House of Representatives
16 April 1948

18th Parliament · 1st Session

Mr. Speaker (Hon. J. S. Rosevear) took the chair at 10.30 a.m., . and read prayers.

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– I give notice that at the next sitting I shall move -

That aa a matter of privilege and’ having regard to the report from the Standing Committee of Privileges on inquiry into the allegations made by the honorable member for Lang as to the -wrongful use- by the honorable member for the Northern Territory, whilst a prisons)’ of war in the hands of the Japanese, of hia Parliamentary privileges, the appendices to such report, and the evidence given before such Standing Committee, this House is of opinion -

  1. that thi, honorable member for Lang ls deserving of the censure of this. Bouse;

    1. that the committee should- have heardevidence in public; and
  2. that the committee failed to carry out the duties delegated to it by this. House in that it wrongly limited the scope of its investigation so as to exclude evidence of intimidation against the honorable member for the Northern Territory which tended- toshow that the allegation of the honorable member for Lang’ was’ part of a scheme of intimidation against- thesaid honorable member for theNorthern Territory.


– I rise to order. The Standing Orders provide for the taking of evidence by the Privileges Committee other than in public and I consider that the reference to this procedure in the proposed motion is entirely out of order. Therefore, the motion will be out of order.

Mr McEwen:

– I should like to speak to the point of order.

Mr McEwen:

– An honorable member is entitled to speak to a point of order. That is a custom of this House.


– Order ! The honorable member will resume his seat. The proposed motion is full of interesting possibilities. The Chair is not required to give a ruling at this stage on the point of order stated by the honorable member for Darling. I shall consider the matter between now and the time when the motion is called on, and I shall give a ruling at the appropriate time.

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Motion (by Mr. Chifley) agreed to -

That the House, at its rising, adjourn to Wednesday next, at 3 p.m.

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Black-market Sales.


– A man who poses as an agent of the Commonwealth Disposals Commission and whose name I shall hand to the Prime Minister is calling upon firms in .Sydney and stating :that he has some tons of 20-gauge sheet brass for sale from the commission at 2s. per lb. “When it is pointed out to him that the fixed price for 20-gauge sheet brass is ls. 7¾d. per lb., he replies that he can easily sell the metal at 2s. per lb. I ask the Prime Minister whether this man is, in fact, an agent of the Commonwealth Disposals Commission? Is it the practice of the Government to black-market goods in short supply? If not, will the Prime Minister take immediate steps to arrange for the distribution of goods held by the Commonwealth Disposals Commission to legitimate manufacturers at the fixed prices ?


– I assure the honorable member for “Wentworth that it is not tie practice of the Government to engage in black marketing. If the honorable gentleman will supply the name of the person to whom he referred, I shall ask the Commonwealth Investigation Service to make immediate inquiries into the allegation, and I shall furnish a reply to his question as early as possible.

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– Has the Prime Minister yet decided what amount may be provided for the total imports from dollar areas? If the amount is to be less than last year’s amount of between £80,000,000 and £90,000,000 worth of dollars, what method will be adopted in allocating licences for the forthcoming year? “Will the allocation be on a quota system, on the basis of the value of goods purchased during a specific quarter, or on the basis of purchases for the whole year ?


– The amount of dollars which can be spent during this calendar year must be very much less than that spent during the last calendar year. I shall not disclose the approximate figure at the moment, but the proposed programme envisages a considerable reduction of dollar expenditure. During the last four or five months, a special committee, which includes officers of the Department of Trade and Customs, has been examining licences in respect of every essential import for which dollars must be paid. As the result of the committee’s recommendations, I hope to reduce considerably our dollar commitments for this calendar year, and make a further reduction next year. This plan has been based on the assumption that it will be possible for Australia to purchase dollars from the Empire dollar pool, and further restrictions may have to be imposed on purchases from the dollar area. To save the time of the House, I shall endeavour to supply a written answer to the latter portion of the honorable member’s question, setting out as much information as possible.

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– I preface a question to the Prime Minister by pointing out that the Sydney Daily Telegraph, on the 12th April, published an article entitled “‘Chaos’ to Stop Partition”, which read -

A Jewish Agency representative, now in Sydney, last night accused the British in Palestine of creating chaos to prevent partition.

Mr SPEAKER (Hon J S Rosevear:

– Order ! On previous occasions I ruled that an honorable member may not quote argument from a source outside the House as the basis of a question asked inside the House. We are not interested in the arguments of people, as published in the press.


– I ask the Prime Minister whether he has seen a statement in the press which accuses the British Foreign Secretary of employing cunning-


– Order ! The honorable member is attempting to evade my ruling. He is asking his question in the same way as before.


– I was prefacing ray question-


– Order ! The honorable member is not entitled to use as a preface or addendum to a question inside the House the argument of some one outside the House.


– I shall ask my question in another form. Has the Prime Minister seen a statement in the Sydney Daily Telegraph by the Director of Information and Organization at the Hebrew University in Palestine that Melbourne and Sydney Jews had already subscribed £113,000 to the Jewish State Appeal Emergency Campaign? Are such subscriptions deductible for income tax purposes ? By what means are such funds which are raised in Australia remitted to Palestine? Is it with the Treasurer’s approval that moneys are levied from Jews in Australia to further the Jewish State? Will the Treasurer arrange for the Minister for External Affairs to instruct the officers of the Commonwealth Investigation Service to ascertain the identity of those who have subscribed to the fund I have mentioned, the amounts which they have contributed, and what pressure, if any, was brought to bear on them?


– The honorable member questions whether I had read the newspaper article which he mentioned, and whether the subscriptions to thefund to which he referred are subject to rebate of tax may be easily disposed of. The answer is “ No “ in each case. With regard to the third question, I consider that it would be a dangerous practice to engage officers of the Commonwealth Investigation Servicein making inquiries concerning subscriptions made by individuals to variousfunds, unless such funds are to be employed for a subversive purpose. However, the honorable member suggests that the fund to which he referred falls within* that category, and I shall have inquiriesmade in regard to that aspect of thematter.

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Payments to Growers - International. Wheat Agreement


– Following the statement made by the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture yesterday that wheatgrowers will probably receive an averagereturn of approximately lis. 2d. a bushel for the wheat which was recently harvested, will the Minister consult with the Australian Wheat Board with a view to making a second advance payment to growers? Is the estimated return of Ils. 2d. a bushel exclusive of payments to the wheat stabilization fund?

Minister for Commerce and Agriculture · BALLAARAT, VICTORIA · ALP

– I desire to make it clear that the amount of lis. 2d. a bushel which I mentioned yesterday was purely an estimate that had been made aftertaking into consideration the probablequantity of wheat which would beexported before the 1st August, 1948,. the date on which it is hoped that the provisions of the International Wheat Agreement will commence to operate, and afterallowing for any shipping difficulties which may arise. The estimated return of lis. 2d. a bushel will be inclusive of freight, but exclusive of the tax payable to the wheat stabilization fund’. The Government consults the CommonwealthBank regarding the money ‘ to makefurther advances, not the Wheat Board-

Mr Rankin:

– The Minister never does !


– The Government believes that its duty is to govern; it has no hesitation in accepting responsibility for the decisions which it makes. The decisions which it has made in regard to the wheat industry so far have been sound. The position . of wheat-growers is so good, because of the sound policy pursued by the Government in regard to the industry and because of the operation of a number of other favorable factors, that several of their organizations are opposed to the early payment of further advances. One particular organization at Katanning in Western Australia carried a resolution that the Government should defer payment of any further advance until after June next. Obviously the reason for its request is that its members do not want to have to include any further income in their tax returns for the current financial year. Individual growers have also -approached me and suggested that no further advances should be made until after June. However, in order that the Treasury may collect the maximum amount of income tax in respect of the current financial year, it is likely that a further advance will he made to wheatgrowers in the near future.


– (Jan the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture say what price will be paid for wheat that is unshipped on the 1st August if the International Wheat Agreement is ratified?


– A substantial part of this year’s wheat harvest was sold under contract to the United Kingdom at 17s. a bushel and to India at 18s. 6d. a bushel, with the proviso that, in the event of the ratification of an international wheat agreement by exporting and importing nations, the price to be paid by them for any of their wheat unshipped at the 1st August, the date upon which the agreement is expected to come into effect, will be brought into line with the price provided for in the agreement. I said that it was estimated that sales of wheat this year would return to the farmers lis. 2d. a bushel, less freight. The estimate was based on the fact that the Australian Wheat Board considers that shipments of wheat to the United Kingdom will have amounted by the 1st August to about 40,000,000 bushels at 17s. a bushel. The balance of the wheat purchased by .the United Kingdom under the contract will be sold to it at the prices provided for in the International Wheat Agreement, which, it is estimated, will range from 8s. 6d. to 12s. 6d. a bushel in Australian currency.

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Landing Permits - Trade Union MEMBERSHIP


– I ask the Minister for Immigration whether it is correct, as stated in a report from Melbourne, that two deserters from the Dutch ship Muiderkerk who were fined in the Melbourne City Court yesterday for desertion produced certificates from the Immigration Department entitling them to reside in Australia for three months? Is it the policy of the department to issue such certificates to foreigners who have broken the Australian as well as those of their own country’s laws by deserting their vessels? Does not the Minister consider that the issue of such certificates is an encouragement to deserters?

Minister for Immigration · MELBOURNE, VICTORIA · ALP

– I shall have inquiries made and furnish the honorable member with a reply as early as possible. I can only repeat the statement I made to the press recently about the seriousness of the shipping position should desertions from British and foreign vessels continue. Until recently, action has not been taken against British subjects who have deserted from British ships; they have been allowed to stay in Australia. That practice has been followed for many years. If persons eligible to come to Australia desert from foreign ships they, too, are allowed to remain here. Representatives of British firms, foreign governments, and foreign shipowners have pointed out the serious position that is developing as the result of these desertions. Apparently, Australia is proving so attractive to large numbers of the crews of vessels coming to this country that we shall be compelled to arrest and deport every deserter, otherwise ships will cease to come to Australia.


– Has the Minister for Immigration seen a report that the Melbourne Trades Hall Council has decided to demand that the Immigration Department should confer with Trades Hall Council officers before migrants are placed in industry and that it is seeking an assurance that a condition of admittance of migrants to Australia shall be that they shall undertake to join an appropriate trade union on arrival? Does the Minister intend to impose any conditions as to trade union membership on persons who wish to migrate to Australia? , I ask this question partly because it is well known that many migrants who are admittedly of a desirable type are coming to Australia because they do not desire to return to their native localities, which are now under the Communist control of the Soviet Union.


-Order! The honorable member is not entitled to debate the matter.


– Is Mr. A. E. Monk, secretary of the Australian Council of Trades Unions, in Europe investigating the willingness of persons wishing to migrate to Australia to join the trade unions on arrival ? Will he give an assurance that no objections raised against individual migrants by trade union officials will be permitted to prevent otherwise eligible and desirable migrants from settling in Australia? Will he ensure that the recommendations, of the International Labour Conference to the General Assembly of the United Nations that workers shall have the inalienable right to join organizations of their own choosing shall be honoured in Australia ?


– I have not seen the report. If it be a factual statement of the decision of the Melbourne Trades Hall Council, it is not clear whether reference is being made to British migrants or to displaced persons. I surmise that it relates to the employment of displaced persons and not British subjects. There has never been any suggestion at any time that anybody should interfere with British subjects who come to Australia. We welcome them, and we use the good offices of the Australian Council of Trades Unions and the Trades Unions Congress of Great Britain to enable them to transfer from their British unions to appropriate Australian unions and thus be given all the advantages provided under

State and Commonwealth Arbitration Court awards. Mr. Monk is a member of the Commonwealth Immigration Advisory Council, of which the honorable member for Parkes is chairman. Mr. Monk i» one of three representatives of the Australian Council of Trade Unions on that body. The committee also includes thepresident of the Australian WorkersUnion, the president of the Employers Federation of Australia, Mr. Oberg, the secretary of the Associated Chambers of Commerce of Australia, Mr. Wilkins,. the secretary of the Australian Chamber of Manufactures, Mr. Withall, and representatives of all the service organizations. I refer all matters of great public moment on immigration to that body for its consideration and report. I welcome the assistance and cooperation of all of those organizations. We are particularly anxious that people who come to this country should join trade unions, becauseunless a man joins a union he does not obtain the advantages of awards. We want to ensure that everybody employed in Australia shall enjoy full award rates and conditions and employment. We donot, want people brought to Australia to. be employed in circumstances that will break down Australian conditions. Thereis nothing wrong with that. We giveevery encouragement to persons to jointheir appropriate unions, and should any doctors migrate to this country we should’ be glad to see them join the British Medical Association.

I see in that resolution, if it becorrectly reported, some hostile intent in some respects. I shall examine it, and’ shall have a talk with the officers of theexecutive of the Trades Hall Council in Melbourne. I have already had several talks with them in order to get them tohelp me in the employment of certain Baits. I am sure that whatever difficulties exist can be ironed out to thesatisfaction of every one concerned. As a matter of fact, some time ago the honorable mem’ber for Henty introduced a deputation to me from the BrickmakersAssociation of Australia which was able to tell me that it had the support of the unions engaged in the brickmaking industry for its request that I allocate 50 Baits to the industry in order to step up* housing construction. I was only too pleased to co-operate with the unions and the employers in that case. The union covering that industry is happy to admit migrants to union membership-. I cannot see why that cannot be done in every industry; and any one who attempts to interfere with that course is doing a great disservice to Australia.

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Reconstruction TRAINING Courses


– I address a question to the Minister who is representing the Minister for- Post-war Reconstruction’ d’uring that honorable gentleman’s temporary absence. Om the day of his discharge-, the 4th January, 1946:, an ex-serviceman applied for a course of training as: a typewriter mechanic and submitted himself for am aptitude test, which he passed with a high average. He was then advised that he would be able to undergo a course of training as a typewriter mechanic although no such course was then listed. On the 26th March, 1946, he received a letter advising him that his application for full-time training in the course had been approved. A course of training as a business machine mechanic was mentioned in the letter. _ On the 26th November, 1947, he received another letter suggesting that he take some other course of training. As he did not desire to do so, he did not reply. On the 11th February, 1948, he received a further letter which read as follows r -

Please note that it is imperative in your own interest that you notify this office of your intentions re training by 29/2/48.

He replied to that letter and on the 20th February received a further letter advising him to call on the Deputy Director of Industrial Training, 3rd Floor, Craig’s Buildings, Elizabeth-street, Melbourne, in order to make the necessary arrangement for a change of course without delay. When he called at the office he was told that there was no opportunity for him to undergo training as a business machine mechanic. He then suggested that he should undergo a course of training as a dental mechanic, but hewas later told that his education was not of a sufficiently high standard to enable him to do so. Alternative courses sug gested to him covered training as a chef or a. machinist in a trousers factory.

Mr SPEAKER (Horn Ji S Rosevear:

– The honorable member has given sufficient information’. I ask her to state the question.


– A full explanation of the case seems to me to be important.. I now ask the: Minister whether he will cause an investigation to be made into this case so- that’ this man may be enabled to undergo a full course of training in. the trade* for which he has an aptitude, the application for which was approved two yeans ago. Will the Minister also take precautions to ensure, that men are not trained to become square pegs in Bound holes.?


– If the honorable member will supply me with the full details of this case, a-n investigation will be’ made.

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– Will the Minister for Air say whether it is a fact that, after a recent inquiry, a member of the Royal Australian Air Force was relieved of duty and discharged from the service because of Communist activities? If it is a fact, will the honorable gentleman inform the House of the particulars of the case?


– I have no knowledge of any member of the Royal Australian Air Force having been dismissed for engaging in Communist activities. Inquiries will be made and the honorable member will in due course be informed of the result.


– Is the Prime Minister aware that the Liberal party in Colombia joined with Communists in staging a revolution to overthrow the government of that country and that the revolution resulted in heavy loss of life?’ Will the right honorable gentleman take the necessary action to ensure that no link is effected between the Liberal party and Communists in Australia with a view to. overthrowing the government of this country ?


– I have not seen any report upon which the honorable member could have based his question. I can understand the possibility of such a development, because in years gone by

I have observed that a close liaison existed between all the interests which sought to destroy the Labour party. Naturally, it would be in the political interests of the Liberal party to have a close link with, and perhaps give financial assistance to, the Communists.

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– Some time ago I drew the attention of the Minister for Works and Housing to the fact that certain materials, the distribution of which waa controlled by the Australian Government, together with large supplies of cement, were being withdrawn from the South Australian quota and used at the Woomera guided weapons range. I then requested that all States should contribute to the supply of controlled materials for this project by the deduction of proportionate quantities from their quotas, and that the cement used there he reimbursed to South Australia. Can the honorable gentleman furnish me with any information relative to my request?

Minister for Works and Housing · FORREST, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · ALP

– The Government appreciates the difficulty that would be created in South Australia if the whole of the materials required for the Woomera guided weapons range were drawn from South Australian quotas. With regard to materials controlled by the Australian Government, it has been decided that supplies for the Woomera project shall be taken from supplies at the source of manufacture prior to allocation to the States. Thus each State will make its contribution. With regard to materials not controlled by the Australian Government, cement will be acquired mainly from Tasmania and partly from New South Wales and the normal allocation to South Australia will not be affected. Most of the timber will come from the Western Australian export quota, which is at present 10,000,000 super, feet. No State quota will be affected.

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– Will the Prime Minister, the Minister for External Affairs or the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Fuel, which ever is the appropriate Minister, tell the House what stage has been reached by the Government in its endeavours to secure the shipment of goods from Australia to the Netherlands East Indies in Dutch ships?


– I have made it clear previously that the Government does not in any way condone the ban on Dutch shipping. It has been the subject of a number of conferences between myself, the Minister for External Affairs, the Minister for Shipping and Fuel, the Stevedoring Industry Commission, and the Dutch Minister in Australia. One of the first needs is to get to the Netherlands East Indies equipment and material associated with oil production. That matter is being dealt with now. . Other matters are being pursued in every quarter in the hope of facilitating arrangements to remove hindrances to trade between the two countries.

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– Can the Prime Minister give the House any information as to when campaign medals will be manufactured and made available to exservicemen, particularly in view of the forthcoming Royal visit?


– I have not any recent reports regarding the availability of these medals. The real difficulties are, of course, physical, and relate to the striking of the medals. I cannot state the precise date on which they will be issued, but I shall obtain for the honorable member whatever information is available on this matter.

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Tariff Board Report


– I lay on the table the report of the Tariff Board on the following subject : -

Internal Combustion Engines

Ordered to he printed.

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Formal Motion for Adjournment

Mr SPEAKER (Hon J S Rosevear:

– I have received from -the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Holt) an intimation that he desires to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely -

The need for a. public inquiry into the circumstances disclosed in and arising out of the Goldberg case.


.- I move -

That the House do now adjourn.


-Is the motion supported ?

Five honorable members having risen in support of the motion,


– 1 submit this motion with no sense of pleasure, but because my colleagues of the Opposition and I believe that in this matter there are issues of public importance which cannot be allowed to rest where they stand to-day. It may be suggested that we are trying to blacken the name of the late Senator Keane. That is not my purpose, and if that proposition be advanced, there are two comments that I desire to make at the outset in relation to it. First, if a cloud rests on the name of the late Senator Keane, it has developed from the legal proceedings that were instituted by the Government itself and if the Government does not do anything about the matter the cloud will remain. Only by a full public investigation can the Government hope to clear the name of the late Senator, and to give general satisfaction to the community. My second comment is that there are many other persons whose names have appeared in the evidence given during the court proceedings. Included in these names are those of some senior officers of the Department of Trade and Customs. Their part has been referred to in judgments delivered by those who have dealt with this matter, and I say that it is in the highest public interest that those officers should have an opportunity to state publicly their part in the incident. Alternatively, they should be given the benefit of some official government statement clearing them of any suggestion of participation in what happened. There have been hints at improper co-operation or connivance on the part of certain officers. The Government has not made any statement in relation to these charges, and until it does so some sus picion must remain. The other important aspect is the manner in which the Government itself has handled this affair from the outset. I submit, and I propose to develop my submission later, that the Government is open to the gravest criticism for the manner in which it has dealt with this case since it was first made public. Those are the issues which I regard, and which the Opposition generally regards, as being of great importance. The roles of Senator Keane and Mr. Goldberg are of secondary importance. The important issues are the restoration of public confidence in a great revenue-earning department, and the examination of the part which the Government itself has played in the matter.

As to the facts, I can best place them before the House in the simplest and most authoritative form by quoting from thejudgment of the Chief Justice of New South Wales, delivered recently when the original conviction of Mr. Goldberg camebefore the Full Court on appeal. His Honour said -

In examining the evidence which is relied on to support the conviction, it is necessary tokeep the following matters in mind: -

Senator Keane was the Minister administrating the Customs Act.

The Division of Import Procurement wasa branch of the Customs Department.

Mr. Kirk waa Secretary to Senator Keane..

Mr. Kerr was the San Francisco representative of Australian War Supply Procurement, which was a branch of the Division of Import Procurement, which was a. branch of the Customs Department.

Mr. Moore was DirectorGeneral of Australian War Supply Procurement in Washington and also head of the Division of’ Import Procurement in Australia.

Miss Rosetta Kelly was Secretary to Mr. Moore.

Evidence was given that Goldberg had madethe following statements. He travelled tothe United States with Senator Keane whowas a “ very dear friend of his “, and he and. his wife stayed with Senator Keane and his wife in Washington for two days. Whilst they were together there, Keane asked Goldbergto buy for him some pearls, one thousand dollars’ worth of dress ornaments, onehundred pairs of nylon stockings, chanel perfume, handbags, shoes and some other things; and he gave Goldberg three thousand dollars to make these purchases. Keane died beforethe purchases were completed by Goldberg. In nil, Goldberg spent in buying the articlesmore than one thousand dollars of his own in addition to the three thousand provided by Keane, and Mrs. Keane owed him three- hundred and fifty dollars for goods which he bought for her. In addition he bought for Kirk, Keane’s secretary, two strings of pearls for about one hundred dollars. Kirk still owes lim for these. The purchases which Goldberg had made for Keane and Mrs. Keane were packed in four trunks. One of the trunks reached him in San Francisco already packed for Mrs. Keane, he did not know what was in it. The other three were packed by a representative of his. Goldberg said that there were some key chains belonging to him which had been packed in the trunks in error. They were intended for various friends whose names were inscribed on them. Apart from this, there were some da-ess rings and “ some other goods “ belonging to him the nature of which he did not specify. Kirk’s two strings of pearls were included in the trunks. Before Keane’s death, an arrangement had been made that he, his secretary Kirk, and Goldberg should enter into a business partnership. Goldberg was to find the money, Kirk was to 4o the work, and Keane was to “ find the contacts “. Pursuant to this arrangement, Goldberg secured the agency for Australia for Corocroft jewellery (manufactured in America). After Keane’s death, Kirk (Keane’s secretary) gave Goldberg a letter addressed to Kerr (the representative in San Francises of a branch of the Division of Import Procurement of the Customs Department). The letter was in these terms -

Dr Evatt:

– Will the honorable member explain that these are not statements of fact, but merely a narration of statements by witnesses?


– The Minister says these are not facts. Let me elaborate on that point.

Dr Evatt:

– The court does not say that they are facts.


– I am quoting the statement made by the Chief Justice after examining the evidence which was relied on to support the conviction. This was the evidence presented by the Government in support of the prosecution which it, launched against Mr. Goldberg.

Mr Burke:

– Is this not the defendant’s statement?


– No. I remind the honorable member that the defendant, on the advice nf his counsel, did not give evidence before the Court at any stage He did not appear. The only witnesses who gave evidence were called by this Government. The facts which I am now narrating were presented by the witnesses for the Government and were not contradicted by Mr. Goldberg or by any other person on his behalf. If the Government or any of its supporters wish to controvert these facts now, it will be the first time that anybody om that side of the House has attempted to do so. Certainly no Government witness attempted to do so, and no official Government statement has been made to contradict them. Proceeding with my quotation of the Chief Justice’s statement, I come to a letter addressed to Mr, R. Kerr, Sansomestreet, San Francisco, California, which reads -

Dear Dick,

Before you left Washington, I told .you that Mrs. Keane had arranged to purchase a number of items which are to follow her from the United States to Australia.

This letter will serve to introduce Mr. Joe Goldberg, who has been good enough to handle the purchases for Mrs. Keane. I would personally be wry grateful if you would take delivery of any packages that Mr. Goldberg wants you .to send to Australia, and ship them to Mrs. Keane at her Melbourne address and send the shipping documents to the Division of Import Procurement, attention Shipping Manager.

I would also be very grateful for any courtesies that you may be able to extend Mr. Goldberg in the matter of arranging travel facilities.

With kind regards, I remain, Yours Sincerely. (Sgd.) W. T. Kirk.

Kerr gave evidence that in June, 1946, Goldberg produced the letter to him, and asked what could be done about it. - Kerr replied that it should be easy enough as he had a Miss Rosetta Kelly who was with him and was leaving by the Monterey within a few days. (Kerr, it will .be remembered, was a high officer in a Branch of a division of the Customs department, and Miss Kelly was secretary of another high officer in the division). Goldberg told Kerr that the trunks in question were at a certain, hotel, and Kerr sent a man who picked thom up. Kerr gave the man some labels and stickers to put on the trunks. They were put on, addressed to Mrs. Keane. The trunks were brought to Kerr’s premises, where he checked them personally. He then, had a conversation with Miss Kelly. Kerr believed that the goods belonged to Mrs. Keane; he had sent on other stuff foi- the Keanes. Goldberg did not ask or suggest that the trunks should be dealt with otherwise than as indicated in the letter. Kerr selected Miss Kelly to take the trunks because she already had sixteen pieces of baggage for Mr. Moore (a high Customs official > and Miss Baddick (another of Iiia secretaries), so that the addition of another four (the trunks in question) was an easy matter.

Miss Kelly, on her arrival in Sydney, made a passenger’s baggage declaration in which, under the heading “ Goods landed for any other person,” she included “ four foot-lockers (trunks) Mrs. R. V. Keane (personal effects mostly) “. The contents were clearly not mostly personal effects.

This, again, is comment by the Chief Justice -

They included such items as 42 cigarette lighters, 39 pairs of Sun glasses, 156 brooches, 5(5 pairs of ear-rings, and 39 bracelets. A good deal of this was Gorocroft jewellery.

It is not clear, from the evidence, what happened to the trunks after their arrival in Sydney. Apparently they were passed through the Customs, and despatched to Melbourne to Mrs. Keane, to whom they were addressed.

The only other comment by the Chief Justice which I shall quote appears in the latter part of his judgment. He stated -

In these circumstances, since everybody of whom there is any evidence that they were concerned in the importation of the goods into Australia was either a Customs official or the widow of a Minister for Customs, it is to say the least curious that Goldberg should have been selected as the person charged with their importation.

I now refer to the judgment of Mr. Justice Street who heard this case with the Chief Justice. He stated -

If anybody imported these goods, it would rather seem that it was the Customs Department who brought them in, and it is a little difficult to see how it could bc suggested that any subterfuge was being used when the whole matter was being handled by senior officers of the department concerned in enforcing the provisions of the Customs Act. The four cases were given into the custody of the department’s representative in San Francisco and he made all the arrangements for sending them to Australia.

These are the broad facts as they were presented to the court and which formed the subject of consideration when the appeal came before the Supreme Court of New South Wales. For reasons briefly indicated in the judgments which I have quoted, the Supreme Court of New South Wales upheld Mr. Goldberg’s appeal, and the fine of £250 was remitted.

There are other facts which should be presented to the Parliament. Even though they may not be of great legal interest or significance, they have a profound political significance. As I said earlier, the Government has been determined from the outset to smother up this matter as much as possible and to delay proceedings in order to save itself from political embarrassment. Here are some of the facts which, in my view, support the charge which I make. The fact was brought out in evidence that a departmental committee considered this matter as early as August, 1946. Present at the meeting of that committee were Mr.Maher, who was the principal witness for the Government ; Senator Fraser, who was then Minister for Trade and Customs ; Mr. Kennedy, the Comptroller-General of Customs; Inspector Gamble; and Mr. Hendrickson, who is now Senator Hendrickson. According to Mr. Maher, a ministerial statement was prepared at that time. I point out to the House that no ministerial statement has ever been made on this matter. The first Government statement in relation to it was in reply to questions which had been placed on the notice-paper by the honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Harrison) in November, 1946. Honorable members will appreciate that perhaps there is some significance attaching to the dates which I have mentioned. August preceded the general elections of 1946. Although a ministerial statement was prepared prior to the elections, obviously it might -have been embarrassing for the Government to be called upon to make a full statement on the matter then. ]n point of fact, no statement has been made by the Government since that time.

Another matter which calls for attention is the bustling out of Australia of Miss Rosetta Kelly, who was the secretary to Mr. Moore, and on whose evidence the Government had to rely largely in deciding to institute a prosecution. Miss Kelly was allowed to leave Australia before the original hearing took place. She was not recalled as a witness at any time, nor has any public statement been made of the facts presented by her in this matter. After the prosecution had been launched, Mr. Goldberg was allowed to leave Australia on a business mission, and he was absent for several months. The honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Harrison) suggested at the time that Mr. Goldberg had been permitted to leave Australia so that the case would not be heard before the elections in New South Wales. As to whether there is substance in that charge, the House will form its own conclusion. The clrcumstances were extraordinary. A most serious charge, in which senior officers of the Department of Trade and Customs and a Minister of the Crown were involved, had been levelled against Mr. Goldberg, yet he was permitted to leave Australia on a business mission and he did not return until at least four or five months later.

Another matter which calls for comment is that certain important witnesses who, one would have thought, would have been certainly desirable, if not essential, for the Government’s case against Mr. Goldberg, were not called. Why, may I ask, was Mr. Kirk not called? He was obviously a most material witness in this matter. He was the late senator’s secretary and he, better than anybody else, could give the true facts. He was involved in the partnership arrangement which had been mentioned, and he was available to give evidence, if required. [Extension of time granted.] Mr. Kirk was not called as a witness. One would also have thought that Mr. Moore would have been a material witness, because bis secretary had been asked to convey the luggage. He, himself, I suggest, had an abnormally large number of trunks to be brought back to Australia. Mr. Moore is no longer an officer of the Department of Trade and Customs. Why was he not called at a witness? Was he required to leave the department on account of this incident, or were- there other factors which led to his retirement? The Government has not given to us any information on the matter, and in the absence of information the Parliament and the public can merely speculate.

In this important case, in which the good name of the Government and its Ministers and an important department is involved, the Government produced only the barest evidence for the prosecution. It called only two witnesses in order to establish its case. When I referred the AttorneyGeneral (Dr. Evatt) a week ago to a comment made by the Chief Justice of New South Wales, Sir Frederick Jordan, that “ it was curious, to say the least of it, that Goldberg had been selected for prosecution “, the right honorable gentleman became indignant and sensitive on the matter. He informed the House that the prosecution had . been recommended by a departmental committee which had arrived at the conclusion that the only person against whom sufficient evidence lay was Mr. Goldberg himself. But this departmental committee, I gather, consisted primarily of officers of the Department of Trade and Customs. Certainly the evidence for the prosecution was given by officers of that department, and the Chief Justice of New South Wales found that they were the only persons who were apparently directly involved from the time the goods arrived in Sydney until they arrived and were delivered in Melbourne. These are matters which suggest that the Government will not be frank with the Parliament, and will not give the facts to the public. Apparently, the Government is endeavouring to smother up a full presentation of the facts.


– Was Mr. Hendrickson a member of the committee?


– I am “about to refer to some of the persons involved. I have already referred to Miss Kelly. She played a mysterious part in this case. All parties appear to have been agreed that no guilt attached to her in any way, and that she was simply made a tool for the smuggling into Australia of the jewellery and other goods to be used in the partnership arrangement. The Chief Justice found it curious, to say the least, that “Miss Kelly is not called upon to give evidence in this matter “. Why has the Government not told the country her story? I come now to the position of Mr. Kirk. I have already referred to the business arrangement. T do not believe that any honorable member opposite would suggest for one moment that the arrangement was not, in the circumstances, a grossly improper one. Yet Mr. Kirk was not called to tell his story to the court, and the Government has not made a public statement regarding what has been done in relation to him. Is he still an officer of the Department of Trade and Customs? If so, what position does he occupy in it? Has any disciplinary action been taken by the department in relation to him’ Mr. Kerr, who was one of the principal witnesses called by the Government, was the representative at San Francisco of the Division of War Supplies Procurement. In evidence, he admitted that while a full-time officer of the Department of Trade and Customs, he was carrying on the travel agency.

Dr Evatt:

– Does the honorable member refer to Mr. Kerr?


– Yes.

Dr Evatt:

– He was called as a witness.


– That is so,but I am directing the attention of the Government to aspects which gobeyond the legal proceedings, and which call for a Government statement, and certainly some actionby the Government or the Department of Trade and Customs. What hasbeen done about Mr. Kerr? Does the Government regard it as entirely satisfactory that one of its senior officers, employed on a full-time basis, should also be conducting a travel agency in the city where he is representing the Government? The name of Mr. Hendrickson also came into the evidence, because he was called in when the departmental committee met. Why was he called in? Admittedly, he was a former secretary of the late Senator Keane, but he was in Australia, and these events took place in the United States of America, and at Sydney and Melbourne. Why was Mr. Hendrickson brought into the matter? Surely, in fairness to him there should be a public inquiry in which he would have an opportunity to explain what part he was called upon to play.

I come now to Mr. Moore. I do not desire to imply any impropriety against him, but fairness and justice demand that the Government should hold an inquiry at which Mr. Moore and others could explain just what part they were called upon to play. At present the Government, without justification, is allowing a cloud to rest upon them. As to the Comptroller-General of Customs, Mr. Kennedy, I am certain that every honorable member has the utmost respect for him, and complete confidence in him. I make no innuendo or any complaint against him in this matter; but the Government is not being fair to him or to the Department of Trade and Customs in allowing these matters to rest where they are. The case has received publicity in the court, and the names of these gentlemen have been bandied around, and they have not had an opportunity to tell the facts to the country. That is, in essence, the case which the Opposition puts before the Parliament in pressing for a public inquiry. We rest our demand, first, on the fact that senior officers of an important and respected public department have had their actions called into question and have not been afforded any opportunity to explain their conduct or the degree to which they were involved in this matter. In fairness to them and to the Department of Trade and Customs, and in order to restore the confidence of the public in that great revenue-producing department, an inquiry should he held. Secondly, we submit that the actions of the Government, in hedging with respect to furnishing information, in delaying court proceedings by every possible means, in limiting to the barest minimum the evidence presented to the court and in refraining until now from making any statement, call for the utmost condemnation and criticism by the Parliament. The. Minister for External Affairs has the opportunity now to clear up the matter. It is open to him to do so partly by making a statement in the House, but. in order to dispose of the matter adequately and to the satisfaction of the people he should accept our proposal.

AttorneyGeneral and Minister for External Affairs · Barton · ALP

– I accept the statement of the honorable member forFawkner (Mr. Holt) that in submitting the motion before the House he is not actuated by personal animus against either the late. Senator Keane or his wife and that he has no base political motive for dragging their names into the mire in a controversy such as this. However, the importance of the motion before the House transcends the honorable member’s personal assurance. The prosecution of Goldberg was one which was undertaken by the Commonwealth in due course before the ordinary courts of law. It was launched on the recommendation of the ComptrollerGeneral of Customs, Mr. Kennedy, to whom the honorable member pays tribute, and the Solicitor-General, who is the highest law officer of the Commonwealth. From beginning to end a certain section df the press’ has referred to the’ pr’ose- cution a’s” the “Keane” Luggage Ca’se”, and’ although I accent unreservedly the honorable member’s’ disclaimer’, the’ fact remains that- a- deliberate’ attempt &aS been made’, without- the slightest justification, to besmirch the reputation of th’e Me Senator Keane. When the matter was mentioned1 in1 the House recently by’ tile Honorable member he referred1 to a comment; made by the Chief Justice’ of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in the course 6’f a” jugement which h’e’ delivered oxf the appeal lodged by Goldberg against his conviction. The fact’s” fire that Goldberg’ was prosecuted on a’- charge 6’f unlawfully importing, or attempting to import, certain goods. T.h:6 decision fis” to _ th’e’ witnesses to b’e called iri support of the prosecution was in the’ hands of counsel, who’ called the witnesses Whom they considered necessary to prove the case. Goldberg did not give evidence’, and nine-tenths of the’, statements mentioned .by the Chief Justice in the course of his judgment we’re not facts proved to have existed, but were part O’f Goldberg’s explanation, when he was interrogated by customs officials as to how certain goods entered Australia. 1 emphasize that it was Goldberg, artS Goldberg alone, Who made” the suggestion that Senator Keane was involved in the matter. As I say, Goldberg did not give evidence, nor did his counsel call any evidence. His case rested oil the submission Of his counsel that there *aS not sufficient evidence to justify a conviction, because the law provides that a defendant can he convicted only when there i’s no reasonable doubt pf his guilt. The explanation offered by Goldberg’s counsel was that he bought the” goods, the subject of the charge, in the United States of America On Senator Keane’s behalf, but I stress the fact that a great deal of it was purchased after thd death of Senator Keane. Ohe of the most important features of the case was the importation of four trunks of miscellaneous goods, including a large quantity of Corocroft jewellery. Goldberg took delivery of those trunks iri San Francisco. However, the jewellery was purchased after the death of Senator Keane, which certainly does hot suggest that the late senator had any paM oV parcel’ iri th’e whole’. transaction Honorable meMbers will understand1 that when! a- prosecution i& undertaken audi the Crown has to rely’ oni meD missions m’ade by the defendant, all’ th> statements m’a’de by bini’ a-re not necessarily admissible in’ evidence: In- thi* case Goldberg made certain admissions a-nd offered certain explanations to customs’ official’s. He said, * I did this : I was a great friend of Senator Keane; arid this’ is how it occurred “’ a’nd so’ on. Every lawyer, and1 most laymen, know that the prosecution, when’ it places such statements before a court, does riot a.«k the court to accept’ every exculpatory statement made by the defendant. Iri this case the prosecution said, * Here’ £he person who imported the good’s contained in the trunks arid he purchased them in the United States of America “. Anything else which Goldberg said was quite irrelevant. Counsel -for the prosecution would have been quite wrong to call Miss Kelly as a witness. According to the report of the committee whip” the Government appointed to inquire into the matter, Miss Kelly acted with perfect innocence and Mrs. Keane disclaimed responsibility for the importation of the goods.

Some time ago the names of certain officials’ were’ mentioned by the honorable mern ber for Wentworth (M-r. Harrison), who raised the matter in the House, and the Government appointed a special committee” comprising the acting Solicitor-General, the acting Crown Solicitor and the Comptroller-General of Customs to inquire into the matter. That committee had before it all the documents available in the case; including the reports of customs inspectors, arid it was asked to recommend what proceedings should be taken. I do not propose to traverse the entire contents of the committee’s report, or of the documents which it had before it, but the substance of the committee’s recommendations may be summarized as follows: (1) No case was made Out against Miss Kelly; (2) Mrs. Keane was not involved in any contravention of the law-; (3) the facte disclosed a prima facie ease against Goldberg of aiding in the importation of prohibited goods; (4) no charge could be levelled against Kirk; (5) there was no evidence to connect any other person, holding an official position or otherwise, with the unlawful importation. That is the substance, if not the words, of the recommendation made by high officials in whom every member of the House has confidence.

Mr White:

– Is the Minister prepared ro table that report?


– No, although I do not mind a responsible member of the Opposition perusing portions of it in confidence. If honorable members will reflect for a moment they will realize that such reports deal with possible cases against individuals, and in this case I have given the substance of the report.

So far from endeavouring to cloak the matter, the Government brought proceedings in open court, which is not the method one chooses when one wishes to cloak matters. Indeed, by bringing proceedings before the court the Government gave the fullest publicity to the matter. I emphasize that that has been the practice of this Government, without exception, since it took office, and I think that honorable members realize that fact. In this case we acted on the advice of responsible officers, and- the magistrate before whom the prosecution was conducted thought that there was evidence on which Goldberg could have been convicted. Goldberg subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court of New South Wales against that conviction. It went to the Full Court, but the Full Court thought the evidence was not sufficient for a conviction. I believe it is correct to say that the judgment, in substance, was that although Goldberg exported these goods from the United States, he did not import them into Australia. He was a passenger on the ship in which the various containers were carried, but there was not sufficient evidence to connect him with the bringing of the goods from the United States to Australia, although his dollars had purchased this jewellery in the United States after the death of Senator Keane. We have no jurisdiction over what happens in the United States.

Mr White:

– How did it get here?


– In whose interest was it to have the jewellery here? That is a matter of balancing evidence. This was a criminal case, and the Full Court said that there was not sufficient evidence to confirm the conviction.

I want to- make two or three points about that. The honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Holt) very rightly read! from the judgment, but as I have pointed’ out, that is preceded by the statement of the Chief Justice. Evidence was given that Goldberg had made a long statement. That statement was not evidenceand it cannot be assumed that it contains* facts. That is how the matter was introduced. Mr. Justice Street said -

Various comments were made on the evidence as to statements made by Goldberg,, suggesting that they must be disbelieved.

That was the contention of the Crown -

While there may be force in some of these comments, in view of the evidence which waspresented this does not seem to me to carry the matter any further. Merely to disbelieve the account given by Goldberg of any of the incidents does not establish the opposite ta what he has asserted.

In other words, it cannot be inferred from the fact that the magistrate probably disbelieved Goldberg’s explanation to the customs officers, especially as he did not give evidence, that Goldberg was actively concerned in the importation of the goods into Australia as distinct from their exportation from the United States of America. Mr. Justice Street logically continued -

It simply leaves the matter bare of evidence in that particular regard, and having given due weight to the criticism directed to Goldberg’s statements I am still of opinion that the evidence as a whole, though it gives rise to suspicion, falls short of establishing th”8 offence with which he was charged. In my view it was not reasonable, on that evidence, to draw the inference of guilt.

At the end of his judgment the Chief Justice found that there was evidence that a portion of the contents of these containers belonged to Goldberg and that they were imported by him, but as the magistrate convicted him in respect of the lot, the penalty was not out of proportion to the actual offence, and therefore the conviction could not stand. The case was featured by a section of the press as the Keane case and no doubt caused great distress to the widow of Senator Keane. In featuring the case the press obviously did not overlook the damaging political effect it might have.

Mr Chifley:

– It was only a small section of the press.


– That is so. I refer particularly to a leading article in the Melbourne Sun Pictorial. The case was featured by the Murdoch press, which, no doubt, inspired the motion now before the House. The article contained several errors or misstatements in dealing with my answer to a question asked in the House by the honorable member for Fawkner. The first was that I had said that there was nothing curious about the selection of Goldberg f or prosecution, but that the Chief Justice had said that it was curious that Goldberg had been so selected. It had been recommended by the committee that Goldberg only should be prosecuted and that is why he and no one else was prosecuted; but the press turned my words into a statement that I had “stoutly asserted that there is nothing curious about the case “, which I did not say. Of course there is something curious about it. My statement was completely twisted. Honorable members can appreciate how distortion and misrepresentation of this kind may injure innocent people. The next missstatement was contained in the following sentence: -

Among strange side lights on the case was evidence relating to an arrangement by Senator Keane, his secretary and Mr. Goldberg to enter into a business partnership.

I pointed out to the honorable member that Goldberg had not given such evidence, but, notwithstanding that, the statement I have just read appeared in the Melbourne Sun Pictorial. The third misstatement was -

How, then, can Dr. Evatt contend that “there is nothing curious “ about this matter?

I have never said that. It was because there was something curious about it that we got the committee to determine what should be done in the law courts. There is nothing curious or improper about the action taken by the legal authorities, in conjunction with the customs authorities, in prosecuting Goldberg. He was convicted, and, in the circumstances to which I have referred, his conviction was upset. That was the decision of the Supreme Court. The honorable member for Fawkner, having disclaimed any intention to injure the reputation of the late .Senator Keane - and I accept his disclaimer, though I cannot speak for others who have abused the incident - what was the purpose of the leading article in the Melbourne Sun Pictorial? It was nothing but a paltry attempt to hold Mrs. Keane to ridicule, and to injure her late husband, who had been a distinguished servant, not only of the Commonwealth, but also of the State of Victoria which he represented in this Parliament. The last point made by the honorable member for Fawkner - and it was completely unjustified - was that an attempt had been made to smother up the case. I deny that there was any attempt to smother it up. Just imagine the charge that could be made in such circumstances when the case had been featured from one end of Australia to the other, not because it was of the slightest legal importance, or because it had any general significance, but simply because there was a political aspect to it. I deny that charge. As a matter of fact I, and my colleagues, the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Holloway) and the Minister for Health (Senator McKenna), issued the most rigid instructions to those representing the Commonwealth to press the matter forward with the utmost despatch. We cannot .control the order of business of the courts. There is another important aspect of the legal position. One of the points relied upon by Goldberg in his defence was the legal invalidity of the regulation under which the prosecution was brought. Apart from Goldberg’s alleged implication in the importation of certain articles into Australia, it was contended on his behalf that the regulation under which the illegality was declared was itself invalid and outside the authority given by the Customs Act. At the time the Goldberg case was pending, the very matter of the invalidity of the regulation was being dealt with in the High Court of Australia. That caused considerable delay. I have dealt with the criticism regarding the failure of the Crown to call certain witnesses. Just imagine counsel being interfered with by directions as to what witnesses he should call. It was not the lack of witnesses that was important and decisive, but the fact that Goldberg’s active connexion with the removal of the goods from the ship was not proved. This case was not brought out of any animus against Goldberg or anything of that kind. It is extraordinary to suggest the very reverse of that - that Goldberg was permitted by a government department to go abroad on a business trip during the pendency of the case. What has that got to do with it? Does tiu honorable member suggest that Goldberg was being treated too rigorously, or treated with too much courtesy or favour ? The honorable member cannot have it both ways. The truth is that Goldberg was treated as an ordinary litigant, and the delays were due to the causes I have mentioned. We tried to’ prevent them. One of the causes of the delay was the High Court action to which I have referred. That is the sum and substance of the matter.

Mr Holt:

– I made a point with regard to the government officers.


– I shall deal with that now. The honorable member talked about certain high customs officials, and he mentioned the name of Mr. Moore. That gentleman figured prominently in the case because on the same ship there were fourteen packages for him. He was, of course, one of the administrators, and the honorable member for Fawkner makes no suggestion against him. Although Mrs. Keane’s name was on four trunks she had not even a key to them. That negatives, I should think, any suggestion of a personal connexion between her and the alleged unlawful act. I suppose she was in a complete state of distress after the sudden death of her husband. The matter of considering the various actions of the customs officers is clearly one for Mr. Kennedy, the head of the department concerned. He was a member of the committee that made the recommendations upon which action was taken, and if there were any evidence of impropriety on the part of any customs officials that matter would, no doubt, be dealt with, in the due course of departmental administration.

Honorable members opposite are attempting to U:0 this prostitution as a means of discrediting this Govern ment. That is an attempt that should be resisted. There is nothing in it. The administration of the law in relation to the prosecution has been fair and above board. Both the appeal and the original hearing were in open court. It is perfectly in order to comment on the case. The Chief Justice commented that the selection of Goldberg was curious, but, as I pointed out a few days ago, there were no facts before the court to show why a prosecution was launched against Goldberg. All that the court had to consider was whether or not there was sufficient evidence against him. Had we been given an opportunity to explain matters of that kind before the Full Court - an impossible suggestion, because it would have been outside the court’s jurisdiction - a complete answer could have been supplied. I contend before the House that in this case the Government has acted openly, fairly and with single regard to the due and proper administration of justice. Any questions affecting individuals in this matter can safely be left in the hands of Mr. Kennedy, the permanent head of the Department of Trade and Customs, to whom the honorable gentleman opposite paid a tribute in his speech, [Extension of time granted.]

Mr Archie Cameron:

– Oan the

Minister say what has become of the goods which were the subject of the prosecution ?


– They are still in the hands of the customs authorities, and will no doubt be forfeited to the Crown.


.- The whole of the defence of the Government in this matter by the AttorneyGeneral (Dr. Evatt) rests upon the report of a departmental committee. The right honorable gentleman promised to make that document available to a responsible member of the Opposition and I presume that it will shortly be in the hands of the Leader of of the Opposition (Mr. Menzies). Is the Attorney-General content that the matter should rest on that report? If he is I believe that few honorable members opposite will agree with him. This is a case with wide ramifications, and the facts were clearly stated by the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Holt). The trunks in question were labelled with the name of -a Minister; they were packed in San Francisco on the orders of his secretary, and they were brought to Australia by the woman secretary of a senior officer of the Division of Import Procurement who was stationed in San Francisco.

No one has yet mentioned that the trunks were held up in Australia by customs officials. It is most unfair to those men, who were doing their duty, that a proper inquiry has not been held. The explanation given by the AttorneyGeneral is one that would not have been, believed even by Houdini, the escapologist who could get out of a trunk or a case without difficulty. The goods in question somehow got into a number of trunks and came to Australia escorted by an officer of a government department, yet nobody knows who put them, there. That is the same kind of story as is told by a man in the dock in a criminal court who, when asked to account for his possession of certain goods, says “ A man in Bourke-street gave them to me “. The action taken by the Government is not fair to some senior officers in government departments, upon whom suspicion may fall. There must be a guilty person. Is the Government content to let him go free?

In addition to the Goldberg case, there was a prosecution in Melbourne which involved a young man who was formerly in the service of the Australian Government. He was accused of bringing a quantity of goods into Australia and of attempting to avoid the payment of customs duty. The evidence showed that the goods were the property or part property of Mr. Moore, a gentleman whose name has been mentioned in this case. The young man said that Mr. Moore had asked him to take the goods from America to Australia. It is apparent, therefore, that goods were coming into various Australian ports and that they were being held up, but the customs officers who did their duty in holding them up .have not been defended. A slur has been cast upon these men. Somebody is being shielded. Why was Senator Hendrickson brought into this case? He was not then in Parliament; he was the political secretary to the Minister.

I agree with the honorable member for Fawkner that no blame may attach to Mrs. Keane. I consider that she and the young woman who accompanied the goods to Australia were probably quite innocent of what was happening. Nevertheless, somebody put the goods in the trunks in order to avoid the payment of customs duty. Some of the goods involved implicated certain people in Australia, but I do not intend to deal with that aspect in detail. The full list of goods was not mentioned to-day. There has been undue delay. Goldberg has been exonerated, but I believe that he played only a small part in this affair. If the Government does not hold a public inquiry or a royal commission and thus enable all those concerned to give evidence, it will itself remain suspect of condoning corruption, and will allow a slur to remain upon the name of the Department of Trade and Customs, which has, over the years, been above reproach.

Prime Minister and Treasurer · Macquarie · ALP

– I quite understand the difficulties of the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Holt) in raising this matter, because it is difficult, to deal with a matter associated with a dead man, and I do not resent the honorable gentleman’s action in raising it, notwithstanding that the subject must, cause great pain to the widow of Senator Keane. In some sections of the press, particularly one or two newspapers, however, a deliberate attempt has been made to imply that the Government is trying to cover the actions of the late Senator Keane in the hope that the Government will thereby earn opprobrium and the Opposition parties a political advantage. Life becomes a miserable affair if people delve into the grave in order to direct propaganda against the Government by casting doubt on a dead man’s honesty. We have heard about customs officers. They are alive and can defend themselves, but a dead man cannot defend his name. I have been associated with the financial side of government for a long time and all I can say is that a clear direction has been given to all Ministers and heads of departments that regardless of how high or low the position held hy a person suspected or found guilty of dishonesty he shall not be shielded , I feel keenly that public administration must be scrupulously honest. It is perfectly true that the judgment of governments may warrant criticism, but once the suggestion is made that a Minister of the Crown is dishonest, he should not fill an administrative post until his name has been cleared. A dishonest man is not worthy to hold public office. When this subject first arose, three of the most reputable public servants in Australia were asked to examine it and make recommendations. The AttorneyGeneral has already fully dealt with that aspect and all 1 need to add is that officers of their standing would refuse to be influenced by any Minister in a matter like this. The three officers who made the inquiry and the recommendations on which the prosecution of Mr. Goldberg was based were the Acting SolicitorGeneral, Mr. Whitlarn, the Deputy Grown Solicitor in Sydney, Mr. Watson, and the Comptroller-General of Customs. Mr. Kennedy. I do not think any honorable member who has had any association with them would imagine that they would succumb to influence.

Mr White:

– The point is whether the inquiry was wide enough.


– It was their business to recommend what, legal action should be taken. The Attorney-General was absent when the matter arose,, but I was; in Canberra, and, when it, waa brought, to. my notice, I had only- one thing to say– the Comptroller-General: of Customs- could substantiate this - -namely, that whatever inquiry or- action was necessary w/as ‘to be made and taken.. It has always been an instruction to the Department of Trade and; Gusto-ma that appropriate proceedings must be- taken regard-less of his- position against ally person infringing- the customs law. I do not need to- enlarge on that,, because, the Attorney-General has already- adequately- cowered k. A curious feature is that, although Mr. Goldberg says that Senator Keane gave him, 3,,000. dollars for the purchase of the goods concerned in the transaction, the documents. r.evea-1 that most, of the goods were bought after Senator

Keane’s death. Not even Mr. Goldberg himself claims that he did as one would normally be expected to do and said to the widow, “I had an arrangement with Senator Keane. Am I to go on with it ? “ It is even more curious that Senator Keane did not have 3,000 dollars to give to any one. Before leaving Australia, he received, as a ministerial grant for expenses, a letter of credit for £E.320, and travellers’ cheques and dollar currency amounting to 2,733 dollars, in all £1,253 15s. in Australian currency. After all expenses had been met after his death, Mrs. Keane returned to the Treasury the undrawn letter of credit for £E.320 and £343 in currencyout of the advance made to her husband.. I fail utterly to ee bow Senator Keanecould have given Mr. Goldberg *3,000 dollars out of the money advanced to him.. No record exists that he had obtaineddollars in any other way. I assure the honorable member for Fawkner, however’, that as far as I am concerned as Prime Minister and as far as the Government is concerned, the processes of law will operate regardless of whether general elections are being held or not. There may be a coincidence that Senator Hendrickson was formerly Senator Keane’s private secretary, but I understand that he stayed in Australia and did not go to the United States of America.. I assure the House- and the country that the case was not delayed merely because the general elections were being held.. I am completely confident of the. integrity of my late colleague who, as Minister for Trade and Customs,, did valuable work for Australia. I feel inclined’ to say a lot about this- matter in reply to the allegations and innuendoes, but there is no good in dredging gutters; and,, as the ground has, been- fully covered by the Attorney-General on the Government’s behalf and by the honorable member for Fawkner on behalf of the Opposition, I move -

That the question be now put..

Me. Harbison. - The- Prime Minister knows that. I brought this? mattes usp first.


– Them the honorablemember should have, the. motion submitted by the honorable1 member- fox Fawkner.

Questionput. The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. J. S. Rosevear.)

AYES: 37

NOES: 26

Majority . . 11



Question so resolved in the affirmative. Original question resolved in the negative.

page 962


Bill presentedby Dr. Evatt, and read a first time.

Second Reading

AttorneyGeneral and Minister for External Affairs · Barton · ALP

by leave - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this bill is to enlarge the Commonwealth Parliament. During the first half century of Australia’s his tory as a nation its population has more than doubled. During these years there has also been a great expansion, under the stimulus especially of two world wars and a world depression, of the responsibilities borne by this Parliament. The bill seeks to enlarge the membership of both Houses of the Parliament so that the numbers will be more in keeping with these fundamental factors in our political life.

In order to function efficiently, a democracy must devise a system of representation of the people in which the diverse views and interests of the community can find’ expression. This cannot be achieved if the number of representatives is too small. There is no automatic scale of numbers or areas for securing the best democratic results. Nevertheless, it is clear that Australia has altogether outgrown the small Parliamentary bodies with which the federation was equipped in 1900. How small numerically is the Commonwealth Parliament, in comparison with some of the State legislatures, can be seen from the following figures : -

The Constitution empowers the Parliament to increase its membership if it thinks fit, but lays down certain conditions which must be observed. The most important of these conditions is the rule, set out in section 24, that the number of members of the House of Representatives must always be “as nearly as practicable “ twice the number of senators. If, therefore, the number of representatives is to be increased there must of necessity be a correlative increase of the number of senators. Accordingly, this bill effects an increase of the number of senators, with the appropriate correlative increase of the number of members of the House.

The bill provides that there shall be ten senators for each State instead of six as at present. Thus, if the bill is passed, the total number of senators will be increased from 36 to 60. Authority for the proposals contained in the hill is provided by sections 7 and 14 of the Constitution which set out, inter alia, that the Parliament may make laws increasing or diminishing the number of senators for each State, but so that equal representation of the several original States shall be maintained, and, further, that whenever the number of senators is increased the Parliament may make such provisions for the vacating of the places of senators as it deems necessary to maintain regularity in the rotation.

Section 24 of the Constitution lays down that the number of members of the House of Representatives shall be, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of senators. Therefore, if the number of senators is increased, as provided in the bill now presented, the number of members of the House of Representatives must be correspondingly raised to a number, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of the senators. The actual number will probably be 121,

Pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, and the Representation Act 1905-1938, the actual increase of the number of members of the House of Representatives representing the States which will follow the passing of this bill will be from 74 to 121. There will be no change in Tasmania, but in the other States the numbers will increase as follows: -

New South Wales- from 28 to 47.

Victoria- from 20 to 33.

Queensland - from 10 to 18.

South Australia - from 6 to 10.

Western Australia - from 5 to 8.

At this point it might be explained that the representation of the several States in the House of Representatives is determined by dividing the number of the population of each State, as revealed at the last census, by a quota ascertained by dividing the number of the population of the Commonwealth by twice the number of senators.

The proposed enlargement of the numerical strength of the Commonwealth Parliament which the passing of this bill will permit is regarded as both necessary and warranted. Since the establishment of the Commonwealth the population of Australia has more than doubled. To be exact, it has increased from 3,765,339 in 1900 to 7,580,820 in 1947. At the time of the Senate elections in 1903 1,893,586 electors were enrolled. To-day the number is 4,780,334, or more than two and a half times as many. In 1903, in the aggregate, there was one senator for each 52,596 electors. To-day the ratio is one senator for each 132,787 electors. If the number of senators is increased to 60 as provided in this bill, the ratio at the next elections will be one senator to each S3,000 electors approximately, which is fewer, proportionately, than in 1903.

In 1903, each member of the House of Representatives represented, on an average,’ 25,247 electors. To-day the average is 64,599, whilst if Tasmania is omitted, and allowance made for the expected rise in enrolment in the meantime, the average for the mainland divisions towards the end of this Parliament will be about 69,000 electors. However, if the number of members of the House of Representatives be increased to 121, the average number of electors per member at the time of the next elections will be reduced to approximately 41,300, or, omitting Tasmania, 41,680.

In 1903, the Senate and House of Representatives taken together provided one representative in the Commonwealth Parliament for each 17,059 electors. Today the ratio is one for each 43,457 electors. With the Senate membership increased to 60 and that of the House of Representatives to 121, at the time of the next elections there will be one representative for approximately each 27,600 electors. Therefore, referring again to the 1903 figure, on a proportionate basis there is an argument for an even greater increase of the membership of both chambers than is proposed in this measure.

The average numbers of electors for each representative in the State Parliaments of Australia, including both upper andlower Houses, are as follows: -

New South Wales, 12,532 electors for each representative.

Victoria, 13,657 electors for each representative.

Queensland, 10,744 electors for each representative.

South Australia, 7,148 electors for each representative. “Western Australia, 3,756 electors for each representative.

Tasmania, 3,290 electors for each representative.

For some time past there has been a strong body of opinion that, having regard to the growth of population and the marked expansion of Commonwealth interests and activities, the numerical strength of the National Parliament should be substantially increased. The Parliament of Canada, which dominion comprises an area roughly one-fifth larger “thai* that of Australia and has a population of about 12,000,000, provides probably the best parallel with. Australia. It consists: of a Senate of 96; members- and a House of Commons, of about 250 members. The Australian Government’ is- Con’.vinced that in the interests of the people of the Commonwealth, the Parliament ought to- be enlarged to- the degree pro.vided in. the bill, and’ since; in any case1, a redistribution of the electorates is due prior’ to the next elections; the Government considers’ the present to be an opportune time at which t& effect such enlargement.

It is- proposed to- bring the Senate up to the’ full strength of 6’0’ senators’ a’s1 from t&e day of fee first meeting of the Parliament after the next dissolution of fee House of Representatives. This will benecessary in order that membership of th’e Senate’ sba-11, from that date, be approximately half of that” of the House of Representatives’ a’s is1 provided1 m the’ Constitution. Accordingly, the bill provides feat apart from any long casual vacancies that may haw to> be1 filled, sevensenators shall be chosen m’ each- State at the1 next elections.

Mr McEwen:

– Will’ all of them be elected^


– Yes. I shall deal with that in detail later. Four, of the new senators elected’ in each State will take office as from1 the date of the’ first meeting of .the Parliament’ after tine1 erection’s, and, according to* the’: 01,der o’f their election, will .continue in office until the 30th June, 1956, or the 30th June, 1953. The 42 new senators, together with the eighteen who will not retire for a further three years, will bring the Senate membership up to 60.

Mr Menzies:

– I take it that that would mean that some of them would have a term of more than six years.


– A little more; that is based upon the section of the Constitution providing for the system of rotation.

Mr Menzies:

– But I thought that the Constitution provides that they are to hold office for six years.


– It does; but it also provides, in our view, that this can validly be done. I see’ the point o’f the right honorable gentleman’s interjection,and at a later stage it will be dealt with.

Mr Menzies:

– I find’ it very hard to follow’ this* paragraph on these” figures. Why four ?- Could the Minister explain these figures a little more clearly?’


– I could go into the order of election o# senators- in greater detail, but owing, to limitation of time at ‘ this; juncture I prefer” to detail, how the order i» affected. Under’ fee’ present system, senators1 will be elected for’ the ordinary six-year’ period, of office- which wi’Lli commence as from fee- 1st July following,-;: tha* leanest f«*r more to be” elected.

Mr Menzies:

– J follow the’ Minister.


– At each subsequent election of senators1,- fi.v& senators’ will normally be elected in each. -State;, making 30 to- be elected at each periodical election.

I commend the bill to honorable members and’ urge it’s speedy passage. It is essential’ that the bill Be dealt with, at -this early stage in order to permit a reasonable period for the considerable preparation which will be involved’ between now an’d- fee n’ext’ general elections in the redistribution o’f the States into new electoral divisions and subsequently fee preparation of new maps and’ rolls; the establishment of additional divisional head-quarters’ and so* on’.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Menzies) adjourned’.

COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL BILL d-948. “Bill presented by fDr. “Evatt, -and read a first time.

Second Heading.

Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs · Barton · ALP

.- by leave- 1 move- (That the :bill .be now read a second .time. 3/he .purpose of the :.bill ;is to make provision for .the application of proportional representation .to the -election .of -senators. Prior »to ‘1918, -senators were .elected by what ds .usually ‘termed the “ -first :past -the post “ ,method. Each voter was -required to place a cross in the -square, opposite the name-of each of the candidates for whom he desired to , vote. the .number of .crosses permitted being confined to the., exact num- ber.of senators to be elected. Thus where three -senators were .required the three candidates »with ‘the greatest number of crosses were .chosen, and as was -usually the-case -,the .three- elected were (candidates of the same party.

In 1918, the “preferential block majority “ system was introduced in respect df Senate elections. This system continued the principle of the old “first past the-post” system in that under it all seats. in a State generally go to the. party, or combination of .parties, ‘favoured at the time. by a bare,- or simple, majority of the electors. It might ‘be described as the “..all or .none’” system, either all or none of a party’s candidates being elected. The system used since 1.918 may’be considered an improvement on the old system only to the degree (hat it ensures majority representation as against possible minority representation. The great defect, from the representation aspect, of both the old “‘first past the post “.and the more recently used “ block majority “ system is that at an election, generally all seats in a ‘State are won by candidates o’f ‘the one party, leaving ,a minority of between 40 to ‘50 per cent, of the electors without :any representation at all in the .”Senate. “For many .years there has been .a demand ‘that ‘the Parliament should provide ,:a system of ‘electing senators which would give more equitable results, and enable: the electorate to be more truly-represented in the Senate. The G.o- vernment has given careful consideration bo the matter [and has closely examined alternative methods. Jit h$s ‘.decided that, in relation £o the .election :of senators, ,where each .State ‘votes ;as .one electorate, .the .fairest system -and .the one most .likely to enhance .the ^status .qf the Senate lis that of proportional representation.

The bill -sets out in. detail -the method, of counting adopted tin respect of ,future elections of .senators. The method is .generally in r.accord with the practice laid down -by the ‘Proportional Representation .’Society. AH I need say about the principle is that the marne of the system indicates the result -intended to be achieved,, that .the electors -will be represented, in the number of elected, approximately proportionately to their expression of opinion. -For example, if -five are to ‘be -elected and one .party’s candidates <po’ll 55 -per cent, of -the total votes, the -result - would ‘be -that ‘that party would have -three candidates elected, and the remaining two elected, assuming that only two parties contested the poll, would be candidates o”f -the opposing party and would represent -45 per cent, of the electors. This system follows closely the provisions contained >in the Proportional Representation Bill 1912 of’ Great Britain and the system employed in respect of municipal elections in the United Kingdom and -South Africa. It is virtually identical with the method used in the election of the ^Parliament of :Eire and is similar to the -system which was employed in i respect o’f ‘parliamentary elections for the Legislative Assembly in ‘New South Wales from 192.0 to 11925. In principle, the method proposed lis ‘the same .as that used in Tasmania although ‘for reasons of workability .and simplicity it differs slightly in its practical application.

It .is not proposed to alter the - existing style of .the Senate ballot-paper or the provision ‘that ‘Candidates i may be grouped thereon with their mantes in such order within the’ group. as they desire. .Nor is it intended to .vary -the .(requirement that voters must indicate -the order of their p reference for all the-candidates. (Whilst this latter requirement might have the effect of continuing to produce a -fairly high informal vote, .it definitely precludes -.the possibly greater evil of exhausted votes- that -is, votes which become exhausted in the process of transfer. If a voter were to indicate his preference for only three of, say, seven candidates, his vote would be effective up to the number of preferences shown on his ballot-paper and after that it would be effective no longer. At that stage, the vote would be said to be exhausted. In Tasmania, the elector need not vote for all candidates and therefore on occasions a fairly high percentage of votes becomes exhausted in the process of transferring the votes of a lower candidate or the surplus of a higher candidate to the next candidate in order of preference.

Mr Thompson:

– And the last candidate elected frequently does not get a quota.


– That is so. One result of a system which does not require the electors to vote for all candidates whose names appear on the ballot-paper is that a candidate may be declared elected although the total number of votes credited to him falls short of the required quota. At the parliamentary elections in New South Wales in 1922 and 1925, the exhausted votes, which far outnumbered the informal votes, were the cause of niuch dissatisfaction and disputation.

Clause 8 prescribes the manner in which it is proposed that the several vacancies shall be filled. As hitherto, the count will be carried out under the direction of the Commonwealth Electoral Officer for the State concerned in the offices of the respective Divisional Returning Officers. For instance, in New South Wales, where there will be 47 divisions, the count will be carried out at 47 points. This will ensure completion of the count with the greatest safety, the maximum of speed and the minimum of cost. When the Commonwealth Electoral Officer has received the final results of the count of first preference votes from all returning officers and has totalled them, he will determine a quota by dividing the total number of first preference votes by one more than the number of candidates required to be elected and by increasing the quotient so obtained by one. That appears to be complicated, but if in New South Wales, for example, there were 1,600,000 valid votes and seven senators had to be elected, the total number would be divided, not by seven, but by eight, giving a quotient of 200,000. This would give a quota of 200,000 plus one.

This formula for determining a quota, which, in effect, produces the lowest number which, when multiplied by the number of candidates to be elected, leaves a remainder of votes less than that lowest number, is the one recommended by the Proportional Representation Society and is used in Tasmania, in Eire, and generally in all places in British communities where proportional’ representation has been applied. Any candidate who, either on the count of the first preference votes or at any subsequent stage, obtains a number of votes equal to or greater than the quota shall be elected, and until all vacancies have been filled, the surplus vote9 - that is, any number in excess of the quota - of each elected candidate will be transferred in the manner set out in the bill to the continuing candidates in strict proportion to the voters’ next preferences.

The method of disposing of an elected candida te’s surplus votes prescribed in the bill is the one recommended by the Proportional Representation Society and is precisely the same as that used in Eire and in municipal elections in Great Britain and South Africa, and it is similar to the method which was employed in connexion with the parliamentary elections in New South Wales in the early nineteen- twenties. It differs from the Tasmanian practice in that whereas in Tasmania all the votes of the elected candidate are transferred at a fractional value so that every single paper is looked at, under the proposed method only such number of votes as equals the surplus, taken in strict proportion to the preferences on the whole of the votes of the elected candidate, are transferred. No doubt that provision will require some consideration in committee.

It is thought that the Tasmanian system, while suitable where the number of votes is comparatively small and all such votes are concentrated at one centre, is> not readily capable of being efficiently worked by too remote a control. I’n order to employ that system at a Senate election, it would first be necessary to assemble the whole of the ballot-papers for the State at one centre. Not only would that delay completion, involve risks of loss in transit, and increase costs heavily, but also in the larger States the Commonwealth Electoral Officer would be faced with the almost insuperable task of securing for a period of several weeks the extensive accommodation, equipment and staff needed. Whilst it might be claimed that the Tasmanian system is mathematically more exact, tests that have been made reveal that a similar result is obtained by the employment of the method proposed. As an illustration, I shall state a hypothetical case in New South Wales and for this purpose I shall assume for the moment that a Labour candidate has received 900,000 votes of the total number of 1,600,000. The quota being 200,000, he has a surplus of 700,000 votes for distribution. This would usually result in three full quotas being obtained for other candidates on the list. The proposal embodied in the bill is that the officers will not look at all of the votes.. They will take the surplus available and will assume that the No. 2 vote, which would be the effective vote in the first instance, would reproduce a proportion in respect of the surplus of 700.000 that would be true of the total of 900,000. Tests have shown that the result would be the same as if all of the 900,000 votes were scrutinized.

Questioned as to the likelihood of difference, eminent mathematicians advised the Proportional Representation Society of England that “ Whenever a considerable number of votes is in play the element of chance involved is so small as to be negligible “. Dealing with the point in its comprehensive report on electoral systems, the United Kingdom royal commission of 1908 said, “ The chance of the result being affected is too small to be seriously considered. We agree with the Proportional Representation Society that the additional labour involved (in the Tasmanian system) is greater than it is worth “. In a report furnished in 1913, a committee consisting of Mr. H. E. Packer, Chief Electoral Officer for Tasmania, Mr. E. L. Piesse. LL.B.. and Mr. J. F. Daly stated inter alia, “ We are justified in saying that in each district at each of the three elections - fifteen contests in all - the result would have been the same with the English rules as with the Tasmanian rules . . . We therefore recommend that if the form of the rules should again be considered by Parliament the English rules be adopted “. Thus it will be observed that a responsible local committee reported in favour of the adoption in Tasmania of the time-saving method of dealing with surplus votes proposed in this bill.

The bill further provides that if after the count of the first preference votes or after the transfer of the surplus votes of an elected candidate at any stage, no candidate or less than the number required to be elected has or have obtained the quota, then the candidate with the fewest votes shall be excluded and the whole of his ballot-papers transferred to the continuing candidates; and if thereupon no candidate has yet reached the quota, the process of excluding the candidate with the fewest votes and the transferring of his ballot-papers will continue until a continuing candidate has received a number of votes equal’ to the quota or in respect of the last vacancy a majority of the votes.

Where candidates are elected at the same time, the order of their election shall be determined by the extent of their surplus votes. The candidate with the largest surplus shall be the first elected and so on. The same principle will apply in relation to the transfer of surplus votes. The largest surplus will be transferred first and so on. If on any count two or more candidates have an equal number of votes and one of them has to be excluded the Commonwealth Electoral Officer shall decide the candidate to be excluded, or if two or more candidates are elected with an equal number of votes the Commonwealth Electoral Officer will decide the order of their election and the transfer of their votes, or if in the final count for the filling of the last vacancy two candidates have an equal number of votes, the Commonwealth Electoral Officer will decide which shall be elected but that except as so provided the Commonwealth Electoral Officer shall not vote at the election. That is really the last resort. The chance’s against its happening in a Senate election are enormous.

Mr Barnard:

– About a minion to one.


– That is a gross understatement. Probably millions of millions would be nearer the mark. The result of the system is clear. There will be two major groups of political parties, and seven Senators will be elected, in the absence of any casual vacancies, in each State. The party which secures 53 per cent, or 55 per cent, of the aggregate votes will, provided the party ticket is followed, have four of the seven candidates to be returned. The three remaining seats will be filled by the candidates from the other party which secured 47 per cent of the votes. That is certain.

Mr Archie Cameron:

– I desire to ask the Attorney-General one important question. Will he inform me whether any othercountry has an electoral law under which votes are taken from a pool to fill a vacancy at random?


– I have already mentioned the countries in which that system operates.

Mr Archie Cameron:

– What are they ?


– It operates in municipal elections in the United Kingdom and South Africa, and in the national elections in Eire It also operated in elections held in New South Wales between 1920 and 1925. However, this matter is somewhat complex and difficult, and I do not desire to elaborate it now. In Tasmania, every vote is examined, and the proportion is attached to the No. 2 preference in each case. I shall explain the reason why the alternative method is proposed for Senate elections. Let us suppose that the leading candidate in New South Wales has 900,000 No. i votes. Then 700,000 votes would beavailable for distribution on the assumption which I mentioned.

Mr Archie Cameron:

– I understood that part.


-.- That is the only part in which the selection will be taken. Instead of selecting all the surplus ballotpapers and applying to each a fractional transfer value, the electoral officers will select at random that numberof surplus ballot-papers which isascertained by multiplying the total number of surplus ballot-papers by the fraction. In 98 per cent, or 99 per cent, of instances the electors will vote the party ticket. The honorable member is aware of that.

Mr Archie Cameron:

– I thought that the Attorney-General was trying to popularize the lottery.


– It is not a lottery in that sense at all. The lottery factor has been excluded.

Mr Archie Cameron:

– When a lottery is drawn, marbles are taken out of the barrel at random.


– It is hot a matter of chance in that respect. The ballot-paper will already have been marked, so the element of chance will have been excluded by the elector. That is the only sensein which there is any element of chance.

Mr McEwen:

– The position is quite clear.


-I am sure that it is clear to the honorable member for Indi (Mr. McEwen). Like most other people, he will probably be more interested in the result than in the method by which the result is reached.

Debate (on motion by Mr. MEnzies) adjourned.

page 968


The followingpaperswherepresented : -

Apple and Pear Organization Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1948, No. 40.

Australian Soldiers’ Repatriation Act -

Regulations - Statutory Rules . 1.948, No. 43.

Dairy Produce Export Control Act- Regulations - Statutory Rules 1948, No. 48.

Defence (Transitional Provisions). Act -

National Security (Maritime Industry)

Regulations - Order - No. 64.

National Security (Prices) Regulations - Orders- Nos. 3570-3304.

National Security (Rabbit Skins)

Regulations - Order - -Returns. ,

National Security (Rationing) Regulations - Order - No. . 153.

Order- Controlof tinplate (No. 3).

Dried Fruits Export Control Act - Regulations - Statutory Rules 1948, No. 47..

Naval Defence Act - Regulations - Statutory

Rules 1948, No. 42.

Stevedoring Industry Act - Orders -1948, Nos. 7-12.

House adjourned at 1 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 16 April 1948, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.