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Tuesday, 3 May 1932

Mr RIORDAN (Kennedy) .- The honorable member for Barker (Mr. Cameron) has said that the amendments proposed by the Minister were dealt with and published by the Government before the arrival from Adelaide of Mr. Dumas. The honorable member was rather unfair in the challenge that he issued to the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Makin), because the date which appears on the second publication of the amendments is the 28th April, 1932.

Mr STEWART - That is three days prior to the date of the letter that has been read. -

Mr RIORDAN - We are dealing now, not with that letter, but with the statement of the honorable member for Hindmarsh.

Mr Stewart - Which we are denying.

Mr RIORDAN - The date on the first print of the amendments is the 17th March, 1932, which was the day after the visit of Mr. Dumas took place. You, Mr. Temporary Chairman (Mr. White), and other honorable members claim to have criticized the bill. Everybody agrees with your criticism. But can you point to any amendment that was moved by either yourself or any other member of the Nationalist party prior to the arrival in Canberra of Mr. Dumas? I cannot remember any amendment having been moved. There has been an extraordinary shifting of ground by those who challenge the truth of the statement of the honorable member for Hindmarsh, and who allege that those who sit on this side have dealt loosely with dates. In the first place they affirm that these amendments were decided upon prior to the arrival of Mr. Dumas. Now, how ever, they say that it was prior to the arrival of the letter from the Brisbane Courier. That may be quite true; but it was after Mr. Dumas' arrival. The date of the letter written by the Brisbane Courier would be only two or three days subsequent to the publication of the amendments, which were drafted in accordance with instructions issued to members of the Nationalist party by Mr. Dumas on behalf of the associated press. It is clear from the amendments that have been distributed among honorable members that the Nationalist party accepted dictation from outside bodies.

One has to admire the courage of the honorable member for Barton (Mr. Lane). He will try anything once. He has succeeded in getting away with a few statements because he is a new member. That stage has now passed and the time has arrived for us to make him stick a little more closely to facts.

On a former occasion the honorable member for Barker (Mr. Cameron) allowed the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes) " to reply on his behalf. I hope that on this occasion he will " check up " on his dates and try to put right the right honorable member for North Sydney, who I know would not wilfully make a mis-statement concerning the honorable member for Hindmarsh. I feel sure that the honorable member for Barker will now agree that these amendments were drafted after the arrival of Mr. Dumas and his friend from Adelaide.

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