House of Representatives
1 August 1906

2nd Parliament · 3rd Session



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

page 2131

QUESTION

PENNY POSTAGE PROPOSALS

Mr CROUCH:
CORIO, VICTORIA

– I desire to ask the Postmaster-General whether, before he submits his. proposals for the establishment of the penny post, he will furnish honorable members with information showing the loss that will be incurred under the new system within the Commonwealth and within the Empire, and also owing to the extension of the system to foreign countries?

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

– Last night I distributed a memorandum, which gave some information on the subject, and I shall be very pleased to make available any further particulars that may be in the Department with regard to the extent to which a loss of revenue will be incurredinconnexion with the despatch of letters within the Commonwealth and beyond it.

Mr BATCHELOR:
BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– I desire to know, whether the loss incurred in each State wilt have to be borne by the States respectively or whether the total loss will be debited to the States upon a population basis?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · PROT; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Under our present system, the loss will, of course, be borne by each State. In my opinion, there will be no loss, because the public will be able to effect a considerable saving.

Mr POYNTON:
GREY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– In view of the fact that the Government propose to introduce a Bill to establish universal penny postage which will involve the Commonwealth in a loss of , £209,000 per annum, I desire to ask the Postmaster- General what possible chance outlying districts will have of obtaining the’ telephonic or postal facilities which are so urgently needed ?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:

– In reply I would remind honorable members that in my opinion the adoption of penny postage will really involve the Commonwealth in no loss. By its establishment we simply refuse to take a certain sum from the pockets of the people, and its introduction will make no difference whatever to outlying districts in the matter of providing them with postal or telephonic facilities. At the present time the advantage of -penny postage is chiefly enjoyed by the commercial classes, and by residents in large centres, whereas those who will derive most benefit from the Government proposals are the residents of sparsely - populated districts, who under existing conditions are called upon to pay 2d. upon each letter which they send. That condition applies to the. State represented by the honorable member, because in South. Australia a letter has to bear a 2d. stamp even if it has merely to cross the street.

Mr HUTCHISON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– I wish to ask the Postmaster-General whether it is not a fact that postal facilities have been refused by the Department time and again upon the ground that it had not the money with which to cav for them.

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:

– That is not a fact. But I would point out to the honorable member that we have to lay down some principle, .and that all applications for postal facilities are dealt with on their merits. If he will bring under my notice any case in which the extension of postal facilities to any locality can be justified he will find that the Department has the money which the granting of those facilities would involve.

Mr GLYNN:
ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– I desire to ask whether it is not a fact that telephonic communication has been denied to many country districts upon the ground that the work would not pav ?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:

– In reply to the honorable and learned member I wish to say that it is not a fact. Applications for the granting of telephonic communication to any locality are dealt with upon their merits, and the practice of the Department has been, and is, that if it can be shown that the erection of a telephone line is likely to pav at any time within seven years, it is willing to provide the facilities sought, upon reasonable conditions.

Mr MAHON:
COOLGARDIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

– I wish to ask the PostmasterGeneral if it is not a fact that up to the present time the Department has acted upon a totally different principle, and also if it is not true that so far from promising to provide country residents with telephonic facilities, where it is shown that the work is likely to prove remunerative within seven years, he has insisted upon obtaining guarantees from the Western Australian Government against any loss which may be incurred in erecting telephonic and telegraphic lines?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:

– In answer to the honorable member, I would say that guarantees have been asked from the Government of Western Australia only in cases where it has been shown that the erection of telephone lines would not pay. Those lines have been erected upon the necessary guarantee being given. I recollect one instance, in which an application for telephonic facilities was refused because the work would have cost £10,000 whereas the revenue which would have been derived from it would have amounted to only £100 or ^150 per annum.

page 2132

QUESTION

WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY

Mr KING O’MALLEY:
DARWIN, TASMANIA

– I wish to know from the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the fact that it is proposed to spend £10,000 upon bringing into operation within the Commonwealth the wireless telegraphic system, he will arrange to have communication established between King Island and Burnie?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
Protectionist

– The whole question of the application of wireless telegraphy to our requirements is now under consideration, and the needs of King Island, among other places, will receive every attention.

page 2132

QUESTION

VALUATION OF TRANSFERRED PROPERTIES

Mr WATSON:
BLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I desire to ask the Minister of Home Affairs whether, in anticipation of the Budget debate, he will inform the House as to the amount at which the transferred properties are valued by the States, and whether any arrangement has been arrived at with regard to the sum to be accepted?

Mr GROOM:
Minister for Home Affairs · DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND · Protectionist

– As a matter of fact, on the nth of this month a conference of officials representing the States and the Commonwealth will be held in Melbourne to consider the principle to be adopted in valuing the properties, in the light of the resolution adopted at the Premiers’ Conference at Hobart. It was decided by the Premiers that the properties should be assessed upon the basis of the value of the land as at the time of transfer plus the value of the buildings, taking into consideration the purposes for which they were used at the time of transfer. The proposed conference of officials is to be held with a view to laying down definite principles, and securing uniformity in arriving at the valuation.

Mr Watson:

– What claims have been made?

Mr GROOM:

– Some States only have made claims.

Mr Watson:

– Could the Minister give us an approximate valuation ?

Mr GROOM:

– No; because some of the States have made no claim. Speaking from memory , New South Wales has sent in a valuation, but Victoria has not. I shall look into the matter.

Mr Fisher:

– Did the Commonwealth, agree to the proposed conference of officials ?

Mr GROOM:

– Yes.

Mr Watson:

– Is it not a fact that there exists in the Home Affairs office an estimate of the value of the transferred properties,, which fixes the amount at about £10.000,000 ?

Mr GROOM:

– That is so. I thought that the honorable member desired to know the amount of the claims .made by the Slates. The estimate referred to was made for the purpose of a certain report, and I can give the honorable member the figures to-morrow. Speaking from memory, the amount is somewhere between £9.000,000 and £10,000,000.

Mr WATSON:

– I wish to ask the Prime Minister whether, in view of die fact that the claims for the transferred properties will probably amount to at least TI 1:0,000,000, and involve an interest charge upon the Commonwealth of between £300,000 and ,£350,000 per annum, the Government have decided what steps should be taken to meet the necessary payments. I understand that under the proposals placed before us by the Treasurer, the Commonwealth will, after defraying the expenditure for the current year, have a balance in ‘hand of £311,000, and I should like to know whether the Government have devised any scheme for meeting interest payments such as I have referred to?

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

– As the honorable member is aware, the subject of the valuation of7 and the method of ‘ payment for, the transferred properties has been brought up in various forms. Speaking for the moment without a definite recollection of the present understanding, I may say that my own opinion is that no estimate nearly approaching the figures mentioned by the honorable member can be made fairly. Without entering into other particulars, I may point out that land for which the State paid nothing “should, in my personal opinion, still be treated as Crown land, because it does not pass out of the control of the people of Australia. Any valuation that would include the value of that land would be unreasonable and exorbitant. So far as I can form, any opinion, the sum that could fairly be claimed by the States for their properties would be very much smaller than that mentioned. My view is that after a fair valuation the whole matter should be arranged between the States and .the Commonwealth by way of set-off. by striking a balance as between the States, and dealing only with the differences that then remain. That would reduce the payment to an amount which could verv easily be met out of our existing revenue.

Mr. C. V. BEILBY.

Mr FRAZER:
KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

– I desire to know whether the Postmaster-General has any objection to lay on the table the papers relating to the appointment of Charles Victor Beilby as a record clerk in the Western Australian postal service?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
Protectionist

– No.

page 2133

QUESTION

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMS RETURNS

Mr FOWLER:
PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

– In the absence of the Treasurer, I desire to ask the Prime Minister a question which arises in connexion with a statement made in to-day’s Age. Speaking of the Budget speech that newspaper says : -

One part of the speech supplied a convincing answer to New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia, whose representatives are fond of complaining about “ Federal injustice.” Up to the end of 1906-1907 it is estimated that the Commonwealth will have paid ^532,826 to Queensland and ,£192,358 to New South Wales as sugar bonus, while up to 8th October next, when the special inter-State tarin’ granted to Western Australia expires, that State will have gained from this source a revenue of about /867,i8/.

I wish to ask the Prime Minister whether Western Australia would not have, had as much revenue available if it had not come into the Federation; whether, as a matter of fact, the revenue referred to did not come out of the pockets of the consumers in Western Australia; and whether it can be held to have been paid either directly or indirectly by the Commonwealth to Western Australia ?

Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

– The questions asked by the honorable member relate not so much to matters of fact .as to hypotheses or theories. For instance, the honorable member asked whether, if the Western Australian Tariff had remained, it would not have yielded quite as much to that State.

Mr Fowler:

– I asked whether as much revenue would not have been available to the State if it had stood out of the Federation ?

Mr DEAKIN:

– I was about to say that if the people of Western Australia had chosen to retain a Tariff similar to that imposed under Federation, of course, the same sum would have been available to them. If, however, they had listened to the honorable member and his friends, they would not have had any such sum. The honorable member’s second question was whether the revenue was not contributed by the people of Western Australia. In my opinion only a part of it is paid by the people of Western Australia, the other portion being contributed by those who send them dutiable goods. His third question was whether any portion of the revenue can be regarded as contributed by the rest of the Commonwealth. The revenue certainly was contributed to by those in other States, who send to Western Australia goads which were made dutiable under the special Tariff.

page 2134

QUESTION

SUGAR BOUNTIES

Mr FISHER:

– Would the Prime Minister kindly indicate the extent to which the Excise duty collected exceeds the amount of the sugar bounties?

Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

– The amount of the excise collected is very much greater than that paid by way of sugar bounties. The honorable member, however, must recollect, as we all have to do, that three-fourths’ of the excise collected goes to the State in which it is collected, and that the total sugar bounties are paid out of the fourth of the Customs and Excise duties which falls to the share of the Commonwealth. We pay the whole of the bounties, but receive only one-fourth of’ the Excise duties.

Mr GLYNN:

– I should like to ask the Prime Minister whether it is not a fact that under the rebate system the Commonwealth lost the whole of the rebates?

Mr DEAKIN:

– My recollection is that the Commonwealth did not lose the whole of the rebates. They were deducted from the Excise duties, which were divided between the Commonwealth and the States in the proportion of one-fourth and threefourths respectively.

Mr Glynn:

– Yes ; but the amount represented by the rebates was never paid into revenue.

Mr DEAKIN:

– No.

page 2134

QUESTION

DEFECTIVE RIFLES

Mr WILKINSON:
MORETON, QUEENSLAND

– I desire to ask the Minister representing the Minister of Defence whether he can give the House any information with respect to the absence of a cut-off in the rifles imported for the Defence Forces. I wish to know whether the cost of remedying the defect will fall upon the War Office or the Commonwealth?

Mr EWING:
Vice-President of the Executive Council · RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · Protectionist

– The honorable member informed me that he intended to ask a question on this matter, and I have obtained a reply, which reads as follows: -

The rifles were supplied as ordered, viz., the latest War Office pattern, as issued to the British Army. The cut-off is apparently not issued to army authorities. The cut-off is omitted from this pattern, but a space is left so that it can be fitted if required. The Commonwealth military authorities have recommended that the rifle with cut-off fitted is more suitable for our forces than without the cut-off, and steps are being taken to obtain them and fit them to the rifles on issue. Future supplies will have the cut-off attached.

The honorable member will see that the rifles were supplied to order, and that, therefore, we must accept the full responsibility.

page 2134

QUESTION

MILITARY CANTEENS

Mr EWING:
Protectionist

– Yesterday the honorable member for Wentworth asked whether t’he greater part of the military forces quartered at Victoria Barracks, Sydney, paraded on a recent occasion in protest against the proposed abolition of the canteen, and if so whether the Government would do its best to afford information as to the object and character of military canteens as instituted in Australia. I informed him that I would make inquiries and communicate the result of them to him to-day. In fulfilment of that promise I desire to say that on 26th July the following telegram was received -from the Commandant, New South Wales : -

At conclusion to-day’s annual meeting of militia and volunteer commanding officers I was asked respectfully to inform Minister that if the proposed legislation re military canteens is given effect to, the result will be most injurious to the best interests of Forces ; the feeling was unanimous.

On the 27th July a further telegram was received from the same officer, as follows : -

Re Canteen Bill, after annual muster parade of whole of permanent men in accordance with Standing Order 35, representations made through proper channel most respectfully but urgently protesting against Bill becoming law; feeling unanimous throughout all ranks.

With regard to the other portion of the honorable member’s question, I would point out that he has a notice of motion upon the business-paper - which the Government will not oppose - and under which a good deal of the information that he desires will be supplied. Any further particulars we shall be glad to furnish later on.

page 2135

PAPERS

Mr. GROOM laid upon the table the following papers : -

Notifications of the acquirement of land at East Perth, Western Australia, and at Forster, New South Wales, as sites for post offices.

page 2135

QUESTION

STEAM-SHIP MERR1E ENGLAND

Mr WILKINSON:

asked the Minister of External Affairs, upon notice -

  1. Whether it is a fact that the Government have decided to dispose of the steam-ship Merrie England ?
  2. And, if so, is the sale to be open to public auction or tender?
Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow: -

  1. . Not yet.
  2. If it is decided to dispose of the vessel, the sale will be either by public auction or tender, but in the meantime any offer from an intending purchaser will receive consideration.

page 2135

QUESTION

PAPUA: APPOINTMENT OF LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR

Mr WILKINSON:

asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

In view of the fact that “Grievance Day” has already been given up, and that the exigencies of Government business may shortly require the giving up of private members’ day altogether, will he give the House an early opportunity of coming to a decision on the proposal to appoint an Australian citizen as Lieutenant-Governor of Papua ; so that the existing state of uncertainty, and the want of a progressive policy of administration, may be terminated at as early a date as possible, and the “Papua Act” be put in force under conditions that will secure the loyal and zealous co-operation of the white settlers in the development of its resources?

Mr DEAKIN:
Protectionist

– The answer to the honorable member’s question is -

An early opportunity for discussing all New Guinea questions will be presented in connexion with the Estimates, but I hope before that to make an announcement of the Government’s intentions in respect to its future administration.

page 2135

CANTEEN, VICTORIA BARRACKS, SYDNEY

Motion (by Mr. Kelly) proposed -

That a return be laid upon the table of the House showing -

The average number of men quartered at the Victoria Barracks, Sydney,during the past year.

The total number of men reported drunk in barracks.

What proportion of these had on the occasion named received drink in the barracks canteen.

What proportion of these had on the occa sion named received drink from outside sources.

The amount of spirits per man sold last year.

List of articles kept for sale by canteens.

Purposes to which canteen profits applied.

Mr CROUCH:
Corio

.- I desire to know-

Mr SPEAKER:

– If the honorable and learned member desires to debate the motion at all, it must stand over.

Mr CROUCH:

– I merely wish to ask a question.

Mr SPEAKER:

– The honorable and learned member cannot ask a question at this stage. If he objects to the motion, it cannot be proceeded with.

Mr CROUCH:

– Upon a point of order, I desire to know whether by leave of this House, and of the mover, I cannot move an amendment?

Mr SPEAKER:

– The honorable and learned member can no doubt accomplish his object by leave of the House, and of the mover, but it would have been well if he had previously communicated his desire to the honorable member for Wentworth. However, I will put the matter to the House. Is it the pleasure of honorable members that the honorable and learned member for Corio have leave to submit an amendment ?

Honorable Members. - Hear, hear.

Mr SPEAKER:

– It is really a departure from our ordinary practice.

Amendment (by Mr. Crouch) proposed -

That after the word “ Sydney,” line 4, the following words be inserted : - “ and other barracks of permanent troops.”

Mr KELLY:
WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I accept the amendment. Amendment agreed to.

Question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

page 2136

METEOROLOGY BILL

Second Reading

Mr GROOM:
Minister of Home Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist

.In moving -

That the Bill be now read a second time,

I desire to say that in exercising our powers under the Constitution in respect of meteorological matters, it is felt that we should be able to confer a considerable benefit upon the producers, upon those engaged in shipping., and generally upon those who are interested in commerce throughout the Commonwealth. Under the Constitution, we have power to pass’ laws dealing with astronomy and meteorology. But if honorable members will look at this measure, they will see that we merely propose to exercise our power in respect of meteorological matters. We ask the House to authorize us to establish a Meteorological Department. I shall give the reasons for our action at a later stage. Prior to taking steps in this matter, the States were consulted, with a view to obtaining their opinions upon the subject of the Commonwealth undertaking meteorological and astronomical work. Various answers were furnished by the States, some of which were favorable to the proposal, whilst others were unfavorable. For instance, South Australia was not agreeable to hand over to the Commonwealth its Meteorological Department. Victoria took up a somewhat similar attitude, and refused to hand over either the Astronomical or Meteorological Department; whereas Western Australia was prepared to transfer both.

Mr Fowler:

– That is the true Federal spirit.

Mr GROOM:

– New South Wales gave us no definite reply, and Queensland was willing that the Commonwealth should establish a Meteorological Department, but desired to retain its Astronomical Department in connexion with its survey work.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– What was the reply of South Australia in respect of astronomy ?

Mr GROOM:

– I do not think that she was willing to hand over that Department. Be that as it may, when the Premiers met in Conference last April, they passed a resolution affirming that both the Astronomical and Meteorological Departments of the States should pass over to the control of the Commonwealth. All the States agreed to the adoption of that course. I may mention that this matter was taken into consideration by the Government prior to that gathering. We found, however, that we could not get any definite reply from all the States, and so resolved to go straight ahead with the preparation of legislation upon the subject. But after further consideration we decided to deal only with meteorological work. At several previous Conferences attempts had been made in Australia to secure uniformity in meteorological matters throughout this Continent. As far back as 1879 a Conference was held for the purpose of endeavouring to bring the various States into line, so as to obtain that result. At that gathering New Zealand, South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales were represented, and resolutions were put before it, with a view to devising some system by means of which united action might be taken in regard to meteorological observations, and especially in regard to weather telegrams. The desire was to bring about uniformity in observations, in the apparatus used, and generally to secure co-operation throughout the States, so as to obtain better results from their Meteorological Departments.’ Some advance was made by another Conference, which was held in 1880, and by a further Conference, which met in 1888; The object of all these gatherings was to induce the States to interchange information, to observe uniformity in their methods, and by loyal co-operation to obtain better results in respect of weather forecasts and meteorological observations generally. The last Conference was held in 1905, and the report of its proceedings has been published. The question of the possibility of Federal action being taken was put before the representatives of the six States. The question of Federal control of the Astronomical and Meteorological Departments was considered by them. Speaking first of astronomy, their recommendation was -

The work at present undertaken by the Australian Observatories is that which is most required, and represents a minimum programme.

*Meteorology Bill.* [i August, 1906.] *Meteorology Bill.* 2137 *1__* Th;;t was the resolution to which the Conference agreed. They also reported, in reference to the two main divisions of astronomical work - >In neither of these main divisions can the work, for technical reasons, be supplanted by the establishment of one central Observatory; moreover, no economy would be introduced by such .1 course, as none of the work is being duplicated. That is to say, the representatives of the States did not think that any advantage would be gained by having one central astronomical observatory. As honorable members know, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, have astronomical observatories which are fairly well equipped, and possess competentstaffs. Australia has reason to be proud of the names of some of the scientists who have been associated with these institutions. We. have had. for instance, such men as **Mr. Russell, Mr. Ellery,** and **Sir Charles** Todd, and we should remember with feelings of gratitude the work that has been done by these eminent men. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- Do not forget **Mr. Wragge.** {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: **- Mr. Wragge** is also deserving of our consideration in this connexion, but his attention has been directed more to meteorological than to astronomical matters. Western Australia has also a very competent officer in the person of **Mr. Cooke,** whilst New South Wales possesses a very competent meteorologist in **Mr. Hunt,** who stands in high repute. The representatives of the States met in conference, and recommended that there was nothing to be gained by having one central Federal Observatory. They expressed the view that the establishment of one central meteorological bureau to supplant existing institutions, and to singly carry out the Australian weather services, was for reasons which they gave, impracticable. They could see no advantage in doing away with the existing meteorological institutions, but they recommended - >That a central institution be established for theoretical and scientific meteorology. They set forth in their report certain conditions which, in their opinion, could be secured by the establishment of a central institution of this kind. The idea is that such an institution should not issue forecasts, but should deal with the scientific problems associated with meteorology. **Mr. Baracchi,** who bears a deservedly high reputation, and attended the conference as the representative of Victoria, dissented from that view. He shared the opinion expressed by the Board of Visitors of the Melbourne Observator,y. I think that it , was in 1902, when **Mr.- Irvine** was Premier of this State, that a letter was written to the Board asking what attitude should be taken up with respect to the Commonwealth exercising its power to take over the Astronomical and Meteorological Departments. As the outcome of this communication, the Board made the following recommendations : - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. That all meteorologic.nl work at present conducted by the astronomical observatories of Australia be. placed under a Federal bureau, which should preferably be located in the Federal' City, and controlled by a meteorologist of high standing. 1. That the astronomical observatories of Australia, relieved of nil their present meteorological duties, remain independent Slate institutions. With those recommendations **Mr. Baracchi** fully concurred. We had therefore to decide whether from the Federal stand-point we should be justified in taking over astronomy as well as meteorology. After careful consideration, and having considered the opinion of experts, we came to the conclusion' that at this stage we should not be justified in exercising our powers with respect to astronomy. We had first of all the opinion of **Mr. Wragge,** who in a letter to the *Pastoralists' Review* on the 15th May, 1901, stated - >The centra! office on which meteorological researches for all the stations would depend should be concerned in meteorology only, following the example set by Great Britain. Canada. India, the United States of America, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Roumania, and other civilized countries, and should not be hampered by astronomical work or other branches of science, which professionally have no direct bearing on the work of the weather bureau. That is the opinion of a highly qualified authority, who enumerates the nations thathave found it desirable in practical work to distinguish between astronomy as such and meteorology as such. **Mr. Wragge** shows that the experience of 'these countries has proved it necessary to keep meteorology distinct from astronomy. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The distinction in the United States is very clear, is it not? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- If is. We also find that England has a special Department of Meteorology, under a Council of Meteorology; that Canada has likewise a special Department of Meteorology ; and that the United States has a very large Department under **Mr. Willis** L. Moore, which is engaged in purely meteorological work. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- The need for such a division is' admitted. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Quite so. It is considered essential that the two Departments relating as they do to distinct .branches of a science should be kept apart. We had to consider whether, from the standpoint of .Australia, it is advisable to keep these two Departments distinct. Upon that point we had the opinion of the Board of Visitors of the Melbourne Observatory, which comprises such men of eminence as Professor Lyle, of the Melbourne University, **Mr. Ellery.** and **Mr. W.** C. Kernot, as well as others whose names carry considerable weight. The three whom I have named, however, are all men of distinguished scientific attainments. They were asked to deal with the practical question whether in Victoria the Departments of meteorology and astronomy should - be kept apart, and they reported as follows: - Meteorology, which ^consists mainly in the weather service, is. no part of the legitimate function of an astronomical observatory, and its association with astronomy interferes with the advancement of the latter. This fact is fully recognised in Europe, America, and in other countries where national weather services are conducted by separate organizations, which are in no way connected with astronomical observatories. In them one central bureau receives the report from all the stations, classifies, and tabu- lates the observations, gives out weather forecasts for the whole country, and otherwise has complete control of the national meteorological work. The Board went on to report that - Hitherto the control of the Victorian weather service has been unavoidably enforced on the Melbourne Observatory by State reasons of expediency and economy. But, as the weather services of the various States could be carried on in a much more efficient manner if placed udner the control of a Central Weather Bureau, devoted entirely to the meteorological interests of the whole Commonwealth, the opportunity now offered of separating meteorology from astronomy should not be lost. They recommended accordingly - That all meteorological work at present conducted by the astronomical observatories of Australia be placed under a Federal bureau, which should preferably be located in the Federal City, and controlled by a meteorologist of high standing. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- What is, at present, the Federal City? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- We have a Seat of Government for the time being. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- And is not Sydney partly the Seat of Government? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I think that we are administering the Government from Melbourne. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- The Minister of Trade and Customs does not hold that view. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- That is another matter. The Board were particularly emphatic in their views with respect to the question of astronomy - We therefore recommend : That the astronomical observatories of Australia, relieved of all their present meteorological duties, remain independent State institutions. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Did they give their reasons for this opinion? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- They did; and perhaps I ought to place them on record. Dealing with astronomical institutions, they reported - On the other hand, when we consider the observatories as purely astronomical institutions, devoted solely to astronomical observations and research, and those demands of the State Government or the public that are germane to astronomy, we think that nothing would be gained either in efficiency or in economy by bringing them under one Federal control. The standing in the astronomical world of the men who at present direct the leading observatories of Australia is such, and that of their successors should be such, that they should have a perfectly free hand to conduct whatever investigation or research they may consider appropriate to their individual resources and ability in advancing astronomical knowledge. We know of no observatory of which the director has not complete control of the astronomical work. Local considerations also impel us to strongly favour the continuance of the independence of the Melbourne Observatory. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That is an argument for the separation of the two functions. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- And they hold that the astronomical observatories should be States, institutions. They went on to say - It has gained a high reputation by means of the valuable work that has been carried on in it. It has been liberally supported by the Government of Victoria, and has grown into an institution peculiarly creditable to the State. Its equipment is very valuable, and compares well with that of many European observatories. Its position in the Southern Hemisphere is unique, it being the most southern observatory in the world. In it have been kept for forty years continuous records day and night of terrestrial magnetism, which are of immense scientific value. Considering these things, we think it would be a matter of deep regret if our Melbourne Observatory were to be deprived of its individuality, and have the high reputation' it has gained over a long period of years merged in some large organization or department comprising all the observatories of Australia. The Premiers of Victoria and New South Wales wrote to the Commonwealth Government informing them of the resolutions that had been passed at the Hobart Conference, and we felt that, in view of the reasons which had been given, there was no pressing necessity for the Commonwealth to take over the astronomical work of the States. When the question arose as to the way in which these astronomical institutions should be dealt with, it was suggested that they should be handed over to the universities. Opinions which I have received privately from persons of scientific standing confirm the view that that is the right course to take. All the observatories are working as absolutely independent institutions, and it seems that to secure thorough efficiency they would desire them to be under the control of an astronomer who should be able to conduct his inquiries and investigations in his own way. That being so, it would seem to be advisable for the States to associate their astronomical departments with their local universities. This would be a distinct gain to the universities themselves. It would be advantageous to them to have such a high branch of science associated with their work, and the observatories themselves would gain in that they would be in touch with university students interested in astronomy. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- There is nothing to prevent that being done if the astronomical departments are federalized. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- There is, because we have nothing to do with the universities as such. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- We could have. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Only if consent were first obtained. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWILLIAMS:
FRANKLIN, TASMANIA · REV TAR; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917; CP from 1920; IND from 1928 -- The Commonwealth could establish a chair in any university. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Only with the consent of the senate of that university. The astronomers of the States are carrying on their work on independent lines, each in his own observatory, and we have suggested that, if it is no longer desired that astronomical observations shall be under the direct control of the Governments of the States, it might be of advantage to associate the observatories with the universities in some way, such as there is precedent for in what has been done in other countries. Meteorology, however, is a subject which it is highly desirable to deal with from a Federal stand-point. The officers who met at the Conference held in Adelaide in 1905 said that they saw no advantage in establishing a central control in connexion with astronomical observations. From their point of view, the taking over of the control of astronomical observations by the Commonwealth should not cause a reduction in the number of observatories. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Is it necessary to have an astronomical observatory in every State ? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- It is certainly not necessary to have a Commonwealth observatory, in addition to the present States observatories, unless another observatory is needed. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- It is generally recognised that exceedingly valuable scientific work is being done in the four States observatories ; but it is thought that no advantage would be gained by endeavouring to secure uniformity in administration by placing them all under Commonwealth control {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- " Astronomy " is mentioned in the Constitution merely because it was thought by the Convention that it might have some necessary connexion with meteorology. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- The experience of other countries shows that the Departments of Astronomy and Meteorology can be satisfactorily kept apart. Meteorology deals with practical questions affecting every-day life, and meteorological observations require the whole of the attention and the undivided services of the officers appointed! for the work. This is recognised by the board of visitors, by **Mr. Wragge,** and, to a certain extent, by implication in the reports to which I have referred. It is proposed that the Commonwealth shall take control of meteorological work in order that uniformity may be secured by regulations regarding the manner of taking observations, the time at which they shall be taken, and the instruments which shall be used ; and that a set of officials under Federal control may be available for the taking of observations and the making of records for the purposes of the Department anywhere within the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth, too, having the control of the Post and Telegraph Department, as it will, ultimately, also control navigation, will be able to provide efficient and uniform methods of distributing meteorological information. {: .speaker-JR7} ##### Sir Langdon Bonython: -- Will independent forecasts be issued for each State? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I shall deal with that matter presently. Uniformity of action is necessary, and under the Bill we shall have power to make regulations to secure that end. We can also provide for better means of communication with observation stations outside Australia. We shall be able to make such arrangements with India, for instance. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- There is nothing in the Bill to permit of that being done. Would the honorable and learned gentleman object to the insertion of a clause which would give the Governor-General power to make such arrangements? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I think that our constitutional powers in regard to the conduct of external affairs are already sufficient. There is, however, no urgent reason for uniformity of control in regard to astronomical observations. We hope that a Commonwealth Meteorological Department will be able to issue forecasts similar to those adopted in America. Such forecasts will be issued as widely as possible, especially in the pastoral districts, where information relating to rainfall and other climatic conditions is of great importance in regard to the moving of stock from one part of the country to another. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- We get very little satisfactory information of that kind now. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I think that if a Commonwealth Department of Meteorology is established, satisfaction should be given. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWilliams: -- The Commonwealth Government will not now telegraph the ordinary shipping lists of arrivals and departures. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That matter cannot be 'dealt with in this Bill. It comes within the administration of the Post and Telegraph Department. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Arrangements could easily be made with the Department for doing whatever is considered desirable in that connexion. {: .speaker-JR7} ##### Sir Langdon Bonython: -- Will not the proposed separation of the Meteorological from the Astronomical Department increase the total cost of the two services? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -I do not think so; but I shall deal with that matter presently. The United States Department of Meteorology is a very costly one ; but it supplies information to a population of about 80,000,000 people;' while we have a population of about 4,000,000 people only. According to the latest information available, the Meteorological Department of the United States of America costs annually $1,336,198, while the Canadian Department costs $90,307, and the English Department - the latest report obtainable relates to the year 1904 - , £15,639. The English expenditure is made up in this way - Land meteorology, comprising forecasts in" regard to harvests, £4,109; weather information, £3,029 ; and ocean meteorology, £2, 209;the balance being made up by expenses in connexion with administration. The total number of officers employed in connexion with astronomical and meteorological work in Australia is at present eighty, and the annual expenditure in salaries and contingencies upon the two services. £13,666. The value of the various buildings, instruments, and libraries used is estimated at £93,646, while the value of telegrams, if charged-, would come to £40,500 a year. **Mr. Wragge** has estimated the cost of an Australian Department at about £10,000 per annum; but if information similar- to that supplied in the United States of America were given, the cost would be much more. I hope, however, that the expenditure will be kept within reasonable bounds, and that the Australian people, as a whole, will obtain a much better service than they get now, though, of course, in some of the States a very efficient service is already being rendered. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- I suppose that **Mr. Wragge** assumed that the States would cooperate ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I believe **Mr. Wragge's** estimate was based purely on an Australian service right through. In a letter written by him, and published in the *Pastoralists' Review* of 15th May; 1901, he says : - >As to the annual vote for such a service as that suggested, we may mention that, although the sum granted annually to the meteorological office, London, is£15,300 (the American vote exceeding this amount), we consider that the service proposed could be well initiated for a sum, shall we say, not exceeding£10,000. This would be a firstclass investment in the interests of Australasia, and would yield sound interest in the well-being of the people. It is impossible for any one in introducing a measure which merely provides for the establishment of the Department to say what plan of organization will be recommended by the officer who is to be placed in charge. I can quite believe, however, that the American system may be followed. I find that at page 203 of the report of the proceedings of the second convention of Weather Bureau Officials of the United States, the American system is described as follows : - >The United States is divided into seven forecast districts, the headquarters or central offices of which, named alphabetically, are : - Boston, Mass. ; Chicago, 111. ; Denver, Colo. ; New Orleans, La. ; Portland, Oreg. ; San Francisco, Cai.; and Washington, D.C. In other words, they have divided the United States into seven districts, for each of which separate forecasts are issued. A competent meteorologist strongly recommends that in Australia we should follow the system dictated by the experience of the United States, and that, although we should have a central meteorological office, the Commonwealth should be divided into districts for the purpose of issuing forecasts. I conceive that these districts will be distributed with regard to the formation of the country, rather than to the existing State boundaries. Instead of issuing all forecasts from one centre, in all probability a forecast will be issued from each of specified district centres. Western Australia is so situated that probably it will be regarded as advisable to continue to issue forecasts there, and probably similar provision will have to be made in the eastern States. In each of the seven districts in the United States there is a further subdivision into State districts, and local forecasts are made in each of these. I think that they are issued after the general forecasts have been made, and are. more specific on account of the local observations engaged in after the general information has been obtained. By this means, the American meteorologists are able to issue very accurate forecasts. However, these details will have to be settled by the officer who is placed in charge of the Department. With regard to the work to be done by the Department, I think we shall be able to follow the American system very closely. In the first instance, we ought to recognise that weather forecasts are absolutely invaluable to those who are engaged in primary production. In the sugar districts of Queensland we have already experienced the very great advantage to be derived from forecasts of the cold' waves which produce frosts. These forecasts have proved of great value to' the canegrowers, because they have enabled them to take precautionary measures and safeguard their crops against damage. Again, weather forecasts are of great value to us, because so many of our rivers are subject to flood. A proper system of weather forecasts would result in the saving of hundreds of thousands of pounds every year. In the northern parts of Australia heavy rains fall at the heads of the rivers, and cause the streams to rise verv quickly but by a system of flood warnings all along the rivers, we have been able in Queensland to provide for the removal of stock and the saving 'of valuable property that would otherwise be destroyed. Further, in the northern parts of Australia severe loss has been incurred as the result of heavy storms coming in from across the seas. When Queensland) had a meteorological system of its own under **Mr. Wragge,** these storms were forecasted with considerable precision, and warning was given to shipmasters and others, who were thus enabled to tate precautionary measures in time to avoid disaster. We hope that by establishing a proper system of forecasts, and especially by means of observations taken outside of Australia, we shall be able to warn those engaged in shipping and other occupations, and so prevent loss of life and property. It is further hoped that under the new Department we shall have what we do not enjoy at present, viz., a proper system of storm warnings for " the benefit of shipmasters. We can reasonably expect to establish a proper study of climatic conditions of rainfall, temperature, humidity of atmosphere, and other features, which are of importance in considering the suitability Qf certain localities for settlement and development. We have not had a very long range of accurate records, and we know how difficult it is to ascertain the average rainfall in certain localities. Under a Federal system, however, we hope to become thoroughly acquainted with the climatic conditions of the continent. We hope also to be able to take advantage of the wireless telegraphic system, in order to obtain proper observations from the south of Australia. It is believed that if the Marconi system could be installed upon some of the ' steamers that leave our shores, and regular observations and records could be transmitted to Australia, we should be able to arrive at greater accuracy in our forecasts. The United States report of 1:905, which reached here only last week, refers to the great advantage that has been conferred upon the Meteorological Department by the use of wireless telegraphy. As the result of a conference of Army, Navy, and Weather Bureau officials, arrangements were made under which the bureau will receive information from vessels at sea, and by means of wireless telegraphy transmit to the vessels signals with regard to storms. The statement upon this point concludes as follows: - Negotiations are also in progress with the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company for the receipt at the station of the company at Siasconset Nantucket Island, Mass., of wireless messa'ge containing meteorological observations from vessels that are equipped with Marconi apparatus, and for a transmission of storm warnings to vessels that may be in communication with the station. The inauguration of a system of interchange between shore stations and vessels at sea of messages containing storm advices and meteorological observations promises an enlargement of weather bureau work that will be co-extensive with the development and scope of wireless telegraphy, and the extension over the ocean of area of meteorological reports by wireless telegraphy may, in time, permit a service to trans-Atlantic steamers about to leave American and European ports, that will advise them regarding the character of the weather they will experience at sea. Furthermore, it is likely, that reports that will be available with an extension of wireless telegraphy will result in a communication of storm advices to vessels in mid-ocean, and render possible a storm-warning service for the western coasts of Europe. If wireless telegraphy can be brought to our aid, we may be able to very greatly improve our weather forecasts. It will hardly be necessary for me to further refer to this matter except ito say that the United States have been doing their work in connexion with meteorology chiefly from a practical standpoint, with a view to confer benefit upon farmers, commercial men, and those engaged in shipping. They claim that they have practically exhausted all their possibilities in connexion 'with observations from a purely practical standpoint. The report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau, for 1905, contains the following statement: - >Since they are now applying all of the knowledge of the atmosphere that has been revealed, little hope for material improvement in their work can be held out until a substantial addition is made to the pure science of the problem. This can only come through experimentation, study, and research. With 200 stations engaged in applying the science, it is a wise economy to devote at least one of them to the work of adding to the knowledge that we are annually spending nearly a million and a half of dollars to apply. Accordingly, we have endeavoured to lay out a plan of study and research leading to an increase in our knowledge of the laws governing the atmosphere, such as should eventually enable our successors, if not ourselves, to add) to the accuracy of weather forecasts, and tomake them for a longer period in advance. In the future they will pay more attention) to the study of the laws of the atmosphere. A special station has been-, established ' at Mount Weather, Virginia. They are embarking to a greaterextent upon original research, in order to> ascertain whether, by a closer study of natural" laws, they can make forecasts considerably further ahead than is now possible. ,They recognise the difficulties which hamper them at present, and 'they have set themselves to the solution of the problemswhich require to be dealt with. It is te be hoped that we shall also be able toengage in original research work in thefuture. For the present, however, we desire to establish a practical institution that will confer lasting benefit upon those whoare engaged in the industries of the' Commonwealth. If honorable members Wil agree to this Bill, and intrust us with the powers for which we are asking, we shall be able to establish a Department that will do splendid work in connexion with the-, development of this continent. {: #subdebate-11-0-s1 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- There can be" no two opinions asto the usefulness of this measure. It relates 'to one of those peculiar Federal functions, the discussion of which is not characterized by any conditions of political storm. Perhaps it is just as well that thisBill is being ushered into the Chamber during a dead political calm.. One is very much impresed with the present stormy aspect of things, and it doesoccur to me to be fitting that, this proposal should be originated when things appear to be set so fair. Of course, I speak of the present only. The present aspect of the Chamber may be merely the calm which is the prelude to the storm. That remainsto be seen. But just at present indicationsare decidedly of a peaceful character, and? perhaps it is well that we should discussthis question amidst such surroundingsIt may be that the reason why the atmosphere in the Chamber is so calm is that the measure under consideration is a really useful one. If it were less useful to the peopleoutside, and to the Commonwealth as awhole, it is just possible that more attention might be devoted to it. and- that agreater degree of animation might be manifested. I think we shall do welt to pass the Bill, and I rise chiefly 4o point out that, in my judgment, the Minister of Home Affairs is proceeding far too cautiously. He is dealing with this matter in altogether too tentative a fashion. It is a subject upon which we are empowered to legislate under the Constitution, and in regard to which I think we ought not to hesitate to carry out our functions to the full. It is one of those matters in the control of which I think we can show "greater economy and efficiency, and altogether furnish the people with more substantial advantages than can the separate States. By this time every man and woman in Australia is intensely interested in a proposal of this description. Now-a-days we are all accustomed to our weather forecasts, and in that respect we are well catered for by the daily press of the Commonwealth. Almost every child looks at the newspapers to see what the weather is likely to be, before attending a picnic or any other small family conviviality which may be arranged from time to time. Consequently, this is a matter which reaches to the ramifications of our home life as weN as to every corner of our business and commercial experience. I hope that in taking over this new Department we shall endeavour so to widen its scope 'as to make even for more accurate weather forecasts than we obtain to-day. Of course, it is to be expected that, in assuming these new functions, State feelings, prejudices, and predilections may be disturbed. But we cannot help this rustling in the State dovecote when we proceed with the amalgamation of these departments for the purpose of securing a unified - and, we hope, a more effective - control. One is not surprised to find State officials looking askance at proposals for federalizing them. It was somewhat amusing to hear the Minister relying so much upon the recommendations of State officials. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Some of the gentlemen 'to -whom I referred are not State officials. For instance, I mentioned Professor Lyle, qf the University. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I thought that they were all State officials. At any rate, Professor Lyle would be merely a visitor. The Conference, I understand, was an -official one? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Yes. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- We can understand State officials looking askance at a proposal which means some diminution in their prestige, and, perhaps, in the total number of these observatories, should they be taken over by the Commonwealth, and placed under a unified control. Consequently, I do not know whether we Ought to pay too much attention to their recommendations. For instance, who would expect agreement amongst them regarding a proposal to take over some of their State judicial functions, which would necessarily mean the retirement of a number of their State Judges? Who, for example, would expect unanimity in the event of a favourable recommenda-tion, from a Commonwealth stand-point, concerning the amalgamation of our State Agricultural Departments? So we might - go through the whole list of these Departments, all of which view with a very great deal of misgiving any proposal to unify them, and bring them under one control. The same objections were urged against our action in respect of our Statistical Department. Scarcely any of the States - acting on the recommendation of their officers - could see any advantages to be gained from a Federal tabulation of our statistics, but all could see many benefits to be derived from the maintenance of the States Statistical Departments. . So it is in connexion with our States Parliaments. Who would expect any of them to suggest any diminution in their so-called sovereignty and of the functions which they at present discharge? Is there not a constant tug-of-war' going on between the Federal and State authorities, which tugofwar, I fear, will continue for many years, or, at least, until the permanent relations of the Commonwealth to the States have been fixed ? There must necessarily be friction, and consequently we cannot pay too much attention to recommendations which come from State authorities, and which have to do. with the maintenance intact of State functions. Nevertheless, it is our duty to assume, as far as possible, a unified control in connexion with purely Federal functions. If Federation is intended to mean anything at all, it means that Federal control of these departments must lead to greater economy and efficiency than can be attained by the States acting separately. The Meteorological Department is one of those in regard to which we may take up a bold and safe stand, so far as those functions are concerned. It would have been better if the Minister had been able to formulate for us some estimate of the probable financial requirements of these Departments. For instance, he should have been able to show us whether we were going to effect any saving in the cost of their control or to secure a much more efficient service for the same' amount of money that the States are now expending. The Bill might very well have been accompanied by an estimate of the advantages which would be conferred by the Federal as opposed to the State control of the Department. But I do not think that the matter needs to be seriously argued. Everybody will admit that we can do very much better by a Federal control of these functions than can be accomplished by the States in their separate capacities. Why there should be any hesitation in taking over the whole of the astronomical observatories, as well as of the meteorological stations, I am quite at a loss to understand. I am aware that the matter presented difficulties some time ago, when **Mr. Russell** - who had a sort of prescriptive right to his position by reason of his long service, and the way in which he had associated himself with his Department - filled the position of Government Astronomer . in New South Wales. A similar difficulty was presented in South Australia in respect of **Sir Charles** Todd. But both of these officers have now retired in the evening of their lives, after having rendered very effective service to their respective States, and, consequently, there need be no longer any delicacy in assuming control of that Department. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- We do not need a clearing; house for astronomical observations. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- It occurs to me that we do not want half-a-dozen such observatories. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- We must have local observatories, {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Perhaps the honorable and learned member will tell us why ? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- The greater the number; the greater is the efficiency that is secured. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I admit that several observatories are, perhaps, needed in Australia, but I do not think that we require six or seven separate astronomers in the six different States. O.wing to our separation, and the way in which we have been apt to regard these matters, these observatories have grown up, but I have yet to hear any valid reason for continuing them in all their trappings and expensiveness. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- We want certain observations to be made in each State, but we do not require observatories there. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Exactly. It seems to me that if 'we had a central astronomical observatory as well as a central meteorological station. Ave might very well reduce some of our State institutions, and thus save the funds necessary to maintain and equip our central observatories, at the same time making the system a more effective one than it is at the present time. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- In the United Kingdom, they have several astronomical observatories established within a much smaller area. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- We have a number of these observatories in Australia outside of the Government domain. For instance, in New South Wales, one of the very best astronomical observatories is a privately-owned one. It has been established in my own electorate, at Windsor. I think that everybody in Australia has heard of **Mr. Tebbutt** and his observations. He is one of the best men in the Commonwealth, and all that he does is done at his own expense, and in pursuance of his own private studies. _ Nevertheless, he renders very important service to the Commonwealth as a whole, and there are many others in Australia who betake themselves to that study quite apart from its bread-and-butter aspect. They make it a private hobby. It 'will thus be seen that in Australia there are probably many more than six astronomers. Indeed!, we might multiply that number many times over before we ascertained the total of those who are earnestly engaged in studying the heavens and in conducting astronomical observations. But w,hen we speak of this matter in its official sense, we have a right to see that we spend no more than is necessary for the purpose of providing a complete and fully-equipped institution. Therefore we should do well to unify our astronomical as well as our meteorological observatories. I entirely concur in the remarks of the Minister as to the advantages which the Bill will confer, upon the commercial community. I think that we might make much more use of meteorological knowledge than we do at the present time. Indeed, one of the results of Federation up to date has been a distinct curtailment of this information in the various States. I know that it has been so in New South Wales, and I venture to say that that remark applies more or less to other States of the Union.. I do not think that we have yet seen -a side of the. development of our Federal functions which we shall see, if we extend our powers as we should, and make our equipment as complete as possible. For instance, it is a fact that in many European countries they so easily and accurately forecast the development of storms as to be able to warn the public not only as to the approach of floods, but as to dangers associated with mining, and so forth. I remember that it was a common thing thirty years ago for one to find in the English morning, newspapers a warning to mining districts that certain depressions were approaching, and that miners should beware of outbursts of gas and falls of earth, which might be caused by the disturbance. So far as I am aware, nothing in that direction has been attempted in Australia. That may be owing to the extent of the area to be covered, but it occurs to me that if we had full control of the geographical limitations of Australia we might so arrange our observations as to make our forecasts valuable to those engaged in mining as well as in pastoral, agricultural, and other pursuits. That is one side of meteorological development about which we know very little in Australia. There may be geographical difficulties in the way, but I should not think so, since, in some countries, it is found possible to forecast storms two days before their actual approach. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Where is that? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I was referring to European countries. The development of the work of the bureau in the direction I have just indicated might very well be kept in mind. The Bill itself is drawn on a very moderate scale, and I think that the Minister would have acted wisely had he taken the cherry whole instead of making two bites at it. It is hardly worth biting at it in this piecemeal fashion. The honorable and learned gentleman spoke of the position in the United States of America, and told us that there were several stations- {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Seven forecasting districts. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- America is a very large place, and these stations are, no doubt, designed to disseminate rather than to collect information. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- There are seven large forecasting districts, and there are smaller districts employed in the distribution of forecasts. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That may be so; but I do not know that, in this regard, America and Australia are parallel. America has a settled population of 80.000,000 people, whilst we ha%'e a population of only 4,000,000. In other words, we have six observatories for a population of 4,000,000, whilst the United States of America, with a population of 80,000,000, has only seven observatories. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- There are four astronomical observatories in Australia. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I am speaking now more particularly with regard to weather bureaux. The Bill is a very small one, and I notice that it contemplates the taking and recording of meteorological observations by State officers. What is meant by " State officers " ? Is the term intended to apply to officers ki the Meteorological Department ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- It covers any State officer. Some of the observations may be taken by police officers and others. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I dare say that there are many hundreds engaged in connexion with the weather reports. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- There are 4,000 persons voluntarily engaged in taking observations for the Astronomical Department of the United States of America, and many persons interested in shipping do the same in England. . {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I do not think we should have any difficulty in this regard if we gave a little more encouragement to voluntary effort. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- We have in some cases voluntary effort. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- We should save much trouble, and be able to distribute much more accurate information, if we encouraged voluntary effort. At present our operations in this regard are often confined to one official in a district, whereas many people would be glad to take up the work as a labour of love, if we supplied the necessary' instruments. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- In one provincial town in Queensland there is a society which voluntarily carries out this service. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I notice that the Minister also contemplates an interchange of meteorological information between the Commonwealth and States authorities. Why should there be provision for such' an exchange? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Because this is concurrent legislation, and the States may desire to continue the Department under their own control. We may not be able to compel them to transfer the Department to us. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- But it is not likely that the States would continue their bureaux upon the establishment of a Federal institution. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- This provision is only for greater caution. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- If that be so, nothing more need be said about the clause, I repeat that the only mistake made by the Minister is in failing to provide in this Bill for the transfer of the Astronomical as well as the Meteorological Departments. He should not have paid too much attention to the States authorities, who are very much interested in the maintenance Qf States institutions in all their dignity. He might very well have brought down an estimate showing that a saving would be effected, and that more efficient scientific results would flow from the taking over of both branches. Had he done that, we should have had no difficulty in convincing the States of the superiority of Federal over State control. That, after all, is what we have to do. It is because of our failure to do so that the States are so shy of the surrender of functions which have been given to us) under the Constitution. The moment we can show them that the Commonwealth can carry out work of this kind to greater advantage than they, can, the people as a whole mav safely be left to determine in favour of Federal, as against the continuance of State, control. {: #subdebate-11-0-s2 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Like the honorable member for Parramatta, I am not going to find fault with the principle of the measure, but I join with him in expressing regret that the Minister has not seen fit to provide in this Bill for the taking over of the Astronomical as well as the Meteorological Department. If there is a reason for taking over the one, there is am equally good reason for the transfer of the other. The Minister seems to have been Influenced more by the views of the Board of Visitors of the Melbourne Observatory, and by those of **Mr. Baracchi,** the Government Astronomer of Victoria, than by the opinion of the majority of astronomers and observatory officials who took part in the Adelaide Conference. That Conference accepted, even if it did not actually approve, the proposal that the' observatories should be transferred to the Commonwealth. That, at all events, was the opinion of the members of the Conference, with the exception of **Mr. Baracchi.** {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The Conference did not. make a specific recommendation. They, said, in effect, that if the Meteorological Departments were taken over the existing, institutions should remain. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- With theexception of **Mr. Baracchi,** they agreed that certain recommendations should bemade, and they took no exception by resolution to the taking over of the Departmentsby the Commonwealth.- Further than that,, the opinion was expressed that the system proposed by the Minister in regard, to meteorology should not" be adopted.. The Conference decided that there should1, be a central institution, and that themeteorological observations should be carried ,out as at present, under that institution. Whether that view be right or wrong,, the Minister has not seen fit to be guided' by it ; he has preferred to adopt the view of the Victorian Government Astronomer. Thequestion of the desirableness of separating, the two branches of meteorology and astronomy is one that we need not consider at present, although I agree that if the twobranches could be carried on distinctly with-, reasonable economy they ought to be kept separate. Even if both Departments were transferred to! the Commonwealth, therecould be a separation of the two - a separation possibly more effective and certainly more economical than that which will follow the transfer of only one Department. Weknow that at present the meteorological work of the States is largely done by observatory officials, and if we transfer one portion of that work to theCommonwealth, and leave the other to be carried out bv the States, we shall cause a division of duties now carried out by the one set of officials. That being so, we are bound to cause additional expense either to the Commonwealth or theStates. So that the immediate result will bean increased expenditure, not necessarily by either State or Commonwealth separately, but certainly by both combined. Honorablemembers should be given an opportunity todecide whether both or only one Department shall be taken over. I fear that, as the measure stands, any amendment providing for the taking over of the Astronomical' Department would be ruled out of order, and therefore I should like the Minister tocreate an opportunity for the taking of atest vote upon the subject. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- How does the honorablemember propose to raise the question ? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- A way could be found to do that; but I do not think that the Bill can be amended to provide for the taking over of the observatories. I suggest that the Minister should consider how best an opportunity can be given for testing the opinion of honorable members in regard to the matter. I strongly favour the transfer of both Departments. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Even if we took over the Astronomical Departments, we could not (prevent any university from establishing an -observatory of its own. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- No; and there is no reason why that should be prevented, if the institution can bear the expense. But there are now observatories under Government control in four of the States, and, if their revenue becomes buoyant, the remaining, States may also be tempted to establish observatories. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Queensland desires to retain the astronomical branch for survey purposes. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- There is a great deal of astronomical work which can tie done at small cost by States officers unconnected with the observatories. For instance, such matters as time distribution, the standardization of weights and measures, the rectification of chronometers, calculations relating to tides, and other similar work, can be done outside the observatories at small expense, because the instruments required are not costly, and the labour necessary is not large. But the observation of the heavens, the photographing of stars, the taking part in the astronomical work of the world, and other operations for which our existing observatories are equipped, are very costly, and, by providing for the transfer of the Astronomical Departments to the control of the Commonwealth, we should remove from the two States which have not yet established observatories the temptation to do so. By having the observatories under one control, we should bring about economy by preventing the duplication of work. Naturally, every astronomer is anxious that his observations and calculations shall be of an importance which will place him in the lead, or, at least, on a level with his fellows, with the result that each observatory obtains expensive and valuable instruments, and a large staff, to thoroughly equip it for work which might very well be done by any of the others, the local work coming par ticularly within its province being comparatively small in volume, and therefore not costly. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The officials declare that there is no duplication in astronomical work. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- If the honorable and learned gentleman looks into the matter, I think he will find, as I did, that there is duplication. I admit that, as regards the photographing of the heavens under an international arrangement, duplication has been avoided by allotting to the observatories of Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, and Perth different portions of the sky ; but there is duplication in regard to other work, which could be done by one university, and, under Commonwealth control, would be prevented. We should make all the use we can of our observatories, but we should introduce a system which will prevent the duplication of instruments and staffs for the doing of work by several observatories concurrently which could be equally well done by any of them alone. The Astronomical Departments' are only small ones at the present time, but, if they were under Commonwealth control, effective economies could be enforced. The time is now opportune for dealing with the matter. Does the Minister intend never to exercise the power given in the Constitution to take over the control of the Astronomical Departments ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I know of no justification for taking them over at this stage. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- If there is no justification for taking them over now, when will there be such justification? If the various observatories of the States are allowed to grow, there will be greater difficulties in the way of transfer later on than there are now, because the number1 of those interested in preventing it will increase, while, in the meantime, we shall be debarred from practising economies which are possible under a central administration alone. At the present time there are two important vacancies in connexion with the staffs of the observatories of the States. The Government Astronomer of New South Wales is retiring. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Does the honorable member think that the Commonwealth should take over the Astronomical Departments and appoint officers to the vacant positions ? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- T saythat the very opportunity that the Commonwealth should desire would be presented for effecting economies. If vacancies existed in the Departments at the time of transfer, the Commonwealth would be free to effect economies without interfering with highly-paid officers. Vacancies now exist in the South Australian and New South Wales Observatories - at least, the officers who are now performing the duties of Government Astronomer are only acting in that position. The question as to whether these vacancies would require to be filled permanently could be decided after the transfer had taken place. It seems to me that certain important work could be confined) to certain observatories, and that it should not be necessary to employ astronomers of high qualifications in every State. Some astronomical work is done at Hobart, where they have no observatory, and no highly-paid official. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- There is a small observatory at Ballarat, which is supported by public subscription. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Doubtless private observatories and others of a purely local character would exist, even if the Commonwealth took over the Astronomical Department. I contend that 'we should exercise our functions in these matters to the full extent. We should not take over half of the work performed by the existing States Departments, and leave the other half to be carried on by the States. No sufficient reason has been advanced why the two branches of work - meteorological and astronomical - should be treated differently in the manner now proposed. There is no doubt that the meteorological work could be carried on without our taking over the Departments, but the States are very glad to hand it over to the Commonwealth, because they do not care to incur the expense that would he involved in extending the present system, and making it more complete. With, regard to the astronomical work, however, in connexion with which they now gain some kudos, they are either unfavorable or careless as to the transfer to the Commonwealth. I do not think we ought to hesitate to exercise to the full the power conferred upon us under the Constitution, to take over these two at present closely associated branches of work. If we took over the whole of the work we could make better use of the services of the officials than if a portion nf the work were still left to be carried out bv the States. The arrangement proposed must lead to disruption and extra expense. If we took over the whole of the work, some scientific men, fully qualified to act, should be requested to> ascertain what could best be done at each of the observatories. Where the work wasof a purely local character it would necessarily have to be done in a particular locality ; but if it were of such a description that it could be as well carried out in one State as in another, much of it could be centralized. This would all tend to economy and efficiency. At present, under decentralized control, this1 cannot be done. If we now decide not to exercise the full power given to us by the Constitution,, we shall settle the matter for all time,, because I cannot conceive of any stronger reasons existing in the future than those which now present themselves in favour of making the complete transfer I have indicated. On the other hand, greater obstacles may be presented. If we had! the observatories under our control, we could centralize a great deal of the work,, and perform it much more effectively than at present. While I commend the Minister for having taken up this matter, I am sorry that he did not go further. I have no desire to harass him in any way, but I trust that he will test the feeling of honorable members on the question of taking over the two branches of work. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- What would be the difference in the cost? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- The Minister has not given us an estimate. At present, it is difficult to ascertain the cost of carrying on the meteorological work now performed by the States, because the officials engaged in it devote part of their time to astronomical observations. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- If both branches of work were 'taken over by us, what annual outlay would be involved? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I gave particulars upon that point, but I could not separate the cost of the meteorological and astronomical work. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- If the work of the new department is to be as thorough as the Minister desires, I am afraid that it will prove rather costly. We shall have at the outset to decide how far our circumstances will justify us in going. I agree with the Minister that we should establish the best possible system, but fear that we shall be hampered by considerations of expense. We have a large territory, which is only sparsely peopled, and observations will necessarily have to extend over a very large area. Our action in separating the meteorological from the astronomical work will not tend to. reduce the total expenditure upon work which hitherto has "been interknitted under the States administration, and I trust that honorable members will indorse my view that the Commonwealth should exercise to the full the powers conferred upon it by the Constitution. {: #subdebate-11-0-s3 .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE:
New England -- I agree with the honorable member for North Sydney that it would tend to economical administration if the Commonwealth took over the astronomical, as well as the meteorological, work now being performed by the States. The two brandies of observation are very similar in character, and should be made to harmonize as much as possible. Under present conditions, there is a great deal of duplication of work in the States Observatories, which, if they were placed under separate control, could be avoided. Of course, we understand that if the operations of the Meteorological Department are extended, the expenditure will be increased, but our object should be to obtain the maximum result at a minimum of cost. And if meteorological matters are dealt with by the Commonwealth and astronomical matters are left to the States, the total expenditure upon . these Departments will be largely increased. I have not vet been able to read the report of the conference of astronomers which met in Adelaide in 1905, and consequently I am not familiar with the reasons which prompted **Mr. Baracchi** to oppose the transfer to the Commonwealth of., the control of the Astronomical Departments of the States. Before we vote upon this Bill I think that those reasons should be clearlyplaced before honorable members. The fact that the office of Government Astronomer in two of the States is vacant to-day shows that if we assumed control of that Department we should be afforded an opportunity of making some reduction in the expenditure upon our existing observatories. That could be done easily enough, unless it is absolutely necessary that in all the observatories throughout the States high-class officers should be appointed. I have an idea that that is not necessary, and consequently I think that a material saving might be effected. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The States may effect a saving now. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- I admit that. But the States are separate entities, and they are not likely to rel v upon the Victorian Astronomer. If we allow the astronomical work to remain with the States there is no doubt that they will continue the maintenance of their present establishments. Seeing that we have power to control that Department, I think that we ought to exercise it. A good. deal of the work that is done in each of the States is, I presume, supervised by the Government Astronomer. There would lie no necessity for that state of affairs to continue if we assumed control of both of these Departments. I hope that the Minister will afford . honorable members an opportunity of voting upon the question of whether we should not take over both the Astronomical and Meteorological Departments of the States. My own view is that, by so doing, we should effect a substantial saving, and at the same time secure a more effective system than we obtain at present.. {: #subdebate-11-0-s4 .speaker-KQ4} ##### Mr McCOLL:
Echuca .- I regret that I was unable to be present when the Minister moved the second reading of this Bill, because it deals with a matter in which I have taken a little interest. I sincerely welcome this action on the part of the Government. To me the subject of meteorology is one of the most important that they could take up. I think it is a reflection upon this Parliament that hitherto no action of the kind has been taken, although we have had power to deal with the .matter ever since the establishment of the Federation. In our present complex civilization, when interests are so interinvolved and world-wide, the discovery and formulation of laws governing the weather are of first importance. To obtain an accurate meteorological system throughout Australia, the Government would be justified in incurring almost any expenditure. To all sections of the community the matter is one of great importance - to those interested in commerce, transportation, navigation, agriculture, and trade of all descriptions. In short, it concerns everybody whose living and comfort depend upon the seasons and upon the weather. It is so far-reaching that it should be dealt with upon comprehensive lines. If the service is to be a useful one it should stretch out over all this Continent, and be conducted in the most thorough manner. The Bill falls short of what I should have liked to see attempted. Its provisions are halting and hesitating, and throughout it provides that the Commonwealth " may " do this, that, and the other. To my mind, the word " shall " should be substituted for " may," because, unless we intend to undertake meteorological work in a most thorough manner, we had better leave it alone altogether. A divided State and Federal control would be absolutely fatal to the success of a meteorological department. The States might certainly render help to us in their own way, but the actual control of the Department should be Federal from top to bottom. Probably more than any other institution that we can establish, it is the one which needs a centralized control if it is to be effective. Control must be centred in one man - in one efficient head - just as it is in other countries. He must guide the whole ramifications of the Department, he must be in direct touch with all its stations, and he must exercise control over every officer's work. There is no occasion for me to criticise the systems which we have hitherto enjoyed. They have been very poor ones. The only State which has rendered good service is that of Queensland, and the gentleman who controlled the Department there is no longer in the employ of the State Government. From the remarks which I have heard since I entered the Chamber, I gather that there is a desire on the part of honorable members to amalgamate the astronomical and meteorological services. I think that that would be a fundamental mistake. {: .speaker-JR7} ##### Sir Langdon Bonython: -- In many States they are amalgamated now. {: .speaker-KQ4} ##### Mr McCOLL: -- Then the sooner they are separated the better. The Astronomical and Meteorological Departments work upon absolutely different lines. Meteorology is a science which treats of the atmosphere, its phenomena, and the variations of heat, moisture, wind and storms. These are matters which affect our daily lives. Upon theother hand, astronomy is a science which treats of the celestial bodies, their motions, distances, revolutions, order and various related phenomena. These considerations do not affect us as does the science of meteorology, and, therefore, I am very glad that the Government have seen fit to separate the two Departments. Astronomy is strictly a science, whereas meteorology deals with practical work, and the minds which have the control' of one should not be occupied with the other. If they are, they must be diverted from that keen observation of the various changes; which are occurring, into abstract speculations which are of no practical value. Above every thing, the question should be dealt with in a thoroughly practical way for the benefit of the community. The conference which met in Adelaide in 1905 contained 'four astronomers, one surveyor, and one meteorologist, and certainly their findings are not entitled to very much respect. To me they appear to have fallen very short of what was required of them, and seem to have been dominated by the astronomers. I believe that the objections of **Mr. Baracchi** to the amalgamation of these institutions are sound and well founded, and I trust that the Government will accord them due respect. In this connexion, I think thatwe may fairly copy what has been done in other countries where the science of meteorology has been a very great success. In the United States, where this science has been brought to perfection to the benefit of the whole community, matters relating to meteorology were first placed under the War Signal Department in 1870. Until 1896 they were dealt with by that Department, but the work grew to such an extent, and became so intimately connected with the great producing interests of the country, that it was deemed advisable to transfer it to the Department of Agriculture. It was only after considerable agitation, however, that that was accomplished. The work of the Department was spread out to the great lakes, sea coasts, and subsequently to the districts of the interior and to the central valleys. To make it more effective, and in order to obtain necessary data in a reasonably quick time, it was found necessary to go further afield. In a Meteorological Department, there are two essentials to success - the one is a wide range of stations spread over a large area, and the other, a prompt collection and swift conveyance of the information which has to be transmitted to head-quarters. When I was in Washington, in August last year, I visited its Weather Bureau. The work there is being done under Professor Willis L. Moore. It had been for twenty years under the military system, and during that time the whole of the officers employed in the Department had been trained to military discipline and exactness. That was of very great advantage to them. When the Department was transferred to the Department of Agriculture, it was re-organized, and its operations were extended. Its duties now consist of forecasting the weather, issuing storm warnings, displaying weather and flood signals for the benefit of those engaged in agriculture, commerce, and navigation, gauging and reporting on rivers, maintaining and operating sea coast telegraph lines, collecting and transmitting marine intelligence, reporting temperature and rainfall for the great cotton interests, displaying frost, cold wave, and other signals, distributing meteorological information in the interests of agriculture and commerce, and taking such observations as are necessary to establish and record the climatic conditions of .the United States, and' which are essential for the execution of the foregoing duties. Since 1.896, that Department has grown very much indeed - so much so that in an area which is about equal to that of Australia, thirty observatories have been es~tablished at a cost of £80,000. The bureau at Washington occupies a fine position, is well equipped, and cost £35,°°o. As evidencing the importance attached to this great question in the United States, I may mention that their annual appropriation in connexion with meteorological work is ,£300,000. The chief of the Department receives a salary of £1,000 per annum. Each year that Department has been in existence it has recouped its cost over and over again, in the saving of both life and of property which has been effected through its agency. In addition to these thirty observatories, there are 200 observing stations and 700 subsidiary stations. The operators are paid by the Government, but, in addition to these, there are 3,600 co-operators, who discharge their duties voluntarily, and are supplied at Government expense with the instruments necessary to enable them to take observations. Every one of these officials throughout the States is in direct touch with the chief of the Bureau, and can communicate with him whenever he desires, either by telegraph or telephone. In order to obtain an effective system the Bureau has a very wide range of operations. It co-operates with Canada, thus securing observations from the extreme north of the Dominion, and also with Mexico, in the south, so that it is in touch with kindred institutions from the north to the south of the continent, which supply it with information, and from whom it obtains daily observations. The authorities of the Bureau are in touch with and receive observations from Honolulu, on the west, and with Britain, Germany, France, Portugal, and the Azores, on the east. The system is so complete that every meteorological change which takes place over a fourth of the globe, together with its bearing and possible results, is recorded and charted at Washington. The reports which come in are scanned by keen, experienced men, and the results are at once conveyed to every part of the continent which the changes may be expected to affect. At 200 stations simultaneous observations are made at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. bv 75 meridian time. The stations are equipped with the most delicate instruments necessary for the recording, of changes, and there is an almost continuous record of local weather conditions and changes. Twice daily these records are sent to Washington, where they are charted and studied by trained experts, who announce the weather conditions which may be expected. So accurately is the work done that? they can send over the whole continent a warning as to the approach of a storm from thirty-six to forty-eight hours before it takes place. The paths of storms are traced, and their subsequent courses are known. Information as to precipitation is at once sent to the Bureau, and the officials are thus able to foretell floods and warn the people concerned in time to permit of their providing against them. They have also a regular transmission of observations. In less than two hours after the morning observations have been made these warnings are telegraphed from the central station to 2,000 principal distributing points. They are then sent by post, telephone, and telegraph to 200,000 addresses. This takes _place daily, most of the addresses are reached before noon, and every one of them is reached before 6 p.m. ' The whole of this work is done at the expense of the Government, and it is entirely distinct from the great work which the press also performs in this direction. The United States have also a free rural delivery and a free rural telephone service, which carry information to the farmers all over the continent. One hundred thousand farmers, in return for a small charge, receive daily weather reports from the observatory. There are also telephone subscribers and card forecast subscribers, and no less than 17,000,000 card forecasts are sent out every year. Another point is that there is also a climate and a crop service in connexion with the Weather Bureau of the United States. There is a section in each State which collects information in regard to the temperature and rainfall, and makes, observations for monthly reports. During the crop-growing season - from April to September - weekly mail reports concerning the effect of the weather on crops, and also farming observations, are sent in from 14,000 correspondents. These are published in weekly bulletins, and distributed throughout the country. Apart from this practical work, which comes in direct touch with the people, and in which they take great interest, men of scientific ability are engaged in investigating and elaborating the fundamental principles which regulate meteorology and the kindred sciences. Snow and ice bulletins are issued from December to March, showing the depth of snow on the ground and the thickness of the ice on the various rivers and other waters, while special warnings are sent along the coast. Tropical hurricanes or storms or cold waves of unusual severity are forecasted, and reports are sent to postmasters at 6,152 points. These postmasters, in turn, post and telephone the notices to the various subscribers and other persons interested. In addi'tion, the forecasting notices are sent to 5,000 railway stations in all parts of the States, and are there posted in the waiting-rooms, so that travellers can at once ascertain the weather conditions in their own districts and advise their .friends at home of the necessary preparations to be made to secure their crops or other property. This work is highly beneficial to the people. There is no institution in the United States which has a greater hold on the people, or is deemed to be of greater benefit to them, than the Weather Bureau. Whilst we may noi be so ambitious at the outset, I trust that we shall proceed in no halting way, but that we shall establish a central bureau, where meteorology work alone will be conducted, and that we shall work on until we obtain such a system as that which I have described. It is impossible to underrate the value of this weather data to "business interests. The warnings of the approach of severe and injurious weather conditions which are issued in the United States of America are valuable beyond computation. Storm warnings are sent to 300 different points along the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Gulf coasts, and also along the shores of the great lakes, and so effective is the service that for eyars not one storm has occurred respecting which warnings have not been issued from 12 to 24 hours before its approach. Vessels have thus been detained in port, and it is estimated that the saving in this way secured represents a value of $30,000,000. Cold wave warnings axe issued from 2*4 to 36 hours in adVance, and persons having crops or other properties liable to be injured by these occurrences are able to cover them up or to take other steps to protect their interests. I read a year or two ago that in one county alone the value of the strawberry crops, which had been saved as the result of these notices, was estimated to be equal to the whole cost of the Meteorological Department during the year in question. With an accurate knowledge of the precipitation, the authorities, knowing the number of inches of rain that have fallen, are able to forecast floods, and so to warn the people in time to protect their property. By means of this great Department, thousands of lives and property of immense value have been saved from destruction. Since the Bureau was properly organized under the system I have just described, the percentage of wrecks around the coast and on the great lakes has decreased to a remarkable extent. In this Continent we have not the same wide range of climate, nor have we the extreme vicissitudes of cold and heat - of snow and ice - that are experienced in America. Still all this work would be useful here. Mere State work must necessarily be defective. What we need is to have the work centralized, placed under the control of one man, and carried out by a staff subject to proper discipline. This must be done in order that the Federal Department maybe what it ought to be. No other country offers a finer field for meteorology than does Australia. This Continent is peculiarly adapted to "such work, and, given a proper system, conducted at reasonable expense, the Department should be able to forecast weather changes all over the Continent, and so would be productive of great good. This work should be carried out for the whole Continent, and not for any one part of it. The staff of the Department should be absolutely independent of the Public Service. If the Department is to be effective, absolute discipline, prompt obedience, care, and attention are required. The Weather Bureau of the United States Has a very well-disciplined staff, and this perhaps may be partly due to the fact that it was for many years carried om under the military system. The chief can suspend an. officer at a moment's notice, and may conduct inquiries as to carelessness or breaches of discipline. Meteorology is so important to the people of Australia that I think it might well be taught in our State schools. That, of course, is a matter with which the States themselves must deal, but I hold that many subjects now being taken up bv the public schools are not nearly so important to the people of Australia as is a knowledge of weather conditions. Here we have State-owned railways, telephones, and telegraphs, so that we should be in a verv much better position than is the United States to carry out effective work. All these systems, which are under State control, could co-operate, and so bring about good results. We should also be able to secure the co-operation of the press, which would be a material factor in our success. I desire to congratulate the Government on having introduced this Bill, and I trust they will not agree to the amalgamation of the Departments of Astronomy and Meteorology. The divided attention to dutv which would follow would not be productive of such good work as would be obtained if the two branches were kept entirely distinct. {: #subdebate-11-0-s5 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth .- After the verv able address to which we have just listened. I do not propose to detain the House for more than a few moments. The remarks to which we have just listened brought home to me very fully the necessity to study local conditions in dealing with questions of this character. The honorable member was able to bring to bear a great amount of research in dealing with the experience of the United States of America, and to show the immense saving of life and property which had resulted from the wide powers and the extensive fields of operations covered by the Weather Bureau there. I take it that if meteorological observations are to be of full value to our people, we must have the sources of our information, not only in, but beyond, Australia. The forecasts to which the honorable member for Echuca referred were more or less parallel with the forecasts that we have had in Australia - forecasts for two or three days in advance of storms and local disturbances. But what I wish, to suggest now is that the time is approaching when, by widening the sources of our information, we may be able to extend the duration of our forecasts, and so enable the people on the land to obtain information in regard, not only to local disturbances, but of a general character in respect to. seasonal rains. Australia derives most of its moisture from countries lying to the north of it. As honorable members know, warm air carries moisture, which is precipitated upon a meeting with cold air. I think the greater part of the rain which falls in Australia is brought to this Continent by monsoons blowing from a northerly direction, which deposit some of their moisture upon our northern areas, and gradually precipitate the rest as they come south, and meet with cold southerly and westerly winds. Therefore, it is necessary to insure that the Commonwealth Meteorological Department shall obtain information, not only from all parts of Australia, but also from the countries whence the northern monsoons blow. If it is known that the monsoon blowing across India from the north is charged with more than the ordinary quantity of moisture, and is travelling at the usual rate, it can be forecasted with accuracy that Australia will, within a certain time, participate in its blessings. Therefore, a provision should be inserted in the measure to enable the Commonwealth Meteorological Department to correspond with the Indian Department of Meteorology, and such other external Departments as it may be necessary to obtain information from. I had in~ tended to defer my remarks until the Bill was being considered in Committee; but I was so struck with the able speech of the honorable member who preceded me. that I felt that it would not be out of place to say a few words now that the subject is being considered in its broad aspect. I intend to move in Committee the addition of a clause which will give the power to which I have referred. It may be objected that the Government already has this power. {: #subdebate-11-0-s6 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member should discuss his amendment in Committee; not now. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I am discussing the general question whether it is necessary to provide in the Bill for the giving of this power ; but, as it may be better to deal with the subject in Committee. I shall content myself with remarking that, as the Government has provided in the Bill for the making of reciprocal arrangements between the Commonwealth and the States in this very direction, .it would not be amiss to also give power to make reciprocal arrangements with other countries. {: #subdebate-11-0-s7 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas -- I wish that we had a little more light upon the question whether the astronomical as well as the meteorological branch should be taken over by the Commonwealth. I do not see anything especially Federal about the work of the astronomical branch', though it may be that slight savings in the direction suggested by the honorable member for North Sydney could be effected under Commonwealth control. Having regard to present conditions, the astronomical and meteorological branches forming one Department in each of the States, it might be more economical for the Commonwealth to take over both branches^ re-apportioning the work of the observatories, than to merely take over the meteorological work, leaving the astronomical work to be performed, as now, under the control of the Governments of the States. The astronomers who met in .conference in Adelaide in 1905 appear to be opposed to the transfer of the astronomical branch to the Commonwealth. At the present time, it is, perhaps, natural that men should object to being brought under the protecting *aegis* of the Commonwealth Governmnent; but their objections are supported by reasons which, if not conclusive, deserve a good deal of attention. They do not think that any of the work done by the observatories can be dispensed with, and recommend that it be continued on the present lines. They say, too, that not much saving will be effected in connexion with the transfer of the meteorological branch, although they recognise that a central bureau like that of the United States of America would render more effective the work of comparing and recording meteorological phenomena, and the publication of forecasts. Under the circumstances, it does not seem likely that a large saving would be effected by taking over both the astronomical and meteorological branches. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- None, so far as We can see. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- There may be some saving in the direction pointed out by the honorable member for North Sydney. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- The astronomers say that neither the observatories nor their work can be reduced {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- No doubt ; and thev give reasons for that statement. Most, if not all, the leading universities in the old country and in Europe are affiliated" with observatories, or have observatories of their own. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- That is so in the United States of America also. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- Not only is theoretical astronomy studied;, but attention is also given to physical astronomy, and to the taking of observations. I know that, in connexion with the 'Dublin University, **Sir Robert** Ball's services were at times availed of, though his official position was that of Astronomer Royal for Ireland^ and he was not directly connected with the University as a professor. Seeing how widely availed of are the opportunities for study afforded by our universities, it would be a pity if the observatories were not kept in their present state of efficiency, merely as aids and1 auxiliaries to education, though, according, to the report, there is room for improvement in their equipment. If the Commonwealth takes them over, their sphere of usefulness must not be narrowed, and I, therefore, cannot see where any great saving car* take place, unless, bv the re-apportioning of work, duplication, which is now alleged to exist, can be dispensed with. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- We must have efficient men. at the head of our observatories. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- There is an astronomer at the head of each .observatory, who hasunder him a chief assistant and a staff, not only of men employed in the clerical work of making records, but also of men of comparatively high scientific attainments. **Mr. Cooke,** though a subordinate officer ire the Adelaide Observatory, was a man of fairly high standing in his profession when removed to his present position in the Perth' Observatory ; and there must be others possessing great professional knowledge, who would always be entitled to fairly good salaries. If the result of transferring theobservatories to the Commonwealth werethat men of high attainments were not appointed to the vacancies created by theleaving of men of good professional reputation, the service might be impaired. It is probably considerations of this sort that have induced the Government to say that at this stage it is not necessary for the Commonwealth to take over "Both the astronomical and the meteorological branch, and, going on the statements in the report to which I have referred, it does not seem to me to be necessary. One of the weaknesses of the Bill is that the States mav refuse to co-operate in the manner provided" for by clause 5, in which case there would be a duplication of staffs. The measurehas been framed on the assumption that the States will co-operate, though we have nopower to compel them to do so. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Hitherto, they have been found willing to co-operate. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- They were in the beginning; but there has been a good deal of friction since. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- There is a considerable interchange of services. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I understand that the interchange is not so large as it was. The Minister of Trade and Customs would create a separate Department in every instance where that is possible, and I believe that the auditing work of the Commonwealth is now being done more largely by the Commonwealth officers than was the case at first, when the services of States officers were largely used, though not paid for at very extravagant rates. Taking over both Departments may lead to a certain uniformity ; but is not likely to create any great saving. If my memory serves me aright, astronomy is mentioned in the Constitution because, when the Convention was dealing with meteorology, it was considered that there might be a necessary association between the two. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- That was a misapprehension. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- It may or may not have been a misapprehension. All that I can say is that the information before the House is not of such a character that I could, with perfect confidence, vote in one way or another. Perhaps in Committee a little more light will be available for the guidance of honorable members. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. *In Committee :* Clause 1 agreed to. Clause 2 - >In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears - " Observatory " means an observatory for the purpose of meteorological observations. {: #subdebate-11-0-s8 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas .-" Observatory " is a term applied to an institution for the purpose of astronomical, as well as meteorological, observations; but the definition limits the meaning of the word to an observatory for the purpose of meteorological observations only. I am not prepared to offer an alternative definition. {: #subdebate-11-0-s9 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of Home Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- The definition is sufficient for the purposes of the Bill. It 5s not intended to have any wider scope. Clause agreed to. Clause 3 agreed to. Clause 4 (Duties of Meteorologist). {: #subdebate-11-0-s10 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay .- I think that, before this clause is passed, the Minister should say, as nearly as it can be estimated, what expenditure the Government will be put to in administering the Bill. I think that we should know what we are likely to be called upon to pay for the meteorological service. I quite approve of the policy embodied in the Bill, because it is impossible for the States to carry on the work with the same efficiency and satisfactory results to the community that can be ensured under the administration of the Commonwealth. {: #subdebate-11-0-s11 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of Home Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- I pointed out in my second-reading speech that it was impossible to say exactly what the meteorological service throughout Australia would cost. I might, however, inform the honorable member of the cost of the astronomical and meteorological work carried on bv the States. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- Have not the Government made an estimate of the cost for themselves ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Only a rough estimate. t So ' far as we can judge, the new service will cost us at least £10,000 per annum. The Meteorological Department .of the United Kingdom involves an annual outlay of £15,639. The cost of the Department will depend upon what it is required to do. It is recognised that, so far as our producers are concerned, the Meteorological Department should provide accurate forecasts in all the States. In this connexion, we realize that our settlements cover an enormous area, and that we have in outlying parts pastoral centres whose very existence depends upon climatic conditions. The movements of stock are to a very large extent affected by the reports as to the weather conditions in various places, and I hope that when the new Department is established weather forecasts will not only be made available in Melbourne and Sydney, but published at every leading Dost-office in the Commonwealth. Honorable members will see by a glance at the subjects enumerated in clause 4 what our ideas are with regard to the scope of the work of the Department. The cost of carrying out this work will depend very greatly on the system of organization adopted throughout the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- It is provided in clause .<; that the Commonwealth may enter into an arrangement with the States for the performance of certain services, for which I presume we shall have to pav. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- At the Premiers' Conference at Hobart it was agreed that the States and the Commonwealth should charge each other for services rendered by them respectively. If the States render us any services in connexion with the Meteorological Department they will no doubt charge us for them, but such items of expenditure will merely involve a cross entry, so far as the whole of Australia is concerned. {: #subdebate-11-0-s12 .speaker-KQ4} ##### Mr McCOLL:
Echuca -- It is almost impossible to estimate what the Department will cost. The question of the expenditure upon such work should really be only a secondary consideration. We should pay regard, in the first instance, to the necessity of making the Department of practical use. The work is one which must be extended, probably at an increased cost, but we shall be fully recompensed for any outlay by the greater value of the information furnished to those deeply concerned in our weather conditions. We must leave it to the Minister to see that the Department is organized with due re-, gard to economy, consistent with the highest degree of efficiency. {: #subdebate-11-0-s13 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay -- I quite agree with the honorable member for Echuca that efficiency should be the first consideration, but I do not think we should pass measures of this kind without having some idea of the expense involved. I have already stated that the Commonwealth is the proper authority to control such a Department, and I hope that its administration will prove of the utmost benefit to the people. The Minister tells us that, under the arrangement made at the Hobart Conference, the States will debit the Commonwealth with the cost of any services rendered by them in connexion with the new Department. Mr.Groom. - That applies to all Departments. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- Although the Minister indicates that the payment for such service will in certain cases be made by a mere book entry, it will be a somewhat serious matter as between the Commonwealth and the States, because it will involve a further drain upon our fourth of the Customs revenue, instead of the cost being charged to the threefourths share that falls to the States. I am confident that the present Minister will exercise economy, but, as is often said, we do not know what future Ministers might do. The principle of the Bill is perfectly sound, and I do not wish it to be thought for a moment that I am taking the slightest exception to it. I trust that the services rendered by the new Department will more than compensate the public for any expense that it may entail. {: #subdebate-11-0-s14 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I agree withthe honorable member for Echuca that our first object should be to make the Department useful. I am afraid that if we leave the States to still carrv' on the astronomical work now performed bv them, their Departments will be maintained upon the same footing as at present, and we shall merely be adding another Department to those already in existence, and thereby increase the tota[ expenditure. The very first thing to be aimed at in. connexion with a new Department is efficiency, but economy also must be studied. I do not see what is to hinder us from paving regard to both these matters. I think that, if we had an efficient central bureau, all that we should need besides would be a few small observing stations in various localities, from which results might be transmitted to headquarters. I judge from the figures supplied by the Minister, that the equipment of the States Departments varies very considerably. In New South Wales, the Astronomical and Meteorological Department emplovs nineteen officers, whose combined salaries amount to£4,000. In Victoria twentyfive officers are employed at a similar outlay. The astronomical and meteorological equipment in Victoria is valued at £40,000. No details are given. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- That is the form in which the information was supplied to us. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- We are told by the Minister that **Mr. Wragge** estimates that the meteorological service will involve an outlay of £10,000. I should like to know if that amount would include anything bevond salaries. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- That would be the annual charge for the central administration, and for the printing and publishing of the various reports. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Then what about the weather telegrams, which I see have hitherto cost £40,500 per annum? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- They will be transmitted over the Commonwealth lines, and even if the Post and Telegraph Department charge for them, the cost will merely be transferred from one department to another, and no additional expense will be incurred. The States now pay us for the weather telegrams, but they will be relieved of that necessity if we take over the Meteorological Department. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- But the. point is that we shall have to pay for them out of our one-fourth of the Customs and Excise revenue, instead of their being paid for by the States out of their three-fourths share. It seems to me that we must add the cost of the weather telegrams to the estimate of £10,000 furnished by the Minister. I think that such an estimate ought to have been submitted to the House upon the motion for the second reading of the Bill. It ought to" have been possible for honorable members to see whether any saving in the cost of administering this Department is contemplated, and, if so, in what direction. Surely it would not be a difficult matter to get either **Mr. Baracchi,** or some other officer, to submit an estimate of the probable efficiency and expense of the Department, regarded as a whole. I think that the matter rightly comes up for consideration now that we are allocating the functions of the proposed bureau. The estimate to which reference has already been made was, I understand, formulated by Mir. Wragge, some five or six years ago. However much we may admire that gentleman in certain directions, I have yet to learn that we can regard him as a financier. My experience of him is that his attributes lie in an entirely different direction from that of financial management. Unless we can increase the usefulness of this Department by assuming control of it, we had better leave it alone entirely. I fear that an increase in its usefulness will prove expensive, if we are to deal with it in this piecemeal way. If we are to leave to the States their observatories, their buildings, their instruments, and their many highsalaried officials, and if we are to establish a central bureau with another set of highlypaid officials, we shall certainly increase the total cost of administering the Department, without being able to insure a more efficient service. I do think that all the money which may be spent upon the central Federal bureau ought to be derived from the shearing down of some of the States bureaux. I may be wrong in entertaining that idea, but, if so. it should at least be possible for the Minister to prove that I am mistaken, according to the views of thebest authorities. {: #subdebate-11-0-s15 .speaker-L1N} ##### Mr WILSON:
Corangamite .- I am rather interested in the opinions which have been expressed by two honorable members who hail from the " land o' cakes." I refer to the honorable member for Echuca, who represented one side of the case, and to the honorable member for Wide Bay, who put the other side. Upon this occasion, it seems to me that the honorable member for Echuca has adopted the *role* which is so frequently adopted by the Treasurer, when he exclaims ' ' Oh ! what is a million?" Upon the other hand, the honorable member for Wide Bay asks the Committee to proceed with caution, and to obtain from the Minister an estimate of the probable cost of the working of a Federal Meteorological Department. I agree that, before the Bill is finally disposed of, honorable members should be given some guarantee that due regard will be paid to the economical administration of this new Department. The deputy-leader of the Opposition stated, at the outset of his remarks, that Ihe agreed with the honorable member for Echuca, but in his closing observations he conclusively showed that he was entirely in agreement with the honorable member for Wide Bay. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- What I. said was that I agreed with the honorable member for Echuca that we ought to make this new Department an efficient and useful one. {: .speaker-L1N} ##### Mr WILSON: -- We are all agreed upon that point. In dealing with this questionwe have a right to know how we are going " to raise the wind." That is a matter of grave importance. Before we give a blank cheque for the creation of a new Department we should have some idea of what its cost will be, and how that cost is to be borne. The Minister of Home Affairs has stated that' the cost of weather telegrams will no longer be borne by the States when this Bill has become law. Then the £40.000 which has been hitherto paid bv the States will represent a loss to the Commonwealth. Of course, we are all aware that the same taxpayers will have to provide the money. The cost of this Department - irrespective of whether it is administered bv the State or the Commonwealth - must' come from the pockets of the same people. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I said that the value of the weather telegrams transmitted is £40,000 per annum, but that, in accordance with a regulation which was framed under the Postal Rates Act, they are not charged for. Perhaps the honorable member will permit me to make a short explanation ? {: .speaker-L1N} ##### Mr WILSON: -- Certainly. {: #subdebate-11-0-s16 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister for Home Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- I merely desire to say that when the Postal Rates Act was under consideration I moved an amendment which enabled the regulation to which I have already referred to be framed. At that time a question was raised as to whether the Queensland Weather Bureau should be charged for services rendered to it by the Postal Department, which step would have deprived us of the benefit of **Mr. Wragge's** forecasts. I moved an amendment, which was carried, and in accordance with that amendment the following regulation was framed : - >Subject to the following regulations, meteorological telegrams may be transmitted free of, charge : - > >From the principal meteorological officer of a State to the principal meteorological officer of another State ; or > >From the principal meteorological officer of a State to an authorized observer at a reporting station ; or > >From an authorized observer at a reporting station to the principal meteorological officer of a State. > >Where cable rates have to be paid on meteorological telegrams, they must be paid by the sender. > >A meteorological telegram shall be sent as a message, and shall contain current meteorological information only, and must be in code and be concisely expressed, and, if a weather report, must contain not more than 12 words; and, if not a weather report, must contain not more than 20 words. > >Meteorological telegrams shall only be sent when necessary, and shall not take precedence of ordinary telegrams. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- Is that provision contained in the Postal Rates Act? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- No. It is embodied in a regulation framed under that Act. {: .speaker-L0Y} ##### Mr Wilkinson: -- Then what would be an expense to the Meteorological Department would constitute a revenue to the Post and Telegraph Department? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I took it that the question put to me by the honorable member for Wide Bay related to the annual value of weather telegrams. I replied that it was £40,000, and the honorable member for Corangamite was" adding that amount to the expenditure that will be involved in constituting a Federal Meteorological Department. Clause agreed to. Clause 5 - >The Governor-General may enter into an arrangement, with the Governor of any State in respect of all or any of the following matters : - > >The transfer to the Commonwealth, on such terms as are agreed upon, of any observatory and the instruments, books, registers, records, and document used or kept in connexion therewith; > >The taking and recording of meteorological observations by State officers; > >The interchange of meteorological information between the Commonwealth and State authorities; and (d.) Any matters incidental to any of the matters above specified or desirable or convenient to be. arranged or provided for the purpose of efficiently and economically carrying out this Act. {: #subdebate-11-0-s17 .speaker-KQ4} ##### Mr McCOLL:
Echuca .- I should like to move that the following words be added to paragraph *c, "* and the authorities of other countries." {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Notice of an amendment to that effect has already been given, and I have agreed to accept it. {: #subdebate-11-0-s18 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- In this clause provision is made for the transfer tothe Commonwealth "on such terms as are agreed upon," of any observatory.- {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- That means meteorological observatories. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Are there such institutions ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- There are outlying stations. A temporary meteorological observatory was established at Mount Kosciusko. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The provision to which the Minister refers does not relate to the central observatories ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- No. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- They will still be retained by the States? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Yes. {: #subdebate-11-0-s19 .speaker-JR7} ##### Sir LANGDON BONYTHON:
Barker -- I should like to know whether, under this arrangement, it is intended that independent forecasts shall be issued for the different States? {: #subdebate-11-0-s20 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Darling Downs · Protectionist -- What I mentioned was that the organization of Australia into meteorological districts, for the purpose of issuing forecasts, will depend upon the opinion entertained by the head of the Department who is appointed. I have already pointed out that in the United States it was considered necessary to have seven independent forecasting districts, each of which was subdivided into smaller areas, which distributed forecasts. When an officer is appointed by the Government under this Bill he will probably find it necessary to adopt the plan of dividing Australia into forecasting districts which may not be based upon mere State lines, but upon geographical features. For instance, there may be one in Adelaide, another in Western Australia, and two or three upon the eastern coast. I have here a map showing the way in which that practice works in the United States. The opinion which I have expressed is that which is held by eminent meteorologists in Australia. They believe that it will be necessary to carry out the system to which I have alluded. {: #subdebate-11-0-s21 .speaker-JR7} ##### Sir LANGDON BONYTHON:
Barker -- I regard the explanation of the Minister as satisfactory. Reference has been made to the forecasts formerly issued by **Mr. Wragge.** Honorable members_have spoken of their general accuracy, but it should be remembered that they were based on information furnished by officials in the different States. These officers are in a better position to issue reliable forecasts than any central bureau. As regards South Australia, **Mr. Wragge's** forecasts were framed on local data, but the locally-issued forecasts gave a much higher percentage of correctness. If we are to have reliable forecasts, and to establish a general average of accuracy throughout the Commonwealth, those forecasts will have to be made in different centres, in the way that has been suggested by the Minister. I am glad that he intends to give effect to a proposal of that kind. Clause agreed to. Clause 6 (Regulations). {: #subdebate-11-0-s22 .speaker-KQ4} ##### Mr McCOLL:
Echuca .- I think it should be provided that the regulations shall be laid before Parliament, for the matters with which they deal will be of very great importance. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Under the Acts Interpretation Act the honorable member's desire will be carried out. Clause agreed to. {: #subdebate-11-0-s23 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth -- I move - That the following new clause be inserted : - " 5A. The Governor-General may enter into an arrangement with the Governments of other countries, or any of them, for the interchange of meteorological information between such Governments and the Commonwealth." {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- Is such an amendment, necessary ? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I think that it is essential to the public interests that such a power should foe given. Honorable members willobserve that unless some such amendment bemade, paragraph *c* of clause 5 may be read; as an implied direction to the Department, not to obtain meteorological information, from beyond the Commonwealth. {: #subdebate-11-0-s24 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of Home Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- I see.no objection to the amendment. It is merely a declaration of what other powers we possess. **Mr. FISHER** (Wide Bay) C6.5].- I shall, not oppose the amendment, since the Minister holds the view that it can do no harm. At the. same time, I would point out that it may be taken to mean that arrangementsmade with other Governments will involvea monetary consideration. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Arrangements need not necessarily be of a monetary character. {: #subdebate-11-0-s25 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- If that be so, I fail tosee why the amendment is necessary. I presume that the Minister would have power tosecure an interchange of ideas and information without a specific direction in theBill. Does the honorable member intend' that the Governor-General shall be empowered to enter into an agreement with. other countries to supply information that we cannot supply for ourselves ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- If he thinks it necessary; but in all probability it will not benecessary. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- If we are going to insert' in the Bill a provision which will enable the. Minister to secure an exchange of information - for a consideration - between: theCommonwealth Department and that of anyother country, the proposal is a big one. {: #subdebate-11-0-s26 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth -- I believe that it is generally agreed among' meteorologists, and also among honorable: members, that the wider our sources of information the longer the period for which forecasts of weather changes can be given. {: .speaker-KQ4} ##### Mr McColl: -- And the more correct the forecasts {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Quite so. With a wider source of information, our organization should not be so liable to make an error because of an entirely local disturbance. The Indian Government have already recognised that fact, and are anxious to enter into a system of reciprocity with the Australian States. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- He would have one at the North Pole, and also at the South Pole, if he could. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I recommend to the honorable member a statement that appeared in the Sydney *Daily Telegraph,* of 18th May last, to the effect that the Government Meteorologist - who has frequently urged the desirability of receiving telegraphic data from as wide an area as possible for weather forecast purposes, has received a communication from the DirectorGeneral of Indian Observatories, requesting cablegrams showing periodic changes in the distribution o£ atmospheric pressure over Australia, in order to assist in the construction of their monsoon or seasonal forecasts; .further, that the cost of such cablegrams is to be borne by the Government of India. The arrangements entered into in a case of that kind would be for reciprocal advantages. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- I do not object to the proposal, but I wish to know whether it is not mere redundancy. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- No; the point is that if it is, then paragraph *c* of clause 5 is also a redundancy. If that paragraph be allowed to stand without some such amendment as I propose, it may possibly be read as curtailing the Government agencies in this very direction. Every one will admit the necessity to secure information from as wide a source as possible. The immense value of the information to be obtained from India will present itself to every one who remembers how intimately our seasonal rains are associated with the monsoons which come from the equator. The theory is that a lot of our moisture is deposited in the monsoonal period, and that the monsoons seriously affect the humidity of. the air in the southern part of Australia, although they do not reach here. Then the cool winds from the west and the south precipitate the moisture for which these monsoons have been responsible. That, as I have said, is a theory, but my other statements are facts which ought to be sufficient to secure the passing of the" amendment. {: #subdebate-11-0-s27 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay .- The honorable member for Wentworth is very ingenious, and is entitled to take whatever course he deems fit. I would point out, however, that, whilst his proposal is that the Governor-General shall have power to arrange with the Governments of other countries for an interchange of meteoro- {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The amendment would not prevent that being done. **Mr. FISHER.** The point is that the more definitely we prescribe the duties of the Minister the more we limit his powers. In the amendment we have the words specifically used, " the Governments of other countries, or any of them." We ought not to limit the power to obtain information in that way, because big shipping companies, whose vessels are fitted with wireless telegraphy instruments, would, doubtless, be able to supply us with very valuable information. Information obtained from a certain distance beyond Australia is of value only for universal data, and it seems to me that in prescribing the powers of the Minister in the way proposed by the honorable member for Wentworth we should certainly bring about a limitation of them. {: #subdebate-11-0-s28 .speaker-L1N} ##### Mr WILSON:
Corangamite -- - As the amendment will mean an extra charge upon the people, I should like to know. **Mr. Chairman,** whether it is competent for the honorable member for Wentworth to submit it ? {: #subdebate-11-0-s29 .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- The amendment is in order. I would point out to the honorable member that it is possible that the proposal embodied in it might involve no cost whatever. {: .speaker-L1N} ##### Mr WILSON: -- I think that the honorable member for Wide Bay has touched upon a point of considerable Importance, in view of recent developments in regard to wireless telegraphy. He has shown that ships at sea - a long distance to the west - might be able to supply us with far more valuable information than we could obtain from any. other quarter of the globe.. The Minister should have power to make arrangements with shipping companies to supply meteorological information. Most of our storms come from the west, and the most valuable information we secure with regard to disturbances comes from the meridian west of the Leeuwin. , The question is whether the amendment will limit the Minister's powers. We should make it clear that no such limitation is imposed1 upon the Minister. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- We should give him power to act according to law and common sense. {: .speaker-L1N} ##### Mr WILSON: -- I quite agree with the honorable member. I would point out that information from the south is also of value to our meteorologists. Many of our storms originate in the Antarctic, and are first recorded in the vicinity of the Cape. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The Government will have the necessary power, even without the amendment, which is only declaratory. {: .speaker-L1N} ##### Mr WILSON: -- I wish it to be clearly understood that the Department will have all the powers necessary for the collection of valuable information, and, in meteorology, information which is not gathered over wide areas is of practically no value. {: #subdebate-11-0-s30 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- There seems to be a storm centre here which promises to develop great energy ; but I think that the amendment which I am about to propose will meet the views of honorable members generally. I move - >That the proposed new clause be amended by inserting after the word "information," the words " and any matter incidental thereto." Those words will cover communications by wireless telegraphy, the use of ships, and everything else. {: #subdebate-11-0-s31 .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON:
Bland .- It seems to me that the amendment is unnecessary, because the Bill incidentally gives the Government the power which the honorable member for Wentworth desires to confer. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- By what provision in the Bill is that power conferred? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I think that the powers necessary for the carrying out of the main purposes of the measure include it. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Then why is sub-clause *c* of clause 5 necessary? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Clause 5 deals with functions which have hitherto been performed by the States, and it seems to me necessary to lay down the specific conditions under which the meteorological branch is to be transferred to the Commonwealth. I have risen to suggest that, when a Commonwealth Meteorological Department is formed consideration should be given to the statements made by Professor Gregory in a lecture delivered in Melbourne on the subject of Australian meteorological conditions and the forecasting of weather. He is of opinion that the temperature of the waters on our coasts, influenced as it is by ocean currents, may have a material effect upon our weather conditions, and suggested that a small sum should be expended annually in recording the temperature of the sea at various places. He admitted that it would be some time before sufficient data would be available to substantiate any reasonable theory, but he thought that an expenditure of £500 per annum might produce results of value in meteorological research. I think it would be well for the Commonwealth Department of Meteorology, when created, to give attention to that suggestion. {: #subdebate-11-0-s32 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas .- I regard the amendment as unnecessary. Clause 5 specially refers to the utilization of the services of the officers of the States. Our Public Service Act contains a provision enabling the Government to avail itself of the services of officers of the States, and allowing our officials to do work for the States authorities, and in this clause we are declaring that we intend to make use of that provision, and take advantage, for a time, of the services of States officers. The clause amounts to a declaration that we are going to exercise the powers whose exercise is provided for by the Public Service Act, it may be with unnecessary amplification of detail. On the other hand, the power proposed to be conferred by the amendment seems to be inherent in the Government. If we say that the Government is to undertake the control of meteorological observations, it will have power to do so. . {: #subdebate-11-0-s33 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth -- I cannot see that paragraph *c* of clause 5 has the application which the honorable and learned member wishes to give to it. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- I do not think that it is necessary ; it is surplusage. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I admit that my amendment may be redundant, but I point out that paragraph *c* of clause 5 errs in the same direction. If it can be shown that that paragraph is not necessary, and will be excised, I shall be prepared to withdraw my amendment. Amendment of the amendment agreed to. Proposed new clause, as amended, agreed to. Bill reported with a new clause. *Ordered -* >That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as will enable the Bill to be passed through its remaining stages this day. Report adopted. Motion (by **Mr. Groom)** proposed - >That the Bill be now read a third time. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Joseph** Cook) adjourned until a later hour *(vide* page 2174). *Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 7.30 p.m.* {: .page-start } page 2162 {:#debate-12} ### DESIGNS BILL {:#subdebate-12-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed from 31st July *(vide* page 2056), on motion by **Mr. Groom** - >That the Bill be now read a second time. {: #subdebate-12-0-s0 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas -- I looked -through the Bill very carefully this morning, and I think it is to be more commended for its purpose than for what it achieves. I had thought that a Bill which aims at uniformity would have been more in line with English legislation. We have welcomed the tendency recently shown to promote uniformity throughout the Empire in matters regarding which there is no necessity to have local diversity ; especially when that uniformity is only part of the greater scheme of uniformity which is aimed at under international reciprocity treaties. The growth of international reciprocity in these matters makes us more hopeful that the comity of nations will become a little more marked than in the past. Imperial statesmen, as well as commercial representatives of the Empire, desire that there shall be" uniformity as far *as* possible in regard to patents, copyrights, and designs. Copyright is a general term, covering copyright in books and designs. From the syllabus of the Sixth Congress of the Chambers of Commerce of the Empire, published in the *Weekly Times* of 20th June, 1906, I find that one of the notices of motion given was - >That it is desirable that the law of copyright should be uniform throughout the Empire, and that the existing laws relating to copyright be amended when necessary by Imperial and Colonial legislation, so as to give to all citizens of the Empire, subject to local conditions and formalities, identical rights and protection throughout the Empire for all their productions, whether literary, artistic, musical, or dramatic. The same principle, of course, applies to designs. I think that the expediency of Imperial uniformity in these matters was referred to at some of the Imperial Conferences of the last few years. It was mentioned at the Conference of 1902, if not at that of 1887. Under these circumstances, it is to be deplored that Ministers, whilst professing to follow the spirit, depart from the letter and structure, of the Imperial Acts. .1 do not intend, in connexion with such a technical subject, to quote more than one or two instances of the departure referred to. In England, designs and patents are dealt with in the one Act, and the articles to which designs have to be affixed and with respect to which designs may be registered are scheduled, not in the Act, but in the rules laid down by the Board of Trade. These rules have a publicity - a far wider publicity - than regulations such as those prescribed by the' Bill, which will be found only in the somewhat cloistral seclusion of that interesting periodical, which no one reads, called the Commonwealth *Government Gazette.* In a matter of this kind, which is to some extent Imperial, if not international, it is desirable that our laws should be made as public as possible, so that people of other nations, as well as the citizens of the Commonwealth, may have an opportunity of ascertaining by reference to the statute-book the full meaning and scope of our legislation. . If, however, they have to wade through the, sometimes not proper,] y indexed, files of our *Government Gazette* and Blue Books to find out which of the articles will come within the category of designs, they may quite innocently commit an offence against the law. The Board of Trade have made rules in England, under which fourteen articles are specified as coming within the designs part of the Patents Act. I cannot understand why patents and designs should have been dealt with in two separate measures, except that it may have been desired to introduce the Bills in different sessions. The effect is to duplicate the machinery, because in the English Act' a great many of the sections are quite as applicable to copyright in designs as to patents. Under this Bill we have adopted a good many of the sections of the Patents Act, whereas if the two matters had been dealt with in the one measure we should have saved ourselves the trouble of repeating the provisions. Why should we not follow the sufficiently concise terminology of the English Act ? They have a good drafting staff in England, and it is desirable that, as far as possible, our laws should run upon all fours with the Imperial Statutes, so that the decisions of the Courts upon Imperial Statutes may be applicable to the interpretation of our local laws. The Privy Council still reconciles most of the decisions of our Courts, and that tribunal is nothing more than another edition of the House of Lords. The same Judges sit upon both Benches, and act as interpreters of Imperial as well as Australian legislation. Therefore it is eminently desirable that there should be no difference in the wording or structure of the Imperial and Australian Statutes. At all events, where no apparent object is served, I do not see why the Commonwealth draftsman should alter the structure of the Imperial provisions, split up the sections, and very often vary the terminology. Clause 4 of the Bill contains a definition of "design." It is very small, and embraces only a small portion of the Imperial definition. It may simplify matters if I read section 60 of the Patents Designs and Trade Marks Act of 1883, which contains a definition of " design." It reads - " Design " means any design applicable to any article of manufacture, or to any substance, artificial or natural, ot partly artificial and partly natural, whether the design is applicable for the pattern or for the shape or configuration, or for the ornament thereof, or for any two or more such purposes, and by whatever means it is applicable, whether by printing, painting, embroidering, weaving, sewing, modelling, casting, embossing, engraving, staining, or any other means "whatever, manual, mechanical, or chemical, separate or combined. In drafting the Bill, which from the marginal notes professes to be in conformity with the Imperial Act, the method has been adopted of knocking out a part of the specification in the Imperial definition and then dividing the remainder into two sections, one of which is included, as it ought to be, in the interpretation clause, whilst the other is not. The definition of " design " is to toe found partly in the interpretation clause, -and partly in clause 5, which may be regarded as one of the enacting provisions of the measure. The structure of the expression in clause 5 has been varied from that adopted in the English Act. Some words have been added, and others have been left out. In clause 4 it is provided - " Design " means an industrial design applicable, in any way or by any means, to the purpose of the ornamentation, or pattern, or shape, or configuration, of an article, or to any two or more of those purposes ; The word " industrial," which has been added, and appears also in the title of the Bill, does not occur in the English Act, and I fail to see the object of its insertion here. It may mean a limitation. The Imperial Act of 1883 was a consolidation of the Act of ^842 and some amending Acts. The Act of 1842 dealt only with ornamental designs, but the Act of 1883 relates to ornamental and useful designs - the word " useful " not being employed in the definition, but being the result of the definition. Therefore, designs under the Imperial law, as well as under the Bill, may be ornamental or useful. If the word " industrial " is not qualified by the use of other words, the meaning of the term " design " will be somewhat limited. Owing tothe distinction previously drawn and still drawn in the Act of 1883 between "ornamental " and " useful," the word " industrial " may limit the application of the definition. It is certainly inconsistent with, the subsequent wording of the clause, which includes the word " ornamentation." It is incongruous with the context. I regret that the Minister has not shown Us why this departure has been made from the wording of the English Act, and why a word has been inserted which may lead tb diversity of interpretation. In the English Act the means of attachment are specified, whether they be by printing, painting, embroidering, weaving, &c. That, I believe, is done with a twofold object. The first is a desire to' indicate to some extent how the attachment is to be made, because in both the Imperial Act and in this Bill there is a provision that the registered mark must be attached to the goods. It is not left to each person to decide with what publicity the mark shall be so attached. In the English legislation, I repeat, the method of attachment is specified. But in this Bill the definition is contained in two provisions. Clause 5- declares - >A design shall be deemed to be applied to anarticle when - > >the design is applied, in any way, or by any means to the purpose of the ornamentation, or pattern, or shape, or configuration of the article, or to any two or more of those purposes. Thus it does not afford any indication of what is meant by the Legislature as does the Imperial Act. Again, from that clause we have omitted the words " artificial, or natural, or partly artificial and partly natural." That fact enhances the difficulty which I have been endeavouring to indicate in connexion) with the use of the word "industrial," which, is more related to artificial substances than it is to natural substances. By the excision of the words towhich I have referred the limitation of meaning that I have indicated may be given to the word " industrial." As the method" adopted is not in the interests of lucidity,. I fail to see why it has been employed. Again, in the Imperial Act there is a' definition of copyright in designs. That definition reads - " Copyright " means the exclusive right tbapply a design to any article of manufacture, or to any substance as aforesaid in the class or classes in which the design is registered. ° Copyright in a design means the exclusive right to apply the design - and then these words are added - or authorize another person to apply the design to the articles in respect of which it is registered. Why are these words inserted? They cannot be required in connexion with assignments, because the latter are specially provided for. They are not intended to designate persons who take designs for value or consideration. The object of that definition is attained by clause 30, which is supposed to be similar in purport to section 58 of the Imperial Act. The clause reads - >A person shall- be deemed to infringe the copyright in a registered design, if, whilst the copyright continues he, without the licence or authority of the owner of the copyright . does certain things. These words being used subsequently, I hold that there is no necessity to include them in clause 12. If honorable members will look at clause 32 they will find that it reads - > >A person shall not knowingly infringe the copyright in a registered design. The penalty provided for any such offence is £50 and sub-clause 2 declares that - >Any penalty under this section may be sued for and recovered for his own use by the registered owner of the design. But why is not the person authorized under clause 12 - if the definition contained in that provision means anything - also entitled to sue for and recover for his own use the penalty provided under this clause ? It seems to me that a departure has been made from the English terminology without regard to its effect. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr Higgins: -- Is not this better draftsmanship ? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I do not think so. In the Imperial Statute the particular Act in relation to which knowledge is implied is specified in connexion with the word " knowinglv." {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr Higgins: -- Clause 32 uses the words " knowingv infringe. ' ' {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- But the word "infringe" means several things which relate to different breaches of the Act, whereas in the Imperial law the particular breach is It shall not be lawful for any person to publish or expose for sale any article of manufacture or any substance to which such design or any fraudulent or obvious imitation thereof shall have been so applied, &c. In this Bill, however, a person is deemed to infringe t'he copyright in a registered design if, whilst the copyright continues, lie, without licence or authority of the owner of the copyright, " sells or offers for sale " any article to which the design or any fraudulent or obvious imitation of it has been applied. I point out these difficulties to indicate that a departure has been made from Imperial legislation. I do not say that the Imperial Acts are always right, but I do say "that they are generally excellently drafted. {: .speaker-KHC} ##### Mr Higgins: -- Some of our Statutes are better drafted than are the corresponding Imperial Acts. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- No doubt. Our Customs Act is better drafted than are most Imperial Statutes, and I know that some of the Imperial authorities highly complimented the right honorable member for Adelaide upon his draftsmanship of that Act. But, having uniformity in view, it is our duty to see whether we are justified in departing from the draftsmanship of Imperial legislation in this connexion. In some of our State Acts we have literally adopted the phraseology of legislation in the old country. This is notably the case in connexion with the Sale of Goods Act. I do not think that I need detain the House further in discussing this Bill, which is purely one for Committee. Something was said last night about the right of appeal from a decision of the Registrar in connexion with an application to register an industrial design under clause 39. That clause provides - >Subject to this Act, the Supreme .Court, on the application of any person aggrieved, may order the rectification of the register by - > >the making of any entry wrongly omitted to be made in the. register. That, I take it, refers to an omission in connexion with an entry which has been actually made. That is what is meant by the provision in the Imperial Act, in which different words are employed. lt does seem to me that the power of rectification conferred by clause 39 is the power to rectify a certain entry which has been actually made. . But the earlier part of the Bill seems to make the decision of the Registrar in connexion with applications for the registration of industrial designs, final. I repeat that the Bill is essentiallyone to be threshed out in Committee, and, therefore. I do not propose at this stage to offer any further criticism of its provisions. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. *In Committee :* Clauses 1 to 3 agreed to. Clause 4 - - >In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears . . . "The Supreme Court" means the Supreme Court of a State or any Judge thereof. . . . {: #subdebate-12-0-s1 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas -- Perhaps the Minister will tell us why this method of drafting has been adopted. Will he tell us why, for instance, the definition of " design " in the English Act has been cut down, then divided, and added to? For instance, the word "industrial " is used in this clause, although I cannot find it in any Act. It is true, however, that it appears in the report of the Convention of 1883. Will the Minister tell us why there is such a variation from the English Act? {: #subdebate-12-0-s2 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of Home Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- This form of drafting has been adopted with a view to make the definitions as short and as simple as possible, so that they may be readily understood. Any departure that has been made from the English Act is not one of principle: the substance of the English legislation has been preserved. If the honorable member turns to the definition of the word " design " he will find that it contains everything in the English section that is essential. In that Act the word " design " is defined as meaning - any design applicable to any article of manufacture . . . and by whatever means it is applicable, whether by printing, painting, embroidering, weaving, sewing, modelling, casting, embossing, engraving, staining, or any other means whatever . . In the Bill we define " design" as meaning an industrial design applicable in any way or by any means to the purpose of the ornamentation, or pattern, or shape, or configuration, of an article, or to any two or more of those purposes. The English definition, after setting out various means by which it is applicable, contains the words, " or any other means whatever." {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- They are *ejusdem generis.* {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- We have made the "design " applicable in the widest way. I think that the definition is a decided improvement upon that contained in the English Act. I would point out that the word "article" has been defined in the Bill shortly as meaning " any article or substance." Designs are usually applied only to industrial purposes. In the International Convention the word " industrial " is expressly used. We have there the words " industrial designs or models," which constitute the subject-matter of the Convention. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- I think that applies to patents and everything else. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Exactly. The word "industrial" is used, I am informed, in the Tasmania^ Act, and also, I believe, in the South Australian Statute. It certainly makes clear the purpose for which a design may be used. A comparison of this clause with the definition clause in the English. Act will show that it contains substantially what is found in the latter, but that it is framed in a clearer and more explicit form, so that an business man may know exactly what he can register as a design. {: #subdebate-12-0-s3 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas .- I can understand the object in view in framing the clause in this way ; but the point is whether that object will be attained. I have endeavoured to point out to the Committee the possible danger of this definition. The same method is adopted in the Copyright Act, the Patents Act, and also, I believe, the Trade Marks Act, and we have found that the perfecting of the English expression in connexion with definitions is faulty. The Committee will remember that that was our experience in connexion with the definition of "trade mark." The definition in the Trade Marks Bill was an emendation, it was said, from the latest English Statute, but on close examination it was found to be nothing of the sort. I am merely pointing out that in many cases we may not attain our object in making these departures. Unless the draftsman is particularly careful to see that he has condensed the essence of various' English definitions, there mav be a danger which, at the moment, he did not anticipate - of the object being, to some extent, varied. {: #subdebate-12-0-s4 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of Home Affairs. · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- I move - >That the words, " or any judge thereof," line 4, be left out. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- Why should they be omitted ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Because we are investing the Court only, and not an individual Judge, with jurisdiction. We have power to invest the Court of a State with jurisdiction, and clause 39 deals with applications which may be made to the Supreme Court of a State. Amendment agreed to. Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clauses 5 to 7 agreed to. Clause 8 (Registrar). {: #subdebate-12-0-s5 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I suppose that the intention is that the work arising under this Bill shall be carried on in association with the Patents Department. It is not intended to create a separate Department? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- No; I explained, in moving the second reading of the Bill, that it was not intended to create a separate Department. Clause agreed to. Clause 9 (Designs Office). {: #subdebate-12-0-s6 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas -- This clause provides for the establishment of sub-offices in every State, other than that in which the Designs Office is established. Such a provision is satisfactory, if it be properly administered. I would remind the Committee, however, that there is a similar provision in the Patents Act, and also, I believe, in the Trade Marks Act, and that it was not until pressure had been brought to bear that sub-offices were established under the last-named Statute. The head office was at the Seat of Government, and, I think, it was proposed to have a sub-office in Sydney. In all the other States, however, there were to be mere agencies, the records kept at those agencies being far more meagre than was necessary for the information of those concerned. I do not know that even yet the necessary information is obtainable in the sub-offices relating to patents, although, at the request of certain commercial bodies in South Australia, I forwarded their remonstrances to the Minister, and he consented to adhere to the provisions of the Act by creating sub-offices. What appears to be still wanting at the sub-offices is a complete registration showing the applications and the entries, that are made from week to week, so that by examination a person, say, in Adelaide, can find out what is being done, just as if he had made the examination at the principal office. I am informed that the necessary work of registration and indexing can be done in. the sub-offices without involving much extra expense. If that be so, I hope the Minister will see that it is carried out, not only under the Patents Act, but also in connexion with this measure. The information required at the sub-offices, under the Patents Act, is not complete, or, at all events, it was not a fortnight ago. I made inquiries, and was informed that it was possible from week to week to make the necessary entries in the register kept at each sub-office. If that can be done, I hope the Minister will see that it is. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I shall communicate with the Minister of Trade and Customs with regard to the matter. Clause agreed to. Clauses 10 to 24 agreed to. Clause 25 (Appeal to law officer). **Mr. JOSEPH** COOK (Parramatta) [8.15J. - According to this clause, the law officer - meaning, of course, the AttorneyGeneral {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Or the Crown Solicitor. {: #subdebate-12-0-s7 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Or the Crown Solicitor, is to be the sole arbiter in the" matter of an application for registration^ The Registrar" will have the right to refuse registration, and there will be no appeal from his decision. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Yes; under clause 39, paragraph *a.* The provision there is thesame as that in the Copyright Act. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That providesonly for an appeal for rectification. Would it cover an appeal against a refusal toregister ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- If anything" is wrongly omitted from the register, the Court will have power to order its insertion. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Suppose that there has been a direct refusal to register ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- In that case something: has been omitted from the register which should have been entered in it, and the matter will be put right by making theentry. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Then rectification covers registration? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The register will be rectified bv the insertion of something which* has been omitted, but should have been inserted. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I take the clause to provide for the rectification of an entry in the register. {: .speaker-KJI} ##### Mr Isaacs: -- It provides for the rectification of the register. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Could the register be rectified, if there were no entry in it? {: .speaker-KJI} ##### Mr Isaacs: -- If something has been omitted that should have been entered, the register can be rectified by making an entry. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- If an application for registration is refused, there will be no record of it in the register. {: .speaker-KJI} ##### Mr Isaacs: -- If a man's name should be on a share register, and is not there, he can apply to have the register rectified by the insertion of his name. " {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- It seems to me that the intention of the measure should be much more clearly expressed than it is. {: #subdebate-12-0-s8 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas -- I doubt that the clause is intended to give the right of appeal from the refusal of the Registrar to register an application. No such right of appeal is given in the Imperial legislation, and, as we profess to be desirous of securing uniformity in our laws on subjects such as this, we should not depart from the terms of that legislation. Of course, if uniformity is not desirable, we may make what alterations we please. Section 90 of the Imperial Act of 1883 is as follows: - >The Court may, on the application of any person aggrieved by the omission, without sufficient cause, of the name of any person from any register kept under this Act, dr by any entry made without sufficient cause in any such register, make such order for making, expunging, or varying the entry, as the Court thinks fit ; or the Court may refuse the application. To my mind, those words apply to the rectification of an error in connexion with -an entry. As I understand the English Act, the decision of the Board of Trade in regard to applications is final ; but if an error has been made in an entry, as by the omission of the name of a partner, an appeal for its rectification can be made under the provision which I have read. In any case, the intention of the measure should be clearly expressed. It would be easy to say, if that is the intention, that an appeal shall lie from any decision of the registrar under clause 25. Clause agreed to. Clauses 26 and 27 agreed to. Clause 28 - >The owner of a registered design shall, within two years after registration, substantially use the design or cause it to be substantially used in Australia in the manufacture of articles, and if he fails to do so the copyright in the design shall cease. > >Provided that if such design is used in any manufacture abroad the period aforesaid shall be limited to six months. , {: #subdebate-12-0-s9 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 .. - As I read this clause, it means that if a design is not used in manufacture in Australia within two years after its registration^ the copyright in it shall cease, while, if the design is used in manufacture abroad, its registration in Australia shall cease to have effect unless within six months the owner uses it in manufacture in Australia. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- If the owner of a registered design uses it abroad, he must use it in Australia within six months after registration. {: #subdebate-12-0-s10 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Is it intended that, if a design is being used in manufacture abroad, the period within which it must be registered and used in Australia shall be six months? {: #subdebate-12-0-s11 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of Home Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- The clause was modified in the Senate. It provides that the owner of a registered design shall substantially use it, or cause it to be used, in manufacture in Australia within two years of the date of the registration ; but that if a man having registered a design in Australia uses it in manufacture, say, in France the period within which he must use it in manufacture in Australia, in order to preserve his copyright in it, shall be reduced to six months from the date of registration. The clause follows the principle of the English Act. If under that Act a man registers a design in England and manufactures abroad, he must, to preserve his copyright, use it in England within a certain time. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- A manufacturer abroad may wish to protect a design in Australia. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Then he must manufacture in Australia within six months from the date of its registration here. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -. - Cannot a manufacturer abroad protect a design in Australia without manufacturing here? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- That question raises another point. The clause deals with the case of a man who, having registered in Australia, uses the design in manufacture abroad. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- That is not clear. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I think that it is. Clause 17 provides what designs may be registered, Under it only new and original designs, which have not teen published in Australia before the lodging of an application here, can be registered. The clause with which we are now dealing provides for what must be done after registration has been effected. {: #subdebate-12-0-s12 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- If a British manufacturer of tweeds wishes to register a design in Australia to protect himself from the imitation of his goods by local manufacturers, can he do so without manufacturing here ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- No. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- The Bill does not protect manufacturers abroad from the piracy of their designs in Australia unless they manufacture here. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Except under the special agreements dealt with in clauses 48 and 49. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- It appears to me that the effect of this clause is to nullify the provision in clause 48. Are we to understand that the Bill protects only designs used in manufacture in Australia, or will it protect, either under the international arrangement dealt with in clause 48, or, generally, designs registered here by an owner who is not manufacturing in Australia ? For instance, a copyright may be obtained in Australia under the Copyright Act, although the subject of copyright is not produced in Australia. Why should we adopt a different principle here, and refuse ownership of copyright, unless the goods are manufactured in Australia ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- If the honorable member will look at section 54 of the English Act he will see that we have followed the wording of the Imperial provision. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- The wording of the Imperial provision is different from that contained in the Bill. No reference is made to the " use in manufacture." Suppose an English manufacturer registered a design applied to tweeds and sent them out here. The provision in the Bill requires that the design shall be used in manufacture in Australia within six months. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Surely the honorable member does not object to the provision that the owner of a registered design shall, within two years after registration, substantially use the design? **Mr.-, DUGALD** THOMSON.- No; I am not objecting to that, but to the enactment in the proviso that if a design is not used in manufacture in the Commonwealth it shall be cancelled. A manufacturer might register here a design for goods manufactured in Great Britain, but unless he used the design in manufacture in the Commonwealth within six months, his copyright would expire, and his design might be pirated. I am perfectly sure that foreign designs are registered and protected in Great Britain, although the goods upon which they are used are not manufactured there. That may be done under an international arrangement. Under the Bill it would not be possible, even under an international arrangement with Great Britain, or any other country, to protect a design registered in Australia, unless the goods were manufactured here. I had no idea that it was intended to make such a wide departure from the principle embodied in the Copyright Act. I think that we ought to extend to British manufacturers the right to maintain their copyright of designs here, and that Australian designers should enjoy similar rights in Great Britain. {: #subdebate-12-0-s13 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Darling Downs · Protectionist -- The proviso to which objection is taken is merely a re-enactment of the English law. The first part of the clause deals with registered designs. If a person in Australia registers a design, and does not manufacture in Australia, or elsewhere, within two 5years, he will forfeit his copyright. That is only right, because the registration of the design may prevent other persons from using it. That provision seems to me to be reasonable and just. Let me put another case. A man may register a design in Australia, and after registration may not use the design in Australia, but may manufacture abroad. He may neither use the design in Australia nor import into Australia the manufactured article bearing it. He may simply keep the design on the register, in order to block others from using it in Australia. The clause provides that, if that course be adopted, the period of protection shall extend over only six months. The provision to which the honorable member for North Sydney takes ex- ception is contained in the English Act, which reads as follows: - >If the registered design is used in manufacture in any foreign country, and is not used in this country within six months of its registration in this country, the copyright in the design shall cease. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- The words " in manufacture " are not used in connexion with the word " used " upon its recurrence in the provision. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- No; but "used in manufacture" is meant. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- The words "in manufacture " are deliberately omitted after the word " used " in the second line. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Will the Minister adopt the English provision? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I prefer to stand by the clause as adopted by the Senate, as I understand, on the motion of **Senator Symon.** I think the clause is quite reasonable. If a man takes advantage of the law and registers a design here, I think that it is only fair to require that he should manufacture here. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- That principle is not applied to copyright. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- A copyright is different altogether, because a play, a poem, or book is in itself protected. On the other hand, a design is merely applied to articles which are manufactured, such as clothes or carpets. If the registration of a design were permitted to stand irrespective of any condition as to manufacture within the Commonwealth, the course of trade might be seriously interfered with, because persons who might desire to make use of a design would be prevented from doing so. In effect, we propose to say, " If you ask for a monopoly you shall in return for the concession be called upon to use the design in manufacture in this country." {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- The limitation would be all right if it were similar to that imposed bv the English Statute. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- The English provision is intended to apply to the use in manufacture in the same way that our provision is. A manufacturer might have a factorv in the United States, , and, by registering a design in Australia, absolutely prevent any other person from using it. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Why did not the Government make a similar provision in regard to patents? All the Minister's arguments apply equally to patents. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Patents are different altogether. A patent is a contrivance which is used in some particular industry. For instance, it may apply to gold-mining, and there are strong reasons why a person who obtains patent rights should be compelled to use his patent within the Commonwealth. If we give a special monopoly to a man, he should certainly be compelled to use the design which is the subject of a monopoly. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Does not a patent' confer a monopoly? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Certainly ; but- {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- Under this clause, how would the passing off of imitation goods be affected? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- There is a provision in the Bill which declares that if a design is registered and any person infringes it by knowingly passing off a colourable imitation of it, he .shall be liable to a penalty. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- Suppose a copyright design has lapsed. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- If a man manufactures abroad andi fails to manufacture in Australia within six months from the registration of his copyright, that copyright ceases. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- Is there no common law remedy, then? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I do not think so. The Bill provides that under such circumstances the copyright shall cease, and thereafter there is nothing - so far as I am aware - to prevent the design from being used. {: #subdebate-12-0-s14 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas .- I should like to direct the Minister's atention to section 13 of the Copyright Act of 1905, which provides - >The copyright in a book means the exclusive right to do, or authorize another person to do, all or any of the following things - which it then proceeds to enumerate. I do not think that that provision is contained in the Imperial Copyright Act, and if I recollect rightly, we had a big fight upon it. In this clause, the same principle seems to be adopted in regard to copyright in designs. It declares that a man must manufacture in Australia or he will not be entitled to the use of his design. {: #subdebate-12-0-s15 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
West Sydney .- This provision may operate fairly enough in respect of some designs, but in respect of others it will operate very unfairly. Let us take the case of a man in England who register a design for a carpet or a wall paper, and who wishes to introduce it into this country.- If he does not manufacture it in Australia within six months of its registration, he will be afforded no protection whatever. Now, it is obvious that he could not manufacture in the Commonwealth a wall paper or a carpet 'for. which he had registered a design within six months from the date of such registration. Tq obtain the necessary machinery to enable him to do so would involve the expenditure of many thousands of pounds. Consequently, he would enjoy no protection whatever. I can readily conceive that there might be many instances of that kind. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- We might impose a limitation as to the use of any design in Australia. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- It is very obvious that to use an article is a very different matter from manufacturing it. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- It is the registered owner who has to use it. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- Not at all. The use of a thing, I take it. means its consumption. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The provision means use by the registered proprietor of the design or under his authority. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- In that case, " use " and " manufacture " are 'synonomous terms. Clause 28 provides - >The owner of a registered design shall, within two years after registration, substantially use the design, or cause it to be substantially used in Australia in the manufacture of articles, and if he fails to do so, the copyright in the design shall cease. > >Provided that if such design is used in any manufacture abroad, the period aforesaid shall be limited to six months. I am bound to say that the provision is not very clear, and in my opinion the Minister's explanation does not cover some of the cases suggested by the honorable member for North Sydney. Certainly it does not cover cases in which the article could, under no circumstances, be manufactured in Australia within the prescribed period. {: #subdebate-12-0-s16 .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCAY:
Corinella .- I am not prepared off-hand to agree with the Minister's claim that this provision substantially follows the lines of the Imperial Act. Certainly, the section in the Imperial statute is rather peculiar in its phraseology. It reads - >If a registered design is used in manufacture in a foreign country, and is not used in this country- the words "used in manufacture" not being repeated. It seems difficult to speak of " using a design " except in connexion with manufacture, but when we find that the words " in manufacture " are used in the first part of the section, and omitted from the second, we are justified in believing that a Court would probably hold that the Legislature intended to make some difference between those two parts. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I do not think so. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCAY: -- I think that the Court would seek to ascertain if there was a difference in meaning between the two terms. Consequently, the Minister's claim that he is following English legislationhas scarcely been established. But the main question at issue is as to whether this clause is reasonable. I must confess that a person who is manufacturing abroad, and sending his articles to Australia has not any very strong claim to our protection in the matter of his design. If he wishes a *quid pro quo* he had better give the *quo* before he' accepts the *quid,* or, at any rate, within a reasonable time after he has received it. Of course, the Patents Act provides similar - though not by any means identical - protection to the patent.ee of articles which are manufactured abroad. Certainly, if there be a choice between the clause as it stands, and no such provision, I shall support the clause. At the same time, I think that the Minister might reasonably consider whether in the cases which have been raised, the clause would not operate unfairly -to those who arte1 sending into Australia goods which are manufactured abroad. I have no overwhelming love for foreign manufacturers as against local manufacturers, but, at the same time, I have no desire to see injustice done. In conferring benefits upon Australians we ought to see that we do not inflict injustice upon others. {: #subdebate-12-0-s17 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- If we are determined to grant protection to our manufacturers, we should not give effect to our intention in Bills of this character. We have ample power to protect our own people by means of the Tariff, and by other means without endeavouring to accomplish that end in an indirect way in a measure for the registration of industrial designs. I would ask the Minister how he can justify the granting of patents for articles which are not manufactured in Australia in the light of his statement that we should not register designs relating to goods not manufactured in Australia? All principles of honest trade support the desirability of designs being registered for the purpose of protecting them fi om piracy. Anybody who is prepared ta register his design should, in the interests of honesty, be protected from the pirating of a competitor. Then, as the honorable and learned member for West Sydney asked, " What protection will be conferred by this clause upon the person who cannot manufacture here?" If it be impossible for him. to do so- {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Impossible from what point of view? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Either because so small a quantity of the goods is used here, or because the climatic conditions are not suitable, or because the material from which a particular article can be manufactured, is not obtainable in Australia. What protection is such an individual to be afforded against his competitors ? {: .speaker-KVJ} ##### Mr Storrer: -- He will not require to be protected in that case. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- May not his designs in this market be imitated by competitors elsewhere? If the Minister provided that there should be no monopoly of a design unless it were used within Australia, I could understand his position. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- What does the honorable member mean by "use"? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I mean "circulated." The Minister knows perfectly well what interpretation is attached to the word " user " in other cases. The clause will tend to encourage dishonesty, and, moreover, it does not permit us to deal reciprocally with Great Britain. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- When **Senator Symon** drafted this clause in the Senate he said - >I suggest that we should embody in the form of a proviso the substance of the Imperial Act. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Will the Minister deny that an Australian can register a design in Great Britain, manufacture his goods in Australia according to that design, and send them to Great Britain, and that that registration will protect him there from the imitations of local manufacturers ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- For the whole period of five years ? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Yes, as long as he is shipping the goods there. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I am not prepared to express an opinion until I have looked into the question more closely. The term " foreign country " is used, and a great deal would depend on the meaning of those words. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I am of opinion that such a registration would protect the Australian manufacturer. I do not speak from an absolute knowledge of the law, but my commercial experience leads me to believe that one could protect oneself in that way. If that be so, there should be some reciprocity. If under an international arrangement such an advantage be given to Australia by another country, that country should secure from us a like, privilege. According to my reading of the Bill, however, that will not be possible. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Any reciprocal arrangement made in Great Britain will give only a right to register, and the consequent rights which the Act confers. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- And this measure will deliberately deny the right in question. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- No; it will provide for exactly all reciprocal arrangements made. **Mr. DUGALD** THOMSON. If the Minister can assure me that neither in Great 'Britain nor any foreign country can an Australian register a design and be protected in that market in respect of goods made by him according to that design in Australia- {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -Senator Symon took the view of the English Act, that goods made according to a design registered there must be manufactured in Great Britain within a limited time. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- The definition of the English Act does not bear out that view. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I shall leave the honorable and learned member for Angas, with his legal knowledge, to deal with that phase of the question. When a person invents a design - especially if he be a British subject - and registers it here, he should not be prevented, even when there are no manufacturers of goods of that design in Australia, from taking action against competitors elsewhere who may be pirating it and using it to his detriment here. There should be an opportunity to protect a design in such circumstances, and I feel convinced that such a right is granted in Great Britain. If the Minister could produce evidence showing, that that is not so, the posi tion would be different. Clause agreed to. Clauses 29 to 31 agreed to. Clause 32 (Penalty for knowingly infringing design). {: #subdebate-12-0-s18 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I notice that the penalties provided under this Bill are somewhat varied. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The penalty under this clause is the same as that provided by the English Act. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- The Minister follows the English Act when he chooses to do so. There is provision in the Bill for a penalty of £50, and for a punishment of three years' imprisonment. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- That is in relation to a very serious offence for which provision is made in the English Act. The honorable member will find that most of these penalties are taken from the English statute. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Does the continuance of the infringement of a design allow of a repetition of the penalty? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The offender is liable to an injunction to restrain, and every time he knowingly commits the offence he is liable to a penalty. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- And to damages ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Yes, and also to an injunction. Clause agreed to. Clauses, 33 to 38 agreed to. Clause 39 (Rectification of register by Court). {: #subdebate-12-0-s19 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I intend to propose an amendment to make it clear that one of the functions of the Supreme Court shall be to entertain an appeal from a decision of the AttorneyGeneral with regard to an application to be placed on the register. It has been stated by the Minister and other lawyers in the House, that perhaps the wording of the clause at present covers such an appeal ; but how the use of the word "rectification" applies to such appeals, I am at a loss to understand. I find on referring to a dictionary, that rectification means, " the act of rectifying or setting right that which is wrong." {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- And the register is wrong when something is omitted. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Is a book with absolutely nothing in it wrong? The clause relates to something that is wrongly inserted in the book. **Mr. groom.-The** register is a book which is supposed to contain a list of the registered designs. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- Might we not say that the refusal by the law officer to register a design would be an entry rightly, and not wrongly, omitted? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- There would be no entry at all, so that from that point of view it could not be either right or wrong. I propose that one of the functions of the Supreme Court shall be to vary or reverse the decision given by the law officer against an applicant, and, if possible, to place his design on the register. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I am quite in sympathy with the honorable member's desire that it shall be made clear that there shall be an appeal in such cases. Let the clause be postponed. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- My proposal is that the following new paragraph be inserted : - {: type="a" start="d"} 0. And may also amend or vary a deci sion of the law officer granting or refusing an application. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- It is a question of drafting, and I propose that the clause be postponed. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The amendment could be made and the Bill recommitted, if necessary. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- If the clause be postponed, I will have an amendment drafted. {: #subdebate-12-0-s20 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas .- I drew attention to this matter on the motion for the second reading of the Bill, and thought that the Minister was wrong in saying that provision was made for such an appeal. He appeared, however, to be very confident. I do not know whether he has the text of the English Act. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I have. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I think that one of the sub-sections of that Act clearly shows what the Court has to do as to rectification. The *Encyclopaedia of the Laws of England,* Volume 4, refers to this question. It states, at page 235 - >If the comptroller grants the registration, he gives a certificate which isprima *facie* evidence of what it states (Act of 1883, ss. 49, 96) ; but after hearing the applicant, he may refuse registration, and from his decision there is an appeal to the Board of Trade. Opponents are not heard ; if any party is aggrieved by registration, his remedy is to apply to rectify the register. All this is done under section 90 of the English Act of 1883. It relates, not to a registration that has been refused, but to one that has been made. The Court steps in and rectifies the register where an entry has been wrongly omitted. It is undesirable, however, to be cocksure on these matters, and perhaps the postponement of the clause may enable the question to be cleared up. {: #subdebate-12-0-s21 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of Home Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- Section 90 of the English Act provides that - >The Court may, on the application of any person aggrieved by the omission without sufficient cause, of the name of any person from any register kept under this act, or by any entry made without sufficient cause in any such register, make such order for making, expunging, or varying the entry, as the Court thinks fit; or the Court may refuse the application. . . . {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That is almost the language of the suggested amendment. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- It is the language of the clause. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- The words of the English Act refer to an entry in which, perhaps, a name related to the design does not appear. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- They refer to the omission of the name of any person from the register without sufficient cause. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- They might refer to the omission of an assignment. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Yes, but they also cover anabsolute omission. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- Only the omissionof a part. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- The omission to register an application entitled to be registered. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- I think that the section refers to cases in which part, but not the whole of, an entry has been made. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- It deals with an entry wrongly omitted. However, as the honorable and learned members for Corinella and Angas have expressed doubts as to the effect of the provision, I shall agree to the postponement of the clause, in order that an amendment may be drafted which shall put its meaning beyond question. {: #subdebate-12-0-s22 .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCAY:
Corinella .- I am glad that the Minister is willing to postpone the clause, because its meaning is open to doubt. It is, to use court, and not ordinary. English, to speak of rectifying something which does not exist, and, even though the Minister's view of the meaning of the provision may be correct, there will have to be a decision of the Supreme Court to the effect that the words used mean more than they mean in their ordinary acceptation before its correctness will be established. The English Act implies that there is something to be amended, whereas the clause speaks of rectifying something which does not exist. Clause postponed. Clauses 40 to 46 agreed to. Clause 47 (Exhibiting of designs at official or international exhibitions). {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Will the Minister kindly explain the reason for this clause? {: #subdebate-12-0-s23 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of Home Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- Clause 17 provides for the registration of any new and original design which has not been published in Australia. Publication may be of two kinds. A design may be made public by its user, or by making it known to the public in some other way ; and, if this clause were not inserted, it might be held that the displaying of a design at a public exhibition prior to an application for registration had destroyed the right to register. As such exhibitions are held for the promotion of industrial interests, this is not considered desirable. Clause agreed to. Clause 48 (International arrangements for protection of designs). {: #subdebate-12-0-s24 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- This clause provides that - >Any person who has applied for protection for any design in the United Kingdom or the Isle of Man, or in any foreign State with which the arrangement has been made, shall be entitled to registration of his design under this Act in priority to other applicants, and such registration shall have the same date as the date of the original application in the United Kingdom or the Isle of Man or such foreign State, as the case may be. It does not say how far priority shall extend. There might be an application by an Australian manufacturer of an earlier date than the application or the registration in the United Kingdom; but would the Australian applicant be regarded as not having priority ? {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- Does the clause cover an application in the United Kingdom subsequent to a similar application made here by another party? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- That is the question. The clause seems to give unquestioned priority to the applicant in the United Kingdom. {: #subdebate-12-0-s25 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of Home Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- The object of the clause is to enable the Commonwealth to make arrangements with other countries providing that persons registered there may, by application, obtain priority here. The provision is practically a reprint of that in the English Act, and of a section of our Patents Act. {: #subdebate-12-0-s26 .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCAY:
Corinella .- The position is no doubt complicated by the desire to pass legislation in this particular form in order to fall into line with international conventions, but I think that the point raised by the honorable member for North Sydney is well worthy of consideration. If some design occurs to the mind of a person in England and to the mind of a person in Australia at about the same time, and the latter applies for registration, the former may subsequently apply for registration, and secure priority for his application. It is true that there is a similar provision in the Patents Act, but I am doubtful as to its wisdom. It is conceivable that information withregard to an Australian invention might be cabled to England, and, although application for registration might be made in England subsequent to the date of the Australian application, priority might be obtained by the English applicant. I suggest that the clause should be postponed. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I propose to ask honorable members to pass the clause now. We can recommit it if necessary. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCAY: -- The Minister has already agreed to postpone clause 39, and, as the clause now under discussion would be open to abuses on both sides of the water, it should receive very serious attention. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I promise to look into the matter. {: #subdebate-12-0-s27 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I cannot conceive of any reason that could be urged in justification of this proposal. To enact that a foreigner shall, as a right, have priority, in respect of a subsequent application, over an Australian applicant for a copyright of a design would be to the last degree unreasonable. Notwithstanding that a similar provision may be in thePatents Act and in the Imperial statute, I do not think we should allow the clause to pass in its present form, unless it can be shown that some grave irregularity would arise. I think the clause should be amended by the insertion of the words "of a subsequent date" after the word " applicants." That would have the effect of giving priority to foreign designs only on condition that they were registered prior to the registration in Australia. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I promise to look into the matter, and, if necessary, recommit the clause. Clause agreed to. Clause 49 agreed to. Postponed clause 39 (Rectification of register by Court). {: #subdebate-12-0-s28 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of Home Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- I would ask honorable members to pass this clause in its present form. It has been suggested by the Parliamentary Draftsman that a new sub-clause in the following terms should be added to clause 25 : - >The applicant may within the time and in the manner prescribed apply to the Supreme Court against any decision of the law officer refusing any application for the registration of a design. {: #subdebate-12-0-s29 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I should like to know whether the Minister will again consider clause 28, and ascertain whether there are not provisions under the English law which permit of the registration in Great Britain of copyright of designs used in goods manufactured elsewhere than in Great Britain? I am not prepared to comply with the Minister's present request, unless an opportunity is given for the recommittal of clause 28. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I should not refuse a request to recommit the clause. I shall look into the matter "as the honorable member desires. {: #subdebate-12-0-s30 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas .- Now that the Minister acknowledges that there may be some doubt as to whether clause 39 gives the right of appeal- {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I do not admit that, but I think it is better to make the provision suggested. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- The Minister is now proposing to give the. right of appeal, although we have never considered the policy of adopting that course. My opinion is that it was never intended to give the right of appeal, and we have never entered upon the question whether it ought to be 'given. There is no necessity to give the right of appeal, because it is perfectly open to dissatisfied applicants to proceed by way of mandamus to bring compulsion to bear upon an officer who improperly refuses registration. Clause agreed! to. Bill reported with an amendment. {: .page-start } page 2174 {:#debate-13} ### METEOROLOGY BILL {:#subdebate-13-0} #### Third Reading Consideration resumed *(vide* page 2 161), on motion by **Mr. Groom** - >That the Bill be now read a third time. Motion, by leave, withdrawn. {: #subdebate-13-0-s0 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I am obliged to the Minister for having afforded' me this opportunity to test the fee'ling of honorable members as to whether we should take over -with the Meteorological Departments of the States the Astronomical Departments which are now being carried on in connexion with them. I do not intend to repeat the arguments I used during the second-reading debate. I desire merely to test the feeling of the House upon the question of whether we should not take over both the Astronomical and the Meteorological Departments of the States. I think that we should do so. If we neglect to do so, it will be an intimation to the States that we are very unlikely to assume control of their Astronomical Departments in the future. Therefore I move - That this Bill be now recommitted to a Committee of the whole House. I wish honorable members distinctly to understand that it has been arranged between the Minister and myself that this motion shall be regarded as a test one. If it be carried, it will imply that the opinion of honorable members is that the Astronomical Departments of the States should be transferred to the Commonwealth, together with the Meteorological Departments, but, if not carried, it will indicate that the feeling of the House is hostile to the transfer of the first-named Departments. {: #subdebate-13-0-s1 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Minister of Home Affairs · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- As the honorable member for North Sydney has said, this matter was discussed very fully during the progress of the second-reading debate upon the Bill. I listened very attentively - and with an open mind - to the arguments advanced in favour of taking over the Astronomical Departments of the States, but I am still strongly of opinion that the two services should be 'kept absolutely distinct. I can see no reason why, at this stage, the Commonwealth should take over the State Astronomical Departments, either upon the ground of economy or of efficiency. The astronomers of the States themselves declare that, even if the Departments were taken over, one central institution would not be sufficient. It would still be necessary to have highly-paid officials to continue the scientific work which they are performing. What the people of Australia ask is that we shall pass some practical legislation which will prove of advantage to the producers and others who are concerned in weather forecasts. I have already pointed out that in nearly every country in *the* world the two services are kept absolutely distinct. There will be quite sufficient to occupy the attention of the officers who will be engaged in our Meteorological Department. If any State officers can foe spared we shall be very glad to utilize their services with a view to effecting economy. But the proposal to take over the Astronomical Departments of the States is opposed by Professor Lyle, **Mr. Baracchi,** and Mr.' Kernot. They declare that these institutions are essentially State institutions, and that they are engaged in scientific research of an advanced kind. I believe that it would be a splendid thing for the study of astronomy in Australia if the States, would only consent to hand over these institutions to our universities. I feel that the step which the Government are taking is the right one. In other countries the two Departments are kept entirely separate. In the United States, it is recognised that the science of meteorology is quite distinct from that of astronomy. That being so, I ask the House to support the Government in their action. {: #subdebate-13-0-s2 .speaker-KQ4} ##### Mr MCCOLL:
Echuca .- I think it would be absolutely fatal to the success of a Federal Meteorological Department if we were to associate an Astronomical Department with it. The two sciences are not cognate. The science of astronomy deals with the heavenly bodies and their movements, with which we are not vitally interested. The science of meteorology, on the other hand, relates to weather phenomena, which affect every interest in the country. The science of astronomy is an ideal one, and it is quite possible that only one or two States maycare to prosecute it. But a knowledge of meteorology affects the whole of the States. The association of the two Departments will mean that that close study of weather phenomena which is imperative will inevitably be thrust upon one side for the sake of permitting investigation into astronomical studies which, although most interesting, are absolutely of no practical value. I trust that the House will indorse the view expressed by the Minister. {: #subdebate-13-0-s3 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Every argument employed by the honorable member for Echuca was an argument against the inclusion of matters relating to astronomy in the thirty-nine subjects upon which we are empowered to legislate under the Constitution. The fact that it has been included is the best answer to the honorable member. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- That is the difficulty. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- In spite of all the arguments advanced by the honorable member for Echuca, and which doubtless were urged at the Federal Convention, a decision adverse to them was arrived at. It is not the intention of the supporters of this proposal that this related group of subjects should be taken over by the Commonwealth - because they, are very intimately related, not only in the public mind, but in themselves - for the purpose of mixing them up and thus creating confusion. But they maintain that the two Departments may be kept as distinct under Federal as they can be under State control. After all, we must recognise one outstanding fact, namely, that very frequently in Australia a single officer has combined a knowledge of these two services so far as their supreme control was concerned. {: .speaker-KQ4} ##### Mr McColl: -- It is a great mistake. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I doubt that. I have never heard that the services in New South Wales suffered anything from being under the control of one head, and I have yet to learn that the two services in South Australia were injured from being under the capable control of **Sir Charles** Todd. That gentleman had the ability to prosecute the study of both of these sciences with marked success. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- There! was nobody to criticise him. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I venture to saythat! there are not many individuals in Australia who are capable of successfully criticising **Sir Charles** Todd in either of these two branches of knowledge. He had made himself a. master of both of them with great advantage to his own State and to the rest of Australia. If we can combine these related forms of wisdom in one man, is it not better that we should do so? What the people require is to obtain as great a degree of efficiency from these services as is possible, together with economic management. I know that in this Bill provision is made to take advantage of the services of certain States officers, but I venture to say that the Federal officer who will be appointed will not be able to exercise the same control over them as he would exercise if they were Federal officials. I shall be very much surprised if the work is done as efficiently under, this separate - and it may sometimes be conflicting - control as it would be if the control were unified. However, we are required by the Constitution to take over these services for good reasons which were offered to the Convention delegates, and there seems to be no valid reason why, at the present stage, we should separate this group of functions. If we had an efficient central staff, all we should need would be observers in the various States, with a modest Department, and a modest position. These observers would be subsidiary to the central bureau. That plan has been found to be a very excellent one in every other Department of business enterprise, from the stand-point of the saving of labour and' money, and of contributing .to greater efficiency of control. What works advantageously in every department of commercial life ought to work equally well even in scientific circles. I cordially support the proposal of the honorable member for North Sydney, in the belief that its adoption would ultimately lead to greater economy and efficiency. {: #subdebate-13-0-s4 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth .- I wish .it to be distinctly understood that I do not support the motion mainly upon the ground of economy. I am entirely in accord with all that the honorable member for Echuca has said concerning the fundamental difference which exists between these two Departments. The services should be kept absolutely separate. They deal with different subjects, and consequently should be kept apart. At the same time, I' fail to see why the Commonwealth should not take over both Departments and keep .them separate from each other. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Are we ripe for that ? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I think so. The Commonwealth could keep these two great Departments separate just as well as can the States. There is in the Constitution an implied direction that we should simultaneously take over both services. Sub-section vin. of section 51 empowers us to make laws with regard to .astronomical and meteorological observations- in other words, to take over these two Departments. The implied direction there is that if we take over one Department we must assume control of both. The Constitution links them together as kindred subjects. I do not regard them as kindred subjects, but. nevertheless, I think that the Commonwealth should take over both of them. We can keep them apart under our own jurisdiction. In Australia sufficient importance has not hitherto been attached to the science of meteorology. We could have had forecasts, and in the course of time reliable forecasts for seasons, as well as in regard to local disturbances. When the Commonwealth takes over this great Department, I trust that it will see that it is completely reorganized, and made of substantial advantage to the great producing interests of the 'Commonwealth. {: #subdebate-13-0-s5 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas .- I should like to mention that in the report of the Conference which the Minister circulated amongst a few honorablemembersthis afternoon, it is mentioned that even if the Astronomical Department be not taken over by the Commonwealth, the two branches of astronomy and meteorology will be carried on together by the States. That is a matter which affects my judgment in voting for the recommittal, because, if the two branches are still to be worked as they have hitherto been- {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The report does not contain that statement. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- There is a recommendation to that effect. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- A recommendation may have been made. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I am dealing with the recommendations of the Conference. They say that if the Commonwealth does take over the meteorological branch, it will still be. conducted in Adelaide, and some of the other capitals of the States, in conjunction with the Astronomical Department, so that, even if both were taken over, there would be no difference so far as administration is concerned. It is a misnomer to talk of taking over the Departments. I do not know that there is power to take them over. We can practically compel the State to hand over the Meteorological Department by charging for telegrams in connexion with it, and so imposing upon them an expenditure of£40,000 a year which they will not be prepared to face. I do not know that we could deal with their messages to Mars, or with their communications with the celestial luminaries throughout the universe in the same way. So far as their Astronomical Departments are concerned, their administration would not be much affected by any boycott that we could place upon them, but we can effectively force their hands as regards the other Departments by saying that as soon as they are taken over by the Commonwealth the free telegrams now sent over our wires in connexion with them shall cease. {: #subdebate-13-0-s6 .speaker-JR7} ##### Sir LANGDON BONYTHON:
Barker -- I was very pleased to hear the tribute paid by the honorable member for Parramatta to **Sir Charles** Todd. It was most richly deserved, and as **Sir Charles** has retired from the Commonwealth service. I think one may say very fairly that there never was in Australia a more efficient public officer. His scientific attainments are recognised throughout the world. I intend to support the amendment moved by the honorable member for North Sydney, because the two Departments in South Australia are at present practically conducted as one, and whilst I am sure that their division would have the effect of increasing the expenditure, I am by no means satisfied that itwould in any way add to efficiency. {: #subdebate-13-0-s7 .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON:
Laanecoorie -- I agree with the honorable member for Barker that it is inadvisable for the House to take any action calculated to increase our expenditure. At the same time, I think he will recognise that if we are going to supply the whole Commonwealth with a service which is at present carried on by only some of the States, we must necessarily increase the expenditure in that regard. {: .speaker-JR7} ##### Sir Langdon Bonython: -- Which of the States at the present time have not both services ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Queensland has not; she has practically neither service. . {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- I take it that there is a desire on the part of honorable members to assist by every means in our power those who are helping to make the country that which we wish it to be. Whether the study of astronomy is likely to be beneficial in this respect- {: .speaker-JR7} ##### Sir Langdon Bonython: -- Has not the Prime Minister advised the Australian to hitch his waggon to a star? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- But that costs nothing. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- And it was only a plagiarism. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- I had the pleasure of listening to the Prime Minister when he made that suggestion, and I know that he gave his authority for it. I do not think it can be described as plagiarism. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Hear, hear. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- Thetwo services of astronomy and meteorology can very well be carried on separately. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- And they could be carried on separately even if they were both taken over by the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- Why should we undertake more work than is absolutely necessary ? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Are we not going to exercise our powers ? {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- The Bill provides that the Commonwealth shall undertake a work which will be invaluable, not only to the people ofAustralia, but to those who are trading along our shores. Vast interests will be served by this Department, and I think we shall best secure efficiency by removing from the duties of the officers of the Department of Meteorology another study that from its disturbing effects may be found inimical to the interests we desire to promote. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Astronomical and meteorological observatories are grouped together in section 51 of the Constitution, which defines the powers of the Parliament. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- But surely the honorable member will not say that because two dissimilar - and they are dissimilar - services are grouped together in the Constitution, we are bound to carry them out as one. The honorable member will agree that we have the option of taking over either or both of them, and I think that in the absence of a better reason than that advancedby the honorable member for North Sydney, we should not take over the astronomical branch. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Then the honorable member thinks that we should never take it over ? {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- I do not think we should take it over until it can be shown that practical benefit will result from our doing so. If the States think that any benefit flows from the astronomical branch, either to the Commonwealth or to the rest of the world, they will probably feel disposed to incur the expense necessary to carry it on. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- On this side of the House we are Socialists, and wish to socialize **Mr. Baracchi.** {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Mr SALMON: -- I believe that this is a deep-laid scheme on. the part of the representatives of New South Wales to secure for that State the services of **Mr. Baracchi.** The States may desire to obtain more information concerning the heavenly bodies and their movements - not having at my command the poetic language of the hon orable and learned member for Angas, I use more prosaic terms - and I am not going to say at this stage that those movements have no effect upon meteorology. It is quite possible that they have; but it should be demonstrated to us that they have before we are asked to enter upon the expenditure involved in taking over the astronomical branch. We have a duty to perform to the Commonwealth in the direction of securing the greatest possible services at the least: possible expenditure. If we take over the conduct of a branch of science which, so far as we can see, will be of no real practical benefit to the Commonwealth, then we shall undertake a work which we should not enter upon. I am not one of those who believe that the Commonwealth should immediately take over all the services for which provision is made in the Constitution. The fact that these two Departments are linked together in. section. 51 of the Constitution is not in itself an argument that we should take both of them over. No service should be transferred unless it: can be better administered by the central authority than by the States. The astronomical observatories should be conducted' by the universities - the great centres of learning here. If that course were followed, it would enhance the value of our universities as seats of learning, and the employment would be more congenial to those associated with our universities than it is, perhaps, at present to a number of States officials, who carry on the work of these institutions. But it would be a mistake for the Commonwealth to take over the astronomical departments. The Bill has already passed another branch of the Legislature, and it would be a. mistake for us to engraft upon it a provision for which no need has been shown. It cannot be gainsaid that the value of correct observations to those engaged upon the soil or the sea - in fact, to those engaged in every industry, and yet to be employed in others that we hope to see established here - cannot be over-estimated. I should, therefore like to see the meteorological work of the observatories handed over to specialists, who would secure for our people information that would be valuable, and would enable them to provide against possible disaster. In these circumstances, I sincerely hope that the amendment will be rejected, and that the Bill will be passed as it stands. {: #subdebate-13-0-s8 .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWILLIAMS:
Franklin -- I regret that I cannot support the amendment. However beneficial the taking over- of the astronomical branch might be, my position is that, if it were allowed to remain under the control of the States, the latter, in the time of financial pressure, would be able, if necessary, to retrench it. On the other hand, if we take it over, Tasmania, in common with the other States, will have to pay her share of the cost, and it will be beyond the reach of the State Government. I recognise that, if we could afford it, it would be advisable to take over the complete Department, but, having regard to the position of Tasmania, I am not prepared to support anything that would increase its financial embarrassment, which, judging by the Budget statement delivered last night, will be very severely felt. {: #subdebate-13-0-s9 .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE:
New England -- Ithas been argued that the taking over of the astronomical branch would conduce to economy. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWilliams: -- That has to be shown. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- I am not referring to the statement of the honorable member for Franklin, who points out that if the astronomical branch be allowed to remain under the control of the States it can at any time be abolished. I am dealing with the question on broad lines, and it appears to me that we shall increase the expenditure of the States as a whole by allowing the astronomical branch to remain under their control whilst we take over the Department of Meteorology. If the astronomical branch is taken over by the Commonwealth it will be possible to have a chief astronomer, with his administrative staff, at the Seat of Government, and merely observers elsewhere, who will send the records of their observations to the head office for classification. This will save expense in administration. In any case, the meteorological work may be, and should be, kept apart from the astronomical work. It is much the more practical, and therefore the more immediately useful of the two. With regard to the objection of the honorable member for Franklin, Tasmania will have more to pay, even if we take over the meteorological branch only, because, instead of getting her meteorological information practically free of cost, as at present, she will have to pay her share of the cost of the Commonwealth Department. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- But the cost to Tasmania would be still heavier if the astronomical branch were transferred to the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- In any case, the position of one State should not be allowed to prevent an arrangement being made which would be advantageous to the Commonwealth as a whole. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- Does one man in 10,000 know what astronomical work is being done in Australia? {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- Probably not, though no doubt it is of great scientific value. I shall vote for the recommittal. {: #subdebate-13-0-s10 .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr HUTCHISON:
Hindmarsh -- I shall vote with the Government against the recommittal of the Bill, because I do not think it would conduce to economy of administration for the Commonwealth to take over the astronomical as well as the meteorological branch. At the present time some of the States are not carrying on astronomicalwork, but if the astronomical branch were taken over by the Commonwealth it would not be long before each State asked for the establishment of an observatory within its borders, which would increase expense. In my opinion, it is best for the Commonwealth to first reorganize the meteorological branch, and if later on it is found likely to be economical to take over the astronomical branch as well, that can. be done. I think that the Government are wise in separating the two Departments. Question - That the Bill be recommitted - put. The House divided. AYES: 8 NOES: 31 Majority ... ... 23 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Bill read a third time. {: .page-start } page 2180 {:#debate-14} ### AUDIT BILL *In Committee:* (Consideration resumed from 31st July, *vide* page 2074). Clauses 13 and 14 agreed to. Clause 15 (New schedule). {: #debate-14-s0 .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCAY:
Corinella .- Is it desirable to have a multitude of small trust accounts iri connexion with purposes which are intimately connected? Why have a " small arms ammunition account " and a " small arms account " ? 1 do not see why purchases of small arms ammunition and of small arms and parts should not be recorded in one account. Indeed, that might be a convenient arrangement on some occasions. Then, is an "unclaimed militia pay account " necessary ? The amount of unclaimed pay_ cannot ever be very large. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- There is sometimes a good deal at the end of the year. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCAY: -- I do not know why there should be a "money order account" and * an "international postal_ and money order account." Why should not one account be sufficient ? {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- These are Treasury matters. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCAY: -- Yes; but it seems to me that the Treasury is creating unnecessary work for itself. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The Accountant, who is now acting for the Secretary, sard to-day that he thought it better to have these separate accounts. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCAY: -- I know that the Treasury view is that there should be a separate account for everything. I do not know why separate accounts should not be kept in the one ledger. Of course, separate accounts such as are contemplated will require that separate credits shall be paid into the bank, to be operated on only for the purposes of each special account. The Treasury view is that everything, however small, shall be separated from every other thing, but if that plan were adopted it would involve very much more work. Up to the present, the Treasury has been very economically administered. I do not know whether any material increase is provided for on the Estimates recently submitted to the House. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- There is an increase of only £9. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCAY: -- The Treasurer was apparently so diligent in looking after the interests of other Departments that he overlooked his own. It is no small tribute to him that the expenditure of his Department has increased by only £9. If this multiplicity of small accounts was necessary, I do not know why the late Treasurer did not bring them into operation. I must confess that his precedent as regards the Treasury finances seems to be good enough to follow. If the Treasurer is familiar with the details in regard to each of the matters mentioned in the schedule, I trust that he will explain why a separate account is required in each case; why, for instance, there should be a " Small Arms account," as distinct from a " Small Arms Ammunition account," why there should be a " Money Order account " and an " International Postal and Money Order account," and why the ' 1 Defalcation account " and the " Guarantee Fund account," which are very closely related, should be kept apart. I should think it would be sufficient to have one account for each Department. I have a shadow of a suspicion that the Treasurer has accepted the word of his officials, and that we shall find that he has been too much occupied in considering the large questions dealt with in the Budget speech, to give that close attention to the schedule that it would otherwise have received at his hands. {: #debate-14-s1 .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST:
Treasurer · Swan · Protectionist -- I am assured by the Secretary to the Treasury that it is very desirable to keep separate the accounts enumerated. I understood the honorable and' learned member for Corinella to state tha-t it would *be necessary to provide for aseparate banking account in each case. That is not so. The accounts are merely kept separate in the books. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- It will be necessary to at least have separate cheque books for each-, account. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- There is only one banking account - one pool - intowhich all payments are made, and out of which moneys are drawn as required. I' do not think that we need Question the advisability of adopting the schedule, because those who have the management of the accounts are very good judges. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- But the right honorable gentleman is the manager. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- Yes ; and I am-, quite satisfied. I may inform the honorableand learned member for Corinella that my predecessor in office entirely approved of the-schedule. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- In that .case, I am satis1fied. {: #debate-14-s2 .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE:
New England -- I suppose that we shall have to accept the Treasurer's statement. But I think that we should steadily resist any tendency to increase expenditure or to add to the number of officials employed. The late **Sir Henry** Parkes once said that if you put an office boy and a stool into a room, a Department would grow in a very short time. I think the Treasurer should assure us that t'he Bill will not have a tendency to increase the number of officials. It seems to me that that is what will probably happen. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I do not think so. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- The right honorable gentleman deals with big affairs, and does not seem to care about, small matters. We should keep a close watch over the growth of our Departments, because any increase in the number of officials leads to the imposition of fresh burdens upon the members of the public outside. {: #debate-14-s3 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth .- It will be necessary to make it clear that the provision in the proposed new section 62a, embodied in clause 13, relates only to the trust accounts enumerated in the schedule. It is provided - >The Treasurer ma)' direct that any Trust Account be closed, and thereupon the moneys standing to the credit of the account shall, after all liabilities of the account have been met, be paid to the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Where would this lead us?0 A sinking fund might be provided for in connexion with the debts incurred by the' Commonwealth in taking, over the transferred properties. That would be a trust fund, and, apparently, according to the proposed new section, the Treasurer would at any time be able to close it and apply the money to the same purposes as the current revenue. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- That provision would not apply to any accounts beyond those mentioned in the schedule. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- That provision relates merely to trust accounts, and not to funds such as the honorable member has indicated. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- We are now dealing with the fourth schedule; and I ask the Treasurer whether he will consent to recommit clause 13, with a view to making it definitely refer to that schedule? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- It is not necessary ; there can be no mistake. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- A trust account, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, would include a sinking fund. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- That is a fund; these are accounts. {: .speaker-KPM} ##### Mr McCay: -- The honorable member for Wentworth is wrong this time. ' {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- The honorable and learned member for Corinella, with his legal experience, says that I am wrong; and, under the circumstances, I am prepared to accept the assurance of the . departmental officer. Clause agreed to. . Bill reported without amendment. Motion (by **Sir John** Forrest) agreed to- >That the Bill be now recommitted to a Committee of the whole House. *In Committee* (Recommittal) : Clause *8 -* >After section 36 of the Principal Act, the following sections are inserted : - "36c. Repayments or credits which could have been taken in reduction of some particular expenditure in any financial year, had the accounts of that year not been closed, may be taken in reduction of similar expenditure in a subsequent vear." {: #debate-14-s4 .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST:
Treasurer · Swan · Protectionist -- Last night an undertaking was given to honorable members that clause 8 would be recommitted, with a view to consider the proposed new section 36c Since then I have looked into the matter, and I' propose to amend the new section by striking out the first two words, " Repayments or," and, after the word "credits," to insert "which are made for the purpose of adjusting -expenditure between Departments or between branches of Departments and." I have consulted **Mr. Whitton,** the officer acting for the AuditorGeneral, and he has given me the following memorandum in writing as to the proposed amendment: - >I do not see any objection to the proposed" clause in the amended form. It will undoubtedly save a great deal of labour in the Departments concerned, as well as in the Audit Office, and no ill result is likely to accrue from it. It, therefore, has my concurrence. They are practically only book entries. I move - >That the words "Repayments or" be left out. {: #debate-14-s5 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- When objecting to the scope of this clause, I intimated to the Treasurer that such a proposal as he is now making would receive no opposition from me. The Treasurer has, I think, now so safeguarded the provision that it cannot be applied, as it could before, to many matters to which it was not intended to apply. I, therefore, think that the proposed amendments may be accepted. Amendment agreed to. Amendment (by **Sir John** Forrest) agreed to - >That after the word " credits," the following words be inserted, " which are made for the purpose of adjusting expenditure between Departments or between branches of Departments and." Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clause10 - >Subsection 2 of section 45 of the Principal Act is amended by inserting in paragraph *a,* immediately after the words, " once at least in every year," the words " or at such intervals as may be sanctioned by the Treasurer." {: #debate-14-s6 .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr HUTCHISON:
Hindmarsh -- I am sorry I was not present when this clause was discussed last night, because it seems to me that such an extraordinary power is here given to the Treasurer that some explanation is due from the Government. I should like to know definitely what power is conferred by this clause. I can conceive of circumstances that would delay an audit for a short period, but, according to the clause, the Treasurer appears to have power to postpone an audit indefinitely. There ought to be an audit once at least in every year, except under very special circumstances. {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWilliams: -- There should be no exception. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr HUTCHISON: -- An audit might be delayed because of a tangle in the Audit Department, and if that were so, the longer the Treasurer chose to make the delay the greater the tangle might become. I do not think that this is a power which ought to be given to the Treasurer or any Minister. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- This clause is to meet cases in which the Auditor-General may find it inconvenient, inadvisable, or too costly to hold an audit, and he is enabled to ask the Treasurer's sanction to forego it. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- The clause does not say so. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr HUTCHISON: -- It is not a question of cost ; we ought to have a complete audit once a year. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- That cannot be done in a big country like this. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr HUTCHISON: -- In countries ten times as big as Australia, so far as population is concerned, there are yearly audits. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- An audit might cost more than the accounts were worth. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr HUTCHISON: -- In every country that I know of there are yearly audits, and I know of no Act in which a provision of this kind is made. I wish to be clear as to theextent of the power given to the {: #debate-14-s7 .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST:
Treasurer · Swan · Protectionist -- **Mr. Whitton** has reported on this clause also, although, so far as I recollect, it was not mentioned as one which it was desired to recommit. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- It was discussed in connexion with clause 11. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: **- Mr. Whitton** writes - >This provision, section 10, is made on my recommendation. A similar provision was made in the last New South Wales Act. It is impossible to fulfil the duty at present imposed. There are many accounts of a relatively unimportant nature, kept by officers who will be included under the wide interpretation of " Accounting Officer," and to visit some of these, even once a year, would cost more than the whole of the money at stake. {: #debate-14-s8 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I should like the Treasurer to read the provision in the New South Wales Act. I see in the side-note to the next clause a reference to the New South Wales Act, although the clause itself does not contain a safeguard that is in the Act referred to. I intend later on to move the insertion of" that safeguard. While there may be some reason in what the Treasurer states as to postponing audits in some cases, on account of distance or inaccessibility, it is quite another matter to give the Auditor-General and the Treasurer power to dispense with an audit whenever they like. **Sir John** Forrest. These things must be considered reasonably. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I can remember cases in which Treasurers would have been very glad to dispense with an audit. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- This clause can be put into operation only when the AuditorGeneral wishes it. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- That is not stated. . {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- It says with his "sanction." What does that mean? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- It does not necessarily mean upon the application of the Auditor-General. Parliament ought to know what is being done in this respect. Audits should not be dispensed with behind the back of. Parliament. We are asked to pass a clause of this kind on the strength of the assertion that it is contained in another Act with which we may not agree. Even on the application of the Auditor-General, we should not allow him, in conjunction with the Treasurer, to say that an audit shall not be made of what might be important accounts. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I do not care, personally, whether or not the clause is inserted, but without it a considerable amount of travelling and expenditure will be involved. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- The honorable member for Hindmarsh did not put the argument which the Treasurer affects to answer. There may be reasons for dispensing with a particular audit on account of flood, drought, or inaccessibility, but in this clause the Treasurer asks for power to postpone any audit for any length of time. If he had asked for a reasonable power the case would be quite different. {: #debate-14-s9 .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr HUTCHISON:
Hindmarsh -- The Treasurer has not given a satisfactory reply to nw criticisms. There may be reasons for postponing an audit in special circumstances, but the reply of the Treasurer is that there may be accounts which the Auditor-General does not wish to audit for some time. If the clause were only to apply in special cases, such as those mentioned in the memorandum that has been read, I should not object, but it gives the same power in regard to every account that has to be audited. That is my objection. The Treasurer points out that there is a similar provision in the New South Wales Act. Even if that be so, I am not aware that the finances of New South Wales have been conducted in a manner much superior to that in which the finances ofl the other States have been managed. I do not care if there is such a provision in the statute-book of any State. It ought not to be placed upon the Commonwealth statute-book. It is a dangerous power, and one liable to abuse. Unless the Treasurer can give stronger reasons than he has done, the clause ought to be amended. {: #debate-14-s10 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth .- I -cordially support everything that has been suggested by the honorable member for Hindmarsh. The Treasurer should be prepared either to accept the safeguards of the New South Wales Act, or to agree to postpone the clause. If, on further investigation, he finds that in its present shape it is so lax as to be tantamount to a danger in the auditing of public accounts, it ought to be radically amended. If the clause gives the Auditor-General power to ignore an audit of important accounts, it ought to be radically amended. Parliament will know nothing about it. Why should we, in dealing with a Bill of this character, concerning the most important functions which this Parliament has to exercise, be subject to the good sense of any particular officer? Why not put down in black and white what we expect to be done ? Of course, we can trust the present Treasurer. We know that he would not do anything of a dangerous character in connexion with accounts. We all recognise his extreme care where millions are concerned. What is the audit of " a million " pounds to the right honorable member? But other Treasurers may not be so extremely prudent. We certainly ought not to entrust so -dangerous a .power to any officers I heartily indorse every word that has fallen from the honorable member for Hindmarsh, and I am glad that he brought up this matter. {: #debate-14-s11 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I point out that the words appearing in the New South Wales Act do not carry out the suggestion of this clause. In that Act it is provided that the Auditor-General shall, " if possible, once at least in every year, make or cause to be made." That means that it is not there a question of cost, a consideration which the Treasurer desires to introduce, but a question of practicability. For instance, owing to the effects of floods or droughts it might not be possible for the Auditor-General's officers to get to a particular district, and the audit of accounts kept in that district could not take place. {: #debate-14-s12 .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN:
Minister of External Affairs · Ballarat · Protectionist . -I wish to submit to honorable members the following amendments, which, I think, will give effect to their desires. If they will look at clause 10 they will find the words "once at least in every year or at such intervals as may be sanctioned by the Treasurer." I propose to introduce after the word " or " the words " in those cases in which the cost of the audit would be disproportionate to the amount involved," and then the clause would read on, " at such intervals as may be sanctioned by the Treasurer." If that amendment were accepted, those would" be the only cases in which the Treasurer could consent to dispensing with the detailed audit. Then, in order to meet the wishes of the honorable member for Hindmarsh, we might add at the end of the clause the words, " provided that a list of all such cases shall be published in the *Government Gazette* once in each year." Similar safeguards could be provided for in the next clause to meet the views of honorable members. I move - >Thatafter the word" or," line 5, the words " in those cases in which the cost of audit would be disproportionate to the amount involved," be inserted. {: #debate-14-s13 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The amendments which the Prime Minister has suggested meet only one part of the difficulty. I pointed out last night that clauses 10 and11, taken together, place the Treasurer practically in charge of the Auditor-General. We have very properly set up the Auditor-General over the Treasurer, and as a check upon him, but in these clauses it is proposed to compel the Auditor-General, if he desires to make a proposal of the kind suggested, to first get the permission of the Treasurer. I can conceive of nothing that would more thoroughly undermine his authority and independence. Unless there is some proposal to bring these matters before Parliament, or to make the Auditor-General responsible to the Governor-General, I do not think that the amendments suggested will meet the case. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- I suggest that the proviso should read - >Provided that a list of all such cases shall be published in the Auditor-General's report in each year. The Auditor-General would then have the responsibility of seeing that this list was brought before Parliament once in every year. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That would insure the matter coming before Parliament. {: #debate-14-s14 .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr HUTCHISON:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- I should like to say that, while I believe the amendments suggested by the Prime Minister are a great improvement upon the clause as it stands, I should have preferred the amendments to take a different form. What I intended to suggest was that the clause should read - at such intervals as may be sanctioned by the Treasurer, provided that every interval of over twelve months sanctioned by the Treasurer shall be reported to the House. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- I am suggesting that a list of the cases should appear in the AuditorGeneral's report. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr HUTCHISON: -- That will cover exactly what is required. Amendment agreed to. Amendment (by **Mr. Deakin)** agreed to- >That the following words be added : - " Provided that a list of all such cases shall be published in the Auditor-General's report in each year." Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clause 11 - >After section forty-five of the Principal Act the following section is inserted : - " 45A. The Auditor-General may, with the consent of the Treasurer, dispense with all or any part of any detailed audit of any accounts, but not with any' appropriation audit of those accounts. The consent of the Treasurer shall be given only in cases in which he considers that there are circumstances which render a detailed audit under this Act unnecessary." Amendment (by **Mr. Deakin)** agreed to - >That the following words be added : - " Provided that a list of all such cases shall be published in the Auditor-General's report in each year." Clause, as amended, agreed to. Bill reported, with amendments. Motion (bv **Sir John** Forrest) agreed to. That the Standing Orders be suspended so as to allow the Bill to be passed through its remaining stages this day. Report adopted. Bill read a third time. {: .page-start } page 2184 {:#debate-15} ### ADJOURNMENT {:#subdebate-15-0} #### Order of Business {: #subdebate-15-0-s0 .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN:
Minister of External Affairs · Ballarat · Protectionist -- In moving - >That the House do now adjourn, I desire to intimate that to-morrow it is intended to proceed with the Bounties Bill. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Have the figures which the Minister of Trade and Customs promised to circulate in relation to that Bill been distributed yet? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- They will be circulated with the papers to-morrow morning. Question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 11. 12 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 1 August 1906, viewed 6 July 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1906/19060801_reps_2_32/>.