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Thursday, 26 May 1904


Mr SPENCE -How old is the book from which the honorable and learned member is quoting?


Mr CONROY - I have not gone further back than 1873 for my quotations, so that honorable members may know what these people are driving at, and- 1 have taken them up to 1897.


Mr Spence - The honorable and learned member has not yet got up to date.


Mr CONROY - And yet Mr. Tom Mann the other day said that he would not deliver the full manifesto of the party, because the people were not ripe for it. I trust the day will never come when they will be ripe for it. I was never one who looked with favour on the granting of the suffrage to women. I admit that honestly, but if the kind of thing to which I have been referring is attempted - if these are the doctrines to be preached - the extension of the suffrage to women will be found to be one of the very best things that could possibly have happened in Australia, because under female suffrage at least we shall not have any wild-cat nonsense of this sort. With female suffrage we shall know where we are. I can give honorable members another example.


Mr Spence - What have we to do with all this?


Mr CONROY - These people advocate the suppression of churches and all forms of religion, as well as all forms of marriage.


Mr Watson - Who does ?


Mr CONROY - The May Day Socialists, of whom honorable members opposite approve.


Mr Spence - That is not true.


Mr Watson - Nonsense ! The honorable and learned member must be mad.


Mr SPEAKER - Order. I understood the honorable member for Darling to say that something which the honorable and learned member for Werriwa said was not true. If he did say so, I must ask him to withdraw the statement.


Mr Spence - I gladly withdraw anything which you consider was not in order. I was not charging the honorable and learned member for Werriwa with being untruthful. My interjection referred to the assertion that the May Day Socialists believe in the doctrines which the honorable and learned member has quoted.


Mr CONROY - If the honorable member for Darling will admit that he was not aware that these men assert and believe these things, I shall accept his statement unreservedly. I am quoting the names of these men, and I have given honorable members the opinions of Karl Marx and Engels to start with.


Mr McDonald - Does the honorable and learned member say that Karl Marx and Engels believe in the opinions he has quoted ?


Mr CONROY - I do.


Mr McDonald - The honorable and learned member's statement is absolutely untrue. It cannot be borne out by their works.


Mr SPEAKER - Order.. I must ask the honorable member for Kennedy to withdraw the statement that something which the honorable and learned member for Werriwa says is absolutely untrue.


Mr McDonald - I quite understand that it is a parliamentary rule to withdraw such a statement, but nothing appearing in the works of Engels and Marx will bear out what the honorable and learned member for Werriwa has said. So far as they are concerned, the honorable and learned member has uttered a slander on the character of honorable men in making such an assertion.


Mr Spence - The honorable and learned member does not know what he is talking about.


Mr McDonald - My opinion is that such assertions could come only from a diseased brain.


Mr CONROY - I quite agree with you ; they could only come from a diseased brain.


Mr SPEAKER - Order. The honorable and learned member must not address honorable members directly.


Mr CONROY - I quite agree with the honorable member for Kennedy that these opinions could only be the' emanation of diseased brains. When men like Marx assert such things, they must be possessed of diseased brains. I see that the idea of Bakunin was the same. I consider that, he is an anarchist more than a May Day Socialist. I do not need to quote the continental men - Deville, Blanqui, Raspail, and- half-a-dozen others to whom I could refer.


Mr Thomas - Will the honorable and learned member quote Blatchford ?


Mr CONROY - It has been well pointed out that these people dare not give voice in England to doctrines which are openly published in other places. I could, however, quote from Mr. Bax, who, honorable members will admit, is a Socialist.


Mr Mauger - He is not a modern Socialist.


Mr CONROY - I can quote William Morris, or Mr. Hyndmann.


Mr O'Malley - We will take Morris.


Mr CONROY - Very well, here is a quotation -

Marriage should cease to be a permanent and binding contract, and should be a mere voluntary association, dissoluble at pleasure by either party.

In order that there may be no mistake, I refer honorable members to the page for this quotation. It will be found on pages 299 and 300 of Socialism in its Growth and Outcome.


Mr Spence - The same kind of thing might be quoted from the Bible.


Mr CONROY - Do not honorable members opposite see that if they are willing to admit that they have made a mistake in this matter; that they do not agree with this kind of thing, and have no sympathy with such a party, I am prepared to accept their disclaimer. I know from my knowledge of the lives and conduct of all of you.







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