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
Thursday, 5 March 1942

The Lord Mayor of Sydney (Alderman Crick) wants £2,000,000 to build a new H.M.A.S. Sydney.

He wants it - now. He wants it from you.

Hu must get it.

It is a debt every nian and woman in this country owes to the 045 officers and men who perished when the Sydney went down. lt is your job to provide the money. Hundreds of young Australians ave waiting to nui n the new #hip.

Don't keep them waiting.

And. when you've given what, you can to the new Sydney fund, dig down and give some more to Commodore Muirhead-Gould's appeal for the Royal Australian Naval Relief Fund, which will provide for the mothers, wives, and children of the 78fi officers and men wi- 1 '.,s t in the Sydney and 1'iirrtrnnUlu,.

Austral i:i could fill both appeals in » week if it _"!) ve its cast; as generously us it gives its sympathy.

This country isn't short of ready money.

Trade is booming.

The big stores are thriving; breweries shyly hi! iti it that their turnover has increased: the theatres screen Hollywood's passionate romances to full houses; wages are up.

The estimated national income for the currell! year is £7f>.UO().000 higher than last year.

What about these Profits?

Let £. s. d. tell its own story.

Here is a table showing the 1941 reserve? and profits of fourteen leading Australian companies -

Out of that total 1941 profit of £7,150,157. the fourteen companies paid £5,237,254 in dividends.

We could just about buy a new cruiser of the Sydney class with the undistributed profit, which, for these fourteen companies in 1941. amounted to £1,912,903.

Eight of the companies on the list made bigger profits this year than in 1940.

They should be at the top of the Lord Mayor's list.

Why talk about raising the money in a month when these prosperous companies - just a few of those which are making great profits in our war-time boom - have enough money locked up in reserves to pay for seventeen Sydneys at once?

If this country is in dire peril, why should there be any lack of capacity in the nation to defend itself, simply because there are in it persons who will lend money to the Government only at a certain rate of interest? There are many small subscribers to Commonwealth loans, whose efforts on behalf of the Government, and the country are very greatly appreciated. I speak, not of the small contributor, but of those companies which, according to the Sydney Daily Telegraph-, have built up huge reserves. A perusal of the list of contributions to the war loan, published daily in the press, will disclose that the largest amounts are contributed by those companies. Without any direct, or material sacrifice, they could make available their reserves, entirely interest-free. That is the position that we have to face. by what means may an all-in war effort be best achieved? The enthusiastic support of the people can be obtained only if they are satisfied that there is no profiteering, and that whatever sacrifice is required is made proportionately by every unit in the community. The Sydney Daily Telegraph, giving reasons for some of the success gained by our Russian allies, said that Hitler's plan to annihilate the Russians had only one defect - a fatal defect; it underestimated die spirit of the Russian people and the genius of the Soviet TJnion'3 military leaders. The article went on to say -

The Soviet Union under Stalin wasn't caught asleep like Britain under Mr. Chamberlain. Russia's intensive preparations for war bogan as soon as Hitler came to power. The entire nation, because of its social and economic organization, was mobilized for war - war with tanks and planes, not bayonets and < pttimism. Enormous industrial plants, duplicated and de-centralized, created for s>er- vice, not profit, were built all over the country.

That is all that I am asking - that every body shall take part in this all-in war effort, and that nobody shall profit as the result of the country's participation in its own defence. Australia is a theatre of war; already its shores have been attacked at three points. Its outlying territories also have been attacked. Australian troops are prepared to defend this country. We give to them a certain income, which in most eases represents an actual sacrifice of the living standards to which they have been accustomed. They are willing to make that sacrifice; but they would do so much more enthusiastically if they knew that the flag-flappers and cheerers behind the lines were making sacrifices similar to those that are asked of the men in the front line of battle. If an all-in war effort be needed, let all be on the one footing. Whatever basis be fixed, the m»n who has to do the fighting, members of Parliament, members of the judiciary, captains of industry, all should be on the one footing.


Mr Harrison - The honorable gentleman would then find another excuse.







Suggest corrections