9th Parliament · 3rd Session
Mr. Speaker (Et. Hoa. W. A. Watt) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers.
– Has the Prime Minister communicated with the Imperial authorities with regard to recalling the cruiser Brisbane from Chinese waters, and, if so, with what result? Is it a fact that the Concord left Australian waters some days ago for China?
– Tho Government has been iu communication with the British Government ever since it appeared possible that its China Squadron might have to be used in connexion with the riot’s which are occurring iu China. The communications that have passed have laid down clearly the position of an exchanged cruiser, such as the Brisbane is at the present time. An exchanged cruiser is under the command of the admiral commanding the station to which it is attached. If a British cruiser is attached to tho Australian Navy she is under the Australian admiral, and in the same way an Australian cruiser attached to a British station is under the command of the British admiral commanding that station. The admiral commanding a station has control over an exchanged cruiser, and has authority to use it just as he has authority to use the cruisers of the Government that he serves. The only purpose for which an admiral, British or Australian, ma)’ utilize cruisers under his command is the safeguarding of tho lives and properties of British subjects. For any other employment he must get the authority of his government, and where an exchanged cruiser is concerned, the authority of the government to which that vessel belongs. Therefore, in the present instance the admiral commanding the Chinese Squadron may use the three British cruisers and the one Australian cruiser to safeguard British lives and properties; but if further action is contemplated ho must, get the authority of his own government to use the British cruisers, and that of the Australian Government to use our cruiser. Consequently, the Government has taken no steps to recall the Brisbane.
T cannot give the honorable member the exact date of the departure of the Concur ti, but if she has not left, she is on
Hie point of leaving Australia, and the Brisbane is on the point of returning. The period of the Brisbane’s service with 1 lie China Squadron has nearly expired, and she is duc bacl: in Australian -waters in August. At a Inter date the Delhi is to be attached to the Australian Squadron, and the Brisbane will then further pursue the exchange programme that has been In id down.
– I understand that a proposal for co-operation between the Commonwealth Government and the Governments of New South Wales and Queensland for the extermination of the cattle tick reached an impasse owing mainly to the Government of New South Wales insisting upon tho inclusion of certain conditions in the agreement for co-operation. Seeing that there has recently been a change of Ministers in New South Wales, I should like to ask the Prime Minister if ho will approach the present Ministry -with a view to finalizing this important matter?
– It would be more satisfactory if the honorable member would put his question ou the notice-paper, but I may reply to it generally by saying that arrangements were entered into for co-operation between the Commonwealth (Government and the Governments of New South Wales and Queensland for the extermination of the tick post. Certain proposals were drawn up, but bare not so far been finalized and agreed to. At the present time the -whole matter is being considered by. the Common-wealth Government, in conjunction with the governments of the states concerned, in order that practical steps may bc taken to carry out tho work contemplated by the- three governments.
MR. RODERICK QUINN.
– Will the Prime Minister sympathetically consider the making available of a pension to one of Australia’s greatest living poets, Mr. Roderick Quinn, from the Men of Letters Fund?
– Yes, in the sense that I shall refer the matter for consideration to the committee administering the fund. All such matters must go before that committee before any action is taken.
– Has the Prime Minister received a communication from the Acting Premier of Western Australia asking him to regard the extermination of the dingo pest as a national matter, and make provision for it? If so, will lie inform the House what the Government intends to do in the matter?
– I have received a communication on the subject from the Premier of Western Australia. The whole problem of the destruction of the dingo in Australia has been receiving the consideration of the Government for some time past, because we recognize that it is of national concern.
CONVERSION WAR LOAN.
– I wish to ask the Treasurer a question arising out of statements which have appeared to the effect that the Loan Council has been sitting and has virtually decided that the conversion war loan shall be issued at 5 J per cent., and at the price of £98 10s. If that is so, will the honorable gentleman say whether the House will be given an opportunity of discussing the proposal before over £1,000,000 of extra expenditure in interest is incurved? Will the Treasurer also say whether it is not necessary under the Constitution for such expenditure to be covered by a message from the Crown?
– There is not the slightest justification for the rumours the honorable member has reported to the House. Nothing has yet been fixed with, regard to the terms of the war conversion loan.
– What is tho answer to my second question?
– I shall be glad if the honorable member will put his second question on the notice-paper.
– Has the attention of the Prime Minister been drawn to statements appearing in the press that the New South Wales Government intends in the near future to alter the electoral system of that state? Will he consider whether it is not desirable to get into touch with the New South Wales Government with a view to endeavouring to secure an agreement between it and the Federal Government to use the same rolls and electoral machinery, and thus avoid the duplication which now exists?
– My attention had not been drawn to the intention of the New South Wales Government as stated in the press. The Commonwealth Government has been continuously in touch with the governments of all the states in the endeavour to bring about the arrangement which the honorable member suggests, the adoption of one electoral roll for the Commonwealth and the state elections. In some of the states this has already been done, and the Government will let no opportunity pass to secure the general adoption of the arrangement.
– Since we last met a new development has taken place in connexion with a certain industrial dispute in which the Commonwealth Government is vitally interested. Has the Prime Minister any statement to make regarding that development?
– I have no statement to make on this subject, as I have already made quite clear the attitude of the Government. The action taken by the board of the Commonwealth Shipping Line early this week fell within the powers which have been conferred upon the board by Parliament. The Government was not consulted, nor in any way informed of the board’s intention to enter into the arrangement.
– Is it the intention of the Government to invite tenders for the carriage of mails to the Northern Territory by aeroplane, and, if so, will the northern part of South Australia adjoining the Northern Territory be considered when the question is under consideration?
– Yes. Alternative tenders will be invited.
– Has the Treasurer seen a letter which appeared in one of this morning’s newspapers, which contains the following passage: -
Mr. Page’s proposals for .the conversions of loans have not in the past shown him to bo conversant with the opinions of financiers. Two of his attempts have been failures. I hope his proposals for tho conversion of the £66,000,000 will not fall flat. No 5£ per cent, proposal will be acceptable. In my case nothing short of 6 per cent, at £99 will induce me to convert. I speak the views of numerous others.
As the letter seems to convey some sort of threat, will the Treasurer, when considering the rate of interest, maintain the attitude of a strong man, and not allow himself to be forced into paying more interest than the Commonwealth can afford? Further, is the act still in force by which the Treasurer can compel residents of Australia to contribute to these loans in proportion to their incomes?
– I am not aware of the existence of such an act as that referred to by the honorable member. The loans referred to by the writer ‘ of the letter were both completely successful; the Government obtained the money necessary to meet its obligations; and I can see no reason to anticipate anything but a repetition of that result in this case.
– In the event of the Minister meeting opposition to the conversion of the ;G66,O00,O00 loan from people who decline to allow the trade and commerce of the country to be carried on, will he take action to ensure that those people who fail to contribute to . the loan shall be deported as enemies of the country?
– I do not anticipate any of the dire results that the honorable member has mentioned. On the contrary, I am satisfied that the whole of the new conversion loan will be taken up.
– Is the Minister aware that, contrary to the assurance given by the Minister for Markets and Migration, that faked opal stones would not be sold at Wembley, such stones are being sold there? I have received a cablegram from Mr. Jenkins-, who is a stall-holder at the Exhibition, which reads -
Birmingham jeweller selling fake opals all descriptions mining section Australia.
Will the Minister take the necessary steps to ensure that the great Australian industry of opal mining is not injured by faked opals being sold at’ the Australian Pavilion at Wembley?
– I am not aware whether opal is being sold at Wembley, but I shall make inquiries, and let the honorable gentleman have an answer as soon’ as possible.
– Is it a fact, as stated publicly by Dr. Cumpston, that Dr. Holmes, an expert in military sanitation, has been informed by the defence authorities that in order to retain his present position of Director of Hygiene, it is necessary for him to pass an examination for the rank of major ? Has Dr. Holmes been so informed, and, if so, will the Prime Minister be good enough to let the Defence Department know that the essential services of this country’ should not be made subservient to any class of military snobbery ? .
– I have no knowledge of the matter to which the honorable gentleman has referred, but if he will place his question on the notice-paper I shall obtain an answer.
– Has the Prime Minister’s attention been drawn to the fact that A distinguished journalist has stated publicly that the intention of the proposed legislation dealing with immigration, and also unrehearsed emigration, is entirely directed against one man ? In the public interest, and especially to allay, if possible, my own personal misgivings, I desire to know whether that legislation is so directed, and, if so, who is the man, and is he in this House, or out of it 1
– I have not seen the statement to which the honorable gentleman refers, nor am I responsible for conjee bures by any newspaper as to the intention of the Government in submitting proposals for legislation.
– (By leave)- I have to inform the House that the name of the substitute lady delegate to the meeting of the Assembly of the League of Nations at Geneva is Mrs. R. R. S. MacKinnon, of New South Wales.
Mi-. COLEMAN asked the Minister foi- Defence, upon notice - 1’. How many patients are at present under treatment in Turramurra and other sanatoriums administered by the Repatriation Department in New South Wales respectively?
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow: -
Expropriated Persons - Expropriation Board - Missi ons - Mail Contract.
asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
Will he layon the table of the Library all papers connected with the release of expropriated persons in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea?
– It is not considered advisable in the public interests to place the papers on the Library table.
Mr.R. GREEN asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow: -
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Home and Territories, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : -
Catholic Mission of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Rabaul, Kavieng, Namatanai, Manus, Talasea.
Catholic Mission of the Holy Ghost. Madang, Aitape.
Lutheran Mission, Madang, Morobe, Gasmata.
Liebenzell Mission, Manus.
Methodist Missionary Society of Australasia, Rabaul, Kavieng, Namatanai, Talasea.
Methodist Missionary Society of New Zealand, Kieta.
Marist Mission Society, Kieta. 4. (a) The following are the areas of land held by the various missions: -
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Home and Territories, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow: -
Messrs. Burns, Philp and Company. 2. (a) Direct service to Territory of New Guinea and return to Australia, £12,000 per annum.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Markets and Migration, upon notice -
What amounts have been paid to growers of dried fruits under the 80 per cent. advance section of the Export Guarantee Act -
– The replies to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : - 1. (a) Nil;(b) £22,427. 2, 3, and 4. The advances were made under section 4 of the Export Guarantee Act 1024. Regulations were unnecessary because this act requires the dried fruits to be placed under the control of the Board before the advances can be made. The conditions under which the advances could be obtained by growers were announced in the Melbourne and Adelaide press on the 22nd January and the 18th April, 1925, and in the metropolitan press of the other states at about the same time. Full particulars regarding the advances were also published by the Sunraysia Daily, of Mildura, on the 26th January and 20th April, 1925, and by the Murray Pioneer, of Renmark, South Australia, on the 30th January and 1st May, 1925.
asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
– The amount of bank notes outstanding on the 31st March, 1925, was as follows : -
2 and 3. The notes referred to in the reply to question No. 1 were issued prior to the 1st July, 1911, the date of the commencement of the Bank Notes Tax Act 1910. No tax is payable on those notes. The tax of 10 per cent imposed by the act was paid during 1911- 1912 and 1912-1913, in respect of the following banks’ own notes, which were issued in error, but withdrawn soon afterwards : -
Since that time, no bank has issued any of its own notes,
asked the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -
Will he take into consideration the advisability of fixing the price ofsugar at current rates, to all Australian ports, and thus place the people in remote localities on the same equality of footing as the residents of the capital cities?
-It is not possible to carry out the honorable member’s suggestion, as the Government’s policy for three years, from 1st September, 1925 - which has been accepted by the Queensland Government and the sugar industry - does not provide for uniform sugar prices except at the capital city of each state.
asked the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -
– No, but action has been taken to make the practice uniform throughout Australia. The present practice is that the weight of the stalks is not included in the weight for duty. That practice had obtained in five of the states, but it was ascertained that one state was not following this procedure. Consequently on the 4th December, 1924, an instruction was issued to bring all the states into line.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Home and Territories, upon notice -
What is the number of German nationals who were allowed to enter Australia in the five years ended 30th June, 1925?
– The following are the figures showing the number of persons of German nationality who entered the Commonwealth during the years 1920 to 1924 inclusive, and during the period from the 1st January, 1925, to the 31st May, 1925, which are the latest figures available : -
The foregoing figures include Germans who were previously resident in Australia and were returning to Australia after visits abroad; also Germans admitted temporarily for business or other purposes, as well as those granted special permission to enter. The total net migration, i.e., excess of arrivals over departures, for the whole period mentioned, was 127.
– On the 1st July the honorable member for Cook (Mr. C. Riley) asked the following questions: -
I now desire to inform the honorable member that the replies to his questions are as follow: -
Note. - Of tho above amount of £29’,060,601, the Central Wool Committee, on the 27th October, 1920, distributed £7,853,000, and Bawra, between the 30th July, 1921, and the 12th February, 1924, distributed £21,407^601.
The latest financial statement prepared by Bawra was issued in May last, and showed total funds of £7,735,718 8s. 4d., as follows:Capital liability of ls. per share, amounting to £592,402; surplus, to the 30th April, 1925, of £5,301,376. In addition, the sum of £1,841,940 8s. 4d. is held in trust. The funds at present held by Bawra, and the amounts held in trust, cannot be distributed until all litigation is settled.
Commonwealth Government among . the growers. In these circumstances, and as such moneys never formed part of the Consolidated. Revenue, parliamentary approval was not necessary. The answer given by me on the 25th June to question No. 2, asked by the honorable member, should have stated that those payments were in respect of .wool-tops. As those payments were made by the Commonwealth Government out of revenue, parliamentary appropriation was necessary .
– On the 19th June the honorable the Leader of the Opposition (Mr.. Charlton) asked the following questions : -
I have now obtained the additional information desired. It is as follows: - ‘
– On the 10th June the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) requested that the whole of the correspondence relating to the construction of the proposed new cruisers be made available. I promised to go through the files to ascertain how. much information might be made public. I find that it is undesirable in the public interest that any of these papers should be made public, but as far aspossible the file will be made available for perusal by the honorable member at my office.
– On the 1st July the honorable member for Werriwa (Mr. Lazzarini) asked for the names of the experts who inquired into the tile and brick works at Canberra. The following is the information received from the Federal Capital Commission: -
The expert who reported upon the brickworks was Mr. David R. Rogers, of the Austral Brick Company of Sydney. The expert who reported upon the tileworks was Dr. Wunderlich, of the Wunderlich Tile Company of Sydney. The above disposes of the questions asked in the telegram, but further questions may be asked in Parliament, and I am, therefore supplementing the replies under this question by full information which will enable you cither to deal with further questionspromptly or possibly by tabling this statement to obviate further questioning.
Brick Works. -The Canberra Brick Works have been turning out a brick of remarkably fine quality; in fact, a quality unnecessarily good for ordinary construction work. This extra quality is clearly not objectionable if it does not involve extra cost, and the investigations originally made here indicate that it would be difficult to produce a cheaper brick whether the quality was reduced or not. The cost of bricks is such an important matter in building construction, and’ the Commission was so anxious that everything possible should be done to bring the cost down to an absolute minimum, and was somewhat exercised in mind regarding the works cost, viz., approxi mately £4 15s. per 1,000, which it felt was capable of improvement, that it decided to call in an expert of repute to consult with its own brick-works’ manager, and to report as to what, if anything, could be done to improve the economics of the brick factory. It is, however, pleasing to all concerned that Mr. Rogers reported that -“ The Canberra bricks are as goodas any he had seen in Australia, Great Britain, or the United States of America.” He made a number of valuable suggestions regarding economic improvements, most of which have been endorsed by the Commission’s brickworks manager, and subsequently by the Commission. Mr. Rogers was paid a fee of fifty guineas for his report.
Tile Works. - The investigation into the tileworks came under a slightly different category. Strictly speaking, no tile-works exists at Canberra. A small expenditure in tilemaking plant has been provided, and the tile treated, more or less, as a by-product of the brick-works. A single unit tile-works would cost something in the vicinity of £20,000; whereas, only £5,000 has been specially invested in tile-making plant here.
The following papers were presented: -
Arbitration (Public Service) Act - Determinations by the Arbitrator,&c.-
No. 19 of 1925- Australian Postal Linemen’s Union.
No. 20 of 1925. - Australian Postal Linemen’s Union, and others (Higher Duties Allowance).
Papua Act - Ordinance of 1925 - No. 2 - Port Moresby Electric Light and Power.
Papuan Oilfields - Report of the Commonwealth Representative for May, 1925.
Public Service Act -Appointment of H. K. Burbury, Postmaster-General’s Department.
Seat of Government AcceptanceAct and Seat of Government Administration Act - Ordinance of 1925 - No. 2 - Industrial Board.
Service and Execution of Process Act - RegulationsStatutory Rules 1925, No. 105.
Bill received from the Senate, and (on motion by Mr. Marr) read a first time.
Bill returned from the Senate without amendment.
.- I move-
That, in accordance with the provisions of the Commonwealth Public Works Committee Act 1913-21, it is expedient to carry out the following proposed works, which were referred to the Parliamentary ‘Standing Committee on Public Works, and on which the Committee has duly reported to this House the result of its investigations: -
Construction of Sewage Treatment. Works, Federal Capital.
Construction of Northern Main Intercepting Sewer, Canberra.
On the 25th September last this House referred these two matters to the Public Works Committee for report. That Committee submitted its report, which was laid upon the table of the House, ordered to be printed and, later, distributed. The cost of the northern main intercepting sewer is estimated at. £80,000, and that of the main outfall sewer and the treatment works at£37,000. The annual cost of maintenance will be £4,570. Information respecting these works has, for some considerable time, been in the possession of honorable members. I ask the House to accept the motion so that these works may be carried out.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Debate resumed from 3rd July (vide page 733), on motion by Mr. Bruce -
That the bill be now read a second time.
Upon which Mr. Charlton had moved, by way of amendment -
That after the word “ now “ the following words be inserted: - “withdrawn and redrafted to provide more adequate provisions regarding alien immigration, and for the reconsideration of the drastic proposals to deport Australian citizens.”
.- The debate on this measure has rambled over a considerable area, and the accusations that have been levelled at this side of the House prompt me to quote a statement made by the late W. E. Gladstone, an eminent statesman of his time, to place on record at least one opinion made when the Labour movement was not so virile, and its accomplishments were not so great as they are to-day. He said -
I painfully reflect that in almost every politicalcontroversy of the last 50 years the leisured classes, the educated classes, the wealthy classes, the titled classes have been in the wrong. The common people - the toilers, the men of uncommon sense - these have been responsible for nearly all the social reform measures which the world accepts to-day.
I address that quotation particularly to the honorable member for Macquarie (Mr. Manning), who in his speech re ferred to all that had been given to the workers in days gone by. But according to the late W. E. Gladstone, all the social measures and remedial reforms that the public of his time enjoyed were attributable to the very forces which this bill now seeks to harm. The majority of honorable members supporting the Government have stated that this bill is one of two parts, but they know full well that they make that statement with their tongue in their cheek. It is not a bill of two parts.Certainly it applies to two different sets of circumstances, but so far as Ministers are concerned, their only object is to carry the second part of the bill. The first part of the measure applies to the influx into Australia of southern Europeans. I wish to impress it upon honorable members on that side of the House that for some time past the Labour party has condemned the Government for its ineptitude in failing to control the immigration of southern Europeans. I suggest that the first portion of the bill is mere camouflage. This measure has not been introduced for the purpose of preventing an influx of immigrants into Australia, because the ships which bring these polyglot immigrants that are arriving to-day will continue to come here in the future. I listened intently to the speech delivered last Thursday by the honorable member for Wakefield (Mr. Foster). He made a very vigorous, virulent address, characterististic of him and his politics. I shall reply to his statements when I come to the second part of the bill, but, before doing so, I ask what the honorable member said about the influx of aliens. Did any one hear him say a word on that topic? He, I, and other honorable members who represent South Australian constituencies in this House, received a deputation some time ago from a representative body in Adelaide. I say “ representative” because of the standing of those who comprised it. One member of the deputation was a nurse, who, during the influenza epidemic, had been employed in one of the northern industrial towns of South Australia. She made some startling allegations regarding the conduct of southern Europeans in that town at a critical time in the history of this country. It was surely the duty of the honorable member for Wakefield to tell the House what that deputation said.
– I shall say something about it later on.
– The time to say it is now. The honorable member waxed very eloquent and very wild about the part of the bill that he wishes to. see put into operation immediately, but he did not say a word about that deputation.. He did not, for instance, say anything about the statements of a minister of religion, who would surely not, knowingly, do a human being an . unkindness. That reverend gentleman supported the view that a check should be placed upon the influx of alien immigrants. I presume that the honorable member, as chairman on that occasion, took notes of the proceedings, with a view to giving effect to the wishes of his constituents?
– I shall do so with pleasure.
– But the honorable member has not done so. He denounced the Labour movement with great vehemence, and almost knocked the skin off his knuckles in his anxiety to demonstrate what a baneful influence it has. He could not possibly have been more vehement or more inaccurate. But he did not touch upon the subject of the deputation. Has any honorable member on the other side of the House condemned the Government for not restricting the influx of southern Europeans? Not one! The honorable member for Wakefield, in not referring to this deputation, hid something, and did not do his duty. The only honorable member who said anything by way of criticizing the Government was the honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes). The Nationalists bought him and paid for him, and now find that he has feet of clay. There is nothing in the bill to suggest that more will be done in the future than has been done in the past to restrict immigration. The arrival of ship-loads of immigrants, last week, without any southern Europeans, will no “doubt , be referred to by Government supporters as a set-off against the heavy alien immigration of recent months. No doubt, we shall again hear the “ big gun “ in the other place referring to the large proportion of Britishers among recent arrivals. If we are to learn by experience, we must assume that the practice of the past will be repeated in the future. If we are to hold Australia white, as the Labour party hopes to hold it, and is determined to hold it, even to fighting for it, we must not allow our White Australia policy to be undermined in the way disclosed in the report of the royal commission. The honorable member for Wakefield should have told the House that, on the reliable testimony of a nurse, some of the beds occupied by aliens in a certain town were never cold.
– I shall tell all about that at the proper time, and shall say who is to blame for it.
– It is the honorable member’s duty to tell the Government that it is to blame. There is an election pending, and the electors of Wakefield want to know what the Government has done to restrict the immigration of aliens.
– It is a matter for the state governments.
– It is not. The deputation did not interview federal members on a. state matter. I informed the House, by interjection, that the Premier of South Australia had appealed again and again to’ the Prime Minister to restrict the influx of southern Europeans into South Australia. The honorable member knows that it is a federal, and not a state matter. It should have been grappled with by this Government months ago, instead of being brought forward at this late hour and used as a camouflage for another proposal that should stand on its own. The amendment should be accepted by the House, the bill should be redrafted, and the measures that are necessary to restrict the influx of aliens should be definitely stated. The PostmasterGeneral (Mr. Gibson) was put u»> by the Government to reply to the arguments of honorable members on this side. He alleged that we were opposed to all forms of immigration. I do not know how many times members of the Opposition will have to stand up in this House and say that they are in favour of immigration when it is properly controlled in the interests of Australia. Notwithstanding the satirical, sardonic smile of the honorable member for Wakefield, the electors of Australia, who will shortly be called upon to elect a new federal parliament, have at several state elections recently accepted the views of the Labour party regarding immigration. Our views are the same in the state parliaments as they are in this parliament. Would the electors return Labour governments to power in the state parliaments if they did not approve of our immigration policy as a means of developing this splendid country of ours? I say no. When we abolish the strangling restrictions of gerrymandered electorates and Houses of second thought in the states, the Labour party will more than earn the praise that the late Mr. W. E. Gladstone applied to the workers before they were as well organized as they are to-day. The Postmaster-General asked what any state government had done, and I interjected, “What has the South Australian Government done?” The honorable gentleman did not reply to that. He chose to take no notice of it, because he knew that Mr. Speaker was watching him, and to do so would be disorderly. I shall tell him now what Mr. Gunn has done. Mr. Gunn, who knows the necessity for immigration,’ had placed before him a proposal, similar to that submitted to the other states, for the supply of cheap money. Before he would do anything he appointed a commission of experts from the Land and Agriculture Department to go into the question of what land was available for settlement purposes. I believe the gentlemen forming the commission are Messrs. Field, Colebatch, and Stafford, and I do not think that they will say in their report that the South Australian Government should accept this cheap money for settling people. I make bold to say that their report will be against the acceptance of the money until it is certain that land will be available for those who may be brought out under the agreement. The Postmaster-General said he thought that the State Governments would have jumped at the opportunity of getting this money a”t 1 per cent. Labour Governments do not stand for the borrowing of any money abroad. I admit that the principle has at times been departed from, but I am prepared to vote to-morrow against borrowing outside of Australia in any circumstances. I have gone so far as to hope that some of our loans floated abroad would be failures, so that we might then have to depend upon ourselves. It is on record in Hansard that when the Right Honorable Andrew Fisher proposed to borrow the enormous amount of £20,000,000 he sought the advice of the bankers, brokers, and other financial thugs of this country, the people who ought to be deported if any one. should be, I wish that Mr. Fisher had gone to Labour men instead of to their oppo nents for his advice. Those whose advice he did seek told him that if he was to get £20,000,000, he would have to be content to do so in instalments of £5,000,000. I invite the- honorable member for Wakefield to read the leader which appeared in the South Australian Register on the subject. When the PostmasterGeneral said that he thought the State Governments would have jumped at the opportunity to obtain money at 1 per cent., he went no further. He dared not tell this community that the proposal merely is that we should relieve Great Britain of a grievous burden, and pay her 1 per cent, for doing so. The proposal . really is that we should relieve Great Britain of its unemployment dole by bringing her unemployed to Australia, because she has got into a bigger mess than they are in Tasmania, where the Liberals have been forced to hand the government of the country over to a Labour administration to get it out of its difficulties. To get back to the question of borrowing money-
– I am afraid I cannot allow the honorable member to discuss the borrowing problem on the bill now before the House.
– I had no desire to discuss the question of borrowing except in reply to the remark made by the PostmasterGeneral that he thought that the State Governments would have jumped at money offered at 1 per cent. Does the honorable, gentleman desire to force the State Governments to jump at this money? I was going to demonstrate that money could be secured in Australia, though perhaps not at 1 per cent., and the interest paid upon it would go back into the Commonwealth Treasury, as it does. in the case of the war loans borrowed in Australia. This discussion is perhaps wide of the bill, but future opportunities will arise to discuss the borrow and burst policy of the Liberals. For what does the PostmasterGeneral think this money should be bor- rowed ?
– To absorb British migrants.
– The honorable gentleman said it was not to absorb migrants, but to build railways, roads, and bridges, and bring labourers out to Australia.
– To build them with British labour and Australian labour.
– I do not say that the honorable gentleman wanted to cut out Australians, but, if we are to build bridges, roads, and railways, we must have population to use them. The Prime Minister, in condemning Mr. Allan in Victoria, because he would not take, this money at 1 per cent., spoke of the number of cattle raised, the number of acres under cultivation, and so on, here, in comparison with Great Britain, but the right honorable gentleman did not say how the lands of Victoria are held, and why it is there are not more cattle raised in this state. The honorable members for Wakefield (Mr. Foster), Darwin (Mr. Whitsitt), and honorable, members on the other side representing New South Wales constituencies, should deal with our land-locked states, in which we have roads, bridges, and railways, which are the burden of the general taxpayer, constructed on lands held in blocks by private persons, and against the true development of the country.
– South Australia, repurchased all such lands.
– I am glad to have that interjection. The honorable member pays a compliment that he does not intend to the Labour movement in the years he spoke of when it forced the breaking up of large estates and opened up the land to the people. As the result of the efforts of Labour men in those days, instead of the aboriginal, the sheep, and the dingo, there is now in those previously land-locked districts to be heard the laughter of school children and the land is being put to profitable use. The men who were responsible for that would probably be deported under this bill.
– The honorable member was not in it.
– Was I not? I am no chicken. In the ‘” factory in which I worked at that time, a man was docked if he took half an hour off, and I can remember that I went without my dinner and lost an hour to go down to the railway station to escort Bob Guthrie and Charlston after the announcement of the Senate poll in Adelaide.
– It would be a good thing if we had Bob Guthrie now.
– The honorable member made the statement that I was not in it. Is he going to eat his words ? He cannot side-track me like that. I was very much in it. I can remember that when Mr. Charlston, at a meeting in the Unley Town Hall, when he was attempting to justify his secession from the Labour party, asked, “What have I done?” iu the tearful voice which men who leave us acquire, I was the only one in the meeting who had the temerity to reply, “ You turned rat on our party.” But, let me get back to the Postmaster-General, who> was the only speaker on the other side who dealt with the immigration provisions of the bill. He talked of the building of railways, roads, and bridges with money borrowed at 1 per cent., but he said nothing of the opening up of the country for the settlement of immigrants. Honorable members say that we on this side are opposed to immigration. Of course, we are when it means the introduction of labourers, and no steps are taken for their settlement on the land. When those labourers arrive, if they are organized and join with others in the Labour movement to demand that roads, bridges, and railways shall be constructed only, on lands available for settlement, it will be held that their demand is inimical to the best interests of the country, and then the second portion of this measure will be brought into operation and honorable members opposite will try to deport their leaders. The immigration policy now proposed is not to ‘ provide employment in Australia, but to relieve Great Britain of its unemployed. Let Great Britain carry its own baby, and let those who come here come here because of the attractions of Australia, and because it is a better place than “Great Britain to live in. When the party on this side again get into power it will pass legislation, not to borrow money at 1 per cent, to bring out immigrants, but to establish a sound, intelligent, and reasonable immigration scheme that will do justice to every one.
– Does the honorable member think money should be borrowed at 7 per cent. ?
– I am not now talking about borrowing at all. If the honorable gentleman asks for my individual opinion, it is that no interest should be paid on money. I should be more Christlike, shall I say - and I direct this to the honorable member for Wakefield (Mr. Foster), because I know that at one time the honorable gentleman wore the cloth - and I should go into the temple and kick over the tables of the money changers. That is what I have always said I would do, but I have not been able to move the multitude. Some day the multitude will be moved, and then God help the money changers ! I remember that I was once referred to .in a leading article because I said that if I could get my fingers on the neck of the capitalistic goose it would be ‘good-night goose. To get back to the bill, honorable members opposite never touched upon the crux of the measure. I say that the Government is not sincere in introducing this bill. It does not desire to prevent alien immigration or to introduce any provision to bring immigrants here under fair conditions. On these grounds I say that, ‘with respect to the first part of the bill, the amendment should be carried, the bill should be redrafted, and the Government should, in definite words which cannot be sidetracked, express its intention in regard to the prevention of the influx of aliens.
I come now to the more contentious provisions of the bill, which it gives honorable members opposite pleasure to support. I say. with others, that this bill is an attack upon unionism. It introduces into our public life a vicious principle. It makes a distinction, which was never made before in the laws of this country, between British subjects. Under this bill, no matter how long a man has been here, or how clean his record and his home life, if he takes up an attitude opposed to the powers of the day, he can be deported. Possibly, I might myself be a victim. I am a Britisher, and I have nothing to regret in what I have done throughout my connexion with the Labour movement. I have done nothing that I would not do again. I have been in Australia for about 47 years.
– What does it matter how long a person has been here?
– I contend that in those 47 years I have, according to my opportunities, done something to build up the prosperity of the country, to promote reforms, arid te make profits for those for whom I have worked. If a man comes to Australia with more advanced ideas than are possessed by the population generally, and in less than twelve months he gathers to himself such forces that he is able to do what this bill says may not be done; and if there is an outcry in consequence, that man should be deported before I, with 47 years’ residence in the country, am deported.
– I would not deport the honorable member for the world.
– I hope not; but I would deport the honorable member to-morrow, not because of any personal animosity, but because his politics are not progressive enough, and because his deportation would open the way for a better man to take his place. I hasten to add that I am not vicious in making these comments. The liability to deportation is a serious matter to those who take an active interest in the industrial life of the community, men who have their fingers on the pulse of the industrial world, and are desirous of improving the conditions’ of their fellow men. Honorable members opposite speak of the value of arbitration, but they must know that the introduction of. arbitration and wages boards was fought most bitterly by those interests which they represent. All honorable members for South Australia know how arbitration was opposed in that state. I have a recollection of a firm in South Australia which in its own sphere had practically no opposition. Unionism, therefore, did not touch it. That firm had sufficient influence with the Legislative Council to keep its industry free from interference by the Arbitration Court. So there were no unions of bedstead makers, fire-proof safe makers, and galvanizediron workers. No other firm in South Australia employed these workers. But later unions were formed, and a week’s strike took place. When the men had obtained the conditions for which they went on strike, the head of the firm, figuratively’ speaking, went on his bended knees to Mr. R. P. Blundell, who then represented Adelaide in the South Australian Parliament, to request that a wages board to control the firm’s employees be established. The same thing happened in connexion with arbitration. At first these people did not want it, but afterwards they pleaded for it. While I am not satisfied that arbitration satisfactorily meets presentday needs, it is the best solution of industrial troubles that has yet been evolved.
– Surely the honorable member does not propose to discuss that subject also?
Honorable Members. - Hear, hear !
– No, Mr. Speaker, I shall endeavour to keep within the motion before the House to a greater extent than did some honorable members who now say “ hear, hear “ to your rebuke. This bill provides that a man who may be held to come within the ambit of this law, if passed, shall attend before a board. What guarantee will he have that on that board there will be even one member who will look at his case from his point of view? I know what boards can do, as I myself was on one occasion brought before a board to answer a charge of having done something which I was not supposed to do. I am prepared to admit that the strength of an individual is sometimes reflected in the power that he exercises over the members of his union. A man may sometimes get his way, and mislead the members of a union; but is deportation the only way to deal with him? Can we not find some other method more in keeping with our ideals and the traditions of Australia? At the best, deportation is a dead-end policy.
– What about Walsh?
– It is immaterial to me whether- the person to be deported is Mr. Walsh, or the honorable member’s friend, Mr. Blundell, whom I have mentioned. For his action in connexion with the drivers’ strike in Adelaide, Mr. Blundell would, under this bill, be liable to deportation; in fact, a board properly constituted would be at liberty to deport the majority of the men who organized that strike. Yet, when one considers the wages and conditions of the drivers in Adelaide at that time, one must come to the conclusion that that strike was justified. I should like to see some Government supporter enlighten us as to the constitution of this board, and should like also to have the assurance that those individuals who may be brought before it will have proper representation on it. The mili tary board before which I had to appear on one occasion consisted of three military officers; there was no private on that board. The result was that Gunner Yates was under detention for 60 days. Yet - il say it deliberately - I did not one scintilla of harm. Not only was I under detention for 60 days, but payment for 60 days was deducted from my pay, and also from the money payable to my wife. I believe that I left the army owing it money. I recall that incident in my career to show what a board constituted under vicious legislation such as this can do. Under this bill a man may be deported “willy nilly.” If the board does not arrive at conclusions which are satisfactory to the Government, it will quickly be disbanded, and another board which will act in’ accordance with the Government’s desires will take its place. I think that I have shown that not only will this legislation be futile, but that it is contrary to Australian sentiment. I recollect the case of a man who, as Premier of South Australia, was invited to Mr Gambier to lay a foundation stone. Later, when he was in disfavour, with certain sections of the community, and there was no legislation by which he could be deported or placed in jail, those people whose wrath he had incurred vented their spleen by placing tar over his name on that foundation stone. They accused him of wanting to break the marriage tie.Yet, when he died, he was lauded by those very people who. previously had condemned him. The bill is a demonstration of the inability of the Government to meet present-day conditions. It is vicious in its incidence, and does not reflect the psychology of the Australian people. The views of the Australian citizens on this legislation cannot be ascertained at present, but I should not be surprised if after the next election 1 have as colleague in this House a Labour member representing the district of Wakefield. If the Government is to escape the sentence written on the Avail it should accept the amendment, withdraw the proposed legislation, and redraft it.
– I have always been at a loss to understand what exactly constitutes the immigration policy of the Labour party. From honorable members opposite one continually hears the cry that if more people are brought to this country there will be less work for those already here. The cry is repeated despite the fact that the history of Australia, of the United States of America, and of many other countries, gives the lie direct to it. The experience of almost all countries has been that, with the increase of population, there is a corresponding increase in the employment provided, together with greater progress and development. The history of Australia shows that, with the increase of population there has been development and progress, and a general improvement in wages and in the standard of living. In 1871, real wages in Australia were on the basis of an index-number of 543, as compared with an index-number of 1,000 in 1911. During those 40 years the population of Australia was practically quadrupled. Between 1910 and 1913 persons totalling nearly 250.000 arrived in this country, but despite that huge influx of population real wages continued to increase. The same thing has happened in the United States of America where, with a population of 115,000,000, the conditions of life are infinitely better to-day than when the population was only half that number, or as small as that of Australia to-day. I had hoped that honorable members opposite would clear away the indefiniteness which surrounds the immigration policy of their party. But, unfortunately, the indefiniteness of the Labour party’s attitude towards big national questions seems to have become almost chronic. It has no defence policy; some of its members urge that there should be no defence, others advocate naval defence, and yet others air defence. Some honorable members opposite are opposed to Australian warships being used to protect the lives and property of Australian and British citizens outside our own waters, but they are quite willing that the fleet should be utilized by the League of Nations for the enforcement of decisions that have nothing to do with Australia. A big section of the party is inclined to defy arbitration, whilst other sections of the party support it.
– The Labour party stands for arbitration; the Treasurer cannot say otherwise.
– I am glad to learn that there are some honorable members who definitely support that policy. In regard to the important matter of the taxation of Crown leaseholds, the opinion of the party is divided. The State Labour Government in Queensland reduced that taxation, but the Labour party in this Parliament objects, to the reduction by the Federal Government. The same indefiniteness is observed in connexion with the party’s attitude towards immigration. We cannot learn what is the policy of honorable members opposite. I confess I cannot understand their’ feelings towards this bill. The measure has two objectives, which everybody in the community should applaud, namely, to ensure that only the most desirable migrants shall enter the country, and that the least desirable shall be excluded, and that if by any chance undesirables do gain admission the Government shall be able to deport them. Those are the fundamental principles of the bill. We have heard from honorable members opposite a great deal of talk about Australian sentiment, but any honorable member who is a true Australian must give his solid support to this legislation. The Government desires to prevent the filling up of the Commonwealth with undesirable migrants, and it is seeking power, not only to prevent undesirables from entering the country, but also to deal with those who have’ entered it. And. because its migration policy is well understood, it can propose that course without risk of its action’s being misinterpreted by any other’ country. Ministers believe in bringing to Australia as many British immigrants as can be safely absorbed, and we have arranged with the British Government a constructive scheme of migration which Will promote Australian development and increase its population. Therefore, I repeat, the policy of the Government - the steady immigration of desirables and the rigid exclusion of undesirables - cannot be misconstrued. One would expect the Opposition, to support this bill, because it is necessary - (1) to save trades unionism iri Australia; (2) to eliminate some of the most important causes of unemployment; and (3) to maintain our representative institutions, which have been the safeguards of British liberty and the torchbearers of political progress during the last 700 or 800 years. That such an attitude is expected from the Labour party is proved by statements made during the last few weeks by men who take no side in politics. Recently Deputy President Webb, of the Arbitration Court, said -
The policy of the union had caused inconvenience to every section of the public. Much of the unemployment and distress that existed in Australia to-day had been caused by the tactics of the Seamen’s Union. . . .
These tactics would cause concern to every one. and particularly to the vast majority of those who had the interests of bona fide trade unionism at heart. Such tactics would never succeed in this country no matter what might happen in the rest of the world. The Australian seamen had the best conditions in tho world. They had been obtained by constitutional methods, and not by the methods advocated by Mr. Walsh and Mr. Johnson. He would regret to see the seamen following the foreign methods advocated by these two men.
That is the opinion of an independent witness regarding the dangers into which foreigners are leading trade unionists. He has pointed out that that policy is certain to destroy arbitration, and if that happens, what will be the effect upon trade unionism ? In 1901, when the first Arbitration A.ct was passed in New South Wales there were, approximately, 68,000 trade unionists in Australia. By 1911 there were 573 unions with a membership of 345,000, and in 1923 there were 797 unions, with 699,000 members. Every unbiased observer must recognize that the arbitration system has promoted the development of organization amongst the workers. On the other hand, in Canada, where there is no system of industrial arbitration, the number of trade unionists has decreased from 378,000, in 1919, to 276,000 in 1922, a decline of 102,000 in three years. There can be no doubt as to the ultimate fate of arbitration in Australia if the present policy of the extremists is continued. Under our system of arbitration working .conditions- have improved, and wages have increased, and, as the Leader of the Opposition said, there have been practically no lockouts by the employers.
– What has this argument to do with deportation ?
– I am speaking of the blow that has been struck at arbitration by certain persons who have come to this country from abroad. What is the attitude of. these imported leaders of labour towards industrial conciliation and arbitration? Mr. Walsh stated in the Arbitration Court -
The union feels that the time taken up in coming before the court has been wasted, and with all respect to this court, can be more profitably employed in other directions.
There is no indefiniteness about Mr. Walsh’s attitude. The Deputy President of the Arbitration Court said on the 5th June -
Such facts have no parallel in the history of .this court, and the duty devolves on me of deciding what the consequences of such conduct is to lie. The declared policy of tlie law of Australia is that industrial disputes are to be settled by arbitration, and it necessarily follows thai it is impossible for a union to have the benefits of the law which has been made for the purposes of settling its disputes if it also arrogates to itself the right to resort to unlawful means for the purpose of enforcing its demands. The two things cannot live side by side. It is not open to doubt that this union is acting in defiance of the principles of arbitration. It has, however, endeavoured to excuse itself by suggesting that the applicants have endeavoured to evade the awards of the court. A careful consideration of the facts which have been submitted to me, lias forced upon my mind an inevitable conclusion that ti) is union has entered into a policy of defiance of the law, and that it is determined not to depart from it. Mr. Walsh’s attitude in court fully confirms this. There are none who can do the workers of Australia a greater wrong than the wrong which is done by those who force the court to take the step which it is now talcing.
That is the opinion of an unbiased observer, and I desire to place on record alongside it the views of the general mass of the workers. A few days ago the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) insisted that it was impossible for a few individuals in an organization to rush the mass of its members to destruction, because whilst the extremists might get control temporarily, the opinion of the majority would prevail in the end. But this is what the State Disputes Committee in Western Australia said -
What right have a few officials and members of the Seamen’s Union to paralyse the shipping of Fremantle, and thus deprive 1,000 lumpers of bread? What right have a few to run amok to the detriment, not only of the lumpers, but of every worker in the state? If a vital life or death principle were at stake, the State Disputes Committee would adopt a different stand, but it believes that a. satisfactory settlement of this dispute could be obtained by arbitration.
It is clear that the workers approve of the policy of the Government to ensure that undesirables from abroad who try to set at nought the laws and traditions of this country shall be deported, because, if they remain, they will not only destroy trade unionism, but also cause unemployment, distress, and want throughout the length and breadth of the land. That is another reason why members of the Opposition should join with the Government in giving a speedy passage to this bill. During the last five years the biggest losses on account of unemployment have been in connexion with those industries which have been controlled by imported leaders. In the coal-mining industry there has been an actual direct loss, through unemployment, of ?4,700,000, and in the shipping industry, of ?1,800,000. The men employed in those industries have been led by aliens during that period. As the Leader of the Opposition said, there have been no lockouts, because under the Arbitration Act. the employer can be penalized for doing anything in the nature of a lockout. It is evident, therefore, that, the unemployment and the losses it has entailed have been caused by men who incite the workers to resist the decisions arrived at by an impartial Arbitration Court after hearing all the evidence. The Arbitration Act created special machinery for the purpose of keeping the wheels of industry in motion, but the imported leaders of the workers have shown very clearly that their aim is to scrap that machinery. In addition, there is a general feeling of instability throughout the community. Constant strikes and the intrusion of job control into the whole of our industrial life are hindering the introduction of new capital into this country, and the establishment of new industries. There is, consequently, more and more unemployment. What is the object? These imported men aim to destroy the representative institutions and ideals of this country. They say openly that they intend to do this. Mr. Walsh has stated definitely that the capitalist class in Australia was almost wholly in favour of the White Australia policy; and there was, therefore, no need for the worker to make so much of it. He said that that was why the patriotic Labour politicians who stood up for WhiteAus.traliaism were enemies of the working classes. Mr. Walsh is totally opposed to the White Australia policy. These imported men not only oppose our ideals, but also aim at the destruction of our institutions. They say this as openly as they advocate the abolition of the Arbitration Court. The official report of the Melbourne Labour Congress, published in 1922, contains various state ments by representative men who were then present. Mr. Baddeley said -
The mines should he owned by the people, and administered by the miners. We are not going to function under Parliament as it exists to-day.
Mr. Willis said: ;
They must get down to bedrock or the socialization of industry, with control by tha workers in the industry. They did propose to control industry right up through their economic council. The council was to be constituted by the various representatives of industry. The position to-day in Russia is that, although they have a Soviet form of political government …. behind it they are building up what will be the real government of. Russia. . . . the supreme economical council. That will be the greatest force in Russia, preceded by the absolute overthrow of the other systems in Russia … if you can build up that complete machinery for the whole thing, a policy to control the industries of this country, then our political government will not count that (Mr. Willis held up his pencil). If you cannot get political power without resorting to violence, it is no good asking the people to vote. Instead, we should be here discussing the formation of the Red Army. Either you must organize on the lines indicated and get complete control in that way, or you must train a hig organization on the basis <j? the deliberate overthrow by force.
Mr. Scullin, an honorable member of tha House, said: -
The parliamentary machine has been used to give sanction to the schemes of the capitalistic system. We want the parliamentary regime to give sanction to our proposal and the scheme we have prepared. Prom those industries nationalized shall be chosen the general economic central council, which will really take the place of- our parliaments to-day. .
That is the attitude adopted by the men who wish to destroy, not merely our industrial system, but also our representative institutions. I do not think they have any chance of accomplishing their objective, because no British community, standing for private enterprise and individual control, will consent to the destruction of the present basis of society to bring about. the socialization of industry, production, distribution, and exchange. The result of the continual pinpricking by job control of industries will lesser, production, and the outcome must be degeneration of the standard . of living in this country, which must react upon the workers themselves. It was suggested by the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan) that the terrible conditions under which these men had lived had driven them to take a certain course. But every one will remember what occurred in connexion with the failure to man the lighthouse steamer Kyogle last year. This vessel was commissioned to attend to the lights on the north-west coast of Western Australia, the proper . operation of which is necessary to prevent shipwreck aud consequent destruction of life. This boat was held up, although it was under the control of the Government, and there was no question as to the good terms under which the men were employed. For the reasons i have given, if for no others, I expected the Labour party to join with the Government in passing a measure designed to give us power, first of all, to deal with immigration; aud, secondly, to deport any undesirables that have already arrived in this country. It has been suggested that this bill is not necessary, because this power is already in existence. Both the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey) aud the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes) suggested that we already have the power to deport undesirables. They should, therefore, not object to the bill”. We have the right at present to deport undesirables in certain specified circumstances. Therefore, we are not introducing a new principle, but rather extending a principle already established in our statutes.- We are not alone in taking this action. Every self-governing community has in its statutes the power to deport undesirables for various reasons. In New Zealand the Undesirable Immigrant Exclusion Act 1919 authorizes the Attorney-General to deport any person from New .Zealand if he is satisfied that that person is disaffected, disloyal, or likely to be a source of danger to the peace, order, and good government of the dominion. Any person ordered to leave New Zealand may be arrested and detained pending deportation. In Canada the Immigration Act 1910, amended in 1919 and 1923, makes provision for the deportation of prohibited and undesirable classes. Sec.tions 40 and 41 require immigration officers and officers employed by municipalities to make a complaint to tho Minister iti. respect of any person other than a Canadian citizen who has been guilty of certain immoral practices, or has been convicted’ of a criminal offence, or has become an inmate of a jail, lunatic asylum or public charitable institution, or has advocated in Canada the overthrow by force or violence of the Government of Great Britain or Canada or other British dominions, or ‘ the assassination of any official of those Governments, or who advocates or teaches the unlawful destruction of property, or who belongs to certain secret societies or blackmailing organizations, or who creates or attempts to create riots or public disorder, or who is a member of any organization which entertains or teaches disbelief in or opposition- to organized government. Similar legislation exists in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. In each of these countries deliberate power is taken by the Government to ensure the deportation of persons who are recognized as being undesirable, and as fomenters of disturbances. Honorable members opposite have said that this is the first time that such laws have been applied to British citizens, yet any person who has not been resident in Canada for five years can be deported. It is well known, too, that Tom Mann was deported from South Africa to Great -Britain. There are plenty of other instances on record in which the provision for deportation has been put into force. There is no case to answer respecting the objections to the measures proposed to be taken by this Government for the deportation of undesirable immigrants. This bill is no more extreme than existing legislation which aims at the prevention of certain disorders which would probably not cause more unemployment, more destruction, and more general Buffering in the community than the conditions brought about through industrial strikes. Under this bill a convicted person is dealt with in a certain way, but a person against whom there is no previous conviction will be sent before a board. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) read many sections of the report of Mr. Ferry, a royal commissioner, in Queensland. Everything he said, every quotation he made, and his every endorsement of that report were surely reasons why he should support the bill. Every word uttered by tho honorable member for Reid was. an argument in favour of the bill. Let me deal with some of the matters raised by the Leader of the Opposition. First of all, he suggested that specific quotas should be provided for in the bill. It would be impossible, in a country like Australia, to carry out the quota system as it exists in the United States of America. That country has consuls and trade agents throughout the world. Its Government is thus in constant communication with tho various shipping ports. Tho Commonwealth Government, however, under a quota system would* have no means of ascertaining in advance what migrants were coming here from different places. We have, therefore, put in this bill an open proclamation regarding the conditions under which we shall admit immigrants. We are getting in touch with various Governments throughout the world to, as far as possible arrange that there shall be no over-flooding of this country with immigrants. The Government is already restricting the immigration of southern Europeans. For instance, for the three months to the 31st December, 1924, 910 Greeks arrived here, and for the three months to the 30th April, 1925, 105 Greeks, a decrease of 90 per cent. Then, for Mp. three months to the 31st December, 1924. 950 Jugo Slavs arrived here, and for the three months to the 30th April. 1926, only 103. The arrivals of Albanians were 176 in 1924, and nil in 1925. Those figures show the good work that the Government has done. To control the selection of migrants from southern European countries, we need not adopt a quota system with its necessary expense and paraphernalia, which could not be justified at present. Regarding the misleading propaganda mentioned in the royal commissioner’s report, it may be mentioned that similar information to that referred to by him was received by the Commonwealth authorities a few months ago, and the shipping companies concerned were immediately requested to warn any agents who might be acting for them to discontinue such propaganda. His Majesty’s Government was also asked to arrange that British consuls in southern Europe, particularly in Jugo Slavia, Albania, and Greece, should give full publicity as to the actual conditions prevailing in Australia, and issue warnings to all concerned. Surely nothing more effective could have been done. Regarding the nomination of Italians, the Italian Government has arranged that passports for Australia shall not be issued to intending Italian migrants unless they are nominated by some one in Australia, or have at least £40 of capital. The arrangements made were largely due to the representations .>f the Italian Consul-General in Melbourne to his government. Of his own accord, he drew up the form of nomination-paper, and arranged that, after completion by the applicant or nominator, it should in every case, before being transmitted to Italy for production to the passport authorities in that country, be duly stamped and registered in an Italian consular office in Australia. The guarantor is required to sign the form in an Italian consular office, or before a justice of the peace, a police magistrate, or other Australian authority. These documents are not accepted as sufficient guarantee for maintenance if an Italian is found, on arrival, to be suffering from a disease or disability which, in the opinion of an officer, is likely to make him a charge upon the public. The usual form of security under the Immigration Act would be obtained in such cases. In ordinary circumstances, however, the forms serve to show that the intending Italian migrants named in them have some one here to look after them on arrival. As the Italian Consul-General has, at all times, shown himself ready to assist the Commonwealth authorities in effecting the repatriation of any migrant who might become a charge upon the public, it has been agreed, for the time being, to recognize the document as equivalent to a maintenance guarantee for Italians who are in sound health at the time of arrival. These forms do not, as a rule, remain in Italy, but are brought back to Australia by the nominees for production to the Customs authorities at the port of landing. No cases have yet come to the knowledge of the Commonwealth Government in which Italian migrants nominated under this system have become a charge upon the public, and if such cases were reported a full investigation would be made into them and they would immediately be discussed with the Italian Consul-General. He has advised the Government that he has taken certain measures to prevent abuse of the nomination system. In view of the special situation existing in north Queensland, he has instructed his consular agent at Townsville to issue nomination papers only at the request of those landed proprietors who are able to fulfil the required guarantees. He has also advised us that his government has agreed to his proposal to issue passports for Australia solely to those Italians who are guaranteed employment and maintenance by some one residing in Australia, and not to those who intend to rely entirely on the production of £40 of landing money. There is no warrant for the indiscriminate condemnation of Italian migrants. About 40 years ago an Italian settlement was made in New South Wales between the Clarence and Richmond rivers, at a place now known as New Italy. These people proved themselves among the best settlers in the district. They took up second-class land, and made a success where other settlers had not been able to succeed before them. They and their progeny became excellent citizens. There is in Italy a fine type of man whom we should be pleased to have in this country - the type that loves the land, and desires to own a farm. I admit that in southern Italy there is a type that congregates in the cities. Many of these urban dwellers are illiterate, and it is necessary to take stringent precautions to ensure that they do not enter this country in too large numbers. The remarks of the “commissioner regarding Greeks and Maltese have been carefully examined, and as a result of steps taken by the Commonwealth Government, the number of Greeks entering the Commonwealth has been reduced from 910 in the last three months of 1924 to 105 in the first three months of this year. Although the arrangement with the Malta Government provided that not more than twentyMaltese should land in any one state during one month, or not more than 120 in the Commonwealth, the actual arrivals are considerably below that number. The total number of Maltese arrivals for the four months ended the 30th April, 1925, was 235 - an average of barely 60 a month for the whole Commonwealth - and it is not considered necessary, therefore, that special action should be taken at present in regard to them. Strong exception is taken to the statement that aged and diseased migrants, whom Canada will not admit, are accepted by Australia, as it implies that the Commonwealth is guilty of gross laxity. A person who holds and has not forfeited an Australian domicile is not a “ migrant “ or “immigrant” within the meaning of th© Immigration Act, and is, therefore, not liable to the restrictions imposed in that act. Similar conditions obtain in Canada. No Maltese “migrant “ would be permitted to land in Australia if he was suffering from a disease or disability that would be likely to make him a charge upon the public unless, in exceptional circumstances, adequate provision was made for his maintenance without cost to the state.
– The Minister is stating that the Government has all necessary power now.
– I am citing these facts to show that the Government has properly administered the existing law. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) alleged that the facts were discreditable to the Government. Just as the Government has made the best possible use of the present act, ‘so it will ensure that the bill, if it becomes law, is administered with care’ and circumspection. Regarding the allegation made in Mr. Ferry’s report that advertisements, in Malta state that people with any disease are admitted into Australia, the facts are that the medical examination of alien migrants to Australia has always been strict; but during the past few months the health authorities have arranged for the examination at Fremantle, the first port of call, to be’ particularly stringent. It has also been arranged that such migrants shall be further examined before they land at the port of intended debarkation. The honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey) referred to insane migrants. That class of individual is always returned to the country whence he came. But the honorable member, on reflection, will realize that it is impossible to send back all such persons by the steamers that bring them here. It is necessary, if possible, to send’ them back in groups, so that they can have medical supervision, and can- be taken care of properly during their passage home. I am astonished to find that honorable members of the Opposition object to the Commonwealth Government Shipping Line earning an honest penny in. this way. Their idea, apparently, is that all the money spent for this purpose should be paid to outside companies. Now, I come to the question raised by the Leader of the Opposition regarding the crowding of the Northern Queensland sugar-fields with Italians. He laid the blame for that on the Commonwealth Government; but surely it is. the function of a state to see that the citizens within its borders are suitably located. The state authority is responsible, among other things, for sanitary conditions. If the conditions of alien migrants are insanitary, either in South Australia or Queensland, that is essentially a matter of state concern. On the statute-book of Queensland there is a definite provision whereby the state government can prevent the crowding of foreigners in the sugar districts. Section 2 of the act passed by the Denham Government in 1913 for “the security of the sugar industry, gives power to the Minister of _ Agriculture to authorize a dictation test in any language ‘lie may select to be applied to those engaged in the industry. Section 3 deals with cultivators as follows :-
After the passing of this act, it shall be unlawful for any person who has not first obtained in the prescribed manner, a certificate of having passed the dictation test to engage in or carry on the cultivation of sugar cane upon any land within Queensland, of which such person, whether individually or in partnership, or association with others, is the occupier. Any such person who acts in contravention of this section shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding £100, and the crop of sugar cane so being cultivated shall be liable to be forfeited to His Majesty by order of the court before which the offence is proved.
The first two paragraphs of section 4 read - ‘ ‘ ‘
I wish to place these facts on record by way of reply to the statements of honorable members opposite, who have told the people of this country that the Commonwealth Government is responsible for there being 100 per cent, of Italians in certain sugar-growing districts. I wish to place the onus of responsibility where it lies. If the Commonwealth Govern- ment attempted to interfere with state functions, what authority would it have?
There is no need for mc to say much more, for the facts and legislation speak for themselves. I agree that the true solution of the migration problem will be found, not in restrictive legislation, but in a constructive migration policy that will bring to this country hundreds of thousands of the best migrants from the other side of the world. I entirely disagree with the argument that to bring good migrants here would be certain to cause unemployment; I say, on the contrary, that it will increase employment, prosperity, and wealth. The effect of migration upon this country for the last 50 years has been to double the value of real wages to the workers. During the three years from 1910 to 1913, when wo were receiving over 75,000 migrants a year, the value of real wages increased in the ratio of 1,000 to 1,026. In a similar period during the war, when there were fewer people in this country, the value of real wages continually fell, but when we commenced to repatriate our soldiers, and to bring in increasing numbers of migrants, the value of real wages rose again until now it is higher than it was in 1911. The migration policy arranged between the Commonwealth and the Imperial Governments is the most constructive and progressive migration policy ever submitted to the people of Australia. It secures, -in addition to the active co-operation of Great Britain, a liberal subsidy from that Government. The British Government’s contribution to the £34,000,000 scheme represents about 67j500,000 of assistance to the people of Australia. Further, the Commonwealth Government is remitting interest to the amount of about £5,000,000 to the states. These combined contributions Will. enable them to undertake many developmental projects, to increase their capacity to absorb people from abroad, and to add to the prosperity of those already here. Under the. scheme, . we have to absorb 450,000 migrants in. ten years. Any one who considers the history of Australia must admit that we can do that. From 1910 to 1913 we absorbed 75,000 a year, and not only was employment found for them and the people already here, but the conditions of both were improved. Seventy- five thousand migrants a year would, be 750.000 in ten years, or 300,000 more than is suggested under the Imperial scheme. Yet honorable members opposite balk at the prospect of bringing this number of people to Australia. I am extremely sorry that they should adopt this attitude at this time when we have an opportunity of getting more immigrants of the best quality than we have ever had before. The reason is that during the last four or five years the United States of America has altered its attitude towards immigration, and has imposed a number of restrictions upon it. There are in Great Britain available and ready to come to this country, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children who would be the best migrants we could get. We have a definite scheme which will enable us to absorb British migrants in the development of our resources. I urge upon honorable members opposite that instead of decrying that scheme they should get strongly behind, it, and as strongly behind this bill.
– Much of the money is to be spent in Great Britain.
– That is not so. If honorable members opposite will take the trouble to read the terms of the agreement they will find that the whole of the money can, if necessary, be spent in Australia. They are simply trying to camouflage the position as they so frequently do. Why should, we not take advantage of the present opportunity of getting these people to come here? We have an opportunity now which will never come again. For over a period of 50 years about 1,000,000 British migrants went to the United States of America during every decade. We could get 1,000,000 migrants to come here from the Old Country in the next ten years, and it is absolutely certain that, we could absorb them. Australia is man hungry, and is thirsting for labour to come here to develop it.
– The labour would be out of employment.
– Migrants would not be out of employment. There would be more employment provided, because we could spend the money offered on schemes for the development of power and the opening up of the country. The attitude of honorable members opposite is extraordinary when we remember that about eighteen months ago Mr. Theodore was trying to claim the honour of being the father of this scheme. This is the best way to put migration on a proper basis, and to ensure that no matter what imported agitators find their way to Australia we shall have here a solid British stock that will see that there is no “ whiteanting ‘ ‘ of that stock. The migrants will enable us to secure such a power of production in this country that we shall be able to stand the strain of our peaceful development, as the migration to America enabled that country to stand the strain of war as well as to become the most wonderful producing nation in the world to-day.
– Is there not preferential treatment proposed under the migration agreement?
– What, is asked for with regard to works is that the money should be spent in productive development by overseas men if necessary, but the number of British migrants settled on the land with the money proposed to be lent is to be equivalent to the number of’ Australians. That is the only suggestion of preferential treatment, and that is a preferential treatment which the British Government gives to us. In conclusion, I strongly urge the Opposition to withdraw the amendment and get behind the bill. I am sure that in their hearts honorable members opposite are behind the bill, because they recognize that it will mean that there will be a secure future for trade unionism, less unemployment in this country, and better conditions throughout.
– The Treasurer (Dr. Earle Page) began his speech by saying that the Labour party has not defined its immigration policy, but I think that its policy has been made clear in the country and in this House on many occasions. Whilst we believe in developing the resources of Australia, we do not desire that this country should be flooded with immigrants until there is a demand for labour, and we can find employment for our own people. We have no fault to find with the admission of immigrants provided they- can be absorbed. So far the Government has not propounded any scheme to provide for their absorption.
– There is a scheme . already before the state governments.
– Until such a scheme is put before this House we are going to protect the people we represent. The honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Marks) went so far as to say that we have no right to hold this country unless we populate and develop it.
– That is right.
– The honorable member for Swan (Mr. Gregory) says that that is right, and that is generally said by supporters of the Government. But have we failed to develop the resources of this country? I deplore the fact that some men in the public life of this country never lose ari opportunity to sneer at the efforts of its pioneers and of the people who now inhabit it. Ifc is less than 140 years ago since Captain Phillip arrived in this country, bringing with him about 1,000 white people. We have now a population of about 6,000,000, and this country has been more rapidly developed than was the United States of America during a like period. With our small population we have constructed over 25,000 miles of railway. We spent over 6250,000,000 in the building of those railways. In our cities, and small towns there have been constructed 6,000 miles of tramways, at an expenditure of over £17,000,000. Telephone and telegraphic communication has been provided between most centres of population. Roads have been made throughout the’ country wherever there is settlement, and bridges have been built over our rivers. I say that what has been accomplished in the past history of this country stands to the credit of its people. ‘ The man who says we have no right to hold this country because we have not developed it slanders the race to which he belongs if he is Australian born. Men have sacrificed the social life of the cities to go out-back and establish sheep farms, «ind they have developed the wool-growing industry to such an extent that Australia is amongst the greatest producers of wool in the world. Australia is one of -the nations supplying the world with wheat. Last year we chartered 145 ships to carry our surplus wheat to other countries. We have developed coal, silver, and gold mines throughout our territory. Prosperous little townships are growing up throughout Australia, neat cottages are built by our workers, beauti ful homes by those better off, and mansions by the wealthy. I venture to say that Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide will compare very favorably with cities of. older countries of the world. I have not referred to the development of . our secondary industries, which at the present time are being starved by the policy of the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. Pratten). AH this has been done by the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic races, and yet there are men who say here that we have no right to hold this country if we do not develop it. I say that we are developing the country, and will continue to do so, and will use its resources to the best advantage of its people. Whilst we are proud of our past achievements, we shall not stand where we are. We should take a lesson from the United States of America. In that country they followed the policy of the Treasurer (Dr. Earle Page) and left their doors open wide to every one who cared to come in, with the result that to-day half their population consists of foreigners who are living in sections by themselves and cannot speak the English language. These people are a source, not of strength, but of weakness, to the Government of the United States of America. ‘ The Government of that country woke up to that fact, and shut the door against the immigration of aliens when it was almost too late. What we complain of about this bill is not the restrictions upon immigration that it proposes, but the fact that it makes no provision for a quota system. We believe that the Government should be guided in this matter by the example of the United States of America, and should regulate immigration under a quota system. We think that the bill should be withdrawn and redrafted for that purpose. Surely that is not an unreasonable request.
– We already have an arrangement providing for quotas.
– But why not put it in the bill? The Leader of the Opposition made it perfectly clear that this side of the House would agree to the insertion of a clause providing for quotas. This Government may be perfectly honest in its administration of the bill, but a future Government may act in a different manner.
– The carrying of the amendment would be such a rebuff to the Government that it would have to resign.
– I am not opposed to immigrants coming here, but I want the Anglo-Saxon and the Celtic races to predominate; for people of all other nationalities there should be a quota. A foreigner recently asked me why Aus? tralia should attempt to dictate as to the people who should come here. I replied that we who had developed the country should have the right to say who should enter it. Provided that there is employment for them, this party welcomes the’ right kind of immigrants ; but we saythat they should not be brought here while Australians are unemployed. Members of the Labour party naturally look with suspicion on that part of the bill which provides for deportation, ns we believe that it is intended as a blow to trade unionism.
– The honorable member knows better.
– I know, of course, that the honorable member for Wakefield (Mr. Foster) is a champion of trade unionism! Why is it that we on this side’ view this portion of the bill with suspicion?
– Suspicion haunts the guilty mind.
– Let us consider the position which, would arise under this legislation if there were a serious industrial dispute, and the present Ministry remained in office. The members of the Cabinet are all .men inexperienced in matters affecting trade unions. The Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce) lives in a world to himself; he has had no industrial experience. That may be his good fortune, but the fact remains that at the head of the Government is a mau who has had no experience in industrial matters, and is unfitted to grapple with great industrial problems. In that respect the present Prime Minister differs greatly from his predecessor. Mr. Hughes was cradled in industrial disputes,, and knows the psychology of the unionist. The Treasurer (Dr. Earle Page), the second man in the Cabinet, also has had no experience in industrial matters. He may know something about anatomy, but he knows nothing about the workings of any union excepting the British Medical Association, and cannot assist the Prime Minister in dealing with industrial matters. The Honorary Minister (Mr. Atkinson) is also without training in. trade unions; while the only union with which the Postmaster-General (Mr. Gibson) and the Minister for Works and Railways (Mr. Hill) have been connected is the Farmers Union, which strives to obtain the best price possible for wheat and butter. These Cabinet Ministers may be good men in other respects, but they know nothing about trade unionism. Evidence of the Prime Minister’s unfitness to deal with industrial disputes was given only last week, when a deputation waited on him with an offer to settle the present shipping dispute, guaranteeing that if the offer were accepted the vessels now laid up would resume their running, and there would be no job control. The right honorable gentleman rejected the proposal.
– Quite right, too.
– Does the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell) wish to see industrial strife in. this country t
– No, 1 want to prevent it.
– That is what we all want to do; but if disputes arise, they ought to be dealt with.
– There is a way of dealing with’ them.
– The Prime Minister adopted what has been called the attitude of the strong man. Is this country to be thrown into a turmoil because of the inexperience of the Prime Minister ? Itshould be the Government’s duty to see that the trade and commerce of the country are carried on. What happened when the Prime Minister failed to act? The Labour Premier of New South Wales called a conference, which resulted in the strike being practically settled. We all hope that his action will mean a complete settlement of. the dispute. Mr. Lang has done what this Government had the opportunity to do last week, but what, because of its lack of experience, it failed to do. Had the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. W. M. Hughes) been Prime Minister, it would not have remained for the Premier of New South Wales to deal with this question.
– The honorable member does not agree with the ex-Prime Minister.
– I do, in industrial matters; I stand for anything that will settle an industrial dispute on a fair and equitable basis. Some people blame the seamen for adopting an unreasonable attitude. That may be the case, but we must remember that the seamen are deprived of almost everything that we hold dear; they cannot enjoy home and family life, or the society and friendship of their fellows, as can other sections of the community. The greater portion of their lives is lived in the fo’castle, and there is little to prevent them from becoming soured. While they are working in the stokehold under the trying conditions which obtain in the Red Sea and other places, oft-times fainting because of the heat, they know that on deck above them are men and women of the idle rich class, who travel from place to place, and boast of the number of voyages they have made - people who live in the lap of luxury and perform no useful work in the world. Is it any wonder that they become somewhat soured?
– Should not the courts decide their conditions?
– One can understand these men having a different view of life from that which we hold. It is no wonder that they ask why they should be compelled to be the slaves of those who travel in luxury. These nien have feelings, and will not stand these conditions for all time; if there is any opportunity of bringing about industrial peace, they should be considered. When a bill was before Parliament for the constitution of a board to control the Commonwealth Shipping Line the Leader of the Opposition moved an amendment to provide that the employees should have representation on the board.
– Their representation on the board would not have made the slightest difference.
– Had those men been represented on the board they would have known ‘ that their views would be placed before it; and, consequently, there would have been fewer stoppages of work. Even private companies realize that they must consider, and consult with, their employees. A vessel costing JB1, 000, 000 is worth nothing without the human beings who constitute her crew. If these men are necessary to enable a vessel to trade and return interest on her cost they should be treated more generously than has been the case in the past. After repeated applications by the Shipping Board, the Seamen’s Union was deregistered by the Arbitration Court. But did the vessels resume their running in consequence of that deregistration? No. Honorable members on this side believe not in job control, but in arbitration, and the proper treatment of men.
– The men have good conditions now.
– They were not . given them voluntarily by the shipowners. If I remember rightly, the honorable member for Wakefield (Mr. Foster) opposed the Navigation Bill . when it was before this House.
– Yes, and. I would do . the same to-day.
– The honorable member is a little out of date. If the deportation clause is permitted to remain in this bill, those of us who have been connected with the industrial movement know what it will mean. If an industrial dispute takes place, a warrant may be issued for the arrest of any member of the strike committee. But that will not stop the strike. If one .leader is deported, another will rise up and take his place. . Deportation will not prevent industrial troubles. Wherever men unite and appoint their leaders, they resent any unjust treat-, ment of those leaders. The Arbitration Court has deregistered the Seamen’s Union, but the Commonwealth Shipping Board has agreed to insert in the articles of association a clause providing that the men shall be re-engaged on. the same conditions that applied prior to deregistration. What harm is there in that? As a result of its action the vessels under the control of the Commonwealth Shipping Board will continue to run, and no difficulty will be experienced in obtaining crews for them..
– For how long ?
– We have to live in hope.
– What is the guarantee of peace?
– The best possible guarantee - a joint undertaking by the other unions.
– Will those unions .discipline the Seamen’s Union?
– If honorable members opposite attempt to control the seamen by a coercive act of parliament which is directed against trade unionism, they will fail miserably. The present Chief Justice of Victoria (Sir William Irvine), when Premier of this state, introduced coercive legislation for the purpose of suppressing trade unionism.
– He did not. He was responsible for a very proper measure.
– It was stigmatized as the “coercion act.”
– By whom?
– By the people of Victoria, and they took the first opportunity of turning the Irvine Government out of office. In New South Wales a gentleman by the name of “ Charley “ Wade introduced a bill for the purpose of placing union leaders iu leg-irons. Parliament passed the measure, and the union leaders were sent to jail, but the coal strike continued. Later the union leaders came out of jail and the Wade Government was soon afterwards put out of office. The people deal very promptly with any Government which tries to destroy popular liberties, and if this bill becomes law, and one man is deported under it, that action will be the death knell of this Government. Every Government has power to deport criminals and lunatics, but this Government is introducing a new ground for deportation - interference with trade and commerce. The honorable member for Warringah (Sir Granville Ryrie), the honorable member for Brisbane (Mr. D. Cameron), and others in this chamber, are interested in the wool trade. At the present time a scheme is mooted for keeping wool off the foreign markets in order to regulate the price. That is a form of interference with trade and commerce.
– Wo do not agree with that scheme.
- Sir John Higgins has propounded it, and do honorable members opposite suggest that he should he deported for thus interfering with trade and commerce? His scheme, if it be adopted, will prevent the export of wool, and thus diminish unemployment in wool stores, on the wharfs, and in ships. Who is to interpret the words “interference with trade and commerce “i The bill should state clearly that these provisions are aimed at leaders of trade unions.
– Why does not the honorable member support the deportation of advocates of Russian Sovietism?
– I do not know where such persons are to be found.
– Nobody knows better than does the honorable member where they are.
– That bogy has been played out. Sir George Fuller exploited it for all it was worth during the recent elections in New South Wales. The whole country was placarded with posters regarding sovietism, Jock Garden, Tom Walsh, and other communists, but those tactics did not mislead the electors. The Fuller Government was put out of office, and the supporters of that party were sorry that they fought the election upon the communist issue. Honorable members on this side will be very pleased to go to the country with this bill as the principal issue. We and the trade unionists generally stand for arbitration.
– Trade unionism used to stand for arbitration.
– And still does.
– And the honorable member for Wakefield opposed it.
– The Labour party stands for arbitration, but we cannot abide by a system that is unjust. The judges and presidents of Arbitration Courts are not infallible; being human, they make mistakes. Recently Sir John Quick made a very serious error. After hearing evidence in a case he delivered an interim award, but later in a final judgment, which was delivered without any further evidence having been heard, that award was altered. Such actions shake the confidence of unionists in the Arbitration Court. When Mr. Justice Higgins presided over the Arbitration Court, the then Prime Minister (Mr. W. M. Hughes) did his best, to drive him off the bench, because, in his opinion, the learned judge inclined unduly towards the workers. The action of the right honorable member for North Sydney was cheered by his colleagues opposite. Surely the workers have the same right as anybody else to lose confidence in a judge whom they consider prejudiced. Whilst I believe in arbitration, advantages can. be won by means of a strike which no judge will award. What is the good of deregistering a big organization like the Seamen’s Union ? No strong union is afraid of deregistration, because it can by its own might get the conditions it desires.
– Do the seamen believe in arbitration.
– Yes, but they object to be harassed every week by applications for the deregistration of their union.
– The unions accept arbitration when it suits them.
– Yes, and so does everybody else. I do not hold any brief for the Seamen’s Union, but when a big body of men are haled before the court several times and threatened with deregistration, and they are involved in big legal expenses, they naturally say, “ Keep your Arbitration Court; we can do without it.” The ship-owners cannot operate the ships without seamen.
– And the seamen cannot do without the ships.
– They can get plenty of other work, if the statements of honorable members opposite are correct. We oppose this bill because it does not apply the quota system to alien immigration, and because it gives power to deport after inquiry by a board. If we knew how the board would be constituted, we might have less objection to it. A board composed of the honorable members for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell), Wakefield (Mr. Foster), and Swan (Mr. Gregory) would have strong sympathy with trade unions! If .the members of the board were fair-
– They would be.
– We know that it will be a political board, and will not include a representative of the trade unions. The people will not have confidence in such a tribunal. I look forward with optimism to the time when the people of the country will have an opportunity to pronounce upon the actions of this Government, particularly its introduction of this measure. Not one member of the Cabinet has had experience of industrial affairs. If Ministers had had the common sense to call a conference last week or earlier there would have been no trouble. But they have stood aloof. The Prime Minister has adopted “ the strong man “ attitude, and declared that the dispute must be fought to a finish. Of course, it must; but honorable members opposite will not feel the pinch of poverty caused by unemployment.
– The Government proposes to do what honorable members opposite are frightened to do.
– What is that?
– Deport certain men.
– There is authority under the present law to deport any undesirables, but the Government has not the courage to do that. No doubt the honorable member for Bass (Mr. Jackson) glories in this bill, because it will enable the deportation of trade unionists. That is the object of the bill, and therefore we oppose it.
’. - I have listened with a good deal of interest to the speeches delivered by honorable members opposite. The honorable member for Reid (Mr. Coleman) particularly is to be congratulated upon his very fine speech last week. With most of his views regarding the migration problem generally and our obligation to maintain our racial purity I am entirely in accord, but I was disconcerted and a little disappointed when, upon coming to that portion of the bill which gives additional powers to deport, he reiterated the declarations of .his colleagues that the measure is designed to deal a blow at the great trade unions of this country. The objects of the bill are very clearly stated, and in no way are its provisions directed against trade unionism. It is my privilege to represent an electorate which includes the head-quarters of trade unionism in Queensland, and honorable members opposite will agree that I could not possibly enjoy that honour if I had not received some support from trade unionists. Some of them voted for me because of their knowledge that I - and I think the same may be said of all my colleagues on this side of the House - am just as anxious as any honorable member opposite to maintain the rights and privileges of unionists. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton), to whose speech I listened carefully, raised no serious objection to the first portion of the bill, nor has any member of his party who has participated in this debate done so. One -would have imagined that they would have welcomed it. Whilst they have not done that, as far as I can gather their only objection is that this legislation is unnecessary and that the law already in existence gives sufficient power to control immigration. It has been contended that the economic and industrial conditions are already such that the Government should prohibit alien immigration into the Commonwealth. The report of the royal commissioner appointed by the Queensland Government to inquire into and re- port on the social and economic effects of the increase in the number of aliens in northern Queensland has been freely quoted. I, personally, have read that report very carefully, and certainly some of its suggestions appeal to me as being very sound. In the first place, the commissioner suggests the regulation and control of migration from country of origin to distribution in Australia, with particular regard to the nationality and fitness of the immigrant, and the number arriving at any one time and from any locality. He also states -
The arrival of a large number of aliens” tin-, able to. speak the English language and mi-‘ acquainted with our laws and industrial con- .ditions in districts where there is already a surplus of labour can lead only to industrial trouble and to a number of individuals being thrown upon the state for support. It is desirable that aliens be not permitted to arrive in any one district in such numbers as to become a majority of the workers in such district. When this happens, the first stop in the direction of assimilation, some knowledge of the English language, becomes unnecessary. Further, it invites strife and racial disturbances and leads to the formation of alien groups each one organized for purposes of its own and all anti-British in sympathy and outlook.
The first suggestion, as the Treasurer has already pointed out, is really more a matter for the consideration of the state than of the Federal Government. The second suggestion he makes concerns a system of nomination. Mr. Ferry says -
The Commonwealth Government advises that there is an understanding with the Italian Government that passports for Australia shall not be granted to any Italian immigrant unless he is nominated by a resident of Australia who is prepared to look after him on arrival here or unless he has at least £40 capital.
He goes on to say -
Experience has shown that the first condition is nullified by misuse of the present form of nomination, and that the monetary require- ment is of little value. The declaration to be responsible for the nominee should be made before some official whose duty it would be to satisfy himself that the declarant is in a position to carry out his undertaking. The original declaration should be filed in the immigration office, and a certified copy handed to the applicant. The sums of £10 and £40 required as landing money for the admission of immigrants may in a few cases add to the probability of the alien being able to support himself for a time. However, it is generally borrowed for production to the authorities, and returned by the immigrant immediately upon his arrival in the Commonwealth. This condition might bc abolished, and a declaration with safeguards as above referred to insisted upon in each case.
I agree that those recommendations are sound, and I trust that the Commonwealth and State Governments will take them, into consideration. No one can deny the responsibility which rests upon us to encourage suitable migrants to fill our empty spaces. We can. best overcome the difficulty regarding alien immigration by encouraging the migration of our own kith and kin from the Old Land. The first step in that direction is the acceptance of the Migration Agreement with Britain, which will . do more to find employment for those in our country who are willing to be employed than any other proposal that I know of. The intention of the agreement is definitely set out. It is desired to carry out developmental work which will increase Australia’s absorption power. It is only as the developmental work is carried on that new people will be brought to our country, and if the states accept the agreement work can be found for the great majority of our own unemployed. That the Government should seek additional power for the regulation and control of the immigration of aliens into Australia can be readily understood. It is only necessary to recall the experience of the United States of America, which has been referred to by various speakers. Since the war. America has introduced a quota system. With her population of over 100,000,000 she could impose these restrictions, following many years of practically unrestricted immigration from all the countries of the world. The war, no doubt, brought it home to the people of that country that the great majority of aliens who entered it did not really become Americans. The United States Congressional Committee reported on “the great undigested mass of alien thought, alien sympathy, and alien purpose,” describing it as “ a menace to the social, political and economic life of the country.” In 1790 - 135 years agc - more than nine-tenths of the white population of the United States of America was of British origin, and was a little less than that of Australia to-day. In 1920, the population of that country had increased * to 100,000,000, of which only 49.9 per cent were of British origin. I retain a vivid recollection of my arrival in NewYork one morning some years ago. I had voyaged from Newcastle-on-Tyne on a cargo boat, on which there were no passengers. She took the first cargo of Australian frozen beef that was sent to America, and I was travelling by her to Australia as the guest of the owners. I was somewhat concerned to find that I could not go ashore at New York, as I was not on the ship’s articles. I was not a passenger or an immigrant, therefore, they described me as an “ undesirable alien,” and to Ellis Island, the well-known immigration depot,. I proceeded. I did not remain there long. The difficulty was overcome by placing me on the ship’s articles, and I still retain my discharge as an “ A.B. conduct. “ very good.” But as long as memory lasts I shall clearly recall the’ scene at Ellis Island. Practically all nations were represented in the crowded migration buildings - and every language spoken. Some of these persons were waiving to get their credentials. I do not think that there -was any condition imposed than . the possession of a certain sum of money. Some of them had not the necessary sum of money, and were waiting to be returned to their own country. Others were, waiting to be passed as desirable immigrants. Personally, I am rather surprised that the Government of the United States of America did not long ago adopt some method of restriction, but I am sure that the Commonwealth Government will be well advised to seek further powers to restrict, *if necessary, alien immigration to this country. In the second part of the bill, which has been far more debated than the first, increased power is sought to deport aliens whose presence in our country will be “ injurious to the peace, order, or good government of the Commonwealth.” Under the Immigration. Act of 3901-1924 there-is already power to remove certain undesirables- those convicted of a criminal offence. We all know that, there are in our midst, as in every other country, a few aliens ever ready to promote sectional warfare in the community. The Leader of the Opposition himself has admitted that the number of these persons in Australia is infinitesimal.
– I said that they could be dealt with under our own laws.
– I believe thai the honorable member also said that the number of these people in Australia was infinitesimal. In most cases, these persons left their native lands with a grievance, and in many instances with a just grievance. They have come to Australia, enjoy our hospitality and the privileges and opportunities’ of the native-born, and yet seem bent upon stirring up strife, and planting the seeds of these bitter hatreds which have shaken to their very foundations some of the countries of the Old World. I cannot believe that any honorable member of this House, or of the general public, can consider that there is any objection to the Government seeking power to deport such people if the occasion should arise. Regarding the contention that the bill is designed as a blow to trade unions, I should like to give that the most emphatic denial. The following is an extract from an article in a recent issue of Current History, a magazine which will be found in. the Library : -
The Labour party of Queensland has two enemies, widely opposite in belief but similar in action : one the Tory who is an Anarchist, because he refuses to reform anything, evan the bad and the shapeless; and the other the communist, mostly imported, who does not understand Australian thought and method, and whose only treatment for a watch overfast, or overslow, is to subject it to the tender mercies of a steam hammer. It is unlikely that communism will ever secure in Australia an audience that counts. Communism is exotic, and the Australian Labour party is indigenous. Hating most things that are familiar, and loving only that which it does not know, communism preaches against White Australia, which is the Australian religion. That and his habit of preaching strikes and direct action, while using all that industrial arbitration has given the Australian worker, secures for the communist only the crude minority to whom even rudimentary political thought is impossible.
That article was written by Edward Granville Theodore, who was until quite recently Premier of Queensland. I should not for one moment support any legislation intended in any way as a blow at the trade unions throughout the country. The majority of their members desire to maintain constitutional government. It is at the worst enemies of these men and women that the bill is aimed. Leaders and members of trade unions need fear nothing from this legislation. I shall vote for the second reading of the bill, and reserve to myself the right to support in committee any amendments which will, in my opinion, make it more effective.
.- The bill which we are now considering is one of those double-barrelled measures which the Government seems to be in the habit ofintroducing. It tried to bring in the Singapore base behind the proposal for British preference on dried fruits. In this case it is trying to bring in deportation provisions behind the measure to restrict alien immigration into this country. I shall not vote for any. measure providing for internment without trial, or for deportation without trial. During my political career in this House I have opposed internment without trial and deportation without trial in any shape or form, and, I shall oppose it in this instance, because the bill instead of giving an opportunity for the accused person to go before a jury of his countrymen, expects him to go before a biased board appointed by the Government. But I address myself to the bill with some hesitation, because I have on a number of occasions opposed the action of this and the previous Government in prohibiting Gorman nationals from entering Australia. I have taken that stand, not because there is any German blood in my veins, but because, as an Australian, loving my country, I know that the Germans are amongst the finest colonists that we could have. I recognize, however, that it may be said that I wish to restrict the influx of southern Europeans while welcoming German uationals. I put two questions to the Prime Minister last Eriday, and in view of his answers I feel that nothing is left for me but to once again appeal to the Government to remove the restrictions upon German nationals. The first question I put to the Prime Minister was -
In view of the entry of large numbers of Mediterranean people into Australia, will the
Prime Minister give this House an opportunity to discuss whether the prohibition upon the entry of German nationals shall be removed, so that this Nordic blood may be open to Australia?
To that the Prime Minister answered -
The subject of immigration may be discussed fully in the debate on the bill now before the House.
A decision, not a discussion, was what I was seeking. Therefore I put the following question to the right honorable gentleman : -
Will the Prime Minister provide the opportunity in the bill now before the House for honorable members to decide definitely whether or not German nationals shall still be prohibited from entering Australia?
To that the Prime Minister answered -
It would not be appropriate to introduce that matter into this bill, although the matter may be debated.
The use of the words “it would not be appropriate” is, to state it very mildly, amusing, and is evidence of insincerity on the part of the Government. In this bill there are two provisions that are almost as far as the poles apart, and if it would not be appropriate to remove this restriction on the immigration of desirable people into this country, it is certainly not appropriate to include deportation proposals in the bill. I charge the Government with insincerity because, while it harps on the necessity for migrants, it prevents some of the best colonists in the world from coming here. The members of our own race are not their superiors. The statement that it would not be appropriate to deal with that matter in this bill is a clumsy camouflage, because the bill amends the section of the act that prevents the entry of German nationals. That is clear proof of at least a lack of desire by the Government to do anything. The bill amends section 3 of the principal act, paragraph ge of which prevents the entry of German nationals into Australia. It says -
For the period of five years after the commencement of this paragraph,and thereafter until the Governor-General by proclamation otherwise determines, any person who in the opinion of an officer is of German, AustroGerman, Bulgarian, or Hungarian parentage and nationality, or is a Turk of Ottoman race, is a prohibited immigrant. On the 15th May, 1924, I spoke at length in this chamber upon this matter. I moved the adjournment of the House in order to discuss the subject, and honorable members opposite showed a desire to prevent a vote being taken. The honorable member for Boothby (Mr. DuncanHughes) spoke until the time allowed for the debate had expired.
– And he had not then finished all he wanted to say.
– We have an opportunity on the bill to hear the remainder of his remarks. The subject was talked out, and if the honorable member for Boothby had not talked it out I am certain, from the demeanour of the Government, that some other honorable member on that side would have done so. I do not intend to speak at length this afternoon on the qualifications of the German people as colonists. At that time I divided the subject, and advanced these grounds why German nationals should be admitted into this, country: - First, their character; secondly, their intelligence; thirdly, their patient, persistent, plodding nature; fourthly, their courage; and fifthly, their capacity to be readily assimilated with members of the British race. From that day to this no honorable member on the other side has challenged my statements, the reason being that they are unchallengeable, but in private conversations Ministers and honorable members have admitted that what I. said was true, and that German nationals are desirable colonists. I was . keenly interested in the Prime Minister’s speech on this bill, and particularly in that part of it dealing with the attitude of the United States of America to alien migration. Seeing how well he waa informed on the subject, I marvelled that he could remain the Leader of a government that allows the Mediterranean sections of the white race to come here in large numbers, without admitting correspondingly large numbers of the Nordic races to counteract them. I marvelled that, knowing the facts as they exist in the United States of America, he had not lifted a finger to remove the prohibition on one important branch of the Nordic race. He told us that, in 1921, the first quota was formed by the United States of America on the basis of 3 per cent, of the number of nationals domiciled in that country in 1910, but, that later, its Government altered the basis to 2 per cent, of the number of nationals domiciled in the country in 1890. This was done because, in 1890, the population of the United States of America was largely Nordic in origin, but in the interval between 1890 and 1910 there was a decided increase in the number of southern Europeans. Some of the credit for the action taken in America must be given to Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color, and other books on similar subjects. Mr. Stoddard emphasized the value of Nordic blood, and in view of his advice, and because of its experience, the Government of the United States of America altered the quota so as to decrease the inflow of Mediterranean races. The Prime Minister’s figures showed that under the first quota Italy was able to send 42,057 of her nationals to the United States of America, but under the second quota that number was reduced to 4,089. Under the first quota Greece could send 3,053 nationals, but under the second quota only 235. Under the first quota Great Britain could send 77,342, but under the second quota 62,658. Under the first quota Germany could send 67,607, but under the second quota 50,329. I do not quote these figures for the purpose of disparaging Italy or Greece, but because they are based upon the experience of the United States of America. That country, while deciding to reduce the number of Italians from 42,000 to 4,000, only reduced the number of Germans from 67,000 to 50,000. The Government of Australia, however, still keeps the German people out. It makes one almost weep to think that America, with over 110,000,000 people, is willing every year to take 50,329 German nationals, while Australia, with 6,000,000 people, and with a larger area of country, is prepared to take only 23 Germans a year. Are honorable members opposite going to allow this sort of thing to continue? Although they may not realize it, the responsibility for it is theirs. If they would take steps to have the subject discussed in their party caucus, it would be possible for them to insist upon the removal of this injustice to a great people. The reason given by the Prime Minister, and the only reason he gave last year when he spoke on the matter, . was that it was better to let the bitterness of the war die down. There is something to be said for that contention, because we can understand that some, though not all, of those who lost loved ones in the war would naturally feel a little bitter about the introduction of Germans. But is it not a foolish policy to cut off our nose to spite our face by preventing the admission of Germans when, we are allowing numbers of people from. Greece and Italy and other southern. Europeans to enter? I quote what the Prime Minister had to say last year as reported on page 672 of volume .1.06 of Hansard. He said -
At the present time the net is being administered as sympathetically as possible. Germans are being admitted into the country. Many young men who have desired to bring their fiancees from Germany have been permitted to do so. Whole families of Germans have been allowed to enter, the Commonwealth, and, generally speaking, the permissive power of the Minister is exercised very liberally.
I am unable by the use of parliamentary language to properly describe that statement, but I will say, in the language of Sir Granville Ryrie, that whoever gave that information to the Prime Minister “ sold, him a pup.” I have had given to me to-day figures showing the actual number of German nationals who came into Australia during a particular period. Everything may hinge on the Prime Minister’s interpretation of the phrase “very liberally,” but if he considers that the facts support his statement I am very sorry for him. Let me give my own experience before I quote the figures supplied to me. Honorable members are aware that. there are many people of German origin in my electorate, and naturally during the five and a half years I have been iu this House I have received many requests from them to apply for the admission of their friends. I have done so willingly, because I believe it is for the good of the country to have people of that nationality here. In only two applications have I been successful. One was for the admission of the sweetheart of a man resident in Australia, and the other for the admission of a young man who intended to go into an agricultural occupation. T have had many refusals of applications I have made. The Prime Minister said that whole families of Germans have been allowed to enter the Commonwealth.
– A good many have come iu.
– Unfortunately for the honorable gentleman and the Prime Minister, I have before me the figures showing the number that has come in. When I quote the figures supplied to me by the department, honorable members opposite can find no fault with them. About a year ago I made a request to the department for the admission in one case of a husband and wife, and in another of a husband, wife, and son. These people were vouched for by one of the most prominent Lutheran pastors in South Australia as being persons of high character. The men were engineers possessing diplomas. They were highly skilled men who no doubt would be of advantage to us in some of our secondary industries. I put. the request for their admission before the Minister, and got the old reply that these people were not vo be allowed, to enter. From my experience I should say that the permissive power of the Minister has not been used very liberally. When I am approached now by constituents who seek the admission of their friends I have to say, “ I think it is of no use for you to try to secure the admission of these people, because I have had so many refusals to requests I have made,” and I have advised them to wail until the end of 1925.
– What were the grounds of the refusals in the cases you have mentioned 1
– That the department could see no reason why the persons to whom I have referred should be admitted, and that some special reason must be advanced before persons of German nationality will be permitted to enter Australia.
– Many of our own engineers are unable to find employment.
– I appreciate the point the honorable member makes, but the men to- whom I have referred are not engineers of the ordinary type at all. They are highly-skilled engineers, holding diplomas, and Ave have not too many men of such qualifications in Australia. I do not think they would have come into competition with many people here if they had been allowed to come here. I have referred to these cases to refute the statement of the Prime Minister that the permissive power of the Minister is exercised very liberally.
– Could the men to whom the honorable member has referred have found work when they arrived here ?
– They had friends in Australia who were quite prepared to look after them until they did find work. Speaking from memory of the letter I received on the subject, I believe that if they could not find work in their own occupation they were prepared to work on the land. The bulk of the German people in Australia are settled in the rural areas. Every one knows that in the metropolitan area of Adelaide there are only two Lutheran churcher, whilst there are dozens of them in the country districts of South Australia. This is true, also, of Queensland, where the bulk of the German people are settled on the land. I may say further that when German seamen run away from their vessels and the owners are fined £100 for each man who does so, they almost invariably make for the rural districts. In view of the statement made by the Prime Minister, I should like to direct the attention of the House to the facts in connexion with German immigration. I recently asked the Minister representing the Minister for Home and Territories what number of German nationals were allowed to enter Australia, in the five years ending 30th June, 1925. The answer given me was -
The following are the figures showing the number of persons of German nationality who entered ‘ the Commonwealth during the years 1020 to 1924, inclusive, and during the period from the 1st January to the 31st May, 1925, which are the latest figures available : -
There is a departmental note to the answer to my question in these terms -
The foregoing figures include Germans who were previously resident in Australia and were returning to Australia after visits abroad; also Germans admitted temporarily .for business or other purposes, as well as those granted special permission to enter. The total net migration of Germans, i.e., excess of arrivals over departures, for the whole period mentioned, was 127.
I ask the Vice-President of the Executive Council (Mr. Atkinson) whether he thinks that 127 is a large number of Germans to be admitted in a period of five and a half years.
– I did not say a large number. I said that some had been allowed in.
– I think it will be found that the honorable gentleman’s interjection gave the impression that quite a number had been allowed in. I put these figures against the Prime Minister’s statement, and to prove that he said something which parliamentary language permits me to characterize only as totally contrary to the facts. I take another return, furnished the other day to the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. W. M. Hughes), dealing with the increase in the number of Germans and Greeks in the Commonwealth. This return is for a period of three years, and supplies the following figures: -
It will be seen that over the periods mentioned the net increase in the number of Germans has been 171, and in the number of Greeks 2,072.- Without wishing to say anything disparaging of the Greek race, I say that it is unwise, in the interests of the country, to restrict the immigration of persons of Nordic blood in this manner.
Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 8 p.m.
– In 1924 there was a net gain of 111 German nationals to Australia. In May of that year honorable members on this side of the House took some action in the matter, so that we can take to ourselves credit for having awakened in the Government some sense of its responsibility, and in having gained an increase of over 150 per cent, as compared with previous years. During the same year, the increase in the number of Greeks in Australia was 1,826. The figures given in the two tables do not seem to agree. I therefore want to remove any suspicion that may exist in the minds of honorable members that I have attempted to fake the figures. The honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. West) says that figures do not lie but sometimes liars figure. In view of the apparent discrepancy, I point out that in the period of five and a half years that I have mentioned, the Government’s own figures show a net gain of 127 Germans.
– Does the honorable member want more to come in?
– I do not want them all to come in, but I want to see the insult removed from a great nation like Germany; she should be placed on an equal footing with other nations. If I have to choose between Germans and Greeks, let me say at once that I prefer the Germans. The figures I have quoted, covering a three-year period, show a net increase of 171 Germans in Australia; whilst the figures for the five and a half years’ period show a net increase of 127. Probably the explanation is to be found in the fact that in the years 1920-21 many Germans were deported from Australia. In any case, both sets of figures have been supplied by the Government and the accusation that I have tried to fake them cannot be laid at my door. Earlier in the evening, I quoted a statement of the right honorable the Prime Minister that, so far as German nationals were concerned, the act was being administered sympathetically. In 1923 118 Germans were allowed to enter Australia, the net gain of arrivals over departures being 45. If that is administering the act sympathetically, I hope that I shall not be in the country when the right honorable gentleman acts in an unsympathetic manner. The Prime Minister, on that occasion, said also -
Generally speaking, the permissive power of the Minister is exercised very liberally.
Honorable members can see the liberality of the Government when, in 1923, the net gain was 45 ! The statement of the Prime Minister when this subject was before the House last year, contained what I take to be a promise, and, therefore, I shall give to honorable members the page of Hansard on which it can be found. If the Prime Minister goes back on that statement it will be a grave breach of faith from which there can be no escape. On the 15th May, 1924, as recorded in
Hansard, volume 106, page 672, the Prime Minister said -
The Government considers that the statutory limitation should continue for the full period of five years, so that the bitter feelings which existed at the conclusion of the war may be softened. The restriction will operate only until next year.
There is the promise. I admit that it was a promise made during the course of a debate, but the Prime Minister distinctly said that the restriction would operate only until the next year.
– I hope that it will operate for aU time.
– Tasmania is a little place, and I am afraid that the honorable member for Darwin (Mr. Whitsitt) is little in his ideas. Some of us are not big enough to forgive.
– I do not forget the 60,000 Australians killed in the war.
– I do not think that Australians will for all time continue to bear a grudge against a nation with whom they were at war. If history repeats itself, as history has a habit of doing, the foe of to-day may be the friend of tomorrow.
– I hope that I shall not live to see it.
– Only a week or two ago the Leader of the Opposition moved a motion of want of confidence in the Govern-, ment, because, in his opinion, the Prime Minister had broken his promise that Parliament would have an opportunity to decide where the second cruiser should be built. With that experience in mind, I bring this promise before the House; and I hope that the Government will not try to evade the issue. Within a few months there will be a federal election, and I am somewhat fearful that the Ministry and its supporters may feel that if this prohibition is revoked they will lose some votes. They may again play up to the bitterness and hatred of the past in the hope that by it they will gain some, political advantage; but the promise of the Prime Minister stands.
– The honorable member has probably been always friendly towards Germany.
– The five years mentioned by the Prime. Minister will expire on the 12th December next. If it is the intention of the Government to keep the promise of the Prime Minister it is time that an announcement was made regarding this matter,’ so that those people on the other side who have been waiting for, in some cases, five years, to come to Australia may know that at last the bitterness born of the war has passed away, and that they may make their preparations for coming here. In the rush and bustle inseparable from an election campaign, if for no other reason, there is a danger that this matter may be overlooked, and the proclamation which is necessary to enable these people to enter Australia may not be issued. If I can obtain an assurance from any Minister that it is the intention of the Government to lift this embargo after the 12th December next, I shall say no more on this matter, but if no such assurance is given, I shall have no other course than to move the adjournment of the House to discuss it. This is a matter which concerns every honorable member of the other side; it is their business as much as it is the business of the Ministry. I appeal to them -
For the cause that lacks assistance,
For the wrong that needs resistance,
For the future in the distance,
And the good that we can do, to take some action in this matter.
– To keep them out.
– I remind the honorable member of the lines that I have just quoted, especially that which reads, “ For the future in the distance.” For the future benefit of Australia I ask that a move be made in the direction that I have indicated.
I was annoyed to hear the Treasurer state that the Labour party does not stand for arbitration. I have always believed in arbitration, and I think I always shall. There can be no mistake as to the attitude of the party to which I belong, and, for my own part, I admit that a union cannot have arbitration and resort to direct action at the same time. The Treasurer said also that the Labour party had no policy in regard to defence or immigration. He surely cannot have forgotten that at a conference in Melbourne in October last the policy of the Labour party concerning both those matters was definitely laid down. Honorable members opposite may think, as the honorable member for Richmond (Mr. R. Green) seemed to think, that I advocate an unrestricted influx of German nationals and other people. That is not so. I favour the regulated immigration of suitable races, and the adoption of a decent scheme that, whilst recognising the needs of our own people, will at the same time attract desirable immigrants from other parts of the world. Such a scheme can be propounded, and immigration under those conditions would be our safest and truest means of defence. A system of that kind would be for the good of this country ; but this Government has done nothing but talk about immigration. Two years ago the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey), when speaking on this subject, quoted the following passage from A. C. Haddon’sThe Wanderings of the Peoples -
When reduced to its simplest terms, migration is caused by expulsion arid an attraction, the former nearly always resulting from a dearth of food, or from over population, which practically comes to the same thing.
Those conditions have obtained during the last few years. In Australia there has been an attraction, and from other parts of the world there has been an expulsion. The Government has been prepared to receive immigrants from all nations, with the exception of four or five, including one of the most desirable, in regard to the citizens of which I am advocating that the present restrictions shall be removed. To entirely oppose immigration would be a suicidal policy* Great though the curse of unemployment, I recognize that a country may bc confronted with even greater evils. The party to which I belong appreciates those dangers. Having regard to the area of our continent, and the challenge which the White Australia policy is to other nations, it is our duty to propound some scheme which will meet the needs of our people, and, at the same time, make possible a steady increase in our population, and thus give us a greater moral claim to hold this country and exclude certain nations from it. If we think only of the immediate present, and have no regard for the future, we shall fail in our responsibility. Somebody has said that the politician is a man who keeps his eyes on the present, which means votes, whilst a statesman is one who keeps his eye on the future. It is necessary for us to tell the people that to resist every form of immigration would be an ostrich-like policy. We must have more population in order to give us a moral, as well as a legal, claim to retain this continent and keep it white. In reply to those who say that the Labour party does not believe in immigration I can speak for myself.
– Speak for the party.
– Yes. I attended the interstate labour conference in October last and heard this matter debated, and I can say that the Labour party, while not believing in indiscriminate immigration, which might flood the labour market and lower industrial and living conditions, desires to evolve a scheme which will protect the interests of the Australian people, and at the same time attract other people to our shores. I can best indicate my own opinion by repeating the following passage from a speech I made in this chamber on the 15th May, 1924: -
Some honorable members of this chamber nay say that the Labour party does not believe n immigration. I deny that. If the party to which I belong took up the stand that no people of the white race should .come 111160 this country under reasonable conditions, and in reasonable numbers, I should be one of the first to oppose its policy, and I would be quite willing to take the consequences. I know that we must have an increased white population. I believe “ that the races to which I have referred are the best outside the British Isles that we can get to come to Australia. Speaking as an Australian, I implore the Australian Government to remove this affront to a great nation, and to open those channels which have been too long blocked by the bigotry, panic, and hysteria which followed on that period of war, born of hell, which is now behind us.
If honorable members opposite charge the Labour party with being opposed to immigration, when twelve months ago we did our best, in face of the resistance of Ministerial supporters, to remove the restrictions imposed upon certain immigrants, they speak with their tongue in their cheek. The Government, by its persistent policy, has prevented some of the finest people on God’s earth from coming to Australia to join with us in endeavouring to make this country what we hope it will be. Despite the sneers of honorable members opposite, I repeat that the Germans are amongst the finest people on God’s earth. They are more akin to our own race than any other people. We and they came from similar stock, but whilst they remained on the Continent and developed from an agricultural race into a manufacturing nation, the Anglo-Saxons left the homeland and migrated to the sea coast and thence to the islands, where they became a great maritime nation. It was only when the . commercial supremacy of the
Anglo-Saxons was challenged , by their brothers in the homeland that jealousy and hatred were born. The history of the Germans is equal to that of our own people, and is something of which they are justly proud. They are closely akin to us, and if permitted to come here, they will help to build up in Australia a strong and virile nation. We can assimilate German nationals, and they and AngloSaxons can become one people, holding this continent against the coloured races that surround us. In making that statement, I ‘ am saying nothing derogatory to the stock from which I have sprung. To say that their nation is equal to ours is not to insult either. It is futile for tis of the British race to declare that we are pre-eminent among the nations of the world, and that none others come near our standard. I have read a lot since the great war. In my own district I was hooted and howled down, and failed to gain a seat in the state legislature because I said that Russia, France, and Britain were equally responsible with Ger.many for the origin of the war.
– Order ! The honorable member may not discuss that question upon this bill.
– I bow to your ruling, sir, although I should like to say more on that subject. The German people, who are our blood relations, oan help us to build up a great nation. America, with 110,000,000 people, is willing to absorb 50,000 Germans annually, although it will accept only 4,000 Italians and 235 Greeks. Surely Australia can benefit by America’s experience. Yet, whilst we are admitting only 23 Germans a. year, we are allowing thousands of other people, who are not their equal, to enter this country.- German immigrants would do us no harm. On the contrary, we should become bigger, stronger, and nobler if we invited them to assist us in building up our nation. The day will come when we shall not ask a man whether he came from German or Austrian stock, but shall thank God for every white man who is here to assist us in defending these shores. We shall have to stand united and not be divided by littleness and hatred. If we. would prove worthy of our destiny, we must bury the misunderstandings and hatreds of the past, and be big, bold, and strong, and prepared to stand as a united people in defence of . the heritage that God has given to us.
-I do not propose to wander into the subject of general immigration, which is quite irrelevant to the present bill, nor shall I say much about the first part of the bill relating’ to alien immigrants. That portion has already been adequately dealt with. Two principal objections to it were raised, the first by the right honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. W. M. Hughes), who said that the provisions in the bill were identical with those in the existing act, and then proceeded to show by his remarks that he did not understand the difference between the two; and the other by the Leader of the Opposition, who said that the provisions of the first part of the bill were unnecessary, and then moved an amendment to make them more adequate. I desire to refer more particularly to the second portion pf the bill, which is mainly responsible for this prolonged debate.- That is the portion which is of particular interest, and in regard to which it behoves honorable members to express their opinions. Regarding the second part of the bill, I feel a certain amount of amused sympathy for the members of the Opposition in the predicament” in which they find themselves, and the obvious embarrassment they have displayed in trying to extricate themselves from it. Having sown the wind, they can hardly be surprised at having to reap the whirlwind. For years past they have in this country been preaching doctrines upon which have been based fallacious hopes and promises which all the teaching of history and all the accumulated experience of mankind have found to be impossible of realization. Many of us thought’ that these doctrines did not very much matter, because the men who preached them appeared to be honest, though we thought them to be mistaken. We felt sure that when they came to put these doctrines to a practical test, they would find the teaching of experience against them, and therefore not ‘ very much harm would result. That has unfortunately been too much the attitude adopted by a large proportion of the population regarding many of the doctrines to which I allude. The Labour party, by preaching these doctrines, has prepared a fertile seedbed,in which more clever, and certainly more unscrupulous, men have planted seeds of class hatred, warfare, and. revolution. It is unfortunately true that ‘these doctrines make a certain appeal, because, as a great historian once said, amongst the masses of the unthinking there is a tendency to prefer the reforming zeal of the despot to the slow process of parliamentary amelioration. That is certainly true. Many people, having been promised a speedy and complete change of conditions, are apt to attach too much importance to the promises of reforming despots. It has been shown over and over again that these despots, even if they are Robespierres or Lenins, have done little but cause destruction far and near. But after the destruction of a society the slow process of evolution is set in motion again to build up a firm foothold for the progress of mankind. These promises have proved illusory in the past. The Labour party has begun to realize some of the defects into which the logical pursuit of its old doctrines will speedily lead them. It has for a long time been trying to resent the fact that a cuckoo’s egg has been hatched in its nest. The Labour party has tried to disown a development which has arisen through the action of some unscrupulous men working upon tie soil which it has prepared. What has the Opposition done to eject the cuckoo from its nest? Honorable members opposite have said that they were able and intended to deal with this enemy, but what have they done to show the reality of their intentions?
– We have blown the egg.
– We read only yesterday of an agreement which is supposed to have been entered into for the ending of the shipping dispute. Mentioned among the parties who arranged the agreement was Mr. Tom Walsh, president of the Seamen’s Union. One of the conditions under which the resumption of a steamship service is to take place is the abolition of job control, but in the very same newspaper, in another column, appeared a lengthy statement by Mr. Walsh that job control was necessary, that trade unionism meant job control, and that it was impossible to abolish it. He declared his clear intention of continuing job control to the bitter end. What is the use of an agreement of that sort? Have the other trade unions really done anything to disown this doctrine which Tom Walsh is teaching?
Is there any possibility of such an agreement ever leading to a permanent and proper settlement of the shipping trouble? I maintain that the members of the Labour party are not sincere, and that they speak with their tongue in their cheek. While they profess to have nothing in common with communists, yet we know that, in many ways, they are irretrievably linked up with them. Only the other day, included in a deputation from the Trades and Labour Council which waited on the Prime Minister respecting the shipping trouble, was Mr. Garden, -who, since his visit to Moscow, has publicly announced his policy of whiteanting the trade unions with communistic teachings. How, then, can the Labour party say that it has disowned and will have nothing to do with” communistic elements? Further than that, only a few weeks ago - and I am sure most of us in this House regretted it - the Leader of the Opposition took part in a procession in Brisbane in which were displayed banners bearing devices of an outrageous character. When the honorable gentleman was taxed with this he replied^ that he was walking in the front of the.’ procession, and did not see what was behind him. I am quite prepared to accept his explanation, but it is extraordinary that he has not taken the opportunity to express his objection to the banners displayed in the procession. He made no word of protest, and did nothing to disown the sentiment that was expressed on those banners. He therefore missed another opportunity of freely and openly declaring himself unfavorable to the doctrines proclaimed by communists. As a matter of fact, if the Opposition members are sincere in their endeavour to disown communistic doctrines, then we can only conclude that all their speeches during this debate have been mockery, that they are not opposed to this bill at all, and, as they cannot eject these men themselves, they are glad that the Government has been strong enough to do the job for them. They have tried to make out that they oppose the bill because its principle is wrong, although all the time they are greatly pleased. In fact, the way in which they talk all round the subject seems to indicate that it is a difficult one for them to. tackle outright. In pursuance of their superficial attitude they state that this bill will kill the Government. On the contrary, I make bold to say that this bill is materially strengthening the position of the Government. The country has been asking for some act of this kind, and I believe it will be greatly relieved to know that the Ministry has had the courage to take this step. If the public mind were opposed to this bill, as honorable members opposite would make out, where are the public meetings, where are the demonstrations and protests that we would expect to be forthcoming against the passing of such an important measure as this? ‘ We have heard nothing at all except from the Opposition benches and from one or two purely socialistic societies. The people have been waiting for legislation of this kind, and they will be greatly relieved when the bill is passed. In fact, it has already produced a cold and sickening fear amongst a certain section of the community. The public generally, by their experience during the past few months, have concluded that the Labour party has misled them to a great extent. It is perfectly true, as a famous statesman of England once said, that in all matters of public interest one has to remember that on one side are the accidental passions of a people, and on the other their settled habits of thinking. The Labour party makes appeals to the occasional passions of mankind. I believe, however, that the minds of the people are sound and sane, and that ‘they will not tolerate any interference with properly constituted institutions established for constitutional reform and advancement. I could have no greater encouragement than the hollow and uneasy laughter with which ‘ I am greeted from the Opposition benches. The honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey), in one of those imaginative phrases of which he is so fond, dealt with a force which he called “ the hidden hand.” There is another hidden hand to which he gave nothing but contempt and ridicule, but which is far more real, far more important, and far more destructive in the world to-day than the imaginary force of which he was speaking. The “ hidden hand “ of bolshevism is one of the great dangers of the world. Only those who are deliberately blind to events the world over, only those who refuse to believe what they read in official reports, only those who, for their own purposes, wish to brush aside facts and deal in fantasies, can fail to realize that a. deliberate .policy for the destruction of established institutions is emanating from Russia to-day. The campaign is directed more particularly against the greatest bulwark of free institutions in the world - our own Empire. It is a campaign which, if not stemmed, will do almost incalculable harm all over the world. Just as we should try and exterminate in our midst a dread infectious disease, so ought we, if we mean what we say about our free institutions
– Honorable members opposite do not mean what they say.
– I am afraid the honorable member is measuring my corn with his own bushel. We do mean what we say on this side, and I, at least, am speaking with intense earnestness and conviction when 1 say that our free institutions, which have been slowly and carefully built up, are worth preserving more than anything else in the world, and are worth laying down our lives to protect. Honorable members opposite, apparently without regard for anything but their own personal interests, throw scorn at these liberties so dearly purchased; but I assert that it is our duty to maintain them by every possible means, and just as we would exterminate an infectious disease within our borders, so must we pass this bill to stamp out those who would poison the mind of this country, and would teach even to innocent children the diabolical creed of hatred. If opportunity is afforded to us to prevent such an evil . from coming from a distant part of the world, it is our duty to seize it, just as it was, our duty to defend our Australian hearths and homes by having a fighting line in France, lt is our duty, if need be, and if opportunity occurs, to stem this tide of bolshevism, even when it breaks out on the coast of China. I regret very much that this aspect of the question was not stressed in the debate last Friday, which so inadequately expressed the general sense of this House. The curtailment of the debate was due to the time limit set upon it. I maintain that our cruiser, m protecting the lives-
– I have allowed the honorable member reasonable latitude, but I cannot allow him to go to China.
– Wherever this pest of bolshevism is found, wherever we are able to meet and combat it,, we have an obvious duty to perform, both for our own sake and for the sake of the Empire to which we belong. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) made two or three comments to which I wish to refer. He said that under the provisions of this bill a good citizen could be deported for no other reason than that he was a trade unionist. I know of no act that will permit a good citizen to be deported, and most certainly this bill will not do so. There are two or three implications in the honorable member’s statement that are decidedly wrong. It is rather surprising that he should apparently consider that the evil which we are trying to combat - the evil of communism - has a home in. the trade unions. That is his implication, not mine. He also implied that thisgovernment and this party were opposed: to trade unionism. That statement hasbeen made repeatedly, and has been oneof the chief arguments used in this debate. Nothing could be more misleading, more unjust, or more fallacious. There is not an honorable member on this or the other side who is not earnestly desirous of doing all that can legitimately be done to improve the conditionsof those who suffer from any social injustice or industrial inequality. To say that trade unionism has the enmity of this side of the House is ridiculous and’ absurd. Honorable members oppositeknow, as well as we do, that the Primer Minister, only a little while ago, made a> public announcement that it was the intention of the Government during this session to introduce legislation, the details of which have not yet been divulged, to recognize and legally establish tradeunionism in Australia. «It is not fair orright, and it is not legitimate in a debateon this bill, for members opposite to saythat supporters of the government are opposed to trade unionism. The Leader “ of the Opposition also said, and it- has been said repeatedly, that this legislation, is directed at an individual. But more, than one individual has been concerned in the disruption of government in this country, and even if there were only a dozen that could be named, this legislation is not aimed at them, but at the principles they preach, the policy they represent, and the system of non-government they advocate.. On these grounds the bill is> justified. If one person more than another has prominently associated himself with these doctrines, it does not follow.– that the legislation is levelled against him, although it is levelled against the doctrines he preaches. The honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Makin), during his speech, unwittingly made a Slip which he immediately attempted to correct. He said that “We live by promoting industrial unrest,” and as soon as he had said it, he tried to make it appear that we, on this side, live by promoting industrial unrest. I am afraid, however, that he spoke an unfortunate truth for it is just because certain people live by promoting industrial unrest that ;there is so much trouble in the community to-day. To cause industrial unrest, and to disturb men who are otherwise satisfied with their conditions, to poison their .ears, to tell’ them how badly they are used, to make them unsettled and restless, and then to profit by the trouble that ensues, is the business of some people. It is time we got rid of these false ideas. It is time we stripped hypocrisy from the face of those who call themselves “ the saviours of the masses,” and it is with the object of doing that, and of showing the people what are the real forces in social life, that this bill is designed. ‘ For that reason I support it.
.- I regret that the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Mann), having just finished his own speech, is preparing to leave the chamber, because I intend to deal with some of his remarks, and desire that he should be present. In dealing with one phase of the debate, he said that it was time hypocrisy was “ stripped “ from the face of certain people. I apply the term ‘ ‘ hypocrisy “ to him . He says he has been amused at the predicament of members of the Opposition in trying to defend what we regard as a ;great principle, namely, that no man shall be deported from this country without trial. If a workman should find it necessary at times to fight the private employer by a strike, we say that that is a last resource, but . what can we say of a man high up in the service of a government who leads a strike against that government? It was because the present honorable member for Perth led a strike against the government that employed him that the ex-member for Perth lost his seat. The honorable member posed as a champion of labour. On every hand the public servants of Western Australia came to vote for him, and it was rumoured that he would join the Labour party. He was in constant touch with the Trades Hall, which he now says is the “home of bolshevism.” First he would, then he would not; at one time he could, and at another time he could not; but the result was that he was able to obtain the votes of a large number of Labour supporters, who thought that at last they had a good leader. He was supported by the civil service section of the Labour party, the members of which said, “Here we have a man who has led a strike, who called us all away from work, who made fine speeches, and has been sacrificed on our behalf.” The way he left the department is a matter of history.
– I presume the honorable member Will connect his remarks with the bill.
– I want to show the close relationship between the honorable member, who accuses this party of being bolshevists, and those whom he denounces as hypocrites. He has said how keenly he desires to see this bill put into operation against the people who preach poisonous doctrines and oppose established government, and I want to say that, in making that charge, he was purely a hypocrite.
– The honorable member may not say that. .
– Then, I withdraw the statement. I did not intend to deal with anything of a personal nature, but the honorable member’s attack on the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton), who is personally respected by every member of this House, made me so warm that I could not help referring to the little piece of history to which the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Mann) owes his presence in this chamber. I wish to deal strictly with the bill. Our objection as a party to a large influx of southern Europeans or of persons from any other part of Europe, is purely economic. We believe unrestricted immigration to be dangerous to the mass of the workers of Australia. We admit that in order that this country should progress, and be safe, it is necessary that we should have a large population. We have no antipathy to the people of any part of Europe, and I believe that the admission of a certain percentage of people from different parts of Europe would be better than the admission of people of only one race.
– This bill adds to the restriction upon immigration.
– So it has been said. I am finding fault with the bill because I think it would have been more businesslike if the Government had adopted the quota system. It has been urged that the quota system if adopted would give rise to bad feeling with other nations.’ That is something which we do not desire, but I make bold to say that in the absence of a quota system a proclamation issued under this bill, when there is a large influx of people from any particular country, would give rise to more discontent and international grievance than would be likely to follow from the adoption of the quota system.
– There is a quota system by agreement now.
– If that be so, why does not the Government embody it in the statute-book? The unsatisfactory position of America, which is said to be due to the intermixture of races there, has arisen only within the last few years. When I was in the United States of America 30 years ago, what is now objected to was not . discernible. The intermarriage between English, Germans, French, Celts, and nearly every race of southern Europe, had then produced a race incomparable for intelligence and energy. The late President Roosevelt, Mr. Edison, Mr. Ericsson, and scores of others who have made their mark in the United States of America in statesmanship, invention, and manufactures, were not men of AngloSaxon stock. The idea that it is they who are the big people of the earth is no doubt entertained by many different nations, those who are of British stock are no different from others .in that respect. We know that because of our achievements we are not the least important of the races of the earth, but I feel sure that an intermixture of the northern European races in Australia would do more to foster and promote domocratic principles than could be expected to occur if all our people were of the one stock. At’ least we should not be looking to one country 12,000 miles away for inspiration for our legislation. Let us consider what brought about the present isolation of southern Europeans in the United States of America. The great coal mines, the works of the meat trust, and the great steel works of America were manned by English, Irish, Scotch, and German workers, ‘but in order to cut down wages the captains of industry in the United States of America secured the immigration to that country of people from southern European countries, and perhaps theless desirable of the races of Europe. Those people on their arrival in America were housed right on the works on which they were employed-, in what were known colloquially as “ shacks.” They were segregated from the rest of the people. Previous to that the Swedes in .Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the Germans in Chicago, and people of other northern European races in different parts of America were rightly regarded as helping to form the backbone of the United States of America. It is only within re-, cent years that the intermixture of races in America has been regarded as constituting a problem requiring to be solved. We have only to read the recordsto learn that amongst the most distinguished American fighters in the- recent war were men with German names. TheHigh Admiral of the American Fleet whom we propose to honour here in thecourse of a few days has such a name When I was in the United States of America, Mr. Keir Hardie visited the country, and as a distinguished visitor he was asked by a reporter how he viewed the great intermixture of races there. In grandiloquent language he said , “ You are a grand mosaic on the floor of the universe.” The intermixture of races coming from various European countries had formed such a great nation in so short a period of time as to arouse his intense admiration. Something of the same kind has occurred here. We know that in days past, scores of Italian immigrants settled at Daylesford, and in that district to-day will be found many Australianborn people bearing Italian names. Although they are the children of foreign immigrants they join the Australian Natives Association and other patrioticbodies, take an interest’ in Australian affairs, and are just as good Australians-.. as we can possibly look for. The restriction of immigration by proclamation instead of under a definite quota system does not commend itself to honorable members on this side. The worst portion of the bill is that dealing with deportation for industrial disturbance. I used somewhat heated remarks at the opening of my speech in referring to the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Mann). and I want to say that if he is an Englishman - and from his speech I gathered that he is, although there are many Australians who affect English speech - he might be liable to deportation under the bill. Though he was guilty of strike before he was elected for Perth we now find him raving against the spirit of liberty without which he could not have spoken here this evening . The Prime Minister recently made a speech before the Rotary Club, in which he said that there is very little class consciousness in Australia. He was the hero of the evening, and the members of the club who stand for social service, applauded his remarks when he hinted that the Government proposed to deal with certain individuals who had gone out on strike. Adopting a shallow view_ of the matter, they believed that tie Prime Minister was taking the best way to meet a present difficulty, but they entirely overlooked the great trouble which legislation of this kind might bring in its train. If there is anything that is calculated to increase class consciousness and give rise to class hatred, which we do not want to see in Australia, it is legislation of this kind. At any time a shipping combine might determine to reduce wages in this country, and, in the circumstances, it might be said that the workers concerned could approach the Arbitration Court. I have every faith in the settlement of disputes by tribunals representative of employers and employees instead of by the brutal weapon of the strike ; but- let rae suggest that the Arbitration Court is not constituted on an impartial basis. With the exception of a few who have risen from the ranks, like the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan), who is an ornament to the country, and of whom the country is proud, very few lawyers with a university training have known what hard physical toil is, and they are unable to take the workers’ view in these matters. Most of them have been born with silver spoons in their mouths. Their education has been paid for by their fathers; they have been sent to college, and have become lawyers; and some of them have, by a government favorable to the section to which they belong, been appointed Justices of the Arbitration Court. Admitting that such men would act from the purest of motives, and with a desire to be absolutely impartial, it is impossible for them to see the workers’ side of the dispute as the workers themselves see it.
– Sir John Quick was a working miner.
– Just so. There are many men in high positions on the judiciary to-day who have risen from the ranks of the toilers; but they are the exceptions who prove the rule. It will not be denied that men who have never had to do hard physical toil, who have never had to go down into the stokehold, like those of whom the honorable member for South Sydney (Mr. E. Riley) has spoken, cannot possibly be expected to understand and appreciate the conditions under which men so placed have to work as well as those who have risen from the ranks of the workers themselves. I am not particularly concerned about the aim of this bill, in what is to be done under it in the immediate present. What I’ am concerned about is the future of Australia, and who knows whether this legislation may not give rise to tremendous injustice in the future to some particular man who may be trying to do what is best for the people? A vessel arrived in Sydney the other day, and in quite a casual way we were told that she was laid up. What was that but a lockout? The Arbitration Act makes provision for dealing with a lockout. In theory, the employer may be punished as well as the employee; but we know that the employer who is responsible for a lockout can never be punished. In a democratic country like this, we ought to be able to settle industrial disputes by a conference of men sitting round a table ; but legislation like this - which must inevitably give rise to class warfare - will be destructive of the fraternal spirit which should exist between Australians. As such, we as a party oppose it. I have had a most hearty respect for the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce), but his attitude in this House and the legislation he has introduced show that he is utterly out of touch with the great mass of the people, those who do the work, the industrialists. It is probably because he has never known what it is to be exhausted by hard labour. There was a time when I would not have said that the right honorable gentleman was out of sympathy with the workers, but apparently there is behind him now what has been termed by an honorable member of the Opposition the “hidden hand.” Undoubtedly something has recently occurred to stiffen, as his supporters are pleased to call it, his attitude towards the industrialists, and instead of trying to be essentially fair, and taking up a neutral position in an endeavour to maintain industrial peace, he seems now to think that it is far better to adopt the dragooning methods provided for in this bill. He talks about the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth. If this bill becomes law nothing will have a greater tendency to set the employing and the working classes of this community by the . ears than it. Honorable members opposite would have us believe that their sole purpose in passing, the bill is to bring about industrial peace, but since the press has announced that the industrialists of this country have achieved a certain amount of success in fixing up a trouble that has recently overshadowed the community, I can plainly see on the faces of some of the Ministers signs that the stock of their political party has fallen 50 per cent. The honorable member for Perth (Mr. Mann) discredited what had been done. He doubted very much whether anything useful could be done in regard to it, and he was much more inclined to talk about bolshevism and that sort of thing as being a likely source of danger to the community.
– And to foist it on us.
– Yes, despite the fact that this party only a few weeks ago fought the communists, of New South Wales so successfully that they were not able to secure more than 800 votes out of all those cast at the state election. A man who makes a statement like that in such an irresponsible way is a humbug. It would be a good thing for some of the Ministers if they were placed in arduous positions of manual toil. We on this side of the chamber have had our share of them. I have been a coal-trimmer. I have been down to the sea in ships. I have been stripped to the waist during watches, working four hours on, and four hours off. In the tropics, when some of the men were sick, it was often necessary for us to work double shifts. What were the conditions under which’ we lived? Potatoes were placed on the table in their skins, and we had to grab for them like beasts. The heat below was intolerable. Even a teetotaller would grasp his tot of rum in the middle of the watch or run the risk pf fainting. If we did not bring sufficient coal to the firemen, or bring it in sufficiently small pieces, we would find a big lump of coal in the way of our barrows, causing them to overturn. And if a man fell against one of the iron ladders, or “ fiddleys “ as they are called, his skin waa badly burnt. Those were the condition! under which we lived and worked. And when we went on deck we would see people walking about the saloon in rich attire. If anything is calculated to make a man a revolutionist it is the putting of him into such an undignified position, compelling him to work under the conditions I have outlined without any attempt to improve his lot. Thank God, since my time, there has been a big improvement in the conditions under which men work in ships, but it has been brought about solely by the efforts of the men engaged in the industry itself. Is it, therefore, not reasonable that the men should be loyal to their industrial leaders? It was the hardest work I have ever performed, and I “battled” for .five years in the United States of America, where people are supposed to work hard. I never knew more arduous work than that of a coal trimmer on a ship. It is work in which men axe almost ready to faint, no matter how strong or vigorous they may be. The pudding we got twice a week on Sundays and Thursdays was called duff. There was always a wild scramble for it. Out of the fifteen trimmers, ten were known as cockneys.
– I was trying to show how the seamen who have, according to some people, been harassing those who are engaged in the transport work of Australia have been compelled to live and work. I was trying to view the bill from the worker’s point of view, and in order to do that I was trying to narrate some of the conditions under which men work as I had to work. However, I shall not delay the House any longer. Some people have been unkind enough to say that the Government has brought the bill forward because it is in disfavour with the country. Some chink that if they can only get the Labour Opposition explaining that they are not bolsheviks - the honorable member for Perth evidently has that in his mind - and disclaiming the actions of Tom Walsh, the Government will be able to stem the torrent of that public disfavour. They are anxious to do something desperate in order to place their opponents at a disadvantage, but I hardly believe that the Government is prepared to embroil the country in an industrial fight and throw scores of thousands of men out of work in order to defeat the Opposition, who otherwise must take the reins of government. Nevertheless this Ministry has always legislated in the interests of the monied classes and of the farmers. Since it has been in power not one measure has been brought forward to ameliorate the conditions of the worker. Its solitary industrial bill is one that has for its object the setting of unions by the ears with the idea of winning a political fight.
.- I listened with interest, as I always do, to the speech of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton), and those delivered by his supporters, but they have not convinced me that I should support the amendment.
The bill before the House has two main objects. The first is to amend the Immigration Act so that additional powers may be obtained to regulate and control the migration of aliens into Australia - to authorize the prohibition by proclamation either wholly or in excess of specified numerical limits, and either permanently or for a specified period, the immigration into the Commonwealth, or the landing of any specified nationality, race, class, or occupation, in any case where deemed desirable so to do -
This action has been rendered necessary on the part of Australia by the happenings in other parts of the world. America has found it necessary to restrict immigration to her shores. She had for years been receiving many thousands of alien immigrants ayear. America having slammed her door on these migrants, they are forced to seek an opening elsewhere. What country offers brighter prospects for intending immigrants than Australia ? The flood of foreign migration seems to be turned in our direction. As a result of the early policy of unrestricted alien migration to the United Statesof America, there is in that country to-day barely 50 per cent. of the population of Anglo-Saxon descent, whereas in Australia very nearly 98 per cent. of the population is of British origin. We and our sister dominion of New Zealand can claim that we have more British stock in our community than there is in Great Britain itself. America has discovered her mistake too late. It is to prevent the sad experiences of America and other countries being repeated in Australia that we are now asked to approve of this measure. In introducing the bill the Prime Minister pointed out that the American legislature had realized the necessity for restricting the number of immigrants into that country, providing in the first case for a quota of not more than 3 per cent. of the number of nationals of each country domiciled in the United States of America at the time of the 1910 census, and that subsequently, as it was found that too many natives of southern European countries were coming in, the law was amended by substituting the figures shown in the 1890 census, and reducing the percentage to 2. It was hoped that in this way more persons of the Nordic races would be admitted. We must profit by America’s bitter experience. Canada, New Zealand, and other countries have taken steps to restrict foreign immigration. It is the inherent right of every selfgoverning country to determine what people shall enter and what people shall if necessary be expelled from its country. If it has not this right it is not selfgoverning. Unless the Commonwealth is able to control, and is prepared to accept the responsibility of determining the character of the persons who shall be admitted into this country, it will be impossible for her to determine her own destiny. Unless we can provide, as we think proper, who are to come here and in what numbers, and who are to stay here, our fate is not in our own hands.- I am sure the great majority of the citizens of the Commonwealth will endorse the Government’s action to maintain our racial purity. I am at a loss to understand the opposition of honorable members opposite to this measure. For the reasons already stated, I heartily support this proposal.
The second object which this bill has is the deportation of undesirables. There can be no doubt as to the right of every self-governing country to deport undesirables. With certain definite limitations, this power exists under the present act, and the proposal in this amending legislation is to give the Government further power in this diretion. It is proposed to authorize the Minister to deport two classes of persons. He may prohibit the entry of any person declared by the Minister to be, in his opinion, from information received from the Government of the United Kingdom or of any other part of the British dominions, or from any foreign government, through official or diplomatic channels, undesirable as an inhabitant of, or visitor to, the Commonwealth, and he may deport any such person who has gained admission. The second section, which has caused much discussion, is the amendment of section 8a by the addition of section 8aa -
If at any time tlie Governor-General is of opinion that there exists in Australis, a serious industrial disturbance prejudicing or threatening the peace, order or good government of the Commonwealth, he may make a proclamation to that effect, which proclamation shall be mid remain in force for the purposes of this section until it is revoked by the GovernorGeneral.
While the proclamation is in force the Minister may summon before a board any person not born in Australia who has been concerned in Australia in acts directed towards hindering or obstructing, to the prejudice of the public, the transport of goods or the conveyance of passengers in relation to trade commerce, and whose presence in Australia is injurious to the peace, order or good government of the Commonwealth. Honorable members opposite have heatedly contended that this proposal is directed against the trade union movement. If I thought for a moment that it were, I would certainly not be found supporting it. I am a firm believer in trade unionism, and believe it to be essential to the industrial life of this country. Without it the Arbitration Courts, as at present constituted, could not function. I would not be a party to curtailing the legitimate functions of these unions in any way. It is because this measure is general in its application, and applies to all sections of the community who come within its scope, whether unionist or not, that I support the bill. I believe that the great majority of trade unionists welcome this bill. Unions are anxious that they may be relieved of the foreign despots who havegained control in some of their unions. If the Commonwealth does not assist the unions so afflicted to free themselves from the foreign agitators who are preaching job control, communism and every other objectionable “ ism,” and are further endeavouring by every means in their power to paralyse the industrial and commercial life of the community, trade unionism as we know it will soon cease to exist. The foreign element having achieved its! object in the industrial world, would then persist in its work of wrecking the peaceful life of the community until ultimately constitutional government would be overthrown. I believe this measure is designed to benefit the community as a whole, and to relieve us of a specially vicious evil, consequently I have pleasure in supporting the bill.
.- After listening to the honorable member for Kalgoorlie (Mr. A. Green), I concluded that he was totally opposed to arbitration.
– Will the honorable member accept my statement that I am in favour of arbitration?
– I should like te know what people mean when in one breath they ask for arbitration, and in the next declare for a strike. This bill is divided into two parts, one dealing - with immigration, the other with deportation. I would impress upon the House the need for care in passing legislation dealing with migration to our shores. We are perfectly justified in passing such legislation, provided that we exercise care in framing it. In my. opinion, legislation providing for power to prohibit by proclamation the immigration of people to Australia on account of the economic, industrial, or other conditions existing in the Commonwealth because the persons specified in the proclamation are considered unsuitable for admission to the Commonwealth, or are deemed unlikely to become readily assimilated, or to assume the duties and responsibilities of Australian citizenship within a reasonable time after their entry, is wise. It is better to determine the quota by regulation than to have it fixed definitely in an act which would require amending before the quota could be altered. We need to exercise care so as not to offend the susceptibilities of other nations. Most of the nations of the world are members of the League of Nations, and if we were to act unfairly or unjustly towards any of them, we should be bound to make enemies.
– The honorable member did not think of that when the Brisbane was sent to China,
– I repeat that we must be careful in these matters. The honorable member for Angas (Mr. Gabb) has always advocated the claims of the League of Nations. If an effective league of the nations can be built up it will be of much benefit to the world, but we shall want to have some friends among the nations constituting that league. We claim the absolute right to say who shall enter Australia; and in that claim we are perfectly justified. Other nations have acted similarly. At the same time, we must proceed carefully, and do noth- ing that could lead to enmity between ourselves and other nations. To say that we have no room in Australia for further people is absurd. We have a wonderful country, containing an enormous area of land which is not utilized, whereas we have but a small population. Australia’s vital need is population, and we must do all that we possibly can to increase it. The honorable member for South Sydney (Mr. E. Riley) spoke inglowing terms of the wonders that we had achieved within a few generations, but we must remember that, unfortunately, the great majority of our people are not living in the country, and developing it, but are congregated in the cities. When we look at the far north of Australia, with its wonderful resources and possibilities, and realize that the population there to-day is less than it was thirty years ago, surely we cannot say that we are doing justice to the great heritage that has been handed down to us. While we should endeavour to induce people of our own race to come here, I am not one of those who think that a small admixture of foreign races is necessarily detrimental. I agree with what the honorable member for Kalgoorlie has said regarding the Italians. In the mining fields of Australia, Italians have proved themselves to be valuable citizens. Provided that we do not allow large numbers of aliens to congregate in small areas, with their, own newspapers, printed in their own language, I am satisfied that their presence here will not be detrimental to our welfare. We need more people, and we have room for every one who comes here. Every additional member of the population means additional wealth. If we adopt a generous policy, and give better conditions to those who develop the country, we shall increase our wealth, importance, and population. Honorable members opposite would have us believe that the portion of the bill dealing with deportation is aimed at trade unionism, but if they will study the legislation which has been passed, not only in the Commonwealth, but in the states, during the last fifteen or twenty years, they will find that it has been framed to benefit trade unionism. Arbitration laws have been passed and other efforts made to improve the conditions of the people.
– When has that happened ?
– Does the honorable member believe that we should have arbitration laws ?
– Certainly, I do.
– Are those laws to be controlled by this Parliament, and administered by the government of the country, or are they to be in the hands of a section of the community which is a law unto itself ? Does the honorable member say that we should have an arbitration law that one section of the community may accept or reject at will?
– The people should be made amenable to the laws of the country, but should not be deported.
– The Leader of the Opposition and the party to which he belongs have assisted to pass arbitration laws.
– And the honorable member opposed them.
– That is incorrect. The honorable member and his party have passed arbitration laws the object of which was to ensure peace and good order in the government of this country.
– We stand for that.
– After an application has been made to the Arbitration Court, and the judge in his discretion has determined certain things, are we to allow persons outside to say that they are greater than the law. Should not the Arbitration Court and the administrators of the country control its destiny, and determine what shall be done; or is a trades hall organization to say what shall be done, no matter what the law of the country provides ?
– That is the way that they have gained all that has been gained.
– Let me recall the state of affairs which existed a little while ago at Fremantle, when the unions absolutely refused to allow pilots to bring vessels into1 Fremantle, and the Government of that state made no attempt to compel them to do so.
– Tell us the cause of it?
– Tom Walsh.
– He had nothing to do with it. The reason for the union’s action was that English crews had been engaged at £6 a month. Does the. honorable member uphold that action?
– When there is trouble, who should decide whether the agreement between the parties is a proper or an improper one? Should the law of the country be supreme, or should organizations of men decide whether a pilot or a quarantine officer shall be permitted to go out to a vessel ? Are we to permit one section of its people to say that the ships which do not comply with rules which that section sets up shall be declared “ black,” and all intercourse with them prevented? If that state of affairs is permitted, Parliament no longer controls the destinies of the country.
– The ship-owners were attempting to evade the Australian awards by engaging black crews.
– Is the honorable member aware that Peninsular and Oriental vessels trading with Australia have coloured crews?
– I ask the honorable member for Adelaide (Mr. Yates) not to interject so frequently.
– Labour governments have given subsidies to ships carrying black and Chinese crews.
– What is the use of the honorable member saying “ No “ ? It was, and is being, done in connexion with vessels trading with Java. When the law says that a subsidy shall be granted, are we to allow Mr. Walsh to say “ No ; it is contrary to what I think is right, and I am to be judge of what is right”? Honorable members opposite should say distinctly whether they are prepared to have the law controlled by the administration or by an outside body. What is the view of honorable members regarding the interference recently with the tourist traffic to Tasmania? Many persons are dependent upon that traffic for a livelihood. The majority of the tourists probably had a limited amount of money available for their needs, and they were seriously inconvenienced by the action of one section of the community when it said, “We are above the law; we will not allow this ship to run.” Is Parliament to sit idly by, while there is such dictation? If an honorable member opposite invited to his home a person who, while there, became obnoxious, would he not kick him out? Are we to allow our trade and commerce to be held up by one or two persons who claim to be above the law? I am satisfied that honorable members opposite are not in sympathy with actions that are opposed to the best interests of Australia. It is their duty to tell those who are responsible that such things cannot be tolerated. Both National and Labour Governments have endeavoured to provide, by means of Arbitration Courts, reasonable and proper conditions for the workers, yet there are some persons who say that they will not abide by those laws. Such an attitude should not be tolerated for a moment. This bill should have been introduced months ago. The Government has been lethargic and careless, and has shown a want of backbone. The workers have had no greater friend than the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce). He has explored every means to ensure peace. No honorable member has shown greater sympathy with the men or has gone more out of his way to bring about the peaceful settlement of disputes, yet all his efforts have been useless. Promise after promise has been broken, aud we are now threatened with one of the biggest catastrophies to our trade and commerce that we have had for many years. In Western Australia there is a shortage of many commodities that the people require. I understand, from a report in to-day’s, newspaper, that the potato crop in Western Australia has been an exceedingly poor one, and an effort is being made to take across there by train consignments of potatoes to supply the deficiency. The extra expense that will thus be incurred because shipping facilities are not available will be enormous, and this because one small section place themselves outside the law. Almost every request that has been made by the seamen in recent years has been granted. Is there any country in the world in which seamen enjoy as good conditions as those that obtain on the Australian coast? If honorable members cannot point to any such country, why do they not urge the Australian seamen to return to the Arbitration Court, accept its awards, and see that they are observed ? v
– Order ! The House is considering an immigration bill. I am afraid that the honorable member’s argument has become one relating purely to arbitration.
– I am afraid so, too. The difficulties that have arisen, have convinced the Government of the necessity for taking drastic action. Those persons who will not abide by the law? of this country should be deported. The result of their actions can be seen in the vast number of unemployed, and the increased cost of living. I believe that bolshevik propaganda has been in troduced into Australia with the desire, that has been shown also in Great Britain and other countries, to break up the existing ordered system of government, and to substitute another form of government. Although I want liberty for all people I do not desire to see in Australia the type of individual that is intent on making trouble. If persons come to Australia and accept the advantages that it offers they should be prepared to abide by its laws. If they are not I should kick them out as quickly as possible. There is one feature of the bill with which I am not quite satisfied. Clause 7 reads -
Where any person who was not horn in Australia has, at any time, been convicted in Australia of an offence against the laws of the Commonwealth.
I do not like those words “ at any time “ ; I think they should read, “ at any time” after the passing of this act.” I am opposed to legislation that may be retrospective in its operation. Sometimes such legislation is necessary in order to right a wrong, but for the purpose of imposing a penalty upon any person who has committed an act that prior to the passing of the act was not illegal, such legislation is improper. Apart from that feature the bill has my fullest sympathy and support. I hope that success will attend the scheme of immigration that the Government after very great trouble and difficulty has evolved. I hope that the states will come into line, and that a big effort will be made to induce people to go to the out-back parts of Australia. More population is absolutely necessary for purposes of defence, and to enable us to build up big secondary industries.
.- I did not think that it would fall to my lot to discuss in the national Parliament a bill of this description. What is its object? It is introduced merely to give the Government power to cast into prison a few individuals who are endeavouring to right the wrongs and remove the sufferings of their fellow men in the unions in which they hold offices. I have not been legally trained, but my long association with the making of laws convinces me that there is at present ample power to punish those who break the law. Honorable members opposite know as well as I dp that the law has not been broken, and that these men at whom the bill is aimed have done nothing except serve the interests of their fellow unionists. Had such legislation been on the statute-book at an earlier stage of Australia’s history I should probably have been deported. During a strike at Broken Hill I had the audacity to make in the Sydney Domain the statement that the Attorney-General of the state of New South Wales had used means that lay in his power to send a legal gentleman to Broken Hill with the object of creating a disturbance there, and thus enabling him to lodge prosecutions against the workers in that town. I was shadowed for some weeks. A sergeant of police said to me, “ Don’t worry, Jack. We know that you are all right, but we have been instructed by the department to have you shadowed.” If in the past every agitator such as Walsh had been deported we should not now be enjoying the liberties that we possess. I shall endeavour to prove that statement by giving one or two illustrations. Have honorable members forgotten the nine Dorsetshire labourers, who, because they endeavoured to improve the conditions of agricultural labourers, and to raise their wages from 7s. to 8s. per week, were sentenced to penal servitude and transported for seven years ? It has been my privilege to visit the monument that bag been erected to the memory of those men who fought to improve the lot of their fellow men. Not many years ago thirteen nien who endeavoured to better the conditions in the shearing industry, which, God knows, needed improvement, were sentenced to imprisonment for three years. Later three of them held honorable positions in the legislature of Queensland. A man who might have been deported Under this bill became Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria, and sat where you, Mr. Speaker, are now sitting, and his decisions in the chair have been a model to his successors in that office. Michael Davitt, who fought against thetyranny of Irish landlords, might have been deported had this bill been on the statute-book of England. The worthy men who might have been brought within the clutches of this proposed law are as numerous as leaves in autumn. The honorable member for Swan (Mr. Gregory) spoke of the danger of riots and industrial upheavals.Hisspeech was an insult to the Australian people. There is no likelihood of riots or bloodshed. If we make liberal laws the people will obey them, but tyrannical laws will always be resisted by a libertyloving people. At a time when disturbances occurred in London in . connexion with the grievances of Irish tenants and Scottish crofters, some men blew a hole in a prison wall in order to liberate their fellows who had been imprisoned on account of their participation in the agitation. The Duke of Cambridge, who was in charge of the Household troops, approached Mr. Speaker Brand of the House of Commons, with an offer of the services of his troops to defend the precincts of Parliament House, and the Speaker replied that when the precincts of Parliament House could no longer be protected by the civil authority, it would be time to remove the cause of the trouble.
– The honorable member’s remarks are wide of both the motion and the amendment.
– I cannot help that.
– The honorable member must proceed no further in that direction.
– I was about to say that if the Government had sought the cause of the present dispute on the water front, and removed it, there would have been no necessity for this bill. It is an outcome of the incompetence of the Government. Ministers are without administrative capacity, and are unfit to hold office. I have been told by people outside this House that the AttorneyGeneral (Sir Littleton Groom) does not approve of the bill, because he considers that the existing law is adequate. I am not acquainted with Mr. Tom Walsh, but I say to his credit that he has never acted without consulting the wishes of his union. The present dispute with the Seamen’s Union was caused by the management of the Commonwealth Shipping Line chartering a ship in England with a crew signed on under English articles. How could other ships upon which Australian conditions obtained compete against a vessel manned by persons receiving 5s., and even as low as 4s. a day ? Fancy a man having to maintain himself, and wife, and children upon £5 or £6 amonth. The labour conditions obtaining on the ship by which I came to Australia -were such, as to make me resolve to endeavour to improve the lot of the seamen. Half of the crew were receiving not more than ls. a month, and upon arrival in Australia or New Zealand ports were put ashore like dogs. I have known immigrants to live in the Domain in Sydney for two or three months, during which time they have had to beg their food. Honorable members opposite have forgotten these things.
– The honorable member is out of order.
– If such legislation as this had existed years ago in Great Britain, Plimsoll would have been deported to some desert isle on which to live the life of Robinson Crusoe. The bill is an attempt to interfere with trade and commerce. Shipping companies, of their own free will, not by an award of the Arbitration Court, may raise the shipping freights. Is not that interfering with trade and commerce? Yet these men are to go unscathed while a man who endeavours to- improve the conditions of trade unionists is to be deported. This legislation,, when passed, will do more to hamper immigration than any other act on the statute-book to-day. From 1910 to 1913 our immigration policy was successful, because the people coming here from the other side of the world were confident that while a Labour Government was in power they would receive fair treatment. In 1911-12, the increase in population by immigration was 87,000, and in 1912-13 89,000. Since this Government has been in office the increase in population has been only 12,000. It is evident that people are anxious to come to Australia only when a Labour Government is in power. It is proposed to place immigrants on the land, but the Premier of Victoria has informed us that there is no land available for settlement in this state; In New South Wales, immigrants who are put on the land cost £2,500. Under the immigration agreement, the British Government proposes to lend the Commonwealth £34,000,000 over a period of ten years. The British Tory Government, in view of its unemployment problem, is prepared to expend this sum to rid itself of its surplus population. Great Britain has suffered much in the past under the administration of Tory Governments, and God knows what her people are suffering to-day. A friend of mine, an Englishman by birth, recently returned from England to Australia. He told me that the conditions in Britain are deplorable, and that he was ashamed of the way in which the affairs of that country were being administered. The manufacturers of Great Britain, to find a market for their goods here, and, incidentally, to kill our secondary industries, are encouraging wholesale immigration to Australia. The members of the British Cabinet are no fools. I heard one honorable member say to-day that a statesman is a man who looks ahead. The British Government is looking ahead so that its manufacturers may later benefit at our expense. The British Government cares not a button about Australia or any other Dominion. Honorable members have referred to the working conditions of the miners and the seamen. Mr. James Curley and myself, as a deputation, once waited upon a coal mine-owner respecting the ventilation of the mine. His reply was, “ The men will have to put up with present conditions. If they do not like it they can stop work for twelve months. My goods are not perishable, and I shall wait until they return to the mine to work under existing conditions.” The same attitude is adopted by the ship-owners. Vessels are tied up for weeks at a time, to deprive the men of benefits to which they are properly entitled. The mine-owners and the ship-owners are the hardest taskmasters in the world.
– The honorable member must now come somewhere near the bill.
– If this measure had been in force when I was a member of the Builders Union I should have been deported.
– The building trade may not now be discussed. I shall refuse to hear the honorable member unless he addresses himself to the bill. If he does not proceed to do so at once I shall put the question.
– I protest against the proposed discrimination between Australians and those born elsewhere. It is cruel to ask an Englishman to discuss this measure calmly. I should like to know where it was framed. Was it framed at the Union Club or at the Melbourne Club ? I believe this is an attempt to belittle trade unionists. When I hear some honorable members opposite speak at length on their sympathy for trade unionists I ‘ marvel, for I can well remember that those very same gentlemen were bitterly opposed to trade unionism years ago. Why have they changed their views? Is it that they are ashamed of their past, or that they have their eyes on the next election ? The bill is nothing more nor less than an insult’ to many worthy men who in their own humble, if imperfect, way, have endeavoured to improve the lot of their fellows. If we are to have no reforms, and are to become a mutual admiration society, and kiss and cuddle each other, we shall soon go to the wall. We have heard something about a “hidden hand” behind the Government in connexion with this measure. Whose hand is it? If the Government desires to deal wilh a particular individual in the community why does it not say so straight out? The fact that it intends to use its majority in this Parliament to force the passage of the bill does not make it either right or just. Majorities have been wrong in the past. The Government is doing wrong in asking its supporters to pass the bill in any form. A democracy like ours will bitterly resent the reflection that the Government is casting upon them. It is well known that we are a law-abiding community.
– Does not the honorable member, as a British-born man, resent the bill ?
– The honorable member needs no assistance.
– I feel that I do, sir. I wish that I could use stronger language. The bill justifies it. Can honorable members who know of our past struggles to gain liberty calmly support this proposal? If a measure of this kind had been in force in England when Miss Pankhurst was fighting for the enfranchisement of women’ she would have been deported. Miss Rose Scott, in our own country, would also have been dealt with under it had it been in force. If I could do anything to prevent the passage of the bill I would certainly do it. If the persons whom the Government wishes to deal with have broken the law, they ought to be brought before our courts and charged in the regular manner. Where measures of this kind have been proposed in other parts of the world, people have resisted them with the utmost vigour, and properly so. They have given us no reasons except some nonsense about our right to’ govern ourselves - a question on which we have been fighting for the last 100 years. I find, by consulting official statistics, that Australia has made more progress in population and wealth during recent years than any other country. Why is there such a clamour on the other side of the House about the need for population? The Japanese and Chinese seem to have population enough, but they are not very well off, and I do not know that we need to be too anxious about increasing the population of this country. We need. moderation in immigration, as in everything else. The United States of America has already made trouble for herself by accepting too many foreigners. A commission that investigated the question of the influx of aliens into that country sat for seven years, and its report recommended the placing of restrictions on the number of immigrants and the deportation of undesirables. The bill is not based upon equity, justice, or moderation. It lacks those essentials of just and reasonable legislation. Members of the Commonwealth Government do not realize their responsibilities. Nine intelligent members of a Ministry would never have presented such a bill to this Parliament unless to further their own interests. Men have been known to go to jail because they were too keen in serving their own interests at the expense of others.
– Will the’ honorable member discuss the bill ? He is in danger of being called to order for tedious repetition.
– There would be no need for the bill if the Government had removed the cause of industrial disturbances.
– The honorable mem-, ber has already said that three times.
– One cannot say a good thing too often.
– I shall have to cause the honorable member to resume his seat unless he refrains from tedious repetition and confines his remarks to the bill.
– I had no intention .to offend against the Standing Orders, but I plead in extenuation my earnestness in opposition to the hill. Rather than run the risk of being convicted of tedious repetition, I shall merely say that the bill is no credit to the Government. There are two sides to this, as to every other question, and all the wrong is not on the side of those who work for wages, or toil for an existence. Both sides have faults, but, unfortunately, the Government sees only the faults on one side.
Debate (on motion by Mr. Mackay) adjourned.
Commonwealth Loan from America - Charges against Major Story.
Motion (by Dr. Earle Page) proposed -
That the House do now adjourn.
– I ask the Treasurer whether there is any truth in a cablegram received in Melbourne to-day to the effect that the Government is making arrangements through the British Government to borrow 1,000,000,000 dollars from the American people ?
– Recently the honorable member for the Northern Territory (Mr. Nelson) made some charges impugning the valour of Major Story, Administrative Secretary of the Northern Territory. The honorable member referred to General McNicoll as one who would be likely to substantiate the charges. I liave received a letter from General McNicoll, who does not bear testimony in support of the charges made by the honorable member for the Northern Territory. General McNicoll says -
Yours of the 29th inst. with Hansard cuttings to hand this morning.
War records not being available, I must rely on memory.
After the Battle of Messines, Major Story was held to have committed an error of judgment, and the Divisional Commander decided that he was to have no higher command than that of a Company until he justified such a recommendation. There was no reflection on his personal courage - such would have been ridiculous in the case of a man like Story - and I feel sure he did not leave the Battalion.
In 1918, I reported to Divisional H.-Q, that I considered Story quite competent to be entrusted with the command of a Battalion.
During my absence on leave in September. 1918, Story wrote a letter protesting against the proposed absorption of the 37th
Battalion by the other three, under the “ threebattalion per Brigade “ organization, and sent his letter to a number of superior officers simultaneously. For this act, I believe, the Divisional Comnnander, General Gellibrand, had him transferred from the Division. He was gone when I returned from leave.
Finally, I have the file copy of my letter recommending Major Story for the Legion d’Honneur: - “Major Charles Barnet Story,8th Bn. (formerly 37th Bn.)
For conspicuous gallantry in action whilst in command of his (37th) Battalion during the heavy fighting on the Somme in the vicinity of Bray and Clery in August, 1918. During operations which involved the capture of several important villages this officer showed marked ability in the handling of his men.
Recommended for Legion d’Honneur.”
Trusting that these few details may be sufficient to throw some light on the matter, and with kind regards,
Yours very sincerely,
– I do not know which department is responsible for the mission of Sir George Buchanan in Australia, but I have received a letter from the Randwick municipality asking if it is possible to obtain his services in order to report, upon a scheme to make the Coogee beach safe from sharks. I understand that the council will be prepared to pay any expense involved. The Coogee beach is a great national resort for surfers. In summer time thousands of people enjoy surfing there, and the council is anxious to make it perfectly safe.
.- I have no desire to join in the discussion concerning Major Story, because that officer volunteered and took the risks of
Active service. I do object, however, to Ministers telling only partial truths. It is a fact that General Monash, the officer commanding the Australian forces in the field, ordered the return of Major Story to Australia. The Honorary Minister did not mention that fact, but it will come out later.
– I shall bring the request made by the honorable member for South Sydney (Mr. E. Riley) under the notice of the Minister for Home and Territories, under whose direction Sir George Buchanan is visiting Australia, With regard to the statement of the honorable member for Ballarat (Mr. McGrath), I think it will be admitted that the Minister for Defence (Sir Neville Howse) gave a very complete answer to the charges made by the honorable member for the Northern Territory (Mr. Nelson). He also mentioned that the file was available to honorable members. If the honorable member for Ballarat will peruse it he will, I think, be satisfied.
– I have done so. You will get it all on Friday.
Dr.EAR LE PAGE.- Concerning the question asked by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Charlton) about a certain paragraph in the press, it must be obvious to the honorable gentleman that it is inadvisable, at the present time, to discuss loan negotiations in the House.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
House adjournedat 10.43 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 8 July 1925, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1925/19250708_reps_9_110/>.