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Thursday, 29 October 1931

Mr WARD (East Sydney) .- I have not seen the particular leaflet to which the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Latham) has referred, but I presume that it advises the workers of this country that, under no circumstances, should they allow themselves to be precipitated into participation in another war.

Mr Latham - And it advocates civil war.

Mr WARD - The best propaganda that can be made throughout Australia in opposition to war is the fact that the relatives of the men who paid the supreme sacrifice in the last war are now called upon to make a further sacrifice. The men who have returned to this country, broken in health and spirit, also have been called upon to bear a portion of the sacrifice, and the many things that were promised to them have been absolutely withdrawn in the interests of the verymen for whom they fought. The propaganda about which the Deputy- Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Latham) is so much concerned, and which he admits is appearing in various centres throughout the Commonwealth, is conclusive proof that the people themselves have seen the fallacy of participating in wars that are not thei rs. If, as the honorable member says, there is no fear of Australia participating in a war against the Soviet Republics of China, wherein lies the danger of a leaflet that urges tho people not to participate in such a war?

Mr Latham - The point I make is that the pamphlet urges civil war in Australia. The other points can be dealt wilh when they arise.

Mr WARD - I have not seen the leaflet, but I know that those who participated in the last war found that practically all the promises made to thom were repudiated by the people,who made them. War widows have suffered a reduction of pensions. Did I n.ot bring under the notice of the House a case of an invalid pensioner who, because of a reduction of her pension, throw herself over the cliffs at Watson's Bay? With such clear cases before their eyes, the people do not need to be urged not to participate in any future war. In no circumstances would I, if . I could avoid it, do so, becauseI realize that, the last war was. not one that concerned the workers of Australia.It was a war to control world markets. Today various imperialistic powers are engnged in a conflict, the purpose of which is to secure the control of the Chinese market. That is why I recently in this House asked the Prime Minister to make the statement that in no circumstances would Australian lives be lost in fighting for Chinese markets. 1 can assure the Deputy Leader of the Opposition that the workers are tired of the political machine, because, nlthough they return to this Parliament representatives of all shades of political opinion, their position grows steadily worse. If the honorable member is desirous of offsetting this propaganda, my suggestion to him is to show to the workers that something practical can be done to improve their position. If that is done, he need not fear the propaganda to which he has made reference.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Houseadjourned at 10.44 p.m.

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