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Prime Minister's speech in House of Representatives



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o r ' t? fe r S

1 .

M r Sp e a k e r / I m o v e :

A - X

The messages from the Senate of 16 October 1975

CONCERNING APPROPRIATION B lLLS (No, 1 ) AND (No. 2 )

WHICH, AMONGST OTHER THINGS, APPROPRIATE MONEYS FOR

THE ORDINARY ANNUAL SERVICES OF GOVERNMENT, ARE

A DIRECT CHALLENGE BY THAT CHAMBER TO THE AUTHORITY

of the House of Re p r e s e n t a t iv e s / It i s a d ir e c t

CHALLENGE TO THE RIGHTS OF THIS HOUSE AND THEREFORE

TO THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA/

The House must meet t h a t c h a lle n g e - now*

The r ig h t s of th e House of Re p r e s e n t a t iv e s must be

ESTABLISHED - NOWy THE RIGHTS OF DEMOCRATICALLY-ELECTED Governments to govern must be e s t a b l is h e d - now/

The r ig h t s of the Au s t r a l ia n pe o ple must be e s t a b l is h e d -

now* I t i s a matter t h a t must be d e t e r m in e d - now -

SO THAT IT IS PUT BEYOND ALL FUTURE DOUBT* THESE

RIGHTS HAVE NEVER BEFORE BEEN QUESTIONED BY ANY ACTION

of the Senate s in c e Fe d e r a t io n * Now for the f i r s t t im e

THEY ARE CHALLENGED*

Ί c

The is s u e must now be s e t t l e d once and for a l l* We as

THE ELECTED GOVERNMENT OF AUSTRALIA - THE GOVERNMENT

SOLELY BECAUSE THE PEOPLE GAVE US A MAJORITY IN THIS

House - must now so conduct o urselves t h a t t h i s a c t of

AGGRESSION BY THE SENATE - THIS CHALLENGE TO THE ANNUAL

APPROPRIATION B lLLS FOR THE SERVICES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF

Au s t r a l ia - s h a l l never a g a in be a t t e m p t e d x I t i s not

ONLY A MATTER OF UPHOLDING PAST CONVENTIONS WHICH GO TO THE

VERY FOUNDATION OF PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY; IT IS A MATTER

OF ESTABLISHING THE PRINCIPLE BEYOND ALL DOUBT FOR THE

FUTURE, FOR ALL TIME - NOT JUST FOR THIS TWENTY-NINTH

Pa r l i a m e n t , b u t for a l l future Au s t r a l ia n Pa r l ia m e n t s ;

not j u s t for t h i s ele c te d Go ver n m en t , b u t for a l l f u tu r e

e l e c t e d Governments of Au s t r a l i a ; and may I s a y , not j u s t

for t h i s Pr im e Mi n i s t e r b u t for a l l futu r e Pr im e Mi n i s t e r s

of Au s t r a l ia *

The pr esen t c r i s i s caused by the a c t io n of the L eader of

th e Op p o s it io n and those in the Senate who have been

prepared to follow h im i s in the grand l i n e of the g r eat

c o n s t it u t io n a l struggles of the p a st -

of 1 6 4 0 , 16S8, 1832 and 1 9 1 0 * And a t stak e i s th e same g reat

ISSUE - THE PEOPLE'S CONTROL OF THE EXECUTIVE AND THE MONIES

RAISED AND SPENT BY THE EXECUTIVE THROUGH THE PEOPLE'S

CONTROL OF THE LOWER HOUSE, THE PEOPLE'S HOUSE* ,

.. ,/3

-3-

The t a x p a y e r s ' control over t h e ir money through t h e ir

ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES IN THE PEOPLE'S HOUSE IS THE

FOUNDATION OF PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY* UNDER OUR

We s t m in s t e r system t h i s control i s f ir m l y lodged in

the lower House - the p e o p l e ' s Ho u s e .-— · fcA ^uD 14

%^ΠΤΓΓι'ΓΓ,Π , i t i s p r e c is e l y for t h i s reason τ η α τ, ι ν

Au s t r a l i a w h ic h e ver Par ty has the m a j o r it y in t h e House

/

of Re p r e s e n t a t iv e s forms the government of Au s t r a l i a x

I t i s p r e c is e l y for t h i s reason t h a t t h e Au s t r a l ia n

Co n s t it u t io n se ts s p e c i f i c l i m i t s upon the powers of the

Senate in r e l a t io n to money b i l l s * The Sen a te cannot

o r ig in a t e a p p r o p r ia t io n B i l l s for the o r d in a r y a n n u a l

s e r v ic e s of the Go ve r n m e n t , nor can i t amend them in

ANY WAYx

A Co n s t it u t io n a l p r i n c ip l e of fu n d am en tal im p o r ta n c e to

the future of p a r l ia m e n t a r y government would be br eached

i f the Op p o s it io n in the Senate were now allow ed to blo c k

th ese B i l l s * " ·-· " ■

-A-

L ik e a l l t r u l y g reat c o n s t it u t io n a l p r i n c i p l e s i t i s

AT HEART VERY SIMPLEy I n THE PAST FEW DAYS, THE

Au s t r a l ia n peo ple have alr e a d y dem onstrated t h a t t h ey

GRASP CLEARLY WHAT IS AT STAKE^ NEVER IN THE EXPERIENCE

OF ANY OF US HAVE THEY SO PROMPTLY AND ENTHUSIASTICALLY

RALLIED IN SUPPORT OF A CLEAR AND BASIC P R IN C IPLE^

The a c t io n s of the Leader of the Op p o s it io n i f s u c c e s s f u l ,

WOULD DIVIDE THIS NATION AND LEAVE A LEGACY OF BITTERNESS A,

UNEQUALLED SINCE 1 S S - WHEN ANOTHER GREAT WRECKER FORESWORE

HIS PREVIOUS PLEDGES AND PRINCIPLES^ BUT THE LEADER

of the Op p o s i t i o n w i l l not be allow ed to succeed in

WRECKING THIS COUNTRY AND ITS PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEMy

His only success so far has been to g a l v a n is e th e e n t ir e

Lab o r movement throughout Au s t r a l i a ^· I t i s o n ly the b e g in n in g

SUPPORT for the p a r l ia m e n t a r y p r i n c i p l e goes far beyond

our ranks and the r e a l pressure on h im i s g o in g to come

from the o verw helm ing m a j o r it y of d ec e n t Au s t r a l ia n s -

NOT LEAST THE OVERWHELMING MASS OF DECENT LIBERALS WHO,

WHATEVER THEIR OPINION OF THE LABOR PARTY MAY BE, BELIEVE

PROFOUNDLY IN THE GREAT PARLIAMENTARY PRINCIPLE WHICH

t h i s House i t s e l f and t h i s House alone e m b o d ie s ,^

V

A p r e v io u s Pr im e Mi n i s t e r , Sir Ro bert Me n z i e s , has s a i d

THAT THE REJECTION BY A HOSTILE SENATE OF A B lL L OF THIS

KIND WOULD CREATE "AN IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION AND MAKE

POPULAR GOVERNMENT UNWORKABLE"^ ΪΗΕ GOVERNMENT WILL NOT

STAND BY AND LET POPULAR GOVERNMENT BECOME UNWORKABLE - T L r fT

NOW, BUT MORE IMPORTANT, FOR THE FUTURE y

Th i s Government i s not o nly j u s t i f i e d i n m a i n t a i n i n g i t s

» .

P OS ITION BUT I T I S BOUND IN DUTY TO DO 5 0 χ THE GOVERNMENT -

ANY ELECTED GOVERNMENT - BASED UPON THE MAJORITY IN THE

Ho u se of Re p r e s e n t a t i v e s, m u s t be a b l e t o g o v e r n/ Th i s

IS AN ISSUE NOT JUST FOR T H IS PRESENT GOVERNMENT AND FOR

ME; I T IS A PR IN CI PL E OF FUNDAMENTAL IMPORTANCE FOR ALL

f u t u r e Go v e r n m e n t s a n d Pr i m e Mi n i s t e r s - a n d f o r Au s t r a l i a^

And t h i s m u s t b e e m p h a s i s e d: i n t h i s g r a v e c o n s t i t u t i o n a l

C R I S I S , T H I S CRUCIAL DISPUTE BETWEEN THE TWO HOUSES,

NONE OF THE ELECTORAL OPTIONS AV A IL AB LE ARE IN ANY WAY

RELEVANT TO THE ISSUE AT S T A K E / THE FACT, FOR EXAMPLE,

THAT THERE ARE GROUNDS EXTANT FOR A DOUBLE DI SSOLUTION DOES

NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM - I T COMPOUNDS I T / THERE CAN BE NO

DOUBLE DISSOLUTION ON T H IS ISSUE - ON THE GROUNDS OF THE

Se n a t e d e f e r r a l or e v e n r e j e c t i o n of t h e Bu d g e t/ The

GROUNDS FOR A DOUBLE DISSOLUTION ON T H I S ISSUE DO NOT E X I S T /

Th e y c o u l d n o t e x i s t for a t l e a s t a n o t h e r t h r e e m o n t h s -

U N T I L AFTER THE SENATE HAD TWICE REJECTED THE B l L L S /

Th e r e c o u l d n o t b e an e l e c t i o n a f t e r a d o u b l e d i s s o l u t i o n

ON T H I S ISSUE FOR AT LEAST FOUR MONTHS/ THERE COULD NOT

b e a Pa r l i a m e n t s p r i n g i n g from a d o u b l e d i s s o l u t i o n on

T H IS ISSUE FOR AT LEAST S IX MONTHS/ THAT IS THE SORT OF

DISRUPTION PROPOSED BY THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION - MORE

SEVERE EVEN THAN THE NEEDLESS DISRUPTION OF 1 9 7 4 /

...76

-BA-

To SEEK A DOUBLE DISSOLUTION NOW ON OTHER GROUNDS L a w

WOULD SIMPLY CONCEDE THE RIGHT OF THE SENATE TO ^

send the House of Representatives to an election

ANY TIME THE SENATE CHOSE* I t WOULD CONCEDE THE

VERY PRINCIPLE AT STAKE* It WOULD BE SURRENDER TO

THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL PRETENSIONS OF THE SENATE

TO MAKE OR BREAK GOVERNMENTS FORMED IN THE HOUSE OF

Representatives* To concede that right now, to

SURRENDER THAT PRINCIPLE NOW, WOULD BE TO ESTABLISH

A SPURIOUS RIGHT, A NON-EXISTENT POWER TO THE .

Senate for a ll time/ W e w ill not sell out the

CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF THIS HOUSE* We WILL NOT

BARTER AWAY THE FUTURE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

(_v— ίΛν

/'

-6-

I WENT TO THE PEOPLE AS PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA

ONLY SEVENTEEN MONTHS AGO, AND MY GOVERNMENT WAS ENDORSED

BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE SECOND TIME IN LESS THAN EIGHTEEN

MONTHS^ We WERE ELECTED TO GOVERN FOR A FURTHER

THREE YEARS, UNTIL 1 9 7 7 , AND THAT IS THIS GOVERNMENT'S

EXPECTATION AND INTENTION^

Governments are made and unmade in the House of

Re p r e s e n t a t iv e s - in the p e o p l e ' s House - and so long

as my Government c o n t in u e s to m a i n t a i n a m a j o r it y in

t h i s House i t w i l l c o n t in u e as the Government of Au s t r a l ia * ·

Be h in d the m an o eu v er in g s and m au n d er in g s of the Leader

of the Op p o s it io n there l i e s a strange and even s i n i s t e r

story w hich i s q u ic k l y be c o m in g r evea led and u n r a v e l l e d .

And the pe o ple of Au s t r a l ia are / T wake- up to i t *

There i s for in s t a n c e the c u r io u s role of th e press p r o p r ie t o r s

and the Leader of the Op p o s i t i o n ' s even more c u r io u s

RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM* THE INFLAMMATORY HEADLINES,

THE LYING POSTERS, THE CAREFULLY ORCHESTRATED EDITORIALS

ON THE ONE HAND - THE FLYING V IS IT TO BROADWAY, THE

URGENT RING-AROUND LAST TUESDAY NIGHT BY THE LEADER OF THE

Op p o s it io n on the other* At h i s Press Co nference l a s t

Wednesday the Leader of the Op p o s it io n was a s k e d :

"T h i s i s the second t im e in e ig h t e e n months t h a t

YOU HAVE TRIED TO REJECT MONEY B lLLS IN THE SENATE

TO FORCE AN ELECTION* WHY SHOULD THE PEOPLE OF

Au s t r a l i a t h i n k t h a t t h i s i s none other than another

ATTEMPT BY THE OPPOSITION TO TAKE POWER."

-7-

A N S W E R :

" I SUGGEST THAT YOU READ THIS MORNING'S NEWSPAPERS*"

AS EVERYBODY IN THIS PLACE KNOWS ? -ϋϋίΚΓ THE LEADER OF THE

Op p o s it io n telep h o n ed the l e a d in g p r o p r ie t o r s on Tu esday

NIGHT TO TELL THEM FIRST OF HIS PLANS AND ENLIST THEIR

r PRIOR SUPPORT - THAT IS , TO CONDITION THE PUBLIC IN ADVANCE*

And THAT IS WHAT t h e p u b l ic read in t h e ir NEWSPAPERS*

But now, s e e in g the response and j u s t anger of t h e p u b l i c ,

the p r o p r ie t o r s are h a v in g second thoughts *

I f the Leader of the Op p o s it io n t h in k s t h a t l a s t We d n e s d a y ' s

e d i t o r i a l s were in some way an e x p r e s s io n of Au s t r a l ia n

OPINION, LET h im READ YESTERDAY'S NEWSPAPERS:

The Melbourne He r a l d :

'We b e l i e v e the Op p o s it io n should not c o n t in u e to

r efuse Su p p l y * I f t h ey g a in e d o f f ic e b y r a d ic a l

. strategm M r Fraser and M r Anthony would q u it e

POSSIBLY FIND A PERMANENTLY UNGOVERNABLE AUSTRALIA

ON THEIR HANDS*'

The Ad e l a id e Ad v e r t i s e r :

' I t i s M r Fraser who f i r s t threw away th e r u l e book

AND MADE ΤΗ IS A BOOTS AND ALL FIGHT& H e AND HIS

SUPINE FOLLOWERS CANNOT NOW COMPLAIN IF THEY GET HURT^'

The PROPRIETORS ARE HAVING SECOND THOUGHT^* S o SHOULD

the Leader of th e Op p o s it io n * So should h i s s u p in e

FOLLOWERS'/

- 8 -

The c o n d it io n in g w hich the Leader of the Op p o s it io n and

THE PROPRIETORS SOUGHT TO IMPOSE UPON THE PUBLIC LAST WEEK

AND INDEED FOR WEEKS BEFORE THAT, THEY NOW SEEK TO IMPOSE

upon the Governor -Gener al h im s e l f *

There have been those long months of c o n d it io n in g b y the

POLITICAL, THE BUSINESS AND MEDIA INTERESTS WHO HAVE NEVER

BEEN PREPARED TO ACCEPT THE LEGITIMACY OF AN AUSTRALIAN

Labor Government * Now we are s e e in g a fresh phase in t h i s

e x e r c is e * N o w we have the h e a d l in e s . . . "W i l l S ir J ohn Kerr

Ac t? " . . . . " F raser Says Kerr Must Sa c k P .M ." .

~tAx.o

Where w i l l tse i n t i m i d a t i o n s t o p ?

I FIND IT THOROUGHLY DEPRESSING THAT THE HONOURABLE MEMBER

for Wentw orth , a former So l i c i t o r -G e n e r a l , one who d is c h a r g e d

h i s o f f ic e w it h d i s t i n c t i o n and i m p a r t i a l i t y , l e n d in g h im s e l f

TO THIS DISGRACEFUL EPISODE*

W e now have the e x tr a o r d in a r y s p e c t a c le of the Op p o s i t i o n ,

APPARENTLY RECOGNISING THAT IT HAS FAILED TO BLACKMAIL ME

INTO AN ELECTION FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, NOW

SEEKING TO BRING REPREHENSIBLE PRESSURE TO BEAR ON THE

Governor -G e n e r a l , the r e p r e s e n t a t iv e of the Queen in

Au s t r a l i a , to a c h ie v e t h a t very t h i n g , and to do so by

d i s m i s s i n g me as Pr im e Mi n i s t e r , a Pr im e Mi n i s t e r who t w ic e

in l e s s than th r ee years has been ele c te d w it h a m a j o r it y in

THE GOVERNING HOUSE AND WHO CONTINUES TO HAVE A MAJORITY IN

t h at Houser

. . , / 9

- 9 -

I t i s the very d e f i n i t i o n of a c o n s t it u t io n a l monarchy

THAT THE MONARCH ACTS ON THE ADVICE OF THE MINISTERS

CONSTITUTIONALLY ASSIGNED TO H IM *

I t i s u n t h in k a b l e t h a t in Gr e a t Br i t a i n the Queen would

d i s m i s s a Pr im e Mi n i s t e r h a v in g the c o n f id e n c e of t h e

House of Commonsx The Governor -Ge n e r a l ' s p o s i t i o n in

Au s t r a l ia i s the same as t h a t of the So v e r e ig n in Gr ea t

Br i t a i n * The Balfo ur De c l a r a t io n of 1926 l a i d i t down

t h a t -

" It i s an e s s e n t ia l consequence of th e

EQUALITY OF STATUS EXISTING AMONG THE

Members of the Br i t i s h Commonwealth of

Na t io n s t h a t the Governor -G e n e r al of a

DOMINION IS THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE

Crown, h o l d in g in a l l e s s e n t ia l r espe c ts

y f THE SAME POSITION IN RELATION TO THE

ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS IN THE

DOMINION AS IS HELD BY HlS MAJESTY THE

Kin g in Gr ea t Br i t a i n , and t h a t he i s

NOT THE REPRESENTATIVE OR AGENT OF HlS

Ma j e s t y ' s Government in Gr eat Br i t a i n

OR OF ANY DEPARTMENT OF THAT GOVERNMENT*"

. . . / m

- lu -

Nor is i t the fu n c tio n of the Co n s t it u t io n a l Mo narc h , or

THE VICEROY, TO ACT AS ARBITER BETWEEN RIVAL PARTIES,

STILL LESS TO TAKE ADVICE FROM THE LEADERS OF BOTH SIDES

WITH A VIEW TO FORMING A CONCLUSION OF HIS OWN, ONE HAS

to go bac k to George I I I - before the f ir s t s e t t l e m e n t of

Au s t r a l ia - to f in d an example of a monarch who t r ie d to

RULE AFTER THIS FASHIONx - ··' ' .. '

I f the Governor -Ge n e r al were to in t e r v e n e by d i s m i s s i n g

Mi n i s t e r s , he would be expected to do the same on another

OCCASIONx He would be dragged in t o the arena of pa r ty

p o l i t i c s and the Crown would become the f o o t b a l l of

c o n t e n d in g f a c t io n s *

I n another s i t u a t i o n in w h ic h a Governor -G e n e r a l was b e in g

i n c i t e d by a non- L abor Senate to r e j e c t the a d v ic e of Hi s

Ma j e s t y ' s Au s t r a l ia n Labor Go ver n m en t , S ir I saac I saacs

s a id :

" I f, as you request me to d o , I should

REJECT THEIR ADVICE, SUPPORTED AS IT IS

BY THE CONSIDERED OPINION OF THE HOUSE

of Re p r e s e n t a t iv e s , and should a c t upon

THE EQUALLY CONSIDERED CONTRARY OPINION OF

the Se n a t e , my conduct w ould, I f e a r , even

ON ORDINARY CONSTITUTIONAL GROUNDS, AMOUNT

TO AN OPEN PERSONAL PREFERENCE OF ONE HOUSE

AGAINST THE OTHER - IN OTHER WORDS, AN ACT

OF PARTISANSHIΡχ"

S ir I saac I saacs acted on the a d v ic e of h i s Mi n i s t e r s *

To pressure a Governor -G ener al to in t e r v e n e for p a r t is a n

ADVANTAGE IN A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE TWO HOUSES AND CONTRARY

TO THE ADVICE OF THE MINISTERS CONSTITUTIONALLY ASSIGNED

TO HIM WOULD BE TO INCITE YET ANOTHER CONSTITUTIONAL BREACH*

The v i t a l is s u e must be stated a g a in and a g a in * I t i s the

Senate w h ic h is on t r ia l * A c o n s t it u t io n a l p r i n c i p l e of

FUNDAMENTAL IMPORTANCE TO THE FUTURE OF PARLIAMENTARY

Government is b e in g v io l a t e d by the b l o c k in g of Su p p l y

by the Op p o s it io n in the Sen a te *

- 11 -

12

- 12 -

The fac t of the matter i s t h at not s i x months in the l i f e

of t h i s Government has passed w it h o u t th e p r o v is io n of

Su p p l y b e in g q u e s t io n e d or th r eaten e d * I t b e g a n , as

Senator Wit h e r s r e v e a l e d , in Ap r i l 1973 befo r e an e l e c t io n

could be held for h a l f the Se n a t e , befo re a d o u b l e - d is s o l u t io n

COULD BE GRANTED* THE COURSE OF ACTION WAS BEING PREPARED

by Senators who took o f f ic e Ih and l\\ year s be fo r e my

Go ve r n m e n t , who were e le c te d 5 years b e fo r e my Government #

Th at course has now been pursued to the l i m i t , through the

DEATH OF A LABOR SENATOR AND THE GROSS MISCONDUCT OF THE

Qu ee n s la n d Government in r e p l a c in g h im - a c h i e v e d , as

Senator St e e l e Ha l l has s a i d , "Over a d ead m a n' s c o r ps e" #

From the f i r s t weeks of our coming i n , t h e Op p o s i t i o n - the

SELF ANOINTED, SELF-APPOINTED MEN BORN TO RULE - SHOWED THE GO LENGTHS THEY WOULD ^ TO DISRUPT THE NORMAL OPERATIONS OF

Government in t h e i r quest for power# The Leader of the

Country Pa r t y comes up w it h t h i s hac kneyed old p h r a s e :

" L ust for power" * Can there be any doubt who i t i s t h a t

IS REALLY LUSTING AFTER POWER? BUT IF WE HAVE TO USE THESE

SEXIST ANALOGIES, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CONDUCT OF

the Government and the Op p o s it io n is th e world of

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LAWFUL EXERCISE OF CONJUGAL RIGHTS ------AND THE RAPIST#

, . . / 1 2 A

Le t me p la c e my Go v e r n m e n t' s p o s i t i o n c l e a r l y on th e record*

I SHALL NOT ADVISE THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL TO HOLD AN ELECTION

for the House of Re p r e s e n t a t iv e s a t the b e h e s t of t h e Se n a te*

I SHALL TENDER NO ADVICE FOR AN ELECTION FOR EITHER HOUSE

or both Houses u n t i l t h i s c o n s t i t u t i o n a l is s u e i s s e t t l e d*

Th i s Go v e r n m e n t/ so long as i t r e t a in s i t s m a j o r i t y in the

House of Re p r e s e n t a t iv e s , w i l l c o n t in u e th e course endorsed

by the Au s t r a l ia n peo ple in May 1 9 7 4 *

,.,713

-13-

Far more im p o r ta n t than what happens in the n e x t t h i r t y d a y s ,

IS WHAT HAPPENS IN THE NEXT THIRTY YEARSx THAT'S

w h a t' s a t stake * I f t h i s House succumbed , i f the

Senate were to su c c eed , th ese would be the c o n se q u en c e s :

. THE IMMEDIATE RESULT WOULD BE THAT THIS NATION

WOULD BE FOUR MONTHSVWITHOUT A PARLIAMENT AT

A CRITICAL TIM E *

. . The House of Re p r e s e n t a t iv e s , the p e o p l e ' s Ho u s e ,

WOULD HAVE ITS FINANCIAL PARAMOUNTCY VIOLATED*

. Re s p o n s ib l e Government would be u n d e r m in e d *

. Ba s i c c o n s t it u t io n a l c o n v e n t io n s , every b i t as

IMPORTANT AS WHAT IS WRITTIN IN OUR CONSTITUTION,

WOULD BECOME MEANINGLESS*

, El e c t io n s for the House of Re p r e s e n t a t iv e s could be

PRECIPITATED BY THE SENATE TWICE A YEAR*

, The mandate g iv e n by t h e . people a t a House of

Re p r e s e n t a t iv e s e l e c t io n would be s u b j e c t to a v i r t u a l

veto by t h e Senate *

. The frequency of e l e c t io n s and the u n c e r t a in t y of th e

Government ^Whatever Pa r t y^ in p u r s u in g i t s program would

WOUND AND WEAKEN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE NATION'S AFFAIRS.

I n a SITUATION OF ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY THIS EFFECT COULD r> Γ * Λ ΑΤΑ ΟΤΛΛΓΜ t » /*

-14-

. Di f f i c u l t and im po r ta n t d e c is io n s w h ic h any

HONOURABLE AND COURAGEOUS GOVERNMENT SAW AS NECESSARY

THOUGH IN THE SHORT TERM ELECTORALLY UNPOPULAR WOULD

BE SEIZED UPON TO DESTROY I T *

. I n t e r n a t io n a l l y Au s t r a l ia n s s t a n d in g as a i ^ l

•e e a t i t t ^ STABLE « W B B IkD E M O C R A C Y ,A S . A

CONSTITUTIONAL NATION WOULD DISAPPEAR FOREVER*

THE MESSAGE FROM THE SENATE CONSTITUTES AN ACT OF

CONSTITUTIONAL AGGRESSION BY THE SENATE* AGGRESSION

MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO SUCCEED* THIS ACT AND ALL ITS

CONSEQUENCES, SHORT TERM, LONG TERM, L IE SOLELY AT THE

DOOR OF THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION AND HIS FOLLOWERS*

Not for the f i r s t t im e i s Government of the p e o p le for the

PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE - AND IN OUR CASE, BY THE PEOPLE'S HOUSE

a t stak e * . And in the words of L in c o ln when he was t r y in g

TO AVERT THE GREATEST CONSTITUTIONAL CONVULSION IN THE

HISTORY OF DEMOCRACY, LET ME SAY TO THE LEADER OF THE

Op p o s it io n and h i s fo llo w e r s ;

-15-

" In your hands and not in m in e r e s ts t h i s

MOMENTOUS ISSUE* YOU CAN HAVE NO CONFLICT

WITHOUT YOURSELF BEING THE AGGRESSOR*

YOU HAVE REGISTERED NO OATH TO DESTROY THE

Co n s t i t u t i o n , w h il e I have the most solemn one

to preserve and defend i t * "

The Leader of th e Op p o s it io n m a in t a in s t h a t a l l t h a t

i s r e q u ir e d for Au s t r a l ia to a v o id the e v i l consequences

OF HIS OWN ACTIONS IS FOR US - THE ELECTED GOVERNMENT -to cave i n * Of c o u r s e , i f Br i t a i n had caved in

IN 1940 A GREAT DEAL OF INCONVENIENCE WOULD HAVE BEEN

a v o id e d * Bu t th e d e s t r u c t io n of Br i t i s h p a r l ia m e n t a r y

DEMOCRACY WOULD ONLY HAVE BEEN POSTPONED,* W e WILL

STAND UP FOR THE RIGHTS OF THIS HOUSE AND THE RIGHTS

of the Au s t r a l ia n p e o ple * W e w i l l not sur render *

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