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Wednesday, 12 April 1961


Mr BUCHANAN (McMillan) .- It is very interesting to see how mixed up the honorable member for Newcastle (Mr. Jones) can get when he says that he is in favour of unity tickets, yet really in his own heart-


Mr Calwell - He said that he is against them.


Mr Jones - I wish to raise a point of order.


Mr SPEAKER - If the honorable member claims to have been misrepresented, he can deal with the matter at the conclusion of the speech of the honorable member for McMillan.


Mr BUCHANAN - I am sorry. The honorable member for Newcastle did say that he was against unity tickets, but really in his own heart he knows that he can stay here only by means of them. He is really mixed up. He ought to know that Mr. Egerton, of whom he spoke, will not have the Australian Workers Union back in the Australian Labour Party. The union is insisting that the unity ticket racket be dropped altogether.

The honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) gave the House a delightful exposition of just what a mixed up feeling there is in his party when he was backing up the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the very country that is giving the directions to the Communists on the way to take control of the A.L.P. Honorable members opposite tell us that although the Communists have got into power in the trade unions, members of trade unions belong to many political parties, including the Australian Labour Party, the Democratic Labour Party and even the Liberal Party, and that they can keep things under control. It is claimed that the rank and file unionist can prevent the militants and the often quite effective Communist secretaries, delegates and shop stewards from achieving their objective of disrupting the democratic system which honorable members opposite say they support. But members of the Opposition are only fooling themselves. They are lending themselves to the openly declared programme of the Communist Party to control the A.L.P. This is a long-term project and it is going very well - for the Communists.

In 1936 Stalin, in one of his bursts of frankness, said in his instruction to his tools -

The main task of the Communist Parties at the present time is to develop the campaign for unity in the trade union movement; to see to it that all Communists, without exception, join trade unions, there to work" systematically and patiently to strengthen the solidarity of the working class in its fight against capital and thus attain the condition that will enable the Communist Party to rely upon the trade unions.

Sharkey, the Australian President of the Communist Party, said in the pamphlet, " The Trade Union "-

The trade unions are vital centres for the building of the united front of the working class.

In the trade unions the foundation of unity has been laid which will in the end1 compel the A.L.P. to agree to Communist Party-A.L.P. collaboration. The main reason why the Communists want control of the unions is that control of the unions gives them control of the A.L.P. So the Labour Party would become in reality the mouthpiece of the Communist Party.

The A.L.P., as everybody knows, is controlled by its federal conference, which is now meeting here in Canberra. It is made up of 36 men - six from each State - elected by the State conference.


Mr Ward - We all know that.


Mr BUCHANAN - I know you do, but it is necessary to bring this out and explain the position. The State conferences are the bodies that absolutely control the A.L.P. Roughly three-quarters of the delegates to them are elected by the trade unions. By getting control of the trade unions, the Communists who have worked themselves into main union positions gain control of the State executives, the federal executive and the federal conference. So although the A.L.P. retains its name, in reality it becomes a camouflaged Communist Party.

In Victoria we have another example of the defiance by the Victorian executive of the 1959 decree of the federal executive. I think these things are worth noting. According to that direction, members of the A.L.P. were on no occasions to allow their names to be associated with the names of members of any other political party on any how-to-vote ticket. The direction continued -

Any member breaking this policy must be summoned before the respective State executive and, failing a satisfactory explanation, dealt with in accordance with the rules.

At that time a unity ticket for the Australian Railways Union elections was in circulation, but the A.L.P. men whose names were on it defended themselves by saying at the last minute. " We did not know our names were on it ". As the honorable member for Phillip has pointed out, the same unity ticket is being used again in this year's elections in the Australian Railways Union, but the Opposition cannot say on this occasion that it knows nothing about the matter because every one has given it the publicity that it deserves. The candidates are three A.L.P. members and two Communists who have already been named. I might add that one of the A.L.P. members is on the federal executive and ought to know better. In addition, three of the five organizers are also Communists.

The worst feature of this sorry business is the abject failure of the Leader of the Opposition to carry out the official policy of his own party. He is reported to have said that unity tickets are of no consequence and that the Australian Labour Party is not disturbed about them. This is in sharp contrast to Dr. Evatt who said that they are a running sore and are opposed to Labour's policies. He added that the Labour Party must get rid of them. In 1949, the present Leader of the Opposition took an entirely different view when he said, speaking of Communists -

Concentration camps are the only place for these people. If it is left for me to put them into concentration camps, they will go. This human scum seems to think they can dictate the policy of the Government.

Remember, please, that Labour was the government of the day. But his attitude is very different to-day. What has made him completely disregard all approaches that have been made to him for intervention in this matter of unity tickets? Last year in the Trades and Labour Council elections in Yallourn he refused to intervene when he was informed of another example of how the A.L.P. and the Trades Hall Council were handling this issue. They perpetrated the two-card trick with one ticket showing pencilled numbers and the other printed numbers. But we who come from that area know how much collaboration there was at that time and the disastrous effects that have been felt since. The Leader of the Opposition has been told this year about the unity ticket in the Australian Railways Union elections, and he has done nothing about it. He knows about the unity ticket that elected G. Sellaf once more to office in the Victorian division of the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union. He knows about the unity ticket that put Clarrie O'Shea back again in office in the Australian Tramways and Motor Omnibus Employees Union. But he does nothing about them because now he has finally alined himself with the A.L.P. Communist collaborators.

The Communist tactics of getting control of the Melbourne Trades Hall Council and the Victorian State executive have been so successful that the Leader of the Opposition is afraid to take any action which would call for very swift retribution if he did not follow the directions that have been given to him. King Victor Stout and Joe Strongarm Chamberlain call the tune and he must dance as he is told to dance.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member's time has expired.







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