Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 4 August 1954

Mr LINDSAY (Flinders)

I move -

That the following Address-in-Reply to the Speech of His Excellency the Governor-General be agreed to: -

We, the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, in Parliament assembled, desire to express our loyalty to our Most Gracious Sovereign, and to thank Your Excellency for the Speech which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.

In moving this motion, I should like to say that I am indeed appreciative of the twofold honour which has befallen me in that first, the people of the Division of Flinders have seen fit to give me their confidence and elect me to this Parliament; and, secondly, that the duty of moving and speaking to this motion has been entrusted to me. I am particularly happy to fill, on this side of the House, the seat that was held by my kinsman, the late Rupert Ryan, whose death so shocked all of us, and of whom I have heard nothing but praise. I trust that I shall be able to carry out my duties to the best of my ability, and in a like manner to that in which he carried out his duties here, for the good of both Australia and its people. This Twenty-first Commonwealth Parliament may well prove to be one of the most historic parliaments in our history. During the last Parliament we celebrated our fiftieth year as a nation. In this Parliament we may be said to be celebrating our coming of age. I believe that these two events will make us more fit to carry out the duties that lie ahead of us. Since we won World War II. nearly ten years ago, an even darker shadow has been moving closer to us and to all lovers of freedom in the world. In the past, any such threat to us has come from Europe, and we have had time to prepare against it. But let us not lose sight of the fact that the time is rapidly coming when we might easily feel the first impact from

Asia. The pattern of current events is following closely the pattern that we have read about, heard about and even lived through. South-East Asia is being swallowed up bit by bit, and finally we might even be threatened. We saw the same pattern in the days of our late adversary, Adolf Hitler, who first took Austria, and later Czechoslovakia, in his march of conquest. Mussolini followed in his footsteps by taking Albania and Abyssinia. To prevent a similar pattern of conquest, we, together with others, may eventually be compelled to take a firm stand - even if there should be a risk attached to it. Individual strength and collective security will probably prove to be the solution of the important problems that I have outlined. Therefore, we have a double obligation to ourselves. First, we must lay a sound foundation for our future security, and, secondly, we must remember that we have grave matters to handle and that perhaps slight sacrifices may be asked of us to ensure a successful handling of them. One of the greatest statesmen in the world at present stands at our head. He is not only persona grata to the Throne, which symbolizes the British way of life, but also to the United States of America without whose friendship and unlimited resources the free world would be fettered.

His Excellencyhas rightly touched on the recent visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second and of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh to this island continent. I did not have the honour, as did most honorable members present, of seeing the Queen in this House, but I saw her frequently in the streets during her visit. Therefore, J believe that I can rightly say that her radiant personality has given us a greater strength of will than we have ever had before, and that, as the first reigning monarch to visit these shores she has, by her. charm and kindness, knit us all even closer to the Throne. Let us, therefore as a rising nation, help the cause of freedom by showing the same solidarity that we exhibited when she was here among us. Australia to-day shows promise of future greatness which possibly even the pioneers could not imagine, although they, by their hard work, laid the foundations of our present life. Nobody can deny that we have one of the highest standards of living in the world to-day. First, gold was found in our semi-desert regions, and now we have a good prospect of bringing to reality our glittering dream of oil. Unquestionably, uranium is at present being mined in Australia in large quantities, and that element may ultimately even be the means of bringing water to our vast dry inland areas. If it should do so, those areas will be able to carry an even greater population than we could ever imagine. All this and much more is our heritage, and it i3 therefore our bounden duty to preserve and develop this nation.

His Excellencyascribed certain responsibilities to this Parliament in his Speech. He stated that they were thestrengthening of Australia's security, the maintenance of a healthy economy, the development of our natural resources and the social welfare of the Australian people. Much has been done recently, as the international situation has worsened, to make friends with our neighbors abroad, and to build up our defences at homo. However, much more remains to be clone. In the past the Australian taxpayer has grumbled because high ranking ministers have travelled overseas, but lately his opinion has changed because he has come to realize the value of such visits. Indeed, it has recent been stated that even the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), overburdened as he is with other duties, might travel to foreign countries in order to exercise his statesmanship abroad. If he should do so, I am sure that the taxpayers will realize that through his influence overseas, and because of the great knowledge that he will be able to bring to the affairs of government, the efficiency with which we deal with international problems will he greatly increased. As our influence abroad grows, and our defence power strengthens, our economy will benefit because incentives will be given for the necessary overseas capital to flow in and develop our resources, and attractive conditions will be developed for workers who will come from the vigorous youngsters now pouring out of our schools as well as from immigrants. In my electorate there are many many people who would be only too willing to work in nearby light industries. There are others who waste much time each day by going from the suburbs to the city.

Our programme in respect of social services is well-known. The easing of the means test is now possible, and that will prove a great incentive to thrifty people to be even more thrifty. I trust that although much has already been done by this Government by way of taxation relief to lower income earners, perhaps it will consider raising the basic age pension for those who .are absolutely dependent upon the pension, particularly those drawing the single unit. Perhaps in the past they have had no incentive to save, or they may have found it too difficult to do so. At the same time, let us not forget that it was their indomitable spirit which enabled them to lay the foundation of the position in which we find ourselves to-day.

In conclusion, I repeat that I am very proud to be a member of this Government which has done so much for Australia, and I shall do my utmost to attain the goal towards which any Christian nation aspires. England owes much to Sir Winston Churchill, and realizes it. We owe a great deal to our Prime Minister, and we recognized it by re-electing him for what I hope will prove to be a record and historic term.. He has the confidence of the people. He has the confidence of his party. May God be with him and with all of us.

Suggest corrections