House of Representatives
29 August 1901

1st Parliament · 1st Session



Mr. Speaker took the chair at 2” o’clock p.m., and read prayers.

page 4293

PETITIONS

Mr. A. . McLEAN presented petitions, from the members of the Presbyterian Churches at Sale, Bairnsdale, and Lindenow, praying the House to pass into lawclauses 54 and 55 pf the Post and Telegraph Sill.

Mr. WINTER COOKE presented similar petitions from the members of theHorsham Bible Christian Methodist Circuit,, and of the Horsham Presbyterian Church.

Mr. ‘SKENE presented a similar petition from the adherents of the Wesleyan Church,.. Dunolly, and from residents of Marnoo, Rupanyup, Murtoa, Wallaloo, and Ban?yena.

page 4293

QUESTION

TELEGRAPH COMMUNICATION TO TARCOOLA

Mr. POYNTON (South Australia).Following up the questions which have been, asked in regard to the construction of a., telegraph line to Tarcoola, I wish to bring”; certain facts under the notice of the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, and will, in conclusion, ask a question. I find that a battery has been in operation on the field for something like a month, and that the stone crushed amounts to 566 tons, fora yield of 1,164 ounces of gold. I understand,, further, , that it is expected that somethinglike - 1 10dwts. of gold per ton will be’ extracted from, the tailings by the cyanide process. I might’ also .inform the Minister that there, tire something like 2,000 telegraph poles at Oodnadatta, and that these would go a long way towards the construction of the telegraph line to that field, which is very much re- -quired. I would ask the Minister whether the .Government, will hurry on the erection of this telegraph line as much as .possible.

Sir PHILIP FYSH:
Minister (without portfolio) · TASMANIA, TASMANIA · Free Trade

– I would remind the honorable member that this subject has already been considered at the instance of the honorable member for South Australia, Sir Langdon Bonython, and that very com- : plate answers have been given to the questions asked by that honorable member. I think the information which has just been conveyed is very much like that previously communicated to the House, but if it is fuller it will go further in supporting the purpose of the Government, which is to review the circumstances at the earliest possible moment ; and if they find that the work is warranted, to at once proceed with its construction.

page 4294

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

Sir EDWARD BRADDON:
TASMANIA

– In view of what passed in the Legislative Council of the State of Victoria last evening, I would ask the Prime Minister when it may j be expected that the matter of the occupation of these buildings by tho Federal Parliament will bc finally settled 1 Something like three months have passed without any definite agreement having been arrived at, and it -is quite intelligible, in view of the peculiar circumstances of the case, that the Victorian Parliament should feel aggrieved if any reasonable requirements of theirs are not met. This is a matter which I do not think should be allowed to drag on longer than is absolutely necessary. It is stated that the agreement between the Premier of Victoria and the Prime Minister has not yet been ratified, and I hope that some arrangement will be made at the earliest possible moment, and that as far as practicable the requirements of the members of the Victorian Parliament -will be met-

Mr BARTON:
Minister for External Affairs · HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES · Protectionist

– The right honorable member has given me an opportunity which I welcome. ‘ There was a primary agreement between the Government of Victoria and -the Government of the Commonwealth, that was constituted by an offer placing the quarters here and the quarters at the Exhibition-building equally at the disposal of .the Commonwealth, and it became, as I take it, a fair agreement when -this Government notified to the Victorian Government that it accepted the generous offer of this building, which was placed at its disposal - those are the words.

Mr PARKER MOLONEY:
INDI, VICTORIA · ALP

– Hear, hear. Why don’t they stick to if?

Mr BARTON:

– Under that correspondence - whatever may have happened since by way of any variation or desire of variation - this Parliament occupies this build- ing. When it became a question of the vacation of these premises, certain difficulties arose which I fully explained to honorable members, and which, of course, resulted in some cases, in reluctance to vacate places which had been occupied for a series of years. As I explained to honorable members, that reluctance was only natural. As an outcome of that, some conversation took place between the Premier of Victoria and myself, at which the Speaker of the Victorian Assembly was present, and some other officer - I think it was Mr. Jenkins, who for some time occupied the position of Chief Clerk in this House. During that conversation, for the sake of avoiding friction, and for the sa,ke of doing what I knew this j Parliament would approve, so as to make the transition as light as passible to our confreres of the Victorian Parliament, there were certain matters which were tentatively agreed to by me. About the end of April, or towards the end of April, executive resolutions were passed by the Government of the Commonwealth asking to’ be permitted to .borrow from the Government of Victoria certain staffs attached to the Houses. These matters were assented to by executive minute on the part of the Government of Victoria a month or two afterwards - I think it was more like two months than one. I am trying to make- as succinct a statement of these facts as I can from memory. .There were other matters of detail that -were also arranged, and the agreement -was approved of, I think, hy the Executive Council of the State of Victoria, and tendered to me for the acceptance of the Commonwealth. In it I found what seemed to me to be matters, introduced by way of modification, which took the affair quite outside anything upon which there had been any personal agreement, and these were the subject of some consideration by the Federal. Cabinet. There was -much intervening correspondence, and before that consideration had resulted in any agreement with the Government of Victoria certain further terms were asked for by the Government of Victoria, including the entire control of the Library. It seemed to me that this created a situation that called for a conference between the Premier of Victoria and myself, and I accordingly asked him to meet me, which he did. He with very great gladness assented to the proposition that the Speakers and Presidents of the Federal and State Parliaments should meet in conference and endeavour to settle the matter, the understanding being that they should report to the Premier of Victoria and myself. At the same time I had considerable confidence that the deliberations of these high officers would enable us all to arrive at a satisfactory agreement. I was under the impression that that was to be carried out, but on asking again whether it was to be carried out or not, I received a letter - I will speak again from memory, as I have not the correspondence in front of me - in which the Premier of Victoria suggested that in lieu of that conference between the Speakers and Presidents, there should be a conference between the two Atorneys-General. My honorable friend, the Premier of Victoria, pointed out that the word “settled” had been used in reference to the proposed conference of Speakers and Presidents as if their deliberations were to settle the matter. My reply to that was that although I had expressed entire confidence that they would settle the matter, I had not proposed that the Governments should be absolutely bound by their recommendations, but that there should be a report from them, and that I was still willing that the matter should be submitted to their consideration. I made this statement to the honorable gentleman : That before I could agree to entertain any proposal that the two Attorneys-General should consider the matter between them, I wished to know definitely whether he withdrew from his acceptance of my former proposal, that the Presidents ; and the Speakers of the two Houses in each case should meet to consider the matter, adding that I was perfectly willing, as always, that that meeting should be for consideration and report to the respective . Governments. Within the last few days I have received a letter from the Premier of Victoria telling me that he does withdraw his adoption of that proposed arrangement, so that the matter now remains in this position - That whilst the points of difference are still outstanding there is a proposal from the Government of Victoria that the Attorneys-General of the respective Governments shall consider the matter. That is a question upon which I intend to take the opinion of Cabinet on the very first opportunity that the present press of business allows. But whatever has delayed the settlement of this matter, it is certainly not any action on the part of the Commonwealth, which has sedulously exhibited its desire all through that there should be an amicable arrangement. Notwithstanding the fact that the whole building was placed at its disposal and accepted with all that it contained, it has been ready to consent to modifications rather than that there should be friction between the two Parliaments and Governments. It is with reluctance that I make this statement, but the time has come for me to make it, and the time has come for the public of Victoria to appreciate the position under which the Commonwealth is labouring.

Mr Page:

– Shift us over to Sydney.

page 4295

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

page 4295

GOVERNOR-GENERAL’S ALLOWANCES

page 4296

WAGES, HOURS, AND CONDITIONS OF LABOUR

page 4296

TICK PEST IN NEW SOUTH WALES

Parliament House - Federal Capital -

Federal Library - De. Maxwell’s

Report - A lien Immigration - Tick - Post and Telegraph Department : Temporary Employes : State Works - Meteorology - Statistical Department,

Question - That the Speaker leave the Chair, and the House resolve itself into Committee of Supply - put.

Mr Barton:
Protectionist

– We are here.

Mr Barton:
Protectionist

– We are here because the Victorian Government placed this building at our disposal without qualification.

Mr Page:

– Where does the honorable member suggest that the capital should be 1

Mr Mauger:
MELBOURNE PORTS, VICTORIA

– Is it urgent?

Mr Barton:
Protectionist

– And we have taken every step that we possibly can.

Mr McDonald:
KENNEDY, QUEENSLAND

– There have been several experts in Queensland, and the information given by them is available.

Mir. FULLER. - I am aware of what the honorable member says ; but at the present time there is a well-known expert, Professor Ligniore, of Prance, who is connected with the Alfred College there, who has made a special study of the subject. I suggest to the Prime Minister that perhaps the services of Professor Ligniore, or some one else occupying a similarly high position, might be obtained in order to inquire into the matter. I hope, at any rate, that some steps will be taken to deal with it in the interests of the country.

Mr Page:

– I. should not say that I was welcome if I was so treated.

Mr Wilks:

– I suppose that no charge is made for the sugar ?

Mr Mauger:

– The honorable member is thin-skinned.

Mr Barton:
Protectionist

– Who said so 1

Mr Barton:
Protectionist

– Then they were quitewrong.

Mr Barton:
Protectionist

– We have not said that that that does not commit the Federal Government. 1 We have pointed out that where a matter has gone so fear in the making of a contract as the acceptance, of a tender, the proper thing to do is to allow the State to carry out the work as intended, and make the result of it a question between the Federal and the State Governments.

Mr Sawers:
NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES

– And made wild promises, too.

Mr Sawers:

– Perhaps the amount is on the Estimates now.

Sir John Forrest:
Minister for Defence · SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · Protectionist

– If they voted the money, the money is available.

Mr Page:

– And saddle the Federal Government with it.

Mr Cruickshank:

– I say promises properly obtained under the State law of the time.

Mr V L SOLOMON:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · FT

– We had his assurance over and over again.

Sir Malcolm Mceacharn:
MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

– Whether there was employment for them or not 1

Mr Barton:
Protectionist

– I never said a word of the kind. I said that the matter was one which the Government could not deal with, because it was exclusively within the jurisdiction of the State Governments, at least until the department of Quarantine was taken over by the Federal Government.

Mr Barton:
Protectionist

– It is a very common practice to assume that the Government have promised to do things which, when investigated, they have never promised to do at all.

Mr McDonald:

– I have a copy of it in my hand now. I received it from Brisbane. It has already been published.

Mr McDonald:

– -Are we to understand that Dr. Maxwell is altering the report after it has been laid upon the table of this House ?

page 4309

PAPER

Mr. DEAKIN laid on the table

A return showing (1) The quantity of maize imported into each State of the Commonwealth during the past three years, and the countries from which it came. (2) The amount of maize exported from each State for a similar period, and where sent.

page 4309

DISTILLATION BILL

Second Reading.

Debate (resumed from 28th August, vide page 4247), on the motion of Mr. Kingston -

That the Bill be read a second time.

Mr V L SOLOMON:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · FT

– We know that potato spirit has been used for many years in the Commonwealth and in European countries.

Mr V L SOLOMON:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · FT

– Can the honorable member show us what is deleterious about potato spirit?

Mr V L SOLOMON:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · FT

– If the honorable member could make such a rule in regard to colonial wines, it would be a perfect godsend to the Commonwealth.

Mr McColl:

– I am not a connoisseur at all ; I hardly touch liquor.

Mr Kingston:
Minister for Trade and Customs · SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · Protectionist

– Yes, there is provision in the schedule.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– In licensed premises.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– That would be done in a manufacturing warehouse*

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– - The manufacturing warehouses are bonds.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– I think »the honorable member for Echuca said wineries, not merchants. . ,

Mr V L SOLOMON:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · FT

– There is a tremendous difference in the cost of the licences.

Mr G B EDWARDS:
SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT

– There are the skins and waste products to be considered also.

Mr Conroy:
WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES

– Is not the object to do away with small stills, so as to exercise better supervision ?

Mr Conroy:

– Is there a chemical reason for that?

Mr McColl:

– Some stills will not make up to 50 degrees.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– Does the honorable and learned member think this is the time for any announcement upon that subject 1

Mr Isaacs:

– Dealt with in what way?

Mr Higgins:
NORTHERN MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

– Is there much of this vineyard still stuff exported?

Mr Isaacs:

– You can get inferior spirits from the large stills as well as from the small ones.

Mr Isaacs:

– The Minister should not abolish them.

Mr Isaacs:

– The size of a distillery does not regulate the quality of the spirit produced.

Mr Isaacs:

– Look at paragraph 103 of the regulations.

Mr Isaacs:

– Then the Bill later on says that the wine must be the vigneron’s own product.

Mr Isaacs:

– I did not say so, but I ought to have said so.

In Committee :

Clause 1 (Short title;.

Mr Mahon:
COOLGARDIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

– I beg to call your attention, sir, to the state of the House. [House counted.]

Mr McColl:

– Will the honorable and learned gentleman consent to postpone this clause?

Mr McColl:

– How does the Minister justify Form D?

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– I will recommit the clause if it is found to he necessary.

Mr. HIGGINS (Northern Melbourne)..I would suggest that the honorable member for Echuca should accept the suggestion of the Minister, because it is not convenient in an interpretation clause to make what is substantially a new enactment. If the clause as proposed be carried we have the statement of the Minister that the clause shall be recommitted. There are a few definitions which honorable members and the public may find it hard to understand the advantage of. For instance, the word “feints” is- “Feints” means - spirits received into the feints receiver.

I am not sure that that definition gives us very much more light on the subject, and it reminds me that when on one occasion there was a discussion in the House of Commons as to what were the duties of an archdeacon, the expert in ecclesiastical law replied to those who required information that an archdeacon was one who fulfilled archidiaconal functions. No doubt this definition of “ feints “ may convey light to some persons, but I should like to have some better explanation of it.

Mr Barton:
Protectionist

– It would have no effect of that kind, because the regulations would have to be valid to be part of the Act.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– I make a similar promise in connexion with that.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– I will look into it.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– Spirits for sale T

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– Is the honorable and learned member acquainted with the existing conditions under which spirit produced from wine under vignerons licences is allowed to be sold ?

Mr Isaacs:

– That is the effect of what the Minister said.

Mr Isaacs:

– We have no objection to proper supervision being exercised.

Mr Isaacs:

– Is the Minister going to ruin men on suspicion?

Mr Isaacs:

– Hear, hear. That is more satisfactory.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– Human nature.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– Or the impossibility of taking proper precautions.

Mr Isaacs:

– Would the free-trade vignerons .like the duty on wine to be removed 1

Clause 4 -

No person who is licensed to retail spirits shall be licensed under this Act, and if any person licensed under this Act shall he licensed to retail spirits, his licence under this Act shall thereupon cease.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– We will want a definition similar to that which we have in the Excise on Beer Bill.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– I do not mind making it two gallons.

Mr McColl:

-We are putting in a provision here which will clash with the State law.

Mr Isaacs:

– There is nothing to prevent a man being a distiller and his wife holding a licence as a hotel-keeper.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– Was that established ?

Mr McColl:

– It has been denned as selling not more than two gallons.

Mr A McLEAN:
GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA · PROT

– That is not the point raised by the honorable member for Corinella, who referred to selling under two licences.

Mr Isaacs:

– That is all a matter of regulation.

Mr McColl:

– My remarks only referred to the matter of distilleries. The matter of vignerons can be dealt with at a later stage.

Clause 24.

Nothing in this Act shall prohibit a licence from being issued in respect of any still or premises lawfully in use for distilling at the commencement of this Act.

Mr McColl:

– Will the Minister agree to re-commit the clause ?

Clause 25 -

Where any premises or’ plant in respect of which any licence to distil is in force under any State Act at the commencement of this Act are not in accordance with the prescribed conditions the collector may fix a time not less than three months within which the distiller must comply with such prescribed conditions.

Clause 28-

Every distiller shall provide in connexion with his distillery reasonable office accommodation for the supervising officer, and where the distillery is distant more than two miles from a licensed public-house, board and lodging for the officer in each case to the satisfaction of the collector.

Penalty : Fifty pounds.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– No.

Mr Cruickshank:

– “What do the police do when they are inspecting hotels t

Mr A McLEAN:
GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA · PROT

– Does the Minister propose to pav the distiller 1

Mr Isaacs:

– Is this the law anywhere in Australia 1

Clause 31. -

For the information of officers distillers shall keep books and prepare and render accounts as prescribed, and. shall also as prescribed verify such books and accounts.

Clause 34-

No distiller shall - ….

Mix any wort, wash, or fermented liquor made in his distillery with any wort, wash, or fermented., liquor made elsewhere.

Mr Harper:
MERNDA, VICTORIA

– Why not insert the words except by authority ‘(“

Clause 39 -

No entry authorizing the removal of spirits shall be passed in respect of spirits of a lower strength than 23 per centum under proof, nor in respect of a smaller quantity than 10 gallons.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– Yes.

Clause 46 (Obscuration).

Clause 48-

The duty on spirits is to be charged in respect of the wort or wash, the low wines and the feints, and spirits made in the licensed premises, and shall be payable according to such of these modes of charge as produces the greatest amount of duty………..

Clause 49 -

On the evening of the last day of every month, or as soon as possible afterwards, an officer shall make a computation of the spirit which should have been produced iu the distillery during the month according to the modes hereinbefore specified, and if the actual quantity of spirits and feints produced during the month is less in proof gallons than the quantity as computed by the officer, then such officer shall serve at once upon the distiller an account showing the deficiency, and such distiller shall at once pay duty on such deficiency, and no operations or removals shall be allowed until such duty has been paid.

Amendment (by Mr. V. L. Solomon) agreed to -

That after the word “ deficiency,” line 12, the following words be inserted: - “unless such deficiency is accounted for to the satisfaction of the collector.”

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 51 -

No distiller shall, between the hours of six o’clock in the evening of the last day of every month and six o’clock in the following morning, have or keep any spirits in any vessel in his distillery except in the chargers and receivers and in vats in the spirit store, and casks in the spirit warehouse, nor have or keep in the distillery any wort or wash of which the highest and lowest specific gravity has not been declared.

Mr Isaacs:

– What is the object of the clause?

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– Certainly.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– Undoubtedly.

Amendments agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 52 to 58 postponed.

Clause 60 -

Any officer, after having declared his name and business, and demanded admission to a distiliery or any part thereof, ifnot forthwith admitted pursuant to his demand, may break open any door or window, or through any wall in or on such distillery to obtain admission.

Mr. BATCHELOR (South Australia).It has been suggested that the Customs officer, in addition to declaring his name and business, should, on. demanding admission to a distillery, also produce his authority before breaking in any door or window to obtain admission.

Mr Thomson:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES

– Did not the Minister insert a provision requiring an officer to produce an authority in connexion with similar cases under the Customs Bill ?

Mr Page:

– Such a man could be punished.

Mr Isaacs:

– Any man who wished to represent himself as a Customs officer would not stop at fabricating an authority.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– That will be dealt with in the general Excise Act.

Mr Page:

– That is just what is wanted - that he should be unknown.

Mr Kingston:
Protectionist

– He can enter a publichouse without the protection of any authority.

Mr Batchelor:

– All the factory inspectors are required to have an authority with them.

Mr McCay:

– Clause 93 of the Customs Bill is an exactly analogous clause.

Mr Thomson:

– The “collector”?

Mr Batchelor:

– There is not much danger in the case of a distillery of doing that.

Mr Thomson:

– The officer goes on board a ship in his uniform.

page 4342

ADJOURNMENT

Order of Business - Hansard.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 29 August 1901, viewed 7 November 2016, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1901/19010829_reps_1_4/>.