3rd Parliament · 4th Session
The President took the chair at j 0.30 a.m., and read prayers.
– I desire to again ask you, sir, the question which I asked yesterday regarding an allowance to the officers in attendance at Parliament House, on Melbourne Cup Day ?
– I have, to inform the honorable senator that only one officer of the Senate - one of the staff of messengers - was in attendance on Cup Day, and as is usual in such, cases a full day’s leave will be granted to him in consideration of his attendance. It is necessary that a member of the staff should be here on public holidays to attend to the letters of honorable senators or to business which may arise. But it has been the invariable practice to allow the messenger or officer who remains here a full day’s leave in lieu of that day. I have ascertained that the messengers and servants generally of the Senate are perfectly satisfied with the action which has been, and always is, taken in these cases.
– Are those officers who have to be in attendance upon both Houses, such as the officers of the Library and other subdivisions of the Parliament’, accorded a similar privilege to that which is extended to the messenger of the Senate who is in attendance here?
– I believe that all the officers who are under the control of the Joint House Committee are treated in the same way as are the officers of the Senate.
– I beg to ask the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral whether he can now answer the question which has stood over for so long with regard to Departmental postages?
– I have been supplied with the following statement, showing the aggregate expenditure for telegrams, telephones, and postages for Federal Departments from the inauguration of the Commonwealth to the 30th June, 1909 : -
– Is the VicePresident of the Executive Council now in a position to answer the following questions asked by me on the 28th October?
– I have been furnished with the following answers to the honorable senator’s questions : -
Senator MILLEN laid upon the table the following papers : -
Defence Acts 1903-4. Regulations (Provisional) for the Military Forces of the Commonwealth. - Cancellation of Regulation 118, and substitution of new regulation in lieu thereof. - Statutory Rules 1909, No. 122.
Inter-State Commerce. - State Exclusion Laws. - Opinion of the Attorney-General.
Bill read a third time.
Debate resumed from 4th November (vide page 5310), of motion by Senator Millen -
That this Bill be now read a second time.
– This is perhaps one of the most important measures which we have been asked to consider during the present session. I trust that it will be regarded as a nonparty measure, first, because the defence of the country is a national question, and should not be made the sport of party politics, and, secondly, because its main principle is one to which both sides of the Chamber are more or less committed. The only difference existing amongst honorable senators is a difference of degree, and a difference of methods. If that is so, no party advantage, so far as I cai: see, can be gained by one party pushing its particular method, or by the other party resisting it. Every alteration which is proposed should be considered entirely on its merits. It should not be put forward as an attack upon the Government, nor should it be regarded by Ministers in that light. It should be dealt with entirely from the stand-point of whether it is important, or possible, or advisable. It is in this spirit that I intend to approach the consideration of the Bill both now and in Committee.
– The honorable senator will recognise a difference between an amendment which seeks to improve a clause and one which attacks a principle of the Bill?
– Certainly ; and I think that every amendment ought to be regarded from that point of view. If an extension of a principle is proposed, we ought to consider whether that is necessary and advisable at present. I recognise that there may be some extensions of principles proposed which, whilst in themselves thoroughly wise, may not be at present either advisable or justifiable. There is a good deal of misconception, especially in the country, regarding the Bill. It is said that it contains a new principle. It is alleged that for the first time it is attempted to introduce compulsory service. That is not so; because the Defence Act provides for compulsory service. It provides that in time of war every male citizen up to a certain age may be called out, and compelled to take part in the defence of the country.
– This Bill is introducing compulsory training.
– Yes; that is the difference. It is merely extending the principle of compulsion in that it provides that in time of peace certain persons may be compelled to undergo training. From the point of view of the citizen, that is, I think, an advantage compared with former times. War is a science to-day. In many arms a man has to be a mechanician in order to be safe. In his own interest, it is advisable that he should be trained before he is asked to go into the field.
– He is not efficient if he is not trained.
– Not only is he inefficient, but he is a danger both to him- self and to those with whom he is associated. The object of this Bill is to remove the danger which an inefficient man may be to himself, and which he is to his country. It is sometimes said : “ Remember the Boer war. There you had an instance ‘of what untrained, men can idp against trained soldiers.” But it is erroneous to look upon the Boers as untrained men. As a matter of fact, the Boer military organization was a citizen army, and the Boer commandoes were organized and trained long before they were called out for the purpose of that war. Not only that, but the ordinary daily occupation of the Boers gave them in one sense military training. They were continually engaged in hunting and in field avocations. When you pit men who have followed city avocations against men who have had continual training in the field and who are to some extent natural soldiers, you are practically pitting untrained men against those who are trained and hardened. The Boer organization was practically that of a citizen army, though I believe it lacked the principle of compulsion. The Labour party, with which I have the honour to be associated, has always stood for a citizen army as against a permanent or standing army. In the early days of Federation we certainly did not, as a party, take up the question of compulsory training, although it was an individual member of our party, Mr. W. M. Hughes, who first in the Federal Parliament brought forward that principle. But still there were many members of the party who did not, nor did .the party as a whole, subscribe to the principle of compulsory training.
– There are still some who do not.
– There are still some who do not give their adhesion to thatprinciple. But I put this as an argument that appeals to me, at any rate - that the logical outcome of a Citizen Defence Force is compulsory training. Because, in a Democracy it is not the duty of any class to defend the country. It is the duty of the nation. Where you have no standing army, and no military class, the responsibility for defence is not thrown upon the shoulders of any one class. Nor should it be thrown upon the shoulders of those who are willing, imbued by a sense of patriotism, to give their services in the discharge of duties which are neglected by those whose sense of patriotism is not so active. In a Democracy, therefore, where the people have committed themselves absolutely against the establishment of a military class, and against a permanent standing army, there seems to me to he no alternative to compelling every citizen to be trained for military service. Just as we compel every person in the community to be educated in order that the ignorance of some may not be a danger to the country at large, so military training is necessary in order that the neglect of it on the part of some may not be a danger to the whole nation in time of trouble. Any one who says to-day that it is not necessary that we should be prepared to defend our country simply shuts his eyes to what is going on around him. One does not need to particularize; one has only to read the newspapers to realize what the danger is. Our present militia system gives us in a sense a citizen army. But it is merely a volunteer force. I do not share the views of those who are inclined to say things derogatory to the present militia force. I have a very great admiration for the sacrifice that the men and the officers have made, and I venture to say that Australia does not sufficiently recognise what excellent service they have been rendering from a sense of duty to their country. Let me give one or two instances. They are instances which can be multiplied over and over again. At one of the recent encampments I met a militia officer who told me that for fourteen years he had never enjoyed an Easter holiday with his family and his friends. Every Easter for fourteen years he had given up the whole of his time to going into camp, and trying to fit himself and to train others for the defence of the country. On every one of those occasions the great bulk of the community had ‘been enjoying holidays with their families and friends. Many had gone to pleasant places picnicking, or had gone to the races or to sports. It would have been just as agreeable for this man to have spent his Easters with his family and friends. Certainly it would have been more enjoyable to his family if he had done as so many of his fellow-citizens did. The miserable pittance he obtained for serving in the militia was no recompense for the sacrifice that he and his family were making. Take the rank and file. You see a young fellow who has joined the militia forces giving up his leisure time to training. On a Saturday he comes home from work, hurriedly eats his lunch, clothes himself- in his uniform, and goes out again to take part in a strenuous afternoon’s training, or perhaps in a full afternoon’s and evening’s drill. As he goes to the rendezvous he sees other men like himself who are going to cricket matches, or to football matches, or to race meetings. Very probably he would like to do the same. He has the same liking for pleasure, for sport, and for picking the winner. Very possibly, as he goes to his training, he has to face some amount of jeering and laughter from other young men of his- own age who are going off to their pleasures. When we consider these things, and realize the sacrifices that the members of our militia forces are making, and have been making for many years, and the little return they get for their services, we ought to appreciate what they have done in the interests of the defence of the country. Coming to the speech of the Vice-President of the Executive Council, I have to compliment him on the grasp he has shown of the principles and details of the Bill. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to get a grip of the principles of our militia system and of military affairs- generally. I can sympathize with him in the task he must have had to equip himself well for the speech which he delivered yesterday ; and perhaps excuses should be made for him on account of his somewhat irritable display when certain questions were put to ‘him from this side of the Chamber.
– Will my honorable friend take my assurance that my remarks to which he refers were addressed more to my honorable friends on this side of the Chamber? I did not observe interjections from the other side.
– I can assure the honorable senator that the questions which came from this side were not put with the object of scoring off him. but to elicit information on matters which it seemed to me he was not dealing with. I wished to find out whether he was going to deal with them before he sat down. I rather regretted his irritable tone, because I knew that he had a difficult task and wished to see him perform it thoroughly well. I certainly had no desire to make if more difficult. I regret also that the Minister did not deal more thoroughly with the naval side of our defence question. We really cannot divide the matter of naval and military defence. The two sides are inextricably wrapped up together, and neither of them can be dealt with separately. Before the Bill leaves this Parliament we certainly ought to know what the Government propose and what they intend to -do in regard to naval defence.
– I suppose we shall know.
– The Minister and the Government shelter themselves behind the recent Imperial Conference, and say they are not yet .able to tell us exactly what the Conference decided. Well, the Conference was held at the end of July. It was concluded in August. We are now in the first week of November. That is to say, (three months have elapsed since the Conference was concluded. There has been time not .only for despatches to reach Australia from the representative of the Government at the Conference, but for an interchange of correspondence between Colonel loxton and the Ministry. I contend that the Government should have been in a position to place before us in some concrete form what their naval proposals really are. I do not say that they should have brought down a Bill conjointly with this Bill, or a measure for authorizing the expenditure of a large -sum of money. But we should have known what principles of naval defence the Government intend to pursue, and what arrangements are to be made with the Imperial Government as to the manning and up-keep of the Fleet in these waters. On (these questions, ‘however, the Vice-President of the Executive Council, like his colleague, the Minister of Defence, was practically silent. There is another reason why I am curious :©n the point, and that is the well-known hostility of. many members of Parliament who support the present Government to the institution of any naval defence for Australia at all.
– -The honorable senator knows enough to be aware that that feeling is not crystallizing.
– We know that there is a considerable and influential contingent of the supporters of the present Government who desire to continue the old arrangement of paying a subsidy to the Imperial Navy. Let me quote from some speeches delivered during the last recess on this very question . In the Sydney Morning Herald of 4th March, Mr. G. H. Reid is reported as saying -
Do not forget that the best weapons and ships you buy to-day are scrap in a few years. Invasion is ,a danger, but is that . a danger within the next ten years? If you like to dream about it there is plenty of danger. (Laughter.) . .
He by no means wished to ridi cule the idea of an Australian Navy, but let us finish the organization qf the land forces before duplicating the British Navy.
Mr. Kelly, M.P., as reported in the Argus of 22nd Mardi, speaking on the Dreadnought question, advocated the calling of Parliament together without delay to consider the matter., and also urged -
Countermanding the destroyers for the time being in case Parliament decides that at this juncture the augumentation of the Empire’s battle strength is of more importance to Australia than the establishment of an isolated flotilla in these waters, which cannot affect sea command, and would be useless.
– Did the Government take any steps to give effect to Mr. Kelly’s opinion ? .
– I do not know what the Government are going to do.
– The honorable senator knows that the Government have not done so.
– I do not know what their policy is. Mr. W. H. Irvine. M.P., as reported in the Argus of 3rd April, referring to the existing Naval Agreement, said -
He had no hesitation in saying that the agreement had worked extremely well. Instead of chopping and changing about would it mot be better to .try to improve the house .that had been already built ? If Australia desired to commence the building of an Australian .Navy the agreement should be taken as a basis.
Mr. Bruce Smith, M.P., as reported in the Age of 27th April, said -
Instead of spending money on river destroyers, as they were called, they should contribute all they could to enable the Navy to continue supreme throughout the world.
Mr. Johnson, M.P., as reported in the Age of the 10th February, said, speaking at the annual banquet of the Loyal Grange institution of New South Wales., in Sydney, that -
The naval policy of the Party in power in the Commonwealth should be carefully watched. He said this Party, or some of its members, was trying to get the nucleus of a Navy to in the future turn .the Australian Navy against the British.
Mr. Joseph Cook, the present Minister of Defence, is reported in the Ar.gus of the 1 2th February to have said -
I ask again - where ‘is the base of operations in these seas for a torpedo attack which our destroyers are intended to repel? The more I think over the matter the more it seems to me we are beginning at the wrong end.
Mr. G. H. Reid,, as reported in the Argus of the 23rd February, speaking at Ashfield, Sydney, said -
It is a grand thing to be able to talk about our Australian Navy. Who wants to stand up against it? If you will only allow “Billy Hughes “to buy his two torpedo destroyers Japan will come along at once and sue for a treaty of perpetual peace.
So that we see that these prominent supporters of the present Government, one of whom is now Minister of Defence, were during the recess anything but friendly towards the proposal to establish an Australian Navy. In view of the fact that the group of members represented by these gentlemen preponderates in the party supporting the Government, I should like to know what the Ministerial policy is.
– Does the honorable senator count Mr. Irvine in that number?
– Yes, I do. I feel uneasy as to what the Government proposals may be, in view of these very decided criticisms, and in some cases satirical remarks, concerning the ideaof an Australian Navy.
– We have grown more Imperialistic since those speeches were delivered.
– I hope so, as long as we are sane Imperialists.
– I call attention to the state of the Senate. [Quorum formed.]
– Coming now to the Bill itself, I shall refer first of all to the provision for junior cadets. I take a special interest in the junior cadets, because I regard them as the foundation of our future military system, and, just as in our educational system, we are beginning to recognise that it is necessary to commence the physical and mental training of children at an early age in order to secure satisfactory results later, so in connexion with our military system we need at an early age to begin the physical development of our future soldiers. We were fast getting into the habit of treating our junior cadets as though they were a part of the Defence Force. As I have said before, the attempt was being made to make miniature soldiers of them. With the assistance of the officers of the Military Board and others, I did what I could as Minister of Defence to check that tendency. I believe that the training of junior cadets should be confined to physical training. In that we can secure the co-operation of the State Governments. I convened the Conference of school teachers who considered this question, in order to secure the cooperation of the State Ministers of Education. The Vice-President of the Executive Council did me an injustice when he said that my ideas on the question of physical training were based largely on the advice of one medical man.
– If I said that it is not what I meant. I intended to refer to the honorable senator’s idea with regard to the physical unfitness of junior cadets for training. .
– In that also the Minister is quite wrong. 1 found the same view expressed on the subject by every medical man I consulted. I consulted Professor Petersen, of Sydney, who conducts in that city the biggest school of physical culture in the Commonwealth. He is doing very successful work, and is so highly thought of that he is engaged to conduct the physical exercises of all the big secondary schools in Sydney. I went to his school and saw his classes at work, and I had long conversations with him. All the authorities on the subject whom I consulted agreed that it is most unwise to treat boys as if they were all made of the same material and in the same manner. It is a great mistake to regard them as so many machines, and to believe that because one boy can go through certain physical exercises all boys can do the same. It is necessary, first of all, to discover whether a boy is capable of enduring physical exercises, and, secondly, whether they will be beneficial to him. We do not want to put boys through physical exercises unless they will benefit them. The object of these exercises is to expand the chest, and generally strengthen the body. Teachers of physical culture and medical men are agreed that if a boy suffers from any weakness of the heart the physical exercises which would benefit another boy might only accentuate that weakness and, if continued, might either kill the boy or make a physical wreck of him. The first thing to do is to have a medical inspection of every boy to see whether physical exercises will benefit him and whether he is capable of going through them.
– Every boy who appears to be at all delicate should certainly be examined.
– The authorities of some of the schools are beginning to recognise ‘that before lads are put through physical exercises a medical inspection is not only advisable, but absolutely necessary.The Sydney professor of physical culture to whom I have referred, has cases sent to him from the Children’s Hospital in Sydney, and he told me that he had noticed unmistakable instances of heart strain in boys who had undergone physical training for which they were not constitutionally fitted. The first thins he does when boys or girls are sent to his establishment is to have them medically examined, to discover whether they suffer from any constitutional weakness. The Bill does not provide for a medical examination of all junior cadets, but I think it might be carried out without any specific provision being included in the Bill. The Minister appeared to me to consider such an inspection unnecessary, and if he does, I hope that his colleague, the Minister of Defence, does not share that view.
– I must have been misunderstood. What I said was that the Bill makes no specific provision for it, but that the matter could be dealt with by regulation.
– I hope that when lads reach the age of twelve years, they will, first of all, be compelled to undergo a medical examination. Personally, I think that we might begin the physical training of boys at ten years of age, as is now done in some of the States; but as that is not very important, I shall not dwell upon it. The Government will require to be very careful in dealing with the question of uniform.
– The honorable senator is still speaking of the Junior Cadets ?
– Yes. A number of the lads now at school will have out-grown their uniforms in two years. I should not take away his uniform from any lad who has one now. I should let those who have them wear them out; but it would be no deprivation if we were to say that, after a certain date, no uniforms will be allowed. So long as uniforms are permitted in the Junior Cadet system, it will continue to be a class system. I have seen some painful and pathetic instances of this. My interest in the question has brought me into contact with a. large number of State school teachers, andI have learned of cases where, when some parade has taken place to which the boys have looked forward for a long time, the best boy in a class, the most enthusiastic and most efficient in drill and physical exercises, has had to stand down and take no part in the parade, because his parents were unable to provide him with a uniform.
– Would the honorable senator not have something to indicate uniformity?
– I do not place any value at all upon it. These Junior Cadet corps are not regiments of soldiers. If it is necessary that they should have uniforms, why were not uniforms compulsory in the State schools? I remember, as a State school scholar, being paraded and drilled, but it was never suggested that State school scholars should have a special uniform. The only advantage of a uniform is that it makes the boys look better; but we are not going to teach lads physical drill for the look of the thing, or to please them or their parents. We shall do so in order to develop them physically, and for that purpose a uniform is unnecessary.
– Is there not such a thing as a boy or a man talking a pride in his uniform?
– Honorable senators will find that these boys will take a pride in being proficient in their physical exercises. Some suggestion was made in another place by a kindly disposed member that the boys should have a hat and a bandolier. But the trouble is that if we decide that the boys shall wear a particular kind of hat,they will want a guernsey, then they will want knickerbockers, a pair of stockings, a belt, and so on, until we get back to where we started from. The only safe course to adopt in the matter is to decide that the Junior Cadets shall wear no uniform at all. A little time ago, the uniform of Junior Cadets developed to such an extent that in the effort to imitate senior soldiers each boy was provided with a belt to which was attached a heavy bayonet. It was obvious that to have to wear this bayonet could only be harmful to a delicate lad of twelve years of age. But this was in accord with the idea that the Junior Cadet system should be a replica in miniature of the military system. It is nothing of the kind, and it should not be treated as such. With respect to the Senior Cadets, I approve of the provisions in the Bill with regard to them, and do not think that any alteration of them is necessary. I believe that the establishment of a senior cadet corps will do an incalculable amount of good to the young manhood of Australia. Apart from its advantages in connexion with the development of the military system, it will do incalculable good in developing the manhood of youths, and will teach them that there is something more in the national life of Australia than an interest in sports. The mere assembling of the boys and drilling of them will make better citizens of them, and will cause them to think over many questions that at present never disturb their minds. One of the defects of our system of education is that when a boy reaches the age of fourteen years he is allowed to run loose, and may’ become a hoodlum. The influence of the Australian climate tends to ‘break up home life. In colder climates lads are driven indoors, but in Australia they can be out all the year round, and, after leaving school, they get into the streets, and sometimes come under influences that are detrimental to them. I believe that the Senior Cadet system will do an immense amount of good, because it will not only enable youths to go through a certain amount of training, but, from the corps will be developed gymnastic and other clubs, and the lads will be brought into contact with a good class of men in their officers. I venture to say that association with the class of men who will devote themselves to this work will be certain to be of great benefit to them, whilst they will, at the same time, be withdrawn from associations of a detri- mental character.
– Does the honorable senator think the training provided for senior cadets is sufficient?
– I think so. Once the lads join these corps they will enter upon the business with spirit. It is necessary only to look at the Senior Cadets in Victoria to know what they will be prepared to do. When there was not sufficient money provided to enable them to go into camo, some of them were so enthusiastic about their work that they went round for subscriptions and1 so got sufficient money to pay their own expenses, and went into camp. Once they join the corps they become even more enthusiastic than the older soldiers. The difficulty will be not to induce them to do the minimum number of drills, but to check their desire to imitate the older soldiers, and to be taken out and instructed in field movements. The Government will need to keep a firm hand upon them in this respect.
– The honorable senator has proved that compulsion is unnecessary.
– I have not. Senator W. Russell forgets that the existing establishment of senior cadets does not represent more than 5 per cent, of those who might be enrolled in such corps. It is found that, once they join these corps, they become very enthusiastic, and are prepared to do very much more than the minimum drill required of them; but there is a vast number of lads in the Commonwealth whom, so far, we have never been able to induce to join the defence movement, at all. At present military training does not appeal to them. Unfortunately, they go to football and cricket matches - not to play football and cricket, but merely to watch others playing.
– A very large percentage of boys and men have desired to join our present Military Forces, but we have had no room for them.
– If we depended upon the voluntary system the great majority of our youths would not come under it. When I come to deal with the Citizen Forces which it is proposed to establish under this Bill, I strike a jarring note. I recognise that the men who will compose those forces will, in time of war, have to face the enemy. They will be our first line of defence, and upon them will be thrown the responsibility of repelling an invader or of clearing our shores of a hostile force.
– They will constitute only a very small proportion of our first line of defence.
– But they will be the prospective militia, because it is assumed that after having served two years in the Citizen Forces they will enter the Militia. Consequently they are the men who will be charged with the responsibility of defending Australia. That is an immense responsibility to place, not only upon them, but upon the officers who control them and upon the Government who put. them in that position. Not only the liberties of the country, but the lives of the men themselves will be at stake. We are, therefore, bound - seeing that we are asking them to risk their lives- to give them absolutely the best organization possible, and to provide them with the best equipment in- order that they may command success. The speech which was delivered, by the Vice-President of the. Executive Council indicates that the Government regard this Bill merely as a measure which will provide for the training of a force and not for the establishment of a fighting force. In my opinion the Bill does not provide for a fighting force. It provides for the training of men who- may constitute a fighting force, but it does not provide for a fighting force. In moving the second reading of this Bill, in the other Chamber, the Minister of Defence, after sketching what is a fighting force, including its equipment, its organization, and the manner in which it is brought into action, inquired, “ Have we such a force in Australia to-day?” He answered his own question by- saying, “We have not.” In other words, the present force in Australia is not a fighting force. What is the difference between the force which it is proposed to establish under this Bill and the present force ?
– One will be equipped and organized, and the other will not.
– What has happened during the past eight years? Since the establishment of the Commonwealth, we have had a militia force of approximately 25,000 men, the great majority of whom range from twenty-five to thirty-five years of age. About one-third of that -number has annually dropped out of the force. That is to say, that each year about 8,300 men have dropped out of our militia force, the great majority of whom have had three years’ training therein. It, therefore, follows that there are in Australia to-day 60,000 men who have had upwards of three years’ military training.
– A good many of those who drop out of the militia force do not serve three years.
– But some of them served for more than three years. Indeed, many of them re-enlist. It is therefore fair to assume that the average man who drops out of our militia force has had about three years’ training. Consequently, our militia system provides for exactly what this Bill contemplates, namely - the military training of a number of men. The only difference between the existing system and the system which is proposed under the Bill, is that we do not at present earmark the men who drop out. What does the Bill propose? It proposes that men up till the time they reach twenty-six years of age shall register their names once a year. If, under our present system, we -decreed that the men who dropped out of our militia forces should come up annually for registration during six years, we should provide for exactly what this Bill proposes. The only difference would be that their training would not be so long as it would be under the Bill, and that it would not commence at such an early age. But it is a mistake to assume that we have only 25,000 men in Australia who have had military, training. What is lacking under our militia system is an organization for a reserve. It is a somewhat deplorable fact that during the past eight years we have not provided such an organization. But undoubtedly there are in Australia to-day about 60,000 men, all under forty-five years of age, who have had upwards of three years’ training in our militia forces. I do not say that these men are efficient by any means. I know that a man who is absent from a military organization for four or five years rapidly becomes inefficient. But when once he has had a fair military grounding he can soon be made efficient again.
– Would not about one-third of these men become members of rifle clubs?
– No. My experience teaches me that the militia man does not become a member of a. rifle club.
– The weak part in the honorable member’s comparison is that he ignores the four years’ training which a youth will receive as a senior cadet plus the two years’ training which he will get in the active forces.
– I do not ignore that. I have already said that under our present system these men would not receive so long a training as they will receive under this Bill. But I repeat that under our existing system 60,000 men must have had military training during the past eight years; these must be seasoned men, and they are under forty years of age.
– We shall have seasoned men in time under this scheme.
– No; because when the trainees reach twenty-six years of age we practically relapse into the existing system. I cannot see why we should not retain the organization for these men for a much longer period.
– The organization will be continued for the men after they have reached twenty-six years of age.
– Only as a voluntary organization.
– There is nothing in the Bill to indicate that.
– The only organization contemplated by the Bill is provided for the man who comes up for the annual muster parade until he reaches twenty-six years of age. When a youth has reached the age of eighteen years, he will have served four years in the senior cadet forces, and he will then step into the citizen forces. But my great point is, “ What is the organization to which he will then be attached?” That organization will not be the Citizen Forces. It will be a sort of hal f-way house. The men will be associated with a unit which is not a fighting unit - which is not part of the militia system - but which is organized on the same basis - as is plainly set out in clause 128 - -as is the militia unit. It was this question which I was endeavouring to elucidate yesterday when the “Vice-President of the Executive Council checked me. I ask him whether it is not a fact that under the Bill we shall have two sets of officers for the compulsory trainees, one set for those who are between eighteen and nineteen years of age, and another set for those who are beyond that age, although the two are alike in character?
– The only difference between them will be that one lot of trainees will be trained at full strength and the other lot at half strength.
– I wish to point out that as a fighting force we must put entirely out of consideration, those trainees who are between eighteen and nineteen years of age, because in the year in which they are organized they will not be a fighting force. They will practically be attending a school for training. The_ only trainees, whom we can take into consideration are the 18,500 men who will be between nineteen and twenty years of age, and it is for them that we shall require the militia organization. I take it’ that what is proposed in the Bill is that these men, as they attain nineteen years of age, shall step into the militia organization. But in the first year in which they do so, they will bring that organization up to its war strength. Now the existing militia organization possesses a full complement of officers - that is to say the officers are at war strength although the rank and file are at peace strength. Now let us look at the training which they will receive as part of the fighting line. The training which they will have previously had will be recruit training, but at this stage they will be trained as a war force. They will enter the militia organization and be com.pulsorily associated with it for only one % ear.
– Does the honorable senator entirely ignore the previous year’s training which they will have had?
– In the previous year they will not have been associated with that organization.
– They will have been trained as soldiers.
– But I am dealing with the vital question of organization. In this connexion I may be permitted to remark that an army is no stronger than is its organization. Its numbers are not its strength. If it be big in numbers but unorganized it will be merely a mob; the better organized it is, the stronger will it be. Therefore from my stand-point the only force upon which we can count is that which will comprise youths between nineteen and twenty years of age, and we therefore have to ask ourselves “ What is their value from the stand-point of organization?” Now the great feature of organization is not merely that officers shall be well-educated, but that they shall have a grip of the men whom they will have to lead in time of war. In this connexion I would ask honorable senators whether it is not a great advantage for an officer to know the men whom he has to lead, and for the men to know the officer who has to lead them? But what chance is there of that mutual knowledge being gained under this Bill? These men will step into the militia organizations for only one year.
– To give effect to the honorable senator’s suggestion, we should require fresh officers. for each fresh draft of trainees.
– The honorable senator is missing my point, which is that the men should .be associated with the officers for a longer period.
– Then you would still have one lot of officers passing through in a continuous stream.
– No. I would keep the officers so long as they were in the service. The militia organization is the fighting force, and the officers’ should not be continually passing in and out. The point I want to make is that the men are associated with the officers for altogether too short a period. In a year the men are under the control of the officers for only sixteen days altogether, and in a continuous camp for only eight days. What is an eight days’ camp? A day is occupied, first, in going into camp, and, second, in going out of it, which reduces the actual period to six days, including a Sunday. I do not know whether it has been owing to public opinion or to the idiosyncrasies of Ministers, but there has been a disinclination to give any military training on Sunday. I do not hold that view. When I was Minister of Defence, I told the commandants that if they cared to take out the men for military training on Sunday, I would take the fullest responsibility for any criticism which might be directed at them. Sunday has been regarded practically as an idle day, and if that practice is continued the time for the camp will be reduced to five days. There will be five days of training for fighting purposes, and for one year only. The officers will, of course, be in contact with the men on the first and last days. It will be seen that the officers, who are to understand the characteristics of the men, and to lead them some day against the toe, will have control of them for only eight days. Next year the same set of officers will have a fresh set of men. Every year the officers will have a fresh draft over whom they will have practical control for only eight days. That seems to me to be a weakness of the Bill. As a scheme for training men, I believe that it will be a very effective, but as a scheme for providing a fighting force its weak point lies there.
– Would the honorable senator increase the number of days in camp?
– Yes, and also the years of service.
– By one year more?
– I should be prepared to go further than that.
– Consider the cost.
– Would the honorable senator be prepared to go further than his own proposal ?
– Personally I should be prepared to fix the length of service up to twenty-six years of age. I do not suggest that we would need sixteen whole days of training in each one of those years. But I contend that for the purpose of organization we ought to keep a grip of the men, and give the officers an opportunity of familiarizing themselves with the men, and vice versa during that period of six. years. Then we should have a fighting force. Of course, the answer of the Minister will be, “ Oh, but we shall have the militia system, and that will be our fighting force.” Both Ministers have stated that the present militia force is not a fighting force. How do they propose to make it answer requirements?
– By organizing and equipping it.
– There is nothing in the Bill to make the Militia Force a fighting force. All that it does is to provide a number of trained men, if they can be recruited, and that is the problem.
– All the evidence is that there will be no difficulty in getting recruits for the Militia, provided that Parliament is prepared to finance the scheme.
– I am coming to that point. The field from which we have recruited the Militia in the past has been a field of untrained men. But in the future we shall recruit, if we can, from a field of trained men. That is the difference. Shall we be able to recruit them ? Shall we be able, not only to keep our militia system up to its present strength, but also increase it up to 29,000 men ? At present we have a shortage of 4,000 men, and it is proposed to take 2,000 militia-men as officers, so that there will be a shortage of 6,000 to be made up. Can that be done? The Minister has stated that in the past the trouble has been that Parliament has not voted sufficient money. I differ from him. If he will make inquiry, he will find that there are regiments for which money has been provided, but which are not, and never have been, up to their establishment.
– Whose fault is that?
– It has been due to a disinclination on the part of citizens to enter the Militia Force.
– It has been largely due to a want of encouragement by Parliament.
– Tothe want of compulsion.
– I think that it has been due, not to the lack of encouragement, but to a disinclination on the part of a certain section to volunteer. A man will say, “It is not my particular business. I do not see why I should go and waste my time when Bill Jones goes to a football match or to the races. I think that Ihave as much right to go there as he has.” That has been, I think, the determining factor with the militia system.
– The honorable senator will hardly dispute that it is possible to popularize the militia.
– In what way?
– It is only a matter of money, to put forward the worst aspect of it.
– If it is intended to pay a higher rate we may get more men. But not, 1 venture to say, the class whom we want.
– My honorable friend has hit the nail on the head. Young men are given too much to sport.
– I do not think that the country can afford to pay more money. At present we are paying 8s. a day, and I do not think that we want mercenaries.
– I did not mean to make the pay per day higher than it is, but to popularize the force by giving a certain camp, instead of an uncertain one, and in many other ways.
– I do not think that will be found to be a great inducement. In Victoria there was an attempt made to extend the camp from four to six days, but it was found that, although the men were willing to respond, their employers were unwilling that they should be absent from their factories for six days. If the Minister will question militia officers about the patriotism of employers, he will hear a disgraceful tale. The men who have been making a sacrifice on their scanty wages have been prepared to go into camp for the extra time. When the men have told their officers that they did not like to ask the “boss” for leave, the former have made an application, and have been met with a point blank refusal in most cases. Any militia officer will tell the Minister of numberless instances of that kind.
– Then the men were willing, but the employers were not.
– In very many cases.
– I am not going to deny that such is the case, but the Government have received very satisfactory assurances of a totally different character.
– I wish that the assurances had materialized in the past better than they did. Hitherto the trouble has been not with the men, but with the employers.
– The men, if they had gone into camp, would have lost their wages, but received their pay as militia men.
– Yes. Of course there is something to be said for the employers. When I spoke to an employer in Brisbane on the subject he replied, “In my establishment I have nearly 300 employes, including three militia men. Each militia man is working an important machine, and if I were to give him a day off, at least twenty or thirty other men would be thrown idle.” That difficulty always arises when it is proposed to have a longer camp. It is a very great difficulty indeed. Therefore the Minister’s proposition that the militia is to be made more popular by means of a longer camp is not so feasible as he seems to think.
-The volunteer system, has broken down all over the Empire.
– Exactly. It is an. unfair system, because it calls upon patriotic men to make a sacrifice for unpatriotic men.
– The answer is that the volunteer system has lasted to the great benefit of the Empire for centuries.
– It has broken down.. I have shown the difficulty which I see in the system as providing a fighting force. I do not wish honorable senators to think that I am directing my criticism at the scheme as one for training. I am merely dealing with the system as producing a fighting, force. I feel certain that Parliament will not agree to vote more than 8s. per day to the men, and therefore we cannot raise the strength of the Militia Force to 29,000 men. I do not think it would be fair to raise the pay beyond that point, and I do not see any other inducement which can be offered. I believe that the Government’s anticipation will not be realized, even with this training scheme. But with regard to officers, what will be the position? It must be remembered that whilst we can fit a man in perhaps two years to take his place in the fighting line we cannot fit an officer in that period. I am, referring particularly to the noncommissioned officer, because he is in my opinion the backbone of. any army. In T he Englishman’ s Home whenever they get into difficulties, the question is always heard, “ Where is the sergeant-major?” I think that if ever the testing time comes with our militia system, the question will be asked, “ Where is the sergeant ?” The noncommissioned officer may not be the brain of the army, but he is its motive-power.
– In that play was there not an awful lot of bathos?
– Yes, but there is no bathos about the sergeant-major; he is generally the most practical man who can be found: He cannot be picked up every day, and when he is found he needs to bekept and educated. He cannot be trained in two years-. He cannot even be found in that period. He will not be found in the one year during which the men are passing through the organization. The rank and file will not have found their footing. And where are our non-commissioned officers to be found? Unless we pick them out in the eight days we shall lose grip of the men; they will pass out of our ken, coming up as they will only once a year. In one day they cannot be picked out. The officers will not know anything of their capabilities, and therefore in the selection of officers and non-commissioned officers we shall be confined, as at present, to the Militia Force. That is the only source from which they can be procured, because that will be our only testing ground.
– Does the honorable senator realize that the non-commissioned officer of to-day has not the same duties to perform as the non-commissioned officer of old ? The close fighting of old times made the position different.
– I have not seen anyreal fighting. At a sham fight in Sydney I was in the firing line, and what struck me was that the non-commissioned officer was doing all the work. Of course the man who was directing operations was in the rear, but in the fighting line it was the noncommissioned officer who was telling the men to take cover, giving the place for the next rush, telling them when to fire and when ‘ to take their next rush. He was practically doing all the fighting so far as brain work was concerned. He was the brain of the fighting line.
– He is not that so much now as in the old time.
– I did not live in the old time. In the present organization there is a shortage of officers. Ministers will not deny that. They have to provide, for the new scheme, 2,000 additional officers. These officers have to come from the Militia Forces. Where and how are the Government going to get them?
– That difficulty presents itself whether the men are trained for two or for three years.
– But under the scheme which I suggest the Government would have control over them for a longer period. They would remain in the fighting force from the age of twenty up to twenty - six. There would be a longer period in which to make officers of them.
– The honorable senator’s proposal is to have compulsory service up to the age of twenty-six?
– Yes, but I want to, be clear on the point. I would give the men sixteen days’ continuous camp training in each of the two years, and they could come up for four days’ camp training in the other six years.
– Would the expense of a camp be justified for only four days?
– The men would come into existing camps for the four days’ training; and I would remind the Senate that it does not cost much to put two or three thousand additional men into a camp. I was astonished to find that it only costs 8d. or 9d. a day to keep a man in camp.
– But there is a big item ir. the cost of transport.
– Yes, the main cost is in the organizing of the camp, and in the transport.
– The men did noc get enough to eat at the last Victorian camp.
– Yes, they did. The honorable senator is not fairly stating the facts. The men were well provided for, but owing to the weather being particularly rough it was impossible to land the food at one place where a small number of men had been detained, owing to the steamer not being able to return them, because of the unusual weather conditions. The food itself, however, was good and ample for the time during which they were in camp. I wish to give some idea of the service that is necessary to produce an officer. Taking the existing forces, the following is the experience in regard to the Field Artillery and the technical corps. The average age of officers in New South Wales is 37 years ; in Victoria, 37J years. The average age of non-commissioned officers in New South Wales is 40 years; in Victoria, 37 3-izths years. The average length of service of officers is in New South Wales, 8 4-12ths years; in Victoria, 8 10-izths. The average service of non-commissioned officers is in New South Wales, 17 years; in Victoria, 13 4-12th years. Those figures afford a striking illustration. It will be found that the most valuable noncommissioned officer is the man who has had at least ten years’ service. ‘ Do honorable senators see the point of the difficulty ? In the existing Militia Forces we cannot keep the officers up to strength. We cannot get sufficient of them. The forces are under strength now. But the Government say that they are going to increase the Militia by 4,000 men. How are they going to get more officers? They say that they are going to take 2,000 officers out of the existing ‘ Militia. But what are they going to do to supply the places of the 2,000 who are going out?
– How many more officers shall we want?
– It looks to me as if we shall want at least 4,000 officers and non-commissioned officers. In the light of our experience of the length of service required, and the average age of officers and non-commissioned officers, where are we going to get them from? The Government cannot get them under the scheme of the Bill. They cannot pick out noncommissioned officers from youths in the senior cadets. Some of them may develop into good officers, but they must arrive at manhood before they can be chosen.
– The honorable senator is pointing to one of the most attractive features of the proposed scheme, inasmuch a-, it affords facilities for men to fit themselves to become officers.
– I am not so sure of that. It might be thought that a man would naturally like to become an officer ; and so he would if all things were equal. But under this scheme, when a man becomes an officer’ he is called upon to make a bigger sacrifice than he would otherwise have to make. Is not that so? If he becomes an officer what is he going to do? If he is an officer under the training scheme he has to go into camp every year so long a.i he remains an officer - that is, for eight days in each year. Seeing that we cannot at present get sufficient men to become officers when they go into camp for only four d.ivs in the year, how does the Minister think he is going to get them when they would have to go into camp for eight days a year ? Does he not realize that the difficulties are going to be immensely increased ? A greater sacrifice is demanded from the officers, and consequently it will become increasingly difficult to get them ; whilst at the same time the Government are proposing a scheme which necessitates an immensely larger number of officers than they have at present.
– Does the honorable senator think that good officers would be more likely to accept the sacrifice if the term of service were extended ?
– When I left office I had reached the stage of a proposition. At the outset, I did not recognise that this was, as I . now think it is, the greatest difficulty in connexion with a. compulsory scheme. Therefore, I had not reached the stage at which I was prepared with any proposition to overcome the difficulty as to the shortness of officers. But the present Government had a heritage of experience left to them. They had the experience, not only of our investigations on the subject, but also the previous Government’s investigations, and they knew likewise that this difficulty in regard to officers was realized by the Minister’s advisers. Therefore, the present Minister of Defence must have foreseen the difficulty. But he has apparently devised no means of overcoming it. He simply throws himself back on the Militia Force, and thinks that he can get the requisite number of officers from that source.
– Where else would the honorable senator get them from?
– One other waywould be this : If the compulsory term of service were extended, then, if a man knew that he had to serve, he would naturally say, “ Well, if I have to serve, I might as well serve as an officer as a private.” Therefore there would be the eight years between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six during which men could be obtained from the forces. But under the existing system there is no such chance of obtaining officers, nor is a satisfactory method provided by the Bill. During the whole term that a man remains an officer under this Bill, he has to go up every year for his eight days’ camp, whereas he would be called upon to make no such sacrifice if he remained in the ranks during those eight years.
– The Government of which the honorable senator was a member must have known the difficulty of carrying out the proposal which he is now making for the first time.
– I frankly recognise the difficulty, and also acknowledge that the scheme proposed by the Government of which I was a member, did not completely meet my views. I can make that admission, because, as the honorable senator knows, all Government schemes are the result of compromise. But this difficulty has been grappled with in other parts of the world. It has been grappled with in Switzerland. There it has been found that in order to get officers and noncommissioned officers, a graduated system of payment has had to be adopted. A sergeant, for instance, would get a certain rate of pay for the first year, a higher rate of pay for the second year, and so on - his pay increasing with his length of service. The same applies to the remaining officers. That seems to be a fair and wise system; because these men, it must be recollected, did not become officers under compulsion. They are voluntary officers, and a man who is prepared to sacrifice two years should get a higher rate of pay than the man who is prepared to sacrifice only one. I think that in that way a means might be found of overcoming the difficulty of getting officers. But unless this question is. grappled with effectively before the proposed scheme comes into operation, the forces must be reduced to a state of chaos. As to the length of the camp training. I have said that the term proposed is inadequate. I venture to say that the military advisers of the Governn*ent will tell them that that is so. I had an opportunity of seeing the Victorian camp, and this is what happened. The forces went to Langwarrin, and were divided into two sections. They lost a day in going to camp. Then one of the two sections into which they were divided was made into, an attacking force, whilst the other became a defending force. The attacking force was to come towards Melbourne, and the defending force was to meet it. The attacking force was marched out several miles, and then camped for the night. The next morning the two forces met, but by the time the real business of the sham fight ought to have commenced the troops had to be marched back to their base to prepare for going home. Consequently the really interesting operations were never conducted. The officers got a certain amount of training in making dispositions for the camp and for defending it, and the men got some training in route marching. But that was about all the advantage that was secured. In New South Wales the troops had a six days’ camp. I saw that also. I went into camp myself. I do not profess to have any military knowledge, and therefore I cannot give my own opinion, but officers with whom I conversed deplored the shortness of the camp. They stated that- the training was good enough so far as it went, but it was noneffective owing to the shortness of time at their disposal. In Queensland the troops have an eight days’ camp. Speaking to a light horse officer in that. State, he told me that even there the camps are rendered ineffective, in the first place because the eight days’ training is too brief ; and secondly because a large number of the men are recruits. When they go into camp the recruits cannot be utilized for field work because they have not been sufficiently trained. I recognise that that difficulty will be obviated under this Bill, because the men will have done their recruit training as youths; but still the eight days’ camp will be insufficient. The Territorials in England, which are citizen soldiers, have thirty-six days’ continuous camp training in the first year. In Switzerland the troops have a much longer camp training than that.
– The Swiss have increased the period lately.
– That is so. I am conceited enough to believe that the Australian learns quicker, and does not require such a long period of preliminary drill as does the European. But nevertheless the period of camp training provided for is wholly insufficient. I would appeal to the Government, if they cannot see their way. to extend the period of compulsory training up to the age of twenty-six, to provide for at least sixteen days’ continuous camp. I should be prepared to let the remaining eight days’ drill go by. If the troops were taken into camp for sixteen days, the training they would receive then would be more useful than all they received during the remainder of the year. Indeed the sixteen days’ camp training would be of more value than thirty separate parades scattered throughout the year.
– Is that opinion fortified by expert advice?
– It is fortified by my reading of the expert advice.
– How can the farmers leave their ploughs idle for sixteen days?
– How would the honorable senator’s proposal affect industry?
– The interjections by. Senators W. Russell and Dobson may be taken together. Senator W. Russell says that it would never do to take the farmer away from his plough for sixteen days.. Surely the honorable senator does not believe that any Minister of Defence would be so stupid as to consent to the holding of a camp in the middle of the ploughing season ?
– This is a compulsory Bill.
– That is so, but the camps can be arranged for a time of the year when men will be best able to get away from their work to attend them. Under existing conditions it is not the practice to hold light horse camps, for instance, in Queensland at the same time that militia camps are held in Victoria. Camps of light horse regiments are held in Victoria at a time of the year convenient for the work of the farmers. They are not held at the same time as the ordinary militia camp at Langwarrin. Some light horse regiments certainly attend the camp at Langwarrin, but the principal light horse camps are held at Colac and Seymour, in the country districts, to meet the convenience of the farmers, and during the slack season for the farmers. The same thing applies in connexion with men engaged in general industrial occupations. It will not follow that a holiday season will be chosen for the holding of a camp under the compulsory system. If men are to be taken away from a factory to attend camp for eight days, it will not follow that that will cause a serious dislocation of the business of the factory. What will happen will probably be that the employer will have to put other persons in the places of those who are temporarily absent at the camp, and if he is obliged to make temporary arrangements of that kind, it will matter very little to him whether he makes them for eight days or for sixteen days. In connexion with the suggested interference with industrial enterprise, 1 may say that I took occasion when in Western Australia to ask Mr. Neil McNeil, who is a director of the Timber Combine in that State that controls 5,000 employes, and most of them young men, to be good enough to make inquiries which would enable him to say what percentage of his employes would be interfered with, and how it would affect his industry, if young fellows from eighteen to twentyone years of age were taken from the mills to attend a camp. Mr. McNeil went to considerable trouble to investigate the matter, and he told me that the result of his investigations was that not 5 per cent. of the employes of the combine would be taken out at one time, and that the effect upon the industry would be practically nil, as by rearrangements theycould carry on their work. He said further that the argument that compulsory service would interfere with industry was without much force.
– He spoke only from the point of view of a man engaged in the saw-milling industry, but there are other industries far more complex.
– If the honorable senator had ever seen a saw-mill in Western Australia he would scarcely say so. The saws are worked in teams, a log is taken in at one end of the shed, and taken out cut into boards at the other end, and the dislocation of one saw in the centre would lay up the whole concern, just as the breakdown of one machine in a boot factory would lay up the factory. I come now to deal with the financial aspect of the question. The Vice-President of the Executive Council estimated that the cost would be for the military, £1,742,000, and on the naval side, £700,000, or a total of , £2,442,000. We hare all heard of the necromancy of figures, but there is a particular figure which would appear to have some special influence in our defence matters, and that is the figure £200,000. It is a singular thing that when Mr. Deakin or Sir Thomas Ewing made a speech on this question some time ago it was subsequently discovered that the estimates given were out to the extent of , £200,000. All these things, of course, can be explained, and the discrepancy to which I refer was explained away somehow. But strange to say the Vice-President of the Executive Council is at variance with his honorable colleague the Minister of Defence in the estimate he has given and to just the same extent - £200,000.
– I have not had an opportunity of perusing the honorable senator’s speech, because he did not favour me with a proof of it.
– Will the honorable senator let me say that the Chief of the Hansard Staff asked me at the request of a number of honorable senators whether I had any objection to proofs of the speech being issued. I said I had not, and I assumed in consequence that any honorable senator who wanted a proof of the speech could get it.
– I have not received a proof of the speech, but I took down the figures as the honorable senator stated them. He estimated the maximum expenditure when the scheme is in full operation at £1,742,000. The. Minister of Defence has circulated his speech in pamphlet form and has attached an appendix in which he puts down the expense in 1914-15, when the maximum expenditure will have been reached, at £1,942,000.
– The honorable senator will find if he looks into the matter that an error has arisen in the compilation of the table to which he refers through including in it , £200,000 for naval expendi- ture. If the honorable senator refers to the speech of the Minister of Defence he will find the figures stated as I gave them yesterday, and in each case they are given less the £200,000 for naval expenditure.
– I see no mention of naval expenditure in the figures given in the appendix.
– An error was made in the preparation of the table to which the honorable senator refers. The actual figures were those I quoted yesterday.
– Then the figures stated in the appendix to ‘ the pamphlet issued by the Minister of Defence are wrong, and those stated by the VicePresident of the Executive Council yesterday are right?
– Yes, and the figures given in the speech of the Minister of Defence are right.
– I accept the honorable senator’s explanation, but there is still another ,£200,000 to be accounted for. The Minister has circulated a memorandum on the Defence Bill dated 20th September, 1909, in which I find that the military expenditure is set down for 1909-10, less Cadets, Special Defence Material, and New Special Defence Provision, at £875,000. In the pamphlet that I have referred to this item is again included, and the amount set down at £1,075,000.
– I have said that £200,000 for naval expenditure is wrongly included in the table attached to the pamphlet.
– I am glad to have the Minister’s explanation, because it seemed to me that this £200,000 was pursuing the Defence Department with a relentless pertinacity worthy of a better cause. I ta.ke the estimate given by the VicePresident of the Executive ‘Council of £1,742,000. We have to add to that annual expenditure £700,000 for naval defence, making a total expenditure on defence annually of £2,442,000. But these figures make no provision for any capital expenditure for naval purposes, and we must assume, therefore, that the Government propose to borrow for the purpose of providing whatever naval force has been agreed upon. In these estimates I take it that no provision is made for interest on any loan.
– We have to recognise that if, as has been foreshadowed in the press, there is to be a naval loan floated of from £3,000,000 to £4,000,000, it will be necessary to add to the estimate of expenditure a fairly substantial sum for interest. According to the scheme as foreshadowed in the press, although not confirmed by the Minister; £250,000 of the £700,000 is to be paid by the British Government.- If we take upon ourselves the full responsibility of the naval unit, we shall have to add to the figures I have already stated another £250,000.
– The honorable senator is wrong there. The figures will include the cost of providing the unit itself.
– The £700,000?
– The honorable senator must see that that statement cannot be correct. The cost of the upkeep of the present squadron maintained in Port Jackson is £600,000 per annum. The squadron it is proposed to raise will be a far more formidable squadron than that, and if it costs £600,000 for the upkeep of the existing squadron, the Minister will not contend that we are going to build and maintain a more formidable squadron for £700,000 per annum. That figure does not provide for construction. I believe that the Senate will insist upon our assuming full responsibility for the upkeep of the naval unit, and will not ask that the Imperial Government should pay the £250,000 referred to. It will, therefore, be necessary to add to the figures already quoted a sum of about £300,000, which will bring the total expenditure up to about £2,750,000. That is the sum which the Commonwealth would be called upon to pay annually for the defence of Australia. I have, personally, nothing to say against that. I believe that if Australia’ is worth defending that will not be too large a sum to pay for its effective defence, but I do say that we ought to know how the Government propose to raise the money. We ought to know that before the next election. The Government should give the people some indication, in order that they may know upon whose shoulders the burden will fall. So far they have declined to do so, but I hope that they will do so before next year’s elections. I’ need only say in conclusion that in Committee I shall endeavour to adopt a strictly non-party attitude towards the Bill. That I shall endeavour to carry out my ideas goes without saying, but I shall make certain appeals to the Senate, and I will ask the Government to give liberty to. honorable senators on their side in the matter, in order that if the Senate is of opinion that the Bill should be given1 a wider scope, and be made more effective, an opportunity may be afforded to register that opinion apart from party influence. I shall support the second reading of the Bill.
Senator Lt.-Colonel CAMERON (Tasmania) [12.13]. - I think I might preface my remarks by saying that the Bill now at its second-reading stage has been immensely illuminated by the speech of Senator Pearce, the ex-Minister of Defence. I wish also to say that, in his survey of the surrounding conditions of the world, the Minister, in introducing the measure, showed very clearly the immense necessity there is for approaching this great question of the defence of Australia in an impartial and non-party spirit. I do not intend to touch upon the naval aspect of the question. My own opinion is that, although the Naval and Military Forces have to be co-ordinated, a great self-governing community cannot legislate for these two great weapons of defence in a single Act. Naval and military defence must respectively be provided for in separate measures. I congratulate the Government and the Opposition upon being united at last on the great principles I have been advocating ever since I stood as a public man before the people of Australia. I have always urged the necessity for compulsory service. No one has shown its difficulties more clearly than did the ex-Minister of Defence, nor has any one adduced more forcible arguments as to its necessity than those to which we listened from Senator Pearce this morning. I turn for a moment to the Bill itself, and I find that it consists practically of two parts. Th*e first part relates to the preparatory physical training of youths, and the second to a further training to fit them to take their places in the Defence Forces of the country. Without entering into the details connected with the physical training at school of boys who are between twelve and fourteen years of age, and of youths who are between fifteen and eighteen years of age, I say that it will prove of immense advantage to them. The Bill provides for a national training, not merely in a physical but in a moral sense. The next portion of the measure relates to the training of the youths who have attained the age of nineteen years. Nobody will dispute that to give these lads who have passed the schoolboy age, and who have had a great deal of attention paid to their physical drill, a certain amount of rifle practice, will be of great advantage. But proposed new section 128 provides -
The prescribed military training in the Citizen Forces shall for the first year be in units organized on the same basis as the Militia and Volunteer Forces.
That provision raises a point upon which neither the Minister of Defence nor Senator Pearce has touched. The Militia and Volunteer Forces mentioned in that clause refer, I take it, to our existing Forces. What is the position occupied by those Forces? To revert again to the Minister’s declaration we want an efficient military force. According to his statement the existing force is not adequate to the requirements of the country, and that statement has been emphatically indorsed by Senator Pearce. How does this Bill propose to provide an efficient force? So far as it recognises the principle that every man must serve his country by sacrificing a certain portion of his time to qualify himself to defend it, I am thoroughly in tccord with its object. But it will no more fit the Forces - the creation of which it contemplates - to defend Australia than does the present system which has been condemned alike by the Minister of Defence and the ex-Minister, Senator Pearce. Are we to accept this Bil] merely as an instalment, or are we to pay serious heed to the Minister’s statement of the position that we occupy in relation to other nations? Do we acknowledge that danger is threatening, and that difficulties are accumulating? If so, are we going to permit the present condition of things to continue ? If this Bill is to be put before the people of Australia merely as an electioneering placard, and if they are to be asked to authorize the Government to proceed to make it effective, I can understand the position. But I cannot understand any responsible Minister affirming that the measure will provide for the defence of Australia.
– The honorable senator does not accept it as a solution of the defence problem ?
– I accept it only as a step in the direction of acknowledging a principle which my honorable friends opposite have already affirmed, - -namely, that it is the duty of the male citizens of Australia to qualify themselves to defend their country, so that they may be able to meet the best troops in the world with a prospect of success. I hope that the note which’
I have sounded is no uncertain one. The question may naturally arise in the minds of honorable senators, “ Why are the provisions of this Bill inadequate to meet the necessities of the Commonwealth?” From time to time I have heard a good deal as to the aptitude of Australians to acquire military knowledge, and from my own experience of them, I- can corroborate that statement. I think that in Australia we have the best material to be found in the world upon which to work, and we have, too, I am thankful to say, the proper spirit. To-day Australia is calling for a measure which will provide it with an efficient defence. Wherever one may go throughout the length and breadth of this continent he will find a consensus of opinion that the people only require to be told what they should do, when they will be prepared to do it. It is idle to tell them that a partially trained force will render the country fit to meet the difficulties which are in store for it. We know that the Militia of the Imperial Service, which has hitherto been second to none as a militia force, was at best only a feeder to Britain’s first line of defence. Yet what does this Bill contemplate? It proposes to retain our old militia, service - although admittedly it is unable to fulfil our requirements - as our first line of defence. Quite recently the Militia Force of Great Britain has been abolished, but, although it was the equal of any similar force which could be brought against it, nobody has ever contended that it was capable of standing alone as the Empire’s first line of defence. Yet, in this Bill, we are asked to believe that an inadequately trained force will be an efficient one, notwithstanding that the experience of every country in the world is directly opposed to that idea. Indeed, the proposition has only to be stated for any practical man to realize its absurdity. The ex-Minister of Defence, Senator Pearce, has very ably dealt with the period of training to which our citizens will be liable under this Bill. Yesterday the Vice-President of the Executive Council took exception to the use by me of the expression “ raw lads.” But, although the boys who will receive a physical training under this measure may be intelligent enough, they will undoubtedly be “ raw lads” from a military stand-point, in every sense of the term. These lads are to “be given sixteen days’ company drill in units during the first year that they become liable to be trained, and’ during the second year they will enter upon another sixteen days’ training, when they will be under the command of officers drawn from the Militia. I say that either the Bill is a hotch-potch of absurdity, or it is not a measure which is at all adequate to meet the defence requirements of Australia. Let me now refer to the time which is taken to produce a good noncommissioned officer and an officer. A man may get a smattering of his drill and may be able to intelligently pass an examination; but he is then only at the beginning of his business. You may show a man how to hold his working tools, but he has to learn how to use them. When I began to learn carpentry I was told not only to learn to sharpen my tools, but also to convert a block of wood into a perfect square, which is a most difficult thing. to do. I dare say that many unthinking persons will assert that to teach a person to sharpen his tools is as easy as to make a block of wood square, but I ask the ex-Minister of Defence, who is a practical man, if it does not take a good long apprenticeship to fit a man to do that. How much longer apprenticeship will it take to fit a noncommissioned officer, not only to lead, but also to command the respect of his men. If in existing circumstances it takes a long time to produce a non-commissioned officer, how much longer time is required to turn out a competent officer? I admit that it is most difficult to get . suitable officers. When I commanded a regiment in Australia it was most difficult to obtain from the regiment officers whom the men could respect, and in whom I could have confidence. Yet under this illdigested, unthought-out proposal, it is intended to take a couple of thousand noncommissioned officers and men from the present Militia Force. The bulk of them do not lack intelligence or enthusiasm. They suffer from the want of experience and time to gain experience. I desire to help forward what I look upon as a nonpartisan measure. But when I see that all the difficulties of the situation are perceived but not attempted to be met, I think it is time that the people of Australia should be asked to speak with no uncertain voice, and if I can help them to so speak I will. It is quite immaterial to me who sits on the Treasury Bench. The defence of Australia is of paramount importance. I am dealing now with the question of defending the country and getting the men fit for that purpose - not simply to draw 8s. a day, or, in superior positions, a larger pay. I want to see that, so far as defence is concerned, our material advantages and conditions can be held sacred to ourselves and to the Empire for all time. But what does the Bill provide? To start with, it provides for the teaching of children, who will become first boys and afterwards youths, but who even then will not, under the proposed scheme, be soldiers. It is anticipated that when the scheme is in full working order there will be 206,000 partially trained men. I would not call them partially trained soldiers. But no provision is made for the training of officers. Yesterday we heard of the establishment of a peripatetic college.
– Moving about on wheels ?
.- Yes. This question is too serious to admit of delay. As regards the establishment of a college, we must be guided by the experience of the best schools of military thought. It is of no use to play with the question at this stage. As I said here three years ago, our security depends upon the alliance between Great Britain and Japan. Since then the affairs of the world have moved fast. I shall not attempt to explain the position as it was lucidly stated yesterday by the Minister in charge of the Bill. Within the last few months we have seen Europe humiliated by a great confederation of powers. The mailed fist was behind the quiet, but determined, demand of the foreign policy of the Germanic power. The mailed fist was the final argument on questions of the greatest import to the whole world. Other nations politely, but, nevertheless, humbly submitted to it. Confronted by this condition of affairs, can we hope that an infant school of defence will be likely to protect us when the crisis arrives? Are we going to depend upon physically-trained boys? Yesterday I even heard of a proposal to employ physicallytrained girls. Why they” should be employed I do not know, unless it is that they will have votes by-and-by. Are we going to depend upon this State-school scheme of education for the defence of the great interests’ of this country? I cannot imagine what induced the Government to seriously submit a Bill of this kind, and the Minister to say that it was a Defence Bill. If he had come down and explained that this was the first step towards compulsory service then I should say that he had made the most effective effort that the representative of a Government has ever made in the British Empire, and one which I cordially approve. But to come down and tell us that this is a Defence Bill was merely trifling with the great interests of Australia.
– It is a good beginning.
.- If there is anything in the present juncture, if there is anything in what I have said, surely it must indicate, not only to honorable senators, but also to the people at large, that there is no time to be lost. What are we doing now? What are we talking about? In eight years’ time, forsooth, we are to have 206,000 partially-trained troops. Before the end of that period we may be involved in one of the greatest conflicts which the world has ever seen. Are we asking. Lord Kitchener - a man who has been commanding soldiers - to come here and tell us how to regulate a nursery of physicallytrained children? I seldom speak in the Chamber, but I want my words to go out to the people of Australia. This is no matter to be trifled with, but a serious matter. By whomsoever the organization of a defence scheme may be undertaken, it should be undertaken not as if we were at the age of puberty, but as if we had reached the age of manhood, having all the interests that surround manhood. As regards the naval question, I must leave it to those who know more thoroughly than I do how to deal with such a complex and difficult subject.
– Before leaving the military question will the honorable senator point put in what further direction the Bill ought to go?
– It is the business of the Government, not the business of a private senator, to make legislative proposals to the country. My function is to criticise my honorable friends and their proposals.
– Surely the honorable senator can give us an idea as to what further step should be taken ?
– I regard the suggestion of the Minister as a very great honour. I shall endeavour to state what I think, not in detail, but as broadly’ as I can. I ask honorable senators to realize that where a practical man is’ concerned it is the spirit in which a proposal would be carried out which would render it, from his point of view, effective or otherwise.
– Does not that apply to the Bill, too - the spirit in which it would be carried out would render it effective or otherwise?
– The Minister leaves himself open to a retort of a very courteous nature, but possibly an unkind one, when I say that I only wish that I could think so.
– Those were the honorable senator’s own words.
– What my own words may be is quite another matter from what I find in the Bill. What I should prefer to see carried out is not new to those who listened tome when I used to move or second the Address-in-Reply to the GovernorGeneral’s Speech. Three years ago I ventured to suggest that what we wanted was “ an efficient Military Force,” and by that phrase 1 meant one which would be capable of meeting the best and most highly trained troops which could be brought against it. One of the most essential matters making for the success of an army, is that it should possess uniformity of organization and of material. That implies uniformity of instruction. We must devise a system adapted to the particular circumstances under which we exist. Instead of the peripatetic college far the training of officers which it is proposed to establish, I should have preferred the Minister to advocate the establishment of a permanent college, at which our youth could be trained. I do not care how the officers are obtained. They may be found amongst men who are not endowed with this world’s goods, or amongst those who are well-to-do. The important point is not how they are . obtained, but how they are trained. An officer must be well trained in his profession. The capacity to command men must be acquired as an art. Commanding men does not mean haranguing them, but being able to lead them to success. Success is the natural corollary to good leadership. If officers cannot lead their men to success, they will very soon have no men to lead. The militarycollege which it is proposed to establish, may be excellent in its way, but there must also be a college where youths can go through a long course of instruction. Under the English system of training, a young officergoes to a college for a certain term, and then he serves as a junior officer in a good regiment. He is still at school while he is serving as a junior officer. We must have some such system here, or we shall never have officers capable of leading men. If men are led by inexperienced officers,the chances are that they will never win in a battle. The history of the civil war in America shows that if either side had possessed a division of regular soldiers, the contest would very soon have ended. But the war was extended over four years, causing immense destruction to life and property, because neither side had regular trained troops. We must have some system under whichour young officers can be trained for their profession, and only those fit for the business must be retained. That is the first essential. As we have not the regimental system in Australia, we must start with some other system that will give us the first essential, and that is a college for the training of officers. I am not afraid of the cost. Whatever money is necessary for defence purposes. I am prepared to vote. We have no time to lose. When we have a properly equipped college for the training of officers we can begin to carry out the training of effective non-commissioned officers.
– Where would the honorable senator have the college established?
.- Anywhere Parliament chooses; the point is immaterial. But we must have a corps of officers fit to occupy their positions. I do not think that I can say anything simpler or clearer than that.
– The honorable senator leaves untouched the great difficulty.
– The great difficulty is that the Government are trying to put the hairs on the tail of the military horse, whilst they have not yet got a head on it. We must convert our existing unsatisfactory method of educating officers into a more satisfactory method. We must gradually draft permanent men into the regiments. Only thus shall we obtain the nucleus of a well-trained force, upon which we can erect an effective superstructure.
– Would the honorable senator compel young officers to go to the college ?
.- Whoever heard of a nation asking anybody to be compelled to become a leader? The honorable senator himself is a living witness of my contention. He came forth voluntarily, seeking to serve his country in the peaceful pursuits of politics.
– What would the honorable senator call an efficient force?
.- An efficient force would be one capably trained and officered, ‘and both physically and mentally able to meet the best troops in the world.
– What period of training is necessary to secure that end?
.- The first essential move in that direction is the creation of a cadre of officers. I want to drive in that point. It is useless to talk about going to the country and asking the electors to agree to such a proposal. We have been to the country. I have been sent here as an advocate of compulsory service, and I am suggesting how that compulsory service may be effectively secured so as to meet the requirements of Australia and of the Empire. I believe that at the coming election those who are not prepared to face this question will receive short shrift. The next point is that, having the requisite number of well-trained officers, we must give the troops sufficient instruction, not only in squad drill and minor duties, but in tactical operations and in field work.
– Which this Bill contemplates and provides for.
.- The Bill provides, forsooth, for only eight days in camp per annum. Surely the Minister knows that in no part of the world does it take less than three years to accomplish the training of the soldier?
– Does the honorable senator propose that our troops shall have three years in camp?
-I would stand or fall by this. I propose to make our men efficient for duty, and less than one year’s continuous service will not be sufficient. That has always been my contention.
– One year’s training after the age of eighteen?
.- My proposal is that when youths arrive at the age of eighteen or nineteen they shall receive a year’s training. To take them at that age would be less injurious to the youths and to the country than to take them at any other age. It would interfere less with their civil occupations. It would be less injurious to their material interests and to the material interests’ of their employers.
– It would be “ hard lines “ on apprentices.
.- 1 know perfectly well that there will be “hard lines” whatever system we adopt. But it is useless to put the matter off. It is of no use to say that what is proposed now is an educational system. The country cries out for an efficient system of defence. Does this measure give us what the country wants? I say without hesitation that this Bill is playing for political safety, and not for national security.
Sitting suspended from I to 2.15 p.m.
– I wish to say that I feel indebted to Senator Pearce for the very lucid speech which he has delivered in discussing this Bill for national defence. I must also very sincerely compliment Senator Cameron for his searching criticism of the provisions of the measure. With other members of the Senate I regard the question of national defence as second in importance to none that is likely to be considered by this Parliament, during this session at least.
– Or during any other session.
– Probably the honorable senator is right. I feel doubly indebted to Senator Cameron for his criticism of the Bill, because the honorable senator is a practical man - a real and not a toy soldier ; one who has been in the forefront of battle, and knows the responsibility that rests, at a time of national emergency, when war has to be resorted to, upon the shoulders not only of the officer, but of every man in the ranks. When the honorable senator indicated the weak points of the measure I must confess that I was very seriously impressed by his remarks. If he continues to render assistance in the consideration of the Bill in Committee I shall pay great attention to any amendment he may propose for its improvement. The honorable senator made it quite clear that the present Minister of Defence knows nothing about the matter he has in hand. We did not expect him to know anything of it. Those of us who know the honorable gentleman can go further and declare that the provisions of even this Bill are opposed to his policy in the matter of defence. The honorable gentleman has never at any time in his political history favoured any form of compulsory military training. He has submitted this Bill to Parliament as one of a political combination, the members of which recognise in some measure the necessity for defence, but are utterly at variance as to how it may best be provided for. As a result they have, as Senator Cameron has pointed out, put forward a Bill which is a combination of absurdities. I want to say that I believe in compulsory military training. I believe in compulsory service in the defence of the country on exactly the lines indicated in the speech of the ex-Minister of Defence, Senator Pearce. In my opinion every man of whatever class, who is physically and mentally fit to act in the defence of the country, should be compelled to undergo the preparation necessary to enable him to do so effectively in a time of emergency. Although the age at which we should begin the physical training of boys may not be a matter of very great importance, I believe that if, on medical inspection, it is shown that boys are capable of undergoing physical training and would be benefited by it, it should be commenced at ten years of age. There are thousands of boys who at that age are fit to begin physical training, and the earlier we begin the training of those who are capable of undergoing physical exercises the better. At ten years of age a boy will take to thiskind of thing more readily than he will perhaps at any other age.
SenatorGray. - The State schools have begun the physical training of boys.
– As I understand the matter, the provisions of this Bill for physical training represent an attempt to co-operate with the State educational authorities in this direction. I do not regard those provisions as any more than an effort on the part of the Commonwealth Government to co-operate with the State authorities in order to insure that physical culture shall find a place in the curriculum of every school. Lads of ten years of age would enjoy physical exercises, not because they would represent a part of the teaching given at school, but because they would be regarded as a recreation and relief from their little scholastic worries. I have no doubt at all that physical exercises will benefit materially all those who are physically capableof undergoing the training.
– We should be careful not to overdo it in the case of boys to whom the honorable senator refers.
– I quite agree with the honorable senator. But if at that age a boy is constitutionally fit to undergo training he will be only the better equipped for his work when he has reached the age at which under the Bill he must be included in the Junior Cadets. I was very much impressed, as every other member of the Senate must have been, by Senator Cameron’s criticism of the proposed new, section 128 and following sections. The honorable senator showed clearly that this Bill must fail to provide us with anything like an effective citizen soldiery. He pointed out that the force we would get under it would be composed of partiallytrained men who could not be regarded as fit to take the field under the leadership of a commander who knew his business, or to face a foe who knew their business. If we are going to do anything for the defence of Australia we should take up the position assumed by Senator Cameron when he said that if we intend to provide a scheme of defence, it should be an effective scheme.
– Does the honorable senator agree with Senator Cameron’s proposal for one year’s compulsory training?
– I think the proposal a wise one. It is not to be summarily set aside; it should be carefully considered. I do not profess to have had any training either as a practical soldier or a militia man, but I speak as one whose common -sense has led him to recognise the necessity for making adequate provision for national defence. I believe we should adopt a scheme of defence on which we can depend with some confidence in the hour of need.
– The party to which the honorable senator belongs never proposed any such scheme.
- Senator Gray is making a mistake. The members of the party to which I belong have to my knowledge for the past twentyyears advocated a Citizens’ Defence Force for Australia. What do we mean by a citizen force?
– We advocated the establishment of a citizen force when the honorable senator’s party was sleeping.
– Exactly. Surely Senator Gray does not think that when we advocated the establishment of a Citizens’ Defence Force we had in mind the training of a number of men for two days in each year - men who would merely wear beautiful uniforms. Surely he does not imagine that the Labour party ever believed that men trained in that way would form a citizen soldiery which would be adequate to the task of defending Australia.
– I do not.
– For the past twenty years, to my own knowledge, we have urged the establishment of a citizen soldiery. We have not budged a single inch from that demand, and we are not budging now. But, as has been pointed out by Senator Cameron, this Bill practically provides for a perpetuation of the existing militia system after the youths have reached a certain stage in their training. That system has been adjudged incapable of providing for our defence needs, and therefore ought not to be encouraged. Rather ought we to do something to fit us to adequately defend the country of which we are citizens. I wish to see that position made perfectly clear. Like the honorable senator who preceded me, I feel that there is in this Bill something more in the nature of political jugglery than of really earnest defence purpose. In Committee I hope that whatever knowledge may be possessed by those honorable senators who have devoted themselves closely to a study of this question, will be placed at our disposal, so that we may be enabled to perfect this Bill. What we require is a force which will be capable of defending the interests of Australia whenever those interests are threatened.
Motion (by Senator Needham) proposed -
That the debate be now adjourned.
– I certainly cannot consent to an adjournment of the debate at this hour. If Senator Needham insists upon pressing his motion to a division I shall have no option but to ask the Senate to vote against it.
Senator DOBSON (Tasmania) [2.36).- I think it would have been a pity to adjourn the debate at this stage, seeing that there is still an hour and a half available to us. Although I should have liked another day or two to enable me to digest the very admirable speech delivered by the Vice-President of the. Executive Council, and the lucid address of Senator Pearce, I am prepared to offer my criticism of the Bill now. I rejoice to know that at last we have obtained a measure which embodies the principle of universal training. During the past four or five years, whenever the opportunity has offered, I have been proclaiming that the principle of universal training is not merely the foundation of any defence scheme worthy of the name, but is absolutely essential to the moral and physical development of our race. I am perfectly certain that our race is too much given to sport and amusement. Those honorable senators who doubt my statement had better compare the lives which Australians lead with those which are led by any other people on the face of the earth. They will then discover that our young men are in great danger of deteriorating, morally, mentally, and physically on account of their great devotion to and love of sport, to the exclusion of everything else, and their objection to undertake any civic obligations whatever.
– To say that they love nothing but sport is rather too sweeping a statement.
– They love it unduly, and Senator Trenwith will not be rendering good service to the community by endeavouring to offer excuses for them. I do not think that it is the fault of our young men - rather is it the fault of our rulers and of the community in which we live. We ought all to turn over a new leaf and to recollect that life is a serious matter. Senator Trenwith’s interjection has reminded me of a letter which was published in the Spectator some time ago. It was written by a German to his vicar, and I think that the writer had been resident in England for about twenty years. The statements which he made were substantially these: - “ I have watched with great care the supposed progress of the English race. Since my home was pitched in this country I have heard a good deal of talk, but I have failed to observe any improvement. I beg to remind my readers that there is one law which governs all nations alike - the law of the survival of the fittest. It is a law which is sometimes brutal, but it is divinely just and grand, giving to every man that to which he is entitled by reason of his own efficiency and his own individual effort. This law will run through all nations, and whenever a nation - be it Germany or any other - becomes better equipped than is Great Britain, either industrially, commercially, politically, or from a defence stand-point, that nation will take the place which she now occupies. It is idle for Great Britain to talk about being the mistress of the seas. The only thing for her to do is to set to work to achieve that efficiency which will enable her to justify her people’s boast.” If we look at the, Australian race we shall find that the Government have put upon them no civic obligation whatever, except that of paying taxes. We have been told that the principle of universal training is opposed to the genius of the British race, and that young Australians would rebel against it. Yet we know that for generations past Germany,. France, and Japan have laid civic obligations upon their citizens, thus making them more complete men than Australians can ever be unless we alter our laws.
– I object to that statement.
– The honorable senator may think that I am exaggerating, but I fail to see any evidence of that. He will find that in every rank of life it is a case of the survival of the fittest-
– Australians are the equal of any men on the face of the earth.
– They are not. They have the capacity to become soldiers equal to any in the world, but so far we have failed to teach them how to become soldiers..
– The men are all right, but the fighting machine is all wrong.
– The men are not all right, and they will not be all right until they learn to appreciate their civic obligations.
– Australians have not vet been given a chance.
– Have I not already said so? I fancy that I see three very grave omissions from this Bill, though it is just possible that I exaggerate them, because the Vice- President of the Executive Council- with whom I have just had a few minutes? chat - has pointed out that upon its face the measure- provides for a great deal more, if properly administered, than some of us. suppose. I think it will be found a most efficient first step towards the defence of our country, and the results which flow from it will very greatly depend upon its administration. If in the future we find that its provisions ought to be made a little more drastic, it will be an easy matter to pass an amending Bill with that object in view, after our. youths have become inured to the system of compulsory training. I regret that the Government are so timid in. the matter of putting upon our young people the obligation to defend this country that they actually propose to discontinue their training before they have arrived*’ at man’s estate. I should have thought that the training of a youth, which begins at eighteen years of age,, would at least be continued until he was twenty-one years of age, when he would be no longer an infant in the eye of the law. Unless the Vice-President of the Executive. Council) can show that the extra year’s training will involve an enormous expenditure, I think that the Bill will be improved by the insertion of an amendment providing that until a youth has attained the ageof twenty-one years, he shall do whatever we may tell him to do in the way of qualifying himself to defend his country. Then there ought to be some organization of the reserves.
– My honorable friend? means training, because the organization, will be there.
– Senator Pearce used the phrase “ organization of the Reserves.” I want some training of the Reserves. If young men who have been trained for six years as cadets, and for two years as men are to stop training at the age of twenty years, then I hold that between that age and twenty-six years there ought to be some small or reasonable measure of compulsory. drill and training applied. I’ think that it would be a very great mistake to allow a young man to go at the age of twenty years, and practically to tell him that he had completed his military course.
– Would the honorable senator vote the extra money if requested by the Government ?
– I have already said’ that if the cost would not be too much it would be a great improvement to the Bill to add a year’s training,. Proposed’ new. section 125 reads -
All male inhabitants of Australia (excepting those who are exempted by this Act) …. shall be liable to be trained, as prescribed, as; follows : -
Provided that, except in time of imminent danger of war, service under paragraph shall be limited to one registration or one muster parade in each year.
That is, I think, a blot on the Bill. Are we to understand that when a man has served two years as a junior cadet, and four years as a senior cadet, and has put in two years at training, he is to be done with us, except that once a year he will have to register himself or attend a muster parade? Is not that really preparing a foundation for the training of a young man as a soldier to meet the enemy in time of war, and just when he has received a fairly effective training letting him go on the condition that he shall come once a year and register his name? That appears to me to be a grave error. I am not prepared to make a suggestion at present. It all depends upon the question of cost, and the question of practicability, but the proviso might be altered to insure that, except in time of imminent danger, service under paragraph d shall be limited to one camp of four or six or eight days a year, and fifteen or twenty half-holiday drills. I think that a provision of that kind might be an improvement. Why cannot we apply the principle of compulsion to rifle practice and rifle clubs? If the Committee will not enlarge the compulsory training of young men by a year, surely to goodness between twenty and twenty-six years of age young men who have been trained ought to be compelled to keep their rifles clean and practice with them. I do not think that it would cost very much or take up too much of their time. I believe that it would be beneficial in every way. They would each have a rifle, and in return for concessions in the way of ammunition and railway fares we have a perfect right to compel them to attend rifle practice so that they shall not only learn how to shoot, but also keep up their shooting and improve it year by year. I cannot understand the policy of leaving off the training of the boys at the age of twenty years, and not compelling them to practise rifle shooting up to the age of twenty-six years. We are told by Senator Millen that it is intended to apply the principle of compulsory drill to centres with a population not below 3,000. I admit that in this vast continent there are many corners in which it would be most difficult to get compulsory training under drill sergeants or instructors week by week.
– That is a population of 3,000 persons, not in a town area, but within a certain radius.
– I understand that. What one cannot fail to understand is that only 60 per cent, of our young men are to be drilled. We ought to put our wits to work, and to at least require compulsory rifle practice of the 40 per cent, who will not get the benefit of being trained as senior cadets, although they may be trained as junior cadets. They will not have the training to the age of eighteen or nineteen years which the other 60 per cent, of the population will get
– If the population is scattered we should want scattered rifle ranges, too.
– I am not much disturbed about the question of rifle ranges. I think that a young Australian if he were provided with a rifle, ammunition, and a drill instructor, within a few miles, could very easily carry on rifle practice without a rifle range. That would come in time. It would not be very expensive to provide rifle ranges, and no doubt the cost would cheapen as time went on.
– Do not load the taxpayer too heavily. .
– My honorable friend must remember that 1 am now dealing with the position of 40 per cent, of our young men.
– And 1 am referring to the question of expense, on which the honorable senator has often laid great stress.
– Have I not admitted that whatever we do in the matter must be governed by the question of expense and the question of practicability? But are we to make no effort to enforce compulsory training of some sort upon 40 per cent, of our young men?
– Hear, hear. It delighted me to hear the honorable senator speak in that way about the expense, and to say that he will vote accordingly.
– The honorable senator ought to know that I am just as careful about the expense as he is. I voted to reject the Bureau of Agriculture Bill on that ground. The question of officers appears to me to be a very important one. I really do not know what suggestion to make. 1 listened with great interest to Senator Cameron, but when we faced him and asked him to be practical he said that there must be first an uptodate efficient training college open to all, and, secondly, one year’s complete training. The last suggestion is, I think, quite impracticable, and much as I believe in compulsory training I should not advocate it. In my opinion it is quite unnecessary, it would be a great inroad upon our industrial life, and very probably it would make unpopular with the whole of the Commonwealth, that which, I hope, in the end, will become very popular. A mild form of compulsory training may become popular with the people when they begin to realize its necessity. But a drastic scheme of one year’s training away from college or school or factory might be most unpopular and distasteful. I do not think it is necessary to go so far as that. If Senator Cameron had not completed his speech so soon, I should have asked him whether he could give us an alternative scheme, adding to the training provided for in the Bill, instead of having one complete year’s training. He did not tell us how the Military College should be carried on, but he said that it should be “open to all.” Of course it would be open to all, but is it to be free? If it is not to be free, is the Commonwealth to take a soldier and promise him a commission if he passes certain examinations? Is the Commonwealth to take a number of men who desire to be medical officers and give them a five years’ course at a university or our own college at the public expense? Are they to pay no fees?
– There is no military college in the world which takes pupils free of expense.
– That is what I wanted to face Senator Cameron with. When I asked him where the men were to come from, and whether he, being so much in love with the compulsory principle, would compel certain young men to go to the college and train, he turned round and said that I was a volunteer in my political life. As I am well paid for my political services there is no similarity between the two cases. If we had the most up-to-date college which money could provide, and scientific instructors in naval and military matters, where should we get 2,000 young men to train ?
– We should get plenty of them.
– Does my honorable friend mean a score or two?
– No. The news from countries in which military colleges have been established shows that there has never been a lack of pupils.
– My honorable friend is, I suppose, referring to France, Germany, and other places where there is compulsory training for two or three years of a man’s life. But that is a very different thing. Does he not recollect an honorable senator stating during the debate that the voluntary principle has broken down, that men will not come forward to join the Militia, that it cannot even now be got up to the strength of 25,000? Does he not know that the voluntary principle has broken down in every part’ of the British Empire ?
– Is it not acknowledged by all the leading men of Great Britain that the territorial scheme of Mr. Haldane is the last chance which its people will have of doing without compulsory training, and do we not know that that scheme is now breaking down?
– I beg to inform my honorable friend that it is.
– The honorable senator cannot instance a single case where it has broken down.
– I beg to tell my honorable friend that in London County they were II,000 short of their number, and that in many other places in England they are short of their number.
– The honorable senator cannot instance a single military institution where there has been a falling off in the number of pupils - not in France or Germany, or England, or America, or elsewhere.
– Did not my honorable friend hear the ex-Minister of Defence say that the Department cannot get men to come forward and join the Militia although they are paid ?
– Because it is unpopular:
– All the information is the other way about, namely, that there will be no difficulty in getting men if we have the organization to receive them.
– I understood from Senator Pearce that there was a difficulty in getting men.
– I am making a definite statement.
– I understand that about 8,000 men go out every year, and that there is a difficulty in getting men to come in. Where are the men to come from who will go to the college and volunteer in such numbers to go and be trained when we want between 2,000 and 3,000 more officers? I think that the outlook is hopeless. Can either Senator Gray or Senator Millen answer that question until we have determined whether the fee at the college is to be £50 or £150 a year? If the fee is to be £150, or a sum anything like commensurate with the skill and knowledge of the schoolmasters and professors, I undertake to say that the college will not produce one-tenth of the officers whom we shall require.
– I venture to say that if a college is established we shall get all the pupils we shall require.
– I shall now leave the question of the military college, and also the question of one year’s continuous training, because I consider that each is hopelessly impracticable.
– Is the honorable senator acquainted with the work which is being done by the West Point Academy in the United States?
-It has done good work, but my honorable friend forgets that although that country has a population of over 84,000,000 persons it has the smallest army of any similar country in the world. Of what use is it for him to throw that remark at my head ?
– The college was established when the population of the country was only 12,000,000 or 13,000,000.
– I was very pleased to hear that the cost of food at a camp is only 8d. or9d. a day. That seems to be a reason why we should, if we can, prolong the period of the camp. Senator Pearce said that as the result of his experience he would ‘ rather have a sixteen days’ camp, and let the men go free for the rest of the year than have an eight days’ camp. I do not take quite that view. It appears to me that if we could afford the expense of a sixteen days’ camp young men ought to be prepared at the age of eighteen or nineteen years to give up some of their half-holidays, or certainly some of their evenings to the work of training themselves. I believe that if we had a longer camp we could very easily make up the rest of the period by halfholiday drills and night drills. After all our talk about compulsory service we are only making a small beginning. I should like to see a little more compulsion applied. I do not say that it is altogether too little now, but we can, I think, increase it without making it by any means too onerous upon young men. Senator Millen did not give us an account of the divisions of the army. When I asked him a question.with regard to the field artillery, he said, as I understood him, that every branch of the service would be in proper proportion. I hope that that will be so, because I hold that an efficient corps or two of field artillery is absolutely essential to any proper defence force. But my honorable f riend, I am almost inclined to think, laid too great a stress upon the question of equipment. It is very nice to hear that in futureour army is to be efficiently equipped, that every indi vidual therein is to have the equipment necessary to make him one of a complete up-to-date fighting force. We all know that in the past the equipment has been exceedingly deficient and inefficient. But if we are going to have a citizen army scattered over a vast area like Australia, it would be better for us to provide for the training of the 40 per cent. of our manhood who are living in the outlying districts, and to spend a little less on equipment. I have every belief that if an army is to be an efficient fighting machine, it must have proper equipment. But in the meantime I should like to see provision made for the hundreds of thousands of men who, under the present proposal of the Government, will receive no training at all.
– Is the man of any use without his gun ?
– We have to give a soldier his arms to fight with; but I understand that the equipment referred to consists of horses, saddles,great coats, boots, and other such material. Undoubtedly the stock of equipment can be permitted to run down too low. But I am not going to bother my head about complete equipment for every soldier in the 60 per cent. who will be trained, whilst there are 40 per cent. of our men who will receive no training whatever. Let our equipment be less complete, and let us give more attention to the men whom it is at present proposed to leave untrained. I am very much interested in the matter of physical culture, and have drawn the attention of the Vice-President of the Executive Council to the importance of it once or twice. On the last occasion when I brought the matter under the notice of the Senate, I pointed out that in the County of London the Territorials were 11,000 short of their proper number, and that to induce the young men of that county tocome forward, Mr. Sandow - whom we all know by repute, and whom some of us know personally - offered to teach them his system of physical culture for three months, andalso offered a prize of£ 1,000. What has happened ? One hundred of the young men who received a prize of £5, and were trained, by virtue of the physical culture which theyreceived, increased in girth 12½ inches, including chest measurement and the measurement of each arm and leg;whilst the man who won the £500 prize increased in girth 27¼ inches, of which 5½ inches was the increase in his chest measurement. It is well known that hundreds of our private citizens are voluntarily taking upon themselves a system of physical culture, and any one who has studied the subject is aware that two or three years’ training in a’ good system of physical culture will make a new man or woman of a person, and add a year or two to life. But I do not see that any provision is being made for the physical culture of our troops.
– The ordinary drill is a form of physical culture.
– It is ; but the physical culture I am thinking of consists of proper exercises for every muscle of the body. A system of that kind appears to have been overlooked by the military authorities- I hope that it will be taken into consideration. So far as I can see, also, no provision is now being made for naval defence. Doubtless we shall have another opportunity of considering that subject. I should like the Minister, after having heard the suggestion of Senator Cameron, to tell us on Wednesday next what will be the extra cost of the additional year’s training that has been suggested.
– Does the honorable senator mean Senator Cameron’s year, Senator Pearce’s year, or his own suggestion?
– I mean my own. The suggestion made by . Senator Cameron appears to me to be out of the question, What would be about the cost of the extra training which I have suggested, either in rifle practice or in military tactics? These questions are bound to arise in Committee. I wish to make the Bill as perfect as possible. I am glad to know that it is not to be treated as a party measure. My honorable friend will render good service if he furnishes the information I have asked for. so that we shall know to what extent the amendments we propose will add to the cost of the system.
’. - I regret that I have not been able to give that minute attention to the details of this Bill which I should have liked. But I am satisfied that we can rely upon the particulars furnished in the speech of the Vice-President of the Executive Council. We can also depend upon the criticisms of Senator Pearce in regard to the internal and technical management of such a force as we wish to establish. With the aid of these details, I am satisfied that when we get into Committee we shall be able to proceed on the basis of sound and secure conclusions’ as to the probable results. I con gratulate the Minister upon the clear way in which he presented to the Senate the principles of the Bill. I can equally compliment Senator Pearce upon the very clear, precise, and emphatic way in which his criticisms were delivered. He assured us that the Bill was in no sense to be treated as a party measure. I congratulate him upon that frank admission. However much we may differ amongst ourselves, I take it that there is no difference of opinion as to the objects we are seeking to achieve; and the people of Australia can rely upon it confidently that, as a result of this Bill, we shall establish a Defence Force compe tent to discharge the duty of efficiently defending Australia. . I appreciated very warmly the criticism administered to the Government by one of its supporters, Senator Cameron. I naturally speak with diffidence as a civilian, but 1 must admit that the honorable senator failed to convince me of the necessity for the radical alterations in the general principles of the measure which he foreshadowed. This Parliament is composed very largely of civilians, and we naturally look to the experts to give us some clear guiding line in reference to details and administration. There is no man in this Parliament, and perhaps there is no military officer in the whole of Australia, whose opinion upon this subject would be more cordially welcomed, or be listened to with greater attention, than that of Senator Cameron. It was, therefore, disappointing to find that he confined himself almost entirely to destructive criticism. He was bubbling over with vitriolic denunciation of the Government all the time. It is possible that the Government deserved what he said ; but the singularly weak feature of his argument was that it was almost entirely destructive. I listened in vain for some useful constructive criticism.
– The honorable senator must admit that Senator Cameron is a practical soldier.
– Certainly, I do; and I listened to him with the closest attention. I have no doubt that when the details of the Bill are examined in Committee, he will be able to supply us with a good deal of valuable information. I am quite prepared to bow to his authority in matters of detail. But may I point out to him that the question has to be decided by civilians, to whom constructive criticism would have been most useful. All of us desire to make this an efficient measure for the purpose intended. I therefore trust that, in Committee, an officer of such high reputation will be able to give us something like constructive assistance. The controversy relevant to the important matters involved in the Bill has raged around one great principle. That is to say, there is a conflict as to whether we shall or shall not adopt the principle of compulsory adult service.
– I am glad to hear the honorable senator’s interjection. I refer to the principle of the compulsory military service of adults in one form or another until they have reached an age at which they are no longer of any use as soldiers.
– There is no need for it.
– I quite agree with the honorable senator. In my opinion, no Government would be justified in submitting such a proposal to this Parliament. The principle of compulsory military service for adults represents so complete a revolution of our hitherto existing military organization that in a Democratic community such as ours no Ministry would be justified in proposing to bring about such a change until the principle had first been submitted to the people, and the Government had received their mandate to adopt such a scheme. No honorable senator who has been a member of the Federal Parliament since its inception will contend that any Federal Government has yet submitted this revolutionary change in our military organization to the people of Australia. They have never been asked to express their views on the principle. Before any Government would be justified in proposing such a change, they should first have the support of the people in making this proposal, and no Federal Government has yet been in that position. If the present Government had brought down a Defence Bill proposing the compulsory militaryservice of adults, strong supporter of the Government as I try to be, I should have resisted and obstructed the passage of such a measure. I have said, on more than one occasion in this Chamber and outside, that, for the reason I have stated, I should be prepared to carry my resistance to compulsory military service for adults to the bitter end. I support the Bill now before the Senate, because it does not propose such a change. I support it, also, for what it does propose. As I understand the measure, it proposes to commence a system of compulsory military training with junior and senior cadets. I believe that every critic, civilian as well as military, and including that very ardent soldier Senator Lt.-Colonel Cameron, agrees withthe proposal of the Government in this respect. I can speak with a little authority, and from some little knowledge, of the -value of the cadet system. I happened to be closely associated with the institution of the system of the military training of boys of between twelve, sixteen, and eighteen years of age in Queensland. We began the work there about ten or twelve years before Federation. Indeed, we had scarcely thought of Federation at the time. We recognised that, as Queensland was the gateway of the East, it was necessary that we should make some provision for our defence. We began the system in a small way, and I am glad to see that the Government have submitted a Bill which, so far as cadet training is concerned, is based very largely on the lines and principles on which we began the training of cadets in Queensland. I believe that throughout the State the system was hailed with universal approval by the parents of the boys attending almost every primary and secondary school, and certainly by every teacher in the State. When we had to face the financial disaster of 1893, the movement was well advanced, and the cadets had attained a very considerable degree of efficiency. About 1900, when the early advent of Federation began to be spoken of, it was recognised that the Defence Department would be taken over by the Federal authority, and the defence authorities of the State naturally relaxed their efforts, and prepared to hand over their control to the Federation. We were very proud of the Cadet Forces of Queensland, and hoped a great deal from the system. I have no doubt that the cadet system now proposed will achieve all that the Ministry anticipate from it. If it is carefully administered and properly developed, we shall have in it the foundation, of a very . fine fighting arm for the defence of Australia. I agree with the proposal of the Bill to make the training of cadets, junior and senior, compulsory. When one has expressed opposition to the compulsory military training of adults, one has been met with the objection that it is inconsistent to support the principle as applied to the training of cadets up to the age of eighteen or nineteen years. No doubt Senator W. Russell, if he thinks it worth while to intervene in the debate, or to reply to me, will charge me with inconsistency.
– No; we are pulling together in this matter.
– Every educationalist of any authority the world over has impressed upon the people and administrative authorities the absolute necessity, from an educational point of view, of physical training within the schools.-. It is contended that physical training is almost as essential for the mental development of a child as is purely mental training, and of all forms of physical training that which wouldbe of use for military purposes is amongst the very best that our young people could be subjected to. We have in Australia accepted the principle which is almost universally accepted, that the State should be empowered to say to the youth of the nation, “ You shall go to school, and you shall learn at school certain subjects,” and that in the same way we have the right to say that the young people of Australia shall, in addition to the ordinary elementary school work, perform a certain amount of physical training. It is on this ground that I hold that it is quite consistent to approve of the compulsory training of cadets, and at the same time to strongly oppose, at this stage in the history of Australia at all events, the compulsory military training of adults. It has been stated, and to a large extent admitted, that the Defence Force of Australia is at present inefficient, and would probably be found unequal to the task of coping with any serious attempt at an invasion of Australia. That might, or might not, be true. But what is the problem which has induced us to bring the Defence Force into existence, and which urges us to develop and make it stronger now? In my opinion, it is the problem of resistance to invasion. Should an invader effect a landing upon our shores, it would be the work of our defence force to drive him back. What force is likely to be brought against Australia? I have read a great many articles contributed to magazines dealing specially with naval and military matters, and the vast majority of the naval and military critics are clearly of opinion that there is not a Power in the world to-day, except, possibly, our own, which could undertake the task of transporting over two oceans, and landing on the shores of Australia, a force of 100,000 men.
– Does the honorable senator think that Japan could not do so?
– I think that even Japan could not do so. In such matters one must, of course, defer to the opinion of experts. I have read numbers of special articles by naval and military experts, and they are practically unanimous in believing that there is no Power on earth, except our own, that could transport a force of 100,000 men to Australia. If there were such a Power, let us consider what would first have to take place before it could effect a landing in Australia. The British Fleet would have to be disabled for some considerable time, and the invading Power would have to make adequate provision for. supplies before it could hope to hold any portion of this country. If I assume that Japan could land 100,000 soldiers in Australia, then I say that surely we have learned a lesson from the Boer war of what a comparatively small army, well equipped, organized, and directed, can do. An army that probably never had. more than 4.0,000 men in the field kept at bay for a number of years 250,000 soldiers of the British Army.
– The illustration does not meet every aspect of the case.
– I do not say that it does, but I say that an army of 40,000 or 50,000 men, well equipped and efficiently directed, put up a good fight against 250,000 of, perhaps, the best soldiers in the world.
– Napoleon thought that he could invade England with a little more than 100,000 men.
– Very happily for the Empire, Napoleon never obtained a chance to attempt the task. From what I have’ said, it seems to “follow, that a force of 40,000 or 50,000 men would be sufficient to cope with the largest army that would be likely to invade Australia. We must recollect, too, that whilst the Boer War was “in progress Great Britain retained the unchallenged supremacy of the sea. It is almost inconceivable that even if the British Navy were disabled, it would be disabled permanently, and therefore we are not likely to be confronted with an invading army of 100,000 men.
– It would require 1,000,000 tons of shipping to transport them here.
– Exactly. Then an enemy from the East would have to traverse 8,000 or 9,000 miles of ocean without the aid of a single coaling station, whilst a European foe would have to cross two oceans. Such a task has never been attempted in history. Until it canbe shown that there is a possibility of such a contingency arising, we have a right to ask the Government not to tax the people of Australia for the building up of a large military force whose services will, in all human probability, never be needed. Senator Dobson spoke of the principle of compulsory service, and generally advocated it. He declared that the volunteer system was doomed. Senator Pearce, too, in his introductory remarks made it very clear that he shared the opinion that we ought to adopt the principle of compulsory service. Indeed, nearly all my honorable friends opposite have declared themselves in favour of that form of service.
– I have not.
-I am glad to hear it. The Labour party generally are wedded to the principle of compulsory service, but I should like to hear from them much stronger reasons than have been advanced during this debate before I am satisfied that the militia system combined with the volunteer system’, generously and intelligently supported by the Government, is not adequate to provide an efficient defence for Australia. I have read the debates upon this question which took place in the other Chamber, and I am not by any means convinced that a combination of the volunteer and, the militia systems would not be adequate to enable us toface any task that we are likely to be called upon to face for many years.
– The honorable senator means to say that we have not thrown away sufficient money upon them?
– That deduction cannot.be made from my remarks. I am inclined to think that, in years past, there has been a great deal of wasteful expenditure in the Defence Department, but I hope that that expenditure has now ceased, and that every penny which the. Government expend upon the administration of the scheme which is embodied in this Bill will bewisely expended. Notwithstanding all the adverse criticism to which our present system has been subjected, I believe that under proper administration it would prove adequate to all the reasonable needs of Australia. Upon this point I intend to quote some scientific expert criticism, and if I am not asking too much, I should like leave, at this juncture, to continue my remarks upon a future day.
Leave granted; debate adjourned.
Telephones in Hotels.
Motion (by SenatorMillen) proposed -
That the Senate do now adjourn.
– I wish to ask the Vice-President of the Executive Council whether he is yet in a position to furnish me with information regarding the principle which underlies the supply of public telephones to hotels in the metropolitan centres of Australia?
– I have not lost sight of the matter towhich the honorable senator has referred. In fact, I have kept almost in daily touch with the Department, but so far it is not in a position to supply the desired information.
– Will the VicePresident of the Executive Council ascertain whether any discrimination has been shown between different hotels, say, in Sydney?
– The honorable senator will recollect that when this matter was last under review I informed him that I had sent back to the Department a return because it lacked certain information. That information has not yet been received. However; I shall keep in touch with the Department, and as soon as it is forthcoming, I will let the honorable senator know.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 3.40 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 5 November 1909, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1909/19091105_senate_3_53/>.