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Wednesday, 29 August 1973
Page: 533

Mr GRAHAM (North Sydney) - I rise this afternoon to support the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Snedden) last night to the motion that the Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 1973-1974 be read a second time. The amendment reads as follows:

That all words after 'That' be omitted with a view to inserting the following words in place thereof: this House expresses disapproval of the Budget because it is economically irresponsible in that:

1.   with inflationary pressures intense it fails to adopt any policy to bring inflation under control;

2.   with resources already under strain it applies wrong economic principles by overloading resources further by expansionary public sector spending;

3.   it permits the tax burden to accelerate to an unprecedented level;

4.   it is a further step in the attack on the federal system of government by Labor which aims to centralise all decisions in Canberra;

5.   it jeopardises the future growth of living standard and economic development of the nation;

6.   it unfairly discriminates against the rural community and discourages decentralisation;

7.   it does not provide a framework of social equity; and

8.   it fails to honour election promises.'

In terms of that amendment, with reference to some of the statements made by the honourable member for Cook (Mr Thorburn), who has just resumed his seat, it is clear that he and his colleagues in the Australian Labor Party support the general plan to centralise decisions in Canberra and to develop the new society which is fundamental in the context of the Labor Party's policy speech before the 1972 federal elections.

While my colleagues have referred in particular to the economic problems that face the nation, I think it is wise at this stage to remind the House of the new society and the new structure of life in Australia that are beginning to emerge from any study of the plans of the Australian Labor Party. These are the plans for the new society: There will be established in this country a republic. There will be a movement away from the monarchical system and, in due course, if the Labor Party has its way, there will be a president of Australia. I have a feeling that that president will probably not come from the Senate. I think there is reason to anticipate at this stage that he will have been a member of the House of Representatives. Under the presidential system the Labor Party would hope to proceed with its plans for the establishment of the socialist state to which they are all so wedded. Time and time again over the years that I have been in this place I have heard these references to Australia as a land in which from the cradle to the grave all of its citizens will be well looked after, cared for by an omnipotent government that will always make correct decisions and that can always be relied upon to rob the rich to give to those who are its supporters, ostensibly to develop Australia.

One of the methods the Government quite obviously is following in this pursuit is to inflate the Australian economy quite deliberately. An educated man like the Federal Treasurer (Mr Crean) knows that as day follows night a situation will emerge in this country that will require strong fiscal action and strong economic policy to cope with the result of inflation and at that time the Government's plan is to go to the Australian people and say: 'We now seek overall control of the economy. Give us complete legal control over wages, prices, dividends and income of all description and we shall control the economy'. The Government will then have taken the major step towards the socialisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange that is so vital to it. This is the picture that is emerging of the future of Australia.

As I said last year, there has been a genuflecting to oriental potentates around the world in the hope that they will emerge as the friends of the new social regime in the southern seas and that these people in Peking, Moscow and other places will not seek to pursue those plans that emerge from time to time in history and which gave us such fascinating vignettes of history like the genocide in Tibet, which called forth not one critical comment from the members of the Labor Party during that terrible period. It called for no comment because it was a manifestation of the type of decision that would be made in Peking, and therefore there was no likelihood of there being any criticism. The Australian Labor Party has taken this country from its previous foreign affairs stance and moved it so that in the last 6 months we have offered public insult to the United Kingdom, offered public insult to our regional friends in Malaysia, where so many Australians laid down their lives during the Second World War, and we have done it also in the United States of America to make it clear that we will not be subject to any criticism from other people around the world who are known commonly as those who threaten the peace and who have publicly announced that they will establish some great international socialist state if they possibly can.

These are the plans that emerge from a study of this Budget. It will have been noticed that our defence forces are being so reduced that there is no likelihood that any intelligent person will be able to look at our defence forces and regard our foreign policy as significant because it might be backed by some credible force to represent an Australian effort of support for some friend who was in need. Although this has been done deliberately, and at a time when defence expenditure has been reduced in order to provide vast social services that will further inflate the economy, it has managed to dovetail into the aims of the foreign policy change of posture. This is a very vital matter because, as I have said, the new society that the Australian Labor Party is seeking to establish in Australia will be without doubt a society entirely different from anything that we have known in the past or anything that we have regarded over the last 50 years as resembling the type of country in which we live and in which we believe. Having said that, I have no doubt that I will be challenged, but I am sure that the day will come when the clear result of Labor Party policy will be announced in this House and it will be expressed in the form of a changing of the flag, a changing of the national anthem, an alteration of the things we have stood for over such a long period of time and the presentation of a new socialist outlook to the world. Anything more ghastly I could hardly imagine.

The Treasurer, having made so many critical statements in the past about economic responsibility, began his speech with a number of interesting comparisons. He said this:

In Australia .today we are much better at selling cars than providing decent public transport services; much better at building houses than providing sewerage services for them.

I do not know whether this is meant to be a manifestation of an intelligent economic objective, but in reading those sentences I thought that I might ponder their meaning because surely if the Treasurer believes that we ought to be establishing public transport services at public expense he could differentiate between a policy designed to do this and the effect within the economy on thousands of Australians working in the automotive industry building motor cars which are being provided for the Australian people. To me it seems a complete non-sequitur, a complete absurdity, to suggest that we ought to cut down on the automotive industry, reduce the production of motor cars and presumably get on with the job of providing more public transport services. There is something slightly lunatic about that comparison. The Treasurer said that we are better at building houses than at providing sewerage services. I ponder the comparison and frankly find tha* many people looking at complaints about the houses that are needed for people to live in would be quite prepared to live in a house rather than in a tent and whether the public services provided by local authorities were available to them would be of less significance to them than having a roof over their heads.

I cannot help believing that, when the Treasurer says that plans for the development of society will be improved by pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into an already inflated economy, he is deliberately ignoring what all of his professional training must tell him - that is, if the rate of inflation goes beyond the present figure of 13 per cent to an annual figure of 20 per cent to 25 pei cent he will finish up with an economic position which will demand a return to the type of Budget which we had to face up to in this House in 1951. There can be no doubt that although this would become a ghastly situation in the economy and although the dose of medicine would be very intense, it would be absolutely vital to the welfare of the economy that the medicine be taken. There is no way in which honest people can avoid these decisions and conclusions.

As I said earlier, one has to look beyond the deliberate inflation of the Australian economy and ask oneself: 'What is it that these people are trying to achieve? What on earth can it be that motivates people to talk about changing the country's flag and the national anthem?' After all, we have known for many years that our national anthem is the same as the Swiss national anthem. If anyone had been to the Olympic Games or similar events and heard a Swiss athlete saluted by his national anthem one would have heard 'God Save the Queen' being played. One cannot tell the difference unless in one case one listens to the music with a Swiss ear and in the other case listens with an Australian ear. I believe that what is being said by the Government in this regard is unctuous humbug and utter nonsense. Just look at the posture, the impertinence, of these people who come along and talk about getting rid of the monarchy and of our becoming a republic. I have never heard anything like it in my life. I think it is outrageous.

As I have said, the picture for Australia is a rather gloomy one. I believe that when the Parramatta by-election is held in a few weeks time the Government will get a sensible reply to its policies, at least from the sophisticated section of the community who can add two and two and get four and know that you will never get fifteen. If the Government goes on with this absurd business of increasing taxation patterns so that it takes all the attraction out of the life effort of the man who works, produces and earns income and keeps pouring money into the pockets of those who it alleges need it without proving their need, it will take the incentive out of the Australian society and will eventually produce a nation of automatons. I suppose that if one were a socialist in the long run that is the sort of thing which one would really believe in.

The Government's policies, which are emerging, confirm what I have said. I refer to this mania for the nationalisation of medicine. Many people are becoming aware of the fact that in spite of the predictions that the Minister for Social Security (Mr Hayden) is making the ultimate plan will be for Australia to become a country in which only the Government will be permitted to run anything to do with industries associated with medicine and health and that all the medical practitioners will be part of a salaried scheme as though they were in the Navy, the Army or the Air Force. I have never heard anything more lunatic. However, I can tell honourable members that there will be a reaction in the Australian community because there is a great deal of warmth and feeling for medical practitioners. It is widely understood in Australia that the relationship between a doctor and his patient is vital. If the plans of the Government destroy that relationship, in due course the Australian public will put it out of office and back in Opposition where it ought to have been kept all the time.

In the period of over 20 years in which I have been a member of this Parliament some interesting changes have taken place in the Australian economy. Labor supporters can talk until they are black in the face about poverty, white Australia programs and so on, but I will let them in on a secret. In the period from 1946 to 1972 this country passed through an historical era which is without parallel for national development since Captain Cook arrived here in 1770. Furthermore, in that time a wise foreign policy brought us to the stage where we were standing against the threat that existed in the world. It was not an imaginary threat about which we got the idea in a penny dreadful book. It was something that Earl Attlee, the great Labor Prime Minister of Great Britain, said in 1950 was a conspiracy. Labor's former leaders Chifley and Evatt put an advertisement in the newspapers stating that there was a conspiracy within this country aimed at the destruction of our society - the alteration of our society.

Labor stands condemned because as a government its policies are beginning to become clear. Labor wants to nationalise medicine and the mining and minerals industries in which people have been working for over 20 years, carefully building up an infrastructure of technical capacity. They now find that they can no longer continue their work. Labor is hoping to absorb these facets of our society into a monolithic socialist structure run by hordes of civil servants running around the place wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of the taxpayers' money. When this psychopathic plan comes to completion it will be well understood by those people who deal with the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) and the Minister for Minerals and Energy (Mr Connor), that they are dealing with people who may well be seen trying to walk across Lake Burley Griffin.

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