Election Speeches

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Billy Hughes – 1917

This is no time for kid gloves or beating about the bush. It is the time for plain speaking. It is a fight to a finish. It is no time for mealy-mouthed speaking. We must say what we believe in this fight. You must do your duty the same as the men who are fighting your battles, and if you do it half as well we shall win the greatest victory ever known in Australia.

March 27th, 1917

defence economy immigration trade

Arthur Fadden – 1943

We can smash the Axis, we can win this war, we can build for the future, we can ensure a sound and prosperous nation, only if we have sane, efficient and stable government. The Australia Party and the United Country Party promise to give you a 100 per cent. war effort.

In four words, our policy for the nation and the individual is — VICTORY, LIBERTY, SECURITY, PROSPERITY.

July 22nd, 1943

agriculture defence economy government administration industrial relations infrastructure social security socialism

Frank Tudor – 1917

Care must therefore be exercised in the recording of votes for the two parties. It remains for you to say whether you will have what has been aptly termed the triple fusion–the wreckage of the Deakin party, the wreckage of the Cook party, and the wreckage of the Hughes party–returned to power in the country, or whether you will remain true and vote solidly for the Australian Labor Party.

March 29th, 1917

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Edmund Barton – 1901

Will you not return men of principle who will uphold the dignity of the Parliament of a continent. An an old Speaker, I appreciate this need. Hope and believe Parliament will not be degraded by vulgarism and disorder. More and better business will be done, if done decently and in order.

January 17th, 1901

defence government administration infrastructure trade federal capital

John Curtin – 1940

The country is at war.

The Commonwealth of Australia entered this war, not of any act of itself, but because Germany, pursuing a ruthless policy of aggression, forced war on the British Commonwealth of Nations. The entire guilt lies with Germany.

August 28th, 1940

defence communications and technology infrastructure social security

Billy Hughes – 1919

But what of the future? The burning blasts of war have shrivelled, blackened, and destroyed the world we once knew. Old landmarks have disappeared. The nations of the earth panting from the struggle, impoversihed by the unprecedented destruction of wealth, are confronted with a new set of financial, national, and industrial circumstances. Humanity has indulged in a terrible orgy of destruction; it must pay the price. We must enter on a long period of reconstruction—wherein captial will be scarce, interest high, wages and materials costly.

October 30th, 1919

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George Reid – 1906

It took the heart and soul out of our compact of alliance. Even with every Deakinite with us, we had only a bare majority. One defaulter could have ousted us.

October 23rd, 1906

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Alfred Deakin – 1903

I hope that the men of Australia out of their experience, and the women of Australia, who at this election are going to cast their virgin vote, will take up and repeat the Ballarat battle cry of National Trade—the cry of fiscal peace and preferential trade for a White Australia.

October 29th, 1903

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James Scullin – 1934

It was persistently suggested at the last elections that, while the Labor Government was in office, bankers and financiers would not release money for enterprise, and that, with the removal of the Labor Government, millions would flow into industry and employment and prosperity would appear. Thousands of poor people, sorely tried by poverty, voted against their lifetime convictions, but they have had a sad awakening. I am confident that, on this occasion, they will assert their rights as men and women, and, by their votes, will transfer their power to a Labor Government with majorities in both Houses of Parliament. That power, in Labor’s hands, will be used with firmness and with justice. Democracy shall rule Australia, not a financial oligarchy.

August 15th, 1934

agriculture economy employment industrial relations infrastructure

John Curtin – 1943

Our country has now withstood the direst trials; it has lived through its darkest hour; it is now confronting the dawn of a victorious and a better day. The Labor Government has done its duty. Australia stands at this election one of the free countries in the world. For that we have toiled and striven. And we know that the time has come when a preserved Australia can once again advance.

July 26th, 1943

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