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Wednesday, 12 April 1961

Mr DALY (Grayndler) .I wish to say a few words on the matter under discussion. It is interesting to learn the sudden concern of the Liberal and Country Parties in the advancement of communism in this country because possibly no party in the history of Australia has ever done less to fulfil promises that were made in relation to it. In this Parliament to-night honorable members opposite have raised an issue on which Labour Party policy is quite clear, but they have raised it deliberately in an endeavour to throw a smokescreen around the activities of their Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) while he was abroad and the activities of their Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) at home. To-night they have sought to take from Labour the advantage of the terrific hiding that it gave the Government yesterday and to-day in the debate on international affairs and in relation to other issues that have been raised since the commencement of this sessional period.

Honorable members on the Government side want these issues put into the background. The Treasurer does not want his financial policies to be discussed, and I know the reason why. He shows intelligence in that attitude because he makes the honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page), who was the most tragic Treasurer in our time, look a wizard.

Let us see where the Government stands on international affairs. Government members have refused to debate the issue and to record a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister. This matter of unity tickets has been raised to-night for the exclusive purpose of diverting the attention of the people from the Government and its policies on economic and international affairs.

Mr Aston - Are you for or against unity tickets?

Mr DALY - For the benefit of the honorable member I state that Labour's policy is quite clear on this issue. It has announced that it is opposed to unity tickets, but time does not permit me at this stage to read the complete text of our policy in regard to them. However, let me remind Government members that the honorable member for Robertson (Mr. Dean) was elected to this Parliament on Communist Party preferences, and he is known in this place to-day as the red dean because his name is Dean. Senator McCallum was elected on the preferences of Jim Healy, the noted Communist, and he would not be in this Parliament to-day if the Liberal Party had not given its preferences to Jim Healy and others instead of to the returned soldier Labour candidates who were standing for election at that time. This is a matter of history and is recorded for all to see. But the Government likes to run away from this issue. It was elected on a pledge to stop the growth of communism in this country, but it asks the Labour Party what it would do in relation to communism. If the Government wants advice we shall give it, but it has never shown any alacrity to accept our advice because it does not want to stop communism. The Government wants communism to remain in Australia so that it can make use of it. This Government is the most incompetent that we have seen in our time. It has worn out its welcome.

The honorable member for Phillip will need to do a lot more than to rant about communism to retain his seat. He talked about a Labour Party retreat, but there will be a retreat from Phillip in the not far distant future. He will be leading the way out because, like the honorable member for Lilley (Mr. Wight) and others in this Parliament, his only contribution to the affairs of the nation has been to try his redbaiting tactics on the Opposition. Honorable members opposite would do well to remember their own shabby past and have sympathy for those Liberal members who are here only because of the sympathies of the Communist Party and the fact that the Communist preferred the Liberal Party to the Labour Party. In the election being held to-day in the municipal sphere in Queensland I understand that five Communist candidates are running in opposition to Labour candidates while their friends, the Liberals, are unopposed. In the general election in this country what party is opposed by the Communists? It is the

Labour Party. The Communists lean towards their friends in the Liberal Party. They want the Liberals in office because they are the people whom they sponsor and stand side by side with them.

Country Party members now are as silent as the grave. As the honorable member for Newcastle (Mr. Jones) said to-night, they are the people who take blood money, as it is called, from Communist countries. Their attitude is: We can run down the Communist Party; we can rant about it; we can call Communists dreadful people and we can say that communism is the most monstrous system of our time, but, for heaven's sake, let us not stop Country Party members from selling wool and wheat to red China. The cockies will not stand it; the graziers will vote against us. The honorable member for Hume (Mr. Anderson), the greatest red baiter and ranter in the Parliament, would lose his seat, because the Country Party would not be able to sell wheat to red China. The honorable member for McPherson (Mr. Barnes) said in this Parliament not more than a month or two ago that we are at war with Russia. I say that he is a party to selling commodities to a country with which he says we are at war. He is a party to selling to that country commodities to keep it going, perhaps. The honorable member for Newcastle (Mr. Jones) has mentioned steel.

From one end of the country to the other and from one end of the world to the other, this Government is condemned for what it is doing on the economic front and in the international sphere. On questions such as unity tickets and communism, Government supporters are hypocrites and humbugs, and they stand condemned as such throughout the country. All that they can do is talk. They will sell their principles for political and personal gain. It is a well-known fact that all honorable members who sit opposite who were elected in 1949 are here because of the financial resources put behind them by the private banking institutions, which set out to wreck the Labour Government of that time. They are serving those institutions well. The Government is betraying the interests of the ordinary person. It is ignoring completely the people in the community who look to governments to advance their welfare and protect their interests.

In the field of international affairs and in other matters, the Government has destroyed completely, as the honorable member for Chisholm (Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes) said to-day, the integrity and the prestige of this nation. It is no wonder that honorable members opposite raise a side issue to-night, thereby hoping to take the minds of the people from the failure of a government that lives on borrowed time. In the not far distant future it will reap the harvest of its sins. It will be cast into the limbo of forgotten things by the people of Australia, who now realize that the supporters of the Government are sham fighters on every issue and that they never fulfil any pledge on which they are elected.

I see the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) poised in his place, no doubt intending to rise at this late hour. It is nearly time that we heard from him. I hope that instead of dealing with unity tickets, he will tell us about his policy that changes like the weather, about how his policy fluctuates and how he never gives effect to anything for more than 24 hours. I hope that he will reply to the suggestion of the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) that the Treasurer should arrange with television stations to give the Government's policy for the day at the same time that they announce the weather forecast, so that the people may know it from hour to hour.

I hope that he will tell us to-night why he has authorized the Commonwealth Superannuation Board to lend £1,000,000 to David Jones Limited at a time when he has denied finance to every other section of industry. The Treasurer may sneer, but those are issues that he does not want to have ventilated. Instead, he and other honorable members opposite want continually to raise the red bogy and other issues ment. Instead, he will deal with other issues, after his heelers have come into the Parliament and put forward propositions on which they try to capitalize.

Mr Barnes - What about unity tickets? which they believe will take the minds of the people off matters such as those I have mentioned. I am sure that the Treasurer will not deal with the £1,000,000 that David Jones Limited has received and with the vested interests that support the Govern-

Mr DALY - The honorable member who has interjected has said that we are at war with Russia. He asks, " What about unity tickets? " I ask, " What about the wheat, steel and other things that we are selling to a country with which he says we are at war? " Honorable members opposite talk about loyalty to this country. If we are at war with Russia, some of the supporters of the Government ought to be charged as traitors to this country because they are supplying Russia with materials which should not be supplied to a country with which we are at war.

But who takes any notice of the Country Party? It is a collection of individuals who sit in possum paddock crying, "Low wages and long hours ". If it were not for the Australian Workers Union, the people who are working on farms to-day, and are supposed to be represented by the members of the Country Party, would probably be working for less than the basic wage. The members of the Country Party are a vested minority in this Parliament. They live on red bogies. They have never done anything worth while to stop the growth of the Communist Party. Whether honorable members opposite like it or not, the only party that has made any contribution towards ensuring that the trade unions and other institutions in this country that seek to improve the welfare of individuals are controlled by people responsible to the Australian community is the Australian Labour Party.

In 1949, the Communist Party took action to wreck a Labour Government, which it subsequently did. It was a Labour administration, under men such as Chifley, Calwell and others, which stood up to the Communists, and did so without assistance from the people opposite who say they are opposed to the Communist Party. The Australian Labour Party acted at that time to quell a strike which was sponsored and supported by the Communist Party and designed to destroy the Labour Government. Labour has taken action against the Communists. The present government has not put one Communist in jail since it has been in power. It is condemned for what it is - a collection of hypocrites.

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

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