...we should not compromise with basic faiths and principles, and our Liberalism should be positive. From this my theme for today shapes itself. It is a call to the Party to make its Liberalism dynamic and to reject the canker of compromise. So let us first get clearly in our minds what "dynamic" means in this context. It means exactly what the dictionary says: Liberalism characterised by energy and effective action; potent Liberalism; forceful Liberalism.
...Liberalism Can Give The Lead: it is astonishing that there should be any argument as to where we should be going Individual freedom and personal liberty on the scale known to us today have prevailed for less than 3 per cent of recorded history and only within the last two centuries. But it is significant that within that narrow time and space all our great technical advances have been made and all our personal liberties established. Are we in Australia going to throw them away by compromising? Do we want a free society at a known cost, or do we want to be told how to work and live?
In this there is a warning for all of us. Take the itch for controls in a "mixed" society. If we yield to the first pressures we will end up with the whole paraphernalia of controls. If we take the first step towards socialism we will end up as socialists. Our way of life brooks of no compromise. In compromising with the opposing ways of life we only get the worst of two worlds; we never get the better.
...We must not forget that a Party Organisation is the hereditary custodian of the Party principles and faith. Perhaps it could be called the conscience of the Party as a whole. And I don't mean a sleeping conscience, nor do I mean a self-righteous junta laying down the law, because Liberals are essentially individualistic. Indeed, while this Liberal Organisation of ours, being liberal, must assert the right to self-expression, so must individual members of the Party, be they members of parliament or laymen. And that right of openly expressing views should be exercised whether we are in government or not. The alternative is to become like the regimented robots of the Labor Party. There is plenty of room for variety of expression on the broad highway of liberal principles.
Strange as it may first appear, we will achieve a strong, united Party if we choose freedom of individual expression That freedom breeds more robust individual members; and the Party is no stronger than the sum of the strengths of its individual members. Not in any one individual, but in the aggregate strength of a variety of vocal individuals will we achieve the greatness of one united party.
Federal President's Address to Federal Council. Canberra 13 November 1956 (A Liberal Party publication)