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Wednesday, 29 November 1944

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) (Minister for Information) . - The greatest political humbug who has ever entered the political life this country is surely the Leader of the Opposition in this Parliament (Mr. Menzies). The right honorable gentleman has had the odious temerity to submit a motion in which he seeks to censure the 'Government because I am alleged to have made a public attack upon the integrity of justices of the High Court whilst deliberately choosing to forget that on the same afternoon and in the same debate the honorable member for Barker (Mr. Archie Cameron) delivered himself of certain views regarding another member of the same court, I shall begin my quotations from the speech of the honorable member for Barker at the point where the Acting Prime Minister (Mr. Forde) ceased his quotations this morning. The honorable member for Barker said -

It is clear, however, that something was done in a very amateurish, inept, and awkward way, so that the judges and lawyers were not able to come to any clear agreement even as to what had happened' in court, notwithstanding that shorthand notes of the proceedings had been taken.

If those statements mean anything at all, they mean that the Chief Justice of Australia is, among other things, inept. Therefore he is not fit to be Chief Justice of Australia. The Leader of the Opposition chose to disregard that attack upon the integrity, probity, and capacity of the Chief Justice.

Mr Archie Cameron - I did not use those three adjectives in application to the Chief Justice at all, as the honorable member will see if he examines the Hansard report.

Mr CALWELL - I have the unrevised proofs of Hansard before me.

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