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Wednesday, 10 September 1958
Page: 1094

Mr RIORDAN (Kennedy) (12:15 PM) . - First, I want to enter an emphatic protest against the action of the Government in bringing in this most important division of the Estimates at midnight, with the intention of keeping the committee debating until 2 a.m. There is plenty of time between now and 22nd November, the date of the coming general election, for a debate on these estimates, without pulling them on after midnight when everybody is getting a bit weary. In other words, this is legislation by exhaustion, with a vengeance.

The Government knows full well that it is very vulnerable on this particular question - defence. The result is that it wants to get these Estimates through as quickly as possible and to limit the debate on them as much as it can. The press of Australia, as well as members of the Opposition, has for a long time been pointing out to the Government how very remiss it has been about the defence of Australia. The Labour party believes in adequate defence. The Labour party demonstrated in World War II. what it was capable of doing in that field.

Mr Wight - What did it do?

Mr RIORDAN - When Japan struck at Pearl Harbour there were still 100,000 unemployed in this country - and we had been at war for two years! Do not talk to me about what the Labour party did during World War II.

Mr Wight - Well, what did it do?

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