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Wednesday, 7 August 1946


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member for Parkes (Mr. Haylen) referred to an incident in which the honorable member for Balaclava was concerned and I understand that the honorable member for Balaclava is replying to those statements.


Mr WHITE - The following apology was made by. the Standard, of which the honorable member for Parkes (Mr. Haylen) was the editor -

The Standard tenders to Consolidated Press Limited, the publishers of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph and the Australian Women's Weekly, an unqualified apology for unfounded statements regarding that company which featured on the front page of the Standard in its issues of November 25 and December 9. 1943.


Mr Haylen - The honorable member has already apologized for a lying statement which he has made.I want an unqualified withdrawal of it.


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member for Parkes says that the statement made by the honorable member for Balaclava is personally offensive to him. I ask the honorable member to withdraw the statement.


Mr WHITE - I was reading a newspaper paragraph.


The CHAIRMAN - That quotation is personally offensive to the honorable member for Parkes, and I ask the honorable member for Balaclava to withdraw it.


Mr WHITE -I withdraw ; andI want the honorable member to apologize for the despicableattack he made upon me, and to which I am replying.


The CHAIRMAN - I ask the honorable member to proceed with his speech.


Mr WHITE - The honorable member for Parkes quoted from Hansard report of a debate in this House in 1930 relating to the action of the Scullin Government in withdrawing preference to returned soldiers.


Mr Calwell - That is not true.


Mr WHITE - The government of the day put up-


Mr Burke - I rise to order. The honorable member for Balaclava is making a statement about an alleged incident in which he himself was concerned. I submit that whilst he would be in order in replying to the remarks of the honorable member for Parkes he is not in order in recapitulating the whole of that debate.


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member for Balaclava is entitled to reply to the statements made concerning him by the honorable member for Parkes; but he is not entitled to introduce extraneous matter.


Mr WHITE - The honorable member for Parkes quoted from a Hansard report remarks to the. effect that a firm . with which I was associated sixteen years ago had not given preference to returned soldiers; and I was about to say that those remarks were made by the late Mr. McGrath, the then member for Ballarat, who attacked me and other members of the Opposition at that time in an endeavour to put a smear on me. I have always given preference in employment to returned soldiers. Unlike the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Bryson), who said that he was too young to go to World War I., and too old to go to World War II., I served in the forces for ten years inthe last two wars, and of that period I spent seven years on active service overseas.


Mr Bryson - I rise to order. I submit thatthe honorable member for Balaclava is not in order in introducing into this discussion remarks which he attributes to me. Personally, I shall be happy to discuss the matter with him at the proper time.


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member for Balaclava is entitled to reply to any statement made by the honorable member for Parkes, but he is not entitled to introduce extraneous matter.


Mr WHITE - In reply to the honorable member for Parkes I shall read what I said in the debate to which he refers. I take the following from Hansard, of the 8th May, 1930, page 1573-

The honorable member for Ballarat has drawn attention to the fact that I gave employment on one occasion to a man who was not a soldier. It is perfectly true that I did so, and I shall now give the facts of that case. The policy of the firm of which I am managing director has alwaysbeen to give a direct preference to returned soldiers. Sixteen or eighteen men who are in the employ of my firm at present are returned soldiers and there is not one who was eligible to serve who is not also a soldier. I practise the principle of preference to returned soldiers not only in connexion with my firm, but in connexion with all my family and domestic arrangements. I always trade with diggers, even though it might be for the smallest domestic requirement.


Mr Ward - The honorablemember's firm ought to have paid award rates of wages.


Mr WHITE - We paid wages above the award rates. I ask that the Minister for Transport withdraw that statement.


The CHAIRMAN - As the remark is offensive to the honorable member for Balaclava, I ask the Minister to withdraw it.


Mr Ward Mr.. Ward interjecting,


Mr WHITE - There was a choice between an ex-serviceman, who had a good job, and another man who wore a badge of unfitness, and was out of work. I gave the job to the latter, at a wage above the award rate.


The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member has gone far enough in his reply to the allegations of the honorable member for Parkes. He must now confine his remarks to the clause under consideration.


Mr WHITE - I do not desire to speak further to the clause. The people know what transpires in this Parliament in preventing debate. I am sure that they will soon sweep the present Government from office, and replace it with a clean decent and democratic administration.

Question put -

That the amendment (Mr. Holt's) be agreed to.







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