2nd Parliament · 1st Session
The President took the Chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.
asked the VicePresident of the Executive Council, upon notice -
If ihe Government will take steps to endeavour to have the printing of necessary documents done more expeditiously than is often the case?
– The Prime Minister, requests that the honorable senator will postpone his question, and, if possible, give further particulars of the papers to which he refers. I should also like to request that honorable senators, when giving notice of questions, will not ask for replies on a Friday, as the different Departments have no time on Friday morning to get out the information required to answer their questions.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) agreed to -
That one month’s leave of absence be given to Senator Croft on account of urgent private business.
Motion (by Senator Turley) agreed to- -
That one month’s leave of absence be given to
Senator Givens on account of urgent private business.
Senator MCGREGOR laid upon the table the following paper: -
Proclamation of commencement of and regulations under the Patents Act.
The Clerk laid upon the table the following paper : -
Return to order of the Senate of 2nd June, 1904, relating to the secret service code incident.
In Committee (Consideration resumed from 2nd June, vide page 1896) :
Clause 2, as amended - lt is hereby determined that the Seat of Government of the Commonwealth shall be within the territory bounded on the north by a line running parallel with and twelve miles south, of the thirty-sixth parallel of south latitude, and within twenty-five miles of , in ihe State of
New South Wales.
Upon which Senator Trenwith had moved, by way of amendment -
That the word “twenty-five” be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the word “ fifty.”
– I have a suggestion to make which I think may bring about the desired harmony amongst honorable senators. In consultation with other senators this morning it was agreed- that instead of the parallel indicated by the amendment of Senator Pearce, there might be proposed in order to define the territory a line from Pambula to Cooma, and from Cooma due west to the River Murray. That would include Twofold Bay, which, in the minds of many honorable senators, is a very important feature, and it would exclude the corner which has been referred to by Senator Millen. In order to carry out . that suggestion it would, of course, be necessary to go on with the Bill, and recommit the clause for this purpose. I mention the matter now that honorable senators may give it consideration.
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales).I rise not to oppose but ‘to support the suggestion which has been made by the Vice-President of the Executive . Council, but I should like to be clear as to what would be the effect of carrying the amendment now before the Committee. I should imagine that in view of the suggestion which has been made by Senator McGregor, it is the desire of the Committee to terminate the discussion upon this clause as rapidly as possible, as it will have to be recommitted. The simplest way would be to negative Senator Trenwith’s amendment, and on recommittal to alter the clause in accordance with the suggestion which has been made.
– I should prefer to have some place referred to in ‘the clause indicating the site. The question of the distance from the site to be indicated is not to my mind a matter of great consequence. If we were to decide that the distance from the site indicated should be fifty miles, that would take us into territory a considerable distance beyond the defined territory within which the sites will ultimately be situated. The object which Senator Trenwith had in proposing his amendment was to satisfy honorable senators who are divided in opinion on the merits of Dalgety, Bombala, and Delegate, and if his amendment were accepted, the territory embraced would include each of those places. So long as some site is indicated, it is a matter of indifference fo me whether the distance from it is stated at twenty-five or fifty miles.
-Col. GOULD (New South Wales). - I think it would be well if the Vice-President of the Executive Council would agree to follow the course suggested by Senator Millen. We are satisfied that the majority of honorable senators believe that some site in the Southern Monaro district should be selected. Within the area suggested. Dalgety, Delegate, and Bombala are situated, and as there is a difference of opinion as to which of those sites should be chosen, it would perhaps be as well to leave the clause in such a form as to define generally the area, and leave the Government with a free hand to negotiate with the Government of New South Wales for the site for the Capital. Of course the Government would not attempt to finally decide on any particular locality without consulting Parliament. I believe that we shall get through the work more rapidly if the course suggested by Senator Millen were adopted.
– Very well ; I agree to that.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Clause 3 -
The territory to be granted to, or acquire’d by, the Commonwealth, within which the Seat of Government shall be, shall contain an area not less than the area contained by a square whose side is 30 miles in length.
– I move -
That after the word “than,” the words “one hundred square miles “ be inserted.
My reason for proposing the amendment is that it will comply with the wording of the Constitution. If’ we insert 100 square miles as the minimum area, honorable senators will see that it will not prevent a maximum area of any extent being acquired. I think it is better to adhere to the words of the Constitution. If, as is here proposed, we fix the minimum area at 900 square miles, there will be no opportunity to reduce that area. I think we should have a suffi cient territory to include the necessary catch ment area. That might involve the acquisition of 300 or 400 square miles, but I do not think that the New South Wales Parliament would consider favorably such a minimum as 900 square miles. I submit the amendment with the object of promoting the settlement of the question.
– I hope Senator Walker will not press his amendment. In view of the suggestion which has been made this morning, and seeing that the area included within the lines to which I have referred embraces a large extent of rough country, there should be very little difficulty when negotiations are entered into with New South Wales in inducing the Government of that State to grant an area considerably greater even than 900 square miles. If Senator Walker and other honorable senators will view the matter in that light they will let the Bill go through as proposed.
– I do not desire to limit the maximum area.
– I am aware of that; but the honorable senator’s amendment defines the minimum area to be acquired, and I think it would be a very wise thing for the Parliament of the Commonwealth to give an indication, no matter how slight, of the views which we hold with respect to the maximum area. This is the only opportunity which we shall have to do that. If’ we say, as the honorable senator proposes, that the area should be not less than 100 square miles we may give the Government of New South Wales an idea that we would be satisfied with that extent of country. Honorable senators are aware that the majority of the members of the Federal Parliament would not be satisfied with it. I think we may safely pass the Bill as it stands, and leave the area, within the limitation set out, to be the subject of negotiations.
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales).The alteration of the clause in the manner suggested by Senator Walker’s amendment would in no sense hamper the Government in subsequent negotiations. If we agree to the large minimum area proposed in the Bill we shall, however, hamper the Government.
– Suppose that an area, extremely convenient on account of its geographical features and boundaries, were suggested for the Federal territory, and it was found to be a square mile or two under the minimum 900 square miles?
– We hope to get considerably more than that.
– I have no doubt that Senator Findley hopes to get a great deal more than he will get. Suppose it were found that within a circle embracing well-defined geographical features there was an excellent area suitable in every way for the purpose we .have in view, and that it contained only 899 square miles.
– That would not matter.
– I am aware that it would not matter to the honorable senator, who would prefer that the Federal Parliament should sit here for ever ; but it would involve the passing of an amending Bill before we should have power to accept such an area. I could understand the objection of honorable senators if they had no confidence in the way in which the Government would conduct the negotiations with the New South Wales Government. I have every confidence that the present Government will endeavour to get as large an area as they possibly can.
– We have confidence in the wisdom of the New South Wales Government, inducing them to concede a large area.
– Then there should be no necessity to provide a hard-and-fast minimum of 900 square miles in this Bill. If we accept Senator Walker’s amendment, there will be nothing to prevent the Government negotiating with New South Wales for the largest possible area. There is a serious practical objection to carrying the clause in its present form. A most suitable area might be short of the minimum fixed by two or three square miles, and we should be prevented from acquiring it.
– Nothing would stop us from getting that area under such circumstances.
– I point out to the honorable senator that it would be a very foolish thing to cross a mountain, a river, or a good natural boundary of that kind to secure an extra two or three square miles. Any man who has had anything to do with land, or even with the division of a State into electorates, knows what a convenience it is to follow natural lines in fixing boundaries. If honorable senators have confidence in the Government, why impose this increased minimum ?
– We want to have a larger area if we can get it.
– No doubt the honorable senator would like to grab everything ; but he is not going to get” it. The question is not whether the area shall be large or small, but whether the Government are toenter into negotiations with their hands tied. I do not want to tie the hands of the Government. The Constitution has tied them to some extent, but let them enter into these negotiations as free as’ possible. They can ask for half-a-million acres if they think fit. But to fix a minimum now is to do two things. It is, first of all, to fix an area which may be disadvantageous from the practical stand-point; and it is also anaffirmation by honorable senators that they are not prepared to trust the Government in these negotiations. I . ask the Committee, even if they do not follow the words of the Constitution, at any rate, not to limit the power of the Government in their efforts to arrive at an amicable settlement of this question. What is exactly the area which we want ? Some honorable senatorssay 5,000 square miles. A little while agoSenator McGregor said 10,000 square miles. If that is the opinion of the Senate, wemay reasonably ask for some guarantee that when the Commonwealth asks for a minimum of 900 square miles, it does not mean the whole of the State of New South” Wales. Already we have jumped up from- 100 square miles to 900. How much further are we going?
– Mr. Oliver, the Commissioner appointed by the New South Wales Government, proposed 1,200 squaremiles.
– There is no representative of New South Wales in this Parliament, or in the State Parliament, whohas not repudiated that idea.
– The Government of the State appointed that gentleman, not themembers of the Federal Parliament. I take it that he is an expert, whose opinion, is worth something.
– How far does Senator Findley propose to follow Mr: Oliver’sopinion? Only just so far as it suits him. This touching regard for the opinion of an official is refreshing, coming from Senitor Findley, who has never hitherto been knownto accept any opinion but his own. I suppose that if there is one honorable senatormore than another who is prepared to reject expert opinion, it is Senator Findley-
All I wish to point out is that in no sense shall we jeopardize our prospect of obtaining a larger area, by adopting the minimum set out in the Constitution. On the other hand, we shall tie the hand’s of the Commonwealth Government if we put in the larger minimum. For that reason I propose to support the amendment.
– I rise to caution the new senators against the last speaker. He is, perhaps, one of the most astute members of the Senate. Certainly he is one of our nicest mannered senators. It is so easy for a new senator to be led astray by one who has such a plausible manner as has my honorable friend. He asks, “ Why not allow the Government to make the best bargain they can with New South Wales?” And he adds, “I have every confidence in this Government.” But while he said that, the honorable senator held the belief that the present Government would not be in office to carry out the negotiations. A vote of censure on the Government is to be moved in another place. Senator Millen believes that it will be carried, and that the incoming Government, headed by his leader, will make the arrangement with the Government of New South Wales. He asks, “ Why do you object to allowing the present Government to make arrange- ments with New South Wales?” although he does not believe for a moment that the present Government will have an opportunity of doing so. Of course he may be misguided in that respect.
– If a change of Government is to take place in the immediate future, this Bill will not become law.
– I cautioned the members of the Government the day before yesterday to beware of honorable senators opposite’ in all circumstances. I recollect that when the Electoral Bill was before the Senate they put their case in a nice plausible manner, and had the supporters of the present Government with them for one day. But only for one day.
– I wish Senator Styles would talk about us like this in New South Wales !
– - The ‘ representative of any State has quite enough to look after in his own State without running away to New South Wales; but if I were there I should not have the least hesitation in saying what I have just said.
– Is Senator Styles in order in discussing the political character of the New South Wales senators?
– I have an admiration for honorable senators opposite, although I do not admire their politics.
– My honorable friend Senator Styles desires to pose as the champion bogy man of the Senate. He is always raising terrible pictures of what is going to happen. On the point of astuteness, I would remark that the honorable senator, who has been arguing so as to procure a large area of New South Wales territory, has, above all others, pointed out to the Senate that theCapital cannot be constructed unless we incur the expenditure of a great many millions of money. It is quite evident that the bigger the area of which the Commonwealth takes possession, the larger must be the expenditure.
– And the. longer the delay in securing the territory.
– Senator McGregor referred to the fact that the country in Southern Monaro is of a very rugged character. He put that as a reason why the Commonwealth should obtain a considerable area. Southern Monaro has not been finally accepted. It- is quite possible that Lyndhurst or Tumut may be finally accepted. Rough country, such as has been described, does not exist there. But if we adopt a clause requiring a large area in connexion with country that is rough, and the site containing the rough country is not finally accepted, that clause will stand, although, according to Senator McGregor’s logic, the larger area would not be required in better country. Therefore I deprecate, the provision for the larger area, unless it is asked for on the grounds given by Senator McGregor. If, when the site has been finally agreed upon, we say to New South Wales that the area granted should be determined by a due consideration of the geographical and physical requirements of the district, that will be a reasonable way. of putting our case. But to fix upon a hard-and-fast number of miles on the ground that one site contains very rough country, when the provision with regard to area may afterwards be applied to some of the best territory in New South Wales, is rather ridiculous. Senator Styles asks - “What is 900 square miles out of 310,000 square miles?” He has figured out the percentage. Let me point out, that 310,000 square miles are like 310,000 coins, which might vary in value from sovereigns to halfpennies. If any one said, “ I want so many thousands of these coins; I am only to take a certain percentage of the total number; but I want them all to be sovereigns,” that would be taking a very much larger value than the percentage. I want to guard against that mistake. A small area may represent a very large value. Therefore, until the actual site of the Capital has been settled, I do not see that we can expect New South Wales to grant a verv large area.
– Senator Millen has said that if we adopt Senator Walker’s amendment, it would not hamper the Government in any way. I think it would hamper the Government, by putting them in a false position in negotiating with New South Wales. The inference would be that the Senate desired to obtain about 100 square miles, and did not stipulate for a larger area. The Constitution permits the Federal Parliament to acquire “ not less than 100 square miles.” I hope that the Parliament will limit the Capital area to not less than 900 square miles. It is just as well, in negotiating with New South Wales, that that State should clearly know what is the desire of the Federal Parliament. As I have said, I do not like tha wording of this Bill. The VicePresident of the Executive Council has admitted that any area which we acquire beyond 100 square miles is a matter for negotiation with the Government of New South Wales. It would have been much better had we recognised that position, and said in the Bill that, with the concurrence of New South Wales, we require an area of not less than 900 square miles. We say in this Bill that the Seat of Government shall contain an area of not less than 900 square miles, but we make no reference to the rights of New South Wales. We, of course, occupy a strong position when we say, “We will not accept any territory unless we have an area which we believe to be large enough to provide for all time for the Capital, the suburbs, the water supply, the parks, and so forth, being within the Federal jurisdiction.” But, while we can say. that we will not accept any area that will give us a town divided against itself - one portion of which will be under the jurisdiction of New South Wales, and one portion under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government - we must at the same time recognise that New South Wales has some rights, and that we cannot, without consulting her, say that, we will have 900 square miles. That being so, it would be better to say in this Bill that, with the consent of New South Wales, .the area shall be not less than 900 square miles. We need not ask for a large area in order totry an experiment in land nationalization. But we must have a catchment area within our own territory, and we also require to have large parks. The catchment area will possibly cover 100 square miles. What is the size of the Yellowstone Park, in the United States?
– The area of it is 3,575 square miles.
– We also require a large area for a lake.- At one of the sites it is proposed to have a lake three miles across. That would involve the acquisition of an area of many thousand acres.
– Ten square miles.
– All these matters have to be considered. Possibly we shall require to have manufactures in” time to come. All we need to ask the New South Wales Government is to allow us to have a sufficient area to guarantee that all. these various concomitants of a Capital shall be under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. When we have the area it will be for us to say how we shall dispose of it. Personally I think we should not sell the fee-simple of any land. But that will be a matter for subsequent consideration. We simply require to make out a case for 900 square miles. We should show a better disposition in. negotiating if we said that we require this area, and wish for the concurrence of the New South Wales Government in obtaining it.
– There is a good deal in what Senator Smith has just said, and, with a view of gathering up all the points he has made - of which I thoroughly approve - I propose to submit an amendment. I can do so only if Senator Walker’s amendment is withdrawn or negatived. I first of all thought that it might be as well to leave out clause 3. But if we intend to affirm that we want a larger territory than 100 square miles, possibly that would not do. We desire to consider the rights of New South Wales, but Ave also desire to uphold the rights of the citizens of the Commonwealth as embedded in the Constitution. We wish to do what is fair.
– That is pleasant.
– I am glad to have the honorable senator’s testimony to that effect, and will call attention to the terms of my- amendment. After the word “area” I propose to insert “ of not less than 100 square miles, and, subject to the consent of the Government of New South Wales, such larger area, not exceeding, with the 100 square miles, 900 square miles, as will give access from the Seat of Government, when the same is determined, to the port of Twofold Bay, and as will include the area necessary to protect the water-shed which is to supply the Sent of Government wi’.h water.”
– We cannot do that.
– Why does the VicePresident of the Executive Council say that we cannot do what I propose?
– Because of the Constitution.
- Senator Dobson cannot submit his amendment until we have disposed of Senator Walker’s amendment.
Senator WALKER (New South Wales). - Senator Dobson does not seem to recognise that the first four words of his amendment form part of my amendment.
– I am afraid that Senator Walker’s amendment will be negatived.
– I cannot accept the suggestion to withdraw my amendment.
– Clause 3 presents to me one or two difficulties, on which I may have to ask the ruling of the Chairman, and, possibly, the ruling of the President. The words of the clause, “ the territory to be granted to,” indicate one thing, and “ or acquired “ indicate another. The Constitution distinctly provides that the Federal territory shall contain ar. area of at least 100 square miles. I am one who desires to see a large area secured, though, at the same time, I do not like the idea of trespassing on, or dictating to, New South Wales as to any area over 100 square miles, a matter which, in my opinion, it is for New South Wales to determine. A much larger area than 100 square miles will doubtless be required to give access to the sea, apart from the question of water conservation. The point on which I desire to obtain a ruling is whether we, as a Senate, have the right to pass a Bill involving the expenditure of money, even for the requirements of a Federal Capital.
– This Bill does not provide for the expenditure of money.
– Does it not say that the Commonwealth may acquire land ?
– That question has already been settled by the President.
– I am, of course, speaking in ignorance of any ruling on the point.
– Surely Senator Mulcahy’s experience will tell him that he cannot raise that point of order at this stage?
– I do not see how the Commonwealth can acquire a large area of land from private owners without paying for that land.
– A special Appropriation Bill will be introduced for that purpose.
– I shall not enter into that point now, but confine myself to the main issue. I shall be much better pleased if the Senate were not to indicate any area. We know that the Commonwealth Government will secure the largest area and the best terms and conditions possible ; and I should like to see it left to the present Government, or their successors, to negotiate with the Government of New South Wales. The wording of the clause appears to me to be ridiculous. If we want 900 square miles, why not say so straight out?
– I have already said several times that the area required greatly depends on the position.
– -Is it not, therefore, foolish on our part to indicate the area ?
– To provide for not less than 900 square miles will simply indicate to the New South Wales Government that the Federal Parliament requires an area of some considerable extent. I have already intimated that a number of honorable senators” are prepared to accept a territory indicated by a line drawn from Pambula to Cooma, and thence west to the Murray. My wish is to give honorable senators an idea of the character of that country, and then ask them if they think there will be any great difficulty in having the whole handed over.
– Enormous difficulty.
– Dalgety, Delegate, and Bombala are within thirty or forty miles of each other, and it is in their immediate locality that” any good land is to be found. As we approach the mountain ranges to the west, the country reached is not such as the New South Wales Government would object to give for Federal purposes. I may also state that the very large area to the westward, including
Mount Kosciusko, is really a portion of the catchment area which will ultimately be necessary for any Federal city.
– Perhaps i.t would be as well to annex the clouds, which certainly have something to do with the catchment area.
– As soon as we pass Cathcart, on the way to Eden, the road is down the edge of the mountain, and those who have traversed the country will at once admit that, up to the present, New South Wales has made very little use of it. In my opinion, having regard to the character of the country, the New South Wales Government would be willing to cede it to the Federal Government. The area within a line drawn from Pambula to Cooma, and from Cooma to the Murray, thence following the Victorian or New South Wales border, is approximately 5,070 square miles; and, with the exception of 1,000 or 900 square miles, the land is all of the rough character I have already described.
– With the exception of what area?
– With the exception of about 1,000 square miles of what may be called moderately good country. Senator Millen ‘knows that district as well as anybody does, and I think he will admit that ‘what I say is very nearly correct. There will, I think, be very little difficulty in making arrangements with New South Wales. I certainly cannot consent to any amendment which will indicate that the Commonwealth Government are prepared to accept an area of less than 900 square miles. We think, as a Government - and I believe Parliament will support us - that to mention 100 square miles would be to indicate too small an area.
– Will the Government be satisfied with 900 or 1,000 square miles ?
– In some places that area would be quite sufficient, but Senator Millen must know that for the purposes of a Federal Capital or Seat of Government it would require nearly the whole of that area to give effect to the opinions which have been expressed by different senators.
– Let us understand, then, that the Government are after 5,000 square miles of country.
– The honorable senator may, of course, put the matter in that way if he likes ; I am not particular.
I am dealing with the position before us; and I say that the Government provide in this Bill for not less than 900 square miles for the purpose of indicating to the New South Wales people and Parliament that an area of at least a reasonable character is required.
- Senator Walker will, I think, see the wisdom of withdrawing his amendment if he desires that we shall make any progress with the Bill. Senator Walker and others object to an area being named, which is, in ‘ the opinion of the majority, undoubtedly required. It has been, made manifestly clear that a majority of honorable senators are very strongly of opinion that there should be acquired, at least, 900 square miles.
– Will the Government make, that the maximum ?
– It would be foolish to do so.
– If we accept Senator Walker’s amendment, the New South Wales Government will assume that we will be content with 100 square miles.
– As a minimum.
– But 900 square miles is the minimum favoured by a large majority.- The Constitution may mention 100 square miles, but we have power to legislate in this connexion, and in doing so we ought to make it clear what minimum we think is necessary.
Senator WALKER (New South Wales). - If Senator O’Keefe desires to make progress it would be better for him not to speak, but allow us to proceed to vote at once. The Constitution names a mini-‘ mum of 100 square miles, whereas Senator McGregor desires that the minimum shall be 900 square miles. If the minimum of 100 square miles may be multiplied to 900 square miles, a minimum of 960 square miles may be multiplied” to 8,100 square miles. In the first instance, the VicePresident of the Executive Council suggested 24,000 square miles, whereas now, I understand, he is willing that there should be 5,000 square miles.
– I am a reasonable man.
– It would appear that what the Government desire is a new State, and not merely a Federal Territory.
– Does not the Constitution absolutely provide for the possibility of a new State?
– What harm can there be in leaving the minimum of 100 square miles as provided by the Constitution ?
Senator DOBSON (Tasmania). - I move -
That the amendment be amended by adding the words : “and, subject to the consent of the Government of New South Wales, such larger urea not less than, with the 100 square miles, 900 square miles, as will give access from the Seat of Government, when the same .is determined, to the port of Twofold Bay, and as will include the area necessary to protect the watershed which is to supply the Seat of Government with water.”
I accept Senator Walker’s words as to the minimum of 100 square miles, but, while I may satisfy Senator McGregor, I am afraid I shall come into collision with Senator Millen. I see objection to fixing a hard and fast area. It will be seen that this amendment differs from the amendment I indicated, in that I have substituted the words “ not less than “ for the words “ not exceeding.” It has been pointed out that, having regard to the vast territory extending from the seaport oh the one hand to the watershed on the other, the area required might amount to more than 900 square miles.
– Or a little less. Senator DOBSON.- Or a little less, of course ; it would be a matter of negotiation.
– I ask honorable senators to- reject the amendment of Senator Dobson, on (he ground that if goes too much into detail, and would unnecessarily tie the hands of the Government. If we say that there shall be an area containing a watershed, why not go On to say that the area shall contain all the materials necessary for building, and in other ways providing a Federal Capital ? If we fixed a maximum as well as a minimum, I am sure that senators opposite would be the first to denounce the step as one which would preclude bargaining, and tie the hands of the New South Wales Government. When we fix the minimum we leave the determination of the maximum to negotiation. If an agreement can, or cannot, be arrived at, well and good; but I recognise the right of New South Wales to say that the Commonwealth is asking too much.
– The amendment proposed by Senator Dobson is altogether of too restrictive a character to meet the wishes of honorable senators generally.
The amendment proposes to take 100 square miles, but goes on to provide for such further area as, with the consent of New South Wales, will, while not amounting to less than 900 square miles, give access to Twofold Bay and provide for a catchment area. If Senator Dobson is anxious to have this larger area, it will be much better to limit the amendment to the first few words ; that is to say, to take Senator Walker’s amendment, so far as it goes, and then to provide for any such further area as may be granted by the Government of New South Wales. That point ought to be left entirely open. I still maintain that it would be much better to adhere to the minimum of 100 square miles in view of the provision of the Constitution, and with the clear knowledge, which everybody must have, that the Federal Government are anxious to obtain as large an area as the majority of honorable senators may desire. It was suggested, perhaps jokingly, that Senator Millen was in possession of certain secret information as to the course of future events, but assuming, for the sake of argument, that a new Government were to come into power, that Government would have to recognise the will of the majority in the Federal Parliament.
– Is it not better that the will of the Parliament should be clearly expressed in this Bill?
.- I do not see the necessity for it, because Parliament will retain the whip hand over any Government that may have to undertake the negotiations with the New South Wales Government on the subject. I think it would be better to carry Senator Walker’s amendment in the way in which that honorable senator has proposed it. If there be any desire to make such an addition as Senator Dobson suggests, it would be advisable, even in the interests of those who desire the acquisition of a larger area, to include no words specifying the purposes for which the additional area is to be taken.
Senator DOBSON (Tasmania).- I do not think there is much force in the objections which so far have been raised on my amendment.
– It is too restrictive.
– Instead of being considered too restrictive, it might almost be thought too comprehensive, as it would take in the port on the one hand and the watershed on the other.
– Does not the honorable and learned senator recognise how queer the clause would look, amended as he suggests, if Lyndhurst were ultimately chosen as the site.
– - I cannot consider any such possibility, because we have already decided on Southern Monaro as the locality in which the site shall be situated. We are invited by honorable senators from New South Wales to believe that there would be the very greatest difficulty in obtaining 900 square miles, or much more than 100 square miles, from the Government of that State. Is it not, therefore, better that we should say in this Bill that one reason why we wish to have 900 square miles or more is not that we desire to carry out a land nationalization scheme, but that we desire access to a port and the protection of the watershed. This amendment would strengthen the hands of Ministers in negotiating with the New South Wales Government. I think the Committee would do well to carry Senator Walker’s amendment and ‘ so much of my amendment, in addition, as mav be thought desirable.
– I remind the Committee that Senator Dobson’s amendment will be put first.
– It was my intention only to ingraft my amendment on that moved by Senator Walker.
– Then the honorable and learned senator should wait until Senator Walker’s amendment has been dealt with.
– I cannot take Senator Dobson’s amendment in the way the honorable and learned senator suggests.
– I should like to knowhow the Chairman proposes to put the amendment. Undue haste at this stage might land us in difficulties.
- Senator. Walker has moved the insertion after the word “than “ of the words “ 100 square miles.” Senator Dobson proposes to add to those words certain other words, which I have already read to the Committee. I propose to put Senator Dobson’s amendment as an amendment on that moved by Senator Walker.
Senator STYLES (Victoria).- As I understand the amendment moved by Senator Dobson, the area to be acquired over and above too square miles will be entirely dependent upon the Government of New South Wales.
– It is to be a matter for negotiation with them, and it is to be not less than 900 square miles, if we can get it.
– The idea is that Senator Walker’s amendment is to be carried, and then certain words are to be added, giving the Government of New South Wales the power to say whether we shall have any more than 100 square miles. Why should we do this? When we know that we want 900 square miles, why negotiate with the Government of New South Wales for any less area? If the Government of New South Wales were to say that they would not be prepared to go any further than 200 square miles or 300 square miles, the whole business would be at a standstill. Senator Walker agrees with me that that is the meaning of Senator Dobson’s amendment. Surely the Committee will not pass an amendment of that kind? If I had not seen the honorable and learned senator drafting it I should have attributed it to some of our honorable friends from New South Wales, because it plays right into their hands. I am surprised that Senator Dobson, with his legal training, should not only be led into a trap, but should walk into one he has laid for himself. We should adhere to the Bill as it stands, and to 900 square miles as a minimum. In the opinion, not only of a majority of honorable senators, but of a majority of honorable members in another place, 900 square miles would be little enough for the Federal Territory. I am speaking with special reference to Southern Monaro, and the remarks of the Vice-President of the Executive Council should convince any unbiased man that 900 square miles will be little enough in that part of the country. The honorable senator showed clearly that of 5,000 square miles only 1,000 .square miles would be worth anything so far as the land is concerned. The hills would no doubt be very suitable for picnicking, but unless they contain minerals they are not likely to be of much use for anything else. I hope that the Committee will insist upon 900 square miles as the minimum area to be acquired.
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales). - There is one argument against the undue extension of this area which I feel called upon to press on the notice of the Committee ; but, before I refer to it I should like to deal with some reflections that have been made by way of interjection on the rate of progress we are making. It is assumed that honorable senators from New South Wales are not anxious to expedite this business. We can understand those who are trying to get something being expeditious, but it must be remembered that the representatives of Kew South Wales believe that a proposal is being made which is unfair to their State. That being so we are only exercising our right in seeking every opportunity to press our views on the Committee.
– Honorable senators have failed miserably in showing that we are proposing what would be unfair to New South Wales.
– We recognise the impossibility of convincing certain honorable senators, but that does not relieve us of the obligation to attempt to do so.
– One honorable senator from New South Wales said this morning that he is prepared to bow to the decision of the majority.
– Every minority must <lo that, but we have the right which a minority always has of fighting up to the last ditch when we think an injustice is about to be done. One grave objection to any undue extension of the area to be acquired is that it might affect- the representation of New South Wales in the House of Representatives. I am not contending that if we were to acquire even the larger area of 5,000 square miles, as suggested by Senator McGregor, we should seriously disturb the quota contemplated by the Constitution. But it does seem probable that that is what would happen : Honorable senators are aware that under section 24 of the Constitution it is provided that if, when the quota, and the. number of members to which a’ State is entitled has been ascertained, there is a remainder greater than one-half of the quota, the State shall be entitled to an additional representative. It will be seen from that that 1,000, 500, or 100 electors might represent the turning point.
Senator Trenwith. One might.
– As the honorable senator says, one might ; and I say that honorable senators from New South Wales cannot consent to that State being deprived, not merely of acres, but of men, to any greater extent than is necessary for the proper purposes of the Federation. I can understand that this is a view which may have escaped the attention of honorable senators from other States; but it is one which must influence those who come from New South Wales. Would our Victorian friends stand quietly by if a project were put forward to deprive their State of a representative? If there ever was a time when honorable senators should consider the character of the Senate it is now, when a proposal is put forward which may have the effect of depriving New South Wales of her clue weight in the councils of the nation. I have no desire to unduly prolong the discussion; but I feel that I have advanced a point which, while it may not sway the decision of some honorable senators, is entitled to receive their consideration.
– The point urged by Senator Millen can have very little weight if it is looked into. One of the circumstances connected with this proposal is that the New South Wales people were very anxious that the Seat of Government of the Commonwealth should be in Sydney.
– I have always opposed that.
– I accept the honorable senator’s statement, but there still can be no doubt that the people of New South Wales were anxious to have the Seat of Government in Sydney.
– Some of the people; not those in the country districts.
– So far as we know anything of the matter, great indignation was felt by a number of people in New South Wales when it was suggested that Sydney should not be the Capital.
– Do not say that ; I am one of them.
– Here is another.
– And here is a third.
– There appears to be some warrant even in this Chamber for saying that there was in New South Wales a strong feeling that it would have been a good thing to have had the Capital in Sydney. I believe that if there had been no stipulation on the subject in the Constitution, and it had been shown that the people of New South Wales desired it, the Seat of Government probably would have been in Sydney. I point out that, if that had been done, there would have been taken out of the population of New South Wales some 400.000 people.
– That is exactly what we saw, and that is why we opposed it.
– It, therefore, seems to me that the argument urged by Senator Millen is obviously specious. However, considering the matter from the point of view that there is a bona fide fear that New South Wales may lose some representation by an extension of the area to be acquired by the Commonwealth, I would ask what right has New South Wales or any other State to representation except on the basis of population, and how would the people who would be left, by being severed from some other persons with whom they had been associated, be injured in respect of their representation?
– If New South Wales were cut in two, for instance.
– We might take that illustration for argument’s sake. How would the people of the portion of New South Wales that would be left be injured relatively so long as their proportion of representation was maintained ?
– It has never been proposed that the citizens of the Federal Territory should be given the same measure of representation in the Federal Parliament as the citizens of the States.
– That question does not arise now. How will the people of New South Wales be injured so long as they retain their proper .proportion of representation ? Is New South Wales to be considered in some way as a sacred entity ?
– We should disfranchise the people we cut off.
– That is an aspect of the matter which was not presented to us by the honorable senator when he spoke, and it does not specially affect him as a representative of New South Wales. It is, however, a very important matter, not only for the Commonwealth Government, but for the people of all the States, including those of New South Wales, that we should have an area large enough to enable us to develop such conditions as may seem desirable in the interests, not of one or two of the States, but of all. The Federal consideration should always be before our minds. The necessities of a single State should not be specially considered, unless it can be shown that_ a special injustice is being done, or a special hardship inflicted that is not warranted in the general interests of the people. I go the length of saying that if in the interests of the Commonwealth as a whole it were necessary to do something which, looked at from the New South Wales point of view, might be considered a hardship to that State, it would still have to be done.
– It evidently will.
– The honorable senator makes that interjection as if he considered it were a wrong, but it is a well known axiom of government that the interests of the individual must be subordinate at all times to the aggregate interests of the whole of the citizens. The same principle applies in Federation. The interests of the individual State must always be subordinated to the interest of the aggregate States. I do not think that any injury would be done to New South Wales if 10,000 square miles were taken. In fact, I think that a distinct advantage would be conferred upon that State. But that point is not worth arguing, because it does not touch the question. The question for us to. consider is whether it is necessary that the Commonwealth should have a considerable area. That point being once settled, it is unimportant whether the citizens of a certain State, or States, consider that incidentally their interests would be prejudiced. So long’ as we are satisfied that a certain condition is necessary in the interests of the Commonwealth, it is altogether unimportant whether a State, or States, consider their interests to be prejudiced.
-Col. NEILD (New South Wales). - The proposition of the honorable senator who has just spoken - namely, that the interests of the individual must always give way to the interests of the greater number - would be a very fine argument to be used by a gang of Bedouin robbers towards a man who was worth robbing. The interests of the individual would have to be subordinated to the interests of those who were going to rob him. I congratulate the honorable senator on the ingenuity with which he put his proposition. I have been sitting here all the morning, maintaining a fine eloquence of silence and listening to the development of what is known as the policy of grab. I have never listened with more pleasure in my life to evidences of the hidden springs of human action and human eloquence. I find that there is no lack of the most beautiful phrases and the most excellent arguments - so long as they are not pushed to their extremes - in favour of the policy of grab. I am going to say something which, perhaps, will throw down the golden apple of discord, but I am not here to make any promise to vote away such an area of the State of New South Wales as no member of the Federal Convention ever dared to intimate it was contemplated to demand. If such a proposal as that which we are now discussing had been included in the Commonwealth Bill, there would have been no more hope of Federation existing to-day than there is hope of this grab policy being given effect to by the people and Parliament of New South Wales. After three short years of a mixed career, the area of 100 square miles which the people voted upon is to be augmented ninefold as a minimum. 1 can only say that while such a proposition is eminently favourable as an evidence of temerity, I do not think - I hope that what I am going to say will not hurt any one’s feelings - that it is an honorable position to take up that the Capital shall not be established according to law unless we accede to any demand that a majority insists upon. We are assured that if New South Wales does not give exactly what we like to ask for, there will be no Capital. All right then - I say there will be no Capital ; for New South Wales will never give way to such unfair demands.
– Then there will be a Capital in another State.
– Then New South Wales will not be in the Union.
.- That is very much more like it. I should be recreant to my trust if I came here and supported such propositions as are now submitted.
– I rise to a point of order. My honorable friend says he has been listening all the morning to arguments which show that unless a policy of grab is successful there will be no Federal Capital. I have heard no arguments in favour of such a policy, and I call attention to the fact that my amendment is moved to avoid such a state of things.
– I can hardly sustain the honorable senator’s point of order.
– But Senator Neild has made a statement which is not correct.
.- If what I have stated was not said to-day, it was said last night. If I have erred in allowing my recollection of last night’s debate - which is part and parcel of the present one - to conflict with what I have heard to-day I regret it. But certainly such sentiments as I have described have been uttered. As one of those who endeavours to do his duty in representing the interests of New South Wales - as well as his duty to the Commonwealth - because I do not think any honorable senator will accuse me of being merely a local senator ; I have given evidence of an interest in other States as well as in my own - I say that I should not be discharging my obligations if I did not voice a sincere deprecation of the demands that’ are now being made. Practically they mean that the Commonwealth should acquire territory from Kosci’usco to the sea. I do not believe that New South Wales will concede the port of Eden. As honorable senators know, I am a comparatively old member of the New South Wales Legislature. I know something of the feelings and ideas that actuate the majority of that Legislature. I know something of the opinions of the inhabitants of the State in which I have lived for over forty years.
– I thought the Federal spirit animated the people of New South Wales?
– It did until the honorable senator’s party killed it.
.- The “Federal spirit “ was one of the wretched catch cries used by deluded enthusiasts to mislead the rest of Australia. I do not say they used it with the intention of misleading. But I certainly say that a great number of very honorable men were misled and selfdeluded as to what would happen if this Federal bond were cemented. My honorable friend Senator Walker was one of the most deluded of the number. He keeps up a fine evidence of his strong belief in the advantages that have accrued from Federation, but I think that if I challenged him he would find it rather difficult to point to what the particular advantages are. The demand now made is out of all proportion to the necessities of the case, and out of all proportion to the proposition submitted to the people of Australia. The clause ,is so framed that the boundaries of the Federal area can be zig-zagged through New South Wales territory here, there, and everywhere, and so that the best of the country can be “ peacocked.” I suppose there is a sufficient number of Australians present to know what the term “ peacocking “ means in connexion with picking out the eyes of the country. I intend to move an amendment upon Senator Dobson’s amendment. I propose to omit the words - “ as will give access from the Seat of Government when the same is determined to the port of Twofold Bay and.”
If my amendment is not agreed to, and Senator Dobson’s is carried, what will be the result? We shall be passing a clause that will enable the selection of a large area of land in some part of Southern Monaro, with a strip for a railway line to the port of Twofold Bay, and then we shall be able to grab in the immediate vicinity just as much more territory as is necessary - for what? For a port that will never be likely to be of any value without very great expenditure. I put it to the advocates of restricted expenditure in this matter : What in the world would be the use of Twofold Bay without the expenditure of a million of money on a breakwater? Those are the official figures. Another million of money would be required for a railway.
– Those are considerations for the future.
– Do what we like in the Federal territory, we shall never be able to create a manufacturing centre there. There is no coal.
– What about waterpower ?
– Water-power will take the place of coal to a certain extent. But what could we manufacture there? We might grind wheat ; but are manufacturers and merchants such imbeciles that they would carry good to such a place? Is it certain that there is sufficient water-power for private use in addition to what would be required for public purposes ?
– We had plenty of factories in Victoria before coal was discovered here.
– But not fifty miles from a port, and in a place only to be reached over a mountain range.
– There were manufacturers at Ballarat.
.- There were a few little things that would not have lived a week without a- Government subsidy. -But even in Ballarat the manufactures were in the vicinity of a large population. The Federal Capital would not have a population equal to that of Ballarat for the next fifty years. T. cannot see that we should be acting wisely in carrying Senator Dobson’s amendment in its present form. My amendment will not necessarily preclude Twofold Bay if we can get it. But to insist on Twofold Bay as a sine qua von shows a lack of appreciation of the difficulties that lie in the way. To lay it down that we require nine times the area originally proposed, that we want a port, that we want to take in the roof of Australia - as Kosciusko has been described - and then that we must have a frontage to a river, and a border adjoining another State, is to prescribe con ditions that cannot be fulfilled. Nothing could be devised by the ingenuity of man to more effectually retard the establishment of the Capital than multifarious amendments. I was almost going to describe them as nefarious amendments. It is just as well for honorable senators to know that in crying for the moon they are not going to get it.
– I will accept Senator Neild’s proposal. I ask the leave of the Senate to leave out all the words of my amendment after “ nine hundred miles.”
– I object to the request for a port being withdrawn from the amendment.
-If Senator Trenwith objects to the amendment being amended, it cannot be done.
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales).I must say that I have got a little bit “boxed,” and shall be glad to know exactly how we stand. Senator Neild’s proposed amendment appeared to meet my views, except that I might have suggested one or two minor alterations. But, as Senator Dobson has not amended his amendment, I do not understand the position.
– The position is this : Senator Walker has moved an amendment to insert the words “ one hundred square miles.” Senator Dobson proposes to add certain other words; Senator Neild desired to move the omission from the amendment of the amendment of certain words, and this proposal Senator Dobson was prepared to accept, but Senator Trenwith objected to Senator Dobson’s amendment being so amended.
– I understand that the latter words are withdrawn.
– No words have been withdrawn, that course having been objected to.
– Then I move -
That the amendment of the amendment be amended by leaving out the words “ as will give access from the Seat of Government, when the same is determined, to the port of Twofold Bay, and.”
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales). - I understand that the objection raised by Senator Trenwith to Senator Dobson’s request for leave to withdraw the words in question, arose from a desire to have affirmed the wish of the Senate to include Twofold Bay. I would point out that the Bill, as originally drafted, made no stipulation in this respect.
– I am under no obligation to support the Bill as originally drafted.
– If there had not been so much talk indulged in last night - talk for which I hold honorable senators on the other side responsible - there would have been a strong probability of this portion of the Bill being passed without any question of a seaport- being raised.
– We are older now.
– And I have been indulging in the hope that we were a little wiser. I am not at all certain, however, that we are wiser if we adopt the amendment in its present form.
– Reject all the amendments.
– I am quite willing to strike out these words. I rose for the purpose of pointing out that to insist on the retention of the words would really carry our proposal very much beyond that made by the Bill itself.
Question - That the amendment of the amendment be amended by leaving out the words, “ as will give access from the Seat of Government, when the same is determined, to the port of Twofold Bay, and “ - put. The Committee divided.
Question so resolved in the negative.
Amendment of the amendment (Senator Dobson’s) negatived.
Senator PEARCE (Western Australia).I intend to vote against Senator Dobson’s amendment, but I want it to be distinctly understood that I am not doing so because I am opposed to having a seaport within the Federal Territory. On the contrary, I am in favour of a seaport. I vote against the amendment on the ground that it is not right to tie the hands of the Government in the negotiations.
Senator DOBSON (Tasmania).- If this question is to be settled by argument, what are we to say to the argument advanced by Senator Neild? Nine-tenths of the members of the Senate are prepared to vote for Bombala because that site has a seaport in its immediate neighbourhood, and when the matter was discussed previously we all insisted on a larger area, in order that it might include the seaport. I do not see how we can give offence to New South Wales by honestly showing on the face of the Bill what we desire.
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales).I understand that the amendment before us provides for a second minimum of not. less than 900 square miles.
Question - That the amendment be amended by adding the words, “ and subject to the consent of the Government of New South Wales, such larger area, not less than, with the one hundred square miles, nine hundred square miles, as will give access from the Seat of Government, when the same is determined, to the port of Twofold Bay, and as will include the area necessary to protect the watershed which is to supply the Seat of Government with water” - put. The Committee divided.
Question so resolved in the negative. Amendment of the amendment negatived.
Question - That after the word “ than “ the words “one hundred square miles” be inserted - put. The Committee divided.
Question so resolved in the negative.
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales).I propose to move an amendment which will describe the area which honorable senators desire to obtain in terms different to those used in the clause. By the recent vote the Committee has affirmed that we should acquire a minimum of 900 square miles. The clause speaks of - an area not less than the area contained by a square whose side is thirty miles in length.
I submit to honorable senators that we are not called upon to express what we desire in any such crude way as that. I move -
That after the word “than,” the words “nine hundred square miles,” be inserted.
– I propose to move a further amendment, that the word “ thirty “ be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the word “ seventy - five.”
– Why does not the honorable senator state definitely the area he desires?
– The amendment I propose would provide for an area of 5,625 square miles.
– Why not make that the direct proposition.
– Is there that area within the Southern Monaro district?
– I am willing to withdraw my amendment, by permission of the Committee, to enable Senator Findley to move his.
– Senator Millen proposes to insert the words “ 900 square miles “ after the word “ than.” Senator Findley desires that the area secured should be larger, and he may give effect to his desire by moving his amendment upon that proposed by Senator Millen.
Senator FINDLEY (Victoria). - I accept the suggestion. I move -
That the amendment be amended by leaving out the words “ nine hundred,” with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ five thousand.”
Some honorable senators may not view this matter as seriously as I do. Since Federation was accomplished, many people have been asking what advantages the people of the various States have derived from it. I am sanguine that if the Committee will accept the amendment I propose, and to which I believe the people of New South Wales would agree, we should be able to demonstrate to the people of the various States the concrete advantages of Federation. I should like to see a big national area acquired. I want to see the Federal city made a model city, free from the mistakes and imperfections of other cities; and I desire that the Commonwealth of Australia shall demonstrate to the people of the various States, and to the people of the world, the advantages of the collective ownership of land, and the collective .ownership of industry, as against the private ownership of land and industry.
– We cannot do that without amending the Constitution.
– We can amend the Constitution should that be necessary. I believe that the Commonwealth has- power, with the concurrence of New South Wales, to acquire a very large area. When honorable senators say that if we carry out an experiment in the national area which would attract population from the various States we should not increase the wealth of the Commonwealth, I consider the argument fallacious. If within a certain period we should attract 100,000 people from the various States to the Federal Territory that must create vacancies in those States. If it does not it must be clear that the 100.000 must be people who have been out of employment in the States. When they go to the Federal Territory employment will I hope be found for them. In every State of the Commonwealth Governments are beginning to recognise that it has been -a mistake to part with Crown lands. In New Zealand they have passed the experimental stage in land nationalization. In Western Australia we find that the Premier of the State desires to acquire land which is not to be sold, but to be leased in perpetuity. Even here in Victoria the Government recognise that it has been a mistaken policy to part with the lands of the
State, and they now propose to re-purchase lands that people may be settled upon them.
– In New South Wales they have had to do the same thing.
– That is so. If we acquire a larger area for the national territory we shall be able to demonstrate to the world that it is possible to carry on the Government of the Commonwealth, and meet its expenditure out of the revenue derived from the rent of lands in the national area-
– Is that an argument for a large area ?
– Yes, it is. Some people to-day complain of the cost of Federation. They oppose the construction of the buildings that would be required at the Capital site, because of the expenditure necessarily involved in their construction ; and I am pointing out that if we acquired a large territory we should be able within a very short space of time to derive a revenue from it which would be of material advantage to the Commonwealth authorities, and also to the citizens of the various States. I feel strongly in regard to this matter. Whether it will be carried or not time wilt determine, but that it would be advantageous to the Commonwealth, and even to New South Wales, is beyond contradiction.
Senator O’KEEFE (Tasmania).- In one respect I think that the amendment moved bv Senator Millen must meet with the acceptance of the majority of honorable senators. The form of words used in the clause - an area not less than the area contained in a square whose side shall be thirty miles xa> length - is somewhat confusing. I desire to remind honorable senators that it has been laid’ down by the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, in dealing with an election dispute quite recently, that a square is not necessarily an area every side of which is equal. The general impression conveyed to the mind of every oneby the words of the Chief Justice was that, in his judgment, a piece of land twenty miles long by ten miles broad might beconsidered a square. The judgment of theChief Justice apart, it must be patent tohonorable senators that it would be much simpler in this clause to describe the area we wish to secure as “nine hundred’ square miles “ or “ five thousand square miles.” I approve of the form suggested’ by Senator Millen, and, though I do not believe it is likely to be carried, I shall’ support Senator Findley’s amendment.
Senator PULSFORD (New South Wales). - I am inclined to congratulate the Committee upon having this amendment submitted to it, because it shows the possibilities which exist in the Senate, and it is just as well that they should be faced by the people of the Commonwealth at once. We have had a straight-out and thoroughly honest proposal made, that the Commonwealth shall embark on a great scheme of land nationalization.
– And of collective ownership of industry as well.
– There has been no beating about the bush, and no one can say that the proposal has not been honestly made. All Australia can now see that there is before the Commonwealth a proposal for the destruction, more or less, of private industry. The condition of affairs in Australia to-day is such as demands the attention of every thinker, and after all we have heard about the future of Australia, we are asked, with regard to a section of New South Wales, to adopt a proposal which means the taking out of that section the greatest motive power which can exist in any community - that is individual effort. When we begin to decry individual effort, we shall stop national progress.
– There is nothing about individual effort in this.
– Senator McGregor is apparently not aware of the reasons which Senator Findley has given for moving that the area of the Federal territory shall be 5,000 square miles.
– I heard what the honorable senator said.
– Then, perhaps, I should have allowed a member of the Ministry to express his views on the amendment. ‘ I shall resume my seat, so that a member of the Government may at once have an opportunity of stating his views on the amendment.
– Senator Pulsford knows very well that the members of the Ministry have agreed to what they have inserted in this Bill, and we shall do all we possibly can to carry it.
– But the honorable senator wants more.
– Individually, I should prefer more; but that is different to what has been placed in the Bill, and has received Ministerial sanction. What I objected to in Senator Pulsford’s statements was that we were curtailing individual effort.
We are not here proposing to legislate with respect to individual or collective effort.
– Will the honorable senator kindly say how he intends to vote upon Senator Findley’s amendment ?
– I am going to vote for the Bill as introduced by the Government.
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales).Senator McGregor has spoken in ignorance of the statement which was made by Senator Findley.
– No ; I have not.
– If so, the honorable senator’s reply to Senator Pulsford is unintelligible. Senator Findley made it quite clear that what he desired was not only the collective ownership of land, but the collective ownership of industry.
– Within the Federal territory.
– That has nothing, to. do with individual effort.
– How we are to have collective ownership of industries and individual effort at the same time, I do not know.
– We are not discussing that point.
– That is just what we are discussing. Hitherto * the discussion has been one in which I have taken part as a New South Welshman, as it dealt with the location proposed for the Federal Territory ; but now, when we come to deal with the purposes to which Senator Findley desires that the Federal territory shall be devoted, the question becomes, not merely a State, but a national one. With all the emphasis of which I am capable, I draw the attention of people outside these walls to the objective which honorable senators opposite have in view. They desire that there shall be within the Federal Territory a purely communistic State. Senator Findley did not beat about the bush in any way.
– Collectivism is not communism.
– The honorable senator does not know the difference.
– The honorable senator probably knows as much about the matter as does the Vice-President of the Executive Council, and if he did not know more he would probably know very little. Senator Pearce tells us that collectivism is not communism. Collectivism I take to be the carrying on by the State of certain industries.
– As a point of order, I ask whether Senator Millen is in order in discussing collectivism, individualism, or anything else of the kind, on the amendment now before the Committee ?
- Senator Findley, I understand, has advanced as a reason why we should have a larger area certain arguments ; and I do not see that I can rule Senator Millen out qf order, in replying to them.
– I want to make it quite clear, not merely to this Committee and the people of my own State, but to the whole of Australia, what is one of the objects of those who ask for a large area. I am not finding fault with the Socialists. But, as one who is opposed to their doctrines, I want to make it clear to every elector in the Commonwealth that certain reasons are animating honorable senators in their demand for a larger area.’ One of those reasons is that it will afford an opportunity -for the creation of a Socialistic State. Senator Findley said that he wanted to have a large national area. That is a very laudable ambition. But, as a New South Wales representative, I rather object to the gratification of that ambition at the expense of my State. Federation has not destroyed the sovereignty of the States. We already have a national area in our State. We have no reason to create a second national area within our own national area. New South Wales is not a small municipality, but, like all the other States, possesses sovereign powers. Our patriotism is just as keenly allied to the interests of our State as it will ever be to our Commonwealth citizenship. The desire for a large national area is one that I can appreciate,, but I am not called upon to sacrifice mv proper regard for New South Wales and her interests in order to create a large national area for the Federation. Senator Findley also said that a large area was necessary in order to pay the cost of the creation of the Federal Capital. In other words, New South Wales is to pay the cost of the Federal Capital. Honorable senators are asking New South Wales to give up a greater area than the Constitution contemplated, in order that the Commonwealth shall be relieved of the expense attendant on the creation of the Capital.
– New South Wales will pay her share.
– We do not mind paying our share, but Senator Findley argues that this larger area will be sufficient to pay for the whole cost of the creation of the Capital. If the cost of the creation of the Capital would be defrayed out of the larger area which New South Wales is asked to give up, I say that we should be asking New South Wales to pay the whole cost of establishing the Federal Capital. In other words, we should be asking New South Wales to grant to the Commonwealth something equivalent to the cost of the Federal Capital.
– Much of the territory is of no value at present.
– Why, then, ask for it?
– The Commonwealth will put value into it.
– If the honorable senator means that it has no value as compared with Collins-street or Pitt-street, there is in that sense very little land iri Australia that has any value. The only other point I desire to allude to is one to which Senator Pulsford also referred. He wished to know what action the Government proposed to take in this matter. If the Government have arrived at the conclusion that an area of 900 square miles is requisite, we might reasonably expect them to oppose the amendment.
Senator TRENWITH (Victoria).- The amendment before the Committee claims to give the Commonwealth an advantage in the matter of revenue which a lesser area would not give. Senator Millen says that if that be so, it amounts to a claim upon New South Wales to provide this larger revenue. That does not follow. At present the area desired has for the most part been correctly described as valueless to New South Wales. That is to say, at present, instead of being an asset to New South Wales it is a liability. Settlement is extremely sparse, and the expenses entered into by New South Wales, with the idea of a prospective development, have been such that the expenditure must be greater than the revenue derived. In New South Wales there is no complete system of local government such as we have here. Many of the loads and other appurtenances of civilization in the district selected are provided by the taxpayers of the whole State. It is obvious that the revenue from ‘the area must be very small indeed. When it becomes Federal territory, it will not be New South Wales that will put the added value into the land, but the whole Commonwealth. The land will be worth no more intrinsically than it is worth now. But it will be more valuable on account of other factors. It will be more valuable because more people will desire to live upon it. The establishment of the Seat of Government there will necessarily lead to a considerable increase of population. The increase of population will necessarily lead to an. increase in the revenue of the land, and in its rental value to somebody. In consequence of that increase of value, the surrounding land will also be improved. An increment will be created, whether that surrounding territory be granted to the Commonwealth or not. If that increment is created, and does not belong to the Commonwealth, a very large accession of wealth will be provided for a few private individuals. If, however, on the other hand, the larger area is granted to the Commonwealth, the increment will be the same; but, instead of going into the pockets of a few private individuals, it will go into the coffers of the Commonwealth, and will be distributed over the whole area of the Commonwealth. It is hard’ to conceive how New South Wales will thereby be injured. Another argument against thelarger territory is that it is desired, in order to try an experiment in land nationalization. Whether we agree with land nationalization or not, there is a growing feeling throughout the world that the nationalization of the land would be wise.
– The honorable senator will see the difference between affirming the principle of land nationalization within the Federal area and taking an undue area merely for the purpose of land nationalization.
– I am going to show that there is some justification for taking a larger area by way of experiment. First of all, bear in mind my first proposition, that this land at present has no revenue value. Therefore whatever revenue value is created will be created by the Commonwealth. It is wise to make an experiment in an idea that is very largely held all over the civilized world. It does not follow necessarily, because that idea is largely held, that it would be wise for any particular country to adopt it,, unless there was a majority in” favour of it. But it seems to me to be wise, even for a country in which there is not a majority in its favour, to make a comparatively small experiment in land nationalization, which is a principle that is rapidly gaining ground. Looking at it merely as an experiment, it is as well that it should be made. “
– We could not go back.
– If we could not go back that would be an evidence that the experiment was a success, because, where self-government prevails, it is possible to go in any direction where experience proves that it is expedient to go. If a country goes in one direction, and does not go back, it is because public opinion is iri favour of the direction in which it has gone. There is nothing more conclusive than that proposition concerning a country where all people have in equal proportions a voice in the government. The people can go in whichever direction they desire, but once they have assured themselves as to the result, if they do not go back it is because they do not want to go back.
– The people are endeavouring to go back from land nationalization in New Zealand.
– That is where the honorable and learned senator makes a mistake. The people of New Zealand are not endeavouring to go back, but some people are endeavouring to go back. Those are the people who never wanted to go forward.
– They are largely the people who have the land.
– That is true in some measure. That is to say, the people of New Zealand who had no land felt that it was desirable that land should be made easily available for all people who wished to use it. Those who got land on reasonably easy terms, in order that they might use it, have in some cases developed the old land hunger. They desire to obtain the right to hold their land in fee simple, and to make somebody else use it for their advantage. That is exactly the cause of the effort amongst some perpetual lessees in New Zealand to become freeholders. It is not that the land will produce any more for them, not that they will use it more beneficially, but that somebody else may use it in their interests. Those who believe in land nationalization are anxious that no individual- shall have the power to use his fellow individuals for his special advantage through the medium of the land. It seems to me to be wise, in the interests of the Commonwealth, that this experiment should be made within an area in which the whole Commonwealth will participate, in some measure, in the risk, if there is a risk. At the same time, the
Commonwealth will participate in the advantage, if there is an advantage. I think that is a good argument for securing as large an area as will enable us to . initiate an experiment in the principle of land nationalization. The great advantage would be. that the system could be initiated without disturbing any existing arrangements. Supposing we were to arrive at the conclusion in Victoria that land nationalization was desirable - supposing that a two-thirds majority of the people were of that opinion - that would, according to democratic principles, warrant the whole country in adopting that policy. But one-third of the people would disapprove, and, in any case, there would be a disruption and disturbance of existing conditions, which in some instances would be sure to work hardships. Therefore it is very much better, when it is proposed to make a new start - and I think there is wisdom in making an experiment with an idea which has obtained such widespread approval - to make that start where there are no vested interests or rights to be violated. And if there is any place on God’s earth where such an experiment could be tried without injury or hardship to anybody it is in a newState or area, where, so far as the land is concerned, there is a clean sheet. It would be possible for the people to make on that clean sheet any characters they chose, and those characters might be varied and altered at any time as experience suggested. Above all, contrary to what some honorable senators have said, the experiment could be discontinued if it were not found advantageous. In the Federal territory, whatever is done is done at the instance of people residing, not within that particular territory, but throughout the whole of Australia, so that, although the experiment would be carried on in a limited area, the influence on that area would be Australia-wide. Therefore, if the people looking on from the northernmost point of Queensland, or from the uttermost point of Western Australia, found that the experiment was working prejudicially, they could exercise their influence against its continuance at the first election. When honorable senators say that in this experiment we cannot go back, they must suffer from lack of consideration of this particular aspect of the subject, because it is clear that we can go back as easily as we’ can go forward, or we can go back halfway at any time. I do not propose just now to discuss the further possibilities suggested by the honorable senator who has submitted the amendment with reference to the nationalization of all sources of production ; I do’ not think there is any direct parallel between the two issues. An enormous number of persons believe that the land of the world is God’s bequest to all, and not to some. An enormous number of people are of that opinion, who, however, do not go the length of holding that the result of individual effort should be nationalized. On the present occasion !l shall be on safer ground if I do not go any, further than assert that land is property, like no other property. It is impossible for a Government anywhere to spend six- pence or direct the people’s energies in improving any land without improving the value of land all over the country. Therefore the man who spends his energy andi whose brow sweats at one place, is improving the value of land of a man who is asleep in another place. Very often it happens in connexion with land values that the man who sweats has none of the increment that is created in the land round about, while the man who sleeps reaps the benefit. Therefore I strongly indorse and support the amendment that has been submited. I do not know whether that amendment will be carried, and it is possible that it may lead to delay, but I say to the representatives of New South Wales, who appear to be more directly interested in the settlement of this question, that it would be well for their State in its own interest - I am now dealing with the matter from the lowest point of view of the breeches-pocket - that a large area should be ceded to the Commonwealth. If the Commonwealth Government and Parliament devoted all the energy and money it could obtain to the profitable development of the area ceded, the mere existence of that large area would immediately give an immensely enhanced value to all the contiguous country. New South Wales would thus get within its borders an object-lesson for itself and all the other States, and also enjoy an accession of value which would immensely improve the condition of all its citizens. And such an area, while improving the condition of the New South Wales citizens, would increase the inducements for people from abroad to come into the neighbourhood. We should in this way attain what many claim is desirable, namely, an accession of population to New South Wales, which would, of course, be an accession to the population of all Australia. If we can by any means increase the attractiveness, prosperity, and. comfort of this country, we shall induce people from the congested and less comfortable parts of the world to seek within our borders the better conditions which are there offered.
Senator WALKER (New South Wales). - While I give Senator Findley every credit for honesty of purpose, I would remind him that the road to a certain place is paved with good intentions.
– Who ought to know that better than Senator Walker?
– I bow to the honorable senators superior knowledge. It is proposed that there shall be a minimum of 64,000 acres ; and I wonder if honorable senators have realised that 5,000 square miles mean 3,200.000 acres, or 3,136,000 acres above the minimum mentioned in the Constitution ? If we take the minimum now proposed it will include Dalgety, Bombala, Delegate, and Mount Kosciusko, and also mean the possession by the Commonwealth of all the electric power capable of being generated by the Snowy River. Yet it is expected that New South Wales will hand over this valuable estate without any quid pro quo.
– New South Wales at the present times does not use that estate to any profitable purpose.
– I shall not argue the question of land nationalization, because I do not think it arises on the present occasion. As a representative of New South Wales, I think I am perfectly justified in taking every reasonable precaution to see that the interests of that State are not overlooked. I shall find it my duty to support Senator Millen’s amendment, not with a view to insist on an alteration of the limit of 900 square miles - honorable senators have, apparently, made up their minds on that point - - but merely to insist on making the Bill more intelligible than it is at present.
Senator MULCAHY (Tasmania).- We have listened to some very interesting arguments, with which to a very large extent I agree. But I should like to point out that, according to the spirit and the letter of the Constitution, we should be dealing simply with an area sufficient to enable us to provide for a Federal Capital, with all its necessary adjuncts. A distinct line is to be drawn between a grant to the Commonwealth Government for this purpose and the creation of a new State. ‘ We have an undoubted right to an area for the Federal Capital, but if we desire to create a new State, that can only be done with the concurrence of New South Wales.
– And under a different section of the Constitution.
– That is so. I agree with a good many of the arguments advanced by Senator Trenwith, but I would point out that we can try the experiment of land nationalization just as effectively within an area of 100 square miles as within any larger area. The great increment in values occurs in the midst of closer settlement, and not in the outlying districts. Wherever we establish our Capital, we shall be able to try this most interesting experiment. I believe that would be to the benefit of the Commonwealth, and if so, it would be an object-lesson not only for the States of Australia, but foi other parts of the world. At the present time, although we do not frankly and openly say so, we are trying to bring about the creation of a new State.
– Hear, hear !
– The candid admission bv Senator Trenwith is worth noting. Senator MULCAHY.- If Senator Trenwith studies the Constitution he will see that there is no provision under this section for the creation of a new State.
– Under the Constitution we have some rights prescribed, and we have powers not directly prescribed, but which we can carry out if there is no objection.
– But the Committee is proceeding as if we had full rights under the Constitution.
– It would have been much better if the suggestion of Senator Symon had been adopted, and the Commonwealth Parliament had proceeded by way of resolution. What is the use of passing measures if we have no power to enforce them? It has been admitted by Senator McGregor that 900 square miles is only a suggestion which may, or may not, be accepted by the Government of New South Wales. If that be so, it seems to me most unwise to pass clause 4, because this is a matter entirely for negotiation between the Commonwealth and the mother State. We are entitled to take 100 square miles, and such reasonable excess as may be necessary ; and if we cannot obtain an area which provides for a watershed and water conservation, with sufficient land for- parks and other purposes, within an area of ten miles square, it seems to me that the New South Wales Government will be morally bound to give a larger grant. We have no right to claim any much larger area, whatever our views may be on land nationalization ; and that is why I do not like this particular proposal. I hope we shall proceed to a division, and that when the question arises in concrete form, we shall nationalize the land. I support that view, because I largely believe in land nationalization, and also because I believe it will be one of the most interesting object-lessons to the Australian States, and possibly to the world.
Senator Lt.-Col. GOULD (New South Wales). - I do hot propose to detain honorable senators at great length by replying to the arguments in fa favour of land nationalization, or to the arguments in favour of the nationalization of industries generally. Both questions are foreign to the Bill now before us. The object of the measure is to provide for ‘the Seat of Government for the Commonwealth. By the advocates of land nationalization there is much to be said which must carry weight with men who have considered the matter ; but I cannot agree with those who contend for the nationalization of the general industries of the country. T feel perfectly sure that a country will go ahead much more rapidly by giving full scope to individualism, so that men, by their own energy and ability may better their position, rather than that all should be reduced to a dead level by the removal of any incentives to effort.
– The British Empire has been built up on individualism.
– And in every other country individualism has been the great cause of progress.
– British glory has been obtained bv nationalization - by the British Navy and the British Army.
.- The British Empire has never been kept down by the destruction of individual effort. Thank God, every individual in Great Britain is free to exercise his talents in the way he finds most conducive to his own interests.
– I am not going into any controversy on the question, but merely desire to state my own views and opinions. I do not desire that there should be a long debate, because I am sure honorable senators are anxious that we -should arrive at some conclusion. The side issues which have been raised might be debated for days, but I hope we shall confine ourselves closely to the matter before the Committee, and bring the debate to a close as speedily as possible.
– I am glad to hear that Senator Gould is going to assist in bringing this matter to decision as speedily as possible.
– We have been trying to do that all day.
– I have failed to see any evidence of it. I desired that we should dispose of this Bill last night, and that could have been done.
– If we had not fought in the interest of our own State, and of the Commonwealth.
– I wish to offer a few remarks with reference, not to Socialism, individualism, or anything of the kind, though I could say a great deal upon those subjects, but as to the necessity for a considerable area being set apart for Commonwealth purposes. If we consider the case of Victoria, the smallest State on the continent, with only one-fifth of the area of New South Wales-, we shall find that there are nearly 2,500 square miles of land set apart in the shape of endowments for educational purposes. In that State there are also nearly 700 square miles set apart for educational purposes connected with agriculture and kindred industries, making over 3,000 square miles, and there is another area on Wilson’s Promontory of about 160 square miles, which the authorities of Victoria are about to set aside for national purposes. Yet the whole of the Commonwealth of Australia, owing to the obstructiveness of the representatives of New South
– That will’ help us to a conclusion.
– I rise to a point of order. Is the Vice-President of the Executive Council justified in speaking of the obstruction of honorable senators representing New South Wales?
– I do not think that the honorable senator is strictly in order in attributing obstruction to any honorable senator.
– I hope that Senator Pulsford will not take it that I mean obstruction in the sense of blocking the business of the Committee. What I mean to convey is that New South Wales, judging bv the action of her representatives in the Senate, is not prepared, in a fairly liberal manner, to provide an area for the Seat of
Government for the Commonwealth. I am pointing out, in contrast, the liberality shown in the State of Victoria in the endowment of her industries. I have shown that over 3,000 square miles have been set apart in Victoria for educational purposes. I hope that honorable senators realize that it is probable that in future the Seat of the Commonwealth Government will become one of the greatest seats of learning in Australia. We may expect to have established there universities and similar institutions, and they must be kept up in some way. Are they to be maintained by endowments of land, or by revenue derived by the rent of land ? If we are to be confined to a paltry area of 100 square miles, 300 square miles, or even 500 square miles, how can there be any possibility of anything of that kind being done ? I ask honorable senators to consider the matter from that point of view. I hope they will do something to settle the question. I had intended, with the consent of honorable senators, to agree to an adjournment over a reasonable length of time; but the action taken in connexion with this Bill has made it absolutely necessary that we should come back next week.
– Will not the Government Supply Bill render that necessary ?
– Then if we have to come back for the purposes of the Government, why should the honorable senator say that it is due to our action in connexion with this Bill ?
– We shall have to come back next Wednesday for the purpose of carrying the third reading of this Bill. We shall also have to come back to pass Supply, and I desire that this Bill shall be passed through Committee to-day, in order that Ave may take the third reading when at our next sitting. If I can get the support of a sufficient number of honorable senators, I shall be prepared to sit this evening, if necessary, because I have, made up my mind that this Bill must go through Committee to-day. I hope honorable senators will assist in that. I know that honorable senators from New South Wales desire that the Bill shall be carried. I am aware that their resistance to certain proposals, which have been made, has. been honest, but I hope that within a reasonable time they will realize that the majority of honorable senators are against them, and will be prepared to pay some respect to the wish of the majority.
– I sympathize with what the VicePresident of the Executive Council has said as to the necessity of getting on with business. I like to have my convenience studied when possible, and I desire, as far as in me lies, to study the convenience of my fellow members of the Senate. But I am not prepared to give a silent vote on a matter which I regard as being so totally outside the Federal Constitution that it cannot be my duty to vote for it. If a proposal had been made that the area should be 5,000 square miles, and we had stopped at that, there would not have been so much objection, but the proposal is submitted for a distinct purpose. I honour Senator Findley for his absolute straightforwardness in submitting his amendment. I appreciate it, but I do not agree with him. Any proposition that the Commonwealth should traffic in real estate or leaseholds, or should try a Bellamyite or Bedlamite experiment in land nationalization is foreign to the objects of this Bill, which is to provide for the Seat of Government of the Commonwealth. The proposal is foreign to the Constitution, which does not confer upon the Commonwealth the function of doing anything of the kind. It would be just as legitimate to propose that we should acquire Federal territory in order to start national cabbage growing.
– As a matter of fact, they grow cabbages nationally now in New South Wales.
– I say that it is not a function of the Commonwealth as a Commonwealth. We might just as well take up any other industry or enterprise. I am sure this would be considered foreign to the Constitution bv the High Court.
– I should like the amendment to be submitted in some other form. The motion now before the Committee is that the words “ nine hundred “ be left out, with a view to insert the, words “ five thousand,” and if after we had agreed to leave out the words “nine hundred, “ we did not insert the words “ five thousand,” we could not put the words “ nine hundred “ in again. It appears to me that if neither the proposal that the area should be 900 square miles, or that it should be 5,000 square miles are agreed to, we shall have got back to the terms of the Bill, and, of course, I am prepared to agree to that.
– If it is the wish of the Committee, I shall submit the largerarea first.
Honorable Senators. - Hear, hear.
Question - That the words “ five thousand “ be inserted after the word “than” - -put. The Committee divided.
Question so resolved in the negative. Amendment of the amendment negatived. Amendment agreed to. Amendment (bv Senator Millen) agreed to-
That the words “ the area contained by a square whose side is thirty miles in length” be deft out.
– I propose to add to the clause as amended the words - “The land so granted and acquired shall not be held or alienated by any estate other than a leasehold estate.”
– Is that within the scope of .the Bill ?
– I think that when we have decided to acquire a certain territory we should say what we think should be done with it.
– We have not acquired it yet.
– This is a Bill to determine the Seat of Government.
– In deference to the wishes of honorable senators, I shall not press the amendment at this stage.
Question - That the clause, as amended, be agreed to - put. The Committee divided.
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Clause 4 -
The amount of the compensation to be paid by the Commonwealth for any land to be acquired by the Commonwealth within the Seat of Government or the surrounding territory shall not exceed the value of the land on the first day of January One thousand nine hundred and three, but, in other respects the provisions of the Property for Public Purposes Acquisition Act 1901 shall apply to the acquisition of such land.
Senator MILLEN (New South Wales).I wish to call attention to the necessity for an amendment of this clause. The clause fixes the date on which the value of the land resumed is to be ascertained. The date given is the 1st January of last year. I admit at once that it is extremely right and proper that we should safeguard the Commonwealth from having to pay for the value created by the mere announcement that we intend to resume certain territory. But I wish to put before the Committee the alternative danger, if the clause remains as it stands. Although we fix the 1st January of last year as the date from which the values are to be ascertained, it may be ten or twenty years before we resume the properties. There are other factors at work which tend to add to the value of land. By means of this Bill we may lock up a considerable area of country. In ten or twenty years time we may proceed to resume the property within that area, and under this Bill we should immediately claim that property at its value on the 1st January, 1.903. That would not be quite fair. The clause goes further than we desire to go. All that we desire to do, is to prevent the land-owners from getting any additional value by reason of the fact that we select the territory within which their land is situated. By leaving the Billas it stands we may do a great injustice to persons whose land may increase in value from quite other causes than the proposed acquisition of territory by the Commonwealth. Assume that a railway from Cooma to Bombala is constructed. Will not that add to the value of the land ? ‘
– Not the Commonwealth.
– The people should.
– The people of the Commonwealth would not construct that railway, but that section of the people who live in New’ South Wales. Suppose that somebody, as the result of special knowledge of what is being done in New Zealand or elsewhere, commences a new enterprise in this district. Suppose that he puts land in the selected area to uses to which nobody thought of putting it previously, and in consequence of so doing doubles the value of his land. That would be the result of his private enterprise, special knowledge and skill. Does the Federation want to take that added value which it has not created ? Just as we do not want the individual to take from the Commonwealth the value which the Commonwealth creates, so the Commonwealth does not want to take a value which it has not created. I see a difficulty in altering the clause so as to express adequately what I desire. We do not know the actual date of resumption. If we intended to resume immediately, a simple amendment, altering the word “ three “ to “ four,” would be sufficient. It will be remembered that on the 13th October last year a similar Bill came up to this Chamber. That Bill proposed that the date from which the land values were to be assessed should be the 1st January, 1903. But this Bill, which was introduced many months later, still retains that date. Is that fair? If it were a reasonable thing last October to fix the previous January, it cannot be a reasonable thing now to fix the same date. What I should like would be to fix a certain number of months or years prior to the actual date of resumption. But I can see that that would be very inconvenient. I intend to content myself with moving the alteration of the word “three” to “four,” in the full belief that if there is a serious delay in resumption a future Parliament will see the iniquity of resuming, we will say ten years hence, at a value obtaining to-day.
– Would it not be better to avail ourselves of the terms of the Property Acquisition Act, which says that the date at which the value shall be assessed shall be the first day of January last preceding the date of acquisition ?
– Without more time at our disposal than we now have, it seems to ‘me to be better to limit ourselves to the simple amendment which I have suggested ;. and if it is necessary, at a later date, to devise other machinery it can be done.
– Does not the honorable senator think that there has: been a prospective increase in the value of the land in consequence of the possibility of its being chosen for the Federal area?
– No; and if the honorable senator likes to come to my office I will prove to him that it is not so, from figures concerning properties actually in the market. But whether that be so or not, nobody wants to deprive private individuals of the fair value of their land, nor do we wish private individuals to take the value created by the act of resumption. I move -
That the word “ three,” line 6, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the word “ four.”
– If we had more time at our disposal ‘it would be worth while discussing whether clause 4 should be retained at all. I draw attention to the provisions of the Property for Public Purposes Acquisition Act. When the measure was under discussion by the Senate, I tried to effect certain alterations in it. I instanced the injustice that might be done when we came to take a large area for Federal Capital purposes. Mr. Justice O’Connor - then Vice-President of the Executive Council - said that when we took land* for the Federal Capital, there would have to be a separate Bill to deal with the acquisition. I believe that such is the case. I draw Senator Millen’s attention to one or two sections of the Property Acquisition Act. He will recollect that the moment a notification that we require certain property is published in the Gazette, the property becomes vested in the Commonwealth, and from that date the owner is entitled to 3 per cent, on the value of his property. It was at my. instance that 3 percent, was fixed, instead of z. The owner knows that hisland, from the moment the Gazette notice appears, is vested in the Commonwealth. When we are about to resume, we shall have to pass a special Bill, with a map attached’ to it, and the whole territory will have to be thoroughly surveyed. I think that Mr. Justice O’Connor’s idea was to give one notice in the Gazette concerning the whole of the area, whether it be 100 or goo square
miles. On the publication of the Gazette notice, the whole of that property would vest in the Commonwealth. The machineryprovided in the Property Acquisition Act is not sufficient, nor is it applicable, for taking the enormous area that we shall require for the Seat of Government ; but the principle laid down in that Act is that when land is acquired by the Commonwealth its value must be decided without reference to any alteration in such value arising from the proposal to carry out the public work. I do not know that we can have any better guide than that principle.
– - It is better to insert in the Bill the actual date, or the matter will be left open for endless disputes.
– I do not think we have time to discuss the subject properly, but certainly I should prefer to see clause 4 omitted.
– I trust that the Government will insist on retaining the clause as it stands. Instances were brought under the notice of several honorable senators showing that in the Tumut district the very fact that a site there was likely to be selected, had resulted in a large in- crease in the value of property. What harm can be done by leaving the clause? The Senate last year decided that Bombala should be the Federal territory. Is it not reasonable to assume that there has been an increase in the value of the land in the Bombala district in consequence of *U»t decision ?
– The land-tax returns do not show it.
– It is only a reasonable assumption. Some harm might be done by altering the date to 1904, but no harm can be done bv leaving it at 1903.
– I support the amendment. Wherever any reason is shown for a possibility of unfairness being created, we should always, if we can, remove the suspicion of anything of the kind unless, of course, some grave injury is likely tr. result. There are times when a plausible case may be presented for a suspicion of unfairness, but where’ it might not be wise to do what is asked. But this Bill arises in some degree out of the preceding Bill. That Bill embodied a principle which I consider to be fair. It provided that advantage should not be taken of the circumstance of its passing to increase the value of properties within the area selected. A doubt has since prevailed as to where the Federal area is to be. What we wish to guard
against ‘ is the increment created by the establishment of the Federal Capital going into private pockets. But we need to be careful that we do not take anything out of the pockets of private individuals. As I understand that the Vice-President of the Executive Council agrees to the amendment, we need not discuss it any further.
– I ‘ always like to show that the Government are as reasonable as possible with those opposed to them, in regard to measures introduced in the Senate ; and I raise no objection to the proposal by Senator Millen. We must recognise that when the time comes for the acquisition of territory, the value of that territory will, to a very large extent, be based on the assessment for taxation and other purposes. I am certain no one here imagines that the Government of New South Wales have raised the assessment of any part of this territory, or that they have been asked to do so.
– That has not been done, I can assure the honorable senator.
- Senator Gould agrees that there- is nothing unreasonable in the proposal now made, and, therefore, the Government are losing nothing in accepting it.
-What I think we desire is topay the full and just value for land as agricultural or pastoral property, or whatever it may be, irrespective of the enhanced valuegiven by reason of its- selection as a site for the Federal Capital. By interjection we have elicited from Senator Millen that therehas been no prospective increase in the valueof land at Bombala in the last twelve months.
– I did not say there would be no increase of value between now and the time when the land is resumed.
– If there has been no increase in value, where is the reason for altering the date from the January before last to last January.
– If the honorable senator will guarantee to resume the land at once I shall withdraw my amendment.
– I do not see why there should be any prospective increase in value, unless by reason of our deciding that the site of the Federal Capital shall be there.
– But that may be six years, and not six months, hence.
– When I was in Tumut, the residents who drove me around said -that in the week in which the House of Representatives decided on Tumut, the land there increased in value by 30s. an acre:
– They must have taken the .honorable senator to be very green. Does the honorable senator believe all he was told ?
– I must believe what I was then told, because I judged my informants by the veracity of their representatives in this Chamber. If we decided, for instance, that Bombala should be the Capital site, do honorable senators mean to say that the value of allotments around the port would not immediately increase ?
– That does not affect the question.
– I say that the value of land in the locality has already increased.
– In any case, the Property for Public Purposes Acquisition Act comes in.
– No doubt this land has gone up in value, because of the prospects of Bombala being selected as the site. Though I do not think the matter is of much importance, we should, in my opinion, have to pay a higher price if we changed the date, that higher price being wholly and solely on account of the selection of the Capital site.’
Amendment agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Resolved - That clause 2 be reconsidered.
Clause 2 (as amended) -
It is hereby determined that the Scat of Government of the Commonwealth shall be within the territory bounded on the north by a line running parallel with, and twelve miles south of, the thirty-sixth parallel of south latitude, and within twenty-five miles of in the
State of New’ South Wales.
Senator PEARCE (Western Australia).I move -
That after the word “within,” line a, the following words be inserted - “ the whole of that portion of New South Wales bounded on the north by a direct line running from the town of Pambula to the town of Cooma, thence due west to the border of the State of Victoria.”
– Shall we not have to strike out the- original amendment?
– If the present amendment be carried, the former amendment can then be struck out. This amend ment is proposed to omit Bega and district, so as to meet the objection raised by Senator Millen and others.
Amendment agreed to.
Amendment (by Senator McGregor) agreed to -
That the following words be left out - “ the territory bounded on the north by a line running parallel with, and twelve miles south of, the thirty-sixth parallel of south latitude.”
– What is the meaning of the words “ within the whole? “
– It means within the whole of that area.
– Then we ought to say “ within the area.”
– I cannot take Senator Dobson’s objection at this stage.
Senator TRENWITH (Victoria). - I desire to call attention to a difficulty which I saw last evening. If we make the radius twenty-five miles from Dalgety, we shall now really fix upon Dalgety ; and I do not think we want to do that. All we want to do is to sufficiently define an area to create a basis for negotiation.
– I have no motion before me.
– I beg to move-
That the word “ twenty-five “ be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof “ fifty.”
In my opinion a radius of forty-five miles would be sufficient.
– I would suggest that all the words be struck out, and the matter be left in the hands of the Government.
– The Government seem to desire greater definiteness.
– I do not think that the amendment makes the matter any more definite.
– I do not think it does, myself.
– My desire is to avoid the necessity of altering the title of the Bill, and also to prevent people in the future, if we leave the area indefinite, from proposing that the Capital shall be at Eden or on top of Mount Kosciusko. To prevent absurd proposals of that description, the area should be so limited as to give a reasonable possibility of a successful Capital city being established.
– This area is 100 miles in diameter.
– That is a very little square, and it might allow one to go fifty or sixty miles in one direction ind not twenty miles in another direction. The pur- pose of the Bill is to define the locality within which shall be the Seat of the Commonwealth Government. I do not care whether Senator Trenwith leaves a radius of twentyfive miles” or increases the radius to forty or fifty miles. I “believe that a radius of forty miles would really accomplish all he desires, but it will not matter if the radius be made fifty miles. The possibility is that we could fix the Seat of Government at Dalgety, Bombala, Delegate, or any intervening place.
Senator TRENWITH (Victoria).- The Government may be satisfied that- there is sufficient definiteness in the clause as it has been amended; but I feel sure it would be a calamity to fix the radius at the limit provided in the Bill. That would entail on us the selecting of a definite site, and’ that we are not in a position -to undertake at this stage. Some persons may see a danger in a radius of fifty miles,” but I have been informed by Senator Millen, who knows the district, that no one will suffer any injury.
– I am sure that the Senate will not be asked to do anything that is ridiculous. What we have defined is a certain area bounded on the north by a geographical line, on the south by the Victorian border, and on the east by the ocean; and now it is proposed that there shall be another boundary, which will practically include the whole of the area already defined.
– We are supposed to be defining a narrower and a smaller area, and thus relieving the Government from a responsibility they are unwilling to accept.
– Not a smaller area of territory.
– The Government are desirous of placing on the Senate the task of as nearly as possible fixing a site. We are now trying to fix a smaller locality, by prescribing an area of 100 miles diameter, which will cover the area previously defined within which the site shall be selected. We ought either to .fix a radius of twenty-five miles from Dalgety, or leave it to the Government to do their best; and even twenty-five miles would give us a considerable amount of territory.
– It would not enable us to go where we want to so.
– That may or may not be so. The effect of the proposition, if carried, would be to deprive us of any
future opportunity of getting the very best site. Sufficient restriction has already been imposed.
Senator STANIFORTH SMITH (Western Australia). - Up to the present we have decided that the Federal Territory shall be within a certain area of New South Wales, and that the Federal Capital city shall be within an area delimited by Senator Pearce’s amendment. We ought to go no further; and I hope we shall refuse to carry the proposal before us. We have fixed an a’rea of 5,020 square miles, and in that we have gone quite far enough. We should get the consent of another place to that proposition, and we should have contour surveys made before we decide the actual site of the Capital. Twofold Bay is from eighty to ninety miles from Dalgety ; and if this amendment were carried it would be impossible for us to secure a site for the Capital within thirty or forty miles of Twofold Bay. . Many honorable senators believe that it would be better to have a site which i would include Twofold Bay as a part of the Federal territory ; but that would be impossible if Senator Trenwith’ s amendment is carried.
– Does the honorable senator wish to acquire Twofold Bay also?
– It might be advisable.
– I have no hesitation in -saying it would not be advisable.
– The honorable senator is entitled to his opinion ; but I am not at present prepared to say that the site of the Capital should,- or should not, be within thirty miles of Twofold Bay.
– We have cut out the district in which it would have been possible to have selected a site within thirty or forty miles of Twofold Bay, which would have had any chance of success, that is the Bega district.
– The reason given by the Vice-President of the Executive Council for what he suggests is that we should keep within the title of the Bill. Surely it is better that we should alter the title of the Bill, and make it a Bill to decide the Federal Territory; and when that is decided we can subsequently consider where the Capital site shall be in that territory.
– Does the honorable senator think that it is possible to have the site within, a short distance of Twofold Bay ?
– I do. If we are to have an area of 900 square miles the advisability of having Twofold Bay as a Federal port might be held to overrule the advantages of other sites, and make it advisable to select a site within thirty or forty miles of the Federal port.
– What we have done up to the present time precludes us from doing anything of the sort.
– It does not preclude us from having the Federal Capital to the east, north-east, or south of Twofold Bay. What is now proposed will not advance the matter in the slightest degree, and I hope the Committee will not stultify itself by carrying such an amendment.
- Senator Smith, and honorable senators who agree with him, should before now have moved that the words “ and within “ should be left out. Unless that were done the clause would conclude with the words “and within,” and would be without sense. I hope that honorable senators, in order to save time, to keep within the title of the Bill, and to give a direction which will be of some use ro those who will have the selection of the Capital site, will agree to the distance mentioned in the clause, or else accept Senator Trenwith’s amendment.
Question - That the words “twenty -five” be left out - resolved in the affirmative.
Question- That the word “fifty “ be inserted - put. The Committee divided.
Question so resolved in the affirmative; Amendment agreed to.
That the blank be filled by the” insertion of the word “ Dalgety.”
– I am against this amendment. I recognise that a number of honorable senators have voted for the selection of the Southern Monaro district with the idea that, by so doing, we might be able to include within the Federal area a port df our own.
– We shall be able to do so under this amendment.
– I do not think so. The proposal is that, the Capital site shall be within fifty miles of Dalgety, and, according to the report submitted by Sir John Forrest, Dalgety is 100 miles from Twofold Bay. We might as well select Dalgety at once as the site of the future Federal Capital. If honorable senators believe that a port should be included within the Federal territory, in view of the fifty-mile limit to which we have agreed, the blank should be filled up by the word “Bombala.” Dalgety is forty-five miles north of Bombala, and what I suggest would not prevent the Capital site being ultimately located there, if on further consideration, and in view of the information which I suppose the Government would secure before definite action were taken, that seemed desirable. If the site indicated by the Bill should be Dalgety, a fairly large area around that site would be required for the Capital, and to include the port it would be necessary to have a long narrow strip of territory running to the sea- coast.
– What is the honorable senator’s definition of a port?
– I believe that the Federal Government would require for their own use a considerable area surrounding the port, in order to establish dockyards, arsenals, and so on.
– Does the .honorable senator call Twofold Bay a port ?
– On the evidence with which we have been supplied by experts, there is no doubt that it could be made a port. Has the Minister of Defence in mind any other place within the area suggested which would provide a suitable port for Federal purposes?
– I do not think that a port is necessary.
– I remind the honorable senator that the majority of the mem- tiers of’ the Senate have voted for this Southern Monaro district because they have realized the necessity of having a Federal port. I can of course understand the action of the Vice-President of the Executive Council in proposing to fill the blank with the word “ Dalgety,” if the Government -believe that dock-yards and works connected with naval armament should be provided in other ports of the Commonwealth - Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, or Brisbane. It is clear, however, that it is the intention of the majority of honorable senators that the Federal territory shall include navigable waters, and that this contention cannot be given affect to if the present amendment is carried. I am prepared to move that the blank be filled by the insertion of the word “Bombala.”
– I think it would be better that the honorable senator should refrain from moving that amendment until the Committee has decided whether the blank shall be filled by the word « Dalgety.”
– That is to say that honorable senators who want Bombala will vote against Dalgety ?
Senator DOBSON (Tasmania). - After the years of discussion which we have had on the question of the Federal Capital, it would be a very great shame if we were now to proceed with this business in a hurried fashion. There are two bungles on the face of the Bill as it is’. I am not prepared, as I have said over and over, again, to vote at this stage for selecting a particular site. It is a mistake to bind us down to a particular locality. The Vice-President of the Executive Council has pointed out that if Dalgety is selected we may have the Capital at Bombala, or nearer to the Victorian border, and at the same time our territory might include the port of Twofold Bay. Some of us are in doubt on that point, and there should not be a doubt about anything on which we are called to vote. I have already reminded honorable senators of the point raised by the President that it is desirable that the territory should be on the border between the two States. That question has not been discussed. We have not time to discuss it properly now, and I think that the Vice-President of the Executive Council should withdraw this proposal. What is the use of fixing_ a large area in a locality of which a majority of us approve, and then undoing the work by saying that the territory must be within fifty miles of a particular spot? By so doing, we may find ourselves just one mile beyond the particular place where we want to go.
– I think we must all recognise that our duty is to come to a settlement of this question.
– It will cost more money to print the speeches in Hansard than to build the Federal’ Capital.
– All I can say is that the few short speeches I deliver will not cost the Commonwealth much. I have it on very good authority that another place is more likely to accept’ Dalgety than Bombala. I believe there is a majority in the Senate for Dalgety, and, as we wish to have a settlement, and can still have Bombala ultimately, the proposal of the VicePresident of the Executive Council ought to be accepted. I think there is a very strong reason for adopting the proposal of the Government.
Senator TRENWITH (Victoria).- We are not_ dealing now with the site, but with a position within fifty miles of where the site must be. The difficulty that some honorable members see is that a place within fifty miles of Dalgety may not include Twofold Bay. If there is any ground for that fear, it is serious. Therefore, it might be wise to fix some limitation that would avoid that danger, but at the same time include all the possible sites. I would suggest that to attain that object we should vote against Dalgety. Then there will be a blank to be filled up, and it will be competent to any honorable senator to move the insertion of some other point that seems less dangerous than Dalgety.
Senator STANIFORTH SMITH (West Australia). - I hope that the Committee will vote against fixing Dalgety as the point from which the fifty-mile radius shall be measured. The object of fixing the site within a certain area seems to be the quixotic one of making the Bill conform to the title, instead of making the title conform to the Bill in a business-like fashion. Let us take some central point rather than Dalgety, so that all the best sites within the area mentioned in Senator Pearce’s proposal may be included. We shall do no injury if we take Bombala as the centre of the radius. I find that it is forty-three miles from Twofold Bay, thirty-five miles from Dalgety, and forty miles from Coolringdon.
– If there is a consensus of opinion in favour of Bombala I will withdraw the proposal to insert the word Dalgety.
– I object to the withdrawal of the amendment.
Senator MULCAHY (Tasmania).- It seems to me that we have already done an absurd thing, and that honorable senators are beginning to realize it. Senator Turley has suggested that we - should take a central point which would embrace all the good sites within a radius of fifty miles. That suggestion seems to me to be as though the site to be selected were in Tasmania, and we said that it should be some place within a radius of 150 miles from some township in the centre of the island. I wish to leave the widest possible choice. From that point of view, it would be wiser to insert Bombala* than Dalgety. A radius of fifty miles from Bombala will include some good sites, but might exclude some places that it might be desirable to have.
Question - That the blank be filled by the insertion of the word “ Dalgety “ - put.
The Committee divided.
Question so resolved in the negative. Amendment negatived. Amendment (by Senator Turley) agreed to-
That the blank be filled by the insertion of the word “ Bombala.”
Senator DOBSON (Tasmania).- There are two blots upon the Bill which ought to be remedied before it leaves our hands. The words “.the whole of” ought to be omitted, so as to make the Bill read “in that portion,” instead. of “in the whole of that portion.” Then, Senator Baker has pointed cut to me that there is nothing on the face of the Bill to show that the terri tory which we are choosing is to be within the area mentioned in clause 2. In order to remedy that, we should say in clause 3 -
The territory to be granted to or acquired by the Commonwealth within which the Seat of Government shall Be, shall be within the area mentioned in section 2.
Clause, as further amended, agreed to.
Motion (by Senator Dobson) proposed -
That clauses 2 and 3 be reconsidered.
Question put. The Committee divided. Ayes … … … 12
Question so resolved in the affirmative. Clause 2 (vide page 1978). Amendment (by Senator Dobson) agreed to- ‘
That the words “ the whole of,” be left out.
Clause, as further amended, agreed to. Clause 3 (vide page 1953). Senator DOBSON (Tasmania). - I move -
That after the word “ shall,” second occurring, the words “ be within the area mentioned in section 2 and shall,” be inserted.
This amendment is proposed in order to make sure that the site selected shall be within the territory mentioned in clause 2.
Senator TRENWITH (Victoria).- We have decided the area within which the Seat of Government shall be, but we do not wish to decide definitely as to the area of the Seat of Government. It might be desired to have territory extending beyond the limit indicated.
Question - That after the word “shall,”’ line 2, the words “ be within the area mentioned in section 2 and shall,” be inserted - put. The Committee divided.
Question so’ resolved in. the affirmative.
Amendment agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.
That the Standing- Orders be suspended to enable the Bill to pass through its remaining stages without delay.
– If a motion of the kind be submitted without notice, it must be carried by an absolute majority of the Senate.
– I believe that the necessary majority of honorable senators are within the precincts of the Senate.
Senator TRENWITH (Victoria).- I submit that it is extremely undesirable to adopt this course. There are times when it is excusable to suspend the Standing Orders, which are the safeguards which the representatives of the people have to prevent business being rushed through Parliament. We must meet again next Wednesday. We shall then have the Bill printed, and we shall not have violated one of the safeguards which through centuries Parliament has gone on building up in the interests of the security of the people, and to preserve them from hasty, inconsiderate, or, it may be, improperly devised, legislation.
– An absolute majority of the whole Senate is required.
– I hope honorable senators ‘will not carry the motion even though there should be an absolute majority pf the whole Senate in favour of it, for the reason that such a. motion is only excusable where there is very great urgency. ‘ In this instance, there does not appear to be any extreme urgency. We are aware that honorable senators have left, probably relying upon the Standing Orders being adhered to. I feel that the security of the Standing Orders should not be lightly tampered with.
– I wish to give, my reasons for moving the motion. At the beginning of the week a number of honorable senators expressed a desire, if we could get through the business, to have a’ long adjournment. I was prepared to give effect to that desire if the Senate would allow me, and,- if not, I was .prepared to go on with business. We must come here next Wednesday for the purpose of passing a Supply Bill, but I point out to Senator Trenwith that if we simply report the Bill now, the consideration of the report will be taken next Wednesday, and then the third reading will have to be put off until another day, unless the Standing Orders are suspended next Wednesday. As the only business on Wednesday will be the Supply
Bill, and probably the introduction of the Fraudulent Trade Marks Bill, I do not anticipate that honorable senators representing New South Wales will come down here simply for that purpose. A number of other honorable senators may not attend. These are the reasons for the motion, and if honorable senators do not think them sufficient the fault is not. mine. I have stated the position, and if honorable senators desire that we should merely report the Bill now, I shall be satisfied, and shall say no more.
Question put. The Senate divided.
Senate adjourned at 4.40 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 3 June 1904, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1904/19040603_senate_2_19/>.