I believe it is a mere political trick of the most obvious kind to endeavour to describe any party, either in the Federal or in the State arena, as a Conservative party. There is no such party in Australia. There is no country in the world where the people are less paralysed by reverence for the past. There is no people in the world who have fewer fears as to the future. If I were compelled to point to a community which represents political progress in its most rapid and fearless guise, I should point to the political community of Australia.
The sooner we recognise fairly and manfully what is the real line of cleavage between honorable members opposite, and those on this side of the House the better. The real line of cleavage is the line between those who believe in development, in the industrial world, by State monopolies. That is the line of cleavage. There are, on this side of the House, men who are just as genuine in their love of Australia - just as keen in their instincts of humanity - as is any honorable member opposite. But a broad line divides us. The question that separates us is, whether the development of Australia on lines of private enterprise is the right method of development, or whether the industrial development of Australia along lines of State control is the proper one. There is a broad principle involved, and it is upon that the battle must be fought. I was suspected of some sort of disposition to run counter to the fusion; but there is no man in Australia who ought to be prouder of the fusion than I should be, since I laid its foundation in the battle that I fought before the electorate three years ago. It was then that I called for an alliance between Free Traders and Protectionists, sinking the fiscal issue, in order to fight what, in my opinion,was the greatest battle of all: the battle of those who believe in the development of Australia by private enterprise as against those who believe in development by State monopoly. Whilst there are wrongs to be redressed, I believe in using to the utmost the power of Parliament to redress them; whilst there are abuses which ought to be suppressed, I believe in the right and power of Parliament to suppress them. But if honorable members study the genius of the human race, in its last analysis, I think they will find that the evolution will be, not towards more and more State interference, but towards less and less. I can imagine a time of elevation and expansion in human destiny, in which, of all artificial contrivances, that of the State will least promote the genuine happiness and welfare of mankind.
Commonwealth Parliamentary Debate - House of Representatives -14 July 1909