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Tuesday, 22 November 1960

The CHAIRMAN - I am astounded.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - You look surprised at this, Sir, and you sound it. I am sure everybody would be astounded and grieved to know that, as the honorable member for Stirling now discloses, !any member of the Communist Party - I have not finished yet; this, is just coming to another point - will be guilty of sabotage unless he pulls out of the Communist Party and . . .

Mr Bandidt - The provision does not say that.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - -The honorable member for Stirling, has made it clear that- that is what the provision says and I think he would know as much about this ;as would, the honorable member for Wide Bay (Mr. Bandidt). He ma.4e it clear when "he read a prepared, speech - not just some speech given off the cuff. He read a carefully prepared speech, no doubt prepared for him by officers of the Crown Law Office «or the Attorney-General's Department. It was not just a slipshod speech or a slip of the tongue. He carefully and deliberately stated that to avoid prosecution a person would have, for a starts to resign from the Communist Party. This means that every Communist union secretary would have to resign from the Communist Party.

Mr Cash - Will you let them know?

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - They can read the honorable member's speech and in that way find out what is to happen to them.

Another part of the same provision says that not only can countries be proclaimed, but also that persons can be proclaimed. It would be a relatively simple matter to proclaim, as a group of people against whom the defence forces of this country were opposed, the Communist Party of Australia and its members. Then it is only a very short step away from the old method, proposed in the Communist Party Dissolution Act, to declare a person to be a Communist whether he is a member of that party or not.

I do not like the use of the word " sabotage ", because it goes even further than the honorable member for Stirling said it went. " Sabotage " could conceivably mean any attempt to bring about a general s.trike in order to force a change in the Constitution. The time could very well come when through decisions of the High Court constantly hamstringing the power of the Commonwealth Parliament, the people of this country could conceivably reach the stage when they might say: "We no longer have democracy in the true sense of the word. We have a nominal right to eject a parliament, but the. High Court has so hamstrung the powers of that parliament by its interpretation of the Constitution that the real governors of this country are not the Parliament but the High Court judge*, who are appointed for life ". If the people of Australia reached the stage where they felt that parliamentary democracy had become nothing but a hollow sham, it might very well be that the trade unions of Australia could see that there was no alternative for them but to organize a general stoppage and strike" until such time as the Constitution was altered in such a. way as to allow the elected' Parliament to govern in the interests of the people. They might ask what is the use of electing a parliament if the Constitution is to be interpreted by the High Court in such a way as to prevent the elected Parliament from governing in the interests of the people.

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