Because of the turn of fortune's wheel your Premier (Mr McGirr) and
I have gained some prominence in the Labour movement. But the
strength of the movement cannot come from us. We may make plans and
pass legislation to help and direct the economy of the country. But
the job of getting the things the people of the country want comes
from the roots of the Labour movement - the people who support it.
When I sat at a Labour meeting in the country with only ten or
fifteen men there, I found a man sitting beside me who had been
working in the Labour movement for fifty-four years. I have no doubt
that many of you have been doing the same, not hoping for any
advantage from the movement, not hoping for any personal gain, but
because you believe in a movement that has been built up to bring
better conditions to the people. Therefore, the success of the
Labour Party at the next elections depends entirely, as it always
has done, on the people who work.
I try to think of the Labour movement, not as putting an extra
sixpence into somebody's pocket, or making somebody Prime Minister
or Premier, but as a movement bringing something better to the
people, better standards of living, greater happiness to the mass of
the people. We have a great objective - the light on the hill -
which we aim to reach by working the betterment of mankind not only
here but anywhere we may give a helping hand. If it were not for
that, the Labour movement would not be worth fighting for.
If the movement can make someone more comfortable, give to some
father or mother a greater feeling of security for their children, a
feeling that if a depression comes there will be work, that the
government is striving its hardest to do its best, then the Labour
movement will be completely justified.
It does not matter about persons like me who have our limitations. I
only hope that the generosity, kindliness and friendliness shown to
me by thousands of my colleagues in the Labour movement will
continue to be given to the movement and add zest to its work.