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Thursday, 12 November 1964

Senator PALTRIDGE - I did see a report of the motion submitted to the Melbourne Trades Hall Council and carried by it. The motion was of the nature described by the honorable senator. The Socialistic aspects of it have, of course, a familiar ring. While the Labour Party is a Socialist party openly declaring that it stands for the socialisation of industry, production and exchange, from time to time, to meet a political situation and its own convenience, it drops from prominence this particular plank of its policy. During the 1961 election campaign Mr. Calwell found it convenient to ask the electors of Australia to return him to office on the basis that he would not introduce Socialist measures within the next three years of the Parliament. The people of Australia treated that request with the contempt that it deserved and kept him out of office.

The part of the motion that has to do with defence expenditure is only another example of the confusion which exists within the Labour Party and which manifests itself from time to time within the political wing of the Labour Party, the members of which just do not know where they are going in respect of defence. I remind the Senate that it was only a couple of elections ago that Mr. Calwell was saying that the troops should be brought home from Malaya and it was just before then that he was saying much the same as is stated in this motion, and that we were in fact, in respect of defence expenditure, pouring money down the drain, and that more of it should be spent on social welfare and the like. Well, the defence policy of the Labour Party is shortly to come up for pretty close and critical examination. Maybe members of that Party will be able to restate it. We shall listen to them with great interest.

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