3rd Parliament · 4th Session
Mr. Speaker took the chair at 10.30 a.m:, and read prayers.
– Has the PostmasterGeneral yet received information from the officers of his Department regarding the rates of pay for skilled labour? Does he know whether the rates fixed by him about a month ago are less than those awarded by Mr. justice Cussen and representatives of the employers and employes ?
– Some time ago a scale of rates was fixed by me after a consultation with the officers of the Department, and information had been obtained from the municipal authorities. I have since received a communication from representatives of the trades concerned, intimating that in certain particulars these rales are lower than those fixed by Mr. Justice Cussen. I agreed to receive a deputation on the subject last Thursday, but those concerned were not ‘ then ready to proceed with their complaint, so I have promised to receive a deputation next Thursday.
– I wish to know if the Minister of Home Affairs will, from time to time, compare the schedule of wages paid by his Department with that of the Works Departments of the State Governments, and with the rates ruling outside the Public Service, in order that all employes of the Commonwealth may receive the highest rate of pay fixed for their particular kind of employment.
– I shall be glad to look into the matter from time to time. I understand that the ruling rates are paid for all work carried out by my Department.
– Since we adjourned last night, the walls of the chamber have been decorated by the display of lurid works of art. I ask the Minister of Home Affairs whether these huge patches of brilliant carmine and vermillion are intended to suggest the excessive heat of. part of the Northern Territory?
– It is scarcely in order for honorable members to cluster round the plans which have been hung on the walls - without my knowledge; I do not know whether the Clerk was consulted in the matter. I ask honorable members to pay attention, not so much to them as to the business before the Chamber.
– Was the PostmasterGeneral correctly reported in last night’s Melbourne Herald as having stated that he has suspended a regulation passed by me, prohibiting publicans and hotelkeepers from advertising outside their premises that there are public telephones inside?
– In reviewing the history of the regulations, I informed a deputation which waited upon me yesterday that the honorable member, in arranging for the general imposition of toll rates, and increasing those rates, had provided that any subscriber to a telephone exchange who paid the rate prescribed by Regulation 7a in his list, might place his telephone at the service of the public. Regulation 57 - that complained of by the deputation - says that a subscriber may provide and exhibit a plain and legible notice in a prominent position on his premises, indicating that a telephone is there available for public use, but no such notice or sign is to be exhibited on or about the- premises of any hotel, or other place licensed for the sale of intoxicating beverages. I informed the deputation that when I came into office I had occasion to review the honorable member’s proposal to increase the telephone rates, and to make the toll system universal, and advised that the regulations which he had framed should be suspended pending the final determination of the matter. The suspension of those regulations included the suspension of tha*, referred to by him ig hia question.
– I wish to ask the Minister a question, without notice.
– The Clerk has read out the business for the day, so that the time far questions without notice has passed. I called on the honorable member to ask the question standing in his name on the notice-paper.
– 1 rose directly the Postmaster-General sat down, with a view to asking a question, without notice. If I cannot deal with this matter now, I shall have to deal with it on the motion for the adjournment of the House. In accordance with the notice I have given I ask the Prime Minister-
If, in view of his promise re Tariff anomalies, he will name an approximate date when the anomalies re women’s and children’s dress goods, and the dumping of end of season’s made-up garments for women, will be dealt with?
– The two matters referred to are quite distinct. The duties on dress goods were deliberately fixed by this Parliament. The allegation is that they are too high, though the protection to the’ manufacturer remains as fixed by the preceding Tariff. As to alleged dumping of goods, any case brought under notice which infringes existing laws will be promptly dealt with. The probable time for dealing with actual anomalies cannot be fixed. These cannot be dealt with singly. They are now being collected for Ministerial consideration. I should like to add that the honorable member, before rising, drew my attention to a statement which has been made as to the Japanese now in Australia, it toeing alleged that they number 73,000. Inasmuch as we had only 47,000 coloured aliens at the taking of the last census, of whom a large part were Chinese, while returns compiled since show that the number is gradually decreasing, it would be impossible to sustain the estimate referred to.
– I would point out that the matter upon which the Prime Minister is now speaking has nothing to do with the question on the business paper, which he was called upon to answer.
– I move -
That the House, at its rising, adjourn until Tuesday next, at half-past 4 o’clock p.m., or such time thereafter as Mr. Speaker may take the chair.
– Why is this arrangement being made for Tuesday’s meeting?
– A number of honorable members will be away this week-end on a visit to South Australia, and it is necessary to provide against the possible absence of a quorum at the usual hour of meeting on Tuesday next. The last condition has been adopted every year of late.
– I could understand the proposal if it affected Wednesday’s meeting.
– My desire is to meet the convenience of absent members. I hope that the House will unanimously agree to the motion.
– 1 shall certainly oppose the motion which has been submitted by the Prime Minister. The reason underlying it is, I take it, that the Melbourne Cup will be run on Tuesday next.
– No. Because the Parliamentary party which is visiting Oodnadatta will not return in time to enable us to meet at half-past 2 o’clock on that day for certain.
– The Parliamentary party which is visiting Oodnadatta will not return until Wednesday next. Had it not been for the circumstance that the Melbourne Cup will be run on Tuesday-
– It is because of the two events happening together that the motion-, is submitted.
– In his speech, thePrime Minister did not make any reference to the Melbourne Cup meeting.
– He did not wish to advertise it, because he thought that the honorable member might attend it.
– I do not think it is right that the National Parliament should adjourn, even for an hour, because the Melbourne Cup is being run.
– Will the honorable member guarantee a quorum if we meet at the ordinary hour on Tuesday?
– No. This morning I had left at my house a copy of the Spectator, which, as honorable members are aware, is the Methodist journal ; and I should like the Minister of Defence tolisten to what it says on this subject -
Races are mere instruments of gambling. All the sunshine of an Australian November day,, all the sheen upon the green sward, all the glitter of vice-regal presence, and the display of dresses by fair women - often at the expenseof men who cannot afford it - and all. the superbgrace of horses that are fit for nothing else, like some of the patrons of the course, are but tools, that serve the gambling instincts and interestsof a set of social parasites. There can be nodenial of the fact that the Melbourne Cup is. only the occasion for gambling, and that, apart from the gambling which it serves it would not: be held.
If that extract expresses the truth - and I think there is a good deal to be said in; favour of the view that ‘ it does - there would be practically no races if there wereno gambling.
– Is it compulsory for a. man to gamble when he visits the Flemington race-course?
– If there were nogambling, there would be no races. I hold’ that view, and I believe that it is shared alike by the Postmaster-General and the Minister of Defence. I do not think it is right that the National Parliament should adjourn simply because the Melbourne Cup is to be run. If any honorable members desire to attend the gathering at Flemington, they have a perfect right to do so.
– How about the officers; 0/ Parliament?
– I will deal with them in a moment or two. If any honorablemember, in his private capacity, desiresto attend the Melbourne Cup meeting, he is quite at liberty to do so. But I say that the National Parliament ought not to have anything to do with a racing carnival. The honorable member for Melbourne has asked, “ What about the officers of Parliament?” I have been informed by a friend who will attend the Melbourne Cup race meeting that it would be a very difficult thing to see that race run, and to reach the House by half -past 4 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon. If that be so, the officers of the House, about whom the honorable member for Melbourne is so anxious, could not possibly attend that gathering.
– Let us save the officers at any cost to ourselves.
– I repeat that we ought not to adjourn merely because the Melbourne Cup is to be run. I wish also to enter my protest against that portion of the motion submitted by the Prime Minister which affirms that Mr. Speaker may take the chair at any time after half -past 4 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon that a quorum may be present.
– That practice has always been followed upon Cup day.
– It is never too late to mend. The fact that we have adopted that practice in the past is no reason why we should follow it in the future. If the Minister of Defence were Leader of the Opposition, I am satisfied that he would be found objecting to the motion. Ifmy health permits me, I shall be present on Tuesday afternoon if the House meets at 3 o’clock.
– Will the honorable member answer for the attendance of the honorable member for Kalgoorlie?
– I can only answer for myself. To carry my own sins is quite a sufficient burden. If the motion be carried, I shall be present at half-past 4 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon, but after that hour 1 shall not enter the chamber at any time to form a quorum. I do not think it is fair to those honorable members who are prepared to attend at that hour that Mr. Speaker - should a quorum not then be present - should be empowered to take the chair at any time that a quorum may put in an appearance. Neither is it fair to the officers of the House. . If we do not meet at 3 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon, the hour of meeting should be definitely fixed for half-past 4 o’clock and Mr. Speaker should not be authorized to take the chair at any time that a quorum may be present. If the motion be not carried, I take it that the House will meet as usual at 3 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon. I repeat that it is not right that the National Parliament should adjourn because a racing carnival is in progress.
– Will the honorable member answer for the attendance of the members of his party?
– I will answer for myself. If the honorable member for Kalgoorlie and the honorable member for Melbourne differ from me upon this question, they have a perfect right to do so. I know that in England it is customary for the House of Commons to adjourn when the Derby is being run.
– The honorable member is quite wrong.
– The House of Commons used to adjourn upon the occasion in question, because I recollect that . Sir Wilfred Lawson always objected to the adoption of that course, but the motion was always carried against him. It is a disgrace that the National Parliament should adjourn on Tuesday merely because a racing carnival is being held.
.- I did not hear the Prime Minister make reference, when moving the motion, to any racing carnival. He simply explained that a certain number of honorable members were away at Oodnadatta, and that there might possibly be a difficulty in securing a quorum at 3 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon. The honorable member for Barrier opposes the motion on the ground that its object is to enable certain honorable membersto attend a race meeting. I do not know whether that is so or not. I do not pretend to be an authority on those matters, but I am prepared to be here at 3 o’clock on Tuesday. When the honorable member was asked by interjection if he would be present to help to form a quorum at that hour, he replied “ No, certainly not, it was not his business to assist the Government to form a quorum.” I was glad to notice that he afterwards repented of that statement, and said he would be here. If he and other members of his party are present, it will be a new experience both for him and them to be here when the House meets. Our experience, day after day, has been that the Opposition have been conspicuous by their, absence at the ordinary meeting time. The honorable member, and a number of other honorable members on the same side,. are scarcely ever present when prayers are being read. .1 do not know whether that is because there is anything in the prayers to which they object, but with the exception of one or two who stroll in just to save their face, the Opposition, including the honorable member for Barrier, absent themselves in a body while they are being read. In the face of that fact, the new born zeal which the honorable member has pretended to display to-day, for the House to meet at the usual time on Tuesday, and for punctuality in the attendance of other honorable members, is very refreshing. Will the honorable member undertake to be here at 3 o’clock on Tuesday, and also to secure the attendance of other honorable members on that side?
– No, certainly not.
– Then his insincerity is at once apparent. If he will do that, I undertake to say that there will be a quorum present at 3 o’clock. The matter rests entirely with those honorable members themselves. If they are willing to attend, business can be proceeded with. The object of the motion is as much as anything to meet their convenience, because it is known that some of them will be the principal offenders in not being present at 3 o’clock on Tuesday. I object to the honorable member for Barrier attempting to make a little political capital for himself and his party out of the motion, at the expense of those on this side of the chamber.
Several honorable members interjecting,
– Order ! I must again appeal to honorable members to preserve order. I am endeavouring to conduct the proceedings with as much patience as possible, but it is exceedingly distressing to have to continually call honorable members to order. Every honorable member knows that an honorable member who is addressing the House is entitled, so long as he is in order, to be heard without interruption. .1 trust that I shall not be compelled to exercise powers which are inherent in the Chair in order to secure a hearing to any honorable member. I hope honorable members will assist me to insure that this question shall be debated quietly and calmly.
– May I ask the honorable member for Barrier, and some of his colleagues, a pertinent question? Where was he, and where were they, when prayers were being read to-day? The honorable member was outside. His place is not outside, but inside, the chamber.
– I rise to order. I submit that the honorable member for Lang is out of order in asking another honorable member a question when making a speech, seeing that under the Standing Orders, the honorable member referred to is not allowed to reply.
-The interrogative form, although I do not agree with it, is often used in debate; but I ask the honorable member for Lang not to use it if it distresses another honorable member.
– If you, sir, say that the interrogative form is not to be used, I shall not use it, but it is commonly employed in this and other Parliaments, and by no one more frequently than the honorable member who raised the point of order. A rhetorical question of that sort is not expected to elicit a direct reply, but any honorable member who desires to do so can rise later and give an answer. It is fair to ask honorable members opposite, as they are so punctilious about the meeting of the House on Tuesday, how it is . that, day after day, they make a regular practice of not attending the House at the usual time of meeting. They slip in one after the other after prayers have been read, and fire a lot of questions off at Ministers. If they are so particular about honorable members being present at 3 o’clock on Tuesday, it is only reasonable to ask them to assist the Government to make a House on that day for the purpose of carrying on the business of the National Parliament. Let the honorable member for Barrier show his sincerity in this regard by not only putting in an appearance himself at 3 o’clock, but also seeing that his colleagues, who are- paid to do this work, attend to do the business of the House, instead of going to the Melbourne Cup. If he will undertake to assist the Government in that way, I think I can fairly promise that the Government can meet the House at 3 o’clock on Tuesday, - and that there will be a sufficient number of honorable members on- this side, withthe assistance of honorable members opposite, to form a quorum.
.-‘ It is a pleasant interlude in our debates to see so much good humour displayed. I shall support the motion, regretting only that the hour for the meeting is not fixed for half-past 7 p.m. instead of half-past 4/
J have no decided intention of going to the Cup meeting, but members of my family, no doubt, will be there, and I may join them. 1 was astonished to hear the honorable member for Barrier quote the Spectator. 1 am afraid that there would be a marked absence of Labour members from this Parliament if that newspaper had its way. The honorable member for Barrier’s constituents, who comprise some of the finest fellows I have even seen, would attend the Melbourne Cup meeting to a man if it was held near where they live, and still vote for the honorable member afterwards.
–And yet the honorable member for Lang says I am trying to make political capital out of the question ! I quoted the Spectator for the benefit of the Minister of Defence.
-I am glad the honorable member did not quote it for my benefit, because, it it had its way, I should not be here to-day. This matter is involved in one of our Standing Orders You, sir, are blind, and unable to see for yourself whether there is a quorum present. The officers of Parliament are not permitted to draw your attention to it.
– That is not fair to the Speaker.
– If, sir, there is anything objectionable to you in that remark, I am prepared to withdraw it with a heart and a half, but the honorable member for Lang is misconstruing it. Unfortunately, according to our Standing Orders, even if there were only three members present, as happened in the House of Lords on one occasion, you could not become officially cognisant of the fact unless your attention was drawn to it by a member of the House. I am going to throw out a challenge to the honorable member for Barrier. If the honorable member is really in earnest in regard to the course that he intends to pursue,- then it will be his duty, if there is not a quorum present on Tuesday afternoon, to call attention to the fact. Some remarks made by the honorable member for Lang in reference to the prayers were not justifiable. I confess that in my school days I used to dodge prayers, but I was younger then : and the observations of the honorable member for Lang were not quite fair to a man like the honorable member for Barrier, whose sincerity in his religious beliefs no one doubts. In London alone there are 450 registered religions, and the adherents of each think that the remaining 449 are wrong, in some way or other. It would be better for honorable members to show a little more humanity in pointing their arguments. Those who are at all familial with horse-racing know that many men, including some owners of race-horses, who attend race meetings, never make a bet. I have seen races run, not for any prize, but for sheer love of the &port, and I do not think that racing necessarily depends upon betting. The totalizator reduces betting, but it has not had the effect of reducing horse-racing. I do not wish to move an amendment, but I should like the Prime Minister to agree to the adjournment of the House until 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday next. That would give perfect freedom for the day to the officers of the House, and there would be no doubt as to their attendance here being required during the afternoon. I should like to go to Flemington, but it is very improbable that 1 shall be there. Let us display some common-sense in dealing with a matter of this kind. A number of honorable members, the majority of whom a members of the Labour party, left yester-day to inspect the railway to Oodnadatta, which is to link the north with the south ; and, after all, what will be the loss of one afternoon in a session of so many days ? If the Prime Minister . would amend his motion in the way I have suggested he would remove a difficulty. We should have a common-sense adjournment, not for an hour and a half, but until 7.30 p.m. At that hour there would be a good attendance, and we should be able to take up and push on with our work.
– The suggestion just made by the honorable member for Melbourne is a very good one. If some honorable members, like the honorable member for Barrier and a few others who pose as being particularly good, were to attend Flemington on the occasion of a race meeting, and see for themselves the way in which the proceedings are conducted, they would be agreeably surprised. The behaviour of the people on the course would be in the nature of a revelation to them. On Cup Day there are from 100,000 to 120,000 people on the Flemington race-course, and during the whole day not one intoxicated man is to be found there. That in itself speaks well for the orderly conduct of the people of Australia. It shows that at a gathering which is considered by many to have a bad influence on the community, the people can enjoy themselves rationally.
– Then the honorable member says that we should adjourn for the day.
– No; I simply support the suggestion made by the honorable member for Melbourne, that we should adjourn until 7.30 on Tuesday evening. Great difficulty will be experienced in obtaining a quorum at 4.30 p.m., and if the Prime Minister’s proposal is carried, the officers of the House will be obliged to remain in attendance here during the whole day, when other members of the Public Service will be enjoying a holiday, whether they go to the races or not. How would the honorable member for Barrier feel if he were an officer of this House, and knew that while he had to remain on duty every public officer outside the House staff had a holiday, and was free to go down the Bay or to Flemington, or anywhere that he pleased ?
– Then an adjournment until 4.30 p.m. is no good?’
– No; but if we adjourned until 7.30 p.m., the officers of the House would have the day to themselves. If the honorable member for Barrier does not raise any serious objection to that suggestion, I am sure that the Prime Minister will adopt it.
– I do not care whether the House adjourns for a week or more.
– I did not hear the arguments advanced by the Prime Minister, nor the major portion of the reply made by the honorable member for Barrier. I understand, however, that in the face of a business paper phenomenally long, comprising matters of fundamental importance, it is proposed to waste several very valuable hours in order that honorable members may see a horse-race. We are on the eve of a. general election, and the honorable member for Lang, who is being pursued by a Presbyterian clergyman, finds himself in a very awkward position. He wants to have a holiday - although I do not suppose he knows a horse from a camel - but he does not like to run the risk of losing any votes in his electorate by patronizing a race meeting.
– I have never been to a race meeting in my life.
– I have never had to concern myself as to whether I ought to go to this place or that. I go where I please. As a matter of fact, I do not know the name of a horse entered for the
Melbourne Cup, but I think that the proposal that we should adjourn on Cup Day until 4.30 p.m. is sheer lunacy. It is an attempt at that sort of compromise with evil of which men of weak characters are guilty. What is the use of adjourning until 4.30 p.m. ?
– Let us make it 7.30 p.m.
– There would be some sense in a proposition of that kind. Either we are coming here on Tuesday afternoon to do what we are paid for, or we are not. If we are not, why all this pretence? I shall be here as usual at 3 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon, and if the House does not meet at that hour, I shall not be back again until 7.45 p.m. I am not going to apply to my soul such a wretched ointment as the Government offer. Every honorable member who votes for the adjournment of the House until 4.30 p.m. on Tuesday will pray to his particular God that no one will be here at that hour to carry out the business of the House. The Prime Minister stands midway between the sinners and the saints. He does not bother very much about horse-racing, but he is surrounded by a number of honorable members who think of nothing else. They are unable at this season of the year to speak rationally on any subject bar horses and horse-racing. When one is in the lift, one hears them asking, “ What do you think of so and so?” I heard an honorable member opposite, while in the lift last night, talking to another member of the Ministry about horses. One would imagine that nothing in this wide world mattered save which horse was going to win the Melbourne Cup. I do not take any exception to that, but if that is the temper of honorable members, we might as well adjourn until a quarter to 8 o’clock, because those members will not be here at half-past 4 o’clock. Once a man goes to the Flemington race-course, he will not tear himself away from what is going on there to get back here at half-past 4 o’clock. A. man like the Prime Minister, who lives a detached life, and does not bother about horses, might do so; but the average member of Parliament would be unable to do so. I shall be here at 3 o’clock, and the honorable member for Barrier says that he will be here also, though I do not answer for the honorable member. The honorable member for Kalgoorlie takes a view of this question which differs from that of the honorable member for Barrier, and he probably will riot be here. I shall be prepared, in the honorable member’s absence, to do what I can to present his views to the House, and may, if necessary, prolong my remarks until the honorable member can get here and speak for himself. I shall vote against an adjournment until half-past 4 o’clock. I am in favour of meeting at 3 o’clock, in the usual way, but I shall be prepared to consider very favorably a proposal that we should not meet on Tuesday until a quarter to 8 o’clock in the evening.
Mr. HENRY WILLIS (Robertson; [11.14]. - I believe that the motion submitted by the Prime Minister should be accepted. If there is a quorum present at half-past 4 o’clock on Tuesday, we can go on with the business of the country, and if there is not a quorum present at that hour, Mr. Speaker can delay taking the chair until there is a quorum. I think the motion proposes a great improvement upon previous, arrangements made for the meeting of the House on Cup Day. I have known the House, on former occasions, to meet at the ordinary time, and I have also known its meeting, though fixed for the ordinary time, should a quorum be present, to be delayed until a quorum arrived. Honorable members opposite did not appear very anxious to form a quorum for the meeting of the House to-day, and it is for themselves to determine whether they will be present at half-past 4 o’clock on Tuesday next. The Prime Minister has adopted the right course. The honorable gentleman knows, as does every other member of the House, that Cup Day in Melbourne is regarded as a national holiday. No fewer than .120,000 people may be seen on the Flemington race-course on Cup Day, and the sight is a magnificent one. My children are not yet. old enough to go to the race-course, but as soon as they are I shall be glad to take them to see the great concourse of human beings who assemble there on Cup Day. I have been there frequently myself. I have no intention at present to go to the course next week. I do not appear to have the betting instinct, but I do admire magnificent horses ; and the race meetings held throughout Australia, and especially that held in connexion with the Melbourne Cup, have done much to encourage the breeding of high-class blood stock. As a result, Australia stands head and shoulders over the great South American Republic of the Ar gentine in the raising of fine horses, and over’ the Republic of Chili, from which country we imported horses in the earlydays, and in so doing almost ruined our stock. The Melbourne Cup race is .1 great carnival, and is the means of bringing together the finest blood stock in the world. I am given to understand that even betting men get a fair run for their money in the Melbourne Cup. It is a fair race, in which every horse runs to win, and every man who takes an interest in fair horse-racing should make it his business to witness it. I did not hear the honorable member for Barrier say anything against going to races. Many thousands go who do not believe in horse-racing. Cup Day is acknowledged as a great carnival day, and I know that twenty years ago the Young Men’s Christian Association held a great picnic on that day. Young nien were attracted from all parts of Australia by the knowledge that it was gala time in Melbourne. I do not know that they went to the race-course, but man; people who are religiously inclined, and are against betting, hold their picnics on the Flemington ground, on a place which, I believe, is known as the “ flat.” I have been upon the flat myself, where all sorts and conditions of men are to be found, and I shall have no objection to going there on some future occasion. I am not aware whether it is necessary to pay a shilling to go on the flat, or whether one can go there for nothing.
– The frequenters of the flat are on the free list.
– Then probably that is where I shall be. This goes to show that I have no prejudice. En passant, I may say that I lived for five years next to the Randwick race-course, and did not attend the races held there once during that time. I had opportunities of seeing the horses when they were being trained and exercised. A person who lives at Randwick does not require to go on to the race-course to see the best stock in the world. I may mention that for some years I represented the municipality of Randwick in its Council. In this House the locality is known as Wentworth. The honorable member for Wentworth is merely my successor. Needless to say, I retired, and the honorable member had an open field. I have no prejudice against horse-racing, and think that the Prime Minister has done the right thing in submitting his motion in the form in which it is before us. For my own part, I shall be here at ha If -past 4 o’clock on Tuesday. I do not say that I shall not be at the race meeting, though I have made no arrangements to go. I shall, however, certainly be in attendance to assist in making a House.
– lt may be a misfortune for me, but still it is a fact that I take the duties of a member of Parliament seriously. I am here as a trustee for1 the people. I contend that it is our duty, as members of Parliament, to pay you, Mr. Speaker, at least as much respect as we expect children to pay to us as their seniors. We should also set an example to the people of Australia in regard to the dignity of “our proceedings, and our respect and courtesy towards one another. When I first came here, I was imbued with a sense of responsibility, realizing that I belonged to the National Parliament. Holding such views, I am rather surprised that such a motion as this should have been submitted. Private members’ business has been set on one side in order to enable public business to be despatched. 1 have nothing to say as to what is to take place in the city of Melbourne next week, but we have the business of the people- of Australia to transact. There are twenty items of business upon the notice-paper, irrespective of the questions standing in the names of private members. We should endeavour to utilize every hour that is available in giving to that business the consideration that it deserves, until the end of the session. In my opinion, to adjourn for an hour, or an hour and a half, on account of a race meeting should be beneath the dignity of the National Parliament of Australia.
.- This motion has been proposed in order to enable u number of honorable members to take, their pleasure elsewhere instead of attending to the business of this House.
– May not another man attend a horse-race just as the honorable member may attend a prayer meeting?
– T say that the motion has been proposed to enable a number of honorable members to go to a horse-race.
– That is not correct.
– If a holiday is to be given, why should I not have an opportunity to spend a little extra time at home?
– The honorable member can go home if he likes.
– Take a week ; we shall not object.’
– An honorable member whose home is hundreds of miles away from Melbourne might prefer to spend a holiday there to going to a race meeting. I am not now complaining about the desire of honorable members to have a day’s holiday ; but if some wish to have a holiday for such a purpose, why should not other honorable members have a similar opportunity to take their pleasure in another direction ? If the motion be agreed to, it means that I, with others, shall have to come from New South Wales in time to do business when the House meets on Tuesday. If there is not a quorum present, we shall have to mope about in idleness. I claim no special virtue because I do not like horse-racing.
– The honorable member might have some consideration for other people.
– I am simply not interested in racing. I have never been on a race-course in my life.
– It would broaden the honorable member’s views if he did attend a race meeting occasionally, and would enlarge his knowledge of humanity.
– Broaden one’s views to see another man kicked to death?
– What about Broken Hill? Who did the kicking there?
– Order. One of the honorable members who is interrupting the honorable member for Cook has already spoken, and others will have an opportunity to speak if they desire. I ask that the honorable member be allowed to continue his speech without further interruption.
– If a holiday is to be arranged for certain members, a holiday should, be arranged for all; and to bring us from New South Wales to hang about during the day doing nothing is not fair. It is very seldom that I am able to get home at the week-ends, and an extra day to enable me to do so would be very welcome. The honorable member for Lang had the audacity to say that he did not know this motion was for the express purpose of allowing certain honorable members to see the Melbourne Cup; and the Prime Minister told us that the special adjournment is proposed because a visit of inspection is being paid to Oodnadatta.
– Hear, hear; that is quite true.
– It is not quite true, and’ it is not honest to give that as the reason. It is well known that the honorable members who are visiting Oodnadatta cannot return to Melbourne until Wednesday j and why humbug the people by arranging for a meeting on Tuesday? I suppose the picture on the Flemington lawn would not be quite complete without the Treasurer, in all his pomp and glory. I notice the change in the attitude of the honorable member for Robertson. Yesterday he was a severe critic of the Government, but, after the threat this morning by the Age that he shall have opposition at the polls, he is quite a friend of the present Administration.
– I have not read the Age, and did not know of the article until this moment.
– It is only another exhibition of the honorable member’s versatility ; and it is quite apparent that he will be able to vote against the financial proposals, provided he votes for this motion and enables the Treasurer to go to the Cup carnival. The honorable member for Lang made some reference to the non-attendance of honorable members on this side at prayers ; but we know that when the honorable member himself sat in Opposition, he, time after time, deliberately stayed outside the door until prayers were read. The honorable member desires to convey the impression to the public that the absence or presence of members indicates that they are favorable or otherwise to the reading of prayers; but such an impression would be absolutely incorrect, and the suggestion of the honorable member is a contemptible one. Now that the general election is at hand, the honorable member for Lang and others like himself are attitudinizing ; and that is not surprising, considering that they do not come here because of any political programme, but are elected on the _ sectarian issue. As a matter of fact, this is only another attempt to raise that miserable issue, which has really nothing to do with Federal politics. I have no doubt that the honorable member will shortly come to the conclusion that all who absent themselves from prayers are absolute atheists, and, therefore, object to the Lord’s Prayer being read. I am sorry that the Standing Orders will not permit me to apply the most appropriate term to the attitude of the honorable member.
– The man is mad !
– I think that the constituency of Lang is fast awakening to the fact that it has a representative who simply attudinizes in a theatrical fashion, and that there is absolutely no sincerity behind his cant, humbug, and sectarianism. I assert most emphatically that he knows that the reason for the submission of this motion is that the Melbourne Cup race is to be run on Tuesday afternoon. It has been stated that if certain honorable members were not absent on a visit to Oodnadatta it would not have- been moved. Why was not a similar motion submitted yesterday when it was known that they would be absent to-day?
– Why did not the Prime Minister move yesterday that the House at its rising should meet at half-past 4 o’clock to-day ?
– Exactly. Certain honorable members left Melbourne yesterday afternoon for Oodnadatta, and yet the House met at half-past 10 o’clock this morning. Surely that is a complete answer to the attitude of the honorable member for Lang and the Prime Minister. The other event which is to happen on Tuesday is the running of the Melbourne Cup race, and therefore the Prime Minister, in order to enable certain colleagues to witness that event, submitted this motion, with the object that the House shall meet at any time when the Speaker may choose to take the chair. I object to being asked to travel 600 or 700 miles on the off-chance of the House meeting on Tuesday afternoon. It is a great mistake that the national interests of Australia should be subordinated to a horse-race. It is a farcical attitude which the Prime Minister has taken up. In various electorates he has pointed out that people do not take an interest in the exercise of the franchise, and that only a certain percentage of the electors vote. That is the cry of nearly every public man. Ministers of religion are continually telling us that one of the madnesses of our young people is their undue addiction to sport.
– The Government are angling for the Nonconformist vote - the religious vote.
– Ministers of religion complain that our young people cannot take anything seriously ; that they will not regard the national interests as seriously as horse racing. What are the Government doing? They are pandering to this miserable spirit as something quite superior to the work of the National Parliament. That is a most degrading attitude for them to take up.
– Is the honorable member serious?
– The honorable member is not serious on any subject. He asks a question, and then grins like an ape at his own lack of intelligence.
– Order. That remark is entirely out of order, and the honorable member must withdraw it.
– If the remark is objectionable, sir, I withdraw it. It is very clever on the part of some honorable members to ask a question in such a way. The interjection goes into Hansard, and their constituents think that they have made quite a serious observation, but instead of that, they were merely grinning all over their faces. The interjections are reported, but the grinning is not.
– Hansard, should be illustrated.
-That suggestion is a good one, and I venture to say that if Hansard were illustrated-
– It would have the largest circulation in Australia.
– Order. The remarks of the honorable member are not relevant to the question.
– I admit, sir, that the question of illustrating Hansard is not quite relevant to this discussion. I desire to enter a serious protest against the subordination of business which has been stated by the Prime Minister to be urgent and necessary, as affecting the interests of the whole people, to the pleasure of a comparatively few members who desire a holiday on Tuesday afternoon, in order to see the Melbourne Cup race. I have pointed out that honorable members on the other side, as well as elsewhere, are continually railing at those who take a great interest in sport. They have told us that if the Prime Minister were to deliver a serious address on some great national issue comparatively few persons would be present, whereas, if a sports carnival were held, the multitude in attendance would be almost countless. Instead of the National Parliament making a. stand in this matter, and giving a lead to the people, it is simply pandering to some of those elements in the community which I am sure it will be admitted are not the best. If there is to be a holiday to enable certain honorable members to attend
Flemington race-course, the House ought to be honest and adjourn until Wednesday,, so as to convenience those who derive pleasure from an extra day at home. If it is in order, sir, I shall move that the House at its rising adjourn until Wednesday next at 3 o’clock p.m.
– The honorable member had better move the omission of the word “ Tuesday,” with the intention of inserting the word “Wednesday.”
– I also want toamend the other portion of the motion.
– The honorable mem- ber can do that afterwards.
– I move-
That the word “Tuesday” be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the word “ -Wednesday.”
I submit this amendment, not because I am not willing to attend on Tuesday’ to transact the business which I was sent here to do, but because I object to being made a hack for those who want to go to F lemington race-course.
– Humbug !
– The motion before the House is humbug on the part of the Prime Minister. It is humbug to tell the House that it is necessary to pass the motion because certain honorable members have proceeded on a visit to Oodnadatta. If that was the real reason for the submission of the proposal, why did he not submit a similar motion last night with regard to the present sitting? He did nothing of the kind. It is not the absence of certain honorable members at Oodnadatta which makes the submission of this motion necessary, but the fact that the Melbourne Cup race is to be run on Tuesday afternoon. If the Prime Minister is prepared to subordinate the work of the National Parliament to the desire of certain honorable members to seek pleasure at Flemington race-course, then those who would rather have a day’s pleasure in their homes should be convenienced as well as the others. I am prepared to go home, but I am not prepared to be absent from my place on Tuesday _ afternoon if any business is to be sprung upon the House. 1 hope that the amendment will be carried.
.- We have wasted the best part of an hour in the discussion of this motion. I do not like the motion as it stands. It is too inde-finite and savours of expediency. I should have preferred that the Prime Minister had moved, “ That this House adjourn until a quarter to 8 o’clock on Tuesday next.” I have sat in the House for nearly six years, and am very glad indeed to have an opportunity of saying once and for all that I object to this cant and humbug about these matters.
– This will be the last opportunity that the honorable member will have to speak his mind.
– That may be so, and therefore that is all the more reason why I should take advantage of this opportunity to speak my mind. I have the occupants of the Treasury bench pulling at my coat tails, and asking me not to say anything to delay the business of the House, but that will not prevent me from saying what I have to say. I am not deceived bv the cheers which come from those who sit on the other side. I have their measure; .1 know exactly who and what they are. What I object to is this cant and humbug. I have represented to the best of my ability men whom I am proud to represent. I feel sure that if I required a holiday, none of them would offer an objection, and, what is more, very few of them would object to me going to see the Melbourne Cup race run. Why? If we wish to help the poor and the suffering in my electorate, if we wish to help the class which the so-called Labour mcn in the House are supposed to represent, what do we do? We get up a race meeting.
– The honorable member is not game tq take a plebiscite in his electorate as to whether he should go to see the Melbourne Cup race.
– Order ! I appeal to the honorable member for West Svdney to allow the honorable member for Hunter to proceed. He has already addressed himself to the question, and it is not competent for him to speak at this juncture.
– Not on the amendment, sir?
– I would point out that the honorable member cannot speak while another honorable member is addressing the Chair.
– When interrupted, I was about to say that it is for that class of the community which the honorable member is supposed to represent that we have built a magnificent hospital, and equipped it with the best instruments that the world can produce. How did we find the funds? By holding race meetings. Therefore, I shall feel thoroughly justi fied in going to see the Cup race run, should I feel disposed to do so. When in Rome, I believe in doing as Rome does.
– Is that the creed of the Fusion party?
– In Melbourne, Cup Day is almost a national fete. Certainly, it is a great festival in Victoria. Is it not ridiculous and Pecksniffian for this House to sit all through a bright summer’s day when the Melbourne Cup is being run? It is rather fortunate that the debate is taking place at this moment, because it furnishes a grand argument in favour of our establishing, as soon as we can, a city of our own, where we shall be able to regulate such things as we desire. But for a man like the honorable member for Barrier to take advantage of this question to elevate himself in the eyes of his electorate is not right. He quoted from a religious newspaper, the Spectator, to show what a good, honest, and upright man he is. I cannot believe that he is genuine. I always endeavour to get here to hear prayers read at the beginning of the sitting, but this morning I saw the honorable member for Barrier walk in after prayers had been read. Is that propel conduct for a member of a religious sect? Certainly not. I express my utmost contempt for men such as he. I am glad of the opportunity to say this : Should Cup Day be fine, and I feel that I need a holiday, I shall not hesitate to go to the races.
– No one objects to the honorable member going.
– Those of my electors who are genuine men will not mind.
– But the honorable member relies on the women’s vote.
– And it is the women who are always most ready to assist in the cause of charity.
– I regret that some heat has been generated by this discussion. Cup Day is a great national holiday in Melbourne. I heard of the Melbourne Cup in America before I knew exactly where Australia was. We who believe in extending to others the liberty which we ask for ourselves do not object to church picnics.
– But we do not adjourn Parliament on their account.
– To-morrow is Derby Day, and to-morrow night many men will be poorer, while others will be richer. But this Parliament is the guest ot Victoria. The people of the State have lent us these buildings, so that we may meet here to legislate for the whole Commonwealth. During the pastten years we have been violating the sacred usages and customs of Victoria by our hypocrisy in refusing to adjourn ana take part in the State holiday. I say that those who wish to go to church picnics should be allowed to do so, and that those who wish to take their wives and children to the mountains should be permitted to go there. If I wish to see the races, I shall go to Flemington. No smug hypocrisy will prevent me from enjoying myself in a Christian way. There will be as good and as honest Christians at the Derby to-morrow, and at the Cup on Tuesday, as are to be found on the face of this earth. People have come from the remote parts of the Commonwealth to meet their relatives and friends, and to shake hands on the lawn, or hill, or flat. More real Christianity is to be found at Flemington than exists in lots of the establishments where they backbite and slander each other. I do not interfere with any one, but I maintain my right to go to the Cup if I choose to do so.
– Who objects?
– In the days when John Bull used to go out in his canoe, looking for something to kill, he was a great man. When Wolfe climbed the heights of Abraham, and defeated Montcalm, it was John Bull’s racing and gambling spirit that gave him the victory. The Britisher is deteriorating since he became smug and hypocritical.
– What has this to do with the question?
– The honorable member for Darwin is outspoken. There is no Oodnadatta business about him.
– According to the Prime Minister, we are being asked to adjourn because of the Oodnadatta visit.
– I desire that we should adjourn because of the Cup. It is time for us manly men to make our protest.
– Make it, and have done with it.
– If the Prime Minister will propose an adjournment until 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday, I shall vote with him.
– We shall waste centuries in the grave, so why worry about a day spent at the Cup? I shall support the motion to adjourn until Wednesday.
– Let us have a vote.
– Do not let us be in a hurry. I wish to put before the country the reasons why-
– I move -
That the question be now put.
– I do not think the Prime Minister should have moved that motion whilst I was speaking.
– Was it moved because I came in?
– The gag to force a MelbourneCup adjournment on the House !
Question - That the question be now put - put. The House divided. .
Majority … …13
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
– I desire to make a suggestion to the Prime Minister. In my opinion, the motion, in its present form, is one of the most stupid that could possibly be submitted for our consideration. It affirms that the House shall meet at half-past 4 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon, and that if a quorum be not then present, Mr. Speaker shall take the chair at any time thereafter when a quorum may be present
– Mr. Speaker-
– I can assure the Prime Minister that I am not infringing the Standing Orders in the slightest degree. The question which was previously before the Chair has already been determined.
– It has not yet been put.
– The amendment of the honorable member for Cook was put and negatived. I am now speaking to the main question If the motion be carried, the messengers of the House, the Hansard staff, and the Clerks, as well as you, sir, and myself, will be compelled - should a quorum not be present at 4.30 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon - to remain within the precincts of the building until a quorum is formed. Other honorable members may absent themselves for purposes of enjoyment - the honorable member for Barrier may attend a Sunday-school picnic if he chooses - but all the officers of the House will be compelled to be in attendance here,Under these circumstances, I suggest that we should fix the hour of meeting on Tuesday at a quarter to 8 o’clock in the evening, and I move accordingly. Had that been done in the first instance, all this debate would have been obviated.
– I. have moved -
That the question be now put.
– I should like to say a few words-
– We shall not forget these things.
– I rise to a point of order. I understand that the Prime Minister has moved, “ That the question be now put,” but that motion has not yet been put from the Chair.
– The Standing Orders provide that at any time an honorable member may move, “ That the question be now put.” They also declare that when that motion has been carried -
And the question consequent thereon has been decided, any further motion may be at once made which may be requisite to bring to a decision any question already proposed from the Chair.
The Prime Minister has claimed as his right that the original question shall now be put, and in accordance with the standing order, I now proceed to put that question.
– I rise to a point of order. I submitted an amendment before the Prime Minister moved, “ That the question be now put.”
– The honorable member did not move an amendment.
– Before I resumed my seat, I said : “ Then I will move that the hour of meeting be a quarter to 8 o’clock.”
– If the honorable member did submit a motion, it was not in accord with the terms of our Standing Orders, and it was not seconded.
– I seconded it.
– I would point out that a motion can be accepted only by the Chair. I trust that honorable members will extend to me the ordinary courtesy which is always shown to the occupant of the Chair, and allow the question to be stated.
– Yes, if we get courtesy in return.
– I ask the honorable member for Melbourne Ports to show that respect to the Chair which should be shown by every honorable member, and not to interrupt the Speaker when he is addressing the House.
– We expect a fair, square deal from the Chair, anyhow.
-I ask the honorable member for Barrier to withdraw what he has just said.
– What? That we expect a fair, square deal from the Chair?
– The honorable member said something else.
– What else did I say?
– I understood the honorable member to say “ We expect a fair, square deal from the Chair, and we do not get it.”
Ministerial Members. - Hear, hear.
– I appeal to the Leader of the Opposition to assist the Chair. The Chair will do nothing unfair.
– The honorable member for Barrier did not say what you attributed to him.
– I was about to say, if I may be heard, that if thehonorable member for Barrier. assures me that he did not say it, then I have made a mistake.
– I did not say it. All I said was, “We expect a fair, square deal from the Chair.”
– Then withdraw it.
– I will withdraw it in a moment if the Speaker wants me to, but to withdraw it will mean that we do not expect a fair, square deal.
– Does the honorable member for Barrier think that his present conduct is such as becomes a member of the House and an ex-Minister?
– I do not think so.
– That is a matter of opinion between you and me.
– Order ! I have been on my feet for some time, and the honorable member has been jumping up and down and addressing remarks to other honorable members. I have already accepted the honorable member’s statement, and now’ I trust that honorable members understand exactly what the position is.
– It is as clear as mud.
– That is a reflection upon the Chair.
– I mean that it is as clear as mud - to me.
– I trust that the honorable member for Melbourne Ports will not, under cover of saying something which may be applied to himself, endeavour to make remarks which are not complimentary to the Chair. I shall now proceed to put the question.
– I rise to order. I wish to call your attention to an unparliamentary expression used by the Prime Minister. The interjections made on the Ministerial side apparently do not reach you. The Prime Minister made an interjection, directed, I think, at the honorable member for Barrier, which I must ask you to ask him to withdraw.
– What was the expression ?
– I think he said it was “ a contemptible action.”
– So it was.
– If the Prime Minister made that remark, I ask him to withdraw it.
– Whatever statement I made,that was not it. I did make another statement. My hearing supported yours, Mr. Speaker, that the honorable member for Barrier made the remark which he has since disclaimed. I have now accepted, as you have, the honorable member’s disclaimer ; but I heard the remark madeby some one.
– I want to know if the Prime Minister heard it from me? Let him get up and say so, like a man, if he has any manly feeling about him.
– Honorable members will see that it is impossible for me to address the House if, by holding conversations, they prevent me from making myself heard. I ask all honorable members to assist the Chair in maintaining due decorum, to remember where we are, and to reflect that all our actions are governed by Standing Orders and Parliamentary practice. I would point out that if the Chair is only given an opportunity, the Chair will see that equal justice is meted out to all. I shall now proceed to put the question.
– I rise to order. You said that you now intended to proceed to put the question, by which I take it that you mean the question which appears on the notice-paper.
– The main question.
– I submit that the position which you are now taking up is not in accordance with the Standing Orders.
– Will the honorable member-
– Perhapsyou will hear me on the point. The Prime Minister moved just now “ That the question be now put.” That question was decided by a majority. The question then before the Chair, which was the amendment of the honorable member for Cook, was then put, and decided by the House.
– On the voices.
– It does not matter whether it was on the voices or not. A further debate then took place on the original motion. The honorable member for Kennedy spoke to the original motion, and, as you are aware, the Prime Minister then submitted a further motion “ That the question be now put.” I submit that that is the question which you now have to put to the House, and not the original motion that appears on the notice-paper.
– I am prepared to give a ruling on the point of order at once.
– Do you say that you are not prepared to hear me out?
– I have heard the honorable member’s point of order, and I do not desire to hear any more. Has not the honorable member stated it fully?
– I was going to quote the standing order, which I have not yet touched.
– I have already read the standing order to the House.
– If you have made up your mind that you will not hear me further, I suppose I cannot be heard.
– It is the invariable practice that only the point of order taken need be stated, and that any debate on a point of order takes place only because the Chair desires to hear further arguments relating to some abstruse matter, so that it may be settled. The honorable member has stated his point of order, and I am now prepared to rule with regard to it. If, however, the honorable member has not completed the statement of his point of order, and desires to do so, but does not wish to debate it, I am prepared to hear him. I do not wish to prevent him from ‘making a complete statement, but I do not desire him to debate the matter.
– I desire to complete my statement of the point of order. I think that the standing order will justify the view which I have expressed to you. It provides that-
When the motion “ That the question be now put “ has been carried, and the question consequent thereon has been decided-
Those two points have been reached in connexion with this debate - any further motion may be at once made which may be requisite to bring to a decision any question already proposed from the Chair.
That clearly contemplates the submission of another motion, if it is so desired, “That the question be now put.” If that motion is resolved in. the affirmative, the original question before the Chair can then be put, but not till then.
– I do not agree with the construction which the honorable member has placed upon the standing order. I shall not take up time in discussing that point, but will read the practice of the House of Commons, as set out in May, 11th edition, page, 219 -
As - without some further provision, the House might, even with the help of the closure, be unable to complete the matter then immediately in hand - directly after the motion “ That the question be now put,” has been carried, and the question consequent thereon has been decided, without having recourse to any further closure motion, the right is given to claim-
The motion of the Prime Minister was-
– No !
– I point out to the. honorable member for Kennedy that he rose to make a suggestion.
– That was perhaps my method of putting it, but I made a speech.
– If the honorable member for Kennedy reflects, he will remember tthat I urged him’ several times by signs not to continue. I took it that he was merely making a suggestion, and I was prepared to hear the Prime Minister at 11]Y time put in a claim iti the ordinary way that the original question should be put. In these circumstances, I feel that I cannot do other than abide by the practice which obtains in the House of Commons.
– May I make a personal explanation, Mr. Speaker?
– It would be better for the honorable member to do so afterwards. .
– I would rather make the explanation now, because I do not wish my position to be misinterpreted.
– I shall take care that the honorable member is not placed in a false position.
– On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I desire to explain that a little while ago, when the honorable member for Kennedy sat down, you immediately, on the suggestion of the Prime Minister, accepted his claim that the main question should be put. The honorable member for Kennedy distinctly moved an amendment. I, myself, had intended to move that all the words after “ until “ be left out, with a view to insert the words “seven thirty p.m. on Tuesday.”
– This is not a point of order.
– Surely the House has not descended tr> such a position that it is impossible to have a deliberate vote on any question. Are we to be wholly silenced? If so, we have no business here. T was going to move the amendment that I have just mentioned, but the honorable member for Kennedy, addressing me, said “ Allow me to move it.” He did move it, and I seconded it. It was formally moved, and ought to be put before any other question.
– Order !
Question - That the original motion be agreed to - put. The House divided.
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
– Order !
– It may look strange that I, like the honorable member for Herbert, voted against an adjournment.. The reason why I voted as I did was to protest against what I consider to be the hypocritical section of the people of this country.
– Order !
– First of all, I was in favour of an adjournment until 3 o’clock on Wednesday. After I had been speaking for about three minutes the Prime Minister gagged me when I wanted to denounce the hypocrisy of a certain section.
– Do not forget what I suffered for three whole minutes.
– If the honorable member ^suffered for three minutes this morning, I have suffered many a day at his. hands. I .hope that very shortly we shall carry a law that Cup Day shall be observed as a holiday.
– I beg to move -
That this Bill be now read a second time.
I have now an opportunity to invite the attention of honorable members to a great national question. The object of this Bill, ‘ which has come to us from another place, is to fix the territory in which the Seat of Government of the Commonwealth shall be established. It is with feelings of very great pleasure that, as Minister of Home Affairs, I submit the Bill to the consideration of the House. I do not propose to refer to anything that ‘took place in connexion with this question prior to the passage, at the close of last session, of the Bill, which was introduced by the Administration led by the honorable member for Wide Bay. In this matter the present Government are following the example of the Reid-McLean
Administration in submitting a Bill in connexion with the acceptance of Dalgety, and the example of the Fisher Administration in submitting the measure which was passed at the close of last session. The action taken by the Fisher Government called for the hearty approval of the people, not only of New South Wales, but of all parts of the Commonwealth. The late Prime Minister and his Minister of Home Affairs showed a proper appreciation of the position, and, as appears from the correspondence, an earnest desire to have this matter settled in the interests of the Commonwealth generally. They have already been accorded a meed of praise for what they did in connexion with this question while in office. I feel sure that the desire which actuated them at that time still actuates them, and that they will give the present Government all the assistance they can to have this important matter definitely and finally settled. I think I am right in saying that the great majority of the members of this House desire that the question, which has caused so much friction in the past, shall now be finally disposed of.I hope to be able to show that the Yass-Canberra district, selected by this Parliament as the district in which the Seat of Government of the Commonwealth should be located, possesses all the requisites for the establishment of a great city, including great natural advantages, easy communication from all parts of Australia, and a magnificent water supply.
– How can the honorable gentleman say that it possesses a magnificent water supply?
– I hope to have the earnest attention of the honorable member for Melbourne Ports, and other honorable members who, like him, have some doubt as to the adequacy of the water supply available in this district. I think I shall be able to satisfy even the most critical member of the House that there is in this territory an ample supply of water available for domestic and civic purposes for the Federal Capital, and that, under the agreement entered into with the Premier of New ‘South Wales on behalf of that State, we shall have the right to obtain from the Snowy River, and any other stream we may think it desirable to use, a sufficient supply for the development of electric power for lighting purposes, the running of trams, and any other purpose necessary to the complete equipment of the capital. I said in opening that I did not wish to take honorable members back to anything prior to the passage of the Bill of 1908 by the Fisher Administration. On the passage of that Bill, the late Minister of Home Affairs, on the 21st December, 1908, gave certain instructions to Mr. District Surveyor Scrivener. Honorable members will agree that those instructions were very carefully framed to cover all the requirements which the Minister thought necessary for the Capital, and in the subsequent report from Mr. Scrivener, and from the Advisory Board, the matters referred to in those instructions were fully inquired into, and the district found to be equal to all the requirements. It may be a little tiresome to recount them, but I think it is necessary that honorable members, and all interested in this question, should know the various steps which have brought us to the present stage. The honorable member for Coolgardie, as Minister of Home Affairs, on the 21st December, 1908, gave the following instructions to Mr. Scrivener-
To make a thorough topographical investigation of the Yass-Canberra district, with the object of placing such facts before the Minister as will enable Parliament to decide on the most suitable territory for the purposes of the Seat of Government within the district referred to, and that the work should be divided into three phases : -
Preliminary reconnaissance, covering the whole of the district, and embracing the catchment area of the water supply governing the same.
Topographical investigation of that portion or portions of the district which, during the reconnaissance, are shown to possess the requisite characteristics for the Commonwealth territory.
Contour survey of the suggested site or sites for the Federal Capital City.
The Minister then summarized the essentials of the Territory in the following manner : -
A note was attached to that statement to the following effect : -
It is desirable that the catchment area shall be in the proximity of the Capital site, but should the topographical examination of the district disclose the fact that such a condition is not practicable, then the catchment area must be connected with the Territory, including the site for the Capital - that is to say, severance must be avoided.
Honorable members who have followed the reports in this connexion, and who have taken advantage of the opportunity to examine the maps, will find that the instructions of the Minister have been carried out. It has been found that the district selected for the Federal Capital will embrace the catchment of the Cotter and other rivers which are considered to be suitable, and which will provide an ample, water supply for the city. The next essential pointed out by the Minister was in regard to sanitation, as to which he said -
Sanitation. - That the site provides for a perfect system of sanitation, not only so far as the city itself is concerned, but generally.
The next heading related to accessibility -
It is requisite that the site be easy of access from Sydney and Melbourne, and, through them, from the other capital cities ; also with a suitable harbor on the coast.
I shall be able to point out to honorable members later that the requirement thus referred to distinctly by the Minister has also been carried out. The Surveyor was likewise instructed that he should bear in mind that the Federal Capital must be a beautiful city, occupying a commanding position, with extensive views and embracing distinctive features, lending themselves to the evolution of a design worthy of the object and suitable, not only for the present, but for all time.
Consequently, the potentialities of the site will demand most careful consideration from a hygienic stand-point, with a view to securing picturesqueness, and also with the object of beautification and expansion.
The Surveyor, at the instance of the then Minister of Home Affairs, having received those instructions, proceeded to make his inquiries, and, on the 2$$h February, 1909, he reported that -
He had made an inspection of the area embraced by Yass-Canberra, inspected all the sites within that area, and that the Canberra site approaches nearer to what is required than any other which he had inspected in the district. The general level of the country about Canberra lies between 1,9.00 and 2,000 feet, while some of the higher hills reach an altitude of nearly 2,800 feet above sea level. The site is intersected by the Molonglo River, a stream with a catchment area of about 700 square miles.
It was recommended that the area through which the Molonglo and the Queanbeyan Rivers flow should be reserved as a water catchment area, not for the purposes of a domestic supply, pr for civic purposes, but rather for the beautification of the Federal City. This area, it was recommended, should be under J;he control of the Federation, in order to prevent pollution of the water, and to enable the water to be stored for ornamental purposes. Mr. Scrivener went on to say -
A city located at Canberra would be visible on approach for many miles - streets with easy gradients would be readily designed - while prominent hills of moderate altitude present, suitable sites for the principal public buildings. The Capital would probably lie in an amphitheatre of hills, with an outlook towards the north and north-east, well sheltered from both southerly and westerly winds, and in the immediate vicinity of the Capital there are large areas of gently undulating country that would be suitable for evolutions of large bodies of troops.
Generally speaking, he regarded Canberra as the best site which could be obtained, being -
Prominently situated, and yet sheltered, while facilities are afforded for storing water for ornamental purposes at a reasonable cost.
Dealing with water supply, Mr. Scrivener pointed out that -
The Cotter River will provide a supply of perennially clear and pure water, sufficient for the domestic and civic requirements of a population up to 200,000, and with a fer capita consumption of not less than 100 gallons per day.
– I think we should have more honorable members present to hear this speech. [Quorum formed.’]
– I would point out that the water supply provided for is considerably larger than the daily allowance made for the residents of Melbourne or Sydney. In Melbourne the provision made is for about 59 gallons per day, and in Sydney the supply amounts to 40 gallons per inhabitant per day. So that our daily allowance of water for the residents of the Federal Capital is much more liberal. Mr. Scrivener also reported that -
First, it is essential that the whole of the catchment area of the Cotter River should be acquired, in order that a pure water supply may be placed beyond doubt, and, seeing that the Molonglo River traverses the Capital site, and should become a distinguished feature in the future, it is equally necessary that the catchment of that river and of the Queanbeyan should be included……. If the
Federal Capital is to be a model city, then it is essential that the Territory should embrace such an area, that all streams flowing through the city site, or near it, should be controlled by the Commonwealth Government.
Both of these things have been done in regard to the Cotter River, sovereign rights over which have been secured to the Commonwealth. In regard to the Molonglo and Queanbeyan areas, we shall have complete rights so far as water is concerned. Regarding the railway, Mr. Scrivener reported -
The Canberra site is already accessible from the Cooma railway ; but, in order that the length of journey might be reduced, a connecting line should be run from about Yass to Queanbeyan - the length of this line would be about 50 miles, measured from the main southern railway, and no engineering difficulties would be encountered. This line would at once pay interest, and would ultimately yield a considerable profit. The route the line would take can only be determined after the exact site for the Capital is fixed.
A precis of the Board’s action states -
This report was referred by the Minister of Home Affairs, on the 2nd March last, to an Advisory Board comprising - Secretary for Home Affairs, Chairman ; Commonwealth DirectorGeneral of Works, Government Architect for New South Wales, Mr. District-Surveyor Scrivener, Members, for consideration and report as to the positions of the district demanding closer investigation and survey generally. The Advisory Board, on the 8th March, informed the Minister that they concurred generally with the conclusion arrived at by Mr. Scrivener, and were of opinion that the most suitable sites are about Canberra, on lands comprised in Duntroon and adjoining holdings where the physical and scenic qualifications required for the Capital site of the Commonwealth are best met.
The Board recommended, with a view to placing them in a position to advise as to the exact locality of the city site, that the essential features should be tested by actual survey, and the more prominent of them covered by a contour survey of the locality indicated on the map accompanying their report.
That recommendation of the Board was subsequently carried out.
The Board further agreed with Mr. Scrivener in his recommendation respecting the Territory to be acquired by the Commonwealth because it includes the site for the Capital site, and the catchment area required for the water supply of the city, and the catchment areas of the streams passing through the city, all of which will be required in its development. This recommendation embraced an area of, approximately, 1,000 square miles.
The Board at the same time asked for further information respecting the possibilitiesof the Molonglo and Queanbeyan Rivers, and the practicability of a scheme for the generation of power from the Cotter River; also, they recommended a further investigation as to irrigation areas in connexion with the disposal of the effluent resulting from sewage purification.
In connexion with’ the sewage, an investigation was made by Mr. L. A. B. Wade, a well-known engineering expert, of Sydney.
– I think there ought to be a quorum present. [Quorum formed.]
- Mr. Wade reported that the Yass-Canberra site was well suited to the carrying out of modern sewage works, equal to the necessities of the anticipated population.
– What system did he recommend ?
– He recommended no particular system, but reported that the lay of the land lent itself to the adoption of several systems, any one of which would be equal to the requirements.
– Surely he indicated a practical system, because sanitation is a very important question ?
– It is one of the most important questions, and I shall refer to it more fully later.
Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.15 p.m.
– On the11th. March the Minister of Home Affairs instructed Mr. District Surveyor Scrivener to proceed with the contour survey recommended by the Advisory Board, and an investigation of the country between Canberra and the sea, with a view to ascertaining whether anv practicable railway routes could be found between the proposed site and the seaboard. The Prime Minister also asked the Premier of New South Wales to furnish the Commonwealth Government with all information from the State Departments respecting, first, the Molonglo River; secondly, the Queanbeyan River ; thirdly, the Cotter River, more particularly in connexion with the report of the electrical engineer of the Public Works Department ; and, fourthly a railway route from Jervis Bay to the Goulburn-Cooma railway line. On the 26th May Mr. Scrivenersent in his final report to myself as Minister of Home Affairs in relation to the instructions issued to him on the nth March. He reported that he had made a contour survey ; that he had run the survey at various levels, ranging from 1,825 to 2,000 feet above the sea ; the datum being the Cooma railway survey, and that the intermediate levels had been taken. He also reported that he had covered the greater part of the contoured area with a triangulation survey, and that the running of the contours had all been checked and found correct. He added that he had made an inspection of the country between Canberra and Jervis Bay, and discovered a very practicable railway route running from a point on the Goulburn-Cooma line, about 26 miles from Queanbeyan, to Jervis Bay, and with a ruling gradient of not more than 1 in 40, probably1 in 50.
– Forwhat distance?
– The total distance from the actual site to Jervis Bay via Queanbeyan is 130 miles, but that includes 26 miles of the Goulburn-Cooma line from Queanbeyan north.
– Will the Commonwealth own the territory extending from the site to Jervis Bay?
– No. The Commonwealth will have the right to run a railway line from the site to Jervis Bay, and an area at the Bay for Federal purposes. Mr. Scrivener also recommended that an area comprising 1,280 acres, that is, two square miles, should be set aside at the Bay for Commonwealth purposes. He pointed cut - it has since been confirmed, if confirmation was necessary - that in the Bay there is a splendid anchorage from three to five fathoms deep, very close to the shore, and that the part selected for the Commonwealth port is well sheltered from the south-easterly and easterly gales that raise the heavy sea from which shipping suffers on that coast from time to time. Mr. Scrivener’s report was referred by me to the Advisory Board, who, on the 16th June, reported that -
The site most suitable for the purposes of the Federal City may be briefly described as a rectangular area, the eastern and western boundaries of the northern part resting on the slopes of Mount Ainslie and the Black Mountain, the southern boundary being intersected by the Narrabundah Range, running from Mugga Mugga Mountain towards the Molonglo River. This river, which flows through the area in a westerly direction, affords facilities for the conservation of water for ornamental purposes.
I may mention, in passing, that the water proposed to be used for ornamental purposes in the city will be obtained from the catchments of the Queanbeyan and Molonglo rivers, which are depicted on the right-hand side of the map in the chamber. It is proposed by the utilization of these waters to form a large lake for ornamental and aquatic purposes. It is estimated that it will be 4 miles long, and about forty feet deep, with a varying depth. Honorable members will see that a very large sheet of water will be made available, not only as an ornament to the city, but also as a place where its inhabitants will be. able to enjoy themselves in boating and other ways. Respecting the sewerage of the city, the Advisory Board reported that no engineering difficulties would be encountered in a satisfactory disposal of the sewage and the effluent from treatment works. As regards water, the Board advised that there is a supply of perennial clear and pure water in the Cotter River. The Board practically indorsed everything which Mr. Scrivener had said in his report, to which I have already referred honorable members, and which I do not propose to reiterate in quoting from their report. They made special references to the Canberra water supply and to the railway to the port. They indorsed the opinion of Mr. Scrivener that a practicable route could be found for communication between the site of the city and Jervis Bay. They also considered that before the location was finally decided upon an extensive examination of the intervening country should be made, so that all requirements might be met. A survey was accordingly carried out by Mr. Kennedy, an officer in the Public Service of New South Wales. He recommended a route which is practically the same as that suggested by Mr. Scrivener, and agreed in virtually all particulars with the report made by the latter as the result of his preliminary investigation. The Board thereupon further reported that it was of opinion that Jervis Bay would meet the requirements of the Commonwealth with respect to a port for the Capital, and that the area situated at the southern extremity of the bay, suggested by Mr. Scrivener in his report, is the most suitable. Jervis Bay is an extensive sheet of water, and for years past has been used by the vessels of the Australian Squadron as a manoeuvring area. It is undoubtedly equal to all the requirements of the Commonwealth as a port. Some years back, a number of honorable members had an opportunity to visit it, and I feel sure that all who saw it agree with Mr. Scrivener and the Board that it will meet all future needs. On the 20th July last, the Prime Minister forwarded to the Premier of New South Wales various sets of papers connected with this matter, and drew his attention to several legal and constitutional questions. He asked that, to meet possible future requirements, the State should agree to give the Commonwealth the right to use the waters of the Snowy River for power purposes. That was agreed to by the Premier on behalf of the State.
– Does the agreement give the Commonwealth the right to carry wires through the territory of the State?
– The Commonwealth has been given the right to construct whatever works may be necessary for the development of electric power, and its transmission to Federal Territory, not only from the Snowy, but from any other stream from which we may think it desirable to take it.
– Will it be pos- *sible to get to the Federal Territory without crossing New South Wales?
– Yes, from the port at Jervis Bay. The Commonwealth has full and complete power to construct a railway from Jervis Bay through the Territory. Should the honorable member regard New South Wales as an hostile country, he may be satisfied with that assurance.
– We must not forget the attitude of Maryland in the war of i860.
– The Prime Minister also indicated to the Premier of New South Wales that he would be glad to receive an intimation that no objection would be offered to the construction of the line between the Territory and Jervis Bay. That also has been agreed to, and embodied in the agreement signed on behalf of the Commonwealth and the State. On the 16th September, the Premier submitted a series of motions to the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, of which the first reads - (1.) That this State should surrender to the
Commonwealth, territory containing an area of, approximately, 800 square miles, made up as follows : - (a) All that area of about 435 square miles shown on Mr. Scrivener’s plan,- which lies to the west of the Goulburn to Cooma railway, and includes the city site recommended by the Advisory Board, together with the catchment area of the Cotter River.
As an area of 800 square miles would not meet the requirements of the Act of 1908, that was pointed out to the Premier, and he at once, without hesitation, added another 100 square miles to make up the 900 square miles which are required. The alternative area suggested by the Premier was submitted in the best of “faith. New South Wales has not attempted to dictate in any way to the Commonwealth in this matter.
As a Commonwealth Minister, I was opposed to any alteration of the area recommended by the Advisory Board, but, after fully investigating the alternative suggested by the Premier, I came 10 the conclusion that it should be adopted. I hope that honorable members will agree with me in that. If they look at the map, they will see that the alternative area is more compact than that recommended by the Advisory Board, that it embraces the whole of the Cotter catchment - the stream chiefly relied on to supply the Federal ‘Capital with water - and, in addition, water rights in respect to the catchment of the Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers. Altogether, it is a better area than that recommended by the Advisory Board. Let me now read what was said by the Premier in submitting to the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales the motion which I have quoted. He said -
We have recognised at all stages in connexion with the discussion of this matter, that no sound objection can be raised to the Commonwealth having supreme control over the whole of the catchment area, because on the purity of the water and the control of the streams supplying it, is dependent the health and happiness of the people themselves. There is no reason why they should not have the same jurisdiction for protective purposes over the supply pf water for domestic use, as they have over the city itself.
At the beginning of his speech, he stated -
Our desire at this stage is to put before the Commonwealth Parliament, by way of suggestion, certain propositions which we hope will be the foundation of an agreement, upon which will be based the final formal act of surrender of territory, and acceptance by the Commonwealth for the seat of Government.
In the first place we recognise that the final determination of the question under the Con.stitution rests in the hands of the Commonwealth Parliament. We can only claim to intervene in this question rather by way of suggestion of a helpful character than by way of laying down a proposition for the Commonwealth’s acceptance or rejection.
We realize that although we have some ro>sponsibility in this matter, it scarcely lies in the hands of the Government to do anything which has the appearance of intrusion into the peculiar sphere of the Commonwealth with regard to the final determination of this question.
Honorable members will therefore see that the alternative area was suggested with a view to assisting the Commonwealth. The next resolution affirmed by the New South Wales Parliament reads -
Scrivener’s plan, and lie to the east of the Goulburn to Cooma railway, should be subject to the requirements of the Commonwealth.
That resolution has been embodied in the agreement with New South Wales, which forms the scheduleof the Bill, so that for water purposes the Commonwealth will exercise full control over the catchment areas of the Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers, New South Wales undertaking on its part to keep those streams free from pollution. That State reserves the Crown lands within those areas from sale or lease, and undertakes to adopt all necessary precautions with a view to safeguarding the waters of those streams from being polluted in their passage to the Federal Territory.
– Those rivers will not constitute a source of supply for drinking purposes?
– No. The waters of those streams are not intended for domestic purposes.
– It is not possible drink from either of those straems and to live.
– I do not know about that. A good many persons havebeen drinking from them for a number of years, and are still alive. At the same time we know that those streams do become turbid after heavy rains, and that they are not so good for drinking purposes as are the Cotter, Gudgenby, Naas, and Paddy’s Rivers.
– The Cotter will afford an ideal supply of water for domestic purposes if it possesses sufficient volume.
– I will give the honorable member the figures relating to its volume presently. The other resolutions adopted by the New South Wales Parliament are as follow : -
That for the purpose of providing access to the sea, the State should grant to the Commonwealth -
– What about communication with Yass?
– New South Wales is prepared to meet the Commonwealth in that matter. Should the Commonwealth construct a railway to the border of the Federal Territory, the State is prepared to link it up with Yass.
– Is that part of the contract ?
– Yes. Resolution No. 8 reads -
That resolution should dispel the doubt which the honorable member for Balaclava apparently entertained, judging by his interjection. The remaining resolutions read -
State should not be deemed a grant of the right to interfere with the reasonable use of the waters of the Murrumbidgee River by the State, or the citizens of the State of New South Wales.
If honorable members will look at the map they will see that the Murrumbidgee passes through a portion of the proposed Federal Territory, and it is only proper - seeing that it is one of the largest rivers in New South Wales, and that its waters are not required for Commonwealth purposes - that the State should have its rights preserved in that connexion, especially as she is at present constructing the huge Barren Jack dam - upon which about £3,000,000 is being expended - for the purpose of irrigating a large area of country immediately below the Federal Territory. Resolution No. 10 has therefore been inserted in the proposed agreement, in order to preserve the rights of New South Wales in this matter. After these resolutions had been affirmed by both Houses of the New South Wales Parliament, I submitted them to the Advisory Board. The Board, in their report of the 22nd September, re-affirmed their reasons for recommending the Territory to be acquired by the Commonwealth, including -the catchment areas of the Molonglo and the Queanbeyan Rivers, and stated that the adoption of the resolutions by the State Parliament will have the effect of curtailing the area of the Commonwealth Territory as recommended by the Advisory Board, by the withdrawal therefrom of the catchment areas of the Queanbeyan and the Molonglo Rivers lying to the south and east of the Goulburn-Cooma railway, containing an area of approximately 580 square miles, the State proposing in lieu to enter into an agreement with the Commonwealth, under which the right of the State to the use and control of the Queanbeyan and the Molonglo Rivers and their tributaries - indicated on Mr. Scrivener’s plan and lying to the south and east of the Goulburn-Cooma railway - shall be subject to the requirements of the Commonwealth. The Board regarded it as essential that the area under consideration should be vested in the Commonwealth, with a view to securing absolute control over the catchment of the rivers contained therein, for the following reasons : - (a) to regulate the flow of the Molonglo River at the City site-; (b) to prevent pollution within the area ; (e) to adopt measures for minimizing turbidity; (d) to regulate flood waters; and (e) to provide an auxiliary source of water power. On the other hand, the Board considered that the alternative conveyed in Resolution (2) may be accepted in lieu of their recommendation that the Commonwealth should -acquire the subject area under certain conditions, viz., that in so doing the terms of the agreement to be entered into by the Commonwealth and the State shall cover the essentials laid down, and empower the Commonwealth to perform such acts and to carry out such works at all times as may by the Commonwealth be considered necessary ; also, that the State undertakes to exercise such control over the area and to carry out such works as are or as may be considered necessary to prevent pollution, including the sanitation of Queanbeyan ; also, to reserve and dedicate all Crown lands within the catchment area, and to restrain the use of the waters within the catchment areas of the Molonglo and the Queanbeyan Rivers - either by the State, or others under State control - in any manner inimical to the works referred to. The Board therefore advised that they could not but consider it -an advantage to include within the Federal Territory that portion of the catchment area of the Gudgenby River embracing an area of about 114 square miles above its effluence with the Orroral River, but that no benefit will be derived from the inclusion within the Federal Territory of the catchment areas of either Naas Creek or of Paddy’s River, comprising, approximately, 251 square miles. The position is that there are two schemes before -Parliament, and on behalf of the Government, I take the responsibility of recommending the alternative scheme as submitted by New South Wales. Honorable members will see that an area embracing 205 square miles, and comprising the Federal City and the area immediately around it, is common to both schemes, and that the Cotter River catchment, which is the principal source of water supply for domestic and civic purposes, is also common to .both schemes. In addition to the area originally recommended by the Advisory Board, there is included in the alternative scheme between the Cotter catchment and the Queanbeyan and Molonglo catchment, the catchment of the Gudgenby, Naas, and Paddy’s Rivers.
– Paddy’s River was dry when I was there.
– Statements of that sort are of no use when we have before us the absolute records taken by engineers sent there specifically to test the value of these rivers.
– Seeing is believing, and that river was dry at the junction when I was there.
– That may, or may not, be correct, so far as Paddy’s River is concerned, but let me tell the honorable member that I have seen the river which supplies the Prospect dam, and therefore the city of Sydney, with its 600,000 inhabitants, cease running. Therefore, the fact that a river ceases running is no indication of the quantity of water available. If you based the supply of the City of Sydney on the flow, at a particular time, of the river which supplies the Prospect darn, you could say that there would be no’ water there at all, but the fact remains that from that catchment area, and from that river, there is derived an ample supply for over 600,000 people in Sydney and its suburbs. The area of the Gudgenby, Naas, and Paddy’s Rivers, is included in the alternative scheme submitted by Mr. Wade An area of 580 square miles, in- eluding the catchment of the Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers, was included in the Advisory Board’s report and by Mr. Scrivener for water, not for domestic or civic purposes, but merely for ornamental purposes in the city. In the scheme which I characterize as alternative, that catchment area is still included, although we have not sovereign rights over it, as we should have had under the Advisory Board’s scheme. Still, we have in the agreement with New South Wales full rights over it with regard to the use of the water, secured by the reservation of land, the right to construct works, and in other ways, every precaution being taken to insure the water being kept as pure as possible. The total area in the original plan suggested by the Advisory Board was 1,015 square miles. In the alternative scheme, we have 900 square miles over which we have absolute sovereign rights, and, in addition, 580 square miles over which we have full water rights. So that, in the latter, we have practically 1,480 square miles of country, as against 1,015 square miles recommended by the Board. In the alternative scheme, the township of Queanbeyan is cut out. of the area over which we have sovereign rights. Some honorable members in another place were deceived to a certain extent by the white line which appears on the map between the portion over which we have sovereign rights and the portion over which we have water rights. That line is merely put in to indicate the boundary between those two areas. It does not in any way represent a thin strip of country belonging to New South Wales, as some honorable senators appeared to think.
– But according to the map we apparently take in part of the town of Queanbeyan.
– I can assure the honorable member that if any portion of that township appears in the portion marked red - the portion over which we have sovereign rights - it is a mistake. The whole of that township is within the catchment area of the Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers, over which the Commonwealth will have full water rights only.
– Upon one side of the line.
– Yes, upon the eastern side of the line.
– The railway really divides it.
– The railway really divides the two portions of the Territory. The honorable member for Melbourne Ports is anxious to learn, and I am willing to give, full particulars in regard to the quantity of water available for the Federal City. The first river to which I shall- refer is the Cotter, which is generally conceded to be the source of a magnificent water supply. When I read these figures,’ I ‘hope honorable members will bear in mind that they are calculated on the basis- of allowing each individual inhabitant ‘Of the Federal Capital 100 gallons of water per head per day. The average for Sydney is 39.59 gallons, while for Melbourne it is close on 60 gallons, but even that is very much below- the quantity allowed in all the calculations for the Federal Capital.
– For purely domestic purposes ?
– Yes. The average daily consumption per head of population, of Sydney and suburbs is. 39.59’ .gallons, the total average daily consumption of that city is 24,567,492 gallons, while the population of Sydney is 620,415 ‘persons. The population of Melbourne is 533,000 persons, the consumption per head per day is 59.25 gallons, and the daily consumption is 31,582,000 gallons. The ‘volume- of water discharged by the Cotter River from the 6th February, 1908, to the 5th February, 1909 - and I would remind honorable members that that was one of the driest years .on record - was 13,752,000,000 gallons. The ‘ mean daily discharge by the Cotter river in that year was 37,677,205 gallons. ‘; :That: is to say, the discharge by the Cotter River in one of the worst years on record would have sufficed for the supply of either Melbourne or Svdney and suburbs, . and left a large margin in reserve.
– Has the honorable member the monthly gaugings of that- river ? ;
– I have .not; but if honorable members wish to have .them I can obtain them. During the ‘month of August last, the flow of the Cotter River amounted to’ 8,228,000,000 galoons :or -an average of 265,140,000 gallons per day. The average consumption of 620^000 inhabitants of Sydney last year was 24,600,000 gallons per day, so that’ sufficient water flowed down the Cotter- River during August last to ‘ supply Sydney and suburbs for ‘333* ‘ days. The report with regard to the ‘ Gudgenby”, which is included in this area, is that it gives a supply of perennially clear and pure water similar to that of the Cotter. The catchment area above the proposed site for a dam, at the 2,750-ft. level, is 114 square miles, and the estimated mean flow at the dam site is 14,874,000,000 gallons per annum. With a 25-in. rainfall, which the Government Meteorologist assures me would be a very small rainfall for that part of the country, it would be 10,050,000,000. There are two other rivers included within this catchment area. The first of these, the Naas, is a tributary” of the Gudgenby, and has an estimated mean run-off at the dam site of 5,989,000,000 gallons per annum. With a 25-in. rainfall its estimated mean runoff would be 4,047,000,000 gallons. Then we have Paddy’s River, which has a catchment area of 88 square miles, and an estimated mean flow of 6,609,000,000 gallons per annum, or, with a 25-in. rainfall, 4,465,000,000 gallons per annum. Honorable members will recognise from these figures that a magnificent supply of absolutely pure, clear water is obtainable from these sources. A further report on the Cotter River was made by Mr. E. M. De Burgh, Chief Engineer for Harbors and Water Supply, and was ordered to be printed by the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales on 21st July last. This report, from the highest official source, is dated 14th July, 1909, and reads as follows : -
I have the honour to report that the measurements of the flow of the Cotter River from 1st January to 7th instant are now available.
During that time 9,919,000,000, or an average of 52,753,400, gallons of water per day flowed down the river.
During the same period 2,240,000,000 gallons flowed off the Sydney catchment into Cataract and Prospect; so that more than four times as much water flowed down the Cotter as flowed into the Sydney storages.
In the same period 650,000 people were supplied in the city of Sydney and suburbs with a” total quantity of 4,972,474,416 gallons, or an average of 26,449,322, gallons per day. So the unstored flow of the Cotter was twice as much as the consumption of 650,000 people for all needs.
In view of all these facts, no reasonable man could have any doubt as to the water supply included within the catchment area being far more than is necessary to meet any demand that may be made upon it by the Federal Capital. As to the port which honorable members decided it was necessary that the Capital should have, a map exhibited in the chamber shows that portion of the south-eastern side of Jervis Bay to which I have already referred as having been reserved for this purpose. The sections coloured blue are part of New South Wales territory, which were reserved for defence purposes, but were never dedicated for those purposes, as it was thought that it would be unnecessary to do so. However, since the Federal Capital will no doubt be connected by rail with Jervis Bay, the Government thought it desirable that every precaution should be taken to secure the land as necessary for the proper protection of the port, and it has, accordingly, been handed over to the Commonwealth. All these concessions have been granted willingly by New South Wales to the Federation in response to requests made from time to time by the late, as well as by the present, Ministry. They are all embodied in the agreement which forms the first . schedule to the Bill. I do not propose to refer at length to the Bill which I am asking the House to pass, because it is practically the same as the Act of 1904. It contains the provisions necessary in connexion with a territory such as that to be acquired. It provides for the appointment of magistrates and deals with the jurisdiction of the High Court and. other matters for which it is necessary to provide, pending, I presume, the creation of a Constitution for the government of the Federal Territory. I respectfully ‘ submit that we have in the site proposed to be taken over all the requirements for the establishment of a great city. Many honorable members have seen it, and must agree that its configuration and natural beauty fit in with the instruction given by my predecessor that such a site should be chosen as would permit of the creation of a beautiful city. The reports go to show that the requirements in respect of water supply and other essentials will be amply met by the selcr- tion of the territory that I now recommend to the House. We shall also have the right to construct a railway from the Capital to Jervis Bay, so that the facilities for which honorable members asked, although no provision for securing them had been made in the Constitution, will be obtained. I hope that honorable members will give this Bill their earnest and serious consideration. We are now proceeding to take what, I hope, will be the final steps to determine a matter that has been pending far too long. The non-settlement of this question has created friction, not only in this Parliament, but throughout the Commonwealth. Having made the fullest investigation, I have no hesitation in recommending that which I have indicated as the alternative site, and I hope that we shall speedily settle the whole question. I trust that before long we shall have established a city in accordance with the terms of the Constitution as accepted by the people - a city where the Federal Parliament will be able to meet in a home of its own, free from the influence of the large capitals of the States. There, I trust, we shall have as our statesmen and legislators the wisest and best men in the Commonwealth, and that as the result of their useful legislation and sound administration, combined with the great natural resources of the Commonwealth, Australia will take that high place amongst the nations which, I am sure, it is the desire of every patriotic citizen that she should occupy.
Debate (on motion by Mr. Mahon) adjourned.
Debate resumed from 28th October(vide page5152)on motion by Mr. Fuller -
That this Bill be now read a second time.
.- This Bill is largely a machinery Bill, and has been introduced because it has been found by experience that certain amendments of the existing law are necessary to enable elections to be properly conducted. I am sure that it is the desire of every member of the House that when national issues are put before the people, every possible facility shall be afforded the electors to record their votes intelligently, so that this Parliament may truly represent the views of the people. I have not, so far, heard any honorable member congratulate the Minister of Home Affairs on the way in which this Bill has been presented for our consideration. I wish to do so now. Under the practice hitherto adopted in the framing of amending measures it has been very difficult for honorable members to compare the proposed amendments with the various provisions of existing” legislation. I am very glad to note in this case a new departure. The Minister has supplied honorable members with a copy of the existing Act as proposed to be amended by this measure, in which the amendments are indicated in black letters. Honorable mem bers are thus enabled very readily to understand the changes proposed to be made in the existing law. We have also been supplied with documents showing the alterations proposed in the form of enrolment, ballot-papers, and postal ballotpapers. One reason for the introduction of this measure is the necessity for some amendment of the existing postal voting provisions. Theoretically, there can be no objection to the recording of votes in any way which will express the views of the electors. But, in practice, we know that unless electors come to a polling booth and record their votes under the most stringent provisions, there is great liability to corruption. Those who object to the postalvoting provisions base their objection chiefly upon the liability to corruption where that method of voting is largely availed of. I believe that no matter under what conditions postal voting is permitted, it is impossible to avoid irregularities.
– On whose part?
– On the part of persons seeking election. I do not in this matter accuse one party more than another. We know that when political feeling runs high, there is great temptation to exceed what is legal and fair. I dare say that the majority of candidates for election transgress the present law in some way or another. The honorable member for Balaclava has given notice of an amendment which would enable any woman to vote by post.
– Any woman who lives more than 3 miles from a polling booth.
– That is so. Whilst I . should like to make it easy for all women to vote, and should not object to their being supplied with carriages to take every one of them to the poll at the Government expense, we must remember that if postal voting is made easy, we shall have a repetition of the corrupt practices which took place in connexion with a State election in Queensland, and which led to the abolition of the postal -voting system in that State. The postal vote should be used only where its use is absolutely necessary. A person confined to a sick bed or a person who must be absent from the electorate in which he is entitled to vote on the polling day, should be allowed to vote by post. But the system should not be extended to others, and even where its use is justified, it should be hedged about by the most stringent conditions. The next matter of importance with, which I think it is necessary to deal, is the question of candidates’ expenses, which are limited under the existing Act.
– They are an awful nuisance:
– I think I heard an honorable member on the other side say that the limitation of candidates’ expenses -under the existing Act is an awful nuisance ;’ but I think it is very likely that at the’ next Federal election the honorable member w.ill be provided for handsomely, and the expenses of his election will not trouble ‘ him very much. I am sorry that honorable members on this side are not likely ito be . in so fortunate a position. There ‘ is. a provision in the existing law which limits the expenses of a candidate to £100 ;’ but I venture to say that that provision ;is:being violated wholesale, and if the section is to remain in force, some course should be adopted to make it effective. There is- another point which ought to be taken into consideration. A claude ought to be inserted in the Bill to compel the newspapers,, which are practically run in the interests of a particular class, to act fairly when an election takes place. I notice that an amendment has been circulated by the honorable member for Herbert to the effect that if a newspaper publishes the address of one candidate, it shall also publish the address of other candidates; and that, for a specified time bafore the clay of an election, the newspapers shall not comment upon the views of candidates
– Would the honorable member apply that rule to the Worker $
– I am prepared to apply ‘it to all newspapers, no matter to what party they belong. As a master of fact, the members of this Parliament are not elected, to a very large extent, in accordance with their political views, but from’ what the’ newspapers supporting them have had to say about them. I have known candidates who could not express themselves from the platform in a coherent manner, but who1 nevertheless have been returned in consequence of newspaper influence. In a part of New, South Wales in which I once lived, a- gentleman of foreign extraction stood “for Parliament. He won the election without Having to address a single meeting, simply because the newspapers took him up, and expounded politics for him. They made all’’ sorts of charges against his opponents, and ruined their chances.
– Does the honorable member find that public meetings help him, or the reverse ?
– What helps me most in my electorate is the opposition of the Sydney daily newspapers, but, unfortunately, that is not generally the case. I am happily situated in that respect. I can get from any one point to another in my constituency in twenty minutes ; and if a newspaper comes out in the morning containing an attack upon me, I can answer it from a platform in the evening, and my reply probably reaches more people than does the attack.
– I am not too slow on the platform, but I confess that I had rather have the newspapers with me than against me.
– I do not know where the honorable member for Dalley would be if the press support were taken from him ; but I do know, that, in. the country districts especially, where it is difficult for candidates to reach the electors, the daily press exercises a very evil influence. I, for one, will support the idea underlying the amendment to be proposed by the honorable member for Herbert, which will limit to some extent the power exercised by party newspapers owned by capitalistic shareholders. They are purely class organizations, existing not so much in the interests of the people of Australia as in the selfish interests of those . who own them. I trust that in Committee we shall take the opportunity of evolving an effective measure which will secure the election to this Parliament of candidates fairly representative of the views of their constituents. I trust that the Minister in charge of the Bill will set himself strongly against any expansion of facilities for postal voting. The present facilities ought to be surrounded by such limitations as will prevent abuses of the system, such as have occurred in connexion with certain State elections. The measure has no party aspect. It is purely a machinery Bill. Consequently, I shall do all I can to help the Minister to produce such a Bill as will effect great improvement in our existing legislation.
– The honorable member for Cook has referred to an amendment which I propose to submit in Committee, lt is probable that women who live in city and suburban constituencies do not require greater facili- ties for registering their votes than they have at present. But in the country electorates the case is otherwise. The matter does not affect my constituency in the slightest degree. But let us take an electorate like Corangamite. I have been all through that district, and remember that it took me on one occasion eleven hours to
Tide 19 miles. Some of the settlers live at distances ranging from 10 to 15 miles from a polling booth. A man who has taken up a selection in the back blocks, and is working hard to clear his property and make a living upon it, cannot very well get away to vote on polling day. Even if tie does, his wife must stay at home to look after the children. I think that people so situated should be afforded greater facilities for exercising their right to vote; and my amendment is designed with the object of increasing the conveniences for country electors. The State Parliaments have given the vote to women, and no difficulty should be placed in the way of the exercise of the right ; and a great deal of money could in my opinion be saved if the whole of the voting were done by post. The Australian Mutual Provident Society send out ballot-papers to every member, and I do not know of anything wrong ever having happened at their elections.
– The same men get elected every time.
– Then they are evidently the elect of the Society ; and I think we should probably find a similar result in the case of Parliamentary elections. The honorable member for Cook referred to abuses under the Electoral Act, and there is one abuse to which I should like to draw attention, and of which the honorable member may know more than myself . It is pretty well known that some of the trade unions have no great confidence ,as to the votes their members may give, and I am told on good authority that a method has been resorted to in order to insure that they shall vote as desired. When a man goes into -a polling booth and is given a voting-paper, he deposits a blank sheet in the ballot-box, and takes the paper to one of the Committee rooms, where it is marked and given to the next voter to use, each man being expected to fetch a plain paper from the booth.
– Where was this done
– I dare say the honorable member knows as well or better than I do where it was done.
– I object to the honorable member imputing corruption to me.
– I do not impute corruption, but only knowledge.
– I followed the honorable member for Balaclava very closely, and I failed to detect any imputation of the kind. I feel sure that the honorable member for Cook will, on reflection, see that no such imputation was made by the honorable member for Balaclava.
– The honorable member for Balaclava says that he has heard of a certain practice being followed, and that I know more about the matter than he does. I know nothing of such practices; and, if I did, I should bring them under the notice of the authorities.
– The honorable member must not make a speech on the question. I feel sure that if the honorable member for Balaclava is told that a remark of his is regarded as imputing corruption, he will withdraw it.
– I do not intend to impute any corruption to the honorable member for Cook ; but, if he thinks I do so, I am only too pleased to apologize, because the thought was never in my mind. It is known to mc and other people that such a practice has been resorted to in Victoria ; but I cannot speak as to any other State. The schedule of the Bill provides penalties for taking ballot-papers out of the polling booths, but such a provision is absolutely useless unless power be given to the electoral officers or the police to search, under warrant, people suspected, and the premises to which it is thought papers are taken.
– What is the harm of the practice ?
– A man is not allowed to vote secretly, and, therefore, cannot exercise his own judgment ; in fact, such a man is not voting at all, except as part of a machine.
– But the man deliberately takes the voting-paper away - he could use it secretly if he chose.
– If he did use it secretly, he would be called a. “ blackleg.”
– It is his way of exercising his judgment.
– But it is illegal under the principal Act.
– I do not see much harm in it.
– I do, because it does not give a man freedom to exercise his judgment, and the intention is that there shall be secrecy. Another proposal I intend to submit is that separate compartments or booths be provided for women voters. At the Brighton State election the’ other day, the Town Hall, which was used as a polling booth, had a bar down the centre, the women going to the left, and the men to the right. The women were under the supervision of the returning officer, and were not hustled or rushed as they have been at other elections. When party feeling is very high, it might prove very unpleasant for women voters to have to record their votes in the midst of a number of excited men ; and my proposal would secure them from interference or annoyance. Objection has been made to the use of cabs at elections. Personally, I do not see why a cabman should not have the chance of earning his living on an election day, as well as at any other time; and, as a matter of fact, no one ever knows whose supporters are being carried. At one election in a district for which I was a candidate for the Legislative Council, I was told that, if I sent vehicles to a certain place, there were sixty electors who would vote for me. Accordingly, I hired and sent out three coaches, but, as a matter of fact, not a single man of the lot voted” for me. I cannot see that the hiring or lending of cabs can do any harm whatever ; and, at any rate, it is regarded as rather a good joke to Tide in the cab of the man for whom you do not intend to vote. I cannot understand why there should be any objection to cabmen reaping a small harvest on election day, in the same way as do newspaper proprietors from the advertisements, and printers gene.rally from the printing of bills and other matter.
.- The Minister has made a good departure in endeavouring to simplify the compilation of the rolls. A great difficulty in the past has been to prepare the rolls in such a perfect form that there is no repetition or overloading. The adoption of the card system of record is, I think, a wise step. It will enable the Departmental officials, when the records are collected, to see thai names are not duplicated. We have heard comments made on the percentage of electors who vote, but the commentators entirely overlooked the fact that the rolls are inflated with the names of a number of persons who have gone elsewhere. They ignore that fact, and make no comment on the much more serious fact that a number of names have been improperly left off the roll. The Department has, I think, been introducing some improvements. I have brought under their notice cases where carelessness has been exhibited - a lack of attention to the collection of names which can only be described as carelessness. I have since been informed that in the selection of a constable to collect the roll for a district they make an effort to get a man who knows the district. Not very long ago, however, a constable who had only recently, been appointed to a district, and therefore did not know its people, was intrusted with the duty of collecting the roll. Naturally it followed that, although he did his best to discharge that duty, the names of a considerable number of persons were left off the roll. Even the names of men who had been under the eyes of the police practically every day, and who had been enrolled for twenty-six years, had been left off. Although various improvements have been introduced by the Department as the result of personal representations, still there are considerable difficulties to be overcome. Take, for instance, the last roll collected by.’ the police in Cobar, which is in my electorate. As soon as it was made available, one of the active officials connected with the organization of the Labour League compared the new roll with the roll of the Miners’ Union, a body composed of about 700 men who are working in the district. The names of nearly 200 miners did not appear on the roll which had been collected by the police. That was most unsatisfactory. So many names had .been left off the roll that their omission could not be said to be due to ordinary causes. If a constable calls at a boarding house, it depends upon the interest which the landlord or landlady takes in the work whether he gets the names of all the boarders. If the constable is very anxious to see that he gets ihe names of. every boarder, he may make inquiries from, other parties, and find out the facts, but where there are no checks available, such as the one I have referred to, there does not. appear to be any effort made by the collectors to ascertain that they have obtained the names of all the persons who are entitled to be enrolled. In the case of the Miners’ Union, the roll of its membership was available at an office in the centre of Cobar, and within a few doors of the police office. It appears to me that if there were an assiduous and careful collection of names, an officer would avail himself of every possible chance to see whether any names had not been supplied to him at particular houses. It is not sufficient for a collector to merely take the statement of a landlord or landlady. There has been too much carelessness in the collection of names. I believe that the Departmental officers are taking steps to minimise the results of such carelessness. I would point out to the Minister that what is specially wanted is the exercise of very great care in the selection of those who are to carry out the machinery of. the Act, because the success of its working depends upon that. The collection of the rolls is a matter of the first importance. Whenever the matter is mentioned to me, . I tell an elector that there is only one way to make sure oi being enrolled, and. that is to see that his name is on the roll, and, if not, to attempt to get it inserted. No matter how efficient officers may be, the names of some persons will be missed. As there is no certainty that a man’s name will appear oil the roll, it behoves him to examine the roll as soon as it is published. But unfortunately persons are careless and apathetic. and a considerable number of names are left off the rolls every time. The Minister is proposing to meet the situation bv the adoption of the card system. It is important that every facility should be afforded to persons to get enrolled. The selection of the registrars who are to compile the rolls is just as important as is the selection of the constables who have only now and again to collect names. A most extraordinary attitude was taken up by a Registrar in the biggest town in my electorate. According to my informants, whom I believe to be reliable persons - in fact, their statement was not denied when it was brought under the notice of the Department - when they asked for forms for the purpose of putting on the roll the names of persons who had not been enrolled, the Registrar held that they would have to come to himself at the post office, get the forms, and fill them up in his presence. The Minister need not make a note of this case, because the officer is not there now, and the matter was remedied at the time. When a man who is in charge of a very large post-office, and whom we may reasonably expect to be intelligent, makes a mistake of that kind, what can we expect from officers who are not of the same standard? That mistake on the part of the Registrar was remedied quickly. When a representation was made to the Department, he was informed that he had to supply the forms. Since his removal, I have learned from a correspondent,, whom I believe to be absolutely reliable, that he had refused to supply forms to one political section, but had granted them to others. I am repeating the statement just as it was made to me, for I have not had a chance to verify it. If it is true, that officer should never have another chance of doing that kind of thing. It is reasonable for the Electoral Department to assume that a postmaster will do this business honestly and impartially. I ask the Minister to impress upon the Departmental heads the importance of making careful inquiries as to the class of men who are put in charge of the rolls. An extraordinary position of affairs was found to exist just before the collection of the last rolls. All the forms had been withdrawn from circulation, and none were obtainable anywhere by those who wanted to get their names put on the roll. As soon as it was communicated to me, I brought the matter under the notice of the Department, and the Chief Electoral Officer at once issued instructions that forms were to be supplied. The fact that such a thing did happen shows that some officer does not understand his duties, or is not doing his work properly. It- seems to me extraordinary that forms should not be available, in a reasonable number, all over the country. These are not documents which any one would want to use for other purposes. Every facility should be provided to enable persons to get their names placed on the roll. What is the use of our complaining about persons not voting, and talking about compulsory voting, because, at the general election, a number of persons did not vote, when such defects in our electoral system exist? I wish to say a word or two regarding the conduct of elections. Care should always be taken to see that proper deputies and other officers are appointed to control the proceedings. I had occasion, prior to the last election, to call the attention of the Chief Electoral Officer of New South Wales to the displacing of a man who had conducted elections for something like forty years, and one in whom every one had confidence, by another whose only previous experience was as a deputy, when he left the polling place of which he had charge, and went 12 miles to record his vote. It is not right to supplant an experienced man in whom every one has the utmost trust by one who is without experience. I do not know how the officer who was superseded votes, and do not wish to know. But he is not a partisan. Mr. Dooley has jokingly said that he would not care how the votes were cast if he had the counting of the ballot. No doubt we sometimes feel that we should like to have a friend at court; but our great desire is that there should be honest men to control the elections. There should be less stinginess in regard to our officials, including poll clerks. It is most unwise to send one man into a little country town where there are probably no scrutineers to act for the candidates, and no one to assist or to check him.
– I have promised to put poll clerks everywhere.
– I am glad to hear that. Statements have been made which countenance the strong suspicion that matters are not conducted properly everywhere, and we should be very careful that everything, from the collection of the rolls to the conduct of the elections, should be done properly, and should be beyond question. I am in favour of the general principles of the measure, and although I was one of those who voted for the establishment of postal voting, I have now changed my mind on the subject. What I learnt during a trip to Queensland showed me that at Charters Towers, and other places, postal voting has lent itself to practices which are outrageous. I am informed that these practices cannot happen under the Commonwealth Act.
– It would suit the honorable member’s party to abolish postal voting.
– Postal voting was instituted largely to enable those belonging to the shearing class to vote when away from home. I am surprised that the honorable member should be so ready to attribute ulterior motives to his fellows.
This ought not to be regarded as a party measure. At any rate, very few honorable members represent constituencies in which, during certain seasons of the year, so many of the electors are away from homes as in the Darling district. My objection to postal voting is that evils are possible under it, and they may extend further. Our great object is to secure the honest expression of the will of the people. We wish to give every adult the widest facilities for having his name placed on the roll, and to every elector the opportunityto vote uninfluenced and in secret. To this end we properly provide that no person shall come within a certain distance of the door of the polling place. Only a few persons are allowed within the booth at a time. Where it is suspected that the intending voter is not properly qualified, he may be questioned on oath regarding his bona fides, and every safeguard is taken to prevent the illiterate from being imposed upon or unduly influenced. I ask honorable members to remember that phase of the question. The time was when no election could be held without two or three fights taking place, and at some elections I have actually seen stones thrown. But nowadays, elections are conducted with due decorum and with an appreciation of’ the serious responsibility which attaches to them. But the position of the person who votes by post is quite different from that of the elector who attends the polling booth to exercise his franchise. The former is not subjected to the crossexamination to which the latter has to submit. So many electors are apathetic, careless and ignorant of the political questions of the day that a considerable number in every constituency are susceptible to all sorts of subtle influences. I ask leave to continue my remarks on a future day.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
Mr. GROOM laid upon the table the fol lowing paper : -
Papua - Ordinance of 1909, No. 8 - Appeal.
The Clerk laid upon the table
Buildings Rented, and Rents paid by Commonwealth - Return to an Order of the House, dated 14th October, 1909.
House adjourned at 3.58 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 29 October 1909, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1909/19091029_reps_3_53/>.