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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Senator COURTICE - Of course it does.

Senator McBRIDE - I have as clear an appreciation of the seriousness of the war crisis as it affects Australia as has any honorable senator on the Government side, but it is flapdoodle for Ministers and their supporters to place such emphasis on the war crisis for the purpose of pushing this legislation through this Parliament. Honorable senators on the Government side showed a great lack of appreciation of the necessities of the war effort during the whole of the period they were in opposition. When the Government of the day proposed certain expenditure on defence before the outbreak of the present war, fierce opposition was expressed by the present Leader of the Senate in this chamber (Senator Collings) who was then Leader of the Opposition. He accused the Government of being war-mongers and scare-mongers, and asked who were our enemies. Members of the Government have been very slow in appreciating the changed conditions in Australia since the outbreak of the war. I yield place to no honorable senator on the Go vernment side in my earnestness for the implementation of a full war effort throughout Australia. The purpose for which these measures have been introduced could have been effected by either of two other methods. One was contained in the national loan contribution proposals submitted by the previous Prime Minister, Mr. Fadden, the constitutionality of which were beyond question. However, the Labour party having thrown the Fadden Ministry out of office on it3 budget, which contained those proposals, its Government could not be expected to adopt the proposals submitted by the leader of the defeated ministry.

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