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Wednesday, 17 September 1958

Labor must never be frightened away from its historic role, its responsibilities, and its declared aim of Socialism . . .

And again -

By education and by publicity, Labor must make it clear that it is the aim of Labor to progress toward a form of Socialism by parliamentary means . . .

In the last few weeks, Sir, Df. Burton, has prepared and delivered at the University of Melbourne what is known as the Chifley Memorial Lecture for 1958. This was the fifth Chifley Memorial Lecture. The text of this lecture, which I find fascinating, and which I hope will be read by all members of this Parliament, represents an astonishing volte face from Dr. Burton's previously described stand regarding socialism, because he says this - and this is the crux of the whole matter -

I am driven to the conclusion therefore that the Australian Labor Party is not a Socialist Party, it never was, and in Australian conditions never can be.

This is an amazing and rather bewildering circumstance.

Putting Dr. Burton to one side, as I feel he can safely be put to one side, I shall say that this has a deeper significance. The significance that I see in it is simply this: In the next two months, we shall be engaged, one way or another, in ,an election campaign, and Dr. Burton's Chifley Memorial Lecture is simply a prelude to the stand that will be taken by the Australian Labour party in this campaign. It is common knowledge, Sir, that an instruction has been given that Australian Labour party candidates must keep quiet about socialism in the forthcoming election campaign. But the other evening, on television, the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) forgot the instruction. Or did he forget it? Was it his intention to cause yet a further rift, a further split in the Australian Labour party? He said - and, despite his enfeebled denial the other day, the charge still stands against him - that he hopes at some time in the future to set about a programme of collective farming. Here is the agrarian reformer! But in this chamber the other day, he denied that, and said that his questioner was grinning all over his face when he asked the question that called forth his reply about collective farming. I have been smiling benignly at the honorable gentleman for three years, Sir, but he still glares at me and talks like an angry old man of the Labour party. Here is the collective farmer - the agrarian reformer - on this occasion trying to deny that nationalization of the land is Labour's policy!

The Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt), within recent memory, Sir, declared that the Australian Labour party is a leftwing party. I invite the right honorable gentleman to deny that this evening. In the next few months, he will be like the siren on the rock - the Lorelei, sitting on the rocks singing sweet, melodic songs. He hopes to. attract the Australian people to his party and, by his synthetic charm, to lure them, to their destruction-. 1 believe that this is the occasion for the Labour party to state in the plainest possible terms precisely what is- its policy on socialism. From my observations, having listened to honorable gentlemen opposite, and read what they have had te say on various occasions, I believe that we may fittingly fine the matter down to ten major points of Labour's policy, and I propose to recite them to the House. They are -

1.   The destruction of the Australian federalist system, and the creation of an Australian republic.

2.   The clothing of the Commonwealth Parliament with complete legislative powers.

3.   The nationalization of banking, insurance and transport, and of the iron, steel and coal industries.

4.   The spreading of government control over all primary and secondary industries, to the extent of crippling free enterprise.

5.   The institution of government control of all newspapers, and broadcasting and television stations.

6.   The nationalization of all medical, hospital and pharmaceutical services.

7.   The direction of labour, and the smashing of Australia's independent arbitration system.

8.   The construction of a judicial system the nature of which would prevent the challenge of parliamentary action in the courts.

9.   The withdrawal of Australia from all existing regional defence arrangements.

10.   The pursuit of a foreign policy in close collaboration with other socialist countries, including socialist Russia and socialist China.

In the next two months, I repeat, the Leader of the Opposition and all his henchmen are going to set about trying to create in the minds of the Australian people throughout the electorate the impression that the Australian Labour party is a party of moderation. The fact of the matter is, Sir, that the policy of the Labour party is a policy that leads along but one road - the road to serfdom. I challenge the right honorable gentleman or any of his henchmen who snigger to deny the fact that they are pledged to a policy of complete socialization. Who is right - the Leader of the Opposition who declares that the Labour party is a party of the left, or Dr. Burton who. has now demonstrated this extraordinary volte face to the Australian people.







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