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Tuesday, 22 November 1960

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - Sir, the speech we have just heard is easily the most important contribution to this debate that we have had from the other side so far.

Mr Cairns - How many other important contributions were there?

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - There were not any others. What the honorable member for Stirling (Mr. Cash) says is something that ought to be causing all Australians great concern, because here we see the real pattern of this legislation being revealed. It was never intended by the more erudite members of the Government that this should be revealed until after the legislation became law, because it is quite clear that the Government intends to put in the word " sabotage " to cover treachery and every kind of activity that it is possible to imagine in the field of politics. The honorable member for Stirling has indicated that if he had his way he would make it am offence for a citizen of this country to way-lay - that is the term that he used - a member of Parliament in King's Hall. Government supporters show, by their interjections, that they disagree with that statement, but I emphasize that. He said that members of Parliament were being waylaid by Communists and others in King's Hall. He said that it is terrible that this sort of thing should be permitted in this country. Presumably, the whole gravamen of his speech was that this law was necessary in order to prevent people from talking to members of Parliament.

What I am concerned about is the definition which the honorable member gave to the word "communism ". He said that it was clear beyond doubt that a Communist is a person who belongs to a party which believes in overthrowing the Constitution of the Commonwealth by force and by violence. Therefore, it surely follows that, if the Communist Party believes in the overthrow of the Constitution by violence or by revolution, every member of that party will become guilty of an offence under this measure, merely by being a member of the Communist Party.

Mr Cash - He has a remedy.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - What is it?

Mr Cash - To pull out of the Communist Party.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - So unless people pull out of the Communist Party they are to commit an offence against this legislation! See the devious means by which the Government is proposing to bring about a state of affairs which the people, by referendum, declared was unacceptable to Australians when they rejected the Communist Party Dissolution Act, and a state of affairs which the High Court of Australia said should not be tolerated in this country. The Government is trying to achieve, by means of this legislation, what it failed to achieve at a referendum and what it failed to achieve in the High Court, when that court rejected the Communist Party Dissolution Act. You look surprised at this, Mr. Chairman-^ -

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