House of Representatives
16 November 1910

4th Parliament · 1st Session

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

page 6204




– I ask you,Mr. Speaker, whether on a bright morning like this it is necessary to have the chamber artificially lighted? Artificial light is not good for’ the eyes, and when not needed should be dispensed with.


– The natural light is at times very poor, so that we are obliged to use artificial light. Of course, natural light is the better when strong enough. I shall see what can be done about it.

page 6204


PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Some time ago the Attorney-General repeated a promise made by his predecessor that when Bills involving extensive amendments of Acts were printed, he would have the sections which were to be amended printed separately, and attached to the measures. The Customs Bill makes a large number of amendments in an Act passed nine years ago, but the sections which are to be amended have not been reprinted.


– I understood that what the honorable member alludes to would be done. It has been done in the case of the Defence Bill.

PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Will the Minister extendthe practice adopted in regard to the Defence Bill to the Customs Bill?’ There is available to honorable members only a limited number of copies of the Statutes.


– The Departments have been asked to do what the honorable member suggests, and it will be done as far as possible.

page 6204




– I wish to know from the Acting Treasurer whether application forms for invalid pensions are yet available. If not, when will they be made available?

Minister (without portfolio) · KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · ALP

– A limited supply is now available, and others will be ready within a day or two. Some little difficulty has been experienced in connexion with the framing of regulations, as only one section of the original Act deals with the granting of invalid pensions. The regulations are now almost complete, and it is hoped that within a day or two they will be ready to send to the registrars in the various States, together with application forms, so that the magistrates may immediately consider and give decisions in regard to the cases which will arise.

page 6204




– Is the Minister of Trade and Customs aware that aninquiry has been made, or will be made, by the British Board of Trade into theloss of the steamer Waratah? Will he ask the British Government that this Government may be supplied with a full report of the proceed- ings ?

Mr. TUDOR.I shall be happy to have that done.

page 6204



– When the third reading of the Constitution Alteration (Monopolies) Bill was being discussed, the honorable member for Illawarra quoted from a speech made by me at Kiama, and published in the Kiama Independent of I 2th October last. He said -

According to this honorable member, the object of the Labour party is to nationalize all industries.

The quotation was made to prove that statement, and to prove that I had said that it would be decided in caucus where the money necessary for the nationalizing of industries was to be got. I have sent to Kiama for a copy of the newspaper in which the speech was reported;, because I knew that my remarks were not to that effect. The report is a very condensed one, only half a column being given to a speech with extended over an hour and a half. The passage which the honorable member quoted was preceded by another which puts upon it a construction totally different from his, and is as follows: -

The Labour party had no desire to take any revolutionary steps that would throw our indus-. trial and commercial fabrics out of gear. It might be asked how they were going to get the full results of industry. They believed in State control. They asked the electors’ authority to take so many steps, and were prepared not to go any further. Then if that proved satisfactory, come back every four years and .ask for further authority.

It should read “three years.”

They wanted to take control of monopolies -when they were dealing unfairly with the workers and exploiting the public. He -referred to the sugar monopoly, and stated white-grown sugar in Australia could be purchased £d. per pound cheaper in South Africa than it was being sold here for. The growers of the cane .complained of their treatment at the hands of the manufacturers, there being no competition in the market ; the employees complained also, and the public as well. Therefore when the Government could not regulate monopolies the only other thing to do was to take over control, and surely if they can run their railways and tramways so satisfactorily they can industries of lesser importance.

Then followed a portion quoted by the honorable member for Illawarra.

As to where the money required for the nationalization of industries would come from, questions were asked at the end of my address by the Hon. W. Robson, a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council. The word “ caucus “ was not used throughout my speech as reported in the quotation by the honorable member for Illawarra. When asked where the money would come from I said -

We expect to get a little from the Federal land tax, but there are other wan - an income tax, for instance.

Then you intend to get the money by taxing the people?

Mr. Catts said he was not there to say how they’d get it ; that was a matter that would be decided in Council. i

What I said was that the party, as a whole,; would consult together, and the money would be found by the means which appealed to the majority, as most expedient..

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– The PostmasterGeneral promised that the women cleaners in his Department should receive 25s. a week, instead of I ask the other

Ministers whether the women cleaners of their Departments will be similarly treated ?

Minister for Trade and Customs · YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP

– Immediately the PostmasterGeneral promised - to increase the payments to the women cleaners of has Department from rst December next, I deter-: mined to put those in the Customs Department on the same footing-

Minister for Home Affairs · DARWIN, TASMANIA · ALP

– The Home Affairs Department believes in good pay.

page 6205



PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– In the correspondence which has been circulated to- day regarding the refitting of the Commonwealth, torpedo boat destroyers, Captain Creswell is stated to have reported that there is no Government or naval, yard in Victoria in which they could undergo the necessary refitting, and to have advised that they should be sent to Brisbane, where the only Commonwealth naval depot exists. I ask the Minister representing the Minister of Defence whether the Admiralty authorities, who have a complete ship-yard and refitting establishment at Sydney, have :been .asked to allow our torpedo destroyers to be refitted there, instead of being sent to Williamstown Pier, a great distance away from any engineering establishment?


– I do not know whether the Minister has preferred any special request to the Admiralty, and should like notice of the question asked by the honorable member on that head. As to the refitting of the torpedo, destroyers, the matter has been exhaustively considered, and it is the opinion of .the Minister that the only two places .at which the work can1 be carried out are those in which the Commonwealth is in possession of men and material of its own. Anywhere else, it would have to ask for the assistance of State officials, or employ private workmen. 6206 Invalid and [REPRESENTATIVES.] Old-age Pensions.

The Minister has decided that, in view of all the circumstances, Williamstown, where we have our own establishment, and should have the co-operation of the State Government, is the most suitable place.


– Does the Minister representing the Minister of Defence think that he will ever be able to convince the representatives of the people of Sydney that there are other “ pebbles on the beach “ besides those to be seen there?


– The best method which I can suggest to secure the solution of that question is that the honorable gentleman should visit the different States.

page 6206



MELBOURNE, VICTORIA · ALP; FLP from 1931; ALP from 1936

– I desire to ask the

Acting Treasurer whether the number of questions to be answered by applicants for old-age pensions has been reduced, and, if so, when the papers will be circulated?


– The list of questions to be submitted to applicants for old-age pensions has been revised. The questions have been reduced to a minimum, and I hope that in the course of a day or two the new forms, with the regulations and forms of application for invalid pensions, will be available for transmission to the different registrars.


– I desire to ask the Acting Treasurer whether the new regulations, which, of course, I have not seen, in regard to old-age pensions, and also the regulations in regard to invalid pensions, especially the former, are in accord with the recommendation of the Treasury officials, whether in fact they have been recommended for approval by those officials as sufficiently protective of the revenue?


– The administration of the Treasury Department is carried out in such a way that the Minister is responsible. He will be responsible for the regulations referred to when they are issued from the Department, and every possible consideration has been given, not only to the necessities of applicants for old-age pensions, but also to the interests of the Commonwealth.


– In reply to the honorable member for Melbourne, the Acting Treasurer said that the list of questions to be answered by an applicant for an oldage pension has been reduced to a minimum Am I to understand that all the questions which have been described here often as unnecessary will be struck out of the form? I also desire to know whether the revised list is to apply, not only to the applicants for old-age pensions, but also to applicants for invalid pensions?


– The number of questions in the forms is considered absolutely necessary in order to safeguard the public revenue,and to obtain the information which is required to enable a correct decision to be given. As soon as the new forms are issued to the registrars they will supersede the old forms.

Mr Bamford:

– Will the list of questions apply all round?


– Yes.


– I should like to again ask the simple question which I put to the Acting Treasurer a few moments ago. I only want to know - I have no personal knowledge on the subject - whether the Treasury officials consider that the new list of questions will sufficiently protect the revenue, whether, in fact, they recommended them?

Mr Spence:

– Who is running the show ?


– The Treasury officials have a right to make a recommendation, and I only desire to know if they did, and if their recommendation was followed ?


– Naturally the officers who are concerned with the administration of the Old-Age and Invalid Pensions Act have been consulted. Their advice has been taken as far as possible in regard to the preparation of all documents for carrying out the Act. . I do not think that I ought to accept the position of stating whether I have agreed or disagreed with their recommendations.

Sir John Forrest:

– The honorable gentleman has disagreed evidently with the recommendation of his officers.


– The position is, that when the forms are issued to the public the Minister must accept the responsibility.

Sir John Forrest:

– That means that the honorable gentleman did not accept the recommendations of the experienced Treasury officials.

page 6206



Instructors’ Pay


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

  1. Is it a fact that men lately appointed to the Instructional Staff were sent to the Albury Training Camp and there received a higher rate of pay than some of the instructors who were sent there to teach them?
  2. How did such an anomaly arise?

Postmaster -General’s [16 November, 1910.] Department. 6207

  1. What action has been taken to remove this inequality ?

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

  1. No. 2 and 3. These questions are answered by my reply to No. 1.

page 6207



Telephone Revenue - Private Telephone Lines, Sydney - Increments - Vancouver Mail Service

for Mr. Harper

asked the Postmaster- General, upon notice -

Whether he will furnish a return showing -

  1. The actual revenue received from subscribers to telephone networks for the years ended 30th June, 1909, and 30th June, 1910, respectively ?
  2. The estimated revenue which will be received for the year ending 30th June, 191 1, which included two months (July and August) at the flat rate? [The particulars relating to each State to be shown separately.]
Postmaster-General · BARRIER, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– Yes, the desired return will be prepared and furnished.


asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

  1. Whether he is aware that 350 subscribers are receiving unlimited telephonic service at the rate of 4d. per day on the Sydney Exchange ?
  2. If so, what steps does he propose taking to put an end to this anomaly and to remove the injustice inflicted on the Department?

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

  1. The Postmaster-General is aware that there are in Sydney subscribers owning lines purchased prior to Federation who are at present receiving an unlimited service at approximately the rate mentioned.
  2. The rights of the subscribers in question are preserved to them by the provisions of the Post and Telegraph Act 1901, and the lines can only be resumed with the consent of Parliament. Legislation would, therefore, be necessary to place these subscribers on the same footing as other subscribers to telephone exchanges, and the matter is under consideration.

Mr. JOHN THOMSON (for Mr. Harper), asked the Postmaster-General, upon notice -

  1. Has his attention been directed to the statements published in the public press regarding the methods that were followed in connexion with the allotment of increments to 3rd and 4th class officers in his Department?
  2. Does he agree that the returns which have been furnished to this House disclose that the Public Service Commissioner’s policy is to grant promotion in alternate years to officers in the. 3rd and 4th classes, and that the knowledge that such a policy is in operation must make the officers feel that merit cannot receive proper consideration ?
  3. Is it the intention of the Government that the Government shall determine the amount to be made available each year to grant subdivisional promotion to deserving officers?

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

  1. Yes.
  2. No. The Public Service Commissioner has reported that no such policy is in operation. Of 453 officers provided for on the Estimates this year, 123 officers, or 27 per cent., also received increments last year.
  3. No. There is at present no limitation as to funds, and every officer entitled to increment receives it. The determination of a fixed amount to be made available for increments each year might result in injustice to officers who are deserving of advancement, or, on the other hand, in increases being allotted where the circumstances would not justify it.

asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

  1. Whether the Government have arrived at an agreement with the Canadian Government in regard to the question of “ route “ under the new contract for the Vancouver Mail Service?
  2. As the inclusion of Auckland as a port of call will act prejudically to the interests and legitimate claims of both Melbourne and Brisbane as regular ports of call, in a subsidized Pacific Mail Service, will the Minister give the House an assurance that the interests of these ports will be protected under the new contract?

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

  1. No; the present position is that a cablegram has been received from Canada asking concurrence in the acceptance of a tender for a service from Vancouver to Sydney, via Auckland, and a reply has been sent stating the Commonwealth Government cannot agree to the proposal.
  2. The Government will see that, in any arrangement to which they are a party, the interests of Australia will be duly protected.

page 6207


Bill returned from the Senate with an amendment.

Ordered -

That the message be taken into consideration forthwith.

Minister of External Affairs · Boothby · ALP

– I do not propose to ask the House to disagree with the amendment, which I may explain will not make a great difference.

Mr Groom:

– What is it?


– It will be recollected that eighteen years is fixed as the age of a child for the purpose of the Bill. The Senate has proposed that in the case of 6208 Defence [REPRESENTATIVES.] Bill. a female child that age shall be adopted, but that in the case of a male child the age of sixteen years shall be fixed. I see no reason to object to that being done, and thereforeI move -

That the amendment be agreed to.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

page 6208


Bill returned from the Senate without amendment.

page 6208


Mr. KING O’MALLEY laid upon the table the following paper : -

Lands Acquisition Act - Land acquired under, at Kerang, Victoria - for rifle range purposes.

page 6208


In Committee (Consideration resumed from 15th November, vide page 6150) :

Clause 11 (Military bands. Supply of uniforms).

Upon which Mr. Joseph Cook. had moved by way of amendment -

That the following words be added to the clause : - “ and to junior cadets uniforms shall be supplied as prescribed.”


– When progress was reported last night, I was replying to the criticisms of the Minister and the honorable member for Adelaide on my proposal. The former, of course, had nothing but ridicule to offer. The proposal was too tiny and puny for his gigantic military intellect to appreciate. He only deals with large questions of strategy, and has no time for such a thing as a uniform for junior cadets. Apparently he does not know what is intended to be done with the junior cadets. For instance, he snecred about the piece of wood called a gun, which he said we wanted. I suppose he is not aware that they are to be taught to shoot at a miniature rifle range, where they will be trained, and the physical drill itself will have a military bias or complexion given to it, and altogether they will receive the rudiments of the military training in which they are afterwards to perfect themselves. They are not to be treated, as the honorable member thinks, as having nothing whatever to do with militarism at that age ; as being only concerned in physical preparation for “it. My amendment is therefore quite in keeping with what is proposed to be done.

Mr Roberts:

– Last year the honorable member attacked me in this absurd manner for what I had stated, but since Lord Kitchener came out and showed how foolish he was, he has been as quiet as alamb.


– Order !


– I should be glad to get in an interjection or two. The honorable member gets up and says what he likes, and when an honorable member speaks in reply, he is accused of attacking the honorable gentleman. I learned long ago how little he knows about defence matters.

Mr Roberts:

– That is a blank charge.


– There are many honorable members who have never dabbled in militarism who know a great deal more about such matters than does the honorable member. I hope that he will now permit me to proceed. I am asking that the junior cadets shall be supplied with a simple uniform, at a cost of £10,000 a year. I think that it will be money well spent, and will materially affect the minds as well as the status of the young cadets.

Question - That the words proposed to be added be so added - put. The Committee divided.

AYES: 19

NOES: 25

Majority … … 6



Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 12 agreed to.

*Defence* [16 November, 1910.] *Bill.* 6209 Clause 13 - >Section 125 of the principal Act is amended...... {: #debate-13-s2 .speaker-KXP} ##### Mr PALMER:
Echuca .- This clause provides for the amendment of section 125 of the principal Act, which specifies the persons who are liable to be trained, and I shall propose an important amendment relating to the length of time that a person shall have been resident in the Commonwealth before being liable to undergo training. Section 125 of the principal Act provides that persons who have resided in the Commonwealth for six months shall be liable to service; but to my mind the period should be extended to two years. We are making strenuous efforts to induce people to come to Australia. All the States are operating in that direction, and a very considerable influx of immigrants, which I hope will be largely increased, is now taking, place. It would be a distinct deterrent to compel persons to submit to military training practically as soon as they put foot upon Australian soil, and I therefore move - >That the following paragraph be inserted : - *" (aa) by* omitting the words 'six months' and inserting in their stead the words ' two years.' " {: #debate-13-s3 .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I do not think that the Committee is quite clear as to what the honorable' member has moved. I understand that he objects to the words " six months " in section 125 of the principal Act, and proposes to substitute for them the words " two years." The reason for this proposed amendment is that an immigrant should have more than six months to make arrangements to settle here before he is called upon to undergo military training. I should like the Attorney- General to say, because I think it might clear up a doubt, whether the section would apply to any arrivals in Australia who were over eighteen years of age. I am under the impression that it would not ; that only persons who had not reached the age of eighteen years of age would be liable to serve. The objection of the honorable member for Echuca is that immigrants would have their time fully occupied for the first six months after their arrival in determining where they would settle, and that it would be rather too early to call upon them, whilst they were busily occupied in determining the character and locality of the business in which they should engage, and in what State they should reside, to undergo military training. If the provision applies only to boys under the age of eighteen years the argument is not so strong. But, if it would apply to fathers of families who had just arrived in the *country,* and would compel them to devote a certain number of days to military training whilst they were in the midst of their preparations to settle in the country, thenI think it would be, as the honorable member for Echuca has said, a distinct deterrent to people coming here. I do not think we are so hard up for men in the Commonwealth that we cannot afford to allow new arrivals in this country a little more than six. months as breathing time in which to settle down before calling upon them to undergo compulsory military training. Consequently, I should like the Acting Prime Minister to inform the Committee whether the provision will apply to any person over eighteen years of age. {: #debate-13-s4 .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr SAMPSON:
Wimmera .- I intend to support the amendment. A very large proportion of the immigrants who come to Australia will be placed upon the land, and, undoubtedly, some little respite from military training ought to be granted to them in view of the difficulties which they must encounter in establishing homes for themselves. It is presumed that most of the persons who will be called upon to undergo compulsory training will be engaged in settled occupations.They will thus be able to enter into an arrangement with their employers to serve for the necessary period. But it would be unfair to apply such a provision to new arrivals ' in the country, who, within a period of six months, will scarcely have had sufficient time to enable them to choose a home for themselves. As a matter of fact, if they wish to establish farms in new districts they will require to devote themselves exclusively to the task for at least two years before they can hope to make their lands productive. I hope that the Acting Prime Minister will accept the amendment. {: #debate-13-s5 .speaker-KYV} ##### Mr RILEY:
South Sydney .- I trust that the Acting Prime Minister will agree to the amendment, which is not vital to the Bill. During the first six months after their arrival in Australia many immigrants may be searching for steady employment, and it would be unfair to require them to undergo military training within that period. It will take them quite that time to get settled down. A man with a family, for instance, cannot pitch upon a home immediately. {: .speaker-F4Q} ##### Mr Scullin: -- A man with a family will not be affected. {: .speaker-KYV} ##### Mr RILEY: -- Perhaps the Acting Prime Minister will explain whether the clause will affect adults. {: #debate-13-s6 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General · West Sydney · ALP -- The section of the principal Act is quite clear. It provides for the training in our Citizen Forces of persons over the age of eighteen years. It has been suggested that the clause of the Bill which we are now considering will apply to all persons who have been in the country for a period of six months, and who are not exempt from its provisions. The honorable member for Echuca proposes that an exemption should be extended to persons who have not been resident in Australia for a period of two years and upwards. Then the honorable member for Parkes and the honorable member for Wimmera have suggested that the clause will operate with undue harshness in the case of immigrants. I fail to see that it will. Why should an immigrant be treated any better than our own people will be treated? As a matter of fact, compulsory training is less likely to inflict hardship upon an immigrant, who has no settled avocation, than it is upon a native-born Australian. During the time that he is undergoing instruction, the immigrant will be maintained, and he will also receive a little money for his service. I would have been glad to get such a job when I came to Australia, instead of floating idly around. If that is the only trouble awaiting immigrants it is a jolly good trouble. If six months after his arrival a man who comes here from England, Scotland, ireland, or Wales cannot do what is necessary in the matter of undergoing a military training - in other words, if he cannot do what any other citizen has to do - it is about time that he went back again. Section 131 of the principal Act provides that that measure shall not apply to persons of eighteen years of age before this part of the Act becomes operative. Therefore they will not be liable to military service until this part of the Act is proclaimed. Of course, it is possible that some immigrants between the age of eighteen and twenty-six years may be married. Under such circumstances we shall witness the spectacle of a man being torn from his home to undergo eight days' training in camp, during which period he will be fed and paid for his services. But even then he will not be subjected to worse treatment than our own citizens. To my mind every person ought to be treated alike, and that is what the Bill proposes. {: #debate-13-s7 .speaker-L1R} ##### Mr AGAR WYNNE:
Balaclava -- It seems to me that six months is rather a short period after their arrival in Australia within which to require immigrants to undergo military training. It will take a newcomer some little time to decide in which State he intends to settle. I would, therefore, suggest, that the Acting Prime Minister should consent to make the period twelve months, except in case of emergency, of which the Department will be the judge. That would overcome the difficulty. {: #debate-13-s8 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- The Acting Prime Minister appears to be labouring under a misapprehension. He imagines, and so does the honorable member for South Sydney, that the fathers of families from abroad will be required to undergo military training. That is not the intention of the Department. As a matter of fact, no persons above twenty years of age will be obliged to undergo any training during the next three years. In reality this Bill is unnecessary for a period of three years. All that it does is to settle the lines upon which military training will operate three years hence. Everything else is provided for in my measure which was passed last year. It is not intended that any men who have passed the age of eighteen years shall be subjected to compulsory military training. I shall have something to say upon that aspect of the question on the motion for the third reading of the Bill. The clause will not apply to the adult portion of the immigrants who come to Australia. They will not be subjected to compulsory military training. It is only their boys who will have to undergo it. It would be an advantage to oversea immigrants, who have to spend a good portion of their time immediately following their arrival in Australia in selecting a place in which to settle, if the period were fixed at twelve months instead of two years. I would suggest to the Acting Prime Minister that he should adopt my suggestion which represents a fair thing in the case of youths from oversea. {: #debate-13-s9 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth .- The Acting Prime Minister has spoken as if every Australian will be subjected to compulsory military training. As a matter of fact only a small proportion of our people will be obliged to undergo that training. Consequently I see no reason why an exemption should not be extended to immigrants for twelve months after their arrival in the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-KZA} ##### Mr West: -- How will the clause affect the children of immigrants who are going to school ; will they be exempt ? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- If an immigrant's family be settled in a particular place I should prefer to see its male members subjected to cadet training in the ordinary way. The Acting Prime Minister .might, I think, consider the desirableness of action in the direction which has been suggested by several honorable members. In administering the Act, undoubtedly a large number of persons will be exempted from military service. It will satisfy me if these cases are dealt with by regulation, but if the Committee desire to see a provision in the Bill, one might be inserted. {: #debate-13-s10 .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS:
Adelaide -- I hope honorable members will not be misled by the remarks of the honorable member for Parramatta to the effect that this Bill applies only to boys or youths under eighteen years of age. When this part of the Bill is proclaimed, it will apply to men over that age. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- To immigrants over eighteen ? {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- Yes. If, on the day the Bill is proclaimed, there is a boy in England seventeen years of age, and he does not arrive in Australia until two years later, when he is nineteen, he will be liable to training until he reaches the age of twenty-six. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- As that youth, when he reached the age of eighteen, was not a citizen of Australia, the Bill will not be in force so far as he is concerned. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- The provisions apply to all male inhabitants of Australia who have resided here for six months ; and if a youth arrives here at any time before he reaches the age of twenty-six he will be liable to training for the balance of the period. For all I care the period of exemption may be made twelve months ; and though the point I have raised is not a very important one, I do not desire honorable members to be misled. A man .may arrive here at the age of twenty-two or twentythree, and, of course, he may have two or three small children ; but it appears to me that no great hardship will be involved if six months are allowed for him to look round. As I say, there is no objection to the period of exemption being twelve months, but it must not be long enough to practically enable men to escape training. {: #debate-13-s11 .speaker-KXP} ##### Mr PALMER:
Echuca -- There appears to be a consensus of opinion in favour of an exemption period of twelve months, and I shall, therefore, ask leave to amend my amendment accordingly. The honorable member for Parramatta has said that the Bill will not take effect for three years ; but, if that be so, I apprehend that the volume of immigration will be even larger than now, and the amendment, therefore, of more importance. Amendment amended accordingly. {: #debate-13-s12 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- I read the paragraph to mean what it says, namely, that the training of the citizen forces shall begin on the 1st July in the year in which the person reaches the age of eighteen. If a man has then reached the age of nineteen, the training does not begin so far as he is concerned. The honorable member for Adelaide, however, has said that I am wrong in that view. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- Nothing of the kind. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I should like the opinion of the Attorney-General as to whether an immigrant who arrives here over the age qf eighteen is liable to be trained ? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Those persons who are over the age of eighteen on or before July, 1 91 2, when this Bill comes into force, will not be liable. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- But those under that age, irrespective of whether they are' in England or elsewhere, will be liable for training on arriving here. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Every one knows that. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- But the honorable member said I was wrong. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I say that the Bill does not apply to immigrants from oversea who are over eighteen at the time they reach Australia. Question - That the words proposed to be inserted be so inserted (Mr. Palmer's amendment) - put. The Committee divided. AYES: 19 NOES: 27 Majority ... -.. 8 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. Amendment negatived. Clause agreed to. Clause 14 (Training years). {: #debate-13-s13 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- This clause fixes the training period for each year, the continuous training in camp, and so forth. I heard an interjection from the honorable member for Adelaide to the effect that in these provisions the Government were following closely the recommendations of Lord Kitchener. Mr.ROBERTS. - I never said any such thing. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The Minister in charge of the Bill made a similar observation. I hope, however, that honorable members do not imagine for one moment that these are Lord Kitchener's proposals. That officer suggested six compulsory days' drill for those over the age of twenty years. The Government now propose sixteen days of compulsory training per annum for those between the ages of twenty and twenty-five. That is ten days per annum more than Lord Kitchener required. He declared six days to be sufficient to turn out an adequate force for the defence of Australia. Lord Kitchener was emphatic on the point. Why have the Government proposed ten days more per annum than Lord Kitchener declared to be necessary? {: #debate-13-s14 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth .- Of course, what the honorable member for Parramatta has said is quite right as far as Lord Kitchener's black-and-white recommendations are concerned, but I think the honorable member overlooked, for the moment, the important fact that the Government are not making arrangements for the home training that Lord Kitchener required. The whole basis of Lord Kitchener' s scheme was that the hometraining was to be carried on under efficient officers, and that the efficiency of the home" training was to be tested in yearly camps of instruction. Yet the Attorney-General confessed to us to-night that the hometraining is going to be carried on in future - at any rate, for five or ten years - by men who will not be the highly-qualified officers whom Lord Kitchener expected to be appointed as the result of his recommendations ! For that reason I personally support the proposed increase in the duration of training. Lord Kitchener's scheme is valuable, as he himself emphasizes, only aslong as the home training is perfect. The moment your home training ceases to be perfect, the period of annual instruction in camps becomes altogether too short for the purpose. Now that the Government have overlooked the urgency of efficient home training by consenting to a sort of" makeshift training for the next ten years,. I think that until we are prepared to make the home training efficientwe ought to keep the men in camp for a longer period in order to provide a moderately efficient force for Australia. {: #debate-13-s15 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- The honorable member for Wentworth has no doubt made his point very well, but what he has said does not get away from the fact that Lord Kitchener laid it down distinctly that for those over twenty years of age six whole days in camp was a sufficient period. He says, on page 6 of his report - >Soldiers to be efficient should be exercised in camp annually, otherwise the men lose the incentive to home training, the habit of working in units, of moving and living in numbers, and of ready obedience to orders. For this reason I advise that camp training in time of peace should be extended, and I consider that having regard to the natural military aptitude of the Australian, favoured by the conditions of his civil life, the training should consist of six clear days annually, *i.e.,* from a Monday to a Saturday inclusive, in addition to all home training. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the home training was to be voluntary, and not compulsory. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- But under efficient officers. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Lord Kitchener went on - >I am of opinion that, if fully utilized under thoroughly efficient officers, this training will meet requirements up to the twenty-fifth year. In the twenty-fifth - twenty-sixth year a muster parade would suffice. The training required by law, over and above home training, would then stand - and then for those between twenty and twenty-five years of age he mentions six days in camp as being sufficient. This Bill proposes ten days of compulsory service more than was provided for in Lord Kitchener's scheme. Here, therefore, is one point of departure from the recommendations of this high military authority. Clause agreed to. Clause 15 - >Section one hundred and twenty-seven of the principal Act is amended - > >by omitting from paragraph (a) the words " not exceeding " ; and > >by adding' at the end of paragraph *(c)* the words " of which not less than eight shall be in camps of continuous training " ; and *(c)* by adding at the end of the first proviso the words " of which not less than seventeen shall be in camps of continuous training." Amendments (by **Mr. Hughes)** agreed to- >That the word " and "' at the end of paragraph *(b)* be left out; and that the word "and" be inserted at the end of paragraph *(c).* {: #debate-13-s16 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General · West Sydney · ALP .- I move- >That the following new paragraph be added : *- " (a)* by adding to the section the following proviso : - provided also that in the Senior Cadets the number and duration of half-day and night drills may be varied by the substitution of other drills as prescribed of a total duration of not less than seventy-two hours." This is an amendment suggested by experience, and by the instructors and teachers, as being a desirable means of allowing the drills to be carried out in the most effective and convenient way. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr Higgs: -- " As prescribed " by whom? Will the provision apply to all cadets ? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- Yes, it will apply to all senior cadets. Amendment agreed to. Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clause 16 - >Sections one hundred and twenty-eight and one hundred and twenty-nine of the principal Act are repealed. {: #debate-13-s17 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General · West Sydney · ALP -- I move-^r- >That the following words be added : - " and. the following section substituted in their stead : - *128.* Persons who are pupils or students at educational establishments, as prescribed by the regulations, and who are liable to be trained in the Citizen Forces under section one hundred and twenty-seven of this Act, may be trained as prescribed in the Senior Cadets or in special training units, so long as they remain pupils or students in such educational establishments : > >Provided that the training in those units shall be of the same character and of the same annual duration as in the Citizen Forces, and shall be in lieu of the training prescribed by paragraph *(c)* of section one hundred and twenty -seven." The intention and effect of this amendment is as follows : In certain schools and educational establishments - including universities and secondary schools - there are young men who will be members of the senior cadets ; and in order not to interrupt their studies unnecessarily, it is suggested that the training can be carried on in two ways. They may be treated as senior cadets, and where there are more than sixty in an educational establishment they can be formed into a unit and be trained there. That will secure all that is necessary. Then, when they emerge from the' educational establishment after completing their course,, unless they are otherwise exempted, they will have to complete their training as other citizens do up to the twenty-sixthyear. {: #debate-13-s18 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- I do not quite see how this provision is going to work. I realize that it will be desirable in many ways to form units inside certain educational establishments. I take it that the amendment will apply to private schools and large educational establishments, but I am in some doubt as to how the members of the unit so formed will get their battalion drill. Is it contemplated to form battalions of these secondary school trainees? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Yes. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- That is done in Adelaide at present. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I know that. But to form battalions it may be necessary to bring some of the units a hundred miles or more. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- That is not meant. Wherever possible units will be formed inside educational establishments. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- But the units are to be trained " as prescribed" in the senior cadets, and therefore they must get battalion drill at some point or other. How are the trainees to get their battalion drill inside the educational establishments unless special school battalions are to be formed ? I think it means that in some cases the Government will have to bring cadets a hundred miles or more in order that they may get their battalion drill. That is the difficulty that I see. Otherwise the object is a desirable one. {: #debate-13-s19 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth .- I do not quite understand what is meant by this amendment. Does it refer to private schools of any kind or character? The compulsory training will apply to all boys of certain ages. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Of course. There is no distinction between schools. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Any boy going to a school will be expected to undergo training? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Certainly. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I can see that some difficulty will be involved under the amendment. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- The gist of the amendment is that it permits youths over eighteen years of age, if they still remain at school, to be members of the senior cadets, instead of forcing them into the regular military forces. Mr.KELLY. - There are other possibilities init. For instance, there might be in Australia a sect with small establishments all over the country, each establishment so small that in itself it could not form a company of cadets. Under this proposal, all those different half companies might be organized into one battalion, although the battalion, as a whole, would never be drilled. {: .speaker-KZA} ##### Mr West: -- They would come under different area officers. . {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I do not think the area officer has anything to do with the cadets. An effort was made by **Sir Thomas** Ewing three or four years ago to do something of the same kind. In that particular case I think the Marist Brothers' schools were in- terested. That society has schools all over the country, and with a natural anxiety to maintain the general control over their boys, they wanted them, wherever situated, to be organized into units together. As was pointed out at that time, this would have meant having one commanding officer for a battalion of boys scattered all over Victoria, and they could never have been drilled together. The Government would do well to consider first the general interests of the Defence Department, and afterwards the interests of private schools and other educational establishments. The suggestion may, perhaps, arise merely from the *amour propre* of those institutions, which are desirous of training their boys by themselves. I do not see that the proposal is of any value at present, while it might be dangerous, and the Minister would do well to reconsider its exact terms. {: #debate-13-s20 .speaker-JXA} ##### Mr CHARLTON:
Hunter -- I am glad the Attorney-General has introduced this amendment, because I regard it as necessary. It applies not only to private, but to public, schools. In New South Wales lads who desire to become teachers go into college to prepare themselves for their examinations. While there they, have to be very studious, and have not the time for drill that other boys have. Consequently, an arrangement such as this is advisable to enable them, after attaining the age of eighteen, and until they are through with their education, to do their drilling where they are carrying on their studies, and have then nights to themselves. I know a number of lads now at the dif- ferent High Schools in New South Wales, some of them over the age of eighteen, and every night they have to do homework up to 10 o'clock. Unless special provision for their training is made, I am afraid an injustice will be done to them. There may be some little difficulty about battalion drill, but I think the officers will be able to overcome it by arranging for these lads to go through it during their holidays. In any case they are not likely to be at school after the age of twenty-one, and in the following five years they will surely get sufficient battalion drill for all purposes. The amendment is a goocl one in the interests of the public as well as private schools, and I hope the Committee will adopt it. {: #debate-13-s21 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas .- I am pleased that the Attorney-General has introduced this provision. When the Defence Bill of last year was under consideration the heads of St. Peter's and Prince Alfred, the two leading Adelaide colleges, saw me about the matter, and told me that the head of the Military Department in South Australia highly praised the drill given by the colleges. It has a fine effect upon the *esprit de corps* of the boys. I was also told that they had battalion drill in connexion with Christian Brothers College, although I have not seen any one connected with that College on the subject. I was, however, told by the Principals of the two others that they had their regular battalion drill, and after inspection by the Military Department passed the very highest tests of efficiency. I am glad the amendment has been introduced, because we ought to tone down, as far as possible, the beginnings of this system of conscription, which I do not welcome, by recognising the excellent work clone by the schools on voluntary lines. {: #debate-13-s22 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- I have in my mind the position as it appears in Sydney to-day. The large private schools all have cadet units, and have what is called a public school battalion, consisting of units from the large schools. In order to make up that battalion one of the units has to come from Bathurst to Sydney, about 140 miles, and another from Armidale or Tamworth, 200 or 300 miles. That is the difficulty. . I am in thorough agreement with all the .work of the units in the schools, so far as that goes. It is advisable to do it within the schools as far as possible at such hours as may be convenient, but the Bill requires that there shall be efficient battalion drill for the senior cadets. I do not see how that is to be obtained with this grouping, except at great inconvenience. {: #debate-13-s23 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General · West Sydney · ALP -- The clause- aims at disturbing as little as possible the educational course of students. I do not know what arrangements have been made with regard to battalion drills, but it has been the practice to fix them as far as possible for public holidays.- In any case, in a big area, such, as that of which the' honorable member for Parramatta has just spoken, where the units have to be brought from all over the place; the same difficulty would occur, in spite of this clause. The clause does not accentuate it, but rather tends to relieve it, because you have your unit in the school, and all the units are brought down to form a battalion. Under another system you would have to bring individuals down. In a school there may be thirty or forty to form a half-unit. If any of them are over the age of eighteen, instead of going into the citizen force, they can remain attached to the school unit, so long as they are students there, but they must do the amount of drill required for the citizen force. That is a great convenience to a young man going through a school or university course. Surely it is a great advantage if a young man can do eight of his sixteen days' training, and all his detached drills, in his university or school ? So long as he does the drill there, and satisfies the authorities that he does it, why should he have to go out? The clause is a very valuable one. {: #debate-13-s24 .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS:
Capricornia .- I am very much concerned about this proposal. If it includes State schools, well and good, but if it affects only private schools- {: .speaker-JXA} ##### Mr Charlton: -- It is for State schools also. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- That does not appear from the speeches that have been delivered. Australia is, I hope, a Democracy, and we must not encourage the creation of a caste in this community. According to the Minister, if a cadet remains at school after eighteen, he is to be permitted to avoid the eight days' training, so long as he can carry out eight days' training in his school. What State school is attended by boys that will come under this provision ? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The State High Schools will come under 'it. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- I am speaking about the lower schools. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- No person is concerned until he reaches the age of eighteen ; and then only if he wishes to stop at school. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- That is not how the provision strikes me. Its object appears to be to provide that the students at the Church of England Grammar School, the Wesley College, or the Roman Catholic Institution shall be permitted to carry out their military training in their own school yards. I have no objection to that if the children attending State schools are allowed the same privilege. {: .speaker-F4Q} ##### Mr Scullin: -- They are. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -I do not think so. If boys attending the colleges I have mentioned are to be allowed to escape the night drills, the children attending the primary State schools should be allowed to escape them also.' {: .speaker-JXA} ##### Mr Charlton: -- Up to the age of fourteen the boys in the State schools are drilled in the day-time. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- I may be very obtuse, but it seems to me that an attempt is being made to allow the children of people who can afford' to send them to expensive schools to escape the eight days' training. {: .speaker-JXA} ##### Mr Charlton: -- Hundreds of boys are going to those schools at the expense of the State. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- There are a great number of parents in Australia able to afford to send their children to the large public schools, but the average parent cannot afford the expense, and must send his children to the State school. If there is one institution in Australia which more than another contributes to the growth of the spirit of Democracy, it is die State school, >n which all children, no matter of what religion, or what the financial position of their parents may be, are educated together. I was educated for a time in a State school, but my parents moving to another part of the town, it was too far for me to continue to attend the State school, and more convenient that I should attend a Roman Catholic school. Being an Anglican, I Wad to remain outside while the Roman C'atholic children were being given their religious instruction. Prior to -attending bis school, I thought that Roman Catholic boys were of an entirely different type from boys of other religions. It was not mi infrequent thing for boys of the school to which I went to sally forth in the afternoon and pelt stones at the boys who attended the Roman Catholic school. I 'dare s;iy that some honorable members remember the taunts which used to be used on such occasions. " Protestant, Protestant, ring the bell Catholic, Catholic, go to- . " The boys attending the Roman Catholic schools, of course, put the verse the other way about. {: .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr Mahon: -- I have known the same thing to occur with boys attending the same school. -One lot would go one way, and another lot another way, and when they met in the afternoon there would be a fight. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- It was only when I attended a Roman Catholic school that I found that Roman Catholic boys were just like other boys, and some of my most intimate friends were the friends I made in that school. If this system is to be permitted to lead in any way to the disparagement of the State schools, and encourage division amongst our people, it must be strongly deprecated. If parents find that by sending their children to such private schools as I have mentioned, they will be able to avoid drill or the eight days' continuous trainingj they will try to muster up all the funds they can in order to send their children to these schools. So little are the families of Australia prepared for this rigid compulsory system that we are proposing to introduce, that I am satisfied that parents will do their level best to enable their children to escape it. I sincerely hope that all schools in the Commonwealth will be included under the operation of this prevision. To show that I am right in my contention, I remind the Committee that the honorable member for Parramatta instanced the case of an'Armidale school, and said that the boys attending it would have to join with those attending another. The honorable member for Angas mentioned the case of a Protestant denominational school whose boys are trained with boys attending a Christian Brothers' school. What objection can there be to the boys attending a private school at Armidale beinginstructed by the same military instructors with the boys attending a State school ? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I shall explain the provision if the honorable member will allow me, but we must get on. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- We must get on,' of course ; but I wish to avoid errors in this Bill, which is the most important measure ever submitted to this House. {: #debate-13-s25 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Attor- . ney-General · West Sydney · ALP -- The proposal is a very simple one, and the best explanation of it is that it means exactly what it says. I defy any honorable member who looks at it fairly to say that it is proposed that one school shall be treated differently from another. The . honorable member for Capricornia sees in every bush a highwayman, and in the most peaceful and secluded surroundings a perfect battalion of horrors. The Minister has supplied me with the regulation under which this provision will be operated should the Bill pass. Educational institutions, having as students thereat not less than sixty senior cadets, may be allowed to have separate half companies or detachments organized for their training, provided and so long as not less than one officer of each company or detachment is a teacher in the institution. Such senior cadets may be registered in the area in which such institutions are situated, and may be trained therein, notwithstanding they reside in some other area; but to be entitled to this privilege they must also notify the officer in charge of the training- area in which they reside. On ceasing to be a student at such institution a senior cadet shall be transferred to the training area in which he resides, or, in the case of becoming a student at another institution may be transferred to the area in "which it is situated. It is not a question of whether the school is a private or a public school, but whether the boy is of such an age as to be a student as distinguished from a schoolboy. We all. know that the State primary schools are not, as a rule, attended by boys of eighteen years of age. It is not a question of class or caste, but the grade of education really determines the ages of the pupils at any school. We think that when lads cease to be schoolboys and become student's we should not interfere with their studies where it is not absolutely necessary to do so. So we provide that wherever possible the training shall be given to students within the institutions which they attend. This will apply to lads over and under the age of eighteen years, and though lads over that age will be ordinary citizen soldiers, they will get the same training as citizen soldiers inside the institution. Why should they not, provided that they are trained? Our concern is that they should get the necessary training. The Minister informs me that these students will be trained by the same officers as those who will impart the instruction to persons outside. Every one will be treated exactly alike, and whether the parents of a lad have an income of ,£10,000, or he has entered a High school on a State bursary, or whether, as we hope to see later on, our High schools and secondary schools are open to the poorest boy in the community, if it is proposed to make a scholar of him, he will be allowed to acquire his training under this Bill in such a way that his study will not be intruded upon unnecessarily. {: #debate-13-s26 .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS:
Capricornia -- Will the Minister accept an amendment to provide for the exemption from training of the children of parents who have a conscientious objection to their children being trained in the use of arms ? The honorable gentleman has said that boys of the senior cadet age are very seldom found attending State primary schools, but there are many boys of fifteen or sixteen years of age attending these schools, and are they not to be permitted to mix with the boys attending -a Grammar school ? {: .speaker-F4Q} ##### Mr Scullin: -- They will be trained in their own schools. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- I assure honorable members that I have no wish to raise any captious objection to this Bill, but I do want to put down caste in Australia. I know as a matter of fact that there is a number of silly people connected with some of the private schools who instruct the' pupils attending them not to speak to the boys attending the State schools. That is an extraordinary thing in an Australian community, but I can assure honorable members that it has occurred. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- How would the honorable member propose to legislate against that? {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- I should do what I could to prevent that kind of thing by refusing to. set up class distinctions as, I am afraid, is proposed here. If our Australian youth are to be trained there should be no objection to their being trained together. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- The honorable member will never be able to prevent a- mother thinking that her boys are better than other boys. {: .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr Finlayson: -- It would be a pity if we could. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- I do hot say that a mother should be asked to refrain from thinking so, but the law of the land in a democracy like this should not provide that the children attending private and High, schools should be kept away from the common or garden variety of State school boys. I would ask what is to become of apprentices who are from fourteen to eighteen years of age? Are we to understand that boys attending grammar and High schools are not to be allowed to associate with apprentices who are at work at their various trades during the day and attend technical schools in the evening? I hope that the time will come when we shall find quite a different attitude adopted towards boys and men who are seen in our streets with grime on their clothes and hands. But that time will not . come if we are, by our legislation, to afford facilities for the creation of class distinction. I am with honorable members who are desirous that students for the ministry, who are to be engaged in a peaceful calling, entirely different from that of the man of arms, shall be exempt from this drill. I am of the opinion that every person in the community who has a conscientious objection to militarism should be exempt from compulsory training. {: #debate-13-s27 .speaker-F4Q} ##### Mr SCULLIN:
Corangamite -- I think that the honorable member for Capricornia has entirely missed the point. He argued that we are making a distinction between the scholars attending the different schools, but, as a matter of fact, we are making provision that the scholars attending each school may be given their training within the institution. The honorable member states that boys attending the State schools are to be treated differently from boys attending private and High schools. That contention is ridiculous. This provision is intended to meet the case of lads who have reached eighteen years of age and are still at school, and I do not see that they can make the slightest objection to it. The honorable member asks whether they are not to be allowed to associate with apprentices. But I would ask him where, apprentices are to be drilled. They cannot be drilled at their factories, and must get their training at night in the drill halls. The provision will accomplish two things : it will relieve the strain upon the drill halls, and it will establish compulsory training with a minimum of inconvenience to every one. We, on this side, are all opposed to the creation of class distinctions, but compulsory training, although necessary, is inconvenient, and we wish to minimise the inconvenience. To allow boys to drill at the schools which they attend will be a sensible thing, and will not- create class distinctions. The amendment speaks of ". students at educational establishments," including, of course, public schools. The Government are to be congratulated on their courage in providing for universal training, with a minimum of inconvenience to those -concerned. {: #debate-13-s28 .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON:
Brisbane -- There is a much more serious objection to the amendment than has been touched *on. .* It is provided that the training of these units shall be of the same character, and of the same annual duration, as in the citizen forces, but in lieu of that prescribed 1:1 paragraph *c* of section 127. That means that those trained at schools will not be compelled to undergo the eight days' continuous training for which the Act makes provision. The rest of the citizen forces will have to attend sixteen whole-day drills, or their equivalent, of which not less than eight shall be in camps of continuous training. The continuous training will be escaped by the students of educational establishments. Thus we shall set up two distinct kinds of training. I contend that continuous training is essential to efficiency, and necessary to create the feeling that our citizens must act together for the defence of the country. {: .speaker-F4Q} ##### Mr Scullin: -- Would the honorable member bring all the men in Australia into one camp? {: .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON: -- Of course, that would be impossible. At the present timemen are brought together at various strategic points in the different States, and that practice will be continued. In time of war no distinction can be made, and, therefore, it is inadvisable to set up distinctions in the matter of training. If arrangements could be made for giving students continuous training at some period in" every year, that would meet my objection. {: .speaker-F4Q} ##### Mr Scullin: -- The training of studentsis to be of the same character and of the same duration as that for the rest of the citizen forces. {: .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON: -- But they will Detrained apart, and will not have the advantage .of a continuous- eight days' training in camp. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Students do not remain in educational establishments until they are twenty-five years of age. The provision applies only to youths between the ages of eighteen and twenty, probably. {: .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON: -- Will the honorable member put that into the amendment? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- We must recognise thefact. {: .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON: -- It was stated in the newspapers the other day that men of twenty-four and twenty-five years of age have been recommended for the Rhodes' Scholarships. I object to anything that will divide our citizen army into two parts. {: #debate-13-s29 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- The honorable member for Brisbane was beating the air. I see every advantage from the creation of traditionaryfeeling in connexion with our various units'. {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- The proposed arrangement will lead to the better discipline of the schools.__ " {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- And to some- thing still more useful. It will beget a rivalry which will tend to efficiency. I do not see why there should not be the same rivalry in connexion with the preparations for the defence of the country as there is now in connexion with the football and cricket matches which proceed so merrily in their respective seasons. Such rivalry will, above all other things, make for effi- ciency, and the more we do to develop it the better. I thought at first that the proposed arrangement would interfere with battalion drill, but if there are sufficient numbers to prevent that I see no reason to object to the training provided for. It will be more convenient to train boys in the schools, and the school corps can be linked together in battalions. Lord Kitchener mentions the need for *esprit de corps.* He says that we should preserve territorial and other distinctions as much as possible. Who can say how much the feeling that inspired men who have belonged to the Black Watch, the Guards, or some other noted regiment, has contributed to the efficiency of the British Army, and made it the best in the world ? {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr Higgs: -- That is mere boasting. How does the honorable member know that it is the best in the world? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Every expert will bear me out in the statement that the regular army of Great Britain is the best in the world. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr Higgs: -- Every nation thinks its own army the best. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Soldiers with limited training cannot be as good as those who devote their lives to acquiring efficiency. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- The best body of men in the world is our Royal Australian Artillery. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -That is the kind of feeling that we wish to create. There will be larger numbers drilling at the schools under compulsory training than under our present volunteer system, and, therefore, my objection as to the difficulty of providing for battalion drill will be removed. {: #debate-13-s30 .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS:
Adelaide .- I do hope that we shall not allow the position to become unduly complicated. I deem it necessary, even at the expense of detaining . the . Committee for a few moments, ' to refer to the remarks made by the honorable member for Capricornia. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr Higgs: -- Try to enlighten the Committee a little. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- The honorable member conjured up dire possibilities, which attach a stigma to many honorable members, unless an attempt be made to clear them up. If I thought that this clause was open to any of the possibilities suggested, by the honorable member, I should foe found supporting him, even to the death, wherever he might lead. But I fail to see that it is. Nor do I see the slightest necessity for dragging in the subject of battalion drill: Battalions are talked about and handled by many honorable members who scarcely know them from a squad of recruits. I would point out to the honorable member for Capricornia and the honorable member for Brisbane that this measure does not touch the subject of battalion drill. {: .speaker-KYV} ##### Mr Riley: -- The honorable member for Parramatta raised that issue. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- Yes ; but the question of continuous camps and working together was also raised. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr Higgs: -- Will the honorable member deal with the question of the eight days' camp? {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- The clause does not touch that subject. It is a matter for regulation and organization. It is for the officers to decide how they shall work in that direction. The amendment does not interfere with battalion drill, nor does it drag in the subject of class distinction or touch the question of sectarianism - of one school against another, or one religion against another. It makes no distinction between a public school and a private institution. A proposal which is. simply designed to assist certain youths who are pursuing an educational career seems to have conjured up in the minds of honorable members possibilities of a most diiSl character, and interference with bat? talion drill. The Bill provides that youths on attaining the age of eighteen years shall pass out of the senior cadets into the Citizen Forces for a different class of drill, and of a longer duration. There are certain youths who remain in educational establishments, both public and private, after they have reached the age of eighteen years. Ordinarily speaking, and without this amendment, they would, notwithstanding their continuance in the educational establishments, have to pass into the Citizen Forces, which might materially interfere with their educational career, or their effort to attain a certain standard. The amendment means that youths who, after reaching the age of eighteen years, remain at an educational establishment, either public or private, may be trained with the senior cadets, as they had been trained during the previous four years, instead of being put into the Citizen Forces, where the drill is different and longer than in ordinary circumstances. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- Is that all it means ? {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- Yes, absolutely. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- Then the honorable member has not read it. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- Of course, it is possible that, under the regulations, the Minister may prescribe that such youths may be taken out of the senior cadets, and drilled as special units, but I venture to suggest that their number -will not be sufficient to permit of that being done, and he will have to adopt the alternative of allowing them to ' remain in the senior cadets. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- No. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- There is a subsequent provision that the drill which the youths will get, not in senior cadets, but in the special unit, if formed - at present I believe that to be impracticable - must be. of a character and duration similar to that which they would obtain in the Citizen Forces, and in lieu thereof. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- That is absolutely different from what the honorable member said a moment ago. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- I did not say anything different. If the honorable gentleman would consider the Bill rather than allow his personal views to sway his judgment of myself, or my brief remarks, I am sure that it would be better for the Com- mittee {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- The honorable member keeps falling in and getting out. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- That is wholly the reason for the amendment as I understand it, and its purport. It does not interfere with class distinctions or with battalion drill, but it gives a little extra privilege to those who are attempting to attain a higher educational standard than it was possible for them to procure prior to reaching the age of eighteen years. In these circumstances it ought, I think, to meet with the approval of every honorable member on this side. I hope that it will be approved. I see none of the dire possibilities suggested by the honorable member for Capricornia, nor can I see that in any circumstances it will interfere with the so-called battalion drill. {: #debate-13-s31 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- The honorable member for Adelaide has, I think, used the words " battalion drill " about twenty times. He says that the amendment has nothing to do with it. This training is to be in lieu of the training, prescribed in section 127. That requires battalion drill. As the honorable member says it does not, and he is the general, we must take his word. Amendment agreed to. Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clause 17 agreed to. Clause 18 (Temporary exemption). {: #debate-13-s32 .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS:
Capricornia .- I think that the Attorney-General might well accept a provision that parents who have a conscientious objection to the military or naval training of their children may obtain an exemption. I do not think that there should be any objection to such a provision, because we already have a clause which exempts any adult who can satisfy the prescribed authorities that he has a conscientious objection to serving in time of war. I can assure honorable members that there are many parents who object to their children being trained for military or naval service. {: #debate-13-s33 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General · West Sydney · ALP -- We cannot agree to the suggestion of the honorable member. It is perfectly clear that the number of conscientious scruples which might be developed and hatched out would be so portentous as to practically reduce the army to a shadow. We know what sort of conscientious scruples unscrupulous parents had to the education of their children until it was made compulsory. No scruples should be allowed to stand in the way. Either this measure is good or bad. If it is bad, do not pass it; but if it is good, conscientious scruples ondit not to stand in the way. When a child becomes a man he ought to have an opportunity of exercising his freedom. A father has no right to fasten on his child an embargo, or to detach him from the society of his fellows, merely because he hrs what he calls conscientious scruples. What do they amount to? I do not hesitate to say that in thousands of cases the spirit of the Act would he defeated if this amendment were adopted. While I have every sympathy with those who have con- scientious scruples against war, I am not going to say for a moment that, since Parliament has expressed the opinion that it is a (rood thine to defend the country, we ought to allow parents to decide, not only the religion of their children, which is bad enough. hut their whole future in a way which concerns them intimately, and as much as their education does. This is the other side of education. My honorable friend would exempt children from the benefit of the junior and senior cadet training. Surely he will admit that that training must leave a boy better than it found him. {: #debate-13-s34 .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS:
Capricornia .- I shall content myself with emphasizing my opinion. I realize that no one is more fitted than is the Attorney-General to reduce a position to an absurdity. He can make a great deal of capital out of conscientious objections. But the Bill already provides for the exemption of adults on that ground in time of war. I refer to new section 61, which exempts persons who satisfy the prescribed authority that their conscientious beliefs do not allow them to bear arms. Why did not. the AttorneyGeneral rise in his place and ridicule that provision ? He was only too glad to have it in the Bill, because he knows that there are such persons in the community. History is filled with instances where persons have been willing to go to the stake to be sacrificed rather than to waive their conscientious objections. *Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.30p.m.* {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -I move- >That the following paragraph be added : - *" (c)* The Governor-General may exempt boys op to eighteen years of age whose parents have conscientious objections to their sons being trained in the use of arms." An honorable member interjects that if such a provision were adopted every one would secure exemptions. I would point out, in reply, that if the Governor- General in Council considered that any applicant for exemption was not sincere in his profession of conscientious objections to training in the use of arms, his application would be refused. The Minister will have in his service officers who will be able to make such inquiries as will satisfy him that the parents making application have conscientious objections to their children being trained in the use of arms. It will be observed that I do not propose that boys up to eighteen years of age shall be exempt from phvsical drill. It is well that every Australian should have a certain amount of physical drill, but I do not know that it is wise to commence physical training at so early anage as fourteen years. A 'great deal of harm can be done to a boy of that age by subjecting him to injudicious physical exercise. Even the use of light dumb- bells, with certain extended gestures, may cause considerable strain on the vital organs of a boy, and induce heart trouble. There can be no doubt, however, that judicious physical training is good for all youths. A number of persons have conscientious objections to their children cultivating what they call the military spirit. Let us not seek to avoid the fact that as soon as we produce this system - as soon as we establish our Military College - we shall cause a number of our youths to dive into the biographies of great military men. They will read of Napoleon, the Caesars, Charlemagne, Alexander, and others, and will no doubt acquire a military spirit to such an extent that a life of peace will not be agreeable to them. They will look over the world for some means of entering into war, and will consider that the time has arrived when they should make a name for themselves. They might possibly entertain the idea of creating an Empire of their own, with a view to their being selected as dictators. I fear that the tide of militarism is becoming too strong. {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- No, no. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- I sincerely hope that it is not. I believe that there will be a reaction, and that in time we shall have a little more sense so far as these matters are concerned. I urge the Minister to accept this amendment. There are a great many people, amongst them some of my acquaintances, who fear that their children may become imbued with the military spirit, and the desire to go out and shoot some. one. I hope the amendment will be accepted. Amendment negatived. Clause agreed to. Clause 19 (Military College). {: #debate-13-s35 .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS:
Adelaide .- When the honorable member for Melbourne Ports took exception yesterday to portion of this clause, I differed from his view that under it certain persons who had served in the ranks would be unable to obtain commissions in the Permanent Forces. The interpretation that I place on the clause is, I think, correct. Taken by itself, it will not prevent any individual from obtaining a commission or from becoming a graduate of the Military College, and so being eligible for appointment as an officer of our Permanent Forces. I understand, however, that the Minister intends to issue a regulation providing that only persons between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. years shall be allowed to enter the College for the purpose of becoming graduates. If that regulation is issued, then this clause, read in conjunction with ft, will have precisely the effect that the honorable member foi Melbourne Ports suggested yesterday. It will have the effect of preventing a ranker from ever becoming an officer. In the Act of 1909, as well as in the Bill now before us, we have declared that persons who have served a certain period in the Citizen Forces shall have preference for commission rank, and it seems to me that that is a very fair provision. The tendency all over the world is to permit those who have held non-commissioned rank to obtain commissions. That is fostered in the American Army, is permitted in the German Army, and certainly is not specifically barred in the British Army, although I admit that in practice the social element has a good deal to do with promotions, and that the ranker who does obtain a commission is not given too happy a time, notwithstanding that he may have sufficient finances to allow him to enter into all the social life open to the average run of officers. It would be a stigma on Australia if we, either by Act or regulation, declared that certain persons who had served a term in the Forces, either as privates or noncommissioned offiers, should be debarred for all time from holding a commission in the Permanent Forces. At the present time, some who hold commissions have risen from the ranks, and Have proved themselves exceptionally brilliant. But under this clause, read in conjunction with the regulation which I understand it is proposed to issue, no person, unless he has entered the College between the ages of fifteen and nineteen years, can hope to secure a commission in the Permanent Forces. We shall thus establish in the Permanent officers a small military class who will hold themselves aloof from others, who will look with disdain upon the officer of the citizen ranks, and who will know that only a select few of their own particular type can ever hope to hold commissions alongside them. We shall make close preserves of such positions. ] know that we are making a distinct advance on other military college systems by proposing to open our Military College to all persons, and in making provision for their maintenance while- they remain in the College. We are throwing open the doors of our Military College to larger sections than are the Military Colleges of either America or England ; but the individual must have. decided between the ages of fifteen and nineteen years that he is going to adopt a military career ; otherwise there can be no hope for him. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- And it is not a matter for his decision alone. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- No. His parents might not approve of his entering the College, {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- He might not be selected to go there. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- There me a number of conditions, which must be the subject of regulations. If we allow this clause to pass without indicating to the Minister that the regulation he is about to issue does not meet with our approval, then I think that certain persons will be debarred, notwithstanding that they have had, it may be, a brilliant career in the non-commissioned ranks, and may have shown themselves specially gifted for commission rank in the Permanent Forces. There are several hundreds of non-commissioned and instructional men more fitted for commission rank than are some who hold commissions, not merely because of their special knowledge and adaptability, but because of their general education and other qualifications ; and yet, after a period of five years, they will be debarred. And these- are not the only men, because we shall in the future have ' others offering in precisely the same walk of life. A youth's mind is scarcely formed " at the age of nineteen- so- as to enable him' 1 to select his profession and yet, under this clause, he will be debarred. For instance, a young fellow, who has gone through the ordinary compulsory training, may receive a commission in the Citizen Forces at twenty-two or twenty-three, and, at that age, when his mind is forming, he may believe that a military life is one for which he is suited. He may be specially gifted, but, notwithstanding that he has served for many years in the Cadets and the Citizen Forces, and proved himself worthy, this regulation, coupled with. the clause, will debar him from any opportunity of showing that he can pass the prescribed examination. It is quite right that officers in the permanent service should attain a certain standard of education and military knowledge, and that they should be graduates of ' the College; but a great- injustice will be done if we decide that . others, who may be specially gifted, shall not have an opportunity of demonstrating . that they can become graduates. If honorable members are prepared for such a step, I have misunderstood the tendency on both sides of the Chamber. Under the circumstances, I should like to know whether the Government are prepared to accept an amendment. What I suggest is that the following proviso should be added to clause **9-* >Provided further that persons who have served three years in the force may at any time before they attain the age of twenty-seven years enter the Military College for the purpose of. becoming graduates therein. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr Higgs: -- Why three years in the forces ? {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- As I have said, I am not wedded to the exact terms of the suggestion. Certainly some age limit is essential : it would not do to have men entering the College at forty or forty-five, seeing that at fifty we pass them out if they have not attained higher rank than that of lieutenant. But it will be a distinct wrong, and a retrograde movement unless some such suggestion as that I have made is adopted. I am well aware that war is a science, and officers in particular ought to have certain qualifications ; but here we debar certain men from showing that they do possess those qualifications. Some of the best men in the defence forces of the world have first gained their knowledge in the ranks. I merely make the suggestion at present, but unless something better is proposed I shall submit an amendment. {: #debate-13-s36 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth -- I have an idea that in the original Act the Governor-General has power to promote from the ranks any person for distinguished service, or for gallantry in the field, without the necessity for any examination. For instance, in the Naval Defence Bill there is a flange which provides that the GovernorGeneral - >May appoint any person to bc an officer, or promote any officer to higher rank for distinguished service, or for marked ability and gallantry on active service without that person having to pass the prescribed examination. I am not certain that there is a similar provision in the Bill before us. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- That is provided for in section 22 of the original Act. {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- It would be merely an ornamental reward. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- No; it provides for the promotion of any person, whether in the ranks or not. I do not oppose the desire of the honorable member for Adelaide, but merely ask whether the Minister has not power already to grant promotion in the way desired. My desire is to see opportunities for rising from the ranks throughout the permanent service ; indeed, it would be ridicu lous to make Australia the only country in the world where such opportunities are not presented. At the same time, the Minister should see that those who pass through the Military College have, unless there are superior claims on the part of others, the first opportunity for usefulness. There is no class business about the Military College. Not only is no fee charged, but actually those in the College are to be paid a wage, so that any member of the community may enter if he proves his capacity. My main anxiety is to insure that our officers are efficient, and there will have to be very considerable improvement before they anything like approximate to the level of those in an ordinary European army, or the army of Japan. I think my reading of the original Act is correct, and that the Minister already has the power, which I sincerely hope he will exercise in deserving instances. {: #debate-13-s37 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General · West Sydney · ALP [2-55l- - The proposal to which honorable members take objection, is,. I am .inclined to think, in its wording somewhat misleading, its scope being very much narrower than is imagined. First of all, the Defence Force of Australia is to be a citizen force - the people who are going to fight the battles of Australia will be citizen soldiers. The men who are going to command the citizen soldiers - noncommissioned officers, commissioned officers, and company, regimental, brigade, general, and staff officers - will all, without exception, be men to whom preference is given,- as having passed through the ranks! With regard to the forces alluded' to in the proposed section 148, they are instructional forces pure and simple, and not fighting forces. We are engaged in creating a staff of instructors, and they must be highly skilled and trained men, who have gone through the curriculum from beginning to end. We are going to pour those men into a mould which has received the imprimatur of this Parliament, and of Lord Kitchener, who has laid down the model here followed. After all, it is as difficult to make a highly trained soldier as to make a highly trained physician. Notwithstanding the fact that there are graduates in the learned professions - I may not speak of the legal profession with that freedom of criticism open to others - whose prodigious incapacity- is appalling, the general practice and desire is to put down quackery ; and, consequently, we demand that each graduate shall " go through the mill." I do not deny that outside the learned professions there are men whom we should like to see within them, and there ought to be no unnecessary embargo. With the contention of the honorable member for Adelaide, who speaks from personal experience not open to most of us, I am perfectly in accord ; but, obviously, it can apply only in the rarest cases. We have to consider the whole effect of a system; and if we open a door or crevice, however small, the result may be that the system will break down, and there will be more exceptions than observances of the rule. The proposed regulations contemplate that for the first examination a candidate's sixteenth birthday must fall on or before the1st March, 191 1; and his nineteenth birthday after that date. With regard to the training, the idea is to get the students at or about a certain age, keep them a prescribed time, and turn them out according to a prescribed pattern. I admit that that system is open to the objection urged by my honorable friend, but I understand that he himself is not at all desirous that any person should be. appointed who has not passed the examination of the College. All he wants is an opportunity for persons rarely and highly gifted to qualify. As to that, the recommendation of Lord Kitchener is - >I have shown that 350 officers are required for the 'Staff Corps, and I shall now discuss the organization of a Military College to maintain that corps. > >Taking twenty years as the average service of an officer, it appears that after the Staff Corps is up to establishment the yearly output required from the college will be about eighteen cadets. The minimum length of course required to efficiently ground a cadet in his profession is three years. > >As has already been pointed out, strict selection should be enforced from the. moment a boy becomes a cadet..... > >The age of entry should not be less than seventeen nor more than nineteen. We have closely followed the recommendations of the Field Marshal. The matter will be dealt with by regulation, and I have had an opportunity of consulting with the Minister of Defence, who, while not pledging himself to do as the honorable member suggests, says that he is not adverse to meeting the honorable member in *a* reasonable way. He thinks there should be established a general rule, which should obtain in all but the rarest cases. If the honorable member will take my assurance that the Minister has authorized me to say that he is willing to favorably consider the suggestion that opportunity should be afforded by the regulations in certain cases for persons over the age now mentioned- {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- I am afraid it cannot be done by regulation if it is not done first in the Act. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- This Bill does not prevent it being done. All that the Bill says is that the person must be a graduate of the College. It does not say at what age he must enter the College. The whole point of the argument of the honorable memher for Adelaide is not that officers should not be graduates of the College, but that no one should be stopped from being a graduate of the College by reason of his being over the age of nineteen. The question of the age being a matter for regulation, the honorable member's objection can be got over. The Minister, without binding himself in any way, declares that he is prepared to favorably consider a suggestion to enable the age limit to be waived in rare cases, where that may be reasonably asked for. Beyond that, I do not think we ought to be asked to go. We must remember the very heavy and grave responsibility that rests upon the Defence Department and the Minister, of turning out the new force in the most approved form, and that everything depends upon the *personnel* of the instructional staff. This, in its turn, must depend upon the process to which it has been subjected, and in the circumstances I think the Government might reasonably be clothed with the power for which they are asking in this clause. {: #debate-13-s38 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- The difficulty that I see arises'from section 22 of the principal Act when read with this clause. There seems to be a clear conflict between the two. Section 22 of the Act says that the Governor-General may appoint any person to be an officer without his passing the prescribed examination, while this clause provides that no person who is not a graduate of the Military College, as prescribed, shall be appointed an officer of the Permanent Forces. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The honorable member for Adelaide is not asking for that to be altered. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- But that is the point with which the honorable member will be met wheu he begins to try to do what the honorable member for Adelaide suggests. Clearly section 22 of the Act must be amended. {: #debate-13-s39 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General · West Sydney · ALP -- There is no conflict between the two provisions. Section 22 of the Act can have no relation to section 148 as contained in this Bill, because this clause does not refer to a prescribed examination at all. It relates to the Military College. Section 22 deals with officers in general, and this clause deals only with officers of the Permanent Forces. The effect of the clause is simply to take away from the Governor-General the right to make any person an officer ot the Permanent 'Forces. It does not take away from him the right to appoint any person an officer of the Citizen Forces, or to promote an officer for distinguished service, irrespective of whether - he is or is not a graduate of the Military College. Section 22 is not in conflict with this clause, except in one particular, and only doubtfully in that. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- The term " officer,"' in section 22, unless defined, must include all officers. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- I think it is defined, and I am not sure whether section 22 has not been touched by the amending Bill. The net effect of new section 148 will simply be to take away from the Governor-General, at the most, the power under section 22 to promote a person to be an officer of the Permanent Forces - not the Citizen Forces. That is, it will only prevent him making a man an officer of the instructional staff. A man may be the Bravest in the world, but be totally unequipped to teach the scientific side of artillery or engineering. Another man may be very nearly a poltroon, and yet a very good mathematician. The idea of the Military College is to turn out persons thoroughly versed in the science and art of war as we know it to-day. {: #debate-13-s40 .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr FENTON:
Maribyrnong .- I hope the Attorney-General will accede to the request of the honorable member for Adelaide. We ought not to exclude men over the age of nineteen from entering the College, because it is very rarely that young men before that age start to think for themselves. A young man may be exceptionally qualified, and may, at the age of twenty, decide to take up a military career. It would be a distinct disadvantage to debar him from entering the College and qualifying as an officer of the Permanent Force simply because he was over nineteen. We may be able to place every reliance on the present Minister of Defence, but a time may come when another Minister may do all manner of things by regulation. We should emphatically state our intentions and wishes in this Bill. This is one of the most important aspects of the defence question, because we are trying to arrange to have men well trained to instruct our Forces, although, with the honorable member for Capricornia, I hope the day is notfar distant when men will become so educated and civilized as to be able to do without warlike preparations. We have, however, in the present circumstances, to arm as other nations are arming. I do not believe in clothing even a Minister of the greatest integrity with power to do by regulation what we ought to do by Act of Parliament. I should like to see the age of entry into the College increased, say, to twenty-five years. If the Minister cannot accept the suggestion of the honorable member for Adelaide at once, will he promise to consider it, and bring up, on recommittal, a clause giving. effect to it? If he does, I am sure that course will meet with the unanimous approval of honorable members. {: #debate-13-s41 .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST:
Swan .- This is not a new question. It has been, I suppose, under the consideration of every Minister of Defence since the establishment of the Constitution. We are proposing now to go back to where we were in 1901. When I became Minister of Defence. I found that commissions in the Permanent Forces were reserved solely for those who entered at an early age, and qualified themselves in the service, whereas those who had served faithfully and well in the Citizen Forces, and had made a special study of military tactics, were altogether debarred from obtaining any of the plums of the service. There was a good deal of dissatisfaction about it at the time, because a great many who had entered into the military life in the militia or the volunteers had' developed a great liking for it, and wished to qualify themselves for appointments, of which there are a good many in the service, such as all the staff appointments in the different States up to the position of commandant. From all of these positions citizen officers were debarred. Our defence system is different from that of the Mother Country and most other countries, in that we depend wholly on the Citizen Force. Our aim must therefore be to make the men and officers active and zealous, and eager to qualify for the highest positions. If we deprive them of the opportunity to win the prize of high promotion, they will, "naturally, have less incentive to improve themselves in the knowledge and art of war. The question assumed a practical shape when I was Minister of Defence in 1903, and I was not long in coming to the conclusion that we must do everything possible to encourage the citizen soldiers. Therefore, just before transferring to another Department, I wrote a minute directing that a regulation should be made which would allow citizen officers to obtain promotion where they were qualified, without being debarred by age conditions.' On 15th October, 1908, the honorable member for Laanecoorie moved this motion- >That, in order to obtain the full realization of the benefits of the citizen defence system, this House is of opinion that the Defence Acts and Regulations framed thereunder should provide opportunity for the promotion of any member of the Commonwealth Defence Forces to any position which, by reason of adequate qualifications, he is competent to fill. That was carried. In speaking on it I said that I was surprised that it should be necessary, but on making inquiries I found that the regulation framed on my minute of 8th August, 1903, had been repealed on 1 st October, 1905. The minute was as follows : - >Having fully considered this matter, I approve of all officers of the Militia and Volunteer Forces being equally eligible for transfer to the General and instructional Staff as those already permanently employed, provided that in other respects they satisfy the conditions other than that of age of entry and comply with the regulations as to examination. It would be grossly unfair to debar officers of the Militia and Volunteer Forces from being eligible for appointments to the Permanent Force on account of age. Prior to the writing of that minute, men who were qualified for promotion were often debarred, because they were beyond the age. I have nothing to say against what the Attorney-General advanced as to the need for qualified officers. We must have officers who are competent, not only to teach, but also to lead j it is awful to think of incompetent officers being in charge of men on the field of battle. But I do not wish to build up a military class whose members would consider themselves superior to the members of the citizen soldiers, upon whom we must mainly depend', for our defence. The Attorney-General has referred to the positions which we are discussing as coming under the head of educational and instructional, but there are many of them, such as those of commandants and staff officers, which do not come wholly under that head. There is on record a resolution of the House to the effect that no military force shall be created in this country other than that required for instructional and similar services, and, of course, the great bulk of our force will consist of ordinary citizens. While I do not wish to do anything to lessen the standard of efficiency among officers, I do not wish to prevent those who have performed their duty faithfully and well, and, perhaps, have fought in the battles of their country, from being promoted to the highest positions if qualified for them. If the majority of our forces were composed almost wholly of permanent men the position would be different ; but seeing that we are creating a Citizen Force, we should be careful to do nothing to lessen the self-respect and importance of its members. Therefore, I advise the Minister to leave out this provision, which in any case cannot long continue in force, because the tens of thousands of citizen soldiers, when they find that they are debarred from promotion to the highest ranks, will demand its repeal. A similar rule created a great deal of difficulty in 1903, and our experience then will be repeated. {: #debate-13-s42 .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON:
Brisbane .- There was sound sense in the statement attributed to a great general, that every soldier carries a marshal's baton in his knapsack. The Australian Army should be modelled on that idea. The provision under discussion would practically prevent all but those who pass through the Military College from receiving appointments as officers, and the number of students at the College would of necessity be limited. That will impose a limitation on our selection of officers, and those who will have the honour of training our army will be, for the most part, quite young men. My opinion is that those most capable of training others are the men who have had experience. I am not convinced that mere theoretical knowledge will make up for practical experience in warfare, which is a necessary qualification for an instructional officer. I am aware that provision is made for sending abroad a certain number of our military students to gain information in other countries; but they will have no opportunity to take part in actual warfare. We are really depriving ourselves of the advantages which are to be gained by ac- cepting the services of men of ability, knowledge, and practical experience. A young man with whom I am acquainted, who has had a good deal of experience in the Canadian and British armies, was not accepted as an instructional officer because he was over age. There are in the Old Country a number of men of experience who would be willing to come here, and would prove good citizens, and it would be to our advantage to use their military experience in training our forces. We should not depend -wholly on young men possessing merely theoretical knowledge, but should have also men who know what it is to lead others on to the field of battle. We have in our midst a large number of most, estimable German immigrants- men who have been trained from their youth in the use of arms. Some of our best agriculturists come from the German Empire ; yet under this provision we absolutely debar ourselves, from making any use of their military knowledge. The same remark will apply to citizens of Australia who have served in the British Arm)'; or in the armies of France or Switzerland, each having been subjected to a particular system of military discipline and training. It is just such a combination of the best features of all systems that we want to adopt. The clause as it stands, however, would prohibit us from taking advantage of the experience of these men. 1 suggest to the honorable member for Adelaide that he might favorably consider such an amendment as this - >Provided further that should necessity arise candidates over the prescribed age may qualify for commissions as officers of the Permanent forces by passing the examination tests of the Military College. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- At the first glance it seems to me that the necessity would never arise. {: .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON: -- I shall explain why I suggest the use of the words " should necessity arise." It has, unfortunately, to be admitted that many of the reverses with which the British met in South Africa were due, not to lack of bravery or ability on the part of the men, but to. a decided want of ability on the part of officers. The British Array was notoriously underofficered, and men who were notoriously incapable, since they had not had sufficient training, received commissions. T vield to no one in my admiration for the British soldier. "Tommy Atkins" cannot be equalled, but I do not know that the same' can be said of the British officer. It may he necessary for us to appoint more officers than can be passed through the Military College. What guarantee have we that five years hence we shall have a sufficient supply of capable officers who have passed through the Military College to train the Military Forces of Australia? We have no provision in this Bill to enable us to meet such an emergency. The honorable member for Maribyrnong made a good point which he might well have emphasized. Young men will enter the Military. College at an age at which they will scarcely have made up their minds as to what their profession is going to be. They will have a sort of general idea that they will better themselves by adopting a military career; but probably, in many cases, having completed their course, they will decide to abandon that career. There is a very serious possibility ot our having a great dearth of properly trained and qualified officers. I therefore wish to make it easy in such an emergency to secure other men of experience and ability by making eligible for commissions in the Permanent Forces those who have passed a prescribed test. Under the clause as it stands, we shall be unable to take advantage of the wide and practical knowledge of men who have served in thi: forces ot other countries, and have had an experience that must make for the development of the best type of citizen soldiers. I urge the Acting Prime Minister, therefore, to *no* amend the clause as to make it possible tor us to have such officers in our Permanent Forces. {: #debate-13-s43 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General · West Sydney · ALP -- - I would direct the attention ov honorable members to the suggestion made by my honorable friend, and to the difficulties of so framing a measure as to meet the various propositions that are put forward. The honorable member for Brisbane, a native of Scotland - a citizen of. the British Empire - puts forward as a serious proposition the suggestion that we should staff our Australian army with Germans and other foreigners. The Germans are entitled to the highest possible respect, but such an ideal as that which the honorable member has expressed is by no means that which I entertain. Then we are also to accept French officers, and, if we are stuck up, I suppose, we can give commissions to Japanese, because they have had the most recent experience, and havebeen more successful of late than have thepeople of any other nationality. We arealso to take' some of the honorable mem-, ber's friends who have been in the British and Canadian armies. And so we go on from one stage to another till we are to have a bewildering variety of officers - the Japanese with their " Banzai," the Germans with their " Hoch," and Frenchmen with their *"En avant."* I would remind the Committee that we are dealing with an Australian army, that it should be manned by Australians, and that this is an attempt to staff the. Australian army by Australians. If. Australians are not fit to instruct Australians, let us say so at once. Directly a suggestion is made 'that we should import an officer there is a. wild hullaballoo. We are told at once that we have amongst our own people men fit for the work ; *yet,* as soon as we propose to officer our troops with Australians, we are told that we should make provision for the appointment of Germans, Japanese,, and others. I have been as much imbued with the military spirit as has any one ; but this is militarism run mad. My honorable friend calmly proposes to turn down the Australian because he has not had an experience of war. What, then, are we to do? Are we to plunge into a dark and bloody struggle, the result of which no one can determine, in order to furnish experience for our Australian Citizen Forces? Not at all. We are proposing to do the best we can in the circumstances ; and whether it is in sport or in economic fields, or elsewhere, the Australian can always hold his own. I come now to the amendment. It is proposed to create this College to educate, not the men who are going to fight, nor the men who are going to lead our troops into battle, but the schoolmasters of the army. Ask' any one who has been a school teacher what sort of a chance there is in that profession for a man who has brains, but no training. What chance can he have, unless he has been through the pedagogic mill ? A man who has not cannot teach. The school teacher has to be trained, just as the man who wishes to follow any other profession. The Minister is willing to consider the suggestion that the age at which a person shall be allowed to enter the College shall be raised; but for five years the whole world, is ours. If there be any undiscovered pearls of military wisdom on the beach, let any beachcomber here gather them in. For five years he may do that, and I should have no hesitation in extending the period to seven years, so that we may have ample time to stimulate our poor lethargic Australian intellects up to the desired supreme mili tary height. I hope, however; that honorable members will have faith in their own countrymen. During the Boer War many honorable members who are now asking that we should go outside and obtain experienced men, had not a good word to say for those who went to South Africa. The suggestion now is, however, that we should avail ourselves of those who have had actual experience of war. What were our troops supposed to be doing during the Boer War? Spearing- {: .speaker-JLY} ##### Mr Anstey: -- Poultry ! {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- Yes, according to some people, poultry. These men are now to be elevated and appointed to teach us the noble art of war. For my part, I believe that this is a serious business. Lord Kitchener, who has had more experience of actual war than any one here I hope will ever have, says that the way to train men to make our army is that which we propose, and I am in favour, of following his recommendation concerning a matter about which I, happily, know nothing. {: #debate-13-s44 .speaker-KYV} ##### Mr RILEY:
South Sydney .- It was interesting to follow " the Acting Prime Minister as he travelled all round the clause, but I would point out that he failed to touch the Bill itself. This clause provides for instructors, and, under it, a man above a certain age who desires to enter the College to learn the art of instructing other men will be debarred from becoming an officer of our Permanent . forces. In other words, no man may enter the College after he has passed the age of nineteen years. Some of the best of . pur. officers might come from the instructional staff, and I think that we should so amend the clause that an instructor who may desire, after a few years, to become an officer of the Permanent Forces, shall have an opportunity to do so. We should provide for the examination of such men after they have passed the age of nineteen years. The Acting Prime Minister has talked of the Germans, the Japanese, and the French, but we have to deal with the clause as it stands. My contention is that we should have the widest possible choice, and I would, therefore, broaden the clause so as to allow instructors to submit themselves to an examination for a commission in the army after they have passed the age of nineteen years. {: #debate-13-s45 .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr MATHEWS:
Melbourne Ports -- Iam rather afraid that the AttorneyGeneral does not grasp what it . is we wish to alter. I listened with envy to the honorable gentleman when he was abusing the honorable member for Brisbane, because I believe a good deal of what he said. We desire Australians, and not foreigners, in this business ; but other phases of the question present themselves to me. First of all, this College, apparently, is to be an institution for the training of a sort of glorified sergeantsmajor or drill instructors. Does the AttorneyGeneral mean to say that no 'man in that College will ever be able to rise higher than the rank of an instructor - that,' for instance, the position of commanding officer will not be open to him? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The men in the College will, of course, rise to a high rank in the instructional staff. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr MATHEWS: -- My desire would be to see the age raised to at least thirty. Beyond that it would be inexpedient to go, because we know that, if a man has not obtained his captaincy at forty-five or fifty, he is not likely to rise in the future. My desire, however, is to see this College open to men who, while learning soldiering in the militia, are determined to study the art of war outside the College. Many men now in the learned professions acquired the necessary knowledge long after the age at which men usually go to college. In the past, there have always been openings in the army for such men, and there are now in England and elsewhere; and I do not see why we should not follow the example in this respect of ultra-conservative countries. In the Mother Country there is a means by which men may be promoted from the ranks, apart from those provided by exhibitions of gallantry in the field. If a man in the militia shows that he can pass an examination with those who are in the College, why not allow him to do so? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- He may for the next five years, but after that there will be no militia. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr MATHEWS: -- But there will be capable men in similar positions after the five years. I admit that the Acting Prime Minister is somewhat in a difficulty, as, in presenting his Bill, he is representing the Minister of Defence in another place. The Acting Prime Minister, however, must not forget that the Minister of Defence is sitting in his Department surrounded by men who are determined that nobody shall- come in from the outside and take the positions for which those men think they are the chosen people. In Australia to-day there is only one promoted man who is really a ranker; and, although he is one of the ablest men in the force, there seems a determination that he shall not " get on." Those military officers are reared in an atmosphere peculiar to themselves, and they desire to make the profession a close association. I ask the Attorney-General to do something to relieve the position, and, to that end, to extend the age to thirty. {: #debate-13-s46 .speaker-KNF} ##### Mr MASSY-GREENE:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917 .- There seems to be a good deal of misconception in the minds of honorable members regarding this clause. In the first place, the clause proposes no limit of age. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- The regulations do. {: .speaker-KNF} ##### Mr MASSY-GREENE:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917 -- I know; but all the clause provides is that any one rising to the position of officer in the Permanent Forces must be a graduate of the College. War is becoming more and more a science; and there is absolute necessity to have highlytrained men in command, and in the position of instructional officers. I have not seen the regulation, but- I understand it to state that boys must enter the College for the purpose of going through the whole curriculum between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. When the whole course is really educational from beginning to end, it is essential, as a general rule, that men should start their training young, so that they may be thoroughly grounded in their profession. I have no wish to see a military caste grow up in Australia, and I can perfectly understand the grounds that some honorable members are taking, when they see, or think they see, in . this clause something which debars those who have had no opportunity between the ages named to enter the College from rising. But do the regulations bar such individuals? I do not think so. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- The Minister who framed the regulation thinks so ; he framed if for that purpose. {: .speaker-KNF} ##### Mr MASSY-GREENE:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917 -- Perhaps I had better say that I do not see why the Minister need pass a regulation for that purpose. It is -perfectly right that this regulation should be passed, but there is nothing in it to debar anybody, at any serviceable age, from graduating - that is, sitting for examination and graduating from the College - without actually being a resident giaduate. It is quite right that, inasmuch as officers have to be trained up from youth, those who are residing at the College should consist wholly and solely of young men ; but there should be, and there is, nothing to debar any citizen who is willing to graduate from the College from doing so on passing the necessary examination. I see every reason why we should not throw open the College doors to anybody or everybody as residents ; all who have had experience of colleges and boarding schools know that there are very grave reasons why that should not be done. As a general rule, it will be found that very few will be able to graduate in later . years; at the same time, there is no necessity to debar them. The clause as it stands should, I think, remain, and it then becomes simply a matter of the regulations, which honorable members will have an opportunity of considering when they are submitted. There is nothing in the Bill to prevent anybody from becoming an officer ; all it provides is that they shall be graduates from the College, so far as regards the instructional and permanent staff. We all understand that iany citizen may become an officer of the Citizen Forces, and all that is provided in the clause is that no one shall become a member of the instructional or permanent staff who is not a graduate of the College. {: #debate-13-s47 .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS:
Capricornia .- I move - >That the following word's be added to the clause : - " Students of any age not exceeding thirty years may, on passing the prescribed competitive examination, obtain admission to the Military College." {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- There is no prescribed examination for entering. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- I have here the regulations which show that, before a person can enter the College, he must pass an examination that is not very simple ; and in that examination we have the obstacle. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- There is nothing in that examination beyond the average boy of sixteen at the present standard of education. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- But a young man of from' twenty to twenty- two, whose parents could not afford to send him to school, and who has to' work for his living, may desjre, and be competent, to lead a military life, but, under the regulation, he is debarred from offering himself for the examination simply because he is over nineteen. It is a fine old Tory argument on the part of the Attorney-General to declare " We must not open the door." It is a pity that there are not honorable members in the House capable of heaping on the Attorney- General vituperation of the character that he heaped on the honorable member for Brisbane. Vituperation is all verv well, but-- {: #debate-13-s48 .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- Will the honorable member deal with the clause? {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: -- The Attorney-General dealt with the honorable member for Brisbane in a very severe and uncalled-for manner, entirely evading the point that we are about to create a . military caste of the worst description. There can be no other result if we provide that only the sons of rich people shall be officers in the Australian Army. This is to be a Citizen Army, which means an army composed of the mechanics, labourers, architects, builders, and others, who play their parts in the economy of the Commonwealth. If only people whose parents can afford to send them to school so as to enable them to pass the examination prior to the age of nineteen are to be the officers in the Permanent Forces, we shall have a good many gilded youths ordering the mechanics of the Commonwealth about. That is wrong. I submit to honorable members, most of whom have gained their education and experience in the university of the world, that young men who go straight from the schools into the Military College, will not get the experience necessary to qualify them to treat the citizen soldiers properly. What happens in Germany ? Some time ago we read in the cables of a German officer actually running his- sword through a soldier because the soldier refused to salute him. We want as permanent officers of our Commonwealth Forces men who have an everyday experience of the world. It will do these, young men good to have amongst them men even of thirty years of age who have worked outside amongst the populace, and can give them a true sense of what is due to the citizens of the Commonwealth. {: #debate-13-s49 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- - I am afraid the honorable member for Richmond is not quite accurate when he states that the intention of the scheme is that any officer may pass the graduating examination whether he has been to the College or not. The clear intention of the Kitchener scheme is that the candidates should all be taken young, kept at the College, and put through it. Lord Kitchener recommends - >Candidates should be selected from the most capable of the Senior Cadets, each area officer submitting the name of his best cadet to the major in charge of ten areas, who will then examine these ten cadets and forward five names through the district headquarters, who will state their recommendations, if any, to the central administration. The latter will then select from the names received double the number required, and will refer the ultimate selection from these last to an authority to be determined by Government. Although entrance to the College is being made free, it is not to be altogether competitive. There is first of all a selection of those who may be permitted to compete and so the honorable member for Melbourne Ports is quite right in saying that this scheme rules out the ordinary ranker from commissions in the Permanent Forces. It is intended to do so, and it is of no use to try to bluff the House into believing anything else. The method of selection, the age at which they are to be selected, and the prohibition proposed in this provision, are all in terms of the Kitchener recommendations, which are that the special Staff Corps charged with the instruction of the Army shall be caught young, and trained scientifically and thoroughly on the model of the West Point College in the United States. That means residence at the College, under such conditions as perhaps we shall never be able to obtain here. The curriculum at West Point is so severe that they have on the average one instructor for every four cadets. I suppose there is no other place in the world where money is lavished to the same extent on a Military College. The idea is that you shall get the cadet when he is young, and get him into the College, after he has been carefully selected by the area officer. A selection is first made of the few who shall be permitted to compete. Only one in every 500 will be selected, and the selection will be made first of all by the officer in command of the area. His recommendation is to be submitted to the major, who submits it in turn to the local head-quarters, and the officers there, after sifting the matter, pass it on in turn to the authorities of the Military College, or some other body selected by the Government. It is provided that those few selected cadets shall then compete for entrance into the College. {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- Does not that system open' the door to favoritism ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- How else is it to be done? Somebody must have the final decision. Without it we shall get into the position which honorable members opposite are trying to escape from. {: .speaker-JLY} ##### Mr Anstey: -- What is the good of an examination when those who will have the biggest influence are selected first? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The best cadets in the areas will be selected. Honorable members opposite do not want a competitive examination. {: .speaker-JLY} ##### Mr Anstey: -- We do want it; the only objection is to the age limit. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Some selection must be made of those who are to compete in these exceptional circumstances. What Lord Kitchener had in his mind was that the Staff Corps should be a specially trained, educated, and qualified body of instructional officers. In addition to their three years at the College, they have to be sent abroad, and kept abroad for twelve months, and then brought back, and put for a further twelve months under an area officer. Altogether their education will take five years before they are turned out as capable area officers. {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- Even the present area officers will be debarred from going through the College on account of age. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Lord Kitchener distinctly says that no member of the present forces should be permitted to be an area officer except temporarily. He specially cautions us against appointing any of our present officers, young or o'd, to be area officers. {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- We have appointed them. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Only temporarily during what Lord Kitchener calls the- transition period. {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- It would be a sad mistake if we could not take advantage of. the services of the best of those men in the future. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- My opinion is that the question of area officers should have been dealt with very differently from the way in which the Government are dealing with it. It seems quite clear that if this legislation is passed no person except a cadet who has been through the College . will be eligible for appointment to the Permanent Force, but the other provision in section 22 of the Act will still remain. I do not know how it is to be got over. The more I look at it the more it seems to create a difficulty, because " officer " in section 22 of the Act is certainly wider than " permanent officer " in new section 148 of the Bill. I believe, however, that we can deal with all these special cases later on, and if ever a war comes about, and men distinguish themselves in it. this Parliament will, I hope, always be here to see that justice is done to them,, although' I am afraid a full measure of justice was not done to some of the most brilliant officers who went to the Boer War. I have stood up in this House for some who did good work there and received very scant treatment upon their return. However, we must always rely upon Parliament to do justice in these emergent circumstances. On the whole, the Kitchener scheme is good, and if it is a little too rigid for our Australian requirements, we must remember that it aims at efficiency first and foremost. {: #debate-13-s50 .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS:
Adelaide .- The more we discuss the matter, the more we see of the Bill, and the more we hear of the regulations and of the Ministerial trend of mind, the more clear does it become that we are about to create a military caste so far as the officers of the Permanent Forces are concerned. The Minister suggested in his mildest manner that we should leave it to the Government in the future to say what the regulations should be, and depend upon their promise to look into the subject. If we do that we shall be depending upon a very slender thread indeed, because the moment the Attorney-General" was put into a corner his vehemence almost overwhelmed us, and his language became positively sanguinary. That is a clear indication that the Ministerial mind does not tend in the direction of making any amendment or improvement of the - regulations respecting the College. As the honorable member for Melbourne Ports pointed out, while we have an exceptionally capable Minister of Defence, one of the most capable and painstaking that we have ever had, according to the statements of military officers inside and outside the service, we must remember that he lacks even the smallest degree of practical knowledge of things military, and is to a large extent in the hands of officers. There is now in the Defence Department a caste. Among the officers who are advising the Minister in this direction there are a number who look with horror on the prospect' of any ordinary citizen coming into their -ranks, or in any way interfering with their privileges. The whole tendency is to keep the ranker clown in the ranks, and to keep commissions for a particular class of the community. Lord Kitchener's first proposal was that a premium of *£80* should be paid for entry into the College, and that the boy's parents should keep" him while he was there. This clearly indicated that in Lord Kitchener's opinion only a small section of the community, irrespective of ability, should ever be allowed entry into the College. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The poorest person can get in. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- That is so now, but when Lord Kitchener is quoted as an authority on the question of officers for the Australian Forces, we should remember the effect of his recommendations on this subject. Of course, he brought with him the ideas of older parts of the world, where officers are drawn from a certain class, and in some cases are given commissions with almost a disregard for their qualifications and adaptability. We propose to ignore the recommendation of Lord Kitchener, and to throw the College open to all, providing for the keep of the students during the whole of their term. But it is proposed to have a selection. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- No. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- Before a youngster can submit himself to the competitive examination he must be recommended by the officer commanding his cadet corps, or, if he is above eighteen years of age, by the officer commanding the squadron, battalion, or regiment of which he is a member. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The only limitation is that which allots a certain number of students to each State. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- Have the regulations for the College been issued? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I have a copy of the proposed regulations. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- I object to any preliminary selection, though I do not- object to a competitive entrance examination, and I am not prepared to say that the standard read out by- the honorable member for Capricornia is too high. At first blush, I do not think that it is. But I complain that a man cannot enter the College unless he is under the age of nineteen years. The honorable member for Richmond suggests that persons may be allowed to graduate without residing in the College, but that is not the intention of the Government or its advisers. Persons will not be able to graduate from the College unless they have entered it after passing a competitive examination before attaining the age of nineteen years, and have resided there for the whole of their term. {: .speaker-KNF} ##### Mr MASSY-GREENE:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917 -- As a general rule, residence should be insisted on. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- If the honorable member says that one condition should be insisted upon, and proposes another, he is not on firm ground. My objection to the regulations is that certain persons will be unable to graduate from the College. No one dares say that he desires the creation of a military caste, or that officers should be drawn from any particular class of society ; but, under the regulations, person* who have proved their merit will be debarred from promotion, because no one who is not a graduate of the College will be able to enter the Permanent Forces as a commissioned officer. That provision largely nullifies section 22 of the Act of last year, which empowers the GovernorGeneral to appoint any person to be an officer, and to promote an officer for distinguished service, or marked ability, or gallantry on active service.- Appointments for distinguished service and gallantry, like kissing, go by favour. Distinguished service may be rendered, and no notice may be taken of it, while a trifling service rendered by a favourite may lead to the pinning of' decorations on his manly and heaving breast, so that he becomes the darling of the gods and of the girls. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- My honorable friend means that men may serve their country well, without being decorated? {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- Yes. Many of those who have been decorated will admit in private that they did not deserve the distinction given to them. The regulations will prevent capable men from proving their qualification to serve as officers. We hear a great deal about war becoming more and more a science ; but, under this scheme, all the fighting is to be done by the citizen soldiery and officers, while the brilliant, scientific men will be kept at home. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The university professor who teaches law or medicine does not go out into the world to practise. That is left to the students who. have been trained by him. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- I am aware that professors do not leave the universities unless they can get better billets, just as a minister does not leave his church unless he receives a call to a better one. A man who is qualified to command in actual warfare should be permitted to enter the College if he wishes to do so. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- We are creating a Citizen Defence Force, not a military system. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- But we need not debar capable men from obtaining promotion. Under the system provided for, all who do not go through the Military College, which must be entered before a man reaches the age of nineteen years, will be debarred from promotion as officers. Obviously, if the Minister is left to deal with the matter by regulation, our suggestions will be put on one side. I know, from personal knowledge, that on the instructional staff there are commissioned officers receiving from £300 to £450 a year who, so far as knowledge, teaching ability,- education, and general capacity are concerned, are not equal to many of the non-commissioned officers on the staff, who receive from ^170 to £200 a year. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Have not these commissioned officers obtained their positions in the way ;n which the honorable member wishes it to be possible for men to obtain promotion under our new system, namely, by influence, and not by proving their merit by passing competitive examinations ? {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- I do not know how they obtained their positions, if it were not by undue influence; but I have never raised any objection to the competitive system, nor do I object to compelling those who wish to become officers to graduate at the Military College. But I object to a rule preventing persons from graduating, no matter what their ability, because they are over the age of nineteen years. Why should a man who is a ranker remain a ranker for life? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The honorable member would have to draw, the line somewhere, and exclude some men from the chance of becoming officers. I have already said that the Minister is willing to favorably consider a suggestion for increasing the age at which men may enter the -Military College. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- I might accept the promise if this were my first session; but 1 have a thousand times heard Ministers promise to favorably consider suggestions, and do nothing to give effect to them. I do not wish to speak disrespectfully of the present Ministers. Every Minister has, at some time or other, used the words, " We will favorably consider your proposal if you let the Bill pass." {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I wish the honorable member would let us get to a division. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- This is an exceedingly important matter, and the vehemence of the Minister in combating our view was of such a character as to lead me to think that this promise of favorable consideration will not be of much advantage to us. I therefore propose to add a further proviso. I do not favour the amendment proposed by the honorable member for Capricornia, but that which I shall propose will enable persons with military leanings who have served, say, three years in the Forces, and have had time to obtain a settled conviction as to what vocation they would like to follow, to submit themselves to any entry test to which the Minister may choose to submit them before they have reached the age of twenty-seven years, and, on passing it, to enter the Military College, and to graduate therefrom. A smart noncommissioned officer who had served four or five years in the Forces, and had found that the vocation was one that suited him, might desire to submit himself for an examination {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The honorable member does not use the words " a prescribed examination" in the amendment which he proposes to move. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- Provision is already made in that respect, and such words are unnecessary. My amendment would afford such persons as those to whom I have referred an opportunity not to be pushed into the commissioned ranks, but, on passing a prescribed examination, to enter the Military College,' and to graduate therefrom. {: #debate-13-s51 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth -- The honorable member is not quite fair to the Acting Prime Minister. He ought to remember that the honorable gentleman cannot be expected to know intimately everything that is in the mind of the Minister of Defence; but the basis of his attack has been the Ministerial intention, whatever it may be, with regard to future regulations. I have realized in the course of this debate that the Acting Prime Minister, nobly as he is transacting his duty in the Chamber, is not, and cannot be expected to be, in such close touch with the Minister of Defence as his colleague who acts for the Minister in this House. Last night, for instance, we held combat on the subject ' of whether uniforms should be provided for riflemen, and the project was scouted by the official head of the Government. That important matter had been definitely decided by the responsible Minister, but the Attorney-General was absolutely without information last night, and induced his colleagues to support him in an untenable position. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- The honorable member must not discuss that matter. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Complaint has been made that the Acting Prime Minister indulged in vituperation against the unoffending member for Brisbane. I did not hear any vicious attack upon the honorable member for Brisbane, or the honorable member for Capricornia ; nor did I hear a whisper on his part against the professional reputation of the honorable member for Adelaide. Why, then, this attack on the Acting Prime Minister, who is doing his best to struggle with a measure which possibly, owing to his having his hands full in other directions, he does not fully understand? Perhaps it would be better to ascertain from the Minister representing the Minister of Defence, at question time, exactly what is proposed with regard to the Military College, and the point as to the extension of the age of entry to thirty years. It seems to me that whether the age limit be fixed at thirty, forty, or nineteen years, the younger, a man is on entering the College, the better he must be equipped in competition with his fellows. Those who have had to study for competitive examinations late in life know that it is infinitely more difficult for a man, no matter what his intrinsic ability may be, to acquire new kinds of knowledge, than it is for a youth under the age pf twenty-one years to do so. Whatever age we may arbitrarily fix, nature will defeat us. Let me give honorable members an instance of what I mean. The right honorable gentleman who formerly represented East Sydney, and every one will admit his ability, told me once what a trouble his Bar examinations were to him when he entered upon them at the age of about thirty years. His difficulties were infinitely more than they would have been in the case of a man with so much ability had he started his studies ten years earlier in life. A man does not require great ability to pass an examination such as that set out if he starts upon his studies at an early age. There are periods when a man can readily acquire book knowledge, and other periods when a man finds it most difficult to direct his brain into new channels. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- Is the practical knowledge of no consideration? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Certainly it is, and I have already suggested that section 22 of the principal Act gives power to raise to the commissioned rank any person in the Permanent Forces who shows his capacity. {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- It does not. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Then I should like that provision to be extended to the Permanent Forces. I understood that it governed all tha Forces. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- It would be better to omit it altogether. It is, after all, only a question of favoritism. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- According to the honorable member's jaundiced view, everything is a question of favoritism. We must have a system of advancement by merit, and risk favoritism; otherwise, we shall have a dry-rot setting in. I hope that the Acting Prime Minister will consider seriously the representations that have been made to him. I do not think that he will do any good for those who urge the case of men who might wish to enter the College later in life by accepting the amendment. But some means should be adopted whereby a man in the Permanent Forces who has shown in a marked degree his practical fitness for promotion to commissioned rank will have an opportunity to secure that . promotion without having to pass a theoretical examination too late in life. The extension of the age limit to thirty years will be a mere mockery to men who, too late in life, have to face the big difficulties of a series of examinations such as those set forth. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The honorable member has done nothing but waste time in dealing with this matter, which, according to him, is the most important that could engage the attention of the Legislature. From the time he started, he has done nothing but act the fool. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- The_ honorable member is not in order hi accusing an honorable member of " acting the fool." He must withdraw the expression. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Withdraw what, sir - the acting or the fool ? I withdraw both. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I make all allowance for the temper of the irascible honorable member. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- The honorable member must make no further reference to the matter. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I shall make no further reference to the honorable gentleman's temper; it is sufficiently apparent. I hope that he will consider earnestly the representations that have been made, so that the interests of the rank and file may be guaranteed without subjecting them, comparatively late in life, to an examination which they would have no chance of passing. Amendment negatived. Amendment (by **Mr. Roberts)** put - >That the following proviso ' be added : - "Provided- further that' 'persons who have served three years in the forces may, at any time before they attain the age of twenty-seven years and after passing the prescribed examination for entry, enter the Military College for the purpose of becoming graduates thereof." The Committeee divided. Ayes ... ... ... 36 Noes *...* ... ... 12 Majority ... ... 24 Question so resolved in the affirmative. Amendment agreed to. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 6235 {:#debate-14} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-14-0} #### CUSTOMS TARIFF In Committee of Ways and Means: {: #subdebate-14-0-s0 .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR:
Minister of Trade . and Customs · Yarra · ALP -- Honorable members will be aware that during the last session of last Parliament, the question of Tariff anomalies was not only mentioned by more than one honorable member, but brought up by way of motion, and it was also one of the questions which came to the front during the election campaign. When I administered the Customs Department on a previous occasion, and during my pre- _ sent term of office - and also during the. term of office of my predecessor, the honorable member for Kooyong - there were many deputations with the object of rectifying various . anomalies which have arisen under the Tariff. I have prepared a schedule of these anomalies ; and, after submitting it to the Committee, will, before I sit down, move that it take the place, so far as it goes, of the Tariff which has been in operation until to-day. Many honorable members, I have no doubt, will be disappointed because particular items in which they are, perhaps,, interested, are not included. I may say at the outset, however, that this rectification of anomalies is not regarded by the Cabinet as Tariff revision ; and it has been decided that there shall be no revision until after the referendum on the question of the extension of the industrial powers of the Commonwealth. If is- thought that in the past the workers in both protected and unprotected industries, but particularly in the protected industries, have not had their fair share of the general benefits of Protection. Other Governments promised - and we must presume they intended to carry out their promise - to introduce a system of new Protection; and the present Government have introduced and carried Bills asking the people for increased powers to enable the workers to obtain their fair share of benefit under the settled policy of the country. It will be realized that the character of the revision must be largely influenced by the result of the referendum. It is not suggested that all employers are alike either in protected or unprotected industries. It is admitted that many of the workers have received fair treatment, but it is also acknowledged that many have not. When a deputation waited on me, in, I think, May of this year, and asked for a complete revision of the Tariff, I declined to support the request; and I take full responsibility for what I then said, having no desire to take shelter behind any action of the Cabinet. I represent, I think, one of the strongest Protectionist electorates in the Commonwealth; and I told the deputation that, until the workers were assured of their share of the benefits, it was not proposed to ' revise the Tariff. I quoted to that deputation, as I could this afternoon if I so desired, case after case in which the employers had received practically a monopoly of the Australian market, and had not given the employes their share of the Protection. That is the reason why the Ministry decided not to re-open the whole Tariff until the people of Australia had had an opportunity of pronounc ing upon what is known as the new Protection scheme, as involved in the proposal to amend the Constitution by giving increased industrial powers to the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- Can the honorable member say what profits those manufacturers have been making? {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- I do not know, nor do I intend to single out any industry, although it would be fairly easy to single out some. I have in my mind at present one in which those engaged are able to sell in Australia every ton of the particular article they produce, and they have not been noted for fair treatment of their employes. {: .speaker-KYJ} ##### Sir John Quick: -- Do not the Wages Boards deal with those cases? {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- No, there are no Wages Boards in some of our industries. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- The Wages Boards cannot deal with the new Protection proposed by the Government. They go further than the Wages Boards. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- I hope we shall do as good work as the Wages Boards have done, and be able to do even better. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- When the honorable member says that, has he any specific legislation in view? {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- No, I was simply replying to an interjection by the honorable member for Parramatta. After each Tariff revision anomalies have been found to exist. The first Tariff took over eleven months to" settle, after a very strenuous session. It was not finished until October, 1902, and the work was hardly completed before there was an outcry that anomalies existed, because sufficient Protection was not given to some industries. Again, in 1907-8 the Tariff had hardly been revised before anomalies were discovered. {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- And many injustices. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- I believe so, and I have not the slightest doubt that many honorable members will be disappointed when they see the schedule. {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- I hope the Minister has put a very liberal interpretation upon the word " anomaly:" {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- I "have not. There is to be no Tariff revision until after the refer- endum has been taken. One honorable member may think that half-a-dozen items in which he is interested have a claim to be dealt with at once, and independently of Tariff revision; but if each of the seventyfive honorable members of this House were to pick out one or two items for revision before the referendum is taken, I would not give much for the chance of the referendum being carried. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- Does the Minister say that there will be no Tariff revision if the referenda fail? {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- I have not said so; but the result of the referenda will influence the Cabinet as to how the Tariff is to be revised. I believe the bulk of the people of Australia are Protectionists, because they believe that the conditions existing in Australia are superior to those existing in the countries which compete with us by sending their goods here. That is why this Parliament has placed *ad valorem,* or fixed duties, upon a number- of articles; and it is to insure the workers their share of that increased Protection that the Cabinet have arrived at the decision that there shall not be any Tariff revision before the referenda, although the anomalies in existence shall be, as far as possible, rectified. {: .speaker-L4X} ##### Mr PARKER MOLONEY:
INDI, VICTORIA · ALP -- There are on the free list articles which are manufactured in Australia. That is an anomaly. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- It is not. I admit that there are on the free list articles manufactured in Australia, but that is more a matter to be dealt with in a revision of the Tariff. A deputation from Queensland which waited upon me the other day suggested a very simple method of 'dealing with " anomalies " in the Tariff. They pointed out that, as there was a duty of only1s. per cental- upon bananas, and a duty of 2s. per cental on other green fruits, we should bring the duty on bananas up to the higher level. I said that if we did the same thing with the apparel and iron duties, wepwould make a very sweeping change, and that if the deputation considered that that was a rectification of anomalies, and not Tariff revision, I. could not agree with them. That is why we have not dealt with any items which the Cabinet consider to involve Tariff revision. The list which I intend to move will, it is trusted, remove the difficulties which the Department experience in determining under what item certain articles come. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- Then it is purely a departmental revision? {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- It is practically a departmental revision, for the purpose of making the interpretation of the Tariff better and clearer. In one or two instances we have increased the rate of duty upon articles, thereby increasing the amount of protection in those instances, but the reason of that is as follows : - We have been reclassifying "some of the articles, particularly with regard to the paper duties, which I am sure my predecessor, in office will admit are the most difficult in the Tariff to interpret. For clearness, some lines which were wrongly in the free list before have had to be made dutiable. That has made the raw material of some Australian manufacturers dutiable, and, therefore, we have had in one or two cases to increase the rates of duty on the lines produced by those manufacturers in order to compensate for the increase in duty on the raw material. {: .speaker-JSM} ##### Mr Thomas Brown: -- Is that to meet the case in Sydney? {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- That is one of the cases that will be dealt with - in relation to the cardboard box industry, and so on. {: .speaker-JSM} ##### Mr Thomas Brown: -- Is it proposed to increase the duty on cardboard? {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- Yes; but I shall deal with that item when we come, to it. When we are considering the matter of Tariff revision we should keep in view the necessity of utilizing as far as possible the raw material available in Australia, and also of turning out an article which gives employment to the greatest amount of labour under the best possible conditions,. I do not agree with the statement that has been made in this House, that there are some industries that are not worth protecting, because I believe that every industry is worth protecting, but 1 think that some are more worth protecting than others, and they should receive from the House in any Tariff revision a greater amount of consideration. We should endeavour, as far as possible, not to partly finish an article in Australia, but to turn out a completed article. An illustration was recently given in the debate on the oil bounty question, when it was shown that we were turning out raw material, sending it away, and importing the finished product again, instead of making it here ourselves. When we do tackle the work of Tariff revision 'we should not allow any process of that sort to take place. We should utilize our own raw material and turn out the finished article in our own manufactories. As honorable members are now being supplied with' the amending schedule, I move - >That Schedule A to the *Customs Tariff'* 190$ be amended as hereunder set on', and that on and after the seventeenth day of November One thousand nine hundred and ten Duties of Customs be collected in pursuance of the Customs Tariff as so amended. As all the offices in Australia have now been closed it will be impossible for any more goods to be cleared under the old rates of duty, and the rates set out in the schedule above will be operative as from to-morrow. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- It is not yet 4 o'clock in some parts of Australia. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- I am aware that it is not " yet 4 o'clock in Perth, but it will be impossible for information to be sent over there in time to clear goods before the office closes. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- There is nothing in the schedule to show the alterations that have been made in the existing Tariff. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- These schedules were printed without that information, but, if honorable members desire it, I shall have them supplied by to-morrow morning, if possible, with copies showing the existing rates and the rates now proposed. The first items to which I wish to draw attention are I 06A and 107. The amended wording is designed to overcome the great difficulties which were met with in the importation of boxed robes and materials cut to length for apparel. The question of what was a boxed robe caused greater trouble than any other item in the last Tariff. When the last Tariff was passed it contained, in item 123d, a reference to " boxed robes." I think there were at least half-a-dozen deputations to the Department asking that that term should be defined. Finally, the importers waited on me when I was Minister, about two years ago, and asked that they might be made dutiable at the rate of other made-up apparel. It was felt at the time by the departmental officers that to do that would be to strain the law, but it was done, nevertheless, and has been the practice of the Department for the last eighteen months, so far as specially prepared parts of boxed robes were concerned. The alteration will cover also material cut to shape and cut into lengths for apparel. It has been found practically impossible for either the departmental officers or importers to distinguish between ribbons, galloons, laces, braids, gimps and trimmings, and we have been asked to deal with them all alike. To provide for this it is proposed to amend items 1 2 3d and 134a and b; this alteration will save a great deal of trouble and expense, and secure uniformity. This is difficult even at the principal ports, but it is found in practice that elsewhere officers occasionally admit goods at lower rates than those charged elsewhere, not with any wrong object, but because they do not understand the intention of Parliament as - interpreted by the head office. Therefore we wish to make the wording of the Tariff as clear as possible. {: .speaker-KYJ} ##### Sir John Quick: -- Is there to be a raising or a lowering of duties? {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- The amendment to which I have just referred is merely to get rid of difficulty in administration, but in one or two instances, with which I have dealt, rates have been increased, while in others, to which I shall refer, they have been decreased. We propose an amendment respecting malleable iron castings by making them dutiable at1¾d. per lb. At present they are dutiable at 25 and 20 per cent., according to the kind of machine for which they are intended. But Parliament, in dealing specially with stripperharvesters, made castings for such machines dutiable at1¾d. per lb., and some unscrupulous importers have been introducing at the lower rates castings really intended for stripper-harvesters but imported nominally for chaff-cutters or other agricultural machines. {: .speaker-JSM} ##### Mr Thomas Brown: -- There are castings for farm implements which cannot be used for stripper-harvesters. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- Yes; but I am informed that a great deal of trouble will be avoided by making the duty uniform, and the rate will be only slightly increased. {: .speaker-L4X} ##### Mr PARKER MOLONEY:
INDI, VICTORIA · ALP -- What will the new duty be per cent, *ad valorem?* {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- It will vary with the cost of the castings. We propose to amend item 178D to give effect to the original intention of item 172, which makes all brass work and gun-metal work used in general engineering and plumbing and other trader dutiable at 30 and 25 per cent, according to the country of origin. Electrical and gas appliances, n.e.i, are dutiable at 17½ and 10 per cent., and it has been discovered that brass-work used for plumbing which should pay the higher rate has been introduced as gas appliances, n.e.i. I. come now to a case in which a reduction of duty is proposed. Under item 200, patent steel droppers of all lengths are dutiable at 17½ and 12 per cent., according to country of origin; while under item 217, steel fencing standards of all lengths, and pillars and patent wedgers for droppers and standards, are dutiable at 5 per cent, or free, according to country of origin. We propose to make rolled iron and steel, as prescribed by departmental by-laws, for use in the manufacture of droppers and of standards and pillars, free. The proposed exemption of raw material under each item is intended to overcome the anomaly that such raw material, although somewhat similar to bar and rod iron, cannot be admitted as such, and must be charged as manufactures of metal at 30 per cent, or 25 per cent., while the finished dropper or standard is admitted at the rates I have given. The proposal to increase the duties on standards and pillars is necessitated by the fact that droppers and standards are very much alike, and that standards may be imported extra long at 5 per cent, or free, and made into droppers at one cut. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- There seems to be a decrease. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- We are proposing a reduction so far as the droppers are concerned by making free the raw material, rod iron and steel, which is at present dutiable. The raw material is to be free, and the other two items are to be uniform. Honorable members will recognise that the duty fixed for standards should also apply to droppers. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr Carty Salmon: -- Is there any reason for putting up the duty on patent ivedgers ? {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- I think that the reason is precisely that which I have just given. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr Carty Salmon: -- But they cannot be cut in two. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- I shall be prepared to consider in the light of the information at my disposal any request for a lower, duty, which honorable members may think desirable, in regard to this fencing material, which cannot be made in Australia; but honorable members will recognise that since there are no less than 450 items in the Tariff, some of which embrace thirty or forty sub-items, it is practically impossible for me to have at my fingers' ends full information relating to every detail. The next item to which I desire to draw attention is item 230, which it is proposed to amend by inserting after the word " dressings " the words " inks, stains." At the present time, inks and stains for leather are dutiable, under item 425, at 20 per cent. *ad valorem.* This amendment is necessary, because it is impossible in many cases for the officers of the Department to determine at what point these goods cease to be inks and stains for leather, and become a leather dressing. It is therefore proposed to bring them into line with dressings. When the last Federal Tariff was under consideration, many of the manufacturers engaged in the industry said that it would be impossible to distinguish between the two classes of goods, and we have determined to take inks and stains out of item 425, and to bring them under item 230, which deals with dressings, pastes, and polishes for leather, and under which they will be dutiable at the increased rates of 40 per cent, and 35 per cent. It is essential that there should be uniformity in this matter. We had either to reduce the -duty On dressings to that on inks and stains, or to adopt the alternative of bringing up the duty on inks and stains to that on dressings; and we have followed the latter course. Item 236 a and b relates to paints and colours. This proposal, whilst increasing the rate of -duty on small packages of paints and colours ground in liquid will facilitate business with the Department by removing the present necessity for examinations to determine whether or not all paints imported are mixed ready for use. Under item 236 a and b of the Tariff, as it stands, paints ground in liquid are dutiable at 4s. per cwt., and if prepared for use are dutiable at 6s. per cwt. My predecessor in office will recollect the great difficulty in regard to this item. The Department has been compelled to open a great number pf packages to determine whether or not they contain paints prepared for use, and during my term of office exhaustive analyses have been entered into to determine -whether a particular imported paint is or is not ready for use. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Sir Robert Best: -- Will this satisfy those concerned? {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- I cannot say, but we hope that it will carry us a little further on the road to satisfying them than does the' item in the Tariff as it stands. Item 261 relates to glue and gelatine. It is absolutely impossible to distinguish glue from gelatine. Chemists are unable to differentiate between them, and we propose to make both liable to uniform duties at 2d. and 1½d. per lb. Under the Tariff as it stands, ' glue is dutiable at 30 per cent, and 23 per cent., and gelatine of all kinds is dutiable at 2d. per lb. and 1½d. per lb. We propose uniform fixed duties of 2d. and i.Jd. per lb., which, I am given to understand by those engaged in the trade, will work out at about the present *ad valorem* rates. I have a preference for fixed duties, and possibly I have influenced the decision that we should impose a fixed rate of duty, instead of the *ad valorem* rates of 30 and 25 per cent. Undoubtedly, where we have a fixed duty there is less liability, of invoice values being dropped down than there is in connexion with *ad valorem* rates. The next item of importance to which I would direct attention is item 356, which has probably caused the Department more trouble than has any other. It relates to paper duties. Item 356, paragraphs g and h, in the Tariff as it stands, makes .plain writing paper, cut less than 16 by 13 inches, ana not in stationery packets, dutiable at 15 per cent, and 10 per cent., and ruled and bordered papers dutiable at 25 per cent, and 20 'per cent. It is proposed, first of all, to define what is known in the trade as a "board." We propose an abbreviation of the definition given, in the' footnote to the item in the Tariff as it stands, which' will relieve the Department of the difficulties that have been cast upon it in distinguishing boards from heavy paper. . The heavy paper, I may inform honorable members, is heavier than a light board, but we shall get over the present difficulty by this amended definition. We propose to omit paragraphs g and h of item 356 - which I have just read - from the existing Tariff. They relate merely to stationery. Plain writing paper of not less than 16 by 13 inches has only to be put once into the machine to be converted, when folded, into ordinary note paper. We, therefore, propose to bring these two items under " stationery." They cover what is really recognised by the trade as stationery, and manufacturers, in order to accommodate themselves to our Tariff, have altered not only the names of various lines which they have been manufacturing, but also the manufacture of certain goods, so as to enable them to be imported under lower rates of duty. By means of this amendment, these items will appear under the item of stationery, in which they should originally have been placed. Item 3561 in the Tariff, as it stands, covers paper - >Browns and sugar (grey, blue, and other tints); fruit bag- paper, candle blue and grey paper, candle carton paper. which are dutiable at 5s. and 4s. 6d. per cwt. We propose that they shall be subjected to the same rates of duty, but the wording of the item is to be altered. The whole of the sub-item will be omitted, and in its stead we shall insert the following : - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Wrapping of all colours (glazed, unglazed, or mill-glazed), brown, cap, casing, sealing, nature or ochre brown, sulphite, sugar, and all other bag papers, candle carton paper, and boards of all colours, strawboard lined or unlined weighing less than sis ounces to the unlined sheet of strawboard of 25 x 30 inches, or its equivalent. All papers used for bag making will thus be included in this line. It was thought that the general term "browns" would cover all these papers, but many of them have since been brought in at a lower rate of duty, under the item " Paper n.e.i." In order to compensate the bag manufacturers for this alteration, we have increased the rates of duty upon paper bags from 8s. and 7s. 6d. per cwt. to 9s. and 8s. 6d. per cwt. Item 3561, as amended, differs from the old item only to the extent that all wrapping papers are now included in it, and that candle carton boards are also mentioned with candle carton paper. Formerly large quantities of wrapping papers, which were similar to light brown paper, had to be classified as paper, n.e.i., at 20 per cent., or 15 per cent., according to the country of origin. It was impossible to distinguish them from "browns " in some cases, and in others great difficulty was experienced. The new wording will remove these difficulties. The increase in the duties on item 3561., Bags, is to compensate for the increase in duty in the wrapping papers which are used for bags. Item 356M is that referred to by the honorable member for Calare as the boards used by a Sydney firm. On account of the definition of " boards," millboard is the only board let in at the free rate, that being the only board which is not being manufactured here. The effect of the proposals in regard to the items 356M and 356N is to increase from 5 per cent, or free to 20 per cent, or 15 per cent, the duties on cardboard, pasteboard, woodboard, manillaboard, and grey coloured folding boards used by boxmakers. The amendments were absolutely necessary owing to the impossibility of satisfactorily determining when a board was a pulpboard, or one of the boards mentioned. It is not proposed to alter the duty on millboard, as it is easily distinguished. We have been given to understand that practically all the boards which are made are pulp or paste-boards, and it is in order to get over the difficulty that the whole of the wording has been altered- I feel confident that this is one of the items which was very often brought under the notice of my predecessor. In one case, a man, who was supposed to be one of the finest experts in the trade, said he was prepared to give evidence on behalf of the Department. There was no doubt that such evidence could not have been questioned, but when the case came on the expert sent word that he could not testify on behalf of the Department. We had our own idea as to what had happened in the meantime; but it was impossible to determine the point. The Department should not involve itself, or any of the citizens, in a law suit, but the Tariff should be so framed as to render determination easy. The duties on paperboard boxes, item 357D, are increased to compensate local boxmakers for the increase in duty on their folding boxboards. I am not quite sure under what item these came in the Tariff, but it is proposed to increase the duties from 30 and 25 per cent, to 40 and 35 per cent., or an increase of 10 per cent, on each line. This will practically mean that the whole of the boxes will be manufactured in Australia, where we trust higher rates of wages will be paid, even though this may mean that the raw material will cost a little more. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Sir Robert Best: -- The duty on pulp and similar boards is increased by 20 per cent. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- We went very carefully into the matter, and it is estimated that the increase of 10 per cent, will just about cover the increase in the cost of the raw materials. {: .speaker-JSM} ##### Mr Thomas Brown: -- That means that all the stuff used by Firth and Company, in Sydney, will be on the higher list? {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- The whole of the boards will now be on the higher list. If honorable members will look at the Tariff, they will see that item 356M is - >Paper, n.e.i., including pulpboard ; clothlined boards; and cloth-lined paper; floor paper ; paperhangings, or wall papers ; and toilet paper in rolls or packets - General Tariff, 20 per cent. ; United Kingdom, 13 per cent. There is the following footnote - >Pulpboard shall mean a pulp paper, whether plain, coloured, or coated, which at the size of single royal 20 x 25 inches or its equivalent, weighs So lbs. or over per ream of 480 sheets; paper, which is below the weight which constitutes " boards " to be dealt with under the paper duties. The Department are now given to understand that the proposal made represents the correct reading of the Tariff. {: .speaker-JSM} ##### Mr Thomas Brown: -- But the other parties were upheld by the Court. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- They were not. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Sir Robert Best: -- They brought an action against the Department, and we had to make a concession to them, because we could not get evidence at that time to support our case. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- But the Department got evidence afterwards, and although this man has been threatening to go to law ever since, he has not done so. In any case, as I say, a man should not be compelled to go to law in such a matter, because the Tariff ought to be so plain as to be readily understood. The only other item I have to refer to is 373, namely children's tricycles and quadracycles. It was, unfortunately, successfully held that the quadracycles came within the category of bicycles, tricycles, and similar vehicles, not elsewhere included, and dutiable at 25s. each in the case of foreign, and *£1* each in the case of British goods. It was known that that was not the intention of Parliament, but under the determination the charge had to be made, although it amounted to 100 per cent. The alteration is to bring the quadracycles into the same category as the toy tricycles. I admit that I had not seen the printed schedule until it was laid on the table to-day. I have been working from a typewritten copy, and, perhaps, like others, I took it for granted that honorable members were as well up in the subject as myself. I see, however, that the schedule, as printed, does not give honorable members any idea of the alterations proposed, and I hope by to-morrow to have the schedule in such a form as to be readily understood. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr Carty Salmon: -- The alterations seem to deal almost entirely with definitions and administration. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- Practically, the whole of them; we are not proposing any Tariff revision. {: #subdebate-14-0-s1 .speaker-JPC} ##### Sir ROBERT BEST:
Kooyong -- It is, of course, impossible to discuss this schedule with any degree of fulness at this stage, and the Minister has very properly intimated his intention to permit an adjournment of the discussion until tomorrow, when he will be able to supply more concise information. I must say that the Minister has been quite frank in connexion with this subject; he does not wish it to be understood for a moment that 'this schedule is in the remotest degree to be regarded as a revision of the Tariff. It is a mere correction, from a departmental standpoint, of anomalies, with the object of the more harmonious working of the Tariff. I recognise many of the anomalies as those which ought to be dealt with as early as possible. At the same time, I must confess to a sense of profound disappointment, which will be shared by the community generally, that the Minister has seen fit to limit himself to these purely departmental corrections, in one case going so far as the mere alteration of a semicolon. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- That semi-colon has been the means of losing revenue. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Sir ROBERT BEST: -- No doubt that is serious ; but the Minister has rigidly confined himself to immediate departmental difficulties, and, as I say, there will be a sense of disappointment throughout Australia that many of the more glaring cases, which show a complete departure from the original intention of Parliament, have not been submitted; because I feel sure they had only to be presented for revision to meet with approbation. Of course, whenever a Tariff is revised, anomalies are necessarily disclosed within a few days or weeks. All this points to the absolute necessity for a permanent Board to watch the operations of the Tariff and supply the House with information on which we may form a correct judgment. I do not blame the present Minister for following the practice, which has always been to throw before the House forty or fifty, or, perhaps, 500 items without any information whatever, except the information that can be obtained in the discussion that follows. If, in connexion with each item, an expert Board showed the necessity for the alteration, and its actual operation, and gave the House the knowledge essential for its judicious consideration, the passage of the measure would be facilitated, and the result would be an infinitely better Tariff than we have been accustomed hitherto to create. {: .speaker-L4X} ##### Mr PARKER MOLONEY:
INDI, VICTORIA · ALP -- It was the Revenue-Tariffists on the other side of the House that killed the last attempt to do what the honorable member suggests. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Sir ROBERT BEST: -- It is not a matter for which either side of the House can be -blamed. The proposal must commend itself to honorable members on both sides. A Tariff to secure any degree of perfection must be arrived at by a process of evolution. As anomaliesoccur, as defects in its operation are discovered, as products, perhaps, are more cheaply produced in other parts of the world, as improvements take place in machinery, and further information comes to hand, each item has to be considered in its direct and indirect relation to others. If we venture to alter one item the alteration may seriously affect many others. The House, from the stand-point of business, will find it essential to have a Board of experts to advise it in order that it may proceed with knowledge. The Minister has given as his excuse for not going beyond mere departmental difficulties and anomalies, as we have chosen to call them, the fact that it is proposed to submit certain alterations of the Constitution to the country, and that the shape and form of the revision of the Tariff will completely depend on the decision of the country in that connexion. I disapprove of that as unfair, but quite apart from what the decision of the country may be on those measures, there are, perhaps, twenty or thirty items which have been brought under the Minister's notice, and under the notice of his predecessors, in connexion with which it would be at once manifest to honorable members that an increased protection would give a very substantial advantage to industries and to the people of Australia. In regard to those items our own people are seriously suffering by reason of certain materials being brought in under items under which they could not hitherto have been admitted. The honorable member for Melbourne could give the Minister several cases which he has brought under the notice of the Department. If the Minister could have seen his way to introduce twenty or thirty of the more pressing and urgent items, he could have established such a conclusive case on their behalf that the House would readily have accepted his proposals with great advantage to the community as a whole. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- The honorable member has not been in this branch of the Federal Parliament when a Tariff has been considered. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Sir ROBERT BEST: -- I was in this Chamber eleven years before the honorable member came in, and was for five months sitting where the Minister of Customs is now sitting, carrying through the Victorian Tariff of r8g6. It was also my privilege to pilot the Tariff of 1908 through another place, so that I have a little knowledge of the difficulties involved. Where, however, it can be shown that manifest injustice is being done, honorable members, no mat- ter what their fiscal ideas may be, are prepared, having regard to the decision of the people as to the fiscal policy of Australia, to do the utmost justice to the industries concerned. They will not stand by and allow them to suffer, as many of our industries are now suffering. The Minister should have been bolder, and dealt with some of these cases. I am not attempting to depreciate the value of the list now submitted to us. I am sure the Committee will readily accept it. It will assist towards the more harmonious working of the Tariff, by removing anomalies which have, to some extent, been created as the result of differing expert advice. The extraordinary thing is that on various items one can get the most skilled advice either way, and in the operation of the Tariff the result, in many cases, has been that large importations have come in under items under which this House had no idea that they could enter. The Minister has contented himself with an increase of duty in regard to one item, and that has relation to paper. I do not think my honorable friend could have done otherwise in that matter. There is no more complex or difficult item in the Tariff than that of paper, and the experts themselves are those who differ the most in regard to it. If by this means the Minister can co-ordinate the various classes of paper, and can so assist the easier and more harmonious working of the Tariff, well and good. It will involve on some lines an increase, of duty in regard to raw ma.terial, yet that is fairly and reasonably compensated for by increase of duties, so far as the made-up article is concerned. I am sure that the Minister will to-morrow supply us with the fullest information. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- I have asked that a statement be prepared, showing in each case the present rate of duty, and underneath it the rate now proposed. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Sir ROBERT BEST: -- That information will be valuable, so far as these items are concerned, and will probably answer our purpose, because I can confirm the Minister's statement that these alterations are essential in the administration of the Act in order to carry out the intention of Parliament. They are the result of the experience of the experts of the Department in the working of the Tariff, and the information promised, meagre as it is, will consequently be useful. But the sooner we reach a condition of affairs under which there will be submitted with every item, and every alteration of the Tariff, the fullest information obtained by a Board, the better. It should be the duty of such a Board to constantly watch the operation of the Tariff, to secure the fullest information obtainable from a business stand-point with regard to each item, and to point out where existing industries can be stimulated and new ones started. Every consideration of the Tariff drives us more strongly to the conclusion that the sooner such a business Board of experts is formed the better it will be in the interests of the House, the. manufacturers themselves, and the Commonwealth as a whole. {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- Does the honorable member refer to the Inter-State Commission? {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Sir ROBERT BEST: -- The last Government proposed to remit this allimportant duty to the Inter-State Commission, but the honorable member may call it by whatever name he likes. What we want is a Board of experts - a Board of Trade, whose duty it will be to supply Parliament with the necessary information so that it may proceed with knowledge to decide what the duty on various items should be. {: .speaker-F4Q} ##### Mr Scullin: -- A Board for every awkward question ! {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Sir ROBERT BEST: -- If my honorable friend despises knowledge, I can understand his answer; but will this House be worse off by having immediately before it the knowledge which will enable it to come to a decision ? It should have before it on each item a report showing the business aspect of the matter from the manufacturing and trading stand-point. Surely that is not an advantage to be despised ? {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- As long as the Board consists of representative men I do not mind; but they would need to be all Protectionists. {: .speaker-JPC} ##### Sir ROBERT BEST: -- Australia has decided its fiscal policy, and, therefore, we proceed in connexion with our Tariff upon a Protectionist basis. That is the spirit of the Tariff, but even the most satisfactory Protectionist Tariff, as we pass it, may ultimately prove very unsatisfactory in actual operation. Hence it is essential that its operations should be watched by experts, who would be, so to speak, the eyes of the House, and supply the House with the necessary information to enable it to come to a decision just to all concerned. I suppose it is too late for the Minister . to reconsider the question, but I would urge him, if he can, to give the motion a. broader interpretation, and include at least twenty or thirty of those items which are entitled to urgent consideration by the Committee in justice to the industries affected. {: #subdebate-14-0-s2 .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON:
Laanecoorie -- I take it for granted that we can better discuss this matter when we have before us the additional information which the Minister has promised to furnish. I feel sure that no more striking commentary could be offered upon the present state of this Committee than some of the interjections which have recently been made. We have had from the Minister a statement which, I venture to say, no honorable member has been completely able to follow, and the schedule brought before us dealt with the whole question in such a fashion that it was impossible even for those who had previous experience to thoroughly follow his explanation. I also feel that those honorable members who . have just expressed their abhorrence of a Board, which would give fuller and more complete information {: .speaker-F4Q} ##### Mr Scullin: -- Nothing of the sort. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- When honorable members have had more experience, especially of Tariff debates, they will know how very helpful the evidence and findings of the Tariff Commission were. It did valuable work, of which I myself took advantage, and I am sure that all who took the trouble to consult its reports greatly benefited thereby. We were told during the electoral campaign that if the Labour party were returned to power anomalies would be dealt with on a basis which would satisfy the most ardent Protectionist. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- That will come after the referendum. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- I have stored up proclamations and manifestoes which were calculated to convince the most sceptical of the faith of members of the Labour party in the Protectionist cause. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- Nothing that I said this afternoon differed from what I said on the hustings. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- The Minister is held in high esteem, and I should be loth to cast a personal reflection on him ; but I wish that he had shown as much courage in dealing with the Tariff as the Attorney -General showed in dealing in a much more practical fashion with the prickly questions raised in connexion with Defence. The Minister was an out-and-out Protectionist, but those who heard his remarks this afternoon must be in doubt as to which side of the fence he is now on. Whenever he mentioned an increase of duty he took care to apologize for it, as will be evident from a reading of the printed report of his remarks. The proposal now before us is in keeping with the general attitude of the Labour party regarding Protection. The Protectionist policy is up for sale. Although the electors have spoken with no uncertain voice, they have been told that effective Protection will not be given unless something is got in return. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- Unless the workers get their share. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- The honorable member is stipulating like the most ardent Free Traders in the party that the giving of effective Protection shall depend on the granting of something "to an individual. But we who advocate the Protectionist policy have made it a national one, and decline to allow it to become the property of any class. {: .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr Wise: -- We promised the people the new Protection, and they voted for it. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- The making of Protection effective should not depend on the giving ot any benefits, real or fancied, to a particular class. {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- " Real or fancied !" {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- Those whom the honorable member claims to represent have gained most from Protection. Now, however, the application of the policy is to be qualified and controlled by factors which in the past have not been, and should not be, allowed to dominate it. The honorable member for Calare knows that thousands of workers who voted for Free Trade have benefited from Protection. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- That is pretty strong. {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- Listen to the Free Trader ! {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- Free Traders are to be found in the Labour party, too. Had the honorable member for Maribyrnong had experience of two Tariff revisions, he would pardon me for being sceptical about the sudden and complete conversion of certain members of his party. The proposals of the Minister of Trade and Customs do not touch the policy of Protection. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- They do not pretend to. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- And, I presume, are not intended to. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- I said distinctly that I was not proposing Tariff revision. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- I can imagine what the Minister would have said had some one on this side been in his place, and he in Opposition. I have ringing in my ears the speech which he made only a short time back on the subject of Tariff anomalies. The amendments provided for merely affect the administration of his Department. We might as well accept the new order of things, under which we shall be governed entirely by the departmental officers, taking their *ipse dixit,* and passing on to the next business. There is no reason why we should consider these proposals, because they do not affect questions of policy, but merely remove departmental difficulties. At the fag end of the session, when more important work remains to be done, we should not be asked to deal with matters that might be settled by the youngest clerk in the Department. {: .speaker-F4Q} ##### Mr Scullin: -- Without the authority of Parliament? {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- The Minister has told us that for eighteen months theDepartment has been charging duties without the authority of Parliament. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- Only on one line. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- There is no reason why time should be occupied in discussing the schedule. Though a consistent supporter of Protection, I must express my disappointment with the proposals of the Government. {: .speaker-L4X} ##### Mr PARKER MOLONEY:
INDI, VICTORIA · ALP -- The honorable member is in bad company. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- It is members of the Labour party who were responsible for the mutilated Tariff which we have. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- The members of the Opposition who were responsible lost their seats at the last election. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- Perhaps because they opposed the desires of the people in regard to Protection. After what the Minister said last year about the need for removing anomalies, and the representations of deputations to which he seemed to be a sympathetic listener, I think that he might have proposed to deal with twenty or thirty of the more glaring instances in which the manufacturers of Australia are suffering serious disabilities. Honorable members opposite may, from their point of view, be justified in postponing a revision of the Tariff, but they have no reason for refusing to deal with anomalies which cry aloud for rectification, and are causing suffering in a large number of industries. {: .speaker-L4X} ##### Mr PARKER MOLONEY:
INDI, VICTORIA · ALP -- We should have a definition of anomalies. {: .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON: -- Apparently the honorable member must possess his soul in patience until after the referendum. I hope that to-morrow the Minister will put before us information which will show the rates which have been provisionally levied and those which have now taken effect, without confusing us with detailed references. We shall then be able to arrive at the proper solution of the difficulties presented to us with the greatest expedition and effectiveness. *Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 8 p.m.* {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR: -- I propose now to ask that progress be reported. {: #subdebate-14-0-s3 .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN:
Ballarat .- Before progress is reported, I desire, to support the remarks of my .honorable friend, the member for Kooyong, which I shall not repeat. But let me point out that since there was urgency for Tariff reform last )'ear, as the Minister himself then urged, there is still greater urgency this year. There will be no possibility of dealing with the Tariff next year, for, in the circumstances in which we shall meet, it will be too late to consider Tariff revision before next Christmas twelve months. That is the very serious situation which we have to face. {: #subdebate-14-0-s4 .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr TUDOR:
Minister of Trade and Customs · Yarra · ALP -- Before I ask that progress be reported, I wish to make sure that the revenue will be sufficiently safeguarded if that action be taken, without the adoption of the resolution. I understand that the Tariff schedule, which I have submitted to the House, comes automatically into effect the moment that it is laid upon the table. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- That has always been the practice. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 6250 {:#debate-15} ### NAVAL DEFENCE BILL {:#subdebate-15-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-15-0-s0 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General · West Sydney · ALP -- In moving - >That this Bill be now read a second time, I have to point out that it is one which, for the first time, makes provision for the establishment of a Commonwealth Navy, and that it is to be read in conjunction with the Defence Acts of 1903 and 1909. I hardly think that there is any cause for me to dwell at the present time upon the necessity for naval defence. The Imperial Defence Conference, Captain Creswell, and every expert, both local and Imperial, have agreed upon the absolute necessity for maintaining the command of the sea. Circumstances of late have changed sa markedly that that equilibrium which was, as it were, maintained by a more equable distribution of the British Navy all over the seas of the world, has been so disturbed that there is now concentrated in the Home waters nine-tenths of the great British Fleet. In these circumstances, it becomes necessary to provide for the new situation,' and to face the possibility of there being, temporarily, at any rate, if not for a prolonged period, either a reverse of the British Fleet in the Pacific, where it occupies, at best, but third place, or a temporary raid by hostile cruisers, which would prey upon our commerce, and literally cause us to lose millions upon millions of valuable trade. It has been estimated that during the period that the Russian Fleet was off the coast of Japan - a fleet which was foredoomed to failure from the time that it set forth until it met its fate - the Japanese lost in trade £175,000 a day. The mere hovering of that fleet along the coast of Japan so disturbed their trade, so upset the commercial arrangements by which a nation lives, that, had it been able to maintain its position for a lengthened period, it would practically have determined the issue of the campaign by a process of commercial paralysis and exhaustion of all the industrial and economic resources of Japan. This scheme is sanctioned by the recommendations and opinions of the Imperial Defence Conference, the Admiralty authorities, and all those who, possessing the necessary knowledge, have had an opportunity to offer an opinion. We, therefore, put it forward with the assurance that it ought to be accepted, and that it is sufficient, at all events, for the present, for, I shall not say all, but at least some, of our purposes.. The principle adopted is that of a separate naval auxiliary of the British Navy. In this curious Empire of ours, comprising a congeries of separate individual nations, each pursuing its own destiny in ways that seem more and more marvellous to outsiders as the time goes on, we have thought it possible - and this is one of the most amazing features of the situation - to create an Australian Navy which shall be under Commonwealth control, and yet shall be an integral part of the British Fleet in time of disturbance, or when an emergency shall arise. The principle is that it shall be a Commonwealth Navy, manned and officered by Australians; and that its purpose shall be to act, as it were, as a continual patrol of this great coastline of ours. Its antennae will push forth into the outermost spaces of the Pacific, and will supply information as to the movements of hostile fleets or cruisers. And so Australian commercewill be doubly - safeguarded, not only by the power of these vessels to repel or to threaten invaders, but by the fact that information will be at their disposal, so that they may time their journeys by the circumstances and the position of the enemy, lt is a double duty, with which the Australian Fleet will thus be charged. The standard of efficiency is to be the same as in the British Navy. There is to be a control which shall be efficient, and that control, obviously, must not be divided. In war it is impossible to have two generals of co-ordinate authority, and it is, therefore, provided in the Bill that in time of war, the control of the Fleet, subject to the sanction of the Commonwealth, shall pass to the senior naval officer, and that it shall become a part of the British Navy. The armoured cruiser, and the unarmoured cruiser may have to fight in seas far removed from what, in the widest interpretation of the term, are territorial waters. It is necessary to fight the enemy wherever he is. It may be in the China waters ; it may be nearer Japan, or somewhere else; but, wherever it is necessary, there the Australian Fleet will strike a blow for Australia. Naturally, the Fleet falls easily into two divisions : one. which is peculiarly for local defence - I speak of the destroyers and the submarines - and the other, which may be, but is not necessarily, purposed for operation in far-removed waters. The destroyers, although in themselves not a match for a battle-ship or a first-class cruiser, must have the effect of keeping those in command of battle-ships and first-class cruisers very wary. At night time such war-ships may not approach within a radius of 100 miles of any port at which destroyers are known to be stationed. A coast infested by destroyers is as safe as a coast can possibly be. Land defences alone are admirable, but something more mobile is required-; and the deficiency is supplied by the destroyer. A destroyer is, as it were, a movable fortress, capable of striking a deadly blow at an enemy too miles from the coastline, or even further, and capable of demoralizing - which is much more important - the morale of an attacking fleet. When there is a never-dying period of vigilance necessitated by the operations of a fleet of destroyers, there is created, as was shown by the position of the Japanese and the Russian fleets, practically a panic, or something bordering upon it. There is created something that, as it were, emasculates those operations, which would otherwise culminate in a reckless dash through the narrow waters into the very heart of your citadel. It furnishes, too, a sufficient and effective provision against the bombardment of your capital. What is to prevent a vessel standing outside Hobson's Bay, during the hours of the night, and dropping its shots or shells at its ease on the great city of Melbourne? Absolutely nothing. The land defences are practically powerless at night against everything that moves without the limited sphere of a searchlight, but the destroyers will keep such raiders moving at night well beyond gunshot. In daylight, we may see them, and our land forts can, at least, render, I hope, a good account of themselves. It is proposed that the Fleet shall be composed of an armoured cruiser of the *Indomitable* class, three unarmoured cruisers of the improved City class, six destroyers of the improved River class, and three submarines. Two of these destroyers are already in Australian waters, and are expected to reach Fremantle within the next day or two. The third is to be constructed from material already prepared in Great Britain, and the other destroyers are to be constructed in Australia. As to the vessels generally, I hope that they will all be constructed in the Commonwealth. It is very gratifying to be told by the Australian artificers who went Home that they see no reason why we should not construct a first-class cruiser here. It is very gratifying to Australians to learn that, by the universal admission of the authorities in England, 110 men were more adaptable and none quicker than they were in picking up those peculiar methods followed in the construction of ships in naval dockyards. They were first-class workmen, both in the character, the quantity, and the quality of their output. It is the policy of this Government, therefore, not merely to have an Australian Navy, but to have it constructed, as far as possible, in Australia, and refitted in Australia. A navy, like an army, cannot move far from its base.- Without coal, it cannot go far, and it must also be near a dockyard to be refitted and, if necessary, repaired. We hope to be able to make the gun mountings, the guns, and everything connected with them, and, before long, produce the iron of which they are made. I shall run very rapidly over the important features of the Bill, and leave to honorable members the task of criticism. There are to be established naval, gunnery, torpedo, and other schools for the training of our officers. Admiral Henderson comes here with the recommendation of the late First Sea Lord, Admiral Fisher, and of the present Sea Lord, at the invitation of the Government, to advise as to the establishment of naval bases throughout Australia. It is very obvious that we must have more than one place in Australia where the vessels can find shelter, conveniently wait for the enemy, obtain coal, be docked and refitted; and, as to the precise localities, we require the advice of an expert such as we believe we have obtained in Admiral Henderson. A Naval Board of Administration is to be appointed, and on that Board each sub-Department will have a representative, in the officers in charge of the Construction Branch, naval intelligence, contracts, paymaster, the training of the Naval Forces, and there will be also the Minister. The office of Naval Director, now occupied by Captain Creswell, is to be abolished. That does not for . one moment mean that the services of Captain Creswell are to be dispensed with, but that there is to be initiated a new system. As I have said, the vessels are to be manned by Australian seamen; and until we have enough the Admiralty will supply British seamen. It is asserted that two years' training will be sufficient for the lower ratings, but that. ten or twelve years will be necessary for the men of higher rating. In modern days everything depends on efficiency, and principally on efficiency in gunnery and torpedo shooting. Since one man who shoots straight may save the nation, it is obviously of vital importance to the country, not so much that we should have guns, though these are necessary, as that we should have men who can fire straight. The history of the RussoJapanese war shows conclusively that effective gunnery decided the contest. If we have guns with which we cannot hit, they may be admirable weapons on paper, but in an engagement they will be a delusion and a snare. I am pleased to be able to say there is every reason to be proud of the gunnery of our land forces; and we have every reason to believe that in the new Fleet Australian seamen will display as great an aptitude for gunnery as have our Permanent Artillery and British seamen. There is now in the British Navy the highest record for accurate gunnery in the world. Practically the effectiveness of the British Navy has been, not merely quadrupled, but added to ten-fold, by the accuracy of its gunnery during the last few years: From the Boer War down to the present time British gunnery has been revolutionized; and now the British Navy shows a larger percentage of hits than, I think, any other navy. I am perfectly certain that Australians, when they have an opportunity, will shoot as straight as anybody. There, is provision for training, from boys of twelve to fourteen 'years of age to men of twenty-six. Of course, the provisions of the Defence Bill will apply, and the Citizen Forces will be trained on the ships in exactly the same way, and subject to the same conditions, as- those on the land. Those persons recruited on the coast will be drafted into camps, and will join the Naval Reserve instead of the Citizen Defence Forces; but there will be the distinction that, whereas in the Military Forcesthere is no permanent fighting line, but only a permanent instructional staff, there must be a permanent fighting force in the Navy. To have good sailors and gunners the mert must be permanently employed. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- But they will be recruited on a volunteer basis? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- Of course; the compulsion relates only to the twenty-five days' training, which would obviously not make a man a sailor, much less an .expert gunner. If a man puts in eight days on a torpedo boat, his experience either then or afterwards may not strike him as altogether pheasant; but that is a matter for himself. The idea - and I think it is an excellent one - is that we have an enormous reserve of men in the mercantile marine. We are a nation, and the offshoot of a nation that has never been behind in producing an ample supply of sailors ; and, therefore, we do not anticipate any difficulty in recruiting. Of course, if there is any difficulty we shall have to offer higher inducements. The Naval Force will consist of, first, the permanent naval forces ; secondly, the naval reserve or militia ; and, thirdly, the naval volunteer reserve. The last-mentioned will be composed of those who have served their term, and are over twenty-six years of age, and are liable to come up for training only when called upon. The line of the present naval reserve will be continued just as at present until we see whether we may safely disband it - for all practical purposes there will be no interference "with this reserve. If the volunteers choose to continue in the service, it will be advisable to avail ourselves of their services. Further, we have a reserve in the Torres Strait pilots, who possess peculiar knowledge invaluable to the Commonwealth. Unless foreign nations have been very wide awake, it will be impossible for the ships of any to come inside the Great Barrier Reef at night, unless they are in charge of men with a very wide and comprehensive knowledge of navigation .in those waters. We have, therefore, decided to take over the Torres Strait pilots as part of our naval defence. The cost of this fleet amounts to £3,695,000, made up of one armoured cruiser, to cost ^2,000,000; three unarmoured cruisers, ^1,060,000 ; six destroyers, ^480,000; and three submarines, ^165,000. These figures represent only the estimates supplied to us by the Admiralty, and it may be that the price of material and wages have since risen. Further, these are English prices, and the cost may be more in Australia. I do not desire honorable members to say afterwards that they understood ^3,695,000 to be the total cost in Australia, because that is only an estimate, given for what it is worth. I have no doubt that it will be worth while to have the fleet constructed here at somewhat higher cost, considering that we have the inestimable advantage of dockyards and a staff of men who are able to refit and repair - an advantage without which we should only be living in a fool's paradise. A vessel out of repair is worse than useless, because we are led to depend upon it, and it may fail us in our hour of need. The upkeep of the navy is estimated at ^500,000, which is less than the estimate of the Admiralty. The reason is that we propose to pay for upkeep out of revenue, and not out of loans, so that we shall have no interest to provide; and, further, I may say that we do not propose to accept the ,£250,000 from Great Britain in lieu of the subsidy. We propose to accept nothing from Great Britain, but to pay for the whole fleet ourselves; since we are going to do the work, we might as well do it well. The British Defence Act is to be adopted as a regulation. That is an up-to-date measure, containing no trace of the barbarous methods by which discipline, or so-called discipline, was enforced in days gone by. While death remains a punishment - C-, other offences than murder, it is reserved for desertion in the face of the enemy, and so forth. Honorable members will realize that men cannot be permitted to desert in the face of the enemy, because such is not only bad for the nation, but is contemptible and cowardly ; and a man who does so is much better dead, and no one need shed a tear "over his projected demise. In my opinion, the proposed expenditure is amply warranted by all the circumstances. We are a young nation just beginning to realize cur mighty potentialities. We are treading now with firm steps, and moving resolutely to our destiny. We propose to establish a fleet and man it ourselves. We propose to let the world see that Australia is moving along the line which she conceives has been marked out for her, and by establishing this fleet, and. showing our capacity for construction, manning, repairing, and maintaining it, 'we are setting forth in the clearest way the fact, not only that we are here, but that we claim to remain here, and are taking the most effective means to substantiate our claim. {: #subdebate-15-0-s1 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- I have listened with some degree of pleasure, particularly to the reference to the Naval and Militia Volunteer Force, which it is proposed to keep intact. I remember very well only about twelve months ago the fierce fulminations of honorable members opposite at the very idea that any volunteers should be kept for the purposes of the navy. The honorable member for Maranoa pointed out time and again how wrong it was to have anything to do with volunteering in connexion with these forces. This is evidently one of the changes which honorable members op:posite have made since they passed over from this side. The AttorneyGeneral last evening, in connexion with another proposal, declared that his party had made no changes in passing over; but here we have a right-about-face. They were fierce in their denunciations of everything relating to the volunteer principle in connexion with the Naval Force, but now the honorable gentleman sees every advantage in fostering it to the fullest extent. I desire to-night, to examine the claim which the Minister has made on every public platform, and whenever he is away from this House, that whatever developments there may have been in the shape of naval defence is due to something done by the Labour party. That claim has not been made to-night, because here is the place where it can be answered. I propose to answer it after it has been made about a hundred times by the honorable member in various parts of Australia. I have no quarrel with the honorable member's statement of facts, but to make the facts fit their former policy he has to go all wrong in his naval strategy. I challenge the honorablemember's statement as to the strategy of this Fleet in his endeavour to make it appear that their former proposals were the only useful ones. We shall do well to remember our position in connexion with the Fleet which we propose to develop, and its relation to the great Fleet oversea which stands for the defence of the Empire at large. The honorable member laid it down, only a moment ago, that our Empire must be defended on the high seas - that that is its first line of defence. Without superiority at sea, therefore, the Empire of which we form a part cannot by any possibility be maintained. It is also recognised to be the duty of each selfgoverning portion of the Empire to provide, as far as possible, for its own territorial security. That is another fundamental principle which finds embodiment in the Fleet which we are now discussing* Another requirement of a proper defence of the Empire is that there shall be evolved schemes for the mutual assistance of every part of it. That is to say, when times make it necessary, the whole Empire's strength is to be concentrated in the defence of any given part of it. In this way there must be mutual co-operation for the purpose of Empire defence. Those three principles, therefore, have been defined to be a sea command, self-defence by the Empire's units, and mutual support of the whole and form the basis' of any strategy for the purpose of an adequate Imperial defence. I find all these requirements of an Imperial defence met in the proposal which is now before the Chamber - a proposal which carries out our naval defence scheme. The Attorney-General says, "It is ours also." Query, whose is it? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- It is certainly not yours. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- We shall soon see whose scheme it is. Whoever else may lay claim to it, the Labour party may not. They have denounced it from every part of Australia, gibed at it, and ridiculed it from every public platform in every State of the group. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- To which I say, *" Dreadnought " 1* {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Yes, a *Dreadnought* is part of this scheme. It forms the basis and fighting strength of it. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- Our *Dreadnought.* {: .speaker-KEV} ##### Mr Fenton: -- We are not going to pay the English money-lender interest on the cost of it. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- My honorable friend is off on another point. I propose to show, by an appeal to the facts, whose scheme it is. We are not on the public platform now, but in a place where we can get face to face with each other. I have already been taunted to-day with having, been quiet for a long time on the question of defence, because it was thought that 1 was in a very peculiar position about it. This scheme is our scheme. It originated with our Government. It was formulated in conjunction with the Imperial Government. We undertook the responsibility, and passed it on to our successors, and they are shouldering it in a way that leaves nothing to be desired. The only quarrel I have with them is that they still say, " It is our scheme." {: .speaker-L4X} ##### Mr PARKER MOLONEY:
INDI, VICTORIA · ALP -- What difference does it make if it is a good one? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I agree with the honorable member that it makes no difference. Then, why should the AttorneyGeneral go over the whole country and' claim at every public opportunity that credit for it belongs solely to him and his *confreres?* {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- Has the honorable member looked at his own speeches lately? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Yes; and I defy the honorable member to find any speech of mine in conflict with the strategy of this proposal. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- I have a book full of them. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I challenge thehonorable member to quote them. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- The honorable member would go back on them if I did. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I would go- back only on that report which contains a statement that I never made. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- It was in all the Adelaide papers. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- What if it was ? Has the honorable member never been misreported ? I believe it was in the Adelaide *Register* - the honorable member's bible. He may well laugh, but he is setting that paper up as an authority for himself. He swears by it when he thinks it happens to be against one of his political enemies, and accepts it at no other time. Let us come to the point as to whose scheme this is. The scheme announced at Gympie was to be all destroyers. Honorable members opposite were evidently bent on the destruction of something, somewhere, and at some time. They will destroy themselves if given a little rope. At any rate, they set out to destroy the whole of the enemy's fleets by this Fleet of theirs, consisting of " four ocean destroyers, sixteen other destroyers, and three already ordered." I understand that it is in connexion with the " three already ordered " that the Acting Prime Minister is constantly basing the claim to the authorship of this scheme. Theirs was a policy of action, he said, others talked about it, but they acted. They did. They deliberately broke their word to this Chamber, and took funds-- {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- That statement, is wholly wrong. The honorable member knows that it is inaccurate. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Then I shall have to turn up *Hansard* to show where the honorable member and his friends required from the Government of the day a distinct pledge that the money should not be spent until a definite scheme had been submitted to Parliament. As soon as Parliament closed its doors they spent the money, and so violated their word to this Chamber. That is how those three destroyers came to be ordered. Another Government saved the money and they spent it, as they are able to spend it- {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr Mathews: -- A query can be put opposite the statement about another Government saving the money. It was this party that had the Surplus Revenue Bill put through. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The money was put away safely in the Trust Fund, but before the Labour party would give the Government the money to put away, they required from them an undertaking, which was repeated three or four times, that not a penny of it should be spent until a scheme for its spending had been outlined to this Chamber. *Honorable members interjecting-* {: #subdebate-15-0-s2 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! I must ask honorable members riot to continue these conversations. If they do, I shall have to remind honorable members personally of the fact that they are out of order. {: .speaker-KXP} ##### Mr Palmer: -- They do not like to hear the truth. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member for Echuca must not interject. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I have here a printed statement showing what the various naval defence schemes have consisted of. It shows that there has really been an evolution of ideas beginning with a fairly sensible proposal by Captain Creswell,' eight or nine years ago,, so far as it went, but dwindling down in the time of my honorable friends to those ocean destroyers and nothing more. They proposed a fleet of twenty-three destroyers, which could do no damage to anything in the trade routes. It could not go into the trade routes at all, but was to skirt the mast of Australia, and prevent an enemy from coming here to bombard our cities and towns. We heard that antiquated strategy given utterance to a moment or two ago by the Acting Prime Minister, who thereby furnished indisputable proof that' he knows nothing whatever about naval strategy. He talks of something which belongs to the period of the " troglodyte in the post -pliocene epoch." I have heard the Acting Prime Minister use that expression so many times that I know it perfectly well; hut to-night in His enunciation of naval strategy he has shown that he, at any rate, belongs in a naval sense to that period of the world's development. That projected fleet of ocean destroyers would be of no use whatever for co-operative purposes in «Empire defence. I shall prove that statement out of the mouth of **Mr. McKenna** himself at the Conference; out of the mouth of Lord Charles Beresford, whom honorable members opposite are never tired of quoting; and out of the mouth of the best naval writer of the day - Admiral **Sir Cyprian** Bridge. This localized defence flotilla was the very first thing which **Mr. McKenna** attacked and swept out of the way in his memorandum to the Conference which our representatives attended. It had to be cleared out of their minds altogether before they could attempt to elaborate a scheme of naval defence for the outlying portions of .the Empire. He said - >Under certain conditions the establishment of local defence flotillas, consisting of torpedo craft and submarines, might be of assistance in time of war to the operations of the fleet, but such flotillas cannot co-operate on the high seas in the wider duties of protection of trade and preventing attacks from hostile cruisers and squadrons. The operations of destroyers and torpedo boats are necessarily limited to the waters near the coast, or to a radius of action not far distant from a base, while there are great difficulties in manning such a force and keeping it always thoroughly efficient. > >A scheme limited to torpedo crafts would not in itself, moreover, be a good means of gradually developing a self-contained fleet capable of both offence and defence. Unless a naval force - whatever its size - complies with this condition it can never take its proper place in the organization of an Imperial Navy distributed strategically over the whole area of British interests. The scheme of the Labour Government is twenty-three torpedo-boats to skirt our coasts, as the Acting Prime Minister said just now, to frighten all the big ships in the world away. What a ridiculous notion 1 {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- No such definite scheme as that was laid down ; it was only a proposal. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- It was the scheme proposed by the honorable member for Wide Bay, at Gympie. Was not that made for use? Here is the Minister repudiating his leader's Gympie speech ! I am quoting from the speech in which the Prime Minister declared that to be the naval policy of the Government. There were to be twenty-three torpedo-boat destroyers, with never a *Dreadnought* or a cruiser among them. I shall show the honorable member in a moment what these destroyers are worth. I propose to sweep his little tin-pot navy away, and he can quote me again next time he speak as having said that his proposal was for a tinpot navy, which would be costly and useless, because unsuited for co-operation in the defence of the Empire. There could be no more absolute condemnation of the proposal of the Fisher Government than that contained in the memorandum of **Mr. McKenna,** which I have just read. Now, honorable members opposite are continually quoting Lord Charles Beresford in defence of their proposals, but this is what he wrote in a magazine article which was published a little time ago - >The only way that our distant Dominions can be hurt is by their trade routes being cut. The honorable member told us to-night that we could be hurt by ships coming here and blowing up our towns. No naval expert would express such a view. The naval opinion of to-day is that the local fire brigades could cope with all the damage which any hostile ship might do - >In these days, if we go to war, it is most unlikely that- a cruiser of a foreign country would get to the Dominions-' and operate by going into a harbor and blowing down a town. Away goes the justification alleged by the Acting Prime Minister a little time ago for the proposed fleet - >The days for that are past. What would they get from a town? They would get a certain amount of money and probably a certain amount of bills which may not be paid when due. Foreign cruisers would go to a trade route. Remember, a torpedo boat or a submarine is a defensive vessel. All nations at this moment for fighting efficiency are short of cruisers. What would probably occur would be that an armed mercantile auxiliary would go out into the trade routes - and there wage war upon the commerce of a country. In other words, ships are not likely to come here to destroy our towns. We need cruisersfor far other purposes than the defence of our cities. The idea of having ships along a coast-line of 8,000 miles waiting for a fleet which, according to experts, will never come, is madness and folly and waste. **Sir Cyprian** Bridge is as good an authority on these questions as Captain Mahan - at least he is the best British authority. He says as to the proper use of smaller and special class craft in war - > >The greatest distance to which they are sent should not exceed forty per cent, of that represented by their fuel endurance. It has been stated that our vessels will have a 3,000 miles radius, and that they will be able to go 1,500 miles from our coast, and return. But, according to the opinion which I have just quoted, they will be able to go in safety only 40 per cent, of that distance, which is 600 miles. To continue the quotation - >Localized floating defence is the weakest form that naval defence can assume. The aim of strategy should be to include its strongest form in any plan adopted. > >Fixed or passive defence against apprehended naval attack has, in practice, always led to the adoption of a long series of protecting arrangements, to enumerate which would be to parallel the jingle of the " House that Jack built." The battery defends the anchorage ; infantry defends the battery ; underwater mines defend the channel ; electric lights and quick-firing guns defend the mines; a movable force defends the electric lights and the quick-firing guns. The sea-going naval force, which is sometimes unnoticed, defends the whole. > >An enterprising belligerent, if he cannot capture a place or destroy the naval establishment situated at it, will have recourse to other methods of' decreasing or annihilating its utility for the purposes of war. He will try to prevent the maritime traffic on which its prosperity depends from being continued. This he can only do by naval means, and most effectually beyond the range of localized floating defences. The best way of frustrating his designs will be to meet him with an adequate sea-going force. If the sea communications of the place are kept open, this method of trying to render a place useless for the purposes of war will have failed. There are other quotations which I could make, all proving the uselessness of the scheme of the Fisher Government. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Does the honorable member call this a non-party speech? He is the only man who would make such a claim. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I call it an answer to the impudent claim of the honorable member, which has been repeated on platforms all through Australia, that the Labour party is responsible for the naval defence of the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Hear, hear. I repeat it again. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The party is responsible for it in the sense that Huxley's protoplasm is claimed to be responsible for the highly-civilized beings of to-day. Primeval man might just as well claim to be the inventor and originator of all that has been done since his day. It is time that some reply was made to these statements. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- The honorable member is not making one. He is speaking of the kind of boats to be used, not of the scheme. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I am tired of the impudence and impertinence of honorable members opposite. They have got into office, have taken up our scheme of defence, and now say, "It is .our scheme, anr) never was yours. We originated it." The Attorney-General says, " Have I not always been pleading for land defence by compulsory methods, and did we not order three small torpedo-boats, which was the beginning of our naval defence? " **Mr. McKenna** declared it to be his first duty to dispose of the nonsensical idea that naval defence could be provided for in that way. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- The honorable member has not touched the scheme of local naval defence {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- No. I need not do so. I stated the facts regarding it twelve months ago, but I was not permitted to go further, because my honorable friend and his *confreres* prevented it. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- That is incorrect. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The Minister knows what happened. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- To the honorable member's eternal shame and disgrace. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The Minister's action on that occasion helped to put the scheme through in no time. I heartily approve of the proposals before the Chamber, and am glad to hear also that Ministers are able to provide out of revenue for the annual outlay to be incurred in maintaining a fleet. I hope that they will realize their further obligations. In my judgment, we cannot safely stop in the development of our naval power. If the Empire is to be maintained during the troublous times, which must occur in the near future - because the political atmosphere is so disturbed that I do not know how things can go on as they are - we must be ready; the nation which is not able to defend its interests with its strong right arm will suffer. Therefore, the Commonwealth and the other outlying parts of the Empire should concert further measures for contributing to its defence. We are rich enough to do it, and it is our duty, if only to relieve the Mother Country. We should free her, at least, to meet the menace in the North Sea. Our obligation is to secure and preserve our inviolability, and take measures which will enable us to defend the Empire by being ready wherever danger may threaten. And so I am glad to' find in this Bill a proposal for the standardization of these various units which will make up an Empire Fleet. It is not to be merely a mechanical standardization. We are not merely to have the same type of ship but the same discipline in the British and in the Commonwealth Navy; and we are also to have men trained to the same standard. And so we shall have a complete standardization, not only in ships, but in men. This, I believe, will help us to take a worthy place alongside of all who wish well to the Empire, helping to build up its prosperity, and for ali time to maintain it against its foes. {: #subdebate-15-0-s3 .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr MATHEWS:
Melbourne Ports -- I feel sure that we should all be pleased to hear the Acting Prime Minister reply at once to the speech made by the honorable member for Parramatta. Doubtless he would both enlighten and amuse us ; but since he has already spoken this evening, I suppose it would be too much to expect him to speak again at this stage. We are all agreed as to the necessity for naval defence, and, to my mind, it is even more important than is land defence. The Acting Prime Minister, in introducing the Bill, rightly assumed that our Naval Forces would prove to be as efficient in gunnery as are our land Forces, and those who last Monday had the privilege of watching the gunnery practice atQueenscliff must feel confident that the gunners at the Heads would give any vessel that attempted to pass . through a very hot time. Iwas exceedingly pleased to hear the honorable gentleman say that the estimated cost of constructing the Fleet, namely, , £3,690,000, might be exceeded, because of the probability of a goodly proportion of the Fleet being constructed in Australia. I hold the view that we ought to build our vessels here, even if their local construction involves an additional cost of , £1,500,000. In the first place, we have in Australia men capable of readily being instructed in the work of . building such vessels ; and secondly, we cannot hope to have a perfect system of naval defence unless we are able to build our own war ships, and, when necessary, to effectively repair them. I still hold to the opinion that the requirement as to twenty-five days' drill per annum will seriously interfere with the wage-earning section of the community, and I trust that proper measures will be taken to insure that the least possible harm will be done those who. have to give up so much time to the work of fitting themselves for the defence of their country. I hope that provision will be made by regulation to prevent any employer punishing a man because he has to attend drill at a time when the employer thinks he should have his services. Whilst the honorable member for Laanecoorie was speaking last night, I interjected that the Colonial Sugar Refining Company had " sacked " two of their men because, after asking for leave, they took a day off, in order to attend, as members of the Naval Reserve, a memorial service which was held in front of this building. Those men trained to fit themselves for the defence of Australia, yet a large company like the Colonial Sugar Refining Company, which has fattened on the people of Australia, refused to give them time off to enable them to take part in that memorial service. If that sort of practice is to be indulged in, there is a hard time in front of our men who are called upon to attend drills. The Government must take steps to see that such companies, and not their men, shall pay for the defence of Australia, since they reap the whole benefit of the system. I hope that full opportunity will be given every man to avail himself 'of the Naval, as well as the Military, College. The Minister told us that the administrative body would be reconstructed, and asserted that, whilst Captain Creswell's position could be done away with, we could not afford to lose the services of Captain Creswell. I have no feeling against that officer, but I trust that when we have a Navy, the Government will secure the services of a man who knows something about the handling of a fleet. Captain Creswell might have been an excellent officer to control a fleet if he had an opportunity; but no man in the Australian service has had any experience in handling a fleet such as we hope to establish within the next few years. I disagreed with the proposal that a military officer should be obtained from the Old Land in connexion with our Defence Force, and I am not sure now that we. did right in that connexion. But I do feel that it is essential, in the interests of the Australian Navy, that we should obtain from the Old World an officer capable of handling the fleet that we propose to create. I desire to draw the attention of the Acting Prime Minister to clause 38, paragraph *a* of which provides - : - {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member will not be in order in discussing the details of a particular clause. {: .speaker-KNH} ##### Mr MATHEWS: -- Provision is made in the Bill for the senior officer taking command, subject to certain regulations, when our Fleet co-operates with the British Navy. I hope that the Imperial authorities will not be allowed to make a regulation under which a junior officer in the British Navy will in such circumstance be able to supersede a senior Commonwealth officer. If such a practice be allowed, then in no circumstances shall we have officers fit to control our Fleet. I do not know that it will be resorted to, but under the clause as it stands it will be possible. I hope that in the very near future, when we have completed our Fleet, no junior officer of the Imperial Navy will be able to supersede a senior Commonwealth officer, either on this or on any other station. The only other question to which I desire to refer relates to the matter of pensions. Provi-. sion is made for the wives and children of men who may be killed in action, and for men who are called upon because of infirmity or injury to retire from the Navy ; but littie or no provision is 'made for a navy pension. " I contend that we should institute a pension system in connexion with our Defence Force. Ours is the only Defence Force in the world of which I know in connexion with which no provision is made for the payment of pensions. After serving for ten or twenty years in the army or navy, a man gets into a certain groove which unfits him for other callings. In the absence of a pension system, a man, after serving his country for twenty years or more, may be turned adrift, and may be subject to the bufferings of adversity, although he has spent the best years of his life in the defence of his country. The wages paid in the Australian Navy are not commensurate with the services rendered. If we capitalize the wages received by men in the Imperial Navy - their consolidated pay, their allowances, and their pensions - we shall find that our own men have been considerably underpaid. As a fighting unit, a man is not of much use after he has passed the age of fifty years. As a petty officer or an instructor, he may do good service, but as an A.B., perhaps, he would not be of much value. I do not think that men who have served in that capacity for twenty or thirty years should, on reaching the age of fifty years, be cast adrift without a pension. Such a system is by no means democratic. I hope that the Government will, in the near future, make provision for pensions in connexion with our Defence Force. It has been suggested that the men themselves should contribute to a pension fund, but, whilst they receive their present rates of pay, they cannot possibly do so. A considerable addition will have to be made to the present rates in order to do justice to those who are serving us. In conclusion, I would again emphasize the point that the requirement as to twenty-five days' training a year will seriously dislocate every calling of the wage-earning section of the community in almost every part of Australia. {: #subdebate-15-0-s4 .speaker-KYV} ##### Mr RILEY:
South Sydney .-I should not have spoken to this question but for the remarks of the honorable member for Parramatta, who accused this Government of copying the scheme of the Fusion Administration. The country will remember that when the previous Fisher Ministry was in power the Fusion party stormed the Commonwealth, and demanded that an offer of a *Dreadnought* should be made to the Old Land. After a time, the. Deakin-Cook party came into power, but they did not offer a *Dreadnought* to Great Britain. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- They did, and it was fused with the present scheme. It formed the basis of the present scheme. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- Nonsense; there was a complete *volte- face* on their part. {: .speaker-KYV} ##### Mr RILEY: -- I wish to point out that the policy of the Government has been approved by the Admiralty, and that they have told us thatthe best thing we can do in the interests of the Empire is to create a navy of our own, however small, to protect our coastline. The honorable member for Parramatta has quoted three authorities with regard to naval construction and the class of- navy we ought to establish, but I would point out that all those authorities are Britishers. They give their views from the stand-point of Great . Britain, which is not a self -contained country like the Commonwealth, but has to depend for its food supplies on the protection of the trade routes. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- We have a trade of £120,000,000 a year. {: .speaker-KYV} ##### Mr RILEY: -- That trade may be affected by war, but not one man or woman in the country would thereby be deprived of a meal. What might be found suitable to Great Britain in the way of defence might be altogether unsuitable for Australia. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- Can any nation do without trade with the outside world? {: .speaker-KYV} ##### Mr RILEY: -- In time of war, yes, if that country be self-contained. I do not suppose that Great Britain could subsist for a month without food supplies from abroad. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- What about the trade routes in time of peace? {: .speaker-KYV} ##### Mr RILEY: -- That is evading the point. The *Dreadnoughts* and armoured cruisers are recommended for the protection of the trade routes, but such protection is not in accordance with the requirements of Australians. We have to defend the country itself, and not go on the high seas to protect the trade routes. Our export trade might be cut off in time of war, but the wealth would still be in this country, and it might be to our advantage to keep it here until the war was over. The policy adopted by the Government for Australia is the best. {: .speaker-L0P} ##### Mr Sampson: -- Self-contained America builds battleships. {: .speaker-KYV} ##### Mr RILEY: -- But America has departed - and, in my opinion, wrongly departed - from the Monroe doctrine. I hope the day will never come when we shall build a Navy to fight on the high seas ; although our ships should certainly be of a class that can go on the high seas, so that if naval battles are to be fought for Great Britain or the Empire, the whole of the forces may be concentrated at the scene of conflict. If the Fleet of Great Britain were defeated neither our *Dreadnought,* nor our little cruisers, would be of much use on our coast; and at such a time the whole of the Fleet should be placed under one Admiral, to fight the battles of the Empire wherever necessary. The authorities quoted by the honorable member for Parramatta relate to circumstances which have no analogy with the circumstances of the Commonwealth. For the reasons I have given, I am of opinion that the Government are quite right in the policy they have adopted. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. *In Committee :* Clauses1 to 10 agreed to. Clause ii (Officers not to be appointed or promoted except provisionally until they have passed prescribed examination). {: #subdebate-15-0-s5 .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST:
Swan -- I do not rise to move an amendment, but merely to point out that this clause, nearly all the clauses we have already passed, and most of those we have yet to pass, already find a place in our existing law. Although the Minister has not, I think, pointed it out, the reason is found in the desire to separate the naval and the military Statutes, with a view to easy reference. I do not see . any great necessity for this repetition, but the same course has been followed in the Defence Bill, also before this Chamber. Of course, there are some new and important provisions with which I agree. Clause agreed to. Clauses 12 to 17 agreed to. Clause 18 (Naval College). {: #subdebate-15-0-s6 .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST:
Swan -- Here, again, is an instance of repetition of provisions already in the principal Act. The repetition does no harm ; but I may point out that provision was made for the establishment of a College in 1903, though nothing has, been done until now. {: .speaker-KYV} ##### Mr Riley: -- It does not do to have too much repetition. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- If there had been no repetition this Bill might have been comprised in half-a-dozen clauses. Clause agreed to. Clauses 19 to 33 agreed to. Clause 34 (Service for protection of a State from domestic violence). {: #subdebate-15-0-s7 .speaker-KYV} ##### Mr RILEY:
South Sydney .- This clause is another instance of repetition. It simply re-enacts section 119 of the Constitution, and, therefore, is' not required. Sit John Forrest. - It also re-enacts section 51 of the principal Act. {: #subdebate-15-0-s8 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General · West Sydney · ALP -- I see that this clause practically repeats the words of section 119 of the Constitution. Section 51 of the Defence Act provides that, where the Governor of a State has proclaimed that domestic violence exists therein, the Governor- General, upon the application of the Executive Government of the States, may, by proclamation, declare that domestic violence exists in that State, and may call out the Permanent Forces, and in the event of their numbers being insufficient, may also call out the Militia and Volunteer Forces. The question is whether the same provision is also necessary in this Bill. Its excision or inclusion makes no difference to the fact. I should like to hear arguments on the matter. {: #subdebate-15-0-s9 .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS:
Adelaide .- It is laid down in section 119 of the Constitution and repeated in the clearest possible terms in section 51 of the Defence Act that the Commonwealth has this power. Clause 34 has no meaning until we refer to the Defence Act. We seem to be loading up our Acts with superfluous clauses in such a way that the average man cannot understand them. This clause is entirely superfluous.. {: .speaker-KYJ} ##### Sir John Quick: -- The section in the Defence Act applies only to the Permanent Military Forces. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- The Defence Forces include both Naval and Military. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- If we knock this clause out a number of" others will also need to be taken out- {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr ROBERTS: -- I should be glad if the Government would agree to strike out a number of clauses which the right honorable member has designated as superfluous. {: #subdebate-15-0-s10 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- - As the provision is in the Defence Act it should be in this measure also, so that either Naval or Military Forces may be used if necessary. I do not see how the Permanent Naval Forces can be used under the ordinary Defence Act. The intention now appears to be to take all the naval matters out of the Defence Act, and put them by themselves in a Naval Defence measure. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- The clause is not necessary in this Bill, in view of the Constitution. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The Constitution merely gives power to do certain things. In the defence measures means are taken to exercise that power. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Section 119 of the Constitution clearly applies, whether we put the provision in the Bill or not. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The Government would call out the Forces if they had to? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- We should have to do so. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- If requested by the State to do so, the Government would have to do it or violate the Constitution. {: #subdebate-15-0-s11 .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE:
Darling -- I have always been led to understand by legal gentlemen that to say a thing a number of times leads to confusion. If this provision is in the Constitution it is of no use to repeat it in a number of Acts. Both in this Bill and in the Defence Act the words of the Constitution are merely repeated. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The Constitution places the duty on the Commonwealth. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE: -- Even without the provision in this Bill the Forces would have to be called out in time of trouble. The clause appears to be surplusage, and I hope that the Minister will agree to take it out. {: #subdebate-15-0-s12 .speaker-JXA} ##### Mr CHARLTON:
Hunter -- The right honorable member for Swan did good service in drawing attention to the unnecessary clauses in the Bill. As the Constitution provides for the emergency contemplated, there is no necessity for this clause, and the Minister would do wisely if he left it out. The sooner we, in this Parliament, learn to condense our Acts the hetter it will be for all concerned. We should make them as easy as possible for people to understand. {: #subdebate-15-0-s13 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM:
Darling Downs .- I am inclined to think that the Minister should retain the clause. Section 119 of the Constitution places the duty on the Commonwealth, but it then becomes necessary to provide machinery for giving effect to that duty. That machinery is provided in section 51 of the Defence Act. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- Is not that enough? {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Apparently not, since it arrears to be the intention to leave the original Defence Act, to a great extent, to deal with the Military Forces only. Therefore, this clause is necessary to allow the Permanent Naval Forces to be utilized. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- The Permanent Forces include both Naval and Military. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- They are apparently being divided now into Permanent Military and Permanent Naval. This Bill is apparently to deal with the Naval Forces generally, and, therefore, I do not think that the clause is surplusage, although it is quite possible that it would have been simpler and easier to deal with both branches of the Forces in one Act. I urge the Ministry to stand by the clause. **Mr. HUGHES** (West Sydney- Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General) [9.44J. - This Bill has to be read with the Defence Act, which contains the provision that has been quoted. Whatever else they do not include, the Permanent Forces clearly must include the Naval Forces, which are permanent, so far as the manning of the Fleet is concerned. Even if section 119 of the Constitution is not sufficient, section 51 of the Defence Act seems to apply. The obligations of a Government in connexion with what may be termed domestic violence are clear and obvious, though I should ' not like it to be thought that one of the main objects of the establishment of an Australian Fleet is the repression of what is sometimes called by that term. A few weeks ago the monarchy of Portugal was removed by a republican mob, and the guns of the fleet were successfully trained against the palace which sheltered the unfortunate King. One of the uses to which a fleet may be put is, therefore, to obtain the substitution of a republican form of government for a monarchy, which would not commend itself to my honorable friend. Sections 46, 47, and53of the Defence Act apply to the Naval as well as to the Military Forces. Under them the Governor- General may call out the Naval Forces, and may in time of war place them under the orders and commands of any portion of the King's regular Forces. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Clause 5 says that section 51 of the Defence Act shall continue to apply in relation to the Naval Forces. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- I have no objection to the striking out of the clause. Clause negatived. Clauses 35 to 40 agreed to. Clause 41 (Persons liable to compulsory naval training to be subject to Act and regulations). {: #subdebate-15-0-s14 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas .- Looking hurriedly at section 51 of the Defence Act, I am of opinion that it does not apply, because it deals with militia and volunteer forces which we have abolished. It might, therefore, have been better to retain clause 34. The clause was put into the measure because without it there would be no obligation for the Forces to serve as required. Forces are bound to protect the State against invasion ; but the obligation to serve in the manner proposed must be provided by Statute. Clause agreed to. Clauses 42 to 44 agreed to. Clause 45 (Funds for annuities or gratuities in case of injury or retirement). {: #subdebate-15-0-s15 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- - A naval force cannot be maintained in efficiency unless compulsory retirement on reaching an age limit is as rigidly required as in the King's Navy. At present we keep our officers long after they should be retired, because no provision is made for pensions or half-pay, and we cannot reduce them to beggary and destitution. We should provide either for some system of deferred pay or for insurance. In the British Navy a system of deferred pay is in vogue. I was speaking to a surgeon in the Navy the other day, who told me that, although he had served for only twenty years, he was now entitled to retire on a pension of£365 a year. {: .speaker-KZA} ##### Mr West: -- The pay in the British Navy is very low, but the pensions make up for that. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The pensions are part of the remuneration. We should set about providing as soon as possible for the retirement of officers. {: #subdebate-15-0-s16 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General · West Sydney · ALP -- I do not know what provision has been made, but I have asked the Minister for the information, and shall supply it to the honorable member as soon as I get it. If it were not the intention of the Government to deal with the matter, the clause would not have been placed in the Bill. Clause agreed to. Clause 46, schedules, and title agreed to. Bill reported with an amendment. Standing Orders suspended, and Bill passed through its remaining stages. {: .page-start } page 6262 {:#debate-16} ### CONSTITUTION ALTERATION (LEGISLATIVE POWERS) BILL Bill returned from the Senate without amendment. {: .page-start } page 6262 {:#debate-17} ### CONSTITUTION ALTERATION (MONOPOLIES) BILL Bill returned from the Senate without amendment. {: .page-start } page 6262 {:#debate-18} ### NORTHERN TERRITORY (ADMINISTRATION) BILL {:#subdebate-18-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-18-0-s0 .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR:
Minister of External Affairs · Boothby · ALP -- I move - >That this Bill be now read a second time. This is merely a machinery Bill. The Northern Territory at present is administered by the Government of South Australia, and is represented by two members in the Parliament of that State. On the date of the issue of the proclamation the Territory will pass over to the Commonwealth, and unless we provide for some system of government we shall have no means of properly administering it. In these circumstances, this Bill is introduced as, so to speak, a stop-gap. It is by no means designed to provide a Constitution for the Territory. That is a matter which will have to be dealt with later on. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Nor would the Government make an Ordinance dealing with any question of general policy, such as a system of land tenure? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- Only so far as. is necessary to enable land to be taken up. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Under the existing State laws ? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- No; to deal with applications for land. At the present time, as the honorable member is aware, all land settlement in the Northern Territory is in abeyance. Permits only are granted, and the question of whether or not the South Australian terms of tenure and of leases shall be continued is one upon which I am not prepared off-hand to express an opinion. In order that all possibility of development may not be held up until this Parliament meets again and a Constitution can be framed for the Northern Territory, it may be necessary to pass some Ordinances, and that is really the object of this Bill. Any Ordinance made by the Governor in Council will be placed before Parliament, if it is in session, within fourteen days of its issue, and if Parliament is not in session, within four- teen days of its meeting. The laws of South Australia will continue to apply to the "Northern Territory except in so far as it may be necessary to modify them by Ordinances. I do not know that we shall require to issue any Ordinances, but it is certainly undesirable that we should be compelled to continue some South Australian Act that might be found to be inconsistent with an attempt on the part of the Commonwealth to develop the Territory. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Will the Judicial Officer still continue under the State law? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- At the present time the Judicial and Government Resident's offices are combined. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The Administrator under this Bill need not necessarily be the Judicial Officer. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- Not necessarily; and I desire honorable members to understand that it is proposed that we shall take power to appoint an Administrator who may or may not be the present Government Resident. The question has not yet been fully considered. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- The Commonwealth will not necessarily take over all the existing officers of the Northern Territory ? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- No ; in the Northern Territory Acceptance Bill we took special precautions to guard against the Commonwealth , being compelled to take over all the officers at present employed in connexion with the administration of the Territory by the South Australian Government. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- How many are there? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- I cannot give the honorable 'member the exact number, but there are a good many. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- And they are very anxious to learn the intention of the Commonwealth with regard to them. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- Naturally, they are. I dare say that most of them will be taken over, but the Government do not bind themselves in taking over the Territory to take over all the officers at present em- ployed in connexion with it. It may be advisable to make some changes, although I do not say that it will be, but there is no reason why this Government should be compelled to take over officers unless they are suitable for the work. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- If possible, places will have to be found for those who are not taken over. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- Their interests are protected under the Northern Territory Surrender Act, passed by the South Australian Parliament. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- On the abolition of their offices they are entitled to receive pensions. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- That is so. There are some exceptions to the South Australian laws which will continue to apply to the Territory, and if honorable members read clause 11, they will recognise the necessity for taking power to issue Ordinances. That clause provides that - >No Crown lands in the Territory shall be sold or disposed of for any estate of freehold, except in pursuance of some contract entered into before the commencement of this Act. That clause has been inserted in accordance with a promise made to the honorable member for Kooyong, and also to the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, whilst the Northern Territory Acceptance Bill was under consideration. Obviously, if no Crown lands in the Territory can be sold, then such South Australian laws as permit of the selling of Crown lands can be of no effect, and we must substitute other laws for them. To that extent, it will be necessary to make certain Ordinances before a complete working scheme is approved in order that lands may be taken up. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- But the Government will not allow much land to be taken up before it has framed a definite policy. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- Certainly not, but it is wholly undesirable that the development of the Territory should be held up any longer than is absolutely necessary. For instance, we desire that certain experiments shall be conducted, and we shall need to permit persons to go on the land to make those experiments. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- That will have to be done before a land policy is adopted. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- If I were to state that I had a cut-and-dried policy, I should show at once that I was not really fitted for my office. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- But has not the Government a policy of immigration in regard to the Northern Territory? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- There is such a policy, and it will be submitted at the right time. Since the honorable member has raised the question, however, let me say that T do not suppose it will be possible to successfully people the Northern Territory without adopting a policy of immigration in connexion with it. I have not a very wide experience of tropical cultivation, but from what I can learn from others, one of the difficulties connected with tropical development has generally arisen from the fact that areas altogether too large have been taken up. Honorable members will see quite clearly the scope of this Bill. Under it, certain Acts will apply to the Territory, on much the same lines as those adopted under the Seat of Government Administration Bill. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Is it intended to use the Lands Acquisition Act to acquire lands for public purposes? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- In most cases where leases have been granted, the conditions under which such land may be acquired are set forth in the South Australian Act, by virtue of which the leases were granted. To what extent they would conflict with the Lands Acquisition Act, I cannot on the spur of the moment say. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- In clause 9, the provisions of the Lands Acquisition Act are applied to the acquisition of land owned in the Territory by any person, for any public purpose. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- But that does not touch the question of the rights and obligations of lessees under existing leases. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- The honorable member is referring to future settlement. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- It may be necessary to exercise wider powers in connexion with big leases and closer settlement. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- I do not think that we could at present touch the leases that have been granted. They have been granted for a fixed term, and we can alter the conditions of the leases only in accordance with the terms of the Act under which they were granted. Leasehold lands can be resumed for agriculture, and they can also be acquired, if required, for any public utility ; but whether they could be resumed to enable more pastoralists to be settled upon them is a question that is open to doubt, We are taking over the Territory subject to all the obligations of the State of South Australia in connexion with it. It is provided that the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act, the Australian Industries Preservation Act, and the Secret Commissions Act shall apply to it. There is a further provision, which I undertook to insert, to determine the compensation to which an owner is entitled under the Lands Acquisition Act. It declares - >The value of the land shall be taken not to exceed the unimproved value of the land, or the interest therein of the owner, at the date of the passing of this Act, together with the value of his interest in the improvements on the land at the date of the acquisition of the land. That will carry out a promise that I made to the honorable member for Franklin. These are the only points to which 1 need draw the special attention of the House. Whilst we have no cut-and-dried policy - whilst I am not prepared at present to indicate, even in a general way, the lines of policy that we shall adopt - our first work will be that of inquiry and investigation as to the best means of developing the known localities in the Territory. The Barklay tablelands, the Victoria Downs country, the MacDonnell Range country, the Victoria, Daly, and Adelaide River flats are all pretty well known; and attention will first have to be directed to the question of how best to develop the lands there. No big work of policy will be undertaken by way of Ordinance ; and honorable members will be placed in possession of the decisions of the Cabinet when we have had an opportunity of arriving at them after inquiry. The question of the treatment of the aborigines has been raised, notably by the honorable member for Laanecoorie; and a very useful article on the subject has lately appeared in the Victorian *Labour Call.* The conditions of the aborigines are not, I think, a credit to us; and we shall have to take the earliest steps for their improvement. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Is it intended to continue the existing Administrator in his office, or to appoint a new Administrator? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- I would rather the honorable member did not ask me to express an opinion. We have taken power to appoint an Administrator, who may be the present Government Resident, or he may not. The Leader of the Opposition asked whether the Public Service Act applies, and I have to say that it does not at the present time, except, of course, to the Postal, Customs, and other Common- ' wealth officials. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Is the State Public Service Act operating there now? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr BATCHELOR: -- Most of the officers are under a State Public Service Act. Some of them belong to the Provisional and Temporary branch, while others are on the fixed list, but most of them are in a division similar to our General Division. It is not advisable at first to place the officers under a Public Service Act, because it may be necessary to have a Territory service. The Papuan service is not under the Public Service Commissioner; and the conditions are such that it might be impossible to transfer men. In the more salubrious parts of the Territory positions might be made interchangeable, because it would give an opportunity for transfer from the parts where extreme heat prevails. It is too soon to talk of a Constitution, but at the earliest possible moment the Government will give the white residents there some representation, of which they have none of any kind at present. There are about 1,500 whites there, but we hope that before long there may be a great many more. The two State members will of course cease to represent them from the 1st January supposing that to be the date of the proclamation; and it is not possible to give the people even a vote in the referenda because they relate to questions exclusively between the Federated States and the Commonwealth. {: #subdebate-18-0-s1 .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN:
Ballarat .- Under the circumstances a Bill of _ this sort is inevitable to provide for an interregnum, but that interregnum is likely to be unusually long. That is to say, the parliamentary recess will probably be of exceptional length, yet the work to be done in the Territory is of the first importance. This measure merely authorizes the Government, in the vulgar tongue, to do as they " darned well please " in the meantime. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- That is one of the difficulties of the situation. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- I admit that no other course seems to be possible; but it would be unfair to allow Ministers to remain blind to their responsibilities. They will be expected to do a great deal during the next twelve months. They are assuming in this Bill and wilfully - I do not say they have much choice - an authority in regard to appointments, which has not been possessed by any previous Government, and which will need to be very discriminatingly exercised. They are in a rather embarrassing position, in so far as they are *confronted* by a number of persons who have been employed by South Australia in, or in connexion with, the Territory, and who *may* be, and probably are. of varied qualifications or disqualifications. A selection will have to be made. Those officers will have to be equitably, or even generously, dealt with, though, at the same time, the Commonwealth must have effi'ciency, and at once. One of the strongest motives with a large number of honorable members was the urgency of commencing work in the Territory; and, while every caution which the Minister can display will be required, there will be great disappointment if anything checks the wheels of progress. I quite agree that the task for the next twelve months will be almost wholly one of investigation, inquiry, and research ; and very competent people will have to be chosen for that work. They will need to be sufficiently directed, and yet not tied too fast by any particular instruction given from here. Generally, the Minister is likely to have an extremely interesting and active twelve months under this measure. The chief rocks to avoid are those in connexion with appointments, which, I assume, will be of a more or less temporary character until the fuller measure is introduced, and the Minister has made up his mind which officers he desires to retain, and which he is willing or unwilling to part with. In addition, I assume that he will make judicious use of his power since he is going to be a little Parliament .in himself. Whenever he has a spare five minutes he* can pass Ordinances about anything and everything applying over a Territory of enormous extent but of scanty population. {: .speaker-KFN} ##### Mr FRANK FOSTER:
NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- He will be a Czar! {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- He will be a Czar in authority; and, no doubt, will be able to furnish comic opera with many incidents, especially in his adventures in supervising the aboriginal population. {: .speaker-KTU} ##### Mr LAIRD SMITH:
DENISON, TASMANIA · ALP; NAT from 1917 -- There is the Caucus ! {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- If the Minister gets to the Territory, he can snap his fingers even at the Caucus for a time. No doubt there will be a day of reckoning, and it may not be a pleasant one ; but for the time being he will be monarch of all he surveys, and almost as lonely in his sway as the celebrated person of whom that was originally said. In the Bill there is unlimited power of legislation and appointment in very few words, but a great deal of space is taken up in providing that secret commissions shall not be permitted among the aborigines, that the Australian Industries Preservation Act will apply to gold diggers, while the Conciliation and Arbitration Act is to keep the buffaloes in harmony with one another. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- There will never be any disputes in such an industrial paradise ! {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- While we wish to assist the Minister in every way in dealing with this great problem expeditiously, we are not blind to the fact that we are asked to repose in him a great trust. We shall look to the honorable gentleman to bring home his sheaves by the time Parliament meets. The problems of this Territory will not wait - if they would we should never have had this Bill - and next session we ought to take decisive steps towards multiplying the population and the productiveness of that part of Australia. The intervening twelve months can be well used, and will not be a day too long. It is not often the Minister need expect suggestions to extravagance from this side, but I urge him not to be penurious. He should use all the time available, and all the assistance he can get, so as to be able, as soon as Parliament re-assembles, to place before us some actual propositions to which immediate effect can be given, which will be the means of commencing an expeditious settlement of the Territory. It is a gigantic task, and my sympathies are all with Ministers who are undertaking it, and particularly with the Minister in charge. There is no time to be lost, and, while there is no money to waste, there ought to be none stinted in this regard. We expect to see under the Minister's, judicious control a good long stride made before we meet again. We hope, also, to find ourselves at that time equipped with sufficient information to legislate positively, instead of in this generous promissory-note fashion and for the time being. {: #subdebate-18-0-s2 .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON:
Brisbane -- The ist . January has been freely suggested as a suitable date for the issue of the proclamation. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- I meant to indorse all that the Minister said about the aborigines, and to insist that they should be dealt with at once on a different basis. {: .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON: -- I cannot see that there is any particular reason for the haste suggested by the honorable member, and the gigantic character of the task is my reason for suggesting delay for, at least, six months. I see no reason why we should take over the Northern Territory before, at least, the ist July. Immediately we take it over, we take over its liabilities, which are very severe. I presume it would mean that from the ist January until 30th June we should be undertaking a liability of anything from ,£200,000 to ,£300,000. If the Government can see their way to find that money, perhaps it is. not for me to complain. The Minister might tell us the exact amount of liability that would be incurred for that six-months' period. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- Above all things, there should not be a day's delay. {: .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON: -- It is very easy for the . Leader of the Opposition to suggest haste, because he has no responsibility with regard to the finances. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- We should not get rid of a penny of liability by delaying the proclamation. {: .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON: -- We have been piling up the Commonwealth expenditure this year, and large expenditure in the future is inevitable. Another reason is the gigantic character of the task, as suggested by the Leader of the Opposition. This Bill would be sufficient to carry on with after ist July next until Parliament met again. I presume that we shall then be faced with a measure giving the Northern Territory some form of responsible government. To postpone the proclamation until ist July would have the additional benefit of not unseating the members for the Territory in the South Australian Parliament until then, and it would not interfere with the development of the Territory in any way. Things will not stagnate there. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- They will. They are all hung up, and actually going back. Nothing can be done until the proclamation is issued. {: .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON: -- If the Minister took until ist July, he would have practically eight months to consolidate his plans and develop his ideas, and be able then to know exactly what he is going to do. At present, he knows nothing. Admittedly, no scheme has been prepared, and no arrangement made. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- We cannot begin to do anything, or put any of our servants on the ground, until it is ours. {: .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON: -- That would not prevent the Minister preparing in his own mind some scheme for the government of the Territory. In his own interests he should take sufficient time to arrange his affairs and formulate his plans. {: #subdebate-18-0-s3 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- Delay will simply leave us at the end of another twelve months where we are now. I am disappointed with the Minister's statement regarding the Territory. His Department know nothing about it, and confess their utter inability to do anything until the Commonwealth actually takes possession. I have been seeing and reading memoranda which have been reeled off by the Department for years past telling us all about the wonderful latent potentialities of the Territory. One would think that the Department knew every river and every patch of mineral country in it, but we are told now that they know nothing about it and cannot begin to know, or even inquire, until formal possession has taken place. This is a revelation to me. The Department seem to have been making believe all these years, and it has been left to the Minister to-night to say that they do not, and cannot, know anything. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- I only repeated what I said on the second reading of the Acceptance Bill. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The honorable member gave us ever so many arguments in his second-reading speech as to why we should take the Territory over. They were not arguments of national necessity, but related to the development of the Territory. Now we are told that he does not know anything about the Territory which he is going to develop, or how, or where, he is going to begin. It is a poor lookout for the Department, who seem to be absolutely ignorant of a matter with which they have had relations for years past. I am not blaming the honorable member, but T am blaming the Department, who I should have thought would have matured, by this time, some proposal, which, in rough outline, at any rate, could have been sketched to the House as the probable line of procedure to be adopted when the Territory was taken over. I may have expected too much, but that, was my opinion, and I do not see why it could not have been done. Visits have been made to the Territory. We are not told whether the Minister has any plans for building a railway. _ All he tells us is that a flying survey is to be made. With what object? Is it for the construction of a railway or for finding out what lands are available for settlement? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- First of all, there must be a trigonometrical survey to locate the places. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Does the honorable member suggest that that has not been attempted after forty years of government by South Australia? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- It has not been done. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I am surprised to hear that so simple a matter has not been attended to. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- There are a great many parts which have never been visited at all. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- By this time nearly all the habitable parts of the Territory must be known. I should not think that any extensive solitudes remain still unexplored. I expected that the Minister would have something in the back of his mind before now, and certainly that the Department would have been slowly, quietly, and steadily maturing a policy. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- Before knowing whether or not the Parliament would agree to take over the Territory ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The honorable member has known for some time that the Bill was going through, and yet he tells us that his mind is a perfect blank on the subject. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- I simply said that I was not prepared to announce a policy 10 the House. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- It comes to the same thing. He says he could not begin even to inquire until the proposal was through. In these circumstances the sooner we set the honorable member free, and take this responsibility upon our shoulders, the better; but it will be rather an expensive proposal if two or three years are to pass before we begin to know what we are doing. It will cost us at the rate of about a quarter of a million a year, while we are waiting to mature our plans, and the honorable member should certainly make haste so far as he can do so with efficiency. {: #subdebate-18-0-s4 .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST:
Swan -- I should perhaps not have risen but for the suggestion that delay would be a good thing. Now that we have decided to take over the Territory the utmost expedition should be used in doing something with it. I admit that it is not an easy matter, and hope the Minister will be equal to the occasion. He should have the country examined by competent persons, both in regard to the portion suitable for cultivation and also in regard to the railway routes that are thought necessary in order to develop it. We can do nothing with it unless we provide means of transit through it. The sooner we set about that the better. The interest on the loans raised by South Australia will be large in itself, and will loom very large, especially if we are not doing anything with the Territory. There are plenty of competent persons whose services can be obtained to examine the country and report on it in a few months, especially in regard to railway routes and the lands that should be surveyed along the railways and opened up for settlement. A good deal has been said here, especially this session, about the scarcity of land in the Common wealth, and the difficulty experienced by people who want to get land. That statement will never be able to be made with any justice in the future, because we have all these millions of acres of land awaiting settlement. It has also been stated by persons who think themselves competent to speak on the subject that the climate of the Territory is salubrious, and that white men, women, and children can live and work well there. If this is so - and the Labour party say it is - how can it ever be said again that there is any difficulty about obtaining land for immigrants and other intending settlers? If the people about here want more land - if they are crowded out - all that the Government need to say to them will be : - " There are immense areas of fertile lands with a fairly salubrious climate, where you can work out your destiny, if not under peculiarly good circumstances, at any rate under circumstances of which the Labour party approve." Honorable members opposite contend that white men as well as coloured men can work in any part of Australia. That being so, they have a great opportunity to utilize this Territory to the fullest. I hope that honorable members opposite, who have always been eager for the transfer of the country to the Commonwealth, with the object of making it the home of thousands of our own race, will be ready to send their nearest and dearest there to live. The Bill is a mere skeleton, and, no doubt, with the power to make Ordinances the Minister will be able to arrange for its provisional government. I hope that he will do a great deal in the coming year in connexion with the examination of the country and ' the selection of railway routes. I do not know why provision is made for an Administrator. In Papua we have a Lieutenant-Governor and an Administrator, both of whom, perhaps, assume the title of Excellency. I have always understood that an Administrator was a sort of subordinate Governor, exercising, perhaps, the Royal prerogative. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- We must call our representative something. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- The title of Government Resident would be sufficient. As a matter of fact, with telegraph communication, all business of importance will Be transacted by the Minister himself. In the West we were content to appoint Government Residents, who acted as agents for the Government. We did not give them the title of Excellency. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- The Government Resident of the Northern Territory will not have that title. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- Whoever is appointed will soon assume it. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- The Government Resident of Thursday Island has not the title of Excellency. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- Seeing that there is neither an Executive nor a Legislative Council in the Northern Territory, and that the salary to be paid to a representative there will be a .small one, the title of Administrator is inappropriate, as it is also in Papua where there is a LieutenantGovernor. We expect the Minister, now that the Territory has been transferred to the Commonwealth, to make use of it, and without any delay. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. *In Committee :* Clauses i to 5 agreed to. Clause 6 (Application of Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration. Act 1904- 1910). {: #subdebate-18-0-s5 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- How will the aplication of Commonwealth Acts affect the operation of South Australian Acts within the Territory? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- Our laws will override those of South Australia where there is conflict. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Is it proposed to declare that certain South Australian laws will apply? {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- No; they all will apply except as modified by our Ordinances, or where they come into conflict with the Commonwealth Acts which have been made to apply. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The sooner we have a proper system of government for the Territory the better. The Bill strikes me as merely a political placard. What reason is there for applying the Conciliation and Arbitration Act or the Australian Industries Preservation Act to the Territory? Are there likely to be any labour disputes there? Are there any flourishing industries there in which disputes are likely to arise, or is there any trust or monopoly which will have to be dealt with ? These provisions sound very well, and, perhaps, were intended to hide die fact that the Territory will cost us ,£250,000 a year. Why were these particular Statutes selected for application ? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Because they are specially appropriate. Clause agreed to. Clauses 7 and 8 agreed to. Clause 9 (Application of Lands Acquisition Act 1906). {: #subdebate-18-0-s6 .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST:
Swan -- The provision that for the determining of compensation the value of land acquired by the Commonwealth shall be taken not to exceed its unimproved value or the interest therein of the owner at the date of the passing of the Act, together with the value of his interest in the improvements on the land 'at the date of its acquisition, will be a fair one if the land is resumed within a reasonable time, but it will not be fair if the land is not resumed for, say, twenty years. . This provision will stand in the way of improvements being made. If the Government want it, they should take it within a reasonable time ; but to say that this provision shall apply for all time, that after many years the Government are to go back and ascertain the value of the land at the date of the passing of this Act, is altogether unreasonable. A similar provision was inserted in other Bills where it was intended to take over land within a reasonable time. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Does the honorable member contemplate a depreciation of values? {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- If a depreciation did take place, the land would still have to be taken over at its value at the time of the passing of this measure, lt was never intended that such a provision as this should he held *in terrorem* over the people, and I enter my protest against it. Clause agreed to, Clause 10 agreed to. Clause 11 (Disposal of Crown lands). **Mr. JOSEPH** COOK (Parramatta) £11.3]. - Here, again, we have another political placard. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- This is no placard. {: #subdebate-18-0-s7 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Then I should like to hear the reason for the insertion of this clause. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- There is a similar provision in the Act relating to the administration of Papua, and other Federal Territory. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Surely the Government do not propose to administer the Northern Territory on the lines of the administration of Papua. The honorable member has said that he is looking to this Territory _ as a suitable place in which to settle immigrants. That is part of the Government's immigration policy. I should like to know what they expect to get in the way of immigration under a policy of leasing all these tropical areas. I ask the honorable member, in all serious ness, whether he thinks that immigrant!! will be attracted by these leasehold conditions in respect of tropical areas when they can obtain freehold conditions in other parts of the world in moderate latitudes? {: .speaker-KXK} ##### Mr Webster: -- Will they go to the Northern Territory under any conditions? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- If it is a place to which no one will ever go, why is the Government so anxious to prevent the land there from coming under settlement? *1* think that this clause was inserted for political purposes. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- The honorable membersuggests that people can get a piece of land in the Old Country. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- No; but they can go *to* Canada, and obtain land under a climate of a very different kind. {: .speaker-KZG} ##### Mr Roberts: -- Land which is 6 feet under snow for six months of the year ! {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Notwithstanding that, no fewer than 250,000 people are annually going to Canada. Has the Government any hope of settling immigrants in the Northern Territory unless they can obtain land there, and possess, it as their own? I shall vote against the clause. Clause agreed to. ' Clauses 12 and 13 agreed to. Title agreed to. Bill reported without amendment; report adopted. Standing Orders suspended, and Bill read a third time. {: .page-start } page 6269 {:#debate-19} ### ADJOURNMENT {:#subdebate-19-0} #### Budget Debate - Order of Business Motion (by **Mr. Hughes)** proposed - >That the House do new adjourn. **Sir JOHN** FORREST (Swan) [11.9).- I ask the- Acting Prime Minister when the Budget will be discussed. Some honorable members, including myself, intend to leave for our homes next week, and we should like an opportunity to discuss the Budget before we do so. There should be an opportunity on Tuesday or on some earlier occasion of discussing the Budget. It has to be discussed at some time, and the subject has already been delayed inordinately. If the Acting Prime Minister will not afford me an opportunity I cannot help it; but I wish to be perfectly straightforward in saying that though I should like to have one, I cannot avail myself of it unless it be afforded on Friday or Tuesday. {: #subdebate-19-0-s0 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General · West Sydney · ALP -- I should like to give the right honorable member for Swan an opportunity of discussing the Budget, but he has placed me in rather an awkward position, with inclination and duty struggling for mastery. The right honorable member has informed us that he is going away from Melbourne, and he also asks me to put down the Budget for discussion before he goes. Well, one has had very fair experience of discussions lately, and I should have been inclined to put off discussion on this matter as long as possible. Still, however, I should like to give the right honorable member a chance to speak if he is really going away. I may, therefore, mention that it is our intention to proceed with the Tariff Anomalies Bill until it is finally dealt with. There then remain to be discussed the Defence Bill, a Judiciary Bill, a small Bill introduced by my colleague the Minister of Home Affairs relating to the referendum, a Bill relating to Customs Administration which has already passed, the Senate, 'and a Supply Bill. We can possibly deal with the Tariff Anomalies Bill, and the Bills in charge of my colleagues, the Minister of Home Affairs and- the Minister of Trade and Customs, before Friday afternoon. If that be the case, I shall be very glad to give the right honorable member from 3 to 4 o'clock on Friday in which to make his speech, if that will serve his purpose. Will that be enough? {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Yes. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- Well, I make that suggestion. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- The honorable gentleman ought to recognise that it is altogether unprecedented not to have had the Budget discussed at an earlier date. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- The whole position is unprecedented. At any rate, the right honorable member will admit that we have not wasted any time. I do not owe him anything. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- I do not want anything- from the honorable gentleman either. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- But I shall be glad to go even out of my way to give him an opportunity to speak on the Budget before he leaves Melbourne. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- Please yourself. Question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 11.13 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 16 November 1910, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.