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Wednesday, 25 August 1920

Dr MALONEY (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) .- The matter which I wish to bring under the notice of the House on this motion may be of some interest to honorable members. As the member representing an important constituency, I asked a question in connexion with it, and, as a con sequence, a little later I received this letter : -

Selborne Chambers,

Melbourne, 6th August, 1920.

Dr. Maloney,

House of Representatives.

Dear Sr. Maloney;

Will you please accept my best thanks for your efforts to keep me before the public at a time when, by accepting a position upon the Royal Commission upon the Basic Wage, I have not only sacrificed my income for the time being, but deprived myself of that publicity which attends the exertions of counsel, thus contrasting, perhaps foolishly, with certain members of Parliament who have recently grabbed an unearned increment.

It is extremely kind of you to beso interested in my humble self, and in appreciation of your action I enclose herein a contribution which, I regret, owing to the limitation of the coinage, it is impossible to decrease.

Yours truly, allan C. Morley.

The enclosure was a halfpenny stamp. This communication, honorable members may like to know, was sent because 1 directed attention to the fact that Mr. Morley broke the secrecy of the ballot at the last election, although a protest was made by the poll clerk, the officer in charge of the table at which he received his ballot-paper, and by the scrutineer, and he used words to this effect at the time -

I do not care a damn who sees how I vote! You can see it, if you like.

This was entered in the memorandumof the presiding officer, and the poll clerk and the scrutineer signed the statement. I took no action in the matter until my party askedme why a trained man and barrister should be allowed to escape for violating the secrecy of the ballot, whereas a mother has been punished for asking her daughter to sign a card applying for a vote.

Mr McGrath - Has Mr. Morley been prosecuted ?


Mr McGrath - It is about time that he was.

Dr MALONEY (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - I sent the following reply to the note I received from Mr. Morley: -

House of Representatives, 10th August, 1920.

A.   C. Morley, Esq.,

Barrister and Solicitor,

Selborne Chambers, Melbourne.

Dear Sir,

Yours 6th received. Enclosed resolution has been carried at several meetings. It speaks for itself. If the halfpenny issent as acknowledgement of your wrong act, and as damages, what about costs? But, as I consider it is sent in contempt, and in case it comes from tainted money, earned by trying to get guilty criminals off, and thus loosing them on the community to commit further crimes, for, I understand, you never ask where the money forsuch cases comes from that you receive as fees, nor have I learnt of your helping them to live better lives, I have therefore decided to try and purify it by adding £1 and sending it as a contribution in our joint names to a hospital, receipt for which I enclose. If you still think you are right in your action, and you want satisfaction from me, you have only to ask

Yours faithfully,

W.   Maloney.

I enclosed my receipt from the hospital; but a difficulty arose in connexion with the contribution. The secretary of the hospital pointed out to me that the odd halfpenny would make it awkward to balance the hospital books, and so I was compelled, in addition to the £1, to add another halfpenny to my share of the contribution. I gave Mr. Morley a chance to reply to my communication, but he has not done so.

I wish honorable members to recollect that I did not move in this matter until asked to do so by my party. I was disposed to treat Mr. Morley with contempt ; but being called upon to act, I did so. The following is the resolution that was carried at several meetings: -

That this meeting strongly protests against Mr. Morley, barrister and solicitor, being permitted to escape punishment for flagrantly, insolently, and impudently breaking the law pertaining to the secrecy of the ballot at the last Federal general election.

In sending this resolution to Mr. Morley, I added -

Kindly note. - This resolution was carried unanimously at several meetings following the request made to me by my party to endeavour to have Mr. Morley prosecuted for seeking to destroy the secrecy of the ballot, in view of the fact that so many people have been prosecuted for trifling mistakes.

Mr.Ryan. - Why was he not prosecuted ?

Mr McGrath - Why were not persons prosecuted in connexion with the Ballarat election, where worse offences were committed?

Dr MALONEY (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - I think I have rightly answered Mr. Morley's impertinent insolence in Bending a halfpenny as a contribution to members who voted as they thought right. My answer to him is that I do not know of any barrister who has drawn more money from the Government of the day. As Mr. Morley says that he has lost his chance of advertising by accepting the post he atpresent fills as a member of the Basic WageRoyal Commission, I propose, as member for the city of Melbourne, to ask how much money Mr. Morley has received, and how many days he has attended in Court?

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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