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Issue #1905      March 2, 2020

Dixon Replies to Slanders by Hughes

SYDNEY, 6th March – “Mr W M Hughes gave a typical Hughesian speech – abusive, slanderous and evasive – last Monday when he ‘replied’ over the air to my broadcast on behalf of the Communist Party on February 19.”

Mr R Dixon, member of the Central Executive of the Communist Party, said this in an interview today, in answer to Mr Hughes’ 2FC broadcast which was a much boosted “reply” to Mr Dixon.

“Mr Hughes’ chief cry was ‘the Communist Party takes its orders from Moscow.’ I challenge Mr. Hughes or the government to produce any factual evidence that we do.” said Mr Dixon.

“Hughes’ ‘proof’ in his broadcast was that we support non-aggression pact between Soviet Russia and Germany.

“Of course we do support the pact as do tens of thousands of non-Communists, but we did not receive orders from Moscow to support it. It was purely our own decision, and I challenge Mr Hughes to produce any factual evidence to the contrary.

“If by ‘directions from Moscow’ Mr Hughes means that our foreign policy is influenced by the policy of the Soviet Union or that we study and apply in Australia the experiences of the working-class movement in other countries and the Communist International, then we plead guilty to the charge. But there is a vast difference between this and Secret instructions from Moscow.” Mr Dixon pointed out.

“Mr Hughes should be the last person to charge us with being ‘directed from Moscow.’ During the last war, on 16th July 1915. Mr Hughes said: ‘In no circumstances would I agree to send men out of this country to fight against their will.’

“At the beginning of the next war Mr Hughes visited Britain, had discussions with the War Cabinet and returned to Australia howling for conscription.


“Apparently his orders came from Downing Street.

“When the present war was declared did Menzies consult parliament or the people? Who instructed him to declare war?

“We Communists prefer that our policy should be Influenced by workers’ Russia rather than by the imperialism of Downing Street.

“Much better that we should be agents of Stalin – as Mr Hughes referred to me in his broadcast, than agents of Chamberlain.

“Mr Hughes’s claim that anyone disagreeing with Stalin is shot or disappears is without foundation. Those who have bern shot were people who had engaged in wrecking factories and trains in which many people were killed, and in the assassination of leaders of the Soviet government.

“Perhaps the highlight of the broadcast was when Mr Hughes threw doubts upon our honesty and said we were out to ‘deceive’ the people.

“For,” Mr Dixon pointed out, “Mr Hughes has a political history of twists, turns and deceitfulness that is without comparison. He has turned traitor on every principle he has ever held, and has betrayed friends and parties again and again: £25,000 ($2,153,598.83)* is only a small part of the wealth lie has amassed by selling out the labour movement.


“His solicitude for the free institution and ideals of Australia is just hypocrisy. Hughes is the most arrogant warmonger in the country, and he is determined to subordinate Australian institutions and ideals to the policy of the imperialists, and those ideals and institutions that stand in the way including freedom of speech, press, and organisation are to be swept aside.

“Finally. Mr Hughes spoke of Soviet Russia as the ‘ally’ of Germany, and said that ‘for the moment we are not at war with Russia.’ What does he mean? Are we to understand that the moment is not far distant when we will be at war with Soviet Russia?

“The working class must indeed be prepared to meet such a threat. Soviet Russia is not an ally of Germany. She is a neutral in the major European war and will remain neutral as long as possible.

* Reflects inflation according to RBA

This article appeared in Tribune, March 1940.

Next article – Workers Aid, not Attack Speakers

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