7th Parliament · 2nd Session
Mr. Speaker (Hon. W. Elliot Johnson) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
Use of Rabbit Skins and Wool
– I desire to ask the
Minister for Trade and Customs a question relating to a deputation of hat manufacturers and others who waited upon him yesterday, and suggested that a proportion of the rabbit skins of Australia should be commandeered, and that there should be some restriction placed upon the export of such skins. Is the Minister aware that there is at the doors of our hat mills an ample supply of the best and cheapest hat-making wool in the world, and, in these circumstances, is he prepared to act upon the Scriptural injunction, to “ render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” and not to prevent the rabbit trapper - -
– And not to prevent the rabbit trapper from earning the just reward of his toil and privations?
– Order ! Under the guise of -asking a question, the honorable member has practically delivered a speech embodying assertions of fact, furnishing information which, apparently,’ he sought to elicit from the Minister. Such a form of question is not’ permissible.
Statement made by the ’’ Age “ - Royal Commission’s Report.
.- (By leave.) -I desire to make a statement relative to the Melbourne waterside workers’ dispute, which -has been in existence for nearly two years. In this morning’s issue of the Age, it is stated that, at a meeting of the Wharf Labourers Union yesterday -
It was reported that Senator Millen had said that he could not give the Disputes Committee any definite assurance that the Labour Bureau, would be abolished. A long discussion then took place, and after the representatives of the Disputes Committee had spoken, the following resolution -was carried:-
That statement is absolutely inaccurate. No such resolution was carried by the wharf labourers or waterside workers yesterday. I am officially informed by the secretary of the Melbourne Wharf Labourers Union that the only resolution carried at the meeting yesterday was -
That this meeting adjourn, and leave to the committee power to -call the next meeting of the union re the dispute.
That motion was unanimously agreed to. Senator. Millen was advised early this morning that the report published in the * Age* was incorreet, and that the men who are engaged in the industry are anxious that industrial harmony shall once more prevail. As a matter of fact, the union has this morning issued a writ against the proprietors of the Age, claiming £10,000 damages for the publication of this inaccurate statement.
A very serious situation might be created if newspapers could with impunity misrepresent unions in this way. Such misrepresentations tend only to lead to industrial chaos. The men are anxious to bring about an amicable settlement, and it is utterly wrong that any newspaper should try to promote a feeling of discontent.
The statement made in the Age was quoted in the Conciliation and Arbitration Court this morning by Mr. Adams, representative of the Steam-ship Owners Association. Mr. Justice Higgins asked when the Government proposed to give their decision, and in reply was informed by Mr. Adams that an effort would be made to obtain the information for him by to-morrow morning.
The position is that the wharf labourers have agreed to certain suggested terms, with a view to the settlement of the dispute. I am sure that honorable members irrespective of their party political opinions will agree, when they hear of these terms, that the wharf labourers are endeavouring at all events to do the fair thing. I have had handed to me the following statement, setting out accurately the decision of the Wharf Labourers Union : -
Messrs. Joyce, Gray, and Holloway, of the Trades Ball Council, and Messrs. Bates, Cadden, and Riley, of the Wharf Labourers Union, interviewed Mr. Shepherd, on the 6th inst., in connexion with the wharf labourers’ dispute, and submitted the following suggested terms of settlement: -
These terms have been agreed to by every member of the union at a meeting specially culled for the purpose. It is not in the interests of industrial harmony that a newspaper reporter should draw upon his imagination to make it appear that a totally different decision has been arrived at.
– I ask the AttorneyGeneral when we are likely to be supplied with the recommendations of Mr. Dethridge, who acted as a Royal Commissioner for the purpose of inquiring into the existing industrial dispute, on the part of the wharf labourers?
– I am not in a position to give the honorable member definite information in regard to the matter. A promise was made that the information would be supplied immediately inquiry had been made, and certain facts ascertained. I will undertake to find out how the matter stands, and will inform the honorable member of the position tomorrow.
– Immediately after the signing of the armistice, all contracts made with the Imperial Government for the supply of Australian canned meats terminated. Having regard to the further fact that the present contract for the supply of frozen meat will expire three months after the termination of the war, will the. Minister for Trade and Customs tell the House what steps are being taken to enter into fresh contracts for the supply of both canned and frozen meat to meet the requirements of’ Great Britain and other countries, and at the same time to overcome the abnormal conditions at present existing in Australia? ‘
– The Government long ago recognised the urgency of the matter raised by the honorable member.We have been in constant communication with the Imperial Government, “with the object, of securing a renewal of the contracts for the supply of canned meat. We have endeavoured, also, to obtain a share of the contracts for the supply of canned meat to other parts of Europe. The frozen meat contract has engaged the attention of the Government for some time. I hope to be able to make a further announcement in regard to the matter after we have had a chance of- consulting the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), with whom we have been, in communication.
– I desire to ask the Acting Leader of the House (Mr. Groom) whether the Government intend following the excellent example of the British Prime Minister, by calling upon all spending Departments to effectively cut down their Estimates so as to provide that only works of urgent necessity shall be undertaken,and to permit of the existing staffs being reduced proportionately ?
– The matter referred to by the honorable member has already received the attention of the Treasurer, and in the preparation of the Estimates action has been taken to keen the expenditure down to the lowest possible point.
Sale of Wooden Ships
– I ask the Acting Minister for the Navy whether he is in a position to make a statement in regard to the wooden ship-building contracts which have been entered into by the Commonwealth in the United States of America? Do the Government intend that the vessels in course of construction there shall be completed, or are they prepared to sell them? Further, have some of them actually been sold, and if so, what has been the amount of loss sustained?
– The contracts are to be completed. They were too advanced to permit of cancellation. Some of these vessels have been sold, and negotiations are in progress for the sale of the others. The Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) and Mr. Larkin have had consultations in regard to this matter, and I think that six of the ships have been sold. I hope at an early date to be able to tell the House exactly the position. Necessarily there will be a considerable loss by the Commonwealth, for the honorable member must have read a cable which was published in the newspapers last week, and which set out that the American Government had sold sixty of their wooden ships for £21 or £22 per ton.
– Is it a fact that these wooden ships would not float?
– It is not. Some of them have been round the world. It is well known that the construction of these ships was undertaken as a war measure, and our object now is to get rid of them as soon as possible.
– I ask the PostmasterGeneral whether he is aware of the curtailment of hours which has taken place at all country post-offices in the Hume electorate, and if so, does he think that such curtailment of postal facilities in our rural areas is likely to prove of assistance to settlement and production?
– In answer to the honorable member it is not correct to say that all the post-offices in the Hume electorate have suffered a restriction in their services.
– In every electorate.
– No! Honorable members are constantly declaring that certain postmasters in allowance offices are underpaid and sweated. In order to avoid that charge, and to give the public in the districts concerned a reasonable service, it has been decided to curtail the hours of duty.
-I ask the Acting Leader of the House whether arrangements cannot be made to supply honorable members with copies of the Peace Treaty, so that they may be afforded an opportunity of perusing it before being called on to discuss it? I notice that in the London Times the full text of the Treaty is published, so that copies of it are evidently available.
-I have already taken action on the lines indicated by the honorable member. Copies of the Treaty have been received, and arrangements are being made which will permit of honorable members being supplied with them as soon as possible.
– I ask the Acting Leader of the House whether, in view of the notorious fact that thousands of citizens in affluent circumstances have deliberately refrained hitherto from subscribing to war loans, while others have contributed more than their quota, the Government will adopt the only equitable course qpen to them of immediately introducing legislation to compel the former class to do their duty to the country and the men who have been fighting for it ?
– The Acting Treasurer has been dealing with that aspect of the matter, and I will ask him to reply.
– In launching the present loan, I announced that it would be issued voluntarily, but that if a sufficient amount were not subscribed, the compulsory provisions of the Bill which appears upon the business-paper, and which will require some amendments, would be brought into operation.
– In the meantime you will bluff a lot of old ladies and others into subscribing to the loan.
– Order! The honorable member for Hume is out of order.
– I suppose that such people are quite capable of minding their own business.
– I ask the Assistant Minister for Defence whether it is a fact that certain employers in this country have requested permission from the Defence Department to employ German labour; and, if so, is he prepared to furnish the House with the names of those employers ?
– I have not heard of any such cases.
Medals and Badges
– I ask the Assistant Minister for Defence -
– The honorable member was good enough to inform me of his intention to ask these questions, and I have obtained the following replies to them : -
The 1914-15 Star.
The British General Service Medal.
The Allied War Medal.
Personnel who have served abroad are, on discharge, issued with the Eeturned Soldiers’ Badge. Such personnel as are discharged permanently medically unfit for service are also entitled to the Silver War Badge issued by the Imperial Government. 3.Those whose service abroad satisfies the prescribed conditions are authorized to wear the ribands of the 1014-15 Star and the British Service Medal. The riband of the Allied War Medal is not yet authorized, as the conditions of service necessary for its award have not yet been finally determined.
– Has the attention of the, Acting Leader of the House been directed to the published request by the President of the Commonwealth Arbitration Court Mr. Justice Higgins, who also said that he was giving effect to the wishes of his brother Judges in making it, for an authoritative inquiry into the cost of living to enable the Court to determine the basic wage? Will the honorable gentleman give effect to the wishes of the Judges in that regard?
– The request will be considered by the Government. Nothing has yet beeu decided in respect of it.
– Can the Acting Leader of the House state if it has been decided to construct any more weirs along the Murray River in addition to the one already in progress ? The continued dry weather, and the fact that the level of the water in the river is below the average, is causing a good deal of anxiety to settlers along its course, and will affect both civilian and soldier settlement.
– The honorable member asks me generally about the weirs. May I make a statement which will perhaps cover the present position ? The works authorized at the present time are the construction of the Mitta Mitta storage scheme at the head of the river; the Lake Victoria scheme for South Australia, at the lower portion; and also the Torrumbarry weir, which is well on its way. In addition, lock No. 1, at Blanchetown, is well advanced. The lock walls are up, and the work is in a fairly advanced stage. Authority has also been given to construct lock and weir No. 2 and lock and weir No. 3, in South Australia; and also lock and weir No. 9, which is immediately below Wentworth. near Frenchman’s Creek. This will be the means of supplying the Lake Victoria scheme. Those are the works that have been authorized to date; but, in addition, surveyors are now engaged in doing the survey work immediately above lock No. 9, that is, below Wentworth, with a view to determining the lower part of the weir, in the neighbourhood of Curlwaa, Merbein, and Mildura. They are pressing forward as fast as they can with those surveys. The constructing authorities of Victoria and New South Wales have sent in a request to us to put money on the Estimates for this year for the commencement of the locking in the neighbourhood of what mightbe called the middle portion of the Murray River, that is, in the neighbourhood of Mildura. The site cannot be definitely fixed until the surveys in that particular area are completed, but these are being expedited.
– In view of theAustralian Naval College being suggested for training mercantile officers by Captain Duncan Grant, R.N., will th& Acting Minister for the Navy be willing to receive suggestions from representatives of the mercantile service who already have the data for a plan to train men and officers for the mercantile marine?
– I shall be only teo pleased to receive any information or assistance from the mercantile officers. The matter has been under my notice for a considerable time, and I instructed Mr. Eva to interview a number of the shipowners to see if they would co-operate with us in arriving at some method of training, not only officers, but men, for the mercantile marine, but I am sorry to say that our request met with no response. The suggestion of the late instructor was to train only officers; but I think much more is required, because there should be some place where we could train, not only officers, but men, for this purpose.
Payments for 1916-17 Crop
– In view of the Government having sold 1,000,000 tons of wheat seme weeks ago to the British Government, can the Acting Treasurer state if it would be possible for the Government to pay at once a further instalment to the farmers whose wheat, is in the Pool for 1916-17, making the payment at least 9d., so as to bring the total payment for that year up to 4s., which amount has been paid to the holders of wheat in subsequent Pools?
– The matter is receiving the consideration of the Government, but I am not in a position to make a statement to-day, for several reasons which I can tell the honorable member privately.
– Is the Assistant Minister for Defence aware that the Randwick Military Hospital is now overcrowded; that requests are made to invalid soldiers to go home if possible, and that many of the men are doing so ? Wil the Minister make provision that the men who comply with the request be given a ration allowance, because by going home these men are, owing to the high cost of living, making a sacrifice?
– I am not aware of the facts as stated by the honorable member, but will make inquiries and see that what is fair is done for the men.
Wireless Squadron in Mesopotamia.
– Can the Assistant Minister for Defence say whether arrangements have been made to repatriate the wireless squadron to the north of Bagdad ? If so. will he say when they will be repatriated, and whether the fact that steps are being taken to do so has been communicated to the men ?
– Representations bave been made on the subject. I shall obtain the full information for the honorable member, and supply the details tomorrow.
– Has the Acting Min ister for the Navy noticed the report of the eulogistic remarks of Captain Hare, of the cruiser Brisbane, with regard to the splendid finishing of that ship? Are the officers of the Minister’s Department in accord with the testimony of the captain, who has been in charge of the Brisbane for the past few years?
-I have not seen the reference, . but I will have a look at it and ascertain whether the opinions expressed -coincide with those of the De- ‘ partment.
– Has the Minister for Trade and Customs received a circular letter from the representatives of the Cooper Sheep Dip people, which amounts to a contradiction of certain official statements? If so, is the Minister prepared to make any official statement regarding it? ?
– I am not sure to what letter the honorable member refers. I have had quite a number of letters on that subject, but if he will hand me a copy I shall endeavour to give him the information to-morrow.
– While in the country last week, I heard that after the enormous expenditure that has been incurred at Point Cook, it is intended to move the aviation school now situated there to some part of Gippsland or other portion of Victoria ? Will the Assistant Minister for Defence say whether there is any truth in the report?
– I have heard nothing about the school being removed to Gippsland. Having regard to the nature of the country, I should not think it at all likely.
Scarcity of Shipping Space
– Is the Minister for Trade and Customs aware that many country freezing works in New South Wales which handle rabbits are contemplating closing down because of the alleged shortage of suitable shipping or refrigerating space? Can the Minister do anything to avert the lossof employment and profit which will . result ?
– The Government have made most urgent representations to the Imperial authorities for a further allotment of shipping space, and the latest cables received in reply state that the greatest amount of tonnage possible in the circumstances has been allocated to the Australian trade, but that it is expected another boat or two may be released from the Argentine trade in order to meet the peculiar difficulties of our trade.
– As certain newspapers in Great Britain have been advising Britishers not to emigrate to Australia, I ask the Acting Leader of the House whether there is any truth in the further statement which has appeared, namely, that 1,000,000 persons have registered their names with Mr. Fisher, the High Commissioner, as would-be emigrants to Australia?
– I have no knowledge of the matter whatever.
– Has any reply been received from the British Admiralty with reference to the sentences passed on the four men who were concerned in the disturbance on H.M.A.S. Australia?
– Since I mentioned in the House a little while ago that the British Admiralty had cabled, that they were awaiting the arrival of the necessary papers, no further communication has been received from Great Britain. Everything possible has been done to expedite the matter.
– On the 21st July I asked the Acting Leader of the House whether it would he possible to bring ‘the local price ‘ of wheat np to the London parity. Owing to the recent sale of 1,500,000 tons of wheat in London, the local price, on the basis of the London parity, has been raised from 5s. to 5s. 6d. per bushel. The Government should, at least, undertake to bring up the price received by the local growers to 5s. 6d. per bushel in respect of the quantity recently sold.
– Why should it not apply to all wheat?
– That is just what I was about to say. There is a bigger question remaining to be settled.
– Order ! The honorable member must not make a statement under cover of asking a question, but must ask his question. I have frequently pointed out the rules- governing the asking of questions
– I ask the Acting Leader of the House whether the matter has been considered, and what decision has been come to?
– The honorable member was good enough to notify me that he intended to ask this question. I have made inquiries, but I am not yet in a position to make an announcement on the subject.
– I desire to address a question to the Acting Leader of the House, having reference to the triumphal progress across Australia of the Right Honorable W. M. Hughes, P.O.,’ K.C. I desire to ask him if his attention has been directed to a report, most damaging to the Government, and indeed, to this country - which, I may hasten to say, I have no doubt is quite incorrect - namely, that the right honorable gentleman has signified his intention of adopting and supporting a policy of “ direct action “ on the part of soldiers in anything; they may do, excepting only murder and bigamy? Having regard to the fact that this statement, on the face of it, is incredible, I ask the Acting Leader of the House whether he will be good enough to obtain an official statement of what the Prims Minister actually said; and, if there is any truth in the report, whether he will ascertain why this invidious distinction has been made in regard to bigamy?
– It would be a source of gratification to the Prime Minister to know that every action he is taking is so sympathetically and so ‘ considerately watched by the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) ; and, in order that the honorable member may have first-‘hand knowledge of what the Prime Minister said, I ask him to place his question on the notice-paper on the first day on which the right honorable gentleman attends the House. I am sure he will get an answer most satisfying and convincing. However, I can only conclude that the honorable member is actuated . by jealousy. He has probably read in this morning’s press the report of the demonstration which was accorded to the Prime Minister on his arrival at Kalgoorlie.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Repatriation, upon notice -
– The Commissioner has supplied the following: -
asked the Assistant Minister for Defence, upon notice -
– The answers to the hon-. orable member’s questions are as follow : -
Claims of Defendants
asked the Assistant Minister for Defence, upon notice -
Whether, in view of the Government of the United States of America limiting the charge to 12s.6d. (3 dollars) to any attorney or claim agent for the preparation and execution of the necessary papers for claims of dependants of soldiers, the Minister will take steps to protect our soldiers’ dependants from the same class of agents and attorneys by limiting their charge to the same sum of 12s.6d.?
– The Acting Minister for Defence (Senator Russell) sees.no necessity to take any such steps, as there is no necessity for the employment of a legal adviser or professional claims agent to assist dependants of soldiers in making legitimate claims upon the Defence Department.
asked the Acting Minister for the Navy, upon notice -
Whether he will place on the table of the Library the history file of Paul Morris in connexion with his service in theRoyal Australian Naval radio service?
– The file contains reports of a confidential nature, and it is regretted that it cannot be placed on the table of the Library. I shall be glad to advise the honorable member on any points on which he desires information in connexion with the case.
asked the Assistant
Minister for Defence, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow: -
asked the Acting Prime Minister, upon notice -
– It is not considered advisable to make public, at this stage,any of the secret correspondence which has, during the war or subsequently, passed between the Governments of Great Britain and Australia.
Medical Benefits and Pay
asked the Acting Minister for the Navy, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions arc as follow : -
Medical attention is granted to members of the Naval Brigade Staff, i.e., Permanent Instructional Stan, by medical officers, who receive an annual allowance from the Department for such duty, and the regulations allow wives and children medical attendance, “ provided no extra expense to the Department is incurred.”
The Department has altered the system ‘ of payment to medical officers by abolishing the annual allowance, and making .payment of a fixed fee for each service rendered.
The limited benefits previously obtained by wives and families without expense to the Department will now be discontinued, owing to the new arrangement made with the medical officers.
The regulations as regards provision of medical attendance have not been amended, but an alteration in the method of payment for medical attendance has been made.
No uniform allowance is granted, but such men arc, on appointment, in .possession of a full kit, provided at Government expense.
asked the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -
With reference to a question put by the honorable member for Riverina on the 15th August last, regarding the use of horse flesh as food, and tlie removal of the embargo against the exportation of horses, will the Minister say whether the information has been obtained as promised?
– Tes. The questionsasked were as follow: -
The answers to the questions are -
asked the Acting Prime Minister, upon notice -
Whether, in view of the small wheat crop this year, and the alleged shortage in the 1915-16 Pool, he will immediately cause a stocktaking to >be made of all wheat in Australia, in order that at least two years’ supply should be retained in Australia?
-hAs each of the three States which have cleaned up their 1915-16 Pools shows an increase over the quantity received into the Pools, the reference to an alleged shortage in connexion with the i915-l’6 season is not understood. In view of the comparatively unfavorable prospects for the coming season, the conservation of stocks has received the attention of the Australian Wheat Board; but the retention of two years’ supply is considered to be out of the question, as wheat-growing could not be profitably continued under such conditions.
I am now able to furnish the honorable member with the following information: - l..The amount spent on land is £10,221 18s. 8d.; buildings, £41,524 9d. 7d.; other services (water, lighting, jetties, &c.), £27,199 18s. 2d.
– On the 2 1st August the honorable member for Melbourne (Dr. Maloney) asked the Acting Prime Minister -
I am now in a position to furnish the following information: -
The following papers were presented : -
Audit Act - Transfers of Amounts approved by the Governor-General in Council - Financial year 1918-19, dated 19th August, 1919.
National Expenditure - Select Committee - First Eeport. (Paper presented to tho British Honse of Commons).
Public Service Act - Promotions of - L. M. Craigie, Department of the Treasury.
Daniels, Department of the Treasury.
In Committee (Consideration resumed from 22nd August, vide page 11907) :
Clause as sertion 3 of the principal Act is amended -
by omitting paragraph (e) and inserting in its stead the following paragraph: - “ (c) any idiot, imbecile, feebleminded “person, - epileptic, personsuffering from dementia, insane person, person who has been insane within five years previously, or person who has had two or more attacks of insonityy ; “ and (b.) by inserting after paragraph [ge) the following paragraphs: -
- (gd) any anarchist or person who advocates the overthrow toy force or violence of the established government of the Commonwealth or of
asked the Acting Prime Minister, upon notice - 1.Is it a fact that Karl Burggraff, to whom an Australian girl is engaged, is about to be deported ?
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow: -
– On the 15th instant the honorable member for Ballarat (Mr. McGrath) asked the Acting Prime Minister the following questions : -
Mr. Watt promised to obtain the desired information. I am now able to give, the following reply: -
– On the 13th of August, the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell) asked -
Has a publicity officer in connexion with the projected war loan been appointed? If so, were applications for the appointment called for from returned soldiers?
I am now able to give the following reply:
A publicity officer has been appointed for the Victorian Central Peace Loan Committee. Applications were not invited publicly, because the special qualifications required are possessed by few persons, and private inquiries were deemed sufficient.
– On the 22nd August the honorable member for Dampier (Mr. Gregory) asked the following questions : -
What has been the cost of establishing Point Cook Aviation School for -
Is it intended ot proposed departmental]; to erect a new establishment at or near Geelong or elsewhere? any State or o”f any other civilized country, or of all forms of law, or who is opposed to organized government, or who advocates the assassination of public officials or who advocates or teaches the unlawful destruction of property, or who is a member of or affiliated with any organization . which entertains and teaches any of the doctrines and practices specified in this paragraph; (ge) for the period of five years after the commencement of. this paragraph, and thereafter until the GovernorGeneral by proclamation otherwise determines, any person who in the opinion of as officer is of German, Austro-German, Bulgarian or Hungarian parentage and nationality, or is a Turk of Ottoman race; (gf) any person who in the opinion of an officer is not under the age of sixteen years, and who, an demand by an officer, fails to prove that he is the holder of a passport -
Section proposed to be amended -
The immigration into the Commonwealth of the persons described in any of the following paragraphs of this section (hereinafter called prohibited immigrants”) is- prohibited. namely . -
. -I remarked on Friday last that the most debatable principle in the Bill, and the one to which I would offer most strenuous opposition, is contained in clause 3, My objection Ho that clause is that it panders to the party-predominant spirit, and enables a Government to use its political powers for the purpose of admitting or rejecting immigrants, according as their (political views may be pleasing or offensive to the party in power for the time being, shall read that clause in so far as it extends the operation of the policy of exclusion, and is therefore to my mind objectionable. It proposes to amend section 3 of the principal Act by inserting after paragraph gc the following paragraphs - (gd) any anarchist or. person who advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the established government of the Commonwealth or of any State or of any other civilized country, or of all forms of law, or who is opposed to organized government, or who advocates the assassination of public officials or who advocates or teaches the unlawful destruction of property, or who is a member of or affiliated with any organization which entertains and teaches any of the doctrines and practices specified in this paragraph; (ge) for the period of five years after the commencement of this paragraph, and thereafter until the Governor-General by proclamation otherwise determines, any person who in the opinion of an officer is of German, Austro-German, Bulgarian or Hungarian parentage and nationality, or is a Turk of Ottoman race; …. (gg) any person who has been deported in pursuance of any( Act;
These provisions will enable any Government to invest itself with a. discretionary power to deport persons on merely political grounds. I remark first of all the attention which is devoted to anarchists. One might have supposed that the Government would not forbear at least a passing reference to the cloven hoof of the Socialist,, whose class has served this Government, and many of its predecessors on several hard-fought political battlefields, as comprising those who are destined to bring Australia to ruin. I notice, too, that there is not more than an oblique reference to the hydra-headed representative of “ direct action,” and only an indirect reference, if, indeed, that, to the Industrial Workers of the World organization, which has also served the political purposes of this Government, and many of its predecessors. I am not unmindful of the fact that the Government, although it does not specifically mention these ab- horrent influences, takes to itself abundant powers in the exercise of its discretion to exclude from this country any person whose political views are displeasing to it.
– There is not the slightest intention of doing that.
– I am confident that the amiable Minister who introduced this Bill has no such intention. Many things, which this Bill expressed are not within the compass of the honorable member’s intention.; but, unfortunately, he, good man though he is, is but a creature of circumstances and of his surroundings.
– Is it not a case of Esau and. Jacob over again? >
– Probably. The fact remains that it is clearlv within the discretion of the Minister to say who. does or does not come within these extensive definition clauses.
Our friend the anarchist has received a little passing attention in the Bill. I do not know why. For the last sixty years, I should, say we have not been without an anarchist in Australia. I think we have always had a few, and, although it may seem something of a paradox, I venture to say that the anarchist has been one of the most law-abiding- citizens we have had. The Minister (Mr. Glynn) , who has introduced this Bill is, I am. sure, sufficiently widely read on the subject to recall that probably the most influential anarchist that ever lived was the philosophic Proudhon, who based his philosophic and amiable anarchy upon the teachings of that right-thinking and well-known English writer on political ethics, Adam Smith, as well as.upon those of Hegel.
I may say at once that I am not an anarchist, and do not believe that there is any anarchical movement in this country worth this special mention in the Bill ; but since I am challenged to say anything in defence of anarchy, I venture to tell the Minister who has set out in the Bill that an anarchist is not fit to associate with a respectable Government, that, on the whole, in the history of civilized countries, the record of anarchyhas been -cleaner than the record of law.
– The reference to “ anarchist “ in the clause is qualified by the words “force or violence.”
– My construction of the clause is - and I may be wrong - that it deals with an anarchist, or any person who advocates the overthrow by forceor violence of any “ established government.”
– The paragraph reads as if an “ anarchist “ were not a “ person.” .
– It appears to clearly differentiate an anarchist from any of the other persons described in the proposed new paragraph.
– Why not strike out the word “ anarchist “ and insert the word “politician.” That would be just as sensible.
– That might be done. I repeat that the records of anarchy in all civilized countries is cleaner than the record of law. It is true that in the name of anarchy - more often in the name of STihilism and other “isms” associated in one way or another with anarchy - crimes of violence have taken place. Here and there crowned heads, and heads that hoped to be crowned’, have been suddenly and unceremoniously struck off. Every one knows that, on general principles I am opposed to violence on moral grounds as well as on the ground of expediency. But it has to be said in favour of those who have been guilty of these crimes of violence, that” if ever there was a justification for the exercise of violence it can be proved that in respect of the great majority of such crimes attributed to anarchists in connexion with ruling personages, the vices and the mischiefs which they sought to correct were of such a far-reaching character that, although there might have been a breach of law and order, there was at least a deliberate and sincere attempt to remove crushing abuses from people who had laboured under them only too long. I leave the condemned anarchist with the remark that I feel sure that the Minister in introducing him here was guilty of the mild offence of persiflage, aud if I may employ an overworked phrase of doubtful origin - also of camouflage.
I come now to another matter. The “ person “ to . be excluded in this case is one who advocates the overthrow of established government by force. Very curious consequences flow from this provision. The first and the most startling is that under it we must necessarily brand as an undesirable immigrant any person who came here five years ago advocating the overthrow ‘by force of that ‘highlyorganized Prussian despotism at the head of which was the Kaiser. Surely the Minister will not deny that that was an organized government, and even a civilized government. Surely after four- years of war he will not deny that some measures were justified for the purpose of overthrowing by force the Prussian system of government. If he does, then I remind him that the world has spent £10,000,000,000 in a successful attempt to overthrow that highlyorganized form of government, which has been carried on in Prussia for so many years. Strange paradox as it may seem, even our returned soldiers might fairly be described as being undesirable immigrants within the meaning of this provision, being persons who had not only been favorable to the overthrow by force of an organized system of government, but who had taken a very active and . successful part in the overthrow of the organized government of the Kaiser.
Take the case of Russia. There we had a- country groaning under a military autocracy probably worse than that of Prussia which we have overthrown. Philosophic Radicals have been hunted out of that country for the last century or more for venturing, so it was said, to propound a policy for the overthrow by force of the established Government of Russia. Many of them, by the way, found am asylum in Britain. In due time the people of Russia uprose and overthrew that system of government by force. It is to our discredit - and this is a circumstance which we may pray speedily to forget - that we were associated in the early stages of the war with, the real head of the Russian military autocracy as our Ally. As the war progressed, however, other considerations led to the overthrow of that potentate and of the system of which for so many years he was the dishonoured head. Who will say that we are to close our doors to a man who comes here with no worse record than that he was favorable to the overthrow by arms or any other kind of force of one of the .most cruel military autocracies that has ever fastened itself upon an enslaved people?
I make one passing reference to Ireland, the country from which my own ances- tors came, and to which reference was made last week by the honorable member for Barrier (Mr. Considine). I have said that I do not believe in a policy of bloodshed, however good the cause might be. But when we look at the history of Ireland, and recognise that for over 100 years she has laboured under a rule necessarily alien to her, that she has been afflicted by the fact that succeeding Governments have extended to her the promise of self-government within the Empire, and have wilfully, or in a spirit of cowardice, departed from that promise, I am inclined to think that if ever there was justification for the exercise of force in any country then Ireland, so long -as she is denied the right of self-government within the Empire, is justified in driving out any invading army, including the armies of Britain, by force of arms. Consequently, it follows that persons who come here as adherents to that principle should not be excluded from citizenship within the Commonwealth. It is very curious that the Government should set their faces so strongly against those who advocate a policy of force. Everybody knows that of all Australian Governments, the Commonwealth Government, through its head arid its members, are the great protagonists of force. Only a little while ago they laid themselves out to forcibly deport a large portion of our Australian population for military service on foreign soil. That was their theory of government. They attempted to seize large bodies of Australian manhood, and to send them abroad to fight. Yet Ministers now (profess to be so afraid of a policy of force that they would exclude from Australia any person who is favorable to the overthrow of organized government by means of force.
I come now to that part of the clause under which it is proposed to exclude our late enemies - (Germans, Austrians, Bulgarians, and Turks. In this particular provision the Ministry seek to give expression to that surplus of bitterness and vindictiveness to which we were unable to give expression during four horrible years of bloody conflict. In it they show their disbelief in, and contempt -f or, the League of Nations. So far as we can do so, this provision is intended to make the world unsafe for Democracy, and not boo pleasant a place for anybody else. By this clause we “ do our hit “ to promote war and the bitterness of war after
Peace. It was in connexion with this provision that the Minister for Home and Territories called upon the philosophy of the German poet, Schiller. I thank him for the inspiration which he has given me, because when I read this provision and think of Schiller, I naturally think that this philosopher accurately described the attitude of the present Government towards our late enemies when he spoke of the condemned soul in Tartarus, who “ yelled his wild curse from jaws that never close.” In this clause the Government, after the Avar is over, yell their wild curse of hate from jaws which never close. This may possibly have been in the mind of Schiller when, in speaking of another kind of bigot, he said -
The same in darkness or in light his fate Time brings no mercy to the bigot’s bate.
I do not like to suggest what may happen to anybody in a future state, and in the true spirit of Christian charity I hope that the members of the Government will not get their deserts there. But if there be a particularly dark, dank and noisome, and offensive corner in Erebus, I suppose it will be reserved for the international and sectarian bigots. Presumably, in the leisure of eternity they will yell at each other their wild curses of hate from jaws that never close. The international bigot cannot lay aside his hate and prejudice after the war any more than can the sectarian bigot. For these reasons I shall vote against this provision. I should be untrue to the pledges which I gave to the electors of my constituency, and quite untrue to my own conscience, if I were to approve of it in any way.
I come now to the last portion of the clause, which refers to “ any person who has been deported in pursuance of any Act.” I ask the Minister whether the term “ deported “ covers repatriation, because I remember that not very long ago the Government gave their patronage and support to one df the most officious and pernicious officials who ever imposed his unpleasant influence upon this country - I allude to the socalled Consul-General for Italy. From Ids safe retreat he used his influence to interfere with the .peace, comfort, and happiness of mam.y men who had a better right to remain in this country than he had, and by means of his secret service he pursued law-abiding people who had strong claims on our protection throughout the length and breadth of Australia. The Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) arid his colleagues lent him their aid, and endeavoured to cloak his discreditable conduct in seeking to deport Italians to take part in a war with which they had nothing to do. Many of these Italians were deported, and many of them may wish to return to their homes here. I hope that they will do so. But is it intended in this clause that we shall follow up the rank injustice which we did these people by assisting the Italian Consul-General in his ignoble task? Do the Government propose to say that, because these persons were deported for military service, they must now be regarded as prohibited immigrants, who cannot be allowed to land here save under very exceptional circumstances? Or is it intended that we shall do the best we can to undo the wrong to which we subjected them by declaring that our ports are now open to them? The Italian ‘Consul-General” is, at present, a fugitive from justice, who is seeking to escape the consequences of an action brought against him by a better man than himself. “Will the Government permit the Italians who were deported at the instance of this officer to be brought back to the Australian home3 from which they were driven? I shall vote against the clause.
– In his second-reading speech upon this Bill, the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Fowler) said, there were two brands of anarchists in the world. I find, upon consulting Webster, that the interpretation placed upon a certain class of anarchist is practically that which was alleged by the honorable member. Webster says that the anarchist “ stands for society made orderly by good manners rather than by law.” Those who share his views believe that “he produces according to his power, and should receive according to his needs.” In other words, the honorable member for Perth said there are anarchists who believe that some daly, through the advocacy of their principles, the world will become so good that no law will be required to keep people in order. That means that the millennium will be established upon earth. I d’o not know what interpretation a Court would he likely to put upon the term “ anarchist.” No doubt, the Minister in charge of the Bill (Mr. Glynn) will enlighten us in regard- to that aspect of the matter before the clause which is now under discussion is passed-. I cannot conceive of this particular provision being the outcome of deliberation on the part of the honorable gentleman. It seems to me to be altogether foreign to him. In perusing it, I could not help being reminded of the old biblical saying, “ The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hand is the hand of Esau.” I am of opinion that the essence of this Bill was communicated from 12,000 miles across the ocean, and that, unfortunately, it has fallen to the lot of the most amiable member of the Cabinet to introduce it. The honorable gentleman advanced arguments to show that the provisions of the measure are less strict than are some of the regulations which have been framed in other countries. I intend to deal with that aspect of the matter first. But I would very much have liked to hear the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) express his views upon paragraph gf of this clause, which reads -
Any person who in the opinion of an officer is not under the age of sixteen years, and who, on demand ‘by an officer, fails to prove that he is a holder of a passport -
which was issued to him by and on behalf of the Imperial Government or any Government recognised by the Imperial Government;
which contains a personal description sufficient to identify him and to which is attached a photograph of him ; and
which is still in force.
Am I to understand from that paragraph that any German, Austrian, Bulgarian, or Turk who seeks admission to this country, and who is in ‘possession of a passport from the British Government, the French Government, the Italian Government, the Belgian Government, the Swedish Government, the Norwegian Government, or the Dutch Government will meet with a refusal?
– The provision does not permit him to come in, but it is one of the conditions laid down-
– Does the Minister argue that if a G-erman commercial traveller comes to an Australian port in possession of a British passport, the Government will deny him entry ?
– It depends altogether upon the administration of the Act. The Minister has power to do so.
– It is more than likely that such a person wouldfind no difficulty in entering the Commonwealth.
– They are not intended to be kept out. A discretion is vested in the Minister, and he must’ act according to common sense in the matter.
– It practically amounts to this: that, in the tail end of the clause, there is a permission for a wealthy German, Austrian, Bulgarian, or Turk - who wishes to come to Australia to ply his trade, either on his own behalf or on behalf of others in this country - to enter Australia so long as he possesses a passport, whereas the poor man is denied that right.
– The Act does not say that, nor does the discretion of the Minister, say it.
– The honorable member knows the influence of wealth. Today Great Britain is being overrun with German bagmen, and Germany is being overrun with British bagmen. How do they find entry ? Where is the necessity for a Bill like this, when the centre of the Empire is allowing these trade facilities to be given ?
– We are not in Great Britain; we are dealing with this place only.
– I know; but the honorable member said, in introducing the Bill, that we were more lenient than the British Government to the people who sought entry into the Commonwealth.
– I did not sav so. I said we were more lenient than Canada or the United States of America.
– I may have mistaken the honorable member’s meaning, but why not take the cue from the British Government? I guarantee, that very few, if any. of the restrictions in this Bill will be imposed by the British Parliament. If we are to have competition from foreigners, I would much rather that those foreigners came to Australia and worked under Australian conditions and laws, than that we should allow the products of their labour in other countries to come here unhindered. I have the following extract on that point: - »
British Syndicate’s Proposals. - Dutch news- . papers announce an agreement between an important British syndicate and aDtch com- puny, the object being the wholesale purchase of German metal products for immediate export to England.
Those are wealthy people, and that would be allowed. It appears that there will be one law for the rich and another for the poor. Great Britain is going to deal with all alien enemies, as they are called in this Bill, in a much more decent fashion than we propose. President Wilson has announced that the United States of America is in favour of complete liberty of commercial action. As soon as he set foot on American soil, after the signing of the Armistice, he advised the American people to get into trade relationships with Germany, and do’ business with Germans as soon as ever they could, and this, although at the Peace Conference he appeared as one of the principal opponents of the German nation. Personally, I would not allow the products of any other country to enter here which we could manufacture and produce for ourselves, whether they came from Germany or any other nation, until we had firmly established our own industries. We can allow now under certain conditions Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Poles, Servians, Greeks, Montenegrins, Swedes, Norwegians, Dutchmen, Swiss, Spanish, Portuguese, Jugoslavs, and quite a number of others to come in.Ifthere is going to be any discrimination as to who shall enter Australia, and as to the kind of competition to which our workmen are to be subjected, it is better that they should he subject to the competition within our own borders of men who have worked under decent conditions than to the competition of those who have been the victims practically of abject slavery. Simply because we happen to have been at war with four other sets of people, they are net to enter, whether they are decent and lawabiding or not. To give an illustration of what has been occurring all over Australia, a co-operative company was formed in my electorate to manufacture porcelain, and there was only one man in the company, and he a German, who was in possession of the secret process. He signed an agreement with the company to teach it to young Australians, and allow them to undertake its manufacture. I do not think that man was deported. I believe he has since married a Victorian girl. I have seen some of the work which has passed through his hands; and seeing that we are such large importers of porcelain, it is nicst desirable to allow peaceable citizens like that man to teach Australian workmen an industry of which previously theyhad little or no knowledge. The time may come when, in order to start new industries, it will be necessary to obtain the services of those in other parts of the world who possess secret processes, and who were perhaps our enemies previously. Will any opportunity be given under this Bill to introduce that new element into our industries? The Bill can be administered in many ways that would be detrimental to the best interests of Australia, and perhaps deprive us of the opportunity of establishing industries for which we have the raw material, but have not the secret process. I do not believe any other country is going to do what we propose in this Bill, which is nothing more or less than an election placard. It is disgraceful that a deliberative assembly such as this should be called upon to place on the statute-book a measure which can be truly described in those terms. We have laws in Australia by which we can deal with every man who commits certain offences. The Bill excludes any person who says anything against “ all forms of law.” There are certain laws on our statute-book to which I decidedly object.
– It does not mean a particular law, but “ all forms of law.”
– We have some very undesirable laws. There have been instances of laws being repealed. That was the case with the law passed in Victoria by Sir William Irvine, giving separate representation to the public and railway servants. That disgraceful Act practically disfranchised them. I said, when it was passed, that our statute-book was besmirched and our honour tarnished by it, and that a future Parliament would take extreme pleasure in wiping it off the record. That very thing happened.
– This provision is aimed at a man who is against any legal enactment of any kind.
– The War Precautions Act is a case in point. Things have been done, under it, by the present Government, which are a disgrace to this country, and which were never intended when the majority of this House assented to it. If we could always be sure that the present Minister (Mr. Glynn) -would have a dominating influence in administering an Act of this character, we might place these great powers in his hands. But there are other men in the Ministry, particularly its Leader (Mr. Hughes), who will make use of this measure for political purposes only. I do not care to place these powers within his grasp.
I propose to read a hymn to the Committee. If its sentiment prevailed to-day, even after the most awful war that has ever afflicted humanity, and was acted up to, there would be more likelihood of peace being maintained than, with all your Leagues of Nations. It runs -
God bless our native land,
May Heaven’s protecting hand
Still guard our shore;
May peace herpower extend,
Toe be transformed to friend,
And Britain’s rights depend
On war no more.
May just and righteous laws
Uphold the public cause,
And bless our isle;
Home of the brave and free,
The land of liberty,
We pray that still on thee
Kind Heaven may smile.
And not this land alone,
But be Thy mercies known
From shore to shore;
Lord, make the nations see
That men should brothers be,
And form one family
The wide world o’er.
Has anybody anything to say against that beautiful hymn? It is absolutely flouted by this measure. No matter what the Minister may say, in Great Britain and America they are allowing the fires of war and hate to burn out as fast as they can. I object to the Government trying, for political purposes only, to fan into flame those hateful moods in which we have found ourselves during the last five years. The Government expect the Bill to make the seats of their party more sure, and I know that on the Ministerial side men will be found voting with the “Ayes” who practically despise every word of the measure, although they will not have the courage to get up and oppose it. I shall vote against the clause, because I believe it is nothing more or less than an election placard, introduced for the purpose of trying to obtain votes. The honorable member for Kooyong (Sir Robert Best) and others, however, will find themselves bitterly disappointed if they think that this election placard is going to do them any good.
– The burden of the song of the honorable, member for Maribyrnong (Mr. Fenton) is that this Bill is introduced as an election placard. It evidently, therefore, contains something that will appeal to and be indorsed by the masses of the people.
– Not necessarily.
– The honorable member may be sure that it would not be used as an election placard unless it was intended to appeal to the masses of the people. When they are informed that the object of the Bill is to crush the doctrine of force and of the destruction of property, and the revolt against organized government, the honorable member is perfectly right in suggesting that it will at once meet with their approval. I hope that the Minister (Mr. Glynn) will stand by the clause. No fair reading of the provision justifies the remarks made by honorable members on the other side in condemning it. They assume that it is capable of political . abuse and dishonest interpretation, but what does it provide? “Any anarchist or person who advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the established government of the Commonwealth or of any State,” &c, may be refused admission to the Commonwealth. Objection has been taken by the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) to the use of the word ‘’ anarchist.” It is perfectly true, as he says, that there are philosophic, harmless anarchists, but such people will not come within the scope of the clause. No one can be a prohibited immigrant unless it is absolutely clear that he is an “ anarchist or person who advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the established government of the Commonwealth,” &c. Can the honorable member for Batman reasonably take exception to the refusal of admission to that particular classof person ? Perhaps the provision would be equally effective without the word “ anarchist.”
– But that would not suit the political placard so well.
– Probably not, but Parliament is justified in indicating to theCourts the character of the person referred to in the clause, and, therefore, we state that admission is to be refused to the ‘anarchist as known to us and recognised by us, not to the man who is a calm, inoffensive individual, but to the one whose vapourings we are accustomed to hear, and who is bent, not only on the destruction of government, but also on the destruction of property and the upheaval of society. Under the clause, persons who are animated by the German doctrine of violence and force, a doctrine which has been humbled to the dust by the triumph of right over might in the recent war, are undesirable individuals, and as such they will not be permitted to enter Australia.
The clause further provides that “ any anarchist or person who advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the established government …. of any other civilized country, or of .all forms of law” - that is to say, the man who is a law unto himself, and the man who is in favour of direct action, and revolution - ‘’ or who 13 opposed to organized government “ will be refused admission to Australia. No words in the English language could be clearer. It also provides that admission will be refused to any person who “ advocates the assassination of public officials or who advocates or teaches the unlawful destruction of property,” such as took place at Broken Hill the other day and in Sydney a little while back. There is no doubt as to the character of the persons who are to be excluded. “ Any person who is a member of, or affiliated with, any organization which entertains and teaches any of the doctrines and practices “ which I have just enumerated will be refused admission. There is but one interpretation of those plain words, and that is, that these enemies of society are to be prevented from landing on our shores. Are they a desirable class to have in our community?
– Is there no existing law to deal with them ?
– -There is no direct existing law to exclude them from the Commonwealth, and we are now seeking to make good the deficiency. No reasonable or fair-minded man can say that the class of persons I have enumerated are welcome, and the Government, following precedent, are taking this opportunity of making provision to exclude them from the Commonwealth. In view of the experience the world has gained during the last few years, they are entitled to the full support of honorable members.
The honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) said he felt that those persons who are now engaged in rebelling against the present form of government in Ireland would come within this exclusion. If the honorable member is referring to the Sinn Fein movement, I sincerely hope that the paragraph will exclude them. The Sinn Feiner is notoriously an enemy of the Empire, which he hates with a deadly hate. Rebellion and sedition are his instruments, and at this moment he is vigorously engaged in the creation of a Republic whose object is to hit at the very heart of the Empire and destroy it. The Sinn Fein organization has been found guilty of conspiring with the enemy for the purpose of defeating the Allied cause and dealing a blow at the Mother Country. Such individuals we seek to exclude from the Commonwealth.
The honorable member for Batman also protested very strongly against the proposal to prohibit the landing within the next five years of “ any person who in the opinion of an officer is of German, AustroGerman, Bulgarian, or Hungarian parentage and nationality, or is a Turk of Ottoman race.” I have no desire to encourage vindictiveness or hatred against any particular people or nation, but the Commonwealth is justified in adopting every reasonable precaution which is being exercised in this regard by other nations. We cannot forget” what the Avar conclusively exposed - the most infamous and dishonorable traits of German character - it proved that he is capable of the vilest atrocities and of every breach of honour and faith when his interests demand it. The German nation has not yet shown itself worthy of admission to the League of Nations. The Allied nations have not included in their League Germany, Austria, or the other enemy nations. They have first to prove that they’ are worthy of admission, and that they have given over their dishonorable and hideous practices. And Ave say that when they are prepared to show themselves as honorable men and traders, and when they exhibit signs of penitence we may be justified - the Bill says at the end of five years - in reviewing our objection to admitting such people to the Commomwealth.
Mr.Fenton. - How does the honorable member account for the fact that trade is proceeding between Germany and Great Britain ?
– And between America and Germany?
– I am aware that America is endeavouring to exploit Germany, and that under certain supervision Great Britain is also establishing some trade with that country ; but we are now dealing with the question of admitting a particular class of persons to Australia to become our fellow citizens. The provision in the Bill before us does not go as far as legislation introduced, in America proposes in regard to exclusions. Canada is following the example of America, and Great Britain, by regulation, is protecting herself in a similar way. When these countries deem that it is necessary to protect themselves in this way Australia is justified in taking similar action.
The third point raised by. the honorable member for Batman was in regard to paragraph gg, which provides that “ any person who has been deported in pursuance of any Act” may be refused, admission* The heat which the honorable member displayed in. criticism of that proposal he indicated, was due to the fact that it was intended to apply, to persons who had been deported during the war for sen vice in the armies of the nations to which they belonged, but the. paragraph- in the Bill will not apply to that class of persons. It will only affect persons- who have been deported in pursuance of any Act. The only Act to which -paragraph *gg can possibly refer is the Unlawful Associations Act of. 1916,. which declared to be unlawful -
Another section provides a penalty for members of an unlawful association who advocate or incite to acts impeding warlike preparations, and section 6 enacts -
Any person, not being: a natural-born British subject born in Australia, who is convicted of an offence under either, of the last two preceding sections shall be liable, in addition to the punishment imposed upon him for the offence, and, either during or upon the expiration of his term of imprisonment, to be deported from the Commonwealth pursuant to any order of the Attorney-General.
Is there any honorable member who will seriously object to a criminal of this class being deported ?
– It all depends on his political opinions.
– I do not care what his political opinions are; if he has been guilty of inciting to murder or the di struction of property, or otherwise comes within the terms of that Act, he is an undesirable, and should be deported. All that, the Bill provides in that regard is that, this particular class of criminal who has been excluded under an. existing Statute, shall not be permitted to re-enter the Commonwealth. The Bill is wisely conceived; it follows American ^precedent, and seeks to exclude from Australia well-known and recognised criminals - - individuals who are bent upon murder, . the destruction of property, and every other violence which . their ingenuity cam. suggest. Individuals of that class are not suitable citizens for this well-ordered and. well-governed Commonwealth, and; their presence amongst >us would not assist in: the enhancement of contentment and prosperity. Therefore, I regard this clause as well designed and calculated to at least purge Australia of an undesirable class of persons.
.- In regard to this clause, my opinions differ’ from those ‘of all previous speakers, inasmuch as there are paragraphs to which I . strongly object, whilst to one of the paragraphs I can -offer no opposition. Paragraph gd gives the Government wide power to prevent the immigration into; and to deport from, Australia persons who advocate certain political views. There is a good deal in Mr. Lloyd George?s statement that the country is suffering from shell-shock. This Parliament and the present Government, in common with citizens throughout the Empire, are suffering severely from that affliction. They may not be aware, of the fact, but when we return to normal conditions, and are able to calmly survey what we have done in moments of hysteria, we shall realize that we have gone too far: _ I do not apprehend any danger from the class of persons referred to in that paragraph. As a matter of fact, they havebeen in our midst for years, and Australia has benefited by the fact that we had a few such extremists amongst us.
– And from their recent operations?
– I am referring to the anarchist - the person who is defined as being against “ all forms of law or who is opposed to organized government.” For as long as I can. remember we have had those men amongst us endeavouring, in season and out of season, to propagate their wild ideas. Some of them have spent their lives preaching the same doctrines, and they have not been able to make any headway.
– The trouble is that a good many of them have gone beyond preaching, and are taking action.
– I am speaking of the men against whom paragraph gd is directed. Why have they made no progress with their particular gospel? Because in thiscountry we have a fairly high standard of public education. Those who are dissatisfied with the existing condition of things, and are looking for an improved form of government, go to hear the anarchists and others who are described as being against all forms of government. There is one such individual in Victoria whom I heard many years ago, and who is still going strong.
– He is a very decent . sort of chap.
– He has never done harm- to anybody; on the contrary, I believe he has done a fair amount of good, because when young fellows, who have in them the spirit of reform, listen to him and other advocates of extreme views,they say at once, “ This is the wrong track for us to follow.”
– They do not say that in the Sydney Domain.
– They say it everywhere. Our young men have sufficient intelligence to realize at once that what these would-be revolutionists are proposing is rubbish, andthat it leads nowhere. The result of years and years of such propaganda has been to merely keep our people in the proper political path. The Victorian agitator to whom I have been referring has never done any harm with all his years of preaching.
– He is not the type of man to whom the Bill refers.
– But he can be deported under this clause. We make laws to be administered, and if a Statute can be construed to embrace a certain class of individual, it is useless to say that that individual will not be affected.
– Does not the honorable member think that we ought to prevent this country being made the dumping ground for the discards of all other countries ?
– It will be very difficult to ascertain who is coming to Australia from other parts. The law as it exists to-day provides that undesirable persons may be deported to the countries of their origin. That law has been in operation, but to what extent we do not know; some persons may have been wrongly deported. But the law empowering us to deport undesirables exists. What, then, is the necessity for including paragraph gd in this Bill? Who is to decide whether an intending immigrant is an undesirable? Nobody can say. Persons will be admitted because they are considered, when they arrive, to be likely to become good citizens, but if, two or three- years later, they do anything to which exception is taken by the powers that be, they can be deported. ‘ They may say something against the existing system of government; they may be against . any form of government. If they conscientiously hold those views they will hurt nobody. For years we have endured in our midst people holding similar views, and they have never injured the country; rather have they helped to keep us in -the straight path. I think that paragraph gd goes too far, and I shall vote against it.
But I find myself in a difficulty. Whilst I regard paragraph gd as unnecessary, believing that we have all the power that is necesssary to deal with any person who is a menace to . the best interests -of the . country, I aw in favour . of paragraph ge, which prohibits for a period of five years the immigration of any person of German, Austro-German, Bulgarian or Hungarian parentage and nationality, or who is a Turk of Ottoman ‘race. I regard that prohibition as quite proper. Whilst these people as individuals may not have been responsible for originating the war which placed this country and other parts of the world in their present unfortunate position, the fact remains that they are citizens of countries the Governments of which were responsible. That responsibility descends unto them. Now that peace is restored, it is argued by some honorable members that we should take our former enemies by the hand. I wish for peace on earth. I hope that the war just concluded was the last. But whilst we are prepared to make friends with our former enemies, I, at any rate, am not ready to allow them to enter 1his country within the next few years. Why should we permit them to leave their own country, which has been industrially devastated by reason of their own acts, order to enter this country where employment is scarce, and possibly get employment even before we can repatriate our own soldiers ? Many of our returned men will be out of employment for years. Does anybody imagine that within the next two or three years we can absorb into civil life all of the men who have been engaged in the war? It will take us a long time to get back to normal conditions, so far as even the soldiers are concerned, and we have then to make provision for our growing girls and boys. Our former enemies are responsible for the position we are in to-day, and will continue to be in for years ahead; therefore, why should we allow them to come here and probably get employment in preference to our own people? They ought to pay some penalty for the crime which has been committed by the Governments of the countries to which they belong. My difficulty is that, instead of paragraphs yd and ge being proposed as separate clauses, they are contained in the one clause, so that a person holding my views must vote for or against both. I regard paragraph gd as repugnant, and not in the interests of the country. I feel sure that honorable members who support it to-day will live to feel disgust with their attitude. There is no need to go to this extreme. Under the existing law we can punish by imprisonment, or even by the extreme penalty, anybody who is guilty of a crime against the community. Having already this power, what good can we do by passing such legislation as paragraph gd now, when the world is in a slate of excitement in consequence of the war, and the peoples are suffering from hysteria or shell-shock 1
– The Government’s only chance of enacting such legislation is to bring it forward now.
– I do not know whether that is so or not, but I see no necessity for such legislation. If it be true, as the honorable member for Maribyrnong (Mr. Fenton) has said, that this is a mere electioneering placard, then it is to be regretted that the time of the Committee should be occupied in dealing with such legislation. There should not be anything of the kind. Mere electioneering placards “cut no ice.” The facts have only to be put before the people to be appreciated by them.
The Minister would be well advised in omitting the clause. If he will not do that, then he should deal with each of its provisions separately, so that honorable members would be at liberty to vote for those of which they approved and against those of which they disapproved.. We are fond of talking of the liberties won for us by our forefathers, but we seem, nowadays, to be throwing them to the winds. We do not seem to be able to intelligently reason out these matters. We are carried away by excitement, and do things which, in our calmer moments, we are sure to regret.
For the present I shall not move an amendment, but I shall probably have to take action to justify my position, since I am opposed to paragraph gd whilst I favour- paragraph ge. The latter provision I think necessary. We should have some such- power to safeguard the interests of our returned soldiers and the people of Australia generally. It is our duty to find suitable employment for our returned soldiers’ before we allow Germans to come here. They must pay some penalty for the action of their country in imposing great hardships upon civilization by bringing about the great war. They should remain in their own country and seek to restore it once more to a state of high production. After we have absorbed our own people, who have been fighting for us, and normal conditions have been re-established in Australia, they might be allowed to come in. I reserve to myself the right later on to submit an amendment.
.- I do not agree that this measure is anything in the nature of an electioneering placard. On the contrary, it seems to me that its introduction is due to a very grim and - urgent necessity which affects, not only Australia, but the whole of the civilized world. Under the plea of political action, determined efforts are being made by criminals to overturn civilization, and Australia, in common with other civilized countries, is compelled to take the necessary steps to deal with such individuals. I am heartily in accord with the objects of the Bill in that direction, and feel that in some respects it does not go far enough. At the same time, having listened carefully to the explanations of the legal members, and having given all weight to the assurance of the Minister in charge of the Bill (Mr. Glynn), I am not yet quite satisfied that it does not, in one regard, go further than is intended. I have heard no satisfactory explanation as to why the word “ anarchist “ should be included in this clause, and I am not sure that there is any justification for the inclusion of the words “or of any State.” There are some States that are scarcely civilized, some that have no Government, and some that are ruled by tyrants. Why should not the inhabitants of such countries have a right to do their best to bring about a better condition of affairs? Is Australia going to shut out such people if they seek to visit some friend they may have here ? Are we going to pass a measure that will exclude men like Kossuth and Garibaldi?
The Minister for Home and Territories assures us that administration will obviate any such possibility; but it seems to me that the principal Act is absolutely mandatory, and that under it no Government would have any option but to take action in regard to the class of individuals mentioned in this clause. Section 3 of the principal Act reads -
The immigration into the Commonwealth of the persons described in any of the following paragraphs of this section, hereinafter called “ prohibited immigrants,’’ is prohibited.
Will the Minister tell me how, in view of that provision, any administrator will have any discretion whatever in regard to the particular clause we are now discussing?
– I would point out to the honorable member that in the very section he has quoted the power of exemption is given to the Minister.
– I had not noticed that, and to some extent it removes my objection. There should be no absolute rule in regard to such individuals. As I pointed out when speaking to the motion for the second reading of the Bill, some anarchists, whose political creed is disapproval of compulsion in any form, have done very good work in the cause of humanity. If this clause will have associated with it the option mentioned by the Minister, then the very objection that I had to it willb e removed. At the same time, I would suggest that it might well be amended by the omission of the word “anarchist” and the words “or of anv State.” Such an amendment would simplify its administration.
– “Any State” there means a State of the Commonwealth. *
– It does not appear to me to be so. It is, at all events, a very wide expression, and I do not think the clause is improved by the inclusion of those words. To my mind, it would be much better to omit them. I am prepared to take the Minister’s assurance with regard to the clause as a whole ; but I submit that, with these modifications, the measure would be much better than it is at present.
– No one can take any exception to the proposed new paragraph c dealing with idiots, imbeciles and persons suffering from dementia; but coming to paragraph gd, I would remind the honorable member for Kooyong (Sir Robert Best) that no one knows better than does a lawyer that a threat to do violence is not to be compared with the actual carrying-out of such a threat. I dare say that not one such threat in 10,000 is ever carried out. Section 3 of the principal Act, which is to be amended by this clause, has made more enemies for Australia, by reason of its camouflaged intention, than has any other provision we have passed. Four hundred million Chinese, 70,000,000 Japanese, and 350,000,000 Hindoos come within the section, the dictation test for which it provides being a mere subterfuge. I have heard it said by Ministers in this House that under section 3 it would be possible to prevent any man from entering Australia.
As to paragraph ge excluding Germans and other people of central Europe from Australia for a period of five years,
I would say that if the people of high rank in Germany, who were responsible for the war, are not to be punished, we ought not to punish the unfortunate workers, who were frequently compelled to fight unless they were prepared to be shot. The very pencil that I hold in my hand, and which has been supplied to me as a member of this’ Parliament, was made in Germany. I agree with the honorable member for Maribyrnong (Mr. Fenton) that it would be far better to allow German people to come here than to permit our markets to be flooded with t’..e products of German factories. Such of them as came here could be controlled by means of factory and other laws; but if we allowed their products to come into Australia without restriction, the position would be very serious. If the clause be agreed to as it stands, then all persons of Teutonic blood will hold a bad opinion of Australia. As to that, we need not trouble, so long as we have the* sea to protect us; but we should not forget that to the millions of Asiatics who are inclined to look upon us with an unfriendly eye, we are now adding, by this clause, the millions of central Europe.
I could have wished that, in amending the principal Act, we might have seen fit to have some regard for the feelings, of a generous Ally. Had Japan been allied with Germany in the earlier partof this war, our children to-day would have been learning either Japanese or German… No one will say that the A ustrtilia could protect our huge coast line. The rest, of out Fleet were no match for the German Fleet in Australian waters,, which subsequently sank a British Fleet of heavier tonnage off the South American coast, but later on was in turn destroyed. Soldiers and sailors have told me that when at sea they have always been glad in the gloom of early morn to see a great battleship, flying the flag of Japan, sailing alongside.- As a believer in the policy of >a White Australia, I -would rather* be shot than do -anything to interfere with it; but, at the same time, I do not think we ought to hurl against a race which “ played the game “ whilst we were engaged in the great war such insults as appear from time to time, both in printed matter and caricatures published in certain newspapers. It is un-British-like, when the fight is over, to seek to irritate those who have helped us.
It is very rarely that a boxer, after conquering his adversary, will administer a hit under the ear to one of his own seconds. Consequently, I think that the Minister, who is a very wide reader, might have brought forward a Bill in which the word “reciprocity” was used. It is a word to conjure with in the East, and Japan should certainly have been approached in a reciprocal spirit. We must not forget that when she waa anxious to avoid friction with a foreign Power, it was a. very great Englishman to whom she turned for advice. I propose to read the letter written by Herbert Spencer on that occasion - the most important letter ever penned by a human being. He wrote -
To Kentaro Kaneko, 26th August, 1892.
Your proposal to send translations of my two letters to Count Ito, the newly appointed Prime Minister, -is quite satisfactory.I very, willingly give my assent.
Respecting the further questions you ask, let me, in the first place, answer generally that the Japanese policy should, I think, be that of keeping Americans and Europeans as much aspossible at arm’s length.
– I would direct the honorable member’s attention to the fact that we are now dealing with clause 3 of the Bill.
– But that clause is affected by the dictation test, which is embodied in the principal Act, and which is intended to exclude aliens from Australia.
– I do not see any clause in the Bill dealing with the dictation test.
– Perhaps it would be better if I reserved my remarks upon this phase of the question until the debate upon the motion for the third reading of the Bill. The clause under consideration will inevitably create more friction by reason of the fact that it will affect the millions of people of central Europe as well as those of Asia. The honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) was justly perturbed in regard to paragraph tff of the Bill, which refers to “ any person who has been deported in pursuance of any Act.” I join with him in saying that the Italian Consul-General is a disgrace to the name of manhood. As I personally sent that message to him, I have no hesitation in - repeating it here. From motives of spite and spleen, he caused the deportation of a man who had been acting Consul for Italy in this country - a very much better man than himself - and his efforts in this direction were materially aided by the Commonwealth Government. That gentleman is returning to Australia, and would have sued the Italian Consul-General, but that the latter packed his baggage and fled the country under the cloud of disgrace. I would like an assurance from the Minister that this clause will not apply to any of those Italians who, under international law, were obliged to render military service in Italy at the behest of the Consul-General.
– It will not. Those men were not deported under an Act, but under Treaty arrangements, and they were aliens as far as we were concerned.
– In view of the Minister’s statement, I have nothing more to say on the matter. I am only sorry that the Government have not exhibited a desire to secure reciprocity with Japan by agreeing to allow as many Japanese to settle in Australia and to land here as she permits Australians to be similarly settled in Japan.
– The Bill before us is akin to some of the measures which we recently passed, and certainly cannot be regarded as other than panic legislation. Under this measure it is proposed that we shall do things which we would not do if we were back to our normal state of judicial sanity. We are asked to do things simply because we have hanging round about us that feeling of hatred and opposition to European Powers which is the product of the war. I have no hesitation in saying that Australia must take up a very definite attitude in regard to her immigration problems. But our attitude should not be affected by the attitude of any other country. We have our own problems of development to attack, and simply be-‘ cause the Mother Country or any other country adopts a certain attitude in regard to Germans, Austrians, Bulgarians, or Turks, is not a sufficient reason why we should follow their example. Their problems and difficulties are not ours. There is a wide gulf between the necessities of our case and the necessities which confront them. We are now practically In the position which, the United States of America occupied many years ago when the population of its vast spaces was a matter of extreme urgency. We have therefore to approach the question of immigration from, an entirely different stand-point from that from which the more settled countries of the world have to approach it. We have either to assimilate the people who desire to come here, to accept them as part and parcel of the Commonwealth, with duties and responsibilities devolving upon them as citizens of this country, or we have to reject them altogether. We have to exercise a very wide discretion, and in some respects a very difficult and delicate discrimination, in determining whom we shall accept as citizens of the Commonwealth.
During the war we haveso abrogated many privileges that citizenship in the Commonwealth to-day is worth nothing compared with what it was worth previously. This Bill merely seeks to perpetuate what I have always recognised as an unfortunate position in regard to our late enemies. Under the proposed new paragraph gd, which is intended to exclude “ any anarchist or person who advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the established government of the Commonwealth, or of any State, or of any other civilized country,” every Australian soldier might be regarded as a prohibited immigrant. Every Australian soldier left this country sworn to overturn by violence the established governments of Germany and Austria. Under this Bill,, therefore, every one of them would be a prohibited immigrant.
– Nobody but a Scotchman would split a hair like that.
– It is not hairsplitting. It is an obvious interpretation of the words of the clause. Germany, Austria, and Turkey rank as “ civilized countries.” We may not think very much of their civilization, and personally I am prepared to extend the warm hand of friendship to any man who has assisted to overthrow by violence the governments of those countries. Our proudest achievement to-day is that our Australian soldiers did overthrow the Hohenzollern government.
– But they did it in a decent, honest way. .
– They- did it by violence. As the honorable member for
Perth (Mr. Fowler) has pointed out, the clause in its present form would prohibit, the admission to the Commonwealth of men like Garibaldi, Cromwell, Kossuth, George Washington, Kerensky, and a host of others. Why, ,the pages of history are strewn with the names of heroic men who have dared to overturn systems cf government. Indeed, our position to-day is due to men who dared by violence to overcome the government of England-
– The honorable member does not compare the conditions which existed in those times with the conditions which obtain in a country like Australia?
– Conditions have nothing whatever to do with the matter. We are dealing with principles,’ and it is quite conceivable that within our own lifetime the present system of government may have so far outlived its usefulness that we should render a real service to humanity by displacing it in favour of something else. I do not know of any other way in which some governments can be overcome except by violence. We talk about what has happened in Russia, but I take off my hat to anybody who took action to overthrow the despotic regime of the late Czar. The greatest service rendered during the war was the abolition of the Russian form of government. There is no greater stain on the pages of history, and no more bloody record in connexion with government, than that of the Czars and their Governments in Russia. If it was by revolution, by force and violence, that that regime was overturned, what other method was available? I know of no other means than force or violence to overturn an organized system of government in Russia or any similar other country. In British communities we can change the form of government by constitutional means, which is a proper, correct, and sensible course; but where there is no constitutional means available, where it is impossible for the people, because of the entire absence of any rights to free themselves from tyranny, what other method is there? There are a few systems of government eft in the world yet that need to be overturned. The British Government and their Allies during the war said to the German people, “ Turn out the Hohenzollerns, become anarchists or revolutionaries, and establish a Government of your own in Germany. If you do, we are with you.” When Kerensky overturned the Czar’s Government in Russia, Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. Hughes sent him ringing messages of cheer and congratulation. I wish we could have an opportunity to send a message of congratulation to the people of Turkey on having risen in revolt to overturn by force and violence the Turkish Empire of to-day. There are tyrannies now in existence that can be overturned only by force and violence, yet this little community, in its smug, self-satisfied pride, as interpreted by this Bill, is to say - “ We want nothing to do with any man, however patriotic, humanitarian, or progressive, if he is going to take violent means to overturn a corrupt and tyrannical system of government.” That is not the opinion of Australia. For many centuries Great Britain has been looked upon as the friend of the oppressed, and an asylum for the political refugees of the world, who have been compelled in many countries to seek by devious means to accomplish their purpose.
– I cannot quite see the relevancy of the honorable member’s argument to Australian conditions, where we have constitutional government.
– But the clause is not directed to constitutional government. No force or violence is necessary to overthrow constitutional government, because you have constitutional means to do so.
– Why let these persons in?
– Because some of the best men and noblest women the world has seen have had no constitutional means available, and took the only other means open to them, and have been gloriously successful in overthrowing the established governments of the countries in which they live. From what did the France of the present day spring ? On what was the present Constitution of the United States of America founded ? America got its start because George Washington and those with him took the forcible and violent method, the only one available to them, to detach their country from the British Empire. These things are services to humanity, but under this clause we shut out any man or woman who dares make any effort to overcome a corrupt or tyrannical form of government.
– If George Washington were alive he would. not be admitted.
– Under this Bill he could not come in. Every Australian soldier is a prohibited immigrant under this clause, because he left this country to overturn by violence the corrupt government of the Hohenzollerns. All this shows that this Bill is conceived in a war spirit, and not in the spirit in’ which we ought to approach such an important question.
– Where would you draw the line? Would you let all these men in?
– The Bill ought to be withdrawn until a new Parliament assembles, when the war atmosphere has cleared from our minds. I confess I approach this Bill with a prejudiced view. I do not think there is a single member here who can approach it without having at the back of his mind a prejudice against our late enemies. We are, therefore, not in that state of mind which is necessary to consider so important a question .
– Are you prejudiced against them or in their favour?
– Very much against them; but I approach an Immigration Bill from another stand-point altogether. Australia has an immense territory, vastly rich, and a population of only 5,000,000. We are faced with a load of debt and heavy commitments, which demand that we shall do our very. best as Australians to meet our obligations. I agree with the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) that our only remedy is to produce, produce, produce. In order to produce, we must have population. Where are we to get it ?
– Of the right kind.
– My argument “s that we must have population. The question of what is the right kind is quite another matter. It is evident that British communities, and especially the British Isles, cannot provide us with a steady stream of immigration. We are passing a Bill which will determine the people that we are willing to admit, and the kind that we will keep out. We must, in approaching that subject, bear in mind always the needs and the best interests of Australia. We are asked to say by the second part of. this clause that no man or woman who is in favour of constitutional government and against corrupt governments is a satisfactory or acceptable immigrant. I absolutely dissent from that doctrine.
– I do not think the clause says that at all.
– What else does it mean ?
– It aims at the means that would be employed by these revolutionaries to overthrow a system of government, and refers only to the government of the Commonwealth, or the ordered government of another country.
– The ordered government of any other country is the government for the time being of that country. The ordered government in Turkey to-day is the government of the Sultan, which from our point of view is a most corrupt and tyrannical form of government. The sooner it is cleared out of the world, the better for the peace of the world and for mankind in general, but it is the established government of another country, and the distinct wording of the clause is “ the established government … of any other civilized country.”
The honorable member for Wimmera (Mr. Sampson) is too well acquainted with history not to know that the best and most progressive men and women, on whose ideas our constitutional forms of government are based were those who by violence sought to overturn the established governments of the countries to which they belonged. We in our puny, insular pride are to say that they are unworthy to be citizens of the Commonwealth. I wish we could get them by the tens of thousands. If we could, it would make Australia-
– Hum !
– No, it would make Australia develop. -We would get something like good government then. Numbers of men whose names are held in high reverence were deported to this country because of their attitude towards the government of the Mother Country. Some of the greatest names in the political history, of Australia are those of men who carne out here as political criminals.
– Williams, the great Chartist, was one of them.
– The honorable member’s knowledge of history is coming to his assistance. He will find that in every country the most progressive, farseeing, useful political builders up of constitutional government have been those who by force and violence sought to overturn the established governments of the countries they belonged to. Yet we are going to say at this time of day that such people must not come into this country.
– This clause refers not to the established governments of other countries, but to the established government of the Commonwealth.
– No; it refers to “ the established government of the Commonwealth, or of any State “ of the Commonwealth, “ or of any other civilized country.” That includes any European country one could mention.
The honorable member for Kooyong (Sir Robert Best) had a good deal to say about the Sinn Feiners. So far as I can understand them, they are Irishmen who seek to establish a system of government in Ireland. Whether we agree or not with the kind of government they propose to establish, the fact remains that what is in their minds, be it right or wrong, is the establishment of a particular form of government in their own country.
– They are seeking to dissever themselves from the British Empire.
– That is not the point. They think there should be a special form of government in Ireland in substitution for the present form of government, but we. are asked to -make them prohibited immigrants. I see that a representative body of Scotchmen have appealed to President Wilson for his assistance in securing for Scotland some change in its present form of government.
– I do not think they are very representative. I should be sorry to think that any representative Scotchmen would be such fools as to appeal to the American Senate in a matter of that kind.
– I quite disagree with the method by which they are trying to obtain Home Rule for Scotland, but I do not disagree with their desire. Under this Bill I would be a prohibited immigrant because I believe in Home Rule for Scotland.
– Advocacy of such a policy would not come at all within the scope of the Bill.
– I was commenting on the attitude of the honorable mem ber for Kooyong. With his one-sided and narrow views, he sees only Ireland, and, in his prejudice against Irishmen, in the same way that he would deal with Irishmen he would deal with other men who, rightly or wrongly, believe in doing for their country what the Irishmen axe doing for Ireland. A few years ago a gentleman, who was afterwards a member of the British Cabinet - I refer to Sir Edward Carson - deliberately drilled soldiers, in defiance of the law, in order to secure a certain result in Ireland. Under this Bill he would be a prohibited immigrant.
– Sir Edward Carson acted as he did in order to support the ordered system of government, and not for the purpose of destsoying it.
– No. He did it in order to take the control of affairs in Ireland out of the hands of the established Government. It is not our business to judge as to whether any existing system of government is the right one or the wrong one; it is a matter for the people of the country concerned; yet the Bill will enable an officer of the Commonwealth to say that a person, who is against the existing system of government in his country is a prohibited immigrant so far as Australia is concerned. There are systems of government in the world to-day it would be a blessing to humanity to overthrow. There arc systems of government which are so corrupt, so tyrannical, and so autocratic that the sooner they are overthrown the better, and I am prepared to join with any persons who are willing to overthrow them by violence, or by any other means available.
– They are not civilized.
– Were not the German, Austrian, or Russian Governments civilized prior to the war?
– The German Government proved ultimately that it was not civilized.
– The virtuous result of the war is entirely based on the fact that we have succeeded in overthrowing that system of government.
– That is what we fought for.
– We overthrew it by force and violence, the only way available to us ; and, therefore, every man who took part in overthrowing the corrupt system of government established in Germany becomes a prohibited immigrant so far as Australia is concerned.
– The honorable member is not quite correct in applying his remark to our soldiers. They fought in order to crush a military despotism which threatened to enslave theworld.
– Our soldiers were repeatedly told that they were fighting to destroy the military government of Germany, the despotism of the Kaiser; in other words, the despotism of the established system of government in Germany, which brought about such possibilities as eventuated in Europe.
– Is that not true?
– It is absolutely true.
– Then why is the honorable member complaining?
-My complaint is that the people who were favorable to the overturn of the then existing system of government in Germany are to be regarded as’ prohibited immigrants under this Bill so far as Australia is concerned.
– If the honorable member would read the. Bill he would see that such is the case.
The honorable member had a good deal to say about Germany’s admission to the League of Nations. My hopes that the League of Nations will prove a success begin to fade when I hear views expressed such as those of the honorable member for Kooyong, and I am doubtful whether the League will prove a useful institution if Germany is refused admission to it.
– When the German people are worthy, they will be admitted.
– The question of worthiness should not be the deciding factor. I am more afraid of the danger of leaving Germany out of the League, because I can conceive that she could very easily become the focussing point of a number of discontented nations that would ‘bring about another world-wide war, which would put the recent conflict into the shade.
.- I am opposed to the inclusion of these new paragraphs in the Immigration Act. On the second reading I dealt mainly with paragraph gd. My present remarks will be directed particularly to paragraph ge, which says -
For the period of five years after the commencement of this paragraph, and thereafter until the Governor-General by proclamation otherwise determines, any person who in the opinion of an officer is of German, AustroGerman, Bulgarian, or Hungarian parentage and nationality, or is. a Turk of Ottoman race. shall be a prohibited immigrant. It is peculiar that the Government which brings forward this proposal to debar Bulgarians, Germans, Austro-Germans, and Turks from entering ‘the - Commonwealth for five years is the same Government which let Bulgarians out of internment camps in Australia so that they could take the place of Britishers in Broken Hill when this country, in common with the rest of the Empire, was at war. Not for the sake of protecting Australia from Bulgarians, but for the sake of finding wage earners for the mineowners of Broken Hill, these Bulgarians were let out of internment in order to take the place of men., employed in the mines, so that, in turn, the latter would be forced out of employment, and compelled to go away to fight for the liberty and freedom they were denied in Australia..
– Pure imagination !
– It is not pure imagination; it is absolutely true. Indignation meetings, at which the Mayor of Broken Hill presided, protested against the action which had been taken, and, as a consequence, the Bulgarians were removed to South Australia.
– The honorable member said that they were let out of the internment camp.
– That is true.
– It is a fiction to say they were let out of the internment camp for that purpose.
-The legally trained mind of the honorable member will enable him to split straws in defending the action of the military authorities or the Government he supports in letting the Bulgarians out of the internment camp in order to take the place of Britishers, and force the latter to go to the war; but now that these people have served the purpose of the honorable member’s friends, it is further proposed to treat them as prohibited immigrants.
Those persons who are taking steps to prevent certain Germans, AustroGermans, Bulgarians, and Turks from entering Australia in order to safeguard the Commonwealth, very likely applaud, at the same time, the action taken by the British Government, and reported in last evening’s papers, in despatching carpetbaggers to Germany in order to secure British trade with that country.
– Does the honorable member want these Bulgarians to enter the Commonwealth by thousands?
– I have no opposition to offer to any one who belongs to the working class who seeks to enter Australia, and is prepared to abide by the conditions the majority of the people of the country have laid down. As I said in my former speech, the objection taken to these Germans and Austrians will not eventuate in inflicting any hardship upon the wealthy people of those countries who seek to push trade. We are informed by cable that certain persons have left . Great Britain for the purpose of insuring that the Germans shall be forced to trade with the Empire, and all who pay attention to the march of events know that it is trade that counts. All these fine sentiments we hear expressed from time to time in various Parliaments go for nought when trade interests are at stake. The provision that any person who advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the established government of the Commonwealth is only tacked on to the clause in order to secure the passage of the paragraph ge, and insure that persons of those countries where re-action has taken place against autocracy shall be prohibited from entering Australia. We were told previous to the introduction of this Bill, on all the platforms throughout Australia and throughout the world, that we were not quarrelling with the German people, the Austrian people, or the Bulgarian people.
– Mr Hughes said so in the House.
– I know. Our quarrel was supposed to be with the Prussian junkers, who had enslaved their people, or with the military caste of Prussia, which had imposed its will upon the Teutonic peoples; but now that the Prussian military machine has been ruined, honorable’ members opposite put aside their camouflage. and say that the German,
Austrian, and Bulgarian people ought to be kept out of Australia. Why is this?
– What reason does the honorable member suggest?
– I suggest that the reason is that in Germany and Austria, as in Russia, the interests of the ruling classes are menaced by the revolt of the people, and the growth of the social idea amongst them, and honorable members opposite desire to keep out Germans and Austrians because they imagine that as a result of the war there is a spirit of antagonism to those people based purely on the fact of their having been born in enemy countries. And honorable members hope to safeguard their own vested interests and privileges by playing upon that prejudice of the people. The very persons who talk so much about the liberty of this country have deliberately disfranchised Australian-born citizens. There are twenty-eight ‘native-born Australians in Holdsworthy Internment Camp. The grandfather of one internee came to Australia in 1830, but the grandson has been behind the barbed wire for threeandahalf years.
– Perhaps he was not behind the British flag.
– The honorable member was well behind it. Thousands of native-born Australians have been disfranchised. Honorable members have said that they propose to exclude enemy nationals, although they had no quarrel with them as a people; the quarrel was with the ruling classes of which they were the tools. Now honorable members have dropped that argument just as the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), who, during’ the war, resented any imputation that the struggle was a commercial war, says now, “ Nobody denies that it was a war waged for commercial supremacy.” Why is the prohibition against Germans, Austrians, and Bulgarians limited to a period of five years ? If there is any logical reason why those people should not be allowed into this country because of their nationality, will it not continue equally for all time?
– We hope that the German people will be regenerated in the. meantime, and make themselves more worthy of admission.
– As a result of the honorable member’s friends securing the trade with them; that is the reason why commercial emissaries are being sent to Germany to “educate” the people. If the reason for the prohibition of these people is that because of their nationality they are inherently bad, they should be kept out of Australia for all time.
– Does the honorable member wish to extend the prohibition?
– So far as the honorable member’s spiritual affinities in Germany are concerned, yes; so far as the working classes of Austria, Germany, and Bulgaria are concerned, I have no objection to any of them who are prepared to work in harmony with the people of this country in building up a State that will be fit to live in.
– If they did not work in harmony, what would the honorable member do?
– I would make them amenable to the laws of the country. The effect of this Bill is that only persons whose political complexion is satisfactory to the Government of the day will be allowed to enter Australia from the countries of our former enemies. It seems queer that the Government should not be so much concerned about the exclusion of German manufactures as they are about the exclusion of German people. Even the pencils which we use in this building seem to have had the maker’s name scraped off them, so that we may not be contaminated by the knowledge that they were made in Germany. I am surprised that the Minister for Home and Territories (Mr. Glynn) should so far forget his principles as to use, for his assistance in getting the Bill through the Committee, a pencil manufactured in an enemy country.
.- I move -
That after the word “ anarchist “ in paragraph gd the word “ profiteer “ be inserted.
There is no need to argue the amendment, because every one will agree with it.
– By his amendment, the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey) is proposing an extension of the clause. Honorable members have raised a question as to the meaning of the word ‘‘anarchist.” That word is coupled with the phrase “ or person who advocates the overthrow by force or violence,” &c. The interpretation I place on that phraseology is that the subsequent words explain the meaning of “ anarchist.” If that word were separated from the other words, the phrase would not be grammatically correct. The insertion of the word “ profiteer “ would destroy the continuity of sense that now exists in the paragraph as framed, and a common-sense reading of the paragraph then would be that a profiteer was a man who advocated the overthrow of governments by force or violence. Would it not be better to allow profiteering to be dealt with on different lines and in a separate measure? That subject is quite foreign to the purpose of this Bill. The reference to organized government does not refer to any particular government, but to any kind of government.
– Would the term exclude from Australia members of the authorized Government of Ireland?
– Of course it would not. The paragraph refers to any person who desires to destroy all forms of organized government. In support of the clause, I can actually quote Germain authorities. In Wilhelm Meister, translated from the German of Goethe by Carlyle, .1 find this paragraph -
Two duties we have most rigorously undertaken: First, to honour every species of religious worship, for all of them are comprehended more or less in the Creed; secondly, in like manner to respect all forms of government; and since every one of them induces and promotes a calculated activity, to labour according to the wish and will of constituted authorities, in whatever place it may be our lot to sojourn, and for whatever time.
That quotation refers to immigration throughout the world, and it shows the incidental necessity of respecting all forms of organized government. In regard to the portion of the clause which deals with the exclusion of Germans, Austrians, Bulgarians, and Turks, I remind honorable members that the exclusion is only a temporary one. It is not an eternal prohibition. There may be a poor person whom the Minister administering the Act thinks he may safely allow to enter the country, and he is given power to do that. The Bill is not proposing an absolute prohibition of the subjects of any nation after the war.
.- If the desire of the Government is to exclude from Australia those who are causing discord in the community, they will accept the amendment proposed by the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey). I do not know of any alien who could do more harm than is being done in our midst, by the profiteer. The Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), stated in Western Australia that he was out to fight the profiteer. The amendment provides him with a golden opportunity.
– How can we fight the profiteer’ if we do not allow him to come in? ‘
– I am speaking of the profiteer in our midst. Such a man is a real danger to the community, and to the safety of the realm. We could have no greater enemy than a man who is trying to starve the people into subjection, and to compel them to pay whatever price he chooses to ask for his wares. Here is an opportunity for the Government to deal with profiteers - the real enemies in our midst. Like the Prime Minister, I would gaol such men. Honorable members opposite would exclude the Bolsheviks. It is the profiteers that breed Bolshevism. If we go to a division on this amendment, we 6hall be able to ascertain whether the Government and- ‘their supporters are really prepared to deal with the profiteer. It is useless to legislate for the exclusion of men likely to create dissension when we allow those who are actually causing discontent here to go scot-free.
– The honorable member ought not to deal in a spirit of levity with such a serious subject as that covered by this Bill.
– This amendment has been moved by the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey) to give effect to a principle in which he believes, and the division upon it will prove interesting in the days to come. I hope that the Government will accept it, for I am convinced that, if it be agreed to, it will help to some extent to cause profiteering to .disappear.
– I did not think it would; be necessary for me to speak to this question. So far, I have not taken part in the discussion upon the Bill, either in the House or in Committee. I cannot agree with those of my party who oppose the Bill. It is absolutely necessary to prevent the importation, and to facilitate the exportation, of any person whose opinions differ from those’ of the Government.. I thoroughly indorse > the proposal’, of the Government to prohibit- the immigration into Australia of .any one with whose views they disagree. I desire, however, to make the Bill as perfect as possible. We are suffering at present from social unrest caused by agitators, certain classes of anarchists, revolutionaries, and others with absurd ideas which they bring from abroad, and which we could not tolerate in a free country. We should not only prohibit the entrance of such people into the Commonwealth; we should absolutely prohibit the importation of any idea, whether expressed by word of mouth or in writing, that is likely to produce unrest in the community. The Age newspaper has declared that profiteering is the fundamental cause of unrest in Australia. The profiteer, therefore, is one of our greatest enemies, and we should not allow him to enter the country. Honorable members dare not vote against a proposal to prohibit the entrance into Australia of the germ of unrest. Not one of them dare disagree with the Age, and must therefore support this amendment. We ought to be prepared to keep out’ every- discordant germ. We need to build up harmony. What we want is peace, perfect peace - a peace that ends only in the grave. It is this consideration that has led me to submit my amendment, and I cannot understand why any one should object to it. If it be agreed to, - 1 shall move further amendments, making it quite clear that what we desire -‘s to shut out profiteers and all who are engaged in spreading the germ of unrest. We want to shut out every insidious policy destructive of the peace and harmony of the country.
Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 7.4-5 p.m.
– I draw attention to the state of the ‘Committee. [Quorum formed.]
-I understand that the Minister for Home and Territories (Mr. Glynn) agrees to accept my amendment to associate the .profiteer with the anarchist as common enemies of their . country. If the Minister is favorable, there will be no need for me to go on with the process of conversion. As the honorable gentleman makes no reply, I will leave the matter at that.
.- I “was speaking previously of ‘the position of Germany with regard to the League of Nations. From the -beginning of the recent war, and right through it, it was continually emphasized that we had no feelings of hatred towards the German people as such, and that our opposition was entirely to their attempts at military domination. It was said that our quarrel with the German people was simply because they were the supporters of a system which we opposed, and determined to overthrow, if we could. During the war the German people were invited to overthrow that system of government themselves and establish a constitutional form of government in Germany. Both things have taken place. The Prussian system of militarism has been overthrown, and the German people have established a constitutional form of government.
– There was no such movement prior to the war.
– They established a constitutional form of government prior to the armistice, and their action was the direct reason for the armistice. Both those tilings having been accomplished, what further argument have we against the Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, Bulgarians, or Turks? I see no reason for the insertion of paragraph ge, because I do not think any of those people will, feel, at all attracted towards Australia for several years to come, or that they will be welcome visitors to Australia. I do not think Australia wants immigrants from those countries, or that they would get a very comforting reception if they attempted to come. Why insert this provision to keep them out, seeing that at any time we- may want them to junction with us to preserve the peace of the world? The admission of the Germanic nations to the League of Nations may occur at any moment. It is within the province of the League to admit them. I foresee, not the end of war - I wish I could - but a considerable extension of the war area; so much so, , that I dread the possibilities of a great war, which, I think, will eventuate between Europe and Asia. It is, therefore, essential that the European nations who uphold to some extent the same standard of civilization should be in hearty co-operation with each other. The Germans are our ene mies to-day; a very few years ago they were our most intimate friends; and British statesmen explicitly stated that the best policy for Great Britain was a close alliance with Germany. At ‘that time France was our enemy; to-day she is our friend. Who shall say who will be our enemy to-morrow, or our friend the day after? But here we are declaring that, for five’ years at least, and for an indefinite period thereafter, “ the Jews will have no dealings with the Samaritans.” That is a policy of exclusion, and a discrimination in nationalities to which I refuse to subscribe. I have no love- for the German system of government. Even the present one does not approach my ideals. I have less love for the system that was overthrown. I have not a good word to say for the methods adopted by Germany during the war. It would have been a world calamity if Germany had, in any sense, succeeded in the war; but now the war is over, many reasons exist why we should forget as soon as possible the ‘things that divided us, and unite for the service of humanity. In those circumstances, it is an abrogation of all the ideals that Great Britain has always stood for that we should shut the doors of Australia to people from the countries enumerated in the clause.
The fact that during this war we have practically shorn of all value the citizenship given in Australia to people of other nationalities than our own, is detrimental Ito our reputation, and will have a serious effect upon our future development. We have made naturalization in Australia of no value whatever. No nation has any guarantee that, if its subjects come here to settle, and accomplish all the necessary requirements in regard ito residence and citizenship, the citizenship we grant to them will be worth anything, because at any moment it may be abandoned or repudiated. We took up during the war the position that the moment any country is at war with ‘Great Britain we are necessarily at enmity, not only with the people living in that country, but with every person who, by any stretch of the imagination, can -be connected in nationality with that country. That is a proposition which, in time of war, Ave may be willing to accept; but to make it a permanent plank in our immigration system will not stand the test either of humanity or of reason, and is opposed to the best interests of Australia. In repudiating citizenship, and in depriving of citizenship those who, at our own invitation came here and accepted its responsibilities, who displayed loyal and constitutional adherence to our customs and our laws, we have, by that very act, declared those people to be enemy subjects. Even though there was no record against them, and no charge had been laid against them, many of them have been deprived of their citizenship, and made responsible for acts committed without their knowledge or approval, after they had openly denounced the German aggression thait brought about the war. Is our citizenship to be of no value? Are we willing to placard to the world that no man or woman who comes here from any country other than a British Dominion can depend upon his citizen rights for one moment? That is practically what it means. Probably, as the result of what I am saying, I maybe branded as a pro-German. That is nothing new. A man who is afraid to be called names is afraid to do anything, and will never accomplish much. The Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) at Fremantle the other day said, “ We have to open the doors of Australia, and provide for the settlement in Australia, first of our own people, secondly of the service men from the British Dominions, and thirdly of the peoples of other countries.” Yet, before he gets back to his parliamentary duties, his own Government say, “ No ; there are some we will not have on any consideration.”
Under the existing law, there is a very clear and effective bar against the introduction of any one who is thought undesirable. Section 3 provides for the application of the dictation test, which can be, and has been, used to prevent undesirable immigrants from entering Australia. Section 16 provides that the GovernorGeneral may make regulations for carrying out the Act, and empowering officers to determine whelther any person is a prohibited immigrant.
Paragraph ge of this clause provides that “ any person who, in the opinion of an officer, is of German, Austro-German, Bulgarian, or Hungarian parentage and nationality, or is a Turk of Ottoman race,” may be prohibited. . Some irresponsible individual, not a member of the
Government, is to have the power to say who is or who is not of this class, or who may or may not be admitted. Under the Act power is given to the Minister to appoint an officer to whom we are, under this paragraph, giving specific power to determine the matter. During the war serious difficulties occurred through certain officers taking upon themselves the responsibility of saying, despite documentary proof to the contrary, that certain persons were of German or Austrian nationality, when, as a matter of fact, they were neither the one nor the other. In this regard we are opening the door to a very serious possibility of national trouble. If we are going to prohibit Germans, AustroGermans, Bulgarians, Hungarians, or Turkish people from entering, what about the other nations which were so closely in touch with the Germans and their Allies? Take, for instance, the people of Sweden and the people of Holland, who made no disavowal of the fact that they were trading with our enemies? The people of Sweden and Norway possess attractive characteristics, which make them acceptable immigrants in a country like Australia, but it would be quite easy to put up the argument that they are undesirable immigrants because of their connexion with Germany during the war. The provision in the Bill is either too narrow or too wide - too narrow because it excludes people who are equally culpable with the Germans because of the assistance they rendered to Germany during the war; too wide because it includes people who were not responsible for the war, and were only the victims of circumstances.
– Does the honorable member regard neutrals as equally culpable with Germans ?
– It was not possible for either man or nation to be neutral during the war. It was a conflict in which every person had to take sides, either for or against those things which in our inmost hearts we believed to be for the betterment of the race and civilization; and those nations which preserved what they called neutrality simply took up. an attitude which prevented them from being involved in the actual fighting, but did not prevent them from making profits by carrying on trading operations with our enemies.
– Does the honorable member seek to have the prohibition made wider?
– No. I say that if the discrimination which is established is insisted on, it ought to be made wider; but I am not in favour of having that discrimination. In any case, it is unnecessary, because the Act already provides ample safeguards preventing the entry of any undesirable person . to Australia. There are nationalities in Europe to whom I have a greater dislike than I have to the central nations. There are certain elements in the southern European nations which make them much less attractive to me. We declare to ourselves that for the next five years we shall have nothing to do with particular peoples, because they are undesirable immigrants, yet we may have much more to fear from other nations.
– Would the honorable member like to improve the Bill in that respect ?
– It is unnecessary to do so, because the Act already enables us to keep out people of any nationality whom we consider undesirable. The discrimination which the Bill shows is only likely to cause trouble, and will not help towards the settlement of differences.
I am one of those who are seeking in every direction to find a solution for the present international disturbances and unsettlement in order that, so far as civilization is concerned, there will be such unanimity among the people of the world as will accelerate the progress of humanity. Discriminations such as are perpetuated in the Bill only hinder things, and continue those divisions among peoples which tend to bring about trouble, and war.
– The people mentioned in the paragraph are those who brought about the last war.
– The people against whom we are discriminating were no more responsible for bringing about the war than was the honorable member. The influences at work in those countries which brought about the war have been displaced, and the peoples of those countries have, at the invitation of Great Britain and her Allies, taken such action as has - rehabilitated them with the other nations of the world. When we get down to hard facts, we realize that the people who were actually responsibly for the war, and who during the war were the leaders of their nations, have disappeared, I hope never to return.
– They are not very far away. One of them was on the throne of Hungary the other day.
– He did not last very long. His disappearance shows that the nations are not wishful of a return of his kind or for the re-appearance of the influences which his class exerted. There is also a very strong feeling amongst the nations against any symptom of a return to power of the old autocratic regime.
In Australia we should seek not only to heal our own divisions, but also to find out the best in every nation of the world, in order to attract to Australia the best brains and the best workers that every country can furnish. The proposal in the Bill will not only serve to create a bad feeling against us in other p’arts of the world, but will also cause a feeling of unrest and insecurity among the people of foreign birth already in Australia. What guarantee can be given to those people? None whatever. The war is far from being settled. To-morrow we may be involved in a conflict affecting not only the people in the country with whom we are at war, but also persons of that nationality who are already resident in Australia; and it may be necessary for us to amend the Immigration Act to exclude the people of Italy, or Poland, or the Balkan States, or Russia. We never know where to stop when we commence on this kind of thing. The Bill accentuates trouble, and seeks to bring about what we are anxious to avoid. It is all the more unnecessary, when we remember that there are two specific provisions in the Act which give ample power to keep out undesirables from any country, and that that power has been sufficient in the past. I am opposed to making any discrimination against another country. Each nation has its good points as well as its bad points, and our immigration laws should be wide enough to enable us to take the best that any country can give us, while reserving to ourselves the right to reject anything we think may be inimical to Australia. The adoption of that standard would give no offence to any nation, because there would be_ no discrimination. It is only discrimination which causes trouble. I am not anxious to have an influx of Germans into Australia. I would be the first to give the Minister power to prevent it if such a danger threatened,, just as I would be the first to object to the influx of Japanese or other undesirable immigrants. Discriminations cause misunderstandings with other nations, and will cause no end of disturbance to the minds of people of other nationalities already resident in Australia.
– The honorable member’s suggestion is to block them when they come here?
– No; there is a better method. The honorable member knows that’ we have officers on duty in London, whose business it is to block people from emigrating to Australia whom they think are undesirable immigrants. When the State Governments have sent their emissaries to Germany and other countries for the purpose of inducing people to emigrate to Australia, they have carried with them the terms under which persons were permitted to do so. No one would be foolish enough to attempt to emigrate to Australia without a reasonable assurance that he would be admitted to the country. Every one knows that a country must have immigration laws. We want people in Australia. We must get population to develop the country, and Ave should leave our door open wide enough to admit of the best we can get, and the most useful immigrants obtainable from any country; but at the same time we should hold in our hands the key of the door, so that we may close . it and lock it effectively against those whom we consider to be unsuitable and unworthy.
The honorable member for Kooyong (Sir Robert Best) has suggested that paragraph gg, providing for the prohibition of any person who has been deported in pursuance of any Act, can only refer to persons deported under an Act already in existence. There is only one Act in existence dealing with deportations, but there is nothing to hinder another measure being brought in at any time.
– When we are dealing with that measure we can reconsider this provision.
– That is the good old policy of “wait and see.” I do not believe in locking the stable door -after the horse has gone.
– My purpose was to give a proper interpretation of the provision.
– The honorable member gave a lawyer’s interpretation. I give an ordinary man’s interpretation.
– A common-sense interpretation.
– I think a Court would decide that this provision applies to any Act that has been passed or may be passed. It is a notorious fact that people have been deported from Australia during recent, years for various reasons, but in my opinion, in many cases, these people should never have been deported. Nothing could be publicly alleged against them.
– Were they deported under the Unlawful Associations Act?
– Yes. A large number of men were deported under the false pretence that they were I.W.W.-ites. Had they been given the opportunity of stating their case and being heard in their defence they would never have been deported by any Court or jury. They were deported to serve political purposes. The Act was, in fact, passed to serve political purposes.
– It was a very useful Act. Criminals of that type should not be allowed to remain here.
– It was useful at the last elections. It caused a lot of noise, and frightened many people, but the people will not always be in such a nervous state as they were then. They desire sensible, reasonable, and honest government. By firing off that blunderbuss at the last election the Government were able to frighten many people to. such an extent that they voted in a- way which was not in the best interests of the country. But they are fast, recovering their sanity. The Democracy of Australia is the most intelligent in the world, and at the coming elections the electors will require intelligent arguments and facts, and a genuine redemption- of promises, not mere noise and bluster. This clause provides that a person who has been deported shall not be admitted to the Commonwealth at any time. Suppose we find later that a mistake has been made regarding the guilt of any person who has been deported, and who has been compelled to leave his wife and family in Australia. Are we unwilling to retrieve such a mistake? Under this clause we cannot do so. We are shutting, locking, and doubly bolting the door against him.
– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.
.- I offer a friendly challenge to the Minister for Home and Territories (Mr. Glynn) on the construction of paragraph gd, which commences, “ any anarchist or person who advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the established government of the Commonwealth.” I contend that if those words are to be given their right meaning they must be understood to differentiate on the one hand between any anarchist and, on the other hand, any person who advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the established government of the Commonwealth. May I suggest to the Minister that if he intends that phrase to mean what he- says it does mean, he might make the language a great deal clearer.
In regard to that portion of the clause which deals with the exclusion of our late enemies for a period of five years, I thought it was a sufficiently recognised principle of parliamentary government that no Parliament seeks to bind itself or future Parliaments as to its course of conduct in a matter of this kind.
– Parliament cannot and does not.
– Of course, and, therefore, the pretence that we can do so is all the more to be discouraged. I hope that even if this clause is carried, long before the expiration of the period of five years, wiser counsels will prevail in this Parliament, and this most churlish and unwise provision will be removed from the statute-book.
– If we had no time limit it would continue indefinitely until repealed.
– Nothing more or less happens in any case.
– This does put a period to it, at any rate.
– It is a sort of pretence, I suppose, that our enemies, to use an expression which I heard from the hon orable member for Brisbane (Mr. Finlayson), will have “ dreed their weird.”
Regarding paragraph gg, “ any person who has been deported in pursuance of any Act,” I ask the Committee to consider who are the persons who have been subjected to deportation. I am reminded by the honorable member for Kooyong (Sir Robert Best) of something I said in regard to the Italian deportees, when he took exception to my somewhat heated observations as to what I regard as the most iniquitous and harassing proceedings carried on by the Italian Consul-General under the atgis and protection of the Federal Government.
– I said that the Italian deportees are not covered by that paragraph.
– My only object in referring to the matter was to inquire of the Minister whether such persons were likely to be excluded.
– No; they were not deported under an Act.
– The honorable member for Kooyong (Sir Robert Best) said that they were not covered by this paragraph, because they had not been deported in pursuance of any Act. What were they deported, in pursuance of? Were they deported in pursuance of some arbitrary power which we always suspected was being operated by the Government, or were they deported under the War Precautions Act, and a regulation made thereunder which invested the ConsulGeneral for Italy with certain powers? As a matter of fact, they were deported in pursuance of an Act, and, therefore, technically, they come within the meaning of paragraph gg.
The persons who have been deported, and who, therefore, become prohibited immigrants under this paragraph, are described by the Unlawful Associations Act, section 4 of which reads -
Whoever advocates or encourages, or incites, or instigates to, the taking or endangering of human life, or the destruction or injury of property, shall tie guilty of an offence.
Penalty: Imprisonment for six months.
Then section 6, which has been amended, but not in a way to affect my argument, provides -
Any person, not being a natural-born British subject born’ in Australia who is convicted of an offence under either of the last two preceding sections, shall be liable, in addition to the punishment imposed upon him for the offence, and either during or upon the expiration of his term of imprisonment, to be deported from the Commonwealth pursuant to any order of the Attorney-General.
A peculiarity about that section is that a British subject, a person born in England, Scotland, or Ireland, is not immune; the exemption is restricted to a natural-born British subject born in Australia. Suppose that an Englishman has been guilty of the crime of instigating to the injury of property. That does not strike me as being a very heinous offence. For that he may suffer imprisonment for a period up to six months, and then be deported. May I suggest that, after he has served his sentence for a comparatively mild offence, and having been deported, he should not be still further penalized by this Bill if he should ever attempt to return to Australia. In the circumstances, I cannot withdraw or modify any of my objections to this clause.
I was pleased to hear the honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. Finlayson) speak in such a manly and courageous way regarding paragraph ge. No matter on which side of the House we sit, we have nothing to gain politically, but we have a great deal to lose, by appearing to advocate the case of aliens, particularly those against whom our passions have been aroused during the war. If any honorable member wishes to interject that my passions have not been aroused against them, I answer that the fact remains that those to whom I am responsible - the electors - have to judge whether in this regard I faithfully represent them. It appears to. me that when, according to the boast which we make, we have imposed upon Germany the terms which we declare to be just and proper, and when we have extracted from the German people the very last ounce of what we declared they should give and do as a penalty for their part in the war, to propose now, when the joybells of peace are ringing throughout the world, to perpetuate by a policy of ‘ unfriendliness and exclusion, the feelings of hatred which were generated, perhaps necessarily, during the war, is a poor compliment to the Australian Democracy, who will not for a moment sanction or applaud such an attitude.
Surely honorable members opposite will lend their support to the amendment moved by the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey). That proposal does not abrogate any part of the clause as it stands, but adds to the persons excluded a class of person who to-day is being held up in Australia as the nation’s greatest enemy. Therefore ‘ I cannot understand the comparative levity, and even hilarity, with which honorable members opposite treat the suggestion that we should brand the country’s spoliators with a proper designation, and in proper company, in the clause now under consideration. While I must not be taken in accepting the honorable member’s amendment as being satisfied, I certainly would accept it as an instalment or right, and in the hope that the whole Bill might be modified afterwards by further amendments to more nearly give effect to the democratic aspirations of the Australian people.
– I regret that it is necessary for me to speak again on this subject, because I recognise that honorable members have given a fair and wide consideration to the scope of this provision. At the same time, I think there is a misunderstanding as to what is intended. Under the principal Act we have absolute power to prevent any of the persons dealt with in this clause from entering Australia. We have power to apply the dictation test to any person desiring to enter the Commonwealth. Even a British subject could be called upon to submit to it. We do not wish, however, to do that. We want to proceed with a certain amount of reason, and to administer the Act according to the import which Parliament gave to it when placing it on the statute-book. I was not only a member of the Federal Convention, but I have been a member of this Parliament from its inception, and I remember that in 1901, when the Immigration Bill was first introduced, there was a great deal of doubt as to whether we should not specify the particular . classes to’ be affected by the dictation clause.
– And an alteration was made only at the request of the late Mr. Chamberlain.
– The suggestion came from Mr. Chamberlain. There was much correspondence between the Imperial Government and the Dominions as to whether we should apply as a precautionary measure, and not because of any disrespect to the standing of the nations affected, the principle of colour, as had previously been done, or whether we should adopt some other means of limiting the immigration of Asiatic races. Out of respect to Japan, India, and certain other countries, we thought it better not to specify any particular race under the Act. By refraining from doing that we thought that we should avoid any misapprehension. Power was therefore taken to apply, within the limits of reason, the prohibition against certain races. I repeat now what I said then, that there was no derogation from the dignity of those races by the imposition of such a prohibitive clause. They are in relation to their standing equally as civilized as we are. There is not a race which could borrow the civilization of another and effectively apply it to the same extent that it could apply its own. It could apply the great principles of morality and Christianity, and all those tenets which rule the League of Nations; but civilization, like all the peculiarities of human beings, is affected by its surroundings. There are biological conditions which make the mixture of races undesirable, although from the point of view of their own physical perfection, the one race might be equally as good as the other.
It will thus be recognised that no disrespect was implied by taking the power, where the necessity arose, to prevent the excessive immigration into Australia of certain races. Some of our Allies understand that perfectly well. The honorable member for Melbourne (Dr. Maloney) suggested the desirableness of having, perhaps, reciprocity with Japan as regards the application of these provisions. Such an arrangement might be arrived at. It has received consideration in the past, and, to some extent, the principle has been applied by some of the Dominions.
We really have power under the principal Act tn do exactly what we are proposing to do under this clause. The dictation test, however, is not intended to apply to certain races. Instead of availing ourselves of the dictation test, we say here that for a period only incidental to the war, and which we put down as five years, we shall stop the immigration of certain persons who are specifically mentioned. Instead of taking power under the principal Act, we direct what the Minister shall do. He need not apply the dictation test. It would be quite wrong for him to do so in these cases. We say to the Minister, “ You can stop the coming in of this class of persons without submitting them to the dictation test.” That is why this specific provision is made. We also do not wish to be unjust or to depart one iota from the splendid moral spirit implied in the preamble to the League of Nations. The Minister is given power to allow the entrance into Australia of those who he thinks should come in.
The honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. Finlayson) has spoken of the possible impairment of confidence in our administration on the part of other races. Surely in administration the principles of the League of Nations will be applied subject to the necessity of protecting ourselves for a time against the incursion into this community of enemy subjects. Such an incursion might possibly impair what it is desired to obtain by the League of Nations. Let me make this quotation from the preamble to the League of Nations -
The high contracting parties in order to promote international co-operation and to achieve international peace and security, by the acceptance of obligations not to resort to war, by the prescription of open, just, and honorable relations between nations, by the firm establishment of the understandings of international law as the actual rule of conduct among Governments, and by the maintenance of justice and a scrupulous respect for all treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another, agree to the covenant of the League of Nations.
I do not think it will be said that this provision, covering a period of five years, can impair the splendid spirit expressed by that clause. I therefore ask honorable members to recognise that this is not a radical alteration of the existing law, but simply a direction to the Administration as to how they shall act, taking into account the significance of the principle itself as applied since 1901.
As to German immigration, I would point out that before the war, judging by their own administrative practice, Germans did not wish to come here. I was Minister for External Affairs .at that time, and then, as now, in charge of immigration. I made inquiries as to the possibility of getting emigrants from European countries. I found that, on the whole, the farmers and agricultural labourers of Great Britain were not prepared to leave the Old Country, because, happily, the wretched conditions and pay of the past were gradually disappearing. For a generation before the agricultural labourers of the Old Country were almost at the starvation limit ; but, gradually, the upper classes recognised that it was necessary to apply the tenets of morality to these men, particularly in relation to their wages. Their wages were gradually raised, and they preferred to remain where they were. In many cases where we sought on Fair days to obtain farm labourers to come to Australia, we failed. In connexion with a Fair held in one town, about two years before the war, we secured 129 emigrants, but a year later we could get only four, the reason being that farm labourers were becoming better off.We had, therefore, to endeavour to obtain emigrants from other countries. We looked for emigrants from the Scandinavian countries as well as from the northern part of Italy and some parts of Russia. Germany was not much considered, because, as a matter of fact, Germany, I understand, had prohibition, or was against its people coming out. In these circumstances Germans could not be materially affected by any such temporary check as is applied by this provision. It is not a permanent provision, but will apply for a few years, until, I dare say, Germany comes into the League of Nations. This is merely a proposal to apply for a time, and to an extent, a practice that was considered necessary during the war. No enemy subject could come in during the war period, and, as a matter of fact, no British subject of enemy origin could leave Australia. A naturalized German, for instance, was not allowed to leave the Commonwealth. From the beginning to the end of the war I do not think that a dozen such persons left Australia. It was only recently that the Imperial Government gave permission to allow some to leave here in exceptional circumstances. It will thus be seen that power is now being taken to apply for a period that may be necessary as incidental to the settlement of the war, provisions that were applied during the war, in order to prevent any possible injury from excessive immigration.
The honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) has very properly asked for the significance of this, clause. If. honorable members inquire into its meaning, they will recognise that the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey) has taken quite a mistaken view of it in moving the insertion of the word “ profiteer.” Any amendment of the clause ought to have direct relation to its purport. What is the purport of this clause ? It is not to deal with a particular class of person, but with all persons who, according to its context, aim at the destruction by force of organized government. The honorable member is moving to deal with profiteers. That is a matter for specific legislation.
To silence the suggestion that this is a mere election move, I would direct attention to analogous provisions in the legislation of other countries. The power we are taking was provided for in the United States -of America, two years ago, and as far back as 1911 in the case of Canada. Under the United States Act, anarchists or persons who believe in or advocate the overthrow by force or violence of the government of the United States of America, or of all forms of law, “or who disbelieve in” - those are words that we have nob in this Bill - or are opposed to organized government, or who advocate the assassination of public officials, are prohibited immigrants. Under the Canadian Act, those who believe in the destruction of constitutional government, and tha constitutional provisions of government, are specifically mentioned. The honorable member for Batman referred to the inclusion of the word “ anarchist” in the proposed new paragraph. I believe that a Court of justice looking at it would say that “ anarchist “ meant a man of the class subsequently described as one who advocates the overthrow by force or violence of established government, or who is opposed to any form of organized government. It surely does not cover a man of the stamp of Kropotkin, who was a philosopher who tried to inoculate his followers with high-class ideals.
– What about Lenin and Trotsky. They believe in organized government.
– I am not going to discuss them. There are different opinions as to the principles in which they believe. Tolstoi might have been regarded as having a desire to apply Christian principles as far as possible to keep people to- get her, and he thought the machinery of government should, be reduced to a minimum Some people called him an anarchist, but he would not have come within the meaning of this clause. A Bolshevist - ; I seldom use the word - or, at all events, a man who wishes, to destroy established government by force or- bloodshed, is a class of anarchist who would come under this prohibition.
– Under ‘ paragraph c of this clause, if a British family desired to enter Australia,, all of whom were healthy with the exception of one who, through an accident, was afflicted with epilepsy, has the Minister discretionary power to- allow the whole family in, or would it be compulsory to exclude the one unfortunate member of the family ? It would be cruel and harsh in such a case to shut out the afflicted one, because, often, the origin of the trouble is a fall or blow in childhood.
– rThere is power of exemption to cover exceptional cases. It has been applied in cases somewhat similar to the one the honorable member mentions.
– I am glad the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey) has moved this amendment, although, ‘ seeing that the profiteer is playing such a prominent part in every country, I would prefer a special clause to deal with him. If there is any criminal on the face of the earth it is he. In this connexion my previous remarks on this clause are apropos. I showed that a wealthy bagman, or the representative of a wealthy German, firm, holding a passport, could be allowed in and carry on his trade, or remain here securing orders. He could go- all over Australia, or establish himself in one of tbe capitals.
– Under an exemption hedoes not get power to remain permanently.
– He could be one of the worst classes of Germans. He might be a Prussian junker, or one of those, influential business men who, in association with the Kaiser, did more than anybody else to bring about the war. The following paragraph from a cable in Tuesday’s Sun, shows that the British Go vernment is not averse to doing trade with Germany : -
Renter’s correspondent at Cologne reports that in order to assist British firms to establish a footing in German markets, British liaison officers have been appointed at Crefeld, Coblenz, Mainz, Ludwigshafen, and Aix-la-Chapelle to give information and assistance on trade questions to all British commercial representatives.
– The honorable member shook his head somewhat credulously when I said previously that German bagmen were overrunning Great Britain and British bagmen overrunning Germany. The following information is of interest : -
Crefeld is the seat of German silk and velvet manufacture.
Mainz is the seat of trade between Germany, Belgium, and Holland in leather goods, furniture, chemicals,, musical instruments, and cars.
Ludwigshafen is one of Germany’s chief ports, and has great chemical works.
Aix-la-Chapelle is an important trade centre, great spinning and weaving industries, as well as manufacturers of machinery, chemicals, and other articles.
America and Great Britain are making great efforts, through their trading concerns, to do trade- with Germany. At the same time, we, in Australia, are going along altogether different lines. The Minister quotes from American and Canadian legislation and regulations, but I ask him what that country, just across the English Channel, is doing? It is doing its level best to get into association with Germany. There is a race between American and British commercial men for the German trade, and, as I have shown, the British Government is helping British business men in the struggle. I suppose the- Australian fruit-growers will soon again want to sell their fruit to Germany, where they obtained very good prices previously.. American buyers are to-day going through Australia purchasing hides and skins to re-sell to Germany. If that sort of thing is to be done by a third party, why not allow Australia to do the trade direct?
The CHAIRMAN (Hon. J. M. Chanter) . - Order !
– I am dealing with profiteering and trade.
– The honorable member is dealing with internal profiteering.
– I am trying to ward off from Australia some of the profiteers who come from other countries. These are some of the worst men, because they import goods not made by Australian artisans. You, sir, know that the Free Trade monopolist is the worst, and the importing profiteer is a double-dyed sinner compared with the profiteer who employs local labour.
Aliens can enter Great Britain with the permission and consent of the Home Secretary.
– That is practically the same as this proposal.
– No; they have practically free entry to Great Britain. The Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) referred to the admission of Germany once more into the council of nations, and her treatment once more as a country with whom other nations could associate, in these terms -
The only way in which we can secure peace and safety” and the right to make our own laws, and develop this country in our own way, is by breaking the power of the Hohenzollerns Mr. Lloyd George and President Wilson have voiced the opinion of the Allied nations. It is not against the German people, sane and clothed in their right mind, that we wage war. It is against the accursed militarism in which they arc enmeshed. Let us break that. Let us have a sane political system in Germany, under which the people govern, and there will be some guarantee for the world’s peace; but to-day, when the legions of Germany are massed for a desperate attempt to break through to Calais and Paris, to dictate terms to France and to Great Britain, is not the time to talk of peace.
Germany is so recognised by the nations which took part in the Peace Conference that they accepted the signatures of the envoys of the new German Republican Government. Those were the conditions laid down by the Prime ‘ Minister (Mr. Hughes), Mr. Lloyd George, and President Wilson. Those conditions having been fulfilled, where is the necessity for legislation of this kind ? I support the amendment, although it is not the best method of settling the question, hoping that, as the profiteer has been denounced from the other side of the Chamber, we shall have the unanimous support of the Ministry and their followers in including amongst prohibited immigrants the person who is the worst offender against humanity.-
Government are to be commended for bringing forward this Bill, inasmuch as they specifically mention the classes of persons who are to be denied admission to Australia, and thus free themselves from the necessity of misapplying the dictation test. We are all in agreement with paragraph c, because it will prevent the admission of degenerates. We are apt to under estimate the cost to the country of admitting this class of people. There are some classical illustrations,’ which I shall quote. One of the best known cases was that of the Juke family, residing in one of the eastern counties of New York State. It ‘is recorded -
The descendants of one Ada Juke, otherwise and more familiarly known as “Margaret, the Mother of Criminals,” were carefully traced. The family and its various branches inhabited a certain county in eastern New York. Of the 1,200 direct descendants of Ada Juke, nearly 1,000 were shown to be criminals, prostitutes, paupers, inebriates, or insane. These degenerates had cost the State 1,300,000 dollars.
In proposing paragraph c, the Government are doing a splendid thing for Australia. Another case was traced by Professor Poellmann, of the University of Bonn. We are told that -
He has investigated the lives and characters of the descendants of a woman .who was a confirmed drunkard, and who died early in the last century. The five or six generations of her direct posterity number, to date, 834 persons. He has ascertained the records of 709. Of these, 107 were of illegitimate birth, 162 were professional beggars, 64 inmates of almshouses, 181 prostitutes, 76 were convicted of serious crimes, and 7 were condemned ‘ for murder. The total cost to the State of caring for these paupers, and punishing the criminals, and the amounts privately given in alms and lost through theft, are reckoned at 1,206,000 dollars, or more than 12,000 dollars a year.
The writer adds that this was rather an expensive family for any country to have to support.
The honorable member for Maribyrnong (Mr. Fenton) criticised the Minister (Mr. Glynn) for drawing upon the experience of the United States of America and Canada for precedents. If we are not to be guided by the experience of other countries, we shall find that gaining our own experience is rather an expensive business. The United States of America presents the greatest example of a country which has appealed to the people of the other countries to migrate. In the past Australia has been on the outskirts of the world, and has drawn to its shores comparatively few of the peoples of Europe, but, during the past four years, we have been represented on the other side by over 300,000 advance agents. Each one of our soldiers has proclaimed the glories of this country to the people in Europe with whom he has come in contact, and Australia to-day is not the unknown country that it was in the past.
– What is the good of that when you want to keep them out’!
– We want to keep out the undesirable class such as I have quoted. In the early days of America the better class of people migrated to its shores, but of late years the people of northern and central Europe have found it to their advantage to stay in their own countries. The conditions there were, if anything, on a par with those offering in America, and the United States, receiving, as it has of late years, until the outbreak of the war, on the average, over 1,000,000 immigrants a year, has not drawn upon the best of Europe, but has drawn upon the worst. We do not want the worst. It is far better for us to depend entirely upon our natural increase than to draw upon the worst of Europe. Nor do we want anarchists - those persons desirous of overthrowing existing systems of government. We have in our midst a few people who do not stand for law and order, and who would overthrow any semblance of law in order to gain their own ends; and if by means of this Bill we can keep others of this class out of Australia, it will be an advantage to the country. The provision which will keep out people of the central European Powers and the nations arrayed against us in the war is a fair one, although it is only to last for a period of five years. The honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. Finlayson) says that it is not in agreement with the League of Nations ; but I would remind him that the Central Powers are not to be admitted to that League at present. If ever the time comes when they are admitted, it will be time enough for us to review this provision.
– The Bill says “ for a period of five years “ and “ thereafter.”
– It would not be the first Act repealed by this Parliament. This provision is subject to repeal at any time, and if ever the people of the Central Powers show that they are worthy of admission to the League of Nations, then it will be open to this Parliament to repeal it, and admit them to Australia. I look upon paragraph gf as merely a further means of enabling us to identify the persons who are specifically mentioned in the preceding paragraphs. Although it has been asserted by the Opposition that a number of people have been deported who should never have been deported, I have yet to learn that any person of the class referred to in paragraph gg has not got his just deserts.
– Has the honorable member looked into one of those cases?
– No man has been deported whose case has not been thoroughly gone into.
– Why does the honorable member say that?
– Because I have sufficient confidence in the Government to know that no man would be sent out of this country unless there was ample proof that he deserved being deported. It is my intention to support the Bill, believing that if it is placed on the statute-book it will be in the best interests of Australia.
Question - That the word ‘’ profiteer “ proposed to be inserted be so inserted (Mr. Anstey’s amendment) - put. The Committee divided.
Majority . . . . 17
Question so resolved in the negative.
.- Mr. Bamford, sir–
– The honorable member has1 already spoken twice on the clause.
- Mr. Bamford, I am delighted to se© you in the chair. Your geniality, your wide knowledge of procedure, and your broad-mindedness appeal to me.’
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.There is no ref erence to that in the clause. I am. reminding the honorable member that he has already spoken twice on the clause.
– I have spoken to ari amendment, and I have another amendment to move.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Then it would be advisable for the honorable member to get another honorable member to move it.
– I submit that the honorable, member for Bourke is in order in moving a further amendment. He has not spoken twice on the clause. He spoke to an amendment. The mistake was in permitting a general discussion after his amendment was moved.
– I have not yet spoken to the clause.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.As I was not in the chair when the honorable member was speaking, I will give him the benefit of the doubt.
– I felt that my kind, words, like bread cast upon the waters, would come back to me, not after many days, but at once. I feel that it is absolutely necessary to improve the clause to the utmost of our ability. I desire to move an amendment that will make clear the intention of the Bill, and to which no honorable member will object. This clause contains a proposition to exclude everybody who is opposed to the interests of Australia. With that proposal I quite agree. The honorable member for Oxley (Mr. Bayley) staggered me. He is an illustration of the gentlemen who in this country sing “ Rule Britannia” and wrap themselves in the flag, but are speechless unless Chey can get arguments and illustrations from Germany. The first thing the honorable member did was to quote a professor of Bonn, where, I understand, that other great Britisher, Lord Milner, was bom1. As another argument why this Bill should be agreed to, the honorable member quoted the antecedents of “ Jukes.” I quite admit that the antecedents of the dukes are deplorable. He referred to a number of “ Jukes “ whose offspring included 847 prostitutes and 140 thieves. There are dukes to-day who have not produced prostitutes and’ thieves, but who are the descendants of such, and to them our blessed Empire has its obligations.
I quite agree with the proposal to exclude from Australia persons whose presence would be detrimental to the interests of the Commonwealth. There are some persons who say - I do not know with what truth - that what the Government intend by this Bill is nothing. If that is their object, it is my. anxiety to assist them. As the Age stated the -other day in a leading article - and the Age is my bible, as it is that of ; honorable members opposite - the sublime art of politics is the accomplishment ‘ of nothing. And some people say that this Bill is introduced, for two purposes. They say that the Government have nothing to do, and therefore they wish to fill up the statutebook -with something that means nothing,, inasmuch as this measure proposes nothing that cannot be accomplished by powers conferred by existing legislation!: If that is- so, I, as a politician, am also anxious ‘to perfect myself iri the art of saying- much and accomplishing nothing. By means: of this and other similar Bills, the Government are able to avoid dealing with the important, problems that do affect the interests of the country: They are able- to carry on the outward and visible forms of Parliament by discussing the pros and cons of something which, when reduced to legislation, accomplishes nothing of value. There are- other persons who say that the- real purpose of this measure is political camouflage, and that it is only intended, to provide something- for discussion. If that is the truth, one might, in his own interests, sit down and say nothing. But it is said that a measure of this kind is introduced for political purposes. I will not say that that is the case, because I cannot conceive of a Government such as that now in office doing anything of that kind. What the Government want is opposition to the Bill. Some honorable members on this side have been ready to assist them in that respect. I am not. I would rather support the Bill. But as it is not calculated to accomplish even the purposes which it professes to carry out, as it is lacking in definition, and as it contains words that mean nothing, surely it is the duty of members of Parliament to transform into something that which means nothing, if only to make a show of earning the money we are paid and are pleased to get. The clause refers to civilized nations, and draws a clear line of demarcation between one State and another. It refers to the established governments of the Commonwealth “ or any State.” What is a State? Do the Government mean to say that they are opposed to the advocacy of violence or force against Kaiserdom?
– “ State “ means a State within the meaning of the Acts Interpretation Act.
– Then Prussia is a State.
– It is not an Australian State.
– Does the Minister mean to say that that is what the word “State “ means in this clause?
– That is the definition in the Acts Interpretation Act.
– That shows the indefinite character of the verbiage employed in this clause. The words which follow are ‘‘or of any other civilized country.” Is Prussia included within the category of civilized countries ?
– The Prussians are barbarians.
– The honorable member dare not say that Prussia, or Turkey, or Austria, or Bulgaria! is a civilized country. What are the civilized countries? There is no definition of them. Is Russia civilized 1 Could’ not I in a barbaric country like Russia or at Timbuctoo advocate force or violence against a despotic form of government? As a matter of fact, the words in the clause do not mean anything in particular.
Paragraph gd would exclude persons such as many of Australia’s pioneers, who, apparently, ought never to have come to this country. After the revolution of 1848, and the discovery of the Victorian gold-fields, something like 250,000 men came to this State within a period of four years. They came from every country in the world. There were the Chartists of England, members of the Young Irish party, the crofters of Scotland, the Communists of France, and the anarchistsof Spain and Italy. They came to what they regarded as a comparatively free country. Sir William Stawell, who, being an Englishman, and not a supporter of either the yellow dog or the green flag, must be believed, said that those individuals were drawn from the slums of all the great cities of Europe. It was Sir Charles Hotham, then a Governor of Victoria, who wrote to the British Government that it was evident that the people of Victoria were determined to realize in the country of their adoption all those principles which were scouted by the educated and wealthy classes of Britain. We can deplore the fact that there was no’ such law in existence then as this proposed Bill. We call those men the fathers of our country. We feel pride in the fact that they left the country of their birth and founded a new and better world in the southern seas. We boast that the young men of to-day are the descendants of those early immigrants. But the wealthy classes designated them as the scum of the cities of Europe. What a pity we had not this Bill on the statutebook then ! With such a law in existence the only persons eligible to enter the country would have been those who had been exiled from Britain for criminal offences, to which they were often driven by their poverty.
As you, Mr. Chairman, know, I am an anarchist, Bolshevik, revolutionist, direct actionist, and everything that is bad. I get my salary; I am a parasite like the others. I say to my electors, “You might as well pay the money to me as to anybody else.” But between ourselves, I honestly do not believe that the working classes or anybody else in this country will ever get anything out of the process of legislation. None of us intends to do anything in this Parliament - I do not - except to get as much for ourselves as we can. I think it would be a grand thing if, after long years, we were to have a “ burst up” of some kind, and if instead of having a bayonet poked into me, I could poke it into somebody else, and if instead of being forever without property, I could have the benefit of somebody else’s property before I died. But where can I find anybody in the community who wants violence? If honorable members look everywhere they cannot find such a person. We find men violent, but only in words; extreme, but only in words; and words will not hurt anybody. It was one of the traditions of England that crime consisted, not in words, but in deeds. Even in the bloodiest days of English history - in the days of “ bloody Castlereagh,” in the “ hungry forties “ when rr1 ill ions of Englishmen were walking from city to city in search for work - it was admitted that a man might be violent in words without the authorities being concerned. It was the man who was violent in deeds about whom they- concerned themselves. When men performed deeds against the Constitution they paid the penalty.
This Bill is mere camouflage, a delusion and a sham. There is no country in the world where the working-class agitators are such a mildmannered lot as they are in Australia. No honorable member can point to a man of violence. I have looked for such a man. I have looked for comradeship, but I have found it not. Amongst all our working-class agitators there is not a man who really means anything when you put up a proposition.
– -That is a reflection upon the honorable member for Barrier (Mr. Considine).
– Wherein lies the reflection? The point that I make is that there is not sufficient comradeship amongst these men, with the result that they are not able to transmute feeling into action. There is only one thing that will have that result. Make a man hungry. A man walks on his belly, and when he is hungry he will act. We are likely to have many hungry people here, because the Government seem to have no means of meeting the country’s needs.
– They do not try to meet them.
– Nor do we. Shake up the whole lot of us, Opposition and Government supporters combined, and you cannot find any diversity of opinion amongst us, except with regard to superficialities. We are going shortly to have an election. Some of us will lose our seats; some will come back. I hope to heaven that I shall be among the latter. Those who come back to power will have to “ carry the baby,” and a heavy baby it will be. It will not be the baby of Bolshevism, but something worse. Bolshevism is at least a clearly understandable policy, whereas the present Government have nothing before them but the chaos of indefinite policies. Agitators and advocates of violence do not exist. It is mere camouflage to suggest that we have such people. Our agitators are not hungry enough to think of action. The power of this Parliament will depend upon the growth of public opinion - upon the action of men who have definite opinions.
In this Bill the Government do not really touch the fundamental evil of this country, which lies in the fact that our debts are piling up, and that no attempt is being made to pay them. The manufacturer and every one else passes on the burden to the consumer of his products. The biggest enemies of our country are not touched by this Bill. They are travelling to Asiatic countries in the hope of securing lines of Asiatic goods with which to flood our markets. They talk about their God, their country, and their King, but their only concern is how to make 5 per cent, where they made before only 2i per cent. They denounce Germany to-day, and to-morrow they are attempting to open up traffic with her. They have no regard for either their flag, their country, or- their King, irrespective of his antecedents and his relationship to the Kaiser. What they are troubled about is whether they are going to make bigger profits by flooding the market with Japanese and German goods. To the extent that they succeed will trouble be caused. They are laying the foundations of future trouble and of Japan’s economic power in Australia.
The Government do not really mean anything in putting this provision before us. I do not desire to be offensive. I try to please people, and to win votes. Politically, the Opposition has not long to live. The man who is to strike off our political heads will be here in a few days, and it is absolutely necessary before his return that I should advertise myself. I do not suppose the newspapers will report me, and, therefore, as soon as Hansard issues a report of my speech, I shall have it circulated amongst my constituents to let them know I am doing something for my £600 a year. For that reason, and not to test the sincerity of the Government, because I do not doubt their sincerity for one moment, I intend to submit a further amendment. This amendment, I am sure, will not meet with the support of some of the Conservatives on this side, but will, I am convinced, receive the indorsement of such revolutionaries as the honorable member for Kooyong (Sir Robert Best), the honorable member for Grampians (Mr. Jowett), and the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Falkiner). I can appeal to such men to give me their whole-hearted support in the proposal I am about to make. They love their country, and want to protect it, and therefore I claim their help.I do not suggest for one moment that honorable members opposite are in favour of the profiteer or have any personal interest in profiteering. I believe they are like the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), who tells us that he is going to shoot the profiteers. He was going to shoot them five years ago; he was going to shoot them in 1915, and again in 1916 and 1917, but the profiteers are still alive. We now learn that he is going to destroy them at any time between now and the date of the next general election. After the next general election the profiteers will be all right for another three years.
The amendment I am about to propose will appeal to the intelligence of the Minister in charge of the Bill (Mr. Glynn), or, if not to his intelligence, at least to his heart. I move -
That after the word “ who “, first occurring, in proposed new paragraph gd, the following words be inserted: - “is connected with any company, corporation, association, or syndicate engaged in the monopolization of commodities, or who is engaged in any way in the exploitation of the public-
– Including the destruction of rabbits.
– Yes. I will accept the honorable member’s suggestion, if by doing so I can secure his vote. My amendment continues - or who injures local production by the importation of Asiatic goods shall be treated as an undesirable, and be excluded from entry into the Commonwealth.”
The Aye tells us that the cause of unrest in this country is profiteering. That being so, we must expel the germ of unrest and discontent. I do not wish to do anything calculated to disrupt or overturn society, and so to deprive myself of £600 a year. But we must eliminate this germ., I hope the Temporary Chairman (Mr. Bamford) will declare my amendment carried, whichever way the division goes, and that the Minister in charge of the Bill will give it his hearty indorsement.
Question - That the words proposed to be inserted be so inserted (Mr. Anstey’s amendment) - put. The Committee divided.
Majority . . . . 16
Question so resolved in the negative.
.- I am sorry that all my energy has been wasted. I have many other valuable suggestions to offer, but, as I am not producing any results, it seems to he useless to go on. I intended to move that after the word “ State,” in proposed new paragraph gd, the following words be inserted: - “ always provided that it shall not be an offence against the provisions of this Act to advocate the overthrow by force or violence of the barbarian States of Germany, Bulgaria, or Turkey.” I am convinced, however, that the members sitting behind the Government would not support this, because they would even sustain and uphold the Prussian State, and impose the same penalties here on a man who advocated its overthrow as on one who advocated the overthrow of any other State.
Civilized countries are mentioned, but the Government do not specify what a civilized country or a barbarian country is. The clause is all flim-flam. It consists merely of words, by which the Government do not mean anything. If they had any serious intention in this legislation I would have moved to insert after the words “ civilized country “ the following words : - ‘ ‘ being such a country as is hereafter specified, but not including Germany.” I am satisfied, however, that members opposite will all vote to include Germany in the scope of their protection, because all they desire is to protect the capitalistic State, which is more important to them than anything else. Under the provisions of this Bill, his sublime Majesty the Kaiser, when he leaves Holland, will be able to enter Australia, because he will not be included within the meaning of the term “ anarchist.” It is not often that I occupy the’ time of the House, and I feel that 1 have taken up sufficient time this evening. When the ‘’ king-pin “ comes back, possibly we may be able to get a word in, possibly not, because I see that he is going to smite everybody hip and thigh. I have, therefore, thought it wise to get in my word this evening. I apologize to the Minister (Mr. Glynn) for occupying so much of his attention. I have, in the interests of my ‘constituents, to approach various Ministers for certain things, and I desire to keep in the good graces of Ministers accordingly. It is not out of personal animosity towards the Minister that 1 have spoken on this Bill. There is nobody on the Ministerial bench that I love, revere, or respect more than I do the honorable gentleman who is now occupying the chair at the table - except, it may be, .some other Minister who may occupy it at some other time.
.- 1 foreshadowed early in the evening my intention to put on record my protest against this Bill, which I consider quite unnecessary, and pointed out that we already had sufficient legislation to deal with any person who does anything inimical to the best interests of this country. I agree with the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey) that the Bill is quite unnecessary, but it may do some injury to certain persons already here. There are anarchists who have been here for years doing constant propaganda work. They have never hurt this country one iota, because the rising generation, having sufficient education, decide for themselves which is the best policy for the country, . and have not followed their advice. These men conscientiously believe in their principles, and are opposed to every form of government. The Bill provides that they can be deported if they are opposed to the form of government in existence here. That is altogether wrong. Who is to tell whether persons coming here from other parts of the world are undesirable? It is impossible for the Government of the day to ascertain whether persons arriving here on vessels come within that category or not. If the Government cannot find o.ut, those persons have to be admitted, so that this Bill counts for nothing in that respect. Subsequently, if within a certain period they are found to have given utterance to something objectionable, although probably little notice is taken of their remarks, the Government can deport them under the authority of this Bill. Perhaps by that time they may have married Australian women and had children. They will be deported and the Australian wives and families left here, or forced to go away with them. In doing this the Government will be doing nothing that will help this country in any way. History shows that right down through the ages men have been punished for misdeeds. When they have committed an act against the law, they have had to ‘suffer the penalty provided. I do not want to take away from any man the right to express his opinion. Once we restrict the liberties of the people to that extent this country will not make the progress that it should enjoy. The people should have the right to express their views so long as they do it in a proper way; but if some officer considers that a certain statement made by an individual is against organized society, that individual can be sent out of the country at once, irrespective of what ties he has. That seems to be hasty legislation, or what Lloyd George would describe as “ shell-shock “ legislation.
– That is not the position in this Bill.
– We cannot reasonably consider anything to-day. I do not know where we are drifting. There is a great deal in what the honorable member for Bourke has said about many measures being introduced and passed for window-dressing or political-placard purposes. They should not be entertained in a deliberative assembly, yet they are passed without a scintilla of justification. There is, however, one provision in this measure which may be justified, and will get my support. I do not think we ought at present to permit enemy subjects to come here, who, if not directly responsible, have been residents of enemy countries, and in many cases may have taken up arms against our own people. We were compelled to go into the war, and those people should not be allowed to come here just because they have sufficient money to pay their passages. They should be debarred at least until we have repatriated the whole of our own men and found employment for all our people. The Germans and Austrians will probably find things very hard in their own countries after the war. The taxation there will be very heavy, and the wages, perhaps, low. They may say, to themselves, “ If we can get to Australia, which is a land flowing with milk and honey, we may find, employment and participate in what is going there, instead- of remaining in our own country to pay the penalty imposed on us for bringing on the war that brought so much misery to the world.” 1 could see some force in that proposition-, but this clause prevents me from voting according to my convictions. I must either vote for- the clause: with all its imperfections, debarring certain people from coming here on the slightest pretext, and deporting others for very little reason, or vote against it, because it does this, although at the same time it contains some very necessary provisions debarring certain undesirable persons from coming to Australia. In order to make my position clear and register my protest against the provision which prevents people from coming to Australia who, for thereasons already thoroughly threshed out this evening, ought to be made welcome here, I move -
That paragraph gd be left out.
.- I support the amendment. I made my position perfectly clear on Friday last. I agree with the honorable member for Hunter. (Mr. Charlton) that there are many people in the world to-day who cannot reason as they did before the war. As Mr. Lloyd George has said, the community is suffering from shellshock. Our Government are running amok with this kind of legislation. They are putting political placards in their, windows for the purpose of distracting the attention of the people from other important matters. At the same time, they will not tell the people that German travellers, agents, or tourists will be permitted to enter the Commonwealth, while men of the Garibaldi or George Washington type may be excluded. Irish patriots, such as the Minister (Mr. Glynn) is, would have been kept out of Australia if this provision had been the law. This legislation is only political hypocrisy. The Minister is anxious to get the clause through, but other amendments have been foreshadowed. The honorable member for Perth (Mr. Fowler) has given notice of an amendment to deport any person who does not happen to be a native of the Commonwealth.
– My amendment deals only with clause 7, referring to criminals.
– The Minister has told us that the provision in regard to Germans, Austrians, Bulgarians, Hungarians, and Turks will continue in force for five years: only, but he omitted to explain that it may continue thereafter until the GovernorGeneral by proclamation otherwise determines. If we vote- for the clause as it stands, the provision will last for all eternity, until a new set of Ministers comes into power and advises the GovernorGeneral to issue a proclamation terminating it.
– I explained the policy of the clause.
– I believe that the same thing will apply to this class of legislation as has applied to previous proposals. Honorable members who opposed the legislation put forward by honorable members of the Opposition when we were in power are now falling over themselves to say that it was the right thing to pass. When we proposed an amendment of the Constitution in 1911, they said that we were wrong. Now they find that it would have been the right thing to do. Honorable members who are voting for this provision to-day will find, later on, that it is wrong. However, it is hopeless for any honorable member of the Opposition to propose an amendment. On no single occasion since this Parliament began has an amendment from this side of the House been accepted. Honorable members on the Government side slavishly follow Ministers. Every one of them, with the exception of the honorable member for Wernwa (Mr. Lynch), voted for the bachelor tax, yet the Government did not have the courage to carry it out. I shall vote against every part of this Bill. I think it is only fair to point out that, owing to an unfortunate accident, the honorable member, for Capricornia (Mr. Higgs) was unable to continue the debate on the second reading on Friday. I trust that the people of Australia will come to their senses, and realize that this class of legislation will not be to their advantage, and that it will tend to keep out some of the best men we could get in Australia.
Mr.GLYNN (Angas - Minister for Home and Territories) [10.5]. - I am sure that the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Tudor) would not attempt to mislead honorable members, but sometimes an honorable member’s words are put before the public in Hansard, and give a wrong conception of what has actually taken place here. He has said that honorable members on this side of the House did not have the pluck to vote against the bachelor tax. He forgets, the occasion. I happened to be assisting Lord Forrest, the Treasurer at that time, and we both had amendments prepared for the purpose of modifying, if not knocking out, the bachelor tax. As a matter of fact, there was a blunder in the Senate. The honorable member for Yarra may laugh, but jocularity does not carry the sense one whit further. It is an absolute fact that there was an amendment to limit the bachelor tax; but it was insisted that the Bill should pass as it was brought in. However, I assured honorable members, sitting behind the Government that the matter would be attended to. We were not in a position to do it at the time. It would have meant knocking out that particular part of the Bill, and I asked the honorable member for Wide Bay (Mr. Corser) not to press his amendment, which would accomplish far more than he intended. The assurance given was carried out, because subsequently the Government did not put in force the provision of the Bill enforcing the bachelor tax, and at the end of the year a measure was brought in repealing it.
– It has not yet been repealed. The proposal is on the businesspaper to-day.
– The bachelor tax was not collected. The Bill providing the machinery for its collection was not brought before the House. I spoke to the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), and told him of the promise which was made to honorable members, and he assented to my request that the machinery measure should not be brought in.
– That is just what I have said.
– I hope that the honorable member has put his version correctly before the public.
– Ministers have not been game enough to collect a tax which they said was absolutely necessary.
– The honorable member said that honorable members on this side did not vote in accordance with their convictions. They were promised that certain things would be done, and, in accordance with that promise, the bachelor tax did not come into force. We have now had two days’ discussion on this Bill, and I ask the assistance of honorable members to come to a decision tonight.
– In supporting the amendment of the honorable member for Hunter (Mr. Charlton), I propose to confine my remarks to two points. The Minister (Mr. Glynn) has admitted that there is sufficient power in the present Act to include every person, so that it is unnecessary to have this provision in the Bill. Discretion lies in the hands of the Ministry to exclude any person from this country as an undesirable immigrant. That is my first point.
A very few years ago, under the Ministerial sanction of the honorable gentleman at the table (Mr. Glynn), the Commonwealth issued some very interesting advertising matter’ which was distributed through the High Commissioner’s office in London, telling the people of Europe what an admirable place Australia was to come to. These invitations were open and free, not to the people of any particular country, but to the people of Europe, and they were couched in most attractive language, depicting the alluring conditions under which people could live in Australia, At that time, we were told that it was essential to get population here, but that, at the same time, an Immigration Act was necessary to prevent certain undesirables from coming to this country. No one complained about that ; but how are we going to issue any similar invitations in the future in the fact of the provision ‘in the Bill which the honorable member for Hunter (Mr. Charlton) seeks to have omitted? When an intending immigrant in the British Isles is asked to fill up his papers, he will be asked questions as to his age, his birthplace, his trade or calling, and, in addition, he will be asked, “ Are you an anarchist? Have you advocated the overthrow by force or violence of any established government ? “ There are in Great Britain to-day many men who are of the most revolutionary type. Revolution broad, open, and distinct is preached in the streets of the cities of the Old Country. . .
– Let them stop there and preach it. We do not want them here.
– Is the honorable member so superior to the people of the Mother Country that he is not content to take what Great Britain has thrived on, free and open-air discussion on any question; but would rather cut off a. man’s head, and silence him in the good old Eastern method of autocratic government? In their attempts to exhibit their loyalty and patriotism, and the wonderful development of British institutions in Australia, honorable members are overreaching themselves, and the Mother Country is laughing at them. A few months ago, they were drawing most invidious distinctions about the loyalty of the people of Australia, because they did not follow the example of the Mother Country by accepting conscription, and now when it suits their book, they are talking the other way, and saying that the people of the Mother Country are not worthy of being immigrants to Australia.
– We do nothing of the kind. We say that certain classes are not suitable immigrants.
– There is no class of the community in Great Britain who are not desirable as immigrants to Australia.
– Nonsense !
– It was the’ class who were previously considered in the same category as those to whom the honorable member is now referring, who developed Australia. It was the men who were considered revolutionists, the scum of Europe, the useless characters, who were deported, and who made this country what it is to-day. We say that Australia requires population, but before people can get a chance to enter the country they must disavow any leanings towards a change in the system of government. It is a fact that, not only in British communities, but throughout the world, there is a recognition that the present form of government is nearing its end; that it has almost entirely outlived its usefulness. A change in the system of government is coming. I believe that the British people have the best system of government that the world knows to-day, but I am not prepared to say that it is the best that can be devised. But before we allow anybody to come into Australia, he or she must be certified to be not in favour of a change of government by force or violence. Of course, the decision as to whether a person is an advocate of such methods rests with an officer of the Government. Suppose that some individual in the Old Country, who is a pronounced revolutionist, and believes in a republican form of government - there are millions of such men who openly proclaimed their doctrines during the war - wishes to emigrate to Australia, and knows of this provision in our legislation, do honorable members think that he will deliberately sign himself as being a republican or a revolutionist? It is not at all likely. It means, therefore, that our immigration in future can only be drawn from one small section of people in Great Britain, and that section has not yet supplied us with population, in great numbers to fill up our empty spaces.
– Does the honorable member suggest that the majority of people in Great Britain are anarchists?
– No; I say the majority of emigrants from Great Britain are not of the class that can be described as very loyal to the established forms of government. The bulk of the emigrants in the past have been of the class who, to-day, in Great . Britain, are republicans and revolutionists. What I have said of Great Britain in that Tespect applies with much greater force to the other countries of Europe. It is a well-known fact that Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France are seething with revolution and discontent. Spain to-day is the hot-bed of revolution, and I have no hesitation in saying that the Government of that country could be revolutionized with advantage. Italy is seething . with revolution. Portugal is continually having upheavals of the same character. France is a declared Tepublic. The people of those countries can come to Australia without hindrance, as compared with the embargo placed upon Germans, Austro-Germans, and Bulgarians, who are notoriously in favour of monarchical rule. But how can we say to people of Spain, Portugal, and Italy that they may enter Australia so long as they are not anarchists, when we know that the majority of the inhabitants of those countries are anarchists by conviction, and are only kept in restraint by the fact that the wealthy and militarist classes retain control of the reins of Government? What a disparagement this law will be to Australia. Before a man may enter our country he must declare himself to be in favour of a certain form of government, which can only mean the form favoured by the. Minister administering the Act for the time being. It will be only another step to compel an immi grant to declare his religious beliefs. Wo are narrowing down our immigrants to such a small and useless class that the Bill will defeat the purposes at which it professes to aim.
– Does not the honorable member think that it is better to have British immigrants?
– There is only one better class of immigrant, and that is the home-made one, who comes vid the cradle. The next best is the Britisher; after him any European is all right.
– This Bill will not ex-, elude a Britisher.
– It will exclude any Britisher who is honest enough to declare his political beliefs.
– It would have excluded Sir Joseph Cook when he was a Republican.
– It would have excluded the present Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), than whom nobody has been more notoriously opposed to established forms of government.
– He has not advocated a change by force or violence.
– Those qualifications and discriminations are at the discretion of the Minister or his officers. As a matter of fact, the man who is in charge of emigration at the London end determines whether or not a person is qualified to be an emigrant to Australia.
– In reference to this particular . amendment the opinion of the officer is not at all conclusive.
– The Customs officer at this end will decide.
– If a man thinks he does not come within the meaning of this clause he can a’ppeal to the High Court against the decision of the Department.
– That is after he gets here. But before he can be accepted and get a passage to Australia he must satisfy the officer in England that he is an acceptable emigrant. We have an officer at Home whose duty it is to determine whether or not a person is qualified to be an emigrant to Australia.
– He must have an evil reputation before , the officer can prevent him coming.
– Yes, and that means an inquisitorial investigation into the antecedents, private and public, of any person who wishes to come to Australia.
– It only applies to the third class passengers. It does not apply to persons who travel second class or saloon, and who pay their own passages.
– It applies to the lot.
– It does not.
– The “ fat man “ can get in, even if he is a German junker.
– The working classes in the old countries, whose assistance we require in the development of the country, are hit by this clause; but the persons who can afford to pay their own passages have a three-times easier passage through the Emigration Office than the poor person has.
– The persons who pay their own passages’ are not required to see the emigration officer at all.
– They must pass an immigation officer at this end, but, whereas his investigation . of them is a formality, in the case of the poorer immigrant it becomes an inquisitorial investigation into the whole’ of his antecedents. Are we to take up the attitude that only, one class, and only persons holding one political belief, will be acceptable to Australia? The overturning of governments is a matter of political opinion. I have no personal desire to overturn any established government by force or violence, and I have no reason for such a course, because I am living in a country where, by constitutional means, we oan secure any form of government we desire. But if I were in Spain’, Portugal/ Italy, or Germany, where responsible government does not exist, I should be a revolutionist. I should be prepared to overturn such Governments bv force or violence, or by any other method, and for that reason I would not be an acceptable immigrant to Australia. The Bill will go further than the Government wish it to, and the trouble will be that, although we ho,pe that good sense will, prevail in the administration, the door will be open for the operation of this law for political purposes. This sort of legislation is a bad advertisement for Australia’. It will mean that neither in our own British communities nor in any other country will there be a good word for Australia, since every foolish objection that could possibly be urged against people coming to this country . to- help it to advance is raised in this Bill. .
Question - That parapraph gd proposed to be left out (Mr. Charlton’s amend ment) stand part of the clause - put. The Committee divided.
Majority . . 14
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Retirementof the Chief Justice.
Motion (by Mr. Groom) proposed -
That the House do now- adjourn.
.- It was reported in Brisbane yesterday that at the request of the Acting AttorneyGeneral (Mr. Groom), the Chief Justice, Sir Samuel Griffith, , had agreed- to continue in office until the end of September. Will the honorable gentleman make a statement on the subject?
.- The Government have asked the Chief- Justice to continue in office until 30th September next. It was hoped that the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) would be in Melbourne in time to enable a meeting of the whole Cabinet to be held before the end of this month to give consideration to the question of the appointment of a successor. That having been found impossible, the Chief Justice has consented to remain in office until the end of next month. Question resolved in the affirmative.
House adjourned at 10.41 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 27 August 1919, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1919/19190827_reps_7_89/>.