Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 25 February 1932

Mr SPEAKER (Hon H G Mackay (LILLEY, QUEENSLAND) - The honorable member knows perfectly well that he is distinctly out of order in making such a remark, and I ask him to withdraw it.

Mr JAMES - I withdraw it. The right honorable member for Flinders is determined to withhold moneys due to the State of New South Wales, solely because the Premier of that State practises the philosophy of the Divine Christ, which is to feed the people who are hungry. Mr. Lang preferred to feed the people in preference to paying interest to wealthy money lenders. Are not these money lenders the usurers of old, whom Christ condemned and whipped from the Temple? Because of the humanitarian action of the Premier of New South Wales blasphemy and irreligious hatred are directed at him by this Government. Not God, but Mammon is worshipped by the supporters of the Government. Their cathedral is the headquarters of the United Australia party, and they kneel at the shrine of the profiteers and exploiters who direct the policy of this Government. The day of reckoning is fast approaching. The Premier of New South Wales in effect denies that wealth, power and pomp, are the real objectives of life; he proclaims with Christ that the sons and daughters of God should be treated as befits their glorious origin and their magnificent destiny. Because of his attitude he has to face all the terrors and horrors that the controllers of the most monstrous and evil system ever instituted by a government can heap upon him. I ask the honorable member for Angas and the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell), to both of whom I give credit for endeavouring to follow the teachings of Christ, what would happen if the lowly Nazarene walked into this House and was made conversant with the fact that at the Premiers Conference, or at the meeting of the Loan Council, the Assistant Treasurer had demanded that we should pay the usurers at the expense of the widows and orphans; that those who are hungry, instead of receiving bread, should be told to take up their belts another two holes? That is in effect the statement of the Assistant Treasurer and others. Christ said, "Feed my lambs " and " Feed my sheep ". Would the supporters of the Government crucify Christ as the Jews did? Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not". What would He say if He were told that children were being semi-starved in order to pay the wealthy bondholders?

Mr Gabb - Christ also said, " Man shall not live by bread alone ".

Mr JAMES - Jesus also preached the Sermon on the Mount which is the foundation of Christianity. These are the beautiful words that Christ taught -

Blessed be ye poor for yours is the Kingdom of God.

Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall bc filled.

What would Christ say to-day to those who, under the guise of honouring our contracts, of meeting our obligations to usurers overseas, penalize their fellowcountrymen, many of whom are now suffering the pangs of hunger? Have we no obligations to our own people? Christ said -

But woe unto you that are rich for ye have received your consolation.

Woe unto you that are full for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now for ye shall mourn and weep.

Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

This bill should receive short shrift from every person who is actuated by the spirit of humanity. On the one hand we have people in destitution who go hungry about our cities, shrinking from the sight of those they know, humiliated with the knowledge that they possess only just sufficient clothing to cover their nakedness. On the other hand, we have a class plentifully endowed with worldly goods, who have never known hunger. This Government proposes to take from the hungry and give to the rich. These words in the scriptures have always puzzled me : " He that hath, to him shall be given : and he that hath not from him shall be taken away even that which he hath." They represent the inhuman, unchristian policy of this Government. I appeal to honorable members to reconsider any premature decision that they may have formed upon this measure, to realize what it means to the people of Australia - that it may even cause bloodshed; and that it can bring about only more poverty and distress in this splendid Commonwealth, where there is and should be full and plenty for all.

Suggest corrections