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Thursday, 25 November 1965

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I remind the honorable member that a reference to a debate or proceedings of the current session in another place would be out of order.

Mr JESS - Very good, Sir. It was reported in the newspapers that a Minister of this Government listed dates for a period from 1948 until 1964 on which Communists were on the same platform with the honorable member for Yarra and with whom the honorable member associated in all matters which the Communists were representing. I do not wish to spend my time referring only to this honorable member; I think most people in Australia know where he stands.

I should like to read to honorable members opposite what other members of the Labour movement have said about co-operation with Communists and Communist fronts. I have not time to read what the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam) said about the Victorian executive -this was quite interesting - and I have no time to say what Mr. Bob Holt, the former President of the Victorian Executive of the Labour Party, said when he resigned because of the co-operation with Communism. But let me read an article from a book "The Peaceful Revolution" written by Herbert Morrison, a member of the Attlee Labour Government, and presented to the Labour Party Conference at Bournemouth. There had been a suggestion that the United Kingdom Labour Party should cooperate with Communism. Mr. Morrison said -

First of all, there are fundamental differences between the political conceptions of the Labour Parly and the political conceptions of the Communist Party. We believe in constitutional government. We believe in Parliamentary democracy. We have every reason to believe, both by their doctrines as set out from time to time and by their practice, that the Communist. Party believes neither in constitutional government nor in Parliamentary democracy. The Parliamentary institution, based upon a majority forming the Government and a minority conducting what are really essential tasks of criticism and opposition, is something in which they do not believe.

Yet members of the Labour Party here appear on the same platform with them. He continued - I suggest that honorable members in this place and the public should read this -

Next we affirm that the Communist Party is not only a political party, but it is a conspiracy. Indeed, it is a little doubtful as to whether it is not more of a conspiracy than a political party. The Communists have their party members open and avowed, they have their secret members unavowed and undeclared but functioning in various Labour organisations and elsewhere, and they have their recognised " fellow travellers ". They organise their fractions and nuclei in the Trade Union Movement and the Trades Councils as far as they can. They issue secret instructions to their people as to what they are to do, and the considerable amount of money they get hold of is itself a matter of mystery.

I have heard it said that this concerns honorable members on both sides of the House, yet we have leaders of the Parliament giving these people the forum of the Parliament to express their views, appearing on platforms with them and acting against the interests of the working class of Australia and, indeed, the people of Australia. In talking about the United Kingdom, Mr. Morrison went on to say that in the event of a Labour Government, these people would have to be considered for Cabinet posts. I note with interest that in Victoria the Labour newspaper "Fact" lists the executive delegates to the various committees for defence and foreign affairs. I will bet 20 dollars that honorable members cannot guess who is the representative responsible as the Victorian delegate for defence and foreign affairs. This is a matter on which Labour men have spoken, but nothing has been said in this House. We have reports of a meeting yesterday where one member had the courage to suggest that this matter of cooperation with Communists should be discussed and implemented, but he was ruled out on the voices. If this is the position in Australia and if this is what the people of Australia can look forward to, I can assure them that our day could well be coming close. I would not be overconfident that these people, with their agility, prowess, devotion and organisation, could not affect the security of Australia.

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