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Tuesday, 29 March 1966

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) (Leader of the Opposition) . - in reply - The honorable member for Reid (Mr. Uren) was attacked by the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. McEwen) and he was mentioned adversely.

Mr Buchanan - In what way?

Mr CALWELL - He was listed as one of the left wing people who had been put on a committee. He wishes to explain his own position on that point.

Mr Buchanan - Let him do it tonight.

Mr CALWELL - Of course, he will have his rights tonight, but he wants to talk about the foreign affairs policy of the Government tonight. He is entitled to protect his personal honour and, if the Government refuses to give him leave, the Government stands condemned for denying him an opportunity that every honorable member ought to have when he is attacked by some other honorable member.

Mr Harold Holt - Does he claim to have been misrepresented? He has sought leave to make a statement, but if he claims that he has been misrepresented we will give him an opportunity to show where he has been misrepresented.

Mr CALWELL - In those circumstances, I withdraw the motion.

Mr SPEAKER - It will be necessary for leave to be given for the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition to be withdrawn. Is leave granted?

Mr Harold Holt - Yes.

Mr SPEAKER - As leave is granted, the motion is withdrawn. Does the honorable member for Reid claim that he has been misrepresented?

Mr Uren - Yes. I was not in the House when the Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr. McEwen) made his statement, but I was in the Party Room and heard it on the air. I think the right honorable gentleman said that I had no doubts about Communism.

Mr McEwen - I said the honorable member had never expressed any doubts.

Mr Calwell - That is completely wrong.

Mr Uren - The implication is that I have no doubts about Communism. I think that honorable members know that, if I had no doubts, I would have sufficient courage to join the Communist Party. I have the greatest faith in the principles and aspirations of the Australian Labour Party. I believe that the future of Australia lies in the destiny, principles, platform and objectives of the Australian Labour Party and I believe that the policy laid down by the Australian Labour Party is in the best interests of all Australians. That is why I am a member of the Australian Labour Party and that is why I am not a member of any other party. If I may use the words of Ben Chifley, I will not be pushed over to the right because of the whispered word " Communist ". If I believe a thing is worth fighting for, I will fight. I take pride in my position as a member of the Australian Labour Party and no honorable member will smear me in this or any other snide way. I am proud of where I stand.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I point out to the honorable member that he will not be allowed to debate the subject matter that has been before the Chair.

Mr Uren - My name has also been brought into this debate in referring to my having been elected and appointed to the position of member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federal Conference of the Australian Labour Party. It has been said that this part of the Labour Party will force its opinions on other sections of the Labour Party. The Labour Party is a broad party and if any section of the Labour Party on a committee of the Federal Conference tries to force its opinions on to other sections, they have the right to bring down a minority report. It is being said that Cairns, Uren and Cavanagh belong to a certain section of the Labour Party that does not represent the broad section of the Labour Party. What has to be understood is that, whilst members of the Labour Party may have differences of opinion, this is a democratic party. We come together to make decisions and when those decisions are made we loyally abide by them. What will happen-

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member is now getting out of order. He has been given an opportunity to correct statements in which he claims he was misrepresented. I think the Chair has been reasonably tolerant because of the atmosphere that has prevailed.

Mr Uren - Thank you, Mr. Speaker. T will conclude on this point: As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federal Conference, I can assure all members of the Labour Party and all members of the Government Parties that I will bring forward a balanced contribution that will represent the views of a broad section of the Labour Party.

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