4th Parliament · 2nd Session
The House met at 2.30 p.m., pursuant to the proclamation of His Excellency the Governor-General.
The Clerk read the proclamation.
Mr. Speaker took the chair, and read prayers.
The Usher of the Black. Rod, being announced, was admitted, and delivered the message that His Excellency the GovernorGeneral desired the attendance of honorable members in the Senate chamber,
Mr. Speaker and. honorable members attended accordingly, and having returned : -
Mr. SPEAKER informed the House that he had received returns to the writs issued for the election of members to serve in the House of Representatives for the electoral division of Batman, in the place of Henry Elisha Beard, deceased, indorsed with a certificate of the election of Frank Brennan, Esquire, and for the electoral division of North Sydney, in the place of the Hon. George Bertrand
Edwards, deceased, indorsed with a certificate of the election of Granville de Laune Ryrie, Esquire. .
Mr. Brennan and Mr. Ryrie made and subscribed the oath of allegiance as members for the electoral districts of Batman and North Sydney respectively.
– I desire to know from the PrimeMinister on what authority and with what view the mace, the symbol of sovereignty, has been removed from the table of this House.
– I am not in a position to answer the honorable member. I, too, miss it.
– As the Prime Minister is unable to answer my question I ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether it is upon your authority that the mace has been removed.
– I wish to know from the Prime Minister whether, when in Wales recently, he made the statement that there is plenty of room in Australia for miners ?
– I had the pleasure and honour of addressing about 10,000 miners at Ton-y-pandy, and told them, as I told many other persons while away, that while I did not desire to see them hunted out of their own country, there was another country here that would give them a hearty welcome, and provide them with as good an opportunity for earning a living as any in the world.
– Is the PostmasterGeneral aware that the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company installed a wireless telegraph station on the Cocos Islands within three days, and that that station is now in communication with the mail steamers that pass the islands?
– I am not aware of it.
– As leader of the House I wish to move the adoption of an address of congratulation to the King.
– Is it the pleasure of honorable members that the Prime Minister be allowed to move without notice.
Honorable Members. - Hear, hear.
– I move-
That a humble address of congratulation be presented to His Majesty the King, as folows : -
To the King’s Most Excellent Majesty :
We, Your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia in Parliament assembled, beg leave to approach Your Majesty and offer our respectful congratulations on the occasion of the Coronation of Your Majesty and your Gracious Consort.
We desire also to convey an assurance of our loyal attachment to your throne and person, and of our sincere hope that Your Majesty’s reign will be distinguished, under the blessing of Providence, by watchful care to maintain the laws of the Empire, and promote the happiness and liberty of your subjects.
Those of us who had the honour of attending the Coronation will remember the occasion with pleasure as long as we live.. The part taken by His Majesty and by his consort was worthy of the positions they hold, and it was gratifying to observe the manner of their reception by their subjects living in the United Kingdom, and by those assembled there from the other parts of the Empire, and indeed from all parts of the earth. I hope that His Majesty will enjoy health and long life, and that when he is called upon to lay down his sceptre, he will leave behind as honored a name as any of those who have preceded him in his exalted office.
.- With the greatest pleasure I rise, on behalf of the Opposition, to second the motion. Obviously, this is no occasion for us to endeavour to touch, in any adequate, or even in the lightest fashion, upon all the considerations attaching to the ceremony that the Prime Minister and other honorable members had the opportunity of witnessing. Still, it may be seemly to recall the fact that from the almost uncounted millions of their Majesties’ subjects, who had no opportunity of being placed in personal touch with . that very striking and memorable ceremony, there has also gone up the universal prayer that the life of the King and Queen, whom we now honour, and to whom we pledge our loyalty, may, be one of fruitf ulness, happiness, and content - a reign of unbroken peace. We are fortunate in that our Sovereign and his graciousand illustrious consort - who has already exhibited so many queenly qualities - have ascended the Throne under some circumstances without parallel in our history in one regard, since they have already made themselves acquainted by personal travel with the vast dominions over which they rule. It has also been announced that, as a part of their acceptance of Royal duties, further visits to the dominions and the great suzerainty, the Empire of India, are in contemplation. In these circumstances, the recent ceremony may be termed in a new sense, by no means invidious, since it arises as a natural development, the most popular Coronation recorded. It has evoked a sympathetic chorus of commendation from all peoples throughout the Empire. May it be a brilliant reign, and at its conclusion - which we hope will be long postponed - may it extend over an Empire not only undiminished and undivided, but still more closely united under the Crown.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill presented by Mr. Fisher, and read a first time.
– I have to inform the House that, at the summons of His Excellency the Governor- General, I attended the Senate chamber, where His Excellency was pleased to deliver his opening speech, of which, for greater accuracy, I have obtained a copy. I presume it will not be necessary for me to read it (vide page 5).
Motion (by Mr. Fisher) agreed to -
That a Committee, consisting of Mr. Brennan and Mr. W. J. Johnson, be appointed to prepare an Address-in-Reply to the speech delivered by His Excellency the Governor-General to both Houses of the Parliament.
That the Committee do report this day.
Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to standing order 25, laid on the table his warrant, nominating Mr. Chanter, Mr. Fowler, Mr. W. Elliot Johnson, Dr. Maloney, and Mr. Roberts to act as Temporary Chairmen of Committees when requested so to do by the Chairman of Committees.
Public Business in Members’ Electorates. - Postal Concession. - Manager of Federal Woollen Mills. - Royal Commission, Sugar Industry. - Northern Territory, Appellate Court. - Running of Railways under Agreement with South Australian Government. - Aborigines in the Territory. - Federal Capital. - Lithgow Iron Works Dispute. - Cadet Corps in Country Centres. - Rifle Clubs and Rifle Ranges. - Retirements of Military Officers. - Western Australian Census Returns.
– I ask leave of the House to submit a motion, without notice, providing for a month’s Supply. I desire to submit the motion at this stage in order that the Senate may deal with it without delay.
Motion (by Mr. Fisher) agreed to -
That the Standing Orders be suspended in order to enable the Committees of Supply and Ways and Means to be appointed, before the Address-in-Reply to His Excellency the GovernorGeneral’s opening speech has been agreed to by the House, and to enable all other steps to be at once taken to obtain Supply, and to pass a Supply Bill through all its stages without delay.
Mr. SPEAKER reported the receipt of a message from His Excellency the GovernorGeneral recommending an appropriation for the purposes of the Bill.
Ordered to be referred to Committee of Supply when appointed.
Motion (by Mr. Fisher) agreed to -
That the House do now resolve itself into a Committee to consider the Supply to be granted to His Majesty.
In Committee of Supply :
Motion (by Mr. Fisher) agreed to -
That a sum, not exceeding£1, 038,016, be granted to His Majesty for or towards defraying the services of the year ending 30th June, 1912.
Resolution reported; report adopted.
Motion (by Mr. Fisher) agreed to -
That the House do now resolve itself into a Committee to consider the Ways and Means for raising the Supply to be granted to His Majesty.
Resolution of Ways and Means covering Resolution of Supply adopted.
That Mr. Fisher and Mr. Hughes do prepare and bring in a Bill to carry out the foregoing resolution.
Bill presented by Mr. Fisher, and read a first time.
Motion (by Mr. Fisher) proposed -
That this Bill be now read a second time.
– There are one or two matters to which I wish to direct attention. In the first place, I wish to ask the Prime Minister if, in connexion with his Department, and more particularly in connexion with the Old-age Pensions Branch, he will observe the rule, which is already observed by most other Departments, of intimating to members in whose electorates business is being done by other honorable members of the House the fact that it is being done. I do not call it playing the game when this rule is not observed.
– I shall be no party to it.
– Some honorable members on the other side will persist in doing, in connexion with my electorate, business which I am quite able to look after myself, if they will permit me to do so. They should not undertake to do these things without intimating to the member for the district concerned that they are being done. I have no objection to any member doing anything if I cannot or will not do it ; but I venture to say that never, since I have occupied a seat in any Parliament, have I considered myself too big. to do the local business of my electorate, and I hope I never shall. It is an honorable member’s business to look after his constituents in every possible legitimate way. I have come across two cases lately in which honorable members on the other side have approached the Deputy Registrar of Old-age Pensions in Sydney with respect to pension rights of individuals within my electorate. One of them was the honorable member for Cook, and the other the honorable member for South Sydney. In both cases, I am happy to say that they did not do very much damage. Somehow or other, whether they tried or not, they did not succeed in getting conceded what I think were the very legitimate claims of the people who put these cases into their hands. I am glad also to inform the House that since then, owing to my intervention, things are look ing very much more hopeful for those people. Apparently those gentlemen are prepared to take all the credit of anything of the kind that happens to go through without very much effort, but if it should require an effort, I suppose the persons concerned are referred to their own member. I simply call attention to the fact that this kind of thing is going on, and repeat that it is not playing the game. I think it would be got over if the Prime Minister would apply to that particular Department the rule which applies already to most other Departments, and which I believe is generally observed by them. I suggested that course of action to the Deputy Registrar, but he said that he knew nothing about it, and that there was no such rule in his Department.
– It is a common-sense rule that every officer should know.
– I think so too, but apparently that officer did not know. However, no damage has been done so far, but I feel that I ought to call attention in this public way to the action of two of my honorable friends opposite, who have been trying to do my duties for me in respect to the local requirements of my electorate. I am exceedingly obliged to them for doing nothing. I have here the letter of one of the honorable members, if he would like to read it. I should like also to inquire if it is a fact, as reported in the press, that a manager has been appointed for the Federal Woollen Mills at a salary of £600 a year, and that the appointment has been made from a place in Great Britain. If the Minister representing the Minister of Defence is present, I should like to know if that appointment has been made.
– We can .furnish the honorable member to-morrow with an- answer giving the whole of the facts.
– It seems to me that if a manager for a woollen mill of a very simple description has been imported, it is a slight on the many capable managers throughout the length and breadth of Australia. It will require a lot of persuasion to convince me that we have in the Commonwealth no competent mill managers capable of making khaki cloth and other material for the army. We have men who are doing it now and have been doing it very successfully for many years past. I am not here to say anything against importing in cases where our own men cannot do the work, but where we have competent managers, and I submit that we have in respect to these woollen mills, it seems a strange policy to pursue to import a manager to undertake the work. lt is not of a very difficult or technical character.
– Perhaps the Minister is following the honorable member’s example in importing officers.
– I believe this Government has imported more officers than I did. I know nothing about these military importations. I hope they are good men, and if they are I have not very muchroom for complaint. We ought to get the best men at the head of our military affairs, no matter where they are or at what cost or inconvenience. We want the best military talent at the top of the forces; otherwise the scheme of defence will not work satisfactorily.
.- I listened attentively to the remarks of the honorable member for Parramatta with regard to the importation of a manager for the Federal Woollen Mills, but I cannot help differing in this connexion from one for whose opinion on most matters I have so profound a respect. I am gratified to think that my honorable friends opposite have not given the position in question to any of their immediate friends, but have endeavoured to get somebody to occupy it who will satisfy the people of Australia that he has had previous experience, and will honorably and satisfactorily manage the concern. There is one matter upon which I should like information, and about which I should have asked at question time but for the extraordinary secrecy observed by the PostmasterGeneral nowadays. He refused point-blank to answer two questions to-day, and said that he was “not aware” of a certain matter of public knowledge.
– Order ! The honorable member must not refer to that subject.
– We have to be most careful about the conduct of Ministers when considering the question of granting Supply to the Government.
I have had handed to me a newspaper statement, headed “ Spoils to the Victors.” However, I make no charge in connexion with this matter, but merely now ask for information. The newspaper statement reads as follows : -
Melbourne, Monday. - A function bestowed on the Postmaster-General for use for business purposes only is being used in a somewhat astound ing manner. By means of a Federal Executive Council order, the Minister may authorize die officers of the Department to deliver unstamped communications to certain persons without charging more than the ordinary prepaid rates. The favoured persons thus escape the short-paid tax, usually imposed. The favour is usually restricted to public departments and to large public bodies.
Mr. Thomas has now added the name of Mr. Catts, M.H.R., to the list, and it is notified “ that postal articles bearing the following printed address, ‘J. ‘H. Catts, M.P., general secretary of the Amalgamated Railway and Tramway Association, Trades Hall, Sydney,’ may be sent without pre-payment of postage ; but postage at prepaid rates shall be paid by Mr. Catts.”
The proviso that the address must be printed limits the favour extended to the New South Wales Labour member. It is astonishing that a Government supporter should be chosen for the bestowal of a privilege intended for officials only.
The newspaper says that the Postmaster.General has now added the name of Mr. J. H. Catts, Member of the House of Representatives, to the list-
– Nonsense !
– It is perfectly true, though I can quite understand the astonishment of honorable members. However, as I say, I am now merely asking for information, now that Supply is before us, because I am convinced that the PostmasterGeneral will realize that, on an occasion like this, a full statement is due to the House.
– To what list has “ Mr. J. H. Catts” been added?
– To. the list of those who can have unstamped letters delivered to them, on payment of the ordinary, instead of surcharged, postage. For instance, if that honorable gentleman’s constituents chose to send him unstamped letters, he will not, as other persons would, have to pay 2d. on- each, but only id.
– I think the honorable member for Wentworth should wait until the honorable member for Cook is here to reply !
– I do not blame the honorable member for Cook for receiving something, any more than I blame the honorable member for East Sydney for making irrelevant observations. I did not know that Supply was to be asked for. or that the honorable member for Cook would not be in his place; and I did not expect the present position to arise, any more than I can expect the honorable member for East Sydney to make a sensible interjection now and then. What I desire to know is whether the newspaper gives a true statement of the position - that the honorable member for Cook is getting this singular concession from those whom he supports in this Chamber, and if so, on what ground.
.- I desire to ask the Prime Minister whether the Government have yet considered the question of the appointment of a Royal Commission to deal with the sugar industry on the lines suggested by a previous Administration ?
– As to the question raised by the honorable member for Parramatta, I express the hope that the officers of all Departments in responsible positions, in regard to matters within particular electorates, will recognise the fact that the representative of the electorate should be made acquainted with all that is being done by others, and that wherever anything is done by another a copy of the reply will be sent to the representative of the district. “The other matters referred to can be better dealt with later. I should be very glad if the honorable member for Wentworth will raise the question of the postal business later on, when a reply can be given.
– On a point of order. The Prime Minister seems to suggest that it is impossible now to have a reply from the Postmaster-General. Would it not be convenient, however, for that honorable gentleman now to rise and inform the House generally as to this particular concession without in any way infringing the Standing Orders?
– I do not think that the Speaker should at any time be called upon to give a ruling in any case that has not arisen. In this particular instance the honorable member for Wentworth is endeavouring to obtain a ruling on something that might happen, and I am not prepared to give such a ruling.
– In answer to the honorable member for Darling Downs, the Government have given consideration to the appointment of a Commission of inquiry into the sugar industry, but not of the kind, I think, contemplated by a previous Government.
– Is a Commission to be appointed ?
– Very likely an announcement will be made shortly. I propose to make a statement in Committee, and suggest that the second reading of the Bill be now allowed to pass.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
Clause 1 agreed- to.
Clause 2 - (Issue and application),
– This Supply Bill is for a larger amount than that for the corresponding period of last year. That arises largely, and almost wholly, from the fact that the Northern Territory has been taken over, and that provision is made in this Bill for a number of public works. I may add, however, that there is no new policy involved in any of the items.
– I think this would be a convenient occasion for the PostmasterGeneral to afford some information in regard to the concession to the honorable member for Cook.
– If the honorable member for Wentworth had been in Australia instead of in England - where, of course, he had a perfect right to be - he would have noticed that the question-he has raised was fully answered in the press at the time. This concession was not granted to the honorable member for Cook in his private capacity, but as the secretary of an association. Under the Postal Act there is a regulation which permits of such a concession to any society ; and I may say that in this particular instance the concession was not given directly by me, but by Mr. Young, Deputy Postmaster-General in New South Wales. The only part I had in the matter was to ratify the minute when it was sent on from Sydney.
– A sort of rubber stamp !
– No, it was a matter of regulation, and a similar concession can be granted by any Deputy PostmasterGeneral to any society which desires it.
– And besides, the honorable gentleman could not “ go back “ on Brother Catts, could he?
– That is not the question. Honorable members who were in Sydney will remember the reply that appeared in the Daily Telegraph of that city at considerable length, when Mr. Young gave a full explanation, stating that the concession was given under regulation.
– Will the PostmasterGeneral tell me whether each case of the kind requires an Executive minute?
– Yes, each case; but the concession has not often been given. It was applied for by the Australian Mutual Provident Society and granted ; but, before it could come into operation, it became of no service, and was not used. In the particular case under discussion the honorable member for Cook asked for the concession, and it was granted by the Deputy Postmaster-General, and came on for Executive sanction in the ordinary course.
.- I am obliged to the Postmaster-General for the explanation ; but in view of what he has said, I suggest that some alteration in the Government Gazette notice is urgently required. This concession is given, not to the General Secretary of the Amalgamated Railways and Tramways Association, but to “ Mr. J. H. Catts, M.P.,” though, by way of a sort of afterthought, he is described as the general secretary of a particular body. For reasons of party policy, if for no others, my honorable friend and those associated with him should be very loth to attach to any particular person a concession granted to an organization. That would be a foolish and dangerous thing to do. It would look as if the honorable member for Cook, being persona grata with him, was specifically mentioned as the recipient of a concession really granted to the organization of which the honorable member happens to be the secretary. I suggest that only letters addressed to the “secretary” of the organization be delivered.
– Letters have to be so directed.
– Letters addressed to any person by name should not come within the concession.
– Letters directed to the honorable member for Cook himself do not come within the concession.
– According to the Gazette notice, the concession is given only to letters addressed “J. H. Catts, Esq.. M.P., General Secretary.” I understand that the honorable member for Cook is no longer the secretary of the organization concerned, so that if the Gazette notice be followed strictly, letters addressed to the new secretary will not come within the concession.
– The notice can be altered.
– It should be altered sn that the concession mav be given only to letters addressed to the secretary, and not to any person by name. The PostmasterGeneral should instruct his deputies so that such a mistake may not be made a second time.
.- When I was out of the chamber, the honorable member for Parramatta complained that I had acted in the matter of an oldage pension for an elector of his district, but I assure him and the Committee that I had no intention of interfering in his work. The person concerned spoke to me after one of my referendum meetings. I understood that he lived in my district, and sent a letter to an address in my district. The honorable member for Parramatta has been misinformed. He has not the envelope in which my letter was sent. I would never attempt to interfere in another member’s business, though I should be glad if I could be relieved of some of the work I am called upon to do.
.- I suggest to the Minister of External Affairs that he should look through the legislation passed last year for the administration of the Northern Territory and the ordinances, to see whether there is any doubt as to the jurisdiction of the Appellate Courts. I think “that there is a slight doubt as to whether certain appeals can be taken before the Courts of subordinate jurisdiction. In two or three cases litigants have not known what to do ; they have not known whether they should appeal to the High Court or to the new Supreme Court, or take advantage of the much less expensive and more expeditious procedure of appealing to the subordinate Appeal Court which existed under the South Australian jurisdiction.
– I shall look into the matter.
– It may be found that an amendment of the Act or the ordinance on justice is necessary. I ask the Minister to look into the matter soon, because some cases have been hung up by reason of the doubt whether litigants must adopt a procedure which is expensive but certain, or whether they can follow one which is more expeditious and cheaper
– The executive minute of the PostmasterGeneral creates another precedent.
– No ; the same thins; has been done before ; any Deputy can do it.
– Have the names of honorable members of this House ever been gazetted before? Of course, my honorable friends took office to make precedents.
– The honorable member for Cook was secretary to the organization.
– I understand that before he could get the privilege which was given he had to undertake to pay for all letters that were unstamped.
– He had to give a guarantee that he would do so.
– All letters delivered, or all letters posted?
– All letters delivered direct to a particular address.
– The honorable member for Cook having resigned the secretaryship, has the Gazette notice been altered ? The executive action which has been taken is such as should not be taken lightly. Being outside the wide range of powers possessed by the Minister under the Postal Act, it is an extraordinary step, and one which should be taken only with great care.
– If the Australian Mutual Provident Society had been concerned, there would have been no objection to what was done.
Mr.JOS EPH COOK.- I know nothing of that. I am surprised that the PostmasterGeneral did not mention the Stock Exchanges. While sitting on this side of the chamber, he was everlastingly talking about them, but since his assumption of office he has been continually coquetting with them, and discussing with them matters connected with his Department. No doubt he has discovered that their members are decent fellows, and not the bugbears against which he used to fulminate until he almost frothed at the mouth.
– Why does not the honorable member stick to the truth ?
– My honorable friend has a monopoly of that ! I am sorry that he is losing his manners so early in the session. If he makes such an interjection again, I shall have to ask the Chairman to direct him to withdraw it. What may be expected before the session is over if this is how he begins?
– Has the honorable member ever seen me foam at the mouth?
– I shall expect the Postmaster-General to do more than that before the honorable member for Gwydir has finished with him, and certainly before he is clear of the muddle caused by his tinkering with reform in recent months.
There are some important items in this Supply Bill. The sum of . £58,000 is to be voted for the Northern Territory. That expenditure has been explained, but another £46,000 is required for the Port Augusta railway.
– That, too, is expenditure necessitated by the agreement relating to the Northern Territory.
– I shall be glad to have some particulars. Nothing is proposed for the Federal Capital. The honorable member for Echuca seems to desire that nothing shall be spent on the Federal Capital, but I hope that the work will be pushed on and completed as soon as possible. It is time that the capital took concrete shape. What has happened in regard to the ambitious programme outlined by the Minister of Home Affairs soon after the prorogation? A property consisting of 1,700 acres was to be acquired.
– We have got it.
– Has the honorable gentleman the money with which to pay for it?
– He has 300 men at work on it.
– I suppose he has the money to pay them. He promised that all existing roads and bridges would be maintained, and that such new roads and deviations as might be necessary would be formed. A power plant for purposes of water supply, brick works, &c, was to be installed. Have the brick works been commenced yet? Then there was to be a nursery for trees and shrubs. We all desire that the Federal Territory shall be suitably planted. What has been done in that direction? It was proposed, further, to reserve a suitable location for workingmen’s houses, I presume, to accommodate those employed on the Capital site. Has that been done? Has provision been made for “ an unlimited water supply, and perfect sanitation “ ?
– They are all shaping.
– I am glad to have that assurance. How is the general store getting on? Are the shelves up, and the goods displayed in the shop window? The honorable member is good at displaying goods in the political shop window. The goods are already in the political shop window, but we wish to see them displayed at the earliest moment in the “ shop window “ of the Federal Capital. I mean that we want the Capital gone on with expeditiously. Then there is to be a general store, including a butchery, a bakery, and a financial attachment. What that financial attachment is I do not pretend to know.
– It is to operate all the rest.
– I should ike to know what it is. I am glad, at all events, that the honorable gentleman intends to encourage thrift amongst the employes, and that the institution is to be used for general purposes and act as a grand instrument of exchange. Then, again, he proposes to provide and equip a hospital, and to erect and conduct an hotel. What does the honorable member for Brisbane think of the last-named proposal ?
– The hotel will be one of the class I like.
– Is it to be a temperance hotel?
– Why was not that fact stated?
– It was so stated.
– It is not so stated in this programme, which is a very interesting one. I could not help thinking when reading it how gigantic, complete, and comprehensive this scheme for the Federal Capital was to be. Included in it was the provision of sites for the education of children, for religious and other purposes, recreation grounds, and so forth. I ask, in all seriousness, however, what is being done, so far as the Federal Capital is concerned? Has all the money which was voted in connexion with it been spent? Is the work being continued, and, if so, from what sources are supplies being drawn? There is in this Bill no item relating to the Federal Capital. A great many other things seem to begetting a look in, but the Federal Capital appears to be left out. I wish to know why that is so.
– I shalltell the honorable member.
.- I wish to ask the Minister of Trade and Customs whether sectionII of the Manufactures Encouragement Act is being strictly observed in connexion with the manufacture of iron and steel at the Lithgow Iron Works ? I am told that that provision was inserted at the instance of the honorable member for Parramatta, but I fear inquiry will show that it is not being strictly administered. The section provides -
If the Minister finds that the rates of wages, or any of them, are -
I ask the Minister whether full inquiry has been made, with a view of ascertaining whether the section is being observed. The matter requires investigation, and I hope that it is receiving attention.
– As most honorable members are aware, as soon as the measure came into operation, an officer was appointed as an authorized person under the Act. I was not satisfied with that, however, and about a fortnight ago two additional persons were appointed, as authorized officers under the Act, to make further inquiries as to whether the conditions for which that Act provides were being observed. Only on Saturday last I sent a telegram to the secretary of the local organization, asking whether he could give me any particulars showing that the Act had been violated in any regard.
– Has the Minister yet re-; ceived a reply?
– No reply had reached the Department up to the time that I left my office to-day.
.- This Bill makes provision for the expenditure of £233,277for defence purposes, and, in connexion with that item, I desire to call the attention of the Minister representing the Minister of Defence to a question of importance affecting his Department. On 2 1st June last, the Department addressed to me a letter relating to the establishment of Cadet Corps in country centres, and giving as a reason for its failure to carry out the provisions of the Defence Act the peculiar statement that “ the great difficulties and expense entailed by the new scheme necessarily limit the application of it for a year or two.” There is a general desire that lads in country centres, as well as in other parts of the Commonwealth, shall be brought under the operation of the Act. I have received from different districts in my electorate requests that I should endeavour to have the provisions relating to the establishment of Cadet Corps carried into effect there, and on making representations accordingly to the Department, I have been told, as the quotation I have just made shows, that, for the time being, the work is shelved, because of the great difficulty and expense entailed by the scheme. We are asked to-day to vote a large sum for defence purposes - it is a large item for one month’s Supply - and we should have from the Government an assurance that something will be done for these lads. I think it will be conceded by honorable members generally that the Defence Department has made a very grave mistake in disbanding the Cadets, as they were previously established, before they are prepared to bring into operation the new Act. Under the old system boys in Victoria were receiving a splendid training. That system, however, has been ruthlessly destroyed, and, according to the letter to which I have referred, the Department is not prepared, for some indefinite period, to proceed with the new scheme. In the meantime, in country centres, lads who, under the old system, might have been receiving a fairly effective military training, are deprived of an opportunity to secure it, and are compelled to sink their identity as cadets, and to become civilians again. This is a grave mistake, and now that the matter has been ventilated I hope that the Department will take cognisance of it. If the Department is not prepared to carry out the new scheme, I trust that it will at least revert to the old scheme and continue it until the new system is ready for operation.
.- I may perhaps assist the Minister of External Affairs if I refer him to the section of the Northern Territory Administration Act dealing with the matter to -which I drew his attention a few minutes ago. I refer to section 12, which provides that for the enforcement of all laws in force in the Territory, and .the administration of justice in the Territory, the several Courts of the State of South Australia shall, subject to any ordinance of the Governor-General, continue to have jurisdiction. I think we passed an ordinance - which has not yet been laid on the table of the House - providing for the administration of justice in the Territory, under which provision was made for an appeal from say, a Magistrate’s Court, and also a subordinate Court to the Supreme Court of the Territory. There is also power to appeal, or to take a case stated from: the Supreme Court of the Territory to the Supreme Court of South Australia. The Northern Territory Administration Act, however, seems to contemplate the Local Court at Adelaide, which had an appellate jurisdiction over Courts in the Territory, as well as a Court of appellate jurisdiction over cases arising in the Territory. There is a doubt about it, because every Act of Parliament is prima facie presumed to apply only to the Territory over which the Legislature passing it has jurisdiction.
– If there is any doubt, we can deal with it.
– As this will be dealing with a Court which is outside our jurisdiction, there is doubt as to whether litigants can elect to go to the Adelaide Local Court of full jurisdiction . as a subordinate, or less expensive one, or whether they have to take all their appeals to the newly constituted Supreme Court of the Territory. In one case, the Court may be not only the more expensive Court, but a Court sitting hundreds of miles away from the residence of the litigant. In such a case, the hearing at Adelaide might be more reasonable, and from the Court there we might get an appeal to the Supreme Court of .South Australia. I ask the Minister to look into the matter, because it affects litigants in the Territory who have written to me in the absence of their representative, the honorable member for Grey.
. - I do not wish to unduly press the Prime Minister, who has said that he will make a statement at some future time as to the appointment of a Commission in regard to the sugar industry, but I should like him to say approximately when he will make the announcement. I desire also to ask the Minister of External Affairs whether an agreement has yet been made between the Commonwealth and South Australia with reference to the running of railways in South Australia itself taken over under the Northern Territory Agreement.
– Will the honorable gentleman tell us whether that Agreement is likely to be published?
– I will bring it down to-morrow.
– There is another matter to which I desire very briefly to allude. The honorable gentleman, I am sure, will have the entire sympathy of the House in doing whatever is necessary in connexion with the administration of matters relating to the aborigines in the Territory. It has been announced that the Director of Aborigines has resigned, and I wish to know whether immediate steps are being taken to make a new appointment. Some suggestion has been made of difficulties under the law relating to aborigines as passed by the South Australian Parliament. I wish to know if the Minister has had any official report regarding the nature of those difficulties, and if he has, what steps have been taken to remedy them.
– I desire to ask the Minister representing the Minister of Defence if better provision cannot be made for rifle clubs and rifle associations I have several rifle clubs in my electorate, particularly at Granville, Auburn, and other towns at the Sydney end of my constituency, the members of which are afforded by the Department no opportunity to engage in rifle practice. I understand that the Flemington rifle range has been closed for the past six months or thereabouts. I have written two letters to the Department, and have been informed in reply that the State Government have resumed the rifle range at Flemington for railway purposes. In the circumstances, the members of some half-dozen rifle clubs in my electorate are compelled to go to Randwick for practice. Another grievance under which they suffer is that many of the rifle ranges are set apart for the practice of regulars, and the members of rifle clubs can practise only after the regulars are finished. More accommodation should be provided for rifle clubs.
– All this will come up on the Address-in-Reply. We cannot put any new votes into this Bill.
– I am raising the question at the first opportunity. I think I am perfectly in order in raising it now, when money for the purpose is being voted. I believe the same grievance exists throughout New South Wales. The rifle clubs feel that an effort is being made by certain authorities, whether it is intentional or not I do not know, to crush them out of existence. It would be a pity to interfere with the efficiency of the rifle clubs in any way. Provision ought to be made to give them sufficient accommodation, not only in the end of my electorate to which I have referred, but also at the other end, at Lithgow. There is a range near the small arms factory, but no provision is made for the men, who have only Saturday afternoons free, to practise. When they go to the range on a Saturday afternoon they have to stand on one side until the regulars have practised, and if the latter occupy the range till the light grows dim the men have to put their practice off for another week, when, perhaps, the same thing will be repeated. That is a very unsatisfactory state of affairs, and something ought to be done to improve things in this regard all over the Commonwealth. I shall be glad if the Minister representing the Minister of Defence can give the Committee some satisfactory assurances on the matter.
. ; I wish to direct the attention of the Minister representing the Minister of Defence to the fact that during the last twelve months the Government, or the authorities, have been closing a large number of rifle ranges in various parts of the State. Many of them have been open for thirty or forty years. I recognise that with the later arm, which carries a much longer distance, the danger has been increased, and that the Government have a very grave responsibility with regard to the life and limbs of people who may be within the danger zone. But I feel that, in this want of appreciation of the value of the rifle club system, the .Government, or those who are responsible for the alteration, are making a very grave mistake.
– Can the honorable member give me any cases? fct. CARTY SALMON.- Yes; the rifle ranges at Taradale, Clunes, and Maryborough, in my district, have all been closed during the last twelve months.
– I think there is an undercurrent of influence trying to wipe the clubs out.
– I am alluding to that question now. I am afraid there is u want of sympathy with the rifle club movement on the part of those in authority. If there is one thing which the present Government ought to support and foster by every means in their power, it is the rifle club movement, because it is a military movement, purely for defence purposes, and altogether dissociated from what are called the trappings and embroideries of. the ordinary military service. In Victoria, in the year 1900, there were some 1,500 members of rifle clubs, but before the close of that year there were over 20,000 members. We all know the sacrifice that those men have made in order to render themselves efficient, and we know, also, the very scant courtesy they have received from the various Governments during the whole of the period for which they have been under the control of the Commonwealth. But the treatment which they received from previous Governments is as nothing compared with what has happened recently. I am a very strong supporter of the compulsory training principle, and have done all I possibly could inside and outside the House to make’ it popular and help it along, but I shall be very sorry indeed if the desire of th OLe responsible for this alteration, to make the compulsory training principle the be-all and end-all of our military methods, is going to cause the wilful destruction of the rifle .club movement and the woeful waste that will inevitably result from the disbandment of such a large number of very valuable men. The latest war of which we had any personal experience proved conclusively that rifle shooting was one of the greatest factors in success on the part of a people whose country was being invaded. I refer to the South African war, which would not have been anything like the war it was had it not been for the precision with which our opponents on that occasion could’ use their arms. I hope that the words uttered by the honorable member for Nepean on this question will receive attention from the Honorary Minister arid from the Minister of Defence. No one realizes more than I do what the Minister of Defence has done for the defence service, what he is doing now, and what he hopes to accomplish, and no one is more anxious than I am to help him; but I want him to realize that, good as may be the advice which is “being tendered to him - and we know that it is fairly expensive - several experiments are being tried in Australia which, I venture to say, would not have been tried had we had the sort of advice which many of ur believe is more in consonance with our deserts and with the conditions of the. country. We have sought advice from outside, and that advice is being tendered and being acted upon in a fashion which I was going to describe as ruthless. A very large number of valuable men are being driven out of the service for no other reason than that they have arrived at a certain age. Many of them are quite competent to do the work which they have most efficiently performed for years past, but they are in the way of those who are coming on, and are being moved out. That is a policy with which I do not altogether agree. I believe that experience and ability should always command a certain amount of respect, and that we should not throw away valuable assets which have cost enormous sums to create here, in the shape of the capacity of those responsible for the control of our military service. Perhaps, later on, one may speak at greater length upon that matter, but I urge that inquiry- should be made by the members of the Government themselves into the question of the wilful destruction of the rifle club system - a system which wasentered upon with a full knowledge of its ultimate value, but which is apparently being thrown away as unfit for anything but the military scrap-heap. I’ hope that not many weeks will elapse before personal inquiry is made into the matter by Ministers.. If that is done, I am sure that we shall see a great deal more sympathy shown to> these men, who are deserving of the greatest consideration for what they have done to fit themselves for the defence of the country. They undertake the work without hope of fee or reward, imbued solely with the desire to make themselves more capable of carrying out the highest patriotic duty which any man can perform - the duty of defending the hearths and homes of those who depend upon them, and the country in which they live.
– I wishto direct the attention of the Minister of Home Affairs to the discrepancy between the recent census returns and the total of the population as computed by the local statistician. This matter is attracting some interest in Western Australia. There is st difference of about 12,000 between the populations as calculated by the State and Federal officials, and that means a considerable sum in connexion with the financial arrangement between the Commonwealth’ and the State. Can the Minister state whether the Census Bureau allows anything for what I may call misses in the collection of the census returns? In a State like Western Australia, with its immense area, with numbers of settlers living in remote and inaccessible parts, with its very scattered gold-fields population, with many prospectors out of reach of census enumerators altogether, and the same state of things occurring even in the agricultural localities, where many settlers are taking up land altogether remote from the little centres of population, it will be easily understood that a considerable number of people are misse’d in the count. That undoubtedly happens all over Australia, but particularly in Western Australia. Does the Census Bureau simply take the totals of the returns as collected by its various officers, or does it allow a percentage for possible omissions? They are not only possible in Western Australia, but we know positively that many have taken place in the collection of the census returns there. Reports have come in from many outlying districts as to people who have not been approached or have not filled up any census returns at all. It can be readily understood that these are only a percentage of those who have been missed altogether. I do not know whether there has been any communication between the State statistician and the Federal Census Bureau on the matter, but I hope that, at any rate, an attempt will be made at adjustment. It is felt very keenly in Western Australia that the discrepancy of 12,000 ought to be most carefully investigated, in view of the sum involved under the present financial agreement.
.- I desire to support the remarks of the honorable members for Nepean and Laanecoorie regarding the rifle club system. I believe the rifle clubs could be extended in a way that would make them much more useful as a second line of defence throughout the Commonwealth. It might also be possible to maKe use of them to provide a system of continuity of training. Thus the training which young men receive under the compulsory system might be continued when they become members of rifle -clubs, but that could only be done by introducing a system of compulsion into the rifle club movement also. That is a question which the Minister could well consider in connexion with the extension and improvement of the rifle club system generally. I rose more particularly to draw attention to the vote of ^58,404 to carry on the administration of .the Northern Territory. I realize that the matter is too large to discuss on a Bill of this kind, but I am sorry to see that the measure in which it is proposed to deal with a question of such magnitude is relegated to about the seventeenth paragraph in the Governor-General’s Speech. No more important measure than this has to be considered by this Parliament.
– The order of the Bills in the Speech has nothing to do with the order of their introduction here.
– That order is the only indication we have at this stage of their introduction. I know that this money must be voted ; but it is the duty of the Government to bring down an adequa’te and comprehensive Bill dealing with this enormous asset of the Commonwealth.
– This Bill is only to carry on the ordinary services according to the agreement.
– It is a matter, however, of such magnitude that it ought to be one of the first listed. In company with the Minister of External Affairs, and other members of this House, I have visited the Territory, and we know that it has enormous wealth and possibilities, which require a system of development quite different from that applied to the mineral and agricultural areas in other parts of Australia. The Government long since should have appointed some responsible body to investigate the peculiar resources of this portion of the country.
– That was done long ago.
– Then it must have been done very quietly. If a Commission or other responsible body, capable of dealing with a territory of this kind, has been appointed, the public ought to have known something more about the appointment: However, this is not the time to deal with the question extensively. I believe that if this Territory be properly handled - if a Land Bill is introduced on a proper basis - it will be possible to develop this northern portion of our country without any great cost to the Commonwealth. As I have already indicated, we have here one of the most important problems this Parliament has ever had to face; and I hope that a measure dealing with it will be one of the first passed in this Chamber. The Prime Minister, as has already/ been said, has returned from one of the most important functions in the history of the world, I desire to congratulate him on his safe arrival in Australia, with his colleagues, who represented us at the great Imperial Conference and at the Coronation, a ceremony of which the Empire is properly and justly proud.
– At Parramatta a rifle range, commenced two or three years ago, is about to be completed ; but as yet there is no shooting. This range will accommodate the rifle men referred to by the honorable member for Nepean. I find, however, that the other day, when, in view of the completion of this range, a telephone was applied for, it appeared that, owing to some military regulation, this convenience could not be granted. I am told that, before a telephone is granted, a range must be a certain distance outside the metropolitan area, and there must be a certain number of targets and other conditions observed. None of these regulations will fit every case ; but if ever there was a range which ought to have a telephone, it is the range to which I refer. I am sure that this range will not be of very much service unless there is a telephone; and I hope the Minister in charge will take a note of my observations. I was glad to hear the affairs at Lithgow referred to, though I should not have referred to them myself but for the fact that the other day the State member for the district made a speech at that place. It is a pity that, in periods of industrial distress, any member of Parliament should try to make political capital out of them.
– The honorable member started that at Parramatta.
– Started what?
– To make political capital.
– About what?
– About the action of the State Government.
– I am talking now about the Lithgow strike.
– Yes; the honorable member started making political capital out of it.
– In what way?
– At a meeting of the Parramatta Liberal Association.
– I can. tell the honorable member what I said at that meeting.
– We read the report.
– I said then what I say now - that a great deal of trouble in connexion with all these disputes was owing to politics in the unions.
– What did the honorable member say about the Coercion Act?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr.
Roberts). - May I point out that the Coercion Act is not under consideration, and I must call the honorable member to order for introducing the subject.
– If I were the honorable member for Nepean I should leave that Coercion Act alone, seeing that it is being applied in Lithgow now by a Labour Ministry.
– The honorable member ought to leave it alone, seeing that they are his friends at Lithgow.
– They are, and I would do anything in my power to settle the difficulty. I am unable to see, however, how any such difficulty can be solved by making fiery speeches from balconies and verandahs.
– The honorable member should not have started that.
– The State member to whom I have referred blamed his predecessors for not taking care that there was some provision in the Act referred to to safeguard the workers, and he, of course, made political capital out of this alleged omission. Evidently, however, the State member was ignorant of the fact that there was some such provision in the Act, and it had to be pointed out to him that I moved in that direction. I hope that the conditions under that provision are being observed, as they ought to be in connexion with any industry specially subsidized by Parliament. I should like to say now that in all probability there would have been no provision of the kind in the Act but for the action taken by myself and other honorable members on this side; and it is a pity that the State member referred to did not make himself acquainted with the facts . I can assure the honorable member for Nepean that if I could doanything to stop the trouble at Lithgow I should willingly do it. Further, the points at issue seemed to me so small - I am speaking now of the contributory causes of the strike-that they ought to be susceptible of amicable settlement, with honour to both sides, in a six hours’ conference over a table.
– We could never do that with Hoskins.
– It will never be done by people going there, and simply denouncing Hoskins - peace and conciliation, not fiery speeches from the public balconies of the town, are required.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.May I point out to the honorable member that what is essentially a State matter is not associated with Supply by the Federal Parliament?
– All this relates to the question of wages, and may, therefore, I think, be considered by us. I should not have referred to the matter but for the observations made by a State member of Parliament with the object of raising a little political capital. Amongst other things, that honorable member said that if the men there were quiet he would give them a new ironmaster; and I do not think that statements of that kind are likely to settle the strike.
.- I should like to say a wordor two of explanation in reference to the remarks of the honorable member for Parramatta about speaking from balconies, and so forth, at Lithgow. I was one who went to Lithgow and spoke; and I shall go again, if necessary, in order to place my views before my constituents. The injured innocence of the honorable member for Parramatta is very refreshing when he talks about political capital being made out of a dispute of this nature. The honorable member himself, previous to the appearance of the State member, made a speech before the Parramatta Liberal Association for the purpose of making political capital out of the present circumstances. The honorable member made charges against the Labour Government of the State, and endeavoured to show that they had done nothing.
– Do not raise that question now.
– I cannot allow a matter like this to go unchallenged. If the dispute has been used for political purposes, that was started by the honorable member for Parramatta when he dealt with the Coercion Act, which is a sore point with all trade unions throughout the Commonwealth.
– I should think it was a sore point.
– There was only one member who did not desire to keep this Act on the statute-book of New South Wales, but Mr. Wade took him out, and spanked him like a schoolboy. I have done everything I can to get this dispute settled, and I may say that, in my opinion, twenty minutes, and not six hours, is all the time that ought to be necessary to terminate it. But when one of the parties to the dispute, who has been proved in a court of law to be wrong, holds out, what hope is there of a settlement? I deplore the dispute just as does the honorable member for Parramatta ; and I may say that if silence had been kept by him and his friends it would not have been used as a means of making political capital. But if the party opposite uses this matter for political purposes, it must expect us to be on the job too.
– Do I understand from the Prime Minister that none of the items in the schedule are new ?
– No new principle is involved, though I cannot say that there may not be a small item here and there, covering a few pounds, that is new.
– Are not the items dealing with quarantine new?
– The schedule only came into our hands on the meeting of the House.
– The schedule was circulated this morning with the other papers sent to honorable members.
– I had not an earlier opportunity to see it. The Committee is aware that a strict scrutiny often discovers items upon which there is disagreement, and, therefore, while I am prepared to let the Bill pass through Committee now, I reserve the right to discuss at length on any future occasion proposals which I may subsequently find myself opposed to.
– Does the £3,000 set down for the referendum cover, in addition to the amount voted last year, the total cost of the referendum ?
– I cannot answer the honorable member’s question now, but shall be glad to give him the information to-morrow. This item covers belated payments which could not be dealt with in the last financial year.
– I am sorry to have to make another reference to the unfortunate strike at Lithgow. The honorable member for Nepean sought to twist my utterances in a way that was quite unjustifiable.
– The honorable member is a twister himself.
– The honorable member can do as much of that as any man I know.
– The honorable member does not know me.
– The honorable member is a brother of the man whom the Labour party, for political purposes, dragged out of the Speaker’s chair in the New South Wales Assembly. My address to the Parramatta Liberal Association contained an incidental reference to the New South Wales Coercion Act. I said that I believed that under it action was being taken at Lithgow by the present Labour Government of the State, although its members had previously denounced the Act. The reference had nothing to do with the merits of the dispute, a distinction which the honorable member seems unable to comprehend. The only other reference I made to the dispute was by way of expressing the hope that it would be speedily settled, and amicable feeling restored.
– The honorable member knew that the dispute existed.
– Of course I did ; and I knew at the time that Mr. Dooley, the honorable member’s colleague, had made these statements. I agree with the honorable member that silence on the Subject would be a good thing for his party, though his remarks were a rough commentary on the action of his colleague in the State.
– The honorable member for Darling Downs asked me if I could make a statement regarding the appointment of a Sugar Commission. I shall be able to do so at an early date. The item referring to the Port Augusta railway, about which the honorable member for Parramatta asked a question, covers interest and sinking fund payments which are due. As to the aborigines, no recommendation has been made. The Minister concerned is looking into the matter, and may make a statement later
Clause agreed to.
Clauses 3 and 4 agreed to.
Schedule, preamble, and title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment, and passed through its remaining stages.
The Committee appointed to prepare an Address-in-Reply to the Governor-General’s opening speech, having re-entered the
Chamber, presented the proposed AddressinReply, which was read by the Clerk, as follows : -
May it please Your Excellency -
We, the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, in Parliament assembled, beg to express our loyalty to our Most Gracious Sovereign, and to thank Your Excellency for the Speech which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.
.- I move -
That the Address-in-Reply to His Excellency’sSpeech, as read by the Clerk, be agreed to by the House.
I wish to commence with a reference to the loss which the House has sustained by the deaths of my predecessor in the representation of the electorate of Batman, and of the late member for North Sydney. I had not the pleasure of knowing the latter, but am aware of his reputation as a fair debater and conscientious representative. I knew the late member for Batman, and no member, be his career in the political arena long or short, can desire to end it with a sweeter and more wholesome reputation than he possessed. Coming now to the Governor-General’s Speech, it is a matter for congratulation that a treaty has been signed linking together those great Anglo-Saxon and English-speaking communities, Great Britain and the United States of America. The Ministry has been criticised adversely on account of the length of the recess, which has been a long one ; but the time has not been mis-spent. Since the prorogation, an event of supreme importance to the Empire - the Coronation of His Majesty the King - has taken place, and the Prime Minister, as representative of the Commonwealth, has worthily upheld the dignity of his position at the centre of the Empire. A number of other honorable members were also given the opportunity to become better acquainted with that important Territory, Papua. Far from objecting to such a visit of inspection as was made by them, I think that undertakings of that kind must benefit the Commonwealth, by adding to our comparatively small sum of knowledge of the Territory. During the recess there were submitted to the people by way of referendum a number of questions which it was hoped would be answered in the affirmative, and I share the regret expressed in the Speech of the Governor-General that the replies were in the negative. But the time is not far distant when, in some form or another, the proposals so submitted will be accepted by both sides of the House.
-I am encouraged to think so, because there is not one of those proposals to which some honorable members opposite are not committed, while in regard to them all the Ministerial party is solid and united, and therefore in one form or another we may yet see them adopted in their entirety. I hope, at any rate, that the Opposition will assist the Government in getting the House out of the cul de sac created by the answer given by the people. There is nothing in the GovenorGeneral’s Speech of greater importance - at any rate, nothing that will excite more controversy - than the proposal relating to the establishment of a Commonwealth bank. Honorable members have before them no details regarding that proposition, but I think I am safe in saying that there is no part of the policy of the Government for which there has been, and is now, a more insistent demand’. I am quite certain, from my own experience, that no other proposal has been received with more genuine applause at the hands of the electors themselves.It appears to be suggested that the Government may ignore the expert advice of those qualified to advise them in this very important matter. . I can well understand that we shall have no shortage of advisers, but I hope that while the Government will receive freely the advice of those qualified to give it, they will recognise their full responsibility as to the details of the measure, and that they will neither solicit, nor too readily accept, the advice of those who may justly be suspected of having an interest in the defeat of such a scheme. I hope, and believe, that, under the Bill, no injustice will be done to private banking corporations. We have to remember, however, that, after all, the private banking corporations have been, in the past, the spoilt children of fortune, and that if, in the future, they are to be something less than that, they have hardly any just cause of complaint against the Government. The Ministry, in dealing with this question, are doing as they did in the case of the Commonwealth progressive land tax - they are boldly facing one of those national problems which have been too long ignored, and are facing it, too, in a courageous way. It may well be that as in the case of the Commonwealth land tax, difficulties, and, perhaps, even temporary injustices, will occur, but that I take to be the necessary consequence of undertaking for the first time national measures of such great and far-reaching importance. I notice with’ pleasure that it is proposed to introduce a Bill to amend the Conciliation and Arbitration Act, and, presumably, that measure will embody a number of amendments. Unfortunately, the Act has failed to some extent in usefulness by reason of the constitutional limitations under which it is being used, but the amendments foreshadowed, as I understand them, relate to questions with which we can deal effectively under the constitutional instrument, which we now enjoy, as it stands. One of those amendments, I hope, and believe, will be designed to meet the recent case known as the engine-drivers’ case, in which it was decided by the High Court that it was not enough to have community of interest amongst the employes in order to entitle them to register under the Act, but that it was necessary also to have mutual interests amongst the employers. I think that, under the Act as originally passed, the intention was that where we had, engaged in the same class of work, a large body of men whose interests, rights, obligations, and duties, were in every sense identical, that body of men should be allowed to come in and register under it, and secure the benefits for which it provides. 1 know of no just principle upon which it is necessary for men to say that, although they have interests in common, their employers have not, and therefore, on technical grounds, they must be defeated in their endeavours to get under this Act. It cannot be too clearly remembered, too continuously borne in mind, that by this Act, brought forward in the first place by a Government not of the party to which’ I belong, a deliberate invitation was extended to men in practically all avocations to come in and register. That invitation having been given, not only every encouragement, but every convenience, should be extended to them to come in and register under the Act, which, after all, is a peaceful measure designed to prevent the necessity of recourse to that very inharmonious method of settling disputes - the method of the strike. We may link with this subject another matter referred to in the Speech, namely, the amendment of the Public Service Act. I do not know whether the measure referred to is to provide for the public servants having recourse to the Conciliation and Arbitration Court.
– That will be dealt with under the amendment of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act.
– It will be dealt with in a separate measure. I entirely agree with the proposal that public servants should have recourse to the Arbitration Court. I am unable to discover any principle under which men who happen to be the servants of the State should be prohibited from getting the benefits of the law of the land relating to arbitration, just as they have to obey the law in other matters. If there is any principle underlying the contention, I submit that it is the vicious one, namely, that the State being the paramount authority, from whom there is no appeal, has power to deprive its own employes of the right to take advantage of an Act which it insists upon other employe’s obeying and employers observing. I cannot imagine that such a contention could be based upon any just principle. Unfortunately, however, we have seen in other places too much of a tendency to treat public servants as persons who, by placing themselves as servants of the Crown, have abandoned some of their civic rights. I am far from saying that the public servants as a body are badly treated or underpaid. I think their treatment and payment, as a whole, compare very favorably with those of other countries, and that we are doing what is a fair thing; but the questions of payment, terms, or conditions of employment, do not enter into this matter. The question of whether they are well or ill paid is quite beside the vital question of whether they should have the right of appeal to the pure, clear atmosphere of the public tribunals of. the land. Very closely associated with this proposition on the part of the Government, is one to bring in a Bill to amend the Seamen’s Compensation Act. I presume that the Attorney-General hopes to be able to compass a satisfactory amendment of that Act under the Constitution as it stands, although I confess that at present I do not quite see how that is to be done.
– It is extremely difficult.
– I suppose that the honorable member realizes that it is one of the many grave difficulties pressing upon him by reason of the rejection of the referenda proposals. It has, however, to be faced. As honorable members will recollect, the intention of the Act was defeated in that it was held to constitute an interference with the rights of the States as to their domestic commerce. The result of the decision of the High Court has been to defeat seamen in what, presumably, were just claims, or, if not just claims, suits at least deserving to be tried and heard in respect of injuries sustained in connexion with our coastal shipping. The Act has gone by the . board, and I am glad that an effort will be made once more to place it upon the statute-book in a useful and effective form. Very closely allied to that proposition also is the Navigation Bill, which, I understand, is an old friend. I have just been introduced to it, but suppose I shall become more familiar with it in the course of my political career, whether it be short or long. Reference is made in His Excellency’s Speech to a revision of the Tariff. I am very glad to know that the. Minister is making a sympathetic investigation in regard to anomalies in the Tariff ; and am perfectly certain, in view of the honorable gentleman’s reputation, and his opinions on the subject, that fair play will be given those manufacturers who can prove that they are inequitably treated under the Tariff, as it stands. I am equally certain, however, that no amount of beating the wind, and no amount of stirring up dust, will draw him, or honorable members generally, on this side of the House, away from the position which he and they have taken up, namely, that any benefits which are conferred on the manufacturers by the Tariff wall, as we now have it erected, shall be shared in a reasonable manner by the employes working under them. It seems to me a very just position to take up, and I cannot understand why there should be any demur on the part of those manufacturers who are , invited cordially and courteously to set out the basis of their claims for increased Tariff protection. I cannot understand why they should make any demur in acceding to that very reasonable request which is designed, if not wholly, at any rate in a very large measure, in their own interests. There are referred to in the Speech a large number of matters to which I do not propose to make any reference in this my maiden utterance in this Chamber. I take pleasure in the fact that the surplus revenue,, which I suppose is in itself a matter upon which we may congratulate ourselves, is being devoted to the payment of oldagepensions and the construction of the Australian Fleet unit. Perhaps it is a weakness, but I confess to perhaps greater pleasure in the money that is being well spent on old-age and invalid pensions than even in that which is being directed to the liquidation of the amount owing in respect of the fleet. Whether the one is of greater importance than the other, or whether the two are capable of comparison or not, it is a matter for congratulation that the surplus is there,’ and that it is proposed to be so wisely expended.
– I second the motion. I desire to join my expressions of sympathy with those of the honorable member for Batman in regard to the decease of our late members and comrades, Mr. Beard and Mr. G. B. Edwards. I wish to extend my congratulations to the Prime Minister and his colleagues for the way in which they represented the Commonwealth at the important functions connected with the Coronation, and at the Imperial Conference. I feel sure that the result of the deliberations of that body must meet with the approval of the majority of the people of Australia and of the members of this House. The decision arrived at with regard to the control of the Australian naval unit was distinctly favorable to the views of the present Government and their supporters. We are glad to know that the Australian Government is to retain absolute control of the unit. That was a feature of naval policy put forward by the first Fisher Government in this House. Then, as we know, in time of war, with the consent of the Australian Government, the Australian naval unit will pass under the control of the Imperial authorities. I notice with pleasure that a full measure of attention is being given to the construction of the Australian Navy both at home and abroad. Some- time ago I read with pleasure in the Sydney Daily Telegraph a statement showing the amount of work on order at the Fitzroy dockyards in Sydney. The total amount, so far as my memory serves me, which that socialistic concern, conducted by the Government of New South Wales, had in front of it was £808,000 worth. On taking the trouble to separate from the other work that which was being done to the order of the Commonwealth Government, I discovered that over ^650, 000 worth had been placed with the New South Wales Government by the present Government of the Commonwealth. In that regard, therefore, the people of New South Wales have nothing to complain of.
– Could they not have placed some of that work elsewhere?
– Possibly the best terms offering were those of the New South Wales Government, and it was considered desirable in the interests of the people to accept them. We come now to the question of the Australian note issue. During the recess we have had time to note the operation and the success, or nonsuccess, in the community, of the Australian paper currency. I am bound to say that, despite the gloomy forebodings of our honorable friends on the other side, all is still going well. I believe that a profit of at least ,£200,000 per year is being made for the benefit of the people of the Commonwealth through the Government undertaking the control of the paper currency. If that is so, then indeed the people of Australia have something to thank this Government for. The House wisely determined in passing the Act that all profits arising from the note issue should go into a trust fund, and I suppose that at least £200,000 per annum is now forming the nucleus of a fund wherewith to liquidate the national debt of Australia. I am reminded also that money from the fund has been lent to the various State Governments, and is in that way earning interest which is of material benefit to the people generally. As a representative of the State of New South Wales, and one who is desirous of seeing the construction of the Federal Capital pushed forward, and our ideas in this direction realized. I view with satisfaction the inclusion of the paragraph referring to that matter. We are told that “ other works necessary for the establishment of the city will be proceeded with without delay.” During the recess I had the pleasure of visiting the Federal Capital area on more than one occasion, and was pleased to see the number of men employed, and the amount of work proceeding there. The Minister of Home Affairs and his officers are to be congratulated upon the energy they are displaying in carrying out their task as far as they can with the amount that has been placed at. their disposal. I trust that in the near future, when the Estimates of the year proper are laid before us, we shall find a very substantial sum provided in order that the Department may continue to carry on this highly important work. I shall be no party to any attempt to interfere with the Tariff, except on such lines as will secure absolutely fair conditions for all persons employed in any industry upon which the Tariff is supposed to operate. The time has gone by for the building of Tariff walls to protect manufacturers who sweat their employes, and who have no regard for fair conditions of living or decent rates of pay. I trust that, whatever the Government propose to do in this direction, they will, before they present their Bill to the House, make sure that the interests of the workers, young or qld, male or female, are amply safeguarded. The announcement that we shall be asked to amend the Arbitration Act also meets with my approval. As the honorable member for Batman pointed out, the country owes to another Government the fact that there is on the statute-book of the Commonwealth an Arbitration Act at all, and I am sure that we ought to look forward with confidence to the hearty cooperation of both sides of the House in the effort to make that Act attain the end that honorable members had in view when they placed it upon the statute-book.
– The honorable member must not expect too much from the other side.
– I do trust that we shall have the hearty co-operation of honorable members opposite, and that as the result wc shall be able before the close of the present session to claim that there is upon the statute-book an Act dealing with arbitration and conciliation in conformity with the decisions recently given by the High Court of Australia. Reference is made in the Speech to the transcontinental railway, and here again a pledge given by the Government is about to be redeemed. That is an undertaking which, of course, will require a considerable amount of money, and is not a new question in this Chamber. The proposal of the Government is to construct a transcontinental railway on the standard gauge of 4 ft. 8£ in. This has been approved of bv successive Governments previous to the present one, and has the indorsement of leading commercial men and of those interested in our defence affairs. I therefore view with satisfaction the announcement that the Government intend to ask the sanction of the House to proceed with that work with as little delay as possible. The following paragraph dealing with universal military training appears in the speech : -
During the recess the system of universal training under the Defence Act has been suc cessfully inaugurated, and the patriotic response by the youth of Australia to the call to prepare themselves for the defence of their country U very gratifying.
It is indeed gratifying to learn that the response of the youth of Australia can be described as patriotic, but in New South Wales, while I have not as yet heard of any private employer putting obstacles in the way of the boys or youths attending to their compulsory training, I do know on very good authority that the; Railways Commissioners are deducting f rom the weekly wages of the boys and youths in their employ something for the time which is lost in attending drills. That’ is a crying shame, and representations should be made to the New South Wales Government by the Defence Department in order that an end may be put at once to this little pin-pricking.
– It applies to some other Governments also.
– If it applies to other Governments, more shame to them, and I hope steps will be taken by the Commonwealth authorities to have paid by the State Governments to our national legislation the same measure of respect that is paid to it by persons engaged iri private enterprise. With regard to the question of a uniform railway gauge for the main lines now connecting the various State capitals, it is well known that the, present state of affairs, involving the break of gauge, has been the cause of discontent and serious comment amongst commercial men and others who have business of transport or travel over our railways.
– And there is an economic loss, too.
– A very substantial loss is incurred each year by the break of gauge ; and I trust that, before the session closes, some steps will be taken in conjunction with the State Governments to solve this important problem. We shall then know that our railways are more effective for defence than they can possibly be under present circumstances. We are told in paragraph 17 that we shall be invited to consider measures for the government and development of the Northern Territory. That, I take it, means that we shall provide a Constitution and lay down how the lands are to be held, and how that development for which we hope is to be brought about. I trust that any measure introduced will permit of a vigorous policy under a liberal Constitution. We are told, further, that steps are to be taken to pay for the properties transferred from the States to the Commonwealth. This is a question that has been in abeyance for a considerable time, and has, I might say, been rather dallied with than tackled seriously. However, the termination of the Braddon section and the constitutional alteration providing for the payment of 25s. per head to the States, necessitates a consideration of the question; and, in my opinion, the States are quite justified in asking that their claims should be dealt with. The proposal put forward by the Government, through the Acting Treasurer, during the recess, is one which I think ought to meet with the approval of the House, and be considered satisfactory to all concerned. So far as I can gather, that proposal is to pay interest on the State debts at the rate of 3 per cent. per annum, and to set aside a sum equal to½ per cent. per annum in order to establish a sinking fund to ultimately wipe out the principal debt. I trust that this proposal will be laid before us, and found acceptable. The Seamen’s Compensation Bill is one of great importance to all who “ go down to the sea in ships.” As the honorable member for Batman has pointed out, this Bill is the result of litigation, which has showed our previous legislation to be invalid. That legislation purported to secure compensation to seamen or the dependents of seamen who were injured or lost their lives in the InterState trade. Whether that object has been attained or not, no provision was made for the protection of those engaged in the Intra state trade; and I hope that the proposed Bill will meet all requirements in this direction. The proposal to allow public servants to take advantage of the Arbitration and Conciliation Court should meet with the approval of no one more than the PostmasterGeneral. The storms of indignation which have been poured on his head by the daily press, in the name of the postal employes, but generally without their concurrence, must have worried the honorable gentleman at times; but in the near future persons with grievances against their employers, whether Federal, State, or private, should be able in the interests of the general community, to place their case before a Court and have those grievances settled satisfactorily. Before concluding I should like to say a word or two about the proposed amendment in the Invalid and Old-age Pensions Act and the Electoral Act. At present an invalid who earns more than 5s. per week cannot obtain a pension, whereas an old-age pensioner may earn 10s. per week without disqualification ; and I desire to see the amount in each case raised to 10s., so as to place all on the same footing. In the case of the electoral laws the Minister in charge is no doubt confronted with much difficulty. In the immediate past there have been gross exhibitions of partisanship on the part of persons associated with the conduct of electoral campaigns ; and on no occasion have those exhibitions been more flagrant than during the recent referenda contest. It is within my own experience that immediately preceding the taking of the referenda ballot, men, who were employed bythe Department of Home Affairs collecting information for the census, were engaged by some other persons to distribute - or voluntarily distributed - literature and advice to the electors as tohow they should vote.
– Quite true !
– That is a most lamentable position in which to place a free people - to know that persons who are employed and paid to compile the census, act as canvassers and agents for political parties. I trust that the amendment of the Electoral Act will prevent a recurrence of such a condition of things. I do not know that 1 have anything further to say in reference to His Excellency’s Speech, which is certainly most comprehensive and contains quite sufficient to occupy all the time at our disposal between now and the end of the year. It is gratifying to know that, while there is a loss on penny postage there are compensating advantages. I do not know whether the Postmaster-General is too modest in his demands on the Treasury, or whether his Deputy Postmasters-General are too modest in their demands on him, in providing for the necessary services of the country. 1 do know, however, that much work in connexion with the Post and Telegraph Department is being delayed. Only yesterday one of my constituents was told by the Deputy Postmaster-General in New’ South Wales that there was no possible hope of constructing a short line of telephone in a remote country district, under guarantee conditions, for at least eighteen months, for the reason, amongst others, that there is no money available. I should commend the Postmaster-General to follow the example of those associated with the Defence Department. On their estimates, very large sums are voted, and the alacrity with which these are spent shows that those in charge are quite up-to-date in both getting and spending.
– There is as much asked for in this Supply Bill for the Post and Telegraph Department as there is for all the other Departments put together.
– Then there is all the more reason why a great deal more work should be carried out. I very much doubt, however, whether we are spending more in the Post and Telegraph Department than on defence ; because I know that, in all parts of Australia, and particularly in the Robertson electorate, deserving communities are denied mail and telephonic communication on the ground that money is not available, or that men cannot be found to do the work. If, however, the Defence Department needs £1,000,000, it can have it, and somehow it finds the men to do all the work required. We have imported officers at £1,000 a year on the pay-sheet; and the activity the Department displays in getting them here before there are forces to drill or quarters for them to live in, sets an example which might be followed in some respects by the Postmaster-General’s Department. If more activity were shown in the direction I have indicated, the honorable gentleman would deserve the gratitude of long-suffering people in the more remote parts of the Robertson, Nepean, and other electorates over which I have had occasion to travel. My predecessor in the representation of the electorate asked, ten years ago, for telephonic communication between Cassilis-Merriwa and Muswellbrook, and yet, to-day, I get a letter from the Department saying that the line is one which must be constructed under a guarantee, and that it is in a list with hundreds of others which cannot be undertaken because there is no money or the necessary staff of men available. If this state of affairs continues, the people must suffer. Many of my constituents pay large sums by way of taxation on unimproved land values, and I ask the Postmaster-General to give them consideration. If in the past his requests to the Treasurer have been too modest, I ask him to make them bigger. Let us provide what is necessary for the welfare of our people rather than spend money lavishly on this rotten, foolish business of defence. I trust that every measure referred to in the Governor- General’s Speech will be enacted before the. session closes, and will result in benefit to the electors.
Debate (on motion by Mr. Deakin) adjourned.
Mr. SPEAKER laid upon the table the following paper : -
Finance,1909-10 - The Treasurer’s Statement of Receipts and Expenditure during the year ended 30th June,1910, accompanied by the Report of the Auditor-General.
Ordered to be printed.
MINISTERS laid upon the table-
South African Union - Congratulations of Commonwealth Parliament upon Establishment of National Government and Legislature - Extract from Votes and Proceedings of the House of Assembly, and letter from the Prime Minister of South Africa.
Naval Forces - Recommendations by Admiral Sir Reginald Henderson, K.C.B.
Military Forces - Extracts from the Annual Report by Major-General G. M. Kirkpat- rick, Inspector-General, 30th May, 1911.
War Railway Council - Proceedings of - Melbourne,14th16th February, 1911, and Sydney, 19th May,1911.
Audit Act -
London Account Regulations -
Provisional - Statutory Rules 1910, No. 98.
Amendment of Clause 30 - Statutory Rules 1911, No. 7.
Treasury Regulations Amended -
No. 34 - Provisional - Statutory Rules 1911, No. 77.
No. 34 - Statutory Rules1911, No. 115.
No. 47 - Provisional - Statutory Rules 1911, No.120.
No. 96 (e) - Provisional - Statutory Rules 1909, No. 72.
No. 96 (d) - Statutory Rules 1910, No. 72.
Nos. 22, 78, 80, 81, 107A, &c. - (Dated 18th November,1910) - Provisional - Statutory Rules 1910, No. 128. (Dated 6th July,1911) - Statutory Rules 191 1, No. 104.
Form 5 (Clause 24) - Provisional - Statutory Rules 1911, No. 102.
Transfers of Amounts approved ‘by the Governor-General in Council -
Financial Year 1909-10 - Dated - 3rd March,1911. 17th March,1911 (amending preceding).
Financial Year1910-11 - Dated - 22nd December,1910. 13th January,1911. 20th February,1911. 17th March,1911. 24th March,1911. 24th March,1911. 3rd April, 191 1. 2nd May,1911. 12th May, 191 1. 9th June,1911. 21st June,1911.
Invalid and Old-age Pensions Act -
Regulations - Provisional - Statutory Rules 1910, No. 121.
Regulations - Statutory Rules 1911, No. 99. Land Tax Assessment Act -
Regulations - Provisional - Statutory Rules 1911, No.8.
Regulations Amended (Provisional) -
Nos. 8a, 8b, 51- Statutory Rules 1911, No. 23. Additional Regulations -
Statutory Rules 191 1, No. 83.
No. 8a - Statutory Rules 191 1, No. 103.
Public Service Act -
Recommendations in cases of Appointments and Promotions, in the Department of the Treasury, of -
Public Service Act -
Recommendations in cases of Appointments, in the Attorney-General’s Department, of-
G.W. Anderson, as Assistant Examiner, Class F, Professional Division, Patents Branch.
Contract Immigrants Act - Return for 1910 respecting Contract Immigrants admitted or refused admission into the Commonwealth, &c.
Immigration Restriction Act -
Return showing, for 1910 -
Naturalization Act - Return of number of persons to whom certificates of naturalization were granted during 1910.
Northern Territory - Ordinances of 1911. -
No. x. - Northern Territory Government.
No. 2. - Council of Advice.
No. 3.- Sheriff.
No. 4. - Tin Dredging.
No. 5. - Marine.
No. 6. - Registration of Births, Marriages, and Deaths.
No. 7. - Interpretation.
No. 8. - Stamp Duties Abolition.
No. 9. - Supreme Court.
Northern Territory - Ordinances of 1911 - continued.
No. 10. - Registration.
No. 11. - District Council Assessment.
No. 12. - Registration (No. 2).
Ordinances of 1910 -
No. 8 - Liquor Law Amendment.
Matrimonial Causes Jurisdiction.
Native Labour, No. 3.
Supplementary Appropriation 1910-11, No. 2.
No. 17. - Supplementary Appropriation 1910-11, No. 3.
Ordinances of 191 1 -
No. 3. - Liquor Ordinance Amendment.
No. 4. - Supplementary Appropriation 1910-11, No. 4.
No. 5. - Supplementary Appropriation 1910-11, No. 5.
Public Service Act -
Papers relative to the Promotions in the Postmaster-General’s Department, of -
W.H. Morison, as Postmaster, Charters Towers, Queensland.
Customs Act - Proclamations prohibiting exportation of -
Bagged products, if filled bags weigh over 200 lb.
Meat, unless certified by an Inspector to be fit for export.
Manufactures Encouragement Act - Return of Bounty paid during year1910-11.
Public Service Act - Recommendations, &c., in cases of Appointments and Promotions, in the Department of Trade and Customs, of H. McConaghy, as Clerk, 3rd Class (Central Staff); O. F. Cartwright, and W. Brunton, as Assistant Examiners, Patents and Trade Marks Branch; E. P. Erskine, as 4th Class Sub-Collector, Western Australia.
Shale Oils Bounties Act - Return of Bounty paid during year 1910-11.
Census and Statistics Act -
Census Regulations - Statutory Rules 191 1, No. 4.
Electoral Act - Provisional Regulations -
No. 7a - Statutory Rules 1911, No. 82.
Nos. 7B, 7C- Statutory Rules 1911, No. 96.
Electoral Act and Referendum (Constitutional Alteration Act -
Statistical Returns in relation to the submission to the Electors of proposed laws entitled la) Constitution Alteration (Legislative Powers) 1910, and (b) Constitution Alteration (Monopolies) 1910.
Provisional Regulations - Statutory Rules 1910, No. 137.
Provisional Regulation 17K - Statutory Rules 1911, No. 48.
Lands Acquisition Act -
Land acquired under, at -
Canberra, Federal Capital Territory - For Commonwealth purposes.
Canberra, Federal Capital Territory - For
Caulfield, Victoria - As a site for a Postoffice.
Lands Acquisition Act - continued.
Land acquired under, at - continued.
Fremantle, Western Australia - As a site for Wireless Telegraph Station.
Gladesville, New South Wales- For Postal purposes.
Haberfield, New South Wales- For Postal purposes.
Kiama, New South Wales - As an addition to site for Post-office.
Maribvrnong, Victoria - For Defence purposes.
Melbourne, Victoria - As a site for Commonwealth offices.
Melbourne, Victoria - For Commonwealth purposes.
Mount Nelson, near Hobart, Tasmania -
For Defence purposes.
Murrurundi (Haydonton), New South
Wales - As a site for Post-office.
Orange, New South Wales - For Rifle Range purposes.
Pennant Hills, New South Wales - As an addition to the Wireless Telegraph Station.
South Leichhardt, New South Wales- For Postal purposes.
Waterloo, New South Wales - For Postal purposes.
Land disposed of under, at -
Brisbane, Queensland - Portion of site acquired for Postal Workshops.
Canberra, Federal Capital Territory -
Sub-lease of portion of Military College site, for erection of temporary restaurant.
Meteorology Act - Regulation Amended -
No.1 - (Provisional) - Statutory Rules 1911, No. 21.
No. 1 - Statutory Rules1911, No. 80.
No. 1 - (Provisional) - Statutory Rules1911, No. 112.
Postal Services - Royal Commission on - Memorandum by Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner relating to recommendations of.
Public Service Act -
List of Permanent Officers of the Commonwealth Public Service, 1st January,1911.
Temporary Employes - Return for year 1910-11.
Recommendation in case of Appointment, in the Department of Home Affairs, of -
Regulations Amended (Provisional) -
Nos. 10, 21, 42 - Statutory Rules1911, No. 63.
Nos. 55, 56 - Statutory Rules1911, No. 44.
No. 66 - Statutory Rules1911, No. 5.
No. 73A - Statutory Rules 191 1, No. 42.
No. 104 - Statutory Rules 1910, No. 122.
No. 104 - Statutory Rules 191 1, No. 22.
Nos.149, 151 - Statutory Rules1911, No. 98.
No. 198 - Statutory Rules 1911, No. 81.
Nos. 204, 207 - Statutory Rules 1911, No. no.
No. 264A - Statutory Rules 1910, No. 123.
Public Service Act - continued.
Regulations Amended -
Nos. 10, 21, 42 - Statutory Rules 1911, No.111.
Nos. 55, 56 - Statutory Rules 1911, No. 93.
No. 66 - Statutory Rules1911, No. 71.
No. 73A - Statutory Rules1911, No. 94.
No .104 - Statutory Rules1911, No. 95.
Nos. 105, io8a - Statutory Rules1911, No. 6.
No. 202 - Statutory Rules1910, No. 124.
Nos. 209, 213 - Statutory Rules 1911, No. 12.
No. 220 - Statutory Rules 191 1, No. 11.
No. 264A - Statutory Rules 1911, No. 20.
Referendum (Constitution Alteration) Act - Provisional Regulations - State Poll - Statutory Rules 191 1, No. 19.
Seat of Government - Ordinance of 191 1 - No. 1 - Provisional Government.
– By leave, I move -
That, until otherwise ordered, this House shall meet for the despatch of business at 3 o’clock on each Tuesday afternoon and at half-past 2 o’clock on each Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, and at half-past 10 o’clock on each Friday morning.
.- The train that I and some other country members have to travel by to reachour homes leaves the city at 4 o’clock, and I think that it would be a fair thing, when members have attended diligently to the work of the House, to provide for an adjournment on Fridays at an hour which would give us time to catch it.
– I expected to hear the Prime Minister propose a new sessional order similar to that which has been proposed in another place, under which the question “ That the House do now adjourn “ must be put automatically at 4 o’clock on Fridays.
– We never sit after 4 o’clock on Fridays, except by agreeemnt.
– We do sometimes. There is always a certain amount of finessing on both sides to arrange for the adjournment.
– I am willing to agree to any arrangement which will meet the convenience of honorable members. The motion which I have proposed is necessary to provide against counts-out.
.- Will the carrying of the motion fix the hours of meeting for the session?
– We shall probably have an opportunity to revise our determination in regard to it.
– The motion reads “ until otherwise ordered.”
– The carrying of the motion will not prevent a Minister or any other honorable member from subsequently making some other proposal. With me it is an open question whether we should not try day sittings.
– The honorable member for Maribyrnong should understand that there will be no opportunity to consider the matter unless the Government specifically undertakes to bring it forward.
– We have an open mind on the question. It is not a party question, and should be decided to suit the convenience of honorable members on both sides.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
– I do not propose to take any other business, but I should like honorable members to wait until the Supply Bill has been returned from another place.
– I shall leave the Chair now, and resume it on receipt of the message from the Senate, when the assembly bells will be rung.
Sitting suspended from 5.43to 5.53 p.m.
Supply Bill returned from the Senate without request.
House adjourned at 5.54 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 5 September 1911, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1911/19110905_reps_4_60/>.