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Thursday, 2 May 1957

Mr CAIRNS (YARRA, VICTORIA) - Will the Minister for Labour and National Service reconcile for the House his defence of the principle of protecting a man from penalty because of his political views with his wholehearted support, in 1951, of a measure called the Communist Party Dissolution Bill, which would have penalized a man for his political opinions?

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - I think that the honorable gentleman and myself might disagree on the definition of treason in this country. The Communist, party's activities, in the view of many people, are subversive in that they are directed to the undermining of the democratic institutions of this country, to the expropriation by force of the assets of private citizens, and generally, against the principles for which most people in Australia declare themselves and for which they stand. Our attitude towards Communism is on the record. We has'e not recognized the Australian Communist party as a political party in the normal sense. The very fact that its activities are largely underground and subversive would, I should think, have distinguished it, in the eyes even of honorable gentlemen opposite, from other political parties which conduct themselves in the normal way in this country.

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