7th Parliament · 2nd Session
Mr. Speaker (Hon. W. Elliot Johnson) took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.
– I desire to ask the Acting Loader of the Housewhether he can yet make a statement in reply to a question that I have put to him on previous occasions with regard to the export of base metals?
– The honorable member was good enough to notify me that he intended to ask this question, and I have therefore made inquiries on the subject. I find that the Acting Prime Minister (Mr.
Watt), while inWestern Australia last week, was waited upon by a deputation consisting of the Minister of Mines of that State and others, who put before him difficulties relating to the export of base metals, which had already been brought under his notice by the honorable member for Dampier (Mr. Gregory). The Acting Prime Minister gave a sympathetic reply to the deputation, and promised that he would place the facts before the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) on his way over to Melbourne, so that an early decision might be arrived at. I promise the honorable member that upon the return of the Acting Prime Minister I shall put before him again the representations made by him, and ask that an early decision be arrived at.
– Is the Acting Leader of the House aware that there has been introduced in the French Chamber of Deputies a Bill providing that speculators guilty of cornering foodstuffs or profiteering shall be liable on conviction to capital punishment ? Is the Government prepared to introduce similar legislation here?
– I am not aware that such a measure has been introduced into the French Chamber of Deputies ; but one cannot help recalling the ancient Roman law providing for a similar penalty for such offences, but the enforcement of which was found to be exceedingly difficult.
Maimed Soldiers and Artificial Limbs
– Will the Assistant Minister for Defence state whether it is a fact that the depot at which maimed returned soldiers have to attend so that their artificial limbs may receive attention is very inconveniently situated? If so, will he take such action as will render it unnecessary for these men to travel long distances, involving, in their case, grave difficulties; in order that their artificial limbs may be attended to?
– Yes ; I will confer with the Acting Minister for Defence (Senator Russell) on the subject.
– I desire to ask the Minister for Trade and Customs whether the Commonwealth Board of Trade is still in existence, and, if so, whether it has made any recommendations to the Government in relation to the proposed new Tariff?
– The Commonwealth Board of Trade is still in existence, and from time to time has made certain recommendations to the Minister with respect to the Tariff.
Return as to Prosecutions.
– In view of the promise made to me from time to time by the Acting Attorney-General, that a return would be prepared showing all the prosecutions instituted under the War Precautions Act, and having regard also to the fact that six months have elapsed since I asked for this return, will the honorable gentleman state whether its preparation has yet been completed?
– I directed that such a return should be prepared at the request of the honorable member, but, as I mentioned on a former occasion, it was found that, to obtain the necessary information, inquiries would have to be made in every State.
– The honorable member told me that nearly six months ago.
– Yes, and it is a fact that such inquiries have had to be made. I will ascertain the position, and advise the honorable member.
– In view of the statement made by the Victorian Minister of Agriculture, that it will be permissible to use second-hand bags in this State in connexion with the ensuing wheat harvest, will the Minister for Trade and Customs state whether that permission is to be extended to all the States?
– I shall be very glad to make inquiries from my honorable colleague, Senator Russell, who is in charge of the Wheat Board.
Export of Hides and Leather
– Has the attention of the Minister for Trade and Customs been directed to the continuous increase in the cost of manufacturing boots in -the Commonwealth, which is due to the wholesale export of leather and raw hides? If so, iu the interests of the public, and with a view to keeping down prices, will he prohibit the export of raw hides and leather until the wants of the local market are satisfied?
– I think that the honorable member is in error in saying that the increased prices are due to the wholesale export of hides and leather. The statistics show that the average export of hides during the last three months has not been anything like the pre-war average, and that the leather exports during the same period were somewhere about the pre-war level.
– Last week the Acting Leader of the House promised to make inquiries into the alarming increase in the price of boots at the end of June last, and the further increase foreshadowed in the near future. Has the Minister done anything, and, if so, with what result?
– In accordance with my promise to the honorable member, I have referred the matter to the Trade and Customs Department for inquiry.
– In view of the grandeur and the pre-eminent position occupied at the present moment by the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. West), I desire to ask the Acting Leader of the Government whether he has received any official intimation of the appointment of that honorable member as Deputy Leader of the Opposition ?
– Order !
– I do not mind such questions.
– I trust that honorable members will not persist in the practice of asking frivolous questions. The point is not whether the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. West) minds the question just asked or not, but that the asking of such questions is an abuse of the privileges of the House. As the custodian of those privileges, it is my duty to see that they are not abused.
– I desire to ask the Minister for Trade and Customs whether it is the intention of the Commonwealth Department of Public Health to take upon itself functions other than those conferred upon it by virtue of its quarantine powers ?
– There is not at the present time a Commonwealth Department of Public Health. The question as to whether or not there should be an extension of the activities of the Commonwealth Government in the direction of public health is engaging the attention of the Government at the present time.
– On 31st July, and again yesterday, I asked the Acting Leader of the Government whether the Cabinet and the Wheat Board had taken into consideration the necessity of increasing the local price of wheat, having regard to the higher price obtained at recent sales in the London market? The honorable gentleman was not able then to state whether it was intended to bring the local price up to the standard of the London parity. I ask now whether a decision has been arrived at?
– I am not yet in a position to give a definite answer to the honorable member’s question. A similar question appears on the notice-paper, but I shall be unable, in replying to it, to give any further information.
asked the Acting Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : -
– I asked the Assistant Minister for Defence yesterday a question, and he told me that he had not heard of cases where people were applying tobe allowed to employ Germans. Will the Minister make inquiries to see if the complaint of the returned soldiers who wrote to me is correct in that particular?
Mr.WISE.- Yes, I will make inquiries.
– In view of the statements that have been made recently about the alleged shortage of wheat in the various Pools of the Commonwealth, will the Minister who deals with the wheat question give instructions to have a stocktaking of the wheat made at once, so as to allay any unrest which may have been caused in the minds of the farmers?
– I shall bring the matter under the notice of Senator Russell, and endeavour to have the action taken which the honorable member suggests.
– Yesterday I asked the Minister for Trade and Customs a question regarding a circular-letter that was being sent to honorable members respecting Cooper’s sheep dip. I desire to repeat that question to-day.
– As I desire to make a full statement of the position, I ask the leave of the House to do so - (Leave granted). On the 26th June last I made a statement regarding the embargo that hadbeen placed on the importation of sheep dip. In the course of that statement I said that “ for some time the Australasian general manager of Messrs. Cooper and Nephews was in communication with Messrs. A. Victor Leggo and Company,” with a view to the latter firm manufacturing dip in Australia under Cooper’s’ label.” I understand that Messrs. Cooper and Nephews have in a circular letter repeated some statements they made to me in a letter which they addressed to me on the 15th July last. In that letter they quoted the statement which I have just read, and then went on to say -
I would respectfully inform you that Messrs. A. Victor Leggo and Company were never approached by me, or any representative of my firm, to manufacture sheep dip under Cooper’s label.
In June, 1918, I interviewed Mr. Leggo with quite a different object, and as at that time neither I nor any member of the Cooper organization had ever seen a packet of the sheep dip producedby Messrs. Leggo and Company, nor had we ever heard of a single instance of it being used, we were not in a position to form any opinion of the merits of that article or the qualifications of Messrs. Leggo and Company as dip manufacturers.
As the statement quoted above is incorrect, and is likely to detrimentally affect the interests of my firm, I am compelled to send you this correction, which would have reached you earlier had I not been indisposed.
The Acting Controller replied to that letter in this way -
With reference to your letter of the 15th ultimo, relative to the statement made by the Minister in the House of Representatives on the 26th June, as to the general manager of your company having been in communication with Messrs. A. Victor Leggo and Company, with a view to the latter firm manufacturing dip in Australia under Cooper’s label, I am directedby Mr. Massy Greene that he has made further inquiries into the matter, the result of these being to confirm his previous impressions.
Regarding your statement, “ in June, 1918, I interviewed Mr. Leggo with quite a different object,” the Minister would be glad if you would kindly indicate the nature of the subject which was discussed on that occasion.
To this I received the following reply: -
We beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th instant, addressed to our manager at Sydney, and to say that the evidence in our possession, put on record at the time, and our full knowledge of all that passed, distinctly confirmed the correctness of the statements contained in his letter to you of the 15th July. In answer to the last paragraph in your letter, the subject discussed upon the occasion in question was the possi- bility of obtaining supplies of arsenic for the manufacturing by us of dip in Australia.
Messrs. A. Victor Leggo and Company were approached, because it was reported to us that they had control of such supplies, and because Sir John Higgins had stated that it was part of an arrangement with Messrs. Leggo that they should supply arsenic to other dip manufacturers at a reasonable price.
The idea of any other than ourselves “ manufacturing dip in Australia under Cooper’s label “ has never been in our minds, and we assert most emphatically that it has never been at any time anywhere spoken of or discussed, either amongst ourselves, or by us, or by any one on our behalf, with Messrs. Leggo and Company, or with any one else.
That is a pretty emphatic statement from Messrs. Cooper and Nephews. I propose now to give to the House the grounds upon which I made that statement. These are contained in the papers which have already been tabled, and which, consequently, were open to every honorable member of the House and to the press. 1 am going to read from the record which was kept by A. Victor Leggo and Company of the whole of these negotiations, copies of which I have on the departmental file. I will support those records with the original documents, which are in the possession of Messrs. A. Victor Leggo and Company. The first record to which I want to draw the attention of the House is contained in the file, and is the account of an interview between Messrs. A. Victor Leggo and Company and Messrs. Cooper and Nephews, on the 28th May. I will not read the whole of it, because it is lengthy, but it is a brief account of that interview, occupying several hours, in which the whole of this matter was discussed between those two gentlemen. I desire to draw the attention of honorable members to one paragraph in it only.
This is Mr. Leggo writing–
– Are these shorthand notes ?
-No ; these are Mr. Leggo’s own records in his own office of the conversation which passed between those two gentlemen. That is all it purports to be.
– Who represented Cooper?
– The general manager in Australia, Mr. Harrowell. Mr. Leggo, in writing, said -
If I agree to his - that is, Mr. Harrowell - cabling, then he is prepared to show me the reply he gets, and will act quite openly with me in the whole matter and show me all cables he receives, and also confer with me and agree on all cables he sends.
That was the basis of the negotiations - that these two gentlemen should show each other all the documents which passed, the cables that were sent to England, and the cables that were received from there.
– In relation to what?
– In relation to the negotiations which were proceeding between these two gentlemen for the manufacture of dip in Australia. I shall be able to show quite clearly from the cables which did pass that their subject-matter was the manufacture in Australia, by Messrs. A. Victor Leggo and Company, in conjunction with Messrs. Cooper and Nephews, of a dip under Cooper’s label. The first cable which was despatched, and which marked the opening of the negotiations, was very explicit. It was drawn up in Messrs. Leggo and Company’s office, and I have a copy of it on their own file. It reads -
Leggo’s willing consider proposal from you before they further extend their organization. They have undertaken manufacture GOO cases weekly and supply arsenic other firms complete Australian requirements. Their present output is 400 cases. If considered advisable, cable me proposal immediately, otherwise too late. Leggo’s could supply us arsenic market prices.
In reply, the following cable from Messrs. Cooper and Nephews, in England, was despatched to Messrs. Cooper and Nephews; in Melbourne: -
Cable indications nature proposal Leggo likely accept.
To show the absolute genuineness of that cable, I have here the original flimsy, which, as every honorable member knows, accompanies each cable message. The next cable which Mr. Harrowell agreed with Messrs. A. Victor Leggo and Company to send, reads: -
Leggo’s would consider proposal utilize plant materials manufacture Cooper instead Vallo or consider some form of partnership.
That is probably the most important cable of the group, and I hold in my hand the original draft of it, which was made in Messrs. A. Victor Leggo and Company’s own office. The important thing about it is that this Tough copy in pencil is, I am informed, in Mr. Harrowell’s own handwriting. I believe that it is, because, after comparing the copy with his signature, there is every evidence of it. I have also a further record of an interview which took place between Mr. Harrowell, the Australian manager of Messrs. William Cooper and Nephews and Mr. Victor Leggo. It is dated 5th June, and reads: -
Mr. Harrowell. called, and said he had been giving a lot of thought to this matter and he could sec no reason why they should not come to terms on a partnership basis. A. Victor Leggo and Company could do all the manufacturing for the partnership in Australia, and after allowing for its costs on a fair basis, the profits could be equally divided between the two firms. This would suit A. Victor Leggo and Company very well, as they would have the benefit of the Cooper name and selling organization, whilst it would suit Cooper’s, who would have an immediate and plentiful supply of dip, and would avoid the expense of having to erect a factory here. Harrowell’s opinion is that the partnership would easily command SO per cent, or more of’ the Australian trade, and by working together the costs of distributing, selling, advertising, &c, would be much cut down, and the whole arrangements would be more satisfactory to both firms than fighting each other on a cutting competition.
The record goes on to say -
On discussing what name we should call the dip, Harrowell suggested that we could not do better than stick to the- name, “ Coopers,” as it had been established now over seventy years, and was recognised world-over as the leading dip; in fact, the use of their name would bc one of the chief advantages of the partnership. I pointed out that we had now already put it out as “ Vallo,” and made broadcast announcements that we were putting our dip out in that name, and I thought it would perhaps bc well if we called it “ Cooper-vallo “ dip, and announced quite frankly that the two firms hud joined forces in the Australian trade. He said he did not think this need stand in the way, but he thought his people would want to stick to their own name for it.
I now desire to refer to one or two other cables which passed, and which appear on the file, and thereafter I shall not detain the House for more than a moment or two. In reply to the cable which I have just read, and which, I believe, was written by Mr. Harrowell himself, Coopers cabled to their general manager in Australia -
Require general description of Leggo’s plant and what is the present actual capacity enable us to decide adaptability of process.
In answer to that communication, the following cable was despatched: -
Leggo’s have own arsenic mines and refineries; also plant manufacturing all arsenic salts and products, including arsenite, arsenate sulphide, sufficient 100 tons dip weekly. Present blending plant capacity 20 tons, increasing to 40.
These are all the cables which it is necessary for me to read. They show very clearly that Messrs. Leggo and Company’s statement that they were in active negotiations with the general manager of Messrs. Cooper and Nephews in Australia is absolutely correct. They prove that Messrs. Cooper and Nephews did enter into negotiations with a view to using Messrs. Leggo and Company’s organization and plant, and that the latter firm was to manufacture Cooper’s dip in Australia.
There is only one other matter to which I desire to refer, because, to my mind, it absolutely clinches the statement which I made, and the accuracy of which Messrs. Cooper and Nephews now deny. On the 4th July, last year, in answer to a letter which was written by Messrs. Cooper and Nephews in regard to another matter, Messrs. A. Victor Leggo and Company say -
Was it not for this reason that you (that is Mr. Harrowell, of Coopers), approached us with a view to inducing to manufacture dip under “ Cooper’s” label.
That deliberate statement is made in the letter sent by Victor Leggo and Company to the representative of Cooper’s in Australia, and to that communication they have received no reply.
– This is a very serious matter. Every user of Cooper’s di,p will be concerned as to the business morality pf the firm.
– I am simply quoting from the records. Victor Leggo and Company wrote to Cooper’s representative and received no reply. That is all I have to say on the subject.
– Is it a fact that William Cooper and Nephews, during the negotiations with Victor Leggo- and Company, or subsequently when the negotiations had fallen through, exported dip from England to Australia, contrary to the regulations then in existence?
– During the war arrangements were made, which we thought sufficiently drastic, to prevent shipping space from Great Britain being taken up with sheep dip. At that time priority was given to certain cargo, and we advised the British Ministry from time to time as to the goods which were to take priority of despatch to Australia. I am not personally acquainted with the actual details of the matter, but I understand that, notwithstanding the urgent request of the Commonwealth Government that other commodities should take priority over sheep dip, once we had established the local manufacture of it, sheep dip continued to come to Australia.
Mr.Rodgers. - I wish to ask a question of the Minister for Trade and. Customs with reference to the extracts from the cables and memoranda he has just read to the House.
– It is not in order to found a question upon a statement made by leave of the House.
– Very well. Then I shall ask the Minister for Trade and Customs if he will be good enough to lay on the table of the House the whole of the file, in order that honorable members may inform themselves upon the very questionable tactics-
– Order! I must ask the honorable the Minister not to reply to thehonorable member’s question. As I have already pointed out that it is out of order to found a question upon a statement made by leave of the House, any answer upon such a question would be equally out of order. Such a practice would inevitably develop an irregular dedate on a matter not before the House on a specific motion.
– Does the Defence Department intend to allow the iron and other building material at the Liverpool Camp to remain where it is androt, or is it proposed to submit it for sale ?
– I do not know, but I shall make inquiries and let the honorable member know the result.
– Some months ago I introduced to the Minister for Trade and Customs a deputation of residents of North Sydney with reference to the removal of the present quarantine station at North Sydney, and the Minister’s reply was that the Department was obtaining a report as to the suitability of Port Stephens as a site for a quarantine station. Can the Minister say whether that report has been received ?
– The report has not yet been received. The investigations which are being made are of a very comprehensive nature.
– Will you, Mr. Speaker, or some Minister, arrange to have gardeners employed upon that little piece of enclosed land to the north of Parliament House, which is at present a disgrace to the city of Melbourne, in order to convert it into a playground for children ? There is no other public garden in Melbourne in such a contemptible condition of neglect.
– The matter comes under the Joint Houses Committee, of which the President of the Senate (Senator Givens) is Chairman. He has made certain representations to the Victorian Government, with a view to beautifying the piece of ground referred to and utilizing it to some better purpose, but I understand they have not seen fit to adopt his suggestion.
– In view of the high cost of living, will the Government seriously consider the necessity for increasing the allowance to old-age pensioners ?
– The matter will be given consideration in connexion with the Budget.
– Has the Minister in charge of the House noticed in the press a proposal to submit for the consideration of the Institute of Science and Industry a scheme for inoculating rabbits with some deadly disease in order to assist in their destruction; and will Ministers seriously consider the advisability of making it a capital offence to introduce any fresh disease into Australia ?
– I am informed by the Minister who has control of science and industry that no such proposal has been put forward.
– Seeing that mothers are complaining about the serious expense they are obliged to incur through their children wearing out boots and clothes in attending compulsory drills - the Department do not provide uniforms - will the Ministersay whether there is any possibility of their obtaining relief in the matter ?
– We have had no complaints on the subject so far, but if the honorable member will submit individual cases I shall make inquiries.
Admiral Viscount Jellicoe’ s Report.
– In view of the fact that in New Zealand Admiral Viscount Jellicoe has partly disclosed his recommendations in reference to naval defence in the Pacific, will the Acting Minister for the Navy state when his report will be laid on the table?
– The bulk of Admiral Viscount Jellicoe’s report will never be laid on the table. The portion which can be made available to the public will be considered immediately the Prime Minister . (Mr. Hughes) and the Minister for the Navy (Sir Joseph Cook) return. As a matter of fact, it did not come into my hands until last week, and as there are four volumes of it, covering a great many activities in connexion with land preparations for naval defence, it will necessarily require a great deal of consideration on the part of the Government before they can come to a decision as to what action they will take.
– I desire to ask the Minister representing the Minister for Repatriation whether it is still the .policy of the Government-
– Order! It is not in order to ask questions involving expressions of opinion relating to the policy of the Government.
– I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Repatriation whether the Department insists l upon the construction of new homes for soldiers under the War Service Homes Act, or are existing houses purchased if the valuations are satisfactory?
– If an existing house can be purchased at a price which the departmental valuator thinks is fair, the necessary preparations are made to buy the property. But the prices of the majority of the properties that come before the Department are much in excess of the real values, and for that reason the houses are rejected. In such cases we make provision for either the purchase of another house or for the construction of a new one.
– Has, .the Acting Minister for the Navy noticed a press statement that the British Government are substituting mercantile construction for naval construction in British shipyards? [n view of that action, do the Commonwealth Government intend to incur a large expenditure in connexion with naval construction ?
– I have not noticed the statement to which the honorable member refers, but for a considerable time past the dockyard at Cockatoo Island has been devoted to the construction of mercantile ships. The latter portion of the honorable member’s question deals with a matter of policy which has not yet been decided.
– In my electorate, a number of letter pillars have been removed from the streets, and, when I made complaint to the Deputy Postmaster-General, he stated that that action was in accordance with the policy of the Department. I ask the Postmaster-General whether it is the policy of the Department to reduce the number of letter pillars ; if so, what is the reason?
– It must be obvious to honorable members that, as cities and towns developed, letter pillars were placed according to the grouping of population. But now that the suburbs are settled, a systematic re-distribution of these conveniences must be made. The letter pillars are not being reduced ; they are merely being re-distributed in order to enable the Department to do its work more expeditiously. .efficiently, and economically.
– I have the papers dealing with the option taken by the Government over the Blythe River iron deposits, and the reports of the experts who were appointed to report thereon. Will the Acting Leader of the House lay on the table all papers relating to the matter up to the time that the Government obtained the option ? f
– I shall look into the matter and give the honorable member a further reply later.
– I ask the Minister for Trade and Customs whether, when it was proposed to acquire the Blythe River iron deposits, the Government submitted the matter to the Commonwealth Board of Trade, and whether that body recommended the Government to acquire an option over the property, subject to inspection and an exhaustive valuation ?
– The facts are as the honorable member has stated them.
– I ask the Acting
Leader of the House whether, in connexion with the option, any money was deposited by the Government, and, if so, what amount has been forfeited?
– I ask the honorable member to give notice of that question. As considerable time has already been devoted to questions without notice, I shall be glad if honorable members will place upon notice any further questions that are not of an urgent character.
asked the Assistant Minister for Defence, upon notice -
Whether he will lay on the table of the House a return showing (a) the number of prisoners convicted of offences whilst serving with the A.I.F. whose sentences it is intended to only partially reduce; (b) the class of offence for which they have been sentenced; (c).the length of imprisonment awarded for the various offences?
– As many of the men Whose cases will come under the operation of the provisions of the recent amnesty on their arrival in Australia havenot arrived from overseas, the information is not available. Under the provisions of the amnesty, men awarded sentences by court martial prior to 19th July, 1919, in respect of any charge of a nature ordinarily punishable by civil law, receive a remission at the rate of three weeks for every three months of the term of the sentence, the remission not to exceed twelve months in any case. All such cases will also be reviewed by. a special authority, with a view to the consideration of any further remission, should the circumstances warrant it. The terms of imprisonment awarded vary according to the nature and circumstances of the offence.
asked the Ministerfor
Trade and Customs, upon notice -
– The information is being obtained.
asked the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -
– As the answers to any questions involving the probable time and date of the introduction of the new Tariff might seriously affect the revenue, it is not considered desirable, in the public interest, to add anything to alreadypublished pronouncements of the Government in this regard.
asked the Assistant Minister for Defence, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow: -
asked the Acting Minister for the Navy, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow: -
asked the Assistant Minister for Defence, upon notice -
Will he consider the advisability of giving to the out-door patients at the Randwick Hospital a ration allowance, as there is not sufficient room for these people to be treated in the hospital, and also on account of the high cost of living, making it difficult for them to support themselves before-being finally discharged?
– There -is sufficient room at Randwick Hospital to treat, as in patients, all those who require in-patient treatment. Those who only need outpatient treatment are given full pay during the whole of their attendance at the out-patient department till considered fit for discharge. It is not thought that’ this is an inadequate amount, even in view of the present high cost of living.
asked the Minister for Home and Territories, upon notice -
Whether he will have laid on the table of the House all proposals relating to the future settlement of German New Guinea which have been presented to his own or any other Department ?
– The question of the future settlement of New Guinea, the system of government and administration, is at present being dealt with by the Government. When settled, the matter will in due course be submitted for adoption to Parliament. It is not the practice, pending preparation and final adjustment of the system of settlement and government, to lay the papers and incidental data on the table of the House.
Report of Royal Commission
asked the Acting Prime Minister, upon notice -
Whether it is a fact that Mr. Dethridge, in his report on the wharf labourers’ trouble, said that it would be impossible to give preference to loyalists if the bureau were abolished and the men “picked up” at the ship’s side?
– I am not yet in a position to lay upon the table the report of the Royal Commissioner, Mr. Dethridge, and in the meantime it is not considered advisable to disclose any portion of the contents of the report.
asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -
– Inquiries are being made, and replies will be furnished as early as possible.
– On Friday, 22nd August, the honorable member for Herbert (Mr. Bamford) asked the Assistant Minister for Defence (Mr. Wise) if he would inform the House under what conditions the wives of our soldiers who have married in England are given a passage to Australia, and if any special privileges are extended to the sistersinlaw of such men. The Assistant Minister referred the matter to me, and I have now been furnished with the following reply: -
Wives of members of the A.I.F. are eligible for a free third class passage to Australia.
The mother, under-age sister, or similar close relative of the soldier actually dependent on the soldier may be granted a free third class passage to Australia.
No provision is made for the sisters-in-law of the men.
– Yesterday the honorable member for Henty (Mr. Boyd) asked the following question : -
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 ?
I am now able to furnish the honorable member with the following information : -
The last information received from the Indian authorities was to the effect that they urgently required to retain the sixty-five men of the Wireless Squadron in Mesopotamia until the end of September. The Department in reply urged that they be released at the earliest possible moment. Action is. being taken to insure that this personnel are informed of the action of the Department re garding the matter.
The following papers were presented : -
Industrial Conference - Report of Provi sional Joint Committee presented to meeting of Industrial Conference, Central Hall, Westminster, 4th April, 1919. (Paper presented to the British Parliament.)
Public Service Act - Promotions of A. E. Whiteside and T. Pittman, Prime Minister’s Department.
In Committee (Consideration resumed from 27th August, vide page 12007) :
Clause 3(Prohibited immigrants).
– I have already stated clearly my attitude towards that part of the clause which provides for the exclusion of Germans and certain other people from Australia for a period of five years. I do not think that any good purpose will be served by it. Great Britain and the United States of America to-day are trading with Germany, and through such channels much of our produce is finding its way into that country. It is because of this trade that the prices of many of our commodities have been seriously increased. It would seem that, while the Government is going to trade with Germany, it will not allow Germans to come into this country. I do not suppose that any honorable member is as free from German influence as I am. I cannot say that I know of any Germans or descendants of Germans in my electorate.
– I wish there were more electorates in the same position.
– When the Commerce Bill was before this House, in 1907-8, I endeavoured to secure the insertion of a clause providing that the country of origin should be stamped on all goods and packages in letters of the same size as those used for other markings. A number of warehousemen then urged that it would be absurd to insist upon that requirement, and pointed out that we were doing a very large trade with Germany. I have always opposed the importation of German goods to Australia; hut it would seem that some honorable members opposite, while quite prepared to allow goods of German origin to enter this country, are ready to vote against people of German origin coming in. Under this Bill the Minister will still have power to allow German agents and tourists to come in, and no doubt they will come here and do business.
– Will the honorable member say how it would be possible to prevent the trade of which he speaks?
-I admit that it is practically impossible. Now that Great Britain and the United States of America, which offer the largest markets for our products, have agreed to trade with Germany, there is nothing to prevent Australian goods reaching that country. The statistics show that during the war large quantities of Australian productions, including metals, leather, and hides, were shipped to countries near Germany. I am confident that a lot of them found their way into Germany, and that some of our Australian leather and hides were used for the manufacture of goods for German soldiers. I said last night that this was a piece of political hypocrisy - that, so far as this measure was concerned, the Government were political hypocrites.
– The honorable member is not in order in using that expression.
– If we have not power to stop all trading with Germany, but have power to stop Germans coming in, let us at least exercise the power we have. I admit that it would be better to do both.
– But it is admitted that we cannot prevent this trade going on, and I regard the proposal to exclude Germans as a piece of political camouflage. The Government are proposing to do something which they know they cannot do. I am as much opposed to these people as is any one; but, seeing that we are practically shaking hands with them, so far as trade relations are concerned, I do not think that any good object would be served by legislating to exclude them. We are practically saying to Germany, “ We will not allow your people to enter our country to compete with our workmen, but you will still be at liberty to send into Australia the products of German factories to compete with those manufactured by our own people.”
Question - That the clause be agreed to - put. The Committee divided.
Majority . . . . 17
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 4 (Certificates of exemption).
– I desire to know whether this clause, whichprovides that the owners, agents, or charterers of a vessel by which a prohibited immigrant has entered Australia may, at any time within three years after his arrival, be required to take him away again, will be retrospective, or will this provision become operative only from the date on which the Bill is passed ?
– It will operate at once.
– Then will the shipping companies be compelled to give a free passage to any person who has. arrived in Australia within the last three years, and whom it is desired to deport? I object to retrospective legislation. A shipping company may have brought a man here bonâ fide and in the ordinary way, without there being any law in this country to prevent him from landing. If we pass a law now which would have applied to that man if it had been in force when he arrived, can this clause be used to compel the shipping company to take him away again ? I do not think that would be fair, although I hold no brief for the shipping companies. If the law is to be made retrospective for three years, some other Government may make it retrospective for twenty years.
– If a vessel brings a man here who is afterwards found to be an undesirable immigrant, have we a right, according to international law or arrangement, to send him back to the country whence he came, and must that country receive him ?
What will happen if there is a difference of opinion ?
– He may not be a citizen of the country from which he came.
– Exactly. Is there any international arrangement on the subject ?
.- The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Tudor) is really asking me to give a legal opinion. As a matter of administration, we must regard this provision as taking effect from the time it is assented to. The power of exemption is sometimes applied to cases of persons who were wrongly brought in, but whom it would be undesirable to send away at that particular time. What is done is that a bond is taken from the ship-owners or from the person they have left here, to secure them against any possible obligation to take him away. As a matter of fact, after the exemption is issued, there is no obligation, under the Act as it stands, on the owners of the vessel to take away the person at their expense. The clause applies to men who ought not to have been brought in, because they would be prohibited immigrants.
– Will the measure apply to any one who came in before it was assented to?
– As a matter of fact, in administration it will not. The administration will be from the date of the passing of the Bill. There will not be many cases covered by this provision.
– If a man has been here for two years and nine months, can you compel the ship-owners to take him out of Australia ?
– My feeling is that we cannot, although I cannot give an absolute opinion. There is no obligation on the ship-owner to take him away. This provision creates an obligation, and, therefore, it must be regarded as a future one. I believe that is the proper interpretation of the clause. In any case, that will be the line of administration, so that no injury can possibly result.
The honorable member for Maribyrnong (Mr. Fen ton) asked a question about international relations. We cannot compel a nation of which a man was a citizen to take him in, but nations are bound by international comity, if not by treaties, to accept him. Some treaties exist under which deported persons must be taken by particular countries. Fugitive offenders are dealt with under the specific terms of a treaty. If the treaty is not fulfilled there is a breach of international obligations, which can be enforced only bymorality, or, unfortunately, as in the past, by the sword. In future these obligations will be incident to the League of Nations to a great extent. Every civilized nation regards itself as under an obligation to take back deported persons of its nationality or its citizens. Difficulties may arise sometimes as to whether we can deport to a particular place or not. There have been difficulties even with the United States of Amercia, and this measure has been to some extent affected by the fact.
– Was that Freeman’s case?
– That casemay have raised a difficulty also, but as a Minister, it being a Defence matter, I do not know much about it. Cases have come under my knowledge of men who are about to be, or have been, deported from another country, and the question arises whether they can remain here or not. I have to decide those cases on grounds of nationality and citizenship - that is, whether this is the country from which they really went, and to which they should be permitted, or not permitted, to return. The only obligation is one dependent on the ordinary rules that apply between nations.
– If a man committed an offence in America, and was deported to Australia, the country of his birth or citizenship, would we have the right to refuse him entry?
– We have an absolute right of refusal, except against persons whose domicile is here. The question arises whether the person deported is really a citizen of this country. If he were sent away three or four months ago from Australia, and then deported from America, the question would arise whether we should allow him back or not. Every one of these cases must be decided on its merits, but the general principleapplying between nations is that where a nation deports its own citizens to another country, and that country at once objects, it has a right to object. That, however; is not a legal right, but a right depending upon the practice of international relationship.
– How is he to get back to his own country?
– That depends on his own country. Obligations between nations are not enforceable by judicial procedure. They are dependent upon the practice of nations or upon treaties.
.- The amendment made by the clause will not read with the proviso in the principal Act which it amends. In fact, it absolutely contradicts the original provision. Although we put it under the heading of certificates of exemption,we destroy the exemption by this addition. We make the owners, &c., liable to take the man back.
– As they would have been had no exemption been granted. The moment you grant an exemption the obligation ceases.
– The man may be sent back to the country whence he came, but he may not be a citizen of that country.
– All that we know is that he came in the vessel.
– We may be passing on to some other country a person who does not belong to it.
– We have a perfect right to do so.
– I admit that, but we are now going back three years. Once a man is admitted the responsibility is upon the Government. We ought not to extend the time in which action can be taken for so long a period as three years.
– The exemption is only for a specified period. The average period of exemption is in practice short. People have telephoned me asking for permission for a certain person to land, as he was very ill, and I have granted the permission, and then found that the persons concerned did not always keep their obligations. The limit of three years fixed in this Bill will not be too long, but, in most cases, it will not be anything like three yearsfor which the exemption will be granted.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 5 (Exemption from passport provision in case of countries with which arrangement in force).
.- The question of passports is causing a great deal of trouble at present. Practically every country now has the passport system, and even the most reputable citizens of this country, if they wanted to go to Great Britain to-morrow, would have to secure a passport. I read in to-day’s press that the greatest confusion prevailed on account of the working of the passport system when the Ormonde went away yesterday. I approve of the clause-
– It is really a modification.
– It is, once you get other countries to agree. In my opinion, the sooner the passport system is modified the better it will be, not merely for Australia, but for other countries as well.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 6 agreed to.
After section eight of the principal Act the following section is inserted: - “ 8a. ( 1 ) Where the Minister is satisfied that, within three years after the arrival in Australia of a person who was not born in Australia, that person -
has been convicted in Australia of a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer ;
is living on the prostitution of others;
has become an inmate of an insane asylum or public charitable institution; or
is an 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 teaches any of the doctrines and practices specified in this paragraph, he may, by notice in writing, summon the person to appear before a Board within the time and in the manner prescribed to show cause why he should not be deported from the Commonwealth. “ (2) A Board appointed for the purposes of the last preceding sub-section shall consist of three members to be appointed by the Minister. “ (3) The chairman shall be a person who holds or has held the office of Judge, or Police, Stipendiary or Special Magistrate. “ (4) (a) If the person fails, within the prescribed time, to show cause why he should not be deported, or
the Board recommends that he be deported from the Commonwealth, the Minister may make an order for his deportation, and he shall be. deported accordingly. “ (5) Pending deportation the person may bo kept in such custody as the Minister directs.”
.- I move -
That the words “within three years after the arrival in Australia of “, lines 4-5, be left out.
I do not intend to labour the point which I desire to make in connexion with this amendment. It is a very obvious one. As the clause stands, any convicted criminal, even though he may have been convicted of a shameful offence, will be absolutely immune from deportation if he succeeds in evading the operation of the law for three years. Thus a person who has been three years and one month in the country, even . though he is a convicted criminal of the worst type, will escape deportation.
– Under the honorable member’s amendment, a person who has been resident in Australia thirty years may be deported.
– If a person of the type indicated in this clause has been resident in Australia for many years, and has shown no sign of mending his ways, it is highly desirable that we should have the power to deport him. It is absurd that we should limit the term within which he may he punished for his evil doings to three years. If the Bill is intended to rid the country of undesirables, we have no right to limit its operation in that way. I trust that the Government will accept my amendment as one which is necessary to the proposals embodied in the measure.
.- The honorable member for Perth (Mr. Fowler) isanxious todo what the British Governmentattempted to do many years ago, when it sought to populate this country by sending persons out to it who were alleged to he guilty of offences, but who had been granted the right of a trial. Those of us who know anything of the early history of Australia know that there were quite anumher of people sent out here because they were regarded as undesirables by those who ruled England , at the time.
– This Bill provides for quite the contrary.
– It does nothing of the sort. Under the amendment of the honorable member for Perth, if the Minister were satisfied that a person not born in Australia had been convicted of a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer, he could order his deportation. The Minister alone has to determine the matter-
– That is not correct. The Minister has to refer the matter to a Board.
– But the Board merely reviews the position.
– The Minister merely cites the individual to appear before the Board.
– The honorable member for Barrier (Mr. Considine) is absolutely misrepresenting the provisions of the Bill.
Mr.CONSIDINE.- Then the honorable member will have an opportunity of correcting me. If the amendment he carried, and the Minister is satisfied that a’ person not born in Australia has been guilty of certain offences, he may summon him to appear before a Board to show cause why he should not be deported. Thus a man may have been resident in Australia - as I have been - for thirty years and then suffer deportation. Suppose that I were the organizer of a union whose members were out on strike, and that, by reason of that strike, foodstuffs were destroyed. Under this clause I could be called upon to assign reasons why I should not be deported. Need I remind honorable members of the experience of Paul Freeman, whose whereabouts, by the way, are just now wrapped in mystery. We do not know whether he has been deported or not. But many other men have been kept in gaol without any opportunity being afforded them to obtain justice, and they have afterwards been deported. The Bill proposes to perpetuate that system. The Government propose to limit the operation of this clause to a period of three years, but the honorable member for Perth desires to still further extend its provisions.
– Does the honorable member believe that a man living on the proceeds of prostitution should be allowed to remain in this country?
– I fail to distinguish between the Australian native-born who is living on the proceeds of prostitution and the foreign-born individual who is doing the same thing. The crime is not accentuated by the fact that a man is born outside of Australia.
– How would you punish him if he were not Australian born?
– I would punish him according to the laws of this country. Why not treat all individuals who are guilty of the same crime in the same way ?
– Because we cannot deport the Australian.
– It is not a crime for a man to be born outside of Australia.
– But a man who battens on prostitution is not worthy to live here.
– If living on the proceeds of prostitution is such a crime that a man who is guilty of it is not worthy to live here, why not make it a capital offence?
– Instead of endeavour ing to foist the criminal on some other country ?
– Certainly. The honorable member for Perth has cited this particular illustration to enable the other portions of the clause to be carried through Committee. Upon the motion for the second reading of the Bill he was agitated by very grave doubts whether the Government were not taking to themselves too much power, and he instanced the cases of certain individuals who might be subjected to injustice under its provisions. Yet he now desires to give Ministers even wider powers.
– Because I conceive them to be necessary.
– Then the honorable member had. not read the Bill before he spoke upon it?
– There were some technicalities with which I was not acquainted.
– This clause is almost word for word a copy of paragraph gd of clause 3 of the Bill. Under that paragraph any person who advocates the overthrow of the established government of this or any other civilized country may be deported at any time. That means that any Irishman who enters Australia may be deported for expressing his views upon the right of the Irish people to govern themselves in accordance with their own ideas.
– The Bill does not mean anything of the kind, and the honorable member knows it.
– But the honorable member himself means it. The clear purpose of his amendment is to give the Government the right to deport anybody, irrespective of their length of residence in this country, so long as they come within the provisions of this clause.
– My contention is that no criminal should be immune from punishment.
– When dealing with clause 3 I stated that there appeared to be an understanding between so-called civilized States to enact legislation of this character. My contention is that such legislation is directed, not so much at the criminal class, or the individuals about whom the honorable member for Perth is so concerned, who live on prostitution, as at the persons who object to the existing economic system. It is aimed at the organized industrial workers
– Of the world.
– No, not of the world, becausesome countries have not been so stupid as to enact legislation of this character.
– But other countries have been wise enough to enact it.
– Some countries have enacted it. The Commonwealth will also enact it because of the fact that honorable members opposite are temporarily in a majority in this Chamber. It may be that time will bring its compensations, and that honorable members will find themselves in a minority. Then this may prove a very useful piece of legislation.
– When thathappens, assassination and every crime in the calendar will be welcomed.
– The honorable member for Kooyong (Sir RobertBest) can see nothing but property. It is his bugbear.
– That is true when I look at the honorable member.
– I am very pleased that my appearance on the floor of the House upholding the rights of individuals, as opposed to the rights of bricks and mortar, or land, has a disconcerting influence upon the honorable member.
– What about constitutional rights ?
– The honorable member knows nothing about them. His outlook is simply, “ We are in a majority, and to hell with “the Constitution!” The distorted views that are characteristic of that particular class of individuals who advocate deportation are remarkable. Take, for instance, an article inthis, morning’s Age, criticising the United States of America in connexion with a proposal of the American Government to “ go dry.” This is what the organ which defends the action of our Government, and loudly applauds such measures as this, has to say concerning Americans:-
Thereare quite a number of things American which might be abolished with immense advantage abroad as well as at. home. The Elijah Pogroms mightbegin a propaganda for deportingall whoarenot expert in the American slang and the American accent, against all who are not proficient in” the vulgarity of personal advertisement,againstthose who like to live their own lives in their ownway- in asentence, against all who think it desirable to mind their own business.
Is is only an illustration of the old adage about failing to remove the mote in thine own eye and seeing the beam that is in thy brother’s.
– Is that in the Age?
– Yes. The literary apologist-in-chief for the Government indorses the action of Ministers in deporting all who can by any means be got at, who are opposed to them, or opposed to “ disordered government,” that is to say, the chaotic state of affairs which is ruling this and every other country in the world to-day. Honorable members opposite can see all sorts of things wrong with people on the other side of the world ; and the Age says, sarcastically, of Course, that we ought to deport this and that person, because American people have run to extremes; but it doesnot see that here, also, people run toextremes. Honorable members opposite in their anxiety to protect propertied interests in Australia, the profiteers, and vested interests generally; honorable members like the honorable member for Kooyong (Sir Robert Best)-
– More gag !
– It is the truth.
The honorable member is restive under the truth.
– That is what tickles him up.
– Of course it does.
The honorable member for Kooyong knows very well that all he, in common with other honorable members on the opposite side of the House, is here foris to protect propertied interests.
– To protect Democracy against the Bolshevik murderers. I notice that the honorable member’s following are disappearing. They are beginning to get ashamed of him.
– It is amusing to hear the honorable and venerable member for Wakefield (Mr. Poster) referring to Bolshevik murderers, when his own Government at the present timeare supporting the champion murderer of the workingclasses in Russia generally, namely, Koltchak.
– On a point of order, I do not know whether the Chairman heard the honorable member for Barrier (Mr. Considine), charging this Government with supporting a murderer somewhere. Is such a remark permissible in this chamber?
TheCHAIRMAN. - I heard the honorable member,and I was on the point of intervening when the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Fowler) rose. I ask the honorable member for Barrier to withdraw his remark.
-i rise to a point of order.I contend ; that it is absolutely permissible-
– Will the honorable memberresume his seat? I call upon the honorable member for Barrier to withdraw his remark.
Mr.Considine. - What do I understand the Chairmanto say?
– I ask the honorable member to withdraw the reference he made to the Government standing behind murderers.
Mr.Considine. - I said nothing about the Government standing behind murderers. I said that this Government, as well as the Imperial Government, is standing behind the chief murderer ofthe working classes of Russia, and I will not withdraw that statement. It is the truth, and I cannot do so.
– Again I ask the honorable member to withdraw his remark.
– I decline to do so. It is the truth, every word of it.
– I ask the honorable member again to withdraw it.
– Mr. Chanter-
-Order ! If the honorable member refuses, I have no other course but to name him for disobeying the Chair.
– Can there be no discussion upon this sort of Prussian system instead of simply fastening down before any explanation or anything of the sort is attempted?
– I ask the honorable member for Barrier to withdraw his remark. No good can be got out of observations of the sort. No one wishes to take any unusual step at the moment, and I ask the honorable member to withdraw his remark, and allow the debate to he continued.
Mr.Considine. - No, I cannot withdraw it. What I said is true.
– It is usual for honorable members to obey the Standing Orders. We are all under the same obligation to comply with them. I have no desire to resort to extreme action. If the honorable member can see his way clear to withdraw his remark, it will be very much better for him to do so.
Mr.Considine. - Mr. Chanter, you have permitted other honorable members to denounce Bolsheviks as murderers. What I said, namely, that Koltchak is a murderer, is true.Koltchak is a murderer, and the Government stand behind him. I shall not withdraw that remark.
– I regret that I have to move, in accordance with the Standing Orders -
That the honorable member for Barrierbe suspended from the service of the Committee.
-i draw attention to the absence of a quorum. [Quorum formed.]
-The question is that the honorable member for Barrier be suspended fromthe service of the Committee, and that I do report the resolution to the House.
Question put. The Committee divided. No honorable member consenting to act as
In the House:
The Chairman of Committees (Hon. J. M. Chanter). - I have to report that during the proceedings in Committee, the honorable member for Barrier (Mr. Considine) made a certain statement concerning the Government which I conceived to be disorderly. I asked the honorable member to withdraw the statement. He refused to do so. The Acting Leader of the House (Mr. Groom) made a further appeal to the honorable member.
– Order !
The Chairman of Committees. - As the honorable member for Barrier still declined to withdraw, a motion was submitted to the Committee that the honorable member be suspended from the service of the Committee. The motion was submitted to the Committee, and on a division was resolved in the affirmative, there being no teller for the “ Noes.”
– Is it not competent for you, Mr. Speaker, to ask the honorable member for Barrier now to withdraw the statement complained of ?
– Not at this stage. The Committee has already divided on the motion, which must now be submitted to the” House without debate, under our Standing Orders, upon the Committee’s report.
Question - That the honorable member for Barrier (Mr.Considine) be suspended from the service of the House - put. The House divided.
Majority . . … 17
Question so resolved- in the affirmative.
.- The honorable member for Perth (Mr. Fowler) has moved to amend the clause by striking out the time limit of three years within which the power to deport may be exercised. Under the existing Act there is power, without regard to time, to deport in the case of an absolute evasion “of the Act. Section- 7 provides that every prohibited immigrant. entering or found within the Commonwealth in contravention or evasion of the Act shall be liable, on conviction, to be sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, and to be deported, but that power of deportation is conditioned by the Department’s ability to prove that the person was a prohibited immigrant when he arrived in Australia or had become one under the Act. A time limit of five years is prescribed by the American Act of 1917, but it is subject to a condition similar to that in section 7 of the Commonwealth Act, namely, that the Department can prove that at the time a person entered the United States of America he evaded, or was in the country in contravention of, the Act, so that our existing Act actually gives wider scope for deportation in the case of a person who has evaded the Act. As a matter of fact, the American .Act deals only with the deportation of aliens. Our Act gives power to deport persons who came from the United Kingdom, but the American Act refers to aliens, because all persons born outside the United States are regarded as aliens, that country having no Dominions such as those of the British Empire. The American provisions, therefore, though they allow a period of five years, apply in circumstances different from those in this country, and our Act ‘ gives a wider power to deal with persons who have evaded the Act, and who are prohibited immigrants within the meaning of the Act. The clause means that, without necessarily proving that a person was an anarchist when he entered, he can be deported if he is found within three years of his arrival to be acting in contravention of. the law. The reason why the limit of three years is provided is that there must be some reasonable period within which we. assume that a man has developed within Australia into a person prohibited by our Immigration Act. If it can be proved that at the time of entering he did evade the Act, and was, in fact, a prohibited immigrant, he can be arrested and deported at any time; but if that cannot be proved, but proof is available that within three years of his arrival . he became one of the persons specified by clause 7, he may he deported. I ask the honorable member for Perth not to press his amendment.
.- I cannot . understand what the honorable member for ‘Perth (Mr. Fowler) desires to achieve by the amendment. If the limitation of three years is struck out, the clause will then read that at any time, regardless of how many years a person may have been resident in the country, he will be liable to deportation if he does anything in contravention of the immigration law. The whole clause is repugnant to me, because I see no necessity for it. One of the best arguments in. support of its elimination is the statement by the Minister (Mr. Glynn) that the existing Act gives power to deport . persons who are convicted of certain offences. Having that power to punish persons for these offences, why should ‘ we now make an additional law to provide for their deportation ? Any man who offends against the Immigration Act must pay the penalty prescribed. I do not know what is meant by paragraph c, which refers to a person .who, within three years after his arrival in Australia, “has become an inmate of an insane asylum or public charitable institution.” If that paragraph is “agreed to any person who was not in Australia at the time this law was passed, but who within three years of his arrival becomes an inmate of an insane asylum or public charitable institution, may be deported if the Board so directs. It is a bad enough misfortune for a man to become insane, but to make him liable, in addition, to be deported and separated from his friends, seems to me to be most unreasonable.
– He would have left his friends and relatives to come out here.
-But, ifthis amendment were agreed to, action could be taken against such a person at any time. After living here for ten or twenty years, a man might lose his reason, or, owing to a series of misfortunes, might become an inmate of a charitable institution. Under this amendment, such a person could be deported on the recommendation of the Board, although probably he had relatives and family ties here.
I said last night that in proposing legislation of this kind we seemed to be suffering from shell-shock. This is certainly panic legislation, and quite unreasonable. Under paragraph a of this proposed new section, any person who has been convicted in Australia of a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer may be called upon to show cause why he should not be deported. We can all carry back our minds to industrial troubles in connexion with which much feeling has been aroused, and which have led to men making statements in the heat of the moment which have resulted in their imprisonment for twelve months or more. I can recollect cases in my own district where, because of much public excitement caused by certain troubles, the military were sent to the mines. Their appearance in the district served only to intensify the feeling, and led to certain men making statements which brought them under the law of conspiracy. Ordinarily, they were excellent citizens, but in a moment of excitement they made statements which led to their prosecution and to their imprisonment to a year or more. Such men, if this amendment were agreed to, might at any time be called upon to appear before this Board to show cause why they should not be deported. Imagine the Board solemnly recommending the deportation of such men after they had been living in the Commonwealth for ten or twenty years. They are good citizens - hardworking men - but, because of a dispute with their employers leading to much feeling, they might, in the circumstances I have named, he recommended for de portation. Are we going to place people in that position?
-Would the Board have no common sense?
– I regret to say that common sense very often, forsakes those who have to adjudicate upon such matters. Men are often unconsciously biased. Many persons, called upon to adjudicate in cases of the kind to which I have referred honestly believe that they are doing the right thing in inflicting severe punishment, whereas others, who are free from all prejudice and are able to reason out the matter dispassionately, take an entirely different view.
This is panic legislation for which there is no cause, and in the near future it may have a boomerang effect. It goes beyond the bounds of reason. Surely in these enlightened days it is unnecessary to pass legislation the only effect of which will be to create dissension. A measure of this kind will produce not harmony, but turmoil, in the community. If, as the result of industrial trouble, men, because of statements made in a moment of excitement aresentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment, and are then recommended for deportation, we shall have the country up in arms. In moments of agitation, common sense often flies to the wind. This is an abnormal production. It is because of the happenings of the last two years, which have affected our mental calibre, that it is brought forward.
– The Congress of the United States of America has legislated on similar lines in the absence of any such crisis.
– Because the Congress of the United States of America has done a foolish thing, are we to follow in its footsteps. Are we unable to think for ourselves ?
– The United States is a wise nation, with a wise man at its head.
– There is no wiser nation to-day than Australia. Why did our boys make such a fine stand at the Front? Was it not because of the freedom and liberty they enjoyed here? Was it not because of their life-long environment? Was, it not because of their trade unions? All these things contributed to make the Australian soldier stand out as one of the superior men of the world. Are we to follow in the foot- steps of nations that in this respect cannot compare with us ? My advice is that we should give our people as much freedom as possible. Let uspass wise laws, and punish those who violate them; but, in the name of all that is good, do not let us pass coercive legislation, which, if put into operation, will lead to much hardship. Under this amendment, married men who have lived here for years might be deported and separated from their wives and children unless they chose to accompany them. While in one respect Ithink the Bill is desirable, I yet believe that, on the whole, it is right up against Democracyand the best interests of Australia.
– I appeal to the honorable mem ber for Perth (Mr. Fowler) to withdraw his amendment, for a reason other than that stated by the honorable member who has just resumed his seat. I am in favour of the Bill, and believe that the clause as it stands will prove exceedingly useful. The honorable member’s amendment, while possibly sound from many standpoints, has to be considered, also, from thepoint of view of its validity. We have but a limited jurisdiction. Under the Constitution, the Parliament has power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealthwith respect, inter alia, to immigration and emigration. We also have power to make laws with respect to all matters incidental to the execution of any power vested by the Constitution in the Parliament or in the Government of the Commonwealth, or in any Department or officer of the Commonwealth. Anything, therefore, which is incidental to immigration comes within our jurisdiction. The Commonwealth has power to regulate and control the class of persons who shall be allowed to come into Australia, and if Parliament, in its wisdom, determines that, in order effectively to carry out its policy with regard to immigration, the class of persons dealt with in this proposed new section shall be deemed undesirable immigrants, then we have power to say that such persons, within a certain period from the date of their arrival here, shall be liable to deportation. But if, on the other hand, there is no limitation to this provision ; if, as the honorable member for Hunter (Mr. Charlton) has said, a man is permitted to remain here for ten or twenty years before any at tempt is made to deport him, then, in such circumstances, he would have identified himself with theState in which he lived. He would havebeen absorbed in, and become an inhabitant of that State, and be subject to its jurisdiction. If the limitation which the proposed new section imposes were removed, we should be going outside the jurisdiction granted to this Parliament in respect of immigration.
It might be suggested, in reply to that argument, that sections 7 and 8 of the principal Act may be subject to a similar challenge as regards jurisdiction. Section 7, however, refers to a contravention or evasion of the Immigration Act. In the case of a man who has, by fraud or by a process , of evasion, managed to enter the Commonwealth, we should only be exercising a power incidental to our powers in respect to immigration and emigration if we provided for the deportation of such a man. Section 7, therefore, is, in my opinion, valid. I am not prepared to say definitely that section 8 is valid ; but if we have gone as far as we can under that section it would be a great mistake to remove, as the honorable member proposes, the limitation provided forin this provision.
– Does the honorable member say that this clause refers only to persons who have entered Australia in breach of some law ?
– This is an Immigration Bill, and the clause with which we are dealing sets out that a certain class of individuals shall be excluded. The Commonwealth seeks to keep control duringthis period of the man whom it may have permitted to enter the Commonwealth.
– Forthree years, because if he is that kind of man he will probably show it within that time.
– That is so. The Commonwealth permits certain individuals to enter. It discovers within three years that they have developed certain disqualifications for Australian citizenship. Therefore, the Commonwealth says they are not desirable immigrants, and exercises its power to deport them. There is a considerable majority in favour of the clause, and I would suggest to the honorable member for Perth the undesirableness of doing anything which will weaken it or cause its validity to be challenged. While ill many circumstances I might be disposed to sympathize with his amendment, I see the legal objections that may be taken, and the challenge which may be hereafter issued. It is objected that a distinction is made between the man who comes here and the man who is born here. Undoubtedly there is such a distinction. In the one case the man is a foreigner; he belongs to some other country.
– Not necessarily; he may be a British subject.
– He is not an Australian citizen. We are engaged in protecting Australia. The mother Country has its criminals, as other places have. Wherever the criminal comes from, he is an undesirable immigrant, and we want to keep him out of. Australia. If we discover within three years that he is undesirable, we take power to deport him to the country whence he came. But if the man is Australian-born, this is his country, and we have to put up with him. He is our trouble, and we must deal with him according to our own criminallaw. The objection, therefore, as to the discriminating character of the Bill is not sound. The clause should be accepted as printed.
.- The clause was quite bad enough to secure my whole-hearted opposition before the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Fowler) exercised his ingenuity in making it worse. There is rather a curious point of construction about it, which I mention without desiring to split straws. There are only two classes of persons referred to. The clause first says- -
Where the Minister is satisfied that, within three years after the arrival in Australia of a person who was not born in Australia, that person -
Then it says “ or,” and describes quite another kind of person. It would, therefore, really appear, on a strict reading of the clause as it stands, that the Minister may only bring the matter before a Board when a person occupies the threefold character of having been convicted, and living on prostitution, and becoming an inmate of an insane asylum or charitable institution. This is, perhaps, a somewhat far-fetched reading, but it is clearly the literal meaning of the language used. The alternative conjunction “ or “ should follow each sub-clause.
When I heard the honorable member for Perth speaking on the second reading, I hoped that he would bring to the consideration of the Bill in Committee a greater measure of Christian charity than he has shown in his amendment. The position he now takes up is this : If a man born in the British Isles comes here, and has the misfortune to be convicted for an offence for which the law provides a penalty of imprisonment for one year or longer, though the actual penalty imposed on him may be much less, then, not within three years as the clause states, but even if he lives here for thirty, forty, or fifty years he becomes liable to be summoned before a Board to show’ cause why he should not be deported from the Commonwealth . That is monstrously unjust. It is so absurdly unjust that one can hardly thinkthe honorable member seriously desires to bring about such a state of affairs. Even the three years’ limit imposes a hardship which is far too great. The penalty actually imposed may be slight, and the man be in other respects a very desirable citizen. Good men fall into minor criminal offences, and afterwards live good lives here. They completely expiate their offence, and become good citizens, and probably were good citizens before they gave way to one bad impulse.
– In which case, the Board would not deport them.
– The Board has before it an Act which shows that the policy of this Parliament is to deport persons who come within the category mentioned. At all events, we make them liable for deportation. Even if the person brought before the Board is excused, he has to run ‘the risk of being deported, and must undergo the humiliation, expense, and sorrow of that second trial before the Board, and perhaps of a third trial before the Minister, before he can be assured that he is safe here. For that reason, I could not think of supporting the clause, even in its present form.
I ask the Minister (Mr. Glynn), with a certain amount of hope, to reconsider paragraph c, which will have the effect of threatening people with deportation because oftheir poverty. A good man, one of our kinsmen from across the sea, may come here. Hemay have relatives here, and a great number of legitimate associations in this country. Surely we are not so churlish or niggardly in. the distribution of the good things that this country has to give as to tell a man who longs to remain in our sunny land that he cannot remain here because his health has broken down, and poverty has driven him into a charitable institution. The proposal is not only not humanitarian, but almost inhuman. A man comes here, and within three years falls on hard times.Who knows what cause may have driven him into a charitable institution, or other asylum ? It may be a cause that does not reflect at all on his moral character; but he too is to be liable to the humiliation, pain, and loss of being summoned before a Board to show why. he should not be thrust forcibly out of the country in which he has endeavoured to make his home.
The honorable member for Hunter (Mr. Charlton), who is by no means wholeheartedly with me in all the views that I have uttered on this Bill, puts the matter regarding paragraph c in a way that the Minister should hesitate to resist. I cannot understand men who have been long associated with the Labour movement penalizing a man on account of his poverty. Certain members opposite should, therefore, use all the influence they have with the Government to get them to drop that part of the clause. I know what theMinister has in mind. It is the undoubted fact that in some cases men are sent out here to build up their broken constitutions, and that that practice is undesirable. We know, also, that men of degenerate type may be sent out here to be got rid of. These cases would be rare. It is incredible that they should be so frequent, having regard to the difficulty and expense of sending such people here, as to justify this proposed departure from elementary justice.
– It is a notorious fact, that you cannot gainsay, that such men are deliberately sent out here. Surely the country from which they come should bear the burden of them.
– Then it ought to be quite sufficient to deal with them upon their entry into the Commonwealth without holding over them the shadow of deportation for a number of years subsequently. I despair of influencing the
Committee, so far as paragraph d is concerned, and I recognise the futility of repeating arguments which have fallen onunsympathetic ears. But I do hope that soft words from the Minister may induce the severe and over-callous member for Perth to withdraw his amendment.
.- I do not think anybody who has studied the provisions of this measure can truthfully suggest that it will impose upon any section of people the hardship which has been indicated by the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan). It is a wellknown fact that because of the liberal measure of charity which is dealt out to impoverished persons in Australia, many individuals have been deliberately sent to this country by their friends overseas.
– They require to reside here for many years before they can obtain the old-age pension.
– But there are many private organizations of a charitable nature.
– I admit that.
– If any persons should be so unfortunate as to. find themselves stranded in Australia the Bill provides that they shall come before the proper authorities, who will deal with their cases sympathetically. In regard to the amendment submitted by the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Fowler), I would make itapply permanently to anarchists or to persons who advocate the forcible overthrow of the established government of this or any other civilized country. I am quite unable to understand the reasoning of my honorable friends opposite. To-day we have upon our statute-book the Contract Immigrants Act. Under the provisions of that measure, hard-working, honest men from the Old Country who followed the occupation of hatters and were of unblemished character, were prevented from entering the Commonwealth merely because they had made a contract with their employers here. Honorable members opposite would debar those operatives from coming to Australia, but would welcome anarchists with open arms. The members of both political parties in this Chamber did their utmost to secure the establishment of Arbitration Courts in this country for the settlement of industrial disputes. Yet we now find honorable members opposite supporting direct actionists, who are opposed to the very basic principle of arbitration.
– Would- the honorable member shut out agitators?
– I would exclude anarchists. My regret is that legislation of this character was not enacted long ago. We do not want agitating strikers of the Tom Mann type here. Tom Mann, when he was expelled from Great Britain, went to South Africa. After doing all the mischief that he could there, he directed his steps to Australia, where he succeeded in turning the country upside down. We have a lot of decent, honest, working men in this country,’ who are quite capable -of managing their own affairs without interference by outsiders. I commend the Government for having introduced this Bill, and I intend. to give it all the support that I can. ‘
.- The honorable member for Calare (Mr. Pigott) has indicated that he would exclude from the Commonwealth men who, according to my reading of this clause, cannot be excluded. Tom Mann, for example, has never been accused of being an anarchist. I oppose the legislation proposed in this Bill because I fear that men like the honorable member may get into the Government of this country, and administer its provisions in the way that he himself has outlined. The terms of the measure remind me very forcibly of the panic legis- lationwhich was enacted in Victoria, at the instance of the Irvine Government, in 1902 and 1903. That legislation was directed against the public servants of this State. ‘The Irvine Government brought forward what was known as a Coercion Act, which ran the gauntlet of both branches of the Legislature; but which was, afterwards unanimously repealed ‘by them. I am confident that honorable members who support the proposed legislation which is now before us will be utterly ashamed of their action before they are many years older. I am surprised that the honorable member for Perth (Mr.. Fowler) should have gone as far as he has, and I trust that he will withdraw his amendment. Should it he carried, we shall certainly be in a position to clear out many of our benevolent asylums, a large proportion of whose inmates are not native-born Australians.
– In many cases they are the pioneers of this country.
– Tes. In many instances they have been the victims of accidents, which have caused them to become mentally defective. Their infirmities should provoke our sympathy, rather than induce us to mete out harsh treatment to them. Personally, I am glad that, instead of calling such institutions asylums, they are now being designated “mental hospitals.”
I need hardly remind honorable members that if a person enters a shipping office in London, and books his passage to Australia, .he is not required to undergo any medical examination whatever. But if he is unfortunate enough to be poor, and is desirous of making a fresh start in this country, he has to submit to a medical examination. I know that many persons afflicted with tubercular complaints have been sent to Australia by their friends overseas, doubtless in the hope that in our more sunny clime they would be restored to health. So long aa they pay their passages, they are not required to undergo medical inspection. Of the evils of this system I can speak personally, because when I was about to visit England in 1S99 a man who was a sufferer from tuberculosis in an advanced stage was returning to’ his friends by the same vessel. It was pitiable’ to see him, and he died before the voyage was completed.
We have no right to indulge in panic legislation, which is hound to react on Australia. The honorable member for Calare. (Mr. Pigott) spoke of the six hatters, who, he said, had been prevented from entering the Commonwealth. As a matter of fact, they were not excluded from this country. Neither of the two groups of six hatters were kept out of the Commonwealth, and some pf them are as good Australians to-day as can ‘be found in this country. But I particularly object to the composition o’f the proposed Board under this clause. . . We are told that the chairman shall be -a person who holds, or has held, the office of Judge, or police, stipendiary, or special magistrate. But we do not know who the other members of the Board will be. I ‘presume that the decision of this body will be a majority one. I suppose that two- persons could be selected for appointment to it who “would vote to send every man upon .this side of the chamber out of A.iis- tralia; and I dare say that two others could be selected by our side who would vote to deport every nian on the other side of the chamber.
– I object to the honorable member putting me on the same level as honorable members opposite.
– I urge the Minister (Mr. Glynn) to modify this panic legislation. As Mr. Lloyd George has said, the community is suffering from shell-shock! At .present Parliament cannot think as clearly as it can in normal times, to which I hope we shall soon get back. I have made my attitude .clear. This legislation is quite unnecessary. But certain people are panicky, and, believing that something has to be done, they come forward with a sledge-hammer proposal. No one who knows anything about the work of Tom Mann .could accuse, him of being an anarchist. Yet the honorable member for Calare says that this class of legislation is required in order to keep out men like Tom Mann. In England I have heard Tom Mann’ urging workmen to get on local governing bodies.
– He did not do so in Australia. Here he was-‘ right up against the Constitution. Why was he hunted out of South Africa?
– I do not think that Tom Mann was hunted out of South Africa. The honorable member says that he was also hunted out of Great Britain, but that was impossible, because he is a Britisher. The honorable member for Calare is making all sorts of extraordinary and wild statements that I do not think are correct.
The Ministry should attempt to modify this legislation, and, if possible, should give honorable members an idea of the personnel of the proposed Board to deal with the persons referred to in clause 7. Otherwise the Board might, without rhyme or reason, vote for the deportation of any individual. For instance, the honorable member for Calare has made up his” mind about Tom Mann, who is a very estimable citizen of the Empire. He has done this without knowing him. He is simply speaking from something that the newspapers have said. If honorable members are to make up their minds on what the newspapers say about certain persons they will be following a danger^ ous course. I trust that the amendment will not be agreed to, and that the Minister will consent to some modification of the clause.
.. - The honorable member for Batman (Mr.’ Brennan) fears that in some cases the application of paragraph c, “ has become an inmate of an insane asylum or public charitable institution,” will confer hardship. There has been good reason for inserting this paragraph in the Bill. Persons very badly affected with disease have come into the Commonwealth in violation of the Act, but their diseases were not discoverable at the time. The paragraph is intended to apply to those cases. At present the Minister has power to deport such persons if he can prove that they entered the Commonwealth with ‘ these diseases,, but with the assistance ‘of the power taken in this Bill it will net be necessary to furnish this proof. However, provision is made in the Bill to permit the person affected’ to go before a Board. It is a punishable offence under the Act for a person who is badly affected by a disease to enter the Commonwealth, but the Bill is to some extent a qualification of the Act, and enables us to deport the person without absolute proof that he was affected at the time of entry. In some cases the disease from which a person is suffering is not discoverable until many months after his arrival. Other countries have legislation in the same direction with much wider powers. In the United States of America, in the cases of these diseases, there is power to deport without trial or without reference to a board of inquiry. As a matter of fact, the Secretary of Labour is intrusted with the responsi- bility and can deport persons who are affected.
– Is the power limited to three years in the United States of * America ?
– No. A person who is in one of the classes excluded by the United States’ law may be deported at the instance of the Secretary of Labour at any time within five years after his entry. Here we say that if we can prove that the person was at the time of entry a prohibited immigrant the period for deportation is indefinite. I quite agree that if a disease develops within the Commonwealth it would he grossly unfair to take any person affected out of an institution and deport him. -I can say at once, speaking from an administrative point of view, that such a case would not occur; but there are circumstances in which one is practically aware that the disease must have existed at the time of the person’s entry, though that could not be proved. The clause in the Bill will meet such a case.
The honorable member for Kooyong (Sir Robert Best) referred to the possible invalidity of the clause if the amendment were accepted. It would not apply to aliens, but it certainly would to a British subject. In the case of Robtelmes v. Brenan, reported in the fourth Commonwealth Law Reports, the law as accepted by the Chief Justice is the following extract from the opinion of the Privy Council, which had been taken from Vattel’s
Law of Nations: -
The power of expulsion is, in truth, but the complement of the power of exclusion. If entry be prohibited it would seem to follow that the Government, which has the power to exclude, shall have the power to expel the alien who enters in opposition to its laws.
As a matter of fact, I believe that this power can go on indefinitely so far as the alien is concerned; but if the amendment is carried it may raise a doubt as to the validity of the whole provision. It is our duty to see that the law is clear on the point.
.- Notwithstanding the clear and courteous explanation furnished by the Minister (Mr. Glynn), I think the clause contains too many drastic’ provisions, even without the extreme suggestion of the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Fowler), whose amendment I could not in any circumstances support. I am quite aware that owing to the convulsions of nations and the disruption that has taken place everywhere there may, perhaps, ^ be a tendency among the worst ele- ment of various countries to seek “fresh fields and pastures new,” and possibly it is very essential for all countries, especially young countries encouraging immigration, to be more careful than in normal times in regard to who shall be permitted to enter them. However, I think that due care can be taken without the drastic provisions in the clause. If we have methods of carefully examining the qualifications of people who seek to come to Australia under assisted immigration laws, it seems absolutely wrong to have legislation by which people who, through sickness or accident or from any other cause, may be cast into a charitable institution, shall be subject to an inquiry by a Board which may decide whether they are to be “ shunted “ out of the country or not. A pernicious principle such as that ought not to find expression in the laws of a free country, where we depend for justice on the administration of our Statutes and on the discretion of those who administer them, rather than on the actual working of the laws themselves. I appeal to the Minister to eliminate, paragraph c. I cannot support it, .because it is inimical to the spirit of freedom .which should actuate the people of Australia. We are anxious to keep our country free and a home to all law-abiding people. We seek by every means in our power to raise the standard of living and make Australia an example to the less-favoured countries, but that ideal cannot he approached if we subscribe to principles which are, no doubt, due in some measure to the extraordinary conditions that have developed all over the world, or the panicstricken fear that we may perhaps suffer to a greater extent than have other lessfavoured countries.
.- If during an industrial dispute certain strikers happen to get at cross-purposes with the law - for instance, through committing a breach of the Arbitration Act - and they are sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for the offence, though they may be liable to a sentence of twelve months’ imprisonment or more, it would appear thai they could very easily be deported under this clause. Surely the Committee will not countenance a provision which may have such an effect? I do not like to see strikes, but no means can be . devised ‘ of avoiding them. I am a thorough believer in arbitration and constitutional methods.
– An offence against the Arbitration Act can only be regarded as a quasi criminal offence. It would not be regarded as a criminal offence.
– I have in mind the case of Peter Bowling, who was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. That man was not a native of this country, hut he had a large family of Australian-born children. He would be liable to deportation.
– He was resident in Australia for more than three years.
– But the proposal of the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Fowler) is to strike out the three years’ limitation. This is a dangerous power to place in any Act. It might be used for the purpose of breaking a strike. I do not believe in strikes, except as a final weapon when other procedure fails to get redress of grievances. . This power to deport might be used by unscrupulous employers to break a strike by having the leaders deported from the country.
– Paragraph awould not affect strike leaders.
– This paragraph relates to immigrants.
– But there is a proposal to strike out the three years’ limitation.
– The Government are not accepting that amendment.
– I am thankful for small mercies. The Minister would do well to eliminate paragraph c, which makes liable to deportation inmates of lunatic asylums and public charitable institutions. The country will not benefit by such a provision. I know of a man who went to England as a munition worker and was injured there. As a result he is unable now to follow his occupation. Because his accident occurred outside the Commonwealth he is ineligible for an invalid pension, and the State Government can do nothing for him because he is lyingin his own home. That man would be liable to deporta tion under paragraph c.
– Not unless he was recommended by a Board for deportation.
– While protecting the interests of the country we should be careful not to inflict injury upon any section of the community. Surely we are generous enough not to desire to get rid of our obligations by deporting to other countries residents who become mentally deranged or unable to support themselves.
– There are two safeguards - first, the Board, and then the Minister.
– But who will comprise the Board ?
– A Judge or magistrate will be chairman.
– Legal men are not, as a rule, very sympathetic. A Judge would sift the evidence, and then declare that, according to the Act, a man must be deported. He would be guided only by the legal consideration. I shall later move to strike out paragraph c.
.- The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Tudor) stated that those who vote for this Bill will subsequently be ashamed of their action. I rise to support the Bill, not because I think I can influence any other honorable member, but because I believe I can justify my vote. It is unworthy of the Leader of the Opposition to say that honorable members on this side, although they disbelieve in the Bill, have not the courage of their convictions, and will vote for the measure simply because it is introduced by the Government of whom they are supporters. I cannot understand the heat and bitterness that have been introduced into the discussion of this measure. This is not panic legislation. The Bill has evidently been designed for the simple purpose of protecting Australia by prohibiting undesirable immigrants.
– Have we not already power to deal with them ?
– The Bill may be redundant, but I am not dealing with that aspect of the question. I am discussing the Bill as a means of keeping Australia pure, physically and mentally. Every honorable member will agree that the persons aimed at in clause 7, namely, criminals, those who live by the prostitution of others, inmates of lunatic asylums and public charitable institutions, and. anarchists, and persons of that kind, are undesirable residents in any community, and if we are wise, in building up our civilization we shall protect ourselves, as far as possible, from the introduction of those elements.
The amendment proposed by the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Fowler) is too wide, and would prove altogether unworkable. The meaning ofclause 7 is that we desire immigrants toshow within the first three years of theirresidence that they are persons who are desirable as permanent residents of Australia; but if, within that period, they show any symptoms of undesirableness, they must leave the country. The interests of those various classes of persons have been adequately safeguarded by the procedure which must be followed by the Minister before they can be deported. First of all, the attention of the Minister is called to an individual case. The clause does not provide that he must takeaction upon that information; he simply may take action.
– May means shall.
– No; discretion is given to the Minister. He may ignore a particular case if the facts brought under his notice do not, in his opinion, warrant action. If they do warrant action, he summons the person complained of before a Board, the chairman of which, I am glad to see, must be a person who holds, or has held, the office of Judge, or police, stipendiary, or special magistrate. Generally speaking, the occupants of such positions are men of trained minds and broad outlook.
– That refers only to the chairman; the other two members may bequite different.
– My experience is that a Board of three is usually influenced and guided by the chairman. The stipulation that the chairman shall be a man with a trained mind is a wise one. Even after the Board has considered a case, its decision must be referred back to. the Minister. No Minister of the Crown would dare to take the drastic step of deporting a resident of Australia unless there was good solid reason for doing so.
– Does not the honorable member think that he would rely on the Board’s report?
– Not unless the report of the Board commended itself to his judgment, and not unless the reason operating in his mind was such as to commend itself to men of average common sense and justice.
– We shall not be able to get reports of the Board to see on what the decisions are based.
– Honorable members will be in their places to challenge any case of deportation, and the Minister will have to justify his action in Parliament. I quite agree with the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) that it would be possible so to administer this measure as to work injustice. That remark, however, applies to practically every Act of Parliament. In passing a Bill we must assume that it will be justly administered. Generally speak ing, all our laws are. We must haveregard, not to an individual case of injustice occurring here and there, but toour general experience. I have had some experience of the administration of Acts of Parliament, particularly in Courts of justice, and do not hesitate to say that they are administered in a common-sense way, and with a due sense of justice and responsibility.
As to the provision under which it will be possible to deport men who are sentenced to imprisonment for twelve months or longer for an offence committed within three years of their arrival in the Commonwealth, I think that the policy of the Government is to protect Australia against an influx of criminals. When a man comes here the Government know nothing about him. They have had nothing to do with his upbringing, and they say, in effect, under this clause, that we will give such a man three years in which to declare himself. If he should prove to be a criminal and displays criminal instincts within this reasonable period, is there any hardship in declaring that such a man, on being convicted of a. crime for which he is liable to a term of twelve months’ imprisonment or more, shall be sent back to the country from which he came ? It is only just that the Government should have such a power. Every case will be considered on its merits. I cannot conceive it to be possible, as the honorable member for Batman suggests, that a man who, after leading an upright and honorable life, suddenly yields to momentary temptation, and commits a crime for which he is liable to imprisonment for twelve monthsor longer, would be summoned before this Board, and that on such facts he would be recommended for deportation. I do not think that such a recommendation would be made, or if it were, that it would be acted upon by a responsible Minister. Such cases are quite safeguarded by this Bill. It is only the class of men to whom I have previously referred, men who come here with criminal instincts and within three years show that they are criminals, that any Minister would think of deporting.
I come now to the paragraph in the proposed new section providing for the deportation of those who within a certain period of their arrival here are found to be living on the prostitution of others.
I have not heard a word from either side in defence of those who come within that category, or urging that they should become permanent residents of” Australia. No mart ; who entered upon hie of that kind would deserve any consideration, and no protest would be raised h: support of a claim made by him to remain here.
– I am not sure that they should not be dealt with here.
– I should like to deal with people already here who are leading the same vicious life.
– Quite so, but we are not now discussing that point. 1 would sooner have all such people out of the country. ‘Why should we send them to gaol, and incur the expense of maintaining them ?
– It would be well, in the interests of society, to drown such men.
– I should be inclined to indorse that view.
Under paragraph c of the proposed new section, power is .taken to deport any person - who has become an inmate of a lunatic asylum within three years of his arrival here. T think the argument in support of the deportation of those who develop criminal instincts applies almost equally to those who develop insanity within three years of their arrival in Australia.
– But such a man might have become insane as the* result -of an accident.
– In such a case I do not think any Minister would propose deportation. It would be only where the Minister had reason to believe on the evidence before him that the person concerned was suffering .from incipient insanity when he came here that he would take steps to deport him. If, for instance, . the Minister found that as the result of an accident, as has just been suggested, a man had become insane within the period named, I do not think he would ever dream, of deporting ‘him. If he made such a proposal no one would indorse it. The object is to “keep out undesirable’ people, who had shown some evidence of insanity before coining here.
– Might not such a man have innocently acquired family obligations, and ‘by removing him might we’ not do injury to those whom he left behind ?
– All such ‘matters would ‘be taken into consideration. It would rarely happen that a man ‘who .had shown no sign of insanity before entering the ‘country would develop that infirmity within three years, of his coming here. Where a person does develop insanity in the circumstances contemplated by this provision, I think it is wise that we should legislate as proposed. That is not the kind of element that we desire to see introduced’ into Australia. No hardship would be done to such’ a man by returning him to his place of origin, nor would any hardship be done to his country.
Coming to the provision for the deportation of any person who within three years of his arrival in Australia becomes an inmate of a public charitable institution,. I would deprecate -the readiness of honorable members opposite to imply that those who vote for such a provision have not for the poor the sympathy which they have.
– We do not think you have had the practical experience that men like myself have had.
– I am not going into personal matters. If I were to do so I might be able to show the honorable member ‘that I know just as .much as he does of what it. is to struggle against poverty and to climb from the lowest rung of the ladder to that, particular rung . on which I happen to stand just now. I claim to have as real a sympathy for men in unfortunate circumstances as has any honorable member opposite, and I hope the Opposition will give me credit for that as a genuine feeling. The Bill, in so far as it deals with those who -become inmates of a public charitable institution, is aimed at men who seek to shelter themselves in Australia - men who were fit subjects for. an institution of the kind before they came here. Such men- have no right to come here. If, on the other hand, a man was able to maintain himself ‘when he landed in Australia, ‘but owing to misfortune became an inmate of a charitable institution, on- such facts no Minister would dare to suggest his deportation. It would only .be where a man came here regarding Australia - as so many people in the Old Country do - as a kind of haven for financial wrecks’, that this part of the clause would operate.
I propose deliberately to vote for this clause and the Bill as it-‘ stands, believing that it is not a piece of panic legislation. The world to-day is in an extraordinarily abnormal condition. We in Australia are living under abnormal conditions. The problems that we have to tackle here are most difficult, even under the most favorable circumstances. We ought to make our task as easy as we can, and I believe that by excluding such elements as this BiU is calculated to shut out, we shall temi in the simplification of the task before us. That being so, despite what the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Tudor) has said to the effect that those who vote for this Bill will in years to come be ashamed of their action, 1 shall vote for it. If I thought that in years to come I would be ashamed of having voted for such a measure, I certainly should not do so. It is because it commends itself to my sane, sober judgment, not as a piece of panic legislation, but as being, in the circumstances, wise legislation, that I shall give my deliberate vote for the clause and the Bill as it stands.
– I avail myself of this opportunity to declare my entire opposition to the Bill, and to deplore the lack of wisdom shown by the Government in introducing it. Measures of this kind are usually the result of public agitation, but I have not heard any demand outside for the introduction of this Bill. I do not think that the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell) is- as familiar with the ramifications of ordinary life in Australia “as the Opposition are. The clause under discussion deals with all classes and conditions of people. It is certainly not calculated to remove the discontent that exists in the community, to which the honorable member for South Sydney (Mr. Riley) has referred. No steps have been taken to remove the cause of that discontent. The Government view the situation as a nurse might gaze upon a party of children ‘ playing in a nursery. There is no attempt on their part to come to the help of the people. The State Governments also seem to be inclined to let things go as they please, and to be waiting, like Micawber, for “ something to turn up.” The last speaker seemed to think that the chairman of the Board would be an ideal individual, owing to his training in the legal profession. That is not my experience in connexion with Wages Boards presided over by legal gentlemen, and the
New South Wales Arbitration Court, which has a Judge at the head of it. Some of the lectures delivered by these gentlemen, who draw £15 a week or more, to men who have been applying for a small increase in wages, have made my blood run cold. They have lectured men for not being able to keep a family of three or four children on £3 a week. If I had been concerned, and been spoken to in that way for applying for an increase of 6s. per week, and I had met the man who delivered me that lecture outside, I am - afraid it would have been a case of seeing who was the better man. Some of Judge Heydon’s deliverances from the Bench of the New South Wales Arbitration Court might have been excused if delivered to sheep, goats, or dogs, but not to human beings. I do not know how the men have stood what has been said to them. I have no confidence that legal gentlemen are everything that is good.
This Bill will very often be applied in times of excitement. Take the case of the members of the Industrial Workers of the World, who were sentenced in Sydney. I believe you, Mr. Chairman, have been in the company of’ some of those men, as I have been. No one could have thought, from what we knew of them, that they would do anything worthy of the- punishment they received. When I was a lad, I took part in. a rio.t. In 1866 I helped to pull down the railings of Hyde Park, “and I am proud of what I did. I was taken charge of by the police, who asked me my name. I gave them some other name, and heard no more about it. Under a Bill of this kind, I would be subject to deportation. :Sir Henry Parkes was a Chartist. My father and grandfather were Chartists, and my grandfather spoke at a great Chartist meeting in the Old Country. Under this Bill, he would be liable to be deported from Australia. It looks as if the measure was brought in to satisfy a set of old ladies who have no idea, of the struggles of real ‘ life, but set themselves up into a union or organization, and talk through their necks. The Minister would be wise to modify the Bill before it passes another place. ‘ It is evident from his attitude that we shall not be able to modify it in this Chamber. Certainly the provision regarding inmates of insane asylums or public charitable institutions requires careful consideration.’ In my own trade of plumbing, men run great risk of accidents. I know a man who was not here for more than two years before he met with an accident, and became an inmate of an institution. He is a cripple for life, and now the Government want power to send him to London. Fancy landing that man in London Docks acripple ! It would be an inhuman act, . but it could be committed under the authority of this Bill.
– ~No Government would do that.
– The legal gentlemen of whom the honorable gentleman has so high an opinion have done worse things. They are not possessed of the -milk of human kindness which is a necessity in the administration of this Bill. There are plenty of people in the community in whom I would put more faith than in the gentlemen of the legal’ profession. They know only the law, and their whole training lies in musty books, and -things that are not applicable to human life. They know nothing about the struggles of the people. There is no, other profession in the world so conservative or so hard to bend to reason and common sense. I have spoken about the legal chairmen of Wages Boards, and the Judges who preside over Arbitration Courts, but I admit that Judge Higgins has taken up a different attitude. The result in his case, however, was to ‘ offend everybody connected with the pastoral and other industries in Australia. They did all they could to prevent him being re-appointed.
A man in my employ fell off a 7-feet partition, and in his fall his back came, across a kerosene tin. He is now bedridden, and I do not think he will ever be able to do anything for himself. He has not been three years in Australia, and, in effect, the Government are asking power to deport him. I honestly believe the measure is brought forward as an electioneering cry. Members opposite will say, “ See what the Government have done to keep out all these undesirable persons.” It is a bit of windowdressing. If there was no election ahead of us, I do. not believe it would have seen daylight; and certainly a provision such as that contained in paragraph c would not be entertained by the House, in ordinary times, for a moment. The last speaker referred to immigrants who were not mentally sound. I would prevent the landing of an immigrant who was suffering from venereal disease, or who was not mentally 60und; but I understand that the present law gives the Government that power in the case of all undesirable immigrants. We are asked to give the Government power to exclude any anarchist or other person who advocates the overthrow of established government. Presumably, any one who wanted to overthrow the present Government would come within the category. This would include almost every speaker in the Sydney Domain of a Sunday. It would also include the Opposition in this Parliament, because we are here to overthrow the Government. The phrase about teaching any doctrine is also very wide. We have had an experience in the War Precautions Act of the way powers of this kind can be abused. I was in the House when that Act was passed, and helped to pass it. We did so because we were assured by the Government that it would be used only for certain purposes: No member thought it would be stretched in the way it has been. There is no necessity to give the Government these wide and indiscriminate powers. The Bill would convey to any one the idea that we have in this community a lot of people who ought to be not only deported, but exterminated. One would think, from reading .it, that this was the worst community in the world. I do not hold that opinion, because I know that some of the men who speak in the Sydney Domain or on the Yarra Bank are at heart really good men, and think they are doing some, thing for the benefit of suffering humanity.In their hearts they believe that their proposals, if put into practice, would prove a panacea for all evils, ,and on the spur of the moment they sometimes make statements’ which are scarcely warranted by’ facts ; but they are not alone in that respect. I remember making a certain statement in the Sydney Domain some years ago, and the next day a policeman told me that he had instructions from the Government to shadow me. When the matter was investigated, my statement was found to be an accurate one, and accordingly the instructions which had previously been issued were withdrawn. The statement which I made on that occasion had reference to a man who holds one of the highest positions in Australia to-day. Under this Bill, perhaps the authorities will again be chasing me. I quite recognise that every honorable member who attempts to secure amendments in the measure will be misrepresented on the hustings at the next general election. He will be charged with desiring to encourage the retention in Australia of all sorts of undesirables; but despite that circumstance, I maintain that there is no necessity for the Bill. I have not seen a column in the daily press of Australia commending the Government for their action in introducing it.
– Does not the honorable member think that the Government should proceed with their measures, irrespective of whether those measures are approved by the press ?
– Certainly, I do; but I cannot forget that honorable members opposite are a press-bound party. It is only the press which keeps Ministers in their present positions. I believe that in the other branch of the Legislature many modifications will be made in this Bill, and that many of its most objectionable features will be eliminated.
Sitting suspended from 6.27 to 7.45 p.m.
.- I have listened very carefully to what the legal members of the House have said in regard to my amendment, but I am obliged to confess that I am still of the same mind as when I moved it. I have in view the illogical position by which an alien who has been resident in Australia for thirtyfive months, and has been convicted of some offence, perhaps a very objectionable one, can be sent out of the country, while another who has committed a similar offence, but has been thirty-seven months in Australia, can escape deportation. I believe that a person guilty of an offence, sufficient to justify his deportation, should be equally liable to deportation if the offence is committed either within three years following his arrival in the country, or within some reasonable time after that period. I do not suggest that a person who has come here and resided for the better part of his life in Australia should be deported unless the circumstances of his offence are of a particularly objectionable character, but I look to those who are administering a measure of this kind to exercise the Ordinary commonsense and discretion we usually regard asbelonging to those who are intrusted with all matters of administration.
I confess that I am quite at a loss to follow honorable members opposite in theirflights of imagination, and in the pictures they have painted in regard to the possibilities of my proposal; but I recognise that they are looking at certain offences, while I am thinking more particularly of the offences indicated in paragraphs a and b. I have listened to all that has been put forward by way of objection to my amendment, but I still think that there ought to he no limitation whatever upon the power of the Government to get rid of persons who are convicted of such undesirable offences as are indicated in those two paragraphs. I am also at a loss to understand the attitude of many honorable members on the Ministerial side who regard my amendment as objectionable, and consider the Bill entirely satisfactory, with its limitation of the operation of deportation to three years. I amconvinced that I have no chance of carrying my amendment, and am, therefore, obliged to ask leave to withdraw it. However, having heard the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Tudor) ventureon a prophecy in regard to the operation of the Bill, I shall also venture to prophesy: I believe that before many years have passed, we shall find that if a person is deported for any objectionable offence within a period of three years after his arrival in the country, and it happens that another individual of the same class has committed the same offence more than three years after his arrival, there will be an outcry on the part of the general public against the inconsistency of the law when it is. found that the second man cannot be deported.
Amendment, byleave, withdrawn.
Mr.FINLAYSON (Brisbane) [7.51] . - I intended to support the amendment put forward by the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Fowler), because if the proposal is at all right its limitation to three years is obviously inconsistent. Itis ridiculous to limit things which ought to be done to a specific time, -and render them nugatory at any other time. It is perfectly obvious thatthe temper of the Committee shows that we are not in a proper position to view this very important proposal in its true perspective. This measure follows the procedure of the Commercial Activities Bill, which continues the operation by statutory authorityof certain regulationsunder the War Precau- tions Act, and is another endeavour, on the part of the Government, to continue by statutory authority certain powers they exercised under those regulations. Evidently Ministers are so satisfied with their efforts tomaintain the purity of Australia during the war by the use of the drastic War Precautions regulations that they propose to continue them. Rudyard Kipling must have had them in mind when he spoke of men who were drunk with the sense of power.” The Government find that they have such a substantial authority to carry any proposal they put forward that they have entered on a career of legislation which, conceived in a hostile spirit, is evidently aimed at securing purposes that serve their particular ends.. That is not a basis upon which they should approach legislation meant to be of a permanent character.
We are told that this measure will he administered ina reasonable spirit, and that no sane Minister of the Crown would dare do certain things under it. When the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) was AttorneyGeneral of the Labour Government, he and the then Prime Minister (Mr. Fisher) gave exactly the same assurance in regard to the War Precautions Act - namely, that it would be administered with prudence and discretion - as the Minister now at the table (Mr. Glynn) gives in connexion with this Bill. Their assurance was given in the same tone, and on exactly the same basis as that on which the Minister to-day guarantees the administration of this Bill.
Paragraph a provides that a person who has been convicted in Australia of a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer may be deported after certain inquiries have been made. It would be all right if the provision applied in one direction only, but it is meant to apply all round, and, therefore, it should be a general rule. If for instance, a man is declared to be a confirmed criminal, he should be deported, hut we must wait to see whether he develops into a confirmed criminal. If he exhibits criminal tendencies within Australia inside three years or beyond that period, I consider that he is a type of man who, without muchhesitation or inquiry, should be deported. We do not want men with criminal tendencies in Australia. But the application of the provision is that a man who in a season of national excitement, or under great provocation, or at a time when the moral elements in his constitutionare at the lowest ebb, may commit anoffence punishable by twelve . months’ imprisonment shall be deported, although he may be sentenced to one month’s imprisonment only.
– It says, “ He may he deported.” That is a very different thing.
– Such a man is liable, not only to the punishment of imprisonment, but also to deportation.
Soon after I came to Australia there were two big strikes in progress - the maritime strike and the shearers’ strike - and I can remember hearing the honorable member for Kennedy (Mr. McDonald) referred to as a danger to the community and as a firebrand. He was accused of being responsible for burning down wool sheds and poisoning men. Everything that took place was laid at his door, and most outrageous demands were made for his arrest and imprisonment. I used to think that Mr. McDonald must be a terrific kind of individual.
– They could not deport him. He is an Australian.
– But wait a moment. Associated with him was William Hamilton, who was sentenced to, and served, three years’ imprisonment. To-day he is the honoured President of the Legislative Council of Queensland.
– What was the offence for which the honorable member for Kennedy was charged?
– He was always being charged with having incited people to rebellion and disorder, and that kind of thing. Take the case of the Eureka, Stockade. The men responsible for that revolt against established government, which the Bill professes to provide for, wereat that time considered to be the enemies of society, but to-day they are regarded as heroes. One of their leaders afterwards became Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria, and a monument has been erected to his memory in Ballarat. History goes to prove that men who are convicted of offences against established government at one period are the heroes of the country and its lawgivers at later periods. Yet this Bill says they are unfit to become citizens of Australia.
– It does not say that.
– It says that such men shall be prohibited from entering Australia.
– It does not.
– It does not say that Peter Lalor or the honorable member for Kennedy (Mr. McDonald) would be a prohibited immigrant, hut it says that anybody who advocates the overthrow of established government by force or violence shall beprohibited from coming to this country.
– Those two men did not do that. They merely challenged certain actions of the Government of the day.
– They were the enemies of the established government, and by violence Peter Lalor andhis associates sought to defeat the orders of the Government.
– They resisted certain demands of the Government.
– Yes. There must always be some pretext before there can be a revolution. The heroes of the Eureka Stockade had a good pretext, and to-day they are regarded as the’ champions of the liberty of the subject in this country.
The honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell), whose opinion is alwayslistened to with respect, said that this Bill would apply only to persons entering Australia, and that it was our bounden duty to prevent the influx of undesirable persons. To that extent I am entirely in sympathy with his attitude. But the honorable member seemed to have overlookedthe fact that the Bill is applicable also to people who are already in Australia. It will be retrospective in its operations, and after it is placed on the statute-book no man will be safe who holds an opinion of a violent character in opposition to the Government of the day. When we are asked to accept the assurance that this Bill will be administered with prudence and reasonableness, we are asked to forget a lot of things that took place during the war. We are. asked to forget the deportations that have already taken place, and the circumstances surrounding them. The Government are calling on the people to forget too much, for it is because of their own actions that the Government do not possessthe confidence of the people.
– The people of Australia have indorsed, and will again indorse, those deportations.
– I donot think that the freedom-loving people of Australia will, when they recover their sober senses, be in favour of any policy that will deprive this country of the services of men whose sole offence is that they held an opinion in opposition to theGovernment in power. We on this side have a confirmed opinion, and it is shared by thousands of people outside, that most of the prosecutions and deportations were ordered for political, and not national, purposes.
The honorable member for Calare (Mr. Pigott) suggested that persons were undesirable because they were opposed to the Constitution. After all, what is the Constitution of this country?
– A good one.
– I differ from that opinion. I think it is time that the Constitution was torn up, and a new one drafted.
– There is a constitutional way of doing that, and I shall not object to an amendment by that method.
– Who suggests any other method? Because of their experiences during the last twenty years, the people of Australia have arrived at a stage when they believe that we should have a new Constitution in order to conserve the interests of this country. Whether we favour a small modification or a wholesale alteration of the Constitution makes very little difference. There is no member of the House who believes that the Constitution is all that is necessary, and that . it requires no alteration.
– We would alter it by constitutional methods, but not by violence.
– The honorable member for Calare suggested that there are people in Australia who desire an alteration of the Constitution by violence.
– I did not.
– Then where is the need for this Bill ? I agree entirely with the statement made last night by the honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Mathews) that there are some people who talk a lot about what they would do, and who, judged by their words, would do much of a very fearful character; but I doubt whether there are in Australia 1,000people who would be prepared to use force or violence in order to effect an alteration of the Constitution.
– Does the honorable member wish to increase their number by allowing others to come in ?
– No. We have already threshed out in this House the serious limitations that have been placed on the discussion of public questions during the last four years. Every honorable member must be aware thatthe only hope of progress, and the only means of discovering truth, is by investigation and discussion. Truth ripens in the open air of discussion, and when the Government limit the right of discussion they place a period to the progress of the community. There is no country in the world - least of all the British countries scattered throughout the world, which enjoy the best system of government in existence - that has arrived at its present position without open, full, and unlimited expression of public opinion. That is the guarantee of constitutional government and the hope of Democracy in every country, and if we give the Government power to deport any personwho ventures to advocate that there shall be a change in the establishedorder, we shall be sitting down on the safety valve of public opinion; we shall put sucha restriction on the most vital element in a democratic community as will accentuate the very dangers which we are seeking to avoid.
– Of course, the Bill does not propose to do that.
– I have no objection to a very severe tightening of the immigration laws in order to insure that criminals, those who live on the prostitution of others, diseased and insane persons, and persons who are likely to become a charge on public charity shall not be allowed to enter Australia. We cannot be too careful about keeping the race pure.
We have established a reputation throughout the world because of the White Australia policy, which is only a declaration of our desire to keep the Australian race as clean and high as possible. To that extent every strengthening of the immigration law must secure unlimited support. But the Bill proposes to go very much further, and if it were not for the fact that we are still suffering from war nervousness, and are still under the shadow of the War Precautions Act, this measure would not have been brought forward. This is not the time when we can honestly and wisely consider such a proposal. The more I look at the. measure, the more I am satisfied that the Government, knowing the power they exercised under the War Precautions Act will necessarily slip from their hands within a few months, aredetermined by this means to retain some of that power. I know that the arguments from this side of the House fall upon deaf ears; our opinions pass unnoticed. I think that during this Parliament only one amendment has been accepted from the Opposition.
– A few nights ago we accepted an amendment on a most important matter from the honorable member for Hunter (Mr. Charlton).
– It was only accepted after three weeks of fighting. The Bill will be carried, but I have reasonable grounds for believing that the time will soon come when we shall be able to wipe this stain off the statutebook. I hope to support before very long a Government who will remove the very undesirable advertisement that will be given to Australia by this Bill. Australia, least of any country in the world, can afford to do this sort of thing; our dangers are too great. I had hoped that after the war this Parliament would have sought out means whereby all the causes of internal dissension and all the incitements to national animosities would be removed. But, although the war is over the Government seem determined to carry hostilities into intra-national and econo mic affairs. This Bill is nothing moreor less than a declaration of war against any person in the community who ventures to hold a political opinion different from that of the Ministry of the day. I am prepared to go upon the public platform and declare that this Bill is conceived in a war spirit, that it is meant as a chal lenge to the Democracy of this country
– Rubbish !
– And the honorable member will do that purely for political purposes.
– I shall dp it. entirely for political purposes, because I believe that this Bill is introduced for no other purpose.
– And the honorable member will have to put up with the answer. ‘
– The honorable member may be sure that I shall not run away.- “When the proper time comes I shall have the same answer to give that I have now.
I have no wish to labour this argument. I try to discuss all these matters from the Australian point of view.
– We all do.
– I think that is so. It is because I can see that this Bill is going to perpetuate all those unfortunate differences that have been so acute in Australia, during the war period, and which, I very much regret to say, the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) seems to be inclined to foster and to continue, that I am opposed to it. I am opposed to the Bill, as well as to another of the same kind now before another, place. ‘ They axe conceived in a wrong spirit, and can have only disastrous results. Australia, least of all countries, can afford to encourage this kind of . discriminating- spirit, which incites all the worst national animosities, and divides our people into what appear to be hopelessly irreconcilable political factions.
.- The honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. Finlayson), to whom I have- listened patiently, takes a’ very extreme view of this proposed new section. The class of persons against whom it is aimed is obvious, and if the honorable member . supports those to whom it refers, I am sorry to hear it. He has urged that we as Australians should take quite the opposite view, and not object to such people entering the Commonwealth. On the other hand, I hold that as Australians we should have initiated legislation of this kind years ago. Had we done so, possibly we would not have had the serious industrial unrest that has been experienced here.
– Some of us who had no say in the matter would not have been here had such a law been in force.
– If the honorable member does not desire to run any risk he should act now, before this Bill be comes law. It is provided in this clause that 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 government, or who advocates the assassination of public officials, shall be liable to deportation. Does the honorable member for Brisbane favour the assassination of any public official? If he does let him name one of the ills that he desires to remedy.
– The honorable member is an ancient rebel.
– Not in the sense that the honorable member puts it. I am entirely at one with the Minister (Mr. Glynn) as to the wisdom of passing, a provision of this kind. ‘ If there were any possibility of the administration of the Bill being attended by any of the serious injustices so graphically described by the honorable member, as well as bv the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. West), I should oppose it. A little while ago the honorable member for East Sydney brought forward the case of a man who, after residing in the Commonwealth for a year or two, became, as the result of an accident, a hopeless cripple. No Minister would think of ordering the deportation of a man in such circumstances. If that were possible, I should certainly urge that the Bill should be so amended as to provide against such a contingency. I cannot conceive, however, that a Minister charged with the administration of this measure would” fail to .give full consideration to such a case. °
– We’ thought that a wise discretion would be exercised in the administration of the “War Precautions Act, but we were deceived.
– I do not think very much has been done under the -Act to which exception could be taken. I have had no complaints from my electorate as to its administration. From Brisbane, of course, there have been many complaints. I do not suggest for a moment that its representative is responsible for them,, although he did lead us for a moment to consider that he might have been responsible for the strike which, he said, occurred just after he entered the country.
I wish to refer, very briefly, to the attitude taken up by honorable members of the Opposition with regard to the ques- tion of deportation. When speaking on the motion for the second reading of the Bill, the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) made a reference to Longfellow’s Evangeline, which describes how certain people of Quebec were deported by the British Government.I quoted that poem in this House sixteen years ago, but in wholly different circumstances. I was then a member of the Labour party, and it was an honour to belong to the Labour party of those days. Of those who were then members of this House,there are now only three present. The Labour party was at that time supporting a Liberal Administration in return for concessions received from it. That was openly admitted by one of our leaders in another place. His statement was never contradicted. We were supporting the Government of the day in return for concessions, not of a private or individual character, but believed by us to be in the best interests of Australia. One of the concessions for which every member of the Labour party at that time fought very strongly was the passing of a Bill providing forthe deportation of between 3,000 and 4,000 people, not one of whom was a criminal. Taken by and large, they were the most harmless lot of people that ever came into this country. We objected to their presence, however, becausetheir labour was cheap, and competed withthat of white men. I refer to the kanakas.
– They had been deported intothe country.
– Many of them had been brought here against their will, but members of the Labour party, who are now strongly declaiming against the proposal to deport anarchists land others, insisted upon the deportation of those kanakas, who were not criminals and haddone no injury to the country. The deportations for which this Bill provides are far more necessary than were those.
– The honorable member is a consistent supporter of deportation.
– I regret to see such a display of inconsistencyon the part of honorable members opposite. I rose chiefly to draw attention to a phase of our legislation which, although a thing of the past, is not entirely forgotten. I am reminding the Committee that honorable membersopposite whosupported the deportation of the kanakas are opposed to the deportation of a class of men dealt with in this Bill who ought never to have been allowed to come in here.
Power is taken under paragraph 6 of the proposed new sub-section to deport persons found to be living on the prostitution of others within three years of their arrival in the Commonwealth. I wish to draw attention to the position of persons who are living, not upon the earnings of others, but who are earning money by prostitution. In my electorate, principally at Thursday Island, and also at Cairns, there are quite a number of such persons - coloured people, to whose residence here we should object under the Immigration Restriction Act. I ask the Minister to insert in this Bill a clause providingfor the deportation of such people, who inflict considerableinjury upon the male population and upon the countryas a whole.
Mr.Glynn. - If they came in as such they could be dealt with under the principalAct.
– In common with all other residents of Australia, I am desirous of keeping our race pure. I suppose even the savage wants to do that. One could agree with most of this clause but for our past experience of theWar Precautions Act. I fought strenuously in this House against the introductionof that measure, and when behindthethenGovernment I was the immediate means of causing a delay of nearlya fortnight in the passing of the amending War Precautions Act. I was eventually appeased with some alterations, and with an assurancefrom the present PrimeMinister (Mr. Hughes), who was then AttorneyGeneral, and in charge of the Bill, that it would be administered in a way that would not cause dissension in the community, and only for the protection of the community. It was suggestedat the time that it could be used for political purposes, butthe Prime Minister said, “ Far from it ; it will be used only in defence of the Commonwealth or of the Empire.” We know now that it was used for political purposes. No one opposite can deny that during the past four years there have been prosecutions under that Act for political purposes.
– Would you mind naming one?
– I have done it often.
– The prosecution of James Mathews was one.
– Was that for political purposes?
Mr.MATHEWS.- Yes. It was to prevent me from scattering “pearls of wisdom” before the electors of Grampians. My truthful statement caused a flutter in the dovecots of that electorate. The Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce) did not like it, and tried to gaol me, purely for political and personal vengeance. With that experience, I am afraid to allow this Government to administer a measure such as the one before us.
Anarchists are mentioned in this Bill. The idea of the anarchist is to bring about a most heavenly state of government. I do not know whether honorable members have ever studied the doctrines of the anarchist, but he wants a Heaven upon earth, without any form of government whatever.
– He proceeds to get it by dynamiting people.
– I can understand the attitude of honorable members opposite who are not students of political economy. The very name of anarchy has been misconstrued. I once heard a beautiful lecture on anarchy, and any honorable members who objected to what that lecturer desired to bring about under an anarchical form of civilization would be very hard to please. He thought that all corruption and all the evils that flesh is heir to were caused by government.
– Nonsense !
– I advise the honorable member and his associates to read works on anarchy.
– I judge them more by their actions than by their words.
– The honorable member, like the Government he follows, dubs individuals with names which he has no right to apply to them.
– What does anarchy mean ?
– The true meaning of anarchy is a system of civilization without any form of government, or any desire to commit crime of any character whatever.
– Everybody could do as he likes?
– No ; everybody would have full liberty, and be allowed to interfere with the liberty of nobody else. The honorable member for Wilmot is not the only member on that side who is ignorant of the subject. I do not charge the Minister (Mr. Glynn) with ignorance of that kind. He knows that the advocates of anarchy have been charged with being criminals when they really are idealists.
If I were sure that the Government would administer this measure in the way they say they will, and in the best interests of Australia, I would be willing to let it go, but there are members of the present Ministry, and others among their supporters, who will use it for political purposes and in a vengeful spirit. The War Precautions Act would not have passed this House if the Prime Minister had not given us the three assurances he did in 1915. The House rose in rebellion against giving to any set of individuals the powers embraced in that Act, but we were told that it would not be allowed to be administered by the military, that British subjects would not he treated in certain ways, and that the Government themselves would see that it was administered in the way originally intended. I am candidly afraid to trust the Government with powers of this character. The only thing I can trust them to do is to look after the well-being of the plutocrats of this country. They have done that ably and well. They have looked after the interests ofthe friends who placed them there, and of the misguided individuals who assisted their friends to place them there. I would not trust them to administer any measure. Honorable members opposite are like a crowd that I once saw listening to a speaker in the Sydney Domain. He had a most idealistic idea of what civilization should be, but, because in the course of his lecture he touched the religious feelings of certain of his hearers, they rose in their might and pulled him from his platform. He was trying to show that under a proper system of anarchy the Churchwould not have the power that it wields to-day by instilling into the people the fear of hell. There were men and women among his hearers who would have deported him; but surely they had no right to inflict punishment upon him because they happened to differ from him.
The war, is over, but it has left shellshock or nerve effects, not only among our returning soldiers, but in the community generally. “We may be suffering from nerves, but we have in our midst calculating individuals who can see in this measure a means of perpetrating injustices similar to those perpetrated under the War Precautions Act. I suppose both sides desire to see the. population of this country increased, so that this great tract of country may be more densely peopled. One means of doing that Ls to bring to our shores desirable individuals who are mentally and physically capable. But this measure can be used, and the Prime Minister will undoubtedly use it if he wants- to, to keep out’ individuals politically opposed to’ him. I would not trust the Prime Minister and some other Ministers not ‘ to use it for that purpose. The Prime Minister and the Minister for Defence would use any means within their power to beat those with whom they have fallen out politically.
– They could not .possibly do it except by the dictation test, which does not apply to whites.
– The Minister knows as well as I do that a corrupt Minister could cause the dictation test to be. used in such a way that he or I could not pass it.’
– It would be abusing the Act.
– I admit it, but the War Precautions Act was abused. It is with that example in ‘front of us that we take the stand that we do on this question. I feel sure that the Prime Minister and the Minister for Defence would use this Bill for their own purposes.
– Who are the people that are. going to be injured by this Bill? Imbeciles and anarchists.
– Did the honorable member hear me explain what “ anarchy “ _ .really means? Honorable members opposite persist in parading the word anarchist.” Those who imply that anarchists are criminals are wrong. The true anarchist is not . a criminal. He is simply a man who wishes to see what he regards as a more desirable civilization. I do not believe that he will bring it about. Human nature is so peculiarly constructed and so selfish that I do .not anticipate seeing the establishment of even a form of communism which will approach a desirable state of anarchy.
I object to this clause because I know that it can and will be used for purposes with which the majority of honorable members on the Ministerial side cannot agree. There are not twelve honorable members on that side who upheld the Prime Minister in his attempt to use the powers of the War Precautions Act in Queensland, or in his endeavour to inflict punishment on honorable members of the Labour party. For example, there is standing over the head of the honorable member for Cook (Mr. Catts) the liability of being filched ‘ of £700 if he dares to. utter certain words in reference to our Ally, Japan. Mr. McCay, the special representative of the Sydney Sun and the Melbourne Herald, can tell us exactly what the honorable member for Cook told us, but if the honorable member dared to say what is contained in Mr. McCay’s articles appearing in the . Sydney Sun, the Government would immediately collar his bond for £700. 1 know that there are Ministers who would do so with joy and pleasure.
It is all very well for honorable members on the Ministerial side not to see eye to eye with me on thi6 question, but they have not been subjected to persecution. Upon dozens of occasions within the last three years, I have been on the soap box, and seen gentlemen taking shorthand notes. It made me nervous; I was afraid to speak the truth.
– Fancy the honorable ‘ member being nervous !
– I was nervous, not because I was afraid of uttering the truth, but because I knew that if I did. so, these gentlemen would at once go to the Prime Minister with my statements, and a’ prosecution would follow. The honorable member for Herbert (Mr. Bamford) would kick over the traces very quickly if he were persecuted for advocating matters in regard to which he has very strong feelings, and he certainly re’sents the treatment which some persons have attempted to mete out to him ; yet I ask him would he deport them? If he would do so, he would know that they in their turn, if they became strong enough, would deport him. I do not say that the honorable member would do anything to justify his deportation, yet that is quite possible. ‘ It is said that we must get people to come here from other countries, to take up our land and increase and multiply, and make our race great. But is it proposed to inrport people of one political colour only ? Is it proposed to submit to any person arriving in Australia a list of questions to ascertain his or her political views in order to maintain the Government’s majority? Are people to be declared insane because they disagree politically with the Government?
– .The people who prosecuted the honorable member at Maryborough would deport him.
– The Minister for Defence (Senator Pearce), who caused my prosecution, would have brought about my deportation if he could have done so. I will give to no man the power to keep out of. the country individuals who disagree with him politically. The honorable member for Herbert says that we are not consistent, because we deported the kanakas.
– Against their will.
– I have no desire to refer to the blackbirding oases which stank in the nostrils of civilization, except, to say that the kanakas were deported for economic reasons.- As a black race they were competing unfairly with white people, and we in Australia thought it undesirable to build up here the racial troubles under which the people of the United States’ of America were suffering.
There are members of our Government who would exercise the powers given by this legislation to keep out people opposed to them politically. Honorable members opposite -are very quiet. They do not desire to criticise their boss (Mr. Hughes). I will not give him the power to keep people out of this country whom he considers to be undesirable immigrants, but which the balance of the community may consider desirable persons to admit to Australia. It is said that the best way to populate the Northern Territory is to bring people here from the southern portion of Europe, because they are more accustomed to a hot . climate than are people from northern Europe; but there is a section of the community who object to the Northern Territory being populated by people from southern Europe, because their religion is one with which these persons cannot agree. We’ may have administering this measure some one who is a religious or sectarian crank, who * may .class every person who differs from him on religious matters as an insane or undesirable immigrant.
There is a municipal election in progress in South Melbourne to-day, and in that district there’ are individuals who would deport from this country people who differ from them in religious matters. There are in the community persons who would compel others to take the same foods as they like, and to drink only the drinks which, they like. There are persons who -would keep others out of the country if they did not consume the same food and beverages as they prefer.
-Order ! The honorable member’s time has expired.
– I thank the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell) for his very clear definition of the purposes of this Bill; and I hope every person outside the chamber, who is interested in the measure, will read carefully the honorable gentleman’s remarks. His enunciation of the principles contained in the Bill must appeal to every right-thinking person, because we are desirous only, of keeping out of Australia those people who would be a menace to the country. I have observed the effect of unrestricted immigration into Great Britain, and I have found that the influx of aliens is welcomed by the employers of labour, but is a menace to the workers. When I was in England I spent a considerable time in studying the condition of affairs in the East End of London, where I found that, the greatest menace to the British workers were people of the very class whom honorable -members opposite say should be welcomed to this country. They are desirous that such persons should be allowed to immigrate, no matter whence they came or what their character. Men said to me in the East End of London, “ Our work has been taken from us by Russians, who came here without a shilling in the world. ‘ They are remaining only until they can earn £5, so that they may pass on to Canada.” The earning of that £5 meant that the Britishers we’re thrown out of work, and compelled to’ starve, while the cheaply-paid Russians, filled their _ positions. Their admission, into England was possible only because there was not in existence a law such as that we are considering to-night. The honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. Finlayson) cannot have given full consideration to this Bill. The honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Tudor) has been in the East End of London, and must be aware of the condition of affairs that exists owing to the unrestricted admission of aliens.
I advise honorable members to study the literature of the Intelligence Department of, Great Britain, in order to understand what the presence of the foreigners in England has meant to the Empire during the struggle through which we have just passed. Our enemies were continually advised of what was taking place in Great Britain, and amongst the guilty persons were aliens who had resided in that country for twenty years. One man, a baker in the East End of London, who had been looked upon as a good citizen, was shot as a spy in the Tower of London.
– And the presence of these foreigners meant that many good English men and women were obliged to go hungry.
– Of course. I was first impelled to take an interest in this great questionby meeting, twentyfive years ago, in New South Wales a sea captain, who said to me, “ Australia is allowing all the criminals of the United States of America to enter without question. Some day she will pay the penalty for that policy.” Little did I anticipate then the trouble we experienced with aliens during the war period. If honorable members were aware of the information that the Intelligence Staff gained for the Defence Department during the last four or five years, they would adopt an attitude different from that they have taken up to-night. Honorable members of the Opposition have protested against the deportation of certain men, and have spoken a great deal about the freedom of entry which they would allow to immigrants from other countries. Those honorable members are the very persons who deported out of the Labour movement men such as Willis, Garden, ex-Senator Rae, Rosa, and dozens of others. The honorable gentlemen opposite, who have such a kindly sympathy for strangers coming to our shores, have cast their for mer colleagues into the world, and if they had power, would deprive them of a vote. Why is ex-Senator Rae excluded from the Labour movement?
– I rise to a point of order. Have these remarks anything to do with the clause or any part of the Bill?
– The remarks of the honorable member for Denison are certainly a little wide of the clause. I am waiting to hear him connect them with the question before the Chair.
– I propose to connect my remarks with the clause in this way: The honorable members who say that we are not justified in sending anarchists and others of that class out of the country have expelled from the Labour movement men who did not indorse their views.
What is an anarchist? I do not know, but I quote this description from the poetical work of Brunton Stephens, who is an authority.
The Gentle Anarchist.
I am a gentleanarchist,
I couldn’t kick a dog,
Nor ever would for sport assist
To pelt the helpless frog.
I’d shoot a Czar or wreck atrain,
Blow Parliament sky-high,
But none could call me inhumane;
I wouldn’t hurt a fly.
I wouldn’t hurt a fly;
And why indeedshould I ?
It has neither land nor pelf
That I covet for myself,
Then wherefore should I hurt afly?
I am a gentle anarchist,
Iliveon herbs and fruits;
It don’t become a communist
To eat his fellow-brutes.
I’d fire a town, upset a State,
Make countless widows weep;
Yet I am so compassionate,
I wouldn’t kill a sheep. 1 wouldn’t hurt a fly;
And why indeed should I?
If it doesn’t interfere
With my personal career,
Why the dickens should I hurt a fly?
I’m such a gentle anarchist,
I hate all hunting men,
I couldn’t hook a fish, or twist
The neck of cock or hen.
I’d level gaols, let scoundrels loose,
Blow priests and churches up -
But, oh! my pity’s so profuse
I couldn’t drown a pup.
I wouldn’t hurt a fly;
And why indeed should I?
Unless, that is to say,
I found it in my way,
And then its all up with the fly.
It is men of that type whom honorable members opposite would welcome to Australia. They are the men who, members of the” Opposition say, we need to help in building up Australia, and making it what they desire it to be. What do they desire it to be? They desire that somebody shall be blowing up Parliament House or forcibly seizing the property of some other person. It is persons of that type whom they would welcome as future citizens of the Commonwealth. I was once in a place where two gang-men were expressing opinions in opposition to those of some men of the tyne whom honorable members opposite think we have no right. to condemn. Whilst the conversation of these two men wis proceeding inside a hall, the friends of honorable members opposite filled the car with human excrement. They ruined a first-class motor car, and compelled one man to walk a distance of 12 miles. A friend who knew him said, “ I would not advise you to walk along that dark road to-night, because these fellows would shoot you if they got the chance.” He said, “Let them come along; I have a six-shooter.” Not one of the cowards attempted to molest him. Subsequently they found out that a 50-ton stack of ‘hay belonging to one of these two men was not insured, and they fired it. It is men of that type who are being defended by members of the Opposition. These are the men whom honorable members opposite think should not be prohibited from entering this country. Yet they declare that citizens like Arthur Rae, Willis, Rosa, and others shall not remain in the political, Labour movement. I quite expected the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) to propose an amendment to provide for the deportation of those men.
I was pleased to hear the Leader of the” Opposition (Mr. Tudor)1 say that this Bill would not apply to a man like Mr. Tom Mann. He would not be excluded from Australia; he would be allowed to speak from, every platform in the Commonwealth. Before the war, I listened to one man speaking in Sydney, who declared, “ I do1 not believe in the political Labour party; I believe in direct action. If you wish to be’ effective, knock the nut off a cylinder; put a match to a building “-
– Do not forget that there may be a Garibaldi amongst ‘ the men of that type.
– There may be, but the chance is not worth the risk. We welcome to this country, the freest in the world, where a man may speak and argue according to his conscience, all white people who are in good ‘ health and not in favour of the overthrow, by force or violence, of established forms of government. In this country, a man is largely a law unto himself, as was ‘shown during’ the conscription campaign. In these circumstances, why should the honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. Finlayson) say that if ever he gets into power he will endeavour to remove from the statute-book the stain of this Bill ? I am inclined to think that he and his party will be glad to continue its operation. The Labour party are just as anxious as we are to get some men out of the country. They would give worlds, so to speak, to get rid of Mr. Arthur Rae and Mr. Willis. Mr. Brookfield, the representative of Broken Hill in the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, is reported to have said that he was asked to subscribe money to secure men to pack the Labour Leagues in order to rid them of such persons.
– I ask the honorable member to confine himself to the question before the Chair.
– In deference to your ruling, sir, I shall not further pursue that line of argument.
Our honorable friends opposite display a great” solicitude for the welfare of those who are aliens throughout the world. No one has a greater sympathy than we have for such persons. But what is the position? Many of us know that a certain medical practitioner wrote . to the Old Country, stating that, having seen our sunny shores, he was of opinion that many consumptives might be cured by taking up their residence here. This suggestion was largely acted upon, and the result to-day is that one city of which I know has a consumptive sanatorium out of all proportion to its population. It is being crowded, not by these born in Australia, but by people from abroad. The Opposition would have such people coming, here in droves. I speak feelingly on this, particular subject, because I have suffered very severely from the coming of such people into our midst.
The honorable member for Brisbane was honest when he said, “ We will fight this Bill.” He said, in effect, “ We will allow consumptives to come in here. We will allow those who live on the prostitution of others to enter, as well as anarchists and others, because we want to use this Bill on the public platform for politicalpurposes.” Is that the type of politics that we want in this country?
– The honorable member should not descend to inaccuracies.
– The honorable member is going to vote against this clause, which provides for the deportation of all such persons. May I remind the Committee of the wording of the proposed new section on which we are asked to vote. Under it, provision is made for the deportation, within three years after his arrival in Australia, of any person who -
– The reference to paragraph c should cool the honorable member.
– The presence of that paragraph in the proposed new section is no excuse for voting against the whole provision.
– But the honorable member is going to vote for paragraph c.
– I am going to vote for the whole clause. The honorable member knows as well as I do that every civilized country refuses to admit any person likely to become a burden to the community. In his large heartedness, however, he would welcome even such persons into Australia. I would not. I would welcome robust, healthy, white people, and if any of them, as a result of an accident after their arrival here, had to become an inmate of a charitable institution, I would treat them well. I am glad to know that we do treat such people well. We treat our invalid and aged poor better than such persons are treated in any other part of the world. That being so, I can safely vote forthis clause. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Tudor) has said that we will live to regret the giving of such a vote. I will not. I shall read from every platform in the electorate of Denison on which I stand, this proposed new section, and tell the electors that the Labour party objected to it. I shall tell them that the Labour party welcome the anarchist, and the several classes of people covered by paragraphs a, b, and c, and, in support of my statement, I shall quote the division list, showing how they voted. Happily, Australians are a thinking people. They think for themselves.
– I thank the honorable member for the statement that this Bill is an electioneering placard.
– The honorable member for Brisbane has said that it is.
– If this clause were not passed the Labour leagues would have a wider field of selection.
– They are trying, as it is, to secure a wider field of selection. The workers will think for themselves. Imagine the Labour party favouring the introduction of droves of Russians to compete in our labour market. Honorable members opposite are so overcome by the political atmosphere that they fail to appreciate the danger of welcoming to our shores the people who would be shut out under this provision, and many of whom would compete with the workers in divisions such as those representedby the honorable member for Batman. I have heard it said to-night, for the first time, by a body of Labour men, “Let all white , people come in here without restriction. Let us crowd the labour market with people of these classes. The country is wealthy enough to provide for them all.” Will these aliens he prepared to enter our unions? I think not. We did not find them entering the unions in Great Britain. As a matter of fact, they were union breakers.
The Opposition would not keep out of Australia men of the class covered by paragraph d, who did not try to reform their own country, but who have taken certain action here. According to a report made by a gentleman who was at one time a member of this House, about fifty such men came here in 1914, and started upon propaganda work in favour of “direct action,” and the Industrial Workers of the World organization. One honorable member opposite has had the courage to say, “ We would welcome the Soviet form of Government, and we welcome the Industrial Workers of the
World.” To-dayhe was suspended from the service of the House for a month. These Industrial Workers of the World men, from other countries, are not satisfied with the system of government operating in Australia, althoughit is the freest in the world. They came here at a time when the Government was in the hands of a party working according to a fixedplatform. They disapproved of it, however, and said that they would break it down. It was not long before they got into the Labour movement and succeeded inbreaking it down. Honorable members opposite, however, according to statements they have made during this discussion, would allow such people to come in without restriction. I am prepared to welcome to this country every white man, no matter how pooror humble he may be, provided that he is healthy and strong, and will abide by constitutional forms of government. But I am opposed to the introduction of anarchists and other persons covered by this provision, who, to my mind, would be a menace to the country.
– I desire to make a personal explanation. The honorable member for Denison (Mr. Laird Smith), in a mad outburst to-night, has exhibited in a marked degree less control than usual over his words and conduct.
– Order! The honorable member rose to make a personal explanation.
– I did. The honorable member said that I was in favour of the introduction into Australia of people with criminal records, those who lived on the prostitution of others, the insane, and also possible inmates of charitable institutions.
– This Bill is an effort to prevent such persons coming into Australia.
– I do not need the Minister’s assistance in making a personal explanation. Not a word of what the honorable member for Denison (Mr. Laird Smith) has said inthis respect is true. I made no such statement as he has attributed to me. There is nothing in my speech which could be construed, unless by a prejudiced, jaundiced mind, as havinganything like the meaninghe has sought to give it. I challenge the honorable mem ber to read my speech - and I give Hansard permission to supply him with an uncorrected proof of it - and to produce from it one sentence that would corroborate what he has said of me. His statement concerning myself is a parcel of lies.
The honorable member knowsthat that is an unparliamentary expression, and must be withdrawn.
– What the honorable member has said in regard to my speech is absolutely untrue.
– The honorable member must withdraw that remark.
– Well, I will say that it is not correct. It is in contradiction of the facts, and I am surprised that a man with whom I was previously associated in parliamentary work should so far have lost control of himself as to state any such thing. I do not believe that any honorable memberwould make such a suggestion, andthe last thing in my mind was to suggest anything of the kind. No member on either side of the House believes that I would do so. I hope the honorable member will try to regain some of the control that he used to exercise over his wordsand conduct.
.- Thehonorable member for Denison (Mr. Laird Smith) , about whom I hesitate to make any comment, for fear that I should draw down upon myself a tornado similar to that which he has just poured out upon an unoffending Committee, filled me with reminiscentfeelings as to what his speech would have been, if he were still a member of the Labour party, with this Bill be- fore the House for consideration. The very basis of his eloquence was that he had had the advantage of hearing the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell). He seemed delighted almost to ecstacy that the honorable member for Fawkner had completely convinced him of the justice of this clause. The honorablemember for Denison has not heard the honorable member for Fawkner as often as I have endeavouring to satisfy a jury that an anarchist was a most amiable person, who ought immediately to be discharged from the custody of the Court, or that a person against whom there was considerable strength of evidence that he was in favour of doing certain things by force of arms and other kinds of violence was nevertheless a most law-abiding and harmless individual, so that the jury has been wont to return a docile, and, let Us hope, just verdict of not guilty in the face of much evidence-. -As the honorable member for Denison has not heard these performances on the. part of the honorable member for Fawkner, I can quite understand his frame of mind. Evidently, up’ to the time, that he heard the honorable member for Fawkner, be had considerable doubt as to how he should vote on the clause. Having heard the honorable member, he rose in a quite unexampled paroxysm of conviction that he should vote as the honorable member directed him to do. ‘
There is a feeling that we should ex. elude the Bolsheviki from the Commonwealth. I propose to lose no opportunity to show in what- respects t’hey are not so bad as they are painted. This is the testimony of American Methodists -
The Social Service Bulletin, a monthly sheet published in New York by the Methodist Federation for Social Service, devotes its issue of February, 1010, to the Russian question, and is an attempt to present, in summary form, an answer to such questions as, What is a Soviet? Who are the Bolsheviki leaders? “What is their policy t what are the facts about the Red Terror?
We should like to commend to the notice of Australian Methodists and other church folk the following extracts, which .may help to correct some wrong impressions about the Bolsheviki and their ‘ attitude to religion, education, and social reform: -
Bolsheviki Cabinet. “The present Russian Cabinet is probably the most cultured in the history of the .world. All are experts upon a great many questions- Several have written books of philosophy and religion.”
Bolsheviki Support Prohibition. “ Bolsheviki re-affirmed Czar’s decision to banish vodka. Kolchak regime in Siberia, which Allied Forces support, ih manufacturing vodka from’ wheat that, without intervention, would go to feed Central Russia.”
Bolsheviki and Y.W.O.A. “Under Bolsheviki, the Y.W.C.A. opened and ,kept running clubs for women and girls in Petrograd and Moscow. . Though they helped rich and poor alike, the Soviet did not hinder their efforts. They were permitted to make industrial investigations, though using an interpreter opposed to Bolsheviki.”
Bolsheviki and Y.M.O.A. “Y.M.C.A., under Czar, had little cooperation and general prohibition. After the first revolution, the. Soviets quickly rallied to support of association. The Moscow Soviet gave buildings and full permission to work. When ‘ the Bolsheviki came into power; Lunacharsky Commissioner of Education, warmly appre- ciated work of Y.M.C.A., asked that it be enlarged, re-affirmed all permissions of Kerensky regime. When it was difficult to get money,’ Bolshevik authorities gave permission to Y.M.C.A. officer to draw two and a half millions out of State bank. For rural work along the Volga they gave a large passenger steamer free, paid salary of crew of forty men, furnished fuel, and financed alterations on boat,’ though this particular enterprise had a Russian priest and men opposed to Bolsheviki on staff.” “ Y.M.C.A. was permitted to ship goods on railroads free, and was given freight and passenger cars as needed. National Soviet leaders emphasized their desire for continuance of work and wish for more American experts to help in educational, economic, and relief work.”
Reprinted by the Free Religious Fellowship, 362 Little Collins-street, Melbourne.
– I have no desire to go into specifications such as the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) has just dealt with. All sorts of opinions have been expressed about the Bolsheviks. We can read differing views on them in the New Europe, the Nation, the Athenaeum,. and other papers-, but this clause does not deal with any particular names. Paragraph d does not deal with men who violate a particular Act of Parliament, or who come here and may be mixed up in strikes. It deals with men who are against: all forms of government.’ That is practically what the clause is directed against. It has been suggested’ that under this- measure men who advocate- certain political views may be kept, out. by a Minister by an abuse of administration. I remind, honorable members that except in two or three very special cases, the dictation test, has never been used to my knowledge for any other purpose- than to keep out coloured im. migrants-. The instructions given to the officers time after time call their attention to that. Instruction 56 says - “It is intended that the dictation test, which is to meet the case “of coloured persons desiring to enter the Commonwealth, shall be an absolute bar to admission.” If it was used for any other purpose, it would not be necessary to specify the other classes that are mentioned in section 3 of the Act. In it a number of classes are specifically rer f erred to, and are, as such, prohibited immigrants. They could have been kept out by the dictation test, but it is not used for that purpose, so that no one can possibly assume that any Minister, without a breach of the spirit of this Act and of the administration up to the present, could use the dictation test to keep out people who are not of the class against whom it was originally designed.
Reference has been made to paragraph c, which mentions inmates of insane asylums and public charitable institutions. Under sub-section 5 of section 5 of the existing law persons of that class, if found in the Commonwealth, within three years of the date on which they came in, suffering from disease or disability, may be regarded as prohibited immigrants, unless they convince the Min- ister that they were free from the disease or disability at the time they entered. The temper of that section really runs through the Act at present. The Minister may assume that a man who is suffering from a disease mentioned in the Act or prescribed by the regulations was suffering from it when he ‘entered the Commonwealth, if he’ is suffering from it within three years of the time of his immigration. Under the administration, if the Minister is satisfied that n person who has become an inmate of an insane asylum or of a public charitable institution is suffering from any of those disabilities . within three years of his entry, the Minister can regard him as a prohibited immigrant. That means those particular persons only. Under the Act as it stands at’ present, persons suffering from such disabilities may be declared by the. Minister to be prohibited immigrants, unless they show cause to the contrary, and are then liable to prosecution under section 7, and can on summary conviction be deported by the Minister. You can scarcely charge an inmate of an insane asylum or charitable institution in a Court of summary jurisdiction with an offence, but that charge and hearing is a condition for deportation under the Act as it stands. We are now putting that class of person under clause 7 of the Bill, so that they will not be prosecuted for an offence. Their cases will be inquired into by a Board to be appointed by the Minister. If anything may be regarded as a mitigation of the Act in relation to that particular class, this provision may be.
– Do you allow any mental cases to come in now?
– They are not allowed in ; but if a person is found suffering from mental, or physical disability within three years of entry, unless he shows that he was not so suffering at the time he came in, he is liable to deportation under the existing Act, but only after prosecution in a Court of justice. We are putting this new provision in because such persons should not be prosecuted in Court I regard, this paragraph, therefore, as a generous modification, in’ connexion with that class, of the existing Act. I ask honorable members, after the full debate that has taken, place, to allow a division to be taken.
. -The honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. Finlayson) has been unfair and unjust to me, because I merely quoted from the Bill. I said, “ I am going to vote in favour of this clause.” Am I not correct in assuming that, if the honorable member votes against the clause, he is in favour of something which I am against? That is a logical and ‘ fair conclusion, and that is how I put it.
– It is hot how you put it.
– I referred to honorable members opposite generally. I simply asked for the attention of the honorable member for Brisbane, because I thought there was a little scheme on foot to talk me down. He and the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Tudor) were in close conversation, and, as I did not want them to hear only half of’ what I said, I appealed to them, and the’ . honorable member thought I was referring personally to him. I was not. I was simply referring to the clause which I had already read, particularly paragraph a, which reads -
Has been convicted in Australia of a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer.
I shall vote for that’ paragraph because I do not want that class of man to come into Australia; but, looking at the matter logically, I claim that if one votes against that paragraph the inference is that he is in favour of that type of man entering Australia. The next paragraph is -
I shall vote for that paragraph because I do not believe, that that class of person should be permitted to enter the Commonwealth, and I contend that it is logical to say that any one who votes against the paragraph is in favour of the admission of that type of person.
– Does not the honorable member realize that it can only be ascertained that a person comes within the scope of the paragraph he has quoted after he has resided for some time in Australia ?
– Then why does the honorable member construe the attitude of honorable members wrongly, and say that we are in favour of the admission of these people because we object to refusing admission to them ?
– Honorable members charge Ministers with doing certain things, and seek to avoid their own responsibility in regard to the matter.
We have had reference to Bolsheviks. Let me quote an authority which every one will admit. The following cablegram appears in the Herald cri the 28th August : -
Mr. Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labour, who has returned from Amsterdam, declares that the Germans are still boastful and unrepentant.
Referring to the overwhelming defeat at the International Labour Congress of ,the motion calling for organized Labour’s support of the Soviet revolutions, he said: - The defeat of this proposition means the definite and final repudiation of Bolshevism by organized Labour of Europe and America.
I prefer that authority to the one quoted by the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan).
Mr. RILEY (South Sydney) [9.48 J. - 1 protest against the onslaught of the honorable member for Denison (Mr. Laird Smith) when he pointed to us and said, These men who vote to allow persons who live on prostitution to come into Australia.” Honorable members of the Opposition are as honorable and clean living as any honorable member on the Ministerial side, and it is .a disgrace to this Parliament that an honorable member should take advantage of his position to slander a body of men with whom he lias been closely allied. I did not think any honorable member would have such a filthy mind as to suggest what the honorable member has suggested. The honorable member for Denison also said that Mr. Willis, Mr. Rae,, and other men had been, expelled from the Labour party. That is true. They have not been deprived of their votes, but they have been expelled from the party, just as the honorable member himself was expelled by the very men to whom he now refers. In fact, they are merely getting back a little of their own medicine. The pity of it is that they were not expelled earlier.
Under this clause, Mr. Holman, the Premier of New South Wales, who at one time was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for conspiracy, could have been deported. He took a risk to get a Labour paper launched, but it failed, and he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for conspiracy. The honorable member for Darwin (Mr. Spence) has taken some great risks in this country.
– I always kept control of my tongue. Although detectives followed me, they could not run me in.
– Had the honorablemember been tried for conspiracy and convicted, and sentenced to imprisonment, he could have been deported if he had been a new-comer to Australia. I do not believe that any Minister worthy of his salt would use the powers given under this Bill to deport people wholesale; but, as there are some people who would do so, we. are not justified in giving them the opportunity. We never anticipated that the War Precautions Act would be extended and used for the purposes to which it was put. In the ‘ same way, we are taking great risks in giving Ministers the power contained in this Bill. The honorable member for Denison claims that if we vote against this clause we advocate the admission of the classes of individuals referred to in the various paragraphs; but Australia has been governed under the Federal Constitution for the last eighteen years without any of these powers, and has not “ gone to the dogs.” Why, therefore, should we be stricken with the desire to place panic legislation on the statute-book? I am prepared- to take the responsibility of voting against the Bill, because I consider it is not necessary to pass this kind of legislation, and because I know that there is already in the Act sufficient power to deal with all the classes of individuals referred to in this Bill.
Question - That the clause be agreed to - put. The Committee divided.
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 8 agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.
Standing Orders suspended.
Motion (by Mr. Glynn) proposed -
That this Bill be now read a third time.
.- I have not abated in the slightest the opposition I expressed to this Bill at the secondreading stage, and while the various clauses were being considered in Committee. I regret that the Government have brought forward this measure. . I regard it as panic legislation. Similar hysterical proposals have been passed by other Parliaments in the past. The honorable member for Henty (Mr. Boyd) was a member of the Victorian State Parliament when the Irvine Government introduced the Coercion Bill and gave special representation to the Public Ser-: vice. They thought at that time that the whole people were with them, but within a short period both Houses of the
State Legislature unanimously repealed the measure. History will repeat itself in connexion with this Bill. Honorable members opposite may go upon the platform and try to misrepresent members on this side. With the support of the press, which enters the homes of the people every morning, they may think themselves all-powerful. But the people of Australia think for themselves. They have been giving a demonstration of that fact to-day in the metropolitan area. So far as I can learn by telephone, it is not the Labour candidates who have been defeated in the municipal elections today.
Mr.Falkiner. - One swallow does not make a summer.
– Of course not. But I am glad to say that the newspapers which have been working against us have been wrong in their anticipations. In my own electorate the Labour party has retained every municipal seat it previously held, and has gained others. Honorable members on the Ministerial side, particularly those who left the Labour party, say that we on this side are altogether wrong in our attitude. They will ascribe to us all sorts of motives. One honorable member threatened us that on the public platform he would let the people know how the members of this Opposition were anxious to let aliens enter this country. Honorable members may do that, and I, in return, shall tell the people how the Government are allowing German goods into the country, and how exports from this country are being sent via England and America to the very people who are supposed to be our lifelong enemies. Honorable members opposite said they would never trade with Germany. What an absurdity! What political hypocrisy! By this Bill they declare they will not admit persons of enemy race into Australia, and yet they will trade with Germans, Austrians, Bulgarians, and Turks, so long as’ they can make dollars out of them. Money is the god of Ministerialists and their supporters. . The people of other lands may be compelled to continue to work under degrading conditions; but they shall not be allowed to enter Australia. One honorable member said that he would expose our attitude on every political platform. Of course, he will. This Bill is a political placard; it is camouflage, or, to use an old-fashioned word, deception, of the people.
– The honorable member is reflecting on legislation of this Parliament.
– The Bill is a political placard designed for. the purpose of clouding the issue at present before the people, namely, the profiteering by which they are being robbed.
. -In supporting the third reading, I desire to state that, in the remarks I made earlier this evening I had no intention of being personal; nor do I think I was. Honorable members opposite may think that they may speak as cruelly and harshly as they wish of their former associates who followed the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), and of those other men, who, the honorable member for South Sydney (Mr. Riley) said, ought to have been expelled from the Labour movement long ago. Surely honorable members must be prepared to accept a little of the hard hitting that they indulge in at our ex,pense. I have been subjected to criticism by every member of the Opposition, but never have I regarded it as a personal matter.
– Order! The honorable member is not discussing the third reading of the Bill.
-Certain statements were made concerning me to which I had not the opportunity to reply, and I thought that, on the. motion for the third reading, I would have a chance of stating my position.
– The honorable member will not be in order, on the motion for the third reading, in referring to anything that occurred in Committee.
– I bow to your ruling, sir. I conscientiously, believe that I am right in supporting the third reading of this Bill, and I am quite willing to take the responsibility for my vote. 1 claim the right to express my opinions regarding the Bill without necessarily reflecting on members personally. I discussed the measure in the light of the interpretation I placed upon it. The honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. Finlayson ) hae asked me for a copy of my remarks before I have had. an opportunity of seeing the proof.
– The honorable member knows that that statement is not true.
– This is the note I received from the Acting Principal Parliamentary Reporter - “Mr. Finlayson asks for an uncorrected proof of your speech. May I give’ it to him?” Certainly he may. I never revise my speeches. I have no objection to the honorable member for Brisbane or any other honorable member getting a copy of what I. have said this evening, or what I am saying now, because I conscientiously believe that if I voted against this measure I would be doing tho very wrong with which I charge honorable members opposite.
.- I propose to strike a note different from that struck by any other honorable member during the consideration of this Bill. Whilst I agree with certain portions of the measure, I regret that the Government, when framing the Bill, did not take into consideration, the fact that section 3 of the Act has caused more hatred and dislike of Australia than any other law passed by the British or Commonwealth . Parliaments. The dictation test has caused enmity and ill-feeling on the part of more than one-third of the human race. In other words, 400,000,000 people in China, 350,000,000 in India, and 70,000,000 people in Japan, resent that provision. The intelligent minds of those countries have not been deceived as to the purpose of the dictation test. I have heard a Minister declare in this chamber that by means of that test any person could be kept out of Australia. If an immigrant or traveller does not understand a passage dictated to him from a European language, he may be forbidden . to enter the Commonwealth. If he does Understand that passage, tests in other languages can be applied until he fails. One of those -nations was’ an ally of the Commonwealth in the war; it helped to defend us, and its warships have protected our cities, because the good ship Augtralia, great as it may be, could- not possibly defend our huge coast line.
– On a point of order, I ask whether an honorable member may repeat the same speech on one subject.
– I had not noticed that the honorable member for Melbourne is repeating a previous speech.) I presume the honorable member for Hume is referring to remarks the honorable member for Melbourne may have made in Committee, of which I .have no official knowledge.
– When the honorable memberfor Hume has been longer in the House he will understand how to rise to a point of order. The good ship Australia alone could not defend the cities distributed along the huge coast line of Australia, and the warships of Japan came to our assistance. Therefore, I make a protest against the needless insult of a nation that has been our ally. The insults to that nation have been not only by word of lip, but also by newspaper caricatures. ‘ Whilst I believe in the policy of a White Australia, and would gladly give my life to preserve it, I will not be a party to insulting an ally. Japan paid the greatest compliment ever paid to our race and language when she asked one of our most eminent philosophers to advise her how to escape entangling alliances and quarrels with other nations. In reply, Herbert Spencer penned what, in the opinion of some of the greatest critics of literature, is, perhaps, the most important letter ever written by human hands. We ought to approach that nation, not with insults, but with the sacred word “ reciprocity,” which is a word to conjure with throughout the Orient. The letter written by Herbert Spencer was so important that I shall confine my remarks to the reading of it, so that honorable members may see it in Hansard, and realize how great a man he was, how much he was misunderstood, and why, in the pathos of that knowledge he asked, the great nation of J apan not to publish his letter until he had passed into the shadows. I quote from page 321 of the Life and Letters of Herbert Spen- 26th August, 1892.
To Kentaro Kaneko.
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 as possible at arm’s length. In presence of the more powerful races your position is one of chronic danger, and you should take every precaution to give as little foothold as possible to foreigners.
It seems to me that the only forms of inter- course which you may with advantage permit are those which are indispensable for the ex-‘ change of commodities and exchange of ideas - importation and exportation of physical and mental products. No further privileges should be allowed to people of other races, and especially to people of the more powerful races, than is absolutely needful for the achievement of these ends. Apparently you are proposing, by revision of the treaty powers with Europe and America, “ to open the whole Empire to foreigners and foreign capital.” I regard this as a fatal policy. If you wish to see what is likely to happen, study the history of India. Once let one of the more powerful races gain a. point d’appui and there will inevitably, in course of time, grow up an aggressive policy, which will lead to collisions with the Japanese; these collisions will be represented as attacks by the Japanese which must be avenged; forces will be sent from America or Europe, as the case may be; a portion of territory will be seized and required to be made over as a foreign settlement; and from this there will grow eventually subjugation of the entire Japanese Empire. ‘ I believe that you will have great difficulty in avoiding this fate in any case, but you will make the process easy if you allow any privileges to foreigners beyond those which I have indicated.
In pursuance of the advice thus generally indicated, I should say, in answer to your first question, that there should be, not only a pro- » hibition to foreign persons to hold property in land, but also a refusal to give them leases, andthe permission only to reside as annual tenants.
To the second question, I should say, decidedly, prohibit to foreigners the working of the mines owned or worked by Government. Here there would be obviously liable to arrive grounds of difference between the Europeans or Americans who worked them and the Government, and these grounds of difference would immediately become grounds of quarrel, and -would be followed by invocations to’ the English or American Governments, or other powers, to send forces to insist on whatever ithe European workers claimed; for always the habit here and elsewhere among the civilized peoples is to believe what their agents or settlers abroad represent to them.
In the third place, in pursuance of the policy I have indicated, you ought also to keep the coasting trade in your own ‘hands, and forbid foreigners to engage in it. This coasting trade is clearly not included in the requirement Ihave indicated as the sole one to be recognised - a requirement to facilitate exportation and importation of commodities. The distribution of commodities brought to Japan from other places may be properly left to the Japanese themselves, and should be denied to foreigners, for the reason that, again, the various transactions involved would become so many doors open to quarrels, and result in aggressions.
To your remaining question respecting the inter-marriage of foreigners and Japanese, which you say is “ now very much agitated among our scholars and politicians,” and which you say is “one of the most difficult problems,” ray reply is that, as rationally answered, thereis no difficulty at all. It should be positively forbidden. It is not at root a question of social philosophy. It is at root a question of biology. There is abundant proof, alike furnished bythe inter-marriages of human races and by the inter-breeding of animals, that, when the varieties mingled diverge beyond a certain slight degree, the result is invariably a bad one in the long run. I have myself . been in the habit of looking at the evidence bearing on this matter for many years past, and my conviction is based upon numerous facts derived from numerous sources. This conviction I have, within the last half-hour, verified, for I happen to be staying in the country with a gentleman who is well known as an authority on horses, cattle, and sheep, and knows much respecting their inter-breeding, and he has just, on inquiry, fully confirmed my belief that when, say, of different varieties ofsheep, there is an inter-breeding of those which are widely unlike, the result, especially inthe second generation, is a bad one - there arises an incalculable mixture of traits, and what may be called a chaotic constitution. And the same thing happens amongst human beings - the Eurasians in India and the half-breeds in America show this. The physiological basis of this experience appears to be that any one variety of creature in course of many generations acquires a certain constitutional adaptation to its particular form oflife, and every other variety similarly acquiresits own special adaptation. ‘ The consequence is that, if youmix the constitutions of two widely divergent varieties which have severally become adapted to widely divergent modes of life, you get a constitution which is adapted to. the mode of life of neither - a constitution which will not work properly, because it is not fitted for any Bet of conditions whatever; by all means, therefore, peremptorily interdict marriages of Japanese with foreigners.
I have, for the reasons indicated, entirely approved ofthe regulations whichhave been established in America for restraining the Chinese immigration, and, had I the power, would restrict them to the smallest possible amount, my reasons for this decision being, that one of two things must happen. If the Chinese are allowed to settle extensively in America, they . must either, if they remain unmixed, form a subject race, in the position, if not of slaves, yet of a class approaching to slaves; or, if they mix, they must form a bad hybrid. In either case, supposing the immigration to be large, immense social mischief must arise, and eventually social disorganization. The same thing will happen if there should be any considerable mixture of the European or American races with the Japanese.
You see, therefore, that my advice is strongly conservative in all directions, and I end by saying as I began - keep other races at arm’s length as much as possible.
I give this advice in confidence. I wish that it should not transpire publicly, at any rate during my life, for I do not desire to rouse the animosity of my fellow countrymen.
P.S. - Of course, when I say I wish this advice to he in. confidence, I do not interdict the -communication of it to Count Ito, but rather wish that he should have the opportunity of taking it. into consideration.
It is stated in this work that -
Shortly after Spencer’s death, the letter of 26th August was sent from Tokio for publication in the Times (18th January, 1904), which’ wrote of it as giving “ advice as narrow, as much imbued with antipathy to real progress, as ever came from a self-sufficient shortsighted Mandarin, bred in contempt and hatred of barbarians.”
This means that Japan stood for a . policy such as we favour. Just as we support the policy of a White Australia, so she sounded the note of “ Japan for the Japanese,” and appealed to a man of the strongest intellect in our race for advice. He said - . -
– I have been waiting for the honorable member to connect has quotation with the question before the Chair.
– I have been endeavouring to show that it would have been better for the Governmentto endeavour to amend the principal Act by removing from it a provision which gives great offence to one of our Allies. To sum up my argument, I am trying to show that it is not yet too late for the Government to make such an amendment of the Bill when it is before another place, and thus to extend a courtesy to an Allied nation, instead of insulting it. We believe in the policy of a White Australia, and we should tell Japan that we are seeking to follow the very example which Japan set us when she soughtthe advice of Herbert Spencer. In such circumstances Japan could not take offence at our action, since “ imitation is the sincerest flattery.” If we were to tell Japan that we are seeking to hold Australia just as the Japanese seek to hold their country, they would Dot regard our legislation in respect of immigration as an insult’ to them. We could also assure them, with no lack of firmness, that, just as they would be prepared to defend their country, so we are prepared to defend our policy of a White Australia.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a third time.
Bill returned from the Senate with amendments.
That the Senile’s amendments be considered in Committee forthwith.
Clause 3 (Definitions).
– I move -
That the Senate’s amendments be agreed to.
These are two small technical amendments rendered necessary by- amendments made in the Bill while it was before this House. Honorable members will recollect that we introduced a new sliding, scale, and also at the same time allowed’ for. a twelve months’ extension of the time of payment under the Active Service Moratorium regulations in the case of soldiers suffering from hardship.’ In order that such amendments might be immediately brought into operation soonafter the making, of them, amending, regulations were made under the- War Precautions Act, giving, effect, to them,, the reason being, that this Bill, purports to. set out the law. as laid down by regulations at the. time of its passing. The Government, therefore, found it necessary to. make these two amendments- in the Senate. They simply specify the two. regulations- so- made-, and. which are embodied in. the Bill:
Question resolved: in the affirmative.
Amendments agreed to.
Resolution reported; report adopted:
Motion (byMr. Groom) proposed -
That the House do now adjourn.
– I recently brought, under the notice of the Assistant Minister for Defence (Mr. Wise) the lack of accommodation for invalid soldiers at. the Randwick Military. Hospital. Several out-door, patients have informed me that there are about 1,500. men attending the hospital in that capacity. There is no room- for them in, the hospital itself, and; many- of them were asked to go to their homes in order that accommodation might be found’ for the more serious cases. This request was complied with by these men, who have not been discharged, but are receiving only their military pay of 5s. per day. While they wereactually, in the military hospital, they were, in addition, receiving rations; and the provision of food for them . in their- own homes im poses an additional strain on theirresources. These men are now feeling the pinch owing to the high cost of living, I asked the Assistant Minister; for Defence to arrange to give them a- ration allowance representing the cost ‘ which would have been incurred in supplying them with food in the hospital. The Minister to-day, however, came along with an answer to my question, prepared, evidently by an official; and’ merely setting out that there is plenty of accommodation in the hospital for such men; This hospital is in my electorate, and I know that it is crowded. I ask the Minister, if. possible, to try to arrange’ that: these men shall receive a ration allowance equivalent to the cost of that which the Department would have had’ to provide for them had they remained in the hospital. They- have- not been discharged. If they had been, the position would’ be different. They would like,. if well,, to be discharged, so . as. to be able- to be. employed’, but they are still on military pay. The Government should act. a. little. generously, towards- men: who have, done: their- bit at the Front, and’ come. back., wounded or gasaed.
[10.31]- I shall refer to: the. Acting- Minister for Defence the report of the- honorable- member’s remarks as- they appear inHansard.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
House adjourned at 10:32 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 28 August 1919, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1919/19190828_reps_7_89/>.