House of Representatives
23 June 1915

6th Parliament · 1st Session

Mr. Speaker took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.

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Assent reported.

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Assent reported.

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– I ask the Prime Minister whether, subject to the approval of Lady Bridges, the Government will take into favorable consideration the suggestion that the body of the late MajorGeneral Bridges should be interred in the grounds of Duntroon College?


– I thank the honorable member for having brought the. matter forward. He apprised me of the idea in his mind, and I have since consulted the Leader of the Opposition and my colleagues in regard to it. They all agree that, with the consent of Lady Bridges, the remains of Major-General Bridges might well be transferred from Egypt to the Federal Capital Territory, and unless there is any expression of adverse opinion I shall take it that I have authority to ascertain from Lady Bridges her views on the proposal, and, should she agree to do what may be necessary, to give effect to it.

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– Does the

Minister of Trade and Customs intend to suspend or repeal the duty on sugar while there is a shortage of sugar in Australia? Does he intend to take in re gard to sugar action similar to that which he took in, regard to wheat, and if so”, when ?

Minister for Trade and Customs · YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP

– It is not usual to give notice of an alteration of the Tariff.


– Lest misapprehension may arise from the answer, I ask the Minister is it to be understood that he contemplates the reduction of the sugar duty?


– I know of nothing in contemplation in that regard.

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Missing Soldiers Pay - Casualty Lists


– Will the Acting Minister of Defence inform the House whether there is any truth in the rumour that the pay and allowances of men are stopped directly they are reported missing?

Assistant Minister · BASS, TASMANIA · ALP

– There is no truth in it.


– A few days ago I asked if casualty lists could be filed in this building. That is not done at present, and as it is impossible to ascertain from the Victorian newspapers details relating to the casualties suffered by troops from States other than Victoria, I shall be obliged if the Acting Minister of Defence will have full lists filed for the information of honorable members.


– I shall consult the Minister of Defence on the subject.

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– Is it the intention of the Government to introduce a Compulsory Voting Bill to be used in connexion with the referendum ?


– The Government is considering the matter. That decision may be arrived at.

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– Has the

Assistant Minister of Defence any report to give the House from the Committee appointed to inquire into the supply of munitions? If so, what is the nature of it?


– The first report of the Committee is as follows: -

Object of Committee. - The duty of this departmental Committee is generally to connect theHome and Commonwealth Governments with Australian industries, and particularly -

  1. to ascertain the requirements of the Home Government at the present time as regards munitions of war;
  2. to ascertain the requirements of the Australian Army and Navy that still remain to lie fulfilled:
  3. to report how far and in what manner these requirements can best be supplied by Australian manufacturers, with a view of assisting Britain in the present war, and cooperating with State Government Departments and Chambers of Manufacture with respect to same;
  4. to report to what extent Australia can be rendered self-reliant in war materiel in the future by the utilization of local industries, and by enlarging present or installing further Government factories or arsenals.

As regards (I), the Home Government have been requested by cable to furnish a list of articles required. Particularly attention was directed to the desire to furnish 18-pounder H.E. and shrapnel shell, if these were required, and specifications for the manufacture of these shells was specially requested.

The Chamber of Manufactureshas been given a provisional list of articles that are at the present time being imported to Britain from abroad, and inquiryhas been made as to the extent these articles canbe produced if desired, with a view of passing this information to the British War Office.

As regards (2), the Quartermaster-General has been asked to indicate if there is any shortage of material or stores into which the Committee could inquire, with a view of augmenting the output in Australia; and the Director of Naval Stores has been asked to forward a list of stores at present imported which it is considered could be produced or manufactured in Australia. When replies to these inquiries have been received they will be placed before the Chamber of Manufactures.

As regards (3), the attention of the Committee has been principally directed to the possibilities of producing 18-pounder H.E.and shrapnel shells, in the event of the replies of theHome Government being to the effect that these would be acceptable.

Manufacture of Steel. - Information of the natureof the steel required for this purpose has been obtained, but this informationhas not been officially confirmed; nevertheless a specification has been drawn up, with the assistance of the Melbourne University, which will be furnished to steel manufacturers, as a guide in making the necessary experiments. The various universities of Australia known to have the necessary plant for testing steel have been asked to co-operate on behalfof the Munitions Committee.

Manufacture of ShellBodies. - As regards the manufacture of shells, it is apparent that many firms can produce the shell bodies required, provided they are furnished with the specification for their manufacture, and also with steel which is guaranteed by the Government as fulfilling the tests and analysis required by the War Office.

It ‘might be mentioned in this respect that there is a difference in the amount of information available as regards the two natures of shell. The methods of manufacture of shrapnel shell of earlier patterns are generally known, and although information as to the improvements that have been effected in the latest patterns (Marks V. and VI.) is not known, it is probably not sufficient to prevent manufacturers from now preparing plants and tools for the manufacture of the latest pattern as soon as these additional details are known..

But as regards high explosive shell bodies, the supply of which is probably more urgent, no information is available as to their dimensions or method of manufacture. Great care is known to he necessary in the production of these shells, owing to the damage that would ensue from a premature explosion, and absolute reliability is essential. This shell was not issued to 18-pounder guns prior to this war.

As regards (4), the Committee are not yes prepared to issue a report.

An Indication of the Future Work of the Committee. - It appears possible that the work of the Committee may expand and become a large department, with functions at present unfilled by either the Navy or military branch of the Defence Force. The future functions of the Committee possibly may be as follows: -

  1. Obtaining particulars of suitable firms capable of producing certain articles, and of the quantity that can be produced by these firms.
  2. Investigation into stocks and supplies. of rawmaterial available for present and future manufacture of munitions, for assistance of the Defence Department and manufacturers.
  3. Provision for the inspection, test, and. proof of raw material, particularly ammunition and ordnance. (d)Report as to the desirability of expandingpresent and the institution of further Government factories or arsenals for the manufactureof guns and ammunition.
  4. Placing the contracts for war materiel not at present provided for.

Shippingand Transport Arrangements. - As regards (c), the Committee foresee great difficulties in the provision of personnel for this purpose, particularly of experienced inspector and staff for the inspection of ammunition and ordnance.

The universities have expressed their willingness to assist, and probably can do so effectively in the analysis and test of steel and other materials.

The institution of a Governmental Department of Inspection of Warlike Stores is essential, and the Committee think it couldbe gradually built up from the resources of the Commonwealth. As regards (d), the Committee recommend that no attempt should be made in the direction of establishing an arsenal for the complete manufacture of ammunitionuntil thoroughly qualified persons are available to advise in this matter. *Other Matters.* - Owing to the publicity given to the subject with which the Committee are concerned, a tremendous number of public and private persons have written to state that they arc desirous of assisting the Committee with their advice or services or by recommending those of some other person, and every firm and society is anxious to place its services at our disposal. It is feared that many useful offers at this time will be passed over, and that many correspondents will feel aggrieved at receiving a mere acknowledgment, perhaps a belated one; but it is hoped that this difficulty will soon be overcome by augmenting the staff. It is suggested that the press may give publicity to the fact that applicants for employment will be requested to send full particulars and references when it is found that their services are likely to be required. Personal interviews are not welcome at the present time, which is fully occupied in investigation into the ways and means of co-ordinating the available resources of Australia for assisting in the present war. The above has been approved by the Minister. I lay the report on the table. Ordered to be printed. {: .page-start } page 4232 {:#debate-7} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-7-0} #### MUNITIONS FOR SOUTH AFRICA {: #subdebate-7-0-s0 .speaker-KXG} ##### Mr WATT:
BALACLAVA, VICTORIA -- I desire to ask the Assistant Minister of Defence whether the statement - recently reported to have been made by the honorable member for Bendigo - that the Commonwealth has supplied the Union of South Africa with munitions and shells is correct? {: #subdebate-7-0-s1 .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN:
ALP -- I think the latter portion of it - as to the shells - is incorrect. {: .page-start } page 4232 {:#debate-8} ### CONSTITUTION ALTERATION BILLS {: #debate-8-s0 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: -- Can the Prime Minister inform the House whether there are to be any further proposed alterations of the Constitution than those included in the six Bills on the notice-paper ? {: #debate-8-s1 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
ALP -- I do not contemplate any; but we shall see as we get on. {: .page-start } page 4232 {:#debate-9} ### SUPPLY BILL (No. 1) 1915-16 **Mr. SPEAKER** reported the receipt of a message from His Excellency the GovernorGeneral, recommending an appropriation for the purposes of this Bill. {: .page-start } page 4232 {:#debate-10} ### SUPPLY (WORKS AND BUILDINGS) BILL (No. 1) 1915-16 **Mr. SPEAKER** reported the receipt of a message from His Excellency the GovernorGeneral, recommending an appropriation for the purposes of this Bill. {: .page-start } page 4232 {:#debate-11} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-11-0} #### MAIL SERVICES {: #subdebate-11-0-s0 .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE:
Postmaster-General · DARLING, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- On the 17th inst. the honorable member for Hume asked me two questions, the answers to which I am able to supply now. One had regard to the effect of the curtailment of the railway service on mail contractors, and the answer is: - >The Deputy Postmaster-General, Sydney, reports that nine mail contractors in New South Wales have been adversely affected by curtailment of railway services in that State. To the second question, the Deputy Postmaster-General in Sydney has furnished the following reply: - >Amount paid to Railway Department for conveyance of mails between : - > >Culcairn and Corowa - 48 miles at £10 per mile per annum - £480 per annum. > >Culcairn and Germanton - 17 miles at £7 10s. per mile per annum - £127 10s. per annum. > >The Rock and Lockhart - 24 miles at £7 10s. per mile per annum - £180 per annum. {: .page-start } page 4232 {:#debate-12} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-12-0} #### EXPEDITIONARY FORCES Casualties : Supply of Additional Forces : Medical Examination {: #subdebate-12-0-s0 .speaker-KMC} ##### Mr ORCHARD:
NEPEAN, NEW SOUTH WALES -- Can the Assistant Minister of Defence give any reason for the undue delay in notifying relatives of casualties amongst the soldiers at the front? I have in mind particularly the case of Sergeant Larkin, M.L.A., of New South Wales. {: #subdebate-12-0-s1 .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN:
ALP -- The authorities in Australia are not responsible for the delay. {: #subdebate-12-0-s2 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -Will the Assistant Minister of Defence inform the House of the actual number of casualties amongst the Expeditionary Forces to date? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- I will endeavour to give the information to the House to morrow. {: #subdebate-12-0-s3 .speaker-KNF} ##### Mr MASSY-GREENE:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917 -- In view of the statement of the Minister of Defence that word has been received from the Imperial Government to the effect that every man is wanted, with equipment or without, can the Prime Minister inform the House at what date the intimation of such a state of affairs reached the Commonwealth Government from the Imperial authorities? {: #subdebate-12-0-s4 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
ALP -- I cannot tell the honorable member as to hours, but I think it was within about forty-eight hours. It was only the other day. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- Does this mean that the Imperial authorities are willing to take men without equipment? {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- Yes. {: #subdebate-12-0-s5 .speaker-L0K} ##### Dr CARTY SALMON:
GRAMPIANS, VICTORIA -- In view of the grave significance of the announcement that the Prime Minister has just made respecting the call from the Old Country for further supplies of men, have the Government taken into consideration, or will they take into consideration, the urgent necessity there is for the cessation of party warfare and the formation of a National Government? {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- In answer to the honorable member for Grampians I have to say that there is no party warfare on this side. Men of age and manly spirit will see only their country when it is in danger - men who have other thoughts will do other things. {: #subdebate-12-0-s6 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES -- I desire to ask the Assistant Minister of Defence whether something cannot be done to render the conditions of the medical examination of recruits somewhat easier. I have in mind particularly the conditions in Sydney, where, I understand, men are kept for a considerable time in a semi-undressed state in an unwarmed room; and with a view to obviating such hardships at recruiting centres, will the Minister, take immediate! steps to see that additions are made to the medical staff? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- If such a state of things exists, I shall endeavour to see that it is remedied. {: .page-start } page 4233 {:#debate-13} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-13-0} #### NORTHERN TERRITORY RAINFALL {: #subdebate-13-0-s0 .speaker-KNF} ##### Mr MASSY-GREENE:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917 asked the Minister of Home Affairs, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What lias been the rainfall at Oodnadatta, and also at Charlotte Waters and Alice Springs, during each of the last ten years? 1. How many homesteads exist, and what is the population now living on the 300 miles of country between Oodnadatta and the southern boundary of the Macdonnell Ranges, and what number of stock ave depastured upon it? {: #subdebate-13-0-s1 .speaker-JM8} ##### Mr ARCHIBALD:
Minister for Home Affairs · HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. I lay on the table of the House the information, in the form of a return, which is as follows : - {: type="1" start="2"} 0. I have been unable to obtain all the information asked for, but such as I have I lay on the table of the House. The particulars are contained in the following letter : - Government Statist's Office, Adelaide, 21st June, 1915. Dear **Sir,** In reference to your request of the 18th instant for particulars of the population and live stock depastured on the 300 miles of country north of Oodnadatta to the southern boundary of the McDonnell Ranges, I am only able to supply the details covering the area from Oodnadatta to the Northern Territory boundary, approximately 100 miles. On this area the following stock were reported as depasturing in December, 1914 : - The homesteads are probably the same as at the time of the Census, 19.1.1, viz. : - Census district 44, C. and D., number 45 homesteads. On the Northern Territory side of the border, Census district 44, E. and P., with 43 homesteads, will probably be found to roughly coyer the remaining area. The live stock on this area is unknown to me, but might be ascertainable from your Northern Territory advices. Yours truly, {: type="A" start="L"} 0. H. Sholl, Government Statist. The Commonwealth Statistician, Melbourne. {: .page-start } page 4234 {:#debate-14} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-14-0} #### TELEPHONIC COIN DEVICE {: #subdebate-14-0-s0 .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr HIGGS: asked the PostmasterGeneral,upon *notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Whether he will supply the name of the officer in his Department who misinterpreted the instructions referred to in the following answer to a question given on Wednesday last, the 16th instant : - " The removal of the device (Telecoppa) was the result of misinterpretation of instructions. Action is being taken to restore it."? 1. Whether he will state what are the terms of the instructions referred to? {: #subdebate-14-0-s1 .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE:
ALP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. I am not prepared to give the name of the officer in question. It is not usual, and, in my opinion, it would be very inadvisable to make public the names of officers in such cases. 1. The instruction is a somewhat long one to give in answer to a question, but I have a copy by me which I shall be very pleased to show the honorable member if he so desires. {: .page-start } page 4235 {:#debate-15} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-15-0} #### CONSTRUCTION OF CRUISERS {: #subdebate-15-0-s0 .speaker-KYA} ##### Mr PIGOTT:
CALARE, NEW SOUTH WALES asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What date was the contract signed for the completion of H.M.A.S. *Sydney* and *Melbourne?* 1. On what dates wore these boats delivered? 2. Is H.M.A.S. *Brisbane* a sister ship to the boats above mentioned? 3. When was the contract entered into for the construction of the *Brisbane?* 4. When will the *Brisbane* be ready for service? {: #subdebate-15-0-s1 .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN:
ALP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. *Melbourne,* contract signed on 25th February, 1911; date from which time allowed for building vessel commenced to run, 18th November, 1910. *Sydney,* contractsigned on 20th February, 1911; date from which time allowed for building vessel commenced to run, 25th November, 1910. 1. *Melbourne,* January, 1913; *Sydney,* June, 1913. 2. Yes. 3. 18th June, 1912'; date from which time for building vessel commenced to run, 1st October, 1912. 4. No date can. yet be fixed. {: .page-start } page 4235 {:#debate-16} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-16-0} #### SUPPLY OF MUNITIONS {: #subdebate-16-0-s0 .speaker-KFC} ##### Mr FLEMING:
ROBERTSON, NEW SOUTH WALES asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is he aware that the method adopted by the Government in obtaining munitions of war has caused both friction and loss of trade? 2: Will the Munitions Committee, recently appointed, first ascertain the engagements already existing, find the maximum output possible, and sec that this is obtained and maintained with a view to the Government obtaining all the supplies required without interfering with existing engagements? {: #subdebate-16-0-s1 .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN:
ALP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. No. 1. The Munitions Committee and a special Committee of the Chamber of Manufactures, formed at the request of the Minister, are now engaged in investigating this question on the lines indicated by the honorable member. {: #subdebate-16-0-s2 .speaker-KNF} ##### Mr MASSY-GREENE:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917 asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister' of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Whether the inquiry made through the High Commissioner on 31st December for quotations for a complete plant for the manufacture of guns and shells was with the idea of establishing a Commonwealth-owned factory? 1. On the receipt of the quotation on 19th April, was any order placed? 2. If not, why not? 3. Can the Minister say if any order had been accepted when the plant would be delivered ? 4. When would it be ready to work? 5. Could it be within twelve months - the date of inquiry on 31st December? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. No. 2. The High Commissioner's cablegram of 10th April,1915, contained estimate of cost and brief outline only of Pratt-Whitney's offer. Details of the offer were not received until8th June, 1915. The matter is before the Munitions Committee for report. 3. The offer stated delivery f.o.b. New York about six months after receipt of order. 4. Approximately twelve months after decision to establish factory. 5. See reply to No. 5. {: #subdebate-16-0-s3 .speaker-KXG} ##### Mr WATT: asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* >Whether he will explain the reason for the break of nearly five months which occurred in the correspondence between the Imperial and the Commonwealth Governments dealing with the manufacture of shells and other munitions of war in Australia, as disclosed by the press statement of the Minister of Defence? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answer to the honorable member' s question is: - >Apparently the break alluded to is that between 31st December, 1914, when the High Commissioner was asked by cablegram to obtain quotes for a complete plant for the manufacture of quick-firing l8-pounder ammunition, and the 10th April, 1915, when the High Commissioner cabled brief details of Pratt and Whitney's estimate. During this period the High Commissioner was endeavouring to obtain the quotation asked for. {: .page-start } page 4236 {:#debate-17} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-17-0} #### KALGOORLIE-PORT AUGUSTA RAILWAY TERMINATION of Contracts {: #subdebate-17-0-s0 .speaker-KNF} ##### Mr MASSY-GREENE:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917 asked the Minister of Home Affairs, *upon notice -* >With reference to the plant acquired by his Department from Messrs. Cummins and Grant on the Kalgoorlie-Port Augusta line - > >What did the plant consist of? > >What was the price paid for each item of the said plant? {: #subdebate-17-0-s1 .speaker-JM8} ##### Mr ARCHIBALD:
ALP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are : - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Condenser, live stock, vehicles, ploughs, barrows, &c. 1. The information desired by the honorable member is of a lengthy character, and I therefore lay it on the table of the House in the form of a return. {: .page-start } page 4236 {:#debate-18} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-18-0} #### REPLACING LOST SUBMAKINES {: #subdebate-18-0-s0 .speaker-KXG} ##### Mr WATT: asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon* *notice -* >Whether the Government is yet in a position to declare its policy in relation to submarine construction to replace our lost vessels? {: #subdebate-18-0-s1 .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN:
ALP -- The policy oi the Government is to replace the submarines as early as possible, and the Imperial Government were informed of this last October. {: .page-start } page 4236 {:#debate-19} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-19-0} #### COMMONWEALTH SUGAR SUPPLIES {: #subdebate-19-0-s0 .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr GROOM: asked the AttorneyGeneral, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Will he inform the House how many witnesses gave evidence before the authorized officers recently appointed under the War Precautions Act to inquire into the sugar supplies of the Commonwealth, and who such witnesses (if any) were? 1. Will he lay upon the tabic of this House copies of the evidence taken and documents (if any) used as evidence in such inquiry? {: #subdebate-19-0-s1 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Attorney-General · WEST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. As it became evident at the outset of the inquiry that nearly all the stocks were held by the Colonial Sugar Refining Company, the investigation was narrowed in scope. Questions were asked of **Mr. Knox,** the general manager of the company, and **Mr. Symonds,** the manager in Melbourne and the manager of the Millaquin Company. Evidence was also taken from practically all the wholesale dealers in Sydney and Melbourne, and from most of the jam manufacturers. 1. I do not think it advisable. {: .page-start } page 4236 {:#debate-20} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-20-0} #### MAIL SERVICE IN NEW SOUTH WALES {: #subdebate-20-0-s0 .speaker-KXU} ##### Mr PATTEN:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES asked the PostmasterGeneral, *upon notice -* >Whether he will inform the House why it is necessary for the Postal Department to pay the Railway Commissioners of New South Wales £123,000 in 1915 for a curtailed railway mail service (many lines only running three days a week), whereas in 1913 the same Department paid only £121,811 for a full everydayintheweek service? {: #subdebate-20-0-s1 .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE:
ALP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is: - >The increase in payment of £123,000, 1914- 1915, as compared with £121,811, is principally due to the opening of new lines. Under the existing agreement between the PostmasterGeneral and the Railway Commissioners of the several States, no reduction is made in the payment by the former when the frequency of the railway service is reduced. On the other hand, no additional payment is made where the railway frequency is increased. The reduction or increase in frequency docs not, of course, materially affect the weight of the mails carried. The subject is receiving further consideration of this Department in connexion with the new agreement now under attention. {: .page-start } page 4236 {:#debate-21} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-21-0} #### NORWEGIANS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA {: #subdebate-21-0-s0 .speaker-JTC} ##### Mr BURCHELL:
FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA asked the Minister of External Affairs, *upon notice -* >Whether he is yet in a position to make a definite statement concerning the entrance under contract of Norwegians into Western Australia? {: #subdebate-21-0-s1 .speaker-KLB} ##### Mr MAHON:
Minister for External Affairs · KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · ALP -- The AttorneyGeneral's opinion, which has now been received, confirms my previous intimation to the effect that these Norwegians are contract immigrants as far as their shore work is concerned. I have called upon the company to furnish an explanation as to why the provision of the Contract Immigrants Act were not observed. A full report, which the Customs authorities at Fremantle have despatched by mail, has not yet been received; but a telegraphic summary states that the company have explained that, as the State Government were anxious to increase the production of high-class manure, the company undertook, in connexion with the granting of a licence to capture and treat whales, to erect a shore factory for treatment of the offal which could not be dealt with on board ship through lack of space; that they were not aware that the Act was being infringed, as their own legal adviser did not consider the men came within the scope of the Act, and no warning was given to them by the State Crown Law authorities, although they informed the State that it would be necessary to bring men from Norway; that the men signed on in Norway for the whaling season in Australia, and for return to Norway; that the work of erecting the patent guano factory would only occupy a short time; but that for four months the men would he engaged in whaling, and would be remunerated mainly on the profit-sharing system. They have also expressed regret for the infraction of the law, and have promised future compliance. The Customs authorities anticipate that the shore work will be completed by the end of July. I shall give the matter further consideration when the report referred to is received. {: .page-start } page 4237 {:#debate-22} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-22-0} #### RIFLE RANGES Balldale, Corowa, and Wagga Wagga {: #subdebate-22-0-s0 .speaker-KXU} ##### Mr PATTEN: asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Whether he is aware that many requests for the establishment of a rifle range have reached the Defence Department from Balldale, Corowa, and Wagga Wagga, in New South Wales? 1. Does the Minister propose to grant such facilities, in order to encourage citizens to improve in marksmanship? 2. Will the Minister use expedition and promptly comply with the requests of the residents of the above localities? {: #subdebate-22-0-s1 .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN:
ALP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Applications have been received for the construction of a rifle range at Wagga Wagga and Balldale. No application has been received for the formation of a rifle club at Corowa. In the event of a rifle club being formed there, the rifle range of the Murray River (Wahgunyah) Rifle Club, at Corowa, would be available for the members of the new rifle club. 1. Yes. 2. Yes. The Wagga Wagga range is a military range, and its construction is being expedited. Agreements in connexion with the tenure of land involved in the Balldale rifle range were forwarded to the promoters of the club for signature by the owners concerned on 18th May, 1915. The formation of the club and the construction of the range will be proceeded with when the signed agreements have been returned to the Department. {: .page-start } page 4237 {:#debate-23} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-23-0} #### EXPEDITIONARY FORCES Number of Casualties : Fodder Supplies : Recruiting : Contract for Bandages: Communications with Relatives of Dead and Wounded : Australian Clothing Mills: Ordnance Branches, Sydney and Brisbane : Imperial Officers at Duntroon : Rejected Boots : Censor at Thursday Island : Pay of Privates : Dental Corps. {: #subdebate-23-0-s0 .speaker-KNF} ##### Mr MASSY-GREENE:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917 asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What has been thetotal number of casualties to date in the Expeditionary Forces - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. killed in action; 1. died of wounds; 2. wounded; 3. missing? 1. Up to what date does this represent the casualties sustained? 2. What number of troops have been returned from the front - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. as disciplinary cases; 1. as physically unfit; 2. for any other reason? 3. What is the total number of troops that has left Australia to date? {: #subdebate-23-0-s1 .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN:
ALP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The total number of casualties listed to date is 9,017, including list No. 43, to be issued on 24th June, 1915. They are made up as follows : - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. and (b) Killed in action and died of wounds and disease, 1,729. 1. Wounded, 7,138. 2. Missing, 593, including two now reported as prisoners of war at Constantinople. 3. Suffering from disease, 157. 1. The actual date represented by these figures is not known, as the cables coming through now include many cases which, according to private advices, occurred in the earlier stages of the operations. 2. The number of troops returned from the front is - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. Disciplinary eases, 160. 1. Physically unfit, 903 (including 351 venereal eases) . 2. For other reasons, 72. 3. Sixty-three thousand five hundred and twenty-two. {: #subdebate-23-0-s2 .speaker-KMC} ##### Mr ORCHARD: asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Whether he is aware that on Monday last no fodder was available for the 1,200 horses concentrated at the Liverpool Remount Depot? 1. Whether it is a fact that motor cars were requisitioned at the eleventh hour to carry fodder? 2. Whether he can say what was the cost of these cars to the Department? 3. Whether he has ascertained who was responsible for the mismanagement? 4. Whether the Minister will take steps to prevent a recurrence of such mismanagement? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Commandant reports that half rations only were supplied on the day referred to. This shortage was owing to non-arrival of shipment of chaff from overseas expected some days before. Full supplies have now been arranged. 2 and 3. Only the usual two motor lorries were sent to camp on that day - therefore no extra expense was incurred. 4 and 5. Commandant reports that there was no mismanagement. {: #subdebate-23-0-s3 .speaker-KFC} ##### Mr FLEMING: asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What supplies of fodder for horses has the Defence Department secured, or in sight? 1. How long will such supplies last? 2. What is the highest price paid by the Department for oats, corn, wheaten hay and chaff, oaten hay and chaff, and lucerne hay and chaff? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- I desire to give this information to the honorable member privately. {: .speaker-KNF} ##### Mr MASSY-GREENE:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917 asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Whether his attention has been drawn to a statement appearing in the *Agc* on the 16th instant as follows: - '"lt is estimated that during the past month quite 500 men accepted for service at the recruiting office failed to 'report at the receiving depot within the specified time " ? 1. Can the Minister say what percentage of men who pass the medical examination fail to enlist within the specified time? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes; but the statement is not correct. Out of 1,757 men passed as fit for service, 1,411 were enrolled either in May or early in June, leaving 346 who failed to report for enrolment. 1. The percentage of those who passed as fit during the month of May, and have failed to report for enrolment, is 19.6S. {: #subdebate-23-0-s4 .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is it not a fact that the contractor in New South Wales for the supply of material for medical bandages is a German? 1. Is not this fact a possible menace to the safety of our wounded soldiers? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answers' to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. A contractor in Sydney, who is reported to be a naturalized German, thirty years' resident in Australia, was a successful tenderer for field dressings some time ago. The eontract has been satisfactorily completed. 1. It is not considered that the safety of wounded soldiers was jeopardized in any way,, as the supply was subjected to careful examination. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* >Whether he is yet prepared to answer a. question of some days ago, as to any existing regulations regarding the time and mode of communicating with the relatives of men who. are placed in the hospital or die in the training camps, having special reference to thecase already referred to, of one Private White,, who was in good health at Liverpool on a Saturday, placed in the hospital on the Sunday, and died on the Tuesday; yet his wife,, living only 50 miles away, was never communicated with till the Wednesday, when shewas abruptly informed by wire - "Your husband is dead. Come at once"? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answer to thehonorable member's question is: - >The Military Commandant has been instructed to have inquiries made, and to furnish a full report. > >It may be pointed out that, until the question on the notice-paper reached the DefenceDepartment, the name of the man referred tohad not been furnished. {: .speaker-KMC} ##### Mr ORCHARD: asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* >In order to relieve the anxiety of relativeswho are desirous of receiving information regarding those who have been wounded at thefront, will the Minister recognise the urgent necessity of at once appointing sufficient officials at the other end to systematize details concerning the wounded, so that the Department will be in a position to answer inquiries with the least possible delay? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answer to thehonorable member's question is: - >The arrangements for reporting casualtiesand disposing of the wounded are in the handsof the Imperial authorities, who have established a staff at Alexandria, under the command of a British officer, to attend to these matters. > >The wounded are distributed over hospitals established in Egypt and the Mediterranean, and some have been sent to England. These hospitals report cases which develop into theserious or dangerous stage, and the information is communicated to the next-of-kin immediately it is received here. > >It is considered almost impossible for any officer in Egypt or -elsewhere to ascertain the- hospital a. man will be sent to immediately sifterhe is reported wounded, for, in all probability, the wounded man would be transferred from one hospital to another, according to his condition and treatment required, as well as in. keeping with the exigencies of the service. The authorities in Egypt are, however, being further communicated with to see whether it is possible to do anything further in the matter. {: #subdebate-23-0-s5 .speaker-L77} ##### Mr HAMPSON:
BENDIGO, VICTORIA asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* >Whether the statement in the Melbourne *Herald* of Saturday, the 13th, that the Defence Department intended importing clothing material for the Expeditionary Forces, on account of Australian mills not being able to supply sufficient, is true; if so, are the Australian mills working three shifts, and up to the full capacity of their plants? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answer to the honorable member's question is: - >Arrangements are being made for the importation of certain cloth required in the manufacture of uniforms to overcome the deficiency in the supply of cloth required by manufacturers of clothing - the quantity of cloth required immediately by the clothing factories being much greater than the output of the local woollen mill's. > >The mills have been requested to supply clothing materials up their full capacity, and certain manufacturers have given out that it is impossible to organize for three shifts owing to the capacity of their plant. > >The manufacturers have again been communicated with on this matter. {: #subdebate-23-0-s6 .speaker-KFP} ##### Mr RICHARD FOSTER: asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* >Why are the principal clothing and other factories in South Australia not given an opportunity to assist the Defence Department in providing equipment for our troops? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answer to the honorable member's question is: - >All firms in South Australia are given equal opportunity with other firms throughout the Commonwealth to tender for the departmental supplies. Only those who refuse to comply with the conditions of contract are turned down.. > >All clothing manufacturers who asked' for work have been allotted contracts in the same proportion as other similar factories throughout the Commonwealth. {: #subdebate-23-0-s7 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence,upon *notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. In connexion with unpaid overtime in the Ordnance Stores, Sydney, is it a fact that his previous answer in this connexion was inaccu rate? 2.. Is he yet ina position to say that the overtime earned to last pay-dayhas been paid? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The Minister is now so aware; but the reply to the honorable member's previous question was prepared from information previously received at head-quarters that overtime claims by ordnance employees had been paid. Apparently, however, such related only to claims which had reached the paymaster, and of which he had any knowledge. 1. No; but instructions have been issued to have any outstanding claims of this description settled with the least possible delay. It must, however, be realized that in a time of extreme pressure - such as has been and is being experienced - some delays are unavoidable. {: #subdebate-23-0-s8 .speaker-KEX} ##### Mr FINLAYSON:
BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* >Whether he agrees with the statement of officers of the Ordnance Branch, Brisbane, that the amount of overtime being worked is not excessive, when the return tabled by the Minister yesterday shows that during the past five weeks twenty-nine officers worked l,0l9 hours overtime ? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answer to the honorable member's question is: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The amount of overtime shown, which ave rages6.34 hours per man per week, is not considered excessive in time of war. (The number of hours shown in the report is 919½, not 1,019, as stated in the question.) 1. It is not practicable to eliminate overtime in the Ordnance Branch, owing to the undesirableness of relegating the responsibilities of certain classes of the work to temporary employees. A special direction has been issued to the District Commandant, with a view to restricting overtime as much as possible. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Are there on the staff of the Royal Military College at Duntroon British military officers of high military qualifications? 1. Did these officers apply after the declaration of war for permission either (a) to rejoin their regiments on active service; or (b), in addition to their duties at the College, to assist in the preparation and despatch of Australian Expeditionary Forces? 2. On what dates did they so apply? 3. On what dates were their applications answered? 4. Were their applications originally re fused; if so, in what terms? 5. Did any of. these officers then address the War Office direct by cable? 6. Did the Minister then subsequently visit Duntroon ? 7. If so, on what date, and with what result? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Prior to the outbreak of war there were nine. There are now five. 1. Yes. 2. The applications were forwarded by the Commandant, Royal Military College, in November last. 4 and 6. During the visit of the Commandant, Royal Military College, to head-quarters in January last, the position was discussed, and it was decided that the important work being carried on at the College would not permit of the applications being granted at that time. 3. Yes, one of them did. 4. Yes. 5. The Minister visited the College on 23rd March last, but not specially on this matter, and at that time took the opportunity of explaining the position to the officers concerned. Arrangements were made for a course for the training of Citizen Force officers for the Australian Imperial Force to commence at the Royal Military College on 1st May, ending on 30th June. A second course is arranged from the 15th July to the 25th September. It may also be stated that a proposal is now on foot to release the few remaining Imperial officers and replace them by officers with the necessary professional qualifications who have become unfit by casualty for active service in the field. {: .speaker-KNF} ##### Mr MASSY-GREENE:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917 asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Whether his attention has been directed to the report appearing in the press to the effect that 000 pairs of boots had been returned from Egypt as unsuitable and not up to specification ? 1. Is this statement correct? 2. Were these boots inspected by Govern ment inspectors? 3. If so, who wore the inspectors? 4. Who recommended these officers to the Department? 5. Were the inspectors members of any trade union? If so, which? 6. Are the inspectors still in the employ of the Government? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. No; the newspaper that published this statementhas since admitted its inaccuracy. 2. All boots are inspected by Government inspectors. 3. See answer to 2. 4. Inspectors are obtained by applying to the Bootmakers Union for applicants, and the Chief Examiner then satisfies himself, as far as possible, as to the suitability of the applicant. 5. See answer to 5. 6. The services of some inspectors have been dispensed with, on account of not efficiently discharging their duties. {: #subdebate-23-0-s9 .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr BAMFORD:
HERBERT, QUEENSLAND asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* >Will the Minister say what useful purpose is secured by retaining the services of a censor at Thursday Island? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answer to the honorable member's question is: - >The censor at Thursday Island serves the same purpose as censors at other places in Australia; but there are also special reasons for maintaining a censor there. The Minister has acted on advice from officers both in Queensland and at head-quarters in deciding that, for the present, the censor shall be retained there. **Mr. GREENE** (for **Mr. Manifold)** asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What pay is a private entitled to on joining a camp of training? 1. What pay is a private entitled to on leaving Australia? 2. How much of this pay can a private draw (a) in Australia, (b) on active service? 3. Is any separation allowance granted while the men are in Australia? 4. What is the maximum pay, including separation allowance, to a private on active service? 5. How much of this pay can be drawn (a) by the private, (b) by the wife and family? {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Five shillings per diem. 1. Six shillings per diem, of which1s. per diem is deferred until termination of service. 2. A private is required to sign and leave an allotment order authorizing payment to dependants of at least 2s. per diem if there be wife only, and 3s. per diem if there be wife and children. In the case of an illegitimate child,1s. per diem to be allotted. The balance may be drawn abroad by the soldier. These requirements apply to both the periods *(a)* while "in Australia," and (b) "on active service" abroad. 3. Yes, the same as " after embarkation " - 1s. 5d. per diem for wife, or mother of whom the soldier is sole support, and 4½d. for each child under sixteen; provided that in no case is separation allowance paid beyond an amount which, together with pay, would exceed 8s. per diem. 4. Eight shillings per diem. 5. See reply to 3. {: #subdebate-23-0-s10 .speaker-JRP} ##### Mr BOYD:
HENTY, VICTORIA asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has the Minister read the report in the *Argus* and *Age* of 4th June, 1015, of a meeting of the dentists of Victoria, and if such statements are true? 1. If so, who were the professional men, medical, surgical, and dental, who advised the Minister to appoint the present Dental Corps without allowing open competition to the dentists of Australia? 2. What dental qualifications, if any, do the medical or surgical officers possess who advised the Minister to this course I {: .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN: -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The Minister has read the statements in question, but he cannot admit that they are true. 1. Nominations for appointments will be made in the usual manner by the Officer Commanding to the Principal Medical Officer, who will make his recommendations through the Acting Director-General of Medical Services, for submission to the Minister. No appointments have yet been made in Victoria, except that of the senior officer. 2. The officer from whom all recommendations will come, as regards Victoria, is the Acting Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry in the Melbourne University, who has been appointed the senior officer of the Corps of Dental Reserve, Victoria. {: .page-start } page 4241 {:#debate-24} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-24-0} #### DEFENCE DEPARTMENT Supply of Fodder {: #subdebate-24-0-s0 .speaker-JRP} ##### Mr BOYD: asked the Assistant Minister representing the Minister of Defence, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Whether it is a fact that in obtaining supplies of fodder for the Defence Department tenders were not called? 1. If not, what is the reason? {: #subdebate-24-0-s1 .speaker-KK9} ##### Mr JENSEN:
ALP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are:- {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. Owing to the vacillating and unsettled condition of the fodder market of late, dealers have been disinclined to enter into contracts for any extended period, except at prices much higher than those at which the Department can operate within the Commonwealth and elsewhere. A sufficient quantity has been imported at from £3 to £5 per ton approximately below local market rates. {: .page-start } page 4241 {:#debate-25} ### PAPERS The following papers were presented : - >Defence Act - > >Employment of Persons other than those employed in Government Factories - Regulations (Provisional) - Statutory Rules 1915, No. 85. > >Universal Training - Regulations Amended (Provisional) - Statutory Rules 1915, No. 84. {: .page-start } page 4241 {:#debate-26} ### CONSTITUTION ALTERATION (TRADE AND COMMERCE) BILL {:#subdebate-26-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-26-0-s0 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
Attor ney General · West Sydney · ALP -- I should like, at the outset, **Mr. Speaker,** to ask whether you propose to permit the debate on the Bill to cover the subject-matter of the five other Constitution Alteration Amendment Bills, the second reading of which has been set down for to-day? It will be impossible to confine the debate within the precise limits of this particular measure, and it certainly would conduce to the more effective discussion of this Bill, as well as of the others, if we were allowed within reasonable limits to deal with the whole of them in the one debate. It is not too much to say that they are so correlated that it is quite impossible to deal with them singly. I therefore ask whether we may have that liberty of debate which was accorded on a previous occasion. {: #subdebate-26-0-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- It is true that the Constitution Alteration Amendment Bills are so interwoven that it would be, to a large extent, impossible for me to determine whether or not any overlapping has taken place, provided that honorable members kept to the constitutional questions involved. At the same time I do not wish it to be understood that the adoption of the course proposed by the Attorney-General is to be regarded as a precedent to be followed on all similar occasions. I amprepared, in this debate, to allow the broadest possible discussion of the constitutional questions involved, and the introduction of all matters that are relevant to the question before the chair. {: #subdebate-26-0-s2 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- May I be permitted, sir, to ask a question? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Yes. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The AttorneyGeneral is asking permission to take now the second-reading discussion over the six Bills. The trouble is that, under the Standing Orders, we are allowed only one hour and five minutes to debate the motion for the second reading of a Bill, and that would not be sufficient to enable us to deal with the important questions involved in the six measures. {: .speaker-KNF} ##### Mr MASSY-GREENE:
RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917 -- The Attorney-General, as the Minister introducing the measure, is allowed an hour and thirty-five minutes. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I am notproposing to affect the honorable gentleman's right to speak on the other Bills. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I suggest that we might very well discuss all six on the motion for the second reading of this Bill, but without the ordinary time limitation. {: .speaker-KHE} ##### Mr Higgs: -- Hear, hear; and if the Opposition took too long, we could easily close them up. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Do not revive that matter. I suggest that the standing order imposing a time limitation he suspended. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- Would the Opposition want full time in respect of the other Bills? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- No, not on the second-reading debate. My suggestion is. that the second-reading debate on this Bill should cover the six measures. {: .speaker-JWO} ##### Mr J H Catts: -- And the other Bills would be treated as formal? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- So far as the second reading was concerned. I wish to have the one discussion covering the whole six Bills, but do not think we should be tied down to an hour and five minutes each. Mr.Fisher. - Does the right liouorable member suggest any time limitation ? {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I think if we each had an hour and a. half, the same time as would be allowed the AttorneyGeneral, that would, be satisfactory. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- There will be a discussion at the Committee stage of all the other Bills. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I would point out to honorable members that an irregular discussion is takingplace now. I allowed the Leader of the Opposition to make a statement, and if honorable members have nothing special-- {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- I want to have the point made clear, **Mr. Speaker.** {: .speaker-KXG} ##### Mr Watt: -- I rose to a point of order when the Leader of. the Opposition rose to request information from the AttorneyGeneral. I still rise to a point of order, to ask if you rule, or propose to rule, that the discussion on this Bill, being the first of a series of six, may include the others-. If so, I take leave to submit for your consideration certain arguments why that is the wrong procedure. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I would point out that on a former occasion, when Bills of a similar character were brought forward it was understood that it would not be possible to confine the debate to any one particular measure then before the House; that they overlapped each other to some extent. Under those circumstances, a general discussion was allowed on the whole of the questions.. That, however; can be done only with the consent of the House. If it is the desire of honorable members that I should place the broadest interpretation on the discussion of these matters,. I am willing to allow the debate to cover the whole of the questions for an hour and a half. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- I shall be willing to do that. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I understand that is the desire of. the Leader of the Opposition. If it is the pleasure of the House that this course should be followed I have no objection. I understand it is approved by the Prime Minister and also by the Attorney-General. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- That, of course, relates only to the second-reading stage. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Yes. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I would point out that the honorable member for Balaclava takes a different view, and if this course is not approved by the House unanimously, it will be part of my duty to confine honorable members as strictly as possible to the Bill before the Chair. {: .speaker-KXG} ##### Mr Watt: -- Might I point out that I do not want to interfere with the course of business in any way; but I would urge that, whilst some questions in the six are related, some are totally separated from each other. I think even the AttorneyGeneral will admit that; and, therefore, it will be impossible, if we follow parliamentary procedure, to take them altogether. The course which I suggest, with due deference to the Government, is to bring down a resolution which will cover all these issues, and the discussion of that can then precede the consideration of any of these Bills. That is the, course which was adopted on a similar occasion within, my knowledge. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- My experience is that the measures are so correlated that one could not be discussed without touching on. the others. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- Might I be permitted to point out that on the last occasion it was decided, I think by the House, that a certain amount of latitude should be given to honorable members on the ground of the general relevancy of the Bills, but there was a. limitation of time ? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Yes. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- I think the honorable member was allowed an hour and a half. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Yes; and other honorable members had an hour and five minutes. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- At the same time; all the other Bills were open for discussion, but there was an understanding that, in con- sideration , of a liberal discussion on the first Bill, honorable members would curtail their remarks in the subsequent (debate. I would suggest 'that the same coursebe adopted now. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I will put the question to the House, and if there is any objection, that, of course, will be fatal to the proposal. Is it the pleasure of the House that honorable members be permitted to . have a general discussion on the Bills on the measure now before them? An Honorable Member. - No. {: #subdebate-26-0-s3 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- There has been an objection to this course, and that objection is fatal. I would suggest to the AttorneyGeneral, therefore, that he confine himself to the question of trade and commerce. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Do as we did last time. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- We can suspend the Standing Orders, I presume in order to allow more latitude in debate? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- If the right honorable gentleman moves the suspension of the Standing Orders, that can be agreed to only by an absolute majority of the House. {: .speaker-KXG} ##### Mr Watt: -- On due notice, or without? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- It can be done without notice; but there must be an absolute majority. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- I will only do that with the consent of the Leader of the Opposition. {: #subdebate-26-0-s4 .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
AttorneyGeneral · West Sydney · ALP -- I move - That this Billbe now read a second time. I think we should have the point to which I just now referred cleared up. I do not want the discussion to last any longer than necessary. I remember that on the last occasion time was not afforded me sufficient to deal with the matter, nor did other honorable members fare better. I am quite in. favour of extending the time limit to an hour and a half,but if any honorable member objects to it, it cannot be done. I hope that if I am only ten minutes over the time there will be no objection.; but I shall try to beten minutes under the time. This is the third occasion on which I have had the honour to introduce these proposals for the amendment of the Constitution. The laws as now proposed are substantially as originally presented to the House in 1911. The Trade and Commerce proposal now stands in the form in which it was presented in . 1911 ;the-exemp- tion of trade and commerce on State railways, which was inserted in the 1913 referendum, has been deleted. It is proposed to ask the electors to approve of these amendments as soon as the rolls can be prepared and the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act complied with. I believe the people will approve of them. They are certainly very necessary in the interests of the community; and it is most desirable that they should secure the approval of the people at the earliest possible moment. {: .speaker-KXG} ##### Mr Watt: -- I rise to order. The AttorneyGeneral, in introducing the Bill, is apparently dealing with other measures. As you, sir, have ruled that the only measure before the House is the measure dealing with the Trade and Commerce powers, I submit that the honorable member must confine his remarks to it. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I pointed out, when on any feet, and the honorable member would have heard it had he been listening, -that it was not possible actually to confine a member to a particular amendment, because a number of them overlap one another to such an extent that it would be almost impossible for me to restrict the debate to any one. In the circumstances, it is for me to say -whether in my opinion an honorable member isoverstepping the limits of debate. I shall try, so far as I am able, to confine the Attorney-General, and honorable members also, to the exact issue before the Chair. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- A comparison ofthe votes cast on the two previous occasions on which the proposals were submitted *to* the electors in 1911 and 1913 affords almost conclusive testimony of the extent towhich the people now recognisethe necessity for amending the Constitution. In 1911, the majority against the "Monopolies" amendment was 247,724, or 19.8 per cent. of the aggregate vote polled. In 1913 - two years later - the majority against it had been reduced to 24,782 out of an aggregate poll of 2,033,251, or a majority of only 1.2 per cent., as against a majority of 19.8 per cent. two years before. To put it in another way, whereas in 1911 in a small poll of 1,248,226 electors, or 53.31 of those entitled to vote, only 488,668 voted for the amendment, and '736,392 against it; in 1913, in the greatest poll ever recorded, where 2,033,251 persons voted, or 73.66 per cent, of those entitled to vote, 917,155 voted for the amendment, and 941,947 against it. As there were 171,658 informal ' votes, or more than seven times the number necessary to have given a majority for the amendment, it is more than probable that a majority of the electors did actually approve of it. Circumstances have since arisen which make these amendments of the Constitution much more necessary than in 1911, or even in 1913. In presenting the proposals to the House, the task before me is at once easier and more difficult than it was in 1911. I had then only to explain our position under the Constitution and the nature of the amendments; but today I have also to explain and deal with many representations both of the purpose and scope of the amendments, and to deal with some recent utterances of honorable members of this House which have given rise to- the impression amongst the people outside that this Parliament is already clothed with the powers which we are seeking by these means to obtain. I must remind honorable members, at the outset, what the powers of this Parliament really are. This is a Parliament of enumerated powers. We are the creature of a Statute. It is to that Statute that we must look for all our powers. If they are not there, we do not possess them. Our position is fundamentally different from that of the States, which were originally sovereign powers, and could pass any laws they pleased. Their powers to pass laws were as limitless as the powers of the community itself. They could express, in terms of legislation, anything that they thought proper in the interests of the community. The States have those sovereign powers still, save to the extent to which they have been limited by the Constitution of the Federation. In order to understand what are our powers, we have to look at a document. We have to look at the Constitution to see what we may do. The States have to look at the Constitution only to see what they may not do. We must look at the Constitution to see what we can do, but we cannot do all there set out. For the experience of fifteen years has shown that many powers, apparently conferred upon the Commonwealth, are not really possessed by this Parliament. In short, many of that imposing array of powers set out in section 51, and other parts of the Constitution, are but shadows of powers. The States are in no such position. They are sovereign, save to the extent to which they are limited by the Constitution, and the real limitations imposed on them are few. They need look at no document, but may pass such legislation as the circumstances demand. The High Court has been created for the purpose of interpreting the Constitution, and preventing the States and Commonwealth from exceeding the powers allocated to them. The High Court is, of course, not a legislative body. Its functions are purely judicial. Its duty is not to make laws, but to declare what the laws are. In its function of interpreter of the Constitution, it has to say what our powers are, and not to say now we should use them. It is very necessary, at this juncture, to remind honorable members of this point, and I shall revert to it later. I have said that the High Court is the interpreter of the Constitution. When, therefore, we are asked what our powers are, we have not only to look at the Constitution as it stands, but to look at it in the light of the rules of interpretation which the High Court has laid down, and in the light of the decisions which the Court has made in accordance with those rules. If, then, we are asked what the powers of the Commonwealth Parliament are, we have to say that they are those enumerated in the Constitution as interpreted by the High Court. Beyond that we cannot go, for the High Court is the final arbiter of our powers. What the High Court says our powers are - those are our powers. What the High Court says the Constitution means - that it does mean. It is very necessary that I should, at every stage throughout this discussion, impress upon the minds of honorable members exactly the position in which we find ourselves. We are a most progressive community. No country is able to point to progress at a more rapid rate or in directions more varied than this Commonwealth during the last fifteen years. Trade and the manner of its development, manufactures, and general progress of the Commonwealth in one way and another, have been astounding. All oyer the world there has been tremendous development. Every day ancient institutions are tumbling into the dust, new ones more suited to a progressive age are taking their place. Yet we are told that this country should govern itself according to a system of laws which was an anachronism at the time we adopted it, and which is now totally unsuited to our purpose, and which has been rendered less fit for our present purpose by the narrow interpretation placed upon the Commonwealth powers by the High Court and the Privy Council. This brings me directly to the consideration of the proposed constitutional amendments themselves. These amendments in their form and substance are based upon sound principles and upon the teachings of experience. They aim, not at dealing with the symptoms of the malady from which the Constitution suffers, but at the eradi-' cation of the disease. What is the disease from which the Constitution suffers? It arises from the illogical and unscientific allocation of the powers between the Commonwealth and the States. We have followed too slavishly the model laid down by the framers of the American Constitution. In their day, no doubt, they did what was wise and possible, but their day is not our day. The instrument which was sufficient for their purpose is quite inadequate for ours. They were legislating for a small community of men engaged in almost primitive occupations, isolated in groups far removed from one another, and carrying on their several businesses without order or that systematization arising out of, and necessary to deal with, the tremendous complexity of modern methods of production. There were special circumstances in the American Confederation which compelled the adoption of a compromise. But I say without hesitation that the American Constitution never was fit even for the purpose for which it was intended, and is certainly unsuited for a community living under twentieth century conditions. The chief cause of the difficulty has always been the allocation of powers between States and Commonwealth upon lines which do not permit of a clear line of demarcation being drawn between them. I have said that it is the ' function of the High Court to draw that line of demarcation, and say, " This power belongs to the Commonwealth, and that power belongs to the States." But how is the High Court to. do that fairly if it is beyond the power of mortal man to say where a power begins and where it ends? There is neither logic, sense, nor reason in the division, for example, of the trade and commerce power. Commerce is a subject which, in its very nature, cannot be divided. Commerce is a national matter. It is intercourse. It begins , where intercourse begins and ends where intercourse ends. That is to say, commerce is, in its operation, coterminous with our territorial limits ; and to attempt to circumscribe its operations, and to declare that in such-and-such a district commerce must be subject to one law, and in another district to another law, is but to invite confusion and trouble. We have followed slavishly in the footsteps of the framers of the American Constitution in this respect. The American reports are full of cases irreconcilable, hopelessly confusing, and absurd, as a result of efforts to distinguish between what is State commerce and what is Inter-State commerce. If honorable members will look at what commerce is, they will see how utterly . impossible it is to distinguish between what is State commerce and what is Commonwealth commerce - to say what is Inter-State commerce and what is Intra-State commerce. You send a parcel from Albury to Wagga. That is Intra-State commerce, subject to State law. You send the same parcel from Albury to Wodonga, just across the Murray River, and that is Inter-State commerce, and so subject to Commonwealth law. You send a letter from Sydney to Melbourne, or you send a letter from Sydney to Wagga, and both are under the same law. Surely it would be as rational' and logical to say that there should be a postal law governing the delivery of postal articles within a State, as well as a law governing postal deliveries between States, as it is to say that there should be separate commercial laws governing commerce inside a State and between States? You cannot draw a line between commerce within a State and commerce passing from one State to another. No such distinction is possible. This illogical and unscientific division of power' of trade and commerce in the Constitution not only prevents us from dealing with commerce inside the -prohibited sphere, but hampers us in dealing with commerce inside the sphere that is covered by the Constitution. We may not deal with commerce inside a State, but we may deal with trade and commerce between the States. The result is that we cannot effectively deal with trade and commerce at all. I have said that, in my opinion, trade and commerce is an object of national concern. It cannot now, if it ever could, be dealt with adequately by the States. No doubt there was a day when trade and commerce trickled in tiny rivulets from hamlet to hamlet, when the needs of communities were supplied from within, when inside little districts, sparsely inhabited, everybody found his needs supplied by local producers. But that day has gone, and now we see a cataract of commerce massing from one end of the earth to the other, a tremendous and ever-widening stream, flowing hither and thither from one corner of the earth to the other, and yet it is contended that the control of this national and ever-broadening stream of our commercial industrial life can be regulated by the laws of a hundred States through which it flows. Clearly the ideal commerce law is one recognised and observed by all nations, and to that ideal we are fast advancing. But until we reach it, our ideal most certainly must be national control over commerce. A distinguished writer, Prentice, in his *Commerce Laws of the Constitution,* says - >It is obvious, then, that the line between the State and Federal power with reference to commerce is an arbitrary one. There is no economic or commercial distinction which even roughly corresponds with State boundaries. Commerce is a whole, and a power to regulate commerce, if complete and unlimited by an arbitrary line of division, must extend to all commerce, wherever conducted. Such a power Congress does not possess. The Constitution, in fact, established an arbitrary limit to Federal jurisdiction. The consequence is that we find ourselves at the present day unable to take the first step in dealing with the great commercial interests of this country. We cannot even make a general company law. There are some who do not grasp the importance of commerce, who regard it as a thing apart - a thing that concerns the man in the office, the clerk in the store, or, possibly, the manufacturer in his factory. But commerce is so correlated with industry - for commerce is the handmaid of industry - that it touches every corner of our daily lives, so that, when we come to deal with any sphere of human activities, we find ourselves hopelessly fettered unless we have control of commerce. Commerce affects every person in the community, and affects "him closely. The farmer is vitally affected by the freight he has topay upon the transport of the commodities he requires, and upon the produce which he sends away. The producer is vitally concerned in the facilities for transport from the place, where he produces his goods to the market in which he finally disposes of them. The shopkeeper, themerchant, the artisan, the housewife, every section of the community, live dependent upon commerce in one way or another. It is perfectly obvious that the regulation of commerce is a matter which must be in the hands of the National Parliament, and in order that it may be in the hands of that Parliament the power must be conferred upon it .in general terms. The whole subject-matter must pass to this Parliament. That is the point which I desire to emphasize. The chief reason for the trouble from which we have suffered since the inception of the Commonwealth is that, in the allocation of powers as between the Commonwealth and the States, the whole subject-matter has. not been allocated either to the Commonwealth or the States respectively. It would be infinitely better if the Commonwealth possessed only one-half of the, powers it is supposed to possess, if it had control of the whole, subject-matter of those powers. If it had such control, there could be no litigation, no uncertainty, no clashing of powers. The functions of the High Court would then be merely to determine whether any particular Act was within one of these powers. If it was, clearly it would be constitutional. If not, then obviously it would be *ultra vires* of the powers of this Parliament. But when the High Court is called upon to decide, not only whether the Commonwealth has power to deal with a particular matter, but whether it has power to deal with it in the way in which the Parliament has dealt with it, confusion becomes worse confounded. It is not too much to say that the chief reason why the High Court -has pruned down our apparent powers by a series of decisions in .constitutional cases arises from the fact that we have insufficient control over trade and commerce. This brings me to a point, the importance of which can scarcely be exaggerated, one which not only diagnoses the trouble from which we are suffering, but points out the nature of the remedy which must .be applied to it. The nature of the disease is that the whole of the subject-matter, is not handed to the Commonwealth, or the- States, as the- case may be. The remedy lies in making a fresh allocation of powers along those lines. It is essential this be done without delay, for the scope of our authority which, should grow, with the passage of time becomes, actually more restricted through, the decisions of the High Court. I will explainthe reason for this: The High Court, in interpreting, the- Constitution, has laid down a rule which has had the effect of. narrowing, mostunfortunately, the powers of this Parliament. The rule may be referred to as the doctrine of the limitation of powers. I direct the attention of honorable members to that doctrine, and invite them to follow closely the effects of its application to the various powers enumerated in the Constitution. I have said that if we wish to know what our powers are we shall have-, not only to look at the Constitution-, but to look at it in, the light of its interpretation by the High Court. InRex v. *Barger,* the doctrine of the- limitation of powers was first enunciated. Ithas the effect of applying the words of limitation in one section of the- Constitution, not only to the section in whichthey occur, but to other sections in- such- a way that where there is ambiguity in one- section, the plain words of the Constitution in another section are regarded as insufficient, and there is thus superimposed on the Constitution a presumption in favour of the States. The effects of theapplica- tion of the- doctrine have been most important and far -reaching. In the case of *Rex.v. Barrier* - the Excise Machinery case - the Court said, in effect - It is clear that this Act is a regulation of the conditions of labour which wo hold to be reserved' to the States. The only enumerated power of. theCommonwealth which, can possibly come within it is- taxation-., and it is- not clear that it is within taxation, therefore the reserved power ofthe State prevails. That is to say, wherever there is a doubt, it is always determined in favour of the States and never in favour of the Commonwealth; whenever there is ambiguity, it is never resolved in favour of the Commonwealth, but always in favour of the States. It follows,, therefore, that the doctrine has: so narrowed our powers that when we ask what those powers are we cannot ascertain by looking at the Constitution, for the mere fact that powers are enumerated in the Constitution is only *prima facie* evidence that the- substance of any power so enumerated, is- really vested in the Commonwealth. But let me amplify the effects, of the doctrines In interpreting the enumerated powers, the High Court has- laid it down - >The Constitution as a whole, and especially section 107, was held to reserve to the States control of the internal or domestic affairs- of the States, except as far as they came within one of the enumerated powers of the Commonwealth. Section 107 reads - >Every power of the Parliament of a Colony whichhas become or becomes a State shall, unless it is by this Constitution exclusively vested in the Parliament of the- Commonwealth or withdrawn from the Parliament of a State, continue as at the- establishment of the Commonwealth, or as at the admission or establishment of the State; as the case may be. That is the principle on which the reserve powers of the States stand, or, at any rate, by which they are guaranteed. In the *Attorney-General* v. *The Brewery Employees Go.,* the words " Trade Mark " were held not to include the workers'' trade- mark provided for by the Act- of 1905,. because-, as set out by the Chief Justice - >In my opinion, it should, be regarded, . as a . fundamental rule in the construction of- the Constitution that where the intention to reserve any subject-matter to the States, to the exclusion of the. Commonwealth, clearly appears, no exception from that reservation can be admitted' which is not expressed in clear and' unequivocal words. Otherwise the Constitution will be made to contradict itself, which upon a- proper construction must be impossible. So it was held that we have no general power to make a law on trade marks. I invite honorable members to look at paragraph x-viii. of section 51 of the Constitution, which says, in plain words,, that - >The Parliament shall . . . have power to make laws for the peace; order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to- > >Copyrights, patents or inventions and designs, and trade marks. Here power to make laws on trade marks isdefined in clear terms; yet our power to make laws with regard to trade marks is limited by the reserve powers of the States. And so, with almost every other power of the Commonwealth. The trouble arises through a division of the subjectmatter, and the consequence is confusion and uncertainty. Again, in the case of *Huddart Parker* v. *Moorehead,* similar principles were applied to the interpretation of the scope of paragraph xx. of section 51. I direct the attention of honorable members to the provision which says that the. Commonwealth Parliament shall have power to make laws with respect to - Foreign corporations, and trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth. Those words are clear, unambiguous, apparently leaving no doubt that we have full power over both foreign corporations and corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth. Yet it was held that we have no such power, because our power would impinge upon and impair the reserve powers of the States in that regard. The Chief Justice said - >It is a corollary to this rule that, if there he an exception from the reservation, the extent of the exception must be equally clearly and unequivocally expressed, and that, so far as the exception does not extend, the reservation remains in full force. I cannot accept the doctrine that if an invasion of the sphere of the State is admitted for a limited purpose, the reservation altogether disappears. The invasion is only permitted so far as it is necessary to enable the power in question to be exercised, and the extent of the permitted invasion is determined and limited by the same necessity. In the Workers Trade Mark case, SIS I pointed out, the Court found an a *priori* doubt whether this was a trade mark, and held that the reserve power as to internal commerce prevailed. But if we had had full power over trade and commerce the prohibition would not apply. It is in this way that the limitation in paragraph 1 of section 51 has been used in interpreting the scope of the powers. The effect of this doctrine of limitation is that while the words " among the States " remain in paragraph 1, read in conjunction with section 107, the Court has now laid it down as a test to be applied to all legislation by this Parliament that, unless there is set forth in the enumerated powers, clearly and unequivocally, a power in the Commonwealth which invades State power, this reservation in favour of the States should prevail. A recent decision of the High Court has emphasized this point, and as the matter is fresh in the minds of the people, the full effect and meaning of this reservation will be more clearly appreciated. Honorable members will recollect the Wheat Acquisition case. They know what interest the case aroused, with what impatience the judgment of the Court was awaited, with what feelings the judgment when delivered was received. I ask them to remember that no amendment of the Constitution will be of any service to the community unless it gives power, and not merely the shadow of power, to the Commonwealth. We must not fool the people again with mere words. Section 92 of the Constitution says - >On the imposition of uniform duties of Customs, trade, commerce, and intercourse among the States, whether by means of internal carriage or ocean navigation, shall be absolutely free. To those who understand the English language, those words mean what they say, namely, that trade should flow freely all over the Commonwealth, and that nothing should prevent it so doing. It is certain that, had the people of this country thought that they did not mean that, this Parliament would never have been sitting here to-day under this Constitution, for the Constitution would never have been accepted by the people. The High Court acknowledges that the words mean what they say, but it asks, "What do they say?" According to the Court, the Constitution declares that commerce shall be free; but it does not affect the power of the States to acquire and control the subject-matter of commerce. The position is as though it had been enacted that the pipe from the reservoir to a tap must be kept clear and free from all obstructions, but that the Court had held that there was nothing to prevent the commandeering of the water in the reservoir. Sublimely confident in his charter, the ratepayer turns on his tap, holds his pannikin under it,but nothing comes out of the tap. When no water comes through, he complains to the Water and Sewerage Board, who reply, " The conditions have been fulfilled; the pipes are kept free." " But," he would object, ' ' no water is to be obtained." "Show us," they would say, " where it is guaranteed that water must run through the pipes. Show us where the acquirement of the water in the reservoir by some person who will not permit it to run through the pipes is prohibited ? ' ' He cannot show it, nor can we. But the electors feel they have been deceived : that they have a shadow where they thought they were solemnly assured of the substance. Plain words have become the sport of dialecticians, and the Constitution is the happy hunting ground for the never-to-be sufficiently venerated members of my honorable profession. The Constitution was given to the people of this country, and accepted by them, as plain men and women who desired to enlarge their powers of self-government. When we declared that trade should be absolutely free, what we had in our minds was that, instead of our opportunities being circumscribed by the narrow limits of a State, they were to extend, without hindrance, throughout the length and breadth of this great island continent. I take it that here was a pledge, solemn and unconditional, that in times of scarcity, should they occur, we would all be in the same boat; not that within the boundaries of one State there should be plenty, of which the less fortunate outside would not be allowed to partake. If there were general scarcity throughout Australia, we should have to do what we could to meet the common needs; but we have a right to complain when, under a charter of Federal liberty, we are told that the right remains with some to take advantage of relative plenty while others are compelled to suffer because of relative scarcity. {: .speaker-KXG} ##### Mr Watt: -- The Bill does not cure that nor touch it at all. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- Yes, it does. I prefer not to amplify my remarks at this stage; but I state, definitely and emphatically, that the proposed Trade and Commerce amendment, if approved by the people, will have this effect: The Commonwealth right of eminent domain in respect of the acquirement of property will extend over the whole sphere of the subject-matter of State commerce. Our right of eminent domain will be paramount to that of the States, so that if the States, after the proposed amendment has been adopted, were to exercise their power of acquisition, the Commonwealth could acquire from them, willy-nilly, in the same way as from private citizens, what they had acquired from others. So much is quite clear. But unless and until the limitation in our trade and commerce power is deleted, section '92, guaranteeing freedom of trade between the States, is a rotten reed. Until we have the full trade and commerce power, there will be end less litigation, and the edifice of our authority must rest on an uncertain and tottering foundation. The foundation of our authority must be broadened until it rests on the whole trade and commerce power; otherwise, the constitutional edifice must always be in danger of collapsing like a pack of cards. I say advisedly, that had I to choose between this power and all the others, I would select this power, because without it we cannot progress as a nation. The other powers are supplementary to it, and without it would not help us very much. The limitation of time imposed upon speeches prevents me from dealing at great length with these matters, but I wish very briefly to touch on the other proposed amendments. {: .speaker-KXG} ##### Mr Watt: -- I direct your attention, **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** to the statement of the Attorney-General, that he proposes to deal with Bills that are not now before us. which I think is unparliamentary. {: #subdebate-26-0-s5 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- I do not consider that the Attorney-General has broken any' of the rules of the House. There is a connexion between this Bill and the other measures to which he has referred which prevents them from being dealt with separately, and I shall follow **Mr. Speaker** in allowing great latitude of debate in regard to them. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- I should be glad, for my own sake, to avoid dealing now with the other Bills, but it is impossible to present to the House and to the country a connected statement of the proposals unless they are dealt with together. Intimately and inseparably connected with the power to control trade and commerce is the power to control the operations of corporations, trusts, combines, monopolies, and industrial matters generally. Is it possible to divorce commerce from industry, which are the two sides of the same thing? One man manufactures, and another transports the article manufactured. A hundred years ago it was the individual who carried on trade and commerce; to-day it is the company. Ninety per cent., if not more, of the commercial, industrial, and manufacturing operations of the world are carried on by corporations, over which this National Parliament has no control, notwithstanding the plain words of paragraph xx. of section 51. **Mr. Justice** Isaacs,, ill *Huddart Parker* v. *Moorehead,,* said - >We: may usher them into the world, we may forbid them entrance therein-; but, once established, wo cannot interfere with them.. We may be the political midwives of corporations, and preside at their birth, *or* be their political undertakers, and direct their funeral obsequies; but over their lives, and their behaviour during life.. we have no authority. A Legislature that could make laws relating to the births and deaths of men, but could not control- their conduct during life, would be abjectly impotent. Birth is merely the awakening from a dream-, and- death the sinking into a quiet sleep; but life is- pregnant with a thousand' possibilities- for good and for evil,, and over the behaviour of ' living men the law mustkeep vigilant watch and ward. We need power to control the conduct of corporations, the same power that we have to control- the conduct of individuals. I have no time to deal with the objections urged against the proposal on the last occasion. I dealt then with **Mr. Justice** Higgins' argument. I thought then and I still think what he said was fine rhetoric; but, with all due deference- to His Honour, when you- have- said that, you have said everything about it. Our power over corporations must be co-extensive with our power over individuals; and our power over trade and commerce, cannot be effective and- complete unless it extends- to corporations. As to trusts and combines, I shall say no- more at this stage than that it is obviously necessary that we should recognise and control the great forces that dominate trade, commerce, and- industry to-day. It may be said that these- monsters do not exist - people may shut their eyes, and, from the bottom of their souls, say that, there- are no trusts - but the fact remains that there are, and that they dominate mankind. I do not say that trusts and combines always stand for evil. Some of them- are certainly not so evil as are others-; but they exist, and are a great power, and this Parliament cannot control them nor can the State Parliaments control them. And certainly, it is incompatible with democratic government that there should- be any power in the- community, no matter in whose hand's, over which the people have- no control. We should have power to control these trusts and com- bines - we should have power to review their operations, and-, if necessary, to regulate them. This brings me to the question of monopolies. We- are asking for power to nationalize- monopolies if necessary; and this power to nationalize monopolies is a corollary to the control of monopolies. The policy of nationalizing monopolies is in complete harmony with the tendency of the modern world to extend the powers of the State for the protection of the people. In this country, it ought not to be necessary to say one word about the benefits of the control of public utilities by the people. Here we control the railways and' other utilities which elsewhere are in the hands of private individuals, and in a hundred directions we have launched out with State enterprises with, I say - in spite of much criticism - infinite benefit to our fellow-citizens.- No doubt, many State enterprises have blundered; but has private enterprise never blundered? Go through that most pathetic of all documents - the- schedule, of bankruptcies. In that we have the graveyard of private enterprise - the- casualty list of those who have fallen in the battle of private enterprise.. The nationalization of monopolies is necessary in. the public interests ; yet none of our proposals has' evoked more opposition:, ridicule,- or misrepresentation. Our friends- opposite went about the country warning the people that it was our intention to nationalize all industries. The poor widow, shrinking back in her little fourbyfour shop- - the struggling tradesman endeavouring to earn, a precarious existence^ - the poor farmer engaged in a lifelong struggle against adversity,, going down in the waters of bankruptcy with the millstone of mortgage around bis neck - were greatly perturbed at the- fia-te our friends said awaited them; their dreams were pervaded' with horrid spectres. They saw the Commonwealth swooping down and. with ruthless hand nationalizing them. I do not wish to- say one word to ruffle the sweet and holy calm upon the faces of my honorable friends opposite?,, but I ask by whom these things were said. Although the voice was the voice of Jacob,, the hand: was the hand, of. Esau. My friends opposite- spoke, but it was the- hand of the .great vested- interests1 of. Australia that moved them-. This appeal: to the poor struggling' farmer to fight their battle has 'been their favorite device whenever they were threatened. They did the same thing in regard to the operation of the Federal land tax. Then the poor farmer was told to beware of the fell purpose .the Labour party had in view. He was informed that the little farmer was to be crushed. As a matter of fact, the little farmer now sleeps in peace. But the great land-owner has dreadful dreams, and wakes to a still more dreadful reality. I shall deal with these points more in detail later. I now wish to direct the attention of the House and the country to a point of fundamental importance in connexion with the power of nationalization. The States have power of eminent domain - if the term can be applied to the compulsory acquisition of personal property. They have the power of eminent domain over property of all sorts and kinds, without limitation, reservation, or condition. The States have power to take all property without compensation. The State of Victoria could now expropriate all private property within her territorial limits, and not be called upon to pay the fractional part of a farthing by way of compensation. The State Government could take the wheat from the farmer and give nothing in return; it could take the meat from cold storage; it could take houses, shops, factories, and all their contents, and every other kind of property and securities, financial and otherwise, and give nothing in return. This power of eminent domain is vested in all the States. But the Commonwealth is in a very different position. The proposed law will give the Commonwealth power to acquire property on just terms; that is to say, the Commonwealth must pay just compensation as assessed by the High Court. The honorable member for Flinders inserted these words as an amendment, in 1911, and my honorable friends opposite may take credit to themselves for so doing. I do not wish to disturb their complacency in this regard, but I tell them that if the amendment had not been inserted it would have made no difference, for the Commonwealth has no power to acquire property on any other than just terms. According to sub-section xxxi. of section 51 of the Constitution, these are the only terms on which the Commonwealth can acquire property, as the words of the sub-section show - >The acquisition of property on just terms from .any State or person for any purpose in respect of which the Parliament has power to make laws. It will be seen .that if the words " just terms ' ' had not been inserted in this proposal now before the House, it would not have made any difference; we should not, as I said at the time, have had any power to acquire property except on just terms. I wish honorable members to contrast the position of the States with the position of the Commonwealth in this regard. I desire to strangle at the outset the misrepresentations that were made during the last referenda: that we proposed to take property and not pay for it. That the Commonwealth cannot do, though the States may; we must pav 20s. in the £1 for any property we acquire, while the States need not may a halfpenny. That distinction is fundamental. Whether the case be that of a poor widow, a poor struggling farmer, or the richest man in the land, the fact remains incontestable, that the States have now the power to confiscate any property without payment, while the Commonwealth has none. I do not propose to enter into the nature of the amendments at greater length at this stage. Amendment of the Constitution is absolutely necessary; these propositions are couched in terms which will give us the power we desire. In my opinion, no less power than that at which we aim will enable the Commonwealth to legislate effectively for the protection of the interests of the people. The matter is urgent, and certainly of national importance. Although I do not deny that there has been thrown over this national! matter an aspect of party, I do deny that, it is a party question in essence. Whoever may have to exercise these powers, it will be for the people themselves to determine the limitations of their exercise. I shall not attempt at this stage to deal with the volume of objections which were raised on a previous occasion to these proposals. It was then said that they amounted to Unification - that they were opposed to the spirit of theFederal Constitution - no doubt we shall hear those cries again, but it will be found that they have lost their hypnotic influence. The people are steadily realizing that it isnot names, but things, that matter - that. the citizens of the Commonwealth and States are not concerned about State rights or Commonwealth rights, but only with people's rights. As to the exercise of the powers, and how far we shall go; that, too, is a matter for the people to determine. We have set forth how far we intend to go in this Parliament; and it is for the people to say how far other Parliaments may go. We propose, too, to give the people an opportunity, by means of the initiative and referendum, to check any undue exercise of the powers by this or any other Government; thus the people will have the double assurance that, not only at election times, but during the currency of the Parliament, they will have their hands on the pulse of the Legislature, and on the collar of their representatives. They will be able to determine how far this Parliament shall go in the exercise of those powers, which, by contrast with the powers possessed by the States, are as nothing. Their powers will be, when these amendments are made, very wide; much wider than those of the Commonwealth, and their powers will be sovereign. I invite honorable members to discuss the Bills on their merits, if they take exception to the terms - if they think we ask for more power than we ought to I invite them to inform us in set terms how we may secure the necessary powers. The Government are not wedded to the terms used, but only desire that the powers conferred shall be real. We do not wish it to be declared that trade is absolutely free amongst the States, only to find that it is not free at all. We do not desire to be told that there is power over foreign corporations, only to find that we have no power over any corporations. We do not desire to be told that we have power to settle industrial disputes, and then find, after fifteen years, that, putting everything else aside, it is not possible to ascertain what an "industrial dispute" is. Let us have real power, and not the shadow of power, and we shall be satisfied. I have not cited in support of these proposals any authorities of this House; but the honorable member for Flinders, the honorable member for Angas, and the honorable member for Darling Downs, have all lent the weight of their authority in support of the necessity for amendment. I am content at this stage to leave the matter with honorable members; but, later on in the debate, I shall support my position by a reference to the remarks of those honorable gentlemen. I now come to a phase of this question arising out of some recent utterances by some honorable members of this Chamber, which calls for detailed reply. The minds of the people have been greatly confused as to what the powers of the Parliament really are. These gentlemen have asserted that this Parliament has now all the powers that would be conferred by the referenda, and, consequently, there is no necessity for the referenda at all. It is very obvious that a statement of this sort must so confuse the minds of the people generally as to distract their attention from the proper and only remedy for our present position. For it is clear that if we have these powers already, there is no reason why we should ask the people for any further authority. I invite the close attention of honorable members to the position as it appears to me. The honorable member for Bourke, the right honorable member for Parramatta, and the honorable member for Flinders all asserted that this Parliament has power to deal with practically any mortal thing. The honorable member for Bourke, speaking on the War Precautions Bill, said that the Commonwealth had ample power to acquire all commodities, to fix prices, and to do anything that itcould have done under the express powers of the referenda. The Leader of the Opposition, speaking on the 4th June, said that under the War Precautions Act the Government have supreme power to deal with everything that associates itself with the conduct of the war. On the same afternoon, the honorable and learned member for Flinders made an elaborate and, at first sight, very clear and emphatic statement as to our power. He said - >I agree with the statement of the AttorneyGeneral, a few days ago, that he would be a bold man who would place a limit to the powers of the Australian Government in time of war. I did not agree with his application of that view, because that application to the enemy contracts was about the most extreme possible, the problem in that case being whether we could put an end to contracts which were, in any circumstances, suspended during the currency of the war; thus the powers sought in this legislation could only apply after the war. But with regard to the honorable gentleman's contention that it is impossible for a lawyer, or anybody else, to define the limits of the Government's powers, I would point out to honorable members that the overriding principle recognised in all countries is that all constitutional limitations give way to what is the supreme law of the land, the safety of the realm. Nothing stands in the way of that supreme law; if that safety is really involved, all constitutional ties are like flax in a fire. If this country were in- immediate danger of occupation by the enemy, is there any power that the National Government would not exercise to prevent such an occurrence? I venture to say there is not. But we have not arrived at that dangerous stage yet. I do not propose to press my argument any further than it will go, but that principle, *gatus populi suprema lex est,* implies also that the supreme law must rest with the one Government that represents the whole of the people. How far that power would go is a different question, the resolving, of which must depend on the circumstances of the case. > >I am not prepared to say that, under the existing conditions in Australia, any power would reside in the Federal Government to go about buying foodstuffs generally and distributing them. > >If the object is simply to say, "Things arc dearer now than usual, whether through combinations or conspiracies or arrangements of the kind, therefore let us buy the stuff and sell it to the people more cheaply," I hardly think that would or could reasonably, in the present conditions of Australia, be regarded as a legitimate exercise of the constitutional power. On Saturday last the *Age,* no doubt stimulated by the suggestive but rather uncertain observations of the honorable member for Flinders, published an article written ostensibly by a Labour man; but I am afraid that the labour at which the writer has been habitually working is not that which he would have us believe it to- be. The article contains this passage - >What I mean to say is that, by virtue of the war, the Federal Government has acquired power to do by executive Act (while the war lasts) anything that might be done legally in peace by virtue of the. express provisions of an amended Constitution. Its powers indeed are unlimited and absolute. It could, if it chose, suspend all the State Parliaments to-morrow, abolish the High Court, and put the whole Commonwealth under martial 'discipline. In that extract the culminating point has been reached, and at one bound we pass from vague uncertain statements as to our power into the most definite declaration that we can abolish the High Court and suspend State Parliaments. No wonder the minds of people have been a little confused as to what our powers really are. The extracts I have quoted embody opinions which in many respects differ fundamentally, but they agree on the one point, that the powers of the Com monwealth during a time of war are sufficient to enable us to do almost anything. But that is the only point of agreement, for, whereas the honorable member for Bourke says we have power to regulate prices - by which he means power to reduce prices - the right honorable member for Parramatta says that the regulation of prices is impossible, and will lead to a condition worse than the present; and the honorable and learned member for Flinders expresses the view that the time is not ripe for our taking any such action. Though the three honorable members mentioned agree that we have the powers, they are unable to agree as to the use we should make of them, and that difference of opinion is in itself fatal to their contention. It is surely a most significant circumstance that even those who assert that we have these great powers are hopelessly at variance as to the circumstances which would justify the exercise of them. But let me deal directly with the contention that the Commonwealth has power, in the words of the honorable member for Bourke and the honorable member for Flinders, " to do almost anything." The honorable member for Flinders does not, like the honorable member for Bourke and the Leader of the Opposition, base his statement on the defence power. He looks to something which he calls *salus populi suprema* *lex est.* It may be that this Latin tag, like the doctor's prescription which no man is able to read, has had a hypnotising effect on the people, so that we no longer hear of the tremendous and elastic powers of the defence legislation, but only of *salus populi suprema* *lex est.* No doubt, shortly, even little children will be prattling that phrase in the streets. I can conceive of no statement more calculated to confuse and unsettle the minds of the people than such a statement of our powers, for while in a sense it is true enough, as applied to present circumstances it is profoundly untrue. The question before us is - in whom is this *suprema* *lex* vested, in the Commonwealth or in the States? The honorable and learned gentleman tells us *salus populi suprema* *lex est!* The point is not as to whether there is a supreme law, but in whom it is vested. Is it vested in the Parliament which has prescribed powers, or in the Parliaments which have reserved powers? Is it vested in the Parliament which, during the last fifteen years, has had its every power whittled down,, or in the Parliaments, which, according to the Constitution, have- sovereign powers which may not be' impaired by the Commonwealth ? Our friends, the ardent advocates of the States and their authority, have suddenly become- converts to the great powers of the Commonwealth. This Parliament, whose wings have been clipped, suddenly displays a brilliant plumage, spreads its broad pinions, and flies in the topmost air without a rival. We who could do nothing can now do- everything. It is very strange. The honorable and learned member for Flinders says-, " *salus populi suprema* *-lex est;* the circumstances have not arisen which would justify the exercise of that supreme power, but when they do, the Federal Parliament will have unlimited powers." But what does that declaration of unlimited power amount to ?. The honorable gentleman, in his anxiety to help his Leader, to whom lie referred as " my learned Leader," made a statement which was inconsistent, not only with the Federal system of government, but also with the " rule of law." For what is this *suprema* *lex* to which the honorable gentleman refers? It is not law at all; at the best it is but the inchoate substance out of which law is made. What is law ? Law is the will of the sovereign power, expressed through constitutional and regular channels, and in a democratic community it is the will of the people constitutionally expressed. But this *supremo, lex* is but the shapeless and inchoate substance which has yet to be moulded into law. ' A sovereign Legislature like that of Great Britain can ' take- hold of that substance at any moment and mould it into law to suit the occasion. This Parliament cannot do so, because there is not vested in us any authority to help ourselves at will from this reservoir of all law, this *suprema* *lex.* This Federal Parliament is a Parliament with powers strictly limited by the Constitution, beyond the limits of which we may not go. So rauch for the doctrine of *salus populi suprema* *lex est,* which can have no relevance to that partner to the Federal pact whose powers are enumerated. The case would be different with the Parliaments of the States, because they have reserve- powers. If, then, we would know what our powers are, we must look, to the Constitution. What are these powers ? Most of them have been pruned down; but one, the defence power, has not been cut down by the High Court. I said the other day that he would be a bold man who would set a limit to that power. That was and is my opinion; but by that statement I do- not mean that there is no limit to the power; I .mean only that the power is very wide. The honorable member for Bourke and the right honorable member for Parramatta seem to think that we can do anything by virtue of the defence power. I think they are wrong. They have overlooked the fact that we are not the only Legislature, and that every State Legislature may deal with the circumstances that confront it. And their powers are infinitely wider than ours. I admit that we may do anything necessary to defend the country; but the thing done must have an intimate and direct relation to defence. The relation must be- clear and obvious. It must not be merely a colourable pretext for legislation outside our proper' sphere; and if the matter be within the sphere of the State Legislatures, it can only be exercised if the- States have not acted, or if the matter be such as to prevent effective State action. Let me give an' illustration. The Parliament of New South Wales, by ils Wheat Acquisition Act, acquired all the wheat. Will the honorable member for Flinders or any other honorable member say that we could have acquired that wheat by virtue of our defence power? Would he say that in view of the clearly-expressed judgment of the High- Court ? The fact is we- have no such power; the honorable member knows that perfectly well. No doubt if there is a shortage of any commodity likely to impair the ability of the Commonwealth to defend itself, then our powers under defence would be sufficient to acquire that commodity. We may acquire commodities in such circumstances. But as to the regulation of prices, there is no such power. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- I have read the honorable member's speech, and I do not think the interpretation of power which some people have put on it is justified. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- I have said that, in my opinion, we. have no power to regulate prices.. I say that after a most careful consideration of the position, and I am perfectly certain that the honorable and learned member for Flinders will not contend we have. If honorable members will read Ins speech carefully, they will find that he does not say we have that power. Much confusion has arisen because a lawyer has endeavoured to set before laymen what the Legislature may do in certain circumstances in language shorn of legal technicality. His meaning is imperfectly assimilated, and an entirely wrong deduction -is made from his observations. I come now to the *Age* article, which says we have power to suspend the State Parliaments and to abolish the High Court. Will any honorable member say for a moment that wo have such a power ? And yet the writer of the *Age* article is absolutely logical. If we have this power; if there is in any circumstance the power vested in us to say, " We can do anything we like necessary to defend the country, then anything that we do as being necessary to defend the country is necessary to defend the -country, and we may suspend the State Parliaments and abolish the High Court." No one will say for one moment that we have that power, but it is the inevitable .deduction to be drawn from a general statement that our power, whether it be derived from the *suprema* *lex* or from our defence power, is unlimited. I am perfectly certain that the honorable and learned member for Flinders never intended such a deduction to be drawn. But the people have drawn that deduction, as they inevitably must, and there is grave danger when we leave the firm ground of legal and constitutional warrant for any action done by this Parliament, by the Judiciary, or by individual citizens, for then we move about in the quicksand -of shifting opinion. For, if unlimited power is vested in this Government, who is to determine the occasion for its exercise, or the extent to which its exercise shall go ? The honorable member seems to imply that there is a power which can be given and withdrawn, " Thus far, and no further." But who is to decide when the power is to be 'exercised, and how far it is to go? If there be a power, it can only be exercised when, in the opinion of the ten men who form the Government of this country, it is necessary to be exercised; and it may be exercised, not merely when war threatens, but when any emergency threatens. The honorable and learned member did not say, and he cannot say, that war is the only emergency which may justify -a recourse to the *suprema* *lex* on the part of the Executive Government. What, then, this power of *suprema* *lex* amounts to, if it amounts to .anything at all, is that any Government may exercise arbitrary powers when it pleases, and to the extent it pleases. And it means nothing else. But if there be such a power, then it is not only outside, our Constitution, and outside the High Court, but outside this Parliament. No doubt such power is vested in every Government that has armed forces at its disposal. Stripped of everything by .which it is hidden, there is nothing more in what the honorable gentleman said than this-: that to those who have force the occasion may arise when they will exercise it. History is marked by instances where Governments have used their military power, and not infrequently to serve their own purposes. In this Government, that has at its back the Army, no doubt there is power to shut up this House; to go into every State House and shut it up; to say to every Serjeant-at Arms, "Take away that bauble " ; to abolish the High Court; and to establish martial law throughout the country. Of course, we have that power ; but that power rests on force, and not on law at all. It is government by force, government by military despotism, and not government by law. Who will say that the emergency in which we now' find ourselves is such as to justify a resort to force ? No doubt a Government must, if the occasion warrants it, be prepared to do anything and everything. Will anybody say that such an occasion has now arisen, and if the occasion has not arisen - and no .one will say it has arisen - why all this talk about our power to do anything we like under our defence power ? Who will permit us to use such powers ? At the worst or at the best, the honorable and learned member's contention can only amount to this: that the High Court would allow us to do certain things. Are we to believe that the High Court contemplates abdicating its position - of retiring from its office? Do we see any sign of the States recognising their incapacity to deal with the situation? We see the very opposite. We see the High Court exceedingly active, exercising its functions with vigour, delimiting our powers jealously. The other day we saw evidences of the Court's activity, its power, and its determination to use it, in the decision in the Wheat Acquisition case given in the middle of the war. Nowhere do we see any indication that the Court is ready to abandon its power. Nor do we see any signs that the States are willing to surrender their powers to us, or find themselves incapable of dealing with matters that arise in their various spheres. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member's time has expired. *Leave to continue granted.* {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- We see the High Court actively carrying on all the functions assigned to it under the Constitution. It is evident, then, that our powers are those enumerated in the Constitution, and no others. If we are to understand by the application of this doctrine of *suprema* *lex* that we are to use our arbitrary powers, subject to the High Court that will not interpose its power to arrest our legislative action, what does that mean but this : that we shall legislate subject to the power of the High Court ? The contention of the honorable member for Flinders, viewed from this point, amounts to no more than this: What the Court says we may do, outside the Constitution, that we may do, and no more. But this would be to make the High Court the dictator of our policy. That would be a 'position as intolerable as government by force. Yet it is the one alternative to a military despotism, to which this Government - and I hope this Parliament and this country - will never submit. To elevate the High Court to the position of a supreme legislative chamber, what a proposal that is! That which the High Court says we may do we may do. By such a course we should abrogate the supreme functions of this Chamber as an expression of the national will of the people. But we could not do this, and we ought not even to consider it as possible. There is, therefore, nothing in all this talk of *suprema* *lex.* Our defence power is wide, but is emphatically not limitless. On the contrary, there are very real limits set to it. And I cannot but be amazed at the change of opinion that lias animated my honorable friends, who were for years the banner-bearers of law and order, that they should now tell us to disregard the Constitution and the safeguards of the law, that we may do anything we may conceive necessary to be done. They told the people over and over again that this Constitution was sacred, and that we must not under any circumstances lay our iconoclastic hand impiously upon it. Now we are not only to tear it down ; but to destroy the very temple in which it stands. Why this change? It is because the proposal to amend the Constitution does not find favour in certain quarters, and frantic efforts are being made to confuse the minds of the people and guide us into dangerous pitfalls. We do not propose to exercise the great powers that we are asking for without the consent of the people. We only propose to exercise them after the people have given their mature approval thereto. We are not going to sacrifice the policy which we have for years, in season and out of season, advocated, in order to be subjected to the direction of the High Court as to how far we shall go or how far we shall not go. We are not going to endeavour to carry out this policy at the point of the bayonet; but we propose to do what we have to do with the approval of the people in a constitutional and legal fashion. Just one other point. Our friends have argued that it is improper for us to ask the people to approve of these amendments at this time. Why is it improper? Is it contended thai to ask the people to vote on six abstract questions six months hence will impair our national efficiency? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I ask the AttorneyGeneral not to discuss that question. If I were to allow him to do so, we should have an endless discussion upon the war. I cannot allow that subject to be discussed, since it has nothing whatever to do with the constitutional question involved. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES: -- Very well, sir. One now has an idea what legislation under the wing of the High Court would be. Since I am unable to elaborate this part of my argument, I must draw my re-' marks to a conclusion. I have endeavoured to show what our powers under the Constitution really ar.e. Had the honorable and learned member for Flinders been here, I do not think lie would have materially dissented from my presentation of the case. The position of the Commonwealth, at all events, is, in my opinion, that which I have explained. Its powers are grossly inadequate for our present circumstances, and these circumstances, in the very nature of things, must continue for some time. I am not allowed to mention the war generally : I may be permitted to point out, however, that present conditions, although not normal, result, not from some passing emergency, but from causes likely to continue for a very protracted period. It is not power to deal with a mere passing emergency that is needed, but the permanent constitutional authority duly given us by the people that is wanted. We find ourselves to-day hampered in a thousand ways. The Commonwealth has not the powers it ought *to* have. No man who has given this question a moment's consideration will dare to say that it has. The honorable and learned member for Flinders, over and. over again, has declared himself a firm believer in the necessity for the amendment of the Constitution. He has declared that the trade and commerce power must be given to this Parliament without condition or reservation. He has declared over and over again that the power to make super-eminent industrial laws must be given to this Parliament. He has declared that trusts and combines cannot be dealt with by the States, but only through Federal legislation. He has stated only recently that he has not changed his opinions since he first gave utterance to them in 1911. Speaking only the other day, he re-affirmed the position that the amendment of the Constitution was urgent. The right honorable member for Parramatta, when his Government went to the country, declared in Ins policy speech that his party were in favour of constitutional amendment. I do not attempt for one moment to criticise the amendments he proposed, because the right honorable member did no more than indicate that his party favoured amendment. He did not reduce his proposals to form; but he stands committed, just as we do, to the amendment of the Constitution. The honorable and learned member for Angas has stated, in a memorandum prepared by him while in office, and read frequently in this House, that the amendment of the Constitution is necessary in order to enable us to deal with trusts and combines. The honorable and learned member for Darling Downs, in the memorandum prepared by **Mr. Garran** and indorsed by him as Attorney-General, and despatched by **Mr. Deakin** to the South African Government, declared that the trade and commerce power ought to be given without words of limitation. As for the industrial power, we know from the experience of years how hopeless is the position of the Conciliation and Arbitration Court. AE this time, when practically the whole world is plunged in war, it is surely not too much to say that we should use every means to maintain industrial peace; that we should strive with all our soul and strength to avoid industrial warfare; that we, as civilized men, should appeal to reason rather than to force. The position in which the Industrial Court finds itself to-day is most unhappy. It is hampered by technicalities. Orders of prohibition cut across clearly expressed awards of the Court, obtained after lengthy hearing and great expenditure of money. The Court cannot make a common rule. In this Industrial Court where the technicalities of law were to be tabooed, the Court flounders in a morass of technicalities. Every day dialecticians spend hours, days, and weeks in the High Court splitting hairs about the meaning of words. We have come to a time now in our national history when, having cast off the robes of youth, we have put on the toga of manhood, and we ought to be armed with adequate constitutional powers. I hope that the House and the people will approve of these proposals. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Joseph** Cook) adjourned. {: .page-start } page 4257 {:#debate-27} ### ORDER OF BUSINESS Motion (by **Mr. Fisher)** proposed - >That Orders of the Day, Government business, Nos. 2 to 6, be postponed until after eon si deration of Orders of the Day Nos. 7 and 8. {: #debate-27-s0 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- I understand that the Prime Minister wishes to postpone these Orders of the Day in order that he may introduce a Supply Bill which he proposes to carry through the House to-day. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- Yes. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- I presume that will end the day's work? {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- There is only the Lighthouses Bill - a small measure. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The honorable member might gather up half-a-dozen more of the kind. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- The honorable member's colleague, the ex-Minister of Trade and Customs,will tell him it is an urgent measure. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Be reasonable. The Lighthouses Bill is sure to provoke some little debate. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- No. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- At all events, there is no overpowering urgency in connexion with it. I understand that the Supply Bill will conclude the day's work. {: #debate-27-s1 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Prime Minister -and Treasurer · Wide Bay · ALP -- I wish, by leave, to make a statement as to the course we intend to pursue. Leave granted. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- The Leader of the Opposition asked me whether we would be prepared to consent to an adjournment, and I replied that we would do so as soon as we had been granted Supply in respect of . the first month of the new financial year. We have only Supply covering the period ending 30th instant. These are times of large expenditures, and we propose, therefore, to ask the House to pass to-day a Bill providing for three months' Supply on the basis . of this year's Estimates, and not introducing any new principle. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- Make it one month's Supply. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- We granted . two months' Supply on a previous occasion. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- I am prepared to ask for only two months' . Supply, although it is not usual in war time. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- Very well; take the Bill on the basis of two -months' Supply. I think the Government are doing what they like with 'us in these days. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- Not at all. I agreed with the Leader of the Opposition that we would take no other business to-day after the . Supply Bill had been passed; but I should like to suggest to him the advisableness of dealing this -evening with the Lighthouses Bill, which is to come into operation on 4th July. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- No. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- Very well, I shall not press for its consideration. Question resolved in the affirmative. {: .page-start } page 4258 {:#debate-28} ### SUPPLY {:#subdebate-28-0} #### War Expenditure - Recruiting - Dental Detectsof Recruits {:#subdebate-28-1} #### In Committee of Supply: {: #subdebate-28-1-s0 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Prime Minister and Treasurer · Wide Bay · ALP -- The Bill as, printed provides for three months' Supply, and I would appeal to the Leader of the Opposition not to press his objection, to the granting of more than two months' Supply. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- Very well. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- I thank the right honorable member. I move - >That a sum not exceeding £8,61 1,581be granted to His Majesty for or towards defraying the services of the vear ending 30th June, 1916. This will cover three months' services. The amount is exceedingly large, but this., as is known to every honorable member, is -due to the war expenditure. The Treasury assures me that we shall be unable topay any accounts falling due on 1st prox. unless this Bill be passed. That is the actual position. There is no new principle involved in the Bill, which will merely . carry out a policy that is already approved. {: #subdebate-28-1-s1 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- I shall offer no objection to this Bill; but I think it right to point out to the Committee the extraordinarily large expenditure for which it provides in respect of defence. For defence alone, there is an item of £6,383,000, which means, in round numbers, a total defence expenditure of £25,500,000 -for the year. This amount will, of course, include the £6,000,000 or £7,000,000 per annum required for ordinary administrative purposes ? {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- Yes. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- The balance represents war expenditure? {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- Yes. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Is that the . contemplated rate of expenditure during the next financial year? {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- . Judging by the present rate of our war expenditure, it seems likely to run into more than £20,000,000, Sometimes our war expenditure amounts to £1,500,000 per month. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- That is the rate of expenditure shown in this Bill. It is a large . sum toexpend on defence ; but in my judgment, is not half largeenough for Australia. When one recollects that the defence expenditure of the Old Country is towering up to £3,000,000per day, one realizes what a small contribution we are making. The proposed vote for defence purposes in this Bill represents £18,000,000 per annum, or about one-seventieth of the annual war expenditure of Great Britain to-day, although our population is. about one-ninth of that of the Old Country. Australia,, roughly speaking, has 5,000,000 of people, and Great Britain 45,000,000. Over there they are spending at the rate of £3,000,000 a day, while we are spending a little over £40,000 a day. That is as I see the question.. We are spending, roughly, about1-70th of the amount that is being expended in the Old Country; and I, for one, say, here and now, that I have never been satisfied with that proportion. Ever since the war broke out, I have never been satisfied that Australia is doing enough in this great world struggle. I do not underrate the difficulties of this war as they relate to Australia. I do not underrate the difficulties that have to be encountered in the initiation of a war machine. I know them. I have been up against them myself, and I know what they mean; but, taken by and large, I should like to see Australia doing very much more than she is doing at present to bring this war to a successful termination. Nothing has gratified me more than this appeal, which has come from the Imperial Government for men without munitions. I think the sooner that appeal is sounded like a tocsin through the length and breadth of Australia, the sooner shall we see a great fillip given to the recruiting movement here, and the sooner will our troops be wending their way over the seas to fight for the liberty and freedom of our fair land. {: #subdebate-28-1-s2 .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST:
Swan -- I should like to say a word with regard to the way in which the Estimates are presented to us. They are not in the shape that we expected to see them, and they are not in the shape in. which, I think, they were promised to us. The expenditure on account of current account, and the expenditure on account of war, is all lumped together, though I have no' doubt that in the Departments of the- Treasury and Defence, an account is kept of all- expenditure on account of war. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- It is being kept. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- I regret that the Estimates were not presented in this way. I know there is some difficulty in doing it, but the difficulty is no greater than is experienced in every State of the Commonwealth in regard to loan accounts and loan moneys. £300,000,000 of loan money has been expended in Australia on public works, and the accounts have always been submitted separately. We had the loan Estimates submitted to us in the same way as current Estimates on departmental accounts, and I had hoped that the same course would have been followed in regard to this disastrous war. I admit that there is some difficulty. As all our expenditure on account of war is derived from loan, I had hoped that course would have been followed when dealing with this great war expenditure. As it is, we are in the- dark, except in so far as we will be able to get returns, byandby, of the expenditure; and I think the right honorable gentleman promised to give us these returns. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- He did. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- The accounts are being kept. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- Even now, when we are asked for money in regard to expenditure from loan on account of war, it is mixed up with expenditure on current account. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- We are keeping them separately. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir JOHN FORREST: -- But my point is that we expected, and I understood, that these Estimates would be submitted in the same way as were the Estimates for the £300,000,000 of loan money in the States. {: #subdebate-28-1-s3 .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
Parramatta -- My right honorable friend does well to point out that we have no separation of the accounts as they are presented to Parliament. There is no doubt that we were- promised a separate Budget for the Expeditionary Forces and a separate Budget for the Defence expenditure. These things- may be kept separately in the accounts at the Treasury, but that does not help us here. For instance, who knows how much of this £100,000 for amimunition, this £17,000 for general contingencies, and how much of this £56,200 for the camps is part of the Expeditionary Forces: expenditure, which ought to appear as such in the statement? There is a separate item of £5,000,000 for the Expeditionary Forces alone, but we do not know whether that covers the Expeditionary Forces expenditure in its entirety or not. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- We do- not know what items it covers. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- No. I do think that the right honorable the Prime Minister ought to submit a separata Expeditionary Forces Budget, covering all the details of the Forces, and keeping it separate and distinct from the ordinary administrative expenditure of the Department. So far as I am concerned, my attitude is this : There never was a greater need for economy on the administrative side of the Department, and never a greater need for lavish expenditure on the Expeditionary and war side of the Department.' We can still have economy and efficiency, and by exercising economy with efficiency in the ordinary administrative expenditure we will make available more money for the purposes of war over the seas. The first thing to do, I submit, is to itemize this vote for the Expeditionary Forces. The statement could be submitted in a different schedule, if necessary, or as an explanatory paper. I do not care how it is done. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- I quite agree with you. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- Then, will the right honorable gentleman promise to bring down a paper? {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr Fisher: -- I will bring it down in the Budget at the first opportunity. We have been keeping the accounts separately, but the details could not be put into this Supply Bill. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK: -- No; but the right honorable gentleman could give us a paper showing what this £5,000,000 is for. {: #subdebate-28-1-s4 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Prime Minister and Treasurer · Wide Bay · ALP -- I am quite in agreement with the statements made by the Leader of the Opposition and the right honorable member for Swan. The Defence Department have been instructed to keep separate, distinct, and detailed accounts of the war expenditure, apart altogether from the ordinary Defence expenditure, which would be equivalent, to current expenditure in the absence of war. But I am not asking the Defence Department at this time - it would not have been fair, even if I had thought it wise - to make out a different schedule in the meantime for the actual expenditure up to date. This can be done at the end of the financial year, when the books are being closed, and as early in the new year as possible it will be my duty, as it will be my object and aim, if I cannot make a full financial statement, to make an interim statement showing the conditions of the Loan Vote and dealing with Defence expenditure. I shall place that before the House, because I am entirely in accord with the views of honorable members opposite in this' matter, and feel in regard to it just as strongly as they do. There is a danger of Defence matters becoming so interlocked and interlaced as to be- difficult of separation, but the accounts are being kept faithfully at the present time. I am also in agreement with the point raised by the right honorable gentleman regarding the amount of expenditure. If it becomes our duty - as it may - to expend a great deal more money in the defence of Australia and to help defend the Empire generally, it will be my particular business, as Treasurer to come down to Parliament and tell honorable members so, and also to make provision for the supply of money, which is a most important factor. I fully appreciate what the right honorable member for Parramatta has said about the war expenditure of Great Britain, and of the great resources of the Mother Country. I am sure that I am not trespassing on the patience of honorable members when I say that we all congratulate the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the proposal that he has made, and the prospect of getting such an enormous sum of money, running into over £500,000,000 or £600,000,000, with a prospect of going up to £900,000,000 or £1,000,000,000. As honorable members are aware, we were granted a loan of £18,000,000 by the British Government for war purposes, and we have under promise an additional £6,500,000 to cover our expenses up to the end of the financial year. As far as can be seen at present, no serious financial difficulty will arise during the present calendar year; but that is subject to contingencies, and to the determination of the people- to pledge their credit to a greater extent than at present. Unfortunately, in Australia, though we are comparatively strong financially, we have not been in a position to draw on our own credit to assist the Mother Country in the war. We can only help, so far as we can see at present, by means of food supplies, and, to a slight extent, by munitions. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- I do not quite follow the right honorable gentleman. Does he mean that in the past we have not been able to finance our own war expenditure ? {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- Unfortunately, Australia is a borrowing nation yet. We cannot- {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr Joseph Cook: -- Although we are a borrowing nation, we are supposed to have £1,250,000,000 worth of invested wealth. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- Yes ; but it is not available for this purpose. No young country has ever been able to do such a thing. {: .speaker-KFJ} ##### Sir John Forrest: -- We shall have to do as the Mother Country has doneborrow. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- Yes, we may be able to raise money in Australia for our own war purposes, and I am in favour of that course, for by so doing we shall relieve the British money market of any obligation up to the amount that we are prepared to expend. How far that may affect enterprises, which are just as necessary for the development of resources, to assist the Mother Country, I am unable to say; and no. man in this chamber is able to say. I join heart and soul with the right honorable gentleman opposite in saying that it is incumbent, in the first place, upon all those who are physically fit to be trained to go to the front, to do so, and upon all those who have means, and who can supply those means to the Government to enable them to equip and transport our soldiers to the front, and so assist the Mother Country, to help in that way. We have a common duty, as a Dominion of the Mother Country, to defend the Empire, and we have an additional duty at this time of crisis, in helping to the best of our ability, by our own collective and individual efforts, financially. {: #subdebate-28-1-s5 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas .- We all agree with the suggestion of the honorable member for Parramatta - which, apparently, expresses the desire and intention of the Government also - that we should contribute in men as far as possible, and in material also, in. as great a proportion as our present circumstances justify, towards the common defence of the Empire. I think we were on the road to that before the. war broke out, because, when Admiral Henderson 'b scheme would have come to fruition 'in 1930 or 1933, our contributions per head on the peace basis towards the cost of naval defence would almost have equalled the rate per head justified by the white population of the Empire, and would .have been much beyond the Canadian rate of contribution ; so that, as a matter of fact, we had expressed then, by that arrangement, ' the desire of Australia gradually to reach the point at which we would discharge the whole of the honorable obligations which rested upon us, and which were expressed by the establishment of the Navy, whose usefulness is manifested in its material as well as its moral aspect, by the immunity we enjoyed through the efficiency in home waters of the British Navy. We have embarrassed ourselves in our attempts to reach the limits of our desire by our easy-going methods of the past. I remember more than once calling attention to the possibility of a war putting a strain upon resources, that we were somewhat cavalierly disposing of in our Budgets, when the bounty of Providence had given us exceptionally good years. The United Kingdom is undoubtedly in a splendid position to meet its obligations, for many years and many reasons, of which not the least is this: that the foreign investments of the United Kingdom average from £2,500,000 to £3,000,000 per day. That stream from the United Kingdom to the various parts of the world, which before the war represented in interest to private persons on public and semi-public investments, apart from industries, a sum of no less than £200,000,000 per annum, has been intercepted by the war, and is now directed towards supplying the wants of the Imperial Government - the last expression of which we have had in **Mr. McKenna's** speech - in war contributions. That is an enormous sum, and shows the marvellous material resources of the' United Kingdom. We hope eventually to be able to reach the goal of our common desire; but it is through the somewhat lax methods of our financing of the last twelve or fifteen years that we, with enormously great resources, not yet developed to their full, have been unable, under the strain of the present occasion, to finance our obligations directly ourselves. I confess I felt almost a little shame, mixed with the jubilation that we allfelt, at the Imperial Government enabling ustoget money practically at 4 per cent.- Mr.Fisher. - Itwillbea little more. Mr.GLYNN.-Ialmost felt,as I said, a slight sense ofshamethatweshould havebeen obliged to askthe Imperial Governmenttohelpus,coupledwiththe factthatthe Stateswere particularly desirous ofgettingmoney through its agencyatthelowestrate of interestthey could. You can get money in Australia, if you ask for it, at ahighrateof interest. Withinthelast sixoreight years alargeproportionof theloanshas beenraised withinAustralia. Isawareturn iin thelastmonth of the proportions in recent yearsof the borrowingsin New South Wales obtained from within. Mr.Fisher. -Largelytheaccumulated savingsof the people in theSavingsBanks. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -Howeverthatmay be, itisgratifying to knowthatalargeproportionofthatcapital nowcomes,when askedf or,from within the limitsofAustralia. Ithink the attitudetakenbythe Government-that whenevertheoccasion does arise, weshall exertourselvesto the utmost limits ofourpowers tomaintain the traditions oftheEmpire-isvery commendable. Mr.Josephcook. - Ijustnowasked theTreasurer,by interjection, whetherit wasafactthatGreatBritainwasnow prepared totake men withoutequipment as wecan sendthem?Will theright honorable memberclearupthatpoint ? Mr.FISHER (WideBay- PrimeMinisterand Treasurer)[6.18] -OnFriday orSaturday,a cable cametous stating, forthefirsttimeafter manyinquiries, thefactreferredto bythe Leaderofthe Opposition.Uptothe present, Australia has been able toequipher contingents fairlywell.The War Officearenow prepared to acceptmen who aretrained. We shalldo our bestto clothe them.I think weshall be ableto clothethem, andwe maybe able to domore. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -Why notsound the drum and get themtoroll up allover Australia?Letus train them,notonly in thesecamps, but allovertheContinent, wherever we cangetthem. {: .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER: -- Thetocsin has been soundedineveryvale and dell,inevery cityandtown,that every manwho feels fitandfreewillbeaccepted andtrained forservice,and thatthosewho arefree andnotfitcanbe trained and becomefit, and willthenhavethe greatest honour thatcanbeconferred on a man, the honourof being allowed to fight forhis countrywhereverhisservices canbest be utilized. Mr.Joseph Cook. - I hope you are goingto relax some ofthemedicalrestrictions. You will not get a big army if youdo not. Mr.FISHER.- The right honorable member willrecognise that I am quite unable to give a definite answeronthat point. Mr.ParkerMoloney. -Surely false teetharenot goingto stop the acceptance of men? Mr.FISHER.-Iwould ask honorable membersto be patientabout this matter. Two fit men are better than fivemen of whomthreeare not fit, because oneof themhasto be toldoffto look after theothers. Let us be cautious about that matter. Itisthe qualityof themen that determines abattle,and no one knows itbetter thanthe honorable memberdoes. {: #subdebate-28-1-s6 .speaker-KFC} ##### Mr FLEMING:
ROBERTSON, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP; NAT from 1917; NAT and FARMERS from 1919; CP from 1921 .- Every manhereknowsthat anynumber of men whohav.enot a fullsupply of teeth are amongst thehardest andmost enduring in thecommunity. A wayout intheback country, andin otherplaces wherehardship hasto be endured,some of the best men, whoput upwith the hardest fare, go throughthe hardest times, and are bestat the end of along days, or week's,or month's work, havea limitedn umberofteeth.I know personally good, hardy men,capable ofbearing armsin anypartofthe world, menof thebestquality, whohave beenturned downsimply onaccount oftheirteeth. Some ofthemhave seenservice, andare stillcapable ofdoingtheverybest of service.Iimplore thePrime Minister tandthoseresponsibletoseethat better treatment is meted out to thesemen,who arevery often passed bythedoctors in the country, andrejected in the city. Mr.FISHER. - Ishall referthe matter to the proper quarter. {: #subdebate-28-1-s7 .speaker-L1P} ##### Mr WISE:
GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA · PROT; ALP from 1910; IND from 1914; NAT from 1917 .- In mydistrict, which isa countryelectorate, I have knownmen, who areasfit aspossiblephysically, to be rejectedbecauseofthewant of backteeth. Within the lastweek news camedown from prettynearmyowntownthata young man had been wounded, and! that his three brothers immediately volunteered. They were rejected by the local medical inspector, and, in spite of this,came to Melbourne. One got through, and the other two were rejected on account of their teeth. One of them said, " We have lived in the bush all our lives on hard tack, and are prepared toeat tins, if necessary, and yet they turned us down." Question resolved in the affirmative. Motion (by Mr.Fisher) agreedto - ThattherebegrantedtoHisMajestytothe serviceoftheyear1915-16,forthepurposesof additions,newworks,buildings,&c.,asumnot exceeding£1,142,915. Resolutions reported. StandingOrders suspended, and resolutions adopted. Resolutions of Ways and Means, covering resolutions of Supply, reported and adapted. {:#subdebate-28-2} #### Ordered - Thtat Mr.Fisher and Mr.Hughesdoprepare andbringinBillstocarryouttheforegoing resolutions. Bill presented by **Mr. Fisher,** and passed through all its stages without amendment. {:#subdebate-28-3} #### Supply (Works and Buildings),Bill (No.1)1915-16 Bill presented by **Mr. Fisher,** and passed through all its stages without amendment. {: .page-start } page 4263 {:#debate-29} ### ADJOURNMENT {: #debate-29-s0 .speaker-F4N} ##### Mr FISHER:
Prime Minister and Treasurer · Wide Bay · ALP -- I move - That the House do now adjourn. I wish to thank the right honorable member for Parramatta and honorable members opposite for their courtesy in connexion with the measures which have just been passed. I so describe their action because it has been most convenient to have these measures dealt with. {: .speaker-F4S} ##### Mr JOSEPH COOK:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Cook. - I can assure the Prime Minister that it was a self-denying ordinance on the part of. many honorable membersonthis side. Mr.FISHER.-IhopethatIam neverbackwardinrecognisingkindlyor patrioticacts.Iexpressmyappreciationofwhathasbeendone.Therewas another Bill which I considered of someimportance; but I gave my word in connexion with it to the right honorable member for Parramatta. Question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 6.30 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 23 June 1915, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.