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Thursday, 2 June 1960

Mr ANDERSON (Hume) .- Mr. Deputy Speaker,I should like to introduce my grievance by supporting the remarks -

Mr Curtin - I rise to order. The honorable member for Gippsland made a statement which is offensive to me, and I should like it to be withdrawn. He said that I ought to be arrested. I remind the honorable gentleman that I am a cleanskin. Is he? The remark is offensive to me, and I ask that it be withdrawn.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Did the honorable member for Gippsland make the remark?

Mr Curtin - The remark is offensive to me. It impugns my character.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - If the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith would keep quiet for a moment, I might be able to hear what the honorable member for Gippsland was saying. I ask the honorable member for Gippsland to withdraw the remark.

Mr Bowden - I have no objection whatever to withdrawing it. No one can honestly complain that I do not obey the Chair, I simply remarked that a man who makes statements such as the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith made without substantiating them ought to be arrested and made to substantiate them if he can. That is what I think.

Mr Curtin - The honorable member is defying the Chair.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - The honorable member for Gippsland has been asked to withdraw the remark; that is all.

Mr Bowden - I have done so.

Mr Ward - That is not enough.

Mr Bowden - Does the honorable member want me to fall on my knees?

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Gippsland has withdrawn the remark complained of by the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith. I call the honorable member for Hume to resume his speech.

Mr Ward - And I call your attention to the state of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker. [Quorum formed.]

Mr ANDERSON - It is very significant, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) never wants to hear what I have to say. To refuse to listen to some one else is to be undemocratic.

On this occasion, I want to direct the attention of the House to the continual attack - the snide and evil attack - by the Opposition on our Australian way of life. I have spoken about this before. As long as you give a dog a bad name, it has a bad name. The Opposition would replace the Australian way of life with a system which was devised by Karl Marx. The British Labour Party experimented with the socialist programme when it was in office. It nationalized the steel, transport and coal industries, and we all know the disastrous history of those industries under nationalization. The Australian Labour Party wishes to introduce this wonderful philosophy into Australia.

Socialism is being practised in the world to-day, and we find that men try to get away from it if they can. In East Germany, we have a living example of the way in which men hate the socialist system. About 3,000,000 people from East Germany have fled from socialism. Every week, 2,000, 3,000 or 4,000 persons escape from East

Germany through Berlin. That is why Khrushchev wants the Berlin issue settled.. In Berlin, the capitalist system and thesocialist system can be seen at work side by side. Under the socialist system, the standard of living of the people is drab and drear with fear, while in West Berlin there is brightness and a fine standard of living.

The Australian Labour Party wants to destroy the Australian way of life. The maligned Australian capitalist system and its alleged rapacity have been constantly under attack from the Opposition, but let us compare the cost of living for the ordinary worker in Australia with that of the Russian. The Australian workman has to work for seven or eight hours to buy a pair of shoes. Under the socialists, a man would have to work for 50 hours to buy the same shoes. An Australian can buy a new suit with the product of forty hours' work but a socialist would have to work 300 hours, lt is all very well for the theorists among the socialists to talk, but we need to study socialism in practice and compare it with our own way of life.

The old-fashioned arguments that are produced by the Opposition were used 50 years ago. They have a constant desire to equalize wealth. That was the sort of theory that was sponsored by Sidney Webb in 1900, and supporters of the Labour Party find that it appeals to the amoral instincts of man to try to take wealth from one and give it to another. If you study the trend of the capitalist system there has been a steady tendency towards equality, and the wageearners of Australia have bettered their position considerably over the past ten years. How many wage-earners to-day do not own a motor car? Many own their own homes. A great deal of change is appearing in the system and the Australian workers are enjoying a much better way of life, but the socialists who support the Labour Party want to destroy it. They want to take the people back to the Russian system and to slavery.

The honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Crean) referred to land speculation, and I agree with him substantially. I do not agree that land should suddenly appreciate in value because a new suburb is to be built. Such land should be resumed at reasonable agricultural values. But I remind the Opposition that a Labour Government is in office in New South Wales.

Why does it not do something about land speculation instead of following its present policy of throwing open green belt zones? Actually, what is happening is this: The Labour Party is attacking this problem of land speculation with two voices. We have the snide left wing saying one thing in this Parliament while the right wing in office in New South Wales speaks with another voice. This is the united Labour Party which hopes to swing the poll in the Bendigo electorate and in Queensland. Where does it expect to get with its constant attacks on the Australian way of life?

I do not support restrictive trade practices which the Opposition has attacked. I think such practices are evil; but legislation will be introduced to deal with this problem, although it is difficult to tackle because of our Constitution. What worse example of restrictive practices can we find than those which are exemplified in the trade unions? They are a complete monopoly. The Opposition members keep on saying that they do not believe in State enterprise in a capitalist country. There is nothing wrong with State enterprise, but that is not socialism. The socialism that the Labour Party would introduce would bring us down to the level of the Russian peasants.

The Opposition attacks profits, but from profits come the means to increase employment. High taxation draws off profits. Supporters of the Labour Party talk about equalizing the wealth of the nation. How did the Australian Labour Party equalize wealth when it was in office? We have a living example of the equalization of wealth in New South Wales where a Labour Government is in office. It proposes to build a State Opera House by taking millions of pounds from the little people at 5s. a time and then giving £100,000 to one person in a lottery prize derived from that source. That is Labour's way of equalizing wealth. Members of the Opposition attack the Australian way of life in this House, but they will not do it on the hustings. If the Labour Party ever gets into office, and puts the socialist system into practice, the virile expansion that is taking place in Australia under this Government, and which is associated with the highest employment figures in the world, will be destroyed. The socialists would drag Australia down to the lowest level.

If you want to see a wide difference in wealth and living standards, you do not go to a capitalist country, but to the socialist countries. In Russia, from three to five families occupy one home, but the higher members of the Communist Party have country homes outside Moscow and chalets by the sea at Yalta. They enjoy the highest living standards while the workers are depressed.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member's time has expired.

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