House of Representatives
29 April 1902

1st Parliament · 1st Session



Mr. Speaker took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.

page 12035

COMMONWEALTH APPOINTMENTS

Mr FULLER:
ILLAWARRA, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I wish to know if the Prime Minister will causeto be brought up to date the return made on the 24th July, 1901, showing the names of all persons appointed by the Commonwealth Government not transferred from any State service.

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

– I shall have pleasure in directing that the return be completed to date.

page 12035

QUESTION

NON-PAYMENT OF ACCOUNTS

Mr SALMON:
LAANECOORIE, VICTORIA

-Is there any reason for the extraordinary delay which occurs almost continually in regard to the payment of accounts rendered to the Treasury ? I am informed that a contractor in the country has had difficulty in obtaining progress payments, and that although his work has now been completed for some months, and he has made frequent application for the money due to him, he has not yet got it. He has been put to serious financial trouble, having been unable to meet certain obligations through the non-payment of the money due to him by the Commonwealth.

Sir GEORGE TURNER:
Treasurer · BALACLAVA, VICTORIA · Protectionist

– Accounts such as the honorable member refers to are paid through the department of Home Affairs, and there is no reason why the money should not be paid immediately the work has been completed and the proper certificates given. If the honorable member will give me particulars of the case to which he refers, I shall have it inquired into.

Mr R EDWARDS:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · PROT; FT from 1913; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910

– A telegram from Brisbane, published in yesterday’s Age, says that-

Local tradesmen complain strongly of the delay on the part of the Federal Government in the settlement of their accounts.

That is aposition in which the Commonwealth Government should not place itself. I wish to know if the Treasurer will make immediate arrangements for the payment of all accounts due, not only in Queensland, but throughout the Commonwealth.

Sir GEORGE TURNER:

– I am surprised at these continual complaints about the non-payment of accounts. There are paying officers in each State, and they are kept well in funds, to enable them to pay every account rendered, directly it is properly certified to. If the honorable member will obtain for me specific cases of delay, I shall have them inquired into.

I am as anxious as any one to have the accounts paid promptly, and there is no reason why the money should not be paid when due.

page 12036

PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS

Mr MAHON:
COOLGARDIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

– Some time ago, when the Government absorbed private members’ duy, the Prime Minister promised that before the close of the session those who had motions on the notice-paper should have an opportunity given for their discussion ; but I do not And any reference to the subject in his recent statement in regard to the future order of business in this House. Therefore I take this occasion to ask him if arrangements will be made to provide an opportunity for the discussion of private members’ business now on the notice-paper.

Mr BARTON:
Protectionist

– I stated on the occasion to which the honorable member refers that the Government would endeavour to make some provision for the discussion of private members’ business. There is no doubt that the suspension of the consideration of private members’ business became an inevitable necessity, owing to the amount of public business to be considered. At the same time the Government would impress upon honorable members that if their desire is to conclude the session, some selection should be attempted of the more important matters to be discussed.

page 12036

PERTH CADET CORPS AND VOLUNTEERS

Mr FOWLER:
PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

– In view of the statement in the press that the Minister for Defence is sending an officer to Perth to organize a cadet corps, I wish to know if he intends at the same time to take steps to incorporate the volunteer regiment there, whose members have been waiting for two years to be incorporated.

Sir JOHN FORREST:
Minister for Defence · SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · Protectionist

– The officer who is going to Perth is being sent upon the invitation of the Education department of Western Australia to organize the cadet corps, and he will have nothing to do with anything else while there.

Mr WATSON:
BLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES

– May I ask the right honorable gentleman what the organization of the cadet corps of the Western Australian Education department has to do with the Commonwealth 1

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The Government of Western Australia have asked us to lend them an officer for a short time, and we have agreed to do so.

page 12036

QUESTION

THE FEDERAL CAPITAL SITES

Mr BROWN:
CANOBOLAS, NEW SOUTH WALES

– Can the Prime Minister inform the House what proposed federal capital sites it is intended to visit next week, and the dates upon which they will be visited ?

Mr BARTON:
Protectionist

– In the absence of the Minister for Home Affairs, who is unfortunately confined to his room through illness, 1 can only inform the honorable member that it is intended that honorable members visiting the proposed federal capital sites shall leave Melbourne next Tuesday. If he desires a list of the localities to be visited and the dates of the visits, he must obtain that from my honorable colleague.

page 12036

QUESTION

APPOINTMENT: DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS

Mr POYNTON:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– In last Saturday’s Federal Gazette there is the announcement of the appointment of a person named Frederick Augustus Piggin, to be junior clerk in the department of the Minister for Home Affairs. Is Mr. Piggin the person who was referred to during the debate on the Supply Bill on Thursday last?

Mr BARTON:
Protectionist

– He is not the person primarily referred to, but I think his appointment was referred to. I am informed that Mr. Piggin has been appointed as a junior officer. The Government see no necessity to go to the State services for probationers or- beginners.

page 12036

SUPPLY BILL (No. 8)

Royal assent reported.

page 12036

QUESTION

PAPER

Mr BARTON:
Protectionist

– I desire to lay on the table-

A statement as to the subjects for inquiry in reference to the pearl fisheries at Thursday Island, Fort Darwin, and Roebuck Bay, Western Australia.

This document sets forth the questions which the commissioners have been directed to inquire into. Judge Dashwood, now Government Resident at Port Darwin, South Australia, and Mr. Warton, the resident magistrate at Port Broome, Western Australia, are the commissioners appointed.

Ordered to be printed.

Adjournment. [29 April, 1902.] Adjournment. 12937

page 12037

ADJOURNMENT

Election Petition : Whitelaw v. Hartnoll.

Mr SPEAKER:

– I have received an intimation from the honorable member for Kennedy thathe desires to move the adjournment of the House to discuss a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, “The action of the right honorable member for Tasmania, Sir Edward Braddon, in taking his seat on the Elections and Qualifications Committee.”

Five honorable members homing risen in their places.

Question proposed.

Mr McDONALD:
Kennedy

– I wish to disabuse the mind of the honorable member for Tasmania, Sir Edward Braddon, that I have any personal motive in taking this course. I do not intend to say anything regarding the petition against the return of Mr. Hartnoll. I expressed my opinion privately to the honorable member as well as others as to what ought to have been done in that matter. We have constituted an Elections and Qualifications Committee, and we should have that body respected as far as it is possible to have it respected. While it is quite possible that the honorable member may deal with the petition in a fair way from his own standpoint, and probably his decision would be just as fair as that of any other person, there is another aspect to be considered. The general public throughout the Commonwealth do not know the honorable member as we do, and they will recall his statement concerning one of the parties to the dispute, and will wish to know, why after that extraordinary statement, he was allowed to sit on the committee. I thought that he would take the first opportunity of resigning his seat on the committee. I clearly recognise that so long as we have party Government, and an Elections and Qualifications Committee for the trial of disputed’ returns, we must have, to a certain extent, all parties represented thereon . But it would be just as well that the members of the committee should not be Strong partisans. I am credibly informed that the statement of the honorable member concerning Mr. Whitelaw was one of the principal reasons why that gentleman lost the election. Of course the honorable member denies having made the statement in the form in which it was generally published, but even the qualification that he made I certainly think was not a good one, and it will not relieve him of that imputation of partisanship which in my opinion disqualifies him to sit on the committee.

Mr Thomson:

– What is the alleged statement?

Mr McDONALD:

– The statement is that during the recent contest for the vacant seat for Tasmania, the honorable member said that he would sooner see a pro-Boer hanged than returned to Parliament, and this remark was applied to Mr. Whitelaw, one of the candidates.

Sir Edward Braddon:

– Not by me.

Mr McDONALD:

– The honorable member denies that he put it in that way. Originally Mr. Whitelaw was accused of being a pro-Boer by Mr. Hartnoll, who used the statement for all it was worth. The honorable member goes on the same platform with Mr. Hartnoll, and states that he would sooner see a pro-Boer hanged than returned to Parliament. What did it mean? If he had not the same meaning as had Mr. Hartnoll in using the phrase, then why did he use it at all? It was certainly used, according to his own showing - I admit that he put it in this way : If Mr. Whitelaw was a pro-Boer,&c. But it had been already established, or was supposed to have been established by Mr. Hartnoll thathe was a pro-Boer. Under such circumstances I think when the question was put to him a few days ago, the honorable member should have retired from the committee out of respect to his fellow members. I had hoped that after the statement he had made - in fact, I was led to believe so - the right honorable gentleman would resign from the committee, and I was utterly astounded to find that he had taken his seat - not merely as an ordinary member, but as chairman. I do not wish the honorable member to understand that I have taken this course out of any ill-feeling towards himself. I am merely acting in the interests of the Elections and Qualifications Committee, which I think should be held above any suspicion. I do not approve of a committee as a tribunal for settling these disputes. I think that they should be settledinaSupreme Court, butas we have not the necessary legal machinery to deal with election petitions in that way, we are obliged to have recourse to a committee of the House, and under such circumstances it should be kept as far above suspicion as it is possible for us to keep it.

Sir EDWARD BRADDON:
Tasmania

– I am greatly obliged to the honorable member for Kennedy for his kindly expression of confidence in, and good feeling towards, me. At the same time, gratifying as that may be, it is not quite sufficient to make me abandon the position I have taken up, merely because he thinks it is the course I should adopt. As to the matters concerning the petitioning candidate, Mr. Whitelaw, there has been a very . considerable amount of misrepresentation, not on the part of the honorable member, but certainly on the part of the press - at airy rate the press as represented by one journal here, which is agreeably characterized by occasional lapses into veracity. It is not in any of those occasional lapses that the Age has dealt with this matter.

Mr McDonald:

– I did not know that the Age had dealt with the matter ; this is news to me.

Sir EDWARD BRADDON:

– The Age has pointed out that we held a meeting of the committee on Thursday last, and that, there being a majority of free-traders present, I was appointed chairman. That is a beautiful figment - there is not a particle of truth in it. At our first meeting, months ago, I was appointed chairman on the nomination of the honorable and learned member for Bendigo, and therefore when the committee sat, there was only one place for me, and that was the chairmanship, which I took.

Mr Page:

– Was it true that at the last meeting a majority were free-traders ?

Sir EDWARD BRADDON:
TASMANIA · FT

– It is really a coincidence that on that occasion a majority were free-traders. But it is not true that because_there was a majority of free-traders present, I was elected chairman of the committee. There was no question of the election of the chairman on that day. Then I find this recorder of public events saying that I, during the election campaign, interested myself in the contest, and made speeches against the petitioning candidate, Mr. Whitelaw. I made two speeches during the contest. In one of them I did not mention Mr. Whitelaw, and in the other I spoke of him in regard to the one question of free-trade - and spoke of him more favorably than of any other candidate, except Mr. Hartnoll, inasmuch as I was able to say that not very long ago, while he was a supporter of mine in my candidature for a seat in the House, he was a free-trader, and, therefore, if he were elected on this occasion, I might hope to see him, with a swing of the pendulum, come “back to free-trade again.

Mr Watson:

– Is that what the right honorable member calls speaking favorably 1

Sir EDWARD BRADDON:

– That was not greatly against the candidate. Speaking to a free-trade audience I practically recommended him as the candidate who should be second in their choice, Mr. Hartnoll as a straight out free-trader being the first. As to this matter of the pro-Boer business, I have never charged Mr. Whitelaw with being a pro-Boer. There was some talk of it at the meeting in Hobart I attended, and there was a little disturbance in the hall as a consequence of it, and when I followed I said distinctly I had nothing to say about Mr. Whitelaw being a pro-Boer. I could not speak as to that, and I was justified in that attitude, inasmuch as I had heard him deny an accusation brought against him at Waratah that he was a pro-Boer who had expressed the hope that our British troops would be defeated in South Africa.

Mr Watson:

– And afterwards volunteered himself. Is that consistent with such an accusation 1

Mr Kingston:

– On the floor of the House, the right honorable member went very close to charging him with being a pro-Boer.

Sir EDWARD BRADDON:

– Let the right honorable gentleman look at the Hansard report, and he will find that I said nothing of the sort.

Mr Kingston:

– That the right honorable member never used the word “ proBoer”?

Sir EDWARD BRADDON:

– I have the Ilansard here. I was interrupted, I think, by the right honorable gentleman himself.

Mr Kingston:

– I interrupted the right honorable member when he used the word “pro-Boer.”

Sir EDWARD BRADDON:

– I used the word “pro-Boer”-

Mr Kingston:

– Of whom 1

Sir EDWARD BRADDON:

– I shall read the passage from Hansard- -

Mr WATSON:

– Can the right honorable member say that, after having said that he would sooner see the man hanged than a member of this House ?

Sir EDWARD BRADDON:

– I think that any pro-Boer is more eligible-

Mr Kingston:

– fi a man to be denied justice because he holds opinions of that sort ?

Mr Watson:

– He has not been convicted of holding such opinions.

In that case he has not been convicted of that.

Mr Kingston:

– Why was any reference made to pro-Boers unless it was in connexion with Mr. Whitelaw ?

Sir EDWARD BRADDON:

– Because that was in the mind of the honorable member who moved in this matter.

Mr Kingston:

– I never heard of it before.

Sir EDWARD BRADDON:

– Surely my word will be accepted as to what I did or did not say, and as to what I intended by what I said. I denied regarding Mr. Whitelaw as a pro-Boer, but expressed my views as to what should happen in this connexion to pro-Boers whoever they might be. The Elections and Qualifications Committee has not to consider the opinions held by the sitting member, but to consider, for subsequent report to the House, the rights in regard to the petition which has been lodged against his return. I am so perfectly satisfied in my own mind that I shall enter into this inquiry with the full intention to see justice done, whatever result may follow, that I shall not dream of practically confessing weakness of judgment or dishonesty of purpose by offering to resign from the Committee.

Mr. WATSON (Bland).- With regard to the statement made or alleged to have been made by the honorable member for Tasmania, Sir Edward Braddon, whilst speaking in support of Mr. Hartnoll, I do not think the right honorable gentleman has made a sufficient allowance for the effect that his words, uttered perhaps under somewhat exciting conditions, may have had on the people who listened to him. The distinct inference drawn by a large portion of the audience, as communicated to me, was that the right honorable gentleman charged Mr. Whitelaw with being a proBoer. Mr. Whitelaw had been charged by Mr. Hartnoll with being a pro-Boer, and following that up, the right honorable gentleman said, as he has said here, that he knew of one instance where Mr. Whitelaw had made some statement, in connexion with the war, antagonistic to the British side, and then he remarked that he would sooner see a pro-Boer hung than returned to Parliament.

Sir Edward Braddon:

– I did not say that I knew, but that he was charged with having made such a statement.

Mr WATSON:

– That does not matter. The candidate whom the right honorable gentleman was supporting had devoted a portion of his address to inflaming the audience, or to trying to persuade them by statements of pro-Boerism on the part of Mr. Whitelaw, and the right honorable gentleman immediately proceeded to apply the inference put forward by the candidate, namely, that pro-Boers ought to be hanged rather than to be returned to Parliament. When the right honorable gentleman disclaims any intention to refer to Mr. Whitelaw, he reminds me of a statement made in, I think, one of Lever’s books, that a certain priest told the electors at election time to be sure not to put a certain man’s head under the pump. The right honorable gentleman disclaims any idea of referring to Mr. Whitelaw, and yet he was the only person spoken of, and was the only candidate who was thought to have a chance against Mr. Hartnoll. The application of the remark was made plain to every one in the hall, and in consequence of it a certain amount of disturbance took place.

Sir Edward Braddon:

– There was no disturbance after what I said - the disturbance took place before.

Mr WATSON:

– There was a disturbance afterwards as well.

Sir Edward Braddon:

– No ; there was not; I was there and I know.

Mr WATSON:

– I am informed to the contrary.

Sir Edward Braddon:

– Then the honorable member is incorrectly informed.

Mr WATSON:

– That is immaterial. With regard to the alleged pro-Boerism of Mr. Whitelaw, I desire to say - in case any false ideas should get abroad - that Mr. Whitelaw volunteered with his son to go to the Transvaal, and fight for the British. He was. rejected on account of his age, and his son on account of being medically unfit. If that is true, as I have every reason to believe, although I have no personal authority for it, there is little ground for any charge of pro-Boerism against him.

Mr Page:

– I have the proofs here that it is untrue.

Mr WATSON:

– I merely mention this to show that there may be nothing in the alleged charge against Mr. Whitelaw. That, however, is not the point. What we ave discussing is whether it is proper and decent, and seemly for the right honorable member for Tasmania, after the part he took in that electoral campaign, in personally canvassing for one of the candidates, to now sit in judgment upon the petition of Mr. Whitelaw. I say that it is positively indecent for any honorable member of this House to become a judge in the case of a man whom he has consigned to the furthermost depths, so far as his political claims are concerned.

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

– We are all disqualified.

Mr WATSON:

– I agree that we should adopt the earliest opportunity of transfering the adjudication of these matters to an independent tribunal altogether apart from politics. I have advocated that course in the State Parliament of New South Wales, and I think it should be adopted here at the earliest possible opportunity. In the meantime we have justification in what has occurred in the State Parliament of New South Wales for the attitude we are now assuming. I remember a case in which n candidate, whose case was to come before the Elections and Qualifications Committee, had been defended in the police court by a partner of an honorable member who was on the Elections and Qualifications Committee; and that honorable member retired in consequence. In this instance the right honorable member for Tasmania, Sir Edward Braddon, took an active part in the campaign. He was there personally urging the people - and I do not object to his taking part in the campaign - to do their best for one particular candidate, and to my mind the persistence of the right honorable gentleman in sitting in judgment in this case is one of the most indecent incidents that has occurred in politics for some time past. Of course, we are all affected to some extent by party bias, but where an honorable member has taken an active part in a campaign he must be more susceptible to party prejudices than are those who have looked upon the contest from afar, and who can enterupon theinquiry without any personal knowledge of one or other of the candidates. That is the closest approach we can make to a satisfactory tribunal in Parliament, and I trust that even at this late stage the right honorable gentleman will see the wisdom and the decency of retiring from the committee. I have nothing to say about the position taken up by Mr. Whitelaw. I express no opinion upon that. I have no doubt that the members of the committee can be trusted to -judge that from the evidence - before them and upon the equities of the case. But, apart from what the decision is likely to be, it appears to me that the committee can never have the respect from the outside public that it should command and receive while it is tainted to a certain extent by the presence upon it of an active partisan such as the right honorable gentleman proved himself to be when . the election took place in Tasmania.

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

– I should not have spoken on this matter, which I look upon as a storm in a tea-cup, but for the fact that the honorable, member for Bland has referred to the action of the right honorable member for Tasmania, Sir Edward Braddon, as indecent, and as causing the Elections and Qualifications Committee to lie looked upon as tainted. I think that the honorable member for Bland, who is generally very sober and logical, in his remarks, has allowed his feelings in this matter to carry him too far. I have not heard anything advanced to justify the position he has taken up. If the honorable member for Tasmania is disqualified on the grounds that have been brought forward, every honorable member is likewise disqualified to adjudicate.

Mr Salmon:

– Even those who did not take an active part in the election ?

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

– This particular election has nothing whatever to do with the mutter, and the attempt .to drag in the pro-Boer incident is in no way justified. All the members of the committee have certain fixed political principles, and whilst the honorable member for Tasmania has his political convictions on.>the one side - that is on the side of the candidate who was returned - there are other members of the committee whose political convictions are in the opposite direction.

Mr FOWLER:

– Does the honorable member call the opinion that a pro-Boer should be hung a political conviction ?

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

– That was only an incident, and it cannot in any respect be made the basis of this motion. The question is whether the honorable member for Tasmania, by taking part in this election, disqualified himself to sit in judgment on

*Adjournment.* [29 April, 1902.] *Adjournment.* 12041 the appeal made by **Mr Whitelaw.** Supposing an appeal had been lodged against my return, would it be argued that the half-dozen honorable members who interested themselves in my election should be disqualified from sitting on the committee because they said rather rough things about my opponents and favorable things regarding myself ? We have decided that all petitions against the return of honorable members shall be referred to a committee composed of honorable members of this House, and we cannot divest these honorable members of their political convictions. Nothing has occurred to justify the attack made upon the right honorable gentleman, who may very well be regarded as the Nestor of this House, and whose life-long story has been one of honour and integrity, and I think that the taint and the disgrace, if any, rests upon those who have brought this matter forward rather than upon the object of their attack. {: #debate-8-s7 .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr WATKINS:
NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP; FLP from 1931 -- I regret that the honorable member who has just resumed his seat should have made it appear that any one suspected the integrity of the honorable member for Tasmania, **Sir Edward** Braddon. We are discussing a matter of principle, and the seemingly false position in which the right honorable gentleman has placed himself, and I regret that, at this early stage of theFederal Parliament, it has been found necessary to raise any such question. Notwithstanding what the honorable member for South Sydney has said, the fact remains that the statement regarding **Mr. Whitelaw** and proBoerism was introduced into this Chamber by the honorable member for Tasmania himself. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr Thomson: -- How? {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr WATKINS:
NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP; FLP from 1931 -- By the statement made in reply to the question asked by the honorable member for Bland whether he had stilted that he would rather see **Mr. Whitelaw** hung than returned to this Parliament. The right honorable gentleman qualified the statement attributed to him by saying that he would rather see any pro-Boer hung than returned to Parliament ; but only **Mr. Whitelaw** was being discussed when the remark was made in the first instance. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr Thomson: -- Was not the matter introduced by those who asked the question ? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I asked the right honorable gentleman whether it was true that he had made the statement. {: #debate-8-s8 .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr WATKINS:
NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES -- No matter how confident the right honorable gentleman may be of his ability to administer justice in this particular case, how can he expect others to believe that justice will be done after what we have heard? We all know, that the committee is selected with a view to political parties being balanced as nearly as possible, but I have no recollection of any honorable member sitting in judgment upon a case arising out of an election in which he had taken an active part. But altogether apart from the question of party bias, the right honorable member has not yet denied that ho made the pro-Boer allusion, to which reference has been made. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir Edward Braddon: -- I said as plainly as possible that I did not charge **Mr. Whitelaw** with being a pro-Boer. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The right honorable member did so by inference - what else could his statement mean? {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr WATKINS: -- If **Mr. Whitelaw** was not the person against whom this charge was directed, may Iask to whom it referred? If **Mr. Whitelaw** was not the person referred to, it is due to that gentleman and his supporters that the right honorable member should state who was referred to. **Mr. Whitelaw** has petitioned against the return of **Mr. Hartnoll** - as he has a right to do under our law - and we do not expect the members of the Elections and Qualifications Committee to exhibit bias before the case is heard, any more than we expect a Supreme Court Judge to express an adverse opinion from the bench in regard to any accused person before he is tried. I do not know what would be said of our Supreme Court Judges if they practically hanged accused persons before trying them. For the sake of placing the committee above suspicion it would be wise on the part of the right honorable member to withdraw from that body during the hearing of the petition. Without ever doubting that justice would be meted out by him, we want the outside public to believe that justice is being done, and, above all, we wish the partisans in this dispute to be satisfied with the *personnel* of the committee. {: #debate-8-s9 .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie -- It seems to me that the Elections and Qualifications Committee is largely a judicial tribunal. It occupies the same position in regard to this House that the Supreme Court occupies in regard to other Assemblies in the case of a disputed election. That being so, it is almost imperative, not merely that the chairman of the committee, but also that every member of it, should be above suspicion. What would we think of a Judge of the Supreme Court who had acted as counsel for one of the parties to a suit prior to his appointment, and who, upon his elevation to the Bench, undertook to try another development of that particular issue ? I ask the legal members of the House what would be their opinion of such conduct 7 {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- In Queensland a Judge would refuse to sit under the circumstances. Mir. MAHON. - I believe that a Judge in any British community would refuse to sit. I think that the right honorable member - for' whom I am sure we all have the deepest respect, and for whom personally I have the greatest esteem - would be consulting his own dignity if he reconsidered his position in regard to this matter. The fact remains that the right honorable member went to Tasmania and took part in the recent election. Of course, some men may be able to divest themselves of all human atttributes in matters of this kind, but certainly the ordinary man could not for a moment be said to be above feeling in such circumstances. However, the point which I wish to urge is that, as this committee performs practically judicial functions, judicial methods should, as far as possible, be followed. The right honorable member having taken part in this election - as many a Judge in his practice at the Bar has taken part in cases which subsequently come before him on the bench - would be consulting, not only the welfare of parliamentary institutions and the high character of this Parliament, but his own dignity, if he at once reconsidered the position which he has taken up. {: #debate-8-s10 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON:
North Sydney -- I do not think that honorable members have been quite fair to the right honorable member for Tasmania. For instance, the honorable member for Newcastle said that the right honorable member had not refuted the statement that he had declared that **Mr. Whitelaw** should be hanged as a pro-Boer. Mi Watson. - What is the inference ? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- The inference is perfectly clear. Is any honorable member who thinks that pro-Boers should be hanged unfit to be a member of the Elections and Qualifications Committee ? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- If he applies that remark to some individual he is. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- I ask for an answer without any qualification. The right honorable member admits having said that he would rather see a pro-Boer hanged than elected to this Parliament. But he might hold that opinion and yet be perfectly fair to **Mr. Whitelaw,** for the reason that the latter, according to the honorable member for Bland and the honorable member for Maranoa, is not a pro-Boer. Further, the right honorable member for Tasmania, when speaking, declared that he did not know. **Mr. Whitelaw** was a pro-Boer. Consequently he never stated that **Mr. Whitelaw** should be hanged as a pro-Boer. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- To whom did he refer *1* {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- The person referred to is perfectly clear. If a speaker says, " I do not' know that that man is a thief, but a thief ought to be punished," is not that statement a perfectly clear and correct one *1* {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- If one talks about thieves and thieving, and immediately before or after refers to a particular individual, the public will make the obvious connexion. , {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- If a man says of another individual - " I do not know him to be a thief, but if he is, he should be punished," that statement is perfectly fair. {: .speaker-KEW} ##### Mr Kingston: -- Suppose that one said - " I do not like Smith ; a pro-Boer ought to be hanged," what would that mean *1* {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- It is of no use the Minister for Trade and Customs trying to misconstrue matters. No doubt, in his' profession he has acquired the capacity for twisting words, but it is useless for him to attempt to exercise that capacity upon this occasion. It is abundantly clear that the right honorable member for Tasmania never accused **Mr. Whitelaw** of being a pro-Boer, and therefore never said that he should be excluded from Parliament because he was one. But, altogether apart from this aspect of the question, I wish to point out that the Elections and Qualifications Committee, as long as it is a committee of this House, will always have members upon it to whom objection might be taken. I remember that in the New South Wales Parliament, to which allusion has been' made, members of the fighting committee of different parties, who had eagerly used every piece of machinery they could in order to win success, were invariably upon the Elections and Qualifications Committee. From my experience I can say tha.t these men have almost universally - at any rate so universally that we need not allude to any exceptions - risen above party bias, and given fair decisions 'in the cases which have come before them. Of course, very proper objection may be taken to a committee of this description, but so long as we have such a committee so long will there exist a danger of party bias creeping in. Certainly we can alter the system, though I doubt very much whether honorable members would be satisfied if we adopted the Supreme Court system, because the expense which they might then have to face in case of a disputed election would confer an advantage upon those who have the longest purses. In Great Britain it very frequently costs £5,000 to dispute an election. I am quite certain that the right honorable member for Tasmania - so far as his own feelings are concerned - would prefer not to act upon this committee. But if he resigns his seat when challenged and when attacked - and he was attacked when this question was first raised- {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- I made no attack upon him. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- It was the honorable member for Bland who did so. If the right honorable member were to resign his seat after having been challenged and attacked, he would be admitting that he alone upon that committee could not be trusted to give a fair and honest opinion. For these reasons I think that he is justified in adhering to the position in which Parliament has placed him. **Mr. HIGGINS** (Northern Melbourne).I congratulate the honorable member for Kennedy upon the moderate and courteous manner in which he brought forward this motion. I understand that the right honormember for Tasmania has intimated his intention to continue to act as a member of the committee, and in view of that fact I do not think that this House can go any further. I understand that he says he did not refer to **Mr. "Whitelaw** when he made the remark that he " would just as soon see pro-Boers hanged as elected to the Federal Parliament." His disclaimer reminds me very much of a passage in one of Captain Marryat's novels - I think it was *Percival Keene* - where a child who is reproved by his grandmother and put into a corner with the cat, is heard to say - " There is one of us three, pussy, whom I should like to see hanged. It isn't you, pussy, and it isn't me " - but he made no reference whatever to the grandmother. I understand that the expression complained of was used as the Scotch say " in the abstract " - that it contained no particular reference to **Mr. "Whitelaw,** and that there was no intention whatever to injure him in the minds of the electors. However, I understand that the position taken up by the honorable member for Kennedy is not in any way intended as an attack on the right honorable member. The honorable member for Kennedy spoke most kindly and courteously of the right honorable member's fairness and capacity, but, at the same time, he lays down a principle which a number of us would like to adopt, namely, that we must not only be just, but seem to be just. There is some expression to the effect that it is more important in some aspects that justice should be deemed to be pure, than that it should actually be pure. I do not go so far as that, though I remember that when Caesar's wife was charged with participating in some orgies, and she asserted her innocence, she was nevertheless put away by her husband, who held that "Caesar's wife should be above suspicion." In public matters there is nothing more important than that one who has taken an active part on the platform in favour of a particular candidate should not be called upon to decide between the right of that candidate and another to the seat. Personally, I have no doubt that the right honorable member would act with absolute fairness ; and it is left to his own good taste to say whether he will continue to occupy his seat on the committee. {: #debate-8-s11 .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr PAGE:
Maranoa -- As an Englishman, one thing I pride myself on more than another is the purity of our law courts, which are above suspicion. Is the court represented by the Elections and Qualifications Committee above suspicion % {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- " You pay your money, and you take your choice." {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr PAGE: -- My choice is that the Elections and Qualifications Committtee is not above suspicion, for the simple reason that the right honorable member for Tasmania, **Sir Edward** Braddon, has taken the side, of his party. I do not disagree with the right honorable member for taking that side, 12044 *Adjournment.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Adjournment.* butit isa well-known fact that the *Launceston Examiner* announced that he was coming over from Melbourne at great risk to his health in order to further the interests of the honorable member for Tasmania, **Mr. Hartnoll.** This newspaperfurther pointed out that the righthonorablemember was a mighty power in the Federal Parliament, and that his coming from Melbourne at personal risk was a reason why the honorable member for Tasmania, **Mr. Hartnoll,** should be supported. That is the party side of the question ; and we all know the mean advantages we take of one another on the hustings at election time. So far as party prejudice is concerned, I have nothing to say ; the right honorable member for Tasmania, **Sir Edward** Braddon, has a perfect right to use his party influence in order to secure the return of any candidate. But personalities are another matter ; and the right honorable member has said that he would rather see a pro-Boer hanged than see him enter the Federal Parliament. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir Edward Braddon: -The honorable member for Maranoa would say the same thing. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr PAGE: -- I certainly would. I do not believe in pro-Boers, but I believe in justice for every man, even a pro-Boer. In the recent Tasmanian election there were four candidates ; three others besides the gentleman whom the right honorable member supported on the hustings. Two of these three candidates were not pro-Boers but acknowledged to be outandout loyalists ; why then does the right honorable member not admit that he meant **Mr. Whitelaw?** The audience to whom the remarks were addressed knew that **Mr. Whitelaw** was meant, and cheered to the echo. But **Mr. Whitelaw** is not a pro-Boer. Unlike many others, who call themselves loyalists, he volunteered to serve the Empire ; and it was only his age which caused him to be rejected. And not only did he volunteer himself, but he was willing to sacrifice his son for the Empire. There is not much pro-Boerism about an action of that sort. How many of those who, from one end of Tasmania to the other, are crying out " Save the Empire " have volunteered, much less offered to let their sons go to South Africa? To clinch the argument, I have here a telegram from Captain Morsby to **Mr. Whitelaw** as follows : - >Can confirm that your son and yourself volunteered, and your names were submitted for service in South Africa. Does that sound like pro-Boerism ? If **Mr. Whitelaw** is not a loyalist, I have never known one. All that we ask is that evenhanded justice may be dealt out. {: .speaker-KDD} ##### Mr G B EDWARDS:
SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT -- That will be done. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr PAGE: -- Supposing the honorable member for South Sydney were to be placed on trial, and he heard one of the jury express the opinion that he would like to see the accused hanged - would that juryman be permitted to take part in finding the verdict? The same argument applies to the case under discussion. If the right honorable member for Tasmania, **Sir Edward** Braddon, had a spark of - I will not say manliness, because he is one of the manliest in the Chamber - at any rate, he ought not to take part in deciding this petition. I do not occupy in the Commonwealth the position held by the right honorable member ; but if I thought there was a breathof suspicion attaching to my presence as a member of the Elections and Qualifications Committee I should not act. For the sake of his own good name, and for the sake of the State from which he comes, I hope the right honorable member will not continue a member of the committee. {: #debate-8-s12 .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE:
Darling -- We need make no apology for delaying the business of Parliament in orderto enter our protest against the action of the right honorable member for Tasmania, **Sir Edward** Braddon. No one can say that this is a personal matter ; although, apparently, there has been some attempt to turn the drift of the debate in that direction. In laying the foundation of the methods of carrying on the affairs of the Commonwealth, we cannot be too careful in the administration of every department which has to do with meting out justice. It surprises me that the right honorable member has not before this seen that it would have been wiser in his own interests, and from the point of view of a proper sensitiveness in regard to the honour of Parliament, to avoid any suspicion by keeping clear of this particular case. The general feeling of the House is, I venture to say, in that direction - not because of feelings of a personal nature, but because we have to consider the effect outside the House. The honorable member for North Sydney attempted to draw some very fine distinctions, but I am sure he does not believe that such distinctions were drawn by the. audience of the right honorable member in Tasmania. I am not aware that pro-Boerism was a *Adjournment.* [29 April, 1902.] *Adjournment* 12045 plank in any political platform ; and the remarks of the right honorable gentleman in Tasmania, and also his interrupted reference the other night, could have had only **Mr. Whitelaw** as their object. If the newspapers falsely reported the right honorable member, that false report, like other matter which appears in newspapers, would no doubt have its effect on the election ;. and considering the whole circumstances, it would be far better, in the interests of the purity of administration, if the right honorable gentleman retired from the Election and Qualifications Committee. The more the right honorable gentleman persists in holding his seat, the greater responsibility he is taking on himself, particularly as he occupies the position of chairman. If it came to a decision by the casting vote, the whole responsibility would rest on the right honorable gentleman, and, although his motives and his judgment may be of thepurest - as I have no doubt they are - his decision would open him to the charge of bias. That is not a proper position for the right honorable gentleman to be placed in, and the circumstances all indicate the great necessity for a high sense of honour on the part of every honorable member who happens to be appointed to this committee. I am sorry, for the credit of Parliament, and for. the credit of the right honorable member, that he has persisted in a course which seems to be somewhat unwise, because, while I have every confidence in his personal judgment, suspicion may be aroused amongst those who know less of the right honorable member than do his colleagues in this House. This is the only method we can take of expressing our opinion ; and it would be far better for the right honorable gentleman to resign and allow some one to beappointed who had less to do with the election in question. **Mr. McDONALD** (Kennedy), *in reply. -* I do not desire to delay the House longer. I regret very much that the right honorable member for Tasmania, **Sir Edward** Braddon, should still persist in his determination to sit on the Elections and Qualifications Committee. I had hoped that when the matter was first pointed out to the right honorablegentlenian, he would have taken that opportunity of retiring from the committee. I spoke to the right honorable member, who, however, said he would justify his position. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr Higgins: -- Was that before the honorable member for Kennedy asked the question in the House ? {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD: -- Yes ; I told the right honorable member what I intended doing, and I thought that would be a quiet way of providing him with an excuse for retiring ; but the right honorable member has thought fit to take another course, which, for the honour of the committee and the honour of the right honorable gentleman himself, I deeply regret. The honorable member for North Sydney says that under the circumstances, if the right honorable member resigned it would be practically admitting that he alone was unable to give an unbiassed opinion. It would be nothing of the kind. In the first place, the right honorable gentleman is under no compulsion to sit on the committee, and he need not do so ; and in the next place, even supposing it were necessary for him to resign, he would be doing himself and this House honour in following that course. It would be a sign neither of weakness nor cowardice for the right honorable gentleman, or any person, to admit that, owing to certain facts, it was not his intention to take part in the proceedings of any such committee or tribunal. We prevent even the newspapers from commenting upon a case when it goes to a jury, and in this case I think it would be only fair for the right honorable member and to the House that he should retire from this committee. Question resolved in the negative. {: .page-start } page 12045 {:#debate-9} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-9-0} #### OVERTIME IN CUSTOMS DEPARTMENT {: #subdebate-9-0-s0 .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: asked the Minister for Trade and Customs, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Since the operation of the Commonwealth Tariff in Sydney how many hours overtime have been worked by in-door officers and by out-door officers ? 1. Has tea-money always been allowed to indoor officers and out-door officers ; if not, since when has it been allowed and paid, and how much is still due? 2. Why is effect not given to the regulations under the Customs Act authorizing payment for overtime service at specified rates to clerical officers, landing waiters and tide surveyors, lockers, and other out-door officers ? 3. Before transfer to the Commonwealth service were these officers entitled to be paid for overtime service, and, if so, why is the constitutional provision for the preservation of their then existing rights not given effect to ? 4. Does the overtime worked by all or any of these officers include service on Sundays and holidays, and, if so, how many hours ? 5. Have any officers been obliged, by a sense of duty, even though not officially instructed, to work overtime by reason of the impossibility of getting through their work during regular official 12046 *Overtime in Customs* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Department.* hours ; and, if so, is it proposed to appoint sufficient officers to cope with the pressure of work, in-doors and out-doors, during regular official hours ? {: #subdebate-9-0-s1 .speaker-KEW} ##### Mr KINGSTON:
Protectionist -The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follow : - 1 and 2. As to outside officers 16,179 hours have been recorded as overtime, and as to inside officers 8,454 hours have been similarly recorded. 16,285 hours have been paid for by the public when requiring overtime service, and mainly to out-door officers. That accounts for a greater number of hours than has been recorded for outside officers. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- That leaves the in-door officers unpaid ? {: .speaker-KEW} ##### Mr KINGSTON: -- That is so ; but I am pointing out that the number of hours paid for is in excess of the number recorded for outside officers ; so that the payment for some overtime must have gone to some other account. Special leave on pay varying from a fortnight to six weeks has some time since been directed as compensation for overtime worked without pay. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The officers cannot get away, they are too busy. {: .speaker-KEW} ##### Mr KINGSTON: -- I intend that they shall get away. No authority was given Ministerially for the disallowance of tea money, but the contrary, and it will be paid on application. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I can assure the right honorable gentleman that tea money has not been paid. {: .speaker-KEW} ##### Mr KINGSTON: -- I am informing the honorable member that no authority for its disallowance was given Ministerially. There is no present regulation entitling customs officers to payment for overtime when not charged against the public. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Only under exceptional circumstances, and subject to approval by the Minister and the Public Service Board. 1. Officers of the tide surveyors' branch are in attendance on Sundays and holidays, but no record of their time has been kept. 2. No doubt officers have worked overtime without instructions to keep abreast of their work during a time of special stress. I should here like to acknowledge the alacrity with which, to their credit be it said, the officers have done the work which has been necessary. Instructions have some time since been issued to obtain sufficient assistance to bring all work up to date by the end of May, when it is hoped that the Public Service Board will be in force, and such permanent appointments, if any, as may be found necessary can be made. {: .page-start } page 12046 {:#debate-10} ### SUPPLY *InCommittee :* {:#subdebate-10-0} #### Parliament {:#subdebate-10-1} #### Division 1. - (Senate) {:#subdebate-10-2} #### Subdivision 1. - (Salaries), £5,174 {: #subdebate-10-2-s0 .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON:
Protectionist -- (Minister for External Affairs). - I stated the other day that the Government desired that in the consideration of these Estimates the Department of External Affairs and of Defence should be dealt with as soon as possible in order that they might be got out of hand, so far as this House is concerned, before my right honorable friend, **Sir John** Forrest, and myself leave for England. The committee, I am sure, will assent to that. As regards the department of Parliament, in connexion with which I should ordinarily conduct the Estimates - I have, I think, the assent of the Speaker in saying that - I desire to postpone the consideration of the Estimates for Parliament, in order to get at the department of External Affairs at once. The Treasurer has kindly consented to conduct the Estimates for Parliament, which may -possibly not come on for consideration until I am away. I therefore move - >That the Estimates for Parliament be postponed until after the Estimates for Defence. {: #subdebate-10-2-s1 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
South Australia -- I should like to ask the Prime Minister a question with regard to the procedure upon a message. Objection was several times taken when a message came down from His Excellency the Governor-General to going into committee at once and passing resolutions authorizing expenditure referred to in the message. Several honorable members took exception to that as being the wrong procedure, because it was really authorizing that the amount asked for should be paid before a discussion could take place as to the expediency of making the particular grant. In the procedure upon these Estimates a different course, and what appears to me to be the proper course, has been adopted. The message has come down, and we are now proceeding to open a debate to consider whether certain resolutions should be passed. I suggest to the Prime Minister that in future, when a message comes down, it will be better not to go into committee as we have hitherto done, and at once authorize a grant of the amount asked for before there has been any discussion on the question of expediency. We are following what I believe to *Supply.* [29 April, 1902.] *Supply.* 12047 be the proper course in the present instance, and I desire to ask. whether the practice we are now adopting is the one which will be followed in all cases in the future ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- Except in extraordinary cases I quite agree with my honorable and learned friend that it is not expedient to go into the matter contained in a message immediately upon the presentation of that message. It will be noticed that we have not taken that course in regard to a message presented to-day, but have ordered its consideration for to-morrow. In this case two facts have to be observed. The first is that these are substituted Estimates, merely for the purpose of combining the additional with the original Estimates, and so to make one set of Estimates for the convenience of honorable members : and the next is that the message covering that purpose, and stating that these are in lieu of the Estimates transmitted on the 8th October, came down from His Excellency the Governor-General on the 23rd April, and was ordered on the same day by the House to be printed. So that the message was presented on that day. It is therefore now six days since the presentation of the message, and I hope that that will be satisfactory to my honorable and learned friend. {: #subdebate-10-2-s2 .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD:
Kennedy -- I hope the committee will not adopt the course suggested in the motion proposed by the Prime Minister. I could understand the right honorable gentleman asking us to deal first with the Department of External Affairs, as he proposes to leave the Commonwealth in a short time. But it is hardly a fair thing to expect us to go into the Estimates for the Defence department immediately. Honorable members have recently been so much engaged in connexion with the discussion on the Tariff that they have had no time to go into this matter, and the Estimates for Defence are the most important of those submitted. It would, I think, be better to take their consideration last rather than first. I understand that a number of honorable members have been looking over the first portion of the Estimates, and have been trying to prepare themselves to deal with them. Now we find that they are to be suddenly thrown aside. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- No ; this message was laid on the table six days ago. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD: -- I quite understand that these Estimates were laid on the table six days ago, but I point out that on account of the amount of work that honorable members have had to do in connexion with the Tariff they have not been able to take up the consideration of the whole of the Estimates, and to go right through them. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I am not asking honorable members to-day to consider the whole of the Estimates. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD: -- I know that the right honorable gentleman is asking that the committee should deal first with the Estimates of the Department of External Affairs, and afterwards with those of the Defencedepartment. I point out that most honorable members have been under the impression that the Estimates would be dealt with as they are presented to us, and while they are prepared to consider them as presented, they are not prepared to deal with the Defence Estimates at the present time. I think we should discuss the Estimates as they stand, but I admit that the Estimates for the Department for External Affairs might be gone on with under the special circumstance that the Prime Minister proposes to leave the Commonwealth at an early date. I think there should beconsiderable discussion before we consent to consider the Defence Estimates until we have had afair opportunity of considering them. I remind honorable members that, only within the last few days, important papers in connexion with defence have been laid upon the table, and time is needed to study them. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- Under ordinary circumstances, I should be very much inclined to take the view which my honorable friend does ; but the circumstances are not ordinary now. My honorable friend seems to suppose that this proposal has been brought on to-day without previous notice. If he will refer to *Hansard,* he will find that on Friday I distinctly stated that it was the intention of the Government to ask the committee to go on with the consideration of these two sets of Estimates - External Affairs and Defence - for the precise reason which I have stated to-day. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The Defence Estimates, too? I did not understand that. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I mentioned both. I stated on Friday that the Government were going to ask the committee to discuss the Estimates under the control of the two Ministers who are shortly to depart for *12048 Supply.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Supply.* England. I mentioned not only my own Estimates, but was careful also to mention the Estimates of my right honorable friend, the Minister for Defence. Not only has there been the intervening time open to honorable members for the study of those Estimates, but I may mention that there was no objection taken at the time to the course proposed. Thereseemed to be a general consensus of opinion on the part of honorable members that it would be a convenient course to adopt. I think, therefore, that my honorable friend will agree that we are doing no injustice to any member of the committee in proceeding, as we now propose to do, with the Estimates for the Department for External Affairs. When they have been dealt with, we propose to ask honorable members to consider the Estimates for the Department of Defence. {: #subdebate-10-2-s3 .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr WATKINS:
Newcastle -- As honorable members know, the military Estimates were considered by the State Parliaments to be so important that they were nearly always left until last; and, as the expenditure of the military forces was inflated at the time of the transfer of their control to the Commonwealth, the Prime Minister must see that honorable members will feel *At* their duty to go thoroughly into the whole matter, especially as the expenditure upon the permanent" forces has been increased while that upon the volunteer and partially - paid forces has been decreased. I do not see that it is possible to get rid of the Estimates of Defence before the proposed departure of the Minister at the head of the department, unless he is willing to submit to considerable re- ductions. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Perhaps honorable members have not seen that our Estimates for the defence department do not exceed the aggregate amount voted by the various States for the last year before the department was taken over by the Commonwealth. There has been a lot of reorganization, which under other circumstances would have been expensive, but which the Commonwealth authority has been able to carry out without exceeding the expenditure authorized by the States. {: .speaker-KX9} ##### Mr WATKINS: -- Our experience in the past has been that the various items in the Defence Estimates are manipulated with a view to blind honorable members. Glancing at the proposed expenditure for one State, I find that, while the total increase amounts to only £6,000, the expenditure upon the permanent forces has been increased by £11,000, while that upon the partiallypaid forces has been reduced by £4,000. We cannot get away from the fact that the Estimates were inflated when the military forces were taken over by the Commonwealth, and, that being so, we. want a fair opportunity for the criticism of the Estimates now put before us, this being the first occasion that Estimates have come before the Commonwealth Parliament. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- Perhaps the committee will let me state what occurred last Friday afternoon. In moving the adjournment of the House until to-day, I said - >I think it is advisable that the Estimates for the Department of External Affairs and the Defence department should be dealt with before either the Minister for Defence or myself leave for London. I have, therefore, asked the Treasurer to submit those Estimates for consideration on Tuesday. They will comprise the first business taken upon that day. {: .speaker-L2G} ##### Sir William McMillan: -- Does the Prime Minister propose that a general debate then shall take place upon the Estimates ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- No, because the financial debate was taken in Committee of Ways and Means when the Tariff was introduced. As no objection was raised to that proceeding, I think that the Government are justified in pursuing the course which they now propose. Even if the motion now before the committee be agreed to, and the parliamentary Estimates postponed until after the Estimates of Defence, it will still be necessary, before the Estimates of Defence can be dealt with, for the committee to agree to the postponment of the Estimates for the departments of the AttorneyGeneral, the Minister for Home Affairs, the Treasurer, and the Minister for Trade and Customs. **Mr. McDONALD** (Kennedy). -I should like to know if the Minister for Defence is going to England in his official capacity, or purely as a private individual. I understand that we are asked to deal with the Estimates of Defence because he wants to get away. But supposing all the Ministers wanted to do the same thing, should we be therefore justified in passing the Estimates *in globo?* {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- We ask, as a matter of courtesy, that the Defence Estimates shall be considered before the Minister goes away ; but it is quite open to the committee *Supply.* [29 April, 1902.] *Supply. 12049* to refuse to deal with them out of their proper order. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD: -- I have no right to object to the Minister going to the Coronation festivities, but I object to the Estimates of the Defence department being hurried through because he wants to get away. As this is the first occasion that the Estimates have come before us, we should consider them very seriously. It is probable that these Estimates will take longer to discuss than any Estimates likely to be put before us in the future, and I believe that the military Estimates will take far longer than the time intervening between now and the date fixed for the Minister's departure for England. In my opinion, not a line should be passed without the fullest explanation, because an attempt is being made to reorganize the military forces in a manner opposed to the wishes of the people of the Commonwealth. I think it would be better to postpone the parliamentary Estimates only until after the Estimates of the department of External Affairs. Motion agreed to ; Divisions 1 to 9 postponed. {:#subdebate-10-3} #### Department for External Affairs {:#subdebate-10-4} #### Division 10. - (Administrative.) {:#subdebate-10-5} #### Subdivision 1. - (Salaries), £3442 {: #subdebate-10-5-s0 .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON:
Bland -- It has been the practice in the New South Wales Legislature to allow a general discussion of the administration of the department upon the first item in the Estimates of that department, and unless that practice is followed here, I am afraid that it will be very difficult to bring before the committee in connexion with the military Estimates a comparison of the administration of the Defence department under the new order of things with its administration under the old order. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- The Ministry are ready to fall in with that suggestion. If it be understood, as an honorable arrangement, that the discussion of the general administration of a department is to be confined to the debate upon the first item on the Estimates of that department, that will avoid the necessity for the discussion on the following items of any thing beyond the actual adequacy of the salary proposed for the duties to be performed in connexion with the office to which it is attached. {: #subdebate-10-5-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- With the concurrence of the committee I shall adoptthe course suggested by the honorablemember for Bland. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I should like the PrimeMinister to give the committee some information as to what is proposed in relationto the expansion of his office, and of the Commonwealth departments generally, and particularlyas tothehousingof them in Melbourne. If the programme, as outlined by some Ministers a little time ago in connexion with fixing the site of the capital, is carried out, then within three years from the present time we can be established in our own building. As I understand the Ministerial programme, an inspection of sites is tobe made by honorable members, and during the recess an inquiry is to be made by experts on behalf of the Government.. Honorable members will have an opportunity of studying the reports of the experts, and towards the end of next session the Government will be in a position to submit a definite proposal. If a decision is come to next session, then within two or three years from that time there is nothing in my opinion, to prevent the erection of temporary buildings sufficient to accommodate Parliament until the permanent structure is erected. For with two years interest on the cost of a permanent building such as this one is, though I trust that no such waste will go onunderthe Federal Government, we can erect temporary buildings which will do for 40 years. If the Federal. Parliament will be established in its own capital within a, period of five years it points to the unwisdom of expanding the permanent offices in Melbourne and making them so large as to involve a waste of money when the staffs have to be shifted to the Federal capital. I understand that not only have nineteen rooms been added to the Commonwealth offices at the corner of Spring and Collins streets, and offices secured in Springstreet, near the Princess's Theatre, but that it is in contemplation to take another building in Spring-street, near Collins-street, with the view of giving more extensive accommodation. It requires a great deal of firmness on the part of the Government in the first place to see that the departments do not expand in the way in which all Government departments do if the Ministers are at all lax. There is a perpetual tendency on the part of each officer to glorify himself: 12050 *Supply.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Supply.* by the securing of an attendant to assist him in doing perhaps very little for the time being. In the States that tendency - though, of course, at times itis manifested in the direction of doing only that which is absolutely necessary - has resulted in an absolutely over-manned service. I should hope that the Ministry would take every care to see that no officers are appointed except those who are absolutely necessary, and, in any case, so far as additions to the Commonwealth buildings are concerned, it is an unwise tiling to secure, I presume permanently, considerably larger offices, and more of them as each month goes by, when the greater number of them will have to be or should be vacated within five years at the most. I dare say that the Prime Minister will be able to tell us on what terms the offices are being obtained, so that we shall be able to see whether a reasonable economy, consistent with the proper housing of. our officers, is being practised. The people of New South Wales, as being interested in the early selection of the capital, will follow his statement with some interest. {: #subdebate-10-5-s2 .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr MAUGER:
Melbourne Ports -- I quite agree with the honorable member for Bland, when he urges the necessity for great care in the public service. I suppose every honorable member has been importuned lately with appeals that appointments should be made and the service extended. It will strengthen our hands if the Government insist upon keeping the public service within as reasonable bounds as possible. Every honorable member is anxious to have an efficient service, but it does not tend to efficiency to have engaged a number of men who are in one another's way, as is frequently the case in State departments. Only those who are required should be engaged ; their work should be prescribed, and the payment should be adequate to the services. In regard to the extension of the offices, I am not so sanguine as is the honorable member for Bland, regarding the selection of the federal capital. I am not going to utter any word that would look like an attempt to do anything contrary to an honorable agreement, but I think there is quite as big an opportunity for extravagance and mistakes in the suggestion of my honorable friend, as there would be in the other direction. It seems to me perfectly remarkable to talk about putting the Federal Parliament in something which is little better than a wilderness, so far as I know from descriptions. I hope that no money will be wasted on temporary buildings. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The interest on the cost of this building for two years would put up one sufficient to accommodate the Federal Parliament for a very long time. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr MAUGER: -- That is assuming that we are going to make the same mistakes in the way of extravagance as were made in connexion with this building. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- They will expand their ideas when they put up their permanent buildings. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr MAUGER: -- I have no doubt that they will. Surely it will be better to have permanent buildings, properly erected and equipped, than to spend a great sum on temporary premises. In regard to the engagement of the offices, there is a great deal in the contention of the honorable member. It would be interesting to know whether the extra offices are being obtained on lease, and if so the terms, because owners have a habit of bleeding a Government if they can. I shall be grateful if the Prime Minister will tell us what is being done in that connexion. {: #subdebate-10-5-s3 .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie -- I should like the Prime Minister to tell us what was the necessity for getting a building in that very expensive locality at the corner of Collins and Spring streets, when the Government could have obtained any number of buildings quite as convenient to Parliament House as that most expensive one. {: #subdebate-10-5-s4 .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD:
Kennedy -- I understand that the Government have taken over the administration of New Guinea, and are dealing with its affairs in the same way as did the Queensland Government. Is it intended to allow recruiting to go on in New Guinea in connexion with the pearl-shelling industry? If the pearl-shellers are allowed to recruit the natives of New Guinea to work in the pearl-shelling industry, how can we reasonably object to their employment in the sugar industry ? On some of the adjacent islands where gold is being found the natives are being used to do nearly all the surface work. I refer more especially to Woodlark Island. It is only a matter of time when these men will be working underneath. If when our jurisdiction extends over the islands these mine-owners are allowed to recruit the natives and employ them in the mines, how can we object to the mine-owners on the mainland claiming that privilege *t* The natives should not be taken away from their islands. If they are allowed to work at all, it should be on the islands of which they are natives. The administration should be such as not to allow the natives to be taken and recruited for employment elsewhere. {: #subdebate-10-5-s5 .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS:
Dalley -- I wish to call the attention of the committee, in no parsimonious spirit, -to the fact that the administrative staff of the department of External Affairs comprises fifteen officers. That is a very large staff to have at the inception of a new department. The Treasury, which has to deal with the finances of the Commonwealth as well as the finances of the States, is run by a staff of thirteen officers, but the new department of External Affairs is started with an administrative staff of fifteen officers. This department appears to have expanded beyond all reason. No one ever contemplated that a staff of fifteen would be required. The honorable member for Melbourne Ports expressed the hope that Parliament would not be required to meet in temporary buildings at the federal capital site, but I hope that the site of the federal capital will be chosen within twelve months from now, _ and that Parliament will be housed in temporary buildings. If we wait until a federal city is erected we shall doubtless meet the wishes of the honorable member for Melbourne Ports and others who desire that the sittings of Parliament may be held in Melbourne for many years to come, but we should not continue any longer than is absolutely necessary to pay heavy rentals for office accommodation in Melbourne. {: #subdebate-10-5-s6 .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON:
Tasmania -- I hope some explanation will be forthcoming from the Prime Minister with regard to the announcement in this morning's newspapers that the office accommodation for Common wealth purposes is to be largely increased. The federal offices are " swelling visibly," a newspaper states, but I am not aware that the federal staff has been so largely increased of late as to involve the renting of additional chambers. In view of the fact that any arrangements made must be of a tentative character, and that sooner or later - the sooner the better in the opinion of some honorable members - the federal capital will have to be erected, economy should be exercised in the matter of buildings, office accommodation, and of everything else concerning the public service. {: #subdebate-10-5-s7 .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON:
Protectionist -- No one will complain of the demand of the right honorable gentleman for economy, and I do not think that if matters are viewed in their proper proportions, the Government will be charged with extravagance. 'In the first place, we have seduously declined to acquire the freehold of buildings for public offices. Knowing that whatever views we may have as to the duration of our stay in Melbourne, it is, according to the Constitution, to be only temporary, we have taken no steps which do not provide for a merely temporary occupation ; and there is no case in which we have purchased the freehold of a building. We might in one case perhaps have made more economical arrangements by purchasing a freehold. We might have housed all, or nearly all, the Commonwealth officers - up to present requirements - in one building, if we had gone to the expense of purchasing the freehold, but we knew that, while some people here might approve of our doing so, the majority of honorable members would discountenance any such proceeding. Therefore, gauging the temper and tone of honorable members, as Ministers are bound to do, we thought that an arrangement of that kind ought . not to be entered into, because the mere semblance of it would look like a breach of faith, in view of the provision in the Constitution that our stay in Melbourne shall be temporary. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- Could not the right honorable gentleman have shown Parliament that it would be to the advantage of the Commonwealth to purchase the freehold *1* {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I could not have shown it to the satisfaction of my honorable friend under any circumstances, although I think that he sometimes has a secret satisfaction where he does not openly express his approval. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- That is a very weak reply. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I have been asked for information, and I am not to be diverted from giving it by my honorable friend's interjection. Honorable members desire to know how we stand with regard to office accommodation. There is the building at the corner of Spring and Collins streets, which was acquired by the State 12052 *Supply.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Supply.* Government at a very cheap price indeed. Any one who knows the place will say that a corner block of that kind was cheaply acquired at a capital charge of £12,500. The question whether we shall pay the 6 per . cent, interest asked by the State Government, including all repairs, or less, is nowumder discussion in a friendly way. In view of that correspondence I shall not express any opinion except to say that no one will consider the arrangement an extravagant one even if we take the place at 6 per cent., and have the repairs included. The question of expansion has been alluded to, and honorable members must see that if they pass Franchise and Electoral Bills they must have accommodation for the officers who are to administer such measures. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I thought they were in the department of Home Affairs? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- So they are. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- But we are talking about the Prime Minister's department. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I beg the honorable member's pardon ; we are talking about all the departments, because the discussson has covered them all. More than that, I feel impelled to say something for the Minister for Home Affairs, because he cannot be here to defend himself. The staff under the Electoral and Franchise Bills will require accommodation. With regard to the Public Service Bill, that is now all but passed, accommodation must be provided for the commissioner, the inspectors, and the other officers to be appointed under that Bill, and the department cannot get on without a clerical staff. In addition to that the General Officer commanding the Defence Forces has been housed at Victoria Barracks with his staff, and the Minister for Defence is now deprived of the use of the offices he formerly occupied there; consequently he has to be provided for, and his requirements are not half met by the room he has in the existing buildings. The building at the corner of Spring and Collins streets is occupied' under a three years' tenure, with the option of renewal. This is an arrangement which I think will not conflict with any honorable member's ideas with regard to the federal capital. An additional building, if not leased, is to be leased, adjoining the fifteen extra rooms which are being erected by the State Government at a cost of £2,500, upon which the Commonwealth Government will be charged a fair rate of interest. The office expansion has not arisen from the inflated views of the Commonwealth Ministers, but from the actual requirements of the Commonwealth staffs, and has been in fact imperative. I am not making any speculative arrangements with regard to Bills that we may not pass. We were told by the honorable member for Coolgardie that the offices at the corner of Collins and Spring streets were expensive, but when, as I have stated, the premises were acquired at a cost of £1.2,500, upon which we pay the interest charge, I am sure that no honorable member will say that that is an expensive building to occupy. Arrangements are not yet completed with the State Government as to the rate of interest to be charged upon the capital, but it will not exceed 6 per cent., including repairs, and it may be less. It is upon that matter that we are now negotiating. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr Thomas: -- Surely the Victorian Government do not want to make any money out of the Commonwealth? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- No; they are asking for such a rate of interest as would include repairs, without leaving them any profit, and the question is whether the rate asked does leave a profit or not. I do not think they are making the slightest predatory attempt upon this Government ; their conduct with regard to this building shows that they are not disposed to do so. There is a building leased in Macquarie-street, Sydney, at £500 per annum for seven years, with a condition under which the New South Wales Government agrees to take over the building at any time after three years, if we should require it no further. If honorable members know the building in question, they will agree that the Commonwealth have made a pretty good bargain. Provision is made there for the offices of the Minister for External Affairs, the Minister for Home Affairs, and the Vice-President of the Executive Council. The PostmasterGeneral occupies a building upon a lease of a very brief tenure- I forget the precise time - at a rental of £110 per year. The Treasurer has not settled with the State Government what he is to pay for the quarters which he occupies in the Treasury-buildings, but I am told that he has been asked £250 a year, and does not want to pay so much. The Auditor-General, I am informed, is located in a building for which the Government pay £170 annually. Roughly speaking, the rental of these buildings aggregates *Supply.* [29 April, 1902.] *Supply.* 12053 a 2, 1 00 a year, which amount, if capitalized t 5 per cent., means an outlay of £42,000 for the whole of the Commonwealth. I ask the committee whether it is quite within reason to complain of the occupancy of buildings at a capitalized value of £42,000 annually, in order to meet the requirements of all the six States of the Commonwealth, when many of those who sit in this Chamber have been calm parties to the expenditure of millions sterling upon State public buildings. I think that I have answered the charge which has been made, and answered it pretty effectually. The right honorable member for Tasmania and the honorable member for Dalley have asked questions concerning the inordinate number of officers engaged in the department of External Affairs. I have compared that number with the number of officers engaged in the Treasurer's department But in connexion with the Treasury, honorable members have apparently forgotten that, in addition to the thirteen officers engaged in Melbourne, there are three officers employed in each of the other States, thus bringing the total number up to 31. The administrative portion of the staff of the department of External Affairs is put down at sixteen, including the housekeeper. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- What work is there for ten clerks? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- If the honorable member will give me the opportunity of so doing, I shall be only too happy to show him through the department and to let him see its work. He will then understand that most of the officers are generally engaged overtime, for which they get no allowance whatever beyond tea-money. It is a most frequent thing for officers in my department to work overtime, just as it often devolves upon me to work upon Saturdays and Sundays. Honorable members who are anxious about Factories Acts might well insist that I should not employ clerks in the department of External Affairs for such long hours as I frequently do. I am obliged to do so, however, because I find that such a reign of terror is established by reason of some press criticism that even reasonable expenditure is denounced as extravagant. However, I intend to make provision for the expansion of this department, and to lay it before Parliament as occasion requires, and I shall not be deterred from so doing by any criticism whatever. I can assure the committee that the department of which I am the head is absolutely undermanned, and within the next few months perhaps it will be necessary to make provision for extra assistance. The fact seems to be overlooked that this department deals, not only with the work of the Governor-General, not only with all the communications which pass between the Commonwealth and every one of the six States, but also with such external affairs as can be conducted by the Commonwealth itself, including its relations to the Pacific Islands, which involve a daily and increasing correspondence. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Would the Prime Minister mind laying upon the table a return showing what that correspondence has been recently ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I do not mind laying a return upon the table showing all the correspondence. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I mean the quantity of it. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- If it is asked for, I shall be willing to lay upon the table a return giving particulars of all correspondence conducted by my department, and classifying the sources from which it comes. It must also be recollected that the department of External Affairs is the Prime Minister's department, and as such involves a voluminous correspondence with every one of the departments of the Commonwealth, including the huge transferred departments. All these things are provided for in the Estimates for this department. The whole of that work has been based upon the most reasonable calculation with regard to the remuneration of the officers concerned. It is absolutely a bitter falsehood to say that there is anything but economy practised in the administration of the department. In addition to that, its work has grown, and is growing. Within a few months, owing to the transfer of New Guinea, the volume of work will be considerably increased. Within a few months, too, we may also expect further movements in the direction of the transfer of other matters to the Commonwealth. If any matters stand outside the present limits of the Commonwealth, they are administered by the Department for External Affairs. This state of affairs cannot be altered, unless an Act is passed setting out that they shall be administered by some other department. I have rigidly examined every expenditure as far as the material allows me to do so, and I am convinced that reasonable and strong scrutiny is exercised by the permanent heads of this department with regard to all expenditure. It is not a fact that we do not obtain a proper return for the money expended. **Mr. HIGGINS** (Northern Melbourne).I think there is one item which will be critically scanned by people outside this House, namely, the sum total of the extra expenditure. For some time, this amount was estimated at £300,000, but I find that it is here set down at £368,000. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- The actual expenditure occasioned by the federation itself was £233,000. The balance is for buildings, rifles, ttc. There is also the extra expenditure connected with the administration of New Guinea. {: #subdebate-10-5-s8 .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr HIGGINS: -- At all events the £300,000 estimate has been exceeded. Of that amount, however, I see that £36,000 is debited to the Department for External Affairs. But in justice to that department it ought to be said that £20,000 is for the administration' of New Guinea, towards which three of the States used formerly to contribute to that extent. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- And there is £3,600 for the New Hebrides mail contract. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr HIGGINS: -- There is also an additional subsidy of £2,400 for the extension of the mail sendee to the Pacific Islands. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- £3,600 is the amount of the old contract; £2,400 is an addition for the doing away with black labour, and an extension to the Gilbert and Ellice groups. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr HIGGINS: -- Although it is not called transferred expenditure, we may say roughly that the £20,000 for the administration of New Guinea, and the .t'6,000 for mail contracts, do not represent new expenditure. I feel that we must accept the Prime Minister's assurance with regard to the need for assistance which is experienced in his own department. I am sure that this House has no desire to see that department inefficiently administered. W e expect the Prime Minister to have only such assistance as he needs, and not to sweat his officers. When the time comes I should like the right honorable gentleman to give the committee some information regarding the items included under " contingencies " which represent a verylarge amount. I understand, however, that in the Estimates of the department are included not merely the work of the department itself, but that done by the head of the Government as Prime Minister. Thus we find £1,500 provided for telegrams. Also, I note that the words " temporary assistance " occurs several times ; likewise, " travelling expenses," " incidental expenses," and " living allowances." Honorable members will want to know more with regard to these expenses, allowances, telegrams, &c. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- The living allowances are those which were given up till the 1st July of last year, when the system of granting them was discontinued. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr HIGGINS: -- I am very glad to hear that since the House expressed its disapproval of the practice of granting these allowances, it has been discontinued. Then I find the very big item of £2,000 in connexion with official printing, stationery, travelling, telegrams, and other incidental expenditure for the Governor-General. I think the committee will require an explanation as to what this extra amount represents. Under this same heading I also find " incidental expenses," and "temporary clerical assistance." Under the title of " miscellaneous, "£500 is provided for the federal flag and seal competition. I should like to know if that matter has yet been decided. I understand that the proposed design of the flag and seal has been condemned. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- We never heard a word about that matter, except that some nonofficial retired admiral had expressed an opinion in regard to it. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr HIGGINS: -- Then I note that a sum of £221 is provided for the expenses of the representation of the Commonwealth at the Historical Science Congress, to be held in Rome. If the Prime Minister will give us some information in regard to these details, a very considerable amount of time will be saved. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Does the honorable and learned member want a voucher for every 5s. expended? {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr HIGGINS: -- I think that honorable members are a little more reasonable than the Prime Minister credits them with being. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- These contingency Estimates are broken up into more items than are any State Estimates. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr HIGGINS: -- At the same time, I do not think honorable members have had any information in regard to the " travelling expenses, incidental expenses, telegrams, &c," to which I have referred. May I ask whether the small sum of £16 represents the total expenditure in connexion with the work done in London at the Imperial Court of Appeal Conference by **Mr. J** ustice Hodges *1* {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- That is all ; **Mr. Justice** Hodges would not accept any honorarium. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr HIGGINS: -- I am sure that Parliament ought to be grateful to the learned Judge for the work he has done. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I have expressed to **Mr. Justice** Hodges the gratitude of the Government. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr HIGGINS: -- Although at first sight the votes for the Department of External Affairs appear large, I think that, subject to an explanation of the items to which I have referred, the expense may turn out to be only slight. {: #subdebate-10-5-s9 .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON:
South Australia -- I understand that living allowances were abolished from the time of the discussion on the question in this Chamber some time ago. But on the Estimates there are certain increases of salaries as compared with the amounts fixed in June, 1901 ; and I should like to know whether 'there is any connexion between those increases and the abandonment of living allowances. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Only to the extent that increases may operate as some compensation to officers ; but there is not a salary fixed which is excessive in relation to the work performed. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON: -- In the Prime Minister's opinion that may be an explanation. What is the extra work, that salaries should be increased in quite a number of instances? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- The small increases which appear on the Estimates are not any more than compensation for the work then performed, and, besides, the work has immensely increased since. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON: -- In June, 1901, the salary of the senior clerk was £250, but £300 is now provided. Another .clerk has had his salary increased by £10, although one of his colleagues, who came from Western Australia, and should under the system which at first prevailed, be entitled to a living allowance, has received no increase. The correspondence clerk, whose salary was fixed on 30th J une, 1 901, at £120, has had that amount increased by £55, and the despatch clerk has received an increase of £20. The chief messenger, whose salary on 30th June, 1901, was £140, has had his salary increased to £175. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- May I make a suggestion ? The intention of allowing a general discussion is, I understand, that honorable members may discuss the administration of the department as a whole, and not merely the items, as to which, of course, the fullest opportunity will be afterwards afforded. May I .ask the honorable member for South Australia, Mi'. Poynton - and he knows there are reasons of urgency for the request - to postpone the discussion on individual items, until, thev come before us in due course, when I undertake to afford the fullest information ? {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON: -- I thought I should be assisting the Prime Minister by indicating the items on which explanation is desired. At present I shall only ask the Prime Minister whether he has obtained the return moved for by me, dealing with travelling allowances, with which these Estimates bristle? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I understand that the request was sent on to the Department for Home Affairs. I have not yet received the return, but I shall make inquiries regarding it to-morrow. {: #subdebate-10-5-s10 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON:
North Sydney -- I have no desire to delay the Estimates, but I should like to refer to the growth of the departments, and the necessary extension of the buildings in which to house the officers. I quite agree that the Prime Minister has made out a case showing that there have not been unnecessarily expensive arrangements in the latter connexion ; but there is need for great care, seeing that large sums have already been spent on public buildings in the different States. Were we, on the same scale of extravagance as that indulged in by the States, to recklessly add to our Commonwealth buildings for departments other than those which have been transferred, the cost, or the interest on the cost, must come out of the pockets of the same people who paid for the extensive establishments in the States. In order to emphasize what others have said, I also draw attention to the necessity of watching very carefully the growth of separate departments. The departments of Trade and Customs, Defence, and Post and Telegraphs were transferred from the States, and should in the long run cost rather less than previously. But we have new and purely federal departments, which ought to be established on the most economical scale possible. I am not saying that the efforts of Ministers have not been directed to that end, and we may assume that economy has been observed ; but there is a danger of these small departments, kept separate and distinct as they are, each growing of itself. The motto of Government departments is the motto of a well-known firm in these States - "While T live I grow," and there is a danger of each department budding separately until it becomes a large tree of expenditure. I should like to know from the Prime Minister whether the officers in his department are all permanent, as I understand they are ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- All except those shown under the head of temporary assistance. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- The officers in the department are not temporary officers taken on to meet the pressure of a year or two *1* {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Pressure grows. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- lt may grow in some departments. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- It grows all round. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- But there must be relief in some departments at times. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I would give anything to see it. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- But there must be relief in the future. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- No: on the contrary, the pressure will increase. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- It is not necessary that all departments should grow as the Commonwealth grows, because there are cases in which the work of dealing with a large population is no heavier than that of dealing with a small population. The departments grow separately, officers never passing from one to the other. That does not matter so much in a department of some 300 or 400 employes, but it matters very greatly when the number is only fifteen or sixteen, and the staff has in proportion to be increased very heavily in the absence of assistance from the officers of other departments. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- I have been trying to get from the transferred departments the number of excess officers, but I am informed that there are very few. It will be one of the first works of the Public Service Commissioner to see what excess officers there are who may be transferred. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I can honestly say that I do not believe one officer in the department of External Affairs will be found to be an excess officer. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- Neither do I. I believe, from what the Prime Minister has said, that the work in this department is fully as much as the officers can do. I am only contending generally that it should not be a crime, at times of pressure, to transfer officers from one department to another, though I do not say that could be done at the present moment in connexion with this particular department. Officers are increased in number under pressure, and it has been the custom in the States to never return to the old standard. This has created enormous departments and caused the public services of the States to be much larger than is justified by the work. As an illustration of how departments grow, I may point to the department of Home Affairs, within which we have an electoral office, Public Service Commissioner's office, and a Public Works office. These are not transferred services from the States but have been added by the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- A large portion of the public works, such as buildings and repairs, have been taken over. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- But the States departments were doing this work with the establishments as they existed at the time of the transfer. A Commonwealth Works department has been created, which, if allowed to grow, will become an immense affair. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- That has not been so up to the present. The work is being done by the States departments, and paid for by the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- That is so to a certain extent. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- In nearly all cases that is so. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- But there is a danger of the growth of this department. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- We must avoid that danger. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- If there were any desire to extend the Works department, what an. immense department it might be, stretching all over Australia. The danger is that bit by bit this growth takes, place unless Ministers set their faces strongly against it. I hope the present Ministry intend to do that. It must be remembered that when it does take place it is an addition to the Public Works departments which still exist in the States, and exist possibly at the same rate of expenditure *Supply.* [29 April, 1902.] *Supply.* 12057 which obtained prior to the establishment of this Commonwealth department, so that the unfortunate taxpayer finds himself saddled with duplicate departments. The Commonwealth Ministry say it is the fault of the States and the State Ministers say it is the fault of the Commonwealth, but that is no satisfaction to the taxpayer, who has to pay for both. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Then I will ask honorable members' to inquire into our expenditure rigidly by going to the departments, and they will find to what extent we are to blame. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- I am not making any charge just now as regards that, but I say there is a tendency on the part of the Public Works Department to expand into an institution of the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-KIQ} ##### Mr Macdonald-Paterson: -- It has not started yet. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- It has started, and is moving on. I am drawing special attention to the tendency to the establishment of separate departments which are new departments superadded to those existing in the States, and which, though small at present, may expand to an undue extent if not carefully watched. I do not say that I can charge Ministers with it, or bring evidence that it is so, but there have, been indications of a desire in some of these directions to establishtoo large Commonwealth departments. **Sir GEORGE** TURNER (Balaclava)Treasurer). - I quite agree with the honorable member for North Sydney that we should carefully and cautiously watch the expenditure of the Commonwealth departments. Where we have new departments we must start them at first with as small a stuff as possible. But it may be found that the work of a department will increase for some considerable time, and it is hardly fair to keep men continuously working. In my own department I have asked for three extra clerks in connexion with the work upon these Estimates, but I have had to do that, because from my own experience in the office I have found that my men have been working fourteen days extra in each month, in the shape of overtime. It is not fairto ask me to continue to sanction that kind of thing. It must be remembered also that if men are working till ten and twelve o'clock at night three nights in the week, it incapacitates them for their work in the day-time. While as anxious as any one to keep down Commonwealth expenditure, I have been forced to get this assistance in my own department, because it has been absolutely necessary. So far as public works are concerned, the practice has been to get the work done through the State departments, and we have provided a certain amount on the Estimates, I think £5,000, to pay for it. I quite understand that with a new Public Works department of our own we should take work away from the State departments, which would probably still be maintained at the same strength as before. I believe that where officers are required for Commonwealth departments they should be taken from similar departments in the States. I have in that way been taking men for the Audit-office and the Treasury, so that the States may have a chance, if they wish to avail themselves of it, to reduce their expenditure. Something was said by the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne with regard to the large increase in new expenditure, and I think it is only fair to see exactly how this question of new expenditure stands. There is new expenditure caused by federation, expenditure which would not have been required had federation not been in operation, and that, I take it, is the true cost of federation. But there is other so-called new expenditure. We are carrying out work which formerly was carried out by the States out of loan money, and we can hardly call that expenditure a part of the cost of federation, because the work would have had to be done either out of loan or out of revenue by the States. This year the amount asked for by the different departments of Government, and which may be considered the real cost of federation, is £228,374; that may be slightly increased by the amount of the Governor-General's establishment, but I believe that in that amount there will be some saving, so that I do not believe that more than £220,000 or £230,000 can be said to be really new expenditure. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- That is the real cost of federation, and it is £100,000 less than the estimate made at the convention. {: #subdebate-10-5-s11 .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir GEORGE TURNER:
Protectionist -- That is the real cost of federation, as will be seen from the figures supplied in a paper prepared for my right honorable colleague, the Vice-President of the Executive Council, in submitting the Tariff to the Senate, and which honorable members will no doubt have an opportunity of perusing. Then there are new works and buildings we are now providing out of the revenue to the extent of £61,750, in addition to that there is a sum of .£20,000 expenditure upon New Guinea, the greater portion of which was previously borne by the States. Then there is £25,000 which we put down for the purchase of rifles out of the revenue, instead of paying for them out of loan. These three items, amounting to £106,750, cannot be said to be a part of the cost of federation, because that expenditure would have had to be met under any circumstances. Then we have to consider the non-recurring expenditure in connexion with the celebrations of the Duke's visit and the Coronation celebrations, amounting to £33,755. So that, while the total expenditure incurred since the establishment of the federation amounts to £368,759, it is not fair to tell the people that that is the cost of federation, because really the cost of federation, as I have said, is something between £220,000 and £230,000, and it will be seen that we cannot be charged with any undue extravagance upon any of these items. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir Edward Braddon: -- Does the right honorable gentleman charge the expenditure upon new rifles upon the population basis ? {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir GEORGE TURNER: -- Yes, because they will belong to the Commonwealth. In the same way as buildings, ammunition, and other matters, they will be Commonwealth property, and should be paid for on the Commonwealth basis. {: #subdebate-10-5-s12 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
South Australia -- I am very glad that the Treasurer has made this question of the real cost of federation pretty clear, because, so far as my observation has gone, there is great misapprehension amongst electors as to what the real cost of federation is. There are some items of expenditure which some of us condemn. Some of us, for instance, took exception to the duplication of Ministerial salaries. I regret that Ministers have thought fit to put the amount down amongst special appropriations, as it is a' maximum, not a definite, sum of £12^000. I had hoped that an opportunity would be afforded' us of saying whether that £12,000 should not be cut down proportionately to the £400 to which each Minister is entitled as a member of the House of Representatives. When I took exception to this duplication before, it was said that I was seeking to deprive Ministers of what they were entitled to under the Constitution, and some honorable members said that the proper thing to do was to await the Estimates, and then to cut down the amount. It appears, however, that Ministers do not intend to give us that opportunity, although I hope we will have such an opportunity before the Estimates get through committee. I am glad that the Treasurer has made it clear that the cost of federation is about £100,000 less than was estimated at the convention, because really some State politicians have been to a large extent deceiving the public upon the subject. {: .speaker-KRO} ##### Mr A McLEAN:
GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA · PROT -- In the Estimate of the convention the High Court and the InterState commission were provided for. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- We can provide for them when it is necessary, and I think there is not the slightest necessity for establishing any of these ornamental tribunals for the next 20 or 30 years. As regards the High Court, a short Bill of five clauses would be sufficient to invest all the necessary federal jurisdiction in the State courts, subject to an appeal-- {: .speaker-20000} ##### Mr McLean: -- I mean that the cost was included in the original estimate made. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- No doubt it was, but I point out that the total amount, as stated by the Treasurer, of about £228,000, is nothing like the amount provisionally estimated at the convention. {: .speaker-JWG} ##### Mr Fowler: -- We have a margin of £100,000 yet. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- We have a very large margin yet, and it should revive throughout Australia that confidence in the federation which existed immediately after the inaugural ceremony in New South Wales, because it is shown that there has been nothing done by the Federal Parliament to justify the undue depression that exists as to the future. Most of us have, I think, as much confidence in federation as we had twelve months ago. {: #subdebate-10-5-s13 .speaker-L2I} ##### Mr SYDNEY SMITH:
MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT -- I have been very pleased to hear the statement of the Treasurer with regard to the cost of the. Federal Government. At the same time I think it is rather premature to make an estimate of what the cost is likely to be, because we have only just started. I hope the Treasurer's estimate will be verified *Supply.* [29 April, 1902.] *Supply.* 12059 by the actual results. We know that one estimate has been exceeded to a very large extent so far as New South Wales is concerned. In that State we were led to believe that we should be called upon to pay little more than we were paying before federation, but we now find that a very large amount of money is asked from us through the Customs, which was not anticipated, and which, in my opinion, is wholly unjustifiable. The ACTING **CHAIRMAN (Mr. Batchelor).** - The honorable member is going beyond the scope of the vote before the committee. {: .speaker-L2I} ##### Mr SYDNEY SMITH:
MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT -- I quite admit that I went beyond the scope of the vote, and I shall not dwell further upon that matter. I have been very glad to hear the statement of the Treasurer, and I hope it will be proved by subsequent events. We have entered into federation now, and we must do the best we can to make a success of it. I shall be only too glad if it can be shown that the expenditure will not be more than the Estimate which the Treasurer made in his financial statement in the early part of the session. **Sir EDWARD** BRADDON (Tasmania). - I hope that honorable members will not offer such tremendous praise to the Treasurer for his moderation in cutting down the expenditure to £200,000. Because if that praise is indulged in too extensively it may encourage the right honorable gentleman to lash out into greater extravagances than those of which he has already been guilty. I hope that this general discussion upon all the items in this division will not be understood as precluding honorable members from subsequently taking exception to one or two items in connexion with which they believe there has been extravagance. **Mr. McDONALD** (Kennedy). - I am of opinion that a number of the salaries set down here are too high, and I amgoing to move accordingly. First of all, there is a secretary to the department at £800 a year, That appointment was thrashed out when the first Supply Bill was before us, and I am not going into it further. The salary of the secretary to the Prime Minister was also decided by the House at the same time. But now we find that there is a chief clerk at £600 a year, and also that the chief clerk has a senior clerk at £300 a year. The information supplied by the Prime Minister on the subject is practically *nil.* If honorable members enter a Parliament in any one of the States while the Estimates are being discussed, they will find the Minister in charge of the Estimates telling the committee that his department is overworked, but when a big agitation for economy is got up throughout the country, such as is being got up at the present time in the various States, Ministers appear to be able to see their way to cut down their expenditure to an enormous extent. It appears to me that we are entering upon this matter in a very extravagant way. We have a responsible secretary to the department at £800, and I think the salary proposed to be paid to the chief clerk is too high, and should not be more than £400. I understand that these officials have been taken from the public services of the States, and the idea appears to be that the Commonwealth should pay salaries similar to those paid in the States. It is well known, however, that in the past the States have been paying many of their public servants more than they could afford to pay. I know of one case in Queensland in which a public servant was being paid £400 a year for indexing letters - work which a boy of twelve could have done. It seems to me that by paying the salary now proposed we are laying the foundation for an enormous expenditure, and we should endeavour to prevent that. I do not think that the work to be done by the chief clerk warrants us in paying him a salary of £600 a year, and I therefore move - >That the item "Chief clerk, £600," be reduced by £200. **Sir EDWARD** BRADDON (Tasmania). - I hope that the committee will not degenerate into the practice of considering individuals instead of offices. I have seen so much that is regrettable arise out of that practice that I hope that we shall not follow the bad example which has been set elsewhere. To my mind, the salary provided for the office of chief clerk is a reasonable one, and I know that it is amply justified by the circumstances under which the appointment of the present holder of the office was made. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- The right honorable member also knows something of his attainments and value. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON: -- I am not going into that matter, because I deprecate the discussion of personal qualifications'. I know, however, as well as any man can know, that the gentleman who fills the position is a man of the highest .attainments, and will, I am sure, give satisfaction in any office he may hold. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr Mahon: -- What salary was paid to him when he was in the Public Service of Tasmania, and what duties did he perform there? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- The officer referred to was Principal Under-Secretary to the State of Tasmania. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir Edward Braddon: -- And secretary to the Premier. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- He fulfilled a great many functions and duties. His salary was £500 or £550 a year, and he received allowances for special work. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir Edward Braddon: -- He was clerk to the Executive Council of Tasmania. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- His allowances, with his salar3', brought his remuneration up to about what he is getting now. I knew what his career had been, and what his attainments are, and he came into the Commonwealth service upon my representation that he would continue to get as much as he was then receiving. I think I may say, without making an invidious statement, that living is much cheaper in his State than it is in Victoria. He abandoned the highest position in the public service of Tasmania to take a subordinate position in the Commonwealth service, and I do not think that we are justified in reducing his salary. In considering this matter, I ask honorable members not to be guided by personal considerations, but by the value of the services rendered. Although I have answered the question asked by the honorable member for Coolgardie, I do not base my defence of the salary upon the answer I have given, but upon the ground that it is only a fair remuneration for the office. **Sir EDWARD** BRADDON (Tasmania). - I wish to add to what has fallen from the Prime Minister, that the officer referred to received his Tasmanian appointment at a time when every salary had been reduced to the lowest limit, and what he drew was not nearly as much as should have been paid for the work which he performed. As Principal Under Secretary - the blue ribbon of the Tasmanian public service - secretary to the Premier, and clerk to the Executive Council - he performed duties which, before the period of retrenchment, were remunerated by salaries amounting to over £1,000 a year. {: #subdebate-10-5-s14 .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS:
Barrier -- I should like to know if this office is one which will come under the review of the Public Service Commissioner ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Yes. Every position in the service will do so. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- That being so, I think we might well pass the salary as it stands. Honorable members cannot be in a position to say whether the officer is capable of satisfactorily performing the duties of his office, or whether the work- attaching to the office justifies the salary which is being paid to him. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I thank the honorable member for Barrier for the position which he takes up. I should have explained that the Public Service Commissioner, when appointed, will, with the assistance of the reports of his inspectors, regrade the public service, after considering the duties attaching to each office and the salary paid to its occupant. He will also consider the qualifications of the various officers for the positions which they hold, and state whether he considers there are officers in excess of the work to be done. Under these circumstances, and seeing that the financial year expires very shortly, I think that a matter like this might well be left to the Public Service Commissioner, whose powers the Government will not endeavour to unduly curb. **Mr. WILKS** (Dalley).- The statement of the honorable member, for Barrier gets me out of a difficulty, because I am not in a position to say whether the chief clerk of this department is worth £600 a year. I know, however, that not less than £600 is paid to the other chief clerks in the service, while some of them receive more. I regard £200 as, in any case, too large a reduction. If the committee agreed to 'the amendment it would practically be affirming its opinion that the office is an unnecessary one. I think that we might well adopt the suggestion of the honorable member for Barrier, and allow the Public Service Commissioner to deal with this salary. **Mr. POYNTON** (South Australia).- It is a delightful idea to get out of our own work by handing it over to the Public Service Commissioner. If any honorable member is innocent enough to believe that the commissioner will interfere with the salaries *Supply.* [29 April, 1902.] *Supply.* 12061 which are voted by this committee, he is making a very great mistake indeed. The commissioner will recognise that the Parliament has fixed the salaries ; although the officers may be graded. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr Thomas: -- The Public Service Commissioners dismissed eleven men from one small department in Sydney. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON: -- That does not touch the point at issue, It will be urged by honorable members that the House had decided that the post was required, that the man was qualified for the position, and that the salary voted was adequate for the work he was doing. The only alteration that will be made in the salaries voted will be by way of increase. No salary will be reduced. I take exception only to the increases on what was considered sufficient last year. Question - that the item, "chief clerk, £600," be reduced by £200- put. The committee divided. AYES: 5 NOES: 45 Majority ... ... 40 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Amendment negatived. **Mr. McDONALD** (Kennedy). - After the division which has just been taken, I am afraid it will be taken for granted by the commissioner that the office of senior clerk is necessary because the salary was voted in the Estimates. I am almost inclined not to move the omission of the item. The Prime Minister says that the officer is absolutely necessary. I should like to know what work he performs, seeing that the staff comprises a chief clerk, a senior clerk, another clerk at £200, a record clerk, a correspondence clerk, and a depatch clerk. **Mr. WATSON** (Bland).- My recollection of what has obtained in the public service of New South Wales is that after the chief clerk, the other clerks ranged merely according to the character of their work, but there was no singling out of one of them as a senior clerk. The statement of the Prime Minister reminds me irresistibly of the " circumlocution department " described by Mark Twain in connexion with the great beef contract. In that case the contractor was referred from the chief clerk to the senior clerk, and from the senior clerk to the deputy-senior clerk, and so on, until he had to go to about twenty different departments before he could secure any consideration of his claim in connexion with the beef alleged to have been supplied to the army. The reasons put forward by the Prime Minister are not sufficient to justify the payment of an increased salary to the officer who is rated as the senior clerk. The Prime Minister did not state that the work performed by the senior clerk was of such an intricate nature and entailed such responsibility as to call for the payment of a larger salary. He certainly said that this gentleman, because of his seniority, was entitled to be placed next to the chief clerk. **Sir EDWARD** BRADDON (Tasmania). - The honorable member for Bland has anticipated what I intended to say. We are thoroughly incapable of judging the work of these officials and estimating the salaries which should attach to their positions. If we attempt to deal with them, we shall be tilting in the dark, and probably bring upon ourselves ulterior consequences such as have been described by the honorable member for Bland. I think, therefore, that we should accept the Government proposals, leaving upon the Ministry the responsibility of satisfying the Public Service Commissioner. **Mr. POYNTON** (South Australia). - I am not raising any question whether the officers are under-paid or over-paid, but I am not altogether satisfied with the Prime Minister's explanation of these increases. It seems rather' singular that 'in every instance where officers had living allowances, which were stopped owing to the objections raised by honorable members, an increase of salary should have been provided for. *Supply.* [29 April, 1902.] *Supply.* 12063 and as the salary attached to the office of senior clerk was £250, I move - >That the item, "Senior Clerk, £300," be reduced by £50. **Mr. BATCHELOR** (South Australia).I agree that we are not in a position to estimate the value of the work done by individual officers or judge of their fitness for the positions they occupy. Therefore, if the honorable member for South Australia, **Mr. Poynton,** thinks that the amount provided for carrying on the administrative work of the department is excessive, he should propose a reduction in the total vote. When the Public Service Commissioner has gone through the whole of the officers we shall be in a better position to know what to do, but I do not feel disposed to reduce the salary of any officer unless it is clearly shown that he is unfit for his position or that his salary is excessive. At the same time I am willing to assist other honorable members in cutting down expenditure. **Mr. MAUGER** (Melbourne Ports).When the question of allowances was discussed it was not contended that the salaries, together with the allowances paid, were excessive, but objection was taken to the principle of paying allowances. It was urged that if the salary attached to an office were not sufficient it should be increased, but that inallcasesallowances should be done away with. We do not know that this officer is overpaid, and I am not prepared to cut down individual salaries without a full knowledge of the circumstances. If an officer is not fit for his work he should be dispensed with. We should employ only such officers as areabsolutely required, and should pay them well in accordance with their value. If we proceed on the lines proposed by the honorable member for South Australia, **Mr. Poynton,** we may deal very unfairly with the officer whose salary is in question. Mr.FULLER (Illawarra).- Whilst I do not desire to reduce the salaries proposed by the Government, I do not agree with the observation of the honorable member for Melbourne Ports. I ask the Prime Minister whether the salary of the senior clerk has been increased owing to the discontinuance of the allowances which honorable members disapproved of, and which Ministers promised should be done away with? **Mr. POYNTON** (South Australia).- It is a most singular coincidence that the increases of salary occur in all cases where the allowances were discontinued. {: #subdebate-10-5-s15 .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie -- I understand that the last division which was taken during my temporaiy absence was upon a proposal to reduce a specific salary. On this occasion we are discussing an increased salary which has been given to an officer since the first Estimates were submitted, and it is said that that increase places the officer in question upon exactly the same footing that he occupied when he was in receipt of a living allowance. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr Poynton: -- I did not say that. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- The statement of the honorable member for Laanecoorie evidences the unwisdom of relying upon the suspicions of the honorable member for South Australia. The allowance would have been a much larger sum ; it would have represented £78. The increase which has been given is intended to mark the officer's position in the department of which he is senior clerk. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- If the Government have increased the salary of any particular officer in such a way that it now represents the amount of his previous emoluments, plus allowances, I cannot support them. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- It is not quite equal - it is £1 or £2 short. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON:
HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES · PROT -- It is a baseless charge, and no honorable member has brought forward one solitary fact to support it. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- If the honorable member for South Australia, **Mr. Poynton,** can show that the officer in question is receiving a salary equal to his original remuneration, plus the allowances which he enjoyed, I am prepared to support him. At the same time I would point out that it is unfair to attack the salary of any particular officer under cover of a protest against a practice which the committee have unanimously condemned. The principal objections which honorable members had to the allowance system was that it " covered up " amounts which, therefore, could not be traced. If the honorable member for South Australia can show that there has been any further attempt to " cover up " expenditure, that is a different matter. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- If the committee think that I have been guilty of a trick, they have only one course open to them, and that is to turn me out of office. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- I am quite sure that the honorable member for South Australia, **Mr. Poynton,** is not prepared to go to that extreme upon the present occasion. I am satisfied that the explanation offered by the Prime Minister, which doubtless the Treasurer will indorse, is a true one. Any increase which has taken place has been justified by the ability displayed by the officer in question, and has no connexion whatever with the grant which was pveviously made under the heading of allowances. {: #subdebate-10-5-s16 .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr O'MALLEY:
Tasmania -- I fail to see anything to fight over this particular item. A salary of £300 annually represents only £5 15s.6d. per week, and I do not understand how the officer in question can live upon less and retain his position. Where honorable members can make a determined fight is in connexion with the Estimates for the Defence department. Let us reduce some of the amounts payable to the gilded-spurred roosters. To my mind anything below the amount which is here set down would mean starvation. {: #subdebate-10-5-s17 .speaker-JSM} ##### Mr BROWN:
Canobolas -Whatever action may be taken by the honorable member for South Australia, **Mr. Poynton,** I hope that he will not accept the advice of his colleague, **Mr. Batchelor,** and instead of attacking a particular item to which he objects, attempt to reduce the total expenditure under this heading. I know that, when it became necessary to retrench in the New South Wales civil service, honorable members were advised to act upon a similar suggestion. The result was that when we reduced the total amount of any particular vote, the officers in receipt of small salaries *Supply.* [29 April, 1902.] *Supply.* 12065 suffered, whilst the higher-salaried officials escaped. I hold that we should deal with individual officers and items. That is the only way in which we can secure justice. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- The only practical increases which have been made, apart from the one under discussion, are in respect of the salaries of the humbler officers. {: .speaker-JSM} ##### Mr BROWN: -- I want to be satisfied that the senior clerk in this department is justly earning his salary. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- The honorable member has nobody to whom he can appeal but myself, and it depends upon whether he believes me or not. {: .speaker-JSM} ##### Mr BROWN: -- The honorable member for South Australia, **Mr. Poynton,** has apparently some grounds for his objection, as this particular officer previously received a certain salary, plus an allowance. Now, however, the allowance has disappeared, and the salary has been increased. I agree with the honorable member in objecting to the vicious principle of granting allowances ; but the only point upon which we have to be satisfied in the present instance is whether the ability of the officer in question justifies the increase which has been made. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr Poynton: -- Do I understand the Prime Minister to say that this particular officer did not receive a travelling allowance previously ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -I said that this officer was one of those who having been employed in the work of the department at Sydney, received not a travelling, but a living, allowance, which was discontinued upon 1st August, 1901 - ten months ago. The salary which is now proposed is simply regulated by a regard for his position in the office, and the necessity for giving the senior clerk something fairly above the next clerk, as intermediate between that clerk and the chief clerk. I have allowed not more than would fairly mark that difference. **Mr. POYNTON** (South Australia.)The position has not been made any clearer by the Prime Minister's explanation. The fact remains that, wherever allowances have been discontinued, increases have been made. I do not wish to labour the question, but I think that honorable members ought to have some explanation why the Prime Minister could not see any reason for granting an increase in the case of the gentleman from Western Australia. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- In the case of the Western Australian gentleman, he accepted the appointment without any condition whatever, and never justified any increase. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON: -- I am not at all satisfied. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- Let us take a division. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON: -- No ; I wish to obtain more information. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- The honorable member will get no more from me. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON: -- I have had some nine years' experience of parliamentary life, and this is the first time 1 have known a Minister, when an honorable member has asked for particulars in regard to a department under review, say - "You shall have no more information," and walk out of the Chamber. If the Prime Minister thinkshe will get his Estimates passed by treating honorable members in that manner, he is very much mistaken. I have contended that these increases of salary have been granted in lieu of allowances, and I can show, from the previous debate on this question, that that was the Prime Minister's expressed intention. The Prime Minister on that occasion said - >I think the proper thing would be to ask for an increase, and if the House will supportme I will provide on the Estimates for increases of all these salaries. That will solve the whole question. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- It depends on what the men are getting now. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I do nob mean to convey that I. intend to provide for an increase to any officer who is receiving more than £500 per annum, nor will I recommend my colleagues to do so. Men receiving such a salary can struggle on without an increase, but others cannot do so without some concession. Did the Prime Minister ask the House to grant those increases? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I have not increased salaries beyond the limit I promised. {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON: -- If the Prime Minister had come down and said straight out that these increases were given in lieu of the allowances, it might have been a different matter. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- How can I say that unless it is true ? {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON: -- At a later date, when the same subject was under discussion, the honorable member for North Sydney indicated the attitude of the House when he said : - >What are these allowance? I have seen a return, from which it appears that they are made 12066 *Supply.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Supply.* up of allowances to sixteen members of the Commonwealth service. These sixteen members get at the rate of £25 per week divided amongst them. Of these officers seven are in the Department for External Affairs, three in the Department for Home Affairs, and six in the Postal department. Glancing at the salaries which they receive, I find that five of them receive over £400 and up to £1,000 per anuum ; four receive £250 and over, but less than£400 ; five receive from £150 up to £250 ; and two only receive under £100. If officers who are receiving over £400, and who have been deprived of their allowances without receiving any increases of salary, be put aside, we have increases granted to five in the Department of External Affairs. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr Mauger: -- The crux of the question is, whether the increases are fair? {: .speaker-KYD} ##### Mr POYNTON: -- It is not fair for the Prime Minister to give the reason he has given for the increases. Further on the honorable member for North Sydney said - >Now, I maintain that there is no justification for the payment of these allowances in the way they have been paid. Further than that, there is no justification for the payment of such allowances at all. I allude to this because the Prime Minister last night indicated that he would probably propose increases of salary in place of these allowances. Why should we give a larger salary in place of these allowances. Why should we give a larger salary for the work which we require to be done to certain individuals, because of their special circumstances, than we give to other individuals whose circumstances are different ? The persons accepting these situations ought to recognise that they do so in view of the opportunity to obtain permanent positions in the public service of the Commonwealth, and that during its initial stages they - as well as the membersof this Parliament - will have to submit to personal inconvenience, and, it may be, to certain personal expenditure. Certain men who came into the service from New South Wales were, through the generosity of the Prime Minister, given allowances, but in the same department officers from other parts of Australia received no such consideration. It is distinctly unfair that individuals should, in the first instance, be selected for allowances, and when these are stopped by the House, should be given increases of salary, while other officers are denied either allowances or increases, although these were asked for. The Prime Minister admits that officers from Tasmania and Western Australia asked for allowances, which were held over because of the discussion in the House on the question. However, the committee seem to be against me, and, in this, honorable members are assuming a peculiar position. Only a short time ago strong opposition was manifested to the course taken by the Prime Minister in this connexion, and yet now it appears I have to content myself with a protest. Amendment negatived. Proposed vote agreed to. {:#subdebate-10-6} #### Subdivision 2. - (Contingencies), £4,355 {: #subdebate-10-6-s0 .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD:
Kennedy -- There is an item of £200 for interpreters' fees and other expenses under the Immigration Restriction Act, and while a certain expenditure is no doubt necessary, I desire some further information. From a return which was laid on the table a little while ago, I find that the total number of coloured aliens admitted into the Commonwealth in the first two months of this year was 442. The number who passed the education test was seven, and 379 were admitted without passing the test, while 32 were refused admission. When the Bill was before Parliament we were assured that the education test would be sufficient to practically keep aliens out of Australia, the Prime Minister assuring us that the Act would be administered as strictly as it was possible for the department to administer it. We find now, however, that the education test has evidently not been administered in the manner promised. If only seven aliens passed the education examination, all the others must have been admitted without any test, and on this point the committee are entitled to some information. Had honorable members known, when the Bill was before the House, that the result would have been as disclosed by these figures, the measure would not have passed in the form desired by the Prime Minister. It" was only on the strongest assurance by the Prime Minister that the education test would be enforced to the fullest extent that the House agreed to the Bill in the form in which it was presented by the Government. I hav e no hesitation in saying that the House would have preferred the amendment of the honorable member for Bland - which had for its object the exclusion of all coloured Asiatics, irrespective of any education test - had there been the slightest idea that the Act would not be administered strictly. There seems to be no alternative but at some future time to amend the Act. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr Higgins: -- On what ground were these aliens allowed into Australia? {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD: -- We have little or no information on that point. {:#subdebate-10-7} #### Supply. [29 April, 1902.] Supply. 12067 {: #subdebate-10-7-s0 .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD: -- The Prime Minister from time to time has made certain statements in the House concerning immigrants who have been admitted, especially Japanese immigrants. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I have given the official returns, and explained the reasons why these aliens were admitted. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD: -- There is a little information in the returns, but not sufficient to justify the admission of so large a number of aliens. Had the Act been administered in the way promised by the Prime Minister, these people could not have entered Australia. I admit that in connexion with the Japanese there was a certain amount of difficulty, owing to the position taken up by Queensland prior to entering federation. The difficulty does not, however, account for the admission of aliens on the tonnage basis. There were twelve Chinese admitted on tonnage, and 115 others, of whom 90 held permits. These aliens need not have been allowed to enter, and it is well known that some 80 or 90 permits were proved in Queensland to be forgeries which had been traded. We want an exhaustive explanation why this large number of aliens have been allowed to enter Australia. {: #subdebate-10-7-s1 .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON:
Protectionist -- Perhaps it may shorten discussion if I now say a few words. The honorable member for Kennedy is under a misapprehension if he thinks that any undertaking given by this Government has been in the slightest degree broken. I provided the House with a return of aliens admitted during the first two months of this year under the Immigration Restriction Act, as compared with those admitted during the first two months of last year under the heterogeneous Acts which prevailed in the States. I do not wish to criticise the State Acts, , which were heterogeneous simply because the States were divided. The returns show that while the Government were fulfilling every honorable engagement entered into by every State before aliens came under the control of the Commonwealth, there was, nevertheless, a diminution of alien immigration by 50 per cent. The same policy has been followed, and will be followed, by the Government. Where there is a distinct indication that a State has committed itself through its Government to the return or the admission of any person who might otherwise come within the Act, I shall maintain the obligation. I did that, as honorable members know, in the case of the Japanese immigrants. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr Higgins: -- In those cases only in which the States had entered into obligations ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- With the addition of those cases to which I have several times referred, where before the second reading of the Bill took place, and before the measure was explained, persons altered their position either by booking their passages, orby moving out of the districts in which they had lived under any obligation to book their passages. I have kept all those obligations, as I think any self-respecting nation must keep them, and I would rather go out of office than not keep them. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr Mauger: -- Supposing the House had accepted the amendment moved by the honorable member for Bland, would that have affected those agreements ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- That would all have depended upon the form the clause took. The difficulty about that would have been that the consideration of such a clause would have so long delayed assent to the Bill that probably three times as many of those objectionable persons would have come in before the matter was decided as have come in now. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- We had no assurance that there would have been the delay of a day. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I had no assurance that there would have been any delay whatever, but we can only judge from the past, and from the fact that the Imperial Government are the trustees for the external relations of the Empire. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- The right honorable gentleman told us that he had no information to the effect that the Bill would not have been assented to. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I have not had any intimation that it would not have been assented to. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- Then what is the use of saying so now? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- If the honorable member uses his recollection, he will remember that there were certain indications in the despatches - I do not desire to rake up the whole discussion - which showed that we were on the safe side if we did not take certain steps which we were invited to take. I said I thought that when we got the Act into working order we -should get as good results from, it without disturbing certain conditions within the Empire as we should get if we took a stand which might, and which in my opinion I thought would, delay the passage of the Bill. I may have been wrong in my opinion, but I do not think I was. Now the result has been this - that for the first two months, as compared with the first two months of the previous year, we have had a diminution of 50 per cent. I have not the returns for the last month in such a state as to be able to lay them upon the table, but they show a progressive diminution. As regards the admission of aliens, the only direction in which there seems to be any perceptible admissions of any consequence - that is as regards coloured aliens - is with respect to the Japanese. Bug there is no reason to anticipate that there is any breach on the part of the Japanese Government ici respect to the arrangements made between them and the consul for Japan which have been intimated to us. And therefore I think that within a very short time indeed the influx of alien immigration of the kind that is chiefly objected to will have practically ceased. I should have said this a little while ago, if there had not been, perhaps, a little justifiable heat on the part of my honorable friend, the member for Kennedy. I do not desire to take any account of that. I think that, after all, the honorable member has been fair to me, and I wish t<> be fair to him. {: #subdebate-10-7-s2 .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON:
Tasmania -- We are now discussing the last of ten items under the heading " contingencies," but upon some of the preceding items the committee should have some information. To the item of £1,500 for telegrams I take no exception, because I know there must be a very large expenditure for telegrams, and the actual expenditure will necessarily be limited to the urgency of the occasion for sending them. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George TURNER: -- There will probably be a saving of £200 or £300 upon that item. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I do not say there will be a saving, because while I am absent in England there w$U necessarily be further expenditure upon this item. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Is this amount for. telegrams within the Commonweal th . {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- No; for foreign telegrams. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON: -- Although the amount may appear rather large, I can see the desirability of passing an .amount for the Ministers to draw upon. They will, of course, be responsible if the amount voted is exceeded, and they will also be responsible for not spending the whole amount unless its expenditure is justified. We should have some explanation upon the next item of £250, for temporary assistance, and also upon the item of £300 for travelling expenses. Whose travelling expenses does the amount cover ? The item of £200 for incidental expenses will probably not require very much explanation. The item of £1,350 for printing the *Commonwealth* *Gazette* seems a very large amount, considering what the *Gazette* is at the present time. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I am going to ask for a reduction of £200 there. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON: -- That will not reduce this figure to the proportion of the *Gazette* so far as we have seen it. There is very little in it, and its cost should be insignificant. Upon the items to which I have referred, the committee are entitled to some satisfactory explanation, and to some information which will lead not only the committee, but the Treasurer, who has not, I hope, lost all his economical tendencies, to see the necessity of reducing some of them. {: #subdebate-10-7-s3 .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie -- The honorable member for Kennedy very fairly seeks for information regarding the administration of the Immigration Restriction Act, and I should like to ask the Prime Minister whether it is not possible to be a little more stringent in admitting the Austrians and Italians who are now overrunning the goldfields of West Australia. My information at present from Kalgoorlie and from nearly every other centre - of the West Australian gold-fields is that these men are gradually supplanting the Australians in the mines. None of us would be so inhumane as to object to a few foreign aliens landing and procuring employment in Australia, but when it comes to vast hordes of aliens ignorant of our language and our laws, "entering into a competition with the workers on bur gold-fields, the result must eventually *Supply.* [29 April, 1902.] *Supply.* 12069 be a reduction of wages. The situation therefore demands from the Government theattention which a great national danger undoubtedly calls for. If we are to vote £200 for. interpreters and Customs officers at the different ports, we should see that those officers do their duty. I believe that if they had done their duty a great many of these foreigners would have been sent back to their own country. Possibly, in passing through Fremantle on his way to London, the Prime Minister will hear a little more upon this subject from numerous deputations of working men from the gold-fields, who may interview him upon the matter. In regard to the item of £1,350 for printing the *Commonwealth Gazette,* I should like to know if that amount covers the cost up to the 30th J une next. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- That is the cost of printing for twelve months. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- Although this House, some months ago, ordered that every Member of Parliament should receive a copy of theCommonwoealth *Gazette,* and I personally, threemonths ago, received an assurance from the secretary to the Prime Minister that it would be sent, I only received the first copy of the *Gazette* to-day, for which I am duly grateful. It is not a very large publication; it consists of only eight pages. I find, upon reference to the first page, that the copy I have is No. 20 of the *Gazette.* If there had been twenty copies published in ten months, we may assume- {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- That No. 20 was since the 1st January. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- Is it issued every week ? {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- It is issued as required. Sometimes there is more than one issue in a week. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Sometimes more than a week elapses between the issues. We have not adopted the principle of issuing it every week and then issuing extraordinaries, as is done in some of the States, but the *Gazette* is issued simply as occasion requires, subject to the establishment as soon as possible of an absolutely weekly issue. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- If every issue of the *Gazette* consists as No. 20 does of eight pages, I can assure the right honorable gentleman that the cost here set down of £1,350 for printing one per week is most extravagant. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- It does not follow that it will all be spent. We had to make some provision, and we had no experience to guide us. Next year we shall know what it cost this year, and we may be enabled to reduce the vote. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- This provision was made when we were in a state of some difficulty as to what to prophesy in regard to expenditure. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- Each subscriber has to pay 15s. a year as a set-off. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir Edward Braddon: -- Is there any subscriber: {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- Yes, there are several. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- I need not say anything further upon the matter. I cannot understand why the items " travelling expenses £300," and " expenses of removal of officers to Melbourne," have not been lumped. The only persons in the department are the Prime Minister and his officers, and the travelling expenses must surely be the expenses of the officers. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- None of it is mine; I have never charged a penny. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- I am quite sure of that, but I cannot understand why that amount is not given together with the amount for the expenses of the removal of officers to Melbourne. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- Because we wish to give each item specifically. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- In that case I do not think the matter requires any furthercomment from me. {: #subdebate-10-7-s4 .speaker-KDD} ##### Mr G B EDWARDS:
SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT -- I believe that in laying down the lines upon which the expenditure of the Commonwealth service is to proceed we should be guided by the principle of rigid economy. There is no doubt that the people will force careful and economical administration upon both the States and the Commonwealth Legislatures, and, although I have had nothing to say in regard to the salaries which have been dealt with, knowing that they are to be reviewed by the Public Service Commissioner, it seems to me that, as the expenditure for contingencies will not be reviewed by him, we should have full and precise information before agreeing to what appears to be in several respects an unduly large expenditure. I suggest that Ministers in charge of the various departments should give full information in regard to matters like this before we are called upon to discuss them. At the present time, member after member asks for information on this point and the other, and the result is that we learn what we want to know in a piece-meal fashion. If, however, the Minister in charge of the department would run through the various items, picking out those upon which he thought the committee would require information, it would probably be found that in nine cases out of ten his explanation would be quite satisfactory, and thus a considerable amount of discussion would be saved. To my ' mind the amount set down for incidental expenses and temporary assistance is too large, as the department is fairly well manned. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I shall be glad to put the committee into possession of all proper information. The sum set down to cover the expense of telegrams may appear to be a large one, but it includes the cost of all cable messages to England, Tasmania, and New Zealand Honorable members will understand that in connexion with the administration of a department like that of External Affairs, questions are constantly arising in this House and in the other requiring instant action. Sometimes if we did not communicate by cable on affairs relating to the interests of the Commonwealth, and confined ourselves to despatches, we should be forestalled by other people, and in most cases we should find that before our despatches reached home, the occasion for our interven- tion had gone by. The amount also includes any possible contributions to Reuter, on the lines which have been followed by the States, though in the" case of the Commonwealth they have been cut down to a minimum. I believe that in regard to some of these items there is an anticipated saving, but I do not think it wise, in view of possible contingencies, to reduce the items. Any savings which occur can be carried to the savings account. There has not been any substantial over-estimating in connexion with any of the items ; but the exact cost of the various services cannot be foreseen, and a margin must, therefore, be allowed for contingencies. In regard to the amount set down for travelling expenses, I should explain that whenever I go to Sydney I must be accompanied by an officer of my department, to assist me in conducting the business of the department during my absence. On such occasions I am constantly at work in -Sydney with the officer who accompanies me,' and his travelling expenses, including his railway fare, must be paid. The item also includes the cost of the very necessary visit of the chief clerk to Brisbane, in connexion with the Immigration Restriction Act. The incidental expenses include all subscriptions to newspapers, the preparation of a map of the South Sea islands - which has been found to be a most necessary thing - and all petty cash expenses, such as the purchase of books of reference, of which a department like that of External Affairs must have'a large stock. The item for general printing I need not discuss, but the item providing for the printing of the *Commonwealth Gazette* includes small expenses for circulation. It is expected that there will be a saying on that item, but it can never be foretold to a certainty to what extent the circulation of the publication must be sometimes extended for purposes which are of importance to the Commonwealth. The living allowances which have been referred to were definitely discontinued on 1st August last. As to the removal of furniture, to which one or two honorable members have called attention, I laid down the rule very early in regard to the appointment of officers, that the cost of conveying to Melbourne furniture to the value of £300 - and this applied generally to the members of the Parliamentary reporting staff, who came from all parts of the Commonwealth - would be borne by the Government, together with the cost of their passages. That rule has been acted upon, and I do not think any honorable member will consider the expenditure incurred excessive. With regard to the administration of the Immigration Restriction Act, there may be a small saving, but I am taking steps to make certain inquiries in regard to the matter, and I do not think any one considers the proposed expenditure excessive. With regard to the proposed vote for temporary assistance, one must occasionally, in a department like this, employ an extra hand or two for a few weeks. If the employment of temporary assistance is forbidden, more permanent appointments will have to be made, and that will increase expense. I have on all occasions warned temporary hands that their appointments do not entitle them to future permanent employment, because the appointment of permanent employes does not depend wholly upon merit, but must be in accordance with the provisions of the Public Service Act, and *in* pursuance of the principle that, so far as possible, new 'officers shall be taken from the services of the States, a principle to which I have adhered from the beginning. I do not think that there are any temporary employes in my department at the present moment, with the exception of two officers holding very minor positions. Neither of them is likely to remain in the department for more than three months longer, and the work done by them will speedily be inquired into by the Public Service Commissioner, who is to determine' whether additional assistance is necessary. {: #subdebate-10-7-s5 .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON:
Bland -- I hoped that the Prime Minister would have given the Committee some indication as to what he proposes to do in regard to the statement that most of the 700 Italians who came into Western Australia last year were, though nominally not imported under contract, really so imported. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I have already promised a deputation to institute, as strict an inquiry as is possible into thu circumstantial evidence upon that point, and I intend to carry out that promise. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Another matter to which I wish to refer is this : We find in the return prepared by the department of External Affairs that a very large number of coloured immigrants have passed the education test and been admitted to the Commonwealth. So far as my recollection serves me, it was understood, when the Government proposal now embodied, in the Immigration Restriction Act was before us, that, if the application of the English language test was not sufficient to keep out undesirable immigrants, a knowledge of Greek or some other European language would be- insisted upon to that end, and that that would be absolutely effective in keeping out those we desire to exclude. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- The fault has not been in the form of the test, which has been varied six times within a fortnight, though in each case English has been the language insisted upon. What we have done in regard to the admission of aliens has been largely in compliance with obligations entered into by the States. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I find that a Philippino, a Hindoo, and some Japanese have passed the educational test, and been admitted. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- How many in all *1* {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Seven. The number is not very largie, but if a knowledge of the English language is the only thing required, some of the worst of these undesirable immigrants will be allowed to come in. I quite understand that the officials who administer the Act may not at first have fully appreciated the position which has been taken up by the Government. I draw attention to the matter to ascertain if the Government have issued instructions which will prevent the admission of people of this kind in the future. Four Chinese, two Indian women, and a Japanese were admitted into New South Wales during the two months to which the return applies, without passing any test at all. It is not stated that they were allowed in under permits issued by the State Government. {: .speaker-KIQ} ##### Mr MACDONALD-PATERSON:
BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND · FT -paterson. - Perhaps they came from Queensland. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- In that case they would not be returned as entering the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- There -are cases in whicli persons were admitted under permits previously given, or under exemptions where the domicile of the husband was proved in accordance with the Act. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- In these cases there is no such explanation given in the return. To the two Indian women the explanation might apply, but I do not know that it in any way affects the four Chinese and Japanese, presumably males. Then we find that in the case of Victoria, of 70 Chinese 44 were exempted under the Chinese Restriction Act. I presume that they got permits which allowed their return to the State. We cannot quarrel with the action of the Government in recognising permits issued by the States. It would be interesting to know, so far as the Department for External Affairs has been able to ascertain, how many of these permits are outstanding. That useful information, if it has not been gathered, should be obtained from the State Governments. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Is that in regard to the Japanese *1* {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I do not mean Japanese alone, but the whole of these people. I presume it would apply to Chinese and Japanese, because previously to these only were permits issued. 12072 *Supply.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Supply.* {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Ishall findthat out as soon as I can. There is not much more of it, I know. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Forty-four Chinese who were exempted in the manner I have stated came into Victoria, but some 26 were admitted because their passages were booked prior to the 7th August, 1901. The statement that these individuals who arrived here during January and February had booked their passages prior to that date is, I think, the most palpable lie on the face of it which was ever put before a Government official. We know that the journey from any port in China to Australia, allowing for all stoppages, takes at the outside about a month. The procedure, so far as I have been able to gather from the Prime Minister's explanation, was that 26 men were brought down to Victoria, twelve to Queensland, eleven to Western Australia, and so on, by the steam-ship companies, and refused admission tentatively, and that then the steam-ship companies asked that the men be admitted on the ground that they had booked their passages before the Immigration Restriction Bill was introduced in this Parliament. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr Mauger: -- That excuse cannot be repeated. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I do not know, but the Prime Minister this evening might tell the committee how long he intends to accept this excuse. It is a palpable lie. The word of the steam-ship companies was accepted. There was no possibility - at any rate, no likelihood - of sending officers to China to investigate the truthfulness or otherwise of their statements, and as it meant to the companies, not only the saving of any penalty, but the saving of the expense of taking the men back to China, naturally they were willing to make any sort of statement with regard to the time at which passengers were booked. The idea that a Chinaman books his passage about six or seven months ahead is preposterous, and should not hold water with any reasonable man. We have a right to know how long the Government intend to continue the recognition of that sort of excuse by the steam-ship companies, because with them it is purely a matter of pounds, shillings, and pence. If they think that that excuse will be accepted they will continue to bring in people, and swear beyond the possibility of contradiction, so far as mere asseveration is concerned, that the passage was booked many months ago. In Queensland, too, a number of Chinese were admitted on the tonnage rate. I do not know whether the tonnage rate is to be another reason for admission. Apart from the question of exempt permits which have been given by State Governments, and apart from the time at which the men were supposed to have booked their passages, here is another loop-hole that the Government seem to be allowing. The State Acts were abrogated by the passage of federal legislation on the subject. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- The local Chinese Restriction Acts? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- So far as they were inconsistent with thefederal legislation. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Inasmuch as the local Chinese Restriction Acts superadded disabilities, they could not be abrogated by the Immigration Restriction Act. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I do not wish to be misunderstood. I do not say that where the Federal Act was less effective, or less restrictive, they would not operate, but the tonnage provision in Queensland was purely a local one, and was abolished by our legislation. We made no exemption in favour of that provision, but we added the education test and the other restrictive provisions to it. If the Act is to be administered in the direction of keeping out these people there is no excuse for allowing them to come in solely on the. ground that they are admissible under the tonnage provision, and I take it that the reason why the twelve were admitted into Queensland was because the tonnage provision was availed of. With regard to those twelve, and the seven who passed the education test which was submitted to them, I do not for a moment contend that as to the number it is anything important, but I submit that if it is known that these are to be the methods by which the entrance of these people is to be judged, it will be found that the number under these headings will increase largely, because the wily Asiatic will take the earliest opportunity of qualifying himself for the education test in English, and on the other hand, the steam-ship companies will see that the tonnage provision is made the most of on every trip. I make all due allowance for the difficulty" of having a uniform policy brought into existence straight away, where we have a large number of officers throughout the Commonwealth each perhaps with a different interpretation of the provisions of the Act. But we ought to know what the policy of the Government is, and how far they are attempting to carry out the understanding made with the House that the admission of all these people would be barred excepting where permits had been granted. **Mr. BARTON".-** Nothing has been or is being done which in the slightest way, or to a tittle, conflicts with what the Government has stated to the House or has promised. As regards the Chinamen, some " tonnage " men came into Queensland before I issued my instructions, which I did at the earliest possible moment after the passing of the Act. None are coming in now. With reference to the Chinese who took their passages or otherwise changed their position before the 7th August, 1901, there are less than twenty for the whole Commonwealth who can now claim the advantage of any such arrangement. It must be remembered that many Chinese had booked their passages a long time before the Immigration Restriction Bill was introduced, and it is not necessarily to be inferred from the lateness of their coming out afterwards that there was any fraud on that account. The State Chinese Restriction Acts, however they manipulated the tonnage limit, only enabled the companies to get a certain number on board, and there was always a surplus. But the honorable member for Bland must recollect that I told him and the rest of the House that in certain identifiable cases they must have left before the 23rd December, unless they came in under a permit previously issued by the State. We have rigorously interpreted the law in that way, except that where, as I have said before, there had been permits previously issued by the States, and there was the necessary evidence of identification of returning Chinamen, we kept the promise of tlie State. After the exhaustion of the twenty who have been spoken of, these immigrants will have to run the test of the Immigration Restriction Act as well as the Chinese Restriction Act. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr Mauger: -- Will the Prime Minister vary the tests ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I do not promise very much ease to the immigrants in passing either of these tests. I always said that, if one form of test were not sufficient, another would have to be resorted to. I am properly reminded of that by the honorable member for Bland. But the entire effect of imposing the tests, which have been changeable at short periods, and have amounted to seven or eight different passages in English administered from time to time at the various ports, is that, when the tests have been applied, only seven persons have got in, and I do not think that, in these circumstances, I should revert to the Polyglot Bible for the purpose of finding more tests. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir Edward Braddon: -- What were the tests *1* {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I cannot call them to mind just now. Like 'the Polyglot Bible, they were variegated, I do not mean individually. I find from inquiries already made about the permits issued by the States under the Chinese Restriction Acts that there are a few cases outstanding, and the same thing may be said about permits under any State Immigration Restriction Acts. The fact is that the whole thing is dwindling away to nothing. **Mr. MAHON** (Coolgardie). - I am sorry to say that, judging by the Prime Minister's own answer, the immigration of undesirable people into Western Australia is not diminishing, nor does it appear that he has applied any education test to these men. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I have explained all that half-a-dozen times in the House. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- I know; but when these men are pouring in week after week and successfully evading this celebrated Act- {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Is the honorable member speaking of coloured immigrants ? **Mr. MAHON-** Not at all. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- It was the entire understanding with the House that reputable ! white people were not to be stopped. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- The right honorable gentleman may have so understood it; but I certainly did not. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- If the honorable member did not so understand it, he was in a Vol 1, small minority. « {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- If the Prime Minister thinks that the miners of Western Austra.lia will tolerate an Act which allows hordes of Austrians and Italians to come in and cut down their wages, he totally misapprehends their temper. We do not object to a reasonable proportion of foreigners, but we decline to be wholly overshadowed and displaced by them. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Is it not enough that I am endeavouring to have a complete examination made as to whether these people are admissible under circumstantial evidence? I cannot reject them upon the evidence available at the time of their admission, but I am trying to ascertain whether the evidence is sufficient to show that they were wrongly admitted. This is an Immigration Act, and not a Labour Act. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- The right honorable gentleman, on the 16th April last, said that - >A searching inquiry is made of every such immigrant through an interpreter on the following subjects - > >What arrangements, if any, were made for his coming to Australia. > >Whether inducements were held out by any person for him to come to Australia. > >What his immediate intentions as to lodging, &c, are; and > >Whether he was under any contract or agreement. If the right honorable gentleman knew as much about these interpreters as I do he would place but little reliance upon them. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- What would the honorable member do? {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- Wherever there was a suspicion that they came under contract I would apply the education test, and thus shut them out altogether unless they satisfied that test. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr Mauger: -- That could not be done under this Act. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- Any one could be kept out, if we pleased. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr Mauger: -- Surely the honorable member does not contend that it was designed to keep out white people ? {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- The interpretation that I placed upon the Act was that if Australia did not want any kind of immigrant here, we could keep them out. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- The Australian people do not agree with that intrepretation. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- That may be; it is a matter of opinion. I wish to point out that these interpreters are mostly of the same nationality as the immigrants and make their paths easy for them. Four hundred and twenty Italians and 27 Austrians have been admitted into Western Australia since the Immigration Restriction Act became law, and all this labour is being poured into a comparatively small community of 200,000, people. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr L E GROOM:
DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND · PROT; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917; IND from 1931; UAP from 1934 -- Are they introduced under contract? {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- That is difficult to prove, but it is an extraordinary thing that these men, although they do not know a word of our language, can go to Cue, Coolgardie, or Kalgoorlie and obtain work at once. I think that the Prime Minister will be forced to modify his view of the manner in which the law should be administered. If in any country it were found that vast bodies of strangers were flocking in and threatening the predominance of the people who had done the pioneering work, steps would soon be taken to stop them ; and if the people of Australia think that certain immigrants coming in large numbers are undesirable, the power of exclusion under the present Act should be exercised. {: #subdebate-10-7-s6 .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr MAUGER:
Melbourne Ports -- I quite sympathize with the position taken up by the honorable member for Coolgardie. The question of alien immigration presents a problem which will soon have to be faced. PresidentRooseveldt pointed out to Congress recently, that 90,000 Russian peasants of the poorest class were poured into the United States in the year 1900, and in view of the danger of a similar influx here we shall have to very seriously consider the necessity of passing more restrictive legislation. I am sure that my honorable friend was wrong in supposing that the present Act was intended to apply to immigrants such as he has referred to. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- It would apply if they were under contract. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr MAUGER: -- Certainly ; and if there is a semblance of a contract, the Act should be applied in its most rigorous form. Our people are being brought into competition with Italians and other foreigners whoare lowering our moral and social tone to such a point that the well being of the community is being seriously threatened. Some steps will have to be taken to put a stop to such immigration. {: #subdebate-10-7-s7 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON:
North Sydney -- In order to accomplish the full purpose of the honorable member for Melbourne Ports we should have to prohibit all vessels from coming to Australia. The honorable member is apparently opposed to the admission of any foreigners into Australia. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr Mauger: -- I did not say so. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- That is all that any one could gather from the remarks of the honorable member. In passing, I might point out that a great deal of the success of the United States has been due to the blending of various races in its population. Powerexists under the present Act to exclude undesirable immigrants, but if immigrants are not undesirable, or under labour contracts contrary to the law, why should they not be admitted ? I rose for the purpose of directing the attention of the Treasurer to the fact that on the8th October last his estimate for salaries and contingencies for the Department of External Affairs was £9,321, and that the amount now asked for, after omitting £200 for expenses in connexion with the Immigration Restriction Act, £20,000 for the administration of New Guinea, and £4,534 for the South Sea Islands mail services, is £12,312, or about £3,000 more than the estimate. If the whole of the miscellaneous division, representing £895, is also omitted, there is still an amount of £2,000 in excess of the estimate. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- All the details are shown in the document circulated for the information of honorable members. The expense of issuing the *Commonwealth Gazette* was not included in the first estimate. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- A good deal of the additional amount is represented by the cost of telegrams and cables to England, New Zealand, and elsewhere, including those despatched by the Governor-General. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- Then those items of expenditure were omitted ? {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- They were not known to us when the Estimates were framed. {: #subdebate-10-7-s8 .speaker-KYR} ##### Mr KIRWAN:
Kalgoorlie -- I hardly think that the present is an occasion on which the question of Italian immigration into Western Australia can be fully discussed ; but, as it has been referred to, I should like to say that it is developing very serious proportions in. Western Australia. The newspapers contain numerous complaints on the subject, public meetings are frequently held to protest against the arrival of these immigrants, and several petitions have been presented to the local authorities. So far. as I am aware, the protests made by the labour organizations are not based upon any objection to these immigrants because they are foreigners, but upon the belief that they are introduced into the State under labour contracts contrary to the provisions of the Immigration Restriction Act. Whilst there is every evidence of this fact, and the men readily find employment, it is very difficult to obtain legal proof that the Act is being evaded. The immigrants are prompted by their countrymen, who meet them on arrival, as to the answers which they shall give to the questions asked by the Government interpreters or other officers, and they deny that they are under contract. If, however, there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to lead to the belief that men are being brought in under contract contrary to the law, even although that fact cannot be legally proved, the Government would be justified in applying the educational test, and excluding such persons as could not pass it. Italian and Austrian immigrants are arriving in Western Australia in such large numbers that serious trouble is anticipated. The men who have already arrived will write home to their friends, and their numbers are likely to increase rather than diminish. I am sure that if the same proportion of foreigners were arriving in Great Britain, or in any other country in the world, something would be done to check their influx. There are less than 200,000 people in Western Australia, and it seems to me that if this immigration continues unchecked it might be well for the Ministry to communicate with the Imperial authorities with' a view to representing to the Italian Government that whilst we do not object to the admission of Italians to the Commonwealth, we strongly protest against such large numbers of them entering one particular portion of Australia. If these immigrants were distributed over the whole of the Commonwealth their numbers would not appear formidable, but when they are practically confined to one State their presence threatens to become a very serious matter indeed. Already the Prime Minister has been good enough to promise a deputation that he will inquire into the whole matter, and I trust that the result of his investigations will be to check the evil of which we complain. **Sir EDWARD** BRADDON (Tasmania). - In regard to the publication of the *Commonwealth Gazette,* and to the cost of printing generally, I think that a very considerable saving might be effected. I believe that at the present time this printing is being done in the most extravagant way through the Victorian Government Printing-office. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- We cannot get it done cheaper by contract. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON: -- It is not being done by means of the linotype. I will undertake to say that if tenders were called for the printing of these various papers by private firms in Melbourne, a very considerable saving would result. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- That cannot be, because we are getting the work done at bare cost. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON: -- That bare cost is a very extravagant cost. The charge for the printing of the *Commonwealth Gazette,* considering the present character of that publication is something enormous. The only copy which I have had the honour to receive hardly ranks in size with a tradesman's circular, whilst it has no pretensions whatever to be such a document as ought to be produced by the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Is not the right honorable member sorry for that? {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON: -- I am, and the Prime Minister should be ashamed of it. He has been in office for more than a year, and has lost the opportunity which was presented to him, with the result that what might have been a paying concern is only an unfortunate weakling, to which a literary person would prefer the *London Punch* or the *Melbourne Punch.* I would suggest that this item should be very materially reduced. The Treasurer has admitted that the vote is not required, and that he isnot likely to spend it. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- I cannot tell what may happen. It may be necessary to publish a number of financial statements between now and the 30th June. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON: -- At any rate I do think that something should be done to make the *Gazette* a better production, and to reduce the expenditure which its publication involves. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- The fact is that there has been aslight over-estimate in this matter, but, as the Treasurer says, "You never can tell till the numbers are up." There is no reason for cutting down this estimate, because if any saving be effected it will pass to the savings account, so that no alteration of the finances will result. {: #subdebate-10-7-s9 .speaker-KYJ} ##### Sir JOHN QUICK:
Bendigo -- The Joint Printing Committee have recently investigated the matter of printing, and have it under consideration at the present time. They suggested that I should move for a return, which has already been agreed to by this House. I would ask the Prime Minister to expedite the preparation of that document, as probably it may throw some light upon the cost of printing. I should certainly like it to be presented to the House as promptly as possible, because I believe that its presentation may result in some very valuable information being embodied in the report of the Joint Printing Committee - information which may remove a considerable amount of misapprehension. We have seen sensational statements in the press regarding the enormous amount of printing undertaken on behalf of the Commonwealth, but probably when the matter is investigated, it will be found that the printing bill, consequent upon federation, is not nearly so gigantic as has been represented. By the way, it came out in evidence before the committee, that the printing for the Department for External Affairs was not done by the Victorian Government Printer, but was done in Sydney. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- A proportion was done in Sydney - the printing which related to the affairs of New South Wales, and nothing further. {: .speaker-KYJ} ##### Sir JOHN QUICK: -- Does the sum which appears upon the Estimates represent the sole cost of the printing done for the Department for External Affairs in Sydney? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- It represents the entire cost of the printing ordered by the Department for External Affairs, so far as its concerns go, both in Sydney and elsewhere, with the exception of the *Gazette.* {: .speaker-KYJ} ##### Sir JOHN QUICK: -- I do not know what arrangements were made for this printing in Sydney - whether it was done by contract or by the Government Printer. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- All the printing ordered has been done either by the Government Printer at Sydney or Melbourne, except some casual work in the early stages of the federation. {: .speaker-KYJ} ##### Sir JOHN QUICK: -- I presume we may accept the assurance of the Prime Minister that in these matters the Government are making the best arrangements possible. I join with others in advising the Ministry to. be very careful that the expenses, not only in connexion with printing, but other matters are kept down as much as possible, because there are enemies abroad who are only too glad to lay hold of any particular expenditure, and to exaggerate it to the prejudice of the Government, and of our federal institutions. I am very glad indeed that we have received so much valuable information from the Prime Minister and the Treasurer concerning this branch of our expenditure. It will remove a considerable amount of misapprehension, and honorable members may rest assured that there has been no extravagance in this department. {: #subdebate-10-7-s10 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
South Australia -- I think that some revenue is received from the publication of the *Commonwealth Gazette* as a set-off against the expenditure of £1,350. I know of several subscribers to that publication. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir Edward Braddon: -- Where are they? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- In South Australia. Nearly every solicitor's office has to keep a copy of the *Gazette,* otherwise it would be impossible to know when Acts and regulations were proclaimed. These subscribers pay 15s. per year for this production, which once read is not likely to be read again. My object in rising is to ask whether it would not be advisable to cut down the mass of detail which at present appears in the *Gazette ?* Every contract which is accepted is published in full, and I think that this might be avoided. {: .speaker-KWT} ##### Sir George Turner: -- We must give the information, because it assists the AuditorGeneral, who takes the *Gazette* as the official record. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- Surely there is some means of overcoming that difficulty. If honorable members look at the *Gazette* they will see that about three-fourths of it is occupied withridiculously small details connected with contracts. {: #subdebate-10-7-s11 .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr O'MALLEY:
Tasmania -- I think that we owe a debt of gratitude to the right honorable member for Tasmania, **Sir Edward** Braddon, for suggesting some method whereby theCommonwealth *Gazette* may be developed into an Australian organ for disseminating information, because the time is fast approaching when in selfdefence the Commonwealth will have to start its own newspaper. We have too many journalistic dictators in Australia at present. As soon as we reach the new federal capital the *Gazette* ought to be changed to a general Commonwealth journal, because the time is coming in Australia when we must have a newspaper on which we can rely. I agree that we ought to make the *Gazette* pay, and it would pay if it were turned into a real journal with short spicy editorials. . The editorials in the present newspapers are so long that when a man has finished reading them in the morning he is nearly dead. No doubt the *Gazette* conducted on the lines I have indicated would be successful. It ought to give the news and allow the people to judge for themselves. The Commonwealth could have its own telegraph system, and the best reporters in the world, because they would have a life job with an old-age pension attached. Proposed vote agreed to. {:#subdebate-10-8} #### Division 11 (Federal Executive Council) {:#subdebate-10-9} #### Subdivision 1. - (Salaries), £875 {: #subdebate-10-9-s0 .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON:
Coolgardie -- Before the committee votes this item, we should know something about the duties carried out by the Clerk to theFederal Executive Council. If my information is correct, this gentleman is a supernumerary at Government House who receives a very considerable salary from the Governor-General. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- He is the GovernorGeneral's private secretary. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- I believe the real work of the Clerk to the Executive Council is done by a modest gentleman who appears in the Estimates as clerk at £325 a year. The private secretary to His Excellency enjoys a sinecure as Clerk to the Executive Council, and, under the circumstances, I do not see why he should appear on. the Estimates for £150. I know that the gentleman who acts as Clerk to the ExecutiveCouncil is simply an intermediary between the Governor-General and the Council, but, in any case, that would be his duty as. private secretary. Unless he does something more, and a satisfactory explanation is given, I shall move that this item be omitted. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Does the honorable member submit that amendment now ? {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- I am waiting for information from the Prime Minister. If the duties which this gentleman performs are duties for which he is paid as private secretary to the Governor-General, we have no right to vote him an additional salary as an alleged Clerk to the Executive Council. {: #subdebate-10-9-s1 .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON:
Protectionist -- The fact of the matter is that Captain Wallington, who is private secretary to the Governor-General, is allowed £150 a year by the Commonwealth for duties which are performed by **Mr. Budge** in Sydney for £500 a year, and are performed in the other States for larger salaries than £150. So far as I can gather, £150 a year is a lower salary than is paid for similar work in any State. In regard to .the clerk at £325 a year, the reason he receives a larger salary than the Clerk to the Executive Council is that Captain Wallington receives a salary out of the Governor-General's, purse, and this made it possible to enter into an economical arrangement with him to perform the duties for £150. The work done by **Mr. Lewis,** who is the clerk at £325 a year, is similar to that which he did in New South Wales, except that he has more to do now. That is the reason he is paid the amount mentioned, instead of £290 a year, as previously. He does more work here simply .because there is considerably more to do, he having to help in the Governor-General's office apart from the Executive Council office. He does a certain amount of double duty, and it is considered only fair that an additional £35 per annum should be allotted to him, especially as he had to leave his home at the express request of the Governor-General, who sets great value on his services. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir Edward Braddon: -- Who has charge of the minute books *1* {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- Captain Wallington. We have instituted rather a close system in regard to the Executive minutes. Every minute is signed by the Minister in duplicate, one copy being retained in the Executive Council office as a permanent record, and another going to the department as ah equally permanent record, so that there may be no mistake. That, perhaps, involves a little more labour than has previously been undertaken, except in one or two States ; but, at the same time, it is an immense advantage to have a record in the department corresponding with the record in the Executive Council office. If we did not pay £150 a year to Captain Wallington we should have to pay £350 a year more to somebody else for the performance of the duties. **Mr. MAHON** (Coolgardie).- I, for one, am not satisfied with the explanation given by the Prime Minister, who devoted the greater part of his remarks to a justification of the item £325 for the clerk, **Mr. Lewis.** I said nothing at all about that gentleman, because I presume he earns the whole of his salary and probably a little more. What I called attention to was the payment of £150 a year to an alleged clerk to the Federal Executive Council. The Prime Minister mentioned the name of that gentleman, and I ask the committee to remember that it was not mentioned by me. Now that the name has been mentioned it can scarcely be denied that Captain Wallington is merely a figure - head in society here, which no doubt to some extent accounts for the appearance of this item on the Estimates. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- Captain Wallington only a figure-head *1* {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- I do not wish to speak with any disrespect of Captain Wallington, whom I knew when he was private secretary to Lord Carrington. If the AttorneyGeneral means that Captain Wallington is a leader in thought - that he has ever contributed to science or education, or to the elevation of his fellow-man - he should tell us when and where that service has been rendered. When I say that Captain Wallington is a figure-head in society, I mean that he is a nice, genial gentleman of irreproachable manners, but that so far as the public life of Australia is concerned he is a nonentity. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- Captain Wallington has a great deal of responsible work. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- It is most extraordinary that, with all the Ministers at the table, none can give us an idea of the duties which this responsible gentleman performs. I think that Captain Wallington is sufficiently provided for by His Excellency, and we have no right to vote him what is practically, a gratuity for purely nominal services. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Are we to expect Captain Wallington to perform duties apart from those of the Governor-General's department without paying him ? {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- Will the Prime Minister say that it is not part of Captain Wallington's duties as private secretary to be the intermediary between the Governor-General and the Federal Executive Council ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- In no way whatever in respect of the Executive Council - it is not the fact in any sense. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON: -- I presume that if His Excellency pens a despatch to the Prime Minister, it is the duty of Captain Wallington to convey that despatch in some way to the right honorable gentleman, or to the Executive Council. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- That just shows where the honorable member for Coolgardie is making a mistake. The duties of the Clerk to the Executive Council are not merely the typing and. transmission of despatches. That can be done in the Governor-General's office by **Mr. Lewis,** without the assistance of Captain Wallington. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr Mahon: -- That is exactly what I said. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- Captain Wallington's duties as private secretary to His Excellency are very onerous, but we have nothing to do with these, and do not pay him for their performance. What we allow Captain Wallington £150 a year for is the performance of the duties of Clerk to the Executive Council, duties which, as I said before, are paid for at various rates, from £500 downwards, in the various States. These duties are considerable. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- And confidential. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -They are in the highest sense confidential. Nobody except an absolutely confidential person can be admitted to the Executive Council's meetings, which are entirely secret under the Constitution. Thedutiesto beperformed by the clerk involve the inspection and revision of all minutes, so that if anything appears to be out of order they may be again referred to the department from which they came. As a matter of fact, in the very very best regulated Ministries cases frequently occur in which slips in the minutes require to be rectified. All these matters have to be attended to by the Clerk of the Executive Council, besides which he has to keep an accurate minute-book with a file of the minutes. I tried to make that clear before, but I am afraid I was rather too abrupt or short in what I said. Honorable members will understand, however, that the services rendered by the Clerk to the Executive Council are very cheaply paid for. **Mr. MAHON** (Coolgardie).- The Prime Minister proves too much. If Captain Wallington is performing for £150 a year duties for which **Mr. Budge** is paid £500 in New South Wales, what a remarkably selfsacrificing man Captain Wallington must be. The Prime Minister is bound, of course, to defend this item, and make out as good a case as he can, but I think the committee will find that the gentleman who is the real clerk to the Executive Council, and who does the whole of the work, is **Mr. Lewis,** whose salary is £325 a year. I move - >That the item, "Clerk to the Federal Executive Council, £150," be omitted. {: #subdebate-10-9-s2 .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie -- I trust that the honorable member will not persist with this amendment. What I said previously with respect to making a special attack on a particular officer will apply in this case. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr Mahon: -- Who made an attack ? I made no attack upon him. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- His ease is singled out for special treatment. The honorable member has been told that £150 is a small amount to pay for these services as compared with the amount paid in the various States to officers holding similar appointments. In Victoria the work is performed by one of the most trusted officers of the State. This officer must be a trusted officer, because every official document that goes before the Executive Council has to be perused by this gentleman before it ' is placed before the Governor-General or the assembled Council. There is no doubt that this officer has to advise to a very large extent the representative of the Crown of the contents of many documents which go before the Executive Council for its consideration. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- Does the honorable member say that he has to advise the representative of the Crown? {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- I say that there is no doubt that will happen in many cases. The honorable member must know that every Minister is advised by his officers, and the Governor-General must be in the same position. The King himself is advised, I presume, by his Prime Minister and Cabinet, and does not consider it derogatory to his dignity to be so advised. I do not believe the Governor-General will think it derogatory to accept information from the Clerk to the Executive Council. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- Then the Prime Minister is not fit to occupy the position he occupies. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr L E GROOM:
DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND · PROT; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917; IND from 1931; UAP from 1934 -- Who gives this advice to which the honorable and learned member is referring now ? {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- I am now referring to the Clerk to the Executive Council, and I am not applying my remarks to any particular gentleman. It does not matter to me who occupies the position, and I desire my remarks to be taken as applying only to the office. I say that £150 a year is very little for the work that has to be done, and for the responsibility which the officer occupying this position has to undertake. If he is able to carry out the work, it does not matter whether he is a member of the military forces or the humblest man in the community, he is entitled to a commensurate recompense for the work he does. Unless the honorable member has something to urge against the character of the individual who occupies the position, he should not mention his name. Any one who has been brought into contact with the Clerk to the Executive Council must admit that at no time has he behaved himself in other than a perfectly courteous and gentlemanly fashion. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- Does the honorable member think £150 sufficient? {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- I do not think it is sufficient, and I am very sorry to find that an honorable member who has shown his sympathy with those who receive too little from the State should be on the wrong track now in endeavouring to cut down a salary which I consider totally inadequate for the work, and especially for the responsibility which has to be undertaken by the officer concerned. {: #subdebate-10-9-s3 .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON:
Tasmania -- I think I can satisfy the honorable member for Coolgardie on this point in a very few words. I have no concern whatever as to who is holding the position, or what he may be in any capacity outside his official capacity as Clerk to the Executive Council. The person holding that position - a peculiarly confidential position, upon which I do not think the Prime Minister laid sufficient stress - is under a pledge of secrecy as well as the members of the Executive Council. He must not be confused with the clerk who does not and cannot do the work of the Clerk to the Executive Council. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- Which clerk does the right honorable gentleman refer to ? There are two mentioned here. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON: -- I refer to the Clerk to the Executive Council, who has to attend the meetings of the Council, keep the minutes, and hold them in his charge, and who has to occupy therefore a peculiarly confidential position which could not be filled by the clerk who does the mere office work of writing letters and so on. I can speak upon this matter from personal experience as a Premier of Tasmania, and I am quite sure the honorable member for Coolgardie will not accuse me of any desire to be guilty of extravagance, or by my vote to support any appointment which I deem to be unnecessary. {: #subdebate-10-9-s4 .speaker-KRO} ##### Mr A McLEAN:
GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA · PROT -- In my opinion the honorable member for Coolgardie has attacked the one item which we can all defend. I only wish I could defend every item of expenditure by the Government as I can defend this. I think that in this case the Government have made an excellent bargain. There is no doubt that the Clerk to the Executive Council has very important duties to perform. He has to be in the confidence of the various Ministers, and also of the Governor-General, and he has to make all sorts of arrangements between them. The other clerk, who merely does the clerical work, I believe, renders very good service, but in this particular case I think the remuneration of £150 is extremely moderate. {: #subdebate-10-9-s5 .speaker-KIQ} ##### Mr MACDONALD-PATERSON:
Brisbane -- I should like to ask the honorable member for Coolgardie if he has ever been a member of any Government in Western Australia ? I do not think he has, because he has displayed a want of high solemn appreciation of the great responsibilities attaching to the confidential position of the Clerk to the Executive Council. The clerks to the various State Executive Councils are paid a very much higher salary than this officer. 1 wish the members of the committee to understand, that if the gentleman who occupies this position received no other emolument he would probably be paid from £600 to £800 a year for the duties of this office. The clerk referred to, who has to do the detail work, is never present at the conferences and discussions which take place in the Council. I do not desire to discuss the merits of the gentleman who at present occupies the position, but to cavil at the proposed remuneration for the highly responsible, delicate, and confidential duties of this office shows an absolute nonappreciation of the position. {: #subdebate-10-9-s6 .speaker-KYT} ##### Mr KNOX:
Kooyong -- I venture to make an appeal to my honorable friend not to persist in the amendment for two reasons. The first that occurs to me is that it would be peculiarly unpleasant to the GovernorGeneral who has the honorable member's respect I know, and the respect of the whole of the citizens of this Commonwealth. The other reason is that in Captain Wallington - and I would not have mentioned his name had it not been already mentioned - the Commonwealth is fortunate in having the services of a gentleman who has had an exceptional experience in every one of the States which must make his services specially valuable in the inauguration of the business of the Commonwealth. The Prime Minister has pointed out that the clerk referred to by some honorable members does not attend the private meetings of the Executive Council at all. Captain Wallington, I understand, is the clerk who sits at the table with the Executive Council and is in their confidence. {: #subdebate-10-9-s7 .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr PAGE:
Maranoa -- If, as the honorable member for Laanecoorie has put it, this officer, who is receiving £150, is the principal adviser to His Excellency the Governor-General, I consider that the Commonwealth is sweating him. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I am the principal adviser to the Governor-General. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr PAGE: -- Not according to the honorable member for Laanecoorie. If his statement is correct, we might very well do away with the Ministry altogether. The honorable member for Kooyong also supports the item, so that there must be something in it. I should like to see this officer paid a fair salary for the work he does. The party to which I belong will always be ready to cub down high salaries, though we are willing to pay good salaries for good men. I cannot, however, consent to the cutting down of an officer receiving only £150 a year. {: #subdebate-10-9-s8 .speaker-KTV} ##### Mr E SOLOMON:
FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · FT -- To my mind the question appears to be, Is this office necessary ? . If so, the gentleman appointed to fill it must be one who is in the confidence of the Ministry, and who has had experience in work of the kind which the duties of the office involve. If the Government were able to secure the services of a competent officer for £150, instead of £350 or £500 a year, they were quite right in doing so. {: #subdebate-10-9-s9 .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD:
Kennedy -- I think that the Government should pay a reasonable salary to whoever performs the work of this office. The present occupant, I understand, fills two positions, and the £150 is paid to him for purely nominal services. In the States they have officers to perform this work, who are paid decent salaries. It is evident that the man who is doing the work in this case is the clerk at £325 a year.. I think it would be better to add to his salary the £150 attaching to the office we are now discussing, and another £100, and let him do the whole of the work. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- There would still have to be a clerk. {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD: -- In Queensland the whole of the work is done by an officer receiving £600 a year, who is termed Clerk of the Executive Council, and a messenger. It is not dignified for the Government to give this position to the private secretary to the Governor-General merely because his time is not fully occupied. The chances are that had any one but the present occupant held the position of private secretary to the Governor-General he would not be getting the £150 a year. If the office is necessary, some one should be appointed to fill it at a decent salary. **Mr. MAHON** (Coolgardie).- In view of the universal desire that the amendment should not be pressed, I beg leave to withdraw it. Among the arguments which influence me are those of the honorable members for Maranoa and Kennedy. As usual, I have not been able to agree with the honorable member for Gippsland, whose logic to my thinking is somewhat eccentric. I still regard the office as unnecessary. In my opinion it would be better to increase the salary of the next clerk by the amount at issue, and allow him to do the work, the bulk of which he does now. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. **Mr. McDONALD** (Kennedy).- £400 is put down for the secretary to the representatives of the Government in the Senate, and another £100 for travelling expenses of honorary Ministers actually incurred. It seems to me that, as the honorary Ministers were appointed, not becausethey were required to conduct the business of Parliament, but to get the Cabinet out of a difficulty, and to provide for the representation of Tasmania, the country should be put to no expense in regard to them. If an additional Minister was required, the Government should have brought in a Bill creating a portfolio for him, and providing a salary. {: .speaker-KIQ} ##### Mr Macdonald-Paterson: -- Why should not every member of the House have a private secretary ? {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD: -- If honorary Minis ters are to have private secretaries, why should not the leader of the Opposition and other members who have to attend here at the sacrifice of their professional business be given the same privilege? Proposed vote agreed to. {:#subdebate-10-10} #### Subdivision 2. - (Contingencies), £2,365 **Mr. BATCHELOR** (South Australia).I should like some explanation of the item - Official printing, stationery, travelling, telegrams, and other incidental expenditure for Governor-General, £2,000. I wish to know what printing is done in connexion with the Governor-General's department, and if the item includes all travelling expenses incurred by the GovernorGeneral and his suite? {: #subdebate-10-10-s0 .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- Most of the printing for the Governor-General is done in the Government Printing-office and charged to the Governor-General. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Nothing that is official in the sense of carrying on work in any department can be charged to the GovernorGeneral. That would be too absurd. Proposed vote agreed to. Division 11a (Administration *ofNew Guinea),* £20,000. {: #subdebate-10-10-s1 .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD:
Kennedy -- In the early part of the sitting I asked the Prime Minister whether persons will be allowed to recruit the natives of New Guinea to work in the pearl shelling industry, or whether any natives will be allowed to leave their islands for that purpose. I shall be glad to have some information on the subject. {: #subdebate-10-10-s2 .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON:
Protectionist -- There are in existence, and until there is an Act passed for the administration of New Guinea, there will continue to be in existence certain ordinances of the Executive and Legislative Councils of New Guinea. They provide, I understand, for theobtainment of New Guinea labour for certain purposes in the pearling industry under regulations which are very strict, and which insure the return of the natives after specified terms of service. These, among other things, are matters which are now being inquired into. The arrangement at present on foot does not entitle us to interfere with existing conditions, except so far as the Legislative Council of the Possession may pass an ordinance requiring the assent of the Governor-General. We are waiting, as I explained the other day, for the opportunity to pass an Act in completion of the documents that arrived only a day or two ago, which will give us complete control over New Guinea. In the meantime the ordinances I have spoken of will have effect. The honorable member said something this afternoon about natives being recruited for the pearling industry. They receive no employment, I understand, as pearl-divers. If I correctly recall a conversation I had with the Administrator, they do not take employment as pearl-divers generally, but they take employment on the crews of pearling vessels. If they take employment in New Guinea as members of a crew *bond fide* engaged in the navigation of the ship, I have given a decision that under the Immigration Restriction Act they are entitled to land as members of the crew during its stay. I am informed by the Administrator that there are either none of them or very few engaged in pearldiving That is as much as I can tell the honorable member just now, unless he will put any question to me arising out of what I have said. **Mr. McDONALD** (Kennedy).- I should not like to see the same abuses in connexion with New Guinea as have occurred in connexion with the kanakas and other races who have been taken away to work in different places. Natives are taken over from New Guinea to Woodlark Island to work in connexion with the gold mines. If they are allowed to be taken over to that island, and perhaps to others, to work in connexion with the gold-mining industry, it is likely that they will creep into other industries. I should like to see the natives confined to their own island. We cannot reasonably object to the natives working for any one who happened to be on their island, but we ought to try and use our influence to prevent them from going outside the confines of New Guinea. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- In the main I am in accord with what the honorable member has expressed ; but I would rather take a little more extensive view. I think every section in the House has assented to the proposal that a man is entitled to earn his living in the country to which he belongs, whether he be a black man or a white man. That would be true as regards New Guinea ; but if we find that there are any groups of islands the people of which are practically one in race, and one so far as their possible local connexion may prevail, it would be very hard to treat each of them as a separate principality, especially in the case of savage tribes, in whom the idea of anything like a settled principality is totally inconceivable. Therefore, when we get a group of islands, such as the New Hebrides or New Guinea, or a few of the islands adjacent, it is far better, it strikes me, to treat them as one entirety, instead of trying to set up among them all sorts of independent arrangements of an opposite character which really are not justified either by sentiment or by race. It may be so in regard to Woodlark Island. There has been an immemorial intercourse between the natives of New Guinea and those of some of the adjacent islands, and I have gone so far as to give this direction - and I shall stand by it - that that immemorial intercourse shall not be disturbed to such an extent as to prevent those who are purely people of the same coloured races having the same interchange and intercourse between them that have prevailed amongst them for ages. I would not think of disturbing that, or of so pressing the optional sections of any Act as to make that disturbance, because I do not think that was ever in the contemplation of Parliament. I shall look into what the honorable member has said, but with regard to WoodlarkIsland it is very probable that it will come within the principle I have laid down. This vote has to be administered, as the time has now nearly expired, on the same lines as the vote which was previously taken from the several States for the Government of New Guinea. **Mr. L.** E. GROOM (Darling Downs).Did the Prime Minister say that there would be practically no alteration in the laws of New Guinea until it is taken over by the Commonwealth, except such as the local Council has power to make ? That, I presume, is the position? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Yes. Proposed vote agreed to. {:#subdebate-10-11} #### Division 11b (Mail Service to Pacific Islands), £934 {: #subdebate-10-11-s0 .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDONALD:
Kennedy -- I should like to have some information concerning the old subsidy towards the mail service to New Hebrides, Banks, Santa Cruz, and Solomon Groups, and the two additional subsidies, amounting to £2,400 a year. I understand that there is very little trade in connexion with a number of these islands. The annual subsidy of £3,600 has been considerably increased, and we ought to have some explanation as to what the Government expect to derive from the increase in the vote. {: #subdebate-10-11-s1 .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON:
Protectionist -- Not very much in the way of revenue is likely to be derived from the mere postal contract, and' it is not in the postal sense that the contract is an advantageous one. Although the subsidy of £3,600 a year, which was paid by the New South Wales Government as a postal subsidy, became a transferred service, I have taken the whole matter into the hands of the Department of External Affairs. I could have very well said to the PostmasterGeneral, " This comes over as a postal contract," and insisted upon it remaining in the Postal department, and therefore kept my own Estimates down. But I felt that in fairness I was bound to take this matter into my own department, notwithstanding that it is by law a postal contract. The object of the vote is not to make money. It has two sides to it. One is to keep up the trade relations which we have always had with the islands, and the other is to see that that part of our constitution which specifies the relations of the Commonwealth with the islands of the Pacific is not lost sight of, and that we keep up with the islands a reasonable relation, which may at any rate have this effect: that we shall not let them drift so far apart from us as to prevent their hope or our hope of their at some time becoming attached to the Commonwealth. I do not mean to say that I am pursuing a policy towards the annexation of the New Hebrides, but I shall resolutely pursue a policy against their annexation by any power other than Great Britain. Therefore I am entirely in favour of a small expenditure like this - it is only £2,400 a year beyond that to which we were previously bound - which will keep up our connexion with the islands, help to conserve their trade to us, and also secure an extension with the Gilbert and Ellice group, the trade of which, nearly equal to that of the New Hebrides, is now being exploited by Germans from the Marshall group. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr Higgins: -- Theright honorable gentleman means that if we have not these trade relations, other powers may annex the islands ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- Other powers may acquire the same trade relations, and oust us from ours, and if that were not so, the political aspect of the matter - the relation of Australia to the islands of the Pacific - justifies this small increase of annual expenditure, which, so far as the Commonwealth is concerned comesto only £200 a month, for the sake of keeping up a regular communication enabling us to have, not only mails, but information from these quarters, and enabling us, therefore, to keep in touch with them politically, and know the movements of other powers, besides those of that to which we are attached. Considering the prospective advantages of the expenditure, it is, on the whole, a moderate one. {: .speaker-KRO} ##### Mr A McLEAN:
GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA · PROT -- Is the new subsidy of £2,400 per annum in addition to the former subsidy of £3,600 per annum ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- Yes: and out of the additional subsidy, £400 is devoted to insuring that both on the old contract and on the new one there shall be none but white labour employed in the working of the ships. The balance of £2,000 is for the duplication of the New Hebrides service, and the extension of it to the Gilbert and Ellice groups. Proposed vote agreed to. Division 12 *(Miscellaneous),* £S95. {: #subdebate-10-11-s2 .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON:
Bland -- I should like to have some information about the item of £500 for the federal flag and seal competition. So far as I can see, it seems to have resulted in a bit of a farce. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- How can we say that the result is a farce until we know what it is *1* There is no result yet. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- The farce is in there" being no result. I do not know that there was much to be expected from the competition. In any case, I do not think that a couple of ship captains are the best persons to pick out a flag for Australia. If there is any necessity for a flag the Executive ought to take the responsibility of the selection. There is no need for undue haste in the selection of a flag to embody our sentiments. The Prime Minister in the first flush of his enthusiasm apparentlyfelt that he must have a flag, and hastily brought together a number of retired merchant sea captains and others to adjudicate on a number of designs, some of which were fearful and wonderful productions. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I have already spent the money. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Then I trust that the amount will be looked upon as a benevolent contribution to the gentlemen who made the selection, and that we shall not necessarily be bound to accept the design of which they have approved. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- This expense was not incurred owing to any new-found enthusiasm on my part about the Australian flag. There was in existence a flag called " The old Australian flag," which was used in the twenties with permission, and which has been used ever since without permission. But we received a despatch from the Colonial-office on the subject. Of course, it is well known to honorable members that the selection of designs for military and naval flags does not rest with the Commonwealth or with the States, but is an Imperial matter. In order that there may be some attempt at conformity, the selection rests with the military and naval authorities of the Empire. A despatch came from the Colonial-office asking us if we would submit designs for a flag and seal. We consented to do so, but I admit that we spent what might almost be regarded as an unreasonable time in considering how we should act. We came to the decision that we were not very good hands at choosing flags and seals, and we thought it best to invite competitive designs, and to appoint certain persons who might reasonably be regarded as judges in these matters to decide on the merits of the designs submitted. We did that in regard to both the seal and the flag. The designs for the seal were submitted to a committee, of whom I think **Mr. Bernard** Hall, president of the Melbourne Art Gallery, was the chairman, and one or two other gentlemen were drawn from the other colonies including the deputy masters of the Mint in New South Wales and Victoria. As regards the flags, we appointed several gentlemen in marine authority at various ports of the Commonwealth - Captain Clare, of Adelaide, Captain Evans, Captain Edie, and Captain Mitchell - and we added to these, with the consent of the Admiral - in order that what is called naval heraldry might be considered in the selection of the flag - Lieutenant Thompson, R.N., who is to some extent, I believe, an authority in these matters. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- What did either of these gentlemen know about the sentiments of the Australian people in regard to the flag ? {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- Just as much as and no more than *a.ny* ordinary citizen, but they had some experience as to what would be a distinctive and visible flag, and the naval officer referred to had some knowledge of the requirements of naval heraldry. We knew nothing about such matters, and were not going to undertake the task ourselves, as it was not our business. As has been well known for eighteen months, we offered prizes for the best designs amounting to £150 - £75 for the seal and £75 for the flag. The expenses of the judges amounted to, I think, £120. The flag-judges we paid two guineas per day and actual fares. The judges of the seals received no payment, but small presents were made in acknowledgment of their services at a cost of £20 ; £45 was paid for rent at the Exhibitionbuilding, and the wages paid to servants, and the honorarium given to **Mr. Blackham,** who so admirably arranged the designs and looked after them generally, amounted to £117. We paid for stores - including, I am shocked to say, strawboards - ±'20. That is the whole history of this extravagance. In accordance with the despatch sent to us, we have now forwarded to England the design which received the first premium in each case. I have also taken the liberty of sending home a copy of that old flag which was well known as the Australian flag in the early part of the century, and which seems to me to be a very beautiful and bonnie flag. The rest remains with the Imperial authorities. {: #subdebate-10-11-s3 .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON:
Tasmania -- I think the Prime Minister would have been better advised if, in the first instance, after obtaining an expression of opinion from the various States, he had referred the matter to the College of Heralds in England. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- We were not asked to do that, but to send home our own designs. {: .speaker-JRR} ##### Sir EDWARD BRADDON: -- Yes, but obviously there will be a considerable waste of time and force and money if our designs are not accepted, and it will place Ministers in a peculiar position if the Colonial-office say that there is an absolute disregard of heraldry in our designs. {: #subdebate-10-11-s4 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON:
North Sydney -- I am one of those who think that the design selected for the Australian flag is decidedly unsuitable. Looking at the flag in the distance, as it was exhibited for some time on the Exhibition-building, the large star on the dark ground looks like a hole, and certainly a much better selection might have been made. What I particularly object to, however, is that we seem to be committed to this flag, *nolens* *volens.* The choice of a flag for a people for all time is an important matter, and yet the Parliament of the Commonwealth have not had a voice in the selection, or in the approval of the selection made by the committee. We have decided many less important matters. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- Yes : but does the honorable member think that that is the kind of thing that ought to be submitted to the judgment of' Parliament ? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- I think that after the committee had made their selection it would have been wise to obtain the approval of Parliament. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I would rather take a vote of censure than do that. The honorable member seems to have a strange misconception of the functions of Government and Parliament. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- I have no strange misconception. Other flags have been approved by the representatives of the people. If the Ministry had retained the selection in their own hands they would have represented the Parliament, which in turn represents the people ; but they have delegated their powers to four or five persons, to whose selection we are to be committed for all time. We have been committed behind our backs in a way that we never anticipated. This is not a question qf money, but of national sentiment, and a national decision has been given without any reference whatever to the national sentiment. If the Prime Minister, on his visit to Great Britain, can do anything to secure a better selection than that already made he will be acting in the best interests of Australia. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- I shall have far more important affairs to look after. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr THOMSON: -- I believe that the flag of Australia will be flying when many of the important affairs referred to by thePrime Minister will have sunk' into the insignificance of the past. The Prime Minister cannot on his visit exercise his mind and his activities over any matters that will be of more importance in the future, although I admit that there are many matters of more importance for the present. {: #subdebate-10-11-s5 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
South Australia -- I notice that the designs for the Australian flag have been subjected to a good deal of somewhat caustic criticism in England. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- There was only one opinion published - that of a retired admiral. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I read several opinions that were published in the *Times.* The criticisms were condemnatory, and a suggestion was made similar to that which has fallen from the honorable member for Tasmania, **Sir Edward** Braddon, namely, that the designs should have been submitted to the College of Heralds to insure their conformity with the requirements of that institution. There is a considerable amount of expert pedantry displayed even in regard to flags, and it is said by the critics of the designs sent home that they do not conform to requirements, and that it was a pity that they were not' first submitted to some expert. If the Prime Minister will look into the matter when he visits England, and ascertain what reasonable objections have been urged against the designs, perhaps its remission to an expert may be advisable. It has been pointed out that, perhaps, the Union Jack with some modifications might be adopted in preference to the flamboyant designs which were sent home. I believe it was said that a flag actually contained one or two special pointers which do not exist in the heavens. At any rate a great deal of pleasantry has been indulged in at the expense of those who emblazoned the flag with additional stars to represent the southern firmament. Proposed vote agreed to. Division 141 *(Federal Executive Council),* ^1,172; division 142 *(Administrative),* 397 ; division 142a *(Mail Service to Pacific Islands),* £1,200. {:#subdebate-10-12} #### Agreed to {:#subdebate-10-13} #### Division 143 (Miscellaneous), £5,523 {: #subdebate-10-13-s0 .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON:
Bland -- I wish to know whether the item for expenses incurred in connexion with the opening of Parliament and the Royal Reception includes any honorarium to **Mr. Gr.** H. Jenkins. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- It does. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- That being so, the fact should have been clearly stated. I should like to know further whether the amount has been paid *1* {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr Barton: -- It has been paid. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- What **Mr. Jenkins** did in connexion with the celebrations except to tell everybody " to do the thing properly," I cannot imagine. To my mind he merely put himself in the way of everybody else, and certainly he arranged matters in a manner which did not reflect credit upon himself. At the opening of Parliament the arrangements were anything but satisfactory from my point of view. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- They were not satisfactory to the wives of honorable members. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I have heard a deal of complaint upon that score. However, as the money has been paid, I suppose it is of' no use protesting further. But inasmuch as this honorarium was held over for so long, it might easily have been withheld till Parliament had been consulted. {: #subdebate-10-13-s1 .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON:
Protectionist -- The sum paid to **Mr. Jenkins** was no larger than that paid to other State officials. It has been said that there were more State than Commonwealth functions in connexion with the celebrations. That is so, but there was not more work. The work of **Mr. Jenkins** began at the same period as that of the State officers, and was just as continuous and arduous. Perhaps the remarks of the honorable member for Bland would have been more to the point if he had censured the Ministry for choosing **Mr. Jenkins** instead of attacking that gentleman himself. At any rate it is only fair to **Mr. J** enkins to say - and I was in the way of observing what he did - that he spared neither pains nor trouble to do what was right. It is true that there were hitches, but such celebrations were never carried out without myriads of hitches occurring. To ascribe to the man who had to direct and control the whole of the arrangements, every hitch that might possibly have arisen from an inaccuracy on the part of any subordinate officer is not too kind. **Mr. Jenkins** did his work as well as did any other man. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- Then he did it very badly. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- That was the opinion held by many who, perhaps, did not pay sufficient attention to the complaints that had been made regarding the action of State officers, who nevertheless worked as hard and honestly as did **Mr. Jenkins.** The fact is that it is impossible to conduct such celebrations without incurring complaints, because human nature will never lose the old attribute of jealousy. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Nonsense. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### Mr BARTON: -- I am not speaking of any member of this Parliament, but I happen to know of cases in which considerable heartburning and jealousy were engendered generally because of the position in which somebody else's wife was placed. It is impossible to arrange these matters so as to avoid .all unpleasantness, and when one is trying to classify 10,000 or 12,000 persons with their wives and perhaps members of of their families, one may be excused if a mistake occurs. That is what has happened. But the solid fact remains that **Mr. Jenkins** did the same class of work and was engaged outside his own official duties ns long and as arduously as was any other man. Waa I to be guilty, then, of the meanness of engaging his services for the purpose of making all the arrangements connected with the celebrations, and of afterwards leaving him without an honorarium *1* If he merited any honorarium it was that which he received ; if he did not deserve that he should have received nothing. {: #subdebate-10-13-s2 .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr PAGE:
Maranoa -- I cannot allow the Prime Minister's remark with regard to meanness to pass unchallenged. When I came to Melbourne from Queensland, I could not obtain admission to the Exhibition building. I was referred to **Mr. Jenkins.** How was I to know who **Mr Jenkins** was *t* At last, however, I found him, and he put on more "airs " than did the Prime Minister. He was the only **Mr. Jenkins.** W4ien I asked him for tickets to admit me to the various functions he inquired - "How am I to know that you are entitled to them?" What ! was a member of the first Federal Parliament to be treated by the only Jenkins in that manner *1* I wondered what I had struck. {: .speaker-009LR} ##### MR Barton: -- Did you strike him *t* {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr PAGE: -- No, but I very nearly "missed the bus" through the only Jenkins, as I narrowly escaped not being sworn in upon the opening of Parliament. I was not even allowed admission to the State concert in the Exhibition-building, so my wife and 1 contented ourselves with going to the theatre. I 'was looking for the only Jenkins again. After the celebrations were concluded I was given a badge, and told that if I had worn that I should have been able to get through the lines. I saw none of the show. A policeman stopped me at every turn. Yet now I find that **Mr. Jenkins** has been paid £250 for looking after strangers like myself. Proposed vote agreed to. Progress reported. House adjourned at 10.28 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 29 April 1902, viewed 6 July 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1902/19020429_reps_1_9/>.