9th Parliament · 2nd Session
Mr. Speaker (Rt. Hon. W. A. Watt) took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.
– In view of the distressing conditions of returned soldier and other settlers along the Murray, and vignerons in other districts, owing to the difficulties they experience in disposing of their grape crop, and of. the appeals which have been made for some time for relief by enabling the. distillers to take this season’s crop of grapes - the tremendous stocks of last year rendering them otherwise unable to do so - have the Government decided to give relief, and, if so, will the decision be announced at once, as every day those concerned are suffering loss?
– The Government is well aware of the circumstances to which the honorable member has referred. A very acute and critical situation has grown up in the grapegrowing districts, particularly in connexion with the cultivation of the doradillo grape, which was planted in great quantities, in some instances, on the advice, if not the direct request, of State Governments. In view of the fact that the crop last year was very large, that there will be a very much larger crop this year, and that, as these grapes are used only for the making of brandy and fortifying spirit, they are practically unsaleable, because of the stocks held at present, the matter has received the anxious consideration of the Government, and is still being considered. I hope to be able to make some announcement on the subject before the House rises to-morrow.
– I have received a communication from Sydney complaining of the action of the Government in requiring the Union Jack to beflown over public buildings in New South Wales, instead of the Australian Flag. Previous Ministers have taken no exception to the flying of the AustralianFlag, so long as the Union Jack was also flown. I should like to know who is responsible for the change thathas been made.
– I have no knowledge of any alteration of any of the regulations dealing with the matter to which the honorable member has referred. I shall look into it.
– I ask the Prime Minister if, in view of the tremendous crop of dried fruit that is being harvested by the Murray River settlers, he is in a position to give them encouragement to gather the whole of their crop, by letting them know at the earliest moment whether there is any hope of relief under the proposals for a Canadian preference for Australian products?
– Senator Wilson visited Canada six weeks ago on the subject. The Government have received his report, which is under consideration at the presentmoment.
Report of Australian Representatives
– Will the Prime Minister say when the House is likely to have the privilege of hearing the report of the gentlemen who represented the Commonwealth at the Assembly of the League of Nations in September last?
– I think it is the desire of honorable members on both sides that the earliest possible opportunity should be given to hear the report referred to, and I am extremely hopeful that we may be able to give the opportunity to-day.
– There is an investigation proceeding at present into affairs generally in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. When does the Prime Minister expect that the report of the investigators will be made available?
– I think that this question was answered yesterday. The receipt of the report is anticipated very soon, probably within a fortnight.
– In view of the fact that the alleged overcharges in telephone accounts are a great source of annoyance to subscribers, I ask the Minister if there has been an inquiry into the matter, and, if so, has he any report on it to put before the House?
– Every case is dealt with on its merits. All individual cases have been dealt with up to date.
– I should like to ask the Minister for Works and Railways whether he is prepared to agree to alter the title of the “ Seat of Government Administration Bill (1924) “, to “ A Bill to provide Ministerial Supporters with Fat Billets “ ?
Question not answered.
– At the outbreak of war a number of German residents of Australia were caught in Germany. They are desirous of returning to their relatives and friends here, and I ask the Prime Minister has he considered the question of their re-admission to Australia ?
– There is a recognised procedure which is adopted in every case of Germans desiring admission to Australia. I suggest to the honorable member that it would be better if he placed his question on the notice-paper, in which case the whole procedure would be set out for him. It can make no difference to the honorable member if an answer to his question is given to-day or to-morrow.
– Will the PostmasterGeneral place before the House the reasons for the new regulation requiring letter-boxes to be provided on all premises more than 12 feet from the street alignment, so that honorable members may have an opportunity to discuss it before it comes into force ?
– Our object is to expedite as much as possible the delivery of mail matter. It is expected that the new regulation will save the time of the postmen by probably two hours each day.
Christmas Holiday Pay
-Has the Prime Minister yet looked into the action of the Commonwealth Shipping Board in depriving the workmen at the Cockatoo dockyard of payment for the Christmas holidays ?
– I have taken action in the matter, but have not yet received a report.
– May I, through you, Mr. Speaker, ask that two very valuable letters from the Rockefeller Foundation respecting the treatment of the hookworm diseasein Australia be recorded in Hansard. A large amount of money has been spent in Australia by the Rockefeller Foundation, and these letters are so valuable that it would be of advantage to have them recorded.
– Honorable members will recollect that I laid these letters on the table of the House lastweek, but omitted to direct that they be included inHansard. I think it is the pleasure of the House that I have them embodied in the record of to-day’s proceedings. Honorable members will notice with considerable satisfaction the felicity of the terms, and theclose relationship established between this extraordinary and beneficent institute and the Australian authorities as a conse quence of our vote of thanks. The letters are as follow: -
John A. Ferrell, M.D., Director for the United States.
Victor G. Heiser, M.D., Director for the East.
Flexner, Raymond B. Fosdick, Edwin O. Jordan, Vernon Kellogg, T. Mitchell Prudden, John D. Rockefeller, jun., Wick- liffe Rose, Victor C. Vaughan, WilliamH. Welch.
Edwin R. Embree, secretary.
Florence M. Read, assistant secretary. 61 Broadway, New York, 11th October, 1923.
President Vincent has referred to me your letter of 4th September enclosing copy of a resolution regarding the work of the International Health Board in Australia. The Board has esteemed it a privilege to share in the development of public health in the Aus- feraliaii Commonwealth. The co-operation and many courtesies which the Board’s representatives have received at all times during the seven years of our association have been very much appreciated. We shall always follow with keen interest the progress of public health activities in Australia.
With assurances of esteem, I am, Sir,
Very sincerely yours,
61 Broadway, New York, 5th October, 1923.
In behalf of the Rockefeller Foundation I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 4th September, with the accompanying copy of a resolution with respect to the co-operation of the Rockefeller Foundation with the Commonwealth of Australia.
Inasmuch as this co-operation was carried on through the International Health Board of the Rockefeller Foundation, I am transmitting your communication to Doctor F. F. Russell, General Director of that Board, from whom you will receive further acknowledgment.
With assurances of high respect, I am,
Very sincerely yours,
The Right Honorable William A. Watt, Speaker of theHouse of Representatives, Melbourne, Australia.
– Can the Prime Minister informus whether the resolution of this House that the Governor-General should convene the first meeting of the next Federal Parliament at the Federal Capital at Canberra has yet been transmitted to His Excellency?
– I regret that I was not in a position yesterday to answer the question. It was due purely to an oversight. I am glad to say now that the proper action has been taken, and the message transmitted to His Excellency.
-Has the Government taken any actionto try to relieve the financial stringency in Australia by endeavouring to obtain a transfer of the £40,000,000 of credit in favour of Australia now lying in London ?
– The matter has received a great deal of attention from the Government, and has been the subject of consultation between theGovernment, the Notes Board, the Commonwealth Bank, and those controlling the various joint stock banks, to see if any action can be taken in the direction indicated.
– Can the Minister indicate when he will be able be answer a question in my name, appearing on yesterday’s notice-paper, relating to the import duty on Italian marble, and the quantity and value of such marble imported into Australia ?
– I am having inquiries made, and shall supply the information to the honorable member as early as possible.
War Gratuity Advances
asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
– No reply has yet been received from the Commonwealth Bank to the request that they furnishthe information desired. If a reply be not received in time to enable me to give exact information to the honorable member to-morrow, I will ask the Treasury officers to compile an approximately correct statement, but that would take a few days to prepare. I can assure the honorable member that as soon as the statement is available I shall forward it to him.
asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
What amount of the increased issue between these dates consisted of: -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : -
*The answers to (c) and (d) I believe to be correct, but cannot say so definitely because the records are in the Commonwealth Bank and not in the Treasury.
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
Whether a report has been submitted by the Australian representative to the last International Labour Conference, and, if so, when will the report be made available ?
– Yes. The report is being made available to honorable members to-day.
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
Whether the allegations made in the British House of Commons concerning the Australian administration of Nauru have been investigated, and what action, if any, is contemplated ?
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : -
The allegations which appeared in the press are being brought to the notice of the Administrator of Nauru. I wish, however, to invite the honorable member’s attention to an extract from the minutes of the twenty-fourth meeting of the Mandates Commission, which reads - “ The Commission took note of the fact that the Mandate for Nauru was being fulfilled in conformity with the spirit and letter of the Covenant.”
As the Mandates Commission scrutinizes with the greatest particularity every action of the Nauru Administration, I think the honorable member will realize that the above report deals very effectively with any charges of laxity in the administration.
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
Will he have a return furnished showing the names of members of all Boards, Commissions, and Committees in existence since January, 1923. with particulars as to the cost of each to date?
– Yes.The information asked for by the honorable member will be obtained.
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : -
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow: -
asked the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -
Lands Department is responsible for delay in forwarding applications for Federal netting to the Minister for Trade and Customs?
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : -
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : -
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The honorable member will realize that it would not be proper for me to comment on the action of the Legislature of one of the States which does not directly affect the Commonwealth.
Military Staff Clerks
asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
Does his answer to question No. 9 on 28th March,1924, mean that former Military Staff Clerks, who are now officers of the Common- wealth Public Service, shall be included in the scheme for the extension of the provisions of the Superannuation Act to all members of the Permanent Military Forces?
– Military Staff Clerks, who are now officers of the Commonwealth Public Service, are entitled to the benefits of the Superannuation Act, but only so far as their service from 1918 is concerned. This is the date on which they were first appointed as Military Clerks. The question of giving these officers the benefit of their military service prior to 1918 will be considered in conjunction with the amendment of the Superannuation Act, as indicated in my reply to the honorable member’s question on the 28th March.
asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
– The information asked for is not readily available. Such statistics as are deemed to serve a useful purpose are compiled regularly and included in the Commission’s annual report. The compilation of the information asked for would involve the examination of individual files and other records in all States, with consequent large expenditure of time and money. Further, while members of the staff are occupied with this special work, they will necessarily be unable to give full attention to current pension matters, with resultant delay, and in many cases, hardship to individual applicants. It is hoped that the honorable member will not press for the information asked for.
asked the Minister for Works and Railways, upon notice -
Whether he will, inhis projected trip to Alice Springs, give consideration to the suggestion that the proposed railway to the Macdonnell Ranges shall be built about 60 miles east of Alice Springs, so that the mineral country will be bisected, and at the same time pastoral development will not be hindered?
– My visit is principally for the purpose of personally viewing the country generally which lies between Oodnadatta and Alice Springs. The honorable member’s suggestion will be kept in view whenever the construction and location of the line is being determined.
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
What was the total cost of the motor garage built at King-lane, Balmain, for the use of Mr. J. J. King-Salter, late general manager at Cockatoo Island, Sydney?
– Inquiries are being made, and the information will be furnished to the honorable member at the earliest possible date.
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : - 1 and 3. The matter alluded to by the honorable memberhas engaged the attention of the Government, and at present an investigation is being pursued by the Institute of Science and Industry. As soon as the necessary data has’ been obtained, careful consideration will be given by the Commonwealth Government to the question of the most effective means to be adopted of combating the rabbit pest.
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : -
The following papers were presented : -
International Labour Organization of the League of Nations - Fifth Conference Held at. Geneva, 22nd to 29th October, 1923- Reports by Australian Delegates.
War Service Homes Act - Report of due War Service Homes Commission, together with Statements and Balance-sheets - 1st July, 1922, to 30th June, 1923.
Ordered to be printed.
.- I move -
That the Bill be now read a second time.
In accordance with the expressed policy of the Government this Bill is introduced to alter the present system of administering the Federal Capital Territory, and to provide for a Commissi on to control and manage the affairs of the Territory. The proposal may be understood more clearly if I briefly explain the administrative methods of the past. From 1909 to 1912 the Territory was controlled by the Department of Home Affairs. In August, 1912, a Resident Administrator was appointed, who controlled all Federal Capital matters, subject to the approval of the Minister. In 1916, however, the Home Affairs Department disappeared, and the works and administrative functions of the Federal Territory were allotted to the Works and Railways and Home and Territories Departments respectively. That dual arrangement has continued until the present time, and the affairs of the Territory now require the attention of two Ministers, and the employment of two Departmental staffs under separate control. While thesystem has worked fairly satisfactorily so fax, the development of the Territory has now reached such a stage that we believe that new machinery is necessary, and will yield better results. In order to speed up .construction, the arrangement was made towards the end of last year that a. separate works organization should be established at Canberra, under the Director -General of Works, who would be personally responsible to the Minister and work in conjunction with the Advisory Committee. That arrangement has obviated the necessity for much works administration being controlled in detail from Melbourne, and I think honorable members who have visited the Territory must admit that the results from this system have been very good. Still the general administration of the Territory, apart from works construction, has continued in the hands of the Minister for Home and Territories. In spite oi many obstructions and difficulties, anc much hostile and unmerited criticism, a great deal of good work has been performed at Canberra. In addition to the machinery provided by sections of the Works and Railways and Home a.nd Territories Departments, the Advisory Committee has been functioning. After the suspension of construction work during the war, this Committee was appointed at the end of 1920. It consists of the following experts in architecture, engineering, town planning and departmental administration : - John Sulman, Esq., Consulting Architect; E. M. de Burgh, Esq., Chief Engineer for Water Supply, Public Works Department, New South Wales; H. E. Ross, Esq., Architect; Colonel P. T. Owen, Commonwealth Director-General’ of works; and J. T. H. Goodwin, Esq., Commonwealth Surveyor-General, Home and Territories Department. The Committee studied the general situation in the- light of the changed economic conditions, and drew up a scheme for the construction of the city, and the establishment of the seat of Government as economically and as rapidly as possible. This scheme was generally approved, and it has been the basis of all the work that has been carried out during the past three years. The Committee has since been, engaged in developing its proposals in detail, and in dealing with Federal Capital matters the Government have largely relied upon its advice and its recommendations. At this juncture I should like to pay a well deserved tribute to the Committee for the splendid work it has done. Whatever honorable members may think of Federal Capital matters in general, the members of the Committee have undoubtedly gendered good service to the Commonwealth.
– Why change them, then ?
– I shall, if honorable members will curb their impatience, endeavour to explain the reason for the contemplated change..
– You cannot explain that.
– If the honorable member is determined not to accept any explanation, it will be beyond the wit of a simple individual like myself to satisfy him. I hope, however, to be able to offer sound reasons to any honorable member who approaches this subject with an open mind. We do not propose to appoint the Commission one day and scrap this Advisory Committee the next day. It will be necessary for a time to retain its services. Obviously, it would be unfair to expect any new administrative body to pick up all the threads of constructional problems in a day. Therefore, it is proposed, for the present, and until the Commission is well established, to retain the services and act upon the advice of the Advisory Committee.
– Why not delay the appointment of the Commission until the present work is finished ?
– Order ! The honorable the Minister must be allowed to explain the Bill.
– We feel that the time has come when the existing administration should be superseded by a single local authority. Whilst the work done up to the present has been fairly satisfactory, it is not considered wise to continue further a system under which two Ministers exercise control over the Territory. In spite of all that has been said, and is being said to-day by way of interjection, the fact remains that with the activities ahead of us at the capital city, following upon the throwing open of land for settlement, there will arise a large number of municipal problems which could not be satisfactorily handled by the administrative stalls of the Home and Territories and Works and Railways Departments. We intend to vest this Committee with adequate powers to develop and maintain a proper system of local Government in the Territory, to deal with the land question, the construction of the city, and to take over the wholeofthe existing assets and liabilities. The Territory, as the Bill shows, means not only the Territory in which the Capital City is being constructed, but also that round Jervis Bay. The Minister referred to in the Bill as controlling the Commission, will be the Minister for Home and Territories. With regard to the Commission itself it is proposed to appoint three members for a fixed term respectively of five years, four years, and three years at the inception, and thereafter for a period of three years. This course will’ prevent the whole of the vacancies occurring in any one year.
– Are members of the Advisory Committee receiving any salary?
- Mr. Sulman, the Chairman, acts without salary, Mr. Ross receives a thousand guineas a year, and Mr. de Burgh four hundred guineas per annum. The remaining two members of the Committee, Colonel Owen and Mr. Goodwin, being departmental officers, receive no special salary, but draw travelling allowances.
– Can the Minister give us the names of the persons to be appointed on the proposed Commission?
– I cannot. Up to the present no steps have been taken by the Government to make any appointment. We have no one in view. Honorable members may cynically laugh, but I say definitely that, neither directly nor indirectly, have we approached any individual with regard to these appointments. As to remuneration, the chairman of the proposed Commission will receive an amount not exceeding £3,000 per annum, and the other two members a salary not exceeding £2,000 per annum. Their remuneration may be by way of fees or salary, or partly fees and partly salary, but if wholly by salary, then they shall be required to devote the whole of their time to their duties.
– The Government will pay the chairman more than the Prime Minister gets.
– Will they also draw travelling allowances?
– Order ! Honorable members must leave questions to the Committee stage of the Bill.
– Yes; they will draw travelling expenses. The members of the Commission will be appointed for their special knowledge of such matters as architecture, engineering, general construction, town planning, finance, and general administration. In selectingthe personnel the Government will endeavour to see that, as far as possible, the necessary qualifications will be found in the members of the Commission. The plan upon which we are working is that prepared by Mr. W. B. Griffin. This will be the basis of all constructional work. The Bill provides that if any variation of the plan is proposed it may be disallowed by Parliament. In short, the Commission will be debarred from mutilating or altering the original plan without the consent of Parliament.
– Will Mr. Griffin have an opportunity of appointment to the Commission ?
– I refuse to be drawn on that matter. If Parliament approves of this Bill the Government will give consideration to the appointment of the Commission. The Bill provides for the appointment of officers by the Commission and also for the transfer of officers of the Home and Territories Department and the Works and Railways Department who are already employed in the Territory. Certain officers of both those Departments have for a number of years been wholly employed on departmental work in the Territory, and they have a full knowledge of the local situation. It is proposed that such of these officers as the Ministers of the two Departments may. approve may be transferred to the control of the Commission. Any officer of the Public Service who is so transferred shall retain his existing and accruing rights. He will be granted leave of absence from the Public Service while he is in the employ of the Commission. The procedure respecting the Commissioners is different. It is proposed that if a public servant is appointed to the Commission he shall resign from the Service, but will be eligible for re-appointment. It would be a hardship to the lower-paid officers to have to resign from the Service because of being required in the Federal Territory, but the Commissioners will receive a. substantial salary, and no such hardship would be inflicted upon them. Provision is made in the Bill for the services of officers of the Works and Railways Department to be utilized as far as possible in connexion with constructional work in the Territory. This will make available the experience and skill of officers who have been connected for many years with Canberra work. It will also insure continuity of ideas and plans, and will save the Administration considerable expense. One of the most important parts of the Bill deals with financial matters. Sub-clause 1, clause 17, reads as follows : -
The revenue of the Commission shall consist of the following moneys : -
rents received from lands leased by the Commission, or under any Ordinance made under theSeat of Government (Administration) Act 1910;
moneys receivedin pursuance of any by-law made under this Act;
fines recovered for any contravention of any by-law made under this Act; and
moneys borrowed by the Commission in pursuance of this Act; and
any other moneys received by the Commission.
Sub-clause 2 provides that all moneys received by the Commission shall be credited to a fund to be called the Seat of Government Fund. The purpose of that is to dissociate the Commission’s financial operations from the ordinary financial affairs of the Government. The Commission will have independent funds, and it will be required to make the best use of the revenue and resources of the Territory. Pending the floating of loans by the Commission it is proposed that the Treasurer shall be empowered to advance money to it, subject to early repayments with interest. That is necessary, because, if Parliament passes this Bill and the Commission takes control of the Territory, say from 30th June next, it will be impossible for it to borrow money immediately. Pending the raising of the first loan, therefore, the Commonwealth Treasurer will advance money to it. All advances made under this provision must be recouped to the Treasurer from the first loan. The Commonwealth Government guarantees repayment of moneys borrowed by the Commission, and any interest that may be due thereon. The Commission may only borrow moneys to such an amount, and in such manner, and on such terms as the Treasurer shall approve. That is an important provision. The Commission shall apply any surplus to the credit of the Seat ofGovernment Fund to the reduction of loans. It is quite obvious that in the initial stages of development, when the larger constructional works, such as the building of Parliament House and the administrative buildings, is proceeding, the Territory accounts will show a heavy accumulating deficit, but we are confident that this will be only temporary, and that later on the revenue will increase. We are optimistic enough to expect that ultimately the receipts will exceed the expenditure in the Territory. If in the first ten years the general liabilities of the Commission amount to, say, £10,000,000 - I mention that amount simply for the sake of illustration - and the receipts of the Commission in that period exceed that amount, the surplus must be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The Government has endeavoured in this Bill to strike the happy mean. It has sought to give the Commission reasonably full powers so that it may discharge its duties without being unduly hampered, and at the same time to retain sufficient authority to insure that the Commissioners shall, at all times, be under parliamentary control. Very onerous responsibilities are to be placed upon the Commission in regard to its general management and control of the Territory. The Bill provides that it shall be responsible for the appointment and control of its officers, and the control and management of Crown lands and other land placed in its control by the GovernorGeneral. That includes not only land within the city area, but all lands within the Territory. It shall levy and collect rates, and borrow money under the conditions which I have already mentioned. It shall construct, maintain, and operate tramways; construct, maintain, and control roads; provide gas, electricity, water, and sewerage; and, generally, have charge of public utilities and public works within its own territories. Its powers are set out in clause 14 of the Bill, which I invite honorable members to read. It takes over heavy liabilities in regard to expenditure in the Territory, and is given wide scope in the economic management of the finances of the Territory. Generally, the whole future of the Territory, financially and otherwise, is really the responsibility of the Commission. The Bill contains some restrictions upon the Commission’s powers. It must conserve and adhere to the approved plan, and in undertaking works and buildings it is subject to the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1913-21.
– Will my honorable friend tell us whether he refers to the original plan of Mr. Griffin, or to an amended plan?
– The original plan, with minor contour modifications.
– There have been slight modifications of the original plan, which have been rendered necessary by circumstances which were not problems in Mr. Griffin’s time, but which experience and the passage of time have shown to be advisable. However, the main scheme outlined by Mr. Griffin is still being adhered to, and it is proposed to adhere to it subject to such modifications as the Commission may deem wise. Those modifications must be approved by the Minister and be laid before Parliament. The accounts of the receipts and expenditure of the Commission are to be subject to the Committee of Public Accounts Act 1913-20. By-laws of the Commission may be disallowed within thirty days after having been laid before both Houses of Parliament. Books of accounts will be subject to inspection and audit by the AuditorGeneral, and the annual report of the Commission on its operations must be laid before both Houses of Parliament. The Commission’s powers are to be subject to any Ordinance made under the Seat of Government (Administration) Act 1910. Certain Commonwealth works may, by Order in Council, be exempted from the Commission’s control. The Governor-General must approve of all by-laws, and he may make regulations more accuratelydefining the Commission’s powers, and imposing conditions and limitations upon the exercise of those powers. It may be asked what hold the Minister has upon the Commission. The Commission must submit annually to the Minister, for his approval, estimates of receipts and expenditure. No expenditure may be incurred without the Minister’s approval. The Commission must furnish a report quarterly, setting out the approximate expenditure and receipts during the past quarter, the general conditionof the works, and the appointments and removals of officers. The Treasurer must determine the amount to be borrowed at any time, and the terms on which the transaction shall take place. If, for instance, the Commission desired to borrow £500,000, it must submit a list of the works upon which it is proposed to spend that sum. The Minister must give his approval to those works.
– Will the Parliament have any control ?
– Yes. All such reports and documents as the Minister may require must be furnished. The Minister’s written consent is necessary before the Commission may sell or otherwise dispose of any land upon which public works, buildings, or public utilities are constructed. It must also obtain approval for the construction of works and buildings for the Commonwealth. The Commission shall be liable for the whole of the expenditure by the Commonwealth prior to the passing of this Act, in connexion with the establishment and administration of the Territory, after deducting the amount of the receipts. It is also liable for interest on that amount, together with interest on the liabilities existing at the commencement of this Act, which are to be calculated annually and added to the principal sum. The prescribed rates of interest will be determined by the Treasurer. The Commission shall be liable for any contracts or agreements in existence at the commencement of this Act, and for the repayment of all loans. It must undertake the construction of all buildings and works required by the Commonwealth in the Territory. Those works will be leased to the Commonwealth on a rental basis, the only exceptions being Parliament House and the residence of the Governor-General. Parliament House, obviously, must at all times be under the control of Parliament itself; that control cannot be delegated to any outside body. If administrative offices costing, say, £200,000, are erected, that expenditure will be a liability on the Commission, and, together with the interest upon it, will be debited to its funds. Instead of the Government paying, from loan and revenue funds, say, 6 per cent. upon a £200,000 building, the Commission will take ever that liability, and the Commonwealth will pay to the Commission the interest upon the capital value of the building, together with such an amount as will be necessary to cover depreciation and usual charges.
– The Commission fixes the rates and we pay them.
– The honorable member’s interjection does not correctly state the position. I repeat that, with the ex- ception of works excepted by Order in
Council - such as secret defence works - the whole of the works within the Federal Capital Territory are to be built by the Commission. The whole of the assets will be theirs, and the liabilities also. They are to be separated completely from the ordinary departmental loan and revenue accounts. The Commission will take over the whole of the present staffs in the Territory. The whole of the responsibility for the erection and maintenance of works will be taken over by the Commission, and, in fact, all the responsibilities set out in clause 14, which is the vital clause of the Bill. If honorable members will carefully read that clause they will find that it practically summarizes the duties of the Commission. In reply to some objections which have been urged by interjection I should like to say that while the present machinery has worked fairly well up to the present, it will be impossible to secure satisfactory results with it in the future.
– Everything is going on very well there just now.
– I am very glad to hear the honorable member say that, but he overlooks the fact that very important new problems will be raised when we invite private enterprise to take part in the building of the Federal Capital. On the 1st October next we are throwing open the. leasing of land in the Federal Territory, and that will be followed by the problems associated with municipal control. I have studied the matter very carefully, and have come to the conclusion that it will be impossible to continue at the Federal Capital the dual control of the Works and Railways and Home and Territories Departments. That will not work in the future, however satisfactorily it may have worked up to the present. The question of the expense involved under the Bill has been raised, but I remind honorable members that the Works and Railways Department has at present a very high-salaried officer, the Director-General of Works, stationed at Canberra all the time. We have other officers of the Department engaged who can ill be spared. We have had to concentrate upon construction at Canberra when we have badly required the services of officers for works elsewhere. In order to carry out the policy of the Government as laid down in the Governor-General’s Speech, we declared all works at Canberra to be urgent, and concentrated upon them. That is a state of affairs that cannot continue indefinitely. I commend the Bill to the careful consideration of honorable members on both sides. It does not deal with a party question, and is not introduced as a party measure. It aims at the control, good management, and good government of the home of the Commonwealth Parliament. Since the formation of the present Government steps have been taken to accelerate the building of the Federal Capital, in the endeavour to determine the earliest possible date at which we might expect to have necessary works there so far completed as to enable the Seat of Government to be removed to Canberra. Honorable members will perhaps remember that in the Governor-General’s Speech, at the opening of the present session, there appeared the following paragraph : -
The works in progress at the Federal Capital have now so far advanced as to necessitate the introduction of a Bill to provide for the constitution of a Commission to control the Territory. It is proposed to empower it to raise loans for the construction and development of the city.
It is in pursuance of that promise that this Bill is presented to- the House.
– It is unnecessary.
– I have listened to the honorable member with due respect, but he will agree that, by reason of the duties of my position, I know something of present-day problems in the Federal Capital’ Territory.
– I am prepared to say that the Minister for Works and Bailways, and those under him, are doing very well at Canberra. I say leave well alone, and do not introduce this new machinery.
– I appreciate the expression of the honorable member’s opinion, but with due respect to him, I repeat that, although the present machinery has worked satisfactorily to date, the problems which will confront us when private enterprise is introduced, by the throwing open of land, and the necessity for local government will be such as cannot be undertaken by the existing machinery. We must create fresh machinery for the purpose, and the Bill contains the proposals which the Government consider best suited to deal with the problems that will arise. Honorable members opposite., apparently, object to the expense involved, but what does it amount to? The Bill proposes the appointment of three officers, whose total salaries may amount to> £7,000 a year.
– We do not know what staff the Commission will employ.
– Honorable membersspeak as if the present staff at Canberra were not costing the Commonwealth anything. We have a large staff continually employed at Canberra by two Departments,, and those who compose it are not working for nothing.
– W e shall have a third staff there when we get the Commission.
– No. There will be no proportionate increase in the staff at Canberra.
– We cannot prevent it.
– We can. We shall have Ministerial control, and will be in a position to prevent the Commission appointing large staffs at its own sweet will.
– At least, the Commission will be extra.
– On the surface, that may appear to be so, but I have already mentioned that the Director-General of Works is at present at Canberra, and i» dealing only with construction work there. He has not to deal with the management of land, the throwing open of land, the running of services, and so on.
– What are the salaries of Mr. Goodwin and Colonel Owen ?
– Without allowances, they amount, approximately, to-
– Less than £2,000.
– No ; to over £2,000. The responsibilities which these officers now have will be assumed by the proposed Commission.
– We shall require an officer there to look after the parliamentary buildings and the GovernorGeneral’s residence. They will not come under the Commission.
– That is so. .Surely the honorable gentleman does not desire that these buildings should be placed under the Commission.
– I am merely pointing cut that we must have other officersthere besides the staff of the Commission.
The Minister gave the impression that the Commission and its staff would be sufficient to administer the Federal Capital Territory.
– When the Seat of Government is removed to Canberra, we shall require considerably more than the officers required to control the Commonwealth Parliament House and the GovernorGeneral’s residence. There will be the whole of the staff of this Parliament there.
– Apart from the Commission, we shall need a man like Colonel Owen at Canberra.
– No good purpose can be served by a debate across the table on matters ofdetail, which must be threshed out at the Committee stage of the Bill. Much unmerited and unfair criticism has been levelled at Canberra, but I am confident that the results in the future will justify the action the Government has taken, and the support given by honorable members on both sides of the House in endeavouring to forward the establishment of the Seat of Government of the Commonwealth in its own territory. I am satisfied that, in spite of the adverse criticism we have heard, Canberra will ultimately pay for itself. An endeavour has been made to build Canberra in a way entirely different from that in which cities are ordinarily built. We may almost assert that the whole of the cities of the world have, like Topsy, “just growed” in a haphazard fashion. Canberra is the only city in the world that I know of that will be built from the start to a definite plan, which embodies all the most modern requirements of town planning.
– What about Washington, D.C. ?
– That cannot be said of Washington to the same extent as it can be said of Canberra. I believe that Canberra will be a big improvement on Washington in this regard. If we continue its development in accordance with Mr. Griffin’s plan I am optimistic enough to believe that Canberra will not only not have its equal in Australia, but very few equals in any part of the world. I commend the Bill to the consideration of the House. I repeat that it deals with the control and management of our future home, and is not a party measure. I hope that when, in Committee, we come to the machinery clauses of the Bill I shall be able to meet some of the objections which have been raised by honorable members opposite. They may vote as they like. If any honorable member on this side objects to it, I would be the last to insist that he should vote against his convictions. When honorable members have had the opportunity to study this Bill a little more they will see that it is not quite so obnoxious a measure as some appear to think. While I believe that in its present form the Bill is a good one-, and will meet the circumstances for which it is designed, I am not prepared to say that it is entirely perfect; and if honorable members will indicate any direction in which it could be improved, I shall be prepared to consider any suggestion for improving it. It is not a party measure, and has not been introduced as such. It deals with a big national problem - the control of our future home - and I trust that honorable members will debate it in the spirit in which it has been introduced.
Debate (on motion by Mr. Charlton) adjourned.
. - (By leave.) - In July last I was honoured by being appointed one of the Australian representatives to attend the fourth Assembly of the League of Nations at Geneva. I remember very clearly the congratulatory words with which the right honorable the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) cheered me on my mission. The Australian delegation have drawn up a very exhaustive report, which I shall lay on the table of the House. The representation of one’s country at the Assembly of the League of Nations is an extremely difficult task for a delegate attending for the first time. It is surrounded by innumerable pitfalls, because the procedure is very different from anything to which we here are accumstomed. In Australia and in the other Dominions of the British Empire the English parliamentary procedure is adopted, but it is not so at the meetings of the League of Nations. There the French and American procedure is adopted, which makes it very difficult for any one who has not a good knowledge of the French language. By the rules of the League, two languages only - -French and English - arc permitted at its gatherings. The use of the English language was only sanctioned as an afterthought iu the Treaty of Versailles, because America at that time expected to be a member of the League of Nations, and insisted on English being used as well as French. The whole of the agenda paper, consisting of forty to fifty proposals, i3 not placed before the Assembly, except for a few moments, but the various questions are each referred to one of six committees, on each of which is a delegate from each of the “nations represented. Each delegate is permitted to sit on two only of such committees. As those committees meet on alternate days, it is essential that if a country is to be fully represented it should have at least three delegates; while if provision is made for their absence on occasions - which, owing to the strenuous nature of the work, is very probable - it is necessary to have substitute delegates also. As a rule, Australia has had three delegates and one or two substitute delegates. In my present speech I propose to refer only to what I consider the outstanding features of the Assembly which I attended. Its meetings were, unfortunately, overshadowed by an unfortunate dispute between Italy and Greece. I shall briefly relate what then occurred, because I have found, not only in England, but here also, a very great misconception on the part of the people as to what took place at the meetings of the League. Some of us believe that the League has been somewhat belittled by certain people because of its action on that occasion. It is very difficult to convey to honorable members the atmosphere which enveloped the meetings. The reading of its proceedings in cold type is a very different thing from being present. Honorable members, having seen in Hansard the record of speeches made in this House, will appreciate the position. Whilst the accuracy of the reports is beyond dispute, my reading of them prior to taking my seat in this Chamber produced .a very different effect on me from that I received on hearing such speeches delivered. That difference is the greater where there are representatives of forty-five or fifty nations gathered together with one .common and firm intention, namely, to settle their differences by arbitration and discussion, if possible, in order to prevent the possibility of further conflict. On the 27th August, the. members of an Italian delegation, consisting of General Tellini and others - all Italians with the exception of the interpreter, who was an Albanian - were assassinated. The staff was appointed by a Conference of Ambassadors, and was under the special protection of Greece. The .murder is beyond discussion; it was foul to the worstdegree. There was nothing whatever to excuse it, nor, for that matter, did Greece make any effort to mitigate the offence. On the 29th August,, the Italian Government presented a Note to the Greek Government, laying down certain lines of conduct to be followed, and demanding an answer without delay. On the 30th August, the Greek Government replied, conceding some of the demands and refusing others. On the 31st August - the first day on which- the League sat - the Italian Navy appeared off Corfu and occupied one of the important island possessions of Greece. The Greeks then appealed to the League of Nations. That appeal was made on the day of the occupation, although it must have been drawn up before the occupation of Corfu. Repeatedly in the press, and in addresses on the League of Nations, the statement has . been made that the Greek appeal was against the bombardment of Corfu; but at no time did that matter come before the League of Nations. The Greeks really complained of Mussolini’s action in taking coercive measures without first having recourse to the procedure which Italy, as a member of the League of Nations, had agreed to follow in such circumstances. The Council listened to the Italian representation, which insisted that the matter should be left to the decision of the Conference of Ambassadors. They had two reasons for taking that stand:- first, because the Italian Delegation was under the supervision, control, and protection of the Conference of Ambassadors; and, secondly, because they doubted whether they had the right to adjudicate under Articles of Convention. There is something to support that latter view, because the interpretation of the clause in tike Covenant did not make it clear whether the League had power to .deal with .the question.
Dealing -with it, a very eminent jurist said : -
Reprisals, pacific blockade, and other like measures of constraint, applied to States denying or delaying justice, are doubtless in ibc nature of acts of war; but they do not create a state of war unless the Statu against which they arc exercised elects to treat them as definitely hostile. If not, they arc consistent with the continuance of pence.
The Greek representatives, at all Hines, recognised the enormity of thu offence committed, and specifically asked that it should he dealt with by the Conference of Ambassadors. After protracted negotiations, it was eventually agreed to by both parties - by Italy, which practically demanded that course of action ; and. by Greece, which acceded to the demand - that the question should be dealt with by the Conference of Ambassadors. We all know the result. Personally, J am satisfied that it was diplomatic action on the part of the League. These matters have since been referred to a Committee of Jurists, who, before the next meeting of the Assembly in the latter part of this year, will have dealt with them. The action of the League waa wist-, and in conformity with its dignity, as, after all, its function is not to engage in warfare. In any case, the League has no machinery by which it could take part in a Avar; no such machinery has been constituted. The question has frequently been asked : “ Why did not the League interfere ?” The answer is that the League could not interfere by force, because, it did not possess that force. In my opinion, its main function is to bring about the settlement of disputes by diplomatic negotiations and arbitration. In fact, no other course is open to it, as it has no machinery for enforcing its views. It is generally recognised by practically every delegate, with the possible exception of the delegate from Italy, that, but for the Council of the League being in session when this unfortunate episode occurred, Italy and Greece would have been at war. Czecho-Slovaki could not have stood aloof, and- Bulgaria also would have been involved, and it is impossible to estimate where the conflagration would have ended. I have completed my remarks on the main portion of the Assembly’s deliberations, and I ask honorable members, all of whom are interested in the aims and objects of the League, to devote some study to the report which the delegation has drawn up with extremecare.
An important matter that was dealt with was Article 10 of the Covenant.. Even ac the First Assembly this Article was opposed by the Canadian delegation, which asked that it should be deleted, and it has since caused more discussion in the Assembly than has any other Article of the Covenant. It reads -
The members of the League undertake to respect and preserve, as against external aggression, the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all members of the League. In case’ of any such aggression or in case of any threat or danger of such aggression, the Council shall advise upon the means by which this obligation shall be fulfilled.
I should like to explain to honorable members that the League of Nations is composed of two parts - the Council and the International Labour Office. Each has separate offices and machinery, but both, work with the one aim. The Council sits all through the year; it has a permanent secretariat, to which matters can be referred at any time, but the General Assembly meets only in September of each year. In 1921, the Second Assembly, in view of the great differences of opinion expressed concerning the scope and significance of Article 10 and .its relation to the other Articles of the Covenant, as well as the importance of the legal and political arguments both for and against elimination, postponed the question to the Third Assembly. At the Third Assembly, in 1922, the Canadian delegation abandoned its original suggestion, and proposed two amendments instead. Those proposals were communicated to the Governments of the countries that are members of the League, with a request for their opinions before the meeting of the Fourth Assembly, and. prior to my departure for Europe, the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce) ‘instructed me regarding the attitude of the Commonwealth Government upon it. On the basis of the opinions received, and after exhaustive discussion, the Juridical Committee of the Fourth Assembly proposed a resolution interpreting Article 10. That resolution declares that the Council should take into account the special ^circumstances audi geographical position of each State member of the’
League when recommending the application of military measures as a result of aggression or the threat of aggression. Furthermore, it should be for the constitutional authorities of each State to decide in what degree the State concerned is bound to assure the execution of its obligations under Article 10 by the employment of its military forces, although the recommendation made by the Council should be regarded as of the highest importance, and should be taken into consideration by all the members of the League with the desire to execute their engagements in good faith. In my opinion, and according to the rapporteur of the Juridical Committee of the Assembly, the resolution would not alter, but would merely clarify the sense of Article 10t It is important to Australia, as one of the smaller nations on the outpost of civilization, that Article 10 shall not necessarily require immediate military intervention, and that the Assembly resolution requesting the Council to take into account the geographical position and special conditions of each State, would apply only to cases where the. Council considered it necessary to recommend military measures. There is no doubt that the constitutional authorities of each country have the right to decide what effect is to be given to a recommendation of the League Council. I do not think that much harm would be done if Article 10 were wholly eliminated, but Canada has raised definite objection to it because of the belief that, in the event of war in any part of the Empire, the Dominion would be compelled, if called upon by the League, to send troops in support of whatever action the Council had resolved upon. It is quite clear, however, that the League of Nations could not override the sovereign rights of this Parliament, for instance, to decide whether or not the Commonwealth should take any part in a war over seas. On the other hand., we must recognise that a resolution of the Council could nob be treated with levity. Having entered into a bond, to act in the best interests of the world, we must accept our share of responsibility ; but that share, need not necessarily involve the sending of troops. There may be other ways of going to the assistance of the other members of the League. The Assembly was not able formally to adopt the interpreta- tive resolution, but it is quite clear that it will pass at a later date, for out of forty-three delegates present twenty-nine voted fop it, and one - ^Persia- against it ; the other thirteen abstained from voting. Any resolution involving an alteration of any article of the Covenant must have the unanimous assent of the whole Assembly. The Assembly, being confident of the importance of the interpretative resolution, and being in accord with it, decided to communicate the results of the voting to the Council.
The Budget and finance matters dealt with also were of great importance. A policy of strict but judicious retrenchment was followed. deductions were made wherever possible, a distinction always being made between the essential features of the work of the League and other activities which, though important and desirable, were not, for the present, absolutely necessary. The financial procedure of the League is quite different from parliamentary or any other, of which I have knowledge. In 1922 it was found necessary to constitute a committee of control. It is really a supervisory committee, and I quote the words of the president of the fourth committee appointed to deal with this matter in the 1922 Assembly-
In matters of finance the position of the Secretary-General of the League of Nations is one of some difficulty. The peculiarities of his situation may best be illustrated by recalling the normal financial procedure in a Government Department. The responsible Minister at the head of a spending Department has to submit estimates for what he considers he will require to enable him to carry out his policy during the next financial year to the Finance Ministry who conducts a most careful scrutiny into the demands thus made upon the National exchequer, and only passes such demands as be is prepared and able to defend in Parliament.. In some countries the estimates, in addition, undergo close examination by a Budget Committee before they are submitted to Parliament. Whatever the precise method employed, the principle is the same, namely, that proposals for expenditure shall, before submission to Parliament, first ‘be submitted to a careful scrutiny by some body capable of giving expert advice, and entirely independent of the body which framed the policy involving the expenditure in question. It cannot therefore be considered a most desirable procedure that the Secretary-General should submit his proposals for expenditure to the Council and the Assembly before they have been examined in detail by some such body as that indicated, which is capable of subjecting -them to expert and impartial criticism.
It is necessary that the Assembly which has voted a Budget for certain definite purposes should be in a position to satisfy itself that the money has been applied to those purposes. To attain this end close co-operation between the Assembly and the persons appointed to carry out the audit is essential, in so far as, in default of such co-operation, the audit too becomes a formal matter directed to ascertaining whether expenditure is supported by vouchers, rather than to inquiring whether any particular item of expenditure has been duly authorized, and whether the intentions of the Assembly have been properly interpreted. It is particularly necessary that all cases ill which a decision of the Finance Director may have been overruled by written directions from the Secretary-General be examined. To achieve this it will be necessary that the Committee of Control have power to call upon officers of the Secretariat to appear beforethem and explain the circumstances attending any exceptional or extraordinary expenditure. It goes without saying that control will at the same time extend to an investigation of the question whether or not all the rules and administrative or other principles formulated have been scrupulously observed.
The Assembly approved the Budget of the League for 1924, amounting to 23,328,686 gold francs - there are twenty- two gold francs to the £1 - as compared with 25,673,508 gold francs for 1923. From the approved expenditure must be deducted a sum of 95,050 gold francs, the surplus from previous financial periods, so that the actual reduction in the 1924 Budget from that of 1923 amounts to 2,439,872 gold francs. Of that amount only 12,298,449 gold francs is for the secretariat and special organizations of the League; 7,032,295 gold francs is for the International Labour Office; 1,920,168 gold francs is for the Permanent Court of International Justice; and 2,077,774 gold francs is for the working capital fund. Honorable members will see that, although the Supervisory Commission agreed to the expenditure, the Finance Committee, of which I was a member, was able with the approval of the Commission, to arrange a considerable reduction. The first draft of the Budget, which was approved by the Supervisory Commission, provided for an expenditure of 24,870,570 gold francs. The Assembly therefore made a net reduction of 1,541,884 gold francs. In spite of the constant increase of the activities of the League, the reduction has been made with the full concurrence of the Secretary-General of the League and the Director of the International Labour Office. For reasons of economy the Assembly decided to postpone for the present the building of a Conference Hall on the site offered for the purpose last year by the canton and city of Geneva.
The allocation of expenses among the members pf the League again came up for discussion. The scale adopted by the Third Assembly in 19545) is to remain provisionally in force for 1924, except for certain modifications, of which the most important is a temporary reduction of twelve units in Japan’s contribution in consideration of the terrible disaster which has overtaken that country. The Allocation Committee has, moreover, been requested to continue its task of perfecting the existing scale, in order to submit to the Fifth Assembly a definite and final scheme for the allocation of expenditure. The health organization of the League will, I believe, be of the greatest value for the collection of data, and in acting as an advisory body for the benefit of the world. I do not propose to deal with the whole of the proceedings, in which I took a very active part, but they are fully outlined in the papers that will be laid upon the table.
The International Labour Office, which involves an expenditure of 7,000,000 gold francs per annum, has proved its value by the work it has already done to improve labour conditions in different countries. It has an extraordinarily brilliant staff, and assembles complete data regarding every trade in the world. I remind honorable members that the constitution of this office was an essential part of the Treaty of Versailles, its object being to improve the conditions of labour in all lands. So far it has not been able to do anything for Australia, but that is understandable, because labour conditions in the Commonwealth are so far in advance of those existing elsewhere that they rather represent a model for the guidance of the International Labour Office. It has done something in eastern countries. India has ratified the Convention for a sixty-hour week. It would have been better had the provision been for an eight-hour day. We in Australia consider eight hours a reasonable time for a man to devote the best of his ability to labour. Labour conditions have also been improved in Japan and Middle Europe.
– What were the conditions in India prior to the Convention?
– There was no limitation of hours, and the early age at which employment was permitted was appalling. The Convention increased the age limit of labour in Japan and Middle Europe.
– It is a great treaty.
– As a result of the Convention, the hours of labour in the countries to which I have referred have been very greatly reduced, though we must remember that their people are not comparable with ours, age with age. For instance an Indian girl, thirteen years of age would be, I suppose, on a physiological level with an Australian girl of, say, twenty-three years. When comparing the conditions in what are known as black countries, we must take this fact into consideration.
– Has there been any alteration in the hours of labour in Japan ?
– Yes, but I do not know what they are. The information asked for by the honorable member is, I think, contained in the report, but I am not certain. In any case it could easily be obtained by asking for it, or by consulting the last report of the previous Labour Committee.
An important matter, to businessmen, was the Arbitration Protocol. This Protocol, which was unanimously adopted by the Fourth Assembly of the League, is the result of continuous discussions and negotiations, which have lasted for over eighteen months. The subject was originally brought before the Economic Committee of the League of Nations as the result of strong representations received by the Board of Trade, with regard to the difficulties thrown by the courts of certain foreign countries, in the way of giving effect to clauses in commercial contracts by which the parties agree to settle differences arising under the contracts by arbitration. As is well known, the insertion of clauses to this effect is practically universal in many trades, and many thousands of arbitrations take place every year in London alone. Unfortunately, the law of some foreign countries - for example, France - does not recognise the validity of general arbitration clauses, and the French Courts would entertain an action brought by one of the parties in spite of the fact that they had agreed in a contract to settle the difference by arbitration. In other countries, which more or less recognise the validity of arbitration agreements, the Courts nevertheless set them aside from time to time, and the commercial community, which attaches great importance to this matter, have become thoroughly alarmed at the process of undermining the sanctity of these contracts which has recently been going on. The object in bringing the matter before the Economic Committee was to obtain an international agreement for the recognition of arbitration clauses in commercial contracts. The Economic Committee set up a special subCommittee of Jurists and commercial experts, which met in London under the chairmanship of Mr. F. D. MacKinnon, K.C. The report of this sub-Committee, which was strongly in favour of taking steps for the general recognition of arbitration clauses, was adopted by last year’s Assembly, and circulatedamong the States that were members of the League. The next step was to draw up a Convention or Protocol to give effect to the recommendations. After a great deal of difficulty, arising from the different juridical systems and ideas among the different States, a Protocol was drafted for the purpose, and circulated in May last. At the recent Assembly the Protocol came up for adoption. It was found, however, that in some points the language still needed amendment to make its intention clear, and the necessary revision was carried out by a special sub-Committee set up by the Second Committee of the Assembly. The resulting text was unanimously adopted, and the Protocol now lies open for signature. The commercial world, as represented by such bodies as the Associated Chambers of Commerce and the International Chamber of Commerce, have pressed very strongly for the signature of the Protocol. Great Britain has already signed, and it is hoped that as many Dominions as possible will sign also. Legislation will be necessary in the United Kingdom to make a slight modification in section 4 of the Arbitration Act 1889, in order to give full effect to the Protocol. A Bill for this purpose will be introduced by the AttorneyGeneral in due course. It is not known whether any legislation will be necessary in Australia, but, in any case, such a Bill as would be needed would be unlikely to raise controversy.
– Does that protocol relate to labour troubles?
– No. It refers to contracts entered into by business men, and in respect of which there is provision for an arbitration in certain places.For the sake of convenience, the place named has generally been London. It is a commercial convention of extreme importance, I believe, to all business men.
In conclusion, I should like to say that the proceedings of the Fourth Assembly of the League of Nations justify the strongest hope for the future of the League, and warrant the Government in sending the strongest delegation they can secure to represent this country at the next meeting of the Assembly. If I may be permitted, I should like to ask the right honorable the Prime Minister to give early attention to the constitution of the Australian delegation for the September meeting this year. I sincerely hope that he will be able to accept my recommendation, and that Australia will be represented by our High Commissioner, who has such an extensive knowledge of procedure, and is able to guide our representatives, especially those who go there for the first time, in matters of very great importance. I trust, also, that the Australian delegation will include a Minister of the Crown, and a representative of the Opposition.
– It is time that was done.
– I am very glad that the Leader of the Opposition agrees with mo, because I am perfectly certain that that is the right spirit in which to approach the deliberations of the League. I am not prepared to accept the view put forward by certain people that it would be unwise to include a representative of the Opposition, on the ground that the Australian delegation would then be speaking with two voices. I should add that, at the plenary sessions of the League Assembly, only the senior delegate has the right to vote, but all delegates have the right to vote on the several committees.
– Have other countries adopted that procedure?
– I do not know.
– Does not the honorable member think that the work of the League would be more successful if all political parties were represented in the delegation ?
– I believe it would be a distinct advantage, and I am making a very strong recommendation to the Prime Minister to that effect. My position as the senior delegate representing Australia was made very easy. I received a great deal of assistance from Sir Joseph Cook, who is a great tactician in matters of procedure. Again, in economic matters I had an adviser of marked ability in Mr. Herbert Brookes, and in matters militarywas helped greatly by the honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. D. Cameron), who will address honorable members on the question of armaments. I was also very ably assisted,and, I may add, guided, by Miss Jessie Webb on the humanitarian problems thai came before the League. I move -
That the following paperbe printed: -
League of Nations - Fourth Assembly (2nd to 29th September, 1923)- Report of the Australian Delegation.
. - (By leave). - I rise with pleasure to support the remarks made by my very gallant and distinguished friend, the honorable member for Calare (Sir Neville Howse), who has given such a comprehensive and eloquent account of the work of the Fourth Assembly of the League of Nations whichmet at Geneva on the 3rd September last, and completed its deliberations on the 29th of that month. It was in exactly the same lucid manner that the honorable gentleman conveyed his views at Geneva. Sir Eric Drummond. the Secretary-General, told me that Sir Neville Howse’s services were of inestimable value to the two Committees upon which he was appointed to represent Australia. The honorable gentleman has referred to the voluminous report of the delegation which he has placed on the table of the House, and I feel there remains little for me to say. I wish, however, briefly to convey to honorable members the opinions I formed as to how far this great organization has fulfilled the hopes of those who brought it into being. The Covenant of the League, I remind honorable members, is the first part of the Treaty of Versailles.
I should like to refer more particularly to the work of the Third Committee, which dealt with disarmament. At the outset, I strongly support my colleague’s recommendation that the Australian delegation at: the next meeting of the League Assembly should include a Min- ister of the Grown, also our High Commissioner (Sir Joseph Cook), and, most decidedly, a member of the Opposition in this Parliament. It was a privilege and a pleasure to work with my colleagues, Sir Joseph Cook, Sir Neville Howse, Mr. Herbert Brookes, and Miss Jessie Webb. Miss Webb was one of a group of six women, which included Dame Edith. Littleton, who bears an honoured name in the Old Country, and Mademoiselle Vacaresco, a Roumanian poetess, who was wonderfully eloquent, and delivered a number of important speeches on many subjects, particularly on behalf of the smaller nations of Central Europe. Geneva undoubtedly recognises that the women of the world, young and old, can help to move the purposes of men and policies of nations towards ennobling ends. Unfortunately, from my point of view, I was not able to attend many of the sittings of the Committee during the first week at Geneva. The Government of the French Republic had invited the nations which are members of the League, and also other nations, to be represented at a Conference at Geneva, under the auspices of the League, to deal with the circulation and traffic in obscene publications. The Government of the Commonwealth accepted the invitation, and’ appointed Mi’. Shepherd as Australia’s representative ; but, unfortunately, it became necessary for Mr. Shepherd to return to.’ London, and at Sir Joseph Cook’s request I took his place. The Convention laid down that- - - It shall bo a punishable offence, for the purpose of or by way of trade or distribution or public exhibition, to make or produce or have in possession obscene writings, drawings, prints, paintings, printed matter, pictures, posters, emblems, photographs, cinematograph films, or airy other obscene objects.
Those of the contracting parties signing thé Convention whose legislation was not St the time adequate to give effect to it, undertook to take or propose to their respective Legislatures the measures necessary for this purpose. I did not know very much about, obscene publican tions, and I understood that the necessary legislation exists iri Australia to deal with this matter. I think that is so. As it was not possible for the Conferenceto come to- any decision as to the meaning, of the word “ obscene “ from an international ‘ stand-point, it was left to each State to decide in accordance with its own views what literature would be considered as obscene. With all due respect to the Conference, I do not think it achieved very much in that matter.
I gladly accepted the Government’s invitation to proceed to Geneva as. a member of the Australian Delegation to the Fourth Assembly. I went somewhat doubtful as to what the great international organization could do towards maintenance of the world’s peace, but I left Geneva feeling that whatever we can do to strengthen the position of the League we should do, but- that it would be a mistake to rely on the League, as it is constituted at present, to preserve its from war. To me the most remarkable thing at Geneva was the confidence, faith, and reliance which’ the small nations represented there very obviously had in the British Empire. As a race, w© can claim to possess certain qualitieswhich give people the feeling that we can be trusted. Such qualities, for instance, as a keen sense of justice, a rigid adherence to our plighted word, a real democratic practice of valuing a man for what he is, love of spiritual freedom, and a sense of political freedom. The League’s worst enemies are those who maintain that, as at present constituted, it can keep péace throughout the world. The League’s business is not to impose a settlement, even when a controversy is brought “before it. It is to promote agreement, or, in the very words of the Preamble to the Covenant, “ to promote international co-operation and to achieve international peace and security.”
The League has carried out its duty in respect of international co-operation with remarkable success. The repatriation of hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war, the relief of hundreds of thousands of refugees, the organization of a defence against the epidemics from the East of Europe”, the efforts made to fight against opium, and to deal with the problem of traffic in women and children, which still remains one of the disgraces of our civilization, are only a few of its activities under this heading. Its economic work includes facilitating the increase of transport between nations. The work it has done to induce the nations to agree to a convention for the enforcement of .commercial arbitration is a thing of immense importance to the commercial interests all over the world. The financial rehabilitation of Austria was also undertaken by the League and the remarkable success secured is one of its most outstanding achievements. Then of course, there was the Brussels Financial Conference, but that was referred to by the right honorable the Prime Minister when, as Treasurer, he introduced his first Budget to this Parliament. When we come to its second and most important objective - the achieving of international peace and security - it would appear that little has yet bee?] done. Unrest still prevails in Europe, though the League has been in existence for four years. As a matter of fact, its fourth official birthday was January 10 last. It is very young, and while we know, as I have already remarked, that it cannot, as at present constituted, insure the peace -of the world, there is nothing to take its place. The League must be given .a fair chance. It i necessary to keep it going .and to do everything to insure its continuing to function. Turning for a moment to reparations and the attendant problems, I must say that .so long as this great unsettled dispute weighs upon the economic life of the world, and embarrasses the relations between the nations, the work of the League must necessarily be enfeebled. Another limitation of the League’s activities, results, of course, from the fact that it« membership is not universal. The United States of America, Germany, Russia, and some smaller countries still remain outside.
The Third Committee dealt with the reduction of armaments. It was my privilege to- sit ou the Committee with Mr. Herbert Brookes as Australia’s representative. Article 8 of the Covenant lays down that the members of the League are to proceed to a gradual and progressive reduction of armaments - and it also lays clown a method by which that is to “be accomplished. In conformity with the provisions of that Article the Council appointed the Permanent Advisory Commission and the ‘Temporary Mixed Commission, which have been at work for the last few years. The Permanent Commission is constituted entirely of experts in naval, military, and air matters, but the Temporary Mixed Commission includes not only naval, military and air experts, but also civilian representatives and representatives of the Labour party in various countries. The Third Committee of the Fourth Assembly examined the reports of the Temporary Commission and Permanent Advisory Commission, and considered the Draft Treaty of Mutual Assistance, which is the result of the work of these Commissions, and is also the principal work which the League has undertaken in order to give effect to Article 8 of the Covenant. The Draft Treaty commences with a formal condemnation of aggression as an international crime, and a formal undertaking on the part of the contracting powers that they will not be guilty of that crime. There was considerable discussion about the exact meaning of aggression. The second principle contained in this treaty, and upon which the treaty is based, is that of mutual guarantee. It was maintained that no disarmament is practicable unless some guarantee is forthcoming for the States which are prepared to disarm, and unless that guarantee ii included in a general treaty. The Draft Treaty provides for the conclusion of complementary defensive agreements which are, in fact, purely defensive military alliances. In the ..case of these complementary agreements, States not party to them are still required, on a decision of the Council, .to come to the aid .of the States concerned, In the Treaty, the moral obligations imposed on a State are much more definite than those imposed in the Covenant. The real point of military interest in tho Treaty is contained in these complementary .defensive agreements. As no immediate military support can be forthcoming in other cases, it was decided, at the outset of the discussions of the Third Committee, -that no delegate should in any way commit . -his Government to any views that were expressed. Some of the delegates at Geneva were prepared to give expression to the views ;of their respective Governments concerning this Treaty, ;but others did not know -what view .their Governments would take. It really did not concern us -very much at the time, because the Treaty must be submitted to all -the Governments which are members of tho League. Many delegations considered that the complementary treaties would constitute a grave risk; and, personally, I feel that I must agree with that view. They might cause an atmosphere of ill-will and suspicion, which so often creates armaments, and it -is quite possible that they might give rise to the old spirit which existed in Europe when nations combined to form alliances and then other nations formed similar alliances. The Brussels Financial Conference brought to the world’s attention the great need for a reduction of expenditure on armaments. The proposals now under consideration depend for their adoption more upon the world’s general political situation than anything else. Mutual confidence and good-will must be re-established before there can be any betterment of the situation. The discus.cussions of the Third Committee proceeded under a shadow. The trouble between Italy and Greece, following the Janina murders, has been referred to by Sir Neville Howse. It hung like a dark cloud over Geneva throughout the period of the meetings of the Assembly. The problem of disarmament is reduced to this : We cannot at present achieve disarmament, as is contemplated by the Covenant, because we are yet not sufficiently sure that our respective securities will be regarded as inviolable. States entering upon the obligations of this Treaty of Mutual Assistance will require to maintain elements of armed forces for use at the call of the League of Nations. The commitments would be practically unlimited. The result would be likely to be an increase rather than a decrease of armaments for some States, for, if the assistance is to be effective, it implies the existence of forces surplus to the requirements of a State for its own protection. During the discussion on the Treaty, it became evident that many of the smaller Powers had no intention whatever of assuming the world-wide liabilities which the Treaty would impose to place armed forces at the disposal of the Council for the enforcement of its decision on aggressor States. If this Treaty is accepted by Great Britain and the Dominions, the practically unlimited naval commitments it involves will’ have to be borne almost entirely by the British Empire. The Third Committee was of the opinion that, although it was impossible to recom-
Mr. D. Cameron. mend to the Governments the immediate adoption of the text of the Treaty, it considered that the draft should be sent . in its present form, and that Governments should be requested to express their views on it as soon as possible. I understand that the Commonwealth Government have received a copy of the Treaty from Geneva. I appeal to honorable members, irrespective of party or politics, to assist the League by encouraging a keener interest in its work. Whether one is for or against the League, he should ascertain what the organization has done, because only so can he formulate an intelligent opinion on world affairs during this critical period of - its history. There is not much excitement about preventing a war. No system can possibly be devised which will stereotype the world into permanent peace. The question to be solved is: ‘ How are these international troubles and disputes to be met? The outstanding fact is that fiftyfour nations have agreed that they will not go to war without arbitration or conciliation, and that they will work together for the general betterment of world relations. That is to say, for the first time in history, the world’s nations have recognised a common moral responsibility for the perservation of peace, and have constituted an organization to make that responsibility effective. The League has become a centre of conference, cooperation, and conciliation amongst sovereign States. Undoubtedly, its record has fallen short of its ambition. No one can claim that this international organization will bring the millennium. The field for the critic is wide, but that does not help the world to progress. The League exists and functions, and it will continue to exist and function. It is young, but it is the only real hope in today’s troubled affairs. It depends for its progress on world public opinion. Some say that the League of Nations is a failure because it hesitated despotically to invoke the powers which it theoretically possesses to enforce its arbitrations upon reluctant or defiant potential belligerents. Had those rash counsels prevailed, the League, ere this, would have been a thing of the past, I am afraid. Between the perilous rocks of Utopianism on the one hand, and of reality on the other, the League must try to steer a course which will bring it slowly but surely to the goal at -which it aims, lt would be entirely wrong to lull ourselves into a false sense of security by imagining that the League is at present a safeguard against any fresh war. The friends of the League must recognise the truth that the task of effectively organizing world opinion against war and Avar makers has still to be performed, and that it will be a difficult undertaking without the help of the United States of America. Nevertheless, I believe that an effective instrument of world peace will, in the end, be built up from the beginning at Geneva.
– I am sure that honorable members would appreciate an opportunity of seeing this report in print before proceeding with the discussion. I shall, therefore, move the adjournment of the debate. But before doing so I wish, with the permission of the House, to express to the delegates and sub-delegates our feelings of gratitude for the able way in which they have represented Australia at the Assembly of the League of Nations. They attended most assiduously to the duties that devolved upon them, and were present at not only the Assembly meetings, but also- the meetings of the various Committees. Probably some of the most important work of the League was done in the Committees. I trust I speak on behalf of all honorable members in conveying to the representatives of Australia our sincere thanks for their representation of their country at the League of Nations. I ask leave to continue my speech when the debate is resumed.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
Proposed Advisory’ Committee
– With the consent of honorable members, I wish to make a supplementary observation regarding the League. Those who have preceded me as representatives of Australia at the meetings of the League of Nations - the late Senator Millen, the right honorable the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce), the High Commissioner (Sir Joseph Cook), and Mr. Justice Rich - have set a high standard. That has led me to hope that the right honorable the Prime Minister will accept the suggestion that the men who have attended the meetings of the League ‘ as representatives of Australia should be formed into an Advisory Committee to assist whatever Ministry may occupy the Treasury bench to deal with the difficult questions that are frequently referred to Governments by the League of Nations. Such a Committee could give great help to the Government in power.
.- (By leave.) - I have here two reports, one relating to migration, and the other to the Spahlinger treatment for tuberculosis. I believe that the report dealing with migrants will prove interesting to honorable members on both sides of the House. We all know that a number of statements have been made regarding the migrants who have come to Australia. I have tried to- look carefully at the matter from every aspect, and I have not attempted to hide anything. We can judge in only two ways the physical and mental condition of migrants who como to this country; first, by their condition when they are examined in the ports of embarkation, and, secondly, by their condition when they arrive at the ports of disembarkation. Are they fit for the work, to do which they wish to come to this country ? Out of 55,000 migrants, only sixty-five have been returned. Of these, first in the scale are the mental deficients, of whom there were twenty-one. “Mental deficiency” does not mean that their education was inferior to our standard. It is a nice name applied to persons whom one has been in the habit of describing as lunatics. It is absolutely impossible by any medical examination here or in England to discover certain diseases without a perfectly clear history of the patient. Medical men are sometimes credited with being able to discover the disease from which an individual is suffering, merely by looking’ at him. It is true that one can see those diseases which are very near the brink, but certain mental diseases and epilepsy cannot be so discovered. We had the greatest difficulty with epilepsy during the war. The only possible way in which to discover it is by personal observation, or the observation of a seizure by some one upon whom we can rely. For that reason a provision was inserted in the Immigration Act that within a period of two years persons suffering from that disease could be returned to the place from which they came. Still, some of the cases to which I refer ought not to have been sent out.When I presented this report to the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce), he said, “Do your recommendations interfere in any way with the Commonwealth Immigration Act?” I said, “ No. The report simply contains certain recommendations which I believe will further aid in protecting Australia against the influx of mental or physical decrepits.” He said, “I shall write an instruction that the recommendations be put into force.” They were thus put into force on 1st November, 1923. There is a special reason why I was very careful in dealing with these cases. It isvery easy for us to say, “ Send them back,” but after all, one has to think of the individual. He has sold his home; he has made arrangements in the country in which he was living to settle in Australia, and make it his final place of abode. He is not able to go back. Even though he incurs no expense, he cannot reinstate himself in the Old Country. Therefore it is essential’ that, in any action taken, every effort should be made to see that these men are protected by the most careful examination in England in order; that the necessity shall not arise to send them back from Australia. There is another reason which affects Australia. The invalid pension provision of the Invalid and Old-age Pensions Act fixes five years’ residence as a qualification for receiving the pension. If one person in every 1,000 - a very small percentage - at the end of five years made a claim upon the Pensions Department, the total payments for the first ten years would be £62,562 ; but the annual payment in the tenth year would be £11,375. Therefore, on business as well as on humanitarian grounds, it is important that Australia should be protected; independently of the question of eugenics in its relation to the progeny of the migrants. These annual paymentswill go on increasing until the number of deaths among pensioners approximates to the annual addition of new pensioners. I estimate that that point would not be reached for twenty-five or thirty years. There is, of course, a method by which entry into Australia of any man suffering mental or physical disability could be prevented, but it would be an extremely expensive one. First, there could be appointed special Australian medical officers to carry out the examination in the United Kingdom. But it must not be forgotten that there are 2,300 medical officers now on the staff of examiners. Secondly, it would be necessary to appoint in Australia observation institutions, so that when these persons landed they would be placed under observation for some months. Possibly that might be a good thing, because you would have an opportunity of continuing their training and fitting them for the avocations they would have to follow in Australia. Those occupations are quite strange to the people who have earned their living in the United Kingdom. I have recommended that the tightening up of the present system be enforced for a year or two years, when the question can be fully reviewed. In view of the number of the statements that have been made regarding the condition of these individuals, I wish to embody in my statement to-day Appendix B, which sets out the standard laid down by me for use by Commonwealth medical officers, approved of by the Prime Minister, and put into force in 1923. It will furnish a very good guide to a number of our citizens who have not the opportunity that honorable members have to study the reports which I have drawn up. It is as follows: -
Standards for Use of Commonwealth Medical Officer.
The Commonwealth Medical Officer has had no opportunity of conferring with the Director of Quarantine in Australia as to the exact physical and mental requirements in migrants to Australia, and Quarantine Order No. 24 is of too general a nature to be of great assistance. It is quiteobvious that cases ofhardship to the migrant must occur where two medical examinations have to be passed, with an interval of some months and 12,000 miles of sea between them, especially when such examinations are conducted by medical officers not working on a common standard. It is considered essential that some agreement as to. standards should be reached, and then issued to all concerned. To save time the following is suggested.
That attached standards for use of Commonwealth Medical Officer be put into effect both by Commonwealth Medical Officer and quarantine officers after submission to Director of
Quarantine,and subject to any alteration he may suggest.
SUGGESTED STANDARDS FOR use OF COMMONWEALTHMEDICALOFFICERS.
The following suggestions are put forward us being of use to the -Commonwealth Medical Officer “in determining, on medical grounds, the suitability or otherwise of prospective migrants. It is, therefore, suggested that acrangeineiil’s bo made whereby an agreement is reached on such standards between the Commonwealth Medical Officer and the medical officers in the various States concerned. Any alteration of such standard in Australia should at once he communicated to the Commonwealth Medical Officer.
Ordinary standards as laid down in any reputable test-book.
Ordinary clinical standards. (See Tuberculosis, under “ Special Diseases.”)
Ordinary clinical standards. 4.Genito-urinary system -
Ordinary clinical standards. Cyclic or periodic ivlbiunin.ur.ia should not, per sn. act as an absolute bar to acceptance.
Ordinary clinical standards. Ordinary simple tests should be used in estimating the mentality as put forwardin circular io medical referees.
Cases wearing glasses ior general purposes should not lie recommended for approval.
Voice test at 12 feet. 8.Cutaneo us system -
Ordinary clinical standards. 9.Special diseases,&c.. -
Tuberculosis. -No cases of present or past pulmonary tuberculosis should be recommended for approval.
Glands in children. - These cases should bo deferred.
Bone lesions. - Xb case should be recommended for approval if showing any sinus, deformity, or impaired joint.
Neurasthenia, shell-shock, gassing while on active service. - Jfo ‘case should be recommended for approval.
Malaria. - 2<o case should be recommended for approval, with a history of an attack within five years.
Dysentery. - 2?o case should be recommended for approval unless free from attacks for at least twelve months.
Abdominalwounds. - >(a) Hernia . operation. - No . case should ..bo recommended for approval within two years of operation and unless wound has honied well and has stoo’d the test of hard work. (b) No case-showing centra! abdomiual incision should be recommended for approval.
Uernia-. - Inguinal, femoral, or abdominal. - No case should be recommended for approval.
Varicose veins, flat foot, corns, bunions, hammertoes, exaggerated varicocele, loss ofmuscle or of muscke tone, joint deformity. - No case should be recommended for approval if the lesion appears in any way . to reduce ‘the applicant’s value in the general labour market.
Gases drawing pensions. - Cases of this nature should be recommended for approval only when the cause for the pension is a surgical one of a minor nature and U not progressive. In all -cases where d minor disability is present, it must be remembered that should the applicant be accepted and sent to Australia, there, is ft grave danger of him, at some future date, trading on his disability, and by exaggerating its importance securing n return passage to England at Go-; vcvnment expense, or becoming a public charge in Australia.
Having reviewed the matter very carefully, I do not believe that there is any justification for the alarming reports which have been made in reference to the mental and physical condition of migrants coming to this country. Those migrants are not the sweepings of the streets ; they are not the criminals of the United Kingdom. The immigration machinery prevents more than an isolated case of that class getting through. I admit that one often sees at disembarkation men, women, or children who are palpably unfit to do any work. When I was inspecting my first boat I was horrified to see coming up the gangway two or three migrants who, one could tell from only a casual glance, were totally unfitted to be citizens of any country. I had them put aside and sent to a hospital, so that I could go carefully into the matter to ascertain how that class could possibly get through. The Minister for Home and Territories has the right, if representations are made by any State, to grant special permission to a migrant to come in so long as he has not a disease communicable by association to people in Australia, on receiving a bond signed by the relatives of the nominated migrant that a claim will not be made against Australia for pension or* other .assistance. These three cases were in that category.
– It would be safer to keep them out altogether.
– I looked into these cases very carefully, and honorable members will find them all dealt with in the report. If the guarantee i3 of sufficient value, these migrants will not become a charge upon the Government.
– I propose to refer now to the Spahlinger treatment for- tuberculosis. The prevalence of tuberculosis is a matter of international importance, and no stone should be left unturned in our efforts to discover an effective and permanent method of combating this disease. Tuberculosis is responsible at the present time for 10 per cent, of all deaths. Statistics show that in the United Kingdom in 1922 there were 50,000 deaths from this disease. In Australia, where, because of climatic advantages, better housing and other conditions, which one would expect would reduce the number of cases of tuberculosis, there were over 3,000 deaths from the disease in 1922.
– Work in deep mines had much to do with that.
– That, no doubt, accounted for many deaths from the disease. We can reasonably assume from the statistics that for every death from tuberculosis there are five cases under medical treatment. This means that in the United Kingdom there were about 250,000 cases of tuberculosis in one year. That is why I think I am justified in saying that the prevalence of the disease is of international importance. But the death rate in the United Kingdom and in Australia is nothing to the toll taken by this disease in other countries. Our death rate is very small as compared with the death rate from the disease in some countries and the death rate in the United Kingdom, yet the drain upon our population by the disease is appalling. I, therefore, consider that it is most important that we should deal with the question of its alleged cure- and treatment quite dispassionately. In referring to Spahlinger, I want to be very careful to use his own words. He has .spent over sixteen years in the study and treatment- of tubercular disease. He is a very keen enthusiast of Swiss nationality, and is by profession a lawyer. I refer to his profession because I have to comment on it later. Most of the sixteen years has been devoted to bacteriological study of the disease, which means a study of the life history of the causes of the disease. I want to briefly outline his technique, and explain what . his intention and hope i.?. He has fitted up a most expensive laboratory at Geneva, where experiments are carried out with the intention of preparing vaccines for the treatment and cure of tuberculosis. I should like honorable members to accept, from me the statement that I make use of his own words during the many interviews which took place between us. When I come to the criticism of his words I will make it equally plain that I am not quoting him.
– Did the honorable member say “many interviews”?
– Yes ; many.
– I understood the honorable gentleman had only one interview with Spahlinger.
– I lived in the same hotel with him for a period of one month; but I had only one interview with him at his laboratory. If I had spent six months at his laboratory I should probably not have been much wiser, as I am not a qualified bacteriologist. I do not wish to delude the House as to my knowledge as a bacteriologist, because I possess none, or very little. Spahlinger experiments to provide antidotes against various poisons that cause tuberculosis. To use his own statement, he has isolated, he believes, twenty-two separate poisons which are associated with the disease. Having obtained sera from twenty-two horses, he then prepares a serum which he utilizes in dealing with his cases. He states that if 100 horses could be provided for him, he could provide sufficient material to deal with i0,000 cases of tuberculosis at one time.
He injects twenty-two horses with certain toxins he has obtained from animals, and having produced in the bodies of the horses in a certain time twenty-two antitoxins, he blends these into one to make his complete vaccine. He asks for financial assistance to enable him to continue his research work until he is prepared to place before the public the full details of his discovery. Still quoting Mr. Spahlinger, I may say that he is not prepared to sell his secrets for commercial exploitation, although he assured me on numerous occasions that he was offered £250,000 in cash for them. He purposes preparing a sufficient quantity of sera and vaccine to permit of distribution in the chief countries throughout the world, so that his cure may be exhaustively tested. It will take a period of not less than one or two years to prepare the partial sera and complete vaccine. He has spent all his available money, has hopelessly involved his father’s finances, and has disposed of many animals. He says tl at he will require at least £40,000 to produce the partial sera. His friends, in an interview with them, assured me that not less than a minimum of £100,000 will be necessary. I may say that, subsequently, I heard Spahlinger address a meeting in London in October, in which he said that from £100,000 to £110,000 would bc sufficient to enable him to redeem his property, and continue his experimental researches. He is very keen that no persons should present themselves for treatment at Geneva, as he is not in a position to treat them, owing to the supply of sera and vaccine being exhausted. I should like to say that the treatment by Spahlinger was commenced between 1912 and 1914, and during those years he treated a large number of cases, a certain number of which I had an. opportunity of examining in London. There is no doubt whatever that those cases do not show evidence of disease now, but there is no evidence that they suffered from the disease when they commenced the treatment. I ask honorable members to recognise that that is very important. The British Bed Cross, after exhaustive inquiries by their lay committee and. special bacteriologist, a man of repute, and with the sincere desire to assist, paid £10,000 to the credit of Spahlinger under an agreement which he accepted. I was informed of this by the chief of the British Bed Cross, and have no reason to doubt his statement. To this sum, Lord Cowdray offered to add £10,000, and the public of the United Kingdom a further sum of £10,000, making a total of £30,000. Unfortunately the work was not carried out, and the money deposited in the bank by the British Bed Cross was returned by Spahlinger. The British Government have offered every inducement to Spahlinger to treat selected cases -under competent medical supervision without asking for disclosures of the methods of his preparation of vaccine, but could obtain no. better result. Spahlinger observes the very strictest secrecy as to his methods, and in. consequence the members of the medical profession have very little material on which to base any opinion as to the efficacy of his treatment. Every effort has been made by the public to induce the British Government to assist him financially, and honorable members are aware that similar efforts have been made in this country. The Public Health Department of the Commonwealth has been in close touch with Spahlinger since April, 1921, as the files of the Department disclose. I directed attention to the profession of Mr. Spahlinger because much is made of the fact that he is not a medical man. It is suggested by some that he has been “ crabbed “ by the medical profession, and some have described him as a charlatan. I ask honorable members to set aside both of these unworthy suggestions. Spahlinger is not a charlatan in any sense of the word. He is a man who has devoted years of study to this disease, and has every reason to believe the statements he makes with reference to the progress he has made. As an illustration of the work of a non-medical man, I need only refer to Pasteur, the greatest bacteriologist the world has known, whose name is revered in every civilised country. He was not a medical man. He was a schoolmaster when he commenced to study bacteriology, and he advanced beyond any other man in the history of civilization. There was no effort to “ crab “ him, and all who have any knowledge of the work he did must bow their heads when contemplating the marvellous results he achieved during his life. But everything he did, every step he advanced, every progress he made in dealing with disease, was placed before the world without delay. What I feel to. he so difficult in- Spahlingers case is that he has never placed his cards on the table. Never at any time has he been able to say, “ I have got so far. Give me money to carry on.” That seems to me to- be an extraordinary thing.. I think he would- be well advised if he placed all his cards- on the table and admitted the scientific world to his confidence. If he took that course I have no hesitation in saying that he would have no difficulty in securing all the financial assistance he requires to continue his researches. I know that this matter has- aroused very considerable feeling, because of the amount of correspondence I have myself received since I returned. I have received more abusive correspondence - I mean, of course, in reference to my profession - since I returned than at any time in my life, and have been begged to intervene on behalf of sufferers with the Government. As I have tried to show, it is impossible for mc to recommend the Government to take action- in this matter. To continue my report, I may add that at the time of my departure’ from London, in November, nothing definite had been done to provide” the assistance which Spahlinger and his committee ask for. I have since been informed by the press that New Zealand is prepared to make a large donation to Spahlinger. I do not know whether that statement is true. I have been unable to confirm it. In reviewing this case it has appeared to me very strange that a man who has been studying this disease for eighteen years, and who claims to have cured so many advanced cases, is unable to obtain recognition in his own country, or in any country in Europe. Switzerland has not so treated other men who have claimed to he able to reduce human mortality.
– A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country.
–I have carefully reviewed a great mass of evidence, and regret that I am unable to recommend this Government to spend any money in connexion with the Spahlinger treatment of tuberculosis. I regret it the more because I can hold out n& hope to the 1 many sufferers from tuberculosis’ of any recovery by means of this professed cure. I believe, however; that tuberculosis is a disease which tends to cure itself. The information obtained during the last few years reveals an enormous percentage of tubercular cases in which the patients have so completely recovered that no evidence of its- presence is found on- examination. In confirmation of that statement, there is the evidence, gathered at a large public hospital in Australia over a period of two or three- years, that in 60 per- cent, of cases in which there were traces of tuberculosis, post-mortem examination revealed that the lesion had healed. Further, in tracing the history of the cases so far as was possible, no evidence was found that any of the persons had Post a day’s work, or had been under medical treatment for the malady. That statement is confirmed by statistics from Europe dealing with cases of persons whose death occurred suddenly, whether by accident or otherwise. In 90’ per cent, of the cases of men and women over forty-fiVe. years of age the pathologists found no trace of tuberculosis.. Sufferers from this disease will find consolation in the knowledge that it has a tendency to cure itself under certain conditions, most of which exist in Australia. That fact causes difficulty when dealing with migrants-; they are so desirous of obtaining for themselves the benefits of the climate of Australia that in various ways they endeavour to avoid the medical examination.
– What is the attitude of New Zealand, with respect to this matter ?
– The information I had obtained up to November last, supplemented by letters- received subsequently, indicated that New Zealand had- promised support; but I. have been unable to get later confirmation. I tender my sineere thanks to a number of those who were fellow students during my ten years of study - men who now hold important positions on the teaching staffs of various medical schools - for their invaluable assistance. They gave up their time willingly, and passed, on to me the results of their study of the Spahlinger’ method, and of the treatment of tubercular diseases by means of injections. I tender my sincere thanks also to the Minister of Health, and to the British Red Cross, for their assistance.
– Do the j>ost-mortems to which you have referred show that the disease has a tendency to cure itself?
– The authorities followed, so far as they were able, the history of the cases they were reviewing, and found no evidence that the persons concerned had received any medical treatment or had lost a day’s work because of the disease. Evidently this disease does tend to cure itself Under conditions which exist in Australia. Its incidence is decreasing, as is the mortality it causes. The statistics, to rae, are conclusive evidence that at least this appalling malady is on the -decrease.
– Then we may become immune to it.
– I sincerely hope that may be so. This report has not been an easy one to prepare, nor has its preparation been a very pleasing duty, for right from the commencement I could see no hope for sufferers in this alleged cure. I do not say that there is nothing in it, but I have studied the question very carefully, and can see no evidence which would justify me in spending one penny of my own money on iti, and, therefore, I cannot recommend this Government to spend the people’s money on it.
– Did the honorable member obtain the opinion of Dr. Dreyer ?
– He is one of the illustrious colleagues to whom I have referred. I asked him if he had any hope of the success of his treatment. He said, “Very little; but we may be one step forward in the history of the germ.”
Coming to the subject of insulin, my opinion is that insulin is not a curative agency for diabetes. That it has been the means of reducing the mortality in certain cases - where diabetic coma is present - is not denied. Diabetic coma is due to sugar in the blood, and persons who get it simply fall down and die within a day or two. That condition has, for the time, been cured by the use of insulin. there is no doubt that this material has an extraordinary effect, and is of very great value in reducing the quantity of sugar in the urine-. In the lower extremities of per sons suffering from diabetes, mortification sometimes sets in, and when a surgical operation is necessary to sever a limb or portion of a limb. insulin is of inestimable value, as it controls the quantity of sugar during the time required for the operation and convalescence from it. The difficulty is that once a person takes to insulin as a cure he must continue to use it. The action of this drug is still being inquired into by scientists, but up to the present their view is that it must be injected into the blood, and not given by the mouth. Another difficulty attending its use is that it cannot be given generally, as it requires an examination of the blood by a skilled bacteriologist at frequent intervals. A further question which must be considered is that of cost. Even as late as July last, insulin cost 4s. to 5s. a dose, and a dose is required once a day foi” many month’s, and possibly for many years. The price has since been reduced to about 1½d. a unit, the dose ‘being 14 units, and it is hoped- that there will be a further reduction through the establishment of the Federal Government, laboratory.
– Would it be against the ethics of the profession for the honorable member, with all the information he has obtained throughout the world, to give a prescription whicli would benefit persons suffering from tuberculosis?
– The honorable member is asking too much.
I now pass on to the incidence of cancer. While this subject may not interest the younger members of this House, it is of considerable importance to all who are getting up in years. Judging from the rapid increase of this disease in Australia, a good many of us here will have an unpleasant acquaintance with it within a few years. There is no question that it is on the increase, not only herd but in other countries of the world. Cancer is difficult to detect in its earlier stages, and a great number- of persons present themselves for medical treatment when the disease has progressed beyond any possible hope of benefit being obtained from treatment. There are only two possible lines- of treatment known to me. One is operative interference, which, however no operator claims to be a cure. Yet there is irrefutable- evidence to the effect that such treatment does prolong the period of life. Let me give one illustration. When, in 1890, 1 was dealing with the subject of cancer of the breast, under Sir Frederick Treves, the duration of life from the day that the disease was noticed did nob generally exceed eighteen months; to-day the duration of life, Following an operation, is from seven to ten years. But while an operation may give an extension of life, the patient should be operated on while the disease is in its early stages. There is also the treatment by X-rays and radium. The value of both in skin cancers is indisputable; it is quite clear that enormous benefit does ensue from it, and that a great number of cases are cured. But in deep therapy, which involves the play of the rays for hours upon the hidden organs of the body, although supporters of this treatment claim that it effects cures, the evidence I gathered in England showed that it; is not considered to hold out even a reasonable prospect of prolonging life. The majority of doctors say that they have never had any evidence that such treatment cures the disease. An extraordinary fact is the increase of cancer in the two decades, 1855^65 and 1865-75. The increase among men is so alarming, according to later statistics, that the best we can hope for, should there be no further increase, is that seven out of eight men who arrive at the age of fifty-five years will escape. I lay some stress upon this fact, because I was able to induce the Assembly of the League of Nations to set up certain machinery for the organization of public health, and I am urging by letter that the first act of this body shall be to institute the study of this disease in every country belonging to the League. It ha3 been suggested that an Empire Cancer Research Fund should be established, which would enable research to be carried out simultaneously in every part of the British Empire; but it will be essential to have one centre where results can be co-ordinated, and where investigators in isolated countries like Australia will be able to ascertain from week to week the progress made by fellow workers. I hope I shall have the support of honorable members when I ask the Prime Minister to set aside a certain amount for such research work. Surely the combating of disease is one of the greatest responsibilities of the National Parliament. We cannot idly watch the advance of diseases on both animal and plant life. There should be a research fund which would enable the employment of the trained brains of the younger generation ; for remember that every Australian who has made even the smallest progress in the scientific world has had to leave this country in order to continue his studies.
– Is cancer attributable to any general cause ?
– Medical science has not even the most rudimentary knowledge of its cause, and that is why the discovery of a cure seems so difficult. Once the cause were discovered the remedy would be in sight. It is not hereditary or infectious. The Australian State authorities take much greater interest in public health than does the Commonwealth, but there is a regrettable lack of co-ordination of their activities. I am still hopeful that a Royal Commission will be appointed to inquire carefully and fully into the health conditions in Australia, for they are really alarming. If one asks a business man if he is successful he immediately produces his audited accounts for the year. What audited accounts have we of the health of the community, which is an asset of national importance ? True, there has been a partial stocktaking in respect, of health. Prior to the war we were able to get guidance from the results of the examination of boys about to become cadets, and, later, of youths passing from the cadet organization into the citizen forces. Those statistics are worth studying. Although the medical officers recognised that the training incidental to the cadet system would be of great benefit, a very large percentage of the boys were unfit to undergo such training. The examination of invalid and old-age pensioners, also, disclosed a large percentage of persons whose diseases could have been cured _ if they had been treated when they were young. Statistics show that 35 to 40 per cent, of children examined at the school commencement age of five years gave evidence of disease which could have been prevented or remedied in infancy. That is an appalling indictment against those who are responsible foil the public health, and I ask that there shall be definite co-operation between the States in regard to this matter. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton), when enunciating his last election policy, spoke in the very strongest terms on this subject, and the then Prime Minister (Mr. W. M. Hughes) gave the strongest reasons why a Royal Commission on health should be appointed. Subsequently, the State Premiers agreed that an inquiry should be held by public health officers, but, although that undertaking was given twelve or fourteen months ago, no sitting has yet been held. I ask the House to assist in promoting the knowledge of disease prevention. No country deals more liberally and kindly than does Australia with those who are suffering, from disease, but is it not reasonable to claim that more attention should be paid to the prevention of disease ? Honorable members will hardly credit that the statistics for 1922 show that the incidence of typhoid fever, which is a preventable disease, was greater in Australia than it was amongst the 5,000,000 white troops herded together in France under all sorts of conditions during the years 1916 and 1917. The military medical authorities were able, to eliminate typhoid; otherwise the campaign could not have continued for two years under conditions that made decent sanitary arrangements impossible.
– Does the honorable member recommend general inoculation as was carried out amongst the troops in France?
– I recommend inoculation plus general hygiene. Inoculation alone is not sufficient. In the Army Jones was not allowed to become a menace to Brown ; but in the Australian country districts nobody is concerned about the health of Brown. If a stranger came to Australia to investigate its sanitation, would we not ask him to avoid many . country hotels in every State of the Commonwealth ? These places, which are established for the convenience of the travelling population, are a menace to the public health. Consider, also, the insanitary condition of many emporiums that store and supply food to the public. I assure honorable members that they are a discredit to our people. The second part of the auditing of our health is the examination of recruits offering for active service. Of 386,357 men examined, 130,911 were rejected. A proclamation issued in October, 1916, called up all single men and widowers without children between the ages of 21 and 35 years, and of 190,869 who reported only 110,863, or 58.1 per cent., were passed as fit. The Commonwealth- sent overseas 329,885 soldiers, and 15,000 of them were medically unfit; in other words, a. further percentage of 4.55 of our manhood was unfit for the defence of the country. There were returned to Australia, and discharged as medically unfit, without having had any service at the Front, 13,808 soldiers. It is almost inconceivable that such a state of affairs should exist, but its existence .shows that the health of the nation is not satisfactory. In my talks with the doctors at the League of Nations Assembly - and honorable members-‘ know how medical men foregather - they sometimes said to me, “ Oh ! you are against a black population”; meaning, of course, that we were in favour of a White Australia. I always felt that I had to be very careful in my replies, because I was never quite sure what was behind the question. There is not a man in this deliberative assembly who, even in the heat of debate, would not say that he did not want to sec black labour in this country. There arc sound physiological reasons against its introduction. The only possible solution of our Northern Territory problems is, as I suggested some time ago, that if we find it impossible to develop the Territory with white labour, we might be able to do something by allowing sterilized black labour in for a certain period. That is the only condition upon which I would admit black labour to this or any other white man’s country. In conversation with my medical friends at Geneva, I found that Australia’s place on the medical chart was between the two sets of countries - the blacks and whites - because of our statistical position with regard to typhoid and other diseases showing that in preventive medicine we arc twenty years behind other progressive countries. This was not very nice for me as a representative of Australia. If ever I have the honour to represent Australia again’ at the League of Nations Assembly, I hope that this charge will not be levelled against Australia then.
There is only one other matter to which I desire to refer, and that is the rejuvenation treatment of aged people. I regret that I am unable to offer those who desire that treatment very much consolation. I lay the report on the table, and move -
That the following paper be printed : Migrants - Medical examination in England.
– Before debating the subject-matter contained in the speech delivered by the honorable member for Calare (Sir Neville Howse) honorable members, I am sure, would like to have an opportunity of perusing it. The papers will be available to them. I desire, on behalf of the Government, to thank the honorable member for the care and the exhaustive manner in which he dealt with the several subjects that were intrusted to him for the . purpose of inquiry. His speech has been one of the most informative and helpful that have been delivered in this House. The honorable member for Dalley (Mr. Mahony) has suggested that a copy of the speech be printed and circulated, with the report itself in order, further, . to assist honorable members in the discussion on these matters. That shall bo done. On behalf of the House I thank the honorable member for Calare for the close attention which he gave to the matters intrusted to him, and for the impartial manner in which he conducted his inquiry. I ask leave to continue my remarks.
.- (By leave) - I am sure that all honorable members appreciate fully the work done by our representatives at the League of Nations Assembly, and we value highly the reports that have been presented today. . As the Honorable the AttorneyGeneral has remarked, they are most informative and will be of very great help to us in our future deliberations, especially with regard to health matters.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
Sitting suspended from 5.55 to8p.m. ,
Debate resumed from’ 2nd April (vide page265), on motion by Mr. Austin Chapman-
That the Bill be read a second time.
.- This House is unanimous in regretting, that the condition of the fruit industry necessitates the introduction of this Bill. The industry is most important to Australia, and it must be developed if we are to succeed in our policy of closer settlement. It produces new wealth. It has been truthfully said that Australia is being carried on a sheep’s back, because of the fine market we have for our wool. Unfortunately that has led some people to say that we are devoting too much energy to increasing our agricultural areas, and arenot giving sufficient attention to the development ofour flocks. If we divide our sheep into moreflocks and place them on land now under . agriculture it will not increase the value ofthe wool produced, and the aggregate wealth of the country will be. decreased by the value of agricultural products formerly produced on that land. It may be better to havetenflocks of 500 each, than five -flocks of 1,000 each, -but it would snot improve our position much. The fruit-growing industry, which is in such a -parlous condition at present, will, under . proper conditions, produce new wealth from country that is not of great value for purposes other thanfruitgrowing. A great deal of the country on which fruit- is now grown is of ‘little use for grazing purposes. Not long ago we considered that the rich river flats and the beds of creeks were the only . places in which we could expect successfully to grow fruit. Further experiencehas shown that orchards produce best when they are on the sides of hills. Formerly those locations were rejected. The Government’, has shown that it realizes the wisdom of fostering this industry by paying the bounty which this Bill will authorize. Thousands of tons of fruit have -been preserved which would have been wasted had the bounty not been paid. Important, as that aspect -is, it is ..only . a detail in the real problem . which . faces . us. The whole industry would have . been in a chaotic, condition had the thousands of tons which have been , preserved owing tothe payment of . bounty, been forced on the local market. . The Minister . for Trade andCustoms. (Mr. Austin Chapman) may . certainly claim ito have helped thef ruit-growersby paying this bounty . Fruit-growers all throughthe country realize that he has been a friend to them.
We devoutly hope that there will be no need iu the future for such assistance. We all wish to see the indiistry put on a better footing than it has had up to now, -and we have every reason to hope that the worst days are past. If we get the expected Imperial preference for our fruit, it will be a great advantage, and it will not increase the price of fruit to” the British consumer. The proposal is that we shall be given a preference of 5s. per cwt. instead of l0d. per cwt. as at present, and that we shall be given additional consideration respecting sugar. It will not amount to much more than the Government is paying at present on preserved fruit that is exported, for it will mean about 2d. a tin as against 13/4d. A great deal has been done to increase our local market, but more must still be done. More scientific marketing of our fruit both at home and abroad is urgently needed. A bulletin issued by the College of Agriculture of the University of Wisconsin gives a. definition of “marketing” which is well worthy of our attention. It is as follows f- -
Marketing is much more than simply gelling. It isthe rendering of all those necessary services between the farmer and the consumer which make it possible for consumers to iiso the prqrfiicts pf farms. Marketing includes such services as assembling, grading and standardizing, packaging, processing, transporting, storing’, financing, distributing, risk spreading and selling.
Scientific marketing takes into account all the avenues by which the c.onsumer may be reached. The honorable member for Hume (Mr. Parker Moloney) said that the solution of the problem lay in cheapening the means of transport. Undoubtedly, we need cheaper transport; that is only one way to meet the difficulty. TheTreasurer (Dr. Earle Page) said that a much larger local market had been opened up by advertising. I belieye that it. is possible to secure three satisfied consumers in Australia for every, indifferent one that. Ave have at. presentWe cou,ld easily market the. wholeof our fruit, in Australia if the conditions were unproved. I wish to see a greatly increased local consumption. It should bo possible for every person, in this country who is earning the basic wage tobuy as much’ fruit as he desires for himself and his family and yet give the producer a fair price. The honorable member for Werriwa (Mr. Lazzarini) said that the middlemen, whom he termed “parasites,” made undue profits out. of the industry. He gave an instance of ‘ citrus fruit, which had been put into cold storage, being sold for three times the price at which it Avas purchased. I have some knowledge of the condition of the retail trade in Sydney. The middleman is not the only one Avho exploits the consumer. A look at the names of the people whp . conduct the retail fruit trade in Sydney will convince any one that 95 per cent, of the trade is in the hands of people of one nationality. Without a doubt they are monopolists. At the fruit barrows in the street one may buy excellent fruit at half, or even a third, of the price which is asked for it in the city shops.
– The street barrowmen have no rent to pay.
– I know that.
– And they only give 14 ozs. for the lb.
Mi-. MANNING. - I admit that it is urgently necessary that, fruit shall bo marketed honestly. I buy fruit practically pvery day I am in Sydney, and my experience is that I get quite as fair a deal from the mcn in the street as from those in the shops. One has to watch all of them. Without a doubt dishonest marketing militates largely against an increo.se in the consumption of fruit in Australia. If people could he sure that they would get the same quality fruit as they see in the front of a display they would huy more than they do. They know, hoAvever, that the quality of fruit at the back is much poorer than that which they see in the front, and, therefore, they are not inclimod to buy.
– People can be punished tor “ topping “ f ruit.
– It is a pity that that law is not enforced more often than it is. Honest tmajr’ketjng . of fruit would considerably increase the local consumption. Last month I was in Tasmania, which, we are told is the land of fruit. I saw fruit hanging on the trees evary^ where, but I came to the conclusion that the Tasmanians greAv fruit but did not eat it. The only fruit I saw on the tables at the hotels where I stayed was: a few half-green bananas. The right honorable the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce) and Senator Wilson, by selling our accumulated fruit in” England while they were there, cleared the market of all old stock. That fruit was soaked up by the people there like a sponge soaks up water, showing that there is an unlimited market for us to exploit. But we must market our fruit properly. Some useful suggestions have been made during this debate but some of the other suggestions made are amusing to those who understand the industry. The honorable member for Hume said that the solution of the problem was the establishment of State canning factories. He pointed to what the Queensland Government had done as a shining example for us to follow. Apparently he does not know that almost on the borders of his own electorate he has the largest State cannery in “Australia. Fifteen per cent, of the whole of the fruit canned in Australia last year passed through the Leeton factory. In the 1923-24 season 4,465 tons of fruit was handled at Leeton aud only 2,795 tons in the other New South Wales canneries. A considerable quantity of the 2,795 tons was Victorian and Tasmanian fruit. Sixty-one per cent, of the fruit canned in New South Wales was canned at the Leeton factory. The honorable member for Lilley (Mr. Mackay), said truly that Queensland has abig fruit industry. In that State 5,832 tons were preserved, but only 600 tons of that quantity went through the State canneries. Eleven per cent, of Queensland’s fruit went through the State canning factories, as against 61 per cent, of the New South Wales total. The honorable member for Werriwa complained that most of this bounty went into the pockets of the monopolists who were running the canning factories. He said that, to a great extent, it was for the benefit of those factories. Both the State canning factories in New South Wales, and that in Queensland, draw the same rate of bounty as is drawn by private factories. Yet neither factory is paying its way, showing conclusively that if the private companies are making an undue profit their business is better managed than are the State canning factories. The honorable member for Riverina (Mr. Killen) said that the capital involved in the improvement of the Yanco irrigation area at completion would be £10,000,000. In addition, we have a number of other works in which Government money has been invested, and there is a very large amount locked up in private orchards. It is absolutely essential, therefore, that, irrespective of any party advantage, we should endeavour to place the industry on a satisfactory basis. The bogy of overproduction has been held uv>. We have been told that the only remedy is to produce less. That would not prove to be a solution of the present trouble. We must produce more, and increase our markets both at home and abroad. It is necessary to give attention to- grading, standardization, and honest marketing. There are numerous opportunities for extending our operations in both our own and the Home market. A. friend of mine has just returned from a fairly extensive visit to the Old. Country. He and his family lived there for a few months. On one occasion he asked the local grocer for some Australian peaches, and was informed that he had none. He said, “ If you get a case I will take a dozen tins from you.” The grocer obtained the fruit, and was so satisfied that he recommended it to his customers, and sold dozens of cases. My friend asked him on another occasion for some apricots. The grocer replied, “ Do you put up apricots?” My friend went to Aus-tralia House and brought a tin back. The result was that the grocer placed orders for apricots. I have not the slightest doubt that there are thousands of similar opportunities for extending our market in Great Britain. The little extra amount required to give the growers a profitable price could easily be added if the market were thoroughly exploited. We have in New South Wales an organization called the Fruitgrowers’ Association of New South Wales. On© of the leading men in the movement recently said, “ The organization and standardization of our fruit industry is well on the way, and it only requires more sympathetic consideration from the Government in the matter of necessary and long-promised legislation to enable it to go forward by leaps and bounds.” “ If that legislation is of a federal character, I trust that the Minister will do his best to see that it is brought forward at the earliest possible moment.
– Did he refer to the prohibition of the importation of citrus fruits?
– I am not sufficiently conversant with the fruit industry to be able to indicate the nature of the legislation asked for.
– I think that one of the things which the New South Wales citrus fruit-growers want is the prohibition of the importation of citrus fruits.
– The retail trade in Sydney, probably out of loyalty to the nationality of the people concerned, are putting Italian lemons on the market and are not stocking the local lemon. ‘
– It has not oeen possible to purchase local lemons during the last month or two.
– Local lemons are not to be bought in the shops even when a large quantity is available. It has been suggested that the proper way in which to deal with this matter is by co-operation, with Government assistance. That is a very excellent idea. In no way would the Government be more justified in interfering than in helping any co-operative movement, but we must have a minimum of Government assistance and a maximum of co-operation.
. - I glanced at this Bill when it was laid on the table of the House, and I saw that there was an opportunity to make quite a number of fine suggestions to the Government. Further inquiries and a perusal of the newspaper files, however, showed me that the measure refers to something that has already been done - the bounty has been paid, the fruit has been canned, most of it . has been eaten, and the money has been spent. Yet the Bill is solemnly placed before the House, and we are asked to discuss and amend it. I suppose that cannot be helped. I have come to the conclusion that the Government brought it down because they had no other business. They expected us to discuss the Imperial Conference and the Imperial Economic Conference, at which nothing was accomplished, and they anticipated adjourning on Friday, after two weeks’ discussion of that question, to enter upon a three weeks’ holiday. I did not feel inclined, until this afternoon, to lend a hand to the Government. To-day I listened to a very fine speech delivered by the honorable member for Calare (Sir
Neville Howse). He told us that one person in every eight is due to contract some malignant trouble which will- take him from this world. One of my friends calculated that nine members of this Chamber were due to go. Having listened to the honorable member, and shivered in company with other honorable members, a feeling of brotherly love and kindness stole over me, and suggested that, for once in my life, I might help the Government out of a difficulty. I had many pearls of wisdom which I was going to place before the Minister, but it is useless to do so now. I had much sage advice to offer. I might have suggested some amendment to the definition clause of the Bill. That is the most illuminating clause I have ever seen in a Bill. We are told that “ canner “ means “ any person who cans fruit;” that a cannery means a cannery, that fruit means fruit, and that the Comptroller-General means the ComptrollerGeneral. The Bill has given a wonderful scope to honorable members. I do not remember a debate initiated on such a simple proposition, which provided scope for so much discussion of such a wide range of subjects. I think that every subject which can be discussed on a motion for the adoption of the Address-in-Reply has been discussed. I heard the Treasurer (Dr. Earle Page) speak in glowing terms last night. He contemplated fields of apricots, peaches, and bananas, all in a flourishing condition. He viewed from the heights the glorious future of the fruit industry, notwithstanding the present depression. I listened also to the honorable member for Echuca (Mr. Hill). He descended to the depths of despair. There was no beautiful vision in his mind. According to him, the fruit industry in Australia can be saved only by the importation of black-grown sugar for use in the canning of the fruit, the abolition of all Arbitration Courts in Australia, cheap labour in the orchards, and Free Trade respecting everything excepting the article which he and his friends want to produce. This great industry was extended by putting into it returned soldiers, who were promised that they would return to a new world after the war and get all the good things that this country could offer. It is remarkable that the Government should have placed our returned soldiers in an industry so awful and wretched that it can survive only with black-grown sugar, Free Trade, and cheap labour.
That is the prospect held out by the honorable member for Echuca. When he was charged with those things last night he rose in wrath to make a personal explanation. I thought that perhaps he had said something which he did not mean - that he did. not intend that we should lift the sugar embargo which protects our white-grown sugar industry from the black labour of other countries ; he did not mean the adoption of a Free Trade policy, or the abolition of Arbitration Courts. But no; the only explanation he had to make was that not at any time, althoughhe had worked upon the railways and was compelled to leave that employment because of sweated conditions, had he belonged to a labour organization. My heart sank further at the thought that the Parliament of this country should have in it a man who could boast of his refusal to stand by his working mates while, on the contrary, as a representative of an agricultural industry, his whole advocacy was of black labour, cheap white labour, and Free Trade.. If he were consistent one could understand him. He supports this Bill. Is this a Free Trade measure ? It is a measure for the protection of a local industry. I do not go so far as to say that it sets out to socialize the industry, but it is a step in that direction. It, at any rate, indicates social interest in a great industry, or anindustry that ought to . be great. If there is one industry that ought to flourish in a country like this it is the fruit industry, because in the growing of fruit Australia compares favorably with any country in the world. It amazes me to be told that in such a youngcountry, in which we havenot utilized our resources in the growing of. fruit to anything like the extent that we ought, the industry even in its infancy is faced with ruin, the fruit rotting on the ground because there is no market for it. I . say there is a market for it. There is a market for it among the teeming thousands of people in our big cities, who never see a bit of fruit on their tables from one week’s end to the other. If we asked the head of a family to place upon his table sufficient fruit to. satisfy their natural requirements, it would cost him in a week as much as the rent of his house should be; and yet fruit is rotting in the orchards of Australia. When we come along as a, party with suggestions and proposals, they are described as the socialization of production. They do not mean the Government stroke and Government -control of everything, but they do mean giving some social value to these things, and that, as a collective people, we should take an interest in these industries. We are told that our proposals would only bring ruin to the industries of the country. Here is an industry that has not been interfered with by any of the schemes or so-called “ Red “ objectives of the Labour party, and yet in its infancy it is already coming begging to this Parliament to do something to revive it. We are told that there is only one solution of this problem, and that it lies in increasing the consumption of fruit in Australia and establishing an overseas market. I used to believe that, and I still ‘hope it is true, but I have very serious doubts about it when I read this Bill. I believe it is possible to increase the consumption of fruit in Australia if there is co-operation with Government assistance and control. That has been advocated even from the anti-Socialist side. Their one idea was to do away with all Government control of every description, yet there is not a session of this Parliament in which some -Bill is not brought down to provide- for Government inter ference, assistance, and control to some extent.
– They are asking it for the growers of grapes to-day.
-They ask for it every week in the year, though they have told us that they were determined to get rid of it. As a preliminary step to getting rid of it, they sold the most profitable Government undertaking we had in Australia. They sold that business because it was making a profit, and they sold it to their friends; but that is by the way. I believe there is a solution of the problem in encouraging the consumption of fruit in Australia. There are only two ways in which thatcan be done - one isto give the people more purchasing power. When I read the statements of honorable members opposite, who tell us, as one of them, did last night, of the high wages ruling in Australia, I am amazed. The wages now paid may appear to be high as compared with pre-war wages, but for a man with a wife and family the wages
Killing to-day are lower than they were before the war. What is tho good of talking about high wages when the purchasing power of wages has been diminished? It has been diminished, not by the action of trade unions or Labour parties in Australia, but by the action of the gang- of people who, without let or hindrance, have been allowed to pile millions upon millions and profit upon profit. They took advantage of conditions due to the war to profiteer.. They have never let up on profiteering, and not a hand is lifted against them by Governments, with few exceptions, in any part of the world. The first solution of the problem of what to do with the fruit that is rotting in the orchards of Australia is to increase the purchasing power of the people, and enable them to provide themselves with something more than bread and butter, or bread without butter. I could take honorable members w.ho talk of high wages into the industrial suburbs- of any city of Australia, and particularly of Melbourne, and show them houses that are tumbling down, the rent of which a few years ago was 7s. 6d. per week and is to-day 25s. per week. Houses that were let for 10s. or Ils. n- week a few years ago are now let for &1 a week. Writers who support the Government of the day tell us thai; the reason is the high wages which have to be paid to carpenters, bricklayers, and plumbers. The houses to which I refer were built before any living plumber or bricklayer was born. It used to be said at one time that the weekly rent of his house should equal about one clay’s wages of. a working man, but it is now equal to two and a half or three days’ wages. A man’s labour for nearly half the week goes in payment of his weekly rent. How much fruit do honorable members think working men can give their wives and children under these conditions? If we proposed a Fair Kents Court to deal with these landlord sharks, not a single honorable member opposite would be found supporting the proposal. I listened today with interest to the honorable member for Calare (Sir Nevillo Howse). I pay the honorable member the tribute that he- did raise a voice above the jargon of money making and the sordid business of money grabbing; He raised a voice for humanity. He uttered some telling truths in informing the legislators of the country where they have failed with regard to- the people’s health; bub I tell him that, with all his splendid high ideals, he can never hope to succeed so long as the Governments of the country represent the vested interests - those who own its slums and squalid dens. It is of no use to say that we have none of the conditions in Australia that in the Old World breed disease. We have them in Australia, and less than two miles from where I stand. If we improve the conditions of the people we will assist to solve the problem before us by securing the disposal of our fruit in our own country. The second necessity for local consumption is that the fruit shall be brought from grower to consumer without being handled by so many middlemen. It has been said a dozen times, and every one knows it,,, that, although the grower cannot get Id. per lb., for his fruit at his orchard, the consumer cannot buy it for less than 6d. per lb. in the streets of a city a few miles away from the orchard. There is a great lack of organization in. the industry. We want organization, but we are told that the purpose of organization is to bring everything to a dead level. Co-operation is called for on the other side. I am a believer in, and an advocate of, co-operation, but I believe that there moy be an extension of the principle of co-operation to include the whole of the’ people of the State. I believe that by proper organization of society we may have the socialization of the means of production and distribution, and that would be a solution of our problem. Another solution of the problem is said to be the establishment of overseas markets. I cannot pin my faith to that, and the provisions of the Bill, it seems to me, justify a doubt as to its efficacy. Why is it that the teeming millions on the other side of the world cannot eat our fruit? We are told that it is because of the distance it has to be shipped, and because the costs of production here are greater than the costs iu other countries, and we cannot compete with the producers in ether countries on level terms. That contention seems to disappear when we read the provisions of this measure. What does it propose ? It proposes that a bounty for local consumption shall be given to the .canners of this country. To encourage a certain proportion, of export, and to enable the exporters to compete with rivals in the markets of the world there is a very much higher exportbounty proposed. I find that one of the conditions for the payment of the bounty is that the canner shall pay a certain price to the grower for his fruit. I take one item, that of ding-stone peaches. I find that under the Bill, the canner must pay £9 a ton to the grower for peaches. If he takes these peaches and cans them for export he will receive a bounty of £12 8s. per ton. That means that before this industry can be carried on for export, the canners of this country must have the fruit given to them for nothing and £3 8s. per ton given to them to pay half the freight for transporting the fruit to the other side of the world. It is an awful state of affairs if we have not in this country a canning industry so well established that it cannot purchase our fruit, put it into tins, and send it across the seas to compete with canners in other countries unless it is made a present of the fruit, and is paid half the freight on its exports. I suggest to the Government that if this is only a stop-gap expedient, and they promise that they will do nothing more of this kind, we should be told what is to happen next year to the fruit industry. “What are wo to do next year if this bounty is not to be continued, and if today canners “must be presented with the fruit they can, and half the cost of its freight overseas must be refunded to them.
– The honorable member for Martin (Mr. Pratten) says that that is not so.
– The honorable member cannot say that, because under the Bill the canners are given for export a bounty of £12 8s. per ton, and they have to pay only £9 per ton to the fruitgrower. That leaves them with £3 8s., which is about half the cost of freight. This is what is demanded by those captains of industry, Sir Henry Jones, Taylor Bros., and the others who tell us that they can manage business affairs better than any Labour men could manage them. [ say to our friends of the Country party who talk about cheap labour and bringing down the worker’s conditions, that they will rue the day if they lower the conditions of workers in this country. If there is to be one satisfactory market for our fruit, it will be found in the home market, if the wages paid our people are such as will enable them to buy fruit. I have every sympathy with the men who toil upon the land. I know them, I have lived with them, and have represented them, and I know that the men who talk of cheap labour and black-grown sugar do not voice the opinion of the best men on the lands of this country. The solution of the problem is to be found in raising the standard of comfort of our people and enabling them to pay for the fruit grown in the orchards of Australia. This measure does not require any more than formal assent because the money is paid, the fruit has been canned and some of it has been eaten. Probably the Government could not help that, but although this is only a stop-gap proposal, it should have afforded the Government an opportunity to tell us what it proposes to do to provide a permanent remedy for the evils which by this Bill it proposes temporarily to meet.
Debate (on motion by Mr. Seabrook) adjourned.
– (By leave.) - I move -
That the Treaty of Peace with Turkey and other instruments* signed at Lausanne on 24th July, 1923; and the Convention between the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, and Roumania, relative to the assessment and reparation of damage suffered in Turkey by the nationals, of the contracting Powers, signed at Paris 23rd November, 1923, be printed.
I have adopted this method in order to give honorable members an opportunity to discuss the provisions of the Treaty. Although this is one of the Treaties terminating the war, and establishes peace with Turkey, it was not signed until the 24th July last. The Treaties with Germany, Austria, and Bulgaria were each signed in 1920, and that with Hungary iu 1921. The Lausanne Treaty is different from the other Treaties. It does not raise any question affecting the relation of the Dominions with Great Britain or one another. Australia, as a separate nation, was definitely at war with Turkey. None of us who remembers the war and the episodes of the Gallipoli Peninsula can doubt that. At the time of the general peace negotiations Australia claimed the right, as one of the “nations taking part in the war, to sign -this Treaty separately. In this particular case no academic or constitutional >question arises.
– Is this a separate Treaty because of the Gallipoli campaign?
– No. This is a Treaty which at last brings peace between Great Britain, Australia, and Turkey. Against the last-mentioned nation we have been in a state of war since 1914. This Treaty is exactly parallel with the Treaty of Versailles, which was signed in 1920, as it is to re-establish peace. Until the Treaty has been ratified the state of war which has existed since 1914 does not terminate, and its ratification is, therefore, both urgent and desirable. The Treaty will not actually come into force until ratified by the King, which will not be done until the approval of the British Parliament and the various Dominion Parliaments has been given. Last August I received a despatch from the then Colonial Secretary, emphasizing the urgency for the ratification of this Treaty, which had just been entered into, and pointing out that it was proposed to take action in the British Parliament at the earliest possible date. Australia was asked to take similar action, so that finality might be reached. Immediately on my arrival in Great Britain I was again approached in the matter, but, unfortunately, the whole situation soon changed. An election took place and the British Parliament did not again meet last year, with the result that the ratification of the Treaty was delayed. Only last week was it approved by the House of Lords, while this week it is to receive consideration by the House of Commons. After the new Government came into power in Great Britain I interviewed Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, who stressed the urgency for the ratification of this Treaty, so that peace could be re-established between the British Empire and Turkey, and I agreed to -submit the question to this Parliament immediately on my return to Australia. I visited Gallipoli on my way back from England, and saw the necessity for the action I am now proposing to this House. I spoke to several Turks concerning the - desirability of peace being again established between Turkey and the British Empire, and they all expressed their regret at the delay. The Turkish authorities treated me with the greatest courtesy, and sent two officers to the frontier to meet- me, and to accompany me to Constantinople, and a British cruiser was permitted, for the first time since the outbreak of the war, to pass through the Straits to Constantinople to convey me on my way. The Turks have the greatest admiration and respect for Australians, because of the important part they played in the war at the Dardanelles, and it will tend to the establishment of better relations between Turkey and Great Britain, and between Turkey mid ourselves, if the state of war bet-ween these countries is terminated. Soon after my return to Australia I received a cablegram from the British Prime Minister, asking whether I could assure him that Australia would approve of the Treaty being ratified. I replied that I would avail myself of the earliest opportunity to place the matter before Parliament, and assured him that assent would be given. A few days ago I received a further cable, to the effect that the House of Commons would deal with the question this week, and asking for definite action on the part of Australia. I again replied that there was no doubt that the Treaty would be ratified, and that I would submit a motion to Parliament this week. The original Treaty of Sevres between the allied and associated powers and Turkey was, unfortunately, never ratified. Its terms created a great deal of dissatisfaction in Turkey, which resulted in the Nationalist movement and the rise to power, and practically to a military dictatorship, of Kemal Pasha. The Nationalists established their capital at Angora, and were “at war with Greece in Asia Minor. In the early part of that war the Greeks gained a considerable measure of success, but later they were subjected to overwhelming reverses - by the ‘Turks, who drove them out of Asia Minor, and destroyed Smyrna. The overthrow of the Greeks led to the downfall of King Constantine and the establishment of a new regime in Greece. The Turks, having overcome the Greeks, and being imbued with a new national spirit as a result of the success of Kern n l Pasha, pressed on to the Dardanelles and the Straits, and created one of the most critical situations we have known since the war. The British and
French were there, but the latter retired to the European side, leaving the British alone. Reinforcements were brought up, and the Turks were prevented from .crossing the Narrows and entering Europe. After that an armistice was signed at Mudania, in October, 1922, and negotiations for a Treaty then commenced. A. Conference was held at Lau- san-ne in November, 1922, but the Turks, having achieved a great victory, and imbued with this new spirit, and relying to a great extent upon the dissension among the Allies, adopted a very obdurate attitude. After three months the negotiations broke down in February, 1923, but were resumed in April of that year. Eventually, on the 24th July, 1923, as a result of the second Lausanne Conference, a Peace Treaty was signed between Turkey and the allied and associated Powers. In this Treaty there are no issues with which I shall have to deal at length. It was signed in a very different atmosphere from that in which the treaties with the other belligerent Powers were signed. At Versailles the conquering Powers met and outlined the terms they would offer to the nations they had overcome. Only after those terms had been decided were they placed before the defeated Powers, who were told that they must accept them. The second Lausanne Conference was a meeting between Powers, none of which was in the position of a conqueror. It was a round-table Conference, where every clause was discussed before being finally agreed to. This Treaty has been criticised, but on the whole it bears favorable comparison with that of Versailles. In connexion with it, I draw attention to the position of Turkey under it. Under the Treaty Turkey goes out of Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia, or. as it is now known, Iraq. She also ceases to have any power in Arabia, and renounces all rights and title to Egypt and the Soudan. In Europe, Turkey is now confined to the plains and highlands of Anatolia, the original Ottoman Turkish territory in Europe. By that I mean the territory up to Adrianople and the boundary line that existed before the recent Balkan wars. Although she is still in Constantinople, and retains certain territory in Europe, she becomes once again practically an Asiatic power.
The most important provision of the Treaty is that which insures the freedom of the Straits. For many decades this lias been one of the most vexed and dangerous questions in Europe, and the settlement which has been arrived at is more satisfactory than might have been expected, having regard to the atmosphere in which the Lausanne Conferencemet and the Treaty was framed. Free access to the Black Sea through the Dardanelles is given to all ships of all nations - merchant ships, warships, and aircraft; although the number and tonnage of warships is limited.
– Is it limited .as regards the Turkish Navy also?
-No. A demilitarized zone has been created astride the Dardanelles, and the control of the Straits is given to an International Commission composed of representatives of Turkey, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, Bulgaria. Greece, Roumania, Russia, and the SerbCroatSlovene States. That Commission will function under the auspices of the League of Nations, to which it will report annually. If the freedom of the Straits or the security of the demilitarized zone is imperilled, the high contracting parties, and in particular France, Great Britain, Italy, and Japan, will act in conjunction to meet such danger by all means which the Council of the League may resolve. “We have to remember that Australia-, as a part of the British Empire, is a party to the Treaty, but honorable members who heard the honorable member for Calare (Sir Neville Howse) this afternoon define the interpretation of Article 10 of the covenant ‘of the League of Nations will appreciate exactly what are our obligations under that Treaty. Under Article 10 all nations which are members of the- League undertake to secure and preserve the territorial integrity of every other member; but the honorable member for Calare gave a clear and convincing explanation that that obligation is determinable by the constitutional authority in each State. The sovereign right of the Australian Parliament to finally determine what action this country shall take cannot be affected by any decision of the Council of the League of Nations. The clause in the Lausanne Treaty insuring the freedom of the
Straits, bears, the same interpretation as does Article 10. At the time of the signing: of the Treaty Russia was bitterly opposed to the settlement which had been effected regarding the Straits, and there was a fear that the Treaty would actually foment future trouble, and menace the world’s peace, by reason of that old and festering sore.. Fortunately, Russia, after further consideration, saw her mistake, and without any great parade or publicity signed the Treaty and accepted the provisions relating to the freedom of the Straits. The- only other point that concerns Australia closely is the agreement in regard to the safeguarding of the graves on the Gallipoli Peninsula. All cemeteries, graves, ossuaries, and memorials to soldiers and sailors are to be recognised and’ respected by the Turks, who undertake also to give all necessary facilities for the identification-, registration, and maintenance of the cemeteries and the erection of memorials on their sites. The Turkish Government further grants to the other Governments in. perpetuity land on. which graves-, cemeteries, ossuaries, or memorials are erected, andundertakes to give all facilities to any Graves Commission of any country to. inspect and generally maintain those sacred spots. That arrangement is most satisfactory to Australia, and we appreciate the actionwhich the Turks have taken, particularly in granting to- the Commonwealth in perpetuity the soil in which our soldiers are buried. I should like to add that at the present time the Turks are scrupulously observing that undertaking. I recently visited all the cemeteries on the Peninsula, and had a long conversation with the Turkish Governor of Gallipoli. He assured me that his people recognise the sanctity of the dead, and will do everything in their power to insure that Australian graves, cemeteries, and memorials shall be respected not only by the Turks; but by all other people upon the Peninsula. That must be very gratifying to the relatives and friends of men buried there. I am satisfied that we can accept the assurances of the Turkish people that these obligations will be scrupulously honoured.
The Treaty itself embraces seventeendistinct Instruments, but very few of them- concern Australia intimately. I shall refer to. only two of them. One is the- convention respecting the conditions of. residence, business and jurisdiction of the nationals of the signatory countries resident in Turkey. The rights of Austtralian nationals are absolutely safeguarded, and they are given the opportunity, equally with citizens of the Turkish Republic, to carry on their businesses. There is ‘also the commercialconvention, and Australia has exercised its right to declare that it does not desire that convention to apply to this country. The convention, if subscribed to, really involves, a reciprocal exchange of most favoured nation treatment, but Australia has very little trade with Turkey. We have never done a direct export trade with that country, and the export trade done through London is very minute. After an examination of the question we came to the conclusion that the acceptance of this convention would lead to some embarrassment, because Australia would not be able to reciprocate fully any favoured nation treatment conceded by Turkey to the Commonwealth. Therefore, we have declared that “we do not desire it to apply to Australia- or any of our mandated territories.
– What Courts will exercise jurisdiction over foreign nationals resident in Turkey ?
– Turkish Courts, to which such nationals will have free access.
Mi-. Coleman. - Have France and Italy ratified the Treaty?
– I think both countries have ratified this Treaty, and I understand that Great Britain will do so this week. There is also a convention in regard to reparations between the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Japan, with a protocol for signature by Roumania. That relates to the assessment and reparation of damage suffered in Turkey by the nationals of the contracting Powers. Under the Peace Treaty there is a mutual surrender of all rights to reparations, but in order to meet the circumstances of the nations which are parties to the convention, a certain amount is placed at the disposal of a reparations assessment Commission, to which claims may be made. The British Government has made available to that Commission £846,100 worth of Turkish 5 per cent. Treasury bills. Australia also- adheres to that convention, and any Australian national who has a claim foi” reparation is entitled to apply to the Commission in the same way’ as can the nationals of France, Italy and Japan. I think I have dealt with all the points which it is necessary for the House to consider. It is most desirable from every point of view that this Parliament should ratify the Treaty, and thus, after a long period, bring about peace between the British Empire and Turkey.
.- I think the House will agree as to the necessity of promoting peace .in the world. The right honorable the Prime Minister has endeavoured to dissociate altogether this Treaty from anything that may have happened since the recent war, and in connexion with foreign affairs. I want now to place alongside the Prime Minister’s statements my own view of the position. It is true, as he has said, that the Treaty was drawn up at Sevres, but every one knows that it was the outcome of what happened in the Near East subsequent to the Great War. It is of no use to blink” our eyes to these plain facts. They are of national importance, and must have full consideration in any discussion on international affairs. But for the action of two of the Allied Powers in the recent war in helping both Turkey and Greece, this Treaty would not have been before this House for ratification to-night. It is well known to every honorable member that the war between those countries was responsible for this Treaty. I give the Prime Minister credit for having put his case ably and in a very nice way, omitting, of course, the international incident to which I have referred, but to which I now direct attention. The right honorable gentleman will, no doubt, declare, as he has done on many occasions, that if ever Great Britain is at war Australia, being a component part of the Empire, must also be at war. This is a doctrine that has been preached in recent years. It is a departure from the practice that had been followed right up to the outbreak of the European war, in which we took our part. Prior to 1914, Australia, as a selfgoverning Dominion, had full right to decide for herself whether or not she should participate in any war in which the Mother Country was involved.
– “We have that right to-day.
– We have not. The right honorable gentleman himself said in this House only a few days ago that if we are to remain part of the British Empire and have a voice in its foreign policy we must necessarily be involved in any conflict between Great Britain and a foreign country. It may be argued that because of these Conferences on foreign policy, and the communications that pass between the Governments, Australia has an effective voice in determining Empire foreign policy. As a matter of fact, the British Government may enter on a war in a dispute upon which we have had no- opportunity to express an opinion. Let me remind honorable members of what happened in the Near East but a year or two agO!, when this Parliament was actually in session. No one dreamed then that Great Britain was on the verge of war with Turkey, so we were astounded to read, in the cable news published in the press, that the Prime Minister (Mr. W. M. Hughes) had been asked if Australia would send men overseas to assist in a war against Turkey. Without consulting this House, Mr. Hughes informed Mr. Lloyd George, then Prime Minister of Great. Britain, that, if necessary, this Government would send men overseas to help the Mother Country. The Leader of the present Government (Mr. Bruce) and the present Treasurer (Dr. Earle Page), as well as members of the parties supporting the Government, acquiesced in his action. They said, in effect, that Australian soldiers should be sent overseas without even consulting Parliament, let alone the people, who would have no opportunity of knowing anything about the merits of a dispute. Subsequently Ave learned that France had been encouraging Turkey and Great Britain had been backing Greece.
– France was. arming the Turks.
– Yes ; and Great Britain was supplying munitions to Greece. Every one knows, of course, that the Greeks were of little use to the Allies during the Avar. They took no effective part in that great conflict, and were not to be found fighting alongside our men. Immediately the war was over, and before the conflicting nations could reach a settlement of their differences, the Com.monwealth Government of the day was prepared to send our nien overseas again to take part in another war, which might have had more terrible consequences even than the last, because it might have developed into a religious war, and India might have been drawn into it against the rest of the Empire. The issue was of vital importance to the Commonwealth, and the people’s representatives .here should certainly have been consulted. We are now told that this Treaty has nothing to do with that crisis. Every one knows that there would have been no Conference at Lausanne and no Treaty but for that war. These issues cannot be evaded. The plain facts must be put before . the people, who must know where they stand.
– We must have open diplomacy.
– Yes. So long as we have secret diplomacy so long shall we be in danger of running into trouble. T believe in the attitude of the British Labour Government, which stands for open negotiation and for everything being above-board. The British Government have decided that all these treaty negotiations must be placed upon the table of the House of Commons for at least twentyone days, so that they may be fully discussed by the representatives of the people.
– That is the truly democratic system.
– The honorable member is quite right. We want peace. I say nothing against the ratification of any treaty for peace, but I do not want to be misunderstood. I am not one of those who stand for Australia having any voice in foreign affairs that do not affect the interests of the Commonwealth. And I do not stand for the doctrine that Australia must necessarily be involved in any war between Great Britain and other countries. Australia should retain the position she held right through her history, and up to 1914. Ever since we have enjoyed responsible government we have had the fullest right to decide this matter for ourselves. When Great Britain became involved in war with the South African Republics, no one claimed that Australia also was involved. We exercised our own judgment as to what part we should take in that conflict. And that was the position right up to 1914. When Great Britain went to war with Germany, the British Government appealed to the Australian Parliament to send men overseas. This Parliament consented. - That marked the change in our attitude. It marked, also, the difference between the right honorable the Prime Minister and his supporters and honorable members on this side of the House. There is a spirit of Jingoism in the air to-day. No doubt the recent visit of the British Fleet was designed to encourage that spirit, with a view to a change in our relationship in Imperial affairs. It is time the people of Australia had an opportunity of declaring where they stand in connexion with this policy. I am satisfied that, if their opinion were sought to-morrow, the great majority would be against Australia going any further than she has in the past; that we should preserve those rights which have enabled us to- develop along sound lines up to the present. I do not subscribe to the’ view that whenever a Avar occurs Australia must necessarily ‘ be involved. Nor does my party. I have nothing to say against the Treaty now before the House. If we could have treaties to bring about a world peace, it would be a move in the right direction. The verypeople who talk so much about the League of Nations apparently forget that there is such a thing as a League whenever they are in trouble, because they do not appeal to it, or attempt to put its powers into’ operation. We had evidence of this iu the trouble between Turkey and Greece, and that between Italy and Greece, and in the action taken by France in the Ruhr. We cannot expect to bring about peace by our present attitude with regard to disarmament. Instead of the nations of the world travelling along the path of peace, they all appear to be looking for more armaments, and preparing for the next war. At a time when we might very well expect them to be talking about further disarmament, almost every country is talking of the- necessity of preparing for defence. Prior to the holding of the Imperial Conference, I said that the first question on the agenda paper, should be further disarmament of the great Powers of the world. If there is one thing I regret, it is that the British Empire, with all its influence and prestige, did not set the other nations of the world an example in the direction, of disarmament, inviting them to travel with her along the path of peace as far as they possibly could. That should have bean the main business of the Conference. The leading men of the various Dominions - the brains of the Empire - were assembled at the Conference, but they altogether failed to- meet the situation which confronted them. In place of devoting their attention to arranging another Conference on disarmament, they confined themselves to Empire affairs and the League of Nations. The President of the United States of America made overtures to Britain, France, and Japan, with a view to holding another Conference on the lines of that held at Washington two years ago, just, after the last Imperial Conference. He received a cold reply from Great Britain. It was said that Great Britain feared that the Singapore Base project would be introduced.
– That is quiteuntrue.
– That is the news we had through the cables.
– Then the, cabled reports were untrue.
– France said that she would not consent to another Conference because of the situation in the Ruhr. Japan was the only nation which was willing to attend another meeting; and yet we are constantly told that she is preparing for war. We mav as well face the position plainly. That is the meaning of the remarks , of certain honorable members. Everybody says that we must watch Japan, because she is the nation which is likely to make war. Japan, as a matter of fact, is willing to agree to further disarmament, and that is to her credit. The latest information that we have is that Japan is prepared to attend another Disarmament Conference. Instead of making further preparation for defence, Australia should be encouraging disarmament. I think nobody will take exception to the ratification of the Treaty before us if it assists the cause of peace. Unfortunately, we are never told the full facts about these things. This Treaty would not be here for ratification had it not been for the war between Turkey and Greece. It was because of that war that the Conference was held at which this Treaty was arranged. I speak for myself, and for honorable members on this side of the House, when I say that we shall favour any Treaty that makes for peace; but we do not wish to become involved in foreign affairs, nordo wewish it to be understood that we accept the new doctrine that whenever Britain is at war Australia is at war. Australia- should be given the opportunity to express her considered opinion on these matters from time to time, as they arise . We are not agreeable to the -.proposition that every time any one makes a. quarrel in which Britain is involved and she goes to war, we must go to war. Half the time we know nothing about the- causes of these wars. They are deliberately kept from us. There is too much secrecy about these things. We do not even know what took place, in secret at the Imperial Conference. The report that the right, honorable the Prime Minister has given to us only dealt with affairs which had been made public previously. Nothing should be secret in these affairs. Everything should ‘be dealt with -openly and above-board, and we should know exactly where we are in these international questions. I hope that the day will come when the representatives of the different nations will realize the necessity of conducting all their negotiations and dealing with all their international . problems . in the light of day. Not many wars will occur after that time arrives. We are prepared to ratify this Treaty. It is the only thing that can be done. It is a good thing that the Treaty is here. We do nob as a party, however, accept the view that every time Britain is at war Australia must also be involved.
.- The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) appears to consider that it is optional whether Australia shall be considered to be at war or at peace when Great Britain is at war. There is no option. Other nations regard all parts of the Empire as belonging to one international unit or entity. That is a matter of legal fact. If the British Empire is at war, then,legally, Australia also is undoubtedly at war. ‘Of course, it is nowperfectly well established that it depends upon Australia herself entirely how far she shall participate in such a war, and whether she shall, or shall not, send, an armed force to take part in belligerent operations. If Great Britain is at war, Australia as exposed to all the risks of war, and she cannot evade those risks by amy unilateral action which she may take. The only way in which she can avoid being considered at war when Britain is at war is by severing her connexion with the Empire.
– Canada does not think so.
– Canada’s position is exactly the same as ours. Canada has made efforts to avoid it, but has not been able to do so. She is no more independent than Australia. Neither Canada nor Australia is independent. Both belong to the Empire, and, as members of the Empire, but always as members of the Empire and within the Empire, they have a large measure of independence. No other Empire has been sufficiently elastic to give to its constituent parts the measure of independence which we possess. It has not been known before in the history of the world. “We are fortunate indeed to enjoy this independence. It confers upon us a great privilege and a great protection, but also it imposes on us an active and intelligent interest in foreign affairs and in international relationships. It is not sufficient for us merely to adopt the opinion either of a particular British Government or of some British party* on any question of foreign affairs.
.- I had hoped that the- motion of the Eight Honorable the Prime Minister might go through without debate, but the remarks of the honorable member for Kooyong (Mr. Latham) can hardly’ be allowed to pass without comment. As a legal man, he has emphasized the view that when Great Britain is at war, Australia is also at war. I am not concerned about legal quibbles, but I am concerned about the effect upon the people of Australia of the emphasis he has given to his view. Honorable members opposite have spoken quite a lot lately about the Empire, and the desirableness of solidarity within the Empire. I know of no way more calculated to prevent the Empire from keeping together than such -remarks as those made by the honorable member for Kooyong. We all desire that the friendship which exists between the family of British nations shall continue. I hope that those ties of kinship will never be loosened. If, as the honorable member for Kooyong stated, it is a fact, that we must take part in a war irrespective) of the cause or the justice of such war, it will not be well for the unity of the British family of nations about which we- hear so much.
– We have to face facts.
– Granted ; but I,, for one refuse to recognise that as a fact. I support the statement, of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) that whatever may be the justice or otherwise of futu*re wars, Australia will possess the independent right to say whether she will be a participant or not. There is no need to put forward what the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) calls legal fictions. I was pleased to hear particularly two things from the lips of the PrimeMinister (Mr. Bruce). We were told by the right honorable gentleman that the original treaty with Turkey, .the Treaty of Sevres, was not ratified. The next thing he told us was that the Turkish people were prepared to honour the dead and respect the graves of the Australians. He accepted their word, and believed they would abide by it. My comment on those two statements is this: In this House, after we had ratified the Treaty of Versailles, after we had listened to the Australian representative at Washington, and were told that Australia was to be at peace for at least ten years, suddenly there was flashed across the wires the news that a Near East crisis had developed. A Prime Minister who was tottering in his position in Great Britain cabled to another Prime Minister who was also tottering in his position in Australia. These two Prime Ministers were prepared to fan the flame of war, because both were approaching a general election, and wanted a khaki election and a battlecry with which to win it. We have heard much to-day from the honorable member for Calare (Sir Neville Howse) regarding the League of Nations. That honorable member said he believed that the delegates to the League of Nations were earnest in their desire to promote peace. Yet one of the greatest Powers belonging to that League was not prepared to submit to it the question of war or peace, but sent cable messages to the Dominions - more for a political than for any other reason, I believe - asking, “ Will you send contingents ? “ The then Prime Minister of Australia, whose position politically was as precarious as that of Mr. Lloyd George, without consulting this Parliament, which was sitting at the time, sent a cable message over the week-end stating, “ Yes, I will send contingents.” The one thing that we noted about his message was that it did not say, “Yes, I will bring contingents.” The point I want to emphasize is that the Prime “Minister (Mr. Bruce) to-night said that the Treaty oE Sevres had hot been ratified. Yet the exPrime Minister, who was supported bjs the present Prime Minister and the majority of honorable members opposite, said that this fight in the Near East was to uphold the sanctity of the Treaty of Sevres. That was only one excuse for war; the big excuse was the desecration of the graves of Australian soldiers. We had not a scintilla of proof that one Turk had touched one grave on Gallipoli ; yet that’ was the excuse for stirring up the imagination, banging the war drum, and exciting the people to another war. That is the lesson that we learned from war-time propaganda - to start a fever in the minds and- the hearts of the people, induce them to go out and kill because the Turks were desecrating the graves on Gallipoli. Wc have been told by the Prime Minister to-night that the Turk is a man who respects the dead and honours the graves of the dead. I met a returned soldier on the very day that the discussion took place in. this House. He said to- me, “ Go to fight again for the graves on Gallipoli? I hold the title deeds of the grave of my , grandfather in Melbourne, and they have taken up his bones and shifted them away somewhere else. Yet they talk about the desecration of the graves on Gallipoli!” I saw also a cartoon in the press at the time, published with the idea of fanning the flame of religious hatred. It was a picture of the Turk wading to his knees in Christian blood. “ The unspeakable Turk,” he was called. To-night we have from the Prime Minister a motion for the ratification of a peace treaty, and how different is the tone ! What a different remark he .made about the same “unspeakable Turk” - that he is a man who honours the dead and the graves of the dead, and that his word was accepted by the right honorable gentleman. I sincerely believe that the right honorable gentleman does accept the word of those men; yet we were asked to fight against them to uphold the sanctity of their written word, and because, it was said, they would not honour the dead ! I know of nothing which teaches more finely the lesson not to be swept off our feet when the jingoes go howling for more war. In my ears are ringing the words of the honorable member for Calare (Sir Neville Howse), regarding the sincerity of the League of Nations. I believe that the delegates to the Assembly of the League of Nations were sincere, and that the thinking men of every nation are so convinced of the awful calamity of plunging into another war that they will earnestly strive to prevent it. If that be so., and if the words of the Prime Minister are true in relation to the Turk, would it not be right for this Government and this Parliament to stand behind the British Government in leading the way to the rest of the world by planning for peace and not for war?
.- I stand behind the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) in. his declaration of this party’s policy with regard to future wars abroad. The matter covered by this Treaty was referred to by the Treasurer (Dr. Earle Page) at Goulburn, when he stated that I had declared openly that Australia would never take part in any war in which Britain was engaged. Last year the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce), speaking on the matter which this Treaty has now finalized, said he agreed that had war taken place with Turkey on that occasion, it would have been the result of a stupid blunder on the part of the Prime Minister of Great Britain. The ex-Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) told this House that war was averted on that occasion only by a miracle. He also admitted that if it had occurred it would have been caused by a blunden on the part of the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Lord Curzon, the chief diplomat in the British Delegation at Lausanne, said to the representative of Turkey at that Conference - !! What are the representatives of Turkey threatening to do? They would involve Europe in a war that is not worth the firing of a shot or the spending of a shilling.” Yet the honorable member for Kooyong tells us in cold blood that if the Prime Minister of Great Britain makes a stupid blunder, Ave must go to war, although the matter in dispute may not be worth the firing of a shot or the spending of a shilling. Honorable members who talk in that way are doing something which is more calculated to disrupt the.
Empire than to cement it. There are some people, we are told, who are anxious to cub the painter and sever our connexion with Great Britain, but it is gentlemen who talk, as the honorable member for Kooyong has done, who are forcing Australian people to think on those lines. Are we to accept the policy that Australia, without having a voice in the matter, must go to war when the Prime Minister of Great Britain makes a blunder or wants to fan the flames of jingoism so that he may throw a smoke screen over the people and keep in power, or because Prance or some other country is anxious to start a war not worth the firing of a shot or the spending of a shilling? If the honorable member for Kooyong and the Prime Minister go to their electorates and promulgate those principles on the platform, they will not come back again to this House. The people of Australia would not stand for such a policy. The proper sentiment of the people is interpreted by honorable members of the Labour party. I rose to put my position right because of a statement about a speech I made at Goulburn. What I have said here to-night, I said at Goulburn, and, if I have the breath, will repeat on many platforms in Australia before the next election.
– The speeches of the Leader or the Opposition (Mr. Charlton), the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Scullin), and the honorable member for Werriwa (Mr. Lazzarini) have brought me to my feet. They have made it perfectly clear that they think that if the British Empire is involved in war, our people may please themselves whether Australia takes part in it cr not. The honorable member for Kooyong (Mr. Latham) has properly shown that when the British Empire is involved in war, Australia as a part of the Empire is legally at war. Of course, it rests with us to say what action we shall take, and to what extent, if any, we may participate in any conflict; but we cannot consider ourselves in or out of the war just as we please. When the Empire is at war we are at war. The honorable member for Werriwa says that we should not be brought in if the Prime Minister of Great Britain makes a stupid blunder just as he may have done at the time Great Britain was nearly in volved in a war with Turkey. What would have been the position of Australia if we had considered that the Prime Minister of Great Britain had made a stupid blunder in taking part in thu last great war? Could we have taken no part? Had we stayed out of the conflict, the result might have been very different from what it was. Instead of being a victory for us it might have been a great disaster to the world. In all probability the 300,000 odd men who went from Australia had a great deal to do with turning that war into a victory instead of a disastrous defeat. The honorable member for Werriwa has challenged the Prime Minister and others on this side of the House to go upon the platform and pronounce such views as those uttered by the honorable member for Kooyong to-night. I am prepared to do so. If the Empire is at war - I do not care what the cause of the quarrel may be, or who created it - we, as an integral part of the British Empire, are at war, and must take our part in it. Despite the opinions of honorable members opposite, there are hundreds of thousands of splendid fellows in Australia who would rally to the banner when the bugle sounded, and help to fight the Empire’s battles, no matter where they were, or what the cause of the war might be. Great Britain has sons in distant parts of the Empire who will always rally to the standard when the Empire is at war. On the occasion when we were nearly involved with Turkey, the cablegrams appeared in the evening papers, and at 6 o’clock on the following morning there- were scores of young fellows at Victoria Barracks, Sydney, who came to the officer there and said, “Digger, where do we enlist?” The people of Australia are as. ready now as they were at the commencement of the last war to rally to the standard. It would be a terrible thing if we went back on” those comrades of ours who during the Great War laid down their lives ; but that is exactly what we should be doing if we were to desert the Empire for which they sacrificed their lives. We should be traitors to those men who did such magnificent service for the Empire and madea name for themselves that will never diein its history.- I am speaking of the men in the ranks. I am grateful to the Australian boys for the magnificent bravery they displayed and for their loyal cooperation with those in authority over them. The sands of the desert, the arid slopes of Gallipoli, and all the other theatres of war, were saturated with the blood of- the men of Australia, and we should be traitors to the 60,000 who laid down their lives if now we said, “ Let the Empire go ; what do we care about it ? If the Prime Minister in- England makes a stupid mistake, we shall desert the Empire. We shall have nothing todo with any Empire war.” I suppose honorable members would suggest that we are to have some sort of Monroe doctrine to prevent Australia from being embroiled in any war. Other people would have a say as to that. The fact that we might not be willing to take part in an Empire war would not. render us immune from attack. Those who would be warring against Great Britain would assail the Empire in its most vulnerable part, aud if Australia was not in. a position to repel an attack it would be the place attacked. I do not wonder now that honorable members opposite remained silent when the Prime Minister asked them to declare themselves upon the Imnerial Conference resolutions. They dared not declare where they stood., but now we see that they really wish to be outside the Empire. They declare that. if the Empire goes to war they do not want to take part in it. As a matter of fact that was the attitude they assumed during the Great War, and if they had had their way no soldiers would have been sent from Australia, to help to defend the Empire. My proof for that assertion is to be found in the resolutions of the Perth Conference and the resolution carried at the Brisbane Conference, declaring that the Labour party were for peace. “ Yes,” they said, “ we are for peace. Not a man must go overseas; no one must fight for the Empire.” So long as we are under the protection of the British Empire and of the noblest Fleet that ever rode the ocean, we are secure; but oncewe get out of that Empire we are the prey to any hawk that may dart from the sky, and there are many of them ready to swoop down on Australia, the richest possession of the British Empire. Honorable members opposite have declared themselves. They are against the Empire. We are for the Empire.
– I did not intend to speak on this matter to-night, but I must say something in reply to the honorable gentleman who has just addressed the House.
-. - Itwas all humbug that he was talking.
– That statement is not in order, and must bewithdrawn.
– I withdraw it.
– The statements we have just heard from the honorable member for Warringah Shire-
– I object to- that designation.
– ‘Honorable members must be referred to by the name of the electoral division which they represent.
– That is so, and I apologize to the honorable gentleman. There was no need for him to make the speech he has made, and to lecture honorable members on this side. This party was in powerwhen thewar took place, and did not hesitate to take part in it. All the honorable gentleman’s flowery talk about Avhat Ave stand for goes by the board Avhen Ave remember Avhat the Labour party did during the Avar. We were free then, as Ave desire to be free, if there is another war. I hope that another Avar will never take place, but if there is another war, it will be our duty to use our common sense in regard to it, and this Parliament must have the right to decide whether Australiawill go into the Avar or not. According to the reasoning of the honorable member for Warringah (Sir Granville Ryrie), Ave have no say in the matter. The honorable member talks of what is due to Australians Avho took part in the last Avar. I should like to know what he thinks of the Prime Minister, and the action for Avhich he Avas responsible. The honorable gentleman did his duty in the war, and because he did, he was displaced from the Ministry for a man who neverwent overseas. The same thing occurred in the case of the honorable member for Wentworth. (Mr. Marks). As a gallant seaman, that honorable member went to sea to fight, the battles of the Empire, and yet he was put out of this great composite loyal Cabinet, which professes to be ready to do everything to help the Empire. It did not recognise the Avar services of men who were in the last Cabinet, but replaced them by menwho did nothing in the late war. The same kind of thing has occurred in thousands of cases- throughout the Commonwealth. Returned men of every rank have been forgotten, their pensions have been taken from them or cut down. Do honorable members mean to say that if another war took place those men are going to run to the standard at “six o’clock in the morning”? I can assure the honorable member for Warringah that if it were announced that there was going to be a dog fight, at 5 o’clock in the morning, there would be crowds found running to see it. Because a few hundred men get up at 6 o’clock in the morning to do a certain thing, it does not follow that they represent the views of the whole of the people of the Commonwealth. I make no bones at all about saying that so far as I am concerned, as a representative of the people in this House, I shall insist that this Parliament has a right to say whether this country shall take “part in any war. The Commonwealth is groaning under taxation due to the last war, and what is the Government doing to lighten its burden? Every time a war loan has to be paid off, our taxation must be increased. Where is the patriotism of the nien who lent us money when they will agree to renew their bonds only on the payment of an additional 1 per cent, interest? I dread to think what’ the future of this country is going to be, in view of the heavy load of taxation upon the shoulders of our people. The honorable member for Warringah says that, because Australia is part of the Empire, this Parliament is not to protect the taxpayers of the country, but must take part in a war in which Britain is engaged whether it be right or wrong. That is against common’ sense. The public men of this country have a right to shoulder their responsibility should the occasion arise, and not leave our entry into a war to- the decision of the British Parliament. The members of the Imperial Parliament have a right to protect their country; and let honorable members opposite make no mistake about the fact that we will protect this country. This party stands for the protection of every soul in the Commonwealth, and will be prepared to take the necessary steps for the purpose. We on this side, however, are not prepared to shut our eyes, and blindly to follow the dictates of another Parliament. I do not indorse the statement that if Britain is at war we also are at war. If Britain is engaged in war for a just cause, we will be with her ; but, if the cause is not a just one, we shall claim the right to say whether we will take part in the war or not.
.- We have been living in such a placid atmosphere all the afternoon that I have been pained and surprised by the electricity which has suddenly developed in this. Chamber, during the consideration of a peace measure. I never would have thought, when listening to the honorable member for Calare (Sir Neville Howse),, that we were so- soon and so unexpectedly to hear the rattling of the sabre and the faint echo of Prussianism which emanated from the honorable member for Warringah (Sir Granville Ryrie) a few minutes ago. I did not intend to speak upon this peaceful matter. Everything seemed to be going so well. Our policy of masterly silence was proceeding so successfully that it seemed to me that I could pursue it at least until the end of this period of the present session. I listened to the honorable member for Calare during his interesting and pacific address. I listened to the Prime Minister (Mr: Bruce) introducing this subject, in the tone of a curatejust about to pronounce the benediction. I was sinking pleasantly into a half-doze while all this was going on, when we were suddenly aroused and precipitated into an important debate on our Imperial relations, which I thought had been definitely settled by our silence last week. As this matter has been so precipitated upon us, I shall say about half-a-dozen words on the subject, unaccustomed as I am, after my long silence, to public speaking. The honorable member for Warringah has made a most unexpected and eloquent address about persons who got up at about the same time as he is accustomed to go to bed, and other matters. He has assured us that, whether on the field of battle, in the prize-ring, or anywhere else, if any one suggests “ stoush “ he will meet him on terms of his own choosing and in a place of his own choosing. He says that if Britain declares war we are at war, because we are a part of the British Empire. I say that, if we are part of the British Empire, Britain is also a part of that Empire, and if we declare war Britain is, ipso facto, at war. If the honorable member for Warringah happens to be leading a Government in this country and he declares war upon somebody - as he inevitably would within the next twenty-four hours - it would logically follow that Mr. Ramsay .Macdonald, the greatest pacifist the world has ever known, must, of necessity, also declare war. The whole of the British Empire must be involved in a contest precipitated by the honorable and belligerent member for Warringah calling somebody outside to meet him. Thus we have these tremendous world conflicts brought about from these very simple causes. It follows from what the- honorable member has said that no matter how foolish a British Prime Minister may be, if he makes a declaration that Britain is at war, then Australia from that fact is also at war. He twitted my honorable friends on this side of the House for having used the words, “ some foolish Prime Minister on the other side.” What the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Scullin) said was, “ a tottering Prime Minister on the other side of the world.” And he tottered to his fall, just as a Prime Minister on this side of the world tottered and fell as a result of the action of the Country party and other political catastrophes. If it follows that even the most foolish Prime Minister may bring about a war in that very simple way, we are led to the conclusion that the most foolish Prime Minister of all - the pacifist Prime Minister of Great Britain - may also involve us in conflict. I remind the honorable member for Warringah, whose tempestuous reasoning I arn following, that this Prime Minister is the very mau who, before we entered the memorable conflict of 1914, advised the people to keep out of it. Ye gods ! To think that a man is so soon at the head of the British Government who strongly urged the people of Britain to keep out of the war which the honorable member for Warringah, so strongly apostrophized to-night ! This man, who is wholly against war, and who is now the Leader of the Government in Great Britain, may in turn, by the triumph of irony, precipitate Australia into another such, struggle. Apparently, although he was entirely wrong when lie declared for peace, we would be disloyalists and recreant to our trust if we declined to follow . him when he declared for war. Australia, so the Government tell us, is a nation. The honor- able gentleman -who leads this Government has been busy completing our nationhood, and we now have the right to make treaties and tariffs. We are entitled to take our place as a nation amongst the nations of the world. Every day we are told we owe our happy position largely to the Nationalist party. Yet in the greatest issue of the world, in the most important question that can confront a nation - whether it is to be involved in the bloody tragedy of war - we must submit to the dictation, not of the people of Great Britain,’ but of a casual Prime Minister of Britain who declares that we are to spring to arms. The honorable member for Kooyong (Mr. Latham) declares that if Great Britain is at war, the simple legal fact is that Australia is also at war.
– Hear, hear!
– Although the honorable member may say “ Hear, hear,” I take the responsibility of remarking that that is not a legal fact, but a legal fiction. E challenge the honorable member for Kooyong, although he is an eminent lawyer, to prove his contention. Despite the fact that honorable members opposite boast of their nationhood, and claim for themselves all the rights and privileges of nationhood; though they arrogate to themselves the political distinction which comes from repeatedly shouting “ Empire, Empire !” “ Loyalty, Loyalty !”, they cannot point to one letter or fact which limits the right of Australia to determine its own position absolutely with regard to any war into which Britain or any other country may enter.
– That is the strength of the Empire.
– Of course it is. Its strength rests on the kinship of a people who compose the Empire and who speak one language. Partnership in that Empire carries its responsibilities as well as its privileges, and the first responsibility it involves is that the men who meet here in deliberative assembly, as representatives of the Australian people, shall have enough backbone and brains to form opinions of their own, and in some measure, at least, to influence the councils of the world on the question of peace or war. If the Empire means anything, it means that we shall have the right to express our opinions. I thought that the immoral doctrine of “My country, right or wrong,” was dead and damned. We should be recreant to our trust and conscience if we weakly submitted ourselves, against our better judgment, to the judgment and passions of unreasoning men, who are less than unworthy of the trust reposed in them by the people, or to other men inflamed with the jingo spirit, caught up by the mad and foolish passions which, in other days, urged the people to further bloodshed. When I, in this House and elsewhere, have ventured to say a word or two expressing my opinions, so that I might not be a mere cipher a.t a critical time, men like the honorable member have sought to hound me from public life, and have accused me of insincerity and want of loyalty.Now we are told that Australia should have no voice in determining whether this tragedy should be repeated ; that we should listen to the voice from across the water, whether the voice of Macdonald, the pacifist, or of Lloyd George, the jingo and war-maker; that we should put our ear to the ground to find out what men are saying in the British Parliament. In matters of sentiment, in the drinking of toastsand the waving of flags,we are a nation, but in those things which affect the very life-blood of the people, and which might save or damn the lives of the manhood of this country, we are to be speechless. We are to follow the honorable member for Warringah, whose one doctrine is, not only “ My country, right orwrong,” but also “Britain, right or wrong,” and “A British Prime Minister, whether fool or wise man, right or wrong.”
.- The honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) has been most eloquent, as usual, and Ave always listen to what he has to say. But to what does it all amount? He never loses an opportunity of flinging taunts at people who believe in the integrity of the Empire.
– That is not correct.
– He invariably holds up to ridicule thosewho believe in the Empire, and he even goes to the length of mimicking the pronounciation by some honorable members of the word “ Empire.” Let us consider one or two things that the honorable member for Batman has said. He ridicules the idea of our standing by “‘the Empire, right or wrong.”
– I do not ridicule it; I condemn it as immoral and wrong.
– He says that it is immoral, but every honorable member behind him believes in the doctrine, which is more immoral still, of “ My party, right or wrong.”
– So does the honorable member.
– That may be. I am pointing out the inconsistency of the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan),who ridicules the idea of anyone believing in the doctrine of”My Empire, right orwrong,” and yet advo cates the doctrine of “ My party, right or wrong.” The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) spoke of the harmful effects of secret diplomacy. Is the honorable member, and thosewho sit with him. prepared to apply that doctrine in the realm of politics? Will they, as a party, admit the press and the publicto all their deliberationswhen taking counsel in regard to matters affecting the interests of their party? They will not; butwill stick to their secret political diplomacy.
– Would you like to be there?
– I certainly would. Those memberswho take up this attitude are utterly inconsistent. We heard the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) refer to Mr. Ramsay Macdonald as the magnificent pacifist. He quotedwhat Mr. Ramsay Macdonald said and did on the eve of the last Great War;how he warned the people of Great Britain about going into the Avar, and later did his utmost to pull them out. To-day thatsame man is head of the British Government, strenuously preparing against- the next war.
– He cut down the Defence Estimates by £2,000,000.
– One would expect that the greatest pacifist that ever lived - a man who objected to . the last war - would, like the honorable member for Ballarat (Mr. McGrath), spend not a penny on defence. If the honorable member for Ballarat adheres to the position attributed to him, and has the courage to act upon it, he is a greater pacifist than even Mr. Ramsay Macdonald.
– You quoted Mr. Ramsay Macdonald the other night as> having pointed out that there should be no revolution.
– I am dealing with what the honorable member said about Mr. Ramsay Macdonald being a pacifist. He, having assumed the responsibility of office, is now in a different position from that which he occupied previously. He has now to act in a common-sense way; and is doing so, as he is taking all reasonable precautions to safeguard the interests of his country.
– Every one does not think that.
– The honorable member for South Sydney (Mr. E. Riley) had his little joke at the expense of those men who rushed to the barracks at 6 o’clock in the morning. To some of the members of the Opposition the Scotch song, “ It’s fine to get up in the morning, but it’s better to lie in bed,” would appeal strongly. Arc we to lie in bed when the Empire is threatened? The Opposition are now discussing the position of Australia as an integral part of the Empire. That subject should have been discussed on the motion of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce), dealing with Imperial defence, but the Opposition on that occasion were absolutely silent.
– We wanted to expedite the business of the country.
– Those tactics were determined upon by secret diplomacy, and a surprise was sprung on the Government, but that was the time when Australia’s attitude to the Empire should have beeu discussed. The honorable member for Kooyong (Mr. Latham) made the position clear when he pointed out that Australia was an integral part of the British Empire, and that in the event of Great Britain being at war, Australia, being a part of the Empire, would, in fact, be at war also. It does not matter to me one iota whether it is a legal fact or a legal fiction, as suggested by the honorable member for Batman, that Great Britain, being at war, every other part of the British Empire is at war. The honorable member for Batman knows that a legal fiction is very often an intensely real thing. The important fact affecting Australia is that’ the country with which Great Britain is at war will regard Australia as being in it, too.
We might meet here in the Federal Parliament and pass a dozen resolutions to the effect that Australia was not at war, yet I contend that the country with whom Great Britain was at war would say : “A fig for your resolutions ! As part of the British Empire we shall treat you as being at war with us.”
– -When a foreign country makes war respecting a cause in which we disbelieve, that will be the end of this country, and the honorable member will be responsible for it.
– As the honorable member for Kooyong pointed out, if we do not desire to take part in a war, we need not do so. Let us suppose that some cause for quarrel emerged between Great Britain and Japan, and they were in a state of war.
– Does the honorable member want war?
– No. If a state of war were existing between those two countries, and we said, “ We do not Believe Great Britain is in the right in this matter, and we are going to stand out,” what would be Japan’s reply ? It would be this: “ It may suit you to stand out just now, but next time it may suit you to take part in the war, so we shall regard you as standing alongside of Great Britain and as part of the British Empire.” There is no escape from that position. Just as we accept every benefit and every privilege that accrues from our association with Great Britain, and with our sister Dominions that form the Empire, so we must face their responsibilities, and, if the Empire gets into trouble, take part in it as one of the obligations attaching to us. This position will always obtainuntil we have, as it is contended we ought to have, some say in discussing Britain’ . foreign policy, making it less possible for the British Prime Minister to make “foolish mistakes.” If, after the united effort of the various parts of the Empire, war yet comes, then surely it is only fair and justthat we should stand in it together. I sincerely believe that, even’ if one part of the Empire made a foolish mistake, we would not run the risk of the disintegration and the destruction of the British Empire because of that mistake.
– Supposing it was a deliberate war of aggression.
– That is a different thing. I agree with the honorable member for Kooyong, that if Great Britain were at war, it would be for Australia to say whether she would take any, and, if so. what part in belligerent operations, and it is possible to conceive a moral issue emerging, in regard to which we would say as a Commonwealth - “ No, we prefer to- run the risk of destruction rather than associate ourselves with such a cause,” I admit that.
– Then there is a limit?
– Certainly, there is a limit.
– The honorable member, whilst speaking, has converted himself.
– Most men when a friend of theirs gets into a row, although they know that he practically brought it on himself, say, “ I will stand by you and sec you through.” That is the every-day attitude of individuals towards each other. On the other hand the action might be such as to warrant a mau saying to his friend, “ You are so entirely wrong that I cannot stand by you, even in the sacred cause of friendship.” It may be that such a state of things may come about internationally. The Commonwealth would then discuss the matter and take a stand, and every man would have to act according to the dictates of his own conscience.
– That is what we stand for.
– If that is all that the Opposition require, then there is no difference between the two parties. I do not believe that there is any real fundamental ^difference. The vast majority of our people, although they put Australia first, love the Empire to which they belong. I believe that they will, in a case of emergency, in days of danger, do as they have done in the past, stand shoulder to shoulder to maintain the integrity of the Empire.
– I shall not speak at length, because the honorable member for Fawkner has said so much that but a few remarks are required from me. He has not only converted himself, but if the gallant general opposite (Sir Granville Ryrie) had listened attentively he, too, would have been converted. The honorable member for Fa wkner, in his opening remarks, practically accused the honorable member for Batman of being a disloyalist, to an extreme degree, for advocating something which he himself advocated before resuming his seat. He so completely looped the loop during the discussion that he found himself in hearty agreement with the honorable member whom he accused of disloyalty. The honorable member for Fawkner agrees with the contention that has been repeatedly advanced by the members on this side of the House, that the doctrine of being “ all in a war, right or wrong,” is an immoral one. He concluded his speech by practically saying that there was no difference between us.
– I only said that the cause might be so immoral that we could not possibly stand by it.
– I am sure that if the debate lasts long enough, the honorable member will turn another somersault, and I should not like that to happen. I am extremely glad to know of his conversion, and I do not wish to proceed any further, being satisfied with what we have accomplished. I leave the conversion of the other side in the capable hands of the honorable member for Fawkner. The honorable member for Fawkner is so accustomed to displaying his eloquence in support of people, regardless of whether they are right or wrong, that he no doubt finds it congenial to adopt the same attitude towards international questions.
– I hope the honorable member will not join the ranks of those who make use of that jibe at my profession as an advocate.
– I am merely endeavouring to find an explanation of the attitude of the honorable member. I do not impute any unworthy motive to him; rather do I congratulate him upon having admitted his conversion. I .respect the honest opinion of every man, but I ask the gallant and honorable member for Warringah (Sir Granville Ryrie) to ponder the statement he has made to-night. He said that if Australia did not engage in a war in which the Empire was involved, rightly or wrongly, we would be traitors to the men who died in the last great war. We told our soldiers when they went forth to fight that they were risking their lives in a war that was to end war, and the real traitors to them would he those who would urge our people to rush into the next war, regardless of whether it were right or wrong. If the judgment of the dead soldiers could be obtained, I know whom they would regard as the greatest traitors to them. The honorable member overreached himself when he made that statement. He , also made sneering allusion to the Perth Confereuce. The honorable member does not know what was done at that Conference. During the war the Labour party stood for peace by negotiation, and it was by negotiation that peace was ultimately brought about. Had the negotiations been entered into when the Labour party first urged that course, thousands of valuable lives and millions of pounds would have been saved to Australia and the rest of the world.
.- How many honorable members know what is contained in the Treaty which the House is now asked to ratify? I do not. and, therefore, I shall not vote for the ratification of it. Why have we not been supplied with copies of the document? We are told that there are to be no more secret treaties. Why then does the Prime Minister keep this Treaty in his despatch box, and ask the House to be content with his statement of what the document contains? I object to the confirmation of treaties of which we have not a complete knowledge. Some honorable members have said that Australia is not to have complete self-determination in regard to participation in wars. I suppose that applies also to wars precipitated by Canada or any other Dominion. If, for instance, Goneral Smuts involved South Africa in a war with the coloured races, would Australia be necessarily involved? That would be neither logical nor reasonable; indeed, it would be an insult to the intelligence of the Australian people. There is no more educated democracy in any part of the world than the people of Australia, and I, as a representative of the intelligent people of East Sydney, protest against their being deprived of the opportunity of exercising their independent judgment and displaying their loyalty, as they have done on other occasions. When a change of Government takes place, and that will happen very soon, honorable members will not be treated with the discourtesy which has been shown by the Government to-night. Nor will the people of Australia be treated as mere creatures who are not worthy of consideration. I take no notice of the Prime Minister’s discourtesy to me personally, but I represent 42,000 people in East Sydney, and he has no right to ignore them. The seriousness of this Treaty has been emphasized by the honorable member for Kooyong (Mr. Latham), who said, in effect, that Australia would necessarily be involved in any war precipitated by any unprincipled creature who happened to be in power in Great Britain, and the honorable member for Boothby (Mr. DuncanHughes) seemed to appreciate that interpretation. The people of Australia will not thank those honorable members for such an unflattering declaration of Australia’s position. I ask the Prime Minister to give members of the House an opportunity to peruse the Treaty. I refuse to vote in the dark on a matter that I have not had an opportunity to understand. Do honorable members forget that they hold in their hands the destiny of Australia? Is the subject not sufficiently serious to- require that honorable members shall be informed of the contents of the’ document? I asked the Prime Minister what penalty was provided for a violation of the Treaty. He would not even answer me. He treated mc with contempt. Surely I have a right to ask that question, and to receive an answer. As long as I have breath in my body T shall stand here, as a representative of the people, and use all the privileges of this House to try and make the Prime Minister and those who follow him realize their responsibilities. I shall not dwell upon the question whether we are, or are not, part of the Empire. I fought hard for Federation without fee or reward years ago. I spent many nights in that struggle when I ought to have been at home studying my health. It did not do me much harm, I admit. I did that because I felt that the consummation of Federation would make me a proud man, and would improve the lot of my offspring and the grandchildren that would naturally follow. It never entered my head that an individual outside Australia would do anything to bring Australia to the verge of war. I thought thepeople of this country would have sufficient intelligence and , understanding not to permit any other nation to dominate them, but would govern themselves, and exerciseall the sovereign lights of a nation. Throughout my early life I was told that the Turks could not be trusted.We used to sing ditties about them. That is why I asked the Prime Minister whether penalties we’re provided for breaches of the Treaty. This is the first time that such a Treaty has been before this Parliament, and we should delve into it and see what our responsibilities are under it. It may not affect any honorable member, but through their callous indifference to their responsibilities it may affect their offspring very seriously. The Treaty more closely concerns Australia than Canada or Africa, The Canadians will not have anything to do with it. I would move heaven and earth to promote peace, but I will not allow anything to pass this House without ascertaining what is in it. I do not see why my intelligence should be insulted because I protest against the Prime Minister not disclosing the contents of this Treaty. This House has found it necessary to devote time to much smaller matters. A Committee was appointed to investigate the wireless agreement submitted some time ago, and as a result the agreement was materially altered. The House ought to know something about the Treaty.
– I suggest that we ought to know something about the Suez Canal.
– -I ask the honorable member for Martin (Mr, Pratten) not to. divert the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. West).
– The greatest- Socialistic piece of business ever done by the British Parliament was when Disraeli bought the Suez Canal shares. It was good business. I protest against the House treating this matter as a joke, frequently we find that, through some oversight, Bills passed by us do not exactly express the will of this Parliament. A treaty of this character in twenty-five years’ time may have very serious consequences to the people. Notwithstanding its possibilities, honorable members are expected to ratify it without knowing anything about its provisions. As a Parliament we have been doing nothing for nearly eight months. It is unreasonable that we should now be expected to pass this Treaty at such short notice. This is not the proper way to conduct the business of this Chamber.
Mr.Fenton. - Having made your protest, what more can be done?
– I shall makeas much noise as possible. I find that the best way to create interest in this House is to make a noise and give some evidence of “go” and “punch,”
– Evenat 11 o’clock at night?
– It matters not tome if the hour be 1 o’clock in the’ morning. I am not responsible for the present position. I am satisfied that the people of Australia will be in hearty accord with what I have said to-night. Honorable members are not thoroughly conversant with the provisions of the Treaty. Tonight we had the honorable member for Warringah (Sir Granville Ryrie) and the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell) firing shots at each other. The honorable member for Kooyong (Mr. Latham) also had something to Bay about the Empire. Apparently, they take the view that we ought not to regard this matter of treaties too seriously. ‘ I do, and I take full responsibility for all I have said. As I have never yet signed a document which I did not thoroughly understand, I feel disposed to vote, against the motion.
– There are only one or two points on which I desire to speak in order to clear up a misunderstanding. I must apologize to the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. West) for not having dealt with the question he askedwhen I was speaking. I am afraid that I overlooked the matter. By way of interjection, the honorable member inquired whether the Treaty contained a clause imposing penalties in the event of any breach of its provisions. There is, of course, nothing of the kind included. A treaty of this character is not framed in the same way as an ordinary contract, with a penalty clause to provide against breaches of its provisions. This is a Treaty entirely dependent upon the honour of the signatory nations. It is obvious that in its terms we could not imply suspicion of thegood faith of one side or the other. With regard to the manner in which the Treaty lias been presented to the House, I think the honorable member for East Sydney is under a misapprehension. The Treaty was signed as long ago as July last, and its terms have been -well known for many months. Further, it was the subject of a very long explanation by the Foreign Secretary at the Imperial Conference. That explanation was published at the time. Therefore, the facts with regard to the Treaty are well known. We are now only asking for its ratification by the adoption of a motion for the printing of the document. . All the information in the Treaty has been available for many months.
– Not officially. I, as a representative of the people, have not received it officially. I consider that I have linen treated disrespectfully.
– I oan assure the honorable gentleman that the last thing I wish to do is to show any disrespect, either to him or to his constituents. Full information has been available for some months, and I am sure that, on reconsideration, the honorable member will not vote against the motion. It is most important that the Treaty should be ratified unanimously by this House. At the present moment it is being put through the British House of Commons, and the British Government are now awaiting its ratification by Australia.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
House adjourned nt 11.8 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 3 April 1924, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1924/19240403_reps_9_106/>.