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Tuesday, 28 June 1949

Mr DALY (MARTIN, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the Prime Minister read the report of a speech made by Mr. W. H. Spooner, President of the New South "Wales branch of the Liberal party, when addressing the annual convention of that organization in Sydney oh the 23rd June last ? Mr. Spooner is reported to have said -

The Labour party was prepared to take all the help it could get from Communists in order to hold power but was pretending that it was opposed to Communism. There is a simple way to test the sincerity of the Labour party. We challenge them to adopt the Liberal party procedure of always placing the Communist candidate last on the ballot-paper.

Is it not a fact that in former State general elections the Communist candidates, Mr. Graham for the Hartley seat, and Mr. Williams for the Paddington seat, were given the second preference votes of the candidates for the Liberal party, then known as the United Australia party, in preference to other candidates contesting those electorates? Is it not also a fact that the Liberal party " How to vote "card for the 1946 Senate election gave to the Communist party group, composed of Messrs. Sharkey, Walsh and White, 4th, 5th and 6th preferences, to the returned soldier Labour candidate, Senator Ashley, the 19th preference, and to his two colleagues the 20th and 21st preferences? I further ask the Prime Minister to say whether the allocation of these preferences does not indicate that the Liberal party was prepared to accept Communist support for political purposes ?

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