27th Parliament · 2nd Session
Mr SPEAKER (Hon. Sir William Aston) took the chair at 3.1 p.m., and read prayers.
-I have to inform the House that the right honourable P. E. Trudeau, M.P., Prime Minister of Canada, is within the precincts of the House. With the concurrence of honourable members 1 propose to provide him with a seat on the floor of the House.
Honourable members - Hear, hear! (Mr Trudeau thereupon entered the chamber and was seated accordingly.)
Mr WHITTORN presented from certain residents of Victoria a petition showing that our national symbol the red kangaroo is, through shooting for commerce, being reduced to a numerical level where, if the shooting is not stopped, the animal will become extinct; reports from scientists, conservationists, tourists, graziers and shooters, confirm that State Governments are unable to effectively enforce legislation to control shooting and that kangaroos are already extinct in many areas where they once were prolific; science has established that kangaroos seldom come into direct competition for forage with sheep; there is, therefore, no reason why this unwarranted killing, which is branding us internationally as barbarians, should be allowed to continue; and we, the residents of this nation, want the kangaroo, which can be found nowhere else in the world, to be part of the Australian landscape. We believe that tourists, who will play an increasing part in the national balance of payments, want this too.
The petitioners pray that the House of Representatives ban the export of products made from kangaroos; and quickly pass the legislation necessary to make the kangaroo a protected animal throughout Australia - the culling of herds for the protection of the few property owners genuinely threatened by excessive numbers, or for the welfare of kangaroos themselves, to be carried out by or under direct supervision of Government officers.
Petition received and read.
Mr SNEDDEN presented from certain residents of the State of Victoria a petition showing that because of uncontrolled shooting for commercial purposes, the population of kangaroos, particularly the big red species, is now so low that they may become extinct. There are insufficient wardens in any State of the Commonwealth to detect or apprehend those who break the inadequate laws which exist. As a tourist attraction, the kangaroo is a permanent source of revenue to this country. It is an indisputable fact that no species can withstand hunting on such a scale, when no provision is being made for its future.
The petitioners pray that the export ol kangaroo products be banned immediately, and the Commonwealth Government take the necessary steps to have all wildlife in Australia brought under its’ control. Only a complete cessation of killing for commercial purposes can save surviving kangaroos.
Mr GARRICK presented from certain residents of the State of Victoria a petition showing that because of uncontrolled shooting for commercial purposes, the population of kangaroos, particularly the big red species, is now so low that they may become extinct. There are insufficient wardens in any State of the Commonwealth to detect or apprehend those who break the inadequate laws which exist. As a tourist attraction, the kangaroo is a permanent source of revenue to this country. It is an indisputable fact that no species can withstand hunting on such a scale, when no provision is being made for its future.
The petitioners pray that the export of kangaroo products be banned immediately, and the Commonwealth Government take the necessary steps to have all wildlife in Australia brought under its control. Only a complete cessation of killing for commercial purposes can save surviving kangaroos.
Mr BERINSON presented from certain citizens of the Commonwealth a petition showing that the Commonwealth Parliament has acted to remove some inadequacies in the Austraiian education system; a major inadequacy at present in Australian education is the lack of equal education opportunity for all; more than 500,000 children suffer from serious lack of equal opportunity; Australia cannot afford to waste the talents of one-sixth of its school children; only the Commonwealth has the financial resources for special programmes to remove inequalities; and nations such as the United Kingdom and the United States have shown that the chief impetus for change and the finance for improvement come from the national government.
The petitioners pray that the House of Representatives make legal provision for a joint Commonwealth and State inquiry into inequalities in Australian education to obtain evidence on which to base long term national programmes for the elimination of inequalities; the immediate financing of special programmes for low income earners, migrants. Aboriginals, rural and inner suburban dwellers and handicapped children; and the provision of pre-school opportunities for all children from culturally different or socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
Petition received and read.
Mr LUCHETTI presented from certain electors of the Division of Macquarie a petition showing that in the national interest it is essential that there be an effective and respected Commonwealth conciliation and arbitration system; that the decision given by the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in the professional engineers case on 3rd December 1969, which has followed to the letter in both magnitude and date of operation the salary increases for engineers employed in the Commonwealth Public Service which were announced before the arbitration hearing had concluded, has given rise to utter dismay and has indicated a lack of independent assessment; that recent statements made at the Australian Workers Union conference and by the President of the Australian Coun cil of Trade Unions have indicated disillusionment with the Federal arbitration system and have particularly referred to the professional engineers’ case; and that an unacceptable arbitration system must inevitably lead to industrial unrest throughout Australia.
The petitioners pray that the Australian Government take positive action as soon as possible to re-establish confidence in the Commonwealth arbitration system.
Petition received and read.
– 1 wish to inform the House that the Minister for Immigration (Mr Lynch) left Australia on 16th May for Europe. As Minister Assisting the Treasurer he will lead the Australian delegation to the meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development which is being held in Paris between 20th and 22nd of May. After the meeting in Paris, the Minister will visit Britain, Eire, West Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Malta, the United States and Canada to discuss with the Government’s concerned problems and other matters relating to immigration programmes. Mr Lynch is expected to return to Australia on 3rd July. During his absence, the Minister for Housing (Senator Dame Annabelle Rankin) is Acting Minister for Immigration and the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr Snedden) will represent the Acting Minister in this House.
– I ask the Prime Minister a question. I ask: When did the Government decide to change its policy on off-shore authority by legislating to take control from the low water mark to the continental shelf, and why were the States not informed of this change of policy?
– Mr Speaker, J cannot remember the date of the Cabinet meeting on which it was decided that the whole question should be placed beyond doubt by legal decision instead of part of the question. The date was some time early in this year. The reason that I would give to the honourable member is that I think most people would agree that it was a good and necessary thing for it to be known without doubt where responsibility lay within these fields and who therefore (a) had the authority to do things and (b) had the responsibility to care for such things not only as the ones he has mentioned but pollution and conservation and other matters.
– 1 direct my question to the Attorney-General. I refer him to the address that I made in the Grievance Day debate recently on the subject of the recording of telephone conversations. I ask the Minister: Can he inform the House when proceedings will begin against Mrs Berman, the woman connected with the Victorian abortion inquiry, who taped telephone conversations, which is against a Commonwealth Act?
– I remember the speech by the honourable member in a Grievance Day debate recently, and a very powerful speech it was too. In framing his question, the honourable member seems to presuppose, if 1 may say so, that 1 have decided to take proceedings because he asks me when they will be commenced. All I want to say in answer is this: I have the case under consideration and I will decide in due course whether, and if so when, proceedings will be taken. But I have not yet decided whether proceedings should be taken or not.
– My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Acting Minister for Immigration. In view of ‘ the Government’s decision to join the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other eastern bloc countries in refusing a temporary entry visa to the Socialist, Dr Ernest Mandel, and the resultant bad publicity, will the Government take the opportunity to consult with Mr Trudeau to find out how democracies protect themselves from the dangers arising out of such S-day visits?
– 1 would be very delighted to consult with the right honourable Prime Minister of Canada on this or any other issue. So far as this question is concerned my colleague the Minister for Immigration answered a question from the honourable member for Melbourne Ports on this subject last week. I listened to his answer in this House and I have nothing to add to it.
– I address a question to the Treasurer. To what extent is Australia supporting the Asian Development Bank? Are we responsible in any way for its activities? Is there any substance in the statement by Mr Passman, Congressman and chairman of a foreign relations subcommittee in America who said that the Asian Development Bank was the most mismanaged outfit he had ever had anything to do with? Those are his words. If we have real responsibilities with this Bank, and if it is mismanaged, what is Australia doing to rectify these problems?
– Dame Zara told us how to do that last night.
-Order! I suggest the House should come to order. Honourable members are always complaining about the length of time it takes for questions to be asked and the answers to be given. Now by constant interjection they are deliberately wasting the time of the House.
– As the House may well realise, we are the fourth largest contributor of capital to the Asian Development Bank. We have a great interest in it. Very shortly I will be bringing before the House a Bill to make a donation to its special funds of a further $10m. The President of this allegedly inefficient Bank happens to be a long standing personal friend of mine. He is a man of great talent and he has on his staff a number of extremely efficient, dedicated and able Australians, many of whom I met during the recent annual meeting. I am quite sure it is a most efficient and well run institution. I noticed, as did other delegates, that certain remarks were passed by this Congressman during our meeting at Seoul. The honourable member will be well aware that there are in every assembly, even in this one, a number of loose nuts. I would suggest to the honourable member-
-Order! The Minister will resume his seat for a moment. I suggest to the honourable members for Chifley and Riverina who. are interjecting that they restrain themselves. On the last 2 occasions that they interjected 1 should have spoken to them. I did not do so, but if they continue in this fashion I will have to deal with them.
– I also suggest that there are one or two members of popular assemblies who are more interested in headlines than the facts. I do not know of the particular circumstances experienced by this Congressman, but I would imagine that probably some of his hosts have been a little too kind to him by virtue of his office and he has been misled by some superficial aspects of hospitality which have nothing to do with the serious running of this great institution.
– My question is directed to the Minister for Labour and National Service, ls the Government considering a form of civilian employment as an alternative to compulsory military service? If this is so, when will it be introduced? Have a number of conscientious objection cases been deferred because of the consideration of such a scheme?
– No conscientious objection cases have been deferred. There has been a long standing misuse of the term conscientious objector’. Under the Act a person who is a conscientious objector, so found, is not liable for military service. There is a practice of referring to people who object to serve on what they claim to be grounds of conscience as conscientious objectors. I would draw the distinction between the 2 for the purposes of clarity. Secondly, I have a paper presently before the Cabinet. That paper deals with a number of aspects of national service. It discusses the issue of the possibility of a civilian alternative. The matter is before the Cabinet. 1 wish to say nothing more until it has been considered.
– My question which is addressed to the Minister for External Affairs relates to the problem of reconvening the International Control Commission in relation to Cambodia. Does the Minister remember that, in answer to a question from me on this subject recently, he replied to the effect that one of his objectives on arrival at Djakarta would be to press for the reconvening of the International Control Commission in relation to Cambodia with a suggested impartial team of observers being part of it? Did this prove impossible? fs he in a position to explain to the House the difficulties involved therein?
– I remember the honourable member asking me a question immediately before I left for Djakarta. Several proposals were made by the Australian Government to the delegation in order to ensure that the established institutions should do their best to mobilise world opinion in the interests of the free countries of South East Asia and in particular that we should do all in our power to ensure not only that Cambodia be free and independent but also that it remain a neutral power in that part of the world. What transpired was that a resolution was moved and passed that 3 countries - Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia - should form a committee and they should approach the members of the International Control Commission and consult with them in order to ensure that the Commission be reactivated. 1 have read all the cables as to what is likely to happen. I know that in the case of Poland there has been a flat refusal. In the case of India there appears to be not a great deal of enthusiasm and so far the response has been negative. In the case of the Canadian Government we understand that the conditions under which it would agree to participation again or reactivation again are that the Commission should be effective and efficient; that there should not be a unanimity rule so that everyone has to agree; thirdly, that action should not be delayed by the requirement to submit their reports for editing by the Geneva Conference Co-Chairmen; finally, that they have the right of mobility to make an independent investigation and to report independently. But the 3 countries involved - Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia - now have the authority to conduct the consultations. I can only hope that these great nations, representing - as they do - 250 million people of the Asian region will be able to bring their influence to bear on other countries, particularly the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, in an attempt to make some contribution towards the defence of freedom and of independence in South East Asia.
As to the second part of the honourable member’s question which relates to a goodwill mission to proceed to Cambodia, one or two nations thought that this was not desirable because they felt - and I understood their feeling and consequently withdrew the Australian recommendation - that if it was agreed in one case then other countries could ask that conditions be examined within their own borders and this could lead to a great number of problems for them. I repeat that I understood their problems. I was sympathetic to their request and I withdrew the Australian recommendation.
– Has the Prime Minister noted that negotiations are soon to be reopened concerning the possible entry of the United Kingdom into the European Economic Community? Does he know that there is grave concern in the Australian community at the awareness that 2 of his senior Ministers, namely the Deputy Prime Minister and the present Treasurer, had serious differences concerning Australia’s attitude towards earlier negotiations - so much so that the present Treasurer was forced to resign from the Ministry.
-Order! The honourable member will ask his question without giving further information.
– Has the Government decided on policy towards these new negotiations to protect Australia’s vital interests? If so, what is that policy?
– Yes, I have noticed reports that the British Government is continuing efforts begun some considerable time ago to see how it could arrange to join the European Economic Community. I think that the House will agree that both the Ministers referred to, the Deputy Prime
Minister who is the Minister for Trade and Industry and the Treasurer, would on behalf of this Government be able to make sure that as little damage as possible was done to Australia’s interests should this eventuate, and it has not yet eventuated.
– Did the Prime Minister study closely the pictures in newspapers of the so-called Vietnam Moratorium rally in Melbourne? If so, did he notice that teenagers and younger persons comprise at least 80% of those who took part? Will the Prime Minister do all in his power to discourage the use of our young people for objectives contrary to the patriotic principles of most Australians?
– 1 do not think I studied the particular pictures to which the honourable member refers. He did not bring them to my attention, so I am unable to say whether in fact the percentage of teenagers in those pictures was as he states it was. But I do believe, as I have said in this House before, that it is a bad thing to try to drag out into the streets school children or young teenagers in these matters. I do believe, also as 1 have said in this House before, that the discussion of events of national importance and the approaches to them are quite proper matters to take place in our schools and always have been; but I think special efforts to bring out into the streets school children and teenagers are not really in the best interests of Australia and indeed have no special effect on those who consider really what the matters to be decided are and the methods by which they ought to be decided.
– My question to the Prime Minister is based on a communication from a person named Santamaria in which he says: ‘You never know what the man will do next.’ I ask the Prime Minister: Can he give the House a specific assurance that he has resisted the blandishments of any persuasive visitors to recognise Red China? Does the return of the Minister for External Affairs indicate that after comparing the prospects of two tottering regimes he has decided, for the present, not to join Sihanouk?
– I think I must be not as close to the gentleman mentioned, Mr Santamaria, as is the honourable member, because he sent me no such communication. I can only inform the honourable member that we have had no blandishments seeking to induce us to recognise Communist China and that the policy of this Government on that matter remains as it always has been and I am sure it is clearly understood to be by the Australian people.
– I address a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation. Is the Minister aware that, notwithstanding all the promises that have been made to do everything possible to minimise the noise of aircraft landing at Mascot and the investigations of a special parliamentary committee, the noise continues without abatement and sometimes beyond human endurance? As this problem is assuming the dimensions of a local emergency, what positive action is the Government contemplating?
– 1 did have some close association with this matter when I was administering civil aviation. I think the House is aware of the action that the Government took at that time to initiate in the international sense, through the International Civil Aviation Organisation, an annexe to the ICAO convention which established a committee of that body to place this problem on a higher plane and treat it as a matter of urgency. That was done on the Australian initiative. Several meetings of this special committee have been held subsequently and we expect that flowing from that government members of ICAO will act on the recommendations which they receive. On the domestic scene, I know that the Department of Civil Aviation has been very active in this field. In another field a select committee set up by the previous Parliament and reconstituted by this Parliament has already been active in investigating the various problems that have been referred to. Its report, when received, will be considered very carefully by the Government. In addition the Minister for Civil Aviation has set up a series of committees in a number of capital cities, including Sydney, to get the views of local authorities and other interested bodies in this matter and to seek suggestions that might be of assistance in this field. Also, as the honourable member will know, in the last Parliament about $23m was allocated for the extension of the main runway into Botany Bay. That work is proceeding. When the runway is completed it will be possible to make more landings and take-offs over the waters of Botany Bay. These are some of the details within my knowledge of action taken in this field. I will see that the honourable gentleman’s question is brought to the attention of my colleague in another place and if further information is available I will see that it is provided to the honourable gentleman.
– 1 ask the Minister for Primary Industry a question about war service land settlement. Is he aware that the Tasmanian Parliament has appointed a committee to inquire into all aspects of war service land settlement in Tasmania? Why did the Department of Primary Industry advise its officer in Western Australia to refuse to discuss with the chairman of the Tasmanian committee any matter relating to war service land settlement in Western Australia, despite the fact that the Tasmanian Parliament had arranged an interview between the committee’s chairman and the Commonwealth’s officer in Perth on the occasion of the chairman’s visit to Western Australia earlier this year? Will the Minister facilitate the work of the Tasmanian parliamentary committee in delving into all aspects of war service land settlement in Tasmania by ensuring that Commonwealth officers dealing with this matter are available to appear as witnesses before the committee?
– I am not familiar with the committee that has been set up in Tasmania or with any refusal by my Department to supply answers or forward information to it. I assure the honourable gentleman that I will look into the matter immediately. If my Department can help the committee in its inquiry into war service land settlement in Tasmania I will be only too willing to see that this is done.
– I ask the Prime Minister a question. What disadvantage of international significance would occur if sovereign rights to the off-shore minerals and other aspects of controls required to regulate fishing, navigation, pollution and all the other ‘rights’ - I place the word in inverted commas - were invested in the States and the Commonwealth as full and equal partners, as against the proposal to pass legislation which will put Commonwealth and State relations on a masterservant basis?
– I think it must be obvious that if there is divided control and divided responsibility nobody knows who is responsible for action or where responsibility properly lies. It is perfectly proper and acceptable, the question of that authority and responsibility once having been decided, for matters to be worked out in the way which the honourable member has in his mind, as, for example, the off-shore petroleum legislation has been worked out. That, as he will know, can still stand and can still operate after the matter of legal responsibility has been decided. Therefore that does not get affected but what does get affected is the question of who in fact bears the responsibility’ for particular action on particular occasions. Let me remind the honourable member, for example, that nol long ago there was a tanker carrying a great amount of oil which grounded in the Barrier Reef. It was within the area which is not known and undefined as to responsibility. With the concurrence of the State Parliament this Parliament passed an Act which operated for a short time to enable that danger to be obviated, but if there had been no such concurrence, and it is perfectly possible to imagine such circumstances, then no-one would have known who had the responsibility and who should be charged with a lack of responsibility if no action were taken. That is an example I give to the honourable member.
– The Prime Minister did not answer the second half of my earlier question about the territorial sea and continental shelf in which I asked why the States were not informed of the change in policy. I point out that the Government had 2 ministerial conferences with the States in March and September last year on the original proposal for a Commonwealth law to take control from the 3-mile limit outwards. So I repeat: Why were the States not informed of the change of policy?
– The matter of the Government’s intentions was announced in the Governor-General’s Speech and before they were announced in the Governor-General’s Speech the individual States were informed of the policy the Government had adopted.
– That is not right.
– It is right. The intention to legislate having been announced in the Governor-General’s Speech, that is a clear statement of a change in policy. There seems no reason why long before the announcement was made there was any need to communicate.
– 1 ask the PostmasterGeneral whether his attention has been drawn to the extremely high charges that are being required of some telephone subscribers to upgrade their telephone lines to meet the requirements of his Department in relation to subscriber trunk dialling. Will he examine the conditions with the object of enabling these subscribers to retain their telephones at a cost which they could reasonably be expected to pay?
– I think twice during this session of Parliament I have answered a question similar to this. I have nothing more to add to the previous answers I have given.
– My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Air. 1 preface the question by stating that I understand following the late sitting last Friday night the Minister for Health returned to South Australia in a VIP aircraft in which he invited his Liberal colleagues, the honourable members for Boothby, Wakefield and Angas to accompany him. Will the Minister consider the suggestion that when VIP aircraft are used under similar circumstances in future, Ministers extend their invitations to include honourable members on this side of the House?
– There is a set procedure governing the operation of the special flight aircraft. In reply to those who hesitate to accept that view, J would observe that the Leader of the Opposition and his front bench colleagues have access to the use of these aircraft and do so on a variety of occasions. ! am not completely aware of all the circumstances upon which my honourable friend’s question is based but I will undertake to convey to the Minister for Air as promptly as I can the purport of his question.
– My question is addressed to the Minister for Trade and Industry. It has. been stated on a recent Tasmanian television programme that the research grant of $31,000 made to Carlton and United Breweries Ltd of Victoria and which was the subject of a question on notice at page 2023 in Hansard, was for the purpose of research into hop extracts, fs the Minister able to give any assurance that the fears of Tasmanian hop growers for the future of their product in consequence of such research are unfounded?
– Under the legislation passed by the Parliament for the provision and disbursement of funds in connection with research and development activities, the authority for decision is vested in a board which is independent of the Department of Trade and Industry. The legislation clearly sets down in, I think, 2 broad definitions the criteria which will be taken into account. The board operates independently. Its decisions are not subject to the concurrence of myself as the administering Minister but are reported, 1 think, at the end of the year to the Parliament.
I have no first hand knowledge of this. I understand from something I have read in a newspaper that the brewery concerned asserts that it has, through its research, discovered certain new processes in respect of hop extract and that the product is now being sold around the world and negotiations. 1 think, are taking place for the issue of licences for the employment of this process in other countries. This generally would be a result in conformity with part of the objectives of the research and development grants. But I suggest to the hon ourable member who is interested on behalf of his own hop growers that if he were to put the question on the notice paper I. would give him as full and as prompt an answer as 1 can.
– 1 direct a friendly question to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Great Barrier Reef, particularly to a reef which is of tremendous importance to the electorate of Dawson and which was visited last Friday by the right honourable Prime Minister of Canada. My question concerns the joint Commonwealth-State committee to investigate the problems of the crown of thorns starfish. Has the Prime Minister’s attention been drawn to the fact that much of the evidence will be taken in secret to the degree that the names of many of the witnesses will not even be published? As this is a Commonwealth-State committee and as it is of great importance both scientifically and economically to Australia as well as the rest of the world, will the Prime Minister have a look at this point and ensure that all evidence will be made public?
– I am afraid I am not aware of the conditions under which the joint committee has decided - and I take it that the committee itself is the one that has decided - that it shall operate and the way in which it shall take evidence, nor indeed the reasons there might be for it making such decisions. I will make inquiries to sec what the position is.
– My question is directed to the Minister for the Navy, ls he aware of the many sailing ships of great magnificence that have visited Australia as training ships of several nations? Does he or do his advisers consider that the sailing ships are still a good medium for initial training in a navy? I ask: Is it possible to have another ship built to the specification of Cook’s Endeavour’? Could it be completed in time for the tri-centenary?
– I will first answer the last part of the question posed by my honourable friend. May I say that in view of the way he is wearing at the moment 1 am sure he would be able to board such a vessel. I saw the ships in Sydney during the Cook bicentenary celebrations. I must tell my honourable friend that I was impressed with their grace and beauty. Nevertheless, in candour, I think that in this day and age and in the circumstances that attend us they represent something of a mild anachronism. 1 so express that view to people whose experience and qualification would lead me to believe that that is not completely the case. I tell my honourable friend, in seriousness, that I will arrange to see whether a contemporary assessment of their utility in terms of our Australian existence can be made.
– 1 ask the Minister for National Development whether it is a fact that the first nuclear power station in Australia is estimated to cost approximately $l30m. Will enabling legislation for the expenditure of this money be introduced in this House? If not, when will the Parliament have an opportunity to discuss the outlay of such a large amount of the taxpayers’ money? Is it also a fact that, as predicted earlier today, Canada is likely to provide the successful tenderer?
– It is a fact that approval has been given in principle for the construction of a nuclear power station which will be designed to feed electricity into the New South Wales grid. The actual cost of the power station is not known at this time. 1 would not like to refer to it at this time because only recently we called for tenders for the construction of the power station and the associated generating plant. Tenders close next month. We anticipate that after very careful consideration of the tenders - I have announced already that about 1 1 tenders have been received - the Government will be able to make a decision about the end of this year. 1 hope we will be able to make that decision in about October. It may be a bit later but an announcement will be made about that point of time. 1 expect that in the next session of the Parliament a Bill will be introduced to cover the provision of funds for this project. I am not quite sure at this stage whether one Bill will cover the point raised by the honourable member. At least some legislation will be introduced in the next session to cover the financial aspects of the construction of the station.
The honourable member inferred - following upon a Press statement that appeared today, I think - that some decision had been made already in relation to a Canadian type of reactor for this station. I would like to say quite clearly that this is not so. Consideration will be given to submissions or tenders from the Canadian authorities, or the relevant corporation in Canada, in the same way that consideration will be given to all other tenders. The Government will consider all tenders in the normal way. There is one provision to which all tenders must conform, that is, the desire of the Government that indigenous fuel be used in some form or other. That is one of the basic requirements written into the tender documents. Consideration will be given to all tenders and when the recommendations are received the Government will come to a decision and will announce it.
Before concluding I wish to qualify one point in relation to a Press statement on which, 1 am sure, the honourable member based his question. I refer to a statement attributed to Professor Encel. 1 understand that this learned gentleman made a statement which was reported in the Press last week. It also was incorrect. The statement which he has made today is equally untrue in most aspects.
– The Minister for Primary Industry will recall answering in the House recently a question which related to the difficulties associated with the export of mutton from Australia to the United Stales of America. Can the Minister clarify the exact position? Are all States and all meat works throughout Australia affected? If not, can the Minister tell us exactly which meat works and which States are affected?
– There is a complete ban for the time being on the export of mutton to the United States, irrespective of the meat works or the States from which it comes. This matter has been fully discussed at a meeting of the Meat Industry Advisory Committee, and it is hopeful that some abattoirs may be re-issued with licences to export to the United States, but they will have to pass the rigorous examination of my Department and then be recommended to the United States Department of Agriculture, which in turn will inspect the works. I point out that about 20% of our mutton exports go to the United States. However, we export a considerable amount of mutton to other markets in the United Kingdom, Japan, and throughout South and South East Asia. So it does not mean that any of the meat works which formerly exported to the United States will have to close down, but the ban will certainly interfere with their programmes.
– I ask leave to make a personal explanation.
-Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?
– Yes, I have. Some newspapers have reported me as failing to vote on the Labor amendment of the honourable member for Dawson on Friday after 1 had announced that I would vote for it. For example the ‘Age’ reports:
Mr Fairbairn declared in Parliament that he would vote for the Opposition on the censure motion. But when the vote came Mr Fairbairn walked from the chamber and abstained.
At a later stage the same article states that I could have crossed the floor and my honour would have remained intact. This and other reports, I believe, stem from a misunderstanding of the admittedly complex voting procedure. What happened was this: The honourable member for Casey moved an amendment to the Labor censure amendment. In the result, the vote from which I abstained was not taken on the Opposition amendment but on the later amendment of the honourable member for Casey. This amendment, moved by the honourable member for Casey and carried, replaced the Labor censure amendment, and became the motion which was then carried. If honourable members look at the record of votes on page 2328 of Hansard they will see that the first division is headed (Mr Howson’s amendment)’. The second division is headed ‘(Mr Howson’s amendment)’ while the third division is headed the amendment (Dr Patterson’s) as amended.’ Finally I wish to make it clear that I committed myself to support the Opposition’s amendment, and I would have done so if it had been voted on.
– I wish to make a personal explanation.
-Does the honourable member for Mitchell claim to have been misrepresented?
– Yes, blatantly. The PostmasterGeneral is reported on page 2239 of Hansard of 15th May as having said:
I felt that it would be desirable that he, and others who are greatly critical, should have a discussion with the Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. I endeavoured to arrange such a discussion and I understand an invitation was issued to the honourable member but that he was not prepared to accept it.
That is not in accordance with the facts. My secretary and I have deived through my files, and on 15th July 1969 I did receive a letter from Sir Robert Madgwick. It was a Mae West: Please call up and see me some time. That is the only notification I have ever received.
– I ask for leave to make a short statement. I wish to withdraw some remarks that I made in a debate last week.
-Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.
- Mr Speaker, in the heat of the debate on the National Health Bill on 5th May I made a reference, which appears at page 1590 of Hansard, to Mr R. B. Scotton and Mr J. S. Deeble as ‘a couple of researchers at a university who were filling in spare time and hoping to make a few bob on the side by preparing some sort of submission which presumably the Labor Party took up’. Those gentlemen have now informed me that their health insurance proposals were a serious, full time study for which their only remuneration was their salaries received from the university. I wish to withdraw the imputation of pecuniary motivation, which they assure me is completely untrue, and to apologise to those gentlemen for any slight they may feel they have suffered. I am sorry if I have underestimated the worth of those gentlemen. I would, however, like to add that my evaluation of the worth of their report and its relation to the realities of the situation in Australia remains unchanged.
– I wish to make a persona] explanation.
– Does the honourable member for Bradfield claim to have been misrepresented?
– Yes. It has been suggested in the Press that the Premier of New South Wales influenced the votes of a number of New South Wales members in this House on the censure motion last week. 1 wish to say that the Premier of New South Wales has never influenced me on that or any other occasion and is not likely to do so.
– by leave - Honourable members will recall that in my recent second reading speech explaining the Parliamentary Counsel Bill I indicated that I had under consideration proposals affecting other areas of work in my Department. One area to which 1 have been giving particular attention concerns law reform in the Australian Capital Territory, and I take this opportunity to inform the House of some decisions the Government has made to further this important work. The need for law reform is, of course, by no means confined to the Australian Capital Territory. Throughout the world governments are recognising that it is not enough to direct all of their legislative efforts towards the enactment of laws designed to implement political concepts. It is generally recognised that there is, in addition, a need for constant review of existing laws, particularly those upon which basic juristic principles and institutions depend. Otherwise, experience has shown that it is only a matter of time before those laws become inadequate to meet the needs of a fast developing and increasingly sophisticated society.
In recent years the Government has given close and continuing attention to the need for law reform in the Australian Capital
Territory. After reviewing the problem in 1965, the Government approved the creation within the 4 responsible departments, namely, the Department of the Interior, the Attorney-General’s Department, the Department of Health and the Treasury, of special groups of officers to be assigned exclusively to the task of reviewing the laws of the Territory and to keeping those laws up to date.
While the Government concluded that the responsibility for the work of ACT law reform should rest with the responsible departments, it decided that arrangements should be made for consultation on matters of a specialist or technical nature to take place with informed sections of the community. For the co-ordination of the efforts of the 4 responsible departments an interdepartmental co-ordinating committee was established. These decisions of the Government have been implemented. Departmental staffs have been strengthened by the creation of groups of officers to undertake law reform work for the Territory. There has been consultation with bodies such as the Australian Capital Territory Advisory Council, the Law Society of the Australian Capital Territory, the Australian Capital Territory Bar Association and the Australian National University. Other bodies have been consulted in relation to particular matters in which they have had a special interest, and in some projects assistance has been obtained from particular persons with special knowledge or experience. 1 am pleased to be able to say that much has been accomplished under these arrangements. The task of reforming the law is inevitably a painstaking one, and progress cannot always be achieved at the rate that may be felt to be desirable. Nevertheless, there has been good progress in the Australian Capital Territory under the arrangements now operating. I shall not take the time of honourable members to indicate all the matters that have become the subject of legislation. But the House will, 1 think, be interested to know that since 1967 my own Department has been responsible for some 30 significant ordinances of a law reform nature - some of them representing quite major projects. For example, these ordinances include: An ordinance providing for the interpretation of Territory ordinances and statutory instruments: a juries ordinance providing for all aspects of jury service and, in particular, for women to serve on juries; an ordinance making comprehensive provision with respect to maintenance of wives, husbands and children; a new Wills Ordinance; ordinances enabling married persons to sue each other in tort; a number of amendments to the Court of Petty Sessions Ordinance; an ordinance facilitating the transfer of marketable securities; a new Family Provision Ordinance - to ensure that the family of a deceased person receive adequate provision out of his estate; an ordinance enabling a person between the ages of 18 and 21 years to borrow on the security of a mortgage of his home; amendments to the Administration and Probate Ordinance; and amendments to the Real Property Ordinance.
Several other major projects have reached an advanced stage and legislation will shortly be forthcoming. In this connection, I would mention, first, the proposed legislation concerning strata or unit titles which has been prepared by a specially appointed working group comprising an officer from my Department, an officer from the Department of the Interior, a university professor of law, and a legal practitioner with extensive conveyancing experience. The present position with respect to this legislation is that the comments of interested bodies to which the draft was circulated for comment have only recently been received and are now being examined.
Another project at an advanced stage is the proposed Legal Practitioners Ordinance to replace the Ordinance disallowed last year by the Senate. Since assuming office 1 have given close attention to this important legislation and have had the benefit of discussion with representatives of the 2 professional bodies representing lawyers in the Territory. I am pleased to be able to say that a printed draft of the proposed Ordinance has just been forwarded for comment to those 2 bodies and to the Advisory Council. It should now be possible to have the Ordinance made in the very near future. The preparation of a new Criminal Code for the Territory has been a particularly big task, in which I have been very considerably assisted by the Law Council of Australia. Here again, the views of interested bodies have been sought. Some have been received and are being examined. I would mention also that a new Evidence Ordinance for the Territory is in its final stage of preparation. Helpful comments on a printed draft of the proposed Ordinance have been obtained from interested professional bodies and I expect that the Ordinance will be made very shortly.
From what I have said honourable members will appreciate that the task of law reform for the Australian Capital Territory is being actively pursued. I should like to acknowledge at this point my predecessor’s interest in this work. He was active in exploring possible new ways of advancing the work. During his term of office the Attorney-General’s Department was reorganised so as to involve more directly in the work senior officers of the Department able to provide guidance to the special groups of officers established in 1965. Experience has shown that such direct involvement of senior officers is particularly desirable, and my Department is accordingly about to submit to the Public Service Board proposals for a further reorganisation in which the emphasis will be still further in the direction of committing the work of Territory law reform to officers at suitable levels who will be free from conflicting duties in the federal sphere.
The Government has hitherto taken the view - to which it still adheres - that it should not abdicate its responsibility for legislation involving significant policy considerations by referring proposals for such legislation to an outside body such as a law reform commission. In recent years there has been pressure from various quarters for the establishment of a law reform commission, but having regard, amongst other things, to the extent to which policy. The Government’s view in this in Territory reform projects, the Government has felt it more appropriate that these projects should be handled by the departments responsible for the policy. Having recently given the matter further consideration, the Government sees no reason for taking a different view in regard to projects involving significant questions of policy. The Government’s view in this regard is, I might say, in complete accord with views expressed in the course of discussion of the subject of law reform at a conference of Australian and New Zealand
Law Ministers held at Wellington on 26th February this year. At that conference, however, there was general agreement that law reform commissions and similar bodies can assist materially in the reform of those areas of the law that do not involve significant policy. To give just a few illustrations I mention the law of conveyancing, the law of defamation and the law governing the time within which legal proceedings must be instituted after the cause of action has accrued.
The Government has accordingly decided to establish a law reform commission for the purpose of supplementing the work of the departments concerned in reviewing and reforming the law of the Australian Capital Territory. The Commission will be presided over by a full-time chairman with very senior qualifications in the law. The Government has in mind that the chairman would if possible be a person with the status of Supreme Court judge. There will, in addition, be certain part-time members of the Commission and an appropriate supporting staff.
At the discussion at Wellington to which I have referred there was general agreement that the work to be undertaken by a law reform commission and the priority to be accorded to particular projects should be a matter for decision by the Government and this will be the position with respect to the law reform commission to be established for the Australian Capital Territory. All references of matters to the commission will, in fact, be made by the AttorneyGeneral and the commission will forward its reports to the Attorney-General. The reports of such a body will, of course, be most valuable documents and honourable members may rest assured that the Government will treat them as such, lt goes without saying that the ultimate decision on to the implementation of any report will be a matter for the Government. This represents no departure from common practice.
Mr Speaker, 1 have indicated the Government’s decision to establish a law reform commission for the Territory and the basic principles that will be applied in establishing it. There are, of course, certain matters of detail that still need to be worked out but honourable members may rest assured that these matters will he attended to as expeditiously as possible. 1 believe that the com mission will make an important contribution to the development of the Australian Capital Territory.
I present the following paper:
Law Reform for the Australian Capital Territory - Ministerial Statement, I9th May 1970.
– by leave - I am delighted that a Law Reform Commission is to be established in the Australian Capital Territory. In fact it has been sought for many years by practitioners and public spirited persons in the Territory. It is not a mere matter of coincidence that I undertook at the election for the House of Representatives last October that my Party would establish such a Commission. I also repeated this proposal in my manifesto, which was issued on Monday last week, for the by-election for the Australian Capital Territory which will take place on Saturday week, as I am sure honourable members will recollect. Before dealing with this subject in detail, might I express my gratification that so many of our policies, which J announced on Monday of last week and which could be discerned from questions 1 put on the notice paper 5 weeks ugo. are in fact coming to pass. There are 3 other instances which I can briefly mention. I mentioned that my Party would introduce consumer protection legislation. The Minister for the Interior (Mr Nixon) in fact had called for a report from his officers on such legislation in 1968. Yesterday he wrote a letter to the Australian Capital Territory Advisory Council announcing his intention to establish a consumer protection ordinance. This followed a resolution passed by the Advisory Council on 23rd .September 1968.
On Monday of last week I promised that the construction of single bedroom bachelor flats would be resumed, having regard to the needs of elderly and single people in the Australian Capital Territory. The construction of such flats was discontinued in 1965. Yesterday the National Capital Development Commission announced that it has begun the planning and design of a 100-room bachelor flat programme. I promised yesterday week that the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund would be reconstituted so as to provide non-contributory pensions to all ex-servicemen and to adjust those pensions periodically in accordance with adjustments in rates of pay applicable to current servicemen. It will be recalled that on 29th May of last year the Minister assisting the Treasurer promised to bring up to date a table which he had previously given me of comparative benefits paid on retirement to servicemen in the United States, Britain and New Zealand. I reminded him of this promise in a question on the day we sat this year. I have not yet received an answer. Nevertheless, the whisper is that something is to be done about the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund.
I return to the fourth matter, the Law Reform Commission for the Australian Capital Territory. On earlier occasions - for instance, in the Crimes (Aircraft) Bill of 1963 and the Crimes (Overseas) Bill of 1964 - I pointed out the archaisms in the criminal law in the Territory. The relevance of the criminal law in the Territory to those Bills is that it is the law applied by those Bills. It is the misfortune of persons being tried under those laws that, with the possible exception of the criminal law of the Northern Territory which derived from South Australia in 1910, the most archaic criminal law in Australia is that of the Australian Capital Territory which derived from the New South Wales criminal law of 1911. I quoted on these previous occasions the remarks which Mr Justice Joske, sitting as a judge of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory, had made early in 1962 on these archaisms. I had quoted, moreover, the articles on trie subject which had appeared in the ‘Canberra Times’, by Dr K. C. Sutton, a senior lecturer in law at the Australian National University. He was succeeded in that position by Mr Keppel Enderby. I further quoted the articles in the ‘Canberra Times’ of 7th, 8th and 9th May 1964 by Professor Jack Richardson. It appears that all of these articles and comments advocate the establishment of a Law Reform Commission for the Australian Capital Territory.
An article in the ‘Canberra Times’ on 21st July 1965 by Mr David Solomon disclosed that the . Government had decided against such a Commission. This was confirmed by a joint statement on 21st August 1965 by the then Attorney-General, the present Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr Snedden), and the then Minis ter for the Interior, the present Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Anthony). The statement, incidentally, was not made in the Parliament. It will be seen then that the idea of a Law Reform Commission for the Australian Capital Territory has been debated in the Australian Capital Territory for the last 8 years. It has certainly been debated in this House on appropriate Bills for the last 7 years.
Perhaps I should also point out some of the extremely leisurely and inadequate developments in the 3 fields which the Attorney-General (Mr Hughes) says are being considered for forthcoming legislation. First of all, he mentions legislation concerning strata or unit titles. The late honourable member for the Australian Capital Territory, Mr J. R. Fraser, received an answer on this subject on 24th May 1965. The Minister for the Interior assured him in his answer:
The Attorney-General has caused an investigation to be made and this has disclosed that it would be possible to work out a legal basis for a strata titles system suitable to the particular circumstances of the Australian Capital Territory.
I point out that that was 5 years ago. Similar legislation was brought into force in New South Wales on 1st July 1961, Tasmania on 1st January 1964, Queensland on 1st July 1965, Western Australia in 1966, Victoria on 1st July 1967 and South Australia on 22nd February 1968. For the last 5 weeks I have had a question on the notice paper asking when this will be introduced in the Australian Capital Territory!
The second prospective legislation which the Attorney mentions is the Legal Practitioners Ordinance. That has also been debated in another place and doubtless it will be debated further when the substitute legislation is brought in. My recollection is that the former ordinance was disallowed about 8 months ago. The concluding prospective piece of legislation which the Attorney mentions is the new criminal code for the Territory. This was handed to the former Attorney in February last year and it was tabled in May last year. I must confess I find it a disagreeably Draconian code. I drew this to the attention of the Attorney-General in a question on 1 1 th March last, lt will be remembered that Mt Justice Fox, the primary judge of the Supreme Court in the Australian Capital Territory, had acquitted one of Mr
En derby’s clients on the basis that the police were not entitled to fingerprint persons in custody unless that course was necessary for identification. 1 pointed out to the Attorney that the draft criminal code for the Australian territories made it lawful for a police officer to take prints of the hands, fingers, feet or toes of a person in lawful custody and to take photographs of a person in such custody. It will be noticed that these photographs and fingerprints and toe prints are not to be taken only when required for identification: anybody who is charged can be recorded in this way. I do not believe that in Australia this is an acceptable extension of crim nal law practices. Accordingly, I would hope that the criminal code to which the Attorney refers will at least be amended in some of these ways. It is not inappropriate that today, the day of the visit of the Prime Minister of Canada, formerly Minister of Justice in Canada, we should pay some heed in practice to the notable statement he made that the Government has no place in the bedrooms of the nation. The talents and energies of lawyers and police can be very much better used than they are at the moment in the bedrooms of the nation. I merely say by way of illustration that we can take no comfort from the fact that the draft criminal code tabled in May last year is be ng contemplated as a law reform in the Australian Capital Territory, lt will be the most Draconian code in Australia if it is ever enacted.
I conclude my remarks by saying that in view of my happy experiences yesterday and today in finding that 4 proposals which I put to (he people of this Territory only on Monday of last week are already coming about, I have the liveliest anticipation that before polling day on Saturday week some other long standing proposals may in fact come to pass. For instance, some action may be taken on the report by the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory on the supply of residential blocks in Canberra, which was made on 1st September 1965. Some action may be taken on the report of the former Minister for the Interior on self-government for the Australian Capital Territory, which was made in May 1967.
Some action may be taken on Sir George Currie’s working party’s recommendation for an independent education authority-
-Order! The Leader of the Opposition asked for leave to make a statement on the same subject. I know that a by-election is due to be held somewhere later this month. I suggest that the honourable gentleman confine himself to the purposes for which he requested leave.
– I will not complete the list. If answers are given to the questions I have had on notice for the last 5 or 10 weeks the record will show the point I am seeking to establish. I conclude by thanking the Attorney for his belated reaction to the proposed law reform commission for the Australian Capital Territory which has been suggested in the Territory for the last 8 years. I applaud his response. I think it most timely.
– Mr Speaker-
-Order! Does the honourable member seek leave to make a statement on the same subject?
-Is leave granted? Mr Snedden - No.
– Leave is not granted.
Bill presented by Mr Snedden, and read a a first time.
– I move:
Thai the Bill be now read a second time. My colleague the Minister for Immigration (Mr Lynch) is overseas on government business. In his absence I deliver this second reading speech on his behalf. Where I use the personal pronoun it should bc taken to mean the Minister for Immigration and not me. At the outset I take the opportunity to express my personal congratulations to the Minister for Immigration for developing this programme.
This Bill provides legislative basis for the comprehensive programme of migrant education which I announced in the House on 23rd April 1970. The Bill, Mr Speaker, relates to the total area of migrant education, which lor purposes of simplicity may be dealt with under 3 main headings - the adult programme, intensive courses and child migrant education. As foreshadowed in my statement on 23rd April the Government has approved the detail of a major review of the adult education programme in source countries where pre-embarkation instruction is given, during the journey to Australia anr! in the community after arrival. Facilities for pre-embarkation instruction will be expanded, additional forms of instruction will be introduced and courses will be extended to new source areas such as Yugoslavia and the Scandinavian countries. The number of ship-board education officers will be increased and with the growing emphasis upon air travel we will consider providing educational facilities in aircraft as circumstances permit.
In Australia, facilities for instruction in reception centres, in hostels and in the community generally will be expanded. There will be greater provision of part time accelerated courses to meet the needs of migrants who for economic reasons cannot engage in full time instruction. Greater use will be made of the medium of television and radio courses which are under review. Emphasis will be placed upon encouraging industry to provide facilities for instruction at the work place so that migrant workers can have convenient access to courses of instruction. Special attention will be given to the needs of migrant women - the married woman and the housewife - for whom, if they are to become full members of the community and if they are t participate in the social life, a knowledge of English is essential. Advanced teaching techniques will be used to meet the needs of individual groups of migrants. Research surveys already undertaken and those planned will identify these individual needs and the most effective way of providing for them.
The full time intensive course of instruction which was first introduced early in 1969 is designed specifically to meet the needs of professional and other qualified migrants for whom an adequate knowledge of English is a pre-requisite to their being suitably employed. As a general rule only migrants who have reached a certain educational level are able to benefit effectively from this particular type of instruction. There is a considerable demand, however, for enrolment in the intensive courses and it is the Government’s intention to provide additional centres for intensive instruction in Sydney and Melbourne, and to extend these to other capital cities and to provincial areas of high migrant density. The child migrant education programme represents a new area of Commonwealth participation. The Government intends to finance the salaries of special teachers in both existing Government and independent schools to teach migrant children who are handicapped in varying degrees by some type of English language difficulty and the cost of special training courses for these teachers. It will finance the purchase of approved capital equipment of the language laboratory type for use in the special classes which will be established. It will provide suitable teaching and learning materials not only to schools where special classes are formed but also to schools where there are insufficient numbers of migrant children with language problems to justify the appointment of a special teacher. Because what is planned in the adult programme and with intensive courses is essentially an extension of existing programmes, the Bill is concerned largely with the area of the major new initiative in child migrant education.
The Bill is a relatively short one. The title includes the words ‘for Immigrants and certain other persons’. The term ‘immigrants’ is intended to relate to persons who have been admitted to or allowed to remain in Australia indefinitely for residence. The qualification provided by the words ‘who are ordinarily resident’ in paragraph (b) of sub-clause (2.) of clause 4 excludes from the intended meaning of the word ‘immigrants’ those persons who do not have resident status in Australia. The Bill therefore does not relate to persons admitted for a limited period of time under temporary entry permit, such as visitors and overseas students. The term ‘certain other persons’ is intended to include naturalised Australians and the Australian-born offspring of immigrants who require instruction in the English language, as well as those who are immigrants under the definition already described.
The short title - Immigration (Education) Act 1970 - indicates that the source of power for the Bill derives from the immigration provision in the Constitution. Clause 2 of the Bill provides that the date on which the Act will come into operation will be 1st July 1970. The State Education Departments and the independent school authorities are being informed that the Commonwealth will meet from existing appropriation costs within the approved programme which are incurred in the special instruction of migrant children as from 1st April 1970.
– Do they approve of it?
– They have been informed and I have no doubt that they will accept gladly. In the definitions clause, clause 3, the intention of the refinition ‘of capital equipment of an educational nature’ is that where the need for special classes is established State and independent schools will be provided with Commonwealth funds to purchase equipment of the language laboratory type. The definition of an ‘independent school’ is consistent with the similar definition used in the Act which provide financial assistance for independent schools under section 96 of the Constitution.
Clause 4 covers in a general way the type of courses which are provided and to whom. Non-English speaking immigrants are not specified because English speaking immigrants and their children as well as their non-English speaking counterparts are to be provided with courses in citizenship education which are referred to in paragraph (b) of sub-clause (1.) of clause 4. Paragraph (a) of sub-clause (2.) of clause 4 gives the Minister authority to make arrangements for the provision of courses of instruction outside Australia, whether in the source country before embarkation or during the voyage to Australia and to adjust these as changing circumstances involving particularly international organisations or overseas governments may require.
Clause 5 relates to the proposed new arrangements for the child migrant education programme as well as to existing arrangements for adult migrants and for fulltime intensive courses of instruction. The Department of Education and Science, which will be assisting in the development of the child migrant education programme in the States and will be responsible for producing appropriate teaching materials, will be establishing a committee to advise on the design and content and production of text books and other material for the child programme. The committee will include representatives from State Education Departments as well as the Department of Immigration and the Department of Education and Science. Full-scale production of material designed specifically for child migrants will possibly take two to three years. In the meantime selected materials already used in the adult programme will be made available for use by migrant children.
Clause 6 indicates that subject to regulation a living allowance will be paid to migrant students, other than school children, attending approved courses of instruction. With the introduction early in 1969 of the full time intensive courses, students already attending such courses have been paid a living allowance at rates which I now set out. If in private accommodation, single students receive an allowance of $25.14 per week, of which $16.70 is for their accommodation expenses and S8.44 an allowance to meet normal living costs. For the married student, the rate of allowance is $32.73 of which S21.70 relates to accommodation and the balance of SI 1.03 to other living costs. For the migrant, in Commonwealth hostels, the allowance has been such that the normal hostel tariff has been deducted leaving the migrant if single a living allowance of $8.44 per week and, if married with a dependent wife, $11.03 per week with increases according to the number of dependent children in the family. The rales of living allowances are at present under review. I have considered it advisable that the rates of living allowance paid to migrant students, other than school children, attending approved courses of instruction and the conditions under which the allowance may be paid should be provided by way of regulation so that the detail of the allowances to be paid will be paid before the Parliament when the regulations are made.
Some State Departments of Education have already taken steps to meet the problems encountered by migrant children in their schools and for this purpose are employing teachers in the special instruction of migrant children. Under the adult programme there are teachers who would also benefit from further training. Clause 7 of the Bill is therefore intended to provide for the training of teachers who may already be engaged in teaching migrant students as well as those who will be selected for training before being so employed. The payment of travelling allowance for teachers attending training courses, which is referred to in sub-clause (3.) of clause 7, will be in accordance with the rate of travelling allowance normally payable to government employees of the State concerned.
I referred in my statement to the House on 23rd April to the need for research in the fields of both adult and child migrant education. Clause 8 provides authority for the conduct of such research which will be undertaken by the Department of “ Immigration and the Department of Education and Science in conjunction with the research units of the State Education Departments and of appropriate tertiary institutions. Clause 9 as a whole is intended to make it clear that the Minister in making arrangements may arrange for payments by the Commonwealth to the other party to the arrangements. Sub-clause (1.) of clause 9 relates to the programme generally. Subclause (2.) of clause 9 relates to certain types of payments, which it was thought desirable to refer to specifically, with respect to arrangements entered into with the government of a State - under both the adult programme and the child programme - as well as with an independent school authority under the child programme. lt may be useful if I were to explain that schools which will qualify for financial assistance under the special programme for child migrants will be those where a special teacher is employed. The appointment of a special teacher will in turn require, as a general rule, a minimum of 30 migrant children in the school in need of special instruction in the English language - though the children may be taught in smaller groups. Financial assistance may also be available where a special teacher is employed at several adjacent schools or pro rata where the special teacher may be required only on a casual or part time basis.
In the statement I made on 23rd April 1 indicated that the Government would finance, in addition to the salary costs of special teachers, the salary costs of necessary supervisory staff. We have decided in paragraph (b) of sub-clause (2.) of clause 9 to adopt the term ‘administrative staff’ as the former term we believe was not sufficiently wide to cover the adult programme. Administrative staff in the case of the child migrant programme will be concerned essentially with policy formulation, the control, training and development of teaching staff and the inspection and supervision of the programme at the local level. Administrative costs will also include costs normally incidental to salaries of both teachers and administrative staff - pay-roll tax, workers compensation and workers insurance premiums, employer’s contribution to superannuation fund, and entitlement to long service leave of permanent officers.
Under the adult programme, the administrative costs will also include certain operating costs to which the Commonwealth has been committed since 1951 by agreement with the States. Paragraph (d) of sub-clause (2.) of clause 9 is intended to provide for the situation where the State Education Department or independent school authority may wish to purchase teaching and learning materials which are not suitable for production under the arrangement referred to in clause 5 but which may be considered necessary to the effective implementation of the child programme. Clause 10 makes the normal provision for the administration of any part of the migrant education programme to be delegated by the Minister and is in accordance with the provision of such delegation used frequently in other Acts. Clause II indicates that the funds required from time to time will be provided under the annual appropriations for the Department of Immigration. Clauses 12 and 13 contain normal legislative provisions for the making of reports and regulations. Thus Parliament will have the opportunity of receiving progress reports on the operation of the programme.
The Bill is intended to give legislative force to the programme of migrant education which the Government believes to be a matter of national importance. Some SI. 5m has been provided in the current financial year for migrant education. The greater part, SI. 2m, is tor the adult programme, for which expenditure has been to the order of Sim annually over recent years. We expect to spend $150,000 on intensive courses during 1969-70 and $250,000 on the child programme during the final quarter of the financial year. It is expected, subject to budgetary considerations, that expenditure on the 3 programmes will rise to $4m in 1970-71 and that funds to the order of SI 6m will be required over the next 4 financial years. I commend the Bill to the House.
Debate (on motion by Mr Daly) adjourned.
Bill presented by Mr Hughes, and read a first time.
– I move:
That the Bill bc now read a second time. This Bill is designed to amend the provisions of the Bills of Exchange Act relating to cheques and bank drafts. The main purpose of the Bill is to do away with the necessity for indorsements on order cheques and bank drafts that are paid into the account of the payee. It will benefit the public and relieve bankers of much of the unproductive work at present involved in examining indorsements. The Bill will effect other incidental improvements in the law relating to cheques. Before proceeding to deal with the substance of the Bill, I should explain that it will be an interim measure pending the introduction of a comprehensive Cheques Bill to codify the civil law relating to cheques, of which the GovernorGeneral made mention in opening the last Parliament. There will be no incompatibility between the interim measure and the comprehensive measure as the provisions proposed in the Bill are among those the Government has in mind to include in the comprehensive Cheques Bill I. have mentioned.
I should tell honourable members that difficulties have been encountered in the preparation of the comprehensive Bill and it was not possible to introduce it in the last Parliament. Indeed, its preparation is still not complete. The essential difficulty lies in translating into the second half of the twentieth century a code that was devised in the second half of the nineteenth century -our Bills of Exchange Act 1909-1958 is still essentially the British Act of 1882 - and, furthermore, a code that is primarily concerned with the elaborate ritual of the nineteenth century merchant doing business with bills of exchange rather than with the modern business use of cheques. Today, the cheque is used as a means of payment in vast numbers of everyday transactions of a non-commercial character as well, of course, as in ordinary commercial activities. Such a comprehensive review has not yet been attempted in any of the countries of the British Commonwealth; their legislation is still based on the British Act of 1882.
The Government has had the benefit of the report of the committee that it appointed to review the Bills of Exchange Act. Honourable members will recall that that committee was chaired by Mr Justice Manning of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and that its report was presented to Parliament on 12th October 1965. The committee recommended that a new Act be passed dealing comprehensively with cheques. The comprehensive Cheques Bill I have mentioned will be broadly along the. lines recommended by the committee. It is clear, however, that some of the recommendations made by the Manning Committee will require modification to take account of fundamental changes that are now taking place in banking procedures, particularly in the use of computers. Discussions are at present proceeding with bankers about the extent to which a modern code should take into account changes that have occurred or that are in prospect. For example, at least one of the trading banks is now redesigning its operations to provide for the storage of cheques at a central processing centre. The old reality - basic to the present Act - of physical presentment of a cheque at the branch on which it is drawn will be gone.
I have said enough about these difficulties. Work is proceeding to overcome them but it is clear that it will be some little time before I shall be able to bring in a comprehensive Bill. It is therefore, in my view, desirable to give effect now in a short Bill to a reform recommended by the Manning Committee - doing away with the unnecessary indorsement of cheques. This is a reform that has been widely sought within the community and 1 consider it to be the most important of the reforms recommended by the Manning Committee. 1 believe that its implementation will be of real benefit to members of the public, to the commercial community and to bankers. The Bill will give effect lo a policy broadly similar to that of the United Kingdom Cheques Act 1957 but modified to take into account views expressed by the Manning Committee.
I turn now to consider the main purpose of the Bill which is, as 1 have said, to do away with unnecessary indorsement of cheques. It may assist honourable members if 1 give some figures that bear upon this matter. Estimates 1 have been able to obtain indicate that over 800 million cheques are issued annually in Australia and that about one-quarter or approximately 200 million arc order cheques. Cheques drawn on the Reserve Bank are invariably payable to order; these include cheques for social service payments, repatriation payments and income tax refunds. The Department of Social Services alone. I understand, issues some 2 million cheques each fortnight. In addition, cheques drawn by State governments and by companies are usually payable to order. At present, all these cheques have to be indorsed by the payees and examined by bankers.
It is estimated that over 2 million order cheques are dishonoured annually for lack of indorsement or for irregular indorsement. lt is also estimated that at least threequarters of all cheques drawn are deposited to the credit of the payee so, in the great majority of cases where cheques are returned for indorsement, no question of title to the cheque is involved. The dishonour of a cheque in these cases does not safeguard the drawer or true owner. It is a great inconvenience to the private individual and to commercial firms and also involves the banker in much unproductive work. In the United Kingdom a solution to the problem of unnecessary indorsement of cheques was attempted in the Cheques /et 1957. ft is a different solution to that proposed in this Bill and I think that I should take a moment or two to explain why I propose in this Bill a different solution.
The United Kingdom Cheques Act has had a curious history. Its starting point is the 1956 report of the Mocatta Committee on cheque indorsement. That report recommended legislation substantially along the lines now proposed. Before action was taken by the United Kingdom Government lo introduce a Bill a private member’s Bill was introduced which, with minor changes, was subsequently adopted by the Government. That Bill, which is now the Cheques Act 1957, did not follow the Mocatta draft and proceeded along quite different lines. The relevant sections, sections 1 and 4, may be construed as doing away with the necessity for indorsement of all cheques whether they are cheques paid into the account of the payee or negotiated cheques, that is, cheques that have been negotiated by the payee in favour of a third party. Support is provided for that construction by the decision of the House of Lords in the case of Westminster Bank v. Zang (1966) 2 W.L.R. 110. lt is by no means clear that this result was intended by those who supported the Bill. Indeed during the debate in the House of Lords it was said, in answer lo criticism by Lord Chorley of the departures from the Mocatta Committee’s recommendations, that the advice received by the bankers was that negotiated cheques would still need to be indorsed. Alternatively, it was said that bankers would in practice insist on indorsement of negotiated cheques and order cheques paid over .the counter to ensure that they and their customers were protected. It is significant that on 23rd September 1957, before the Act came into force, the Committee of London Clear’ ng Bankers issued a memorandum lo the public which stated that indorsement would continue to be necessary in the case of negotiated cheques and order cheques paid over the counter. The result in the United Kingdom is, therefore, that the law does not appear to require the indorsement of any cheques but, as a result of the memorandum I have mentioned, bankers require indorsement of negotiated cheques and order cheques paid over the counter. The position is the same in New Zealand, where a Cheques Act along the lines of the United Kingdom Act has been enacted and a banking practice similar to that in the United Kingdom has been adopted.
The Manning committee, having considered all these matters and having heard submissions from all interested parties, concluded that the original recommendation of the Mocatta Committee should be followed - that is, that the necessity for indorsement should be done away with only in the case of cheques paid into the account of the payee. The Government has accepted this recommendation. The matter that was decisive in its deeision was that the examination by banks of the regularity of indorsements of negotiated cheques is a valuable protection to drawers and the true owners of cheques. I have dealt at some length with the reasons why this Bill provides a different solution from that which the United Kingdom Act provides. It will, however, provide the same practical benefits as a matter of law as are provided in the United Kingdom by a combination of law and banking practice.
In summary, the effect of the indorsement provisions of the Bill will be as follows: A customer of a banker will not need to indorse an order cheque paid into his account if he is the payee; only those cheques that have been negotiated to third parties will require indorsement. A banker paying a cheque drawn on him by a customer will only have to examine a cheque for indorsement where he pays it over the counter. A banker with whom cheques are deposited by a customer will now only have to examine the face of each cheque to ascertain whether it is to be paid into the account of the payee and, if so, he will not have to turn over the cheque to look at the back and compare the indorsement with the name of the payee. The principal provisions that give effect to the proposed alteration of the law concerning indorsement are new sections 88b and 88d contained in clause 5 of the Bill. The former deals with the responsibility of a banker paying a cheque drawn on him by a customer, commonly called a ‘paying banker’, and the latter deals with a banker who receives payment for - a customer, commonly called a ‘collecting banker’. These provisions will also extend to bank drafts, which include what are commonly called ‘bank cheques’.
I shall now deal with the provisions of proposed new section 88b. Section 65 of the present Act protects a banker who pays a cheque bearing a forged indorsement or an indorsement made without authority if he acts in good faith and in the ordinary course of business. Section 86 protects a banker against a common law claim for conversion in respect of a crossed cheque where he pays the cheque to another banker in good faith and without negligence. Failure to examine order cheques for indorsement would be contrary to the ordinary course of business under section 65 and would constitute evidence of negligence under section 86. Accordingly, to obtain the protection of sections 65 and 86 a paying banker must examine order cheques for indorsement. If the proposed alteration of the law concerning indorsements is made, a paying banker will not know whether a cheque has been paid into a payee’s account with the collecting banker or into some other account. Proposed new section 88b will, therefore, relieve a paying banker of the responsibility for ensuring the regularity of indorsement of all order cheques paid to a collecting banker and leave that responsibility to be discharged by the collecting banker alone. A paying banker will, however, continue to be responsible for ensuring the regularity of an indorsement on an order cheque that he pays over the counter.
The purpose of new section 88d is, firstly, to do away with the necessity for a collecting banker to examine for indorsement order cheques that are paid into the account of the payee, and, secondly, to extend to uncrossed cheques the protection afforded by section 88 to a collecting banker in the case of crossed cheques. At present, under section 88 of the Act, a collecting banker who receives payment of a crossed cheque in good faith and without negligence is protected against the common law liability for conversion to which he is subject if his customer had no title or a defective title to the cheque. A banker, like anyone else who deals with property inconsistently with the rights of the true owner, is liable to the true owner in an action for conversion. To bring himself within the protection of the section, a collecting banker must examine an order cheque to verify the indorsement; to receive payment of a cheque bearing an irregular indorsement would be evidence of negligence on his part.
Under the proposed provision, a collecting banker must continue to examine negotiated order cheques to bring himself within the protection of the provision. Much of the benefit of doing away with the necessity for indorsement on order cheques paid into a payee’s account would be lost if collecting bankers were to insist on indorsement where there were minor discrepancies between the name of the payee appearing on the cheque and the name of the customer’s account. The proposed section 88d provides, therefore, that where the name of the payee on the cheque is so similar to the name of the customer that it would be reasonable for the collecting banker to assume that the customer is the person intended by the drawer to be the payee, the banker need not concern himself with the absence of or irregularity in indorsement. 1 It is important that the proposed change in the law relating to indorsements should be introduced without affecting the position of persons under other provisions of the Act or under the common law. The Bill contains two proposed provisions directed to that end: Proposed new section 88c, which is intended to preserve the value of paid order cheques as evident of receipt of the amount of the cheque, and proposed new section 88b, which is intended to preserve the rights that a collecting banker now has as a holder for value under section 32 in respect of indorsed order cheques. So far as evidence of receipt is concerned, the drawer of an indorsed order cheque, under the existing law, can use it after payment by his banker as evidence, although it is not conclusive evidence, of receipt by the payee of the amount of the cheque. In fact, a paid indorsed order cheque is as good evidence of the payment of money as the simple receipt of the kind sometimes printed on the back of cheques.
If the proposed change in the law concerning indorsements is effected, there is no reason why a paid unindorsed order cheque would have any less value as evidence of payment than a paid indorsed order cheque now has. Proposed new section 88c ensures that this will be so by providing that an order cheque that appears to have been paid by the banker on whom it is drawn is evidence of the receipt by the payee of the sum payable by the cheque. This provision will, I believe, be useful for auditors and others required to satisfy themselves that the payee has in fact received the amount of the cheque. This provision will extend to a bank draft. The purpose of new section 88e is to ensure that a collecting banker who at the present time has the rights of a holder for value in respect of an indorsed cheque will not be prejudiced by the proposed change in the law to do away with the necessity for indorsement on cheques payable to order that are paid into the payee’s account.
The reason why a collecting banker now requires an indorsement on a cheque payable to order is to establish himself as a holder for value, thus, enabling him to sue on the cheque in his own right. In order that a collecting banker will continue to have the rights of a holder for value in respect of cheques that will not in future be indorsed because they will be collected for the payee, new section 88e provides that the banker will have the rights of a holder that he would have had if the payee had indorsed it in blank. I believe that the proposed provisions that I have just described will provide a significant measure of reform of the law relating to cheques and I commend the Bill to honourable members.
Debate (on motion by Mr Connor) adjourned.
Debate resumed from 14 May (vide page 2222), on motion by Mr McEwen: That the Bill be now read a second time.
– I continue my remarks, which I began last Thursday, in support of the motion for the second reading of the Bill to establish the Industry Development Corporation. I dealt with the fact that the conditions applying to this Corporation were almost precisely the same as those applying to a free enterprise corporation. An example of this is taxation in the normal course of events. I dealt also with the fact that the protective devices built into this Bill assure that this position -should be maintained. I referred, as an example, to the tabling in the Parliament of any notice of dismissal of part time or full time directors and the fact that Parliament has the ultimate say on such an action. I referred to the fact that the proposed Corporation is not an Australian Labor Party type of Socialised mechanism for taking over from private enterprise the industries of this country. I referred too to the fact that it was an aid to the manufacturing and mining industries from the free enterprise sector of our industry.
Again, I referred to the changing circumstances of Australia, to the changing circumstances of our balance of payments and to the changing circumstances in regard to foreign equity in Australian companies. I pointed out that these changing circumstances needed a change in thinking. I hope I pointed out also that I regarded this Bill as being vital to meet these changing circumstances as they affect the Australian equity in Australian industries.
I referred also to the fact that I would anticipate there would be little or no competition with trading banks or, indeed, the Resources Development Bank. I mentioned, I believe, that if there is a field of competition I felt that the Corporation itself could compete, and probably would compete, with the few merchant banks as we see them in Australia today. There are very few of those institutions. I referred to the directors, both the full time, but more importantly, the part time directors. I stressed the importance of people of consequence making sure that a business evaluation would dictate what terms were allowed to certain infant or other industries requiring and making application for funds. I referred to the capacity of the directors, both part time and full time, to decide what interest the proposition could bear and what servicing terms could be met. I pointed out during those remarks that the source of the funds would be the source as anticipated of last resort.
I pointed out, too, that my expectations were that the Corporation, whilst starting in a relatively minor and small way, would come to the rescue - and I stress it again - of private sector manufacturing industries and private sector mining industries. There may be others that’ would come into this category. But that is the way I feel the
Government has worded the Minister’s second reading speech - and indeed has worded the legislation that empowers the Corporation to take action in these ways. I pointed out that any increase in capital from overseas for the sake of this Corporation could confidently be. anticipated to provide a nett increase in the flow of capital funds to this country. I pointed out that government loan capacities would not be competing in certain areas available for this type of overseas finance. I pointed out, Sir, that quite contrary to my friends on the opposite side of the House there was no intention whatsoever - that is the happiest news - by the Government to allow any intrusion by governments into the function of the Corporation, that every protective device possible as far as I am aware surrounds the Bill in order to assure that it does succeed in its aims of helping to finance propositions from the private sector of Australian companies.
Not long ago an honourable member of the Opposition pointed out to me very plainly - and of course he shall be nameless - that his complaint with this Bill was that it helped private industries too much. This, of course, demonstrates precisely the difference between the Government’s attitude on this type of legislation and the Opposition’s attitude. We do not wish that this Act setting up the Industry Development Corporation should aid in public sector investment; on the contrary, we wish it should aid in private sector investment. To use an argument, as I have read on odd occasions, that this therefore would help our Socialistic friends to achieve their ambitions for public ownership of companies is quite ridiculous. The whole aim of this Bill is in entirely the opposite direction. I believe that the time will come when the Corporation will achieve a very worth ful function for the people of Australia and will achieve the aims of this Bill.
– You need to have the people to own it.
– 1 accept the challenge: If the worst for the nation comes to pass and the Australian Labor Party does take control of the government benches in due course, the very terms of this Bill make a decisive difference between that Party’s ideas and the ideas of the people on this side of the political fence. I have taken it as tantamount to a declaration of Labor’s own policies that honourable members opposite would not give financial help to Australian industries with export potential; honourable members opposite would not give it because they wish such industries to be taken over by public sector corporations - by the Government - and no doubt they would introduce a Bill that might look, at face value, extremely like this Bill but whose provisions would be the exact converse of the terms of this Bill. I thank the honourable member for his interjection because 1 think it is most necessary that the people of Australia should be very well aware at this point of time that there is a complete philosophical difference of approach between the 2 parties in this House on the question of public ownership. The Labor Party believes in public ownership and we on our side of the political fence believe in encouraging private ownership, with proper business principles applying to it.
For too long 1 have listened on odd occasions to people, not aligned politically, use frantically and loosely the term ‘free enterprise’. This country has never adopted the same attitudes as the United Kingdom or the United States of America regarding the ownership of public facilities and instrumentalities. This country has never had, for instance, a privately owned company owning the telephone structure. We have never had to any reasonable degree private ownership of railways or private ownership of the major type of hospital. Where are we? I say: Beware of the person who loosely uses the phrase ‘free enterprise’. We have our own methods in this country and 1 will give regard, when it is due, to Opposition legislation. Thinking back over the last 30 years 1 can recall some legislation introduced by the Australian Labor Party that has worked to the benefit of this nation. After all, that is the approach we want set out in the terms of this Bill. If it had been bad legislation the Government would have altered it. Some of it was bad. We are a young nation and we are feeling our way. I believe there is a slot and a sound reason for the establishment of this Corporation, and that it is in the interest of the Australian people that this Bill should be passed.
– The Opposition already has stated that it does not oppose the Australian Industry
Development Corporation Bill. This Corporation has been dubbed the McEwen Bank as against its counterpart, the Australian Resources Development Bank, which is now generally known as the McMahon Bank. In a very uncharacteristic admission of his economic philosophy, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry (Mr McEwen), when introducing this Bill, justified it by stating: lt is increasingly evident that what is best for a multi-national giant is not necessarily best for Australia.
In the words of St Luke, there will be more joy in Heaven over 1 sinner who repents than over 99 righteous who need no repentance. The economic sins of omission and commission of this Government are beyond category.
The Opposition supports this Bill not for its details but rather for its foundation upon acceptable general principles, if not for its immediate practicability. Its pedigree is in no economic studbook. It is one of an unnamed litter bred in the political think tank of the Department of Trade and Industry which has yet failed to get its office of Secondary Industry to operate anywhere near success.
The Australian Industry Development Corporation is a unique statutory concept. By definition it is a body corporate, lt is a financial hybrid of doubtful economic zoology. Its stated function is to provide financial resources for Australian companies as defined - companies engaging or to engage in industries in Australia relating to manufacture, the processing or treatment of goods, or the recovery of minerals and any associated purposes. Its aid is to be given only on request or by consent. Should the Corporation involve itself to any degree in legal ownership it shall, by the injunction of a particular section, review itself yearly of its holding of shares and divest itself of them. After making due obeisance to sound business principles, and despite its passive role, the powers of the board of directors are to be exercised annually in borrowing moneys within Australia so as not to exceed an amount determined by the Reserve Bank of Australia, and on the same principles for the borrowing of moneys within Australia by companies whose operations are controlled from overseas. In other words, in competing for what funds are available in Australia it is to be pari passu with overseas investors. Staggering under these injunctions the fledgling Corporation is exhorted to direct its principal borrowings to overseas sources.
The Corporation can best be described as a national merchant bank with a charter for industrial development with the aim of securing, to the greatest extent practicable, ownership by Australian residents of Australian companies. Despite the general broadness, the deliberate broadness, of its provisions and. in some cases, even their vagueness, there is evidence of careful drafting where necessary to conform with apprehended constitutional limitations. Judging from the recent reactions of a Mr Scambler of the Australian Resources Development Bank, we are shortly to experience a variation of the good old Australian aphorism: If it moves, shoot it; if it grows, cut it down. The Scambler version is the one which is the shield and buckler of private enterprise: If there is a substantial profit by the private trading banks, who are congregated together in the Australian Resources Development Bank, then let the Government keep out. But if there is none, let the Government take the rap and accept the responsibility of the hazards. Early events will determine whether there is to be a constitutional challenge on this basis, and the sooner the better in view of the present economic and political climates.
In his speech the Minister for Trade and Industry referred to export franchise limitations. There happen to be a mere 1,100 of them which practically effectively stifle any opportunity for Australian industry to export overseas. Those franchise restrictions can take many forms. For instance, they can restrict or prohibit completely exports from Australia. They can restrict exports to Oceania. They can restrict them to certain countries of South East Asia. For years within this House the Opposition has raised the scandal of these franchise agreements. Other countries phase them out; some even prohibit them, fs it not time that the Government woke up?
The Minister referred also to arrangements for limited competition with the foreign parents of companies. In many cases there are proven instances of older models of different parts and accessaries being pui into the current models which are being sold in Australia to ensure that the Australian model would not be competitive on the export market with the parent company overseas.
Also the Minister referred to the processing of raw materials in Australia. I can conceive of no more advantageous method of boosting Australia’s export income than the beneficiation of iron ore here. The process is referred to as one of aggregates. In other fields of evasion we have such instances as the selling at cost or the export at cost to another company owned overseas by a parent company. Then very blandly, in due course when the company’s income return is submitted, it is shown that the company has not made a profit on the particular transaction. The Government has completely neglected technology. There are some consequences which can follow from the excessive foreign ownership of industry and resources. These already have been fully discussed in this House. I suggest that the real truth in these matters is that the Government is coming in with too little too late. The real damage to Australian industry has been done already. The Minister gave very scanty statistics showing that there was 90% foreign control of the motor vehicle industry, 80% control of heavy chemicals and pharmaceuticals, 75% control of alumina and aluminium production, and 50% control of the electrical and electronic industries. They are only the tip of the economic iceberg.
Let us consider, by way of contrast, the position in such countries as Japan, which is our major trading partner and also our major commercial rival. The Japanese have been very selective in their admission of investment capital. They have improsed very stringent conditions. In particular, they have taken steps to ensure that in no circumstances is there to be a 51% control or more exercised overseas. If they do choose, in restricted cases, to allow such companies to function within their boundaries, two stringent restrictions are imposed on them: Firstly, there is no guarantee that the capital can be repatriated and, secondly, there is no guarantee that they will be able to withdraw their dividends as and when declared. Even in India, a country which is desperately short of capital for its own development, the authorities insist upon a 51% native holding. They are not prepared to trust any outside company to have a majority control. Of course, in Australia, with the techniques of modern company management, it is quite possible to control a company with even less than that, as I will show. Accurate statistics in this country, of course, are appallingly and deliberately scarce. They are sparse to ensure an uninformed parliament and an uninformed public.
Before considering questions of financial availability we must emphasise that foreign investment in this country is conspicuously concentrated in a selected group of industries with characteristics of a high degree of technical complexity and rapid growth and also, of course, in the extremely lucrative field of mining. In the world of technology it is industrial know-how and ‘ its application which is of even more importance than capital inflow. In the 19th century the first industrial revolution replaced manual labour by machines. Any country which has to import its technology from abroad will be in a condition of permanent inferiority similar to that of nations in the last century which were incapable of industrialisation. In the case of Australia, in 4 fields only do we stand on our own feet. They are those of steel production, cement, glass and sugar refining. In each of those Australian techniques are comparable with and even surpass the best in the outside world. With respect to others we are a dependent country.
In its preoccupation with capital inflow, the present Government has consistently ignored the importance of technology, of research and development, of improved managerial techniques and of expertise. One of the main benefits claimed in the past for continuing unrestricted and undirected foreign investment has been the need to fill the gap between the chosen level of investment and the amount of capital available from local savings. Japanese capital investment is 32% of its gross national product. Its rate of sayings is the highest in the world. Australia, according to the latest figures I can obtain, saves and invests somewhere between 25% and 26% of its gross national product. That is claimed to be our absolute limit. It may be, but the point I want to make is that until recently over 90% of Australia’s gross capital formation has been financed by Australian savings, and less than 10% has been financed by savings from overseas. For confirmation of that I refer to the White Paper of May 1965 on ‘Private Overseas Investment in Australia’.
A carelessly repeated myth is now part of the conventional economic wisdom of this country and it is accepted as an economic axiom. The myth is that it is impossible for Australia within its own production to generate sufficient capital to provide for its needs. Even today the overseas inflow would certainly not be 15% of our total needs of capital for industrial development. This Government has ignored the question of investment priorities and, worse still, it has allowed its control over the Australian economy to deteriorate. Between 1953 and 1960 the Australian banking system’s share of total assets available for investment fell from 70% to 57%. Today it would not exceed 40%. If real influence is to be exercised on capital investment many of the developments of the last 20 years will need to be reviewed. We have had in that period takeovers of existing profitable companies. We have had the blackmarket banking system, commonly known as the hire purchase system, which has usurped many of the functions of the banks and which has doubled the interest rates which, normally would have been charged for such matters as the leasing of plant, bridging finance and home improvements. Of course we have had such other developments as the inter company borrowing market and merchant banking.
There is a need for a more conscious control and direction of Australian capital investment based on a system of priorities and based in particular on cost benefit analyses. I suggest that one of the ultimate forms of development of Australia will be a corporation which will float its own loans in Australia, which will appeal to Australian patriotism and which will appeal to the average Australian to take a stake in the country. Many a person is hesitant to invest in an ordinary Commonwealth loan but would invest in a Commonwealth development corporation if by so investing he could get the guarantee of the Commonwealth of Australia. That money could be placed directly into the development of Australia’s national birthright. In 1965 a certain Senator Gorton in a paper presented to the stock exchange of Melbourne in a symposium relative to investment in Australia stated that the then extent of foreign ownership of all company assets in Australia was between 25% and 30%. The lowest estimate given at that symposium for all manufacturing company assets under foreign control was 33%. None of these figures included portfolio investment. Today we find that an efficiently managed holding of not more than 20% to 30% can give effective control of an Australian company.
One of the major tragedies for Australian development today is that in these companies, whatever the degree of overseas control, decisions are made in the board rooms in New York, Detroit, Tokyo and London deciding the future of this nation. We are in fact still an economic satellite. Through concentration on rapidly growing industries, the expansion rate of control of industry by foreign capital in Australia is greater than the average for solely Australian companies, lt is small wonder that the acutely embarrassing forecasts of the Vernon Committee of Economic Inquiry were swept under the political carpet by the Menzies Administration. The Vernon Committee’s prophesy of an increase in foreign investment control to 54% of Australian industry by 1975 seems to be well within the scope of fulfilment on current economic trends. At that stage also the outflow of remittances for dividends, interest, royalties and service charges can exceed the inflow of capital. The implications of servicing this foreign capital are vital for Australia.
In the comparative table prepared by Sir John Crawford on balance of trade and balance of payments on current accounts as presented last week in the course of this debate by the honourable member for Lalor (Dr J. F. Cairns) it was made abundantly clear that Australia has for the past 15 years been dependent on capital inflow to offset its trade deficit. The required inflow, on present momentum, is between $ 1,000m and $l,100m per annum. The cost of servicing this foreign investment is approximately $570m per annum. I will be rash enough to make a forecast. The current quarters inflow will be dangerously close to balancing obligations for outward remittances. This is the most serious fact of all: The extent of economic leverage and astuteness of foreign investors is revealed in the threatened majority control of Austraiian industry with less than a 15% capital investment. Appropriately today the Government has had as its luncheon guest Monsieur Pierre Trudeau, who represents another economic satellite of the United States - a country with a problem similar to ours of a wheat surplus, with an even greater foreign control of its secondary industry, an unemployment rate of 9.2% in French Canada and 6.5% in the whole Dominion. His unexpurgated opinion would make enlightening reading.
The economic prospects of ready borrowing on the international money market were never worse than at present. With world interest rates at a record high level and a series of crises on the major stock exchanges abroad, there are stringent liquid credit restrictions in the United States in an attempt to curb inflation. There is also a record adverse trading balance in what, is still the world’s mightiest economy. Forty-eight per cent of foreign investment in Australia has come from the United Kingdom and 38% from North America. With an interest equalisation tax in the United States of America, and British governmental guidelines curbing outflows for overseas investments, the prospects of loan accommodation for this fledgling Corporation were never more limited, ls it intended to give subsidised loans at subsidised rates of interest? Is it intended to use Australian internal borrowings at lower levels as a sweetener to break down excessive interest rates which will have to be paid abroad? Is it to be used as an instrument for political patronage? The Deputy Prime Minister has a propensity for subsidies. He has been dubbed Subsidy Jack on more than one occasion. Whatever he touches he is prepared to subsidise.
– Providing they contribute to McEwen House.
– That is right. The prospects are for a further outflow of funds in the future rather than for their inflow. The various companies which have invested here will be under pressure from their respective governments to repatriate these moneys to correct their own trading imbalance. Added to that is the general exodus of hot money which has come to Australia from abroad, particularly from London. The owners of that money have dabbled successfully on the local mining market, they have seen the rot setting in, have cashed in on their shares, and are getting out just in time. That money will be rushing out of Australia at an accelerated pace. Major United States companies today are paying as high as 12% for urgent finance in Euro-dollars. Is it to be expected that even with the backing of the Commonwealth of Australia a very warm welcome will be available overseas for our borrowing efforts? A typical example of the present world financial stringency is the experience of Qantas which, when seeking to finance by overseas borrowing its purchase of Jumbo jets, was rudely shocked to find that it was being asked to pay 12% interest instead of the anticipated 7% as budgeted.
The Treasury Information Bulletin of last month contained ominous warnings, lt said that the lower liquidity ratios of trading banks are likely to become more pronounced in the current quarter, combined with sharp increases in rates of interest which have been taking place. Offsetting a fairly considerable rise in exports there has been a fairly considerable rise in imports, an increase in the deficit in invisible payments and a fairly sharp falling away in net capital inflow. This year is likely to see a reduction in overseas reserves of between $200m and $300m. I quote those figures from the estimate in the White Paper. The moment of truth has arrived for this Government. The report, incidentally, was prepared before the Government decided to pull the rug from under its own bond market by withdrawing Reserve Bank buying support and reducing the market price of $100 long term bonds issued last February down to $88 or thereabouts, thus locking in the huge holdings of its captive borrowers such as the savings banks, the life assurance companies and superannuation funds. Following tradition, the first target of this Government with its stop-go economic policies is the building industry, which is the largest employer of labour in Australia, with a work force of over 80,000.
In curbing inflation - that is the position in Australia today - any government has only 2 remedies - the fiscal, by increasing taxation, and the financial, by control of the money supply and interest rates. Follow ing the yet unhonoured election promise of the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) to reduce exorbitant taxation on the lower and middle income groups, there is no alternative but to resort to the latter controls, that is, to the control of money supply and interest. In a vote of no confidence in the Government, loan investors have subscribed less than $2m to the long term bonds in the February loan of S200m, two-thirds of which was absorbed by redemptions for loans then maturing. The more wary investors will hold aloof from the present May bond issue in anticipation of still higher interest rates in the August issue when the Government faces almost formidable problems of redemption.
There are evident today world-wide classical symptoms of an economic crisis. The majority opinion of business leaders in the United States is that there will be a recession and even worse. This hill-billy government with its hill-billy economics is more ill equipped to face a major crisis than any former Australian administration. Moreover the Government is hagridden by the Country Party and its insatiable demands. Finance is government, and any government which lacks the power to control fully its national economy has sown the seeds of its own destruction and risks a major national economic catastrophe. Inheriting a stable economy from the Chifley Administration, with the Australian £1 at its highest prestige in history, this Government has allowed every form of fringe and black market banking to run riot in its economy. Its major lapse was the failure to control hire purchase. Today overseas merchants banks discharge all1 the functions of banking without holding a charter for that purpose and without being under proper control.
Before this Government completes its term of office Australia will have in its capital cities crowds of demonstrating unemployed. The President of the Dreyfus Fund, a major American investment institution, said last week:
What is happening on Wall Street is what is happening throughout the world. We are very extended morally, economically and politically, we ate bound to get our first margin call as a national power.
That applies equally to Australia. It has been correctly said that when Wall Street sneezes Japan catches cold and Australia gets pneumonia. We are involved in a Pacific triangle of trade, with Japan’s trading surplus with the United States being used to finance her adverse trading relations with Australia. In turn our trading surplus from Japan is used to finance our adverse trading balance with the United States. 1 would refer all honourable members to the recent comment of Mr Prowse, the Assistant General Manager of the Bank of New South Wales, on the apathy of Australia and its Government to the vital issues raised by Britain’s Common Market bid as a matter of its economic survival. Mr Prowse warned that Australia should be thinking how cold it might be with Britain inside the European Economic Community, and the gloomy picture that he painted of the possible ramifications for Australia of a successful United Kingdom entry should give every one of us grievous cause for concern.
The Opposition supports the measure for what it is worth. We will put the Corporation to other and better uses when we undoubtedly occupy the Treasury bench after the next general election.
– This debate relates to the decision of the Government to set up a facility to be known as the Australian Industry Development Corporation. Whilst 1 agree with the aims of the facility 1 cannot agree with the method being used by the Government to set up a government controlled facility in this way. I believe the work should be done by private enterprise. The Australian Resources Development Bank could have carried out the work that is considered to be the operation of the Australian Industry Development Corporation. 1 have read the speech of the Minister concerned and I have read the Bill. 1 can only say that in my mind this is really a hazardous venture by a private enterprise government into the financial activities of the country. We have the controls we need through the Reserve Bank and through the Treasury to establish a proper setup for the stability of the country. We have done it in the past and we can do it in the future. As I have said already, hazardous as this Corporation will be-
– 1 rise to a point of order. Is the honourable member addressing the chamber in fact supporting this Bill?
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Drury)No point of order arises.
– 1 feel that the venture is hazardous because I can see ultimately that the Board members of this Corporation will need to have advice given to them. The advice obviously must come from what I would call a national investment board; otherwise the Corporation would be unable to place its investment in a satisfactory way so far as the Corporation is concerned, and so far as the Parliament and the Government are concerned. I would say that the Corporation must have a national investment board because it must watch these trends that I have mentioned or, perhaps, this Corporation could easily be called a state holding company to promote new public enterprises. I refer honourable members to clause 7 of the Bill. This clause relates to the powers of the Corporation. Sub-clause (2.) (c) states that the Corporation has power: to participate in the formation of a company;
Obviously, this Corporation will be government controlled. Obviously clause 7 (2.) (c) will enable the Corporation to do exactly what I have said, that is, to invest in public companies and to make certain that the public companies are under the control of the Corporation. The Bill says very little of these matters. But if honourable members will look at clause 7 (2.), paragraphs (c), (d), (e), (f), they will see that these set out the points that really exercise my mind, f have already read paragraph (c). Paragraph (d) reads - states that the Corporation has power: to subscribe for or otherwise acquire, and to dispose of, shares in. or debentures or other securities of, a company;
Paragraph (e) provides that the Corporation has power: to enter into a partnership or’ an arrangement for sharing of profits; and paragraph (f) states: . to give guarantees;
This is the normal activity of an ordinary company, but this one will be controlled by the Government. Another aspect that concerns me - I refer to the Bill and not to the Minister’s second reading speech - is that of the first 9 pages of the printed copy of the Bill, 5 pages were devoted to the appointment and activities of directors. I find it difficult to believe that the Minister for Trade and Industry would have only 4 pages in the first 9 pages concerned with the activities of the company itself and 5 pages concerned with the activities of the directors of this Corporation. In total, the Bill has 12 pages, excluding the cover. Five of those pages are concerned with the appointment and the activities of directors. So, I say that the whole information is sketchy and certain not informative to this side of the House.
This is a complex decision made by a Government and one, as I see it, which has not been supported either by the Bill itself or by the second reading speech delivered by the Minister on 5th March this year. It does have far reaching possibilities. The Opposition has encouraged the Government in the setting up of this facility because, as it has said, this facility will help it in its democratic Socialistic activities. In fact, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) has supported this concept since 1967. Honourable members on both sides of the House will realise that this subject was discussed by Cabinet in those days. Since then, the Leader of the Opposition consistently has questioned the Government about when it was proposed to set up this Corporation. More recently, the Leader of the Opposition, in his Address-in-Reply speech, went into ecstasies concerning the possibility that this Government would set up the Corporation. He said finally:
In short, under a Labor government, the IDC will be used for the democratic Socialist purposes
I outlined in my policy speech
To my mind, this was so true. As well, the words of the honourable member for Lalor (Dr J. F. Cairns) and the honourable member for Moore (Mr Maisey) indicated thai this Corporation will be used for these purposes.
I say that, in this instance, we have taken from the policy of the Australian Labor Party - and this was outlined by the Leader of the Labor Party in his policy speech for the last election - this democratic Socialist weapon and we are paving the way for the Labor Party to implement its policies on democratic Socialism. I say that the second reading speech of the Minister was very abstract especially when I realise that private enterprise facilities are available to cover the worthy causes and the aims mentioned by the Minister for Trade and Industry.
The Minister has not mentioned how the financial mechanism of the Australian Resources Development Bank has fallen down. In fact, the Minister admits that the Government has not discussed the possibilities with the private enterprise system. I believe that a good deal more research and analyses on this subject are needed because the decision made by the Government has really far reaching complications. I wonder why the Government has criticised the present set-up without talking to the Australian Resources Development Bank personnel. I believe that the Government should have discussed the problem that it has in mind with this private enterprise institution. I believe also that the Government should have explained the policy on its future and asked the consortium of banks which owns the Australian Resources Development Bank what it could do about the problem.
I ask the Government why a panel has not been set up between Government Departments and private enterprise itself to sit around a table and make final decisions on this proposal, which, I have said has tremendously far reaching complications. I ask the Government why the Treasury apparently has not been involved in this decision. From my readings, I find that very little has been said by the Treasury regarding this subject; whereas we on this side of the House believe that the Treasury is one of the watchdog departments so far as the economic stability of the economy is concerned. Where are there statistics to justify this change of our philosophy? I have not been able to find them. But I have found that, in his second reading speech, the Minister - this was supported by the honourable member for Lalor - said that at least 15 Australian companies were being taken over annually by overseas investment companies or overseas parent companies. This, as I say, was supported by the honourable member for Lalor-
– What about the SI 00m that is involved-
– … and now is supported apparently by the fellow from the Waterside Workers Federation.
Mr Bryant - Mr Deputy Speaker, call him to order. There is nothing wrong with the honourable member interjecting-
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Drury)Order! The honourable member for Wills will cease interjecting. Interjections are out of order.
– Yes, but did you hear what he said-
-Order! The honourable member for Balaclava is entitled to be heard in silence. The honourable member for Wills will restrain himself.
– Since last Saturday I have been trying to obtain some of the information that is apparently not available to the Government. In fact. I wrote to the Treasurer (Mr Bury) on 5th March of this year in this manner:
My dear Treasurer.
As a result of the discussion which concerned the Industrial Development Corporation, it would appear that one of the main reasons for initiation of this Corporation centres around the need to help smaller manufacturing companies operating in Australia.
Would it be possible to set out those smaller companies who have been unable to obtain reasonable loans overseas or in Australia and have had to take action previously suggested, that is, almost compulsory acquisition by an overseas company of assets already owned in the local enterprise.
Surprising enough, it took a long time for the Treasury to reply to my letter. Ultimately, I received a reply dated 17th April signed by the Acting Treasurer, then the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton). Among other things he said this:
Your request was referred to the Reserve Bank who have advised (hat they do not maintain a record of cases where Australian interests in companies have been taken over by overseas companies and that, in any event, they arc not usually informed of the reasons prompting sales by Australian residents 10 other parties of shares in Australian companies.
This is the sort of information that I need to enable me to make my decisions regarding these matters. Here we are setting up a Corporation and telling the Australian people and members of this House that at least 15 Australian companies are being taken over by overseas investing companies or parent companies to the detriment of Australia itself.
Yet the Prime Minister tells me that this information is not available. Since last Saturday I have had a job in assessing this information from a very responsible source. In fact, I have been told that this information comes from 5 stock exchanges - the official record of the Melbourne Stock Exchange, the Sydney Stock Exchange, the official record of the Adelaide Stock Exchange, the journal of the Brisbane Stock Exchange and the Perth Stock Exchange.
I have an alphabetical list of all companies that have been taken over by another company in the 7-year period since 1963. Summarising this information. 1 find that there have been 35 companies taken over by overseas interests since 1963. In other words, it is 7 a year, not 15 a year. A summary of this information also informs me - and this is official - that 217 companies have been taken over by Australian companies since 1963. In other words, overseas interests have taken over 7 companies in Australia, and Australian companies, by merger, amalgamation or takeover, have taken over 217 or 31 per annum. So it is impossible for me to accept what the Minister said, because in his second reading speech he mentions these 15 companies. This view is supported by the honourable member for Lalor and the honourable member for Sturt. People need to read this information before they criticise somebody who does just that.
I have not looked at the amounts involved with these companies that have been delisted in thai time. However in the alphabetical list 1 find there is one under ‘A*. It is Australian Beef Cattle Development Co. Ltd, which was taken over by Tropical Cattle Pty Ltd. Under *B’ I find that Brown, Thomas, and Sons Ltd was taken over by Slater Walker. Of course, we all know that Slater Walker is listed on the Australian stock exchanges. I also notice that Brownbuilt Ltd was taken over by John Lysaghts (Australia) Ltd. John Lysaghts (Australia) Ltd was then considered to be an overseas company. We all know - and we understand these things - that since this information was listed Broken Hill Pty Co. Ltd have taken over John Lysaghts (Australia) Ltd. In other words, Brownbuilt Ltd has gone to a so-called overseas company, John Lysaghts (Australia) Ltd, and the whole organisation has now been taken over by BHP. Blair Athol Coal Pty Ltd was taken over by Conzinc Riotinto of Australia Ltd. We all know that CRA is listed on the
Australian Stock Exchange and the Australian investor can invest in CRA just the same as the overseas investor can. As I look further down the list I find that Rootes Australia was taken over by Chrysler Australia Ltd, which is also a company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
To simplify all of these matters, I find that Slater Walker has taken over 5 companies out of the 50 that I have mentioned, Slater Walker being considered an overseas company. CRA has taken over one. Dillingham Corporation of Australia Pty Ltd has also taken over 1 company. So, as I say, it seems to me that the Minister has given us an abstract story about the problems of this venture. It is a story that I frankly cannot accept. At page 6 of the Minister’s second reading speech - not the Hansard Edition - he said in paragraphs 4, 5 and 6:
There are many demands on our limited capital resources. Scarce Australian investment funds do not easily flown to new projects . . . Foreign domination also arises in circumstances where established and growing Australian enterprises, with a small foreign holding, in the Australian firm, reach the stage where they must expand
I think this would be a good exercise as a thesis for the university but I do not think it is very good as a prepared statement to be given to this Parliament. 1 would have much preferred the Minister to have said: There are 15 companies’ - he did say that - ‘being taken over annually by overseas investors; these are the companies and this is their capital.’ 1 would understand this a good deal better than the abstract information that we have received from the Minister.
I believe that the Australian Resources Development Bank has done a tremendous job within the limits of its capacity. The Government has, through its control of the financial structure in Australia and through the Reserve Bank, limited the Australian Resources Development Bank. About 10 minutes ago we heard the honourable member for Cunningham (Mr Connor) say that Qantas Airways Ltd could not obtain overseas money at reasonable interest rates of 12%. This convinces me that the Australian Resources Development Bank has been very prudent in its activities over the 2 years it has been operating. Endeavours were made to establish this organisation in 1965. It took 2 or 3 years to get the consortium together. It came to the Government in 1965 and asked the Government to assist in the initiation of this project. The Government said it was not possible for it to pass over funds from Consolidated Revenue to give assistance to private enterprise. I understand, Mr Deputy Speaker, you have some other work to do; so I ask for leave to continue my remarks at the next sitting.
Leave granted; debate adjourned. Mouse adjourned at 5.57 p.m.
The following answers to questions upon notice were circulated:
asked the Minister for Customs and Excise, upon notice:
What requests or suggestions for legislative, or administrative action by the (a) Commonwealth, (b) Territories and (c) States were made at the April meetings in Canberra of (i) the National Standing Control Committee on Drugs of Dependence and (ii) Commonwealth and State Ministers on the problem of drug abuse.
– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
The agenda for the meetings mentioned by the honourable member include a wide variety of questions concerned wilh law enforcement and health. Included were such matters as cooperation, liaison, training, controls over the illicit movements of drugs, education, research, treatment of addicts, psychotropic substances and penalties for drug offences. Pertinent recommendations of the National Standing Control Committee, subsequently endorsed by the Meeting of Ministers, were as follows:
For the purposes of these penalties, it was agreed thai possession of certain specified quantities was to be accepted as being, prima facie, evidence of trafficking.
Administrative Matters -
It was agreed -
asked the Minister for Customs and Excise, upon notice:
– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
The term ‘drug’ has widely varying definitions. The National Standing Control Committee is not precluded from considering the question of abuse of any kind of substance which might be called a drug. However, it is primarily concerned wilh drugs which cause physical and ‘or psychological dependence. These drugs fall into two main categories, namely:
asked the Attorney-General, upon notice:
Can he provide more recent or complete information than his predecessor (Hansard, 10th October 1968, page 1902, and 25th February 1969, page 58) concerning (a) the countries in which persons under the age. of 21 years may marry without the consent of their parents or their, guardian or a prescribed authority and (b) the number and age of minors who have applied to magistrates for consent to marry in each year since the relevant provisions of the Marriage Act came into operation.
– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice:
– The answer to the honour able member’s question is as follows:
Northern Territory-Groote Eylandt
Western Australia-Dampier, Karratha, Mt Tom Price, Newman and Yampi Sound (Cockatoo and Koolan Islands).
asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice:
– The answer to the hon ourable member’s question is as follows:
(a) The Belfield postmen are now located some distance away from the controlling post office and the move will bring them under the supervision of the Postmaster, Campsie. It will also enable capital expenditure on the Belmore building to be deferred for some years and will provide better accommodation for the postmen from both centres. The change is designed to achieve more economical and efficient operating arrangements and the existing standard of delivery service to the public will be maintained.
asked the Minister for National Development the following question, upon notice:
Is he able to list the countries in which there are regulations requiring the fitting of storm chokes to oil and/or gas wells.
– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
My Department does not have copies of the regulations from every petroleum producing country in the world. However, it does have information that the installation of storm chokes or similar devices in all off-shore wells, which produce by natural flow rather than by pumping or other methods of artificial lift, is required by Regulation or Directive in Australia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Also, from experience of other legislative matters it is presumed that a similar requirement would be included in the petroleum legislation of other countries whose regulations are based either on the United Kingdom or the United States petroleum legislation.
asked the Minister for the Army the following question, upon notice:
– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
Education: Aid to Non-Government Schools (Question No. 99) Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:
en - The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
Education: Ministerial Meetings (Question No, 92)
asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:
What requests or suggestions were made at the meetings of the Directors-General of Education in Melbourne in November and of the Ministers of Education in Melbourne in November and of the Ministers of Education in Perth in February for legislative or administrative action by (a) the Commonwealth, (b) the Territories and (c) the States.
en - The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:
What steps have been taken to obtain sufficient statistics of enrolments of technical colleges to slate the percentage of students granted Commonwealth scholarships (Hansard, 21 August, 1969; page 633).
– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
Statistics of technical college enrolments published by the Acting Commonwealth Statistician do not form an appropriate basis for the calculation of percentages of students enrolled at technical colleges who are granted Commonwealth Technical Scholarships. These statistics of enrolments al technical colleges relate to enrolments in all courses at institutions generally classified as technical colleges, whereas Commonwealth Technical Scholarships are awarded only to students enrolled for certificate courses and certain other vocational courses. In addition the institutions covered by the Statistician’s series do not coincide exactly with the institutions at which Commonwealth Technical scholarships may be used.
The Acting Commonwealth Statistician has advised that the development of statistics on the necessary basis has been taken up as part of a comprehensive examination of education statistics generally. He points out, however, that the development of uniform statistics of technical education is made difficult because of differences between States in the counting of students and the organisation of courses. Preparatory work has been put in hand but the matter will need to be pursued as a joint effort with the Stale Departments which provide the majority of courses in this field.
The Acting Commonwealth Statistican has drawn attention lo other statistical information which may be relevant to the Honourable Member’s question. Estimates of the numbers of persons enrolled in technician courses are included in the results of a sample survey of study courses (other than ordinary school courses) for 1968, which have recently been published by the Acting Commonwealth Statistician. New questions to be asked in the 1971 Population Census on courses of study will provide further information in this field.
Teachers Colleges: Graduate Enrolments (Question No. 746) Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:
Can he provide figures on the number of graduates from the Australian National University who have gone on to teachers colleges in other Slates.
en - The answers to the honourable ministers question is as follows: 1’he number of graduates from the Australian National University who have gone on to enrol in teachers colleges in other States is not known.
However, as university graduates enrolled at teachers colleges frequently undertake the Diploma of Education, figures are shown in the table below of Australian National University graduates who commenced the Diploma of Education at other Australian universities in 1968 and 1969.
asked the Minister for National Development the following question, upon notice:
– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
International Labour Organisation Convention: Sea Going Vessels (Question No. 582) Mr Clyde Cameron asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:
– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:
Is he able to say how many engineers there are per head of population in the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom and Australia.
– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
I am aware that from time to time statistics are quoted as to the number of engineers per head of population in various countries including those referred to in the question. These statistics, however, are not based on a common definition of what is an engineer, are obtained by different means and relate to different years.
The most recent Australian figure, obtained from the 1966 census of professional engineers, as defined for census purposes, showed that there were 224 professional engineers per 100,000 of population.
asked the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:
Will he give the sources and the nature of the data from which the answers in this question have been compiled.
United Kingdom, (b) Canada, (c) the United
States of America, (d) New Zealand and (e) the
Scandinavian countries in relation to any of the matters referred to in this question.
– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
In any estimate of the number of handicapped children, the definition of the term ‘handicapped’ is, of course, important.
So far as the Commonwealth Government is concerned, a benefit of $1.50 per child per day is payable to charitable and religious organisations conducting approved homes accommodating and caring for physically and mentally handicapped children under 16 years of age.
In addition, the Department of Social Services provides rehabilitation treatment and training for young people 14 or 15 years of age who, without treatment or training, would be likely to qualify for an invalid pension when they reach 16 years of
Nurses: Training and Conditions of Employment (Question No. 108) Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Health, upon notice: (!) How many nurses (a) commenced and (b) completed training in each Stale and Territory in each of the last 10 years.
– The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:
The information in the following answer, where relating to State nursing activities, has been provided by the various State Authorities.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Entry Standards - Pass at third year high school standard in five subjects - one from each of the following groups: (1) English
For progression to ‘Post Graduate’ studies, fifth year high school education is a pre-requisite.
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
State awards apply for trainee nurses in repatriation general hospitals throughout Australia.
New South WalesStocking allowance - $0.15 per week. Uniforms provided and laundered free. Student and trainee nurses count the lime occupied al lectures during duly times as working time.
Queensland - Uniforms provided and laundered free. Free Medical and Hospital Service.
Uniforms generally provided and laundered free of charge.
Australian Capital Territory - On commencing duty, trainee nurses are issued with 6 uniform dresses, 10 aprons and I cap free of charge. Replacements are made as required. All laundering of uniforms is done -at the hospital, free of charge.
Uniform dresses, aprons and caps are supplied by training school.
The Hospitals and Charities Commission awards bursaries of $208 per year to assist a prospective nurses to complete High School education.
Northern Territory’ -
District Allowance al 17 - S20O per annum District Allowance -at 18 and over - $400 per annum
Uniform Allowance $60 per annum
South Australia - Uniform Allowance - 35 cents per week Meals on premises
Western Australia -
Uniforms are provided by the hospital and laundered at the hospital but where this is not practicable employees are paid 5(1 cents per week laundering allowance. Where a stipulated type of stocking must be worn, the hospital must provide 6 pairs per year to each trainee nurse.
Accommodation is made available to trainee nurses al all Commonwealth, State and Territory Hospitals.
As a general rule, hospital books are available from training school libraries, but students usually provide their own text books.
In regard to 6 (a) it may be possible to establish the nurse/hospital bed ratio far a representative hospital or hospitals in the capital cities and further information is being sought on ibis aspect and will be provided to the honourable member if a aailable
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 19 May 1970, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1970/19700519_reps_27_hor67/>.