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
Friday, 11 March 1932

Mr BEASLEY (West Sydney) . - No doubt the sentiments expressed by the honorable member for South Sydney (Mr. Jennings) go down well with the party of which he is a member. Nevertheless, what I have said is true; at the time of the last election the unemployment situation was exploited by the presentMinisters and their supporters to a degree previously unknown in the history of Australia. Members opposite used every means at their disposal to take advantage of it. Full-paged advertisements appeared from day to day in the leading newspapers; literature of an unprecedented character was distributed among the people. The honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Makin) has shown me a series of pamphlets distributed in a Victorian electorate, in publishing which the party opposite descended to the lowest level. It is all very well for members opposite to talk now about the need for seeing that no party capital is made over this problem. They are comfortably in office, but to get on to the ministerial benches they endeavoured to blacken as much as possible the characters of honorable members now sitting with me on this side of the chamber. Their present talk will not go down with me for a moment. In his remarks about the camp at Maroubra, the honorable member for South Sydney is only splitting hairs. The people of the South Sydney electorate know that there was an unemployed camp at La Perouse long before the last election, and it was to that camp, known as the " Happy Valley " camp that I referred. Similar promises to those madein the South Sydney electorate were made by the United Australia party in other electorates.I desire the reminder to go back to Happy Valley, Redfern, and other thickly populated centres in South Sydney and neighbouring electorates that these promises were made by the honorable member and others of his party, and that now is the time for giving effect to them. The Leader of the United Australia party (Mr. Lyons) stated in the Sydney town hall that prosperity would be restored immediately a change of government took place; and I intend to see that members opposite now stand up to their responsibilities in that regard. It is not a question of taking political advantages, but of compelling members to do the job for which they were elected. It is my intention to take care that the present Government does not neglect the claims of the unemployed. The policy of my party is therefore to focus attention on the many pre-election promises made by the Government. This should be done in the interests of those unfortunates who are now without employment, whose welfare depends on the provision of work, and the resumption of normal commercial activities. The Commonwealth Government controls the credit resources of this country, and therefore it has more power than the State Governments to restore normal conditions. In this matter, the State Governments are practically powerless. These gentlemen knew that,but they did not say that at the general election. I, and my colleagues, will therefore take every opportunity of exposing them in their true light, so that the people of New South Wales may know their real value.

Mr.RIORDAN (Kennedy) [5.28].- The people were undoubtedly led to believe at the last election that if the United Australia party were returned to power, employment would be found for the workless, and money would flow into Australia as the result of the change of government. Although a confidence trick was played upon the people by the party now in power, a large number of thinking people in the Commonwealth were under the impression that the advent of that party to power would result in money being made available for the provision of employment. At the last State election in Queensland, the Nationalist party used the placard "£2,000,000 for 10,000 jobs"; but unemployment has never been so widespread in Queensland as it has since the return of the Nationalist Government in that State. They baulked the efforts of the Scullin Government to relieve unemployment. Now they have power and responsibility, and some genuine effort to cope with this pressing problem is due from them.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Suggest corrections