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Tuesday, 1 November 1983
Page: 2107


Mr HODGMAN(4.26) —On behalf of the Opposition I immediately move an amendment to the motion just moved. I move:

That all words after 'That' be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

'this House condemns the Minister and the Government for scandalous misuse of public moneys in producing blatant political propaganda material for the ALP in the cover ''LABOR'S POLICIES IN ACTION'' attached to certain copies of the ministerial statement, the cost of the said material and covers being paid for by the taxpayers of Australia'.

It is a matter of profound regret that what was to have been a ministerial statement in this House this afternoon has turned out to be a political manifesto of the socialist Left encased in a cover paid for by the taxpayers of Australia. Earlier today I received a copy of the statement by the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (Mr West) without a cover attached. Shortly thereafter I received a further copy with a cover attached. I wish the people of Australia could see these proceedings on television. They would see that I have in my hand a green cover to the Minister's statement. It has at the top the crest of the Commonwealth of Australia, clearly proving, I suggest, beyond any doubt that it is paid for by the taxpayers of Australia. It has in small print the words 'Immigration and Ethnic Affairs'. Then in big print there appear the words 'LABOR'S POLICIES IN' followed by the word 'ACTION' in graphic form, under which is a logo and the words 'The Hon. Stewart West, M.P., Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, November 1983'.

This is a scandal. It would be bad enough on its own, but for this to happen in the middle of the Moreton by-election campaign is one of the greatest scandals that one can possibly bring to mind. Since the matter has been exposed, let us look at the hedging. First of all, it was put very properly by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Peacock) by interjection that this has been printed by the Government Printer at cost to the taxpayers of Australia. That produced a response from the Minister in which he said: 'No, it has been produced by my Department'. As the former Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, the honourable member for Balaclava (Mr Macphee), has asked me to inquire: Has the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs now become a branch of the Australian Labor Party? Is it preparing and providing this cover at taxpayers' expense in the week of a Federal by-election for a critical seat--


Mr Sinclair —Without authorisation?


Mr HODGMAN —Without authorisation, in breach of the Commonwealth Electoral Act, as the Leader of the Opposition has pointed out? This cover is not only illegal; it has been produced at cost to the taxpayers of Australia. The Opposition demands to know how many copies of these covers have been printed. What was the total cost?


Dr Theophanous —A point of order--


Mr HODGMAN —You will not shut me up on this one, Andrew.


Dr Theophanous —I take a point of order. The honourable member has just accused the Minister of illegality. If that is his claim, he has the option of moving a substantive motion under the Standing Orders. If not, he has to keep quiet. He cannot bandy about these accusations in this way. We are used to this sort of accusation coming from him.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. Les Johnson) —Order! The honourable member has stated his point of order. I am prepared to rule on the point of order.


Mr HODGMAN —If I could, sir, the Minister now says it was issued without his authority, so that point of order is frivolous, a waste of time, and a futile attempt to keep the Opposition quiet on this scandal.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! There is no point of order.


Mr HODGMAN —Whoever produced this document produced it at the taxpayers' expense in the week of a Federal by-election. As the Leader of the Opposition pointed out, it is in breach of the Commonwealth Electoral Act. It does not carry the name of the person who authorised it and it does not carry the name of the printer. This, I suggest, is a scandal. The Opposition demands to know the cost, how many of these documents have been printed, and who authorised them to be printed if the Minister did not. I accept the Minister's assurance to this House that he did not authorise it; it was issued without his authority. Now we have been handed copies of this document but with the front page cut off. Let us hasten the day when we can have these proceedings televised so that the taxpayers of Australia can take a good look at the people sitting on that side of the chamber who are supposed to be running this country.

I have never in 16 years in politics-State and Federal- seen such a blatant and scandalous misuse of taxpayers' funds. Government members ought to be absolutely ashamed of themselves. They are the ones who come into this chamber and preach morality. The honourable member for Burke (Dr Theophanous) was not even in the chamber when the Minister commenced his remarks. He did not even know that the Minister said that he did not authorise this document to be issued. That is typical of the honourable member. He comes in here, makes a couple of interjections, hopes to get a headline, thinks he will get the ethnic vote, and wanders out again. The fact of the matter is that we discovered in the week of the Moreton by-election a scandal of which the Government should be ashamed, and more will be said on this issue by the seconder of this motion, the right honourable member for New England (Mr Sinclair).

I turn to this political manifesto. This is not a ministerial statement; it is a political manifesto of the socialist Left. As I have said in this Parliament over and over again, Australia's immigration and ethnic affairs policies have taken a dangerous and radical turn to the left under this Minister. He is, as you would be aware, Mr Deputy Speaker, the senior member of the socialist Left in the Hawke socialist Government. He is the only socialist Left Minister in the inner Cabinet. I do not blame him for one moment, because he has these philosophical commitments, for taking advantage of his position. What he is doing to Australia's immigration and ethnic affairs policies might be all right for the socialist Left and for those who hang around the fringes of that lunatic philosophy, but down the track it will be bad news for the people of Australia.


Mr West —Why don't you address yourself to the issue?


Mr HODGMAN —I am about to address myself to the issues. They are the sorts of issues that the people of Queensland felt very strongly about the week before last. This Government-the Minister confirmed it in his statement-without any mandate whatsoever considers itself to be not just above the Queen but above God and proposes to destroy the oath of allegiance to take out all reference to God and the Queen. Those proposals are both atheist and republican. In case the Minister thinks it is funny, independent political commentators say that one of the reasons the Australian Labor Party got the thrashing it got in Queensland was that he dared to bring forward this issue, demonstrating his absolute contempt for both God and the Queen.

I ask the Minister whether he has bothered to look at the Australian Citizenship Act. Does he know that the Australian Citizenship Act was amended in 1973 by a former Labor Prime Minister, Mr Whitlam? Does he know that the Act provides for an oath or an affirmation? In other words, at present people who wish to become Australian citizens have a choice; they can either take an oath- it is indeed a beautiful oath-or they can take an affirmation. Both set out very clearly the commitments and the obligations of an Australian citizen. This is what the Australian Labor Party and the extremist republicans within its ranks are determined to destroy. These are the words that the Minister says are not sufficiently Australian. I challenge him to debate that matter with the people of Australia, two out of three of whom are dead against his endeavours to turn this country into a socialist republic. Let me read the words of the oath that the Minister says is not Australian enough. The oath states:

I . . . renouncing all other allegiance, swear by Almighty God--

the Minister takes exception to that-

that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia--

that came about as a result of the initiatives of a Labor Prime Minister, the Honourable E. G. Whitlam-

Her heirs and successors according to law--

and listen to this-

and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Australia and fulfil my duties as an Australian citizen.

The Minister tells me that is not Australian enough. Let us look at the affirmation which states:

I . . . renouncing all other allegiance, solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia, Her heirs and successors according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Australia and fulfil my duties as an Australian citizen.

The Minister says that that is not Australian enough and that he will take out all reference to the Queen and to God. I have to remind him, in case he is unaware of the fact-and this is stated in his ministerial statement-that 81 per cent of Australians happen to believe in God. They will take pretty savagely to his proposal to discriminate against those who wish to exercise their right to take an oath to God. Will the Government then move through the State Labor Governments and have the oath abolished in the courts of law? Will it take the oath of allegiance out of this Parliament? Will the people backing the Government in this matter and promoting the destruction of the oath of allegiance move to remove prayers from this Parliament? This is the sort of thing that Government members have in their minds because of their commitment.

The plain fact is that on this issue I challenge the Minister to show where he has a mandate. He has none. When did the Government go to the people of Australia before 5 March and say: 'If we get into power we will take God out of the oath and we will take the Queen out of the oath'? Honourable members on the other side think it is hilarious. I wish we were on television so that the people of Australia could see this atheist, republican rabble on the treasury bench at this moment. Government members think they are above God. They are carried away with their own arrogance. They have no mandate whatsoever to do what they will try to do. It is not a matter only of the oath; they will meddle with the powers of the Governor-General also.


Mr Howard —They are getting nervous about that, too.


Mr HODGMAN —They are getting nervous. They got a thrashing in Queensland, and this is one of the issues on which they went down the gurgler. The Government could not even get a swing of more than 3 per cent against a governmnt which has been in power for 26 years. Government members are atheist, socialist republicans, and that is what the people of Australia know them to be. They can laugh now but this is one of the issues which will put Andrew Peacock into the Lodge and Bob Hawke out of the Lodge at the next Federal election.

Let me turn now to some other issues. The Minister said: 'We have liberalised the laws in relation to deportation'. Mark the interjection of the honourable member for North Sydney (Mr Spender); he called it the Mafia protection legislation. That is spot on. The Government has virtually abolished deportation . I should like to know how many people the Government will deport for treason or treachery. That is all the Government has left now. Despite our amendments the Government does not have the power to deport somebody who harbours a Soviety spy. It is extraordinary that if Mr Ivanov, who was so well known to the Australian Labor Party, had been harboured by a person who was not an Australian citizen, according to the amendments brought in by the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs he could not be deported. Ignoring the advice of one of the top Queen's Counsel in Australia he has now put it on the statute books that we can get rid of them only for treason, treachery and piracy. Tell me the last time we had a good case of piracy in Australia. If they are in the Mafia, if they are engaged in drug running, if they murder or if they are engaged in corrupting the youth of this country we will not be able to deport them. The Government has not just heard that from me; it heard it from the honourable member for North Sydney, and it will hear it in the Senate. I hope the Australian Democrats will combine with the Opposition to support the amendments that we will bring forward.


Mr Howard —Terrible.


Mr HODGMAN —It is terrible, and Australia will reap the reward of the Government 's term in office. Let me turn to a couple of other matters. Why is the Government anti-British? Let us put it on the table. Why did the Government take away the requirement that people who come to this country should speak English? Does the government think that English is not spoken in Australia? The Minister mentioned 300 languages of which, I acknowledge, 200 are Aboriginal. The Government has deliberately discriminated against those of British stock. I think the people of Australia ought to know that the effect of these new policies will make it harder for people of British stock to come to this country and it will make it harder for people from other Commonwealth countries to come to this country. I ask the Minister whether that is really the way he believes we should be shaping the future. We are a multicultural society. Why does the Minister take a stockwhip to people of British origin? It is typical of his thinking. He hates Britain, he hates the Queen, he hates traditions. He is going to try to destroy them. But he has no mandate, and furthermore--


Mr Porter —Oh, God!


Mr HODGMAN —Honourable members opposite think that they are above God. The approval rating of the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) is 70 per cent and God's approval rating in the last gallup poll was 81 per cent. So the Prime Minister still has a bit of a distance to go before he takes over from the Almighty. I come back to another matter. The Minister says that he has brought in a firm and sensitive policy. He has brought in a most rigid and authoritarian policy. He refuses to exercise discretion. He simply puts a slide-rule against all cases and says: 'You can only stay in Australia if you marry an Australian citizen'. Is that not marvellous if one is already married to somebody else? Is it not marvellous if one does not want to get married at all? Last year Liberal Ministers looked at 15,000 cases. They worked long hours in their offices and they approved 1,000 cases on humanitarian grounds. But the Minister will not do that. Effectively he says: 'You get married, sport, and do it within seven weeks or you are off'. I have never felt so upset about a government which is so committed to atheism, socialism, republicanism, for which it has no mandate. I warn and suggest that the Government is daring to do things that Mr Whitlam would never have done. It will reap its reward at the next election. It is a oncer government led by a oncer Prime Minister. It will be thrown out at the next federal election, and rightly so.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. Les Johnson) —Order! Is the amendment seconded?


Mr Sinclair —Mr Deputy Speaker, I second the amendment. I think in the light of the decision--


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! The original question was that the House take note of the paper. To this the honourable member for Denison--


Mr Sinclair —Mr Deputy Speaker, the normal practice is for me to finish speaking before you start reading that.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! The Deputy Leader of the National Party has no right to seek to rebuke the Chair. The original question was that the House take note of the paper. To this the honourable member for Denison has moved as an amendment that all words after 'That' be omitted with a view to substituting other words. The question now is that the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question.


Mr Sinclair —Mr Deputy Speaker, I think it is important that people read section 164 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! The Deputy Leader of the National Party is always very lethargic in his response to the Chair. I call the Minister for Foreign Affairs.


Mr Hayden —Mr Deputy Speaker, as an atheist, socialist, republican, I move:

That the debate be adjourned.


Mr Sinclair —Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. That is not an appropriate motion. I am on my feet.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! It is not the prerogative of the Minister to so move when the Deputy Leader of the National Party is proceeding with the debate. I call the Deputy Leader of the National Party.