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Friday, 19 March 1926

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - BROCKMAN.That statement might have some merit if Mr. Collier had never threatened Mr. Walter, and it would also have some merit if it had not been the practice in Western Australia for many years to extend the tenure of such appointments where men were fit and capable of carrying on the work, as Mr. Walter is capable of doing to-day. There might also be some merit in the defence now put up by Senator Needham on Mr. Collier's behalf if Mr. Collier had aopointed a younger man to carry out the work previously performed by Mr. Walter; but, as a matter of fact, he appointed a Mr. Kidson, who is much older than Mr. Walter. Both Mr. Walter and Mr. Kidson are personal friends of mine, and I know that Mr. Kidson was appointed in Mr. Walter's place. In view of these facts, the defence of Senator Needham on behalf of Mr. Collier is, to say the least of it, very thin. It was considered very thin by the people of Western Australia, who have not accepted Mr. Collier's pronouncement as a true statement of the facts. I come back to my original assertion, that when we find men of the type of Mr. Collier - who is probably the fairest and most decent of Labour leaders in any of the States - whether of his own volition or at the instigation of those behind him, capable of vindictiveness of this sort, then having regard to this fact in particular, we should not be justified in asking police magistrates under the control of State Governments to carry out judicial functions involving deportation as a sentence. That was the point I was endeavouring to make when I originally addressed myself to the Senate.

Senator Foll - This practice of victimization has been going on in other States for years.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I know it has, and I quoted this particular instance in Western Australia which I knew of, to stress the point I was making at the time. Honorable senators have heard Senator Needham in defence of Mr. Collier, and if there were anything for me to withdraw I would unhesitatingly withdraw it, but instead I reassert everything I said when I originally addressed the Senate on this matter.

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