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Friday, 13 November 1936

Senator BROWN (Queensland) . - I have no intention to enter into a long disquisition on this matter, because the Opposition is behind the Government in support of the measure as far as it goes. The Labour party in this chamber unanimously favours the proposal to be submitted to the people at the referendum, but considers that it does not go far enough. I regret that grossly unfair and malicious political propaganda has been indulged in by Senators Hardy and James McLachlan. I do not know why they should "stick the boot" into the Labour movement. Senator Hardy abused the Labour party because it does not see eye to eye with him, but Labour members do not see eye to eye with Senator Hardy. Senator James McLachlan, after referring to the fact that in the House of Representatives the discussion on this hill ranged from Dan to Beer-Sheba, proceeded to discuss the Labour party find strikes*

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Sampson) j - But ho was called to order.

Senator BROWN - My only object in referring to the matter is to defend my own party. It is hardly necessary, in endeavouring to safeguard the interests of the primary producers, to indulge in vitriolic criticism of the Labour party. Honorable senators opposite referred yesterday to Labour members who are opposed to the bill, but there is a difference, of course, between opposition to the hill and opposition to the question to be submitted to the people by referendum. The Premier of South Australia (Mr. Butler) who objects to the bill is a tory. There are also tories in Tasmania, and some of them are opposed to this measure.

Senator Sir George Pearce - Mr. Ogilvie, for instance.

Senator BROWN - Yes, on both sides in politics we find supporters and opponents of the proposal. In this chamber are tories who have expressed strong disapproval of the bill. Senator Duncan-Hughes, the truest and bluest of the true-blue tories, is opposed to it heart and soul. When I return to Queensland, I shall tell the people of my State about this gentleman. I have the highest regard for him, because he is always candid and has courage to express his opinions. I do not know whether I should call Senator Millen a tory or a conservative, but he owes allegiance to the United Australia party, which is a tory party. Senator Payne, like Senator Millen, objected .to the bill, but he qualified his opposition by stating that later he would submit an amendment which would unite all parties and people in Australia and induce them to support the measure. He will be very clever if he can do that.

One cannot help being impressed by the differences of opinion among honorable senators as to the wisdom of this proposal. Senator Hardy, with all his oratorical power, declared the bill to be one of the most vitally important measures ever placed before the Parliament, whilst Senator Duncan-Hughes,' in his Chesterfieldian manner, said that it is not a measure of great consequence.

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