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Tuesday, 30 July 1946


The ruling which Mr. Speaker gave was that it is unparliamentary to apply that term to another honorable member.

Mr CALWELL - Honorable members opposite say there is no incentive in the business world, and no desire to produce. How can they reconcile that absurd state ment with the fact that there is no company going bankrupt under Labour rule ? Every financial column published in any newspaper anywhere' in Australia to-day shows that all companies are making large profits and many of them are making increased profits. Why is the Treasury chock full of applications from big companies for permission to expand capital issues? If the country were " going on the rocks ", as honorable members opposite would have the electors believe, why are no ships vacant in any of the capital cities?

Mr Gullett - People are sleeping in them.

Mr CALWELL - The honorable member is a member of the Melbourne club, and he represents big business interests in this Parliament. The honorable member for Flinders is another member of the Melbourne club.

The CHAIRMAN - I ask the Minister to confine his remarks to the -bill.

Mr CALWELL - I am exposing the hypocritical pretensions of honorable members opposite. Whilst big' business interests might appreciate the heavy reductions of tax which the honorable member for Fawkner would offer them, most of the people know that the present Government acts for the benefit of the masses. They know that there would be no hope for Australia if effect were given to the policy advocated by honorable members opposite, who have exposed themselves as protagonists of the worst forms of predatory wealth. They wish to get back to the treasury bench in order to restore the capitalist system as it operated prior to the war; but the war was not fought to make the world safe for capitalism. They are deluding themselves, if they think that the people of Australia will allow them to get back to power to reduce taxes in such a way as will benefit only those whom they represent. - The provision of £4,000,000, which is the cost of the means test alleviation, will help people in the smaller pension and income groups. The present Government is primarily concerned with those people, because the big men can look after themselves. The small people need assistance from honorable members on the Government side. They need protection against those "who kept them in the pit during the depression years. A Victorian government which included the Leader of the Opposition compelled returned soldiers of World War I. to work to beautify their own Victorian War Memorial in Melbourne at sustenance rates of pay.

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