Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 14 July 1915

Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - I listened this afternoon to the Leader of the . Opposition here delivering one of those characteristic speeches which we expect to hear from every platform when an opponent of these proposals addresses the electors. I think that the honorable senator was very unfortunate as regards the manner in which he set out to furnish reasons why the proposals should not be put before the people at present. He drew a picture of our troops fighting at the front; he drew a picture of the hills of Gallipoli dripping with Australian blood, and the inference was clearly to be drawn that he doubted very much whether the members of the Labour party were concerned over that blood-dripping or not; that we cared more for the carrying of these proposals than we did for the lives of our sons who have been and are being sacrificed in defence of the Empire.

Senator Bakhap - I do not think that the honorable senator is quite fair. I do not believe that my leader wanted to convey any such inference.

Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I am placing my own interpretation on the words of Senator Millen.

Senator Bakhap - I think it is a very unfair inference for the honorable senator to draw.

Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - No honorable senator who heard Senator Millen speak has any doubt as to what his meaning was. More than that. I believe that from every platform for the next three or four months we shall hear the same kind of talk against the purpose of the Labour party in placing the referenda proposals before the people.

Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 8 p.m.

Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - " Business as usual," said the Leader of the Opposition. That was the text upon which he made an indictment against the Government for going on with these referenda proposals at the present time; but if that is to be the text of his party during the forthcoming struggle - it is quite evident that they are going to make it a struggle - I feel confident that members on this side of the chamber, and those who think as we do, will have no difficulty in replying effectively to that criticism. We find that, notwithstanding the war that is being waged in Europe, business is going on as usual in every department of life in this and every other country. We have heard reported this afternoon innumerable instances where business is not only going on as usual, but robbery, and robbery of the very worst kind, is going on.

Senator FINDLEY - They do not like you to use that term.

Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - That is the only term that can be applied to it. It is robbery, legalized robbery, made possible under the laws of our country; but it is a system of robbery which these amendments are calculated to stop, if anything at all can do that effectively.

Suggest corrections