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Thursday, 15 October 1964


Dr J F Cairns (YARRA, VICTORIA) - I wish to make a personal explanation, Mr. Speaker. I have been very seriously misrepresented in a report appearing in this morning's issue of the newspaper the "Australian". It is a report of a talk that I gave yesterday to students at the Australian National University and it is headed "Chifley's Feet of Clay ". The report says -

A Labour Parliamentarian yesterday gave the Chifley legend a hefty kick. Dr. J. F. Cairns, Member for Yarra, described Mr. Chifley as a man who was an uneducated engine driver with little command of English.

I would like to inform the House and everyone else that I did not make this statement or any statement which could justify this report. I said that while Mr. Chifley was alive many people had said that he was an uneducated engine driver and could not speak the King's English, in the same way as many people, generally Labour's opponents, had criticised every Labour leader. That opinion of Mr. Chifley was not, is not and never has been my own view. On the contrary, I believe that the late Ben Chifley had very great wisdom and understanding, well beyond the scope of education to impart.







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