House of Representatives
22 August 1905

2nd Parliament · 2nd Session



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

page 1191

JURY EXEMPTION BILL

Assent reported.

page 1191

ESTIMATES

Mr. SPEAKER reported the receipt of messages from His Excellency the GovernorGeneral, transmitting Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, and Estimates of Expenditure for Additions, New Works, Buildings, &c, for the yearending 30th June, 1906., and recommending appropriations accordingly.

page 1191

PETITION

Mr. R. EDWARDS presented a petition from the Brisbane Chamber of Commerce, protesting against the inclusion of the union label provisions in the Trade Marks Bill.

Petition received.

page 1191

QUESTION

ENGLISH MAIL CONTRACT

Mr THOMAS:
BARRIER, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I wish to know from the Postmaster-General if the statement which has appeared in the newspapers, that be has given the Orient Company notice of the conclusion of the contract with them at the end of twelve months, is correct?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
Postmaster-General · EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · Protectionist

– I am not responsible for the statement in the newspapers.

Mr THOMAS:

– Then I am to understand that that statement is not correct?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:

– It isnot correct. I have given no notice.

page 1191

QUESTION

HIGH COURT EXPENSES

Mr HIGGINS:
NORTHERN MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

– Can the Prime Minister explain the delay which has occurred in connexion with the laying on the table of the House of the papers asked for in regard to the controversy as to the expenses of the Justices of the High Court ?

Mr DEAKIN:
Minister for External Affairs · BALLAARAT, VICTORIA · Protectionist

– The papers which it was proposed to lay on the table were ready to-day, but a letter has been received from the late Attorney-General, requesting the addition of other papers, and. the Attorney-General has not yet had an opportunity of seeing that the file is complete.

Mr HIGGINS:

– Are documents which have been written since the order for the production of these papers was made to be laid on the table?

Mr DEAKIN:

– I gather from a cursory glance that the papers in question are originals, but papers which would not have been included in the return according to the terms of the motion.

page 1191

QUESTION

TELEGRAPH OPERATORS

Mr MAHON:
COOLGARDIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

asked the Minister of Home Affairs, upon notice -

  1. How many telegraph operators in the Fifth Class are drawing salaries in excess of the maximum provided in the Sixth Subdivision of that class and below the minimum fixed in the First Subdivision of the Fourth Class?
  2. Is it intended that officers grouped in the Fifth Class under the Commissioner’s scheme of classification shall continue to draw salaries in excess of the maximum sum fixed by the Public Service Act for officers in that class?
  3. If so, will the Minister direct that compliance be given to the provisions of the law by advancing the officers concerned to the First Subdivision of the Fourth Class?
  4. Is it correct that the Commissioner proposed to allow a Sydney officer in the First Class of the Clerical Division to draw a salary of£650, being£50 in excess of the maximum amount fixed by statute for officers of that class?
  5. Has the Minister obtained the opinion of the Attorney-General as to whether the Commissioner is correctly interpreting Section 19 of the Public Service Act in permitting officers to draw salaries in excess of the maximum sums fixed by law for the classes in which such officers have been grouped by the Commissioner; and, if not, will he obtain such opinion for the information of this House?
Mr GROOM:
Minister for Home Affairs · DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND · Protectionist

– In reply to the honorable member -

  1. One hundred.
  2. Yes. In view of the fact that these officers were under the State practice advanced to their present salaries, it has been deemed fair to allow them to continue to receive their present pay pending the occurrence of opportunities of transfer or promotion. 3.No, as such a course would in many cases increase the overpayment, place more officers in the Fourth Class than circumstances warrant, and possibly result in the promotion of some men whose merits would hot justify their further advance.
  3. This was altered in the amendment of classification.
  4. It has not been deemed necessary to obtain an opinion on the point. The only alternatives to the Commissioner’ s action were to give the officer more than the value of his work, or to reduce his salary to the maximum of his class.In view of the fact that the officers were in receipt of these salaries at the time of classification, it was deemed equitable that they should continue to receive them pending vacancies, or their transfer to other positions.

page 1192

QUESTION

POSTAL DESPATCHING OFFICERS

Mr SPENCE:
DARLING, NEW SOUTH WALES

asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

  1. Is it not a fact that, as a result of the classification, the Clerks, now Despatching Officers in the Mail Branch,G. P.O., Sydney, who are placed in the General Division, received increments from £16 upwards, whilst the Senior Sorting Staff and other Despatching Officers with longer service received only £2 and £4.
  2. Are these Despatching Officers to take precedence of the Senior Sorters, who have likewise been placed in the Despatch Officers’ Grade, and who havein many cases longer servicethan these officials, and who have been expecting promotion for many years?
  3. Is seniority to count in these cases by length of service and salary received, and if so, will the Minister see that justice is done to these old officers?
  4. Is it a fact that these Despatching Officers have not yet been called upon to perform their new duties and hours?
Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
Protectionist

– In reply to the honorable member -

The following replies have been furnished by the Public Service Commissioner :.-

No. The highest increase given to a clerk who was classified as a Despatching Officer in New South Wales was £14. In the case of both Clerks and Sorters who were made Despatching Officers, the necessary amounts were added to the salaries to bring the pay to the minimum of the position.

While in the Despatching Officers’ grade each officer will receive the same increment until the maximum salary is reached. Promotion to the higher grade of Mail Officer must be determined on the principle of merit.

Officers will be considered in order of seniority in accordance with salary received, but in making promotions, efficiency will be the determining factor.

Yes, but they will take up the duties immediately the classification is adopted.

page 1192

QUESTION

POSTAL OFFICE INSPECTORS

Mr THOMAS:

asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

Whether New South Wales has as yet been divided into districts for the purposes of the. Postal Office Inspectors. If not, when does the Postmaster-General purpose making such division ?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
Protectionist

– In reply to the honorable member -

Yes, and the inspectors have taken up duty in their respective districts.

page 1192

QUESTION

WORK PERFORMED FOR STATES GOVERNMENTS

Mr WATKINS:
NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES

asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

Whether it is a fact -

That officers of the Postal Department have been doing work for State Departments without pay?

That this state of affairs has been going on ever since the inception of the Commonwealth?

That recently in some cases the State Departments have relieved these officers from such duties, and have transferred such work to other persons, who are being paid for it?

Mr CHAPMAN:
Postmaster-General · EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · Protectionist

– In reply to the honorable member -

  1. Yes.
  2. Yes.
  3. Some officers of the Department have recently been relieved of State duties, but the PostmasterGeneral is not aware of the arrangements made with their successors in the performance of those duties.

page 1192

QUESTION

COMMONWEALTH TRAINING SHIPS

Mr. SALMON, in asking the Prime Minister, upon notice -

Whether, in view of the ridiculously small sums being realized by the sale of the naval vessels no longer required by the, Home Government, he will take into consideration the advisability of obtaining some of the ships for Commonwealth training purposes ?

I desire to explain that I have addressed it to the Prime Minister, rather than to the Minister representing the Minister of Defence, because I recognisethat it really relates to a matter of policy.

Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

– The answer supplied is -

From the list oil paper, the condition of the ships cannot be guaranteed, but the bad are probably eliminated, not for being in that condition, but for lacking certain qualities, and being too lightly armed. It is doubtful whether any more ships will be sold, but if they are, further consideration will be given to this question.

page 1193

QUESTION

TRANSFERRED OFFICERS

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

asked the Minister of Home Affairs, upon notice -

  1. What was the total number of persons in the Public Service (permanent and temporary) in each Department at the time the Departments were taken over by the Federal Government?
  2. What was the total of the salaries, or other remuneration, paid in each Department?
Mr GROOM:
Protectionist

– In reply to the honorable member: -

  1. Customs Department, 1,406; Defence Department, 185; Postal Department, 15,574.
  2. Customs Department,£223,183; Defence Department,£28,567; Postal Department, £1,376,003.

page 1193

QUESTION

MANUFACTURE OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION

Mr CROUCH:
CORIO, VICTORIA

asked the Minister representing the Minister of Defence, upon notice -

  1. Has the Defence Department yet made any provision for making Australia self-contained in its own defence by establishing factories for the manufacture of guns, small arms, and cordite?
  2. If not, can the Minister of Defence make any promise in regard to these matters, and particularly as to the local manufacture of cordite?’
Mr EWING:
Vice-President of the Executive Council · RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · Protectionist

– I am instructed that -

The Minister is giving this matter consideration; a full statement will be made later on.

Mr Crouch:

– Within a week?

Mr EWING:

– I should not like to say that.

page 1193

BUDGET

In Committee of Supply:

Sir JOHN FORREST:
Treasurer · Swan · Protectionist

– I must ask the indulgence of the Committee in. undertaking the heavy and difficult task which lies before me. Hitherto, in delivering Budget statements, I have as Treasurer had experience of a State which was self contained and altogether independent. My present task - as honorable members must all recognise - is a more difficult one in that it is my duty to deal with the finances of six States as well as with those of the Commonwealth. However, I shall do my best to place an accurate statement of the finances before honorable members, and will a “ round unvarnished tale deliver.” I shall endeavour to avoid being parochial, and certainly - as is my wont - I shall not be pessimistic.

Mr Fisher:

– What about the Budget papers? They have not been circulated.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I propose that the papers relating to the Budget shall be circulated immediately after the conclusion of my speech. I think that that plan will prove more convenient to honorable members than the one which has hitherto been followed. It will be to the advantage of honorable members if they are relieved of the task of endeavouring to follow my remarks by constant reference to the Budget papers. The practice which I propose to follow is one to which I have always been accustomed. The papers will be laid upon the table of the House immediately. I sit down.

Mr Wilks:

– Four Budget statements have previously been delivered and upon each occasion the papers relating to them have been circulated.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH:
MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT

– I think that we ought to have them.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The honorable member may think what he likes. I have not the papers here, but they will be made available immediately I sit down. I hope to be able, not only to deal with the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure-

Mr Conroy:

– The right honorable gentleman will receive double the amount of criticism that he otherwise would receive for neglecting to circulate the Budget papers.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– If my honorable and learned friend will only be quiet-

Mr Conroy:

– It is an intentional slight upon the House.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I am sure that the honorable and learned member will acquit me of any desire of that sort.

Mr Conroy:

– I will not.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I hope to be able to deal with not only the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, but also with the condition of the primary industries of Australia. In undertaking that task, of course, I have had to take advantage of that great statistical work from which we are so accustomed to quote - Mr.Coghlan’s Australia and New Zealand. I have alsohad the advantage of the assistance of the Government Statistical Departmentof

Victoria. To both these Departments I feel under an obligation, and I desire publicly to express my thanks for the information which I have obtained from them.

Mr Conroy:

– 1 rise to a point of order. Ever since this Parliament was inaugurated it has been the practice for the Budget papers to be circulated prior to the delivery of the financial statement. The course followed upon the present occasion is a distinct departure from that practice^ -

The CHAIRMAN:

– Order ; I must ask the honorable and learned member to resume his seat. The honorable member is asking that something shall be done which is not provided for under our Standing Orders. The Treasurer has a perfect right to deliver his financial statement in the manner which may-

Mr McDonald:

– Why should he distribute the Budget papers to the representatives of the press and not to us?

The CHAIRMAN:

– Order. The honorable member ought to know that he should not interrupt when the Chair is addressing

Mr McDonald:

– But I want to know why the Budget papers are distributed to the representatives of the press.

The CHAIRMAN:

– The honorable member has always shown an acquaintance with the Standing Orders, and therefore he should be one of the strongest supporters of the Chair. I ask him to assist me on this occasion.

Mr McDonald:

– I shall get it in when the Treasurer is speaking.

The CHAIRMAN:

– If the honorable member interrupts me again I shall have to deal with him under the Standing Orders. I ask honorable members to extend to the Treasurer that courtesy which his position entitles him to receive.

Mr Conroy:

– I rise to order. You say, sir, that the distribution of these papers is not required by the Standing Orders, but I would point out that a practice has grown up in the Committee, and is by usage incorporated in the Standing -Orders. These papers have been supplied to the representatives of the press, but have not yet been circulated among honorable members.

The CHAIRMAN:

– Order. I must ask the honorable member to accept my definition, and not to attempt to make me accept his view.

Mr Conroy:

Mr. Chairman-

The CHAIRMAN:

– I ask the honorable and learned member to kindly resume hisseat. In my judgment, the Treasurer is quite in order in delivering his financial statement in the manner in which he is doing, and I ask honorable members to allow him to proceed with it without interruption.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I can assure honorable members that the distribution of the papers has not been postponed out of any desire to do anything which would inconvenience them. I merely thought it would be more convenient to take that course. There is nothing particularly new in the Estimates of revenue and’ expenditure. With scarcely an exception, the salaries, except in the lower grades, will be found to be the same as for last year, and they are based on the classification of the Public Service Commissioner, which we hope soon to see approved. Honorable members will find full information about the whole of the Estimates in the Budget papers, as usual.

Mr Wilks:

– Where are they?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– These interruptions are unfair.

Mr McDonald:

– It is quite unfair to withhold these papers from the members of the House while they are given to the press.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– They are not for the representatives of the press.

Mr McDonald:

– I have just seen the papers handed over to the representatives of the press.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The papers are not for use, any way.

Mr McDonald:

– But the reporters have been supplied with them.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I rise to a question of privilege. I am very loth to take a step of this kind, but I submit that a very grave, as well as a new departure, has been made. The honorable member for Kennedy has stated emphatically that the Budget papers have already been handed to the representatives of the press, and I raise a question of privilege as to whether important papers relating to the finances of Australia are to be given- to the representatives of the press, and to be denied to the members of this House?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I did not circulate the papers in the Chamber, because I thought it would be more convenient not to do so; but as honorable members wish to see them I have given directions to distribute them at once.

Mr Wilks:

– Let us adjourn for halfanhour while we read them.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– Now that honorable members have obtained the papers which they desired, I hope I shall be able to proceed. The first question I propose to deal with is that of the population of Australia.. On the 31st December, 1904, the population was 3,984,376, while on the 1st January, 1 901, when the Commonwealth was established, it was 3,765,813 - an increase in the four years of 218,563. But if we take into account the excess of births over deaths during that period, which was 223.009, we find that the departures actually exceeded the arrivals by 4,446. The flow of population into Australia was satisfactory, or fairly so, up to 1892. Then, however, it seems to have come to an abrupt stop, and it ha’s remained practically at a standstill ever since. For the ten years, from 1882 to 1891, the excess of arrivals over departures was 372,832. In 1891 the excess was 28,794, but from 1892 to the end of 1904 - a period of thirteen years - the departures exceeded the arrivals by 15,116. During the four years of Federation the departures have exceeded the arrivals, as I have said, by 4,446. Prior to 1881 there were 646,000 persons introduced into Australia wholly, or partly, at the expense of the various Governments ; but State aid, as we all know, has practically ceased in this connexion for the last twenty years.

Mr Chanter:

– For how long?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– State aid to immigration has ceased for a longer period In some States than in others; but, speaking generally, I think the period is twenty years. In my opinion, and in the opinion of the Government, the population question presents the great problem that lies before us in Australia., It is not the desire of any one, I am sure, to add to the population of the cities and towns, which are already too large in proportion to the population of their respective States. Sydney contains 36 per cent., Melbourne 41 per cent., and Adelaide 45 per cent, of the population of their respective States. The whole question is a serious matter which we have to face. I have no doubt that every honorable member, if asked, could give his own particular reasons why the immigration has been so small. In my opinion the principal reason must be looked for in the competition of the United States and Canada. More State encouragement has been gi’ven to immigration in those countries than here, more especially the great encouragement in the shape of a free land grant system, which, for years past, I have been in the habit of saying, was the great factor in laying the foundation of the prosperity of the United States, and afterwards of Canada. Under this system a free grant of a quarter section of 160 acres is allotted to any one who desires it, and who agrees to live on and cultivate the land. As honorable members perhaps know, this system is in force in only one State in Australia at the present time. In 1894, I introduced the system into Western Australia, and in that State it applies not only to immigrants, but may be taken advantage of by any one. Unless a settler already possesses 200 acres of land, he may avail himself of the privilege of taking up a free grant of 160 acres, provided that he is willing to reside on and cultivate the land thus granted. In Australia during recent years there has been no inducement to immigration by means of free land grants except in the Western State, and, further, only to a very limited extent has any assistance been extended in connexion with the passages of immigrants to this country. For many years no free passages have been granted. We must also take into consideration the much shorter voyage from Europe and the mother land to Canada and the United States, as compared with the voyage to Australia. The former voyage can be accomplished in quarter the time occupied bv the voyage to Australia. Further, it is not only easy to get to Canada or the United States in a very short time at a cheap rate, but it is easy for an immigrant to return to his old home if he finds the conditions of the new country such as he considers unsuitable to him. That is not so in the case of Australia. When an immigrant comes to this country, he feels that he “ holds his head to other

Mr Mcwilliams:

– Does not the right honorable gentleman think that the States could do the whole work better ?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I do not think they could. There is no clashing of interests in this matter. Both the States and the Commonwealth should assist to bring about the desired end. If the States could do the work better, as is suggested by my honorable friend, it is strange that they have not done it. We require one general authority to deal with this question in the old country, and that authority in my opinion is the Commonwealth I see no difficulty at all, if we really desire to bring about a flow of immigration into Australia,, in arranging a workable scheme. The Government will endeavour to arrive at an agreement with the States to work with them on this or some similar plan ; and I can only express the hope - and I am sure that I shall have every one in accord with me - that some real good) will result, and some

Mr Higgins:

– Was the reduction in Customs revenue owing to the sugar bounties ?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I shall deal with that when I come to speak of the Customs and Excise revenue. I am dealingnow with the total revenue from all sources. The revenue last year obtained from Customs and Excise amounted to £8,799,530; from the Post and Telegraph Department,. £2,630,905 ; patents and other small items, about £29,880, making the total I have just stated of £11,460,315. For the current year 1905-6 it is estimated that the revenue will be £11,387,605, being £72,710- less than was actually received last year. It is estimated that the revenue this year will be obtained from the following sources : - Customs and Excise, £8,683,000 ; Post, and Telegraph Department, £2,682,000 patents and other revenue, £22,605, making the total I have stated of £11,387,605. If we had not to account this year for a reduction of revenue from sugar duties.amounting to £21,011; sugar duty received last year, but belonging to the: previous year, £50,000 ; and reductions of special tariff revenue for Western Australia of £64,549, instead of showing a deficit upon last year’s figures, the revenue for the current year would be greater by £62,850 than that actually received last year. I may point out that the special tariff revenue given under the Constitution to Western Australia will cease in October, 1906, and for this year it is estimated to amount to only £78,000.. After 9th October, 1906, there will be abso- lutely free intercourse between Western Australia and the other States of the Commonwealth so far as the business of the Customs Department is concerned, but I should not like any one to think that I am of opinion that there will then be free intercourse between Western Australia and the other States in the matter of speedy means of communication. In many respects the special tariff provision for Western Australia is found now to be to a very large extent inoperative. It is, of course, being largely reduced, and it has been made to some extent inoperative by reason of the decision of the Department in regard to administration which I will not refer to at the present time, but which has had the effect of reducing the revenue of the State of Western Australia to a greater extent than I some time ago thought was justified. The revenue, for 1904-5 was obtained from the States in the following amounts : - New South Wales provided £4,020,727, Victoria £3,179,207, Queensland £^,429,860, South Australia £953,409, Western Australia £1,431,491, and Tasmania .£445,621. For this year it is estimated that New South Wales will provide £4,058,064, Victoria £3,142,294, Queensland £1,440,031, South Australia £941,288, Western Australia £1,358,727, and Tasmania £447,261. These figures give respectively the totals to which I have already referred of £11,460,315 ici 1904-5, and £11,387,605 for 1905-6. The revenue received last year from duties of Customs and Excise was £8,799.530, or £180,470 less than the receipts estimated by the right honorable member for Balaclava, when Treasurer, but considering the magnitude of the figures, he is to be congratulated for the closeness of his estimate. The estimated revenue for 1905-6 is £8,683,000, an apparent falling off of £116,530 from last year’s receipts. But in j 904-5, £50,000 was credited to revenue, on account of sugar excise collected in previous years, and held in a trust fund, and there will probably be a falling off of £21,011 in the revenue from the duty on sugar because of the increased production of Australian sugar, while the receipts from the special Tariff of Western Australia will probably show a decrease of £64,549. These amounts make up a total of £135,560, which, if taken into account, would give an increase of £19,030 over last year, instead of a decrease of £1.16,530. The revenue from Customs and Excise on stimulants and narcotics is very large, being practically onehalf of th.e total revenue received from Customs and Excise. In 1903-4 the revenue from stimulants and narcotics was £4,270,381, and in 1904-5, £4,250,267, while the estimate for this year is £4,281,,200. The following statement will show how these totals have been arrived at: -

The total revenue for the year 1905-6 from Customs and Excise ‘ is estimated at £8,683,000, being made up of £4,281,200 received from narcotics and stimulants, and £4,401,800 from all other Customs and Excise duties. These figures show that those who abstain from stimulants and narcotics contribute only £1 per head to the revenue, while those who use them contribute about £3 per head, which should be an inducement to our people to become total abstainers, though if many of them were to take advantage of it the Commonwealth would probably 1 have to find some additional source of revenue. I was astonished to see that the difference is so great - that we who consume stimulants and narcotics have to pay about £2 per annum more towards the taxation of the country than those who do not. A comparison of the receipts under the Federal uniform duties of Customs and Excise during the five years that they have been in operation with the receipts of the various States from- Customs and Excise during 1900, the year before Federation, is a most interesting one, and considerable use has been made of it. Honorable members will find the information tabulated in the following statement : -

I should like to point out that where the State gains through the operation of the Federal Tariff the people of that State have to pay, and that where the State loses the people of that State save. That is the exact position of affairs. We have often heard that Queensland has lost an immense sum of money through the operation of the Commonwealth Tariff, but the people of Queensland have in their pockets the money which is said to have been lost. On the other hand, we are told that New South Wales has gained considerably, but the people of that State have had to make up the excess which the Treasury has received over the revenue of 1900. The Treasury of New South Wales will have gained, up to the 30th of June, 1906 - the end of the financial year - £5,941,408 ; the Victorian Treasury will have lost £72,792 ; the Queensland Treasury will have lost £2,180,587 ; the Treasury of South Australia will have gained £49,244; the Treasury of Western Australia will have gained £580,079 ; and the Treasury of Tasmania will have lost £796,601. The Treasurer of Western Australia, in addition to receiving £580,079 in excess of the amount he received in 1900, will, according to our estimate, also have received £852,521 from the special Tariff. The Western Australian Treasurer has therefore benefited to the extent of £1,432,600 by the operation of the Federal Tariff, as compared with that which was received from Customs and Excise in 1900. I now come to the Post and Telegraph Department, the returns for which appear to be satisfactory. Although the price of tele- grams was reduced some time ago, and other concessions have been made to the , public, the revenue appears to be in a buoyant condition, and altogether the position is satisfactory, and the prospects hopeful. For the year 1904-5 the revenue amounted to £2,630,905. This was made up of £1,620,007 received from postages, £525.354 from telegraphs, £311,720 from telephones, £84,891 from commissions on money orders, and £88,933 from miscellaneous receipts. The total for the year was £70,905 above the estimate, and £120,702 in excess of the revenue received during the previous year. The revenue from telegraphs and telephones was £51,790 more than in the preceding year. The estimate of revenue for the coming year 1905-6 is £2,682,000, or £51,095 more than was actually received last year. From postages it is estimated that there will be received £1,667,000; from telegraphs, £519,000 ; from telephones, £330,500 ; from commission on money orders, £87,300 ; and from miscellaneous receipts, £78,200. The revenue from postages is estimated at an increase of £46,993, and it is anticipated that the receipts from telegraphs will be less than they were last year by £6,354, owing to some extra payments having been made which were not expected to fall into the last financial year. The estimated revenue from telephones shows an increase of £18,780, that from commissions upon money orders, an increase of £2,409, and there are some small deficiencies under the heading of . -:– laneous” amounting to £10,733. I* *s estimated that there will be an increased revenue this year, as compared with the receipts last year, of £51,095. From telegraphs, the revenue in 1904-5 was greater than it was in 1903-4 by £26,397. Last year, the receipts from telegraphs and telephones together was £51,790 in excess of the revenue for 1903-4, and it is -estimated that there will be a further increase of £12,426 this year. I may mention that, in. conformity with the custom adopted by my predecessor in office, I have had some tables prepared giving full information in regard to the revenue from Customs, Excise, and Post and Telegraphs, and instituting comparisons which, I think, will be found very complete. These tables are as follow : -

The Post Office expenditure for 1904-5 was £2,566,175, and, as the revenue from that Department was £2,630,905, it is clear that there was a surplus of receipts of £64,730. That expenditure did not include the cost of new works and buildings, upon which there was expended only £131,425, although the vote for that purpose was £224,000. The fact that the vote was not exhausted was due to the fact that the estimates were not passed earlier. As a result, there was not sufficient time to permit of the expenditure being made between the period when the Appropriation Bill became law, and the end of the financial year. The estimated expenditure upon Post and Telegraphs for 1905-6 is ,£2,656,714, and, as the estimated revenue from that Department is £2,682,000 it is estimated that there will be a surplus of receipts of -£25,286 for the year. The cost of new works and buildings is set down at ,£217,731. It will be noticed that this year it is estimated that there will be an increased expenditure in this Department of £90,539 as compared with last year. The sum of £52,000 for the carriage of ocean mails accounts for more than half the increase, and there is an increase of salaries in the lower grades and for contingencies. I now come to the general expenditure of the Commonwealth, which the following tables will illustrate : -

Last year the actual expenditure was £4,318,435, being £ii4,798 below the estimated expenditure. This was principally accounted for by items for new works and buildings not being carried out owing to the lateness in passing the Estimates. The estimated expenditure for the current year is £4,606,273, being £287,838 above the actual expenditure, and £173,040 above the estimated expenditure for last year. The expenditure of the Commonwealth is distributed amongst the States in the following proportions: - New South Wales, £1,590,626; Victoria, £1,227,114; Queensland, £706,137; South Australia, £450,607 ; Western Australia, £43°»435 > and Tasmania, £201,354. For new works, buildings and additions, £418,911 is provided on the Estimates this year as against £404,240 for last year. The actual expenditure last year was £336,474. The increase over last year’s expenditure amounts to £82,437, but it is only £14,671 more than the vote for last year. As we intend to ask the House to pass these particular estimates at once every effort will be made this year to spend the money which has been voted. It is very unsatisfactory to find that after taking all the trouble to get the votes for necessary works passed, works have not been carried out, and that it is necessary to come back to this House and ask for a re-vote. I think that by following the plan which was suggested the other day, and which the Government intend to carry out, we shall be able to secure a very much larger portion of the financial year in which to carry out the works which have been approved by Parliament.

Mr Fowler:

– Why not pav these sums into a suspense account and carry them forward ?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The Constitution Act will not allow that to be done, I believe. Amongst the works which are to be carried out this year are the following : - Drill halls and rifle ranges, £40,271; new post-offices, £56,016; revotes for works in hand, £51,789; and telegraphs and telephones, £149,150. Last year we voted £155,000 for telegraphs, but expended only £91,000. Included in the £149,150 there is £30,000 for a telegraph line between Sydney and Melbourne. Special defence material, consisting of arms and armament, is estimated to cost £140,000, although there appears on the Estimates for this pur pose £181,060. Having looked into the matter, I am of opinion that the Department will not be able to get the armaments supplied during the financial year, and, therefore, I have reduced the amount by £41,060, on the understanding that if the material can be constructed, the full amount on the Estimates shall be spent.

Mr Kelly:

– Can the right honorable gentleman give us any particulars as to what the arms and armaments are?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The honorable member will find full information in the Estimates. Last year £174,000 was spent on special defence material, the matter being considered so urgent that the amount was increased by the Treasurer by £44,000, and I also have promised to provide another £41,060 should an increase prove to be required. I very much question, however, whether the additional sum will be necessary ; but, if it is, then, of course, it is only right that it should be expended, and the armament obtained.

Mr Conroy:

– As I read the figures, the total expenditure on defence comes to over £1,000,000; is that so?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I shall deal with other particulars a little further on. There is also some printing plant, to cost £1,500, to be provided out of the sum I have mentioned. Honorable members will see that, after all, there is not very much money to be spent; and the charge that the Commonwealth is undertaking expenditure here, there, and everywhere cannot be sustained in the face of the fact that the whole of the expenditure on new works amounts to only £417,411. The question of defence is one which has engaged the attention of the Governments of the day ever since the inauguration of Federation. We all recognise that this is a very important matter. The Commonwealth has made a real effort to put the land forces upon a satisfactory footing, with good arms and equipment. In regard to the naval defence, all that has been done of any magnitude is the naval agreement with the Imperial Admiralty. The Government think that if the land forces, are armed with the most approved rifles, with a large stock of rifles and ammunition in hand, together with the cadet organization and rifle clubs well provided for, the land forces will soon show much efficiency.

Mr Kelly:

– The right honorable gentleman significantly omits to mention the garrison forces. Is the personnel of those forces to be made up?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The honorable member had better ask the Minister of Defence about the garrison forces. How should I be in a position to ‘say how many nien there are at Queenscliff or at the Heads in Sydney ?

Mr Kelly:

– It is admitted that the personnel of the garrison forces is not sufficient.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I am dealing with the matter from a Treasury point of view. We recognise that the harbor defences must have much consideration. The Naval Agreement is in a fair way to be carried out in its entirety. There are 400 Australians serving on board His Majesty’s ship Challenger and three drill-ships; and 250 more are required to fill the complement. But these 250 are for higher ratings, for which the men at present being trained are not yet qualified. As soon as the 400 are qualified they will go to the higher grades, and the authorities will be able to enlist others to take their places, and to complete the total 650. There are four’ Australian officers and 188 seamen enrolled in the reserves, and sixteen additional officers and 393 men will be selected as soon as possible. I regret that I have not been able to visit Sydney and see the Admiral, but, so far as I have been able to ascertain, everything points to the agreement being a complete success. In the figures that I have quoted New Zealand is not included. . The fortifications at Fremantle, which are to consist of two forts - one at Arthur’s Head and one at North Fremantle - are being pushed on with, and the efficiency of existing fortifications is being improved. The difficulty with regard to fortifications is that improvements are constantly being required, and that a fort which may be efficient to-day is considered to be out of date in a few years time. We have had experience to that effect already in Australia. There can, I think, be no doubt that a much larger expenditure will be necessary in. order to place our fortifications on an up-to-date footing, as also with, regard to our naval defence. At the present time the people of Australia, who are a self-reliant and progressive people - as I shall be able to- show before I sit down - pay only one-fifteenth per head of the amount paid by the people of the Mother Country for their naval defence. That being so, the matter only requires- to be put before them in a way that is acceptable to them, when I feel sure that it will have the attenti’on that it deserves. I am authorized to state that the Government will give the most serious attention to this subject. They are fully alive to the urgency of providing for our harbor defence, of placing our forts in an efficient condition, and of doing our very best to protect our coast.

Mr Conroy:

– We ought not to pay ‘more for naval defence until we have a voice in deciding in questions of war and peace.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I have often said that if we wish to have control we must pay ; and we have never yet offered to pay our due proportion. I have not the slightest doubt for my own part - although I was sneered at some time ago for saying so - that those who are willing to pay will always find that they will be allowed a good say. Our ordinary military and naval expenditure for last year amounted t0 .£558,503. In addition,” the expenditure under the Naval Agreement for part of the year was ,£148,548, and for rent and repairs, the expenditure was ,£23,431, and for miscellaneous .£2,259, making a total pf j£732,74i- But that sum does not include the following items: - New works and buildings and additions, £26,320 ; and special arms and equipment - to which I referred just now, ,£174,000, making ,£200,320. It would be manifestly unfair to charge these extraordinary works to ordinary current expenditure. Therefore, although the information is clearly shown on the face of the estimate dealing with ordinary expenditure, these amounts are not included. For this year it is estimated that the naval and military expenditure will amount to .£591,431, being .£32,928 in excess of the actual expenditure last year, but £696 less than last year’s vote. In addition, there are the following items to be considered : - Naval agreement, ,£200,000, representing the amount payable for a full year; works and buildings and rent, £30,055 ; miscellaneous, .£2,529; making a total expenditure of ,£824,015. Besides, there is extraordinary expenditure represented by additions and new works, £57,516; arms and special armament and equipment, ,£140.000; making a total of £197, 516; whereas last year this expenditure amounted to ,£200,320.

Mr Conroy:

– These figures represent £1,250,000 for a year.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The honorable and learned member may count them up in that way if he pleases.

Mr Conroy:

– It is better that the people should be wiped out by war than by taxation.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The scheme for arming the forces of the country and equipping them with the most modern rifles and armament at a cost of £525,000 is being carried out, and added to in several directions. In 1903-4 we expended on this special armament £96,183; in 1904-5 £174,000; and this year we propose to expend £140,000, with the right to spend £181,060 if the material can be obtained during the financial year. At the close of the year 1905-6 we shall be nearing the stage at which our land forces will be fully armed and equipped on a war footing. I may mention that included in this expenditure there is a sum of £15,981 for the garrison at Thursday Island. This has always been a Federal garrison to a certain extent. It has not been entirely Federal, because some of the States have not contributed towards its upkeep; but the whole of the expenditure has not been provided by Queensland, which State has never paid for this purpose on other than a per capita basis of the people of the different States contributing. The garrison at King George’s Sound is also included at a cost of £5,104. Thursday Island is maintained at the present time by New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia, and will continue to be so during the book-keeping period. Tasmania does not, and has never contributed to the upkeep of the garrison at Thursday Island or that of King George’s Sound, while South Australia contributes only to the upkeep of the garrison at King George’s Sound, and1 not to Thursday Island. Western Australia, even in her humble days, always contributed one- fourth of the amount required for the upkeep of the garrison at King George’s Sound; whilst, as I have said, Queensland has never contributed more than her per capita share for the upkeep of the garrison at Thursday Island. There is an- expenditure also in regard to our only Possession - British New Guinea - of £20,000. We have taken over this Territory, . and have promised to provide £20,000 a year for its government. It is a great responsibility, though perhaps we have not so far felt the burden. There is a coloured population there estimated at 375,000. The Territory covers 90,000 square miles, an area as large as that of England, Scotland, and Wales. The white population numbers only 573, of whom 453 are males and 120 females, and included in the number there are 56 officials. I am sorry to say that I have not the most recent statistics, as,. owing to the few facilities afforded for communication with the Territory, it is difficult to get information, but I am able to inform honorable members that the value of the imports for 1903-4 amounted to £77,000.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– There is a sufficient nmber of officials to supply the information required.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– That is so; but I do not think it is their fault that it has not been supplied. The difficulty is due, I think, to the inadequate mail service between the mainland and the Territory. The revenue of the Territory is derived from duties on food and articles of dress, on tobacco, wines, spirits and beer; the value of the imports of tobacco during 1903-4 reached £8,000, whilst the value of imports of wines, spirits, and beer, reached £3,700. I was somewhat surprised to find that the last’ figure should be so small, as I had heard such a terrible account of the immense quantity of intoxicating liquors which were sent to the Territory. I find that the value of the import of tobacco is more than double that of the import of wines, spirits, and beer. The value of the exports for 1903-4 was £75,000. Gold was the principal export, and it accounts for £56,000 out of the total of £75,000, beside which, there were exported sandal wood £8,000.. copra £4.000, and some other > small products. Honorable members will therefore see that the trade of the Territory is not extensive. The revenue for 1903-4 was £22,227, °f which’ £17,911 was obtained from Customs duties, and the estimate of the revenue for the current year is £16,709, to which the Commonwealth adds another £20,000.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– How much of the whole amount is spent in maintaining officials ?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The honorable member will find that information in the Budget papers. This must be a fine territory to be able to support 375,000 coloured people with the primitive means of production which they adopt. I see no reason why it should not be a self-supporting and flourishing possession. The labour of the native population would surely be available if called upon ; but capital and enterprise are required for the opening up of the country. It requires to be opened up and made available for the investment of capital’ by the laying* out of roads, by encouraging the occupation of the land, and in many other ways.

Mr Lonsdale:

– Where would the producers of New Guinea send their produce if it were opened up?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– To Australia, if this country would take it, or to the world’s markets, about which the honorable member is always speaking.

Mr Lonsdale:

– Would it not be in opposition to our White Australia policy to allow the produce of the natives of New Guinea to compete with the products of our own people?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– We have taken over the Territory, and have a responsibility in regard to it; and if we leave it idle we shall show ourselves unequal to the task we have taken upon ourselves. In the Budget papers will be found an interesting return, similar to that which has been published every year, showing the cost of Federation. The following figures show the proportion in which “ Other “ Expenditure has been debited to the States : -

It is shown that the outlay for 1905-6 will amount to £296,961, or1s. 5½d. per head of the population. That is the cost of Federation, as it was understood at the Adelaide Convention. Various items were set out upon that occasion, and it was estimated that the Federal expenditure under those heads would not exceed £300,000.

Mr Robinson:

– The Treasurer is leaving out a number of items, including the sugar bonus, which is costing Victoria £100,000 per annum.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– If the honorable member will wait until I have concluded, he will find out that I have not forgotten thatmatter. To the cost of Federation, as set forth at the Adelaide Convention, and estimated at £300,000 per annum, must be added the following amounts : - The cost of administering New Guinea, which was not considered then, £20,000; sugar bonus, . £151,670, and new works, £417,411; making a total of £589.081, which, added to £’296,961, makes a grand aggregate of £886,000. The amounts included in the £589,081 would have been expended if Federation had not been accomplished.

Mr Robinson:

– Does the Minister mean to say that the expenditure upon the sugar bonus would have been incurred?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I do not desire to discuss the policy underlying the payment of the sugar bonus at the present moment.

Mr McWilliams:

– The Minister has not put the position quite fairly.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– It is extraordinary that the honorable member should make that statement, having regard to the fact that I have been looking at this matter for several weeks. Perhaps, to-morrow, he will change his mind. I come now to an interesting part of the Budget - especially interesting to the States Treasurers, who are anxious to know how much more than three-fourths of the Customs and Excise revenue will be returned to them.

In this connexion the following figures will be useful: -

I have noticed that the Constitution is frequently misinterpreted. It is made to appear that the States are entitled to receive not less than three-fourths of the total Customs and Excise Revenue, thus inferring that more than three-fourths is intended by the Constitution to be returned, whilst the Constitution provides that the Commonwealth shall not spend more than one-fourth.

Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Surely that is a distinction without a difference.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– If the honorable member will look into the matter, he will find that there is a great deal of difference. As honorable members know, it is provided in the Constitution that for ten years and thereafter until Parliament otherwise provides, of the net revenue of Customs and Excise not more than one-fourth shall be applied annually by the Commonwealth to its expenditure.

Mr Higgins:

– Then why do we not retain the surplus in the form of a “nest egg ?”

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The honorable and learned member must know that by sections 93 and 94 every sixpence that remains unexpended at the end of the month has to be returned to the States, and that the Commonwealth Treasurer is then left absolutely without funds.

The CHAIRMAN:

– I have on several occasions asked honorable members to keep order. I would remind them that the Treasurer’s Financial Statement is being made not merely to the Committee, but to the country, and that it is ve,v desirable that those who have charge of the financial affairs of the States should be furnished with a connected account of the Commonwealth finances. I hope, therefore, that honorable members will cease from interjections.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The surplus of Customs and Excise revenue returned to the States last year amounted to estimate. The amounts paid over to the £7,14.1,668, or £2,682 more than the States are set forth in the following table : -

shall return to the States £357,920 less than was returned last year. That circumstance is due to a variety of causes - to a decrease in revenue of £72,71.0, to an increase in expenditure by way of naval contribution of £51,452, to an increase in the sugar bounty of £24,592, to increases in the Defence Department amounting to £46,888, to increases in the Post and Telegraph Department of £88,072, and to an increased expenditure in the Customs Department of £10,724, in addition to a further increase of £117,686 upon new works. There are deductions in various other items which amount to £51,576. (The return of the surplus above the Commonwealth expenditure must always be a cause of anxiety to the States, even during the continuance of the bookkeeping period. Unless they abandon all idea of receiving any portion of the one-fourth of the Customs revenue to which the Commonwealth is entitled, the States Treasurers must always be anxious to know how much the Commonwealth is going to return to them and what will be their share of the total amount. Unless some arrangement can be made under which a fixed sum shall be returned to them each year it seems to me that we have no alternative but to continue

The following States received more than it was estimated they would receive: - Victoria, £46,514; Queensland, £13,040; and South Australia, £5,273. The following States received less than it was estimated would be returned to them : - New South Wales, £52,069 ; Western Australia, £8,361 ; and Tasmania, £1,715. The States Treasurers seem to think that not only are they entitled to three-fourths of the Customs and Excise revenue collected by the Commonwealth, but also to a good-sized portion of the Commonwealth one-fourth. I regret to say that I fear they will very soon require to be content with the three-fourths of the Customs and Excise revenue which the Constitution provides shall be returned to them. In 1901-2 the Commonwealth returned the States £7,368,137 - that is, three-fourths of the net Customs and Excise revenue, and £888,-741 in addition. Last year the Commonwealth returned to them£7,i4i,668, or three-fourths of the net Customs and Excise revenue plus £734,277, and this year we estimate that we shall return them £6,783,748, which is equivalent to threefourths of the Customs and1 Excise revenue plus £469,170. Honorable members will notice that this year I calculate that we the bookkeeping method, at any rate until the expiration of section 87 of the Constitution. Leaving out of consideration the special Tariff of Western Australia, it seems to me that a -per capita distribution, which is sometimes talked of, and which seems to be desired by some States - especially if they are likely to get anything out of it - is impossible, as the following tables will show: -

Last year it would have mulcted Western Australia in the sum of £459,733, and for this year Western Australia would be mulcted in £428,397, while, if that State were left out of the calculation for last year, New South Wales would have lost £148,240 and Victoria £40,000, and this year New South Wales would have lost £175,607 and Victoria £31,545. Unless some better arrangement can be made in regard to fixing the amount I certainly think that the only thing to do is to continue the bookkeeping period until the end of the operation of the Braddon clause.

Mr DAVID THOMSON:
CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND · ALP

– Do the Government intend to do that ?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I am not prepared to make a definite statement on that point. I now come to another matter, which is of very great importance, and to which the late Treasurer gave a great deal of attention, namely, the taking over of the States debts by the Commonwealth. This was one of the objects of Federation, and it is contemplated by the Constitution Act. This Parliament has the power to take over all States debts existing at the establishment of the Commonwealth. On the 30th June, 1904, the public debt of Australia was £233.415,931. which was made up in the following way : - New South Wales, £80,033,580 ; Victoria, £56,656,857 ; Queensland, £42.293.937 ; South Australia, £28,593,645 ; Western Australia, £16,000,000 ; and Tasmania, £10,000,000. The loans are held, in London to the amount of ,£189,000,000, and in Australia to the amount of £45,000,000. The interest on the whole public debt is £8,363,564. The surplus revenue returned to the States for .1904-5 was £7,141,667. So that the interest on the whole debt is greater than the whole amount returned to the States last year by £1,414,445. Two conferences on this subject have been held, namely, one at Melbourne early in 1904, and one at Hobart, in February, 1905, when every attempt was made to come to some arrangement with the States. A final offer was made - subject, of course, to the approval of Parliament - by the late Treasurer, at Hobart, in February last, namely, to extend the operation of the Braddon clause for twenty years, that is, until 1931, and to take over the total debt of £234,000,000, subject to the following conditions, the States only to borrow outside Australia through the Commonwealth, to provide a sinking fund of from per cent, to 1 per cent, on all loans, and if threefourths of the Customs and Excise returnable were not sufficient, as we know very well it would not be, to provide permanently by law for the deficiency to be made good. Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania agreed to these proposals; Queensland refused to agree, while New South Wales and Western Australia made no reply. There the matter stands, with no conclusion arrived at. If the proposal made by the then Treasurer, the right honorable member for Balaclava, had been agreed to, the effect would have been that for the next twenty-five years the Commonwealth would receive one-fourth of the customs and excise revenue, and the States would receive three-fourths of it, the latter going towards paying the interest on the ,£234,000,000 of public debts. There would, under that plan, have to be permanent provision made by some means or other for payment by the States of the sum which would be required in. addition to the three-fourths returnable under the Commonwealth. At the present time the three-fourths of the customs and excise revenue is not only insufficient to pay interest on the ,£234,000,000, but insufficient to even pay interest on the debts existing at the establishment of the Commonwealth, namely, £202,333,000, which we are entitled to take over under the Constitution. Even now the States have to find, from their own revenues - in addition to the three-fourths of the customs and excise revenue, and any additional sum returned by the Commonwealth - sufficient to pay interest on their loans.

Mr King O’malley:

– Have the States borrowed £32,000,000 since Federation?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– Over £31,000,000. The amount returnable to- the States this year, in addition to the three - fourths of the customs and excise revenue, is ,£469,170. We must remember that the Government have yet to take over the control of navigation and shipping, quarantine, lighthouses, beacons, and buoys, and astronomical and meteorological arrangements; at least, the Constitution provides that the control of these matters may be taken over, and it is intended to do so. In addition, provision has to be made for the Federal Capital, and also probably for an iron bonus, penny postage, old-age pensions, and other expenditure.

Mr Wilks:

– And the transcontinental railway.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The interest in connexion with that will be a very small matter.

Mr Wilks:

– The cost is only £5.000,000 !

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The interest will, perhaps, amount to ,£20,000 a year. When all the matters I have mentioned are considered, it will be clearly seen that the time will soon pass when anything in addition to the three-fourths of the customs and excise revenue can be returned to the. States. Perhaps the better way to put it is that the Commonwealth will very soon use the whole of the one-fourth of the customs and excise revenue, which it is entitled to use under the Constitution. In the matter of the public debts, it seems to me that there are three courses open. One course is to take over the debts existing at the comemencement of Federation, namely, . £202,333,000; and there is no doubt of our power to do this under the Constitution. The next course is to take over a certain proportion of the public debts on a population basis, as also provided by the Constitution. . .

Mr Higgins:

– Where?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– We can take that course under section 105 of the Constitution. The third course is to take over the whole of the public debts, amounting to ,£234,000,000, as offered by the late Treasurer ; and this, of course, would require an amendment of section 105 of the

Constitution by the omission of the words “ as existing at the establishment of the Commonwealth.” The plan most favored, and, I think, the only one that has been fully considered at the various conferences and conventions, is the third one of taking over the whole of the debts. The following tables illustrate the position : -

Statement showing the Debt per Head, on Estimated Population at 31st December, 1905, which could be taken over without the States having to provide Additional Amounts for Interest : Also Years in which States would first have to pay off or Convert a Loan (other than Treasury Bills for Revenue Deficits) existing at date of Federation, assuming that the Loans first falling due were taken over by the Commonwealth and assuming that Treasury Bills covering Revenue Deficits would not be taken over. Sinking Funds not taken into consideration.

The two methods provided by the Constitution have not received serious attention, or, at any rate, have not been favoured. The desired object is to have only one Commonwealth stock on the London market, and to convert the existing loans as they mature, or otherwise deal with them as may be arranged. By that means, all the Australian stock on the market would in time be either renewed or converted into one Commonwealth stock. There seems to be a general idea - and I think that most people who have thought over the subject are in accord with it - that it is not desirable that the Commonwealth should take over these debts, and that the States should be permitted to go upon the London market again, nominally relieved to some extent of their responsibilities, to incur fresh liabilities. To get over that difficulty, it has been proposed that the States should not borrow, except through the Commonwealth Government, “‘and that their independent borrowing should be restricted to the Australian market. It seems to me that the proposal that the States should borrow only through the Commonwealth Government is surrounded with great difficulties, would encourage friction, and would do more harm’ than good. Imagine a State wishing to borrow for reproductive works, and being told that the Commonwealth Treasurer would not agree to borrow ; or imagine _the Commonwealth Treasurer being forced to borrow on the application of a State when he did not think it desirable to go on the London market. It seems to me that that plan would lead to interminable trouble. I do, however, see an advantage in restricting the future borrowings of the States to Australia. No doubt the money would still come from England,, but the stock would be Australian.

Sir George Turner:

– That was the last proposal ; it was agreed to at Hobart.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The proposal was that the States should borrow in Englandonly through the Commonwealth Government, but should be able to borrow in Australia without the assistance of the Commonwealth Government. If they were permitted to borrow by themselves in Australia, there would be no room for clashing, such as there would be if the consent of the Commonwealth’ Government had to be obtained before a policy of development could be carried out. The latter plan would, I repeat, lead to trouble, friction, and to a great deal of bitterness.

Mr Glynn:

– That is practically the law in Canada, and it succeeds verv well there.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The matter is one of urgency. State loans are maturing within the next five years to the amount of £32,000,000. They will have to be paid or renewed. And, of course, as honorable members know, that is only a beginning. There is no doubt in m)’ mind - nor do I suppose there is any doubt in the mind of any one who looks at this matter impartially - that the Commonwealth,, with its great and exclusive power over Customs taxation, is in a far stronger and better position to deal with this great financial matter than are the States, either collectively or separately. A fear has been expressed by some people that the taking over of the States debts by the Commonwealth might increase the price of our stock. So far as I am able to judge, that should not be a reason for fear, as an increase in the price of our stock would be in the interest of the Commonwealth, since I cannot anticipate that for many a long day to come we can be other than sellers of stock. I wish I could think it would be otherwise, but I can see no reason for believing that we shall be buyers. We shall be sellers, and, therefore, the higher the price of our stock the better for us.

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

– The right honorable gentleman will see that if we should require to redeem any loans we should be practically buyers.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I think that if we require to convert stock we should have to pay the market value. The present financial arrangements, by which the States are dependent upon the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth is subject to charges of extravagance by the States, must always remain a source of irritation and friction. Under the Canadian Constitution, it was provided that a fixed annual subsidy, which did not amount to £1,000,000 a year, should be paid by the Dominion to the Provinces. Last year the Commonwealth returned over £7,000,000 to the States. Of course it must be admitted that the conditions affecting the Canadian Provinces and the Australian States are altogether different.

Mr KING O’MALLEY:
DARWIN, TASMANIA · ALP

– The Canadian Government took over the national debt.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– There was not a large debt to take over.

Mr Glynn:

– I think it amounted to over $100,000,000.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I believe it was arranged that the Dominion should pay so much per head of population to the Provinces in perpetuity, and the annual subsidy came to about £750,000. My judgment leads me to believe that it will be found advisable to consider whether it is not possible to adopt the Canadian plan, or some scheme which will be equitable and acceptable, under which it might be agreed that a fixed amount, subject, if necessary, to periodical adjustment, should be annually returnable to each State. The suggestion is, I think, worthy of some consideration. If some such proposal could be given effect, the Commonwealth and the States would be in the position of financial independence, and would be able to work out their financial problems in their own way. There would be no room then for complaint on either side. I may say I have not been able to do more than mention this matter to my colleagues, and I admit that it will require very careful consideration. Having given the matter some little attention for a long time, and more especially recently, I have thought it right to inform honorable members of the ideas in my mind on this very important matter.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– We shall never have any satisfaction in connexion with the conduct of our finances while the bookkeeping provisions of the Constitution are in operation.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I am of opinion that the bookkeeping system will never be acceptable as a permanent system to the people of Australia. It hampers both States and Commonwealth, and, ‘ although it has been serviceable, and will do good service for years to come, it cannot be looked upon as a permanent arrangement.

Mr Robinson:

– Is the right honorable gentleman going to renew it or to discontinue it?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I do not see that much good can result to the States by extending the duration of the Braddon provision. It may restrict the spending powers of this Parliament, but I cannot imagine that we shall do anything to injure the people of the States. They are our constituents, and to injure them would be to injure ourselves. This Parliament will neither injure nor ignore the people of the States.

Mr Robinson:

– That is a back-down. The right honorable gentleman is taking up the caucus platform with a vengeance.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I have every confidence that mutual good-feeling and a common interest will before long bring the negotiations for the transfer of the public debts of the States to a successful conclusion. I will now refer to the transfer of States properties to the Commonwealth. Nothing definite was agreed to by the representatives of the States and of the Commonwealth at Hobart in this matter, but it was understood that a valuation would be made of all the transferred properties. That is a very necessary thing to do, and should have been done before. It is necessary to know the value of these properties before any arrangement can be come to with regard to them. I have not changed my views as to the manner in which the transferred properties should be dealt with. On the 10th

February, 1904, I wrote a memorandum which, if not in the records of the House, is an official paper. In it I definitely stated my views on the subject, and suggested a mode of procedure. The first thing to be done is to have a valuation of the transferred properties made. If two men owe each other £100, there is no need for any payment between them. Similarly, it would be neither business-like nor reasonable, assuming that New South Wales should receive £3,000,000 for property transferred to the Commonwealth, and had to pay about that amount to the other States for properties transferred by them to the Commonwealth, to propose that anything but the balance should be dealt with. It is quite possible that the credits and debits in these accounts will be nearly equal, and that all we shall have to consider will be small balances. To deal with anything but balances would be unbusinesslike.

Mr Henry Willis:

– Are the valuers already at work?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I believe they are.

Mr.Lonsdale. - How are these balances arrived at?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– Nothing has yet been arrived at, because the transferred properties have not yet been valued ; but they willbechargeable for on a population basis.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– Will the valuations be according to the actual value, or according to the cost ?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I believe that a basis of valuation was agreed upon at Hobart, but I speak under correction in regard to that matter. Another subject which I wish to mention as connected with the Estimates, though the PostmasterGeneral will deal with it more Tully when he asks the House to ratify the contract, is the subsidy to be paid to the Orient Steam Navigation Company. Every one knows that this Government is not responsible for that contract, but it has been decided to ask Parliament to confirm it. The subsidy has been increased from £72,000 to £120,000 a year. It is a large increase, but, looking at the matter from the company’s point of view, it is only fair to say that the Norddeutscher Lloyd receive “5s. per mile over the whole of the distances travelled by their steamers, the

Messageries Maritimes receive 8s. 4d. per mile, and the Peninsular and Oriental Company 59. 6d. per mile, in connexion with all their contracts from England to Australia and the East. The Orient Company, under the old contract, received only 2s. 7d. per mile, and under the new contract they will be entitled to 3s. 8d. per mile, so that even with the increased subsidy they will be placed at a disadvantage compared with the other companies named. I trust that in consideration of the increased subsidy the company will be able to give us a regular and speedy service,, and generally improved facilities.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– The amount represented by the increase in the subsidywould have been sufficient to defray the cost of establishing a penny postage throughout the Commonwealth.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I now come to a very important matter - -the sugar question. As we add to our local production of sugar, our receipts from Customs duties upon that article must fall off and our excise receipts increase. The import duty amounts to £6 per ton, and the excise duty to £3 per ton.. In 1902-3, the Customs duties upon imported sugar amounted to £502,931,. whereas, according to the estimate for the current year, they will reach a total of only £93,000. On the other hand, the excise receipts for the current year will amount to £514,500, as contrasted with £277,517, in 1902-3. The duty upon imported sugar, in 1902-3, amounted to £502,931;in i903-4. to £483,516; and in 1904-5, to . £174,884. As I have stated, the estimate for the current year is £93,000.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– The bonus given for the growth of white sugar will reduce the receipts from exci.se duties.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– That has nothing to do with the excise.

Mr Mcwilliams:

– What is the use of imposing an excise duty and returning it again ?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– The supply of locally-grown sugar has nearly overtaken the demand, and very shortly the industry will enter upon a new phase, inasmuch as our producers will have to look for markets abroad, and engage in competition with the whole world. It is estimated that at the end of the current financial year - in about ten months’ time - 47,500 acres of sugar cane will be cultivated by white labour. It is estimated that in New South Wales 19,342 acres will be similarly cultivated, making the total area cultivated by white labour 66,842 acres. At the same time there will be 78,000 acres cultivated by black labour in Queensland, and 2,145 acres in New South Wales. So that there will be 80,145 acres under cultivation by black labour, as against 66,842 acres under cultivation by white labour. In other words, it is estimated that at the end of the financial year there will be 146,987 acres under sugar cultivation. These figures show that 54-53 per cent, of the acreage under sugar in Australia is cultivated by black labour, and 4547 per cent, of it by white labour, which I think is very satisfactory. This year the 147,000 acres to which I have referred, are estimated to produce 183,000 tons of sugar. Of this quantity it is anticipated that 73,000 tons will be produced by white labour, and 110,000 tons by black labour. It is estimated that at the end of the current year about 40 per cent, of the sugar produced in Australia will be produced by white labour. The total con sumption of sugar in the Commonwealth is estimated at 187,000 tons, and by the end of the present year it is believed that we shall produce all the sugar that is required to supply our own needs. The total bounty already paid is £273,000, and during this year it is estimated that a further sum of £146,000 will be disbursed. Consequently, by 30th June next, we shall have paid in bounty £419,000. The bounty is paid *-per capita by the people of Australia. Last year there were 165,000 tons of sugar produced in the Commonwealth, but only 1,177 tons of Australian sugar were exported, while 29,147 tons were imported from abroad, upon which - of course - a duty of £6 a ton was paid. The foregoing facts, which are clearly set forth in a table in one of the Budget papers, justify the Government in recommending a continuance of the bonus policy. In this connexion it is proposed to introduce Bills extending the bounty for five years after the expiration of the present term - that is, until the end of 1911 - upon, the same terms as those contained in the existing Act. In the following table will be found the principal figures relating to this question : -

Those who were not very sanguine as to white men being found willing to do the work in the tropics. - and I confess I had the greatest doubt myself - must be pleased at the success which has thus far been realized, and we shall all, I am sure, join in wishing the industry still greater success in the future.

Mr Robinson:

– It has been a very great success to the Colonial Sugar Refining Company. They have secured the most of the bounty.

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– I now come to a very important matter.

Mr Glynn:

– Will the right honorable gentleman say whether the excise duty on sugar, which will expire in 1907, is to be continued with the bounty?

Sir JOHN FORREST:

– It is proposed to continue both’ the excise duty and the bounty, exactly as at present. I now come to a very important matter to all of us in Australia, and that is the trade of this country. Before I have finished I shall say a few things which will be very pleasant hearing to those who take an interest in the welfare of this Continent. The external trade of Australia is larger than that of any other British Possession except India. The highest value that has ever been reached was attained last year, when our external trade amounted to ^94,500,000 - imports, ,£37,000,000, and exports, ,£57,500,000- being ,£38,600,000 greater than in 1895, and ,£12,000,000 greater than in 1899. This does not include the trade between the States, which for 1904 was valued at £33,000,000, and of course, if treated’ as it used to be as exports and imports, would be double that value. I have prepared a table, which will be found later on, showing fourteen principal items of export, on which there is a total increased value of nearly ,£12,000,000 for 1904, in comparison with 1900. It may be interesting to know where the balance of trade lies, to know to what countries we export, more or less than they send to us. The excess of exports over imports was as follows: - The United Kingdom, £5,103,000 ; British Possessions, £10,720,000; France, £3,600,000; Belgium, £1,571,000; China, .£260,000; Chili, ,£243,000; and Japan, ,£160,000. During 1904, we imported more from the United States than we exported to that country by £2,363,000, and in the case of Norway and Sweden, the excess of imports over exports was £424,000. It is satisfactory to note that 74 per cent, of the total trade of Australia was with the United Kingdom and British possessions. The exact figures for 1904 are - The United Kingdom, 5293 per cent. ; British possessions, 2o’92 per cent. ; and foreign countries, 26”! 5 percent. Our trade with foreign countries has fluctuated a little, and the figures are as follow: - In 1901, the percentage was 2706; in 1902, it was 2713; in 1903, it was 2989 ; and in 1904, it was 2615. These figures show that in regard to the total trade, embracing both imports and exports, British countries are holding their own - that trade is following the flag. When we compare our imports from the United Kingdom and British Possessions, with our imports from foreign countries, it is noticeable that the latter made a great advance between 1894 and 1899. In 1894, the percentage of foreign imports was only 1612, while in 1899 it was 2640. In 1900, the percentage of foreign imports was 27-43; in 1901, it was 2931; in 1902, it was 28” 1 5 ; in 1903,/ it was 3432 ; and in 1904, it was 2711. These figures are not altogether unsatisfactory, although they are very serious. They show that foreign imports - and we cannot get away from the fact - have practically doubled during the last ten years. Another verv interesting matter is the balance of trade in Australian produce between the States ; and in this connexion I have taken out the figures for last year dealing with the produce. The balance of Inter-State trade in 1904 was against New South Wales by £4,597,000, against Victoria by ,£61.9,000, against South Australia, by ,£240.000, and against Western Australia by ,£2,019,000. The four States I have mentioned, it’ will thus be seen, Imported from other States more than they exported, goods to the value of £7,475,000. And the States which exported more than they imported from the other States were - Queensland - an astonishing sum - to the amount of £6,124,000, and Tasmania to the amount of £1,351,000. These two

States exported to the other States more Inter-State Customs and Excise adjustments than they imported by £7,475,000. The will be found in the Budget papers. INTER-STATE Customs and Excise Adjustment. Statement showing Adjustments made between the States under Section 93, Sub-section (1) of the Constitution, for the year ended 30th June, 1905. The debits to a State represent duties collected in that State, which have been credited to other States. The credits to any State represent duties credited to that State, which were collected in other States. It is a very interesting return, and it shows clearly, I think, that both Melbourne and Sydney are becoming the distributing centres for the rest of the Commonwealth. In respect of dutiable goods from abroad during the past three years, the balance of duties paid on goods exported from Melbourne to the other States amounted to the large sum of £766,445 ; and on those exported from Sydney to £315,870, making a total of goods imported to these two centres and distributed to the other States, of ,£1,083,000. The States which received these goods were Queensland, to the extent of £449,239 ; South Australia, ,£70,402 ; Western Australia, £257,090; Tasmania, £305,584; total, £1,082,315. These amounts- are credited to the States in which the goods are consumed. I now wish to say a few words about the pastoral interest of Australia. The great ravages of the drought a few years ago are, I am glad to say, becoming obliterated. The greatest number of sheep we ever had in Australia was in 1891, when the number was 106,322,000. The value of wool was also highest in that year, amounting to ,£20,685,000. Owing to droughts, bad seasons, and low prices, in the year 1902 the number of sheep had decreased, to 54,012,000, and the value of the wool had decreased to £[12,954,000 - a decrease of 52,310,000 sheep and of £7,73:t>000 in the value of the wool. We all know the difficulties of those times. I am very glad to say, however, that things are rapidly changing. The increase in the number of sheep during the two past years was 11,334,000. and the increase in the value of wool in the same period' was £[4,364,0.00. The value of our wool last year was the highest for the last twelve years, with the exception of one year, 1899. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- That was owing to the rise in the price of wool. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- That does not matter. The fact remains that the money went into the pockets of our people. Those are splendid figures, and should give us all hope and confidence in the future. The number of cattle increased by 750,000 in one year, and the number of horses increased by 40,000. The number of pigs have increased in four years by 167,000. What is better still, not only have these changes taken place, but the prospects are remarkably good, and the prices at the present time are excellent. It seems to me to be pretty certain that the value of our wool for the present year will be the highest on record. With a few good seasons we shall soon increase the numbers of our stock to something like what they were some years ago. The figures show that the number of sheep at present in the Commonwealth is estimated at 65,346,000, and the value of the wool production at £[17,318,000. I desire now to ask honorable members to listen to me while I refer to the general production of Australia - the production from our primary producing industries, amongst which I include manufactures. I. am able to say that the total production from these industries was greater last year than ever before. I have not the exact figure, but I should say that it amounted to £120,000,000. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr Mauger: -- That is the value of the total production of primary and secondary industries. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- That is the value of the total production of the primary producing industries, amongst which I have included manufactures. Roughly speaking, one-half of this amount is to be credited to the agricultural and pastoral industries, one-fourth to minerals and timber, and one-fourth to manufactures. The figures represent about £30 per head of population. Of this total production of £120,000,000, in round figures New South Wales is to be credited with £41,000,000; Victoria, £32,000,000; Queensland, £15,000,000; South Australia, £11,000,000; Western 'Australia, £16,000,000 ; and Tasmania, £5,000,000. I direct the attention of honorable members to the fact that the poor State of Western Australia is -third on the list. There are 540,000 engaged in our primary producing industries, including manufactures, and they produced each year £222 per head. Our production per head in the agricultural, pastoral, and mining industries is about three times as great as that of the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Spain, Norway and Sweden, Holland, Belgium, or Switzerland. It is about twice as great as that of France or Denmark, and one-and-a-half times as great as that of the United States of America. The mineral production of Australia, prior to 1852, when coal was the only mineral raised, had reached a total value of £280,000. Since that time fifty -two years have passed away, and the total value of all minerals raised has now reached the astonishing figure of £611,180,000. an average of £11,750,000 sterling per annum for the fifty-two years. That total is made up of gold valued at £446,879,000 ; of silver bullion, silver lead, silver ore, and lead, valued at £42,780,000; of copper, valued at £40,338,000 ; of coal, valued at £51,555,000; and of tin and other minerals, valued at £29,628,000. The mineral production of the year 1904 was valued at £24,192,000, of which £16,000,000 was the value of our gold production. In that year, the total value of gold produced in the world was about £73,000,000, of which Australia produced £16,000,000, Canada £4,000,000, Transvaal £16,000,000, and other British possessions £7,000,000, the total production of British countries being £43,000,000 ; whilst the United States produced £16,000,000, Russia £5,000,000, Mexico £3,000,000, China £2,000,000, and other countries £4,000,000, or £30,000,000 altogether. Perhaps I may be permitted to add that of the £16,000,000 produced by Australia, a little more than one-half was produced by Western Australia. In this connexion I should like to read two extracts from last Friday's newspaper : - >The dividends paid by the Western Australian gold-mining companies for the first seven months of this year amounted to ^1,384,707, making a total distribution from the inception of the State's gold industry to date of ,£12,956,922. > >The Mount Bischoff Company has declared a dividend of 7s. 6d., payable on 31st instant, making ^2,004,000 paid in dividends since the inception of the company. > >Those are two good records for the States of Western Australia and Tasmania. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- One company at Broken Hill has produced over £8,000,000 since it started. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- It is estimated that half of the value of the primary producing industries, including manufactures, is produced by the industries coming under the head of agricultural and pastoral industries and dairying. There are 390,000 persons engaged in those industries, and the annual value of their production is about £60,000,000. The total value of the sheep in Australia is about £42,000,000; of the cattle, £42,000,000 ; and of the horses, £16,000,000, making in all £100,000,000. It may not be generally known that there are as many sheep in Australia as in the rest of the British Empire. The value of the milk, butter, and cheese produced in 1903 - I regret that I have not later figures - was £5,500,000. There were then 1,250,000 milch cows in the Commonwealth, and they produced 344,000,000 gallons of milk, over 100,000,000 lbs. of butter, and nearly 14,000,000 lbs. of cheese. These are tremendous figures for a new country. In 1871. the total production of our primary industries, including manufactures, was valued at £47,000,000, as compared with a probable value to-day of £120,000,000, an increase of 153 per cent, in thirty-three years. As evidence of the thrift of the people, I would mention that in 1904 the deposits in the savings banks of the Commonwealth amounted to £34,658,430. At the end of 1894 the amount was only £19,626,841, so that during ten years there was an increase of £15,031,589, which, I am glad to say, has been gradual from year to year. The. number of depositors increased from 694,035 in 1894 to over 1,100,422 in 1904, an increase of 406,387. Then, too, insurance is more common in Australia than in the United Kingdom, the United States, or Canada, the number of policies in force here per thousand being nearly double those in force in the United Kingdom or in the United States, the insurances on the lives of our people amounting to £[132,000,000. Our friendly and benefit societies have a membership of 300,000, and funds equal to £[3,000,000. I wish now, in my concluding observations, to say a few words about what I think a great wrong being done to this country by the action of many persons both here and elsewhere, who seem to think it their duty to disparage it. The facts which I have just put before the Committee, and which will be found set out in the following tables, should make us proud of Australia, and of what has been done by our citizens : - Some persons, however, seem to think, because the)' do not like this or that provision of an Act of Parliament, that the country is being ruined by its legislation. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- The right honorable gentleman does not believe it. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- I do not believe it. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Not now. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- He never believed it. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- If there is anything iri) a measure that is not approved of there is nothing to prevent our taking the first favorable opportunity to have it repealed. I regret to say that the principal offenders in the respect to which I have referred are often those who owe everything to this country, and those who fare sumptuously every day. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr Lonsdale: -- Like the right honorable gentleman. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- I never decry my country. I always have a good word to say for it. If I could not say a good word for it, I should say nothing. As I have said, the principal offenders are those who fare sumptuously every day, and have every cause to be satisfied with their lot in this country. I have often heard it stated that capital is being withdrawn from this country, but there is no foundation for any such statement. Information to this effect was said to have been derived from reliable sources, and when I accepted the portfolio of the Treasurer I set myself to ascertain if there was any foundation for it. I searched and I could find none, but I was able to obtain abundant evidence to the contrary. The deposits in the banks amount to £96,000,000, and the gold reserves represent £21,500,000, a larger amount than has been held by them during the, last ten years. There is more money in the Savings Bank than ever before, the deposits having been increased by £15,000,000 during the last ten years. I find conclusive testimony in support of the view I take of this matter in *Coghlan,* from which any person may ascertain for himself the true position of affairs. At page 257. *Coghlan* says - >During the period 1891 to 1903 (thirteen years) there was an excess of exports over imports of £89,267,000, while the tribute paid by Australian Governments to creditors outside the Commonwealth in the same period was certainly not less than one hundred and seventy-seven millions - so that the indebtedness of Australia to British and foreign creditors was apparently increased during the period by about eighty millions, allowing for some seven millions sterling, imported by immigrants. It does not appear from this that Australia is an unsafe place in which to invest capital. {: .speaker-KNI} ##### Mr Harper: -- Who says that? {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- I have heard it stated many times that capital is being withdrawn from this country. As *Coghlan* points out, Australia has during the last thirteen years increased her indebtedness by £80,000,000. I am afraid that the damaging statements which have been made have left an injurious impression in the minds of some persons, who will not read or think for themselves, and that a belief has been engendered in their , minds that Australia is an unsafe place in which to embark in enterprise or to invest capital. A pessimistic feeling has been encouraged by those who owe everything to this country, and ought to feel the most satisfaction. They imply that things are not as they ought to be. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- What did the right honorable gentleman say when he was speaking in Perth in April last? {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- I said then what I am now saying. I said that I could notice the pessimistic feeling which was abroad, and that there was nothing in it. I told the people to be of good cheer, and not to despair, . because the country was never in a better state. Although I was not in office, and did not agree politically with some of those who occupied the Treasury benches I had faith in the future, and I told the people to be of good cheer. I never decry my country for the sake of political advantage. This pessimism, this fear, this disinclination to embark upon any project or enterprise has borne fruit in the community. Many people, including some members of this Legislature, apparently think that nothing can be prosperous in the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- They will not even build the transcontinental railway. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- I am coming to that. This fear as to the future is blinding many people to the utility of a great project intended to connect the east and west, to join together the people of two sides of this vast continent in a bond of everlasting Federation. When I see pessimistic statements with regard to that great project, regarding which I venture to predict the same people will think differently in a few years, a most painful impression is left on my mind, accustomed as I have been to take 'a sanguine view of the future of Australia. What is the use of Parliament unless it exercises all the powers of State in order to carry out great works of public utility and advantage for the improvement of the public estate and of the condition of the people ? If we are to be merely a legislating machine, we shall not fulfil the expectations reasonably indulged in with regard to the Federation. The whole of the representatives of a State - whose total contribution towards the preliminary expenses in connexion with carrying out this great project which I have so much at heart, and which would confer so much benefit upon Australia, would not exceed £1,000, spread over a period of three years - seem to be determined to oppose even an inquiry into a proposal in regard to which the representatives of Western Australia in both branches of the Legislature are unanimous. Representatives of the State referred to have banded themselves together to defeat that project. {: .speaker-K5D} ##### Mr King O'malley: -- To which State, does the right honorable gentleman refer? If he alludes to Tasmania, I would remind him that I voted in favour of the Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta Railway Survey Bill. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- I cannot but feel that pessimism and parochialism are strong forces here, when they are inducing people to lose confidence in the country which has done so much for them, and for all of us. Surely we should all realize that railways are the mainspring of our progress, and that by their aid Australia has been made the great country she is to-day. Our railways have cost £134,000,000. We have built 15,000 miles of railways, which produce an annual revenue of £12,000,000, and return over 3 per cent, interest on their cost. I thought that the time had gone by when any one would have to urge that railways open up the country, break down isolation, and make us one people in reality. Surely, with our knowledge and experience, we should have every reason for feeling confident, and have no cause for fear. Let us not forget that Australia is in her strong, ambitious, and vigorous early life, and that - >In the lexicon of youth, which > >Fate reserves for a bright manhood, there is no such word > >As - fail. I have only a very few more words to say. I thank honorable members for the consideration which they have shown me. In conclusion, I ask them to turn their thoughts for a moment to Australia as a whole, and to forget that they belong to separate States. Let us glance round and note her position in the world. Let ,us see what her people have done and are doing. Thev have raised £611,000,000 worth of gold and other mineral wealth from the earth since 1852, including £^24,000,000 during 1904. East year they raised £16,000,000 worth of gold; the production has doubled during the past eight years. In IQ04 they had 12,000,000 acres of land under cultivation, and the area is increasing. In that year they exported £5,280,000 worth of wheat - the highest value upon record. During the same period they exported £2,500,000 worth of butter - the highest value on record. Within the same period they exported £17,000,000 worth of wool. In 1904 their external trade was valued at ,£94,500,000, the highest upon record ; and' I am proud to say that 74 per cent, of That trade was done with the British people. Thev had on the 30th June, 1905, £96,000,000 in the banks upon deposit - the largest amount upon record for over ten years. Upon the 30th June last they had £21,500,000 in coin and bullion in the banks - the highest value upon record for years. Similarly, in 1904 they had £35,000,000 in the Savings Bank - the highest amount upon record. In that year their shipping aggregated 29,000,000 tons - the highest upon record. They had an external trade greater than that of many other nations of the world - greater than that of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, or Japan. They had a gold production equal to that of the whole of British South Africa, including Cape Colony, the Transvaal, Orange River, Natal, Bechuanaland, Basutoland, and Rhodesia, and four times as great as that of Canada. They had a wool production eight times as large as that of the whole of British South Africa, and forty times as great as that of Canada. Their live stock numbered four times as many as the live stock of the whole of British South Africa, and six times as many as were possessed by Canada. Their external trade was equal to that of Canada, and £11,000,000 greater than that of the whole of British South Africa. Of the £611,000,000 worth of mineral wealth raised from the earth' since 1852, the gross total gold yield was £447,000,000, which was eleven times as great as that of Canada, the grand result in the production from primary producing industries, including manufactures, being equal in value to about £120,000,000 a year. This is the work that has been and is being done, and I venture to think that it is a great record. It is a record of which we in Australia may well be proud. When, therefore, we hear Australia decried and misrepresented for political or other purposes we may turn our thoughts with pride and satisfaction to this record of what has been and is being done by a small number of British people, totalling only about 4,000,000. We shall no doubt always have political troubles and difficulties to contend with. Ours would be a humdrum place if it were not so. But, after all, we are all striving to win the same goal. Irrespective of where we may sit in this Chamber, we all wish to uplift and improve the condition of the masses of the people, and to make the lot of the toiler better, easier, and happier. If that be not our object, our labours must be unprofitable and unsatisfactory, both to ourselves and to others. Those who complain and those who are dissatisfied must always remember that this great country was never intended as a place in which a few people might live and flourish. Surely it was intended to be another Britain, another home for our race, upon which I hope and believe a brighter and happier day will dawn. In that future I trust that those who come after us will be able to maintain in this great southern land all those sterling qualities and characteristics which-, through the centuries, have made our nation great and prosperous. I move - >That the item, "President, £1,100" be agreed to. {: #subdebate-12-0-s2 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I congratulate the Treasurer upon the grand and glowing panegyric regarding the prosperity of Australia with which he concluded his speech. I venture to say that there are very few honorable members who entertain sentiments which run in any wise contrary to those to which he has just given utterance. Certainly I know of no honorable member of this House who can be classed in the category which he denounced so vigorously. I know of no member of this House who, when out of office, has so persistently vilified his country, and the forces at work making for trouble and unrest, as the right honorable gentleman himself. When I heard him speaking as he did just now, my thoughts reverted to a recent utterance -by him in Perth - an "utterance to which he gave expression as late as April last. Upon that occasion I find that he alluded to the pessimism which he declared to be permeating Australia, much to its disadvantage- {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member is misquoting me. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I have not yet quoted the right honorable gentleman, let alone misquote him. He deprecated this pessimism. He urged that it had no justifica-tion except in one or two particulars, which I shall mention. Referring to one of the reasons why there was such terrible pessimism, he said - >You could feel it as you walked about. The terrible disinclination to invest money in the country was because their rulers did not know where they were. The rulers were looking after a section of the community and were not sufficiently mindful of the great interests of the people, rich and poor, weak and strong, whoever they might be. Here is the right honorable gentleman alleging that the only reason which could justify any pessimism in Australia at present was the absence of that broad and generous attitude with regard to the Government of the country as a whole, a condition which he deprecated so heartily throughout the recess. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- Will the honorable member give the name of the newspaper from which he quoted? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I quoted from the *West 'Australian.* If honorable members will look up the reports of the right honorable gentleman's speeches during the recess, they will find that he was constantly indulging tin diatribes against the third party in the House, and attributing to them all those causes for pessimism which he so heartily denounced to-day. I agree with the right honorable gentleman that as regards the outlook of Australia, there is really no cause for pessimism. Whatever difficulties we may have to face, we shall be able to face them, I venture to say, in that spirit of self-reliance which has enabled us to overcome all our difficulties in the past. I think with him that we may face the future without any fear, relying on the great resources of the Continent of which we feel so proud. In the delivery of the Budget to-day, he has made one or two departures which have not been to the advantage of .honorable members. In the first place, he showed a strange reluctance to place us in possession of the papers which (have always been distributed 'so generously' and promptly, prior to the delivery of the speech. I find that they are not of that assistance to honorable members which 1 expected they might be, for the simple reason that they have been rearranged very considerably, and it is not so easy to find information in them now as it was during the time of the late Treasurer. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I do not think they have been re-arranged. They have not been re-arranged by me, anyway. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I venture to say that there has been very considerable rearrangement of the papers, and I think it is very much for the worse, lor instance, one has to search in an entirely different direction now for information. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- There has been no rearrangement. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I think the Prime Minister had better not make that statement. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- The head of the Department has just given me that information. Mi. JOSEPH COOK.- I make with confidence the statement that there has been a very drastic re-arrangement of the papers. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- The head of the Department says not. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- For instance, we have to look to page 71 to find the effect of section 87 of the Constitution, and there we get a comparison for two years only, whereas in the time of the late Treasurer we used to get a table showing the gradual decrease under that section from the time the Commonwealth began its existence. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- It is given on the previous page. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- If it is given on the previous page, I venture to say it is not given in the form to which we have been accustomed. It is quite sufficient for some honorable members to laugh ignorantly, as they do, without knowing anything, about the papers. But it is not so easy to obtain information from the papers now as it was formerly. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The same officers prepared them. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I am not saying who prepared the papers, but pointing out that it would- have been better to adhere to the form in which they were previously presented. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- The form has been strictly adhered to. The head of the Department says that not a single change has been made. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- With the greatest respect to the head of the Department, I venture to say that he is labouring under an illusion. However, that is all by the way. We have not had very much Budget from the Treasurer to-day. He seems to have laid himself out to make a defence of the primary industries of Australia, and to show investors in other parts of the world what a grand and glorious country this is. All that is very much in its place, I admit, and I agree with the right honorable gentleman that we cannot too clearly place all our resources before people abroad who are interested in these matters. The best thing we can do for the credit of Australia is to wisely husband our resources, and, above all, our finances. That is the primary duty we owe to Australia in the rehabilitation of her credit in various parts of the world. In this connexion, the Treasurer let fall a sentence which to me seemed to mean a great deal. He said that next year every effort would be made to spend within the financial year the money which had been appropriated. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- That is, for new works, buildings, and1 additions. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Any one who knows the right honorable gentleman will not doubt that statement. It is that attitude on the part of Ministers which may well fill other honorable members with apprehension. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- In the case of previous Ministries, honorable members complained that the money was not spent within the financial year. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- No matter who> complains, I venture to say that it is not a bad offence to save the people's money, and decline to spend it. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- It is playing with Parliament to ask honorable members to vote money, and not to spend it. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I venture to say that, whenever Parliament is faced with a position of that kind, people outside will regard it as the best of all omens as to the way in which our financial resources are being husbanded by those in power. When I look at the personnel of this Government, I am bound to say that I see no guarantees for the economical administration of affairs. Every one knows that the Treasurer is a man of large and stately ideas. We all remember how, a little while ago, he told the House that a million or two was neither here nor there. When he was talking about that railway of his, to which he so constantly refers, he told us that a million or two was nothing. Only the other day the Minister of Trade and Customs, when speaking in his electorate, declared this to be the meanest Parliament he had ever known. From such statements one may learn his ideas with respect to matters of finance. Looking back at the careers of those honorable gentlemen in their State capacities as guardians of the public purse, I say that we have every reason to be apprehensive as to the effect of their administration on the finances of Australia. The Minister of Customs has made a declaration as to the meanness of the Federal Parliament; and every one knows that before he came here he spent millions upon millions in New South Wales, and left somebody else to bear the burden. The honorable member introduced the large scheme for the Svdney harbor wharfs, though he never raised a penny towards it himself : and since then there has been a constant struggle in order to finance this project, about which he boasts so much at times. Then we have the present Treasurer, a man of large notions in regard to public expenditure, and we also have the Vice-President of the Executive Council, who has been associated in his past career with some good big fat ' things in the way of public expenditure. Then there is the Prime' Minister himself, who in the past has been associated with the spending of millions of money on schemes of water conservation and irrigation. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- Which are just being completed. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- But much of the liability has, I believe, been repudiated. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Some people can see further than others. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Altogether, one looks in vain to find in the composition of the Government any guarantee of a safe, wise, and prudent husbanding of the resources of the Commonwealth, such as we were accustomed to in the days of the present Treasurer's predecessor. May I remind the Committee that there are forces operating in this House which' make for expenditure. For instance, we were told to-day of a. programme which is likely to be realized, or, at any rate, an attempt is likely to be made to realize it in the near future. We were told of an iron bonus, of a transcontinental railway, of old-age pensions, of an increase in the sugar bounties, and of a tremendous addition to the cost of working other functions which the Commonwealth has not yet taken over. These projects conjure up dreams of the expenditure of millions - and justifiably so. As this Government is supported bv a party which aims primarily at the realization of these extravagent proposals, we may well look to the future with the gravest possible apprehension. I do not propose to take up much time this afternoon ; and I should be glad indeed to see the ex-Treasurer, the honorable and learned member for Balaclava, take up the parable when the Committee resumes, as he is much better able to do than I can pretend to be. Every one knows that the exTreasurer revels in figures, and no one would be able to traverse the statements made to-day with greater intelligence, ability, a.nd aptitude. The first and most important interest to the nation is its finances, and this involves really every other question which is vital to the administration of a great Commonwealth like this. We have no right to take a shilling out of the pockets of the people over and above what is absolutely necessary for the prudent and safe conduct of the public services. There is a great temptation always to the Federal Government and Parliament, to hurry into excessive expenditure, owing to the fact that under the Constitution we are compelled to raise very much more revenue than we may ourselves spend. It is true that there are certain limitations in the Constitution, some of which, we hear to-day, the present Treasurer proposes not to continue. I wonder if this is a matter of recent development with the right honorable gentleman. I wonder if this proposal has anything to do with the caucus which forms the basis of the support of the right honorable gentleman. He has told us of the caucus programme with regard to matters involving the expenditure of money ; and, in addition, there are on the notice-paper proposals for running Commonwealth shipping, and owning our own iron and coal-mines. No doubt, the right honorable gentleman had all this in his mind when he said he had come to the conclusion that the obliteration of this limitation in the Constitution would be wise in the interests of Australia. If the Government take up the caucus programme, they must needs take up also the caucus finance; and we know that the recent Inter-State Conference of Labour representatives, decided pointblank against the retention of the Braddon section for a longer period than is provided in the Constitution. The people of this country will look with some concern on the attitude of the Treasurer in reference to this particular matter. Whatever else this much abused section has done, it has guaranteed an amount of money which, up to the present, has enabled the States to finance themselves. If this guarantee is removed, it ought to be only for the very gravest reasons; the matter ought not to be treated in that flippant, off-hand way which the Treasurer adopted towards it to-day. There is a great deal of difference, I admit, between introducing a popular Budget, and introducing a good sound Budget. A good sound Budget may not always be popular; a popular Budget, I suppose, means one in which expenditure of all kinds is promised freely. I heard one item of proposed expenditure to-day of which I fully approve so far as the -total amount is concerned. I refer to the increase in the Defence vote, which, I venture to say, is the one item in the whole of the proposed expenditure which the country will be prepared to receive with' favour. The great obligation resting on us is to see that the increased expenditure is put to a wise use, and made the most of for the purpose of replenishing and renewing and making more stable the forces on which the defence of the Commonwealth depends. Therefore, I heard with the greatest possible sympathy the statement that there is to be an increase of the total amount. As to other matters touched on by the Treasurer, I heard with some amusement his statement as to the population of Australia. Really the statement is a most disappointing one. The Treasurer told us that in this connexion we are not progressing as we ought ; and everybody is aware of the fact. This Government, however, is pledged to the country to find a remedy - to do something in the way of positive legislation. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- So far as lies with the Commonwealth,yes. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Government have promised some legislation with a view to overcoming the difficulty. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- Hear, hear. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- But is this not the time to submit some proposal ? Why the allusion, unless as a prelude to a proposal ? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- The honorable member will hear a little later. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Treasurer told us of the lack of immigration to this country, but he might have gone further and consulted **Mr. Coghlan** as to the way in which the present population is distributed. The figures in this regard are as alarming as any could possibly be, in view of the future prosperity we hope for Australia. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- The Treasurer quoted figures showing the population of the cities as compared with that of the country. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That is so, but I intend to supply some figures which the Treasurer did not quote. The Treasurer showed that 36 per cent. of the total population of New South Wales is in Sydney, that41 per cent. of the population of Victoria is in Melbourne, that 45 per cent. of the population of South Australia is in Adelaide, and that 23 per cent. of the population of Queensland is in Brisbane. I have taken the trouble lately to look into this matter in its broad features ; and I find that we stand out before the world in a very unpromising light indeed. Take New York, for instance, I find that it con tainsonly 5 per cent. of the population of . the United States ; Berlin has 4 per cent. of the population of Germany ; Paris, 10 per cent. of the population of France; and London about 12 per cent. of the population of Great Britain. The new countries that are being opened up, and are coming more and more into prominence in the imagination ofthe world - . such as. Canada, for instance - contrast very materially with our position. For instance, I find that Montreal has a population of only 266,000,, and Toronto a population of only 207,000, though Toronto is the capital of a province which has double the population of a State like Victoria or New South Wales. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- Does the honorable member think that the comparison is fair in view of the fact that there are in America twenty or thirty cities bigger than Melbourne or Sydnev ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Does not the honorable member see that I am emphasizing the need for more cities in Australia, in order to remedy the curse of centralization which goes on increasing? During the last forty years the population of Sydney, as compared with population of New South South Wales, has increased from 27 to 36 per cent. In Melbourne there has been an increase from 28 to 41 per cent. In Adelaide there has been an increase from 23 to 45 per cent., and in Brisbane from 12 per cent. to 23 per cent. Thus there is a steady growth of centralization throughout the States of Australia. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- That is not peculiar to {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- If it is not peculiar to Australia that does not alter the ugliness of the facts ; and I venture to say that the way in which centralization is progressing in Australia is a poor tribute to our social and ameliorative legislation of the last twenty years. There is this tendency of people to remain in the cities in spite of all we may have done to induce them to go to the country. This increase of the city population would not be so much to be regretted if there were not going on at the same time a decrease in the rural population of the country. Take the figures of Victoria, which were supplied to me to-day. I find that in 1871 there were 44 per cent. of the people living in the rural parts of the country. To-day the percentage is 41. After forty years of hard effort to settle people on the lands of the country, and to keep them there, in a condition of decency and comfort, the result has been a steady decrease in the rural population. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- Of course the term " rural " includes the mining population, and there has been a large decline in mining. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That is so. But the great decrease, so far as I can make out, is tin the urban population. Whereas the proportion to the town population used to be 27 per cent, it has now fallen to 16 per cent. But although there has been a great decrease in the urban population there has been a slight decrease in the rural population. We are not making up that leeway.- For instance, last year the percentage was 41*38. This year it is 41'l These are figures that indicate a mischievous state of things which, I venture to say, ought to engage the most serious attention of all who wish well to the future of Australia. Practically, we have the population congested in certain centres. These cities are like great warts upon the social body, and are doing much to bring about the lack of an increase, not only in our population, but in the distribution of a wide state of comfort and of plenty. I hope that the Government will face this problem in some way or other, and I assume that they will probably do so by making proposals to the States. I fail to see in what other respect they can do anything. I know that it has been suggested that we can do a great deal bv a more adequate advertising of our resources in other parts of the world through the medium of a High Commissioner. I am not sure we shall not do a great deal less in that direction than we are sometimes apt to think. The best way to develop Australia is to stop this drift within our own borders - to stop these disastrous and ugly figures from being disseminated with truth throughout the centres of the old world. The Treasurer told us something about the figures as to Australia's financial position, and from all that I could gather the total revenue is still decreasing. I find that there is a decrease in the estimate for the year of £70,000, as compared with last year. The Customs receipts are steadily falling ; and on the top of this steady decline in our income there is a steady upward tendency in our expenditure. For instance, our revenue is practically what it was when Federation began. It has not varied very much. But our expenditure is £873,000 a year more than it was when we began to exist as a Commonwealth. I" venture to say that with the small margin now remaining within the one-fourth to which we are limited under the Constitution, and this steady decline in the revenue, it will need all the care*, of our resources of which we are capable to escape trouble in the near future. The outstanding accounts against the Federation are not taken into this account. We have yet to settle. with the States in regard, for instance, to the transferred properties, lt is true that the Post and Telegraph Department shows a profit of £25,000 for the year. But no deduction is made on account of the large item of interest on the post-offices which ought certainly to be debited to them. Every one is very glad indeed to see that there has been an increase in the postal revenue of Australia. That is one of the tests of steady material advance. But when these outstanding matters are settled there will be revealed a sad condition of things in regard to the margin which is returnable to the States. I find that last year we were able to give back to the States £734,000. The ex-Treasurer estimated that the amount which we should be able to give them would be £600,000. So that there must have been some large savings made under his *regime,* or some moneys unexpended that increased the payments by £134,000. This year again there is an estimated drop in the amount payable to the States on this account to £469,000. This shows clearly that we are up to the limit of our financial resources already in the Commonwealth. I suppose that if the interest were paid on the transferred properties, the whole of that £469,000 would be pretty well absorbed. We are therefore tight up against the limit prescribed by the 87th section of the Constitution at this early stage of our Federal career; and when we have met those postponed obligations which have to be faced, and when matters of policy entered upon by this Government under pressure from certain quarters are paid for, one must look to the future with the greatest possible concern, so far as regards the financial relations between the Federation and the States. And, after all, I fancy that the pivotal point in our Federal finance is the relation that our figures bear to the needs and resources of the States. Hitherto the utmost possible has been done to look after their resources for them. So far they have been able to get along very well, but there has been a haunting fear on the part of the States of any new departure in expenditure on the part of the Federal Government. Now, we have a Government with large and spacious promises to fulfil, and without any margin left within the one-fourth of possible expenditure with which to meet its huge and costly programme. I, therefore, think we shall do well to search the Estimates, and to take the expenditure into serious consideration from time to time. We should see that a reference to the financial question shall colour all our relations to the general policy of the Government, and should view that policy from the financial point of view also. Although we have none of the resources guaranteed to us by the Constitution left to work upon, the Government is airily discussing the question of dealing out £300,000 in the shape of bonuses for the production of iron. We are told that we are to have an Old-Age Pensions scheme put before us in some concrete form at a very early date. Then we are told that shortly, if the present Government remains in office, the third party will compel the Government to do something in the direction of nationalizing the tobacco industry. So we can multiply the items of possible expenditure proposed until we_ shall have a huge bill for presentation to the people of Australia. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- Does the honorable member believe that the nationalization of the tobacco industry will involve expenditure? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I am sure that, in its initial stages, the proposal will involve very serious expenditure. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr Robinson: -- It will cost £5,000,000 to buy out those now engaged in the industry, and where is that money to be got? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I am absolutely certain that in its initial stages any proposal of that kind must involve a very large drain on the funds of Australia. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- T do not agree with the honorable member. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I base my forecast upon our experience of the past. Does the honorable member for Wide Bay not know that we have hardly a Government Department in Australia to-day that pays its way? It is true that the railways are paying just now in some of the States. They are paying in Victoria this year; but honorable members must not forget the long series of years during which there was a continuance of heavy deficits in the working of the railways. No private concern could be carried on in the way in which the States railways have been carried on. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- No private railway company would have given such concessions to settlers as the States have given. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I am speaking now purely from the point of view of our Federal resources. I say that the outlook from the multiplication of agencies, which are not made to square the balance in their working, bodes ill for a sound and healthy condition of the finances of the Commonwealth in the future. There is one other matter to which I would like to allude, and that is the very gingerly way in which the Treasurer treated the question of the mail contract. While the right honorable gentleman was saying that he thought it better to ask the House to agree to the contract, expressing no opinion on the merits of the proposal, I was wondering if he could be the same right honorable gentleman who, during the whole of the recess, was strong upon this point above all others in urging that nothing should be done to interfere with our mail communication in any way. The right honorable gentleman almost screamed at the late Government to bring this matter to an issue as quickly as possible. Now, forsooth, when this increased expenditure has been suggested, on the right honorable gentleman's representation as much as on that of any other member of the House, he merely tells us that on the whole the Government think it better to accept the contract. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- To whom did I make any representation ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The right honorable gentleman screamed during the whole of the recess about this matter, pointing out that his own State of Western Australia would be injured if these mail services were interrupted in any way, and denouncing as wrong and dishonest the section in the Post and Telegraph Act which led to the trouble. Now that an arrangement has been made which has the effect of getting the right honorable gentleman out of all his troubles, from the point of view of the State from which he comes, he deals with the matter in a most ungenerous way, and leaves it to be inferred that if he had his will, and could reopen the question, he would not do what has been done. I say that the right honorable gentleman was not generous in his treatment of the question ; he was not even just, having regard to his attitude during the recess. Of course, things are altered now,, and all criticism of the mail contract comes from the Labour corner, where honorable members are strong on what they term this increase in the Socialism payments of the Commonwealth to some persons to whom they refer as " foreign capitalists." They have denounced it from the house-tops, and the Treasurer speaks of the matter with bated breath accordingly. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I do not think that statement is just. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- This is the brave champion who denounced the contentions of the Labour Party as wrong. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable member will say anything after that. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The right honorable gentleman is now following their lead, and talking to them as gently as a sucking dove. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable gentleman does not mean that. Why should he not be natural ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I mean to say that there is no honorable member in this House who has so completely turned rightabout face, in the space of five or six weeks, as the right honorable member for Swan. This has been observable throughout the whole of the right honorable gentleman's Budget statement. He never once challenged the party in the Labour corner as he used to challenge them when they sat over here. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I never said anything against honorable members opposite, either. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Here is a question on which the right honorable gentleman was perhaps more emphatic than he was on anything else, ' and now he apparently admires the attitude of the Labour Party with regard to the mail services of Australia. There is only one other item to which I shall make any allusion. With the whole of the facts before him, the right honorable gentleman seems to have laid himself out in his Budget speech! to show only the most favorable side of everything. Take the question of the sugar bounties, and what do we find ? He told us to-day that there is an increase in the acreage of white-grown sugar. Why did the right honorable gentleman not tell us at the same time that there is a greater increase in the acreage of black-grown sugar? It would have been only fair to mention that {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I gave the percentages. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- And that is all that is relevant. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Tight honorable gentleman gave only the increase in the area of white-grown sugar, and when I asked him for the other figures he said he had not got them. I have them here, and shall submit them to the House, which has a right to know them1. Surely honorable members are not afraid to face the question of a White Australia, so far as it affects the growth of sugar in the Commonwealth? What are the facts? Notwithstanding the huge bounties in which we have paid already a sum amounting to £419,000- {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- We shall have done so by the end of this year. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- We shall have done so by the end of the year, and here is the result for that expenditure : Whilst the increase last year in white-grown sugar was from 45,000 to 47,000 acres, there was an increase from 74,000 to 78,000 acres in black-grown sugar. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- White-grown sugar has increased fourfold since the White Australia legislation was introduced. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I am speaking of last year only, and I am taking the figures as they are presented to us. On those figures I say there was a greater increase in the acreage of black-grown sugar in Queensland than there was in the acreage of white-grown sugar. I was one of those who faced the question of the sugar bounties in relation to the establishment of a White Australia, and I feel that these figures will be a great disappointment to even the most optimistic supporters of the White Australia principle, who consider them. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- We say that they are evidence of the very great success of the policy. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Perhaps the honorable member will presently show how that can be so. The area under cultivation by black labour has increased from 74,000 to 78,000 acres. Does he call that evidence of success? {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- The ratio of increase, comparing white with black labour, is as two to one. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I will leave it to the honorable member to make that statement good. The figures show that the area tilled by white labour has increased from 45,000 to 47,000 acres, and the area tilled by black labour, from 74,000 to 78,000 acres. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- The honorable member* would be safer to take the returns relating to the yield of sugar. That is the actual test. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I have not those returns at hand; but if I remember rightly there has been an increase in the production of sugar by black labour. What I shall regard as an indication of the success of the principle will be a decrease in the quantity of sugar produced by black labour. There cannot be said to be a decrease while both the area tilled by black labour and the production of sugar from that area are increasing. The result of the policy of encouraging the employment of white labour in the cane-fields by the giving of bounties has proved a great disappointment to me. I am moved to say that, because every £1 put on sugar is so much handicap to the fruit-growers of the Commonwealth, and to take a fair, equitable, and comprehensive view of the situation we must consider their interests. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- There is a duty of between £13 and £14 a ton on jam, jellies, and other manufactures of fruit coming into the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I think that the honorable member is wrong in that statement. To my knowledge our fruitgrowers are handicapped in the way I have stated in manufacturing their fruit into jam, and are prevented from doing an export trade in jam with the markets of the world. The difference between £5 and £6 rebate is the difference between profit and loss on such an export trade and one has to consider whether the bounty system is worth continuing, when, instead of the area tilled by black labour being reduced, it is increasing. I know that the honorable member for Wide Bay is anxious to have this matter put in its proper light, and I shall therefore be glad to hear what he regards as the explanation of the increase in the area of cane-fields tilled by black labour, and in the production of sugar grown by black labour. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- I have always advocated giving the full drawback to the jam-makers of the Commonwealth who export their commodities. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The least we can do is to give them that rebate as soon as we can. Since we are not getting all that we expected to get from the granting of these bonuses, we should see if we cannot give a little modicum of equity to the fruit-growers of Australia. The Treasurer has suggested that the Government will extend the payment of bounties for a period of another five years and I have very reluctantly to admit that that course seems inevitable. I wish that it were otherwise, and that I could see my way to vote for anything else. We seem, however, to be committed to this policy, and we must, I presume, continue it. But I express the earnest wish that during the next five years we may see, if not the entire disuse of black labour, at any rate its reduction almost to the point of zero. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- The honorable member can be sure that there will be a great reduction. {: .speaker-JWA} ##### Mr Carpenter: -- Would the honorable member favour the tapering off of the bounty during the five years? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I think that it should be made to taper off at the earliest moment possible, with a view to its early and complete annihilation. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- Would the honorable member favour increasing the excise and the bounty as well? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I am asking the honorable member and the other advocates of the bounty system who know the local circumstances for an explanation of this ugly aspect of the White Australia problem in the north of Queensland. I shall listen sympathetically to anything they may say in explanation; but the fact remains that, after the spending of so much money during several years, there is still a steady increase in the production of sugar by black labour in Northern Queensland. I shall not say any more on the subject now. I was glad to hear the figures which the. Treasurer gave showing the solid and sound position in which Australia stands before the world. No matter how issues may be clouded at times, by reason of party. passion and strife, no one can have any other wish than that Australia shall appear in the best light possible on the other side of the world, where our interests are so huge, so direct, and so delicate. A country which has a , public debt of £250,000,000, and an even greater private indebtedness, must always be careful of its credit in the eyes of the world, and the more we can publish items showing the immense prosperity of our primary industries the better it will be for us. ' {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr Robinson: -- There was a very great under-statement of our wheat production in the figures that were read. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I do not think so. They were supplied by the Government Statist. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- We all share the right honorable gentleman's feelings in this matter; but, thank Heaven, these things are not due to Parliaments. We may fetter and hinder our great primary industrial resources, but, in spite of all we can do, they will continue to progress. This progress is not due to legislative action, but to those kindly and providential bounties which have been dowered upon this young Commonwealth by the Creator. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- And to the making of railways. {: .speaker-KNJ} ##### Mr Mauger: -- And of waterworks. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Of what use would railways be if we had not the seasons and the soil? We may do something to vfacilitate the means for tickling the soil to make it smile a harvest ; but all that we can do will not amount to very much in comparison with the operation of those great natural forces which bring prosperity upon any country which is so magnificently dowered as Australia is. I therefore congratulate the House and the country upon the position placed before us by the Treasurer in that regard, and I hope that the Government will do nothing during their occupancyof office to check the upward tendency of the primary industries of Australia. I trust that their legislative, and particularly their financial proposals, will always have some regard to our relations with the great money markets of the world, and that our credit will be, as it should be, the best in Australia, and second to none in the world. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 1240 {:#debate-13} ### MANUFACTURES ENCOURAGEMENT BILL (No. 2) {:#subdebate-13-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed from 10th August *(vide* page 849), on motion by **Sir William** , Lyne - >That the Bill be now read a second time. **Mr. LONSDALE** (New England).There is an idea abroad that men like myself who oppose this kind of legislation, and the imposition of heavy protective duties, have no desire to see industries established in the Commonwealth, but I can assure honorable members that no one wishes more heartily than I do to see established here industries that will live of themselves. My objection is to industries becoming parasites upon the others, of which we have heard so much in the course of the Treasurer's Financial Statement, Industries which will not live of themselves must of necessity draw their support from others, and, instead of conferring benefits, become a burden. Therefore, I urge that if events are allowed to take their natural course, manufactures will arise to supply the needs of the people. I regard the iron and steel industry as of the utmost importance, because I recognise that its products form the basis of some of our most valuable manufactures. If we could produce iron and steel to greater advantage than we could procure it from other parts of the world, it would be a good thing for us to establish the industry in our midst, but if: the production of our, own iron and steel is to have the effect of hindering and hampering other industries, we shall make a great mistake if we attempt to establish the industry here by artificial means. No industry can last for any length of time if it be so established. If an industry will not stand upon its own merits, and yield a profit to those who embark in it, it cannot endure. It has been said that the iron bonuses granted by the Canadian Government have had the effect of establishing the iron industry in that country on a firm and satisfactory basis. If that had been the result it would not have furnished any strong argument in support of the idea thatthe adoption of the bonus system here would be attended with success. I think it can be conclusively shown that so far from the bonus system in Canada having proved successful, the reverse is the case. In 1884 the Canadian Government offered bonuses for the production of iron. Until 1898 the production of iron in the Dominion had not increased to any great extent. In 1884 the production was 29,593 tons of pig iron made from Canadian ore, and the imports of iron, represented 52,184 tons. The production fluctuated for several years, and in 1897 had increased to 33,254 tons,_ whilst the importations had fallen to 28,940 tons. In 1898, the pig iron made from foreign ores amounted to 53,463 tons, whilst there was a decrease of about 13,000 tons in the amount of pig iron made from Canadian ores. Looking at the history of the industry, one gathers that in 1894, and again in 1897, an alteration was made in the conditions of the bonus, and the increased production in 1898 appears to have resulted from the increase of the bonus in the previous year. I gather from the records that - >In the session of 1894, an Act was passed providing that the Governor-in-Council may authorize the payment of a bounty of $2 per ton on all pig iron made in Canada from Canadian ore, or a bounty of $2 per ton on all puddled bars made in Canada from Canadian pig iron made from Canadian ore, and a 'bounty of $2 per ton on all steel billets manufactured in Canada from Canadian pig iron and such o'ther ingredients as are necessary and usual in the manufacture of steel billets. These bounties were applicable till 26th March, 1899, in the case of furnaces in ope'ration on 27th March, 1894, and in the case of furnaces commencing operations subsequent to that date, but before 27th March, 1899, for five years from the date of commencing. This Act was repealed by Chap. 6 of the Acts of 1897, which authorized the Governor-General to give (1) a bounty of $3 per ton on steel ingots manufactured from ingredients of which not less than 50 per cent, of their weight consists of pig iron made in Canada ; (2) a bounty of $3 per ton on puddled iron bars made from Canadian-made pig iron; (3) a bounty on pig iron manufactured from ore, of $3 per ton on the proportion produced from Canadian ore and $2 on the proportion produced from foreign ore. It was under the encouragement of these bounties that the production of pig iron from foreign ores was commenced in 1897. In 1899 it was decided that the bounties should gradually be reduced, and finally disappear. It was just at this particular period that the great increase in the iron production was brought about. In 1902 the production of iron from foreign ores rose to 268,553 tons, as compared with 67,000 tons in 1900. In 1900, 34,000 tons of iron were produced from Canadian ore, whereas in 1902 the production had increased to 73,000 tons. That was a considerable increase, but I think that if the history of the industry be studied, it will be realized that the ad vance was due to the establishment of the Dominion Iron and Steel Company. This company then came into the industry, and it is claimed .that the bonus which was altered in 1897 was the great inducement to embark in the manufacture of iron. A careful investigation of the surrounding circumstances, however, shows that there is no foundation for any such idea. The company started operations at a time when the law provided that the bounties should gradually disappear, and therefore there must have been some other stimulating cause. Just prior to their starting operations, the great American Steel Trust was formed with the object of controlling the iron and steel industry of the United States. The capitalists who promoted the Dominion Iron and Steel Company thought that the prices of iron and steel would probably be greatly increased, and therefore they joined in establishing works at Port Sydney. The company was formed with the object of competing with the American combine that was intended to control the whole of the markets of the world. The existence of deposits of iron ore about Port Sydney, near Cape Breton, had been known for years. These deposits were not of a very high value, but in addition there were large measures of coal of the very best coking quality. Indeed, so good was its coking quality that it was converted into coke and sent to Pittsburg, where if was used for the purpose of smelting the iron ore. Then, about fifteen miles along the coastline - so that it could be brought by means of water-carriage direct to the mill - were immense deposits of limestone. Across the port, upon Belle Island, were large deposits of extremely valuable iron ore. {: #subdebate-13-0-s0 .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- Across the harbor, upon Belle Island, there were large deposits of iron ore of the very best quality, and on the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador other immense deposits exist. I have no doubt that this is the foreign ore which is alluded to in Canadian statistics. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- I think that that was used more for shipment than anything else. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- No. I have already pointed out that deposits of coal, iron ore, and limestone - indeed, everything that is required - exist in close proximity to the mill. Further, Port Sydney is 1,200 miles nearer to Liverpool than it Is to Pittsburg, and 1,000 miles nearer to the Mediterranean than that same manufacturing centre, whilst it is actually nearer to Cape Town than is Liverpool itself. Consequently, its position gave the persons interested immense advantages for supplying the markets of the world with their material. It was these factors which brought the iron and steel company into existence, and not the payment of the bonus. It is true that they have succeeded in getting the bonus extended for one year, so that it will now expire in 1907. Notwithstanding all these natural advantages, the iron and steel industry of Canada has been practically a" failure. If any one will read the account of the industry, and say that it is a success, well, I do not know what he would call a failure. From 1900 to 1902 there was a very large advance of 240,000 tons in the production of pig iron, but that advance did not continue. From 1902 to 1903 there was an advance of 5,000 to 6,000 tons in the production of iron from foreign ores, but in the production of iron from Canadian ores there was a reduction of 27,000 tons. In the financial year there was a reduction of 20,000 odd tons in the production of iron. But when we come to consider the production for the calendar year, which differs from the financial year,f we find that there was an actual decrease of 54,000 tons in production in 1903. as against 1902, and an increase of 56,000 tons in the importation of pig iron in 1903. That at once conveys an idea of the failure of the bonus system. Not only did Canada grant a bonus on the production of iron, but it also levied a Customs duty on the importation of that article. Despite the import duty and the bonus, in 1903 there was that large reduction in the production of iron, and that large increase in the importation of pig iron. Of course, there is a large amount of iron required in Canada. In a controversy I had with **'Mr. Sandford** - one of the gentlemen who are so patriotic that they wish to sacrifice themselves on the altar of their country if they can secure its money - he pointed out the great success of the Canadian works by indicating the exports of iron and steel during certain years. When I looked at the figures, and made an inquiry, I found again that **Mr. Sandford** must be a. man of very sanguine temperament, if, in the light of the exports, he could describe the industry as a success. Take the exports of iron and steel goods manufactured in Canada during the six years prior to 1903. The total value of these exports in 1898 was $606,000; in 1889, $206,000; in 1900, $1,425,000 ; in 1901, about the same as in 1900; in 1902, $2,460,000; and in 1903, $3,263,000. The increase in the value of the exports of all kinds of manufactured iron, including pig iron and everything else, from Canada in 1903, was about £600,000. **Mr. Sandford** quoted these figures in his controversy with me in the press, to show the enormous success of bounties in establishing the iron industry in Canada. But I ask any man of common sense whether those figures point to a success? If the figures,, which I have taken from the *Statistical Year-Book of Canada),* are correct, can the Minister point to a grosser failure than that? What are they doing in the Dominion to-day, because of the import of some 64,000 tons of pig iron against the local factories? They are surtaxing the imports to the amount of the difference between the Canadian and the American price. That is another of those extraordinary things which men do so sensibly. I shall not say that the Minister has not much sense in this matter, because that would not be parliamentary, but it does seem to me extremely idiotic to increase the price of the raw material to the great bulk of the manufacturers for tlie purpose of seeing a blast furnace going. In Canada they are crippling their industries, and injuring the whole of their export trade by the surtaxing of the raw material which has to be used. In reply to **Mr. Sandford,** I said, " If that is a success I should like to know what is a failure." If the large exports he announced indicate a success, I should like to know what the large imports indicate. {: .speaker-KVJ} ##### Mr Storrer: -- Canada is a great success, though. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- The honorable member, who has never looked into these things, and does not understand them, says that Canada is a great success. From what point of view is it a success? He knows, if he knows anything about the matter, that it is a great success from the agricultural point of view. Protection does not help agriculture in any form, but cripples it, It is the volume of immigration, and the methods of settling people on the land, which have brought about the success of the Dominion. Honorable members talk of the success in Canada, when they do not know the meaning of the word ; and I think the honorable member to whom I have referred ought to make his remarks more relevant to the subject. The iron and steel imports into Canada in the year 1898 amounted to $16,552,761; in 1899, to $29,768,725; in 1900, $23,300,073; in 1901, to $26,780,458; in 1902 to $32,973,602; and in 1903, to $42,609,068 - an increase in the six years of $26,000,000 in all kinds of manufactured iron required in the country. In the face of such figures, can any one honestly say that this manufacture has been a success in Canada under the tonus system? Canada has the most splendid advantages of any country in the world ; and yet these are the results achieved by the Dominion Iron and Steel Company, as a result of the bonus and the duty. The natural advantages of Australia cannot be compared with those of Canada. In the first place, we are not, as Canada is, in close proximity to the big markets of the world. I would again remind the House that Port Sydney, where the works of the Dominion Iron and Steel Company are situated, is 1,200 miles nearer to Liverpool than is Pittsburg, and, moreover, is 1,000 miles nearer to the Mediterranean than the last-mentioned city, and nearer to Capetown than Liverpool itself. Surely the Minister, in the face of such facts, will admit that there is no possible chance of our competing with Canada in this industry. **Mr. Sandford** was interviewed the other day, but I have not replied to him in the press, because the newspaper reached me only the other day. **Mr. Sandford** in March last stated that over 30,000 men would be afforded employment by the establishment of this industry in Australia, and he added that, in his opinion, he had not overestimated the number. **Mr. Sandford,** has been to Canada, and has given us an account of what he saw there. He has told us that at Port Sydney there is a city of 16,000 inhabitants, and somewhere else another city of 2,000 depending on the industry. According to these figures, the number of men there employed would appear to be something like 3,000, or, in the two places he mentioned, not as many as he says would find employment here. But gentlemen in the position of **Mr. Sandford** must make statements which stimulate the imagination, and which appeal to the people who have to put their hands in their pockets to pro vide the charitable fund for the support of the industry within the Commonwealth. If those men asked for charity, one might have some little sympathy with them; but they represent themselves as great patriots, whereas the real truth is that they only desire to help themselves. When I was fighting this matter during the election, I said I had no doubt that **Mr. Sandford** would tell those to whom he was appealing that the establishment of the industry would "keep the money in the country." I advised the electors to keep their own money in their own pockets, where it would be just as much "in the country," and would do more good to them than if it were in the pockets of **Mr. Sandford,** who, I felt sure> would not feel inclined to distribute it very much. Such gentlemen must think that we are fools. There may be fools amongst us, and others to whom another designation might be applied; but we are not all fools. In 1903 the value of the imports into Australia of iron and steel goods of every kind, including sewing machines, wringers, mangles, and so forth, was £7,000,000. This divided out amongst 30,000 men comes to something like £233 each; but I cannot believe that the capitalists would consent to the whole of it being distributed amongst the employes. On the contrary, I think that they would insist on having a big share themselves. It is utterly absurd to use the argument about our manufacturing the whole of the iron goods we require. I do not know whether **Mr. Sandford** has any sense, because I saw him for the first time only the other day, and was not long in his company. Had I known he was **Mr. Sandford** I am afraid I should have deliberately said to him what would not have proved pleasant, but not being aware of his identity, I left the company. I like to talk to these men whose one object is to rob the people. They have not the courage to go out into the open to rob, but they want the law to assist them. I like to tell them what I think about them. There can be no doubt as to what they are after. When we analyze our iron imports, what do they amount to? Taking all the kinds of iron that we might be able to produce here - bar, rod, galvanized sheet and plate, girders, beams, joists, columns, hoop, pig, plate and sheet, scrap, ingots, and blooms - we import a total of 154,000 tons. When we add the higher manufactured kinds, we have chains, nails, wire nails, staples, staves, wire, iron, and steel barbed wire, bringing the quantity up to 193,000 tons. When to that quantity we add rails and other railway material, which I estimate at 75,000 tons, we have a total of 268,000 tons. Surely it is not expected that 30,000 people will be employed in the manufacture of that quantity of iron. It would take twenty Arbitration Courts to keep up the wages. There is a clause in the Bill for the purpose of maintaining wages, but if 30,000 people are to be employed, I am afraid that they will earn a very poor pittance. Look at the facts as we will, we must realize what little hope we have of making a success of the iron and steel industry. **Mr. Jamieson,** who is one of these very patriotic gentlemen - a wealthy man - wants to encourage the people by establishing an iron industry ; " the people " being himself. He tells us' that he expects that the works will manufacture 150,000 tons of iron per annum, and that employment will be given to 3,000 men after the works have been started about four months, at an average of £3 per week. That amounts to £9,000 a week, or £468,000 for fifty-two weeks, for the manufacture of 150,000 tons of pig iron. There is nothing for the capitalist. He is not in it. I wonder how long the capitalist is going to stand out? **Mr. Jamieson** tells us in his evidence, on the authority of an expert, to whom they paid the sum of £4.000 to come out here and look into the business, that the actual cost of the works to produce the quantity of pig iron mentioned would be £1,109,000. He says - >That amount covers all expenditure connected with the starting of works capable of an output of 150,000 tons per annum. I am in possession, also, nf the details of the proposed method of laying out the mine. The sidings, approaches, and all loading docks at Burnie would cost ^26,049. Specially-constructed steamers, suitable for carrying heavy material, such as ore and coal, would cost ^122,000. An amount of ^45,137 is set down for wharf and unloading arrangements at Sydney. There is a site near Sydney, of which we have acquired the right of purchase, and upon which we have paid a deposit. It was estimated that the cost of reclaiming it and erecting wharfs would be about ^45,137. Then he goes on - >Coal bins, washery, and coke ovens would cost j£io6,7q6; ore and coke bins, blast furnaces and auxiliary plant, ^215,182. I may here mention that **Mr. Darby** is one of the greatest experts upon coke-making in Great Britain. He says that to show how accurate the figures must be - >The cost of the hot metal mixer and open hearth steel plant is estimated at ^133,172; the mills and auxiliary plant at ^175,934; whilst the general expenses are set down at £57,706. These estimates were arrived at after a careful survey of the ground. They certainly ought to be very correct, as they were obtained from thoroughly good data. Of course, in connexion with the proposed company it would be necessary to provide a big working capital, and accordingly **Mr. Darby** allows ^160,000 for the expenditure of £10,000 a week for four months before he expects the company to derive any return. The cost of finishing the railway to the mine is estimated at about £50,000. That estimate was obtained from our own engineer's report, and the sum mentioned would be sufficient to construct the line and to provide rolling-stock as well. Of course, it is a very close estimate. But that is not all. These promoters are very good. They low the people. Such folk always do. The £1,109,000 is not to be provided out of the £500,000 which represents the amount of the shares held by the promoters. The money is to be raised in some other way - by debentures, or some such means, I presume. That is where the public will " drop in." There is no doubt that this scheme will be a very good means of robbing the public all round if it is allowed to go through. I suppose that we cannot prevent it, no matter what criticisms we may bring before the House. lt appears to me that there are not sufficient honorable members to rise to the occasion and to vote out this proposal in the interests of the public. If the money is raised, half an 'debentures and half in capital, interest will have to Be paid at, sa>'> 3z~ Per cent. In that way £17,500 will have to be paid every year in interest on debentures. Then, if the rest of the money is raised by way of capital, people cannot be expected to put their capital into a business of this kind without having a dividend of at least 5 per cent. There another £25,000 is represented. The two sums together amount to £42,500. Then the 500,000 shares will, I suppose, also "be expected to pay a dividend to those who put their, money into the venture. They will want another £25,000. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr Robinson: -- They are philanthropists - they will not expect any dividend. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- Of course, every one of them is a philanthropist, but he will expect his dividend all the same. A sum of £60,000 or £"70,000 will have to be paid in interest. These expenses will add another 10s. per ton to the cost of the iron, making the cost £3 10s. per ton. Mi. Jamieson's own figures lead us to expect that £3 ros. per ton will be the cost of the iron produced. Yet **Mr. Sandford** tells us, in a statement made to the press, that they have been able to obtain pig iron delivered on trucks in Darling Harbor, at 67s. per ton. **Mr. Sandford** says that it is impossible to produce iron without a bonus, to help the promoters to compete with the oversea iron. The works will be started at Lithgow, and the contention will be that, as iron can be landed in the other States from abroad more cheaply than from the Lithgow works, a market for 150,000 tons will not be at their command, as they expected, and they will want a duty. These philanthropists, who do like to help the people so long as they can get their hands into the people's pockets, will want a duty imposed on imported iron. I do not imagine the duty will keep out imported iron any more than it did in Canada, but it will handicap every other industry in the Commonwealth that has iron for its basis. This will be done in order to help one industry which cannot succeed except by living as a parasite upon every other industry in the Commonwealth. It is time that our people awoke to the fact that industries must develop along natural lines, or else become absolute failures. Viewing the whole question, it seems to me to be the greatest absurdity to attempt to establish this industry in our midst. **Mr. Sandford** absolutely admits that the raw material to be got in the Commonwealth is not as good as that to be got in other countries. He says - >Wc have, in Australia, good qualities of raw material, though we have not the best, and our raw material can be treated at Lithgow as cheaply as in any other part of the world. It was not likely that he would say that it could not be treated as cheaply at Lithgow as elsewhere, because he wants this measure for his own advantage. **Mr. Sandford** is supposed to know all about the subject, and he ought to know all about it. His desire is for the establishment of these works at Lithgow, that he may reap some advantage from it, and may help himself at the expense of all the rest of the community. The Eskbank Iron Company owns any quantity of vacant land in the township of Lithgow. If the general public are compelled to put their hands into their pockets to enable the company to establish blast furnaces there, it is possible that for a short time they will succeed, as has been the case with many industries that cannot stand on their own feet when they have been propped up for a time. But what will be the effect? It will be to increase the price of all the lands held by **Mr. Sandford** and his company. I say that if **Mr. Sandford** desires that we should do something for him, we should insist in this Bill that if the iron industry is established successfully at Lithgow, the increased value given to the land as the result of its successful establishment shall go to pay these bonuses. We should say that we will take from that land the enhanced value given, to it by the expenditure of the money of the State in the payment of these bonuses. That is a fair proposal. Why should we increase the value of any man's estate by robbing the public for his advantage? The thing is absolutely absurd on the face of it. We should not do what is here proposed with our own money. The honorable gentleman who has introduced this Bill would not put a fraction of his own money into this business. If he had control of millions, he would not put a penny into it. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- Would I not? {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- I mean to say the honorable gentleman would not pay away any of it as a bonus to others for the establishment of the industry, and that is what he is asking the people of the Commonwealth to do. I feel very strongly about this proposal. I believe that it is a pure swindle. I use the term advisedly. When I look at the evidence given before the Commission and the statements that have been made by men who know all about the business it is clear to me that this is simply a method of swindling the people. I feel so strongly on the subject that I shall spare no effort to block the Bill- Honorable members who are supporting this measure would take very good care to keep their own money in their pockets, and would refuse to give any of it for such a purpose; yet they are prepared to deal in this way with money which is not their own. I remind them that they are custodians of this money; that thev hold the revenue of the country in trust, not for the purpose of bolstering up industries that must fail, not to give it to rich capitalists to enable them to boom shares on the market, and enrich themselves at the expense of the country, and then drop the whole thing, as this will be dropped. We have no right to do that. Honorable members who are here to guard the interests of the country have a right tto use every effort in their power to block a swindle like this from going through. We hear a good deal of talk about encouraging local industry, and no man would be more pleased to see local industry succeed than [ ; but no industry will ever succeed that requires to be bolstered up in the way here proposed. I shall seek to embody a clause in the Bill to provide that to the extent of any bonus we pay we shall become entitled to a share in the dividends if the venture should succeed. If we put the capital of the country into this business, and it returns a dividend, have we not a right to ask for a share of the dividend, seeing that it will be as much our capital as the capital invested by private persons in the industry will be theirs? I am afraid the forces against us are too strong. Honorable members appear not to care what becomes of the country, so long as they can enrich these capitalists, and help them to fleece the community. {: .speaker-KED} ##### Mr Kennedy: -- The sensible people are in a majority now. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- That may be, but if my opinion were asked, I should say that there is not a great deal of sense amongst many of them. I have no intention to go through the whole of these items to show how utterly absurd it is to expect the establishment of this industry to provide the amount of work that lias been spoken about. I have already shown that the industry has failed to achieve the results anticipated in Canada, though it is close to the markets of the world, and has command of those markets as we have not here. So far as the manufacturing industries we have are concerned, we should consult their interests very much better, and should do better for the men engaged in them by refusing to accept this proposal. The imposition of duties on imported iron is bound to follow from this proposal, because if there should be any failure or any falling off in any way, we shall have the men engaged howling for their lost industry as manufacturing people are howling all over Melbourne today. We find that industries that have had protection for years past cannot stand with what they have had. We shall have a repetition in this Parliament of the lobbying which we have already experienced. We shall again see what we saw here the other day, when we found a number of gentlemen sitting in the Speaker's gallery, because there happened to be a discussion in the House in connexion with an industry with which they were concerned, and in connexion with which they tried to induce the Minister to raise the price of imported articles for their own benefit. Everywhere this kind of thing destroys the moral stamina of men. It makes them prepared to descend to anything to secure what they are not entitled to. {: .speaker-KED} ##### Mr Kennedy: -- As the importers of spirits did when the Tariff was before this House. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- The honorable member for Melbourne Ports, who is the great authority on the question, can give the honorable member for Moira all the necessary information on that point. From the experience of the past, we realize that these manufacturing people are never satisfied. If you give them an advantage of a duty of 10 per cent., they will want 15 per cent. ; if you give them 15 per cent., they will want 20 per cent. ; if you give them 20 per cent., they will want 50 per cent. ; and if you give them 50 per cent., they will want 100 per cent. They are like the horse-leech continually crying "give," "give," "give." They are political horse-leeches - political octopuses. I shall use all the power I possess to defeat this measure. I realize that if the capital necessary to start the proposed iron works be raised the unfortunate shareholders will lose it. Those who are promoting the company are the only persons who will make any money out of the project. As soon as they have unloaded their shares on the market the unfortunate members of the public who invest in the company will be left to their fate, and the industry will be abandoned. I feel sure that the industry cannot be carried on with success, and I shall spare-no effort to defeat the Bill. {: #subdebate-13-0-s1 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas -- The speech of the honorable member for New England, which was delivered in language as forcible as his matter was convincing, has saved some of us the trouble of discussing at great length the effect of the report of the Iron Bonus Commission, which was laid upon the table last year. The honorable member is to be complimented on the excellent case he presented against the attempt to create, through the agency of the measure now before us, a very large monopoly throughout the States without conferring any corresponding benefit on the Commonwealth. I said "throughout the States," but probably the industry will be confined to one State. It ought to inspire us with caution when we find that the report presented by the Commission is signed by only six members, and that there are six dissentients, among them being the leader of the Labour Party. The honorable member for Bland is not a freetrader, and, therefore, it cannot be said that the free-traders took one side and the protectionists the other. It is somewhat condemnatory of the report on the strength of which the Bill has been introduced, that one member of the Commission who would be likely to favour the adoption of protectionist lines and the encouragement of native industry should see fit to throw the great weight of his influence against the Ministerial proposal. In his Financial Statement, the Treasurer told us how bonuses which are granted for a short period are likely to be continued. The bonus proposed to be granted under the Bill is to expire within a few years, but we know, not only from experience in Canada, but from what has happened to us in connexion with the sugar tonus that this will be merely the beginning of a large system of subsidies for the iron industry, which will have to be continued in proportion, not to the success, but to the failure of the enterprise. The experience gained in Canada ought to be conclusive on this point. In 1884 the Canadian Government commenced a system of subsidizing the iron industry. At that time subsidies were not really called for, because that was about the middle period of the very large production of iron throughout the world. That production has increased enormously during the last few years, not because of protection or the operation of bounties, but almost entirely owing to the increased demand for iron caused by the substitution of iron and steel ships for wooden vessels, and steel and iron bridges for structures of wood and stone. This has led to a tremendous increase in the demand for it, so great, in fact, that even the United States, with its very rich deposits of ore, has at times suffered from a dearth of iron. Even in these days we find that occasional dearths of iron in the United States have to to met - and this is very significant - by supplies from Canada. This circumstance alone shows that the Canadian iron manufacturers have available to them a large field such as is not at our command, for the disposal of any surplus. Notwithstanding that the Canadian Government commenced in 1884 with bonuses, which were to be granted only for a few years, the system was subsequently extended, and in 1897 the bonuses were increased. Further, it is very significant that, although the policy of the Government was to encourage the production of pig iron manufactured from native ore, and the highest bonus was granted for the production of such iron, the greatest production has taken place in iron manufactured from foreign ores. This shows the failure of the policy; so far as it was intended to stimulate the use of native ores. A report on this matter presented to the Board of Trade sixteen or seventeen months ago conclusively showed that, although the highest bonus was granted for iron produced from native ores, the larger quantity of iron produced in Canada was made from the foreign ores. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr Lonsdale: -- Only about one-fifth of the iron produced in Canada is made from native ores. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- Yes; the iron produced from native ores amounts to about 46,000 tons, as against 276,000 tons manufactured from foreign ores. Another significant fact is that in December, 1903, there were only about seven furnaces in blast, five having been shut down. This was partly caused by the fact that the machinery used in the production of iron soon gets out of date; and it should inspire us with caution. If capital is now to be invested in machinery on the strength of a bonus which will expire in a few years, and that machinery soon gets out of date, those who are engaged in the enterprise will have an additional reason for coming to us and asking for an increase of the bonus. If they do not ask for it, and they continue to use the old machinery, so much the worse will it be for the industry. The Canadian manufacturers have an outlet for their surplus product, because they are near to the United States market. The time will come when there will be a surplus for export from Australia. Our consumption of pig iron amounts to only 33,000 tons per annum, and that quantity could very easily be turned out. Therefore, we mayassume that, as in Canada, there will very soon be a surplus for export. The Canadian iron has been dumped into Great Britain at very low prices. We could not follow such an example, because there is a great difference between Canada and Australia, so far as distance from the English market is concerned. Not only is there the difference in distance, between 3,000 and 14,000 miles, but there is also a marked contrast between the number and character of the vessels plying between Canada and Great Britain and those engaged in the Australian trade. Consequently, the freights between Canada and England are much lower in proportion than the difference in distance would suggest. These conditions would, to a very large extent, militate against anychance we might have of supplying the mother country under a preferential trade arrangement - I hope it will not be brought about - although it might help Canada to dump her iron into the markets of Great Britain. What markets would be open to us for the disposal of any surplus we might have? Japan could not afford us an outlet. She has iron works upon which £2,225,000 has been expended. Surely such works would be capable of successfully competing against any petty establishment we might have here. We know, also, how strong is the desire of the Japanese to meet their necessities by means of their own productions. Neither in Japan nor China could we hope to find a market, because in the latter country a proposal has been made to establish iron works. In view of these facts alone, we may well ask where is the justification for offering to iron producers £304,000 of the public money. Of course, the proposal sounds verv fetching when it is described as an effort to enormously increase the means of employment for labour in the Commonwealth. The Bill itself has a sort of Pecksniffian title. This is one of those Bills which is calculated to "fetch" the people when it is flourished upon the public platform. Nevertheless, it is a measure the benefits accruing from which will not bear a very close analysis. If we look at these considerations broadly, it will be seen that the Bill is not called for, and - as has been shown by the honorable member for New England - it will simply lead to the creation of a huge monopoly at the expense of the consumers, and very largely at the expense of the States, whose money it is proposed to appropriate for the purpose. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- Is not provision made in the Bill to break down any such monopoly ? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I do not think so. I say that the consumers will be very heavily hit by this measure, because - as has been shown by **Mr. Pearson,** who is associated with Messrs. Martin and Co., of Gawler, South Australia - it will lead to a great increase in the cost of the raw material of a vast number of industries. That fact is evidenced by a mere glance at the schedule. All the manufactures which are there enumerated will be enhanced in price by the taxation of the raw material, which is so very largely used in the great concern of which **Mr. Pearson** is one of the chief engineers. Under the operation of the Bill the Government will be throwing away £304,000 of public money to increase the cost of. articles which are very largely consumed by themselves. So that there are really two methods by which the Government will be got at for the benefit of a few private individuals, who are mostly absentees. According to the report of the Iron Bonus Commission, the Governments of the States annually consume £400,000 worth of rails and £304,000 worth of pipes. In other words, £704,000 represents the value of their annual consumption of the raw material upon the production of which it is proposed to grant a bonus. Subsequently, a pretty stiff taxation is to fall upon the manufactured article. Let us suppose that the incidence of that tax is 10 per cent., which is one of the *ad valorem* rates mentioned in the Bill. The importations of galvanized iron alone represent a value of about £772,000 per annum. So that if 10 per cent, be levied upon the total annual importation of iron and steel manufactured, it will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. That amount it is proposed to exact from the people with a view subsequently to subsidizing the industry. That is the amount of taxation that it is proposed to give away not the amount - as was shown by the honorable member for New England - which will be surrendered by the Treasurer upon the imposition of the suggested duties. Of course, I am assuming that those duties will be effective to keep out imports. This Bill will really benefit only one or two States. Surely it is not expected that every State will embark upon the iron industry merely because iron in a crude form happens to be found within its borders ! It is not for a moment anticipated that South Australia would derive any benefit by. starting works at the Iron Knob far away from any coal supplies. The idea is preposterous. Yet that great Iron Knob blow has been described in the evidence taken before the Commission as a tremendous deposit of payable ore. As a) result of this subsidy are enormous works also to be started in Tasmania ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- No; it is proposed to take the ore from there to the works at another place. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- Then I do not understand where the economical production conies in. We may have inland iron works established in New South Wales and Victoria, and we may be obliged to carry, either by rail or water, the ore from distant places to those works. I suppose that the same remark is applicable to the coal deposits. The Minister will probably say that the cost of carriage is immaterial- {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- The ore will be taken to the coal, and to the central manufacturing works. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I am, aware tff that. We know the difficulty experienced by some works in America by reason of their having to cart the ore 2,000 or 3,000 miles, and we are all familiar with the great economies of carriage which have been effected by Carnegie and others in order to overcome the expense incidental to the cost of production. There is not the remotest chance of any equality of benefit being derived from the payment of this bonus, owing to the fact that the States are not likely to compete with one another for it, and also to the circumstance that the supply will very soon outrun the total consumption of Australia. As regards the labour which may be employed in the industry, I would point out that, in answer to question 2066, **Mr. Pearson** says that 200 tons per day would probably be sufficient to supply the needs of Australia, and that 350 tons per day could be turned out by fifteen men. Where, then, is the benefit to be derived bv labour under this Bill? Of course,, if we take into account every telegraph clerk who may be engaged in working the telegraph system between the seat of operations and the city, and every policeman who mav be engaged, we may prove that there will be a very fair number employed. But what we have to consider in connexion with an attempt to fix wages through the Arbitration Court, is the number of men who are actually provided with employment, as the result of the payment of the bonus, and of the operation of the proposed duties. **Mr. Pearson** shows that fifteen men will turn out 50 per cent, more iron than is required to supply the needs of Australia. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- I do not think that he knows much about it. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- He ought to know a good deal more about it than some of us laymen. He has had experience in Canada, America, and Germany, and is, I think, the leading engineer in Messrs. Martin and Co.'s establishment at Gawler, which is one of the principal firms in the Commonwealth, as the Minister must know from various tenders which were sent into New South Wales, but were not accepted, for reasons of which I am perhaps ignorant. **Mr. Pearson** also states that there must be a corresponding duty levied upon the finished article. Consequently, one system of protection leads to another. We must protect the iron foundry in the first place, and then we must protect the finished article. In reply to question 3082 he says it would increase the cost of raw material, and that the finished article must be taxed; and in reply to question 3083 he thinks that an increase of the raw material will lead to a diminished consumption. If it leads to a diminished consumption, surely that is a serious matter? Are we to pass a Bill to encourage manufactures which will lead to a diminished consumption of the article we wish to be produced ? That is' a novel way of doing things for even a member of Parliament who attempts to do impossibilities at almost every stage of his political existence. Then **Mr. Pearson** tells us that, in his opinion, this industry is protected enough already. Taking the freight at 25s., and the charges at the shipping and receiving ports at 5s. a ton, he estimates that the total cost in this regard is equal to a protection of 50 per cent. Surely we do not wish to subsidize such an industry to the amount of £304,000 for benefits which are purely illusory, and the argument for which " appears to be only found in the title of the Bill- >An Act for the encouragement of manufactures in the Commonwealth. , Are honorable members sure that the iron deposits throughout Australia are reliable in quality ? I do not know that they are, and therefore I have to look to the evidence. What does it show us? One expert is absolutely sure that there is a vast quantity of commercial iron to be found in a particular blow, but another expert turns "ip afterwards who states that he is afraid that the previous one omitted a certain fact from his calculation, and that on sinking deep it is found that his analysis of quality is absolutely erroneous. Are we to ask for an expenditure of over £300,000 on that class of evidence? To show that there is no exaggeration about the inferences I am seeking to draw, I ask honorable members to look at the evidence of **Mr. Pittman.** In reply to question 16 he says the deposits from Carcoar " were found to contain a notable proportion of phosphorus ;" and in answer to question 23 he says that the Mittagong deposit was described by **Mr. Wilkinson,** a former Government geologist, as having an average thickness or depth of 25 feet, but that " we find by actual diamond-drill borings that it is nothing like that." ls that the class of evidence on which we are asked to establish these works? Some of the witnesses wind up, when pressed by a commissioner, by saying, " Oh, we are not experts." That, of course, is a splendid way to get out of difficulties. I ask honorable members to read the evidence of these so-called experts, and say whether it is the class of evidence on which the House should be asked to accept the assurance of the Minister that Australia is rich to a great depth in payable ore of very high quality, easily accessible to markets, close to coal, and therefore capable of economic production such as will enable us to compete against the markets of the world? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- The deposits at Blythe River were tested to a depth of nearly 800 or 900 feet. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- The deposits in the places I mentioned were tested, but other men discounted the effect of the first analysis. From start to finish, the Bill, like the policy on which it is based, is full of artificial expedients and provisions. Clause 4 provides that the value of the goods, for the purpose of the bounty, is to be fixed by the value of imported goods of the same kind and quality. It does not matter a bit whether the value is, as a matter of fact, much less or grc.11.er. The Ministerial method of doing this thing is to say that if the imported article is of a certain value the local product must be equal to it. That is a splendid assumption to go on. . That is a short cut to any conclusion one wishes to come to. A man has merely to examine the goods of another man and' to say, "If his goods are of first-class quality mine are," and that settles it. Under clause 7, the Minister who is omniscient in all these things and cannot possibly make a mistake, is to be invested with the tremendous power - one which, of course, is never liable to abuse, no matter what importunity may be practised - of refusing to grant a bonus unless he thinks the goods are of a good and merchantable quality : he is to be a perfect jack of all trades. Is he likely, on a mere estimate of quality, to refuse to give a bounty after (hundred's of thousands of pounds have been invested in the industry? I think the safeguards are purely illusory, and so far as they are based on estimates of value by the Minister, they are scarcely worth the cost of printing the clause. In clause 9 we are told that the wages are to be fixed. We are all delighted . to see high wages promised. I only hope that we are going to place upon the statutebook a policy under which high wages will be paid to hard-working people throughout the Commonwealth. But this is a little bill which is never likely to be paid, when the period of maturity arrives. The workmen are told that their wages will be fixed at the highest rate paid in similar industries, or, if no such industries exist, by the President of the Arbitration Court. I Have mentioned how many workmen are likely to be benefited.. The Duquesne furnaces in America employ about 500 men for an output of 620,000 tons annually. Our estimated output for local consumption is 33,000 tons a year. The 500 men include clerks, telegraph operators, draftsmen, and others whose services are occasionally necessary. But the number of men actually employed in the furnaces is very small. As **Mr. Pearson** said, about fifteen men can deal with an output of 350 tons a day. So that there does not seem to be much encouragement to labour from this statutory method of fixing wages at the maximum. The effect of the clause is to touch, not the policemen or telegraph operators, but only the workmen .md employees employed in themanufacture of the goods. Then the Arbitration Court has to fix the wages. But I do not know that we can force that Court to fix the wages for State purposes, for the clause deals with the wages to be paid in a State. The President of the Arbitration Court can, I think, refuse to deal with this matter. The constitutionality of the provisions of the Bill, so far as it seeks to force that Court or to give validity to its judgments in dealing with matters of this sort, is open to doubt. However, I do not wish to press that point too much. {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr Liddell: -- The Justices hold that they can only be called upon to exercise the judicial powers of the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- That point was raised in connexion with a matter where one would have felt almost sure that the Justices would accept whatever business this Parliament or the Attorney-General, under an' Act of Parliament, handed over to them. But the Justices say that those functions do not extend to them under the terms of their appointment, or under the provisions of the Constitution. There is a clause in this Bill which gives or offers a sort of option to purchase the iron works when they are started ; but I think this is largely more a bait than anything else. The option is to expire as soon as the bonus expires - not within a year or so,, but within some months, a blank being left in the Bill for the number. That is, the bond will expire, and after a few months there will be no obligation on the persons who signed it, to sell.' The provision of clause 9 is that the State, for so many months after the date of the expiry of the bounty, is to have the right to take the concern over on some terms to be prescribed. Except the bond, there is nothing to bind the persons, who take the bonus, to sell ; the State cannot sue on the bond, nor can the Commonwealth, to compel the sale, and the bond is at an end soon after the bonus ceases. There is, therefore, not much hope for those who favour the State resumption of these monopolies, that their policy will be carried out, and,- personally, I would far sooner support a State monopoly than give this public money to be wasted on absentee capitalists. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- There is absolutely no security for the bond. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I would not say there is no security, because I suppose the Government will see that adequate protection is given. But the bond is the only way of enforcing the obligation of this clause on the owners of the concern to be sold. This bond expires within a few months after the bounty is stopped, and the option sale is to take place just at the very inception of the industry, before the State knows whether the operation of the bounty will render the scheme successful. Surely the test ought to be applied when the crutch is taken away. We cannot see whether a man can walk naturally when he has his crutches ; it is when the crutches are taken away that we can estimate his strength. The Minister says that as scon as the bounty is established the State may purchase, but, when the bond expires, the obligation ends, and there is absolutely no power to compel the owners to sell either to the State, or to the Commonwealth. Under the circumstances, the provisions of the Bill are really delusive to those who support the policy. I differ from the policv, and object to the method. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- Cannot the bond be made effective ? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- As the Bill stands, I do not really know how the bond is to be made effective. I am dealing with the measure as it is ; it is not for us to frame Bills for a 'Ministry when we differ from them. I suppose, however, there is still sufficient Ministerial wisdom in existence to do the work. I do not desire to detain the House further. I spoke against the Bill on a former occasion, because I believe it will establish a, monopoly ; and, even at the risk of speaking a second time, I thought I would trespass to the extent of advancing some arguments, I hope, to a certain extent forcible, against the passing of the Bill. {: #subdebate-13-0-s2 .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER:
Riverina -- I do not intend to detain the House very long. It is quite patent that honorable members on the other side have made up their minds that there shall be no sort of encouragement for manufactures in Australia. That is the stand those gentlemen take ; whether the encouragement proposed be in the form of a bonus, or a duty, they contend that no assistance ought to be given to the manufacture of Australian products by Australian people. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- Not by this sort of method. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Nor by any other sort of method. So 'far as I can gather from the remarks made by honorable gentlemen opposite, and from the past careers of some of them, they at all times, and in all places, favour foreign trade as against home trade; and on this I join issue with them. I at all times favour the home trade. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Who has ever asserted that they favour foreign trade as against home trade? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Honorable members show that they do by their acts. When attempts have been made, not only in the States Parliaments, but in the Commonwealth Parliament, to give some encouragement to manufactures bv a system of duties, those attempts have been opposed with all the strength of honorable members opposite, on the ground that such assistance increases the cost to the consumer. And they continue to oppose all such movements, even when it is shown that it is not proposed to increase the cost by imposing a duty ; that the intention is to first establish1 an industry, and, when internal competition has been created, to then consider the question of protection. Neither in one way nor the other are honorable members opposite willing to assist in encouraging this great industry. The honorable and learned member for Angas has dived into the report of the Royal Commission ; but it would have been far better if he had done as I and others have done, that is, instead of depending only on the report, and picking out the portions which suit his political purposes, he had travelled over Australia, and seen for himself the capabilities of the country in regard to the production of iron. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- Does the honorable member think that nobody has done that but himself? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- No ; but I say that the honorable and learned member for Angas has relied more on his own personal knowledge than on the knowledge of those who can speak on this subject with authority, one of "whom he first classed as an expert, and then as a layman. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- The works are now extinct; but I was over one of the places when they were flourishing- {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr Mcwilliams: -- The honorable and learned member for Ang,as is one of the most careful men in the House as to what he says. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- I shall not quarrel with that statement, because I give the honorable and learned member great credit for the care with which he approaches all questions. At the same time, he is now acting in the capacity which is familiar to him - he is picking out only those particular portions of the report which suit his own case. We have not to consider whether this Bill is in the interests of the free-trade politician or of the protectionist politician ; what we have to consider is the establishment of an iron and steel indus.try in the interests of the whole Commonwealth. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- In the interests of a London syndicate. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- How does the honorable member arrive at the conclusion that a London syndicate is to establish these works ? {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- I find the information in the evidence of the Royal Commission. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr Robinson: -- Does the honorable member for Riverina not know that the matter is all " readied up " - cut and dried - and only waiting for the word ? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- I am not in possession of that knowledge. Honorable members who are interjecting seem to know that this .or the other syndicate is going to do certain things. But that is all innuendo, and I challenge the honorable member for Lang to give the names of the syndicate. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- Jamieson and Co. It is in the evidence for the honorable member to read for himself. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- I had a conversation with **Mr. Jamieson** on one occasion, and have conversed with **Mr. Sandford** on several occasions, and I accept what they told me, namely, that they believed they could get sufficient capital in Australia, but that, if they could not, outside capital was ready to come in. Is it a sin or a crime that outside capital should be brought in to develop our mineral resources ? {: .speaker-KED} ##### Mr Kennedy: -- We are told that honorable members opposite are thirsting, for outside capital. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- I have heard on several occasions, and read on many more, the epithets which, time without number, have been hurled against honorable members on this side of the House, because, as is alleged, they will not allow capital to come into Australia. They assert that certain legislation that we enacted has prevented capital from coming into Australia, and has driven capital out. But what does this Bill propose? It proposes an expenditure of £250,000 for the encouragement of the manufacture of iron and steel, that expenditure to be spread over a period of five years, and the bonus not to be paid to any manufacturer until he has made the iron and steel and put it on the market at a price not exceeding that at which it can be bought in the markets of the world. The proposal is not, as some of my honorable friends opposite have led us to believe, to spend the people's money in erecting buildings or anything of that kind. It is an invitation to all and sundry, and says to them, " If you have capital to invest, and believe that deposits of iron ore exist in this Commonwealth., and if you will produce iron and steel we will pay you upon the output a sum not exceeding £50,000 per annum. That sum spread over 4,000,000 people is not considerable, in view of the desirableness of bringing into existence a great industry which will give employment to a very large number of people. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- What guarantee have we of that? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Although only a certain number of men are required to produce a certain quantity of pig iron, yet iron and steel form the basis- for the employment of thousands of people, and may bring scores of other industries into existence. If we can encourage the manufacture of iron and steel we shall do what some honorable members fear we are going to do - break down that importing monopoly which has for so long operated to the disadvantage of the people of this country. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- And set up a monopoly of manufacturers. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Even if it were so, is it not better to have a monopoly of manufacturers whose operations are for the benefit of the people of Australia rather than a monopoly whose profits are for the benefit of outside people? The honorable and learned member for Angas said that under the Bill the Minister could not do this, that, and the other. We cannot expect the Minister in charge of such a measure as this to be an expert upon iron and steel, but what the House and the country will expect is that he will have experts to advise him. Observations made by the honorable member for New England and others show that they have made up their minds to do all they can to destroy th:'s or any other Bill giving any encouragement whatever to manufactures. The honorable member urged that the measure would impose an extra tax upon the consumers of iron. I should like some honorable member opposite to show us how it will do so, when the Bill compels the manufacturer of the iron and steel produced in Australia to sell at a price not exceeding that at which iron and steel are to be obtained in other parts of the world. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr Robinson: -- How does the Bill com pel the manufacturer ? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- The iron and steel must be sold at a price satisfactory to the Minister. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr Robinson: -- Suppose the manufacturers do not sell at the price? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Then they will not get the bonus. If they do not comply with the conditions the money will not be paid to them. Fair criticism is, of course, at all times acceptable and desirable, but I think that such criticism is absolutely unfair, because the Bill is as clear as the English language can make it in respect to the principle I have just mentioned. What reason is there to believe that a monopoly will be created? {: .speaker-KQP} ##### Mr McDonald: -- Does the honorable member think that the Bill will encourage the starting of a number of small manufacturers ? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- That depends on a number of considerations. We may expect as a result of the measure an increased consumption of iron and steel, and other manufacturers may start operations. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr Mcwilliams: -- Unless one company gets the whole of the work, its condition will be hopeless from the start. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- These are assertions that are not warranted by facts. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr Mcwilliams: -- That is the evidence of those interested. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Parliament is not here to grant a bonus to any particular set of persons. It is open to as many sets of persons as choose to manufacture iron and steel. When they have manufactured the article they will get the bonus, whether they are in a large or in a small way of business. But suppose a monopoly were created. The Bill makes provision for that. The Commonwealth could step in on the principles laid down in the Bill, and say, "You have created a monopoly; now we will take over your works." The question of Australian conditions of labour has been introduced. I do not for a moment attempt to set up my opinion against the views of legal members in regard to the powers of the High Court of Australia; but, reading the Bill as I find it, I have no doubt that the High Court will interpret it in accordance with the wishes of Parliament, and will insist on the conditions laid down in the Bill in regard to wages being complied with. Furthermore, unless the manufacturers comply with the conditions as to wages, they will not receive the bonus. Is it likely that any set of capitalists will be so foolish as to invest hundreds of thousands of pounds in an industry of this kind, and then say, " We will not comply with the conditions " ? {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- Will capitalists invest their capital under these socialistic conditions ? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Undoubtedly they will. The Treasurer, in his Budget speech to-night, showed that, whatever differences of opinion there may be amongst politicians, the position of this country, today is very high in comparison with that of any other part of the world, notwithstanding the socialistic legislation of the last ten years, and in spite of the efforts that have been made to frighten people from developing industries in the Commonwealth. Now I intend to say a few words to show that it is impossible under existing conditions to establish this industry without some assistance from the Parliament of the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- The evidence does not show that. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- It is within my own knowledge that one or two attempts have been made to do so in New South Wales. They have always been met by a combination of importers, who have so arranged the market as to bring down the price, and these attempts have resulted in the loss of thousands of pounds. The deputy leader of the Opposition is aware that in has own electorate scores of thousands of pounds have been invested in the endeavour to establish this industry successfully. As soon as iron has been turned out, and the local manufacturer been enabled to compete, with the assistance of the duty, with the importers, the price of imported iron has gone down, the importers have crushed the local iron out of the market, and as soon as they have once more obtained a monopoly of the trade, they have put up the price, and the consumer has had to pay. The honorable and learned member for Angas has said something about the local conditions, and I invite the honorable and learned gentleman to visit New South Wales, and he will find in one lease all the materials required - iron ore, coal, and lime. As for the labour required in the industry, I hope it is not true, but it is stated that there are now 30,000 unemployed in the city of Sydney alone. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- That is a fabrication. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- It may be so far as the actual number given is concerned, but the honorable member must admit that there is a very large number of unemployed in the city of Sydney at the present time. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- Yes, since we have had a protective Tariff. Ever since Federation we have had unemployed. {: .speaker-KED} ##### Mr Kennedy: -- Since the State ceased borrowing. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- According to the statement we heard from the Treasurer this afternoon, the Commonwealth Tariff has been the means of handing over to New South Wales £7,000.000 of revenue never previously raised in that State. That, in the face of this fact, the number of unemployed should have increased, is, to say the least, peculiar. Had it not been for the extra revenue received from Customs duties by New South Wales, it would appear that the number of unemployed there now would have been almost uncountable. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- Almost as great as in Victoria. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- I do not take such a provincial, narrow-minded view. I had hoped that long before this we should have dropped the habit of pitting one State against the other. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- Labour leaders have said that there are 12,000 unemployed in Melbourne. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- These provincial comparisons should not be discussed in this Commonwealth Parliament. We are here as members of a Federal Parliament enacting laws not for New South Wales or Victoria, but for Australia. {: .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr Fuller: -- The honorable member made that statement himself. _ **Mr. CHANTER.-** I did nothing of the kind. I merely replied to an interjection from the honorable member for Lang, who is very fond of making assertions for which he gives no warrant or proof. I claim to know a good deal more about New South Wales than does the honorable member. I spent twenty years of political life in that State, and nearly twice that time in the State altogether. My experience of it is at least on a par with that of the honorable member who has interjected. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- Then do not run the State down. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- I am not running the State down. It would be better for New South Wales if all her representatives in this Commonwealth Parliament were as good friends to the State as I am and have been. I am not one pf those who belittle New South Wales by making statements to the detriment of that State, which1 are subsequently published in other parts of the world. As an Australian, I say that Australia should be self-reliant in every respect. We should be prepared to forget our political differences, and to meet each other, in order to give some assistance to the establishment of this great iron industry in our midst. {: .speaker-KED} ##### Mr Kennedy: -- That note is too high for honorable members on the other side. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Experience teaches wisdom; and if honorable members opposite do not plead that they haw no desire to see this industry established in Australia, in the light' of all experience I ask them whether England, America, Canada, Germany, and every country in which the industry has been established, has not been immensely benefited by it? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- They might say where it has been established without protection. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- If honorable members admit that the establishment of this industry elsewhere has proved of advantage, I ask them to mention one exception to the rule that the iron and steel industry has been established only by assistance from the governing power. If, with the teeming millions which other countries have possessed, it has not been possible to establish this industry without Government assistance, how can we in this young nation expect to establish it without assistance in its infantile stages, to enable it to become the vigorous industry which it ought to be ? It is not for us to consider whether we shall in Australia be the centre of the iron and steel industry. That is not our object. Our aim and object, I take it, is to manufacture what we require for ourselves. Coghlan, the statistician, tells us as plainly as possible that on iron, and the raw materials used in subsidiary industries depending on iron, we are expending some £8,000,000 in importing what we should produce for ourselves with our own labour. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- That was for last year. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- I am referring to the last returns. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- If we could guarantee that trade, we should have the industry established without a bonus. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- As my honorable friend must know, the effort has been made to establish the industry in New South Wales both by bonus and duty, {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- No, it was not. If we had given the local manufacturer all the trade it would have been established. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- The honorable member and his leader attempted on one occasion, by a side issue, to give what practically amounted to a duty of 10 per cent, on iron and steel for the establishment of this industry. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- To what contract does the honorable and learned member refer ? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- To the contract in which the late **Mr. Mitchell** was concerned. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- I know all about that. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- The honorable member must admit that the New South Wales Government at the time were prepared to bind themselves to give the contract for the whole of the requirements of the Government to this particular company with which the late **Mr. Mitchell** was concerned, at a price which was to be fixed upon the export price of iron and steel from England, plus a certain percentage, which amounted practically to the same thing as a duty of 10 per cent, on the article. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- No such thing. It amounted to the import charges usually paid by the Government Department, averaging 12 per cent. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- I recollect quite well that, taking freight and charges and everything else into consideration, the price at which the Government supported by the honorable member for Robertson agreed to give their contracts was equivalent to a 10 per cent, duty. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- The 10 per cent, natural protection remains. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- The experience of the world shows that this industry has not been established anywhere without assistance, and the question for us is, what kind of assistance we shall give to secure its establishment in the Commonwealth? If we propose to impose a duty the freetraders object, on the ground that it will militate against the interests of those industries in which iron is used. If we say that we do not intend to impose a duty until we have secured the establishment of the industry by means of a bonus, they still' raise objections. If they show how the industry can be established by means other than those we propose, I shall be content to follow them. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- If the Bill is thrown out the industry will be established all right. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- I shall not throw away the substance for any such shadow. I -do not feel disposed to trust to my honorable friends opposite coming to the rescue. I was grieved to hear the honorable and learned member for Angas urge that the Bill should be rejected partly on the ground that it would confer benefit only on one State. I have always looked on him as a Federalist, and I did not expect to hear him express a narrow sentiment of that kind. Of what does he complain? What should any one of us care whether the industry were established in Western Australia, Tasmania, or any other State ? We know that no one of the States can be benefited without conferring advantage on the others. The education that we have received iri this Chamber teaches us that it is to the interest of Australia to produce everything it can, no matter in what State the operations may be carried on. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- We can produce iron without the assistance of a bonus. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- The honorable member has repeatedly made that statement, but he has not indicated how the result indicated is to be brought about". We have had fifty years' experience of legislation ; we possess, despite everything that has been said to the contrary, abundant deposits of iron, coal, and lime, and yet we stand here to-day in what, I conceive, to be the disgraceful position of having failed to avail ourselves of the great gifts which' the Almighty has conferred on us. If, as the honorable member for Robertson says, we can produce iron in Australia, why has not that been done? An attempt was made, but it failed, because the great forces of the importers' monopoly were brought to bear to crush out the home manufacturer. The great importing monopolistic octopus spread its tentacles until it firmly grasped the local industry and crushed all the life out of it. We need now to wield the sword of protection to enable us to defend our industries against the influences of the importers. We must be patriotic. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- We should be patriotic on a cash basis. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- If the honorable member means that we should pay for that which we Hope to gain by spending, our own cash, I agree with him. If, on the other hand, we go into the money markets of the world to borrow the money necessary for the payment of the bonuses, we shall act very unwisely. We have already gone too far in that direction, and we have imposed upon posterity the burden of a debt of £200,000,000, which should never have been incurred. We have been borrowing money in order to purchase goods which we should have manufactured ourselves. We have within our own borders all the elements of prosperity, but we have not made proper use of them. Honorable members deprecate the present proposal to spend a comparatively small amount in bonuses because this man or that will derive benefit, and secure a monopoly. Even if a monopoly were created we should not complain provided the results were beneficial to the whole of the people of the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- It would be interesting to know where the public would come in except in so far as they would be required to foot the bill. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- The people of Australia own the iron ore, the coal, and the lime, and they have all the labour that is necessary ; yet some honorable members are not agreeable that the materials lying to hand should be used, but are content that the unemployed should walk about the streets and continue to be a burden upon the State instead of giving the community the benefit of their labour. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- We have everything that is required here, whereas in England the manufacturers of iron have to import hematite ore from Spain. Australian manufacturers should not require protection. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- In the face of that statement, how can the honorable member oppose the Bill? I. would remind him that we have no legislation here which will guard our home manufacturers against the influences of the importers' ring, who would crush out any local industry by the mere weight of their capital. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr Robinson: -- Why does not the honorable member give us evidence on that point, instead of merely repeating his statement? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Abundant documentary evidence could be produced to substantiate my statement. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- The honorable member might mention the name of **Mr. Rutherford.** {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- A gentleman who has had nothing, to do with the iron industry for twenty years. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: **- Mr. Rutherford** has sunk £60,000 or £70,000 in his efforts to establish the iron industry. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- He has sunk £108,000. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- It was not competition that killed him, all the same. The Minister does not know anything about the matter. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- **Mr. Rutherford** told me what I have stated, and gave me permission to use his name. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Ridicule has been thrown upon the bond, for which provision is made in the Bill. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- It will not be worth the paper upon which it is written. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- As a man of business, what is the honorable member's opinion of the bond? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- I say that the provision in the Bill merely indicates the broad lines on which the Government will proceed in drawing up the bond. I take it that the Prime Minister, the AttorneyGeneral, and others will be able to make the bond absolutely effective against any persons who might try to take advantage of the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr Fuller: -- Why are not the conditions plainly stated in the Bill? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- The honorable and learned member must know that it is not. customary to provide for all details in the way of regulations and conditions in measures brought before this House. In the same way that regulations under an Act are drawn in accordance with the provisions of that Act. the bond will be drawn in order to achieve the intentions of the Bill. I would undertake to draw up a bond that would be sufficiently strong to conserve all the interest of the Commonmonwealth. Another statement has been made with regard to monopolies. Nobody dislikes monopolies more than I do, but if we must have a monopoly, I would much prefer to have it in Australia, where we can control it - and possibly get something out of it - than to see it established outside of the Commonwealth, where it would be beyond our control. But if, under the provisions of this measure, a monopoly is created to the detriment of the people of Australia, what does the Bill provide? It provides for the State taking over that monopoly in the interests of the people themselves. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- The honorable member expects that a monopoly will be created, I suppose? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Certainly not. I do not understand how a monopoly can be created, seeing that the Bill provides that a certain article must be manufactured, and sold at a price not greater than that at which it can be imported from abroad, before a penny of the bonus is payable. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- Does the honorable member imagine that there will be competition ? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Of course there will be competition. If only one firm embarked in the enterprise, that firm would enter into competition with the importers, and compel them to bring down the price of their article. The Bill proposes to grant a bonus of £4,000 for the manufacture of reapers and binders. I should not care if it were as many- {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- Millions. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Yes, "millions," if by that expenditure an industry could be established which would return many more millions. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- The honorable member would not like to supply money for that purpose out of his own pocket. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- It would not be the first time that I have done so. Why have not reapers and binders been manufactured in Australia? No duty is levied upon them. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- Are they not manufactured here ? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- No. The honorable member ought to know that the reason why they have not been manufactured here is that the moment any attempt has been made in that direction it has been met by a combination of importers. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr Robinson: -- What attempt has been made to manufacture them? {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- Attempts have been made in this State. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr Robinson: -- By whom? {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- I will mention one firm. I refer to' the executors of the late George Munro. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- What has been the experience in regard to reapers and binders? In America these machines were highly protected, and there was no possibility of getting into that market. Their price to the American farmer was about £25 or £26. Under the system which obtained in Australia prior to Federation the price of these machines was £90. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr Robinson: -- It has not been £90 within the past fifteen years. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- I know exactly of what I am speaking. The price of the reaper and binder in Australia was £90. Immediately prior to Federation it was re duced to £75. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr Robinson: -- That was years previously. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr CHANTER: -- The honorable member cannot give me any information on this subject, because, whilst he has been farming in the Law Courts of Melbourne, I have been engaged in practical farming in the wilds of New South Wales. It appeared to the farmers of Australia a most extraordinary thing that, whilst they had to compete with their produce in Marklane, London, and to pay£90 for their reapers and binders, their American cousins were able to obtain those machines for £25. Accordingly some of them put their heads together for the purpose of overcoming the difficulty. To my own knowledge, sixteen of my constituents sent an order to America, together with a bank draft, for the purchase of sixteen of these machines. What was the result? A reply was received from the firm stating that the machines could only be supplied through their Australian agents. They had to purchase at the price charged for them here, or go without them. Summed up, the position is that the iron industry requires to be established in Australia. The Bill constitutes an earnest effort to encourage its establishment by private enterprise. It provides that the article produced must be equal to that produced in other parts of the world, that a legitimate wage must be paid to the employes engaged in its manufacture, and that if a monopoly is created, the Commonwealth shall be in a position to nationalize the industry. The measure makes for progress and for prosperity, and I call upon honorable members to patriotically put on one side their theoretical notions regarding the fiscal question, and to help along an industry for the establishment of which the people of Australia have languished too long. {: #subdebate-13-0-s3 .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr ROBINSON:
Wannon -- It is an extraordinary thing that every proposal put forward by a few interested individuals to take money from the Treasury of the State, and to put it into their own pockets, is always defended by some gullible persons under the plea of patriotism. No doubt that is the reason for the extravagant eulogy which has been indulged in by the honorable member for Riverina. In this Bill we are asked to subsidize some persons who are already very wealthy, but who seek more wealth, and who desire to put Commonwealth money into their own banking accounts. We are asked to support this monstrous proposition on the ground of patriotism. I think that our first consideration should be the financial necessities of the various States. To-day we had the Budget speech delivered by the new Treasurer, and I think that those who have perused the papers connected with that statement which have been placed in our hands must find food for serious reflection. They must recognise that the revenue returns to a number of the States are far from satisfactory. For example, Queensland is receiving a good deal less than the people of that State anticipated she would receive when they entered into Federation. Further, there seems to be every likelihood that the revenue returns to the other States will diminish year by year. Considerations of this character, I think,should weigh with honorable members, when they come to deal with the proposal to take the money of the country. Yet this is a proposal to give away £304,000 of public money to a few already wealthy persons. It is one which must seriously deplete the revenues of the States, for the advantage not of the whole of the people, but of those who happen to have sunk their money in this concern. The honorable member for Riverina thinks it is a very small price to pay for an iron industry; but honorable members must recollect that we are asked not only to pay that sum in cash, but to bring into force certain provisions of the Tariff, which fix taxation on the people for a very considerable period. We are also faced with the certainty that what has occurred in Canada and other places where the bounty system has been adopted will occur here, namely, that further demands will be made on the Treasury as soon as this sum has been spent. A report on this question, signed by the honorable and learned member for West Sydnev and the honorable member for Bland, and others, contains this paragraph - >The Canadian experience is not encouraging. The bonus system for iron production was first instituted there in 1883. Subsequently a Bill was passed, in 1897, further continuing the system. > >Another Bill was carried in 1899 providing for the diminution of the bounties by a sliding scale expiring in 1907. In July of this year the Dominion Government decided to postpone the operation of this sliding scale for one year, which practically means a further increase in the bounties paid. In Canada the first bounty was given twentytwo years ago, and for the last ten years there has been a continual outflow of Government subsidies into the pockets of these very large and wealthy concerns. The experience of that country is sufficient to show that in our case this sum of £304,000 would be the first of many driblets that we should be asked to pass over to these people if they can exert sufficient influence and pressure to get this money. We' may rest assured that once they get their hands into the Treasury they will be able to exert sufficient influence to keep them there, until a good deal of our hard-earned money shall have stuck to their fingers. I am quite prepared to follow the lead of the six commissioners who signed the report from which I quoted, in opposing this proposal. My predecessor was one of them, and I see no reason for departing from the attitude he took up. There are some considerations which, I think, should have weight with honorable members in discussing the Bill. The last speaker talked very eloquently of the safeguards and provisos contained in the Bill for protecting the rights of the public. The more one studies the safeguards and provisos, the more one is forced to the conclusion that they are all so much bluff. The honorable member for Riverina said, " Why, there is actually in this noble Bill a provision to prevent the manufacturers from selling their goods at too high a price." Let us examine the provision. The only goods which they cannot sell at too high a price are those in respect of which the bounty has been paid. As soon as it has ceased to operate They can charge whatever price they like, but they are not to be bound to charge a fair price. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- Only while the bounty is being paid. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr ROBINSON: -- Yes, and as soon as the payment of the bounty is stopped - that is, in 19 11, if it should stop then - they will be free to charge whatever price they like. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- Then we can deal with them by other legislation. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr ROBINSON: -- I think the honorable member will find that, ample as its powers are, the Constitution does not give this Parliament the right to fix the prices at which men shall sell their goods. It is quite possible that he is right in thinking that the provision for fixing the prices will continue beyond 1911, but that will only be the case if. the Commonwealth should continue to pay the bounty. As soon as that has ceased to operate, the concern can charge whatever price it likes. And what protection is afforded to the Commonwealth by means of the bond? The leader of the Opposition pointed out that we propose to give a certain band of manufacturers very great privileges, and to restrict them in certain ways, in order to see that they pay fair wages and do not charge too highly. Where a concern is fed with Government money I offer no objection to any attempt to regulate wages ; it is a case in which, I think, we must all admit that the regulation of wages by the Commonwealth is justified. But we are told that the penalty for breach of these conditions will be the forfeiture of a bond for the full amount of the bonus. I ask honorable members to consider for a moment what the value of that bond is. The method to be adopted by the company will be the same as that which is adopted by most companies. The promoters have detailed to a very large extent their scheme of operations. They will float a company - if that has not already been done - in paidup shares, as I think they mentioned in sworn evidence. The money they will want in England to carry on their operations with will be obtained by means of debentures, which, as honorable members know, will be secured on the whole of the works and undertakings. That is the usual form of a debenture, and in all British communities such a debenture is equivalent to a first mortgage on the undertakings. Where, then, will the Government come in? They will come in after the debentureholders. The only reasonable security will be mopped up by the debentureholders, and the Government's security will be a bond which may or may not be worth the paper it is written on. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- The Government would not pay the bonus. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr ROBINSON: -- If any breach of the conditions of the bounty is committed, the bond is supposed to enable the Government to recover the amount already paid. But when they come to recover, they will be met with the usual state of affairs. The capital will be all paid up, there will be the usual working overdraft at the bank, and the debenture-holders having a first mortgage on the undertaking, the only security left to the Government will practically be the books and papers of the concern, which will be worth, nothing. If honorable members really wish fo make, the bond effective, then it must be secured by a first mortgage on the undertaking, so as to give proper protection to the Government, the purchasers of iron, and the workers. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- Let the honorable and learned member pass the second reading, and help the Government in Committee to make the Bill more effective in that regard. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr ROBINSON: -- I wish I could assist the honorable member so far, but I cannot. I am now engaged in pointing out what I consider to be the fallacious nature of the security offered to the public. There is one aspect which has already been touched upon, but which I think will bear amplification, and that is, how the Bill will affect the local man who uses pig iron ? We have sworn evidence by large manufacturers in the various States as to the injury it may cause. The first evidence to which I shall call attention is that of **Mr, John** Thompson, of the firm of Messrs. Thompson and Co., engineers and ironfounders, of Castlemaine, and I believe one of the largest manufacturers of iron goods in Victoria. The following are a few extracts from the evidence given before the Royal Commission by **Mr. Thompson,** in answer to the present Minister of Home Affairs: - 2439. You do not think that it would be bf advantage to you to have works established in Australia? - At present I cannot see that it would. 2440. You do not think that you would then be supplied cheaper than you are now from abroad ? - I do not think so. We have imported pig-iron from China. I ask the honorable member for Riverina to listen to this - >It was shipped to us by some friends as a trial lot, and we found that even with Chinese labour it was not possible to compete successfully against English, Scotch, and American iron. 2443. You can see no good in attempting to establish iron works in Australia at the present lime ? - The proposal is altogether premature. I (lb not think it is possible to produce iron to successfully compete against America and England. {: .speaker-KZV} ##### Mr Ronald: -- He is a foreign trader, I suppose. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr ROBINSON: -- No; he is a protected manufacturer, as the honorable member will see if he reads his evidence, which proceeds - 2452. If any duty, had been operative it would have been a distinct disadvantage to you in the industry in which you are engaged ? - Yes. 2453. If under the Commonwealth Tariff a duty were imposed that would be a disadvantage to you in your industry ? - Yes. Any impost upon our raw materials would be a distinct disadvantage. As honorable members know, the bonus is coupled with the proviso that as soon as the Ministry declares the industry to be established, the duty is imposed automatically, without any further interference by Parliament. The evidence proceeds - 2467. You are aware that what is your raw material is the finished product of the iron industry? - Yes, outside of the pig-iron. 2468. You take the purely local and selfish view, that because iron happens to be your raw material it should not be dutiable, although it is the finished product of another industry ? - I look at the matter purely from my own standpoint. This witness, who has been carrying on the business for a number of years, states, that proposals of this nature will be injurious to his business. Another manufacturer, **Mr. R.** G. Middleton, manager of the Phoenix Foundry, Ballarat, of which we have heard something previously, gave the following evidence: - 2541-2. Have you considered what would be the effect of these proposals if put into operation ? - That is the iron bonus, and the contingent proposal of a duty. The witness answered - >The effect would certainly be to increase the cost of our manufacture. Bar iron and steel are amongst our raw material, and that is one of the reasons why they have always been admitted free of duty. 2543. Have you considered the possibility of successfully establishing the iron industry in Australia?1 - I have always looked upon the proposal as very nearly impracticable. 2544. For what reason? - Because of the increased cost of production. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- How can there be increased cost when they pay the same price to the internal manufacturer as to the foreign manufacturer ? {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr ROBINSON: -- They pay the same price, only so far as concerns goods on which the bounty is paid. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- I am speaking of that. {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr ROBINSON: -- As soon as the bounty ceases, there is no obligation to keep the price down. {: .speaker-JWY} ##### Mr Chanter: -- Is Parliament going to stand still and see injustice done when the bounty ceases ? {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr ROBINSON: -- Is Parliament to interfere? If the syndicate or those concerned in securing the passage of the Bill are able to get a great proportion of members of this House to support them on the present occasion, I think we may rest assured that if any attempt is made to bind them with conditions hereafter, they will be able "to pull sufficient strings to prevent it being successful. {: .speaker-KDR} ##### Mr Ewing: -- How can a bounty increase the price of iron ? {: .speaker-KZH} ##### Mr ROBINSON: -- The Vice-President of the Executive Council ought to be able to answer that question for himself, if he has read the present proposals of the Government, together with the Customs Tariff Act. When the industry is established, duties are to be imposed, and the two proposals must be taken together. This Manufactures Encouragement Bill proposes the payment of a bounty, and the imposition of a duty, one to follow the other. If it is not desired to have the price of iron increased, why . not insert a clause in the present Bill repealing that section of «hu Customs Tariff Act which imposes the duty? If the Vice-President of the Executive Council can carry his Government with him in a proposal of that kind, he will meet with hearty support from this side of the House, but we must suspect the genuineness of the claim that the price cannot be increased, if it be insisted that duty must be imposed as soon as the bounty ceases. Other evidence was given before the Royal Commission to the effect that the local manufacturer will be injured by the price of his raw material being raised. One of the witnesses who spoke to that effect was **Mr. Joseph** Vaughan, ironmaster, of South Melbourne, and I have quoted the evidence to show that the local manufacturer will be placed at a disadvantage if these proposals are carried out. Canadian experience assists' us in arriving at the same conclusion. I have recently been able to ascertain some very informing results of the policy pursued in the Dominion. In that country, as honorable members know, there has been a bonus and iron duties, in addition to a provision known as the " anti-dumping clause," whereby a duty is practically trebled on iron and all goods which are supposed to have been " dumped " in Canada. What has been the effect of this provision and other iron production encouragement measures? One of the largest manufacturing concerns in the world which uses iron is in Canada, and under the old system iron from America could be " dumped " down at the front door of Canadian manufacturers cheaper than it could be purchased by manufacturers of the United States. The consequence was that in the neutral markets of the, world this Canadian company could " knock out " the Yankee machines. But the people who received the iron bonus appealed to the Canadian Parliament to introduce the " anti-dumping " proposals. Accordingly this law was put in force, and the company was no longer able to get iron below American cost, and were thus hampered in competition in neutral markets. The operation of manufacture encouraging proposals was distinctly to hamper one of the largest manufacturing establishments in the world. It seems to me that the amount proposed for the bonus is excessive. **Mr. Sandford** has told us that he could establish the plant necessary for the manufacture of pig iron at a cost of £100,000 or £125.000. That being so, where is the necessity to give him £250,000? **Mr. J.** P. Franki, manager at Mort's Dock, is of opinion that £150,000 would build very good works to start with. We have here two witnesses, engaged in the trade, who say that for a much less sum than the Government propose to grant, iron works could be established in Australia. Those of us who have any desire to conserve the finances of the 'States should, I think, cut the amount of the bonus down, so that the dislocation may be minimized as much as possible. Honorable members may recollect that last session a most excellent speech was delivered on this question by the honorable member for Darling. I did not agree, nor do I now agree, with the policy of the establishment of State iron works, which he advocated. But if ever there was an industry for which a claim could be put forward for State operations, the iron industry of Australia is one, because it is an industry which must be a monopoly. The demand is not sufficient to support two large iron works. One uptodate plant can produce all the iron that is required in Australia. If ever there was a case as to which the advocates of State Socialism might advance a plea for the establishment of State works, this is such an industry. My honorable friend, the member for Riverina, seems to throw doubt upon those who state that there is a syndicate willing to take advantage of this Bill. The honorable member's innocence is refreshing. I thought it was well known to all, as it is certainly well known to most of us, that there is a syndicate ready, and that evidence has been given before the Royal Commission as to what steps it has already taken. It is a matter of common report throughout Melbourne that the syndicate has also taken other steps. And, if this Bill goes through, it may not be very long before the members of the syndicate will be in a fair way to claim this nice little plum which the Government is offering. **Mr. Sandford** thinks that he will get something out of the bonus, but I am afraid that he will find that the syndicate to which I refer knows more of the business than he does, and that he will be out on the mat whilst the others will be receiving Commonwealth money. I do not believe that the Commonwealth ought to give this money away to fill the pockets of any set of individuals. I do not believe that we are called upon, in view of the condition of the State finances, to make such advances at the present time. 1 certainly do not think that the matter will stop at the amount which we propose to grant. I am convinced that there will be demands for far greater sums. Honorable members representing Victorian constituencies have only to recollect what happened in connexion with the Maffra Beet Sugar Works. That enterprise started with a Government bonus of £50,000, which was to be the limit. Then it went up to £60,000, and we were told that no more was to be spent. Then the expenditure reached £70,000; and it was only the advent of Federation which prevented more public money being wasted. The Canadian example has been quoted to show the ever-increasing demands made by people who have once tasted the pleasure of feeding upon the Government purse. They are like the tiger which tastes blood. Once they get a liking for that kind of thing, it takes a great deal to wrench them away from it. We may rest assured that when the sum mentioned is handed out under the conditions of this Bill, before many years are over we shall have another Bill before us for the purpose of granting a greater sum to these favoured individuals. I enter my strong protest against a proposal of this kind, which, I believe, is for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many, and which will produce at present no lasting good to the people of Australia. {: #subdebate-13-0-s4 .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON:
Lang -- Considering the lateness of the hour, I should be glad if Ministers will consent to an adjournment. Apparently, however, there seems to be no desire to adjourn, and therefore I direct attention to the condition of the House. *[Quorum formed.) It* appears to me that the present Government is bent upon bringing down measures for the consideration of this House of the most contentious kind. The Bills which have been introduced challenge the most hostile criticism that can possibly be levelled against them by the members of an Opposition. I cannot see how any one having the slightest regard for his obligations as a Federal representative can give any support to this measure. It is one of those Bills which, from start to finish, should be opposed in every line and every word. I intend to oppose it with all the strength at my command. I shall do so because it is one of those proposals which has absolutely no justification whatever on the score of being in the public interest, to recommend it. I can only stigmatize it as an infamous attempt to pervert the proper functions of this Legislature, which are to protect the public interest in matters of expenditure, for the purpose of transferring the proceeds of public taxation into the pockets of private individuals. That is a principle which I have always opposed in whatever guise it might be brought before Parliament. What does this Bill mean ? Under a plea of protecting certain Australian industries and giving employment *to* the people it is simply a proposal to take holus bolus out of the public Treasury the sum of a quarter of a million, to enrich an already rich syndicate, and to increase their profits in an enterprise into which they are entering, not for the benefit of the Commonwealth, but for their own personal gain. We are asked to believe that the syndicate proposes to engage in the iron and steel industry from motives of patriotism. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- No, we are not. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- The honorable member for Riverina concluded his speech with a peroration in which he appealed to us in the most pathetic terms to support the Bill, on the grounds of patriotism. He invited us to believe that these people pro- pose to engage in this industry from patriotic motives. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- No. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- The Minister evidently was not paying attention to the last portion of the honorable member's speech, or he would know that that is what we were asked to believe. It is ridiculous for any one to ask sensible business men in this House to accept the statement that any syndicate would put its money into an enterprise from motives of that character. We know well that the primary object of those who undertake enterprises of this kind is pecuniary gain. It is perfectly legitimate that it should be so, but it is too great a strain on our credulity to ask us to believe that it is done purely from a patriotic motive. I notice that this patriotism is established on a very sound cash basis. Some people's notions of patriotism somehow always seem to take the form of being permitted to liberally dip their hands into the public Treasury and give no valuable consideration in return. That kind of patriotism is a very payable business - to the patriots. We have in the pages of the report submitted by the Royal Commission . the evidence of many experts to show that this industry contains all the elements of splendid profit without the necessity for any bonus or any duty to support it. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- Why is it not established ? {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- But we know that certain gentlemen having secured promises and the right to certain mineral lands, believe that, by means of this bonus, they can induce men from other parts of the world to put capital into this enterprise by the fact that they will be able to tell them that, in addition to the ordinary profits of the enterprise, there will be an assured extra profit of £250,000 to be drawn from the public Treasury. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- They will not get 25 per cent profit, as the importers do. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I propose to show that they will obtain a very large profit from this undertaking. That can be shown by the evidence of the very men who are so anxious to obtain this bonus. It can be proved out of their own mouths that this industry needs no such propping and spoonfeeding as is proposed under the provisions of this Bill. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- All the same, it is not established. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- The honorable member for Riverina charges those who are op posing the Bill with a desire to prevent the encouragement and establishment of Australian industries. I repudiate any such charge. Honorable members on this side, whether free-traders or protectionists, are quite as anxious as the honorable member for Riverina, or any of those holding similar %'iews can be, to encourage Australian industries by every legitimate means. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- They have a funny way of showing it. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- What we do object to is that, under the plea of encouraging Australian industries, we should be asked to take from the public Treasury revenue derived from taxation, and put it into the pockets of private individuals. It was never intended that representatives of the people, who should be the custodians and trustees of moneys received from the people, should divert them to any such purpose. If we are to encourage one industry in this way, why not encourage all in the same way ? Why should we discriminate between one industry and another, or between primary and secondary industries ? Why should we not treat all alike? It is our business, as representatives, to see that there is no favoritism permitted, that no one section of the community shall receive special privileges at the expense of all the rest. We are here to see that no one shall get an advantage from public expenditure over and above the advantage which every one else may receive. If we pick out one industry for special treatment in this way, those concerned in every other industry in the country will have the right to ask why we have done so, and to claim similar treatment. We know perfectly well that requests of that kind would not, and could not, be granted. We were asked by the honorable member for Riverina whether it is a crime to permit capitalists to come from other countries to Australia. This was in reply to an interjection to the effect that this money was going to an English syndicate. It is not a crime to allow capital to come into Australia from England or any other part of the world for the development of industries, but I do say that it is a crime to give capitalists under this Bill £250,000 from the public Treasury. That is, in my eyes, a crime of a most heinous character, and one for which there is absolutely no justification. What are we to get in return for this money? So far as the people of this Commonwealth are concerned, we shall not get one sixpence in return. Every penny of this money will go into the pockets of the syndicate, and in all probability it will go out of Australia. I should like some of our protectionist friends who make such a strong point of keeping our money in the ".country to consider that particular aspect of the question. We know that the members of this syndicate are only waiting for news of the passing of this Bill from their Australian representatives to put their plans into operation. Every one who is familiar with what is going on outside will admit that what I say is correct, and that this money will not ba distributed amongst Australians. {: .speaker-KVJ} ##### Mr Storrer: -- Wages will be paid in Australia, anyhow {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- So they will be whether the industry is started with or without a bonus. Not one penny of these bonuses will find its way into the pockets of the wage-earning classes in Australia. That is clearly shown by the evidence taken by the Royal Commission. It points out that the cost of production is so low here as compared with the cost of production elsewhere that even after paying the highest rate of wages ruling in Australia iron can be produced without any bonus at a price which will leave a large margin of profit to the manufacturer. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- Manufacturers must be fools that they have not done it before. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- So that not one penny of this bonus will find its way into the pockets of any wage-earner in this country. The Minister of Trade and Customs must know that that statement is true. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- I do not. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- From his own experience as a commercial man, the honorable gentleman must know that the men who are so anxious to put this money down, for the development of this industry do not care a snap of the finger for the Australian wageearner. Their concern is only for a return on the capital they invest, and which they hope to increase by the addition of the bonus. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- I think they have more care for the wage-earners than has the honorable member. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- One of them has even stated in evidence that they regard this bonus as a present. He says that they can carry on the industry; without a bonus, but when one is offered to them they will be glad to take it. They look on the pro.,posal as an absolute gift of £250,000. In view of what the Treasurer has told us this afternoon of tlie decreasing revenue of the Commonwealth, I should like to ask why we should incur this further liability, and where, with a decreasing revenue, the money to meet these bonuses is to come from? Whence is the bonus to come? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -. - We shall find it somehow. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I have no doubt that it will be found, and I should like to trace through all its ramifications the allotment of the various sums of money comprised in this proposed bonus, and find out their ultimate destination. The honorable member for Riverina asserted that it was better to establish a monopoly in local industry than to have a monopoly of imports. That statement is a startling one, and I should like to know how it will be regarded by the members of the Labour Party. I always thought that they had a great objection to monopolies, because they have even gone so far as to attempt to nationalize, them. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- That shows how much we love them. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- In order to meet the wishes of the Labour Party in that respect a provision has been introduced into the Bill which did not appear in the measure that was before us last session. I would point out, however, that under this provision it will be impossible to bring about the nationalization of the industry until £250,000 has been handed over to a capitalistic syndicate - a combination to which the Labour Party is, in theory, at any rate, absolutely opposed. I shall take a careful note of the way in which honorable members opposite vote in this connexion, with a view to reminding them at a later stage of the votes they have given. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- That is a dreadful threat. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- It will be a matter of interest to see how honorable members belonging to both . parties opposite are going *to* vote on a question of policy upon which they have hitherto held such antithetical views. They will have the unbounded sympathy of the members of the Opposition' in the very difficult position in which they are now placed. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- Would it not be equally interesting to see honorable members of the Opposition voting in favour of nationalizing industries. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- Some of them may do so, if by so doing they can wreck the Bill. The honorable member for Riverina made the astounding assertion that there were 30,000 unemployed in New South, Wales at present. ' This is remarkable, considering that at the time of the imposition of the Federal Tariff we were told that high duties were required in order to encourage Australian industries and provide employment for our workers in reproductive industries. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- We did not make the Tariffhigh enough. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- Is that the trouble now ? We have evidence that in those countries which enjoy the highest protection labour is paid the lowest wages. {: #subdebate-13-0-s5 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The question the honorable member is now discussing does not come properly within the limits of the debate. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- There is a Tariff question involved in the Bill. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- But the honorable member is discussing generally the question of high or low Tariff. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I do not wish to proceed on those lines except by way of passing reference. There is no denying the fact that there are large numbers of unemployed in New South Wales, as also in Victoria and other States. These unemployed exist notwithstanding that measures such as that now before us have been passed specially for the purpose of obviating such a state of affairs. Such measures have absolutely failed to achieve the purpose for which they were supposed to be designed. The honorable member for Riverina referred to a contract which was entered into by the right honorable member for East Sydney, when he was Premier of New South Wales, with the firm of Mitchell and Co., of Sydney, under which the firm were to receive certain Government work. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The contract related merely to the placing of a Government order. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- The honorable member for Riverina led honorable members to believe that the concession made to the firm mentioned was equivalent to a duty of 10 per cent. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- So it was. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- It was nothing of the kind. The firm was offered a certain order at a price based on the f.o.b. price in London, plus ordinary charges of transit and landing in Sydney.The concession was estimated to amount to 12½ per cent., but not one penny of duty was to be imposed. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- In reality, the concession amounted to 14 per cent. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- Even supposing that it amounted to 20 or 30 per cent., not one penny of additional duty was to be imposed on the people. These charges would have been included in the cost of the imported article, so that the consumers would have had to pay whatever they amounted to in paying the market price of the article locally. We might as well say that the difference between the cost of imported pig iron and that of the locally-produced article should afford sufficient protection to the local industry, and that such difference would be equivalent to a certain percentage of duty. And, if that view were taken, it would be the correct one, and would prove that there is no need for any other additional protection. The present proposal would involve handing a large sum of money out of the public Treasury to a certain group of capitalists, who will give us absolutely nothing in return. It is urged that such an industry will afford a large amount of employment. Nobody denies that, but the industry will afford a large amount of employment, whether it be started under a bonus system, a system of protective duties, or any other. Not one more man will be employed by reason of the granting of the bonus. It has also been urged that this is a national industry. It is only 'a national industry in the same sense as are many others, which are not propped up by means of bonuses. The fruit industry, for instance, might as well be termed a national industry, and the same with coal mining, wool producing, gold mining, the timber industry, and many others. These are all just as much national industries and are equally entitled to be spoon-fed by means of bonuses or protective duties. Further, it is urged that the bonuses are required to protect the workers in the iron industry against the competition of continental countries where low wages are paid. There is no question of protecting this industry against the cheap labour of the European Continent, because, as a matter of fact, that element was taken into full consideration by **Mr. Sandford** in arriving at his estimate. Notwithstanding the higher rate of wages which obtains here, he found that he could produce pig iron at very much less per ton than it could be imported. I think that the importance of this subject Is such that we ought to have a larger attendance of honorable members. *[Quorum formed.]* In support of my statement that the difference between the wages paid in connexion with English and American productions and those of Australia was fully taken into consideration by **Mr. Sandford,** I propose to read a few extracts from the evidence taken before the Iron Bonus Commission. Upon page 59, beginning with question 1192, will be found the following : - > *By* **Mr. McCay.** - Supposing that for five years after your works were started you had a guarantee, either in the form of a duty or a satisfactory bonus, could you stand without the duty or the bonus when you had been five years working up the market? - I may just explain that, so long as our minimum wage is kept up at its present standard, you make the conditions here difficult for people going into the enterprise. > >That raises another very big question ? - It is the very essence of it. It all depends upon the cost of production, and when I take Government contracts I have to sign an agreement to pay a certain rate of wages. > >Are the wages per man higher at Eskbank than they are at Pittsburg, or as high ? - They may be as high at Pittsburg, but the wages here are higher than in England or the Continent. I wish to impress that point upon honorable members, in order that they may see its bearing upon the succeeding questions, which read - >You are allowing for all this in your estimate of 35s. per ton, and I ask you whether, if your markets were guaranteed for five years, either by a bonus or a duty, you could, at th(e end of the five years, stand the abolition of the guarantee, and fight on open terms with the rest of the world for Australian contracts? - I shall answer that in this way : we are willing to take the risk of what may be done at the end of the five years. Give us the bonus for the five years, and we will put down the plant. You need not think that we are likely to keep that plant idle at the end of the five years. 1 think you will find that **Mr. Jamieson** and some other people, as well as myself, are willing to take the risk. From the foregoing it will be seen that **Mr. Sandford** admits that in preparing his estimate, he took into consideration the difference between the Continental and the Australian rate of wages. Yet he declares that he can produce pig iron here at a cost of 35s. per-ton. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- His manager says that it cannot be manufactured under 55s. per ton. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: **- Mr. Sandford** is a man of large experience in this matter - much larger experience than others who gave evidence upon the same point. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- His manager ought to, know something about the matter. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON: -- I take it that the principal knows quite as much as does his manager. I claim, however, that the payment of this bonus will not permanently establish the industry. That fact is admitted in evidence given before the Commission. **Mr. Sandford,** on page 59, question 1 1 96, was asked - >You want a chance to establish yourself, and having been given that opportunity, you are prepared to take a fair business risk? - You have already passed division VIA. of the Tariff, under which certain duties are to come into operation as soon as the Minister is satisfied. > >That is not an answer to my question. You do not think the duties will be abolished. What I want to know is whether, if the duty or bounty, in which ever form the guarantee is given, does disappear, you think you would then be able to continue operations? - I do not think we should continue operations. Then **Mr, Jamieson,,** in giving evidence upon the same point, is reported on page 52, question 1074, as follows : - > *By* **Mr. Winter** *Cooke.* - I understand that you do not think the company could live without a protective duty ? - I do not think so. Here we have the evidence of experts that> if this £250,000 be expended by way of bonus, unless the guarantee is continued in some form or other, the industry will not be able to carry on operations. In the face of such evidence, even if there were no other grounds, it is clear that we should oppose the passing of this Bill. The expenditure for which it provides constitutes only an instalment of what we shall ultimately be called upon to pay. Does not the history, of bonuses teach us that when once a bonus has been granted those who receive it are never satisfied? Certainly there is a limit of time fixed in the Bill for the bonus to exist. But we know perfectly well what will happen. As soon as the time limit is about to expire, we shall be met with a plea for the continuation of the bonus, on the ground that if that is not done the industry will perish. We shall find all kinds of excuses manufactured for imposing further drains on. the public exchequer to bolster up the industry. In the case of the sugar bounty, we have an instance of what we may expect to occur in this case. We had a declaration from the Treasurer to-day that the Ministry propose to continue the bounty to the sugar industry. It was only granted for a certain period, and what will happen in that case will happen in this and every other case. At this stage, as I have a considerable quantity of matter to deal with yet, I would again ask the Minister if he does not think it a fair thing to adjourn, especially as it is Tuesday. If he has no objection, I shall ask leave to continue my speech to-morrow. {: #subdebate-13-0-s6 .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Minister of Trade and Customs · Hume · Protectionist -- I know that many honorable members have travelled a long way since yesterday, and I do not think there will be any objection to the honorable member having leave to continue his speech to-morrow. I hope that my honorable friends opposite will give me a little assistance to-morrow to bring this debate to a close. If the Bill be read a second time to-morrow, I shall postpone its consideration until the following week. Leave granted; debate adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1267 {:#debate-14} ### PAPERS MINISTERS laid upon the table the following papers : - >Papers prepared by the Treasurer in connexion with his Budget speech. > >Minute by the Honorable Sydney Smith when Postmaster-General upon the mail contract with the Orient Steam Navigation Company Limited. {: .page-start } page 1267 {:#debate-15} ### ADJOURNMENT {:#subdebate-15-0} #### Mail Contract: Garrison Force: Order of Business Motion (by **Mr. Deakin)** proposed- >That the House do now adjourn. {: #subdebate-15-0-s0 .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS:
Dalley -- I desire to ask the Postmaster-General whether he will lay upon the table the minute of his predecessor in connexion with the tender of the Orient Steam-ship Company ? I am informed that it is a very important minute, and I think, for the benefit of the House and the country, it ought to be produced. {: #subdebate-15-0-s1 .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS:
Barrier -- I desire to ask the Postmaster-General if he can state when the motion dealing with the question of the mail contract is likely to be brought on? I read in the press that the honorable gentleman has given notice to the Orient Steam-ship Company about the termination of the contract, but, in answering a question to-day, he stated that he had not done so. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- It is not time yet to give notice. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- I had hoped that it had been given. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- We cannot give an effective notice before a certain time. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- I think it is very necessary for the House to discuss the whole question of this mail contract as soon as possible. I observe that the PostmasterGeneral has given notice of a motion on the subject, and I should like to know if the discussion will be taken shortly, and if not, when? {: #subdebate-15-0-s2 .speaker-JX7} ##### Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
Postmaster-General · EdenMonaro · Protectionist -- I have laid upon the table the paper asked for by the honorable member for Dalley, and I hope, either to-morrow or the next day, to be able to go on with the motion. {: #subdebate-15-0-s3 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth -- This afternoon I tried to elicit from the Treasurer, when he was delivering his Budget, an indication as to whether the Government, in dealing with defence matters, proposed to deal with an important branch df defence which the Prime Minister has admitted is grievously undermanned. But the right honorable gentleman either did not see, or did not care tosee, the relevancy of my question, and told me that he was not the Minister of Defence. And, indeed, sir, I am very glad that the right honorable gentleman is not Minister of Defence, for it was under his *regime* that the Defence Estimates were so disastrously reduced to enable him to go to England. The Prime Minister has stated in the House, and the replies of the Minister representing the Minister of Defence have shown, that the first line of our local defence - the garrison force - is undermanned. By inference, also, the former has shown that the guns are not good enough for the work they would have to do, and that there is no ammunition available for practice, or, if it were necessary, action. I only wish to know this evening whether the Government propose to put these matters right, or to do something in that direction during the present financial year? {: #subdebate-15-0-s4 .speaker-KDR} ##### Mr EWING:
VicePresidentof the Executive Council · Richmond · Protectionist -- Every branch of the Deferice Force of the Commonwealth is now under review. The Government is dealing with a scheme, which will be found to be satisfactory. The subject., will be dealt with in a comprehensive way. {: #subdebate-15-0-s5 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I desire to ask the Prime Minister if it may be taken, that the statement just made by the Postmaster-General is an indication that the question of the mail contract will take precedence of all other business tomorrow {: #subdebate-15-0-s6 .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN:
Minister of External Affairs · Ballarat · Protectionist -- The first business tomorrow will be to pass a Supply Bill. Afterwards the debate on the second reading of the Manufactures Encouragement Bill will be resumed, and if we dispose of that measure by tea-time, as we hope, my honorable colleague, the PostmasterGeneral, will move his motion relative to the mail contract. Question resolved in. the affirmative. House adjourned al 10.38 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 22 August 1905, viewed 6 July 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1905/19050822_reps_2_25/>.