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Wednesday, 20 May 1970

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (12:32 PM) - I rise to say just a few words in respect of the remarks made by the honourable member for Lilley (Mr Kevin Cairns) and by those few who have supported him. Sir, it is quite clear from the remarks of all of them that they arc concerned with preserving the special position which the lending institutions now enjoy in this country and with preserving the special position enjoyed by the interests which show little regard for Australia's welfare. They have no regard at all for the need for Australia to own and control its industries. Where these honourable members must choose between these 2 conflicting interests they are prepared to reject the interests of Australia and to take the side of those who have no regard for Australia except to use it as a quarry and as a place in which to obtain quick returns for little outlay.

Clause 8 of the Bill makes clear what the purpose of the Corporation shall be. It states in part: the Corporation shall pursue a policy directed to securing to the greatest extent that is practicable participation by Australian residents in the ownership of the capital, and in the control, of that company or of the companies engaged or proposing to engage in that industry.

No Government could render a greater service to this country than to try to achieve the objectives there stated.

Here we see these honourable members who are opposed to this legislation having the hide to put the point of view of private investors above the interests of their own country. They ought to be ashamed of themselves for doing so. They ought to be perfectly ashamed of themselves for coming into this place and so blatantly putting the view of people who have waxed fat and battened on this country over the years. These honourable members are putting the interests of these people before the interests of their own country. They are supposed to represent their country. They were sent here to pass laws that will benefit the country to the maximum extent possible. Occasionally, we find that the Government flukes being right. That happens as often, perhaps, as the Opposition flukes being wrong. On this occasion both the Opposition and the Government happen to be right.

Now we have the odd occasion when the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Country Party (Mr McEwen) has done something that is really in the interests of this country. Although he was a long time thinking about it and made a lot of noise about people gradually getting control of Australian industry, at long last, after he was able to get this measure before the House by prevailing on those in the Liberal Party ranks who opposed him and who represented the private lending institutions, we still find those who opposed it fighting a rearguard action against it. I do not know what satisfaction they get from this. Are they completely ignorant of what they are doing, in which case we could perhaps forgive them, or are they willingly or guiltily going along as the direct personal representatives in this place of those lending institutions, even though they know that what they are doing is against the best interests of this country, which is their country as much as it is our country? I am thoroughly ashamed of them and I hope that they will feel just as thoroughly ashamed when they see their recorded remarks in Hansard.

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