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Tuesday, 18 October 1949

Mr TURNBULL (Wimmera) .- I do not consider that there is any justification for the clause, which is the heart of the bill ; therefore there is no justification for the bill. It is contended that the Liberal party has broken the law. It must be remembered, however, that the present Government holds the record in relation to cases that have been brought against it and upheld in the courts.

Mr Edmonds - That is untrue.

Mr TURNBULL - I do not believe that there is any justification for the bill. However, if there is no reason for this measure being introduced, the Government must have an excuse for doing so. As I do not believe that the Governments wants to be excused, I have tried to find the reason by travelling around the country and making observations. The Australian Government has authorized the display of posters worded "Save to Prevent Inflation ", and " Save for Security " all over the country. It would be very embarrassing to the Government for large posters stating the other side of the case to be placed alongside the Government posters.

Mr Johnson - They are not election posters.

Mr TURNBULL - I did not interject when the Minister for the Interior (Mr. Johnson) was addressing the Chair and I claim that he should not interject now. The clause has been inserted in the bill to prohibit the display of large posters of a political nature during a political campaign or at any other time. That is the point in this bill. Posters larger than those that will be allowed under this measure are displayed all over the country at the present time. The Government is advising the people to wait until goods are in greater supply, and to save for security. It would indeed be embarrassing for the Government if an Opposition political party were to display posters of similar size in equally prominent places, either during an election campaign or at any other time, impressing upon the people that month by month the purchasing power of their savings was becoming less, and that the time required to supply goods was gradually extending.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (Mr. Burke). - Order! That has nothing to do with the bill.

Mr TURNBULL - That is the reason why the Government does not want political posters of any kind displayed. I stress that the Government already has large posters displayed throughout the country.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN- Order ! The honorable member cannot proceed along those lines.

Mr.DALY (Martin) [5.52].- I listened with considerable interest to the strange explanation that was given by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Menzies) a few moments ago of his support for the measure introduced into the Parliament in 1946. He said that because he was worn out after too many late sittings in this Parliament, he was too tired to oppose the measure. It is indeed extraordinary that irrespective of his party's views about the measure, he was too tired to oppose it, although he now claims that it was a dreadful piece of legislation. But what was the attitude of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate at that time? In speaking, to that measure, Senator McLeay stated--

Mr Menzies - I rise to order. The honorable member for Martin (Mr. Daly) is about to quote from a debate that took place in the Senate. I submit that that is out of order.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN- Order ! The honorable member for Martin is not entitled to refer to a debate that took place in the Senate.

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