Historic Hansard: Commonwealth of Australia parliamentary debates presented in an easy-to-read format for historians and other lovers of political speech
This is a searchable database of Commonwealth Hansard, Reps and Senate, from 1901 to so far, 1980. You can search each House under the headings of ‘Years’, ‘Parliament’, ‘People’, ‘Bills’, or use Keywords sorted by dates. A people person, I searched at random under ‘People’ and found Albert Lane, an undistinguished United Australia Party MP for Barton, New South Wales, from 1932 to 1940. Mr Lane’s first question was almost iconic – or at least timeless – as was the response of the Attorney-General, John Latham:
Albert Lane (Wikipedia)
BARTON, NEW SOUTH WALES
In view of the fact that members of a conference that was recently held in New South Wales enunciated a plan which has for its purpose the overthrow of the present system of government by revolutionary means, will the Federal Government take appropriate steps against those concerned?
From time to time nowadays a great deal of hot air is produced in Australia. I shall have the matter investigated, and see whether it is of a serious nature.
John Latham (Wikipedia)
The ‘revolutionary agents’ were possibly Langites or possibly Communists, but Mr Lane probably would not have drawn much of a distinction between these, anyway.
Seriously, though, this is a great resource, which has been around for a while, but is now well past its beta version – and should be used by all of us. And, having joked about Mr Lane*, we’ve left you with his picture – and one of Mr Latham (no relation to the more recent bearer of that name).
9 July 2017
* Mr Lane lost his seat in 1940 to HV Evatt, who had left the High Court to which Latham had ascended in 1935 as Chief Justice.