House of Representatives
30 November 1937

15th Parliament · 1st Session

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The House met at 30.80 a.m., pursuant to the proclamation of His Excellency the Governor-General.

The CLEAR read the proclamation.

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The Usher of the Black Eon, being announced, wa3 admitted, and delivered the message that the Deputies of the Governor-General for the Opening of the Parliament desired the attendance of honorable members in the Senate chamber forthwith.

Honorable members attended accordingly, and having returned,

The Deputy authorized by the GovernorGeneral to administer the oath entered the chamber.

The Clbbk read the commission, under the Great Seal of the Commonwealth, authorizing the Bight Honorable Sir George Edward Rich, a Justice ‘of the High Court of Australia, to administer the oath, or affirmation, of allegiance to the King required by the Constitution to be taken or made by members of the House of Representatives.

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The- Clbbk announced that he had received from the Military and Official Secretary to the Governor-General returns to 74 writs for the election of members of the House of Representatives, held on the 23rd October, 1937.

The following honorable members made and subscribed the oath or affirmation of allegiance : -

Anthony, Hubert Lawrence, Richmond, New South Wales.

Badman, Albert Oliver, Grey South Australia.

Baker, Francis Matthew John, Griffith,. Queensland.

Barnard, Herbert Claude, Bass, Tasmania.

Beasley, Hon. John Albert, West Sydney, New South Wales.

Bell, Hon. George John, O.M.G., D.S.O., V.D., Darwin, Tasmania.

Blackburn, Maurice McCrae, Bourke, Victoria.

Brennan, Hon. Frank, Batman, Victoria.

Cameron, Hon. Archie Galbraith, Barker, South Australia.

Casey, Hon. Richard Gardiner, D.S.O., M.C., Corio, Victoria.

Clark, Joseph James, Darling, New South Wales.

Gollins, Thomas Joseph, Hume, New South Wales.

Corser, Bernard Henry, Wide Bay, Queensland.

Curtin, John, Fremantle, Western Australia,

Drakeford, Arthur Samuel, MarU byrnong, Victoria.

Fadden, Arthur William, Darling Downs, Queensland.

Fairbairn, James Valentine, Flinders, Victoria.

Forde, Hon. Francis Michael, Capricornia, Queensland.

Francis, Hon. Josiah, , Moreton, Queensland.

Frost, Charles William, Franklin, Tasmania.

Gander, Joseph Herbert, Reid, New South Wales.

Gardner, Sydney Lane, Robertson, New South Wales.”

Green, Hon. Albert Ernest, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

Gregory, Hon. Henry, Swan, Western Australia.

Gullett, Hon. Sir Henry Somer, K.G.M.G., Henty, Victoria.

Harrison, Hon. Eric John, Wentworth, New South Wales.

Hawker, Hon. Charles Allan Seymour,Wakefield, South Australia”.

Holloway, Hon. Edward James, Melbourne Ports, Victoria.

Holt, Harold Edward, Fawkner Victoria.

Hughes, Et. lion. William Morris, K.C., North Sydney, New South Wales.’

Hunter, Hon, James Aitchison Johnston. Maranoa, Queensland.

Hutchinson, William Joseph, Deakin, Victoria.

James, Rowland, Hunter, New South Wales.

Jennings, John Thomas, Watson, New South Wales. ‘

Jolly, William Alfred, Lilley, Queensland.

Lane, Albert, Barton, New South Wales.

Lawson, George, Brisbane, Queensland.

Lawson, John Norman, Macquarie, New South Wales.

Lazzarini, Hu bert Peter, Werriwa, New South Wales.

Lyons, Et. Hon. Joseph Aloysius, O.H., Wilmot, Tasmania.

Mahoney, Gerald William, Denison, Tasmania.

Makin, Norman John Oswald, Hindmarsh, South Australia.

Maloney, William Robert Nuttall, Melbourne, Victoria.

Marr, Hon. ‘ Sir Charles William Clanan, K.C.V.O., D.S.O., M.C, V.D., Parkes, New South Wales.

Martens, George William. Herbert, Queensland.

McCall, William Victor, Martin, New South Wales.

McEwen, Hon. John, Indi, Victoria.

Menzies, Et. Hon. Robert Gordon, K.O., Kooyong, Victoria.

Mulcahy, Daniel, Lang, New South Wales.

Nairn. Walter Maxwell, Perth, Western Australia.

Nock, Horace Keyworth, Riverina New South Wales.

Page, Et. Hon. Earle Christmas Grafton, Cowper, New South Wales.

Paterson, Hon. Thomas, Gippsland, Victoria.

Perkins, Hon. John Arthur, EdenMonaro, New South Wales.

Pollard, Reginald Thomas, Ballaarat, Victoria.

Price, John Lloyd, Boothby, South Australia.

Prowse, John Henry, Forrest, Western Australia.

Rankin, George James, Bendigo, Victoria.

Riordan, William James Frederick, Kennedy, Queensland.

Rosevear, John Solomon, Dalley, New South Wales.

Scholfield, Thomas Hallett, M.C, M.M., Wannon, Victoria.

Scullin, Rt. Hon. James Henry. Yarra, Victoria.

Scully William James, Gwydir, New South Wales.

Sheehan, Thomas, Cook, New South Wales.

Spender, Percy Claude, K.C., Warringah, New South Wales.

Stacey, Fred Hurtle, Adelaide, South Australia.

Stewart, Hon. Sir Frederick Harold. Parramatta, New South Wales.

Street, Geoffrey Austin, M.C, Corangamite, Victoria.

Thompson, Hon. Victor Charles, New England New South Wales.

Thorby, Hon. Harold Victor Campbell, Calare, New South Wales.

Ward,. Edward John, East Sydney, New South Wales.

Watkins, David Oliver, Newcastle, New South Wales.

White, Hon. Thomas Walter, D.F.C, V.D., Balaclava, Victoria.

Wilson, Alex. Wimmera, Victoria.

The Deputy retired.

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– ! move -

That the honorable member for Darwin (Mr. Bell) do take the chair of this House as Speaker.


– I second the motion.

Questions resolved in the affirmative.

Members of the House then calling Mr. Bell lo the Chair, he was taken out of his place hy Mr. Hawker and Mr. Hutchinson, and conducted to the Chair.

Mr. SPEAKER ELECT, standing on the upper step, said. - I feel very deeply the honour which honorable members have conferred upon me by selecting me for the second time to preside over their deliberations. The majority of honorable members present have had experience of the manner in which I have discharged the duties of Speaker, and on that account I feel that the honour which they now do me is greater than that which they did me three years ago. The Standing Orders are the rules that have been laid down by this House for the guidance of honorable members in the conduct of its business. It is my function to interpret those rules, and to see that they are observed, so that the business of this chamber may be conducted smoothly. I cannot perfectly, or even satisfactorily,

Prime Minister · Wilmot · UAP

– On behalf of members of the Government, and of ministerial members generally, 1 offer to you, Mr. Speaker, very warm congratulations upon having been selected unanimously by this House to occupy the position that you previously filled with very great credit to yourself and benefit to the Parliament. Personally I am very glad indeed that one who lias been so closely’ associated with me has received that honour from this House, more particularly as, viewing the matter from perhaps an insular viewpoint, you, sir, are a fellow Tasmanian. I promise that you shall have the fullest cooperation of honorable members on this side of the House in the discharge of your duties. You have truly said that, however highly Qualified a Speaker may be, he cannot achieve real success nor - in your own words - satisfactorily perform his duties, unless he has the co-operation of all honorable members. You will have that cooperation. I sincerely trust that your experience during the life of this Parliament will give you cause for the greatest satisfaction, and that your health, which previously was not all that could be desired, will be- the best that God has in His gift.


-Very, very sincerely, Mr. Speaker, I offer to you on behalf of myself and of those who sit behind me, our warmest congratulations on your re-election as Speaker of this Parliament. We are confident that you will maintain the very highest traditions of your honorable office, and are quite certain that your appeal for the support of all honorable members will be responded to in the fullest possible way. I know that honorable gentlemen who sit on this side of the chamber will need no remonstrance to cause them to realize their duty to you, and to the office that you hold. I make no reference to the nast. other than to express the hope that the head of the Government will set an


– I sincerely thank the Prime Minister (Mr. Lyons) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin) for their congratulations upon my attainment to this high and honorable office, and for the very kind remarks that they have made concerning me personally.

Presentation to Governor-General.

Prime Minister · Wilmot · UAP

– T have ascertained that it will be the pleasure of His Excellency the Governor-General to receive you, Mr. Speaker, in the Library of the Parliament at 2.45 p.m. this day.


– Prior to my presentation to His Excellency the GovernorGeneral .the bells will be rung for five minutes so that those honorable members who so desire may accompany me to the Library, and there be presented to His Excellency.

Sitting suspended from 11.16 a.m. to 2.U5 p.m.

The House proceeded’ to the Library, there to present Mr. Speaker to His Excellency the Governor-General.

The House having re-assembled, Mr. SPEAKER - I have to report that, accompanied by honorable members, I proceeded to the Library of Parliament, and presented myself to His Excellency the Governor-General as tho choice of the House, and that His Excellency was kind enough to congratulate me on my election as Speaker.

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The Usher of the Black Rod, being announced, was admitted, and delivered the message that His Excellency the Governor-General desired the attendance of honorable members in the Senate chamber forthwith.

Mr. Speaker and honorable members attended accordingly, and having returned,

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Mr SPEAKER (Hon G J Bell:

– I have received from His Excellency the Governor-General a commission authorizing me to administer the oath, or affirmation, of allegiance to members of thehouse.Inowlaythecommissionon the table.

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Prime Minister · Wilmot · UAP

– I desire to inform the House that, consequent on the retirement of the Right Honorable Senator Sir George Pearce, the Honorable Sir Archdale Parkhill, the Honorable T. Paterson, M.P., Senator the Honorable T. C. Brennan and the Honorable J. A. J. Hunter, M.P., certain changes have been made in the Ministry, which is now constituted as follows: -

Prime Minister. - The Right Honorable J. A. Lyons, C.H., M.P

Minister for Commerce and Minister for Health. - The Right Honorable E. C. G. Page, M.P

Attorney-General and Minister for Industry. - The Right Honorable R. G. Menzies, K.C., M.P

Minister for External Affairs, Minister in charge of Territories and Vice-President of the Executive Council. - The Right Honorable W. M. Hughes, K.C., M.P.

Postmaster-General. - Senator the Honorable A. J. McLachlan.

Minister for Trade and Customs. - Lieutenant-Colonel the Honorable T. W. White, D.F.C., V.D., M.P.

Treasurer and Minister in charge of Development and Scientific and Industrial Research. - The Honorable R. G. Casey, D.S.O., M.C., M.P.

Minister for Defence - The Honorable H. V. C. Thorby, M.P

Minister for the Interior - The Honorable J. McEwen, M.P.

Minister for Repatriation and Minister in charge of War Service Homes. - Senator the Honorable H. S. Foll.

Minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Trade and Customs and Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral in the House of Representatives. - The Honorable J. A. Perkins, M.P.

Minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Commerce - Senator the Honorable Allan N. MacDonald.

Minister without portfolio assisting the Treasurer and Minister representing the Minister for Repatriation in the House of Representatives. - The Honorable V. C. Thompson, M:P. ;

Minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Commerce. - The Honorable A. G. Cameron, M.P.

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– I have to inform the House thatI have been appointed Leader, and the honorable member for Capricornia (Mr. Forde), Deputy Leader, of the Opposition.

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Minister for Commerce · Cowper · CP

– I desire to intimate to the House that I have been appointed leader, and the honorable member for Calare (Mr. Thorby) deputy leader, of the Country party.

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Motion (by Mr. Lyons) agreed to -

Thathe have leave to bring in abill for an act relating to the Territory for the Seat of Government.

Bill brought up, and read a first time.

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Prime Minister · Wilmot · UAP

– It is with deep regret that I refer to the death, on the 2nd October last, in Sydney, of Sir Granville Ryrie, a former member of this House.

Born at Michelago, which is within a comparatively short distance of the Federal Capital, on the 1st July, 1865, he first entered Parliament in 1906 as member for Queanbeyan in the Legislative Assembly of New South “Wales. His service in the Commonwealth Parliament extended over a period of sixteen years, first as member for North Sydney from 1911 to 1919, and later “as member for Warringah from 1919 to 1927. As a young man he served in the South African War, in which he waa severely wounded. In recognition of his service, he was awarded the Queen’s medal with four clasps.

Shortly after the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, he proceeded overseas with the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, and was subsequently appointed to the command of the Australian Imperial Force in Egypt with the rank of Major-General.

He was honoured by His Majesty the King on three occasions by the award of the decorations of C.M.G., C.B., and K.C.M.G.

Shortly after the termination of the warhe attained ministerial office in the Hughes Ministry as Assistant Minister for Defence, and in 1927 he was appointed to succeed the Right Honorable Sir Joseph Cook as High Commissioner for the Commonwealth in London.

Sir Granville Ryrie’s record of public service, which I have briefly reviewed, is an inspiring one. He was a very sincere man, possessing an intense love for his native country. His interests were many, but he was specially devoted to the pastoral industry with which he had been closely associated from boyhood.

His comrades in the Australian Imperial Force pay tribute to his capacity for leadership, and to his forceful, but genial and likeable personality. Those associated with him in the ministerial and parliamentary spheres testify to his very capable service. He is remembered by them as a loyal and trustworthy colleague.

Sir Granville Ryrie rendered useful service to the Commonwealth in his capacity as High Commissioner in London, and in all his work he served Australia with distinction. He well merited the prominent position which is retained of him in the memories of the Australian people. To his widow and family we desire to offer our sincere sympathy in their loss. I move - by leave -

That this House expresses its deep regret at the death of Major-General the Honorable Sir Granville de Laune Ryrie, K.C.M.G., CB., V.D., a former member of the New South Wales and Commonwealth Parliaments, Assistant Commonwealth Minister, and High Commissioner for Australia in London, places on record its appreciation of his distinguished public service, and tenders its profound sympathy to his widow and family in their bereavement.


– I second the motion and unreservedly subscribe to the sentiments expressed by the Prime Minister (Mr. Lyons). The late Sir Granville Ryrie had a very long service, both in the public, and also the military, life of Australia, as the Prime Minister has said. His very distinguished career was crowned by his appointment as “ the representative of Australia in the important office of High Commissioner in London. His very notable record indicated the possession of a great variety of gifts and qualifications. I pay tribute to the work he has done, and express very deep sympathy with his widow and family.

Question resolved in the affirmative, honorable members standing in their places,

Motion (by Mr. Lyons) agreed to -

That Mr. Speaker be requested to transmit to LadyRyrie the foregoing resolution, together with a copy of the speeches delivered thereon.

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Leave of Absence

Prime Minister · WILMOT, TASMANIA · ALP; UAP from 1931

– I desire to inform the House that, with the concurrence of the Government, His Excellency the GovernorGeneral, Lord Gowrie, proposes to proceed to England on six months’ leave commencing about the 20th March, 1938. During the absence of Lord Gowrie, His Excellency the Governor of Victoria, Lord Huntingfield, will administer the Government of the Commonwealth.

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Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. G. J. Bell).I have to report that the House this day attended His Excellency the Governor-

General in the Senate chamber, where His Excellency was pleased to make a Speech to both Houses of the Parliament, of which, for greater accuracy, I han obtained a copy (vide page 6). As honorable members have copies of the Speech in their hands, I presume that they do not desire me formally to read it. Motion (by Mr. LYONs) agreed to -

Thai a committee consisting of Mr. Jolly, Mr. Rankin and the mover, be appointed to prepare an Address-in-Reply to the Speech delivered by His Excellency the GovernorGeneral to both Houses of the Parliament, mid Unit the committee do report at the next sitting.

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The following papers were presented : -

Rabaul - Report on Vulcanological and Scismolugieal Investigations at Rabaul by Dr. Cb. E. Stehn, Director of Hie Netherlands Indies Vulcanological Survey, and W. G. Woolnough, D.Sc., Geological Adviser to the Commonwealth Government.

Arbitration (Public Service) Act - Determination by the Arbitrator, &c. - No. 10 of 11)37 - Postal Overseers’ Union of Australia.

Canned Fruits Export Control Act - Regulations ti mended - (Statutory Rules 1937, Nos. 98, 105.

Commonwealth Bank Act - Treasurer’s statement of combined accounts of Commonwealth Bank and Commonwealth Savings Bank, at 30th June, 1937, together with certificate of the Auditor-General. Defence Act - Regulations- Statutory Rules 1937, No. 90.

Lands Acquisition Act - Land acquired at - Bankstown. New South Wales - For

Postal purposes.

Burwood, Victoria - For Postal purposes.

Chowder Bay, New South Wales - For

Defence purposes.

Coffs Harbour, New South Wales - For

Defence purposes.

Concord, New South Wales - For Postal purposes

Cooktown, Queensland - For Defence purposes.

Essendon, Victoria - For Defence purnoises.

Oodnadatta, South Australia - For Defence purposes. Ment Export Charges Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1937, No. 97. Naval Defence Act - Regulations amended -

Statutory Rules 1937, No. 100.

Navigation Act - Regulations - Statutory

Rules 1937, No. 104.

New Guinea Act - Ordinances of 1937 -

No. 25 - Appropriation (No. 3) 193(1-37. No. 26.- Administration and Probate (No. 2).

No. 27 - Administrator’s Powers.

No. 28- Motor Traffic (No. 2). Mo. 29 - Criminal Code Amendment. No. 30 - Forestry No. 31 - District Courts. No. 32 - Appropriation 1937-38.

Northern Territory Acceptance Act and Northern Territory (Administration) Act - Ordinances of 1937 -

No. U - Licensed Surveyors. No. 7 - -Aboriginuls (No. 2). No. 8 - Alice Springs Administration.

Patents Act - Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1937,’ No. 101. Public Service Act -

Appointments - DepartmentAttorneyGeneral - G. P. Falls. Health- H. M. Franklands, K. R. Gay,

S. Graham. J. J. M. Kenny. Interior - B. T. Dale, L. J. Dwyer, H. J. Gates, A. E. Maguire, J. N. McRae, H. F. Newell, N. J.’ Reynolds, J. W. Rodan, F. C. G. Rose, E. M. Shackell. Parliamentary Reporting Staff - J. R. Odgers.

Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1937, Nos. 100, 103. Scat of Government Acceptance Act and Seat of Government (Administration) Act - . Ordinances of 1937 -

No. IS - Canberra Community Hospital

Board (No. 2). No. 10 - Canberra Community Hospital

Board (No. 3). No. 17 - Advisory Council.

Regulations amended under - Public Health Ordinance - Boarding nouses. Infectious Diseases (3). Wireless Telegraphy Act - Regulations amended- Statutory Rules 1937, No. 102.

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– I moveThat the honorable member for Forrest (Mr. -

Prowse) lie appointed Chairman of Committees of this House.


– I second the motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Prime Minis- . ter · Wilmot · UAP

– On behalf of honorable members on this side of the House I tender congratulations to the honorable member for Forrest (Mr. Prowse) on his being appointed by this chamber on a vote which was, as in your case, Mr. Speaker, unanimous, to the position of Chairman of Committees, which he has occupied for some time past. I assure him of the co-operation and loyalty of honorable members in the carrying out of his important duties, and wish him success in his occupancy of his position. I feel sure that I speak for all honorable members in offering the honorable member congratulations, promise, of co-operation, and wishes that he may achieve success in the performance of his duties.


– I express to the honorable member for Forrest (Mr. Prowse) my compliments on the honour that the House has done him in appointing him Chairman of Committees. I should like to feci assured that this appointment is not a consolation trophy bestowed on the honorable member. There are rumours that he was intended for a much more important office - one on the Executive. I do not know what happened ; all I know is that to-day Jus has been appointed Chairman of Committees. 1 assure the honorable member that honorable gentlemen on this side of the House will do their very utmost, consistent with their duty, to observe the dignity of the chamber, and to observe also the Standing Orders. I assure him also, that, whatever may have happened on a previous occasion, we shall not in any way recollect it, but I offer - I hope without impertinence - the suggestion that he himself certainly should not forget it.


– I desire to acknowledge with thanks the confidence that this House has again reposed in me, and to thank the Right Honorable the Prime Minister (Mr. Lyons) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Curtin) for the complimentary remarks they made concerning myself. I cun assure the Leader of the Opposition that 1 shall not forget too readily the occasion to which he was kind enough to refer. I should like to say how completely I concur with the observations which you, Mr. Speaker, were good enough to make to the chamber on your election earlier to-day. I endorse them all, and am thankful for the co-operation promised by the Leader of the Opposition on behalf of the Opposition. I shall do my very best to be fair, and to comply with the Standing Order3 which are set for the guidance of every honorable member as well as that of the Speaker and thu Chairman of Committees.

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Motion (by Mr. Lyons) agreed to - That the House, at its rising, adjourn until to-morrow at 2.30 p.m.

House adjourned at 3.37 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 30 November 1937, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.