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Wednesday, 21 July 1920


Mr RYAN - The Government tried to blame the Courts for what they had done themselves.


Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes. This is the Hansard report of what the honorable member said -

I should like yon, sir, to be quite clear as . to what my assurance is. It is that I am not referring to any matter in connexion with the Reverend Father Jerger that came before the Courts.

He was referring to the sham inquiry before Sir Robert Garran. It was upon the references of the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Ryan) to that alleged inquiry that Mr. Speaker challenged his right to discuss the question at all and ruled that he had no such right. It was not a matter before the Courts which the honorable member was discussing. i submit that no honorable member, if he is going to register a conscientious vote, will take the stand that it would be out of order to discuss a matter which is not before the Courts at all. Mr. Speaker went entirely outside of his rights in giving his ruling. The whole position, however, is clear from the point of view of the Government. It is ashamed of the business, and of the action it has taken. It wants to shift the responsibility from itself to the Courts. Even to-day when the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) asked the Prime Minister if it was a fact that Father Jerger was to be shifted from this country by the use of black labour or by non-unionists-


Mr Bell - The honorable member asked if it was the intention of the Government to employ that kind of labour.


Mr Brennan - The exact expression, if mm, desire to hear it again, was, " To invoke the aid of black labour or nonunionists."


Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - And the Fi une Minister said, " Yes, any means will be justified which the country can employ to deport Father Jerger."


Mr Bell - The Prime Minister did not say " Yes," but that he did not know.


Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - He said, " I do not know and then the Prime Minister qualified that by saying, " Any means that can be adopted will be justified." If the matter is sub judice, obviously the Prime Minister does not recognise it to be so, because he said, " Any means are justified in getting Father Jerger out of the country," I am not particular about' the exact words used by the Prime Minister.


Mr Bell - You certainly are not. You are not particular how you misquote him.


Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Then, whatever .he may have said, I am satisfied, that the Prime Minister would use any means. He will be prepared both to use and to support any means.


Mr Brennan - The Prime Minister said he would take any means.


Mr Bell - He meant that, no doubt.


Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - We agree there. If any means would be justified, and the Prime Minister was prepared to make use of any means, then how could the right honorable gentleman consider that the matter was sub judice?







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