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Thursday, 2 June 1960

Mr BRYANT (Wills) .- I suppose it is at least with some cold comfort that we retire into the recess with the knowledge that two of the rather reactionary, conservative and cautious types who sit on the Government benches have at last risen to their feet in defence of the rights of the common man; to know that at last the honorable member for Barker (Mr. Forbes) is stricken with some sympathy for the ordinary person's civil rights. The same can be said of the honorable member tor Moreton (Mr. Killen). During the four and a half years that I have sat in this Parliament they have proceeded with vigour to trespass upon every civil right and every political right of the rest of the community.

It is progress indeed to see this changeof attitude on their part.

This has been an interesting afternoon of contradictions. We have had the honorable member for Isaacs (Mr. Haworth) standing here - speaking to us,I suppose, although hardly at us-

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Mumbling to us.

Mr BRYANT - Mumbling to himself. I do wish he would use some of the skill he ordinarily displays in preparing his matter, to speak to us so that he may be more easily heard from this side. He was giving an account of an international conference he attended in Warsaw. He attended it with some pride; he attended it as our Australian representative, yet he attended it as the representative of a Government which is doing its best not to recognize Poland's existence. This again is one of the contradictions with which the country is beset. As we move into recess we are beset with the concern of the ordinary people of the country at the fact that many of the world's problems and many of the domestic problems facing us are being ignored by the Government.

When I speak on the subject of phone tapping, I believe I speak for thousands of ordinary people. We do not need to read the legislation, we do not need to get out the law books, we do not need to look up precedents, to know that there is something fundamentally wrong with spying and peeping upon ordinary citizens for a reason which is concealed even from the alternative Prime Minister. That is one of the things that offend me as an ordinary member of this Parliament. On this side, there are some five or six former Ministers of the Crown. On the other side, apart from the Ministry, there are some two or three who have held portfolios. These are all people who, by a quirk of the ballot, a turn of fate could have been entrusted with the role of Prime Minister, but apparently nobody is to be entrusted with the information which I believe ought to be available to Parliament itself, and most certainly to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell). It is the fundamental distrust which this Government shows not only of the public but also of the leading members of this Parliament, which ought to cause the people of Australia grave concern. I have no doubt that what the honorable member for Griffith (Mr. Chresby) said inadvertently when he was trapped-

Mr Chresby - He was not trapped.

Mr BRYANT - Then the position becomes even firmer. He has said in this House, by way of interjection, that the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Cairns), Mr. Khrushchev and the Reverend Alan Walker speak with one voice. Then to make sure of it, he admitted that he meant that the Reverend Alan Walker and Mr. Khrushchev speak with one voice.

Mr Chresby -I said they speak the same language.

Mr BRYANT - The honorable member has said that he used the phrase, " the same language ". This is probably an even greater transgression upon semantics. But I will avoid a discussion on that point. The honorable member can rest assured that the people in his electorate will be told between now and the end of next year how expert is their representative in advocating telephone tapping, trespassing upon human rights, and the use of McCarthy's technique in smear tactics. He is an exponent of those techniques.

I rose principally to deal with my friend, the honorable member for Mallee (Mr. Turnbull).

Mr Turnbull - You left it a little late.

Mr BRYANT - Honorable members can see his friendly, tolerant approach; he is still a friend of mine even though he is a member of the Australian Country Party. The party for which he speaks has been notorious over thelast 40 years of its existence for its fight for the preservation of the right of minorities to trample on the rights of the majority and to control and obstruct the Parliament of Australia.Over the last eight or ten years we have heard some historic statements on the redistribution of electorates. The honorable member for Mallee is one of the leading supporters of that policy.

Mr Whitlam - The Country Party is in a bad way now.

Mr BRYANT - I admit that it is suffering badly, but that is the way things go. The honorable member supports the principle that four people in the City of Melbourne should have only the same voting power as one person who lives in a country electorate. He believes that sandhills, spinifex and skeleton weed are more important than people. He is an advocate of the principle of space taking the place of people in the deliberations of this Parliament.

That is only one of the crimes in the Country Party's political calendar. During the last five or six years in Victoria the party has been guilty of hanging three people at once, one of whom was a woman. It has been associated in the last few years to my knowledge in all the mischievous political policies possible, the gerrymandering of electorates, the use of Mccarthyite techniques, floggings, hangings and all the brutalisms of the old convict system. The Country Party has fought for the preservation of all those things. And the Liberal Party cannot dissociate itself from these things. The honorable member for Ballaarat (Mr. Erwin) - that advocate of General Motors-Holden's Limited's domination of Australian industry and friend of Syngman Rhee - interjected a moment ago with some statement about unity tickets. He does not understand much about the principles of unionism, solidarity, and sticking to your mates, but he also can rest assured that the people in his electorate will be told all about him. His unity ticket is with the supporters of the South Korean Government who have developed some of the most pernicious political doctrines in Asia. However, I do not wish to discuss that matter further. I simply raised it this evening to make it quite clear to honorable gentlemen opposite that in the next eighteen months there will be a very forthright campaign to make sure that the people in their electorates know what they have stood for, espoused and advocated in this place - telephone tapping, of which they are such ardent supporters - the domination of Australian industry by monopolies like General MotorsHolden's Limited, which was the theme of the speech of the honorable member for Ballaarat - and the support of reactionary, nasty and the most mischievous characters in history like Syngman Rhee, Chiang Kai-shek and all the rest of that brood.

I should like to deal now with the matter of naturalization, something which the Ministry can consider during the recess. I know that the Minister for Immigration (Mr. Downer) is one of the most liberal and conservative members of the Ministry - one can be a Liberal and a Conservative at the same time - and he has proved that he has a humanitarian approach to matters which come before him.

Mr Whitlam - He shines like a good deed in a naughty world.

Mr BRYANT - Yes, but he hides his light under a bushel or whatever people hide their lights under these days. I hope that his attitude towards the people whom I have in mind will be a little more humanitarian in the future than it has been in the past. I refer to the right of people already in Australia to bring incapacitated and physically handicapped people from overseas. I hope that he will personally examine every rejection by his department of an application for naturalization. If he does that, I promise not to work against him in his electorate during the next election campaign as vigorously as we shall work against some of his colleagues in their electorates.

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