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Wednesday, 12 April 1961

Mr SPEAKER - Order! There is no obligation on the honorable member for Lilley to table the document.

Mr CALWELL - I am entitled to claim that he be required to table the document.

Mr Wight - I am prepared to table the minutes of the Trades and Labour Council.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The obligation referred to by the Leader of the Opposition applies only to a Minister.

Mr CALWELL - I am not surprised that this mud-slinging buffoon from Lilley should refuse to table a document. He stands in his place here and reflects on honorable members and others-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The word " buffoon " is quite unparliamentary. I ask the Leader of the Opposition to withdraw it.

Mr CALWELL - Well, Sir, he has engaged in-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I ask the Leader of the Opposition to withdraw the word " buffoon ".

Mr CALWELL - I withdraw the word " buffoon ". I say that he has engaged in his usual buffoonery. He acts as a clown in this Parliament and under the cover of unwarranted interference in the affairs of the Labour Party he sets out to besmirch the reputations of twelve members of the Queensland central executive of the party. I challenge him to repeat his speech outside the Parliament, if he has the guts to do it. But he has not the guts. He is as contemptible as he looks, as miserable as he can be, and he is held in as much contempt by his colleagues in this Parliament as he is by the members of the Opposition. He entered this Parliament twelve years ago to sit on the back benches. The Prime Minister thinks so much of him that he has left him in the position that he occupied when he first entered the Parliament.

I have risen to protect the reputations of my colleagues in Queensland, who all are decent Australians. Every one of them is prepared to meet the honorable gentleman in a law court if he will repeat his charges outside the House. We are capable of running our own affairs and of doing so very satisfactorily. I suggest to the honorable gentleman that he should look after his own electorate and his own interests. I am certain that if ever he loses his seat - he is due to lose it at the next election, and I certainly hope he does - he will have no difficulty in getting a job in any circus in Australia as its principal clown. This simulacrum of a politician, this man who feeds on the carrion that is supplied to him by the National Civic Council, the Queensland Labour Party and by anybody else who will go along and serve up something for him to digest, comes into the Parliament to try to besmirch and attack the reputations of Labour men. He made a speech in the House a few weeks ago as a result of which he was challenged to debate in his own electorate the influence of communism in the Labour Party. He accepted the challenge. The debate was held and he was pulverized in his own electorate by the honorable member for Blaxland (Mr. E. James Harrison). There were 700 people there and the galahs who are screaming on the Government benches to-night were, most of them, 1,000 miles away from the scene and know nothing of what happened.

Mr Aston - Where were you?

Mr CALWELL - I was at the other end of the telephone and I had all the news immediately the event was over. The honorable gentleman has not challenged anybody to repeat the performance in his electorate; he is sorry it ever happened. I shall be in Queensland. I will come at any time. I am never afraid to come to Queensland to expose the ratbags and the humbugs who associate themselves with honorable members opposite in attacking the reputations of members of the Australian Labour Party. If honorable members opposite think that they have evidence to prove that members of the Labour Party have associated themselves with others on unity tickets, let them produce the evidence. They are the accusers and nobody else. The documents thrown at me now by the honorable member for Lilley are certainly no evidence.

Mr SPEAKER - -Order! I must ask the House to come to order. The honorable member for Lilley had a good hearing and the Leader of the Opposition now has the call.

Mr CALWELL - I have tossed aside the filthy propaganda just thrown at me in the larrikin performance of the honorable member for Lilley. That is all he is capable of doing. Honorable members opposite merely make charges. People somewhere else print the propaganda, make the allegations and then they say to us, " You disprove the charges ". I say to them: " Make your charges outside the Parliament and stand up to them. But none of you has the guts to do it ".

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