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Thursday, 12 May 1960


Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) (Leader of the Opposition) . - The honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth) has said that he has made out a prima facie case. I say that he has made out a prima fascist case. I have never listened to such a farrago of nonsense. The honorable member spent most of yesterday in the company of Senator McManus, and he comes into the House to-day regaling us with information which he obtained from the honorable senator. We have heard the voice of Wentworth expressing the views of McManus. In other words, we have had a new kind of Charlie McCarthy performance.

What are the facts? The Yallourn Trades Hall Council has been controlled for years by the D.L.P. The D.L.P. has been a very useful tool for the honorable member for McMillan. The honorable member for Ballaarat (Mr. Erwin) and all the others who raised this issue the other night are also beneficiaries of the D.L.P. Because we treated with contempt the observations which were made by those honorable gentlemen, we have been attacked to-day by the honorable member for Mackellar. We did not demean ourselves by answering them. They do not know what happened at Yallourn, but we do. A how-to-vote card was put out by Labour Party supporters in Yallourn which was described as the only anti-D.L.P. non-Communist ticket. All the candidates were marked on the card. The Communist candidates for all positions were put last except in the election for vicepresident in which there were two candidates. Our candidate was marked number one after another Labour candidate withdrew. If the D.L.P. wanted to keep the Communist out of the one position that he won, it should not have wasted its votes, as it did, by distributing them among three candidates. The D.L.P. put up three candidates for the position merely to confuse the issue.


Mr Buchanan - It did not.


Mr CALWELL - Is the honorable member in the confidence of the D.L.P.? He seems to know everything that happens. The D.L.P. has used that council for years as a propaganda weapon against the A.L.P. We have to defeat the D.L.P. wherever we can. We have to defeat it in trade union elections and in political elections. We have also to defeat the Communist Party of Australia in every election, trade union and political. For my part, I have always put the Communist candidate last in every trade union ballot in which I have voted. And I have always put the Communist Party candidate last in every political election.

I want to destroy the influence of the D.L.P. It has no place in Australian politics. But, while it can control trade unions and trade union councils, it can use the finances and the whole machinery of those organizations in order to try to beat us in the political arena.


Mr Harold Holt - Would the honorable member sooner have the Communists use the finances and machinery of those organizations?


Mr CALWELL - I do not want the Communists any more than I want the Liberals or the D.L.P. There is only one party that can give justice to the people of Australia, and that is the Australian Labour Party. So we pursue our historic mission in spite of all the efforts that are made to destroy us.


Mr Pearce - The honorable member is endorsing Senator Cant's sentiments.


Mr CALWELL - I say the opposite to what is said by any man who says that he would prefer the Communists to the D.L.P. I did not say that I would prefer the Communists to the D.L.P. I said that I had put the Communist Party candidate last in every election, trade union and political, in which I had taken part. That puts my position beyond all question.

The honorable member for Mackellar knows very well that some of his political colleagues occupy their present positions because of the support that they received from the preferences of Communist Party candidates. Senator McCallum received 60 per cent', of the Communist Party preferences in a Senate election a couple of years ago.


Mr Cope - It was 73 per cent.


Mr CALWELL - Yes. It was 73 per cent. At the last Senate election, 40 per cent, of the preferences of the Communist Party candidates in Victoria went, believe it or not, to the D.L.P. In Federal, State or municipal elections in the political field, and in trade union ballots, Communists have a right to cast their votes as they like and they have a right to organize and manoeuvre as they wish. We have had no co-operation at all with them in this issue as a party, and this how-to-vote ticket which I have described shows very clearly that there is no question of unity tickets with the Communists. There is no word about a unity ticket on it. If the honorable member for Mackellar had been presented with a proper brief and had read his brief correctly, he would have known that for the disputed positions - the executive positions - the Communist Party candidate was placed last in every case on our ticket. All that he can say against us is that, with respect to the vice-presidential positions, we did not mark Devlin above the Communist, and that we did not mark Kelly and Ranford - also both D.L.P. candidates - above anybody. We did not indicate any preferences. We said, " Vote for our candidate ".

Who is this Devlin with whom the honorable member for McMillan (Mr. Buchanan) is so closely associated? He is not a member of the Australian Labour Party. He left us at the time of the split and went over to the D.L.P. We found out later that, all the time he was with us, he was an organizer and a paid official - he still is, I believe - of a discredited body called the movement. He is there to harm the Australian Labour Party. He is not out to benefit the people of Australia.

Now let us put the performance of the honorable member for Mackellar to the test. Is he not the man who, a few months ago, involved the security service in criticism by misusing the offices of the AttorneyGeneral's Department in order to send Brigadier Spry to Professor Stout so that the world could be told that Professor Stout would not attend a peace conference? Is it not a fact that Professor Stout, who is a buddy of the honorable member for Mackellar and, like his friend, equally anxious for notoriety, told the world that Brigadier Spry had advised him not to go to the peace conference in Melbourne, an advice which Professor Stout took? It did not matter to the honorable member for Mackellar or to the Attorney-General (Sir Garfield Barwick) that the security service of this country was thus brought into disrepute, or, at least, compromised.

Let me tell the honorable member for Mackellar again, after all these years, what he once said about the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) - his own leader. When the honorable member is reminded of this, he will understand why his colleagues laughed at him uproarously while he was speaking and why they treated his remarks with studied contempt. He will understand why the only man in this Parliament whom they will let handle a matter of this sort is the honorable member himself. Not one other honorable member on the Government side of the House would handle this matter even at the end of a long shovel. This is what the honorable member said about his leader -

Mr. Menziescan neither call nor command as a leader. Under his leadership the party broke up and yet he refuses to co-operate under the leadership of anybody else.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The time allotted for this discussion has expired.


Mr Calwell - I think that is a good note to finish on.


Mr Pearce - Does the Leader of the Opposition want more time?


Mr Calwell - I have had time enough to pulverize the honorable member for Mackellar and his colleagues.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! I direct the attention of the House to the fact that interjections, especially while the presiding officer is on his feet, are completely disorderly.

The time allotted for general business has expired. The resumption of this debate will be made an order of the day under general business for the next day of sitting, and the Leader of the Opposition will have leave to continue his remarks when the debate is resumed.

Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2.15 p.m.







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