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Thursday, 4 April 1957


Mr WENTWORTH (Mackellar) . - I wish to bring to the notice of the House a somewhat serious matter. As honorable members know, after the recent Russian attack on Hungary Australia gave refuge to a number of Hungarian immigrants. They fled from Hungary at the risk of their lives, leaving behind them their possessions. Included among them were some tradesmen who came out without the documentary records of their qualifications. This matter was referred during last December to the Central Trades Committee, Engineering Section, and that body passed a very proper resolution to the effect that if these Hungarians, being victims of Communist aggression, claimed to be tradesmen and produced prima facie evidence thai they were tradesmen, they should be tradetested in the normal way, and, if they passed that test and subsequently swore statutory declarations that they were tradesmen, they should be accepted and registered as such.

This, of course, was not an unprecedented circumstance, because in the case of immigrants from countries other than Hungary, where the normal certificates are not given, such tests have been applied for a long time. Some time later, the Australian

Engineering Union endeavoured to have these people refused registration. The matter is set out in a circular of 19th February, 1957.

It may be said that this matter is unimportant. That is not so. What happened was that at the beginning of the year the Australian Engineering Union fell once more under Communist control, and these are the first fruits of that control. Does not this House find it somewhat obscene that the long arm of the Kremlin can stretch out here into Australia and persecute the people who have fled from Russian murder in Budapest? I hope the House is seised of the enormity of this affair. It is unfortunate that the Australian Engineering Union has once more fallen under Communist control, but what is even worse is that this fall has been engineered and helped by the members of the party which the right honorable member for Barton (Dr. Evatt) leads, the so-called Evatt Labour party. There is complete and conclusive evidence of this. The Australian Engineering Union is governed by a council of five, of which only three have voting rights. The president has only a casting vote, the secretary not a vote at all.


Mr Ward - What is his name?


Mr WENTWORTH - The president is a Mr. Horsburgh. The secretary is a Mr. Deverall, but I understand that he is later to be succeeded by a Mr. Garland, a Communist sympathiser, who has the active support of the Australian Labour party. The voting members of the council at present are a Mr. Stone, a left-wing member of the Labour party, a Mr. Hennessy, whom I have seen described in the press as a Communist - the " Sydney Morning Herald" so described him on the 19th October last - and a Mr. Wilson, another Communist who got in on a unity ticket. He ran linked with a Mr. O'Brien, and with the support of the Evatt Labour party. This is, unfortunately, the undisputable fact. What is happening is that the Evatt Labour party has two weapons by which it endeavours to get the Communists back into control of the trade unions. The first weapon is the dirty ballot. It tries, when it can, to prevent clean ballots and to support the practices of ballot rigging.


Mr Duthie - I rise to order, Mr. Speaker. As a member of the Australian

Labour party, I regard it as absolutely offensive that the honorable member for Mackellar should say that we are supporting dirty ballots. 1 desire the withdrawal of that word.







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