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Friday, 16 July 1920

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) . - I rise to refer to one matter only. During this debate the Government have been accused, particularly by the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Ryan), of having torn up Magna Charta, abolished trial by jury, and of having done many other like things. I interjected during the controversy that the War Precautions Act, which provided for action of that sort, had been passed by a Labour Government. I distinctly remember that when the Bill was before the House a passionate plea was made by the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey), who threatened to leave his party in regard to this very matter. True to his principles he moved this amendment -

Nothing shall be deemed to be a military emergency which deprives a British subject of the right of trial by jury.

The honorable member for Bourke brought this very matter to an issue, and how was it treated in the division? I find that those who voted for the amendment were Mr. Anstey, Dr. Maloney, Mr. Brennan, Mr. McGrath, and Mr. King O'Malley. Amongst those who voted against the amendment, and insisted, that in time of war trial by jury should be set aside, were Messrs. Burns, Charlton, Dankel, Fisher, Hannan, Hampson, Parker Moloney, Page, Riley, Tudor, West, and Yates. I suggest to the honorable member for West Sydney that when next he sets out to draw a picture of the tattered remnants of the Charter which was wrested from King John at Runnymede, he should remember that the men who tore up the Charter were members of the Labour Party and supporters of a Labour administration.

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