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Wednesday, 8 May 1957

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) .- Five years ago, a plan designed to destroy the Australian Labour party as a democratic party was entered upon in this country.

Mr Peters - What has this to do with blankets?

Mr KILLEN - I shall not be at all surprised if what I have to say this evening is greeted with murmurs of complaint, but the honorable member for Scullin (Mr. Peters) is complaining too soon, because he has not been hurt, yet. Many people, at that time, thought that the plan was most unreal and saw no hope for it. However, the plan reached a notable stage of accomplishment some two or three weeks ago when the Premier of the State of Queensland was expelled from the Australian Labour party. At first blush, many people would say that the expulsion of the Premier of Queensland from the Australian Labour party is not the concern of this Parliament. Many people would say, also, that the fact that many of the Government's supporters in Queensland have stood by the Premier and joined him in isolation from their former party is of no great national importance.

I want to say at once that I reject both views. In 1952, members of the Australian Communist party made it perfectly clear that one of their urgent and vital tasks was to isolate and destroy what they styled the reactionary elements in the Australian Labour party. Since 1952, they have to their credit a number of notable accomplishments. Recently, in Queensland, they advanced the plan to a most impressive stage of accomplishment. I want to read to the House a few of the statements made by some of the leading members of the Australian Communist party since 1952 so that honorable members will be able to examine for themselves the substance of the contention I have just made. In the " Communist

Review", of July, 1952, Mr. Sharkey wrote -

It is a question for us of setting out consciously to foster a left wing in the Labour party, to encourage all the incipient revolts expressing themselves in the Labour party.

In the " Communist Review ", of September. 1952, Mr. Aarons, secretary of the New South Wales State Committee of the Austraiian Communist party, wrote -

It is the task of the Communists to assist and to lead the left wing in the A.L.P. This is a most important task, as our leader, Comrade Sharkey, has pointed out. In his farseeing mind, he sees the long-range aim of political unity of the working class - that is, one party of the working class, based on the defeat and exclusion of the right wing from the A.L.P. and amalgamation of the two parties on the basis of Marxism-Leninism.

In the " Communist Review ", of April, 1953, Mr. Sharkey wrote -

Our party leadership in all States must study the developments within the Labour party, the divisions, the moves among the rank and file, and develop the united front tactics to seize every such situation. By the tactics of the united front, we aim to wrest the masses of the working class from the grip of the treacherous Labour party leaders.

In the " Communist Review ", published this month, Mr. Thornton wrote as follows: -

Australian conditions demand in the development of united action not unity between Communists and just anybody else but primarily between workers who support the Communist party and workers who support the Labour party.

I want to make it abundantly clear that the legislative behaviour of the Queensland Premier will wring no admiration from me. Similarly, I want to make it clear that I stand four-square behind the maintenance of constitutional government. What has happened in Queensland is simply part and parcel of a process that has been going on in this country for five years, and has now moved to this notable and most important stage. The device is simply to isolate the right wing, the moderate-thinking people in the Labour party, to surface them, and destroy them. Then another issue is devised and that is applied to those who are left. The reactionaries are brought to the surface, and once again are destroyed. The process is continued until such time as what remains of the Labour party is so utterly indistinguishable from the Communist party that it does not matter. Of course, at some time or other, this Government will be voted out. What is to be voted in? It will not be the Labour party of old, but a party that has been processed by the vanguard of the Communist party.

True it is that there are many people on the Opposition benches who have not supported communism, but it is equally true that there are many people on the Opposition benches who have not fought it. I propose now to divulge this to the House: At the meeting of the central committee of the Communist party in Sydney, in March of this year, Mr. Dixon, the federal president, reported on the party's activities in Queensland. I do not propose to name my informer. I will leave it to the Communist party to conduct its own heresy hunt. Here are some of the points that Mr. Dixon made -

1.   The realization of Marxism in practical life is the right application of Lenin's tactics towards the left wing elements in the Labour Movement.

2.   Every Communist knows that his duty has been and is to assist and to lead left wing elements of the A.L.P.

3.   The left wing of the A.L.P. are by no means people who are united by a political ideal.

4.   Among them are sound proletarian elements trying to emancipate themselves from the old ideology and trying to find a common meeting place with us.

I vaguely suspect that the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) may find some place in that category. Further points made by Mr. Dixon were -

5.   Among the left wing element there are also many scoundrels who are left wing as they believe this trend must satisfy their personal ambitions.

6.   Our attitude towards the individual left wing member is determined by his political usefulness. As long as he is fighting the right wing reactionary we must support him.

7.   Whether or not we trust Bukowski-

This is the Queensland commissar - is not important. We trust Bukowski as much as we trust Gair. We support Bukowski because Gair represents the right wing of the Australian Labour party and our first task is to smash the right wing.

8.   The main action on which our party must concentrate its efforts is the three weeks' leave issue.

9.   Under our influence the question of three weeks' leave was introduced at the Australian Labour party Conference last year.

10.   On the demand for three weeks' leave we can mobilize the masses of the workers in Queensland, for the class struggle under the leadership of the Communist party.

1   1 . We have to realize-

And this is of singular importance - that we are exerting our influence in the Queensland Central Executive through our trade unions.

People who represent our unions in the Queensland Central Executive are not members of our party - and you know well that they must not be. They are the people who sympathize with our ideas or who consider our ideas opportune for their own personal careers.

12.   We must keep in mind that the Federal leaders of the Australian Labour party are leftists who up to now have been going our way. They do it in their peculiar way, sometimes one step forward and two steps back, as Lenin used to characterize the attitude of this strata of the Labour movement. But still they are left-wingers who must not be antagonized by our action, if we wish to assist and to lead them.

13.   At the present moment the federal leaders of the Australian Labour party are anxious to gradually crush the reactionary leaders of their own party in Queensland, but to avoid the split which was forced in Victoria at the cost of the loss of the Australian Labour party Government in that State.

I believe that the position is quite clear to all people who value constitutional government in this country. It has been savagely attacked in Queensland by a band of opportunists who have been steered and processed by individuals whose first loyalty is to a foreign power. The basic aim of the Communist party in this country is to capture and prostitute the Labour party. I submit that that aim has been religiously adhered -to. It has been advanced to a dangerous degree. It has been advanced to a stage where it warrants the appraisement of every person who believes that democratic government should be maintained. What has happened in this country, and is still happening, is similar to what has happened in three other Communist-dominated countries.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member's time has expired.

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