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Thursday, 26 March 1942

Mr MARWICK (SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) .- I am participating in this debate because of the last two speeches that have been delivered. The honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Blackburn) has entirely missed our point concerning the desirability of the formation of a national government. I have advocated the formation of a national government ever since my election to this Parliament, but for reasons other than those suggested by the honorable member for Bourke. My view is that honorable members on both sides of the house who possess great and proved administrative ability should be associated with a national government in such critical times as these. The fact is that honorable gentlemen sitting on this side of the house have had long years of administrative experience which could be used to great advantage in these days, but because the Labour party will not agree to join in a national government those honorable gentlemen must confine their activities to such work as is open to private members of the Parliament. The Prime Minister had a good deal to say yesterday about the need for unity in this country. I consider that there is far more unity among the Australian people than there is among the members of this Parliament, although we should, in fact, set a good example to the general community. I do not reflect upon the capacity of Ministers, because they are really raw recruits. They came into office only a few months ago and are doing the best they can in the circumstances, but the plain fact is that they lack the administrative experience which would enable them to work rapidly.

Mr Ward - I thought honorable gentlemen opposite complained that we were working too rapidly.

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