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Thursday, 25 July 1946

Sir EARLE PAGE (Cowper) .- Having no effective answer to the criticisms of the Leader of the Australian Country party (Mr. Fadden), the Minister for Post-war Reconstruction (Mr. Dedman) has tried to draw a red herring across the trail by declaring' that the Labour party had won the war and stabilized prices in Australia. The only answer to the most serious charges that I have ever heard directed against the Treasurer will be the production of the budget papers, which will reveal the whole truth and will be subject t'o the scrutiny' of the Auditor-General. The Minister for Post-war Reconstruction cannot laugh off those charges in a light-hearted manner. As the honorable gentleman declared that the Labour party won the war, I shall point out what a cuckoo party it is - how it gets into some one else's nest to lay its eggs. War broke out in September, 1939, when the Menzies Government was in office. The Government immediately decided to raise an expeditionary force. The then Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Curtin, moved a vote of censure against the Government for having decided to. send the Australian Imperial Force overseas. When the Government proposed to build the Captain Cook Dock in Sydney, the then Leader of the ' Opposition moved another vote of censure. The present Minister for External Territories (Mr. Ward) also rose in his place and moved that no Australian soldier should be allowed to fight in New Guinea. The House should view those historic matters in the right perspective." The Menzies Government formed the 6th Division on the 12th October, 1939, the 7tl Division on the 11th April, 1940, the 8th Division on the 20th June, and the 9th Division on the 17th October, 1940. The 6th Division embarked on the 11th January, 1940, the 7th Division on the 4th October, 1940, and the 8th Division on the 14th February, 1941. The 9th Division was raised overseas from members of the other divisions which had previously sailed. Those events occurred many months before the Labour Government took office.

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