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Thursday, 17 November 1960


Mr JESS (La Trobe) .- I am indeed always very thrilled to hear the honorable member for Wills (Mr. Bryant) talk about the action he is prepared to take to protect the freedom of all the people of Australia. I hope I will be excused if I apologize for the fact that as far as my personal liberty or that of my wife and children is concerned, I do not accept his assurance in the fullness with which he would like me to accept it. I often feel - I do not say this to the Opposition parti cularly but to some who have been around this House in the last few days - that when proposals are made to restrain people such as the Communists or like influences, they always invoke the same cries. " Inaction and indecision", "Let us wait", "It cannot be done ", " Maintain our traditions ", " Get more evidence ", and " Determine the danger ". To this is added a confusion of ideas which few human minds can sort into any kind of sense. I think the debate to-night is an illustration of it. Communist propaganda attempts to destroy the very language by which an opposing ideology expresses itself.


Mr Whitlam - You are reading too fast.


Mr JESS - I am sick of the book you have been reading. Such words as " Liberal ", " Democratic ", " progressive ", " peace ", and " justice " have been stripped of their meaning. I agree with what the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Anderson) said and I would like to read some of the reasons why I consider that the provisions of this bill should be implemented. I hope the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam) will not deviate from the opinion or findings of a royal commission which was headed by Mr. Justice Sir Charles Lowe of the Supreme Court of Victoria. This was the royal commission on communism in 1950. I have time to read only a few paragraphs which I think will impress some honorable members. At page 26 I read -

There appears to have been a Constitution intervening between 1929 and 1935 of which no copy is in evidence but there is some evidence that it stated the party's objectives in the following words: - " The Communist Party of Australia, which, in its capacity as leader and organizer of the revolutionary movement of the Proletariat, fights for the capture of the majority of the working class, and of large sections of poor and middle farmers for Communist principles and aims, for the colonial peoples in their struggles against imperialism, for the establishment of the dictatorship of the Proletariat, for the formation of an Australian Socialist Soviet Republic, for the total abolition of classes, and for the realization of socialism, which is the initial state of the Communist social order".

The rest is irrelevant, but anybody can read it if he wishes. There is a further statement at page 71, following the heading, "The Famous Twenty-one Points". In paragraph 4 we read1 -

A systematic and vigorous propaganda must be carried on in the Army. Communist nuclei should be formed in every military unit. Most of this work will be illegal, but to refuse to do it would be treason to revolutionary duty and incompatible with membership in the Third Internationale.

This is about the Australian Communist Party. Paragraph 6 reads -

It is the duty of every party desiring to belong to the Third Internationale, to denounce not only avowed patriotism, but also dishonest and hypocritical pacificism and systematically to demonstate to the workers that without the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism no international court of arbitration, no discussion of the reduction of armaments, no " democratic " reorganization of the League of Nations can preserve mankind from fresh imperialistic wars.

I am sorry to read at length, but I have had nothing but Halsbury all night. At page 72 in paragraph 8, with reference to colonies and oppressed nationalities, I read -

Parties belonging to the Communist Internationale are duty-bound pitylessly to unmask the acts of their own imperialists in the colonies, to support every movement for emancipation in the colonies not only with words, but with acts, to demand the expulsion of their own imperialists from those colonies to nourish in the hearts of the workers in their own countries a genuine fraternal feeling for the working population of the colonies and for the oppressed nationalities, and to sustain a systematic education among the troops of their countries against all oppression of the people in the colonies.

I will give honorable members opposite the book later, if they wish, and they can fill in the gaps. At page 74, in paragraph 15, I read -

Parties desiring to belong to the Communist Internationale should give unqualified support to all Soviet republics in their struggle against the counter-revolution. They should untiringly preach refusal to transport munitions or supplies to the enemies of the Soviet Republic.

I will not go any further. Honorable members opposite can fill in the gaps later. On page 135 of the report, Mr. Justice Lowe had this to say -

Does the Australian Communist Party or any of its associated organizations advocate or encourage the overthrow by force or violence of established government? I have now reached the stage at which I must answer the question - whether the Australian Communist Party by its constitution or propaganda or any of its members or any of its associated organizations or persons by propaganda or otherwise, advocates or encourages the overthrow by force or violence of established government . . . The question dates, in my understanding of it, to the over throw of parliamentary government as we know it, in which at the head there is the King's representative, in which the executive authority is in the hands of a ministry which enjoys the support of the majority of Parliament, in which Parliament is .a deliberative assembly and is itself elected on a popular basis by such of the people as possess electoral qualifications, and :in which the judicial power is in the last resort exercised by a judiciary whose tenure is independent of the control of the executive.

Mr. JusticeLowe completed his remarks on this aspect by stating -

I draw attention to but do not repeat what I have said above on the question of time when such overthrow is designed. It is summed up in the evidence of Gibson that the overthrow is intended " at the earliest practicable time ".

Honorable gentlemen opposite will no doubt roar with laughter because Mr. Justice Lowe made his remarks in 1950 and it is now 1960. But because ten years have elapsed and the events that were predicted have not come to pass, is that any reason why this country should not take the necessary steps to protect the way of life that the majority of Australian people love and wish to preserve?







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