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Wednesday, 3 April 1957

Mr BRYANT (Wills) .- The position of the Minister for Health (Dr. Donald Cameron) in respect of this controversy is understandable because, after all, he belongs to a profession which, not so many years ago, denied the people of Australia any right of appeal. His own profession has, after all, gone as far as to defy to the last ditch the will of the people of Australia, as expressed in the referendum on social services. I think that what the people of Queensland and Liberal members who sit behind this Government ought to turn their minds to is the defiance of the Queensland Government by monopoly capitalists. Too many people in Queensland and the Liberal members of this Parliament failed in their duty to stand off these people.

It is not so long ago that the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Holt) came into this House and introduced legislation to force workers to stay on work that was in the public interest; but when the capitalist oil monopolies use the power of their resources against the people of Queensland, when they refuse to distribute standard petrol in Queensland at the price fixed by the Queensland Government, apparently that is a different story. It is all very well for the Minister for Health (Dr. Donald Cameron) to try to be subtle, and to come here talking of principles. His Government is falling down on its job when it fails to offer the people justice. On this occasion the petrol companies-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! Any reference to that matter is out of order.

Mr BRYANT - Can I not speak on the adjournment about the petrol position in Queensland? We have seen the mobilization of the great capitalist combines against the government. We have seen them meet in Sydney to examine what they can do. We see before us a government composed of members, allegedly Liberal in persuasion, who are doing nothing about the matter. The people of Australia are being held to ransom by these combines, from whose decision there is no appeal. They are not in the public eye. No one knows who makes their decisions and while honorable members opposite stand idly by, it is folly and hypocrisy for them to talk about the actions of any other government.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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