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Wednesday, 15 May 1957


Mr PEARCE (Capricornia) .- Mr. Speaker,it is odd that the honorable member for Herbert (Mr. Edmonds) should select the year 1942 when branding me as a conscientious objector.


Mr Edmonds - Then what year was it?


Mr PEARCE - I happen to have in my possession a certificate from the Department of the Army which is dated 1942, and which classed me as being medically unfit.


Mr Edmonds - What a pity.


Mr Ward - Mentally or medically?


Mr PEARCE - Neither at that time nor at any other time would the Army take a man who had had his back broken twice. That happened to be the year in which I was put in a body cast with a broken spine. Immediately I came out of the cast, I entered the only service that would take me in my then medical condition - the Australian Red Cross Society.


Mr Edmonds - It might have been coincidental, but that was the year the honorable member mentioned when he accused Bukowski of being a Communist.


Mr Ward - That does not give the honorable member the privilege to accuse another man.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Capricornia will resume his seat for a moment. We shall have order; otherwise some honorable members will find themselves in another place.


Mr Curtin Mr. Curtininterjecting,


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Kingsford-Smith will cease interjecting.


Mr PEARCE - Having dealt with that point, I hope to the satisfaction of the honorable member for Herbert-


Mr Edmonds - Now withdraw the accusation.


Mr PEARCE - I am quite willing to show the certificate to the honorable member as soon as I can get it from wherever it is located at the moment, if he still doubts my word on that particular point; but I do not think he does. The point that I was making when I spoke last Wednesday night was that Gair knew when he laid down beside the tiger Bukowski, if I may use that word, that Bukowski was a Communist.


Mr Ward - That is not true.


Mr Edmonds - That is not true.


Mr PEARCE - Let the honorable member refer to " Hansard ". I quote the following passage from a copy of the same paper that the honorable member for Herbert has in his hand or at least near him; because I saw him flourish it a few minutes ago - to declare that the Q.C.E. President (Mr. R. J. J. Bukowski) is not a Communist, as Premier Gair and his whoopers are yelping . . .

Now Mr. Gair comes along and says that Mr. Bukowski is a Communist. When did he wake up to that?


Mr Edmonds - That does not make him a Communist.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Herbert will cease interjecting.


Mr PEARCE - I know, but the point I am making is, precisely, that this Mr. Bukowski who helped Gair into office in 1955 has now turned on Gair and pulled him down. I have warned honorable members opposite that, if they take lip service from the Communists or Communistcontrolled unions, if they take money from them, sooner or later they will be torn down and utterly destroyed.


Mr Edmonds - Are you suggesting that the Australian Workers Union is Communist?


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Herbert will cease interjecting.


Mr PEARCE - I repeat the warning that was given. The present position in Queensland, where there is virtually no government, has been brought about by the destructive attempts of the Queensland Central Executive of the Labour party, led by Mr. Bukowski.


Mr Edmonds - Rot!


Mr PEARCE - The honorable member for Herbert said that Mr. Gair had been destroyed or had to be put out of office because he failed in his duty as a Labour leader. How does the honorable member for Herbert reconcile that with his attitude when, according to the reports that are available, at a meeting of the Queensland Central Executive, he voted against the expulsion of Gair from the Labour party. How does he reconcile his attitude now with his attitude then?


Mr Edmonds - That is only a subterfuge.


Mr Ward Mr. Wardinterjecting,


Mr SPEAKER - Order! I warn the honorable member for Herbert and the honorable member for East Sydney that, if they interject again, it will be necessary to take action.


Mr PEARCE - There has been no denial of the fact that the honorable member for Herbert was one of 30 persons who voted against the expulsion of Gair. He kept his voice quiet until Bukowski cracked the whip and sent him a copy of this paper.


Mr Edmonds - You are a liar!


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Herbert will withdraw that remark and apologize to the Chair.


Mr Edmonds - I withdraw the remark, but I wish he would stick to the truth. It is not true.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member will withdraw, resume his seat and cease interjecting.


Mr PEARCE - So we now hear from the honorable member for Herbert.


Mr Edmonds - Let the honorable member tell me that outside.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! I name the honorable member for Herbert.

Motion (by Mr. Harold Holt) put -

That the honorable member for Herbert be suspended from the service of the House.







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