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Thursday, 18 October 1956


Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - I am afraid the honorable gentleman has set me a rather difficult task. The penetration of the iron curtain has so far not been included by my leader in my ministerial duties, although, with the liberalization of relations that is going on at the present time, even that may be possible. In the meantime, of course, we depend for information upon those who not only are welcome in the iron curtain countries but also have more ready access to enable them to observe conditions there than the normal official visitor has. One of the striking things about these trade union officials who go to Russia and who make no secret of their Communist affiliations is that very few of them emigrate there in any permanent sense. 1 can only assume from this that, having had a good look at the " workers' paradise ", they find that the lot of those " exploited " under capitalism is not so bad after all. It is refreshing to find one who has seen these conditions at first hand having the frankness and courage to speak plainly to his fellow workmen, lt may bring a greater sense of realism to our own waterfront.







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