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Tuesday, 18 October 1949

Mr WHITE (Balaclava) .- It was the honorable member for Martin (Mr. Daly) who recently fired one of those familiar inspired questions at a Minister asking whether some excellent production of a government department could be produced in such quantity that everybody could have a copy, at the public expense, of course. The answer was-

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- Order ! This has nothing to do with the clause before the committee.

Mr WHITE - I think it will be agreed that the advertisement that I hold in my hand has something to do with the clause. It is headed, "Labor Puts Women and Children First ! " The object of the measure that we are discussing is to reduce the size of election posters to 60 square inches. This advertisement is published in this week's issue of the Australian Women's Weekly. In the lower corner, not in such large type a8 the heading that I have quoted, is the following matter: -

Help Labour's Election Fighting Fund. The smallest contribution counts. Send your contribution now to the Rt. Hon. J. B. Chifley, Dr. H. V. Evatt or Senator J. I. Armstrong (Trustees), Parliament House, Canberra.

This advertisement is by no means as small as 60 square inches. It shows the hypocrisy of the Labour party which, whilst introducing a bill to reduce the size of election posters, publishes an appeal of that kind under the caption, " Labor puts women and children first ", as though it did.

Mr Holt - Did public money pay for that advertisement?

Mr WHITE - I do not think so in this case, but the advertisement appeals to women and children to pay the Labour party's electioneering costs, which makes me hope that the petition that I presented to this Parliament a few weeks ago from 2,700 war widows-

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- Order ! The honorable member is not going to use this clause as a vehicle for propaganda. There is a specific clause before the committee. He must confine his remarks to that clause.

Mr WHITE - I am glad to know that it is not a propaganda bill, Mr. Chairman. I may have erred, but at any rate I have no apologies to offer for anything that I have said. Election posters are to be limited to a size of 10 inches by 6 inches, but Ministers of the Crown are using public money to issue Labour party propaganda. Every Minister has produced his little book.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- The honorable member may not continue in that strain. The Chair has invited the honorable member to speak to the clause. If he does not do so he will be ordered to sit down,

Mr WHITE - As the debate has become circumscribed to a " six by ten " basis, I prefer to sit down.

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