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Wednesday, 27 February 1952

Mr MENZIES - So far, I have not received one of the postcards to which the honorable member has referred, but I was spoken to a couple of days ago about this .campaign. It is being organized by a body known as " The Society for Non-Ratification of the Japanese Peace Treaty". That society is by no means confined to Communists. I want to say that immediately. There are many non-Communists in it, as will not be surprising; but there is no doubt that the Communist party has been extraordinarily active in promoting the society's work. This morning I learned from the appropriate source that since the middle of January the Communist party of Australia has concentrated its efforts on supporting this campaign. I am able to read to honorable members a couple of quotations from the document that the Communist party itself has issued concerning this matter.

Mr Ward - I thought that this question was asked without notice.

Mr MENZIES - It was; but, fortunately, I had heard about the subject a couple of days ago when I fell into a conversation about the Communists which led, naturally, to the honorable member for East Sydney and led me to make inquiries. I shall quote to the honorable member words with which he is no doubt familiar. This is what the Communist party says to its lower divisions in the society that I have mentioned -

The Society proposes to have a representative deputation present the petition to the Prime Minister in Canberra when the House meets to consider the treaty . . . The sponsors' names and the fact that the Labour party will oppose the ratification, should facilitate both the widest collection of signatures and the drawing into the collection of many Australian Labour party members mid non-,party people.

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