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Thursday, 20 June 1912

Senator GIVENS (Queensland) . - I am astonished at the reverence of the Labour Government - which should be above all things radical - for old-time, worn-out traditions. Apparently Ministers think that, because an adverse motion has been moved in another place, we should stop work immediately after meeting. I see no need for that course. A number of Bills have been introduced, and there is no reason why we should not proceed with their consideration, heedless of the wrangles in the other Chamber. The Opposition cannot say anything on the motion of censure that they could not have said on the motion for the adoption of the Address-in-Reply, and there is no reason for adjourning while they indulge in political fireworks. We shall hear from them statements like those of Senator Millen, whose chief complaint against the Government was that five Labour supporters have been appointed to important positions. Are the members of the Labour party - are all who believe in Labour principles - to be regarded as outcasts and pariahs, who must ever be outside the pale, and never given a Government appointment? Such was the. attitude always taken up by previous Governments, namely, that no Labour man should by any chance be given a Government appointment, no matter how well qualified he might be.

Senator de Largie - The Opposition desire us to continue the boycott !

Senator GIVENS - Because the Opposition, when in power, boycotted members of the Labour party for their political opinions, they seem to think that the

I Labour Government ought to do the same. I make bold to say that, for one appointment made by this Government of a Labour supporter, at least twenty-five supporters of the other side have received Government positions. A most glaring case came under my observation in Queensland, where a political parasite of the first order, connected with the other side, was appointed to an important position. Did we hear one word from the other side in opposition to that appointment? In an important town in Queensland, there is a very strong organization of the other side, which has been known by various names during the last ten years or so. This association, be cause it does not happen to "take on" with the public, is always starting out under a new alias.

Senator de Largie - The old name of " National Ass " will always stick to it.

Senator GIVENS - It is pretty well known by that name ; but it is now, I believe, called the " P. P. A.," or the People's Progressive Association. There was a Townsville agent named Marks who was secretary of this organization for a number of years ; and I say, unhesitatingly, without fear of contradiction, that he was a political parasite of the most degraded kind. He was a mere hanger-on of his party. In business he was a twopennyha'penny commission agent; and yet, when an area officer for his district was wanted, he was appointed without a word of protest from the other side.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - Was there a word of protest from the honorable senator's side?

Senator GIVENS - We said nothing, because we thought that the ' Government should take the responsibility of their own action. Yet now, because the present Government have had the temerity to appoint' a supporter to some post, they are denounced from one end of Australia to the other. If the Government have erred at all, they have erred in giving the bulk of appointments to supporters of the other side. However, I do not wish to go into a debate upon this matter, but merely to point out the sort of rubbish that will be talked by the Opposition in another place, to permit of which we are asked to. adjourn the important work of this Senate. An adjournment for a fortnight would be of no use to me personally. At the present time, it would suit me very well if I could visit my people in Queensland ; but a fortnight, so far from enabling me to take an extended and congenial tour, would merely enable me to go there and come back. We are here prepared to go on with the work ; and I do not see why we should adjourn merely to allow the Opposition in another place to indulge in political fireworks, which they could equally display on the Address-in-Reply.

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