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Wednesday, 2 July 1941

The PRESIDENT - Order !

Senator CRAWFORD - I have given a Roland for an Oliver; that is all.

The PRESIDENT - The honorable senator may proceed with his remarks.

Senator CRAWFORD - In referring to Queensland Forests Limited, I said that it was a group of companies, and that the whole group was controlled by Moulton Bros, and others. Then came a time when Moulton Bros, considered that a director of one of these companies could render better service overseas than he could render in Australia. Accordingly, he was provided with a sum of bondholders' money to go abroad. He went abroad, and he stayed away until the clouds rolled by. I do not hold the Minister wholly responsible for the position he is in to-day. There has been a great deal of publicity about Mount Isa Mines Limited and the Minister's connexion with it. Some one higher than he in this Parliament, and in the Government, is cognizant of the position, and must share the responsibility for its continuance. I must say that I have thought a great deal about the reason why the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) permits it. It may be - and this is the conclusion at which I have arrived - that under the spell of his own fluency, he has become obsessed by the idea that his super-excellence would sanctify, if necessary, a whole Cabinet of Horatio Bottomleys or Al Capones. So we are in the position that we must, review the whole situation in order to satisfy ourselves whether or not we arc protecting our democracy from internal decay - that democracy which so many thousands of sons of Empire are fighting, bleeding and dying to maintain.

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