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Thursday, 1 August 1912

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) . - When the debate was adjourned this afternoon, I had gone to some trouble to show that the compelling of newspaper writers to sign political articles during an election campaign did not bring about any evil results at the Werriwa election. I was endeavouring to show by reading perhaps somewhat too lengthy' quotations from newspapers circulating in the electorate that not only had they not been debarred from criticising the condidates, expressing their views on the campaign, and informing and instructing the electors, but, although it was expected that there would be, to some extent, a conspiracy of silence on the part of the press, the efforts of the Worker, the Co-operator, and other newspapers of that character compelled even the press of Sydney to daily furnish the people of New South Wales with correct detailed reports of the speeches and doings of the candidates. These things are well worth remembering, because when a new proposal comes before the people, its very newness sometimes causes them to view it with doubt. I only wish to make one or two more quotations for the purpose of showing that the Goulburn Penny Post exercised a very great liberty in the manner in which it criticised the candidates at the Werriwa election. Here is one of its statements as to what would be the effect of the return of Mr. Conroy, ' and as to what had been the effect of the absence of men of his Stamp from this Parliament -

It is understood that the Tariff issue is to be re-opened for the purpose of removing anomalies. That will be the opportunity for the Protectionist leeches to ask for more blood, that is, more taxation, and probably a further, increase in the cost of living.

One of the reasons why the Post was soanxious to secure Mr. Conroy's return was that the Protectionist leeches would then have some one to fight.

Senator Findley - He is an ardent single-taxer, who desires to raise all revenue from the land.

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