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Wednesday, 28 September 1949


Mr ARCHIE CAMERON - No ; there will be four Camerons in the next Parliament and, perhaps, I may form my own party if things should not be to my liking. As the delegates did not understand what Mr. Cameron was talking about they had to wait until some one hunted up the report of the 1921 conference. I read the following extract from page 16 of the report of last year's conference : -

Chairman read an interpretation of the Objective as carried by the 1921 Federal Conference. . . . Chairman ruled that the matter relating to the interpretation of the Objective of the Party as carried by the 1921 Conference can be reaffirmed by this Conference.

How any one can reaffirm something that was originally ruled out of order and never carried, I do not know. However, the matter was reaffirmed. The report continued -

Messrs. Webb and Chamberlain moved: That the matter of the Objective be now before the chair. Carried.

Messrs. Clarey and O'Flaherty moved the adoption of the Objective as contained in the report of the Platform Revision Committee, viz., " The Socialization of Industry, Distribution and Exchange ". Carried Unanimously.

Mr. Cameron(S.A. ) moved the reaffirmation of the interpretation of the Objective of the Party as carried by the 1921 Conference.

Seconded by Mr. Bardolph

Dr. Gahamoved adjournment of debate until later in the proceedings of Conference.

Mr. Walsh(Q.) seconded.

Mr. Kingraised point of order, that as Mr. Clarey had the call, is it competent for the adjournment to be moved.

The Chairman upheld point of order.

Mr. Clareyopposed the motion.

The motion that Mr. Clarey opposed was a motion reaffirming something that was not carried at the Brisbane conference. The report continued -

Mr. Cameronsaid that in view of the position disclosed by Mr. Clarey, that the 1921 declaration still stood, he desired to withdraw his motion. Messrs. Walsh (South Australia) and Toohey moved: That leave be granted to withdraw the resolution. Carried.

The interesting thing about the triennial conference that was held last year was its attempt to reaffirm something that had been declared by the chairman to be out of order at the 1921 conference. After some explanation by Mr. Clarey, which explanation was not committed to paper, the gentlemen who moved and seconded the motion asked for leave to withdraw it, and leave to do so was granted. But nobody asked for leave to withdraw the 1921 objective - the socialization of industry, production, distribution and exchange - because that was carried unanimously. It was reaffirmed by the conference held last year, but when that conference came to consider the so-called Blackburn declaration it treated that declaration in the manner that I have indicated. Therefore, during the forthcoming general election no member of the Labour party, whether he be a member of Parliament or not, can' justifiably make statements of the kind that I have heard and seen printed in certain quarters on this matter. Any member of the Labour party who reads the report of the 1921 conference must know that the Blackburn declaration does not, in fact, exist. He must inevitably ask himself, "If such an important declaration qualifying the 1921 policy did exist, why in Heaven's name is it not attached to the party's platform ? " A political party that claims to uphold a declaration of that kind does not hide it under a bushel so that nobody can find it. I say again that of the members whose names are there, I had never heard the late member for Bourke, Mr. Blackburn, Mr. Scullin, who is still a member of this chamber, John Price, S. R. Whitford, or Mr. E. E. Yates, who is still living in Adelaide, refer to the existence of this thing until the banking issue arose. This so-called declaration is published in the back of the report.







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