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Tuesday, 13 October 1931

Mr BLAKELEY (Darling) (Minister for Home Affairs) .- The honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Beasley) has read a long statement which obviously came from the same source as another statement which he did not read, but which occupied twelve pages of Ilansard some weeks ago. The political and personal vendetta against certain officers of my department, of which the honorable member has allowed himself to be the vehicle, has been going on for some years in Canberra. 1 regret that the honorable member has allowed himself to be used in this way. I shall not take up space in. Hansard by replying to the statement which he read. During the period that the honorable member was a member of the Cabinet, he was my colleague for several months, and heard frequently of the hog farm; but, being then a member of the Government, he took no action, nor did he make any inquiry regarding the treatment meted out to Mr. Coles. I have had this matter in mind constantly. The persons responsible for this vendetta do not care what vehicle they use, or by what means they achieve their ends, so long as they can besmirch the character's of officers who are unableto defend themselves in this House. On a previous occasion when this matter was referred to, I said that I had made n personal investigation. I was compelled to do so because, during the past, two years, probably twenty attacks ofa, similar nature have been made. My personal investigation enables me to know what is true and what is not true in the allegations made. I can assure the honorable member that the statement that ho has read is far from the truth ; it is a gross distortion of facts. The reasons for this vendetta have nothing whatever to do with the hog farm; but, in order to injure some of my officers, the hog farm is used as a vehicle, even as the honorable member himself is being used, J have no doubt that the statement which the honorable member has read to-night is already in type for publication in the local press. I shall answer the statement, but not in Hansard. I shall send a letter to the honorable member, and also forward a copy of it to the local newspaper, and I have no doubt that it, also, will be published.

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