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Thursday, 8 December 1960

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) .- The honorable member for Lalor's complaint about the attitude of the Attorney-General (Sir Garfield Barwick) and Government supporters is not very well based at all. During the last few minutes, he endeavoured to be rational and constructive in his approach. No one will quibble at what he has said, but I want to put one thought to him, through you, Mr. Temporary Chairman. I believe that there is proper ground for complaint by honorable members on this side at the attitude of some of his colleagues. The honorable member for Lalor has likened judges of the High Court of Australia to tradesmen of various types. I do not think that is a very useful comparison whatever because, in the final analysis, the judges remain the custodians of the liberties for Australia.

This evening we have heard in this chamber certain honorable members referring to members of the judiciary in a most sneering, contemptible way. The honorable member for Darebin (Mr. Courtnay) said they were all crooks. The honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly) said they were associated with political patronage. Another honorable member whom I did not see, but heard, said they were stooges. The honorable member for Lang (Mr. Stewart) spoke of their being associated with week-end jobs. If that is not denigration. I do not know what is, and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition condoned this tissue of abuse which was levelled against the judiciary. The Labour Party is certainly well and truly in the shallows when it adopts that attitude.

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