Works in the Bulletin 1909

The Government should show that the telephones cost more than the revenue before asking the people to pay more. - President Fairbairn, M.P. at a recent meeting of the Victorian Employers' (Anti-Socialistic) Association.

The advantage to the people was held to counter-balance any loss, and the loss was spread over the population.- Another Anti-Socialistic speaker at the same meeting.

      Mister Chairman; - er - ah - when
      We right-thinking business men
 Are treated with much scant - um - er - civility,
      I say the time has come
      For us to - er - ah - um -
To defend our rights and - er - respectability.

We are right, sir, to defened Our interests. And the trend Of present legislation is - fantastic, sir. That is - er - the only word To describe it. It's absurd! And calls for opposition - um - er - drastic, sir!
And - ah - sir. I think I can Say this meeting to a man Is distinctly Anti-Sosh and - er - and sensible; And holds that Labor aims And Socialistic claims Are visionary and - um - reprehensible.
We are ready to resist The - ah - rabid Socialist, Who's as great an anarchist as any Russian, sir! And the Labor party's laws Are tyrranical! (Applause.) Which - er - brings me to the subject of discussion, sir.
Regarding telephones: The Labor Party (Groans) Seems to think it can oppress us with impunity. But I hold, sir, it is plain That the benefits we gain Should be paid for by - that is - the whole community!
As an Anti-Socialist, Mister Chairman, I insist - (If that gentleman who interjected recently Will endeavour to restrain His impatience, I'll explain. I'd remind him we conduct these meetings decently).
Mister Chairman, to resume. When I look around this room On the members of this - er - great society, And consider we've to pay For these benefits, I say It's - er - bordering on - um - on impropriety!
The - er - people, sir, should bear - (What's that? ... I protest, sir! Chair! This - er - person who seems bent upon confusing me With his most unseemly din - I don't know how he got in - Cannot shake my argument, sir, by abusing me.)
And I answer him, sir, Bosh! Bosh! How dare he call me Sosh! Our position is invinc - er - ah - invincible! His remarks, sir, I resent, And I hold my argument Is a basic principle of - um - of principle!
As my worthy friend, Bruce Smith (Bosh sir! ... Petriana myth! ... Six hitters! ... Marriage tie! ... er - Confiscation, sir! Um - er - break up fam'ly ties! ... Lies, sir! Socialistic lies! Alarming capital and immigration, sir!)
Now - (Eh! ... Order! Sir, I claim Your protection! What's his name? Is this man a member? Sir, show your authority! An imposter, I've no doubt. Ha, I thought so! Put him out!) Now the motion ... Carried! by a large majority.

The Bulletin, 29 April 1909, p24

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002