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Wednesday, 27 May 1942

Mr HOLLOWAY (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Health) - That is the weakest part of the honorable member's case.

Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES - I am very glad to hear that the rest of it is so strong. I come now to the fundamental point of my speech. As we have been told repeatedly, the successful conduct of t]ie war requires the co-operation of all sections. "We cannot reasonably anticipate that we shall win if the Commonwealth is split into discordant elements. What is the Government's idea of no-operation, even in the Labour party? I. venture to prophesy that co-operation will be' in evidence when the division bills ring, but there is no co-operation in the expressions of 'opinion among honorable members opposite, and that has been so during the last few weeks. I shall be interested to see whether those who speak their mind freely against uniform income taxation, will carry their independence to the only climax which is of any real value, and that is, of voting for the opinions that they have expressed. The Government has no sense of co-operation inside the Labour party or in Parliament itself.

Mr Holloway - That is wishful thinking.

Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES - It is logical thinking. The Government has refused repeatedly to countenance the formation of a national government, although nearly every other country worth its salt has formed a national government, little as it may have liked the idea. Therefore, the Government has no sense of co-operation with the Opposition, although it may have some sense of cooperation with individual members of the Opposition. In addition, it has no sense of co-operation with the States, as is proved by this drive against six States which embrace the most discordant political views. Further, it has proved that it has not, at the present time, even a true sense of co-operation with Great Britain.

Mr Barnard - That statement is most unfair.

Mr DUNCAN-HUGHES - I stand by those words ; everybody knows that the position is as I have stated. If the Commonwealth Government were to co-operate cordially with the six States, it would do far more to win the war than it will achieve by introducing legislation of this description with the explanation that defence needs make it essential.

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