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Thursday, 26 November 1959


Mr ANDERSON (Hume) .- I have been most disappointed at the speeches that have come from the Opposition on this measure. Never have I heard such a dreary lot of twaddle. The Deputy-Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell), a man whom I like very much, started the ball rolling. I think that he must be suffering from the threatening burdens of leadership and that they have caused him to adopt this negative attitude. The honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Duthie) named the famous airports all over the world which he had visited and where he had been most impressed by the facilities that were provided for the convenience of travellers. This measure deals with the international airports of Australia. Surely we should have facilities at our international airports similar to, if not better than those which are provided overseas. Opposition members have stated the socialist doctrine that nobody has any rights; but we are human beings, not cyphers. The honorable member said that in all his travels he saw no pig-trough drinking. Where would he see it but in Australia? He has said as much himself, because he has not seen it overseas.

Nobody dislikes drinking to excess more than I do. I agree that inebriated persons travelling on any form of transport are dreadful people. Unfortunately, I have a fatal fascination for people who are drunk. But the fact that people drink to excess is the fault of the liquor laws. New South Wales has extended its drinking hours until 10 p.m. and drunkenness in that State is decreasing. In Victoria liquor may not be sold after 6 p.m., but I have not seen honorable members from Victoria call their colleagues from the members' bar at 6 o'clock. They remain in the bar because they like the facilities which are provided there. Victoria, by its fatuous liquor laws, is creating a measure of drunkenness in that State.

Opposition members have decried the proposal that banks, barbers' shops, beauty parlours and so on shall be provided at airports. From the look of some honorable members opposite, it would be to their advantage to avail themselves of some of those facilities. Why should women not have the opportunity to attend a beauty parlour during the course of their trip? Why should people be kept in the same groove? The Australian Labour Party wants to do this because it is comprised of socialists. Why cannot honorable members opposite live graciously? Do they suggest that the wife of the humble artisan does not like to be presented with a bouquet of flowers when she is travelling? Do they think that she is any different from a society beauty or a film star? Why should she not have a bouquet presented to her? The Labour Party claims to look after the workers, but it will not allow the workers' wives to have their hair set or receive any similar beauty treatment while they are travelling. What a dreary outlook!

To a large extent the Labour Party encourages drunkenness by giving liquor the ugly name of " grog ". Drink in moderation is a very good way in which to enjoy people's society, or to farewell or welcome a friend. Once you start to call alcohol grog, you start to debase it.

The honorable member for Wilmot, whom I like very much although he may not think so, said that if these properties are leased to business people the big men such as Myers will obtain the leases and the small men will be squeezed out. But Myers is not one man; it is thousands of shareholders. To the Labour Party, anything which is big, except a trade union, is dreadful. Big businesses are made up of thousands of shareholders - people who have been thrifty and have saved their money by denying themselves various little luxuries so that they can invest in large undertakings. The Labour Party would deprive those people the facilities which the Government proposes to provide at international airports. If the honorable member had not travelled abroad I could have understood his remarks, but as he has travelled and he has seen the facilities that are provided overseas for the public. Why should the people not be given service? Are we to be treated as the Papuan head hunters are treated? If a man wants a drink, why can he not have it? If a girl wants to avail herself of the beauty parlour facilities, why should she not be able to do so? The Labour Party has a most dreary outlook. The honorable member for Melbourne has asked why these facilities should be provided at an airport. He has only to go to Wynyard railway station in Sydney and he will see bars, barber shops and various kinds of facilities.

As I have said, the Australian Labour Party claims to represent the workers. About 4,000 people are employed at Melbourne airport. Some of them necessarily work night shift. That means that they sleep when the shops are open. Are they not entitled to the same amenities as are provided for other people? Why can they not have a haircut, visit the beauty parlour or buy gifts or a bouquet in the area in which they work? We should adopt a very broad outlook on this matter and try to give tourists better facilities than they receive anywhere else in the world. The honorable member for Wilmot has said that the Government proposes to make a profit out of alcohol. That is not the point. We must consider the whole question of amenities that should be provided at international airports. What is so terrible about profits? Does the Opposition want us to lose money at our airports? Should we not rather give a good account of our stewardship by trying to bridge the gap that now exists between income and expenditure at our airports? The attitude of the Opposition certainly will keep it out of government during the lifetime of its supporters in this place. In any case, most of them are growing old and that is the reason why they cannot see things in a proper light.

I support this bill in its entirety. It is high time that we tried, not merely to match overseas standards but to surpass them. Drink in aircraft can be controlled very easily. A drunken person should not be allowed on a plane or a train. The Opposition has quoted the case of a drunken man who attacked several people in a theatre in Sydney. Does the Opposition suggest that a person who has had a drink should not be permitted to enter a theatre? The only fault that I can find with this measure is that it should have been introduced long ago. I did not see the earlier bill but, had I done so, I should have voted for it because I can see no reason why people in transit should not have all the facilities that are available to people who are not travelling by air when the shops normally are open for business.







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