Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 31 August 1960

Mr BRYANT (Wills) .- It is not Professor Gluckman who has been so much smeared by this episode; every person in Australia has been smeared by it. I take an extremely dim view of a government which has had eleven years in office and is so unsure of itself and so lacks confidence in its ability to administer a Territory under its control that it is afraid to allow a single individual into that Territory, no matter what his political affiliation may be.

Mr Whitlam - On an Australian National University project!

Mr BRYANT - Yes - on an Australian National University project that is sponsored by an institution which is a creature of this Parliament. The most serious aspect of the matter, I think, is that it is a denial of individual civil rights and a surrender of the authority of Parliament and of the courts to a security service for which the proposed provision in the Estimates this year is almost £700,000. Over the last ten or eleven years this organization has given those who have any regard for civil liberties, civil rights, and the Australian way of doing things the greatest possible concern

The Minister for Territories (Mr. Hasluck) is doing himself a grave disservice, and I think that every member of the Cabinet is doing himself a grave disservice, by allowing the Prime Minister's creature in this regard to be a rubber stamp of their own illiberalism. This is a serious matter. It is not only a trespass in the case of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea; it affects, also, the naturalization of citizens in this community. I will not mention any names here to-night, but I have taken these matters up with the Minister himself. People I know well, and for whom I can personally vouch, have over the last two or three years been denied naturalization upon the recommendation, probably, of the very same people who are implicated in this matter. This has been allowed to happen in Australia, which is one of the most secure nations of the world.

The Minister for Territories has told us that he is unsure of himself, that he has his suspicions, and that we live in a world that is under the threat of subversion. He told us that he is afraid. On the contrary, Mr.

Speaker, I feel that this country has something to be proud of. In a world that is riven with subversion, at least there is one nation that can say fairly and squarely that it trusts all the people within its borders. After all, this Government brought Krupps here. It not only allowed him to come here, but it entertained him while he was here. We remember that Commonwealth cars waited for him at the airport. I personally do not care whether Krupps comes or goes. The 10,000,000 people of Australia can handle any number of Krupps, just as they can handle any number of Liberals, if it comes to that.

The principle we must accept is that in this world at the present moment there are very few places where people can be free and easy and above suspicion, where a handful of Communists can float around the country unknown, because the strength of this nation lies in the loyalty, the unity and the very truth of its structure. During the 60 years since federation and the 170 years of our existence, we have never had a traitor. We have never had to descend to the levels which other nations have descended to in order to keep their people loyal and true.

I have the greatest admiration for some aspects of the administration of the Minister for Territories, and the liberalism of the Minister for Immigration (Mr. Downer) is well known. The Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), who ought to be a spokesman in the world for truth and freedom, is doing the Australian nation a disservice. I do not stand here this evening on behalf of Professor Gluckman, whose academic qualities are beyond dispute. I stand here as an ordinary Australian representing 40,000-odd voters who stand foursquare behind the Labour Party. They demonstrated that eight or nine years ago over the Communist Party Dissolution Bill, and they have done so ever since. I believe I express their attitude correctly when I say that 'phone tapping, the denial of individual rights, and the charging of people with bogus associations are things for which they do not stand. In the one thousand years through which the system of British justice has developed, we have learned sometimes to be suspicious even of the courts, with all the panoply of law and protection that is behind them. How much more suspicious ought we to be of an irresponsible security service, which arrives at its judgment in secret, is not answerable to anybody, and which therefore can prejudice people's freedom to such an extent that their whole future is prejudiced? I believe that over the last ten or eleven years the Liberal Party has been guilty of doing a disservice to trie nation in connexion with the many things that have been traversed here time and time again, and there will be no freedom or future for the nation until this Government is removed from office.

Suggest corrections