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Thursday, 2 June 1960

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) . -

Frankly, I do not think the boisterous speech of the honorable member for Reid (Mr. Uren) is deserving of an answer, but this may be an opportune time to relate to the honorable member a story which is very much in circulation. The story is that the honorable member has been knocked out so frequently that the advertising rights on the soles of his feet have been sub-let. 1 was fascinated by the fevered plea he made for an understanding of the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Clyde Cameron). According to him, the honorable member for Hindmarsh, this saintly soul who wears a red carnation in his buttonhole - possibly to identify the colour of his politics - is much maligned by the honorable member for Barker (Mr. Forbes). I think the honorable member for Barker showed his customary restraint and his remarkable sense of charity because I thought that what the honorable member for Hindmarsh did to an employee of this Parliament, a very humble person but nevertheless an Australian citizen, was scandalous.

What are the facts? A cleaner in this building who was driven out of Latvia by oppression and cruelty - the very things that the honorable member for Hindmarsh protests that he opposes - who is very grateful that he has been able to come to Australia, and who carries out his duties to the best of his ability, is maligned by a member of the Commonwealth Parliament! He cannot stand up in this place and defend himself. He cannot write to the columns of the more powerful Australian daily newspapers in the hope that his views will be published, and I suggest to the honorable member for Hindmarsh that his stature both as a Parliamentarian and a man would be enhanced if he were to go to the man whom he has maligned in this grievous and wicked way and say to him, " I am sorry for what I have done ". Having said that, I just want to make one other observation about the honorable member for Hindmarsh.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - What about the honorable member for East Sydney?

Mr KILLEN - I shall deal with the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) in a fortnight's time, and I am looking forward to that. I want to deal with the honorable member for Hindmarsh who pulled in, as it were, the authority of various church spokesmen in the matter of telephone tapping. I do not think that does him very much credit at all. When he says that the Anglican Bishop of New castle prepared a paper on this matter and delivered it, he is talking complete nonsense. It was merely in the course of his charge to the Anglican Synod that the Bishop of Newcastle made what I think were extremely superficial and fleeting references to telephone tapping. With the greatest of respect to my lord bishop, I strongly suspect that that gentleman has not read the legislation relating to telephone tapping and certainly has not read the report of the parliamentary debate upon that legislation. It is the simplest thing in the world for some one to go out of his way to invoke the authority of a church dignitary and then imagine that from there on he has a most attractive argument, which, while being capable of being attacked, is not capable of being destroyed.

While it is perfectly true that churchmen have not only a right but an obligation to take an interest in political matters, it must not be presumed that any member of a church speaks for all the adherents of the church in these matters. I say to the honorable member for Hindmarsh, and to the honorable member for East Sydney, who is going to move in strange company in a few weeks time - and I think he will benefit greatly by that - that the charges they have made this afternoon concerning telephone tapping have been grossly extravagant and undeserving of them. I am sure that any person looking sensibly and realistically at the problem would not for one moment attach to the legislation the same fears that they do.

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