Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 14 March 1961


Mr WIGHT (Lilley) .- I do not know whether the members of the Parliamentary Labour Party expect the Government to take their censure motion very seriously. During the debate this afternoon, even when their own speakers were on their feet, the Labour Party has been able to muster only about eight of its members to sit in the chamber and listen to the debate. The leader cf their party has not been in attendance in the Parliament at all this afternoon while the debate has been going on. notwithstanding that he moved the motion to censure the Government because of its financial policy. I cannot understand, therefore, how the Government can be expected to take this censure motion very seriously.

I make that statement for another reason also. About two weeks ago the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) appeared on a " Meet the Press " television programme in Queensland. When cornered by the panel of interviewers and asked what he would do if he were in power and his government were faced with the economic problems that the present Government has had to face, the Leader of the Opposition said to the people of Queensland, " We would do much the same things, but we would go further." Those were his words. Yet, within two weeks of making that statement publicly, he comes into this House and moves a motion of censure on the Government.

What does a censure motion actually imply? When the Opposition moves a motion of censure on the Government it implies that in its opinion the Government should be voted out of office and the Opposition should become the Government. That is the essence of a motion of censure. If we take this motion seriously we must consider the possible position if the Australian Labour Party were to form a government at this time. In considering whether or not the members of the Labour Party are fit to form a government, we must consider a number of matters with regard to that party and its constitution. We must consider what the party represents, and we must decide who are the people whom the party represents in this Parliament. If we were to ask the members of the Labour Party in this Parliament whom they represent they would tell us that they represent the members of the trade union movement. This claim, however, is not borne out by the facts. If we were to ask them who were the people who voted for the Labour Party they would tell us that they were supporters of the Labour Party. This contention also is not borne out by the facts. Actually the Labour Party gets a minority of the votes of the people of Australia, and they are the votes of people who are not prepared to vote for the Liberal-Country Party coalition. There is a difference between a vote for the Australian Labour Party and a vote against the Government. The great majority of the votes polled for Labour Party candidates are not really polled for those candidates; they are polled against the particular Liberal or Country Party candidates involved.

When the members of the Australian Labour Party in this Parliament tell us that they represent the trade union movement, I can answer them by saying that events in Queensland in recent times prove conclusively that the Australian Labour Party no longer represents the trade union movement. In fact, only this week in Queensland the trade union movement has, in effect, passed a vote of no confidence in the Australian Labour Party in that State. The representatives of 31 unions in Queensland supported the vote of no confidence in the A.L.P. representatives in the State Parliament of Queensland. More than half the workforce in Queensland has supported them in this action. Taking into consideration the voting strength of the working force, it is obvious that a great many trade unionists vote for the Liberal Party, that many of them vote for the Country Party, and that many vote for the Democratic Labour Party or the Queensland Labour Party. Some vote for the A.L.P., not because they think the A.L.P. is any longer fit to represent them in the Parliament, but simply because they have no acceptable alternative.

Let me direct the attention of the House to headlines that appeared in the Brisbane " Courier-Mail " yesterday, which said -

More than half working force involved. State-Wide Strike Called in Protest Over Bill.

This is a bill which was introduced into the State Parliament by the Country-Liberal Party Government, and the Trades and Labour Council in Queensland, not with the goodwill and not at the wish of the central executive of the Labour Party, and not at the wish of the members of the Australian Labour Party in the State Parliament, and even contrary to their wishes, has called on this strike. The Trades and Labour Council, through the representatives of the 31 unions concerned, voted for a half-day's strike in protest against the bill, because those unions considered that the Australian Labour Party was not competent to fight the bill in the State Parliament.

But there is a degree of anarchy involved in this matter, because 'the Minister who introduced the bill told the representatives of the trade unions, when they met him in a deputation, that he would consider many of the matters that had been put forward by them, and that he would place them before Cabinet - and that is being done today. The Trades and Labour Council, however, is a Communist-dominated organization, as I will prove, because I have here the official records of that body for 1959 and 1960. These documents are not facsimiles. They are the true, official records of the organization in Queensland. This Communist-dominated organization has been responsible for calling the strike. As I said in this House the other night, the Labour Party no longer has the confidence of the trade union movement, because it has not been prepared to fight in the trade unions against Communist infiltration. To-day, the Communists are actually dictating Labour Party policy, as again I would prove this afternoon, if I had the time, by quoting people who are representatives of the Labour Party executive, and who are doing what they are told by the Communist Party.


Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Did you steal those books?


Mr WIGHT - I did not steal them.


Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Where did you get them?


Mr WIGHT - That is the 64-dolIar question, which I certainly will not answer in this House. Let me get back to the matter of this strike. More than half the workers in Queensland will go on strike to-morrow because the Communist-dominated Trades and Labour Council has called the tune. At this time, when the Labour Party in the Commonwealth Parliament is telling us that there is a financial crisis in the country, and that people are unemployed and on the breadline, the workers in Queensland are going to lose £300,000 as a result of an irresponsible strike called on by the Trades and Labour Council, a Communist organization.

Not all unions, even though they are affiliated with the Trades and Labour Council, are prepared to allow their members *o be called out on strike. According to headlines appearing in to-day's Brisbane " Courier Mail ", the Federated Ironworkers Association will not take part in the Queensland strike. The representatives of that union have made a statement that it is a political strike. They have said it is not an industrial strike but a political strike called by a Communist-controlled Trades and Labour Council. Would anybody in this House suggest that the Federated Ironworkers Association was not a militant union? As we all know, it is one of the most militant of unions, but at least it has had the courage, in this instance, to come out and stand against the Communists, and that is something which other members of the Australian Labour Party, particularly those who sit in this Parliament, have not had the courage to do.

It is for these reasons that I say emphatically that sitting on the other side of this House are the representatives of an almost defunct political party. It is a political party that has been waning steadily over all the years since the end of World War II. It is a political party that will continue to wane and to lose seats in this Parliament. It will lose them not necessarily because the Liberal-Country Party coalition is gaining in favour. The swing of the political pendulum suggests that the Government should have been changed years ago. In politics the pendulum always does swing. But why has the Labour Party, even in the last election, continued to lose seats? The reason is that the Labour Party no longer speaks, in any Parliament in Australia, for the trade union movement. It is now dominated and controlled by the Communists, the emissaries of Moscow, who have taken control of the trade union movement. They have combined unions in groups so that they can exercise even greater control than they have had in the past.

Let me inform the House about the Trades and Labour Council in Queensland, and let me name the people who are principally responsible for dictating Trades and Labour Council policy in that State. When I name a man as a Communist let it be understood that T do not base my statement on hearsay. Any man on the list which I shall read whom I call a Communist is a man who has a current membership ticket in the Communist Party of Australia and has attended a meeting of the Communist Party within the last twelve months. Among those whom I shall not call Communists are some who have held tickets in the Communist Party but have not attended meetings within the last twelve months and have now given it away. The president of the Queensland Trades and Labour Council is John Egerton, a man who sits on the Queensland Central Executive of the Australian Labour Party and who has been described by Labour members of the Legislative Assembly in the Queensland State Parliament as a rat. But this man sits on the Queensland central executive and helps to make the policy that is dictated to members of the Australian Labour Party. This man is not a member of the Communist Party of Australia because if he were he no longer would be any use to the Communist Party in Queensland and would be dropped. He is president of the Trades and Labour Council because he is the useful tool of the Communist Party in that State. It pleases the Communist Party to keep him there even though I heard a Labour man describe Egteron as a person to whom he would not give a job even as an office boy. In this man's opinion John Egerton is a "nong". I quote his exact words.

There is Mr. F. O'Brien, of the Sheet Metal Workers Union, who during 1958-59 did not attend one meeting of the Trades and Labour Council, but at the end of the year when the election of officers for 1960 was held was re-appointed as treasurer. I remind you, Sir, that no election of any description took place; this man was reappointed as treasurer of the Trades and Labour Council. There is Mr. Arnell, of the Waterside Workers Federation, who won his position on the executive of the federation on the unity ticket that has been displayed in this Parliament - the same unity ticket of waterside workers as was used in 1958, 1959 and 1960. Now, because of the agitation of the Communist stooges in the trade unions who lobbied for this man, he has won Labour Party endorsement as No. 3 on the Labour Party's Senate ticket for the State of Queensland.

Then we have Mr. A. H. Dawson of the Electrical Trades Union - Archie Dawson, a member of the Australian Labour Party and not a Communist. Recently he visited Communist China and returned starry-eyed carrying a red flag and talking of the wonderful job that is being done by the Communist regime in China. Then there is Mr. F. J. Waters, of the Amalgamated Postal Workers Union of Australia, a man with extremely left-wing tendencies. He is a member of the executive of the Trades and Labour Council and his only friends seem to be members of the Communist Party. Then came Mr, B. Milliner, of the Printing Industry Employees Union of Australia, Francis George Nolan, of the Australian Railways Union; Thomas McLellan Millar, of the Queensland Colliery Employees Union, who is a member of the Communist Party; Alexander MacDonald, secretary of the Trades and Labour Council and a member of the Communist Party - the man who was thrown out of office in the Federated Ironworkers Association by the " groupers " and who is now in his present position because the Communists took sympathy on him and persuaded Communist Gerry Dawson to retire to make way for him.

Then there is Alfred John Carruthers of the Queensland Plasterers Union, another member of the Communist Party; Thomas William Chard, of the Queensland carpenters union; John Francis Daly, of the Hospital Employees Federation of Australia, a member of the Communist Party who is employed at the Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital; William John Fahy, of the Federated Moulders (Metals) Union of Australia who is a member of the Communist Party; Edward John Hanson - he used to be called Edward John Hanson, junior - of the Operative Painters and Decorators Union of Australia who is a member of the Communist Party; Cyril Bailey Boland, a member of the same union and also of the Communist Party; Gerald McAdam Dawson, of the carpenters union and a leading member of the Communist Party who tries to make out that he represents the Building Workers Industrial Union. The records of the Trades and Labour Council are to this effect but in fact he represents the carpenters and joiners union.

Then there is Eric William Burke, of the Amalgamated Postal Workers Union; Archibald Thomas Nicol, of the carpenters union, who is a member of the Communist Party; John Riordan Vaggers, of the Operative Painters and Decorators Union of Australia, another member of the Communist Party; Herbert William Field, of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union, a member of the Communist Party; Charles McKenzie Murphy, of the Queensland Colliery Em ployees Union, another member of the Communist Party; Wallace Lyle Dawson, also of the Queensland Colliery Employees Union and also a member of the Communist Party, and Henry Gurnett, of the Amalgamated Postal Workers Union of Australia. Among the people whom I have named are the principal members and the executive of the Trades and Labour Council, the organization which has delegates sitting on the Queensland central executive of the Australian Labour Party.

The Trades and Labour Council has a series of seven committees, four of which are under the chairmanship of members of the Communist Party of Australia. Not less than thirteen members of those seven committees are on the Queensland central executive of the Australian Labour Party. Now, can any honorable member on the other side of the House tell me that the Communists have not moved to the point where they have control of the Australian Labour Party? Can any honorable member on the other side of the House tell me that the Australian Labour Party any longer speaks for the trade union movement? It does not! Can any honorable member on the other side of the House deny the truth of my statements? Can any real member of the Australian Labour Party, as so many Opposition members are, continue acting for the Communists? How long will it be before the Australian Labour Party is only something that we shall read about in the history books? How long will it be before its members repudiate their inactivity and lack of courage and refuse to accept the policies that are being dictated by men like Chamberlain and Stout which eventually will destroy them? How long will it be before they rise up and throw off this old' man of the sea, who will destroy them?

Look at the organization of the Australian Labour Party! Look at the way in which it is made up! Look at the way in which these Communists in the trade unions are able to control its policy making! I have here a chart which shows the organization of the Australian Labour Party and the strength of the Communists in its various sections. Let us take the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Who are the delegates from the Queensland Trades and Labour Council to the interstate executive of the A.C.T.U.? Two Communists

Dawson and MacDonald! The A.C.T.U. biennial conference organization is representative of 97 affiliated unions and consists of 420 delegates of whom 350 are pro-Communist and only 70 are antiCommunist. The A.C.T.U. interstate executive consists of sixteen members. The executive of that body numbers four. The trades and labour councils and the groups each have six representatives. Of these three are Communists and thirteen are nonCommunists.

The Queensland Trades and Labour Council has 30 affiliated unions with 90 delegates. The executive of this body numbers fourteen of whom six are Communists and eight are non-Communists. There are seven committees with 40 delegates, of whom fourteen are Communists and 26 are non-Communists, and thirteen of these delegates serve on the Queensland central executive of the Labour Party.

There are 275 registered federal unions and 80 registered State unions with a direct policy link with the Australian Labour Party State triennial conference. Thirtyeight per cent, of union delegates and 62 per cent, of branch delegates form the triennial conference policy committee, the people who dictate the policy of the Australian Labour Party. Can you tell me that with Communists dominating the committees the few A.L.P. men on the committees of those organizations and executives are able to resist the policy drummed into them by the Communist Party? Of course not. The Communist Party has even succeeded in persuading these people to break the law. I have here a photostat copy of a document, headed " District Committee Room 34, Trades Hall, Brisbane, 3rd November, 1960 ", in which members of trade unions were incited to break the law, over the signature of H. Gilmour, district secretary of the organization.

This censure motion - a motion of no confidence in the Government - by the AX.P., with the implication that its members are fit to be the government of this country, is a farce. Honorable members who sit on the other side of the House know in their hearts that they are not fit to sit on the government benches. They know that they have a big job to do to clean up the mess their own organization has got into, and I think they will continue to lose seats in this Parliament until they clean rt up. Members of the Australian Labour Party in this Parliament should set a lead to the rank and file of the unions and the people in their branches, to get rid of this red control which has taken charge of the whole organization of the A.L.P. so effectively that even people like Chamberlain and Stout act as tools of these Communist organizations, and fulfil their policy. Let me say again to honorable members opposite, " You will continue to lose seats until the A.L.P. realizes the danger it is in ".

This country is in considerable danger because we must recognize that under our Constitution there is only one alternative government for this country and that is a government consisting of members of the A.L.P. What would it offer the people? Clearly, it would act as stooges in this Parliament for the reds who exert control through the Trades and Labour Council and the trade union organizations and by the strategic placing of members of the Communist Party as shop stewards. These people will carry out the policy of the Communist Party. If honorable members opposite doubt my word they must argue against me in this chamber and defend themselves against charges such as this. But each and every one of them knows in his heart that it is absolutely true that the reason why the Labour Party has continued to lose seats in this Parliament is the fact that it has followed the red line. That is why the A.L.P. has split once and will split again-







Suggest corrections