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Wednesday, 23 August 1972
Page: 303


Senator CARRICK (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct to the Attorney-General a question which concerns the attempted violence that arose from the plumbers meeting in Sydney on Monday last. Has the Minister's attention been directed to the following reported statement of Mr John Ducker, the Assistant Secretary of the New South Wales State Labor Council-


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The

President of the Australian Labor Party in New South Wales.


Senator CARRICK - Yes, the President of the Australian Labor Party in New South Wales, and his statement I now take to be the official policy of the ALP. I quote the reported statements of Mr Ducker:

This was a deliberate attempt of intimidation, a policy advocated by the Australian Communist Party. 1 am not one to kick the communist 'can' but 1 warn all unionists that communist inspired violence will continue unless they are vigilant. I know that the Communist Party is using these vigilantes as shock troops just as Hitler used storm troopers to gain power.

I therefore now ask the Minister: Firstly, is not this revelation a full confirmation of consistent Federal Government warnings over a number of years on the nature and dangers of industrial lawlessness and communist subversion? Secondly, is it not a total refutation of the Labor Party's consistent denials that any such real threats exist? Thirdly, will the Minister consult with the States to ensure the maximum protection of individuals engaged in proper democratic processes?


Senator GREENWOOD - The honourable senator's question has obviously touched members of the Opposition, who are interjecting, on a raw spot because one of their members has had the courage, at long last, to nail the blame for much of the industrial lawlessness in this country where it truly belongs, that is, with members of the Communist Party who have a calculated programme which is evidenced in their writings over a long period and which has been borne out by their actions. It is curious that the only occasion on which some spokesmen for the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Labor Party are prepared to allege communist activities is when one of their own members is hurt.


Senator Poke - You would see a communist under the bed of the Indian Ocean.


Senator GREENWOOD - I sense, from the noise, that there is a sensitivity about this subject, a sensitivity which the people of Australia should well acknowledge. I accept what Senator Carrick has said: That what the Federal Government has been saying for many years has been borne out by the violence which was offered to Mr Ducker earlier this week. The fact that this has occurred is, as Senator Carrick said, a complete refutation of what we hear from spokesmen of the Australian Labor Party in this chamber from time to time, that is, that all this talk about intimidation is nonsense. I say further that while the Labor Party has, as its policy, a programme which would exonerate from all civil consequences unions and unionists who engage in violence in the course of strikes, they can expect this sort of thing to happen. The Government is completely opposed to that sort of activity and believes that it has an obligation to make these facts known on as many occasions as can be mustered.

The ACTING PRESIDENT- Order! Before we proceed any further I want to make it clear that when honourable sena tors ask questions they are entitled to be heard in silence. The reply given by the Minister should also be heard in silence. I ask honourable senators to pay due regard to that request, irrespective of how they personally may feel, because this is a democratic Parliament and I assert the right to ensure that that course is followed.







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