House of Representatives
8 September 1960

23rd Parliament · 2nd Session

Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. John McLeay) took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.

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– My question is addressed to the Minister for the Army. Is it a fact that a charitable organization called the Randwick Homes for the Aged Committee has been formed by a number of publicspirited citizens in the district of Randwick in the electorate of Kingsford-Smith? Is it a fact that the purpose of this body is to raise funds for the building of homes for the aged? Would the Minister favour a request from this organization seeking the release of 25 acres of the Long Bay rifle range to be used as a site for the erection of homes under the homes for the aged scheme which is subsidized by the Government?

Minister for the Army · BENNELONG, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

-I must say that the honorable member is very persistent in relation to the Long Bay rifle range, and on this occasion he has made a very worthy proposal. However, we have investigated this matter very closely and, as I told the honorable member previously, unfortunately we need the rifle range for the purposes of the Army.

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– I ask the Minister for Health: Has he had representations made to him from the Australian Optometrical Association alleging the existence of anomalies in the administration of the national health service? Has he considered the statement that unauthorized benefits are being paid in respect of eye treatment? If so, has he anything to say about the allegation? Furthermore, has he considered the statement that discriminatory subsidies are being made to medical benefit funds and, if so, is this a desirable feature of the system for treating eye patients?

Dr Donald Cameron:

– I am not quite sure what the honorable gentleman means by unauthorized subsidies. There are some benefit funds which make from their own resources payments that are not matched by Commonwealth benefits. It is entirely within the jurisdiction of the funds that do make those payments to decide whether they make them or not, and the Commonwealth would interfere only if a fund was a registered fund and it was considered that its financial stability might be endangered by making them. Otherwise it is not a matter in which the Commonwealth would exercise any jurisdiction at all.

Perhaps I can answer the rest of the honorable gentleman’s question by saying that the Government, since the introduction of the national health service, has steadily expanded that service in the fields of medical benefits, hospital benefits, pharmaceutical benefits, pensioner medical services and tuberculosis control; and, in fact, expenditure has risen from about £7,000,000 in 1950- in the early years of operation of the scheme - to an estimate of about £67,000,000 at the present time. This has been possible because of the Government’s handling of the economy. It must be obvious that in the end the taxpayer must find the money for all these expansions of social welfare - and these measures are social welfare measures. They have been expanded by the Government not only in the sphere of health, but in the total field of social welfare. As the honorable gentleman will be aware, my colleague, the Minister for Social Services, will introduce into this House to-night a very important measure to liberalize the means test. The Government has been able to do all these things without the imposition of heavy additional taxation to support them, and it has been able to do so because it has proceeded step by step.

Let me say this about the representations of the optometrists: The Government is perfectly aware of the great importance of the optometrical profession and of the honorable and important function it performs in the community, but if social welfare is to be expanded, it must be expanded step by step. The Government is not idle in considering any other measures that may be added to the present national health services. Unless the Government proceeds in this way, social welfare will become an incubus and not something to make the lives of citizens better. So the Government intends to proceed with the same method in the future as it has in the past, and to expand social services in accordance with the growth of the economy.

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Minister for Labour and National Service · LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– I think the honorable gentleman will well know that the decision given by the commission was a comprehensive and fairly complicated one. However, the question raised by the honorable gentleman as to why the 28 per cent, increase was not generally applied should be answered because so many questions are asked about it. I think it can be best answered in the form of an example, if that will suffice. It was argued before the commission that when the question of increases of margins on the basis of capacity to pay alone is being considered, if a percentage increase of 28 per cent, is given to the man at the top of the Second Division as well as to the fitter and turner, then only a 6 per cent, increase on the total wage is given to the fitter and turner while a 23 per cent, increase on the total wage is given to the man at the top of the Second Division. That is the best way that I can explain it. This sort of argument was put to and accepted by the commission.

I take the explanation one stage further. The right to determine the problem of salaries and wages for the Public Service rests, in the first place, with the Public Service Board and, on reference, with the full commission. The full commission is an industrial authority and not a political body. In its wisdom, it decided that the tapered increase was the correct one to apply in the circumstances.

I want to emphasize that action taken by certain organizations to bring political pressure to bear in respect of questions that arise when industrial disputes have occurred - these industrial disputes being rightly matters for the Arbitration Commission - is something that cannot be of real effect.

The proper recourse in these matters is to the commission, which, in this case, has decided the matter.

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– I wish to take a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Ten minutes of question time have gone, and only three questions have been asked and answered. If that continues, only about fourteen questions will be asked and answered by the time question time expires. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether you will ask Ministers to cut down the length of their replies so that more members may ask questions and receive answers to them.


– Order! All I want to say is that I am not prepared to give any direction to Ministers in this connexion. The way in which they answer questions is their responsibility, and the Chair recognizes that.

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– My question without notice is directed to the Prime Minister and relates to the Australian victories in the Olympic Games, in particular to the victory of Mr. Herb Elliott, who performed probably the greatest athletic feat so far performed by an Australian. I ask the right honorable gentleman: Does he recall the type of welcome that was traditionally given, at the time of the original Olympic Games, to victorious athletes returning to their states from the games? Does he remember that national institutions then did not think it wrong to associate themselves with such welcomes? Will it be possible to give any official welcome to the winners of gold medals returning from the Rome Olympic Games, or in other ways to recognize the importance of their achievements?

Prime Minister · KOOYONG, VICTORIA · LP

– The honorable member asks me whether I remember the character of the welcome given to victors at the original Olympic Games. I regret to say that I was not there. That is the whole point. I have heard of these things, of course, but all my information is purely hearsay. I am delighted about Herb Elliott - I think he does the country great credit.

Mr Curtin:

– What about Dawn Fraser and the others among the gold medalists?


– Quite. I am just answering the question. I am delighted about Herb Elliott. I am delighted with all our other competitors who have done so well. I am as delighted about some who got silver or bronze medals as about some who got gold medals, and when they come back here they will receive, no doubt, a very warm and appreciative welcome from the Australian people.

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– Is the Minister for Trade aware that Australia’s adverse trade balance for July and August of this year is five and a half times as great as it was for July and August last year, and that the experts assert that the hump of imports has not yet been reached? What does the Government estimate will be the adverse balance of payments during the coming year, and how does the Government intend to finance it? Or, does the Government not know or estimate what the adverse balance of payments will be, and does it not care?

Minister for Trade · MURRAY, VICTORIA · CP

– It is customary that at this time of the year there is, on a monthly assessment, an adverse balance of payments for Australia. August has always been the worst month, which is quite understandable to any one who is familiar with the trends of trade and the items of trade. The Government is not perturbed about this situation, and it does no service to the country, to the stability of business at home, or to the reputation of the country overseas, to impute that there is something dangerous in the circumstances of Australia’s balance of payments. The Government was very careful to build up a very substantial overseas reserve of more than £500,000,000 before the step of relaxing import licensing was taken. There are other resources besides those. Overseas funds from other sources are currently coming to hand, such as overseas investment capital as well as actual trade receipts.

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– I preface my question to the Postmaster-General by stating that in the more thinly settled parts of Australia there is a very keen interest in the development of television. People in those areas desire to know, for technical reasons, the proposed location of national television stations. Has any progress been made in determining the location of national stations, with a view to ensuring the most effective transmission of programmes? Can the Minister state when applications will be invited in relation to stage 4 of the programme, which covers the more thinly settled parts of Australia?

Postmaster-General · DAWSON, QUEENSLAND · CP

– Officers of both the Postmaster-General’s Department and the Australian Broadcasting Control Board have been engaged for some time in investigating various sites in the areas which are likely to be served by television in the near future. The choice of transmitter sites in country areas presents more difficulties than did the choice of sites in city areas because it is desired to give as great a coverage as possible. Quite often it is necessary to select a site that is a considerable distance from the actual city or town that is to be served in order to give the desired coverage. A great deal of attention has been paid to this aspect. The investigation has been concerned mainly with what is called phase 3, but in some cases it has included possible sites for further development when we commence phase 4.

As to the second part of the honorable gentleman’s question relating to the calling for applications for commercial stations in phase 4, it is not possible at present to set any date because, in the first place, we have to determine the granting of licences in phase 3. That will take a little time yet. However, I assure the honorable member that we will not delay unduly when we are able to proceed further with the development of television in country areas.

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– My question, which relates to interstate road hauliers, is addressed to the Minister for Shipping and Transport. The honorable gentleman knows that hauliers travel only during the permissible number of hours in the State of departure and in the State of destination, but that in the course of a single interstate trip they can travel without a break for a number of hours that would not be permitted in either the State of departure or the State of destination. The honorable gentleman knows also that many accidents to drivers and others are believed to flow from this practice. Has the Minister considered introduring legislation on safety practices, carriers’ liability and workers’ compensation which would apply to interstate road transport, along the lines of the legislation which the Parliament has already passed with regard to interstate air and sea transport?

Minister for Shipping and Transport · CORIO, VICTORIA · LP

– Legislation of the nature mentioned by the honorable member is not contemplated at present. This is a matter of policy. I point out that uniform road traffic and standardization committees deal with the length of vehicles, overloading, speeds and so on in the States, and that those committees bring their recommendations to the Australian Transport Advisory Council, which deals with them in an endeavour to co-ordinate the various submissions that are made. The council has operated successfully in this regard, as will be seen from replies that have been made recently to questions on the noticepaper. The States themselves have passed various regulations, the validity of which has not been challenged, and those regulations are being applied rigidly by the States. For example, in Victoria there are certain regulations governing the number of hours during which a haulier may drive, and the interstate traveller mentioned by the honorable member is fairly well covered by industrial awards. In the case of the big companies, working conditions are policed by both the companies and the employees.

I should say that the biggest problem is the owner-driver, and while I cast no reflection upon the enterprise of the man who buys a vehicle and wishes to build up a business, I do feel that these ownerdrivers are the greatest offenders in that they are doing their utmost to obtain a speedy return on the capital they have invested. I can say in answer to the honorable member that his question relates to what is really a policy matter, and the Commonwealth is not contemplating any legislation at the moment.

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– By way of preface to a question addressed to the Prime Minister, I point out that the distinguished chairman of the New South Wales Public Service Board has tabled his final report in Parliament, and in that report he points out that education in New South Wales has never had it so good. I ask the right honorable gentleman whether this is a tribute to the devotion of teachers, administrative staff and students in that substantial part of Australian education. I also ask whether he finds this refreshing after hearing so much to the contrary, and especially after the recent criticism of the Commonwealth-States financial arrangements.


– I can assure the honorable member that I do.

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– I ask the Minister for the Interior whether agreement has yet been reached with the State Premiers on a civil defence programme for Australia. If agreement has not been reached, what progress is being made? Is it the Minister’s intention to have further discussions with State representatives? Having regard to the frustration felt by civil defence workers because of lack of a national policy, will the Minister take immediate steps to give a lead in this important national matter?

Minister for the Interior · FORREST, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · LP

– Since the Commonwealth Government’s statement on its civil defence policy last September there have been two conferences with State Ministers for Civil Defence, and progress has been made. At the present time, the Commonwealth Government is considering proposals arising from those discussions, and when a firm decision has been reached it will be conveyed to the State Ministers for Civil Defence, and we hope that further progress will be made.

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– I preface a question to the Minister for Social Services by saying that in the past the Department of Social Services has very properly paid pensions to applicants as from the date of the application, notwithstanding the fact that some time has been taken up in investigating all the circumstances connected with the application. For the information of the aged who will benefit from the tremendous liberalization of the means test as announced by the Treasurer, will the Minister issue a public statement to the effect that, provided an application is lodged before the promulgation of the relevant sections of the act dealing with the merged means test, applicants who will become eligible as a result of the merging of the means test will receive increased pensions as from the date of the promulgation of the legislation, notwithstanding the fact that it may take the department some time to investigate the 120,000 claims which it is expected will result from the amendment of the act?

Minister for Social Services · RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP

– The honorable member for Sturt speaks with some authority on the subject of social services, since he is the chairman of the Government members social services committee. I shall be glad to give consideration to what he now proposes. This evening, I hope to introduce the amending legislation, and the provisions in that amending legislation relative to the merged means test will be proclaimed as soon as it is administratively possible for the Department of Social Services to put those provisions into effective operation. Some delay must unavoidably occur in making these administrative arrangements, but it is expected that the act will be proclaimed in March, 1961. I shall be happy to prepare a statement covering the points the honorable member for Sturt has raised.

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– I ask the Minister for Trade whether, since the abolition of import licensing, there has been any decrease in the price of imported goods that were previously the subject of quantitative restrictions. I also ask the Minister: Has there been any reduction in the prices of the same kind of goods manufactured within Australia? If there has been a decrease, what is the extent of it?


– The question is so comprehensive that I am sure the honorable member does not expect me to answer in detail and to cite illustrative items.

Mr Pollard:

– I do, and I think you could.


– I am not able to do so; but I believe that it could be shown that there has been a reduction in the prices of some goods. Certainly, there have been some complaints about the situation. I shall endeavour to secure some illustrations but, frankly, in the fluctuating circumstances of trade, I would not be prepared ever to attribute a rise or a fall in prices to any particular act of policy.

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– I direct a question to the Prime Minister. During the week, this Parliament was honoured by the honorable member for Mallee in setting an attendance record which is probably unequalled in the British Commonwealth of Nations. The honorable member for Mallee has now attended over 1,000 days in this Parliament without missing a single day. In recognition of this meritorious service, will the Prime Minister give consideration to allocating special time to a debate on dried fruits, rabbits or, perhaps, skeleton weed?


– I think that is a very useful suggestion, and I will consider it; but I think in the meantime, one ought to take some steps to have conferred on the honorable member for Mallee an order, say, of purity - first class.

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– I direct a question to the Prime Minister, now that the honorable member for Mackellar is in the chamber, as it is supplementary to a question that was asked by that honorable member retarding victory celebrations in connexion with the Olympic Games. 1 ask the right honorable gentleman: Since the honorable member for Mackellar is going to the United Nations and so also is Mr. Khrushchev, would the honorable member for Mackellar strip into his shorts, light an Olympic torch and race across the country to meet his protagonist so that mutual goodwill might be established in the seat of the United Nations in New York?


– I must protest that I am not in charge of the athletic efforts of the honorable member for Mackellar or indeed of any other honorable member. So far as 1 am concerned, I am in charge of my own athletics and my time for the mile is fifteen minutes dead - or near enough.

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– My question, which is directed to the Minister for Health, it supplementary to the question that was asked by the honorable member for Warringah. I remind the Minister that medical fund benefits are available only to patients who have been referred to an ophthalmologist by a general practitioner. In view of the fact that optical expenses paid to any legally qualified person for testing eyes or prescribing spectacles may be claimed as a deduction for income tax purposes, will he use his influence with the fund authorities to have the present discrimination against optometrists removed, and claims in respect of spectacles prescribed by legally qualified practitioners accepted for payment?

Dr Donald Cameron:

– Perhaps I am a little dull this morning, but I cannot follow the honorable member’s question. There are no medical benefits for optometrical services in which there is any Government component, but some benefit funds make payments for those services. That, as I endeavoured to explain earlier, is entirely within the discretion of the funds themselves. It would not be competent for the Government to direct the funds in this matter.

Mr Buchanan:

– The Minister must approve the funds.


– Order! This is not a general debate.

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-I ask the Minister for Air whether he has considered the protests that have been sent to him in recent years regarding the aerial pageant held on a Sunday to celebrate Battle of Britain Week. Does he consider that such a celebration held on a Sunday is befitting in a Christian country? After the celebration in July this year the Adelaide “ Advertiser “ reported that Group Captain Susans had said -

We hope that the display will become another traditional South Australian picnic outing like the Oakbank race meeting.

Has the Minister considered the requests of church bodies that these celebrations should not be held on a Sunday, but on a Saturday or some other day of the week?

Minister for Air · EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– From time to time I have received expressions of opinion from church bodies in South Australia on this subject. Most of them contend that Sunday is not a suitable day on which to hold large organized gatherings. That is a point of view that I understand and with which I am in general sympathy. I remind the honorable member, however, that it has been the practice throughout Australia, with few exceptions, every year since the end of the Second World War for the Air Force to throw open one of its major bases in each State to members of the general public on Battle of Britain Sunday afternoon. People come on to the bases as guests of the Air Force and a flying display is conducted. This has happened in South Australia as well as the other States. The displays are of great interest to large numbers of people. They take place at a time of the day when church services are not ordinarily held. The practice is long established, and after due consideration of the views that the honorable member has expressed I decided that I would not be justified in interfering with the practice.

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– I direct my question to the Attorney-General. Has the Government received any complaints from new Australians concerning letters sent to them from the Department of Interior in Prague, asking them to return to Czechoslovakia within three months, and notifying them that non-compliance with this “ request “ order will make them criminals under paragraph 95, section 2, of the criminal code of Czechoslovakia? Does the Government know who supplies the Australian addresses to which these letters - I have at least one in my possession at the moment - are sent?


-I have no knowledge of the matter which the honorable gentleman very properly raises. I have received no complaint about the letters to which he refers. If I received a complaint. I would consider it singularly disquieting and I would wish to make some investigation, probably in collaboration with my colleague, the Minister for Immigration. If the honorable member will give me the paper he has, I shall discuss it with my colleague straightaway.

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– My question is directed to the Minister for the Army. Is it a fact that the Australian Army intends to take over control of the Rathmines Royal Australian Air Force base early in the new year? If so, approximately how many persons will be domiciled at the base after the take-over?


– There ds no finality about this matter as yet. It is under investigation, and I will let the honorable member know what progress is made.

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– I address a question to the Minister for Trade. It refers to the recent visit of an Australian trade mission to Canada. Can the Minister say whether there has been an increase in our exports to Canada since the return of this mission? Further, can the Minister inform the House whether the leaders of the mission reported a favorable outlook for an increase of exports of primary produce to Canada?


– Taking the latter part of the question first, the leader of the delegation, Sir Douglas Copland, reported to me in very favorable terms upon the reception of the mission in Canada and the United States of America and also - this is perhaps more important - upon the fruitful results df the mission. Firm orders were secured, business contacts were made, and a basis of interest in investment in Australia by people in the United States of America and Canada was established. From this, nothing but good can result for Australia. I am afraid I cannot say positively whether ; there have already been additional exports as a result of the visit of the mission, but that there will be additional exports I have not the slightest doubt.

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– I direct a question to the Minister for Shipping and Transport. It arises from the Government’s expressed intention to call tenders for a sister ship to the “ Princess of Tasmania “. Can the Minister give an assurance that when this new vessel comes into service the present sailing schedule will be revised to make Bell Bay a regular port of call?


– It is true that the new vessel will make a difference to the Tasmanian traffic, but it must be remembered that at this stage no sailing schedules can be prepared. Much depends on the amount of cargo and the number of passengers that will be available. I remind the honorable member that the “Bass Trader “ will be coming into service for the carriage of cargo. However, I can assure him that the schedules for the new vessel he mentioned and for the “ Bass Trader “ will be designed to give Tasmania the best possible overall service.

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– My question is directed to the Minister for Territories. Have arrangements been made to continue the freight subsidy on certain types of breeding cattle imported into Papua and New Guinea? Is a similar subsidy being paid in the Northern Territory? Have many cattle been supplied to these areas under the subsidy scheme, and has there been any marked improvement in the quality of cattle as a result?

Minister for Territories · CURTIN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · LP

– The freight subsidy scheme for the introduction of cattle into Papua and New Guinea is continuing and revised rates of assistance were recently announced. A similar freight subsidy scheme for the Northern Territory is also continuing in operation. I should point out to the honorable member that there is a distinction between the two Territories, set by the needs of those Territories. The main object of the Northern Territory freight subsidy scheme is to improve the standard of the existing herds by introducing cattle of a superior kind for breeding purposes - stud bulls, good herd bulls, pedigreed cows, and so on. Our problem in Papua and New Guinea is set by the fact that as a result of the war almost every beast in Papua and New Guinea was exterminated, either by the hazards of war or by the appetites of the troops. So, after the war we started off with the necessity of trying to build up again the cattle population of the Territory.. The biggest difficulty was set by the cost of transporting breeding cattle from Australia to New Guinea. So our New Guinea scheme is mainly devoted towards building up the cattle population from nothing., whereas the Northern Territory scheme is for the improvement of the standards of the vast herds that already exist.

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– My question is directed to the Minister for the Army. Is it a fact that at the present time there are several thousands of secondary school Army cadets from all over New South Wales in camp at Singleton, whose ages range from fourteen to sixteen years? Are the 200 civilians, who are employed as cooks and camp attendants, engaged by contract or day labour? Has there been a considerable amount of drunken brawling in the camp, particularly on Saturday nights and pay nights? Have camp employees been dismissed because of brawling and drunkenness? Have some of them been dealt with in the Singleton court for the same reason? Was one man, who had previously been employed on this work and who had again been engaged, sentenced to nine months’ gaol in the past fourteen days for stealing-


-Order! The honorable member is giving information beyond reasonable limits. Will he direct his question to the Minister?


– Finally, who is responsible for selecting and screening camp labour? Does not the Minister think that schoolboy cadets should be given more protection than they are at present receiving?


– I have not heard anything at all about these charges, but I shall certainly make investigations. The cadets are in camp at Singleton and I shall investigate these charges and let the honorable member and the public know just what the position is.

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– My question is directed to the Prime Minister as Minister for External Affairs. Is it a fact that agreements have been signed between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Ghana under which a substantial loan will be made available to Ghana from the Russian nation? Does this arrangement give any indication of a breakdown in the sympathetic and practical assistance by British Commonwealth countries towards

Ghana? Does not the right honorable gentleman believe that it would be preferable for assistance of this nature to be restricted to the family circle rather than that it should be accepted from a Communist country?


– With reference to the last part of the question, the honorable member will understand that Ghana is a completely self-governing country - quire autonomous - and is therefore master of its own decisions on that point. But there is no breakdown of the kind that the honorable member fears. We gather that there has been a Soviet Union loan of about the equivalent of £18,000,000 to Ghana, but on the other hand there are substantial transactions as between Ghana and the Western powers and the other countries of the British Commonwealth. These do not show any sign of being set on one side by any new development. Indeed, the biggest industrial development in Ghana, as the honorable member knows, is the Volta River scheme and on that, as we understand it, negotiations are currently in hand between Ghana, various Western countries and the International Bank. So I do not think we should assume too hastily that Ghana is being drawn away into another orbit.

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– My question is directed to the Minister for Shipping and Transport. Is it a fact that it is now some four months or more since applications for the position of general manager of the Australian National Line closed? Has the Government yet considered the applications received and, if so, when is an announcement likely to be made naming the successful applicant?


– I shall look into that matter and see what the position is.

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Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs · Kooyong · LP

– by leave - It is my pleasure to inform the House that the Government intends within the next few days to open a diplomatic mission at Lagos, the capital of the Federation of Nigeria. As honorable members will know, Nigeria is to become. on 1st October next, an independent country within the Commonwealth. With the agreement of the Nigerian Government, Mr. Lionel Phillips, an officer of the Department of External Affairs, will open the Australian office in midSeptember, with the title of Acting Commissioner. The status of the post will be raised to that of High Commission after the proclamation of independence. An Australian High Commissioner will then be appointed. Australia will also be specially represented at the celebrations to be held in Lagos from 26th September to 3rd October to mark the attainment of independence. We received an invitation to send two representatives and an Australian services contingent. The Australian representatives will be the President of the Senate (Sir Alister McMullin) and Mr. D. O. Hay, D.S.O., M.B.E., an Assistant Secretary of the Department of External Affairs. The President of the Senate has already left Australia to attend meetings of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in Canada and Uganda before travelling to Lagos. The Australian Services will be represented at the celebrations by a Royal Australian Air Force contingent of three Canberra bombers supported by a Hercules transport aircraft. This contingent will be under the command of WingCommander J. P. Graney, A.F.C.

Nigeria has, of course, hitherto been a colony and protectorate of the United Kingdom. The proclamation of Nigerian independence on 1st October will be an occasion of great importance to Africa, to the Commonwealth, and to the world. A country with a population of 40,000,000 people, larger than that of any other African State, will be achieving its independence peacefully and in full co-operation and agreement with the United Kingdom. Though direct contacts between Nigeria and Australia in the past have not been frequent, Australia has great goodwill towards Nigeria and will look forward to developing close relations with its Government and people. 1 am sure that all honorable members will join me in warmly welcoming Nigeria into the community of nations in October. They will welcome still more warmly its desire, expressed earlier this year in a unanimous resolution of the Nigerian Legislature, to remain a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Leader of the Opposition · Melbourne

– by leave - The Opposition wishes the people of Nigeria every success as an independent nation inside the British Commonwealth of Nations. We hope, too, with the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and members of the Government parties, that the future of Nigeria and its people will be bright and that there will be mutual advantage for them and for all the other members of the British Commonwealth for the centuries ahead. It is good to know that the independence movements in Africa, at least in the former British protectorates, are proceeding without bloodshed and with goodwill on all sides.

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Motion (by Mr. Menzies) - by leave - agreed to -

That, in accordance with the provisions of section 11 of the Australian National University Act 1946-1960, the House of Representatives extends the appointment of Mr. Beazley to the council of the Australian National University to the first day of sitting of the Twenty-fourth Parliament, and elects Mr. Bury to the council of the Australian National University from this date until the first day of sitting of the Twenty-fourth Parliament.

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Minister for Defence · Denison · LP

– by leave - The Governments of the United States of America and Australia have held informal discussions concerning the establishment of a naval radio communications station in Australia. A technical survey team will arrive in Australia on 18th September to study the feasibility of establishing the station in Australia. If the results of the technical survey are satisfactory, the two Governments will then consult with a view to reaching an agreement under which the station will be established.

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Proposed Procedure

Attorney-General · Parramatta · LP

– by leave - On 18th May, I presented to the House a bill for an act to amend the Patents Act 1952- 1955. I propose to explain the action that the Government has decided to take in relation to this bill following various representations that have been received.

Clause 7 of the bill provides for the repeal of section 43. This section provides that at the expiration of six months after a complete specification has been lodged at the Patent Office, the Commissioner of Patents shall publish in the Official Journal a notification that the complete specification is open to public inspection and, upon publication of the notification, the application, complete specification and provisional specification, if any, become open to public inspection. The section also goes on to say that when a complete specification has become open to public inspection under the section, the specification shall be deemed to have been published. It has always been recognized that publication under section 43 has certain advantages and certain disadvantages. The Patent Law Review Committee, which was appointed by my predecessor to review the first three years’ experience of the working of the Patents Act 1952, considered these advantages and disadvantages very carefully before it recommended the repeal of the section. This recommendation was to be given effect by clause 7 of the bill before the House.

Since I presented the bill to the House, I have received several representations asking for the withdrawal of the provision in the bill repealing section 43. In addition, I offered to receive, and did receive, a representative deputation from the Chambers of Manufactures and heard fully their point of view, an advantage which the review committee did not have. Having had the benefit of these representations and oral discussions, I remain of the view that section 43 should not remain in its present form. However, I realize that section 43, though not so intended, has been operating to reduce a disadvantage to which the Patents Act and its administration exposes the manufacturers. I have, therefore, formulated the outlines of a scheme which would, in my opinion, remove those disadvantages to the manufacturers and at the same time give some advantages to the inventor.

The main advantages of early publication under section 43 are, first, that an applicant’s right to protection from infringement dates from the date of publication; and secondly, that manufacturers are able to ascertain at an early date whether they are infringing, or likely to infringe, an invention which is the subject of an application for a patent. When publication does not take place until acceptance, and acceptance is delayed, a manufacturer setting up a plant, or tooling up to produce a new model, runs the risk of discovering later that he has unwittingly utilized an invention which was the subject of a current application for a patent, and thus finding himself at a distinct bargaining disadvantage in respect of obtaining a licence to use the invention.

On the other hand, the main disadvantages of early publication are, first, an applicant’s right to amend his complete specification is considerably restricted after publication; and secondly, early publication enables the competitors of applicants, particularly of overseas applicants, to ascertain, at a much earlier date than in overseas countries, inventions in fields in which the applicants are interested. It is believed that this disadvantage has deterred many overseas manufacturers from applying for patents in Australia, and consequently, possibly from establishing industries here, or from investing capital in Australian industry.

I come now to describe the approach that the Government has tentatively determined upon in an attempt to hold the balance fairly between the various interests concerned in these matters. In the first place it is, in my view, clear that the time for publication should be postponed beyond the present period of six months after lodgment of the complete specification. There are many factors - such as the work position in the Examination Branch of the Patent Office, and the date of publication of the invention in the convention country - which determine the most suitable date for the publication of any particular application. To allow for these, the scheme that has been evolved would provide that where acceptance of the application was likely to be unduly delayed the Commissioner of Patents would determine the date of publication, but that he could not publish before twelve months had elapsed from the date of lodging the complete specification, and in the case of a convention application, not before the date on which it was expected that the invention would be published in the convention country. He could be required by the applicant to publish after the expiration of the twelve-month period.

Such a provision would safeguard overseas applicants from the disadvantages of early publication and yet allow an applicant to acquire the right to protection against infringement from a reasonably early date after he had lodged his complete specification.

Secondly, the scheme would include a provision that a person who had innocently used an invention which was the subject of a successful application for a patent, could, in certain circumstances, obtain a compulsory licence in respect of that invention. Where an invention was disclosed in a specification accompanying an application for a patent, and a person had for all practical purposes committed himself beyond withdrawal to the use of that invention before the publication of the specification, then, whether or not the invention was actually claimed in the specification, if that person was unable to obtain by negotiation a licence on acceptable terms from the patentee, he would be able to apply in the first instance to the Commissioner and on appeal to the High Court, for a compulsory licence upon just terms and conditions. If, however, the person had so committed himself after the publication of the specification, he would only be able to get a compulsory licence if the invention was not within the scope of the claims in the specification.

This provision would substantially remove the disadvantage to a manufacturer of not being able to ascertain at an early date whether he was using innocently, or in a practical sense, was committing himself to the use of an invention which could ultimately be the subject of a patent.

Thirdly, the proposed scheme would provide that even where publication of the specification had taken place before acceptance of the application the applicant would, before acceptance, be able to claim a grant for any patentable matter which he had disclosed in the original specification. The scheme would further provide that it would not be competent for a person, in an action or proceeding after acceptance of the application, to take an objection to an amended specification on the ground that an amend ment had been made which was not allowable.

These last provisions would remove the disadvantage to applicants, that early publication restricts their right of amendment of the complete specification. Manufacturers would be protected against any adverse effects of such a right of amendment by the provisions for compulsory licences referred to earlier.

Accordingly, I intend to propose amendments of the Patents Bill which is before the House to incorporate the provisions of the scheme I have described. But before I do so I shall invite comment and discussion of my scheme from interested parties so that any adjustments that discussion may suggest as necessary or desirable could be incorporated in the present bill. However, if the proposed scheme cannot be settled in time to incorporate the necessary amendments in the present bill in this session, I intend to propose certain amendments as an interim measure so as not to delay the passage of the bill and to introduce a further bill next session to enact the balance of the scheme.

The amendments of the bill which I would propose as an interim step would include amendments which would give immediate effect to certain parts of the scheme which I have just outlined. In particular, I would substitute an amended section 43 for the repeal of section 43 as now proposed in clause 7 of the bill. This new section would implement the first part of the scheme exactly as I have outlined it above. I repeat the proposed provision regarding publication. Where acceptance of an application was likely to be unduly delayed, the Commissioner of Patents would determine the date of publication, but he could not publish before twelve months had elapsed from the date of lodging the complete specification, and in the case of a convention application, not before the date on which it was expected that the invention would be published in the convention country. He could be required by the applicant to publish after the expiration of the twelve-month period.

I would also amend the bill to give effect to that part of the scheme which would provide that it would not be competent for a person, in an action or proceeding after acceptance of the application, to take an objection to an amended specification on the ground that an amendment had been made which was not allowable.

In addition, the interim measure would necessitate certain consequential amendments of the bill. The most important of these would be an amendment to clause 15 - new section 78 - so as to provide that after publication, rather than after acceptance as in the bill, an amendment of the specification would not be allowable if a claim of the specification as amended would not in substance fall within the scope of the claims of the specification before amendment.

With such an interim measure, the proposed compulsory licensing provisions of the permanent scheme, and the part of that scheme that contemplates allowing an applicant to claim after publication patentable matter disclosed but not claimed in the original specification, would be left to be included, with any modifications that public discussions may show to be desirable, in a further bill next year.

I am having prepared a somewhat fuller and more technical statement of the proposed permanent scheme and I will circulate it to interested parties, particularly to all persons or groups who have made representations to me, as soon as possible.

May I now say something about the Marriage Bill? The course of discussion with those who are interested in the Marriage Bill and the administration of it has revealed the need to make various adjustments both in the manner of expression and, in one or two instances, in the substance of the bill now before the House. The course which I propose is to circulate the proposed amendments very soon - perhaps within a week - and then, when the committee stage of the bill is about to commence, to ask leave to withdraw the bill and replace it with a new bill which will incorporate the amendments in one print, proceed through the first and second readings of the new bill formally and go into committee on the print with the amendments in it. This course, I feel, will make the task of honorable members in following the amendments very much easier.

page 952


Motion (by Mr. Davidson) agreed to -

That the House, at its rising, adjourn until Tuesday, 20th September, at 2.30 p.m.

page 952



Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. John McLeay).I have received a letter from the honorable the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) proposing that a definite matter of urgent public importance be submitted to the House for discussion, namely -

The Government’s failure to give Professor Gluckman its reasons for refusing him entry to New Guinea and its failure to reconsider that refusal in the light of subsequent evidence from countries and universities where Professor Gluckman has worked.

I call upon those members who approve of the proposed discussion to rise in their places. (More than the number of members required by the Standing Orders having risen in their places) -

Leader of the Opposition · Melbourne

– Professor Gluckman is Professor of Social Anthropology at Manchester University in England. He was born in South Africa and was a South African Rhodes Scholar in 1934. This year, the Australian National University invited him to visit Australia and he is at the moment visiting Professor of Anthropology at the only post-graduate university in Australia. Professor Gluckman, so far as I have been able to ascertain - and I think this is indisputable - is not a Communist, and never was a Communist. His wife was a member of the Communist Party at one time, but she left that party before the Hungarian revolution of 1956. His wife was much more active than he was at any time in African affairs, and in England she has been very closely associated with an African organization over which the Bishop of Birmingham presided. I suggest that that would possibly help her, Sir, and does not harm her.

Professor Gluckman, in his present position, has received support from Professor Meyer Fortes of Cambridge University, who knew him for 30 years and specifically stated he had never been a Communist and never had been associated with communism. He has also had support from the Vice-Chancellor of Manchester University, Professor W. M. Cooper, who said he knew Gluckman intimately, trusted him absolutely, and had nothing but affection and respect for him. He said he could think of no activity by the professor which might arouse animosity, except his attack on apartheid.

In Australia, the Vice-Chancellor of the Monash University in Melbourne, and the Professor of Government at the University of Sydney, as well as the Professor of Anthropology of Sydney University, have all gone on record as saying that they cannot understand the Government’s attitude in this matter, and that as far as they know there is no justification for the Government’s action in refusing to permit Professor Gluckman to go to New Guinea.

The Australian National University invited Professor Gluckman to Australia, and if he were a dangerous character the Australian Government could have refused to allow him to enter Australia. It allowed* him in, but it said he could not visit Papua and New Guinea. The same information available to the Government was also available to the Dutch Government, but the Netherlands Embassy in Canberra, knowing exactly what the Australian Government knows, gave Professor Gluckman permission to enter Dutch New Guinea, though the professor says he may not be able to visit Dutch New Guinea because of lack of time. It was at that stage, we feel, that the Government should have decided to review the position. The action of the Dutch Government, and the reactions of the university professors, none of whom can be regarded as Communists or Communist sympathizers, should have convinced the Government that it had made a mistake in this matter.

The Australian University Staffs Association, representative of all the professional and lecturing staff throughout Australia, met last week and carried a long resolution which stated -

Professor Gluckman is widely acknowledged in academic circles as an outstanding scholar and contributor to the Meld of social anthropology.

No evidence has been adduced against his character or against the responsibility of his conduct towards the indigenous peoples whom he has studied.

He was head of a social research institute which got practically all its funds from sources under

British Colonial Office control, and as such, was entrusted by the Colonial Office with the direction of research into a whole range of sensitive social, economic and political problems there.

Nobody has even suggested that either in the conduct of the research programme or in the published results Gluckman ever showed himself an undesirable.

That resolution still leaves the Government unmoved. The Government takes the view that it has made up its mind and will not change. When the matter was first brought before the Parliament, the Minister for Territories (Mr. Hasluck) said that the Administrator of Papua and New Guinea - a gentleman for whom I have a very profound respect and a great personal liking - acting on certain information decided that Gluckman would be refused a vise to enter Papua and New Guinea. The Minister said that, having read the evidence which the Administrator had at his disposal, he agreed with him. Later, the Prime Minister said that, having seen the evidence which the Minister had he, too, would not intervene.

So the position has been allowed to continue to the point where the Australian people, as well as the Australian Government, are being held up to ridicule because the reasons - the broad reasons, not the detailed information behind the reasons - for the exclusion of Gluckman have never been stated. The Minister has hinted, or implied, that there are security reasons why this gentleman cannot be allowed to visit Papua and New Guinea. He said, “ I don’t propose to disclose any details of the case of this very eminent scientist”. He also said that the situation which the House had to resolve was not whether the information should be disclosed, “but whether we maintain the sense of responsibility which we have placed on the security service, the Administrator and the Government “. We feel, Sir, that the Government should now say to Professor Gluckman, “ We have re-examined the whole position and even if at one stage we did feel some doubt about you, we do not object to your visiting New Guinea now.”

I have been to New Guinea on quite a number of occasions, and I am certain that neither Professor Gluckman nor any other anthropologist - and I have met a few, including one professor who is a leading authority in this field in New Guineacould have any influence at all on the minds of the native people. I never saw a more vigorous anti-Communist group anywhere in Australia, or anywhere else, than the educated native peoples in New Guinea.

The Minister for Territories himself, in other days, when he was lecturing - and giving very fine lectures, too - stated the position quite admirably. We do not quarrel with the sentiments he expressed in the George Arlington Syme oration in 1958. I quote them back to him now with a recomendation that he put them into practice. This is what he said -

A free and intelligent judgment requires exact information on which the judgment can be made. Exact information requires a devotion to truth both in the giving and the receiving of it. The judgment on that information will be prone to error if it is not made with a clear and honest purpose of reaching the truth.

We all want to reach the truth of this matter. Nobody on this side of the House distrusts. the security service in the proper exercise of its duty.

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– I do.


– I do not distrust the security service in the proper exercise of its duty. The Labour Party established the security organization, and security must be maintained. The point I am emphasizing is that somebody in the organization can give information and the wrong judgment can be arrived at. We say that it is most unfortunate in this case that Australia is being attacked in various countries because of what has happened - and countries which are far from being regarded as Communistic - and also by people who certainly have no sympathy for communism. The Manchester “ Guardian “ may be regarded as a liberal newspaper, but that certainly does not make it a Communist newspaper. In its editorials it has condemned very strongly the action of this Government over this matter.

Now, there is a paper published in Australia which I will not designate by name, which is becoming more and more the unofficial, official organ of the Government. Whether the Government knows that or takes too much notice of its existence or not, I do not know, but I read the charges upon which, it says, Gluckman should be kept out of New Guinea. It said that, first, he had been a member of the Manchester branch of the Society for Cultural Relations with Russia. I do not regard that as being. heinous. Secondly, he was vice-president of a committee which urged that Paul Robeson should receive a passport to visit England. I do not think that that is a justification for regarding Gluckman as a Communist. Thirdly, he was also a member of the committee which appealed against the death sentence which had been imposed on the Rosenbergs. I have a recollection that the late Pope Pius XII. did the same thing.

The fourth ground on which Gluckman is suspect, according to this paper, is that he worked for years as director of the RhodesLivingstone Institute and was alleged to have studied the question of what the system of government should be. The fifth ground is that he publicly opposed the formation of the Central African Federation, and also British policy in Nyasaland. So did every member of the British Labour Party; so did the Right Honorable James Griffiths, who was British Colonial Secretary in Mr. Attlee’s Government, and by no stretch of the imagination could be called a left-winger. The sixth around is that Gluckman has engaged in other activities which he described as “ liberal “.

This newspaper commented further that from Professor Gluckman’s general trend of public sympathies and associations it was not too hard to understand why the Minister for Territories and the Australian Government do not wish to permit him to enter New Guinea. The Government should destroy very quickly that line of argument, which purports to support its case.

Mr Menzies:

– What is the paper from which you have been quoting?


– I shall tell you privately. I would not give it a plug.

Mr Menzies:

– It would not amount to much of a plug.


– lt is “ News Weekly “ which, on the occasion of the Petrov case, claimed that it had predicted eighteen months previously in its columns that an official of the Russian Embassy was about to defect. I turned up a copy of the paper of eighteen months previously and there found the prediction to which I have referred. However, subsequently I learned that the official of the Russian Embassy was not Petrov but an earlier man. I mention that in passing because this newspaper seems to have some tie-ups which I do not think are good for the public health of Australia.

Professor Gluckman is one of the 130 leading men and women in British life sponsoring the fund organized by Christian action to raise funds for the defence of white and coloured defendants in the South African treason trials. Yet, despite this fact, the South African Government, through a spokesman in London, declared that it had nothing against Professor Gluckman. If any government would be prejudiced against a man because of his public activities, surely the South African Government would be anti-Gluckman on this score. The clearance of Gluckman by the South African Government in these circumstances is of double significance. I will admit that the paper to which I referred a moment ago did say that Professor Gluckman had signed a protest against the imprisonment of a Chinese anthropologist by the Peking Government. But even that is not weighed in his favour by the Australian Government.

The Commonwealth Relations Office and the Colonial Office in London are very powerful and very important departments of the United Kingdom Government. Both have stated, through spokesmen, that they have no complaint to make about Professor Gluckman’s activities as an anthropologist or as an individual in Africa.

When I raised this question with the Prime Minister on 6th September, he brushed it aside by stating -

You could get a dozen departments, all of which might have nothing to do with this matter, to say that they had no cause for complaint about Professor Gluckman.

But that evades the issue. As 1 have already indicated. Professor Gluckman worked successfully in South Africa with funds which had been provided by the British Colonial Office. It is the custom in England, and has been for a long time, for Ministers not to make statements directly but to make them through spokesmen or official spokesmen who are certain departmental officers. I think we can take it for granted that the statements which have been made by the spokesmen for the Commonwealth Relations Office and the Colonial Office indicate the attitude of the

United Kingdom Government in this matter. Therefore, the Government’s decision should be reviewed. [Extension of time granted.] I thank the House for its generosity. I shall not trespass upon it for very long. I wish to refer to a speech which was made by the honorable member for Ballaarat (Mr. Erwin) in relation to this matter. He seems to have become the spokesman for the Government. He received headline attention in the newspapers of Australia and is reported as having said -

British anthropologist Professor M. Gluckman had theories and ideals which would be dangerous if expressed to sensitive, primitive natives.

Apparently, the professor’s ideas are very unpalatable to one sensitive, primitive Liberal! He continued -

Some of these could undo work which had taken administration officials and missionaries many years to accomplish.

I do not think that the Minister for Territories, who knows New Guinea intimately and who has worked very hard in its interests, will agree with that kind of argument. But the honorable member for Ballaarat went on to say -

Professor Gluckman has some strange theories concerning the human race … At the moment we are doing very nicely in bringing many of the natives out of the darkness they have been living in for years . . . Much good work done In the past by patrol officers, administrators, and missionaries could be undone if the natives were not kept free from influences that were considered not in their best interests.

I do not think that any honorable member agrees with that line of argument. As the Minister knows very well, some people in New Guinea who belong to a pseudoreligious organization are far more dangerous to the natives with their strange views and their encouragement to disobedience of law and order than 1,000 Gluckmans ever could be. Neither I nor any member of the Opposition sees anything wrong at this stage in allowing Gluckman to enter New Guinea.

If the Government will not review its decision, at least it should give Gluckman the broad reasons why he has been kept out of New Guinea and afford him the opportunity to state a case in reply. At one stage the Minister did state that Gluckman had been given some reasons why he had been refused permission to enter the Territory.

Whether that information was given confidentially or not, we do not know. But if Gluckman can be given the information, every member of this House should be given the information. This is a public question, and not a matter of mere departmental routine, lt is a question of great public importance.

Recently we amended the Immigration Act to give to persons threatened with deportation the right of appeal to a court. We must do something along those lines in this instance, as has been suggested by “ Muster “ and some other papers which are not ordinary daily publications, but let it be said, they, too, are edited by responsible people. There should be some reappraisal of the position of security in our lives, and some safeguards should be introduced so that no person will suffer as a result of a blunder and so that no government will be so obstinate as to continue with its attitude after it has been revealed that it has committed a blunder.

Minister for Territories · Curtin · LP

– There was one word in the speech of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) that attracted my notice because it is heard in several places. It was also the word on which he relied a good deal in building up his case. That word was, “ spokesman “. The latest person whom he dignified with the title “ spokesman “ was my colleague, the honorable member for Ballaarat (Mr. Erwin). I have the greatest personal regard for the honorable member for Ballaarat, and I am sure he will not contradict me, nor misunderstand me, when I say he is not, and has never pretended to be, the spokesman for the Government on this or other matters.

It is characteristic of the case that was built up by the Leader of the Opposition that he should have relied again and again on what some spokesman for somebody is supposed to have said. This reliance on spokesmen is rather flimsy. In this case, as honorable members know, the honorable member for Ballaarat rose in his place in this House the other night during the adjournment debate in order to make it quite clear that what he had said in relation to this particular matter had been misrepresented and distorted by the press. Yet the Leader of the Opposition continues to rely on a statement by a private member, which was not made on behalf of the Government, and which that private member himself points out was incorrectly reported! If the other spokesmen upon whom the Leader of the Opposition has relied have the same qualifications, then the evidence submitted by the Leader of the Opposition is open to question.

Before I proceed to discuss some of the other aspects, I should point out that it is necessary to see this whole question in the round, and to see it plainly and clearly from both the legal side and the administrative side. The point that has to be made quite clear because it has been overlooked is that the immigration laws of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea are separate from the immigration laws of the Commonwealth of Australia. The immigration laws of the Territory are contained in ordinances passed by the Legislative Council for the Territory, and those laws are administered by the Administrator of the Territory.

What those laws provide is that conditions of entry into Papua and New Guinea are not identical with conditions for entry into Australia. Tests are applied separately, having regard to the special circumstances existing in the Territory. I understand that, certainly among the academic critics outside this House - I should think ako by the Opposition because they tolerated this position when they were the government - it is admitted that there should be this distinction between immigration into Papua and New Guinea and immigration into Australia.

The second point I want to make clear is that in the administration of these laws the same procedure is being followed to-day as was followed under the previous Government and as has been- followed since the administrative union was created. 1 am sure those procedures would have been followed in exactly the same way as they were followed in this case if the Opposition had been the government and if the Leader of the Opposition had been the head of that government.

What happens is that any one wishing to enter the Territory of Papua and New Guinea applies for a permit. The granting of permits is the responsibility of the Administrator of the Territory. The main purpose behind this permit system is to ensure that non-indigenous persons going to the Territory have the means to support themselves there, do not become a charge upon the State, do not become a nuisance to the Administration and do not create conditions in the Territory which would make the great responsibilities of administration any more difficult than they are. That was the position under the previous Government, and it is the position under the present Government.

In the course of the last eleven years - that is, from 1 950, taking each calendar year up to this time - over 40,000 permits ofentry have been granted by the Administrator. According to the Statistician’s figures, annual arrivals into the Territory range from 29,000 to 30,000. Some of those would be persons who have gone away on leave and are returning on re-entry permits. Some would be new arrivals. In the last eleven years, over 40,000 permits have been granted, whilst only fifteen have been refused.

These figures are illustrative of one unchallengeable point and it is this: The Administrator of the Territory has clearly not exercised his powers in respect of permits of entry in any capricious or light way, and it is clear that he has not used his power of exclusion to excess. As I have said, fifteen persons have been excluded and 40,000 have been permitted to ente the Territory. That record shows quite clearly that this power of exclusion has been exercised responsibly and carefully and not in a fashion onerous to the applicants. When we examine the reasons for refusing permits in fifteen cases, we find that in six of those cases married couples were involved. Both the husband and wife were refused a permit of entry. So we really have twelve separate cases of refusal of permit of entry whereas 40,000 permits were granted. Of those refused entry, some were refused because they had a criminal record. Some were refused because of health reasons, such as the existence of a contagious or loathsome disease. Some were refused on grounds which would have led to their exclusion from Australia, and a total of five persons, including two married couples, or three separate cases, involved questions of security. 1 want to say something now and say it carefully so that it will not be misunderstood. Let us stand apart from the Pro fessor Gluckman case for the moment, and consider those cases where a permit of entry was refused. Let us consider this question of whether or not the Administrator or the Government should make public the reason for refusing a permit. Let us take the case of those four persons who were refused a permit of entry because they had a criminal record. I want it to be quite clear that I am not suggesting for a moment, and I do not want any one to misunderstand me or believe that Professor Gluckman has a criminal record. 1 am talking of hypothetical cases quite apart from the case we are discussing. Would any honorable member opposite say that if we excluded some person on the ground that he had a criminal record - and that would mean a bad criminal record - the Administrator should at once publish to the world the whole of the man’s criminal record? Take the case of a person excluded for health reasons such as a person infected with a contagious or even a loathsome disease. Do any honorable members suggest that the reasons for the refusal of the permit should be made public to the world so that every one might know the whole details of the story?

These are matters which surely are personal to the applicant for a permit. If the applicant who has been refused a permit chooses to publish the information to the world that is, of course, his concern; but surely it is not our function as a Government, or the function of the Administrator, having refused the permit, to tell every one the reasons? These are personal to the applicant and we should respect his right to privacy.

Mr. Lucock

– Order! I ask honorable members on the Opposition side to stop persistently interjecting. The Opposition has put forward this matter as a matter of urgency and vital importance. The Leader of the Opposition was given the courtesy of presenting his case without constant interjections, and I ask members of the Opposition to extend the same courtesy to Government speakers.


– 1 have tried to speak broadly of the general situation. I have referred to the Administrator and his task of administration, the figures relating to refusal of permits to show that the power of the Administrator has been exercised with a sense of responsibility and not in a brutal or overriding way, and I have tried to show by examples other than the present case, the impropriety of the Administrator or the Government publishing to the world the personal information which led to a rejection of an application for a permit.

Turning from that to the particular case under notice, I want to remind the House again of the history of the matter. An application for a permit was received and was referred to the Administrator. The Administrator had certain information before him. The Administrator made a decision and was responsible for it. It was his duty to make that decision. Before Professor Gluckman was informed of the decision, the papers were brought under my notice by my own departmental officers, and it became my responsibility as Minister for Territories to decide, not whether I would refuse the permit, but whether I would overrule the decision of the Administrator. That would be a serious step to take. I looked at the information that had been before the Administrator and, having done so, I applied my mind to such questions as whether the Administrator had acted carelessly or capriciously without any warrant for so acting. Having consulted the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), I was clearly of the opinion that the case was not there for overruling a decision which the Administrator had taken. That judgment which he made has been upheld by the Government after it had considered the same set of information.

That is the position as the Government sees it. A decision was made by the Administrator in the exercise of a responsibility that was placed on him under the laws of the Territory. The question for the Government was whether it should overrule that decision; and the opinion reached by the Government, after careful deliberation, was that the decision should not be overruled. The broaching of this matter to the public was, of course, something that was done, I understand, not by Professor Gluckman. It became public information in some other way and then, after it had become public property that a permit had been refused. Professor Gluckman made statements. We still maintain our attitude that it is not within our province to disclose to the public at large the information that has come our way. These are solemn matters. They are not matters in which we act lightly or without due care, and it seems to me that the case made by the Opposition falls down because it has not taken sufficient account of the whole of the surrounding circumstances. The Opposition has tried to establish its point that it is part of the duty of the Government to disclose to the world at large the reasons for actions which affect a person and which are largely personal.


.- The Minister for Territories (Mr. Hasluck) has dealt with arguments which we on the Opposition side have not put forward. There has been no allegation that the Administrator of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea broke the law. There was no allegation that the Minister, in refusing to override the Administrator, was breaking the law. We did not attack the Government for having broken the law. We did attack the Government for having failed to do justice and act with wisdom. The resolution which is before the House does not suggest that the reasons for excluding Professor Gluckman should be made public. It suggests that they should have been made available to Professor Gluckman in the normal traditions of British justice that a man should be given the opportunity of clearing himself and repudiating faceless and unbased allegations against him. We have brought the matter up at this stage because the Government has had the opportunity for many days - perhaps for many weeks - to reconsider its decision in the interests, not only of its own prestige or the Administrator’s status, but the standing of this country and this Parliament.

The Government has been resolute in refusing to reconsider its decision. The Minister is still resolute that he will not do the right thing by Professor Gluckman; that he will not do the right thing by the universities and the spirit of free inquiry which they represent; that he will not do the right thing by this Parliament, whose members have accepted a trust on behalf of the nation with respect to our wards in the Territory, and that he will not do the right thing by Australia, which stands more universally and vociferously condemned on this issue than on any other in our time.

The history of the matter is plain enough. Professor Gluckman made an application to visit New Guinea. He made that application to further studies which he was undertaking at the Australian National University at the request of the university. Four months later he received a four-line letter from the Secretary of the Department of Territories informing him that his application had been refused. In the meantime the Administrator of the Territory had consulted, apparently, with the security service. That seems to be an inference which nobody has disputed. The Administrator’s decision was reviewed by the Minister and endorsed by him. Apparently it was also referred to the Prime Minister, who endorsed it. When the matter became public on Tuesday of last week, Cabinet had a lengthy discussion and endorsed once again the decisions of the Administrator, the Minister and the Prime Minister.

There have subsequently been a great many testimonials to Professor Gluckman’s status in his profession and his general civic responsibility from every country in which he has worked and every university at which he has worked. The Government has had ample opportunity to check these testimonials. The Opposition’s motion therefore refers first to the Government’s failure to communicate to Professor Gluckman - not to the public - the reasons for excluding him and, secondly, to its failure to reconsider the matter in the light of subsequent evidence.

This is the evidence: On 30th of last month, the day that Cabinet made this decision, a newspaper report stated that the Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University - a man who has held high public office in Australia and is soon to become the Chairman of the Tariff Board - had described the professor as a very distinguished anthropologist. The Vice-Chancellor said -

That is what we are interested in and that is why we invited him to come to us as a visiting fellow.

On the following day Professor Fortes, Professor of Social Anthropology at Cambridge University, was reported as having said -

I have known him for 30 years and I can say bluntly that he is not a Communist and never was.

On 2nd September, the Vice-Chancellor of Manchester University said -

I know Professor Gluckman intimately and have nothing but affection and respect for him. 1 can think of no activity by Professor Gluckman that might arouse animosity except bis attack on apartheid in South Africa.

I would think that nobody in this House would not attack the policy of apartheid.

On 3rd September the Vice-Chancellor of Monash University said that he was a former colleague of Professor Gluckman at Manchester and had the highest regard for his ability and integrity. On the same day a letter appeared in the “Sydney Morning Herald “ from Professor Spann, Professor of Government at the University of Sydney, who succeeded the honorable member for Warringah (Mr. Bland) in that post. He said that he had been a colleague of Professor Gluckman for over four years at Manchester and that they had become close friends. He said -

I attended all his seminars, was often at his house with students and belonged with him to many local societies. So I feel that I am in a special position to testify to his integrity.

Also, on the same day, Professor Barnes, head of the Department of Anthropology at the Australian National University, stated -

I have complete confidence in his integrity.

On 5th September, Professor Geddes, Professor of Social Anthropology at Sydney University, wrote to the “ Sydney Morning Herald “ that social anthropologists -

  1. . must observe objectively and interpret honestly according to whatever theories they believe most valid, and their worth as scientists can be judged by the degree of objectivity and honesty. In this regard Professor Gluckman stands most high.

Thus three vice-chancellors and four other professors who have worked with Professor Gluckman have testified to his standing in his profession and to his integrity. One would have hoped that these professional tributes would have persuaded the Government to reconsider its decision, but it has refused to do so.

Further, there have now been official statements by the British Home Office, Colonial Office and Commonwealth Relations Office about Professor Gluckman, as well as statements by the Governments of South Africa and Southern and Northern

Rhodesia. All have stated that they never had and still do not have any objections to the professor’s work in their countries or in the territories under their control. The Government’s decision should have been reviewed in the light of this official testimony.

The only check that has been made by the Government or the Prime Minister has been to contact the Netherlands Charge d’Affaires in Australia. With equal ease the Government could have checked with British Commonwealth governments that have testified on this matter. With ease a check could have been made with other professors and vice-chancellors of universities who have testified on the subject. Does anybody doubt that the letters that have appeared in the newspapers over the names of his colleagues are genuine letters?

There has been ample opportunity to review this decision, but that opportunity has now been lost. Therefore the Opposition has raised the matter in this House. The principal consideration from the beginning should have been: Could the professor do any harm to Australia or her wards while in New Guinea or after visiting New Guinea? The answer must show how ridiculous we have made ourselves in the eyes of the world. If the professor were in New Guinea the only harm that he could do that he cannot do now would be by making contact with the natives. Does anybody believe that in three weeks in the Territory he could instigate or sow the seeds of rebellion and disaffection in the Territory? If he were to go to New Guinea the only further damage he could do on his return would be to say that he had been there and observed things with his own eyes. For months he has been at the Australian National University. He has had access to files and has been able to make contact with people who have worked in New Guinea. He has had access to all the material concerning New Guinea that is in the possession of the Australian National University. If he were so disposed - all the records that have been testified to by governments and universities where he has worked suggest that he would not be so disposed - he could still put Australia in a bad posture overseas simply by making use of the information that has been available to him at the Australian National University. 1 repeat that we have made ourselves ridiculous in the eyes of the world over this, matter, but there are other aspects to be considered. There is the general aspect of security. The Australian Labour Party believes that if the security service had remained under civilian and judicial control, as it was when Mr. Justice Reed was in charge, this affair would never have happened. There have been subsequent procedures in Britain and Australia that show what should be done to avoid a repetition. In the United Kingdom there is a body known as the “ three advisers “, which hears and reports on security objections to the promotion of public servants. Metropolitan magistrates hear and advise on representations by aliens whom the Government seeks to deport. Two years ago the Minister for Immigration (Mr. Downer), who is a true liberal in this regard, amended the Immigration Act to provide that a commissioner, who must be a present or former federal judge or State Supreme Court judge, or barrister or solicitor eligible for appointment as such, should report on the deportation of aliens. Even in the heat of war the Curtin Government established the aliens* appeals tribunals. It is very high time that in our interests as a British community we had some procedure of appeal in matters such as the Gluckman case.


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.

Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs · Kooyong · LP

Sir, I do not propose to take very long over this matter because my colleague, the Minister for Territories (Mr. Hasluck) has made, I think, a very comprehensive statement, with every word of which I agree. It might be quite adequate for me to say that I have heard the Minister’s statement, that I have nothing to add to it, that I agree with it, and then sit down.

Mr Pollard:

– Why not do that?


– I will do the next best thing: I will stand.

One aspect of this matter which was referred to by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam) deserves a little mention. The activities of the University Staffs

Association and certain comments that have been published rather suggest that academic freedom is involved in the exclusion of this man from the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. 1 want to refer to that because it exhibits a complete misconception of this problem. Academic freedom, yes. The Australian National University enjoys it in the fullest possible measure. We do not appoint people to the staff of that university. The university authorities do so according to their own untrammelled judgment. I am not asked, as the relevant Minister, to approve of any appointment made by the Australian National University authorities.

Mr Curtin:

– It is just as well!


– Indeed it is just as well, because perhaps a few of the appointments that have been made would not have received my approval. ButI believe in academic freedom, and therefore I have maintained the view that when the university is appointing people - professors, lecturers, readers or whatever they may be - it is the university’s own business. However, academic freedom does not carry with it the right to enjoy immunity from the immigration restrictions of the Territory which apply to other people. Although academic people occasionally confuse the issue, it is quite clear that you do not rise above the law simply because you attain academic freedom. Whether a man is a free academic or not, when he desires to enter this Territory he must secure a permit to do so.I emphasize that point.

Mr Cairns:

– No one put that proposition.


– On the contrary, it was put in the letter written by the Staffs Association to the Minister. It was put as a matter of academic freedom.

Mr Whitlam:

– I did not quote it.


– I know you did not, but it has been quoted, no doubt. I am referring to the way in which the proposition was put by the University Staffs Association. The speech of the honorable member for Werriwa (Mr. Whitlam) contained whatI thought was a glancing reference to that topic.

Mr Whitlam:

– I was coming to it, in order to endorse it.


-I am glad to hear that, because now I have come to it in order to un-endorse it. The first law of physics, of course, is that action and reaction are equal and opposite.

The only other comment 1 wish to make is this: The honorable member for Werriwa has given us a great number of testimonials. 1 do not know what those testimonials have to do with the case. Honorable members opposite can produce a string of testimonials to say that this man is very able, as he undoubtedly must be. or that he is distinguished in his profession, as I willingly concede, or that the persons who gave the testimonials like him, but what have testimonials to do with the point at issue? To send newspaper representatives prowling around irrelevant departments in Great Britain, asking spokesmen - whoever those mysterious persons may be - whether they have certain things in mind, is to prepare the makings of a ludicrous case. The essence of this matter is not what somebody else thinks about this man or what his technical qualifications are; it is whether the Administrator was wrong in refusing hima permit, on the information that the Administrator had before him.

Mr Barnard:

– What is the information he had before him?


– To find that out, of course, is one of the objects of the exercise. All we have to do is to publish the information, and then security can close up. That is the idea motivating some honorable members opposite. I do not mean all of them. I do not mean the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) or the Deputy Leader. They take a different view. But there are honorable members opposite who would dearly love to force the publication of information coming to the Government in relation to the proper security interests of this country or its Territory, in order that its sources of information would thereafter dry up. Let me say that I, accepting all the responsibility that attaches to my office, am not going to take any step which would involve us in the loss of access to information bearing on the security, the territorial integrity and the political integrity of Australia.

Mr. CLYDE CAMERON (Hindmarsh)

Opposition (Mr. Calwell) and the Deputy Leader (Mr. Whitlam) have proved beyond doubt that Professor Gluckman is a man of impeccable character. Indeed, those who have spoken on the Government side have not attempted to dispute the claim that he is a man of impeccable character. They have contented themselves with saying that they have a report which was given to the Administrator, and about which they will not say anything publicly. We do not blame them for that. We are not asking the Government to publish to the world at large the reasons why Professor Gluckman has been excluded from the Territory. We say that Professor Gluckman should be told privately by the Government the reasons why he was refused entry.

I think it is important for us to consider the viewpoints of some of the newspapers of Australia on this matter. This is an issue upon which all units of the Australian press, with one notable exception, are in complete and total agreement. The Australian Country Party members of this House should be interested to know that not only are the daily and weekly newspapers in total agreement, but also the newspapers representing the various sectional interests in the community. Let me quote a passage from “ Muster “, the official organ of the Graziers Association of New South Wales. In its editorial of 6th September, 1960, it said -

The Gluckman case has highlighted, again, the urgent need for a reappraisal of the role of a security organization in a free, democratic society, its capacity to assess the worth both of its sources of information and the information itself, and the political and constitutional controls that may exist or be needed to protect both Governments and individual citizens against blunders which can present the former in a most damaging light to the rest of the world and expose the latter to intolerable injustice against which there is no redress.

Mr James:

– Who made that statement?

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– That was published in the official organ of the Graziers Association.

The position is that a grave injustice has been done to a man who has not been told, even privately, the reason for it. Surely Mere could be no objection to the Government privately telling a person the reason for his refusal of an entry permit. If, for instance, the reason was that the person >* a loathsome disease, then only the pcrin himself would be told and it would be his business whether he let the rest of the world know. But at least he himself would know why he was being kept out. What would be wrong with telling the person concerned now the reason why he is considered to be a security risk, no matter how damning the information may be upon which the conclusion has been reached that he is a security risk? He alone would then know the reasons, and he alone would be responsible for publishing them to the world at large. At least he would have an opportunity, which he has not legally got now, of ascertaining the charges against him and of refuting them if he could.

One of the troubles in Australia to-day - and it is getting worse - is that we have a security service that is able legitimately to tap telephones and intercept mails, and which can secretly deliver to the head of the Government damaging reports about people. Those people are never told the nature of the information upon which charges are made against them, and are never given an opportunity to defend themselves. Professor Gluckman is now damned for life. If he applied for a vise to enter another country one of the questions he would have to answer would be, “ Have you ever been refused a vise before?” He would have to answer, “ Yes, I was refused a vise in Australia “. If Professor Gluckman ever wanted to go to the United States of America he would have to tell the Government of that country that he was refused a vise by the Australian Government to enter New Guinea. This would mean in all probability, although not certainly, that Professor Gluckman would be damned in the eyes of the American State authorities and would never be allowed to enter the United States as long as he lived. Is that justice? Is it right that an individual can be damned by a secret security service on information, obtained sometimes by tapping gossip on telephones or sometimes by intercepting mischievous letters in the post, delivered to the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) without any legal obligation to tell anybody the source of the information and without any legal obligation to confront the man who is affected? Why, these things would not be tolerated in any country in the world that calls itself a free democracy.

Let us hear what the Graziers Association has to say further on this particular aspect. In its official organ, “ Muster “, it says - and I agree with it -

Australia will need to be in a much more dangerous position than she is at present before those of its citizens who still spare a thought for their liberties and their democratic rights will accept a situation in which any one of them may be accused in secret, be subjected to treatment which might ruin his career and wreck his life and be denied both a specific statement of the nature of the allegations made against him and the opportunity, afforded to the most sordid criminal, to refute them.

That is the position - the most sordid criminal in this country is given more opportunity than Professor Gluckman has been given to clear his good name in this case. But “ Muster “ continues -

But the situation goes even beyond that: In the existing state of affairs, neither the victim nor anybody else knows where either the first or the final responsiblity for what is happening to him may be; whether a Security report is fair or unfair, a departmental officer has blundered or not, or even what minister has had the final say in deciding his fate.

The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) very correctly directed attention to the fact that the only newspaper in Australia which is supporting the Government on this issue is the official organ of the Democratic Labour Party - “ News Weekly “ - in Victoria, which had to admit that Professor Gluckman protested against the jailing of an anthropologist by the Peking Government. But in spite of that they still think the Government is right. The Leader of the Opposition was correct, also, in directing attention again to the fact that there is a strange link-up between the Democratic Labour Party organ and the security service - this service which we have now to rely upon in order to base our opinion as to whether a person is right or wrong. It is strange that the honorable member for Ballaarat (Mr. Erwin), thanks to this shandygaff stupid little outfit called the security service, is able publicly to announce that he has seen the documents and that he is satisfied-

Mr Wight:

– That is not true.

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– He said he would be breaking a confidence if he gave the source of the information; so, clearly it must be the security service. How can anybody have any faith in an outfit which can go to the member for Ballaarat with information, and which can inform “News

Weekly “ fifteen months before the event occurred that the secretary of the Russian Embassy proposed to defect. This outfit, therefore, must be under a cloud. In another case, it allowed a person who was a well-known Communist - a member of the Communist Party who stood for Parliament as a Communist Party candidate - after ten weeks’ investigation, to go into the Attorney-General’s Department and handle the most confidential top secret files affecting the External Affairs Department and our relations with other countries.

How can we allow a man like Gluckman to be condemned on the information of an outfit of that kind? I do not exactly blame the Government or the Minister for what has happened. I blame them up to a point, but not entirely. They are doing what has become the habit in all democracies to-day, and that is to support the bureaucracy. They feel that the Administrator having taken a decision, it is up to them to support him. In a sense one can perhaps admire them for sticking to the departmental officers, but in another way it would require more courage not to do so. I believe they have shown a lack of courage in not disagreeing with the decision of the Administrator. The security service has assumed a place now in our society where even Ministers are afraid to do anything contrary to its reports-


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.


– I think I have already indicated in this House my disquiet about the affair of Professor Gluckman. I hope to-day to make some constructive suggestions in regard not entirely to this incident but to this class of incident and, after all, that is even more important than this particular incident. I am disquieted on two grounds: First, I am not certain whether or not justice has been done to Professor Gluckman; and secondly, I am disquieted because out of this incident there has arisen loss to Australia and loss to the cause of the free world.

I do not know whether Professor Gluckman is a Communist or not, or whether he has any Communist connexions or not. I simply do not know. On the one hand, people whom I regard as genuine antiCommunists have said to me that in their opinion he is free from taint. On the other hand, the Government, acting on information of which I am entirely unaware, but which I presume has been considered in good faith, has come to the conclusion that he is a security risk. I am in doubt; 1 do not know.

Out of this affair, loss has been sustained to our position and to Australia in regard to New Guinea. We have nothing to hide in New Guinea. I know something of this, having recently been there, and I am certain that there is nothing there that we need hide. But our enemies will be representing over the world that we are trying to hide something. This is a position in which Australia has incurred loss.

Furthermore, the anti-Communist cause - which, I believe, most honorable members in this House, although not all of them have at heart - has sustained loss. Only a moment ago we heard the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Clyde Cameron) using this incident to tag on to it the abuse he loves to heap on the security service - this shandygaff organization, as, I think, he called it. Could we not see the gloating pleasure which he exhibited, because here was an opportunity to tie something on to the security service and make it appear that it was doing something wrong, to try to help our Communist enemies destroy one of our bulwarks against communism?

Here is the suggestion I make, and I am sorry I have to make it in such short compass because my time is limited. I suggest that when, as the result of a security report, Executive action is taken in any way, this course should be followed: First, the person concerned should be told in confidence of the proposed action before it is taken; and secondly, the person concerned should have a right of appeal to an established tribunal consisting of three eminent persons not in government employment. It is not an ad hoc tribunal for any particular case that T visualize, but a permanently established tribunal whose members are known in advance and who serve on all cases. I propose that on this appeal, which would be held in camera because we do not want the interests of an innocent man prejudiced, he should be informed of the nature of the charges and so much of the evidence as can be produced without a breach of security and should be given an opportunity to show cause why the proposed action should not be taken. That would happen in camera. But I further propose that if he be dissatisfied with the decision of this appeal held in camera, he should then have a right of appeal before a judge of the High Court in open court. It may be said that that would limit the ambit of government action, because obviously the government would not want to give away its sources of information, and where the sources are to be protected you cannot produce them in open court. That is true. But let it be remembered that in the present climate of public opinion, action under existing practice is also very circumscribed. So, in that case, we give away nothing. Nor do we subject an innocent person to the undeserved smears of publicity, because that person, before a matter comes into open court, has to make the decision that it shall come into open court. If he is innocent, that is his decision.

It will be said - the Government will say this - that we expose security. I think in some instances it is necessary and desirable to expose security. It is true that, in doing this, some part of the apparatus is given away. But some part of security is expendable in a cause. After all, if a battalion were never to be sent into action unless there was certainty that there would be no casualties, the battalion would have very little chance of engaging in a successful action. It may be that, because some part of security is judged to be expendable in a cause, you will not be able to engage in every type of action; but at least you will be able to engage in some action, weighing the expendability of a section against the benefit of the publicity to be obtained. I hope I have put forward a constructive suggestion which overcomes the possibility of injustice and, at the same time, overcomes the kind of dilemma in which the Government is now placed to the disadvantage of both Australia and the anti-Communist cause.

Sir, I say further that there are practical and positive merits in this suggestion. In the one minute that remains of my speaking time, 1 reiterate to the House the necessity of publicizing facts about Communists and communism. It is altogether wrong to leave the Security Service in its present position, because it is ineffectual. It is very like the Czarist Okhrana, which knew all about Lelin and Trotsky, knew all their personal associations, their comings and goings, and had it immured safely and securely - and entirely uselessly - in its files.

Motion (by Mr. Davidson) put -

That the business of the day be called on.

The House divided. (Mr. Deputy Speaker - Mr. T. F. Timson.)

AYES: 67

NOES: 33

Majority . . . . 34



Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Sitting suspended from 12.49 to 2.15 p.m.

page 965


Motion (by Sir Garfield Barwick) agreed to-

That leave be given to bring in a bill for an act to amend the Crimes Act 1914-1959.

page 965


Motion (by Sir Garfield Barwick) agreed to -

That leave be given to bring in a bill for an act to amend the Social Services Act 1947-1959.

page 965




– Order! As it is now past the time provided for Grievance Day, Order of the Day No. 1 will not be called on. The Committee of Ways and Means will be set down for a later hour this day.

page 965


In Committee of Supply: Consideration resumed from 7th September (vide page 926).

Department of External Affairs

Proposed Vote, £2,943,000.


.- Unlike a number of other members who have participated in this debate 1 will endeavour to restrict my remarks to the proposed vote for the Department of External Affairs. I associate myself with the remarks of my friend, the honorable member for Corangamite (Mr. Mackinnon), who criticized the using of this debate by many members, particularly Opposition members, as a means of discussing policy and of trotting out party and individual philosophies.

I do not intend to traverse the remarks of the preceding speaker in the debate, the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Cairns). After all, a day has elapsed since he spoke. I only wish to say that if ever there was an occasion on which a man’s political philosophy was exemplified that was it.

If the committee will bear with me for a moment I should like to analyse the proposed vote for this department. The amount is £2,943,000. Leaving on one side the total to be expended upon international relief through such avenues as the Colombo Plan and the World Refugee Organization, which is of the order of £7,750,000, the sum of £2,943,000 is not a very great figure for expenditure on the Department of External Affairs. That applies also when the amount is compared with the £36,328,514 estimated for expenditure on the Department of the Treasury and the £57,535,700 estimated for expenditure on the Department of National Development!

Of this amount of £2,943,000, £816,000 is allocated for home administration of the department. This means that only about £2,127,000 is allocated for overseas representation. In this figure there is a salary component of £1,360,200. I am sorry to have to analyse these figures in this way, but I am trying to show that the general expenses of this department for one year are only £766,000. Of this sum, again, about £120,000 covers overseas transfers, expenses of representation at regional conferences and so on. So, the actual amount paid each year for our overseas representation is only about £640,000. This figure covers all items, such as travelling expenses, office equipment, postage, cablegrams, telephones, maintenance of buildings, motor vehicles, rent and so on. This is the amount we pay per annum for representation in about 34 countries, with additional consular offices in various places such as New York and San Francisco.

In the past, the Government has purchased buildings for use as offices and residences in some countries, and in nearly every case where it has done so, the capital value of the buildings purchased has increased immensely. I need only recall to the minds of honorable members a few examples of this. One is the embassy and chancery in Paris, another is the embassy in Washington. My criticism of the present position regarding accommodation for our representatives overseas is that we still pay rent on 38 out of a total of 63 buildings used either as residences or offices. That is to say, 60 per cent, of those buildings are rented and cost us about £168,620 in rent out of the total of £647,000 spent on representation overseas. In other words, we are paying out in rent more than 26 per cent, of this present vote for our overseas representation. If we were running a commercial undertaking the capital accretion on the properties already purchased would provide funds more than sufficient to buy in other properties. I urge the Government to give more consideration, therefore, to purchasing all buildings that we occupy either as residences or offices overseas. We may not be able to do this in some instances, but we should do it where we can.

In this regard it is gratifying to see that the works vote for this department is to increase by £104,000 above last year’s appropriation, which was £247,000. In this year the estimate is for £351,000. There is no doubt that this increase of £104,000 spent on works and acquiring properties will be money well spent. Mr. Temporary Chairman, for too long has this country tried to operate abroad as what I heard described as a “ middle nation “. For too long have we been operating our overseas representations on a shoestring, and I think it is about time that the stranglehold which the Treasury, rightly or wrongly, exercises on the expenditure of this department was loosened a little to enable the department, which gives such great service to Australia, to operate to better advantage for us all. The fact that we have been so well represented overseas in the past is due undoubtedly to the loyalty and devotion of those officers of the department who have been charged with that task. It is about time that we gave them a better deal. In too many instances do we find a shortage of staff in our overseas posts, particularly on the intermediate and higher level. l t is not unusual to find that senior officers are unable to take their annual leave for two or three years. Do not tell me that efficiency is not impaired when a second secretary or an officer of similar grade is unable to take his annual leave.

Another matter which affects the officers of this department is the fear of high medical and hospital expenses. Particularly is this so in the United States of America. Practically the whole cost of these expenses devolves upon the officer. He does not receive even the same benefits as he would receive were he stationed in Australia.

Many of these officers, particularly if they are family men, also face the heartache associated with a lack of suitable accommodation. Sometimes they have to accept inferior accommodation in districts which are far from their place of employment. This entails a great deal of travel. Some of the accommodation which I have seen dispels completely the vision which, unfortunately, most people in Australia, and many honorable members in this place, have that the officers of the Department of External Affairs work very little, occupy ornate offices, attend lots of parties and live in plush homes with servants and cars at their disposal. Believe me, Mr. Temporary Chairman, nothing could be further from the truth. In the main, these men work under a lot of difficulties which should not be present. ‘ This is no glamour job. It is time that the Government acquired suitable accommodation for its officers abroad. This accommodation should be furnished so that when an officer is transferred from one post to another he can move into the premises without the stress and strain which normally fall upon a family which has to live in hotels for weeks while seeking accommodation elsewhere, sometimes only to find that it is not of the standard that would be enjoyed at home in Australia.

I strongly urge the Government to consider the purchase of premises in which the department’s officers can be accommodated. I refer not only to the ambassadors or the consuls, but to the general officers who are engaged at our overseas posts. If this were done, they would bs relieved of the stress and strain under which many of them now suffer. If it is good enough for commercial undertakings to provide suitable accommodation for their staffs, surely it is good enough for the Commonwealth of Australia to do likewise.

Mr Chaney:

– Are all the offices cf a poor standard?


– Some chanceries are. The one at New Delhi is a positive disgrace, and I am pleased to learn that it is now planned to erect new offices there. In a downpour the roof of the present building, which is an old war-time communications building, leaks so badly that the people there work in water which reaches practically to their knees. I am trying to dissipate the idea which exists in the minds of many Australians that a job in the Department of External Affairs is a glamour job. I make the plea that a little more consideration be given to providing facilities which would be equivalent to those which the officers would enjoy if .they were stationed in Canberra.

The consular office in San Francisco is situated on the fourth floor of an obscure building in the downtown area, but Qantas Empire Airways Limited, which is practically a government undertaking, has a magnificent building facing Central Square. Portion of the ground floor is let to a bookshop at a rental of £12,500 a year. This would be an appropriate building in which to house our consular representatives. The ground floor and several upstairs floors could be used for this purpose. Some of these problems require a more realistic approach than has been made to them in the past.

I have not a great deal of time remaining at my disposal but I think that I should mention the Government’s tight-purse-strings attitude to the provision of cars. Outside London there are no cars apart from those which are allocated to the Consul or the High Commissioner as the case may be. If the consular car is in use at a time when people who have business with the High Commissioner or the Consul arrive at the airport, no other car is available to transport them.


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.


.- I do not know what prompted the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) to enter the chamber just now. I flatter myself that possibly it was to hear my speech because what I have tosay refers particularly to him. I, for one, am a little worried about his health. I have raised this matter before, and I hope he will not misunderstand my approach toit. In discussing the proposed vote for the Department of External Affairs, let me again express my concern at the fact that he still’ retains personally the conduct and administration of a number of portfolios, the most important, other than the Prime Ministership, being the External Affairs portfolio.

Quite frankly, I do not think that it is possible for any man, no matter how great his capacity may be, to do full justice to the onerous responsibilities which are associated with the Department of External Affairs, while he is administering other portfolios. At this stage the Prime Minister is alsoAc’.ing Treasurer and Minister for External Affairs. All three portfolios entail heavy responsibilities and very important decisionsEach requires full-time attention.

If we study the history of the Department of External Affairs we will find that one of the major activities associated with it is representation abroad at very important conferences, including the United Nations General Assembly and other meetings of a somewhat similar nature. When Labour was in office, the then Minister for External Affairs, Dr. Evatt, had occasion to travel extensively. So did Mr. Casey and Mr. Spender as they were then, when they held that portfolio. Every Minister for External Affairs, particularly since the war, has had to spend a considerable amount of time outside Australia in order to attend to the duties associated with that position. I know that the Prime Minister will forgive me when I say that he is away from Australia, as Prime Minister, for a fair portion of the year. How can he, in addition to his travels as Prime Minister on Government business, fit in the travels which necessarily are associated with the External Affairs portfolio? I think that this is well nigh impossible.

In the immediate future a delegation will leave to attend the United Nations General Assembly - probably one of the most important meetings of the United Nations for many years. Mr. Khrushchev personally will lead the Soviet delegation; the premiers of a number of iron curtain countries will be present; Dr. Soekarno will attend, and we will be represented, not by the Minister for External Affairs who should be the person to represent Australia, but by the Attorney-General (Sir Garfield Barwick). Of course, he will be supported by the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth) and very ably, no doubt, by the honorable member for Banks (Mr. Costa). But the point I make is that having regard to the composition of the delegations from other countries, and bearing in mind the important part that Australia played under a Labour government in the setting up of the United Nations organization - the present honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) was a member of the initial Australian delegation to the United Nations - it is not unreasonable to expect that we should be represented by the Minister for External Affairs. We cannot possibly do that on this occasion because the Prime Minister is too busy in his own country to attend to this matter. We should not have a man who already holds an important portfolio filling the high office of Minister for External Affairs because it is impossible for him either to give full attention to it or to carry out efficiently the tasks pertaining to it.

Who is to be our spokesman at the United Nations? Will the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth) be the man who speaks for Australia on the variety of matters associated with international affairs in the discussions at the United Nations? Even the Prime Minister will agree with me when I say that the honorable member’s views do not exactly agree with those of the Prime Minister, and it could well be that there will be an international incident when Khrushchev faces the honorable member for Mackellar across the table at the momentous meeting that is to be held.

That brings me to another point. We should be represented there by the Minister for External Affairs. I do not want it to be said that I am “ picking a box “ or anything of that kind, but I do think some one should be appointed immediately to fill this important post in order that we might have top-level representation at that conference, through our Minister for External Affairs. It is true that our delegation will be well led by the Attorney-General (Sir Garfield Barwick), and I am sure that he will put our case ably, but my fear is that when he returns he will continue as Attorney-General, so that whatever contacts he makes at the United Nations will be wasted in that he will not be occupying the External Affairs portfolio and the work will have to be commenced all over again.

I join with the criticism offered by the honorable member for Scullin (Mr. Peters) last night who said that at these conferences there should be fewer officials and more parliamentarians. In my opinion, the Government tends to make its delegations top-heavy with administrative staff instead of sending the men who should really deal with these matters.

Mr Wight:

– Do you think you should go?


– I will say that I would be a vast improvement on many of the Liberals I have seen sent to these conferences. I noted with interest that it did not take the Prime Minister long to wake up to the honorable member for Barker (Mr. Forbes).

I understand he took the honorable member for Barker to Indonesia on one occasion and has never taken him out of the country since. I think that was the honorable member’s trial run, and he did not prove successful as a stand-in for the Prime Minister in dealing with minor matters on that occasion. I repeat that I join with the honorable member for Scullin in saying that more parliamentarians should be sent to attend meetings of the United Nations Organization. After all, the findings of the United Nations constantly enter into the deliberations of every member of this Parliament, and I can see nothing wrong at all with increasing the number of members of Parliament attending its deliberations. Of course, I should be very sorry if one or two officials lost a good trip, but the important point is that it would be more beneficial for Australia if the politicians of this country, the men who have to face up to these issues, were given the opportunity to learn at first hand what is taking place in the United Nations’ discussions.

I emphasize, too, that, as has been mentioned by other honorable members, many nations with much smaller populations and probably of less importance in the international sphere than Australia will have larger delegations there. I therefore suggest to the Prime Minister that he would be well advised to appoint a Minister for External Affairs immediately and give consideration to enlarging the delegation on the parliamentary level so that this Parliament might be fully informed at first hand of what takes place there.

I should like now to refer to one or two matters connected with the Estimates which 1 notice total about £2,944,000. Honorable members opposite are interjecting. I do not mind that, and if they will wait until I have concluded my remarks I shall give intelligent answers to both their interjections and any questions they might like to ask. But I do not like honorable members on the Government side to sit in their places and interject when they have not the courage to rise and defend their Government’s policy and its proposed expenditure. I do not expect honorable members on the Government side to agree with what I have said about the Prime Minister’s portfolio and the filling of the External Affairs port folio, nor do I expect them to agree with my suggestion that a full-time Minister should be appointed to the Department of External Affairs, because, when all is said and done, every one of those honorable members sitting opposite to-day thinks he ought to have the position. When one looks at honorable members on the Government side, one appreciates why the Prime Minister has not appointed any one to fill the office of Minister for External Affairs and why honorable members opposite merely sit in their places and interject instead of speaking to these matters.

I notice that a fairly large sum is to be expended on the various ambassadorial centres in Asia. I should like to see more money spent on representation in Asia in preference to spending it on representation in other parts of the world. After all, the Asian centres are more important from our point of view than are those which are further afield. I think that the building up of able Australian representation right throughout Asia would make a great contribution towards the establishment of a better understanding of the problems of both Asia and Australia. After all, what happens in Asia possibly has a greater effect upon us than upon any other part of the world, and there is, therefore, a grave need for the establishment of the greatest goodwill and fullest understanding by the Asians in connexion with matters which are of mutual concern to Asian areas and Australia. It cannot be said by any stretch of the imagination that the Government’s policy in connexion with Asia is one calculated to promote goodwill and understanding. For instance, the sending of troops to Malaya hardly helped to promote the goodwill of the Asian people towards Australians. Again, the Government’s recent policy in connexion with South Africa could hardly be said to have added to the goodwill of the Asian people towards Australia.

Mr Wight:

– What is your policy on red China?


– I agree with the policy of the Labour Party on red China. We cannot ignore the millions in Communist China. They will have to be recognized ultimately, as they have been recognized by the governments of Great Britain and other places.

The honorable member for Mallee (Mr. Turnbull) and others who sell their wool to red China will admit that we shall have to recognize red China ultimately. 1 should like to hear what honorable members on the Government side have to say on these matters. I am saying that we should spend more money in Asia because this Government’s policy is destroying the goodwill that was built up by the Labour administration when it was in office. I mention these matters in the hope that the Government will appreciate the need, in Asia in particular, to build up goodwill and understanding and to encourage co-operation because many people in Asia misunderstand our approach to their problems. They also quite rightly misunderstand the attitude of the Australian people, and this misunderstanding has arisen only as a result of this Government’s policy. It is only by having good and able Australian representation in these centres, representation by people who know the country and understand it that we can hope to build up our prestige and promote understanding, goodwill and friendship with these people.

I hope that the Prime Minister will take careful note of the suggestions I have made. I hope that he will take particular note of my suggestion that a Minister for External Affairs should be appointed immediately and of my suggestion that we appoint as our representatives in Asia people who are capable of presenting Australia’s policy towards Asia in the most favorable light. If the Government takes a leaf out of the Labour Party’s book, if it will only realize the need for building up friendship and goodwill with Asia, it will do much towards bettering relations between the two countries. After making those few constructive suggestions, I hope that those honorable members on the Government side who have had so much to say by interjection will have the courage to rise and defend this Government’s policy.


.- The views of the honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly) on Australia’s foreign policy are very interesting and amusing, but what appears to be the majority viewpoint of the Labour Party was given last night by the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Cairns) in a very fluent exposition. The honorable member for Yarra charged the

Government with administering a foreign policy which was faulty on three counts. The first count was that it was based on an unwarranted fear of communism. The second was that it showed a lack of confidence in the integrity of the Australian people and the third was that it frequently showed lack of judgment in its dealings with other countries. I join issue with the honorable member for Yarra on this subject, not because I have any profound knowledge of day-to-day administration of our foreign policy but because I am deeply interested in the Australian attitude to world problems of this nature, and because we are voting a lot of money under these Estimates to support this policy. I would like to be assured that we are getting value for that money.

So far as fear of communism is concerned, of course, we have a fear of communism. To deny that communism presents a threat to our welfare, our security, our institutions and our freedom is to ignore the lessons of modern history. It is completely unreal to say that we do not face a threat - a very live threat - from communism in the world to-day.

Mr Duthie:

– What is your answer’.’


– Our answer to the threat of communism is a typical Australian response - that is, to fight back. We have been fighting back, recognizing fully the perils that surround us, in most effective fashion. We have built up the strength of Australia in the past ten years by admitting immigrants and capital, and by encouraging our own people to become more productive and efficient at their work. They have responded magnificently. We have built up a powerful defence unit - a small but powerful defence unit - backed by the Security Service. All these are forms of response, and I claim that they are the right forms of response to a real fear that we have, quite rightly, of the overthrow of our way of life by subversion or by actual warfare.

As to the suggestion that the Government is showing, through its policy, a lack of confidence in the Australian people, 1 suggest that honorable members opposite look around them. The Government has encouraged individuals in all walks of life to express themselves to the fullest extent, and they have responded. The Government, of course, has not built Australia up to the present pitch of greatness by its own deeds, but it has prepared the field. It has been the individuals of the community and the way they have responded and seized their opportunities that have made Australia the great and powerful nation it is to-day. A lot of this individual, silent work that is done by people in all walks of life entails some degree of sacrifice, and sometimes it is a large degree. They have helped Australia through the medium of their work as men or women, or through their activities in unions or associations, or even in government. We are proud of the way the people are prepared to make sacrifices for their country and for the security and welfare of future generations of Australians.

The third charge that the honorable member for Yarra made against the Government was that judgments of some of the newly emerging countries were frequently faulty. That charge is easily dismissed. Of course, judgments in that context must have some weaknesses; we must be adaptable and be ready to change our views as circumstances change. In these days, they change rapidly. Many of the emerging countries are going through an extraordinarily difficult period. There is utter confusion in many countries. I would not like to name them now. but it is obvious to everybody to which countries I am referring. How can we form a firm judgment when conditions of chaos reign in these countries? Of course, we do not attempt to form a permanent judgment of their affairs. We form a tentative daybyday judgment, and that is the wisest and surely the most prudent way to arrange our affairs.

Surely there are only two ways of looking at the comments of the honorable member for Yarra, and I assume that he is speaking for the majority of the members of the Australian Labour Party. The honorable member is either ignoring the real danger that Australia faces in the world because he seeks to escape from this threat as so many people do - and it is wonderful to try to escape from realities to some mystical plane - or else he is deliberately trying to weaken the resolution of Australians and to weaken the security of Australia. I am confident that the determination and resolution of Australians to maintain the security and the independence of this nation will not be weakened by any efforts of that nature becauseI, like the Government, have confidence in the integrity of our people.

East Sydney

– I did not have the advantage of hearing all that the honorable member for Gwydir (Mr. Ian Allan) had to say, but he appears to be falling into the error made by most speakers on the Government side; that is, he advances his views in respect of external affairs on the basis that Australia is a great military power and that, therefore, we are justified in intruding ourselves into every major issue that arises throughout the world. 1 should imagine, first, that it is wrong to say that this Government has provided in the first instance adequate defence for Australia. If that premise were based on the amount of money the Government has spent on defence since it took office, it might be regarded as a valid argument; but in my opinion, and in the opinion of my colleagues, there has been tremendous waste of public expenditure in relation to the amount that is needed for the adequate defence of Australia.

I remember the honorable member for Gwydir speaking recently in this House when he criticized the Government on the immigration policy which he now says is one of the features of the Government’s campaign to improve the defence capacity of Australia. He argued that numbers count for nothing. He pointed to the near Asian countries and said that Australia should be more selective. He said we should be going for fewer numbers so that we would not place too much strain on our economic resources, and thus bring about a reduction of our living standards. That was his proposition, if I interpreted his speech correctly, and in my opinion that is a realistic approach to one of the problems of the nation to-day. But now, the honorable member for Gwydir relates the immigration programme to the proposition that it gives increased defence capacity to Australia. I do not believe anything of the kind. As a matter of fact, if we had to match some of the countries against whom it is suggested we might come into conflict at some time, we could not possibly match them in respect of numbers.

Let me turn to the question of our attitude in external affairs. It appears to me that whilst the Government often claims that it adopts an independent line of thought in its approach to major world problems, its attitude is determined by what happens in other world capitals and not as a result of our own deliberations. If there is any country that should be striving for the preservation of world peace it is Australia, because we have a tremendous expanse of territory with a sparse population, and I would say that, at the moment, it is almost defenceless.

What viewpoint has the Government expressed even in respect of recent major happenings? We all know how the Summit Conference broke down. Originally the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) was opposed to any suggestion that the heads of state should meet to discuss the problems with which the world is confronted. He was a rather late convert to the idea that some of those problems might be resolved by having the heads of state discuss them. Following certain happenings, the Summit Conference broke down. I think that the Australian Government and the Prime Minister should not have echoed the viewpoint that was expressed overseas. This is not a matter of being anti-American. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to America for its aid in our defence during the last world war, but that does not mean that the viewpoint expressed by the present Government in the United States is always the correct one. It is strange that anybody in Australia who criticizes the decisions or actions of the American Government to-day is, in the eyes of this Government, antiAmerican, whereas in America itself stronger criticism has been levelled against the Government of that country for its decisions. In fact it has been alleged that those decisions have endangered world peace.

Let me say a little more about the Summit Conference. As an ordinary member of the Australian community it seemed to me that spy flights of the type engaged in by America on the eve of the Summit Conference were utterly stupid. It would appear as though somebody did not want the Summit Conference to succeed. What was the position in which the leader of the Soviet Government found himself? He would have entered the conference to confer with the American leader, who had taken full responsibility for the flight of the spy plane that was shot down over Russian territory. Not only did the leader of the American Government take full responsibility for the flight, but also he indicated that there would be no change of policy and that spy flights would continue. Looking at the matter reasonably, the head of the Russian Government had very little alternative but to withdraw from the conference. Under the circumstances he came to the conclusion that he could not continue negotiations. It was a dreadful set-back for the prospects of world peace that the Summit Conference did not take place, and I dare say that, in all justice, responsibility for the failure of the conference has to be accepted by the heads of all major powers, because I did not agree with the decision of the head of the Russian Government, although I appreciated his point of view. However, it must have been apparent to him that under the circumstances the conference was unlikely to succeed.

What has happened since that time? Shortly the United Nations General Assembly is to meet and the head of the Russian Government has decided that he will lead his country’s delegation to that meeting. The leader of any government is entitled to lead his country’s delegation to an international conference. The Russian leader’s move should have been welcomed because at last it will provide an opportunity for the leaders of Russia, America and other world powers to meet in conference and attempt to settle some of the world’s problems. What is the alternative? Let us look at the attitude of the press. The press in America seems to be attempting to whip up public feeling in order to bring about a repetition of what happened when President Eisenhower proposed visiting Japan. The press in America is attempting to arouse the public to give the leader of the Russian Government a hostile reception when he goes to America to attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

I am well aware that for many years the Prime Minister of Australia and many of his supporters were unfavorably disposed towards the United Nations and the work that it was performing, but I do not think that anybody in this chamber does not hope and pray, even if secretly, that the United

Nations will succeed. If the United Nations fails, what will happen to the world? Inevitably there will be a third world war and world destruction.

It would appear that the Australian Government’s attitude towards any nation is governed by the political colour of the government in charge of that nation at the time. I have heard Government supporters contend that a plebiscite should be held in Korea to determine the political future of the country. Undoubtedly their argument is based on the belief that as the majority of people who would be entitled to vote live in the southern portion of Korea, therefore a result favorable to them could be expected. When the suggestion was made, however, that a popular vote should be taken in Viet Nam to decide the future political control of that country, this Government claimed that it was not possible to hold a plebiscite in the whole of Viet Nam. The Government knew, of course, that the area in the north was the more populous and would no doubt be able to influence the result of the plebiscite. That approach to these problems is wrong.

Let us look at the Government’s attitude in the international sphere towards Spain. Spain is a fascist country. Its Government has been probably one of the most tyrannical in the world for many years past. Yet this Government does not raise any objection to Spain’s admission to membership of international bodies. This Government has supported the advancing of approximately £150,000,000 by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to revive the finances of the Spanish Fascist Government. The Menzies Government and its supporters strongly oppose every move that is made to recognize red China, Communist China or mainland China - call it what you will. I think that every sensible member of this place realizes that China is a great power and whether we approve or disapprove of the form of government there does not make a great deal of difference. The Government in China seems to be as firmly established as governments in other countries. We should recognize the Government of China as the government which is at present exercising authority in that part of the world. For the sake of world peace we should recognize red China. Even the Prime

Minister has admitted that eventually red China will have to be brought into the orbit of the United Nations. But I do not think that red China would accept admission to the United Nations under present circumstances. While Formosa is governed separately I do not think that China would accept admission to the United Nations. It is unreasonable to place the Government of China, which has control over about 600,000,000 people, on an equal footing with the Government of Formosa which China does not recognize and which controls such a relatively small population. Australia trades with China and I think it is a good thing for us to trade with any country that will reciprocate. Trade and intercourse with those countries not only help us economically but also help us to understand the difficulties confronting those countries. Trade is not merely an advantage to the country that buys; it is also an advantage to the country that sells. Recently graziers in Australia set out to expand markets for Australian wool in iron curtain countries because they recognize that if they can sell greater quantities of wool in those areas and if there is a greater demand for their product, they will achieve greater stability and better prices. I would hope that the Australian Government would approach all these problems from the point of view of making the best decision for our own country and our own people. We ought not to regard Australia as a great military power having the capacity to intervene and settle world-wide disputes, even if we desired to do so. I think that eventually such disputes are going to be settled on the basis of agreements between the major powers. It is a good thing for the small nations to express their points of view. I have no objection to their doing so, and I hope that when our nation speaks it will be from an Australian viewpoint, and that we will not be influenced by any other considerations than a desire to make the best decision for the Australian nation. Unfortunately we have not adopted such a policy in the past, and I am hoping there will be a change of attitude in the future.

As I have said, we are now endeavouring to increase our trade in Asian areas, and success in this direction could be of great advantage to Australia. Let us be sensible about this matter. We can recognize mainland China without sacrificing anything. The Government is not asked to express approval or disapproval of any of the actions of the Government of that country, any more than it is required to express approval or otherwise of the actions of the Government of Soviet Russia.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Order! The honorable member’s time is expired.


.- This afternoon we have been listening to two Labour speakers who were supposed to be addressing themselves to the Estimates for the Department of External Affairs. I suggest that it would be well worth comparing their contributions to the debate, or lack of contributions, with the excellent speech made by another Labour speaker, last night, the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley). who made a most constructive and thoughtful approach to these Estimates.

Listening to the contribution or the suggestions made by the honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly), it became quite apparent to everybody in this chamber that the honorable member had not even read the Estimates that were under discussion, and that he had no knowledge of the subject about which he was speaking. He spent most of the fifteen minutes of his speech in putting forward the suggestion that the Government should try to expand its influence in South-East Asia rather than undermine and destroy what the previous Labour government had done. How can any one be stupid enough to make such a suggestion when it is well known that at the time this Government took over from the Labour government there were about three diplomatic posts to represent this country in the whole of Asia. If we look at page 14 of the Estimates we find that we are now being asked to approve expenditure for the maintenance of embassies in the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, the Republic of Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of the Philippines, Thailand, Burma, Viet Nam and Cambodia, a legation in Laos and high commissions in India, Pakistan, Ceylon, Malaya and Singapore. There has been a tremendous increase in the number of diplomatic posts in Asia, and our relationships with Asian countries to-day are of the highest possible order. There is the greatest degree of friendship and the situation is completely different from that which existed when the Labour government was in office in 1949. We well remember the very strained relationships at that time between Australia and certain Asian countries, particularly the Philippines.

We also have a diplomatic post in Hong Kong, in addition to those 1 have referred to, and I believe that that post should be strengthened. More personnel should be stationed there because it is the focal point for a wide area and it is a centre for the dissemination of information from mainland China. The embassies and diplomatic posts of various countries in Hong Kong have a great volume of information which they share with the Australian diplomatic personnel there, yet we have, so far as I know, only two officers - and not senior officers - of the Department of External Affairs stationed in Hong Kong. The volume of work that has to be done there is so great that more than two officers are required.

After the honorable member for Grayndler concluded his speech we heard the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) make the kind of contribution that we usually hear from him, far from constructive and even destructive, and based on false premises. The honorable member endeavoured to imply that it was the policy of this Government and other Western governments that caused the failure of efforts to re-unify North and South Korea. This is, of course, quite ridiculous. Anybody who has made any kind of study of the situation in Korea knows full well that it is completely impossible to undertake any kind of useful negotiations with those who represented1 the North Koreans and the Communists at the conferences held in Panmunjong. Honorable members will recall that I gave a description of the farce, supposed to be a conference, at which I was present in Panmunjong about eighteen months ago. I was privileged to attend this so-called conference, at which the Communist delegates, instead of discussing the subjects on the agenda, tried to talk about the history of the United States of America and find grounds for criticism of that country, refusing point blank to discuss any matter on the agenda.

The honorable member for East Sydney suggests that we are afraid to hold a free election in North rand South Viet Nam. How out of date is the information available to the honorable member? Mas he not heard of the great influx of refugees into southern Viet Nam from northern Viet Nam? Does he not know that a great many of .the people in northern Viet Nam would, if given the chance of a free election, most assuredly vote out the Ho Chi-minh Communist forces, and that in southern Viet Nam, because the government under Ngo Din Diem is struggling so hard to raise the standards of the people and give the Vietnamese some semblance of good government, the Communists have agreed that the terrorists should continue their efforts and sabotage the work of that government, because they realize that the raising of the living standards of the people in free Viet Nam constitutes a serious challenge to them? The Communists realize that they must do everything possible to sabotage any election that is held and to prevent the holding of any such election.

The honorable member for East Sydney has completely distorted the facts and altered the story. He went on to suggest that we should recognize Communist China in order that we may increase our trade. Denmark had a very salutary lesson in this regard. That country recognized Communist China in the hope of increasing its trade, and one of the Danish diplomats said, after he had been appointed to a post in China, that Denmark had given all there was to give, had nothing more to give, and therefore China could spurn every attempt Denmark made to increase its trade.

Let me remind the honorable member for East Sydney of one more fact. The Mao Tse-tung regime will accept de jure recognition of Communist China only on condition that it is given control of Formosa, where there are 10,000,000 people who have no desire to come under Mao Tsetung’s administration. They know full well the genocidal activities of the Communist Chinese in Tibet and they realize that they would meet the same fate. But the honorable member would sell the 10,000,000 people of Formosa and put them in just that kind of situation. There are 10,000,000 people in Australia, and we would not like to think that any nation in the world considered our 10,000,000 people expendable. The honorable member for East Sydney, however, is prepared .to consider those who live ‘in Formosa as expendable. I can imagine how the honorable member would change his attitude if ever Australia was put in a similar position to that in which the Formosan people now find themselves. It would be a completely different attitude altogether. From the matters mentioned by the honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly) and the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) 1 would like to turn my attention to the estimates now before us. There are three items which I would like to query because I do not understand them. Under the heading of general expenses, administrative, we find the item, “Postage, telegrams and telephone services, £47,500 “, whereas last year the appropriation was £120,000 and the expenditure £119,612. That is a terrific drop of £70,000 odd in that item. It is rather confusing; it is hard to understand why an expenditure of £119,612 was necessary last year whilst this year we find it necessary to provide only £47,500. For the courier service last year the appropriation was £43,700 and the expenditure was within £5 of that figure, yet this year we have appropriated £105,400, which is a substantial increase. For cablegrams and radiograms last year the appropriation was £64,000 and the estimate this year is £92,000.

There is, no doubt, a good reason why these estimates have been altered so much. A substantial change must be proposed in administrative procedure, and I feel that the House might be interested - I know 1 would be - to know the changes in administration which would require such an alteration. When speaking last night the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) referred to the Colombo Plan. Last year our contribution to that plan was £6,250,000 and this year we have reduced the provision for this purpose to £5,500,000. 1, in common with the honorable member for Fremantle, feel some disappointment that we should find it necessary to reduce the amount of the appropriation which we are making to this most important facet of our work of building up good relations in Asia. The honorable member for Fremantle referred to a variation in our approach to the Colombo Plan and informed the House that he had been speaking to a number of Asian students on this matter. I too have had opportunities of discussions with Colombo Plan people in Australia and of discussing this particular problem with them.

A proposition was put to me which, I think, is worthy of close attention and consideration by the officers of the Department of External Affairs and by the Government. I am not in a position to recommend that this is a better method of applying the money under the Colombo Plan than that which now obtains, but I suggest that it is worthy of examination. These people informed me that they felt a much better return not only in goodwill but also in results would accrue in a great many of the countries of Asia if the money we are spending on major developmental projects were diverted to primary and secondary educational purposes. So many millions of people in these Asiatic countries have not the opportunity to obtain either primary or secondary education; but notwithstanding that fact in many of these countries thousands upon thousands of university graduates are unable to find employment of any kind. 1 think this is true of Japan, India, Pakistan, Ceylon and many other countries of Asia, where such great numbers of people of high intelligence and high academic qualifications are unable to find some niche in the work force of their own country that it must bring about a state of discontent in their minds regarding the method of government by which their countries are administered. If, by a different approach to the Colombo Plan, we put these people to some constructive work - that of being teachers of their own people in their own language, in primary and secondary schools - it is possible that the aid given in that direction would evoke far wider acclaim than is now being evoked as a result of expenditure on major developmental projects. I do not deny that both forms of assistance are vital if we are to lift the standards of living of these people, but I do ask that this suggestion be given further examination.

I would like now to refer to a suggestion made by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) during this debate in regard to

West New Guinea and the situation which has developed there, since the Dutch have indicated their desire to internationalize West New Guinea. I want to make one comment so far as the claim of Indonesia to West New Guinea is concerned. 1 suggest that the United Nations must look at the claim of the people of Indonesia to West New Guinea on the basis of the United Nations Charter and consider how the Administration of a country which so far has been unable to solve the major problems in its own affairs could possibly advance the welfare and development of the people of West New Guinea. We know that the economy of Indonesia is in a shocking state at the moment and that the Government of that country has not the control that it would need to have-


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.


.- The honorable member for Lilley (Mr. Wight) made a few good points in his speech; and one of them was the reduction in the estimates for the Department of External Affairs in respect of postage, telegrams and telephone services. It is a puzzling feature. I can only assume that in the past there was an extraordinary cost for postage, telegrams and telephone services between the Minister for External Affairs and the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), but this year, because they are one and the same person, similar expenditure will not be incurred. The honorable member for Lilley, towards the end of his speech, appeared in some aspects of his political philosophy to be rather liberal; the further he gets from home the more liberal he is. In Viet Nam or Korea he is in favour of free elections. In those countries free elections might alter the government; and the same applies to South Australia. The honorable member has a great regard for the people of Formosa; they must not be expendable. But when the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) was permitting it to appear that Australia considered that 10,000,000 native inhabitants in Africa were expendable on the threshold of apartheid, the honorable member was silent. I hope that this liberal viewpoint which he feels towards the people in far-distant places will eventually be brought into other aspects of his political philosophy. I agree that the people of West New Guinea must not be made expendable on the altar of power politics. Indonesia and the Netherlands cannot trade the people of New Guinea between each other. 1 deplore the tone of the honorable member’s remarks about Indonesia. If there is one aspect of Australia’s foreign policy over the last ten-and-a-half years which I think is a serious reflection on our approach to international affairs, it is our approach to Indonesia. In all those years Indonesia has been our closest foreign neighbour and the people most in need of sympathetic understanding and support. I agree that the honorable member did not offer criticism in this matter, as his colleagues on the other side of the chamber have done in the past; but if there is one free nation which needs sympathetic encouragement in overcoming extraordinary difficulties of administration with which it is faced as the result of the departure of the Dutch from its shores, it is Indonesia. The Indonesians are a people basically friendly, but they have great difficulties ahead of them and they are only a few hundred miles from our shores. Unfortunately, since I have been in the Parliament most foreign affairs debates have evoked hostile, critical or censorious references to Indonesia from the other side of the chamber. The Prime Minister has only in the last twelve months dropped in for a call to Indonesia in a friendly way; and that again is a serious reflection upon his approach to the needs of Australia’s foreign policy. . It would have been the proper thing for years past far him to have done that very thing in his numerous journeys back and forth.

These are aspects of our foreign policy which do not have much to do with the finer points of philosophy but have more to do with acts of kindness and goodwill. When we have discharged our duty in Commonwealth relations, I would say that our next duty is towards the people of Indonesia as such. I do not mean that we should influence their political philosophy, but that we should pay some regard to the difficulties that they face, difficulties which we in Australia cannot very easily understand.

Some aspects of foreign policy give the Opposition a good deal of concern. But the aspect that gives us most concern is that the Prime Minister assumed the high office of Minister for External Affairs on 4th February last - seven months ago - but has not made any statement on foreign affairs. I have checked, but I can find no trace of any statement as to the direction of Australia’s foreign policy made by him in that time. That is a serious discourtesy to members of this Parliament. If foreign policy is as important as we all agree it is, that discourtesy should not have been shown. This debate has now been proceeding for some four hours. Questions have been raised from both sides of the chamber and we have had various points of view expressed by honorable members on both sides. However, we have not heard anything from our Minister. I therefore raise the question that I raised during the term of his predecessor. In this important field, greater opportunities should be given to honorable members to debate foreign affairs. In the previous three or four years, very effective debates have taken place, on occasions for a whole day. But here, in 1960, no effective opportunity for discussion of foreign affairs has been given. We cannot carry on in this way. If Australia is to have any kind of influence in world affairs and if honorable members generally are to have any influence on foreign policy, the. Minister must take active steps to ensure that opportunities for debate are made available to us. That is the first criticism I make of the present incumbent of the high office of Minister for External Affairs.

Of course, the great difficulties facing the Minister for External Affairs are caused by his own associations with some very indifferent activities in external affairs in the past. We need go back only to the beginning of this year, to the discussion that we had on our attitude towards South Africa, to find an instance of this. In this matter, as indeed in many other matters where the freedom of the subject arises, the leader of the Government has placed himself on the side of the forces of reaction, I suppose I could call them, or the resistance to international progress, freedom and tolerance. This was crystallized by the discussion that took place here on the South African policy of apartheid and the unfortunate events that flowed from it.

Nothing, expresses our isolation in foreign affairs better than the votes cast at the United Nations on the question of South Africa. When this matter was discussed earlier in the year, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam) gave details of this voting. We find that since 1952 our isolation has grown. We have had fewer and fewer friends who accept our point of view on the South African question. In 1952, 42 nations voted against South Africa, only one voted for South Africa and fourteen abstained, including Australia. In 1953, 38 were against South Africa, eleven, including Australia, for South Africa and eleven abstained. In 1954, 40 were against South Africa, ten, including Australia, for South Africa and ten abstained. In 1955, 41 were against South Africa, six for and eight abstained; Australia again voting for South Africa, In 1956, 56 were against, five for and twelve abstained; Australia voting for South: Africa. In 1958, 70 were against, five for and four abstained; Australia voting for South Africa. In 1959, 67 were against, only three for and seven abstained; and on this occasion Australia abstained. At least, we made some progress towards neutrality, if not towards a positive attitude in international affairs. Australia cannot afford to be in this position.

Mr Lucock:

– What was that voting about?


– That was about the South African policy of apartheid.

Mr Lucock:

– No, it was not!


– In foreign policy in the past ten years, we have continually associated ourselves with some of the nastiest people throughout, the world. We have continually aligned ourselves with policies which, looking back on them, have been proved to be wrong and were at the time held to be wrong by most people. This is exemplified in many ways. The voting at the United Nations to which I have referred gives adequate evidence of it. We have the historic incident of the Suez Canal crisis some four years ago. Against the feeling of almost the whole of the world, we were on the side of the aggressors. We were in such a position that we could not sustain our policy on the Russian aggression against Hungary. We constantly place ourselves in a position which eventually becomes untenable in the eyes of many people throughout the world. We have become another vote in power politics.

Australia, with its European background and its geographical position in relation to Asia has a special role to play in world affairs. But unfortunately, the Government has apparently designed its policy around basic assumptions with which we cannot possibly agree. Recently, the Minister for Territories (Mr. Hasluck) said that we live in a world of suspicion, fear and distrust. I do not believe that that should be a motive behind policies, domestic or foreign.

Mr Forbes:

– You just ignore it, do you: forget about it?


– The honorable member for Barker should listen to what I am saying. He has an advantage in that he travelled abroad with the Prime Minister; he should know that there is a basic friendliness in human relations and that our job in this world requires that we should not try to destroy that friendliness. Over the past eight or ten years, we have continually supported some reactionary governments, such as that of South Korea. These policies have unfortunately aligned us with the creators of suspicion, fear and distrust.

There is another basic assumption in the policies pursued by this Government, and that is that power is the only answer. I do not agree that power is the only answer. I do not think that there is much danger in the future of a mass global war. Therefore. I believe that power as such should be disregarded in our deliberations on world affairs. We must step into the world councils not as another vote in power policies but as an influence for good. I believe that history can show, if it is studied closely enough, that nations have not alwayscontributed to the development of the world because of weight of numbers or the power of battleships, squadrons of aircraft and so on. I have mentioned this before. History shows that, whether it was Greece 2,500 years ago or England in the past 300 oi 400 years, the contribution of the nation to. world development is not really related to the weight of numbers. The contribution of England, a small island off the coast of Europe with only 3,000,000 or 4.000.000 people speaking the English language in 1600 or thereabouts, has been such that its institutions and language to-day pervade the whole of the world. Therefore, Australia need not step into the councils of the world feeling that it must align itself with those who have the biggest battalions.

These are the most serious criticisms that we, on this side of the chamber, have to offer. When foreign policy is discussed here, the Government is evasive. It is secretive. This is unreal, in the present day. It has an ostrich-like approach to such matters as trade and the recognition of China. I do not think it matters much whether we sell more or sell less to China; but 1 believe that the erection of barriers resulting from the non-recognition of all the post-war Communist countries of Europe - Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria and so on - is creating throughout the world the fear, suspicion and distrust of which the Government has spoken, and which flourish behind these barriers. We have to get away from that. The Labour Party’s view is that humanity is our first charge, that people must be developed towards freedom, and must be treated equally as human beings. This, of course, involves proper consideration of the destiny of the people of West New Guinea and Formosa. If our opinions are based on what we stand for, and where we have stood on the great issues which have been decided in the past ten years, it will be seen that on these great issues Australia has unfortunately blundered into lining itself up against all the principles of humanity.

The Labour Party faces the demands of world affairs with some realism. At its last annual conference in Victoria 350 delegates who attended agreed on a policy under which one per cent, of our national income would be spent in aiding the underdeveloped countries.


– Order! The honorable gentleman’s time has expired.


.- I do not know whether there is anything very useful that can be said about the disc jockey-like speech just delivered by the honorable member for Wills (Mr. Bryant).

I think his cheap gibes at the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and his conduct of the external affairs policy of this country are completely undeserved, and will deceive nobody except those who want to be deceived. The honorable member felt himself driven to make a miserable reference to the Prime Minister’s role in the Suez Canal issue. The fact is that the Prime Minister went on a mission in extraordinarily difficult circumstances but, instead of his receiving some token of admiration from the honorable member for Wills on that account, all that honorable member does is direct some miserable gibe at the Prime Minister. If I may go back to Greek mythology for a paradigm, I can imagine the honorable member for Wills in the role of Jason wanting to steer his ship, the Argo, past the lure of the Sirens. However, I should not imagine that the honorable member for Wills would play Jason to perfection. I do not think he would use his brains at all. I can imagine the honorable gentleman himself panting with excitement instead of blocking up the ears of the Argonauts, and as a consequence falling victim to the lure of the Sirens. After all, the honorable gentleman’s speech does ignore completely all the realities that exist in this world.

Having said that, 1 should like now to make a fleeting reference to the speech delivered by the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Cairns). I did not have the opportunity to listen to the honorable gentleman in the flesh, as it were, but I read him this morning in the cold. I am bound to say that I thought it was an impressive speech for a number of reasons. The honorable member for Yarra, to his credit, has a fine record of academic achievement. However, I think that the honorable gentleman would recognize the fact - he would, indeed, concede it - that he is not a particularly modest person intellectually. In fact his intellectual immodesty borders, on occasions, on intellectual arrogance. The speech that he delivered in this chamber last night is the sort of speech - and I say this after some consideration - that the leader of the Soviet people would have taken pride in having prepared. If you look at the central thesis of that speech made by the honorable member for Yarra you find that he says, in effect, that nobody has any cause to be fearful of communism. That is an extraordinary thing to say. If the honorable gentleman could pause for a moment from his wanderings here and there and look at some of the facts, he would find that some 12,383,000 people have fled from Communist-controlled countries. That is the one point I make for the honorable gentleman’s consideration, and I ask him, as a rational individual, to explain away, if he can, the fact that nearly twelve and a half million people have fled from Communist countries. Was it because they had a deep and abiding affection for the Communist system?

I want to turn now, Sir, to something that I regard as of crucial importance not only to the people of this country but also. I should imagine, to the rest of the world. It has been announced that the leader of the Soviet people, Mr. Khrushchev, is to lead the Soviet delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. It is no great surprise that that decision was made because, when the Geneva disarmament talks were tottering towards disaster - they ultimately broke up - Mr. Khrushchev publicly and quite plainly stated that he would take the disarmament issue to the United Nations and, to use his own words, “ that would be a more fruitful forum “. A more fruitful forum! Now, my fear, Mr. Temporary Chairman, is that the decision of Mr. Khrushchev to lead the Soviet delegation to the United Nations will mark the prelude to one of the most massive propaganda attacks ever witnessed by mankind. It is to no avail to try to ignore the significance and the possible consequences of such an attack. Already some editorial writers have been moved to express the view that the decision means the launching of a propaganda attack. Yet I am willing to lay a shade of odds that everything that Mr. Khrushchev does at the United Nations - every gesture, every sigh, every pause - will be faithfully reported in the press.

This brings one to very serious consideration of the authority of the United Nations. This afternoon, the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) tried to make out something in the nature of a case for claiming that it had absolute authority. I wonder whether or not this is in accordance with the facts. I want to mention a few incidents, not necessarily in any order of priority of importance, and not necessarily in any calendar order, which I believe plainly illustrate the fact that the United Nations has no authority in the settling of serious international disputes. First, there is the catalogue of crime which rests on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - a catalogue unparalleled in human history. One example of lack of authority on the part of the United Nations is seen in the United Nations resolution on Hungary. The resolution was moved by Mr. Cabot Lodge, and it directed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Hungarian authorities to restore the independence of Hungary. The representative of the Kadar Government bluntly told the United Nations General Assembly that it intended to take no notice of the resolution. The vote on that resolution was 53 for, ten against, seventeen abstentions. Last year, there was a resolution on Korea calling for a unified, independent, democratic and representative form of government. That resolution was treated as a joke. Again we found that the representatives of 17 nations failed to vote.

The Arab countries have repeatedly treated the United Nations with contempt. The blockade of the Suez Canal is an example. Israel herself has flouted the authority of the United Nations with regard to the partition boundary of Palestine. Cuba, which led the hue and cry against the British and French in the Suez affair - when those two countries sought to protect their own property, mark you - is to-day sabotaging international law, is confiscating property on a national scale, and is breaching every precept of international justice. Cuba’s leader, Fidel Castro, who, presumably, is admired by the honorable member for Yarra, is nothing short of a little tin god in the eyes of those around him. Schemes such as the children’s fund, which have a charitable character about them, have not been supported by the Communist countries or, if they have been supported, they have not been supported generously.

Let us take the RB47 aircraft incident. What was Mr. Khrushchev’s reply to Mr. Macmillan’s very courteous note? It had a touch of the Mars and Moloch of old. 1 move now to the fact that the United Nations has not been able to dislodge the Communists from one inch of European territory that they have taken. Even to-day in Tibet there is a savagery reminescent of the most violent of early history. Chinese Communists are practising presumably widespread sterilization to wipe out the Tibetan people. It is of no avail to look at the record and say that it serves only to prove that the United Nations’ authority is futile. The great danger which at present confronts the world is the possibility of the United Nations being perverted into an instrument of Soviet policy. If you consider the pattern of self-government which is emerging throughout the world and ask yourself seriously whether many of those countries are equipped for the heavy responsibility of self-government, I believe that you must reply honestly that many of them are not equipped and fitted for self-government. But running hand in hand with that, the increased membership of the United Nations will involve the democratic Western countries in a kind of numbers game which, for sheer danger, will take a lot of beating.

That is a rather destructive and no doubt a critical reference to the United Nations, and it is quite valid for honorable members to ask what my proposals are. I shall recite two proposals very quickly. First, I simply cannot bring myself to believe that we have got away so far from the old idea of the British Commonwealth that we cannot revive some cohesion and some coherence of thought and action among British countries on these great issues. Secondly, I believe that there is a desperate need for a confederation of free nations to try to hammer out a common policy, and to try to secure a common and united approach to the great problems that confront the world. The divisions that exist among Western democracies - now that divisions are in the open - are nothing short of disastrous. Mr. Khrushchev has said that history is on his side. With great respect, he might add that the sentiments which have been expressed by the honorable member for Yarra, and the divisions which exist within the Western world, are also on his side.

The servants of peace work for the wrong master if they do not work with a united and common purpose. What peace we have in the world is very limited. It does not rest upon any balance of power; it rests inexorably upon a balance of mutual terror, and it would be completely unreal for any one of us to imagine that that kind of peace can long endure.


.- I accept with due humility the gasps of pleasure which came from the other side of the chamber when I rose to speak. I feel that it is appropriate to reply to the honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Killen). His speech was a direct attack upon the ideas and ideals of the United Nations. He outlined its failure to use its power in the trouble spots in the world and then, to cap it all, he advocated a confederacy of the free world. What does he mean by that? We know full well that you cannot define such terms as “ free world “. In fact, they ought not to be used in any context which involves any bind of accurate thinking. We on this side of the chamber have placed questions on the notice-paper asking which nations are parts of the free world and which are not. Of course, the term “ free world “ simply cannot be defined.

Let us go through the whole catalogue of nations to see which ones the honorable member for Moreton agrees are parts of the free world. Is Spain part of the free world? Is Portugal part of the free world? Was the South Korea of two years ago part of the free world? Is South Africa part of the free world? No, they are not parts of the free world if we mean by freedom acceptance of the ideas and ideals of democratic institutions to which we on this side of the chamber are accustomed.

Although the honorable member’s ideas are destructive, I believe that he has put them forth in good faith. I am one of those who believe that the increasing independence of smaller nations will prove to be the solution to the problems of the future. The solution will be found, not in fear but in sheer weight of numbers. The world is not in a state of desperation, as he seems to think it is. He appears to be so obsessed with Communist ideas and ideals that he finds them almost irresistible. He seems to believe that there is no way by which the people of the world can resist the avalanche of propaganda which he apparently expects to. flow from- Khruschchev and his offsiders. We on this side of the chamber resist that point of view. We do not agree that communism is the overriding power in the world today. We do not agree that peace rests on mutual terror.

Looking at the matter from the population aspect, we find that America with about 200,000,000 people and Russia with a similar number, have together only a small proportion of the world’s population. Even if you include China with its 600,000,000 people within the so-called Communist bloc, you still have only one-quarter or one-fifth of the world’s population. As the years go by, an increasing number of smaller nations will take an effective part in world affairs. The old idea of colonialism and the domination of one nation by another nation by conquest lis no way out. But that seems to be the basis not only of the honorable member’s thinking but also, unfortunately, of the thinking, of other honorable members on the Government side of the chamber.

This morning we announced that we were sending representation to. a country which has a population of 40,000,000. For that nation the next ten years will be a period of trial and struggle. For perhaps the next twenty or 30 years it will be confronted by serious difficulties, but in the years to come it will be a new nation the size of France. Dotted all over the map we see nations developing which, in our life-time, if we are spared, will be the equivalent of the present European powers. These are the things which honorable members opposite seem to ignore. All these problems of fear, and the domination of man by man and of nation by nation, will be resolved by the natural course of events and by the indepedence of an increasing number of nations. As the number of countries represented at the United Nations increases to near the century mark, so will the discussions be dominated to a lesser degree by one bloc or another.

The problem of Cuba is not so much a problem of fear but a problem of people trying to find a role in life for themselves. All Labour men - and all people with a socialist humanitarian attitude - must regret any resort to violence, but any realist will know that in many respects this is the only way in which freedom can be achieved.

Dotted through our own past are these revolutions and. these struggles for independence. Where would we be if it were not for the revolutions which took place in 1639 and. 16498 Some honorable members opposite accept revolutions in which they can claim to. be on. the side of the winner, but they do. not realize that some parts of the world are 300 years or 400 years behind ourselves in planning their development.

We must attempt to silence the outcry that is coming from these trouble spots in the world; to find an answer to the problems of the Israel border; to find an answer to the Congo troubles and to find an answer to the Suez canal problem.

Mr Forbes:

– You tell us the answer.


– I did not rise in my place claiming to be able to tell you the answer. I can sympathize with honorable members opposite who cannot understand that it is possible to look at a problem without necessarily being able to give a dogmatic answer to if. We on this side of the chamber do not know the answers, but we know the problems. I certainly hope that the skill of the. “ Hansard “ staff is such that it is able to record in the archives of this Parliament the admission by honorable members on the Government side that there are some problems to which we have not got readymade answers. I do think that as one step towards solving the problem we should give the United Nations our full and absolute support when it comes to questions like the Congo situation. I believe that it would be of some help if the people in the United Nations who have great responsibilities placed upon them could look to us for absolute and unqualified support, if they could know that when they needed help in difficult situations at least there are some people on this earth who are prepared to support them.

But that is only a temporary answer to the question. Power and violence will not resolve it. Aid, humanity, tolerance and an understanding that the new nations of this world are going to be hard to get along with for the next generation because they are human beings like the rest of us and will not forget the immediate past too easily, will. It always seems miraculous that the people who come here from places that have been under the domination of certain European nations seem to bear no malice over the past, especially when we realize that tolerance and understanding have not been features of European history over the last 300 years. We on this side say that Australia has a duty to do, that the performance of this duty will certainly involve expenditure beyond the amount to which we are now committed. The Labour Party itself, an ordinary collection of ordinary mortals in Victoria, was prepared to face up to that. Even if the carrying out of the duty meant the finding of £60,000,000, they were prepared to find it. I think the Australian people are mature enough, humanitarian enough and tolerant enough, as well as wide enough in their outlook, to do their duty and to face up to these problems. Unfortunately, the Labour Party is not given the opportunity to do these things. The Government’s policy has been secretive, and evasive, and we have been ignored. Although there are many other questions I should like to ask, I conclude now by inviting the Leader of the Government to stand up and explain exactly where Australia’s foreign policy is going.

Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs · Kooyong · LP

– Oddly enough, I had decided to accept that invitation before I heard it. Before proceeding to deal with some of the statements made by the honorable member who has just sat down, some of the things said from Yarra and some of the things said from East Sydney, I want to mention two or three particular points that have been raised with a rare sense of relevance by one or two honorable members, particularly my friend, the honorable member for Lilley (Mr. Wight), who inquired about the discrepancies to be seen in the charges in the accounts for postage, telegrams and telephones, and in the following item relating to courier service and diplomatic mails. It is purely a matter of transferring certain amounts from one head to the other. If the honorable member looks at the totals, he will see that the total of the two is substantially the same as the total of the two for last year.

The honorable member for Lilley also said something with which, if he will allow me to say so, I warmly agree. That was that technical assistance is a side of the

Colombo Plan scheme which deserves increasing emphasis. I do agree with that. I think that we must devote more and more time to what I will call this increase in personal skill, the development of the capacity of the receiving countries.

Somebody else - I have forgotten who it was now - referred to the allegation that has appeared that the Netherlands had adopted a new policy in relation to Netherlands New Guinea. We made an inquiry about that, and we have been specifically and officially informed that there is no change in the Netherlands position; that, in point of fact, this last statement that has had some publicity does not vary from the position taken by Mr. Luns, the Foreign Secretary, in February of this year, and which was at that time widely reported.

Having said that, I want to come back, not in chronological order, but as 1 recall them, to three remarkable speeches that have been made from the Opposition side of the committee. I will begin, with proper courtesy, with the honorable member for Wills (Mr. Bryant), who has just sat down. He always fascinates me because, when he makes two speeches, I am never quite sure whether he remembers, when making the second speech, what he said in the first. His second speech was one in which he went to some pains to establish that you could be interested in a problem without knowing the answer, and he did not profess to know the answer. I think that is a very admirable attitude. But in his earlier speech, he knew the answers to the problems of South Africa! What he knows about the internal problems of South Africa could be written on a postage stamp, but there he is not troubled by those philosophic doubts that assailed him in his second edition. At that time he said: “The policies of South Africa are monstrous. We all know how wrong they are.” He did not give us the benefit of his opinion as to how they ought to be changed, in what way they ought to be changed, or what ought to be done about them. Obviously - and I think this does him no injustice - be thought the problem singularly easy to solve. I do not think I am unfair in saying that because, if it were not singularly easy to solve, he would not be comfortably solving it from a green cushioned seat in Canberra thousands of miles away. Therefore, I take it that in his first edition, in what one might call the authorized edition, he found South Africa’s problem very easy to solve. The honorable member perhaps might be invited to ponder over a few questions. Does he believe in our immigration policy?

Mr Bryant:

– Who?


– The honorable member for Wills. I am not expecting him to answer now because these are questions on which he will need to take advice, if he is wise, before he gives the answers. Does he believe in Australia’s immigration policy? If he does not, he is oddly placed in the Labour Party. If he does, why does he7 Does he believe in it because he does not want to have created in Australia multiracial problems? Is that the reason? lt must be the reason. He does not want to have set up in Australia the kind of problem which could arise if we broke down our immigration policy, and which has existed, and in fact now exists, in the Union of South Africa. Yet, if he is right, that is not a difficult problem! Why believe in our immigration policy if it could not matter less if we had a problem of mixed races and of large communities of people of different basic races in Australia?

The honorable member says: “ That is quite easy. I know what I would do.” I wonder whether he does? I wonder whether he knows what the answer is? I wonder whether he realizes what an impertinence it is for people with no experience of these problems or of the misery of these problems to be getting up, blowing out their chests and telling another country in the Commonwealth how it ought to manage its own affairs? I want to say no more about that. It is a matter that he can chew over to his heart’s content.

But I want to come back to a couple of speeches that have been made in the course of these discussions, and which really do deserves some attention. The honorable member for Hume (Mr. Anderson) made, as always, a speech in which he valiantly expressed what he had in his mind, and he was attacked subsequently for what he had said. The honorable member for Hume said that the U2 incident was not a failure and that Khrushchev had not gained any propaganda value from it. He was scoffed at later on by the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Cairns) who, though no doubt he is the most ardent of Labour men, has a singular spiritual consanguinity with the people who dictate the policy of the Kremlin. He never fails to deliver that particular line, and he made a speech in which he was prepared to say that the U2 incident was a colossal crash in public relations for the Western world. In fact, he appeared to me to take some pleasure out of his belief that it was such a crash in public relations.

What effect the U2 incident has in terms of propaganda depends on what side you are on. I am going to say something about it, because I was in London when this occurred and I was able to discuss it both there and in the United States of America. Anybody who knows anything about these things knows that it was Khrushchev who wanted to have a Summit Conference. It was he who put himself in the position of the advocate and inviter

Mr Reynolds:

– What about Macmillan?


– He was keen on it; but after some to and fro and some hesitation, an agreement was secured by de Gaulle and Eisenhower that they would attend a Summit Conference in Paris. As sensible men, they got together. They threshed out their general problems and arrived at what I shall call a broad community of mind on the matters that had to be considered. At that moment it appeared that Khrushchev, the great advocate of a summit meeting, was determined to frustrate it. There was no profit in it for him. He was going to meet three people whom he could not divide and conquer. He was going to meet three people against whom the characteristic Communist technique of the past ten years would fail: and he must have been the most delighted fellow in the world - I have always believed it - when they said, “ A U2 aircraft has come down. We have captured the pilot. We now have evidence that the United States of America is spying on us.” I am perfectly certain that Khrushchev was very pleased.

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– Why?


– Because this gave him the excuse he was looking for not to go on with that Summit Conference. I am not defending the timing of that particular U2 flight for a moment.

Mr Cairns:

– Ah!


– You need not worry. 1 have told that to better men than you in the United States of America. I am not defending the time of the flight, but what 1 am saying is that this came to Khrushchev as glad tidings in the first place until, of course, he realized and was reminded by his assistants that after all the thing had come down over 1,000 miles inside the frontiers of the Soviet Union, and therefore the nuclear deterrent delivered by aircraft was more effective against his country than he had ever conceded. Therefore, his momentary joy was succeeded by a genuine passion, and that genuine passion was expressed when he spoke at his famous press conference in Paris.

The honorable member for Yarra has said that this was great propaganda for Khrushchev. Before anybody settles down to that idea, let me put this to him: Nobody with his five wits would believe that the Soviet Union does not engage in espionage. Of course it does; it has the master spies of our time. Does anybody believe that you can make a nuclear weapon a deterrent unless you know at what target to fire? You don’t poop off - to use that expression - a missile at the map of Russia. You have to aim it at a target, and it is one of the oddities of the world to-day that on our side - because after all the United States of America is on our side - anybody in the United States of America may discover where all the installations are and where the various firing points are, within pretty narrow limits, by subscribing to the illustrated papers. As a matter of fact, Khrushchev pointed that out to a very distinguished American last year - a man who happens to be a close friend of mine. Khrushchev said, “ You talk about open skies! I do not need them. 1 only have to subscribe to your journals. Do you think I am going to give away the advan tage I have by the secrecy of my installations? You must take me for a simpleton.” Therefore, of course I would have been bitterly disappointed if aircraft had not been spotting these places and giving the rest of us in the world a chance of survival in a global contest.

One aircraft was apprehended, and of course the friends of the Soviet Union seized on that. “ Ah “, they said, “ this is terrible stuff.” Only those who are instinctively predisposed to accept Soviet propaganda will fail to understand the basic truth that on this occasion Khrushchev preferred to score his debating point and frustrate the meeting at the Summit. He preferred that to the interests of ordinary men and women all over the world who had hoped that out of the Summit Conference there might come something at any rate - some little point settled, some gleam of hope, even some agreement about nuclear experiments or a moratorium on Berlin. These are the most tremendous issues in the world and these are things, whether Khrushchev knows it or not, that sound in the ears, the minds and the hearts of ordinary men and women all over the world; and ordinary men and women all over the world will not forgive him for taking his debating point and scattering a meeting of the heads of governments to the wind.

That is the first thing I want to say. The second is this: The honorable member for Hume made some reference to the cold war. He said we should try to win the cold war. By a monstruous perversion of the words of a gallant and respected gentleman in this House, the honorable member for Yarra said that this meant that the honorable member for Hume wanted to convert the cold war into a hot war. Those were the very words of the honorable member for Yarra. 1 wrote them down at the time. He said the honorable member for Hume wanted to convert the cold war into a hot war. That was a diabolical statement to make. If it had been made about a gentleman with a career less clear and distinguished than that of the honorable member for Hume it might have been a hurtful remark. The honorable member for Hume, of course, meant what we all mean. We did not start the cold war. We are not responsible for the preservation of tension in the world. There is not one single cause of tension in the world that does not lie squarely at the door of the Communist powers. We did not begin the cold war, but, since it has been commenced, we must win it. You win a cold war by maintaining every effort to remove tension and by maintaining every effort to confer and to discuss at any time. You win a cold war by maintaining every effort to keep up your defences and your strength and by maintaining every effort to keep your world friendships green. That is what is meant by winning a cold war. The honorable member for Yarra, by his contemptible perversion of what the honorable member for Hume said, alleged that we want to win the cold war by having a hot war - presumably a deterrent war.

There is another aspect of the speech made by the honorable member for Yarra. He can always be relied on to put the case of the free world in the worst possible way and the case of the Communist powers in the best way. He is quite famous for that. Consistent with that attitude of mind, he said that the Communist powers have taken the lead in disarmament talks and in talks on the suspension of nuclear tests.

Mr Cairns:

– That is right.


– Of course, the honorable member continues to say that. All Communist propaganda is repeated again and again and the honorable member can be relied on to repeat it in this place. His statement is utterly untrue. One has only to refer to the last meeting of the Disarmament Commission at Geneva to discover that at a time when the two sides, particularly in relation to nuclear tests, were by no means 100 miles apart - a good deal had been agreed upon and, with a little exercise of control, other matters might have been agreed upon - the representatives of the Soviet Union walked out. They did that because they knew that on the next morning constructive proposals by the Western powers were to be placed on the table of the conference. These are the people who are honoured in this place by the gentleman from Yarra as having taken the lead in disarmament talks. I received a letter from Khrushchev himself about this matter and I replied to him. I was not specially favoured in receiving the letter, because I think similar letters were sent to all other leaders of government. No doubt my reply was frightfully oldfashioned. I am sure that it would not get the slightest accommodation in the mind and judgment of the honorable gentleman from Yarra. However, I propose to read a paragraph or two. I said -

I deeply regret, however, that the five Eastern European countries represented at the ten-nation Disarmament Committee, led by the Soviet Union, have seen fit to walk out of the Committee’s meetings without waiting even to hear, let alone discuss, the Western powers’ considered views of your proposals and the new proposals of their own, which it was known were being prepared for early submission to the Committee. I cannot see that the delegates’ action will help to further the general cause of disarmament.

I regret the latest development all the mare because I had been glad to note your assurance that your new proposals had taken into considers, lion some of the views of other Governments participating in the Disarmament Committee’s work. It had been our hope that careful stud) in the Disarmament Committee would have justified the expectations raised by news of your approach. We had hoped particularly that the proposals would be followed by the elaboration of concrete measures lor control related to each stage of the disarmament programme and effective from the very beginning of the disarmament process, so that disarmament and its control would proceed hand-in-hand.

Thai is not an unconstructive statement of our policy. I continued -

All these hopes have now been dashed. it was with concern that I noted in your letter the statement that the Soviet Government doubts whether the Western Powers represented in the Disarmament Committee really want disarmament; and I see that similar statements have been made even more forcibly recently by the Soviet delegate in Geneva. The policies followed by the Western Powers since 1946, including their record in the many disarmament conferences held over that period, are, however, sufficient to dispel any such doubts. For my own part, I am convinced from my experience and contact with Western Leaders over the years that these doubts are entirely misplaced. I am certain that the Western Powers, no less than Australia, stand ready to work out measures leading toward general and complete disarmament under effective international control, which was the aim of the unanimous resolution of the United Nations General Assembly last year. 1 venture to suggest that my reply represents the honest view of Australians on this matter. The other view is the view of Khrushchev. 1 now propose to say a word or two about the views of the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward). He is firmly of the opinion that Communist China should be recognized. He believes that recognition of Communist China would go a long way towards solving the problems of Asia. I wonder what reason he has for that belief. Oddly enough his attitude on this matter is completely academic because, in effect, he is saying that here is a country that has a settled government - a government in authority. He says that the country has all the earmarks of one that is entitled first to recognition de facto and secondly to recognition de jure. He asks why we do not recognize Communist China. Well, if the matter were as simple as that it would indeed be simple. But the honorable member must know that you will get nowhere with Communist China by recognizing it unless you recognize also Communist China’s control over Formosa. That is the simple truth of the matter. The United Kingdom Government years ago, when my friend Lord Attlee held the reins of office, recognized Communist China and has had some kind of diplomatic post there, but that has not had the slightest effect. That recognition has not made the slightest difference to United Kingdom relations with Communist China because Communist China, being a Communist power, being devoted to an expansion of its jurisdiction and being, as all Communist powers are, imperialist in its quality, must have Formosa. 1 have heard people say that Communist China should have Formosa. I do not want honorable members opposite to tell me that Chiang Kai-shek says that mainland China and Formosa are one country. I am not interested in that. What I am interested in is the fact that 10,000,000 people live on Formosa. A great many of them live there because they object to living under Communist rule. The simple truth of the proposal that we recognize Communist China is that we must also advocate a course of policy that will hand over those 10,000,000 people - now free - into Communist control. I invite honorable members to consider what that would mean. Nothing short of that would be of any interest to Communist China. What would it mean? First, it would mean, of course, the complete destruction of Seato. There are some people - people who did not have the responsibility for negotiating the South-East Asian Treaty - who think nothing of that organization. We think something of it. We think something of a treaty which results in the United States of America, Great Britain, France, Pakistan. New Zealand and Australia, the Philippines and Thailand, standing side by side. But if, cynically, we were prepared to hand over Formosa to the Communists in China, what effect would that have on the protocol countries - Laos, Cambodia, Thailand. South Vietnam and Malaya? They would say, “Well, if you can give away 10,000,000 people in Formosa, you can give away 1 0,000,000 people somewhere else “. It would utterly destroy the whole basis o( confidence on which Seato rests. 1 said so at the ministerial conference of Seato In Washington, with the unanimous approval of all the ministers there present.

There would be another effect of saying to Communist China, “ You may have Formosa “, quite apart from its effect on the general defensive structure of the Pacific. Such a move would represent the greatest diplomatic triumph, produced by voluntary concession, in the post-war history of communism. What its effect would be in any of the Asian and South-East Asian countries I leave to anybody’s imagination.

When people venture into the field ot foreign affairs I suggest to them that they should take a vow that before going to bed each night they will have a good, long, thoughtful look at the map and try to realize where we live and where our friends live. I have spoken at rather greater length than I intended, and I daresay that most of what I have said and what I have been answering is completely out of order. After all, as the honorable member for Corangamite (Mr. Mackinnon) reminded us yesterday, we are debating the Estimates. But since these matters have been raised, and since there is a chronic disposition on the part of honorable members opposite to believe that the Government has no point of view, I have stated the Government’s point of view, in, I hope, the most unambiguous terms.


.- We have seen a most remarkable display in the last few minutes - an aggressive, over-bearing and somewhat insolent display by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies). Depending upon the authority of his office, he comes into this place and, instead of examining the reasonable case submitted to the Parliament, adopts a method that he has frequently adopted in the past. When he cannot answer an argument, he insults the man who puts forward that argument. He has been doing this up and down the country for a good many years. In my opinion, the argument that has been put before the committee in the debate on the Estimates during the last 24 hours is an argument upon which the Prime Minister has not touched in any way in the last twenty minutes.

Let us take in order the points that the Prime Minister endeavoured to make. First, he referred to the honorable member for Wills (Mr. Bryant), who, he said, made two speeches, one in which he demonstrated that he did not know the solution of any problems and the other in which he purported to provide the solution to the problem of South Africa. What the honorable member for Wills said was that he expected the Government of Australia and its leader to express an opinion about the policy of apartheid in South Africa, but that, although the Prime Minister had had an opportunity on many occasions to express such an opinion,, he had never done so, and had allowed the rest of the world to think that he associated himself with the Government of South Africa in that policy.

We have not asked the Prime Minister or any one else to solve this problem. We have merely asked him to express the opinion of the Australian people on the problem, so that the people of South Africa and their government may know what we think. We do not expect him, nor should he expect the honorable member for Wills, to provide a solution to the problem, but we do expect him to express an opinion on such matters as the incident at Sharpeville in which many people were ruthlessly shot down. We expect him to express an opinion on a policy which enforces upon the people of South Africa a condition little better than slavery. If the right honorable gentleman holds the view that he is entitled to speak for 25 minutes in this debate without expressing an opinion on that matter, then it is a view I do not support. Nor do I think that any other thinking person in Australia would support it.

Let me give another illustration of the way in which the Prime Minister misrepresents the position. He said that I had stated in my speech that the Soviet Union and the other Communist powers had taken the lead in disarmament. What I did say, as reported at page 922 of “ Hansard “, was -

The Communist powers . . . have taken a role in disarmament and in the abolition of nuclear tests, which the Western powers have not been prepared to match.

I did not say they had taken the lead. The Prime Minister, however, in order to underline his case, presents my statement in language far stronger than that which I had used. I had hoped that the right honorable gentleman would not take <he Hps that he has taken on so many other occasions, saying, “ Who started the cold war? “ He says always that it is the other side which is at fault. If we adopt that stand, we will solve none of the great problems facing the world to-day.

I adopt the position that has been taken up in the British House of Commons and in the American Congress. 1 suggest that there are faults on both sides and that it is important to rectify our faults before they do great damage to us. This point of view has been put, as I say, in the American Congress and in the House of Commons, but it may not be put here without taking the risk of being insulted as a traitor to one’s country. This is one of the few countries in which a Prime Minister would adopt such an attitude, destroying, by his insolent inferences, any opportunity that exists in the Parliament for a rational consideration of a different point of view on foreign policy. This must be made clear to the people. It is not something that I am prepared to sit down and accept. I will put my point of view, as I put it yesterday, even though it is later described by the Prime Minister as a distorted point of view.

The right honorable gentleman referred to my remarks about the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Anderson), whenI suggested that the honorable member, in saying that we wanted to win the cold war, was displayinga willingness to run the risk of a hot war, or that he would choose a hot war. I will give my reason for making those remarks. Just before I spoke yesterday the honorable member for Hume said in his speech -

I think the signs are good and that the United States of America has begun to realize that to try to ease the tension of the cold war is a mistake and that the thing to do is to win the cold war. I believe we are on the eve of doing so and, therefore, I regard the future with much confidence.

How did the honorable member suggest that this should be done? Earlier in his speech he had said -

Previously it was the practice to say that we should try to ease the cold war but I think that that is quite a wrong policy. I believe that our policy should be directed towards winning the cold war. Russia has her problems and we must not clothe the Russians with supernatural powers. Every satellite country of Russia is restless.

What the honorable member meant was that we should encourage that restlessness, that we should go into Europe and try to increase that restlessness, creating conditions like those that existed in Hungary, or helping to create them, and running the risk, to some extent, of war. He meant that we should continually risk the possibility of war in situations of that kind. When I say that this was the honorable member’s meaning, I think his own words support my contention.

Motion (by Mr. Osborne) put -

That the question be now put - (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. T. F. Timson.)

The committee divided.

AYES: 65

NOES: 31

Majority 34



Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Progress reported.

page 990


Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 15); Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 16); Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 17); Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 18); Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 19); Customs Tariff (Canada Preference) Amendment (No. 1); Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Amendment (No. 5)

In Committee of Ways and Means:

Minister for Air · Evans · LP

.- I move- [Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 15).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1960, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the ninth day of September, One thousand nine hundred and sixty, at nine o’clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates, namely: - 19th May, 1960; and 16th August, 1960.

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 16).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1960, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the ninth day of September, One thousand nine hundred and sixty, at nine o’clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That, in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates, namely: - 19th May, 1960; and 16th August, 1960.

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 17).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1960, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the ninth day of September, One thousand nine hundred and sixty, at nine o’clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates, namely: - 19th May, 1960; and 16th August, I960.

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 18).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1960, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the ninth day of September, One thousand nine hundred and sixty, at nine o’clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates, namely : - 19th May, 1960; and 16th August, 1960.

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 19).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1960, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the ninth day of September, One thousand nine hundred and sixty, at nine o’clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates, namely: - 19th May, 1960; and 16th August, 1960.

[Customs Tariff (Canada Preference) Amendment (No. 1).]

  1. That, in these Proposals - “ Collector “ have the same meaning as in the Customs Act 1901-1960; “ goods to which these Proposals apply “ mean goods that -

    1. are the produce or manufacture of Canada;
    2. have been shipped from Canada to Australia and, unless the Collector is satisfied that the intended destination of the goods when originally shipped from Canada was Australia, have not been transhipped; and
    3. are entered for home consumption on or after the ninth day of September, One thousand nine hundred and sixty, at nine o’clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory; “ the Customs Tariff “ mean the Customs Tariff 1933-1960.
  2. – (1.) That, subject to the succeeding provisions of these Proposals, the rates of duty set out in the column headed “ British Preferential Tariff “ in the Schedule to the Customs Tariff apply to goods to which these Proposals apply. (2.) That an item in the Schedule to the Customs Tariff the number of which is specified in column I of the Schedule to these Proposals have effect, in relation to goods to which these Proposals apply, not being goods specified in column 3 of the Schedule to these Proposals opposite to the number of that item, as if the rate or rates of duty set out in that item in the column in that first-mentioned Schedule headed “ British Preferential Tariff” were modified in the manner set out in column 2 of the Schedule to these Proposals opposite to the number of that item.
  3. – (1.) That the Governor-General be empowered to declare, by Proclamation, that, after a specified time, the provision enacted to give effect to the last preceding paragraph be not applicable to goods described in the Proclamation. (2.) That the power to make such a Proclamation be not exercised unless the Governor-General is satisfied that the making of the Proclamation is not inconsistent with the obligations of Australia under any Agreement between Canada and Australia that relates to tariffs or trade. (3.) That such a Proclamation have effect according to its tenor in respect of goods described in the Proclamation that are entered for home consumption after the time specified in the Proclamation and before the Proclamation ceases to be in force.
  4. That, in ascertaining the value for duty under section one hundred and fifty-four of the Customs Act 1901-1960 of goods to which these Proposals apply, the amount included in the value for duty in respect of inland freight charges incurred in Canada be not greater than the amount of freight charges that would have been incurred in Canada if the goods had been forwarded from the point of origin of the goods to the nearest point of exit in Canada.

[Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Amendment (No. 5.)]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) 1933-1960, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the ninth day of September, One thousand nine hundred and sixty, at nine o’clock in the forenoon, reckoned according to standard time in the Australian Capital Territory, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates, namely: - 19th May, 1960; and 16th August, 1960.

Mr. Chairman, the Tariff Proposals which I have tabled relate to proposed amendments of the schedules to the Customs Tariff 1933-1960 and the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) 1933-1960. They also propose the enactment of new legislation to replace the Customs Tariff (Canada Preference) 1931 and the Customs Tariff (Canada Preference) 1934-1960. The alterations will take effect to-morrow morning. The proposals include changes in duties on firearms, sensitized photographic papers and transfer media, laboratory and scientific glassware, and thiocarbamyl chemicals; and they arise from consideration of the Tariff Board reports on these commodities. I shall table the relevant Tariff Board reports shortly.

The tariff structure on firearms has been revised. The important changes provide for protective duties of 15 per cent. British preferential tariff and 25 per cent, otherwise on .22 calibre single-barrelled rim fire rifles and various parts and for a reduction in the British preferential tariff-intermediate tariff margin on other firearms to the minimum permitted under the United KingdomAustralia Trade Agreement. It is also proposed to raise from £5 to £30 the penalty for unproofed firearms. This penalty, I might add, is intended to operate as a deterrent to the importation of weapons which have not been subjected to proof testing approved by the Minister for Customs and Excise.

Tariff protection is now accorded to photographic papers and transfer media of the image transfer types when in sizes of 400 square inches or less. Larger sizes remain unprotected. The papers affected are those types used in the photocopying of documents. Ordinary photographic papers are not affected.

Following a review of the local industry by the Tariff Board, protective duties are being imposed on laboratory and scientific glassware. The new rates will be 20 per cent, under the British preferential tariff and 30 per cent, under the intermediate and general tariffs. However, those goods which the Tariff Board has found are not being manufactured locally will be admitted under customs by-law at concessional rates of duty.

Concerning certain thiocarbamyl chemicals, which are used principally as agricultural fungicides, protective duties of 12$ per cent. British preferential tariff, and 30 per cent, otherwise, are now proposed in accordance with the recommendations of the Tariff Board.

Honorable members will recall that I placed before the committee on 19th May proposed tariff changes in respect of static transformers. Some slight modifications of the duties then imposed under the British preferential tariff are necessary to adhere to Australia’s international commitments. The Tariff Board report on this subject was tabled on 19th May.

Customs Tariff Proposal No. 17 relates solely to certain administrative changes introduced to facilitate the preparation of statistical data. In no case is the level of duties disturbed or the incidence of the tariff changed in any way.

As honorable members know, Australia has recently revised1 its trade agreement with Canada. Although the new agreement does not involve any actual alteration in the rates of duty applicable to Canadian goods, it is proposed to take the opportunity to consolidate all the provisions in one preference tariff and to revoke the two existing acts. The Customs Tariff (Canada Preference) Proposals No. 1 is introduced for this purpose.

Customs Tariff (New Zealand! Preference) Proposals No. 5 formally state certain new commitments to New Zealand. There is no variation in the existing rates of duty on the goods.

I commend the proposals to honorable members.

Progress reported.

page 1002


Reports on Items.


– I lay on the table the reports of the Tariff Board on the following subjects: -

Thiocarbamyl chemicals.

Sensitized photographic papers and transfer media.

Laboratory and scientific glassware. Firearms.

I am also tabling two other Tariff Board reports on -

Dolls, and

Roll film box-type cameras.

These do not call for any legislative action. The board’s findings have in both instances been adopted by the Government.

Ordered to be printed.

page 1003



In Committee of Supply: Consideration resumed (vide page 989).

Department of the Treasury.

Proposed Vote, £12,907,000

Melbourne Ports

– There are one or two matters concerning the administration of the Department of the Treasury about which I should like to say a few words. A couple of weeks ago I asked the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) whether he would indicate why, in the Budget Papers and some of the other financial documents that are presented ostensibly for the information of honorable members, the rather quaint procedure has been adopted of quoting Australia’s debt to the United States of America in terms of dollars at the rate of 4.8665 dollars to the £1, that being the rate which obtained 30 or more years ago when the gold standard was operative. As we all know, the current rate of exchange is 2.24 dollars to the £A.l. Stating the figures in this way has the effect of understating by nearly £130,000,000 the amount that Australia owes to the United States.

A similar procedure is adopted in relation to Australia’s indebtedness to the United Kingdom. It is expressed in sterling. As we all know, the present rate of exchange between Australia and great Britain is 25s. Australian to the £1 sterling. The Budget Papers show the sterling debt as being £342,000,000, but in round figures the amount of indebtedness is understated to the extent of £85,000,000. So Australia’s total indebtedness to the United Kingdom and the United States of America is understated by more than £A.200,000,000.

The Treasurer undertook to look into the matter. He prepared a statement which he tabled and which is now available to honorable members. On page 1 of the statement the following passage appears: -

The manner of presentation of the oversea indebtedness of the Commonwealth and the States has been under consideration for some time.

I hope it will not be under consideration for very much longer and that in future the relevant figures will be quoted in terms of Australian currency to-day, as are all the other figures in the Budget. That is the only way in which one can make a proper appraisal of the picture. The practice to which I have referred apparently dates back to the Financial Agreement of 1927. Surely some better procedure could be adopted now than that of expressing our indebtedness to the United States in terms of the gold standard and our debt to the United Kingdom in terms of sterling rather than in terms of Australian currency. I hope immediate attention will be given to this matter.

There are some other matters concerning the presentation of the overall financial picture to which I should like to refer. The Government has been bragging about the fact that this year it has budgeted for a surplus and not for a deficit. It is not possible to tell from the Budget Papers whether in the overall picture there is to be a surplus or a deficiency on the public account. Because it is of some significance, some attempt should be made to present in a much more comprehensive way than is done, information as to the overall effect of public finance on the Australian economy. With nearly £1 in £4 of total expenditure being directly the result of Government action, whether the Government spends more or less is of great significance in the overall economic picture.

Tied up with this is the need to have clear information as to the actual amount and as to how that amount is distributed, to obtain some comprehensive picture of the role of the public debt in the Australian scene. I call the attention of the committee to paragraph 603 on page 224 of the printed report of the Radcliffe committee in the United Kingdom, which, reporting in August of last year, had this to say -

It is not merely that monetary action and debt management interact so that they ought to be under one control: they are one and indivisible; debt management lies at the heart of monetary control, and it is essential that this unity should be adequately reflected in our institutional arrangements.

Those words are of some significance to the Australian situation at the moment, because we cannot get certain information about the public debt which, I am sure, must be available to the Treasury and which is made public in other countries.

I shall refer now to page 26 of the latest issue of the Treasury Information Bulletin - No. 19 for July, 1960. This is a very useful document published by the Treasury. One should give credit where credit is due; this most informative document is printed four times a year, within a month or so of the currency of the figures. In the last issue, statistics are given as to the amount of public debt which falls due in the current financial year. In the last few Budget speeches that have been made by the Treasurer and his predecessor, reference has been made to what has been called the problem of debt maturity. The figures in the Treasury Information Bulletin highlight the fact that the Government has not faced up to the situation properly; it has merely fobbed off the problem for the time being and this is beginning to catch up with it. Of the total amount of debt falling due internally this year, £337,000,000, £179,000,000 or well over half is debt that was incurred in 1958 and 1959 - not more than two years ago. This was debt which had fallen due then and which the Government apparently could convert only on the short term because people would not take long-term securities. The short-term rate at the moment is about 4 per cent.

The real problem is that maturing government debt is for all practical purposes the equivalent of cash. It affects what is now called the liquidity situation of the community, because a person who has a government bond maturing can at any time obtain a cheque drawn on the Government. When this cheque is paid into the banking system, it increases the capacity of that system, which then has more funds to do with as it likes. It shifts the initiative in monetary control from the public sector to the private sector. I suggest that this is one of the real difficulties that the Government faces.

It would have been interesting if the Government had given some intimation - I hope that it may yet do so - as to who holds the major part of the £179,000,000 of debt converted in 1958 and 1959 into short-term securities. One cannot get an appraisal here of how much of the public debt is held by institutions. A new factor has intruded into this situation - the short-term money market, created by the policy of this Government. I suggest that much more adequate statistics ought to be published, showing who holds the short-term securities. I cannot see any reason at all why this information should not be published. It would at least assist those who have to make an assessment of what the situation is likely to be. This is another matter that deserves some attention.

A further factor that causes great confusion in the Australian scene is what might broadly be called the problems of Commonwealth and State relations. Last night, the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) spoke at considerable length about the great job the Government is doing to assist the States. He said that larger sums were now being given to the States than had previously been given. Of course, it is necessary for the States in 1960 to have more money than they had in 1945 or 1950 or 1955. Their responsibilities are greater because their populations are growing by natural increase and by immigration. The Prime Minister last night gave figures on the expenditure on education in Victoria in 1946-47 compared with 1960. I should like to make another comparison, which I think is of some significance, and that is the amount of interest payable by the States in 1947 and the amount payable in 1960. These figures are given on page 95 of the Budget Papers. In round figures, the total annual interest burden on the debt ascribed to the States in 1947 was £31,000,000, but for the year ended June, 1960, it had risen to £105,000,000, an increase in thirteen years of £74,000,000. It would be very interesting, again as an exercise, if we could have presented to us information showing how much of the increased amount now paid to the States is due to this book-keeping transaction, by which the States receive money from taxation so that they can pay it back to the Commonwealth as interest. There is a lot of this duck-shoving going on inside the Australian economic picture at the moment. This makes it very difficult to obtain a clear picture.

It is easy enough to argue that the payments to the States have risen over the years, but it would be interesting to know how much of the increase is due to this peculiar policy of the financial relations between the Commonwealth and the States. The Commonwealth pays for its capital works out of revenue. I support that policy and hope that it will continue, and even increase, in the future. In my view, the best way to pay for public works is out of current revenue. This eliminates any interest or other burdens in the future, which create this peculiar circulating book-keeping device arising from the payment of interest by the States. I doubt in the last analysis whether it makes much difference to the overall picture. This device causes a lot of confusion in attempting to assess the position and makes the Commonwealth Government appear much more generous than it really is. If one asks the State governments whether they have enough money on current account and capital account to do all they need to do, they will say that they have not. Education is flagging, hospitals are not being built and certain cultural facilities are being neglected because the States have not sufficient money to do all they need to do and to experiment in fields in which they would like to experiment. Their revenue is strictly limited by the Commonwealth Government. I believe the matters I have mentioned should be clarified.


– -Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.

Wide Bay

.- I have the temerity to make certain suggestions in regard to income tax. I will not suggest great changes in the present methods of taxation, but I will suggest certain ways in which I believe our national revenue and our national stability can be improved. I postulate five propositions. The first is that there is not enough investment in government securities. The second is that Australia needs more money for national development. The third is that savings are a very desirable source of money for that purpose and, therefore, that we must encourage savings. My fourth proposition is that many teenagers do not save enough money. My fifth proposition is that the burden on the shoulders of the family man should be eased as much as possible.

I submit that one way in which we can encourage savings is by providing for deferred tax credits. I suggest that any person be permitted to deposit with the Government up to, say, £250 in any tax year and to have his tax assessed as if his taxable income for that year were reduced by that amount. A suggestion along somewhat similar lines has already been made by the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth). I suggest that interest be paid on the deposits at 3 per cent, per annum, or whatever is considered a fair rate, and that in any subsequent year the taxpayer may elect to have that amount included in his taxable income, after withdrawing it from the Treasury. The amount which he withdraws would form a part of his taxable income for that year and he would be taxed accordingly.

Critics may say that the tax on that amount would merely be deferred and that no inducement would be given to make such deposits. I point out that a prudent taxpayer would obviously withdraw the money from deposit in a year in which his income was much less than in other years. The eventual saving to a taxpayer who deposited £20 might be £10, or even £100. If he ceased work, withdrew his deposit of £250, included it in his taxable income for that year and paid tax on it, the tax might, in some circumstances, be negligible. So there would be an inducement to a taxpayer to adopt that method of depositing money with the Government. Let me assume that the tax on the amounts deposited average 5s. in £1 and that 200,000 people invested £250 each in a year. The Government would receive £50,000,000 in that year. At the rate of 5s. in the £1, the tax the depositors would save on that sum would be approximately £12,000,000. Although the Government would lose £12,000,000 in taxation in that year, it would have the use of £50,000,000 of the taxpayers’ money. This would be an excellent means of avoiding inflationary tendencies. If there were a possibility that so much money would be placed on deposit as to cause difficulties, arrangements could be made for a limit to be placed on the number of depositors in each tax year - say 50,000 depositors a quarter at £250 each. Time will not permit me to give further details. Obviously, the amount of the deposit, the number of depositors and the conditions would have to be considered.

I now mention another way of improving Australia’s financial position. I call it the teenage credit method. I suggest that the income in excess of £5 a week of a single person under 21 years of age be taxed at a higher rate under a deferred system. In addition to the normal income tax payments, one-third of the income in excess of £5 per week would be treated as a deferred credit, or a teenage credit, if you like that term. Interest would be paid on that amount at the rate of, say, 3 per cent, per annum. The sum standing to the credit of the teenager would increase each year. If he married at the age of, say, 21 years, he would be allowed to withdraw the deferred credit which had accumulated. If £100 a year for five years were taken by way of deferred credit from his wages, for which 1 have assumed an average of £11 a week, then on his marriage he would receive £545. I believe that would be a good way of helping him at a time when he needed help - when he was getting married. However, this suggestion, if implemented, would do more than help the teenager when he married; it would have the effect of preventing him from wasting his money. I think honorable members will readily agree, after seeing the way in which teenagers spend their money, that some of them spend far too much. On the other hand, many teenagers are careful with their money. Under the system I suggest, the tendency of some teenagers to spend too much money would be curbed and a teenager would save perhaps £100 a year, which would be returned to him with interest when he married.

The money would also be very useful for national purposes. Therefore, there would be both an individual benefit and a national benefit from such a system. I cannot go into any further details of the system of teenage credit which I suggest. I merely say that if 200,000 teenagers had deferred credits of £100 a year each, the Government would have £20,000,000 a year and that amount would not go down the drain, as some of it does at present. To meet the case of the teenager who did not marry at the age of 21 years, a scheme could be introduced under which deferred credits would be paid to a single adult on attaining the age of 25 years. The money would not be retained by the Government indefinitely, even if the depositor could not find a wife.

I have pointed out two ways - the teenage credit scheme and the deferred tax credit scheme - in which further finance could be raised from time to time, and which would also curtail unnecessary spending and thereby help to prevent inflation.

Turning to the other side of the picture, I believe that the family man to-day needs more consideration in regard to taxation. For a couple of years now the allowable deductions available to the family man have not been increased. I may say that I have no axe to grind in this matter, because my youngest child is over the age at which I benefit in tax rebates. The present taxation allowance in respect of a spouse or a daughter-housekeeper is £143. That amount has remained static for a couple of years. My argument is that if the allowance was just, two years ago, it is too low to-day. I suggest, therefore, that in order to bring the family man into relativity with other taxpayers, his taxation allowances should be increased. Other allowances applying to the family man are £91 for Che first child and £65 each for other children under 16 years of age. There are also allowances in respect of student children, invalid relatives, parents and housekeepers. They also should be increased.

It might be argued that if these allowances were increased it would be necessary to levy additional taxes to offset the resulting fall in the revenue. If, however, the allowances were increased at the same time as my other suggestions were put into operation, that might not apply, because the Government would have a great deal more money each year which would be withdrawn from circulation and which it could use for national investment. So the Government would be in a better position.

If, after the schemes I have suggested were put into effect, it were necessary to increase taxes, the increase in tax rates would be so slight as to be scarcely worth talking about. An increase of 3d. in the £1 would mean that a man’s liabilities would go up by only one-eightieth, yet this would yield another £8,500,000 a year to the Government. A taxpayer who paid £4 in tax would have to pay only another ls. If an increase in tax were necessary in order to increase the allowances available to the family man so as to bring him into relativity with other taxpayers, the amount involved would be so small that I think it would be very worthwhile to grant these increased allowances.

Melbourne Ports

.- I shall take my second period, Mr. Temporary Chairman. I have made some mention of the internal debt of Australia as revealed in the last Treasury bulletin. That statement also contains some facts regarding the maturity dates of overseas loans in the current financial year. Two loans will be falling due in London for conversion, one in December, I960 and the other in June, 1961. The first is a loan of £14,000,000 sterling at 3 per cent., and the second is a loan of £20,500,000 sterling at 3i per cent. In order to get the Australian money equivalent it is only necessary to add another quarter to those figures.

The Government is pursuing a policy of not redeeming those debts, but of floating fresh loans in their stead. Of course, the money cannot be reborrowed on the same favourable terms as it was originally borrowed. The last two sterling loans that were converted had to be issued at a discount - one was issued at £97 10s. per cent, and the other at £98 per cent. These conversions can be floated only at an interest rate of 6 per cent. Apart even from sinking fund payments, the annual interest burden on a debt of £20,000,000 Australian - or £16,000,000 sterling - at 3 per cent, is £600,000. If you have to reconvert the loan at the terms now ruling on the market, the annual interest bill will increase from £600,000 to £1,200,000. I am quoting round figures. I doubt whether it is very sound economy, whatever views might be held about the shortage of foreign exchange, to convert these loans at all. I suggest that it would be more prudent to pay the loans off and so at least avoid the annual interest burden of £1,200,000 that I have mentioned.

What is happening illustrates how desperately this Government seeks round for foreign exchange. In conjunction with this search we have its relaxation of import controls, so as to allow to come into this country goods that are not really necessary. I do not mean to say that all imports are unnecessary, but there are many things being imported which the Australian economy could well do without. They could either be got here or we could be better off without them. An honorable member on this side of the chamber directed attention this afternoon to an item in the tariff schedule which, if it were not imported, would be no great loss to Australia. So desperate is the Government to conserve its foreign exchange holdings that it is refraining from paying off loans, even though the terms of refloating them are onerous, to say the least. Yet at the same time, as the result of the Government’s import policy, it is helping to exhaust our foreign exchange holdings, while it hopes that capital imports will bridge the gap. Again I suggest that it is not very good national housekeeping to incur capital debts which have to be met on very unfavourable terms, when at the same time we are importing many things which are immediately consumed, and which in many instances are not required by the economy. That is very foolish national housekeeping. These are the kinds of straws, however, at which this Government grasps in order to conserve its London balances. The Government conserves these balances in one direction and, because of its relaxation of import controls, runs them down in another direction. I suggest that there ought to be better co-ordination between the import policy and the policy of conserving our London funds.

On previous occasions in this chamber we have been told that, at Loan Council discussions, the Premiers have agreed to the Government’s financial policy. I suggest that the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) does not really think that the State Premiers have a very serious say in this kind of thing. They are more or less rubber stamps at the Loan Council. They are glad to get anything they can get. They are not very worried about where the money they get comes from. As I stated before, we have that curious circulating problem whereby the interest bill of the States has risen from £30,000,000 to over £105,000,000 in a period of twelve or thirteen years. It is true, as the Prime Minister says, that the Commonwealth’s payments to the States this year will be greater than ever before. But so also are the needs of the States greater. Again I suggest there ought to be some kind of reappraisal of our , constitutional machinery insofar as the meeting of the Commonwealth and the States in the Loan Council is concerned. The Loan Council meetings have become an annual wrangle as to how much the Commonwealth will give measured against the growing demands of the States. Then we have the interplay of Commonwealth immigration policy and the development problems of the States. We ought to be dealing with all these problems as partners in a co-operative Commonwealth rather than in this wrangle, the meeting of the Loan Council, which occurs in May or June of each year. The Government should look at the many problems with which the Treasury is confronted.

The honorable member for Wide Bay (Mr. Bandidt) has advanced some fancy schemes for filling loans by making the returns from those loans tax-free, but the fact remains that the investors in the different income brackets carefully calculate the return that they will receive before they invest in these loans. The Commonwealth Government, in its advertisements relating to its new series of loans, has pointed out how much it is worth to individuals in particular income brackets to invest, having regard to the rebate of 2s. in the £1 which is given on the interest received from the investment. This does not seem to me to be an equitable or a practical way to secure money which is necessary to finance essential public development.

Our national debt at present is in the vicinity of £4,200,000,000. When you look at the figures which are published by the Treasury, it is surprising how much of this debt is held by public agencies of one kind or another. This entails merely a transfer of figures from one side of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the other. There are huge holdings of some hundreds of millions of pounds in the Note Issue Reserve and, according to the latest report of the National Debt Commission which was tabled in the Parliament recently, there are stocks worth something like £176,000,000 in the National Debt Sinking Fund. The Commonwealth Bank, which is a public agency, holds large amounts of government securities. Mutual insurance companies, which in essence are only investors by proxy for the people who make small weekly or quarterly payments in insurance premiums, hold large amounts of government securities. The various State savings banks, which are public institutions, also hold large amounts of the Public Debt. The amount that is held by individuals is a relatively declining proportion of the total.

It is true that very belatedly this Government did something that the Opposition had urged for a long time. It issued the new kind of bond that retains its capital value after it has been held for a minimum period of six months. This kind of bond has been reasonably successful in encouraging investment from the smaller individuals in the community. But I think that more serious consideration should be given to the problem of debt management because of its intimate relationship with monetary policy. The tendency now is for an increasing proportion of the debt to be held by institutions and for an increasing proportion of the debt to be held in short-term rather than long-term holdings. Of course, the shorter the term the more frequent do conversions become, and the individuals who hold those bonds exercise the choice of converting or drawing their cheques and putting the development in some other direction. This makes it increasingly difficult for the Government to exert the overall financial control which it should exert.

We on this side of the chamber believe that there should be more public investment or more public development relative to the private investment than exists at present. I think that at present about two-thirds of total investment is private and one-third is public. I suggest that honorable members look at the buildings which are being placed on the corner of Bourke and Queen streets in Melbourne and ask themselves whether those kind of buildings are more important to the needs of the Victorian people than are primary and high schools and hospitals. I do not think that people should have the most comfortable bank buildings imaginable in which to pay in their cheques while children are being educated in all kinds of temoprary premises. The only way in which you can alter that balance is to have more public investment. Whether it comes out of taxation or from increasing subscriptions to loans may be immaterial, but it would make for more spending in the public sector and less in the private sector. At present the initiative lies to a greater degree than it should with these private institutions as to how the pattern of development in Australia shall be determined.

In a year or two the Government will come head-on with this problem of public debt conversion. I commend to the Prime Minister and to the Treasury the remarks of the Radcliffe committee on this aspect. This committee was set up by a conservative - what we call a tory - government in

England, lt was composed mainly of commoners and bankers although a couple of trade union representatives were on it. The committee took the view that public investment should not be squeezed when credit retrictions become necessary. But that is what happens when you have the kind of financial policy which this Government has adopted in Australia. You get conditions of boom, and rather than impose the restriction in the private sphere it is imposed in the public sphere. To a great extent, we have not in Australia the capacity to restrict the private sphere effectively. That means that if the overall activity in the investment field is to decline, it is easier to do it in the public sphere than in the private sphere, although it might not be the most desirable or the most equitable choice to make in the pattern of development.

These problems must be grappled with in the next year or two. I have no doubt that the Prime Minister and his officers have contemplated them. I hope that more information will be given to honorable members. While the Prime Minister was absent from the chamber I commended the Treasury for the Treasury Information Bulletin.

Mr Menzies:

– Although I was not in the chamber I heard your remarks.


– The survey which is published each year is very informative and helps to throw light on what are really complicated problems - problems which this Parliament has to endeavour to understand and comprehend.


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.


.- I congratulate the Treasury upon the White Papers which now are presented with the Budget Papers. The National Income and Expenditure statement and the Treasury Information Bulletin are most valuable documents which assist honorable members and the public generally. However, I suggest that the Treasury accounts should be prepared in a form which the ordinary businessman and the public would be better able to understand. There is a tendency to write down the Australian financial position. I suggest that our economy has never been sounder than it is to-day. Australia should publish its accounts in a form readily understandable to the average citizen, both at home and abroad, and, because of Australia’s financial soundness, I believe that we will attract far more funds from overseas and entice far more money into Government bonds than we have over the last few years. I believe that this tendency to write down Australia instead of writing up its wonderfully sound position is having a depressing effect on the people who have money to invest.

I have reconstructed statement No. 1 of the Budget Papers in the form in which it would be presented by a public company carrying on business in Australia. The statement shows that the revenue of the Commonwealth from taxation and from its undertakings amounted to £1,432,000,000, and that expenditure was £1,260,000,000. The real surplus for the year 1959-60 was £172,000,000. That is a most satisfactory position for the Commonwealth and, I think, would be the envy of most countries of the world. I see no reason why we should not tell the world the true position. Why should we not say that, according to ordinary business accounting, our surplus for the year 1959-60 was £172,000,000? Instead of that, we tell the world that we had a cash deficit of £28,000,000.

Let us see how the Commonwealth expended its surplus of £172,000,000. First, we used £142,000,000 of it on Commonwealth capital works. I do not criticize the Commonwealth for doing so. It is wonderful that we are able to pay, out of revenue, for the whole of our capital works. It will be a very fortunate generation which inherits completely free of debt, all the post offices, the airports and the other facilities that have been provided during the last twelve months. But I do not see any reason why we should not let the people know the position. An amount of £7,000,000 has been used as advances to war service land settlers, all of which will be repaid in future years. Again, a fortunate generation will have that money coming in to help with its normal expenditure.

When we deduct the £142,000,000 for capital works and the £7,000,000 for war service land settlement, the surplus that still remains is £23,000,000. How, then, did the Government produce a so-called cash deficit of £28,000,000? This is how it was arrived at. An amount of £220,000,000 was lent to the States for State works.

The public at home and overseas lent £193,000,000, so that there was a shortage in that respect of £27,000,000. Also, we paid off our past debts, war-time and otherwise, to the extent of £77,000,000. We received from the sinking fund £53,000,000 against that figure, which left a shortage of £24,000,000. I am not criticizing the Government for paying off past debts out of revenue. I think it is most commendable that we are able to do so, notwithstanding the fact that we have established sinking funds which automatically pay off those debts over a period of years. In time of prosperity it is very proper that we should pay off our past debts as quickly as we are able. But again, I say, “ Why not let the people know? “

When we bring those figures into adjustment - that is, the £23,000,000 surplus that we arrived at after paying for our capital works out of revenue, the £27,000,000 that we had to pay to meet the shortage in borrowings of the States, and the £24,000,000 which was used to pay off our public debt - we arrive at the figure of £28,000,000, which is shown in the Budget as the cash deficiency.

When we come to the present year we find an even more favorable position. For 1960-61, receipts are estimated at £1,609,000,000, and expenditure, which any company or corporation would charge against those receipts, is estimated at £1,343,000,000. Therefore, the surplus, on which the Government would have to pay tax if it were a private corporation, will be £266,000,000. Again, I say, that indicates a financial position that must be the envy of every country of the world. We propose to use that surplus of £266,000,000, first, by paying £140,000,000 for capital works, all of which will be handed on to future generations completely free from debt. Secondly, we propose to redeem another £80,000,000 worth of war-time and other debts, which will bring the surplus down to £46,000,000. Thirdly, we propose to make advances to the States of £31,000,000 to meet the anticipated shortage in public borrowings. So, we arrive at the published surplus of £15,000,000. These are facts that we should tell the people. I do not think it is wise merely to say we have a cash deficit, or that we shall have only a small surplus. Why not say, “ To check this inflationary situation, we are going to pay off our past debts, and we are also going to pay for all our government works out of revenue “? I think the people are ready for a lead on counter-inflationary action. I congratulate the Government on the action that has been taken, and I think there is much more that we can do. We have to take the people completely into our confidence. We should say to them, “ We are living in a time of great prosperity, and because that is so, we propose to take this opportunity to pay off our past debts and at the same time check inflation “.

This problem of inflation is causing concern in every country, and I think it is quite obvious that different remedies are necessary in different circumstances. I believe it was the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) who once used the expressive phrase that inflation was a condition in which too much money was chasing too few goods. I think that was a completely correct diagnosis of the situation at the time, but in these days of abundance of goods and services it cannot possibly be said that there are shortages of goods, and we have to look to other causes of the present inflationary pressure.

I believe that the cause of the present inflationary situation is inadequacy of savings. In this time of great prosperity, the people are spending too much and saving too little. The only way in which we can control the present situation is to save greater amounts than are being saved now. I believe that we have to get more money into Government bonds so that we shall not perpetuate a situation in which we are paying for everything out of revenue. I congratulate the Treasurer on the introduction of special bonds. Some years ago, I suggested to the Government that more imagination should be shown in the floating of Government loans. I repeat that suggestion now. I believe there is still lack of imagination in meeting members of the investing public in ways that will attract them to invest their money in Government bonds rather than spend it.

Last year the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth) put forward a very valuable suggestion which I believe would attract the investment of many millions of pounds in Government bonds. The honorable member for Wide Bay (Mr. Bandidt) made several suggestions this afternoon. I do not think we should simply dismiss all these suggestions; nor do we necessarily need to adopt them. But we have to recognize that Government bonds have lost their attraction. They are met by very severe competition from organizations which are able to offer high rates of interest. 1 would not suggest for a moment that the interest on Government bonds should be raised, for I think that would only make the whole inflationary situation wilder than it is to-day, but I believe there are all sorts of things we can do to make Government bonds more attractive.


-(Mr. Chaney). - Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.


.- I shall deal later with the references by the honorable member for Sturt (Mr. Wilson) to inflation, and give my reasons for it. I may say that the reasons offered by honorable members on this side are not those which the honorable member for Sturt suggests are responsible for the existence of the present high pressure of inflation. Nor do we agree that the remedies the honorable member would apply are those best calculated to effect a cure.

As the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) is sitting at the table, I should like to draw his attention to the practical side of taxation and point to an anomaly which now exists. Apparently it was adjusted in the years gone by, but it has crept up again. I refer to the income tax levied on Australian writers. These writers are not making a great deal of money, and the anomaly to which 1 refer relates to the practice of adding royalties to the author’s income. The average author in this country has another job. If he depended on writing, he would starve to death. The supplementary income he earns as a writer is added to his ordinary income in a lump sum for the purposes of assessment, and may even render him liable to the payment of provisional tax. It certainly prevents him from receiving the usual rebates that most workers enjoy. I have had this experience myself on several occasions.

I think that the present Prime Minister, together with a former Labour Prime Minister, the late J. H. Scullin, was a member of a taxation review committee which was responsible for the introduction of the system of assessment under which income was averaged over a period of three years. I think that spread was arrived at on the rather quaint reasoning that as the primary producer was allowed three years to fatten his bullocks, the artistic gentleman should be allowed three years to create his epic.

Mr Menzies:

– I have never heard that explanation.


– It does seem rather bovine or bucolic, but I believe it to be true. I hope the Prime Minister will correct me if I am wrong, but I understand that now the primary producer is allowed five years in which to fatten his bullocks, whereas the author is now taxed on what he earns durin the year. I base that on inquiries I have made at the Sydney office of the Taxation branch. I should like the Prime Minister and Acting Treasurer to investigate this matter and, if I am rightly informed, to restore the old very useful system of spreading the income over three years.

Mr Menzies:

– I will certainly look into it.


– I thank the right honorable gentleman. I think the situation has slipped and is now slightly out of hand.

The honorable member for Sturt is a very knowledgeable man on matters relating to finance. He sees the opportunities that have been won and lost by the Government. He spoke of inflation in pious and platitudinous terms. He said what a regrettable thing it was and that we would have to do something about it now or in the very near future, and so on and so on, ad nauseam. I think that we must be more potent, aggressive and savage in attacking inflation of the kind that affects the country at the present time. Without going into the old routine of blaming people - after all inflation is a world-wide problem - we should look at some of the causes of it. I have only to look at my own electorate to see some of the dramatic changes that inflation has brought into the lives of the people. First, they have an entirely different concept of working hours, wages, and indeed, of the future.

I think that we have to look to the psychological factors of inflation if we are to find a cure. In effect, the 40-hour week has disappeared now because of this Government’s policy. Overtime is rampant. Statistics published recently in the “ Sydney Morning Herald “ disclose that, in secondary industry, which provides a tremendous amount of employment in Sydney, as it does in all capital cities, about one-third of the employees are on permanent overtime. Now, the way to attract staff or to keep staff contented is to ensure that overtime is turned on. Overtime to that extent is anti-union and certainly very proinflation. In essence, the 40-hour week is the maximum time in which employment should be pursued, but to-day, we find that overtime is added and this is a prolific cause of inflation. The extra money goes into circulation and is absorbed through another aspect of inflation - the free spending, induced by modern massive publicity campaigns, on the things that workers require to-day. Some of the most brilliant brains in Australia are trained in selling methods. Sales suggestibility has developed into almost an art and turnover has reached extraordinary proportions. Sales must be maintained if we are not to have a rundown in business with a consequential slackening of employment, the loss of overtime and the restoration of the 40-hour week. That is the plight we have created for ourselves. We are on the horns of a dilemma whichever way we turn.

Again, the basic wage does not exist any more as the notation of what a man earns, because the drift in the value of money - it is the same in other parts of the world, since inflation is world-wide - is such that usually, if there are no children of working age in the family, the wife is obliged to go out and seek employment in order to supplement her husband’s income. So, in effect, the basic wage to-day is earned by two people, not one.

So, the first plight of the worker is that the 40-hour week has been wiped out, although he does not realize it. He sees only the rainbow or the shimmering mirage of good times. We are told that “ We have never had it better “ - a low-grade Yankee slogan. I urge people to examine the position and ask themselves whether they have never had it better. They may have radio sets, television sets and other amenities that the worker never dreamed of having twenty years ago, but the structure on which our standards have been built has been weakened. We are now living in a framework that could collapse at any time simply because there is no stability in it. Inflation careers everywhere. Because of the need to work overtime, the 40-hour week has, in effect, gone. Nobody can say justly that a 40-hour week is operating to-day, be cause men have to work overtime in order to get enough money to pay their way.

When we talk about taxation we complain about the free spending of the worker and we tend to forget that many of the services that he uses have become, in effect, a tax upon him. He has to pay fivepence for a postage stamp and a very high tax, in the form of rates, on his little cottage. It ranges from £25 to £35 in the metropolitan area of Sydney. He has to pay another £20 in water rates, based on a fictitious valuation. All these things are charges on his salary, but we talk about curbing his extravagance and we look for a formula to enable us to do so. The worker is being got at in many other ways. At one time he paid a small amount for his telephone, but now his telephone bill is fantastically large. So with his insurance premiums and many other things. One thing is piled upon another. It is a case of piling Pelion upon Ossa. The weight of his commitments compels him to work overtime.

The honorable member for Sturt (Mr. Wilson) referred to the crux of the position when he said, rather naively, that government bonds have lost their attraction. Millions of pounds worth of advertisements have appeared in the metropolitan newspapers to make them lose their attraction. Alongside sober advertisements such as “ The State of Victoria is behind this loan “, “ The State of New South Wales is behind this Water Board loan “, “ Queensland guarantees this loan at 5 per cent. “, are flamboyant advertisements by trust companies and others. These companies say, “ We will get you 8 per cent. Roll out that spare cash to us; we will make it work. This is 1960. We will give you unit trust money for your investment.”

Mr Crean:

– It is investment inflation.


– As our expert, the honorable member for Melbourne Ports, says, it is investment inflation, rioting amongst the savings of the people and taking from them the money they should be putting into government bonds or into savings banks. As a result, an extraordinary thing is happening. Labour made a frontal attack upon the trading banks of this country a decade ago, but now those banks do not matter a tinker’s dam. They have died of their own volition. They are the second line of attack so far as money is concerned. The bandit bankers are in front of them.

The bandit bankers are making millions of pounds, whereas the trading banks are making less than hundreds of thousands. The banks are having a bit of a battle. They are having something of a struggle to get their statutory 12 per cent., 13 per cent., and 14 per cent., because they have gone along with the bandit banks. I ask for leave to continue my remarks.

Progress reported.

Sitting suspended from 5.59. to 8 p.m.

page 1013


Bill presented by Mr. Roberton, and read a first time.

Second Reading

Minister for Social Services · Riverina · CP

– by leave - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

It is my privilege to introduce a bill that will not only directly benefit almost 700,000 Australian citizens but will, in addition, clear away an anomaly which has bedevilled the application of the means test for more than half a century and, to that degree, alter the traditional pattern of pension entitlement in our country. Since the proclamation of the Commonwealth of Australia was signed on 17th September, 1900, this Parliament, in addition to all the six State parliaments, has discussed the question of social services with a frequency and a regularity which has never been exceeded by the consideration given to any other public and controversial question. Admittedly, our federation was eight years old before the Parliament approved of the first piece of social service legislation, but they were eight years of almost constant conflict of opinion and didactic disputation over the relative merits of a variety of proposals and, although great and far-reaching reforms have been effected since then, this Parliament has never been able to compose that conflict or reduce that disputation.

It must never be forgotten that Commonwealth social services are based on the willingness and the ability of the community as a whole to assist those who are in need of assistance and who are qualified in terms of residence, circumstances, age, invalidity, bereavement, maternity, the care and custody of children, sickness or unemployment, and it is left to the Executive Go vernment to determine the measure of that assistance within the limits of the Budget in each and every financial year.

Consistent with that basis, the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) has announced that the maximum general rate of age, invalid and widows’ pensions will be increased by 5s. a week. This will bring the new maximum genera] rates up to £5 a week for the aged and for invalids, up to £5 5s. a week for widows with children, and up to £4 7s. 6d. a week for widows without children.

I would remind the House that the actual maximum pension payable to invalid and widow pensioners and to permanently incapacitated age pensioners is increased by an additional 10s. a week for each child after the first and, for all pensioners who are qualified to receive supplementary assistance, the actual maximum pension payable is increased by a further 10s. a week. These additional payments were introduced by this Government in 1956 and 1958, respectively.

Since 1949, the maximum general rate has been increased from £2 2s. 6d. a week, without additional payments of any kind, to these new levels - varying, as they do, with the changing circumstances of those who qualify for them - and they are further increased by the free medical services and pharmaceutical benefits which were introduced by the present Government and are now available to the vast majority of pensioners.

The bill provides for the total abolition of the class D widows’ pension which visited great hardship on women with children whose husbands have been imprisoned for at least six months. Honorable members will know that women in these sad circumstances have been paid at the rate applicable to widows of 50 years of age who have no children. That grave additional penalty on the children will now be removed. In future their mothers will receive the same rate of pension, and will be subject to the same means test, as class A widows. Thus, the rate payable to them will be increased from the current £4 2s. 6d. a week to £5 5s. a week - an increase of £1 2s. 6d. a week - and, for the first time, they will become entitled to an additional 10s. a week for each child after the first. Women who are over 50 years of age, who have no children in their care and custody, and whose husbands have been imprisoned for at least six months, will, in future, be eligible for a class B widow’s pension under the usual conditions. There will be no financial advantage, but it is hoped that the change will be of some benefit to them in other ways.

A number of machinery amendments, not involving any additional cost but of importance to the community, have been included in the bill with the sole object of improving and clarifying certain provisions in the principal act in the light of departmental experience and advice received from the Commonwealth legal authorities. At this juncture, I propose to mention them briefly since they will be explained in more detail during the committee stage of the bill.

The first of these machinery amendments relates to the recovery of sickness benefit and also the cost of rehabilitation treatment and training where a person has received compensation or damages. In the interests of the community, it is only reasonable that where a person has received an award of compensation or damages he should be expected to repay to the Commonwealth the cost of the benefits and1 services received by him. The bill will improve the existing provisions by enabling recovery to be effected from the insurance company with whom the person liable to pay compensation or damages is insured.

The second machinery amendment is concerned with the provisions under which pensioners are required to notify the department of receipt of income or property and other changes in their circumstances which will affect their entitlement to a pension. The present provisions require a pensioner who has received certain income throughout a period of eight consecutive weeks to notify the department within fourteen days after the expiration of that period. As a direct result of the new merged means test, which I will refer to later, it will be necessary for the department to be notified, in some cases, at shorter notice. The relevant provisions have been amended to cover cases of the kind, and the opportunity has been taken, at the same time, to clarify and improve the provisions in the light of advice received from the Attorney-General’s Department.

The bill also amends the provisions relating to prosecution for offences against the act, the object being to simplify the pro cedures in accordance with suggestions made by the Crown Solicitor’s Office. Provision is also being made for persons authorized by the director-general to give the actual written consent to a prosecution for an offence. In practice, administrative instructions will be given so that the State directors will give this consent, but only after the Minister or the director-general has approved of the prosecution in the particular case concerned.

A further amendment will enable an over-payment of pension, allowance, endowment or benefit to be adjusted by deductions from future instalments of the same pension, allowance or benefit. I may say that power already exists in separate provisions of the act to make these deductions, and the amendment only places that power in its proper context. There is an amendment which will allow small items of capital expenditure under the Commonwealth rehabilitation service which do not exceed £200 to be charged to the National Welfare Fund. This proposal will simplify accounting procedures and is the outcome of discussions with the Treasury and the Commonwealth Audit Office.

I now come to the most important structural change in our social services which has ever been devised since the introduction of the legislation, in 1908, for the payment of pensions by the Commonwealth. I refer to the complete alteration of the application of the means test with respect to property and/ or savings in assessing the full entitlement of those who qualify for age, invalid and widows’ pensions. For more than 50 years we have had two means tests and, where it has been appropriate, both have been applied separately and variously to determine the rate of pension payable or to preclude the payment of a pension.

The income means test operates to permit of the payment of a full pension until income exceeds what came to be called the permissible limit and, at that point, income in excess of the permissible limit reduces the pension payable by the amount of the excess until no pension is payable. It follows that every increase in permissible income and/ or every increase in the maximum rate of pension extends the limit beyond which there is no pension entitlement. In that way, and for these purposes, the income means test can be said to be entirely satisfactory. But the property means test operates in a different way. For age and invalid pensions, for every increase in the value of property above an exempt limit, which now stands at £200, the pension is reduced by £1 for each £10 of the value of excess property until the value of property reaches a fixed and arbitrary figure, which now stands at £2,250, beyond which no pension is payable. Thus a person with property, other than property that is disregarded, in excess of £2,250 in value, and no income, is deprived of a pension entitlement. In that way, and for these reasons, the property means test has always been entirely unsatisfactory.

For more than half a century successive Governments have attempted to correct the faults in the property means test. From time to time the categories of property disregarded have been extended in a variety of ways, from time to time the initial exemption has been increased, and from time to time the limit of property beyond which no pension is payable has been pushed out to higher levels by deliberate attempts to correct these faults, or by progressive increases in the maximum general rate of pension, but the inherent disabilities have remained to the prejudice of thousands of innocent people who have struggled valiantly to make some provision for their old age, their infirmities and the normal hazards of life and living.

This bill is designed, inter alia, to sweep away the traditional faults inseparable from the application of two means tests, frequently applied to the same people, for entirely conflicting purposes - the income means test to encourage people to engage their energies and employ their resources, and the property means test which, in its present form, can only serve to discourage saving and the acquisition and retention of property. The bill provides for the introduction of a composite means test of two components, an income component and a property component, with but one single purpose, to assess pension entitlement on a common and interchangeable basis. To that end, the income means test and the property means test have been merged for the first time in our social service history and, appropriately enough, will now be referred to as the merged means test.

Under the merged means test the income component will be calculated in precisely the same way as it is to-day, subject to any variation in the exemption limit and any variation in the maximum general rate of age, invalid and widows’ pensions, but the property component will take a different form. Income from property will continue to be excluded, and the property exemptions will remain unchanged, but £1 in £10 of the value of property above £200 will comprise the property component which, when added to other income, if any, will allow a pension or a part pension to be paid to a qualified person until the property component and other income, if any, exceeds the sum total of permissible income - £182 - and the current maximum pension rate - £260 - that is, an aggregate of £442 for age and invalid pensions.

Honorable members will, perhaps, appreciate that I have had some difficulty in reducing the explanation to a few words, and there are many variations, but the one I have given appears to me to be comparatively simple. The way to determine the annual rate of pension payable in any particular case is to deduct the means as assessed, that is, the property component and income, if any, from the sum of the maximum general rate of pension and the present permissible income. Therefore, in the case of an age or invalid pensioner, the means as asesssed should be deducted from £442, but in the case of a class A widow with children the deduction should be made from £455, due to a difference in the maximum general rate, and from £409 10s. in the case of other widows for the same reason. Of course, the actual rate payable cannot exceed the maximum rate fixed by the act.

The House will be interested to know that the phrase “ permissible income “, which, incidentally, is not now in the act, will cease to represent a fixed income in all cases. The rate of income that may be received for any given rate of pension payable will depend on the amount of property owned. That is an essential feature of the merged means test under which there is an interchange between property and income to bring the two into balance. On the property side, the present provision whereby a person is disqualified if the value of his property exceeds £2,250 will now be abolished. The pensioner’s home and per sonal effects will, as I have said, continue to be disregarded and, in the case of age, invalid and class B widow pensioners, the property exemption of £200 will remain.

With the concurrence of honorable members I incorporate in “ Hansard “ the chart and table that have been circulated.

page 1016


*Figures in the lopleft corner of each square show pension per annum payableunder existing means test.* *Figures in the bottom right corner of each square show pension per annum payableunder proposed merged means test.* Persons in income and property circumstances illustrated in the area enclosed by the heavy black lines will benefit under the merged means test. Income and property circumstances in that area above the dotted horizontal line relate to existing pensioners - and future pensioners in similar circumstances. Income and property circumstances in that area below the dotted horizontal line relate to persons who will be able to qualify for pension for the first lime. Pensioners in circumstances illustrated in the area lying outside the heavy black lines will not be affected by the new means test. At present a class A widow - that is, a widow with dependent children - may have property to the value of £2,250, but when the value of her property exceeds that amount no pension is payable. Under the merged means test property to the value of £2,250 will continue to be disregarded, but when it exceeds that amount the property component will be calculated when the value of her property exceeds £1,000. Under the merged means test, an age, invalid or a widow pensioner without children who has no income, other than exempt income from property, may have property to the value of £2,020 and receive a maximum general rate pension. A widow with children, similarly situated, may have property up to the value of £2,820 and still receive a pension at the maximum rate. An individual applicant for an age or invalid pension who has no other income - other than exempt income from property - may have property to the value of £4,620 under the merged means test before eligibility is exhausted. By the same calculations, a widow with children and no other income may have property to the value of £5,550, and a widow without children may have property to the value of £4,300, before the deductions leave no remainder and eligibility ceases. The merged means test will also be applied to the payment of a wife's allowance. I would remind honorable members that the amount beyond which no pension is payable should be doubled in the case of a married age or invalid pensioner. Thus a married couple may have property to the value of £9,240 before being disqualified from receiving some pension if they have income from no other source than income from property. **Mr. Speaker,** these figures and technicalities may be dull and confusing, but they serve to demonstrate that this new proposal will have a profound effect on the structure and character of our social services. No longer will people be embarrassed by a set of circumstances when, in the evening of their days, they find that their property exceeds £2,250 in value and that they are debarred from a social service payment of any kind. No longer will they be driven by economic desperation to dissipate their savings and seek pension parity with those who have no property above £200 in value and. by that very fact, may have an income of £182 a year without prejudice to their rate of pension. No longer will men and women have cause to regret their industry. their thrift, their providence or their good fortune when they find themselves with modest property - not always negotiable - above a fixed and arbitrary limit, no income and no pension. It has to be remembered and emphasized that the absolute disqualifying limit of property - £4,620 for a single age and invalid pensioner - is a figure determined when the property component and other income - it any - is deducted from the sum of permismissible income and the current pension rate. It is not a fixed and arbitrary figure. And, may I add, if £4,620 is available for investment at current rates of interest, it is reasonable to assume that the yield would approximate the maximum general rate of pension. It is estimated that some 100,000 existing pensioners will benefit from the new means test. Of these 96,000 will be age and invalid pensioners and 4,000 will be widow pensioners. In addition, it is probable that some 20,000 persons now ineligible will receive pensions for the first time. This latter figure includes 17,000 aged persons and invalids and 3,000 widows. On the estimated numbers of these new entrants I must, however, strike a note of caution. It will, perhaps, be appreciated that the department has no data on which we can estimate the income and/ or property of persons now outside the pension scheme. **Mr. Speaker,** this new proposal will, I believe, remove the major causes of dissatisfaction with the means test, particularly as it has affected people with property and/ or savings. Not only will it benefit pensioners and future pensioners, but it will restore self-reliance and independence to our national characteristics. It is proposed that the increases in pension rates provided by the bill will come into operation on the pay days following the Royal Assent, and it is expected that they will be 6th October for age and invalid pensioners and 11th October for widows, including those who were class D widows and who will now qualify for a class A widows' pension. The Budget estimates have been prepared on this basis. The machinery amendments will come into operation on the day of the Royal assent. Understandably enough, it will take some time for the department to make the necessary administrative arrangements for the practical application of the new merged means test. This bill provides, therefore, that the provisions relating to the means test will come into operation on a date to be proclaimed, and it is hoped that this will be early in March, 1961. Honorable members may have noticed that the bill includes a " savings clause " for widows who have no children. For these widows the present scale of reduction on account of property is £1 for each complete £12 of property above £200 up to £1,750 and, thereafter, £1 for each complete £10 up to the disqualifying limit of £2,250. For obvious reasons it is necessary, under the merged means test, to apply the common scale of £1 in £10, and it has been adopted throughout for age, invalid and widows' pensions. The result is that, under the common scale, some class B widow pensioners with property, and whose incomes exceed £156 a year, would receive lower pensions under the merged means test than under the existing means test. The largest difference could be £26 a year in the case of a widow with an income of £182 a year - or more - and property of £1,750 or more. The " savings clause " referred to will enable existing pensions to be continued without reduction in rate. The question of additional cost is sometimes regarded as a dismal and dispiriting subject but, in this instance, I prefer to regard it as exhilarating evidence of the country's ability and willingness to make provision for these changes in our social services. The increases in rates and the merged means test will add some £13,300,000 to the cost of social services for a full year. It will add £8,500,000 for the year 1960-61. The total expenditure under the Social Services Act will rise from £233,600,000 in 1959-60 to nearly £257,000,000 in 1960-61. This total increase of nearly £23,500,000 is accounted for by the additional costs arising from the bill, the costs incidental to the natural increase in population, and the full-year cost of last year's increases. The total expenditure from the National Welfare Fund is estimated to increase from £299,400,000 to £330,700,000- or over £31,000,000 - this year, and that does not include appropriations to meet expenditure under the Aged Persons Homes Act and other commitments of the kind. The subject of social services is not a question of party politics, although Her Majesty's Opposition would lead the public to believe that it is. It is entirely a question of the resources likely to be made available by the community to improve the scheme of social services and the circumstances of those who qualify for them. Confessedly, a most convincing case can be made out for the concentration of all our available resources to improve the circumstances of those who are without other means of subsistence, but that could only be done to the prejudice of an equal number of people who would be excluded. This Parliament knows that there is no answer to the industrious, to the provident and to the fortunate who have attempted to make provision for their declining years and, when their circumstances are reduced by the rising cost of living, seek some assistance, unless we are prepared to extend social services to include them. The invalid pension requires, on a medical assessment, an incapacity of not less than 85 per cent. This Parliament would want to give the most generous consideration to the afflicted, but consideration of the kind would not improve the circumstances of invalids who are excluded from the pension by a less serious degree of incapacity although their problems of life and living may be equally great. The civilian widow in all categories - one of which is to be abolished I am happy to say - finds it hard to understand the difference between the rates of pension applicable to her bereavement measured against the repatriation payments made to a war widow; nor can she find it easy to accept the explanation. But the comparative rates were determined many years ago when the nation was at war and, since then, the community has never demonstrated any disposition to disturb the comparative levels. Maternity allowances have remained unchanged for some years, but this Parliament knows that an additional £5 to some 231,000 expectant mothers would approach £1,160,000 in the present financial year. The inevitable question arises as to whether that sum of money, if it were available, might be spent to greater advantage in improving the maternity services of our country. The question of child endowment presents even greater perplexities. It was comparatively simple for this Parliament to reach a decision - although it took many years and was resisted by honorable members opposite - to pay child endowment for the first child. But that was the end of the simplicity of the matter. An increase of 5s. a week would involve the community in additional expenditure of some £43,000,000, and I am bound to say that all the representations which have been made to me have been in multiples of these figures. Nor is it possible to consider child endowment in isolation. If the proposals itemized in this bill are not to be abandoned altogether, an increase of 5s. a week in child endowment this year would increase the total expenditure from the National Welfare Fund by £74,000,000, and 10s. a week by £117,000,000 in this financial year. Sums of that magnitude are not to be contemplated without regard to the economic consequences, in terms of increased taxation, on the work force of our country. Other social service benefits - and there are a great variety of them - are to remain unchanged, but decisions of the kind are never reached without due consideration and, largely because of that, they remain the subject of conflict of opinion and disputation of a constant character. This Parliament knows that there is no known way to reconcile differences of opinion on the question of social services, but the historic fact remains that, during the last 60 years, great changes have been made and, if I may say so without undue pride, most of them have been made by the present Government. **Mr. Speaker,** may I be permitted to remind the House - and few could be better qualified - that, if it is true to say that this Parliament calls the tune when social services are under discussion, it is equally true to say that it is the exclusive responsibility of the community to pay the piper. I commend the bill to the House. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Calwell)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1020 {:#debate-39} ### SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS Motion (by **Mr. Davidson)** - by leave - agreed to - >That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended as would prevent the Attorney-General **(Sir Garfield Barwick)** from making his speech on the second reading of the Crimes Bill without limitation of time. {: .page-start } page 1020 {:#debate-40} ### CRIMES BILL 1960 Bill presented by **Sir Garfield** Barwick, and read a first time. {:#subdebate-40-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-40-0-s0 .speaker-126} ##### Sir GARFIELD BARWICK:
Attorney-General · Parramatta · LP -- by leave - I move - >That the bill be now read a second time. This is a comprehensive bill, making a number of amendments to the Crimes Act 1914-1959. The Crimes Act of the Commonwealth is unlike the Crimes Acts or Criminal Codes of the States of the Commonwealth, or countries with a unitary form of government, in that it is not concerned with the protection of the property and person of the individual citizen. This is so in the case of the Commonwealth Crimes Act, principally because this Parliament has no general legislative power with respect to crime. Criminal offences created by the Commonwealth must either fall within the area of one of the topics granted by the Constitution to the Commonwealth or be created as an incident to the execution of some constitutional power of the Commonwealth. Examples of such criminal offences are to be found in many Commonwealth statutes dealing with some substantial subject within the Parliament's legislative competence. The Commonwealth Crimes Act deals mainly with offences against the Government, the protection of the Constitution, offences relating to the administration of justice by federal courts, offences relating to coinage and offences by or against pub- lie officers of the Commonwealth, and with breaches of official secrecy. In short, and generally speaking, Commonwealth criminal law is ancillary to the performance of the responsibility of the Commonwealth to protect itself, its Constitution, its institutions and services and to enforce its own laws. Any Crimes Act must present itself to the layman somewhat as a miscellany of disparate provisions, though there is some homogeneity in the sections which are grouped under each specific part into which the act is divided. This is true, though perhaps to a lesser degree, of the Commonwealth Crimes Act. But its provisions are sufficiently miscellaneous to leave little scope for generalization or for presentation of an interconnected whole. Thus, in explaining this bill to the House, there may be occasions when I will make quite a heavy demand on its patience as I pass from one subject-matter to another. The Commonwealth Crimes Act was first passed in 1914, only a few weeks after the commencement of the First World War. It has been amended from time to time during the ensuing 46 years by alterations directed to particular aspects, though it received considerable revision and extension in 1926 But it has not really had any general overhaul since its original passage, and in any case no substantial review since 1926. The intervening years have from time to time indicated weaknesses in the act, though many have not seemed of sufficient urgency to demand the use of parliamentary time. There have also been many changes which now call for readjustments in the act. First there is the far greater importance of the Territories of the Commonwealth, both external and internal, in the life and affairs of the Australian people. As will appear, there is need to extend some provisions to reflect this added significance. Secondly, there has been a considerable change in penology, in the theory and practice of punishment and of the treatment of offenders. Thirdly, there have been developments in the materials which may be used for coins, genuine or counterfeit. More importantly, many significant changes have occurred in the status of Australia and some changes have taken place in the emphasis which the community has need to place upon various activities. Amongst these changing circumstances there is the outstanding fact that since 1914 Australia has developed from a constituent of the British Empire having fellow dominions, colonies and dependencies, all within the allegiance to one Crown, all within the competence of the British Parliament, and all sharing the operation of many statutes ' of that Parliament, into an independent nation within the Commonwealth of Nations, all of whom are independent of each other, some of whom have remained within the allegiance of the Crown, even though the unity of the Crown has now been, displaced by a new conception of a Sovereign who is at the one time head of the Commonwealth of Nations and head of several, but not all, of the independent nations constituting the Commonwealth. The Statute of Westminster having been adopted, Australia is now able to give its legislation extra-territorial effect. Australia has become an original member of the United Nations and has developed a distinct international personality of its own. In brief, Australia has become an independent country of international consequence, completely in charge of its own domestic and foreign policies, though included in the loosely knit group of the Commonwealth of Nations. This development has taken place, fortunately I think, with such a gradualness that the need to take some of the steps which this bill proposes has not sufficiently obtruded itself to command the attention of this House. However, as honorable members will realize, it is quite natural that when a general review of the act is undertaken, as has been the case recently, the consequences of the developments to which I have adverted should engage the attention of the Government, and result in the provisions in connexion with offences against the Government, and with breaches of official secrecy, to which I shall later return. **Mr. Speaker,** although the provisions of this bill are numerous and diverse, it is possible to group the amendments it proposes into four principal categories. First, there is a group of miscellaneous amendments to the general provisions of the act. I have prepared a short table setting out the broad nature of the more important of them. With the concurrence of honorable members, I incorporate the following table in " Hansard " to avoid the tedium of members following its detail - Secondly, there is a group of clauses dealing with coinage offences. Thirdly, there is a group of amendments to Part II. of the act, which deals with offences against the Government. Fourthly, there is a group of provisions in amendment of Part VII. of the act, which deals with espionage and the breach of official secrecy. May I indicate in a general way the nature, as distinct from the detail, of the amendments in these four categories. First, then, I mention those provisions in the first category which reflect changes in penology. The Constitution, as honorable members will recall, places on the several States the duty to make provision for the detention in their prisons of persons accused or convicted of offences against the laws of the Commonwealth, and for the punishment of persons convicted of such offences. This has been found, in practice, to be a most useful provision, eliminating wasteful duplication of premises and personnel. But as I have reminded honorable members, there have been great changes since 1914, when the Crimes Act was first enacted, in the whole theory and practice of the treatment of offenders. Much of this change has already been acknowledged by statutory provisions - including rules made under statute - made by the States. The Commonwealth act now need's alteration in a number of respects in order that offenders against the laws of the Commonwealth may be accorded the same treatment as is provided for offenders against the laws of the States. This is the explanation of a number of the provisions of the bill falling into the first category. Many of them, though of great significance, are highly technical; many of them concern the detailed administration of the law and no doubt are of greater interest to those who are professionally trained lawyers than to the public at large. Whilst I should not take too much time to elaborate their consequence, I ought, I think, to refer to such clauses as clauses 18 and 19. Clause 18 permits the Governor-General to grant to a prisoner a licence to be at large, and provides also for the enforcement of any conditions attached to such a licence and for the recovery of a person on breach of the conditions, a power now embarrassingly lacking. The clause also extends to persons charged with offences against the laws of the Commonwealth the now quite common provisions which enable a court of summary jurisdiction, notwithstanding that a charge is proved, to order the conditional release of an offender without proceeding to a conviction, where there are special circumstances of character or age or health or other extenuation. Clause 19 gives a new power to a court to vary, in an appropriate case, the conditions upon which it releases a Commonwealth offender, and to discharge his recognizance in a case where his conduct makes it unnecessary that he should remain longer under supervision. Clause 19 also provides for special treatment for juvenile offenders, by courts officials and institutions of the States similar to the treatment afforded under State law to offenders against the laws of the States. This Parliament cannot, of course, directly impose some of these obligations upon State officials. The new provisions in these respects will be merely enabling, and the concurrence of the States will have to be obtained for their implementation. But I anticipate no difficulties in this regard, the degree of ready co-operation between this Government and those of the States being notable and significant. Clause 19 also makes, for the first time, special provision for the treatment, along lines now available under State law, of offenders against the criminal law of the Commonwealth who are found to be insane. Honorable members will recall that one of the significant changes to which I earlier adverted was the increase in the importance of the Territories in the Australian life of to-day as contrasted with that of 1914. The Territories are not only more numerous and more populous than they were then; they are much more developed and there is much greater movement between the Territories and the States. And, in one of the Territories, there now resides the Seat of Government. An offence in relation to a Territory may very well be committed outside the Territory itself - the offence, for example, of aiding and abetting the commission of an offence, or of being an accessory after the fact, or of inciting to or encouraging the commission of an offence. Accordingly, not only will the provisions of the act extend to all the Territories, but the bill ensures by appropriate provisions that the Crimes Act can be enforced in respect of offences relating to a Territory though committed outside it. I refer, for example, to clause 5 of the bill and the series of clauses that follows it. **Mr. Speaker,** may I turn to the second group - the amendments relating to coinage offences. The amendments of the provisions of the act that create offences relating to coinage are designed to achieve four main objects. First, they are designed to ensure that a counterfeit coin, within the meaning of the act, includes a counterfeit coin made of plastic or other non-metallic material. Secondly, they are designed to penalize the melting down and the defacing of current coin other than gold coin, which is already covered. Thirdly, they are designed to penalize the making or selling of tokens that could be passed off as current coins but that may not sufficiently resemble current coins to meet the legal definition of counterfeit. And fourthly, the opportunity is being taken to make the few additional amendments necessary to give the coinage provisions in general an operation in relation both to metallic and to nonmetallic currency. This will save having to make these amendments should nonmetallic current coins ever be minted. Judicial interpretation of the word " coin " has exposed the need for express provision that a counterfeit coin includes a counterfeit made of non-metallic material. It has been held that, in the ordinary use of the term, " coin " refers to something made of metal, and that there is no indication in the act of an intention that the word " coin ", including its use in the expression " counterfeit coin ", was used in any wider sense than that in which it was universally understood; namely, as limited to articles made of metal. Clause 36 of the bill, by substituting a definition of " coin " that includes coin made in whole or in part out of material other than metal, puts that question beyond dispute. The need to penalize the making or selling of tokens that may not amount, in law, to counterfeit, was also suggested by judicial exposition of the scope of the offence of counterfeiting. Further, it would hardly be proper in all cases, having regard to the severity of the penalty for counterfeiting - namely, imprisonment for ten years - to treat the making of plastic tokens as counterfeiting. What is needed, therefore, is a provision making it an offence to make or sell a token that resembles a current coin in size, figure and colour, or that bears a device resembling a device on a current coin, or that can be treated so as fully to resemble a current coin, and carrying a lesser penalty than the maximum penalty for counterfeiting. Clause 41 of the bill inserts a new section 60a in the Crimes Act which creates this kind of offence, with a maximum penalty of imprisonment for one year. The need for a provision penalizing the melting down of current coins is dictated by the fact that increases in the market price of metals can make it profitable to melt down current coins into their component parts and sell the metal. At present, it is an offence to melt down current gold coins only. Clause 43 of the bill therefore makes it an offence without consent to melt down a current coin other than a gold coin. The existing penalty for melting down gold coins is imprisonment for one year. The penalty for melting down other current coins will be imprisonment for six months. In addition, clause 43 makes it an offence to deface, in the course of carrying on any trade or business, a current coin other than a gold coin with a maximum penalty of imprisonment for six months. The amendments designed to fit this part of the act to operate in relation to nonmetallic currency are achieved, as honorable members will see, generally by adding a reference to " other material or substance " to existing references to metal, but sometimes by deleting references to " gold and silver ". **Mr. Speaker,** before I deal with the two remaining categories of amendments proposed by this bill, I would wish to make some general observations relating to the need for them. I made passing reference at an earlier point of my speech to the emergence of Australia as a modern independent State. Allow me for a moment or two to remind this House of how different the situation is to-day from what it was in 1914 when the Crimes Act was passed. Then, the legal theory was that in general this Parliament could not give extra-territorial effect to its criminal laws, having to rely on the sovereign power of the Parliament at Westminster for any operation outside the territorial limits of the Commonwealth. Australia had no overseas diplomatic representation. Except in purely technical fields such as the Universal Postal Union, membership of international organizations did not as yet pertain to a dominion. Australia did indeed participate in the 1914-1918 war as a belligerent, but scarcely as, and certainly not fully as, a party principal. How different it all is to-day. Every attribute of nationhood belongs to this country. The Statute of Westminster has swept away every doctrine that marked dominion status as subordinate, and has equated the powers of dominion parliaments with those of the Parliament at Westminster itself. In diplomacy and in defence, Australia has found it necessary to enter into close relationships, not only within the Commonwealth of Nations but also with its near and distant neighbours in Asia and across the Pacific. In the United Nations and elsewhere, Australia has been involved in the storms and alarms of the cold war. These changes have had their obvious and profound consequences in the fields covered by the Crimes Act. On the one hand Australia now has, in her own right, information, both political and military, which it is not only of domestic but also of international concern that she should be in a position to safeguard effectively. On the military side, I need do no more than refer to the great research undertaking in guided missiles, at Woomera and elsewhere, in which Australia is associated with the United Kingdom, and to the Mutual Weapons Development Agreement between this country and the United States of America. On the other hand, the organs of government in Australia have become, in a far more significant sense than was ever contemplated in 1914, the potential objects of espionage, sabotage and subversion. The emergence, in the form of the Communist Party of Australia, of a body of persons dedicated to the class war, to the overthrow of the existing order in Australia, and to the support of international revolutionary communism has sharpened not only the country's danger but also the Government's awareness of it. One of the needs, if not the greatest, of a nation is to have ready at hand that legal apparatus, by the use of which it can protect itself against those who would plot and act to destroy it. The well-worn Latin expression, salus populi est suprema lex, is a great truth when consideration is being given to the protection of a nation, its constitution, its secrets, its defence forces and defence mechanisms, whether they be of communication, of logistics, or of experiment with weapons of defence or with the actual impedimenta by which physical defence may have to be made, when all else by way of reason and negotiation and goodwill has failed to hold off what is presented as an enveloping lust for domination, mental and physical. I say " legal apparatus " because, even in the protection of the nation, we live by the rule of law, and it is necessary that the precise powers and provisions be laid out by means of a statute of the Parliament for all to see. The relevance of this to those provisions of the Crimes Act which deal with offences against the Government and with espionage and the breach of official secrecy will at once be plain to all honorable members. It is true that ever since its first enactment the Crimes Act has contained some provisions relating to both these matters. I refer to Parts II. and VII. The latter part - breach of official secrecy - included much of the then recent United Kingdom legislation entitled the Official Secrets Act 1911. It is my surmise that the inclusion of these provisions was due to foresight of what would eventually be required rather than to needs then currently experienced. My surmise is perhaps strengthened by the fact that though, in the light of experience in the First World War, the United Kingdom most substantially extended, in 1920, the provisions of its Official Secrets Act, the numerous amendments made in Australia in 1926 did not adopt any of the new United Kingdom provisions in these fields. It would be surprising if the provisions of 1914 had not been found to need revision in the light of subsequent changes. The original Crimes Act, for instance, was passed before the birth of the Air Force. Not only methods of warfare but also the whole character of defence installations have changed. Methods of communication have become diversified and new methods of gathering and intercepting information have been discovered. Much other change has taken place in the methods by which a challenge can be made to our national integrity. The inadequacy of some of the present provisions of the Crimes Act was pointed out by the learned Royal Commission on Espionage set up in 1954. The Government in its general review of the Crimes Act has given close consideration to the provisions on which this nation would have to rely to protect itself by means of the law, and is concerned that the amendments to which I am about to turn will furnish Australia with the instruments of legal protection necessary and sufficient for a mature democratic State under the rule of law in contemporary conditions. Allow me now, **Mr. Speaker,** to turn to the specific changes in Part II. of the act which the bill proposes. This part deals with offences against the Government. I hasten to point out that this means offences against Australia, and not . offences against the Executive of the day. **Mr. Speaker,** the common law developed a law of treason, beginning in the days when the sovereign ruled as an absolute monarch and developing through the years of the emergence of parliamentary rule, as a means of protection of the integrity of the national regime. The common law found satisfaction and worth in the experience of the British people of these provisions over a substantial period of time - not, **Mr. Speaker,** that people were frequently dealt with for treason. The worth of these laws is never to be measured by the number of times a conviction is secured. Their worth is first in the deterrent field. They constitute solemn notice to any who might contemplate their breach that such conduct will not be tolerated, and that the nation will protect itself and that it has the necessary legal means to do so. When the colonies of Australia, which became States at federation, were settled, a great part of the common law of England became law there by the very circumstance of the settlement; and amongst this law was the law of treason. In the course of time some of the States have fully expressed the common law, sometimes with variations, in statutes of their own Parliaments. In some respects the common law is still the sole source of the power to exercise this protection of the State by means of the law of treason. When the Commonwealth was formed there was no similar transfer into the substantive law of the Commonwealth of the rules as to treason and the like. It is, of course, quite true to say that the Constitution of the Commonwealth, to be understood and to be rightly interpreted, must be read against the background of the common law, which so frequently complements it and indeed makes it intelligible. But it is necessary in the case of the Commonwealth, much more necessary than in the case of a State, that the law of treason should be expressed in a statute. Part II. of the Crimes Act contains a section dealing with treason, sections dealing with sedition and seditious utterances, with mutiny, with assisting prisoners of war to escape, unlawful drilling, interfering with political liberty, destroying or damaging Commonwealth property and, oddly enough, with certain aspects of false pretences and of the seizure of Commonwealth property. This bill, **Mr. Speaker,** will enlarge the existing section dealing with treason, so as to import all those elements of the common law that are now of practical utility in the circumstances of the Commonwealth. It will introduce two new sections - one creating and delimiting a new offence of treachery, and another creating and delimiting a new offence of sabotage. I remarked earlier upon the great changes that have taken place in the techniques of those who would wish to destroy us. No longer is a declaration of war considered necessary. That, indeed, is quite oldfashioned. Nor do we necessarily confine the use of defence forces to operations in a state of war. We may have them deployed, as recently, in a strategic reserve in Malaya where, a while since, they were engaged in routing out Communists bent on subversion in that country. Or they may be deployed, in association with other nationals, in the United Nations forces engaged on belligerent operations as was the case in Korea. Or they may be deployed in such a force in United Nations operations more akin to police duty, as in the Congo at the present moment. The battles, moreover, are not necessarily fought and lost or won in open conflict and the clash of arms. The destruction of plant, the destruction of raw materials, the destruction of means of communication, the destruction of a wide range of articles, may be the most effective weapon by which to ensure the defeat of a nation and lay it open to subjugation. With these things in mind, **Mr. Speaker,** let me remind the House that the present provisions of section 24 of the Crimes Act, found in Part II., limit treason to the instigation within Australia or any of its territories of a foreigner to make an armed invasion of Australia or any part of the Queen's dominions, or the assistance in Australia, by any means, of any public enemy. Treasonable acts beyond Australia are not caught by the section. This provision, it will be at once seen, is inept to deal with many of the forms of treason developed at common law, and also useless with respect to any treasonable act committed outside Australia. The proposal of the bill, **Mr. Speaker,** is that, by a substituted section inserted by clause 23, treason should be expanded to include a list of offences, all of which amount to treason at common law, and which have been adopted in some at least of the States. Indeed, for the expression of these new elements which I propose to incorporate in the Commonwealth Act, I am in part indebted to the Queensland criminal code, which was the handiwork of **Sir Samuel** Griffith, the first Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia and one of the most distinguished of the founding fathers. These are the acts which are now to be specified as treasonable: Killing the Sovereign, or doing any bodily harm tending to the death or destruction of the Sovereign, or maiming, wounding, imprisoning or restraining the Sovereign; killing the eldest son and heir apparent, or the Queen Consort, of the Sovereign; levying war, or doing any act preparatory to levying war, against Australia; assisting by any means whatever an enemy at war with Australia, whether or not a state of war has been declared; and instigating a foreigner to make an armed invasion of Australia or one of its territories. The bill also includes, as an offence, as does the common law, the formation of an intention to do an act amounting to treason, where that intention is manifested by an overt act, that is to say, where the intention is put into execution though not brought to conclusion. The expression " levying war ", **Mr. Speaker,** is well known in the law and its use in the bill, of course, is in the sense in which it is already understood in the law of Great Britain and in the States of Australia. It requires the use of force in action which is far more than local riot or industrial action, with the object of forcibly accomplishing some end which should be effected, if at all, only by proper constitutional means. **Mr. Speaker,** clause 23 of the bill also introduces an offence which is called " treachery ". This offence consists of acts which I have thought ought not to be visited with the extreme penalty which the act now provides in the case of treason, but for which it would be sufficient to provide a punishment of imprisonment for life. Honorable members will, of course, realize ;hat the stipulation of a punishment by statute is but to set a maximum. The judge called upon to sentence a person guilty of a crime for which some penalty other than death is prescribed has a discretion which allows him to equate as well as he can the gravity of the offence to the extent of the punishment imposed. In addition, honorable members will bear in mind that in every case there resides in the AttorneyGeneral the discretion to forbear to prosecute in cases where there may be no more than a technical breach, or where good reason exists for doubting guilt, and the likelihood of a conviction. There are three broad classes of acts which fall within this new offence of treachery. I will not deal with them in the order in which they are set out in the bill. Sub-section (2.) of proposed new section 24aa will provide that a person shall not assist by any means persons who are opposing part of our defence force or a force which includes a part of our defence force, where our forces are either on service out of Australia or are proceeding to service out of Australia. The expression " assisting by any means " is the traditional expression in the common law describing one of the acts of treason, and indeed is the expression now found in the existing section 24 of the Crimes Act. These provisions will assist to protect our servicemen whether they are at war, or engaged as I have described in a strategic reserve, or in a United Nations force or in a Seato or Anzus force. The statute says, and I would expect Australians to say, that it is treachery to assist those who are opposed to our forces, and no doubt bent on their elimination. The Government feels that it is abundantly clear that there should be this means of deterring those who might otherwise endanger the lives and welfare of our servicemen, and of punishing those who do so. The new section will also provide in sub-section (1.) that acts done in an attempt to overthrow the Constitution of Australia by revolution or sabotage, or to overthrow by force or violence the established government of the Commonwealth or of a State, or of a proclaimed country, will constitute treachery and be punishable accordingly. I hardly need to digress to speak of the evident propriety of this provision. What self-respecting State could allow to go unpunished attempts to overthrow the Constitution by revolution or sabotage, or the established government by force or violence? We subscribe to living by the rule of law. Such changes as are desirable and commend themselves to the majority of the citizens can be achieved by the due processes of law. To outlaw revolution, sabotage, force or violence as instruments of constitutional change is but to emphasize the rule of law, a condition beyond price and worthy of every safeguard to ensure its continuance. Honorable members will have observed from my recital of these provisions that the established government of a " proclaimed country " is included in the protection of the section. Let me pause for a moment, **Mr. Speaker,** to explain this reference to a " proclaimed country ". In the section dealing with treason, only activities against Australia are dealt with. But the Government has thought that there should be available to this country a ready means of preventing certain activities which are aimed at another country with which this country has, and may desire to maintain, or indeed to create, friendly and cooperative relationships, or which it may desire to assist or protect. The bill therefore provides that any country may be proclaimed a proclaimed country. But - and, **Mr. Speaker,** the qualification is of great significance - no proclamation of any country may be made except in pursuance of and after a resolution of each House of this Parliament authorizing it and passed within 21 days preceding the making of the proclamation. Let me be emphatic on this point. The new clause provides a means whereby this country may prevent activities against another country; but this provision cannot become effective until each House of this Parliament desires that it shall, and does so at a time proximate to the making of the proclamation which in substance makes the provision effective. A proclamation is made, not when it is signed, but when it is gazetted; so the provision means that there must have been a resolution of each House authorizing the proclamation within 21 days prior to the gazettal of the proclamation. This Parliament therefore remains in control of the procedures by which these, and several other provisions of the bill, may include in their purview a country other than Australia. The last group of acts, **Mr. Speaker,** which will constitute treachery consists entirely of activities carried on within Australia or one of its Territories against a proclaimed country in the sense in which I have already described it. Thus, it is provided that it is treachery to levy war or to do any act preparatory to levying war against a proclaimed country. To assist by any means whatever an enemy at war with a proclaimed country, or to instigate a person to make an armed invasion of a proclaimed country, will also fall within this third group of acts that constitute treachery. In short, and for example, if this Parliament decides that people in Australia should not be permitted to prepare to levy war against some country with which no doubt we at that time will be friendly, or assist its enemies, then this bill will enable the law to be set in motion to this end. **Mr. Speaker,** clause 23 then proposes the insertion into the act of a new section, 24ab, which will create the offence of sabotage. A person who carries out an act of sabotage or who has in his possession any article that is capable of use and which it is proved that he intends to use in carrying out an act of sabotage, is guilty of the offence of sabotage, for which the maximum penalty is set at imprisonment for fifteen years. The elements which go to make up an act of sabotage are clearly set forth and need to be observed. In order to constitute an act of sabotage some article, which includes any thing, substance or material, must be destroyed, damaged or impaired, and there must be two further elements, each of which is important. Firstly, the destruction, damage or impairment must have been done for a purpose prejudicial or intended to be prejudicial to the safety or defence of the Commonwealth. That is to say, in brief, the act must be done with a mind purposing to harm the defence of Australia. Secondly, the article itself which is damaged or impaired must fall into one or other of four categories, which are clearly expressed in the bill and are all associated with defence. I will just shortly describe them, with all the risks attendant on abbreviation. Firstly, the article must be used or intended to be used in the Commonwealth by the Defence Force of the Commonwealth or by the armed forces of a proclaimed country, an expression which I have already explained. Or, secondly, the article must be used or intended to be used in connexion with the manufacture, investigation or testing of weapons or apparatus of war. Or, thirdly, the article must be used or intended to be used for any purpose that relates directly to the defence of the Commonwealth. Or, fourthly, the article must be in or form part of a prohibited place, of which there is a very full and exhaustive definition to which I will later refer. One recognizes immediately the tremendous damage which could be done by destruction, damage or impairment of such articles, and done with a purpose of prejudicing the safety or defence of the Commonwealth. ' **Mr. Speaker,** allow me at the risk of wearying repetitiveness to state again the elements of sabotage. An article directly material to the safety or defence of Australia must be destroyed, damaged or impaired for a purpose prejudicial or intended to be prejudicial to the safety or defence of the Commonwealth. In section 78 of the act, that is to say, in the existing section which deals with espionage, there is an evidentiary provision. It is a provision of long standing and was part of the act when enacted in 1914 and came from the British Official Secrets Act of 1911. It is a section, therefore, that is well entrenched in this branch of the law. It provides in substance that in order to establish the prejudicial purpose with which an act was done, it is not necessary to prove any particular act tending to show a prejudicial purpose, but that that purpose may be inferred - proved - from the circumstances of the case, from the conduct of the accused,, or from his known character as proved. This provision says nothing as to the proof of the physical act charged; it merely deals with the manner of proof of the purpose with which some act was done. It makes one, and only one, significant alteration in the general law applicable in the trial of criminal offences. It allows the purpose with which an act is done to be inferred, not merely from the circumstances of the case or the conduct of the accused, which is a normal process in criminal trials, but from the known character of the accused as proved. That this provision should have remained in British law so long is readily explained by a reference back to my opening remarks, for in this field, when the safety and defence of a country or its official secrets are at stake, the safety of the people becomes pre-eminent, and this departure from normal criminal procedure in allowing the character of the accused to form a basis for an inference adverse to the accused becomes permissible. Of course, **Mr. Speaker,** in our ordinary everyday affairs we are accustomed to drawing inferences about the quality of a man's conduct from his known character. There is nothing strange about that. If any one of us had to decide whether an act was done with one purpose or another, I am quite sure that what we knew about the character of the person who did it would be readily resorted to, in order to aid a conclusion. What would be accidental in an acknowledged saint may readily be recognized as purposeful in a known sinner. But in the course of protecting the individual in the case of an ordinary crime - burglary, larceny and so on through to murder - the law has preferred in general not to allow the bad character of a man to form an element in concluding guilt, though I am bound to say that the law allows his good character always to be taken into consideration in the estimation of his innocence or guilt. But the law has long allowed, in this very particular field where national interests are at stake, the somewhat common-sense practice which you and I would follow in forming judgments in daily life. It allows the character to be weighed to show the quality of the act. **Mr. Speaker,** 1 have made this existing provision ambivalent, throughout the act, wherever the question of purpose has to be determined. Thus, in relation to an act of sabotage, which must be done with the stated purpose, this evidentiary aid is available. In relation to this offence, it means that the Crown must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the accused did destroy or damage or impair, as the case may be, the article which falls within one of the stated defence categories, and that he did it with a purpose prejudicial or intended to be prejudicial to the safety or defence of the Commonwealth. If it relies on the known character of the accused, the Crown must establish that character beyond all reasonable doubt, and satisfy the tribunal of fact beyond all reasonable doubt that the right inference from that character is that the accused did the act with the stated purpose. Let me make it very plain that this provision does not change any onus of proof. It leaves the Crown with the burden of proving the whole offence, including the purpose. It must satisfy the tribunal of fact, and beyond all reasonable doubt, of the purpose as well as of the doing of the act. If the Crown relies upon circumstances or conduct or character for the proof or part of the proof of purpose, the Crown must prove all these circumstances, conduct and character and prove them to the requisite degree of certainty in criminal proof. This closes my description of the amendments proposed in relation to Part II. of the Crimes Act. Before parting with them, however, may I point out that the offences which are thus to be created - the offences of treason, treachery and sabotage - are statutory offences not depending in any way on the common law concepts or doctrines of allegiance. The changes about which I spoke earlier in the structure of the Commonwealth of Nations, and the close ties that link Australia with countries outside the Commonwealth, all make it desirable that the new provisions designed for protecting the safety of Australia and the countries with which Australia is associated should be applicable to all those whose duty it is to obey the law of Australia. May I now turn, **Mr. Speaker,** to the last category of amendments, the clauses of the bill which propose changes to Part VII. of the act - that part which deals with espionage and breach of official secrecy. To understand the reasons for the changes proposed by the bill it is necessary to understand the structure of the necessary provisions found in sections 77 to 85 of the act. The substantive offences created by this part are related to prohibited places and to various forms of information; for example, section 78 (1) makes it an offence to approach or to be in the neighbourhood of or to enter a prohibited place for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or interest of the Commonwealth or to make, obtain or communicate any sketch, plan, note or the like, which is likely to be or might be or is intended to be, directly or indirectly useful to an enemy. Section 79 makes it an offence for any person of a described class or relationship to communicate any sketch, plan, note or information which relates to a prohibited place or which has been obtained in contravention of Part VII. of the act, or which has been entrusted to him in his office or by reason of certain relationships to the Commonwealth, to any person to whom he is not authorized to communicate it or to whom it is his duty not to communicate it. There is a further offence of retaining such a sketch, plan, note or information when he has no right to retain it or when it is his duty not to retain it. This part of the act, by a definition section, gives an extended meaning to the articles or information described in the sections creating the offences. The part also contains a list of described places as prohibited places. Not only was this part devised before aeroplanes and aerodromes formed part of our mechanism of defence, but it was devised before many inventions were made in connexion with the transmission of information and before the development of many of to-day's techniques for obtaining and communicating information and, perhaps even more significantly, it dates from a time when, unlike the present, international relationships could be neatly fitted into the easily distinguishable states of war or neutrality, of peace or belligerency. What the bill proposes in relation to espionage is to extend and expand the definition of the articles or information with respect to which the offence provisions operate, and of the description of the prohibited places. By this means the ambit of the offence provisions will be most significantly increased. For example, no definition of " information " is presently found in the act. But the bill defines " information " as meaning information of any kind whatsoever, whether true or false, and whether in a material form or not, and including an opinion and a report of a conversation. It will be at once perceived that the extent of the forbidden acts will be largely increased by the application even of the existing offence provisions to this extended meaning of such a word as " information ". In addition, further acts which are appropriate to these times and by which the operation of these provisions could easily be stultified have been added to the offence provisions. Further, some of the operative words in the offence provisions have by definition been given an extended meaning. For example, expressions which refer to obtaining or retaining any sketch, plan, &c, are defined to include copying or causing to be copied the whole or part of the sketch, plan, &c. There is one further very significant extension made to the provisions of this part. Honorable members will remember my recent brief recital of the substance of the offences created by section 78 in which one of the criteria of the information which should not be communicated was that it was information, in brief, likely to be of assistance to an enemy. No longer can espionage be confined to spying in wartime. No longer do we need to protect ourselves against enemies only when a war has commenced. It has been necessary to add to the word " enemy " the words " or foreign power ", so that wherever in the existing part the offence section speaks of something which is likely to be useful to an enemy, the bill would propose that it should read " likely to be useful to an enemy or foreign power". I have already given a short, and perhaps not technically full, description of the existing provisions as to the safeguarding of official secrets. I remind honorable members that that part of the act uses definition and description of prohibited places and of the things and the articles and information which are not to be obtained or communicated. Besides extending the operation of the existing provisions by means of the extension of the meaning to be attributed to the articles or the information and the description of the prohibited places, I have observed three other matters which seem to me to call for some remedy. The first is the use, both in the sections dealing with breach of official secrecy and with the sections dealing with espionage, of the expression " a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interest of the Commonwealth ". The Government has felt that the word " interest ", which is the existing word, is too wide and too vague, and that it ought to be replaced by the much more certain word " defence ". Consequently, throughout this bill the expression which is used in relation to the purpose with which an act will be unlawfully done is the " safety or defence " of the Commonwealth and not its " safety or interest ". The change will be particularly observable in relation to Part VII. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: -- Is there a definition of the words " foreign power?". {: .speaker-126} ##### Sir GARFIELD BARWICK: -- No. The second need that has been observed in relation to this part is that section 79 does not, as presently drawn, make it sufficiently clear that it is only dealing with secret information. I think its language, if literally construed, would cover information which had come to the knowledge or possession of a person in the course of his office which was not truly secret information. The bill therefore proposes to make it quite clear that what is being dealt with, in section 79, is secret information. This is achieved by inserting the qualification, in sub-section (1.) of the section, that the sketch, plan, note or information, etcetera, is " prescribed " information only if it relates to a prohibited place or to anything in a prohibited place, or that is used in a prohibited place, or that has been made or obtained in contravention of the part, or has been entrusted to the person by certain people or has been obtained in position, office or particular relationship to theCommonwealth; and in the last category, by reason of its nature or the circumstances under which it was entrusted or made or obtained, or for any other reason, the person in question came under a duty to treat the sketch, plan, note or information, etcetera, as secret. The third defect which the Government thought present in this part, particularly in section 79, was that the quite substantial penalty of seven years' imprisonment was applicable to any breach of the section, whether it was done for an improper purpose or whether it was done by mere carelessness, and whether or not any harm actually came from it. The Government has thought that, in recasting section 79, acts in breach of it, both those which are already in the section and those which are being added by the bill, should be divided into three categories in order to permit of the punishments for breach of them being more properly related to the gravity of the act which constituted the breach. There will thus be found in the section proposed to be substituted for section 79 by clause 49 of the bill, provision, first, for an offence of the wrongful communication of information for a purpose prejudicial or intended to be prejudicial to the safety or defence of the Commonwealth. For breach of this group of offences, which includes communication, retention and failure to comply with a direction given by lawful authority, in each case for a purpose prejudicial, the penalty will be imprisonment for seven years. There will then be an offence of communicating a sketch, plan, note or information to an unauthorized person, or contrary to duty, or of permitting an unauthorized person to have access to it. The penalty for this offence is to be imprisonment for two years. In this connexion, the act is done without a prejudicial purpose but because the communication has taken place or the access has been allowed, the unintended prejudice is taken to have resulted. This is, therefore, a serious offence, but not as serious as if done deliberately for a prejudicial purpose. Honorable members will then find a third group of offences which covers the retention of a sketch, &c, when there was no right to retain or where there was a duty not to retain it; a failure to comply with a direction given by lawful authority; failure to take reasonable care of a sketch, &c, for which offence the punishment will be a maximum imprisonment of six months. Here, the act which breaches the section is not only not done for any prejudicial purpose but may very well not have brought actual prejudice to the safety or defence of the Commonwealth. It is nonetheless conduct of a kind which is reprehensible and deserves punishment. **Mr. Speaker,** I regret that I have been so long in my endeavour to make as clear as 1 can what are the major changes suggested by this bill. But I have been concerned that Australians should know precisely what is being proposed, for I believe that, as they come to understand it, they will both accept and welcome it. I would not have thought that any one who had the welfare of Australia at heart would dispute the proposition that this nation needs legal machinery which will enable it, within the rule of the law, to protect itself, its Constitution, its forces and its secrets. The Government, in reviewing the Crimes Act, and bringing Parts II. and VII. up to date, and filling up the gaps to be seen in them, has been moved simply by that consideration and by no other. I have already become aware of a spate of propaganda against the amendment of the Crimes Act, stemming from the Communist Party of Australia. The propaganda commenced some time ago. It commenced and has been carried on without any knowledge on the part of its authors of what the Government proposed or of any of the reasons for which the amendments would be suggested. But, of course, I should not be, and I am not, surprised that the Communist Party should indulge and, no doubt, will continue to indulge, in such propaganda. The members of that party care nothing for this country. It is not in any real sense their country. They care nothing for our way of life. They do not like our system of government or our democratic institu tions. They anticipate, and rightly, that this Government will endeavour to increase the ability of this nation, wherever it can, to foil them in their efforts to subvert our people and their institutions, to steal our secrets, to impede our forces and to impair our defence. I can, therefore, **Mr. Speaker,** understand their alarm and their antipathy when amendments of the Crimes Act are proposed. On the other hand, may I not have good reason to expect that those who deeply cherish this country as their own. are proud of its institutions and are resolved to maintain them, will - details perhaps apart - wholeheartedly endorse the endeavour represented by this bill, which is in the tradition of British justice in this field, and find it an expression of the maturity of Australia and of its determination to maintain its national integrity. **Mr. Speaker,** I commend this bill to honorable members. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Whitlam)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1033 {:#debate-41} ### REPATRIATION BILL 1960 Bill received from the Senate, and (on motion by **Dr. Donald** Cameron) read a first time. {:#subdebate-41-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-41-0-s0 .speaker-JU8} ##### Dr Donald Cameron:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · LP -- by leave - I move - >That the bill be now read a second time. Despite the general need to limit expenditure this year, the Government decided to make increases in certain repatriation benefits, including rates of war and service pensions, and the provision of medical treatment for service pensioners. The purpose of the bill which is now before the House is to amend the Repatriation Act, where it is necessary to do so, to give effect to that decision. The bill provides that the amending act is to come into operation on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent. The increased rates of war and service pension will be paid on and from the first regular pension pay-day after that date. The increases which the Government has been able to provide apply to those whose needs are the greatest, namely, totally and permanently incapacitated ex-servicemen, service pensioners and war widows. This bill provides for an increase in the rate of pension payable to the totally and permanently incapacitated ex-servicemen. The second schedule is being amended to increase the totally and permanently incapacitated special rate pension by 10s. a week, bringing the rate payable to a single man up to £12 15s. a week. This rate of pension is also paid to a war-blinded exserviceman, to certain war pensioners suffering from tuberculosis, and to those exservicemen who are temporarily totally incapacitated as a result of their war disabilities. A married totally and permanently incapacitated war pensioner and his wife will now receive between them, free of means test, a total of £14 10s. 6d. a week. In addition they may also qualify for an age, invalid or service pension. If they do, they will be eligible to receive up to £17 a week from the combined pensions. This amount is, of course, free of income tax. These ex-servicemen also receive free medical benefits for all illnesses whether due to war service or not. For the family unit there is assistance under the Soldiers' Children Education Scheme which guarantees to every child of a totally and permanently incapacitated war pensioner the opportunity to acquire a standard of education or training compatible with his or her aptitude and to attain a suitable vocation in life. For the more seriously disabled there are additional allowances, such as attendant's allowances and recreation transport allowance. Outside the scope of repatriation legislation there are other concessions such as exemptions from sales tax on motor cars. The second schedule to the act also enables the commission to determine a rate of pension for sufferers from tuberculosis who, whilst not being totally incapacitated, are only capable of performing work of a light to medium nature. This rate known as the class B rate for tuberculosis, will be adjusted to provide for an increase of 5s. a week making the new rate £8 17s. 6d. a week. To correspond with the increase in the totally and permanently incapacitated special rate pension the amounts payable under the first six items of column 2 of the fifth schedule to the act to certain amputees are being increased by 10s. a week to £7 5s. per week. War widows pensions will be increased by 5s. a week from £5 5s. to £5 10s. a week, and the domestic allowance payable to certain war widows will also be increased by 5s. a week to £3 a week. Domestic allowance is paid to a war widow if she has a child under the age of sixteen years or a child over that age who is undergoing education or training and is not earning an adequate living wage. It is also paid to a war widow who is over the age of fifty years or who is unemployable. War widows entitled to both pension and domestic allowance will now receive a total of £8 10s. a week, and I might add that approximately 90 per cent, of war widows are in this class. Service pensioners are to benefit in three ways. First, the rate of service pension will rise by 5s. a week, the amount by which age and invalid pensions are being increased. The new rate will be £5 a week. Secondly, they will benefit from the merged means test which is to be introduced into the Social Services Act. The amendment which this bill makes to section 87 of the Repatriation Act applies the benefit of the merged means test to service pensioners. This provision has been explained by my colleague, the Minister for Social Services **(Mr. Roberton)** in the House this evening, and I need say no more about it now. Thirdly, in addition to the pension increase and the easing of the means test this year's Budget introduces a new and most important benefit for service pensioners. The Government's decision to provide medical benefits for service pensioners whether their disabilities are due to war service or not marks a significant step forward in the care of aged ex-servicemen. My own association with ex-servicemen has convinced me that this new benefit will be particularly welcomed and appreciated by First World War and Boer War veterans, whose ailments naturally have increased with advancing years. Ex-servicemen from the Second World War and from the Korean and Malayan campaigns who may, with the passing of the years, become eligible for a service pension need no longer have any anxiety as to how, where, or by whom they will be cared for should they in later life suffer any illness. Who are those who will benefit from this provision? Service pensioners are the ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen, who have served in a theatre of war, and are over the age of 60 years, if males, or 55 years, if females, or are permanently unemployable or who irrespective of the area in which they served are suffering from tuberculosis; they are men and women of limited means as they are subject to the same means test as social service pensioners. Approximately 90 per cent, of all service pensioners are from the 1914-18 war; their average .age would be over 65 years. The Government is mindful of the nation's obligation to the " old soldier ". So far as he suffers from disabilities due to war service, the war pension provisions of the Repatriation Act, and the medical treatment provided for those disabilities already amply care for him. But the time has now come when some special provision could and should be made for the ageing exserviceman of limited means whose illnesses are associated with advancing years, rather than with war service. The greatest assistance that can be given to them and their families is to provide them with care and treatment when they are ill. They will now receive the same range of medical benefits for disabilities not due to war service, which has previously been available to war pensioners in receipt of pension at the full general 100 per cent, rate, or a higher rate, and to nurses from the 1914-18 war. This includes general medical practitioner service from a local medical officer of their own choice, the services of a specialist when required, a full range of pharmaceutical benefits, provision of surgical aids and appliances including spectacles, and dental treatment. They will also be admitted to repatriation hospitals should they need hospital treatment. There they will receive the best of treatment in an atmosphere of understanding and comradeship which will assist in their recovery. The regulation under which treatment for disabilities not due to war service is provided, and which is being extended to service pensioners - repatriation -regulation '66 - does not provide for hospital treatment for certain diseases for which our repatriation hospitals are not equipped, for example, certain infectious or contagious diseases, nor for the same reason does it provide prolonged institutional care for chronic or incurable diseases. However, service pen- sioners will be admitted to repatriation hospitals where hospital treatment is necessary for any .acute or .sub-acute phase of a chronic or incurable illness. Each service pensioner who now becomes eligible for this service will be personally advised by letter of the details of the scheme, which it is expected will be in full operation in the course of the next few weeks. Amongst those to benefit from this provision are some 300 veterans from the Boer War who are service pensioners. I feel sure that the Government's decision in this matter is one which will commend itself to all members of the Parliament as it will to all Australians. It makes provision for a deserving class, which is in need of sympathetic assistance; it is both a humane and just provision. Although this scheme does not form part of the subject-matter of the bill, I have taken the opportunity of explaining it because of its importance in principle and to the 25,000 service pensioners in particular who will become eligible under it. The remaining 8,000 service pen.sioners are already eligible for similar benefits by reason of their qualification as war pensioners previously mentioned, namely that they are receiving a war pension at or above the 100 per cent, general rate. This service is a substantial complementary benefit to the additional amount of service pension which the increased rate and the easing of the means test mentioned above will provide, and with the increases which this bill brings to war pensions of exservicemen and war widows, represents a substantial increase in repatriation benefits. The cost of these increases in a full year is estimated at £2,374,000. I commend the bill to the House. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Barnard)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1035 {:#debate-42} ### ESTIMATES 1960-61 In Committee of Supply: Consideration resumed (vide page 1013). Department of the Treasury. {:#subdebate-42-0} #### Proposed Vote, £12,907,000 {: #subdebate-42-0-s0 .speaker-KWP} ##### Mr TURNBULL:
Mallee .- Although there are many matters with which I could deal, I want to mention one very important matter that comes within the scope of this proposed vote. I have advocated for a long time that donations to the Murray Valley Development League should be deductible from taxable income. I believe that the Prime Minister and Acting Treasurer **(Mr. Menzies)** is very well aware of the aims of the Murray Valley Development League. It is a non-profit organization which should receive every possible assistance from this Government. Shire councils and city councils along the Murray are supporting strongly my advocacy on behalf of the league, which, as its name suggests, aims to develop the very fertile Murray Valley. Some little time ago I asked the Treasurer **(Mr. Harold Holt)** the following question: - >Is the right honorable gentleman aware of the aims of the Murray Valley Development League and its great importance to Australia? Will he consider providing that donations to this league be allowable deductions for taxation purposes? The Treasurer replied - >I must confess to knowing only in a general way the public-spirited objectives of the Murray Valley Development League. He went on to say that the question would be considered. I take the opportunity to-night to put this question to the Acting Treasurer, who knows, not in just a general way but in a personal way - because of his association with the Victorian Parliament and with development generally in Australia - that the Murray Valley Development League is very valuable to Australia. It seeks to bring about conditions that will promote greater production, greater export trading and greater income to the Commonwealth. I believe that this Government could profitably allow donations to this league to be deductible from taxable income. The secretary of the shire of Gordon, in a letter to me, has said that the finances of the league are made up of contributions by local government bodies, but it is felt that if the Federal Government were to treat gifts to the league as deductions from the taxable incomes of the donors, individuals and corporate bodies would contribute to the league funds and thus extend its field for still greater development in one of the richest producing areas in the Commonwealth. That statement is supported by the city of Mildura, the shire of Kerang and the shire of Swan Hill. I believe that these representations should favorably impress the Acting Treasurer and the Government. Leaving everything else aside for the moment, I concentrate on this matter and ask the Acting Treasurer to give it further consideration. {: #subdebate-42-0-s1 .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr L R JOHNSON:
Hughes .- I wish to refer to the estimates for the Treasury and particularly to the Taxation Branch. I am interested especially in payroll tax. I understand that the pay-roll tax was introduced originally to finance child endowment. As the basic wage was related to the needs of a married man with a wife and one child, it was felt that some supplementary income would benefit a family with more than one child, and that the supplementary income should be given in the form of child endowment. Further, it was considered that the employers should contribute that additional supplementary income in the form of pay-roll tax. It has always been quite incredible to me that State and local government services should be required to pay pay-roll tax. The Commonwealth Government does not have to pay this tax in respect of its employees, but the States do have to pay it and that seems to be an inconsistency. I direct attention, for example, to the way that this provision affects teachers' salaries which were discussed on the estimates for another department. I understand that last year, something like £1,900,000 was paid in pay-roll tax on teachers' salaries by the various States; but the salaries paid to the teachers in the employ of the Commonwealth were exempt from this tax. Then there is the question of the pay-roll tax paid by municipalities. Every one in this Parliament knows that local government instrumentalities are struggling, and this is one of the impositions in respect of which the Australian Council of Local Government Associations has made impressive representations to this Government over a long period. Although T have not had an opportunity to gather the relevant figures, there is no doubt that local government authorities would be assisted tremendously if the Commonwealth would provide some relief from this impost. I understand that local government authorities with pay-rolls of less than £100 are exempt from the tax, but, of course, the modern tendency is for local government bodies to amalgamate to get more effective planning and co-ordination, so the exemption is almost ineffective. I commend to the Government consideration of a review of the pay-roll tax, not only in respect of teachers and municipalities but also so far as State services are concerned. I was interested to examine the Budget figures regarding the pay-roll tax paid by the railways. It is quite a fascinating study. In fact, it is rather heart-breaking to see that the New South Wales railways are paying more than £1,127,000 in pay-roll tax. The comparative figures for the railways of the mainland States are as follows: - The relevant figures for the Tasmanian railways are not included in the Budget figures this year, and I can refer only to the previous year when the Tasmanian railways paid £57,464 in pay-roll tax. We all know the crushing burden that this represents on the railways. Every State is having difficulty in maintaining its services, particularly in the face of heavy impositions in capital costs and interest and associated charges paid to overseas bond-holders, and I hope that some relief will be given to them from this tax. It seems to be a most marked and incredible inconsistency that State government and local government authorities should be subject to an imposition from which the Commonwealth Government is exempt. Of course, companies pay pay-roll tax, and there is no relief for them in that respect in this Budget. I do not know that employers can reasonably claim immunity from the pay-roll tax. They assert that the tax increases costs, but if that is so, and if the tax is simply being passed on, we should consider abolishing the pay-roll tax and substituting a nontransferable tax such as company tax or income tax. We find that the pay-roll tax this year amounts to £60,000,000, against £55,100,000 last year. The regrettable thing is that public authorities are required to contribute to such a substantial degree. I wish to make reference now to two other matters. One of them is the provision for funeral expenses as a concessional tax deduction. Section 82c of the Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Act provides for a concessional deduction of up to £30 for funeral expenses incurred in respect of the funeral of a dependant. I am not enthusiastic about concessional deductions of any kind. Obviously, they benefit people on high incomes more than those on low incomes. If a man on the basic wage claims a tax concession of £143 for his wife, he does not get anywhere near the remission that a man on £5,000 obtains for his wife. While we have this sort of system operating, it is important to direct attention to the anomalies that operate under the scheme. I understand that funeral expenses in respect of a dependant may be claimed as a concessional allowance, but this concession is available only to the bread-winner and not in respect of the funeral of a bread-winner. That is to say, the estate of a bread-winner or his widow does not receive any benefit from this provision whatever. It is an unfortunate omission having regard to general precedents in this respect, and it is a matter that the Government might well examine. I bring it forward for consideration. The general incidence of taxation is interesting. Tax revenue has increased considerably since this Government was first elected to office. In 1938-39, taxation per head of population was £17 19s. 5d. By 1948-49 the figure had risen to £67 12s. lid. a head. In 1959-60 at the end of another ten years, the figure was to £135 2s. Id. a head. That is a most incredible increase. It is interesting to note also how the taxation paid by the average household has increased in the past ten years. In 1948-49 the taxation paid by the average household totalled £5 4s. By 1959-60, the equivalent taxation had increased sharply to £10 7s. lOd. or almost double what it was in 1948-49. That is on a household basis and not on the individual. The most regrettable trend is the tendency by this Government to transfer a large load of taxes into indirect taxation - the taxes that people pay unconsciously. All honorable members will recall the horror Budget and the little budget of 1956. I remember the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** describing the little Budget in 1956 as " a temporary emergency measure designed to counter inflation ". What were these temporary measures and what was the effect of them? The Government imposed a sales tax of 30 per cent, on motor cars; additional taxes of 3d. a gallon on petrol, 3d. on a packet of cigarettes and 2s. 8d. a gallon on beer. If my memory serves me correctly the total impositions amounted to £115,000,000 at that time. To-day the tax on a packet of cigarettes costing 3s. 3d. is ls. lOd. A bottle of whisky costing 33s. 9d. attracts a tax of 10s. 9*d. On petrol, which costs 3s. 6id. a gallon, the tax is ls. Id. This Government is driving the people to drink. They are frothing at the mouth, but when they go in for a middy, a schooner or a pint of beer they are the subject of this Government's indelicate tax grab. All people, irrespective of whether they are pensioners receiving £4 15s. a week - or £5, as will be the case in the near future - salary-earners with an income of £5,000 a year, pay an equal amount. That, to my way of thinking, is a contradiction of everything that we stand for in relation to taxation. On a bottle of beer costing 3s. Id., the tax is ls. 7d. In other words, when we buy two bottles of beer, we are really buying one for the Prime Minister or the Treasurer. {: .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies: -- Thank you. {: .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr L R JOHNSON: -- I am sure he will be gratified. We hope that on some suitable occasion he will reciprocate. The Australian people look at television in their homes. On a set costing £234, they pay £39 in sales tax. The purchase price of a large car, £1,170, includes £223 sales tax, and the purchaser of a " baby " car for £925 pays £165 in sales tax. In the remaining few minutes at my disposal I should like to deal briefly with some anomalies and inconsistencies, especially in regard to the sales tax on food. An amount of £3,000,000 is derived annually from the sales tax on biscuits. It is amazing that although the biscuits that humans eat are subject to sales tax, dog biscuits are not. Baby powder is taxed at the rate of 25 per cent., but dog powder is exempt. How anybody can justify that is beyond my comprehension. The indirect tax paid by the Australian people on cakes, .scones and buns amounts to £2,500,000 per annum. Children buying confectionery pay £4,000,000 annually in sales tax. The revenue from the sales tax on ice-cream amounts to £1,300,000 annually. These amounts are paid by children, who have no income at all. The revenue from the sales tax on flavouring essences used in ice-creams and sweets is £1,000,000 per annum. Soft drinks produce a revenue of £2,000,000. This is the amount derived from the sale of Coca-Cola and other drinks that children have at their parties. Those five items produce a total revenue of £13,800,000. Substantially they represent an innovation by the Menzies Government which is to be regretted. I mentioned biscuits. These are considered by the Australian people to be a fairly essential item, as the average Australian consumes 16 lb. of biscuits per annum. As I have said, these are subject to a heavy indirect tax, whereas the dogs escape scot-free. There are many other anomalies. A cowboy and Indian outfit is not taxed but the school bag carried to school over a little boy's shoulder is heavily taxed. If bread is broken up into breadcrumbs it attracts a tax of 17 per cent., but bread itself is free of sales tax unless it has raisins in it. If it contains raisins, it attracts a very heavy tax. If the Prime Minister replies to the points that I have raised, he might be good enough to explain how these decisions were arrived at. It is interesting to note that rat poison is exempt from the sales tax, but ice-cream is not. Nail clippers are not taxed, but nail scissors are. The amount of sales tax paid on nail scissors depends on what sort of nails one has. A person who has the sort of nails that require a pair of straight nail scissors pays 8i per cent, sales tax, but a person who has the sort of nails that require curved nail scissors pays 25 per cent. tax. A person who loves meat pies is in a very favorable position because meat pies are exempt from tax, but any one with an inclination towards fruit pies pays a heavy sales tax. The position in regard to artificial flowers is quite interesting. Artificial flowers used on birthday cakes are heavily taxed but those worn by a lady as an adornment on a dress or hat are not taxed at all. All sorts of ordinary pencils are subject to a tax of 12± per cent., but a person who has an inclination towards automation and likes a propelling pencil pays a 25 per cent, tax on it. This incredible schemozzle is something that I cannot understand. Perhaps the Prime Minister, who will have adequate time *to* deal with the submissions made by honorable members, will be able to provide us with an explanation. {: .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies: -- Do help me. Why do not the ladies buy artificial flowers for the hat and then put them on the cake? {: .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr L R JOHNSON: -- I should imagine that the right honorable gentleman's long experience with ladies would enable him to answer that question with a lot more certainty than I can. {: #subdebate-42-0-s2 .speaker-KLL} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Makin: -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-42-0-s3 .speaker-JTP} ##### Mr BURY:
Wentworth .- I cannot but be impressed by the statement just made by the honorable member for Hughes **(Mr. L. R. Johnson).** I hope that he, who sees so many evils in the present taxation system, will confer from time to time with the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell)** and the other policy-makers of his party. The honorable member for Hughes has mentioned the level of taxation and the manner in which it has increased, but every statement uttered by his leaders and by those other honorable gentlemen who are now notably absent from the Opposition front bench suggests still more and greater expenditure. At least, the honorable member has been constructive. He has mentioned a number of items on which taxation so far has been, relatively speaking, omitted. Perhaps these items which have escaped taxation could be exploited to finance, at least in part, some of the extravagant policies expounded by the honorable gentlemen who sit on the front bench opposite. No one in this chamber, I imagine, would suggest that taxation in any form was good or that it added in any way to the welfare of the country. We all admit that taxation in any form adds to costs. Included in this is that abomination, the pay-roll tax. Of course, it adds to casts. Has any one in this chamber ever suggested otherwise? The honorable member for Hughes does not like the pay-roll tax. No doubt he has read the official memorandum prepared on this subject, which is very difficult to knock down. Whatever heat may have been generated in discussing it, I have heard no one successfully knock it down. The abolition of the pay-roll tax would involve either an increase of ls. 5d. in the company tax - which is the alternative that the honorable gentleman prefers - or an increase of roughly oneeighth in all income tax. The honorable member spoke at some length of the evils of taxation and of the way in which it had increased. We are all in the same boat, and progressive taxation has developed to some lengths already. If he could persuade his supporters - no doubt he maintains that they are all wage-earners - to volunteer an increase of one-eighth in the weekly tax deductions from their pay envelopes, we could abolish the pay-roll tax. On the whole, I do not deplore the statement made by the honorable member for Hughes. He has directed attention, very rightly and properly, to some of the costs involved in the governmental process. In view of the sentiments uttered by him, I hope that he will gradually gather more influence in his party and bring home to its members what an increase in government expenditure really means in terms of taxation. He has done an excellent job. He has mentioned income tax and the sales tax on beer, tobacco, cigarettes, and other things. He has given a few tips as to where imports have perhaps lagged behind, and no doubt, with increased expenditure by his party, those imports could be suitably increased. I suggest that the influence of the honorable member for Hughes is entirely healthy and I hope that he will make it clear that to find the millions of pounds which, so to speak, pour out of the mouth of his leader and the folk around him, who want this and that, would involve a little extra in taxes. If those things are not to cost money the alternative is. bv come miraculous means, to expand credit. However, that may conflict with the view* of th** Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell),** who. quite rightly deplores inflationary moves. Very often we on this side of the chamber deplore statements made by honorable members opposite, but in this case the honorable member for Hughes, in pointing to what these vast increases in government expenditure mean to ordinary men and women in the community, has performed a service. I hope that his influence will be felt in the councils of his party and that before his leaders, gaily and lightly, say that they wish to increase government expenditure by vast amounts they will take careful note of the views that he has expressed. {: #subdebate-42-0-s4 .speaker-KYS} ##### Mr REYNOLDS:
Barton .- I think that this Parliament should take note that the Commonwealth Auditor-General **Mr. Newman,** shortly will have served for 50 years with the Commonwealth. I notice from his report that he was appointed to the Public Service on 1st December, 1910. Probably he will retire before the next Budget is presented to this place. Whether that happens or not, I do not think that we should let pass this opportunity to pay tribute to a man who has held for almost five years such a distinguished office as that of the Auditor-General of the Commonwealth. I hope that when he does retire he will be treated better than many other former Commonwealth employees have been treated. The Commonwealth Superannuation Fund, which comes under the control of the Treasury, had a credit balance of£62,844,079 on 1st July, 1959. In the twelve months ended on 30th June, 1960, £16,695,211 was received into the fund, but in the same period payments from the fund were only £8,261,178. In other words, in that period receipts exceeded payments by almost £8,500,000. Although the fund at present has a credit of approximately £71,000,000, many people who are in receipt of superannuation benefits are, because of the effects of inflation, living on what one might call a pittance. My attention has been directed to this matter by various people, including **Mr. McFarlane,** a former secretary of the Treasury. He has directed my attention particularly to the plight of public servants who retired after 5th April, 1947, and before 1st January, 1954. He shows how inflation has affected the value of the superannuation benefits of those people. He states that between 1947 and 1951 the cost of living, according to the index, rose 'by 58 per cent., but that superannuation payments increased by only 20 per cent. Between 1947 and 1953 the cost of living rose by 94 per cent., but superannuation pensions increased by only 40 per cent. - less than half the increase in the cost of living. Between 1957 and 1959 the cost of living, according to the index, rose by 127 per cent., but the superannuation pensions paid to former public servants increased by only 40 per cent. If the figures were brought up to date the cost of living would be shown to have increased by more than 127 per cent, between 1947 and the present time. **Mr. McFarlane** makes a plea on behalf of these superannuated officers. An increase in their pensions would not involve a greater claim on the Commonwealth. The fund is in a very healthy state. It has a credit of approximately £71,000,000, and receipts exceeded outgoings last year - I do not think there was anything notable about last year - by approximately £8,500,000. To-night the Minister for Social Services **(Mr. Roberton)** brought down commendable legislation, as far as it goes, to ease the pensions means test as it affects people who own property. Why is not something done for former Commonwealth officers who have contributed compulsorily during all of their working lives to the fund? I appreciate that the Commonwealth makes a considerable contribution to the fund, but 1 think that these people are entitled to an increase. In the circumstances, it is surprising that they have not received some increase in their superannuation benefits. **Mr. McFarlane** suggests, on behalf of these people, that a net increase in pensions of 21 per cent, would not be likely to cost the fund more than about £350,000 a year. The increase would affect about 5,000 pensioners, whose average age is 73 years. The cost would not be great because their mortality rate, taking into account their age, is fairly high. **Mr. McFarlane's** skill in evaluating these matters may be trusted. He says that at a cost of no more than £350,000 a year a reasonable increase in superannuation benefits could be given to 5,000 people. I hope that the Prime Minister and Acting Treasurer **(Mr. Menzies)** will take note of the plight of these people, particularly in view of the fact that the social services legislation, beneficial as it is, does not provide for an increase in the income that may be earned by persons in receipt of an age pension. I know a number of former Commonwealth employees who, although they are in receipt of superannuation payments, depend in part on the age pension. I want to refer now to public loan raising in Australia. In 1958-59 the amount of new money raised by Commonwealth loans was £143,000,000, and in 1959-60 the amount dropped to £120,000,000. This year the amount of new money so raised is expected to be about £90,000,000. We believe that instead of the Commonwealth continually reaching out for money by increasing taxation - direct and indirect: - and instead of increasing the charges for the services rendered by public utilities, a little more imagination should be used in the raising of public loans. The Government could have considered increasing the tax rebate payable to people who contribute to Commonwealth loans. As I have said before, there is something fascinating to me in the idea of a public loan being raised for a specific purpose, such as education or health. I realize that certain problems would be associated with such a loan, but I think that they could be overcome. I think there would be a patriotic appeal in a loan raised for a particular purpose. I confidently predict that in matters such as education and health there would probably be a readier response to such a loan, even though the people realized that by subscribing to it they would receive less income than from some other form of investment. The position strikes me as being a little odd. At this time, when our taxation has been raised and geared to produce a surplus of £15,000,000 in this financial year - I think every one expects, on past performance, that it will be nearer £50,000,000 - we are restricting bank lending and bank credit in this community - those things are being done in the name of inflation - and we are still seeking foreign loans. I believe that foreign money brought into Australia is just as inflationary as locally raised money. I cannot see why we should be putting our own domestic money into cold storage and restricting lending by our own banking institutions at the same time as we are bringing in money from overseas. {: .speaker-JTP} ##### Mr Bury: -- And the balance of payments- {: .speaker-KYS} ##### Mr REYNOLDS: -- I can understand that in certain circumstances it would be desirable from the point of view of the balance of payments position and also, in the case of investments, it could lead to the introduction of new techniques associated with those investments. But there are many people who are well aware - I think the Government is aware of this - that a lot of the foreign capital coming into this country is not of a productive nature; it is being devoted to speculative enterprises and is thus contributing to the boom in land prices and inflation generally. I should like to make a plea to the Government to review the whole taxation system. Time will not permit of my dealing with all the aspects of this matter to which I would like to direct attention. I think there should be a re-examination of the taxation scale with a view to lifting the exemption levels considerably higher than they are at the present moment. I know that some honorable members will say that by doing that we would lose a certain amount of revenue, but against that we have to weigh the cost of collecting tax on the present scale. I pose this question: In view of the high cost of applying the present taxation scale to a lot of people from whom a relatively negligible amount of revenue is collected, is it worth while to retain that scale? {: .speaker-JTP} ##### Mr Bury: -- To what form of taxation is the honorable member referring? {: .speaker-KYS} ##### Mr REYNOLDS: -- I am talking about direct income tax. I make a plea on behalf of the family man, so far as taxation rebates are concerned. I have some of the misgivings that the honorable member for Hughes **(Mr. L. R. Johnson)** entertains about some of these rebates. Look at the much lauded education expenses rebate. I am not sure that that is helping the ordinary people in the community or giving much help to many families in our society who, for one reason or another, send their children to private schools. I am not sure that the education expenses rebate helps that kind of people or, more particularly, families who have no children going to school. If we really want to help those people, we must find some more direct method of doing so. An increase of child endowment might well be one of the means we could adopt. I wish also to direct attention to the imposition of indirect taxation. Various honorable members have already addressed themselves to this subject. Time will not allow of my going through all its aspects, but I shall refer to some of them. The Church of England is running a youth group in my electorate. It must pay sales tax on all the sporting equipment that is purchased for that group. Like many other churches, it is engaged in the laudable activity of providing healthy activities for our young people. Why should it have to pay sales tax on all the sporting and other equipment that it buys in order to provide healthy and decent recreation for the young people of our community? I sometimes compare that aspect of taxation with what the British Government is doing at the present time. It is providing ?4,000,000 to community groups to help with the promotion of youth welfare. lt is not appropriate, at this stage, to talk about the Royal Life Saving Society or surf life saving activities, but I appeal to the Government, above all, to exhibit more purposefulness in its taxation policy. I listened only a couple of weeks ago to Walter Lipmann a well-known American commentator- {: #subdebate-42-0-s5 .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: **-(Mr. Chaney).** - Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-42-0-s6 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr MENZIES:
Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs · Kooyong · LP -- I do not propose to make a long speech. First, I wish to say that I agree with what the honorable member for Barton **(Mr. Reynolds)** has said about **Mr. Newman,** who has been a very distinguished civil servant. Secondly, I was interested in the questions that were raised by the honorable member for Melbourne Ports **(Mr. Crean).** They do not allow of a quick answer, because some analysis of the figures will be needed. I assure him that I will have that analysis made, and any information available concerning those matters will be furnished to him. Some of the speeches that have been made have dealt - if I may say so, with respect - not so much with the estimates of the Taxation Branch as with the taxation policy which is, of course, a much broader Budget matter. Acting Treasurer I may be, but I would hate to have to look the Treasurer **(Mr. Harold Holt)** in the eye in a few weeks' time when he comes back to Australia and tell him that I had altered his Budget before - figuratively speaking - the ink was dry. I can assure all honorable members that I have taken note of what they have put forward on these matters and they will all, of course, receive proper consideration. Proposed vote agreed to. {:#subdebate-42-1} #### Attorney-General's Department {:#subdebate-42-2} #### Proposed Vote, ?2,346,000 {: #subdebate-42-2-s0 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD:
East Sydney .- The matter which I propose to devote my time to probing concerns the Attorney-General **(Sir Garfield Barwick)** in his dual capacity as the Minister in this chamber who is responsible for the security service, and Attorney-General. We know that the Attorney-General is about to leave for overseas and is going to be away, according to reports, for some considerable time. Earlier this week, I raised in this chamber a matter to which I expected the AttorneyGeneral to make some reply but unfortunately, up to date, he has ignored it, evidently hoping to get out of the country, be away for some months, and return to Australia when the subject is not so hot. I want to make reference to a peculiar circumstance regarding the dismissal of an officer from the Attorney-General's Department. It may be that, because I did not mention the name of this officer earlier in the week, when I raised this subject-matter, the Attorney-General is trying to push it aside and create the impression that I have not given sufficient detail to identify the particular case. It is unlikely that the Attorney-General would not realize that a Grade 1 legal officer is not employed or dismissed every day in the week, particularly a man engaged on the type of activity that I have mentioned. So that the Attorney-General cannot escape by saying merely that he cannot identify the case, I shall give the name of the officer who was dismissed. He is James Frederick Staples. Let us look at his qualifications. He is a young man, thirty-one years of age. He is a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney and is also a barrister of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. He applied for appointment to the Attorney-General's Department in March this year in response to newspaper advertisements calling applications for the position of legal officer. To give honorable members an indication of how fully the applications were considered, I point out that he did not commence duty in the position until 2nd June. So, a period of almost ten weeks elapsed from the time applications were invited until the time he was appointed. During the period when his application was being considered he was interviewed on three different occasions. At no time did he refuse to answer a question, to answer honestly, or to give any information that was sought from him. He was not asked whether he was a member of the Communist Party or whether he had ever been a member of the party. After his application had been considered for this long period, he obtained the position. He was attached to what is known as the Advising Section in the Attorney-General's Department. **Mr. Staples** does not make any secret of the fact that the duties on which he was employed were of a security nature. The Advising Section is concerned with the preparation of opinions for various departments, including the Department of the Treasury, the Department of External Affairs, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, and the Australian Atomic Energy Commission, in relation to matters affecting constitutional, international and administrative law. The section also provides legal information required of Australia by various organs of the United Nations. The files that are dealt with are marked " Confidential ", " Secret " and, in the case of certain files that are accessible only through the head of the department, " Most Secret ". But on occasions even " Most Secret " files came into the hands of this officer through the man who was in charge of the section. That happened in the course of the ordinary duties of the position he held. There has been no suggestion at any time that this officer ever committed a breach of trust. If he had, the Attorney-General would have been lacking in his duty in not taking action against him under the provisions of the Crimes Act. The AttorneyGeneral did not take any such action. This officer wandered around the department in the course of his duties handling " Confidential ", " Secret " and " Most Secret " files, and he had access to information which would have been of the greatest value to him if he had wanted to engage in subversive activity. As I said earlier, no one has suggested that he committed a breach of trust. But on 24th August, after being employed for ten weeks, a message was delivered to him by an office boy which stated that his services were no longer required. No reasons were given. This man does not assert that he was appointed to a permanent position in the first instance, but he was assured that if he performed his duties efficiently he could expect continuity of employment and promotion in the department. I understand that although he was there for only ten weeks, he had been recommended for promotion. After he received this message which, as I said, was delivered to him by an office boy, he naturally thought that the best way to try to obtain an explanation about what had happened would be to approach the Attorney-General himself. He sought an interview with the Attorney-General but was informed by the Attorney-General's secretary that the Attorney-General was not prepared to see him personally. He was referred to the head of the department. He then interviewed **Mr. Ewens,** who was the acting head of the department. **Mr. Ewens** was very frank with **Mr. Staples.** He told him that there was no fault to be found with his work and that his dismissal had arisen as a result of the submission of a security report. I repeat that after **Mr. Staples** applied tor the position he was interrogated on three occasions, but nobody asked him whether he had been a member of the Communist Party or whether he was still a member of that party. This man has never made a secret of his membership of the Communist Party. Any number of officers in the AttorneyGeneral's department, if given the opportunity, would tell tha Attorney-General that this man, when he was at the University of Sydney, was an active member of the Communist Party and came into association with them. I repeat that certain of the officers of the Attorney-General's Department knew that this man formerly was a member of the Communist Party. He joined the party in 1947 and was the Communist Party candidate for the Lakemba electorate at the State elections that were held early in 1956. But in November, 1956, he was expelled from the party. When I mentioned this matter earlier 1 was in error on one point. I said he was expelled from the Communist Party because he had criticized **Mr. Khrushchev's** denunciation of the Stalin regime. But that was not the reason. He was charged, and expelled therefor, from the party, with criticizing the people who were in charge of the Australian Communist Party for having suppressed the report of the speech made by **Mr. Khrushchev** denouncing the Stalin regime. So I make that correction. He was an expelled member of the Communist Party. If he had been asked for that information he would readily have given it. We are getting to a sorry state of affairs when a man can be dismissed on such flimsy evidence. Unless the Attorney-General is prepared to give us more information than has been forwarded to me, I say that the department has dismissed this officer on the flimsiest pretext. What are we coming to? When we were discussing the telephone tapping legislation, the Attorney-General said that he was the Minister who was responsible for the security service. Almost immediately afterwards, he said he did not intend to tell us anything about it. He said he would not even tell us the number of telephones that had been tapped during a particular period, how many agents were employed or what salaries they received. I believe the people of this country would not regard that as being a proper attitude for the Minister to adopt. I believe - I have been firmly of this opinion for some time - that a sort of tyranny is being built up in Australia. **Mr. Staples** says he was a member of the Communist Party but that he was expelled some years after he joined it. If I had the opportunity and the time, and if it was required of me, I could obtain for the AttorneyGeneral and the Government the names of many former members of the Communist Party who have actually been taken over seas as members of visiting delegations. Are people like **Mr. Staples** to have a penalty imposed on them for life? Are they never to be given an opportunity to reform or to renounce their earlier beliefs and associations? Are they to be hounded for life? Let us look at the matter reasonably. If this man was a security risk, why did not the security service discover it while the applications were under consideration for approximately ten weeks? Ten weeks elapsed after his appointment before the security service could give information to the Government that this man was a security risk. If we look at it only from the point of view of efficiency, we must ask what sort of a security service is it that allows this man, a security risk, to wander around the department handling files that are marked " confidential ", " secret " and " most secret " ? Is it not a rather peculiar security service that takes all this time before it learns that this gentleman is regarded as a security risk? This is a most astonishing and disturbing situation! Everybody knows to-day that many prominent public servants - not the heads of departments, but officers occupying prominent positions - have been denied promotion on security reports. But they are never advised of the contents of the reports. The promotion of these officers has been sabotaged because reports have been submitted. One officer in the Patent Office was being retarded in his normal promotion and had to leave the service and enter private practice because of a security report that was put in against him. But he was never told what he was accused of doing and he has never been able to answer the allegations in the report. Surely such information should be available to any Australian citizen who is affected in the way that this man has been affected. As I have said in earlier debates, the security service was established by a Labour government during a very difficult period. Pressure was applied on the Government from overseas to establish the service, but we knew the dangers of it; we knew the threat to the civil liberties of the Australian community. So, we put the service under the administration of a judge. Now, this Government has converted it into a- semi-military organization. It is to-day a political police force, engaged not solely on the normal work that you would expect of such an organization, but snooping round Australia making reports on trade union meetings. {: #subdebate-42-2-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-42-2-s2 .speaker-126} ##### Sir GARFIELD BARWICK:
Attorney-General · Parramatta · LP -- The honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward)** is ageing fast. He stays on the same old bandwagon but no one pays any heed to his ranting about the security service. The security service is an honorable service led by a gentleman of great honour and integrity. It is doing noble work in this country - quietly. It does not tell the honorable member for East Sydney its secrets, because he keeps none. He blurts whatever he knows everywhere, and he does not mind whom he hurts. Let us look at this matter. Whom is he trying to help when he stands up in this chamber and broadcasts throughout the whole of Australia information about this unfortunate fellow - and he is unfortunate - who cast his lot with the Communist Party and says now that he was expelled. The proposition is that I, as AttorneyGeneral, and my officers should accept this fellow's word, and the word of his fellow Communists, and let him loose amongst the secrets of this country. But the honorable gentleman blasts this fellow's chances of making good elsewhere. We discharged him, and we are not in the least ashamed of the fact that the Commonwealth did not allow a man who had long been a Communist, and who was said to have been thrown out, to continue with us. Being expelled is a fancy way that these gentlemen have of dissociating themselves, for the time being, from the party so that they may do more valuable work under cover. That is a known technique. I would not have said this about this chap, because I would not have brought up his name or his record, because he is a human being. If in the course of time he can make good, let him, and good luck to him. But he is not going to be loose amongst the secrets of this country. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- But he was for ten weeks. {: .speaker-126} ##### Sir GARFIELD BARWICK: -- That is a most amusing remark. Because a fellow eludes you for ten weeks, you ought not to fire him! It is too silly! The honorable gentleman is getting old and childish, and for any one to accept this sort of claptrap {: .speaker-KDO} ##### Mr Erwin: -- He is getting old; he was always childish. {: .speaker-126} ##### Sir GARFIELD BARWICK: -- He is getting old and no one pays any attention to him. He will be out of politics long before I am. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- I think you have aged ten years since you have been here. {: .speaker-126} ##### Sir GARFIELD BARWICK: -- Yes; I have learnt a few things, may be, but then I am able to learn. Judging from what I have heard from my contemporaries, you never have. You go on in the old donkey cart business. Let me say this about this gentleman: The gaff has been blown by his so-called friend. It is shameful. What is more, he was so worthy of trust that he gave the honorable member for East Sydney information about what he was doing in my department. That is the sort of thing he did. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- He could not get justice. You would not see him. {: .speaker-126} ##### Sir GARFIELD BARWICK: -- I would not see him? I sent him to the place where he should have gone - to the head of his department. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- You are a little dictator! {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! The honorable member for East Sydney will remain quiet. {: .speaker-126} ##### Sir GARFIELD BARWICK: -- He does not worry me, **Mr. Temporary Chairman.** I have been used to noise for a long time. I have a message from **Mr. Ewens,** who denies that the honorable member's account of the interview with Staples is correct. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- Well, what took place? {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! {: .speaker-126} ##### Sir GARFIELD BARWICK: -- There is a funny notion that when the honorable member for East Sydney gets up in this chamber, we should believe what he says. {: .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr Wentworth: -- Oh, nonsense! {: .speaker-126} ##### Sir GARFIELD BARWICK: -- Yes, I agree with you. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- You smeared a dead Prime Minister with a lie! {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! The Minister will resume his seat. I warn the honorable member for East Sydney. He made his speech, and he was not interrupted. I advise him not to interrupt the Attorney-General when he is replying. I ask the Attorney-General to continue. {: .speaker-126} ##### Sir GARFIELD BARWICK: -- I was referring to this amusing assertion that anything the honorable member for East Sydney cares to say should be accepted until some one denies it; that it is wrong not to accept what he says. Let me return to what is at the heart of what the honorable member has said. The security service no doubt found this man out. He did not tell anybody that he had been until recently a party member; the information had to be ascertained. Surely he did not imagine for one moment when he applied for a confidential job in the Attorney-General's Department that the fact that he had been a member of a Communist Party until a very short time before was immaterial; but he made no disclosure. What sort of a lightly built man is he who thinks he can apply for a confidential job and not tell his employer what his antecedents are? I suppose those of us who are not too cynical would be quite prepared to think that it was not accidental that some one who had been a member of the Communist Party and who was said to have been recently expelled, should turn up in my department in a confidential position. What criticism can there toe of the AttorneyGeneral's Department for the fact that he was fired out of hand? What would this country have said of me if I had left him to rifle the records of the Attorney-General's Department? The honorable gentleman for East Sydney ought to remember what happened when he left a certain gentleman close to his records. He would have been a wiser man to have got rid of him, as I did this chap Staples. Motion (by **Mr. Davidson)** agreed to - That progress be reported. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- Do not tell me, **Mr. Attorney-General,** that that is the best you can do. I would hate to have you defending me. No wonder the gaols are full. The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Order! **Mr. Haylen.** - Members on the other side are interjecting. Why do you not take action against them? The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Order! I remind the honorable member for East Sydney that I am still in a position to take action if he abuses the privileges of this House. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- What about that mob of hyenas on the other side? The TEMPORARY C H AIRMAN . - Order! Such remarks from the honorable member for Parkes will be considered disorderly. Order! The honorable member for East Sydney continues to be disorderly. Under Standing Order No. 303 I suspend him. I will report to **Mr. Speaker** that I have suspended the honorable member. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- Some one says, **Mr. Temporary Chairman,** that you have to wait until **Mr. Speaker** returns to the chamber. The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.No. The honorable member will leave the precincts of the House. (The honorable member for East Sydney thereupon withdrew from the chamber)- {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- When can we make a protest against this ruling? Will you quote your authority? The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.I am acting under the authority vested in the Chair. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- Will you give members of the Opposition, for their information, your definition of Standing Order No. 303, and explain how you acted under that standing order and what the offence is, because we want to take action? The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Order! You are out of order in disputing my ruling and I ask you to resume your seat. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- I am not disputing your ruling. The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Order! You will resume your seat. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- I merely want to ask for an explanation. This is not a Hitler state. I want an explanation. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! Resume your seat. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- I will wait until **Mr. Speaker** comes in. **(Mr. Speaker having taken the chair)** - {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- **Mr. Speaker,** I desire to report that the committee has made progress and asks for leave to sit again. {: .page-start } page 1047 {:#debate-43} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-43-0} #### LEAVE TO MAKE STATEMENT NOT GRANTED **Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. John McLeay).Order!** The honorable member will resume bis seat. {: #subdebate-43-0-s0 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member will resume his seat. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- Is there any way I can get an explanation? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The Minister for the Army seeks leave to make a statement. Is leave granted? {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- No. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Leave is not granted. {: .page-start } page 1047 {:#debate-44} ### ADJOURNMENT Motion (by **Mr. Adermann)** proposed - >That the House do now adjourn. {: #debate-44-s0 .speaker-KZ9} ##### Mr RIORDAN:
Kennedy **.- Mr. Speaker,** I desire to make- Motion (by **Mr. Davidson)** proposed - >That the question be now put. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- They are a lot of dingoes. {: #debate-44-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member will be upstanding and apologize to the Chair. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- What did I say, Sir? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The honorable member used an unparliamentary expression. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- Tell me what it was? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- If the honorable member persists, I will name him. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr Haylen: -- **Mr. Speaker,** I said they were a lot- {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I name the honorable member for Parkes. Motion (by **Mr. Davidson)** put - >That the honorable member for Parkes **(Mr. Haylen)** be suspended from the service of the House. The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. John McLeay.) AYES: 60 NOES: 30 Majority . . . . 30 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Question put - >That the question be now put. The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. John McLeay.) AYES: 60 NOES: 29 Majority . . . . 31 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Original question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 11.16 p.m. {: .page-start } page 1048 {:#debate-45} ### ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS The following answers to questions were circulated: - {:#subdebate-45-0} #### International Treaties {: #subdebate-45-0-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: m asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What treaties have been drafted or reviewed at conferences attended by Australian representatives or observers in the last two years? 1. What action has Australia taken to implement the treaties drafted or amended at these conferences? {: #subdebate-45-0-s1 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - >Particulars of treaties drafted or reviewed at conferences attended by Australian representatives or observers in the last two years are shown hereunder. In respect of each instrument an indication of the action taken by Australia is given: - > >International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of March 20, 1883, as revised at Lisbon (31st October, 1958). - A Patents Bill to enable effect to be given to certain of the provisions of the revised Convention was introduced during the last parliamentary session, but has not yet been passed. Consideration is being given to the preparation of bills to amend the Trade Marks > >Act and Designs Act with a view to enabling local effect to be given to other provisions of the revised Convention. > >Declaration on the Provisional Accession of the Swiss Confederation to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (22nd November, 1958).- After careful consideration it has been decided that Australia should not sign this Declaration. > >International Sugar Agreement (1st December, 1958) . - Australia's Instrument of Ratification of this Agreement was deposited on the 23rd December, 1958. > >Protocol relating to Negotiations for the Establishment of New Schedule III. - Brazil - to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (31st December, 1958). - This protocol was signed for Australia on the 5th July, 1960. > >Eighth Protocol of Rectifications and Modifications to the Texts of the Schedules to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (18th February, 1959) . - This Protocol was signed for Australia on the 14th December, 1959. > >International Wheat Agreement (10th March, 1959). - Australa's Instrument of Acceptance of this Agreement was deposited on 1st December, 1959. > >Minimum Age (Fishermen) Convention, Medical Examination (Fishermen) Convention, Fishermen's Articles of Agreement Convention - Drawn up at the International Labour Conference 1959. - The question of the ratification of these Conventions is under consideration at both Commonwealth and State levels. > >Declaration on Relations between Contracting Parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the Government of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (25th May, 1959).- This Declaration was signed for Australia on 11th January, 1960. > >Amendment to Constitution of the World Health Organization (28th May, 1959). - Australia accepted this amendment on 12th August, 1959. > >Declaration on the Provisional Accession of Israel to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (29th May, 1959).- The question of Australia's signature of this Declaration is under consideration. > >Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (1st July, 1959). - The question of Australia's acceptance of this Agreement is under consideration at both the Commonwealth and State levels. > >Ninth Protocol of Rectifications and Modifications to the Texts of the Schedules to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (17th August, 1959). - This Protocol was signed for Australia on 14th December, 1959. > >International Telecommunication Convention as revised at Geneva, 1959. - The question of Australia's ratification of this Convention is under consideration. > >Revisions to the Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, as adopted at the 10th Conference of the Organization (October-November, 1959). - Australia voted in favour of the amendments. > >Revision of Annex 11 of Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of Specialized Agencies of the United Nations, as adopted at the 10th > >Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (October-November, 1959). - Australia is not a party to the Convention. > >Agreement for the Establishment of a Latin American Forest Research and Training Institute as drawn up at 10th Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (October-November, 1959). - The question of Australia's joining the Institute is under consideration. > >Agreement for the Establishment of a Latin American Fisheries Council. - The 10th Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (October-November, 1959) decided that if by 30th September, 1960, the required number of acceptances to bring this Agreement into force had not been received, the Agreement would be considered as having been withdrawn. The Organization has been informed that Australia does not wish to become a party to the Agreement. > >Convention placing the International Poplar Commission within the Framework of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, as approved at the 10th Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (October-November, 1959).- The question of Australia's joining the Commission is under consideration. > >Statute placing the International Chestnut Commission within the Framework of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, as drawn up at the 10th Conference of the Food arid Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (October-November, 1959). - The organization has been informed that Australia does not wish to become a member of the Commission. > >Declaration on Relations between Contracting Parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the Government of the Polish People's Republic (9th November, 1959).- This Declaration was signed for Australia on 22nd April, 1960. > >Declaration on the Provisional Accession of Tunisia to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (12th November, 1959).- The question of Australia's signature of this Declaration is under consideration. > >Proces Verbal extending the Validity of the Declaration extending the Stand-Still Provisions of Article XVI: 4 of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (19th November, 1959). - This Proces Verbal has not been signed by Australia. It is likely to be revised further shortly and the matter of signing the revised instrument will be considered when it is drawn up. > >The Antarctic Treaty (1st December, 1959).- A bill to give effect in Australia to this Treaty will be introduced during the present parliamentary session. > >Articles of Agreement of the International Development Association (January, 1960). - Australia's instrument of acceptance of the Articles was deposited on 11th July, 1960. > >International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (17th June, 1960). - The Convention was signed for Australia, subject to acceptance, on 17th June, 1960. The question of Australia's acceptance of the Convention is receiving consideration. > >Convention for the Protection of Workers Against Harmful Radiation, drawn up at the International Labour Conference, 1960. - The official text of this Convention has not yet been received in Australia. The question of ratification of the Convention will be considered when the text is received. > >International Tin Agreement drawn up at the United Nations Tin Conference (23rd May-24th June, 1960). - The question of Australia's signature of this Agreement is under consideration. {:#subdebate-45-1} #### Papua and New Guinea {: #subdebate-45-1-s0 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Was the decision to refuse Professor Gluckman a permit to enter the Territory of Papua and New Guinea made by the Territorial authorities or by the department in Australia? 1. If the decision was made by the authorities in the Territory, was this action taken on advice or direction from the Department of Territories in Australia? 2. Was Professor Gluckman's application declined on the ground that he is a security risk? 3. Was the decision to refuse the entry permit based on information on record in Australia or on advice received from overseas? 4. If the decision was based on advice received from overseas, was this information received from governmental or private sources? 5. If Professor Gluckman has been excluded from New Guinea as a security risk, why was he (a) invited to Australia by the Australian National University and (b) permitted to enter Australia? {: #subdebate-45-1-s1 .speaker-ZL6} ##### Mr Hasluck:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The decision was made by the Administrator of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. 1. No. 2. 4, 5 and 6. The attention of the honorable member is directed to statements already made in the House. {: #subdebate-45-1-s2 .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: s asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What are the names of persons to whom, or companies to which, leases have been granted in the Territory nf Papua and New Guinea during the past five years? 1. What are the location, areas and terms of the leases? {: #subdebate-45-1-s3 .speaker-ZL6} ##### Mr Hasluck:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows: - >The Administrator of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea reports that 2,064 leases have been granted in the last five years from 1st July, 1955, to 30th June, 1960, for areas totalling approximately 144,400 acres. As the information sought by the honorable member covers approximately 80 pages of typescript, a copy will be placed temporarily on the table of the Library. {:#subdebate-45-2} #### Australian Communist Party {: #subdebate-45-2-s0 .speaker-KEE} ##### Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes: asked the Prime Minister, upon notice - >In view of statements from several sources that the recent riots in Tokyo were largely financed from Sino-Soviet sources and by yen earned by visiting Soviet and Chinese theatrical and cultural troupes and individual artists, is there any evidence of the Australian Communist Party being supplied with funds from similar sources? {: #subdebate-45-2-s1 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is - >I am not aware of any such evidence. {:#subdebate-45-3} #### South Africa {: #subdebate-45-3-s0 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is the break-up of the British Commonwealth of Nations threatened unless South Africa abandons its policy of racial segregation and discrimination or resigns or is expelled from membership? 1. Does the present South African policy constitute a great danger to world peace and security? 2. Is Australia's own reputation as a nation likely to suffer by continued association with the South African Government? 3. Is incalculable harm being done by the creation of racial hatred based on a colour prejudice? 4. Beyond expressing regret at happenings in South Africa, what effort has the Government made to secure a change in the policy of the South African Government? {: #subdebate-45-3-s1 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The Commonwealth is an association which has passed through many severe trials. I do not share the opinion that it may break up in the near future. 1. No. 2. Australia has long been associated with South Africa as a member of the Commonwealth, each under varying governments. I do not believe that this association has in any way damaged Australia's reputation, or that its continuance will do so. 3. Racial hatred and prejudice are always to be deplored. Their effect is always incalculable. 4. I have repeatedly expressed the view that it is undesirable for governments, which are members of the Commonwealth, to issue public judgment on each other's domestic policies. {:#subdebate-45-4} #### Department of Supply {: #subdebate-45-4-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: m asked the Minister for Supply, upon notice - >What expenditure did his department incur in the last financial year in each State? {: #subdebate-45-4-s1 .speaker-KIF} ##### Mr Hulme:
Minister for Supply · PETRIE, QUEENSLAND · LP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: - >Following is a statement of appropriations and trust account expenditure incurred by the Department of Supply in each State in 1959-60: - {:#subdebate-45-5} #### Rehabilitation of Invalids {: #subdebate-45-5-s0 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Minister for Social Services, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many recipients of invalid pensions were given training at the rehabilitation centres during each of the last three years? 1. In how many instances were the trainees - (a) found permanent employment; (b) following the cancellation of their pension, obliged to register for suitable employment and to apply for unemployment benefit; and (c) accepted for resumption of invalid pension payment? {: #subdebate-45-5-s1 .speaker-KZE} ##### Mr Roberton:
CP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - >The question has been interpreted as referring to cases whose treatment and/or training has been completed in rehabilitation centres or elsewhere. The details are - > >1957-58, 290; 1958-59, 277; 1959-60, 319. > >2. (a) Placed in employment, 447; (b) transferred to unemployment benefit, 5; (c) continued to receive invalid pension, 402. The rehabilitation of 32 cases was cancelled because of death, marriage or loss of statutory eligibility for pension or benefit. Non-delivery of Registered Mail. {: #subdebate-45-5-s2 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Postmaster-General, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Did a **Mr. R.** Morton, a war pensioner with no other income, fail to obtain delivery of a registered letter containing his pension instalment posted to him from Gundagai? 1. Is it a fact that, even though it is not disputed that the letter contained cash amounting to £14 17s., his department is prepared to pay only £5 as compensation in respect of the loss suffered by this war pensioner? 2. Has he extended his sympathy to **Mr. Morton;** if so, is he prepared to express his sympathy in practical terms by arranging for **Mr. Morton** to be fully compensated for his loss? {: #subdebate-45-5-s3 .speaker-KCA} ##### Mr Davidson:
CP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. The department to date has compensated **Mr. Morton** to the extent of £5. 2. Every one who has any knowledge of **Mr. Morton's** loss is most sympathetic and although there are legal difficulties involved in compensating **Mr. Morton** in excess of the amount paid already, the matter is being reviewed in the hope of finding a way of reimbursing **Mr. Morton** the full extent of the loss. {:#subdebate-45-6} #### Carriage of Mails {: #subdebate-45-6-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: m asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice - >What amount did each railway system or airline receive for mail conveyance in 1958-59 and 1959-60? {: #subdebate-45-6-s1 .speaker-KCA} ##### Mr Davidson:
CP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Payments to the various railway systems are based on mail weighings conducted at two-yearly intervals, the 1958-59 payments being determined from the weighing in September-October, 1957. Due to the transfer of most letter form mail to air as from 1st November, 1959, when operation " Post Haste " was introduced, the mail weighing set down for that year was postponed until SeptemberOctober, 1960. Payments for 1959-60 have, therefore, been continued at the 1958-59 level pending the completion of the mail weighing after which payments will be adjusted with effect from 1st January, 1960. 1. The payments made to each major railway system for mail conveyed during the years 1958-59 and 1959-60 were as follows: - {:#subdebate-45-7} #### Rankins {: #subdebate-45-7-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: m asked the Treasurer, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What banks subscribed further capital to hirepurchase companies in the last financial year? 1. How much capital did each bank subscribe? {: #subdebate-45-7-s1 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows: - >Published sources of information indicate that during the year ended 30th June, 1960, four of the major trading banks subscribed new capital to hire-purchase companies as follows: - {: #subdebate-45-7-s2 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Treasurer, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Will he define precisely what is meant by the terms " banking business " and " banking " which frequently appear in Commonwealth acts which do not contain a definition of these terms? 1. Will he state what way the functions covered by these terms differ? {: #subdebate-45-7-s3 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows: - >No, I shall not attempt to do so. Both questions clearly invite an expression of legal opinion and as such should not be asked (see Standing Order No. 144). In any case the Parliament cannot by definition increase the denotation of the word " banking " beyond what the word denotes in the Constitution. The High Court in any disputed case has the ultimate decision on the question. By not defining the word the Parliament occupies the full area which the Constitution permits. {:#subdebate-45-8} #### Government Loans and Finance {: #subdebate-45-8-s0 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Treasurer, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Do overseas financial reserves of all kinds al present amount to approximately £700,000,000? 1. Will he state why the Government has considered it necessary to convert maturing 3 per cent. Commonwealth loans into new loans bearing twice the previous interest rate in preference to paying off the loan from available funds? {: #subdebate-45-8-s1 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. At the end of June, 1960, Australia's reserves of gold and foreign exchange amounted to £512,000,000. As a second line of reserves, Australia has potential drawing rights in the International Monetary Fund amounting to £211,000,000. The present expectation is that Australia's gold and foreign exchange reserves will run down substantially during the present financial year. 1. Repayment of the loan would have involved a subtraction from the external resources available to assist in the development of the Australian economy. However, as a result of the re-financing operation referred to, Australia will have the continued use of the funds in question for up to twenty years on terms which the Australian Loan Council considered, in the circumstances, to be acceptable. Children of Australian Servicemen in Japan. {: #subdebate-45-8-s2 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Acting Treasurer, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has the Government been requested by the Australian Council of the World Council of Churches to make a grant of £10,000 towards an appeal which it is hoped will result in £50,000 being raised for the purpose of meeting the cost of the education of the children of Japanese mothers and Australian fathers and also the relief of these children's mothers and guardians who are living in Japan in impoverished circumstances? 1. If so, what was the Government's response to this appeal? {: #subdebate-45-8-s3 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. The Government decided that it was unable to provide any financial assistance for this purpose. Pay-roll Tax. {: #subdebate-45-8-s4 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Acting Treausrer, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has his attention been drawn to a recent statement by **Mr. H.** R. Healey, president of the Federated Taxpayers Associations, that the consumer pays about double the total pay-roll tax collected by the Commonwealth because of markups on the costs, including pay-roll tax, of those wholesalers and others through whose hands the goods pass? 1. In view of its authoritative source, is the statement considered to be factual? 2. If so, what action does the Government pro.poce to take to prevent what can be fairly described as the robbery of the unsuspecting and long suffering community? {: #subdebate-45-8-s5 .speaker-N76} ##### Mr Menzies:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. 2 and 3. The substance of this question was dealt with in the paper entitled " Pay-roll Tax " which the Treasurer made available to honorable members on 17th May. {:#subdebate-45-9} #### Immigration {: #subdebate-45-9-s0 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Did he when delivering the 1960 Roy Milne Memorial Lecture state that the immigration plan being pursued by the Government was weakening the ties between Britain and Australia? 1. Does the Government look with favour on this development; if not, has it any plans to correct it? {: #subdebate-45-9-s1 .speaker-KCK} ##### Mr Downer:
Minister for Immigration · ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - >I invite the honorable member to read the full text of the Roy Milne Lecture for 1960. If he does so, he will, I am sure, agree that his question is based upon an over-simplification of my remarks on that occasion. > >It would not be appropriate to reiterate here the many aspects which I touched upon in discussing the general theme of " the influence of migration on Australian foreign policy". > >However I did say, in considering the effect of a continuing flow of European migrants on Australia's attitude to Britain and the Commonwealth, that "it seems difficult to resist the conclusion that, in future, there will be a diminution of this country's traditional affection for the United Kingdom ". > >I added, "This I regret deeply and I hope my belief is disproved". But I would remind the honorable member I went on to say that if the immigration programme is gradually to expand and if living standards continue upwards in Britain, try as we shall I doubted whether we can achieve an intake of many more than we are now receiving - 65,000 a year. > >That is a realistic appraisal, made in light of the most strenuous efforts which I and my department have been consistently making to continue to attract the highest possible proportion of British in our annual intake. We shall continue to follow that policy. That those efforts have been successful is shown by our record in the financial year just closed. In spite of the prevailing high prosperity in the United Kingdom, we received 68,105 British arrivals or 50.9 per cent, of the total arrivals. The British arrivals were the highest number since 1951/52 when the total was 73,082. > >In the course of the lecture I also indicated steps the Australian community should take to make our European migrants conscious of this country's British heritage and ties. > >I would only add that all these people, Europeans and British alike among our migrants, are valued citizens who are helping to make Australia great.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 8 September 1960, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.