House of Representatives
2 August 1907

3rd Parliament · 2nd Session



Mr. Speaker took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.

NAVAL AGREEMENT.

Mr. WILKS. - I wish to know from the

Acting Prime Minister in. reference to the recently cabled utterances of Lord Tweedmouth in which the Naval Agreement is spoken of, whe ther the Government has decided to discontinue the Australian contribution under that Agreement?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE. - I am sure that the honorable member does not expect me to answer that question at this stage.

Mr. WILKS.- Why not? This is not a matter of sentiment. As members we should know what is being done in regard to what is practically a business matter in which we are concerned.

Mr. KELLY. - I should like to know from the Acting Prime Minister how long the House will have to wait for an account of the negotiations the Prime Minister had with Lord Tweedmouth on the Naval Agreement, before the meeting of the Imperial Conference? I refer to private negotiations which took place previous to the Conference.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE. - I do not know that the Prime Minister will be willing to divulge private communications.

Mr. KELLY. - I refer to communications spoken of by Lord Tweedmouth in the Conference - communications which apparently made him determine to take a certain course.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE. - The honorable member, I understand, is asking for a’ report from the Prime Minister regarding some private negotiations with Lord Tweedmouth apart from the Imperial Conference.; but I do not know how the honorable and learned gentleman will regard the matter.

Mr. KELLY. - I do not mean confidential communications.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE.- The Prime Minister may , hold that they are confidential.

Mr. KELLY.- The naval policy of the Government is of vital importance to Australia, and’ this Parliament should be fully informed in regard to it as soon as possible.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE.- If the Prime Minister is willing that the communications referred to be made public, I shall be prepared to inform ‘the House in regard to them; but I must consult him before doing anything in the matter.

Mr. WILKS. - I have as much sympathy with the Prime Minister in his unfortunate illness as has any honorable member, but this question must be considered not from a sentimental point of view but as one of policy. I wish to know if the Government will allow Parliament to express ah opinion upon the naval policy carty in the session. Australia is like a partner in a business concern, and we should know what action our. representatives in the old country took on our behalf. The Government must’ have some policy. I did not intend my question as an attack upon the Prune Minister. I merely asked for information in the interests of public business.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE. - I did not regard the question as an - attack upon the Prime Minister. What I intended to convey by my reply was that it affected a matter of policy which cannot be unfolded in answer to a question, especially in the absence- of the Prime Minister.

Mr. WILKS. - It is very important that our naval policy should be settled. Parliament has now been sitting for four weeks, but we have had no statement of the intention of the Government in regard to it.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE. - I admit the importance of the matter, but there has not yet’ been an opportunity to state the policy of the Government.

Mr. KELLY.- In the meantime the Imperial authorities are acting on the private suggestions of the Prime Minister?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE. - I do not think that I am justified in stating the policy of the Government in answer to a question.

Mr. WILKS. - The sooner the honorable gentleman obtains authority to make a statement on the subject, so that the House can express its views, the better.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE. - It will not be long before this House will know the policy of the Government in regard to this and some other matters..’

Mr. HENRY WILLIS. - Did the representatives_ of the Commonwealth, when in England make an announcement to the effect that it is the intention of Australia to withdraw from the Naval Agreement?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE.- Not so far as I know. I have seen it stated that that was done j but I did not hear the Prime Minister make any declaration of the kind.

Mr. JOHNSON. - Have any steps been taken to correct the erroneous impression created in the mind’s of the British Government and people by the Australian representative at the Imperial Conference, that Australia desires to cancel the Naval Agreement ? The leading newspapers have stated that the Prime Minister declared that Australia desired to withdraw from .theNaval Agreement.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE. - It would. take me a long time to correct all the wrong impressions’ which are abroad.

Mr. JOSEPH COOK. - Surely the Acting Prime Minister must be romancing when he says that the Prime Minister did not declare that Australia desires to terminate the Naval Agreement. Is he not aware that in the Blue Book which has been issued it is reported that the Prime Minister definitely declared that he intended to move for the cancellation of the agreement?

Sir WILLIAM LYNE. - I have not read the Blue Book, because I have had too much else to do ; but I was not aware thai: the Prime Minister had made that definite statement.

Mr. KELLY. - If the Government proceed with the scheme1 put- forward by the Prime Minister when in England, for the establishment of an Australian Navy, will the advisability be considered of giving effect to Lord Tweedmouth’s only reservation in regard to such an undertaking, namely, that any Australian fleet should be under one control, that of the Admiralty ? ‘

Sir WILLIAM LYNE. - I cannot answer the question until the whole subject is before the House.

page 1378

QUESTION

PACIFIC ISLANDS TRADE

Mr JOHNSON:
LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES

asked the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice- - >

Will he lay upon the table a return showing the total amount and value of British imports and exports between Australia and the Pacific Islands for the years ended 30th June, 1906 and 1907 respectively, particularly .with reference to the New Hebrides and Papua?

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN:
Minister for Trade and Customs · EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · Protectionist

– Yes.

page 1378

BOUNTIES BILL

Mr GROOM:
Attorney-General · Darling DownsAttorneyGeneral · Protectionist

– I intend to move the recommittal of the Bill for the reconsideration of certain clauses. I desire the reconsideration of clause 2 for the purpose of amending it by altering the appropriation from ,£530,000 to £412,500, a necessary amendment consequential upon what we did last night. The reconsideration of sub-clause 1 of clause 3 is proposed to meet an objection taken by the honorable and learned member for Angas. The Government is of opinion that the Bill as it stands is sufficiently clear in the statement

*Bounties Bill.* [2 August, 1907.] *Bounties Bill.* 1379 that the goods must be made from Australian products, but to make assurance doubly sure, I shall move the insertion of the words - >Provided that in the case of fish preserved as prescribed the fish have been caught in Australian waters, and in the case of other manufactured goods, the goods have been made from Australian products. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- What is meant by Australian waters - the waters within the three-miles limit? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- The waters within the three-miles limit are the territorial waters of the States ; but, under the Constitution, the Commonwealth has power to make laws in respect of fishing in the waters outside those limits. Sub-clause 2 must be amended by substituting for the words " in tins or casks " the words " as prescribed " to make it harmonise with the schedule. A further amendment must be made in sub-clause 5. Clause 9 gives the Government power to increase or decrease the maximum amounts set down in the fourth column of the first schedule, although there is no power to take money from one item and give it to another. Last night the opinion was expressed that the Government should only have power to expend in a subsequent year in connexion with a particular item unexpended balances connected with that item. Take the item of cotton as an illustration. The maximum amount which may be expended upon that industry in any one year is£6,000. Under the Bill, the Government have power by regulation to vary that maximum by increasing it. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- But not at the expense of another item. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- The Committee were of opinion that the power of the Government should be limited to the expenditure upon any particular item of the unexpended balance of any previous year. Therefore, I intend to move the omission in sub-clause 5 of clause 3 of the words " subject to the power of alteration by regulation," and to add to the sub-clause the following words : - " Provided that where the maximum amount in respect of any item has not been paid in any year the unpaid balance or any part thereof may be paid in respect of that item in any subsequent year in addition to the maximum amount for that year." . {: .speaker-JUV} ##### Mr McWilliams: -- Then unexpended balances will only be expended upon the particular item for which the money has been appropriated? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Yes. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- The word " paid " is not the proper word to use. It seems to me that we are now asked to say what sum we ought to grant in respect of any particular year. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- My proposal reads, " Provided that where a maximum amount in respect of any item has not been paid," &c. That has reference to the difference between the amount of bounty paid and the maximum provided. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- The money might be earned but not paid. {: #debate-1-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I would point out to the House that the. question under consideration is whether or not the Bill shall be recommitted. Any details in regard to amendments should properly be considered in Committee. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I propose also to ask the House to agree to recommit clause 9 with a view to omitting paragraph *a.* {: #debate-1-s2 .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON:
South Sydney -- I should like to know whether, in the event of clause 9 being recommitted, the discussion will be confined to the proposals outlined by the Attorney-General, because I have an additional paragraph which I should like to submit. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- When I intervened just now it was because it seems to me that it detracts from the power of the House if these details are brought forward in the House, where each honorable member can speak only once. The proper time to bring forward amendments is in Committee. If a motion were put from the Chair in the form outlined by the AttorneyGeneral, what the honorable member for South Sydney desires would be impossible. Honorable members would then be tied down in Committee to the proposals of the Attorney-General. Consequently, I suggest that the honorable and learned gentleman should move to recommit the whole of the clauses which he desires to have amended. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I do not wish to tie the hands ofhonorable members unduly, and therefore I will accept your suggestion, sir, and move - >That the Bill be now recommitted to a Committee of the whole House for the reconsideration of clauses 2, 3, 4, and 9. {: #debate-1-s3 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay -- I am glad that these clauses are to be recommitted. But I wish to know whether the alterations outlined by the AttorneyGeneral in sub-clause 5 of clause 3 would not constitute a clear departure from the Bill as it was originally introduced - whether it would not vary it in a way that was not intended by the Crown when the message of appropriation was brought down? Therefore, I ask whether it will be in order to recommit the Bill in the terms of the motion of the AttorneyGeneral ? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I followed as closely as I could the remarks of the AttorneyGeneral, and it seemed to me that he did not contemplate either making any new appropriation or any increase in existing appropriations. Consequently what he outlined will be quite in order. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- He proposes to vary the terms of the Bill. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- There is no doubt that the ' House has power to. determine that a -certain amount shall be paid in any year - either earlier or later - provided that there is no increase in the total appropriation or any new destination of any vote. Question resolved in the affirmative. *In Committee'* (Recommittal) : Clause 2 - ' There shall be payable out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is hereby appropriated accordingly, the sum of five hundred and thirty thousand pounds during the period of fifteen years commencing on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred and seven, for the payment of bounties in accordance with this Act. Amendment (by **Mr. Groom)** proposedThat the words " five hundred and thirty thousand " be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " four hundred and twelve thousand five hundred." {: #debate-1-s4 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas -- I would suggest' that in connexion with proposals of this sort it would be well to consider whether it is really necessary to appropriate amounts in advance at all. If these bounties are to be paid over a term of fifteen years, I do not see why it should not be left to the Treasurer to make . his own estimate of what ' amount will be required each year. Instead of that, we are adopting a rough estimate of the sum which should be apportioned each year for fifteen years in advance. I cannot see the logic of the proposal. All that we require to do is to give those persons who are likely to engage in these industries an assurance that they will be paid certain bounties. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Is not that practically the same thing as hypothecating the revenue to that amount? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- But to some extent we are anticipating the powers of future Parliaments. Although the amounts payable in any one year will be governed by con,ditions of which we know little at present, we are actually taking it upon ourselves to estimate those amounts. I suggest that we should frame our policy - declare that certain bounties will be granted up to a maximum sum - and that we should then leave it to the -Treasurer of the day to determine what amount will be required for each year. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- Suppose that a Treasurer were in office who was not favorable to the principle of granting bounties? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- He could not alter the Act. It would be his duty to say how much money was required for each year. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- But surely this is practically an appropriation, and the Treasurer must give effect to an appropriation. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- Exactly. We should, not have experienced this trouble had we simply declared our policy, and stated that whatever bounties were earned in a particular year must be provided during that year. The Treasurer of the day would know exactly what amount was required each year, and in, his Budget he would make the necessary provision for that year. {: #debate-1-s5 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay -- I presume that the honorable and learned member for Angas thinks it would be advisable - instead of giving the Minister charged with administering the Act power to deal with accumulated funds - to leave it to the Treasurer to' set apart annually a sufficient sum of money - within the amount appropriated - for the payment of- the bounties. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- I suggest that we should leave it to the Treasurer to ask the 'House for a specific sum each year. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- The House would then have control over the actual expenditure of each year. But I would point out that succeeding Governments would still be bound to spend the money appropriated under this Bill. **Mr. Glynn.** - No. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- It is either an appropriation or it is not. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- If we pass this Bill there is no doubt that we shall make an appropriation. The question is whether a succeeding Government will be able to vary that appropriation. Colonel Foxton. - They would require to amend the Act. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- Yes,and that would be a very serious undertaking for any Government. After our sanctioning the proposals contained in this Bill if any Government failed to make an appropriation, they would break faith with this Parliament, and that would be a very serious step. Upon the merits of the question I think it would be just as well to allow the clause to pass in the form proposed by the Attorney-General. Amendment agreed to. Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clause 3 - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The bounties under 'this Act shall be payable on the production in Australia of the goods specified in the first column of the First Schedule. 1. The bounties shall be payable to the growers or producers only of the goods or the materials of which they are made, and not to manufacturers : Provided that, in the case of fish preserved in tins or casks, and of fruit dried or candied, and of combed wool or tops, the manufacturer shall be deemed to be the producer, and the bounty shall be payable to the manufacturer only. {: type="1" start="5"} 0. The maximum amounts of bounty which may be paid in any one year in respect of any goods specified in the First Schedule shall (subject to the power of alteration by regulation) be as specified in the fourth column of the First Schedule. {: #debate-1-s6 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Attor ney-General · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- I move - >That the following words be added to subclause 1 : - " Provided that in the case of fish preserved as prescribed the fish have been caught in Australian waters, and in the case of other manufactured goods the goods have been made from Australian products." This amendment is intended to meet the objection urged by the honorable and learned member for Angas during the course of the debate upon the clause. He suggested that in its original form bounty might be claimed upon goods produced in Australia from materials which had been imported. This amendment makes specific provision that the goods upon which bounty is payable must be manufacturedfrom Australian products. {: #debate-1-s7 .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr FULLER:
Illawarra .- I should like to ask whether there is anything in this clause to prevent fish which have been caught by boats manned by Japanese from being transferred to other boats, and brought into the Commonwealth to be preserved? Is there not a great danger of cheap labour being thus brought into competition with our own labour? {: #debate-1-s8 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
AttorneyGeneral · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- I would point out to the honorable member that under a subsequent clause white labour only must be employed, and the intention was. to provide for white labour only. {: .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr Fuller: -- How are we to prevent fish being caught by other than white labour, and the bounty being paid to those who can it ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Those making false representations would be liable to heavy fines and imprisonment. I am inclined to think that the Bill in itself is sufficient to enable us to deal with the matter, but the point is worthy of consideration, and I promise to look further into the question to put it beyond doubt. {: #debate-1-s9 .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr HENRY WILLIS:
Robertson -- The point raised by the honorable and learned member for Illawarra is a sound one. It seems to me that under the clause as it stands those who tin fish in Australia will be able to claim bounty upon their products, irrespective of whether or not the fish have been caught by coloured labour. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- A later clause provides that the goods must be produced by white labour. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr HENRY WILLIS: -- The proviso proposed to be inserted seems to have an important bearing on this question. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I have promised to look into the matter, and if necessary to propose a further amendment. {: #debate-1-s10 .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr FAIRBAIRN:
Fawkner -- I do not know whether other honorable members are blessed with better hearing than I am, but I find it very difficult to follow the wording of amendments verbally stated. It is necessary that we should hear distinctly the wording of every, amendment submitted by the Government. In the Victorian State Parliament amendments to be proposed are circulated every morning, and honorable members have therefore an opportunity to make themselves familiar with them. I think that course should be adopted here. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I would remind the honorable member that the Committee only concluded its consideration of the schedule at a late hour last night. As soon as the House adjourned I caused the proposed amendments to be sent to the Government Printing Office, and expect to have printed copies ready for circulation in a few minutes. {: #debate-1-s11 .speaker-KGZ} ##### Mr HEDGES:
Fremantle .- So far as I can see, there is nothing in the Bill which requires that fish in respect of which bounty is claimed shall be tinned in Australia. The amendment provides for the catching of fish in Australian waters, but it seems to me that fish caught within our territorial limits could be tinned in Japan or some other foreign country, brought to. Australia, and a claim for bounty made in respect of them. {: #debate-1-s12 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
AttorneyGeneral · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- The amendment provides that the bounty shall be payable on goods produced in Australia. In this case the manufacturer or canner would be regarded as the producer, and when fish were tinned in Australia it would be held that they had been produced here. Under the Bill goods in respect of which bounty . is claimed must be manufactured in the Commonwealth. {: #debate-1-s13 .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr LIDDELL:
Hunter -- I understood the Minister to say that fish on which bounty is claimed must be produced in Australia. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- They must be caught in Australian waters, and tinned in Australia. {: .speaker-L1H} ##### Mr LIDDELL: -- I fail to see that the Bill prohibits the employment of coloured labour in catching fish on which bounty may be claimed. If coloured labour is not to be permitted, the sooner We establish an Australian Navy the better. The Customs officers who will be charged with tSe administration of this measure will not be able to patrol our 8,000 miles of coast line in order to see that only white labour is employed in the fishing industry, in so far as it is affected by this Bill; and our Australian Navy would be afforded excellent training in carrying out that work. It seems to me that in connexion with this matter we have another illustration of the fact that in passing a Bill of this kind we are merely playing with legislation. {: #debate-1-s14 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay .- Notwithstanding that the Attorney-General is supported by the honorable member for Angas in proposing this amendment, I do not think that it is necessary. In some instances it will entirely fail to effect the object we have in view. The item relating to fish, as it appears in the schedule, to my mind covers the whole point, and leaves to the Government a far more effective means of prescribing where fish shall be caught, and how they should be treated, in order that bounty may be claimed upon them. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- It deals only with the preserving of fish, and not with the question of where they should be caught. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- I am inclined to believe that it will enable the Government by regulation to deal with both operations, but if there is any legal difficulty in the way, then I as a layman must bow to the opinion of the lawyers in the House. Whilst I hold as strongly as does any honorable member that fish on which bounty is paid should be caught in Australian waters by white Australian fishermen,' I recognise that Australian fishermen might at times be properly employed in other than Australian waters. Should we provide that fishermen who wish to claim this bounty should not go beyond an imaginary boundary line in making their hauls ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- There is a similar provision in connexion with the pearl fisheries of Australia. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- I did not suggest that such an amendment as this should be made. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- What purpose will be served by the insertion of. the words " caught in Australian waters." It would be better to empower the Administration to prescribe by regulation within what limits fish must be caught to entitle bounty to be claimed on them. I agree with the Attorney-General that white labour only should be employed, but no useful purpose would be served by restricting the operations of Australian fishermen within a certain distance from our coast line. Such a provision would be mischievous. {: #debate-1-s15 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth .- I agree with the honorable member for Wide Bay that Australian fishermen should have the area of their operations extended beyond the narrow limitations imposed by this measure, but I do not' agree with him that we should leave to the discretion of the Administration the determination of what extension should' be allowed. Since we desire to create a seafaring population along the Australian coast, our object should be to allow Australian fishermen to make their hauls wherever they please; provided that the fish are caught by white Australian fishermen, and preserved by white Australians, bounty should be payable upon them. {: #debate-1-s16 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas .- I assure the honorable member for Wide Bay that I did not suggest such an amendment as tha? now before the Committee. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- The honorable member was the father of the proposal. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- But I am not responsible for the spurious development of the offspring. I may have suggested the potentialities, but am noc responsible for the product. What I suggested was "that we should insert in this clause a provision to the effect that the bounties " under this Act shall be payable on the production of the goods or the growth of the materials in Australia." {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- -How could we deal with fish caught beyond the three-mile limit? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I would not deal with fisheries carrying on operations beyond the three-mile limit in the way proposed by the Government. The Ministry are going to say that if an Australian fisherman chances to make a big haul outside the three-mile limit, he shall not be entitled to bounty, although he is fishing under our territorial laws. To my mind it is immaterial whether the fish are caught within three or six miles of our shores. If a fisherman resident in Australia makes a trip and comes back with a haul of fish, no matter where he has caught them, he should be entitled to the bounty. I know that it is exceedingly difficult to deal with this question, but it would be unreasonable to exclude from the operation of the bounty all fish caught beyond the three mile limit. . In trawling fishermen have to go much further out to sea. The trawlers on the west coast of Ireland often go thirty miles from their starting point, and trawl all the way back. I would suggest to the Minister that he should reconsider the drafting of this clause. I do not see how we can effectively deal with the matter in the way proposed. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Need we attempt to define the limit? If fish were canned here, would not natural conditions govern the whole question of catching? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -The Minister has probably in mind the idea that fish caught beyond the three mile limit might be brought here and canned. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- If they were, that would be all the better for the Australian fish canning industry. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I do not think there is any possibility of fish being brought here from foreign ports for the purpose of being tinned and bounty being claimed upon them. I ask the Minister to reconsider the drafting of this clause, and to propose that Australian fishermen resident in the Commonwealth shall be entitled to- the bounty, as long as the fish in respect of which it is claimed are caught in the course of an Australian voyage. {: #debate-1-s17 .speaker-K99} ##### Mr JOHNSON:
Lang .- To a large extent we are groping in the dark, owing to the fact that the amendment has not been printed and circulated. It is difficult to retain in one's mind amendments that are only verbally stated, or to reply to suggestions .as to altering the proposed amendments. We ought to know what is intended by the term " Australian waters." Are we to understand that the limit -of three miles is intended, or that all the waters of the Pacific are meant so long as we do not approach within three miles of the territory of some other power? {: #debate-1-s18 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
AttorneyGeneral · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- The object of the amendment is to give effect to the clause relating to bounties by extending it to include fish caught bv Australian fishermen " in Australian waters." The term is not absolutely limited and clearly defined, and it can only be if we attempt- to define specific areas and territories. The' Constitution in section 51, paragraph x., provides - >The Parliament shall . . . have power to make laws . . . with respect to - > >Fisheries in Australian waters beyond territorial limits. If we wished to deal with the fisheries in the same way as the Federal Council did we should have power to do so, although, strictly speaking, the territorial limit of a State is confined to what is known as the three-mile limit, whereas the Constitution refers to waters "beyond territorial limits." The States have power to deal with fisheries within their territorial limits, and the Commonwealth has power to deal with the waters " beyond territorial limits." {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- But have we? We might say that we have power to legislate in respect of the moon, though, as a matter of fact, we have not. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- The Imperial Parliament has given the Commonwealth power to deal with the waters "beyond territorial limits." The Federal Council Act, which preceded the Commonwealth Constitution, gave power' to deal with fisheries beyond the territorial limits. In January, 1888, the Federal Council passed an Act to regulate pearl shell and *beche-de-mer* fisheries in Australian waters adjacent to the Colony of Queensland. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- What legal validity had that Act? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- That Act, as I think the honorable member for Herbert will tell honorable members, is being administered in Queensland to-day {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- The Act had no legal validity at all. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- The Act has such legal validity that there is power over persons engaged in the fisheries, and regulations are made as to the fisheries. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- That Act gives power over Australian citizens who desire to fish in Australian waters. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Australians engaged in fishing are subject to jurisdiction under the Act. It is perfectly true, as the honorable and learned member for Angas suggests that if we claimed the right of possession over a large part of the ocean, that claim would be disputed under International law. But even amongst nations the power to regulate their subjects when engaged in fisheries outside territorial jurisdiction is admitted. For instance, there are the cases of the United States and the 'Canadian fisheries; 1 think it will be found that such cases are attempts bv nations to deal with their subjects in waters outside their strict territorial limits. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- I -think the AttorneyGeneral will find that that is not so; those laws are with respect to gulfs. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I think it extends beyond gulfs. " But be that as it may, we have the term in the Constitution, and we are now- passing a law, not to deal with fisheries, but to deal with bounties. We say that, inasmuch as we have power to deal with fisheries, we are justified in limiting bounties to goods made from fish caught iri Australian waters. " Australian waters " can be defined quite easily by regulation. Of course, we do not desire to exclude deep-sea fisheries from the operation of the Bill ; on the contrary, the term " Australian waters " will include waters both within and beyond the territorial limits. All we say is that if fish are caught within Australian waters, and are brought into Australia and canned, the bounty will be given. {: .speaker-JMG} ##### Mr Atkinson: -- Will the fishermen have to be domiciled Australians? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- If they are engaged in Australian fisheries, not necessarily. {: .speaker-JMG} ##### Mr Atkinson: -- For instance, New Zealanders could not come here with fish? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- If we inserted the words "beyond territorial limits" it would mean that from distant countries frozen fish might be' sent, and thus earn the bounty. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- That would not pay the fishermen. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- But there is the legal possibility which the honorable and learned member for Angas pointed out. We desire to confine ourselves to encouraging Australian fisheries, and naturally we wish to place it beyond doubt that fish caught in Australian waters are not excluded. {: .speaker-JZF} ##### Mr Fuller: -- What as to the labour employed ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I shall look into the question of white labour again, and if there is any doubt, I shall have a clause drafted to remove it. {: .speaker-JMG} ##### Mr Atkinson: -- The definition of " Australian1 waters " will ultimately be settled by regulation? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- We have power to make all regulations necessary and convenient for the purposes of the Bill, and possibly we may define what are "Australian waters." No doubt the 'term/, sooner or later, will have to be judicially interpreted, and the desire is to place it beyond all doubt that what is intended is the encouragement of Australian fisheries. {: #debate-1-s19 .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
Parkes -- If I had not long ago concluded that the Attorney-General is quite deficient of humour, I should have suspected him of making the speech we have just heard with his tongue in his cheek. I never heard such a proposition put to a body of intelligent men as that, because we have limited exclusive rights over the sea, we should, when we offer a bounty for the preservation of fish, confine the people who seek to catch fish to the limits of that jurisdiction. I suppose the Attorney-General does not intend to suggest that we are doing wrong in seeking to go beyond the limits of Australian waters. The ocean is common property, and we have as much right as any other nationality in the world to fish in the Pacific and bring the fish within Australian territory. We are not legislating here to confer rights on people to fish; that right exists without any legislation. We cannot confer any exclusive right on anybody to fish in the Pacific, but we are holding out a bounty and saying, " If you bring fish into Australian ports, then, under the conditions provided in the Bill, we will give you a bounty." The Attorney-General's proposal means that we are to say to the fishermen of Australia, "You must not go 'outside a certain limit ; if you put your net down outside the three-mile limit, and catch fish, you cannot claim a bounty." *Bounties Bill.* [2 August, 1907.] *Bounties Bill.* 1385 {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The Attorney-General's contention is that "Australian waters " go further than the three-mile limit. {: #debate-1-s20 .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -- It is immaterial how far "Australian waters" go; I say that the Pacific Ocean beyond the three-mile limit is common property, and we all have a right to go there and fish. The fish of the Pacific Ocean are what lawyers call *ferae naturae* - anybody's and everybody's property. I should like to show honorable members a parallel. The first Minister of Trade and Customs in this Parliament desired to preventpeople from consuming spirituous liquors between one port and another of Australia; and although it was pointed out to him. that the seals might be opened outside Australian waters on the Pacific Ocean, he said, " I will soon get over that difficulty, because I will so legislate that if you come into port with the seals broken we will punish you, although they mayhave been broken on the high seas, where we have no jurisdiction." {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- And that was carried, too. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -- I only desire to show what can be carried in this House. The Attorney -General is asking us to put a limit on our fishermen, when there is no reason for any limit. Twenty-five years ago, in the *Franconia* case, I heard the mosteminent counsel argue before sixteen Judges as to the liability for the crime of manslaughter on the high seas, and it was ultimately decided that the three-mile limit was the test. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- Not the three-mile limit, but below low-water mark. The law was afterwards altered. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -- That is not my point. In the case which I have mentioned, I heard that great legal authority, Benjamin, K.C., speak for several days, and quote the law in almost every civilized language in the world. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- What words does the honorable and learned member suggest should be inserted? {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -I suggest that there should be no limit. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Would the honorable and learned member not require the fishermen to be domiciled in Australia? {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -- The fear which the Attorney-General expressed in regard to the importation of fish, in cases of a claim to the bounty, he has himself said is unfounded, because it would not pay to send in fish for that purpose. Why should we place a limit on our fishermen ? Barracouta, although some Tasmanians despise it, and use it for manure, fetches, when smoked, 7d. per lb. in Sydney, and I think it good value. If the fishermen choose, as I believe they could, to build up a great industry in the preservation of barracouta, why should we restrict them from going beyond a certain limit? If fishermen chose to go into Bass Straits, and load their ships with this particular fish, they ought to receive the bounty. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Is all Bass Straits within Australian waters? {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -- That is thepoint. Sydney fishermen go as far as fifty miles into the Pacific to fish, in boats of five or six tons, fitted with tanks. They go many miles from the coast, fill their tanks with' fish, and return to Sydney. Surely we are not going to place an unnecessary limitation upon such operations. If Tasmania were a foreign country, and we found that our fishermen were claiming bounties for fish caught by trespassing in Tasmanian waters, it would be undesirable to countenance such action ; but the oceans surrounding Australia are every man's domain. What we particularly desire is to build up an industry, which will depend upon the energy and enterprise of those who go out to fish in deep water. By limiting fishing operations to any so-called territorial reservation we should be handicapping the industry which the bounty has been proposed to encourage. {: #debate-1-s21 .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID:
East Sydney -- I think that, instead of providing that the bounty should be payable in respect of fish caught "in Australian waters," we should provide that it should be payable in respect of fish "caught in such waters and under such conditions as may be prescribed." That would give the Executive power to prevent abuses. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- We could add the words, " by persons domiciled in Australia." {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- This is one of the exceptional cases in which the flexibility necessary to proper administration can be obtained only by prescribing conditions by regulation. I wish to call attention to another defect in the clause. It provides that - >The bounties shall be payable to the growers or producers only of the goods or the materials of which they are made, and not to manufacturers. In the ca.se of fish, manufacturers are to be deemed producers ; that is, the man who tins fish is deemed the producer of it. But under sub-clause 3 bounties will be payable only on goods grown or produced within the periods specified in the second column of the first schedule. In the case of fish, the period specified is five years. I should like to know how any man can obtain the birth certificate of a schnapper, and thus show that it was grown or produced within five years from the 1st July last. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- He would only have to show that it had been tinned within that period. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- To tin fish is not to " produce " it within the meaning of the measure, and bounty is not payable in respect to fish not grown or produced within five years' from the 1st July last. The measure also requires that the goods must be grown and produced under white labour conditions. I do not know to what extent labour enters into the production of fish, but I. have heard that many of the finny denizens of the ocean fields are coloured. The fish caught in any haul might be of ages ranging from two years to one hundred years, and in no case would it be possible to prove that they were grown or produced in the five-year period specified in the schedule. If it were provided that the exhibition of the fish to the authorities appointed to administer the measure were to be regarded as its production, that would get rid of the difficulty. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The bounty is to be paid for tinned fish, and all that is required is that the authorities shall be satisfied that the fish has been tinned within the period mentioned in the schedule. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- My point is, that the measure does not say that the period within which the fish is tinned shall be considered as the period within which it is produced. The Attorney-General is preparing another harvest for the lawyers. We shall be able to do without the Arbitration Court when this measure becomes law. {: #debate-1-s22 .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr BAMFORD:
Herbert .- I understood from the Minister that he is not going to make any limitation in regard to the distance from the coast at which fishing may take place. The vessels engaged in pearl fishing now go out for distances of 60 or 70 miles. I rose to point ' out that the *beche de mer* industry has practically fallen into the hands of the Japanese. They, of course, will not be entitled to the bounty; but if they sell the fish they catch to white men living on the mainland, who preserve it, will these white men be entitled to a bounty as manufacturers ? {: #debate-1-s23 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
AttorneyGeneral · Darling Downs · Protectionist .- No. We are using the same wording in this Bill that is used in the Act under which the sugar bounty is1 paid. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- This difficulty has not arisen in regard to sugar, because of the indiscriminate manner of manufacture. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- A provision was inserted in the Act to meet it, and a similar provision is contained in clause 5'. That clause provides that - >The owner, occupier, or lessee of any land or factory in which the goods were grown or produced, or in which the goods have undergone any process, shall, unless the Minister in writing otherwise directs, be deemed to have been employed in the production of the goods. * I recognise that it is difficult to define Australian waters. As the honorable and learned member for Parkes has pointed out, if a definition were inserted in the Bill a bounty could not be paid in respect of fish caught outside the defined area. What we wish to do is to encourage the enterprise of Australian fishermen. There is, of course, a practical limit beyond which they cannot go in search of fish. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- The Government should take the power to make regulations in regard to this matter by making the amendment which I have suggested. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- I intend to adopt the right honorable member's suggestion, and therefore, with the permission of the Committee, I shall amend m.y amendment by moving - >That the words " in Australian waters " be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " in such waters and under such conditions as may be prescribed." {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- The # Minister will not place any limit upon the fishing? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- No; except under the amendment moved. {: #debate-1-s24 .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON:
Bland -- I think that the best way is to leave this matter to regulation. I intended to move an amendment in clause 9, which, if carried, would give the Government the power to prescribe by regulation the conditions under which, to obtain the bounty for their production, fish shall be caught. {: #debate-1-s25 .speaker-KGZ} ##### Mr HEDGES:
Fremantle .- This clause states that the manufacturer, in the case of tinned fish, shall be deemed to be the producer. I desire to know whether under its operation it would not be possible for a manufacturer - so long as he complied with the white labour conditions - to claim the bounty upon fish which had been caught by Japanese labour or any other cheap class of labour, also whether he could not tin fish upon an island and claim bounty in respect of them? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Clearly he could not claim bounty upon fish which had been tinned upon an island. But of course " Australia " includes its dependencies. {: .speaker-KGZ} ##### Mr HEDGES: -- The word "produce" has many meanings, and it seems to me that under this clause it is quite possible for fishermen of various nationalities to be engaged in catching fish upon which bounty will afterwards be payable - in other words, a manufacturer may be able to tin fish that have been caught by black labour and to claim bounty upon them. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I promise the honorable member that I will look closely into the matter again. Of course, the term "Australia" includes its dependencies. For instance, King Island is a part of Australia. {: #debate-1-s26 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth .- The Attorney-General has inferred that the bounty will be payable only upon fish tinned and fish preserved in casks. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Upon fish preserved " as prescribed." {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Will bounty be payable upon smoked, salted, or dried fish ? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- It may be. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- We are entitled to know exactly where we are. We were told last night that these fish would be included. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Power was given to prescribe their inclusion under certain conditions, if it were found practicable to do so. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- As we shall have power to deal with the regulations when they are laid upon the table- {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- We shall not be afforded an opportunity to deal with them. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Then the position ought to be made perfectly clear now. If the Minister is going to evade the desire of the Committee - : - {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- That is a harsh term to employ. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I have said that it will be done if it is practicable. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- What I wish to know is whether the Minister will make an en-, deavour to give effect to the wish of the Committee as expressed last evening? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I have already promised to make such an endeavour. Colonel FOXTON (Brisbane) [11.50]. - In framing his regulations, I hope the Attorney-General will bear in mind that the best way of curing mullet, which is largely produced in north-eastern waters, is by smoking it. The experiment has been tried, but it has not been an unqualified success, not because of any dearth /in the supply of fish - as a matter of fact, there has been an immense surplus over and above what it has been possible to smoke - but owing to the lack of means to reach a market. With the assistance of a bounty upon preserved fish, I am sure that the smoking of mullet will become a considerable industry in Moreton Bay, and other places to the north of that port. {: #debate-1-s27 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas .- I suggest to the Attorney-General that, in framing the regulations, it would be as well for him to look into the State Acts. Certain powers are prescribed by those Acts, and these 'extend to the boats employed in the industry as well as to the persons. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- I understand that the Attorney-General proposes to meet that point by providing that, a man shall' be domiciled in Australia. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- To my mind, any such provision will entirely defeat the object which he has in view. In Western Australia, the Court has drawn a distinction between a person " domiciled" and a person "resident" in that State. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- We might say both " domiciled " and " resident." {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- My impression is that the clause, as it has been amended-, will enable a regulation to be framed which will accomplish our desire. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I will see that the regulations are carefully looked into. {: #debate-1-s28 .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr BAMFORD:
Herbert .- I wish to say a few words concerning smoked fish. Iri this industry, I am sorry to say, fraud is practised just as it is in connexion with the adulteration of other foods. A little while ago I was talking to a Sydney fisherman, and our conversation turned upon the difference between Australian smoked fish and New. Zealand smoked fish. He then said - "As a matter of fact, a great deal of the so-called smoked fish sold nowadays is not smoked at all. It is merely painted." That is how both colour and flavour are imparted to it. I hope that the Attorney-General will make some provision in the regulations to prevent that sort of thing. {: #debate-1-s29 .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID:
East Sydney .- I should like to ask the Attorney-General whether, the expression " fish as prescribed " will authorize the Government to prescribe the class of fish which will come under the operation of the bounty. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The fish are to be preserved " as prescribed." x {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- I would point out that there is a very serious danger connected with this proposal. So far we have arrived at no definition of the word " fish." If an enterprising man were to catch a whale 100 feet long, that whale - if a bounty were pay- . able upon it, at so much per lb. - would exhaust the whole of the amount appropriated in connexion with this item for any one year. I suggest that we should have some definition of the word " fish," because one school of whales would exhaust the bounty for 100 years. I think that some attempt should be- made to classify the fish. I have seen gropers as long as the table of this House, and as broad as they were long. There are all sorts of inhabitants of the deep which run to enormous weight, although thev are not edible. This bounty is to be payable according to the weight of fish and not according to their quality. Under the Bill, bounty would be payable upon squid, and I have seen those fish attain enormous dimensions. Further, they . can throw out as much obscuring matter in a minute as can the Attorney-General. Why should we not have some classification of fish? We shall have the ocean bed trawled and scraped over for fish "grown and produced " within five years from the present time. In the interests of those fish which might be allowed to pursue their calm existence in these deep waters - fish which are not edible - I say that we should enact some protective legislation. Why not confine our attention to edible fish, even though they have been painted ? Amendment of the amendment agreed to; Amendment, as amended, agreed to. {: #debate-1-s30 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
AttorneyGeneral · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- I move - That in the proviso to sub-clause 2 of clause 3, the words " in tins or casks " be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " as prescribed." That will make the clause harmonize with the schedule. Amendment agreed to. Amendment (by **Mr. Groom)** proposed - That in sub-clause 5, the words "subject to the power of alteration by regulation," be left out, and that the following words be added to the sub-clause : - " Provided that where the maximum amount in respect of any item has not been paid in any year, the unpaid balance, or any part thereof, may be paid in respect of that item in any subsequent year, in addition to the maximum amount for that year." {: #debate-1-s31 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas -- lt is possible that there may be some inconsistency between the wording of this amendment and the first schedule. The AttorneyGeneral will. remember that at my suggestion when the first schedule was under consideration, he agreed to insert in the heading of the second column the words, "or in respect of " after the word " during." That heading now reads, " Period dating from 1st July, 1907 during or in respect of .which bounty may be paid." Thus, by amending the heading to the. second column of the first schedule, we have already provided that if a bounty is not paid during a particular year, it may be paid in a subsequent year; yet the Attorney-General is now proposing to provide in- this clause that although the bounty may be earned in one year, it may' be paid in a subsequent year. We have to make a distinction between "earning" and "paying." What we ought to provide in this clause is that where the whole sum allotted to a particular year is not earned during that year, it may be carried forward to a subsequent year, and earned during that year. {: #debate-1-s32 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Attorney General · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- I think that the honorable and learned member for Angas is hardly correct in his construction of the amendment. The object is to enable the maximum payable in respect of any of these items in any year after the first to be increased so that if a bounty is earned, not in the first but in a subsequent year, it may be paid out of the increased amount. The bounty must be earned before it can be paid. The amendment made in the heading to the second column is designed to extend the time of payment, so as to enable a bounty earned before the end of the period to be paid, if necessary, in a subsequent year. Thus, if the period in respect of which a certain sum was payable expired before a claim could be made, the bounty earned in the last year could be paid in the next. I recognise that an amendment inserte'd hurriedly sometimes requires slight revision, and I shall ask the Parliamentary Draftsman to consider the point raised by the honorable and learned member. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- That is all that I ask. {: #debate-1-s33 .speaker-KGZ} ##### Mr HEDGES:
Fremantle .- I should like the Attorney-General to examine the heading to the fourth column of the first schedule with a view of determining whether it does not clash with the amendment he has just submitted. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I have done so. {: .speaker-KGZ} ##### Mr HEDGES: -- I fail to see how we can provide in the schedule that the maximum payable in respect of an item shall be so much, whilst' in another part of the Bill we give power to increase that maximum. {: #debate-1-s34 .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
Parkes -- The honorable member for Wide Bay has suggested that the use of the words " subsequent year" might enable the Minister administering the Act to extend the bounties beyond the period intended. I do not think it would do so, but I should like to have from the Attorney-General an assurance that there is no intention on the part of the Government to do anything of the kind. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- There is not. Amendment agreed to. Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clause 4 - >The bounties under this Act shall be payable in respect of goods which . *c* have been grown or produced by white labour only. > >Provided that the employment of any aboriginal native of Australia in the production of the goods shall not prejudice the claim to bounty in respect thereof. {: #debate-1-s35 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
AttorneyGeneral · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- I move - " That after the word " Australia " line 6 the words " or of any coloured person born in Australia and having one white parent," be inserted. These words appeared in the Bill dealt -with last year, and are designed to make half-castes eligible to claim any of the bounties. {: #debate-1-s36 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth -- I think that the amendment is rather clumsily -worded. The Attorney-General proposes that the child of one white parent shall be eligible to claim any of these bounties, but under his amendment the grand children of a white man and coloured woman, or *vice versa,* might not be able to claim a bounty although their parents could do so. The son of a white man and coloured woman, on attaining years- of indiscretion, could claim any of these bounties. But if he married the offspring of a coloured man and a white woman - or, in other words, a half-caste like himself - the children bom of that marriage would not be entitled to claim any of these boun ties, since they would, not be the offspring of white parents. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- Quite so; but I think that this is a humanitarian provision. Amendment agreed to. Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clause 9 - >The Governor-General may make regulations . . . - > >For varying the amounts set out in the fourth column of the First Schedule as the maximum amount of bounty payable in respect of any goods. Amendment (by **Mr. Groom)** agreed to - >That paragraph *(a)* be left out. {: #debate-1-s37 .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON:
South Sydney -- I wish to suggest to the Attorney-General the desirableness of taking further powers in this clause to make regulations. We all know how difficult it has been during the debate to fully appreciate all the conditions attaching, or likely to attach, to some of these new industries. It is very evident that some of the experts who met in Conference had but indefinite and nebulous ideas of some of the industries they were considering, and perhaps that was only natural since some of them have not been carried on in Australia. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- And the industries dealt with are fairly diversified. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- That is so. It is not to be expected, therefore, that we should have a complete knowledge of all these subjects. That being so, and in view of the fact that it is difficult- to insert in the headings of a schedule all that is necessary in the way of reservations, I think that the Minister should take power to make regulations prescribing further conditions to be complied with in order to entitle the grower or producer to any of these bounties. That would allow the Minister for the time being administering this measure to go a little further than clause 9 already provides,- and. to impose such additional conditions as might appear necessary. I ami afraid that loop-holes may be found in respect of some of these items, and that in the absence of some such power as this it would-be impossible to deal with them. It may be said that the clause as it stands gives the Minister for the time being sufficient power to make regulations, but I think that it would be as well to make the provision I have suggested. Under the Acts Interpretation Act regulations must be submitted to Parliament, and either House can by resolution prevent their coming into operation. We should therefore have a check upon any proposed regulation by which a Minister sought to go any distance beyond what is contemplated by the Bill. As the conditions which I have in mind would tend to restrict rather than to extend the operation of the Bill, I do not think that we should run much risk in intrusting the Minister with slightly increased powers in this regard. I therefore move - >That the following new paragraph be inserted : - " (e) For prescribing in- respect to. any goods any further conditions to be complied with in order to entitle the grower or producer to bounty." {: #debate-1-s38 .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID:
East Sydney .- There is a great deal of danger in this amendment. Any inconsistency between the regulations and the Bill itself would give rise to legal difficulties. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Any further conditions imposed would have to be consistent with the Bill. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- That is so, but legal difficulties might arise. We do not desire that those who enter these new industries - who take up these very arduous speculations - should have the foundation on which they may claim a bounty made insecure. The effect of the amendment would be that a man who had embarked upon one of these industries on the strength of a bounty offered under the Bill might subsequently have imposed upon him other conditions which would deprive him of the fruits of his industry. Such a regulation might be passed a year or two after he had commenced operations. The people who will be invited under this Bill to lay the foundations ' of these new_ industries are not likely to be lawyers. They will look at the Act and see that so much money is available, over a certain number of years, for cotton ginned, or some other article ; and, satisfied with that, they will set to work to honestly earn the bounty by establishing an industry. But when they have incurred half the expenditure, and their plants are approaching maturity, a regulation may be issued which, perhaps, disqualifies- them. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Could that difficulty not be got over by fixing a maximum period in which any regulation could be issued? {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- No, because in some instances, once the trees are planted, the money has been spent, and the people are committed to the project. They do not reap any advantage for some years, and yet, in the meantime, a regulation may be issued which alters the entire basis of the bounty. The conditions of the bounties should be made as simple and as firm as possible, in the interests of the objects of the Bill, which, itself, sets out the cardinal points of the contract. We lay down terms and conditions of a contract with persons in reference to the establishment of some new industry ; and the moment those persons begin to plant they accept 'the contract. A power, on one side, to alter a contract after it is entered into, is never supposed to exist except under some extraordinary circumstances ; and it would be a dangerous power to give to the Executive. {: #debate-1-s39 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay .- As a layman, I fail to see what advantage there is to be gained by adopting the five sub-clauses of clause 9. The first part of the clause, which gives the GovernorGeneral power to make regulations which are necessary or convenient, is quite sufficient. The only effect of the sub-clauses must be to limit, in the minds of some people, the power of the Executive to make regulations, and when far-reaching powers are claimed by the clause itself, there is a danger in placing these limitations. It would be better to omit the whole of the sub-clauses, and- leave the Executive responsible, as they ought to be, for the prescription of every necessary regulation. {: #debate-1-s40 .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON:
South Sydney -- The possibility outlined by the honorable and learned member for East Sydney, that the conditions under, which a bounty is paid may be varied some time ahead, after men have taken preliminary steps to enter an industry, would be in the highest degree unfortunate if it were realized. In fact, I cannot conceive of an Executive taking such a course. My ownidea is that the Executive, between the passing of the Bill and its coming into operation, some few months afterwards, will have time to look round and see what conditions are applicable to the various industries. Thev will probably get further detailed information, and if it strikes them that some condition is advisable, from *Bounties Bill.* [2 August, 1907.] *Bounties Bill.* 1391 the stand-point of the general public, they may gazette a regulation. It may be possible, as the honorable member for Wide Bay has said, that the introductory portion or main portion of the clause sufficiently covers my object. My only desire is to make the clause more explicit. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- The clause as it stands is limited by the Bill, while the danger of the amendment is that it goes beyond the Bill. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -The only effect of my amendment is to limit and not extend the powers within the discretion of the Ministry. I shouldhope that no Ministry would think of altering the conditions applying to an industry at any considerable time after the passing of the Bill. {: #debate-1-s41 .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The honorable member for Wide Bay said that he approached this subject as a layman, but I must say that the honorable member evinces a very shrewd knowledge of legal difficulties likely to arise; and I entirely agree with the honorable member's criticism of the clause. It is not uncommon in Acts of Parliament to have a general power to make regulations, followed by particular instances in which the power may be exercised. I cannot think of any case in which that particular method has been found convenient, or to have any additional advantage; certainly, there have beenmany cases in which the method has led to the kind of confusion referred to. If the clause were so framed as to provide that the Governor-General may make regulations not inconsistent with the Bill, prescribing all matters which are necessary and convenient to be prescribed, it would not only be more explicit and direct, but the most effective way of giving the Government powers which are really necessary. If this Bill ever came before a law court - as I hope it will not in the interests of the people for whom it is intended - it would be much easier to interpret and apply a simple plain provision of the kind I have indicated than if the general power were followed with subclauses which tend to limit, or to specify, the scope of the general power. If the Comimittee desire to make this Bill a working machine, as free from difficulties as it can be, they ought to accept in substance the suggestion made by the honorable member for Wide Bay. {: #debate-1-s42 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
AttorneyGeneral · Darling Downs · Protectionist -- If honorable members look at the nature of the sub-clauses, they will see that they are to make clear what the powers of the Executive are. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- Most of them seem to be powers which the Executive have not taken under the general power. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- That is so. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Then the clause is badly framed. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- It is properly framed. The Executive must, for instance, have power to prescribe the minimum quantity of goods to be produced. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The sub-clauses are considerable limitations upon the first paragraph. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- They are express and necessary provisions. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Then they are in the wrong place. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- The Bill does not prescribe the minimum quantity of goods to be produced, and unless the Executive has power to prescribe a minimum, the bounty will be payable simply on the production of goods. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- If the Bill does not give the power, it cannot be conferred by regulation, because the regulations must be consistent with the Bill. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- This clause is, generally, to give us the power to make regulations. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Executive have the power apart from this clause, because no Bounty Bill could operate without a regulation such as the honorable member indicates. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- This clause is a placard to the producers that one of the conditions will possibly be the production of a minimum quantity of goods; and the other regulations are of a similar description. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Executive could not fix the market value without express power. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- No. I think that point was considered carefully, and the object is to have as few difficulties as possible in the drafting of regulations. {: #debate-1-s43 .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I do not entirely agree with the view of the Attorney-General. The power to prescribe regulations for the purpose of carrying a Bill into effect always involves some restriction or some enactment which is not contained in the Bill. The only question is, what kind of enactment or restriction is intended by Parliament to be given to the Executive. When dealing with a Bounties Bill, the consideration is, what is the intention of Parliament in giving this legislative power to the Executive ? The intention is to ascertain the very classes of information which are necessary, as, for instance, the market value, than which no better example could be found. Also it is said, and rightly said, that a Bounties Bill which involves the distribution of moneys to persons who produce various articles, necessarily involves the determination of the quantities to be produced; and these are the very classes of powers which are, in my opinion, included under the general power. From my own experience as a lawyer, I cordially indorse what has been said by the 'honorable member for Wide Bay as a layman, namely, that the subclauses are likely to lead to confusion. {: #debate-1-s44 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas -- I agree with a good deal of what has been said by the honorable and learned member for Flinders as to the undesirability of prescribing a number of powers to follow the general power, but it is necessary in some cases to give specific powers. If a claim were made for a bounty by a producer, how could any dispute as to the market value be overcome, except by means' of a lawsuit, or by some such provision as this, which enables the Minister to declare the market value? It is difficult to find out, in law, what the market value is, and in sheep sales, for instance, there have been a lot of cases to decide as to what was the nearest available market *in* order to settle the question. I think the Executive have very wisely taken power to declare what the market value is, and thus settle any dispute which may arise with a producer. It may be said to be too great an arbitrary power to give to a Minister, who, of course, may be wrong. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I think that that power is given under the general provision of the clause. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I much doubt it, because, according to the schedule, the bounty is to be paid on a percentage of the market value, and, unless the Minister be given this , power, there might be a law-suit in respect of each item and each producer, because the decision in one case would not affect another case. {: #debate-1-s45 .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID:
East Sydney .- Not only are the difficulties which have been mentioned worthy of attention, but the wording of the beginning of the clause seems to me unnecessary. We all know that the Executive cannot make regulations which are inconsistent with the Bill; that,. I think, is a rudimentary principle of construction. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I do not desire to press ' the amendment, and I ask leave to withdraw it. Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. {: #debate-1-s46 .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID:
East Sydney .- If a regulation prescribes a minimum, the Courts may declare it to be inconsistent with the Act, wherein no minimum is prescribed. The Judges might say that this is a matter which could not have been overlooked, because the Legislature deliberately provided a maximum and omitted to provide a minimum. I admit that it is difficult to provide for a minimum, but I advise the Attorney-General to take power to make regulations prescribing a minimum. If he does that, no question of law can arise. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I will look into the matter. {: #debate-1-s47 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Wide Bay .- I should like to know from the AttorneyGeneral why the words " in particular " are used ? It seems humiliating for the Parliament to say that the . Government shall make regulations for giving effect to the Act, and, "in particular," for certain purposes. I do not knowwhy the words are used. Do they- mean that the power to make regulations in regard to other things will be more open to attack? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- The word " including " would do. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- We only contrast the general with the particular power. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- Since we provide that the Government shall have power to make regulations, nothing is gained by this distinction. All regulations will have the same authority, provided that they are not inconsistent with the Act. {: #debate-1-s48 .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I think thatthe right honorable member for East Sydney is somewhat at fault in this respect - that the Bill does not fix a maximum. It only fixes maximum payments in respect to the various classes of goods. The minimum referred to in clause- 9 is something different. Clause, as amended, agreed to. Bill reported with further amendments. Standing Orders suspended, and reports adopted. Motion (by **Mr. Groom)** proposed - >That the Bill be now read a third time. {: #debate-1-s49 .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID:
East Sydney .- I was not able to be present during the debate on the motion for the second reading, and, as the Committee stage did not furnish a convenient opportunity for the observations I wish to make, I take advantage of this motion to express my very great regret that the Government have not acceded to the request for the postponement of the measure until after the delivery of the Budget and the introduction of the Tariff. That course should have commended itself to Ministers in their own interests, as well as in those of the public; because they have a very great stake in the success of the measure. They must be desirous that the measure shall produce the benefits which it is stated will result from it. But the success of the measure will be jeopardized if it is taken through its final stages before the reports of the Tariff Commission are in the hands of- honorable members and the Tariff proposals submitted. I have always considered that the appointment of the Tariff Commission has been justified by the enormous amount of useful information which the labours of its members have procured, information which will be of value to honorable members of all shades of fiscal opinion. The reports of the Commission are as important in connexion with the consideration of the proposals contained in this Bill as they will be in connexion with the consideration of the Tariff. I have never had the antipathy to bounties which I have to protective duties. Years ago, I pointed out that there are several very important differences between the effects of bounties and the effects of protective duties. In the first place, when bounties are given, the public know to a penny how much they may be called upon to pay. In the second place, they know what the money is being voted for ; in the third place, who is to get it ; and, in the fourth place, how long the obligation of providing it will last. But a more important difference is this : The encouragement of an industry is a national object, and should, therefore, be paid for out of the national pocket. National purposes which involve pecuniary burdens should be met by national contributions. My objection to encouraging industries by the imposition of protective duties is that, instead of the necessary money being taken from the national pocket, the system penalizes those who are encouraging an industry by buying its products. There can be no doubt that, as a general rule, the effect of a duty is to increase the price of the article upon which it is imposed. The basis on which duties are levied supports that contention. A fact which commends itself to every one, unless he sees that a positive mischief to the community results from it, is that in Australia, happily, labour reaps a richer reward for its industry than it does in most other countries of the world. That in itself is one of the greatest blessings that can happen to a country ; that wages are so high that there are difficulties in the way of competing with other countries in which they are low and the hours long. One of my strongest reasons for looking askance at efforts to promote industries by artificial means has always been that, in competing with countries where wages are low and production cheap, you enter upon a very arduous enterprise which can never be wholly successful whilst the disparity exists. I suppose every man who possesses any humane instincts hopes that the disparity will exist so long as other countries continue to pay low rates of wages. Of course, the larger hope is' that everywhere wages will rise to a higher level, that the people in the more populous countries will come to reap as rich a reward as Australian labour obtains for its industry. That is an aspiration in which every friend of humanity will indulge. But so long as the inequalities I have spoken of remain, there is a perpetual obstacle to success, that is, where there is competition between a country where wages are high and countries where wages are low. I have, therefore, felt that in cultivating the great natural industries of Australia, we stand in the happiest position, because our labour is helped by the productive energies of nature. If we view our natural industries, what do we find? That a beneficent nature has put great wealth within our reach. The. pastoral industry, for example, furnishes the staple production of Australia, and from it the prosperity of all our other industries may be said to be derived. The moment the. price of our wool rises in the markets of the world, and our yield increases by reason of good seasons, comfort flows more freely through every channel of life in the Commonwealth. One of the grandest things about an industry like the pastoral industry is that nature is working for us. The wool on the sheep's backs grows day and night, and our prosperity and success is proportionate to the manner in which we work in harmony with our natural advantages. We stand at the head of the whole world in some respects. Our wool, whether for quality or for quantity, has placed Australia at the head of an important branch of human industry, a grand position for any country to occupy. This is a very young country, sparsely populated, but in the wool industry Australia has arisen to the highest pre-eminence amongst the countries of the world. That has come about because nature does nineteentwentieths of the work for us. The man who desires to see nature drawn upon in order to uphold the prosperity of Australian labour is not necessarily an enemy to Australian industry. My protectionist friends may be right, and I may be entirely wrong, but the desire that Australian labour should be devoted to those industries in which nature works hand in hand with it seems to me a desire which represents the truest interests and the highest advantages which labour can possess in Australia. I do not look with the same kindly feelings upon enterprises which bring us into competition with countries where the conditions of labour are not so happy, and where production is cheap, because the lot of the people is an unhappy one. The argument which has always seemed to be the strongest argument that a protectionist can use - and it is a fair argument too - is that the difference between the conditions surrounding Ausralian labour and the labour of other countries requires that some sort of protection shall be extended to Australian labour if our manufacturing industries are to succeed. That is an argument which ought to appeal to every one as the great argument in favour of a protective policy. If we are to have a protective Tariff I wish to make it perfectly plain that I am prepared to assist in every possible way to insure that the benefits of that policy shall go to the people whose claims for consideration form the very backbone of the protectionist argument. What is the one thing which lias made a protective policy possible in this country ? It is a desire that Australian labour shall be enabled to earn proper wages in prosecuting those industries which the law supports. At the same time, there must be a fair return assured to those who invest their capital in those industries, because we cannot expect industrial' speculations to be carried on, unless we allow a fair and legitimate profit for the enterprise and capital invested in them. But whilst that ought to be remembered, any state of things in which the major benefit goes not to the labourer in the factory, but to the investor, is a distortion of the policy- {: #debate-1-s50 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- May I ask the right honorable member to connect his. remarks with the Billunder consideration ? {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- I will connect them by saying that I have no more to add upon that branch of the subject. I feel that I was trespassing, sir, and I am very much obliged to you for your indulgence. Free-traders may well look upon a Bounties Bill with a far more kindly regard than they could display if they were considering protective duties. In the first place one of the most commendable features about this Bill is that it aims at the development of the primary industries which spring from the soil. It has its roots in. those natural industries which will be developed only by developing the natural resources of Australia. That is a good thing in itself. There is no sphere in which enterprise is more arduous, in which the rewards are more uncertain than in attempts to establish new industries: - whether in towns or in the country - but especially in the country. Therefore I have shown no strong opposition to many of the items contained in this Bill!. But I do most sincerely regret that in this most difficult endeavour of ours to select the right commodities with, which to experiment and to prescribe conditions which will be most likely to make these experiments successful, the Government have deliberately cut off from us the reports of the Tariff Commission, which incidentally deal with almost every one of these items. Speaking generally, there is scarcely one item in these great industrial experiments - some of which take us into quite unknown spheres - which is not interlaced with the Tariff Commission's reports, for which we are paying thousand's of pounds, and which Ibelieve will be worth the money over and over again. We have been deliberately shut off from reading those reports, just as we were shut off from reading the report of the Imperial Conference until the debate upon the AddressinReply had been concluded. In passing I may say that I received a copy ofthat report immediately after that discussion had closed, through the courtesy of the Acting Prime Minister. Whilst I must express my appreciation of the courtesy of the honorable gentleman, I would have appreciated it much more had he sent me a copy of that report before my mouth was closed. There is plenty of interesting reading in the document, and I should have liked to give the House the benefit of some of it. How- ever, I may have an opportunity of doing so upon another occasion. But that is a trivia] matter compared with the one which we are now considering. In this case there are Tariff reports which have cost the public thousands of pounds - reports to the preparation of which the great ability and industry of some of our most respected and most able members have been devoted - and those reports are in the possession of the Government. For very proper reasons, I admit, we have not been allowed to see one single line of the recommendations of the Tariff Commission upon these matters, and not a single line of evidence. The answer of the Government is a very proper one They say, " We cannot show you those reports until the new Tariff has been made public." My reply is that that statement points the force of the position which I ain now taking up. The moment the new Tariff is laid upon the table the duties levied under it will at once be collected, and we can have the reports of the Tariff Commission placed in our hands, because there will then no longer be any need for secrecy inasmuch as all public interests will have been safeguarded. Upon the day that the Government lay the new Tariff upon the table the reports of that most able Commission ought to be made available to honorable members. Had the -Government deferred consideration of this Bill until the Tariff had been introduced, we could then have studied it iri the light of the recommendations contained in those -reports. We could have studied the .financial position -of the country in reference to this proposal. But there are rumours, which I fear have too much foundation, that there is a deliberate desire on the part of some honorable members to push this 'Commonwealth into circumstances of financial difficulty in order to invent an excuse -for the adoption of a policy which the people of Australia have condemned. I only say that there are appearances that that is so. It would be unfair to say more at present. It will 'be time enough for me to indulge in stronger language when I find a development of the scheme which I have too much reason to fear is being arranged. It is not the Government, but this House which is the guardian of the fin ances of the 'Commonwealth. One of the strongest duties which representatives owe to the people is their duty as guardians of the public purse. Great as are the powers of the Crown, the Crown has to come to the representatives of the people 'before it can take a single penny out of the public purse. That is our position. Under this Bill it is intended to spend ^500,000- {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- But only about ^50,000 during the first year. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- That is the way in which the spendthrift gets through the .patrimonial estate. I would point out that the moment this Bill is passed every one of us must honour the obligation which it imposes. We are all pledged to the people of this country to honestly and honorably observe it. If the Bill were passed to-day and another Ministry came into power tomorrow it would be taking a very extraordinary course if it attempted to repudiate the responsibility which the Bill will have created. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- It would be practically impossible. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- Yes. We must pay some respect to continuity of policy. 'Here is half-a-million pounds pledged from the public purse in the absence of the slightest information as to the state of the public exchequer. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- - The expenditure is to extend over a considerable period. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- I admit that. But nevertheless there is the 'Obligation to spend that money, and I really feel that the House has : been placed in a very unfortunate position. In the regrettable absence of. the Prime Minister, as honorable members are aware, no man -with the slightest degree -of proper feeling, can indulge the full force >of political antagonism. I think every honorable member feels that during .the illness >of the Prime Minister, although his d'uty ought to compel him to be just as firm, just as fearless, and just as strong as he would be at other times, he cannot 'be so. I trust that we all have some elements of good feeling within us. I trust that whenever one of our opponents, however bitter, is struck down by illness, the fierceness, the bitterness, of political antagonism will' always be affected. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Is not an obligation also imposed upon the Administration ? {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- The honorable member is perfectly right. I want it to be distinctly understood - so that there can be no charge of bad faith levelled against me, because charges of that kind are the most painful that can be addressed to any man - that while I 'have taken up a proper attitude - the attitude that I would 'expect to be observed towards myself in similar circumstances, and I -believe that I would be treated in precisely the same way - it must not be thought that in carrying out the policy of abstinence from movements designed to affect the position of the Government, we are taking on any other obligation. It must never be thought that we are not to push to any legitimate extreme our objection to public measures. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The right honorable member would be failing in his public duty if he did that. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- I think so. I voted for several items contained in this Bill. I would infinitely prefer to encourage them by the granting of a bounty than by the imposition of protective duties, and, therefore, I am not going to take any course which would even seem to lead to the rejection of the Bill. I wish to be perfectly frank, and to tell honorable members that if I thought a majority shared my view that the further consideration of the Bill should be postponed until we are in possession of the information which we seek, I should certainly favour its postponement, because nobody can urge that one's opposition to a Bill comes within the forbidden ground to which I have referred. There . is a wide distinction- between opposing a Bill which does not affect the fate of- a Ministry and refraining from any partymove to displace it. It would be carrying the "obligation too far if we were fettered in our opposition to measures. We may abstain from party movements, but we are compelled to do our duty as legislators in regard to the measures submitted to us. I say frankly that if a majority agreed with me, I should prefer to see this Bill postponed. But I understand that a majority of honorable members do not share my view, and the measure must", therefore, go to another place. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Suppose that the Government declared that this Bill was a party measure, should we then be deterred *from* taking action ? {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr REID: -- The Government cannot prescribe the standard for us. They might say of the Postal Rates Bill, or any other measure, " We regard this as a party question, and, therefore, you cannot move agains[ us." But I hope that Ministers will not take up any such unreasonable position, because they cannot expect us to be content to be dealt with in that way. There must be reciprocity. If we evince our desire to act fairly by the Government whose head is absent, they should reciprocate our disposition by acting towards us with a certain amount of consideration. But on this particular occasion, I confine myself to an earnest request that the Government will take the course which I have outlined. I have given my reasons for the opinion which I have expressed, and having performed my duty in the matter, I am satisfied. This Bill is not like a mail contract. The postponement of the date at which it shall come into operation for one month is not a matter of vital concern, and would not be at- tended by serious consequences. The Budget, I suppose, will be delivered within the present month, so that the delay involved need only be for a week or two. But I am so anxious to act under present circumstances in a way that does not invite controversy or antagonism, that I will simply express the wish that the Acting Prime Minister will allow this Bill to stand over until we have the information as to the finances, and the vast mass of particulars bearing upon the items set out in the schedule, which is now in the possession of the Government. *Sitting suspended from i to 2.15 p.m.* {: #debate-1-s51 .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- As the result of action taken in Committee, this Bill has been shorn of a good deal of its effectual appropriative character. This has been the result, not merely of the reduction by considerably more than £100,000 of the appropriation originally proposed, but of the still more important step taken by honorable members in striking out the clause, enabling the. Governor-General in Council to make regulations for the purpose of varying the amount set forth in the fourth column of the first schedule. In this way, the effective appropriation under this Bill has been reduced to a comparatively small amount. Having regard to many of the objects to which it can be applied, I do not think that during the present financial year the amount which can be actually expended under the Bill is likely to be very considerable. Nethertheless, I wish to avail myself of this final opportunity to reiterate and emphasize the point I sought to make on the motion for the second reading of the Bill, that the action of the Government in submitting a substantial measure of financial appropriation, before giving the House even an outline' of its financial proposals, involves a very serious departure from a salutary and,' what I might almost rail, a fundamental principle of parliamentary procedure. . I am only stating that which is familiar to most honorable members having experience in public affairs when I assert that the greatest difficulty associated with the whole problem of representative government in all parts of the world, and perhaps more especially in Australia, relates to the management of financial proposals. Under the most advantageous circumstances, we do not in any case manage our public finances with anything like the same prudence or sagacity that is displayed by ordinary men of business in the conduct of their affairs. Under the most favorable circumstances, the only security which the public have for the exercise of a reasonable degree of prudence or sagacity in the management of the public finances, rests in the practice which requires the Government to be prepared at the commencement of each session to outline its financial proposals. That practice, so far as I know, has always been adhered to in all Parliaments. ' It must be remembered that the necessity for our being called together at least once a year arises primarily from the duty resting upon the Government of the day to render, first of all, an account of its stewardship during the previous year, and then to inform the Parliament what are its financial proposals in' respect of the succeeding twelve months. In connexion with this Bill, we have had a very serious departure from that principle. We have only to consider the analogy of an ordinary business institution in order to see for ourselves what an important departure this is. We are really in the position of directors of a great public company, of which the shareholders are the taxpayers, and it is our duty as directors to have before us all the materials necessary for determining any business proposal submitted by the manager or managers of the company before we can either agree or disagree with them. If, for instance, we were directors of a large trading or insurance company, and the manager brought forward a proposal to increase the salaries of all the clerks by 10 per cent., we should naturally inquire, " Upon what material do you base this proposition?" Should we agree for one moment to such a proposition if the reply was, " We do not know exactly what were the returns for last year, or what will be the expenditure next year, but we think it is only fair to make these advances"? We should naturally say, " Before you ask us as trustees for the shareholders in this company " - and as members of this Parliament we are trustees for the public - " tosanction any considerable increase of expenditure, or to hypothecate the revenue of the company to a' large extent, it is necessary that you should present to us a full statement, showing the revenue to be expected and the expenditure which it is estimated will be necessary next year." Such an attitude is based upon ordinary principles of common sense that must appeal to us, irrespective of the parties to which we belong. It is undoubtedly a fact that the Federal Parliament from the first has been in the fortunate, or perhaps I should say in the unfortunate, position of having 'at its disposal a stream' of Customs and Excise revenue enormously greater than any legitimate expenditure that it may be called upon to incur. This vast stream of revenue has been flowing past its door. It has had only to dip in its bucket and draw from that stream, the money necessary to provide for a practically unlimited expenditure. It has not been compelled to place on its expenditure the necessary constitutional check of finding ways and means - of providing the necessary funds. In almost all Parliaments, at ordinary times, when a Government submits a proposal for any great expenditure it has to find ways and means - to submit proposals for providing the necessary funds. As a rule it can do that only by imposing some fresh burden of taxation on the people, or by depriving them of some advantage costing money which they have hitherto enjoyed. This Parliament has had no such check upon its operations; but the time is coming when that state of affairs will no longer prevail. If ever there was a time in the history of a country when it was most essential to the proper management of the public finances' that the particular safeguard to which I have referred should be applied it is the present. We are rapidly coming within a very narrow margin of the limit of our constitutional power of expenditure. We have before us certain policies which must very soon be dealt with by this House - the acceptance of which will undoubtedly involve a very large and permanent increase of expenditure. I need not refer to them in detail. We have heard a great deal about immigration, and the necessity for peopling this Continent, as well as tor making further provision for coastal defence. Unless all the talk indulged in both inside and outside this House with respect to those; matters is the merest clap-trap, unless it is so much wind, then undoubtedly in the development of this country we shall necessarily have to find the means for a large permanent addition to our annual expenditure. As the leader of the Opposition has said, we look to the future with grave misgivings;, we have grave misgivings as to the direction the present Government propose to take in dealing with these great national subjects. In that very remarkable speech which the Acting Prime Minister made in reply to my criticism on the motion for the second reading of the- Bill - a speech which consisted mainly of what I may describe as parliamentary amenities directed at myself - there was one relevant observation. That observation, the only one that seemed to me to be in any degree relevant to the question at issue - was very significant. I refer to the statement made bv the honorable gentleman that he personally was in favour of, and had been elected to support, the imposition of direct taxation by the Federal Parliament. I repeat that such a statement made by the Acting Prime Minister in his place in this House is a very significant one, and fills me with serious misgivings. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Direct taxation? That is a strange thing to fill one with serious misgivings. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- A proposal that the Federal Parliament -should impose direct taxation at the present time certainly causes me very serious migiving. I know it does not affect the honorable member in the same way. He and the party which he leads welcome every possible addition to the expenditure, because they know they can use it as a lever to force us into a position in which direct taxation will be necessary. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- That is hardly correct. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I know that the honorable member would not for one moment admit that that is his position, but in asserting that it is I am simply asking honorable members to use their own common sense, and to draw this inference from every act and the whole conduct of his party. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- If the honorable member had said that I would welcome any step leading to direct taxation the position would be different, but to say that I and the party to which I belong would favour any expenditure so as to insure the imposition of direct taxation is quite another matter. **Mr. W.H.** IRVINE.- I do not wish to do the honorable member an injustice. . I know that in debating any question he himself seldom does an injustice to any one. But I will say this - and it is a practical, legitimate conclusion to draw - that when we find the whole of the party which the honorable member leads supporting absolutely, and without a single protest, a measure providing for the hypothecation of £530,000 of the revenue - when we find them absolutely prepared to swallow the whole of the provisions of that Bill without having from theGovernment any indication whatever of what their financial proposals are to be - it is only reasonable to assume that they havean object in view, and that they are. perfectly indifferent as to what the expendituremay be, provided it leads to what is obviously their great goal, the imposition of a land tax. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- Some of the honorable member's own party are in the sameposition. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Opposition* corner protested most strongly against the Bill being submitted in this way. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- 1 repeat that some of the, members of the honorable member's own party -are in that positon {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I do not think so. I do not intend to further occupy the timeof the House; but shall conclude by saying that if the Government have a financial policy - and the Treasurer knows what it is - if he has any scheme in his mind at the present moment - we should have an outline of it before we agree to the third reading; of this Bill. If he can give us only an outline of the direction which the Government intend to take in regard to the great subject of the expenditure necessary in> connexion with our development, he should* do so. If, on the contrary, he has no such policy - and in justice to him I am prepared to admit that having had quite recently to take over the duty of administering the Treasury it is only reasonable tosuppose that he has not yet any definiteproposals on the subject - that is an equally strong reason why he should not seek to> force the House to pass a measure involving the consideration of all these questions of' importance, ' respecting which he has noclear idea himself. {: #debate-1-s52 .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON:
South Sydney .- As to the period of the session at whichthis Bill was presented, I may say at oncethat, had the exigencies of public business^ permitted it, I should have preferred theBudget to be first submitted. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- The honorable member for South .Sydney said so earlier. 1 *Bounties Bill.* [2 August, 1907.] *BountiesBill.* 1399 {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Yes ; I said so earlier; tout I understand, from the statement made by the Acting Prime Minister, that the Tariff could not be brought before us earlier owing to the. necessity of giving consideration to the probable effect of such an important measure on the revenue and industries of the country, and owing to the late period at which the final reports of the Commission were presented. In view of this position ofaffairs, I saw no great reason why we should insist on the Budget state- ment being made before the Bounty Bill was introduced. The honorable member for Flinders says that it is evident that I and other members of the Labour Party welcome any form of expenditure because it tends in the direction of the imposition of direct taxation. I do not think that that is a justifiable statement. The attitude which I and a great number of the members of the Labour Party took last session in regard to penny postage, for instance, was an indication that we are not willing to wildly deal with the revenue possibilities of the country. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- And we are likely to repeat the dose ! {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- So far as I can see, the members of the Labour Party are still almost unanimously against any proposal of the sort, which involves, for a considerable time, such a large sacrifice of revenue. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Does the honorable member mind saying why ? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I do not know that I would be in order in giving my reasons on this occasion. I am prepared to give my reasons ; but I think I explained myself in very distinct and ample terms on the AddressinReply. I do not feel that we could, under present circumstances, afford to sacrifice revenue, seeing that it is required in so many directions. But I desire to point out a reason why, in the present situation, we should not be guided by the remarks of either the leader of the Opposition, or the honorable member for Flinders. It goes without saying that an overwhelming majority of members are in favour of the general principle of giving some kind of encouragement to the development of new industries by means of bounties. That principle was affirmed on the second reading, when this Bill was passed without a division, and, so far as I can see, that vote reflects the decision of the country. That being so, what does the attitude of the honorable member for Flinders and the leader of the Oppo sition mean? It means that this great country, which has decided in an unmis- . takable way on this course of action, is in such straits financially, or that the revenue raising possibilities under the Constitution are so limited, that we dare not consent to the expenditure of £50,000 a year, lest we may be exhausting the exchequer. Surely we have not reached that stage. It is a poor compliment to Australia to suggestthat a small expenditure like this could stand in the way of the accomplishment of its legitimate ambitions. I can hardly conceive that the honorable member for Flinders would seriously put forward such a contention. If we were in a state approaching bankruptcy or impecuniosity, from a national stand-point - if we had already taken advantage to the full of our taxing possibilities under the Constitution - I could understand this anxiety about what, after all, is a comparatively insignificant and trifling amount. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- It is only about , £30,000 a year spread over fifteen years. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- But assuming it to be £50,000 a year, surely we have not reached such a pass that we must hesitate about giving effect to the decision of the electors on a big national question. Boiled down, the question amounts to whether we have sufficient resources, or sufficient confidence in ourselves, to undertake this expenditure. If the honorable member for Flinders were to say that we should delay until the finances are explained, I could understand his attitude ; but short of that, I do not see anything to be gained by following the course he suggests. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Does the honorable member think that a fair criticism of my remarks? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Honestly I can see no other conclusion. If we are not to wait for that purpose, for what other purpose are we to wait? {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- I mentioned a very important reason. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- That is another point. The bearing which the Tariff proposals may have on the degree to which we adopt bounties is quite another matter, and has not been made the basis of any complaint by the honorable member for Flinders. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- I mentioned, also, the information which we should receive from the reports of the Tariff Commission on the itemscontained in the schedule of the Bill. 1400 *Bounties Bill.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Bounties Bill.* {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- The suggestion in that connexion was put forward originally by the honorable member for Parramatta, and has since been repeated by the leader of the Opposition. But it is quite apart from the point advanced by the honorable member forF linders - a point which he states has a constitutional foundation - namely, that fundamentally we should insist on the presentation of the financial statement before proceeding with this Bill. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Before making any considerable appropriation. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- We have first to discover whether, in the circumstances, this is a considerable appropriation. For myself, I do not care a flip of the finger for the constitutional aspect of a matter of this sort; if the expenditure is in consonance with the opinions of the people, and if we are able to bear that expenditure, we should go on with it. . I do not see that there are any other questions really at issue, so far as the contention of the honorable member for Flinders is concerned, than whether, first, the people have decided upon, and, secondly, whether we can afford the expenditure, and, perhaps, in the worst result, waste a sum of £50,000 a year., As I have said, I do not see that the reports of the Tariff Commission are likely to materially affect the attitude of this House in regard to the larger portion of these proposals. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Say tobacco? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- All that is attempted to be dealt with in the schedule is cigarleaf that is not at present grown in Australia, and that item is not likely to be altered in any material degree by the Tariff proposals. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The bounty is confined to the high-grade cigars of the capitalist, is it not? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -I see no reason why the honorable member should seek to confine the working classes to low-grade cigars. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr Henry Willis: -- That is a great point ! {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- The retort is worthy only of the interjection, I admit. The question of the ultimate destination of the cigars does not seem to be so much at issue, as the importance of the industry, which the growers of the leaf will create in Australiathat seems to be the really important point. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- The honorable member is encouraging a luxury which he has joined in condemning. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I suppose that even the honorable member occasionally indulges in a high-grade cigar. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- I do. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- If people will have high-grade cigars, why should we in Australia not cater for them, rather than that the article should be imported? {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- My attitude is compatible with my individualism, is it not? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- It is hard to say what would not be compatible with the honorable member's individualism - almost anything might be excused under that head. As to the suggestion that we should wait until we have the reports of the Tariff Commission, I would point out that, if we did so, we should probably cram all the business into the last days of the session, and there would be a great probability of the Bounties Bill not being considered. Once the Tariff proposalsare tabled - and the reports of the Commission cannot be tabled until the Minister makes his proposals - no businessshould be permitted, other than, perhaps, Supply, to interfere with the early completion of the Tariff. Once the Tariff is introduced, we should go right on and finish it. Our experience of such discussions is not such as to encourage the idea that we shall get rid of the Tariff much before Christmas. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- There is no one to " stonewall" the Tariff this time. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- As one who desires to have the session closed before Christmas, I am glad of that assurance; otherwise, if we had waited for the settlement of theTariff question, there would have been great danger of -the Bounties Bill being indefinitely held over, or, at any rate, postponed until next session. For myself, I am not able to see anything sufficiently serious in the suggestion that there should be delay, to justify us in refusing to consent to the passing of the Bill, as modified in Committee. {: #debate-1-s53 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I have already, together with the honorable and learned member for Flinders, entered my protest, and pointed: out the unwisdom of pressing this matter forward before the financial position of the Commonwealth has been declared, and before we have the final reports of the Tariff Commission. I venture to say, *Bounties Bill.* [2 August, 1907.] *Bounties Bill.* 1401 however, that the leader of the Labour Party, in his criticism of the remarks of the honorable and learned member for Flinders, has altogether missed the point. The honorable member for South Sydney has replied to something which the honorable and learned member for Flinders, so far as I heard him, never intended to suggest, let alone give utterance to. As is very often the case with the honorable member for South Sydney, he picked out some little incident connected with the opinions and arguments of the honorable and learned member for Flinders, and treated it as if it were the main contention. As I understand the contention of the honorable and learned member, he does not suggest for one moment that we are not able to finance this Bounties Bill. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Hear, hear ! {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Then what is the reason for the suggested postponement? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That we may know all the obligations we have to meet, and make a choice of those which are most pressing. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Whatever the obligations may be, we can, I think, finance the Bounties Bill. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Of course, but at what cost to other projects? For instance, I believe that the honorable member for South Sydney is one of a committee which has been appointed to consider ways and means in connexion with old-age pensions, the financing of which will cost the country £1, 500,000. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The expenditure of £50,000 upon bounties would not affect the question of old-age pensions. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- And then there is penny postage. Of course, the Labour Party is against that scheme, but the leader of that party does not tell us why. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I gave my reason weeks ago. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- But the honorable member does not repeat his arguments now. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I am not allowed to do so. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Is the. honorable member able to say that this Parliament will any longer refuse to vote for penny postage ? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I think so. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Is the honorable member in a position to say that it will refuse? Because, if that be not the case, there goes another£150,000. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- More than that, I am afraid. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Moreover, the honorable member knows very well that very important proposals connected with the defence of Australia are in contemplation by the Government-indeed, have been actually promised by the Government. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- Out of revenue, too. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- All these schemes are to be paid for out of revenue. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Surely we would not provide for defence out of loans? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Here wehave proposals which, in themselves, total from £2,000,000 to £3,000,000 per annum. Therefore the proposal to spend money on bounties becomes a very serious matter when viewed in connexion with the other important proposals which the Government are pledged to bring forward this session. All that honorable members on this side ask is that all the proposals of the Government involving expenditure of public money should be placed before us, so that we may decide how far our resources will permit us to go, and, if we have not enough money to undertake everything, to choose the most important. That I understand to be the intention of the honorable member for Flinders. He asks for information in regard to the Government's proposals for expenditure, and we should receive such in-: formation. From time immemorial, Governiments have followed the course which we ask this Government to take. When the first Tariff was introduced by this Government; - I call it this Government, because it was composed of practically the same Ministers who compose the present Administration - the right honorable member for Adelaide, whose absence and the cause of it we all regret, submitted a bounty scheme as complementary and subsidiary to it. That was the proper and honest course to pursue. He told the people of the country all that was in the mind of the Government in regard to fiscal changes. But we are now told that we must bungle along without knowing how the finances will be affected by Tariff changes, and without that supremest of all considerations in a civilized community the consideration of ways and means. The honorable member for South Sydney should address himself to that argument instead of dragging in the minor consideration whether, out of our 1402 *BountiesBill.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Bounties Bill.* vast resources, we can finance the present proposal as it stands by itself. He took exception to the statement of the honorable and learned member for Flinders as to the intention of himself and some of his colleagues. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- The intention of the party. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The correction does not affect my argument. My point is that the honorable and learned member for Flinders was misrepresented. It was not suggested byhim that the members of the Labour Party are wishful to throw money about extravagantly, or to waste it merely to create an opportunity for direct taxation. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- If the honorable member refers to *Hansard,* he will find that that is the only inference to be drawn from the speech of the honorable member for Flinders. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I do not think that it could be suggested by any member of the Opposition that other honorable members wish to have money wasted in order to make an opportunity for the imposition of direct taxation. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I am glad to hear that. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I think that the honorable member for South Sydney will not try to controvert my statement that one of the strongest free-traders in his party has declared that he intends to vote for prohibitive protection with the sole object of bringing about the need for direct taxation. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- That is quite another matter - assuming the statement tohave been made. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I can substan- , tiate what I say by quoting from *Hansard* the remarks of one of the honorable gentlemen who preside over the deliberations of {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I ask the honorable member not to refer to what has occurred in another place. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -I bow to your ruling, **Mr. Speaker.** I can, however, as-. sure the House that it isthe declared intention of some of the most prominent members of the Labour Partyto vote against their Tariff convictions in order to bring about the need of direct taxation. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- There is no need for members of the Labour Party to declare their intention to take indirect means, because the party has announced itself in favour of direct taxation. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I would point out that the discussion is, perhaps owing to interjections, getting away from the question! before the Chair. It must be confined *to* the motion for the third reading. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I have nothing further to say than that the Opposition has. made a fair request in asking the Government to- postpone the further consideration of this measure until all its proposals for expenditure are before the House, so that we may know exactly to what it is proposed to commit the country, and may discuss intelligently the best means of making the necessary provision. {: #debate-1-s54 .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr FAIRBAIRN:
Fawkner .- It is said that the characters of Dickens are gradually drawing into the shadow; but I would remindhonorable members of the maxim of **Mr. Micawber** - " Income,. £100 a year, expenditure, £99 19s. 9d.,. result, happiness. Income £100 a year, expenditure, £101, result, misery." In my opinion, the honorable and learned member for Flinders is entirely right. We ought to know what we are to be asked to expend' before agreeing to any detached proposal! for expenditure. One lives and learns; but I was astonished to hear the honorable member for South Sydney speak of publicexpenditure amounting to £50,000 a year as insignificant and trivial. I have been accustomed to look upon themoney of the taxpayers as a sacred trust. If he had referred to the Bill as trivial, I would have indorsed his remark. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I think I said trivial irirelation to the magnitude of the national' object in view. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- The honorable member would have been much more surprised if he had heard the right honorable member for Swan talking about millions. {: .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr FAIRBAIRN: -- Many of the proposals in the Bounties Bill are insignificant and trivial. Our friends in the Labour corner have shown great anxiety to encourage the production of peanuts and high-class cigars. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- Does the honorable member desire that the community should smokelowclass cigars? {: .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr FAIRBAIRN: -- No, and if any one gets a cigar from me, it will be a high-class cigar. But I do not consider that a bounty should be given for the encouragement of such an industry. The honorable member for Flinders pointed out that it might be expected that proposals would be made for the' granting of bounties to encourage such *Bounties Bill.* [2 August, 1907.] *Bounties Bill.* 1403 great enterprises as the production of iron and ship-building. Moreover, if all the platform talk about defence is not so much clap-trap we shall be called upon to vote a large sum of money for that purpose. Further expenditure of magnitude is likely, to be incurred in connexion with the transfer of the Northern Territory. All these proposals should be before us for simultaneous scrutiny, so that we may decide between them, according to the means at our disposal. It is not right to ask us to consider a proposal such as that contained in the Bill, apart from the other proposals for expenditure which are likely to be brought forward. {: #debate-1-s55 .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE:
Gippsland -- As I -said when speaking on the motion for the -second reading, it seems to me that a great deal of trouble has been made out of very little in regard to this matter. I agree with the honorable member for South Sydney that the sum involved is very small in relation to the revenue of the Commonwealth. Of course, a principle is a principle, no matter how small the amount affected. But one, might imagine from what has been said by the honorable members for Flinders and Parramatta that the practice adopted on this occasion has never been followed before. I find, however, by referring to *Hansard,* that the Sugar Bounties Bill was introduced into this Chamber in June, 1903, and was passed before the Budget was delivered in July of the same year. I find, too, that, in 1904, **Mr. Bent,** as Premier and "Treasurer of the "Victorian Ministry, introduced his famous Surplus Revenue Distribution Bill, involving an expenditure of £500,000, before his Budget. It was strongly opposed on the same grounds as those on which honorable members opposite are opposing this measure. **Mr. Mackinnon** then expressed the following view - >I do say that it is not right that before the Budget statement has been' placed before the people of the country we should practically determine to dispose of a supposed surplus in this large-handed way. In the. first place, this surplus contains£194,000, carried forward from the previous financial year. Then it is desirable that we should know in some general way what our prospects are for the present financial year, and the estimates and the Budget will contain that information. Until that is done, we have the word of the Under-Treasurer only that there is a surplus. Now, **Mr. Bent** doubtless received much of his financial training from the honorable member for Flinders, whom he succeeded as Premier. His Bill was carried, the honorable member for Fawkner, who has pro tested against this measure being dealt with before the Budget, voting for the second reading. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Doubtless the House was willing to accept the statement of the Under-Treasurer. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE: -- That, of course, will be the justification advanced for the honorable member's action. I would point out, however, that no information was given by the Government as to its other financial proposals. In this case, I am ready to accept the statement of the Treasurer, who is rerponsible to Parliament, that he has £70,000 a year to spend in encouraging production. Honorable members are trying to raise difficulties when there is really no difficulty. {: #debate-1-s56 .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
Parkes .- The honorable member for Gippsland evidently thought that he had fired an effective shot into the honorable member for Fawkner. I have no desire to shield the latter from any charge of inconsistency that can be properly brought against him, but I would point out that the first so-called precedent which the honorable member for Gippsland brought forward was an action taken by practically the same Government that is in power to-day, the *personnel* of the two Administrations being the same, except for two or three Ministers who were probably not consulted. Therefore the honorable member's contention practically amounts to the declaration that this Ministry did a wrong tiling oncebefore, and therefore is justified indoing it again. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- The Bill he referred to was a. measure introduced merely to change a rebate into a bounty. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -- Yes. And the *personnel* of the Government is almost the same. I do not know whether, as a lawyer, the honorable and learned member for Gippsland considers that that sort of thing constitutes a precedent. If he does he might very well say of an accused person whom he was defending, "Why, your Honour, this is not an offence. The accused has done the same thing before, and therefore he should be pardoned for doing it again." So much for the first precedent which the honorable and learned member cited. What was the second case which he brought forward? He said that the Victorian Treasurer announced to the State Parliament that he had a surplus, and that the Government were so satisfied of its existence, that they were prepared to submit 1404 *Bounties Bill.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Bounties Bill.* a Bill providing for the distribution of that surplus. Was there anything peculiar in that? The honorable and learned member for Gippsland said that the State Treasurer gave the House a solemn assurance that the Government had the necessary money for the purpose. That is exactly the point which members of the Opposition are raising here. We say that the Treasurer ought to inform the House - if only in half-a-dozen sentences - whether he is possessed of a sufficient balance to give easy effect to this Bill, after making provision for the other proposals involving expenditure which are to be brought forward. I am very glad to have an opportunity of emphasizing the words of caution uttered by the leader of the Opposition, and the honorable and learned member for Flinders, as the spokesman of the Corner Party. I am quite sure that the public will be glad to know that there are a number of honorable members upon this side of the House' who recognise the gravity of the financial situation. The honorable and learned member for Gippsland seemed to entirely lose sight of the fact that the first example which he gave us occurred in 1902. Why, in that year we were on the fop of a financial wave. The Government did not then know what to do with the Commonwealth money. There was no agitation then for the transfer of the Northern Territory, no proposal for the construction of a transcontinental railway, or for the establishment of an Australian Navy, and no talk of assisted immigration, or of the necessity for levying direct taxation. But everybody who reads his newspaper knows that all the States are now beginning to express the most serious apprehension with regard to their future finances, seeing that year after year the Federation is returning them less and less money. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- The Commonwealth has handed over to the States a great deal more than they were entitled to. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- They are entitled to every penny that we do not spend. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -- I am not going to discuss that question. We know very well that under the Constitution the States are entitled as of right to threefourths of the Customs and Excise revenue collected, and to as much more as is not expended. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- To as much more as they can get, I suppose? {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -- We must recollect that our constituents are also the constituents of the various States. It would be ridiculous for us to unconditionally espouse all the legislation proposed by a Government, and to disregard theneeds of the States Governments, representing the identical people whom we represent. I repeat that in 1902 the position of the Commonwealth was very different from whar it is to-day. Every observant man knows that proposals, the carrying out of which will involve an expenditure of millions of money, are to be placed before this Parliament. We know that there is a project to duplicate the land taxes of the States by a Federal land tax. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- When was that suggested ? {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -- While the honorable and learned member was absent in England. The public will naturally look to this House to exercise at least as much discretion as a board of directors of a private concern. As the honorable and learned member for Flinders has very properly said, we are practically in the position of a board of directors. We have an unlimited capital upon which we can call. We are appointed as directors to manage the affairs of this country. As the honorable and learned member asked, " What would be thought of a board of directors who brought forward a project which involved the giving away of a large amount of the company's money, having asked the manager how it would fit in with his financial arrangements for the year, and having been informed, I cannot tell you,' or ' I have not had time to look into the matter.' " What would the Board be expected to do under such circumstances? They would be expected to say, "This may be a very meritorious proposal, but we require time to consider it, and to ascertain how it will fit in with the work under your charge." Let me take another parallel in domestic economy. Let us imagine the . case of a woman who tells her husband that she proposes to donate £20 to charity, and who, when he inquires how that will affect her domestic expenditure, replies, "I do not know." {: .speaker-KDR} ##### Mr Ewing: -- If the husband had £10,000,000 a year he would not worry about an expenditure of £20. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -- I am putting the position as a matter of proportion. The Minister of Defence must recollect that we do not possess a revenue of £10,000,000 a year. We have to hand back, to the States about £7,500,000. However, I do not want to go into matters of finance with the honorable gentleman. My case is that if the head of a household were told by his wife that she intended to donate ,£"20 to her friends, and he inquired, " How will that fit in with your domestic finances?" to which she replied, " I really do not know what my requirements will be," he would naturally say, " Well, I think you had better ascertain before you give that money away." The honorable member for South Sydney imagines that he scored a great point when he said that it was absurd to ask the Treasurer to bring forward his Budget at the present time. I wish to say that nobody has asked the Treasurer to do anything of the kind. These bounties are intended to operate from this very month. No honorable member wishes to defeat the Bill- {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Why not? {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -- Because the. House has already affirmed the principle of the Bill, and thus relieved those who, like myself, are opposed to the bounty system, of all responsibility. Certainly I would be no party to an attempt to defeat this measure by a snatch vote upon its third reading. The honorable member for South Sydney stated that the Bill having been passed bv a majority ought to become law. Certainly it ought. But I say, " Let it be hung up until the Treasurer has had an opportunity to look into the state of the finances, and is in a position to tell us .what is the position." {: .speaker-K4I} ##### Mr HUME COOK:
BOURKE, VICTORIA · PROT -- The Prime Minister is £i Id sent {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH: -- If I know the Acting Prime Minister, I am sure that he would assert his independence in handling the accounts of the Commonwealth, quite apart from any other Minister. How . long would it take him to ascertain the position? He might very well say, " These bounties begin to operate in Jul v. I am perfectly prepared to let the Bill pass through the Senate, but I will undertake that it shall not become law until I can give the. House an assurance that its passing will* be compatible with our financial proposals." Honorable members know the comprehensive treatment which our finances receive in the Budget. Yesterday when I asked whether the Government proposed to terminate the Naval Agreement, I was informed that even that matter could not be dealt with until the Budget was before the House. If that question involving an annual expenditure of £.180,000 cannot be dealt with until the Budget has been delivered, can any honorable member doubt the wisdom of postponing the further consideration of this Bill, seeing that it will commit the House to an expenditure of nearly half-a-million ? As the honorable and learned member for Flinders has said, when once this House has passed1 the Bill, Parliament is committed to that expenditure. All that honorable members" upon this side of the House ask is, that they should be fully informed of the present position of the finances in view of the large number of important Government proposals which are to be brought forward. I say again, that we do not occupy anything like the position that we occupied in 1902. We have all the projects which I have outlined before us, involving an expenditure of many millions. We have further committed ourselves to a non-borrowing policy, and con- sequently are under an obligation to meet all the expenditure that we may authorize out of the revenue. I feel that I shall have discharged mv . duty by counselling the exercise of caution. I am sure that the public will regard the policy which has been advocated by honorable members upon this side of the House as one which is cautious, and one which evidences that they have a reasonable anxiety for the future smooth working of the finances of the Commonwealth. {: #debate-1-s57 .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist -- In spite of the statement of honorable members opposite, that they merely desire to protect the public, it is rather significant that this attempt should be made to delay legislation. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- What? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I said to "delay legislation." That is the motive which underlies nearly all the' actions of the Opposition. {: .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr Fairbairn: -- Did the Acting Prime Minister .say, " to delay the introduction of the Tariff " ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I said to "delay legislation." What would the action suggested by honorable members opposite mean ? It would mean - as was pointed out by the honorable member for South Sydney - that a great deal more legislation than should be carried through the House in a few days or a few weeks 1406 *Bounties Bill.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Bounties Bill.* would practically be: forced into a very short period. Before submitting the financial statement or calling upon honorable members to consider the question of Tariff revision, the Government have availed themselves of a convenient opportunity to. secure the passing of legislation that cannot be harmful in its effects, and is not likely to have any serious bearing upon the finances of the Commonwealth. As the honorable member for South Sydney has said, honorable members who have opposed the action of the Government are not influenced by any desire to consider the well being of the Commonwealth. We have been told by the honorable member for Flinders that the Commonwealth will be bankrupt- {: .speaker-KYT} ##### Mr Knox: -- He did not say anything of the kind. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- That at all events: was the inference to be drawn from his speech. He suggested that the passing of a Bill like: this, providing, as it does, for an annual expenditure of something like £30,000 or £40,000 for the. next fewyears, would interfere seriously with the financial position of the Commonwealth. He suggested that we might be bankrupt. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- If the homorable member listened to me he must know that I never said anything of the kind. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The honorable member deliberately suggested that that might be the: effect of the adoption of this practice. {: .speaker-KYT} ##### Mr Knox: -- No. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- *Hansard* will show what the honorable member said. Some honorable members of the Opposition seem to have no regard for the position of the Commonwealth or of the Parliament of the Commonwealth. They are prepared to give the States Administrations the fullest latitude to interfere with Commonwealth expenditure which is absolutely necessary and proper. Their sole object seems to be to swell the coffers of the States Treasuries. I certainly hope that the revenue of the States will be increased, but not by the sacrifice of any necessary work that ought to be undertaken by the Commonwealth. We have had too much of that kind of thing with the result that works that ought to have been carried out by the Commonwealth have not been proceeded with. We have been most economical in our expenditure of Commonwealth funds, but in return have received nothing but abuse from the States. Colonel Foxton, - And deservedly so. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The honorable member is new to this. House, and knows nothing about what we have done. He is just like some of the members of the States Parliaments, who are always chirping about that of which they know nothing. Every honorable member who has occupied a seat in this House during the last few years knows that from a desire to assist the. States we have practised the utmost: economy, and that we have received from the States no recognition of our efforts in that direction. All that the Commonwealth is. called upon to return to the States under the Constitution is three-fourths of the Customs and Excise revenue. The £800,000 in excess of the three-fourths which was returned to the States last year, as well as the sum which will be distributed amongst them this year, might have been expended On Commonwealth works. {: .speaker-KJE} ##### Mr W H IRVINE:
FLINDERS, VICTORIA · ANTI-SOC; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The honorable member is now letting the cat's head out of the bag. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The honorable member smiles. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- Would the Minister like a motion of censure ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- If the Opposition contemplate such a motion let them at once submit it. I do not like to hear honorable members constantly decrying the Federation. There is absolutely no occasion to do so. I repeat that the Commonwealth has been extremely economical. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- During the whole time that the honorable member has been in office? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I havebeen in office almost since the inception of Federation. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- The honorable gentleman has had a very good innings. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- That perhaps is the milk in the cocoanut. I have no desire to say anything unpleasant to honorable members opposite, but the honorable member for Flinders was the first to complain of our action in submitting this Bill before the financial statement had been delivered. Despite what the honorable member for Parkes has said, good reasons have been given forthe course adopted by the Government. The honorable member for Flinders' successor as Premier of Victoria on one occasion took much the same course, and the honorable member for Fawkner, who was then a member of the *Bounties Bill.* [2 August, 1907.] *Bounties Bill.* 1407 State Parliament, actually lost his head, and voted for an expenditure of £500,000 before he knew exactly how it was to be provided. {: .speaker-JYR} ##### Mr Fairbairn: -- No. {: #debate-1-s58 .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Protectionist -- When he took that action he must have fallen verymuch in the estimation of the honorable member for Flinders. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- He is only a political student ; he is still learning. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Quite so; yet notwithstanding his action on the occasion in question, we find him in this House today raising a bogy in regard to the small expenditure likely to take place under this Bill during the next few years. I do not think that the expenditure for some time to come will exceed £30,000 or £40,000 per annum. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That is a mere fleabite. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Having regard to the total revenue of the Commonwealth, it is.Honorable members of the Opposition have suggested that the Budget should have been delivered and the Tariff resolutions submitted prior to the introduction of this Bill. I do not think that the attitude taken up by them is quite fair to myself. The reports of the Tariff Commission, which, so far, have received consideration, were not placed in my hands early enough to enable the Tariff resolutions to be submitted earlier than they will be. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- No one has complained of that. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Then all I can say is that the Opposition must have desired that the Parliament should be further prorogued for a month or two. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- No. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- If that is not the position they take up, they certainly donot wish any important business to be transacted before the submission of the Tariff and the financial statement. They object, for example, to a Bill of this kind being dealt with. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- What about the Northern Territory Bill? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Had we asked the House to deal first of all with the Bill relating to the transfer of the Northern Territory, the honorable member would have said that it was not urgent. As to the complaint regarding the non-delivery of the Budget before the Bill leaves this House, I may say at once that I do not think it is reasonable to expect that within two days of my taking office as Treasurer I should be able to submit the financial statement for the year. It was only yesterday thatI was able, for the first time, to take up the work of preparing the Budget. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- When does the honorable gentleman expect to deliver his financial statement ? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- At the earliest possible moment I shall announce when I intend to deliver it, but at the present time I can give no definite information on the subject. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- The question at issue depends, not so much upon the Budget as upon the proposals which the Government intend to put before Parliament. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Another assertion made by the honorable member for Flinders was that the Government and' the Labour Party were deliberately concocting a scheme which would compel this Parliament to impose direct taxation. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr Thomas: -- It would be a very good thing if we did. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- It might be, but no such attempt has been made. The honorable member for F linders had no right to accuse me of deliberately taking advantage of my position as a Minister to secure by a side wind the imposition of direct taxation by this Parliament. Although I personally believe in land taxation, the Government have not expressed any opinion onthe subject, and it is unfair to suggest that I would be prepared to support extravagant expenditure with a view to forcing direct taxation upon the Parliament. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bbuce Smith: -- There is nothing disgraceful in the honorable member's collaborating with the Labour Party upon a scheme to secure the imposition of a land tax {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I wish to say most emphatically that I should never think of endeavouring, except in the most open and worthy manner, to secure the imposition of direct taxation. I said openly from the public platform, at the last general election, that I was in favour of land taxation, and because of that statement I had the whole force of the Opposition party fighting against me. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- And the honorable gentleman wiped the floor with them. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I did.; and when, some day, a proposal for land taxation is submitted to this House, the floor 1408 *Bounties Bill.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Bounties Bill.* will again be wiped with them: Honorable members sitting in the Opposition corner declare that the Government should be prepared at once to outline its policy for the next few years. The honorable member for Flinders wished to know whether we intended to proceed with' the construction of the transcontinental railway, or to submit a complete scheme of coastal defence. Many years would be occupied in carrying out either of those schemes; yet we are asked to-day to detail our policy respecting such proposals. We have been called upon to give a detailed statement of our financial policy before seeking to carry a Bill which will be of immense value to the rural population of Australia. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- The Government might expend half-a-million in one year in connexion with the schemes to which he has just referred. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- It would be difficult to do so. This Bill belongs to a class of legislation no longer within the scope of the States Parliaments ; but I am sure that if they had an opportunity today to grant bounties for the encouragement of rural industries, they would be prepared to vote much larger sums than we have asked the House to agree to. Under the Federal Constitution we alone have the power to pass a measure of this kind, and, although the people need such assistance, we are asked to delay it, simply because one or two honorable members think that the financial statement should first be delivered. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- If the honorable gentleman gets so hot he will be melting the iceberg. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- I should like to do something of the sort. I did not intend to speak to this motion, but I could not resist the opportunity to point out the unfairness of those who invariably seek to place the States before the Commonwealth - to give consideration to the position of the States without regard to that of the Commonwealth. The Constitution has conferred upon us certain powers, and we should avail ourselves of those powers to pass measures for the development of Australia. The States know that we have these powers. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Who has been talking about the States? {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Several honorable members have referred to them. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Not in this debate. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The honorable member for Parkes referred to them. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- I am not sure that I did, but I presume that I have a right to do so. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The honorable member for Parkes said that the Commonwealth had taken over the control of the Customs Department. From the standpoint of New South Wales, it is well that we have done so. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- And as we have taken over certain Departments we ought to consider New South Wales and the other States. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The result of the transfer is that New South Wales has had millions of pounds to expend. {: .speaker-L17} ##### Mr Wilks: -- Millions of money taken out of the pockets of the people. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr Bruce Smith: -- And the cost of living in New South Wales, in consequence, has been raised to the extent of 30 per cent. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- Nothing of the kind is the case. I was hopeful that the third reading of the Bill would be agreed to before the adjournment for lunch. In that event, I should not have asked honorable members to deal with any further business this day. As soon as the motion for the third reading has been agreed to, I shall propose the adjournment of the House. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- The honorable member' is bribing us again. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- The leader of the Opposition has been so affable during the last few days that it is utterly impossible to lose one's temper over him. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- He has kept his promise. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE: -- He has, and, although during this debate he has expressed views that have considerable force, he has couched his criticism in the most friendly language. As soon as the third reading has been agreed to the Bill will be sent to the Senate. Although we do. not propose that it shall be held back until the Budget statement has been delivered, I may inform the House that I do not think there is the slightest chance of its being passed by another place before that statement has been submitted. Honorable members may, therefore, be satisfied that if there is anything in the Budget which warrants further action, they will have an opportunity of taking it. {: #debate-1-s59 .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS:
Barrier .- Like nearly all honorable members who are in favour of developing new industries, I prefer bounties to protective duties, bounties *Bounties Bill.* [2 August, 1907.] *Bounties Bill. .* 1409 being the lesser of two evils. And I should like to see the bounties provided for by means of direct taxation on land values. It is mostly poor people who pay Customs taxation ; and it is only right that the cost of developing industries should not be thrown wholly on that section of the community, but should be provided for by direct taxation. There is always a tendency to extravagance when we are dependent on the Customs for funds for projects of this kind ; and there are one or two items in the schedule which would never have appeared there had the means to be provided by direct taxation. I am fortified in my position by some remarks of the honorable member for Parramatta, who, in speaking on direct taxation, said that- {: #debate-1-s60 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- It is beyond my power to admit of discussion at this stage on the merits or otherwise of direct taxation. The matter before us is the Bounties Bill ; and I ask the honorable member not to go beyond the question before the Chair. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- Do I understand that the motion for the third reading is before the House? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- That is so. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- On the motion for the third reading, may I move an amendment that the money for the bounties be raised by means of direct taxation ? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- That would not be competent as an amendment to a motion for the third reading. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- Do I understand that I am not allowed to give my reasons for preferring that the cost of the bounties should be met by means of direct taxation, rather than by indirect taxation? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I have not interfered with the honorable member so far. Since he rose, the honorable member has stated thatthe thinks the necessary funds ought to be found by means of direct taxation, and he was quite at liberty to proceed in that way. But I understand him now to be proceeding to institute a comparison of the merits of direct and indirect taxation ; and I say that that isgoing beyond the question before the House. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- DoI understand that I cannot give any authority beside my own in favour of direct taxation? Have I to simply state that I am in favour of direct taxation, and neither give reasons nor quote authorities to fortify my position? Do I understand that I cannot justify my position by quotations from the opinions of any one else? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member is asking so many questions that I really have some difficulty in deciding which to answer ; but the ruling I have already given is sufficient to cover the whole. The honorable member is not in order in debating, either on his own authority or the authority of anybody else, the relative merits of direct and indirect taxation. The honorable member is in order, and I did not interrupt him when he was doing so, in expressing his opinion or anybody else's opinion that the funds for the purposes of a Bounties Bill had better be provided by direct than by indirect taxation. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- I desire to point out that the proper way to raise money for this particular purpose is by direct taxation, which possesses many advantages over indirect taxation. One ground for my contention is that direct taxation leads to less extravagance ; and there are other reasons which I desired to advance. I furtner wished to show that my ideas on this question and the ideas of the honorable member for Parramatta are absolutely identical. I wish to let the people know- {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I am afraid the honorable member is endeavouring to evade the ruling I first gave. If the honorable member for Parramatta has ever said in any waythat, for the purpose of a Bounties Bill, direct taxation is better than indirect taxation, the honorable member for Barrier is at liberty to quote the remarks ; otherwise, I ask him to obey the ruling which I have already given. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- The honorable member for Parramatta has said that the most equitable tax that can form part of the financial system of any country is a land tax. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member knows as well as any honorable member that that question has no reference whatever to funds provided for the payment of a bounty. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- Of course, I have to bow to your ruling, sir, but I point out that a Bounties Bill is part of the financial business of a country, and I take it that the whole includes the part. If the honorable member for Parramatta says that the proper method of raising the funds is by direct taxation, I should like to read his remarks, which I have here in print. I shall read them at some time, if not today. 1410 . *Bounties Bill.* [REPRESENTATIVES.] *Bounties Bill.* {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I do not object. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- But **Mr. Speaker** seems to object. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- All I ask is that the honorable member will give my proper reasons, and not garbled reasons. {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- I shall quote- {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Will the honorable member proceed ? {: .speaker-K8L} ##### Mr THOMAS: -- I should have liked to see the necessary money raised by direct taxation. It is proposed to spend £30,000 a year, some of which I have no doubt will be wasted ; and that waste could, I think, be prevented in great part if a system of direct taxation were adopted. {: #debate-1-s61 .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr HENRY WILLIS:
Robertson -- I had not an opportunity to speak on the second reading, though I have been able to address myself to the items in the schedule. I rise more especially, to refer to the speech delivered by the honorable and learned member for Flinders, around which the debate seems to have centred. But that honorable and learned member was fairly demolished by the Acting Prime' Minister, whose homely illustrations would have had a good effect if the honorable and learned member for Flinders had beep present to hear them. What would be thought of a board of directors who granted a dividend of 10 per cent. without knowing whether they had the ways and means of paying it; and I ask why the honorable and learned member for Flinders voted for the second reading of this Bill, and so, practically, declared 'himself in favour of expending £400,000 in bounties? {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- In justice to thehonorable and learned member for Flinders, It ought to be said that he objected right through to the consideration of the Bill in our present circumstances. Mr.HENRY WILLIS - If the honorable and learned member is opposed to the Bill, his course as a free-trader was to object to the voting of the money until it was shown that money was available. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- He is a protectionist. {: .speaker-L1D} ##### Mr HENRY WILLIS: -- The honorable and learned member for Flinders has recently come round to the opinion that protection is a good thing. This Bill is for the purpose of giving a " sop " to certain constituencies; and the action of the honorable and learned member is as much to be deprecated as the conduct of the Labour Party, of which he complained. The honorable member, by his support of this Bill., has forced the Government into the position of finding the ways and means for providing the bounties. He voted in favour of the principle of the Bill, and the schedule; and now, at the last moment, he comes down to the House and makes a fuss about the Government attempting to carry the third reading. That is a degree of insincerity quite beneath the dignity of the leader of a party. {: #debate-1-s62 .speaker-KYT} ##### Mr KNOX:
Kooyong -- Honorable members will admit that, in the earlier part of the afternoon, we had entered on a deliberative consideration of the whole question, worthy of the best traditions *of* the House. However, when the Acting. Prime Minister commenced his reply, the descent was very rapid. I thought the honorable gentleman would have given an assurance that when this Bill, against which we have protested, was sent to the Senate, he would take care that it did not become law before we were supplied with information as to the financial position of the country. Had we been given that assurance, he would have accomplished the object we have in view. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- Who are "we?" {: .speaker-KYT} ##### Mr KNOX: -- The honorable member is included in the " we." This protest against the Bill is made in no spirit of antagonism to the Government ; but it is a protest which will be appreciated by thinking electors throughout the Commonwealth. We do not consider it wise or right to appropriate moneys for such a purpose until we have some knowledge of the financial engagements and proposals of the Government. When the Acting Prime Minister said that he intended to exhaust the whole of the one fourth of the Customs and Excise revenue, which is at present capable of being applied to Commonwealth purposes, he afforded us some little enlightenment, of which I earnestly trust the State Governments will' take notice. . Our Western Australian friends must recognise that this is a serious question for them - the depletion of the amount their Statenow receives, having regard to the financial disadvantages under which they labour. {: .speaker-KVJ} ##### Mr Storrer: -- When did the Treasurer say that? {: .speaker-KYT} ##### Mr KNOX: -I refer the honorable member to the *Hansard* report. I have no desire to misinterpret the Treasurer; but *Bounties Bill.* [2 August, 1907.] *Bounties Bill.* 1411 that is how I understood him. The honorable member for Gippsland tried to place the honorable member for Fawkner in a false position, but had he read the whole debate to which he referred he would have seen that the money proposed to be distributed was an assured and ascertained balance. There is, moreover, an essential difference between the conditions under which a State Parliament does its work and : those which exist here. Notwithstanding what the Treasurer has said, it is our duty to consider the interests of the States, because the action of State Treasurers must depend upon the Commonwealth financial proposals. In my opinion, the original intention and purpose of the framers of the Constitution was to confine the Commonwealth to the expenditure of the money coming to it from duties of Customs and Excise, and it is. rapidly becoming clear that the line of cleavage between parties in this House will be between those who, like the members of the Labour Party, favour the imposition by the Commonwealth of direct taxation, and those who do not. In my opinion, such action by the Commonwealth would be an interference with State rights, and. would unsettle State conditions. The object of the protest which has been made has not been to embarrass the Government, but to express the opinions of those who think that Ministers would have been better advised had they filled up the time which must elapse before the Budget can be delivered, with measures not involving heavy expenditure. Fortonately, 'we have been able to strike some items out of the schedule of this Bill, and thus reduce the total of what some honorable members opposite are pleased to regard a trifling amount, but which I think a very considerable one. Had. the proposal been to apply some such sum to the encouragement of more important industries, and had it been brought forward at the right time, I should have considered it a desirable one. Ministers have not. acted in the way that was to be expected of men filling high and responsible administrative positions. As I said when speaking on. the motion for the second reading, not one honorable member on this side can be rightly accused of having cast reflections upon the credit of the Commonwealth. The suggestion of the Prime Minister that that has been done is unworthy of him, and of the intelligence of the House. The Government might have treated with more consideration those who wish to help them in passing just and prudent legislation. Colonel FOXTON (Brisbane) [3.50].-- I wish to say a few words as one who has supported the Bill, though thoroughly recognising the force of the arguments of those who complain that its introduction was inopportune. Reference has been made to the fact that its methods of finance have brought the Commonwealth into disrepute in the States, and there are very few persons, either inside or outside this Chamber, who are not aware that there is a considerable feeling against the continuance of the Union. I am not in sympathy with the agitation which exists, and I do not defend it. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- It is due chiefly to misrepresentation. Colonel FOXTON. - Much of the dissatisfaction which has been caused is justi- fiable, and is directly traceable to Federal methods of finance and administration. I should not have referred to the matter had it not been for the personal reference' of the Acting Prime Minister to myself. He said that the Commonwealth Government and Parliament have been subjected to considerable abuse and complaint because of the methods of finance which have been adopted. I interjected" deservedly so," and the only defence he had was to tell me that I am a young member in this House, who does not know what he is talking about. It is only a very few years since he was a young member of the House. Young or old, as the representative of a constituency, I have the right to express my opinions here - as much right as he has, even though he may be Acting Prime Minister - and I intend to assert that right when it suits me to do so. Besides,I know, from a somewhat bitter experience, that what I said is true. A Government of which I was a member found itself obliged, because of the financial arrangements of the Commonwealth, to obtain additional revenue or to make other arrangements to meet a deficit to the extent of something like £500,000 a year. Having had to assist in meeting an almost unprecedented deficit caused directly and immediately by the action of the Commonwealth, I think I have the rightto term unworthy the taunts of the honorable gentleman who is temporarily at the head of the Government. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a third time. {: .page-start } page 1412 {:#debate-2} ### ADJOURNMENT Exhibit of Mineral Specimens in Parliament House. Motion (by **Sir William** Lyne) proposed - >That the House do now adjourn. {: #debate-2-s0 .speaker-L17} ##### Mr WILKS:
Dalley .- I wish to bring under your attention, **Mr. Speaker,** a matter concerning yourself. In the corridor leading from this Chamber a large number of mineral specimens are displayed. There is nothing to indicate by whose authority they are- on exhibition, and I have been asked by members of the public, and by .members of the House, to ascertain who has the privilege of making such exhibitions. Apparently, the exhibits do not come from any State Department. The answer I have given is that the Parliament buildings are under the control of yourself and the President, and that you must have authorized the exhibition. I feel sure that you have done this only on being satisfied that the specimens would not be .displayed with a view to assisting the formation of a company, or in the interests of any private person or company. {: #debate-2-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Australian products have, on several occasions, notably within the past few weeks, been displayed within the Parliament buildings. I haw frequently been approached with a request that such exhibitions may be made in the corridors or in the Queen's Hall, and when the specimens proposed to be exhibited have seemed to me to possess special interest for honorable members, I have granted -the necessary permission. Recently, I permitted certain -mineral specimens from the Northern Territory, and, more lately, others from Tasmania, to be shown on a table in the corridor leading from the Chamber. So far as I am aware, these specimens are not being shown with a view to promoting the flotation of a company. If I thought that such an' exhibition was intended to promote some private interest, I certainly would not sanction it. {: #debate-2-s2 .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
Treasurer · Hume · Protectionist -- The order of. business on Tuesday .next will be, first, the Papua Bil), and then the Quarantine Bill. Question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 3.57 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 2 August 1907, viewed 6 July 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1907/19070802_reps_3_37/>.