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Thursday, 13 April 1961

Mr WIGHT (Lilley) .- I have only ten minutes in which to deal with three matters, so I shall deal with them briefly. First, I wish to refer to a newspaper article which was published in the " Daily Telegraph " on 22nd March, and which was subsequently reprinted in the "Worker", the official organ of the Australian Workers Union, on Monday, 27th March. I am not going to quote this as an authoritative statement. Rather will I ask the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) whether he is prepared to deny what has been stated in this article. It said, referring to Mr. Dougherty as leader of the Australian Workers Union -

In his phone conversation Mr. Dougherty is known to have argued that there was an inconsistency in Mr. Calwell's attitude in simultaneously pleading with the A.W.U. to reaffiliate with the A.L.P. in Queensland to lessen the Communist influence in that State while taking no action to curb Mr. Cameron's anti-A.W.U. activities.

If this is true, Sir, then the Leader of the Opposition - and I will be guided by what he says - despite his furious and frenzied behaviour in the chamber last night, has himself asserted that there is Communist influence in the executive of the Australian Labour Party in Queensland and that he wants the assistance of the five delegates from the Australian Workers Union to that executive to reduce the effect of that influence. I am not asserting that that is true. I am asking the Leader of the Opposition whether he will deny the truth of it.

The second matter I want to raise again concerns the Leader of the Opposition. We remember, Sir, that last night I made certain charges in this chamber. The Leader of the Opposition, despite the fact that he stated that he did not fight out of his division, saw fit to come in directly after I had spoken, to answer the charges I had made and to debate the subject with me. In the heat and fury of his address, at a time when, admittedly, he had lost all selfcontrol, the Leader of the Opposition not only issued a challenge to me to repeat again the invitation to debate the matter of unity tickets in my electorate, but defied me to do so and threatened that he was coming to Queensland in the immediate future. Indeed, he said that he would go there at any time.

He challenged me, Sir, to accept his challenge to debate this issue with him in Queensland. Later, when I suggested by way of interjection that I would be happy to accept the challenge, the Leader of the Opposition said that he would not fight out of his division. I suggest, Sir, that judging by the contribution he made to the debate last night, he was well out of his division then. I ask the Leader of the Opposition whether he is going to welsh on his challenge.

Subsequent to the publication in Brisbane newspapers to-day of comments that I made here last night, seven members of the central executive of the Australian Labour Party in Queensland have denied that they appeared on unity tickets. I have here evidence which shows that they have. Let me first, though, refer to a statement made by Mr. Egerton. I am prepared to table in the Parliament the minutes of the meeting of the Trades and Labour Council at which he made the attempts to which I shall refer. I do not have them with me to-night; I rang Brisbane to get them and I shall table them next week when I return to Canberra. In 1957, Mr. Egerton took over the position of president of the Trades and Labour Council from Mr. Dawson, a well-known Communist. He did that by arrangement with Mr. Dawson and, having done so, he made the following statement, which is recorded in the minutes: -

I always wanted to be the president but would never stand against Mr. Dawson for this position. It is a good thing that we can show such unity and that all schools of thought can be represented on the executive and sub-committees without the necessity of holding a ballot.

This Mr. Egerton is a gentleman who has denied that he ever stood on a unity ticket. Let me go back to 1954. He has stood on this unity ticket every year since 1954, and I shall name the Communists with whom he has stood. On the unity ticket for election to the executive of the Trades and Labour Council, were Dawson, Daddow, Daley - that is Daley of the Hospital Employees Federation, in case anybody wants to know - Hanson, Nicol and A. Macdonald. They are all self-confessed Communists. None of them denies that he is a Communist, and each has stood on unity tickets with all the members of the State executive who have denied that they have stood on unity tickets, with one exception, that of Mr. Whitby, of the Hospital Employees Federation, who did not stand on a unity ticket until 1958, 1959 and 1960.

Members of the executive who denied that they had stood on unity tickets, but who in fact had done so - I propose in a moment to table the relevant document if permission is granted for my doing so - were Nolan, Waters, Milliner, Egerton and Stokoe. The 1954 unity ticket was authorized by V. Daddow. a well-known Communist, of Gordon-parade, Mount Gravatt, and the ticket was printed by the Brisbane City Printery, of Edward-street. The unity ticket nominated as president, Dawson, the well-known Communist, standing against Macpherson, of the meat employees union, an A.L.P. candidate.. For vice-president, there was Jack Egerton, now a member of the inner executive of the central executive of the A.L.P. in Queensland, who stood against T. Hughes of the A.L.P. For the executive, there were Milliner and McCabe as the nominated candidates on a unity ticket against Bushell and Parker.

For the hall committee, there was J. Daley, a Communist, of the Hospital Employees Federation, with F. J. Waters as his running mate. F. G. Nolan stood with a Communist named Lachlan, who had stood as a Communist Party candidate at the 1956 Queensland State elections. Nolan and Lachlan - Nolan being a member of the executive - combined to oppose Bredhauer and Oberthur, both members of the Australian Labour Party. For the library committee, Stokoe stood with Jasch, against Cannon and others of the Australian Labour Party.

I have here photostat copies of the minutes of the annual meeting of the Trades and Labour Council held on 8th July, 1959, in which the name of Mr. Whitby and the others I have mentioned, in association with the Communists, appear. I also have a photostat copy of the minutes of the annual meeting held on 20th July, 1960. They cover all the appointments to the hall committee and the executive of the party for 1959 and 1960. I ask for to table the documents so that they may be examined by honorable members.

Mr SPEAKER - Is leave granted?

Mr Calwell - Yes, let him table them.

Mr SPEAKER - Leave is granted.

Mr WIGHT - That is all I wish to say.

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