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Thursday, 17 March 1932

Mr JAMES (Hunter) .- I rise to a personal explanation arising out of misrepresentation by the press of a speech of mine in this House.

In to-day's Sydney Daily Telegraph, that journalistic offal vendor publishes the following screeching headline: - " James, M.H.R., threatens revolution and bloodshed ", under which I am reported as having said -

There is a determination in New South Wales to resist this interference by the Commonwealth, even to the extent of revolution and bloodshed.

I claim that that is wilful and deliberate misrepresentation. Rather than threaten bloodshed, I deplored the fact that the legislation which was being debated at the time might bring about revolution; and I expressed the hope that such & spectacle would not be witnessed in any part of this Commonwealth. I also said that honorable . members opposite possibly did not realize the extent of the resistance that might be offered by the people of New South Wales, and that they would not like to be pitted against their brothers in a revolution. I claim that, as a member of this Parliament, I am entitled to receive from the press justice and fair treatment. I have gone very carefully through the Hansard report of my speech, and can say that there is not in it a threat of any kind. I ask any honorable member of this House if he can remember my threatening revolution in the State of New South Wales.

Mr Makin - The honorable member did not make any such threat.

Mr JAMES - No honorable member opposite can say that I did. Rather did I deplore the fact that such legislation as we were then considering might bring about a revolution, which nobody desired in this country that we all love so much. Those were my exact words. It was grossly unjust for a pressman to send to his newspaper a report that wilfully and deliberately misrepresented what I said.

Mr SPEAKER (Hon G H Mackay - This is the usual hour -for the dinner suspension, and I have no option but to leave the Chair unless the House decides otherwise.

Mr Lyons - It is possible that, if we "adjourned now, there might not be a quorum when we re-assembled at 8 o'clock. That would not matter to the Government, but it would matter to those honorable members who, as a consequence, were prevented from contributing to the debate. In the circumstances, perhaps, it might be better to continue the sitting for a while.

Mr SPEAKER - Is it the pleasure of the House that the sitting be continued?

Honorable Members. - Hear, hear!

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