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Wednesday, 8 May 1957

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - We have heard another example of the capacity of the honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Killen) for emulating the late Senator McCarthy. Although that senator has passed away we shall have here his faithful ghost while the honorable member remains in this Parliament and seeks to carry on in this enlightened country the kind of smear campaign that made McCarthyism infamous all over the world. The honorable member knows perfectly well that all the things he has said to-night are utter rubbish. All that he is doing is what all other members of the Liberal party do - attempting to smear the Labour party with accusations that they know to be false. This can be proved by even a cursory examination of the facts.

The honorable member stated that in 1952, five years ago, the Communist party set in train a move to destroy the Labour party. All I can say is that if that is true the best allies that the Communist party had in its efforts to destroy Labour were the members of the Liberal party. If that is the aim of the Communist party - and I happen to know that it is - the Liberal party is entitled to whatever satisfaction it can get from the part that it has played in assisting the Communist party to destroy Labour. The party that the Communists are afraid of is not the Liberal party but the Australian Labour party. The more successful we are in ridding ourselves of the pro-Liberal elements that permeated the Labour party some years ago the more the Communist party will fear us. It is true that there was a time when the Communist party's fear of the Labour party had begun to wane. That was the time when the Liberal elements who had sought to capture control of the party, so as to prevent it from acting as a true working class party, had up to a point succeeded. The person who spearheaded the attack on the Labour party in order to sap the fibre of the movement and prevent it from being a true alternative to the Liberal party, thus removing the only barrier against communism, was a gentleman by the name of Santamaria who, I have no doubt, briefed the honorable member for Moreton on the speech that he made to-night.

There is no question at all that Santamaria, whose seven apostles in Victoria were defeated at the last elections, has apostles on the other side of the chamber, not the least of whom is the honorable member for Moreton. Let me tell him that if he thinks he can continue this game of following the Santamaria line, and still hold his seat as a Liberal party representative in Queensland, he has another think coming. When the people of Queensland learn of his true character, political thought, and affiliations they will reject him as the completely unsuitable person whom they will have every right to believe him to be.

As evidence of the smear campaign that this apostle of McCarthyism has pursued to-night, let us examine the records of some of the men that he has branded as Communists. The honorable member accused Mr. Duggan of being a Communist. There is no greater fighter against the Communists than the present leader of the official Labour party in Queensland, John Duggan. Will the honorable member for Moreton, or anybody from Queensland, seriously suggest that the deputy leader of the official Labour party in Queensland, Dr. Felix Dittmer, is a Communist? Even the honorable member for Moreton himself is not prepared to claim that that is so. Will anybody suggest that Mr. Bukowski is a Communist? Even the Communists, on the admission of the document that the honorable member has read, have stated that they do not trust Mr. Bukowski. If Mr. Bukowski were the Communist that the honorable member has tried to smear him as being, the Communist party would not have stated in its review and would not have used the words which he has just used, that the Communists trusted Bukowski no more than they trusted Gair. If he were a Communist, they would trust him much more than the Communists trust Gair.

Mr. Schmellahas spent his whole life fighting communism. He did that in the days when it was not popular to fight the Communists. In the days during the siege of Stalingrad when people on the opposite side of the fence were joining with Churchill in praising the Russian heroes at Stalingrad, Jack Schmella was fighting the Communists. Nobody would suggest that Mr. Frank Forde, another member of the official Labour party in Queensland, who has remained true to it, is a Communist. He was a member of the Privy Council and a former Prime Minister of Australia and everybody knows that he is no more a Communist than is the honorable member for Moreton himself.

The honorable member has quoted a statement by Mr. Sharkey. I say that the statement made by Mr. Sharkey that there is to be a coalition between the Communist party and the left wing elements of the Labour party is absolutely untrue. It is the left wing elements of the Labour party that the Communists fear and not the right wing elements, because the left wing constitutes the real threat and the real opposition to the Communist party in every part of the world. The honorable member for Moreton knows that very well, or would the honorable member prefer to believe the word of the Communist Sharkey against mine? If he does, he is entitled to that preference.

I want to refer now to constitutional government. The honorable member for Moreton has the cheek to get up and speak of the events in Queensland as a threat to constitutional government when the Queensland central executive has ordered the Gair Government to give effect to a pledge that it gave at the last election in Queensland when it promised the people of Queensland that, if elected after the Mackay conference, it would bring in three weeks' annual leave. The Gair Government had every right to introduce three weeks' annual leave because the people of Queensland knew, when they voted for the Gair Government, that part of the policy of the Labour party was the introduction of three weeks' leave. Incidentally, it is important to remember that the three weeks' leave that this renegade Gair refuses to give to the workers of Queensland had been given by the Liberal Premier of South Australia to State employees for the past three years. If the Liberal Premier of South Australia can afford to give three weeks' leave to State employees, is it not a shocking thing that a so-called Labour government in Queensland has claimed that it cannot afford to do so? Is it any wonder that the Queensland central executive, which represents the working class, saw fit to reject and expel this renegade who claimed to be a Labour man and used the Labour banner to get into office?

All this talk of constitutional government and the threat to it! Will any member oi the Liberal party who benefits from its slush fund get up in this Parliament and say that this Government is not at present controlled by outside influences who pay into the party's campaign fund? Will anybody in this Parliament rise and say that ;i Liberal party is not actuated by outside control insofar as its proposed banking legislation is concerned, or in connexion with the sale of the assets of the Australian Whaling Commission? The majority of the deals that this Government has transacted are crooked deals as a result of pressure from outside influences through money that those outside influences have paid into the campaign funds of the Liberal party.

I say that the position in Queensland is that there you have a corrupt government. The Gair Government has been as corrupt as it is possible to be. There is the incident that has never been denied. A sum of £800 was paid by an oil company to Bill Power, the Attorney-General of Queensland. Either Power has kept the £800 for himself - which would not surprise me - or Power has paid the money to Gair, in which case Gair is telling lies when he says that he knows nothing about it.

Sir Wilfred Kent Hughes - Why did not the honorable member say all this before?

Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Well, we did not know about it before. This is only starting to come out. There is something else we did not know before. When Gair made an agreement with Josephson to set up the new company, we did not know that the same Josephson then approached the oil companies in Sydney and Melbourne, rang them on the telephone an ' offered to have the bill controlling the onebrand petrol stations withdrawn on condition that the petrol companies concerned paid them £75,000.

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

Mr Killen - I rise to a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER - Does the honorable member for Moreton claim that he has been misrepresented?

Mr Killen - I do. The honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Clyde Cameron) said that I had implied that Mr. Duggan, Dr. Felix Dittmer and Mr. Forde were Communists. I did not mention their names. The whole tenor of my remarks was simply that the Queensland central executive had fallen for this process of being swung to the left and that that suited Communist activities. I make it perfectly clear that I have never attacked Mr. Duggan, Dr. Dittmer or any other member of the Queensland Parliament, styling them as Communists. I greatly regret that the honorable member for Hindmarsh should have been so bereft of propriety as to make such an accusation.

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