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Wednesday, 24 August 1960

Mr HAYLEN (Parkes) (12:31 PM) .Mr. Speaker,it is obvious now that the honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Killen) and the honorable member for Phillip (Mr. Aston) have been manoeuvring all night in order to get a debate on what they allege to be a levy to finance a visit to Australia by two unionists from another country. Those two honorable members are not a bit concerned about that in reality. All they want to do is to indulge in a smear campaign that they have been trying to originate all this week. Even at this late hour, the honorable member for Phillip tries to prove in half a dozen different ways something that is really only a smear against honorable members on this side of the House.

Now I shall tell the House something about the campaign organized by the honorable member for Phillip and the honorable member for Moreton. They were in the company of two security officers at Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) airport before they left Sydney last Tuesday, and they were quizzing those security officers as to the whereabouts, identity and habits of two East German visitors to this country who were invited to come here by the Building Workers Industrial Union. The honorable members were acting as stooges for the security service, and they have come into this House to spread the story that they have told. They spoke to two well-known security officers and I believe that in this instance security is being misused. This is some kind of a tapping though it is not quite telephone tapping, and this means of communication has been used to give a dribble of information to two notorious red-baiters who do not care what they say in this House so long as they smear the Australian Labour Party. They appear to me to be something like the famous parrot in O. Henry's story who got its dates and colours mixed. I am sure that honorable members recall O. Henry's classic story in which a parrot used to denounce the Irish on St. Patrick's Day and whistle " God Save the King " on the occasion of the celebration of the American victory over the British at Bunker's Hill.

These honorable members represent things in a completely different context from that in which they happened overseas. Macmillan has been tootling about in Moscow, wearing a Russian fur hat and trying to look like Khrushchev. He even went on a diet to make himself plumper and more Russian in appearance. Perhaps he achieved this by filling himself with koumiss and vodka. Then the other minor people about the place try to do the same sort of thing. The honorable member for Phillip talks about the nefarious things that may happen if unionists or workers from Russia or China come to this country. But we are prepared to go to Russia. I think that a senator who is a daughter of a former principal of the famous Holden motor organization visited Russia recently. A multiplicity of visitors have been to Russia and China. These two honorable members would have us believe that they want the traffic to be one way, but in reality they do not care how many workers come out here and confer with other workers. They only want to smear the Australian Labour Party.

The honorable member for Watson (Mr. Cope) has revealed to us that the merino has gone red and that £12,000,000 worth of his earning power belongs to the Soviet and its friends. When that is pointed out, the modest members of the Australian Country Party shrink away like the modest violets they are and disappear under the ground until the weather improves. They do not want to say that the exchange of views by workers is a terrible, notorious and nefarious thing. Would it not be terrible if the man who processes the wool talked to the man who sheared it? That would be a sin according to honorable members opposite. But the man who sells wool to an organization in China or Russia is at liberty to go over there and swap vodkas. There could not be anything more dramatically convincing than what the honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) has said about this situation to those two honorable members on the Government side of the House. Every day in this House, one hears stories about the great future of this country, about its development, about the sort of nation it will be and about the migrants and money that are pouring in. We hear from Government supporters all sorts of boasts about the Budget. They have minds like peanuts.

The honorable member for Phillip always talks in a miserable and cavilling way which is most un-Australian. He has a red phobia, as has the honorable member for Moreton.

They can see nothing but red and they can understand nothing. If this is to be a big country, we must emulate the British people, who trade with Russia and China, and who understand that collaboration does not occur of itself simply because there is trade. These two men indulge in narrow-minded little niggles. Neither of them cares about a man and a woman coming from East Germany to confer with the building workers of Australia. They merely seek propaganda to bolster their miserable positions in their electorates and to support their miserable little approach to affairs. Are they not supposed to be members of the Commonwealth Parliament representing the Australian community? The sort of stuff that they indulge in belongs to the meetings of the Dorcas Society. It is the sort of thing that one would expect from ladies who are terrified and think they see a red under every bed.

Mr Aston - Come back to the levy.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member for Phillip has already spoken.

Mr HAYLEN - The honorable member asked me to come back to the levy, but he did not confine his remarks to the levy. He made a complete circuit and embraced everything. He talked about what the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) had said at various times. It was quite obvious that the honorable member for Phillip, apparently given an impetus by his conversation with the security officers at the airport in Sydney, was geared to go on a redbaiting bust-up. But we have called his bluff, and we say to him, "If you want to talk about unity tickets and the inter-change of unionists, we are prepared to meet you on that ground ".

The honorable member may ask me where I stand on those matters. Unions have every right to invite delegates from other countries, both the free and the Communist countries, to discuss the affairs of the world with them. For this is one world and you cannot live apart in a segment of it. You cannot lock yourself up apart from the rest. The honorable member for Phillip would deny the Summit conference. Such a conference is a crime in his eyes. He thinks that it is a crime to meet and associate freely with others. The pinchpenny, niggling minds of honorable members opposite see something terrible in the habit of unionists, which has been evident over all the years of the history of unionism, of meeting and conversing no matter where they are. Unionists have a different outlook. They belong to the freemasonry of the brotherhood in which they work. The problems of all unionists are similar, irrespective of the countries in which they live.

It is obvious that these two great unionists opposite have never paid a union fee in their lives. They get up and beat their chests as do the orang-utans at Taronga Park Zoo. They talk about the rights of the workers, and we are told that one of them has three captive waterside workers in one of the branches of the Liberal Party of Australia in his electorate. That would be the most fascinating thing in history. If Ripley does not know about it, we should send him a telegram in the morning. The honorable member who represents the salubrious electorate of Phillip is trembling in his shoes at the thought of what a man named Einfeld will do to him in the very near future. He is casting about for something with which he can hit at those whom he fears. He realizes that he cannot hit at them by proper methods and sound policies, and so he tries to hit at them by raising the red issue. That is all that his utterances amount to.

What the honorable member for Lalor has said is the truth of the matter. Honorable members opposite cannot have it both ways. It is all right for unionists in any part of the world to confer with unionists from other countries. I approve of it. There is nothing wrong with it. But if it is wrong in the eyes of Government supporters, why is it not wrong to go to another country merely to sell wool? At least, unionists have a humanitarian approach. The basis of unionism is the improvement of crafts, skills and conditions. But the approach of the honorable members opposite is directed only towards sordid trade. When I was in Shanghai, I saw plenty of liberals darting about among the Communists and trying to sell their wool. I saw them seeking mor-tai, the national drink of the Chinese, and the compradors - the men who in the years before the liberation stood between the Chinese and the products of the outside world and who acted as go-between. These are the men who have been dismissed from China. The new traders have come in and they are quite willing to work with the Chinese trade organization, which is highly efficient and is prepared to sell our goods.

The Australian Country Party has been realistic about this matter. Its members say, "What is going to happen to us with the advent of the new market arrangements in Europe - the European Common Market and the agglomeration of markets which are meant to protect primary producers in Europe and not let in too many primary products from countries outside the Continent? " What would happen if Australia lost its present market for wool in China which is worth £12,000,000? What would happen if Australia lost its growing, most important and significant market in the Soviet and the countries surrounding the Soviet? There would not be a balanced budget, and honorable members opposite would be silenced by their leader.

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

Mr Killen - I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! Does the honorable member claim that he has been misrepresented?

Mr Killen - Yes, Sir, in a most monstrous fashion. The honorable member for Parkes (Mr. Haylen) said that last Tuesday week, together with the honorable member for Phillip (Mr. Aston), I consulted with two members of the security service. The falsity of that statement may be judged in the light of the fact that last Tuesday week I was not in Sydney, having travelled from Brisbane to Canberra by car.

Mr Aston - I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! Does the honorable member claim that he has been misrepresented?

Mr Aston - Yes, Sir, most grossly. The honorable member for Parkes (Mr. Haylen) said that he saw me in conversation with a security officer at Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) aerodrome. Never at any time since I have been a member of this Parliament, or prior to that time, have I ever had any conversation with any security officer on any matter.

The honorable member for Parkes has grossly mis-handled the truth.

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