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Thursday, 9 December 1965


Mr JAMES (Hunter) .- I want to say right at the beginning of my limited remarks that I wholeheartedly endorse the submissions made by the honorable member for Reid (Mr. Uren). I will continue to do so for so long as our boys remain in Vietnam, for so long as there is breath in my body and for so long as my vocal cords will ring out. The honorable member for La Trobe (Mr. Jess) in his remarks tonight made some derogatory statements about the honorable member for Yarra (Dr. J. F. Cairns). During his remarks he said that he had some information to show that a Communist, who was a Russian Jewess, had placed the Cairns Vietnam pamphlet under a door of some house in Victoria. All I want to say in answer to that is that if this Russian Jewess was a Communist, she probably had good reason to be a Communist. I propose to read from an article which appeared in the "New York Times" of 15th September. It states -

There has just been published in Germany a book entitled "For Their's was the Hell", lt is a documented account of the fate which befell some of the 1.2 million Jewish children under 16 years of age in Hitler's concentration camps. These few sentences from the story are enough:

It then quotes an extract from the book - "Then the guard ordered the children to fold their clothes neatly and march into the gas chamber and crematory. One little boy, less than two years old, was too little to climb the steps. So the guard took the child in her arms and carried him into the chamber."

If there is a semblance of decency and a semblance of Australianism in the blood of Government supporters they will do all in their power to see that the case put forward frequently by members of the

Opposition, particularly by the honorable members for Yarra and Reid, is accepted and that the war in Vietnam is brought to a halt as soon as possible. Why would not that woman in Victoria be an advocate of peace in Vietnam? Why would she not want to pass the Cairns pamphlet under every door in Victoria. Yet the Joe McCarthy of Liberalism on the Government side has the temerity to stand up in this place and condemn Opposition members for advocating peace in Vietnam and the ultimate withdrawal of Australian troops. Of course, we know the late Senator McCarthy also was a Red baiter. I should like to quote from a book written by Felix Greene in which he refers to the attitude of Senator McCarthy. It states -

Richard Rovere, in his excellent book, " Senator Joe McCarthy ", describes this dinner at the Colony and how McCarthy confided to his companions that he stood in need of a dramatic issue for the 1952 election. One of his1 companions suggested that McCarthy come forward as a champion of the St. Lawrence Seaway. McCarthy said he didn't think that would do. He asked the others what they thought about some uptodate variant of the Townsend Plan - a hundred dollars a month pension, say, to everyone over 65. The others' disapproved - too demagogic, they felt. Father Walsh (one of the four) suggested Communism - its power in the world at large and its capacity for subversion. McCarthy seized upon the idea at once and at once began, according to one of the participants, to vulgarise. "That's it," he said. "The Government is full of Communists," he said. "We can hammer away at them."

If ever I and other members on this side of the chamber and people outside the Parliament have been entitled to draw a parallel between the honorable member for La Trobe and the late Senator Joe McCarthy, it is over his smearing of members of the Labour Party as being proCommunist. I could say so much more about Vietnam. I feel that every Australian boy who loses his life there is my blood brother. The sooner this Government uses its persuasive powers on the Government of the United States to bring a halt to hostilities in Vietnam and to bring the Australian boys home from Vietnam, the happier the overwhelming majority of Australians will be.

I should like now to refer to a subject on which I think this Parliament should give leadership to the States by bringing down legislation to compensate persons who are the victims of serious crime. I refer to legislation similar to that in New Zealand, our mother country the United Kingdom, and in California. I am reminded of the splendid legislation brought down by a former Attorney-General, Sir Garfield Barwick, which was heralded as being progressive. It met with the approval of the overwhelming majority of Australians and I believe it was very favorably commented upon by people overseas. I refer to the modern, progressive Matrimonial Causes legislation. I suggest that as soon as possible next year the Attorney-General (Mr. Snedden) should introduce legislation to enable victims of crime to be compensated. I was reminded of the urgency of this legislation by reading an article in the " New Statesman " of 10th September 1965 in which the following appeared when California became the first place outside Britain and New Zealand to introduce legislation to compensate persons incapacitated as a result of crime -

Part of the reparation will come from the criminal, who will be fined commensurately with the offence.

While a spell inside is never a ticket for the gravy tram, a criminal can catch up with his education, work in State-run correctional industries or open-air conservation camps, attend group therapy and even get plastic surgery. His victim - until now - got nothing - except the bill, and the empty privilege of suing someone who could never pay. An injustice everywhere in the civilised world, the difference between the treatment of the criminal and his victim, was particularly shocking in this setting. One recent case of a middle-aged woman, who was injured during a purse snatch by two teenage youths (who escaped by car) and paid out her life savings in medical bills, so enraged Superior Court Judge Francis McCarty that he wrote to State Senator Eugene McAteer suggesting State compensation for all victims of violent crime. Three months later Bill 1057 was passed.

There are frequently cases of violent crime in California. I know the honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Killen) holds views similar to mine. He also believes that it is important that the Government give a lead to the States and introduce legislation to provide compensation for victims of crimes of violence, particularly in the Australian Capital Territory and other Territories under the control of the Commonwealth.







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