Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 24 March 1966

Mr UREN (Reid) . - Mr. Speaker, earlier this evening the honorable member for Chisholm (Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes), when discussing his wish to play a tape recording in the chamber, said that he had played it in King's Hall and that I had heard it and would vouch for what was on it. I saw a group of people standing in King's Hall and I walked up to them. 1 was present for about 10 or 15 seconds and during that time I heard what was to me an unintelligible recording being played. I could not understand what was on the recording. I heard Mr. Reid of the Sydney " Daily Telegraph " say: " Play it back again, Bill ". I asked what was actually said on the tape, but nobody gave me any explanation of it. The honorable member for Chisholm knows full well that I said to him: "What did the tape say?" And he knows that he did not give me any information about what the tape had said. I did not hear any understandable words at all on that tape and, as 1 say, I stayed no more than 10 or 15 seconds after I walked up to the group of people.

I attended the meeting that was held in the Mosman Town Hall and I would like to give some of the facts concerning it. It was organised by the Mosman Branch of the Australian Labour Party to explain the Labour Party's opposition to the policy of the Holt Government - or the Menzies Government as it was then - of sending Australian forces and conscripts to Vietnam. There were two speakers, the honorable member for Yarra (Dr. J. F. Cairns) and Senator Murphy. Both of them, of course, are members of the Australian Labour Party and the chairman of the meeting was the President of the Mosman Branch of the Australian Labour Party. It was an overflow meeting attended by 700 or 800 people. I do not think the Mosman Town Hall had ever before had a crowd like it. There was a very disruptive element in the audience, a group of people who were out to stifle freedom of speech. There were Young Liberals present and there was another section headed by Michael Darby. There was also a group belonging to the Australian Fascist Party. In all fairness I must say that when the Young Liberals found that the members of the Australian Fascist Party were there and were trying to stifle freedom of speech they endeavoured to dissociate themselves from the Fascist Party group.

As I have said, the members of the Fascist Party were there with the intention of stifling freedom of speech. They had placed stickers on the doors and around the walls. I have one of the stickers here. It says: " White people of the world unite and fight. Join hands with your racial brothers and sisters all over the earth for white survival. World Union of National Socialists, International Headquarters. 928 North Randolph Street, Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A." On the left hand side of the sticker is the Nazi insignia, the swastika. These are the people who were disrupting the audience. During the first three quarters of an hour of the discussion we saw a disgraceful exhibition of people trying to stifle freedom of speech. I understand that they were not all Nazi Party people; some of them were in a group under the leadership of Michael Darby. I understand that Michael Darby is not a member of the Liberal Party.

I wanted to give some idea of the atmosphere prevailing at this meeting at which certain elements tried to stifle discussion. The Labour Party wants to organise meetings because it is. after all. difficult for the Labour Party to have its view on the Vietnam war publicised. The only way is to organise public meetings. I have attended many such meetings. The purpose of this meeting was to explain to the people of Australia what is really happening in Vietnam. Both the honorable member for Yarra and Senator Murphy expressed the views of the Labour Party as laid down in our policy which is very clear and precise. Then there were many questions that were sent up in writing and also, of course, there were interjections from the floor. Apart from the first three-quarters of an hour, this meeting was quite an orderly one. For the first threequarters of an hour there was a disgraceful exhibition. If any member of the Liberal

Party associates with this disruptive. antiAustralian element, he should be ashamed of himself. I wanted to explain to honorable members some of the happenings at this public meeting which was held at the Mosman Town Hall and which was organised by the Australian Labour Party to express its views and policy on Vietnam.

Suggest corrections