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Wednesday, 4 May 1932


Mr GANDER (Reid) . - I protest against the passage of this bill, and E agree with that portion of the remarks of v the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Scullin), in which he said that this was really a political fight. The party to which I belong is well aware that the members of the Government have repeatedly said, " We must get rid of Lang." Even the Prime Minister (Mr. Lyons), before he was placed in his present position, declared, "This incubus must be removed." The honorable member for Parkes (Mr. Marr) once threatened that he " would eat his hat " if Mr. Lang was not put out of power within a fortnight. In order to keep such promises as those, members of the party opposite are prepared to pass this measure, irrespective of the suffering that it will undoubtedly inflict on the people of New South Wales. A certain member of the last Federal Ministry promised that he would open the coal mines in New South Wales within a fortnight if Labour were returned to power. When the last Government saw that that promise could not be fulfilled, it did not persevere in the matter; but the present Ministry, having promised to get rid of the Lang Government, is determined to see the matter through. The honorable member for Parramatta (Mr. Stewart) remarked, by way of interjection, that, if trouble occurred among the railway men in New South Wales, the Commonwealth Government knew what it would do. Nobody, I suppose, is desirous of witnessing such trouble ; but I well know that, in any conflict between the Commonwealth and the New South Wales Governments, the railway employees' would support the State Government.

From the very outset this legislation has been prompted by political prejudices. On the day when this Parliament was opened, and when the present- leader of the United Australia party in New South Wales walked up the front steps of Parliament House with Mr. Weaver, who is known in New South Wales as the rajah of Rothbury, I realized that they were expecting the Commonwealth Government to fulfil its promise to bring about the downfall of the Lang Government. I do not plead with the Government in thi? matter, but I warn it that if it goes toe far with the people of New South Wales, it will be impossible to foresee the end of the trouble. I shall oppose this bill a? strongly as I have always opposed this class of legislation. I am glad that th. honorable member for Dalley (Mr. Roserear), by twitting the honorable member for Martin (Mr. Holman) about hi1: silence during this debate, induced him to speak on the measure. If he makes two or three more speeches of a like character, we shall find him sitting on the ministerial bench, instead of one of the mernbers of the Government from other States who do not appreciate the difficulties of New South Wales. The honorable member for Dalley also referred to the silence of the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes), and I hope that he, too, will be heard on this 'matter. The honorable members for both Parramatta and Martin know that the people in those electorates flock in thousands to cheer Labour speakers who pledge themselves to assist in the " Lang is right " campaign. Let honorable members opposite ask the honorable member for Cook i Mi'. Riley) if his supporters are agreeable to be ridden over rough-shod bv the Commonwealth Government.







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