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Tuesday, 30 September 1958


Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) .- The Opposition is opposed to the provisions of . this bill and will vote against its second reading. The Government is attempting to bolster up Ansett-A.N.A., which is a failing enterprise, at the expense of TransAustralia Airlines.


Mr Chaney - It is not failing now.


Mr CALWELL - I think it is. I would not accept the honorable gentleman as an authority on airlines or anything else. In his policy speech in 1949, the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), who was then Leader of the Opposition, stated -

As for the Government airlines ... we shall put them on to a true competitive basis, with no preferences either in cheap capital or dollar expenditure.

Though the future of their operative staff is assured, because Australia needs them, the form of their future management and control will be considered in the light of results and circumstances. After all, the test is a common-sense one. How can we maintain skilled employment? How can we give the best services to the people, the customers?

Then, in a supplementary speech issued soon afterwards, the then Leader of the Opposition promised that a LiberalAustralian Country party government would eliminate all forms of preference for government airlines. It will be recollected by honorable members that the airline industry was set up in Australia by the Holyman Brothers many years ago. After the second world war, the Chifley Government attempted to nationalize the airlines of Australia because it believed that air traffic, like rail traffic, should be government owned and controlled. The High Court of Australia invalidated that legislation and there the position remains. It cannot be altered unless a referendum of the people is taken which will give the Commonwealth Parliament the power to nationalize airlines.

We settled down after the High Court had handed down its ruling to an era of competition between T.A.A., the government airline, and Australian National Airways, but A.N.A. was not long getting into difficulties. T.A.A. had paid its airport charges and A.N.A. had paid none. A.N.A. claimed that it had lost £1,000,000 because of increased operational costs through the action of the Commonwealth Government in giving the carriage of mails to T.A.A. and in providing that government warrants were to be issued only to those who were prepared to travel by T.A.A. Ultimately, an agreement was reached under which the private airline was enabled to avoid its obligations to the Commonwealth in respect of airport charges. The amount which T.A.A. had paid was also taken into consideration in fixing the terms of the agreement of 1952.

I am sure honorable members will realize that when we set up T.A.A. and created the Australian National Airlines Commission, we had in view the necessity for giving the people of Australia the best possible services obtainable. Whatever its virtues, A.N.A. had gone about as far as it could go. It had no capital or equipment. lt just simply could not have gone on providing all the services which T.A.A. was prepared to offer, and which it did provide to the best of its ability.

After the defeat of the Chifley Government, certain action was taken by the incoming government with the result that members of Parliament and public servants travelling by air were given the right of choice as between T.A.A. and A.N. A. A.N.A. was also given what was regarded as an equal share of the carriage of airmail. It is interesting to observe, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that although for years members of Parliament have had the choice of travelling by T.A.A. or A.N.A. - and now by Ansett-A.N.A. - almost exclusively honorable members and honorable senators have travelled T.A.A.


Mr Freeth - Nonsense!


Mr CALWELL - Honorable members can go to the airport and see for themselves what happens. The honorable member for Forrest travels to Melbourne by T.A.A. and to Western Australia by Ansett-A.N.A. because he prefers to travel by a DC6. I have no criticism to offer in respect of Ansett-A.N.A. I. sometimes travel by Ansett-A.N.A. when it suits my convenience. I have complete confidence in the ability of the pilots of Ansett-A.N.A. and the hostesses are just as charming, courteous and helpful as are the hostesses of T.A.A., and I hope they all vote for the Australian Labour party on 22nd November. But honorable members opposite do prefer to travel by T.A.A. I can remember one honorable member - no longer with us - who was the only passenger to Melbourne on an A.N.A. aircraft. He travelled by that airline because it provided him with parking facilities for his motor car.

Honorable members can still make their choice. They can travel by T.A.A. or by Ansett-A.N.A. I think' there is a psychological reason why members of the Parliament travel by T.A.A. It is simply this: Ansett-A.N.A. is run for profit. T.A.A. is run for the benefit of the people. Both airlines conform to the requirements of the Department of Civil Aviation, but T.A.A. does spend more on maintenance and is more careful. It goes further than A.N.A. can afford to go as a private enterprise, profit-making organization. That is the point we make.

When the present Government came to power, Sir Ivan Holyman, who was a good friend of members on both sides of the House, put forward suggestions that the two lines should be amalgamated. As a matter of fact, the same suggestion was made to the Chifley Government when it was in power.


Mr Townley - lt was agreed to, too.


Mr CALWELL - It was not agreed to. The Minister for Supply was not in the Parliament then. I was a Minister at that time, and I know what happened. The real reason why the proposal did not go as far as some people wanted it to go was that the chairman of T.A.A. was Mr. A. W. Coles and the chairman and managing director of A.N.A. was Captain later Sir Ivan Holyman, and you could not have two such strong personalities in one company. That was one of the reasons why the proposal broke down. However, the present Government, which seemed to favour the adoption of that proposal when in opposition, was faced in government with a suggestion of that sort. It was put forward, I think, by Harry Graham Alderman, K.C.. of South Australia. But this Government turned it down. An agreement was negotiated in 1952, and there was subsequently another agreement in 1957, after Mr. Ansett had taken over the A.N.A. interests.


Mr Duthie - We opposed both of them.


Mr CALWELL - Legislation was brought forward to give effect to the agreements and, as the honorable member for Wilmot has said, anticipating my statement, the Labour party opposed both agreements and voted against the two bills which were introduced in those two years to give effect to them. The present legislation, in our view, is even more objectionable than was the legislation that validated those two agreements. Our objections to the earlier legislation were directed more at the Government than at the company concerned.

As I said earlier, we realized what great work the Holyman brothers had done. In this House and in another place in 1952, tributes were paid to the Holyman brothers for their work of pioneering the airline industry. We also paid tributes to KingsfordSmith, Ulm, Keith Smith, Ross Smith,

Macintosh, and Parer and all the other airline pioneers. We were, and are, veryproud of what all of them had done.

As I have also said, we believed that our 1945 legislation was in the best interests of the people because we held that air transport was a matter for a government enterprise company rather than for a private enterprise company. We still think that our action in setting up Trans-Australia Airlines did improve the quality of the service which was being given to the Australian people. We believe that, with increased public patronage, standards have risen, and T.A.A. has become even more popular.

In my view, the reason why T.A.A. outclassed A.N.A. was that Sir Ivan Holyman made a mistake in sticking to Douglas airliners whereas Mr. Coles, who for five years had been the honorable member for Henty, and who had become the chairman of the Australian National Airlines Commission, decided that the Convair aircraft were the best, the most economical, and the ones that would give the best results.


Mr Townley - You refused to give Sir Ivan Holyman the dollars to buy them.


Mr CALWELL - That is true enough. We did. I do not deny the fact. I also know that under the 1952 agreement the late Sir Ivan Holyman agreed to purchase Viscounts in order that we could have a standard airlines system which would be useful, not merely in time of peace, but in time of war. Ultimately, however, he decided to stand by Douglas aircraft. Quite a number of people sitting in Opposition in the Parliament in 1945 did their utmost to destroy the possibility of Convairs being accepted by the Australian people. I remember one honorable gentleman who is now dead, and who was a very distinguished Air Force officer in two world wars, saying that no aircraft had yet been designed that could carry 40 people on two engines. But the Convairs were a great success, and T.A.A. became more popular.

I think that this Parliament and the Australian people owe a very great debt of gratitude to Mr. A. W. Coles for the work he did as chairman of the Australian National Airlines Commission. He did not want to buy only five Convairs. He wanted to buy ten. As the honorable mem ber for Bonython (Mr. Makin) knows full well, because of his great experience as a war-time Minister from 1940 to 1946, we were faced with such tremendous opposition as a Labour government in everything we did that we felt that public opinion could be made too hostile to us if we bought ten Convairs. We would have had to keep five at grass and they would have been like the government cars that wait for honorable members at the air port. There would have been a lot of press comment at the time and it would have been continuous and misleading. However, I am sorry that Australia did not buy ten Convairs then. As time passed, newer and better aircraft were introduced throughout the world and the management of T.A.A., always being efficient and competent, decided to bring in better planes as opportunity afforded.

We say of this legislation, as we said of the 1952 and 1957 legislation, that no good, and only harm, can come from it. I am sure that if A.N.A. had been left to its own devices, and T.A.A. had been allowed to compete on equal terms, the national airline would have flown A.N.A. out of the air long before now. If it were not for the props which are being put under Ansett-A.N.A. at the present time, AnsettA.N.A. would not last very long. I am not reflecting at all on the management of the company and certainly not on the group of first-class brains that are associated with the control of that organization. Least of all, am I reflecting on the ability or competence of the pilots.

We have been told that T.A.A. has consented to this legislation. We were told that T.A.A. had consented to the 1952 legislation and to the 1957 agreement, which also became the subject of a bill. The Opposition is certain that T.A.A. has been forced by the Government to accept this legislation. The 1952 agreement was not signed by the chairman of T.A.A. but by the Prime Minister and the representatives of A.N.A. That shows that the Government's decision having been made, T.A.A., because it was a Government instrumentality, had no say in the matter at all. We believe that the agreement was made in the Cabinet room, not in the management offices of T.A.A. We say that the Australian National Airlines Commission, which is charged with the care and management of T.A.A., should not have been obliged to accept either the 1952 agreement or the 1957 agreement.

In 1952, the present Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) led the case for the Labour party against the legislation of that time. He said that the assessment of fares and freight charges between A.N.A. and T.A.A. - the life blood of such an organization - would be governed, not by the spirit of competition and rivalry, but by a procedure deliberately designed to prevent competition under which the available market would be divided arbitrarily.

The right honorable gentleman described the measure as one to enrich A.N.A. at the expense of T.A.A., other civil airline operators, and the taxpayers of Australia. At that time, one of the other airline operators was Ansett Airways Proprietary Limited. To-day, Ansett has gobbled up A.N.A., has squelched out Butler Air Transport Limited, which was another competitor and, extraordinarily enough and with tremendous audacity, has claimed that it is the policy of the Government that there shall be only one private enterprise airline competing with the Government enterprise airline. I know that the Minister for Transport (Senator Paltridge) has denied that accusation. But Mr. R. M. Ansett made the statement at the annual meeting of his company in 1957. He obliged me by sending me a copy of his report.


Mr Townley - You must be a big shareholder.


Mr CALWELL - I am not a shareholder at all. I have never had a penny in a company in my life and I never intend to have one. I do not live on interest, profits, or dividends. I live on my salary, in accordance with my principles. Mr. Ansett, in his report to his shareholders which is headed, " Managing Director's report - 1957 ", said this -

Your directors are absolutely convinced that if private enterprise is to prosper and effectively compete with the privileged Government-owned airline, it must eliminate competition between the privately-owned airlines . . .

In other words, if Ansett-A.N.A. is to exist, if private enterprise is to exist, then all the private enterprise airlines are. to be controlled by Mr. R. M. Ansett.


Dr Evatt - In other words, no private enterprise.


Mr CALWELL - Of course no private enterprise. In any case, there is no such thing as private enterprise in the airlines industry. There is, if I may use the jargon employed by members of the Government parties from time to time, a socialized enterprise which is government-owned, and there is a semi-socialized enterprise which is ostensibly owned by private enterprise but which is kept in the skies with government loans and government guarantees.

It is of no use for anybody to say that this is a case of a private enterprise airline competing with a government airline. The Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) has made that point very clear. In the course of his speech in 1952 he said that the provisions of the agreement were typical of the internal arrangements made by commercial trusts which combined to divide the available market for their goods and services. He said that the agreement reproduced the features of the typical international cartel, such as the oil cartel which was discussed in the Parliament about that time, when the House of Representatives considered a bill to deal with the Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited. Later on, the Leader of the Opposition said the agreement was heavily weighed in favour of one profitmaking element in the air services of Australia, and I think that was true.

But the position of Australian National Airways Proprietary Limited began to deteriorate even from the time of the 1952 agreement. Whether it was because of the company's mistake in the choice of the machines it used or whether it was through some other fault of management, it came to the Government again and again for assistance, and it put forward suggestions. Ultimately, Mr. Ansett bought out A.N.A., and again I stress the fact that when he bought out the company Mr. Ansett argued that it was only by developing effective competition that his company could prevent the establishment of a completely nationalized air monopoly. I am not advocating to-night a completely nationalized air monopoly, but I am satisfied that even with the help that this Government is giving to Mr. Ansett and his friends, it will ultimately have to face the fact that only T.A.A. can operate profit ably in Australia.


Mr Freeth - That is what you want, is it?


Mr CALWELL - That is what we did want until the High Court decided we could not get it.


Mr Freeth - Don't you want it now?


Mr CALWELL - I did not say we do not want it, but I do say that we are prepared to leave the position as it is, so that we may test whether private enterprise, without any government assistance, can survive against a well-managed government enterprise, or even whether private enterprise heavily subsidized can effectively compete against the government instrumentality.

In his statement of January last, threatening Mr. Butler with extinction, Mr. Ansett said that he had to bring Butler into line so that he could face the government airline squarely without the constant nibble of another smaller competitor at his flank.


Mr Duthie - Shades of free enterprise!


Mr CALWELL - That is how private enterprise always functions. You have to destroy all your competitors in the private enterprise field, and then appeal for support in the name of free enterprise. Honorable members will recall that Mr. Ansett became an airline operator only by buying Viscounts and other aircraft and putting them on the Melbourne-Sydney run, where the best profits could be made. In other words, it was only by buying certain aircraft and skimming the cream of the airline traffic that Mr. Ansett was able to send Sir Ivan Holyman broke and take over the Holyman enterprise. Now, in order that Mr. Butler shall not be allowed to do to him what he did to the late Sir Ivan Holyman, Mr. Ansett pleads the cause of private enterprise.


Mr Townley - Ansett Airways never bought Viscounts.


Mr CALWELL - I know it did not, but it operated Viscounts.


Mr Townley - You just said it did buy Viscounts.


Mr CALWELL - The Minister can recollect just what the Ansett company had at the time of the take-over. At any rate, Mr. Butler has applied to this Government for the right to introduce Caravelles.


Mr Townley - No, he has not.


Mr CALWELL - My word he has.


Mr Townley - He has not.


Mr CALWELL - I am advised that there is an application before the Government. It has not been refused as yet, but if I know this Government and its socalled desocialization policy as well as I think I do, Mr. Butler will not be given the funds with which to buy Caravelles or any other such aircraft.

I do know that when Mr. Ansett came into the field he said he was going to get Electras. At that time T.A.A. wanted Caravelles, and the present Minister for Shipping and Transport said in Perth that he was not going to do what Mr. Ansett wanted him to do. Mr. Ansett then flew to Perth. I will say this for the present Minister for Transport: I do not think he was too happy about the whole business, but he said he would take the matter back to Cabinet. Then, extraordinarily enough, Mr. Ansett gets his way. He is now to be allowed to purchase Electras. T.A.A., which wanted Caravelles, is told that it must purchase Electras, and Electras are obtained from a dollar country, whereas Caravelles could have been purchased from the sterling area. We are in a bad way with regard to dollars. We have lost £30,000,000 in two months because of the drop in the price of our wool, and a good deal of that amount represents dollars. We are going to lose another £7,000,000 worth of dollars because of the establishment of an American quota with regard to imports of lead and zinc. This Government knew that these things were likely to happen, yet it allowed Mr. Ansett to have his way in regard to the introduction of Electras. We think that is all wrong.


Mr Timson - It is all right for T.A.A., but not for A.N.A.!


Mr CALWELL - I do not know about that. T.A.A. has been handicapped ever since this Government came into power. The 1952 agreement put shackles on T.A.A. The 1957 agreement put more shackles on T.A.A., and this agreement proposes to put on even more again.

The present agreement provides that there is to be an equal distribution of the traffic on the airlines in the matter of freights and of passengers. If the agreement is implemented, I suppose the Minister will tell members of this Parliament, " Half of you have to travel by T.A.A., or may travel by T.A.A., but whether you like it or not, half of you have to travel by AnsettA.N.A. ". That is what the position has come to. That position already obtains with regard to the carriage of delegates to the immigration conference each year. Those who are invited are issued with tickets, and some have to travel by Ansett- A.N.A., whether they like it or not, because the Government has decided that half of its patronage must be given to that airline.

As I have said, I travel Ansett-A.N.A. when it suits my convenience, but I demand the right to say what airline I will travel by, particularly as my own safety is involved. I think that should be the right of every member of this Parliament and of every public servant. Whilst we have the finest flying country in the world, and whilst the record of our airlines companies is among the best in the world, flying is still an uncertain thing and there are grave risks involved in it.


Mr Townley - Not at all.


Mr CALWELL - The Minister for Supply, of course, has travelled quite a lot. I suppose I have half a million flying hours to my credit, and I was flying long before the days of DC3's. I flew in DC2's, and I flew even before the introduction of those aircraft.


Mr Townley - He is the greatest pilot since Pontius.


Mr CALWELL - The Minister has mentioned Pontius Pilate, and his remark indicates the manner in which the Government washes its hands of responsibility by proclaiming itself in favour of a private enterprise and, at the same time, making sure that a lot of government money is used to keep the private enterprise going.


Mr Townley - Under this bill, £2,700,000 will go into T.A.A. That is a lot of money.


Mr CALWELL - Of course, it is a lot of money. Ansett-A.N.A. is capitalized to the extent of only about £2,000,000.


Mr Townley - Yes, but it has to find its own money.


Mr CALWELL - Of course, and it has no difficulty in getting it from the American banks and from all these other people overseas who find, in the present Government, in respect of every private enterprise, a willing tool for them to use in the cause of international finance at the expense of the Australian people.

The Leader of the Opposition (Dr. Evatt) made the Australian Labour party's position in this matter very clear when he said, only last year, that " the fight by Ansett-A.N.A. to take over Butler Air Transport Limited illustrated the need for anti-monopoly legislation ". He said also that " the fight to acquire Butler Airways highlighted the terrific pressure which can be brought to bear on a small, efficient pioneering company by those who appear to have huge resources of capital behind them ". I am sure that Mr. Ansett has a lot of American money behind him. The Leader of the Opposition said also that Butler Air Transport " has a long and meritorious record of public service to the people of Australia, particularly in the country districts, for the way it pioneered air routes and made possible the benefits of rapid air transportation between city and country ". If this Government remains in office, and continues on the line that it is taking at present, there will soon be no small private airline operators in existence in Australia. They all will be gobbled up eventually by AnsettA.N.A. Connellan Airways, in central Australia and the Northern Territory. Guinea Airways Limited, and the northern Queensland airlines all will become part of the Ansett empire.

I remind honorable members that, when we are considering a measure of this sort, we know what T.A.A. is doing. We know what the obligations of that organization are. But we never learn anything about the profits, the balance-sheets, or anything else, of the private enterprise operators. When the Parliament is asked to approve arrangements such as these, why should it not be told the essential facts about the financial stability or otherwise of the private enterprise operators? Mr. Ansett has not produced any figures for his airline operations since he took over Australian National Airways Proprietary Limited, with the Government's support, and assumed the obligations of the late Sir Ivan Holyman. The last balance-sheet of Ansett Transport Industries Limited contained consolidated figures for airline, road transport and hotel operations, and it was almost impossible to get a clear picture of any one of these fields of his operations. The same thing will probably happen again this year, unless the Government insists on a breakdown of the figures into the separate fields of operation. We have been given no indication mat such a breakdown is intended.

Ansett-A.N.A. is known to have a greater debt burden than that of T.A.A. I know that it has to negotiate its own loans, and that it cannot get money at the same rate as is provided for in this bill in. respect of T.A.A. - 4i per cent. It is currently rumoured that Ansett-A.N.A. has to pay twice ;as much in :interest .as is paid by T.A.A. Of course, if it cannot keep going on that basis, .further shackles will be placed on the operations of T.A.A. by this Government, if it unfortunately survives the election. It is well known, Mr. Speaker, that Ansett-A.N.A. is paying interest on its loans at rates up to 10 per cent. It has obtained its Convair Metropolitan aircraft on a terms plan. It has not bought them, but has made some other arrangement in order to obtain them. If it cannot survive, the Government will be 'faced, in the next twelve months, with the obligation to make T.A.A. the only airline operating in Australia.

The Commonwealth proposes to. guarantee Ansett-A.N.A. the millions .of pounds it will borrow, at 5i per cent., without, as far as any member df this House knows, any investigation of the financial position of the company. .1 suppose -that the Government's -advisers, in whom T have every confidence^ think the Labour government appointed many of them - =will have satisfied themselves that -the company's financial position is reasonably sound. But the House is entitled to know all about it. The loan, which the Government is guaranteeing, and in respect of which it may have to meet its obligations under the guarantee, will be floated in the dollar area. T.A.A. wanted to give the Australian public the advantages of travel by pure jet aircraft by purchasing Caravelles from France. They can be operated more economically, I am told, than Electras can, although I am not so sure about that. But at least the Caravelles could have been bought in a soft-currency country that has a large adverse balance of trade with Australia. Instead of buying aircraft in the sterling area, and helping France, we have decided, under pressure from Mr. Ansett, to buy Electras from the United States of America. I think that the decision to force T.A.A. to buy Electras from the United States was made against the better judgment of T.A.A. 's experts - and I invite the Government to contradict that suggestion.

T.A.A.'s supremacy has been established by a wise choice of aircraft and efficient operations, and the Government now intends to pull this national airline back to the standards of the less efficient private airlines. Even if Mr. Ansett were the genius that he believes himself to be, the chequered history of A.N.A. and Ansett Airways Proprietary Limited over the years does not inspire as much confidence as the smooth and efficient operation of T.A.A. has inspired from the very beginning.

Sir, onthis subject of private enterprise and the airline business, is it not a fact that, in the guise of assisting private enterprise, the Government has actually established a second socialist airline - a semi-socialist airline, as I remarked earlier? The term " free enterprise " is a euphemism when applied to a company that is completely dependent upon a government 'for its continued existence. Ansett-A.N.A. .would not exist at present if it had not received an the support that it is getting -from the expenditure of the Australian taxpayers' money.


Mr Dean - The honorable member would* have .only one airline.


Mr CALWELL - We have only one. post office organization. We have only govern.mentowned .railways. Does the honorable member suggest that there is. something very wicked ..and wrong with a governmentowned airline enterprise? I remind him that, although six butchers may serve householders in his street, only one postman delivers the letters. It may be an advantage to have only one airline. It is certainly a disadvantage to keep propping up with Government help a private enterprise airline which, under the terms of the arrangements provided for in this bill, has to give a lien over all its aircraft. In the event of the company failing, the Government will be able to recoup all its investments, and the shareholders in AnsettA.N.A. will probably get nothing.


Dr Evatt - Is it known who finances Ansett-A.N.A.?


Mr CALWELL - Nobody in this Parliament, except Ministers, knows, and they will -not tell.


Dr Evatt - It is said to be the Shell oil company.


Mr CALWELL - I think that the Shell oil company is very much in favour of that enterprise.


Mr Aston - What is Labour's policy on nationalization? Will the honorable member tell us that?


Mr CALWELL - I should like to tell the honorable 'member that the policy df the Australian Labour party is to ensure the return of a Labour member for the Phillip seat at the next election.

It is an accepted principle of airline operation that fleets should be 'standardized on an efficient type of plane. This principle is observed the world over. When the 1952 agreement set out to lay down that condition, A.N.A. broke away from it, and the Government was weak enough to allow it


Mr Falkinder - Talk some sense!


Mr CALWELL - That is a fact. The honorable member knows that AnsettA.'N.A. has DC6 aircraft.


Mr Falkinder - Yes.


Mr CALWELL - Viscounts?


Mr Falkinder - Right.


Mr CALWELL - DC4's until last week?


Mr Falkinder - Yes.


Mr CALWELL - And Convairs?


Mr Falkinder - Yes.


Mr CALWELL - That is what I said, and the honorable member denied it.

Ansett-A.N.A. is losing money on airline operations at a greater rate than when the fleet was under A.N.A. I do not think that can be denied. The balance-sheet, unless the Government steps in, will hide this loss by off-setting it against revenue from coach services, hotels, road freight services and all the other activities in which the company engages. It would be interesting to know what happened to the money recently subscribed by the public in Ansett debentures. Does anybody know? Where was it invested? How was it used? Is it being used to subsidize airline operating losses? Will the Government advances be used only for the procurement of Electras, or could they find their way into other of Ansett's activities? I do not suppose that the Auditor-General would allow that to happen. If it did, he would draw attention to it. I do not think that the Department of Civil Aviation would allow it to happen; but we are entitled to very specific assurances on the point, and I hope the Government will give them.

It .is useless for the Government to protest that it is not trying to prop up AnsettA.N.A. at the .expense of T.A.A. As 1 said earlier, every honorable member has a choice of the airline on which he travels, and those who travel with T.A.A. know that, in order that A.N.A. would not lose as much money as it was losing previously, the free newspapers that were supplied were cut out and the meals that were supplied were cut down. Everything possible was done to cause discomfort to T.A.A. passengers so that A.N.A. would be able to balance its budget.


Mr Turnbull - You have only two minutes in which to make one point, you know!


Mr CALWELL - The honorable member is wrong again; I have four and a half minutes. Since Ansett Airways Proprietary Limited came into the field, the 1952 agreement has been stretched in all sorts of ways to protect this company and hold back the government line. Ansett has been permitted by this Government to operate in western Queensland and should not have been allowed to do so. Ansett has submitted an application for a licence to operate in New Guinea, and should not be allowed to do so, because New Giunea cannot afford two airlines to-day. If

Ansett-A.N.A. is allowed on the New Guinea run, both Ansett-A.N.A. and Qantas will lose.

The Government, in pursuit of its desocialization policy, is not desocializing anything. It is building up more and more losses. It is robbing the Australian people of their money to an ever-increasing extent in order that it may have the satisfaction of saying, " We have two airlines in the sky, one a private enterprise line and the other a government enterprise line ". As far as the Labour party is concerned, the two airlines can run together, but they ought to run on fair terms. T.A.A. should not be hobbled, restricted and prevented from giving its full services to the Australian people in order to keep the other airline from collapsing.







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