3rd Parliament · 2nd Session
The President took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.
– I desire to ask the Vice-President of the Executive Council whether he is now in a position to furnish an answer to the question I asked on the 22nd August concerning the delay in the payment of the sugar bounty in some districts in Queensland?
– I have been furnished with the following information -
From inquiries made, it appears that delay occurred in the Sub-Treasury, Brisbane, in reimbursing the Department of Trade and Customs the expenditure it had made, and the officers were not in a position to pay the bounty promptly. The delay occurred owing to the great increase in the sugar bounty claims, which exceeded the revenue received. The attention of the Treasury has now been drawn to the matter, and steps have been taken to transmit sufficient money to meet ‘all claims in future. It is not anticipated that any furthei cause for complaint will arise.
– I have received a copy of the circular, and also the following information -
A copy of the price list is attached. The list is published annually, and a copy for 1907-8 appeared in last week’s Casette. It contains a list of stationery which is kept in stock at the Government Printing Office, and which can be supplied to Commonwealth Departments at the rates quoted. It may be stated that stationery is not supplied by the Government Printer to the general public.
May I suggest to my honorable friend that inasmuch as the circular has been, published in the Gazette, it will not be necessary to Jay a copy of it upon the table of the Senate.
– Certainly not; but arising out of the answer, I desire to ask the Minister whether, in that circular, there is one word that indicates that the articles are on supply to public Departments only; whether there is one word to indicate that the stationery and stationery requisites are not on sale to any class of the community; whether, in fact, it is notpro bono publico?
– I can only say that thereis nothing in the circular to indicate that. In fact, it is a price list of stationary for 1907-8. It intimates that envelopes, paper of any description, and books can be obtained from the Government Printer at prices to be agreed upon, and is signed by the Treasurer. In practice it simply goes to the various Departments, and the public are not at liberty to purchase the articles.
– Is there anything in the circular to indicate that the sale of the articles in question is restricted to the Government Departments ?
– There is nothing on the face of the circular to indicate that, but it only goes to the Departments, and the answer states that stationery is not supplied by the Government Printer to the general public.
– Arising out of the answer, I desire to ask the Minister whether, in his opinion, the Commonwealth Government, if it did supply the articles to the general public, would be committing any greater crime than is committed by Mr.
Carruthers in supplying the public of New South Wales with wire-netting imported by the State Government? .
– That is not a question in the ordinary sense, but a request for an expression of opinion.
– I desire to ask the Minister of Home Affairs, without notice, if he has any objection to lay upon the table of the Senate the recommendations of his officer in reference to the acquisition of the Barrack Reserve, Hobart, for military purposes?
– I see no objection.
– I desire to ask the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral, without notice, whether it is the practice in the Telegraph Department to levy an increased charge prior to the promulgation of . an amended regulation? I ask the question because I have received an intimation that, in Launceston the other day, an additional telegraphic charge was made, simply under an instruction from the Department ofthe Postmaster-General, and admittedly prior to the promulgation of a regulation.
– Of my own knowledge, I cannot say what is the practice in regard to increased charges, and whether they become operative before or after the publication of a regulation. If the honorable senator will give notice of the question, I shall have an inquiry made, and furnish him with the reply.
– I shall be glad if the Minister, who, I suppose, has had enough notice now, will give me an answer at his convenience.
– I am not in a position to lay a report on the table. Yesterday I made inquiry of the Department of Trade and Customs, and learned that the investigation was still proceeding.
– I desire to ask the Minister of Home Affairs without notice, whether the statements in the press to-day that the Berringa Rifle Club had been disbanded because they had failed to get satisfaction from the Department is correct or not?
– I have not seen the statement referred to, but I know that the Berringa Rifle Club, both directly and through members of the Senate, have asked me several times’ during the last month or more to expedite the arrangements in connexion with the rifle range. ‘ The last information I had was that the papers had been forwarded to the State Lands Department to get the necessary permission from the Government of Victoria, and that we were doing all we could to expedite their return. Whether they have been returned within the last few clays or not I do not know. Some time since I communicated the position to those who had approached me on the subject, and stated that, both orally and in writing, we were endeavouring to expedite the return of the papers and the completion of the matter.
Debate on Matters of Urgency.
– I have received an intimation from Senator Neild that he desires to move the adjournment of the Senate to discuss a definite matter of urgent public importance, viz., “ The necessity for amending the standing orders relating to motions of adjournment.”
Four honourable senators having risen in their places -
Senator Colonel NEILD (New South Wales) [10.40]. - I move -
That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn until 11 p.m. on Saturday.
I do not require to speak at any great length, sir, but it seems to me desirable - particularly in view of the statement which you were good enough to make to the Chamber yesterday, that you, with the assistance of the Acting Clerk, were investigating the Standing Orders in various directions - that no time should be lost in drawing attention to the desirability of so amending them as to definitely determine, of our own motion, and not in respect of any Imperial practice, the rules in respect of motions for adjournment to discuss matters of urgent public importance. Of course, sir, I know perfectly well that you would rule me out of order if I made any attempt to get behind the ruling which you gave last week that the adjournment of the Senate cannot be moved under standing order 60 to reply to statements made on a previous motion for adjournment. But, while I do not propose to trespass upon your consideration, I may be permitted to make reference to the matter as showing the necessity for some such action as I have the honour to suggest. I think you indicated that you were giving a ruling rather more in pursuance of British practice than in respect of our own Standing Orders, which are somewhat indefinite on the point. That decision of yours indicates, to my mind, the need for having Standing Orders of our own, because, years ago, we deliberately decided to conduct our proceedings in consonance with our own Standing Orders, rather than in consonance with Imperial practice, which, if I remember aright, is not referred to in them. Therefore, sir, I urge with a great deal of respect that you and the Standing Orders Committee should take the point into consideration. ‘ May I state ‘ a hypothetical case so as to foe quite clear from any risk of interfering or seeking to interfere with your ruling. Suppose that an honorable senator comes here and states some facts of which he has heard, and draws certain deductions. As no notice is furnished to any one that the matter is going to be mentioned, there is no possibility of an adequate reply being given. Statements may be made seriously derogatory to the reputation of respectable citizens, and if the Senate is satisfied that there should be no opportunity of replying to them on a motion for adjournment, I, as a fairly old parliamentarian, fail to see how a reply can be forthcoming. Carrying my hypothetical case a. little further, the Government of the day may promise to make inquiry into the allegations, and it may be that the allegations are of a character of which the Ministry could test the truth, probably in halfanhour, by sending a telegram to the next State, or by making an investigation in the books of a public Department. Still pursuing my hypothetical case, I suggest that the Government might be so supine or so uninterested as to make no timely and satisfactory reply. It is possible that a Government might sometimes feel that they sp lacked support in the Chamber that it would be a very delicate thing to have to tell the truth about charges made by a supporter. They might be in so weak a position that they could not take the risk of saying that a supporter had made a number ‘ of seriously inaccurate allegations. Surely it is the duty of the Senate to see that standing orders are provided which would meet cases such as the hypothetical case to which I have referred. Though I have suggested a hypothetical case I would ask honorable senators whether they are not well aware that such a case has already actually arisen in one session or another in the Federal Parliament, and therefore my hypothetical case is hypothetical only in ihe way in which I have stated it.
– What case does the honorable senator refer to?
– I am not going to refer to any case. Senator Pearce knows perfectly well the case to which I have referred.
– Why make general charges of that kind, that honorable senators have made false statements.
– I ask whether Senator Pearce is in order in saying that Senator Neild has made false statements.
– I said that the honorable senator makes general charges that other honorable senators have made false statements.
– It would be very much better that there should be no interjections. Senator Neild is quite in order in putting hypothetical cases. Honorable senators may have their own view as to their application, but it is better that they should not comment while the honorable senator is speaking, and should not attribute false statements to others.
– I direct your attention, sir, to the fact that Senator Neild, after saying that he was putting a hypothetical case, said it was not hypothetical, but an actual case which had occurred.
– The honorable senator did not mention the case.
– I asked the honorable senator to do so.
– The honorable senator declined to do that, and was within his rights in declining. Of course his refusal to mention the case may be a matter foi comment afterwards if honorable senators please.
– If, in view of the President’s ruling of last week, I should be in order, I should be quite willing to mention the case which I have out hypothetically.
– Let the honorable senator mention it.
– I have made no statement with reference to the case in question, otherwise than hypothetically, because I felt that if I did so I should be infringing the President’s ruling, and I have no desire to do that. If I am in order in mentioning the case, I am prepared to do so.
– I point out to the honorable senator, and to honorable senators generally, that it will not be in order to again debate a matter that has been previously debated during the present session on a motion for the adjournment. If it should be necessary for purposes of illustration, an honorable senator is at liberty to mention any case he sees fit, but he will not be at liberty to discuss it. The question brought forward now is submitted as a matter of .urgency, and the supposition is that the matter dealt with could not be conveniently brought forward in any other form. I ask Senator Neild to bear that in mind, and not to debate any matter which has been previously debated during the present session. It would be perfectly competent for a motion to be submitted to the Senate for the purpose of referring the consideration of certain questions to the Stand ing Orders Committee. The course adopted by the honorable senator may indirectly have the same effect.
– I understand your direction to myself as not indicating that, in your opinion, I have in any way sought to infringe your ruling.
– I have not suggested that.
– What is all the trouble about - tobacco or smoke?
– I ask honorable senators not to interject.
– The only reference I shall make is one which contravenes your ruling in no way whatever. The action I have taken is a natural corollary to what has preceded it. I shall make what I am saying now applicable to the question in a moment. The Minister leading the business of the Senate made a promise that the Government would cause inquiry to be made into certain matters that were at one time the subject of a discussion in the Senate on a motion of adjournment. Now a whole fortnight has elapsed, and ap- parently nothing has yet been done. I contend that this shows the necessity for a standing order dealing with such matters, so that a dereliction of duty, or inaction, if honorable senators please, on the part of a Ministry regarding a wrong done, oralleged to have been, done, to a respectable citizen of the country shall not remain unreplied to indefinitely. I say that a promise was made by the leader of the Senate that an investigation would be made, and yet to-day the Minister has given me the answer that there is still no reply forthcoming on a matter which every member of- the Senate knows could have been investigated by -the Government in- half a day at- the outside.
– The honorable senator will not be in order in attacking the. Government on this question.
– I have no intention to attack the Government. I am merely stating the facts of the case.
– I point out to the honorable1 ‘senator that his speech is now verging into ‘a complaint of inaction on the ‘ part of the’ Government, and that is not in order on this motion for the adjournment of the Senate. It may be pointed out that the Government have not replied to the matter up to the present. But the motion has been moved with a view to showing the necessity for some amendment of the Standing Orders in regard to motions for the adjournment of the Senate, so that difficulties which are alleged to have arisen shall not arise in the future.
– In advance, I” pointed out that that was my intention. As I stated a moment since, I made the reference to which you, sir, have taken exception in order to show that it is quite possible that through lack of action, or supineness, on the part of a Government, a charge affecting the reputation of a respectable citizen might remain unanswered indefinitely. I have no desire to make any other reference to the Government, beyond stating the fact that in the particular case to which I have referred a fortnight has elapsed, and there is still no redress for certain persons against whom charges have been made. I am not making any charge, and I hope the Vice-President of the Executive Council does not think that I am doing so. I have referred to what has taken place as a reason for asking for an alteration of the Standing Orders. A charge may be madehere, and, in my belief, has been made heresome time in the past - whether in a previous session or in the present session is of no consequence to my argument - affecting, the reputation of respectable people, and I say that as the Standing Orders are at present framed there is noreasonable opportunity for a reply to charges made in that way; and further, that even where a Government, undertakes an ‘investigation into charges there may be reasons for action or inactionon their part which cause undue delay inclearing up the matter. By way of recapitulating, I may say that under the Standing Orders charges can be made under the cloak of privilege - charges damaging to the reputation of any citizen of the Commonwealth - without notice, on a motion for the adjournment of the Senate, in circumstances which admit of no immediate’ reply. What opportunity is offered for an immediate reply ina case in which it is shown that the Government have been unable reformulate a reply in a fortnight? If there is no reply except on investigation by the Government, they may, through inaction or for any other reason, delay the production of the proofs of the innocence of the persons charged, and it may be - still continuing the hypothetical casethat every newspaper of consequence in the Commonwealth publishes affidavits charging members of this Chamber with falsehood, and honorable senators do not take advantage of the Standing Orders to bring the slanderer or libeller, if he is one, before the Chamber on a motion of privilege. I say that we require standing orders that will protect the citizens of the Commonwealth from similar attacks in the future. The matter should be taken into consideration by the Standing Orders Committee. It will be admitted that this is a matter of urgency, because the business-paper is sufficiently full to prevent me having any hope of dealing with it in a formal way bv a motion on notice. In view of the fact that the sessional orders require that private members’ business shall be dealt with at a time when there - is usually a very unsatisfactory attendance, and always the risk of a count out, I have felt the more justified in bringing the subject before the Senate when there is a reasonable attendance, in the hope that the Standing Orders Committee will take- the question into their consideration as early as possible.
– The honorable senator has certainly taken an unusual, and, I think, a most unsatisfactory course. He professes to be trying to get an expression of opinion from the Senate as to the advisability of an alteration of the Standing Orders ; but how can the Senate express any collective opinion on this motion? Honorable senators may express their views in the debate, but there can be no vote taken. It seems to me that the only thing the honorable senator can have accomplished by his motion, judging by the manner in which he has moved it, is under the veil of a hypothetical case to make certain charges against other members of the Senate, and, sheltering himself behind the President’s ruling, make a lame defence in connexion with a certain matter when he has neglected opportunities that have been afforded him to make any effective defence. I am not of those who would seek to oppose any amendment of the Standing Orders that might be considered necessary to give every member of the Senate a full and equal opportunity to express himselfon any question. I think that many of our Standing Orders do require amendment in that particular, but I do not think that the honorable senator has made out a good case for the amendment that he is seeking. Taking the hypothetical case that he has mentioned, what are the facts? Every day on which the Senate has sat, any honorable senator who felt aggrieved has had an opportunity to get up and speak for as long as he liked on the ordinary motion for the adjournment. Those who make use of the Standing Orders to move the adjournment of the Senate to an unusual time are limited, and those who wish to reply to them are also restricted as to the time they can occupy. But, on the ordinary motion for the adjournment of the Senate, a senator is at liberty to travel over the whole range of any subject he thinks fit. It seems to me, therefore, that Senator Neild’s hypothetical case was of no value. He mentioned that a fortnight has elapsed. Well, since then he has had an opportunity on each day on which the Senate has sat to reply to the statements made, and to rebut them. He has had opportunities to bring figures to disprove the figures laid before the Senate, but he has failed to take advantage of them.
– I mustask the honorable senator to confine himself more strictly to the motion. The question be fore us is not as to the action or inaction of Senator Neild, but as to the expediency of amending the Standing Orders in the direction which the honorable senator has suggested.
– I am referring to the hypothetical case mentioned by Senator Neild. I was supposing that a case had occurred a fortnight ago, and pointing out that an opportunity has occurred each day the Senate sat of referring to it.
– The honorable senator is discussing the ruling which I have given. I have pointed out the necessity of adhering strictly to the motion, and I shall endeavour to keep honorable senators as closely as possible to it.
– I may surely be allowed to traverse the line of argument which Senator Neild has pursued.
– So long as the honorable senator does not make that a ground of attack, hecan do so.
- Senator Neild cited a hypothetical case which may have occurred a fortnight ago. I reply that if a case occurred a fortnight ago, the honorable senator has had an Opportunity of replying each day the Senate has sat.
– The complaint which Senator Neild makes is merely this - that on a motion for the adjournment of the Senate, an attack may be made upon an individual or individuals, and that when the debate is closed a senator is debarred from coming forward at a later date to reply to what has been alleged. That being the complaint,I desire the honorable senator to keep to it, and not to point out, as he is endeavouring todo, that it is the fault of some one else that the matter has not been referred to again. It is perfectly clear, from the ruling which I gave some time ago, that I cannot, on a motion for the adjournment of the Senate, permit reply to be made to statements put forward on a previous motion for the adjournment.
– I understood, sir, that your ruling related only to special motions for the adjournment of the Senate. But that ruling does not debar an honorable senator from discussing any matter on the ordinary motion for the adjournment at the close of a sitting.
– My decision was simply upon the one question before the Senate, and I decline to give a ruling as to circumstances that might occur.
– The question has never arisen, so that you could not have given a ruling with regard to matters that might be discussed on the ordinary motion for the adjournment of the Senate. Your ruling related only to special motions for adjournment. What I am pointing out is that on each day that the Senate has sat Senator Neild could have discussed any question on the ordinary motion for adjournment.
– I must ask the honorable senator not to pursue that line of argument.
– Surely, Mr. President
– I have already requested the honorable senator not to pursue that line of argument. I do not wish to be compelled to say that the honorable senator shall not pursue it, but I ask him not to do so.
– May I ask you a question, sir ? I do not wish to act against your ruling, but am I in order, in discussing the honorable senator’s motion, in urging that the Standing Orders already give sufficient facilities?
– The honorable senator can point out that the Standing
Orders give facilities, but I decline to allow him to use the opportunity for the purpose of making an attack upon the honorable senator who has moved the adjournment. The honorable senator must not attack Senator Neild in consequence of what is alleged to be his inaction. The motion is one calling attention to the necessity of amending the standing orders relating to motions for the adjournment to discuss matters of urgency. Ordinary motions for the adjournment at the end of sittings are not motions of that character, and therefore can not be regarded as a means of attacking the honorable senator for not having made use ofhis opportunities. Senator Neild may consider that it is necessary that the matter about which he is concerned should be dealt with as a matter of urgency and upon a specific motion for the adjournment of the Senate to an unusual hour.
– I intend to confine myself conclusively to showing that the Standing Orders at present give all the facilities that the honorable senator is asking for; and surely if the Senate is going to express an opinion as to the sufficiency of the Standing Orders, we must be allowed to discuss that point.
– In an impersonal way. But I decline to allow the honorable senator to make an attack upon-
– I really must complain of your using the word “ attack.” It is totally uncalled for. I am making no
– Order ! The honorable senator has been criticising the nonaction of the honorable senator, who has moved the adjournment, and I rule that he is not in order in criticising him - to substitute that term - in such a way. The honorable senator may argue that the Standing Orders are sufficient, but his remarks on that point must be of an impersonal character. Otherwise the debate will simply create unpleasantness between honorable senators.
– I am showing that our Standing Orders give any honorable senator an opportunity of discussing anything that has previously taken place, and that that opportunity is afforded on each day on which the Senate meets. That being so, is there any reason why we should allow the Standing Orders to be altered so that the adjournment of the Senate may be moved at the commencement of each day’s proceedings, thus interfering with the business set down on the paper? Because, remember, if the adjournment can be moved on one occasion, it will have to be moved on subsequent occasions, in order that replies may be made. Otherwise the Standing Order will be just as unfair to those who wish to reply as Senator Neild alleges that it is to those who have complaints to make. . The point which I desire to make clear is that ample opportunity is afforded under our Standing Orders for any statements to be refuted. Indeed I contend that ‘ even greater opportunities to rebut statements are given under the Standing Order which allows debate to take place on the motion of the Minister for the adjournment of the Senate at the end of the day than is afforded by a motion for the adjournment, to an unusual hour, at the commencement of proceedings. On a special motion for the adjournment the senator who moves must confine himself exclusively to the terms of his motion. Furthermore, he is allowed only half-an-hour in which to state his case, and those who follow him are al lowed only a quarter of an hour. Whereas on the motion of the Minister for the adjournment of the Senate any honorable senator who has any statement to make can get up and travel all round the question, speaking, if he’ chooses, at greater length than half an hour, whilst other honorable senators can speak without any limit as to time.
– I rise to a point of order. I draw attention to standing order 399, which clearly provides that the statements which are now being made to the Senate are inaccurate, inasmuch as replies to-
– That is not a point of order with regard to Senator Pearce’s speech: It is only a question as to the, construction of standing order 399, and is really a reply to Senator Pearce’s contention. There is no point of order.
– I hope that an allowance will be made to me for these interruptions in my time.
– I am afraid not.
– I am sorry that the question does not come before us in the form of an ordinary motion, because we have no opportunity of expressing an opinion in the only way in which the Senate can express its opinion as a body, that is, by taking a vote upon the advisableness of altering the Standing’ Orders. I think that the Standing Orders at present give full and ample opportunity for discussing questions. If we permit any deviation from the present system, the adjournment may be moved every day for a fortnight. Business will be taken out of the hands of the Government) and no progress will be made. There is sufficient opportunity under our existing Standing Orders to rebut any statements. The only reason why the opportunity that is open has not been availed of must be that certain honorable senators may think that they would not have a full gallery to play to.
– One has, I suppose, to speak rather gingerly upon the motion submitted by Senator Neild. During the course of his remarks he said that a hypothetical case might arise. Well, I have something more than a hypothetical case in mind. I recollect a case where certain commodities were “ hypothecated “ from the Customs,’ and thereby the price of those commodities was increased ; and in increasing the price of them-
– Order ! The honorable senator is not discussing the motion. He is making certain statements with regard to things which he alleges have been done. The honorable senator knows perfectly well that he cannot debate a motion which was debated a fortnight ago. I ask him to confine himself to the question of the necessity of amending the standing orders relating to motions for the adjournment. He can refer to any concrete case to show the necessity or non-necessity of amending those standing orders, but it will not be in order for him to pursue the line of argument which he has commenced.
– I recognise the difficulty that one has in speaking to the motion without in some way travelling- over the ground that has been covered by the honorable senator who submitted it. There is no use in disguising the fact that the motion has been submitted with a view to advocating an alteration of the Standing Orders in order to allow certain honorable senators to make a reply to certain criticisms that were levelled against certain people in the Commonwealth with regard to a certain matter. Senator Neild said that a hypothetical case might arise, and after making that statement he said, “Take, for instance, a matter that was mentioned a fortnight ago.” Although he stated that he was dealing only with a hypothetical case, yet he alluded to a promise that was made with regard to charges levelled against certain people, and complained that no action has been taken. It is a remarkable thing that the honorable senator who now submits this motion was present in the Senate, and knew of the attack of which he complains.
– The honorable senator is absolutely wrong. I very much regret that I was absent.
– The honorable senator ought to have been here. Because the honorable senator was not here, he has evidently been conjuring up in hi* mind some hypothetical case that might happen in the dim and distant future. He desires that the Standing Orders, which have worked so well, both here and in another place, shall be altered in order to suit his requirements, because he was absent from the Chamber when a matter of public urgency was being discussed. This, so far from being a ‘hypothetical case, is an actuality. Although I do not know what the leader of the Government did in connexion with the question mentioned a fortnight ago, I do know that the persons interested in what was discussed then took action in the direction that the motion desired, because those who had been thrown out of employment-
– The honorable senator may not allude to that matter on this motion.
– I know that I am on delicate ground again. Anyhow, I feel that I am on the right ground. I recognise that you, sir, are endeavouring impartially to regulate this debate in accordance with the Standing Orders, but I find great difficulty in addressing myself to the question without trespassing on what I know is the real reason why the motion has been submitted. The Standing Orders have worked so well in the past, and such insufficient reasons have been given by the honorable senator for any alteration in them, that I am opposed to the motion. I trust that when cases of public importance are being discussed in the Senate in future, those who now complain about the Standing Orders will avail themselves of the opportunity to be in their places, and to take part in the discussion.
– As a member of the Standing Orders Committee, I may be permitted to trespass a little on the time of the Senate in order to answer some of the remarks that have been made. The mover of the motion has pointed to the necessity for reconsidering the Standing Orders, in view of what he called a “ hypothetical case.” The case may be so closely related to actual facts as to be open to consideration from a concrete point of view. The discussion, and especially Senator Pearce’s remarks, show that’ it is really a very concrete matter.
– The honorable senator means the remarks that I was prevented from making.
– Perhaps I had better say that the views which underlay the remarks uttered so strongly by the honorable senator show that there is a very concrete case requiring the attention of the Standing Orders Committee, and ultimately of the Senate itself. Senator Pearce is usually characterized in debate by a very impartial and judicial mind. Except in moments of heat, there is probably no honorable senator who, judging by his record , in the Chamber and his conduct of his official position, shows a stronger desire to deal impartially with every conflicting interest that comes before him for discussion or decision. I am sorry that in this case he has allowed a little heat to do injustice to his remarkably fair and impartial temperament. The very arguments adduced by Senator Pearce as reasons for regarding the Standing Orders as sufficient are, to my mind, the very strongest reasons for considering them insufficient. Our duties here, and the powers of criticism which are given to us in the exercise of those duties, are such that there may arise discussions in this Chamber affecting the character and credit of the most influential or the most humble person or interest in the community. Under our Standing Orders an attack might be made which would do infinite damage to any individual in the land, but sufficient protection in ‘the shape of opportunity for effective reply is not afforded under them. The alternative power of reply suggested by Senator Pearce is altogether insufficient and ineffective. He suggests that at a late hour of the night, when the whole Chamber is probably fagged, and when he himself may be in such a state, through physical stress of the work of Committee, that he may not be able to keep us sufficiently well in order, an opportunity for reply can be availed of. But does he consider that that is a sufficient weapon or a sufficient means of replying to a strong attack ? He also is a member of the Standing Orders Committee, and I am sure that when the matter comes before that Committee for consideration he and every other member of it will have as their supreme object the preservation of the dignity, power, and justice of this Chamber, in the interests of every individual or public interest that may come before it It is the bounden duty of every honorable senator to assist to improve our Standing Orders, so that every one attacked may know that the Senate is a judicial Chamber, where equal opportunities and facilities will be given to the person attacked to reply in exactly the same way, and with the same effect. No one should be able to say that, through the faulty conduct of our business, or an inherent defect in the Senate itself, he has not received justice. Sufficient reason has been given why the Standing Orders Committee should carefully consider this matter, and seek to find a remedy which will receive the approbation of the Senate.
– I regret that this discussion has arisen in this way. It deals with an extremely important parliamentary usage. In order to clearly understand . how far, if at all, we ought to alter the Standing Orders in this connexion, we have to remember how this custom of motions for adjournment arose.
It. began in the very early history of Par liament, when Parliament was little more than a nairne, when the Monarch was allpowerful, and this was the only method of defending in some measure the rights of the people. That condition has entirely disappeared. It has been discovered in recent times that the motion for adjournment was open to awful abuse in parliamentary procedure. Now, in all the Parliaments of the British Empire, it has been abolished in the form in which it used to exist, but not so as to deprive the people of this means of being heard in their Executive Chamber on matters of extreme urgency. The privilege has been preserved, subject to certain safeguards. All that we require at present is provided for. In a matter of extreme urgency - and we should only use this form in such cases - we have the means of ventilating an important public grievance. But we are restricted to three hours in doing so. That is a wise provision, but, as Senator Pearce pointed out, we are only restricted so far as this special motion for adjournment is concerned. Later on in the same day. on the ordinary motion for adjournment, we can, if we choose, fully discuss the whole question untrammelled. Senator St. Ledger is quite right that there are objections to that method of ventilating grievances. It can only be made fully effective in the case of some flagrant wrong. But that is the only instance in which we ought to have the power to intervene in ordinary parliamentary business. In such a case, the sense of justice in all parliamentary Chambers in the Empire is so strong that if an honorable member took the opportunity of notifying his fellow-members that he knew of a heinous wrong that was being perpetrated upon a citizen, and that he proposed to refer to it on the motion for adjournment, he would be able to keep a House. If it were a serious matter, arrangements might easily be made with the leader of the Chamber under existing Standing Orders for an earlier adjournment than ordinarily so- that it might be discussed. I have not been long enough on the Standing Orders Committee to enable me to claim, as one of its members, any special consideration for the opinions I express. I speak only as a student of parliamentary usage for as long as I can remember, and as a member of “Parliament of some years standing. Although I consider that it would be a pity to abolish the old custom of moving the adjournment for 4he pur pose of ventilating grievances,- still, I find that even yet it often proves to be a somewhat wanton interference with the proceedings of Parliament. We should be very careful indeed not to open the door to means of obstruction greater than those which already prevail. We have left as much power in the hands of individual senators as we can reasonably do. That is a proper thing, if it is not allowed to run in the direction of licence, and there is always. a danger of that arising. We should be very careful indeed not to depart from the wise restrictions and precautions we have taken in connexion with a custom, the original reason for which has long ago ceased to exist.
– I rise to support the action of Senator Neild. There is room, I think, for a great improvement in the direction of preserving the reputation of any persons who may be improperly attacked here. I draw the attention of Senator Trenwith to standing order 399, because I think that he is under a misapprehension as to what can be done -
No senator shall allude to any debate of the same session upon a question or Bill not being then under discussion, nor to any speech made in Committee except by the indulgence of the Senate for personal explanations.
In the hypothetical case which Senator Neild mentioned, an honorable senator, acting in all good faith, might think it his duty to draw attention to some public matter, and his remarks might prejudicially affect outside persons. Under the Standing Orders, they would have no opportunity of getting their” side of the question brought before the Senate. It is in that direction, I think, that Senator Neild is moving, and I thoroughly approve of his action. I was not aware that Hie intended to submit the motion, but now that it has been moved, I think that there is a great deal to be said in favour of such an amendment of the Standing Orders as he suggests.
– I intend to support the action of Senator Neild. If, under cover of a motion for adjournment, I choose to make a public charge here against a person - of course, in all good faith, though I may be wrong - the attack may come as a surprise to honorable senators other than those whom I have asked to assist me. An honorable senator may believe that my statements, although made in all good faith, are not correct, but he is not in a position to get up there and then and give facts to prove that I am wrong. From his general knowledge of the person attacked, he may believe that I am quite wrong, but he hus not .at hand the information necessary to refute .my accusations. Within the” next twenty-four hours, however, he may have obtained facts to prove that I was wrong, but I take it, sir, that, under your ruling, he would not be able to lay those facts before the Senate. Apparently, Senator Pearce, although he has been here a long while, does not thoroughly understand the Standing Orders. He says that when a Minister moves a motion to close a sitting of the Senate, an honorable senator can speak on any matter as long as he likes. If I were to take that course, sir, I should expect to be called to order very quickly, on the ground that I was referring to a matter which had already been debated during the session. It might be well for some honorable senator to test the point, and then we should know exactly how we stood. I think it is only fair that the Standing Orders should be amended so as to afford to an honorable senator an opportunity to reply to a surprise attack made on a motion for adjournment. When’ notice is given of such a motion, honorable senators can always put themselves in a position to refute any statements which may be made; but not otherwise.
.- I entirely agree with the proposal of Senator Neild. I cannot conceive that any honorable senator would object to a matter of urgent public importance being thoroughly ventilated. If there is a standing order which prevents an injustice from, being redressed, I cannot understand an objection to its amendment. It should be remembered by every honorable senator that some day or other he may ‘have occasion to refute some statements which have been made on a motion for adjournment. It is only right that honest views should be made -public. We do not wish to take advantage of each other. Very often, owing to various causes, even the soundest minds become possessed of erroneous impressions, and when those impressions are found to be wrong, it is only right that an opportunity should be afforded to state the truth to the Senate.
– Before calling upon Senator Neild to reply, I desire to say a few words for the purpose, not so much of debating the question, as of stating the position which I took recently, and which, to a certain extent, has not been quite realized by honorable senators. In submitting the motion, Senator Neild seemed to imply that I had acted solely under a ruling given in the House of Commons. In giving my ruling, I said that it was not permissible for an honorable senator to move the adjournment of the Senate to an unusual hour to re-debate a matter which had been already debated on a similar motion for adjournment? I also pointed out that a motion for adjournment to discuss a “matter of urgency, stands on an entirely different plane from ordinary motions, and that, according to the parliamentary rule, it was not competent for the Senate to reconsider a matter on which a determination had been arrived at.
– But it might be a wrong determination.
– Of course, a resolution of the Senate would have to be rescinded by a specific motion. When a motion is submitted merely for the purpose of debating a matter of urgency, it is invariably withdrawn. If that fact were to be urged as a reason for allowing the matter to be re-debated, it would mean that no finality could ever be arrived at. If the hypothetical case to which Senator Neild alluded were debated one day, and an- honorable senator were allowed to debate it next day, in the light of an affidavit or a declaration, then, as a matter of fairness, it would be necessary to allow the other side to arm themselves with fresh information for the purpose of debating the matter on a third day, and so it would go on ad infinitum. Certainly, in the hands of the Opposition, it would be a very useful weapon to prevent the Government from doing much business. In stating the reasons for my ruling, I also alluded to the practice which was laid- down in the House of Commons, and to the words of Mr. Speaker, in dealing with a similar matter many years ago, showing that the practice of that House is exactly; what I consider should be followed here. It is quite true that the Senate has a right to lay down its own practice, but, whoever may be its presiding officer, in the absence of definite and clear Standing Orders, it . is his duty to bring to bear whatever knowledge he may possess or gather in order that the business may be conducted fairly and justly, and on lines which, should commend themselves to honorable senators who desire to conserve time, and, at the same time, to do ample justice to every person in the community. I think, therefore, it will be realized that I was not so much slavishly following a practice or a rule laid down elsewhere, as fortifying the opinion which I had come to, and which I thought would commend itself to honorable senators. As to whether there should be an alteration of the Standing Orders to give better opportunities of reply on behalf of persons who feel that they have been attacked in the Senate, that is a matter for the Standing Orders Committee to consider. But I point out to honorable senators that if a very grave charge is made upon a motion for adjournment, it is always open to the Senate under existing conditions to take such steps as may be necessary to amply vindicate any person who is unjustly attacked. We have the fullest powers for the appointment of Select Committees to deal with any matters requiring investigation. If a charge were made here of such a serious character as to injuriously affect any man’s good reputation, I am quite sure that honorable senators would never oppose a motion for the appointment of a Select Committee to investigate the matter.
– That would be a very roundabout way of going to work.
– But we should get evidence, and not assertions.
– Senator Fraser says that that would be a very roundabout course. But by the adoption of such a course the Senate would secure evidence as to absolute facts instead of assertions by honorable senators who, though fully believing the correctness of those as~sertions, may have been misinformed, as honorable senators are at times misinformed about various matters. I am not alluding to any debate that has taken place in the Senate. I know nothing of the circumstances connected with matters to which reference has been made, and I” do not profess to offer any judgment or opinion upon them. I have no objection whatever to the question which has been raised being discussed by the Standing Orders Committee. It is very proper that it should be discussed by that Committee. When speaking the other clay, I mentioned that I had no objection to discuss the matter with the’ Standing Orders Committee. I have desired now only to put myself right, and when the question comes before the Standing Orders Committee, as I have no doubt it will, I shall be quite prepared to offer my views as to the desirability or otherwise of adopting any course of action that may then be suggested.
Senator Colonel NEILD (New South Wales) [11.48]. - I understand that the remarks which you, sir, have addressed to the Senate just now are not to be regarded in the light of a ruling, and are open to a word or two of reply from me. I beg, first of all, with great respect, to submit that a phrase you have used, to the effect that I had alleged that you had “slavishly followed” the practice of the House of Commons, is really far too strong a phrase to apply to the very indefinite reference I made to the matter.
– I think that what I said was that the honorable senator seemed to be under the impression that I had followed that rule.
– I did not refer to the matter with any degree of assertion, but I think I have some justification for the way in which I did refer to it since I see that in dealing with the question you made one quotation from May and two from the doings of the House of Commons. I felt justified in concluding that you had decided the matter upon the basis of action in the British Parliament “rather than in accordance with any standing order of our own. I have as much respect for your decisions as any member of the Senate, and nothing was further from my mind than to make use of the present motion in order to get behind anything which you have stated as your- view of the course fd be followed in these matters. When the question comes before the Standing Orders Committee, as I assume it will, I would ask your courteous consideration of the point as to whether there should not be some limitation in connexion with these motions for adjournment to an unusual hour. If it is considered that we should absolutely prohibit motions for the adjournment of the Senate that involve a charge against individuals who are not here to reply, I would say by all means submit a standing order to that effect, and I shall vote for it. Failing that, I say that we should at least limit further motions on the same subject to one affording an opportunity for reply. If that course be adopted, each side will be given an equal opportunity. Those who have worked up a case for an attack will have their chance on the first motion for the adjournment, and in all honesty an opportunity should be given to the persons who have been attacked to reply. I suggest that the matter should then be dropped, so far as motions for the adjournment of the Senate are concerned. It is strange that some honorable senators who, perhaps, have not had as many months as I have had years of experience of Parliament,” should suggest that I wish to have unlimited motions for adjournment. No man who has been as long in public life as I have could be guilty of such an absurdity. I believe that if there is to be more than one motion of adjournment to deal with the same question, it should be limited to one by way of reply to the debate on the first. It might be that in the reply certain matters would be brought forward to which the other side would like to make an answer; but still they would have had their opportunity, and we know that iri the law Courts there is a limitation to proceedings, and there ought to be a limitation to proceedings here. I am sorry that the leader of the Senate has not taken a hand in this debate. We should like to have had the honorable senator’s view as one who is, under your direction, sir, responsible, to a large extent, for the orderly conduct of our business. Let me here make a reference to your suggestion as to the possibility of the appointment of Select Committees. I agree with Senator Fraser that that would be a rather laborious way of getting a simple reply. It would be like harnessing an elephant to a perambulator to bring into play all the machinery of Parliament in the form of a Select Committee to investigate a matter that might, be dealt with in half-an-hour, an hour, or three hours in the Senate. It should be remembered also that the adoption of that course would lead to further debate and take up more of the time Qf the Senate, since the motion appointing a Committee, and the report of the Committee would offer opportunities for ample discussion.
– But in one. case we should get facts, and in the other we get assertions.
– It is true that we get assertions. Though I have attempted in no way to get behind the President’s ruling, I have in hand three envelopes full of documents which would be an absolute refutation of the statements made in a certain case.
– Is not the honorable senator by making that very statement getting behind the President’s ruling?
– And I have never attempted to use those documents. Senator Pearce’s suggestion that an attack made in the Senate at a time when there is a full attendance of senators and of reporters to take down all that is said, and an opportunity is afforded for the dissemination throughout Australia of a slander, may be replied to at half-past 10 or ri o’clock at night, when there are few senators present, and when there is no chance of a report of the proceedings being published in the newspapers, is like giving a stone in response to a request for bread. The slander would go- forth to the world, and the reply would1 be contained in Hansard for the satisfaction, perhaps, of the honorable senators who made it. Senator Trenwith ‘s objection toan amendment of the Standing Orders is put forward with this in support of it, - that a member of the Senate seeking to do’ an act of justice is to go, cap in hand, to Ministers to ask the favour of being allowed to dosomething which was not very definitely expressed - exactly what the honorable senator meant I do not know. But he desired that instead of a senator having the right as a representative of the people to say here what is lawful under the Standing Orders, he should go cap “in hand and ask as a favour of a busy Minister, anxious to put through the matters in his charge, the light to use his position as a member of the Senate to do an act of justice. I am not going to support any such proposition, however nicely Senator Trenwith may frame his suggestion. Reference has been made to standing order 399 prohibiting any debate on a previously discussed question. I submit that I have shown by my action that I respected the President’s ruling of last week, and have never attempted on the motion for the adjournment of the Senate to get in a word on the subject dealt with under the previous motion. I take it that under this standing order it will be impossible to discuss on the ordinary motion for the adjournment of the Senate at the close of a sitting a question that had been discussed on a motion of adjournment specifically made. I take it that you, sir, would rule me out of order if I attempted to do any such thing. I am not such a green spring chicken as to attempt a silliness of that sort. I suggest, with great respect, that if a motion of adjournment in reply to a previous motion of adjournment were lawful under our Standing Orders, it would be lawful on the second motion to refer to the previous discussion’, as the two motions would be similar to the two stages of a Bill, and it is lawful at one stage of a Bill to refer to the debate on “it at a previous stage. I suggest that one motion in reply to a motion for the adjournment of the Senate should be allowed, and possibly standing order 399 might be slightly amended so as to make it quite clear that in discussing the second motion reference might be made to the debate on the first, just as such a reference in discussing different stages of a Bill is universally recognised as in order. The discussion, so far as I am concerned, has been, I hope, impersonal, and I think that my object in bringing the matter forward has been amply achieved. I understand from your remarks, Mr. President, and from those of other members of the Standing Orders Committee, that the request contained in my representations will he complied with, and that the Committee will consider the desirability or otherwise of making an alteration in our Standing Orders governing and regulating motions for the adjournment of the Senate to debate matters of urgent public importance. To facilitate the transaction of public business I now ask leave to withdraw the motion.
Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
Debate resumed from 29th August (vide page 2543) on motion by Senator
That this Bill be now read a second time.
Upon which Senator McColl had moved by way of amendment -
That all the words after the word ‘“‘That” be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words: - ,: in the opinion of this Senate the development of agriculture will be better attained by a carefully organized system of agricultural education and scientific experiment than by the giving of bounties, and that proposals for such a system be formulated and submitted for consideration, and this .Bill, or so much of it as relates to agriculture, be held over until such is done, and the same be communicated to the House of Representatives.”
– I think we might have a quorum present. [Quorum formed.] The provisions of the Bill before us show that the Senate was justified in the action which it took with regard to the Bounties Bill of last session. The measure is completely altered, so far as concerns the items on account of which it is proposed that bounties shall be paid. I have no particular objection to the principle of paying bounties, but I take the view that, in regard to all expenditure of public money, we should have some clear indication that that expenditure is going to be safeguarded, and that proper machinery will be provided to insure that it achieves the object aimed at. One of the primary objections levelled at the Bill last session was that there was no regulating machinery. That objection still remains. There is nothing in the Bill to indicate either the creation of any Department to supervise the expenditure, or what existing Department will supervise it. I have looked through the speech of the Minister of Home Affairs, in moving the second reading, but he did not indicate what Department would administer the Bill.
– The Customs Department.
– I assumed that it would be the Customs Department That Department is at present entirely confined to the coasts of Australia. It does not extend inland, and certainly it has no connexion with the agricultural industry. I assume, therefore, that the greater part of the bounties except those on fish will have to be paid by means of States Departments coming to the aid of the Customs Department. There is in the Constitution a provision enabling the States Governments to pay bounties subject to the consent of the Federal authority. I venture to express the opinion that .as regards many of the items in the schedule it would be far better for the States Governments to pay the bounties. I am sure that not the slightest objection would be raised in either House of the Federal Parliament to that procedure being adopted. The States Parliaments would be able with greater efficiency and effect to carry out the system than we can. Otherwise we shall have to do it through the States Departments in a secondary fashion, and shall not have that direct control over the expenditure which we ought to have. One speech in this debate interested me to a greater extent than did others. I allude to that of Senator McColl. He has evidently given much study to this question, and made a valuable contribution to the discussion. But I was certainly astonished to find the honorable senator advocating the development of waste lands of Australia, because I had been led to believe, from his attitude towards other questions, that he was opposed to any such development. The honorable senator drew attention to what had been done in the United States, and said -
In the United States it was found that much of the country that was marked or called desert was not desert at all when it was properly and scientifically treated.
Further on he said -
Why should we wait to develop this great country which has the same problem to face as had America? We are crying out for settlers, but we have no land to give them. Why should we not take the question in hand and see what we can do ? Why should we not make a start now and not wait until we are driven by necessity to act. Why should we not now co-operate with the States, co-ordinate with what they are doing, and test the value of this great continent?
Further on again he said -
If we glance at a map of the United States published thirty or thirty-five years ago, we shall see marked all over it the word “ Desert,” “Desert,” Desert.” If we look at a map of the United States published last year, we shall find it marked with railroad tracks.
Well, now, when I listened to the honorable senator, it occurred to me that while he is a strong advocate for agricultural development, he might also have learnt from America the lesson that some of us so strenuously tried to teach him a few weeks ago, that one method of opening up socalled desert country is by railway construction. America .has proved that. It seems strange that a man who has studied the developments that have taken place in America should, on his return to Australia, refuse to allow even an inquiry to be made as to whether a railway should be built across so-called desert country.
– The honorable senator has overlooked the speech which Senator McColl made on bounties in the other House when he referred to what people called the “ desert railway,” and said that the country through which it passed’ could be commercially turned to great advantage.
– The country referred to is not desert in the ordinary sense, inasmuch as the land is good land. I believe that this Bill, or a measure like it, could be made useful in opening up those vast areas of land, and promoting their development. I believe that money could be use.fully spent in that direction. But I am not satisfied with the Bill as it stands. I am afraid that it will not do anything to solve the great problem of opening up those vast areas of land which are now living idle and which are marked “Desert” on our maps, called “ desert “ in our newspapers, and often libelled as “ desert “ by politicians. The danger) to which we are liable in dealing with bounties is that, because the butter industry has been established in Victoria very largely as the result of a bounty, it is assumed that any industry and all industries may be treated in precisely the same fashion. It is assumed that because the export of butter has become one of our staple industries, we shall be likely to achieve like results by the application of a bounty in other directions. But, in the first place, it must be remembered that it was not only the bounty that led to the success of the butter industry. At the time when the butter trade was in its early stages of developmen, I myself was living in a farming district in South Australia,, and I know that it was stern necessity, rather than the inducement of a bounty, that made the farmers turn to butter production. It was largely the failure of wheat growing owing to the exhaustion . of the soil - at the time they did not foresee the value of fertilizers - that compelled the farmers to fall back upon their cows and their poultry. They then realized that “ Strawberry “ and “ Biddy,” which, formerly, they had been disposed to look upon as creatures to be kicked and cuffed, had become the salvation of the farm, and must be relied upon to tide the farmer over his bitter period.
– That is the reason why the Premier of Victoria says that he always takes off his hat to a cow.
– Well, we often take off our “hats to worse animals. Undoubtedly the butter trade in Victoria owed much lc« the stimulus of bounties, but I am under the impression that in New South Wales, where there is a big butter industry, the trade was built up without a bounty, and in Queensland, where there is also a large butter trade, there was no bounty either.. Perhaps Senator Chataway can say’ whether any bounty was paid in Queensland.
– Not a cash bounty. The Government, by certain method’s, helped the people to erect butter factories.
– There are, of course, many ways of assisting an industry. Some of the States which have never paid a bounty at all have spent thousands of pounds upon the butter industry bv assisting agricultural colleges, importing dairy stock, and doing, as Senator Trenwith suggests, what the mover of this amendment advocates. But there is a vital difference between butter and many of the articles appearing in this schedule. In the case of the butter industry, not only had we a big local market, which we ought to have been, and were, able to supply once we became alive to the fact, but outside Australia there was a vast world’s market ready for our exploitation, upon which we could sell our butter at prices that would pay the farmer. To how many items in the schedule do those conditions apply? We can hope to export very few of these products to the world’s markets at a profit to our farmers. The other countries in which butter is produced approximate nearly to our conditions, but a great number of the items in this schedule will be grown in the tropical portions of Australia, and, if we attempt to export them, will have to be sold in competition with articles grown in the tropical parts of the world with the lowest paid labour. I am sorry Senator Givens is not present, although he knows that I am going to refer to a statement made by him last night. When he was speaking, I interjected that coffee was already well protected, seeing that it had a duty of 50 per cent. He replied that there was nothing like that amount of duty. I have here the returns for the year 1906 of the imports of coffee. We imported 1,693,990 lbs.’ of raw coffee, of a value of £[46,745, or a little more than 6£d. per lb., declared import value. The duty on raw coffee is 3d. per lb. Adding the natural protection of freight and other charges, 3d. per lb. is equal to a 50 per cent, duty, if not more, so that my statement is borne out by the declared returns from the Customs House. If the honorable senator says that he referred to roasted coffee, we have a duty of 6d. per lb. on it. The imports in 1906 were 343,474 libs., of the value of ,£17,835, or a declared import value of is. ojd. per lb) Consequently, there again the duty is equal to 50 per cent. This is an industry with one of the highest duties in Australia to protect it from outside competition. If it is one that we have any hope can even supply the local market, it cannot be said to be inadequately protected. In addition, it is proposed in the schedule to pay a bounty of id. per lb., which means increasing the protection by 20 per cent. We shall be giving 50 per cent, protection and 20 per cent, bounty, or a total of 70 per cent. The Senate should ask : “ Is the industry worth our spending this amount of money on?” What have we to hope for in the coffee industry? The most is, by continuing a strongly protective policy, to supply our local market.
– The local market will always be expanding.
– Admitting that, the honorable senator will not be bold: enough to say that we shall ever be able to sell our coffee on a foreign market.
– We might, under a reciprocal treaty with Great Britain.
– Even then ‘ the British Parliament would have to impose a high duty on foreign coffee, and they would not exclude Indian coffee, whichcould undoubtedly beat ours on the English market.
– There is Canada. We are very poor coffee drinkers compared with the Canadians.
– We see in this morning’s paper the terms on which we can have reciprocity with Canada. We must admit free their agricultural machinery. If they take our coffee, will Senator Trenwith allow their harvesters to come in free? Will he allow even one to come in free in return for a ton of our coffee? I am afraid there will be some difficulty in getting that bargain through either House. The Victorian members will have to be consulted about it. The coffee industry is not worth the expenditure which we are asked to sanction. It has no future, I do not think coffee is going to be an article of increasing consumption in Australia. Its consumption is infinitesimal compared with that of other beverages. I shall certainly vote against the item. The money might be well spent in other directions. A sum of .£1,500 a year for eight years will amount to ,£12,000 spent in stimulating an industry that will be worth practically nothing when we have got it. In Brazil, where a success was made of it, its very success has been its . undoing. The growers have had to root up plantations by the mile.
– Because the Government stepped in and imposed an export duty.
– Brazil, in the year before the Government took that action, had exceeded the whole world’s supply of coffee. That country, if planting were resumed to-day, could swamp the world with coffee again. Another objection is that we are asked to stimulate an industry which its heartiest supporter knows can only live in Australia as the result of continual, if not increasing, spoon-feeding. We shall have to retain a very heavy protective duty, and, possibly, at the end of eight years, to continue the bounty, if we start to give it. We had better not start the bounty. We had better hold out no false hopes to those who may contemplate entering upon an industry which will never be able to stand alone. I hope that the Committee will strikethe item out. The same remarks apply to rice. Look at the vast fertile region of the valley of the Nile, where, without any cultivation whatever, nature does everything that is necessary. What hope have we of selling rice in the markets of the world in competition with that grown in the valley of the Nile, let alone what comes from India? As to the local market, is it worth while to penalize this food staple for many years in order to build up a little industry that can never hope to succeed as an export industry? What would any of our primary industries be worth if they had to rely solely on the local market? Is it not a fact that their value depends to a preponderating degree on the quantity they sell in the foreign markets of the world?
– Then you will never cultivate the tropics of Australia.
– I do not agree with that conclusion. There are some products which we can profitably cultivate in the tropics. At any rate, I am not prepared to build-up by a system of bounties such as this, hot-house industries that will wither the first time they have to face competition. I have not the same objection to the bounty on cotton. While the market for rice in Australia will always be limited, I can quite conceive that the market for cotton will be great and increasing. Cotton will be the raw material for manufacture, and Australia may become a cotton manufacturing country.
– And even exporting country.
– Even exporting, because we have near us the Pacific Islands, all of which carry a substantial cotton-wearing population.
– Does not the honorable senator think that they could grow cotton with native labour in the South Sea Islands?
– They could, but I do not think that they are doing so.
– We grow sugar in Australia, in competition with sugar grown an Java with coloured labour.
– The honorable senator has used rather an unfortunate illustration. Honorable senators who were in the first Parliament know that when we were asked to vote a bounty on sugar we were told that it would only be needed until the kanakas had been displaced by, white labour. We were assured that when that troublesome period was over, the bounty could cease, and the industry go on. But we have been asked recently, and have agreed, to continue the bounty for a further term. Does any honorable senator anticipate that when that term is over we shall not be asked to continue the bounty still further? The sugar industry is not yet so far out of the wood that we can point to it as an instance of the success of the bounty system. That system has been a success in the sugar industry, in so far as it has enabled coloured labour to be replaced by white labour, not only without ruin, but even with advantage to the growers who to-day are more flourishing than ever. But it remains to be seen whether the industry can stand when we take the bounty away.
– It has enabled us to contend with bounty-fed sugar from abroad.
– We must remember that the bounty is very generous, and it has yet to be shown that when we reduce or abolish it the industry can continue, even with a protective duty of£6 per ton. A bounty is proposed in the schedule on “ Tobacco leaf for the manufacture of cigars, high grade, of quality to be prescribed.” I draw the attention of the Senate to the restrictive bounty proposed. It is not to be on leaf for tobacco-making. I have asserted, and again assert, that Australia can produce tobacco leaf suitable for making high-class tobacco. I am under the impression, rightly or wrongly, as the result of my investigations, that much Australian leaf is being put to-day into the high grade tobaccoes sold in Australia. I am sure that, given a fair field and no favour, the cultivation of tobacco leaf in Australia would become again, as it was in the past, a very profitable industry, employing large numbers of men, and utilizing a great area of land. There is also evidence that in the districts of Wangaratta and Tumut - the districts in which tobacco leaf is most successfully grown - one of the factors which has caused growers to abandon the cultivation of the leaf has been the prosperity of the dairying industry. Whilst on the one hand they have had a declining market for the tobacco- leaf, on the other hand they have had an inducement to take up dairy farming, at which they could make a greater profit than they could get, owing to the declining price, from tobacco leaf.
– Public taste is against it.
– I do not think it is. People are smoking Australian tobacco under the impression that they are smoking American tobacco. Twenty-seven per cent, of the tobacco leaf used in Australia to-day is locally grown.
– The public will not smoke Australian cigars.
– The honorable senator may not care to smoke an Australian cigar, but out of curiosity I had a number of cigars made from Australian leaf supplied to me when I was Chairman of the Royal Commission on the Tobacco Monopoly. I distributed the cigars amongst honorable senators, who assured me that they smoked admirably.
– Did the honorable senator smoke any of them?
– I smoked one cigar, and experienced no ill effects. At Wangaratta there is. a State tobacco farm which is producing high-grade cigar leaf. Mr. Temple Smith is not only conducting a farm on his own account, but also directing the State tobacco farm, where he has produced leaf which has been thoroughly successful. It is being used for cigar-making to-day by the States Tobacco Company of Melbourne. There is practically only one buyer for the leaf, and he is able to say at what price it shall be sold.
– He sent it to England, and could not get the local price for it.
– The honorable senator is not correct, because the tobacco sent to England was not cigar leaf. The whole of his crop was purchased by the States Tobacco Company of this city.
– The Queensland tobacco expert said that the price paid by the Combine for the leaf was fair and reasonable.
– The Queensland tobacco expert was talking about black plug leaf, whereas I am talking about cigar leaf.
– He mentioned cigar leaf.
– In his evidence Mr. Neville does not say a word regarding any cigar leaf which he has sold. But on page 127 of the report, Mr. Temple Smith gives the following evidence -
The object of experimental work carried ou during the last few years has been to prove the suitability of certain varieties of leaf for certain districts. Already, we have found that we can grow a really superior class of cigar tobaccowhere, in some instances, we have been growing only plug tobacco for many years.
Mr. Temple Smith is a man who, I think, is admitted, even by the members of the Tobacco Combine, to be thoroughly impartial ; he is not by any means hostile to them, because he stated in his evidence that he entertained no such feeling towards them. Undoubtedly he is an expert of very great experience - twenty years, I think - not merely theoretically, but also practically, and he says that tobacco can be grown here. Honorable senators may agree as to the necessity of assisting the growing of cigar leaf in Australia, and yet not agree to the proposed bounty. Therefore, I wish to point out that possibly there is a better way of assisting the industry than by means of a bounty which might go into the pockets of the Tobacco Trust. The difficulty, not only with cigar leaf, but also with tobacco leaf, as it was impressed upon us by members of the Trust and farmers, lies not so much in the farmer not being willing to cultivate the leaf properly as in not being able, from want of knowledge, to cure the leaf properly. On page 128, after explaining to us the process by which the leaf was cured, Mr. Temple Smith gave, in reply to questions by me, the following evidence - 1894. Coming to the fermentation process, would you require a different shed for that, or would the same shed do? - For heavy dark tobacco the same shed would do, but for cigar leaf you must have a room in which you can operate a steaming apparatus. 1895. Do you think that it is worthy of consideration that the Government should establish sheds for fermentation in districts in which there are a number of growers of tobacco? - ‘ I certainly do. 1896. How many growers would be needed’ in order to make it a payable, business to establish a Government shed for fermentation? - 100 tons of leaf grown would be sufficient. I would like to point out that a very large shedwould be required, and it would be rather anexpensive undertaking, as tobacco must be put down in exactly the right condition for fermentation. 1897. Proper ventilation is, I suppose, essential ? - Yes. 1598. 1$ it a fact that much of the tobacco leaf grown in this district is spoiled by a lack of knowledge of the proper way in which to handle it? - Yes. 1599. Do you think it is not possible to overcome that by sending round instructors and establishing sheds? - I think tuition is the best means of correcting the evil.
In the case of tobacco leaf, I suppose we should have not only a local market, but also an export market, but it is absolutely useless to pay a bounty to persons who do not know, and have not the facility of knowing how to cure the leaf. Furthermore, the growing of tobacco leaf will appeal to only persons of small means. A big farmer will never go iri for growing the article. Do honorable senators realize what kind of industry it is? An area of 5 or 10 acres will keep a family occupied all the year round. At night they have to go out with lanterns to search for grubs. It is not laborious work. It is work which needs not so much capital as large families. It is the man with a family who can successfully grow tobacco leaf, and the larger his family is the better chance of success he has. Then the small man has not the means of equipping himself with a proper shed for the curing of the leaf. A shed for that purpose needs to be built carefully, on scientific lines, and as Mr. Temple Smith pointed out, it would be better if there were one shed under the care of an expert for curing the leaf of, perhaps, half-a-dozen farmers. Instead of having each farmer curing his own leaf, . and thereby getting different types of leaf from the same district, we should get a leaf of one quality, just as we get wine of one quality by having a central winery, or butter of one quality, by having a central factory. In my opinion it would be far better for the Government to spend the amount of the bounty on the lines indicated by Senator McColl ; even to subsidize the States in paying men like Mr. Temple Smith in Victoria, and Mr. Neville in Queensland, to educate the farmers, and in establishing central sheds for the use of farmers in a district. Wherever half-a-dozen men were settled in a district, the Commonwealth Government should say, “ If you will take up the cultivation of cigar leaf, we will provide a shed and an expert to cure the leaf properly.” That is the way in which to expend the money prudently. I venture to say that if it is paid as a bounty it will be simply thrown away. In the first place, the Bill does not stipulate how the money is to be paid.. I presume that it will be paid on the leaf when it is cured, if it conforms to a certain standard. That, however, is not the time when the grower wants money. He wants help long before he gets to that stage. In the first place, he wants expert advice to teach him how to grow the tobacco.
– Which he gets.
– In some, but not in all, of the States. He will get no instruction of that kind under the operation of this Bill.
– Because the States do that, why should we do it, too?
– The States are not carrying out that work effectively. All that Victoria is doing is being done in the district of Wangaratta under the direction of Mr. Temple Smith,, who is a farmer.
– They have had the best men America could send us.
– The honorable senator is referring to another man who was not kept here very long. In Texas, in Queensland, Mr. Neville, I understand, is in a similar position to Mr. Temple Smith. He has a farm of his own.
– No, he has a State farm.
– That is not the case with Mr. Temple Smith, who, I understand, has a farm of his own. I thought that Mr. Neville was in a similar position. Those men are simply giving object lessons, such as the State agricultural colleges give, to the farmers: The Bill proposes to give financial assistance to the growers of tobacco leaf. I agree that it should be given, but under the Bill it will not be available at the time when, or in the fashion in which, it will be of benefit to the farmer. Such assistance can best be rendered to him by providing a shed in which to cure his leaf, and, if necessary, paying an expert who will conduct that work. We had evidence that in the Tumut district a number of sheds had been erected for the curing of leaf for plug tobacco. Mr. James W. Creasy, who had had long experience in America, had to supervise, not only his own shed, but those of his neighbours. He used to tell them what to do. But what did he find on one occasion? When the leaf is being cured in a shed, a fire has to be kept going. One farmer who had something else to occupy his attention, allowed his fire to go out for an hour. When he found the shed stone cold he relit the fire, and was very much surprised indeed when his leaf turned out to be a failure. A year’s work was destroyed by reason of a simple mistake. In nine cases out of ten tobacco leaf is ruined, not in the growing, but in the curing. The aroma, appearance, and generally the properties and quality of the leaf are determined during the period of curing. On the subject of the growth of cigar leaf in Australia I quote the following evidence - 1968. Since you have been growing tobacco here, has the district been visited by American growers, or by people from America intimate with the conditions connected with tobacco culture in the United States? - Yes, I was visited recently by an American cigar expert, Mr. Farnham. 1969. Did he express any opinion as to the quality of leaf produced here? - Yes. I drove him round the country here. He was under the impression that we could grow a very useful cigar leaf here.
I invite the attention of Senator Neild to this statement -
I sold to his company in Melbourne a leaf which he tested, and pronounced to be a very fair cigar leaf, and he offered to buy more of it. 1970. Had he been associated with the growth of tobacco in America ? - Yes. 1971. You have said that you visited Texas district in Queensland ; have you visited any of the tobacco growing districts of New South Wales?- No.
At questions 1972-3 there is this further evidence - 1972. Has it not been stated in the past that it was not possible to produce in Victoria tobacco equal to that which can be produced in Queensland? - It has. 1973. There is no justification, in your opinion, for that statement? - I believe they will grow some better plug tobaccoes in Queensland, but I am under the impression that we will grow here a better cigar leaf than they can” grow in Queensland. We have proved that up to the present. They may, and no doubt will, grow a better cigar leaf in Queensland than they do at present, after they have conducted further experiments.
That shows that a cigar leaf has been grown there. This further evidence was given - 1977.Ishe practically in the same position? - Yes, so far as the price given for leaf is concerned. 1978. By the Chairman. - Mr. Schuch, manager for Schneider and Abrahams’ cigar factory, has made the statement that good cigar leaf cannot be produced in Australia? - That is evidently not the opinion of the States Tobacco Company. 1979. You do not indorse that statement? - No. 1980. Were the samples of cigar leaf which you exhibited to the Committee to-day grown under cover? - Some, not all. 1981. Was the leaf which realized the best price grown under cover? - Not all of it. In fact, the people who bought the leaf advised me not to grow largely under cover, because that which is not grown under cover is just as useful to them. Mr. Jacobs, of the States Tobacco Company, wrote to the Minister for Agriculture stating that the cigar leaf submitted’ to them in the season before last was the best tobacco grown in Australasia that they had seen. That tobacco was grown in Victoria.
I may add that it was grown on theVictorian State Farm by Mr. Temple Smith. This evidence should prove not only that we can grow plug tobacco in Australia, but that, with the advice and assistance of experts, our growers could produce a leaf suitable for the manufacture of cigars.
– Does it not also prove that we a.re giving the instruction which Senator McColl in his amendment asks for?
– No, because the honorable senator loses sight of the fact that I have been referring to an isolated case of a State farm, and it is surrounded by tobacco growers who are not growing leaf up to that standard.
– Could they not all obtain the instruction ?
– Instruction in the growth of tobacco is not so much required as instruction in proper methods of curing it.
– Could not the growers be given instruction in curing also?
– The honorable senator has overlooked the difficulty which would be experienced if each farmer had to erect his own drying shed. It is stated that these sheds should be built of ruberoid, and would cost over £100. If ten farmers each required a shed, the expenditure involved would be from£1,000 to£1,200, whilst one shed, at a cost of £400, would be sufficient for the tobacco produced by them all. There is the other difficulty that if each’ farmer built his own shed we should have ten different methods adopted for dealing with the leaf, and ten different standards of leaf produced, whilst under a system of State assistance, such as I have suggested, the whole of the tobacco produced by the farmers in a particular district would be cured in one shed, and there would be one standard of tobacco drawn from that district. In the Tumut district we found that the Tobacco Combine endeavoured to induce the growers to cultivate a leaf called the Hester variety. It would be used for plug tobacco, but the growers found that, by growing the ordinary varieties, they could get a much heavier crop. Although the growers in the Tumut district cultivated the Hester variety of leaf as suggested by the Combine, and cured it in their own sheds by the flue process, which was said by the experts to be the best, I find that in 1905, the latest year for which I could get particulars, for 50 per cent. of the best tobacco leaf produced in the district over 6d. per lb. was paid, and not more than 8d. per lb. was paid for any tobacco grown in that district. Two-thirds of the leaf produced would be used for No. 1 grade tobacco, and the other onethird for No. 2 grade. The No. 2 grades of tobacco leaf brought less than 6d. per lb. ; 50 per cent. brought from 2¾ d. up to 3¾d. per lb., and the balance below 2¾d. and as low as 2d. per lb. When the Commission visited Tumut samples of tobacco leaf were submitted to them, and amongstthem a sample for which the Combine had paid 8d. per lb. I asked Mr. Curran, the expert for the Combine, what would be the price of that leaf in America, and he said that it would not be more than 8 cents. or 4d. per lb. It was also brought out in evidence that tobacco of that quality sent to England had realized 4d. per lb. on the London market. I wish honorable senators to consider this point. If leaf of that quality is worth 4d. per lb. in America, when it was landed in Australia under the old Tariff it had to pay a duty of1s. 6d. per lb., and the Melbourne and Sydney market price of it should have been1s.10d. per lb., and yet we find that the Combine were paying the local growers for that leaf no more than 8d. per lb. It was admittedly a good leaf. Members of the Combine would not deny that it was, and yet they paid only 8d. per lb. for it, though it was admitted by their own expert that it was worth 4d. per lb. in America, and duty paid should have been worth1s.10d. in Australia.
– How will that difficulty be overcome if the Government erect curing sheds?
– I do not say that it will be overcome. I believe that, no matter what is done in that direction, the Combine will reap the benefit.
– We should be fattening the Combine.
– There is only one way to settle the matter, and that is for the Government to take over the whole business.
– My first objection to the item is that the money is proposed to be spent in a perfectly useless way, and at the wrong time, and the second objection is that the bounty, if paid, would go to the wrong people. As regards the proposed bounty on fish, no doubt the fishing industry is one which should be fostered in Australia, but do not honorable senators think that we should first of all make sure that we have fish suitable for canning? I understand that all kinds of fish cannot be successfully canned. I have never heard of canned schnapper, although schnapper is plentiful enough in Australian waters, and I have heard that some fish are unsuitable for canning. We have authorized the expenditure of£8,000 for a trawler, and I think we should first see what the trawler Is going to do, and learn whether there are shoals of fish in Australian waters that are suitable for canning. I have tasted canned mullet locally prepared in Western Australia, and it is a fairly eatable article, but it does not compare with fresh herring’s or salmon imported from America.
– Barracoutta has been canned successfully, and is sold as “ Spring Salmon.”
– I wish to ask whether it is not a fact that, so far, we have not solved the problem of the distribution of the fresh fish supply of Australia. I am told on very good authority that fishermen at Queenscliff having had a large haul, and knowing that if they sent it to Melbourne they would glut the market, they have sent only a certain quantity to Melbourne, and have dumped the rest into the sea.
– Hence the necessity for providing other means by which they can dispose of their fish.
– That does not follow, because if they do not wish to waste the. fish they catch they have now only to send it to the cold storage chambers, and it can be distributed as required. The’ fact is that, in order to create an artificial scarcity, they prefer to dump some of the fish they catch into the sea again, to secure an enhanced price for the balance of the catch.
– What is the honorable senator’s authority for that statement?
– My authority is a gentleman who saw what I have described actually done. I have heard the statement made that fishermen at Fremantle do the same thing. In Western Australia a Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly was appointed to investigate the condition of the fishing industry, and the existence of a ring in the industry, as well as the wholesale destruction of fish, was disclosed. I do not know that we are justified in making provision for the canning of fish before we have solved the problem of distributing the fresh fish supply. Whilst I am prepared to let this item stand, I am not enthusiastic about it. The regulation of fisheries has been left to the Federal Parliament under the Constitution, and in my opinion it would be better to leave this item out of the Bill and deal with the fisheries of Australia in a comprehensive measure. We might, by co-operation with the States, discover some means of regulating the distribution of the supply of fresh fish caught. I wish to refer to the item of copra. Senator Givens last night informed us that the Queensland Government had planted a large’ number of cocoanut palms on beaches and islands along the Queensland coast some ten years ago, and the trees were now coming into bearing. The proposed bounty for copra is to extend over fifteen years, and I would ask whether honorable senators imagine that any one is likely, iri the circumstances, to commence the planting of cocoanut palms with a view to secure the bounty on copra, when the trees will only commence to bear ten years from the time at which they have been planted. It seems to me that the £5,000 put down for this purpose would merely be a present to anybody who could snap up the land on which the Queensland Government have planted cocoanut palms, and is not likely to induce a solitary person to plant cocoanut palms with any idea of securing the bounty when he would know that, while he was waiting for the trees to come into bearing, the amount set down for the purpose might be absorbed by persons interested in existing plantations. For the reasons I have stated I am not at all enthusiastic about this Bill. I think that the money proposed to be spent under it could be much better spent in extending the educational institutions of the States.
Sitting suspended from 1 to 2 p.m.
– In my opinion, it would have been well if this Bill had been introduced somewhere nearer the time when we deal with the Tariff. The two matters seem to be co-related. The attitude which I have determined to take up with regard to the measure will be this : Holding the opinion that I do with regard to so many of the items, I shall vote for the amendment, and if that is defeated, I shall vote for the second reading, attempting in Committee to get some alterations made in the se tied u 1 e»
– I do not propose to vote for the amendment. It appears to me that Senator McColl assumes that it is preferable to adopt a system of education in regard to the introduction of new forms of agriculture, rather than to stimulate them by_ means of bounties. But it must be remembered, in relation to attempting to develop any particular form of agriculture, that we cannot expect the growers to be successful without years of experience and labour,
– Bounties should come later.
– There I join issue with the honorable senator. We have first to persuade people who are following certain callings, of which they have experience, to leave them and go in for fresh forms of agriculture of which they , necessarily know very little beyond what they have learnt either from Government experts or from books. Nothing illustrates this better than the history of the sugar industry in Europe. It is now about a century since the first steps were taken to establish it. An Excise duty was levied on sugar, and the bounty was paid on the exports. When the industry was first commenced, it was faced with the difficulty that the Beet produced did not contain a sufficient quantity of sugar to make its extraction profitable to the manufacturers. It was owing to the efforts of Sir J. B. Lawes, and the French chemist Vilmorin, that discoveries were made of means of increasing the production of sugar from beet, and also of- increasing the growth of beet upon a given area. Except for developments not only with regard to the chemistry of the fields, but also as to scientific management in the factories, the beet-sugar industry could never have been established on a firm foundation. Furthermore, if the growers had not been encouraged by a bounty on export, the industry could never have been a success. But what has been the result which it has taken so many years to accomplish? Europe now produces every year something like 7,000,000 tons of beet sugar, and the industry, at the lowest computation, is worth close upon ^100,000,000. That has been accomplished, not by educating the people in the first instance and giving a bounty afterwards, but by giving a bounty, and, as difficulties arose - industrial difficulties and difficulties in the fields - applying the energy and skill of scientists to solving the problems. Success did not come until after the industry had been started by the assistance of the bounty. Doubts have been expressed as . to whether the system of paying bounties is, or is not, likely to lead to success in the establishment of new industries. It would appear that the only, idea of a bounty which some honorable senators have is that it must take the form of hard cash. That is the method proposed bv this Bill. But, from my point of view, I confess that I dislike this form of bounty more than any other. There are many forms of bounty which have been successful. The sugar industry in Queensland was originally started by means of a bounty, but it was not a cash bounty. It took the form of a special condition of land tenure, given under what was caller! the cotton and coffee regulations. The conditions were originally intended to establish the growth of cotton and coffee, but West Indian sugar planters came to North Queensland, and it was discovered that the land was suited to the growth of a product which they already understood. The result was that they went in for sugar-growing, and were able to take up land under the cotton and coffee regulations. I will not occupy time by entering into details concerning them, because, to do so, would be beside the question. The point is that the main element which led to the original establishment of the sugar industry was a form of bounty and not a system of education. Then we have had bounties paid on exports. Those bounties are usually raised by means of an Excise duty on an article, and the bounty is paid out of “the Excise revenue to the people who export. Then, again, we have had the form of bounty that we hear so much about now in connexion with the sugar, industry. It is raised by means of an Excise duty, and a certain amount is refunded to the growers under conditions prescribed by Parliament, as to the colour of the labour employed, and the payments made to the workers. Despite an interjection made by Senator Symon, we have almost precisely the same system in connexion with, the agricultural implement making industry. In that case, an Excise duty is imposed, and an amount is returned to the manufacturer if he carries on his business under certain conditions as to labour and wages. The only difference in the case of the sugar industry is, that the Government collects the Excise, and returns a certain amount of it to the growers, whereas, in the case of agricultural implements, they do not collect the Excise at all, unless the conditions prescribed are not observed. From a reply made by the Minister the other day, I gathered that if complaints arose as to insufficient wages being paid, the Excise would be collected from the agricultural implement makers.
– Where does the bounty come in?
– In one case the Government levies an Excise duty, and pays back a certain amount if the conditions under which the industry is carried on are satisfactory ; and in the other case there is an industry as to which the Government says, “ If the conditions are not satisfactory, we shall levy an Excise duty.”
– One is. a bounty for the encouragement of ah industry, and the other is a penalty if certain conditions are not observed.
– The fact is that a duty was imposed upon a particular article, ,and Parliament said to the local manufacturer, “We will virtually take the benefit of that duty away from you by means of an Excise duty if the conditions under which you conduct your industry are not satisfactory.” There is another form of bounty which, to my mind’, is the most satisfactory of all. It has been adopted in different parts of the world, and consists of loans made by the Government to people to establish factories or works in connexion with a particular industry. Senator Pearce has said that it would be a good idea for the Government to erect curing sheds in connexion with the tobacco industry. I do not agree with him. If the Government put up sheds there would be no responsibility upon the farmers to continue growing tobacco, and the Government would be likely to have the sheds thrown upon its hands. But if money were advanced to groups of tobacco-growers to enable them to put up sheds under Government specification they would be responsible for paying back the money eventually. Men who were thus responsible would be more likely to make the industry a success and stick to it. An illustration is afforded by what has happened in Queensland. In 1886-7 Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, as head of the Government, advanced to two groups of cane farmers sums of money for the erection of two sugar mills. Only the other day - twenty years, after - one of those mills finally paid off the last portion of its debt.
– The mills have been extended since.
– Yes, and I shall refer to that matter later on. The mill in question has paid back all that it owed to the Government, in addition to a fair rate of interest in the meantime. The result is that there is a group of 100 or 120 farmers carrying on a mill practically on the co-operative system. That is a form of bounty which has been exceedingly successful. The other mill that was established at the same time will, it is expected, pay off the remainder of its debt within two or three years.- So successful was the system of making the farmers responsible for their own salvation that in 1892-3 the system was still further extended, with the result that twelve or fourteen other mills were established. The majority of them are doing well, and keeping up their payments to the Government. In my opinion, that is one of the best forms ot bounty that can be adopted. I consider it preferable to cash payments such as are here proposed. The cash system was tried in Queensland some years ago in connextion with cotton, as it has been tried in various other parts of the world. Generally, it has been less successful than we should like, to express the matter in the mildest way. I remember that something like sixteen or seventeen years ago a considerable effort was made to establish the fibre industry in Queensland. We endeavoured to raise the capital to buy the necessary decorticating machines to market the article. Fibre was grown experimentally, and there was every reason .to believe that the industry would be well established. The fibre grown at that time was what is known as the Mauritius aloe, which grows freely in Queensland. The industry at that time had already been well established in Mauritius, and pretty well everything that could be learnt about it was known in Queensland. But there was no direct incentive to the people there to devote themselves to growing the plant. They said, “ We will be content with growing what we understand. We know all about sugar, and will stick to it rather than put our money into this new venture.” The fibre proposals fell through, simply because there was no arrangement by which the cultivators could be brought together to establish a factory. In Queensland the dairy industry, as I interjected when Senator Pearce was speaking, was established on a system similar to what I have been advocating. In regard to the meat industry also, the principle was adopted of putting on a tax, and from the resultant revenue money was advanced to groups of farmers to establish meat works. The meat preserving industry of Queensland is now on an absolutely sound footing. Not only are the producers able to meet internal demands, but they are exporting in large quantities. That, again, is an example of what I call a real bounty system proving very successful, An effort was made in Queensland at that time to grow rice. A considerable quantity was grown, not of the swamp variety, such as could be grown in certain portions of the Northern Territory, but hill or dry rice. There, again, the difficulty was to get people to leave an industry that they understood and risk starting a new one, where they would also have to find the capital for the necessary milling of the raw .material. The list of items for which it is- proposed to grant bounties has, with all due respect to the Government, been prepared with’ the least possible knowledge of the subject. I propose to vote for the second reading of the Bill.
– With one exception, the items are included on expert advice.
– I shall have something to say about expert advice also. I shall vote in Committee for some of the items, but I wish to show reasons why the Government should consider the matter very carefully before they press the whole of them. The principal item is cotton. I am satisfied that Australia can, and will, produce a large amount of cotton, if we can induce people to take up the industry, and make a fair start with it. It is by no means a new thing, and it is not only for Queensland that it is required. In Windsor Earl’s Enterprise in Tropical Australia, published in 1846, reference is made to the cotton grown at Port Essington, in the Northern Territory, in these terms -
The cotton plant appears to be better adapted to the soil and climate of the Cobourg Peninsula, and, indeed, of the northern coasts of Australia generally; than any other description of produce. If the seed is sown at the proper season, the plants arrive at maturity soon after the cessation of the rains, and a period of dry weather ensues, during which the crop may be gathered without any liability to damage from moisture. And it is of all tropical products the best suited for a new settlement, since the land requires comparatively little preparation, while no expensive machinery is necessary to render the cotton fit for the market; the planter, again, obtains a return even during the first year, and, although this may not be sufficient to reimburse him for all the expenditure incurred, it still affords him a very considerable degree of encouragement.
I draw honorable senators’ particular attention to this -
There are political reasons too for wishing that cotton should become the staple product of the tropical parts of Australia, which must be evident to all those who are aware of the source from which our chief supply of this important article is at present derived, and how liable we are to have this supply cut off at a moment’s notice.
Windsor Earl was linguist to the North Australian Expedition, and Commissioner of Crown Lands for Port Essington. He was an Imperial official, and was” naturally cautious in what he said. His reference is to the fact that the cotton supply of Great Britain came from the United States. He wrote- at a time when there was considerable ill-feeling between the two countries. However kindly our feelings may be now towards the United States, it is always desirable, from ‘the British point of view, that the Empire, if possible, should supply its own cotton. Even assuming that we never had the slightest difference of opinion with the United States - arid such a thing seems almost impossible - it might happen to suit them to go out of the cotton industry. Where should we be then? They might take it into their heads to cultivate something else, and the necessity for cultivating cotton in the outside portions of the British Empire would again be brought forward. The cotton supply has been very short, and every effort is being made by the British Cotton Growing Association to have it grown in other parts of the Empire. We have had various small attempts made to grow cotton. It has been pointed out that it was a failure in Queensland. It is true that it was a failure in the first place, but that was because it started under the unhealthy stimulus of very high prices caused by the American Civil War. When the war ceased, and prices came down to their old level, any chance of exporting cotton from Australia naturally disappeared. It was afterwards stimulated by a cash bounty. The Ipswich cotton factory was given a bounty for producing so many yards of cotton material. After the bounty was earned, the industry, for local reasons, went to pieces, but I am very glad to say that the factory is now reopening. There is every reason to believe that, with the very modest help proposed in this Bill, the industry will be put on a firm footing. We have already at Charters Towers a cotton planters’ association. Charters Towers is a mining centre, but it is so difficult for all the young people to find employment in the mines that, as at Gympie, they have gone on the land in the neighbourhood, and started cultivation. That association has now apparently been formed, and thisyear a considerable amount of lint and seed is being turned out in and about Charters Towers. * The quality is good.
– What is the quality of the soil about Charters Towers?
– It is good for cotton, judging by the prices. I have here a newspaper article headed’ “ Charters Towers Cotton Growing.” “Valued by the British Cotton Growing Association.” It states-
The bon. secretary of the Charters Towers Planters Association has received from Messrs. Barre Johnston and Co., Sydney, the report made by the expert valuers of the British Cotton Growing Association of the samples of cotton sent through their London agents, Messrs. Weddel and Co. Messrs. Barre Johnston and Co. say : - We heartily congratulate you on the out-turn of these samples, and hope the information may tend to induce others to go in for this industry, which appears to us, if properly carried out, most remunerative to growers.
We have pleasure in sending you the following encouraging report on a set of samples of cotton received from Charters Towers, and submitted by us to the expert valuers employed by the British Cotton Growing Association, viz. : - “ We consider the value and description of the samples of cotton grown in Queensland, which were forwarded to us by Messrs, W. Weddel and Co., 16 St. Helen’s-place, London, to be as follows :- “S.C. (W. Bird, Southern Cross.) No. i selected best. - Creamy colour, staple long, fine and strong, very desirable substitute for Joan.vich Egyptian, value 13d. to I4d. per lb.”
The experts in their report, as submitted to this Chamber, put the value of cotton down at 6d. and gd. per lb., and in one case at is. 4d. The cotton grown at Charters Towers is apparently not the kind quoted in the experts’ report, where Sea Island, Uplands and Caravonica are the varieties referred to. The Caravonica cotton, grown by Dr. Thomatis, in Queens- land, has fetched in Paris as high as is. 3d. a lb. -
No. 2 selected Russell. - Very bright, staple long and fine, would compete with American extras, ;i to lj inch staple, value nd. to 11 1/2d. per lb. No. 3 selected big boll. - Very white, staple about one inch (ginned), value 7§d. per db.
Honorable senators will notice that in some cases the prices are low. That is not because the quality is inferior, but because of the faulty ginning.
N.W. (C. Stamp, Southern Cross.)- No. 1 “selected best. - Creamy colour, staple long, fine and strong, very desirable substitute for Joanovich Egyptian, value 13d. per lb. No. 2 Stanwell. - Roller ginned, bright, staple silky, staple about i to inch, value 7fd. per lb. Saw ginned. - Duller, less lustre, value 7£d. per lb. No. 3 Russell big boll. - Bright, silky, staple ii inch, value 8d. to 8 1/4d. per lb.
Nearly all these prices are a little, and some are a good deal, higher than the prices quoted by the Conference of experts.
No. 1 Inkeger. - White, staple about 1 inch, value 7>jd. per lb. No. 2 Texas King. - Bright, silky, staple about i£ inch, value 8d. to 8jd. per lb.
D.Y. (W. Stephenson, Danby Farm).- No. 1 s’elected. - Bright, staple fine and long, value J2d. to 13d. per lb. No. 2 Stanwell. - Roller ginned, bright, silky, staple about i£ inch, value 8d. per lb. Saw ginned, much cut, value y£d. per lb.
There is an instance where the cotton was sent in a very bad condition, and still brought 7jd. a lb., although the experts quote 6d. as a reasonable price for ginned cotton. The article concludes -
We emphatically recommend the roller gin for all these cottons.
We are satisfied that there is a splendid opening for this class of cotton in the U.K. markets - especially in Liverpool - and as we have our own office there, we are in a position to give the very best attention to consignments entrusted to our care.
If it was necessary, I could produce further evidence that the quality of the cotton grown in Queensland is all that could be desired. A very considerable advance has been made with the quality since the days when Windsor Earl wrote his book. He gave the prices of cotton grown at Port Essington and sent to London at that time. The seeds were sent out in 1842, so that the cotton referred to here was probably grown about 1844. The report from London gave the following prices -
No. 1, Bourbon. - Long and fine, but rather woolly staple; good colour and clear. Value, about 6d. to 6W. per lb.
No. 2, Pernambuco. - Staple long, but woolly and harsh ; dingy in colour, and a little stained. Value, about 5d. per lb.
It is needless to say that the description of the cotton fully warrants the low prices then quoted. The remark of the expert was -
I may remark that both marks, but more particularly that from Pernambuco seed, are deficient in strength of staple - the clearness of the first mark is all that could be wished.
Consequently we have achieved a considerable advance in the ‘quality of our cotton, and what was recommended as suitable for the northern coasts of Australia in those days can be carried out now with greater hope of success, seeing that the prices to be obtained for the quality we now produce would be very much higher. I am somewhat puzzled to know on what principle the experts have made their selection of hemps. I have alreadyreferred to the fact that Mauritius hemp will grow well here, but for some reason it is omitted from the schedule, unless it is to be included in the general term “ flax and hemp.” A more important objection is that they ‘have included in the list two hemps, one of which is beating the other out of the markets of the world. New Zealand flax is put in, and yet we find that the New Zealand Flax-millers’ Association is very seriously exercised in its mind because it fears that sisal hemp is going to knock out New Zealand flax. We are asked to sanction a bounty upon the production of New Zealand flax with a view to establish that industry, and also a bounty upon the production of sisal hemp which probably will knock out New Zealand flax. That is a matter upon which the experts should certainly have been seized of a little more information. Recently Messrs. L. Seifert and W. Smith, representing the New Zealand Flaxmillers’ Association, visited Queensland to make inquiries in connexion with the sisal hemp industry of which they had heard. On page 109 of the August number of the Queensland Agricultural Journal, an official publication, I find the following extract from an article in the Bundaberg Mail on the visit of those New Zealand fibre experts -
Whatever the measure of earnestness displayed by Queensland agriculturists as to the possibilities of fibre production in this State, those who are associated with the industry in New Zealand are keenly alert to the advantages we possess in this respect. For many years past New Zealand native flax-producers have taken the world as their market, and have most profitably exported their fibre, which in the aggregate last year reached a value of ^740,000. The New Zealand Flax-millers’ Association have lately, and especially since the publication of Major Boyd’s (the editor of the Agricultural Journal) report on the possibilities of sisal production in Queensland, given close attention to the prospect of this State becoming a competitor with them in fibre production, and have practically reached the opinion - owing to the higher favour in which sisal hemp stands with manufacturers as compared with native flax hemp, the vastly cheaper conditions under which it can be produced, and the simplicity of the method of treatment - that they cannot hone to toe the mark with us, once our settlers enter upon the cultivation of sisal as a serious business-like proposition. This was the statement, made practically in as many words, and with no less directness and emphasis than we have employed, made to a representative of the Mail a couple of days ago by Messrs. L. Seifert and W. Smith, who are experienced hempproducers in New Zealand.
Later on, it says -
Messrs. Seifert and Smith informed us that, of the total native flax fibre grown in New Zealand last year, all, save about 1,000 tons, was exported, and realized on the London market ^31 per ton - making the total worth of the crop just upon three-quarters of a million sterling. A member of Mr. Seifert’s firm, who visited the St. Louis Exhibition a couple of years ago, received pointed evidence that sisal fibre is the great want of manufacturers, for he was assured by one large firm that, while that year they had used 4,000 tons of the New Zealand flax product, their preference was for sisal fibre, of which they purposed using 10,000 tons the following year, drawing the supply principally from Yucatan, in the north of Mexico.
In the face of that, I contend that the Government will be well advised if they withdraw the item “ New Zealand flax “ from the schedule. They are practically offering a bounty in respect of two varieties of hemp, knowing perfectly well that one hemp is bound to knock the other out of the market. I need not enlarge on the subject of sisal hemp. It must be well known to honorable senators that years ago Sir Henry Blake, when Governor, made it the staple industry of the Bahamas; and so much was thought of it that when the Queensland Government first endeavoured to get sisal plants for experimental work there was a strict penalty against the export of any sisal plants from the islands. There is another reason why the sisal hemp industry should “be warmly encouraged. In the first place, it is one in which the field labour difficulty will not be a serious one. In Queensland considerable areas of sisal hemp have been grown. It is almost impossible for any man, white or coloured, to work amongst the crop, and it ha& been found that the easiest. and simplest way of keeping down the weeds is to fence in the field, and turn in goats. The Government might seriously consider whether the encouragement of the production of mohair and sisal hemp ought not to be dealt with under one head. I have seen flocks of goats feeding in a sisal hemp field. In no case did they injure the hemp, but they acted the part of cultivators excellently. Again, sisal hemp will be harvested when the harvesting of sugar-cane is not taking place. That will lead to finding regular and continuous work for white men in the tropics. In the Northern Territory there are large areas which appeared to me to be very suitable for the growth of sisal hemp. That is an industry in which people could engage there without incurring considerable expense, or running serious risks. The labour difficulty would not be anything like that which would face them if they engaged in any other industry.
– Is not sisal hemp being grown on the Burdekin Delta?
– I do not know. It is being grown in the Childers and Mackay districts. The labour difficulty is not worth speaking of. The real difficulty will be in connexion with the harvesting or stripping, but that I believe will be largely overcome. If a machine to cut sugar-cane, which is now being tried, is a success, then the harvesting of sisal hemp by machinery will’ be a comparatively easy and simple matter. I forgot to mention that cotton is harvested during the months when men are beginning to make their way into the sugar districts from various parts of Australia to take part in the harvesting of the sugar-cane. Before they have earned any money, they have to remain idle until the harvesting actually begins. The growth of cotton and sisal hemp will lead to the settlement of small men on the soil. Small men with families can carry on both industries, and at the same time aid in the development of tropical districts. It may be asked, perhaps not altogether without reason, “ Why should the people of Australia pay to establish these various industries? Why should Queensland and the Northern Territory get ‘the whole benefit of the bounty system “? The reply is that it is the deliberate policy of Australia that the tropics shall be settled entirely with the help of white people. It stands to reason, I think, that if we are to establish industries under satisfactory conditions in a tropical climate we shall have to pay the price. I am not supporting the Bill specially because it will benefit Queensland, but because it will assist, not only to maintain the white population we already have, but also to strengthen the policy of a White Australia in the tropics. My objection to the way in which fibres have been put in the schedule also applies to other items, such as rubber and copra, Considerable efforts are Being made to develop the rubber industry in Papua, which is under our control. It appears to me to be a dangerous thing to turn round, and say to the white people of Australia, “ Take up rubber-growing in competition with the rubber industry of Papua,” for sooner or later it will come to that.
– The products of Papua do not come in duty free.
– My view is that the rubber industry in Australia, if established, will have to compete sooner or later with the rubber industry in Papua. A more serious objection, however, is that the rubber industry, like the indigo and quinine industries, is likely at any time to become practically worthless because of the discovery of a synthetic substitute by chemists. No doubt honorable senators have all read the statement which is given in the report of the experts. I hope, for the sake of those who go in for the rubber industry, it is incorrect, like many other statements which I have found in the report. It seems to me that it would be most unfortunate to encourage the production of copra and rubber with the distinct probability that the two industries will be wiped out either by the discovery of a synthetic substitute or by competition with the products of the countries which are under our control. I suppose that one of the most debatable items in the schedule is that of coffee. On several points we have not received sufficient information. In the first place, a bounty is offered upon the production of “coffee, raw.” It would be interesting to know exactly what is meant by that expression. If it is intended to mean coffee hulled, then the bounty will go straight into the pockets of the manufacturers. The Coffee-Growers’ Association of Southern Queensland have their own pulping apparatus, but the hulling is done by the manufacturers in Brisbane. I do not know whether, under our Standing Orders, we can alter the wording of the item, but if that is possible, it should be made “ coffee, parchment.” Outside we get the cherry; then comes a parchment skin ; and next comes a silver skin. The coffee-growers take off the cherry, and send the berry with the two skins on it to be hulled by the buyers. I ask the Minister to ascertain whether the Government will.be prepared to substitute the word “parchment” for the word ‘ raw ‘ ‘ ? The payment of the bounty should be made to the grower of parchment coffee, instead of to the manufacturer of raw coffee.
– Will the alteration affect the future of the industry?
– It will because, under the Bill as it stands, the bounty, instead of going to the coffee-grower, will go to the manufacturer who buys the grower’s coffee and hulls it. Of course, if the manufacturer handed on the bounty to the grower the alteration I propose would make no difference. On the subject of coffee we have had some very amusing statements, but none more amusing than those which have been quoted from the reports, of the experts. I may mention, for instance, the reference to Brazil, and may ask why the experts went back to 1901-2 for their figures when practically up-to-date figures were available? If they had desired to damn the proposal for a bounty on coffee, they could not have adopted a better methodAccording to the figures, they have supplied, the world’s consumption in 1901-2 was 15,500,000 sacks, and the Brazilian production 15,496,000 sacks. The experts also speak of the Brazilian planters rooting up. their trees, and I wondered why they did so, and why, if they knew, they did not tell us. I naturally thought that they were troubled with the coffee leaf disease in the Brazilian plantations, and that that supplied the reason. I find that something far worse than the coffee leaf disease is destroying the plantations in Brazil. The Brazilian Government are taking a hand in the business. They not only buy coffee at a fixed minimum price, but they have imposed an export duty on coffee of 3 francs per sack in order to provide a guarantee for a loan of £15,000,000. This has been done in agreement with some of the neighbouring countries. What has been the result? For 1901-2, I believe that the output in Brazil, correctly stated, amounted to 16,276,465 sacks; in 1902-3, under the aegis of a beneficent Government, the output fell to 12,993,559 sacks. In the following; year the output was 11,193,506 sacks; and in 1904-5, the latest figures I could get, it had fallen to 10,597,080 sacks. So we find that the bogy of Brazilian production raised by the experts has to be discounted by something like 50 per cent. I find further that the Brazilian output of coffee amounts to 1,600,000,000 lbs., and the consumption in the principal countries of the world, leaving out small places such as, if honorable senators will allow me to say so, Australia, which is only a small place from a consumer’s point of view, amounts to 2,299,000,000. Consequently, Brazil does not produce within 700,000,000 lbs. weight of the coffee consumed in the principal countries of the world, to say nothing of the large quantity which must be consumed in countries that for statistical purposes are not classed as principal countries. That should dispose of the bogy raised by the experts as to the statistical position in relation to coffee. I have a copy of a circular issued by C. Czarnikow, coffee salesman, of London, which gives a statement of the stocks of coffee held at the United States ports. The people of the United States consume far more coffee than do the people of any other country in the world. They consume something like 900,000,000 lbs. per year. He says that from December, 1906, to January, 1907, the stocks at the six principal ports of the United States were in every month considerably lower than they were in the corresponding period of the previous year. I mention that as indicating that not only is. the Brazilian production less a matter of concern than has been suggested, but the stocks at present in hand are nothing like so big as they were last year. No honorable senator is likely to dispute the fact that coffee can be grown in Queensland. Tt is grown to a greater or less extent in every district in that State, north of Rockhampton. A coffee tree growing in the garden attached to a house in which I lived for eighteen years was bearing luxuriantly during the whole of that time, and it must have been twenty-five years old.. A man named Costello formed a coffee, plantation outside Mackay twentyfive years ago, and a good price has been obtained for the coffee grown on that plantation during the whole of that time. There are plantations now in the Mackay district, in addition to those around Brisbane, and those controlling them are apparently satisfied with .what they are doing.
– The honorable senator is proving that a bounty on coffee is not required.
– Honorable senators will naturally ask if this is so, why other people do not take up the industry. But I have already said that it is not easy to induce people to desert a business they understand in order to enter upon one of which they know nothing, and in connexion with which they think they may be running some risk of loss.
– Does the honorable senator think that the bounty would lead to the continuance of the plantation at Beatrice Hills, on the Adelaide River, in the Northern Territory.
– It might have that effect, and if. it did, it would be a good thing for the Northern Territory. With respect to the labour difficulty in connexion with the growth of coffee, it is solved at present in Queensland by the employment of young people. In some places, during a few weeks of the year, perhaps during holiday time, children go in considerable numbers to pick coffee. The picking of the coffee berries must be done carefully, otherwise considerable injury may be done to the trees, and the thin and supple fingers of young people are found best suited for the purpose.
– At the plantation 1 visited at Kuranda, the aboriginals were picking the coffee berries.
– I know the experience of those who employed kanaka labour for the purpose was that it was rather unsatisfactory, because the kanakas damaged the trees. I do not think that the labour difficulty need seriously trouble us. Every man could plant a few trees about his home. They come rapidly into bearing within two or three years. I have planted several trees in my ‘own garden.
– Do we require the bounty as well as the duty?
– My view is that if the duty has not been sufficient to induce people to take up the industry, the bounty may be just what is necessary to complete the effect intended to be produced by the imposition of the duty. The advantage of the bounty is that it directs the attention of people to the industry, and once it is established, if it is found to be profitable, the bounty can be withdrawn, and the industry can be carried on with the assistance derived from such protection under the Tariff as may be thought desirable.
– I think that is rather a dangerous doctrine.
– I have referred to many cases in point to show the advantage of the bounty system in the successful development of industries, and I am not inclined to alter my opinion on the subject. I have also said that I look upon the cash-gift system proposed in this Bill as the least satisfactory form of bounty which could be suggested. Amongst other things, it has been said that we should wait until we see what is going to be done in connexion with the proposed transfer of the Northern Territory to the Commonwealth. But coffee-trees and sisal hemp that may be growing in the Northern Territory will not stop growing all of a sudden because the Territory is transferred to the Commonwealth. If the proposal now made will stimulate the cultivation of coffee in Queensland, it will also stimulate its cultivation in the Northern Territory, whether that portion pf Australia is under the control of the Commonwealth or the South Australian Government. I, therefore, see no reason to postpone the matter until we have dealt with the question of the transfer of the Northern Territory. It has also been said that we shall run considerable risks from the financial aspect of the question. But if this Bill is successful in leading to the settlement of people upon the land, the natural consequence will be the opening of new avenues of employment, and we shall have more people coming into the country. It seems to me that there is not the slightest danger that the financial aspect of the matter willcause us any worry. If, on the other hand, people cannot be induced to take up the industry, and enter upon the new forms of agriculture suggested by the Bill, we shall not have to pay the proposed bounties. I regret that the Standing Orders prevent our dealing with one or two items which I should like to see in the schedule. I suppose we all have some particular fads, and amongst the industries which I should like to see established, are those for the cultivation of vanilla, cocoa, and such products. These products could be cultivated under a system of small homestead farms. In connexion with vanilla, for instance, very little requires to be done in the way of cultivation, the principal work being the inoculation of the flowers, which ‘could be easily performed by young people. The industry is one which, I think, might well be encouraged by means of a bounty. No provision is made for a bounty for the canning of pineapples, and I think something might be done to develop the canning of pineapples for export. This industry is not without some success at the present time, but something is required to encourage those engaged in it to find fresh markets for the enormous number of pineapples that are being grown in Australia. I shall support the second reading of the Bill. At the same time, as I have intimated, I shall feel compelled to vote against some of the items in the schedule. We . require” to avoid putting up two industries, one of which will knock out the other. We will not be wise in encouraging industries here that in the not far distant future will come into competition with similar industries carried on in our own territories by a different class of labour.
.- I have listened with great attention to the speeches, which have been delivered on the Bill under discussion. On .the whole there can be no two opinions about it that most of those speeches have been anything but favorable in their character. Some honorable senators have condemned the Bill strongly, whilst others have damned it with faint praise. The debate commenced last Friday afternoon with a speech from Senator McColl. He was no doubt assisted largely by the experience and information which he obtained during his recent trip abroad. But I am unable to follow him in some of his reasoning. It is perfectly true that, in some parts of the world, particularly in the United States and Canada, a great advance has been made in agriculture. It is true that in both those countries farming has been lifted from the dead level of drudgery to a high scientific plane. It is also true that in those countries land which was considered some time ago to be almost worthless has, by the adoption of better methods of cultivation and scientific treatment, been made very valuable indeed. But, while those experiments .have been made abroad, we must not be unmindful of the fact that similar experiments, although, perhaps, not on so comprehensive a scale, are being made by the various States Governments in Australia. Probably when Australia is as populous as America is, .we shall be in advance of the United States in this respect. In Victoria we have done very much fo assist the primary industries in the direction which Senator McColl desires. Victoria has spent nearly ;?r, 250,000 on irrigation works. She has granted, by way of bounties, .?370,520. She has established agricultural and viticultural colleges. She has an army of scientific experts under the direction of the Department of Agriculture, who year in and year out do all they possibly can to advance, by way of experiment and education, the primary industries. Not long ago the Agricultural Department of Victoria determined to engage public halls throughout the State, and instructed its experts to visit the various centres to give , instruction to the farmers and the farmers’ sons absolutely free of cost. The result has been that many of those interested in production have been considerably advantaged. Senator McColl knows,- as most honorable senators do, that although it is desired that the Federal Parliament should establish an Agricultural Department with a statistical bureau in connexion with it, every effort made by the Federal Government in that . direction has met with strong opposition from the States Governments.
– That applies to every State Government.
– The matter was brought under the notice of the Premiers at their Conference in Hobart in 1905 by the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth. Let honorable senators listen to the remarks made at that Conference by the Premiers representing the various States. The first gentleman who addressed himself to the subject was one who seems to be in opposition to almost everything of an Australian character, namely, Mr. Carruthers, the Premier of New South Wales. He said -
I look with very great concern at any time on proposals to enlarge Commonwealth functions. I do not think it was ever contemplated that the Commonwealth Government or Parliament should extend its operations by, for instance, the establishment of a Department of Agriculture. The various States, and, of course, I speak of my own State in particular, have taken great steps towards the enlargement of our cultivation by introducing new plans and methods -
Later on he expressed himself in stronger terms. Mr. Carruthers said - .
Had we ignored our work nobody could blame the Commonwealth Government for stepping in, but when we are always enlarging our work, and see splendid results, I see no reason for Federal intervention, and would consider it an interference with State operations if they established a Department of Agriculture.
Mr. Morgan, the representative of Queensland, said I
I am against this proposal, which would mean the Federal Government entering upon work which can be better carried out by the States themselves.
Mr. Jenkins, who was at that time Premier of South Australia, addressed himself to the subject in the following language -
I think nothing would be gained by the Commonwealth taking over the general management of the Agricultural Departments. We have agricultural colleges, agricultural experts in various lines, and find it all we can do to find the revenue to keep the Departments going.
Mr. Bent, the Premier of Victoria, said that he felt as strongly as Mr. Carruthers on the point.
Mr. Butler, who at that time was Treasurer nf South Australia, said -
Is it not reasonable to suppose that the Agricultural Department in each State has a better knowledge of the existing local conditions and requirement, and is, consequently, in a position to conduct its operations more economically than a huge Federal Department removed’ some distance from its centre of operations.
Mr. Dagleish, the Western Australian Premier, said
At all events, until a stronger case is put forward than that which is presented, I must oppose the establishment of a Federal Department of Agriculture.
Mr. Evans, the Premier of Tasmania, said
My Government are distinctly opposed to the creation of any new Federal Department.
Mr. Carruthers, who spoke a second time, had a parting shot, and said -
I think the Federal Government should drop the matter.
That is the creation of a Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau.
I will offer bitter opposition to any attempt made by the Federal Government to take over the power to establish a Federal Department of Agriculture. The States have not asked for assistance from the Federal Government in the matter at all. ls there much hope of friendly or business relations being carried on between the Commonwealth and the States in reference to this matter, while such an attitude is maintained by the States Premiers in regard to such a matter as the creation of a Federal Department of Agriculture?
– Those opinions do not give much hope for the co-ordinate action for which Senator McColl looks.
– Very little indeed. Senator McColl desires to begin at the wrong letter of the alphabet. He pointed out that in the United States and Canada great advances have been made by putting what was considered to be worthless land to its best use. Now, if I am able to follow what has happened in the United States, the people there have been moved in that direction because of their inability to get suitable fertile land. They put their fertile land to its best use first; and afterwards directed attention to what was considered to be worthless land. In Victoria we have thousands of acres of land, which is lying in a state of nature. In confirmation of this statement, I need only quote from The Victorian Year-Book, a publication which contains much valuable information bearing upon land cultivation. On page 324 of the last published- volume I find the following paragraph under the heading “ Land Settlement “ -
At the present time, those districts which areapparently the least designed by nature for the purposes of cultivation are those which show the greatest area under tillage, whilst those districts, which, lying close to the seaboard, enjoy a fairly uniform rainfall throughout the year, and which may be said to court the acquaintance of the husbandman, are those in which comparatively little tillage has as yet taken place, but are used almost entirely for grazing stock over land still under natural pastures.
A paragraph upon the following page is also important. It says -
In the Western District, containing some of the richest agricultural land in the State, there is only 2.13 per cent, of the total land occu- pied now brought under cultivation, whilst no less than 93 per cent, is left in its natural condition, and used solely for grazing purposes! and this, notwithstanding its proximity to shipping facilities, and while it contains no less than 18.31 per cent, of the total occupied land in the State, it contributes - only 4 per cent, to the total cultivated land. In the comparatively arid Wimmera, Mallee, and Northern districts, the percentages of cultivated to the total land occupied’ are 18.19, 11-48, and 20.56 acres respectively. Although the number of holders of one acre or more in these districts form but 30.42 per cent, of the total holders of the State, no less than 79.01 per cent, of the area cultivated belongs to these three districts. The Central, North-Central, and Western districts contain 49.40 per cent, of the holders, but only 15.65 per cent, of the cultivated area.
Then follow these significant remarks - -
There is no doubt whatever that the future prosperity of the State will mainly depend upon the cultivation of the soil, and, at the present time, the question of population is therefore one of the most important matters for consideration. From 1891 up to the end of 1903, no less than 143,000 persons, mostly adults, -have left the State, -and the exodus is still continuing, of the very class it is most desirable to retain in,’ or to attract to, the country.
And further on -
As most of the best land in the vicinity of markets or seaports is in many cases in private hands, but unused for other purposes than grazing, the Crown lands now available lie at distances remote from markets, where there aTe no good roads giving ready access to railways.
– Does the honorable senator think that the Bounties Bill will assist those districts?
– I am not concerned with the question whether bounties will assist those districts or not. I view the bounties question from a purely Australian point of view. Before the amendment is put, I want the attention of honorable senators to be directed to this aspect of the matter, if to no other. Until the lands of Victoria suitable for cultivation . are put to . their fullest and best use, and not allowed to remain in a state of nature in the hands of squattocracy and monopoly, it will be beginning at the wrong end to drive people on to what is to-day considered barren land, which is Senator McColl’s desire in connexion with his amendment. What would cause those lands to be put to their fullest and best use in double-quick time would be a tax on land values. I know of no better or quicker method to stimulate production and bring forth the highest and best results than a system of land values taxation.
– I ask the honorable senator to connect his remarks with the subject before the Chair.
– I only mentioned that incidentally. Senator Gray used the hackneyed arguments that have been adduced ever since I have been able to follow politics, with regard to every measure with a colour of protection about it. He asked, “ Would any business man or any member of the Senate embark in any of the industries to which it is proposed by this Bill to grant bounties?” I do not think that is the proper way to put it: We must not look at it so much from a personal as from an Australian or national view-point. If we are to look at everything from a personal point of view, and narrow it down to solid £ s. d., there are many works which have been undertaken by the various Governments of Australia that would never have been begun had they been left to the enterprise of private individuals. Would the honorable senator who reasons in that way be willing, as a business man, to undertake to make or maintain a road ? He would hesitate, like many of his folk,’ before building a bridge, and halt a considerable time before he undertook the construction of a railway. After all, the industries that are in existence throughout Australia, some of which are to-day, seemingly, well established, were inaugurated in spite of similar arguments to those which have been urged by Senator Gray, and in spite of the predictions of many who foredoomed them to failure. I am not here to argue whether it would pay me better to embark in the copra industry in Fiji or the Philippines, the rubber industry in some country where labour is cheaper than in Australia, or in other lines of industry for which provision is made in the schedule. We have to look as Australians to the results that will follow, not to-morrow, but when these bounties have been exhausted. It is true that many bounties have been granted in different States, and that the people for whom they were intended received very little benefit from them. That occurred in connexion with the Victorian, butter industry, but that experience ought to guide and direct us to a better policy, in the future. At the same time I believe it would have been better had the consideration of the Bill been delayed until the tentative agreement between South Australia and the Commonwealth regarding the Northern Territory had been considered and finally dealt with. We have immense difficulties in front of us. I am satisfied that the South Australian Government will find it impossible to shoulder much longer the burden that they have been carrying so long. It will be imperative for the Commonwealth to take over the Territory. The acquisition by the Commonwealth of that lonesome land - that huge area six times as large as Victoria - will probably involve the people of Australia in an expenditure of nearly ^10,000,000. All the industries for which provision is made in the Bill could, I am satisfied, be well established in the Territory. It is said, not by inexperienced men, but by those who have made experiments, and whose qualifications are undoubted, that coffee, tea, tobacco, cocoanuts, rubber, jute, flax and hemp, fibres, arrowroot, tapioca, maize, spice, cotton and ginger can all be grown in the Northern Territory.
– It is only a question of price.
– The question of price does not affect the Queenslanders very seriously with regard to sugar. That is the sort of argument which such honorable senators as Senator Sayers are going to> urge in opposition to the Bill.
– Who said so?
– The honorablesenator’s interjection conveys a meaning tome.
– The honorable senator is on the wrong track. I am in favour of it.
– I have heard similar interjections from honorable senatorswho have spoken against the measure. Almost every industry which has been established under a protective system would never have been established if we had considered the question of price or the wagesand conditions obtaining elsewhere. Without a strong measure of protection it would have been impossible to compete in thoseindustries with the over-worked and underpaid workers of other parts of the world. I join with Senator Chataway in the belief that cotton of the highest and best quality; can be grown successfully in many partsof Australia. It grows in a semi-wild statein the Northern Territory. While I wasthere I never heard any one say that that part of Australia was not well fitted for cotton culture. The cotton industry is worth ,£40,000,000 per year to the UnitedStates. The Australian wool clip is worth £20,000,000 to this country. It is one of our staple industries. Cotton will find a market in various parts of the world. We need not confine ourselves to home requirements. The maximum bounty proposed of £6,000 per year, or £^48,000 for eight years, for cotton, is totally inadequate. I received from the Customs Department a few days ago a return showing that cotton, including the raw article and made-up material, was imported into the Commonwealth during 1906 to the value of £22,894. It is proposed in the scheduleto give a bounty of ,£9,000 per year for five years for jute. That is a total of £45,000. The total imports of jute into Australia last year amounted to .£5,265. Yet it is proposed to spend, if thought necessary, £45,000 on the jute industry, for five years, and only ,£48,000 in eight years on cotton, although there are no twoopinions as to the advisability of assisting that industry. ,£5,265 worth of jute was imported into the Commonwealth as against £22,894 worth of cotton, and yet the only difference between the two bounties is £3,000 in favour of cotton. It is proposed to grant a bounty of £2,000 a year for fifteen years, or ,£30,000 in all,- for, rubber. That is an immense industry. Rubber finds a market in almost every part of the world. It can be, and has been, grown in different parts of Australia. According to the returns, rubber, including manufactures of rubber, was imported into the Commonwealth last year to the value of £328,700.
– The experts did not give us that information in their report.
– I do not know whether the experts were concerned about the importations or not, but the figures are very useful to me, as showing that when the schedule was drawn up consideration was evidently not given to the value of the importations of the different commodities that are proposed to be assisted. If attention had been paid to that aspect of the case, the probabilities are that some of these bounties would have been altered. In Committee I shall endeavour to get some of the items struck out of the schedule, and, if possible, the amounts set apart for those items added to the amounts provided for other items. I want to ask Senator McColl, now that he is here, one or two questions which perhaps may clear away the mist which seems to exist in the minds of some folks in regard to his desire in moving the amendment. Referring to the building up of the country, he said -
Apart from that particular question, under our present political and social conditions the great safety valve of our economic system is prosperous land settlement. The end of that settlement is production. It is not prosperous unless it is producing. Therefore, let us make the land available, get settlement, and teach the settlers the best way in which to proceed ; and then we shall have that production which will be the strength of the country.
Everybody agrees with those sentiments; but how does the honorable senator propose to reach that desirable end ? He proposes that the land which is considered to be the most unsuitable in Australia shall be experimented upon. I ask him as a business man whether he does not think it would be much more desirable to stimulate land production in those parts of the Commonwealth where land is extensively monopolized and utilized almost wholly for grazing purposes ?
– I should do both, as I said in my speech.
– I am glad to hear the honorable senator say that, because very shortly, judging by the increased expenditure of the Commonwealth, additional taxation will be almost necessary.
– For this sort of game?
– To stimulate production, to increase our population, and to attract immigrants from other parts of the world.
– To increase the value of land so as to stimulate production from the land?
– Land value taxation never increases the price of land. It: does not affect the productivity or fertility of land.
– It does not increase the value of land, but it places a greater burden on the owner.
– Tickle the soil with a tax and it will smile in harvest.
– The present tax is a burden on the soil, because it-
– The present Tariff is.
– No, I said the present tax.
– The honorable senator is aware that it was I who bought the first three large estates ever bought in Victoria, and placed settlers on them.
– I ask Senator Findley not to pursue that subject.
– I was asked a question, sir.
– I am afraid that the honorable senator has been drawn off the track.
– In his speech, Senator McColl said -
Let us ascertain what we can really do with our land. Let us open up our back country.
Let us open up our front country before we go away back. Within a few miles of Melbourne - and the same remark applies pretty well, to every State in the Commonwealth - there are huge estates on which there is very little population. Senator McColl is anxious to have the results of scientific experiments applied to the cultivation of our land. But he surely is aware, as I said when I began my speech, that in Australia every State Government is proceeding very much on the lines on which he desires that the Commonwealth should proceed.
– Not very much - nothing compared with the work that remains to be done.
– That is more a matter for the States than for the Commonwealth, for the reason that the latter has no land. It cannotmove north, south, east, or west, without the consent ofthe States, and as all the States to-day are violently, opposed to the creation of even a Commonwealth Agricultural Department, what hope , is there of any useful results being achieved in connexion with the honorable senator’s proposal? None whatever. He is probably aware, as I said a few moments ago,’ that the question raised by him was discussed at the Conference of States Premiers, in 1905. There was not one State Premier who desired that the Commonwealth should in any way interfere with what were considered to be State rights. The Premiers scouted the very idea; they were unanimous in their condemnation of the proposal. They all said that they were doing much in the direction sought to be covered by the motion of the Prime Minister, and did not desire any interference by the Commonwealth. Talk about State rights ! I think it would give some of the Premiers State fright if the amendment of Senator McColl were carried.
– They would be glad to get Commonwealth assistance in doing the work.
– No doubt they would, but in what direction? This is- a sort of leap in the dark proposal. I am satisfied that if it is carried it will mean the defeat of the Bill. No good results will follow from it.
– That will depend upon what the Government may do.
– What can the Government do without the consent of ‘ the States? If the States will not consent to the creation of a new department, nothing can be the outcome of the amendment, if carried.
– Certainly riot.
– I am. here as a protectionist. I am here to do what I can to advance that policy. Whilst the Bill is not all that I would desire - and in Committee I should like to see it amended in certain directions - I am not going to vote in opposition to it, because in so doing I should be voting in opposition to a principle in which I believe, and that is the encouragement of Australian industries. When at election times fiscalism is talked of, pro.tectionists are ever ready in stating that in Australia everything that we need can be grown or manufactured.
– Everybody knows that.
– But everybody is not prepared, when the time arrives, to give effect to his utterances. I have no hesitation in saying that at the last general elec tion the people of Australia, by an immense majority, declared in favour of a protectionist policy. We should do all we possibly can to foster the policy which they have declared themselves in favour of. It has been said by more than one honorable senator that these bounties are intended for certain States. That is a matter of indifference to me. I look at the Bill from the Australian view point, and if the bounties will assist in the creation of industries in Queensland’ or the Northern Territory - industries which could not be established elsewhere - Australia will be the gainer thereby.
– I did not intend at this stage to offer any remarks, and it is quite possible that I may have to ask the indulgence of the Senate to enable me to continue my speech on another occasion. There is no doubt that, as the discussion proceeds, new and interesting aspects of this very important question arise from time to time, which it is necessary should be thoroughly ventilated. On the main principle of developing the agricultural industries of Australia there can be no two opinions in the Chamber, and the only difference of opinion which can possibly exist is as to <he best means of carrying out the general desire from the practical and financial standpoints. The difference of opinion will be confined mainly to the means which have been suggested by the Government in the form of a Bounties Bill. On an important measure of this kind, involving the expenditure of at least ,£500,000, by a Government whose resources are strictly limited, one naturally expects to find a great deal of information from two sources. In the first’ place it is the bounden duty of the Government to afford the fullest -information when it asks the Senate to accept the responsibility of sanctioning the expenditure of an enormous sum of public money. No Cabinet can be expected to be a collection of Admirable Crichtons, and for their own guidance they rely upon the opinions of experts. In this case it seems that in a more or less cursory way the Government have consulted experts. That the reports were highly unsatisfactory could have been inferred at once from the lack of information which was conveyed to the Senate by the Minister of Home Affairs. I read his speech very carefully, and on the important business point - the economic, as well as, perhaps, the scientific aspects of the various industries involved - one sought in vain for .any. de- finite or clear information. I intend not the slightest reproach to any Minister. If I can take the liberty of imagining myself in the place of Senator Keating, I dare say that in all the circumstances I would have been in exactly the same position, except perhaps that I might have revolted in the Cabinet had I been charged with the unwelcome task of introducing a Bill involving an expenditure of ,£500,000, with, no more than what is .practically wastepaper information, such as that which -has been presented in this case for the consideration of Ministers and of Parliament. I at once set to work to look up the reports to see whether, like the dove that went out from Noah’s ark,- I could find any rest for the sole of my feet I may say that I found absolutely none in the reports, and, like the dove, ‘ if may memory of the Scriptural incident is correct, I have returned, in the hope that, in this Chamber, I may .discover fresh sources of information and guidance to enable me to decide how I shall vote on this important question. In looking through the reports for guidance, I was Slocked at the outset. After striking a particular passage, I felt myself justified in practically condemning the reports to the waste-paper basket. The analyses which these reports have received at the hands of various honorable senators, whose experience entitles the expression of their opinion fo the gravest ‘respect, have left them riddled from stem to stern. With the criticism they have received, the floating ship of these reports upon certain agricultural industries of Australia, has been reduced. to a worthless hulk, if it has not been sunk. Holding that opinion, I say at this stage that if we cannot sink the hulk, perhaps the best thing to do is to spike every gun. I turn to a document bearing the title, “ Report of the Conference of State Officers representing New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western’ Australia “ - I am glad for the sake of Queensland, that that State was not represented at the Conference - “ which was held at Parliament House, Melbourne, on 16th April. 1907, to discuss the question of bounties.” At page 6 of the report, I find this very instructive and very illuminative passage bearing upon a proposed expenditure of nearly £500,000 of Commonwealth money -
Id the absence of nay specific information, it is not possible to go into details with regard to such, matters as soil, climate, rainfall, transportation, and labour supply. These conditions necessarily vary in different parts of the Commonwealth. It has been assumed throughout that only white labour would be employed in the production of the various articles recommended for a bounty. Under these circumstances, the possibility of labour not being available did not enter into the calculations of the Conference.
That passage reminds me of a parable that is told in the history of the Island of Hy-Brazil, or some of the classic islands of the West, to the effect that a boy living in a village went into a neighbouring town and bought a gun. He was very anxious to learn its qualities, and submitted it for the opinion of his father, who was a keen and veteran, sportsman.
– Has he got it now ?
– If the honorable senator will have a little patience, he will hear the parable. The father looked at the gun, and in tones which still linger lovingly upon the tongues of his many descendants in many lands, he said to his son, after carefully examining the weapon, “ Look here my boy, if. that gun had only a new lock, a new stock,- and a new barrel, it would be a first-class weapon. But, in the circumstances, I can only saythat the person in grave and immediate danger is the person behind that gun. ‘. I would strongly advise you to make a present of it to the landlord. If, by any chance he goes out shooting with a thing like, that, there will be, in all probability, an immediate, but by no means regrettable,, increase in the death rate of this country.” So it is with this report. If this report contained all the information which it does not contain - if I may be allowed the paradox - it would be a. useful document. At present, it is very much like the gun . to which I have referred. All ‘ that , is required is a new lock, stock, and barrel’, and I am afraid that the Government, who propose to spend £500,000, and “those who may Le induced Dy this ‘ report .to. enter upon the arduous work of tropical agriculture, will find themselves landed in’ the unenviable position fondly anticipated for the landlord in the ancient territory of Hy-Brazil. For these reasons, I think I am justified in looking upon this Bill with a great deal of suspicion. It would probably be no disadvantage to the community if the measure never reached the Committee stage, but probably by the time it gets into Committee, the Government will be able to give us accurate and precise information from the scientific and economic points of view, as. to where and how bounty-fed industries have been successfully established. From my knowledge of his work in Queensland in connexion with the Agricultural Journal, and his long experience and close connexion with local bodies in the State, I should say that the opinion of Senator Chataway is entitled to highrespect from the Senate, and especially from those associated with him as colleagues in the representation of the State.
– Then the honorable senator had better follow Senator Chataway ‘s good example in this matter.
– The course the honorable senator proposes to adopt weighs very strongly with me, and I shall probably say something about that before I conclude. Although the honorable senator has mentioned some instances where successful results have followed from the application of the bounty principle, I gathered that he is notgreatly enamoured of it, and that he is certainly not enamoured of the proposal madein this Bill to spend nearly £500,000 in an effort to establish certain agricultural industries. It is to be hoped that the Minister will supply honorable senators with the precise information for which I have asked. We have not received much information so far, and I believe it would throw a strong light on this important question. The bounty system has been carried out to the greatest extent in connexion with the production of beetroot sugar on the Continent of Europe, and it proved disastrous to the best interests of both consumers and producers. The bounty there had to be abolished, because the consumers, and nearly all of the producers in Europe, found themselves burdened with an excessive load of taxation. The original anticipation was that in a few years, if bounties were given the beet-root sugarindustry would be established, and would command, not merely the Home market, but the markets of the world. It was most liberally subsidized by several Governments, but the experience of protection, in this instance, has been the same as in other instances. Those who began as protectionists, have advanced step by step, making increased demands for assistance, until, as we have learnt from the experience of America, and as we are fast learning in Australia, they became like the daughters of the horse leech, and were continually asking for more. The protectionist on the high Tariff road never stops until he gets to prohibition. Every man who takes an interest in the development of this country, must be anxious to assist in what would confer the greatest blessing on Australia, and that would be the settlement of the fertile lands of this country as soon as possible by a strong white population; for that is not only the strength of our political existence, but the basis of our nationality. I think I need offer no apology for my intelligence, and certainly none in respect of my interest in this subject ; but, so far as any information we have from the Government is concerned, it has not been shown that the white population of Australia, and the development of our agricultural industries will be advanced one step by measures of this kind. For that reason, I need scarcely say that I am adeterminedly hostile critic, notto the development of the agricultural industries of Australia, but of the manner in which it is proposed to be carried out under this Bill. I pay the greatest deference to the Minister for the way in which the Bill has been presented, although the information on which it is founded is very imperfect.I shall not descend to the imputation of motives, nor do I allege anything beyond blamable weakness as to the manner in which the Bill is drawn. I give credit to the Government for a desire to develop agriculture in Australia. But as the usual adjournment hour has been reached, I ask leave to continue my speech next Wednesday.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
Senator BEST laid upon the table the following paper: -
Department of Trade and Customs - Papers in connexion with the appointments of Bertram Jones and Leslie Bartlett Davies as Deputy. Examiners of Patents.
Senate adjourned at 4.3 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 30 August 1907, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1907/19070830_senate_3_38/>.