24th Parliament · 1st Session
Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. Sir John McLeay) took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.
– Will the Treasurer make a statement on the proposal of the Australian Bankers Association to alter the banking charges paid by customers? Has he read the comment of Mr. P. J. Self, secretary of the Employers Federation of New South Wales, that the new system would cost some hundreds of thousands of pounds a year? Was the Minister consulted in this matter, and did he agree with the proposed new charges?
– I think that the best service I can do for the honorable gentleman and others who are interested in this matter is to get together such information as I can. I was not consulted on these details, but I shall see just how far I can illuminate the joint ignorance of the honorable gentleman and myself.
– Can the Minister for Territories inform the
House whether Elsey Downs station was sold recently to a businessman in Hong Kong? In view of the strategic position of this large cattle station in relation to war-time airstrips, the long navigable stretch of the Roper River from its mouth to 250 miles upstream, and its position vis-a-vis Merauke in Irian Bharat, has any check been made to see whether the purchaser is a security risk, either in himself or through indebtedness to any one of the numerous Communist banks in Hong Kong? Have any other cattle stations in the Northern Territory been purchased recently by nonAustralian companies or by individuals who are not Australian nationals?
– I have no detailed knowledge of the transaction, but my understanding of the position is that Elsey Downs station was sold to a company. I understand also, although I am not speaking from knowledge which came to my possession officially, that one of the major contributors of money to this company is a Chinese businessman from Singapore - that is, a Chinese man of Singapore nationality. To me there seems to be nothing in this transaction which is different from the investment of any overseas capital in Australia. Quite frankly, I fail to follow the purport of the honorable member’s suggestion.
– My question is addressed to the Treasurer. Does any advantage accrue to the Commonwealth Banking Corporation in obliging the staff of the Commonwealth banks to commence work each morning a quarter-hour earlier than the employees of any of the private trading banks? Does the Treasurer have any idea why the private trading banks have not followed the example set by the Commonwealth Banking Corporation? Finally, does he think that the private banks might not be following the example of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation because they have read a book on how to win friends and influence people?
– I have pointed out before that this matter is within the administration of the bank itself. I have written at some length to 20 or 30 members of the Parliament, I think, on this subject. If the honorable member was not amongst my correspondents I shall see that he receives a copy of the more detailed statement I have supplied to other honorable members.
– I wish to ask the
Prime Minister whether it is intended that an independent and expert committee of inquiry into the system of tariff protection and other factors affecting costs in our economy will be appointed as was announced in the “ Age “ newspaper last Friday. If so, is the Prime Minister yet able to say what form the inquiry will take, what will be the terms of reference and who will be appointed to the committee?
– No statement has been made on this matter by, or on behalf of, the Government at all. When a statement is to be made it will be made at an appropriate time, because I realize the importance of the matter.
– On 17th May the Prime Minister made a statement regarding a United States communications station at North West Cape, in Western Australia. In his statement he said -
A detailed agreement is being worked out with the United States Government to cover the status of American personnel who will be in Australia in connexion with the station.
He went on to say - . . formal agreement between the two governments which is now being prepared. The terms of this agreement will be announced in due course.
I ask the Prime Minister whether any steps have been taken in the preparation of this agreement. Will he inform the House of the present position, and give full details of the agreement as soon as possible in a manner which will permit this House to debate the agreement before it is ratified?
– This is not a matter which I am handling, myself. Therefore, I shall have to find out the present state of negotiations. But, certainly, if and when the final agreement is worked out, were it desired to debate the matter in this House, I should think that a very useful thing to do.
– Has the Minister for Primary Industry seen a report that the Japanese Wool Importers Association may test out a group buying scheme at Australian sales to eliminate excessive competition among Japanese buyers? If this report is factual, does the Minister consider that this restrictive method will affect market prices of wool?
– The only report 1 have sighted on this subject is that which appeared in the press. We have no official notification of such a proposal. We have made inquiries from the senior Australian trade commissioner in Tokyo, but he is not aware of any evidence at all that there is any intention on the part of the Japanese to rationalize the purchasing of wool.
– I ask the Minister for Shipping and Transport whether the Government is negotiating, or is hoping to receive an offer, for the sale of a number of vessels of the Australian National Line. What provision is the Government making to replace these vessels if the Australian National Line fleet is reduced as a result of the sale?
– Several ships of the Australian National Line are tied up at the present time. They are vessels which are not suitable for the trade of to-day, and the trade in which they are replaced is being catered for adequately by modern vessels. A new vessel for coastal trade is now being constructed at the shipyard of Evans Deakin and Company Proprietary Limited in Brisbane. The vessels tied up are not for sale.
– My question, which is addressed to the Prime Minister, relates to Article 57 of the Treaty of Rome, which deals with the removal of restrictions imposed by the professions on the recognition of diplomas, certificates and other qualifications. I ask the right honorable gentleman: In view of the fact that fellowships of the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians, granted by both the London and the Edinburgh colleges, are very much prized by the members of the medical profession in Australia, will the Prime Minister bring to the attention of the Australian medical profession the fact that if the United Kingdom subscribes to the Treaty of Rome adjustments may have to be made to the standards of the two colleges?
– I will be very glad to study the point raised by the honorable member. It is not one to which I have particularly directed my attention, but I will.
– I ask the
Prime Minister a question. In view of the controversy that is raging between the Liberal Premier of South Australia and the
Liberal senators in that State, will the right honorable gentleman intimate to the House whether any representations about the railway proposals have been made by the Libera] senators on behalf of South Australia? If such representations have been made, when were they made? Was the right honorable gentleman impressed by them and does he intend to do anything about them?
– I permit myself to make two observations. One is that nobody could pretend that the Premier of South Australia was somebody over whom I exercised control or to whom I was departmentally accountable. I have always regarded communications in any circumstances between members of my party and Ministers and their leader as confidential, and I propose to continue that practice.
– My question is addressed to the Minister for Trade. Last week, in answering a question, the right honorable gentleman mentioned that negotiations were taking place with respect to a new trade treaty or agreement with Japan. As Article XXXV. of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade is a source of trade frustration to the Japanese, and as Japan is now our third best customer, I ask whether the application of this article will be eliminated from the new trade agreement?
– The honorable gentleman does not quite correctly report me, I think, in saying that I said last week that negotiations had begun. I think I said that some preliminary discussions prior to the commencing of negotiations had taken place. That may be a refinement, but it states the position more correctly. I am confident that negotiations will begin in the latter part of this year. There is no secret about the fact that, in the present Japanese Trade Agreement, the terms of which have been published, Australia committed herself to study, during the currency of the agreement, the question of whether she could undertake to disinvoke her rights under Article XXXV. of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. That is the article under which Australia has exercised the right not to recognize Japan in Gatt, thus reserving the right, if we so wish, to discriminate against Japan. The Government has been studying this issue, as it has, bona fide, engaged to do. I have no doubt that this will be one of the principal matters for discussion. I make it quite clear that the Government regards its obligation and its right to protect Australian industries as a responsibility over which nothing else has priority. But we believe that reconciliation between conflicting interests in this matter is quite capable of being achieved.
– I ask the Minister for Trade a question about the sale of wheat to China. Did the general manager of the Australian Wheat Board recently state that the Chinese had “ honoured their obligations meticulously “? Is it a fact that the Chinese have offered to buy, on short-term credit, 100,000,000 bushels of wheat a year for five years? Is it a fact that the Government has refused or tolerated the refusal of shortterm credit to allow this transaction to be completed?
– The press reports that the general manager of the Australian Wheat Board has said that all payments have been made meticulously by China in respect of her purchases of wheat on credit. He made a statement to me to the same effect about three weeks ago. He said then that China had made all her payments. An offer by China to purchase 100,000,000 bushels of wheat a year for five years has not been made, so such an offer is not before the Government. The Australian Wheat Board has discussed only long-term arrangements with China, and nothing has eventuated from these discussions. All the wheat involved in the contract made with China has already been shipped and there is no further commitment in respect of this season’s supplies.
– I address a question to the Minister for Defence, who I trust has fully recovered from his recent indisposition. I ask the Minister: Is it a fact that a large proportion of the miscellaneous and minor items concerned in purchases for military purposes, particularly items of electronic equipment, is obtained from overseas sources? If this is so, will the Minister undertake to see whether such items can be obtained at reasonable prices from local sources before purchases from overseas are authorized?
– I can assure the House that every endeavour is made to buy in Australia every bit of military equipment that we need. Sometimes it is not possible to buy certain items in Australia, but my colleague, the Minister for Supply, pays particular attention to this aspect. In the purchase of materials, he has the advantage of the advice and guidance of very influential and distinguished Australian businessmen, such as Sir John Allison and Mr. Ian McLennon. However, I will see to it that the question asked by the honorable member will be passed on to the appropriate authorities.
– Is the Minister representing the Minister for Health aware that there is an immediate danger to the present hospital insurance scheme in New South Wales because of lack of financial assistance from the Commonwealth? Is there any basis for the press reports to the effect that in July the State Ministers for Health asked the Federal Minister for Health, Senator Wade, to increase the Commonwealth’s contributions? Is it a fact that the Federal Cabinet is now considering such an increase? In view of the serious position in New South Wales, will the Minister for Health give early and favorable consideration to the representations that have been made to the Commonwealth Government by the New South Wales Minister for Health, Mr. Sheehan?
– I am sorry that I cannot provide the honorable member with an answer to his fairly involved question now. I will see that it is sent to my colleague in another place and that a suitable answer is prepared.
– I direct a question to the Minister for Primary Industry. It refers to the manufacture and sale of fibroma virus. By way of preface I want to say that the New South Wales Minister for Agriculture recently informed me that this matter would shortly be discussed at Common wealth level, at a meeting of the Australian Agricultural Council. Can the Minister say whether the discussion on this most important subject has yet been held and, if it has, whether there is any indication that the New South Wales Government is prepared to follow the lead given by the Commonwealth Government and the Victorian Government in banning the sale of fibroma virus to commercial rabbit farmers?
– The use of fibroma virus to immunize domestic rabbits against myxomatosis was discussed at the recent meeting in Perth of the Australian Agricultural Council. After that meeting I issued a statement on behalf of the council pointing out that investigations made by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization revealed that the virus could not be used without a risk of immunity to myxomatosis spreading to wild rabbits. The council decided that fibroma virus should be used only under carefully prescribed conditions. I understand that the New South Wales Government is now actively considering this matter.
– Is the Minister for Trade aware that Sir Frank Meere’s decision to reduce timber imports by 25 per cent., based on imports over the last two years, will in fact mean that in the next six months imports will exceed by at least 24,000,000 super, feet imports in the past three sixmonthly periods? Is the Minister aware that this situation will arise because Sir Frank based his decision on a period which included June to December, 1960, when there were heavy imports of timber? So that Australian mills may be restored to full production, will the Minister examine Sir Frank’s decision and, if possible, review it in order to effect a genuine reduction in the amount of timber imported?
– I do not carry in my mind the figures that would enable me to confirm the statements made by the honorable member. Sir Frank Meere’s function as the Special Advisory Authority is to examine a case submitted by an Australian industry and to take all the factors into consideration when advising the Government how to sustain the structure of that industry pending an inquiry by the Tariff Board. In the case referred to by the honorable member, the advice given represents Sir Frank Meere’s best judgment of what action will sufficiently sustain the structure of the Australian timber industry. Sir Frank is a very experienced man. Broadly speaking, his judgments have been widely accepted. Under the legislation which this Parliament passed, and which provided for the appointment of the Special Advisory Authority, the matters dealt with by Sir Frank Meere must be referred to the Tariff Board for normal inquiry, and that procedure is now being followed in connexion with the timber industry. I should be surprised if the industry does not benefit substantially from Sir Frank Meere’s decision, which was aimed at helping the industry without at the same time inflicting a burden on the Australian consumer by imposing a higher tariff on imports.
– Will the Minister for Defence say when he proposes to announce details of Australia’s next three-year defence programme? Will the Minister give an assurance that the changed position in relation to New Guinea will be taken into account when the new programme is being prepared?
– I cannot say with precision when I will make a statement about defence, but as soon as the programme of the House permits I will be ready to make a statement.
– My question is addressed to the Minister for Trade. Is it a fact that a programme entitled “Export Action” shown on the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s television stations features a selected number of private firms concerned with the export trade? If so, what is the basis of the selection of these firms to receive such favorable free publicity over the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s stations? Is the Minister aware that this practice is strongly resented by other commercial firms which have as long and notable a record in the export trade as that of the firms receiving this favoured treatment, particularly having regard to the fact that the programmes are viewed by the local consuming market?
– Taking the latter portion of the honorable gentleman’s question first, I am not aware that there is any such resentment as he indicates, and I would be surprised to learn that such resentment exists and has not been communicated to me. It has not been communicated to me.
– Do not take any notice if I express their resentment.
– Industries that are alleged to feel resentment can speak for themselves. I think that the expression by them of resentment is the most authentic way for us to hear of it.
The programme entitled “ Export Action “ represents part of a campaign to develop in the minds of Australian industrialists a consciousness that there is an opportunity for export. I refer not merely to a consciousness that the nation needs additional exports, but also to a consciousness that there are quite surprising fields overseas for our exports. The proposal that this should be publicized, and I suppose to an extent dramatized, by television is the outcome of consultations between officials of the Department of Trade and the Export Development Council, upon which sit representatives of many great and active business interests in this country.
It is impossible to illustrate the achievements of Australian export in this field in an abstract, anonymous sense and manner. It is quite inevitable that if the achievements are to be illustrated reference must be made to those companies that have achieved, as a number of great Australian companies have achieved, astonishing penetration of overseas markets.
– To those that are selected this means great prestige.
– It does; and I assure the honorable member and those engaged in industry that we considered whether the idea should be abandoned on the ground that the making of a selection would give a plug to certain firms. The matter was discussed with the Export Development Council and the advice that came to the Government was that the proposal, if put into effect, would not be resented by
Australian industry, and that it would be, overall, a very valuable means of bringing before Australian industrialists the trade opportunities that exist, and that have been taken advantage of by many.
– I address my question to the Treasurer. I refer to strong representations made to the right honorable gentleman in the interests of the sawmilling industry seeking depreciation allowances on mill buildings and housing. As no provision has been made for this special depreciation and as the Special Advisory Authority recently found that a state of emergency exists in this industry, will he seek Government approval for the introduction of amending legislation so that sawmilling companies may be given some relief by way of the depreciation allowance from the existing financial burden?
– As the honorable gentleman will appreciate, this is a matter of Government policy and it would need examination on -that basis.
– My question is addressed to the Minister for Labour and National Service. As the Waterside Workers Federation has agreed to accept a proposal that the disputes arising over the size of gangs employed on wool loading recently on the Australian waterfront be submitted to arbitration, and an inquiry by Mr. Justice Ashburner is proceeding, will the Minister say when he proposes to honour his firm undertaking given to the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Waterside Workers Federation to introduce legislation providing amendments to the long service leave provisions in the industry?
- Mr. Speaker, the first part of the honorable gentleman’s question is correct. Mr. Justice Ashburner is now conducting an investigation into what is called the snottering of wool and the size of gangs in the port of Melbourne. I think that the waterside workers have decided to accept the decision of Mr. Justice
Ashburner. As to the bill, I have given an assurance that 1 will introduce amendments relating to anomalies and injustices brought to my notice. I think the honorable gentleman will know that this is an extremely complicated bill. It was only during the course of the last couple of days that I received the first draft. I have not yet been able to go through the first draft and establish to my satisfaction that it meets all the conditions that I have agreed to. The honorable gentleman can rest assured that I am dealing with the problem as quickly as I can, but so far I have not been able to approve of a final draft.
– I desire to ask the Prime Minister a question. I preface it by referring to the disappointingly few occasions on which the Parliament has met and the minimum of legislation with which it has dealt this year. Is it the intention of the Prime Minister to hasten back to Australia at the termination of the Commonwealth Prime Minister’s conference to grapple with the problem of unemployment and the economic difficulties of the country? If the Prime Minister does not intend to return to Australia immediately the conference concludes, will he say whether he plans to attend the race for the America’s Cup, recognized as deciding world supremacy in yachting, such contests being exclusively reserved for participation by the very wealthy-
-Order! I think the honorable member is going beyond the limits set by the Standing Orders.
– And thereby add another laurel to his reputation as the world’s greatest non-player of sport?
– The honorable member for East Sydney has the sympathy of all of us as he so obviously declines from his old powers. I will come back to Australia after the conference in the United Kingdom. The House is getting up for September. I hope to be here, reasonably well and going about my work, when the House resumes. I do not propose to see the race but, like every other Australian, I would love to see us win it.
– My question, which is addressed to the Prime Minister, concerns his just announced interest in yachting and shipping. Has he noticed the contemptuous way in which the Minister for Trade and other members of the Australian Country Party refer to the demand for Australia to establish its own shipping line? Does he not consider their attitude, which is not only contemptuous but also implies that Australia is incapable of establishing a shipping line, as unAustralian and unworthy of members of the Parliament?
– I do not.
– I ask the Treasurer whether his attention has been drawn to an announcement by banking companies relating to charges for cheque accounts and other banking services available to the public and business interests. If his attention has been drawn to the announcement, will he say whether he sanctioned the charges, and will he give the reasons for thi3 additional impost on the public and industry?
– Apparently the honorable gentleman was not here when a precisely similar question was put to me. I made it clear that I was not personally consulted about these details, but I said that I would see what information I could supply as to the manner of determining the charges. I hope to do that quite promptly.
– Has the Minister for Primary Industry read an article attributed to a Melbourne University economist dealing with wheat sales to red China? If not, will he obtain a copy of the article and read it, and make a statement in answer to, first, the allegation that Australia sells wheat to all other countries on a credit basis although the Commonwealth Government has refused to guarantee credit sales to mainland China and, secondly, the proposition that unless the Government is prepared to control wheat acreages credit sales to China must be allowed?
– I have seen a report of a statement by a lecturer in economics in Melbourne. There is, of course, no truth in the statement that the Australian Wheat Board is supplying wheat to all countries on a credit basis. Indeed, apart from sales to China, the amount of wheat sold on credit has been very small indeed. That part of the statement is, therefore, totally incorrect. I think the statement went on to suggest, amongst other things, that we should sell on credit, but the author of the statement more or less contradicted himself by saying that it could cost the taxpayers of the Commonwealth huge amounts in subsidy payments if they had to honour guarantees. The gentleman in question seemed to me to be destroying his own case. The main point is that the Australian Government does not sell the wheat. We have always regarded the Australian Wheat Board as the selling agency for the Commonwealth’s growers. We have left wheat sales entirely to the board. The board has made sales to China, as I told the honorable member for Yarra, on a credit basis, but there are only three other countries that have enjoyed credit in the purchase of our wheat, and then only to a very limited extent.
– Has the Minister for Defence seen photographs published in the newspapers showing him wearing a sleeve badge on which was the emblem of an Indonesian division and the wings of the Indonesian air force? If the sleeve badge did not incorporate these emblems, what emblems were they? Does the Minister consider it was in the best interests of Australia to wear the uniform when delicate negotiations were proceeding between Holland and Indonesia?
– I would like, first, to put the honorable member right on one point: I did not wear a uniform. I was in an army camp for a very short period - an hour or so out of a visit to Indonesia lasting six days. I remind the honorable member that although a deadlock in the negotiations between the Indonesians and the Dutch had continued from the early part of this year, within a week of my visit Indonesia intimated that it would re-open negotiations.
– I direct a question to the Minister for Social Services. Is it a fact that the recent issue of new regulations under the Aged Persons Homes Act has delayed consideration of applications for subsidy under the provisions of that act? As organizations could face some embarrassment in connexion with current building contracts because of this delay, will the Minister assist by ensuring that the Department of Social Services issues, as a matter of urgency, detailed explanations of the new procedure, while at the same time expediting the consideration of applications for subsidy?
– I can inform the honorable member that there have been no substantial variations in the procedure for making applications under the Aged Persons Homes Act. There has been a slight alteration in the procedure so far as the department itself is concerned, and as a result there may conceivably be some slight delays. It is not expected that those delays will be of any great magnitude, and 1 believe that within the next few days any backlag of applications will have been adequately dealt with.
– Can the PostmasterGeneral give any indication of progress made in the establishment of a national television station at Newcastle? Is there any likelihood of the station being ready for service earlier than the projected date in April, 1963? Is it a fact that great numbers of viewers in the NewcastleHunter River area are unable to receive an alternative programme because of the undulating terrain of the area, and that they must either view programmes devoted to murder, looting- and pop singers or shut off their television receivers? Will the honorable gentleman examine the possibility of having the national station opened earlier than the date previously announced, so that viewers will at least get value for the capital outlay involved in the purchase of their television sets?
– The plan for the establishment of national television stations outside the capital city areas was very care fully designed to take into account a number of factors such as the availability of capital and relays and so on. The interests of all areas were given proper attention. The first national station to be provided in the present phase is being erected in Canberra and is expected to commence operations at the end of this year. I know the Newcastle station was planned for opening early in 1963. I do not think that date has been altered but I will make inquiries and give the honorable member any further information that is available.
– Is the Minister for Trade aware that the Tongala Milk Company, which has its factory in his electorate, has been awarded a contract for the supply of 200,000 cases of condensed milk for Burma? Will the Minister inform the House whether the trade policies of the Government or the subsidy on processed milk assisted this company in its major breakthrough into the Burma market?
– It is a fact that the Tongala Milk Company has obtained from Burma this very big order for sweetened condensed milk. The sale will earn exchange for Australia and the order will provide a market indirectly for a great quantity of sugar and a substantial quantity of tinplate. I am sure the company has worked closely with the Department of Trade in exploring the opportunities for export into this and other markets. As a matter of fact, since I have been in the House I have received a letter from the company asking for aid in the pursuit of business in the Philippines. The company, with all other companies, enjoys some advantages from the Government’s policies in respect of support for dairy products. I think this fact shows that the Government’s policies, combined with active pursuit of export business, can be quite fruitful.
– My question, directed to the Minister for Territories, arises from a statement by a spokesman for plantation interests in Papua and New Guinea to the effect that the planters are satisfied with the present system whereby the wages of plantation labourers are fixed. I ask: Are the minimum wages at present fixed by labour ordinances emanating from the Administration? Further, does the Government intend to set up a system of arbitration and conciliation to fix these wages in Papua and New Guinea?
– The group of workers to whom the honorable member has referred do have their wages fixed at present by ordinance; but, as the House is well aware, we have established in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea a Department of Labour, and the Crown Solicitor’s office has an officer whose function is to act as industrial advocate for any group of workers. The pattern of industrial progress that we see there is that the workers in any industry, if they choose to organize, may obtain the assistance and advice of officers of the Department of Labour in forming their own industrial organizations. If they need assistance in the advocacy of their cases, that advocacy will be given for them from the Crown Solicitor’s office.
For the time being, the secretary of the Department of Labour does have a function as an industrial tribunal. It is within our thinking that at the moment when the need for a permanent tribunal, apart from the Administration, is required, such a one will be set up. The system which we have inaugurated at the beginning of industrial organization in the Territory is, I believe, one which has the endorsement of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Certainly it is closely in keeping with the views that were expressed by the secretary of the A.C.T.U. when he visited the Territory on a mission to investigate industrial and employment questions.
– I bring up from the Standing Orders Committee a report, together with proposed revised Standing Orders of the House of Representatives.
– I move -
That the report be printed.
I would explain to the House that this motion is purely formal. If the House will agree to it, I shall move immediately that consideration of the report be made an order of the day. That will give honorable members an opportunity to debate it in the House at some convenient date. It is the Government’s wish to discuss the report, if practicable, before the end of the year, and I shall consult with the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam) as to the arrangements which can be made to that end.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Motion (by Mr. Harold Holt) agreed to -
That the consideration of the report bc made an Order of the Day for the next sitting.
– In accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1913-1960, I bring up the report relating to the following work: -
Erection of permanent accommodation for the Australian Regular Army at Kapooka, New South Wales. and move -
That the paper be printed.
I direct the attention of the House to the fact that in its recommendations and conclusions the committee has said that the estimated cost of the proposed work is £2,067,000, that there is an urgent need to provide accommodation and, amongst other things, that the building and services proposed will meet the needs of the recruit training battalion at Kapooka. Implementation of the work as a matter of urgency is recommended.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
In Committee of Supply: Consideration resumed from 23rd August (vide page 741), on motion by Mr. Harold Holt -
That the first item in the Estimates, under Division No. 101 - Senate - namely, “ Salaries and allowances £34,400 “, be agreed to.
Upon which Mr. Whitlam had moved by way of amendment -
That the first item be reduced by £1.
.- The debate on the Budget has been very long. Whereas, ] believe, the annual whaling season is closed, the annual wailing season in this place has been in full cry for weeks. According to the standards of the present Opposition, all budgets presented by this Government are bad, although perhaps an occasional budget, like the curate’s egg, may be good in parts. But that state of affairs appears to be as rare as a curate’s egg.
This Budget constitutes a challenge to both primary and secondary industries. Leaders in both fields, quite rightly, are deeply concerned about costs, and the probability of Britain’s entry into the European Common Market has accentuated this concern. The Budget has two main facets. The first is the opportunity which it presents to hold down costs. Even prior to the introduction of the Budget there was a steadying in retail costs. The second main facet of the Budget is the boost which it gives to the expansion of our developmental works. Little, if anything, has been said by members of the Opposition about our primary industries, although they are responsible for 80 per cent, of our export income. Fortunately, members on the Government side of the chamber have dealt with this matter at great length. I do not propose, therefore, to traverse something which I believe has been covered adequately.
During this long debate on the Budget one aspect of governmental administration has received little, if any, attention. I refer to our administration of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. Generally speaking, too little is said about this subject. It warrants far more attention than it receives. In moving around the country I have found, as no doubt other honorable members have found, that the average Australian knows very little about the geography of Papua and New Guinea and about what is being done there by the Government. We have nothing to hide in this regard. On the contrary, ours is a story of which we can be very proud, particularly when we compare the situation in the Territory with the situa tion in similar countries elsewhere. Officers of the Papua and New Guinea Administration, from the top rank to the lowest, are entitled to public recognition of the wonderful job that they have done and are doing. Many members of this Parliament - myself included - have been to the Territory and have seen at first-hand what is being done. Although naturally we would be loth to claim that, because of short visits - I have been there three times, as have other honorable members - we are experts on the subject, at least we have a fair idea- of the practical application of our policies in that area.
I want briefly to comment on what I believe to be the objectives which are being achieved in the Territory. The first and major consideration is the preparation of the indigenous people for self-government. To that end we have established in recent years native district councils, which have proved to be an immense success. They are working smoothly and have the support and goodwill of all those native people who are engaged in building up this form of selfgovernment. Very shortly, there is to be a common role for the peoples of the Territory. That, in itself, constitutes a most progressive step forward in the direction of self-determination. Of course, we have the example of some members of the Legislative Council coming to Australia and learning something about self-government. Recently, fortunately for the peoples of Papua and New Guinea, their own representatives were called to the United Nations. That, in itself, constitutes a great step forward.
In 1952-53, ten years ago, the approved Commonwealth grant for the Territory was £5,470,000, and local revenue amounted to £2,430,000, making a total expenditure of £7,900,000. Five years later the figure was double that. The Commonwealth grant was £11,000,000 and this, together with local revenue, gave a total expenditure of £15,500,000. At present we are considering a proposal to grant to the Territory of Papua and New Guinea the sum of £20,000,000. It is estimated that local revenue will amount to £8,680,000 in 1962-63. Loan raisings will amount to nearly £1,000,000. These figures will give a total expenditure of nearly £30,000,000, or more than four times the amount of ten years ago. These figures illustrate the application of the Government to raising the standard of living in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea.
Last October, the Minister for Territories (Mr. Hasluck) announced a five-year programme for the development of the Territory, which is to be achieved by 1966-67. In the field of agriculture a very high priority has been given to the work of extension and training in order to improve the techniques and productivity of native farming and to promote cash crop cultivation. I, with other members of the Parliament, have seen this scheme begin to be a reality. In many areas of the Territory one can see the work of extension, and note the encouragement which is being given to the native people to raise their own cash crops. In these days of 1962 it is not uncommon for some of the indigenes to be men of some substance, financially, in their district. It is proposed that, over this five-year period, 7,500 agricultural blocks will be made available for individual settlement by native farmers. These blocks, naturally, will be theirs by right and title. They will receive additional encouragement and assistance from the extension services.
Perhaps, in terms of self-determination, education is almost the most important thing in the Territory. Because of the pressure of the United Nations, and because of our own wish that the peoples of the Territory should have self-government as early as possible, education assumes a paramount importance. It is proposed to increase school facilities. Teaching staff will be provided as quickly as practicable in order to achieve the target set for education in the 1957 programme, which is to raise the total school enrolment to 350,000 in 1966-67.
Second to education I would think that we must put the health of the native people. In this respect, the activities of the Administration and of the Commonwealth Government have to be related. In the five-year period to which I have referred it is proposed that 70 hospitals shall be built, that a new base hospital - a substantial building - shall be built at Lae, and that a new district hospital shall be built at Daru. That proposal, I think, is another guarantee of our good faith and good administration. The aim is that by end of 1963 the whole of the Territory shall be brought under administrative control, an aim which, perhaps, some ten years ago, we might not have thought possible of achievement. Now, there seems no doubt about the possibility of achieving this objective.
From education and health I pass to the feeding of the people. In the field of agriculture and in fisheries very important work is going on. I have seen something of the fisheries, including the inland type which is conducted in ponds. In some areas, these have been very successful. In others, they have not been so successful. Some difficulties have been overcome by introducing a different type of pond fish. I am convinced that there is a considerable opportunity for sea fisheries and estuary fisheries to be used much more than they have been used so far. This is of paramount importance because one of the outstanding features of the diet of the indigenes of New Guinea and Papua is a lack of protein. This, perhaps, can be supplied only by fish.
The training of the indigenes in agriculture is immensely important. The agricultural extension services to which I have referred are at centres to which trainees are being taken at the rate of 1,000 per annum. By the end of the five-year period it is proposed that that number will be increased to 1,500 per annum. Having seen, at first hand, the training given to the indigenes in agriculture, I am satisfied that it is being done in a fashion which would be considered good in our own country. Here may I pay a tribute to the work of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization? As it does throughout Australia, that organization is conducting extremely useful experiments in New Guinea, and with great success. It is reducing greatly the infection that occurs in various crops, and it has been particularly successful in animal husbandry. I think that those who have visited the Territory know that the breeding of sheep and cattle is a very chancy business there. At least it had been so for many years. However, by the use of crossbreeding and modern techniques it is now possible, particularly in the highlands at places such as Goroka, to produce cattle, sheep and horses without the terrific deathroll which occurred in early experiments in this field.
One of the most valuable assets of the Territory is timber. Those members who have seen the great pine-mill at Bulolo will know that this mill, sitting in the middle of the jungle as it were, is the most modern plant of its kind in the southern hemisphere, and the biggest. It may be said that this mill is a credit to the present Commonwealth Government because its operation was made possible by an agreement negotiated by the Government with interests in New Guinea. The mill has proved to be a tremendous success, not only in producing revenue for the Territory, but in providing employment for the indigenous population.
Earlier in my remarks, I mentioned the native councils. At the present time, 59 native councils function in an area encompassing some 494,000 people. During the financial year 1961-62, fifteen new councils were proclaimed and began functioning. This gives honorable members some idea of the impetus being given to the development of native councils and of the attention being paid to this important step of establishing these councils. They represent an important stepping-stone on the path to selfdetermination and self-government.
I should like to mention just a few facets of the operations of the Administration. Malaria control and eradication have become a major feature of health work. At places like Mini, in the Highlands, one can see at first hand some of the really remarkable work which has been done in the control of malaria. In some areas, eradication has certainly been completed. Roads and bridges represent another major facet of the needs of the Territory. This applies particularly to the Highlands. By comparison with Australia, the whole of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea has a very short mileage of roads. Those who have been to the Territory will understand that the construction of roads in New Guinea is not by any means as simple as it would be in Australia because the terrain is so precipitous and difficult. At times, one would think, it is almost impossible, and the construction of a road in almost any part of New Guinea, with the exception of some of the flat areas on the coastal strips, is a major undertaking. The road from Lae through Goroka to the Southern Highlands, which is now under construction, represents a major engineering feat. That road will play an enormous part, first, in opening up that area of the Territory and permitting the transport of produce from the Highlands to other places, and, secondly, in enabling us to extend to the people of the Southern Highlands and the adjacent areas the health, educational and other services which we are attempting to provide for the people of the Territory. I suggest that this road, which in itself is a major undertaking, will be of very great benefit indeed to the Territory.
Since this Government took office, air services have expanded very considerably. Ansett-A.N.A. and Trans-Australia Airlines both operate between the mainland and New Guinea and internally within the Territory. This extension of air services has been a great boon to the Territory, which depends on air transport for, I think, well over 90 per cent, of its freight and passenger traffic. Shipping services, also, have been increased. This applies to the carriage of both freight and passengers. The improvement in both these fields of transport is of great significance for the tourist traffic, which is increasing in importance. The great influx of tourists these days is providing additional income in the Territory, and I think that the tourist traffic will be a necessary feature of the Territory’s future. In many ways, New Guinea is a very attractive country, and I am sure that the tourist traffic will be strongly promoted.
I wish to make one or two general comments, now, Sir. We all have been very deeply concerned about Indonesia’s claim to West New Guinea. I think that honorable members who have visited New Guinea will agree with me that when one discusses with the articulate leaders and members of the various communities in Papua and New Guinea the future of the people of the Territory, one is at once struck by one or two major matters of importance. The first, I found, was that the indigenes, without exception, wanted the Territory to remain a part of Australia, whatever the future was to be. They emphasized that time and time again, and I suggest that that in itself is a great compliment to the way in which the Territory has been administered. Secondly, one cannot fail to be deeply impressed by the very evident genuine goodwill which exists between all parties - the Administration, the many different peoples of the Territory and those engaged in the private ventures which have helped to develop the country. I suggest, when I mention these private ventures, that we must not forget that a great deal of the development of the country, particularly in the early days, was carried out by people like that well-known family, the Leahy brothers, and those who discovered the Edie Creek gold-field. People such as these opened up the country for mining and the production of copra and rubber, and thereby made possible the earning of external income by the Territory. I think that those who made this development possible are entitled to real consideration by us and that we have an obligation to extend it to them.
I have already mentioned the West New Guinea issue. We now accept the fact that the Dutch have handed over to Indonesia West New Guinea, or West Irian, as that area is known to the Indonesians. It has been said in rather plain terms, I understand, that, under the so-called Bunker plan, the Papuans of West New Guinea shall have the right of self-determination in seven years.
– The residents.
– The honorable member is quite right: The Papuan residents of West New Guinea shall have the right of self-determination.
– That makes some difference.
– I quite agree. I accept the honorable member’s qualification. I suggest, first, Sir, that Australia has a duty to its own Papuans. We must see that they are free to exercise the right of self-determination. I suggest, secondly, that because of the considerable affinity between West New Guinea and eastern New Guinea, the Australian representatives at the United Nations ought to watch very carefully the progress of Indonesia in West New Guinea. We, as a member of the United Nations, ought to ensure that, in the seven years to come, the people of West New Guinea are allowed to exercise the right of self-determination.
I propose to conclude now, Sir, because, as I have already said, this has been a very long debate and I do not wish to prolong it unduly. I put myself in the category of those who are very loath indeed to suggest that progress towards self-determination should be retarded. However, I have talked to Papuan members of the Legislative Council for the Territory of Papua and New Guinea - the articulate leaders of the native communities - and I must be guided by their expressions of their feelings. I suggest that they do not want to be rushed pell-mell into self-determination in a way in which, and in plain terms, they will be left in a mess. They themselves do not want that. I think that what they want, rather, is for their self-determination - their self-government - to be delivered into safe hands. I believe that, under the policy of the present Minister for Territories and this Government, the Papuans have every opportunity to achieve that.
.- Mr. Chairman, some years ago a very prominent personality left the Australian Labour Party. Later, when introducing a bill on behalf of a government, he was twitted over his change of viewpoint. He was asked, “ How do you square what you are saying now with what you said yesterday? “ His retort was, “ What does it matter what I said yesterday? “ Every time this Government brings down a budget I am reminded very forcibly of that rejoinder, “ What does it matter what I said yesterday? “ I find it quite impossible to follow, let alone to understand, the frequent changes in this Government’s approach to the presentation of its budgets. The Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies), the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. McEwen) and the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) have at various times gone to great lengths to denounce, not merely deficit budgets, but also the financing of deficits by treasurybills, yet the present Budget provides for a deficit of £118,000,000, which is to be covered by the issuing of treasury -bil Is. Whenever the Labour Party has suggested or advocated such a means of financing a deficit, no people have been so outspoken in their criticisms as have the leaders of the present Government. This is not the least of the inconsistencies of this Government. If it is impossible for members of this Parliament to follow, let alone to understand, the changing policies of the Government, how much greater must be the confusion in the public mind? “ Hansard “ abounds with reports of scathing denunciations of this method of finance by the leaders of this Government. In December, 1961, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) promised that if the Australian Labour Party were returned to power he would bring down a supplementary budget, providing for a deficit of £100,000,000. It is not out of place now to recall the hostile reception that this proposal then received from members of this Government.
This incredible course of contradiction and confusion is not confined to the Government’s financial policy. There is a growing difference of opinion in the ranks of the Government parties as to the course which should be followed in dealing with the problems of the Common Market. On matters of defence, the division is even more marked. The Government has deliberately chosen to follow a policy which, in its present form, is bringing into being a quota of permanently unemployed people. Unemployment in Australia is higher to-day than it was two years ago. It is idle for the Government to point to the fact that unemployment has been reduced from 130,000 to the present level of 92,000. Full employment should and must be the first requirement of any government which is seized with an awareness of its responsibilities. I remind honorable members that it was a result of the efforts of the Australian Labour Party that the right of men and women to work and the responsibility of governments to see that full employment prevails was written into the United Nations charter. The Government is not convincing when it tries to explain the unemployment at present existing in our country. The Opposition believes that there are values above monetary values, and that it is absurd that, in a country like Australia, so rich in natural resources, there should be a single person who is willing and able to work who is deprived of that right.
It may be that not only some members of this Parliament, but also some people outside the Parliament, are not as fully aware as they should be of how terrifying an experience unemployment can be to an individual. To emphasize this point, I shall quote from a report that was made by the General Secretary of the Australian Red Cross, following a comprehensive survey of the plight of unemployed people in New South Wales. That report stated -
We are now witnessing the spectacle of frightened men and women who are unable to find work because none is available. In Red Cross, social workers are looking with alarm at the deteriorating effect on human beings of extended periods of inadequate and irregular income, due to slack economic conditions.
Unemployment is not a problem about which any one should be nonchalant or complacent. The Government should be aroused from its apparent lethargic condition of mind and made to set about providing the opportunities necessary to enable full employment again to prevail in this country.
The Government has decided to sit pat in its approach to social services. How it thinks that a person can exist on the meagre pension payments it offers is beyond me. Almost 70 per cent, of the people who are in receipt of age and invalid pensions depend entirely on their pensions for their sustenance. Child endowment is another field in which this Government could quite easily have granted an increase, but it has declined to do so. The funeral allowance of £10 has not been increased since it was introduced by a Labour government prior to 1949. In 1955 this Government applied a means test to the pensioner medical service and, as a result, is now saving £1,600,000 a year. I feel that the Government could quite easily have abolished this means test. It is quite obvious that all increases in social service payments would result in additional consumer demand and that this, in turn, would give an impetus to our internal economy. To-day our rate of local production is 6 per cent, below what it was in 1960. Consequently, anything which would give an impetus to demand in the field of essential requirements could not be other than helpful.
In the field of expansion and development, the record of the Government is far from the impressive record that its leaders claim. Among other things, they have claimed that Australia’s rate of growth and expansion is unrivalled by that of any other country. This is the kind of talk which easily satisfies members of the Government, but it will not stand up to examination. In the last thirteen years, Canada has outstripped us. The Prime Minister points to the fact that in the last thirteen years, under his Government, the population of Australia has increased by 20 per cent. Had this not occurred, there would have been something radically wrong, because the population of the world has increased tremendously in that time. The only nation similar to Australia in the British Commonwealth which has not grown in population to a greater extent, comparatively, than we have is New Zealand, and that is because the New Zealand authorities have been following a very selective and rigid immigration programme.
The Malthusian approach of the Prime Minister to this question is most unconvincing. Malthus predicted that, due to population growth, the world would eventually find itself in the position that it would be unable to feed all its inhabitants. When it is realized that five out of every seven people in Asia go to bed hungry every night, one can be excused for thinking that, if there was anything in Malthus’s prediction, we reached that stage a long time ago. By some inverted Malthusian reasoning, the Prime Minister appears to be telling us that with population growth unemployment is inevitable. This appears to be, according to the Prime Minister, the price we must pay for increased population. We do not accept his conclusions on this matter, and an entirely different story is told by government authorities overseas to people who are seeking to come to this country.
The Common Market has been responsible for sharp divisions of opinion among members of the Government parties, and a number of them have from time to time voiced their disapproval of the Government’s line of action in this matter. Some Government supporters have claimed that the Government is exaggerating the implications to our economy of Britain’s entry into the Common Market. It is interesting to note that over the past four years we have had a favorable trade balance with The Six of £261,000,000, but over the same period we have had an unfavorable trade balance with the United Kingdom amounting to £345,600,000. In the same period we have had unfavorable trade balances with West Germany and the Netherlands, and favorable trade balances with Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Italy. Our trading deficit with the United Kingdom over the past ten years amounts to about £700,000,000.
When one looks at the pattern of pur overseas trading it is easy to understand why some Government supporters claim that the Government is exaggerating some aspects of the Common Market problem. The Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and the Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen) have been overseas in connexion with Common Market matters. The Prime Minister’s actions in London reminded me of Macauley’s traveller from New Zealand standing on London Bridge lamenting the fall of England. Our Prime Minister was witnessing the collapse of England, but he was not averse to telling the English what he thought was best for them, irrespective of the opinion held by the British Government as to the value of the Common Market. From London the Prime Minister went to Washington. There his attitude changed completely. If we could know what passed between him and President Kennedy we might have a clue to the reason for his varying attitudes.
One is struck by the scant reference in the Budget speech to the importance of our rural industries. The Treasurer (Mr. Harold Hold) dealt with this important subject in one paragraph. We depend on our rural industries for 85 per cent, of our overseas earnings. In view of this fact one would have thought that the Prime Minister and the Treasurer would have dealt more extensively with this matter and would have accorded it the importance that it merits. Members of the Australian Country Party are not convincing in their attempts to gloss over the Treasurer’s omission because they support the Government, and the Budget is as much their responsibility as it is that of members of the Liberal Party.
The home market is the first and most important market for our primary producers. If our primary industries are to expand we must have firmly established and prosperous secondary industries. Unfortunately, our secondary industries are not firmly established and prosperous. The guilt for this state of affairs rests squarely on the Government. Recent happenings in the world indicate that in future the markets to which we formerly had assured entry for our goods will either be closed to us or restricted. This situation has been apparent for the last six years, but until nine months ago the Government had not taken any positive action in the matter. The Government has waited. It has wasted much valuable time. I am fearful that if this Government remains in office Australia will pay very dearly for those wasted years.
At intervals the Government comes to life and talks about developing export trade, but I question the value of the Government’s actions in this regard. The Government is spending large sums of money in an attempt to develop trade with South American countries. The money spent in that direction would be better spent in attempting to develop trade with Asian countries. Half the world’s population lives in Asia. Asia is an undeveloped area, and the Government should be directing its attention to that area. If Britain enters the Common Market, Australia will lose many of her traditional markets. Geographically we are part of Asia. Our destiny will be determined largely by what happens in Asia. We must take positive action now to promote friendly and firm relations with our near neighbours. New markets must be found for our goods. I should be pleased to see an increase of trade with South American countries, but not at the expense of trade with our Asian friends.
I was disturbed by the failure of the Treasurer to recognize and to remedy our vulnerable position with regard to shipping. Government supporters are ever ready to justify Government action by comparing it with action taken in other countries. But in the field of shipping honorable members opposite are eloquently silent, because no country similar to Australia has allowed itself to be placed in the position in which
Australia is now placed. Australia is a mercantile nation. It is one of the first ten trading nations of the world, yet in shipping it depends exclusively on overseas interests. Government supporters, particularly Country Party members, frequently tell us that costs of production must be kept to a minimum if we are to compete with other countries. But they never refer to shipping costs. They never tire of criticizing the trade unions, but they never criticize the overseas shipping monopolies. The overseas shipping combines are a law unto themselves. When shipping freights are increased, Government supporters make only a mild protest, if they make any protest at all.
To-day no Australian shipping company operates in the passenger trade on our coast line. This form of transport has been taken over by overseas shipping interests. If the present decline continues, before long the Australian freight traffic will collapse and all of our shipping activities, national and international, will be in the hands of foreign interests.
The annual cost to Australia in freight, insurance and invisibles is £300,000,000. Why is Australia compelled to pay more for the transportation of its products to overseas markets than are nations more remote from those same markets? Why is the freight on canned fruit shipped from Australia to Singapore twice as much as the freight charged on the same product shipped from South Africa to Singapore? Why is freight charged at the rate of £9 7s. a ton for machinery shipped from Australia to Singapore when the rate from the United Kingdom to Singapore is £8 8s. 9d.? Why is freight on Australian lamb shipped to the United Kingdom market higher than freight charged for New Zealand lamb shipped to the same market? In a time of crisis our dependence on overseas shipping interests could leave us isolated and at a standstill. Our transport system would be paralysed. The implications of such an alarming situation have apparently been lost on the Government.
The precarious position of education in Australia is very rightly troubling responsible and thinking people. The Government has failed Australia as far as education is concerned. There can be no doubt that section 96 of the Constitution gives the Commonwealth adequate authority to deal with education. The report of the Murray Committee dispelled any doubts that may have existed in that regard. The Government gives financial aid to the States for university education. For how long will the Government procrastinate before it recognizes that secondary education and primary education in this country are in a serious plight? Here again the Government refrains from making comparisons. It is well aware that Australia comes out very badly when its efforts are compared with what is being done by other countries in this field. This decline must be arrested if we as a nation are to maintain and develop our position in the modern world.
The provisions in the Budget are most disappointing. Very few State Ministers will share the Treasurer’s views. The allocation of £95,000,000 for housing is inadequate. Of this amount £45,000,000 is to go to the States and £35,000,000 is for war service homes. Last year the Government increased the maximum individual allocation from £2,750 to £3,500. With the same amount available this year and the increase in the individual allocation, it means there will be 20 per cent, fewer war service homes built. The rate of building of these homes is to be reduced by one-fifth, and the waiting list will be increased as a consequence. The inescapable fact is that fewer homes are to be built. With the waiting list extended, it also means a further impetus to the blackmarketing in interest rates that prevails here.
The Government cannot escape its responsibility here. It advises applicants, when their claims have been accepted, to secure temporary finance pending the interval while waiting for their turn to be reached. The waiting period is often eighteen months. How these people are exploited in this time is most reprehensible. They are the victims of Government policy. It is about time the Government stopped this practice and afforded to people the protection they are entitled to expect.
The Budget omits any reference to constitutional reform. Where does the Government stand on its promise on this important matter? Are the findings of the all-party
Constitutional Review Committee to be relegated to the limbo of forgotten things and brought up again by the Government merely as a talking point? The enthusiasm of the Prime Minister on this has quite obviously waned. He is more of the politician than the statesman here. Party considerations more than national advancement influence him - otherwise his electoral promise would not have been so easily forgotten.
What has happened to the promise of the Government to do something about restrictive trade practices? It now looks as if the Government not only will omit fulfilling this promise but, judged from the recent utterances of the Attorney-General (Sir Garfield Barwick), will completely repudiate this undertaking.
The Government deserves censure because it has failed lamentably. It is a government whose chief characteristics are vacillation and oscillation. When it does eventually make a decision, it is too late, or else in a clumsy fashion it sets about reversing a previous decision. The Government has failed to measure up as a responsible one. It has demonstrated its inability to bring about a stable economy. It has failed to render justice to its people. It is an avidly sectional government and is deserving of censure.
.- Mr. Temposary Chairman, many of the criticisms made by the honorable member for Dalley (Mr. O’Connor) are appropriately answered in my speech. In making my contribution to the Budget debate I wish to comment on two separate but closely allied subjects, the first being Australia’s contribution to the Colombo Plan, and the second being Australia’s immigration policy.
Our contribution to the Colombo Plan is by far the most important of Australia’s activities in the field of international aid. To 30th June, 1962, Australia had contributed £43,621,000 to the Colombo Plan. In 1961-62 our total Colombo Plan expenditure was £4,000,000, including £1,767,000 on technical assistance and £2,236,000 on economic development. A similar amount of approximately £4,000,000 was spent on the Colombo Plan in 1960-61. For 1962-63 expenditure is shown at a little higher than in 1961-62, with continued emphasis on technical assistance. Approximately £5,000,000 has been allocated for expenditure on the Colombo Plan in 1962-63, of which about £2,000,000 is for technical assistance and £3,000,000 for economic development.
During the last three years, however, the Government has decided to contribute to two new programmes for the provision of technical assistance to the less developed countries. The Government announced in 1960 that it would inaugurate a scheme for the training of Koreans in Australia. Expenditure in 1961-62 on the Korean Training Scheme was £24,000, but £35,000 has been allocated for expenditure on it in 1962-63. At present there are fifteen trainees from Korea in Australia, sixteen having finished and returned to Korea, but it can be expected that the numbers will increase so that there may be twenty here at the one time.
In February, 1961, the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) announced that Australia had decided to participate in the Special Commonwealth African Assistance Plan. Under this programme assistance is to be given to Commonwealth countries in Africa, including independent countries and dependent territories, by other Commonwealth countries. Australia is contributing up to £200,000 per annum by the provision of technical assistance.
There are also two other programmes whereby Australia provides assistance bilaterally. One is the Australian International Award Scheme, under which twelve awards for study or training in this country are made available each year to nationals of other countries. An amount of £30,000 was allowed in the Budget for 1961-62 for expenditure under the Australian International Award Scheme. The other programme is the Commonwealth Educational Co-operational Scheme, which was initiated at a conference at Oxford in 1959. That consists of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan and various forms of co-operation, such as the training of teachers and the supply of teachers and equipment, to assist educational developments in the emerging members of the Commonwealth. Under this scheme 39 scholarships were awarded in 1961, 80 in 1962, and the maximum of 100 will be awarded in 1963. Under the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, Australia has undertaken to provide assistance to enable up to 100 students from other Commonwealth countries to study at the one time at Australian universities and other tertiary educational institutions.
In the year 1961, 22 visitors, other than those granted scholarships, received assistance under the Commonwealth Educational Co-operational Scheme. In 1962, 47 visitors received assistance, and in 1963 there will be 65 receiving assistance. The total number of students assisted under the Commonwealth Educational Co-operational Scheme was 61 in 1961 and 127 in 1962. This year there will be 165. The total amount of money allocated to cover this expenditure for 1963 is £280,000.
One of the most important features of the Colombo Plan and these other bilateral programmes is the stress that is being increasingly laid on technical assistance, on the provision of the skills by training and the supply of experts and equipment, without which any other form of economic aid can be useless. Training has been the most important form of technical assistance. Australia has played a very important role in the provision of training under the Colombo Plan. More than 4,000 trainees from Colombo Plan countries have been in Australia. We have, in fact, provided more training places than has any other country in the Colombo Plan, except the United States of America and the United Kingdom. In addition, more than 15,000 students from Asian countries have come to Australia as private students. At 30th June of this year, some 10,500 private students were in Australia.
All this has placed some additional strain on Australian educational resources, particularly at the tertiary level. It has been estimated, for example, that 5 per cent, of the students at Australian universities come from abroad. As we all know, Australian educational institutions, including the universities, are now facing problems in coping with the demand from our Australian student population. However, it is expected that we can maintain the same level of intake under the Colombo Plan as we have had in the past. Furthermore, we will be able to absorb the small number of students coming here under other bilateral programmes, such as the Korean training scheme and the special Commonwealth African assistance plan.
These programmes not only help to provide skilled personnel for the less developed countries, but also help to improve mutual understanding between Australia and these countries. It is, therefore, important that training facilities continue to be provided by Australia and that these students return to their countries better qualified to take their part in helping to improve the wellbeing of their people. However, consideration is now . being given to greater concentration on the provision of training by Australia within the Colombo Plan area. The development or expansion of training institutions in the Colombo Plan area, particularly technical training institutions, has obvious advantages in efficiency and rate of turnover to the provision of training in countries outside the area. We have, for example, helped to establish a printing trades school in Djakarta, where six Australian experts using Australian equipment are supervising more than 200 pupils. If additional projects of this kind can be established, training can be given within the area to far greater numbers than could be sent abroad for similar training.
The Colombo Plan and our other bilateral programmes are, of course, only a small part of our internation aid. We also subscribe to the International Bank, the International Development Association, the International Finance Corporation and the programmes of the United Nations and its specialized agencies. In addition, we have subscribed funds for the Indus Basin Development Fund and to the United Nations expanded programme for technical assistance. There were 80 students here last year and the expenditure in 1961-62 was £371,000. It is important, however, that, with the expansion of international programmes and of bilateral aid schemes, we should continue to give priority to the Colombo Plan region of South and Southeast Asia, which is of such vital importance to Australia. Our best means of assisting this region is through the expansion of technical assistance.
Now I wish to expound on the second subject, which is Australia’s immigration policy. This, I believe, needs some verbal defence, for any criticism of the one neces sitates thought for the other. Proposals to apply a quota system to Asian countries and to other non-European source areas have been advanced from time to time. It would not appear that supporters of the quota system hold any idea that Australia, by accepting Asian migrants, would in this way alleviate significantly the problems of over-population in Asia. The intention would appear to be rather to remove a source of ill-will towards Australia and to contribute to a greater international understanding. The Minister for Immigration (Mr. Downer), in an address to the Commonwealth Club in Adelaide in December, 1959, had this to say -
It is often said that an annual quota would be more acceptable to our neighbours than present practices. The idea is theoretically attractive, but experience shows there is much to be said for continuing as we are, and leaving untrammelled the wide discretionary powers vested in the Minister of the day. A quota involves the idea of mathematical fixity. How do you apportion the numbers between Indians, Burmese, Ceylonese, Indonesians, Malays, Siamese, Cambodians and Vietnamese? Is it to be extended to the inhabitants of red China and the people of Japan? Or do you confine it to the Commonwealth countries of Asia, rather than disperse it throughout the Orient? In terms of practical politics these are difficult questions to answer. They have not been satisfactorily answered yet.
Again, if we are to introduce a quota, how large should it be? The Canadians and Americans adopted this expedient, but offer in effect merely a token figure. Both countries are much further awar from India and South-East Asia than Australia, and have climates less attractive to Asian migrants. There is, therefore, probably less inducement to an Indian, a Ceylonese, an Indonesian or a Southern Chinese to live in North America than in Australia. Moreover, despite their quotas, neither of these countries is better liked in Asia than our own.
Now let us take the argument a stage further. If we are to institute a small quota we must consider in practice how it would be filled. More likely than not, those who have lived here for several years as students would be the first to apply. It would be hard to gainsay their claims to priority. Even were students excluded, the applicants would vastly exceed the places allotted, and so there would be a banking up of applications which would take years to process. In the result, to 99.9 per cent, of the 1,300 million people of Asia, Australia would be a closed country; and those who may enter here now, in the categories I have mention, would be barred from doing so by the interminable queue ahead of them. This, as I see it, would produce irritations and bad feelings, and the last state of our policy would be worse than the first.
I believe that these opinions, though opposed to the sentiments of a small minority, are supported by the great bulk of the Australian nation. In our immigration policy we have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to apologize for. It has many more champions than critics abroad; it is supported by both sides of politics at home; it is in the best interests of the future of our country. My principal concern is that we should exercise our imaginations in the acutest way to attract both overseas capital and the types of peoples here who can most readily be absorbed, so that we can mould Australia into an Anglo-European community embodying all that is best of the Old World and the New.
A further consideration is that Australia is encouraging European migrants to come here at a rate determined by the absorptive capacity of the country and by related economic, social and other factors. If we were to offer countries of Asia a quota which, within the maximum permissible intake, would necessarily be small in relation to the numbers already being taken by the United Kingdom and Europe, such a gesture, intended as being friendly, could well be regarded as being more offensive than the present policy, under which we are already admitting more Asians than would otherwise be admitted.
It has also been suggested, as part of the quota system, that a programme of selected immigration should be undertaken in Asian countries. It would appear, however, that the people whom it is suggested Australia should take in this way - that is, those qualified to fill technical and professional positions in this country - are the very ones whom Asian countries can least afford to lose. Australia has been endeavouring, through the Colombo Plan and other assistance programmes, to help in the development of Asian countries. Any positive move, therefore, to encourage skilled and otherwise qualified persons from those countries to come to Australia would be in sharp contrast to our endeavours to assist in the economic and social development of those countries.
The purpose of the Migration Act 1958 was to consolidate and amend Australia’s immigration statutes. It is a statement of the law regarding immigration, deportation and emigration. It does not define, nor does it deal with, the Government’s immigration policy, including the established policy. There is, consequently, no connexion between what is erroneously referred to as the white Australia policy and the machinery measures for which legislative authority is provided by the Migration Act 1958. The term “ white Australia policy “ has, indeed, no official usage, and its continued use is deplored in government circles.
Australia’s established immigration policy is an expression of the natural desire to develop within this country a homogeneous population in order that we may, in planning the full and proper development of our resources, avert the social difficulties which have become a feature of the presentday development in a number of other countries. It is a fundamental principle of this policy that those people coming to Australia for permanent residence should be capable, both economically and socially, of ready integration into the community. Australia, in seeking in this way general homogeneity as a matter of prudence, is not alone in this attitude. It is the right of any nation to determine its own racial constitution. The Australian practice is not one of the exclusion of persons of other than European origin. The immigration laws governing residence in Australia permit a discretionary policy which takes into account not only the qualifications of a person wishing to settle permanently but also considerations of a humanitarian nature and of international goodwill, as well as other factors on which a civilized country would normally be expected to base its actions.
There are in Australia to-day, in a great variety of capacities, approximately 7,000 people not of European origin, as well as the resident Asian population. There are, in addition, approximately 10,500 students attending our universities, technical colleges, schools and other training establishments. In this way, Australia is endeavouring to contribute towards the development of the students’ homelands and to the promotion of friendly international relations.
During the past few years the established policy has been qualified in a number of ways. In particular, there is no bar to the grant of naturalization to people of nonEuropean origin. Australian citizenship has been granted in this way to numerous residents of Australia of other than European origin. Australians who marry persons who are not of European descent may bring their wives or husbands, and families, to Australia for residence. Large numbers of persons came to Australia as war-time evacuees from their Asian homelands. Many of these who were still here in 1950 were subsequently allowed to stay permanently. Similarly, a great many Chinese and others who, at the time when the Communists overran their homelands, were here as students, merchants and assistants to businessmen, have been allowed to stay. Provision has been made for the admittance for indefinite residence of four categories of highly qualified and distinguished people, of whatever race. These categories are, first, persons possessing outstanding cultural or other attainments which would be an asset to Australia; secondly, persons who are fitted to fill professional or high-grade technical positions for which qualified local residents are not available; thirdly, persons who are otherwise distinguished in government, the professions or international or humanitarian service; fourthly, persons who have taken educational courses in Australia and have spent at least five years in their own countries after completing their courses and have qualifications from which the Australian community would benefit.
It is generally recognized that each country has the right to make decisions of this kind, that is, to preserve its national characteristics as they exist at any given point of time. Australia’s established policy is, consequently, the exercise of a prerogative recognized by virtually every country, although its discretionary content permits a more liberal interpretation than that enjoyed by many others.
Mr. Temporary Chairman, I wish to cite to the committee the numbers of nonEuropeans who were naturalized in Australia between January, 1956, and March, 1962. I have dissected the figures according to race or nationality of origin, as follows: -
Far too much is said by our own Australian people in criticism of the Western peoples’ attitude towards and neglect of South and South-East Asia. We have nothing to hide our heads in shame about. Let us just look back once in a while, because there is certainly a wonderful human story for all to see. The last ten years have shown considerable technical achievements and great economic expansion in many of the countries of South-East Asia. World events have shown that any country with a multi-racial population has a high degree of social turmoil, and one would hope that our people will never be manoeuvred into a position in which they might entertain a feeling of hatred towards or a desire for revenge against our Asian neighbours because of internal racial friction. If assimilation is to take place between the Asian and European races in this part of the world, let it be by personal design and choice and not by forced integration or legislative decisions. What better opportunity is there for ensuring that this happens than in the association between Asian and Australian students?
.- The honorable member for Ballaarat (Mr. Erwin) has gone to great trouble in his endeavours to defend the Government’s immigration policy, but he has given scant attention to what is basically the most serious aspect of it - the decline in the net intake of immigrants. However, I shall deal with that question later on.
The Opposition has moved to censure the Government on its 1962 Budget, on a number of grounds. It censures it for its lack of humanity, its refusal to assist the family, the aged, the infirm and the widow, and for its refusal to give employment to all and to maintain and uplift the dignity of man. It censures the Government because of its lack of imagination, for the absence from the Budget of the seeds of economic growth and the wherewithal for expansion. The Opposition censures the Government for its lack of dynamic plans for the development of our continent, particularly the northern hinterland. The Opposition censures it for its refusal to engage in economic planning for the future, for its continuation of laisser-faire policies or for its lack of policies, and for its refusal to accept the fact, as employee and businessmen alike accept to-day, that it is essential for our economic health and growth that plans should be laid for the future, and that both business and labour should be given an understanding of the plans of the Government.
Furthermore, in moving this censure motion the Opposition realizes, as does the Government, that it has the overwhelming support of the people. This is obvious from the fact that the Government has not the courage to put up a candidate against the Australian Labour Party candidate in the forthcoming by-election in Batman. There is no doubt that if a general election were held to-day the Australian Labour Party would be returned with an overwhelming majority to the treasury bench. It is the realization of this fact that has caused the Government to refuse to nominate a candidate for the Batman byelection. This refusal constitutes one of the most disgraceful exhibitions of “ chickening-out “ in our political history. A vital by-election is to be held at a time when the Government has a majority of one in the House of Representatives, but the Government has not the courage to go out and fight the most important by-election that has been held for many a year.
I think we should look at the question of the humanities. My electorate of Mitchell provides a very good example of cross-sections of the community. It has residential, industrial and rural sections and by and large the population is probably the youngest of any electorate in New South Wales. The people are young and have young families. They have the normal problems of the average wage and salary earner and the small businessman trying to bring up their families. There are many such families in Australia yet this Government has completely ignored child endowment which is one of the best means of assisting families. Since 1950, this Government has consistently refused to review child endowment. Surely, it realizes that the Australian baby is the best type of newcomer we can have, and that an increase of the Australian birthrate is a cheaper way to increase the population than any immigration programme.
Pensioners, including the age pensioners, have been completely ignored by this Go vernment. This is particularly serious for the age pensioner who lives alone. These pensioners - the unmarried and the widowed - are expected to live on the mere pittance of a single age pension and it is practically impossible for them to do so with costs as they are under this Government’s administration. A widow with three children under sixteen years of age is expected to rear her family on £7 a week. It would be a good thing for some supporters of the Government if some of their relatives were placed in the same situation as a widowed woman who has to maintain herself and rear a family on £7 a week. This is impossible and it shows the inhumanity of the Budget, of members of the Cabinet in general and of the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) in particular.
Australia is behind practically all other countries in expenditure on social services. I shall prove this statement by citing a few figures taken from the 1961 edition of the “ Cost of Social Security “ issued by the International Labour Organization. This is an international publication and cannot be said to be biased against Australia in any way. The figures I will cite express the expenditure on social services as a percentage of national income in 1956-57. The expenditure by Australia was 9.7 per cent, of the national income, compared with Austria, 18.7; Belgium, 17.4; Canada, 10.2; Denmark, 12; Finland, 13; France, 19.1; West Germany, 22; Iceland, 10.2; and Ireland, 11.4. Italy, a country which is acknowledged to be backward in social experiments, spent 16 per cent, of its national income on social services in that year. The expenditure in Luxembourg was 21.3 per cent.; Netherlands, 15.4; New Zealand, 13.5 and Norway, 10.7. Portugal, one of the most backward countries in the Western world, spent 8.8 per cent, of the national income on social services which is only .9 per cent, behind Australia. Other figures were: Sweden, 13.2; Switzerland, 11.3; the United Kingdom, 12.6 and the United States of America, 7 per cent. Australia was eighteenth out of 22 European and Western countries. That is a disgraceful state of affairs. We used to lead the world in social experiment, particularly in social services, but to-day we are behind most countries including France, Iceland and Italy.
When dealing with the humanities, we should also look at unemployment. The average number of registered unemployed applicants for various periods has been as follows: -
This year, the number of registered unemployed totals 90,091. These figures show that under this Government there has been a steady growth in unemployment. This is not simply something that has been an isolated occurrence in the past year or so. There has been a steady increase in unemployment year by year rising from an average of 20,000, in round figures, in 1946-50 to 71,000 in 1957-62, with a current total of 90,091.
Once again dealing with the humanities, I invite honorable members to consider the plight of the small farmer, the egg producer, the orchardist and the vegetablegrower. All are suffering from the policies of this Government and in particular from the lack of import controls which should have been imposed by this Government but have been refused. The citrus industry is one which has suffered in this way. Now we have warnings by Sir John Crawford of large-scale imports of eggs. Once again this Government has refused to take any constructive action to meet this situation. The small farmer, like the rest of the community and to a greater degree than some, is in a worse position now than at any time since the years of the depression. Every day we hear a good deal about the wool-growers from the Australian Country Party benches, but we hear very little from them about the small farmers, the growers of vegetables, poultry farmers and orchardists.
Still discussing the humanities, I refer to the problem of education. Nothing is more degrading to human dignity than to have native ability and yet to be unable to develop it by means of education. I have some figures here taken from “ Basic Facts and Figures “ published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization for 1960. These show the number of scientific and technical graduates per 1,000,000 of population for various countries, and they are -
Surely this indicates that, because of this Government’s economic policies, an insufficient portion of our national income is being devoted to primary, secondary and particularly tertiary education. As I have said, the United States has 551 graduates per 1,000,000 of population, compared with the United Kingdom’s 209, West Germany’s 318 and Australia’s 141. These are the things that we should look to. We should realize that the dignity of man is involved. This is a human as well as an economic problem. If we are to develop and educate our best young people to ensure that the ability of the people of the country will be used to the full, we must allocate a larger proportion of our national income to education.
This Government has been in office during one of the easiest periods in the history of Australia. It has enjoyed record seasons and world-wide prosperity. Now it is experiencing its first period of adversity and has failed to measure up to its responsibilities. It has even brought about a man-made recession. I think it is important to trace the history of this recession. First, there was the Government’s refusal to control the fringe banking system, which got out of control and created credit throughout the nation. This undoubtedly assisted to create what the ~ Government calls a boom. In other words, by its own inactivity - by its refusal to take any action to control the fringe banking system - the Government created a boom. This was not something which came out of the air; it resulted from the Government’s inactivity. The Commonwealth Government controls the purse strings and the economic policy of this nation, and it cannot pass off its responsibility to governments which exercise no such control.
Then, in February, 1960, the Government abolished import licensing, its purpose being to encourage imports and to sop up spending power. That policy was tried on a previous occasion, with a similar result - an immediate and serious decline in our reserves. Then the Government was confronted with a balance of payments problem. Instead of facing up to that problem and telling the people that we must conserve our reserves by introducing quantitative restrictions on imports, the Government, not wishing to admit its mistake, asked its advisers to find another way out of the difficulty. They suggested the introduction of general economic restrictions to cut down the purchasing power of the people. That is the basis of this man-made depression which we are experiencing. It was created deliberately by the Government. We had unemployment stemming from the Government’s policy of reducing spending power. Instead of using the clean knife of quantitative restrictions, the Government used the instrument of credit restrictions.
Then we should look at other aspects of the policy which this Government has followed. There has been an increase in invisibles and, in particular, a growth of remittances of dividends overseas. Some very interesting figures are available on dividends. In 1948-49 the total dividends remitted overseas amounted to £22,700,000. In 1958-59 they amounted to £113,500,000, and by 1959-60 they had risen again to £121,200,000. As a percentage of the total debits to current account in our balance of payments - that is, total charges against our overseas reserves - dividend remittances rose from 4 per cent, in 1949 to 9 per cent, in 1960. Surely that shows that the Government’s policy must be reviewed.
The usual method used by overseas companies is to remit capital to Australia for investment in the most profitable ventures. As every honorable member no doubt is aware, those are not always the most necessary ventures. The most profitable is not always the most necessary. Then the companies usually keep their capital here for a few years and accumulate reserves, having in mind that as there is no undistributed profits tax there is no brake upon their accumulation of reserves. When they have accumulated reserves for a number of years they commence to remit dividends. When you take into account the reserves which have been accumulated, what might appear to be a small dividend of, say, 10 per cent, is nearer to a dividend of 100 per cent, on the original capital introduced into this country. It stands to reason that in another decade our remittances of dividends will sky-rocket. They must do so. Then we shall be compelled to export more to pay our bills.
The Government, to meet the position which has arisen because of its refusal to conserve reserves, and because of the serious balance-of-payments crisis which exists, has relied increasingly upon the induction of private investment. For example, in 1948-49 private investment totalled £38,400,000. In 1960-61 it totalled £223,000,000. In 1948-49, the last year of Labour government, we added £166,000,000 to our overseas reserves. In 1960-61 this Government added only £39,000,000, and in the previous three years it had reduced our reserves by £4,000,000, £9,000,000 and £41,000,000 respectively. As I have said, because of the Government’s refusal to limit imports - because of its deliberate policy of allowing non-essential imports to compete against Australian industry - we have reached the extraordinary situation that the Government has to rely increasingly upon the induction of private capital. In other words, we are using capital to buy consumer goods. No business in this world can possibly afford to continue in that way. Accordingly, we must review closely this aspect of the Government’s policies.
I appeal to the Government to forget its fetish about investment and to realize that if there is to be investment it must play a part in our industrial development by bringing technical know-how from overseas. In other words, it is advantageous to have overseas investment here in the form of manufacturing industries which can help to remove the necessity to import. But mostly overseas investment does not come within that category. We still must face up to the great impact of remittances of dividends overseas.
The effect on the farmer of the Government’s import policy is particularly disturbing. I have mentioned already that within the last couple of weeks Sir John Crawford - undoubtedly a man of great ability and a man for whom honorable members on both sides have a great deal of respect - has issued a warning that the poultry industry faces a threat from cheap imports. It has been stated that eggs could be dumped in Australia.
The question of imported citrus juices- was raised by me early this year, and later it was raised by other honorable members; yet it is only now that it has been referred to the special authority. Peas are being imported on a large scale. This matter was referred to the special authority at one stage, but an application for protection was refused. The matter has not since been referred to the authority. Once again, we have an example of the refusal of the Government to protect important industries, particularly primary industries, which are so essential to our economy. I appeal to the Government to examine the question of eggs before it is too late. Do not let the same position arise as has obtained in regard to citrus juices. Do not remain inactive for month after month while the position of the grower steadily deteriorates. I ask the Government to take warning from the words of Sir John Crawford, who has spoken against the dumping of eggs in Australia.
As I mentioned earlier, I think that we should examine the subject of immigration. The honorable member for Ballaarat went to a great deal of trouble to defend the Government’s immigration policy. He did not mention the drop in immigration. He did not mention that the rate of immigration has fallen from 87,300 in the first four months of 1960 to 56,100 in the first four months of 1962. This was brought about by a lack of confidence on the part of prospective migrants, and this, in turn, was due to the economic policies of the Government to unemployment. It was due to the knowledge that social services and housing conditions in this country are not as good as the Government has tried to make out. When prospective British immigrants have gone to Australia House they have been told that houses and jobs are plentiful in Australia. It is sunshine all the time! No warning is given by Australia House of the actual position here. The Government is not taking action to solve the basic economic problems which are making it difficult to attract migrants to Australia.
Government supporters have charged the Opposition with having had a detrimental effect on public confidence because we have brought to the notice of the Parliament the shortcomings of the Government’s policy. Government supporters seem to forget that this is our duty. This is the only way of ensuring that the shortcomings of the Government will be understood so that the force of public opinion may be brought to bear to achieve the amendment of government policies. The people lack confidence in the economy as they lack confidence in the Government. Confidence will not be restored until there is a change of government. As the people realize, confidence will be restored only when a budget is introduced containing dynamic provisions for growth and development. The people know that only a Labour government can introduce such a budget.
The Treasurer’s confusion of thought is apparent from the way in which he has confused the concepts of stability and stagnation. His form of stability repudiates rapid growth, which is essential to the security of this country and its development. His form of stability simply means stagnation. There is only one way in which this country can achieve its destiny. It must make its people happy. It must dam the rivers and build roads, bridges and factories. That is the only form of stability that can ensure Australia’s future well-being and maintain its people in happiness and security. To do this, Sir, we must have a budget of growth instead of this Budget of stagnation. I hope that the committee will support the censure motion of the Opposition.
House adjourned at 5.1 p.m.
The following answers to questions were circulated: -
m asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice -
Will an Australian representative be sent this year to the annual conference on antibiotics in the United States of America in accordance with the resolutions of the National Health and Medical Research Council in November, 1958, and May, 1959?
– The Minister for Health has furnished the following reply: -
The attendance of an Australian representative at the Second Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy is under consideration.
n asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice -
– The Minister for Health has furnished the following reply: -
b asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice -
– The Minister for Health has furnished the following reply: -
d asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
– The answer to the honorable member’s questions is as follows: - 1 and 2. Details of Australia’s overseas invisible payments and receipts in the financial years 1958-59 to 1961-62 are contained in Tables 1 and 2 of “The Australian Balance of Payments 1957-58 to 1961-62”, published by the Commonwealth Statistician, a copy of which would be available in the Parliamentary Library.
Overseas Investments in Australia.
d asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
– The answer to the honorable member’s questions is as follows: - 1 and 2. The total of private overseas investment in campanies in Australia and the composition of this investment by domicile of investors for the financial years 1957-58 to 1960-61 is shown in Table 17 of “ The Australian Balance of Payments 1957-58 to 1961-62”, published by the Commonwealth Statistician. A copy of this publication would be available in the Parliamentary Library. Details of private overseas investment in companies in Australia are not yet available for 1961-62.
d asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows: -
Excludes £44.6 million International Bank loan for the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme, as no drawings on the loan had been made by 30th June, 1962.
n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows: - 1 and 2. Prior to 1st July, 1950, the concessional allowance for funeral expenses, up to a maximum amount of £30 in the year of income in respect of the death of a taxpayer’s spouse or children under 21 years of age, was allowed by way of rebate of tax calculated at the average personal exertion rate appropriate to the taxable income of the taxpayer. From 1st July, 1950, the maximum allowance of £30 was granted by way of a direct deduction from the taxpayer’s assessable income and was made to apply in respect of each bereavement and also extended to cover a wider class of dependent relatives.
Land Acquisition at Eagle Farm.
n asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows: -
Nudgee-road, Toombul - Weatherboard house with galvanized iron roof. About 9 squares with outbuildings.
Randle-road, Meandah - Weatherboard house with galvanized iron roof. About 12 squares. 32 Hugh-street, Meandah- Chamfer board house with galvanized iron roof. About 14 squares. 79 Unwin-street, Pinkenba - Chamfer board house with galvanized iron roof. About 8 squares.
Unwin-street, Pinkenba - Chamfer board house with galvanized iron roof. About 10 squares. 28 Gregg-street, Pinkenba - Asbestos cement walls and roof. About 6 squares. 22 Gregg-street, Pinkenba - Asbestos cement walls and roof. About 6 squares. 6 Gregg-street, Pinkenba - Asbestos cement walls with galvanized iron roof. About 6 squares. 29 Orsova-street, Pinkenba - Asbestos cement and stucco house with galvanized iron roof. About 6 squares. 11 Orsova-street, Pinkenba - Chamfer board house with galvanized iron roof. About 8 squares. 7 Orsova-street, Pinkenba - Weatherboard house with galvanized iron roof. About 10 squares. 60 Eagle Farm-road, Pinkenba - Chamfer board house with galvanized iron roof.
About 8 squares. 64 Eagle Farm-road, Pinkenba - Asbestos cement house with galvanized iron roof.
About 7 squares. 66 Eagle Farm-road, Pinkenba - Asbestos cement house with galvanized iron roof.
About 7 squares. 20 Orient-avenue, Pinkenba - Weatherboard house with galvanized iron roof. About 8 squares 26 Orient-avenue, Pinkenba - Chamfer board house with galvanized iron roof. About 11 squares.
Orient-avenue, Pinkenba - Weatherboard house with galvanized iron roof. About 9 squares. 27 Orient-avenue, Pinkenba - Chamfer board house with galvanized iron roof. About 10 squares. 23 Orient-avenue, Pinkenba - Chamfer board house with galvanized iron roof. About 7 squares. 17 Orient-avenue, Pinkenba - Weatherboard house with asbestos cement roof. About 11 squares. 40 Hugh-street, Pinkenba - Chamfer board house with galvanized iron roof. About 14 squares.
Cnr. Main and Brands roads, Landers Pocket - Weatherboard house with galvanized iron roof. About 9 squares plus outbuildings.
Main-road, Landers Pocket - House of weatherboard construction with galvanized iron roof. About 12 squares plus garage and shed.
Main-road, Landers Pocket - House of weatherboard construction with galvanized iron roof. About 10 squares plus garage and temporary dwelling of approximately 3 squares.
Main-road, Landers Pocket - House of weatherboard construction with galvanized iron roof. About 4 squares plus garages and sheds.
d asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -
– The Minister for Civil Aviation has supplied the following information: -
y asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -
– The Minister for Civil Aviation has supplied the following information: -
d asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -
– The Minister for Civil Aviation has supplied the following information: - 1 and 2. The main runway at Wyndham is at present being reconstructed and its ends are being sealed. The work is expected to be completed early in 1963. At Broome, where the runways are already sealed, a contract has been let for resealing them and this maintenance work should be completed by the end of 1962. The apron and taxiway will be strengthened and enlarged, under a project expected to be completed about the same time. The new works programme for 1962- 63 contains items for the stockpiling of material to be used in the completion of the sealing of the main runways at Derby and Port Hedland. It is hoped that both these jobs will be completed by about the end of 1963.
ser asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -
– The Minister for Civil Aviation has supplied the following table showing the distances and fares: -
Tourist fares can only be introduced where the reduction in revenue can be compensated for by an increase in total traffic sufficient to offset the discounted fares and where the aircraft type employed permits the use of higher density seating in the tourist compartment as compared with the first class accommodation. Owing to the special nature of the traffic to and from Canberra and particularly the imbalance of passengers on ingoing and out-going flights, the introduction of tourist fares could only worsen the already difficult financial position of these services. No charges are stipulated for charter flights, as the price will depend on the circumstances of each case.
d asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows: -
n asked the Minister for Territories, upon notices -
What was the value of the (a) gross national product and (b) national income for the Territory Of Papua and New Guinea for each of the past ten years?
– The answer to the honorable member’s question is as follows: -
No estimates of national product or national income of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea have been made as it has not been possible to assess the output of the non-monetary sub sistence sector which provides a livelihood for over 90 per cent, of the population. The Australian National University, with the co-operation of the Department of Territories, has made two investigations of the national output of the monetary sector of the economy. It has been estimated that in 1950-51 the gross domestic product of the monetary sector was approximately £15,000,000. A preliminary estimate of gross domestic product of the monetary sector for 1959-60 is £42,000,000. Estimates of national income or domestic product are not yet available for any other years, although work is being done in an endeavour to obtain these figures.
m asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows: -
In addition 1,204 students at various centres in the Territory receive classroom tuition or tutorial assistance from Territory Standard IV. to Queensland Junior. Nine hundred and seventy-two students in other centres and out-stations receive correspondence tuition (no classroom tutorial assistance) from Standard IV. to IX. Fifty students are enrolled at Queensland junior secondary courses. All are adolescents or adults. Fourteen students attend the Central Medical School at Suva.
n asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -
– The answer to the honorable member’s questions is as follows: - 1 and 2. The national television station at Bendigo is scheduled for completion in April, 1963, and transmission should commence at that time. This is in accordance with the original schedule.
Arts and Letters in Australia.
s asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows: - 1 and 2. I have received some requests from bodies and individuals interested in this question. 3 and 4. I do not believe that a general inquiry spread over all the art forms is appropriate at this time.
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follows: -
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 28 August 1962, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1962/19620828_reps_24_hor36/>.