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Thursday, 20 April 1961


Mr BARNES (McPherson) . - The House has again heard two ridiculous suggestions from Opposition members, one from the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Bird) and the other from the honorable member for Newcastle (Mr. Jones), both of whom have referred to the remarks that were made this morning in relation to the intimidation of members of this Parliamen by the Victorian Chamber of Manufactures. The honorable members have suggested that a similar set of circumstances existed when the Chifley Labour Government introduced its bank nationalization proposal. I think all of us realize that the honorable members are confusing a spontaneous movement by the people of Australia over bank nationalization with an attempt by a section of the community to influence the Government. Every one in Australia was concerned at the effects of the Labour Government's banking proposals and at the following election the people showed their feelings in no uncertain manner by putting the Labour Government out of office. It has never been in office since.

When the Crimes Bill was being debated, groups organized by the Communist Party invaded King's Hall and had the active support of members of the Opposition in endeavouring to intimidate the Government. This happened only recently and is within the memory of all honorable members.

On this occasion I wish to refer to something that I have mentioned previously in this House.


Mr Beazley - I rise to order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Is it competent for honorable members to claim constantly that they have been intimidated in carrying out their duties as members of Parliament without a question of privilege arising?







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