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Friday, 21 November 1941


Mr CURTIN (FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Prime Minister) - The Government will not, by using the National Security Act, interfere with expressions of opinion, except those that give information to the enemy, are prejudicial to the prosecution of the war, or can be regarded as subversive. The public has the right to criticize the Government and to advocate policies. I should say, however, that no issue could be so ill-timed or unwise, and in. the existing situation detrimental to the unity of Australia and the maximum cohesion of its people in the prosecution of the war, than one which, when raised on a previous occasion, had the effect of dividing, and thereby weakening, Australia. As Leader of the Government, I request the people to give the maximum degree of support to the policies that have been advocated by the leaders of all parties in this Parliament in respect of recruitment, for the fighting services. The responsibility for ensuring that all aspects of Australia's war effort, are effectually conducted, I affirm with great respect, can best be borne by the leaders of parties, who have knowledge of the facts.


Mr Archie Cameron - Then it will soon be necessary to get some new party leaders.

Mir. CURTIN. - That is an opinion which the honorable member is quite entitled to hold and state, and I shall not try to prevent him. I shall not in any way try to suppress opinions which are contrary to my own, but, at the same time, I ask the people of Australia to give duc weight to an unfortunate experience in the history of this country during the last war.







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