1st Parliament · 1st Session
ThePresident took the chair at 11.30 a.m., and read prayers.
– I desire to ask the Vice-President of the Executive Council, without notice, if his attention has been directed to a paragraph in the Argus of this morning stating that at a meeting of the Council of Churches held yesterday, at which the Presbyterian, Methodist Congregational, Baptist, and Lutheran churches were represented, it was decided to ask the Federal Government toset aside 7th September next as a day of humiliation and prayer for general rain. In view of the fact that it is said that it is only during the continuance of the drought that fanners can hope to make a living, is it the intention of the Government to refuse the request of the Council ? If not, why not ?
– I have not seen the statement to which the honorable member refers, but if he desires mo to do so, I shall inquire into the matter.
Has the Government or the Postmaster-General received any information that the honorable the Prime Minister has carried out his promise, and entered into negotiations in London with the Eastern Extension Cable Company?
-The Government do not consider it to be in the. public interest that they should make any statement at the present time.
In Committee (Consideration of House of Representatives’ Message, resumed from 28th August, vide page 15539):
– I move -
That the following be adopted as the report of the committee : -
The committee have considered the message of the House of Representatives returning the Customs Tariff Bill, andhave agreed to the modifications made by the House of Representatives to Requests Nob. 6, 13, 18, 28, 57, 71, 75, 79, and have disagreed to the modifications made by that House to part of Request No. 9 and to Request No. 38.
The committee recommend that the House of Representatives be again requested to make the amendments as originally requested by the Senate by Requests Nos. 9 and 38.
The committee have agreed not to again request the-House of Representatives to make the amendments originally requested by Requests Nos. 1, 2, 5, 10, 11, 12, 40, 51, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 72, 74, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 88, 89 (as to part), and 92.
The committee recommend that the House of Representatives be again requested to make the amendments as requested by the Senate by Requests Nos. 4, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 20, 25, 29, 30, 37, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 58, 59, 66, 67, 86,90.
The committee have modified Requests Nos. 26 and 36, and recommend that the House of Representatives be requested to make, the amendments as now modified.
The committee recommend that the modificationasto date from which the amendments made come into effect beagreed to.
The committee recommend that the Bill be returned to the House of Representatives with a message requesting that House to make the amendments as set forth in a schedule annexed. “
The committee recommend that the committee haveleave to sit again forthwith on the receipt of a message from the House of Representatives, or on motion.
This report will practically constitute the message forwarded to the other House, and it has been drafted in its present form because I think it is desirable that on an occasion of such great importance practically the whole text of the message should be brought under the notice of honorable senators.
– I am sure that we can rely entirely on the accuracy of the references to the various items, and it seems to me that the report sets forth with great care and explicitness the exact position in which the Tariff now stands in respect to the House of Representatives. I think that everything that it is desirable should be said, is expressed in the message.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Motion (by Senator O’Connor) proposed -
That the report bo now adopter!.
Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON (South Australia). -Thedetailsofthework of the committee are set out in the report, but I should like to crystallize them, because, in listening to the enumeration of the different items one can scarcely realize what they mean. I think it is desirable to mention that there wero 50 items upon which the House ofRepresentatives did not feel at the moment in a position to agree to the requests of the Senate. Out of these 50 requests 23 have not been pressed by us, and two have been modified. So that half of the requests to which the House of Representatives did not feel themselves in the position to assent have not been persisted in by us, and I think that honorable senators on both sides of the Chamber will agree that we have exercised some spirit of moderation. I think, under the circumstances, I may very well ask the Senate to commend this message to the wise counsels which, I am sure, prevail in the House of Representatives. I may be permitted to add that I regret that in some sections of the press an endeavour, which I think is unwise, has been made to stir up strife. I hope that that will be entirely disregarded, and that weshallbe able very shortly to rejoice in handing the Tariff over to the people of Australia, for better or worse.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
– It might be convenient if at this stage I mentioned the intentions’ of the Government with regard to the adjournment. I can see that there are a good many reasons why we should adjourn till Wednesday next, but as the House of Representatives will meet on Tuesday, in anticipation of receiving the Tariff on that date, I feel some difficulty in complying with the request, which I otherwise would certainly have liked to accede to. Of course it is a matter more or less for the convenience of the Senate, but it appears to me that, looking at the balance of convenience of both Houses, I must move -
That the Senate at its rising adjourn until Tuesday next.
– I am just as anxious as is Senator O’Connor that we should get on with our business in the most expeditious way, but taking into consideration the business which has been transacted and that which is likely to be done, and also having regard to the fact that many honorable senators have to go to their homes in New South Wales and South Australia, I think the honorable and learned senator might consent to an adjournment until Wednesday. Considering the small amount of business that there is for the Senate to do there is no earthly necessity for our meeting on Tuesday. I strongly urge honorable senators to take into consideration the convenience of their colleagues who wish to get to their homes.
– My honorable and learned friend, Senator O’Connor, might readily acquiesce in the suggestion of Senator Glassey. I think there is a consensus of opinion that Wednesday will be a more convenient day than Tuesday for meeting next week.
– I wish to say that Wednesday would suit me admirably. I want to go to Adelaide and do not want to come back to Melbourne until Wednesday. I believe that sitting on Wednesday would suit the convenience of. most honorable senators. Considering that the Senate has done fairly well this week in dealing with the whole of the requests upon the Tariff, I hope that the Vice-President of the Executive Council will recognise that he ought to meet the convenience of honorable senators.
– For the very reasons given by the “Vice-President of the Executive Council for sitting on Tuesday, I have come to the conclusion that Wednesday would be the more convenient- day.
– I certainly should like to see the Senate sit on Tuesday, but at the same time I have no objection to meeting the convenience of the greater number of honorable senators. My chief reason for doing so is that apparently the unattached member of the Government who sits at the head of the table differs from his [colleague in regard to the matter. We have the Vice-President of the Executive Council asking the Senate to sit on Tuesday, whilst the other Minister suggests Wednesday. The Government might show some cohesion with regard to their proposals.
– The argument used by Senator McGregor has certainly impressed me, namely, that the Senate has shown unusual and commendable expedition in dealing with this subject’. I realize that we really have done much more work than was anticipated, and as there seems to be a general wish that we should adjourn until Wednesday, I have no . objection to giving way. Therefore, I desire to substitute Wednesday for Tuesday in the motion which I have moved.
Motion amended accordingly.
Question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.
SenatorO’CONNOR (New South WalesVicePresident of the Executive Council). - I move -
That an expenditure upon Government Houses of £5,500 a year, as submitted in the statement laid upon the table of the Senate on the 20th hist., is approved during the term of office of the next Governor-General.
Honorable senators will, no doubt, recognise from the form in which the motion is put the object of the Government in bringing it forward. That object is this : At the present time, the appointment of a Governor-General of Australia is being deferred until the wishes of the people of Australia with regard to the maintenance of ‘ establishments has been definitely made known. Until something definite has been decided it is quite obvious that it would be impossible to offer the position to any one. Therefore it is desirable that that uncertainty should be removed at the earliest possible date. Of course there are two ways of doing that. It may be done as we seek to do it now, by obtaining an expression of opinion from both Houses of the Legislature on some general principle. On the other hand, a Bill might have been introduced to fix the amount of this particular kind of expenditure. But we have adopted the former course instead of the latter for this reason - the expenditure upon the upkeep of two establishments hitherto has been under deparmental control only in a very slightway The conditions are altogether new, and it is impossible to say accurately, until we have had some little experience of the working out of the new plan we have adopted here, what the amount of expenditure actually will be. If we adopted the second mode, the amount would have to be fixed in a Bill, and whether that amount proved to be too much or too little it would afterwards be necessary to have another Bill to amend it. We think it very much better to have this expenditure put upon the next Estimates in order to give time to ascertain the results of actual experience. After that, if it is found, as we believe it will be, that this sum is ample, the matter can be put in the form of a Bill and the Governor-General will from that time out - not only the next Governor-General, but succeeding Governors-General - know definitely what the position will be. Honorablesenators will realize that the object of adopting a resolution in this form is that there shall be a statement which will be honorably binding upon the people of the Commonwealth, that during the term of office of the next Governor-General, although these matters are not secured by Bill, there will be no lessening of the amount which is now mentioned. I think honorable senators will realize that it is necessary that some definite expression of opinion which will practically and honorably bind Parliament should be made, to enable the Government definitely to communicate with the Imperial authorities. The only way in which that can be done is in this form. This form enables us to give that definite assurance which is necessary, and, at the same time, leaves it open to us after an experience of twelve months t© put the matter in the most accurate way possible in the form of a Bill. Honorable senators will see from the schedule which -was laid upon the table on the 20th inst., what the exact proposal is. According to this paper, the appropriations for 1901, under the same headings that we are dealing with now, amounted to £13,030. “Under the proposal we now make, the sum involved is £5,500. Perhaps it may be well for me to read the schedule, as some honorable senators ma3’ not have the document before them. It is made up in this way : -
Melbourne Government-house. - Maintenance, £500 ; grounds, .£900.
– Maintenance of the building itself.
– Repairs ?
– Yes, repairs, upkeep, and so on.
Caretakers, charwomen, te, £550; insurance, £126 ; fittings and furniture, £125 ; china and glass, £.150; flags, £100; postal charges, £240 ; telephones, £110; lighting on public occasions and foi: offices, te, £300. Total, £3,10.1.
Sydney Government-house. - Caretakers, te., £740 ; maintenance, £250 ; grounds, £750 ; insurance, £100 ; telephones, £87 ; postal charges, £50 ; china and glass, £50 ; flags, £50. Total, £2,077.
The total amount is £5, 178. As that sum of course is only a rough estimate, in order to be upon the safe side we mention a lump sum for the proposed votes, of £5,500. It will be noticed that this expenditure is asked for in regard to the up-keep of the Melbourne and Sydney Government-houses, and I should like to remind honorable senators of the position in which the matter stands in regard to those establishments. The Governments of both New South Wales and Victoria have placed at the disposal of the Commonwealth the Government-houses in the capitals of their respective States, rent free, upon the understanding that we shall pay for their up-keep. That arrange- ment has compelled them to procure other -.accommodation for the State Governors, for which the States have to pay. This exceedingly generous conduct on their part certainly deserves the return on ours that we shall fall in with their views, and provide reasonably for the upkeep of the two establishments.
– Is any other State to receive similar treatment, and to have its deserts so excellently considered 1
– I do not know that any other State has made an offer of its Government-house to the Commonwealth. The arrangement of which I speak is only for a certain period. To those who may think that it is unreasonable to maintain a residence for the Governor-General in both Melbourne and Sydney I would point out that two residences are provided for the Governor in each State. New South Wales provides a residence for her Governor in Sydney and another in the country, whilst South Australia provides a beautiful country residence for her Governor in addition to his fine town residence.
– We are going to abolish the country residence.
– It may be that the present arrangements will be altered in the- future; I am referring to facts as they are, and as they were when the federation was inaugurated. The cost of the separate State establishments is very much more than the amount which we now propose shall be expended upon the up-keep of residences for the Governor-General. So far as Melbourne is concerned, the GovernorGeneral -will have to reside here to attend to his duties while Parliament is sitting, and with regard to the proposal that he should in the recess reside in Sydney, I hope it will not be forgotten that New South Wales was the first State to make provision for his reception, and that by the generosity of its Parliament a residence was provided for him there at the time when the people of that State with splendid hospitality celebrated the inauguration of the Commonwealth.
– Will the GovernorGeneral still have a residence in Melbourne after the federal capital is established ?
– The honorable member’s interjection reminds me that the arrangement entered into with the States concerned is only temporary, and will hold good only until the federal capital is established. When that happens, we hope that a residence, with appointments and. surroundings suitable for the position, will be provided for the Governor-General, and Parliament will then have to decide whether it’ will be necessary to provide any other residence for him. The amount set down in the statement which I have read is the’ lowest which can be expended to honorably carry out our obligations. Considering that the appointment of a
Governor-General is awaiting the settlement of this matter, I think the Senate might well give its approval to the resolution which has been passed by the House ofRepresentatives, so that the Government maydefinitely and with certainty inform the Imperial authorities what allowance and. salary will be available for the person to whom the position is offered.
– The motion just moved is an absolutely necessary one, and the only proper course to be adopted, so that the Imperial Government, when they enter upon the task of choosing the next GovernorGeneral, may be in the position to state definitely what amount will be allowed in respect to expenditure not covered by salary.I think that we should all agree that irrespective of amount - a question into which we cannot very well enter at the present moment - it is eminently desirable that the confusion and looseness which has prevailed during the past twelve or eighteen months, and which has led to such serious misunderstandings, should not continue. The motion is practically the outcome of misunderstandings, which, if they did not lead to the resignation of Lord Hopetoun - now Marquis of Linlithgow - culminated in his departure fromAustralia. Apart from every other consideration, it is desirable that a repetition of that state of things should by all reasonable means be avoided. I do not know that in dealing with a motion having the object which I have indicated, it is desirable to haggle about the amount provided for. It is, of course, important that we should see that the amount provided is reasonable, but if an error is made, it should ‘be in the direction of liberality ratherthanof parsimony. In my opinion, no accusation of parsimony can be brought against the people of Australia in regard to the unfortunate difficulties which arose, and were the subject of debate in both branches of the Commonwealth Legislature some months ago, and the suggestion of meanness which emanated from some of the English newspapers which dealt with the subject was utterly unjustified. There has been no foundation or colour for any such reflection upon the action of the Commonwealth. The people of Australia are not a mean people. They are a generous people, and if they err in dealing with high public servants, it is in the direction of liberality -
I would almost say lavish liberality - rather than in the direction of the undue curtailment of allowances for the maintenance of the dignity of an office or the efficiency of its administration. I resent “personally, and as a representative of the State of South Australia, any imputation of parsimony. Those who have made such malicious assertions cannot be aware of the actual facts. I am sure - aware as we are of his high-standing and character, which is esteemed wherever he is known - that Lord Hopetoun would have been the last to suggest any charge of parsimony. During the eighteen months for which he was Governor-General he received from the exchequer of the Commonwealth a sum of £40,000. The salary of £10,000 per annum, which is fixed by the Constitution, was the subject of very grave consideration during the sittings of the Convention, and the fact that superadded to it there are allowances upon what I consider no paltry or small scale has only to be known to entirely refute any reflections upon the fairness and justice of the people of Australia. The basis upon which the amount set down in the motion is arrived at has more relation, it seems to me, to the residential conveniences of the Governor-General than to the actual administrative necessities of the office which he holds. At the risk of seeming to part company for once with someof my very good friends from New South Wales, I utterly disagree with the necessity for two Government-houses, one in Melbourne and one in Sydney. I think the proposal is too ridiculous to commend itself to men who have arrived at years of maturity.
– It was not even suggested by the Colonial Office.
– As my honorable friend says, it was not even suggested by the Secretary of State for the Colonies. My recollection is that he rather deprecated the sort of pressure which it appeared was likely to be brought to bear upon the Governor-General to occupy these two Government-houses, and to establish himself in Sydney for a certain portion of the year. To my mind the suggestion is perfectly childish. I hope my honorable friends for New South Wales will believe that I say this with the greatest pain, because I am free to confess that there is no place within the bounds of this Commonwealth that I would more gladly live in than Sydney, except, of co«rse, Adelaide. If there is to be a choice of a Governmenthouse, apart, from the residence rendered necessary by the administration of the Government of the Commonwealth, I think it ought to be in’ or near Adelaide. I thoroughly sympathize with the view my honorable and learned friend Senator O’Connor has suggested as a reason why there should be two Government-houses, that, in each State, two Governmenthouses are provided. I know it is so in South Australia, though I think there ought only to be one. lt happens, as my honorable and learned friend says, that, in all the States, there are two Governmenthouses provided, one as a winter, and the other as a summer residence. I should like to know whether it is proposed that Sydney Government-house shall be the summer residence of the Governor-General 1
– This certainly ought not to be the winter residence.
– I am with my honorable and learned friend as to that. We have heard of’ geographical freetraders and protectionists, but Governmenthouse, Melbourne, is not selected as the residence of the Governor-General upon any geographical ground, but on the ground of necessity, because, -whether we like it or not, and whether ‘ our friends from New South Wales like it or not, Melbourne is, for the present, practically the seat of Government. There is no getting away from that. Why,, for the mere sake of patting our good friends in Sydney on the back, and keeping them sweet by the expenditure of a few thousand pounds ‘ per year, we should keep up a residence in Sydney for the GovernorGeneral I really do not know. I do not propose to move any amendment upon the motion, because, whether £5,000 a year is sufficient or not, there ought to be some definite sum fixed in respect of these allowances, in order that the gentleman who has the distinction and high honour of being chosen Governor-General of Australia in succession to the Marquis of Linlithgow, ma)’ know exactly what he is going to receive. But the proposal to maintain Governmenthouse in Sydney for the GovernorGeneral is submitted for a reason which would justify the positive throwing away of the money of the Commonwealth upon any silly purpose whatever. These are the only observations 1 desire to make upon the motion.
I desire to express my entire dissatisfaction with the proposal to maintain Governmenthouse, Sydney, for the Governor-General. I do not think it ought to be done. I think the Government should put their feet down and abstain from doing it. We have before in the Senate had references made to the maintenance of public offices in Sydney, luxurious, carpeted rooms, with magnificent beds and bed-hangings, but that is a comparatively unimportant matter.
– Where does the honorable and learned senator get that information ? I have not seen any.
– From his own imagination, or from the imagination of Senator Matheson.
– It cannot be from my own imagination because I always have an iron bedstead without any curtains. Is it not a fact that there is a lovely suite of rooms provided in the public offices in Sydney for the Minister of Home Affairs ?
– There is no bed.
– Then there ought to be a bed ; it is a decided omission.
– The honorable and learned senator made the bed his grievance just now.
– This is a very small matter in comparison with the maintenance of a costly Government-house. Sydney Government-house is a beautiful residence which I think it ought to be the pride of the State to maintain at its own expense, but which ought not to be kept up at the expense of the Commonwealth. I feel less inclination to move an amendment in this matter for the reason that the remedy for this state of things - and perhaps in this respect I may disappoint my Victorian friends - ought to be the early selection of a federal capital site and the early establishment of the federal capital.
– I hope not.
– We shall then get rid of all these little troubles. We shall know what our expenses are likely to be. We shall be able to cut our coat according to our cloth, and we shall not be continually getting into trouble and uncertainty with high officers of State, such as the Governor-General, and feeling difficulty as to how much ought to be contributed towards the cost of his establishment. I hope that the Government will take an early opportunity of curtailing that expenditure, and in the interests of economy, which is clamoured for throughout the Commonwealth, I trust they will put an end to the’ maintenance of a second Governmenthouse, except at the expense of the State in which it exists.
– I am very sorry that Senator Symon did not carry the expression of his opinion to the extent of moving an amendment upon this motion. I beg to move -
That the words ‘ ‘ less the amount required for the up-keep of Government-house, Sydney,” be inserted after the figures “.£5,500.”
If honorable senators can improve upon that amendment, I shall be only too .happy to give way to them. My only object is to secure a substantial expression of the
Opinion which apparently is held by a majority of honorable senators from all the States, that it is quite unnecessary to have two Government-houses. In my opinion, it is not only unnecessary, but it is quite objectionable. Why should Sydney and Melbourne be entitled to the whole of the Governor-General’s time? Have Perth, Hobart, Brisbane, or Adelaide no claim, or have the States of which they are the capital cities no claim 1 Why should all the other States be called upon to contribute towards the expense of keeping up Governmenthouse in Sydney, which, if the GovernorGeneral does his duty to the Commonwealth, he cannot occupy for more than a couple of months iri each year 1
– He must have a residence.
– That is a very brilliant observation. I have not suggested that the Governor-General should not have a residence in Melbourne. Does the honorable senator not think that Government-house in Melbourne is sufficiently capacious to hold the Governor-General and his suite 1 From a cursory glance, I should say that it would hold about 40 families, and that is the great trouble. The statesmen of Victoria have been so extravagant in their ideas that they have built that great mansion and now expect the public to maintain it. This arrangement for the leasing of two Government-houses was come to between certain politicians very estimable in other respects, but who had extraordinary opinions as to what the Commonwealth was likely to approve. They evidently thought that we were so rich in resources that we could maintain a Governor-General as expensive as the Shah of Persia appears to be, judging from comments recently appearing in the newspapers. My feeling is, that the sooner the people of Australia make up their minds to have a native-born or nativeraised Governor-General, the better. I do not demand that he’ shall be native-born, but I mean to say that he should be one of our own. He should be an Australian statesman or citizen who is qualified for ‘ the post, ‘ and we have dozens of them. We shall never arrive at that stage so long as we are prepared to tempt some of the hard-up nobility in the old country who are desirious of coming out here to recoup their fortunes. It would appear that the idea of this motion is really to assist Mr. Chamberlain to select a Governor-General for Australia. The opinion we once held that the aristocrats of the old country were anxious to obtain - this position on account of the honour attached to it is apparently exploded, and it is understood now that the number of applicants for the position will be determined by the amount of money we are prepared to pay to make the stay of -the Governor-General in Australia comfortable. To my mind, . £10,000 a year is more than ample for the purpose. I am not, however, at this stage prepared to sa)r that the people of Australia should expect the Governor-General to occupy a place like Government-house, Melbourne, or that’ the Governor-General, whoever he may be, should have to bear the expense necessary for the up-keep of so magnificent a building. I understand that it costs no less than £1,000 a year to light up that residence. In any case, I certainly think we are not called upon’ to go to the expense of maintaining Governmenthouse in Sydney. Honorable senators may not feel inclined to vote against this proposal, the Government being committed to the expenditure, seeing that they have leased the house for some three years. But, if it is a business transaction, the Government will have no difficulty whatever in sub-letting , it for the remainder of that term to some of the wealth)’ families of New South Wales, who would be only too glad to occupy it.
– And make money on the bargain.
– They would probably make money on the bargain. If there is any disability in that respect, it might be ‘ allowed to revert to the State Governor, instead of his being expected to occupy some other establishment, as the State Governor of Victoria has also had to do.
– What would be done with the existing State Governmenthouses then 1 The States will be expected to keep them up 1
– Some honorable senators may think that there is some animosity to New South Wales contained in the opposition to this motion.
– I think so.
– There is no objection on the part of honorable senators from Queensland.- We took the trouble to go on the federal tour seeking the capital site - a search which Senator Millen did not assist by his presence - and we did so with a view to the early establishment of the federal capital. Surely that is in the interests of New South Wales? Every honorable senator from Queensland is anxious to see the federal capital selected at an early date, but I am afraid a selection will not be made for some time to come, mainly because of the neglect of Senator Millen and certain other honorable senators, who failed to join in the recent parliamentary inspection.
– The honorable senator should not talk bunkum. I know more about the sites than he does, although I did not take part in the picnic.
– It was no picnic for us to travel thousands of miles in order to make the inspection. Honorable senators from New South Wales did not join in the tour because it was’ a Government proposal, and they thought that the Government would probably obtain some credit for it. In objecting to the maintenance of two Government-houses, I am not actuated by any feeling against New South Wales. I feel that only a small section of the people of that State - a section concentrated in Sydney - is interested in the proposal that the Governor-General shall spend a certain portion of the year in Sydney. That small section consists of the people who receive blue and white tickets fpr the Governor’s receptions. The average taxpayers - the men whose case honorable senators of the Opposition have been pretending to advocate during the discussion on the Tariff - are not in any way affected by the proposal. They never visit Government- house : they do npt even obtain a glimpse of the Governor - General except when he rides through the streets in some procession to impress the people with a display of militarism. I have no feeling against New South Wales. I believe Sydney to be one of the most beautiful spots on the face of the earth, and the citizens are as generous and as good as are any other people in the Commonwealth. But while the up-keep of Government-house, Sydney, for the use of the Governor-General, and the residence of His Excellency in that capital, may not have a disastrous effect upon federal politics, I feel that there is always a possible danger to be feared. If the Governor-General of the future makes friends, as he will do, amongst influential citizens of Melbourne and Sydney, it is possible that, in the event of Inter-State troubles arising, Queensland might suffer.
– What powers has the Governor-General under the Constitution ?
– If the GovernorGeneral has no power to do anything, of what use is he ? Has the honorable and learned senator become a pro-Boer or a Republican that he talks in that way 1
– The GovernorGeneral is only the mouth-piece of the Executive, and the Executive is controlled by Parliament.
– Let honorable senators note that statement. According to Senator O’Connor the Governor-General is only the mouth -piece ‘ of the- Executive Council, the members of which each receive some £1,500 a year. What an expensive mouth-piece he is ! He receives a salary of £10,000 a year, and the sum of £5,500 per annum is to be provided for the up-keep of two Government-houses for his use. AsSenator Symon has pointed out, no less a sum than £40, 000 was expended in connexion with the office during Lord Hopetoun’s occupancy of it. Yet that gentleman had no power, no influence whatever. He was merely the mouth-piece of our esteemed and able leader, the Vice-President of the Executive Council, and his colleagues in the Government. I am thankful for the information which Senator O’Connor has given us. The sooner the taxpayers learn that the Governor-General hasno power, and that he is merely the mouthpiece of the Executive, the sooner they willarrive at the conclusion that we haveamongst us any number of men of ability competent to fill the position. If I may be pardoned foi’’ being personal, who would not vote for the appointment of Senator Playford as Governor-General? To go outside this Parliament for ‘ a moment, we must recognise that, although some of us may disagree with the political opinions expressed in the past by our various States LieutenantGovernors, not one of them has failed to prove himself to be as capable and as intelligent as any Governor or Governor-General that we have known. I hope that honorable senators will vote for the amendment in some form or other. If we believe, as Senator Symon says, that it is utterly ridiculous to provide two Government: houses, let us show the possession of that opinion by voting for the amendment.
– I should not have spoken but for the fact that I intend to-day to reverse the vote which I gave upon a previous occasion. Upon looking into the matter, it seems to me that the attitude taken up by this Parliament on a previous occasion was rather paltry, and I propose to place before the Senate some of the reasons which have led me to that conclusion. We find in the first place that nearly every State in the union provides two residences for its Governor, and we know from personal experience that Melbourne in winter is hardly a fit place for any one to live in. On the other hand, we have evidence before us that there is hardly a climate in the world in which it is more pleasurable to live than that of Sydney in winter.
– Why does the honorable and learned senator complain of Melbourne 1 Does he not think we are having very good weather now ?
– I shall take the first opportunity of getting out of Melbourne, and I would vote - upon climatic grounds - for almost any city in preference to Melbourne as the meeting place of the Federal Parliament. Sydney has great claims upon the Common weallth. It is the largest city in the union, and the capital of the oldest State.
– And the federal capital is to be in New South Wales.
– I should be very glad if Sydney could be selected as the capital. I believe that it would have been chosen but for the fatal mistake of inserting a clause in the Constitution, providing that the capital shall be at. least 100’ miles distant from Sydney. With that provision in the Constitution we cannot make Sydney the federal capital; but I do not. hesitate to say that if that city were chosen,, the citizens of Melbourne would very quickly demand that a Government-house should, be maintained in Melbourne for the use of the Governor-General whenever the opportunity offered. I do not know that that demand would be unreasonable, particularly when we can consider the desires of these two large States without any loss to the Commonwealth. If the Government proposal wouldinvolve the Commonwealth in an expenditure of thousands of pounds, I should hesitate to vote for it. But what do we find ? We find on the figures before us that the States are paying the piper ; that they are asking, the Commonwealth practically to do nothing, and that if. it were decided that the GovernorGeneral should not have a residence in Sydney, we should save the Commonwealth only something like £1,000 a year. It is admitted on all hands that if we compel the Governor-General to live in Melbourne all the year round we must increase the sum of £3,100 proposed to be set apart for the upkeep of Government-house here.
– Who makes that admission ?
– It is admitted by very’ many honorable senators. Whether the honorable senator admits it or not, does not concern me.
– The honorable and’ learned senator should justify the contention.
– If the honorable senator will look at the facts he must see’ that if the Governor-General lives in Melbourne all the year round, the caretakers and numerous other servants will have to be employed at Government-house, Melbourne, ‘ throughout the year.
– They will be in any case.
– I do not believe that. The number of persons employed about. Government-house when it is in occupation: must necessarily be much larger than when it is not. Therefore, the position is this : That if we are going to wipe out the £2,000; proposed to be set apart for Governmenthouse, Sydney, we must increase the sum of £3,100 set apart for Government-house, Melbourne. ‘ Senator Barrett. - Not necessarily.
– To provide a Sydney residence for the Governor-General will substantially make a difference of about £1,000 to the Commonwealth, and to oppose the proposition is altogether too paltry, especially when we realize that we are considering the largest State in the union, and the natural capital of Australia. Let the people of Melbourne or any other part of Australia say what they will, Sydney will be the commercial capital - and I should not be sorry to see it the political capital - of the Commonwealth. These being my views, and feeling, as I do, that we are not proposing to impose an)’ substantial burden on the shoulders of the Commonwealth, I intend to support the Government proposal. At a cost of £1,000 we can do that which the people of Sydney expect of us. We can keep the contract made with the New South Wales Government. The Federal Executive have caused the State Government to spend a large sum of money in contemplation of an act of this kind, and shall we, for the sake of £1,000, break all the implied and express promises which have been made to the people of New South Wales? It would not be worthy of the Federal Parliament to quibble over a difference of £1,000, and I trust that the motion will be carried without amendment.
Senator MACFARLANE (Tasmania).Upon this occasion I intend to vote with the Government. It seems to me that the amendment arises only from one of two things : either an honest desire for economy or something very much akin to jealousy. I fail to see why the ordinary courtesies extended to the Governor of a State should not be accorded to the GovernorGeneral. The expenditure involved in the up-keep of two Government-houses will be comparatively trifling, and the principle which is involved in this proposal - the principle of extending courtesy to, and providing for the comfort of, the first citizen of the Commonwealth, should be agreed to.
– I intend to support the amendment, because I think it is unnecessary and undesirable that the Commonwealth should provide for the Governor-General a house in Sydney as well as in Melbourne. Senators Macfarlane and Ewing have complained that only a very small sum of money is involved. It appears to me that something more than mere money - a principle - is involved. We are well aware of the reason why the Government proposes to maintain a house in Sydney for the Governor-General ; it is because Sydney is jealous of the Federal Parliament meeting in Melbourne, and the Governor-General living there. That is not a frame of mind which ought to be encouraged by this Parliament. At any rate, if the Government of New South Wales insist or desire that His Excellency should spend some time in Sydney, they might very well pay all the expenses. Nothing more, I consider, can be claimed from the Commonwealth than that it should provide for the GovernorGeneral a residence at the seat of government. Any other State capital might just as reasonably desire the presence of His Excellency as Sydney, or as a particular clique in Sydney, appears to do. After all, in whose interests is the Commonwealth asked to expend this additional Sim of £2,077 ? In the interests of the people of New South Wales? No. In the interests of the people of Sydney ? No. It is in the interests of an insignificant society clique in Sydney, who are never content unless they are basking in the sunshine of vice-royalty ; who are never satisfied unless they are crawling on their bellies before some potentate whom they consider better than themselves ; who are never pleased unless they are entertained with champagne and other luxuries at the expense of either the Commonwealth as a whole, or the people of the various States. In Brisbane we have the same little coterie. I suppose it also exists in Melbourne. If we go to Adelaide we shall find the very same thing existing there, and probably also in Perth. I dare say that even in far-away Hobart it finds a place. Living as we do in a democratic community we ought to discountenance everything of this kind. Referring to the items, I find that the postal charges amount to £240 for Melbourne and £50 for Sydney. £300 per ‘annum tobe spent on postage stamps ! Is that money to be expended on the business of the Commonwealth or on the postage of letters of invitations to parties, balls, and receptions at Government house ? Perhaps Senator O’Connor will give us some information on that point. A very great deal of criticism is levelled at members of Parliament because their letters to their constituents on matters of public importance are franked by the Commonwealth. Although the two Houses comprise 112 members, and the total sum allotted to them for postage and telegrams is £1,000 per annum, yet the GovernorGeneral - who, Senator O’Connor has told us, is only a mouthpiece, has no power or influence, and really is not necessary - has for himself an amount equal to a third of the sum voted for the members of both Houses of Parliament. A proposal of this character appears to me to be ridiculous.
SenatorDobson. - That is a very unfair comparison.
– I do not think there is anything unfair about it. We are here to scrutinize every item of expenditure by the Commonwealth. This particular expenditure is most unnecessary. It is an extravagance which ought not to be sanctioned by the Parliament.
– Is the honorable senator objecting to the whole £5,000?
– Under other circumstances I, probably, would object to the whole £5,000. Under existing circumstances it is apparent to me, as I suppose it is to many other honorable senators, that we cannot escape from sanctioning some expenditure. We cannot ask a GovernorGeneral to come out from England, pay him a salary of £10,000 a year, and then invite him to spend half that sum in maintaining his residence ; but I hope that at some future period the position of GovernorGeneral will be put on a. more business footing. I recognise that we cannot do that at the present time. But I really do not see any reason - and no reason that is satisfactory to me has been given - why we should spend over £2,000 per annum in maintaining a residence in Sydney in addition to the one in Melbourne.
– I regret that there should have been any feeling imported into this debate, because it should be recognised that the Government have presented this resolution in pursuance of an understanding which was made - rightly or wrongly - long ago. It must also be conceded that that arrangement has never been repudiated, and that it isincumbenton the Government to carry out their engagements. We must realize that both Victoria and New South Wales made provision at considerable expense for residences for the State Governors. It was considered desirable, owing to the large population centered in each of these States, that provision should be made for the residence of the Governor-General in each State for a certain portion of the year, pending the selection of the federal capital site, and upon that ground and at the request of the authorities both States incurred considerable expense. No one will raise a question as to the fairness of maintaining Government-house, Melbourne, as a residence for His Excellency the GovernorGeneral. That may be regarded as a matter of necessity, owing to the sittings of Parliament being held in that city. We know that New South Wales has entered into an engagement by which it has become possessed of another house as a residence for the State Governor, that a large sum of money has been expended in properly furnishing that residence, and that the State Government, relying on good faith being observed, have incurred a considerable outlay upon Government-house, Sydney, to fit it for the occupation of His Excellency the Governor-General. We know, further, that at the inception of the Commonwealth the Governor-General was located in Sydney for a considerable time, and that it was only just prior to the opening of Parliament in Melbourne that he took up his residence here. It is only fair, therefore, that the arrangements made with the Government of New South Wales should be carried out in theway now proposed.
– Was Queensland consulted with regard to that arrangement ?
– It was represented in the Ministry by the PostmasterGeneral, and, I presume, therefore, that its interests were consulted. The PostmasterGeneral approves of this arrangement.
– Hear, hear.
– The PostmasterGeneral is expressing only one Queensland opinion.
– He represents it just as much as does the honorable member, and occupies a position of much greater weight and influence in the Commonwealth.
– He does not represent as many Queenslanders as I do.
– I am not so sure of that.
SenatorMajor GOULD. - Senator Stewart addressed himself to the question whether it was necessary to have a Govern or- General, but I would remind honorable senators that, whilst we remain a portion of the Empire, we must have a Governor-General to preside over us in order to represent our connexion with the mother country. The question whether we should have a GovernorGeneral or not may be dismissed for the present, and left as a subject for academic discussion by those who argue that the Commonwealth should be independent of the Empire. With regard to the fairness of the arrangement made, I cannot too strongly impress upon honorable senators the fact that one-third of the population of the Commonwealth reside in New South Wales. I admit that a somewhat similar proportion is to be found in Victoria. These two States are the dominant factors in the Commonwealth, by virtue of their population and the work which they have accomplished in promoting the settlement and advancement of Australia.
– Would the honorable and learned senator settle the Tariff on that principle - on the principle of New South Wales versus the rest of the Commonwealth ?
– Certainly not. In the settlement of the Tariff we have been called upon to consider the best interests of the Commonwealth, as a whole.’ A very strong feeling prevails in New South Wales that the interests of that State are not considered to the extent they should be. It is believed that there is a tendency to pay more regard to the necessities of the State in which the Parliament is sitting, at the expense of the other States, which are quite as important as regards population, area, wealth, and everything that goes to make up prosperity. Under the Constitution it is provided that the federal capital is to be established in New South Wales.
– But not in Sydney.
– - I know that perfectly well ; but would the honorable senator wish Government-house to be fixed at Goulburn or Bathurst for the time being? If so, we might, possibly, arrange it for him..
– There should be one Government-house and no more.
– There is no provision in the Constitution to that effect.
– That is the natural inference.
– Natural fiddlesticks ! The Constitution provides that Parliament shall sit in Melbourne, but it does not state that the seat of government shall be in that city. It does not provide where the seat of government is to be, but the federal capital is to be somewhere iia New South Wales. When this question was under consideration, it was pointed out by an eminent constitutional authority that there was no warrant for assuming that the seat of government should be in Melbourne, but that there was every warrant for supposing it should be in New South Wales. Taking that into consideration, it is reasonable that the Governor-General should havean opportunity afforded to him when Parliament is in recess of visiting the capital of New South Wales and residing there for ai limited period. It is not intended that this shall’ operate to the detriment of the other State capitals. I readily concede that it is desirable that the Governor-General should have every facility for visiting all the capitals of. the Commonwealth, and that he should not be shut up in Melbourne or Sydney exclusively. I know that some honorable senators feel that there is a spirit of undue extravagance abroad, and possibly it will be’ objected that the maintenance of a residence for the Governor-General in Sydney will in.volve an undue expenditure. I would point out, however, that the expenditure contemplated, will not exceed £2,077. As hasbeen mentioned by Senator Ewing, ifwe retained Government-house, Melbourne, alone as a residence for His Excellency, the cost of maintenance would be more than that now . provided for, and, at the most, the saving affected by giving up Governmenthouse, Sydney, would be £1,000 per annum. It is not desirable, after an agreement has been entered into with theGovernment of New South Wales, that any ground should be given for a feeling of injury on the part of that State, owing to any actual or imaginary breach of faith. The Sydney people may not receive any great benefitfrom the maintenance of a residence for the Governor-General there, but they will at least have the outward and visible sign of the Commonwealth, as represented by the Governor-General, amongst them. Furthermore, whatever may be said with regard to the fact that our Governors keep up a great amount of State, in which the great bulk of ‘ the people cannot participate, it must be acknowledged that the entertainments given by them cause a large amount Of money to be circulated amongst the masses. The Governor-General, for instance, could not give an entertainment without spending a considerable sum, and this would . be distributed amongst the masses. Moreover, the persons who were privileged to attend these entertainments could not do so without in their turn spending more money, and thus the people generally would derive benefit. We know that a quiet season in any of the large centres leads to great complaints regarding slackness of trade, and slackness of trade means less employment. It is one of the greatest mistakes to underrate ‘the importance of expenditure such as I have referred to, and the benefits which flow from it.
– The working bees in the hive do not appreciate arguments such as those, which are used by the drones only.
– The honorable senator will not deny that if he chose to spend £20,000 in entertaining his friends, he would be doing good by spending his money - that he would be distributing his money among the working bees in the hive.
– The money could be spent to much greater advantage.
– No doubt, but if people cannot be induced to spend it in any other way, we may as well have it distributed in that form. Some people object to the money spent upon theatrical entertainments and other amusements, but that all becomes distributed amongst the general community. However, apart from that question, the present proposal of the Government is fair and reasonable, and will enable us to carry out the promise which has been made, and to satisfy at least one-third of the population of the Commonwealth. We shall also be able to show the State of New South Wales that with regard to this particular matter there is no under-current .of ill-feeling or jealousy towards the oldest and most populous State.
– I intend to support the amendment, because I think we should be very careful in laying down precedents in matters of this kind. It might appear at first sight that we should be studying the interests of Sydney by agreeing to the Government proposal, but a little consideration will show that a momentary advantage may be purchased at an ultimate excessive cost. If we lay down the precedent that Sydney is entitled to have the Governor-General residing in that capital for a portion of the 44 f 2 year, later on, when the seat of government is in New South Wales, Melbourne will come forward with a claim that her interests demand that the Governor-General shall reside here. Melbourne will have quite as good reasons for urging that claim as Sydney has now. It is all very well to say that this arrangement is to continue for only five years, but we are laying down a precedent, and at the end of that time, or when the Government has taken up its seat in New South Wales,, we shall have a similar set of circumstances presenting themselves, and a claim will bemade that could not be put forward if we defeat this proposal at the present time. I therefore warn the New South Wales representatives not to buy a temporary advantage at too great a price.
– We are prepared, to give Melbourne all that we ask for - the same fair treatment.
– This is not a matter to be considered from a Melbourne or a Sydney stand-point. The other metropolitan cities of Australia have a right to be considered. I dare say that the businesspeople of Perth would like the GovernorGeneral to stay in that city, just as much as the Sydney people want him to stay there. The people of Perth are just as much entitled to have consideration given to them in regard to the spendings of the Governor-General and the people whom he entertains, as are the people of Sydney. We have to view the matter from thestandpoint of every metropolis in the Federation. We have no right to lay down, a precedent that we cannot carry out fairly all round. I admit that the Government have entered into an agreement, but if they enter into foolish agreements, and commit themselves to arrangements of this kind, it is not the duty of Parliament to give its consent to them. It is rather our duty to point out to the Government that they have done wrong. By so doing, we shall prevent them from entering into other agreements of the kind. Much has been said concerning the climate of Melbourne. There is nothing in that argument, because, as far as my experience goes, Melbourne is the most suitable climate in Australia for the English constitution. We are going to import our GovernorGenerals from the old country, and there is no part of Australia where I have lived that suits the English constitution so well as does Melbourne. Sydney, in my opinion, is not at 1 all suited to the constitution of the average
Englishman in the summer months. Melbourne, indeed, is the very best place, as far as concerns climate, to which we could bring our Governor-General. But really the question of climate has nothing to do with the subject. It is really a matter of circulating as much public money as possible in Sydney. The troubles of those who have spoken about the health of the GovernorGeneral are very small. I admit that New South Wales has just as much interest in this matter as has any other State of Australia. But Sydney has less interest in it than have -some of the other cities of New South Wales, because Sydney is the one place mentioned in “the Constitution where the seat of Government must not be. What is the meaning of this cry to have the Governor-General residing in the very place that is pointed out by the Constitution as the city where the seat of Government cannot be located ? The argument has been advanced that there are more people in New South Wales than in any other State. Well, if the people of New South Wales are so numerous and the State is so wealthy - and I dare say that it will be admitted at once that it is the richest State in the Federation - let those people put their hands in their big collective pocket, and pay the expenses of the Governor-General when he 5s residing in that part of Australia. I am sure that there . will be very little -objection to their doing so.
– - New South “Wales passed a Bill appropriating £3,000 or £4,000 towards the expenses of the Governor-General: That is more than any other State did. The Commonwealth Government advised the Governor-General not to accept anything from an individual State.
– We know that it suits the present position for Sydney to take up an exalted attitude like that. But I hold that we shall be laying down a sound -precedent in not agreeing to this proposal at the present moment. I do not view the question from any antipathy to Sydney or to the people of New South Wales. If there is one State of the Federation which I admire more than my own State it is NewSouth Wales. I lived there for the greater part of my Australian life. Therefore, I have no feelings of jealousy towards the people of New South Wales. I oppose the Government proposition because, by adopting it, we shall be laying down a precedent that in the future will operate against New South Wales. I hope that the New South Wales people will not be so warm in their advocacy of this policy, which is certainly not in their best interests.
– I entirely agree with some of the previous speakers, who have deprecated the action of certain newspapers in the old country in decrying Australia, and in attributing any little disturbance that’ has occurred in the Commonwealth with respect to expenditure upon Federal or State Governors to the meanness of the Australian people. When the people of England realize that at the inauguration of the Commonwealth New South Wales spent- about £150,000 through State and municipal channels, and that Victoria spent almost an equal sum, besides the amount indicated by Senator Symon that was incurred directly in connexion with the Governor-General himself, they will regard that as a complete answer to any charge of meanness on the part of Australia. I am sorry that so much State animosity has been introduced into the criticism of this proposal. It is not creditable to the representatives of the States that we should talk about what the people of New South Wales or Victoria want. I have been in New South Wales recently, and this question appeared to me to agitate the minds of the people there very little. At the inauguration of the Commonwealth, the Government were bound to enter into some arrangement as to the housing of the GovernorGeneral at that time. No question was then raised about the Governor-General living in Victoria or any other State. Everybody admitted that the proper place for the inauguration of the Commonwealth was the mother State. The Government had also to enter into some arrangement with the Government of New South Wales with respect to the future housing of the Governor-General. That was done. The Government of New South Wales then had the power in their hands to a certain extent to make a bargain with the Commonwealth Government, and it was to their credit that they did what they considered to be in the very best interests of the State they governed. As the Government of the Commonwealth entered into an agreement with them, I think it would be very wrong for the Commonwealth Parliament to attempt to upset that arrangement. I do not see that there is anything in the argument with respect to laying down a precedent. The Government have consented to limit the expenditure to a certain term. If we do that, there is no danger that Victoria will make any attempt to have the Governor-General residing in Melbourne when we have fixed the site of the federal capital, any more than His Excellency will be asked to reside in Western Australia, South Australia, or any other capital city. It will be recognised that, as he is placed at the head of the Government, the Governor-General must reside at the seat of government, and that his visits to the other States may he welcome, but will not be compulsory. The real matter we have to consider is whether the amount asked for is too great or too small. I should like to be as economical as any one else in regard to the expenditure of Commonwealth money, and I would suggest that, if any one thinks the amount asked for is too much, an amendment should be moved to limit the sum without dragging in the name of New South Wales.
– If it is to be done at all, it cannot be done for less money than we have asked for.
– I do not suggest that an amendment should be moved, but am pointing out that that would be a better course to pursue than the one proposed. It would have been in better taste to move such an amendment. If honorable senators will turn to the experience of the different States, and consider how the Governors have been treated in the past, they will realize that, in voting the amount asked for, they are not consenting, considering the importance of the Commonwealth compared with the States, to the expenditure of money in excess of what the States have spent. Take New South Wales. She paid her Governor a certain amount nominally, but theallowances she voted were nearly as great as, if not greater than, the sum now asked for on account of the GovernorGeneral . The same was the case in Victoria ; and in South Australia, with a limited population, the proportion that the allowances bore to the salary of the Governor was not less than the allowance asked for in connexion with the resolution we are discussing. It would be better for us to discuss the question from the point of view of the adequacy or inadequacy of the amount we are voting, and not from the aspect of the relationship of one State to another. I intend to support the
Government with respect to the resolution. No matter what cry may be made about extravagance, the proposed expenditure of the Commonwealth in this instance is not more extravagant than that of the States, and I am willing to take the responsibility of answering formy vote in support of it.
– The terms in which this proposed voteare introduced, are to my mind incorrect. We are asked to approve of the expenditure of £5,500 a year upon the GovernorGeneral’s establishment. The money is not to be expended upon the Governor-General’s establishment at all ; it is to be expended upon the maintenance of two Governmenthouses. If honorable gentlemen will look
Carefully at the items which have been placed before us, they will see that not one isto be paid for the maintenance of the GovernorGeneral’s establishment. The whole of themoney will be paid, not to the GovernorGeneral, whoever he may be, but to those employed by the Commonwealth Government in looking after the Governmenthouses in Melbourne and Sydney. I draw attention to the matter because several senators have spoken as though the money is to be paid to the Governor-General. It is simply an estimate of what the Government will be called upon to pay each yearto keep two Government-houses in a habitable condition, and to provide for theirlighting upon public occasions, the replacing of china and glassware, and similar expenses. I am thoroughly of opinion that it is absolutely necessary that the Government should maintain a residence for theGovernor -General. Our first GovernorGeneral, the Marquis of Linlithgow, came out here intending to remain six years, but stayed only eighteen months. An Acting Governor-General has taken his place, presumably only for a short time, and he, no doubt, will be succeeded by a second GovernorGeneral, who may or may not remain for the whole term of the office. But, in any case, the money which we are now voting will not be paid to the occupant of the office, but will be spent directly by the Government.
– A marquis couls not be expected to remain very long in Australia in any case. Look at the society he would have to mix with !
– That remark has no bearing upon what I am saying. The Government must provide a residence for the Governor-General, and they must maintain it. I am thoroughly in accord with that principle. It is a principle which lias been adopted in the United States, in Canada, and in the various States of Australia.
– Have they not a Whit House in every State in America ?
– That I do not know, but the entire expense of keeping White House, Washington, in an habitable condition is borne by the Government of the United States, and, in addition, they spend a large sum, amounting in all to something like £21,000 a year, in paying for the President’s secretaries, his carriages and horses, the lighting, the stables, the maintenance of the grounds, and the wages of all the permanent servants, President in and President out- That principle must inevitably be recognised by Australia, whether we wish to be economical or lavish. But there is another question involved in this motion, and that is whether it is desirable .or necessary that two Government-houses shall l>e maintained for the next Governor-General. T am emphatically opposed to such unnecessary extravagance, and I desire the Senate to understand that we are touching here merely upon the fringe of the matter. The expenditure of £2,000 a year in maintaining Government-house in Sydney is in itself only a small matter. Its occupation will entail a very large expense upon the GovernorGeneral apart from its maintenance. That fact was recognised when the arrangement was first suggested by the present Minister for Home Affairs, and when the New South W:des Parliament voted £3,700 in view of the proposal that the Governor-General should occupy two houses instead of one. It was also recognised by the present Treasurer when, in the Victorian Parliament, he introduced a Bill to make a similar provision. I intend to allude to these matters more fully later on, because I do not want any senator to ask what are my secret sources of information, or to say that my statements shock -his sense of probability. Those remarks were made on a former occasion, when I put my views on a similar matter before the Senate, and, therefore, I propose now to quote my authority for every statement, so that there can be no airy disposal of the facts which I bring forward.
– But even when one has the facts they must be rightly applied.
– I will give the honorable and learned senator the facts, and he will be able to use his own judgment in applying them. The maintenance of a Government-house in Sydney, and the recognition of the principle that the GovernorGeneral should spend the greater part of the parliamentary recess there, will, in the first place, entail a practice which a solid majority of honorable senators have already objected to - the transfer of the head-quarters of the Ministry to Sydney during the recess.
– I do not think that the fact that the Governor-General is residing in Sydney for a time will necessitate the transfer of Ministerial departments to Sydney.
– It was repeatedly stated during the debate in the other House that the transfer of the headquarters of the Government to Sydney during the recess would be justifiable because the Governor-General would be residing there.
– The meetings of the Executive Council would, of course, be held wherever the Governor-General happened to be residing.
-If the GovernorGeneral were residing in Sydney, it would be necessary for the members of the Government who reside out of Sydney to travel there from Melbourne, from Adelaide, from Perth, and from other places to attend them. It would also’ be necessary for such members of the Ministry as resided permanently in Sydney to have their chief clerks and the heads of departments there to enable them to carry on the business of the country. The honorable and learned senator for Tasmania surely does not suppose that Ministers would live in Melbourne if they had to travel up to Sydney once a week to attend Executive meetings there 1
– Does the honorable senator think that he can determine where Ministers shall live ?
– I do not. But Parliament can put Ministers beyond the temptation of going to live where they have no right to live permanently during their continuance in office, because they are paid their official salaries so that they may attend to the business of the country at the seat of government.
– It is a violation of the Constitution to have the Government offices in Melbourne at all.
– I think that every one will admit that if the GovernorGeneral resides in Sydney, the seat of government will be transferred there. I would have no objection to that if it did not entail upon the Commonwealth a very large and unjustifiable expense. Then, again, no provision is made for the GovernorGeneral’s travelling expenses. It is perfectly clear that, if he has to reside in two Government - houses he will, from time to time, have to transfer from one to another, not only himself, his wife, his aides-de-camp, and secretaries, but his entire household, his carriages, his horses, his household linen, and everything that, from an English point of view, makes a home. That would entail great expense, and I ask upon whom is it going to fall ? It was admitted only the other day that the States have sent in bills to the Federal Government for the travelling expenses of the last Governor-General, and, to my mind, they received a most contemptible reply. The Federal Government, as I gather, intimated to them that they should send in their bills to Lord Hopetoun. The Government took advantage of the wellknown popularity and respect in which that gentleman is held, and of the unfortunate position in which he found himself by reason of their action, to say to the States - “Make yourselves odious throughout Australia by sending in your bills direct to Lord Hopetoun.” I may be told that this statement is untrue, but I have seen it in the newspapers, and I have not read any contradiction of it. If the last GovernorGeneral had been unpopular, none of the States would have hesitated for a minute. They would have sent in their bills to him, and he, without the assistance of any allowance, would have had to pay them. Only two reasons have been given for the making of this special provision. One is “that the Federal Government have entered into an agreement with the Government of Now South Wales to occupy and maintain Government-house, Sydney, for a period of three years from the 1st January, 1901. The agreement appears to have been entered into on the 2nd April, 1902. It seems to have been clenched only a few weeks prior to the departure of the Prime Minister for England, and clenched in such a way that
Parliament, up to the very last moment, was prevented from expressing an unbiased opinion in regard to it. No doubt the existence of that arrangement will, and has, influenced a good many votes. Honorable senators will say - “We must support the Executive. The Executive undoubtedly have the right to make agreements of this kind, and they have made this agreement in particular, and, therefore, for the next eighteen months there is a moral, if not a legal, obligation to maintain Sydney Government-house.” But here the Government go further than that, and this’ motion contemplates committing us to Sydney Government-house for another term of five years from the appointment of the next Governor-General. I say it is highly undesirable that that should be done. Let us be content with the fact that we are committed to this extravagance in the way of maintenance for another eighteen months, and leave it at that. Let us pass the amendment that has been proposed, and which I shall .support as a protest against the spending of this money. There . is no doubt it will have to be spent, but after that it is right that the arrangement should come to a conclusion. The only other reason given for the maintenance of Sydney Government-house is one that wa6 given by the Acting Prime Minister. It was not given in the House of Representatives, and I can, therefore, quote it. It was made during an interview, and was inserted in the newspapers. He said that : -
In the opinion of the Government the importance of the State of New South Wales demanded that the Governor-General should be enabled from time to time to reside in its capital.
That is a reason which has also been submitted here by New South Wales senators and others. The argument is that the importance of New South Wales from the point of view of population and of trade, and from the point of view that it is the oldest of the States, justifies the demand that the Governor-General should reside there. What does it amount tot It amounts to this : The people of New South Wales are desirous of being hospitable to the Governor-General at the expense of the whole community of the Commonwealth.
– That is incorrect.
– That is a very- unfair thing to say when the honorable senator knows that New South Wales has offered to provide the money.
– It is, no doubt, a fact that the New South Wales Parliament did vote a certain sum of money, and I propose to deal with that later on in tracing the sequence of events by which Sydney Government-house is sought to be foisted upon the Commonwealth. In passing, as the question has cropped up, I will point out that when Governmenthouse in Sydney was forced upon the Commonwealth, the approbation of the Colonial - office was sought to be obtained for the transaction. The Colonialoffice pointed out that if the proposal was carried through, the GovernorGeneral’s salary would have to be increased by £10,000. That was an increased cost, according to the then estimate of £3,700 for New South Wales, and the Parliament of that State was at the time only voting their per capita proportion of the total sum which their change of programme had entailed, when they voted the £3,700. They were not voting the whole amount required. They were doing no more than it is proposed they shall do now under the existing state of affairs. If we vote this £2,000, the people of New South Wales will be bearing as their per capita proportion of the sum required, a sum equivalent to the £3,700 they previously agreed to vote as their proportion of the £10,000, which it was then estimated would be necessary. Therefore, I say, with all due respect to Senators Millen and Gould, that I am not grossly unfair in saying that the Federal Government desire that the people of New South Wales should be put into the position of being hospitable at the expense of the Commonwealth. If the people of NewSouth Wales were to set up this claim to residence in that State by the Governor-General, and the State Government were to say that the extra expense would amount to £3,700, and as that sum had already been voted, and was capable of being exercised for the purpose, they would supply a Governmenthouse free of expense to the GovernorGeneral by using this money for the purpose, I should have nothing to say against it if the other States were prepared to do the same. That, I maintain, is the proper course for the States to adopt if they wish the Governor-General to take up his residence with them, not permanently, but for any length of time. They should supply the Governor - General with a complete equipment in the city at which they wish him to stop. They should be open-handed in their hospitality ; they should provide house equipment, carriages, horses and servants, so that he would need only to get into a railway carriage with his staff.and go to the place provided for him, and enter into residence. I should have nothing to say against that.
– Why should they, when they can get other people to do it for them ?
– I am objecting that we should be called upon to make this provision’. I have stated the only otherreason given for this procedure, and I say that none of the reasons given will hold water. If the people of New South Wales desire to have this residence maintained for the Governor-General, let them keep it up at their own cost, and invite the GovernorGeneral to go and stop there whenever he thinks fit. That would be a most proper arrangement, one at which nobody could cavil, and one which would agree at any rate with my views, and I do not see why it should not meet with the acceptance of everybody else. The question now arises as to how it is we find ourselves in this position ? It is a most interesting question when one comes to dig into it, and find out what happened, and the extent to which some people have changed their views since the Federal Government have come into power. The matter starts possibly with the meeting of the Premiers in Melbourne, in January or February, 1899. They then met, as will be in the memory of every honorable senator, and slightly amended the Constitution upon which the referendum was going to be taken. They arranged that the future capital of the Commonwealth should be in New South Wales, but not within 100’ miles of Sydney. That arrangement met with the approbation of Mr. Reid, but during the course of the ensuing year 1900, Mr. Reid went out of power in New South Wales. Subject to correction, I should say it was about November, 1900, that Mr. Reid went out of office, and Sir William Lyne succeeded him. It is impossible to say absolutely what happened then, because the papers which have been supplied to another place, and which deal with the correspondence which took place between Sir William Lyne and Mr. Chamberlain, have not been supplied to honorable senators. I believe the papers supplied elsewhere were not very ample and did not give all the information that could be desired. At all events it is a fact that during 1900, Sir William Lyne found himself in communication with Mr. Chamberlain on the question of this Government-house. The first date we have before us is in July, when Lord Beauchamp sent a most extraordinary telegram to Mr. Chamberlain, at the instigation of Sir William Lyne. The message was more or less to this effect -
Lyne is anxious to have your permission to state that you desire Barton to inquire where the Governor-General should reside, and that in answer to your request, Prime Ministers of federated colonies consulted, are agreed to New South Wales.
Here we have a most remarkable condition of affairs. We have Sir William Lyne desirous of suggesting to Mr. Chamberlain the style of despatch he should send to Australia. I desire honorable senators particularly to note this, because so much stress has been laid upon the style of the despatches which Mr. Chamberlain has sent to Australia. The other day when talking upon a cognate subject, I maintained, as I maintain now, that these despatches did not proceed from Mr. Chamberlain, nor were they sent by his initiation at all, but to -a large extent at the instigation of Sir William Lyne. It may be said that I cannot prove it. Of course I cannot prove it j but any person who reads the correspondence, and studies the whole question with an unbiased mind, must come to the conclusion that in this case Mr. Chamberlain’s despatches were instigated and inspired by Sir William Lyne, and that, dealing with this particular question, of course, Mr. Chamberlain is not to blame’ for the tone of despatches which in some measure have given offence to the people of Australia.
– ls the honorable senator suggesting that Mr. Chamberlain was a puppet in the hands of Sir William Lyne ?
– I suggest that Sir William Lyne asked through the Governor of New South Wales that Mr. Chamberlain should send out a despatch of a certain character ; that he suggested the tenor and even almost the phraseology of the despatch which he desired to have sent.
– Mi*. Chamberlain trusted a false guide.
– He suffered from the belief, as I have said before, that
Sir William Lyne was representing the feeling of Australia. When I made that statement on a previous occasion, honorable senators characterized it as absurd, but I assure them that it is the fact. On the 16th July Mr. Chamberlain replied to Lord Beauchamp, as follows : -
Governor-General will be sworn in, and the Commonwealth inaugurated, at Sydney, and if other colonies have agreed to his mainly residing there during recess, His Majesty’s Government will not object, subject, of course, to the decision of the Federal Administration.
Here we come to the next point. Mr. Chamberlain had been led to believe that the other States agreed. I say that was absolutely untrue, because the other States had not agreed. It has been denied over and over again that the Premiers of the States had ever discussed this question. I therefore feel justified in making the statement that it is untrue to say that the other States had agreed, basing that statement, of course, on the statements that have been made by representatives of the Government in the Senate and in another place. The Premiers did not discuss this question, and there was no authority for saying that the other States had agreed. That explains to a very large extent the nature of the despatches from Mr. Chamberlain with which we were dealing the other day. That brings us up to the time when Sir William Lyne met his Parliament in New South Wales in 1900. I find from the New South Wales Hansard for 2nd November, 1900, page 4715, that he was dealing with a Bill for the expenses of the Commonwealth celebrations in Sydney, and amongst other things that cropped up was this question of where the GovernorGeneral was to reside. We have Sir William Lyne reported as having made the following statement : -
We should have the Governor-General, and he would, no doubt, entertain largely.
I desire that that should be particularly underlined in the minds of honorable senators, because I shall refer to it again.
By-and-by he would submit some provision for an allowance for the Governor-General in reference to the entertainment His Excellency would give.
Mr. Mahony. Will he reside here permanently ?
Sir William Lyne. Yes. He had not had an easy task in bringing that about.
Further debate ensued, and Mr. Meagher warned . the Government not to go ahead too fast. I shall not quote more, because I think it is not worth while to do so, and honorable senators may, if they think it necessary, refer to the New South “Wales Hansard. Mr. Meagher saw at once that the Government were rather anticipating events, and he pointed out that Sir William Lyne had no justification for saying that the Governor-General would reside in Sydney ; that there was no provision for anything of the sort made in the Federal Constitution ; and that Sir William Lyne had to depend on the Federal Government when it met for any such arrangement. For all that, Sir William Lyne went ahead, and, as we find to-day, he has weaved such a cunning web that it is very difficult to break it ‘ and restore the matter to its proper position. A little later, on the 30th November, 1900, as honorable senators will find on reference to the New South Wales Hansard, at page 6227, Sir William Lyne, in introducing the very Bill to which Senators Gould and Millen have alluded, for the payment of an additional £10,000 to the Governor-General, said -
This is ti Bill to make provision for the expenses of the Governor-General. I have had a fairly heavy fight to get the Governor-General’s residence permanently established here, but a request has been made by the Colonial-office that the colonies shall pay £10,000 towards his expenses:
Here we have a definite statement. Sir William Lyne bent upon securing what, from the point of view of the people of Sydney generally, was a very laudable object, had expressly–
– Is not the honorable senator making too much of Sir William Lyne ?
– No. If it were Sir Thomas Jones, it would be just the same to me.
– Sir William Lyne is to the honorable senator what King Charles’ head was to a celebrated petitioner.
– That is an altogether uncalled-for remark. There may be a certain amount of justification for the complaint; but can I avoid Sir William Lyne in this matter 1 I have not unnecessarily dragged him into the controversy. He was Premier of New South Wales when he introduced these measures, and I cannot deal with this subject without referring to him. If I could refer to him as “ Snooks,” or by some other name, I should willingly do so, in order to avoid the impression which some honorable senators evidently entertain that I have some private animosity against Sir William Lyne. I have not.
– We are verv much indebted to the honorable senator for the light which he has thrown upon1 this matter.
– I desire to know with whom Sir “William Lyne engaged in the “fairly heavy fight” to which he referred 1 Obviously he was fighting people who were responsible to the States. They were the only people with whom he could have had to fight. Those who are to-day responsible for the G overnment case were at that time Premiers of the different States, and although Senator O’Connor will no doubt tell us that it is all bunkum, I can prove that this proposal was opposed by the very gentlemen who, as members of the Federal Government, are now supporting it. Before they joined the Federal Government, they knew that it was wrong, and they fought it with great bitterness. Sir William Lyne overcame their opposition, only with the assistance of Mr. Chamberlain, who, as I have said, was being misled by him. He came out of this fight triumphantly, only upon the condition imposed by the Colonial Office, in the interests of future Governors-General, that the Governor-General’s salary of £10,000 per annum should be supplemented by £5,000 per annum for expenses. That, however, is merely a side issue, to which I need make no further reference at this stage. I shall deal with it at some later period, for I can prove the correctness of my assertion. The Governor-General’s salary was also to be supplemented by an additional £10,000 per annum. As we have seen from the printed despatches laid on the table of the Senate, Mr. Chamberlain pointed out exactly what I have contended from the first, that a second Government-house would entail additional expense not only upon the Commonwealth, but upon the Governor-General. He was indifferent as to the expenditure which the Commonwealth might incur, for he recognised that it was a matter with which the Commonwealth alone had to deal. But he had to find a Governor-General, and to say to him, as he would have to say to-morrow to a gentlemam whom it was proposed to appoint - “ We expect you to spend portion of your term of office in Sydney. In order that that desire may be carried out, the Federal Government have provided a Government-house there as well as in Melbourne. They have undertaken to pay for the cost of caretakers, maintenance, grounds, insurance, telephones, postal charges, china and glass, and flags in connexion with theSydney residence, and you are expected to live there for portion of the year. You are expected to moveyour establishment from house to house.” When Mr. Chamberlain found himself compelled to give an instruction to Lord Hopetoun to that effect, he wired out at once - “ It is impossible to expect a Governor-General to keep up two establishments for the proposed salary of £10,000 per annum.” From what I know of the up-keep of such establishments, I feel satisfied that Mr. Chamberlain’s view was amply justified. Honorable senators who live in small establishments, like my own, have no idea of the contingent expenses in connexion with the up-keep of an establishment like that which the GovernorGeneralis required to maintain. Nor have they any idea of the enormous expense involved in removing from one house to the other, and keeping up two establishments. It is all very well for Senator Ewing who, like myself, lives in a little cottage, to say that what is saved in one house can be saved in another ; but it is impossible to avoid great expense.
– Hear, hear.
– Senator Sargood, who has a big house of his own, can support my assertion. Those who live in palaces in England know what it means to maintain separate establishments and to move from one to the other. Mr. Chamberlain and Lord Hopetoun knew what it meant, and the Secretary of State for the Colonies indorsed Lord Hopetoun’s contention that £10,000 per annum would at the most be sufficient to cover only his expenses for one residence. I will now leave Sir William Lyne and come to Mr. Suttor, who was apparently the leader of the Government in the New South Wales Legislative Council at the time in question. In introducing the Bill in the Upper House he was much more emphatic than was Sir William Lyne, and his remarks, which are those of a gentleman whom I do not know, may be listened to with a great deal of attention. They are to be found reported in the New South Wales
Hansard of 4th December, 1900. Speaking as a Government representative, this is what he said -
A good deal of correspondence has passed be tween the Colonial-office in England and this Government respecting the position of the Governor-General as regards the colonies, and it has been pointed out that, although the Commonwealth Act provides that the salary of the Governor-General shall be £10,000, if the Governments expect the Governor-General to move from one place to another a further sum will be necessary to meet the increased expenses to which the Governor-General would necessarily be put. This Bill is brought in practically in pursuance of an agreement come to between the Home Government and the Government of this country.
I hope I shall not be out of order in pointing out that, although it has been denied that there was any agreement, Mr. Suttor, a member of the State Government, frankly admitted, at a time when there was no question involved, that there was an agreement between the Government of New South Wales and the Colonial-office, that a further sum of £10,000 per year should be provided. It was under that distinct agreement that Lord Hopetoun came to Australia. Mr. Suttor continued -
If we contribute this amount towards the extra expenses the Governor-General will be put to in visiting one colony and another, it will induce him tostayhere.
That was the inducement for which the £10,000 was to be provided by the whole of Australia. I desire to emphasize this point, as an answer to the. statement made by Senator Gould and Senator Millen in regard to the vote of £3,700. That is only a portion. Mr. Suttor went on to say-
It must not be forgotten that we have arranged that Government-house shall be placed at his disposal as a residence, and therefore this money will be necessary to defray the cost of keeping up that establishment. In view of the fact that we are going to have the Governor-General here, if weare anxious to make him comfortable, and smooth his way as far as possible, it is not asking the House to consent to an unreasonable thing in agreeing to the Billnow submitted. .
I quite agree that it was not unreasonable. It was eminently reasonable, and if the Government had been successful in carrying their proposal, all would have been well. But they were not, and the whole of this trouble arises from that point. What was the attitude taken up by the people of New South Wales? What do they really expect now ? We have been told that they do not care twopence whether the GovernorGeneral resides in Sydney or not. I believe that is so. This is not a movement on the part of the country, and I wish to say that my opposition to it is not inspired by any animosity towards Sydney. As a matter of fact I prefer Sydney as a place of residence, just as the Governor-General would no doubt prefer it. As showing what was the feeling of the people when this Bill was before the State Legislature, I wish to quote an expression of opinion contained in a letter from Sydney written by a Mr. Gullett, and published in the Argus of Sth December, 1900 - .
Sir William Lyne got so far astray as to give solemn assurances the other clay to the House (New South Wales) that he had made arrangements that the Governor-General should permanently reside in Sydney. This declaration was greeted as highly satisfactory. But one looks in vain in the Commonwealth Constitution for the clause which gives power to the Premier of New South Wales to arrange where the Governor-General is to permanently reside. And there is much to suggest that as soon as the Federal Premier is appointed, one of his first tasks will be to disabuse the State Premier here of his belief in the possession of a kind of a semi-proprietorial interest in the GovernorGeneral.
I have no doubt that Mr. Gulletts forecast would have been amply borne out but for the fact that Sir Edmund Barton, a gentleman from New South Wales, hand and glove with Sir William Lyne, was appointed Prime Minister. Those two honorable gentlemen being at one in the matter, we find ourselves in this position : that the Senate is partly committed to the maintenance of Government-house, Sydney, for another term df eighteen months. Many of us are placed in the invidious position of having to vote for an amendment, although we believe - at all events I do - that this deals with a matter in which it is undesirable that we should have a dissentient voice. It would have been far better if it could have been avoided ; but we are forced to vote in opposition to the grafting of a second Governmenthouse upon the Constitution. In my review of this transaction, I have now got awny from Sydney, and reached a stage at which other States became involved. It had been arranged that a Bill should be submitted in each of the State Parliaments to give effect to .the proposal to increase the Governor-General’s allowance by ?10,000 per annum ; and Sir George Turner, who was then Premier and Treasurer of Victoria, introduced a Bill in the State Assembly to provide for Victoria’s contribution. In the Victorian Hansard for the 20th December, 1900, Sir George Turner is reported to have spoken as follows in introducing that measure : -
At the time that Act (the Commonwealth Act) was passed it was anticipated that the GovernorGeneral would reside in one place, and have one establishment.
I would ask honorable senators to remember that Sir George Turner is now one of Senator O’Connor’s colleagues - a member of the present Government, who are supposed to be fathering this proposal.
– He did not indicate in what place the Governor-General was to reside.
– No ; but he stated that the Constitution contemplated only one. Does Senator . Millen contend that we should not have a Government-house where Parliament meets ? . .
– I say that the residence of the Governor-General in Melbourne goes beyond the Constitution.
– Then the honorable and learned senator is beyond argument. The only deduction to be drawn from his interjection is that he believes that we should not have a residence for the Governor-General in Melbourne, and if the majority of the Senate agree with him, I shall have been speaking in vain. It stands to reason that the only Governmenthouse should be in Melbourne. There must be a residence for the GovernorGeneral here, because Parliament meets in Melbourne. Sir George Turner went on to say -
His permanent residence appears, by some arrangement, to have been fixed in Sydney.
Sir George Turner expressed his surprise I think that is a fair construction to put on his remark that this arrangement should have been made. He was not a party to it ; he did not know of it. He evidently anticipated that the GovernorGeneral’s residence would be in Melbourne. But he says the Federal Government were committed that was in December, 1900, before there was a Federal Government.
Under these circumstances it is thought that it is unfair to ask the Governor-General on a salary of ?10,000 per annum to keep up a second establish.went
He, therefore, proposed that Victoria should vote her quota of the allowance of ?10,000, in order that His Excellency might keep up a second establishment - in Sydney. I wish to impress upon the Senate that Governmenthouse in Sydney is going to entail, according to Sir William Lyne, Sir
George Turner, and their colleagues in office in both New South Wales and Victoria, a large additional expenditure on the Governor-General for which we are making no provision, and for which, I say without any possibility of contradiction, we do not intend to make any provision, because we are opposed to any increased expenditure in that direction. Sir George Turner went on to say -
There was apparently a good deal of correspondence between the home authorities and the New South Wales Government on this subject. Circumstances have arisen which wore not in the minds of those framing the Constitution, and it becomes necessary for the colonies individually to say to what extent the)’ are prepared to go in assisting to bear the expense of the second establishment. Can we expect him to keep up two establishments when he only gets paid for one. Is it fair to expect him to keep an establishment in Sydney as he has to do, and also to keep an establishment in Melbourne on the one pay V
That question was put by a member of the Federal Government who is not proposing to increase the pay of His Excellency.
When the federal capital is established and the Governor-General has one establishment to keep lip, the Bill will full through.
It is perfectly clear that it was not the intention of those who were at the head of affairs in the States, prior to December, 1900, that there should be two Government-houses, or, in fact, anything but one Governmenthouse where the Parliament met. What happened next ? A Prime Minister was appointed, and, as we all know, the Cabinet met and discussed this vote which had been made in New South Wales, and although they knew perfectly well that the GovernorGeneral could not keep up two establishments on the one pay, they decided to recommend His Excellency not to accept the additional remuneration in the way in which it was proposed to be given to him from New South Wales, and I think they were right. I do not think- that His Excellency could have properly accepted an increase of salary from any one State, but I submit that if the Government had had the least glimmer of common sense, they would have suggested to the Government of New South Wales that the Government-house in Sydney should be kept up by that. State for the purpose of entertaining His Excellency whenever he chose to visit that city. They should have let drop this idea that it was to be. an official residence. They should have been prepared to hospitably receive His Excellency as a guest whenever he chose to visit that city. With this vote of £3,500 they were in a position to say. to him, as they might say to his successor if we refused to sanction this vote of £2,000 - “Here is a Government-house in which your Excellency can reside whenever you like to come here. There are servants, grooms, horses, carriages, harness, lighting, everything that may be required, whenever it suits you to come, and we shall be pleased to welcome you.” If they had done that, nobody would have had the least objection to raise, and the matter would not be in the position in which it is. It must not be supposed that even this additional £10,000, which was to have been voted by the States, was really, in the opinion of the Colonial Office, sufficient, because it was not. It appears that for the use of the Convention an estimate of the cost of the new services of the Federal Government was drawn up by the gentleman who was chairman of its Finance Committee, and who is now Speaker of the House of Representatives. In that scale of expenditure a provision of £5,000 was made, on the Victorian rate, for Governmenthouse in Melbourne alone - practically what is now contemplated to be done with the £3,000. This sum of £5,000 appeared in the papers which were laid before the Convention, and was afterwards, according to Mr. Barton’s admission, in the hands of Mr. Chamberlain as part of the public provision to be made by the Commonwealth towards the expenses of the office, and was undoubtedly in his mind as one which would be made when he insisted upon the further sum of £10,000 being provided. I wish the Senate to bear in mind that when the matter was first discussed, Mr. Chamberlain considered that £25,000 a year would have to be provided for keeping up Government.house in Melbourne and enabling the Governor-General to reside at Melbourne and Sydney. 1 do not say that he was right, nor do I say that the Commonwealth is in any sense bound to that view. What I wish the Senate to remember is that, in the opinion of those who had to find a GovernorGeneral £25,000 a year, was approximately the sum which His Excellency would require to have at his disposal if he was going to do his business properly with two Government-houses. Mr. Chamberlain cannot go out into the street and pick up a Governor-General at every corner. These are matters which have to be arranged. He has to find a suitable person. We do not want a nincompoop to come out here, and I think that the country would sooner have a person of intelligence than a person of wealth - I know that I should. I should like to see the Governor-General’s position placed on such a sound foundation that Mr. Chamberlain could choose a man of the highest intelligence available, not necessarily a man to whom money is no object, because very often when we get such a man he is of no use for the purpose for which he is wanted. In my opinion we want for GovernorGeneral a man of capacity, and not necessarily a rich man ; and the provision for his establishment ought to be made in such a way that he has not necessarily to trench on his private resources. I submit emphatically that if the Senate, or the House of Representatives, or the Parliament, is to settle the matter in this off-hand manner, as if it were merely assenting to £2,000 of Commonwealth expenditure - if we are to throw on the Governor-General the responsibility .of living in two Government-houses, and of going from place to place, undoubtedly we shall have either to increase his salary or to accept a man whose wealth is his only recommendation, and that is a thing which I deprecate most strongly.
– I hardly like to intervene in the debate on this wellworn subject, but I desire respectfully to enter my protest against two or three opinions which have been expressed by various honorable senators. It appears to me that the Government did what they were practically compelled to do, and had any other set of men been in office I believe that they would have felt compelled to do exactly the same. I consider that Senator Matheson, as I said by interjection, has made rather too much of what Sir William Lyne has done. When that honorable gentleman was Premier of New South Wales, and was rightfully and politically trying to do the best he could for the State which he helped to govern-
– But we should not be bound by that now.
– Quite so. The honorable senator will see that what Sir William Lyne told the Legislative Assembly of New South Wale.s he had arranged to be done has not come to pass, because the Governor-General has not resided permanently in the mother State, and when he does go to reside there permanently, it will be quite time enough for the Senate to protest. It appears to me that M r. Chamberlain practically decided that the GovernorGeneral should land at Sydney, and take up his residence there at the commencement of the inauguration of the Commonwealth. The Ministers of the day would have been’ blamed, and rightly blamed, had they not provided Lord Hopetoun with proper and. sufficient accommodation, and when the Government of New South Wales placed their very charming Government-house and grounds at the service of the Commonwealth, it was the duty of Ministers, I think, to accept the offer - paying no interest or rent, but simply paying for the up-keep of the establishment. I do not at all agree with those honorable senators who say, in a fit of- economy, which we all wish to practice, but which we wish to practice in a proper way, that the Governor-General’ must of necessity have only one residence. Senator Matheson, who has gone into this matter most clearly, and put his case most skilfully, has rather forgotten that the foundation of all his arguments is wrong; that is to say, he forgets that in thepast the State Governors have been provided with practically two residences. When it is remembered that the Governor-General is expected to visit each State - and he ought to do so at suitable times - it seems to me to be drawing the line altogether too narrowly to say that there must be only oneGovernmenthouse. I do not at al] agree with the argument that every State has an equal right to the residence of the GovernorGeneral there.
– No one said that.
– One honorable senator did use some words to that effect.
– So every State has, I maintain.
– I differ respectfully from my honorable and clear-headed friend. Take my own State. When the GovernorGeneral came to Hobart, as he did for several weeks last summer, what did he do ? He was brought in contact with 30,000 persons, and perhaps most of them saw him. When he goes to Sydney he is brought in contact with 350,000 persons. Does any one mean to tell me that His Excellency is bound to spend an hour among 30,000 persons for every hour which he spends among a third of the total population of the Commonwealth ? It is idle to say that Western
Australia or Tasmania has the same right, if there is’ a right about the matter, to the residence of the Governor-General, as have the larger States ? We have heard a little about the climatic conditions of the various States, but I make bold to say that if Lord Hopetoun had continued to reside in Melbourne, it would have been absolutely necessary for him, for the sake of his health, to spend the winter, or a part of it, in Sydney or Brisbane, or some warmer climate than this. Although our next Governor-General may be a much stronger man,’ some of the members of his family may not be able to stand the severe winter in Melbourne, and it may be necessary for them to seek change of air. Are we to deny to our GovernorGeneral the same privileges and rights that have been extended to States Governors for half a century ? Are we going to prevent him from going into the country or into another State for a change of air ? If not, how are we to offer this facility ? Although I do not go the length of saying that a residence should be provided for His Excellency the Governor-General in each State - because he would not have time to occupy them - I’ contend that, whereever the capital may be, we should have some sort of residence for the GovernorGeneral in the two largest States of the Commonwealth. Senator De Largie stated that when the federal capital was established it would be claimed on behalf of Melbourne that the Governor-General ought to occupy an official residence there during a certain portion of the year. Supposing that we’ do - J hope that we shall not - build the federal capital at Bombala or Tumut, will the Governor-General be supposed to reside in a capital carved out of the bush, which will for some time be a mere village ? Will he not be allowed to visit the great centres of population ? Such an idea would be perfectly monstrous ; and if the people of Melbourne intimated that they expected the Governor - General to reside in Victoria for a few weeks each year, and offered to place Government-house at his disposal, would honorable senators say that they were asking for more than they were entitled to?
– Yes, if the Commonwealth were expected to pay the expenses.
– The idea of gathering, from the various States, upon a population basis, contributions aggregating £10,000 per annum in order to meet the expenses incurred by the Governor-General in visiting the various States was a very good one. New South Wales went so far as to pass anAct providing for her share of that sum. It was acknowledged that if the people of Sydney were to derive the benefit of the entertainments, large or small, given by the Governor-General they should be prepared to pay for it. Victoria, however, refused to vote the necessary money, and the scheme fell to the ground. The very fact, however, that such a scheme was initiated and carried to a certain length .shows that some people . recognise, as I do, that if the GovernorGeneral is to be expected to travel about, from State to State - and no GovernorGeneral can move without spending a considerable sum of money - we shall have to increase his salary beyond £10,000 per annum. The only question is what is theright way to do this ? No one can blame the Government for having undertaken to maintain Government-house, Sydney, for three years. They were obliged to accommodate his Excellency in Sydney at the time of the inauguration of the Commonwealth, and they did right to accept the offer of the New South Wales Government, placing Governmenthouse at His Excellency’s disposal. It is perfectly idle to try now to defeat this motion, because, if the amendment ‘were carried, we should still have to incur the cast involved in maintaining Governmenthouse at Sydney.
– For eighteen months.
– We have used Governmenthouse, Sydney, as a residence for His Excellency the Governor-General, and having done so, we must carry out the arrangement entered into. If we adopt the amendment, it. will place us in a humiliating and stupid position. I do not propose to enter at any length into the vexed question where the federal capital should be, or when it should be established.
– The honorable and learned senator said it should be at Bombala.
– I said nothing of the kind. What I did say was that I hoped that the establishment of the federal capital would be deferred for some years, because I should regard it as absolutely criminal and wicked for us to make any attempt to establish a federal capital until after the expiration of the book-keeping pei d. If we are to delay the establishment of the federal capital, as I think we must, if we have any common sense, the fact that we have residences for His Excellency the Governor-General, in Sydney as well as in Melbourne, will help us to carry out that idea without running the risk of engendering ill-feeling between the States. We should then be able to do the parent State some justice.
– Some justice ‘ - some pretence of justice !
– The whole question of justice does not depend upon our beginning to lay the foundation of a federal capital in New South Wales at a time when we should be most concerned in settling the principles of government and putting our affairs in order. 1” say again, that the maintenance of establishments for His Excellency the Governor-General, in both Sydney and Melbourne, will assist us to consider in a proper and statesmanlike spirit the great question where the capital is to be.
– How does the honorable and learned senator suggest that the increased expenses incurred by His Excellency in maintaining two establishments should be met 1
– I have already said that we cannot expect the Governor-General to visit all the States of the Commonwealth without making some further contribution towards his expanses.
– The honorable and learned senator admits that we must give him something more.
– Yes, freely. The honorable senator also seems to think that the expenses of the Governor-General whilst he is travelling should be paid, because he said that if the States Governments had rendered accounts for the railway travelling expenses of His Excellency the Governor-General within their respective territories, they would have made themselves odious. The honorable senator admits that if the GovernorGeneral is travelling about, his expenses must be paid by some one. If the next Governor-General happens to be a quietly disposed man, he will probably be satisfied to settle down at Melbourne, and go nowhere and do nothing, but that is not what we expect of our Governors-General. Senator Higgs does not appear to realize the conditions under which he lives. He devoted a great part of his speech to an endeavour to pick to pieces a Constitution which is the pride of the world. He seems to have forgotten that the British Constitution is so splendidly balanced between the Crown and the people that it works more smoothly than any other he can name. The honorable senator referred in sneering terms to the GovernorGeneral being a mere mouthpiece, but ,1 would point out to him that His Excellency might have withheld his assent to the Pacific Islands Labourers Bill and other measures of a similar kind, and that if we go much further with such vagaries the next Governor-General may exercise his right in. this direction. It is idle for the honorable senator to attempt to pick to pieces the Constitution under which we are proud to live. Senator Stewart seems to pass his nights in coining phrases, and his days in delivering himself of them in this chamber, The honorable member referred to certain persons who basked in the sunshine of Vice-Royalty, and were never satisfied unless they were crawling on their bellies before some potentate whom they, considered to be better than themselves. If my honorable friend is not in love with the aristocracy of to-day, let me remind him that there is such a thing as an aristocracy of labour. There are men who climb up the ladder - Whether the social or the industrial ladder - and form the aristocracy of their class, and who are proud of it, and exact respect from their fellow men. Those who do not cultivate their minds and regulate’ their lives cannot expect to attain to these high levels, and it is futile to argue in the way in which the honorable senator did, as if all classes should be1 merged into one mass, and that there should be no distinctions between the highest and the lowest. The Governor-General, as the representative of the Crown, is entitled to our fullest respect. The King had five residences. He has recently given up one to philanthropic purposes, but he still has four. To confine our Governor-General to one residence would place the whole of our arrangements upon too narrow a basis. I shall certainly vote for the motion.
– As far as the retention of Governmenthouse in New South Wales is concerned, it means nothing to me, and I venture to say that it means very little to a large majority of the electors of my State - viewed entirely from the personal stand-point. There is one alleged reason which can have no possible weight with them. It has been stated that an attempt is being made to retain a residence for the Governor- General in Sydney on account of the money circulated by His Excellency when he is residing there. I repudiate that idea altogether.
– That was said by Senator Gould.
– What I am referring to was stated by Senator De Largie. It would be utterly unworthy of any honorable senator to suppose that the representatives of any State would advocate anything they did not otherwise believe to be correct, merely with a view to secure the expenditure of a few thousand pounds amongst the electors of their State. New South Wales would feel, as I do, most indignant if it were suggested that it was desired that the Governor-General should reside in Sydney merely for the sake of the few pounds the residents might make out of it.
– Why does New South Wales want to have the Governor-General in Sydney?
– I shall tell the honorable senator, not why we want the GovernorGeneral to be in Sydney, but why we have a right to his presence there. We cannot help recognising one very pleasant result that has been brought about by the presentation of this motion to the Senate. It appears to have acted as a kind of magic panacea, and to have brought about the instant restoration to health of Senator Matheson. Coming from a bed of illness, he has given us an evidence of his complete restoration to mental energy and bodily vigour, which we are “all delighted to see. I desire to mention the reasons why I intend to support the motion. If honorable senators will allow me to say so, it seems to me thatthey entirely misunderstand the position. I quite agree with those who urge that there is no absolute necessity for a second residence for the Governor-General, but the question is, where should the one residence be?
– At the seatof Government.
– I shall deal with that point presently. The people of New South Wales do not think that the federation is making any concession in allowing the Governor-General to reside in New South Wales. They consider that the boot is on the other foot, and that- they are making a concession when the Governor General leaves New South Wales officially. Whether that view is right or wrong I wish honorable senators - believing that they desire to maintain friendly feelings between the States - to consider the frame of mind of the people of New South Wales when they accepted the present Constitution. They were told -by the Vice-President of the Executive Council - not as a candidate seeking election at the hands of the people, but as the legal adviser of the Government - that the seat of government could not under the Constitution be fixed outside of New South Wales.
– There were other authorities who differed from him.
– That may be so. I do not wish to put myself up in opposition to an expert legal adviser like Senator O’Connor. The point is that it was with the knowledge of that opinion that the people of New South Wales accepted the Constitution, and it is also with the knowledge of that opinion that they view the debate here to-day. What did Senator O’Connor say then. He said -
The. fixing of the seat of Government even temporarily-
I desire Senator Barrett’s special attention to this.
– Lawyers give opinions that will please their clients every time.
– There is no necessity to argue that point with the honorable senator. That excuse may suit him, but I ask him to consider the belief which animated the people of New South Wales when they accepted the Constitution, and to put himself in the position of persons who, having entered into the union upon the understands ing that certain things would be granted, find that an attempt is being made to filch something from them.
– Was the vote given solely on the ground referred to by the honorable senator ?
– The honorable senator knows as well as I do that that vote in Sydney was the turning point in connexion with the success of the whole scheme. The Vice-President of the Executive Council said -
To fix the seat of government even temporarily outside New South Wales would be as much a breach of the Constitution as to fix it permanently outside New South Wales.
He went on to say -
For these reasons I am clearly of opinion that under no circumstances can the Federal Executive, or any other authority, legally fix the seat of the Government of the Commonwealth outside New South Wales.
Whether that opinion was right or not, it certainly was accepted by the people of New South Wales as being right : and in the belief that it was right they voted for the Constitution - a Constitution which told them that the seat of government and the residence of the Governor-General were to be within New South Wales. They were to be outside the 100 miles, but still within the territory of New South Wales. But what happened1? The people having accepted the Constitution in that belief, it was discovered later on, as pointed out by Senator Matheson, that at the time the Bill was framed, many things were not foreseen. It was discovered that it would be ah extremely inconvenient thing to keep the Governor-General away from the place where the Parliament of the Commonwealth was sitting. That was clearly recognised ; and there is not a single man in New South Wales who, recognising the exigencies of the situation, would, for one moment, object to the Governor-General living in Melbourne during the time Parliament was sitting here, although they know that, according to the view of the Vice-President of the Executive Council, it would be an illegality for him to do so. As I say, New South Wales people do not object, because the practical requirements of the situation demand that the GovernorGeneral shall live in Melbourne while Parliament is located here. But they think, nevertheless, that they are entitled to have the Governor-General living in their midst during such times as the sittings of Parliament in Melbourne do not require his presence here. But what has- resulted from that ? We now know that it is claimed as a fight that the Governor-General shall live in Melbourne - that it is quite right that he shall live out of New South Wales. There is not a single word in the Constitution to justify that contention. Therefore, we are not asking for a concession when we ask that the official residence of the GovernorGeneral shall be in our State. It is a right that is conferred upon us by the Constitution, and it is a concession- on our part to allow the official residence of the GovernorGeneral to be temporarily in Melbourne. I do not believe that the people in New South) Wales as a whole care very much where the; Governor-General officially resides. They like to see him, I have no doubt ; they show that every time he visits their’ StateBut there is another reason why the Senate’ should carry this resolution. Honorablesenators have had ample evidence this afternoon, of an attempt which will be made sooner or later to delay the settlement of the question, of the selection of the capital site. Now,, there has grown up in New South Wales - I am not concerned with whether this feel- - ing is ill or well founded, but only with thetruth that it exists ; I am simply relating; facts - and it is a fact that in New South’ Wales to-day there is a strong belief thatthe provisions of the Constitution dealing; with the allocation of the capital in thatState will sooner or later be pushed aside. We have had a suggestion this afternoon that the Constitution, if it is not to be violated, should at least be suspended in. that particular.
– Not from a Victorian* senator, remember.
– But we have it every week from the Victorian journals.. Scarcely a week goes by without the- two greatjournals of Victoria putting forward a pleafor the breaking of that provision of the Constitution. The Argus has got to such a stage that it regularly scoffs at the idea of what it calls a “ bush capital.” If we can judge from the attitude of the Victorian, press, these views are put forward as a» threat, and there is a feeling on the part of the people of this State against the carrying; out of the provision of the Constitution.
– Then they do not represent Victorian opinion.
– I am very pleased tohear that remark from Senator Sargood. I am not concerned just now with the question whether the view that has been put forward is generally entertained in Victoria ; but I ask whether in the face of these views which are urged, any one can blame the people of New South Wales if, seeing these continuous statements, they believe that there is a tendency towards the violation of the provisions of the Constitution? I ask those who wish to see this Constitution work smoothly for the good of all - those who do not want, by a policy of pinprickingtowards the mother State, to bring about friction- to vote for this resolution ; otherwise I venture to say that the policy- of which I complain is likely to lead to far more serious consequences than some people imagine. I ask whether it is worth while to add to the feeling of bitterness and anger that animates the large majority of the electors of my State. I have given reasons to warrant the vote I shall give. Perhaps I have spoken with some warmth ; 1 judge from the expressions of honorable senators that I have done so. But if I have spoken warmly on the subject, I can assure the Senate that the feeling which animates me is as an iceberg compared with the feelings of the great body of the electors in the State of New South Wales.
– It must be bad there then !
– It is so, and if the honorable senator doubts my statement, let him visit New South Wales and judge for himself. I ask honorable senators to recognise the difficulties that must exist in the early stages of this union. I request them, in the interests of peace and goodfellowship, to give way on this point and to cast a vote which will go a long way towards satisfying the people of New South Wales. Whatever delay may take place concerning the ultimate choice of a capital, the passing of this resolution will show the people of New South Wales that there will be no ultimate attempt to deprive them of the advantages conferred upon them by the terms of the Constitution.
– I am exceedingly pleased to know that this motion has restored Senator Matheson to health, and that he has succeeded in imparting some life and vigour to Senator Millen, even though his speech may have made the rest of the New South Wales senators deadly sick. Senator Millen bases the preposterous claim made on behalf of the State of New South Wales upon some provision that he sa)’s is in the Constitution. I should like to know in what particular part of the Constitution he finds the obligation which he says is cast upon us of compelling the GovernorGeneral to reside in Sydney 1 Where is that provision to be found anywhere in the Constitution?
– There is an obligation in the Constitution that the GovernorGeneral shall reside in New South Wales.
– When 1 The honorable senator has been very eloquent and 44 g 2 very forceful in talking about carrying out a distinct obligation, and about faithfully fulfilling some’ understanding in accordance with which the New South Wales electorsagreed to come into the federation. He says that they understood that the seat of government was to be in New South Wales, and that the Governor-General was to reside where the seat of government was located. But, surely, the honorable senator knows that it was recognised all over Australia that the distinct understanding was that, until the capital had been fixed in New South Wales, the seat of government was to be in Melbourne.
– I say that undoubtedly it was so. As far as concerns Queensland, it was the distinct understanding there that, until the capital site was definitely fixed upon, Melbourne was to be the seat of government. No other Stale was to participate in the federal government of this Commonwealth until the federal city was established somewhere in New South Wales, 100 miles from Sydney.
– That is not so.
– There was even a specific -condition that Sydney was not to be the seat of government. The seat of government was actually to be 1Q0 miles from Sydney. What’ is the use of Senator Millen rolling out a stream of fiery eloquence such as, I have no doubt, would transfix a New South Wales audience, when he knows that the claim he has set up does not exist t It is now evident that under some circumstances these New South Wales people can become a happy family. During nearly the whole of the session we have found them to be most excellent representatives of the antipodean Kilkenny cats. When they come to divide the spoil among themselves, they fight in the most acrimonious manner, but when it is a question of collecting the spoil from the rest of the States for the benefit of New South Wales, they are the happiest family alive. To realize the truth of that remark, honorable senators who have seen how united they are on this question, have only to recollect their attitude with regard to other matters last night. I regret very much that this question should have been brought forward on a Friday, when honorable senators are desirous of closing the sitting early. Certainly, I do not wish to do anything to cause inconvenience to any honorable senator. But I confess that I feel very strongly upon the question, because’ I think that, hanging upon it, is the whole question of whether we are going to countenance the policy of keeping up two Governmenthouses in this Commonwealth. Are we going to keep up an establishment ac the seat of Government and another establishment in New South Wales? If we pursue that policy, certainly we must keep up more than one Government-house; I contend that we must go the whole way and provide means for the up-keep of a Governmenthouse in every State in the Commonwealth. Every other State .has just as much claim upon the taxpayers for the up-keep of a Government-house as has -New South Wales under present circumstances. If New South Wales can make good a claim that we shall keep the Sydney Government-house in a. state of repair, the -result will be that even after the capital has been fixed at Bombala,’ or elsewhere, Victoria, in its turn, will have a perfect right to put forward a claim that the Commonwealth shall keep up the Melbourne Government - house as a residence for the Governor-General at the expense of the Commonwealth of Australia. If Victoria presented a claim of that kind, we should laugh it out of court on account of its absurdity ; and we ought also to laugh this claim of New South Wales out of court for the same reason. New South Wales has no more claim than has Hobart. At any rate, so far as I am concerned, I state unhesitatingly that I fail to see why the people of the Commonwealth should contribute to the up-keep of a Governmenthouse in Sydney, when it is considered that Sydney is not at present the seat of government, whereas Melbourne certainly is’. I fully recognise the other claim that has been put forward for this motion, and which is, I think, the only legitimate claim that has been urged to-day. That is, that evidently some person or other in authority has already entered into an agreement with the Government of New South Wales that they should lease Government-house, Sydney, to- the Commonwealth for a period of three years. That has been done on the authority of Ministers of the Commonwealth. It is an obligation which we cannot honorably repudiate. But while sticking honestly to that agreement or contract, or whatever -it may be called, there is no reason whatever I which has yet been brought before me which will induce me to go beyond that point. We should stick hard and fast to outbargain as to the time for which we have leased Government - house, Sydney. The Senate should, whenever the opportunity presents itself, unmistakably declare that it is of opinion that the Governor-General should not occupy a house iii Sydney as well as in Melbourne. Senator Millen supported the ridiculous argument of Senator Ewing, that to provide a residence for the GovernorGeneral in Sydney as well as in Melbourne would be an arrangement similar to that of the States in’ providing town and country residences for their Governors.
– No, I did not.
– Some of the other speakers who support the motion certainly did so. We must not forget that most of the enthusiastic support which the proposal has received has come from representatives of New South Wales, who, I feel certain, would not have been so eloquent in praise of it if the proposal had been that the second Government-house should be in Brisbane, or in some other State. . I am satisfied that the beginning and the end of Senator Millen’s advocacy of the arrangement is that Sydney will reap the benefit of - it. It has been suggested to us that had the people of New South Wales known before the refer1endum was taken that the GovernorGeneral would not reside in Sydney because the seat of government would be in Melbourne, they would not have joined the Federation. We are to understand that they would have said, “ If you, do not give us a turn to look at your pretty boy, we will not play in your yard.” While that statement may accurately express the feelings of the respectable little coterie who visit Government-house on Thursday afternoons, it does not express the opinions of the great body of the population of New South Wales, who, I believe, do not care two straws where the Governor-General resides either during the session or in the recess. I refuse to countenance a policy which I regard as unwise, unnecessary, and extravagant. I believe that we lost an excellent man in Lord Hopetoun, because he thought that it was incumbent upon him to maintain two residences, and he found that he could not do so without dipping too deeply into his private purse.’
– He did not do too badly, anyway. …
– However that may be, I believe that the main reason, for his hasty resignation was that be found it impossible to fulfil what he regarded as an obligation imposed upon him by his position to maintain two residences. We should give our Governor-General to understand that that is not required of him ; that he is to reside at the seat of government, and to pay visits to the States when possible. Sydney has no more call for the presence of the Governor-General than has Hobart or any other State capital. I trust that Senator Higgs will withdraw his amendment, so that I may move an amendment which I think will better fit the case, and will evade the objections which have been urged against that now before the Senate. We must faithfully carry out the contract which has been entered into with the Government of New South Wales, but we should not leave it open to whatever Ministry may be in power to make a similar contract after the expiration of the present one without our approval and consent.
Amendment, byleave, withdrawn.
Amendment (by Senator Dawson) proposed -
That the following words be added to the motion : - “ But this House deprecates the maintenance of two Government Bouses, and suggests that the expenditure on Sydney Government House be limited to the term of three years “
Debate (on motion by SenatorPulsford) adjourned.
Senate adjourned at 4.9 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 29 August 1902, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1902/19020829_senate_1_12/>.