House of Representatives
29 October 1964

25th Parliament · 1st Session



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

page 2459

QUESTION

THE PARLIAMENT

Mr CALWELL:
Leader of the Opposition · Melbourne

Mr. Speaker, before you call on the orders of the day, I want to rectify a wrong 1 did the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) recently. In the course of answering a question which I had asked about Boeing 727 aircraft, the Prime Minister said -

Mr. Ansett is fortunate or unfortunate enough to see me or.ee a year. I understand that he is a much closer personal friend of the Leader of the Opposition.

I became angry at this and said -

No, he is not. I have not seen him for about five years. He came to offer me a donation to the party funds and I refused to see him. 1 was still angry and then said -

He cannot bribe me like he can bribe the Prime Minister.

That was an unwarranted insult and I withdraw it and apologise for having made it. 1 am completely opposed to the Prime Ministers politics, as he well knows, but his integrity has never been in question. It is of the highest order. I do not want the remark to remain uncorrected in respect of Mr. Ansett either. I do not like the way Ansett has obtained all the benefits and advantages that he has, but I honestly do not believe he has ever obtained anything by bribery. I do not think he would offer a bribe and I do not think any Minister or any public servant would take one.

I have made amends in this matter. I would like to say that I would not want not to be on friendly terms with all members of the House, as far as I can be - and I use the double negative to emphasise the positive. However, sometimes we become worked up and annoyed and make insulting comments to each other. What I have quoted to the House today did not appear in “Hansard”, although the “Hansard” staff recorded portion of it. The last portion, the insulting portion, appeared in the daily Press. I think more people read the Press than read “Hansard” and therefore the damage was doubly important and could have a doubly bad effect.

Sir Robert Menzies:

– I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his remarks.

page 2459

QUESTION

RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICES

Mr CALWELL:

– I ask the AttorneyGeneral a question. I would like to read a letter that has been distributed in trade circles. It is a matter of grave seriousness to the business community. The letter has been distributed by a Melbourne firm of accountants, and I will give it to the Attorney. It reads:

The Manufacturers of High Pressure Brassware are still seriously affected by the rising costs of raw materials, and the Government’s continued failure to take any action to limit the export of copper-alloy scrap. The Manufacturers are therefore reluctantly forced, as from 24th September 1964, to apply a net surcharge of 5% to the price list dated 1st August 1964.

It is most important that this surcharge be added to all invoices for High Pressure Brassware If it is found that any resellers omit to add this surcharge the Manufacturers will be forced to take disciplinary action as inst the offenders.

As metal prices are very unstable a new price list will be issued as soon as practicable.

I ask the Attorney to take note of this complaint and perhaps to take some action to prevent the future dissemination of such threatening letters.

Mr SNEDDEN:
Attorney-General · BRUCE, VICTORIA · LP

– I will of course look at the letter which the honorable gentleman produces, but I should say to him quite clearly that as far as I am aware I have not received a complaint.

page 2459

QUESTION

OIL

Mr FOX:
HENTY, VICTORIA

– Has the Minister for National Development seen a report that the Ampol Petroleum Limited refinery in Brisbane plans to use imported crude oil in preference to Moonie oil for the stated reason that Moonie oil is too dear? Can he say who is responsible for fixing the cost of Moonie oil to the refineries? Is the price of imported crude oil below that of Moonie oil because it is heavily subsidised by either the exporting country or the company? Will the Government take appropriate and prompt action to ensure that all locally produced crude oil is taken by Australian refineries?

Mr FAIRBAIRN:
Minister for National Development · FARRER, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– I believe that the agreement to purchase Moonie oil runs till about the end of August next year. In the meantime my Department has been active in seeing that the local users of the oil and the owners of it get together to arrange for the sale of the oil. We hope that the sale will be concluded between the seller and the purchaser without Government intervention but, if it is not, obviously the Government will have to intervene. The Government has already looked at this problem to see what steps it can take in the event of a breakdown of negotiations.

The honorable member has asked whether imported crude oil is cheaper than Moonie oil because of subsidies. To the best of my knowledge imported crude oil is cheaper not because of subsidies but because it comes from very large fields whereas Moonie is quite a small field. Further, many of the overseas fields have been in operation for a long time and their capital has been amortised, so the price of oil produced from them is much cheaper than it would otherwise be. Obviously, the policy of the Government is that all crude oil produced in Australia should be taken and used fully in Australia. This is a matter of policy which it would not be appropriate to discuss during question time, but I can say that the Government will see that the policy is implemented.

page 2460

QUESTION

TEACHING HOSPITALS

Sir ROBERT MENZIES:
LP

– Yesterday the honorable member for Barton put a question to me concerning, among other things, recommendations in relation to teaching hospitals, and I said that I would find out the position. If I may, I will complete my answer to that question. This matter has been outstanding for 12 months. The Australian Universities Commission, which, as the honorable member knows, has had a rather busy year, will make recommendations for both capital and recurring grants to teaching hospitals some time in December, we hope early December, and the Government will, of course, deal with those proposals at the earliest possible opportunity.

page 2460

QUESTION

NORTHERN TERRITORY DEVELOPMENT

Mr NELSON:
NORTHERN TERRITORY, NORTHERN TERRITORY

– Recently, in answer to a question that I asked, the Minister for Territories said that the Department of

Territories had made no proposals to the Department of National Development in respect of Northern Territory developmental matters. Is the Minister prepared to give the reasons for this situation?

Mr BARNES:
Minister for Territories · MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND · CP

– I point out that the function of the Northern Division of the Department of National Development is to advise generally on northern development, and particularly to advise the Commonwealth Government in relation to projects put forward by the States of Queensland and Western Australia. Since the Northern Territory is administered by the Commonwealth, the position in relation to projects which are put forward by the Territory does not exist in respect of projects proposed by the Governments of Queensland and Western Australia. I point out also that the Minister for National Development and I are Commonwealth Ministers and the work of the Northern Division of the Department of National Development affords us useful opportunities for collaboration and consultation.

All funds for works, particularly development works, in the Northern Territory are provided by the Commonwealth Government. This also is different from the situation in the States. The relationship between the Department of National Development and the Department of Territories is one of consultation and collaboration. Within this framework, however, the Department of Territories is responsible for works and development relating solely to the Territory. The Northern Territory also has a very great interest in the Commonwealth beef roads project and in the Ord River scheme. I think that about one-third of the Ord River basin is within the Territory. Many developments are being undertaken in the Territory by private enterprise, including the manganese projects on Groote Eylandt. The Government hopes soon to receive proposals for the development of the bauxite deposits on the Gove Peninsula. Finally, I assure the honorable member that the Commonwealth is very anxious to promote development of the Northern Territory, particularly in the pastoral, mineral and agricultural industries.

page 2461

QUESTION

PETROLEUM SEARCH SUBSIDY

Mr GILES:
ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– I address to the Minister for National Development a question concerning a statement in this morning’s “ Australian “ about changes in the Petroleum Search Subsidy Act. As the report, in my view, does not make clear the Government’s intentions, will the Minister assure the House that the Government still intends to aid exploration for new oil and gas deposits? Is he satisfied that the expected changes in the Act will not penalise future exploration or the full proving of a field when oil or gas is found?

Mr FAIRBAIRN:
LP

– One of the problems that we have faced concerning the petroleum search subsidy was brought about by the very success of the subsidy scheme. Honorable members will recall that when the subsidy was introduced the search for petroleum deposits in Australia was almost grinding to a halt, and this was the reason for the introduction of the subsidy scheme. I think that in one year only 14 wells were drilled throughout Australia. The Government introduced the scheme with the aim of encouraging the search for oil. It has been so successful that we are now reaching a rate of drilling of over 200 wells per annum, and we have had great success in finding oil. Altogether, some £15 million has been paid out in subsidy, and we aim at paying in subsidy £5 million this financial year.

Because of the success in drilling for oil, so many more applications have been received as to make it impossible to satisfy all out of the £5 million allocated. Therefore, the Government has had to decide whether to increase the sum - this would have to be done at the expense of the taxpayers- or to evolve some new system to encourage the search for oil in areas where deposits have not previously been located. I have discussed this matter with representatives of the Australian Petroleum Exploration Association and the various interests that are searching for oil in Australia. They have agreed that the system we adopted of limiting the subsidy in respect of operations in areas where oil or gas has been found is best. Oil or gas has now been located in some 17 areas in Australia and we have two oilfields as well. In areas within a specified radius of these locations, the subsidy will not be paid. It will be paid in respect of operations in more remote areas, and we hope that it will encourage operations resulting in more oil and gas strikes.

page 2461

QUESTION

AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY

Mr PETERS:
SCULLIN, VICTORIA

– I ask the Minister for Labour and National Service a question. Has the honorable gentleman seen the statement by the financial editor of the “ Sydney Morning Herald “ that prices have already deprived pensioners of the value of the recent Ss. a week increase in pensions? Do:s the Minister know that the Australian consumer price index reveals rises of from 8s. to 10s. 6d. a week in the last two quarters - the greatest rise in any two quarters since 1956? Does he recollect that on 30th September, in reply to my request that he assist in preventing galloping inflation from robbing workers of the value of their wages, he stated that I was not in my right mind in suggesting that there was a danger of galloping inflation? If inflation is not galloping will the Minister agree that it is speeding along at a merry old canter and may at any time break into a gallop? Will the Minister now assist workers and per.sioners to obtain adequate income increases? Will he also assist in preventing those increases from being taken away by unjustifiable price rises?

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

– I doubt whether I said that the honorable member for Scullin was not in his right mind. If I did use those words I regret it. I have a great deal of respect for the honorable member. As to the matters raised by the honorable member, I did point out yesterday that you cannot take month by month or quarter by quarter variations in the consumer price index as indicating the true trend. I pointed out that only a few days after the last consumer price index was issued the prices of potatoes and meat, particularly mutton and beef, fell substantially. I still adhere to what I said earlier - there is no galloping inflation or sign of galloping inflation. As the honorable gentlemen well said, inflationary pressures are being reflected in the consumer price index. Nonetheless, the matters raised by the honorable gentleman will be considered by the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission when it next reviews the basic wage. Equally, price changes are one of the things that influence the Government when it considers pensions.

page 2462

QUESTION

SUGAR

Mr HALLETT:
CANNING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

– I ask the Minister for Primary Industry a question. Bearing in mind the importance of promoting decentralisation and encouraging export industries, will the Minister explore the possibilities of implementing policies that would remove anomalies and discrimination against country sugar consumers engaged in the manufacture of foodstuffs?

Mr ADERMANN:
Minister for Primary Industry · FISHER, QUEENSLAND · CP

– I presume that the honorable member is referring to the fact that under the Sugar Agreement sugar is delivered to the metropolitan cities freight free, but not to country areas. There have been some representations from country industries asking for a reconsideration of this matter. It is the sugar industry that is directly involved, as also are the Commonwealth and State Governments by virtue of the Sugar Agreement. I have taken this matter up with the Queensland Minister for Primary Industries. He has discussed it with representatives of the sugar industry. I have advised representatives of country industries who have approached me on this matter that the sugar industry is not particularly happy about providing further assistance by way of freight concessions. The Agreement specifically provides that sugar is to be delivered to metropolitan cities freight free. The freight is added from there on to the country industries. We cannot consider alteration of this position until we have another review of the Agreement. The matter will be looked at when that review is made.

page 2462

QUESTION

TELEVISION

Mr FULTON:
LEICHHARDT, QUEENSLAND

– I ask the PostmasterGeneral whether an application has been made for a licence for a temporary television station at Cairns. If an application has been made, has it been considered? If it has been considered, has any decision been arrived at? If not, will the Minister assist in expediting the making of the decision?

Mr HULME:
Postmaster-General · PETRIE, QUEENSLAND · LP

– An application has been received from the local commercial television company for a temporary site at Cairns. The matter is at present before the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. When the Board furnishes me with a report and recommendation I will consider them, together with the technical aspects which are dealt with by the Post Office rather than by the Board. I shall inform the honorable member as soon as I am able to make a decision.

page 2462

QUESTION

FEDERAL SUPERIOR COURT

Mr BOWEN:
PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I address a question to the Attorney-General. At the last Australian Legal Convention, held in Hobart, an announcement was made on behalf of Sir Garfield Barwick that Cabinet had authorised him to design a new Federal superior court. I ask the Attorney-General whether he is pursuing this matter. If so, when may we expect a bill to be brought before this House?

Mr SNEDDEN:
LP

– As might be expected, the substance of the honorable member’s question is correct. Cabinet did authorise my predecessor to draw up a bill for the establishment of a Federal supreme court. That matter is being pursued. A senior and experienced officer of the AttorneyGeneral’s Department has been working on it, and considerable progress has been made along the path of drawing up the principles for such a bill. One real problem that arises is what is to be done with the Commonwealth jurisdiction which is at present vested in State courts. Is that jurisdiction to be taken to the Federal supreme court, or left in the State courts? No decision has been taken about this matter at the present stage, but one will need to be taken in the future. One thing which is relatively urgent, of course, is the need to relieve the High Court of much of its original jurisdiction because the work load which is placed upon the High Court in its appellate jurisdiction is very real. I hope that the bill can be introduced next year.

page 2462

QUESTION

PENSIONER MEDICAL SERVICE

Mr DALY:
GRAYNDLER, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I address a question to the Acting Minister for Health. In view of the supposed concern of the Government for age and invalid pensioners, will the Minister state why the vicious means test on medical benefits for pensioners is still maintained? Will he also state when, if ever, it is intended to provide medical benefits for all pensioners without a means test, as was promised in the 1949 policy speech of the Prime Minister?

Mr SWARTZ:
Minister for Repatriation · DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND · LP

– As the honorable member knows, this matter is one of Government policy which is considered each year prior to the Budget,

page 2463

QUESTION

APPRENTICES

Dr GIBBS:
BOWMAN, QUEENSLAND

– I direct a question to the Minister for Labour and National Service relating to the Government’s well conceived scheme to encourage apprenticeship in country areas. Queensland has peculiar problems with regard to her country centres of population, and I ask: Can the Minister tell the House whether this scheme to encourage apprenticeship in country areas has in fact increased the number of apprentices in the country, particularly in the provincial centres of Queensland?

Mr McMAHON:
LP

– I cannot comment on the peculiarity of the problems in Queensland country areas relating to apprentices. The honorable member is right when he says that the Government introduced what he calls a well conceived scheme for increasing the number of apprentices in country areas. What the Government did, if my memory holds good, was to provide an incentive payment of £3 a week to country employers for each apprentice they engage over and above their normal quota.

The Government also provided that country apprentices who had to live away from home in the country or go to the cities for special training would receive living away from home allowances. I am not certain of the exact figures for Queensland, but there has been remarkable success, which is reflected not only in the overall number of apprentices who have signed indentures but also in the number of those who have taken part in the scheme initiated by the Government. I think that in Queensland about 300 country apprentices over and above the normal intake have been registered and 136 have received living away from home allowances. I will check those figures. The numbers for Queensland represent, I think, nearly half of those for Australia as a whole. Some States have not yet participated in the scheme and others are just beginning to recognise its great advantages and are now showing a willingness to participate.

page 2463

QUESTION

EXPORTS OF LAMB

Mr DAVIES:
BRADDON, TASMANIA

– My question is directed to the Minister for Primary Industry. It relates to the increased guaranteed minimum price of 19d. per lb. for lamb shipped to the United Kingdom between September and November, and 17id. per lb. for lamb shipped between December and February. In view of the fact that these guaranteed prices seem to have had the desired effect of inducing primary producers to ship their lamb early, will the Government now extend the increased minimum’ price guarantee to cover all lamb shipped from Tasmania, and so remove the unfair discrimination against us, and against the spirit of Federation, having in mind that we are unable to ship during the earlier three months period because of our climatic conditions?

Mr ADERMANN:
CP

– I think the honorable member is under a misapprehension when he suggests there is discrimination against Tasmania. It is really a discrimination as between the periods of the year during which these exports are received on the United Kingdom market. The Government has tried to encourage the early delivery of lamb to that market so that Australian producers can get their lamb there at a time when other countries are not delivering lamb, and so reap the benefit of the market at that time of the year. That is the only discrimination. We have fixed prices or, in other words, given guarantees for different periods of the year with these considerations in mind.

page 2463

QUESTION

PRODUCTIVITY PERFORMANCE ALLOWANCES

Mr HOLTEN:
INDI, VICTORIA

– My question is addressed to the Minister for Supply. It refers to a scheme recently introduced by the Department of Supply at the Lithgow Small Arms Factory relating to productivity performance allowances. Has this scheme been a success? Is a similar scheme in operation in any other undertaking administered by the Department? Finally, is an expansion of this desirable system planned by the Department of Supply?

Mr FAIRHALL:
Minister for Supply · PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– In the pursuit of increased industrial efficiency in the plants operated by the Department of Supply, we have constantly been seeking new techniques, work gain studies and things of this kind which are generally lumped under the term “ methods engineering “. It is not to be supposed that this has been greeted with unrestrained enthusiasm. Indeed, work measurement has been the subject of two appeals to conciliation commissioners. But on both occasions it was said that this was a legitimate part of modern management and, therefore, the Department of Supply received approval to go ahead. This procedure began in Lithgow in 1958. It has been singularly successful there, in one case reducing the production time for a rifle from something over 60 hours to something under 30 hours. So, in the course of time, the employees at Lithgow sought to receive some reward for their increased productivity. The Department of Supply developed a formula by which measurable productivity would produce measurable results for employees. Under the formula which was put into operation in May last, employees today are earning anything up to £2 per week over their normal salaries because of measured productivity. In the course of producing this happy situation for the factory, and, indeed, for the employees, we have had a good deal of understanding and cooperation from the Australian Council of Trade Unions and also from the officers of the Department of Labour and National Service, for which we are very much appreciative. A proposal to extend this scheme into other factories operated by the Department of Supply is under review at the present moment. The procedure adopted at Lithgow was for a trial period of six months, and has now nearly reached termination. When the results of this procedure are assessed, I believe it will be shown to be successful and certainly to the benefit of industry and employees.

page 2464

QUESTION

ABORIGINES

Mr WHITLAM:
WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES

– My question is directed to the Minister for Labour and National Service. The honorable gentleman will have noted that the Australian Workers Union is applying to the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission for the inclusion of full blood Aborigines in the provisions of the Pastoral Industry Award. I ask him whether the Commonwealth has considered intervening to support the Un-on’s C; se at the hearing, both as a step towards obtaining equal rights for all Aus tralians and also as a step towards ratifying the outstanding International Labour Organisation conventions concerning indigenous and tribal populations and discrimination in employment and occupation?

Mr McMAHON:
LP

– It is only in recent days that I have been informed of the log of claims lodged by the Australian Workers Union for the inclusion of Aborigines in the Pastoral Industry Award. I have not given consideration to either of the problems raised by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in relation to direct intervention in the hearing of this log of claims by the Commonwealth and the ratification of the International Labour Organisation’s conventions or recommendations. Now that the honorable gentleman has raised this matter, I will take it up with ny department this morning.

page 2464

QUESTION

LEAD POISONING FROM TOYS

Mr ASTON:
PHILLIP, NEW SOUTH WALES

– Has the Acting Minister for Health seen a recent report regarding some danger of lead poisoning from toys? Has any action been taken to provide protection from this danger in Australia?

Mr SWARTZ:
LP

– I did see a statement in the Press recently relating to this matter. I think it applied principally to the danger from the importation of toys into the United Kingdom. Of course, this danger applies equally as far as Australia is concerned. The history of this matter in Australia goes back some years. In 1955, the National Health and Medical Research Council did recommend that legislation be introduced on a uniform basis in all States to prevent the use of paint which contained more than 1 per cent, of lead on toys. At that time Queensland had already introduced such legislation. Since then, the States of Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania have introduced similar legislation. I am not quite sure of the position in the other two States, but I recommend that they consider again the recommendation of the Council.

page 2464

QUESTION

PEACE CONGRESS

Mr HAYDEN:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND

– I ask the AttorneyGeneral whether his attention has been directed to the resentment expressed by the Bishop of Gippsland, the Right Reverend

  1. Garnsey, and the former Bishop of Tasmania, the Right Reverend G. Cranswick, at his assertions in the House that, in his view, inducements would have been made to obtain the sponsorship of prominent people for the current peace congress. I ask the Minister what specific inducements were offered to those two right reverend gentlemen who are sponsors of the congress. If he has no knowledge of any specific inducements which were offered, will he apologise to them for the discomfort that he has caused them by his insulting remarks, and concede that this is a further instance of his tendency to make unfounded allegations against peoples’ characters?
Mr SNEDDEN:
LP

– Apparently the honorable gentleman was not in the House during question time yesterday when I answered the last part of his question. I ask turn to read the “ Hansard “ report of yesterday’s proceedings.

page 2465

QUESTION

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Mr TURNER:
BRADFIELD, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I ask the Prime Minister whether he has seen certain Press reports suggesting that the Minister for External Affairs has been snubbed or rebuffed in Moscow. Would he care to comment on those reports?

Sir ROBERT MENZIES:
LP

– I am happy to be able to say that the report that tie Minister for External Affairs has been snubbed or rebuffed is completely untrue. Indeed, the opposite turns out to be the fact. Admittedly, he arrived in Moscow at a fairly awkward time - just after a changeover. We all know that a changeover produces difficulties. But normally the person to be interviewed by a foreign minister is another foreign minister. I am happy to say that cables that have come in this morning indicate that our Minister for External Affairs had no less than two and a half hours with Mr. Gromyko, the Russian Foreign Minister, and his two principal assistants.

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– That makes him a Com, too.

Sir ROBERT MENZIES:

– Guilt by association, yes. The Minister for External Affairs had two and a half hours with Mr. Gromyko and they had a very full and frank exchange of views. The last para graph of the Minister’s message to me said that Mr. Gromyko had great hopes of arranging an interview between our Minister and either Mr. Brezhnev or Mr. Kosygin today.

page 2465

QUESTION

DEFENCE FORCES RETIREMENT BENEFITS FUND

Mr CURTIN:
KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES

– My question is directed to the Treasurer. Is it a fact that the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund had an income of more than £64 million in the year ended 30th June 1964 and paid to exservicemen benefits amounting to less than £34 million? Is the Minister aware that the Fund has been the subject of considerable criticism by Service personnel in recent years and is recognised as the main reason for the high rate of resignations of commissioned officers from the forces, especially the Army, over the past two years? Is it a fact that the total investments of the Fund as at 30th June last-

Mr SPEAKER:

– Order! The honorable member is giving information instead of seeking it.

Mr CURTIN:

– I am asking the Treasurer whether it is a fact-

Mr SPEAKER:

– Order! The honorable member will direct his question.

Mr CURTIN:

– Is it a fact that the total investments-

Mr SPEAKER:

– Order! The honorable member will direct his question. He has already provided a great deal of information.

Mr CURTIN:

– I ask the Treasurer: What were the total investments of the Fund at the end of June last? Were they £224 million?

Mr SPEAKER:

– Order! The honorable member is out of order. I call the honorable member for Gippsland.

page 2465

QUESTION

WOOL

Mr NIXON:
GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA

– I direct a question to the Minister for Primary Industry. As it will now be some time before wool growers have to decide on the reserve price plan, can the Minister say whether there is any possibility of the Australian Primary Producers Union obtaining a voice on the Australian Wool

Industry Conference before any final decisions are taken?

Mr ADERMANN:
CP

– I have always said that the Government’s approach to this matter is that it desires that all organisations should be represented on a conference to speak for the whole industry. So far as my understanding goes, when the Australian Wool Industry Conference discussed the application of the Australian Primary Producers Union it found that the wool section of the Union did not have sufficient autonomy to speak for the wool growers. I understand that in consequence, and after a discussion between the executive of the Wool Industry Conference and the A.P.P.U., the A.P.P.U. has amended its constitution. I have not been officially advised of this, nor is there any need for me to be advised officially of it. I suppose that in the course of events there will be another application on the basis of the amended constitution. The honorable member asks whether the A.P.P.U. is likely to be represented on the Wool Industry Conference when the reserve price plan proposals are further discussed. I suggest, looking at the situation from the outside as I do, that there is no possibility of the Union’s inclusion at that stage, because the next time the Conference meets it will probably be discussing the reserve price plan proposals and the application by the A.P.P.U. at the same time.

page 2466

QUESTION

AIRCRAFT

Mr BENSON:
BATMAN, VICTORIA

– My question is directed to the Minister for Supply. The Minister is aware that Australian air requirements are, in the main, being supplied by France, the United States of America and Canada. Has the Minister any plans to make Australia self supporting in this branch of defence? Is he aware that Sweden, with a population of 8 million has achieved this, whereas Australia still relies on overseas supplies?

Mr FAIRHALL:
LP

– I have not studied in detail how Sweden manages to accomplish this, but no doubt the Swedes work a good deal harder and to more purpose than we do in Australia. The fact is that with the number of aircraft required in Australia we cannot reach production quantities of aircraft to fill Australia’s needs. It is quite impossible to tool a modern piece of equipment like a sophisticated aircraft for the relatively small needs of Australia. However, we will certainly go as far as we can in providing either part production or assembly, and I hope that at least in the aircraft trainer field we will be able to provide a project which will be eminently satisfactory to the Royal Australian Air Force.

page 2466

QUESTION

TELEPHONE CHARGES

Dr MACKAY:
EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I ask the PostmasterGeneral a question. How is an application for rebates of telephone rental charges to be made? Is this a matter for the Department of Social Services or for the PostmasterGeneral’s Department? Are all blind persons, irrespective of means, to be beneficiaries?

Mr HULME:
LP

– All blind people are entitled, free of means test, to a pension under the Social Services legislation and, therefore, will benefit from this concession. The Post Office will administer the telephone rebate concession for pensioners, and it will be done without the necessity for application to be made.

Yesterday the Prime Minister was asked a question by the honorable member for the Australian Capital Territory. The Prime Minister has discussed that matter with me. The first part of the honorable member’s question related to the concession as it applies to the Australian Capital Territory and implied that the rental payable, even with the concession, would be higher than it was prior to the alteration of rates. This matter has been considered. It has been decided that we will maintain the telephone rental at £20, less the one-third concession, because this gives the proper relationship between the pensioner and the ordinary telephone subscriber in Canberra. The second part of the honorable member’s question related to the reinstallation of a telephone for a pensioner who has requested a cancellation of his service since 1st October. On application by the pensioners, such telephones will be reinstalled without the payment of any installation fee.

page 2466

QUESTION

NUCLEAR TESTS

Mr L R JOHNSON:
HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I ask the Prime Minister a question. Dr. Linus Pauling has predicted that the proposed French nuclear explosion in the Pacific could seriously affect 300,000 children now unborn and cause 70,000 people to die prematurely of cancer. In view of these horrifying prospects, I ask the Prime Minister whether everything possible has been done by the Australian Government to discourage the French from’ proceeding with the test. Is any other action contemplated or does the Government accept the test as inevitable?

Sir ROBERT MENZIES:
LP

– I am not aware of any further steps that could have been taken by the Australian Government, but I will be very happy to find out what the position is. All sorts of expert views will be put on the question of the fall-out and its effects. We have our own committees that examine these matters. On the main point of the honorable member’s question, I will find out whether anything has occurred recently or whether anything more can be done.

page 2467

QUESTION

REPORT OF COMMISSIONER OF TAXATION

Mr HAROLD HOLT:
Treasurer · HigginsTreasurer · LP

– I present the following papers -

Taxation - Forty-third report of the Commissioner of Taxation, dated 1st October 1964.

Taxation Statistics, 1962-63. and move -

That the papers be printed.

As a result of proceedings in the High Court in the McGrath case, it is not possible for copies of the report to be made available to honorable members or to be published until the Parliament has given the necessary authorisation. I have mentioned this aspect to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) and he has agreed not to oppose the motion in order that the report may be circulated as soon as possible.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

page 2467

SPECIAL ADJOURNMENT

Motion (by Mr. Adermann) agreed to -

That the House, at its rising, adjourn until tomorrow at 10.30 a.m.

page 2467

EXPORT PAYMENTS INSURANCE

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

Second Reading

Mr McEWEN:
Minister for Trade and Industry · Murray · CP

– I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill proposes a number of amendments to the Export Payments Insurance Corporation Act 1956-1961. The most important of these amendments would provide the Export Payments Insurance Corporation, known as E.P.I.C., with the power to issue guarantees of payment to banks and other lending institutions, which provide finance for certain types of export transactions. Another proposes to increase the present maximum contingent liability which the Corporation may assume under its contracts. The remainder are designed generally to strengthen and improve its ability to provide payments insurance.

The purpose and general functions of the Export Payments Insurance Corporation will, by now, be familiar to the House. Briefly, it was established by the Government in 1956 to promote exports, by insuring Australian exporters against risks of non-payment not normally insured by commercial insurers. The outstanding progress it has made since it commenced operations in 1957 demonstrates, quite dramatically, that there was, and still is, a real need for these facilities, and that the Corporation is fully alive to its responsibility to meet this need. In 1957-58, its first full year of operation, E.P.I.C. wrote business to the value of about £11 million; in 1963-64, the figure was almost £64 million. Over the same period policy holders increased from 43 to 436. In short, export payments insurance is now firmly established as an important export aid. Indeed, there can be no doubt that the security it provides has encouraged many exporters to penetrate and develop markets which would otherwise hire been virtually inaccessible, because of the trading risks involved.

Security against the risk of non-payment, however, is not the only benefit of export insurance. E.P.I.C. can, if the exporter wishes, assign the insurance policy to a bank. The transfer of security in this way is often an invaluable aid to the exporter in securing finance for exports on credit terms. In most large capital goods transactions involving medium or long term credit, for example, E.P.I.C. insurance is usually required as part of the security if the exporter is to obtain bank finance. Even with this added security, however, it is not always easy for banks to accept the residual risks involved, which E.P.I.C. insurance cannot cover, and agree to provide medium or long term finance. It is this feature of export insurance which the major amendment in the Bill before the House is intended to strengthen. Under the proposed amendment the repayment of advances which banks make to finance export transactions may be guaranteed by the Corporation against non-payment by the buyer for any reason.

The normal E.P.I.C. contract covers only specified risks of non-payment whereas the guarantee covers non-payment for any reason. The guarantees would work in this way:

The exporter would obtain from E.P.I.C. normal payments insurance cover on the transaction and assign the policy to his bank.

If the bank required further security the exporter could then obtain from E.P.I.C., for a small additional premium, a guarantee in the bank’s favour which would extend cover to include risks of non-payment not insured against, under the normal policy.

The extent of indemnity under the guarantee would be 90 per cent, initially, rising to 100 percent, if, after two years, performance of the contract had been satisfactory.

This reduces the need for the exporter to provide collateral security to the bank and protects the bank’s interests - if non-payment occurred the bank would receive payment under the guarantee within three months of the date of nonpayment, regardless of the cause of non-payment.

Guarantees of this sort will not be required for the bulk of our exports which are transacted on a cash or short term credit basis. They will therefore be confined to transactions in which:

Capital or semi-capital goods are involved;

The value involved is £100,000 or more;

Credit terms of two years or more are being extended to the overseas buyer.

It is worth noting at this point that a number of overseas countries including the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom - the United Kingdom is the model for our proposal - provide similar guarantees to their exporters. It is quite probable that guarantees will be required in cases where the Government, in the “national interest”, which in this context is a technical term, accepts liability under the insurance contract. These are normally likely to be transactions involving capital goods of substantial value. Indeed, this is very often why they cannot be insured on a commercial basis by E.P.I.C. and are therefore accepted by the Government under the national interest provisions of the Act.

It is proposed under the Bill that where guarantees are issued in national interest cases the Commonwealth will be liable for any claims. The Bill proposes several other amendments to the Act, which I shall now deal with briefly. It is proposed that the Act be amended to allow E.P.I.C. to share with the Government some part of the insurance or guarantee contract where national interest cover is provided by the Government. There have been cases in the past where, due to the size of the contract and the risks involved, the Corporation has been unable to accept for insurance on its own account the full amount of the transaction. Nevertheless it would have been prepared to accept part of it. It is proposed to amend the Act to enable the Corporation to participate in such national interest cases if, and to the extent, it wishes.

It is also proposed that the maximum percentages of cover which the Corporation may offer should be removed from the Act where they are now specified, and alternatively be prescribed in regulations to the Act. This will enable changes to be made in the levels of cover provided, without undue delay, and thus allow E.P.I.C. to move quickly to meet changing competitive conditions in international trade. It is not proposed, however, that there should be any change for the time being in the maximum percentages now specified in the Act, namely 85 per cent, of loss where the cause of loss is commercial - identified by the description “ commercial risk “ - and 95 per cent, of loss from any other cause - identified as “political risk”. In addition it is intended to make provision for the Minister to approve, in special circumstances, higher percentages of cover than those prescribed in the regulations.

Special circumstances warranting consideration of higher cover could rise where the insurance cover under the standard E.P.I.C. policy would expose the exporter to unduly high financial risk, and where the effects on the exporter of accepting this risk could endanger current or future export transactions in a particular market. Special higher cover might be justified, for example, on large commodity transactions, where margins are very fine and the amount at risk on the exporter’s own account is very large. In the drive for exports it is important that facilities should exist under which E.P.I.C. can seek ministerial approval to issue special contracts of this type.

The maximum contingent liability which the Corporation can assume is specified in the Act and sets an upper limit to the Government’s liability in respect of export payments insurance, and, in effect, to the volume of business the Corporation can write. When the Corporation was established in 1956 its maximum contingent liability was fixed at £25 million. As the business insured by the Corporation increased this figure was found to be inadequate and was increased to £50 million in 1959. The continued success of the Corporation in developing Australia’s export trade has led to a situation in which the total of its firm commitments and business under firm offer or negotiation is very close to the maximum contingent liability at present specified in the Act.

As at 30th September 1964, the Corporation’s actual contingent liability on contracts was £34.4 million. Since business under firm offer or negotiation totalled £12 million at that time, the total current and prospective contingent liability of the Corporation is now of the order of £45 million to £46 million - only £4 million or £5 million short of the statutory maximum. There is therefore an urgent need to increase the maximum contingent liability of the Corporation, and the Bill proposes that it should be raised from £50 million to £75 million.

Finally, the opportunity has been taken to make several minor amendments to certain sections of the Act. It is proposed to amend the banking provisions of the Act to take account of the change of name of the Commonwealth Bank and to bring them into line with the corresponding provisions included in other recent Commonwealth legislation relating to statutory authorities. It is also proposed to raise from £2,500 per annum to £3,500 per annum the maximum salary of a position which the Corporation may determine without ministerial approval. The proposals contained in this Bill are designed to strengthen and improve the facilities provided by the Export Payments Insurance Corporation in a way which will enable it to add to the already valuable contribution it is making to the drive for increased exports. I therefore commend the Bill to honorable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Crean) adjourned.

page 2469

MEAT INSPECTION ARRANGEMENTS BILL 1964

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

Second Reading

Mr ADERMANN:
Minister for Primary Industry · Fisher · CP

– I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to make provision for the Commonwealth to enter into an arrangement with a State or a State meat authority for Commonwealth inspectors to undertake the inspection of meat for consumption in Australia. The Commonwealth has the responsibility of inspecting meat for the export markets whereas the inspection of meat intended for home consumption is the function of the State authorities concerned. In most approved export meat establishments Commonwealth and State inspectors work together on the inspection of meat for both export and home consumption. There has been a commendable degree of co-operation between Commonwealth and State inspection services, but a certain amount of overlapping has been inevitable.

The problem associated with CommonwealthState inspection has been considered by the Australian Agricultural Council over a lengthy period but an acceptable solution to cover all States has not been found. It has been generally agreed that there would be considerable advantages in having meat inspection under one authority in each State, but it has been recognised that a number of difficulties such as disease control, seasonal conditions affecting transfer of staff, salary differentials, etc., must be overcome in achieving this objective.

The desirability for the introduction of a single inspection service has been further emphasised recently by the import conditions applied by the authorities in some of Australia’s important markets. One of these conditions is that the control of meat inspection must be under “ a service organised and administered by the national Government”. This implies that the overall control of registered export premises, including those which process meat for home consumption as well as for export, must be under a Commonwealth department. To comply with this requirement it has been necessary, in States which prefer to maintain their own inspection services, for agreements to be made for Commonwealth and State and/ or municipal inspectors to work together under the supervision of a Commonwealth veterinary officer. This has ensured uniform inspection procedures and standards for export and home consumption meat and meat products.

The Bill is primarily intended to enable an arrangement to be concluded with the South Australian Government and the Metropolitan and Export Abattoirs Board in South Australia for Commonwealth officers to inspect both export and home consumption meat in registered export establishments in that State. The Bill has, however, been expressed in a manner which would enable other States to enter into a similar arrangement if so desired. If, at the request of a State or a State meat authority, the Commonwealth undertakes the inspection of meat for home consumption, action will be taken to ensure that there is no retrenchment of State meat authority or Commonwealth inspectors.

Under the proposed arrangement with South Australia, all State Department of Agriculture and Metropolitan and Export Abattoirs Board meat inspectors will, if they so desire, be transferred to. the Commonwealth Public Service as permanent officers. The Bill provides for the South Australian inspectors to preserve their eligibility for accrued recreation leave up to 30 days, also the total credit of sick leave and furlough credits. The Bill also makes special provision for those officers who are contributors to the South Australian Superannuation

Fund to transfer to the Commonwealth Superannuation Fund on appointment to the Commonwealth service.

It is proposed that the Commonwealth will be reimbursed for the inspection of meat for home consumption (a) by the State Department of Agriculture on the basis of the cost to the Commonwealth of the work performed and (b) by the Metropolitan and Export Abattoirs Board on the basis of a formula which will determine the upward or downward movement of charges based on the throughput for home consumption. There have been tremendous changes in the character of the meat trade in recent years. These changes have been brought about by the development of the North American market for Australian meat and the fact that 99 per cent, of exports to that market are in the form of boneless beef and mutton, which requires much more extensive inspection and supervision than that provided in the previous carcass inspection procedure. This tendency is also developing in respect of the United Kingdom market, to which approximately 90 per cent, of the export meat now being shipped is in boneless form. The traditional trade with the United Kingdom for many years has been in carcass form. Associated with this development is the tendency for a greater number of meat works to register as exports establishments so that the surplus meat above home consumption requirements can be diverted to export markets. A combination of requirements of importing countries and the inspection procedures which will enable the meat to be sold for either the export or the home consumption market is bringing Commonwealth and State inspectors, standards and procedures closer together.

I commend the Bill to honorable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Pollard) adjourned.

page 2470

TELEVISION STATIONS LICENCE

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

Second Reading

Mr HULME:
PostmasterGeneral · Petrie · LP

– I move-

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to provide for the payment of fees in respect of licences for commercial television stations. I will later introduce Bills to provide for the payment of fees in respect of licences for commercial broadcasting stations, to repeal the existing Broadcasting and Television Stations Licence Fees Act 1956 and to amend section 106 of the Broadcasting and Television Act 1942-1963, as amended by the Broadcasting and Television Act 1964. The 1956 Act, which is now to be repealed, provided that the annual fee payable by a licensee should be £25 in the case of a broadcasting station and £100 in the case of a television station, plus in each case 1 per cent, of the gross earnings of the station “ in respect of the broadcasting or televising of advertisements or other matter “. This Act was passed by Parliament in 1956, the year in which television services commenced in Australia. Its provisions were, of necessity, framed in the light of experience with the broadcasting services and the manner in which, at that time, it was envisaged that the television station licensees would conduct their operations. Experience has since shown, however, that it is virtually impossible to properly assess the licence fee in respect of television stations on the basis now prescribed - that is, on the basis of the “ sale of station time “.

I should here explain that broadcasting and television stations earn revenue in two ways - (a) in the case of sessions sponsored by an advertiser, partly by selling the programme itself to the advertiser and partly, but as a separate transaction, by selling the advertiser “station time” to put the programme on the air; and (b) in the case of unsponsored sessions, by selling “ station time” to “spot” advertisers, the station itself meeting the cost of the programme but taking this into account in fixing the price to advertisers for “spots” during the session. Licensees of commercial television stations have, in determining the amount of gross earnings to be shown in statutory declarations lodged with the Australian Broadcasting Control Board pursuant to section 106 of the Broadcasting and Television Act, for licence fee purposes, adopted the practice of excluding not only the amounts paid by advertisers for programmes in sponsored sessions but also, in the case of unsponsored programmes, an estimated amount of the revenue received from spot advertising, as representing the cost of programmes with which the spot advertising is associated. The deductions from spot advertising revenue are being made on the basis of arbitrary and varying proportions which the Board has no way of controlling.

Honorable members will agree that it is desirable, from all points of view, that the basis of assesment of licence fees should be clearly defined and capable of ready determination. After considering the various possibilities it has been decided to adopt an “ advertising receipts “ basis of assessment on the grounds that the fee should be assessed on the station’s turnover and be a first charge on revenue. Such a basis is also directly related to the main business activity deriving from the grant of the licence - that is, the selling of advertising. The adoption of the advertising receipts basis, to which I have referred, would mean that the licence fee would be levied on all revenue received from advertisers by a licensee with respect to the broadcasting or televising of advertisements, extending to cover both station time and payments for programmes. Under this basis of assessment, which is reflected in the definition of “gross earnings” in clause 4 of the Bill, all spot advertising revenue would be subject to licence fee, and likewise all revenue received from sponsored advertising, both with respect to station time and programme sales, would also be assessable. It will be noted that the definition of “gross earnings” specifically excludes earnings from the production of filmed advertisements. It is known that some organisations closely related to licensee companies perform such work on behalf of advertisers as a commercial activity separate from the licensee’s normal business of operating a television station. If this exclusion were not made, licensees’ earnings from this source could be subject to licence fees, pursuant to clause 7 of the Bill, which relates to the diversion of revenue to related oganisations. This did not seem appropriate.

I turn now to the question of the scale of rates to be imposed. This is probably the most important aspect of the proposed legislation, as it is the rates of the levy which determine its impact. Honorable members will be aware of the spectacular increase which has occurred in the revenue of commercial television stations. From £1.2 million in 1956-57 the gross revenue had risen to £18.8 million in 1962-63 with profits in that year of £3 million. The gross revenue of the ten metropolitan stations for 1962-63 was £16.8 million with profits, before tax and licence fees, of about £3.5 million - a profit margin of the order of 20 per cent. Again the gross revenue of the four stations in Sydney and Melbourne rose to about £11.2 million in 1962-63 with profits, before tax and licence fees, of £2.3 million approximately, representing an overall profit margin of 20 per cent. The overall return on issued capital of these four stations, before tax and licence fees, was of the order of 48 per cent, while, after tax and licence fees, it was of the order of 28 per cent.

The country television stations, all of which are still in the early stages of operation, derived a gross revenue in 1962-63 of £1,978,000, incurring losses of £415,000. It should be mentioned, however, that such losses are a normal result in the early stages of the operation of television stations; in fact, most country television stations have reported that they are ahead of budget figures. Although the increase in the financial results of broadcasting stations has not been so marked as in the case of television stations, income and profits have increased from £7.5 million and £1.5 million respectively in 1956-57, when the present Licence Fees Act came into force, to £12 million and £2.5 million respectively in 1962-63, with a profit margin of some 21 per cent.

Despite the spectacular increase in the earnings of both television and broadcasting stations, the rates of licences fees have remained unchanged since 1956. The fees paid for 1962-63 in respect of television stations amounted to only £112,896 notwithstanding that their gross earnings were £18.8 million with profits of £3 million. So far as broadcasting stations are concerned, the fees paid were £109,544 as against gross earnings of £12 million and profits of £2.5 million. I believe honorable members will agree that the present scale of licence fees is unrealistic and that changes are justified.

Clause 6 of the Bill provides for application of the following rates of licence fees on gross earnings from advertising receipts - 1 per cent, up to £500,000; 2 per cent. £500,001 to £1,000,000; 3 per cent. £1,000,001 to £2,000,000; and 4 per cent, over £2,000,000. Based on the financial results for the year 1962-63, the effect would be to increase the total licence fees payable by all television stations from £112,896 to £400,000 and in the case of broadcasting stations from £109,544 to about £125,000. Only the four metropolitan television stations in Sydney and Melbourne earn in excess of £2,000,000 and thus they will be the only stations which will be subject to the 4 per cent, rate on revenue in excess of £2,000,000. All of the other metropolitan stations except Hobart are earning either a little more or a little less than £1,000,000- three of these stations earned over £1,000,000 for the first time in 1962-63 and would be subject to the 3 per cent, rate on the excess over £1,000,000. None of the country television stations would pay more than 1 per cent, on its present earnings but some of these stations will enter the 2 per cent, area in the years to come. Only three broadcasting stations earn over £500,000 at present and only those three stations will be subject to the higher rate of 2 per cent, on revenue in excess of £500,000.

Clause 7 of the Bill gives the Minister a discretionary power, in certain circumstances, to treat as gross earnings of a licensee, advertising receipts collected by related organisations. This provision is necessary to ensure that all income properly attributable to the licensee is included in his gross earnings. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Allan Eraser) adjourned.

page 2472

BROADCASTING STATIONS LICENCE FEES BILL 1964

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

Second Reading

Mr HULME:
Postmaster General · Petrie · LP

– I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to provide for the payment of fees in respect of licences for commercial broadcasting stations. The provisions of this Bill are substantially the same as those relating to the payment of fees in respect of commercial television stations, a Bill concerning which I introduced earlier. For convenience, such comments as were necessary on this particular Bill were incorporated in my second reading speech on the Television Stations Licence Fees Bill.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Allan Fraser) adjourned.

page 2473

BROADCASTING AND TELEVISION STATIONS LICENCE FEES REPEAL BILL 1964

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

Second Reading

Mr HULME:
PostmasterGeneral · Petrie · LP

– I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to repeal the Broadcasting and Television Stations Licence Fees Act 1956. This Act will be replaced by the Television Stations Licence Fees Act 1964 and the Broadcasting Stations Licence Fees Act 1964, if the Bills for which are passed by the Parliament. These were introduced by me earlier.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Allan Fraser) adjourned.

page 2473

BROADCASTING AND TELEVISION BILL (No. 2) 1964

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

Second Reading

Mr HULME:
PostmasterGeneral · Petrie · LP

– I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Broadcasting and Television Act 1942- 1963, as amended by the Broadcasting and Television Act 1964. The Bill proposes an amendment made necesary by the provisions of the Bills for the Television Stations Licence Fees Act 1964 and for the Broadcasting Stations Licence Fees Act 1964, which I introduced earlier, and amendments to the licensing conditions for broadcast and television receivers.

Clause 3 of the Bill seeks an amendment to Section 106 of the principal Act; the amendment is of a machinery nature arising from the changes in the licence fees for the commercial broadcasting and television stations and the definition of “gross earnings” which now forms the basis of the fees to be paid by the stations concerned.

The other provisions of the Bill seek to amend the licensing arrangements for broadcast and television receivers. Provision is being made for the transfer of the responsibility for taking out licences for broadcast and television receivers provided as part of the furnishings of rented furnished premises from the tenant to the lessor. Under the present legisation, it is necessary for each tenant who has the use of a broadcast or television receiver which has been provided by the landlord in rented furnished premises to take out a licence at the prescribed full annual fee for the receiver concerned. As a result, with a succesion of tenants during any period of twelve months a number of such licences would be required in respect of the one receiver. This was not the intention of the present legislation and the new arrangements proposed by the Bill arc designed to overcome this anomaly.

The present Act enables the grant of a licence with effect from a date prior to that on which it is issued. An interpretation placed on the provisions of that Act and the Broadcasting and Television Regulations which relate to ante-dating of licences has raised doubts as to whether an antedated licence may be accepted as an answer to a charge in respect of an unlicensed receiver. The proposed section 126 (d) in clause 4 of the Bill specifies that in any proceeding for an offence against those sections of the Act which relate to licences for broadcast and television receivers, an ante-dated licence shall not be deemed to have been current prior to the date on which it was issued.

Clause 5 of the Bill seeks to introduce appropriate provisions to enable a refund of fees to be made by the Department where there is a moral or implied legal obligation to do so; for example, where a licence has been taken out unnecessarily or a person eligible for a reduced rate licence pays the full fee. In explanation of this clause, I would mention that there are occasions when a wife, not knowing that her husband has taken out a licence, also takes one out. Under the present provisions of the Act, there is no authority to make a refund. The same situation applies where a pensioner, not realising that he is entitled to a reduced rate licence, pays the full licence fee. We are not able to refund the difference in those cases and this clause is intended to enable us to do so. I commend the Bill for consideration by the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Allan Fraser) adjourned.

page 2474

REPATRIATION BILL (No. 2) 1964

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

Second Reading

Mr SPEAKER:

– There being no objection, that course will be followed.

Mr SWARTZ:
Minister for Repatriation · Darling Downs · LP

– I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill and of those associated with it is to give effect to a number of desirable machinery changes in the repatriation legislation. In addition, arising from recent legal advisings and administrative difficulties in relation to medical treatment which has long been provided for non war caused disabilities, appropriate amendments are being made to section 124 of the Repatriation Act which authorises the making of regulations. The amendments proposed continue the Government’s practice of making adjustments to legislation in the interests of ex-servicemen and their dependants as the need for them is brought to notice in the normal course of administration. Details of the proposals follow.-

Appeals to Assessment Appeal Tribunals are on two grounds - where pension is granted but the pensioner is not satisfied with the rate of pension allowed, or where a disability is accepted as due to war service but, in the opinion of the Repatriation Board or the Repatriation Commission, the degree of incapacity does not warrant a pension assessment. In the former category, the Tribunal, if it allows the appeal, can give effect to the increase from the same date as the commencement of the pension assessment against which the appeal was made; that is, three months before the lodgment of the claim. In the latter category the earliest date the Tribunal can fix is six months prior to the date of lodgment of the appeal and, because of the time taken to process claims, it happens in some cases that this is later than the date the Board or Commission could have fixed. The amendment proposed to section 78 will remove this anomaly.

The second proposal concerns the treatment of medical sustenance for service pension purposes. Medical sustenance is paid where a war pensioner or claimant is prevented from working because of the necessity for treatment of an accepted disability, or while he is undergoing medical investigation in connection with a war pension claim. Sustenance is regarded as income in assessing a service pension under the Repatriation Act, and its payment there-‘ fore leads to pension adjustments. Because sustenance is paid for relatively short periods the adjustments to pension are temporary, but can involve reduction or even suspension or cancellation of the service pension. These temporary adjustments cause a good deal of administrative inconvenience, and, moreover, cancellation or suspension of the service pension can result in the temporary loss of eligibility for associated medical and other Commonwealth benefits and for other benefits provided for these pensioners from public and private sources. The Bill therefore provides that for service pension purposes, medical sustenance, will not be regarded as income. Passage of this legislation will enable any necessary adjustment in total payment to be made to the sustenance allowance instead of to the service pension.

The Repatriation Act does not define a step-child. It has hitherto been thought that the expression includes only the child of a former marriage dissolved by death. Legal advice however, is that the expression may include the child of a marriage dissolved otherwise than by death, for example, by divorce. In principle it seems that a war pension should not be paid in the latter case unless the step-parent “ member “ has accepted responsibility for the child’s maintenance, or unless after the member’s death his widow has accepted that responsibility. The Bill inserts a definition of step-child which gives effect to this principle.

There have always been provisions in the Repatriation Act and in associated legislation which require the amount of war pension payable under the law of another part of the Queen’s Dominions to be taken into account in assessing the rate of Australian war pension payable. As a result of some countries ceasing to be part of the Queen’s dominions, war pension payable by those countries will no longer be taken into account unless an appropriate change is made in the relevant legislation. The present Bills make this change.

Three changes are being made in service pensions provisions. The first removes the present means test as to the child’s own means in the case of the first or only child of a service pensioner if he is in the custody of his parents. This brings the service pension provision into line in this regard with the comparable provision for child’s allowance payable under the Social Services Act to the wife of an invalid pensioner who has custody of a child. The position of a child not in its parents’ custody remains unaltered.

A further amendment removes any doubt regarding the eligibility for payment of the higher rate of 15s. per week service pension to a younger child where the pension of an older child ceases and, in such a case, for the payment of the lower rate of 2s. 6d. per week to any younger children not exceeding three in number.

The third amendment in the service pension area relates to payment of service pension during the temporary absence overseas of the pensioner. Under the Repatriation Act a service pension may be continued during the temporary absence of the pensioner from Australia for a period of up to six months irrespective of which country the pensioner visits. Under the Social Services Act a social service pension may in similar circumstances be continued generally for a period of up to twelve weeks. However, in consequence of reciprocal arrangements with the United Kingdom and New Zealand, social service pensioners visiting those countries may have their pensions continued for an indefinite period.

The Repatriation Act is being amended to enable the Commission to extend the period of payment for visitors to the United Kingdom and New Zealand, on the lines of the arrangements for social service pensioners, while retaining the existing policy of six months limitation for visitors to other countries.

Under the Repatriation regulations medical treatment may be provided for the widows of deceased members of the Forces as well as for certain other dependants. In consequence of a recent legal advising it appears that there may be some doubt about whether this provision in the regulations is sustained by the regulation-making power in section 124 of the Repatriation Act as it presently stands. An amendment to section 124 included in this Bill will put this matter beyond doubt.

The Repatriation regulations also authorise medical treatment for disabilities not due to war service for certain exservicemen who are seriously disabled as a result of war service, for war nurses of 1914-18 war and for member service pensioners. Regulations in force since 1943 have authorised the Commission to recover the cost of such treatment where the patient has a right of recovery against some other person by way of damages or compensation. Doubts have recently been expressed about whether the regulation-making power authorises the provisions for charge and recovery in these cases and there have been difficulties in proving the cost of treatment where this has been disputed. The opportunity is therefore being taken in this Bill to confirm that the regulations may provide for the recovery of the cost of treatment in such cases and that the regulations may authorise an appropriate scale of charges in these circumstances.

Certain of the amendments I have mentioned will also need to be applied to other repatriation legislation. The Bills accompanying this measure give effect to these requirements. They are the Interim Forces Benefits Bill, the Repatriation (Far East Strategic Reserve) Bill and the Repatriation (Special Overseas Service) Bill. In the case of the Far East Strategic Reserve Bill the opportunity is being taken to insert a provision validating certain payments under that Act which were made prior to the making of regulations.

As I have indicated the Bills make a number of changes in the interests of the welfare of ex-servicemen and of common sense administration and I commend them to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Pollard) adjourned.

page 2476

INTERIM FORCES BENEFITS BILL 1964

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

Second Reading

Mr SWARTZ:
Darling Downs ; Minister for Repatriation · LP

– I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

By agreement with the Opposition and with the approval of Mr. Speaker, the speech that I have just made on the Repatriation Bill may be taken to cover this Bill and the two following Bills. All these Bills have relation to the same amendments.

Debate on motion by Mr. Pollard) adjourned.

page 2476

REPATRIATION (FAR EAST STRATEGIC RESERVE) BILL 1964

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

Second Reading

Mr. SWARTZ Darling Downs; Minister for Repatriation) [12.11]. - I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

I make the same comments regarding my second reading speech on this Bill as I made in respect of the Interim Forces Benefits Bill.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Pollard) adjourned.

page 2476

REPATRIATION (SPECIAL OVERSEAS SERVICE) BILL 1964

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

Second Reading

Mr SWARTZ:
Darling Downs; Minister for Repatriation · LP

– I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

As I said when presenting the two previous measures, my second reading speech on the Repatriation Bill covers this Bill also.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Pollard) adjourned.

page 2476

SEAMEN’S WAR PENSIONS AND ALLOWANCES BILL (No. 2) 1964

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

Second Reading

Mr SWARTZ:
Darling Downs; Minister for Repatriation · LP

– I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

As I said earlier, I am presenting this Bill on behalf of the Minister for Shipping and Transport (Mr. Freeth), because the greater part of the Bill is concerned with amendments similar to those in the Bills I have previously presented.

Honorable members will recall that in the course of the debate on the recent Seamen’s War Pensions and Allowances Bill it was indicated that a further Bill would be introduced as soon as possible to give effect to certain other proposals. This is the Bill now before us. I shall deal with the main operative clauses of the Bill seriatim. Clause 3 inserts a definition of step-son and step-daughter, because such a definition has been found to be necessary in the light of recent legal advice. The definition will ensure that for the purposes of the Act “ step-child “ will be confined to a stepchild of a mariner where the previous marriage of the mariner’s spouse has been dissolved by death, or otherwise than by death and the child is in the custody, care and control of the mariner, or is being maintained by him, or in the case of his death was in his custody, care and control or was being maintained by him at the time of his death, or after his death is in the care, custody and control of his widow. Appropriate wording is included to cover cases where the mariner is a female.

Clause 4 ensures that in cases where the marriage of a pensioner under the Act is dissolved otherwise than by death, the wife of the pensioner ceases to be eligible for payment of pension under the Act.

Section 53a of the Act requires that where a mariner or any of his dependants is entitled to receive a war pension or other benefits under the law of another part of the Queen’s dominions the amount involved is to be taken into account in assessing the rate of war pension or other benefit payable under this Act. Clause 5 amends the Act to provide that such amounts should continue to be taken into account where the country concerned ceases to be a part of the dominions of the Crown, so that there will not be the advantage in such cases of such payments not being taken into account in the assessment of entitlement under the Act. Clause 6 deals with two matters. First, by virtue of paragraph (e) of section 59 as being inserted by paragraph (a) of this clause, provision is being made for the provision of medical, hospital and surgical benefits at Commonwealth expense for illnesses suffered by mariner pensioners who are receiving the full general (100 per cent.) rate pension, or a higher rate of pension, where such illnesses are not directly attributable to war injury, to the same extent as is now provided to ex-servicemen. Secondly, it inserts a power authorising the recovery of the cost of medical treatment for disabilities not due to war service for certain classes of seriously disabled mariners where the mariner has a right of recovery against some other person by way of damages or compensation. In addition to effecting minor amendments necessary to clarify the meaning of the Act and to remove certain anomalies the amendment confers real benefits on seriously disabled mariner pensioners and I am sure it will have the support of all the honorable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Pollard) adjourned.

page 2477

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY SUPREME COURT BILL 1964

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

Second Reading

Mr SNEDDEN:
AttorneyGeneral · Bruce · LP

.- I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill has three purposes. Two of them are quite formal, but the third is a matter of substantial importance in the administration of justice in the Australian Capital Territory and is the reason for bringing the legislation before the House at this time. The substantial matter is a proposed amendment to ensure an appropriate right of appeal to persons who plead guilty in the Australian Capital Territory to criminal charges before a magistrate and are committed by the magistrate for sentence and are subsequently sentenced by the

Supreme Court. The Act presently provides for appeal to the High Court by “ a person convicted on indictment before the Supreme Court”, and leave of the High Court is necessary where a person so convicted seeks to appeal only against sentence. The High Court recently held that a person sentenced by the Supreme Court after plea of guilty and committal for sentence was not “ a person convicted on indictment” and that therefore the High Court had no jurisdiction to entertain his appeal. There has been judicial comment here in the Australian Capital Territory that any appeal prospect should not be denied to an accused, and with this comment I am sure honorable members will at once agree. I have therefore adopted an interim practice of signing ex-officio indictments in cases of committal for sentence. This ensures that, even though there is a plea of guilty, there is a conviction on indictment which is appealable. A permanent remedy is, however, essentia], and the Bill will therefore operate directly to preserve the appeal rights in cases where the simple committal for sentence procedure is followed and there is no indictment at all.

The opportunity has been taken to include in the Bill a provision to put beyond doubt that the judges of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory may hold judicial appointments in other Territories without affecting the validity of their Australian Capital Territory commissions. They do not of course receive any additional remuneration in respect of these other appointments. The Conciliation and Arbitration Bill at present before the House makes clear that the Judges’ commissions as judges of the Commonwealth Industrial Court are not affected, but that Bill leaves it to the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court Act to protect the Supreme Court commissions. In other words, the two Bills are complementary. The Supreme Court Act at present deals with the position so far as the permanent judge is concerned but not the additional judges. The Bill before the House closes that gap. It also brings the relevant section, 8a, up to date in another respect by omitting its existing provisions that a judge may hold the office of Judge AdvocateGeneral of a part of the defence force and that he may hold other non-judicial office, not being an office of profit, with the approval of the Governor-General. In recent times a judge has not held the appointment of Judge Advocate-General and it is probably undesirable that he should do so because it is not a judicial appointment. Regarding a judge holding other nonjudical office, the Acts creating other federal and Territory courts do not contain provisions permitting it, and it would be consistent to omit the provision in the Australian Capital Territory also.

The remaining matter dealt with in the Bill is the matter of appointment of court officials such as the Registrar, Deputy Registrar, and the Sheriff. There is need to permit the appointment of additional deputy registrars and of deputy sheriffs. The Bill provides for this. It also provides that all court officials will, in future, be appointed by the Attorney-General instead of by the Governor-General. The Attorney-General appoints court officials in the Northern Territory, and there seems to be no reason why the Governor-General should be required to appoint them in the Australian Capital Territory. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Whitlam) adjourned.

page 2478

CRIMES (OVERSEAS) BILL 1964

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

Second Reading

Mr SNEDDEN:
AttorneyGeneral · Bruce · LP

.- I move-

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The immediate purpose of this Bill is to give effect to international arrangements covering the exercise of jurisdiction over members of the United Nations Force in Cyprus. Honorable members will recall that earlier this year the Commonwealth Government was asked by the United Nations to furnish some forty policemen for service with the United Nations Force. These men were not to perform military duties, but were to undertake roles which the Commander of the United Nations Force considered could be better filled by civilian police. The Commonwealth and the States have co-operated in meeting the request of the United Nations. The Police Forces of all States are represented in the unit that has been serving in Cyprus since 25th

May 1964; so are the Commonwealth Police Force and the Forces of the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. The Australian police have been well received in Cyprus by the Greek and Turkish communities, and also by the United Nations authorities. I am pleased to inform the House that the Government has agreed to a request by the United Nations that Superintendent Hamilton, who is an officer of the Commonwealth Police Force, and who was the officer-in-charge of the Australian Police Unit, be seconded to the United Nations to become Police Adviser to the Commander of the United Nations Force in Cyprus. He will succeed the Chief Constable of Stockholm who formerly held this post and who has returned to Sweden. Superintendent Hamilton has for some time been acting as Deputy to the Police Adviser. This is a distinct honour, especially when regard is had to the fact that the United Nations Force includes police from four countries other than Australia, namely, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand.

The House will also be interested to know that the United Kingdom defence authorities have praised the efforts made by the Australian police to unravel the circumstances surrounding the disappearance in Cyprus of two United Kingdom soldiers, Major Macey and Trooper Platt. Although, regrettably, their investigations did not succeed in identifying the abductors, the thoroughness of their work under trying conditions was described as magnificent. The United Nations Force in Cyprus is operating under a status of forces agreement concluded between the United Nations and the Republic of Cyprus. The agreement extends to the Australian Police Unit. Honorable members will, I think, be familiar with the general pattern of these status of forces agreements, and they will recall, in particular, the agreement concluded last year between the Commonwealth and the United States with regard to the exercise of jurisdiction over United States forces in Australia. Here we have the reverse position, and we are concerned with the exercise of jurisdiction over Australian personel in another country. Under the agreement concluded with the United Nations, the Republic of Cyprus has made very substantial concessions in favour of countries that have contributed personnel to the United Nations Force. The concessions so made, indeed, take away entirely the right of the Cyprus courts to exercise jurisdiction in respect of offences committed by members of that Force. At the same time, all countries contributing personnel have an obligation, pursuant to the status of forces agreement, to see to it that their own laws apply, and that the jurisdiction of their own courts is available, in relation to any offences that might be committed by their personnel. At the moment there is, so to speak, a legal vacuum insofar as members of the Australian Police Unit are concerned. They are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Cyprus courts, and yet, as matters stand, the laws in force in Australia with respect generally to the commission of offences do not apply to them. The Bill now before the House is designed to fill that gap.

I have referred more than once to the United Nations operations in Cyprus. The Bill itself, as honorable members will have perceived, makes no reference either to Cyprus or to the Australian Police Unit serving in that country. This is because the Government has thought it desirable to introduce legislation that will be sufficiently comprehensive to cover both the present Cyprus arrangements and any future arrangements involving civilians who may be serving at any time, and in any capacity - whether as members of a police unit or otherwise! - in connection with United Nations peace-keeping operations. The Bill, it will be noted, is not concerned - I emphasise the word “not” - with the position of members of the defence force. The laws applying to members of the defence force are already in a form that enables advantage to be taken of status of forces agreements of the kind that we have been discussing. Members of the defence force are, accordingly, expressly excluded from the definition of “person to whom this Act applies” in Clause 3 of the Bill.

I have just two further comments to make before looking at the scheme which the Bill adopts with regard to the exercise of jurisdiction by Australian courts. First, it would, of course, be hoped, and expected, that Australians serving with a United Nations force would not commit offences against the criminal law, and the Bill is not to be looked upon as somehow envisaging that, in particular, Australian police will be likely to commit breaches of the law. But - and this is my second point - if, perchance, expectations in that regard are not realised, the person concerned will have the very real safeguard of trial in an Australian court in accordance with law in the same way as if the act or omission had occurred in Australia itself.

Broadly, what the Bill does is to make it an offence for a person to whom it applies to do anything in the place in which he is serving which would be an offence if it were done in the Australian Capital Territory. Although, as in the present case, it is likely that Australian members of the force would be drawn from different States, it is for obvious reasons necessary to apply a single law and the law of the Austraiian Capital Territory has been selected for this purpose, as it was in the Crimes (Aircraft) Act passed by Parliament last year.

The Bill provides for an offender to be returned to Australia and there charged with an offence. It further provides that the law of the State or Territory where a person is charged with an offence shall apply in respect of matters such as bail, and in respect of proceedings brought against that person. Jurisdiction to deal with offences is conferred on the courts of the States and Territories. The intention is that an offender would, as far as practicable, be charged and dealt with in his own State or Territory. This concludes my survey of the Bill. I am pleased to commend it to the House.

Debate on motion by Mr. Whitlam) adjourned.

page 2479

CELLULOSE ACETATE FLAKE BOUNTY BELL (No. 2) 1964

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

Second Reading

Mr BURY:
Minister for Housing · Wentworth · LP

– I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to extend the operation of the Cellulose Acetate Flake Bounty Act 1956-1964 for a maximum period of three months to 31st March 1965. Under the existing Act, bounty will cease to be payable after 31st December 1964. The industry is at present under review by the Tariff Board which is investigating the general question of what assistance should be afforded the production in Australia of cellulose acetate flake and related products.

Although the duration of the Act has already been extended for a period of six months, it still appears likely that the Tariff Board’s report will not be received in time for the Government to study it and take appropriate action before the expiry of the extended Act. The Board has completed its public inquiry on this matter, but the wide scope of reference of the inquiry has, in part at least, caused the delay in finalising the report. The Bill, therefore, extends the operation of the Cellulose Ace’.ate Flake Bounty Act 1956-1964 to 31st March 1965 or to a date to be proclaimed, such date to be not later than 31st March 1965 and not earlier than the date of proclamation. This will enable continuation of the present level of assistance to the industry, pending receipt and consideration of the Tariff Board’s report by the Government. I commend the Bill to honorable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Whitlam) adjourned.

Sitting suspended from 12.32 to 2.15 p.m.

page 2480

CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION BILL 1964

Second Reading

Debate resumed from 22nd October (vide page 2222), on motion by Mr. Snedden -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr WHITLAM:
Werriwa

.- The purpose of this Bill is to increase the number of puisne judges of the Commonwealth Industrial Court from three to four. The last time a bill on this precise subject came before us was in 1960, when the number of puisne judges was increased from two to three. The reason given on that occasion was that one of the existing judges was due for long service leave and that the judges in general were required to establish a pool of Federal judges for Territorial Supreme Courts. On that occasion the suggestion was made that such a pool would be a useful adjunct to Commonwealth powers in many fields. It was suggested that the members could man a new Federal superior court. This is a matter upon which there has been a great deal of speculation in the last few years. In fact, I first mentioned the subject in the House in the debate in the estimates for the Attorney-General’s Department in 1958. I raised the subject again in the debate on the Judiciary Bill 1959, the Patents Bill 1960 and the Copyright Bill 1963. On the last two occasions, on behalf of my party I suggested that a pool of judges should be used to hear appeals in matters of industrial property, which is a Commonwealth preserve under the Constitution.

I made a similar proposal for a Federal superior court at the legal convention in Perth in July 1959. In January last year the then Attorney-General authorised the Solicitor-General to announce at the legal convention in Hobart that Cabinet authority had been given to design such a court. I had the temerity to refer to the delay in the project in the debate on the estimates for the Attorney-General’s Department at the first appearance of the present AttorneyGeneral (Mr. Snedden) as a Minister last month, but it was among several subjects I raised and he abused me for having made such a great number of proposals. I would scarce have ventured to mention the subject again in his hearing, even in the debate o:i this Bill, except for the fact that this morning our learned friend, the honorable member for Parramatta (Mr. Bowen), asked his maiden question on this point. I did not have the gall to point out that the very question had been on the notice paper, unanswered, in my name for five weeks.

The reason for the increase in the number of puisne judges on this occasion is for no such purpose. What is the reason? The Attorney-General has stated that the existing members of the Commonwealth Industrial Court have been engaged in a number of functions over the years. The Chief Judge, in particular, has conducted courts of marine inquiry under the Navigation Act. He has presided over boards of inquiry into air accidents under the Air Navigation Regulations - not the ones which were suddenly introduced at the beginning of this month, but the ones which had been in force for some years. He has acted also as an arbitrator under the Copyright Act, pursuant to the amendment made last year.

In addition, he has acted as the Royal Commissioner to inquire into the “ Voyager “ disaster.

Another member of the Commonwealth Industrial Court, Mr. Justice Eggleston, has been inquiring into the proper scale of salaries which the Commonwealth should support under the States Grants (Universities) Act. The other members of the Court have been engaged, as also has Mr. Justice Eggleston, in a great deal of work as judges of the Supreme Courts of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. All these matters, except the Royal Commission into the “Voyager” disaster and the inquiry into university salaries, are functions which members of the Industrial Court have fulfilled for some years. There is no new feature about this work. Perhaps there is a new feature in that the judges have been asked to undertake specific inquiries and even royal commissions.

Perhaps the House should consider whether Federal judges should be encouraged to accept commissions as royal commissioners. The theory in Australia very often has been, particularly in the States, that by asking a judge to sit as a royal commissioner one removes some contentious political issue into a more rarefied, wholesome and serene atmosphere. The result has more often been to bring the judge who accepts the commission into the more turbulent and contentious arena where the issue originally arose. Judges of the Supreme Court of New South Wales have for many years accepted such commissions, though probably not quite so ignominiously in recent years as they did 30 and 40 years ago. The Supreme Court of Victoria has always taken the attitude that its members would not sit as royal commissioners. The only exceptions have been pursuant to Acts of the State Parliament which have directed judges to accept such commissions.

The judges of the High Court of Australia have always eschewed such royal commissions. The only case in which a royal commission was accepted by a High Court judge was, I think, 40 years or more ago. Judges of the United States Supreme Court have not accepted presidential commissions except in the most extraordinary circumstances. The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court has just concluded such a commission to inquire into the assassination of President Kennedy, but it is more than 20 years since another member of the court, Mr. Justice Roberts, accepted a commission to inquire into the conduct of the persons responsible for the arrangements at Pearl Harbour at the time of Japan’s onslaught. Therefore, we should not lightly facilitate the acceptance of royal commissions by Federal judges. It may be that judges of the Commonwealth Industrial Court are expected to take such commissions. The Attorney-General did not refer to the propriety or wisdom of their doing so. I should have thought that this was a matter which should be dealt with more deliberately and specifically than it was dealt with in his second reading speech.

It would have struck all honorable members as a matter of some novelty that one clause of the Bill has been inserted to permit Federal judges - members of the Commonwealth Industrial Court - to accept temporary apointments to sit in courts outside Australian jurisdiction. This is certainly a departure from every previous practice in Australia. The specific instance which gives rise to this change in the law is a request from the Colonial Government of Fiji. Surely the general principle in any democracy is that the law of a country is administered by judges appointed by the Government elected in the country. This is the basis of the objection of the Australian Labour Party to appeals to the Privy Council. It is not proper or democratic that actions between Australian citizens and companies should be determined by judges appointed by another government which is not responsible to the Australian people. Here again, if I may make bold to say so, I asked the Attorney-General, without notice at the beginning of the year, and on notice over a month ago, whether arrangements had been made for judges of the High Court, who are now all members of the Privy Council, to sit in Australia to hear appeals which lie from State Supreme Courts to the Privy Council - that is, whether arrangements will at lust be made for judges appointed by the Australian Government to determine issues which arise between Australian citizens and corporations. Should Australia participate in some sort of Pacific privy council? I doubt it. At all events, here again, more deliberate and specific consideration should be given to this question than was given in the Minister’s second reading speech.

Those are the two reasons given by the Minister for appointing another judge to the Commonwealth Industrial Court - to act as a royal commissioner and to act in colonial courts. He does not mention the reason that he gave in the debate on the Copyright Act in April of last year. Honorable members may wonder how this subject arose when we were debating the Copyright Act. I remind the House that during that debate I took the opportunity to forecast, and then to move, an amendment that appeals under the Copyright Act - these are matters of industrial property - should lie to judges of the Commonwealth Industrial Court instead of being heard by judges of the High Court. The Attorney-General, before he had been elevated to the Ministry or admitted to the inner bar, supported the general idea that such judges should hear such appeals. He developed the theme further. He said that another judge should be appointed to the Commonwealth Industrial Court to give a prompt hearing to applications under section 109 of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act. He has not given that reason on this occasion, but that is the reason why we now have this Bill, which provides for the appointment of another judge. The AttorneyGeneral naturally has not said who the judge is to be, although, as I understand the practice of the Menzies Government, it is to appoint members of the Sydney bar to the High Court and of the Melbourne bar to the Commonwealth Industrial Court. In either case, there is an ample reservoir of talent for both courts.

If the Commonwealth Industrial Court were to confine itself to its traditional functions - that is, the matters it dealt with during its first years of operation and matters under the Air Navigation Regulations, the Navigation Act and the Territorial Supreme Courts - the Court would have enough members to carry on its work just as expeditiously and efficiently as it has hitherto. Another judge is only required because of the astonishing increase in the amount of work arising under sections 109 and 111 of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act. It will be recalled that these sections were introduced under different numbers by the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) when he was Minister for Labour and National Service in 1951. The Australian Labour Party voted against the insertion of the provisions. The sections were renumbered in the codification of the Act in 1956, again at the instigation of the Treasurer, as he now is. Again Labour voted against the perpetuation of the two sections. Section 109 is the injunction section. This is the section, under which the Commonwealth Industrial Court orders that registered organisations shall obey awards or shall not disobey awards. Section 111 is the section under which the Court commits and fines for contempt such organisations as have disobeyed orders made under section 109 or under the corresponding section of the Stevedoring Industry Act. For many years after these sections were introduced, no very great resort was made to them. Employers had not developed the reflex action which they have shown in the last few years by making an application under section 109 whenever there is a dispute and then, if they do not achieve their ends, acting under section 111. These sections have become a very great source of industrial irritation.

Mr SPEAKER:

– Order! I hope the honorable member does not intend to engage in a debate on the arbitration system, the question of penalties and so on. The scope of the Bill before the Chair is very limited, as he has already reminded me.

Mr WHITLAM:

Mr. Speaker, that is very true, but I want to establish, and I am certain I will establish to your satisfaction, that it is only because the activities with which I am now dealing have increased so greatly in number and severity in the last few years that there is any call to increase the numbers of the judges, as this Bill does. If the activities that 1 am now describing had not developed to the extent that they have, there would be no need to increase the numbers of the puisne judges of the Court.

My party certainly supports the principles of conciliation and arbitration. There is no portion of the Commonwealth’s Constitution, except perhaps its financial powers, that has flowered as luxuriantly as the arbitration power. The arbitration power has now become a system of discipline for persons employed in industry, and in the last few years the disciplinary powers inserted in the principal Act in 1951 and re-enacted in 1956 have come to full flower. It is for this reason that the numbers of the judges of the Court are now to be increased. The mischief arises from the too ready resort to these powers by employers. It is vitiating the whole spirit of industrial relations. Employers always hold the whip hand over any union or organisation of employees; if there is any interruption in employment, any strike or any working to award, the employers will apply to the Court under section 109. There is never any period of negotiation. This applies not only to such overseas companies as General MotorsHolden’s Pty. Ltd. but also to the indigenous employers. No opportunity is given for the use of the conciliation processes under the Act. Little enough time is given for the arbitration processes.

There is an immediate resort - a reflex action by the employers - to these penal provisions, section 109 and the consequential section 111. I will illustrate the extent to which this function of the court has been called in aid by referring to an article in the journal of the Industrial Relations Society of October 1963 and also to answers given to questions put on notice in another place by my learned colleague, Senator Cohen, and in this place by my colleague the honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly). I point out that there are a number of Government members who deplore this too ready resort to the penal provisions. If one can rely on newspaper accounts or on glances exchanged between members of the Ministry there is a deal of embarrassment among- Ministers on this subject. The Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. McMahon) not too promptly, but inevitably as it turned out, had to remove some penal provisions from the Stevedoring Indus try Act. He has been trying to moderate the use by the employer organisations of penal provisions in this Act, but the provisions remain.

I shall now quote figures which will establish the amazing increase that there has been in the resort to these sections. In the journal of the Industrial Relations Society an article by Professor J. E. Isaacs, then Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne and now at Monash University, stated -

Since 1961, the Commonwealth penal provisions have been administered more frequently, more heavily and more widely than in any previous period. In the 12 years ending 1961, there were 203 applications for orders under section 109 and its precursor section 29. Of these, 109 orders were made absolute. These represent an annual average of 17 and 9 respectively and may be compared with 67 and SO for 1962, in which year a larger variety of unions than usual, numbering 20, were involved as respondents in these proceedings. And the annual average for the first half of 1963 is nearly twice the corresponding figures for 1962. In the same 12 years, SO fines were imposed under sections 29a and 111 amounting to £13,800. In 1962, there were 28 fines amounting to £9,150. More than half of this amount was incurred by the Waterside Workers’ Federation, the rest being borne by eight other unions. And in the first half of 1963, 23 fines amounting to £9,200 were imposed.

I follow up from that by reading from an answer which the Minister for Labour and National Service provided to Senator Cohen on 11th August 1964, as follows -

During the period 1st July 1963 to 31st December 1963 there were 13 applications by organisations of employers for orders under section 109 of the Act and none by organisations of employees. Of the 13 applications made during this period, 6 were granted, 6 were refused and 1 was adjourned. During the period 1st January 1964 to 15th May 1964 -

I point out that 15th May 1964 was the date on which Senator Cohen put his question on the notice paper, and the reply was received three months later - there were 25 such applications by organisations of employers and none by organisations of employees. Of these 25 applications, 12 were granted, 3 were refused and 10 were adjourned.

During the period 1st July 1963 to 31st December 1963 20 penalties for contempt of the Industrial Court, amounting to £3,800, were imposed under section 111 of the Act on organisations of employees; and during the period 1st January 1964 to 15th May 1964 31 penalties amounting to £8,700 were imposed on organisations of employees.

On 9 occasions during the period 1st July 1963 to 31st December 1963 the Court refrained, by consent of the informants, from imposing penalties under section 111, while 52 cases were adjourned indefinitely. In section 111 proceedings during the period 1st January 1964 to 15th May 1964 there were no occasions on which the Court refrained from imposing penalties or adjourned the proceedings.

I follow up by quoting from an answer given on 29th September to the honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly) who had asked what fines had been imposed on trade unions under the Act in each of the last 1 0 years. The figures indicate a remarkable acceleration in the last two years. In 1954 there were 10 fines; in 1955, 3; 1956, none; 1957, 5; 1958, 16; 1959, 1; 1960, 9; 1961, 4; 1962, 28; 1963, 37; and in 1964, until 27th August, when the honorable member put his question on the notice paper, 61. I will not go through all the details of the amounts of the fines, but after the beginning of 1962 all fines were for amounts of three figures. Before that, particularly in New South Wales, more often than not they had been for amounts of £50 and once for £5. As a matter of fact, in the last two years most fines have been £500, the maximum. This illustrates the increasing number of times that unions have been brought before the Commonwealth Industrial Court under section 109, and the corresponding section of the Stevedoring Industry Act, and section 111. The figures also illustrate the increasing severity of the fines which have been imposed. One might assume that the greater resort to the penal provisions of the Act has been brought about by some increase in the number of industrial disputes, or in the number of workers involved in disputes, or the number of working days lost in disputes in the last 10 years. This is not the position. I shall commence by giving the figure for 1954 of the number of industrial disputes in Australia and then read the figures for subsequent years - 1,490, 1.532, 1,306, 1,103, 987, 869, 1,145, 815, 1,183, 1,250, and in the last financial year 1,338.

Mr Duthie:

– How is “industrial dispute “ defined?

Mr WHITLAM:

– The statistician whose industrial disputes bulletin I am quoting does not define “ industrial disputes “ other than as stoppage of work for 10 man days or more. It might be thought that there has been a slight increase in the number of disputes in the last three years. I will not give the number of workers involved in the 10 years, but for the same 10 years I will now read the average number of working days lost per worker involved. The averages were 2.44, 2.27, 2.62, 1.87, 1.56, 1.54, 1.20, 2.02, 1.44 and 1.41. In the first two quarters of this year, the averages were 1.18 and 1.25. So there has been no relation between resort to stoppages of work by employees and resort to the penal sections of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act by employers. The average number of working days lost per worker has in fact fallen and is now very much less than it was ten years ago. Over the last two years, it has shown no increase. But it is during those years that resort to the penal sections of the Act has increased. If these penal provisions are to be used as often as they have been in the last two years, not only will the Government be embarrassed, as it has been, by the truculence, intransigence and inflammatory attitudes of its industrial supporters, but also hardship to all in this country will result. In other words, the whole spirit of industrial relations will worsen.

Both sections 109 and 111 should now be repealed. If the Government is determined to preserve the sections, it should make them conditional on prior consultation and conciliation. Thus, following amendments this month, employers cannot commence proceedings under the penal provisions of the New South Wales Arbitration Act without leave given by a member of the Industrial Commission of New South Wales. Leave will not be granted unless the judge before whom an application for leave is made is satisfied that the employer had not himself taken part in any lockout which had wholly or in part given rise to the strike, had given notice to the Industrial Registrar of the matters giving rise to the strike, or had given notice of the strike, and, to the extent to which the circumstances permitted, had made a bona fide attempt to negotiate a settlement. The recent amendments to the New South Wales Act ensure that employers, before they resort to the penal sections of the industrial arbitration legislation, shall make a genuine attempt to negotiate, to conciliate and to arbitrate. Similar provisions should now be made in the Commonwealth Act. if the Government is not prepared to repeal the sections outright.

As the Ministry itself realises, the sections inserted in the Commonwealth statute in 1951, and re-enacted in 1956, are now being abused by employers. There is no industrial justification for employers resorting to the penal sections as often as they have done. If the Ministry’s wishes in this respect were heeded by its industrial backers and fewer applications were made under section 109, the present membership of the Commonwealth Industrial Court would be quite adequate to deal with all the business coming before the judges as members of that Court, as members of the territorial Supreme Courts, and in marine and air accident inquiries. The Court would be well able to cope with all its business, as it was able to do until two years ago. It would be able to deal with its business more promptly than most courts deal with their business, as it was able to do until two years ago. The processes of the Court are being abused by employers. The remedy is available to the Government. If repeal or amendment would involve too great a capitulation and too much loss of face, the Ministry should at least try to restrain its backers. It does not need to ask the Parliament to increase the number of judges of the Court so that employers can abuse the processes of the Act and so disrupt the country’s economy. The Opposition will oppose the increase in the number of members of the Commonwealth Industrial Court proposed on this occasion.

Question put -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. Sir John McLeay.)

AYES: 59

NOES: 36

Majority . . . . 23

AYES

NOES

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Deputy of the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.

Third Reading

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

Bill (on motion by Mr. Snedden) read a third time.

page 2486

TARIFF PROPOSALS 1964

Customs Tariff Proposals (No. 22); Customs Tariff Proposals (No. 23); Customs

        Tariff Proposals (No. 24); Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Proposals (No.
        7)
Mr BURY:
Minister for Housing · Wentworth · LP

.- I move - [Customs Tariff Proposals (No. 22).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1964, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that, on and after the thirtieth day of October, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-four, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates: - 11th August, 1964; 16th September, 1964; and 1st October, 1964.

[Customs Tariff Proposals (No. 23.)]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1964, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that, on and after the thirtieth day of October, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-four, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates: - 11th August, 1964; 16th September, 1964; and 1st October. 1964.

[Customs Tariff Proposals (No. 24).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1964, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set outin the Schedule to these Proposals and that, on and after the thirtieth day of October, One thousandnine hundred and sixty-four, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates:- 11th August, 1964; 16th September, 1964; and 1st October. 1964.

[Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Proposals (No. 7).]

That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) 1933-1964 be amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that, on and after the thirtieth day of October, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-four, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly. Customs Tariff Proposals Nos. 22, 23 and 24 which I have just tabled relate to proposed amendments of the Customs Tariff 1933-1964 and, in the main, give effect to the Government's decisions in respect of the Tariff Board's reports on elastic and elastomeric fabrics, fish in air-tight containers, and electrical generators, motors and rotary converters. At a later stage I shall table the relevant reports. The Tariff Board has recommended the removal of protective duties from a range of elastomeric fabrics in accordance with its finding that local production does not require assistance. Free entry is proposed under the British preferential tariff and the most favoured nation rate is being fixed at the lowest level consistent with international commitments. It is proposed to continue the present protective duties on canned tuna but to increase the duties on fish cutlets and the like and on the cheaper grades of salmon, when packed in air-tight containers. However, no alteration in the rates for salmon is proposed at this stage pending the outcome of international consultations. All other fish in air-tight containers will carry minimum rates of duty. On electrical generators, motors and rotary converters, protective rates of duty at common levels of 27i per cent. British preferential tariff and 40 per cent, most favoured nation are proposed. These duties will only apply to electrical machinery below certain power ratings. Nonprotective rates of free British preferential tariff and 71 per cent, otherwise are proposed for generators, motors and rotary converters above those ratings. The duties on certain generators and starting motors for motor vehicles remain unchanged. In the main the proposed duties amount to a moderate increase in the level of protection and an extension of the protected range. The alterations proposed by Customs Tariff (New Zealand Preference) Proposals No. 7 are complementary to those proposed by Customs Tariff Proposals No. 23 in respect of fish in air-tight containers. The preferential tariff treatment now being accorded to New Zealand is being maintained. I commend the proposals to honorable members. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Crean)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 2490 {:#debate-41} ### TARIFF BOARD Reports on Items. {: #debate-41-s0 .speaker-JTP} ##### Mr BURY:
Minister for Housing · Wentworth · LP -- I present reports by the Tariff Board on the following subjects - >Elastic and elastomeric fabrics. > >Fish in airtight containers. > >Electric generators, motors and rotary converters. Ordered to be printed. {: .page-start } page 2490 {:#debate-42} ### DEFENCE BILL 1964 {:#subdebate-42-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed from 27th October (vide page 2321), on motion by **Dr. Forbes** - >That the Bill be now read a second time. {: #subdebate-42-0-s0 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- There being no objection to that course, the Chair will permit it. {: #subdebate-42-0-s1 .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP .- The Bills now before the House, the principal one of which was introduced by the Minister for the Army **(Dr. Forbes),** clearly have been made necessary by a change in the developing international situation in which the old definitions of peace and war are no longer applicable. Whilst some honorable members opposite may not support our views on the changes which we believe have developed in the international situation, it is clear that the prime distinction between peace and war is no longer relevant. There are some people who will say that South Vietnam is at war with other countries and that Malaysia is at war with Indonesia, if we apply the definitions of some previous time. Under the existing defence legislation it would not be possible to employ Australian forces, such as the Citizen Military Forces and the Reserves - I do not refer to the Australian Regular Army - in the kind of situation that could develop to the north of Australia and with which Australia may be faced unless we in fact entered a period of war in which the clean-cut definitions of earlier times were appropriate. So it has been necessary to change the law in relation to these matters so that Australian forces might not be hamstrung and forced to remain inside Australia under conditions which would make it necessary for them to be used in support of allies in areas outside Australia in the defence of things in which we believe. I think the measures have been adequately and clearly explained by the respective Ministers. The permanent forces are, of course, always available to serve anywhere in Australia or overseas. In this legislation the Minister for the Army has made it clear that new Emergency Reserves for each of the three services will be established and that those Emergency Reserves may be used for limited periods with service anywhere abroad. This will be a useful addition to the regular forces. However, if the situation deteriorated, and if the Governor-General declared a state of defence emergency, the forces available to be used overseas could be increased dramatically at one stroke. Under those conditions, the Emergency Reserve, instead of merely being liable for temporary service, would then become liable for permanent service while the condition of defence emergency lasted. At the same time the effect of such a declaration of a state of defence emergency would be to make it possible for both the Regular Reserves and the Citizen Military Forces to be called up, Of course, if this had to be done, a report containing reasons for the call up would have to be made to the Parliament. So here we have a clear progression starting with the Regular Army and ending with the call up of the Regular Reserve and the Citizen Military Forces under a condition of defence emergency. If the situation deteriorated still further and Australia entered into a period of war in its fullest sense, then, clearly, this would lead to full mobilisation. It is important to understand that the Regular Army Emergency Reserve, which will be entirely voluntary, will also be available even if there is no state of defence emergency, but, under those conditions, its members will not be available for continuous service for periods greater than 12 months at any one time. The provisions contained in these measures will make it possible for the Emergency Reserve to provide a useful, if small, addition to the forces immediately available to us. It is important to examine these changes that are being introduced in relation to the possible threats which could confront Australia. I think most people in this House will agree that it is unlikely that a general or global war will develop in South East Asia. I think they will agree, too, that it is not at all impossible that Australia could have commitments, in conjunction with our allies, on more than one front, which would involve many thousands of troops and that such a situation could arise when, in fact, we were not in a condition of general war in the old sense as denned in the Defence Act. If such a situation did arise and the Bills under consideration were not passed by this House, a large part of the Australian forces could not, in fact, be used to help meet our commitments. The legislation now before us will make considerably larger forces available to the Government of the day to assist Australia in meeting whatever commitments might face her in South East Asia, or in the situation between Malaysia and Indonesia. The House and the country should welcome the fact that the Government has introduced these changes. It goes without saying, of course, that everyone who volunteers for service in the Regular Army, in the Emergency Reserve and in the C.M.F. will be liable for service not only in Australia but anywhere overseas. This is an essential part of the Government's plan for defence forces which can much more properly and much more adequately meet the threats that could well confront Australia. I am glad to see that in this legislation there are provisions which should be adequate for preserving the positions in civil employment of those members of the C.M.F. and the Emergency Reserve who may be called up for short or long periods, depending upon the position that may arise. Not only their positions but their right to re-engagement and their seniority are preserved. This is a most important clement of the legislation and is necessary if the Government is to expect adequate numbers to volunteer for service in the C.M.F. and the Emergency Reserve. This legislation should be looked at in its proper perspective. It is part of a graduated response that began in May 1963 with a defence statement by the Prime Minister **(Sir Robert Menzies)** in which he announced that there would be considerable additions to the Australian armed forces. Since that time other additions have been made, and this legislation, as the Minister has pointed out, is only giving effect to decisions that were announced last June with relation to the creation of the Emergency Reserve and a change in the conditions of service for members of tha C.M.F. It should not bc thought by anyone that this is the final step in what the Government is doing with relation to defence. It has been made quite plain that a general review is being made of defence at the present time, and it is hoped that a statement will be placed before the House before it finally rises later this year, so that what the Government proposes may be debated in the Parliament if necessary. The legislation before us will lead to a more useful addition to Australia's forces, and in particular, to the Army. Prior to the introduction of the legislation, we had a permanent Army with a total strength of 23,000 or 24,000 men to meet any defence situation which Australia is likely to meet As a result of this legislation, the Emergency Reserve and the C.M.F. can also be used. I say again that it is much more likely that we will face a condition of limited war, not general war as defined in the Defence Act, or with a need to prevent subversion or to counteract the effects of subversion in South East Asia, perhaps in relation to the dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia. The provisions of this legislation will make it possible for the Government and the Australian forces to meet any commitments that might confront them. I emphasise that this legislation should not be taken by anyone as the Government's final step in the current build up of Australia's armed forces which the strategic situation to the north has made necessary. If honorable members opposite propose to take the attitude which was adopted by their colleagues in another place, it would appear likely that they will support this legislation. I will certainly welcome that support and their recognition of the fact that if service in the Australian forces is to provide some addition to Australia's defence then it must involve service overseas in the real sense. Even though it appears that, generally, the Opposition would support this legislation, I can well imagine that one or two honorable members opposite would oppose it. Indeed, I would have thought that at least the honorable member for Yarra (Dr. J. F. Cairns) would argue that these provisions are quite unnecessary. Neither he nor those who think like him on the Opposition side, recognise the sort of defence situation with which Australia could be faced. They do not recognise the external threats to countries like South Vietnam. Indeed, if the honorable member for Yarra is to be believed, then, to use his own words, he would draw a line between Kamchatka and Darwin as being the line of containment against the eastward spread of Communism from Asia. This is an odd line to draw because behind it there is really nothing in the Pacific to contain. The honorable member's geography is probably good enough for him to realise that this line gives away not only Formosa, but all of South East Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, because it clearly would come down well to the east of all the Philippines. If the honorable member is to argue that this should be our line of defence, we might well ask him which side of Australia he would be concerned to defend if the line is continued south of Darwin. Believing that everything to the east of this line from Kamchatka to Darwin should not be defended, which would seem to be the clear implication from what he said, then he must clearly deny the need for Australia to have any forces available for service in South East Asia, whether it be in South Vietnam, Malaysia or anywhere else where service may be required. At the same time the honorable member does not appear to recognise the nature of the threat that confronts various areas of South East Asia and which makes it necessary for the Government not only to build up our forces in the general sense but also to introduce the kind of legislation that the House is now considering. I would just like to refer to some remarks the honorable member made a few days ago. On 21st October he said - >I have examined the evidence of this over a period of years - He was speaking of developments in the South East Asian area - and as far as I have been able to discover there is no evidence whatever of any material assistance coming from outside Vietnam - from any country outside that area. The honorable member was repeating a conclusion that he had arrived at some considerable time earlier. In an earlier debate he had brought forward evidence which he claimed was conclusive but which will certainly not bear any detailed or close examination. This is important, because it is necessary to recognise and understand the threat that confronts Australia and her friends and allies in this area before one can appreciate the kind of effort that many people wish to have put into Australia's defence forces. If we do not understand the nature of the threat, what we do in relation to our Navy, Army and Air Force will certainly be misconceived. The honorable member for Yarra, in giving to the House evidence which he claimed was conclusive, quoted some remarks made by various other persons, of which I will give one or two examples. He said on 13th August 1964 - >The former head of the United States military forces in South Vietnam, General Paul D. Harkins, said at a Press conference in Saigon - > >The guerrillas obviously are not being reinforced or supplied systematically from North Vietnam . . . The important word there is " systematically", because that expression clearly implies that a certain amount of equipment or a certain number of people are coming down at regular intervals, and no-one would contend that this was necessarily so. But it is significant, I think, that these remarks were made by General Harkins in March 1963, and he has since been relieved of his command in South Vietnam or moved to some other post. A good deal of evidence has been gathered since then of what is happening in this area. The honorable member for Yarra also quoted the United States Secretary of Defence, **Mr. McNamara,** as saying in July 1964 that he knew of no North Vietnamese military units in South Vietnam. Again it is important to look closely at the words used. **Mr. McNamara** used the words "military units". When I was in South Vietnam nobody tried to tell me that military units from North Vietnam were operating in this area as units of the North Vietnamese Army. But nobody would deny that there were many people from the North Vietnamese Army operating as hard core stiffening in the various units of the Vietcong in South Vietnam. So it becomes a question of defining the terms that are used in order to decide what a person is talking and arguing about. To quote the Secretary of Defence as saying there were no military units from North Vietnam or Communist China operating as units in South Vietnam was certainly not to say that there were not officers, noncommissioned officers and instructors from North Vietnam in South Vietnam, training the Vietcong, supporting them and giving them necessary orders, and planning a tactical offensive against South Vietnam. Some later evidence has been very concisely presented on this matter in the "Washington Post". I think the Minister for the Navy **(Mr. Chaney)** quoted these remarks in the House in another debate, but since the honorable member for Yarra has repeated his conclusions that no outside military support is being offered in South Vietnam I think it is pertinent to repeat these comments. On 22nd June 1964 in the "Washington Post" an editorial appeared of which I will read two paragraphs - >It has become increasingly clear in the last few months that the war now going on in South Vietnam and Laos is one in which great advantage lies with North Vietnam. It is estimated that 300 to SOO cadres a month are being infiltrated into South Vietnam from North Vietnam. > >Moreover, it is clear that the Vietcong in South Vietnam are being continuously supplied by North Vietnam with automatic weapons, 50- caliber machine guns with sights that make them effective against helicopters, light artillery and ammunition. Hanoi has directed the strategy of the war from the beginning, but now it is clear that day-to-day operations are being handled from North Vietnamese headquarters in as intimate a contact with field units as a front-line command post in a conventional war. So the South Vietnamese, with our help, are fighting an enemy which has its command posts, its reserves, its reinforcements and its quartermaster corps in a sanctuary beyond the reach of the South Vietnamese military power. How the honorable member for Yarra can say in this House in conclusive terms that there is no evidence of any of this kind of activity I just cannot understand. All of us in this House know that the honorable member recognises only the evidence that suits his cause, but it would suit the cause of Australia a good deal better if he considered all the evidence available before making a judgment, instead of giving out conclusions that could only mislead the House and the people. I would just like to conclude on this note: Recognising the threat that could confront Australia and recognising the possibility of war in South East Asia between Malaysia and Indonesia on more than one front and involving not only our troops but also those of our allies in tens of thousands, it is absolutely vital that Australia's defence forces, manpower and equipment be improved and added to to the extent that the Government finds itself able to add to them. The provisions of the legislation before the House will enable us to make a useful addition to the Australian Regular Army and the forces that could back that Army if at some time in the future units of the Australian forces had to serve overseas, on the mainland of South East Asia or in some other area as a result of a conflict between Malaysia and Indonesia. This measure provides in realistic terms for us to take steps which will be quite appropriate to circumstances that we may have to face. It would have been quite useless to provide for Citizen Military Forces or an emergency reserve that could be used overseas only if a state of general war were declared. In these days, when there are so few blacks and whites, and all is grey on the international scene, it is essential for us to be able to use our forces to suit our objective of securing the survival of Australia. {: #subdebate-42-0-s2 .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY:
Fremantle .- The Opposition supports these measures. Ideally, defence matters should not be in controversy. Although the Opposition will suggest certain amendments, they are not really fundamental. I would like to comment on the speech of the honorable member for Wannon **(Mr. Malcolm Fraser)** but I feel that any such comment would be irrelevant at this stage. It would be more relevant to the debate on defence review that the Cabinet is apparently going to make during the recess. The honorable member's speech related to applications of military strength and the like in South East Asia, which is foreign policy. What we have before us is very largely machinery legislation. We do not feel that this is the occasion on which to open a general debate on foreign policy in South East Asia. As to the legislation before us, the degrees of emergency short of war which it envisages seem to us to be realistic. They are a response to the new policies of " confrontation short of war" which we may have to encounter. Therefore there are powers vested in the Governor-General to proclaim emergency states which would give the Government the power to counter confrontations. These things, we feel, should be supported. We are not sure that the legislation enables any government to counter a situation similar to the other problem that has developed in South East Asia. We have on the one hand the problem of Indonesia's confrontation of Malaysia. Remember there is the problem of the transformation of bad political, social and economical conditions into a situation of complete disorder, and war waged by creating a situation of complete chaos and disorder. We are not certain that this legislation has any answer to that. I am not certain that I could envisage any amendments to the Defence Act which would have any particular bearing on that problem. The answer is in the field of foreign policy. I would like to put one or two critical queries in respect of some of the statements which have been made in this House, in view of the new power to send overseas those members of the Citizen Military Forces who wish to serve overseas. The statement has been made in this House constantly, as if it were an unanswerable proposition, that it is better to fight in other people's countries than to fight in your own. I suppose this statement is unimpeachable if the alternatives are strictly that if you do not fight in another country you will be fighting in your own. But if the statement means that the intelligent policy all the time is to be intervening overseas, then it is often a false proposition. Take for example the position of the garrisons at Quemoy and Matsu. The forces which have formed the garrisons at Quemoy and Matsu in the face of Communist Chinese aggression have resisted effectively because the Communist Chinese cannot bring to bear against Quemoy and Matsu anything other than small forces. How unintelligent it would be for the garrisons at Quemoy and Matsu to leave the island on the ground that they should fight on other than their own territory or the Chinese mainland! They would be destroyed. So, it would be senseless to apply the slogan to Quemoy and Matsu. There are many situations in which it would be utterly unintelligent on the part of Australia to attempt to match our manpower against the limitless manpower of Asia on the Asian mainland. We would sink our manpower into the bottomless pit. France came close to doing this in IndoChina. We should not imagine that any slogan provides a complete solution to all the defence problems with which we might be confronted. The other point I wish to make is in connection with the idea of the deployment of masses of manpower. Australia is a country with a highly skilled manpower compared with some of our neighbours in South East Asia. Undoubtedly, in regulating the introduction of conscription, the Government has come to the conclusion that the best defence is not secured by mass manpower but by highly trained and highly equipped forces which from technology derive enormous fire power but whose numbers, in relation to the mass of manpower mobilised in the past, are relatively small. What is imposed upon the Government by this policy is to see that the Australian forces are technologically equipped in the most efficient manner. I come now to the amendments which we will be putting forward in the Committee stage. First of all, the Opposition hopes that a clause will be added which will provide for the benefits of the Repatriation Act to be extended to members of the Citizen Military Forces incurring disabilities during service in Australia. The C.M.F. has now become a force which is committed to overseas service. Troops may be injured in Australia. At present they will receive their compensation under the Commonwealth employees compensation legislation. They should gain their compensation as servicemen under the Repatriation Act. Clause 41 should be postponed and redrafted to provide for re-enlistment and re-attestation on the basis of the new commitment to overseas service. To put it simply, as the legislation stands the C.M.F. man is under obligation for overseas service unless he contracts out. We feel that the C.M.F. man should be under obligation for overseas service if he deliberately contracts in. We feel that the Government would be wiser, as it is calling on C.M.F. men for a clear new commitment, to provide that they make that commitment definitely and consciously. In the long run, this will prove more satisfactory from the point of view of the Government, the country and the men enlisted in the G.M.F. themselves. The rest of the provisions of the Bill concerning reserves and the arrangement about reserves for the armed forces seem to the Opposition not to be controversial. As I have said, we desire that, on defence matters, there should be the greatest unity possible between the Government and the Opposition. After all, the remarkable fact is that over the 15 years' relationship between the Government and the Opposition no defence estimate has been opposed by the Opposition. Some people evidently feel that by misrepresenting the position of the Opposition on defence they can gain a very great deal of political benefit to themselves. But I should think that most countries of the world, looking at our situation, would have been glad to have enjoyed the degree of unity that has existed in this country on the subject of defence. We desire to maintain that unity unless we feel there is some real and vital issue of principle involved. In the main, these amendments are realistic adjustments to the new world in which we live. The Opposition will have suggestions to make in the Committee stages; otherwise, we support the legislation. {: #subdebate-42-0-s3 .speaker-KHS} ##### Mr HOLTEN:
Indi **.- Mr. Speaker,** before I comment on the various provisions in the Bill, I would like to say a few words about a couple of the thoughts that the honorable member for Fremantle (Mr. Beazley) put forward. He said - I thought rather theoretically - that the statement had been made time and time again in this House that it was better to fight in other people's countries than to fight in your own. It is not quite right to say that this has been said time and time again. This proposition has been advanced as an argument in support of Australia having troops in countries such as Malaysia and South Vietnam. But I am sure the answer that is always given as the reason for this country having troops overseas is not that it is better to fight in someone else's country than it is to fight in your own. That argument by the honorable member is, I think, largely theoretical. The honorable member also mentioned that the Opposition would be putting forward an amendment for the benefits of the Repatriation Act to be extended to members of the Citizen. Military Forces. I think the weakness in this argument to provide a blanket cover for every member of the C.M.F. is that members of the C.M.F. could be serving in areas which are not operational areas. They could be going to areas for non-operational purposes. This matter has been covered in the past in struggles in which Australia has been engaged by the prescribing of areas or sectors as operational. To my knowledge, noone who has served in an operational area, whether he be a member of the C.M.F. or any other force, has been excluded from the benefits of the Repatriation Act. For instance, in the last war those people who served in Darwin between certain dates became eligible to share in the benefits of the Repatriation Act. Also, anyone in the Citizen Military Forces who went into any operational area at all was granted entitlement under the Repatriation Act. So, -I do not really see that this is a vitally important amendment as far as this legislation is concerned. In these three Bills we see provisions which are designed to step up Australia's preparedness for war. Their introduction has been made necessary by the increase in the instability of the South East Asian area. They provide further evidence of the Government's willingness to introduce new inducements or new measures to build up our armed strength, as warranted by the circumstances of the time. They underline a continuance of a policy of voluntary enlistment and recruitment. This principle of voluntary enlistment, as opposed to compulsory enlistment, is appreciated, understood and supported by the Australian people. These Bills represent progressive steps to encourage people to undertake service training and to strengthen our preparedness for an emergency. They also underline the flexibility of the Government's policy which has been particularly evident over the past two or three years as, unfortunately, the situation in the South East Asian area has worsened. These Bills will enable Australia to support more strongly its treaty alliances, particularly the South East Asia Treaty Organisation and the Australia, New Zealand and United States Treaty. After these Bills become law, the Army will be composed of three structures - the Australian Regular Army, the Regular Army Emergency Reserve and the Citizen Military Forces. A similar position will exist in the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. As the Minister for Defence (Senator Paltridge) pointed out in another place, the introduction of the Regular Army Emergency Reserve is a revolutionary move in the armed forces structure of Australia. The target for the Reserve is 3,600 men. The targets for the Naval Emergency Reserve and the Air Force Emergency Force are slightly less than that figure. All these Reserves will be adminis tered in almost the same way and will have almost identical conditions. The Regular Army Emergency Reserve will be open to former regular soldiers. Those who volunteer for service may be called up for full time service if the Governor-General so decides. If he so decides, these men will be liable for 12 months service only, and after giving that service they will not be liable for further call up until a period of 12 months has elapsed. In the event of war, the members of the Reserve will be liable for full time service. But I stress that they are to be enlisted only if they volunteer. They will be paid the normal rates of pay which are paid to Regular Army personnel, plus a bounty rising from £100 in their first year to fi 75 in their fourth year. The establishment of the Regular Army Emergency Reserve probably will make a big difference to the numbers at present in the Regular Army Reserve. As the Minister for the Army **(Dr. Forbes)** pointed out, the latter Reserve should be depleted considerably. But I agree that the Regular Army Emergency Reserve will be a much more positive force and will be more useful in Australia's defence effort than the present Regular Army Reserve. We all should appreciate that the people who join the Regular Army Emergency Reserve will face a very important decision. They will virtually be making themselves available to be called up at any time in the event of war and for 12 months' service if the Governor-General - doubtless with the advice of the Government - decides that the circumstances constitute an emergency and require them to be called up. Under this legislation, the people who join the Emergency Reserves will receive - and rightly so - protection in their employment. Various conditions are imposed on the employer of a person who joins the Emergency Reserves. Such a person, when he completes his service, will be given back his job and will receive, as though he had worked in his employment for the twelve months or other period for which he was away, his entitlements to things such as leave and superannuation. But I am sure that everyone will agree that that does not cover the whole position. If a person is away from his employment for twelve months he may get out of touch with the latest developments and the people who continued to work in the firm might have an advantage over him. So this decision that the people whom we expect to join the Emergency Reserves will have to make will be very important to them. I know that the Government and the people of Australia will be very gratified if there is a strong response to the call for members of the Emergency Reserves. The new conditions that will apply to members of the Citizen Military Forces represent a dramatic change. I am sure that the new conditions will give such members an increasing awareness of the gravity with which the Government views the situation in South East Asia and of the fact that the Government is charged with the responsibility of deciding what measures must be undertaken for the defence of Australia. Although members of the C.M.F. will have the alternatives of continuing to serve or of resigning or accepting their discharge, they will be faced with making an important decision, particularly if they have families. They will have to decide whether they will put themselves in the position where they can be called up for overseas service at a moment's notice. The Australian people will be appreciative if substantial numbers of members of the C.M.F. accept the new conditions. Speaking generally on defence, I say that at the moment it seems to be the fashion when in making statements for the newspapers, writing editorials in the newspapers, or making speeches in this chamber, to criticise the Government's efforts for the defence of this country. I have listened very carefully to the speeches that have been made on defence by honorable members on both sides of the chamber. I have read most of those speeches closely. I see in them varying degrees of almost panic or hysteria in regard to Australia's defence. I believe that a number of the people who make these statements and speeches are genuinely concerned about the defence of Australia; but a sense of balance should be exhibited in the thoughts that are expressed by honorable members on both sides of the chamber. A realistic appreciation of the situation should be made. Certainly the international position should be taken into account, but we should also take into account our treaty obligations and the availability of men, materials and resources. Surely no one who has approached this problem in a practical manner could say that we can find overnight X thousand of the skilled men who are so necessary for our armed forces. The battle arena and the training necessary for war are entirely different from what they were when most of us were of an eligible age, as 1 shall call it, in 1939, 1940 and 1941. In those days all we had to do was join up and serve a few months doing elementary training and we were then almost ready for combat. Today, with the increased technological skills required, the complexities of weapons, aircraft and naval ships, a great deal more training is involved. Many more highly skilled instructors are needed now, and we cannot obtain them as quickly as we would wish or in the number that that we would wish to obtain them, for we must take into consideration other factors that make demands on our manpower. Over the last three years the Government has done a very sound job in building up Australia's defence forces. Aircraft cannot be bought off the shelf, nor can the latest naval ships be bought off the shelf. If we want modern aircraft, modern ships and modern equipment to be available for our forces we must be prepared to equip the forces gradually and to develop our defence efforts on a scale that accords with developments overseas. Many honorable members opposite seem to have come to the conclusion that defence is in the fashion, so they should talk about it and criticise the Government's efforts. Their view seems to be: Let us try to get on side with the people, to put fear into the hearts of the Australian people and try to make them think that the Government is not doing its job for the defence of Australia. Time and time again we hear the words " adequate defence ", but we never hear the expression defined. Anybody who really thinks about the situation will know very well that Australia, with its huge coastline and small population, has other drains on its resources which make it impossible for Australia alone adequately to defend itself. The suggestion by honorable members opposite that we should spend more money on more aircraft, more ships and more weapons is just not practical. {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr Benson: -- We don't need them? {: .speaker-KHS} ##### Mr HOLTEN: -- Of course we need more aircraft; of course we need more ships; and of course we need more mcn. {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr Benson: -- Why shouldn't we say it, if we need them? {: .speaker-KHS} ##### Mr HOLTEN: -- If the honorable member wants to be constructive he should put forward suggestions. The naval record of the honorable member for Batman **(Mr. Benson)** is well known, and his service to Australia is well known, but as he has interjected I shall comment on a statement that he made last week in the debate on the Estimates. He said that we should be training pilots in light aircraft so that they will be ready to convert and fly the modern types of aircraft that we need in combat today. Thousands of pilots are being trained in light aircraft at this moment. Training in light aircraft was all right 20 years ago, but nowadays the ability to fly a Tiger Moth, an Auster, a Cessna or a similar type of light aircraft does not equip a person to fly a Mirage fighter. No person, merely because he can fly a light aircraft, would be able to fly a Mirage fighter with only a couple of hundred hours training. It would take him 18 months before he would be able to fly a Mirage fighter. {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr Benson: -- He is still that far ahead if he has had that training. {: .speaker-KHS} ##### Mr HOLTEN: -- He is not that far ahead, because it does not take any time to get 100 hours up. The training in modern aircraft is entirely different air training from what it was during the last war. In addition to members of the Labour Party saying that the Government should buy more equipment of the type to which I have referred, they say that pensions should be increased so that they equal half the basic wage, that we should have more money for education, that we should have more money for hospitals and for the States, that we should build more railway lines and so on. But there has to be an economic balance. A person does not need to be an economist to know that the Government cannot just print new money, that it must be earned and that Australia's budget must be divided into balanced sections. Some statements on defence made by honorable members opposite are just not true. I do not say that honorable members opposite have deliberately made untrue statements; I believe that the statements are untrue because they arise from a lack of knowledge. The honorable member for Capricornia **(Mr. Gray)** said last week that the Australian Government had to equip the Australian Army with the self loading FN.30 rifle because America had requested us to do so, and that when we had equipped our forces with this rifle America decided that she would not use it. A statement such as this misleads the Australian .public because it does not state the true position. The position was that the Australian Government decided to use the FN.30 rifle. The honorable member for Capricornia sets himself up as an expert on Army equipment and speaks with a very authoritative air, but he makes many mistakes. I want to deal with just this mistake that he made last week. We did not choose the FN.30 rifle because the Americans had requested us to do so; we decided to equip our forces with this rifle so that it would bring us into line with the other countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The FN.30 was chosen because it is a self loading rifle which suits our conditions and is of a similar calibre to rifles used by other N.A.T.O. forces. Another point about it is that the Americans decided to use another rifle of America design which was more suitable' for their purposes but which was still of the same calibre as the FN.30. The ammunition for these rifles would be interchangeable. Another misrepresentation made by the honorable member for Capricornia, this authoritative gentleman who speaks about the Army on behalf of the Opposition, was that it would take three months to get our Army tanks into the Northern Territory. This is just a distortion of fact. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E James Harrison: -- How long does the honorable member suggest that it would take? {: .speaker-KHS} ##### Mr HOLTEN: -- It would not take three months. It does not matter what anyone else says; all that matters now is that the honorable member for Capricornia said that it would take three months to get the tanks into the Northern Territory. The plain fact is that he would not know. {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr Benson: -- He did not say that. {: .speaker-KHS} ##### Mr HOLTEN: -- Oh yes he did. I copied his remarks from " Hansard ". He said it would take three months to get the tanks to the Northern Territory. It is very interesting to hear comments on Australia's defence made by honorable members opposite. The honorable member for Yarra **(Dr. J. F. Cairns)** has been interjecting quite strongly. It was interesting to hear his contribution to the debate. All that he did was to theorise on the nuclear weapon set-up and to say how dangerous it would be if somebody exploded a nuclear bomb. We all know that, but we also know that it is essential to have a nuclear deterrent because of the present world situation, and that if we do not have a nuclear deterrent the imbalance of world population will surely mean disaster for countries like Australia. I see these Bills as part of the Government's efforts over the past two or three years to build up our defence forces gradually in the light of the resources available to it. In 1961-62, the allocation for defence was £200 million; in 1962-63, it was £214 million; in 1963-64, it was £260 million; and for this year it is £293 million. The honorable member for Capricornia, when speaking on the Estimates last week, said that the Government would spend about £230 million on defence this year. In fact, the Government will spend £293 million. He was only £63 million out. The honorable member is supposed to be a responsible member of the Parliament; yet he makes these misleading statements. In the past few years, we have seen the action taken by the Government to build up our defences. In January 1963, the Prime Minister **(Sir Robert Menzies)** announced that a submarine arm of the Royal Australian Navy would be established. In May 1963, the manpower targets were increased and vast quantities of new and modern equipment were ordered. In October 1963, two squadrons of the FI 11 A- the TFX aircraft - were ordered and delivery will commence about 1968. In June of this year, la-i:-a pay and allowances were substan tially increased and provision was made for housing for the armed forces. We have heard the suggestion that more money should be spent on defence; but more money is not the complete solution to our defence problems. If we buy more aircraft or ships, we must still find the people to fly them, to service them, to man them and generally to understand the vast complexities of the electronic equipment installed in them. A realistic appraisement of the situation shows that we must of necessity move slowly in building up our armed forces. I want to adopt some of the suggestions made last week by the honorable member for Calare (Mr. England). I do not claim that these suggestions are my original ideas; the honorable member for Calare made them. In the defence review that is now being undertaken and on which final decisions will be made next week, I hope that the Government will consider the suggestions of the honorable member for Calare. They are that we immediately compile a national manpower register, that we give more active encouragement to the cadet corps at the various schools, that we make every effort to increase the strength and efficiency of the Citizen Military Forces and that the Government prepares plans for compulsory enlistment or national service, if either should ever be needed. The Bills now before the House are designed to move towards these ends, but probably additional action could be taken. I would like to add one thought of my own. I think a register of industry throughout Australia could be tremendously important. I am not fully aware of the position, but I have it in my mind that the State Governments have a register of industry. I am not certain of this and I think it would be wise for the Government to check with the appropriate State Ministers to make sure that a register of all industry, large and small, throughout Australia is kept up to date and is readily available to the Federal Minister for Labour and National Service and the Government should the need for it arise. I want to stress again that it is not money alone that counts in defence. An important factor is the fire power that we have in the hands of personnel in the Services. The Government has been turning its attention more and more to this factor and I am sure that it will continue to do so. I would like to mention one other factor. We should encourage the public generally to have a good deal more respect for and appreciation of the members of our armed forces than we tend to have at the moment. I think it is fair to say that the members of the armed forces during peace time are not shown the respect and appreciation to which they are entitled. It is only in time of war that we really show our appreciation of our forces. All of us are too inclined in peace time to disregard the importance of members of the armed forces. I urge the Australian people to show the members of the armed forces the respect that they deserve. 1 support the Bills very strongly and commend the Government for the action it has taken, especially in the past three years, in the defence of Australia. {: #subdebate-42-0-s4 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP .- The Opposition supports the principles of these Bills. As the honorable member for Fremantle **(Mr. Beazley)** said, we consider that two very important changes should be made in them if possible by amendment, and I will have something to say about this in a few minutes. The honorable member for Indi **(Mr. Holten)** has appealed for more respect to be shown for the members of the armed forces. For reasons that I will mention in a moment, there is need for this appeal. However, I believe that any decline in respect for the armed forces in recent years is not a result of anything done or not done by the armed forces. I think the responsibility for the decline can be laid firmly at the door of this Government. We have not had a clear defence policy for the 15 years that the Government has been in office. The people have not known what the Government is doing with the defence forces and if today they are not taking the defence of Australia seriously, the responsibility lies firmly on this Government. The solution of the problem will not be found until the people are convinced that we have a consistent defence policy and that the purchase of defence equipment and arms is following a consistent and logical pattern. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that the pattern has been a shambles. I believe that this is the main reason for the loss of respect for our defence effort. For 15 years, the Opposition has never opposed any defence estimates in the Parliament. We have given the Government its head on defence matters. We have been critical, and we have had no thanks for that. Hardly any notice has been taken of our suggestions. No amendments that we have moved have ever been accepted. But we have said to the Government: " You are the Government and we will not prevent you from getting the finance you seek. You have the money; do the best you can with it. " No-one can be satisfied with what the Government has done with it. It has had its head, it has had its way, but it has lost the confidence not only of its informed and responsible critics, like some of those on its own benches, but it has lost the confidence and respect of the people too. It is not genuine in respect of defence. What it has been mainly concerned with is the defence of the Liberal Party in elections and not the defence of Australia in the world situation. It has given us the impression that we are facing great and serious threats from the north. It has given us the impression that it is of vital interest to commit ourselves to Malaysia. The Government led by the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) chose to have an election almost 18 months earlier than was necessary simply, the Prime Minister said, to get the mandate of the Australian people to go to the defence of Malaysia. He got the mandate of the Australian people, presumably, but what has he done about it? The Government has designed a force to go to Malaysia. It has been deliberately designed so as not to become engaged in any hostilities with Indonesia. So it will make an unequivocal and almost unnoticed contribution to the situation in Malaysia. All the Government wants is for its contribution to be noticed in Australia. It wants to play up the feeling of suspicion and uneasiness in the Australian people because it believes that that pays off politically. On the other hand it has been completely inconsistent in what it has done in the north. Defence has been a sham under this Government, and the honorable member for Indi can find his answer there. If there is any loss of confidence by the Australian people in the defence of this country it is because of this sham policy of the Government, which has been mainly defence for election purposes and for no other purpose. While the Australian Labour Party will support defence, as it has done for 15 years, never denying the House or the Committee one penny for which it has asked for expenditure on defence, at the same time the Australian Labour Party is proud to say that it stands for peace, and we emphasize peace in all these situations. We stand for friendship. We recognise that today we are living in a new world, a world where new ideas, new developments and new inspirations are of greater importance in holding the fronts than are weapons on those fronts. Unless we look at the world in which we are situated with a new mind and new ideas we will continue to fail as we have failed so often in these circumstances. {: .speaker-KHS} ##### Mr Holten: -- Does the honorable member think that we want war? {: #subdebate-42-0-s5 .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP -- I believe that members opposite act like it so far as their policy is concerned. They talk with strong words. They are great fighters with the weapon of words, but poor fighters with any other instruments. Their anti-Communism is a matter of emotion, a matter of words, but they fail when they are tested in a situation. However, let us leave that aside for a moment. The world in which we live today is a world in which only new minds with new ideas of the future are capable of holding their own. The coloured world we face today is a world that so far has a better record in respect of aggression - a world that shows itself more capable of co-operation - that the old whitedominated world that is passing. I do not think it is necessary to answer much the other point made by the honorable member for Indi, that what the critics are saying is that we must have more money for this and more money for that. It seems to me that in about 3 per cent, of the gross national product in present circumstances there is ample money for the defence of this country. I think the important thing is that the money be used better, and when it has been used better for a year or two we can decide whether we need any more. I do not go along with the cry that we have to spend more and more on defence, because I think that is the kind of thing which in the past has been taken as a substitute for defence. Our main responsibility is to make sure for a year or two that we are spending much better that which is now available, and when we have done that, see whether we need any more. I believe that in the measures that have been put before the House the Government is no more genuine than it has been for 14 or 15 years. Let us have a look at some of the measures. The honorable member for Wannon (Mr. Malcolm Fraser) said that the essence of this legislation was that it was directed to the availability of forces - to making more forces available. We know that one of its purposes is to create an emergency reserve. The member for Wannon recognised the limitations of this. He said it might be useful, but it would be small. Of course it is going to be small, and I agree it might be useful, but if the contribution that this legislation is going to make to the availability of forces is to be restricted to an emergency reserve, no member on the other side is going to say it will be more than very marginal and more than very insignificant. Let us have a look at what it might do to the Citizen Military Forces. It is going to make a change so that those who enlist, those who volunteer for service, in the Citizen Military Forces will be automatically committed to service overseas. How is this going to affect the total recruitment? We are sometimes told that the Citizen Military Forces have already completely volunteered for overseas service, but what has been happening to the C.M.F. target of 35,000 men set for 30th June next? The report dated 30th June shows that there were 27,505 members of the C.M.F. at that date. In other words, 7,495 additional personnel must be found by 30th June next if the target is to be reached. Is the fact that members of the C.M.F. are going to be available for overseas service going to attract a significantly greater number of persons into the Citizen Military Forces? Some people feel that it might have less effect and that it might discourage people from enlisting, because many people in the C.M.F., whilst they want to train themselves and be available for service if necessary want to do it consistent with remaining close to their ordinary civilian occupations all the time. One of the significant changes that this legislation seems to envisage is that there will be no special unit after this for home training and for home service. I should think that would be likely to reduce significantly the availability of forces. What are the inducements mentioned by the honorable members for Indi and Wannon? What are the inducements that this legislation produces that did not exist before? Availability for overseas service? What else? No increased pay is associated with it. It is well known that if persons cannot be secured for particular jobs one of the steps taken to get them is to increase the pay, improve conditions and make housing a little better for them. Does it ever occur to the Government that the recent pay increases did not penetrate far enough down into the Services? The increases were long overdue, but the pay is still far from adequate. If the Government were concerned about the availability of forces it would be primarily concerned to improve the conditions of service. This is why one of the amendments envisaged by the Opposition is to make available repatriation services to everyone who chooses to give overseas service. From the time they enlist repatriation benefits should be available to them; and why not? The repatriation hospital services are underutilised. These days some parts of the repatriation hospitals are like old Army camps of some years ago. Many sections of the wards are out of use. There is great scope for making repatriation benefits available, and this surely would be a great advantage. It is well known, and it has been well known among the Services for years, that where there is injury or sickness the rights that are available to the servicemen are almost 19th century rights. The Commonwealth Workers Compensation Act is the most backward such act in Australia. It is only when there is a serious problem like that related to the " Voyager " recently that Government supporters - all of them - appear to have some dedication to servicemen. They suddenly realise that something is wrong. Why should not repatriation services be available to those who have enlisted for overseas service, even in peacetime, even if they have never been away? The second amendment by the Opposition is one that I think provides a fair and necessary safeguard. We believe that section 41 of the Principal Act ought to be amended so that those persons in the Citizen Military Forces who are going to come under the new conditions of eligibility for overseas service should be required to make some deliberate act of enlistment or attestation and not merely have to forego this position. I know what happens in practice, and I am sure that anyone who has been in the Services or any of the Service organisations knows what happens. If a man has to contract out he has to contract out before the eyes of everybody who is contracting in. He has to run the risk of taking the position of being a coward or being put in a position where he is accused of dodging something. It is not fair to the men concerned. Men should have an opportunity to make a deliberate act of enlistment or attestation if they want to serve overseas. Those who do not wish to serve overseas should not be put in a position in which they become subject to some discriminatory attitude or some unpopularity which may even perhaps involve cowardice or of dodging the issue by declining to serve overseas. So the Opposition considers that an amendment to section 41 of the kind that I have mentioned would be fair and reasonable. Broadly speaking, these measures will fail, as so many of the things done by the Government to achieve even its own objectives have failed. This legislation will not increase the number of men available for the Services. The Government is trying to do the job on the cheap, as usual. Amending legislation of the nature of these measures will not do the job required. What is the Government's attitude? It cannot face up to compulsory military service, which some of its expert advisers have said should be introduced. Why cannot the Government face it? The reason is that this Administration will not take from industry the number of people who would have to be taken if compulsory military service were introduced. {: .speaker-IIS} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Would the honorable member support it? {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP -- I do not support it, but that has nothing to do with the matter. I am telling honorable members opposite why the Government will not adopt compulsory military training. This Government will not do what so many honorable members opposite think is necessary because it is afraid of upsetting too many employers. So what does the Government do? It takes this mealy mouthed, half way sort of course and prepares legislation of this kind, though those who form the Government know very well in their own hearts that these measures will not meet the situation. As in so many other matters, the Government lacks real genuineness in its attitude to defence. Let me now turn to some of the statements made a little while ago by the honorable member for Wannon. I am pleased that he has taken the debate on to some of the grounds that he raised. He began by stating what seemed to him to be a fundamental proposition. He said that there was no longer any practical distinction between peace and war. The distinction between peace and war, he said, is no longer relevant. This statement implies almost complete ignorance or irrationality. However, I do not believe that the honorable member is irrational. I think that he is ignorant of the great differences between peace and war. Peace is roughly the condition under which we live today. War would be a condition in which nuclear bombs would be likely to be used. In these circumstances, war would be a condition which most responsible men and women in the world today would regard as so revolutionary and different as to make it impossible for mankind to accept. The outstanding characteristics of nuclear weapons today are, first, their power of destruction and, second, the fact that only a very large nation can muster the resources necessary to produce them and place them effectively on their targets. This enormous power of nuclear weapons and the enormous resources required for their use distinguish the condition of war today from the condition of peace as never before throughout history. So I think the honorable member for Wannon has exhibited complete lack of knowledge of the situation by saying that there is now no practical distinction between peace and war because the distinction is no longer relevant. We know that in earlier generations there was debate about the question of whether the ultimate weapon had been produced, even when gunpowder was developed and certainly when aircraft and chemical bombs came into use. But, ever since about 1957, there has been no real disagreement among the responsible people of the world about the fact that nuclear weapons represent a revolutionary change. So the destructive power of nuclear weapons and the large resources needed for their use are factors of first and basic importance in determining any defence policy. These factors mean that Australia, like Britain and France, can never independently have nuclear weapons. The only way for Australia to acquire nuclear weapons would be to obtain them from some other country. I believe that a number of propositions flow from the significance of nuclear weapons. The honorable member for Wannon indicated them but did not probe into them. We have to state those propositions and think about them if we are to arrive at a consistent defence policy which would have the logical support of the Australian people and which would overcome this lack of confidence about which the honorable member for Indi was so much concerned. As I have said, nuclear weapons hardly concern us at all. They are a matter for the great powers almost alone. But Australia has a responsibility to do all she can to support every action taken anywhere to stop tests of nuclear weapons, to prevent the stockpiling of them in increasing quantities and, finally, if possible, to reduce the existing stockpiles. The Australian Government has a responsibility, in formulating its defence policy, to support to the full the appeal made last week by U Thant, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who called on the powers with nuclear weapons to meet at the earliest possible opportunity and reach agreement about bringing to an end all nuclear tests and the production of further nuclear weapons. But has our Government shown any awareness of U Thant's appeal? Has it, in the eight days that have passed since the appeal was made, given any indication that it is concerned to support the proposal? Will the Australian Government support that appeal at the United Nations or elsewhere? I doubt whether it will. Quite apart from this, the Government leaves aside the question that has been put to the nation in the last couple of days by Professor Titterton. I do not imply any particular fault in him as distinct from many others. His business is the production of nuclear weapons. That is the big field of power that would develop him to a big man in this nation, and that fact has something to do with his belief that Australia should have nuclear weapons. He is the Teller of Australia. The first thing that Australia should do in respect of nuclear weapons is not to think about getting them, it is to make sure that we seek agreement with Indonesia that neither country will ever obtain nuclear weapons from some other nation or try to make them itself. That is the first duty of any responsible Australian today. If we fail to reach such an understanding, we may have to deal with the consequences. For Australia, as the first nation in this part of the world, to think about acquiring nuclear weapons in lunacy. I say that Professor Titterton is involved in an act of lunacy. We have to be concerned to adopt a consistent defence policy. The trouble about debates on these matters in this place, Mr. Deputy Speaker, is that we have too little time to discuss these affairs. I hope now to begin something that I can continue in the course of the next week. I believe that the first thing for the Australian nation to do is to decide the line of defence where we would have the best advantage in defending ourselves if the need arose. I think it is pretty clear that, if we consider that matter, we shall come to the conclusion that our best strategic defence position is primarily in the seas and in the air to the north of Australia. This, I believe, is true also for the United States of America. I suggest that the best strategic line has been described by American experts. This is a line that I stated recently. What I said, however, seems to have come as a great shock to so many of those on the opposite side of the House who pretend to have some knowledge of strategic factors. They behave as though I had presented a new and revolutionary thought. My statement was, almost word for word, precisely a quotation of something said by General MacArthur in 1949. He stated then that the strategic advantage for the United States, being an air power, was in the seas and in the air around Asia and that no one would consider that it was to the strategic advantage of the United States, as the honorable member for Fremantle pointed out a few minutes ago, to become involved with the millions of Asian people in war on the land if that could be avoided. So it seems to me that, if commonsense is any guide, we must think mainly, first of all, in terms of a strategic line beginning somewhere north of Darwin. For the moment, I am not suggesting exactly where it would be in relation to longitude. That line should extend as a sort of shield over the north of Australia, running westerly down the coast of Western Austalia and easterly down the coast of Queensland. The first requirement would be very fast and mobile air and sea forces. I understand that most of the new thinking in the Navy concerns submarines and small weapons carriers, not vessels like aircraft carriers, which Professor Miller so vividly described as an extremely vulnerable basket. Let me leave that aside for some development, I hope, at a later stage and now confine my attention to the criticism made a few minutes ago by the honorable member for Wannon. I have tried to think first of the best strategic position. What about the land? What is happening on land in Asia? The honorable member for Wannon said that he would criticise some statements I have made. He said that I had said there was no outside military force assisting in South Vietnam. I have never made any such statement. I would have expected the honorable member for Wannon, with his educational background and sense of responsibility, to have at least been fair minded enough to ascertain what I did say. But like most honorable members opposite he sometimes takes a completely abbreviated and inadequate press report on some other report, but never do honorable members opposite take even those accurately or fairly. They always give to them their own interpretation to suit their purposes. I said nothing about there being no outside military force operating in South Vietnam. What I did say was that the classic Western argument was that what was happening in South Vietnam was something that was fundamentally a matter of outside inspiration, direction and supply and that if it were not for this outside support there would be no significant problem there. I said that the interpretation that this was simply a matter of something that was caused by Communism in China and North Vietnam is what the Western viewpoint is asking us to believe. We are being asked to believe that this simply a consequence of Communism because honorable members opposite think that is the best way to scare us for political purposes here in Australia. I said that proposition was fundamentally unsound and I do not care who tries to contradict my claim. The honorable member for Wannon quoted the " Washington Post " - a report with which I am quite familiar. The report said that 300 or 500 people a month were coming into South Vietnam from the north. The word used is " cadres ". That means one person, not 10, 20, or 100. The report said that 300 or 500 were coming in. The honorable member said that according to the report they were being supplied continuously with .50 calibre machine guns. Of course during June and July of this year some few hundred .50 calibre machine guns were captured in various parts of South Vietnam. They were captured for the first time in 1964, not in 1963, and some people who paid recent visits to Vietnam were able to see them. I think in some cases those people have been given the impression that this sort of thing has been happening continuously in the sense of years. But that was not the statement of the " Washington Post ". It said that day to day operations are being handled from the north. This is simply a very improbable proposition because most of the operations are 700 or 800 miles to the south and they just cannot be handled day to day from the north. The north is trying to influence the Viet Cong as much as it can but predominantly the Viet Cong has to solve its own problems from day to day and it is not in communication very frequently over more than 10 or 20 miles. Quoting the "Washington Post" the honorable member said that command posts reserves and so on are in the north. That does not make sense either. Some command posts and reserves are in the north but they are only being supplied even now according to the report at the rate of a few hundred a month. The honorable member asked me to indicate the evidence on which I have relied and which I have given to the House for the past months. It goes back to the reports of the French officers after the capitulation in 1954, published at length in a book titled "Modern Guerrilla Warfare", edited by Osanka and published in the United States of America. LieutenantColonel Geneste gave a thorough detail of this and said in effect that everything done up until 1954 was predominantly local; hardly anything had come from the north. In 1962, General Paul Harkins, the American commanding officer at that point, made a report and said that until 1962 the Viet Cong had mainly home made weapons and weapons that had been captured from the Government forces. On 21st May of this year **Senator Morse,** who has been present at most of the committees of inquiry, said in the American Congress - >I have cross examined witnesses for some time on South Vietnam from the Pentagon and from the State Department Foreign Affairs Section. When I put the question to them: " What military personnel have you found in South Vietnam from Red China, Cambodia or elsewhere? " the answer is always: "Practically none." So when I press the witnesses further with the question: " Am I to understand the Vict Cong are South Vietnamese almost entirely? " the answer is: " Yes." The same is true of their weapons. The Viet Cong have armed themselves from South Vietnam Government stocks, not by foreign imports from Communist countries. The so-called North Vietnam supply lines that so many politicians want to bomb are little more than a myth. Can anyone contradict these statements? On 27th July in " Newsweek " there appeared a statement, referred to apparently critically by the honorable member for Wannon, made by **Mr. McNamara** on his return from South Vietnam, which I have quoted before. In that statement **Mr. McNamara** said that it is no good simplifying the position in South Vietnam; it is not a result predominantly of what is happening from outside; the problem is substantially one that is in South Vietnam and has to be dealt with there. There are some links with North Vietnam but the position would be substantially the same if they were severed. Mr. McNamara referred to the 50 calibre machine guns that presumably had come from China, but they were not large or significant in number. I have examined every scrap of evidence I can obtain about this subject over a period of ten years and I have put a good deal of it before the House. Those who oppose my view have been able to produce at last one statement - the report in the "Washington Post". The "Washington Post" is first referring only to June and July of this year and only qualifies the evidence over that period of time. The evidence still stands without any real modification. It is important to examine this legislation in relation to the threats Australia faces. This legislation will not go one inch of the way towards meeting those threats. The Government is still as far away as ever from recognising the fundamental situation that it faces. I do not believe the Government is out to face the situation that exists today. It is out to use defence for purposes of Australian political consumption. {: .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** I wish to make a personal explanation. {: #subdebate-42-0-s6 .speaker-JSG} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Brimblecombe:
MARANOA, QUEENSLAND -- Does the honorable member claim to have been misrepresented? {: .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- Yes. The honorable member for Yarra (Dr. J. F. Cairns) misrepresented my criticism of him. He said that I had taken his remarks incomplete from a newspaper report. He said also that he had never said there was no outside aid to the Viet Cong in South Vietnam. My authority for my remarks is "Hansard" of 21st October, where the honorable member is reported to have said - >I have examined the evidence of this over a period of years and as far as I have been able to discover there is no evidence whatever of any material assistance coming from outside Vietnam - from any country outside that area. That is a complete sentence. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Dr J F Cairns:
YARRA, VICTORIA · ALP -- **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** I do not want to allow that statement to escape unanswered, because it implies a misrepresentation of me. The honorable member does not seem to realise the significance of the word "material". The word does not mean none at all. Material is what it says - something of matter; something tangible. It does not mean none at all; it is material in the situation. If the honorable member takes it to mean none at all it is quite contrary to what I intended it to mean. He cannot claim that as its meaning. {: .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- If the honorable member for Yarra wishes to say that "material" does not mean material in the sense of manpower, guns and equipment I would be prepared to accept his explanation of what he in fact said, but I think he will find it very difficult to persuade anybody in this Parliament that " material " does not mean material and manpower. {: #subdebate-42-0-s7 .speaker-KKB} ##### Mr JESS:
La Trobe .- It is always very difficult to follow the honorable member for Yarra **(Dr. J. F. Cairns)** in a debate of this kind. Indeed, it is always very difficult, after the honorable member has spoken, to work out just what is Labour policy so far as defence is concerned. The honorable member for Fremantle **(Mr. Beazley),** whom I consider a very sincere man and one who does not ever betray Labour Party policy, said that the Opposition supported the Bill and considered that defence should not be in controversy. We are agreed on this, and it is to be greatly regretted that we have not such a policy at the moment. There are many men on the Opposition side who are in agreement with us. but when the honorable member for Yarra gets up and, with great cleverness and fine techniques, endeavours to misinterpret the position and puts forward certain suggestions, I am sure that we and the people of Australia look upon what he says with the utmost suspicion. Let us consider some of the things he has said. Apparently he admits to having made a 10 year study of the Vietnamese and other situations. It would appear from his findings and the remarks that he has made that our ally, the United States of America, is wrongfully interfering in Vietnam. Everything it does is wrong. Has the honorable member ever obtained from the generals whom he has quoted, confirmation that the views he puts forward are actually their views? Does he quote the whole of what they have said, or does he pick out a little here and a little there and mould it to what he wants to portray as the policy of the United States of America? Has he ever ascertained from **Mr. McNamara** exactly what he thinks? The honorable member made another interesting remark. He said that the Australian Labour Party stands for peace. I think it was proved in this chamber last week that the Australian Labour Party is divided on the question of peace. The honorable member for Yarra openly admitted - and I admire him for doing so - that he was a supporter of the Peace Congress. He admitted that he was a foundation member of the original peace congress which was called by the Labour Party a Communist front organisation. He also endeavours here, in an insidious way, to disseminate propaganda which, when analysed, certainly fits in with what is going on at the Congress in Sydney at the present time. He also stated, as did the honorable member for Fremantle **(Mr. Beazley)** that the Opposition supports the principles of this Bill. He said that the Opposition had never opposed the defence vote. That is true. The Oposition has not voted against the defence estimates but, quite frankly, it did not have sufficient numbers to make any difference to the defence vote even if it wanted to do so. Let us examine some of the statements made by honorable members opposite. The honorable member for Yarra said: " We are critical, but we have never suggested that defence expenditure should be cut down". On 24th November 1957, the present Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell)** said - >It would have been far better if some of the defence grant had been spent on universities, and secondary and technical schools, instead of being figuratively poured down the drain. {: .speaker-009MM} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Who said that? {: .speaker-KKB} ##### Mr JESS: -- The Leader of the Opposition said it. The honorable member for Reid **(Mr. Uren)** who, like the honorable member for Yarra, is a supporter of the Peace Congress, is reported in " Hansard " of 118 October 1960, as having said - >This Government should reduce its expenditure on armaments and use the money it is now wasting on expenditure for war to work for peace. It should devote the money to peaceful uses, such as the Colombo Plan. ... It should disarm and contribute to the work of the United Nations. 77 is man is still sitting in this House as a member of the Labour Parly, The former honorable member for Parkes, **Mr. Haylen,** a very well known gentleman who is now a Labour Party Senate candidate in New South Wales, is reported in " Hansard " of 11th October I960, as having said - > >I firmly believe that the best defence measure we could take would be to ensure that we had a railway system of uniform gauge throughout the entire continent. I will not quote all that was said by Opposition speakers during the debate but I invite honorable members to read for themselves the remarks of the honorable member for Lalor **(Mr. Pollard)** and the honorable member for Wills **(Mr. Bryant)** and others. On 12th October 1960, the honorable member for Yarra said - >My point is that we should prepare ourselves to supply troops to the United Nations and this is the only justification that Australia has for supplying any troops anywhere at any time. Those are the arguments of the honorable member for Yarra and of those who support him in his faction of the Labour Parry. He talks about the strategic concept. He also talks about a mythical line behind which he suggests we should stand. He believes that we should conduct our defence only from the air and the sea. He never makes clear what he thinks should be done about Thailand, which is One of our allies under the South East Treaty Organisation. He never says what he thinks we should do in respect of Malaysia, to which we are committed as a fellow Commonwealth country. Indeed, he never makes clear exactly what he means about anything. If we wanted to be difficult, we could say that what he is now suggesting fits in with the Communist propaganda and the peace congress propaganda. He believes that we should withdraw all troops from foreign bases, that we should keep out of South East Asia, and that we should do nothing to prevent the advance of Communism. I suggest to the Australian people that it is a great tragedy that the alternative government of this nation has not a defence policy that is acceptable to the people. I welcome the Bill. It is something for which the Services have been asking for a considerable time, and it is something which, time and time again, governments of all political colours have refused to grant. There is no doubt that it is a move forward, although I feel that it will not have sufficient effect to bring the three Services up to the strength of which I personally think they should be. Let me now read an extract from a book entitled "Why England Slept" written by the late President John F. Kennedy in 1940. He wrote it in answer to another book which was written at that time called "While England Slept", which sets out what Nazi Germany and all the other Fascist countries were doing to prepare for war while England, as a peace loving nation, was not doing much. At the time of writing the book, the late John F. Kennedy was a student, and what he said in it then applies equally to us today. He said - >We must be prepared to recognise democracy's weaknesses and capitalism's weaknesses in competition with a totalitarian form of government. > >We must realise that one is a system geared for peace, the other for war. We must recognise that while one may have greater endurance it is not immune to swift destruction by the other. > >It means that in preparing for war today, which takes such a long time and is so expensive, a democracy may be struck such a knockout blow by a totalitarian form of government, which has prepared for war over a long period, that she will not be able to bring in the latent advantages that she possesses. It is only in the long war that the advantages of a greater spirit and determination among the people will be effective. In the last war, luckily, Australia had time to raise her forces and train them to a certain extent before committing them to action. I feel that under the circumstances confronting us today we will possibly not have such time available. It is difficult to discuss whether this Bill will be effective without knowing what the Government proposes to bring forward after completing its review of defence. It is pointless to say that the Bill is inadequate or that it will not achieve what is required without knowing the Government's intentions. I sincerely hope that in the week after next the Government will make a statement which may well alter the whole situation. This Bill affects the Citizen Military Forces, and it is most difficult to know whether the action proposed under it really will be effective in strengthening those Forces, because the Minister for the Army (Dr. Forbes) has already said in this House that the re-organisation of the C.M.F. is under consideration at the present time. We do not know yet what this means. We do not know whether they are going to be set up on a different basis, as, indeed, many of us feel they should be, and we will not know until we are advised. However, as I have said, I welcome the Bill. I believe it is a move forward and I certainly hope it will have the desired effect. But I do not believe that, on its own, it is sufficient. When one considers what the Bill is designed to do one knows that it will be welcomed by the Services, both the regular Services and the volunteer Services. I feel quite sure that nobody wants to go back to the old system we had at the beginning of the last war. I am also sure that in the forefront of those who do not want to go back to that system are the Citizen Military Forces. We all know that many members of the C.M.F. had had battalion training for a long time before the last war commenced. They had a fine esprit de corps. The men knew their officers and the officers knew their men. They were prepared to go away as battalions or batteries or other groups and serve anywhere overseas. But because the governments of the day would not allow them to do this, because the legislation did not allow them to do it, they were prevented from going away. In many instances the C.M.F. units were cannibalised. The officers were separated and sent to different battalions. The units were split up and the men were sent either to various battalions of the Australian Imperial Forces or, if they wished to stay at home, to other units of the C.M.F. The provision in this Bill that the C.M.F. may be sent overseas will be welcomed indeed by the C.M.F. I have no fear that any members of the C.M.F. will not be delighted. As I have said, particularly if the re-organisation of the C.M.F. is implemented this will be a very good thing. As to the strategic situation, which has been discussed today, I am slightly confused, but perhaps I have not read correctly the remarks of the Minister for Defence **(Senator Paltridge)** who made a number of statements when introducing this Bill in another place. The Minister said - >The review in June was carried out against the background of instability in South East Asia which shows no indications of improvement today nor in the foreseeable future. He went on to talk of the volunteer emergency reserve and he said - >They will provide a ready means of supplementing field force units, increasing our cold war military capability and providing reinforcements in the initial stages of hostilities short of general war. In other words, this reserve will increase our cold war military capability and still allow for reinforcements in the initial stages of hostilities short of general war. He stated, further - >The Government decided also that there was a need to have regard to the circumstances of today when situations involving hostilities of a limited nature are more likely than general war. He said that the situation today indicates that we are more likely to see hostilities of a limited nature than general war. But then I thought he went further and moved into a slightly different field. He said - >It is necessary to cater for the more likely situations, when hostilities occur which, although not posing an immediate direct threat of attack on Australia, could develop to the stage where Australia's security could be gravely jeopardised. . . . These circumstances could arise with little warning. When the Minister for Defence admits that a situation could arise without little warning in which Australia herself could be threatened, one is forced to ask oneself whether this legislation is adequate. Again I say that there is difficulty in this regard because we do not know what the Government will propose in its defence review. But I think this is something that we should ponder upon, and if a deteriorating situation which could jeopardise Australia's security could come with little warning, perhaps we should be moving a little more rapidly. The Minister also said - >Should it be necessary to declare a state of war, then the whole nation would be mobilised - by conscription. In such circumstances I presume the Australian Regular Army would have been moved immediately to a theatre of war because, after all, our commitment is to meet an advancing enemy, to stop the advance of Communism, and so our Army would have to be sent overseas. If the Regular Army were moved in this way, who would be training the conscription army envisaged by the Minister? This is a matter concerning us all at this time. I believe that whether we have a volunteer reserve or not, or whether there is compulsory training or not, the Act should be altered so that all people in the defence forces, without exception, should be liable and should be prepared to go overseas. I hope that at some stage such a provision will be made. I believe that the Citizen Military Forces particularly should, in a state short of war, be liable to be mobilised and sent overseas, as is the case with the Australian Regular Army. In support of this contention I would like to quote portion of an article entitled "British Infantry in South East Asia" by Brigadier A. G. Patterson, Commander, 99th Gurkha Infantry Brigade Group in Borneo, which appeared in the "Australian Army Journal " of October 1964 - >My aim in this paper is to draw attention to five points which have an important bearing on our operational effectiveness in this theatre and which are, I believe, in need of an airing. I do this in the conviction that the British nation, as part of " the West ", will be some time vitally concerned in the affairs of South East Asia, a region which contains two thirds of the world's population and in which the cold war is active in the military as well as the political and economic sense. If we are to make certain that the whole area does not disappear behind the bamboo curtain, Britain and her allies must continue to lend a hand to our friends in South East Asia, and this means inevitably that the British Army, and in particular the Infantry, will continue to be involved. He went on to relate what happened in Indo China, as an illustration of what follows when you put European troops suddenly into a jungle area. We can train troops here in Australia; we can train them in the northern parts of Queensland; but there is no doubt that if you had to commit battalions of the Citizen Military Forces to the jungle to fight a war they would find themselves at a disadvantage. The author of this article tells what happened in Indo China when the cream of the French Army was defeated. Although it was a well equipped and modern army it was defeated by guerrilla forces. He spoke of what happened when the war ended and said - >The victors came in sandshoes, trudging through the mud with ammunition slung on bamboo poles, signals wire on tricycles, despatch riders on pushbikes. The vanquished went in trucks and armoured cars and half-tracks and lorries, trailing their howitzers and other weapons of conventional war. And all the while the rains the French had prayed for to save Dien Bien Phu splashed down cheerlessly on their retreat from Hanoi, a melancholy ending to an inglorious war. > >There was no honour in defeat, only humiliation. In total manpower the French and Vietminh had been almost equal. Technologically, the balance was heavy against the Vietminh. In all eight years of the war they did not have a single plane. The flights of fighters and bombers that passed over the jungles and rice fields each day were always French. So were the streams of transport, the Dakotas and Flying Box Cars, rushing supplies to every battlefront. The French had hundreds of artillery pieces, the Vietminh comparatively few. Later he spoke of training and preparation, and this is what is relevant to the C.M.F. in Australia. He said - >My next point concerns the provision of forces required to fight in South East Asia. > >The experiences of the last twenty years have made it very clear that European troops pitched suddenly into the jungle are defeated by the climate, the terrain and lack of facilities before the enemy even takes a hand. To imagine that a soldier, a unit or a formation can be flown out from Europe in an emergency and flung into a jungle battle against the ant-like forces of Asian Communism is dangerous thinking indeed. It will take a good unit four months of climatisation and retraining in the theatre before it will be fit to take on the Vietminh, the Vietcong or the T.N.I. During that four months there would be casualties - men whose bodies or minds are insufficiently robust to accept the necessary adjustment. Furthermore only a unit which is really well led and well disciplined will make the grade. Jungle war will mercilessly expose any weakness in this respect. > >Thus the forces required to fight at short notice in South East Asia must be stationed in South East Asia. Reinforcement plans must accept a four months acclimatisation and retraining period for all forces brought in from the outside. From the point of view of the Army, it is essential that in time of emergency short of war we should be able to mobilise, if necessary, and we should be able to move Citizen Military Forces battalions - I should like to say divisions - to the rear forward area so that they can receive their acclimatisation. As I understand it, the new emergency reserve as far as the Army is concerned is hoped to bring about the recruitment of somewhere in the vicinity of 3,600 troops. I understand that there are no officers involved in this reserve. At the present moment, the Regular Army reserve is 4,709. It seems to me that we cannot be hopeful of getting the full complement of 4,709 to sign on in existing circumstances. However, this will be a very useful reserve from which to fill the gaps which, in my opinion, are existing at the moment. We have seen, and the Minister for the Army himself has mentioned, the shortages in our logistic forces which were found during the recent Army operation. Indeed, if we went to war, we might possibly be able to get one battalion or so away if we had this reserve to fill in some of the plugholes that would be left behind. I agree with one honorable member who said earlier that there should be a manpower register in Australia at this moment. I think this is something that nobody would oppose. Our defence forces, the Government and the people of Australia must know what the availability of manpower would be in the event of mobilisation necessitated by any threat to this country. If we did have a manpower register then, in a situation where, without actual warning, a threat could arise, such as the one to which the Minister for Defence referred in another place, we would know who we were calling up. There are other matters in the Bills to which, if I had the time, I would like to refer. One relates to the resignation of officers. I can see little change in this regard as far as this Bill is concerned, lt still seems to me to be equally as difficult now as it was before for an officer in the service to resign his commission should he so desire. I can see the reason why resignations were refused a short time ago. They were refused because we are short of officers. But I still feel that if we are going to ask the right type of young man to enlist, and to go into one of the three services, or to go as an officer into a military college, we have to make it clear to him that after a certain number of years service, if he so desires, he has the right to resign, other than in a time of emergency. This right to resign applies to members of the Public Service, members of this Parliament, and also people in many other areas of employment of which I know. Why should any officer, if he is unhappy, if he wishes to, and if he has served a reasonable time, be prevented from resigning? Why should the refusal to accept resignations be justified because the Government has allowed the Defence forces to get to a stage where they have not sufficient officers at this time? I come now to the question of recruiting. I feel the recruiting campaign has been quite extraordinary. It has been most unimpressive. The results have shown this fact. I think it would be better if the three Services themselves could handle their own recruiting programmes because I think that those who have volunteered to join the Services, and who love them and have served in them, would know much more than other people what would appeal to the young men of today. I agree with the criticism that has been made that when you see a bulldozer digging a trench or when you see some character doing something similar in connection with working in the forces, it is pretty uninteresting and has very little romance attached to it. I would like to see something like the American system of recruiting where by the use of radio and television and other means of propaganda the Armed Services are put into perspective. You find that each morning at, perhaps, 7.30. you are told: " This is the anniversary of such and such a battle ", or you are told: "This is the anniversary of some event in which our Services were concerned." In the United States of America the armed services are treated with great respect. They are given a position of pride. I was glad to hear the Minister for the Army suggest that this is going to be one of the objectives of the Government. I noticed that the Minister made a plea to the people of Australia. I frankly feel - and this is a matter on which I could to a degree join with the honorable member for Yarra **(Dr. Cairns)** - that the responsibility for this state of affairs rests on this Government which has over the years in my opinion allowed the Public Service and certain associations to whittle down the rights and privileges of officers of the Services. As I have said before, there is only one difference between servicemen and civil servants and that is that the servicemen can be sent off on a day's notice into battle and can be asked to die. In my book, this demands increased privileges, and the best that can be given to these men. As far as the recruiting plan and the increases in pay and terms and conditions are concerned the honorable member for Yarra said that we should give more. I do not think that what the honorable member for Yarra said is necessarily so at the moment. I think most of our servicemen are quite happy with the increased pay, allowances, and serving conditions. But I do think that this Government at the same time as it introduced these increases in pay and allowances should have had a look at the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits scheme. This is the greatest canker from which the Services are suffering at the moment. If the various Service Ministers cannot get this message over to the Treasury, I do not know what they are going to do about the problem. This is one of the greatest causes of unhappiness to men in the Services. They join the Services and they are prepared to devote their time to them. They are retired at an early age, or under certain circumstances, they may even resign on a question of principle. They find that what they receive on retirement is whittled away because some person in the Treasury has said: "Well look, chum, we don't get that, so you have not any hope of getting it." I think that this matter is something at which this Government should look pretty quickly. As far as the proposed amendment with regard to contracting in or contracting out of the C.M.F. is concerned, 1 do feel that the Minister and the Government could have a look at this matter. There seems to me to be no problem - perhaps there is - which would prevent the commanding officer of a battalion from calling a parade, having the necessary forms and saying: "There you are. You sign in if you want to." This contracting out does have a tendency towards the old theme to which I have always objected; An advertisement is put in a newspaper and, if you are lucky enough to see it, you are in, but if you are not lucky enough to see it, you are out. The present proposal is that situation in reverse, and it does seem to me to be slightly unfair. I would like the Service Ministers to have a look at this matter. I cannot see anything which will be lost. I am quite sure that few will contract out because these men have, as is known, already agreed to go overseas. I am quite sure that they will continue to be willing to do this. As I say, I support the Bill. I think it is good. I think the Government should have taken action along these lines a long time ago. This is something the Services have wanted. I hope that, when the defence review comes in, the other things which are required for defence will be implemented, and implemented very quickly. I say this because I think that the situation today is not a comfortable one for Australia. I do think that very much more is required than what is proposed in these Bills. I support the Bill. {: #subdebate-42-0-s8 .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr BENSON:
Batman .- I rise to support the Bills, as well as the remarks of previous speakers from this side of the House and some of the remarks of previous speakers from the other side of the House. The Opposition proposes to move two amendments which are intended to improve the conditions of the people who will join the new Emergency Reserves. I hope to save some ammunition for the debate on the defence review; so my remarks today will be confined mainly to the Bills. However, I think it is only fair that I should answer some of the statements that have been made. The honorable member for Indi **(Mr. Holten)** quoted me as saying in the debate on the defence estimates that pilots could be trained on light aircraft. I still believe that. I may not be qualified to say that they should be so trained. But this is what I cannot understand: We are to have an Air Force of 100 Mirage fighters and the training of men to man those aircraft will probably take two years. If we have 100 Mirage fighters, we will probably have 66, or twothirds of them, operational at any one time; the others will be undergoing repairs or performing other services, ls our air defence to depend on 66 Mirage fighters? I say that men should be trained on light aircraft so that they will have a certain amount of training in hand to enable them to transfer to other types of aircraft. I do not say that they should transfer to Mirage fighters, because 1 know that they would not be capable of flying those fighters. ls the Mirage to be the only aircraft in the Royal Australian Air Force? Are we to tlo away with transport aircraft? Are we to do away with other types of aircraft? Are we just to have, as I am led to believe by remarks that have come from the Government side of the chamber, these highly scientific aircraft, and are we to train only men who can fly that type of aircraft? The Minister for Air **(Mr. Howson),** in his second reading speech on the Air Force Bill, said that he is sorry that Citizen Air Force officers cannot be trained to fly modern aircraft. I will not say that they should be so trained, because I just do not know about that. I deplore people trying to quote me as an expert on naval affairs. I want to put the record straight right here and now. I have never claimed to be an expert. I hope I have used a bit of horse sense in making some of the statements that I have made. For goodness sake, do not try to set me up as an expert. I have never claimed to be one. Before I refer to what the Bills really mean, let me mention another thing that I have noticed in this debate. It is very dangerous for any honorable member to quote what somebody said last week, the week before, two months ago or two years ago. I did not intend to quote any statements; but when one hears quotations made other quotations come to mind, and sometimes one happens to have handy little books from which to quote some of the statements of other people. So I will quote what some honorable members on the Government side have said on defence matters. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr Killen: -- This is all factual, isn't it? {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr BENSON: -- I do not know. I will just read these statements as they appear in this book, and the honorable member can check them. {: .speaker-JWV} ##### Mr Chaney: -- What is the name of the book? {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr BENSON: -- These are speakers' notes for the Australian Labour Party. Some of these statements are taken from " Hansard ". One of them has even been taken from a Liberal Party journal. I will read that one first. The book contains this passage - >In February, 1963, a Liberal Party meeting in Sydney discussed defence. The following statement is taken from the March edition of "The Liberal", the official organ of the N.S.W. Liberal Party: "This Government has been in office for thirteen years and is now caught with its pants down. We are not spending per head one half of what Britain is spending or onesixth of what the United States is spending." That statement was made by the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)** and was quoted in "The Liberal " of March 1963. I read it myself. Also in 1963, the honorable member for Bennelong **(Sir John Cramer),** who was then the Minister for the Army, said - >Even if I were given £50 million more now, I would not have the people to spend it on. That statement by the then Minister for the Army was quoted in the same journal. In the same year the then Minister for the Navy said - >The Navy has been allowed to slip, and has been allowed to get into the doldrums and to slip from the level at which it should have been kept. That was supposed to have been said by the then Minister for the Navy, **Senator Gorton,** according to the "Sydney Morning Herald " of 30th January 1963. Many of us probably stand up in this chamber and say things that we should not say. I suppose that in a few years time, if I still happen to be here - having recently been returned with a majority of 703 votes - somebody will stand up and quote what I have said. The Australian Labour Party is often referred to as a party that has no defence policy. I have said in the House before that very often things happen on the Government benches after we members of the Opposition have made certain recommendations. I have in my hand a very interesting booklet which I should like everyone to read. It is called " Build a Strong Australia with Labor". There is a photograph of our leader on the front page. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr Killen: -- Which one? {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr BENSON: -- The leader. This booklet was published before the last Federal election. I will not quote all that we said on defence because that would take too long; but we said this - >Labor will do its utmost to make Australia selfreliant in defence so that the nation can play a full role in its obligations to its allies under A.N.Z.U.S., S.E.A.T.O. and U.N. We put copies of this booklet into as many letter boxes as we could all over Australia. We also said - >Labor declares it will honor and support all Australia's existing treaties and defence alliances. {: .speaker-5E4} ##### Mr Sinclair: -- Have you decided how that fits in with the Kamchatka-Darwin line? {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr BENSON: -- I have not come to that yet. I point out to honorable members opposite that they eventually adopted most of the things that we suggested, although those things were not included in the Government's policy speech. In respect of the Army we said in the booklet that we would make Citizen Military Forces pay and allowances free of income tax. We said that before November last year. The Government has now adopted that proposal. In respect of the Navy we said in the booklet that we would establish a naval base on the Western Australian coast and that we would con struct two dry docks in Victoria and Western Australia. I will leave it at that and refer now to matters that are contained in the Bills. I hope that I will be able to make a few more remarks on defence when the defence review comes before the House. The Minister for the Navy **(Mr. Chaney),** in his second reading speech on the Naval Defence Bill, pointed out that many of the laws governing the Royal Australian Navy at the present time emanated from the British Navy. That is true. The time has now come when those laws have to be changed in order to fit in with the requirements of this country. Sad as it may be and although it may appear to be a break from the old traditions of the Royal Navy, that cannot be helped. The world is moving quickly and these changes must be made. I regret the changes because I have much admiration for, and considerable pride in the British Navy. In Australia we seem to be growing apart from the ways of the British Navy and, because of geography, we seem to be leaning more towards America. We cannot help that, because America is closer to us than Britian is. We must put in order the laws as they apply to our Navy. It is interesting to read the preamble to the Articles of War as laid down for the Navy. These words are quite famous. Many people have not heard them* I shall read only from the famous preamble to the Articles of War, which is well known to naval officers. I believe that it should be well known to other Australians, particularly at this time when we depend so much on having a strong Navy. The preamble, which was written many years ago, says - >On the British Navy, under the good providence of God, the wealth, safety and strength of the Kingdom chiefly depend. This statement, which was in use before the time of Nelson, applies just as much now as it did when it was written. Today we have not a British Navy of strength, so it is not on the British Navy that we must depend, but on our own Navy. We relied on the British Navy right up until the last war, but now we have to stand on our own feet and build our own Navy. The purpose of this Bill is to streamline the Navy, the Army and the Air Force and to attract more men into the Services. It could be said that the Bill is, in a way, an indictment of the present Government because, although the Government has been in power now for 15 years it still has not reached its defence target. It still has not been able to make the Services popular enough to induce the young men in Australia to offer themselves for duty. That is a deplorable state of affairs. Whether this state of affairs is the fault of the men who are not offering or the fault of the Government will have to be decided later. I am unhappy that so many of our young men today cannot make themselves available to do a bit for their country. Whether we like it or not, the time will surely come when some measure more drastic than this Bill will be necesary. We cannot sit back in an affluent and prosperous country like Australia and not do something to keep our defences in order. If anyone in this House or anyone in Australia says that at present he is quite happy with our defences, he is being unrealistic. At present Australia is confronted with forces that are pointing towards us. I hope that they will do no more than point towards us, but events that one sees happening, one after the other, give cause for concern. I do not like saying this, but 12 months ago when I was in Indonesia with the present Minister for the Army **(Dr. Forbes), Dr. Subandrio** was asked what he thought about the nuclear free zone in the southern hemisphere. It is well to remember what he said. He said many things about it, but all that I can remember of what he said was that so far as he was concerned .the nuclear free zone in the southern hemisphere was unrealistic. I heard him say that, and it is fair that the nation should know that I and 12 other people heard him say it. Since then, Red China has exploded an atomic bomb. At that stage Indonesia was building an atomic power station and, so far as I know, she may have completed that atomic power station. That project shows that Indonesia is going ahead with its nuclear know-how. I believe that it is only a matter of time before Indonesia has the atomic bomb. I agree with the honorable member for Yarra (Dr. J. F. Cairns) that we should, if possible, get together with Indonesia and try to arrange a treaty to ensure that Indonesia and Australia will keep away from atomic weapons. All we can do is try to get such a treaty. That may be a weak way to solve the problem that we have because we are not prepared. But I want to return to the provisions of this Bill. {: .speaker-0095J} ##### Mr Howson: -- What would the honorable member do if we failed to get that treaty? {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr BENSON: -- First, we must try to get the treaty. If we fail in our attempt we can then do something else. As to what we will do then, the Minister's guess is as good as mine. There are a few matters that should be brought into line with regard to people who join the new Emergency Reserve. No mention has been made of dental treatment for those who join the Reserve. A few matters have been brought to my notice and I hope that the various Service Ministers will consider them. I should like to know what the situation would be where a full time or part time member of the Citizen Military Forces in Australia becomes ill or is involved in an accident due to Service causes, or any other causes. Will he remain on full pay and be kept on in the Service until he regains his former health? I should like to know also what the situation is with regard to a full or part time member of the C.M.F., whether inside Australia or outside Australia, who is killed while on service. Will his widow be entitled to a war widow's pension? I should like to know also whether this Bill will empower the call up of individual C.M.F. officers and noncommissioned officers for full time duty both inside and outside Australia. I do not think this point has been made clear. It would be of great benefit to people who intend to join the Emergency Reserve if the Service Ministers could make that point clear. While referring to the Navy I omitted to mention one point. At the present time in Australia we have no register of Australian ships. Every Australian ship, whether it is a warship or a merchant ship, is on the British register of shipping. Every naval ship is registered as a merchant ship, in some respects, and consequently goes on to the British register of shipping. I bring this to the notice of the Minister for the Navy because he intends to introduce a bill to alter the law concerning discipline and the law governing the relationship between the British and Australian Navies. The Minister should consider whether Australian ships could be placed on an Australian register. Even Australian merchant ships are classed as British registered ships. Our warships also are registered as British ships. This is a matter to which attention should be given. I make another plea to the Minister: When our reserve officers are called up they should not be required to wear the letter " R " on their uniforms because when a reserve officer goes on board a warship he is set apart immediately by the " R " on his arm. I think he is placed on rather disadvantageous terms in relation to other officers. It does not happen in the Army and I do not think it happens in the Air Force at present. During the war, England had the R.A.F.V.R., but towards the end of the war it was disbanded. The Army eliminated the symbols on officers' uniforms a long time ago and I think the Royal Australian Navy should also do this. {: .speaker-JWV} ##### Mr Chaney: -- Is the honorable member sure that all personnel would want to remove the symbols? {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr BENSON: -- Yes, I think so. I will leave it at that. I hope I will be able to speak on the defence review when it is presented to the Parliament. {: #subdebate-42-0-s9 .speaker-KDN} ##### Mr ENGLAND:
Calare .- If I am not considered to be too much of a square, I would like to speak to the Bills. I support them, not only because I consider that they make a practical contribution to the solution of the defence problems in front of us today, but also because of the good work of the Minister for Defence **(Senator Paltridge).** If ever we have 6een a new Minister have a good look at his new responsibilities, start work at the bottom and work up, we have seen it with the Minister for Defence who has produced this legislation. At the outset we should be quite clear about what the Bills do. This may seem to be trite at this stage of the debate, but after listening to the honorable member for Yarra **(Dr. J. F. Cairns)** and other honorable members, I think we should Kt out what the Bills do. They do not purport to solve all the defence problems that face us at the moment. They do not purport to attract so many men to the forces that we will have full complements. They set out, first, to establish volunteer Emergency Reserves and secondly to deal with changed obligations for members of the citizen forces. Opportunity is also taken to amend other portions of the Defence Act. If I may gently chide the Minister for the Army (Dr. Forbes), I think he is too modest and does not do justice when he says that these amendments may be treated as machinery amendments. That may be true but to me the amendments are of very real import both in regard to recruiting and in regard to the treatment of the men when they have joined the Services. The Bills take their place in a master pattern which is designed to solve our defence problems. This master pattern changes with the times as the Government tries to look ahead. A constantly changing international situation requires a changing strategy. The legislation takes its place with decisions that have been made in the past. These decisions have meant that we have acquired new equipment, new fighting stores and weapons, new destroyers of a very modern type, the most up to date conventional submarines and helicopters. We not only have the means to fight but we also have the opportunity to train with modern weapons. We have not previously had this opportunity. We also have the Mirage fighter and the Caribou transport aircraft, and we will later have the FI IIA aircraft. This is all part of the pattern to which these Bills belong. We have dealt with other legislation and regulations dealing with pay and allowances, better conditions for personnel and housing for personnel. We have seen changes in equipment and greatly changed uniforms and personal gear. All this is done to maintain our armed forces at a modern standard. Now other smaller measures are being adopted and I would like to mention some of them. They do not of themselves appear to make any big contribution to our deffence, but at the same time some of them are most imaginative. Men are given a choice of the branch in which they will serve when they join the Army. Such a choice was not given before; the men were drafted. Members of the Army school cadet corps are being given the opportunity to go to the Antarctic at the end of the year. This may seem to be a very small matter to those who are not associated with the corps, but it must appeal to the boys. It is an imaginative move and will create interest and build up morale. It may not do very much to increase our fighting efficiency but it will definitely encourage the boys in the corps. C.M.F. officers are being sent to Papua and New Guinea. Once again, only small numbers are concerned, but it is important for C.M.F. officers or prospective officers to know that the opportunity is being given to them to see Papua and New Guinea, where they may at some future time be called on to fight. The wise commanding officer will use the men who visit the Territory in discusions with other officers and intending officers, N.C.O.s and men who have not been there and want to know something about the conditions there. Although these are small matters, they will be helpful and they fit into the general pattern. Let me mention another tremendously important aspect. I have seen an advertisement in the newspapers seeking a director of public relations for the Department of Defence. One of the tasks of this officer will be to formulate the public relations policy of the defence group of departments. If ever we needed an outstanding man for this position, we need him now. We are not selling our achievements well enough. I have never said that our efforts are adequate, but we should tell the people what we are doing. I think that the appointment of a director of public relations, under whom all the other public relations officers in the departments will work, is a very wise move and I commend the Government for creating the position. The decisions that are implemented in the Bills have been made after looking at the constantly changing situation in the areas that concern us most. For the moment, these areas are in South East Asia. The situation is changing from day to day and we must look at it in the light of our treaty obligations under A.N.Z.U.S., S.E.A.T.O. and, to an extent, A.N.Z.A.M. In the legislation before us we are creating a Regular Army Emergency Reserve. In the future it will become well known by the initials R.A.E.R. The Minister said frankly that the Emergency Reserve would comprise 3,600 men. This is a good number and will give us a good body of highly trained mcn. It will consist of eligible, former regular soldiers, men who have been trained, lt is good to see the Minister give an estimate that the Reserve will consist of 3,600 mcn who will be available once the scheme is working. They will be capable of call up for service anywhere at any time. As I see it they are un-officered, but I think it is the intention to assimilate them into other regular units which are already officered, so that difficulty will be overcome. If I were to express a slight doubt on these Bills at all it would be to ask the question: Have we not gone as far as we can go with the number of parts to our forces? As I add them up there are 12 or more parts to our forces now. Can we handle them administratively? Our Defence Forces are divided into three separate arms - the Navy, the Army and the Air Force. The Navy, our senior Service, is divided into three parts - the Permanent Naval Forces, the Naval Emergency Reserve Forces and the Citizen Naval Forces. With the Air Force we have the Permanent Air Force, the Air Force Emergency Force and the Citizen Air Force, which again is divided into two parts - the Active Citizen Air Force and the Air Force Reserve. Our military forces are divided into two parts. First, the Permanent Military Forces, which are broken up into four parts - the Australian Regular Army, the Regular Army Supplement, the Regular Army Emergency Reserve and the Regular Army Reserve. The second part of our military forces is the Citizen Military Forces. So, our forces are divided into about 12 parts. I hope that we do not divide them further. However, as I see it, there is a need for every one of these parts, because each part has a separate set of circumstances governing its activities. I am not au fait with the Regular Army Supplement, and possibly the Minister for the Army **(Dr. Forbes)** can tell us something about it later. 1 can see nothing much about it in the Bill. Possibly I should be familiar wilh it from my other studies. However, I take it that the Regular Army Supplement is in existence now and that the Bill continues its existence and does not do away with it. I think we should be clear on some of the characteristics of the groups established under this Bill- >Let us deal first with the Regular Army Emergency Reserve, which is a new force. lt can be called out by order of the GovernorGeneral. It can be called out for continuous service with the Permanent Military Forces and it can be asked to serve anywhere at any time in peace or war. It also carries an obligation to train. The men in the Regular Army Emergency Reserve will bc required to meet certain training commitments which I will not detail now. It is no good my expressing an opinion on this, because this is a matter for the experts. However, I think that the establishment of this Reserve is a masterpiece, and I commend the responsible Minister and the Government more particularly as its establishment was not predicted by any outside body so far as I know. Its establishment was left to the military advisers and to the Government. No outside experts, pseudo or otherwise, thought of it. I commend the Government for proposing the establishment of an organisation which will be able to produce 3,600 men at short notice and which will be able to move to any point and to fight on arrival. > >The Regular Army Reserve is slightly different, lt may be called out by the Minister but, as I see it, only after a proclamation by the Governor-General of a state of defence emergency. In this the Regular Army Reserve differs from the Regular Army Emergency Reserve. Members of the Regular Army Reserve have no obligation to continue with their training, as I understand it. I know that if I am wrong the Minister will correct me. Although our Army today has many parts, they are all different and they all have different functions to perform. > >I have little comment to make on that part of the Bill relating to the ability to call the Citizen Military Forces out for overseas service, except to say that from my knowledge of the C.M.F. this provision will be received with great delight. It should not be forgotten that these men have already signed up to serve overseas, but apparently there is some doubt as to the legal processes. Although I have not seen the amendment foreshadowed by the honorable member for Fremantle **(Mr. Beazley),** as I understand it - and I know to what it is directed - it is virtually redundant and unnecessary. Members of the C.M.F. have signed on the dotted line for overseas service and they are not going to worry much about this new arrangement, which is purely a machinery matter. The end result will be exactly as they expected it to be. I think it will lift the morale of the men. It could act as an aid to recruiting, although to what extent I would not venture to say. As the Minister said, it will give a real meaning, a true sense of purpose to service in the C.M.F. I think it will assist materially in obtaining the co-operation of employers whose employees want to serve in the C.M.F. > >The Bill is designed to protect civil employment and it restricts the employer from preventing an employee from serving in the forces. I have heard it said that the Australian employer has been put on trial. I do not think it is as severe as that. We are calling on industry, whether it be primary industry, secondary industry or service industry, for co-operation. We are calling on industry to make a sacrifice which, in this case, is a form of insurance - a type of war risk insurance. At the same time, do not let us underestimate the premium which we are asking employers to pay. I fully agree that we are doing the right thing, but I do not think that we should accept this without realising that it will cost employers, particularly the small businessmen, something. I can foresee difficulties for the small businessman - the grocer or the butcher who employs one man. The employee has every right to enlist in the C.M.F. In fact, many people would regard it as his duty. His employer will be hit to some extent. I referred to this particular problem recently and queried whether some thought could bc given to providing some form of compensation to the small employer. I realise that the problem of where to draw the line - who is in and who is out - would arise. We must watch the situation closely to prevent hardship, particularly to small employers. > >The legislation, however, will help to overcome the employer block which exists at present. I know that an employer block exists today, not only in private enterprise but in some semi-governmental undertakings - hospitals and so on. I have not found this block of Commonwealth departments, but I am surprised to say that it exists in some State Government departments. I have found that difficulties arise with civic and local government bodies. For instance, I have recently noticed a case in which a Pastures Protection Board would not allow the local Citizen Military Forces unit to exercise on an unfenced reserve. This is the sort of thing that occurs. When I go into these matters I always first approach the C.M.F. members concerned and ask whether they will be embarrassed if I talk to anyone about the problem. I inform them that they can talk to me quite freely. If the persons concerned are embarrassed, I respect their situation. I find that those concerned will always tell me what has happened. However, usually, like many other people, they are somewhat afraid of politicians and they also fear for their future in their jobs. Nearly always, they ask me not to go ahead with the matter. I believe that the raising of the status of the citizen forces as proposed in these Bills will largely overcome the employer block that at present exists without any further action on the part of the Government by way of regulation. I turn now to the Naval Defence Bill. I see that it will establish a Naval Emergency Reserve which will be composed of fully trained officers and men and will be subject to call up by the Governor-General in circumstances short of war. However, this force will differ from the other emergency reserves because it will be a third part of the Naval forces, not part of either the Permanent Navy or the Citizen Naval Forces, unlike the Regular Army Emergency Reserve. Members of the Naval Emergency Reserve will have an obligation to undergo refresher training. That is reasonable. I would be most interested to learn the number of men who are likely to make up this Emergency Reserve. Perhaps the figure can be stated. I am sorry that there has so far been no mention of it. {: .speaker-JWV} ##### Mr Chaney: -- It will be about 2,000 men. {: .speaker-KDN} ##### Mr ENGLAND: -- So we are to have about 3,600 fully trained men in the Regular Army Emergency Reserve and about 2,000 in the Naval Emergency Reserve. {: .speaker-JWV} ##### Mr Chaney: -- There will be about 200 officers and 1,800 men. {: .speaker-KDN} ##### Mr ENGLAND: -- I understand. I think that the House ought to have this informa tion. One Opposition speaker expressed the hope that a purely Australian code of discipline would be introduced. I turn now to the Air Force Emergency Force. Here, again, we have been given no indication of how many men are likely to be available, but we have been told that 1,200 are likely to be required and that keen competition for the available places is expected. So it looks as if we shall have in this reserve 1,200 fully trained Air Force personnel who, of course, will be subject to further training. Preference is to be given to former members of the Permanent Air Force or present and former members of the active Citizen Air Force. We have been told that there are now no pilots in the active Citizen Air Force. I understand that to be correct. All the members of that Force are ground staff. Preference is to be given also to members of the Air Force Reserve and the University Squadrons. There appears to be little mention of the Air Force Reserve in the Air Force Bill. What is intended to happen to that Reserve in the future? There has been little explanation of its role in peace, times of emergency or war. I think the Minister for Air **(Mr. Howson)** will recall my asking a question in September about doubts in the minds of members of the Air Force Reserve, particularly those who act periodically as instructors for the Air Training Corps. I asked about their role in the event of a national emergency arising. I hope that the Minister will give us some information on this matter. These men have devoted a good deal of their time and patience, and, in many instances, a good deal of expense, to the initial training of the youth of Australia in the Air Training Corps. I should say that they have done much to assist in moulding the character of young men who have served in the Corps. I believe that they do a most commendable job. I hope that their future will be well looked after, though their future role is not made clear to me by the Bill. I should like to hear more on the subject so that I may advise a number of Air Force Reserve officers in my electorate. Summing up, **Mr. Speaker,** I point out that these measures will establish Reserves of trained men. These Reserves will facilitate rapid movement of those who are trained and will provide a sound basis for the expansion of training. The members of the citizen forces will feel more wanted than in the past. They will feel that the Parliament has assured them that they have an effective role to play in times of strife. This legislation will also bring us up to date in a number of smaller matters. Though they may be described as smaller matters, anybody who has had any association with Service life will realise that these improvements will be particularly welcome in all the Services. They are most constructive. Finally, I ask the Government to consider representations that I have made previously about the advisability of instituting a manpower register. I hope that the Ministry, during its deliberations on defence next week, will closely consider the need for a more virile and more dynamic recruiting campaign than we have at present. We are already spending big money on recruiting, but I believe that the campaign could be much improved. An effective manpower policy is necessary. Perhaps there is provision for it tucked away in the archives somewhere, but I know nothing of it. The need for a proper manpower policy has particular application to the citizen forces. Wc must know which occupations will be reserved. What is to happen to medical officers, nuclear physicists and skilled machinists? They will be in great demand when a national emergency arises. They will want to be in the thick of things, and I know that many such men are already in the Citizen Military Forces. But is it right for them to undertake expensive training only to be pulled out of the forces when an emergency arises? We only pull our own legs when we say that we have so many trained men in the citizen forces, if we know that, immediately hostilities are declared, or just before, a national manpower policy will be adopted and many of these mcn will be removed from the forces. I ask the Government to consider this matter earnestly during its deliberations on defence next week. I commend these measures as constructive ones, **Mr. Speaker.** I believe that they will be very helpful in our present situation. We look forward keenly to the next series of proposals that will be submitted after the deliberations to be undertaken by the Ministry next week. {: #subdebate-42-0-s10 .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr L R JOHNSON:
Hughes **.- Mr. Speaker,** as previous Opposition speakers have pointed out, the debate on these measures does not raise any great difficulties for us on this side of the House. Our general view, however, is that the Government's proposals are relatively infinitesimal and of little consequence. One would have thought that the Emergency Reserves for the Army, the Navy and the Air Force which are provided for in these Bills could have been reasonably well accommodated in the permanent forces. Not a large number of men will be involved. I believe that the Regular Army Emergency Reserve will number some 3,600 men. No more than 1,200 will make up the Air Force Emergency Force. The Government has failed to mention any specific number. So if the intake is, say, 5,000 personnel in total, it is a fair contention in my view that the Australian permanent forces could have stood expansion to this extent. After all, it is intended that these Reserve personnel are to be on hand in times of emergency. This, of course, would not be anywhere near as good a situation as if we had an extra 5,000 men in the permanent forces who could be trained and capable of giving leadership and training to other personnel to be recruited in times of emergency. Nevertheless, we do not oppose the legislation. It is little enough. It is another case of too little too late. The Regular Army Emergency Reserve is to be engaged for a period of four years. Its members are to be paid the same salary as is applicable to Army personnel and at the end of the period of engagement a £100 bounty is to be made available to them. I agree with the honorable member for Yarra **(Dr. J. F. Cairns)** who contended earlier in the debate that better attractions could have been offered to these people. I have referred to such things as repatriation benefits. Not infrequently honor* able members interview ex-servicemen from the last war who never left this country and who were not engaged in combat but who, nevertheless, incurred some injury or disability which necessitated them applying for repatriation, benefits. It seems reasonable to expect that the members of the Emergency Reserve should be covered by repatriation. The legislation provides that preference in respect of recruitment for the volunteer Emergency Reserve will be given to former regular soldiers who have had three years continuous service. One wonders why such emphasis is placed on the type of personnel to be engaged. After all, it is some considerable time since the last war ended. I suppose many former regular soldiers have had enough of the Service and are not inclined to go back to it. In the 19 years since the last war ended a large number of young men have become available who may be willing to engage in this Service. I hope that at the Committee stage the Minister for the Army (Dr. Forbes) may have an opportunity to say why, except for members of the Citizen Military Forces, some opportunity to engage in the Emergency Reserve is not given to younger and less experienced men. Sitting suspended from 5.59 to 8 p.m. {: .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr L R JOHNSON: -- Before the suspension of the sitting, I was referring to some features of the provisions of this legislation relating to the volunteer Emergency Reserve and I expressed the hope that the personnel to be engaged in this service would have repatriation benefits extended to them. Of course, we on this side feel that this kind of protection should be given to the entire Australian community. A decent national health scheme would give it to everybody. Just as ex-servicemen from the last war who did not engage in combat or go overseas have benefited from the provisions of the Repatriation Act, so does it seem reasonable that servicemen being enlisted in this particular service should receive similar benefits. I wish to refer to the general inadequacy of the Government's defence policy. Every time an election is held the defence issue is trotted out. Somebody said earlier during the debate that the Opposition is intent on putting fear into the minds of the people, but obviously that is a stock in trade of this Government at election time. When we examine the Government's defence policy we see that it is a fairly patchy sort of thing and that it is directly associated with the deficiencies of the Government's foreign policy. For example, this morning I asked the Prime Minister **(Sir Robert Menzies)** whether a protest had been made to the French Government about its proposed nuclear tests. I went on to mention that Professor Titterton had suggested that Australia should acquire nuclear weapons. He contends that this represents the only adeqate defence for Australia. This morning, I also brought to the attention of the House the remarks of **Dr. Linus** Pauling who indicated that something like 500,000 children yet unborn would be adversely affected as a result of the proposed French nuclear test in the Pacific - this one test. It is alarming to know that the Government has done very little about protesting. It is also alarming to know that this Government has failed to protest effectively even against the Chinese test. I do not think that Professor Titterton has the answer at all. It is important to recall that this Government has not really given effect to the spirit of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. In 1961, when the Secretary General of the United Nations wrote to member countries asking them to indicate the terms on which they would agree not to acquire nuclear weapons from other countries, the Australian Government refused to indicate that it would not acquire nuclear weapons. That is the Government's present attitude. Again, when we remember that we have in Western Australia a United States base designed principally to control nuclear submarines capable of projecting nuclear missiles into other continents, we realise that here is another example of the Government's failure to give proper effect to the spirit of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. {: .speaker-JWV} ##### Mr Chaney: -- Nonsense. {: .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr L R JOHNSON: -- I am stating facts. It is not nonsense. If 11 million Australians claim the right to have nuclear weapons who can possibly deny nuclear weapons to 100 million Indonesians or 700 million Chinese? After all, one in every four people in the world is Chinese, and our only hope is to discourage nations from having nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons would not mean survival for the people of Australia. In fact when we set out to provide defence against an aggressor by acquiring nuclear weapons we are creating a far greater threat than the aggressor himself represents. The late President Kennedy made it very clear that, from the standpoint of the United States of America, it is not a good thing to have a series of national deterrents. In other words, the allied forces - if we are still using that old fashioned term - have no need to spread nuclear weapons all around the globe. Our powerful friends have nuclear weapons and this should be sufficient. I hope that no one on the Government side has been tempted to take Professor Titterton's recommendation seriously. Over the years, the Government has had a conglomeration of defence policies. I have before me an indication of how concerned the honorable member for Chisholm **(Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes)** is about the training of Indonesians in Australia. This to me represents a remarkable contradiction. I have never contended with any enthusiasm at all in this place that the Indonesians represent the kind of threat to Australia that the Government claims they represent, yet this Government has been providing facilities for training Indonesians alongside Australian Army personnel. Recently, the honorable member for Chisholm asked the Prime Minister whether the continued training of Indonesian officers in Australia meant that Australia was training them to plan bigger and better raids on Malaysia. He pointed out that there was a possibility of Malaysian and Australian soldiers being killed or wounded as a result. Here is evidence of the conglomeration of attitudes on the part of this Government which is supposed to be inspired by its concern about Indonesia. Let me now compare the defence expenditure in this country with that of other countries. The United States of America spends £112 per head per annum on defence. The United Kingdom spends £32 per head per annum, Canada spends £39 per head per annum and Australia spends only £13 9s. per head per annum. Again, the United States of America spends 11 per cent, of her gross national product on defence while the United Kingdom spends 7 per cent, and Australia only 3 per cent. Why, a greater percentage of our gross national product was spent on defence as far back as 1952 and 1953. Certainly a greater amount of money is spent today, but that is only because of the decrease in the value of money owing to inflation. In terms of real expenditure we are slipping backwards and we compare very badly with a number of other countries. Before making a few comments about the Navy I should like to mention that there are many honorable members on this side of the House who are inspired to take a very great interest in defence. Almost every electorate north of the Tropic of Capricorn is represented by a member of the Australian Labour Party. It is for this reason that so many of my colleagues from the north have spoken en about defence in recent times. The honorable member for Kennedy **(Mr. Riordan),** a former Minister for the Navy, has expressed his concern. The honorable member for the Northern Territory **(Mr. Nelson),** has spoken about defence, and the honorable member for Capricornia **(Mr. Gray),** who is very well informed about armaments and matters of that kind, has also given some leadership in defence thinking for the benefit of the Government and this country. The honorable member for Leichhardt **(Mr. Fulton),** who represents a great area, including the Cape York Peninsula, has spoken recently, and so has the honorable member for Herbert **(Mr. Harding).** All of these men are exservicemen with experience. There is only one electorate above the 23rd parallel which is represented by a member other than a member of the Opposition. The great western coast of Australia is also represented by a member of the Labour Party. I refer to the honorable member for Kalgoorlie **(Mr. Collard).** Is it any wonder that they speak with some feeling about these matters when so much money has been poured into defence and we have so little to show for it after the length of time for which this Government has been in office? Not only has the north been neglected. No one on the other side of the House would dissent from my contention that it is very difficult to find a defence installation in the north at any place above the 23rd parallel. It is equally difficult to find any defence installation on the west coast, and it is also difficult to find one in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. I have before me a cutting from the Sydney "Sun" of 23rd March 1964 which refers to the State Congress of the Territory Returned Servicemen's League which was held at Lae. The report said - >The Congress passed a resolution demanding that " urgent consideration be given to the lack of preparedness in the Territory on defence means, especially in view of recent Indonesian attacks on surveyors on our border ". lt also asked that a bigger defence vote be granted by the Australian Government to the Territory. Delegates said that the Territory was a "neglected " area as far as defence was concerned. I have been to the Territory and I know the position pretty well. I know that the Government has come to think of the need to provide airstrips and accompanying facilities in the Territory. There is a need also to increase the size of the Pacific Islands Regiment, but this is a pretty slender reed on which to lean. After all, this is the regiment, unfortunately, which has indulged in riots in the past. I do not think I am unfair in saying that, because it is a fact. I think the principal prowess of members of this regiment for some years has been their capacity to form a band which plays Scottish music. I do not want to malign them in any way or reflect any discredit on them, but I want to reflect discredit on the Government, because it is the Government that says there is a need for adequate defences around the north of Australia. This is the area that is threatened, and this is the point that has been made constantly over the years by honorable members on the other side of the House. If I held a conviction and expressed it with the same fervour as Government members have expressed this kind of conviction I would want to see some practical manifestation of my concern. The Navy is involved in this legislation. I want to say a few things about the Navy, because that arm of the Services leaves a great deal to be desired. Its deficiencies were outlined in some detail in the recent debate on the "Voyager" tragedy. We all hoped that that shocking incident would have given rise to real concern on the part of the Government so that the apparent deficiencies might be overcome in the near future. The Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell)** read a long list of major misdemeanours in which the Navy had been involved in recent years. As I glanced through some papers this afternoon I was able to recall a few of the unfortunate incidents that have occurred involving the Navy. We did have a wonderful Navy in Australia 20 years ago. The Australian Navy was then the most formidable in Asia. In terms of personnel and of numbers of ships it is probably now rated as fifth class. China, Japan, India and Indonesia all have bigger navies than we have. Honorable members can recall some of the shocking shemozzles involving the Navy that have occurred over the years. Honorable members like the honorable member for Grayndler **(Mr. Daly)** will recall the scandal of the sale of the " Hobart " a few years ago, when huge amounts of money were poured down the drain. I remember the honorable member for Grayndler exposing the Government on this matter after he had asked a series of questions. An amount of £1.5 million was spent on refitting the "Hobart". No sooner was the refit completed than the Government decided to sell the ship for £200,000 to Mitsui and Co. (Aust.) Pty. Ltd., a Japanese scrap iron concern. This is the kind of thing that has been happening for a long time in connection with our Navy. Going through the list of vessels in the Royal Australian Navy, I find that 15 of them are at least 15 years old. One wonders what kind of defence effectiveness is represented by these vessels. We have, of course, an aircraft carrier, not carrying winged aircraft but carrying helicopters at the present time. Half of our fleet will probably be needed to protect this aircraft carrier. We have two Daring class destroyers which form a very important part of the fleet, and we have one Battle class destroyer which is getting on in years. We have four frigates and six minesweepers. Then we have the "Sydney", which used to be an aircraft carrier and now is a troop transport carrying 1,000 troops. The experts say that this vessel would be of no use in beach head operations in any case. In terms of personnel we have half an admiral for every ship in the Royal Australian Navy. That is, we have seven admirals for every 14 ships. We have one officer for every three other ranks. But more startling is the fact that we have a civilian force numbering about 8,500 people working for the Navy. This represents a tremendous overhead and it represents little in the way of a striking force or a striking capacity. This arrangement seems to be typical of the Australian Services. Then there are some problems in connection with the Army. By means of the measure we are now discussing the Government hopes to entice a number of former servicemen back into this new reserve force. What an appalling revelation we had a short time ago when an officer of the Citizen Military Forces made a statement about deficiencies of uniforms and equipment. An article which appeared in the Sydney " Sun " of 6th May 1964 said - >The officer, attached to the 1st Lancers at Parramatta, was commenting on an Army statement that a 1,000 per cent, boost in C.M.F. recruitment was needed to reach the June target of 31,750 He said recruits and permanent staff were disgruntled because winter uniforms had to last for eight years. I do not suppose that this kind of statement will help to induce people to volunteer for the reserve forces. The honorable member for Calare **(Mr. England)** said that this legislation would represent a great boost to the Army's morale but I think we must give due weight to statements such as the one I have referred to. The newspaper report went on - >He said recruits and permanent staff were disgruntled because winter uniforms had to last for eight years, boots for four - And mind you, they are subject to pretty tough wear during Army manoeuvres - and two pairs of woollen Army socks had to be worn for four years before new ones were issued. Honorable members opposite seem to be expressing disbelief, but it is not 1 who make these statements. Anyone can read this article, which appeared in the Sydney " Sun ". The article continued - >The officer claimed that advertisements advocating " wonderful, modern training methods " were " a lot of tripe ". He said equipment at most units was so antiquated that recruits often had received belter training during their time as school cadets. " As an example, our unit is a special Centurion tank unit. We've got one rank, the rest are 1942 armoured cars which go when they feel like it. . . ." 1 would certainly hope that some morale boost would be available fo.- the C.M.F., but a situation such as I have outlined does not reflect credit on this Government. This afternoon there was som: controversy concerning the time it would take to get Centurion tanks from Puckapunyal to th; north. The honorable member for Capricornia had contended that it would t:kc some considerable time to move these tanks, which represent probably the most substantial and vital part of the Australian Army's striking force. In the event of strategic operational manoeuvres being necessary we would be relying to a considerable extent on these tanks. What is the position? Let me not speculate about this, because 1 do not even claim to be anything like an expert in these matters. But one who should know is the former Minister for the Army **(Sir John Cramer).** {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron: -- I doubt that. {: .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr L R JOHNSON: -- Not because of his Army experience - he was an air raid warden - but because he served as Minister for the Army. In answer to a question he said it would take 10 to 15 days to move these tanks from Adelaide to Perth and 14 to 21 days to move them to Darwin. I do not know whether this is exactly as the honorable member for Capricornia put it, but I think it bears out the point that he was trying to make. These statements are denied by honorable members opposite, but they did not originate with the honorable member for Capricornia; they came from the former Minister for the Army. It is also important for us to realise how long it would take to move these tanks fully loaded from Melbourne to the places I now name. It would take 2 days 10 hours to move them to Sydney, 4 days 11 hours to Brisbane, 2 days 3 hours to Adelaide, 12 days 21 hours to Darwin and 7 days 1 8 hours to Perth. This is the Government's express service of the transportation of Centurion tanks. Of course, if these tanks have to go by road, it has already been established thai they g;t bogged down on our bridges which are not wide enough to accommodate them, and all kinds of difficulties accrue. How much notice would this Government want from an enemy of its intentions to wage a war in Australia? Is it to be 15 days or 21 days notice? Why are not these tanks strategically placed around the Australian countryside and in the places where you would expect attacks to occur? Why are they not located in some of the Australian Territories where they might have to be used? These are questions which honorable members opposite might well be prepared to answer. Another matter which I think should be looked at when you are talking about the incentives to people to join the Army is the allowance paid to Australian soldiers who leave the Australian mainland. If an Australian soldier goes to Borneo, he receives a zone allowance of £105 a year. If he goes to New Guinea, this allowance is £165 a year. In Darwin he receives £140 a year. If he is stationed at Woomera, he receives an allowance of £100 a year. This allowance, to my way of thinking, should be reviewed if the Government is looking for ways of boosting the morale of Army personnel. {: .speaker-0095J} ##### Mr Howson: -- Would your party raise that allowance if it were in power? {: .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr L R JOHNSON: -- Of course it would. When we think of the Army it is also important to think about ammunition. It was a startling revelation a short time ago that half a million pounds worth of ammunition is produced each year in this country which is not serviceable. This information was obtained by one of my colleagues in another place. **Senator McClelland.** Something is radically wrong here. This is just another one of the reasons why we are not getting value for our money. The Minister in charge of this particular matter would do well to provide some kind of explanation for this wastage of ammunition. The personnel of the Army is being increased. I understand from the figures made available that, in the very near future, Australia will have as many men in the Army as it had at the time of Federation in 1901. The official figure for Army membership at that time was 27,353. The Minister for the Army might be good enough to tell me the figure now and indicate the extent to which it exceeds the number we had in 1901. I am not one who has vigorously contended that the reaching of higher figures is necessary. The Government has done that. Having contended that, the Government has a much bigger responsibility to bring about better results. I ask the Minister for the Army who is sitting at the table what has happened about national service training. Surely we have the right to consider this measure which is designed to provide a reserve force in connection with the Government's plans concerning national service training. The Minister for the Army has been in favour of national service training for years and years. He did not deviate from that policy until he became Minister for the Army. The first speech he made after taking his seat on the front bench was one which indicated there was a great deal of uncertainty about his attitude on this matter. {: .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr L R JOHNSON: -- I do not have to be in favour of it. It is honorable members opposite who support the Government. There is a great deal of vacillation and a great deal of uncertainty on this subject. If a selective training scheme is to be introduced, we would like to know just who are the limited number of people who will be selected. Will selections be made from the universities or trad: unions, or from the ranks of boilermakers and building apprentices, amongst others, who are so necessary and who are so greatly needed in Australia today? These are matters on which it seems there is need for Government members to be vocal. I have moved into an area which I did not propose to cover so extensively. But the general position is that after spending a figure in the vicinity of £3,000 million on defence over the 15 years it has been in office the Government finds that our defences have reached this very sorry state of affairs, and, on the eve of yet another election, there is to be a desperate, fairly dramatic, last minute effort to give the impression to the Australian people that the Government is really concerned with defence. As I have indicated in the short time available to me, there are these vulnerable issues about which this Government should give some account of itself. The north of Australia *h* still defenceless, and it does not seem to be likely that the provision before the House at the present time is going to reflect any more credit on the Government than the very unsatisfactory performance it has given over the last 15 years it has been in office. {: #subdebate-42-0-s11 .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr WENTWORTH:
Mackellar -- I think you would agree, **Mr. Speaker,** that during the course of this debate many constructive speeches have been made, and not all of them on this side of the House. I think that one would acknowledge some of the constructive criticism that has come from the Opposition side even though one would repudiate' and show some contempt for the left wing disruptive tactics of some honorable members on the opposite side. I want to try to be constructive in this matter. The Bill before us is a step forward, but is it- a step straight forward or is it perhaps a little askew? I would like to examine this question. Perhaps it is not necessary to examine whether this Bill goes far enough, because the Government itself has said that the Bill does not go far enough and has itself proposed a later review of defence which the Prime Minister **(Sir Robert Menzies)** tells us will take place in the coming few days. It is necessary in these defence matters that we plan not only to meet the present situation, but also to meet the situation as best we can foresee it some years ahead. The plans which we undertake now, although they have to have some relevance to any possible emergency which could come almost out of the blue overnight, are nevertheless plans which must mature for a year or two, or perhaps even longer. We should be providing, not just against the present situation, but also against the situation as we foresee it might be, shall I say, in 1967 or 1968? There are changed circumstances in our Australian area. They are circumstances which, unhappily, seem as though they are changing even faster. Four factors must be taken into consideration. The first is the emergence of new powers with conventional weapons in our theatre of the world. It is not very long ago that we and our allies would have considered ourselves completely and beyond any doubt dominant in this theatre. Today we are probably still in a position of dominance. But it would be an optimist who would bank on this position of dominance continuing year after year. We are not in the same position as regards conventional weapons as we have been throughout our history. Secondly, there is the Communist thrust coming southwards. Let us take what comfort we can, if any comfort is to be taken, from the alleged split between the Soviet and Chinese Communists. That split at this present moment seems to be in the process of healing. But even though we take from that split the maximum comfort, our Communist enemies are still driving south towards Australia. Australia is one of their targets. They are extending their political influence, unhappily throughout Indonesia, our nearest neighbour. They are extending their territorial influence in South East Asia. The third factor of which we have to take account is that the newly elected British Government has announced that it proposes to liquidate Britain's nuclear deterrent. That means that in this area, instead of being protected by two nuclear umbrellas - the British and the American - we now have only one. It is a very sound umbrella, but it is not as good as two umbrellas. Furthermore, if the British Government carries out its election policy, it will find that, like King Lear, it has given away more than it thought it did and that it is unable to retain the authority, even in its own sphere, that it had previously. Unfortunately, we have to contend with a situation in which there will be an immensely weakened Great Britain, if the Labour Government carries out its announced plan. The fourth changed factor is that China has taken the first step towards emergence as a nuclear power. China is not a nuclear power at the moment. The threat is years away. It may be argued how many years away the threat is, but it is still years away. Nevertheless, China, which is an aggressive power, has taken the first step along the road. Here we have the four changed factors - the shift of conventional power, the Communist thrust, Great Britain's liquidation of its nuclear deterrent, and mainland Communist China's acquisition of nuclear power. Those factors pose many questions for us. But tonight I want to speak of only one of them; that is the influence that they might have upon Army manpower which, I suppose, is the main subject of the measures before us. Why do we need a conventional Army, an Army conventionally armed? In these changed circumstances I can distinguish five needs for such an Army. First, we may need it to help to engage in putting out some brush fire war in the lands to our north. For that purpose we may need only small forces, but we may need them quickly. Secondly, we may need it as garrison for our holding position in the countries to our north. This is what we have in a minor way at the moment. We have troops stationed in Malaysia. In the third place we may need a conventional Army in order to play our part in the conventional defence of this area and thus cement to us our one remaining powerful ally, the United States. Honorable members must remember that the reliance that hitherto we very rightly have been able to place upon Great Britain in this area is now immensely diminished, or will be immensely diminished if the British Labour Government carries out its election policy. In order to keep our alliances firm, we must be prepared to contribute our part to the purposes of the alliances. If we want American soldiers to fight a conventional war for the defence of our Australian frontier, we must be prepared to use Australian soldiers to help the United States to hold the more distant line which keeps conflict out of Australian territory. In the fourth place, we may need conventional forces to defend our own Australian bases. Hitherto, with the very small exception of the months preceding the Battle of the Coral Sca, we have always considered our Australian bases secure and inviolable. We have to get out of that habit of thinking in the new and much worse world in which we arc now placed. In the fifth place we may need our conventional forces for something even worse than the defence of our Australian bases; that is to preserve the structure and identity of the Australian people in time of attack. We have seen chaos develop in countries which did not have that kind of strength, a strength that we do not have now. We may need to be a people under arms if we are to survive. This is not a pretty picture. But any Government that fails to face it is failing in its duty to the Australian people. I am trying to analyse this matter as coldly and logically as I possibly can. What do we need for these purposes, in the form of conventional forces? Tonight I am confining my remarks to this one aspect of defence. First, obviously, we need formations in being; that is, formations - perhaps not very numerous - which can be moved into action without delay, which do not need mobilisation. Secondly, we need formations in reserve, obviously, we will not keep the whole of our manpower, our formations, actually in being. But we need in reserve not just trained men but formations which, with only a few weeks' delay, can be made mobile and moved into action. In the third place we need a pool of trained men, not necessarily mobilised into formations, for reinforcement purposes. It is an unhappy fact that if formations are committed to war there will be casualties, and reinforcements are necessary to make them good. That requires a pool of trained manpower, although not necessarily in formations. In the fourth place we may need the machinery for general mobilisation of the whole of our Australian manpower. These things cannot be achieved all at once. That is obvious. We must tackle this step by step. The first steps are not necessarily the same as the final drive that we need to create. We do not run our motor cars on the self starter, but sometimes we need to use the self starter to get the engine going. So the first steps that we take may not be entirely the same as the final situation that we want to achieve. But when we take these first steps we must be sure that they do not get in the way of succeeding steps that we will have to take towards the creation of the force which we will need and which we must create before many years pass. Obviously, the first thing that we have to do is create an instructional corps which at some future stage will be able to handle a big intake of men for training. There is no need for me to elaborate that point. I have only to refer to the speech made in Hobart recently by the Minister for the Army (Dr. Forbes). He said then - I believe that he must have been speaking the truth - that we could not now take in men for training because that would disrupt our operational forces. This is how this speech was reported. He said that his advisors had spoken against bringing in large drafts now because that would impair the efficiency of our operational forces. The House must remember that we are now passing through a period where our semi-trained reserves are changing. Until fairly recently we had quite big reserves of manpower from the last war which would have been available to us. These men are now getting into the age group where they will not be of great use to us. We have to create immediately, without delay, an instructional corps to handle the new intake that is to come. As the Minister for the Army has said, we cannot handle this intake now. If we cannot handle it now, is it not obvious that unless we make great changes we could not handle it under the stress of war, when our present formations would be committed for operational purposes? This, surely, is obvious. Therefore, whatever else is done, without breaching the integrity of the operational forces an instructional corps must be created and this must be put in hand immediately. To some extent men for this corps could be got from volunteers and to some extent from over-age people who would not be available for operational duty. But whatever this corps entails, even if in the first stages - this thing must grow stage by stage - we have to start with a small core to train the instructional corps, we must put this in hand, even if it means some small diminution of our operational strength in the next few months. Every month's delay in the formation of this corps is a crime against Australia. Next, we must expand the Australian Regular Army on a voluntary basis as fast as it is possible to do so. This can be done while the Australian Instructional Corps is going forward. Of course, we must encourage the Citizen Military Forces and the parallel concept of an emergency force which is proposed in the Bill before the House. That is a good and a valuable consonant. Then, looking ahead at the people who will be available to us in 1968 and 1969 - they are young now - we should be expanding our system of school cadet corps as soon as possible. This can be done without interfering with the other operations of the Army. There is no excuse for the present position where schools that want to expand their cadet corps are not allowed to do so. This is a quite intolerable thing which I am sure the Minister is in the process of changing. It is something which is so clear that I do not want to stress it any further. Those are the four steps that we must take immediately, here and now. Let me add to them perhaps a fifth step which is not quite co-ordinate. I refer to the preparation of the necessary register of manpower. I put this on one side because, although it is something that should be done and should be done immediately, it is not perhaps in the Minister's Department. Once we get this sort of plan under way we must then proceed to the second stage. We will need to conscript manpower in the young age groups. I do not see that we should be satisfied with a draft of less than 20,000 a year - it may have to be moreand the length of service should not be less than two years. That means in point of fact that we would have a conscripted force of 40,000 - that is, two years' intake - and every year, starting from three or four years from now, we would have an outgoing of 20,000 trained men available for some kind of reserve. There should be proper privileges for these men - heavy deferred pay, war service homes privileges, educational privileges, employment preferences and the other privileges which are given for the United States draft. I do not suggest for one moment that we should endeavour to penalise these people, but I do suggest that we must have them to build up A.R.A. numbers. Perhaps it will be said that we would not be able to deal with 20,000 in the first year. That may well be; but provided that the target is there and that the approach to it is as quick as is practicable, no complaint can be made. However, if the target is set too low or the progress towards it is too slow, then not only complaint but protest should be made in this House and elsewhere. The time has come to stop fiddling with this job. I have dealt with the first step of the second stage. Another step of the second stage should be to strip down the C.M.F. to an operational role which means, of course, cutting out from it all those people who are over-age or would be in reserved occupations during a war. The people who came out of compulsory training, and of course they would be attested for overseas service, could, if they wanted to so volunteer, join the C.M.F. I am sure that they would provide a ready force of volunteers to keep up the C.M.F. strength. Or if they do not volunteer for the C.M.F. they could go on to the trained reserve. The C.M.F. should be stripped down and made into operational formations on a local and territorial basis, with particular emphasis on the possibility of establishing units in country centres. This is to be encouraged. I will not have time to go into detailed measures, but the C.M.F. must be made a vital part of the scheme and, together with the remnants of the emergency force which is now being created, it must be the reserve of officers. There is no reason why from the enlarged Australian Regular Army in those future years there could not be some small rotation through both the Instructional Corps and the C.M.F. so that, without breaching the integrity of the formation, we could make an army which could operate in a unified fashion. Let me say that it might be a good thing if for training purposes, and more for training than for operational reasons, a number of these formations of the Regular Army were posted to northern stations. I think there is a great deal to be said for this. Of course, there is nothing to be said for dissipating our operational strength. Posting to northern stations would have to be done in accordance with a reasonable plan, lt is no good spreading the butter very thin over a lot of bread, but there is, I believe, a case to be made out of putting some of our operational regular forces north in the future, when we have built up our present Regular Army and have an additional 40,000 people undergoing compulsory training every two years. I see no reason why this force in the north should not be used for some useful works. There are plenty of roads to be built; there are aerodromes to be constructed; there are irrigation and other works to be put in hand; and there seems to be no reason why a force which it is necessary to hold as an operational force should have to waste all its manpower without doing some useful work. We must, however, put our defence plans into operation without delay. Time runs against us and we must save all the time we can. Action should start now - it should start tomorrow - on the Instructional Corps and the national register. I hope that both these projects will form part of the defence review which the Prime Minister has promised and which is to be undertaken, as I have said, within the next few days. Some of the matters I have suggested are not pleasant, but our situation is not pleasant. We may as well look the reality in the face. I do not for one moment suggest that all we have to do is to carry out these reforms on the Army manpower side. I have tried tonight to concentrate in a constructive way on this feature of what we have to do. If there is to be world disarmament with sanctions, well and good; nobody would be more for it than I. But unilateral disarmament is suicide for a people and those who advocate it are not being loyal to their responsibilities in this Parliament. I thank the House for having listened to me. {: #subdebate-42-0-s12 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON:
Hindmarsh -- I think everybody will agree with the statement of the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)** that Australia's state of defence does not present a very pretty picture. I wholeheartedly agree with him; it does not. The defence situation in Australia today presents a very tragic picture. It is a situation against which the people should protest in the most eloquent way possible, and on 5th December - not very long from now - they will have their opportunity to say what they think of the pitiful defence situation into which the Government has allowed the country to lapse after 15 solid years in office, with control of both Houses of the Parliament. There is no excuse for the situation in which we now find ourselves. The Government cannot offer one single reason for the existence of this situation, except its own apathy, indolence and refusal to face facts. It is good that the people will have the opportunity to weigh the views expressed by the honorable members for Mackellar, Chisholm **(Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes)** and La Trobe (Mr. Jess) against the views expressed by the Ministers who still sit back smugly content in the fond belief that all is well; that nothing needs to be done and that we are quite well protected with our present day equivalent of the antiquated Wirraway - the Canberra bomber. Let us have a look at the performance of the Canberra bomber before we go any further. This may not be generally known, but the people of Australia ought to know that our front line bomber, the Canberra, has a range of only 900 miles and can carry a bomb load of only 4,000 lb. {: .speaker-0095J} ##### Mr Howson: -- It can carry 6,000 lb. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON: -- Well, 6,000 lbs. That is 50 per cent, higher than the last official estimate that the Government gave of the carrying capacity of the Canberra bomber. This brings me to the point that we never know which Minister to believe, when we are given information about our defence preparedness. We do not know whether to believe the Minister for Air **(Mr. Howson),** who says that the Canberra bomber will carry 6,000 lbs., or his predecessor, who said it will carry only 4,000 lbs. If they cannot make up their minds about their equipment and if they do not know the performance figures for their equipment - in this instance, there is a difference of 50 per cent, between the estimates - is it any wonder that we are in such a hopeless and shocking defence position? But let us assume that the bomb load of the Canberra bomber is 6,000 lbs., or 50 per cent, more than the estimate of the previous Minister for Air. I want to compare the performance of the Canberra bomber with that of the Russian Badger bomber or TU16. The Badger has a range of 4,000 miles, compared with the range of 900 miles of the Canberra, and a bomb load of 7,000 lbs. compared with the bomb load of the Canberra of 4,000 lbs. or even 6,000 lbs., if we take the estimate given by the Minister Aor Air by way of interjection. The range of the Badger is more than four times greater than the range of the Canberra. The honorable member for Mackellar has told the Parliament that we really have only one thing to fear and that is Communism in Asia. I want him to reflect a little upon this subject of Communism, because before we deal with a complaint we ought to try to find out the cause of the complaint. It is far better to discover and eradicate the cause than to be content with merely tinkering with the effects. Communism in Asia does not come spontaneously to the Asian people. Communism in any Moslem country does not come easily to the Moslems. Communism in any country is a last resort grasped by a people desperate and determined to change the existing system. These people are so desperate that they say: " Anything would be better than the rotten, corrupt and unjust system that we now have. Anything would be better than the degradation and poverty that is our lot under the present government." If the honorable member for Mackellar and others like him really want to deal with Communism, let them grapple with the causes of Communism and, by removing the causes, so remove Communism for all time. I want to quote from a statement made in the House of Commons on 17th July of this year by the present Minister for Defence, **Mr. Denis** Healey. He is reputed to be a right wing member of the party, and I hope that this will please the honorable member for Mackellar and make him more receptive to the views of the right honorable gentleman. **Mr. Denis** Healey said that those who justified Britain's military presence in foreign countries on the ground that it was necessary in order to combat the advance of international Communism were dishonest if they did not admit that many of the conflicts in Asia and Africa had nothing to do with international Communism. He said that the conflicts arise from the political instability which was the inevitable consequence of the changes now sweeping the continents of Asia, Africa and even Latin America. Many of these had nothing to do with Communism. He said that they arise in some cases out of the legacy of imperialism and in other cases out of local power politics. He went on to say that this was certainly true of the conflict between Algeria and Morocco and the conflict in Ruanda between the Hutu and the Watutsi. It was true also of the conflict between the communities on Cyprus, and of the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. He said that Communism was not a major factor in any of these conflicts. **Sir, it** is true that Communism always takes every opportunity to exploit instability in any country. It is our job to see that the instability on which Communism feeds and flourishes is removed. Until we remove the political, economic, social and other forms of instability and injustice in the Asian countries, we will never succeed in defeating Communism. Communism will continue to grow and flourish. We have to face the fact that imperialism, colonialism and exploitation of the Asian people by the European people are coming to an end, and the sooner we realise that, the quicker we might reach the stage when we can put forward an effective and permanent answer to the onrush of Communism in the Asian countries. There was no spontaneous liking for Communism by the Asian people. No-one can say that the 600 million illiterate Chinese coolies rallied to the banner of Mao Tse-tung in the years prior to the takeover of China by the Communists because they had any special liking for the concepts of dialectical materialism. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! I think the honorable member had better relate his remarks to the subject matter of the Bills. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON: -- I am sorry, **Mr. Speaker.** If I may excuse myself, I was doing here what the British Minister of Defence did in the House of Commons when dealing with the same type of subject, but I bow to your ruling, **Sir, because** I am not in the House of Commons and we have to accept your ruling. 1 am glad in a way, however, that you stopped me, **Sir, because** otherwise I might have been prevented from quoting what was said in the House of Representatives, in another debate on the subject of defence, by none other than the honorable member for La Trobe **(Mr. Jess),** an honorable and gallant member of this Parliament who has a magnificent record in war and who is the son of a gentleman who also had a magnificent record in war. When one gets two men, father and son, endowed with both brains and bravery, it is a combination worth quoting. Let me quote to the Parliament and to the people of Australia - and let the people remember this on 5th December - what one of the most qualified men on the Government side has said about the defence of this country. He criticised the then Minister for Defence **(Mr. Townley)** for seeing no difference in the defence situation in 1962 from the defence situation in 1959-60. He said that that Minister for Defence saw no difference in the situation in 1957. If the honorable member were making his speech tonight he could say that the present Minister for Defence **(Senator Paltridge)** secs no difference now from what he saw in 1962. On 25th October 1962, the honorable member for La Trobe said - >Have we adequate defence preparedness and strength to meet the opposing forces in such an eventuality? He was referring to the possibility of meeting the forces of Indonesia. He said emphatically - >The answer, in my opinion, is no. Remember, this was said by a Liberal member; not some Labour member, not some Communist, not some ratbag whose views can be disregarded, but one of the most responsible members of the Government side. The statement appears on page 1956 of "Hansard" of 25th October 1962, almost two years ago to the day. Then the honorable member went on to say - and I want honorable members to note this, because this is what a member of the Government side said about the Government's defence effort - Have we comparative superiority of equipment? To balance the enemy's greater manpower. Have we comparative superiority in manpower or equipment? The answer to both questions must be no. We have no heavy guns, no guided missiles. Our Navy is not strong enough, our Air Force is not strong enough, and the numbers of our servicemen are most emphatically too few. This, I say again, was a statement by the Liberal member for La Trobe. He could have said more about our Navy, more about our Air Force, and he could have said much more about our Army than he did. The fact is that most of our admirals spend the greater part of their time parading around in their dress uniforms at cocktail parties. They are fighting all their naval engagements at cocktail parties, and some of them wear strange ear whiskers - mutton chops. I think it is about time we cleaned out three quarters of the generals, admirals and air marshals in our defence forces and got a team of men who are less concerned with showing off to the ladies at cocktail parties and a little more concerned with getting this country's defences ready to protect us against a foreign invasion, should one come. {: .speaker-YI4} ##### Mr Robinson: -- That is a shameful statement. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON: -- Is it? I have not finished yet; I am only coming to the best part of it. We have in this country defences which this Government has built up over 1 5 long dreary years by spending at the rate of £200 million a year of the taxpayers* money. We have one radar unit. Radar is one of the most important means of defence which it is possible to have in a defence system, but we have only one radar system, and it works only eight hours a day. It does not work on public holidays. It does not work after 5 p.m. or after the pubs close. It does not start until 9 a.m. It works a 40 hour week on a roster system. It shuts down at night and on Saturdays and Sundays. Anyone would think that the enemy intends to give us 24 hours notice and that when it does attack it will not attack at night, on a Sunday, on a public holiday or, above all, after the pubs close. This is the concept - the thinking - that this Government exhibits on the question of defence. Let me remind the Parliament of another incident, and this relates to the effectiveness of our Air Force. Who will ever forget the occasion when a Tiger Moth ran amok at the Sydney airport. The authorities could not get it down, and as they thought it might be a danger to civilian aircraft a call went out for the Royal Australian Air Force to shoot it down. The Tiger Moth was not manned. The Royal Australian Air Force, in all its full regalia and with all its dignity, took to the air and for almost an hour shot at this Tiger Moth. It did not get the Tiger Moth, which of it own accord fell into the sea when it ran out of petrol. This is the defence system that this country has. This is not funny. Government members ought not to be laughing at this tragic situation. They have no reason to laugh, yet on the hustings on 5th December they will have the hide to go before the people and pretend that they have done everything they can for the defence of this country. How much longer are we going to put up with this shilly-shallying on the part of the Government - this wicked waste of money, this wicked waste of the taxpayers' money? Let us now have a look at the Army. We are told that we are going to build up one of the most magnificent armies the southern hemisphere has ever set eyes upon. Have a look at the record. I have taken from " Hansard " figures which were supplied by the Minister for the Army **(Dr. Forbes).** Does the Parliament realise that the intake into the Regular Army in July 1964 was less than half the intake into the regular Army in January 1964? The intake was 568 in January and 280 in July. That is one side of the coin; let us turn the penny over and have a look at what is on the other side. It is all very well for the Minister for Territories **(Mr. Barnes)** to laugh at the plight of the Service Ministers. I know that this takes his mind off his own pitiful administration in New Guinea. Let us look at the wastage from the Army. In January 1964 the wastage was 188, but in July 1964 it was 273. So when the intake was less than half of what it was in January the wastage was more than it was in January. However, that is not all. The wastage in the Citizen Military Forces which in January was 366 had risen to no less than 1,174 in July. These are not figures that the Government can afford to laugh off, **Sir. They** show that the country faces a tragic and terrible situation while this pathetic and indolent Government is allowed to continue in charge of the defence of Australia. Let me now turn to something else that was said by the Liberal member for La Trobe. In 1962, referring to the expression " pentropic ", he stated - >To me the term sounds something like the terms " panorama ", " extravaganza " and other extreme terms used by the Americans. Referring to the then Minister for the Army, he said - >The only thing that the Minister did not know was that in 1961 the United States of America was going to scrap the pentomic organisation and that we in Australia would be the only country in the world which retained the pent or five-sided structure . . . There is a certain disquiet in the Services and I should like to hear more about this matter. So would I, **Sir.** {: .speaker-K8B} ##### Mr Curtin: -- Who said that? {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr CLYDE CAMERON: -- It was said by the Liberal member for La Trobe two years ago. We all want to hear more about the matter. I say to the Government: For goodness' sake, let us know that this stupid idea of the pentropic defence force is to be scrapped. Every country throughout the world except Australia has scrapped it as being obsolete. I now come to something else that was said by the honorable member for La Trobe. It is this - >There is no doubt that although the actual amount of money allocated under the Budget for defence each year has remained constant its purchasing power has seriously declined. That is the whole nub of the situation: Expenditure has remained constant, but less and less has been received for it. This Government has spent about £200 million annually for the last 14 years, but the purchasing power of that money, even if spent wisely - had I the time, I could prove that it has not been spent wisely - is now only one third of the purchasing power when this Government was elected to put value back into the £1. The honorable member for La Trobe continued - >When we compare our defence vote with what is being spent on defence in other parts of the world, we realise that proportionately we are not doing very much in this sphere. I think it is now time for me to come back to some of the things that have to be done. I cannot agree with all that the honorable member for Mackellar said. He is not one who has had what we would regard as a very responsible record in the field of defence. I hate mentioning his record time after time, but I consider it necessary to do so. Since I came into this Parliament in 1949, about 150 members of this House and of the Senate have resigned, been defeated or passed away. So perhaps about 150 of the present members of the Parliament have not been privileged to hear remarks on this subject made by the late **Mr. Eddie** Ward, who was the previous member for East Sydney and who knew the honorable member for Mackellar particularly well and was well versed in his record in World War II. **Mr. Ward** told the Parliament something of the rather irresponsible behaviour of the honorable member for Mackellar in the difficult and dangerous period of that war. The honorable member was at that time in the defence forces. He did not lack bravery. Let nobody suggest that he lacked bravery and that he did not want to fight. He did want to fight, and it was not his fault that he was not in the most dangerous area of combat during the war. The reason why he was not there cannot be ascribed to a lack of bravery. There were other reasons, but I shall not go into them now. I propose only to discuss the incident that led finally to his dismissal from the Army. It has been said that the honorable member was cashiered out of the Army. I think he has rejected that suggestion on two or three occasions. He was at least dismissed from the Army. The reason was that, in order to show that the defences of Australia in war time were not as good as he believed they ought to be, he set out to kidnap Sir Thomas Blamey, who was then Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Military Forces. I see that honorable members are laughing. Everybody but the honorable member laughed, too, when he set out on this rather harebrained scheme. All the heads of the defence forces laughed when the honorable member set out to show that the Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Military Forces, then General Sir Thomas Blamey, but later a Field Marshal, could be kidnapped, taken to the Blue Mountains and kept on ice until the honorable member chose to release him. In short, the honorable member set out to do what was regarded as being impossible. Although lie warned the heads of the defence force* and of the Department of Defence what he intended to do, the fact remains that he succeeded in his mission. I am informed that he dressed his commandos as tramway men. They proceeded to a place in Sydney where tram crews changed shifts. The military commanders, knowing that a raid was to be made, were in readiness. They were waiting for commandos to arrive headed by the honorable member. The military commanders, laughing about the idea, concluded, when nothing was seen of the raiders, that they were not coming. The military men saw the tramway workers change shifts. The next thing those military men knew was that they were looking down the barrels of the guns of the honorable member's commandos, who, as I have said, were dressed as tramway men. So the honorable member and his troops took the post. They succeeded in making the Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Military Forces a prisoner and whisking him away to the Blue Mountains. One must be envious of the genius of the honorable member for Mackellar as exhibited in this episode. But he was not content with this. He wanted to show that any foreign force could land on our shores and blow up roads, bridges and all kinds of establishments. He wanted to be quite practicable about this. Here I come to the real reason why he was kicked out of the Army. In order to prove the practicability of what he envisaged, the honorable member decided to demonstrate that an enemy could have blown up a bridge on the Cronulla railway line. He succeeeded in making the demonstration in the most practical manner by actually blowing up the bridge, which cost some thousands of pounds to replace. The honorable member said: "We are at war and we have to teach the armed forces a lesson by hook or by crook, regardless of the expense". Whether one can take much notice of what the honorable member says about defence these days is a debatable point. He has a series of complaints about our defence. He says, first, that we need formations in being. We have not those formations. He says, secondly, that we need formations in reserve. We do not have them. He says, thirdly, that we need a pool of trained men for reinforcement purposes. We have not that pool of trained men for reinforcements. This is important, because the honorable member's plan will require a lot of reinforcements. He would begin by undertaking the simple task of denuclearising China. He will need quite a few reinforcements for that - probably at least one million men. The deaths in this and other countries if such a harebrained, crazy scheme were attempted would total tens of millions. He complains that we have not enough trained men to provide such reinforcements. He says fourthly, that we need the machinery for general mobilisation of the whole of our manpower. In this, he is perhaps getting closer to what the Government's future policy will be. He says, fifthly, that we need an instructional corps to handle the intake of recruits. The honorable member says, sixthly, that if we cannot get the men voluntarily we have to envisage the use of conscription. I am glad to see that he apparently approves my stating his view on that matter. He says that we need to conscript into the Army no fewer than 10,000 young men each year and that they must serve for two years. So, after four years, we shall have trained 40,000 men in this way. That is all very well. The trouble with conscription is this: We all have our liberty and our freedom. We all have our love of democratic principles and of the British freedoms that we enjoy. But some have more than that. Some have enormous investments totalling millions of pounds. If the conscription proposed by the honorable member follows the pattern that his predecessrs have always implemented, we shall find that those who are conscripted into the forces will not be the sons of the rich and powerful members of this community. They will be the sons of working men who do not know members of Parliament to whom they can appeal for help in keeping their sons out of the forces or influential members in the government of the day who can pull strings to see that young men are kept out of the forces. We should not talk about conscription as though war is absolutely inevitable. The best defence experts are those who can evolve some method of preventing war, not those who think war is inevitable. Nobody could question the bravery of the honorable member for Mackellar. He was probably the most disappointed man in Australia when he could not get behind a machine gun and shoot at somebody wearing a red beret. If he could have done that he would have been happy. His idea is that by hook or by crook we must get into a war before he is too old to enjoy it. He wants a war. He is dying to get into a war, and so are some of his colleagues. They are dying for a war, even though they have nothing with which to fight a war. Some honorable members opposite, who know they will not be personally involved in a war, are doing their level best to get Australia into another war, which could be the last war anybody will fight. They have nothing with which to protect this country or with which to fight a war, but they are doing their level best to get Australia entangled in a war. **Sir, I** think I have said enough to satisfy you that all is not well with our defence forces. I could have said more. I could have said that due to the ineptitude of the Government, 121 per cent, of munitions ordered for the defence forces, as revealed in " Hansard " of 15th September this year- {: #subdebate-42-0-s13 .speaker-KGP} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER:
ISAACS, VICTORIA -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr Wentworth: -- **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** I wish to make a personal explanation. {: #subdebate-42-0-s14 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Does the honorable member claim to have been misrepresented? {: .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr Wentworth: -- Yes. With some regret I am bound to say that the account of my activities given by the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Clyde Cameron) is almost wholly false. I am sorry that this should be so and that I should have to spoil a good story. I turn now to a more serious matter. The honorable member said that I want war. Exactly the opposite is the case. I want peace. I advocate policies that will keep the Australian people peaceful and free. {: #subdebate-42-0-s15 .speaker-5E4} ##### Mr SINCLAIR:
New England .- I wish to refer briefly to a few matters covered by the Bill. I am grateful to you, **Sir, for** the latitude you have shown in permitting honorable members to range beyond the ambit of the Bill because this has enabled honorable members from this side of the House to give the Australian people some idea of the irresponsibility of members of the alternative government. I was ashamed to be a member of a House in which one of the leading spokesmen for the Opposition could make a vindictive attack on the serving officers of the Australian armed forces. He alleged that they had nothing better to do than attend cocktail parties and enjoy the frivolities of life. I was one of the members of the Government Parties Defence Committee who attended the exercise " Long Shot". Taking part in the exercise were quite a number of men of whom any Australian could justifiably be proud. Many of the officers who served in theatres of war and who have served in the Services since the war ended would have been only too proud to have served with the men I saw taking part in exercise " Long Shot ". These are the men whom the honorable member for Hindmarsh has attacked tonight. These are the senior officers who determine the effectiveness of our armed forces. These are the men who very effectively displayed in exercise " Long Shot " something of the preparedness of the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force. I do not want to stray beyond the bounds of this Bill. I do not want to go into the ambit of political and strategic defence possibilities, because I, like many other honorable members, am looking forward to the defence review which I hope will be announced in the next fortnight. I think we should examine the legislation now before us to see to what extent it achieves modifications in our present state of preparedness. First I would like to mention the gratuity payments that are to be made to members of the Emergency Reserve. In his second-reading speech in another place the Minister for Defence **(Senator Paltridge)** said that members of the Emergency Reserve would be paid a special bounty of £100 for the first year of service, rising by £25 each year to £175 in the fourth and subsequent years. I think a similar gratuity could well be paid to members of the Citizen Military Forces. I know that members of the C.M.F. are not taxed on their pay and that they enjoy other incentives, but they still give of their valued time. They still sacrifice time that would otherwise be spent in leisure activities or in work. I think we should give them further incentives to spend their time in training. One such incentive is a financial incentive. I understand that it costs about £100 to equip a member of the C.M.F. If it costs so much surely it it worth while encouraging some stability within the C.M.F. We know of the rate of turnover in the C.M.F. and if we could get men to stay longer in the force any incentive given to them would be more than compensated for by not having continually to re-equip newly enrolled personnel. I come now to the provisions in the legislation relating to re-employment of men. One of the problems as far as the C.M.F. personnel and members of the Emergency Reserve are concerned is that these people must leave their employers* businesses. The honorable member for Calare **(Mr. England)** referred to this matter and said that he was concerned that small shopkeepers, farmers and other employers might be unduly penalised if their employees joined the force. The legislation provides for penalities to be imposed on employers who do not re-employ former employees who have served in the Emergency Reserve for a period, but the penalties are not very severe. One of the problems associated with this matter is that we are providing a penalty; we are not providing an incentive. Employers should be offered something to induce them to encourage their employees to join the Emergency Reserve. You do not induce employers to encourage their employees to join the armed forces by threatening them with penalties, as you are in this instance. I think there is a case here for giving employers some tax incentive to induce them to encourage their employees to join the Reserve. If this were done the employer may feel that any loss of production that he suffers is offset to some extent by his taxation concession. I know that it would be hard to assess a reasonable tax concession, but having regard to the loss of production suffered by an employer as a result of his employee leaving him, I think some proportionate concession could be worked out to encourage employers to allow their men to go away. I should like to refer now to the provisions relating to superannuation of men who join the Emergency Reserve. Proposed new section 132 (7.) provides that if a man is absent in the Emergency Reserve for a period of time and is re-employed later by his employer, provided that within one month of the expiration of the period of absence on defence service he makes to his superannuation fund or its equivalent, the contribution he would have been required to make if he had not been absent during that period, he is entitled to continue within the ambit of the fund. I think this is a very fair provision, but one aspect of it which concerns is the wording " within one month pf the expiration of the period of absence ". It seems to me that it would be more rational to make it within one month of his re-employment. No doubt, if a man has been serving overseas, as it is envisaged he could well do during his period of defence service, then, when he comes back home he is quite likely to want to spend a week or a month with his family. He might want to go to the beach or anywhere else before returning to employment. Therefore, I think that there is a case for some variation of this provision. I should like the Minister to look at this point and see whether it is possible to amend the bill to the wording that I have suggested. Another aspect that concerns me is the fact that there is no mention of any payment into the superannuation fund on behalf of the employer. As honorable members will know from the debate on the measure that passed through the House yesterday, most superannuation schemes provide for payment not only by the employee but also by the employer. These moneys are contributed to a fund which earns interest, and out of which superannuation benefits are paid. If a man has been away on emergency service, provision is made for the payment of his contributions, but there is no provision for the payment of the employer's contribution. I suggest that this might well be paid by the Commonwealth Government. I do not see that there is any cause to penalise the employer but no more do I see that there is a cause to prejudice the benefits to which the employee might otherwise be entitled if the superannuation contributions had run their normal course. For that reason I think there is a case for some reconsideration by the Minister for the Army **(Dr. Forbes).** Perhaps when he is gazetting the regulations providing for the special bounties he could include provision for superannuation payments by the Commonwealth Government on behalf of the employer upon the return of the employee from emergency service. There are many things related to the Emergency Reserve and the Citizen Military Force that should be considered, and I was very glad indeed to hear the honorable member for Indi **(Mr. Holten)** refer this afternoon to the payment of a subsidy on rifle ammunition. I know that, unfortunately, with the re-equipment of our armed forces, this is something which is going out of date, but I feel that from the men in the bush who in the past have belonged to rifle associations, we have had some of the most valuable recruits into the armed forces in times of national emergency. I think that a tremendous amount can be achieved in the future through rifle clubs in training men adequately, sufficiently, wisely and efficiently to use arms. I suggest there is a very sound case for continued contributions by the Commonwealth Government towards the provision of .303 ammunition so that rifle clubs may continue to play a very effective part in providing these men for possible future recruitment into the armed forces of this country. There are many aspects of defence that one could cover. I do not wish to canvass them all. I hope that they will be covered in the defence review which will be submitted, I hope, in the near future. The honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)** has made a very accurate assessment of the tactical situation in the north. I cannot accept the opinion of the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** who, as I understand his argument, sees in the instability of South East Asia, no reason to fear the expansion of Communism. As I understand his argument, he sees no problems for the future safety of Australia arising from the inroads being made into South East Asia by Communism. He quoted **Mr. Denis** Healey as having said that political instability resulting from the exercise of power politics creates conditions in which Communism thrives. Surely the honorable member does not deny that these conditions exist in our near north today. Surely he does not deny that this is the situation which necessitates the review that is presently being made of our armed forces. I feel that this assessment has been rightly seen by the honorable member for Mackellar as being related mainly to the spread of militant Communism in our near north. As I understand the argument, this was the point of difference between the honorable member for Hindmarsh and the honorable member for Mackellar. It is this problem of the spread of militant Communism that constitutes our biggest hurdle in the future. As the Prime Minister rightly said - >The choice remains today as it has stood for years. We can have either the peace of defended freedom or the peace of submission. I, for one, prefer the peace of defended freedom. {: #subdebate-42-0-s16 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr FORBES:
Minister for the Army · Barker · LP , - in reply - The honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Clyde Cameron), as usual, reduced what had been, generally speaking, a most constructive and useful debate, to a farce. The honorable member for New England **(Mr. Sinclair)** restored it to its former level. The debate has ranged over a wide field. My colleagues, the other Service Ministers and I, have found many of the contributions in the wider field most valuable; but, in closing the debate, I do not intend to canvass those wider considerations. I would, however, like to mention one or two things which were raised specifically in relation to the Bill by honorable members. In general terms, it has been said by many honorable members, helpfully on this side of the House but destructively on the other side of the House, that the measures which are to be implemented as a result of this Bill are not a complete answer to what they see our defence problems to be. My reply to that is that they are not intended to be the complete answer. They were never intended to be the complete answer. It was never intended that this Bill would in any way represent the Government's answer to the current assessment of defence problems. Nor is it intended to be a substitute for other measures which may emerge from the defence review. But the major provisions contained in this legislation are important in their own right; they are measures which needed to be undertaken and which should be undertaken irrespective of anything else that we may do. In effect, they are measures which increase our capacity to respond to a situation that we may face. They increase our overall defence potential. However big a Regular Army we have, we will still have need for something like the Regular Army Emergency Reserve. There are always gaps to be filled in the Army. There is always a requirement for more reinforcements. There is always a need, particularly in a country like this, to make the most economical use of whatever manpower is available. To take regular soldiers who have been trained, who have served for a period and become experienced, and re-use their services in a time in which we require manpower quickly, seems to me the most effective way of using Australia's scarcest resources - manpower. No matter how big the Regular army becomes we will always need the Citizen Military Forces or something like them. As I have said before, the Army does not consist simply of the Australian Regular Army. In a great deal of the discussion one hears on this subject it appears to be assumed that our Army consists only of the Regular Army. We have one Army, which comprises a relatively small and readily available section, which is the Regular Army, and comprises also the Citizen Military Forces. The two together make up the Australian Army, and we refer to the two combined as the Australian Army. The role of the A.R.A. is to provide a readily available force. The role of the C.M.F. is to provide follow-up units. The advantage of this concept of the C.M.F. being available in times of defence emergency is that it gives the concept of one army consisting of a readily available section and follow-up units real meaning in today's situation, in this period when the situation to our north appears almost uniformly grey instead of in sharply defined blacks and whites. This concept is important, therefore, irrespective of the effect on the C.M.F. in terms of manpower. The honorable member for Yarra (Dr. J. F. Cairns) tried to suggest earlier that the only criterion one can adopt in judging this measure is the effect it may have on the size of the C.M.F. The measure is important irrespective of this consideration because it gives the concept of the C.M.F. as a follow-up force in this one army real meaning in today's situation. We are optimistic, however, and we hope that by giving the C.M.F. a real sense of purpose, unlike anything it has ever had before, we will succeed not only in increasing the numbers of the C.M.F. but also in inducing people in the C.M.F. to serve for longer periods. The honorable member for Batman **(Mr. Benson)** raised a number of questions concerning service in the Regular Army Emergency Reserve and the C.M.F. He asked me whether 1 would do my best to provide a satisfactory answer to the questions he asked. He wanted to know the situation regarding medical and dental treatment for members of the Emergency Reserve and the C.M.F. The answer is that provisions relating to pay, medical and dental treatment and hospitalisation will be found in the regulations that will be made under the Act. But, in brief, members of the Regular Army Emergency Reserve, the Regular Army Reserve and the C.M.F. when called out for full time service will be treated in exactly the same way as members of the A.R.A. If members of the Emergency Reserve or the Regular Army Reserve or the C.M.F. serve overseas they will have exactly the same cover under the Repatriation Act as members of the Australian Regular Army. To deal with another point raised by the honorable gentleman: If members of these bodies on full time duty are killed or injured in Australia they will be covered under the Commonweatlh Employees' Compensation Act in the same way as members of the A.R.A. Any member who is absent from duty due to illness or injury can remain hospitalised - this was the point raised by the honorable member for Batman - for six months on full pay. But where the injury or illness is attributable to service the period is 12 months. In special cases, such as those in which skin or bone grafts are involved, the period may be extended for a further six months. The last point raised by the honorable member concerned widows of members of the Emergency Reserve, the Regular Army Reserve or the C.M.F. on full time service. They will have the same benefits as widows of members of the Australian Regular Army. The only difference between them and widows of members of the A.R.A. is that the latter widows will have the additional benefits provided under the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Act for which members of the A.R.A. contribute and members of the other three bodies do not. The honorable member for La Trobe **(Mr. Jess)** raised the question of officers' resignations. He said that he had studied the terms of section 17 as it is proposed to be amended and he found that there did not appear to be very much difference between the situation that had existed previously and the situation that will exist. As I said in my second reading speech, I believe that there will be a considerable difference. Although an officer will not be given an absolute right to resign at will - and obviously this right cannot be granted having regard to the nature of service in the forces - the new provisions will give a great deal more certainty to officers in the Regular Army in particular. I am led to that conclusion by the terms of the Military Board instruction that it is proposed to issue following the enactment of this legislation. This instruction will give an interpretation of the new section 17 to the officer corps in the Army. For the benefit of the honorable member and the House I would like to read a section of this proposed instruction. It reads - >In determining the advice it- That is, the Board - will tender to the Governor-General or in making its decision, as appropriate, the Military Board will be guided by the expectation that officers appointed to permanent commissions will have sought such commissions with the intention of making the Army their career and that short service commissioned officers will normally complete the period of their engagement. Then follows the important part - >It is not the desire of the Military Board to hold officers unwillingly in the Service, and every application to resign will receive sympathetic consideration on its merits. The Board has the duty however to maintain the Army at a high level of efficiency having regard to its operational needs which must be paramount. In such circumstances that operational needs would be seriously prejudiced the Board will not recommend acceptance of resignations until the services of the officers concerned can be spared. I emphasise the words " can be spared ". It has been suggested that one of the effects of the current resignation policy of the Board is that officers are committed to a period of servitude for life. This has never been so and it is quite obviously not so under this Military Board interpretation of the new section 1 7 of the Act. The honorable member for Calare **(Mr. England)** raised the matter of administrative problems which could be caused by the multiplication of forces in the Army. One can admit that this is a problem, but I think that if the honorable member looks at proposed section 49 he will find that the provision that members of the Reserve forces will in most cases be to all intents and purposes regarded as members of the Regular Army Supplement when called up for full time service will clear away many of the difficulties that he envisages through the multiplication of these forces. The honorable member also asked what was the Regular Army Supplement and whether it was a new thing. The Regular Army Supplement is a new name for a body that has existed since 1948 and which until now has been known as the Australian Regular Special Reserve. This never was a reserve in the true sense of the word because all members of this body served during their period on the Regular Army Special Reserve as full time members of the Army. With the possibility of confusion with the new Regular Army Emergency Reserve, the opportunity was taken quite recently to change its name to a more appropriate one, the Regular Army Supplement which, briefly, is divided into a number of parts. One part comprises soldiers ineligible for service in the Australian Regular Army because of age and/ or a temporary medical classification. Another part is comprised of soldiers enlisted for a special task of unknown duration. By far the largest part of this Supplement is comprised of soldiers in all respects elegible for enlistment in the A.R.A. but initially for three years only. The honorable member also asked whether present members of the C.M.F. have all given an undertaking for overseas service. The answer to that question is " Yes ". A specific question raised by honorable members in relation to this particular Bill was mentioned by the honorable member for Hughes (Mr. L. R. Johnson). Before answering the point he made, I would like to say how much I deprecate the gratuitous insults he levelled at one of the finest body of troops in the world, the Pacific Islands Regiment. All I hope is that some day that regiment finds the honorable member on a dark night. The honorable member for Hughes in a very constructive and responsible moment asked why could not we enlist less experienced men into the Regular Army Emergency Reserve at this stage. I think that the answer to this question lies in the purpose of the Reserve. We must have people with a considerable body of training behind them. In his remarks, the honorable member for Hughes almost gave the impression that the people who are to be enlisted in the Regular Army Emergency Reserve are people who served in the Second World War. This is not so. The people who enlist in the Regular Army Emergency Reserve could be quite young soldiers. A soldier who, for instance, enlisted at the age of 17 and left the Army at the end of his first six years engagement at which time he would be 23, would be a well trained and experienced soldier. In order to fulfil the intentions for which the Emergency Reserve is designed, the person enlisting must be an experienced soldier. The Emergency Reserve is not a body to take in inexperienced people and to train them. Finally, the honorable member for New England raised the question of the employers' contributions. I would like to inform the honorable member that this matter was carefully considered by the Government and a deliberate decision was made to include the clause in the Bill as it is actually included. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. In Committee. Clauses 1 to 7 - by leave - taken together, and agreed to. Clause 8. Section ten of the Principal Act is repealed and the following sections are inserted in its stead: - " 10c. - (1.) The Governor-General may delegate to the Military Board or to an officer of the Military Forces any of the powers to appoint and promote officers of the Military Forces conferred upon him by sections ten and ten b of this Act. "(2.) A delegation under this section may be made applicable to appointments or promotions of officers - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. to specified ranks; 1. in a specified part of the Military Forces; or 2. to ranks of a specified kind. {: #subdebate-42-0-s17 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr FORBES:
Minister for the Army · Barker · LP -- I move - >Omit sub-section (2.) of proposed section 10c, insert the following sub-section: - " ' (2.) A delegation under this section may be made applicable to appointments or promotions of officers to specified ranks or to ranks of a specified kind and either in the Military Forces generally or in a specified part of the Military Forces.". This is a simple amendment designed to clarify the intention of the proposed section 10c. Strictly interpreted, it appears that sub-section (2.) of the proposed section 10c would enable the Governor-General to delegate power to make appointments or promotions of the nature indicated by paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or paragraph (c), but would not, as originally drafted, enable the delegation of power to make appointments or promotions of a nature indicated by more than one of those paragraphs in combination. For example, under proposed section 10c as it appears in the Bill, the Governor-General would not have been enabled to delegate his power to make appointment, say, to the rank of lieutenant in the Regular Army Supplement - that is, to a specified rank in a specified part of the Military Forces. Again, the power to promote might be delegated but the delegation would have been restricted to the power to promote to, say, the ranks of lieutenant and temporary captain in the Citizen Military Forces. It was the intention that authority be given for the making of delegations of this nature and, accordingly, the sub-section has been refrained to make the intention quite clear. {: #subdebate-42-0-s18 .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr BENSON:
Batman .- I would like the Minister for the Army to explain a little more clearly, if possible, the amendment which he has just introduced. As the Minister knows, members of the Citizen Military Forces are paid only what is called the "on promotion" rate. That is the minimum rate for the particular rank held, no matter how long the rank has been held. Is it proposed to adopt the same policy for the Regular Army Emergency Reserve, or is it intended to encourage suitably qualified members of the Citizen Military Forces to join the Regular Army Emergency Reserve by allowing them seniority in the Reserve equivalent to the seniority that they held in the C.M.F.? I think the Minister understands that an officer in the Naval Reserve or the Citizen Military Forces could have been a lieutenant-commander in the Navy or a captain in the Army, respectively, for X number of years and would not receive seniority pay as permanent officers do. I would suggest that the Minister look into this matter. {: .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr Forbes: -- You refer to seniority pay? {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr BENSON: -- The Minister knows what I mean. These persons receive seniority pay. In the C.M.F., that does not apply. I think this matter is something which is worthwhile looking into because, as I understand it, the main idea of this Bill is to put this Regular Army Emergency Reserve on a smilar footing to that of the permanent forces. If this is the case, I think the Minister willreadily understand the point I have made and bring these conditions into line with those that apply in the permanent forces. The Minister for Defence (Senator Paltridge) speaking in another place when this Bill was originated spoke of protecting the rights of men joining this Reserve. He said - >An important part of the Defence Bill which will apply to the three Services is that part which deals with the safeguarding of the civil employment rights of members of the Reserves and Citizen Forces. {: #subdebate-42-0-s19 .speaker-KDS} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Failes:
LAWSON, NEW SOUTH WALES -- Order! Is the honorable member referring to a debate in another place? {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr BENSON: -- No. I am not. {: .speaker-0095J} ##### Mr Howson: -- Are you speaking to clause 8? {: .speaker-JP5} ##### Mr BENSON: -- This applies a little bit to clause 8. The rights of these people should be safeguarded. I would like to see a Bill brought in to provide that they can get their jobs back. Amendment agreed to. Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clauses 9 to 34 - by leave - taken together, and agreed to. Clause 35 (New Part XII.). {: #subdebate-42-0-s20 .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY:
Fremantle -- I ask the Minister for the Army (Dr. Forbes) a question about the obligations of employers to men in these forces. Sums of money are paid by Commonwealth public servants as superannuation contributions. Does the Commonwealth intend to pay the contributions for public servants who join the Emergency Reserves and are called up for full time service? {: #subdebate-42-0-s21 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr FORBES:
Minister for the Army · Barker · LP -- The answer to that question is quite clearly " Yes ". It is quite clear that the liability in this respect rests on the employer. The Commonwealth, being the employer, would be liable for the contributions. Clause agreed to. Clauses 36 to 40 - by leave - taken together, and agreed to. Clause 41 (Termination of service in certain cases). {: #subdebate-42-0-s22 .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY:
Fremantle .- I wish to raise two points in relation to this clause. First, the Opposition asks that the clause be postponed for reasons which I will outline in a moment. I also want your ruling, **Mr. Temporary Chairman,** on whether, after we have dealt with this clause, I will be able to raise the matter of inserting a new clause. I would not like us to proceed direct to the third reading after clause 41 has been discussed. {: #subdebate-42-0-s23 .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- The Chair thinks that the honorable member would need to move for the insertion of a new clause. He has drafted the clause that he wishes to have inserted, has he? {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- Yes. I had better deal with clause 41 first. I move - >That the clause be postponed. The Opposition's reason for submitting this motion is to indicate to the Government our belief that enlistment of members of the Citizen Military Forces for overseas service should be a deliberate act of re-enlistment and re-attestation and should not be assumed as having taken place from default in submitting a letter of resignation. Clause 41 provides - (1.) Where a member of the Military Forces serving at the date of commencement of this Act - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. has not voluntarily agreed to serve beyond the territorial limits of Australia whenever required so to serve; and 1. has, within thirty days after the date of commencement of this Act, by writing under his hand addressed to his commanding officer - {: type="i" start="i"} 0. stated that he is unwilling to serve beyond the territorial limits of Australia wherever required so to serve; and 1. applied, on that account, to resign his military office or to be discharged, his resignation shall be accepted or he shall be discharged, as the case requires, with all convenient speed. Under this clause all persons are assumed to have enlisted for overseas service. I understand that members of the C.M.F. have already done that. But the Government, having some doubts about the legal position of their attestations, has provided that within 30 days after the commencement of the Act they may notify that they will not serve overseas. That seems to us to be an unsatisfactory way of proceeding. A man is being confronted with an obligation for overseas service. We believe that the better procedure is not to say: " If you do not say anything you are enlisted for overseas service ", but that a man should deliberately re-enlist and re-attest for overseas service so that it is clearly known that he is accepting an obligation or a commitment which we believe is important for him and for the country. The proposal that within 30 days after the commencement of the Act he has to send in a letter, stating that he will not serve overseas, does not appear to us to be the optimum procedure. We have not drafted an amendment to cover the position. We believe that that should be the function of the Government. But we ask that the clause be postponed and that the postponement be taken to indicate the desirability of the change in procedure that I have suggested. {: #subdebate-42-0-s24 .speaker-KFH} ##### Dr FORBES:
Minister for the Army · Barker · LP -- The Government cannot accept this amendment, principally because we believe it to be completely unnecessary. I point out that the reason for the clause is not that previously there was some doubt about members of the Citizen Military Forces volunteering for overseas service. That was the least of the considerations. The reason why we specifically included in the bill the opportunity to contract out is that previously members of the C.M.F. were committed to serve overseas only in time of war. Their conditions will be changed considerably now in respect of a time of defence emergency. That is why we believe it is important that they be given this consideration. I point out from a practical point of view that the Minister for Defence **(Senator Paltridge)** gave notice of the proposed changes in the conditions governing service in the C.M.F. in June last, and that the Government is not aware of any protests from members of the C.M.F. concerning these changes. Indeed, the changes appear to have met with universal approval. Members of the C.M.F. are all active members of units and, therefore, are in constant touch with their units. That is one thing that we can say with certainty under these conditions. It is possible, therefore, to undertake that the changed conditions of service will be brought to the notice of each serving member of the C.M.F. The position under the Bill as it stands is that members of the C.M.F. can opt out within 30 days of the Bill becoming law, and that except in time of war or defence emergency they can claim their discharge under clause 20 of the Bill by giving three months' notice. As anybody who has been associated with the C.M.F. will know, members are seldom required to serve for those three months. In most circumstances they can be discharged on application. So the two year engagement of a member of the C.M.F. means very little. If any member of the C.M.F., through ignorance, fails to exercise his right to opt out, his case can be dealt with on its merits. There is little doubt that, if a member failed to exercise his option, he could take his discharge almost immediately. In any event, members are engaged for periods of two years at a time. Therefore, at the end of that term they are discharged unless at that time or earlier they elect to re-engage. Summarising the position, I say that soldiers are given the right to opt out; but, in any event, they have, in effect, the right to re-enlist by electing to re-engage at the end of their terms. That .being the position, it is quite unrealistic to require each member of the C.M.F. to sign a piece of paper indicating that he is willing to serve under the changed conditions. That would involve the processing of about 27,630 pieces of paper and would create an unnecessary and unacceptable administrative burden. In case any honorable members are worried about this matter, I would add that directions already have been issued from Army Headquarters to the commands - to come into effect from the date on which this Bill receives the royal assent - requiring commanding officers to arrange for the personal notification of the changes to each member of their units. A record is to be kept of compliance with this direction. Because of variations in local circumstances, a common procedure cannot be adopted for all units, but each member of the C.M.F. will be contacted personally and notified within the 30 days laid down in the legislation. Question resolved in the negative. Clause agreed to. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr Beazley: -- I should like your ruling, Mr. Temporary Chairman, on a possible provision. It may not be possible to move such a motion within the framework of this Bill, hut the Opposition desires that a new provision be added to provide for the extension of all benefits under the Repatriation Act to members of the Citizen Military Forces for all disabilities incurred on service in Australia. The C.M.F. is a fully attested and committed force for all military purposes. We ask whether it would be in order to move, on this Bill, that the repatriation benefits be extended. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- The Chair does not think that that would be in order on this Bill. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr Beazley: -- Is that you ruling, Sir? {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Yes. Title agreed to. Bill reported with an amendment; report - by leave - adopted. {:#subdebate-42-1} #### Third Reading Bill (on motion by **Dr. Forbes)** - by leave - read a third time. {: .page-start } page 2542 {:#debate-43} ### NAVAL DEFENCE BILL 1964 {:#subdebate-43-0} #### Second Reading Consideration resumed from 27th October (vide page 2323), on motion by **Mr. Chaney** - >That the Bill be now read a second time. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. In Committee. Clauses 1 to 6 - by leave - taken together, and agreed to. Clause 7. Section; eight to sixteen (inclusive) of the Principal Act are repealed and the following sections inserted in their stead: - " 11. - (1.) The Governor-General may delegate to the Naval Board or to an officer of the Naval Forces any of the powers to appoint and promote officers of the Naval Forces conferred upon him by sections eight and ten of this Act. " (2.) A delegation under this section may be made applicable to appointments or promotions of officers - **Mr. CHANEY** (Perth- Minister for the Navy) [10.14].- I move- >Omit sub-section (2.) of proposed section 11, insert the following sub-section - " ' (2.) A delegation under this section may be made applicable to appointments or promotions of officers to specified ranks or to ranks of a specified kind and either in the Naval Forces generally or in a specified part of the Naval Forces". This proposed amendment is similar to the amendment previously proposed and agreed to in relation to clause 8 of the Defence Bill, which amended section 10c. of the Defence Act. This is essentially a drafting amendment to clarify the true intention of sub-section (2), namely, that the sub-section should enable the GovernorGeneral to give a delegation of power to appoint or promote officers to specified ranks or to ranks of a specified kind either in the naval forces generally or in a specified part of the naval forces. Amendment agreed to. Clause, as amended, agreed to. Remainder of Bill - by leave - taken as a whole, and agreed to. Bill reported with an amendment; report - by leave - adopted. {:#subdebate-43-1} #### Third Reading Bill (on motion by **Mr. Chaney)** - by leave - read a third time. {: .page-start } page 2542 {:#debate-44} ### AIR FORCE BILL 1964 {:#subdebate-44-0} #### Second Reading Consideration resumed from 27th October (vide page 2325), on motion by **Mr. Howson** - >That the Bill be now read a second time. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. {:#subdebate-44-1} #### Third Reading Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith. Bill (on motion by **Mr. Howson)** read a third time. {: .page-start } page 2542 {:#debate-45} ### COPPER AND BRASS STRIP BOUNTY BILL 1964 {:#subdebate-45-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed from 1st October (vide page 1709), on motion by **Mr. Bury** - >That the bill be now read a second time. {: #subdebate-45-0-s0 .speaker-KYC} ##### Mr POLLARD:
Lalor .- The purpose of the Bill, as stated by the Minister for Housing **(Mr. Bury)** when he delivered his second reading speech, is to extend the operation of the Copper and Brass Strip Bounty Act 1962 for a further maximum period of six months to 31st March 1965. The existing bounty provision expired on 30th September 1964. The Minister said that the reason for the extension of the bounty provisions, which I think have been running for about two years, is that the Tariff Board, which has before it a reference in respect of the copper and brass strip industry, has not had sufficient time to complete its investigations. We have been informed that unforeseen complications, largely due to fluctuations in the price of copper on world markets, have necessarily delayed the Tariff Board in its investigation into whether the bounty should be extended for a substantial period. This Bill, if enacted, will extend the existing bounty provisions for a period of six months until 31st March 1965, unless for some reason it is found that the bounty can be terminated at an earlier date. The termination can be implemented by a proclamation issued under the Act. The copper and brass strip industry is of substantial importance to Australia. I understand that, in the main, copper and brass, in sheet, strip and foil forms, are used in internal combustion engines or in association with other types of power plant. In his second reading speech, the Minister for Housing said that copper and brass strip is used in heat exchanger units of the types used with internal combustion engines. I have some idea of what such a heat exchanger unit is, but I am not sure that my idea is correct. I think the Parliament should be given a more explicit and more easily understood description in a second reading speech. Possibly, if we read the report of the Tariff Board we will find a clearer description of a heat exchanger unit of the type used with interna] combustion engines. I ask the Minister to give a simple explanation of a heat exchanger unit. {: .speaker-009MM} ##### Mr Kelly: -- It sounds like a radiator. {: .speaker-KYC} ##### Mr POLLARD: -- I think the honorable member is right. {: .speaker-JTP} ##### Mr Bury: -- A fire underneath a boiler would heat water and the water would pass through a heat exchanger. {: .speaker-KYC} ##### Mr POLLARD: -- In other words, it is commonly called a radiator. {: .speaker-JTP} ##### Mr Bury: -- That would be one form. {: .speaker-KYC} ##### Mr POLLARD: -- There may be other forms. A few years ago, I read a very interesting book called " What a Word " by A. P. Herbert. It was a plea for the use of more simple English. I make a plea now for a more simple explanation of a heat exchanger unit. {: .speaker-KEN} ##### Mr Fairhall: -- How simple can you get? {: .speaker-KYC} ##### Mr POLLARD: -- Yes, how simple can you get? But the idea is to be as simple as possible, even if you do not look simple. I recollect very well that one Commonwealth Department had a habit of using the word " differential " in official documents. Most people thought that this was some principle of mathematics. {: .speaker-JTP} ##### Mr Bury: -- It drives a motor car, too. {: .speaker-KYC} ##### Mr POLLARD: -- Yes. I was coming to that. I inquired why the simple word " difference" could not be used. I am sure members of the Parliament and members of the public who read " Hansard " do not like long-winded explanations. They are entitled to better explanations than they are given, particularly in cases such as this. A member of the public seeing this expression would wonder what it meant. An engineer would know. A farmer with the practical knowledge and studious habits of the honorable member for Wakefield (Mr. Kelly) would know almost instantly or would reach a fairly shrewd conclusion. In passing, I express the hope that somebody, somewhere, at some time, will take note of what I have said. It is quite true that we get remarkably good reports from the Tariff Board from time to time, but these reports seldom reach the general public. They are seen only by people who are immediately associated with the industry concerned. The general public should be told and should have included in "Hansard " some concise explanation of these technical expressions. Let me give another illustration. In Tariff Board reports and indeed in the second reading speeches of Ministers, long chemical terms are used. The ordinary members of the public have not the slightest clue as to what they mean. I make a plea for some elaboration in future, without the elaboration being unduly tedious. The Opposition does not oppose the Bill. We supported the original Act in 1962. We are inclined to favour bounties rather than tariff protection, whenever a bounty can be used. A tariff tends to increase the price to the consumer, but with a bounty the cost of the protection to the industry more is justly spread over the taxpayers and the public generally. However, pending the report that is to come along in six months, or perhaps a shorter period, the Opposition offers its support for this Bill. I think the industry should be protected, provided the bounty is not used to bolster up the industry and ultimately create excessive profits. We know that bills that provide bounties invariably include a limit of 10 per cent., after which the bounty does not apply. That is appropriate and, I think, essential. Copper prices have shot up through the roof and perhaps the Commonwealth will not have to pay any bounty at all in this instance. I hope that will he so. The limit set in the principal Act is £190,000. If the maximum amount is drawn, the cost to the Commonwealth for the additional six months will be 95,000. We give our support to the Bill. I hope the Minister will heed my plea for a simplification of terms which are quite clear to technical officers but are sometimes quite difficult to people like me. {: #subdebate-45-0-s1 .speaker-JTP} ##### Mr BURY:
Minister for Housing · Wentworth · LP .- in reply - I am a simple and ordinary fellow, like the honorable member for Lalor **(Mr. Pollard).** We probably have this in common, although as a politician he may be older and much trickier than I am. He has asked for an explanation of the expression " heat exchanger units of the types used with internal combustion engines ". I must admit that I speak subject to correction by greater authority but I understand that this expression means a radiator. As I understand the process, in most cases the heat of an internal combustion engine is transferred to water, which it then passes through the radiator. Copper being an extremely good conductor, the heat of the water is exchanged with the coolness of the air. The intervention of copper is necessary, because it is not easy to exchange the cool of the air with the heat of the water unless the water is suitably contained. The water, having been cooled in that process, goes back to the internal combustion engine where it takes on further heat, a further exchange ensues and the process continues. I hope that this will prove to be a satisfactory explanation. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced. {:#subdebate-45-1} #### Third Reading Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith. Bill (on motion by **Mr. Bury)** read a third time. {: .page-start } page 2544 {:#debate-46} ### PERSONAL EXPLANATION {: #debate-46-s0 .speaker-RK4} ##### Mr HAYDEN:
Oxley **- Mr. Speaker,** I should like to make a personal explanation to the House. Last night, during the adjournment debate I made an error when I Stated- >There are also other photographs of the honorable member for Moreton addressing various seminars of this organisation. What I should have said was that there are also other articles on the honorable member for Moreton addressing various seminars of this organisation. {: .page-start } page 2544 {:#debate-47} ### BILLS RETURNED FROM THE SENATE The following Bills were returned from the Senate without amendment - >Parliamentary Allowances Bill 1964. > >Ministers of State Bill (No. 2) 1964. > >Parliamentary Retiring Allowances Bill 1964. > >Salaries (Statutory Offices) Adjustment Bill 1964. > >Loan (Housing) Bill 1964. > >Loan (War Service Land Settlement) Bill 1964. > >Migration Bill 1964. {: .page-start } page 2544 {:#debate-48} ### ADJOURNMENT {:#subdebate-48-0} #### Customs Duties - Anti-Semitism - Australian League of Rights - Hospitals and Medical Benefits Funds Motion (by **Mr. Fairhall)** proposed - >That the House do now adjourn. {: #subdebate-48-0-s0 .speaker-KCI} ##### Mr DEVINE:
East Sydney -- The matter that I should like to bring before this Parliament now relates to the Boeing 727 aircraft which have recently arrived in Australia from America, one for Trans-Australia Airlines and the other for Ansett-A.N.A. On Tuesday of this week a question was asked by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) of the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) about the customs duty to be paid on these aircraft. The Prime Minister replied that he did not know anything about the matter but that he would probably look into it. Last Thursday, 21st October, in the Senate, **Senator O'Byrne** also asked a question of the Minister for Civil Aviation **(Senator Henty)** about the customs duty. {: #subdebate-48-0-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member will put himself out of order. He cannotrefer to any discussion on any matter in another place during the current session. {: .speaker-KCI} ##### Mr DEVINE: -- Very good, **Mr. Speaker.** The cost of these aircraft to Ansett and T.A.A. was about £3 million each. Customs duty which should have been paid on the aircraft, at71/2 per cent, would amount to £225,000. Up to the present time this duty has not been paid. The Minister in another place stated that this matter was being considered. May I ask what is to be considered? If customs duty is due on these aircraft it should be paid irrespective of who is involved. I now say that Ansett has refused to pay this customs duty on his plane and has informed the Government that he has no intention of paying it. He let the Government know that if his aircraft did not fly in Australia then, under the Airlines Agreement Act T.A.A. could not fly its aircraft, and consequently both aircraft would have to stay on the tarmac. T.A.A. had forwarded a cheque to the Department of Customs and Excise for the duty on its aircraft. When Ansett told the Government that he was not going to pay the customs duty, the Department refunded the cheque to T.A.A. Why should preference once again be given to Ansett? If his company is permitted, without challenge, not to pay, why should not other industries such as General Motors-Holden's Pty. Ltd., Broken Hill Pty. Co. Ltd., Blue Metal Industries, W. D. & H. O. Wills (Aust.) Ltd., and small enterprises have the same concession? Why should this Government be the fairy godmother to Ansett? At the present time subsidies worth about £300,000 annually are paid to his organisation. The customs duty that has been waived amounts to £225,000. Another Boeing 727 for Ansett is due in about a week or so, and before June of next year a third Boeing 727 will be landed here for him. The nonpayment of customs duty will mean that in this financial year almost £750,000 will have been returned to Ansett-A.N.A., making the total subsidy for the financial year over £1 million. If the Government allows this to go on it will be a public scandal which should be stopped. People in the streets are talking. They are asking questions. They want to know what hold the Ansett organisation has over the Government. Recently, after an adverse ruling of the High Court, Ansett waved his wand and' this Government introduced airline regulations to take over intrastate air routes against the wishes of State Governments and against the will of the people who had expressed their rejection of the principle at a referendum. When a government does this for one industry, or for the faceless financiers who support this Government, it is natural that people will exchange innuendoes. Recently, when R. W. Miller and Co. Pty. Ltd. was attempting to enter the oil tanker trade on the Australian coast and to give employment to Australian seamen under Australian conditions in opposition to the oil cartels, all manner of obstacles were thrown in its path. By whom? We do not know; only the Government, its supporters or someone instructing the Government knows. Miller was not allowed to import tankers free of duty. He was made to put up huge financial bonds as an earnest that he would build tankers in Australia. I wonder what would have happened if the "golden colt" had thought of importing tankers. Would he have had the same barriers to overcome? Earlier this year T.A.A. wanted to operate three special Viscount aircraft between Adelaide and Perth. **Mr. Ansett** objected to TA.A.'s proposal and on 4th July he sent a telegram objecting to the flights. The result was another victory to Ansett; no flights. Honorable members should note that here we have a private enterprise company objecting to a Government enterprise expanding a service which would benefit the country. In Australia today civil aviation is not controlled by the Government but by one man, Reg Ansett, who has been favorably treated by this Government for many years by means of its financial support. He controls not only his own company, but under the Airlines Agreement Act, he has a large say about what T.A.A. can do. If T.A.A. wanted to change the cream in its coffee and Ansett objected there would be no change. The Interstate Parcel Express Co. Ltd. is another Australian company running in competition with Ansett Industries. It has made representations to the Government for permission to transport goods by air between States, but up to the present time its request has been rejected. Why? Because the Government does not like to see Ansett facing any competition. I feel that it is up to this Government to do something to assist other industries without giving the major share of its support to one industry. The financial documents of the Ansett interests should be produced in this Parliament and should be laid on the table of the House for members to peruse so that they can see whether the subsidies which are paid to Ansett Transport Industries Ltd. are warranted. There ought also to be a royal commission into favours which are being channelled through Ansett to great companies which return favours by way of large contributions to the funds of the Liberal Party. {: #subdebate-48-0-s2 .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr KILLEN:
Moreton .- During the time that I have been in this House, whatever other feelings I may have shown I have not complained about anything that may be said about me by any honorable member opposite, and I do not want to disturb that reputation in any way. However, I want to refer to two speeches that were made in this House last night, one coming from the honorable member for Oxley (Mr. Hayden) and the other, which I heard, coming from the honorable member for Yarra **(Dr. J. F. Cairns).** I promptly describe both speeches as representing a conspicuous combination of humbug, wicked falsehood and character daubing. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: -- I take a point of order, **Sir. Is** the honorable member in order in discussing during the debate on the motion for the adjournment of the House this evening speeches made during the debate on the motion for the adjournment of the House yesterday? {: #subdebate-48-0-s3 .speaker-KSC} ##### Mr SPEAKER (Hon Sir John Mcleay:
BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA -- The honorable member for Moreton is in order. In fact, I think, he was invited to do what he is doing. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr KILLEN: -- That is so. For the benefit of one of the new young pretenders who rose last night, I described what had been said as character daubing. In all these three fields - humbug, falsehood and character daubing - both the honorable member for Oxley and the honorable member for Yarra are skilled and experienced practitioners. It is not concern for the survival of my own character that prompts me to speak this evening. I am so bold as to say that, in any company in this country, I will put my character against that of the honorable member for Yarra and that of the honorable member for Oxley. The gravamen of the charge trade by these two individuals last evening was that I had had some unwholesome association with an organisation known as the Australian League of Rights and its Director, **Mr. E.** D. Butler. I want to make three points quite clearly so that even the petrified minds of these two honorable members may be able to comprehend them. First, I have never been a member of this organisation. Secondly, I am not a member of it. Thirdly, this much vaunted association that both of them so trenchantly purported to describe to the House last evening can be spelt out by activities in three fields. I have given papers to two public seminars organised by the Australian League of Rights. One related to Communism. I venture to say that I would present similar papers before any audience arranged by the honorable member for Yarra. But I think that some controversy would be aroused if I presented such papers before any audience gathered by him. The second way in which I was associated with the League of Rights was in the presentation of a paper about the Commonwealth of Nations. The third field of activity related to a public subscription that was opened to enable me to go to England to undertake a lecture campaign. That is the full extent of my association with the League. I hope that the two honorable members, even with the sense of their extreme limitations, can understand that. The more substantial charge that was levelled at me so recklessly and so infamously by these two honorable gentlemen was that I had been associated with antiSemitic activities. I repudiate this charge in the plainest of language, **Sir, and** say to all in this House and outside it that I dissociate myself completely from any thought of engaging in anti-Semitic activities. Let us look at the curious methods that were employed by these two ex-policemen opposite - poor samples of police forces, I am bound to say. For my part, rather than submit to their methods, I would submit happily to the charming of a voluntary confession out of me by the honorable member for Hunter **(Mr. James).** Let us look at an example of the statements made last night by the honorable member for Oxley. Referring to me, he said - {: type="i" start="1"} 0. . one statement that he made in connection with the partition of Israel, and which strongly supported the views of these anti-Semitic people . . . This is the sort of thing that is done under the general kind of umbrella statement: " You were there ". I want to make just one commentary on that by reading a short passage. It is this - . . despite the interesting speech by the honorable member for Moreton, I hope that there will be no alteration of boundaries introduced into the problem. Apart from that aspect I was very impressed with the honorable member's speech. Who said that? It was said by the former Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition in this Parliament, the Rt. **Hon. Dr. H.** V. Evatt. Will the honorable member for Oxley now say that the former right honorable member for Barton had anti-Semitic views? The honorable member exhibits a curious logic. Let us now move to the European Common Market issue, which was the second matter raised by the honorable gentleman. He has concluded that, because I happened to agree with the views of an organisation concerning the Common Market, I agree with all its views. May I remind him that, one evening, in this chamber, the honorable member for Yarra walked across the floor, in the full gaze of every member present, and congratulated me on my statement of my views on the Common Market. May the Lord protect me should the day ever come when I agree with all the views of the honorable member for Yarra. But let me take the honorable member for Oxley a little further and tell him that two Labour Ministers in the new United Kingdom Government, the Rt. Hon. Barbara Castle and the Rt. Hon. Douglas Jay, shared platforms with me. On this side of the table, now pouring a glass of water, I see the South Australian clown, the honorable member for Hindmarsh (Mr. Clyde Cameron). Let me tell him that I want no fluoride at all. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron: -- **Mr. Speaker,** I take a point of order. I ask that this unprovoked and unjustified slur be withdrawn. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member for Moreton must not reflect on another honorable member. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr KILLEN: -- I beg your pardon, **Sir.** {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I ask the honorable member to withdraw the remark that he made. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr KILLEN: -- I withdraw it, **Sir.** {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron: -- May I suggest that an apology is called for. **Sir.** {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- I suggest that the honorable member sit down. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr KILLEN: -- I have here three photographs showing the honorable member for Oxley in company with odd and peculiar individuals taking part in a peace march in Queensland, but I would not deduce from this that he is necessarily deeply involved. I now pass to the honorable member for Yarra, Mr. Speaker. I simply say that the statements that he made last evening overwhelmingly force me to conclude that his mind is completely ingrown. He has a sense of justice similar to that of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Whitlam),** which I shall reveal. I shall do so hurriedly, because time is short. When the Deputy Leader of the Opposition was in Brisbane a few weeks ago, he described me as being on the extreme right wing of the Liberal Party of Australia. When he was asked about the honorable member for Yarra, he said: " He is not on the left wing of the Australian Labour Party. I dislike the terms ' left wing ' and right wing ' when it comes to the Labour Party. " The Deputy Leader of the Opposition, of course, suffers from the delusion that he thinks he is part of the fauna of Australia. I am not prepared to concede that he is, but I am prepared to concede that I believe he is one of Australia's most accomplished bower birds. With deference to Macaulay and to Horatius and his band, let me simply say of my friend, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition - >Gough Whitlam of the A.L.P. > >A mighty oath he swore, > >That the great Sydney Peace Front > >Should suffer wrong no more. > >With Cairns and Uren he swore it, > >And named his time to right; > >He sought a left wing diadem > >In House of Reps at 8 p.m. > >On an October night. > >Through all the Labour left wing > >Went up the cry of "peace", (Surely within their own ranks > >There's need for war to cease) " Uren and Cairns and Whitlam > >Will be our dauntless three > >To stand together and not shrink > >To fight for comrades red and pink > >Against Ming's powers that be". > >Said Gough, " The Sydney Congress > >Will have my full support ". > >Now this will be his grand design - > >Only by using such a line > >Can left wing votes be bought. > >Shame on the false right wingers > >Who left him so bereft > >That Whitlam of the A.L.P. > >Must march towards the Left. {: #subdebate-48-0-s4 .speaker-KYS} ##### Mr REYNOLDS:
Barton **.- Mr. Speaker,** I hope that before the House adjourns this evening one of the Ministers present will answer the very serious charge made by the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Devine). I think everybody will recognise that it is a most serious charge which amounts to saying that the Commonwealth is prepared to forgo in the interests of **Mr. Ansett** what should be just taxation on behalf of the Australian people. I wish to discuss this evening a quite serious matter that has been brought to my notice. In a few days we shall be considering legislation designed to prevent tax evasion. I wish to raise tonight another form of evasion relating to customs duty which has been brought to my notice. It takes two particular forms. First, in respect of goods imported into Australia an activity is going on whereby invoices are made out for a lower cost than that actually charged'. Evidence has been provided to me indicating that this has happened. In that case ad valorem duty is being forfeited because the Department of Customs and Excise is not able to trace this kind of evasion. I have seen the invoices. One goes to the Customs authorities and the other goes to the importing firm. In each of the cases presented to me the goods coming from the suppliers overseas through an overseas agent have been quoted at a particular price - say £129 a ton for paper - but when the invoice goes through the Australian Customs the goods are quoted at about £100 a ton. In this way the goods attract a lesser amount of duty than should be charged. The second kind of evasion is in respect of dumping duty. In this case the reverse procedure takes place. The invoice coming through the Customs authorities shows the price to be higher than the price actually charged by the overseas suppliers. Our dumping laws provide that if a price is charged below a certain figure, the item will attract dumping duty. For instance, if the normal price is quoted as £100 a ton for the supply of paper - this is the commodity about which I have been told - and a price lower than £100 a ton is charged, the goods attract dumping duty. But this is what happens. Privately the price quoted to the firm is £90 a ton but £100 a ton is the price shown on the invoice that is presented to the Customs authorities. All merchandise imported into Australia must be accompanied by an invoice to which is attached a declaration in these terms - >I declare that no different invoice of the goods mentioned in the said invoice has been or will be furnished to anyone; and that no arrangement or understanding affecting the purchase price of the said goods has been or will be made or entered into between the said exporter and purchaser, or by anyone on behalf of either of them, either by way of discount, rebate, compensation or in any manner whatever other than as fully shown on this invoice. The practice going on in the first case avoids ad valorem duty by quoting less than the actual price charged. In the second case the price shown on the official invoice is higher than the price actually charged, simply because the actual price charged would attract dumping duty. I hope that the Customs authorities will be able to look into this matter and that it will attract the attention of the Government. I am told by informed people in the sphere of activity about which I am speaking that it would not be particularly difficult for the Customs authorities to check up on the costing done within the importing firms. It is suggested to me that a proper check on the buyer's costing calculations will immediately show such irregularities. Where a buyer has been charged a higher price it will appear that he sells at cost or at a loss. Where a lower price occurs his theoretical profit is much higher than the actual profit on which his costing is based. It must be kept in mind that the practice of falsifying Customs invoices can be effective only if the supplier is prepared to declare the wrong prices. I am told that overseas manufacturers generally will not do this. The overseas manufacturers will not participate in this nefarious device, but on the other hand many overseas merchandising offices, sometimes agents of the particular importing firm in Australia, collaborate in this task of defrauding Australia of customs duty. Another device in this field is to describe the article in an inaccurate way. The particular case I have in mind concerns paper imported from China. The original invoice made out in China shows that the weight of the paper is 28 grammes per square metre. The invoice made out in Amsterdam, in this case for the agent handling the importation, for exactly the same paper of the identical order shows a weight of 32 grammes per square metre. I know that this matter is a little technical but the point is that there is a simple reason for this discrepancy. Chinese greaseproof paper below 32 grammes per square metre weight is subject to a dumping duty calculated on the normal value of £A154 8s. a ton. The dumping duty works out at about £A25 a ton to be paid in addition to the ordinary ad valorem duty of 15 per cent. However, if you invoice the paper as 32 grammes, which is not, instead of at some lower weight, you do not pay any dumping duty at all. The duplicate invoices for this paper are in my possession but I cannot make their details public. On one invoice the paper is shown as weighing 32 grammes per square metre. The other invoice describes the paper as weighing 28 grammes per square metre. I am told that the paper is subsequently sold, after importation, as paper having a weight of 28 grammes per square metre. This whole situation is loaded. I am told by the people who should know that this practice is defrauding the Australian Customs of thousands of pounds a year. I was attracted to this situation first by a Tariff Board report dealing with aluminium ingots. The report is dated 3rd April 1964 and states - >The local industry claimed, in support of its request for the imposition of quantitative restrictions - Quantitative restrictions would get over this problem - that overseas aluminium producers were prepared to accept a lower return for aluminium than that indicated by the published prices. This, it was stated, could be achieved by the overseas producer using various devices, such as payment of agent's commission and customs duty (if any). The applicants - That is, the applicants before the Board - were, however, unable to supply evidence of any specific instance where this had been dune in respect of imports into Australia. I know that it is difficult to obtain this kind of evidence. However, having brought this matter to the notice of the Government I hope that it will arouse the Customs authorities and that in respect of the paper industry they might make more searching inquiries into the devices I have referred to, which amount to downright evasion of customs duties. Also, the evasion of dumping duty is undermining the Australian tariff policy. {: #subdebate-48-0-s5 .speaker-JMF} ##### Mr ASTON:
Phillip .- I think the record should be put straight in respect of the statement by the honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Devine)** in relation to the importation of aircraft. He was correct when he said that additional duty of *Ti* per cent, has to be paid under the Australia-United Kingdom Trade Agreement if aircraft similar to those being imported from countries other than the United Kingdom are obtainable from the United Kingdom. The honorable member said that Trans-Australia Airlines had paid the additional duty of *Ti* per cent, but that Ansett-A.N.A. had refused to pay it. That allegation is incorrect. The only way in which these companies can obtain a refund of any duty which may be payable is the way prescribed by clause 449 (a) (ii) of the Agreement. I want to make it quite clear that both Ansett-A.N.A. and TransAustralia Airlines would be called upon to pay the same amount of duty. Both companies have lodged security to the satisfaction of the Collector of Customs for the payment of duty on these aircraft if that should be required. It is quite erroneous to say that Ansett-A.N.A. has refused to pay the duty. There has been no question of having to pay it. No money has passed between Ansett-A.N.A. or Trans-Australia Airlines and the Collector of Customs. Both companies have entered into the usual form of security agreement and if duty is payable the Collector of Customs will have authority to call the money up. This is just the normal procedure. There is no question whatever of favoritism towards one airline as against another. Repeatedly we see attempts made in this House to decry the private enterprise airline, Ansett-A.N.A. My comments with relation to those attempts went on record only a week or two ago. For the edification of the honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Devine),** who is interjecting, I shall repeat what I said earlier, because apparently he did not understand it. No money whatsoever has to be paid at this stage. Security arrangements have been entered into with the Collector of Customs by both companies. {: .speaker-KCI} ##### Mr Devine: -- I said it had not been paid. {: .speaker-JMF} ##### Mr ASTON: -- It does not have to be paid. I do not want to waste the time of the House any longer. I merely wanted to put the matter straight because of this constant campaign on the part of many honorable members opposite who wish to malign Ansett-A.N.A. As I have said before, their Socialistic programme is opposed to any private enterprise, especially in the transport field. Their aim is to foster T.A.A. I have noticed that in his comments about other air routes, the honorable member for East Sydney, also has used fallacious arguments about preference being given to Ansett-A.N.A. I do not want to go into these matters now. I hope that I have been able to explain to the honorable member for East Sydney and other honorable members that it is completely false to argue that preference is shown towards one airline as against another in relation to duty on aircraft coming into this country. The only reason why a decision has not been given as to whether duty is payable or not in this case is because the planes arrived here sooner than expected. Negotiations are still being carried on between the Collector of Customs here and the United Kingdom Government. There is no question of money being paid at this stage, and both companies have entered into security arrangements with the Collector of Customs. {: #subdebate-48-0-s6 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY:
Grayndler .- I wish to raise a matter relating to hospital and medical benefit funds. On 14th October last, I asked the Minister for Repatriation **(Mr. Swartz),** who was representing the Minister for Health **(Senator Wade)** the following questions upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is it a fact that approval has been sought by and granted to hospital and medical benefit funds for an increase in members' contributions? 1. If so, (a) what increase was (i) requested and (ii) approved, (b) on what date is it intended that the increase will take effect and (c) what extra benefits are. to be granted to contributors following the increases? On 22nd October, the Minister furnished the following reply - Approval has not been sought by hospital and medical benefit funds for an increase in members' contributions. But between 14th October and 22nd October - on 21st October - the following article appeared in the Sydney " Sun " - {: .page-start } page 2550 {:#debate-49} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-49-0} #### TALKS ON MEDICAL FUND RISE The Hp: You'll Pay 2s. More An expert panel today began assessing how much more the public should pay to, and receive from, the medical benefit funds. The panel, the Commonwealth Health Insurance Council, will submit firm recommendations to the Government at the end of the week. The proposals are expected to feature: An increase of 2s. a week contribution for family group insurers. An increase of 2s. in the medical benefit rebate now made by funds. The conference is attended by representatives of the Commonwealth, leading medical and hospital benefit organisations and the Australian Medical Association. The Federal Director-General of Health, Dr. Refshauge, is chairman. The council, set up under the National Health Act, advises the Government, on matters affecting the national health insurance schemes. It is expected to make public its recommendations to the Government shortly after the conference. The Government is in a mood to accept " reasonable" increases in contribution rates by subscribers and moderate increases in benefits. An increased contribution of 2s. a week would cost the family contributor on the "4s. table" another £5 a year. The 81 medical benefit funds operating throughout Australia would gain £12 million a year by the 2s. rise - enabling them to pay increased rebates. At the moment, of an average surgery consultation fee of 25s. charged by doctors, the Commonwealth pays 8s., the funds 10s. and the patient 7s. It is understood the council will recommend a fund increased benefit to 12s. The council is expected to recommend a ls. a week contribution increase by single insurers, bringing their weekly rate to 3s. Earlier this year the Hospital Contributions Fund applied to the Commonwealth for approval to increase its medical benefits tables. But the Minister for Health, **Senator Wade,** said he would defer approval until he was satisfied the fund could meet the financial commitments involved. At this time it was well known that the Commonwealth was moving to avoid a "pay-out war4 among the funds in a race to attract contributors. I think I have been misled by the answer given to me by the Minister. Evidently this matter is under consideration by the Government, and it seems strange that after my question was asked - in fact, on the day before an answer to it was given - that rather extensive statement was made in respect of the proposed increases in the payments to be made by subscribers to medical benefit funds. The dogs have been barking some considerable time now that this matter was under consideration by the Government, that the funds were seeking an increase and that approval would surely be given. I now ask the Minister .representing the Minister for Health: What is the actual position? Is the answer I received a misleading answer given to indicate that there was nothing doing at all in Government circles? If the answer was given for that purpose it is completely destroyed by the article that appeared in the Sydney " Sun " of 21st October 1964, which clearly states that an increase in subscriptions is under consideration by the Government. Is the public to be asked to pay more? If so, what extra benefits, if any, are to be granted, or are people to be insured only to cover the present benefits? When all is said and done, as is stated in this article, there are more than 80 of these funds. In this Parliament from time to time honorable members on this side have indicated the tremendous overlap in the functions of the funds, and the great costs of administration as compared with more efficient organisations. Furthermore, they have indicated that people are lucky to get £70 out of £100 charged for a big operation, and that they are paying approximately 33i per cent, of their medical costs despite the contributions they make. I ask the Minister tonight to say clearly whether or not subscribers will have to pay more, what benefits are to be given, and above all else, why an answer was given to me indicating that the matter was not under consideration when it is quite certain from the article that I have read that it is at this very moment being discussed, and that an increase has probably already been approved. I suggest that the Government is delaying and answer on this matter until after the forthcoming Senate election, and I suggest that for political reasons the Government is not making public the fact that as soon as the Senate election is over people will be called upon to pay increased contributions for whatever medical benefits are available. If it were not for the Senate election this imposition would probably have already been made. I ask the Minister, therefore, what the actual position is in respect of this matter which is of so much importance to many Australians today. I cannot see any justification at all for any rise in subscription. I think that medical funds should give a complete coverage of medical expenses as is done by hospital funds in the case of hospitalisation. I cannot see any justification at all for any increase being made in contributions, particularly at a time when the benefits being paid are not by any means what should be granted to meet the costs of medical attention. I suggest also that it is very strange that public announcements of these matters should be delayed simply because a Senate election is pending. I think the people are entitled to know just what is happening in the Department of Health in respect of applications that have been lodged. It can never be said that the Hospitals Contribution Fund has not made application for the payment of certain additional benefits to people, because that happened some months ago and it is public property that the Government held the matter up. So at least to that extent the answer given to me has not been accurate. I would like the Minister representing the Minister for Health to clear the position up tonight and let the people know whether there is to be another imposition. I suggest it is not fair, reasonable or just to delay making announcements on this important subject simply because a Senate election is pending. I suggest also that the Minister look again at the answer that was given to me, which appeared to be misleading in the extreme and not in accordance with the facts. {: #subdebate-49-0-s0 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr SWARTZ:
Minister for Repatriation · Darling Downs · LP -- The honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly) has referred to an answer that I gave to him recently to a question on notice. The information provided in that answer is quite correct. It was correct at the time and is still correct. The honorable member was probably in the House yesterday when a question without notice was asked of me by the honorable member for McMillan **(Mr. Buchanan)** on the same subject. I said in reply at that time that the question whether there will be any consideration by the Government of increased benefits or increased rates will come up for consideration after a report has been submitted to me, as Acting Minister, by the Commonwealth Health Insurance Council. I said at the time that the Council met only a few days ago and that it considered certain matters. It will now consolidate its thoughts and submit a report, in this case to the Acting Minister. From that point the Acting Minister will consider the Council's submissions and later discuss them with the Government. That is the procedure that has always been followed and will be followed in the future. It will be followed in these circumstances. There is no other information I can provide at this stage, except that no submission has yet been made to the Government. When it is received it will be considered. {: #subdebate-49-0-s1 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM:
Werriwa .- I thank the honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Killen) for doing me the courtesy of writing a lay in my honour. I have commissioned my laureate, the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** to write another ballad in honour of the honorable member for Moreton and to read it during a debate on the adjournment motion, as he did when he composed his first ballad on this subject in May 1962. The honorable member for Moreton apparently did me this honour because a week ago tonight I referred to the antiSemitic overtones of the question he asked about **Mr. Sachs,** a visitor to this country who was sufficiently impeccable to be cleared by the Security Service for this visit. The honorable member's association with Australia's leading anti-Semite, **Mr. Eric** Butler, and the papers and organisation - the Australian League of Rights - for which **Mr. Butler** is responsible, were referred to by me on that occasion and also earlier this year by my colleague, the honorable member for Hughes (Mr. L. R. Johnson), in one of the forays of the honorable member for Moreton on the subject of fluoridation. My concern was aroused about the honorable gentleman's activities and associations with **Mr. Butler** by an article in the winter issue this year of " Dissent ". I have not checked the publications but I shall quote from this article - >Liberal M.H.R. for Moreton (Queensland) since 19SS, is best known to the public for his spirited anti-Communism. Less publicity has been directed towards his close and persistent ties with Australia'^ leading anti-Semitic organisation, Eric D. Butler's Australian League of Rights. Butler himself has written that Killen 'was a friend of mine long before he entered Federal politics" (Eric D. Butler, The Story of Twenty Years of Character Assassination, Melbourne, 1960, pi)..... > >From the day Killen arrived in Canberra, he emerged as the favorite politician of the two journals controlled by Butler - the League of Rights* monthly Intelligence Survey (IS) and the social credit fortnightly New Times (NT). His maiden speech attacking peaceful co-existence was described as "one of the most realistic yet heard in Canberra" (IS, Feb. 1956). Subsequently, these two papers have republished scores of Killen's "brilliant" and "courageous" speeches, most of them originally delivered in the House of Representatives. Exceptions include an address given in St. George's Cathedral, Brisbane (IS, April '62). I would think that this means St. George's Cathedral, Perth. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr Killen: -- No. It was St. John's, Brisbane. The honorable member is wrong again. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- 'That is the first correction that the honorable gentleman has made to the article so far. It continues - >Another cathedral address - in St. John's Cathedral, Brisbane, during March 1962 - was published by the League of Rights as a pamphlet under the title A Federal Politician on the Church and Politics. I do not have time to quote many of the other occasions on which Butler's journals have printed speeches by the honorable member right next to anti-Semitic and antiIsraeli articles but I pass on to a further extract from the article in " Dissent " - > To begin with, let us look at the fierce anti-Israeli speech which he delivered in the House of Representatives on August 6, 1958. Asserting that the Arab States were terrified of "Zionist aggression", he recommended a multilateral agreement among the USA, the UK, Israel and the Arab countries " to ensure that there will be no manifestation of the Messianic movement of Zionism". He continued: "I believe that the creation of Israel was a folly". On the following day he went further and said Israel was to blame for "The whole of the trouble in the Middle East". Near the beginning of the speech ha remarked: " I would be disturbed if anyone levelled at me the charge of anti-Semitism ". Butler reserved high praise for Killen's "courageous address" (NT, 29/8/58). Honorable gentlemen can check these quotations from " Hansard ". I have not had time to do so because the relevant volumes are not on the table. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr Killen: -- They are wrong. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr WHITLAM: -- The statements are wrong but the quotations are correct. The article continues - >Some time later Butler admitted in a confidential "Personal Letter" to his supporters: "Possibly our greatest success in the field of special campaigning over the last twelve months, was our work on the Middle East crisis. We demonstrated here once again that a small body of dedicated men, who know what to do and how to do it, can have a decisive impact in a crisis . . . Jim Killen was in direct touch with me on this issue and his address in the Federal Parliament resulted in the switchboard of the A.B.C. in Sydney and Melbourne being jammed with callers wanting to contact him. One Federal Cabinet Minister was also in touch with me on the issue and our material reached the Cabinet room. We gained a number of new and influential allies from this campaign. I can report that the local Zionists were most concerned and endeavoured to try and counteract it." > >During the previous year Killen had come out as an open Butlerite, although he has never formally belonged to the League of Rights. He had intended to be present at the 11th New Times Annual Dinner in Melbourne during September 1957, but illness intervened. On this occasion, following the recital of messages from such internationally famous anti-Semites as Britain's A. K. Chesterton **(Sir Oswald Mosley's lieutenant in the 1930's)** and Canada's Ron Gostick the following telegram from Killen was read: " I would like you to know you have my very best wishes . . . Your kindness has given a little more determination to a very young man " (NT, 4.10.57). Killen was also unable to attend the Annual Dinner in the following year and again had to content himself with a telegram: " Your encouragement to me greatly appreciated. Possibly never in history has there been such a need for the qualities of integrity and loyalty to basic principles to be upheld" (NT, 26.9.58). Two months later, Butler greeted Killen's re-election at the Federal Elections: " We confidently expect that **Mr. Killen's** standing and influence will be substantially greater in the new Parliament " (NT, 5.12.58). > >Killen was able to be present at the joint New Times Annual Dinner and Social Credit Seminar in 1959, where he presented the main discussion paper. Butler introduced him to the audience as "a man of integrity and courage ... a militant Christian (who) is playing a major role in the struggle against totalitarianism both at home and abroad" (NT, 2.10.59). The seminar paper was published by the League of Rights in 1960 under the impressive title, This is the Challenge! An Examination of the Theory, Strategy, Tactics and Propaganda of International Communism. The honorable member for Moreton was not able to go to the next couple of dinners. But, in 1962, at the last minute, he was prevented from attending the dinner - >As partial compensation, the assembled guests heard one of his taped speeches together with a characteristic message of greetings: " Keep up the fight. I will soon be back on deck "- out of the bilge - " and I assure you the enemy will know it." (NT 5/10/62). > > The most publicised joint Butler-Killen activity to date was their two-man League of Rights mission to the United Kingdom in 1962 to fight against Britain's proposed entry into the European Common Market. Previously Killen had addressed a number of League of Rights meetings on this subject (IS, July 61; NT, 11/8/61). In reply to Arthur Calwell's charge that he was associating with a "semi-fascist" group, Killen stated: "The Australian League of Rights aims at preserving British integrity and sovereignty " (Canberra Times, 14/6/62). The two-man mission lasted just over four months. **Mr. Butler** had to return through the United States to establish contacts with the John Birch Society, and the honorable member for Moreton returned to do his work in this chamber - >About the same time, the League of Rights published three pamphlets by Killen relating to the Common Market, (1) "The Suppressed Truth about the European Common Market ", (2) "The Common Market Threat to the Commonwealth ", and (3) " In the Commonwealth Cause ". The publication of " In the Commonwealth Cause" was subsequently described as one of " the highlights " of the League's " achievements" in 1963 (NT, 24/1/64). **Mr. Speaker,** I have been unable to check with **Mr. Butler's** pamphlets and periodicals which are quoted as the authority for all the extracts to which I have referred from the " Dissent " article. All I can say is that on much more tenuous evidence, the Attorney-General **(Mr. Snedden)** would describe the honorable member for Moreton as a Fascist and antiSemite. Motion (by **Mr. Fairhall)** agreed to - >That the question be now put. Original question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 11.22 p.m. {: .page-start } page 2554 {:#debate-50} ### ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS UPON NOTICE The following answers to questions upon notice were circulated - {:#subdebate-50-0} #### Papua and New Guinea. (Question No. 533.) {: #subdebate-50-0-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: m asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Did a tripartite mission drawn from employers' organisations, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Department of Labour and National Service visit the Territory of Papua and New Guinea in September and October 1960? 1. Did the members unanimously recommend that a similar tripartite mission should visit the Territory two years later? 2. What steps have been taken to carry out this recommendation? {: #subdebate-50-0-s1 .speaker-JOA} ##### Mr Barnes:
CP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. The primary objective of the mission was to enable its members, and through them their organisations, to become better informed on existing and prospective labour problems in the Territory. On its return the mission prepared a report of its observations in the course of which it expressed the belief that there would be a merit in two particular questions - the growth of industrial organisations and industrial relations machinery - being re-examined by a similar mission in about two years' time. 2. The question of a further tripartite mission is one for the organisations themselves to consider in the first instance. {:#subdebate-50-1} #### Homes Savings Grants. (Question No. 673.) {: #subdebate-50-1-s0 .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr L R Johnson: son asked the Minister for Housing, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Have approximately 30 directives been issued about the interpretation of rules under the homes savings grants scheme? 1. What are the terms of these directives? {: #subdebate-50-1-s1 .speaker-JTP} ##### Mr Bury:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows - >In all Commonwealth Departments there is naturally a considerable volume of communications between the Head Office and branches in the various States. These arise naturally in the ordinary course of business and necessarily include many references to Head Office and policy instructions from that Office. > >To facilitate administration, a departmental handbook setting out the uniform procedures and policies to be observed by officers in processing applications for the homes savings grant has, of course, been compiled, and it is amended from time to time in the light of experience and to clarify particular procedures. {:#subdebate-50-2} #### War Service Homes. (Question No. 680.) {: #subdebate-50-2-s0 .speaker-K6T} ##### Mr Costa:
BANKS, NEW SOUTH WALES a asked the Minister for Housing, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What has been the total amount granted to each of the States and Territories under the War Service Homes Act since its commencement? 1. What is the interest rate charged? 2. What amounts have been repaid as (a) principal and (b) interest? 3. What amount of principal has been repaid by the States to the Commonwealth since the commencement of the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreements? {: #subdebate-50-2-s1 .speaker-JTP} ##### Mr Bury:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. The total amount made available within each State and Territory under the War Service Homes Act since its inception to 30th September 1964 is- {: type="1" start="2"} 0. The current rate of interest is 33/4 per cent. 1. The amounts repaid representing principal and interest to 30th September 1964, are - {: type="1" start="4"} 0. Under the Commonwealth and State Housing Agreement the principal indebtedness of the States to the Commonwealth is reduced not only by direct repayments of principal by the States, but ako by the cancellation of indebtedness when a house built under the Agreement is transferred to the Director of War Service Homes. The principal indebtedness of the States under the Agreements has been reduced, to 30th June 1964, by the following amounts - {:#subdebate-50-3} #### Visitors' Visas. (Question No. 716.) {: #subdebate-50-3-s0 .speaker-K9M} ##### Mr L R Johnson: son asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What was the (a) name, (b) nationality and (c) occupation, designation or affiliation of each person who was refused a visa to enter Australia during each of the last five years? 1. What was the declared purpose of the visit and the reason for refusing the visa application in each case? 2. Which countries were Australians refused permission to enter during each of the last five years and how many persons were involved? {: #subdebate-50-3-s1 .speaker-KMB} ##### Mr Opperman:
Minister for Immigration · CORIO, VICTORIA · LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows - 1 and 2. It is not the policy to disclose details of persons whose applications for a visa to enter Australia have been refused. Apart from policy considerations, it would be impractical to maintain such details. Applications for visas may be made to any Australian Government or British consular post overseas, each of which has authority by delegation to determine applications without reference to Australia. Naturally, many hundreds of applications would be involved, and details are not necessarily recorded of unsuccessful applications. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Applications by Australians for visas to visit countries overseas must be made to the consular authorities of the countries concerned. The detail sought by the honorable member with respect to such applications is not available to the Australian authorities. {:#subdebate-50-4} #### Immigration. (Question No. 423.) {: #subdebate-50-4-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: y asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many persons who entered Australia illegally in the past five years applied for permanent residence, and how many of these applications were (a) approved and (b) rejected? 1. What were the nationalities of those concerned, and what was the number of each nationality? {: #subdebate-50-4-s1 .speaker-KMB} ##### Mr Opperman:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows - >The only class of person who had entered Australia illegally and from whom it has been the policy subsequently to receive for consideration an application to remain with permanent residence status was, prior to the policy in this respect being amended on 1st June 1964, a seaman deserter. > >Prior to 1st June 1964, the policy was to consider an application for permanent residence status from a seaman deserter in those cases where the applicant was able to satisfy the normal requirements for entry as a migrant, and subject to his having had a clear record following his entry into Australia. > >It has not been the practice to record separately statistical detail of seaman deserters who apply for permanent residence status, and the results of such applications. Action has been taken to record such detail in future. > >Since 1st June 1964, the policy with respect to seaman deserters, who comprise the bulk of illegal entrants, has been that seamen who enter illegally in this way should, as a matter of general practice, be deported. > >There would have been isolated instances in which persons who have entered illegally in other ways (for example as stowaways) have been permitted to remain, subject to their meeting normal migrant requirements, but these have been very few. {:#subdebate-50-5} #### Immigration. (Question No. 429.) {: #subdebate-50-5-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: y asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many persons ineligible for permanent residence in Australia under Australia's immigration policy are at present resident in Australia? 1. What are the nationalities of these persons, and how many persons are there of each nationality? {: #subdebate-50-5-s1 .speaker-KMB} ##### Mr Opperman:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows - >It is assumed that the question relates to persons of non-European origin. The following table sets out by nationality the numbers of nonEuropeans (comprising merchants, assistants and other temporary residence categories, and visitors) who were in Australia with temporary residence status at 30th June 1964 - The majority of the temporary residence categories would under policy be ineligible to apply for permanent residence status at this stage. They would however include a small proportion who, having completed a period of fifteen years' residence, are qualified on grounds of residence to apply for that status but have not done so. Those having "visitor" status (1,200) are not eligible to remain to qualify for permanent residence status. There were, in addition, as at 31st March 1964, 12,366 non-European students, comprising 10,814 private students and 1,552 Colombo Plan and other award and Government sponsored students. Students are, on arrival, granted temporary residence status appropriate to the course of study to be undertaken. Students on completing their training are expected to return home qualified in ways useful to their own countries. The detail by nationality of the non-European student population was, by country of origin - {:#subdebate-50-6} #### Immigration. (Question No. 658.) {: #subdebate-50-6-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: y asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What are the duties and functions of agents registered under the Migration Act? 1. Are the agents permitted to charge a fee? 2. If so, what is the scale of fees for the services rendered by them? {: #subdebate-50-6-s1 .speaker-KMB} ##### Mr Opperman:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Immigration agents are persons who render to the public services of the nature referred to in section 46 of the Migration Act 1958. The section defines the services to be rendered as - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. an application or representations to a Minister, Department or authority of the Commonwealth with a view to the entry of a person into Australia as an immigrant; {: type="a" start="b"} 0. arranging or securing the passage of an intending immigrant to Australia. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. Yes. 1. The maximum amount that may be charged by an agent to his client for all services rendered or to be rendered by him in relation to an application or representations or an application and representations with a view to the entry of a person into Australia as an immigrant, not being a service of a legal professional character rendered by a legal practitioner, has been prescribed by regulations under the Act as one pound. A scale of fees has not been established in relation to arranging or securing the passage of an intending immigrant to Australia, but the Minister for Immigration has power to regulate fees should the occasion demand it.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 29 October 1964, viewed 6 July 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1964/19641029_reps_25_hor44/>.