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Wednesday, 12 October 1983
Page: 1689

Mr ALDRED(7.49) —I am in some difficulty in this debate. In fact, before I start I must issue the disclaimer that, although I agree with much of what the honourable member for La Trobe (Mr Milton) has said, I do not and never will subscribe to the principles of the socialist Left of the Australian Labor Party. However, I agree with the honourable member for La Trobe that the issues of uranium, East Timor, Vietnam, Sinai, and the Hope Royal Commission into Australia's Security and Intelligence Agencies are an embarrassment to this Government. Mr Deputy Speaker, you may wonder how I know the thoughts of the honourable member for La Trobe. I know them because I have before me the minutes of the Camberwell branch meeting of the Australian Labor Party held on Tuesday, 2 August. Mr Deputy Speaker, let me read you a few lines from these minutes so that you may see why I so strongly support the honourable member who was the guest speaker at this meeting. What a speaker he was! His opening line was:

I have not come along to support the Government.

Mr Cunningham —Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. It is obvious that the honourable member is referring to the honourable member for Casey (Mr Steedman) and he is quoting the honourable member for La Trobe.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. Les Johnson) —Order! There is no point of order.

Mr Steedman —Are you referring to me?

Mr ALDRED —I am referring to the honourable member for La Trobe. I do not blame him for his opening line. I do not support this Government either. Mr Deputy Speaker, wait for some more shocks in relation to the way in which the honourable member for La Trobe described the mini-Budget. He said:

The first shock was declaring the mini budget without consultation with Caucus members. The second was the selling of fifty per cent of OSTAT shares. . .

The Labor Party talks about 'OSTAT'. I think it means Aussat Pty Ltd but Labor is more 'Oz' orientated. Let me continue. He said:

The second was the selling of fifty percent of OSTAT shares to private enterprise which was the first break of party policy.

According to these minutes the honourable member for La Trobe told his gathering of avid listeners that he could not understand why the terms of reference for the Hope Royal Commission were not extended by the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) with a view to getting rid of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation completely, as that was ALP policy.

The honourable gentleman is a most versatile man because the next area he commented on was East Timor. He said:

It appeared that Hawke was applauding the military dictatorship and his reasons were that the situation in East Timor had changed in the last twelve months.

The honourable member then added that he did not agree that the circumstances had changed. In fact, the Prime Minister is wrong. On the uranium issue, Prime Minister Hawke is wrong again. Let me read from the minutes. They state that the honourable member:

felt that the policy was ambiguous and contradictory but one of the clear things is there should be no new contracts.

As any good speaker knows, the high point of one's speech should be kept for the conclusion. That is exactly what the honourable member for La Trobe did. And what a conclusion it was! He said:

We as members of the ALP who are disillusioned with the Hawke Government must stay there and fight.

He told people at the meeting that they should stay and fight the Prime Minister because the members in Caucus who were against the Prime Minister needed the support of the rank and file. For what purpose should they stay and fight? Presumably it is the replacement of the Prime Minister by another person who is acceptable to the socialist Left such as the honourable member for Oxley (Mr Hayden). This Government has been in office for just over seven months and already there is talk of a palace revolt, disillusionment in rank and file membership and discontent among voters in general. For the sake of accuracy, I seek leave to table the minutes of the Camberwell branch of the ALP.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Is leave granted?

Mr Scholes —No, leave is not granted.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Leave is not granted.