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Monday, 12 November 1973
Page: 3123

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Briefly I should like to answer some of the accusations which, unfortunately, have been made by the honourable member for Bowman (Mr Keogh). In the past few minutes he has made a speech which, unfortunately, has dragged the contribution I made to the debate down to gutter level. I listened quietly to his accusations. I recall very clearly how in 1969 a man, who later became Federal President of the Australian Labor Party and is now the member for Lytton in the Queensland Parliament, Mr Tom Burns, tried 3 weeks before the election of that year to make a big issue of the claim that I was engaging in illegal practices. It was proven then that I was not and have never been so' engaged. I am prepared to swear to that on the biggest stack of Bibles the honourable member for Bowman possesses.

Mr Keogh - Your organisation was.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Sit down you fool.

Mr Keogh - I will bring the letter into the chamber and show it to you.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I will read the letter. The point I am making is that there is nothing illegal about what I have done. I am not to be condemned if I have been smart enough to take advantage of leeway which was left open to me because of the Labor Party's exploitation system in the area, as long as I am working within the framework of the law. I have never purported to be anything that I am not. I have never at any time done anything illegal in relation to postal votes. I can live with myself in relation to this matter. Members of the Labor Party have on a couple of occasions tried to make accusations to the contrary, but they have always come off the loser. In 1969 a Labor alderman, after the Labor Party had tried to bring up the point that the honourable member for Bowman made, said to me: 'That little effort was worth 500 votes to you. They are stupid. They should keep their mouths shut because you are not doing anything wrong*. All I am asking is that we do something. Now that the subject of politics has been raised, I remember how during the 1966 election campaign a Labor alderman ran one of my workers off the road in a car at Stones Corner. He forced the car into a park. He was a big man. He came up to my worker-

Mr Hewson - A thug.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Like a thug. That is the word. He came up to him and said 'Give me that postal vote form. I want your name. I am going to report you'. The poor blighter did not know if he was doing wrong. That is the way in which the Labor Party carries on.

Mr Giles - Strong arm tactics.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - The honourable member for Angas said it uses strong arm tactics. He is correct. It is time all right. It is time something was done about this matter. It is time we recognised that all political parties are guilty of malpractices and not just one party. The tragedy is that the system has lent itself to the type of exploitation to which I have referred. When a system is as bad as this one it is about time we did something about it. For my own record in this respect honourable members opposite need only read Hansard. They will find that I have made dozens of speeches and asked dozens of questions in the House on this matter since the first occasion on which I raised it - 28 September 1967 - in an endeavour to get the system changed to a more honest one.

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