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Wednesday, 9 March 1966

Mr COPE (Watson) .-! shall detain the House for only two or three minutes. I should like to refer to a question which was directed by the honorable member for Lilley (Mr. Kevin Cairns) this afternoon to the Minister for External Affairs (Mr. Hasluck). The essence of the question related to an organisation in the University of Sydney which calls itself the University Labour Club, which apparently was seeking support for the Vietcong in Vietnam. No doubt, the question was intended by implication to link this Labour Club with that of the New South Wales Branch of the Australian Labour Party. As a member of the New South Wales Executive of the A.L.P., I should like to inform the honorable member for Lilley that this club is not an affiliate of the A.L.P., nor is it associated with that Party in any manner, shape or form.

In addition, at the University of Sydney there is another organisation which calls itself the A.L.P. Club. This club also is not affiliated or associated with the A.L.P. As a matter of fact, the officers of the New South Wales Executive of the A.L.P. have publicly announced the facts that I have stated. In addition, the Leader of the Opposition in the New South Wales Parliament, the Hon. J. B. Renshaw, has made statements in the Legislative Assembly denouncing these pseudo organisations.

As the honorable member would know, there is no lawful restriction upon any organisation's functioning under a name of its own choosing. For example, a group of university students could form a Liberal Club or a D.L.P. Club, and they could take decisions in direct contrast to the policies of those two political parties. Nothing could be done about it except to deny their affiliations with the Liberal Party or the Democratic Labour Party. So I ask the honorable member for Lilley to ascertain the facts in future before asking a question in which he endeavours to slander the A.L.P. by implication.

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