater willingness to seek some accommodation with him.
For example, it is an open secret that the distinguished Prime Minister of India, Mr. Nehru, disapproves of the military aspects of the Manila Treaty and thinks that it has a provocative effect upon some Asian countries and, in particular, upon Communist China. This is not a view shared by the distinguished Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Mohammed Ali, whose country is a signatory to the Manila Treaty. Nor is it, of course, shared by us or by the United Kingdom or the United States or New Zealand or Thailand or the Philippines. Mr. Nehru was not persuaded that India ought to join Seato, but I am sure that he does understand that a country like Australia has gone into that treaty with no thought of aggression, but with a single eye to a security which countries like Thailand and Malaya and Australia have entirely in common. Reciprocally, I learned better than ever before of Mr. Nehru’s belief that Chinese communism has essentially internal social and economic aims and that it is a blunder for nations to line themselves up as if an aggressive Communist war against them was to be expected. Well, I have a profound respect for my distinguished friend and colleague, Mr. Nehru, but as I said in London and repeat here, the history of Korea and of Indo-China and of Malaya gives one no reason to believe that communism is not on the march as it has been in Europe or in Asia, with the sword and subversion as its weapons, for the last ten years.
But a short statement of some differences is not the whole picture. At the conference table in London, there was, in fact, complete unity on what I would regard as the greatest things that the world needs. Unity in a desire to help under-developed nations; unity in a desire to stand by the spirit of the Charter; unity in a desire to avoid, not only great wars, but also those smaller conflicts which may produce great wars; unity in seeking peace by positive negotiation.
We met under the shadow of difficult and unresolved circumstances in Quemoy and the Matsus and the waters around Formosa and the Pescadores. But though I am no novice at such conferences, I was never more convinced of the enormous joint force for goodwill which the nations of the British Commonwealth represent/
Thirdly, let me speak of BritishAmerican collaboration. There can be no doubt in any reasonable mind that the closest understanding and the highest possible community of action between the British Commonwealth and the United States are vital to the security of all of us. It is because the Communists understand this perfectly well that they and their spokesmen and their sympathizers have devoted so much of their time to anti-Americanism, to seeking to drive a wedge between us.
It is very easy to provoke an argument between British and American. It is, alas, all too easy for that argument to be exaggerated into a matter of deep and bitter dispute. The Communists, who are masters of propaganda and who are adept at getting their own sentiments repeated by those who think themselves most opposed to communism, seize on every point of difference. As I said on my return to Australia, their policy - and this deserves to be known by everybody - is clearly the oldest one in history - to divide and conquer. Most of the BritishAmerican arguments so-called which £ have heard or read during the last three months have not arisen half so much from genuine differences of policy between the administrations, as from mutual misinterpretation of the views of partisans.
In British communities, where Cabinet government is the rule, where policies are thrashed out privately and see the light of day only in some comprehensive form, expressions of private opinion by members of Parliament or by groups are not treated by the public as possessing any particular authority. What the people look to is the policy.
But in the United States - as some of you may know very well - policy-making goes on to an astonishing extent in public debate. The Secretary of State or a Congressional leader is taken before a Congressional Committee and crossexamined - and cross-examined publicly very frequently - about the working of his mind, at a time when he has reached no conclusion on some complex matter of high policy. Frequently, in the course of such cross-examination he must, of course quite naturally, think aloud. He will make a series of remarks, completely honestly, which are purely tentative, and may in the result be completely contradicted by his final thinking and his ultimate formation of judgment. Yet, in our British countries readers of such things, being unaware of the particular techniques of American government, are disposed to treat a purely tentative idea as if it were final, to criticize it and, perhaps, to attack it, only to find that if they had waited long enough they would have discovered that the actual policy adopted was not very far from our own.
Having refreshed my experience on these matters, I am more convinced than ever that the propaganda efforts of the Communist powers are cleverly and comprehensively directed to-day towards the creation of a division between the great democracies and, in particular, to carping and critical attitude towards the United States. That this campaign enjoys some success is beyond doubt. I have myself met men, some of them occupying responsible positions, who have come to regard any praise for the United States as being anti-British and any work for closer British- American co-operation as being subversive of the British Commonwealth relationship. It would be a tragedy if such sorry nonsense became at all widespread.
There is no country in the world more completely British than Australia, nor, as our recent memories will remind us, more devoted to the throne and person of Her Majesty the Queen. We are a proud member of a Crown Commonwealth, and will ever continue to be so. But we would be strangely blind if we did not see that, on the world scene, the rise of the United States to supremacy in industrial power, her vast population, her intellectual and moral influence are all such that she has become, in the most literal sense, vital to the existence of the free world. And since in a hundred ways the character of life in the United States so strongly resembles that in British communities, it would be strange indeed if we, the British people, regarded the citizen.-! of the United States as being in a true sense foreigners. When we turn from the world scene to consider our own position in this corner of the world, it would be hard to find any Australian of this generation who did not recognize that the friendship and co-operation of the United States are vital to our own safety. In effect, our natural friendship and intuitive understanding coincide with our legitimate selfi nterest
During the London conference and since, there has been much public and private discussion about the position of Formosa and of the off-shore islands of Quemoy and the Matsus. Here again, great and successful efforts have been made to exaggerate the differences between British and American policies. That there are some differences I would not bother to deny. There will frequently be some differences of opinion about difficult problems. When, as in the present case, the problem, though long existing, is suddenly brought into the forefront of the public mind and of public discussion, differences are inevitable. Take Formosa and the Pescadores: there is opinion in a number of places which says they belong to China and that the sooner Mao TseTung takes them over the better for the peace of the world. This view can hardly be accused of excessive humanity, for it completely ignores the existence in For.mosa of vast numbers of refugees from Communist terrorism, and conveniently shuts its eyes to the inevitable consequences which would flow from their being handed over to a regime which has exhibited all the characteristic ruthlessness and brutality of communism in power. But Chiang Kai-shek also asserts that Formosa is part of China, consistently with his further view that China ought to be handed over to the Nationalists.
Our attitude has been and is that the problem of Formosa ought to be resolved by peaceful means, and that it ought not to !-e resolved by arms. The United States, clearly adopting a similar view, has made special defensive arrangements with Formosa, the effect of which must be profound. Whether the general machinery of the United Nations can serve to restrain aggressive action against Formosa, is, as I have said, most unlikely. What can be done about Formosa is, at this moment, being discussed in many of the most important chanceries in the world. Like other
Prime Ministers, I have contributed some constructure ideas to the pool. But I beg leave to say that on matters of such importance and delicacy, discussions should, as far as possible, be conducted privately until they have been abandoned or have produced agreement.
The “ off-shore islands “ present an even more difficult case. They are intensely difficult to defend. They are within artillery range of the mainland. They are defended by Chinese Nationalist troops. The United States has given no clear pledge to defend them as it has in the case of Formosa. But it has always made it clear that the defence of Formosa involves the defence of any zones or areas which would be used for an attack on Formosa.
But the Communist Prime Minister of China repeatedly asserts that he wants the off-shore islands as a stepping stone to an all-out attack on Formosa. It is clear, therefore, that the unconditional abandonment of the off-shore islands, by creating another Chinese Communist “ triumph “, would not only intensify the truculence of the Communists, but would also, or could, impair the morale of the non-Communist Chinese in Formosa and in South-East Asia and, indeed, of free people through that entire area. Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that the policy of the United States should have to be expressed in somewhat guarded and even ambiguous terms. I do not profess to know what will happen, in spite of all the discussions I have had.
It will readily bc seen that some differences of opinion can arise on both sides of the Atlantic, but I hope it will not be forgotten that both Great Britain and the United States are together devoting the bulk of their efforts to avoiding hostilities, to seeking negotiation, and to upholding the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations. Where we have such important matters in common, differences can be seen, in somewhat better perspective.
Fourthly, I shall refer to “good neighbour “ policies. These, apart from normal friendly trade and commerce, express themselves in economic and technical assistance under the Colombo plan by co-operation in cultural matters and also by military arrangements which are just as vital to the defence of the free Asian communities as our own.
About civil assistance there will be little argument. “We all desire to see effective self-government established in SouthEa.st Asian countries. We know that self-government is not effective except on the basis of a mentally trained and politically conscious society in which rising standards of life can be reasonably sought and tyranny by mob masters or dictators avoided.
Ever since the Colombo plan, in which Australia played a. most honorable and foundational part, ‘we have, in common with certain other nations, made substantial contributions to the store of capital and other goods and of goodwill in several Asian countries. This policy we are determined to pursue. We believe that personal contacts between Asian students and the Australian people in Australia and between Australian experts and the countries they have visited, and the physical symbols of goodwill to be found in Colombo plan programmes, have all helped to make our attitude and the integrity of our motives better understood and reciprocated in Asia.
But there is always somebody who is willing to say that any provision by a country like Australia of military forces or equipment in an Asian country like Malaya is a gross interference with Malayan rights and represents a form of imperialism. As this kind of view, mixed up with rude remarks about “ colonialism may be expected to have a good deal of currency in future debates, I want to deal with it, in I hope quite simple terms, at once. I have already announced publicly that the Government proposes to contribute a comparatively small force to a strategic reserve in Malaya. I will, a little later in this speech, indicate the acceptance of more extensive military responsibilities in the event of war. It is, therefore, desirable that. I should say at once that commitments of this kind are just as much in the interests of Malaya as they are in the interests of Australia. I use Malaya merely as the immediate illustration. There are quite obviously other South-east Asian coun tries in respect of which a precisely parallel case might be stated.
If we were proposing .to invade a hostile Malaya in order to fasten upon it some new control of our own, the people of Malaya might well say that they had no particular preference for one tyranny over another. But we are not forcing ourselves upon Malaya. The Malayan community knows perfectly well that it has, at this very moment, the protection of British arms; that it is, according to the true British pattern, steadily moving towards democratic self-government and that nothing but disaster could come to it if it were plunged by Communist aggression into a State of Communist serfdom.
The people of Malaya, therefore, will welcome such military arrangements as will help to preserve their present and future freedom. It so happens that the interests of Malaya and the interests of Australia on this point completely coincide. I know that isolationism is occasionally resurrected for political purposes and that we are not without those who believe that the defence of Australia depends upon battalions and Martello Towers around our coasts. But such a conception of defence is not only defeatist but fatal. Let me state it quite clearly as a matter of choice.
We either commit ourselves with our great friends and allies to mutual action and reciprocal obligations, or we do not. If we do not, then unless we are to put ourselves into a position of miserable dependency we must attend to our own defence without calling on the aid of anybody else. If our defence is by this process to be our sole responsibility and if fighting occurs on our shores, it can only be because our natural outposts have been reduced and our allies defeated on the sea and in the air. If Communist forces again come on the march and a great war ensues, the farther north the lines of defence are drawn, the better for those communities of Viet Nam, and Laos, and Cambodia, and Thailand, and Burma. :md Malaya, and the Philippines, and Indonesia and all the rest of us who wish to retain control of our own future and govern ourselves in our own way.
Communism is even now on the move in South-East Asia. From a safe base in Viet Minh territory they are stirring up internal strife in Laos. The Government of Thailand has more than once drawn attention to the building up of hostile Communist elements along its northern and north-eastern borders.
The coming of independence of Malaya is being delayed at this very moment by the disorders brought about by the operations of Communist-inspired and Communistled bandits. These bandits are not groups of nationalists struggling for the freedom of their country. You find the Malayans not on the side of the bandits but fighting as members of the local security forces to save their country. These Communists - 90 per cent, of them Chinese - are not welcomed by the local people; on the contrary, they extort food from them by terror.
This Government does not regard the interests of the nations that I am referring to as in conflict with our own; and these countries do not believe that our interests are in conflict with theirs. We all believe that we are involved in a common risk and must take some common action to avert it. And therefore I come back to the particular example which represents the most advanced stage of planning against the background of the Manila Treaty. United Kingdom and New Zealand and Australian troops in Malaya will represent not only a true defence in depth for Australia itself, but also a source of strength to our Asian friends. All these things are part of the “ good neighbour “ policy to which I have referred. If I live on a farm, I am being a good neighbour by lending to my neighbour a tractor or by joining in with him in some drainage scheme. I am none the less a good neighbour if I join in with him in helping to maintain district fire services which will protect our common interests and security.
I am happy to inform the House that we have already been told by our Asian friends that what we have been doing is most acceptable to our colleagues in the Manila Treaty. On Saturday, I received from Luang Bhadravadi, of the Thai Foreign Affairs Office, who was the acting chairman of the Manila Treaty
Council Representatives Meeting at Bangkok, the following message: -
I have the honour to inform you that at ite informal meeting, April 7th, the Council Representatives of the South-East Asian Treaty Organization have taken note of the statement made by Your Excellency on the 1st instant, and welcomes the decision of the Australian Government to seek parliamentary approval for participation by Australian forces in a strategic reserve to be established in Malaya as an important part of the Treaty Area.
I began by stating this matter as presenting a choice. I have pointed out some of the disastrous implications of the isolationist view. I conclude this portion of my statement by pointing out the other implications.
If we want the Manila Treaty area defended and are not prepared to see that defence left to local and unassisted forces confronting the immense man-power and material resources of vast Communist nations, then we must contemplate that more advanced military powers will go to their assistance. Does any true Australian believe that we can sit back and leave this work of assistance, on what are, properly considered, our own frontiers, to be attended to by thousands of young men from Great Britain or from New Zealand or from the United States of America, as if it were their business, but not. ours?
I am convinced that we, who recollect how a successful attacker swept down almost to the shores of Australia and was turned back only by the most powerful of allies and the closest of military cooperation, will not need to be told that an insular view of Australian defence would be the very definition of disaster. It is for this reason that the Government has quite deliberately adopted a policy which may be a new one for Australia in time of peace, but which every other modem nation at risk has long since regarded as elementary.
Fifthly, I emphasize that this matter of national survival and development is by no means to be expressed in military terms alone. We must co-operate to develop the world’s trade, including our own with the rest of the world. It is for this reason that both in London and Washington I took part in further discussions about the strengthening of sterling, about capital development, and about the advancement of the time when sterling and the dollar will become convertible. These are matters so technical and so important in themselves that I pass over them now and will seek some other occasion to deal with them fully.
Sixthly, as I have said, we must back the military collaboration of others by the acceptance of joint military commitments and the necessary plans to support those commitments at home. Last year, Australia, Great Britain, and New Zealand, through their military staffs, sat down to the task of working out how the defence of Malaya and therefore of the islands and of Australia and New Zealand themselves could be effected.
When these discussions first began, the Manila Treaty had not been negotiated or signed. Now that it has been, and its organization begins to take shape in practice, these Malayan discussions are clearly seen as an integral part of defensive effort within the structure of the Manila Treaty. They are not to be regarded as exclusive matters. They are not to be treated as some evidence that the defence of Malaya is important, but that the defence of a country like Thailand is not. But unless we achieve strength somewhere while we can, we may end up by having inadequate strength everywhere. We have therefore pursued our Malayan plans while at the same time seizing every opportunity to have them integrated into the over-all defence of South-East Asia.
In our London talks we recognized that in the event of war the United Kingdom and Australia and New Zealand would need to find much greater forces than a strategic reserve; and in such event we saw deficiencies, particularly in the air and on the sea and in point of military material.
I cannot properly be completely precise about our conclusions and recommendations, for obvious reasons; but I will be as precise as I can. We may, despite all honest efforts, become involved in a major war involving South-East Asia. Should this happen it will inevitably be a war of great powers. In such a war it would be essential for us and for our
South-East Asian friends to have as deep a’ defence as possible.
Prior to the London Conference and in the subsequent London discussions, Great Britain and New Zealand and ourselves had to consider what forces we could or should deploy for the defence of Malaya. I have already publicly announced our decision to contribute to a strategic reserve to be stationed in Malaya, our contribution being two destroyers or frigates, an aircraft carrier on an annual visit, additional ships in an emergency; an infantry battalion, with supporting arms and reinforcements in Australia; a fighter air wing of two squadrons, a bomber wing of one squadron, and an air field construction squadron.
I have been asked whether this reserve is to be employed in anti-bandit operations. Following my discussions in London, the “ Anzam “ Defence Committee, representing Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, was directed to produce a draft for the consideration of the three governments. This is now awaited; it will be considered by the Australian Government, and the result of that consideration will be placed before Parliament. The capital and current expenses of establishing the reserve are being worked out on the administrative level, as are the conditions of service of Australian forces, including tours of duty, the position of families, and pay and allowances. There will, as I need hardly add, be some integration of Australian staff officers in the Malayan Area Command.
But we also considered what additional forces would be needed in the event of a “ hot “ war. Since my return, I have discussed this matter with the Cabinet and we have agreed that, side by side with the United Kingdom and New Zealand, we must be ready in the event of war to contribute substantially greater forces in South-East Asia. The contribution of additional forces to an extent which has as yet to be finally worked out in consultation with our friends, but which will probably be, at any rate, of the order of two divisions, will of necessity involve a complete re-consideration of our defence training and provision at home, as to which announcements to this House will
Ik- made as soon as is practicable.
Cut with the best will in the world we will still be confronted by deficiencies, lt is vital that any military forces engaged abroad should be completely equipped for modern war. It is vital, having regard to our experience in the recent past, that an enemy should not have The opportunity of by-passing our forces and taking them in the rear. This means that naval power should be sufficient to enable the interception of hostile small craft in shallow coastal waters, and that the greatest possible air force should be deployed, not only for army co-operation, but for the interdiction of the enemy’s supply and lines of communication.
In London, I said that no specific commitments could be accepted by Australia except by a governmental decision, and that in any event Australian opinion would wish some adequate confidence that British forces would have support in these vulnerable respects from the United States of America. It was therefore agreed, on the basis of understandings reached with the United Kingdom and New Zealand during the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ meetings, that on my return through Washington I should take the opportunity of the frankest possible talks with our great friend, the President of the United States, and his Administration. This, as honorable members will realize, was no light matter and for two reasons.
The first is that the United States, though it has been our valiant ally in two wars, does not, for well understood reasons, readily commit itself to military obligations in a time of peace. Indeed, until after the Second World War. I think it is right to say that it did not once commit itself in any definitive fashion. We all understand the historic reason for that.
The second reason is that, although the United States has in the last ten years a superb record of generous assistance to’ weaker nations, an assistance for which in some quarters it has received singularly little thanks, it has throughout maintained, as a- matter of military strategy, complete flexibility; being, in brief, ready everywhere but not actually committed in any locality. It was against this background of wellunderstood American policy that I had important discussions with the President and with Mr. Secretary Dulles. I am glad to tell the House and the country that my discussions were, from our point of view, eminently satisfactory and comforting. In the up-shot, it was proposed that I should have, on the authority of the President and Secretary Dulles, an agreed statement which I could make to my own Parliament and people. The significance of this statement, which I now propose to make, is, I venture to think, quite historic. It contains in careful language and without exaggeration a general assurance which I felt and feel strengthens us in respect of our commitments enormously. Here is the statement -
During my visit to Washington I had valuable conversations with the President of the United States and other members of the American Government about our undertakings under the Manila Pact for the collective defence of .South-East Asia, and, in particular, on the defence of Malaya, to which Australia attaches the highest possible significance.
Our discussions made it abundantly clear that in the general task of preventing further Communist aggression, the United States considered the defence of South-Bast Asia, of which Malaya is an integral part, to be nf very great importance.
It is to be expected that thu military arrangements put in train at the recent Bangkok meeting will provide all of the Manila Pact member governments with more specific information with regard to the bust means for each country to contribute toward the defence of this area.
This is a statement out of my own mouth, but which I make with the complete approval of the President of the United States.
I raised the question whether in the event of Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand undertaking to station substantial forces in Malaya, we could be assured that the United States would be prepared to give us effective co-operation.
I interrupt the reading of this agreed statement to point out that the United Kingdom has already for years maintained substantial forces in Malaya, and has borne the brunt of resistance to Communist insurrection. I now resume the statement -
I was informed that though the tactical employment of forces was a matter which would have to be worked out in detail on the Services level, the United States considered that such effective co-operation was implicit in the Manila Pact.
I inquired further whether, because of the deficiencies in military equipment which have inevitably arisen from the very great pressure which exists upon our own resources of money, men and materials, we might hope to be able to look to the United States for military supply on some basis to be arranged.
I know that the Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) will not like this statement because he does not like the United States. But I like it because T like the security of this country.
– It is a mere hoax.
MY. MENZIES. - The statement concludes - l.n brief, 1 feel assured of complete cooperation between our two nations in the defence of our common security and in resistance to any further acts nf Communist aggression.
That, I repeat, is a statement which has the precise authority and support of the United States of America.
Since my return home, we have not been idle. The whole of our plans are being re-examined. The necessary steps to follow up some aspects of this document have been put in hand. Before long, F will expect to be in a position to tell the House something more precise about our responsibilities and about the domestic measures which will need to be taken to make them performable in the somewhat fierce time-table which might be expected to characterize a third great war, if .such a tragedy should come upon the world.
The great thing which emerges from all these considerations is. not that we should resign ourselves to the inevitability of war. Every statesman in all the free countries will do his utmost to avert it. It is indeed not to be assumed that the masters of the Communist Powers, knowing as they must, the growing strength of the democracies and the terrible weapons that can be unleashed in the event of war, will be anxious to submit their own coun tries and people to such horrors. But it would be folly for us to assume that war is impossible, l t would be worse than folly, it would be criminal, for any government to assume such a thing, for the first duty of a government is to ensure the safety of the nation. Safety is not to be secured on the cheap. We, in Australia, have been passing through a period of unprecedented prosperity.
We have sometimes been tempted to think that high pay and abundant leisure and good living conditions and good fun are in some way our absolute right. The least we are to do is to recognize that if, as is true, peace is indivisible, so responsibility for maintaining the peace is indivisible. We must do our share. We must not do less than others. We must be prepared to face up to our responsibility even though a price has to be paid in the carrying of burdens and the acceptance of novel responsibilities.
Before I conclude, I want to say something about the impact upon all these matters of the atomic and hydrogen bombs. Sir Winston Churchill, before he delivered his recent and celebrated speech upon these weapons and upon the decision of the United Kingdom to make the hydrogen bomb, did me the honour of putting me in possession of his views. I want to say I entirely agree with them. At this moment, the democratic world is substantially inferior to the Communistworld in what are called “ conventional forces and arms. There is no doubt that, for years past, the Communists have been restrained from major war W the democratic superiority in nuclear weapons.
Under these circumstances, it would be nothing short of madness for the free world to suspend the production of such weapons or to terminate research into the ways and means of improving them. As Churchill said, they are the great deterrent to war. I can only regard the pleas of those who want our friends to stop, while they must know that they can make no effective approach to Moscow, as either singularly unsophisticated or amounting to a conscious or unconscious advocacy of the Communist cause.
What is the end of all this, no man may see. But I venture to express my own belief that this new and phenomenal capacity of nations to destroy each other may turn out to bea greater and more effective deterrent than all the resolutions ever put on a conference table. When nations know that they may destroy each other, and that in the event of mass conflict each will be destroyed, the very horror of the situation may restore sanity to its throne, and restore to supremacy the divine elements in human nature.
The Communists have never put forward any proposal for the abolition of nuclear weapons which was accompanied by any enforcible guarantee that they would not make them themselves.
But, side by side with their attacks upon the atomic bomb, they have professed to put forward measures of disarmament. Here again I offer a warning. If, to-morrow, every atomic weapon were blotted out of existence, and the whole knowledge of how to produce them were blotted out of the mind of man, the Soviet Union and Communist China would, between them, have armed forces both on land and in the air terrifyingly superior to the whole of the assembled armed forces of the democracies. When, therefore, they come to conferences and suggest that there should be a reduction of, say, onethird all round in conventional arms, all they mean is that their preponderance in strength should be preserved in point of proportion. We must watch this. God knows that there is not a free nation in the world that wants to provoke a war. We all devote much of our time to considering what we ought to do about the Communist powers. The real hope of the world will come when the Communist powers sit down to consider what they are to do about us. They are, and have been, for a decade the aggressors. The threat to the peace comes from them. If there is to be peace it must come from them.
In the meantime, our creed is to keep the peace, to negotiate for peace, to seize upon every opportunity to extend the peace, but never to allow ourselves to get into the position when we are negotiating from weakness, passing from one retreat to another, subsiding before a truculent enemy. For if the history of the twentieth century means anything it means that that process can end only in death and disaster.
I lay on the table the following paper : -
Foreign Affairs and Defence - Ministerial Statement-20th April, 1955. and move -
That the paper be printed.
Debate (on motion by Dr. Evatt) adjourned.
Message recommending appropriation reported.
In committee (Consideration of GovernorGeneral’s message) :
Motion (by Sir Arthur Fadden) agreed to -
That it is expedient that an appropriation of revenue and moneys be made for the purposes of a bill for an act to approve the raising of a loan in Swiss currency, and for purposes connected therewith.
Standing Orders suspended; resolution adopted.
That Sir Arthur Fadden and Mr. Holt do prepare and bring in a bill to carry out the foregoing resolution.
Bill presented by Sir Arthur Fadden, and read a first time.
– I move -
That the bill be now read a second time.
The purpose of this bill is to obtain parliamentary approval for a loan of 60,000,000 Swiss francs raised by the Commonwealth in Switzerland and to make arrangements for dealing with the proceeds. This is the second loan raised by the Australian Government in Switzerland and brings the total amount borrowed by Australia in that country to approximately £12,000,000. Honorable members will recall that the first loan was issued in November, 1953. That loan was a complete success and closed fully subscribed in a matter of a few days. The popularity of the Australian bonds on the Swiss market was immediately apparent and they were, before long, selling at a premium.
Late last year representatives of the Swiss banks which arranged the first issue visited Australia and, on behalf of the Government, I commenced negotiations with them for the notation of a second loan. Following final negotiations in January, the loan was issued with the consent of the Australian Loan Council early in February and reports from Switzerland show that the loan was again a success and was over-subscribed. The bill now before the House provides the necessary legal framework of the loan. It is designed to approve the borrowing and the issue of securities and to set up machinery for making the loan proceeds available for the purpose of assisting Australian development and for the servicing and repayment of the loan. The loan agreement which contains the terms and conditions of the loan is reproduced as a schedule to the bill.
Australia is undertaking an enormous task of development and, as far as possible, we have been financing this development from our own capital resources. However, to the extent that savings in Australia can be supplemented by investment from overseas, our efforts to develop are made so much easier. Accordingly, we have borrowed overseas as opportunities for borrowing on reasonable terms have offered; and we have now been able to raise these two loans in Switzerland as well as four loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Honorable members will appreciate that oversea loans have the merit of supplementing our holdings of foreign exchange. The Swiss franc is one of the strongest currencies in the world and may be converted without restriction into any currency which Australia requires to finance her international transactions.
The terms of the loan as set out in the agreement were approved by the Australian Loan Council before the loan agreement was signed. The main terms and conditions are as follows : - Interest is at the rate of 3$ per cent, per annum, payable half yearly. The duration of the loan is fifteen years, with an option to redeem after ten years. The issue price is 99^ per cent. Payments of interest and capital are to be free of Australian taxes or duties for bondholders not resident in Australia. This is in accordance with our existing income tax laws.
The agreement sets out the costs of the borrowing which are to be met by the Commonwealth and gives details of procedural matters such as underwriting and management, the preparation of the prospectus, issue of the bonds, listing on Swiss stock exchanges and arrangements for payment of interest and repayment of capital. Honorable members should also note the exclusion of the “ double currency” clause, which was included in the first Swiss Loan Agreement. This means that bonds and interest of the new loan are payable only in Swiss francs, and that bondholders do not have the option available in the first loan of requiring payment either in Australian pounds or in the foreign currency equivalent of Australian pounds. These terms and conditions of the new loan are much more favorable to the Commonwealth than those for the first Swiss loan when the interest rate was 4 per cent, and the issue price was 99 per cent. They are, in fact, quite close to those for the refinancing loan raised in New York in December, 1954, and reflect the confidence of both the Swiss bankers and the Swiss investing public in the credit of Australia.
After paying borrowing expenses, the Government sold the net Swiss franc proceeds of the loan to the Commonwealth Bank, receiving in return an equivalent amount of Australian currency. These proceeds are now held in the loan fund, and, in the bill now under consideration, it is proposed to transfer them to the Swiss Loan Trust Account set up under the Loan (Swiss Francs) Act of 1954. These trust funds, in turn, will be invested later in Commonwealth loans, thus assisting the Australian Loan Council borrowing programme for the current financial year.
The trust account will also form a sinking fund for both loans. When the time comes for repayment of each loan, the trust account investments will he realized to provide funds for that purpose. Interest received from the investments will be retained in the trust account, so far as it is considered necessary, to meet any possible deficiency between the amount now to be placed in the trust account and the amount ultimately required to meet repayment of the loan. The payment of this interest into the trust account is provided for by section 6 (3.) of the Loan (SwissFrancs) Act of 1954. The net loan proceeds which will be placed in the trust account represent the gross amount of the loan, less flotation expenses. Other amounts paid into the trust account must be sufficient to meet these flotation expenses, and, in addition, provision must be made for possible movements in exchange rates which might increase the cost to the Commonwealth of repaying the loan in due course. To the extent that it proves unnecessary to build up the trust account in this way, interest on the investments of the account will be credited to Consolidated Revenue. Any balance remaining in the account after repayment of the loans will be transferred to Consolidated Revenue as provided in the Audit Act.
Because of this arrangement it will not be necessary to make normal sinking fund contributions in respect of this loan and the bill, accordingly, exempts the loan from the provisions of the National Debt Sinking Fund Act. Current interest payments on the loan will be met from Consolidated Revenue.
It is a matter for great satisfaction that the Swiss have again manifested their faith in Australia’s future by their ready investment in this loan. I have no doubt that this further operation will lead to greater interest, by Swiss exporters and importers in. trade with Australia, with benefit to both countries. For Australia, the loan will make a significant contribution to the further development of our resources.
I commend the bill to honorable members.
Debate (on motion by Mr. Calwell) adjourned.
Message recommending appropriation reported.
Incommitee (Consideration of Governor-General’s message) :
Motion (by Sir Eric Harrison) agreed to -
That it is expedient that an appropriation of revenue be made for the purposes of a bill for an act to amend the Cotton Bounty Act 1951-52.
Standing Orders suspended ; resolution adopted.
That Sir Eric Harrison and Mr. Kent Hughes do prepare and bring in a bill to carry out the foregoing resolution.
Bill presented by Sir Eric Harrison, and read a first time.
Sir ERIC HARRISON (Wentworth-
Vice-President of the Executive Council and Minister for Defence Production ) [9.20].- I move-
That the bill be now read a second time.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 20 April 1955, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1955/19550420_reps_21_hor6/>.