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Tuesday, 9 April 1957


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Lalor will keep quiet while I am on my feet. I ask the honorable member for Hindmarsh to withdraw his remark.


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I withdraw it.


Mr Pollard - I said-


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Lalor will keep quiet.


Mr Pollard - I only said that you are very deaf to interjection by Government supporters.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Lalor will apologize to the Chair.


Mr Pollard - I did not think that you had heard what I said.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! I ask the honorable member to obey the Chair and keep quiet.


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The people who supported the Australian Communist party referendum would have done the very same kind of thing that has been done in the United States, where a person can be declared a Communist without anything being proved against him, without the right toface his accuser in the open courts, and with the consequent loss of his job.


Mr McMahon - I rise to order.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Hindmarsh is getting very far away from foreign affairs.


Mr McMahon - My point of order is that the remark made by the honorable member for Hindmarsh is offensive to me and to the House.

An Opposition Member. - It is the truth, anyhow.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! Every honorable member who disobeys the Chair will find himself marching out of the chamber quick and lively. I intend to keep order.


Mr McMahon - The allegation that the honorable member for Lyne would indulge in or support practices of the kind mentioned by the . honorable member for Hindmarsh is, first, insulting to me.


Mr Pollard - He withdrew it.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Hindmarsh withdrew that reflection.


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - It is not your fault, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that an attempt is being made to prevent me from saying what I want to say.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! I direct the honorable member's attention to the fact that most of the interruptions have come from his own colleagues.


Mr Edmonds - What about the interjections from the Australian Country party quarter of the House?


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! Most of the interruptions came from behind the honorable member for Hindmarsh.


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The position is simply this: I have said that the democratic socialist party, of which we are proud members, has no fear of meeting the Communist argument anywhere. For the information of honorable members who do not know, I shall point out what democratic socialism stands for. Whereas socialism stands for public ownership and public control, for the public good, of those monopolies which are exploiting the people, democratic socialism goes one step further. It says that the new owners of, or shareholders in- call them what you like - socialist, or publicly owned undertakings will have the right every three years to determine, at the ballot-box, whether they want more socialism, whether they want less, or whether they want to alter the form of the socialism that they have. That is democratic socialism. There is nothing wrong with it. Under the Commonwealth Constitution, every government, whether socialist or not, has to go. back to the people every three years to ask them whether they approve of the measures that it has introduced. The people have a. perfect and complete safeguard because, no matter what socialist measure may be brought in by a socialist government, they have the right, at the end of three years, to put that government back again, or put it out. No politician - and every one present can vouch for the authenticity of this statement - will do something for which he thinks the people will later reject him. He will keep within the limits of what he believes to be the democratic will of the people. Under democracy, if he does not, he goes out.

Democratic socialists believe that there are two distinct forms of private property. One is what we can describe as a person's home, a motor car, a radiogram, a piano, a. small business, a shop or something of that sort. In other words, it is that form of private property which gratifies human desires. The second is the form of private property which manufactures the first form. In other words, it manufactures the form of private property which gratifies human desires. If human desires are to be met, is it not important, is it not axiomatic, that the second form of private property - the one which produces the first form - ought to be under public ownership and control if it can be proved that the present ownership and control is exploiting the people who desire the first form of private property? That is all that the democratic socialists stand for.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! Is the honorable member linking this up with foreign policy?


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I hope that you will let me proceed. Mr. Acting Deputy Speaker, because every speaker on the Government side has mentioned democratic socialism. I ask you to he tolerant and allow me to answer my opposition. I do ask you to bear with me and allow me some latitude.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - I do not desire to stop you from answering charges that have been made against you.

Mr. CLYDECAMERON__ As a result of this idea of thought control that is being introduced in America, and of the steps that at times we have attempted to take to control the thoughts of people, we are destroying the only real difference, from the point of view of liberty, between the Russian system and democracy. Once we take away a person's right to think and to express his point of view, the difference between our system and the Soviet system is barely detectable, even with the assistance of an electronic device.

We cannot, and we must not, expect to be able to put people's minds into strait jackets in Asia either. People have the right to think for themselves. Unfortunately, communism is beating the West in the battle for the minds of men. because the only alternative to communism which the West has so far been able to offer has been the evil effects of monopoly capitalism, and the people of Asia, who have had three hundred years of that, want no more of it. If they are told that this is the only alternative to communism they will say, " We have had capitalism. Let us have a dose of communism, because it could not be any worse ".

I would like to quote now the remarks of the late Mr. Ben Chifley. On 7th March. 1951. he said in this Parliament something which epitomizes the point of view of every Labour man in Australia-

As much as we ha'e communism, ami unpalatable as ii mav be thai China and other nal ions have gone over to communism we must never forget that only by curing the evils in consequence of which communism spreads can we finally des roy communism itself.

That is true. It cannot be denied. The Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) says the same thing over and over again in frying to point out that if we are to deal properly with the present world situation we must deal with its cause. The cause of it is communism if you like: materialism if you like: hut if you think that it is communism von will not cure it until you get to the cause of communism. You cannot go on tinkering with effects. Unless the cause is dealt with there is no hope. If honorable members think that that is an exaggeration 1 invite them to look at the position in Italy, the cradle of Christianity, and truly the greatest Christian country in the world. Thirty-six per cent, of the entire population voted for Communist candidates at the last general election. The number of votes gained by the Communists has been progressively increasing at successive elections. It is reasonable to assume that at the next election it will be greater still.


Mr Calwell - We hope not.


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Yes, but the number will increase unless the rulers of Italy deal with the causes of communism. The causes of communism there are poverty, hunger and a refusal to give the people the right to earn a living off their own land. Five families own the whole of the land that can be seen on a railway journey of 110 miles.

In France it is the same. There was a substantial increase in the number of Communist voters at the last election. This has all been caused by the fact that France is not able to give to its people the right to work and the right to rear their families as human beings.

Indo-China would not have been lost if the French had had enough common sense to give it the right to govern itself. The democratic socialism government of Great Britain, under Clement Attlee, gave that right to the people of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon. But for that action, those four great Asian countries would now be firmly in the grip of the Communists, just as certainly as night follows day. They were saved by the action of the democratic socialist government of Great Britain.

Will any one say that the 600,000,000 coolies of China really accepted communism in preference to the corrupt Chiang Kai-shek government because they understood, or had ever read, " Das Kapital ", or understood anything about the finer points of dialectical materialism, or the theory of surplus values? Of course not. They accepted communism in a spirit of utter desperation. They were prepared to turn to any system which would give them some hope, some opportunity of escaping the tortures of the one under which they were Hying. It is true, and has been often said, that whoever controls China controls Asia, and whoever controls Asia controls the world, because two-thirds of the world's population live in Asia. In 70 years' time the population of Asia will have doubled. How much worse will the position be then? The lesson to be learnt from these things is that we cannot go on allowing the few rich to grow fabulously wealthy while the millions starve.

I regret that I have to pass by many points that I wanted to make to honorable members. We have to recognize continental China. Mr. Chifley said that if he had been elected to office in 1949 his government would have recognized continental China. I believe that the democratic socialists of this Parliament feel that, regardless of class, colour or creed, every human being, whether he be an Asian, an African or a European, has an equal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that if democratic socialism can be introduced into the world confidence and hope will take the place of doubt and despair, that a new feeling of fellowship will permeate the minds of men and that service to society will be the only measuring rod of success. Democratic socialism, therefore, is the only hope, the only force that can save the world from complete domination by the Communist party.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The honorable gentleman's time has expired.







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