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, 27 June 1946

Mr SPENDER (Warringah) . - After having examined the wording of my proposal, the Minister for Transport (Mr. Ward) stated that he never declared that his allegations regarding " the Brisbane line " were based upon the possession by the Government of any relevant documents. Therefore, I move -

That the clause he postponed.

If the motion he carried it is to be regarded as an instruction to the Government that all official or other documents in the possession of the Government or the Minister for Transport, upon which the Minister relies in establishing the existence of the alleged " Brisbane line ", be tabled.

That will provide the Minister with an opportunity to produce, if he does not rely upon an official document, any other documents in his possession, or otherwise. At this juncture, I should like to reply to an allegation which the Minister has repeatedly made. For the last five years, it has been his practice, whenever he gets into disputes with me, to ask me about my " German brother-in-law ". I consider that it is only fair that I should state the facts relating to three decent Australians for whom I have great respect. TheMinh.ter speaks of a man who is a naturalized Australian, whose mother was a daughter of Sir Graham Berry and whose father was a Belgian. This man happened to be born in Germany, and, consequently, by British law i3 a German, but by reason of the fact that German law only acknowledges the law of blood, he is not a German. Naturalized in Australia, he was educated here, and married an Australian girl who happened to be my wife's sister. It strikes me as being extraordinary that the Minister for Transport should be permitted, after four and a half years during, which the Prime Minister (Mr. Chifley) had every opportunity to examine this man's loyalty, if any doubt existed regarding it, to repeat this statement. .For my part I do not care how often it is made against me, but I do view with utter contempt reflections made in this House upon decent Australian citizens. Having said that, I shall doubtless in the future be asked by this remarkable Minister, " What about your German brother-in-law," whenever he is driven into a hole. He is driven into a hole now. For a long time, he has said that he had some document to justify the allegations regarding " the Brisbane line ". Let us have the documents so that we may know what value is to be placed upon the word of this Minister.

Mr Calwell - He never said that he had a document.

Mr SPENDER - Can any one beat that! Perhaps somebody whispered in the Minister's ear. Very well ! We shall find out whether there is any document, and if there is none, he can tell us who whispered in his ear. But by the process of elimination, we shall certainly discover whether the Government has in its possession any such documents that justify this wholly political charge. If there is no such document in the Government's possession, we shall endeavour to discover whether there is any document, personal or otherwise, in the Minister's possession that would justify one scintilla of the charge.

Suggest corrections