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Thursday, 12 May 1960


Mr SPEAKER - I ask the honorable member to repeat his request.


Mr WENTWORTH - I ask for leave to table these papers.


Mr Calwell - Do I take it that the honorable member is asking for leave to incorporate these documents in " Hansard "?


Mr WENTWORTH - No.


Mr Calwell - That is all right; the Opposition does not object to the honorable member tabling the declarations.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! Leave is granted.


Mr WENTWORTH - The R.S.L. Library Hall was booked for a meeting of shop stewards. Nevertheless, some of the people present were not shop stewards and some shop stewards were not invited. It was fairly clear that the booking was phoney and that something was put across the R.S.L. Secondly, Mr. Littleton, when questioned about the presence of Wright, explained simply that "Wright came for the ride ". I wonder who was taken for the ride? Is it credible that when supposedly anti-Communist representatives of the A.L.P. were going down to investigate charges of communism and anticommunism in the Gippsland Trades and Labour Council, they should take a leading Communist with them, unless they were up to something dirty?

Let me come now to 22nd March, the date on which nominations were called. Here we have a perfect example of the hook-up between the A.L.P. and the Communists. The A.L.P. wanted to get Gardiner, the Communist, in; but they did not want the odium of supporting him openly. Therefore, they arranged that they should have only one nominee for the two positions of vice-president as they could then say, " We can tell our people to vote as they like". As it happened - and is it not wonderful - they all voted for the Communist, Gardiner. They did what they were told. They preferred a Communist to the D.L.P. candidate. But it was a phoney arrangement. An A.L.P. representative named Finn was supposed to stand for vice-president but he did not; yet there were other A.L.P. members who could have nominated but did not do so. This thing smells to high heaven.

The next matter I come to involves another document which I ask for leave to table. [Leave granted.] This is a pamphlet issued by the A.L.P. with its how-to-vote card on the back of it. This is authorized by Wragg, Hodgkin, Jobson - they are candidates - and McLeod and Novak whom we have already heard about. McLeod was the man who chaired a unity meeting with Communists in respect of the ironworkers election. Here is the man who is now sponsoring the combined A.L.P.-Communist team. It conveniently leaves out the number for the Communist, but gives some instructions to vote for him, as the counting showed they did.

Now I come to what is perhaps the most important point of all. This is the issue of voting cards. I have in my hand a copy of the official A.L.P. voting card. The spaces opposite the names of the A.L.P. candidates are filled in, but the space opposite Gardiner's name is left blank. I ask for leave to table this card also. [Leave granted.] From the same press, on the same sort of paper and in similar type, a replica of the card was published with all the spaces opposite the candidates' names left blank. This was the card passed round to the trusty unity front voters. Here, by contrast, was the one for public consumption. They are both printed in the same type and on the same sort of paper. There was certainly fraud, perhaps amounting to forgery. This was done either with the connivance of the A.L.P. or against the A.L.P. Do members of the A.L.P. want this investigated or do they not? Do they want the blame sheeted home? Do they want to find out who was responsible for the issue of this card? I ask for leave to table this card also. [Leave granted.]

Between the nominations and the elections various events took place. A man named Matson, who was standing for the right wing, lost the right to represent his union as a delegate and was replaced by a known Communist. There is evidence that a man named Collins was nominated the day before but then it was found he had not been following the party line. Another right wing candidate, also called Collins, but a different person, also lost his nomination because the gasworkers union disaffiliated from the council by reason of a row connected with Communists. Because of the removal of these two candidates, the right wing had only five nominees for the six positions, and had to support another candidate to make their votes formal.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! As it is now two hours after the time fixed for the meeting of the House, the debate is interrupted under Standing Order No. 108.







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