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Wednesday, 27 May 1942

Senator AYLETT (TASMANIA) . - My main reason for taking part in the debate is my opposition to the statement made by Senator Spicer. He adheres to the old conception of finance. He and those who hold his view do not realize that it is possible by economic organization to overcome the disabilities of ordinary finance. There are limitations to ordinary capitalist finance, and these limitations confront us when we go to war. If any honorable senator had suggested before the outbreak of the present war that the amount of money that has been raised for war purposes could be raised, the answer of the then government would have been that the country would go bankrupt. In times of peace, when reforms involving the raising of large sums of money are proposed, tory governments usually ask: Where is the money to come from? Over the years, the Labour movement throughout the world has been trying to put Christianity into actual operation according to the golden rule of doing unto others as one would be done by. However, when governmental action was necessary, governments, although their members are Christians, have invariably used the excuse that it would be impossible to finance great reforms. Immediately we go to war the ordinary financial methods are cast aside. We do not ask: Can we or can we not finance the war ? The question is not asked because the vital need is to meet the enemy with all the force we oan command. In Australia, since the outbreak of the present war, the community has been organized so efficiently that in terms of finance the achievement has been almost a miracle. We have used all the powers of a united nation to defeat our enemies, and in organizing those powers we have departed radically from the financial methods that are employed in times of peace. If we have been so successful in organizing the community to meet our military enemy, I and my colleagues on this side of the chamber consider that it is possible to organize the community to meet successfully the enemy of social insecurity.

Senator Spicer - My complaint is that the party to which the honorable senator belongs will not do the organizing.

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