6th Parliament · 1st Session
The President took the chair at 11 a.m., and read prayers.
– Is the Minister representing the Minister of Home Affairs in a position now to answer the following questions, which I asked yesterday: -
– The answers are -
asked the Minister representing the Minister of Home Affairs, upon notice -
What is the number and value (exclusive of improvements) of freehold estates or estates in process of alienation in each of the six States of the Commonwealth as disclosed by the War Census Wealth and Income Cards -
– The Statistician reports that the information is not yet available.
– Will you get a return prepared?
– There is no statement to that effect in this report. I cannot answer the inquiry.
– Before the Senate meets again the Statistician will probably have tabulated it.
– The information will be tabulated, but I cannot answer for the Minister of Home Affairs whether it will be furnished or ought to be moved for in the form of a return.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing and Sessional Orders suspended, and Bill read a first time.
SUPPLY BILL (No. 4) 1915-16. Prime Minister’s Visit to England:
Great Britain and theOverseas Dominions: India and a “White” Australia : Protection - Site of Arsenal at Canberra : Report of the Public Works Committee.
. - I move - That this Bill be now read a first time.
This is a supplementary Bill to give supply up to the end of April. Payments to the public servants will not be due till the middle of May, so that there will be no necessity to get another Supply Bill before that time. The amount which is now asked for is £16,245,608.
– Is it based on the same rate as the last measure?
– It has been prepared on the same proportionate basis as the last Supply Bill. In introducing that measure I explained that it was based on the last Estimates with one or two exceptions which I outlined, and pointed out that no increases of salary were provided for those receiving over ^200 a year, and that increments had been provided for those receiving less than that sum.
– I propose to take advantage of this opportunity to make a few brief observations in regard to the Minister’s intimation yesterday to the Senate that the Imperial Government had invited the Prime Minister to visit England, and that the Prime Minister had decided to respond to the invitation. I should not like an event which I consider of not only national, but Imperial, importance to pass without some notice being taken of it in this Chamber. To me it seems to lay an impress on the fact that we are entering upon a new era in the relationship of the various parts of the Empire. Imperial Conferences have been held before, but they in no sense could pretend either to the significance or to the importance of the proposed one. I merely wish to direct attention to that event, and to express the opinion that the war is going to bring us nearer the time when there must be some organism by means of which the outlying dominions will be taking a nearer and closer part in affairs affecting the Empire as a whole. For that reason it would be idle to speculate now what form any possible development may take. It is because I believe that the time is approaching when we must strive for and shape that development, that I have taken this opportunity of expressing the pleasure I feel - a pleasure shared I believe by honorable senators - at the turn that has been given to the current of political events by the intimation made to the Senate yesterday.
.- I feel with Senator Millen that we are on the eve of some portentous change or development in our Imperial affairs. At one time my hope was that Australia would become separated from the British Empire and establish an independent Government. Notwithstanding the present indications to the contrary, I believe that will be the ultimate destiny of all the British dependencies.
– All the indications are in the opposite direction.
– I cannot speak for the honorable senator; I am merely giving my own opinion. The present indications are that the Imperial cord will be drawn more tightly. I ask honorable senators to face the situation fairly and honestly. What have we? In Great Britain we have a monarchy, and the Government is wholly in the hands of the rich. The social condition of the great mass of the people receives little or no attention from the governing classes. Those governing classes care less for the workers of Great Britain than they do for the horses in their stables, or the dogs in their kennels. I wish to point that fact out clearly to honorable senators who are sitting here, and some of whom appear to contemplate a closer Imperial connexion. That is the position in Great Britain. In India we have hundreds of millions of people who have no voice in the government of their own country. The Government of India is a despotism, pure and simple, and no man need tell me that its people have not aspirations towards self-government. I know that they have, and I believe that in the very near future those aspirations will make themselves evident. There may be a revolt in India.
– Some people would like it now.
– The Germans would.
– If I were a citizen of India I would want selfgovernment undoubtedly. There has been a revolt in the history of India, and the probability is that in the future there will be a demand for a measure of local self-government which, if it is refused, may lead to rebellion. Then free Australia will find herself in the lovely position of being called upon to repress the aspirations of a people who desire to have a voice in the government of their own country. We will have something here which we are not prepared to give to other citizens of the British Empire. I wish honorable senators to contemplate that aspect of the matter. There is another aspect. India, as everybody knows, is populated by coloured people. Those individuals, raised as they may possibly be to the full status of citizens of the Empire, may demand free entrance into Australia, and we cannot on any logical ground deny that entrance to them. We cannot have an Empire in water-tight compartments; it must be an
Empire in which free intercommunication shall exist between the various component parts. If the Empire is not of that character it is apt to split asunder at any moment. We cannot allow the coloured people of India to enter Australia with any safety .to ourselves. If we wish to maintain the standard of comfort that we have in Australia, if we wish to preserve our institutions and to carry the flag of civilization to a still higher position, we must resolutely refuse the coloured people of India, or of any other country, admission to Australia.
– But the honorable senator claims free right of ingress to India ?
– I do not wish to go there.
– But some Australians may desire to do so.
– So long as the British Government allows them to do so, and so long as the Indian Government does not object, I have nothing to say in the matter. But we cannot with any safety to ourselves - whether we view this question from a social, political, or national aspect - allow the people of India free entrance to Australia. Yet how can we deny it to them if the Imperial connexion is drawn closer, seeing that India is a portion of the Empire? We know that at the present moment Indians are shedding their blood in the defence of the Empire on the battlefields of Europe. But I wish honorable senators to recollect that there is another battle which is always being waged, and in which the combatants never slumber on their arms. That is the battle between capital and labour, between civilization and barbarism
– And between the prolific peoples of the earth and the nonprolific.
– That is so. Nobody will say that the social position of the people of Australia is anything like what it ought to be. We all hope that some day it will reach a higher standard. But if we allow the coloured people of the earth to enter this country, what will happen ? We know what are the social and political conditions of the inhabitants of India. We .know that those inhabitants comprise some of the most socially degraded people on the face of the earth. The Indian ryot has become a commonplace for everything that is degraded in the social scale. I do not say that he is to blame for that. I believe that he is a victim of circumstances. But, nevertheless, he represents everything that is degraded in the social scale. Therefore, we cannot allow the people of India to come here with any degree of safety to ourselves. If we do, we shall inevitably be reduced to their standard. We cannot hope to lift them to ours. The result will be that the white race in Australia will degenerate socially, politically, and economically. This is an Imperial question which ought to be carefully considered in connexion with any Imperial development that may take place. The ideals of the British Government and of the British people are not those of Australia. The British Government and the British people hang on to India for what they can make out of it. They regard that country, with ite hordes of cheap labour, as a fine exploiting ground. They know perfectly well that the Indian will never go to Great Britain for the purpose of attempting to make a living. The working classes of the Old Country, therefore, are not subjected - except indirectly - to the competition of the Indian. Hence they do not fear him. Now the great majority of the governing classes in Great Britain have no sympathy with our white Australia ideal. They see no reason why these coloured people should not be admitted to this country to assist in its development. Indeed, if the inhabitants of India were permitted free access to the Commonwealth, so that they might be employed in our industries, there would be a large influx of British capital into this country. The employment of these people would mean huge profits. But what would become of the white worker of Australia ? What would happen to his trade union rates of wages ?
– What would happen to them at the present time if it were not for the British Navy ?
– Of course, the British Navy is an enfolding arm around us, and I suppose that the Minister means that we exist solely by virtue of the protection that is afforded us by Great Britain, and, therefore, ought to bo prepared to submit to any conditions that the Imperial connexion may impose upon us.
– The honorable senator knows that I do not mean that.
– I do not know of anything else that the honorable gentleman can mean. Whilst I am as sensible as anybody can be of the advantage of the Imperial connexion to Australia, 1 see that we may be asked to pay a price for that connexion which would be altogether out of proportion to its value. There are other dangers which” apply, not only to the coloured portion, but to the white portion of the Empire. In this country we hear a good deal about a Protective Tariff. We are constantly being told of the great wealth of this country, and of its huge undeveloped resources. It is true that Australia is a rich country which is possessed of great resources that only await development. But suppose that Free Trade within the Empire were established, and that the commodities of all the various parts of the Empire could be freely interchanged between those parts, what would become of our dream? Why, Great Britain with her huge army of cheap workers could undersell us in every manufacturing field. We could not compete with her in a single industry. Honorable senators should not forget that in Great Britain there are millions of workers who are sweated in the most disgraceful fashion. Of course, we are at war, and it may seem rather out of place to say what I am saying just now. But when an attempt is being made to draw the connexion between the Empire and its dependencies closer, we ought to know exactly where we stand, and what we propose to do. If we wish to develop Australian industries on the lines that have hitherto been laid down, we shall not be able to do it if the Imperial connexion means Free Trade between the various portions of the Empire. There is not a single branch of manufacture that we could successfully develop if the products of Great Britain were admitted to the Commonwealth free of Customs duty.
– Has anybody suggested that?
– It has been mooted.
– I have never heard any responsible man suggest such a thing.
– We have heardresponsible men suggest it, and I believe that it will be suggested again, and that fin attempt will be made to give effect to that policy.
– What policy?
– The policy of Free Trade between the different portions of the Empire.
– Australia could never accept that.
– It is a possibility at any rate, and on that account it ought to be freely discussed here.
– Seeing that the Imperial authorities intend to give Ireland the right to levy Customs duties, they are not likely to ask us to abolish them.
– We do not know what they will ask. If this Imperial cord is to be drawn tighter, we require to look all round the circle and to see how it is going to affect us. We need to be very careful as to the bargain which will be ultimately made. Although we have to depend upon the strong right arm of Great Britain for our defence, we ought not, on that account, to be called upon to submit to impossible conditions - conditions which would destroy every ideal that we have set up in this country. I believe that the Imperial connexion cannot be drawn very much closer than it is unless we are prepared to make great sacrifices. For one, I am not prepared to make those ‘sacrifices. The price to be paid is too great. There is still another aspect of this question. So far as I can gather, the Imperial connexion is intended to draw the various component parts of the Empire more closely together, from a political point of view, than they have ever been before. Need I remind honorable senators that there is not a single woman in Great Britain who has a voice in the government of that country. There are millions of men who have not a voice in its government. The government of Great Britain is almost entirely in the hands of the rich, and the rich people of that country are amongst the richest of the earth. They live in a condition of scandalous and shameful luxury, whilst at their very gates there exist millions of wretched, half-fed, illclothed, and badly housed human beings. It is an Empire of which we profess to be justly proud; but, for my part, I am not proud of the condition under which the great mass of the workers of Great Britain live.
– I wish we had six or seven millions of them here now.
– It would be very much better for them, I am sure.
– And better for us, also.
– Yes, I agree with the honorable senator. I could say a great deal more on this subject, but I will refrain.
– You are on a wide field.
– Yes. It is a wide and, to me, a very interesting, field for observation. In conclusion, I will say that I think it is desirable and necessary to be as friendly with Great Britain as we can, but we ought to be careful not to draw the Empire bond so tight that ultimately it may become uncomfortable.
– I wish to take’ advantage of this opportunity to refer to a matter which is of very great importance to the Commonwealth. It arises out of some questions which I put yesterday to the Minister of Defence, and his reply thereto. I am in % somewhat delicate position, because the subject with which I propose to deal was referred to the Public Works Committee, of which I have the honour to be a member. The majority of that Committee reported in a certain direction. I was one of the minority holding different views, and it might seem that it was because I was in a minority that I am taking this action today.
– What report do you refer to?
– I am referring to the alteration of the proposed site for the arsenal at Canberra. It came to my knowledge yesterday that the present Minister of Home Affairs had reversed the decision of his predecessor, and had induced the Cabinet also to reverse their decision. In consequence of that, I put certain questions to the Minister of Defence yesterday, and he replied to some of them this morning. My first question was -
The Minister’s reply was -
Yes, the decision of the previous Cabinet has been reversed.
The next question was -
The reply to that was -
The extra cost, if any, will be calculated at a later date.
That was the most important question of the series; but the Minister carefully evaded giving a reply, so I propose to take advantage of information I have here to give a full and clear statement of the extra cost that will be involved in this change of plan. My third question was -
The reply to that question was -
About six to nine months.
It will be seen, therefore, that this change of location will mean a considerable delay in the establishment of the arsenal for the manufacture, not only of small arms, but field guns and other weapons which are needed at present, and may be more urgently needed within the next eighteen months. A delay of six or nine months in the establishment of this factory might mean a calamity to Australia. My fourth question was -
The reply to that question was -
The site approved by the previous Cabinet. The sites spoken of at Canberra are known as No. 1 and No. 2. The previous Cabinet approved of the arsenal being established at No. 1 site, but the new Minister of Home Affairs has induced the Cabinet to change their decision and establish the arsenal at No. 2 site.
– What was the voting in the Committee on the question ?
– I will tell the Minister presently. I propose to give full information, and for the benefit of the Minister I intend, if necessary, to read the whole of the evidence taken on the question. Now I ask honorable senators to listen to the reason given for this alteration which, as we have been informed, will mean a delay of six or nine months in the establishment of the arsenal, will involve the Commonwealth in enormously increased expenditure. Here is the reason - “ To accord with the premiated design of the city.” Now I propose to show that the establishment of this factory at No. 1 site, as approved by the previous Cabinet, would not interfere in the slightest degree with Mr. Griffin’s premiated design.
Let me briefly lead up to this question by referring to what has occurred in connexion with the matter. Last April the Works Committee was directed to investigate the extension of the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow. Members of that body commenced their labour on 6th May. They took evidence at various places, and ultimately reported that it was desirable to have an extension of the Small Arms Factory, but that instead of duplicating the present factory at Lithgow, the Commonwealth should build at Canberra, a factory double the size of the present establishment, and ultimately remove the factory from Lithgow and carry on the manufacture of small arms entirely at Canberra. That report was adopted by the Government. The officers of the Department were then requested to select a suitable site for the factory. The question of tlie arsenal had not then come before the Department. The officers, Colonel Owen, Mr. Hill, and probably a surveyor, selected the site known as No. 1, which the then Cabinet approved of. Very slight preliminary work had been done when, I am given to understand, Mr. Griffin, designer of the Federal Capital, protested to the Minister against the Small Arms Factory being located on the site recommended by the departmental officers on the ground that it would interfere with his premiated design. Mr. Archibald, the then Minister of Home Affairs, being unable to arrive at a decision, referred the question to the Public Works Committee. The Works Committee visited the place, inspected both sites, took a considerable amount of evidence, which I propose to place before the Senate to-day, and recommended that No. 2 site should be adopted for the Small Arms Factory. No. 1 site is situated just outside the south-eastern corner of the area marked “‘city site” on Mr. Griffin’s design, and on all the maps and plans already prepared.
– But the majority of the Committee reported favorably on both sites.
– As a member of the Public Works Committee, I claim that the report of that body was directly in the face or the evidence ; and I promise to read it, as well as the findings, so that Senator Turley and others may have an opportunity of judging whether I am Tight or wrong. No. 2 site is 3 or 4 miles north of the Molonglo River, on what I may de scribe as a very fine agricultural plain. The whole of the land in that locality is suited for agriculture, and is at present under crop. That is one reason why I came to the conclusion that it was not the most suitable site. However, the Committee being divided on the question, I assume that the Minister of the day read the evidence tendered, and came to the same conclusion as the minority members of the Committee, namely, that the report was not borne out by the evidence. The responsible officers of the Department having recommended No. 1 site, and the evidence tendered being in favour of it, the then Government, I think, adopted a wise course by deciding upon that site as a location for the Small Arms Factory. A Committee, known as the Arsenal Committee, had just been appointed with the object of going to India to make investigations there and advise the Commonwealth Government as *» the best methods to be adopted in establishing an arsenal at Canberra. In oz-der that the Senate may judge the character of the Arsenal Committee, I will read the names of those who compose it. They are : Colonel Owen, Director-General of Works for the Commonwealth, who is not only a civil engineer of considerable repute, but also an eminent military officer; Mr. McKay, manager for Walker Brothers Limited, Maryborough, Queensland, one of the largest engineering establishments in the Commonwealth; Professor Payne, Professor of Engineering at the Melbourne University; Mr. Bell, the explosives expert of the Defence Department; and Major Gipp, Chief Inspector of Ordnance, Defence Department. That was the Committee the Government decided to send to Canberra to settle whether the decision of the majority of the Works Committee in favour of the northern site was a wise one, or whether the conclusion of the officers of the Department in favour of the south-eastern site should be upheld. Colonel Owen is a most conscientious officer, and studiously refrained from any attempt to influence the Arsenal Committee with regard to the sites, although, as an officer of the Home Affairs Department, he had previously selected the south-eastern site as the most suitable. That Committee inspected both sites without receiving the slightest hint from Colonel Owen as to which he preferred, and unanimously came to the con- clusion that the south-eastern was the proper site for the establishment of the arsenal. The land there is undulating, shaly country, unfit for cultivation purposes, but admirably adapted for factories. To show that the Public Works Committee arrived at their conclusion in favour of the northern site directly in the teeth of the evidence I quote their report, which is very guarded, and of a somewhat “ Yes-No “ character -
In presenting its report on the proposed extension of the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow, and recommending that the new factory should be located at Canberra, the Committee purposely refrained from indicating the site which such new factory should occupy. On receipt of the request that the site considered most suitable should be indicated, further information ‘ was obtained, and attention was given to the sites which had been suggested.
In choosing a site for the Small Arms Factory, the Committee regard it as essential that the area selected should be such as to provide ample space for expansion of the factory now under consideration, while at the same time admitting of the erection of any additional factories required for the manufacture of machine-guns, field artillery, &c, should it at any time bo decided that the Commonwealth should enter upon those activities.
It is clear that at that time the Committee had no idea of anything but a Small Arms Factory being established at Canberra -
It was also considered advisable that there should be an area in the vicinity suitable for sites for cottages should it be decided to establish workmen’s homes for the purpose of accommodating employees of this or adjacent factories.
The Committee visited Canberra, and made a careful inspection on the ground of several areas which had been suggested. The two sites considered most suitable as complying with the conditions mentioned above were: -
Site known as No. 1 site, comprising art area of about 600 acres proposed to be reserved for factory purposes and workers’ homes, and situated to the south-east of the city area; and
Site known as No. 2 site, comprising an area ample for the requirements and situated to the north of the city area. The relative distance and direction of these sites from various points are as follow: -
Both these sites are level or slightly undulating, and appear to present no difficulty to the erection of factory buildings. In the opinion of the Committee either site appears to be admirably suited for the purpose proposed.
Honorable senators will understand that statement if I explain that Mr. Griffin, in his premiated design, placed Parliament House and the administrative offices on the south side of the Molonglo River, and what he calls a civic centre on the north side of the river, about a mile or more from Parliament House, expecting the civic centre in years to come to be the business centre of Canberra. . When that city has a population of 200,000 or 300,000, a civic or business centre as designed may be a very necessary feature of it-
At the beginning of the inquiry it was thought that No. 1 site offered many important advantages as being -
In the vicinity of an existing railway;
Conveniently situated in regard to supplies of gravel, &c, for building purposes; and (<Z) In a position to lend itself to quicker construction at a lower cost.
These are all considerations of very great importance -
Evidence was submitted that, owing to but a short length of railway being required to connect to the existing line, construction could be commenced at once, and the building could be completed within eighteen months; and, further, that the northern site would involve greater expenditure by reason of the extra cost of transporting materials to that site, providing for the diversion of storm water from the area, and also greater expenditure in providing workmen’s homes, if such a course be decided upon.
That this is a sort of “Yes-No” report, Senator Turley will see from the following:
It is admitted that No. 1 site offers advantages which are of obvious and material value, particularly in regard to the present convenience of access and saving of immediate outlay for transport of materials. There is also a possibility that the factory may be more quickly established there than at No. 2 site.
As will be seen, the Committee toned their report down as much as they could by saying that “ there is a possibility.” They should have said there is a certainty -
But as the lowest estimate is that even at No. 1 site it is improbable that rifles will be produced for two years. That is another wrong conclusion.
– Then the time is not of much importance.
– But the evidence does not hear out that statement -
The proximity of the existing railway at No. 1 site would not, it is submitted, be a determining factor in the case, as it is generally admitted that the main railway route will run in the vicinity of the No. 2 site, and the construction of this line will probably proceed concurrently with the building of the Capital city itself. In the meantime, the extension of the existing Queanbeyan to Canberra line by means of a temporary line could be effected within a period of about eight months at an estimated cost of approximately ?21,000, and would not only serve for the Capital Small Arms Factory, but provide necessary facilities for the erection of other buildings.
The expense of this extension to the No. 2 Bite, as well as the cost of constructing a storm-water channel to protect the area, should not, in the Committee’s opinion, be considered as a charge against the Small Arms Factory, as such works will undoubtedly benefit other city services. The expense thereof might, with equity, therefore be charged proportionately against the various services benefited.
It is generally admitted that the establishment of the factory on the No. 1 site would tend to extend settlement of the city in a southerly direction outside the Federal Territory - at any rate, in the earlier stages of the city’s development - while, if established in the northern area, all the benefits would accrue to the Federal Territory.
The Committee is fully seized with the importance of the decision which will be arrived at in regard to this matter, and recognises it will have a direct and permanent influence on the whole of the future developments of the Federal Capital. For this reason it has endeavoured to take the widest possible view of the question, even to the point of sacrificing immediately advantages and incurring a relatively large additional initial expenditure rather than introduce into the schematic plan a discordant feature which might militate against the general harmony of the city as a whole.
After fully considering the question, the Committee, therefore, recommends that the factory be established on the area known as No. 2 site to the north of the city area.
The decision arrived at by the Committee is shown in the following extract from its minutes of proceedings : -
Mr. Finlayson moved “ That, in the opinion of the Committee, the most suitable site for the location for a Small Arms Factory at Canberra is that known as No. 2 site, situated to the north of the city area at a distance of about two miles of the proposed civic centre.” Seconded by Senator Lynch.
Mr. Fenton moved an amendment “ That, in the opinion of the Committee, the most suitable site for the location of a Small Arms Factory at Canberra is that known as No. 1 site, situated to the south-east of the city area, at a distance of about two miles south of the Royal Military College.” Seconded by Sanatory Story.
Ihave read the whole of this report in order that honorable senators may know the views of the members of the Works Committee. I dissented from the report because it is directly against the weight of evidence, and the adoption of the recommendation will involve an additional expenditure of a very considerable sum, and a delay of from six to nine months in the establishment of the arsenal.
– Which the Committee says is not a matter of any importance.
– I shall leave it to honorable senators to say whether it is not of sufficient importance to urge them to induce the Government to proceed with the erection of the arsenal on the No. 1 site unanimously recommended by the Arsenal Committee, and which has always been strongly advocated by the officers of the Home Affairs Department. I shall be able to show from the evidence that the increased cost involved by the adoption of the recommendation of the Public Works Committee will amount to ?155,708 more than the expenditure which would have been involved in giving effect to the decision of the previous Government to establish the arsenal at No. 1 site. It may interest honorable senators to learn that a start had been made with the work at No. 1 site. A number of men were employed there for several weeks, and I am informed that a sum of nearly ?1,000 has already been spent in preparing that site for the erection of the buildings. The decision arrived at by the present Minister of
Home Affairs means that the whole of the work at No. 1 site has been stopped, and that before work can be commenced at the northern site levels will have to be taken, and the ground surveyed. This must add to the delay in carrying out the project. This matter has appeared to me to be of so much importance that I felt it was right to bring it before honorable senators, and let’ them say whether as members of this Parliament they are prepared to agree to an additional expenditure of £155,000, and a delay of from six to nine months in the establishment of the arsenal, in order, according to a reply given by Mr. King O’Malley this morning, to please Mr. Griffin. We are passing through a period of reversions. When Mr. King O’Malley was Minister of Home Affairs on a previous occasion, the designs for the Federal Capital city were submitted to a Selection Committee. Mr. Griffin’s design was given first place, not because it was the best all-round design, but, I understand from conversations which I have had with, at any rate, some of the judges, because it had the greatest number of desirable features. Not one of the judges believed it to be a design which ought to. be adopted in its entirety. Mr. King O’Malley, as Minister of Home Affairs at the time, referred the designs to another Committee that was instructed to embody some of the best features of other designs in that of Mr. Griffin, and a composite design arrived at in this way was adopted by the Home Affairs Department. In the opinion of a number of people well able to judge the composite plan represented a very considerable improvement from the point of view of convenience and economy of construction upon Mr. Griffin’s original design, whilst maintaining its main outlines. The Labour Government then went out of office, and Mr. Kelly became Minister of Home Affairs. He reversed Mr. O’Malley’s decision, reverted to the original Griffin design, brought Mr. Griffin to Australia, and appointed him as Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction at a salary of, I think, about £1,500 a year. From that time there has been constant friction between the officers of the Home Affairs Department and Mr. Griffin. He has complained that any work which the officers of the Department had done at Canberra has been an interference with his’ design, and he has claimed that no work at all should be done at the Federal Capital unless he has first given his approval of it. In consequence of the adoption of this attitude by Mr. Griffin the relations existing between him and the other officers of the Home Affairs Department have for a long time been considerably strained. That may be the reason why the selection of the site for the arsenal was referred to the Public Works Committee.
– The Public Works Committee was asked to decide between two different official bodies that were at loggerheads.
– That is so. The members of the Public Works Committee took evidence on the question, and a majority decided that Mr. Griffin was right.
– A majority of seven to two.
– I remind Senator Turley that another committee of engineers, possessing professional skill and knowledge’ which no member of the Works Committee can claim, reported unanimously in favour of the selection of No. 1 site, and their report induced the last Government to decide in favour of that site.
– Did the Arsenal Committee give their reasons for deciding in favour of No. 1 site?
– I imagine that they did. I have not seen their report, but I have no doubt that Senator Stewart will be able to make himself acquainted with it if he refers to the Department of Home Affairs.
– I do not think that the members of the Arsenal Committee gave anything like the extended consideration to the subject that the Public Works Committee gave to it.
– The Arsenal Committee was a body of skilled men, and had several days in which to investigate the matter. They were unanimous- that, from an engineering and munitions point of view, No. 1 site was the most suitable for the establishment of the Arsenal.
– The chairman of the Arsenal Committee gave the strongest evidence before the Public Works Committee in support of the selection “of the No. 1 site.
– I have already admitted that Colonel Owen had previously recommended the No. 1 site. Senator Keating will agree that he is a very conscientious and honorable gentleman; and
I have been informed that he most carefully refrained from expressing any opinion before the members of the Arsenal Committee as to the relative merits of the two sites until all the other members of that Committee had arrived at their determination. He acquiesced in their determination. I have said that the recommendation of the majority of the Public Works Committee is against the weight of evidence, and its adoption will involve an additional expenditure of £155,000. A great deal has been said here lately as to the necessity for economy in public expenditure. I agree that every economy should be exercised provided that efficiency is maintained and unemployment is not brought about.
– Did the Public Works Committee know, when they made their recommendation, that the additional cost involved in the selection of No. 2 site rather than No. 1 site would be £155,000 ?
– My statement that this additional cost will be involved in the selection of the No.2 site is borne out by the evidence which was given before the Public Works Committee. I propose to refer to that evidence in order that, if possible, the Senate may be induced to prevent this wicked waste of money, and the establishment of the Arsenal at Canberra at a place which, although it cannot be said to be altogether unsuitable, will involve extra expenditure to the extent of, at least, £155,000, and considerable delay in the establishment of the Arsenal. I may say that the selection of No. 2 site will involve considerable expenditure in the draining of the country, the making of roads, and the construction of other public works which must be carried out if settlement is to be taken up to that part of the Capital site. According to the evidence of Colonel Owen, the establishment of a Small Arms Factory alone at No. 2 site would involve expenditure in the direction I have indicated, amounting to about £250,000. If a majority of the members of the Senate, after listening to my statement, and to the evidence which I propose to quote, are willing that an additional expenditure of £155,000 should be incurred, that Mr. King O ‘Malley and Mr. Griffin should practically run the government of the country, and should be allowed to waste immense sums of money in order that Mr. Griffin’s design may be carried out, not in its integrity, but in exactly the way in which
Mr. Griffin demauds that it should be carried out, I shall have no more to say.
– I understand that the site recommended for the Arsenal is outside the city site, and that only the city site is covered by Mr. Griffin’s design.
– On the plan showing the city site a green line is shown enclosing an area 4 miles square.
– We ought to have the plan here.
– My statement would be very much more interesting if we had. This matter is of sufficient importance to justify the postponement of the Supply Bill until we can have an opportunity to see the plan and get all the evidence, because, in addition to what I have here, there is a large amount of other evidence, such as reports by Mr. Griffin and a report by the Public Works Committee on the extension of the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow, which applies to this very question of the site at Canberra. As I have already said, the minority of the Public Works Committee, the whole of the Arsenal Committee, and the officers of the Department are agreed that No. 1 site is the most suitable one.
– What about the majority of the Public Works Committee?
– As I mentioned, a majority of the Committee reported in favour of No. 2 site. I read the report to the Senate, and claimed that it was a Yes-No report, for the majority practically admit that itis sacrificing a considerable amount of time and a large sum of money, which is not stated, in order that Mr. Griffin’s premiated design may be carried out exactly when and where he determines.
– That was not the sole cause of the decision of the Public Works Committee.
– Any one who reads this evidence, or carefully follows me when I read it, will come to the conclusion that the only thing which was said against the No. 1 site in evidence before the Committee, and the only thing which could have possibly influenced the majority of its members, was Mr. Griffin’s claim that it was going to interfere with his design.
– Nothing of the kind.
– The majority of the Committee recommended No. 2 site?
– Is Mr. Griffin now engaged in recommending that the arsenal be erected on that site?
– I am sorry that the honorable senator has not followed me clearly.
– I was outside the chamber for a time.
– On the receipt of the report from the Arsenal Committee, the Government decided that No. 1 site was the proper site. They started operations, and have spent nearly £1,000 in preparing the land; but now Mr. King O’Malley has induced the Cabinet to believe that a mistake was made, and they propose to incur an extra expenditure of £155,000 in order that the design of the Capital may be carried out according to the ideas of Mr. Griffin, who has nothing to do with the finding of the money. He feared, as he explained to the Committee, that if the Factory was fixed at No. 1 site, that is, in the south-east of the city, it would induce settlement in that neighbourhood. His fear was that shops would be erected, and that people would live there, and he claimed that if any shops were to be built they should be erected on that portion of the ground which in his design he marked “ civic and business centre “ ; that is a mile or two away from where the people would have to live if they had to reside near their work. Mr. Griffin was able to influence a majority of the Committee to S66 £LS he saw, and he has evidently now got Mr. King O’Malley by the ear. If this is allowed to pass, it will not be the only waste of money which will have been occasioned. Mr. Griffin has prepared a very fine design as every one will admit. He is a very clever town planner; that is his specialty. I do not know whether he is- good at anything else; but, as a town planner, he is probably at the top of the tree. He prepared a magnificent design for what, in possibly 200 or 300 years, will be a magnificent city, but any one who knows Australian conditions will agree with me that for the next half century Canberra will only be occupied by a small community. Being inland, it cannot possibly ever be a large manufacturing town. It can only bo the political city of Australia and a residential city for a few officials, retired money lenders, and people of that class. It will be hundreds of years before Mr. Griffin’s design can be carried out in its entirety. That is his only idea. The question of cost is nothing to him. It does not matter to him if it costs millions. So long as he can have the pretty picture he has drawn materialized, he will be perfectly satisfied. He does not “pay the piper,” but the people of Australia do. The members of the Senate are here to safeguard the interests of the people, to prevent wilful waste of public money in this direction; and it is for that reason that I am dealing with the matter here to-day. Before I proceed to quote from the evidence of Mr. Thomas Hill, Engineer for the Department of Home Affairs, I wish to pay a tribute to the value of the officers of that Department. Owing to my association with the Public Works Committee it has been my - privilege to meet Colonel Owen, Mr. Hill, and other officers of it very frequently. I have been able, I think, to form a fair idea of their value, and I can say, without the slightest hesitation, that in Colonel Owen and Mr. Hill the Commonwealth has two of the best officers it would be possible to get, I believe, if the whole world was gone over. They are not only able in their profession, but conscientious in the discharge of their duties. They have only one idea, and that is to carry out their work to the advantage of the Department and the people of Australia. To my certain knowledge, for some years these officers have not even had the ordinary day of rest. It has been a common practice for them to go to Canberra, and spend the whole of Sunday in doing their work there, because that was the most favorable time for them to observe what had been done, and consult with the gangers and other officers who, on ordinary working days, were engaged in taking charge of the men. Colonel Owen and Mr. Hill have only one idea, and that is to work for the benefit of the Commonwealth. No one can question their skill and ability. When we get evidence such as I am about to quote from gentlemen of that sort, I think it ought to carry very considerable weight with the members of the Senate, if it has not done so with a majority of the Cabinet. In reply to the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Hill said -
I have scanned Mr. Griffin’s evidence in regard tn the alternative sites suggested for the Small Arms Factory at Canberra. The great advantage of No. 1 site, to the southeast of the city boundary, is the fact that the construction of the Factory buildings can be commenced practically at once. A branch line from the existing railway for a distance of $-mile will enable material for construction to be carried to the site at once. In the Molonglo River, which runs past the site, there is a very fine deposit of gravel for utilization in the concrete of which it is proposed to construct the Factory buildings and the workmen’s homes. Also a good water supply can be obtained from the Molonglo River for construction purposes. This site is within 2 miles of the power-house, from which power for the mixers and other construction plant may be obtained. The advantages of the south-eastern site, as compared with No. 2 site to the north, are very manifest. No. 2 site is 6 miles from the present terminus of the Queanbeyan-Canberra railway; the distance would be a little greater if the river were in flood. We should have to make a detour from Acton to cross the river by a small temporary bridge. An alternative to the extension of the railway to the No. 2 site is road transport, using tractors. By either means the distance would be 6 miles, but if the railway wore extended there would be the additional cost of a bridge over the Molonglo River. Water for construction would require to be pumped from the Molonglo, a distance of a little over 3 miles in a straight line, with a lift of about 100 feet, exclusive of friction. Gravel and sand would have to be carted from the Molonglo, a distance by road of about 4 miles. I do not know of any deposit of stone that could be crushed for concrete purposes within a couple of miles of the site, and I do not know of any sand nearer than the Molonglo. Viewing the two sites from a constructional point of view, the northern site would involve a considerable additional cost, due to water, material, and cartage, and the distance over which the supplies for the men would have to be carried from the nearest point from which they can be obtained. The south-eastern site is within 4 miles of Queanbeyan; the No. 2 site is distant 11 or 12 miles from that town.
– What provision would there he for the men to get from the nearest railway station to the scene of their work?
– It would be necessary to carry them by conveyance 6 miles to their work, or residences would have to be built for them at the No. 2 site. Whichever site is adopted the full scheme provides for the erection of the necessary cottages to accommodate the men employed at the Factory.
– Practically, these cottages would have to be built before the factory could be commenced, assuming that the No. 2 site were selected.
– Probably the men engaged in constructing the cottages could be accommodated in tents until suf ficient cottages had been erected for their accommodation. Colonel Owen emphasizes the fact that, if the nearest site be selected, it will be necessary to build houses to accommodate the whole of the workmen employed in the factory, whereas if No. 1 site be chosen, a large proportion of the men can very easily live in Queanbeyan. As a matter of fact, a number of the workmen who are at present engaged on undertakings in the vicinity of Canberra actually live at Queanbeyan, and cycle to and from their work. Speaking of the water supply, Mr. Hill says -
In regard to the water supply, I will assume an extension from the main which we propose to construct from the service reservoir at Red Hill to the power-house, traversing the main portion of the city site, with an extension to the Royal Military College. Water could be laid on to the south-eastern site by the construction of 2 miles of main, but 4 miles of mains would be required to reach the northern site.
– Plus the main for construction purposes.
– Mr. Hill points out that a main will have to be constructed to supply the Military College, which is only 2 miles distant from the No. 1 site, whereas a main 4 miles in length would have to be laid down if the No. 2 site were chosen. It is intended to use the water from the Molonglo River for constructional purposes. Mr. Hill, in dealing with the question of a permanent water supply, continues -
As for facilities for getting power from the power-house to the south-eastern site it is a distance of 2 miles. A power main has been built from the power-house to the Royal Military College, but that main is only sufficient to carry 50 horse-power, whereas for the Small Arms Factory 600 horse-power would be required. It would be necessary, therefore, to recopper the main from the power-house to the College, and that would mean that only the poles of the existing main would be of use. The power main carried on poles to the Cotter River cost about £400 per mile. We would have to estimate half-a-mile to cover the recoppering of the existing main. Assuming, then, that we use the present main, we should branch off at a point about three-quarters of a mile from the power-house. From that point we should have to construct 4 miles of main at £400 per mile, plus half-a-mile for recoppering, as against, to the south-eastern site, 2 miles at £400 per mile. The ratio of the cost of the power main for the northern and southeastern sites respectively is approximately five to two. I understand that time is one of the factors to be considered in the erection of this factory, and the construction of a branch railway to the northern site would involve delay.
I do not think that even a very roughly-built line, which would be liable to be washed away, could be constructed to the No. 2 site under six months, whilst a standard line would occupy at least a year to build. The former line would be one laid on the surface, and crossing the Molonglo by a rough temporary bridge, but there would be always the danger of a washaway. I certainly think that it would be necessary to work at high pressure to complete a permanent line within a year. By a permanent railway I mean one of the same standard as the present line from Queanbeyan to Canberra - a line trafficable at all times, and with a bridge above flood level. As I have said, a very primitive contractor’s line for the conveyance of material to the Factory site would occupy about six months to build; it would not be suitable for passenger traffic, and would be liable to interruptions. If Mr. Bell says that a permanent line would take eighteen months to build, I will not contradict him; I would prefer his estimate to my own on the point. As to the relative costs of construction at the alternative sites, the Director-General said at page59 of the report and evidence of the Committee relating to the proposed extension of the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow (paragraph 268) -
I find that the extra cost of construction at the northern site would be £8,588. 269. To the Chairman. - To build would cost that much extra. The additional cost would comprise 10,960 tons of road transport, including two handlings, £3,288, and for foundations, £2,000. As regards electrical supply, there is an additional length of transmission line for only one Factory. We really would need to have two feeders, but I have made the estimate conservative, namely, £1,200. I put down the cost of water during construction - it is low for pumping - at £450. I have allowed an extra £250 for sewage disposal, and for transporting Factory machinery from the railway siding to the site, £300. You cannot go 5 miles further afield without having incidental and overhead charges for buggies, carting, and odds and ends. I have allowed £500 for these charges, though probably a contractor would allow more than that sum. There is a capital outlay of £1,800 on a temporary water service, and for depreciation, taking up and moving, I have allowed £600. We would have to take the water up there temporarily. There would be no hope of getting the city water from the main to carry on construction.
I remember we reckoned on lifting the pipe and using it again elsewhere; 3 miles of pipe line would cost nearer £3,000. Owing to the non-delivery of pumps we do not expect to be pumping water before Christmas. The pumps will take two months to arrive in Australia, and then they will have to be erected and tested. The pipe would have to be laid wherever the city roads are, because we do not desire to lay the pipes and then have to take them up again. The Director-General in that evidence means that there is no hope of getting the water from the Cotter River in time to be utilized for construction purposes.
In reply to Mr. Sampson, Mr. Hill said -
Neither would there be any chance of getting the Cotter supply to the No. 1 site in time for construction, but that site has the advantage of being alongside the MolongloRiver.
He proceeded -
The Director-General’s evidence continues - In point of time the south-eastern site would undoubtedly lend itself to speedy erection, because we have the railway practically there. It would facilitate the work all through instead of having to transport materials, &c, by road tractors. I have no hesitation in saying that we could build more quickly at the south-eastern site.
I corroborate that evidence. As far as I am aware, from any plan of the city I have seen, the erection of the Factory at the south-eastern site would not in any way interfere with Mr. Griffin’s design. I understand that Mr. Griffin has recently submitted to the Committee a plan showing his proposal for dealing with the area outside the boundary of the city proper - a plan that nobody had previously seen. I regard the No. 1 site as being suitably situated outside the south-eastern boundary of what wo know as the city proper. The square shown on the map represents the boundaries of the city, and comprises the area covered by the prize plan submitted by Mr Griffin. The Department has suggested a site outside the area covered by that plan; therefore, I repeat that the south-eastern site is outside any plan submitted for the competition, and will not in any way interfere with Mr. Griffin’s adopted plan.
Yet the Minister stated this morning that the reason why the change had been decided upon was that the selection of the . No. 1 site would interferewith Mr. Griffin’s plan. In answer to Mr. Sampson, Mr. Hill further stated -
As far as I am aware, there has not been a north and south extension of Mr. Griffin’s plan. The original prize plan covered an area of 3) by 4 miles, which is comprised within the city square shown on the map.
He continued -
I do not consider that the city would derive any advantage from having the Factory erected on the northern site. I would prefer to see the Factory and the mechanical industries near the south-eastern corner of the city. The Acton plains, being flat and of good soil, are particularly suitable for agricultural gardens. The soil on the south-eastern site is not as good. To get a flat similar in quality to that in the north, it would be necessary to go to the valley of the Woolshed Creek.
– What distance is that?
– Speaking from memory, I think it is some 6 or 8 miles. Mr. Hill also said -
For a long time we have had in mind the irrigation of Acton plains with water from the MurrumbidgeeRiver. That land is suitable also for a show-ground or a race-course. There is a further fact, which alone would determine me in favour of the south-eastern site, and that is that the northern site is not suitable in regard to the obtaining of water for the condensers.
Mr. Hill went on to point out that ultimately it will be necessary to install at the arsenal a power plant, which will render it quite independent of the general powerhouse at Canberra.
– That means a duplication of power-houses?
– But, according to Colonel Owen, it will ultimately prove profitable to install an independent power plant at the arsenal, not for the Small Arms Factory alone, but also for the manufacture of field guns and ammunition. Mr. Hill went on to say -
That is a very big consideration, as will be understood from the fact that the city of Melbourne has recently spent £30,000 in building a tunnel from Spencer and Little Bourke streets to the Yarra, in order to carry water for the electric light works.
The disadvantage in this respect alone is sufficient, in my opinion, to put the northern side out of court.’
That is the opinion of the Engineer of the Works Department, who states further -
It must be remembered also that that site would involve the carrying of coal and products a further distance of 10 miles. In regard to the objection to the northern corner of the south-eastern site projecting into the area coloured blue, the Director-General has empowered me to say that it would be easy to amend the boundary of the site shown approximately there so as to bring it back 400 or B00 feet from the boundary of the area coloured blue.
The Director-General had a pencil sketch prepared of the proposed No. 1 site, and Mr. Hill was here referring to the fact that the Director-General had empowered him to say it will be easy to amend the boundary so as to bring it back the distance indicated.
– That is only about 150 yards.
– The honorable senator will remember that, at Canberra, if Mr. Griffin’s scheme is carried out, it is proposed to have a water frontage of 12 to 16 miles, and the fact that tlie water frontage might be affected for 400 or 500 feet would not be a serious hardship, or be regarded as a set-off against the enormously increased expenditure which will be necessary if No. 2 site is adopted. Mr. Hill went on to say -
A similar amendment could be made on the south-western boundary, so as to give a water frontage, in the event of the lakes ever being made, and a nice site for workmen’s cottages.
I may mention that Mr. Griffin’s plan shows a series of lakes of varying sizes and shapes, the lower lakes being on the 1,825-ft. level, and the upper lake on the 1,845-ft. contour. The eastern lake will be 20 feet higher than the other lakes, and this will necessitate an embankment over a mile long, costing anything in the neighbourhood of £1,000,000. It is probable, therefore, that the eastern lake- will not be constructed for a long time -
Another suggestion was that the soil from the excavations could be utilized to fill in a sufficient area to provide a water frontage. The approximate length of the south-eastern boundary line is a mile. The amendment of the plan would reduce the area from a little over a square mile to exactly a square mile. The proposal is to erect the workmen’s homes- on both sides of the Queanbeyan-Canberra railway line, with a railway station for the use of the residents somewhere in the centre. A little more than half the area is to be devoted to workmen’s homes, and the remainder to the Small Arms Factory and those other Defence factories which will form part of a complete arsenal. I think the Director-General contemplates including buildings seven times greater than the factory which is at present proposed.
In reply to Mr. Laird Smith, Mr. Hill said -
I think we have reckoned on five workmen’s houses to the acre. The rectangular figure shown on the map to represent the southeastern site was drawn to show the approximate land requirements, but the area outside that figure is available and equally suitable. There was no particular reason for drawing the figure as it is shown; it is merely an approximate indication of the area required for the factory site between the south-eastern boundaries of the city square and the blue area which represents the proposed water frontage. I believe that the erection of the factory at this site will have a temporary tendency to increase tEe population of Queanbeyan, but when the Federal City is built there will be a reaction. The upper lake coloured blue is on the 1,845 contour.
In reply to Mr. Finlayson, Mr. Hill stated -
There is a margin of at least 400 feet between the 1,845 lake level and the boundary of the factory site. To bring the site back a distance of 800 feet from the boundary of the proposed lake would involve an exclusion of some land that is very suitable for factory purposes. The rectangular figure indicating the No. 1 site ii> in no way arbitrary. That site can be extended on the south-eastern and south-western sides, and modified on the north-eastern and north-western side. There is no other likely site for a factory nearer than Jerrabombra
Creek, but that site has the disadvantages of distance from the Molonglo River and from the city, and difficult railway access. The DirectorGeneral did give consideration to the possibility of placing the factory on the Jerrabombra Creek. There is no suitable site in the direction of the lower spurs of Red Hill, except alongside the south-eastern corner of the city, and that area was considered to be too close to the city and too distant from the Molonglo River. All possible sites within some miles of the city boundary were considered, and that now suggested and known as No. 1 site was considered to be the most suitable for the purpose.
That was the conclusion arrived at by the officers of the Department after a careful inspection of every possible site in the neighbourhood of Canberra. No. 1 site was considered to be the most useful for the purpose.
– Does not the honorable senator think that if we had this report to read for the Christmas adjournment Ave would be better informed on this subject)
– I am reading this evidence so that honorable members of the Senate may understand why I am here to-day protesting against this wilful waste of over £150,000. It will be a scandal if this is allowed to be done, and I am placing the facts before honorable members of the Senate so that, if they permit the Government, or the Minister of Home Affairs, to waste this money, the responsibility will be removed from me, and rest upon those honorable members of the Senate who may vote with the Government to carry out this proposal. Mr. Hill stated further-^
There is no danger of the factory buildings being an eyesore when viewed from the city.
– If the factory were brought back 400 or 500 feet, would it then be an eyesore ?
– -No; the evidence shows that it would not, for Mr. Hill said -
They will be of three stories and built in concrete, and, without being lavish in ornamentation, will certainly be in harmony with the surroundings.
If honorable senators have seen the powerhouse at. Canberra, they will admit that it is not an eyesore. It is plainly constructed, and nothing has been wasted in ornamentation, yet there is nothing about it that would offend the most artistic eye. Mr. Hill went on to say -
No trouble need be apprehended from the unattractive appearance of the factory and the workmen’s residences. The possibility of the adjacency of the factory to Queanbeyan hav ing a tendency to develop that town instead of creating a permanent suburb of the city, was considered, and the distance of the site from Queanbeyan was considered to be sufficient to insure that, though the population of Queanbeyan may be temporarily increased, the greater attractiveness of the Federal City, once it begins to develop, will draw this essentially Federal population back to it. The present railway from Queanbeyan to Canberra has not been built at very great expense. The cuttings are shallow, but the rails and sleepers are good and could be used elsewhere. The line could be deviated at small expense. In that respect it is a temporary line, but in all other respects it is well made. The project to join the Yass-Canberra line with the Quean- beyan-Cooma line would not interfere with the factory at the No. 1 site. Assuming that the existing line to Queanbeyan were removed or rearranged, the factory could still be reached by the construction of a short length of siding. If the line shown on Mr. Griffin’s premiated design were carried out, an extension of a siding to the factory would be all that would be required. The site is not far from any possible1 route from Queanbeyan to Yass. Work on the erection of the factory at the south-eastern site could be commenced within a week of the decision of the Government being given. The Director-General estimates that in eighteen months the factory would be ready for work and the residences for occupation. I think that we would probably employ between 300 and 400 men on the job.
In reply to Mr. Sampson, Mr. Hillsaid -
The possible development of the units of the city, as proposed by Mr. Griffin, was considered when the No. 1 site was recommended by the Department. It was not thought that the placing of the factory at this point would interfere with Mr. Griffin’s scheme for the development of the city. Assuming that the civic centre of the city will be to the north of the Molonglo, as shown on Mr. Griffin’s amended plan, I still think that the advantages of adjacency to the railway and the river give the south-eastern site advantages over any other site. If that site be adopted, the workmen and their families will have easy access to the commercial centre of the city. There will be a railway station in the centre of the factory site, and a ride of four and a half miles will take the people into the civic centre. The distance from the northern site to the civic centre in a straight line is three and a half miles. In point of distance from the commercial centre the two sites are much on an equality. There is an additional distance of one mile against the south-eastern site, but whilst the difference between one mile and two miles is considered great, there is practically no difference between three and a half miles and four and a half miles when travelling by train or tram. If the workmen and their families could be brought close in the trading centre without the factory itself being so close to the city as to become a nuisance, it would be desirable to give them that advantage. If we take the market centra as shown on the premiated design to be the trading centre, the advantage is rather in favour of the south-eastern site.* I understood that by the civic centre Mr. Griffin meant the municipal centre, and that between there and the market centre, along the main avenue, would develop a commercial centre, as applied to commerce such as that which is characteristic of Bourke-street or the upper end of George-street, Sydney. If the market centre he the business centre, then it is, according to the plan, fairly central between the northern and south-eastern sites.
Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.30 p.m.
– Mr. Hill gave this further evidence -
To Mr. Laird Smith. - Both sites are governed by the Bed Hill Reservoir, the levels being about 1,900 feet, whilst the level of the reservoir is 2,300 feet. I think No. 1 site, being sheltered by the range of small hills, is the more protected from the prevailing winds. It could also be very easily sheltered by afforestation. The trend of the south-west winds to the north would make the northern site slightly exposed, but I would not say that that was a disadvantage. The smoke tr’ouble is not very great in connexion with modern factories. About the northern site there are several miles of fine cultivable country, but the land to the south-east of the city boundary lias a number of shale ridges, and is much inferior for cultivation purposes.
To Senator Lynch. - The Department, when proposing the No. 1 site, did not consult Mr. Griffin in any way, Mr. Griffin was not available at the time. In any case, the site was suggested in a very great hurry, and as it was not thought that the placing of the factory in the south-eastern corner would in any way affect the design of the city proper, I do not think it occurred to Colonel Owen to consult Mr. Griffin. There was no intentional omission to take that course. From the plans which we perused we were satisfied that the adoption of No. 1 site would not interfere with Mr. Griffin’s plan in any way. Mr. Griffin’s amended plan shows the site surrounded by a suburban extension. The workmen’s homes will be suburban residences, and in that respect will fit right into. Mr. Griffin’s design. The suggestion of the south-eastern site was really governed by its proximity to the river and railway, and the Department’s decision on that point did not interfere with Mr. Griffin’s design as it was then known. There is a difference of 10 or 20 feet in the general levels of the two sites. I do not think that the mean levels of both areas would vary very much from 1,900. Colonel Owen’s estimate that the northern site would involve an additional £8,000 in construction cost did not include provision for a permanent sewer and service connexions. He provided for a temporary septic tank system similar to that at Duntroon. The difference between the two bites in regard to cost of connexion with the main sewer would be considerable. The sewer pipe to the northern site would be 4,800 feet longer, and would cost £15,000 more than the sewer to the south-eastern site. It must be remembered also that a greater period will elapse before a main is required in the north than in the south-east. A water main will cost about £1,000 per mile, and the laying of a permanent main to the northern site would mean an extra cost of some thousands of pounds as compared with the main to the south-eastern site.
Mr. Hill was endeavouring to emphasize the fact that water and sewerage mains would be required in any case in the south-eastern portion of the city to serve Parliament House, the administrative offices, and the residences of Commonwealth officers, and that it would not involve much extra cost to connect up the Small Arms Factory, but that if the Factory was placed away to the north a special sewerage main, a special water main, and a special power cable, which otherwise would not be needed for many years, would be required -
Storm water treatment hardly comes into the calculation at all. When dealing with storm water you provide for the whole district and not for a particular site. When such a scheme for dealing with the storm waters from the north is adopted it will be independent of the Factory, and will be designed in relation to the city itself. All that need be said on this point is that the south-eastern site will readily drain into the Molonglo River, whilst the northern site is a long way from the river. If the civic centre becomes the real centre of the city, the northern site will be the nearer of the two; but if the market centre becomes the real trading centre, the south-eastern site will be slightly the nearer. Both sites are almost equidistant from the commercial centre of the city. The utilization of the south-eastern corner for industrial purposes will leave the northern area available for settlement and agriculture. All correlated factories should be together, and I think the idea in the mind of the Department is that all Commonwealth factories dealing with defence materials should be together on the one site. The surrounding area could then* be utilized for residential purposes, so that the workmen would not be involved in the expense of travelling far to their homes. The south-eastern site is slightly further from what is shown as the civic centre on the premiated design, but it is not further from the commercial centre, or from the “ initial city “ shown on the amended premiated design; in fact, it is nearer to the latter. I think that the No. 2 site is the better fitted for residential purposes, particularly for people who may desire holdings of fair size for orchards and market gardens. The south-eastern site is more adapted for subdivision into small allotments.
On the following day, Mr. Hill, in answer to Mr. Gregory, gave the . following evidence : -
To Mr. Gregory. - In my evidence yesterday I stated that, in my opinion, the No. I site - the south-eastern site - was preferable to the No. 2 site for the proposed factory. I have had experience of town-planning in the case of a number of isolated townships, but no experience of town-planning on such a large scale as is proposed at the Federal Capital. I have, however, gone thoroughly into the matter, and have read up the subject as far as possible. Speaking as an engineer, I do not think that the choice of a particular site for the erection of a Factory as is. now proposed should be left in the hands of the designer of the Capital City. The site of the proposed Factory is away from the city centre, and various engineering matters, such as supplies of water and accessibility, place this proposition outside the scope of the townplanners’ knowledge. We shall also be planting a very large population outside the city site. I understand, according to evidence already given, that 4,000 or 5,000 people will come to reside near the place where this Factory is ultimately erected. The presence of this large number of workmen with their families on the Capital site will, I think, materially benefit Queanbeyan at first, but there is on hand now a proposition for the immediate erection of 140 houses, together with separate quarters for single men. When these are completed, the fact that rents will bc cheaper, and that the people living’ there will have better facilities generally - better sewerage and better water supply - will draw them right away from Queanbeyan. It is, therefore, Mr. Hill’s opinion, and it is mine also, that ultimately the advantages will be with the Federal City, though at present Queanbeyan has advantages which Canberra does not possess. A large army of workmen will be employed building Parliament House, the administrative offices, and other works. Many of them will take their families to Canberra, and the population will soon be sufficiently large to lead to the establishment of places of amusement, shops, &c, with the result that people now residing temporarily at Queanbeyan, pending the building of the Capital city at Canberra, will ultimately move to the Capital city. Mr. Hill also said -
The proposed factory, which, if erected on the No. 1 site, will be from 2J miles to 3 miles from the boundary between Federal and State territory, is to be erected of steel and concrete.
It has been suggested that the effect of establishing the Factory on the southeastern site would tend to increase land values outside the Federal boundaries, and so benefit the land-owners of New South Wales. The fact that the southeastern site is about 3 miles from the boundary is therefore worth noting. The boundary of the Federal Territory is probably about midway between the southeastern site and Queanbeyan itself -
The amount of steel to be used will weigh about 730 tons. The concrete and other materials will, I think, account for over 4,000 tons. .At the present time we are getting supplies of gravel from the large flat alongside the Molonglo north of the power-house.
There are other gravel deposits on the west side of the Molonglo, but it is not proposed to take gravel from there for this proposition. A tremendous gravel bed about half-a-mile away, on the north side, will be available for use should the northern site be selected, after bins and hoists have been constructed there. There is a considerable difference between the two sites in the matter of haulage. In one case we shall have to haul about half-a-mile. In the other the distance will be over 5 miles by road. The granite required for the public buildings in the city will probably be brought in by motor traction. Other stone may come in by train. If the northern site were selected, I think it would cost about 3s. 6d. per ton more for the haulage of gravel and sand, plus loading and unloading, than if the southeastern site were used. In the latter case it will be possible to load right into the trucks and carry the material to where it is required. In the case of the northern site the material will first have to be loaded into a bin, and then into ordinary trucks. It will also be necessary to construct a mile or so of road, heavy enough to take traction-engine traffic, to the No. 2 site. All the concrete required for present buildings will be made from river gravel. It will not be necessary to crush any stone. The concrete used for the power-house was made from gravel just as it was taken from the river. A Commonwealth brickworks has been commenced at the Capital City, but the kiln is not yet finished, and the delivery of machinery from England has been delayed on account of the war. Machines that have been ordered have not yet left England. The comparison between the cost of concrete and brick depends upon locality. Alongside the brickworks a brick house would be cheaper than concrete, because the concrete would have to be carried over a greater distance, but both the No. 1 and the No. 2 sites are, I think, about 8 or 9 miles away from the brickworks, and certainly, as regards the south-eastern site, concrete houses would be the cheaper proposition. The suggestion that a small tramway should be constructed from the brickworks to the factory site would be worth consideration if bricks were available, seeing that both factory and houses have to be erected, but I do not see any possible chance of bricks for use in these buildings being manufactured. At present the kilns are open kilns, and there is only one machine. The permanent brickworks scheme provides for nine machines, which will give an output of 15,000,000 bricks a year, but, under the circumstances, I should not like to say when these machines will be available.
The thickness of the walls of the proposed factory will be as shown on the drawings, and contructed of concrete. The piers will be 8 inches by 4 inches. The rest of the walls will be largely glass. I think the building should be near to the river so as to provide an ample water supply for purposes of condensation. In the power-house we have at present power representing 1,300 kilowats, capable of extension - I am now speaking from memory - to 3,000 kilowats, roughly, about 4,000 horsepower, which will be the full power proposed. We have at present two 800 horse-power and one 150 horse-power engines with room for extension, and also for turbines. It is proposed to supply power’ to the proposed factory from the power-house, but it is possible that ultimately it may be desired that the factory should be self-contained, with the machinery working only a certain number of hours per day. The factory would be a better proposition, and more economical in its working, if it had *a plant working to a fixed load for a certain number of hours per day, instead of its receiving a varying load from the powerhouse.
This will be some answer to Senator Senior’s suggestion that it might be more economical to continue to use the power supplied from the power-house rather than to have a separate installation for the Arsenal. Mr. Hill here gives a reason why it is desirable, if possible, to have a separate installation.
– In America, the practice is to convey electrical power by cable over very long distances, in preference to the erection of new power-houses.
– That may be justified where there is very cheap power available for the generation of the electricity. Mr. Hill continued -
The estimated cost at present is £92,000 without the power plant. The power available now at the Lithgow Small Arms Factory is something over 300 horse-power. If the capacity of proposed factory is doubled, the power required will be over 600 horse-power, and the cost of establishing, say, 650 horse-power in this factory, on the basis of £20 per horsepower, will be about £13,000. Plans for the erection of workmen’s homes are in course of preparation. I have visited Sunshine in order to inspect the different types of concrete houses there. The proposal is to erect houses, some with three rooms and kitchen, some with four rooms and kitchen, some with five rooms and kitchen, so as to accommodate families of varying sizes. The designs will be varied, but we shall endeavour to secure some uniformity of construction in order to keep down the cost. All are to be built of concrete. We have assessed the cost of these cottages at, respectively, £350, £450, and £550, which includes all conveniences. The number of mcn employed at Lithgow prior to the establishment of the second shift was 487, and it is at present estimated that accommodation will be required on the proposed site for about 700 men. Provision for the manager’s house, and for houses for the officials, estimated at £5,000, is included in the cost of the factory. There is no accommodation for workmen on the site now, and the present scheme is to put up about 150 houses, in addition to two large buildings with mess bouses, &c, for single men. That is based upon figures supplied to the Director-General of Works by_ Mr. Jensen as to the ratio of married and single employees at Lithgow. The houses will ultimately be connected with the main sewer, but for the present it is proposed to treat the sewerage, after its passage through an aerobic tank, on a very suitable area within a short distance of the site. Provision is made for the treatment of sewerage from the factory in the estimate before the Committee.
To the Chairman. - The distance from the factory to the nearest end of the proposed outfall sewer is about 2 miles. The section now in hand will be completed in six or nine months, but I do not think that would be in time for the factory and residences.
To Mr. Gregory. - The sewerage from the workmen’s dwellings will be treated for the time being with that from the factory. The expedient is temporary, but the only work that will be lost with the establishment of permanent sewerage will be the area upon which the effluent is deposited and the tank - the pipes will simply be deviated into the main sewer. The estimated cost of the main sewer is £25,000 per mile, which will mean a cost of about £50,000 if the south-eastern site be adopted, and £100,000 if it be decided to use that on the north. The cost of a water reticulation system to the south-eastern site, which will be secured by laying a 9-in. pipe along a distance of about 2 miles, will be about £4,000. In the case of the northern site the cost will be about £10,000. I know the nature of the country to the north of the city, and in my view it would be possible to secure a suitable site in that locality further south than that proposed, but I think the land on the northern side of the city is altogether too good for the erection of factories. I have worked out the probable cost of water supply on a basis of a population of 25,000. The scheme at present provides for a supply costing ls. per thousand gallons, but it has not yet been approved. The actual cost has been worked out at not much over 6d. per thousand gallons at the service reservoir.
Before connexion can bc made to any main sewer, the main sewer will have to be extended a distance of about 6 miles, but for the present the temporary system is desirable. I do not think the cost of providing for treatment of sewerage from the factory will be more than £800, and the total estimated cost of the temporary scheme will be about £2,000. The cost of lighting is provided for in the estimate of the factory, and the estimate of £450 for a four-roomed workman’s home includes interior lighting, but not the street mains. The cost of carrying the mains to the houses, a distance of about 24 miles away, may be reckoned at about £300. The question of site has received a good deal of consideration, but I cannot see any site that would suit as well as No. 1 site.
Honorable senators will see how emphatic this engineer is as to the desirability of selecting No. 1 site for the Arsenal. In reply to Senator Keating, he said -
In considering the two suggested sites I have regarded the present railway communication as a most important factor, because the erection of both houses and factory is a matter of urgency. In the case of the south-eastern site, the only additional railway communication that will be immediately required will be an extension of the present railway over a distance of about five-eighths of a mile. In the case of the No. 2 site, 6 miles of railway, with a mile or so of sidings, will be required. The same amount of sidings will not be needed for the No. I site. The 6 miles necessary for the No. 2 site cannot be regarded as’ immediately urgent, though that portion is- part of the general railway scheme in connexion with the Federal area, in order to effect the contemplated connexion with Yass. In my view, that portion of the railway will not be required until Parliament House is ready for occupation. The country between Canberra and Yass does not demand a railway at present. I understand that Mr. Bell, the Engineer for Railways, has estimated that eighteen months would be occupied in the construction of 6 miles of railway under ordinary conditions, Largely because of the bridge that would have to be constructed over the Molonglo. I do not know whether in that estimate regard was had to the number of men who would be employed. If the work were a straightout earth-work proposition, the period of construction would depend largely upon the number of men at work; but the crux of this proposition is the bridge over the Molonglo, which is not work upon which a large number of men . can be crowded. Material is a much more important item.
– He does not give an estimate of the cost of the bridge)
– No; but Mr. Bell or Mr. Hobler gave an estimate, which I will come to by-and-by.
The estimates for the residences and the other estimated items contained in page 7 of the report in the hands of the Committee were framed on the assumption that thu No. 1 site would be adopted, and they are not applicable to other sites.
I wish to point out here that, in arriving at their decision with regard to ultimately removing the Small Arms Factory from Lithgow, the Public Works Committee were largely influenced by the cost involved, by the fact that houses could be provided at a very much cheaper rate at Canberra, or, as an alternative, that very much better houses could be provided there for the same cost. The Committee were guided very largely in arriving at their recommendation by the estimate given to them by the officers of the Department, Colonel Owen, and Mr. Hill, and the latter is now making it clear that when they gave those estimates they had in view No. 1 site only. I venture to say that had the estimated cost of No. 2 site been submitted to the Committee they would not have recommended the removal of the Factory from Lithgow if they had had any idea that an enormously increased cost would be occasioned thereby. «As ‘) said, they were guided by the report of the officers who selected that which they considered the most suitable site, and the one on which the Factory could be most economically constructed.
– Have you at hand an estimate of the cost of extending the Factory, and the cost of its transfer to Can berra, so that we might make a comparison?
– Speaking from memory, I think that that estimate is given in evidence in the same report to which we will come later.
If the No. 2 site were adopted the extra cost, exclusive of the railway, would be £8,588 - I think that is the sum mentioned by the DirectorGeneral. I do not know whether any provision was made for the urgent delivery of tlie machinery required for this Factory. In his evidence Mr. Wright, the manager of the Small Arms Factory, said the machinery would be in Australia within twelve months; but I have no knowledge on that point. The brick works at Canberra are held up owing to the fact that the necessary machinery will not be available for some time. Some of the locallymade machinery has been delivered, but the brick-making machines have to be imported. 1 am chary of expressing any opinion as to whether the same difficulty will be ‘experienced in obtaining machinery for the Small Arms Factory; but, knowing that this is a defence matter of considerable urgency, I should say that it is possible the machinery will arrive within contract time. Probably when the order was placed, delivery within a specified period was insisted upon. When once the site is selected, all work will proceed simultaneously. We shall proceed at once with the layout of the whole area, with the construction of roads, the Factory, the workmen’s homes, and the barracks, so as to have all the accommodation there as quickly as possible. We are in a position to commence operations within a week after the site is selected. No work is at present going on, but plans are being prepared, estimates obtained, and certain material, such as copper wire, which we do not desire to be held up for, is being secured. Work will be delayed just for the period that elapses until the actual site is determined upon. Immediately we know which site is selected work will be commenced. We have a staff of men and plant on the spot with which wo can start work in a day or so. That applies to both Factory and workmen’s homes.
– Does the question of the plans obtain in regard to both sites? A variation might be rendered necessary.
– So far as the plan’s of the buildings are concerned I do not think that there would be any variation.
– Owing to a difference in the elevation of the land the understructure of the buildings might have to be varied.
– Yes. Colonel Owen estimated a considerable addition to the cost by reason of the fact that the foundations would necessarily have to be made deeper on No. 2 site than on No. 1 site, because, at the former, there was an alluvial deposit of considerable depth, which would have to be gone through before satisfactory foundations for the Factory could be obtained. But, in fairness, I must also say that boring operations revealed that the foundations were fairly good; in fact, quite good enough for the erection of light cottages for workmen’s residences.
– But that would not obtain in regard to a heavy building like a factory ?
– No; extra cost would be involved in the foundations for the Factory buildings.
Plans for the lay-out of the site and for roads would not occupy long. The DirectorGeneral in his evidence mentioned a period of eighteen months as the time likely to be occupied in the erection of the Factory and the inclusion of the first lot of machinery. As soon as the roof and the floor of the Factory are completed, .it will be possible to commence the installation of machinery. The floors will be of concrete, with lj-in. wood, upon which the machinery will be fixed. I do not anticipate any difficulty in the matter of labour. There have been times, for instance, in the erection of the Military College, when difficulty has been experienced in getting suitable labour; but it was not of long duration, and the prospect of continuous employment will, I think, attract plenty of labour to this work. If work were commenced within a week, it would be necessary to transfer men now employed on other work; but for the most part’ such men would be glad of the opportunity, and other labour would be readily available. Approximately between 300 and 400 men will be employed on this work, including the number required for the short stretch of railway, which is only a very small matter.
Mr. Hill is referring then to No. 1 site. The railway could only be a very small matter if that site were adopted.
To Mr. Fenton. - I have had some experience of the cold and fog referred to in the evidence given by Mr. Hunt. Frequently in coming across from Yass to Canberra, just as we get opposite to the site to the north of the city, we strike a belt of fog and cold. It is one of the coldest places I know of on the Yass-road. I do not know anything about whether the atmosphere surrounding No. 2 site is likely to be a bad one to live and work in, but for a certain number of mornings in the year it would be very cold. The estimated cost of the workmen’s dwellings which I have just given includes all the conveniences necessary to make the houses ready for occupation. They will be constructed of ordinary concrete, not reinforced concrete. I have had a good deal of experience of concrete buildings, some of which, having been up for a number of years, are as good to-day as when they were built. Concrete lias been used in many Government buildings and stores, and is practically indestructible. In fact, it improves with age. The life of ordinary concrete buildings is certainly as long as the life of buildings erected of reinforced concrete. With reinforcement the amount of concrete is less, and the walls are not so thick; but I do not know that a reinforced wall ls any stronger than the proportionately thicker concrete wall. A 9-in. concrete wall is as good as a 3 -in. reinforced concrete wall. It is as durable and less expensive. Floor slabs of reinforced concrete are rarely more than 3 inches thick, and it is quite usual to construct ‘ partition walls of reinforced concrete 3 inches thick. The Director-General in his evidence as to the period likely to be occupied in completing the Factory and buildings on the northern area, as compared with the southeastern area, put down the difference as 25 per cent, greater, which means that two years would elapse before the northern site would be ready for use. I still adhere to the opinion that the city would not be affected by the discharge of smoke or fumes from the southeastern site. In fact, I have given some consideration to the matter since I referred to it previously, and I think the Factory will be an attractive additional feature to the landscape. The Factory buildings are being so designed that, with the cottages and general lay-out, the area will become quite a garden suburb. The Factory will face north-east and south-west
To Senator Story. - I assisted in the preparation of the estimate upon which Colonel Owen based his statement that No. 2 site would involve an additional expenditure of £8,588. Colonel Owen also stated the powerhouse would cost an additional £4,000 or £6,000. In this he was referring to the 300 horse-power which would be required over that now existing at Lithgow. If full power were erected at this- Factory, the cost would be £12,000 or £13,000 additional, assuming, that is, that no power were removed from Lithgow. To put the same plant down on the northern site would involve a still further additional amount on account of the “lack of condensing water. The estimate of the additional cost referred to on page 59 of the report, now in the hands of the Committee, for the maintenance of cooling towers and the pumping of water from the Molonglo to keep the cooling towers going, would apply to the full 600 horse-power. I have seen the extract from Mr. Griffin’s report contained on page 56, in which, referring to the railway and river facilities, it is stated that manufacturing enterprise might be concentrated in one of the southern suburbs. I would not like to say what was in Mr. Griffin’s mind when he made the statement, but it seems to suggest that he had in view the locality comprising the present southeastern site. The temporary sewerage system proposed for the Factory and the workmen’s homes would be suitable for several years. The construction of the main sewer is not regarded as a matter of urgency, and the loss involved by the transfer from the temporary to the permanent system would only include temporary sewage area and the anarobic tanks. The designs for the workmen’s cottages will be available for either site, and the construction of the proposed barracks will probably be hastened in order to provide accommodation for the men engaged in the building operations. We desire to get rid of the tents as early as possible. I do not think much time would elapse before the cottages were ready for occupation. Our idea was that the quicker we could get the rentals in the better. The construction of about 2 miles of ordinary gravel road will eventually be necessary in case the No. 1 site is selected; but all that is immediately needed is about half-a-mile of road from the existing road. A road would probably be built into the city from the railway siding, and water could at the same time be laid on from the Molonglo. If the Committee were to take three or four weeks before reporting on this subject, that three or four weeks would be so much delay in the construction of the works.
To Mr. Gregory. - Provision for recreation is included in the plans for the barracks.
To Mr. Sampson. - I do not know that Mr.. Griffin’s scheme has been adopted by the Board, and I am not aware of the existence of any report from any Board to Parliament. I remember that the Board, of which I am a member, met Mr. Griffin at the direction of the Minister, and considered his design, which he modified in certain particulars as regards the disposition of the banks of the lake and the position of the railway, but we did not progress very far, and we did not give any general approval to the whole scheme. Taking Mr. Griffin’s scheme as a basis, however, I do not think the selection of the No. 1 site will interfere with the city plan. By a very slight amendment the water frontage to the upper, lake can be retained, and I do not see anything in the proposal to seriously affect Mr. Griffin’s plan. All the roads shown in Mr. Griffin’s plan could be very easily adapted to the presence of this factory on the southeastern site. If a railway were adjacent to the No. 2 site, as it is to the No. 1 site, I should still affirm that the No. 1 site was the more suitable on account of its nearness to the Molonglo River. I also think that the northern site could be better used for other purposes. It is a far better site for other purposes, and the land is far better land. I have other minor reasons, but these are- my two chief reasons for preferring the No. 1 site.
That concluded the examination of Mr. Hill. The next witness was Walter Burley Griffin, Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction. Having quoted the whole of Mr. Hill’s evidence, it is only fair that I should also quote the whole of the evidence of Mr. Griffin.
– This question apparently resolves itself into a struggle between Mr. Griffin and the engineer of the Home Affairs Department.
– It is practically a struggle between Mr. Griffin and all the engineers of the Department. According to Mr. Griffin, every departmental engineer is endeavouring to prevent his design from being carried out. From my own observation, however, I am satisfied that there is not an officer in the Department who is actuated by any desire other than to do his best in the interests of the Commonwealth as a whole. Before proceeding to quote Mr. Griffin’s evidence, I desire to explain that that gentleman had previously been examined by the Public Works Committee in connexion with the proposed extension of the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow, and the suggested removal of that establishment to Canberra. In reply to the chairman, Mr. Griffin stated -
Ever since our last discussion of this subject, I have had two men working on the contours of this extension plan, with the object of showing the relation of the commercial centre to the two proposed sites for the Small Arms Factory. When it is completed it will show the flat land running from north to south, and a flat area in the Duntroon Valley to the north-east, as well as a small valley to the south-west. Those areas will all be available for the ordinary -usages of the city. I mean for the development of population, which must settle on the most easily adaptable sites. Ultimately the railway should cross the Queanbeyan plains too, and open up a good deal of valuable land there for settlement. The square city area is purely an arbitrary designation applied to a portion of the whole of this available area. Mount Vernon is the most central and most accessible point in the whole of the 64 square miles of the extension plan, and it is desirable as the commercial centre, because of its accessibility, and of its commanding position from a scenic point of view. Colonel Vernon wanted to put the parliamentary buildings there; and he desired me to investigate with that object in view, but I had already selected that centre, which I regarded as the most suitable for the business centre and the centre of gravity of the whole city and suburbs, where all the general functions that appertain to a city could best be carried on. The market centre, to the south-east of the civic centre, is about a mile or a mile and a third distant. I would not expect this market centre to develop until at a later stage in the history of the Capital City.
– What distance would that be from the market centre ?
– No. 1 site would be distant from the market centre about 3 miles. Mr. Griffin proceeded -
In the early stages the markets would be very small affairs. Mount Vernon would be easy of access from the Military College and residential centre. . . . The market site could be regarded as a parallel case to the Victoria Markets in Melbourne. It would hardly be consistent with the proper development of a modern city if markets were located in the business centre. In modern townplanning, the main thoroughfares are designed to carry three or four kinds of traffic, such as rapid transit, tramways, vehicles, and pedestrian traffic. We no longer consider the distances as walking routes in any “city, even a small city, but we provide a” public transportation system to get the people to and from their work as the development of a modern city proceeds. But for this system of public transportation the slum difficulty would be accentuated. You can hardly separate the different functions of the Capital City, which will include the commercial and residential centres, Military ‘ College, Military Headquarters, Government, and the higher education centres. These are all so planned as to be readily accessible one to the other.
– The military headquarters are nearer to No. 1 site than to No. 2 site?
– They are several miles nearer. The witness continued -
To the Chairman. - The factory or industrial development of the city must, if necessary, be connected with its administrative development. Both depend almost to the same extent upon railroad accessibility and transportation. As industrial development proceeds, other manufactures, besides that of small arms, will be initiated. The industrial suburb, as I have planned it, is 1£ miles north of the business or commercial centre. This factory district for Commonwealth munitions and military supplies is radially connected with the north manufacturing suburb, and is situated in the north-east corner. It is rather less than 2 miles from the administrative centre. The distance from the business centre to the departmental factory suburb in the south-east corner is about 5J miles. In giving these distances I am taking the centre of the suburb in each instance. The people who may be employed in these factories will congregate for their own functions in their suburban centre in either case. … I designate the south-east area the departmental factory site. Hie power station is fixed on the south bank of the eastern circular basin, and the distance from the power station to the north suburban centre is ‘ approximately 5£ miles. It is not proposed to erect a sub-power station, but to have a concentrated power unit. I want to point out that this station is not located where I desired it should be. I had in mind, and originally showed, a more central site, but the station was placed where it is withold; reference to me. It is 5) miles from the railroad yards, and approximately the same distance from the northern factory site. From the power station to the departmental factory site the distance is 2J miles. That makes a distance of 7f miles between the two suggested sites. While I am giving these figures, I would like to supplement the information I gave when last before the Committee with regard to the distances to Sydney, Queanbeyan, and Albury. From Sydney to the railway yards, via Yass, the distance is 230 miles, and via Queanbeyan, 207 miles.
– That consideration does not seem to affect thi sites at all.
– The question at issue was whether the .traffic from Sydney would ultimately find its way to Canberra vid Queanbeyan or vid Yass. Evidently Mr. Griffin’s opinion is that it will go vid Yass, although that route is a little longer, because there is a faster service and easier grade. Mr. Griffin proceeded -
From Albury to the factory site or railway yards, via Yass, the distance is 244 miles, and vid Queanbeyan, 327 miles.
That was stated with a view to proving the accuracy of Mr. Griffin’s assumption that in the near future a railway must be constructed from Yass to Canberra, and that when this work is an accomplished fact, the northern site will be freed from many of the disabilities under which it must suffer in the interim. Mr. Griffin went on to say -
The grades on these alternative branches from the main line are : Goulburn to Mount Fairy, 12 feet per mile rise; Mount Fairy, as the crest of this line to Queanbeyan, 22 feet per mile fall. From Yass Junction to the north manufacturing suburb, 5£ feet per mile rise.
In reply to the Chairman, he said -
It is not true to say that the establishment of the munition factory in the south-east corner on the departmental site will not interfere with the development of the city on the prize design.
That was in reply to a suggestion that the No. 1 site would not interfere with his design as it was entirely outside the boundary, and he was combating that suggestion. He said -
I submitted originally an extension of that plan, which was taken into consideration when my design was selected, and, as I have said, the Capital City area is, after all, only an arbitrary boundary. The establishment of the factory on the departmental site would be extremely vital in its effect on the city as planned, because it would upset entirely the centre of gravity. We could not have everything on the south side, and expect the city to develop symmetrically as it was designed to develop. Even to save expense, and to have the factory erected quickly, it would not be possible, in my opinion, to re-arrange the design so as not to interfere with the general scheme. The factory there could not be made to fit in with the design.
As honorable members will see, Mr. Griffin is very emphatic on the point. In reply to Mr. Sampson, he said -
If the engineer who was before the Committee yesterday said he could erect a factory there without interfering with the design, he made an error. A factory on that site would practically cut off the whole of the eastern lake from the people, and interfere with their enjoyment of it, because, with the factory established, railway facilities must also be provided. Thus the people would be almost entirely cut off from the use of the water, and they would not enjoy to the full extent the utility of the parks, which are valuable to the people according to the extent of their accessibility.
In reply to Mr. Fenton, he said -
There is a consistent scheme for a line of parks through the whole city area.
– Are there any parks that would interfere with the building of the Factory at that point?
– According to the engineers, and from my own observation, it is, as I pointed out this morning, problematical whether there will ever be a lake there. The eastern lake is an entirely different scheme from the string of lakes which were part of Mr. Griffin’s design. This eastern lake will be an enormous sheet of water, which can only be obtained by erecting an embankment at a cost which will be so enormous that I feel sure the lake will not be constructed in our time, and consequently there will be no water frontage to interfere with. In reply to Mr. Sampson, he said -
I remember that I stated on a former occasion, “ The centre lying from northward of the city was originally designated ‘ manufactures,’ but conditions in the early growth, with the railroad facilities limited to the south of the Molonglo, may necessitate that such activities be concentrated in one of the southern suburbs.
– That will practically conform to his original plan.
– I do not know whether it was his original plan or not, but it was a plan which he consented to after consulting with Colonel Owen and other officers of the Department. Mr. Griffin, at any rate, agreed to them as something of a compromise : but it really was Mr. Griffin’s plan, and in his evidence he dealt with that aspect of it. He added -
Furthermore, it is possible the summer northerly winds may render the northern point less accessible than a southern one for this purpose.” That statement, made in 1913, I think, was somewhat carelessly worded.
Honorable senators will see that he is en- ‘ deavouring to explain that away -
The activities contemplated when that paragraph was written were only small preparatory works, and purely temporary operations. Nobody had in view the establishment of a permanent factory centre, and I may have been impressed by the fact that the railway from Yass would not be constructed for many years. It was never supposed at that time that a manufacturing suburb would be established on the south side of the city.
In reply to the Chairman, he said -
The fact that the northern factory site is not connected by a railway need not affect the consideration of this problem. I saw a statement in the paper the other day that the Government were building the transcontinental railway at the rate of a mile and a half a day. We could build a railway to that factory site on a surface grade from the existing line from Queanbeyan.
In reply to Mr. Gregory, he said -
The Molonglo could be spanned by a small trestle bridge at a cost about £5 per running foot.
In reply to Senator Lynch, Mr. Griffin said -
The possibility of any danger to a bridge of that description from floods could be ignored for the time being. Even if it were under water for 24 hours, the work could be adjusted to it.
In reply to the Chairman, Mr. Griffin said -
I am not aware that I can assist the Committee by any suggestion to place the factory on the departmental site. This is the position I am put in : Everything that has been located on this plan has been done without any reference to my plan, and I have had no opportunity to protest. Even the brick-yards have been established on the present site without reference to me, thus introducing an element of industry away from my industrial line, but I did not have an opportunity to protest.
That was the attitude taken up by Mr. Griffin all through. He held the view that he should have a say where such works and brick-yards should be established. I may point out that the officers fixed on the present site of the brickworks because there is a magnificent deposit of shale there in the shape of a hill which can be economically converted into bricks. Mr. Griffin complained that he was not consulted. Had he been consulted, probably he would have fixed the site some miles away and would have connected the shale deposits with the brickworks by tram-line or something of that kind, and would have dragged the shale all that distance to the works. The cost would be a matter of no moment to Mr. Griffin. His one desire is to carry out as speedily as possible his design in his ownway. It would be nothing to him if people had to travel 4 or 5 miles to do their shopping, so long as he could carry out his design according to his own ideas. The expense or inconvenience to the early settlers would be no concern of his. In reply to Mr. Sampson, he said - I would establish the brick-yards in the northern section of the railway line where the shale deposit exists, or in the south-east corner near the Jerrabombera Valley, where there is also a shale deposit. These would be in their true relation to Mount Vernon as the centre of gravity, but by shifting an industry of that character to the south of the river we would have the centre of gravity at some point south-east of Parliament House.
I have given Mr. Hill’s evidence very fully, and in fairness to Mr. Griffin I feel I must give his evidence as fully as possible. Mr. Griffin, in reply to my question, said -
If you ask me if I think an insuperable difficulty will not arise through placing the factory on the departmental site, and concentrating all the other factories which might later on be expected to be established where I think they should be placed, and if you ask me to assume that the buildings to be placed on the departmental site will not be unsightly, and thus will not interfere with the general scheme for the city, I would say that I would not like to trust to chance in that matter. The idea of modern town-planning is to locate industries or activities in the places where they will definitely, be in accord with the general scheme. The plan is not for a big city such as Melbourne, for instance. The scheme is to allow individuals more room, and to concentrate development along lines of transit facilities. I realize what members of the Committee have in view, namely, that other factories will later on be established, and that there is a fear that two, or three, or four different centres might be established a mile or so apart from each other, but I ‘ want to make it clear that all through my evidence I have endeavoured to show that we want to begin development at Mount Vernon, which will be about lj miles from the factory suburb.
– What is this Mount Vernon that he talks about; is it some volcano 1
– Mount Vernon is Mr. Griffin’s civic centre, where the town hall and other municipal buildings will be erected. From this place there will be a wide avenue running in a direct line to Parliament House. Continuing, Mr. Griffin said -
That scheme would be more in accord with the symmetrical development of the city than the establishment of a site on the south-east corner.
If the Munitions Factory is established _ on the northern site, it will be about 3 miles from the river. I am aware that there will probably be a large amount of work in connexion with the erection of the parliamentary buildings, and that the workmen will have to be provided for. If I had my way I would put the factory on the northern site. It might just as well be put there as on the southeastern site, and in relation to the general scheme it would be more convenient. The workmen, it is true, would have to proceed some distance to their work, but, generally speaking, you can hardly expect workmen to live a distance of less than a mile from their work.
Mr. Griffin evidently did not know that if a workman in New South Wales walks over a mile to his work, he is paid for the time so occupied, which would naturally largely increase the cost of making small arms or other munitions of war at Canberra/ -
I realize that the argument might be advanced that, as the Federal Capital City will not be a city in the real sense of the word within, perhaps, the next 25 or 50 years, some inconvenience might be caused by concentrating settlement as designed in my plan, but I think we should be willing to submit to some inconvenience in the interests of the future Capital City. As a matter of fact, I do not think there will be any appreciable difference in convenience if the location of the factory is on the south side near the railway terminus, or on the north side near the municipal centre. It is true that the powerhouse is located south of the river, and that it will give employment to an inconsiderable number of men who are at present housed in galvanized-iron humpies. These buildings may e regarded as temporary homes, but I do not think they should be tolerated in the development of the city scheme. I feel strongly on this matter, for I think now is the time to determine whether we shall start in the right direction for the development of the future city. If we start in the wrong direction, mistakes will in all probability be perpetuated by posterity. Though the fact that people are settled temporarily in the south-eastern corner may not determine the course of future settlement, I think it will go a long way in that direction. It all depends on the future control of the city’s growth, and how strongly that control will be exercised. I should say we do not want our scheme to be jeopardized by adopting a wrong course of action, but that we should lay down directions, and establish definite lines along which the city should develop. If we do that, we will be doing our duty, and if we do anything else than that, we will jeopardize the whole scheme. I think we should insist upon settlement in the defined areas, even at the cost of considerable present personal inconvenience, but I would like to join issue with you on the amount of that inconvenience, because I think it will be only slight. But regardless of that, we ought to sacrifice present convenience for the future benefit of the city.
Right through the piece, Mr. Griffin has adopted the attitude that present convenience or economy should all be sacrificed in the interests of the ultimate perfection of his design, which certainly cannot be realized for one or two hundred years -
If mistakes are made now it will mean vastly greater expense later on if we attempt to rectify them. The Munitions Factory could not be laid down on the south-eastern site without permanently interfering with any design for the city, because the factory will be planned right on top of streets and thoroughfares.
The site selected by the officers of the Department does not show on Mr. Griffin’s plan the slightest trace of any street or avenue. It is simply an open piece of land apparently reserved for a park’ -
There is an average distance of between 400 feet and 500 feet between the streets, but there would not be room for a factory without interfering with the design, because the factory means not only buildings, but railroad tracks, and room for buildings for the storage of goods. It will not be possible, because of the configuration of the country, to take a siding direct from the existing railway and run it through the factory, as the railway passes along a valley, and in between two hills, where there is already an over-bridge leading to a paddock to the north, so the railway would have to be taken off near the river bank to get a possible grade. I think it would be an advantage if the members of the Committee made a personal inspection of the northern site. I understand it has been stated to be absolutely essential that the Munitions Factory should be near the water on account of the necessity for a cheap supply of cooling water for power, but I would point out that the original proposition stated that one unit of power would be established for the whole city, and that is already properly in the vicinity of the water. To the south of No. 1 factory site, as indicated on the plan, there is provision for an agricultural suburb on the eastern slopes from Mugga Mugga. That country, I should imagine, would eventually be used for market gardening and dairying, and ready means of access from that locality to the city markets could be provided, without interfering with the ordinary business traffic to the business centre. In deciding upon a suitable position for the establishment of a Small Arms Factory aa between the south-east site proposed by the Department and the northern site which T have suggested, one of the main features determining the decision is the proximity to the city of the proposed factory site. I consider that the business area I have proposed to the north should be developed immediately. I would go ahead with the development of that area, and for the present that area alone.
This means that, although the primary object of the city is to contain Parliament House and the administrative offices, Mr. Griffin would go on with the development of the area on the opposite side of the river before Parliament House was started - a peculiar position for any man to take up -
Attention must be paid to the different functions for which provision has to be made. The work of the city is business, and the work of the Parliament is a specialty, and not the business of the city. It is a function which is complete in itself within the city, but it is not the main function of the city.
The main function for which provision has to be made in the city is parliamentary. But for the fact that a home has to be provided for the Federal Parliament, there would be no need for its establishment -
There is an essential distinction to be drawn between the special functions of the Parlia ment, the University, or the Military College, and those of the city as an aggregation of” people living together. I have been reading Colonel Owen’s evidence, and it appears to meto be his idea to centre the city in the southeastern corner for much the same reasons as I contend that the business centre of the city should be in the north. He appears to meto wish to commence with the original business centre in the south-east corner. I consider that proposal much more arbitrary and’ less in accordance with the desire to fully utilize the natural advantages of the wholecity site than to begin to establish the population in the northern business centre, as I propose, and develop around that. Looking at the city from a business point of view, I insist that the northern development I suggest would be the better. When I am asked’ to free my mind of the idea of a business development in the northern centre and look at the city from the parliamentary and legislative point of view alone, I am really asked’ to qualify the situation by eliminating themost essential considerations. The Parliament buildings are properly situated in a residential, and not in a business, environment. _ For that reason it is right to develop the business centre away from the parliamentary centre. With that object in view, I think I have suggested the right place for the development of the business centre, giving the greatest room forexpansion with the least necessity for any interference with other functions and requirements of the city. It is true that I have provided for an attractive residential suburb and business centre in the south-east. Therewill be suburban business centres, as there are in the suburbs of Melbourne, but my proposal is the establishment of the general business distributing centre in the north. The danger of starting a local distributing centrein the wrong location is that it becomes thegeneral distributing centre, in spite of every effort to keep it in its proper place. By starting the general business centre in the right place it is possible to force the advantages of that .centre! and preserve ‘tha general scheme of development. I remind the members of the Committee that we have at Canberra already the nucleus of another large undertaking in the Military College. It will be extended to cover other military activities, and this may be done simultaneously with the development of the administrative centre. Provision is made on the opposite side of the parliamentary centre for the development of a third special function in the shape of the educational centre. That is a specialty _ in just the same way that the legislative function is a specialty. The two centres to which I have referred are radially accessible to the administrative and parliamentary centre. The object of establishing the business centre in the north, as I propose, is to make it serve the whole, and not a particular locality. To do otherwise would involve the establishment of two general business distributing centres. Assuming that the idea is to have the Small Arms Factory established and at work in twelve months’ time, I do not think it can be said that it would be isolated for some considerable time . after its establishment, because it would not be more than a mile and a half from the centre of the residential area, between the bite for the manufacturing function and the central Bite for the’ parliamentary and administrative function. The establishment of the factory and the building of Parliament House could go on simultaneously, and the workmen required for both could be located in the centre of gravity between the two.
This means that if the Factory was placed to the north, and’ the work of building Parliament House and the administrative offices was going on, Mr. Griffin would have a settlement midway between the two, necessitating a walk of 2 miles for the Factory workmen, and another 2 miles for the building workmen. This, he says, is necessary “ in order to preserve the centre of gravity “ ! In reply to my suggestion that it might be objectionable to have two isolated communities some miles apart, the witness said -
An objection on the score of isolation would apply with equal force to the selection of the proposed site for the Small Arms Factory in the south-east corner. I cannot conceive that Parliament House is going to be administered from a factory suburb, or that that would be the place of residence of officials connected with the legislative activities. To establish the factory there would lead to the establishment of another residential centre between the site at the south-cast corner and the administrative centre. The centre which has been established there now can only be regarded as temporary, and cannot be allowed to continue to exist. It is due to the stoppage of the railway at that particular point. It would be dangerous to allow it to continue to exist, because it is not in accord with what should be the character of the Federal Capital.
This temporary settlement has already taken place at Canberra. The nien employed at the power-house and at the brick works have built temporary homes at some little distance from their work, in which they have contrived to make themselves fairly comfortable. I quite agree with Mr. Griffin that this temporary settlement, consisting of unsightly buildings, cannot be allowed to exist when the parliamentary and administrative buildings have been completed, and the occupation of the Capital has been begun. Mr. Griffin continued -
The power plant has always been considered an isolated feature. I am laying out a town in New South Wales now in connexion with which provision is made for the establishment of the power plant 2 miles out of the town. In my original plan the power plant was located with reference to the river in just about such a position as it occupies now. The difficulty about the proposal to establish the Small Arms Factory on the south-east site is that there would be a tendency to the establishment of a centre between that site and the parliamentary centre. That, in Colonel
Owen’s view, is what should be done. He is - of opinion that it is wrong to develop the north side of the river. My view is diametrically opposed to that. I believe that the south side of the river is not so adaptable for the development of the city as is the north side. If the main functions and operations of the city are confined to the south and southeastern corner for the next fifty years, as you suggest, I do net think that can be done consistently with the proper development of my plan. I fear that it would jeopardize the future development of the city in the north. It should be remembered that the officers of the Works Department who are proposing this are absolutely opposed to development in the northern part of the city. I think that my proposal could be economically carried out. Railway communication could be provided without difficulty. The Queanbeyan terminal might easily be extended across the river. I object to the development of the south-east because it would jeopardize the development in the north for which I have provided, and would not merely postpone it. I do not think that there is much difference between the sites that would be suitable for the establishment of a Small Arms Factory and for the establishment of factories for trie manufacture of shells and other warlike materials. It is my idea that there could be a transference of labour from one factory to the other, and there could be co-operation of families. These factories might be distinct, but I do not think that they should necessarily be isolated. I do not see why the same railroad facilities and industrial habitations should not serve these different factories. I do not know that it would be any advantage to the Sm ill Arms Factory to be isolated from other factories, and I can easily believe that it would suffer many disadvantages from isolation. I have designed an attractive part and residential suburb in the south-eastern corner, and if the Small Arms Factory were established there the result would be that the railway and the factory would cut off the water front from the proposed residential suburb. Another objection to the establishment of the factory in the south-east corner is that it is getting closer and closer to Queanbeyan. We are already running some danger of affecting Queanbeyan in the very way in which we want to affect our own city area. An established centre has always an attracting power, and I am afraid that the establishment of a Small Arms Factory in the south-east corner would affect the wrong portion of our area for our purposes. If a suitable site for the factory could be found on the south side of the railway and nearer to the parliamentary centre than that suggested by the Department, tho objection I have just urged would be lessened, but that would cut off all access to the largest _ of the lakes from what is proposed as a residential portion. The whole of the lake would be excluded from access right up to the dam. It would still be open to the objection I have urged, that it would throw the centre of gravity to one side instead of to what I consider should be the centre. To give you an instance of what I mean, I may mention that in the original plan of Washington it was intended that an avenue ‘extending for a mile out from the centre of the Capitol should be the main business thoroughfare. There was, however, a diagonal connecting Congress with Georgetown, an old colonial town settlement and established business centre in the opposite direction. Congress was at the extreme opposite end of the .diagonal from Georgetown, and half way between the extremes business started to generate, and it is there to-day, and not as originally planned. The result is that, the whole capital site is faced in the opposite direction to what was intended. Washington was ‘established in 1792, but although it is not to-day looked upon as a business centre, it is much more than a governmental or official centre. Those connected with the government of the country form but a small part of the total population of Washington. 1 can scarcely say that they are industrial activities, but many publishing houses, educational societies of various kinds, and scientific organizations have their head-quarters at Washington. They represent activities apart from official and governmental activities. Washington has a population of 325,000 people, and though it has been suggested that it is a social, not a business centre, there are some sky-scraper office buildings there. The original proposal would have led to the establishment of an attractive business centre, but, unfortunately, the business development did not occur where the original designer of the capital provided for it. The land values which be created in advance had a natural tendency, when land speculation set in, to divert the business centre in a direction other than that originally contemplated, but if a bridge had been built across the Anacosta branch of the river, and the traffic brought in from the east through Blandenburg, the originally designed business thoroughfare would probably have become the actual business thoroughfare.
To Senator Lunch. - The objection to the departmental site which bulks larger in my mind than any other is that it would have the effect of establishing: a focal point of city development in the opposite direction from that intended, and would subvert the intended growth of thu city. It would remove the balance of settlement from the point I intended for it. Tf the centre proposed were Selected as the industrial centre, it would be necessary to re-design the city. To establish a centre to the east of the administrative centre would be to cut off from the city the prospect nf the mountains, which was considered a most, important feature in the preparation of the original design. The designed centre nf the city is north of the water. I consider that the best part of the site lies north of the water, and it would be more to the satisfaction of the people, and to the greater advantage of Mie city as a whole, that the development should take place there.
Yet Mr. Griffin has advised that the parliamentary buildings and administrative offices should be erected on the south side of the river. He said further -
The main feature of the manufacturing district that I have suggested is the asembling of the railway traffic. One of the’ vital consideration* in the manufacturing group must be immediate track access to all its units. They should be as near as possible to where the cars -are assembled and despatched. I do not, by proposing the establishment of the factory at the northern site, suggest any curtailment of the accommodation for railway business, because in my ‘ original plan that space was intended for the development of factories. I have said that one of the objections to the establishment of the factory on the site suggested by the Department is that it would seriously interfere with what is intended to be a residential suburb. It is true that I have made provision for a residential area in the north also, but there is an essential difference. If the factory were established in the south-east corner it would, with the railway, cut off the proposed residence area from the water front. Though it will be seen from the plan that I have cut the northern area into a great many squares, it was impossible to say how many of these would be required for individual purposes. All I have done is to absorb a number of the squares and dedicate the unintersected area to this purpose. It would be impossible to do that in the case of the south-eastern site. The south-eastern site is intended as a residential suburb because of the special advantage of access to the lakes. It is intended that the northern site should be only a manufacturing suburb. I have taken a definite number of squares and set them aside for the purpose of this factory. These are so located as to be radially disposed with reference to the centre of the suburb and do not interfere with access to the suburb from its circumference. The establishment of the factory on the southeastern site would vitally disturb my original plan. I am not in a position to say what would be the extra cost involved in connexion with the freight on materials due to the establishment of the factory at the northern site. I have not fully investigated that matter. It would be necessary to construct a preliminary railway, but my idea has always been that such a traction line will be necessary to bring in materials and to remove the spoil of excavations. Such a temporary railway will be necessary to assist us in the construction of the permanent line.
In connexion with excavations and fills for the lakes, such a railway would be needed merely for the purpose of transposing the excavated material. I marked on the plan the site for the “ initial city “ before I was engaged by tlie Government in connexion with the carrying out of the plan in any way whatever. It was done for tlie advice of the Department. They had decided where they would extend the railway, and I was asked how I would provide for the initial settlement there. I did that after I had found out what was proposed here. I have only investigated the railway proposition on my own basis. I did not then have any facilities for these things, but I have had them since. I should place the population required in connexion with both the running of the Small Arms Factory and the building of the city in the triangle shown to the east of the railway, and lying between the centre of the city and the manufacturing centre. An alternative location might be the triangle lying to the west of the railway. The whole scheme is based on keeping the social neighbourhood and educational centres away from the traffic centres. I agree that it is important to concentrate the population as much as possible, and the centre I have sug gested is most accessible for all purposes, rom the centre of the- Factory, if established on the northern site, to the centre of the residential location proposed, the distance would be about 1£ miles. On the other side, from the centre of this residential location to the centre of the official and parliamentary buildings site, the distance would be about 2J miles. That is the best combination proposal I can make, with a view to allowing ample room for development in the future. This would allow of sufficient space for future development between the extremes.
To Mr. Sampson. - Under my proposal, with the residential area east of the railway track, the people resident there would be closer to the Factory than to the parliamentary buildings. I have assumed that the Factory will afford ‘ permanent employment, whilst the operations in connexion with the parliamentary buildings would be of a more temporary character.
To Senator Lynch. - The preliminary railway which my proposal would involve would cross the river, but though it might be submerged, it would not be liable to be washed away. That is, however, a contingency so remote that it need not be taken into account. The last flood in the river that reached that level occurred in 1801, twenty-four years ago, and such a flood might last for three or four days. So that the greatest chance that the line would be submerged would be about one day in 3,000. The adoption of the site I propose for the establishment of the Small Arms Factory involves the construction of a preliminary line of railway, but such a line would be necessary for other purposes.
This evidence, I may say, was given by Mr. Griffin a month or two before the recent floods at Canberra. I have seen a photograph of the Molonglo in flood, which represents a sea, apparently miles across. What Mr. Griffin says occurs only once in 3,000 days has already occurred, and had this temporary bridge been built, in all probability it would have been washed away -
To Mr. Laird Smith. - When I am told that it is estimated that, as compared with the departmental site, the adoption of the site I suggest for the establishment of the Small Arms Factory would involve an additional expenditure of over £8,000, I may say that I have not examined the matter sufficiently to enable me to say now whether that is a reasonable estimate or not. I shall go into the matter, and be glad to supply the information later. In view of the fact that the railway must be constructed at some future date in any case, it would not be fair to charge it to the cost of establishing the Factory at the northern site.
Unless this Factory is established on No. 2 site there is no necessity for the construc1 ion of a railway between Yass and Can- berra until, as the officer says, Parliament House is built and ready for occupation, and then the line could be constructed, and would return an immediate revenue, which will not be the case if it is constructed now. There can be no possible justification for doing that work now, except the establishment of the Small Arms Factory on No. 2 site. Therefore, I agree with Senator Senior that the whole of the cost of constructing the line must be, at any rate for a time, debited to the cost of the Small Arms Factory.
– The temporary line would have to be taken up at some time, and the cost of doing that should be a charge to the Small Arms Factory.
– I agree with the honorable senator. Mr. Griffin continued -
The railway must be considered by itself as a railway proposition. What I propose is the construction of a preliminary line, with a view to facilitating the construction of the permanent line that will be necessary, as well as the construction of the Small Arms Factory. It is decidedly possible to establish a garden settlement immediately adjacent to the site I propose for the establishment of the Factory. The idea of placing the Factory in the radial spaces shown on the site I have selected is to make it accessible to the maximum number of employees, and from the whole suburb: I do not consider it necessary to establish a separate power plant for the Small Arms Factory. That would be contrary to the practice adopted in connexion with the power supply in all modern cities. It is my experience that isolated power plants are being abandoned in favour of central plants. I cannot conceive of the establishment of isolated power units when you have a central plant established. The distance between the existing power plant and the site I have suggested for the Factory is 4 or 5 miles, and that is negligible. Electric current is now being transmitted upwards of 250 miles.
To Mr. Gregory. - I see that it has been suggested that it is necessary to have close to the Factory a considerable water supply available for condensers, and it is urged as an objection to the site I have selected that there is no water supply available for the purpose close to that site. I have tried in vain to get at the bottom of that suggestion. So far as I can see, there is no requirement for water except for condensers, and it will not be required for that purpose at the Small Arms Factory. The power-house, where condensation has to take place, has been located on the river bank, and it is intended to remain there, not only for the purpose of the Small Arms Factory, but for the purpose of all other factories requiring power. Colonel Owen, from his evidence, seems to consider it necessary to have a power plant at the Factory itself. He seems to have considered the cost of installing that plant without having water available near the Factory for condensers. He estimates the added expenditure at from £4,000 to £6,000 a year. I do not at all know upon what he bases these charges.
To the Chairman. - In my original plan submitted for competition I made it clear that the power plant should be located on the river, and designated the particular point. The manufacturing suburb is also shown, and the connexion indicated. There is no necessity for a power plant in the north at all.
To Mr. Gregory. - I have not investigated the amount of power required for the Factory, and have not before me now the power available from the existing power plant; but there is unlimited room for development of the power plant where it is now established. It is not essential that the Small Arms Factory should be placed near a water supply for condenser purposes. So far as I know, it is not necessary to consider the water requirements for condensation anywhere else but at the site of the power plant. The suggestion that a water supply is necessary for generating power at a factory has no bearing on the question at all. I have seen Colonel Owen’s estimate of the cost of the erection of the Factory, but I have not analyzed it. I notice in Schedule 3 of the Appendix to Colonel Owen’s evidence an item, “ Electric power main, £700.” So far as I can see, there is no provision made for motive power other than at the central power station. In my opinion, that covers the whole problem, since ample power for all purposes may be obtained from the central plant.
– That would duplicate the cost.
– There is plenty of power at the central plant. Looking forward to the future, when the Arsenal will be an immense place - not merely a Small Arms Factory, but perhaps a dozen factories for the manufacture of all kinds of arms, machine guns, and ammunition. Colonel Owen, as engineer, ventured to say that it would probably be more economical to have a separate power plant confined entirely to the Arsenal than to draw from the central power plant. He said that it might possibly be desirable, for other reasons, that the Arsenal where arms were being manufactured should be entirely self-contained, and should not be dependent upon any outside station for power. That is the only reason why he suggested the necessity for water for condensation purposes -
To Mr. Fenton. - I do not think that, from a utilitarian point of view, it would be an advantage to confine ourselves to one Bide of the Molonglo, even though my plan were not interfered with. We have to consider what would be utilitarian in view of the first cost, and the later cost occasioned. We do not want, for the sake of saving a penny now, to involve ourselves in an expenditure of £1 later. There is no argument in support of a saving now if it involves an unreasonable additional expenditure later.
We shall all be disposed, I think, to agree with Mr. Griffin on general principles that that is so. “ Senator Senior. - So far, according to the evidence the honorable senator has read, he has not met one of the difficulties mentioned by the engineer.
– So far he has not-
It would not involve any considerable expenditure to cross the river. That is accomplished now on two rows of. piles. To cross the river with an ornamental structure and finished work involving a large expenditure would, of course, be a different matter. One of the first of the buildings to be commenced will, of course, be the parliamentary building. I should not have the country wait until that building is completed before the Parliament is removed to Canberra. The inner part of the building that would he absolutely essential for the accommodation of Parliament could be first constructed, though it might be thirty years before the building was entirely completed. But each “ part should be constructed thoroughly, so that the complete erection of the building may be cumulatively carried on. I shall go into the question of the relative cost of establishing the Small Arms Factory on the site I propose and on the departmental site. I can at present give you no idea of what the preliminary railway line I suggest would cost. The cost of the preliminary railway would not come directly into the estimate, showing that it would cost £8,000 more to establish the Factory on the northern site than on the south-eastern site; but it would come into it in another way, because of the cost of freight which would be obviated by the railway. It might take eighteen months to construct the permanent railway, but I do not suggest the building of the permanent, but of a preliminary, railway which would cross the Molonglo on short, low trestles. I do not think such a proposal is inconsistent with what I have said concerning a low initial cost involving future heavy expenditure.
I could not say what would be the length of the trestle required to cross the river, but it would not be long. I could not determine the length before determining the grades of the line. The class of population established at different centres would be determined to some extent by the valuation placed on the leases and the uses to which different zones would be restricted. The establishment of a Factory and the building of workmen’s homes on the departmental site would seriously interfere with my original design. It would be impossible to put a Factory there and at the same time carry out the main purpose for which my lines were laid down. The southeastern section of the site is so designed as to give it, to as great an extent as possible, the benefit of the water frontage. To put the railway and the Factory in front of the water would destroy that intention altogether. It would mean cutting off from that residential area the entire southern shore of the eastern lake. There might be a parade constructed along the water front, but it would be separated from the city by the inconvenient obstacles of the railway and the Factory, and could only .be used as a lake shore drive for motors. I have not seen the Factory at Lithgow, and cannot say whether it disfigures the town in any way. It is intended, of course, that all the buildings erected at the Capital site, whether for public purposes, residences, business houses, or factories, should conform as much as possible to a general design, but a Factory building cannot be of the same character as a parliamentary building, or a business or residence building. Where you have a small factor of embellishment in the total cost of a building it can be afforded, but if embellishment represents a large percentage of the cost of a building it cannot be afforded. The plan of the city is based upon the idea of concentration at points in connexion with the track lines, the location of local industries along track lines, and of residential avenues away from, but accessible to track lines. This makes for the maximum of economy and convenience. I want economy in the beginning to take into account, not only the first cost, but future expenditure, and the maximum of economy at all stages of the development of the city. The areas selected for Factories should not be used for other purposes, and, as they extend over 600 or 700 acres, ample scope is given for industrial development to keep pace with other kinds of development. So far as I know, there is no necessity to separate the manufacture of shells and other war materiel from the manufacture of small arms. Of course, it would be different in the manufacture of explosives. A Factory for the manufacture of explosives might be put behind a hill. Ordinarily, factories for the manufacture of powder are established in the centres of practically deserted regions.
J*o Senator Keating. - My first knowledge of the proposal to put the Small Arms Factory in the south-east corner was obtained from your secretary, Mr. Whiteford, two days before I gave my evidence on the subject. I have not been over the location since it was proposed as a site for the Factory. I had originally intended the area in which I have proposed that the Factory should be established for a manufacturing centre, but I did not, of course, set it apart specifically for a Small Arms Factory. I had some consultation with Mr. Scrivener in 1913 about some surveys, but I have not consulted him concerning the lay-out of the city. I never heard of the existence of a general report by Mr. Scrivener on the Federal Capital site and Territory.
To Senator Lynch. - As the railway communication has such an important bearing on the adoption of the site I have proposed, I have supplied Mr. Bell with all the preliminary data concerning the railway that I possess, and that lie could use, but I do not consider that that would be sufficient to enable him to make an estimate of the cost.
To the Chairman. - I do not know what is the cause of the delay in obtaining the necessary information. I asked the Department, first of all, what facilities could be afforded me to obtain the information, and was told that they would prefer to get it themselves and furnish it to me. I then put in a request, in April, 1915, for some forty borings. On 17th June I received seven of these, and 103 that I did not request nor particularly require, and I am still awaiting the thirty odd necessary ones. I think I am justified in asking the Department to furnish me with information as to the surface strata, although this would be only a preliminary line. You cannot have even a temporary track without some grading, and I would have to make a reconnaissance of the line to see where one material begins and another ends. I have only asked for borings to be sunk 10 feet deep, or to rock. The underground strata are indicated in the geological reports, but such reports do not define them, or even mention the surface strata.
To Mr. Sampson. - I consider that the development of both sides of the river is essential to the carrying out of the lake scheme. The lakes as planned would be of advantage to both sides. The greater part of the value of the lakes would be lost if the development took place wholly on the south of the water area. In order to justify the expenditure on the lakes and lay-out of the city, there should be development both north and south of the river. We might concentrate on the business and manufacturing centres on the north side, and simultaneously on the construction of the parliamentary buildings on the south side. I have made provision in the plan for a business centre on the north side, and a manufacturing centre to the north of that again. The real axis of development Would be on a line running north and south from the centre of the city site. The parliamentary and administrative offices are located within a residential area. I want the special development of the northern residence and business centres to contribute to the city development, as well as the manufacturing area in the north, and to be the focus of the commercial centre and of railway activities.
That is the end of Mr. Griffin’s evidence on that occasion. The next witness called was Mr. John Montgomery Coane, civil engineer, who stated -
To the Chairman. - I should say the southeast would bc the most suitable location for large factories.
That was taking a general view of the plan, and not merely considering the Small Arms Factory.
The south-west would, perhaps, be the best for residential sites, with a central area for the official site. I should think the south-east would be suitable for development right away. To the north there should be good building sites, and certain institutions not connected with business could be put there.
To Senator Lynch. - Speaking generally, the northern site is the best for the Small Arms Factory if the munitions go away to the north, as I suppose they would, as the bulk of them would probably go to Sydney via Yass. The northern site is near the railway route to Sydney via Yass. Either that site or the one to the south-east would do very well; but I have not considered that question, understand ing that I was to be asked only about the railways and lakes. On the whole, I would prefer the northern site, on the assumption that the northern railway line would run past it. If it is not intended to continue the railway north, I would decidedly go for the southeastern site.
This is the evidence of a disinterested witness - an engineer by profession - who has no leanings either towards Mr. Griffin or the departmental engineers. Mr. Coane was called in to advise the Public Works Committee how it should decide as between the conflicting testimony presented by the Department and that submitted by Mr. Griffin. . In reply to Mr. Laird Smith, he stated -
If the Small Arms Factory be established to the south-east, this will largely determine the settlement of the industrial population, since the artisans would be apt to settle near their work. I do not know that I would advocate establishing the manufacturing centre to the north of Mr Vernon, so as to preserve unity. Compare the position of Sunshine outside of Melbourne.
Replying to questions which I put to him, the witness said -
I recognise that this is a city which is to be established as a centre of government for Australia, and which would probably not be there but for the fact that it is to contain Parliament House. I see also that on the map the Parliament House, the power house, the brickworks, and other activities are all situated to the south of the Molonglo River, where railway communication is already established. I recognise that it would be necessary to build a railway to the north of the Molonglo before the Small Arms Factory could be put on the northern site, and that this might entail delay. Taking everything into consideration, and in the present circumstances, I would prefer the south-east site. There is always a tendency for population to settle around its own particular industry. Seeing that the first settlement will almost certainly be south of the Molonglo, I would not advise scattering the city into different centres a long way apart. I would keep the city much more compact. Of course, if it be decided to have the business and civic centre at Mr Vernon, and settlement extends further north, the objection to the Factory being placed on the northern site would not be so great. There would be no difficulty if the Small Arms Factory were put at the south-east corner in retaining the general design of the city.
That evidence is important coming, as it does, from a qualified engineer. Mr. Coane also stated -
The south-east could be made the industrial centre and the north could be made the agricultural centra.
In replying to Senator Keating, he said -
The south-eastern site is too far away from Parliament House for the establishment of the
Factory there to have any effect on the settlement of officers and others engaged about the administrative and parliamentary offices. I do not think the presence of the large eastern lake would affect the Factory site in view of the levels of the ground. Of course if the neighbourhood of that lake be all wanted for residential purposes I would put the Factory somewhere else; but I hardly think that all the area around that large lake will be required as a residential area. The residences of the Factory operatives will be established near the Factory; but there will be plenty of land available, and I do not think establishing the Factory there would interfere with the use of the lake.
Then, in answer to Mr. Gregory, the witness said -
As there would be a large number of workmen employed in building Parliament House and other structures as well as the Factory, the various classes of workmen might be kept together in one area, which would probably bo somewhere about the south-eastern corner of the city proper, between Parliament Mouse and the southern portion of the eastern lake. Either the ground to the north or the ground to the south-east would do very well for the Factory. Under present conditions the southeastern site is the better, but the tongue of water shown on the plan across the southeastern corner of the city is an obstacle which would have to be got over.
I desire to call particular attention to the evidence of this witness, because I contend that the report of the Public Works Committee was at variance with the weight of the testimony tendered to it. It must be remembered that this gentleman either had something to do with judging the designs for the Capital city, or was himself a competitor. At any rate, ho is an engineer of considerable experience and capacity. At this stage, Mr. Hill was re-examined. The Committee considered that some of the statements made by Mr. Griffin required explanation, and accordingly they afforded Mr. Hill an opportunity to rebut them. I should, however, explain at this juncture that Colonel Owen had arranged to prepare, at the request of the Committee, a statement containing various estimates, but, owing to the fact that he was seized with a sudden illness. Mr. Hill came along in his stead. In reply to the chairman, Mr. Hill stated-
The Director-General of Works, who is, unfortunately, confined to his room through illness, has prepared the following statement in regard to the proposed Small Arms Factory at Canberra : - “Notes Regarding Comparative Costs, Etc., op Factory Suburb at Nos. 1 and 2 Sites.
In reply to a request of the Secretary of the Public Works Committee, I have stated that £16,500 additional would be required for the Factory suburb at No. 2 site. ,l hat estimate was on the basis of erecting the same number of buildings at No. 2 site as was proposed for No. 1 site. On a previous occasion I stated that £8,588 additional would be required for the Factory buildings. The amount of £16,500 was arrived at on the basis of an estimate which I gave the Minister of Home Affairs in response to a request for information regarding the total cost for Factory and homes for hands at No. 1 site. The basis of that estimate of cost was as follows : -
I assumed that 700 factory hands would be employed for the double output of rifles, and that out of that number there would be at first 230 married men, 350 unmarried men, and 120 boys. Of those numbers, when the Factory starts work, there would be living at the arsenal site and requiring homes 160 married men, 280 unmarried men, and 100 boys (living with their parents), totalling 540 employees at site. The remainder, 70 married men, 70 unmarried men, and 20 boys, would live either in Queanbeyan or at the settlement which will come about for the initial city construction south of the Molonglo.
Houses for Married Men. - I laid down arbitrary costs for three types of cottage : - Type A, three rooms, kitchen, and offices, £380; type B, four rooms, kitchen, and offices, £480; type C, five rooms, kitchen, and offices, £580; and assumed that there would be 50 type A, 70 type B, and 40 type C cottages. The total cost of the 160 cottages (of concrete construction) would, on that basis, be £75,800. At 6 per cent, interest and fixed charges, the bare rentals would work out at 8s. 9d., Ils., and 13s. 4d. per week respectively; but I advised the Minister that rentals of 10s., 12s. 6d., and 14s. 6d. per week might well be charged.
Attention is drawn to the fact that I ex- pected 70 married men would live in Queanbeyan or Canberra, that is, away from the Factory site. If, however, No. 2 site is resorted to, there would not be any adjacent township or any settlement of city workmen near that site, within the next two years, where factory hands could live. There is small likelihood of there being a “ civic centre “ north of the Molonglo within two years, and even if there were such a centre, there would be no advantage in the Commonwealth erecting cottages so far away from’ the Factory instead of close to it: the very object of building the cottages would be to get the hands to live quite close to the Factory. Hence, if No. 2 site be adopted - assuming the same- total number of hands for operating it - it would be necessary to erect 70 additional cottages for married men. I assume that the proportion of types of cottage would be : - 20 of type A, 35 of type B, and 15 of type C, the cost of which would be £33,100 at the price set down for No. .1 site. In addition, £1,600 for transport should be considered, which would increase the cost of the cottages to 34,700.
Accommodation for Unmarried men. - The proposition is not quite so simple to solve. The estimate which I gave the Minister was based on the erection of workmen’s club houses, each to accommodate 60 men, the houses to be arranged in pairs with a kitchen, dining, reading rooms, &c, common to a pair. The houses should be well constructed, comfortable, and attractive to the men (each man to have a bedroom 10 feet x 12 feet). I gave the Minister an estimate of £10,000 per club house for 60 men, or £20,000 for 120 men. I can, however, reduce that estimate by £8,500 for one club house (together with kitchen, &c), and £14,500 for two club houses, kitchens, &c. Two club houses would provide for only 120 of the unmarried men out of the total of 280. I assumed, however, that at No. 1 site 40 men would board with married employees, and that the remaining 120 men could distribute themselves amongst the workmen engaged upon city construction south of the Molonglo. If, however, No. 2 site be adopted, the distance of that site from either Queanbeyan or the city workmen’s settlement south of the Molonglo would reduce, to some extent, factory hands living in these places (owing to distance to and from work), and it would be necessary to provide accommodation for at’ least another 60 unmarried men at No. 2 site, at a cost of £8,500 (plus £450 for transport). It must not be forgotten, however, that even then there would be 60 unmarried men to be housed somewhere within reach of No. 2 site.
Recapitulating the foregoing - if No. 2 site be adopted, it will be necessary (because of its isolated situation) to erect additional homes for factory hands (compared with No. 1 site) at an increased cost of £34,700 for married men, and £8,950 for unmarried men, totalling £43,650. I wish to’ make it clear that the previously mentioned £16,500 is the estimated extra cost of erecting at No. 2 site the same number of houses as would be required at No. 1 site, and that the £43,650 is in addition thereto for erecting more houses at No. 2 site for the reasons given above. I cannot see any alternative. For the next two years or more the Commonwealth will have to concentrate on work on the southern side for city construction, such as storm water, water supply, intercepting sewer, and district roads, &c, preparatory to starting Government buildings. Workmen for city construction will live on the southern side of the Molonglo unless they are forced to live further afield, and possibly paid accordingly. Other expenses would be involved, the details of which cannot well be worked out now; for instance, a self-contained township, isolated from any other town, to be occupied within two and a half years, will demand more accessories - amusement, catering, and town functions generally - than would a settlement or factory suburb close to the initial workmen’s settlement at Canberra and not far from Queanbeyan, which in this connexion would be of material aid at first, without any danger of competing with Canberra in the future. There would be more roads, greater expenditure on water and sewerage reticulation and civic services.
Storm Waters. - During the visit of the Committee to No. 2 site the matter of storm water was mentioned. Mount Ainslie, lofty, with steep upper slopes, overlooks the site, and it would be flying in the face of established facts to assume that the site could be built over “without diverting storm water. The quick run-off from the steep hills at Canberra has been experienced, and corroborates engineering data and forecasts. Mention has been made of the flooding out of a light horse camp on the eastern toe of Mount Ainslie. The site was specially selected to minimize risk of flooding, nevertheless, heavy rains fell, and the camp was flooded out. I have instructed Mr. Hill to estimate what would be the run-off during heavy rainfalls, and have asked him to make his estimate conservative. Nevertheless, storm water must be got rid of, and to deal with it by means of a complete system of storm water open channels and tunnel would cost a very large sum. Such expenditure will have to be faced wherever there is town settlement or railway close to the steep ranges. At the time of writing these notes I have not Mr. Hill’s estimate, but before being obliged to leave my office on Friday last I discussed with him its general principles, and laid down the rainfall basis.
No. 1 site presents very little difficulty in regard to storm water run-off. There is not a high mountain near by discharging storm waters directly over it. The precipitation on the low hills is less, and, what is more important still, its catchment area is small. There are very few level areas of 140 acres within the environs of the city site which present less difficulty in respect to storm water. No. 1 site is a raised basin or depression through which there is no general drainage from surrounding country.
Foundations. - I have already informed tho Committee that a sum of £2,000 additional would be required for foundations of the Factory buildings. That estimate was given in the absence of data which has since been pro- vided by the sinking of shafts at both Nos. 1 and 2 sites. My first estimate was based on the geological formation of the respective sites. Since the Committee’s visit shafts have been sunk, and I have seen them. Rock had not been found at No. 2 site, but I anticipate that before this memorandum is read to the Committee further information may be available. However, the depths .already attained disclose that heavy expenditure will be incurred at No. 2 site for all forge shop foundations for not only the Small Arms Factory, but for kindred factories established there in the future At Lithgow, Mr. Ratcliffe insisted that the hammer foundations should be taken to the solid rock, and gave good reasons. Foundations were found at considerable cost. Of course, hammer foundations can be prepared on any site, even alluvial deposit, but it is a matter of cost, and I doubt whether the amount I have indicated, namely, £20,000, will be sufficient for all foundations for the forge shop and heavier factory buildings.
On the other hand, I consider that the nature of the country at No. 2 site meets requirements for ordinary foundations for cottages. Shafts have been sunk at No. 1 site; rock was being approached at the centre line of the site at 9 feet from the surface, and was met at the sides at 7 feet from the surface. In the lay-out which I propose at No. 1 site the forge shop would be located on the side, so that the rock would be at a suitable depth.
General Slopes. - No. 2 site undoubtedly presents a good appearance for extensive factory buildings, although I consider it would be somewhat monotonous for a garden suburb. There is a large extent of generally even ground, but examination discloses minor undulations (vide contour plan) which, during heavy, rainfall, would be running sheets of water un- less storm water is diverted. However, to furnish a fair comparison between No. 2 site and a practically even area of between 120 and 140 acres at No. 1 site, I have given instructions for an estimate to be made of the number of cubic yards of soil, &c, which would have to be removed over the whole area of the latter to attain a gradient of about 1 in 100. It must be remembered that it would not be necessary to move all that soil for the first factory; the total removal would only be entailed by the erection of the several factories of the arsenal; thus the cost, when distributed over all such building sites, would be small for each factory.
Railway to No. 1 Site. - I understand from Mr. Hobler that he is preparing an estimate of a complete loop for No. I site. Such a loop appears unnecessary as an initial expense. The quantity of incoming and outgoing material and finished articles of the Small Arms Factory is so small that the cost of a complete loop would entail a premature expenditure of capital. All that is necessary for completing and running the Small Arms Factory is a siding as far as its actual site.
Frontage to River. - I desire to further impress on the Committee that the proximity to the Molonglo River for cheap water is an important factor. In other evidence, it has been stated that power can be transmitted, presumably always, from the central station. The arsenal site is being selected for several factories, and it is not possible to say now how much water will be required, but it is certain that it will be a large quantity. Even the casual consumption of a factory such as Lithgow for washing, steam-heating, watering, and the like is considerable. I altogether combat the idea that it can be assumed that for all time, with several factories, it will be expedient to take power from a central station. In my opinion, the time will come when, coupled with steam circulation for factory purposes, the power load will be sufficient to warrant an independent power station for and under the direct control of the factory management. From another point of view, as the power house develops, for civic purposes the city authorities may be desirous of not unduly extending the output for purposes lying outside the city boundary. Steam heating involves boiler plant and operatives. For one factory it is not much, but for several factories it becomes important, and the time will come, if the arsenal develops, when the management will install a combined system such as is now being provided at the Woollen Mills at Geelong.
The question whether there should be a power station at the Cordite Factory was debated for some time, but the power load was so small that it would not have paid to lay down prime movers (and duplicates to insure continuous running) ; thus the power was taken from a city supply assumed to be a safe proposition.
The strong inclination of the manager of the Cordite Factory was, however, to be selfcontained, that is, to carry out every function within the factory, and such will be the inclination of the arsenal authorities - the general principle being one based partly on defence reasons.
I desire once more to stress the point that this is the evidence of one who is not only an eminent civil engineer, hut a gentleman of long military experience, and very considerable military training. Such a combination of knowledge on the part of Colonel Owen should make his evidence in this respect particularly valuable -
Hence, when the time comes that the Arsenal management requires a large power supply, and with it steam for other purposes, there is every likelihood of there being a power unit at the factory.
There are many other possible uses for river water - for compressors, presses, and cooling generally. Artificial cooling ponds, from which the water is used over and over again, are an expedient; they cost money, evaporate and lose much water, concentrate salts in solution, and generally are not to be compared to a source of supply such as a river.
It may be argued that there are many factories away from rivers, but the question is whether many would not prefer to be near.
Hence, I urge again that this water factor, which bore strongly on my first choice of a site (i.e., before there was any talk of a No. 2 site) is not only one which as a general principle should never 6e lost sight of (as cheap water), but is in this case a very dominating one. I am convinced that if posterity is denied this asset for development of its arsenal, this generation will be censured for lack of foresight.
Various Estimates of Costs. - Elsewhere it has been more than hinted that, in advocating Canberra as a site for an arsenal, I and my officers have given misleading information both as to cost of construction and as to land. Those who make such reflections forget two or three things. I, and I can speak for the officers of the Department, besides being honour bound in the public interest to give the Committee the very best and truest information at our disposal, give evidence under oath. . The price of land at Lithgow has been mentioned. I am not a land valuer, but I have seen an official valuation of that area of land which the Department of Defence proposed to buy, and that value is put down at more than double the average price which I stated. It is probable that there is land for sale near Lithgow at a lower price than I stated, but in acquiring land it is palpable that the area should be most suitable for one or two purposes, namely, factory extension, or to encourage the workmen to reside. It is no use buying land unless workmen would be eager tenants. With regard to costs of construction, much care was taken In respect to the economical design of main factory buildings, and approximate quantities were taken out as close as plans at this stage will admit. The Committee may not be aware that the complete working drawings of such a Factory will amount to a hundred or more. Even the working drawings of buildings, sufficient for close estimating, take some time to prepare, and depend to some extent on the site selected, hence the estimates have necessarily been based upon preliminary plans. Nevertheless, the Works Branch has the advantage of definite knowledge, based on the experience gained in actual construction at both Canberra aud Lithgow, and there is no other authority which has that dual experience, especially at the former, when so much depends upon cost of material, plant available, &c. The estimate of additional cost of buildings at No. 2 site is based upon the size of buildings and the roughly computed tonnage of material therein, and nut as a general percentage. I have been conservative in stating extra costs. I regard reference to any other authority for cost of construction at Canberra as being of no value.
Defence Reasons. - A vital reason which actuated me in putting forward a scheme at all for establishing an arsenal at Canberra was based upon strategy. I am a member of the Commonwealth Council of Defence, but I have not felt called upon to give reasons. The Committee will permit me to say that, in my own opinion, the strategical reasons place the whole question of founding an arsenal at Canberra upon the highest plane. The selection of a site is unquestionably surrounded by many difficult factors, including cost and time. My endeavour has been to formulate a project which will enable the scheme to be undertaken forthwith, and in which excessive cost will not form an insuperable bar.
That concluded Colonel Owen’s statement. Mr. Hill, giving evidence in answer to Mr. Laird Smith, said -
In electrical engineering there is a strong tendency to centralize - a tendency which is backed up, as far as possible, by the companies supplying electricity. They desire to establish central stations because it is much cheaper to do so. I do not know that Colonel Owen has suggested that a number of power stations should be established at Canberra. I think the idea in his mind is rather that, as the arsenal grows, a strong demand will ensue for water. He is of opinion, 1’ imagine, that eventually the arsenal will require a generating station of its own, which shall be quite independent of the city power station. In that connexion I instance the Cordite Factory at Maribyrnong. I know that Mr. Leighton particularly wanted his own power unit there, but the Director-General of Works pointed out that, by extending a main a distance of 3 miles, the Commonwealth could get power from the Melbourne City Council. As the arsenal at Canberra grows, it will inevitably require a power plant of its own. In the initial stages of its history an independent plant would be more costly - the cost might be set down at £20 to £30 per h.p.
To Mr. Gregory - From the Cotter to Canberra about 600 men are employed in the Federal Territory. In Canberra proper there are about 150 men employed, exclusive of those engaged on the sewerage. Including employees in sewerage and afforestation work, there would be about 300 men. Up till the present time no works of a permanent character have been provided for the purpose of housing these men, although the matter is one which has been much pressed on our attention. We have been very desirous of doing something in that direction. When the erection of Parliament House and other buildings in the city is proceeded with, a large number of men will be employed. I think it is desirable that provi sion for the housing of these workmen should be undertaken at an early stage. So far, however, the immediate need for making this provision has not been felt. If the Small Arms Factory were established on the No. 1 site, and workers’ homes were constructed within the area that has been suggested by the Department, the men who would be employed in the erection of public buildings would not be brought from the No. 2 site. The distance would be too far. They would be located on the south-eastern portion of the city site, so that we would not have to pay them extra wages. Most of the industrial awards which obtain in New South Wales embody a condition that for any distance in excess of a mile from his work a workman must be allowed his travelling time, or be paid a certain rate per hour. Consequently, we fix all our camps, as far as possible, within a mile of the works. I cannot say whether this condition would apply to the men who will have to go to Queanbeyan to live. If the Committee adopted the No. 1 site, the Factory hands would not have to be paid extra during the course of its construction. I do not think that the award would apply to them. The adoption of the northern site would not involve the building of a railway. I do not think that a railway is necessary, because its capital cost would not be justified. According to the DirectorGeneral of Works, the operations at the Factory will involve the carriage of about 1,000 tons per year.
For the construction of the factory I do not think that a railway is necessary, but when once the factory has been established, it should be connected by rail as soon as possible. The construction of a line would reduce the general cost of transport, which the Director-General has set down at £1,600, but it would not reduce the cost of the transport of material from the river. Unless the fine were understood as liable to interruption, it would be a pretty costly undertaking on account of the heavy gullies which have to be crossed, and which will require expensive Culverting for several miles. I would not put down the cost of connecting either the No. 1 or No. 2 sites with the main sewer at more than £10,000 per mile. This branch main sewer would be suitable for the civic centre if Mr. Griffin’s plan were adopted. The Director-General’s estimate that 70 married men, 70 unmarried men, and 20 boys will live in Queanbeyan, is in the nature of a forecast. His estimate of the employment of 700 workmen is based on the operations of a double factory working one shift. It is assumed that in Queanbeyan there will be cottages sufficient to provide for 70 married workmen. Buildings of this description are going on every day. I have seen that town grow, till it has now reached double its former dimensions. If the Committee adopted the No. 2 site, the men would have to be housed somewhere in that vicinity. We should locate the permanent workmen in the Territory as close to the jobs on which .they are employed as possible. The Small Arms Factory, I imagine, will be completed before the parliament!! ry buildings are started. The men who will be engaged in that factory will be located as closely as possible to their work, with a view to keeping down expenses. I doubt if more than 15 per cent. of the workmen in the Territory at present live in Canberra. The only men who reside there are those engaged at the power-house. I do not think that it will be possible to concentrate the workmen at a particular centre for some time. Already there are three schools within a short distance of the city site. There is one near the Weetangerra-road, another near the Canberra church, and a third at the junction of the Uriarra and Yass roads. In view of the various activities to be carried on, I do not see how we can concentrate all our workmen. The Director-General of Works has always laid it down that, until proper drainage and water supply schemes have been provided, it is undesirable to attempt to establish a permanent settlement. It is proposed, however, to erect club houses. We are also providing for the establishment of schools, institutes, and stores. The proposal of the Director-General is to expend £5,000 on schools, £2.500 on institutes, and £5,000 on general stores, in addition to establishing railway stations, goods sheds, and police offices, the total outlay representing £113,000. Very heavy storm waters run ofl at Mount Ainslie on to the No. 2 site. At Duntroon we have already spent a considerable sum in attempting to cope with similar storm waters. It is a matter which is giving us a good deal of trouble. The slopes from the hills adjacent to the No. 2 site will require to have a deviation drain to catch the storm waters before they reach the flats. I have obtained a few figures from the Government Meteorologist, Mr. Hunt, in regard to the rainfall there, and upon these I have worked out some discharges. I find that at Acton, on the 8th March, 1913, 118 points of rain fell in one hour and twenty minutes, of which 78 points were recorded in twelve minutes. The catchment was then full of hail, and probably sluggish. Mr. Hunt thinks that the rate of the fall was greater than those figures indicate. Then, on the 27th February, 1813, 50 points of rain fell in ten minutes. These hills are subject to heavy storms and tremendous rushes of water. When this water reaches the foot of the hills it spreads over the wide depressions there. The day after the Committee left the Territory, last week, I calculated the discharge of rain water on site No. 2. Assuming that the slope of the ground represents 80 feet in 1,000 feet, and that the area drained is 800 acres, and taking the rainfall at 2 inches per hour, the discharge would amount to 562 cubic feet per second, or more than 4,000 gallons. Starting from zero at the top end, I find that at the lower end 5,600 feet, an open rectangular channel would require to be 15 feet by 7 ft. 6 in. to take the discharge from the slopes.
That will give honorable senators some idea of the magnitude of the works necessary to deal with storm waters alone at this particular place.
That estimate, I think, is a conservative one. The city site south of the Molonglo will require the same expenditure, in connexion with storm waters, as will the northern area. .1 do not think that the No. 2 site will be more wind swept than will the No. 1 site. The DirectorGeneral of Works does not intend, by his statement, which I produced this afternoon, to convey the idea that 100 acres of land at Lithgow has actually been measured off on any plan. I think that he is speaking of an actual valuation of an area adjacent to the site of the Small Arms Factory there which it was proposed to acquire.
To Senator Lynch. - The men employed in the Small Arms Factory at Canberra would be accommodated to the south-west of the area of 100 acres reserved for factory purposes. The north-east portion of the site would be utilized for the factory buildings, and the south-west portion would be used for residential purposes. Until stores were provided in the immediate neighbourhood they would get their supplies from Queanbeyan. The south and south-west of the existing railway terminus would be the nearest business centre for supplying the requirements of these men. What I suggest, therefore, is the establishment, in the initial stages of the city, of a business site removed from the suggested civic site. I think that the city will continue to develop around that spot. The adoption of the No. 1 site would assist in settling the city on the south side of the water. I have noticed that after towns have been established in particular localities it is very difficult to remove them. In this connexion, I need only recall the case of Yass Junction and Yass. The township of Yass is 3 miles distant from Yass Junction. If we deducted from the city area of 3 miles square that portion of the city which includes the, main civic centre and the lakes, there would still remain a very big tract for permanent settlement. That tract would embrace an area of 5 or 6 square miles, in addition to which settlement would not be arbitrarily limited to the area enclosed by the red line on the map. I think that settlement of No. 2 site would tend to the establishment of another centre in the vicinity of that site rather than to the building up of the main civic centre. Of course, if the civic centre were put on the northern side, the No. 2 site would benefit it most. About 4 miles would represent the water frontage along the No. 1 site. In my opinion, the choicest frontages within the Capital site, from a residential stand-point, would be those on the slope of the hill facing the east. I do not anticipate that there would be any rush for lake frontages. I think that COO feet from the edge of the lake has been reserved along the whole length of the frontage.
To Senator Keating. - I am of opinion that if the civic centre were located as shown on the map, the adoption of the No. 2 site would be more beneficial to it. That is the civic centre which was plotted by Mr. Griffin. I think, however, it would be more advisable to have that centre on the south side of the river. I am in conflict with Mr. Griffin as to which is the more desirable site for the civic centre. My own view is that the interests of the Capital would Be better served if it were located on the southern side of the Molonglo. But, assuming that the civic centre is to be retained in the position shown on the plan, I am still of opinion that the Small Arms Factory should be located on the No. 1 site. I think it would be a pity to place a factory at all on the No. 2 area. A large arsenal, such as will ultimately be established in the Federal Territory, should be situated near the river. I also prefer the No. 1 ‘site as a building site. In my opinion, the No. 2 area should be reserved for other purposes. I do not like it too much, even for residential sites. I do not fancy it because of its underlying strata, as disclosed in excavations which I saw the other day. There is a tendency for it to be too damp, and for the foundations to move, just as they do in the Wimmera and other places in Victoria. I think that No. 2 site is more suitable for the establishment of gardens. A Small Arms Factory would be out of place there. If the civic centre is to be retained in its present position I am inclined to think that site No. 2 is too close to it. It would not be wrong to place railway marshalling yards at No. 2 site. At the same’ time, I would prefer them a little further north. I do not regard the establishment of those yards, however, as a factor which counts at all. For instance, marshalling yards are now being installed at Wallan Junction, in Victoria. There is also a large marshalling yard at North Melbourne, with factories all round it. There is no advantage in having a marshalling yard near factories. On the contrary, it is a disadvantage to have too much factory traffic adjacent to marshalling yards. Your goods might become entangled with general traffic. Only the other day, at the Geelong Woollen Mills, we had a lot of stuff pushed away on tq the docks while the rush in connexion with the grain season was in progress. When I spoke of the character of the country at the No. 2 site, as revealed by recent excavations, I was referring to two shafts which have been sunk on the No. 1 site, and to two shifts which are in progress on No. 2 site. On Wednesday afternoon last the two shafts on No. 1 site were each down about 9 feet.. One bad bottomed on rock, and the other was - just upon rock. On the No. 2 site, however, each shaft was down 9 feet, and there was no sigh of rock. The rock struck on No. 1 shaft was just hard shale, somewhat similar to that which is to be seen at the brickworks. The city area was plotted by a Committee, which reported on this matter some years ago to the then Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Fuller. It is not Mr. Griffin’s boundary. That area showed a portion of territory north and a portion south of the Molonglo”. The artificial waters, in so far as they depart from the present course of that river, are Mr. Griffin’s design. If effect were given to my ideas, there would be a tendency for settlement to take place on the southern side of the artificial waters, but not to the exclusion of settlement on the northern .side of them. The settlement in the north, other than civic settlement, would consist of military establishments, hospital accommodation, university buildings, &c. When I use the word “ civic,” I refer to business activities, in addition to municipal activities. The position of the civic centre constitutes one of the great differences between the Departmental Board and Mr. Griffin. My own opinion is that that centre should be situated on the southern side of the Molonglo, because it is the better position, and because it would better serve the needs of the population. I agree with Colonel Owen that for a long timo to come population will be centred on the southern side of the Molonglo. I do not think that the establishment of the Small
Arms Factory on the No. 1 site would make this more certain. In my opinion, the dominating factors will be the parliamentary buildings and the Capitol. These buildings will cause the city to be established on the southern side of the Molonglo, no matter what may bo done. The adoption of the No. 1 site will tend to the creation of a little suburb of its own. It will not assist settlement on the northern side of the Molonglo, but it will help it on the southern side. No. 1 site is distant about 3f miles from Queanbeyan, and the civic centre is distant from that place about 5 miles. The result will be that at (first Queanbeyan will derive an advantage, just as it will gain an advantage in the initial stages of the city from the No. 2 site. There are not many men working in the Territory who at present reside there. If No. 1 site be adopted, a workman on arriving there will naturally look in Queanbeyan for lodgings, and will not move again until further accommodation has been provided. to Mr. Sampson. - It is perfectly true, as Colonel Owen has stated, that the power plant installed at Canberra will provide a higher efficiency than can be secured from any small plant. But as the arsenal develops, it is bound to require a power plant of it3 own. It is difficult to say what size the Factory will be when the arsenal is complete. It is equally impossible to say how many men will be employed in it. I would point out, however, that there are heaps of purposes for which power is used other than the revolving of wheels, shafting, or motors. At the Cordite Factory we got our power from the central station. It is cheaper to get it from the City Council, and yet there are three boilers there generating a much greater power. The same thing occurs at the Geelong Woollen Mills. The turbines have been ready to run for months. But the steam for the boilers, vats, &c, has to be generated. If steam in large quantities were being used at the Factory, say, on the No. 1 site, it would probably be decided by the authorities that, instead of getting current from the central station, they ought to generate their own power. This is not a new proposition; it is only a matter of exercising reasonable foresight. It is not a good thing to have the Factory away from water because of the condensing plant. I do not regard this explanation as something in the nature of an amendment of previous evidence. I am merely endeavouring to make clear what the Director-General of Works has in his mind. A separate’ power plant will not be necessary in the initial stages if the arsenal be established in No. 1 site, but the time will come when it will require its own power plant. If the Government decided to manufacture all kinds of munitions there within the next few years, a generating plant for steam might become a very big thing, and we would then think that the time had arrived for installing our own power plant, and thus be freed from the central power station.
To Mr. Gregory. - I do not think any harm would result from the manufacture of ammunition or cordite within a mile or two of the Factory. That is being done at Maribyrnong to-day.
To Senator Keating. - The estimated capacity of the power plant at Canberra is about 4,000 horse-power. The primary calls made upon it will be in connexion with the brickworks, water supply, lighting, and supply of power generally. To make 15,000,000 bricks per annum, 700 horse-power would be required. With a population of 15,000, the pumping load would be about 1.600 horse-power over a mean of twelve hours per day. For lighting purposes, the Military College load at the present time is about 50 horse-power. The demands for the parliamentary buildings and for civic purposes would probably equal another 300 or 400 horst power. The power at present required for the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow is 300 horsepower, and for the Factory duplicated, 650 horse-power. If a big tramway system were laid down in the Capital city area, we might consider the desirableness of separating the power employed in connexion with it from the central power station, but in the initial stages of the city, and for the needs of a population of 25,000, that power-house would be ample. 7*0 Mr. Sampson. - We have about 1,780 horse-power in our present plant. By the installation of additional boilers and another engine, the Factory could be worked from our power plant, even if it were double the size that is projected. The proposal of the Department is to utilize traction engines to haul material to the No. 2 site.
To Senator Lynch. - The estimate of the extra cost of erecting the Factory and workmen’s homes on the No. 2 site, as compared with the cost of erecting them on the No. 1 site, was based on the assumption that there would be no railway connexion with the No. 2 site.
The next witness was John Thomas Hill Goodwin, Acting Director of Commonwealth Lands and Surveys, Department of Home Affairs. In answer to the Chairman he said -
The Department of Home Affairs was asked by the Defence Department to procure a valuation of about 11 acres of land at Lithgow which had been subdivided by the. extension of the colliery company. We had a valuation made by Mr. Crammond, a well-known Sydney valuer. He valued that land at £664 per acre. The area comprised is about 11 acres, representing a total value of £7,000 odd. It is situated to the north of the Factory, and adjoining it. The 123 acres upon which the Small Arms Factory stands, at Lithgow, and which is shown on the plan coloured red, was purchased by the Department in 1908 for £23 per acre. I am not aware that anybody has offered the Department land in that neighbourhood recently. I have no record of it.
To Mr. Gregory. - Colonel Owen has not recently asked me for any valuation of land for extensions at Lithgow. The valuation of which I have spoken was requested by the Minister of Defence. In a report that we have, the Department of Home Affairs states that 10 acres of land for Factory purposes would cost £300 per acre. I was not asked to furnish any report in regard to that matter. I have never seen Lithgow, but I have here a tracing which shows the position of the town in relation to the Factory. I do not remember having been asked, within the past four or six months, to furnish any estimate of the cost of a large area extending up to 100 acres. Our records do not show two areas, each of 50 acres, which it is proposed to set apart for workmen’s homes. The only information I can give has reference to land to the north of the Factory, immediately facing the railway. I can, however, ascertain whether any land has been offered to the Department at Lithgow during the past twelve months. I cannot say upon what information Colonel Owen based his report that land there would cost £250 per acre.
On the following day Thomas Hill, Engineer, Department of Home Affairs, was recalled and further examined. In answer to me he said -
Tor immediate construction No. 1 site has been selected as the best available at Canberra for a Small Arms Factory. Other sites were considered, but none was thought to be so suitable. The site to the south of Gravel Hill is not so suitable, being further away from the water, though, with that exception, it appears to he suitable. We attach considerable importance to having a water supply closely adjacent to the Factory, not only for generating electricity, but also for general Factory purposes. As I think I mentioned previously, in the case of the Cordite Factory, and of the Woollen Mills at Geelong, the amount of water used for general Factory purposes, such as cooling, washing, and so forth, is greatly in excess of the whole quantity used for generating power. The selection of the site for the Woollen Mills at Geelong was partly governed by the fact that it was near the Bay. Putting the question of power aside, it is regarded as imperative that there should be an ample water supply for a large arsenal or large combinationof factories. We anticipate that when the complete arsenal is established somewhere at Canberra, it will be desirable to have a separate generating power in the arsenal itself, rather than to take power from some central station. That may be necessary, not only on the completion of the arsenal, but during the work of construction and of making additions. The present requirement is 600 horse-power; and I should say that when the arsenal is using 3,000 horse-power, for all purposes, it will be advisable, and probably economical, also to have a self-contained Factory, to consider whether it should not have its own generating unit. It is a matter of development; and that time may come in a few years, assuming, of course, that the arsenal develops rapidly. I can imagine that the question may arise in, say, ten years. When we have arrived at the stage 1 have indicated. T think it would be advisable to have a generating power plant in the arsenal itself. I think we shall reach the stage when, from a defence point of view, it will be advisable to have the whole plant under its own control. I think that No. 1 site is the most suitable for working under the conditions I have indicated - that it is near enough to the river to bo economically worked within that locality. Of course there may be other sites 10 miles away; and I take it that your question relates to this locality. The increased cost of building the Factory at No. 2 site, with the necessary cottages, as compared with the cost at No. 1 site, is assessed by the Director-General at £33,100, and £1,600 has to be added to this for transportation, making a total of £34,700. The seventy extra cottages spoken of are necessary, because there would be no possibility of the workmen getting accommodation elsewhere. The DirectorGeneral reckoned that a certain number of the men would be able to live at Queanbeyan; but if No. 2 site be selected then these seventy extra cottages will be necessary. Queanbeyan is about 11 or 12 miles distant from No. 2 site, and that would be too far for the men totravel. The Director-General, in his memorandum, said that if No. 2 site be adopted it will be necessary, because of its isolatedsituation, to erect additional houses for theFactory hands at the increased cost of £34,700, and to this must bc added £1S.950 for accommodation of unmarried men, making a total of f.43,650. In estimating the extra cost we have allowed so much per ton for carting gravel and other material, pumping water, for tractionengines, and so on. We have seven tractionengines there already and forty-two trucks; it is proposed to use the existing plant. Roads are made practically right on to the site. Here and there the roads might want a little stiffening for heavy traffic, but practically they are ia existence. We have allowed £1,600 as the extra cost of carting the material and unloading it at No. 2 site for the cottages. In this connexionthe Factory was dealt with in previous evidence, and the cost was, I think, £8,000, which represents practically an increase of 5 per cent, on the cost. Expedition was one of the strongest considerations in this case, the machinery being ordered. If there were no immediate hurry for the building, the contiguity to the river would influence my mind in favour of No. 1 site. If the Factory be built at No. 2 site, and the material is all conveyed by road, it will not be necessary to extend the Queanbeyan railway to the site for construction purposes; but I do not think we would have the Factory on the northern site for many years, without railway communication. The question of this railway communication could be allowed to stand over until a connexion was made from Yass to Canberra, if the latter connexion were made in a few years; but I should like to seeit made pretty shortly, assuming that the Factory goes to the northern site. The connexion with Yass does not appear to me a necessity until Parliament is sitting at Canberra, because it is too far round for goods. I said yesterday that, under Wages Boards awards, a man who travels more than a mile to his work is paid working time - that is from wherever the camp is pitched. I am not sure, but 1 do not think that the award applies to factory hands - only to men employed on construction works. If the Factory be built at No. 2 site we will camp the men right on the spot. This would involve a little extra cartage of water,, provisions), and so forth. At No. 1 site we should simply use a small steam pump to get the water out of the river, and this would also be done for No. 2 site, though the distance the water would have to be carried would be- increased by a few miles. Putting the matter of construction aside for a moment, an encampment at No. 2 site would be very little more expensive than a temporary encampment at No. 1 site. There would be a little extra cartage, and I think the distance from Queanbeyan would add a little to the cost of provisions. I anticipate that we will have to Accommodate men in tents wherever the site ls selected.
To Mr. Fenton. - The £8,500 referred to in previous evidence was for the cartage and handling of sand, gravel, &c, for the Factory buildings alone. The estimated cost of the Factory buildings at No. 1 site is £1)2.100; cottages for married men, £75,800; and accommodation for unmarried men, £20,000 - a total of £187,900. In the case of No. 2 site, there has to be added the sum of £43,050 already referred to. However, I shall prepare a schedule showing all the details. It is rather difficult to estimate the cost of saving the Factory from the storm waters of Mr Ainslie, because we hardly know what to do with the end of the deviation drain. It is simple to run a drain along the site, or make an intersecting storm water sewer, but we have still to deal with the after treatment of the water. The DirectorGeneral estimated the cost at £10,000 for a storm-water sewer, and the treatment of the water afterwards. This estimate covers a cutting with a concrete lining. The water supply for the city will be taken from the Red Hill reservoir. The city centre is a little over 3 miles from the reservoir, and the distance from the city centre to No. 2 site is about 2i miles, while the distance from the reservoir to No. 1 site is 3) miles. The line proposed for the main is by the Capitol and Parliament House, working to a point half-way between Parliament House and the power-house, and then on to the College and to the north. From the point mentioned the distance to No. 1 site is about 3 miles, and from Parliament House to No. 2 site about 31 miles. It is proposed to have a septic-tank system in connexion with the Factory, wherever the site may be. Looking at No. 2 site, the problem is not easy of solution, the ground not being so suitable as at No. 1 site. The Director-General had tentatively considered to pump to the northward, in preference to having a sewerage area near the city site, where the ground is not so suitable miti) you set well down into the city. However, that will be the treatment until we have a main sewer. I think the cost of erecting septic tanks at No. 2 site would he a little dearer; but I would not use that as an argument against that site. In the shafts sunk at No. 2 site wet clay stuff was disclosed, and that was what made us think of taking the sewage north. I have received no reply as to the sinking of the shafts; but, looking at the place en Wednesday last, we arrived at the conclusion that the material is quite good enough for building ordinary houses, and probably, with a little reinforcement, should be nil right for big factory buildings. However, forges, requiring foundations on rock, would tie more expensive. The main Factory, I think, would probably be all right if the foundations were reinforced, but the ground might he liable to contraction and expansion in the changes of the seasons. This would not injure the walls and foundations if these were reinforced. The value of the land at the two sites is, 1 should say, £5 per acre. Some of this land is held under lease, but there are no insuperable difficulties in removing the occupiers. I understand that the leases are short, with power to enter at any time on a month’s notice, with compensation for crops and so forth. If a man had a lease for twelve months, six of which were unexpired, I should think there would be compensation, though only small. The extra cost of £43,(550 represents about 5 per cent, on the cost, and would mean a proportional increase in rent. In the Director-General’s report, “ 6 per cent, and fixed charges “ appears, and rentals were mentioned for the cottages of 8s., Ils., and 13s. Od. The “ 6 per cent, and fixed charges “ represents interest on the money, and sinking funds, repairs, and maintenance. These rentals were afterwards increased to 10s., 12s. 0d., and 14s. 6d. to cover loss through non-occupation for a time, and so on. As 1 said before, I think that the development of the city will be in the south for some years. I have not been influenced by the position that the city site occupies in the Federal Territory in the north; that is not a factor at all.
To Mr. Sampson. - We desire to make accommodation for 700 men, which I understand to be the complement for the present, with a double output of rifles. The Director-General got the figures from Mr. Wright. Work could be commenced at once, whichever site is selected, with the traction engines; but it would take longer in the case of No. 2 site. One might consider the question of constructing a tramway, but at present I think steam traction is the best. At the beginning I anticipate population at the south of the lake. As to the relative merits of the two sites, in view of a permanent arsenal for all purposes, I have a perfectly open mind. Of course, the immediate need for getting on with the work is a factor which we cannot help influencing our minds. As a permanent site I do not like that on the slopes of Mr Ainslie; I do not like building workmen’s homes or anything of that sort there. As I have said from the first, I like it best as a market’ or urban area, fairsized allotments, and not too much population.
To Senator Lynch. - We have only included in the given cost the actual cost of erecting homes at No. 2 site. The basis taken was £380, £480, and £580, to which was added the small amount for extra cartage in the case of No. 2 site. I think that the extra cost with regard to the Factory and the actual cost of erecting the cottages have been mixed up, and that there is something omitted: but I should like time to prepare a proper statement. If there were a railway extension from the present terminus to No. 2 site, with a siding and so forth, it would moderate mv figures. The extra cost of landing timber at” No. 2 site will be very slight, and the same may be said of machinery, lime, and cement. The heavy stuff like concrete, gravel, and sand represents the greater part of the extra cost. In the one case you are within half-a-mile, and in the other case the material has to be taken 4 miles. Assuming a railway were there it would be possible to have a small tramway and load the trucks at the railway siding; and that method might be adopted with a railway. Assuming railway extension to No. 2 site, I should think that the extra cost of 5 per cent, would be reduced to, say, 2 per cent, or21/2 per cent., owing to decreased freights. The water supply I take to represent 11/2 per cent., and then there is the increased distance that the gravel and sand have to be carried. No. 2 site is not such an accessible site as No. 1 site in many ways, such as the supply of provisions and so forth. I said yesterday that the selection of No. 1 site would somewhat assist settlement on that portion of the city south of the lakes, but that Queanbeyan would at first get a good deal of the settlement. I also admitted that it would mean further extension of settlement outside the southern boundary of thecity area. It does not necessarily follow that No. 1 site would mean permanent business settlement on the south side of the lakes, but only that it would somewhat assist it. When the sewer was planned the idea was to conform, if possible, to any lay-out of the streets from that point where it intercepts the western boundary line of the city area. It was in my mind that this sower should ultimately reach the heart of the city as nearly as possible. Although settlement may take place on the south side of the lakes, and extend southerly, this is the proper way for the sewer to run; the other possible way would be very expensive, involving much tunnelling. The main sewer was designed to tap both north and south, with a branch across near Acton; it takes the best engineering route. Water, in my opinion, is the first essential for factory purposes. I know that Mr. McKay’s Sunshine factory is away from the water front; and I think ho would have had great difficulty in getting a site there except at a high price. There are cases of factories being away from water frontages, but the greater number have them if they can. For civic purposes there is a tendency to concentrate electric power in one station, but there is still a tendency, as shown in Melbourne, for minor establishments to have their own power. I do not think that the power station to supply the Melbourne suburban railways will supply power for other activities; for instance, we have power supplied by the City Council, suburban companies, and councils, and so forth. I think there will be an increase in the number of centres for the supply of power as the Federal City expands.
Mr. John Smith Murdoch, Architect, Department of Home Affairs, sworn and examined, gave the following evidence: -
To theChairman. - The Director-General of Works, in laying down the scheme for this Factory and other necessary buildings, considered that, for the married men, there should be three types of cottages - type A to cost £380, type B to cost £480, and type C to cost £580. In the first grade there would be three rooms and a kitchen, in the second four rooms and a kitchen, and in the third five rooms and a kitchen, each with a laundry, fuel shed, pantry, linen press, bathroom, and usual offices. Personally, I have no doubt, especially in view of the large number to be built, that we should be able to get satisfactory houses at these prices. The exact lines on which these cottages are to be built we are just beginning to work out, as the plans I have here show. Personally, I think there ought to be two or three different plans for each type of cottage, so as to introduce variety into the appearance of the village. I should avoid bay windows and ornamentation of that sort, and have only square, simple, direct little houses, with white concrete walls. I do not think we can run to tiled roofs at these prices, and, in the present state of the market, it may prove difficult to get even iron roofs, so that we may have to fall back on malthoid, or some material of that sort. However, I have no definite ideas on the subject just now. The dwellings will be lighted with electricity, and water will be laid on. The estimates of the Director-General were not based on any plans, but on general information; and I am now attempting to design cottages at the prices named. We have, I think, struck the Director-General’s estimates pretty closely. We bring out the £380 house at £410, but, as we are going to build thirty, we think we should be able to do it for £390, or just £10 more than the original estimate; indeed, I have no doubt that we should be able to knock off the £10. The £480 house comes out at £520, but, again, we imagine we should be able to reduce that to £495, or £15 above the estimate. The £580 house comes out at £633, but, under the circumstances, we hope to bring that down to £600, or £20 over. I think we should be able to amend the plans as far as they have gone in a good many ways; that we should eventually build satisfactory cottages for the prices laid down by the Director-General. The estimate does not include footpaths, roads, &c, these being paid for out of another vote; the estimates I have given are for the house, the drainage pertaining to the house, and the lighting. I have avoided wooden fencing, preferring to have wire fences, on which the occupiers should be encouraged to grow hedges for themselves. I think that the day of picket fences is going, especially in a suburb such as that contemplated, where the people are all of the same class.
To Mr. Gregory.-The area for each house is 40 feet by 150 feet, but I think the frontage should be at least 50 feet. I do not see why some of the houses should not be made of wood, though I do not know that we should save anything by that; it would be a variation in design. I do not know whether wood is now any dearer in Sydney than it is in Melbourne, but I think material generally is dearer there, because the people are so much busier. Cottages may have been built at Sunshine for less than the sums I have stated; but I know exactly the kind of houses they are. They are hardly the stamp that the Government care to build; we like a house that lasts longer, and does not cost so much in repairs. I often wonder what the ostentatious looking little houses we see all over the suburbs will be like in fifteen or twenty years, when the joints of the ornamental features begin to decay.
To Mr. Laird Smith. -I should say it would lend greater beauty if there were variety both in material and design. My idea of a house is a little white house with a simple roof, all of plain, solid construction requiring little future upkeep.
To the Chairman. - I should avoid bricks in favour of concrete, simply bagging the concrete down. The moulds would bo lined with iron, and give a very good surface. Of course, we could rough-cast the houses if we could not make a good job with the other method, though I am hoping that we should.
To Mr. Sampson. - We place no value on the land, but I understand that it is only nominal. Although the Federal Capital will mean a large expenditure of money in sewerage, water supply, and so forth, I do not think that should be charged against rent. The occupiers of these houses will be rated by the civic authorities at Canberra, and ground rent would be interest on the land, which is only nominal. We could not expect the workmen to shoulder the cost of all the improvements at Canberra which, I take it, will be a charge on the whole people of Australia. All these matters, of course, will have to be taken into account in the governing of Canberra; and the land policy will be a very intricate problem, which, I think, ought to be solved. The Government are going to put a certain amount of money into these cottages and land; and if the Government get interest on that money, and sufficient to create a sinking fund to liquidate the cost in the lifetime of a house - say, fifty years - the rental should, I think, be based on the present value of the land. I do not think that Cadbury and others, who have made similar suburbs, look to getting more than interest on the capital they put in. The conditions of these men, in order to make them contented and loyal, should be made as attractive as possible. The Government should not seek to make a profit out of these men on the score of the unearned increment. I should not care to answer the question whether it would be fair to introduce a system of differential treatment between Government workmen and ordinary workmen. It is doubtful whether the value of land in Canberra will ever increase much in the absence of the fee-simple; it will, I think, remain normal, especially within the enclosed area of an arsenal.
To Senator Lynch. - Although it is the intention to enlarge the brickworks at Canberra, my idea is to build these cottages of the cheapest material; and I understand that there is all the necessary gravel and sand to make the concrete, which would be absolutely cheaper than bricks on this site. I think concrete would still be cheaper at No. 2 site.
To Mr. Gregory. - When the brickworks are in full swing, I think the concrete will still be cheaper, especially if cement is down to a reasonable price. Unfortunately, that price is very high now; and the outlook is pretty gloomy. I would use concrete in the case of the Factory. Colonel Owen’s remark “6 per cent, and fixed charges “ should read “ 6 per cent, including fixed charges.”
The next witness was Mr. George Alexander Hobler, Construction and Maintenance Engineer, Commonwealth Railways. His evidence was as follows: -
To the Chairman. - At the request of the Committee I have prepared a sectional plan and estimate of cost of a temporary line front the present terminus to the No. 2 suggested site for the Small Arms Factory at Canberra. There are two routes. The first of these, beginning at the end of the existing line, passes through the city, approximately, at the Parliament House site, and follows the avenue leading from Parliament House toward Mr Vernon, while the other is from approximately the end of the existing Queanbeyan-Canberra railway, and follows generally the route of Mr. Griffin’s proposed railway through the Federal Capital. I have shown the two routes on the plan which I have handed in. The first is the route marked ‘-‘AB” going off the branch siding into the power-house at “A,” and following generally the route of Mr. Griffin’s proposed line to point “ B,” which is opposite the suggested site No. 2 - Mr. Griffin’s proposed site for the Small Arms Factory. The estimated cost of that line, including provision for a branch line and siding into the site is approximately f 29,247 lis. Sd.
– That much ?
- Mr. Hobler afterwards reduced that approximate estimate to something over £21,000; but we shall come to that later on in his evidence. Mr. Hobler continued -
The estimate provides for a temporary line with steep grades following, as nearly as possible, the surface of the ground to avoid earthworks and crossing the Molonglo by means of a bridge consisting partly of wood and partly of steel. About eight months would be occupied in preparing the survey and working drawings, procuring all the material necessary for the bridge and railway, including rails, fastenings, &c, and constructing the line which, including a branch line of l4 miles into the proposed Factory, is 5 miles 60 chains in length. My estimate of £20,247 lis. 8d. includes the cost of that branch line. This railway would be capable of carrying the heaviest locomotives running in New South Wales. It is advisable to make such provision, because we do not know what locomotives might be employed in carrying traffic to and from the Small Arms Factory, and any other traffic that may arise. In all probability we should not be in a position to restrict the use of the line to a certain type of locomotive. My second estimate is for the route marked “ CDB,” in respect of which, at the start, a different course is followed. It goes off the end of the existing Queanbeyan-Canberra line and passes through the main part of the city, following, wherever possible, the centres of the streets, and then joining into the main avenue from the Parliament House site to Mr Vernon. It follows that avenue across the Molonglo River, but deviates from it to get round Mr Vernon, which is a high point. It joins with the previously-mentioned route - AB - at the point D. From D to B the route AB is common to both. I have estimated the cost of this route from C to B, so that the Committee may have a clear comparison of the cost of the two routes. This second line would also be a steep-grade line, with a steel and timber bridge over the Molonglo, and th« approximate coat, including cost of siding, is 431,395. It is a quarter-of-a-mile longer than the route AB, but would take only the same time to construct. The cost of the sidings at No. 2 site would be approximately £4,287. The estimate provides for a siding 14 miles in length, for the use of 80-lb. rails, and for the standard number of sleepers per mile. I submit a map showing the two routes and sections of same.
To Mr. Laird Smith. - The steepest grade on each route is 1 in 40. The route AB follows Mr. Griffin’s proposed line, and the sections Show the crossing of the Molonglo River on both routes. The steepest grade in both cases is 1 in 40, but there is practically no point at which these steep grades are not compensating grades. That is to say, the momentum of the train going down one grade will help it to go Up the other, and so increase the hauling power Of the engine to what it would be if it had to ascend an easier grade.
To the Chairman. - I have provided for 11 miles of siding. The red map which I produce shows the No. 1, or Colonel Owen’s suggested, site. The length of the siding there, from the point A, where it leaves the main line, until it passes clear of the last building shown in the Factory, is 2 miles. A branch line and siding totalling 2 miles in length Would have to be constructed as shown on the red map to the points D and E, if it were necessary to build the branch line right to these points.
– Why in one case a mile and a half, and in the other case 2 miles?
– I may explain that this line will really be on the route the line to Yass will ultimately take, with a branch running into the proposed No. 2 site. In addition, there must be a certain length of siding where trucks may be loaded and unloaded.
– A siding will be necessary in either easel
– That is so. The report of Mr. Hobler’s evidence continues -
To Mr. Gregory. - It does not connect back to the main line. That would not be a railway proposition at all, since it would mean two junctions on the main line. The Chairman mentioned the matter to me, and I prepared an estimate; but I thought it probable that the Committee would not, after all, require it. The red map shows only one junction with the existing line.
To the Chaw-man. - I have no information, and nothing to guide me as to what will be the lay-out of the Factory. In the absence of such information, I have simply estimated the cost of constructing a branch line and siding as shown on the red map, which was supplied to me by the secretary - from the junction with the main line to the last of the Small Arms Factory buildings shown. There are some additional features shown on the map, but I have nothing to indicate to me what they are, so that I have disregarded them. In pre paring my estimate of the line to servo this site, 1 have treated it in exactly the same manner as I have treated the branch line and siding to No. 2 site, so that the Committee may have an approximate comparison of the cost of railway construction for both sites. The 2 miles of siding at the No. 1 site, if built, would be a permanent work, and the estimated cost of it is £9,312.
To Mr. Gregory. - The branch line to the No. 2 site should, I consider, be a permanent one, because that junction is situated on what wilt be approximately the route of the permanent, line.
To Senator Lynch. - The approximate cost of the permanent siding to No. 2 site is £4,282.
To Mr. Gregory. - The difference in the mileage cost of the two sidings is to be accounted for by the fact that the earthworks on the No. 1 site are rather heavy. A considerableamount of excavation, cutting, and embankment will be necessary in building the line to No. 1 site, whereas the No. 2 site is very flat and free from earthworks.
To. Mr. Fenton. - My estimate of £9,312 includes the cost of building a permanent sidinginto No. 1 site.
To Senator Lynch. - It is shown as a deadend siding for the purpose of the estimate, but, if necessary, could be made a loop siding at very little extra cost.
To Mr. Fenton. - In speaking of a siding lj miles in length, I had in mind what might be more definitely described as a branch line to the suggested site of the Factory. There would not be lj miles of actual siding, but a branch line lj miles long, with sidings at certain points. The branch line will be of exactly the same type as the rest of the railway.
To Mr. Laird Smith. - It is difficult to say what number of sidings will be required by the time the factory has been completed. Whichever site is adopted, there will be a very large traffic yard when the factory is completed. One cannot, however, go into details on the information at present available.
To Senator Story. - It would take from four to five months to make the survey workings and plans, obtain the material, and build the branch line into the No. 1 site.
To Senator Lynch. - The calculation is not on the basis adopted in respect of No. 2 site. It could not b.e made on the same basis, because the routes to No. 2 site are such as to necessitate the ordering of a considerably greater amount of material which it will take some time to obtain. The greater part of the eight months which I have mentioned as the estimate of the time that would be occupied in building the line and collecting the material would in reality be taken up in making surveys and in collecting the necessary material. The material once collected, if we had to build 16 miles of line, we should probably be able to construct the second 8 miles in a third of the time occupied in building the first 8 miles.
To Mr. Fenton. - The bridges across the Molonglo for which I have provided would be equal in strength and design to many of the permanent bridges, and would be so constructed that a considerable portion of the material could be used for other purposes when they were replaced by permanent structures. We propose to use steel joist girders for the superstructure. These could be used later on in building permanent bridges on other lines, or, if necessary, on the extension of the line to Yass. The timber piles necessarily would be to a great extent lost. Only a portion of them would be recoverable for use on other lines later on.
To Mr. Laird Smith. - I have visited the Federal Capital, but I should require to make a closer examination of the two suggested routes before I could express an opinion as to which would be the more preferable, from a purely engineering point of view, to adopt if the No. 2 site were selected.
To Senator Lynch - The AB route in one or two places would be quite a quarter of a mile away from Mr. Griffin’s proposed permanent line route. The steepness of the ground requires the temporary route to be kept away from it to avoid heavy earthworks. From point A it crosses the lake at a point about 1,400 feet from the permanent line route suggested by Mr. Griffin. It comes quite close to the permanent line route in the middle of the lake, and passing up the other bank of the lake, bears away again to the extent of about 2,400 feet. That particular deviation is necessary because Mr. Griffin’s proposed route for the permanent line is, there, in very high ground. There is, in fact, a tunnel at that point. After passing that point, the line goes back very close to the route of the proposed permanent line, and follows it fairly closely to the proposed factory site. I did not decide on these routes after consultation with Mr. Griffin. I had no consultation with him or any other officer. I was simply asked to prepare an estimate of the cost of a temporary line. I applied to the secretary for a sectional plan of Mr. Griffin’s proposed route, but he had not received it. At the request of the Chairman I went ahead with my own plan. I am unable to say whether it is likely to interfere with any city works that may be undertaken before the permanent railway is built. If, for instance, the excavation of” the lake were begun before the building of the permanent line, it would be impossible to say at this stage whether the proposed route would be in the way of that excavation. That is a matter concerning which I have no information. I do not know when or how such city works are going to be done. I have therefore laid this down as being approximately the most practicable railway route for a railway line following the steep grade as nearly as possible with economy. This temporary line would be of some assistance in the laving down of a permanent line in the immediate future, but it is difficult to assess the value in pounds, shillings, and pence. The value would simply be the difference between carting the material out and removing it by train. The whole question needs to be considered before an opinion is expressed upon it; but, speaking generally, I would say that the temporary line would be of some assistance in the building of the permanent road.
To Mr. Gregory - The length of the siding at the No. 2 site will depend greatly upon the particular point in the shown area at which the factory will be erected. The words “ track-yards “ which appear on the Commit tee’s general map upon which the two suggested sites are marked, indicate that if the No. 2 site were selected the factory would be somewhere near the centre of the reserve shown. It is impossible to say what will be the exact length, but as an equitable proposition. I have made provision for a siding running about two thirds of the way into Mr. Griffin’s proposed site. If it were found necessary to have a siding only half-a-mile in length instead of a mile and a half, my estimate of cost could be reduced proportionally. To make a fair comparison with the No. 1 site, you would have to allow for the same length of siding in each cas». In the absence of any layout of the Small Arms Factory, the siding shown on Mr. Griffin’s site could not be made shorter than it is. I am handicapped in not being supplied with the layout of the factory. In the absence of such information, I have kept the plan for the branch line and siding on the two sites to the same design, and if you reduce the length of the one siding then in comparing the two sites, you must reduce the length of the other. In the case of the No. 1 site, the distance from the junction on the main line of railway to the points of the siding is longer than No. 2 site. It would not be possible to show a loop line from points A and B as shown on the red map, which deals with No. 1 site. The grade on the main line at B is very sharp, so that the siding at the junction of B would necessarily be on a very steep grade. It would also be detrimental to the main line of railway to have two junctions where one would be sufficient. It would be unnecessary to have two junctions, and, from a railway-work point of view, inadvisable.
To Mr. Sampson. - I have continued the line in respect of No. 2 site from the 5-mile point to point B, because the plan of the suggested factory site given to me has the words “ trackyards “ at point B. I show an extension as far as B to give room to take further sidings off there if necessary. It would not be necessary for railway purposes to continue the line from the 5-mile point to point B in order to meet the requirements of the No. 2 factory site. From that point of view, it should not be unnecessary to continue it beyond the present proposed junction. It is difficult, however, to speak definitely on the subject when I bad no idea of what is the complete layout of the factory. It is possible that the length of the line into the No. 2 site might be reduced by three-quarters of a mile. For actory purposes, however, a small tempo, try passenger station would probably be required for the use of the men going to and from work. I understand that it has not yet been decided on what part of the area marked as Mr. Griffin’s proposed site the factory should be built. From a traffic stand-point, it might be quite possible to cut off three-quarters of a mile of the branch line into that site when location of factory’ buildings is fixed. If that were done, however, further provision might have to be made lower down. If the two sidings shown on my plan were sufficient to serve the factory, and to meet shunting and general railway work requirements in connexion with the factory, we could cut off the line from the 5-mile point to point B.
To Mr. Fenton. - The two lines shown on Mr. Griffin’s site I take it are only for the use of the factory. That is why I have continued the main line from the 5-mile point to point B. The marshalling and shunting of railway waggons used at the factory, if that site were selected, would possibly have to be done outside the precincts of the factory. I very much doubt if the military authorities would allow the shunting of anything but factory waggons inside the factory area.
– Has not Mr. Griffin provided for marshalling yards on the main line at no great distance from this area ?
– No. The marshalling yards, shown on Mr. Griffin’s plan, are at some considerable distance south of the No. 2 site, and very much nearer to the proposed civic centre.
– The yards are Shown on the Y ass-Canberra track.
– Yes. The witness continues -
My plan shows two lines marked inside the No. 2 site, one being the main branch line and the other the siding. Those who design the factory will show where the necessary lines are to go. The branch line in the factory reserve, No. 2 site, is very similar to tho provision made in respect of No. 1 site, -is shown on the red map. That map is the only One given me that is of any guidance regarding the lines that will be required on the factory site. I used the design shown on it when making a similar proposition in regard to the No. 2 site, so that a fair comparison might be made of the cost of railway communication with each site.
To Mr. Laird Smith- I am not in a position to say that the line from the 4-mile to the 5-mile point would be part of the main line, because the route of the permanent line from the Federal Capital City to Yass has not vet been finally fixed. If the permanent line followed the same route it is probable that it could be used as portion of the main line since we have made provision for 80-lb. rails
Mid for the standard number of sleepers, but extra ballast and better ‘ draining and fencing would be required.
To Senator Keating. - It is impossible to say at present whether any portion of the temporary road will be on the exact site finally selected for the permanent line.
To Mr. Fenton. - This proposed temporary Une is only laid out on the contour plan of the city. An investigation would have to be made on the ground before it could be finally settled, and “the route might possibly be changed a little to one side or the other.
To Mr. Gregory. - Portion of the bridge material as well as the rails and fastenings will be useful for the permanent line. Whether the sleepers could be used would depend upon the length of time that elapsed before the temporary line was replaced by a permanent road. If the permanent road were laid down within a few years, the sleepers would be of some value, but if any considerable time elapsed, they might not be worth using again.
To Senator Lynch. - I have not estimated the value of the material to be used in the temporary line which might be used for a permanent line later on since I do not know when the permanent line is likely to be laid down.
To Mr. Gregory. - If the permanent line were built within the next three or four years, the sleepers used for tlie temporary line would be practically of full value. We should make a certain percentage deduction in respect of every year during which the sleepers and other material were in use.
To Senator Lynch, - The proposed temporary line to the No. 2 site crosses some low country near the banks of the Molonglo. The level I propose to adopt would bring the level of rails a certain distance below floods. Water would go over portion of the line when tha river was in high Hood. The approximate levels are shown on the section. It is a common practice to allow flood water to go over temporary lines and roadways instead of under them. Flood waters do not necessarily do much damage, if judgment be used in constructing the work in such situations.
Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 8 p.m.
– T am very glad to note the interest which honorable senators are evidently taking in the evidence I am presenting to them. At the commencement, I made certain statements which I admit did need substantiation. The statement that a member of a responsible Government is deliberately insisting upon spending over £150,000 more than need be. expended on a useful work, and that a very considerable delay will be occasioned on that account, in my opinion, does require proof. It seems almost inconceivable, first, that a Minister should recommend such a course, and, secondly, that he could induce a majority of the Cabinet to back him up in a sinful, extravagant waste of public money at a time when every member of the Government, and every member of each House of the Parliament, is pointing out the necessity for economy.
– But did not the Public ‘Works Committee recommend this site?
– I would like to refer to that point again. As I previously pointed out to the Minister, a majority of the Committee recommended No. 2 site.
– And the Government have decided on that site.
– I read to-day a report in which a majority of the Committee admitted that it was going to cost a very largely increased amount, and lead to considerable delay in the completion of the. works. I do not want to go over the old ground again.
– What is the good of the Committee if we cannot accept their report? Surely you cannot blame us for accepting the report of a majority of 7 to 2, or of 5 to 2 I
– I remind Senator Gardiner that the Government of which he is a member did turn down the majority report of the Committee. So dissatisfied were they that they appointed an entirely new Committee of skilled gentlemen, all engineers or experts in munitions or explosives. The Government sent that Committee at considerable expense to Canberra with instructions to make a careful investigation, and, I ^ assume, in order to find out how on earth the Public Works Committee arrived at the conclusion they did in the face of the evidence tendered to them. Senator Gardiner now twits me with complaining that the majority report of the Public Works Committee was not turned down. I think that the matter is of sufficient importance to read the whole of this evidence to the Senate. After the interjections I have received from the Ministerial bench, I scarcely hope to convince the Government, but I am taking this course to emphasize my disgust at their action alter arriving at a decision to follow a certain course - that course was dictated by reasons of economy and speed of construction - simply because a new Minister has taken charge of a certain Department. He evidently possesses such wonderful powers of persuasion that he has induced the Government to go right back on their previous decision, and consent to a largely increased expenditure, and Senator Gardiner now twits me with complaining that the report of a majority of the Committee has been adopted when he himself, as a member of the Government, did turn it down. When the sitting was suspended for dinner, I had almost come to the end of Mr. Hobler’s evidence. Continuing, he said -
The saving secured in the cost of construction and the annual interest charges on that cost are very much greater than would be the cost of the small repairs required after a flood. He is advocating the feasibility and the safety of putting in a low-level bridge which, in times of flood, would be entirely submerged by water, and pointing out that, in all probability, it might be a safe and effective way of crossing the Molonglo so far as a temporary line of railway is concerned -
In my plans and estimates I have conformed to the existing practice in regard to temporary lines as well as in regard to permanent Government work.
– Does he take into consideration the question of the bridge being sufficiently strong to sustain the traffic ?
– He does not deal at length with that point, because, in that country, although there might be a very heavy flood, it does not usually last more than a day or two.
– Still, for a time, the traffic on the main line would be suspended.
– Undoubtedly; but that has to be placed as a set-off against the increased cost which would be incurred by constructing a permanent line and building a high level bridge.
In Queensland many lines cross rivers on bridges built at such a level that flood waters pass over them. That is what I propose in this ease. If I were to design a line above flood level at the crossing of the Molonglo, the cost would be very materially increased. To reduce the cost of a temporary line, I have gone below the flood level.
To Mr. Fenton. - My estimates show the minimum cost of a temporary line. That concludes Mr. Hobler’s evidence, and then Mr. Griffin comes on the scene again. 1 might mention here that Mr. Griffin takes up the position that he should have the right of perusing the evidence of other witnesses, and that on any question affecting the Capital site he should be allowed to claim the final say. All his correspondence leads one to believe that hewants to make a final statement after every other witness has given his testimony. On the 11th August he gave thisevidence : -
To the Chairman. - I have prepared an estimate for the temporary railway to the No. 2 site.
In addition to getting an estimate from Mr. Hobler, the Committee requested Mr. Griffin to submit an estimate of the cose of the temporary line which he suggested could be utilized, not only to serve a Small Arms Factory on No. 2 site, but to assist in the construction of the permanent railway which he claims, and which, I suppose, we all agree, must be constructed at some date. I think that very many years will elapse before a permanent line is constructed from Yass to Canberra.
Mr. Hobler said that his estimate of his proposed temporary line was made without particular reference to the requirements of a permanent line for the city itself, and as I realize that he must have done so, I have prepared a line recognising those conditions,- and for that reason showing only some slight modifications or divergences from the original permanent line, in order to make it possible to lay down a line with the same weight of rails, and the same ballast, and mode of construction, as proposed by Mr. Hobler, and at the same time to keep in line with the permanent lay-out of the city. On the plan which I produce, the red line indicates the portion of the construction of the line which, so far as earthworks are concerned, is of a permanent nature. The green line indicates earthworks which will not be required by the development of the city. With the exception of a short distance, all of my line would be permanent work, tending towards the complete construction of the city. There are but a few hundred feet of sections which are not part of the permanent roadway. My line leaves the present terminus where the siding branches off for the power-house, and junctions as quickly as possible with the main route, which it follows until it crosses the Molonglo River. It then switches on to one of the main roadways of the city, passing in front of the station site, thus escaping the rough country until we get beyond that portion of the city. Thence it follows the line of the permanent route. It does not go up to the main northward avenue, as Mr. Hobler’s line proposes. The only variations from the permanent railway are at the eastern terminal ^centre, where the tunnel, the railway station, and the island platform are to be provided later. The cuttings and fills on my temporary line are not of the extent to which they would be carried out in a developed city, but they will be sufficient for a long time, and will provide a maximum gradient of 1 in 50, which will be a .fifth better than is provided by Mr. Hobler’s line.
– May I ask what experience Mr. Griffin has had in railway construction ?
– I do not think that he claims that he has had any experience in railway construction.
– My reason for asking the question is that he is substituting a plan for that of a railway expert.
– I think that Mr. Griffin is of opinion that the gentleman who prepared the design for the Capital, which has been accepted by Australia, is capable of doing anything, and giving advice on any subject, even though it may differ from the advice of the best known experts on these matters. Mr. Griffin continued -
As to how long that gradient will be serviceable, the Committee can judge by comparing it with other railways. It is the standard gradient for the Victorian railways. On the Bendigo, Geelong, and Ballarat lines it is the ruling gradient, and it occurs on the main line to Sydney. It is very much better than a large portion of the Victorian railways. For instance, the ruling gradient on the Beechworth line is 1 in 30. In all respects it is a permanent line, so far as the handling of any rollingstock that may be provided by the New South Wales system is concerned. In addition to this line being a preliminary line, it will also assist in the construction of the permanent railroad, and therefore I have placed it at the side of the permanent road at the top of the maximum cutting, so that by the use of a Lubecker excavating machine, the whole of the open cuttings can be later on taken out and deposited wherever it is desired to fill up at a cost of between Id. and 3d. per cubic yard. A machine suitable for this purpose can be built in Australia for £4,000.
– He cannot remove earth for Id. or 2d. per cubic yard if he has to remove it any distance.
– That is what he claims, and possibly with the use of this excavating machine he may be able to remove it the requisite distance for that cost. Mr. Griffin proceeds -
There is one in operation in Victoria which is handling earth in the same way as I propose at an estimated cost of from Id. to 3d. per cubic yard.
In reply to Senator Lynch, the witness said -
No rock would be encountered. There is rock in the tunnel, largely decomposed granite, which is probably as ideal a material as could be desired for the purpose, but the rest of the permanent line is soil that can be handled by this machine. This information has come to band only this morning.
In answer to the Chairman, Mr. Griffin stated -
I cannot say how long it would take to build the line I propose if I had charge of its construction. My experience does not enable me to answer such a question. It would depend entirely on the co-operation of the Railway Department. There are no more difficulties in the construction of my line that in Mr. Hobler’s. I have slightly increased Mr. Hobler’s earthworks in order to make all the work tend to the future development of the city, whereas the earthworks in his proposal would not be serviceable for what I would require in this direction. Mr. Hobler told me that his earthwork estimates were standard estimates, without reference to any particular class of material that might be encountered, as he had not had time to investigate that matter; but I have divided up tha earthworks very carefully, taking into consideration the kinds of earth to be encountered, and I have calculated the different hauls for horses and scrapers from 500 to 1,500 feet, and set down the price accordingly for the long and short hauls. In this way I estimate that the cost of the whole of that grading would be £1,978, or, roughly, about £2^000.
– He claims to have lowered the gradient from one in thirty to one in forty, and consequently must provide for deeper cuttings, and higher fillings.
– The same object might be achieved by keeping lower down the hills. The honorable senator will re- collect that on the northern side of the Molonglo, just after the proposed crossing in Mr. Griffin’s plan, the hills come down rather steeply. As a matter of fact, the permanent line indicated by Mr. Griffin would penetrate the hills, and would require very deep cuttings, and, in one instance, the construction of a tunnel a considerable length. What the earthworks will cost will depend, therefore, upon the proximity of the line to the river. Mr. Griffin only claims that the temporary line would be useful at one part of the permanent line, principally where the deeper cuttings would occur, and where he proposes to establish the Lubecker excavating machine. As a matter of fact, the temporary line would deviate considerably from the permanent line. Probably the distance between the two at one spot would vary from a quarter to half a mile. Mr. Griffin continued -
For the balance of the work I have used Mr. Hobler’s price figures, except that he proposes to cross the Molonglo River at a different spot requiring an entirely different class of structure. Omitting all reference to the sidings, a line to connect the present terminus with the northern Factory site would be if miles. It would follow the surface very closely, and would have a road formation of 17 feet wide providing for a single track. The only appreciable cutting would be where the line would cut into the hill at the centre of the northern suburb. By a divergence from the permanent line we could get round on an absolute surface level grade, as Mr. Hobler has proposed, but that would increase the length of the line by 700 feet.
The terminus of Mr. Hobler’s projected line was a quarter of a mile further north than Mr. Griffin contended it was necessary to carry it.
– Yet Mr. Hobler did not provide for sidings within the military area, so that the question of sidings is eliminated.
– Mr. Hobler’s scheme, I repeat, provided for a longer line than did Mr. Griffin’s. When the Public Works Committee were considering the proposed sites, Colonel Owen had indicated on the map the No. 1 site, and Mr. Griffin had also located upon it his site, which was farther north. When it was found that so many miles of railway would require to be constructed, Mr. Griffin brought his suggested line south from a quarter to half a mile. That is another reason why he is able to reach his site by a shorter length of line than .that proposed by Mr. Hobler. Mr. Griffin demonstrated that the site could, without detriment, be brought that distance farther south. That is to say, the land in the locality was equally suitable for the construction of buildings and for all factory purposes. In answer to Mr. Laird Smith, Mr. Griffin stated -
There are no heavy fillings. The spoil from the cutting at this point I propose to employ in changing the contour of the hill for the centre of the village. Mr. Hobler told me that in making his estimate he used the method he would employ in going through the country, and not through a city, borrowing from excavations at the side to make up his fills and banks, and depositing from his cutting in spoil banks. That is an accepted method of railway construction, but it would not be allowable in a city where we must take account of the spoil banks and pits as well as the railway roadway itself. In cutting into the hill we could balance between cut and fill, but all the cutting we have to undertake is to be for further use to us anyway.
Replying to the Chairman, the witness said -
My line would be 4g miles from the junction of the present railway terminus to within the Factory grounds, leaving out of consideration the sidings.
– Mr. Hobler did the same thing. His line was 5 miles 60 chains in length, and he did not allow for any sidings.
To Mr. Gregory. - I presume that sidings will be needed at the Factory, so that the engines can get round the trains; but their amount and disposition are now indeterminate.
To Senator Story. - I told the Committee when at Canberra that the Factory site could be brought closer to the suburban centre, and accordingly I have brought it 1,000 feet nearer. Mr. Hobler’s line extends for three-quarters of a mile beyond the southern fence of the Factory. My line extends 600 feet into the Factory area. Mr. Hobler’s line, as a railway route, practically coincides with mine. My modification is not for the purpose of shortening the distance, which is a very slight factor, but is for the purpose of having a line that we can afterwards use for the construction of the permanent line. The total distance that Mr. Hobler gave was 5 miles 60 chains. Not having been present when his estimate was explained, I could not understand whether his sidings were included in the total. If they were, I should question his total estimate. But it is well not to consider very extensively the matter of the sidings. We have no means of ascertaining what the requirements will be at either site.
To the Chairman. - The sura of the items of my estimate for the line is f 15.6S6, but it need not be as accurately stated as that. In order to indicate that the estimate has not been figured out so as to be said to be accurate to £1, I should say that the cost would be £16,000. That includes the building of the bridge, the cost of rails, and everything of the same standard of construction that Mr. Hobler proposes, except that I have a different type of bridge, because I have to cross a different part of the river. That part would be longer than where Mr. Hobler proposes to cross, but I prefer it, because I want to use my line as a construction line for the permanent work.
– His estimate is far too low.
– Later on Mr. Griffin came to the same conclusion. After consulting with Mr. Hobler he found that he had omitted certain items, and he then brought up his estimate nearly to that of Mr. Hobler’s reduced estimate. Mr. Griffin’s evidence continues -
My estimate makes no allowance for sidings, because in that regard there will be no difference in needs between the one Factory site or the other. My line terminates 600 feet inside the extended Factory site, which is brought as close as I care to bring it to the village. I propose to build a trestle bridge. I doubt whether 1 should use steel joists. I think it better to estimate the cost of a timber trestle bridge than to put in timber and steel, from which the cost of the steel would be deducted later, as is the case with Mr. Hobler’s estimate. I put down the cost of a timber structure with the idea that it will remain until it is out of service. These details are not things that we should determine in a preliminary estimate. What would prove most economical in the long run would require considerably more figuring. I am giving you the cost of railway from which we will have nothing to deduct for use anywhere else in the Commonwealth. When I am asked whether I would undertake to construct the railway for £10,000, I answer that I am not in a position to undertake the work of construction. Any professional opinion which I give is just as important to me as is a contract bid to do the work.
To Mr. Gregory. - If tenders were called on ray specifications, I think that the work could lie done for the amount I have estimated. I do not think that any discrepancy would be found.
To Mr. Sampson. - In comparing my estimate with that of Mr. Hobler, I have saved £1,000 in the grading by taking into consideration local conditions, which Mr. Hobler could not do. My line is 4f miles long. Some distance has to be deducted from Mr. Hobler’s line in order to compare it with my line. My cost per mile is supposed to be practically the same as his; but, taking Mr. Hobler’s figures as his estimate for the cost of a line of 5 miles 60 chains, omitting sidings, my projected line would cost £19,356. In my first estimate, however, I have made no allowance of 15 per cent, for contingencies and use of plant, which Mr. Hobler includes in his estimate.
To Senator Story. - My earthworks would be heavier, but I have figured them at a less total cost than Mr. Hobler’s. I have figured them as I would figure earthworks for grading purposes for the streets or any other object.
To the Chairman. - I am estimating for tie same weight of rails, and everything exactly as Mr. Hobler did, except that I have provided for a timber trestle bridge. I have taken exactly the same character of road as Mr. Hobler has, and at the same unit prices; but in my first estimate I made no provision for 15 per cent, for contingencies and use of plant. The only percentage that I allowed for uncertainties would be the difference between £15,686 and £16.000. I had the estimate with me yesterday, but as there would be no advantage in my submitting a different class of work to the Committee, I asked Mr. Hobler for his unit prices, and I have just been through my list to check it, and note the omission of his 15 per cent, extra charge. I think that the same time will be occupied in constructing either line. I have not formed an opinion as to which would be the better material for cottages, masonry, brick, or concrete on the one hand, or frame construction on tlie other hand. The different materials would involve a different capital outlay and a different life. The line of policy I had followed previously in regard to cottages at Canberra was the provision of a cottage that the tenant could purchase. I heard the evidence given by Mr. Hill as to the class of cottage proposed to be built; but whether the ordinary construction would be preferable for the Commonwealth is a matter for further question. Houses of timber and lath and plaster, or weatherboard, or fibrous cement are the types that are ordinarily possible to the home builder from a capital standpoint; but as the Government are not lacking in capital, they should figure the ultimate cost. I have heard no evidence of the depth of soil at the northern site, and the additional cost that would be entailed in sinking in order to secure foundations for steam hammers, &c. ; but I do not consider that steam hammers need to be on rock foundations. Ordinarily they are not put on rock foundations. I have not seen the test holes that have been sunk. Steam hammers should have a solid foundation, but rock is not the preferable foundation. In any case it would be necessary to go down for a good depth to put in a bed of concrete. I have listened to, and read, the evidence adduced against that northern site for the Factory, but I have not discovered a single item that, in my opinion, has any weight.
To Senator Story. - Colonel Owen estimates that the extra cost of cartage of all materials to the northern site would be £8,500; but that estimate was made without any reference to the building of a railway. The only qualification to building upon the northern site is the fact that a railway has not been built to it, and that fact has been brought about owing to the opposition of these officers to the line as laid down by my plan. That is the only justification that I can see that would hold for going anywhere else for this Factory location, whereas the objections to the other sites suggested are very serious. Colonel Owen, in his evidence, cited his objections given to the Minister to the line as laid down by me which I have been anxious to press on with, because it is vital to the whole lay-out of the city.
To the Chairman. - The selection of the south-eastern, or No. 1, site, would result in great inconvenience to the people of the city, and expense in duplicating services. Whether the Commonwealth is ready to shoulder this greater expense and greater inconvenience through having a non-compact and scattered development of the. city might be a minor consideration; but, because the expense would be very heavy, it would probably deter the Government from going on with the proper development of the city. There is no such alternative as the suggestion that a continuation at Lithgow would he a greater deterrent to the development of Canberra. If the railway is proceeded with now on the line extending to the northern suburb, and the Factory is started immediately at the northern site, there will certainty be an increased cost in the matter of conveying the supplies necessary for building the Factory until the railway is completed. Colonel Owen’s figures included all the works, but the machinery need not be expected until four months after the railway is completed. In fact, however, transport is a very small item compared with the duplication of services which will be necessitated by commencing settlement at opposite ends of the city. Leaving out of consideration the question of interfering with my plan by erecting the Factory at the south-eastern site, the cost element is entirely in favour of having settlement on the north side.
He has produced no evidence as to why he arrived at that conclusion.
To Senator Lynch. - I refer to the cost of erecting buildings in the city. If it is intended to develop the city on lines which would make the north the better spot - which is granted - the cost of developing this factory settlement to the south-east would be vastly in excess of that of development in the north. The only item against the immediate development of the north is the fact that traction engines will have to be used for the purpose of transporting material. Certainly, in the one case, the railway is more handy and ready for use, while in the other case it has yet to be constructed; but the cost of transportation will be very small in the case of this Factory - something over £3,000, Colonel Owen says - and that the whole extra cost will be £8,500; but I would like to analyze those figures. For instance, no grounds have been put forward in evidence to justify the additional cost for foundations. If we had the railway ready, the saving would be the difference between £3,288 for the transportation of 10,900 tons of material, provided the railway were not available for any of the purposes of the Factory site at the north, and the railway charge of handling this tonnage at, say,1d. per ton per mile. In this way the item would be reduced to about £500. The largest part of this cost given by Colonel Owen is the rehandling of material; but with the railway no rehandling would be involved - the trucks would be taken direct to the Factory in either case.
ToMr. Sampson. - I cannot say that I regard £3,288 as a fair estimate for traction transport, because I do not know anything about traction engines, with which Mr. Hill has had much experience; but if we had the railway ready the cost would be £500.
To Senator Story. - In giving evidence previously, I said that the existing terminus of the railway is the site of one of the future suburbs, where I presumed there would be a local town hall and local business places; but I can say that the establishment now of the Small Arms Factory in that south-eastern site would certainly have such a serious effect on the future development of the northern site that I would consider it a very great injury to my plan. The development of the city must proceed on economic lines, and that it cannot do if we commence with a development that was designed to be a subsequent one. Development must take place from the centre which, from the beginning, will prove of the maximum utility for all considerations, and that centre will be a long way from the south-eastern suburb. In order to supply the conveniences and amenities, and all those things that make up an exemplary and model city, we must be economical and consistent in compact development.
That is the end to which I am working. We cannot do this if we scatter our energies over a great many square miles of territory that will be ultimately occupied, perhaps, a hundred years hence. According to Mr. Hobler’s evidence, the difference between the time it will take to connect the northern site by railway, and that it will take to connect thesoutheastern site, is only three months. The great cost in the matter of transport is in the rehandling of material; but that would be necessary at either place until it is connected by rail. Wecannot base the cost of transport on the mere matter of haulage over 1 mile or 11/4 miles. The cost comes in lifting the material from railway trucks and putting it on to traction trains and unloading it again. Colonel Owen has estimated that if the northern site be selected he will have to build a larger number of houses; but that cannot be regarded as a disadvantage. On the other hand, it must be regarded as of the greatest advantage to the northern area, because it will mean a greater population in the Federal Territory. Every inhabitant brought into the Territory will add £200 to its commercial value from the landlord’s (the Commonwealth’s) stand-point.
– Why should there be a larger number of houses erected in the Capital site if the Factory is on one location as against the other?
– Colonel Owen estimated that if the south-eastern site were selected, within about 31/2 miles of Queanbeyan, a number of people would live in Queanbeyan for a considerable time, at any rate, and would ride or drive to their work at the Small Arms Factory both during the time of its construction and afterwards, when they were engaged in the manufacture of small arms.
– Did the question as to the number of people likely to be resident in the neighbourhood have any effect on the Public Works Committee in their decision?
– I cannot say that it had.
– It is a factor that might have been within their objective.
– I can only speak for myself, and say that as far as I am concerned it did not influence me to any extent. 1 was influenced by the extra cost involved, and partly by the delay which would be occasioned. In my opinion, a delay of six months would be dangerous.
– Did not the Public Works Committee consider that aspect of the question?
– Evidently they did.
– And yet the majority reported in favour of No. 2 site.
– The majority of the Public Works Committee did not attach as much importance to this phase of the question as I do. Evidently, also, they did not attach as much importance to it as the Government, of which the honorable senator was a member, attached to it, because the Government absolutely refused to adopt the recommendation of the majority. They sent along the Arsenal Committee, and took the recommendation of that bodyas a matter of fact, the Government started work on the site which I, the Arsenal Committee, and the Government of a few weeks ago, decided was the best site. It is evident, however, that some very disturbing, if not dangerous, element has got into the Government within the past few weeks and has affected their decision. . The witness added -
I consider the fact that a larger number of houses will be required as one of the chief arguments in favour of the northern site. The difference between the cost of the houses and the value of having the population there is very much in favour of the latter. I agree with Colonel Owen that if the south-eastern site be selected some of the people will probably live in Queanbeyan, and that if the northern site be selected a much larger population will live in the Federal Territory. I do not see how Mr. Hobler’s route for the proposed temporary line would appreciably interfere with the immediate settlement of the city on the northern side. It is not traversing any country that we will develop immediately with other works. The difference between his route and mine is merely a matter of detail, and the future use to which it may be put in developing the permanent line. I want to have a line of more value than a mere temporary line, Mr. Hobler’s line would not interfere at all now except through the slight deviation in crossing the main road to the north, which would be one of the first roads to be constructed. I would take out that deviation, and enable that road to be projected right through to its terminal.
To Mr. Sampson. - I am willing to confer with Mr. Hobler, and see whether we cannot bring our proposals into line. I spoke to Mr. Hobler yesterday, and I ascertained that he had not considered certain points which I had considered in my plan. Of course, he could not do so unless he had my plans before him. It is not necessary to have the railway right into the factory during construction, or during its first year of operation; but it is highly desirable to have it, though they get along at Lithgow without one. I do not in the least agree with the departmental estimates, showing that to build at the northern site will cost £8,000 more for the factory and £8,000 more for cottages. As stated in evidence, the item for the cartage of raw material and the finished articles during three months will not be serious in regard to a Small Arms Factory; but cartage becomes a serious question in regard to the matter of supplies to the people who will later form the community. It would be a serious detriment - at least it would be serious, but not vital - if railway communication were not established for the first twelve months after the completion of the factory or the workmen’s homes. Presumably the proposal is to convey the raw material from the existing railway to the proposed site by lorrins and traction-engine trains. All the steel for the present power-house was put into position when there was no railway. It was all carted from Queanbeyan. A large portion of the work done at the city was carried out before the railway was built. It would have been better to wait until the railway was running, because it would have been more economical. The same objection now applies to continuing operations at another point. I do not think that it means an additional expenditure of £8,500 on the factory, and £8,000 on the cottages. I have already referred to the fact that the amount could be reduced to about £500, which would represent the” saving on rehandling that must be undertaken in either case until a railway is built to either site. Then, again, there is an item of £1,800 for a temporary water service. There is no justification for having a temporary water service. By laying down the service on permanent lines, there would be no expense involved, as it would be part of the capital necessary in any case.
– Can you tell us how far the permanent water would have tobe taken before it reached No. 1 site ?
– I gave the figures to the Senate this afternoon. Roughly, it is about 2 miles further to the northern site; and this is what Mr. Griffin has to say on that matter -
However, if any expedient is to be undertaken in the matter of conveying water, it will probably be much more cheaply done by carting the water. This could be done on the railway, as will be necessary for construction purposes. I do not know that the permanent Cotter scheme is sufficiently far advanced to finable the water to be laid on to the northern site; but we can lay our pipes at any time. 1 see no reason why provision should not be made now for the ultimate Cotter scheme service. In the meantime, we can pump from the Molonglo, or cart from that river, or from the roads, where there would be pipes, which are part and parcel of the permanent reticulation. Colonel Owen has put down £1,200 as the cost of an extra transmission line. But that line, except so far as the copper is required for this particular use, is right in line with where the transmission line must be placed for the whole city development, and might be reasonably charged to that development. It should not be charged against this factory. The things chargeable must be exclusive of the poles, and the cost of setting up. Colonel Owen has charged £450 for pumping water, but that pumping would be the same in either case.
To the Chairman. - Though the river water would have to be pumped a longer distance to the northern site as against the southeastern site, elevation is the only serious matter. The elevation is practically the same in either case. The pipes would be part of the reticulation of the city, and should not be charged against the factory. It would not, of course, be expenditure that would, so far as the development of the city is concerned, be immediately undertaken, but it would be part of the earliest development of the city, and would mean a saving later on. I cannot see any difference between the two sites in regard to the £1,800 for a temporary water supply and £450 for pumping. The same remark applies to the £250 provided as the extra cost of the sewage disposal. It should not cost that. I say this from my knowledge of the topography of the country. I have made no estimate. 1 am producing the evidence to the Senate as I promised, so that I may justify the statements I made.
– We will willingly release you of your promise, and also believe you when you say that you feel you were justified in making your statements.
– I have no doubt the Minister would release me, but I wish to place the evidence before honorable senators, who have not had an opportunity of perusing it. I venture to say that it is because the Minister perused it in the first place that he agreed to reject the majority report of the Works Committee and adopt the report of the Arsenal Committee which indorsed the finding of the minority on the Works Committee.
– I did nothing of the kind. The honorable senator is quite mistaken. Has that report been laid on the table yet?
– No, _ not to my knowledge; it was furnished to the Department. Perhaps I may explain that this inquiry by the Public Works Committee was never ordered by Parliament. It was made at the request of the Minister of Home Affairs, who, owing to the conflict of opinion between
Mr. Griffin and the Minister’s departmental officers, either did not like to decide the question himself or felt that the responsibility was too great, so he decided to refer it to the Works Committee. As Senator Gardiner has already intimated, the majority of the Committee reported in one direction, and a minority in another. This report has never been presented to Parliament. It could not be so presented except through the Minister of Home Affairs. I naturally assumed that the Minister would furnish this report to Parliament; but, as I have said, it could not be presented by the Works Committee.
– I will take your ruling, Mr. President, on the point whether the honorable senator is in order in reading a report that has not yet been submitted to the Senate. It will be a new system of dealing with the Committee reports if any member of the Committee, obtaining a printed copy, may at any time make the document public by simply adopting the attitude the honorable senator has taken.
– The honorable senator is perfectly in order in quoting from any document, whether it has been presented to Parliament or not. He can quote from any book, ancient or modern. The only restriction he is under is that any document from which he has quoted may be ordered by the Senate to be laid on the table. Standing order No. 364, which deals with the point raised, is as follows: -
A document quoted from by a senator not a Minister of the Crown may be ordered by the Senate to be laid upon the table. ‘Such order may be made without notice immediately upon the conclusion of the speech of the senator who has quoted therefrom. .
– The document may have been presented to Parliament. I do not know that it has. I do not know that it has not; but the Works Committee could not have presented it to Parliament, because they were not instructed by Parliament to make their investigation. This was done at the request of the Minister of Home Affairs, and the Committee would naturally and properly furnish their report to him. It was either his duty, or his right, if he thought fit, to supply the evidence to Parliament. I am afraid some of the evidence that I have just quoted is repetition, but it is better to repeat rather than allow this valuable information to be lost.
– I hope the honorable senator will not indulge in repetition. He has been long enough already.
– I can assure the Senate that I shall not indulge in much repetition, though I should be sorry to omit any portion of the evidence given in regard to the subject under consideration. I should also like to call attention to the fact that throughout his evidence Mr, Griffin claims that the cost of ali these different works should not be charged against the arsenal, but against some future works that may or may not be carried out. Unless the Factory is constructed on the No. 2 site it is a fair claim that there would be no necessity for any of these works to be put there.
– If the site were cut up into residential areas much of this work would be remunerative. If the arsenal is erected there it could only bc indirectly remunerative.
– That probably is so. But what I want the Senate to understand is that, unless the Factory is put on this site, there will be no necessity for the expenditure of this money, and IV Griffin’s contention, that the expenditure should not be charged against the Small Arms Factory, seems to be on very slender grounds. Mr. Griffin goes on -
To Senator Keating. - There are no data on which an estimate can be based. Mr. Hill has said in evidence that be did not know where be would put the septic tank. He had an idea of putting it to the north and pumping up to it. He could not make an estimate unless he had definitely determined where he would place the septic tank. Neither can I. Therefore, I do not see that there is any basis for the difference in cost as given by Colonel Owen.
To the Chairman - It will not cost any more to pump the water to the northern site. The item- of £500 extra for incidental overhead charges is too nebulous for serious consideration. The extra cost of transport can easily be saved by the construction of the railway. There should be a saving of £3,000 at least in this way. Certainly the railway cannot be built immediately, but it can be built within eight months, and the machinery for the Factory cannot be here inside of eight or twelve months.
To Senator Story. - I have taken all the items that Colonel Owen has instanced in his estimates, with the exception of the actual cost of transporting and re-handling by traction engine the material for the construction of the buildings, but whatever construction can be carried on before the completion of the east branch or subsequent to the building of the railway must be deducted.
– Mr. Griffin overlooks this point that, according to his theory, the railway will have to be there before the erection of the building can begin. Consequently, development will be slow.
– What Mr. Griffin claims is that the railway could be built in eight months, and, consequently, although material for the construction of the buildings would have to be carted, a considerable sum, which Colonel Owen has charged for cartage, would be saved, because, instead of having to cart the machinery, if the railway were finished within eight months, and the machinery did not arrive for eight months, it could be carried over the railway.
– Colonel Owen distinctly stated the items upon which cartage would be charged. He made no charge for the carting of machinery. Machinery was not mentioned in his evidence.
– I am merely giving the evidence of the various witnesses. I have no comments to make, though, in some instances, witnesses did give mistaken replies to questions, and made incorrect statements. It is not, however, my business, at this juncture, to comment.
– All the more reason why we should comment on it as the honorable senator goes along.
– I am glad to know honorable senators are taking sufficient interest in this subject, so as to be able to arrive at a conclusion on the evidence. Mr. Griffin continued -
To Mr. Sampson. - I have already said that the power should be conveyed from a central station. I cannot see anything but serious objection to locating the Factory on the water front. If it is proposed to make No. 1 site ai> industrial centre, the chances are that there will be trade wastes which the biologic systems cannot take care of, and all danger of temptation to pollute the water has to be avoided. The water could only be of use for cooling condensers never wanted. Mr. Hill has expiated on places where they use steam for other purposes than power, but this has no bearing on the question. Mr. Hill would not propose that we should use the Molonglo water for consumption purposes, because we have a supply from the Cotter River for that purpose of better quality. Mr. Hill has allowed for a possible expansion to the extent of only six times the initial Factory. That is another objection to the south-eastern site. There is no room for expansion. We must allow for almost indefinite expansion. The south-eastern site is restricted to six times the original installation. That would mean, perhaps, an eventual consumption of water for 3,600 horse-power, ignoring altogether the question of condensers, and would account for only a gallon per second. The South Yarra power-house uses the Yarra water for condensing. The Melbourne City power plant does the same. These plants, however, never use the Yarra water for boilers. The water for the boilers is taken from the metropolitan water supply, and I assume that the same thing will apply at Canberra. The power plant will be the central station unit. T do not see any evidence to indicate that power will be transmitted by any other means than electricity, and the cost of transmission is a negligible quantity. The advantages of a central station are quite obvious. In no place in the world is the advantage of having factories located on the water’s edge recognised, except for the purpose of cooling condensing engines. Great manufacturing centres are in localities inaccessible to rivers, and in most cases where the factories are situated on rivers the waters are useful for other purposes, such as power or transport. The utilization of the water frontage for factory purposes is the poorest use to which you oan put it, because it oan only be used for cooling condensers not wanted, and not for power or steam or any other purpose which may be required, even “ wool washing.” The water of the Molonglo would not be suitable, as the installation of separate pumps would be more costly than the taking of water from the central system. Certainly the water could be used, but there would be no advantage gained by doing so. There are no disabilities operating against the northern site. All the plant for transporting the materials required is now available. There are seven traction engines, and a great many trucks. I think that the northern site could be built on just as quickly as the south-eastern site.
To Mr. Laird Smith. - I look upon the construction of the temporary railway as being essential to the immediate building of the Factory. Building the Factory at the northern site would interfere less with the object of the lay-out of the northern part of the city, or, in fact, any other portion, than would the building of it at any other spot. I have designed the city to keep open axes from the diagonal points of the compass. These axes are the show part of the city. They are kept open in order to expose all the features of the city to view from any part. The northern Factory site is kept away entirely from these axes. On the other hand. No. 1 site would be a very conspicuous point in this open-axis development. It will be an element brought into the view of Parliament House and all the other important groups. It has been said in evidence that the Factory will be treated harmoniously, but I have seen the sketches, and I see in them no attempt even to make any possible harmony with the monumental development of the city. I do not think it will be feasible. It is absolutely essential to carry out my plan to have the civic centre at Mount Vernon. Building at the northern site would eventually lead to economy in the building of the city. It will be more compact in connexion with the city development where the maximum population will congregate. It will also be more convenient now. It will not only be economic in the first cost in the matter of supply facilities and transportation, but it will also be mutually convenient to the occupants of the city. Mr. Hill is in favour of the civic centre being near Parliament House, but that proposal would upset my entire plan, being contrary to its fundamental purpose. If the suggestion that this
Factory, and subsequently other factories, should be erected at the south-eastern site be adopted, and the civic centre naturally follows to the southern portion of the city, it would not be worth while proceeding with my city plan. It would be a direct violation of the fundamental principle of it. There could scarcely be a more fundamental violation of it. The water main, if extended to the southeastern site, would not serve as many people as would be served by its extension to the northern site.
To Senator Keating. - I have not varied the location of my civic centre as placed to the north four years ago on the contours, as defined and submitted to all the competitors. I have heard Mr. Hill say that he would prefer to have the civic centre on the south, but I did not hear Colonel Vernon say that he condemned the north as the site for the civic centre. Colonel Vernon preferred that Parliament House should be built on the lilli named after him. He thought so up to the time of his death, and he wanted me to modify my plans in order to put Parliament House on Vernon Hill. At least, he asked me to give that possibility due consideration. According to my plan, the majority of the population is to be provided for on the north of the lakes., with Parliament House and the Capitol and the administrative offices situated on the south and the civic centre on the north, my purpose being to distribute the population through the area that was allotted. I indorse the opinion expressed by Mr. Hill that the location of the Small Arms Factory at the south-eastern corner will cause many of the people working at the Factory to reside in Queanbeyan, but with the Factory situated at the northern site, the tendency will be to keep the people in the Federal Territory, which fact will contribute to the establishment of the main centre at Mount Vernon. The idea is to progressively distribute the population generally over the site originally selected for the city. If the south-east corner be chosen, it will prevent population going to the north of the lakes, and will shift the centre of gravity of the population. In other words, the centre of gravity of the population will be absolutely disturbed, and the relation of the lake scheme thereto will be altogether upset. A direct feature in the view from the civic centre will be Parliament House, but I cannot say whether the Small Arms Factory, if erected on the south-east site, will bo in that particular prospect. Whether the topography would conceal the building I do not know; but I think not. It will certainly be in view from Parliament House and Capitol Hill. We have kept the centre of the city open, so as to get the maximum possible view of all buildings, of which we wish to make a feature; and as that open space runs right into this park site, I think that it is altogether probable that the Factory will be included in the view with Parliament House. There is nothing but water between Mount Vernon and the Factory site, at the south-east park. The adoption of that site would upset the whole scheme if it be developed as intended.
To Senator Lynch. - I quite agree that the four points which were originally fixed to indicate the city area were placed in the correct position in order to preserve tlie finest features for a modern city. As far as such a square can do so, these four points embrace the features that give the attractions of Canberra. T do not think that the points could bc shifted to any advantage. In fact, any alteration would give less advantage. It has always been an inspiring site to me, the relation of the Capitol Hill and the surrounding country, the dominance of that point, the two mountains to the north, and the magnificent vista to the south. Settlement to the south would put the whole city in another place, and in a much inferior place. It would also prevent balance of settlement. Determining a factory site is a difficult proposition in order not to spoil the whole layout. The south-eastern site is one of the most conspicuous in the area. The Factory district is a feature that must be minimized more than any other feature that we shall have to contend with. Apart from my plan, the fixing of tlie south-eastern site would be a vital determining factor as to where the centre of the city would be. One cannot say, “ The centre of the city is to be there,” and depend upon its being there. You cannot depend on people doing something which is more and more objectionable on account of other things having been done. If we were to be an autocracy living for ever, we might settle the matter arbitrarily, but otherwise it cannot be settled arbitrarily. Inconsistency makes it more and more impossible to get a fine result. I think that a great many of the people who will be engaged in the building of the city will be accommodated between the civic centre and the manufacturing suburb to the north. Those who prefer to live close to the Factory will be provided for immediately adjacent to it. Those whose interests arc divided between the Factory and other pursuits will be at spots that will suit them best.
Although it was suggested that it would be inconvenient to the workmen to live midway between the civic centre and the Parliamentary building, Mr. Griffin seemed to think that they, as well as others interested in the Capital, ought to submit to all these inconveniences in order that their descendants might see the Federal city develop exactly as designed by him. Possibly the sacrifice is not too great, but I feel that the convenience and comfort of the residents of to-day ought to be studied to some extent -
In most cases they will be within walking distance of their work, but in any case all the early works projected will be distributed along a north and south line extending from Parliament House to the Small Arms Factory site that I suggest. We cannot make permanent provision for locally establishing men who are employed on construction works that will extend over a limited period. I regard my scheme in this direction as making for economy. All our services can be accommodated on that line that I have indicated.
To Mr. Gregory. - My own tenet is to have local treatment for disposing of sewage, but I do not advocate a septic tank. I think that there are much more advanced methods of treating sewage.
To the Chairman. - In regard to the allowance that has been made for workers living in Queanbeyan, if the south-eastern site be selected, estimating the number at 44U, and taking the family unit of five, £200 per head would represent £88,000 of land values that might be expected to be diverted to the Federal Territory by choosing the northern site.
To Mr. Sampson. - I have already explained that the £8,588 Colonel Owen mentioned in his evidence as the extra cost of building at the northern site is made up largely of items which cannot legitimately be charged as extra cost. I understand that Mr. Hill is providing £8,050 as the extra cost of residences, but the building of these need not coincide with the preliminary work on the Factory. It can be done much more quickly after the railway is there. Mr. Hill has said that there would be practically no extra cost of supplying the building materials with the railway operating, and as the houses could be constructed after the railway is available this charge of £8,050 should not apply. After the completion of the railway, and before the men will be ready, we can provide houses for them in four months. It is only a matter of the number of men we can get. Mr. Hill puts down an extra provision of £5,000 for storm water, but that is also a permanent improvement, and should not be charged as an extra. It certainly cannot be more than roughly approximated, but whatever is done is a necessary permanent investment, and not chargeable to any work such as the Small Arms Factory.
Mr. G. A. Hobler, recalled and further examined, said -
To the Chairman. - I cannot say that the line indicated as the permanent line on the plan will be the permanent railway. I have taken care to keep my temporary line at least 4 or 5 chains away from what may be the permanent line, so that it will not interfere with the permanent works when they are undertaken. Mr. Griffin may be satisfied to go closer. The final position for a temporary line is a matter of further examination, and should not interfere with the actual estimated cost.
To Senator Lynch. - It would not be of advantage to the construction of the permanent way to have a temporary road as close to it as possible. On the other hand, it might be a nuisance. It should be kept sufficiently far away so as not to interfere with the permanent works when they are carried out. For instance, it would need to be sufficiently far away to enable approaches for permanent overbridges to be made. I am not bound to follow the plan that I have submitted; but if the Railway Department were eventually instructed to build a temporary road, we should make our selection of its final position, and in doing so it would naturally confer with the Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction, and with the Director-General of Works, as to the works they were likely to carry out, or as to what designs we would have to make for the permanent one, and we would lay down the temporary road accordingly. The position I have shown on the plan is an approximate position for a temporary line. We are not bound to it within a few chains one way or another. It might be found of advantage in some places to carry the temporary line close to the proposed permanent line, in other places to build it several chains away. A survey will have to be made, and a certain grade will have to be fixed. When we actually make a survey on the ground, there may be minor alterations to the route. I am quite willing to confer with Mr. Griffin upon the matter. I would not like to say that the time I have allowed for the building of the line could be reduced. We are in the hands of other people, in regard to getting material. It is very difficult for an engineer to give an estimate of time, or to undertake to bring the time for the completion of a job to the shortest possible period when he is in the hands of other people to supply the material. Before we could start the works, we would have to obtain sleepers’ and rails, and fastenings and piles for the bridge. We probably would not use any rails but those of our own design, so that I ‘do not think there would be any advantage in asking State Governments as a matter of urgency to supply us with material. Some of our rails come from England ; others are supplied from Hoskins’, at Lithgow, and some from the Broken Hill Proprietary Company’s steel works, who now have their hands full. -It is “hard to say what material would hold us up. It all depends upon what conditions we can make for getting it. First of all, we would have to make a survey, and then drawings would have to be prepared before we could start on the work. After that, the earthworks would take about two or three months. It is the collecting of the material that takes the time. A line 16 miles long would only take two months longer. However, when I have gone into the matter with Mr. Griffin in regard to his proposed crossing of the Molonglo, I shall see if I oan shorten the time for the construction of the line. Much will depend on the crossing of the Molonglo River. The securing of piles, and the driving of them, will take time. One of the most uncertain points is the building of the bridge and the driving of the piles.
Colonel Owen, further examined, said -
To the Chairman. - In perusing the reports of the evidence of Mr. Griffin, I have noticed two or three points in regard to which I desire to correct what appear’ to be wrong impressions. Mr. Griffin thinks that the officers of the Department are opposed to No. 2 site for reasons associated with his design. I desire to say, in the first place, that the officers of the Department had nothing to do with the selection of the No. 1 site. It was selected by me after a study of the plan. I chose a site at which I thought the Factory could be feasibly and quickly -be established. Then, again, Mr. Griffin said, “ Colonel Owen, from his evidence, seems to consider it necessary to have a power plant at the Factory itself.” Mr. Griffin has misread my evidence. Turning to the report of my evidence, I find that the words I used were, “There will come a stage when the authorities at the arsenal will generate their motive power.” I have never suggested that there should be a power plant established at the site for one Factory or twoFactories. My contention is that, with the establishment of a large arsenal, not merely a Factory, there will come a stage when theauthorities will require a power plant on thespot. He also said, “ I have tried in vain to get at the bottom of that suggestion. So far as I can see there is no requirement for water except for condensation.” In reply to that statement, I oan only inform the Committee of the amount -of water required for one Factory. The people at Lithgow assert that, during the last twelve months 12,000,000 gallonsof water were consumed at the Small Arms Factory. That is an indication of the amount of water used in one Factory which is not a large consumer. The consumption for steam for power was probably about 1,500,000 gallons. My contention is that other Factories will be started which may, and probably will, be largeconsumers of water. Twelve million gallons of water for one Factory, which for most of the time has been working ‘only one shift, or at the most one and a half shifts, is a fairly large volume. A 350 horse-power plant, working on a 25 lbs. steam consumption on an average of twelve hours per day throughout the year, would account for 1,500,000 out of a total of 12,000,000 gallons. The balance would be required for general purposes - washing down, watering, drinking, and a certain amount for sewerage. While I have been ill I have submitted reports which have apparently not quitesatisfied the Committee regarding my views on the power question, and I should like to take this opportunity of making a few remarks direct to the Committee. I discussed this matter with Mr. Clements, the managing director and engineer of the Melbourne, Adelaide, and Geelong electric light supplies. His view was that as a power proposition alone the power would always be taken from the bigger station, and the bigger the station the less thecost of the power. I said to him, “ Supposewe have a battery of boilers, boiler-house, plant, and stokers for Factory purposes, how- does that affect the question? Once the management sees an opportunity of making the arsenal self-contained and entirely independentof outside sources it will strive to achieve that end. I contend that with a large battery of boilers and men to run the plant, the Factory authorities will decide to have their own power plant, and that was what I meant in my evidence.”
To Mr. Gregory. - In stressing the point- that it would not be necessary to incur the expense of installing a power plant at the No. 1 site, I was talking only of the Small Arms Factory, but one must look beyond that stage to the development of a complete arsenal. AfterI had stated that view to Mr. Clements, he replied, “ Undoubtedly, you are right.” I desired to correct misconceptions in regard to the two points I have just dealt with. I am confident that water ls a factor which anybody choosing a Factory site will lay stress on.
To the Chairman. - I never contemplated the establishment of a separate power plant for the Factory at either site. My estimateincludes a power line to the No. 2 site. It may be ten or fifteen years before a separate power plant is required for the arsenal, but when such an installation is made we ought. not to suffer a disability in regard to copious water supply for condensers. Another point I wish to deal with is that the evidence would make it appear that I was advocating the placing of the Factory at the No. 1 site as a lever against the adoption of the city plan. I say most emphatically that such an idea never occurred to me. On the other hand, if imputations are to be made, I think I am justified in saying that the placing of the Factory at No. 2 site is being used as a lever to accomplish a certain city plan which would be impossible without the adoption of that site. As to the statement that the adoption of No. 1 site will interfere with the integrity of the plan which has been approved, and which Mr. Griffin prepared after consultation with the Works Department as to how Canberra was likely to evolve, I say that the adoption of this site does not affect in the slightest degree Mr. Griffin’s printed plan, which had received Ministerial approval before he went to America and England. The, schematic plan before the Committee has never, to my knowledge, received any approval from Mr. Archibald. In fact, I think his statements in Parliament will show that, before approving of this plan, he wished to be assured in regard to certain essential features. The printed plan was, to the best of my knowledge, approved by Mr. Kelly, and then Mr. Griffin prepared his description. Mr. Griffin admits that the centre shown to the south-east was placed there because of the fact that there was no railway running northwards to Yass, and it would, therefore, be a convenience to place the initial city at the spot where he has placed it on the plan. Now he says that the conditions are altered, but I ask the Committee how they are altered ?
This description by Mr. Griffin was published in 1913. At that time there was no thought of war, and no prospect of having to curtail expenditure, probably for many years. Is it likely that the Commonwealth, in establishing a Capital city at Canberra, is willing to-day to incur an ‘ enormously greater expenditure than it was willing to incur in 1913? On this point Mr. Griffin says in his evidence -
I consider that the business area I have proposed to the north should be developed immediately. I would go ahead with the development of that area at present, and that area alone. Attention must be paid to the different functions for which provision has to be made.
That simply means that the Commonwealth, instead of building one town, must build two towns. It means that the northern area must be supplied with water, sewerage, roads, railway and railway stations, road bridge, railway bridge, and have its storm water deflected. In fact, Mr. Griffin wishes to start immediately with the northern town, but how is the Commonwealth to avoid proceeding also forthwith with the southern or parliamentary town? Parliament House must be established on the southern side of the river, and there must be at least a residential centre there also. I now coma to the point in regard to which I absolutely differ from Mr. Griffin. I say that the Commonwealth will not undertake the building of two towns straightway. If there is one consideration that would stop the development of the whole city, it is the possibility of the Commonwealth having to embark on the creation of two towns at the same time. We must proceed with the southern centre. Originally, I estimated the cost of stormwater drainage for the southern centre at £40,000, but I can safely say that the cost will be £100,000. The Committee can have no idea of the effect of the quick run-off from these hills after a heavy downpour. I have stated before that as soon as the city plan is settled the first thing to do is to divert the storm water before we lay down the roads or attempt anything else. As to the erection of the Small Arms Factory at No. 1 site being likely to upset Mr. Griffin’s plan, my own view is that that argument is being used merely as a lever to help forward the development of the northern centre. If the development of the northern centre is forced ahead, and we are obliged to spend this extra money, the development of Canberra may be retarded for years. If the mere siting of a factory which is outside the city plan is going to upset the whole plan, a weakness in the plan itself is revealed. The plan must be the hand-maiden of the site, and not the site the hand-maiden of the plan, and it is a sign of inherent weakness in the plan itself if it is going to be upset for all time by the siting of factories. If the civic centreis a proper feature, it will evolve in time. Therefore, I agree with Mr. Griffin’s original idea to establish the initial city where it is shown on the printed plan. When we visited Mount Vernon the day was beautiful, and nobody could fail to be impressed with the beauty of the view looking towards the mountains. Possibly there is in the minds of some people an impression that the Department hasbeen consistently bolstering up the arguments in regard to climate in order to promote the Department’s plan. I desire to clear the mind of the Committee of any such notion. In the year 1909 Mr. Scrivener had been studying various sites for the Capital city. I need not read the whole of his report, but, referring to Canberra, he said -
The Capital would probably lie in an amphitheatre of hills, with an outlook towards the north and north-east, well sheltered from both the southerly and westerly winds.
In a later report, he said -
There can be no doubt that should Canberra become the site of the Federal city the tendency will be to occupy the slopes under the higher ranges, in order to secure as much shelter from the strong winds as possible, and a good residential area is to be found at as high a level as 2,200 feet.
That view is not new; it was absolutely drilled into us. I went to Canberra, desiring that the city should have an aspect towards the mountains - that is westerly; Colonel Vernon had the same view. That was before there was any plan in existence at all. Later, when the competition for the city design took place, competitors were furnished with a description of the site. I was on the Committee which drew up the conditions of the competition, and the opinion was held that we should not indicate to any competitor a definite site, but in regard to “ shelter “ this passage was inserted in the description -
The largest area sheltered from the most objectionable winds lies south of the Molonglo River, and on the eastern slope of the Narrabunda Range and its tributary spurs. A more restricted sheltered area is east of Black Mountain.
The area mentioned in this description is that upon which the Capitol, Parliament House, and the administrative buildings will be situated if Mr. Griffin’s design is given effect.
I wish to remove any impression that I am bolstering up an argument without foundation. The climatic conditions were considered by us to be an essential feature governing any de- sign. The members of the Committee may think there is nothing in the argument I am putting forward; if so, I can only answer that the people who live there agree with me. We cannot alter the climatic conditions. The strongest argument used against Dalgety was that it is subject to blizzards, but 1 assure the Committee that in winter there are cold winds on the open plains of Canberra nearly us bad as those experienced at Dalgety. There is another misapprehension in connexion with city grouping. Mr. Griffin points out the proximity of Duntroon to the No. 1 site as being an argument favorable to his plan. When the late General Bridges and I went to Canberra to select a site for the Royal Military College I had some difficulty in persuading him that the College should be placed at the Federal Capital.He said that the College would be too close to the town. First of all, we went to Goulburn. Then, when we went to Canberra, he regarded Duntroon as being too close to the future town, and he preferred Tuggeranong as being situated a proper distance from large settlement. However, I informed him that Tuggeranong was outside the Federal Territory. Then, when he was assured that there would be no settlement about the spurs in the vicinity of Duntroon, he agreed to that site. Now we are told that there is to be a market centre established practically at the back door of the Military College. If General Bridges knew what he was talking about when he objected to a College site close to a town, the Military College will require to be shifted should the market centre be established, as Mr. Griffin proposes.
To Senator Story. - Mr. Griffin, in his evidence given on the 11th August, said -
The only qualification to building upon the northern site is the fact that a railway has not been built to it, and that fact has been brought about owing to the opposition of those officers to the line as laid down in my plan.
I have never heard a suggestion that any line should be built at present, and such opposition as Mr. Griffin referred to has never entered my head. I have certainly disagreed from the site of the railway station and the line through the city. I think Mr. Griffin is imagining things.
To Mr. Laird Smith.- For Mr. Griffin to say that the adoption of the No. 1 site will mean the scrapping of his plan is absolutely absurd. The adoption of that site will not affect the integrity of his plan. The whole plan can remain as it is. What Mr. Griffin means is that if the No. 1 site is adopted his civic centre will not be started with the Factory. It is not this Factory which will upset his plan it is the fact that the Commonwealth cannot commence building two towns at once. Do the members of the Committee think that with this war in progress, and the consequent shortage of money, the Commonwealth will start building two towns straightway, and the northern one immediately? The town must be built to the south, where Parliament is to sit, and it must be built first. Mr. Griffin says that, although the initial cost would be greater, No. 2 site would prove much cheaper subsequently owing to the easier development of the city. Heaven knows where the cost will finish if his proposed business area to the north is to be developed immediately. The Committee must remember that the southern area must be developed also; that is essential. Mr. Griffin’s evidence means that willy-nilly the civic area must be forced to the north. I contend that the evolution must be from the south. Isay nothing against his plan; it may be the most excellent in the world. If so, it will evolve all right, but nothing will prevent the initial development to the south of the river. It is not alone the cost of the Small Arms Factory that would mean initial expense at the No. 2 site, but the necessity for establishing a complete system of water supply, sewerage, power distribution, storm-water drainage, roads, bridges, and everything else. In regard to the plans for the construction of a temporary railway, we know that at that spot floods are experienced, ranging up to 1,000,000 cubic feet per minute, and we do not want to build a railway the ballast of which will be washed away two or three times a year. I am very doubtful about erecting a bridge that is not above flood level. There are only two courses practicable; one is to build a bridge so low that it would be submerged by any freshet, and all debris would be washed over the top of it, and the other is to raise a bridge absolutely above flood level. I would be chary indeed of. adopting any middle course. The present low-level bridge is interrupted for some days at a time. I do not like to interfere in railway matters in opposition to the opinion of the EngineerinChief, but my Department has an intimate experience of the flood conditions at Canberra, and, because of that experience and knowledge, we may be able to help the Committee with an opinion on the subject.
Further examined on the 19th August, Colonel Owen gave this evidence -
To Senator Lynch. - The Small Arms Factory atLithgow would, according to the statement of the Manager of the Factory, consume 12,000,000 gallons of water per annum. The amount required for steam production would he about 1,500,000. It is not my own estimate that the Factory, if transferred to Canberra, would consume 12,000,000 gallons, but I have quoted figures supplied bythe Lithgow people as an evidence of what the Factory consumed last year. I presume they are correct. The water consumption would be about the same at Canberra whatever site was selected, and I think it is also possible that water for factory purposes would be drawn from the Molonglo River. I do not see any reason to assume that there would be any difference in the quantity of water likely to he used at Canberra and at Lithgow. If the No. 1 site were selected, it would be possible to obtain water from the Molonglo by pumping it against a gravity head of about 100 feet as compared with 800 feet from the Cotter. .That is a point to the advantage of the No. 1 site; the value of the water used can be capitalized. If the value of the water used is capitalized, and if the water is going to cost so much more per 1,000 gallons on the one site than on the other, the difference represents the difference in the capital that would have to be expended on one place as against the other. I do not want to labour the point, but I am firmly of the opinion that the time will come when we shall have to have condensing engines at the arsenal. It may not be for twenty or thirty years, but when it does come the supply of water, though only one factor, will be an important one, and if we do not provide an adequate supply, posterity will charge us with not having looked ahead. I was not responsible for the selection of the original outline for the city area shown on the plan. As a member of the Committee responsible for its selection, I agreed with what was done, but it was Mr. Scrivener - the surveyor - who marked off the actual area of 9 square miles. My opinion was only sought as one member of the Committee. It may be taken that I indorsed Mr. Scrivener’s proposal, though it must be borne in mind in this connexion that the Committee was firmly of the opinion, as shown by the conditions set out for the competition, that the city should face north-east, and be under the shelter of the hills. On this point may I add that both the late Colonel Vernon and myself abandoned our original ideas as to where the town of Canberra would probably grow on account of the prevailing direction of the wind, the strength and coldness of which is one of the serious drawbacks of the Canberra site. The Government physiographer has told me that on the open plains fie has found rocks, not water cut, but sand cut, which means that the wind has been so strong that the force of the sand blown on to the rock has cut it. I do not think it can be fairly assumed, even with the boundary lines as shown on the map - from Mr Ainslie in the north-east and Black Mountain in the northwest, and lines running across from these points - that the area enclosed was necessarily regarded as the best possible site on the whole of the Yass-Canberra area. When the city area was made available for the benefit of competitors throughout the world, I think Mr. Scrivener raised the point that Mr Ainslie and the Black Mountain should be indicated on the plan as likely to have a bearing upon the city deign ; but, in any case, I am certain that the deliberations of the Committee were only based on the point of view that the development of the city outside the central area would be in the direction of the Narrabunda Ranges. I do not think that competitors were pledged to confine themselves to that particular area in drafting their plan, but I also do not think that any one ever dreamt that the whole area should be utilized, at the start, in the establishment of this comparatively small town. In the course of my evidence on the proposal to remove the Small Arms Factory from Lithgow, I said, “ I think that once you start an independent town you will have great difficulty in stopping it. After six months shops will go up, and there you will have the ‘ initial city.’ To put the Factory on the north side of the city would be the thing to do if you desired to create the city there.”
I wish to call the attention of senators to the fact that this is sound reasoning on the part of Colonel Owen, who is an authority who ought to he listened to. He continued -
The construction to be placed on that statement may be taken as an indication that I favour the southern side of the city as the site for “ the initial city,” for, as I said before, the “ initial city,” if established there, would soon lose its temporary character and become permanent. That interpretation might also apply to the No. 1 site, but I think it should be borne in mind, whether the No. 1 site or the No. 2 site is adopted, that where the centre of administration is, and where the leading institutions are likely to be, there in all probability will the first residential and business settlement also be. It may be possible to make a Prahran, or something more remote than a Prahran, on the northern side, but, in my opinion, it is impossible to imagine that the “ initial city “ will not grow near the site of the one vital reason for the establishment of a Capital city at all, and near where all its administrative activities are going to be. I think an indication to that effect was given for the guidance of the competitive designs for the Federal Capital city. I have never looked at Canberra as being likely to develop into a great manufacturing town or into a great commercial town. The Federal Capital will be the permanent seat of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia, and that being the primary object of the city’s establishment, it has always seemed to me that the city’s development should be regarded chiefly from that point of view. If it is the intention of the Government to establish there a second feature to be a very important feature, very different from that originally intended, may I point out that when Mr. Griffin came to Australia, and before he prepared the plan that has been approved, the argument I have just placed before the Committee was given to him? The position now confronting Australia in regard to the Capital city is this. I would be almost afraid to say what it will cost to establish the northern town at the same time as the southern town. The southern town must be started if Parliament is to sit at Canberra. Mr. Griffin says he would start the northern town at once; but the establishment of the northern town will impose the construction of a low-level railway and bridge, at least one road bridge, a complete water service, roads, parks, electric supply - in fact, everything that is necessary for the establishment of a town. Mr. Griffin also states in his evidence that propose to distribute the town over a considerable area. But if his proposal be adopted, and the northern town commenced as well as the southern town, the carrying out of that proposal will have the effect of distributing the town over miles. Such a proceeding would, in mv opinion, cost at least a quarter of a million pounds.
That is the estimate, not of an irresponsible citizen, but of the Director-General of Works, the Commonwealth’s chief technical adviser.
– An off-hand opinion, based on nothing.
– Colonel Owen is not the person to give an off-hand opinion. He is one of the most careful officials I have ever come in contact with. Every statement he makes is the result of careful thought and due deliberation; and I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that I am prepared to accept every statement and estimate by him as absolutely safe. He continued -
Upon that point I think Mr. Griffin draws a wrong deduction. He says, for instance, that the £5.000 which I propose as the cost of dealing with the storm water should be put down as a civic charge; I may point out that it has nothing to do with diverting water from the civic centre; it diverts storm water from his proposed factory site and that site only. The adoption of the No. 2 site for this factory will mean the establishment of two towns. 11 the No. 1 site is chosen, quite a different position will arise. I am as sure as a man oan be of anything how the city is going to develop. We must go on with the primary object for the city’s establishment, which is parliamentary administration and everything accessory to it. We must go on with that. A number of workmen will be there, and even if they are only there temporarily they will put up galvanizediron stores, and nothing will prevent them from living near to the district in which they are working. The heaviest expenditure will be incurred, and the most important works put down on that side, and in my view nothing will prevent the growth of the city there, and that is why, in my view, the “initial town” should be placed there. The erection of homes for the men who are permanently employed at the Factory close to the Factory site will not mean the establishment of two centres of population. Of the 500 or 600 men who will work at the Factory, a number will live near to it. But more will live among the general body of workmen employed at the capital, and some will live at Queanbeyan, which, unless the Commonwealth is prepared to dip its hand into its pocket as far as the elbow, is going to be of considerable assistance in this matter of city development. According to Mr. Knibbs, 15,000 people will be engaged in the work of erecting this city. They will be the first people in the “ initial town.” I admit that if the Government absolutely prohibits settlement on the southern side, even at the risk of spending a quarter of a million or more on the northern side, the town may be established on the north side, but it must not be forgotten that the people of Australia will have to pay for the railway from Yass, and the next few years are going to be a period when the people of Australia will not desire to spend more money than is necessary.
In that statement I think Colonel Owen exhibited very wise foresight.
I think there is more evidence now than there was two years ago in favour of the establishment of the “ initial city “ to the south-east. The factors in favour of that course being adopted are distinctly more .prominent now than they were then. On a previous occasion I stated in evidence : “I do not assume that there will be no population to speak of on the north side, but that population will be more of a residential character and will be more scattered than in the business centre to the south.” I think that will be the case now. I also said, “ Suburban small businesses would grow on the north side, because the people there will require to be catered for in a small way; but I think we have only to look at any town in Australia through which a river runs, to see that once population is settled on one side you cannot remove its principal centre.” From that I think it may be inferred that in my view all the circumstances will tend to the permanent settlement taking place near the lakes. A fairly large area will be available for settlement on the southern side apart from the considerations to which I have referred - probably an area of 7 square miles - but I would rather not express an opinion as to what is likely to happen here based on the experience of Geelong, or Goulburn, without knowing more about those two towns. I agree that we cannot force the growth of this city on any given line. Its expansion must be more or less natural. If we desire to make Canberra beautiful and attractive, we must, so to speak, put all our jewels into the shop window, and not spread the city over a vast area, which for twenty years hence may consist chiefly of paddocks. It is inevitable that all principal buildings must be erected on the southern side, ineluding the Houses of Parliament, the residence of the Governor-General, the residence of the Prime Minister, public offices, places of worship, Courts of justice, national art gallery, museum, national theatre, &c. These are some of the jewels that I say should be put into the shop window, otherwise the city may develop into an uninteresting, straggling place. The adoption of the No. 1 site might, and probably would, have some effect in encouraging settlement outside, instead of inside, this particular area; but, admitting that, I am still of the opinion that, if there are superior shops and places of amusement closer to Parliament House, the development of the city in any other direction would be more or less of a subsidiary effect. If people living at Canberra ten years hence want to do any sight-seeing they’ will probably go into the town, not outside.
To Mr. Gregory. - The rOCKS that I referred to as having been sand-cut were found on a hill known as the Mahon, which is away from the cover of the protectional ranges. I quoted the incident as an indication of the strength of the wind that may be experienced away from the shelter of the ranges. The geologist and I were looking for limestone for cement manufacture when the discovery was made. There is limestone in the Jerrabomberra Creek, but no investigation has taken place for limestone on the north side, because it is known that none exists there. In the erection of the buildings to which I have just referred on the southern side, my idea would be to make that part of the city beautiful. I do not know that that is what Mr. Griffin desires. He proposes to put the civic centre on the northern side, and I do not see how that course is likely to accentuate the beauty of the southern city. There can be nothing on the north, side of the city like what there must be on the south, and my view is that if these buildings are all erected on the southern site, the result will be a beautiful town concentrated on that one spot rather than a somewhat scattered settlement. In carrying out my proposal, it will be necessary to make an area apart for workmen, though the area shown on the map as the site for that was merely intended to show rather the extent required rather than the exact location. My view was that we should have a certain proportion of the men living close to their work; but when the question of finance is considered, I would be rather inclined to keep down the number of men for whom we should have to put up houses. I do not think any fear need be entertained regarding the position of Queanbeyan. Queanbeyan will not be able to hold a candle to Canberra, but I would let Queanbeyan help as much as possible at this juncture. I do not think there is any danger that the people of Queanbeyan will suffer loss by the erection of any buildings for the accommodation of men employed at Canberra. If 15,000 people are going to be engaged at Canberra during construction, a large number will elect to live in Queanbeyan, and- 1, for one, would not be afraid to put a house in Queanbeyan if the construction of the Capital city were to be pushed on with. At the same time, provision is being made for a large number of workmen’s homes at the Federal city, and I propose to establish a co-operative store for their benefit. As many men as will be employed at the Factory have been employed both st Duntroon and at Jervis Bay. Their requirements by way of stores are not great. In his evidence, Mr. Wright stated that when this scheme was completed between 1,100 and 1,200 men would probably be employed at Canberra, but provision for all these men will not be made on the factory site, though many will be able to live in the vicinity. I recognise that though a certain proportion of men employed anywhere prefer to live away from their work, the tendency of the majority is to desire to live near it, and, according to my calculations, out of 1,000 men employed, about 800 would prefer to live within a short distance of their work. The erection of workers’ homes, with the stores, literary institute, and other buildings, would not of necessity create a small town. My proposal differs in this respect from Mr, Griffin’s, in this fact : that settlement must take place on the southern area, but settlement on the northern area cannot be expected unless the Government spends tens of thousands of pounds upon the civic centre. Mr. Griffin’s proposal to establish a population centre to the north seems to me to be absolutely regardless of what the people of this country will have to face in the matter of public expenditure. What will have to be done to the northern settlement should the development of the civic centre there be decided upon, must also be done in the south if Parliament is to meet there; and obviously, if the civic centre is established in the north, the expenditure incurred in its establishment must be added to the expenditure which will have to be incurred in the south. In his evidence on the point, Mr. Griffin stated that he would push along with the development of the north quite apart from what was being done in the south. There were no half measures about what he said on that point. There is not the slightest doubt that Mr. Griffin’s idea is to start work at once on the northern civic centre, and if that course be pursued I do not think the expenditure can be limited to £250,000. I am inclined to think a pumping plant will be erected on either the No. 1 or the No. 2 sites for the use of the Factory apart from steam production purposes. A scheme for a domestic supply from the Cotter has been prepared, the selling to be ls. per 1.000 gallons. I think I should be inclined to allow the Factory to use water from the Molonglo for scouring and sewerage purposes. The fixed charges on the Cotter supply will he the same whether that water is used at the Factory or not. In my previous evidence, I stated that the time of commencing this work was a matter of considerable urgency, as the authorities were anxious to press forward the manufacture of machine-guns, and from that point of view favoured the southern site, as I considered it would take longer to build the Factory on the northern site than on the southern. I know that in his evidence Mr. Wright stated, “ In extending the Factory, the manufacture of quick-firers and other guns besides rifles is contemplated.” He also states, “ The extension is planned with a view to extending our operations to the manufacture of quick-firers and automatic revolvers, as well as rifles.” If No. 1 site were used, I think we could build the Factory buildings for the manufacture of machine-guns long before the machinery arrived here. I think I am safe in saying that a factory for the manufacture of machine-guns could be completed in about eighteen months. Dealing with the personal matter that has arisen out of the discussion of land at Lithgow, I agree that I stated that a factory could be built at Canberra at a cost less than would be incurred in the erection of additions to the Factory at Lithgow, including the charges for certain land. I gave an estimate that £300 an acre would have to be paid for land for Factory extensions, and that 100 acres of land at £250 an acre would be required for workers’ homes. I do not know whether this discussion is to be treated as a personal matter, but may I state what led up to my giving that estimate. I was asked what would bc a reasonable price for a Factory at Lithgow, with facilities for workmen’s homes, compared with what had been quoted on the same subject in regard to Canberra. I did not put down the same amount of land at Lithgow as was proposed to be used at Canberra, as I understood that what the Committee wanted was a general comparison between the two places, including housing for a certain number of men. I had no definite area in view. It must be remembered that I have endeavoured to help the Committee in every way I possibly could by giving estimates straightw’ay when those have been necessary; and on this occasion I was asked, at two or three days’ notice, to go into this question. In response, I gave what I thought to be a conservative idea of the price that would be attached to land suitable for housing purposes at Lithgow, I had no particular area in my mind, and I did not know at that moment where any land could be obtained. I am acquainted to some extent with Lithgow. I went round with Mr. Scrivener two or three years ago, when we were looking for an area for workmen’s dwellings. On that occasion, we first considered an area between Lithgow and the Factory. Then we went over the slopes at the rear of the town and east our eyes over the land to the west, but we both abandoned land in that locality as likely to make a reasonable business proposition, because it was too far away from Lithgow. You cannot force men to go too far away, and, that being the case, you should not put up houses that are too far away. I was asked for an estimate of the value of land that was suitably situated for workmen’s homes, and I gave the estimate of £250 an acre without any survey, as that would have occupied several weeks, and the estimate was required quickly. I was extremely conservative in my estimate that 20 acres could be purchased at £300 an acre, just as I had been conservative in every estimate I have placed before the Committee. I was asked to give quickly what I thought would be the value of land suitable for the purpose for which it was required. I knew the price of £600 an acre had been quoted, and I knew the price of £2 10s. per foot had been quoted, and therefore I put down an estimate based on the price of £1 per foot. The estimate for the other land was put down at the lowest rates that I thought reasonable. I only tried to arrive at what I thought would be a’ fair price, from a conservative point of view, of land that should not be too far from the Small Arms Factory.
To Senator Keating. - When I stated previously that I thought the No. 2 site was being used as a lever in connexion with certain city construction which would be impossible without the adoption of that site, I meant that the country would, by the adoption of the site, be involved in considerable expenditure in building at once the “ civic centre,” which would not be necessary otherwise for the present. One of the great obstacles about Canberra is the amount of money that Australia will have to expend in order to carry out the schemes to which the Government is already committed; and if on the top of that, the Government are to be asked to spend anything from £250,000 upwards - over and above what they need spend - that will be sufficient to stop the further development of the Capital city.
I ask honorable senators to notice this significant statement made by Colonel Owen, because it is one that ought to be considered very seriously by us. He is there referring to the unnecessary expense that will be incurred if the arsenal is placed on the No. 2 site.
– Colonel Owen’s evidence is that we have gone to the wrong place.
– And that by doing so we are asked to incur an expenditure of £250,000 that need not be incurred at present. If the Government do not appreciate the value of a quarter of a million of money my object is to induce honorable senators to take such action as will compel them to realize that the waste of such a sum at the present time is a crime for which no Government should be forgiven.
– What is the value of the Public Works Committee if they recommend such a site?
– I am referring, not to the Public Works Committee, but to the Government, who ought, even at the eleventh hour, to prevent this waste of money. Yet here we have a member of the Government jeering about the Public Works Committee, although the previous Government, of which he was a member, deliberately adopted the recommendations of the minority, and flouted the recommendation of the majority. It is for that reason I am taking the trouble to lay this mass of evidence before the public of Australia. I desire to exonerate myself from any responsibility for this waste of money at a time when every penny should be carefully conserved in order to prosecute the war to a successful conclusion. The evidence of Colonel Owen continues -
I do not for a moment suggest by this that it will be impossible to give effect to the general plan unless the No. 2 site is adopted; but what I say is that No. 2 site is being used as a lever at the present time to advance the development of the civic centre to the north of the Molonglo. If the plan now before the Committee is worth its salt, the civic centre will be established where that plan suggests, when the necessity for the establishment of a civic centre arises. If that is not what will happen, then the plan cannot be a valuable one. I was a member of the Committee responsible for the plotting out of the city area for the purposes of the competition in which Mr. Griffin was successful. The survey was made by Mr. Scrivener. The Committee, in allocating that particular square as the city area, was perfectly well aware that they were ineluding in it lands on both sides of the river Molonglo. It was not intended by the Committee that there should be a one-sided development of the city area, though it was thought by the Committee that the development of the city would chiefly take place on the area protected by the adjoining ranges. This view was disclosed by the Committee in the information issued by them to competitors. But the Committee was well aware that land on both sides of the River Molonglo was being taken in, for the simple reason that it could not do otherwise, and no indication was ever shown of any intention on the part nf the Committee that there should be anything in the nature of one-sided development. It had always been thought that some functions of the city would be located on the north side. The departmental plan subsequently drawn showed the hospital and university there, together with military barracks, though a good deal of discussion took place as to whether these institutions were or were not intoo exposed a position. I think it would have beenquite natural for any com. petitor to have assumed that there would be simultaneous development of the city on each side of the Molonglo River. I have suggested that there must be an inherent weakness in Mr. Griffin’s plan if it will he upset for all time by the mere location of the factories. It is the fact that I proposed to use this particular site as an area for arsenal purposes. If the proposed Factory is going to be more than a Small Arms Factory,it will be necessary for this area to house a considerably larger number of persons than originally contemplated. If an arsenal is established, the figures as to population, that have been based upon the contemplated erection of merely a Small Arms Factory, will have to be considerably enhanced. At present it is not proposed to erect other factories than small arras and other arras and munitions on this area though Senator Pearce stated in Parliament last night that, in course of time, it was probable that clothing, harness, and other establishments for the manufacture ofgoods for the Army would be erected at Canberra. What I have said of the No. 1 site with regard to its suitability for a Small Arms Factory would apply to any other factories of arms and munitions that might he erected there. If other Commonwealth Factories were proposed to be erected in the Federal Capital, I should advocate their being erected on the southern area rather than on the north, where Mr. Griffin has suggested; not for the same reasons that apply to the Small Arms Factory, but for other reasons which may not be quite so strong. Water, for instance, might bean important factor, though that argument would not apply equally to all trades; for instance, take saddlery and clothing. I do not suppose in these industries much water is required except for drinking purposes. The history of the next ten years will answer the question as to what the civic tendency of the Capital City is like.lv to be. and whether it will, of its own initiative, cause the development of the northern side of the town. Inmy view, there is something inherently weak in the argument that we should go on with the Factory in order to assist the development of the northern side of the town. I admit that the development of the southern portion of the area would be encouragedby the adoption of the No. 1 site, and similarly if the No. 2 site were adopted, the development of the northern portion of the city would also be helped ; but I do not say tha tthe eruption of the Factory on the No. 1 site will force the development of the southern site ; what I say is that development will follow the erection of the Factory,just as development would follow its erection on the No. 2 Bite. I admit that, in effect, the question resolves itself into one as to which side is going to get developmental assistance from the erection of this Factory, north or south. Benefit will follow its erection whatever site be chosen. It is already contemplated to erect on the southern site Parliament House, administrationo ffices, residence of the Governor General, residence of the Prime Minister, public offices, places of public worship, National Gallery, and
Library, Courts of Justice, printing office, technical college, central fire station, national theatre, and other prominent buildings - all of which will contribute to the development of the southern side: but notwithstanding that I do not admit that the erection of the arsenal on the southern side will indefinitely postpone the development of the north. As a matter of fact, neither site is worth anything except as the result of what the Commonwealth does there; but if the northern site be suitable for acivic centre, the people will make it, and my proposal is that the north should be left to depend upon its own inherent value as a piece of city planning. I do not agree with the suggestion that I propose to help the development of the southern area at the cost of the north by allocating to it all the buildings that I have mentioned in my evidence, though it is true that these institutions will help to develop the southern site. Yet, whilst I would leave the north to develop according to its own inherent virtue, I do not think the result of this policy will be to make for the one-sided development of the city. I do not think there is the slightest doubt that the business development will take plane more rapidly on the south,but if the northern area has the advantages that have been claimed for it, its development on other than business lines would not be interfered with. It may be, if my views are adopted, that the present development of the city willbe somewhat one-sided, but I will go further, and say that financial considerations at the present time will dictate that its development should be on one side only. Both these aspects of the situation should be coupled together. It was in the minds of the Committee who agreed to the city area that business development should take place on the southern side.That view has nothing to do with the Departmental Board. I am now talking ofyears before the Departmental Board was created. I cannot say whether that was the view held when Mr. Griffin’s plan was accepted. When Mr. Griffin’s plan was accepted, we found that it was in conflict with what must necessarily be the first evolution of the town, and Mr. Griffin was himself convinced of that at the time, and he located an “ initial city,” where it is shown on the plan, to the south, and wrote a report on it. The argument I have consistently used is that the development of Canberra must necessarily be. gin on the southern side. The main principles of Mr. Griffin’s plan are not in accord with what I consider must be the sequence in the construction of Canberra. My proposals, I think, must be given effect to unless the Commonwealth decides to build two cities and disregard expenditure in every way. I hove not conferred with Mr. Griffin on this matter at all. I do not think I have discussed the city plans with Mr. Griffin for two years. Two years ago Mr. Griffin’s views as to the natural development of Canberra and my own were in conflict, until he agreed to the initial city on the south side of the Molonglo. My views have not changed since then. Any attempt to bring about a harmoniousunderstanding will have to come from Mr. Griffin, because he was given carte blanche to go on with the city plan, and I was placed on one side. -
I sincerely hope that thatwill not be repeated, though from a statement in to- eight’s paper I gather that there is a possibility that the officers of the Department, skilled men who devote the whole of their time to the services of the Commonwealth, may be set on one side in favour of an irresponsible town-planner, who confesses that he has had no experience in regard to a number of matters in regard to which they are experts -
Can it be imagined that in such circumstances I can go to Mr. Griffin and ask him to -discuss his plan. The position is impossible. There is no call upon me to do anything to bring about a more harmonious relationship between Mr. Griffin and myself in the development of this plan, because the matter was taken out of my hands absolutely, and for months and months I was not consulted in any way. During that time 1 had no more to do with the plan than any man at the street corner. I was absolutely divorced from it. and unless Mr. Griffin wishes to discuss the matter with me, I cannot well go to discuss the plans with him. There are two plans of Mr. Griffin’s, one a printed plan, and the other the schematic plan, which has not received Ministerial approval.
– ls the proposed alteration or addition in the schematic plan ?
– The schematic plan is an elaboration of the design whereby Mr. Griffin secured the first prize in the competition.
– Were not both referred to the Public Works Committee 1
– The lake scheme and the railway proposals were referred by Parliament to the Committee, and the selection of a site for a small arms factory was referred to it by the Minister. Colonel Owen’s statement continues -
The schematic plan was sent to the Minister of Home Affairs three or four months ago, and the Minister referred certain points in it to the Public Works Committee. The other plan was approved by Mr. Kelly, as Minister for Home Affairs at the time the Departmental Board was dissolved. There are differences between these two plans that have not been submitted to this Committee. Though I have never studied thom closely, I know that one of the principal differences is in regard to the city railway, which, instead of coming through the “ initial city,” is in the schematic plan shown on the west side of the city on an outsite route. Two years ago, when Mr. Griffin was constrained to” admit that in two or three respects the “ initial city “ would be to the south, he showed an initial railway scheme passing through the “ initial city “ close to Parliament House. In the last schematic plan, however, he has gone hack to his original “competition” plan. The plan approved by Mr. Kelly showed the railway through the city. T stated in previous evidence that if the situation of the market centre had been known, the site of the Duntroon Military College would have been removed. I know that the late
General Bridges was very insistent that the Military College should not be close to a town. The same view has been held in regard to the
IS aval College. 11’he site of the Duntroon Collegia was chosen in 1911, two years before the city plan, which was drawn up in 1913, was adopted. In that plan the market centre was shown in its present position, but the College had then been built. I do not know whether the importance of the market’s situation in relation to the Duntroon College was brought under the Minister’s notice when he approved of the plans in 1913. I was never asked about it. Nevertheless, the man who founded the College - and he had travelled all over the world before be founded it - declared that the College must be kept away from the town. He at one time wanted to select a site at Tuggeranong, and I know that he was reluctant to abandon that site in favour of Canberra. I pointed out to him the probability that the town would be developed on the southern side under the shelter of the hills, and he then became more favorably disposed towards the present site. I think the late General Bridges’ views upon this point are upon record, but I know that he was most emphatic.
He knew Canberra was to be the capital city when the Duntroon site was selected, but I cannot say that the square showing the city area had been plotted out then. It was I who took General Bridges to Canberra, and I can tell the Committee that he only reluctantly agreed to the site for the reason I have stated. We first went to visit a site at Goulburn. That was hopeless. Then we looked over a site at Acton, where the hospital is shown in Mr. Griffin’s plan. General Bridges said that that was an impossible site. After that we visited the Duntroon site, which General Bridges said he did not like, as it was too close to the town. After that we went to Tuggeranong with Senator Pearce, and I have a very definite recollection of an argument in which I pointed out that the site I had suggested at Canberra was not alongside the town. It was after that argument that General Bridges agreed to accept the Duntroon site. It cannot be suggested that I must have known then what the boundaries of the city area were to be. I remember going to Duntroon and selecting the site for the college, chiefly on account of its sheltered position and its proximity to the river. I am prepared to admit that at the time the Duntroon site was chosen the city area of 9 square miles had possibly been plotted, but I do not think any consideration was given to the possibility of population growing up in various places in the vicinity of the college site. I never dreamt of anything in the shape of a market centre there. There might have been a few private houses scattered about the hills, but the country is very broken just about there, so broken that I do not know how they are going to create it into a market centre. In my opinion a market centre there would be a failure.
As to the civic centre, I have never quite known what is meant by “civic centre.’* though if the suggestion be made that unless the munition factory is established in that part of the city every reason for the civic centre will be gone, I think I should be almost inclined to agree.
To Mr. Finlayson. - My attitude towards the south-east site is based on the grounds that a factory can be more quickly and cheaply built there, and also that the town will develop on the south, and that the factory site would be near the river. I hold very emphatically the view that the town must be developed at first on the southern side. The buildings that I have enumerated must be erected there, and following them shops and business premises must, in my opinion, come. As a matter of fact, the permanent buildings on the southern site are for the most part parliamentary, administrative, and religious buildings. I do not know that the preliminary plan which received the indorsement of the Minister showed that art galleries, libraries, museums, universities, hospitals, and other institutions as distinct from the legislative institutions, were allocated to the northern side. Even if it has been stated in evidence that the only public buildings located on the southern side are the purely parliamentary institutions, and that all the public institutions, including cathedrals, are to be located on the northern side, I am still unable to see where tha initial development will take place on other than the southern side. Such buildings as those just referred to will not be required for a good many years. In the meantime Canberra will be forging ahead. I believe it is the fact that Mr. Griffin has abandoned the initial city shown in his original plan on the southern “side.
I have stated that I have not been consulted with regard to the plan either by the Minister or by Mr. Griffin as to the location of buildings. On the other hand, I do not know of any work that has been carried out, or of any permanent building that has been erected under my supervision since Mr. Griffin’s plan was reverted to, without Mr. Griffin being consulted. The power-house was commenced before Mr. Griffin came to Australia. The departmental plan was approved, and on that we forged ahead. It may be contended that I did not consult Mr. Griffin about the water supply, but there again the whole scheme was settled long before he came to Australia. The brick-works were erected where the shale was. I do not know of any building. that has been begun since Mr. Griffin came to Australia not conformable either to his preliminary plan or to the schematic plan, and I do not know that Mr. Griffin has any reason to complain that he has not been consulted. The power-house now established is not in the place shown on the premiated plan, the reason being that the premiated plan was referred to the Department for modifications to meet Australian views, and the power-house was re-located before Mr. Griffin came to Australia. I am anxious to avoid anything in the nature of a widely distributed city by the establishment of centres in the south as well as in the north. I agree that it would be better to develop the city on either one side or the other. I am convinced that the evolution of the city will be from the south. It is not that I am anxious that that evolution should take place to the south. I feel that it will do so ipso facto. Everything points in that direction. From a spectacular point of view of the mountains the north is the superior site, but the southeast has the advantage in that it is more sheltered. In my view the development of
Canberra should begin on either one side or the other, not on both. I anticipate that permanent development will take place on the south because of the location of parliamentary buildings there, and because they will be followed by various public utilities. I cannot conceive that all the public buildings just suggested will be erected on the northern side. The establishment of a number of Factories in the north would have more influence on the development of the city in that direction, apart from its legislative functions, than the erection of the same Factories in the south would affect the development of the city in the south. I understand that in the course of his speech in the Senate last night - 18th August - the Minister of Defence, Senator Pearce, stated : - “ The Government Harness and Clothing Factories were established at Melbourne, but that was only a temporary arrangement, and those Factories were to be removed to Canberra eventually. The policy of the Government was to make Australia self-supporting in the making of munitions of war, and the policy was also to make all those munitions in Government Factories. At the present time negotiations were in progress for the purchase of plant for the establishment of an arsenal in which the component parts of shells could be made, and consideration was also being given to the question of making big-gun cordite, machine-guns, and field-guns as well. In the opinion of the Government, in order to have effective and economic administration, all these Factories should be grouped together.” That statement might indicate that Canberra is to be not only a legislative centre, but a large industrial centre as well, and though that aspect might affect considerations of city development, I do not think that all these Factories can be grouped together. Correlated Factories for arms certainly should be grouped. There is plenty of room for such Factory extension on the No. 1- area. Any extension will probably be made in a south-westerly direction, and not necessarily in the direction of Queanbeyan, though I admit that the No. 1 site would be in a certain degree a half-way house between Canberra and Queanbeyan. This would not apply to the No. 2 site, regarding which there is no limit to the possibilities of Factory extension. I do not know which of the competing designs located the industrial centre in the south-east of the city. As a matter of fact, I scarcely ever saw any of the competing designs, and I do not know one of them. I do not know that the plan which received the second minority award placed the industrial section of the city in the south-east or that every other design located the industrial centre in the north. For many years the settlement in the southern end of the site will largely be comprised of workmen employed at the various buildings that are being constructed, and I am anxious to avoid temporary settlement being so arranged as to become part of the permanent city. So long as the Commonwealth constructs ft will be necessary for a large number of workmen to be engaged in the work of construction at Canberra, and these men would naturally like to live near to their work. They will create the first settlement, and though there may be no serious engineering difficulty in the way of preparing the northern end of the city into residential sec- tions, I do not think that the services that will be- at once necessary in the south will be necessary in the north foc a number of years. The main route- connexion with Canberra will be via Yass rather than vid Queanbeyan. I do not think that will be an. inducement to promote settlement in the northern end rather than in the southern end. As to the suggestion that the market centre is not likely to affect the college in any way, as it would only be a distributing centre, I cannot conceive of a market centre existing anywhere without residences being also in the vicinity. It may be that the market centre will only be a place for the- receipt and distribution of marketable produce, but if the late General Bridges had been aware of the contemplated existence of- a market centre, he would not have allowed the Military College to come near it. Its presence will bring a city activity near to the College. That is not desirable.
– How far will the. proposed market centre be. from, the general business centra?
– About a mile or a mile and a half, on the same- side of the Molonglo River.
– Contiguous to the railway ?
– Yes, contiguous to the proposed Yass to Canberra railway. Colonel Owen proceeds,, in answer to Mr. Sampson - ‘
I do not regard Mr. Griffin as occupying a position of Director of actual construction at the Capital city. I was assured by the late Government that that was mv position. If I intended to construct, any public works of any kind, I should regard it. as essential to consult Mr. Griffin as to its location. He was not consulted in regard to the brick-works, because the brick-works were commenced before he came to Australia. The plans of the sewerage system were not submitted to- Mr. Griffin for a similar reason, and though I do not like to sayit. if- an answer to a question- compels the statement, I do not think Mr. Griffin possesses sufficient knowledge to be able to deal with questions of this description. I do not admit that, as Director-General of Public Works, it is my duty to submit my working plans or my. recommendations, regarding, work iri the city area to Mr. Griffin. To ask me to do that would be to ask me. to. subordinate- myself to. Mr. Griffin-.. Mr. Griffin, claims that his approval is necessary before any work is allocated within the city area. I am prepared to accept the- position that- where- a> work- affects, or may be affected by the city design,. Mr:. Griffin-, should be consulted before the work is undertaken. On the other hand, once the general principle has been settled, and the question of city design threshed out, the proposals should not then be submitted” to Mr. Griffin.
The site for the Small Arms Factory was not submitted to Mr. Griffin for his approval or disapproval. I did not consult Mr.. Griffin on the subject, though I never anticipated the- proposal would be put through without consultation with him. As to the relationship betweenMr. Griffin and the Department, the question of whether or not Mr. Griffin is in a position either to approve or disapprove of the location of particular works- about to be erected within his city design, that is a point that I should prefer to leave to the Government for settlement, r regard Mr. Griffin’s position as I believe it was explained by the Prime Minister in the House. I understood that Mr. Griffin would be retained in order to insure that the integrity of his design should be preserved; That cannot be done without Mr. Griffin having some jurisdiction. Anything that affects the integrity of the design would be referred to him. I did not consult with Mr. Griffin as to whether the site of the proposed Factory would interfere with the city plan. I do not see, if Mr. Griffin is going to have a civic centre in the north, why the Factory should kill that idea of a civic centre if it is a good one. My idea is not that the growth of the city should take place- south of- the Molonglo, but that it will of necessity follow the initial settlement there. If the- Departmental- Board’s plan had been adopted, the parliamentary buildings and the business and commercial centres would have been south of the Molonglo, whereas Mr. Griffin’s plan makes- the business centre and the civic centre north of the Molonglo. The basic principle on the two plans is, therefore, different. The adoption of No. 1 site would materially help the development of- the city from a commercial point of view, as- well as from the parliamentarypoint of view, south of the Molonglo River.. Mr. Griffin’s, view is that the creation of the civic centre in the north, and the parliamentary and business centres in the south, will’ insure the development of the city on both sides of the river, and to help his point of view, if there were no other difficulties in the way, I should’ be quite willing to see the proposed Factory established on- the north. If the business centre, as shown in the departmental plan, were removed from the south to the north, r do not think the north would be developed quite as easily as the south would be, for the reason that, so many other services are involved that an expenditure of from £250,000 to £500,000 would become immediately necessary if that course were adopted. I cannot get that aspect out of my mind when I am discussing, this matter. I admit that, if factories were established in. the north, they would, almost certainly insure the development of the northern portion of the city, and I see no reason at all why the south, with the parliamentary and administrative buildings, should not also, develop in a satisfactory manner, provided unlimited money is available for the two schemes. It may be suggested, that the expenditure of a few thousand pounds at this early stage of the city’s career should not be allowed to interfere with its proper development; but the amount of money which will be required if this factory and civic centre are established in the north will probably be so large as to induce the people of Australia not to now go on with Canberra at all.
That is Colonel Owen’s opinion, and I am prepared to agree with it -
I think it should be borne in mind that something more has to be considered than the mere looking at a pretty plan. The art of town planning is becoming almost an art of making picture plans. If the town is to be divided into two portions, a population of 15,000 people living on it will be very sparse, and the majority would not live in the civic centre. I have not the slightest doubt that most of the people would prefer the south to the north.
On Mr. Griffin’s first plan a military barracks is marked near the position now occupied by the Duntroon Military College. When selecting a site, General Bridges had not the opportunity of taking into consideration the various aspects of the city plan, as he was living at the Military College when the designs were adjudicated upon. Leaving the financial aspect of the question out of consideration altogether, and taking Mr. Griffin’s plan as it is now before the Committee, I admit that the adoption of the northern factory site would be the one most calculated to help along the development of the city in accordance with Mr. Griffin’s plan.
To the Chairman. - Supposing the Committee decided to recommend the adoption of the northern site, I do not think there is much possibility of the Factory site there being brought further south. The land is, I think, on too pronounced a slope, and I do not think it will be possible to get another satisfactory site. I hold the view that the erection of the Factory as proposed on the south would not interfere with Mr. Griffin’s actual plan. There is not any doubt that if the Factory were placed in tlie north it would assist in the development of that portion of the city materially. Forty or fifty men will be employed at the brick-works, but” as the works will only be open for about ten or twelve years they will only be temporary employees. The question as to whether the Department should erect houses for these men depends upon the Government’s policy. It is no good Mr. Griffin saying that the brick-works shall be taken .further north. They were taken where the geologist said the best shale would be found. Mr. Griffin said there was shale to the north, but Mr. Pittman did not say that. Mr. Griffin also talked about a shale deposit near Queanbeyan, but examination showed that the quantity there was not sufficient. A great many false deductions have been made in connexion with the city, and I may mention one or two briefly. Take the railway to the No. 1 site. It is a great pity that Mr. Hobler did not have a talk with me regarding the length of that railway. It is estimated by him to be 2 miles, whereas it actually is £ths of a mile. It is also rather a pity things were said about expensive earthworks, because I am certain that the railway can be put down at a cost of from £4,000 to £5,000. As to the railway bridge across the Molonglo, I am sorry that Mr. Hobler did not interview the Department, because he has placed the bridge on a bad level on account of floods. Mr. Hobler has put his bridge across the Molonglo at the 1,823 feet level, where it will take the whole of the pressure coming down, and will probably be covered with debris for days and days in each year. I do not blame Mr. Hobler, but I must point out that the bridge in that position should not be permitted. That is the evidence tendered to the Committee, on which the majority decided to recommend the selection of the northern site. In reply to Senator Gardiner’s somewhat jeering suggestion that the Government were justified in adopting the recommendation of the majority of the Committee, I admit that possibly, if the Government had adopted it in the firstinstance without sending the Arsenal Committee to the spot, their action might have been justified, but they deliberately flouted the recommendation of the majority of the Works Committee, and sent another Committee there to inspect the sites, adopted its recommendation, and incidentally the view of the minority of the Works Committee, actually spent about £1,000 in going on with the work, lost three or four weeks of valuable time, and finally reversed their decision. This distinct reversion of policy took place in face of the fact that the establishment of the Factory on the northern site would entail an enormously increased cost.
– Did you put that in the report of the Committee ?
– No, but I stated the facts to the Committee in an earnest attempt to induce them to take the right course on the lines of the evidence. Every member of the Government, but not every member of Parliament, has had an opportunity of reading that evidence, yet in the face of the evidence the Government are prepared to incur an enormously increased expenditure without any additional benefit, at the very time when it is their duty to conserve every penny of public money.
– The Committee’s report shows only a slight increase in the cost.
– According to the evidence, it was £155,708, although Colonel Owen stated that the expenditure on roads and other public works, which would be unnecessary if the Factory was not put there, would bring the extra expense to a quarter of a million. The extra cost is made up as follows: - Factory and other buildings, £8,588; extra cost of two miles of sewerage, £50,000; ditto water supply, £6,000; railway, £21,000, extra cost of houses, £16,500.
– Surely that is not a liability)
– I quite agree, but it is expenditure which need not be incurred if the Factory is put to the south-east. I do not argue that the money will be wasted, and admit that in some ways it will be better to have all the workers on the Federal Territory instead of having some at Queanbeyan, but all that extra expense could be devoted to other purposes, more urgent than the mere establishment of a factory in such a position as to develop the city plan in the way its author desires. Mr. Griffin says that otherwise his plan might as well be thrown into the waste-paper basket.
– Why did you not recommend that the Factory be left at Lithgow ?
– I believe that if the Committee had had any idea that the extra cost would be £155,000, they would never have ‘ recommended its removal, but in making their recom.dation they relied on the departmental estimate. The extra cost of additional houses is £43,650, and storm water drain £10,000, making a total of £155,708. I agree with Senator Gardiner that the whole of that money will not be wasted, but the fact remains that the Factory could be established nine months earlier for £155,000 less than the Government’s change of policy will cost us. The only reason given by the Minister on behalf of the Government for that change of policy is that otherwise Mr. Griffin’s premiated design will be interfered with. Is the exact execution of his design worth that tremendous sum ? If the Government think it is, well and good, but the weight of evidence given to the Committee was against it, as I have proved. I have not stood here for several hours for fun.
– Did you take the same trouble to convince the Works Committee as you have taken to convince the Senate ?
– I pleaded with the Committee for the sake of their reputation not to make such a ridiculous report.
– I followed your recommendations right through, because I have the greatest confidence in your capacity to form a right judgment.
– If the honorable senator is referring to me individually, I would remind him that I was one of the two who made the minority report, which we believed was based on the weight of evidence. I saw the sites, and although I am, as a rule, fairly easy going, this mooter seemed too serious for me to waive my individual opinion simply for the sake of securing unanimity. I have not taken the matter up to-night as a member of the Works Committee. Had there been any one else in the Senate equally equipped to deal with the subject, and who had seen the different sites and heard the evidence, I should have left the matter to him, but, in the circumstances, I had either to sit silent, and allow the Government to commit what I believe to be a huge blunder, or make an effective protest. I am sorry the Minister responsible for that blunder 9 not in the chamber, but I cannot forget that I am a supporter of the Government, and I want to save them from making a huge mistake in the shape of a change of policy that has been brought about by some most unaccountable means. The Government’s first decision was based on a solid foundation. Why do they employ engineering experts but to advise them as to their proper course of action ? In the whole of the evidence both those gentleman have been most emphatic in regard to the respective merits of the two sites, and as to what the Government ought to do, and I thought the late Minister of Home Affairs was wise in adopting the advice of his officers. I have not much respect for a Minister who is nothing but a rubber stamp, and adopts the reports of his officers without consideration, but I have still less respect and regard for a Minister who, ignorant himself of these questions, flies directly in the face of the officers who are employed by the State to advise him, and, in preference to worthy, trusted officers who have proved their value, adopts the recommendation of a gentleman from America who is not an engineer, and knows absolutely nothing about this question, compared with Colonel Owen or Mr. Hill. Yet the Minister of Home Affairs adopts his advice, and deliberately insults those expert advisers by refusing their counsel. It is said, but I hope to God it is not true, that the Minister proposes to appoint this American adventurer over the heads of men like Colonel Owen and Mr. Hill. If the Government agree to such a disgraceful thing being done, I take my solemn oath that I will never again support them.
– Can you tell the Senate what attitude Mr. Kelly took up when he was in charge of the Home Affairs Department ?
– As far as my memory serves me, Mr.O’Malley had appointed a departmental Board,which modified Mr. Griffin’s plan. When Mr. Kelly went to the Home Affairs Office Mr. Griffin was sent for. The departmental design was shelved, the Board was dismissed, and Mr. Griffin was appointed Director of Design and Construction at a high salary. Then when Mr. O’Malley returned to the Home Affairs Department, instead of entirely altering the policy of his predecessor as Mr. Kelly had done, and instead of treating Mr. Griffin as Mr. Kelly had treated Mr. Chinn, he reversed his original policy, and is now practically putting Mr. Griffin in a stronger position than he held when Mr. Kelly was Minister of Home Affairs. I do not know what reasons may have induced the Minister of Home Affairs to take that step, and I shall await them with interest. I would like the Senate to express by a vote its disapprobation of the action of the Government. I propose to divide the Senate on the first reading of the Bill, and to the best of my ability, to fight the measure at every stage.
– The Government will have to resign.
– It would be a. pity if the Government resigned, but I do not think it would be much of a calamity if one member of the Government sent in his resignation. Unless some reason, of which I cannot conceive, can be urged in explanation of the alteration which has “been made, it would be a good thing for the Government and for the party which supports them if Mr. King O’Malley were to resign his position as Minister of Home Affairs, or alternatively exercise a little more sagacity and intelligence than he has shown, by reversing the policy of his predecessor in regard to the site of the Small Arms Factory at Canberra.
Sitting suspended from 11.44 p.m. to 12.45 a.m. (Saturday).
– The question to which Senator Story has directed attention is one ‘that seems to me comparatively simple, namely, therespec tive merits of two sites at . the Federal Capital for the establishment of an arsenal. I am in a somewhat peculiar position, because I happened to be a member of the Fisher Government, which decided that No. 1 site was the better, and am a member of the present Government, which has expressed a preference forNo. 2 site. Therefore, I suppose I ought to be in a position to take an impartial view of both sides. I will briefly relate the history of this matter. In the first place the Public Works Committee was asked to report on the advisability of increasing the plant of the Small Arms -Factory at Lithgow. The Committee submitted a report in which the establishment of a Factory at Canberra was recommended. The Fisher Government being anxious to push on with the work, because they regarded the establishment of a Small Arms Factory : as urgent, in view of thefact that Australia cannot too soon be self-contained in regard to the supply of arms of all kinds, decided to make a choice of one of the sites, and proceed with the erection of the Factory. The members of the Government informed themselves to the best of their ability of all the facts relating to the matter. The Public Works Committee had been asked by the Minister of Home Affairs to report on the merits of the two sites, but had not done so up to that time, nor had we any intimation as to what would be the nature of its (report. In the -circumstances, the Government were forced to fall back on the reports and recommendations of the departmental officers. They had recommended site No. 1. This the Government had adopted. However, before construction operations were actually started., the Arsenal Committee, which had been appointed to visit India, and inquire into arsenals there in order to get information for the guidance of the Commonwealth in the erection and lay-out of an arsenal at Canberra, visited the Capital Territory, inspected both sites, and reported that, in their opinion, No. 1 was the better. Subsequently, the Public Works Committee, after hearing evidence from the departmental officials, Mr. Griffin, and others, decided by a majority of seven to two to recommend No. 2 site.
– Was not that prior to the report of the Arsenal Committee being presented ?
– I think not. The honorable senator may be confusing the date on which the Works ‘Committee -came to . a decision with the date on which it presented its . report. I am pretty sure that when the Arsenal Committee sent in its report the Government had not re- ceived that of the Public Works Committee. I would remind the Senate of the reasons for the appointment of the Works Committee. Prior to that body being brought into existence the initiation of works was practically left to the Executive. The Government put their proposals in the Works Estimates, and Parliament had to vote on them without any opportunity of hearing evidence as to their merits or demerits, except such information as was made available in the ordinary way. It was deemed advisable in order that Parliament should have some check on the Executive, and to give both parties an opportunity of examining the merits of all proposals involving a large expenditure of the public funds, that a Committee of Public Works should be instituted which should be charged with the responsibility of thoroughly investigating all proposals, and submitting a report for the guidance of the Legislature, which would then have before it not only the view of the Executive, but also that of a two-party Committee. I submit that if, after the Public Works Committee has given a decision, the whole proceedings of the Committee are to be again threshed out iu Parliament, we shall have doubts as to the value of such a Committee, because obviously if Parliament is to go through the same procedure as the ‘ Committee, there is to be no saving of the time of the Legislature by having such Committee.
– The Minister will not say that Parliament has no right to review the decisions of the Public Works Committee.
– Certainly not; but if the whole of the evidence is to be threshed out in detail in Parliament, there will be no saving of Parliament’s time, although ‘that was one of the objects in appointing the Committee. When the present Government came into office the new Minister of Home Affairs investigated the whole question, and he had before him, as his predecessor had not, the report of the Works Committee. After hearing the evidence of the various expert witnesses the Committee had reported by a majority of seven to two that No. 2 site was the better.
– And the Fisher Government had turned down that report, and approved of No. 1 site.
– The honorable senator is wrong. At the time when the
Fisher Government came to their decision the Public Works Committee had not submitted a report definitely recommending a particular site, but had submitted an earlier report which dealt with both sides. In that report, which related to an extension of the buildings, plant, &c, of the Small Arms Factory, and was presented to Parliament on the 8th July, the Committee reported on page 8, paragraphs 29 and 30 -
Two apparently suitable sites were indicated where the area available will permit pf ample expansion of the present factory if .ever considered necessary, as well as for the establishment of any factories required for the manufacture of machine guns, field artillery, &c, should it at any time be decided that the Commonwealth should enter upon those activities.
Both these areas are of such extent as will admit of suitable land being available should it be decided to establish workmen’s homes for the purpose of accommodating employees of this or other adjacent factories. The present railway from Queanbeyan to Canberra is handy to the suggested site No. 1, while the proposed railway from Yass to Canberra will pass through the suggested site No. 2. ,
This is the only report the Government had when they came to a decision, and it will be seen that the two paragraphs speak with practically equal approval of the two sites.
– Does the Minister realize that this report was published before the Committee had had an opportunity to investigate the merits of the two sites ?
– In any case, this report, based on the evidence, shows that witnesses had been questioned as to the two sites. If the report was made without any evidence, that is not my fault.
– Can you give the date on which the Arsenal Committee reported ?
-*-I cannot, offhand. The present Minister of Home Affairs recommended to the Government that the change in the choice should be made, and, after discussion, the change was agreed to. Honorable senators realize that in all such matters the Government must act as one; after a decision has been arrived at we cannot have one Minister expressing one opinion, and another Minister expressing another. I am here now to place, not my own views, but the views of the Government, before the Chamber, together with the reasons for choosing the site. First, the Public
Works Committee, after full investigation, recommended No. 2 site by a large majority, and it must be remembered that this work had been specifically referred to them. Then,. Mr. Griffin, who had been selected by the Government, and is still here charged with the duty of parrying out the plans for the Capital City, submitted a strong minute against the selection of No. 1 site, claiming that it would interfere with the plan, and, to a certain extent, with certain ideas he held as essential to the proper development of the Capital. Further, anybody who looks at the map will see that No. 1 site is within 2J miles of the nearest point of the Federal Territory, while No. 2 site is a considerable distance from the nearest boundary. No. 1 site is under 4 miles from Queanbeyan, and the view is put forward that by placing the Factory at this site a large industrial population would be gathered, and, as it will take some time to complete the Capital City, and so provide accommodation, there will be a tendency for private interests to develop a township on the border. The expenditure of money on the arsenal would, it was pointed out, increase the value of land there, and private land-owners, and not the Commonwealth, would reap the benefit. It was also pointed out that the No. 1 site is alongside the railway to Queanbeyan, and the Queanbeyan-Sydney railway cannot by any stretch of imagination be called one of the main trunk lines. It is practically a branch line with, I am informed, heavy grades, while the proposed line from Canberra to Yass will, junction with the main line between Sydney and Melbourne.
– Are you not aware that, if Mr. Griffin’s idea is carried out, the crossing on the Molonglo will be within a few hundred yards of No. 1 site?
– At present I am giving the reasons why the Government came to the conclusion they did, and if Senator Story disagrees with those reasons, I cannot help the fact. Mr. Griffin strongly urged that No. 2 site was the better one y? or Factory purposes.
– Is he a better authority than Colonel Owen ?
– As I said before, I am now merely giving the reasons why the change was made. The Government having come to a decision, I do now urge the Committee not to make another change. The Government have been fortified by the Public Works Committee’s recommendation, by Mr. Griffin’s views, and also by the fact that the Public Works Committee, in their report, said that there was very little to choose between the two sites. Senator Story did not dissent from that view at the time.
– There had not been an opportunity to investigate the sites.
– It must be remembered* that the question of the choosing of a particular site had not been referred to the Committee, and that, for all they knew, the Minister “would decide on the report that was then presented. If there was such a great divergence between the sites, surely Senator Story, and others who thought with him, could have put in a minority report.
– At that time, evidence, since brought out, was not put before the Minister or the Committee.
– Because this particular question had not been referred to the Committee. When the Committee unanimously agreed that there are apparently two suitable sites, and when they subsequently say, by a two to one majority, that No. 2 site is the best, it must be admitted that No. 1 site lacks support.
– The Arsenal Committee reported in favour of No. 1 site, and the strength of the evidence before the other Committee is in that direction.
– Who is to be the judge of the strength of evidence* Surely the Committee which takes the evidence.
– Not necessarily.
– The Government are asked to disregard the views of the majority, and to adopt the views of the minority. However, I snail take up no more time, because I think the question has already been fully discussed. All the evidence has been read to honorable senators, and I am sure we must be in a position to give a decision. We ought to attach some weight to the views of the Public Works Committee, or conclude that that Committee is not fit for the position it holds. If we “ turn down “ the decisions of the Committee, it will be idle for us to refer other questions to them.
– The Minister “ turned down “ the Committee’s decision in the first place.
– That is not correct.
– At any rate, a member of the Government did so.
– It is not correct that the Government “ turned down “ the decision, because when they acted, they had before them only the recommendation that I have read. I ask the Senate to pass the first reading of the Bill, and if any adverse amendment is moved in Committee, I urge that it should be rejected.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a first time.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) agreed to-
That this Bill be now read a second time.
Clause 1 agreed two.
Clause 2 postponed.
Clauses 3 and 4 agreed to.
Divisions 1 to 12 (The Parliament), £7,900; divisions 13 to 16(Prime Minister’s Department), £8,945; divisions 17 to 27 (Treasury Department), £82,240; divisions 32 to 37 (Attorney-General’s Department), £12.570, agreed to.
External Affairs Department.
Divisions 38 to 45, £108,808.
.- When the last Supply Bill was before us, I drew attention to an item of £750 as a subsidy for a steam-ship service between Port Adelaide and Port Darwin. Is there such a steam-ship service ? I gave the Minister notice of my intention to raise the question, and he has been kind enough to show me a note from the Department which virtually says that there is no such service. If that be so, why does the item appear in the Supply Bill ? There is a subsidy of £3,000 a year for two years, paid to a company for maintaining a service between Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Port Darwin and I point out that the comnany concerned employs coloured labour both on deck and below on their vessels. If this were a postal contract coloured labour would not be permitted. However, what I first want to know is why Port Adelaide has been missed out, in view of the fact that there is considerable trade between that place and Port Darwin. As matters stand, merchants in the other capital cities are given great advantage over those of Adelaide. The shipping company to which I have referred not only competes for the trade to Darwin, but also competes with ships carrying white labour along the Queensland coast; indeed, advertisements have appeared offering on behalf of this company, the English and Australian Company, lower freights and fares.
– That company trades outside Australia.
– But it is paid a subsidy for trading inside Australia.
– I can give no satisfactory reason why Adelaide should not have the benefit of this service. I have been unable to ascertain whether Adelaide is absolutely left out.
– You know Adelaide is left out.
– I know Adelaide is omitted from the agreement, but a vote is proposed in the Supply Bill; and, that being so, it may be possible to include that port. I can assure Senator Guthrie that there is no intention on the part of the Government to do any injustice to the shipping interests or the business people of Adelaide. In regard to the point, if a vessel, or line of vessels, employing black labour is receiving a subsidy, it is a case of “ Hobson’s choice “ - these vessels must be employed, or the people of the Northern Territory go entirely without any service.
– There are transports that could have been employed.
– This agreement was entered into before the war.
– It was laid on the table only a fortnight ago.
– But the agreement was made a considerable time before.
– It is not twelve months, by a long way, since the agreement was made.
– I do not dispute the dates. As I say, it is clear there must have been no choice in the matter, because I think honorable senators on both sides are agreed on the question of the employment of coloured labour.
– It is stated that the loss on the Port Augusta railway during the year 1914-15 was £29,208. Is that the line from Port Augusta to Oodnadatta?
– As interest on rolling-stock came to £2,720, the total loss on the line was over £31,000. I wish to know whether the Commonwealth is taking any special pains to see that the line is worked as economically as possible. Have we an officer to see that the State of South Australia, which works the line for us, exercises the same economy in regard to it as in regard to its own lines? I have not heard of a Commonwealth officer being appointed to look after this matter, but that ought to be done. I hope that the Minister will satisfy the Committee that extravagant administration is not responsible for the loss which has taken place, and which was bigger last year than I ever remember before.
– The railway in question is being managed by the State of South Australia for the Commonwealth. During the past twelve months, because of the drought, and for other reasons, a railway running through much better country than that between Port Augusta and Oodnadatta might well have incurred a loss. I make no reflection on the manner in which the State of South Australia ‘has managed this railway, but about six months ago steps were being taken to give notice to terminate the agreement in regard to it, because it was thought that the line could be worked more profitably under the direct control of the Commonwealth. I cannot give more definite information now, because I did not expect to be questioned on. the point.
Proposed vote agreed to.
Department of Defence.
Divisions 4’6 to 89, £14,229,260:
– I have a few words to say regarding the Small Arms Factory and naval administration generally. A report of the Public Works Committee has occupied this sitting so far, to the exclusion of everything else; but I wish to refer to the report of the Public Accounts Committee which investigated the management of the Small Arms Factory, and’ to another report by the same Committee on the Cockatoo Island Dockyard. It has been alleged that for the successful prosecution of the war, the Commonwealth must have greater powers. Unquestionably, however, the powers of this Government are absolute in connexion with enterprises such as the manufacture of rifles and the construction of. war vessels. The Minister has told us, too-, that. Committee reports, arrived at by the careful weighing of the evidence of experts, must receive due consideration by the Parliament responsible for the Committee’s appointment. I am not opposed to the manufacture of defence material in Australia, so far as that may be possible, but I ask, first, why has the making of rifles here proved so costly? The Small Arms Factory has been in operation for some years.
– And the wages paid there are higher than those paid elsewhere.
– They are not higher than those paid in America, which is supplying on such a large scale munitions for the combatants in the present struggle. But in the factories of America and of other countries employees are recompensed in a way that has not been adopted here.
-. - Does the honorable senator refer to the piece-work system?
– Yes. The Small. Arms Factory is not so new that there has not been time for- things to shake down properly, and, therefore, the people have, a right to ask. why. its productions are so costly. Despite the pressure brought to bear on Ministers by Labour organizations’, it is incumbent on them to do what is best in the national interests, and, if the present method of remunerating the employees is making production more costly than it should be, they should take action on the recommendation of the Committee to which I refer. Rifles can be obtained from America and from Great Britain at 50 per cent, of what they cost to make here. The Committee, which favours Australian manufacture, shows that some months ago it was costing between £7 and £8 to make a rifle at Lithgow, and nothing has been published since which makes one think that the cost is being materially reduced.
– The cost mentioned was the result of making provision for. elaborate machinery and expensive buildr ings.
– Undoubtedly the cost could be substantially reduced. Coming now to the Cockatoo Island Dockyard, I would mention that one. of the most widely-read journals in this State has said that no self-respecting Government can fail to take action on the Committee’s report.
– Does the honorable senator suggest the lowering of wages at Lithgow ?
– No, but I suggest that the energetic and active workman should be rewardedby paying him according to his output. The cost of Australian production is not likely to be considerably reduced until the piece-work system has been brought into operation in Government factories.
– Would the piecework system improve thequality of the rifles?
– It certainly would not impair their quality. The evidence of men sent to America by the Commonwealth to acquire knowledge of what takes place abroad, was that the remuneration paid in America is not less than is paid here, and that under conditions similar to ours rifles can be produced there for a sum equivalent to £5 each.
– Does the honorable senator suggest the adoption of piecework in connexion with the building of ships ?
– I do not know that there is any particular objection to it.
-Is the honorable senator in favour of the application of the piece-work system to every phase of activity, and the abandonment of the weekly wage system? Is he opposed to the day-labour system?
– I am opposed to the day-labour system in regard to certain processes connected with the manufacture of small arms and the building of ships. At Cockatoo Island Dockyard, the Government has a General Manager, in whom, I assume, it has confidence. He gave evidence in favour of piece-work, and his opinions are embodied in the report made by the Committee, most of whose members support the Government. Many important items of ship construction are six or seven times dearer in Australia than in the Old Country.
– Ship-building is a new industry here.
– That does not account for what I speak of. The manager of the Dockyard, in whom the Administration reposes full confidence, is opposed to the methods of remuneration in vogue there. Naval administration in other countries has hadan experience similar to our own.
– Would King Salter object to take piece-work?
– The honorable senator attempts to compare things that are not alike. The manager is absolutely opposed - in some respects, not in all - to the system of remuneration in force in the Dockyard, to which he attributes the increase in the cost of many items of naval construction. If it has confidence inits manager, this Administration, which isasking for larger powers todeal with war conditions, cannot escape the responsibility of taking action upon the report submitted by a Committee representing both . sides of the House. In the French dockyards, when day labour was introduced, it took years before some vessels were launched. Some ironclads were six years in course of construction. The French Naval Administration had to be remodelled, and a great improvement in the output, which compared ridiculously with that from German and English dockyards, at once took place. I support the principle of an Australian Navy. I am desirous of seeing vessels built here, but at the same time it is well for the Government to face the contingency, just as it is well for the people to know that it is costing Australia as much to build second and third class cruisers as it cost to build “ Dreadnoughts “ a few years ago.
– But we have the distinct advantage of employing our men under superior conditions.
– That is hot so. The system advocated by the manager would not result in the men getting reduced remuneration, but it would result in their being rewarded according to their efficiency, and it would result in a greatly reduced cost of our ships. What will be the position if it is going to cost us as much to build one vessel as it costs other maritime powers to build two or three? It is essential, with our huge coast line, that we should have a large fleet. Other contingencies other than those immediately arising out of the war will present themselves in the future, and I hope to see the day when Australia will be possessed of a fleet ten or eleven times the size of the present unit, because it is absolutely essential for the welfare of the Commonwealth that our fleet should be greatly increased. At the same time it is well that we should understand that we are faced with the contingency that if the present method of construction is maintained, our fleet will cost 250 per cent, more than similar vessels will cost in foreign dockyards. The Administration cannot shirk its responsibility in this matter, and it should pay heed to the evidence of the manager upon which the report of the Parliamentary Committee was largely based.
.- I have not had an opportunity of reading the report of the Public Accounts Committee, but to draw a comparison between the cost of rifles in this new Factory and in old established factories is most unfair. From its inception the Small Arms Factory has been engaged not only in the making of rifles, but in the making of jigs and gauges which form part of the plant. Old-establishe’d factories have their plants full and complete. When the original contract was let, we might have ordered a complete set of jigs and gauges. We did not do so, because we wanted to train our workmen to make their own jigs and gauges, so that we only bought sufficient to give the Factory a start. All this, as should have been known by the Public Accounts Committee, added to the cost ofthe rifles. One honorable member of Parliament - Mr. Gregory - could not wait for the Committee’s report before spreading these allegations all over Australia.
– He is not a member of the Public Accounts Committee.
– But he must have been informed by a member of the Com- mittee, because he stated that this information was in the possession of the Committee. The honorable senator says there is no difference between wages here and in America. I happen to know there is. In the first place the eight hours’ system does not operate there. The hours of labour in American factories are ten hours a day, and the men do not get as much by 20 per cent, as they receive in Australia. If the honorable senator wishes to confirm that statement, he has only to turn to the world report of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, and if he turns to the report of the society with which I am connected, he will find that the wages of carpenters in America are 20 per cent, less than here. In addition to that, most of the American production is carried out on the piece-work system.
This system has its good qualities and it has its faults. It is not so much the system that is wrong as the people who administer it. In theory, the system is most just, because under it a man gets paid for what he does; but in the hands of the gentlemen who stand behind the honorable senator - in the hands of private enterprise - it becomes a task-work system, compelling the slow worker to attempt to live on less than a living wage, and giving only the best worker a living wage. When a private-enterprise employer finds that a workman under this system is earning more than he can live upon, the piece-work rates are reduced.
– Is that done in the Admiralty dockyards at Home?
– That is the attitude of private enterprise towards piecework wherever there is not a union strong enough to resist.
– How is it that some of our men returned to England because they said they could earn more money there ?
– Because there are in England some trade unions that will not allow the employer to fix the rates. I believe that, so long as there is a Labour Government in Australia, a system of piece-work would be better for the men in Government establishments than the present system. Why. then, are the unions hostile to that system ? It is not that they do not trust the Labour Government, but they do fear that the honorable senator’s party may some day come back to power; and they also fear that, having conceded the principle in Government workshops, they must also concede it to the private employer. I deprecate very much these efforts to cry down Government enterprises. Members of the honorable senator’s party have never ceased to throw mud at these enterprises ever since they were established. During the last election in Western Australia, one of the trump cards was the alleged failure of the Small Arms Factory and the dockyards. The very statements that the honorable senator has just used were trotted out wherever possible by all the Liberal candidates in the campaign; but the position is as I have stated.
– I should like to be informed whether the Defence Department intends to stop payment of the separation allowance to the parent of a soldier who may be in receipt of an old-age pension. The particular case I have in mind relates to a young man whose father is an invalid in receipt of an invalid pension. The separation . allowance to his mother has been stopped.
– Is the mother receiving a pension ?
– No; but the father is. The separation allowance has been stopped to the mother, and if the Defence Department intends to adopt that practice, I want the community generally to know. Where a parent is in receipt of a direct pension, the separation allowance paid by the Defence Department should have nothing to do with the invalid or old-age pension, because there is nothing to prevent the son giving assistance to his parents, even while they are in receipt of old-age pensions.
– Where the parent of a soldier is in receipt of a pension, then the separation allowance is not payable. The reason is obvious. The separation allowance is paid because it is recognised that the soldier had to maintain his family. The separation allowance is equivalent to the old-age pension. Both come to about 10s. a week. There is nothing to prevent the soldier allocating his pay to his mother or father. If he allocates a portion of his pay, and the parent is not drawing an old-age pension, then the separation allowance is payable; but if the Government is already paying to that person by way of an old-age pension, why should the Government be asked to pay an additional like amount? The honorable senator will see that if this were done those parents who happen to be old-age pensioners would be getting from the Government double the allowance paid to a parent who was not a pensioner. That would not be just. As the Government is already paying a pension of 10s. per week, it does not propose to pay another 10s. It may be said that 10s. is not enough for an old-age pensioner. That is a question which does not arise on this point, but there is nothing to prevent a soldier allocating a portion of his pay to his parents if he wishes. The point as to whether, where only one parent is receiving a pension, no separation allowance should be paid to the other, has not hitherto been raised. That case is hardly on all-fours with the one I have been dealing with, and I will look into the point.
Proposed vote agreed to.
Divisions 90 to 103 (Department of Trade and Customs), £88,745, agreed to.
Department of Home Affairs.
Divisions 104 to 113, £117,090.
– A good deal of discussion has taken place regarding the site of the Small Arms Factory at Canberra. The Minister has given his reply, but I am impelled to say a further word or two. The matter is serious, because it involves an expenditure large enough to build an extra weir across the Murray. A few days ago discussion took place in this chamber regarding the Murray waters, and strong objection was then taken to the proposal before the Senate on grounds of finance. I ask honorable senators, if they are strong in their regard for economy, not to be inconsistent in dealing with this matter. The Minister gave no reasons why this extra expenditure had been lost sight of, or as to what influence the increased cost had upon the Government in arriving at their decision. He admitted that he was in a difficult position, in that he was a member of a Government that had first accepted the No. 1 site, and afterwards the No. 2 site. The Minister did not make it clear that the evidence was sufficient to justify the Government in their change of front. Apparently the Government shut their eyes to the advice of their own officers and relied entirely on the majority report of the Works Committee. In doing so they showed an entire lack of confidence in their own previous decision, and in the officers of the Home Affairs Department, because they preferred the report of a man who was imported to sketch the outlines of the Federal City. The Minister adduced no evidence to show why the Government ignored their own officers, but we may reasonably suppose from their decision, that henceforth they will entirely disregard the advice of those gentlemen. He said the question of time weighed with the Government, but according to Colonel Owen the element nf time was all on the sid of the southeastern site, which the Arsenal Committee indorsed. The Government therefore, in coming to their decision, brushed aside the finding of the Arsenal Committee, none of whose members was likely to be influenced by ulterior motives. In reply to the Minister’s argument that it was of no use to appoint the Works Committee unless the Government followed their advice, may I ask what is the good of appointing an Arsenal Committee if their advice is not to be followed ?
– The Arsenal Committee was appointed simply to deal with the questions of the plant, buildings, and the nature of the Factory.
– The suitability of the site was incidental to those questions, and a suitable site is absolutely essential to the success of the arsenal. It appears to me that the Minister found himself in an extremely awkward position, and saw no way of escape, but he gave us no rea son why the Government should have turned down their first decision, except that they called in Mr. Griffin, and consulted him. This amounts to a vote of want of confidence in Colonel Owen. Senator Story, to whom the Senate is deeply indebted, has clearly shown that the finding of the Works Committee was not warranted by the evidence. The Committee was asked to report late in July, and reported on 16th September, not a long period to hear evidence, and come to a decision on so difficult a problem, but after they had done this work, one would naturally have expected the Government to read the evidence, and pay some attention to the statements of their own officers. Mr. Griffin has objected to the site of the brick works and the power station, and if his condemnation of different sites is to be indorsed by the Government, it is to be regretted, because it means taking all power of initiative away from the departmental officers, and almost indefinitely extending Mr. Griffin’s functions. The Minister also said the Government were influenced in their decision by the fact that the south-eastern site was within 2 miles of the boundary of the Federal Territory, and 4 miles from Queanbeyan, causing them to fear that the development of the Capital City would enhance the value of private property in New South Wales, but the same conditions must have existed when the Government first indorsed the south-eastern site. If those objections are valid now, they must have been valid then. Therefore, either the first or the second decision of the Government stands condemned.
– It was rumoured that there has been a land deal between the first and second.
– -We have had no evidence of any big “boodle” scheme.
– But there is a possibility.
– The fact that the south-eastern site is 4 miles- from Queanbeyan makes the possibility rather remote. There is hardly likely to be much unearned increment at that distance. There are about 200 cottages to be built in connexion with the Factory, but what influence would such buildings have on land that is 4 miles away? If there is any weight in the argument that has been advanced, we are forced to the conclusion that the Government, if they were wise, would seek to purchase that land for themselves, and shift the boundary a few miles back, they could thus forestall private enterprise. The extra cost of placing the Factory at No. 2 site would more than pay for the purchase of the land, and private enterprise would cease to be an influence prejudicially affecting site No. 1. If such an investment would pay private enterprise it would also pay the Government. Another argument advanced by the Minister was that site No. 1 is on a branch line, whilst site No. 2 is on the main trunk line. The northern site may or may not have a material advantage in that respect, but if they allowed this consideration to influence them in adopting that site, they must have been blind to it when considering the matter previously. Every argument the Government has advanced to justify their latest action is a condemnation of what they did previously.
– The first choice was made by the late Government; the latest choice is by the present Government.
– The present Government cannot dissociate themselves from their predecessors. It cannot be argued that the dropping of two men from the Ministry, and the appointment of others in their stead, has completely revolutionized the policy of the Government. If the Government intend to rely on that argument, they are informing us that they are adopting a new policy which is an entire reversal of the old one. No announcement of such a change of policy has been made. Another consideration which, according to the Minister, weighs with the Government, is that of keeping the Factory to the area intended by the designer for factory sites. In a document relating to the competition for the Federal Capital design, appears a preliminary plan, and not far from No. 1 site is a space marked by the designer, “ suggested for factory sites.” It is a curious fact that in that first plan provision is made for factory sites near the No. 1. site. It appears as; if the Government are following an architectural will o’ the wisp, and have been led to a decision against the weight of evidence, contrarytot the* advice of their own officers, their previous decisions, and the plan put before them in the first place by the very gentleman whom they are now following. That is a very undignified position for any Ministry to be- in, and we are entitled to. ask for- stronger reasons than those which have been advanced to justify the> action of the Government.
– As you brought about the change, you ought to take the responsibility for it.
– That is a point: which we shall decide in other places. If. the honorable senator is serious in making; that remark, he is only convincing me> that I made a mistake, and that, therefore, there should be another change. According to the estimates of the engineers,, the Factory buildings,, if erected on No. 1 site, would cost £.9-2,100, and if built on No. 2 site, £100,638. There is not one item connected with either the Factory or the cottages, which will not cost more at the northern site than it would at No. 1 ; but the Minister has not set up any argument that for the increased cost there is to be greater efficiency. The least the Government might be expected to say ,is, “ We admit that No.. 2 site will involve an expenditure of an extra £155,000. But for that money we shall get greater efficiency, and the public will receive full value.” No such case can be put forward. The Government’s change of policy will involve more time and money, and how are we, as representatives, of the people of Australia, to justify the passing of a measure of that kind without a strong protest? The reasons given for the Government’s attitude are so weak that we are justified in taking the strongest measures that parliamentary usage will permit to- call attention towhat is being done. Not only does every single item of expenditure show an increase in connexion with the northern site, but there are some items- of expenditure at that spot which would not be involved in the No. 1 site. The evidence of the departmental engineer specially stresses the fact that if No.. ,2 site be adopted-, there will be a scarcity in the vicinity of gravel and- sand for building, purposes, and those requisites will consequently have to be carted a considerable distance. They will require to be carried by motors, or in. trolleys drawn, by road, engines, and that must considerably increase the: cost and. delay in the construction of the arsenal. The Minister told the Senate that the saving of time was a consideration that had weighed with the Government, but that statement is not proved by their action. Mr. Hill -pointed out in his evidence that site- No-. 1 is very much nearer to railway communication, to the city, and to- the- centre where- labour can be obtained, and that it- in every way involves less- expense and difficulties, and more expedition. Less railway construction would be required,, and, incidentally, itmay be mentioned that the adoption of No. 2- site involves the- building of an expensive bridge.. I do not know what, experience Mr. Griffin has had. as- a railway constructor,, but I do say that a permanent efficient railway cannot be constructed at any place in Australia, where there are similar difficulties to overcome, at the cost per mile estimated by Mr. Griffin. If a railway is to be built from the city to the: Factory, the Government will require to provide for rolling-stock for which Mr. Griffin seems to have made no provision in. his estimate.
– I. think that the New South Wales Government runs all its trucks to Canberra.
– The Government will require to either purchase rollingstock, or make other arrangements for the use of rolling-stock; but Mr. Griffin’s estimate contains no provision for anything of that kind. The mere fact that material for the Factory will be required to be carried a long distance, is clear evidence that the cost of construction must be largely enhanced, whilst there will be delay in the, building operations, and increased cost. In the one case there will be very little difficulty in regard to water, while in the other it will be necessary to have a steamengine to pump water 100 feet, thus necessitating somebody in charge, and materially increasing the cost. If the work at No. 2 site is carried out, I think we shall find the estimate has been a very conservative one; my own opinion is that it will be greatly exceeded. Another point stressed by Mr. Hill was that not only building material, but supplies of every kind will have to be carried, and if this is by railway, the other buildings will have to be delayed while the line is being constructed. These factors appear to be all ignored, although time is the important element. Colonel Owen said that if the Small Arms Factory is built practically 5 miles away from the present settlement, it will mean the creation of another town, with the consequent division of energy, and duplication of schools, post-offices, railway stations, and other public conveniences. The pipes for the sewage are estimated to cost £25,000 a mile, but that, of course, is included in the £155,000. All this will mean the diversion of labour which could be well employed in building at the No. 1 site. Mr. Griffin attaches great importsance to his opinion that the selection of No. 1 site would spoil his plan; but if that is true to-day it was equally true when he originally prepared that plan. He must have assumed that, sooner or later, there would have to be something in the shape of small arms or ammunition factories, and other Defence activities, and if this would not have spoiled his design in the first instance, it cannot spoil it to-day. The fact appears to be that Mr. Griffin desires to have absolute power, and to work out his ideas irrespective of the cost to the taxpayer; he will take no suggestions from any one else, he will not accept the cooperation of the Government officers, and apparently desires to be an architectural autocrat, pure and simple. If, as has been said, the change will involve a delay of six or nine months, together with an increased expenditure of £155,000, with no greater efficiency as a result - and all with the sole object of preserving the beauty of the design and the ‘ ‘ centre of gravity “ - I feel sure that honorable senators must desire to give some expression of disapproval of the action of the Minister. We have the peculiar fact that the Public Works Committee sent in a report that was not justified by the evidence they have heard; and, on the other hand, we have the recommendation of the Arsenal Committee, who, we may be quite sure, were quite as keen as the other body in their appreciation of the best site. It has been advanced that in the one case there is unlimited opportunity for expansion, while in the other there is only about a square mile of land, and we have had the two bodies arriving at divergent decisions. The Arsenal Committee, without taking any evidence, arrived at the conclusion that No. 1 site was the better, and the Public Works Committee, which did take evidence, produced a report entirely opposed to that evidence. The sites were visited by both bodies, and whatever was under the view of the one was under the view of the other, and I can only imagine that the Public Works Committee were obsessed by the ideas of Mr. Griffin that considerations of beauty, access, and “ centre of gravity “ had more weight than the consideration of the £155,000 extra expenditure. We may assume that the Arsenal Committee escaped this influence. We are told that there are planets which are so small as to have long remained invisible and undiscovered, but which, were ultimately made manifest by the influence of the “pull” they had on neighbouring planets. I can only draw the conclusion that Mr. Griffin was present, and that the “ pull “ of his influence is distinctly shown in the report of the Public Works Committee. Colonel Owen refers to the extra expense of providing and conveying 10,296 tons of gravel to the No. 2 site - an expenditure that would not be necessary in the case of No. 1 site. Then, 3,288 tons of other material would have to be carried by rail, and afterwards carted over roads yet to be made. If the construction of a railway were found necessary, and that construction delayed the erection of buildings for nine months, the cost of the maintenance of that railway during the time of building ought to be charged against the No. 2 site. That is a point which may have been overlooked, but to which it is quite justifiable to refer. I submit .that if a railway has to be constructed that would otherwise not ‘ be needed for ten years if the No. 1 site were selected, then the interest on that railway for that period of time ought to be charged to the No. 2 site. According to Mr. Hobler, the cost of the railway to No. 2 site will be close on £30,000, and that ought to be added to the cost of the site. In regard to this work, M!r. Griffin’s! estimate seems to have been a mere guess, commencing at £15,000. It is advanced very strongly by Colonel Owen that the No. 1 site would not interfere with’ the plan of the city, and that is not his opinion, but that of Mr. Griffin, who had set apart a place for factories, although not, perhaps, factories specially for the manufacture of small arms. It is immaterial, however, what factories are put in a factory region. The evidence all points to the advisability of adopting the No. 2 site. While the city is being constructed, there must be brought to it a vast amount of building material, quantities of commodities for the consumption of the men working there, coal, and other things. The sewerage of the city will cost more if the population is scattered over a big area, and the cost of maintaining it will be increased. The same thing may be said about the distribution of electric power. Mr. Griffin says that it makes little difference whether electric power has to be conveyed 2 miles or 5 miles; but obviously there is greater resistance to be overcome when electric power is being transmitted 5 miles than when it is being transmitted 2 miles. It may be that in America electric power is sometimes transmitted for a distance of 200 miles or more, but I know that when the Adelaide tramway system was being laid out, the directors gave a great deal of consideration to the question where should the power-house be located - at Adelaide or Port Adelaide? Eventually it was determined to locate it at Port Adelaide, because to have it there would lessen the transport of coal to it from the steamers. Obviously, you increase cost when you increase the distance of transport. If the No. 2 site were adopted, the cost of water reticulation, sewerage, transmission of electrical power, and transport generally would be increased. Mr. Griffin would make everything subservient to his design. We are told that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, and, similarly, this design was made for the Commonwealth, not the Commonwealth for the design. Mr. Griffin treats questions of cost and convenience as subservient to considerations of beauty. He says that he wishes to develop the business part of the city, but the factory site which he first selected, and which the Government recently chose for the Small Arms Factory, would cause a development other than he has in his mind. He admits that an eternal omnipotent being could make the city grow as he wished; but cities generally grow in accordance with the expression of their internal power. The cities of Australia have not developed on the lines prescribed by those who laid them out. Colonel
Light provided for two intersecting streets, each 3 chains wide, to carry the business traffic of Adelaide, but the shops of the city are nowadays chiefly in Rundle-street.
– But is not the city now going in the direction of Gougerstreet and Wakefield-street ?
– That is the tendency, though not in a very marked degree. Although wide streets are more convenient for traffic than narrow streets, the greater part of the business of the city is done in its narrow streets, tire city being most thickly settled in those parts of it which were first settled, and people went there in the beginning to be near a water supply, and nowadays they want to be near the railway terminus. The location of the terminus of the YassCanberra line will largely determine the direction in which the Federal Capital will grow. If that terminus is to the north, it will bring population to the northern district. Mr. Griffin admits that the power station would be 5 miles from the No. 2 site, and only 2 miles from the No. 1 site, but he readily sacrifices utility to hia conception of beauty. I shall not discuss how much beauty and utility influence our lives, but most of us have to sacrifice ideals of beauty at the shrine of utility. It may be all very well to design a city so that there shall be a residential quarter, a factory quarter, a place set aside for the civic functionaries, and another site for the Parliament House; but it will be found in practice that business places will congregate near the railway terminus. Mr. Griffin has located the railway terminus at no great distance from the No. 1 site. If he wishes the city to grow in the direction he has intimated, he will have to alter the location of the railway station.
– Mr. Griffin wishes to compel people to settle north of the Molonglo, whether that suits their convenience or not.
– Just as trade gravitates round a point of communication, so does settlement take place near a point that is sheltered. The evidence of Colonel Owen and Mr. Hill was that there is a marked tendency for people to live under the shelter of the hills away from the wind. A man who, like an eagle, builds his home on the peak of some mountain is trying to escape from the very things that make home attractive. According tohisown evidence,Mr.Griffin does not expect thisto be a : city such as he looks for within half acentury, yet he expects that thepeoplelivingthere during this interval will be quite willingto sacrifice their conveniencefor the benefitof the city design. I would also call attention to the length of timethat would be occupied in constructing the railway siding, and also to thefact that, in order to construct a railway in the position desired by Mr. Griffin, itwould be necessary tocross the river. For this, Mr. Griffin suggested a low-level bridge. No manwho knows anything of railway construction would suggest the building of a bridge likely to be submerged for a considerable time during eachyear at a spot where the traffic islikely to be considerable. If such’ a bridge were constructed,not many years would elapse before curses would be heaped upon the designer. Another weakness in Mr.Griffin’s planis that the first railway line will not be permanent.I lay stress upon this point, because itreallymeans that, instead df having to meet an additional expenditure of£155,000, by the adoption of the No. 2 site the additionalexpenditure will amount to£185, 000.It maybe that the estimateof Mr.Hill, who sard that the difference between the two sites would represent £250,000, may not be far out. What argument cantheGovernment put forward to justify the throwing away of such a large sum of money ?
– Surely the honorable senator is not blaming the Government when he himself is partly responsible for the change ?
– Because I take exception to the action of a reconstructed Government, I fail to see why I should be held responsible for the change. For all the Minister knows to the contrary, I may have had nothing at all to do with it.
– The honorable senator will not lose the credit of having taken part.
– The evidence is entirely on the other side. If the Minister is going to argue that I had any influence in the change, he must argue that I would prefer a person from outside South Australia to a person inside South Australia. Mr. Griffin’s suggestion that a timber bridge should be constructed over a swiftflowing river shows what a clever gentleman he is. It istobe a trestle ‘bridge.
According to Mr.Griffin’s idea, it is to beafrailbridge.Do we wanta calamity to occur ? Are theGovernment inviting disaster?Ifthe Government had any conscienceonthisquestion-
– Will the honorable senator look at theclock and see if he has a conscience ?
– I would remind the Minister that all this hasbeen brought about by the vacillation of the Government. If the Ministerwill make me a certain promise, I am prepared to resume myseat.
– I will promise anything the honorable senator likes.
– The promise I want is that the Government willreconsider the position from the poult of view of the evidence. Bear in mind that the decision of the Committee is an opinion based on evidence. If the evidence isagainst the opinion, the opinion goes,but the evidence remains. The evidence of those capable of judging is greater thanany opinion the Committee mayform. But ifI cannot extract a promise from the Minister-
– I will promise anything.
– Will the Government reconsider their decision ?
– I would promise the honorable senator that. I will promisehim that I will forceits reconsideration.
– And a change of opinion ?
Senatot Gardiner. - I cannot promise that. I will promise reconsideration.
– I hope the Minister does not think I am here for fun., but I do feel strongly on this matter. Do the Government want to expend all this money and waste all this time uselessly ?
– The honorable senator has taken this matter out ofour hands, and now he will not take the responsibility for what he did.
– The Senate has not taken thematteroutof thehands of theGovernment. The Senatehas a perfectright to review the action of the Government.
SenatorGardiner. - I think we are submitting cheerfully to thereview.
SenatorSENIOR. - I am afraid Imust go on, asI cannot getanything satisfactory out of the Minister.
– I (have promised to <lo all I can to secure the reconsideration of the matter. If that is not satisfactory, what is ?
– I am not going ‘to surrender th« position I have taken up until I know positively that the Government intend to take into full consideration all the evidence given on this subject, and to be guided rather by the evidence of practical men than by the opinion of an unpractical man. I take it that on a question of where ‘a factory is to be, and in the matter of efficient and economic buildings, Mr. Griffin is not a practical judge. The Government in their first report were guided by either fact or fiction.
– We were influenced by the need of getting the work done quickly.
– Does it make a difference of nine months 1
– We think so. It was the disturbing factor for which you are responsible which brought about the -change.
– I accept no responsibility for the change in the Government, and, in any case, the majority of tlie Cabinet remains unchanged. We have a right to ask for a reconsideration of the Cabinet’s decision in view of the weight of evidence by Government officials.
– - I - I am prepared to reconsider the question in view of the evidence brought before us by Senator Story and yourself, and am prepared to ask my colleagues to reconsider it, if you are really in earnest.
– The responsibility must rest with the Government, with whom the decision originated. In what position does the Arsenal Committee stand after being ignored by the Government?
– I place a great deal more confidence in the opinions of honorable senators than in any other body of ,men. If you will let the matter pass, I am content to let the Factory remain at Lithgow until there is an opportunity of discussing the matter.
– Before we meet again, a large amount of public money may be wasted. Money was spent on the first site immediately it was selected.
– If you talk till the Senate meets again we shall still be -working -on -Nt>. 2 -site. .The decision cannot be altered.
Senator -SENIOR. - The ‘electors will want some justification for fee wasteful expenditure of nearly a quarter -of a million.
– If I thought that continuing the debate would alter the position, I would encourage you to continue.
– In the circumstances, I am compelled, in order to indicate our displeasure at the expenditure of this money without justifiable excuse, and against the “weight of the evidence of Government officials, to move -
That the House of -Representatives -be requested to reduce the item, Works and Buildings, “Home Affairs, £2,500,” by £1.
, - The discussion has disclosed three facts: That -the trusted officers of the Home Affairs Department have been practically turned down; that their -advice has been rejected; that their evidence on certain matters has been discounted. I refer to the evidence of Colonel Owen, -Colonel Miller, and Mr. Hill, -who, I am sure, the Minister will not deny are -valuable .and highly-respected officers of the Commonwealth.. Their evidence has been rejected, and .the claims put forward by Mr. Griffin have been accepted. ‘The Government cannot afford to ignore the three indictments that have been laid against them to-night; firstly, that the advice of the Government’s responsible officers has been ignored ; secondly, that the cost of the arsenal will be considerably increased by the decision of the Government to adopt the northern site; and thirdly, that a serious delay in the construction of the Factory will occur. Those three charges are proved clearly by the evidence which has been -read by Senator Story. The Minister cannot afford to throw the responsibility on to the Senate or the Parliament, because we have seen fit to alter in a small degree the personnel of the Ministry. Parliament has a perfect right to take exception to the action of the Government in connexion with this or any other matter, and some of us are entering our protest as strongly as we can to-night. The Government would be well advised to take this matter more seriously, to reconsider it in -all its aspects, and revert to the decision of the Fisher ‘Cabinet that the Factory should be placed at the -site ‘recommended by the departmental officers. 1 had the -pleasure recently of -spending -a week in the Federal Territory, and of motoring, over the whole area, and I saw the undoubted advantages possessed by No. 1 site for the purposes of the Small Arms Factory. I spent a considerable amount of time in inspecting the alternative sites, and I have no hesitation in saying that a very serious mistake will be made if the arsenal is erected to the north of the city. As has been stated by other honorable senators, the designer of the city originally intended that the area known as No. 1 site should be used for factory purposes, and I am satisfied that no practical man who was not obsessed with his own ideas for laying out in detail a large model city could fail to be impressed with the suitability of No. 1 site. The northern site comprises a splendid area of flat country in the midst of gently undulating hills. It is an ideal spot for a factory or any other establishment, but, in my opinion, it would be a shame to utilize such a fine portion of the Federal Capital Territory for factory purposes. It is intended by nature to produce food for the people of the city, and, later, as the city becomes more populated, it will provide an ideal site for workmen’s homes or residential areas. No. 1 site i3 not nearly as suitable for that purpose. The placing of the Factory at No. 2 site would destroy that splendid area of country- for all time. Railway conveniences are an important consideration in dealing with this question. Already a railway is adjacent to the No. 1 site, and the Factory could be connected with it at a comparatively small cost, but to connect the northern site with the railway system would involve an expenditure of £20,000 or £30,000. Unfortunately, the Government will give no indication of their intention to reconsider their decision.. Surely the Senate has a right to express its disapproval of any action of the Government. I say that Parliament is superior to the Government, and the people are superior to Parliament. I will not take any share of responsibility before my constituents for the expenditure of money in placing the arsenal at No. 2 site, nor will I attempt to justify the Government for turning down the advice of their responsible officers and glorifying Mr. Griffin. I shall not attempt to excuse the delay that will take place in the construction of the Factory at a time when every energy of the Commonwealth’ ought to be concen- trated on the production of arms at the earliest possible moment. When I was at No. 1 site, I saw that bore-holes had been made in order to ascertain the depth to which it would be necessary to sink in order to reach a solid bottom. Colonel Miller told me that those investigations were completed, but the work has been abandoned, and presumably the same tests will require to be made at the northern site. Yet we are expected to take no notice of this change of policy, because, forsooth, the Public Works Committee has made a recommendation which is against the weight of evidence. I have read no evidence from any individual except Mr. Griffin, in favour of No. 2 site. The Arsenal Committee, comprising men selected on account of special ability, and uninfluenced by sentiment, selected No. 1 site. Evidence is piled on evidence to prove that that site is the more suitable. I intend to read a few extracts from the evidence furnished in a report submitted to Parliament in July last. The Minister of Defence quoted from that report this evening, and suggested that, because incidental reference is made to the two sites, neither was recommended by the Committee at that time. I wish to draw particular attention to the evidence of Colonel Miller, Administrator of the Federal Territory, and a capable enthusiast. One cannot be in his company for five minutes without being satisfied that he is giving the best that is in him in the interests of the Commonwealth and the Capital city. I am puzzled to know how the Public Works Committee failed to make a recommendation in accordance with the weight of evidence secured by it at different times. Here is what Colonel Miller said at Canberra -
The sites to which I have referred have natural drainage. The nature of. the land is a loamy soil with a very good subsoil, and it could be very easily drained. The Cotter water supply would be available for the purpose of any industrial institutions which might be established, and is ample for all requirements. These sites might be easily linked up with the sewerage system proposed for the city, which could be made to serve the site you inspected to-day without any difficulty. The power-house is within three-quarters of a mile of the site you inspected, and there would be no difficulty in transmitting whatever power might be required for factories established there. The present railway line traverses the site, but it would be necessary to put in a loop line to bring trucks into the very centre of the Factory,
A loop line of a few hundred yards will bring the Queanbeyan railway right into the centre of the Factory. I do not suppose there will be much railway traffic, seeing that the Factory will be run with electricity. The point is that the site is adjacent to the railway line, and quite near the present power-house; and the fact that the Factory will be worked by electricity will render the railway traffic very much less than is the case with steam power, which requires coal. Colonel Miller also said -
No detailed plan of the Capital site has yet been prepared so far as I know.
Colonel Miller has complained repeatedly that no detailed plan of the city has been furnished to him, and he is hoping every day that something will be done so that he may show something more - though he has shown much already - for the time he has been in charge at Canberra. He further said -
I think it would be most unwise to come to any definite decision in the matter until the plans for the lay-out of the city have been definitely settled, or, at any rate, until the plans for that particular section have been completed. So rauch depends upon the design for the lay-out for the city, and particularly with regard to the route chosen for the railway from Queanbeyan, that I strongly urge that no decision should be arrived at until that has been definitely settled. If Mr. Griffin’s amended design, as I understand it, is adopted, a considerable deviation of the existing line will be absolutely inevitable.
This practical engineer has already found that the theoretical railway line proposed by Mr. Griffin will not meet the requirements of the city. Colonel Miller is charged with the practical work, and he says that he is hampered by the absence of a detailed plan, and the necessity for alterations in Mr. Griffin’s design. He went on to say -
So far as I am aware, Mr. Griffin’s original plan did not provide for an upper lake with a level of 1,845 feet. A lake at that level would interfere with the existing railway. There are other sites within the Federal ‘Territory which have advantages, in my opinion, superior in some respects to the site you have inspected, but they would not be so economical. The site you inspected is the best and most economical available at the present time.
In the face of the evidence read by Senator Story, and that now being read by myself, does the Minister still think that the Government are wise in proceeding with this arsenal at a site so thoroughly condemned by those who know their work ? Colonel Miller further said -
The other sites I referred to are in the Duntroon valley, beyond the College, and lying under the spurs of Mount Ainslie and Madura. The special advantages of those sites is that they comprise a far greater area from which to make a selection, and are more sheltered than that which you have inspected, although that is an excellent site. Owing to the cost which would be involved in making them available, the sites in the Duntroon valley are, at the present moment, out of consideration.
That, of course, is because the site is so far away from the railway line and the conveniences necessary to economical working -
A separate railway line to them would bc essential, and that would render the cost of adopting them prohibitive. Their distance from the city would bo a disadvantage also. The site you inspected is about 1 mile from the city boundary, and that is just about the distance from the city at which such a factory should be established. It would be about 3 miles from the site selected for Parliament House. I take it that the power used would be electric, and there would, therefore, be no difficulty to be anticipated from the effect of fumes or smoke in the city.
That meets the objection raised to-night that it is mistake to put factories too near the city. The modern factory is much less hurtful and objectionable than was the old factory, which belched forth clouds of filthy smoke. The Factory would discharge practically no smoke whatever. The power-house consumes its own smoke, and there is nothing offensive about it. Colonel Miller further says -
To Mr. Sampson. - There is ample provision on the site you have inspected for the establishment of a factory for the manufacture of field guns. I presume by that you mean 18^-pounders and machine guns. There is plenty of room there for expansion, but I am not able to say that you could manufacture there the naval guns of larger calibre.
I understand that it is not intended to manufacture these larger guns there, but at Jervis Bay. Colonel Miller, being a practical man who knows what is required, placed before the Committee concise evidence, and it is strange that any one can fail to be struck by it. Personally, I am somewhat surprised that the Public Works Committee did not report more strongly ; and I can only assume that they were influenced by sympathy more than anything else. I should like to read an extract from Mr. Griffin’s evidence, which represents the only evidence we have against the selection of this site. The report is dated 1st January, and in it Mr. Griffin said -
The site suggested by the Home Affairs Department for the Small Arms Factory was brought under my notice on Friday last for the first time. I have had three days to consider the suggestion, but have had scarcely enough time to go thoroughly into the whole question. I can say, however, that the placing of the factory at the site suggested would interfere very materially with the Federal Capital scheme as a whole.
That is the whole of his objection - “ the centre of gravity.” Although he himself originally marked out a manufacturing area, he says that the site now proposed would interfere materially with the scheme. He said nothing about utility, extra cost, delaying construction, or the desire to get to work immediately at the Factory; but we were told that it would destroy the beauty of the design he had drawn on paper, and which, so far, practical men have had to alter materially.. Further, he said -
It is difficult and dangerous to determine any of these individual questions without considering the scheme as a whole. In my original plan, drawn before I had received the surveys of the outlying territory, I had provided two alternative locations for industrial purposes.
This is one of those locations; and yet he condemns it because it will materially interfere with the scheme as a whole. He added -
Having regard to the whole plan of the city I can see great objections to the operation of a Small Arms Factory at the spot suggested by the Department. My opinion is that the best location for the industrial centre is to the north of the city on the main line of railway, where the largest economically flat topography is available.
No reason but interference with the plan is given, and it is a magnificent plan if we could work to it. But it is one thing to draw a plan for a city on a sheet of paper, and another thing to engineer it and plot it out. He also said -
A reference to the plan will show that that is the most economically developed portion of the city site for industrial purposes.
Before, however, he had said -
That site would be about 5 miles from the power plant. Unfortunately, the power plant has been located on the plans without reference to the general scheme, and my objections to the site proposed by the Department for the Small Arms Factory apply largely to the site for the power plant.
I wonder that the whole scheme has not fallen to pieces, seeing that the Commonwealth have dared to erect a power plant and a brick kiln of which Mr. Griffin disapproves. Why did the Government not erect these buildings five or ten miles away, instead of placing them where Mr. Griffin does not want them ? These two plants, apparently, have been erected without regard to the euphony of the general scheme, and Mr. Griffin, is going to take care that the Small Arms Factory is placed nowhere but. where he desires. Two highly responsible officers have recommended a site which is disapproved of by Mr. Griffin, who is here for a few years only, and who yet. desires to control the Capital city, and all connected with it. This is altogether unfair to the officers of the Department. If the Government would undertake to ask Colonel Miller and Colonel Owen to report and recommend regarding the two sites, I should be quite prepared to leave the matter entirely in their hands. I have every confidence in those gentlemen; and I am perfectly satisfied they would not recommend the site the Government have selected. The following is a further extract from Mr. Griffin’s evidence -
To Mr. Finlayson. - I object to the departmental site for the reason that it occupies about 1) miles of space which the general plan contemplates being converted into recreationground’s and lakes for the benefit of the com. munity.The factory would intervene between the lakes and a residential suburb, the residents of which would be deprived of ready access to what was designed to be a means of recreation for them. The history of private industrial sites would be very well exemplified by the adoption of such a site as the Department has proposed. It has happened in America that large monopolies have taken the best sites for factory purposes, and the people have had to make their residences on the inferior sites.
That is not happening in Canberra. As to Mr. Griffin’s complaint that the Factory will take up a certain area of lake ground, I am confident that not for a hundred years, if ever, will the lake shown on the plan be made. It is to be 25 feet higher than the other lakes, and will require the construction of a bank a mile long, and wide enough to carry four lines of railway, and, lower down, two vehicle tracks, with a pedestrian track on each side. The scheme may be a beautiful one, but who is to pay for it? It will be many years before the Commonwealth can afford the cost. Mr. Griffin says that the first consideration is the comfort and convenience of the inhabitants of Canberra, and that the Factory is a second consideration. At the present time, the Small Arms Factory is of primary consequence to Australia, and its erection should not be delayed for an hour. Mr. Griffin’s remarks only show his impracticability. He says that the line of railway that is shown running through the plan is one of tie first essentials to an industrial site. That line runs close to site No. 1, and could be connected with the present railway by means of a siding 200 or 300 yards long. Mr. Griffin stated -
If a branch line were constructed, as suggested, to the Factory, a certain section of the country would be cut off from the other portions of the city.
Yet he cuts the city in half by his own railway. Possibly this line might, to some extent, spoil the beauty of the plan, but it would save tlie Commonwealth £150,000, which is a matter worthy of consideration at the present time.
The disadvantages would have to be overcome by incurring the expense of building bridges or subways. The present railway from Queanbeyan is thus available to the Factory site suggested by the Department, but I would not have placed the railway there.
One of Mr. Griffin’s complaints was that the railway was built while he was away. I believe that the line was at first a temporary one; but it has now been strengthened, and made permanent, and will carry with safety any of the rollingstock in use on the New South Wales line. Mr. Griffin says that he proposed that the railway should be made further south; and he complains that it has been built across what lie had laid out as a lake area. He said that he emphasized the point that details of construction cannot be considered independently, but must be dealt with in relation to the whole scheme. Examined by Mr. Sampson, Mr. Griffin said -
No very great expense would be involved in conveying the electric power from the generating plant to the site to the north of the city. The current would probably be carried overhead. Ugliness could be avoided by carrying the current along the railway line or round the back of the city …. My proposal was to place the generating plant on the main line of railway on the northern side of the water….. The railway to that site would be the main line to Yass. The line from Canberra to Yass will be a very much easier and better railroad than that from Cooma to Goulburn.
At present there is no railway from Canberra to Yass, but there is a line from Canberra to Goulburn. We cannot wait until there is a line from Canberra to Yass before commencing the Munitions Factory. Mr. Griffin said, in answer to questions by the chairman -
Access to the northern industrial site will be provided by the carrying through of the railway from Yass to Canberra. That would involve for the Commonwealth only an 8-mile continuation of the line that is at Canberra, now. It would be sound economy to build the railway before establishing the Factory.
Of course, it would.
That would not necessarily mean proceeding at once with the creation of the lake. The railway could be carried on a trestle, temporarily, and the embankment across the lake could be built with its aid. The embankment could be built after the railway, but it would be better to do the whole job at once.
Here, again, Mr. Griffin is concerned for his plan rather than for the convenience of the public. He said -
I was not consulted in regard to the Department’s suggestion for a factory site. I heard nothing about’ the proposal until your secretary (Mr. Whiteford) asked me to see Colonel Owen on Friday last. The site on which the Department proposes to erect the factory is laid out as a suburban residential area on my plan. The site before the Committee was proposed by the departmental officers without my knowledge. I anticipate that a fairly large expenditure will be involved in constructing dams, and weirs for the purpose of forming the ornamental lakes, but I do not think that such expenditure will be advisable if factories are to be placed along the edges of the lakes.
I dare say that the fact that Mr. Griffin was not consulted had something to do with his opposition to the departmental suggestion. If Colonel Owen had said, “ If you please, Mr. Griffin, will you allow me to alter your plan to provide a site for this factory ?” he might have consented, but the fact that permanent public officers of the Commonwealth did not go cap in hand to a gentleman who is here only for a year or two at the most was sufficient to prevent him doing that. The Minister has backed up Mr. Griffin. He has said to him, “ I put you over my officers, over the men whom I shall have to trust with the carrying out of the public works of the Commonwealth long after you have returned to America, and have been practically forgotten in Australia.” Mr. Griffin continued -
If the lake idea were abandoned altogether I still think that the site mentioned by the Department would be unsuitable for the factory, having regard to the plans on which we are working.
He had no objection to it except that it interfered with the plans.
Of course, with an entirely different city plan, that site might be suitable for factory purposes.
That remark shows that Mr. Griffin had nothing against the site except that it would not dovetail in with his ideas.
The trouble is we are working on a city plan with which the Department’s proposal does not harmonize. Factories are an element in the design I have provided, and they cannot be placed at the point advocated by the Department unless an entirely different design is adopted.
Yet they have been put in a corner of the city area which he himself deliberately marked as a manufacturing area.
I say finally that the proposal to put factories to the east of the city, as suggested by the Department, conflicts with my plan.
Was there ever a weaker case? Mr. Griffin objects to the departmental proposal, because it conflicts with his plan. I say that if the Vice-President of the Executive Council had a free hand he would not listen to such objections. His answer would be that the Department must do what is best in the interests of the Commonwealth.
I object to the eastern site mainly because it conflicts with my design, which has arisen out of the physical characteristics of the Territory. The adoption of the Department’s site would compel me to modify my plan of the city.
There would be no hardship in that. Mr. Griffin is the only man who favours the site which the Government is now working on. Let me turn to the evidence of Colonel Owen, the man at the head of the Public Works branch of the Home Affairs Department, an able architect and a great administrator. The responsible work with which he is intrusted proves that he has the confidence of Ministers. Yet to all intents and purposes he is made to play second fiddle to Mr. Griffin in connexion with the building of the future capital of Australia. It is Mr. Griffin who should be the subordinate. Colonel Owen should be able to say to him, “ We shall keep as closely as practicable to your plan, but when I, as Director-General of Public Works, consider an alteration necessary, you will have to agree with the best grace you can.” The Government should stand behind its permanent officers.
– We are following the recommendation of a Parliamentary Committee.
– The Commit-, tee did not recommend that Mr. Griffin should be set over Colonel Owen.
– It recommended the. adoption of site No. 2.
– The Committee was not unanimous in that recommendation.
– There were seven for and two against it.
– I am confident that there is nothing to be read in favour of the site now advocated by the Minister. Is the Vice-President of the Executive Council of opinion that the No. 2 site is the right one?
– I have never been of that opinion. I never was in favour of that site.
– I am glad to hear that. The admission justifies more than anything else could do the carrying of Senator Senior’s request. If the Committee carry the request, the Government will be compelled to reconsider their position.
– I think the Government will also have to reconsider their position.
– It might be a very good thing too; but I do not think the carrying of this request would be regarded of such vital moment.
– After taking the Estimates out of their hands it would be the most severe form of censure that could be passed upon the Government.
– The Government deserves severe censure, but I do not think the carrying of the request would mean that the Government would have to -reconsider their position. In the course of his evidence before the Committee, Colonel Owen, amongst other things, said -
There are other possible sites, but I think the one I have suggested is the best, and the area I have marked on the map represents about the area I thought would be required for the Ammunition Works, though it need not necessarily take that form. The factory, for instance, need not be erected on the border of the lake. The lake could remain as it is designed by Mr. Griffin at present. I only propose to take the buildings near the lake, so as to get water for manufacturing purposes at a low rate.
That is a very sensible suggestion from a man who knows his business. If Mr. Griffin wants his lake, Colonel Owen says he can have it. He only wants a part of the lake frontage so that it will not be necessary to pump water for the Factory a distance of 5 miles. He went on -
Tor running a factory on the site proposed by Mr. Griffin I would go on with the Yass connexion. In deciding as between the relative advantages of the two sites, I think it would be advantageous to build the extension to the Queanbeyan branch line if we decided upon the northern site, though it might cost more to do that work than to do the whole railway on the other side.
In the course of bis evidence on 15th June, Colonel Owen said -
I was asked by the Committee when I last gave evidence why the power-house was located where it is, close to the ornamental water at Canberra. I stated in a broad way why it was so located, but I think I may be allowed to state fuller reasons. Hand in hand with the central station power proposition we must consider the future necessity of installing mixedpressure turbines. For mixed-pressure turbines it is a sine qua non that there shall be cool circulating water. The loss of 1 inch of vacuum might mean a 7 or S per cent, loss of efficiency in the prime movers, which would be a very serious matter. I have reduced to figures what the annual loss would be to put the power-house on the north site proposed by Mr. Griffin. The estimated additional cost per annum would be from £4,000 to £6,000. The Committee can accept these figures, that between £4,000 and £6,000 a year on the estimated load of 2,800 kilowats worked on a 60 per cent, load factor would be the loss sustained by the community in placing the powerhouse at the northern site. That power-house was constructed while Mr. Griffin was away, and as a result a large sum has been saved to the taxpayers of Australia for all time. I am sorry it has been necessary for me to take this course in order to express my disapproval of the Government’s action. No promise could be obtained from the Government that the situation would be reviewed, and it remained, therefore, to the Committee to take the only step left to them in order to express their opinion.
– Has the Minister nothing to say in reply to the arguments that have been advanced, because it seems to me a strong case has been made out? Senator Pearce did attempt to reply to some of the statements I made earlier, but he very carefully avoided the issue, and gave no intelligible reason to justify the Government’s action. The strongest point in this discussion is that all the skilled Government officials employed to advise the Government were strongly in favour of the No. 1 site. No notice, however, has been taken of that advice, and the Minister of Home Affairs is now acting directly contrary to it. Members of the Government are treating this question with too much levity. I realize that the Ministers in the Chamber have not this matter under their direct control, but I do complain that they should seem to think there is nothing to be answered. In any case, I hope Ministers will give the Senate the assurance that there is no truth in the statements that have appeared in the press suggesting that severe friction exists between the Minister of Home Affairs and his principal officers, and that Mr. Griffin is to be placed over the Chief Engineering officers in the Home Affairs Department. If the Government will give that assurance I shall not have the same feeling of uneasiness that I have at the present moment.
– Nothing new has been added to the debate since Senator Story spoke. The other two honorable senators have repeated and varied his arguments, but they have brought forward nothing fresh, and therefore I have nothing to add to my earlier reply. As regards the rumour to which Senator Story refers, all I can say is that I know nothing of it, and I believe it to be but the outcome of the imaginings of enterprising pressmen, who, with empty note-books, desired to find something that would interest their readers. The pressmen believed this story would fill the bill, and the debate that has taken place in the Senate has probably lent some colour to their articles. But honorable senators have a pretty good acquaintance with these journals, and should be able to appreciate the value of such a story.
– They sometimes hit the truth.
– But so far as I know there is nothing in these articles connected with the truth.
– I do think the Minister should have treated this matter with more seriousness. He cannot suppose that we have been talking all this time just for the love of the thing. In his reply T»» altogether ignored the fact that this amendment will involve considerably greater financial outlay. The Government are putting” their supporters in a very awkward position. It is remarkable that the only protest has come from representatives of South Australia, although that State is no more interested in the matter than any other. Because Mr. Griffin objects to putting the Factory near a lake that may never exist, the Government are prepared to present him with a key to the Treasury. The erection of the Factory and arsenal will be actually retarded by the latest decision of the Government, as the northern site will necessitate the construction of a railway, for which rails and rolling-stock will be necessary, but for which no money has been voted. Close on twelve months must elapse, therefore, before the Factory can be commenced, unless the Government are prepared to build the railway without parliamentary indorsement. Government supporters cannot be expected to act as weathercocks to show which way the Ministerial wind is blowing.
– Is the honorable senator in order in making .a general speech on the amendment?
– No limitation can be placed on the honorable senator in criticising the whole of the Department in a general way, although he has moved a request for the reduction of the item by £1.
- Mr. Griffin claims that no change must take place in the position of the Factory in relation to the city, but we have distinct evidence that the site has already been changed. Mr. Griffin stresses the argument that the northern site should be adopted because a change should not take place in his plan. But he himself has been subject to just such changes, and if the maker of the plan will admit that it presents possibilities for alteration, he must admit also that others may be able to show the desirability of a change. _ In fact, the Government asked Mr. Griffin to remodel his original plan, and it is within the province of the Government to-day to select whatever site they desire. The adoption of No. 1 site would not materially alter the plan, inasmuch as on the original plan this site was marked for factories or industrial buildings. Now, when there is a proposal to revert to his original plan, we are told that the suggested change would materially alter the scheme and affect its usefulness or beauty. The Government should be prepared to advance some stronger argument than that they desire to preserve the original balance and beauty of the plan. Another point is the need for abundance of water. Mr. Griffin says that for the purposes of the Factory no very large quantity of water will be required. Yet Colonel Owen, the adviser of the Government, stated that 12,000,000 gallons of water is used at the Lithgow Small Arms Factory yearly. Therefore, I cannot understand why he should say that a big supply of water is not essential for the purpose of the Factory. Surely the Government are not blind to these considerations. They cannot say that the evidence has not weighed with them in coming to their decision.
– I ask your ruling, Mr. Chairman, as to whether the honorable senator is not repeating what he has said several times already ?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.I do not wish to limit the right of Senator Senior to discuss the question generally, but I ask him not to indulge in these repetitions, or I shall have to take a course that will be distasteful to me.
– If I have repeated anything it has been for the sake of emphasis. What provision is to be made with regard to storm waters? One honorable senator has told us that he recently saw a photograph in which a large part of the flat over which the railway will pass was covered with water. Some provision will require to be made for the diversion of the storm waters. That is one of the elements that comes into the consideration of the merits of the two sites, but not one word has been said by Ministers as to what provision will be made. They have heard the statement that a costly bridge will be necessary,’ and that a trestle bridge is to be substituted. But all these assertions are treated as if they had no more weight than a feather. We are justified in asking that the Minister shall rise and deal with the items of criticism seriatim, giving the Senate definite reasons for selecting No. 2 site. As representatives of the people, we are entitled to that information. I should not have taken this course to-night if I had not intended to bring Ministers to their feet in order that they might let us know clearly what they intend to do with regard to the arsenal site. There may be something in the minds of Ministers, and their advisers, which we ought not to know, but never in my parliamentary experience have I known Ministers to sit in silent indifference and decline to make any answer to criticism. We have heard no justification for this extra expenditure. Three reasons were given by Mr. Griffin for deciding on No. 2 site. The first was cheapness, the second speed, and the third proximity to the river. The argument of cheapness is decidedly on the side of No. 1 site, having regard to the fact that the other’ “will cost £155,000 more. As to the matter of speed, -we have shown clearly that months will elapse before the work can be carried out if No. 2 site is adhered to. In regard to proximity to the river, No. 2 site is further from the water than No. 1. All of those three reasons are most powerfully on the side of No. 1 site. Mr. Griffin stated that it was the policy of tlie Government that the Commonwealth should be self-contained as far as possible, and that the Federal Capital also should be self-contained. Hence provision was made in the Capital city for every department or activity that is likely to go there, and provision was made in the plan for all of them. His conditions are fully met with site No. 1. In regard to constructional settlement, No. 1 site is as suitable as No. 2, and seeing that Mr. Griffin had originally intended that factories should be placed on this site, it cannot be asserted that we are departing from the plan by advocating No. 1 site in preference to No. 2. Mr. Griffin says that the main railway connexion will be with Yass, and not with Queanbeyan. That may be so, but the connexion cannot be made for some time, and not without a great expenditure of public moneys. As circumstances are, that expenditure will not be justified to keep the constructional development of the city on the basis of equipoise. There are other considerations than beauty to be borne in mind. I do not despise that element, but it should not be made of paramount consideration. In regard to the knowledge of the experts whom the “Works Committee has consulted, it must be admitted that the engineering advisers of the Government possess more skill than Mr. Griffin. As a railway expert, Colonel Owen is a much better man than Mr. Griffin, and if the Government intend to follow the latter’s evidence, they are giving an offence to the departmental officers. Mr. Griffin has said that development % should follow initial settlement. That settlement is certainly in the south-eastern portion, and not in the northern portion, of the Federal Territory. But he is endeavouring to force settlement out of its natural course. Water, by gravitation, flows down a hill, but, figuratively speaking, Mr. Griffin seems to have an idea that water must be made to run up a hill. I do not know that there is much more to say beyond repeating that the Government should take the Senate into their confidence and give specific reasonsfor the expenditure of this money. If the Minister could say that No. 2’ site has certain advantages over No. 1
Bite, and that these justify the expenditure of the extra money, we should stand in a good deal better position. As it is, however, we have everything to warrantour entering a most emphatic protest against the action of the Government. It is for this reason, and not in any spirit of animosity or anger, that I have taken the step I have. I have acted solely with a desire for common justice for thosewho sent us here, and who had a right to know how public money is spent.
– I remind Senator Pearce that he has not given a satisfactory answer to the question I asked some little time ago regarding rumours that there are strained relations between the new Minister of Home Affairs and some of hisprincipal officers. In his reply, the Minister referred somewhat slightingly tonewspaper reports, but I do not think that he would suggest that that great newspaper, the Age, which is supposed tobe the voice of Victoria, would publish anything which was not strictly accurate. With the permission of the Senate, I propose to read a short statement which appears in that newspaper of this morning, the 13th November, and which has a bearing on the question I put to the Minister.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.I should like to draw the attention of honorable senators to standing order 421,. which provides -
The President or the Chairman of Committees may call the attention of the Senate or the Committee, as the case may be, to continued irrelevance or tedious repetition, and may direct a senator to discontinue his speech; provided that such senator shall have the right to require that the question whether he be further heard be put, and thereupon such ques-. tion shall be put without debate.
Senator Story, I point out, is simply traversing the ground he covered a short time ago when he received a definite reply to his question from the Minister. I do not propose to allow the honorable senator to continue on that line; and unless he proposes to break some new ground I shall exercise my right under the standing order and instruct him to discontinue his speech.
– I do not propose to repeat anything I have previously said, but, with the permission of the Senate, to read something that appears in this morning’s newspaper bearing directly on the subject that we are discussing at the present moment. The following are the headings to the article: -
” SHAKING THINGS UP.”
Mr. Kino O’Malley as Minister.
Trouble in the Home Affairs Department. Resignations Talked of.
Now, these matters have not been spoken of before to-night; and if there is any truth in the statements made the position is serious enough to demand the consideration, not only of Senator Pearce and the Government, but of every member of the Senate. The newspaper proceeds to say -
Trouble is developing in the Home Affairs Department. Since Mr. O’Malley assumed control he has, as he puts it, been “ shaking things up,-“ with the result that the relations between the Minister and some of the departmental officers have become strained.
The main grievance appears to lie in the restoration to Ministerial favour of Mr. W. B. Griffin, the American designer of the Federal Capital, whom Mr. O’Malley has restored to his original position of Director of Design and Construction, where he was put by the Cook Government. One of the first acts of the new Minister, in conformity with his present policy, has been to accept the site recommended by Mr. Griffin for the proposed Federal Arsenal, notwithstanding that some expense-
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.What is the point that the honorable senator is leading up to?
– The point comes a little later in the newspaper article, but I am compelled to read the beginning in order to convey the proper sense of the passage to which I particularly desire to direct attention.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.I suppose the honorable senator will again ask the Minister if there is any truth in the rumour?
– There is something much more serious than that, and I-
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.I am going to order the honorable senator to discontinue his speech. If he takes exception to my ruling he can take the course prescribed in the standing order.
– I bow to your ruling, but I propose to put another question to the Minister of Defence.
– I have ordered the honorable senator to discontinue his speech.
– Then I must take the liberty of disputing your ruling to the effect that I am not allowed to put another question to the Minister.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.I do not propose to argue the question. If the honorable senator is aggrieved with my decision he may refer the matter to the Committee.
– I certainly dispute the ruling that a senator has no right to put a question to a Minister. The process suggested by the Temporary Chairman is a new one to me. I understood that in the case of a disputed ruling the matter was referred to the President.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Do you wish to challenge my ruling ?
– I certainly do. You instructed me to resume my seat on the ground that I was indulging in tedious repetition. I do not propose to dispute your ruling as to that, although, as a matter of fact, it is wrong,’ because I was reading something that had not previously been read in the Senate. I resumed my seat, and when I rose again to address a question to the Leader of the Senate, you ordered me to again resume my seat, taking the ground that I had no right to rise and address a question to the Leader of the Senate when the Senate was in Committee.
– I asked the honorable senator to discontinue his speech under the standing order, and I have pointed out that he has a remedy if he cares to seek it.
– At any rate, before the question is put, would you be kind enough to tell me under which standing order you rule that I am not permitted to ask a question of the Leader of the Senate when the Senate is in Committee?
– When the honorable senator rose a few moments ago it was perfectly obvious to me and every other honorable senator that he was simply going to put to the Leader of the Government the question which he had previously put, and to which he had received a very definite answer. It was obvious that the honorable senator could have only one object, and that was to take up the time of the Committee by tedious repetition. Holding that view, I exercised my power under standing order 421.
– I desire not only to dispute your ruling, but also your prophetic vision by which you claim to be able to know the question I was going to ask.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.I do not propose to enter into a discussion. I have acted in accordance with the authority conferred upon me by the standing order, and if the honorable senator challenges my action he knows what he may do.
– I ask under what standing order you gave your ruling that, when in Committee, an honorable senator has no right to put a question to the Leader of the Senate.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.No honorable senator has the right to put to a Minister a question to which he has already received a definite answer. It is quite clear that the honorable senator was repeating the question he had asked previously, and to which a definite reply was given.
– I still demand to be informed as to the Standing Order under which you acted. By what means do you pretend to claim to know what the question was going to be before I had commenced it? However, I ask, in accordance with the standing order, that the question that I be further heard be put.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.I have allowed considerable latitude, and I have sufficient grounds on which to arrive at a decision as to the purport of the question. Is it the wish of the Committee that Senator Story may continue his speech 1
Honorable Senators. - Hear, hear !
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.The honorable senator may proceed.
– In addressing the Committee again I do not propose to waste any time, but to refer to a question which I regard as of considerable impor tance.
Sitting suspended from 6.10 to 7.40 a.m.
– I wish to know whether there is any truth in the suggestion of the A ge newspaper that it is proposed to reinstate Mr. Henry Chinn as an officer of the Home Affairs Department?
– I have no knowledge as to whether the statement is true or not.
– The Age article which you, Mr. Chairman, will not per mit me to read concludes with this paragraph -
Several officers of the Department so keenly resent the attitude of the new Minister that they talk of sending in their resignations. As to this aspect of the question, Mr. O’Malley said yesterday that he knew nothing of the matter. What he did know was that there had been “ Too many Ministers in the Department in the past; in future there is only going to be one Minister.”
I ask the Minister of Defence who were the Ministers who ruled the Department in the past, and whether the future Minister is to be Mr. King O’Malley? I wish to know, too, whether there is to be more than one Minister in the Cabinet?
Senator PEARCE (Western Australia - Minister of Defence [6.42 a.m.]. - I cannot be expected to, know what was in the mind of the Minister of Home Affairs. Undoubtedly Mr. King O’Malley is the Minister now.
– What does the honorable senator mean when he says that Mr. King O’Malley is “the” Minister?
– He is the Minister of Home Affairs. It may be that he thinks that there have been too many Ministerial changes in the past.
– I think that he meant that several officers in the Department had arrogated to themselves the responsibilities of the Minister.
– The statement is capable of that construction.
Question - That the request (Senator Senior’s) be agreed to - put. The Committee divided.
Majority … … 6
Question so resolved in the negative.
Proposed vote agreed to.
Divisions 114 to 123 (PostmasterGeneral’s Department), £890,050; division 30 (Refunds of Revenue), £50,000; and division 31 (Advance to the Treasurer), £650,000, agreed to.
Postponed clause 2 and abstract agreed to.
Preamble and title agreed to.
Bill reported without request; report adopted.
Bill read a third time.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Standing and Sessional Orders suspended, and Bill read a first time.
– I move -
That this Bill be now read a second time.
The object of the measure is to make certain necessary amendments in the Income Tax Assessment Act, some of them being required by the decision of the Supreme Court of New South South in re Chalmers, in which case it was held that where a company is managed outside Australia, although carrying on business in Australia, its dividends are not taxable. It hasbeen considerednecessary to amend that section of the Act which specifies what is to be included in income, so as to make taxable all dividends from companies carrying on business in Australia. In the same case it was held that a company is taxable in a State where its central control and management is, on the whole of its dividends, even though some of its profits have been derived outside that State. The Bill proposes to make clear that only a part of the dividends proportionate to the profits acquired in Australia shall be taxable. The intention of the Act was to exempt the undistributed income of companies from taxation if it was accumulated prior to the year in respect of which the tax was to be applied, and an amendment of the proviso of section 14, paragraphb, will remove all doubt in that regard. Section 15 imposes a tax in respect of income derived from the sale of goods in Australia on account of a person not in Australia, and the person selling the goods is made liable for the payment of the tax. An amendment is proposed to meet the case of agents receiving orders, and others who do not actually complete the sale. A provision of the Bill renders liable to the tax fire insurance companies who do not directly carry on business in Australia, but who accept reinsurances of Australian risks from other companies operating in the Commonwealth. It is considered that in such cases the non-resident companies derive income from Australia on which they should be taxed. Without such a provision companies could escape taxation by a sort of contracting out of their liabilities. A number of minor amendments are proposed. Their objects are, to provide that losses or outgoings from capital are not to be regarded as adjustments ; to provide that deductions must be sums paid in Australia or in respect of companies carrying on operations in Australia; that the age of a child in respect of which a deduction is claimed must be ascertained at the beginning of the financial year, and to make it clear whether the deduction is to be from the income from personal exertion or from the income from property. Amendments, to simplify the working of the Act, are to be made in the provision relating to special deductions. It is proposed to cast upon absentees the duty of furnishing returns in the same way as other taxpayers. “Under the Act an absentee is obliged to make a return only if requested to do so, which, obviously, gives opportunity for the evasion of taxation. A new section has been framed to meet the case of a person dying before a return of his income during the preceding financial year has been made. In such a case the executor or administrator of the estate might make a return, and be liable to the tax. The Bill is to be deemed to have come into operation on the same day as the principal Act.
– If any person has already paid his income tax, will he escape the provisions of the Bill?
– No income tax has yet been collected, but even if it had the Bill would operate retrospectively.
– It is proposed to add the following sub-section to section 15 of the principal Act : -
Yesterday, in another place, there was a fair amount of discussion on section 15, which reads as follows: -
In the case of a person selling goods in Australia on account of a person not resident in Australia, or on account of a company not registered in Australia, the principal shall be deemed to have derived from such sale a taxable income equal to £5 per centum upon the price at which the goods were sold. The person selling the goods shall be assessable on the taxable income as the agent for the principal, and shall be personally liable for the payment of .the tax.
That section would get at those who sold goods in Australia on behalf of outside firms. The probabilities are that representations have been made to the Taxation Commissioners that there were persons in Australia who obtained orders on behalf of outside firms, but did not sell their goods, and the amendment foreshadowed is aimed at these outside firms through the agencies they have established in Australia. If the established agencies have received commissions on the sale of imported goods, then 5 per cent, of that trade would be regarded as the amount liable for income tax.
– It will get at American “ drummers,” &c.
– It will not get at American “ drummers.” There are a number of men in charge of established agencies in Australia - men whose homes are here, and who are good Australians - and it has been represented to me that if this amendment is agreed to in its present form, it will only have the result of causing these agencies to be discontinued, and the goods they formerly handled will be sent direct to Australia. So that not only will a number of men be thrown out of employment, but the Government will lose the tax they were in the habit of paying. This proposal will not get at the men the Government want to get at. If firms in Australia do their business with outside firms by way of correspondence, the outside firms will not pay income tax.
– They will.
– It has been represented to me that the Government will find it impossible to get at outside firms doing business by correspondence. Travellers who visit Australia booking orders for their respective principals will also not be taxed.
– How is it that the winner of the Melbourne Cup is taxed before he can get out of the State 1
– That case is different; and it is manifestly unfair that people who have become residents of Australia while representing outside firms should be penalized as they will be under the Bill as it is at present drawn. Deputations have waited upon the Prime Minister and communicated with Mr. Garran, representing the Attorney-General’s Department, pointing out the injustice likely to be done in that a means of escape from taxation will be allowed to some firms, whilst the .representatives of others will be called upon to pay. I trust the Minister in charge will see that this injustice is removed.
– The point, which is an important one, was raised when the Bill was under discussion in another place, and an amendment was there moved to meet the case of sales effected before the last financial year. But I can assure Senator Findley that this Bill will not place the agent he refers to, or the people who sell on commission, in any worse position than they have occupied in Victoria during the last twenty years. Section 16 of the Victorian Income Tax Act of 1896 reads as follows: -
That is exactly the position created under this Bill. Senator Findley suggests that travellers will either be sent out by foreign firms, or that their goods will be dealt with through the warehouses. What is the inducement to do that?
– To escape taxation.
– But the foreign firm does not get taxed now, and how can it be affected by the Bill ? The honorable senator is trying to make it appear that the peregrinating agent will be treated more favorably than the local resident; but the bird of passage will not necessarily be allowed to escape. I know persons from Western Australia who won money prizes of various kinds in Victoria. They have not escaped taxation. The income tax officers always have the means of getting hold of them, and taxation is levied before they can leave the State. If that can be done - as it has been done for twenty years - in Victoria, it should be possible for the Commonwealth to do the same over its wider area. The suggestion that this Bill may offer an inducement to outside traders to sell their goods through the warehouses does not affect the position at all. We cannot tax a person resident in America unless he has some business here, but we can tax the agent who sells his goods on commission, and we can tax the warehousemen. Senator Findley says we cannot tax the perambulating agent.
– I did not say tax him. I said you would tax the firm he represents.
– How can we when the firm is not in Australia? The difficulty Senator Findley has mentioned is not created by this Bill. It is merely a difficulty of circumstance, and it has existed in Victoria since the passing of the Victorian Income Tax Act. Yet the number of commission agents there is still considerable, and they have never complained.
– Supposing these outside firms discontinue their agencies here, and do their business by correspondence, will not the Commonwealth lose taxation ?
– How can these firms do their business direct without having an agency? Outside firms must have some way of bringing their goods before the buyer. They must either do it through the warehouse, or by a commission agent, or they must send their own representatives and these people will be taxed.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
Clauses 1 and 3 agreed to.
Clause 4 -
Section 15 of the principal Act is amended by inserting at the end thereof the following sub-section : -
Goods shall bc deemed to be sold in Australia on account of a person not resident in Australia, or on account of a company not registered in Australia, if any person in Australia receives a commission in respect of the sale of the goods or is paid a salary for obtaining orders for or for influencing the sale of the goods.
– I move -
That the clause be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following new clause : -
Section 15 of the principal Act is amended -
by adding at the end of sub-section 2 thereof the words “ to the extent of the tax payable on goods sold by him after the 30th day of June, 1915”; and
by adding at the end thereof the following sub-section : - “ (3) Goods shall be deemed to be sold in Australia on account of a person not resident in Australia, or on account of a company not registered in Australia, if any person in Australia receives a commission in respect of the sale of the goods or is paid a salary for obtaining orders for or for influencing the sale of the goods.”
The section, as amended, will read as follows: -
That meets every possible contingency, except the contingency of the man who dodges the Jaw by bringing in goods, selling them, and evading the payment of income tax. The Customs Department may stop the goods, and no doubt tha Income Tax Commissioner will have an arrangement with the Customs Department by which before the goods are released income tax may be exacted.
– It appears as if an injustice will be done to men who have established themselves in Australia as agents for British, allied, and neutral firms. If the Bill goes through in its present form it is probable that the firms will discontinue the agencies, although established agents are a great convenience to outside firms, and do the business direct by selling in London, or by sending out travelling agents. By that means they will escape Federal income taxation, and so the object sought by the Bill will not be achieved. The discontinuance of these Australian agencies will shut out of employment many men who, by their own efforts and industry, have built up extensive businesses for outside firms. The Bill, as drafted, gives a distinct advantage to outside firms doing business with Australian firms by way of correspondence, and also’ to outside firms who are disposed to send travelling representatives to Australia. In those cases neither the travelling representative nor tho firm would come under Federal income taxation.
, - Senator Findley has struck the keynote of the whole matter. A firm like Cadbury, who have been paying commission to agents in Australia for selling their goods, will do away with their agents and deal direct with Australian firms, or send a travelling agent, and ,so avoid the payment of Commonwealth income tax. Means have already been devised to tax the travelling theatrical and concert companies on income earned in Australia, and it should not be difficult to apply the same principle to travelling agents. A man comes to Australia as the agent of some firm in America; he merely takes orders, but does not take cash. The goods reach Australia twelve months afterwards, and the Government then have no means of knowing in what way they were sold.
– -In what way is the theatrical who comes here for a few months different from such a man ? Senator GUTHRIE.- -The theatrical is paid here.
– When the honorable senator says that we tax the theatrical he gives his case away.
– The two cases are different. The presence of the theatrical is advertised. The Government knows that he is here.
Proposed new clause agreed to.
Clauses 5 to 11 agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported with an amendment; report adopted.
Bill read a third time.
– I move -
That this Bill be now read a second time.
This is a Bill to make provision for works and buildings, for the same term as that for which we have granted ordinary Supply. The amount asked for is £419,150, and is proportionate to the amount voted for works and buildings in the Estimates last year. There are no items of special importance.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
Clauses 1 to 4 agreed to.
– I notice an item for “the construction of vessels for other Departments.” Does that mean that the Defence Department is constructing vessels for trading purposes?
– The Department of the Navy have under construction certain vessels for the Customs and Quarantine Departments, and I believe, also for the External Affairs Department.
– Is any provision made in this Bill for the construction of the Katherine River to Bitter Springs rail- way?
– There is no vote in this Bill for railway construction. The Katherine River railway is being constructed under the sanction of a special Act, and provision for the Bitter Springs railway would be made in the same way.
– Has that project been abandoned by the Government?
– Not so far as I am aware. It is still before anotherplace.
Schedule agreed to.
Preamble and title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.
Bill read a third time.
– I move -
That this Bill be now read a second time.
The circumstances of the death of MajorGeneral Bridges are well known to the Senate. Under the Defence Act the relatives of permanent officers of the Department who meet with their death whilst in the performance of their duty, or from causes arising out of. the performance of duty, may be paid as compensation an amount equivalent to the average pay of the three years preceding their death. Had Major-General Bridges met with his death in this way prior to leaving Australia his widow would have been entitled to compensation amounting to £4,500, as he was receiving £1,500 per annum for the three preceding years. The War Pensions Act, however, took away the right to claim under any other Statute, and, consequently, when MajorGeneral. Bridges was killed, his widow was entitled to only the pension, and. could not claim under the Defence Act. In view of the circumstances it is thought by the Government that it would be fair to give to Lady Bridges the right to claim under the Defence Act. There are circumstances in connexion with this case which, in the opinion of the Government, justify that course. As regards the argument that the relatives of all soldiers should be treated alike, the circumstances are such that no other persons would be benefited by such an arrangement. There is no other military man whose salary is such that it would pay his relatives to waive their rights under the War Pensions Act, and claim this special compensation. The question has been asked why we do not treat the widow of the private soldier as we are treating Lady Bridges. The private soldier would not thank Parliament for such a kindness. If his widow were to be given a pension to the amount of three years of his pay in lieu of the. amount he would be entitled to under the War Pensions Act, she would be deprived of a considerable sum of money. That remark applies to every other person in the Expeditionary Forces, with the exception of one man. He has been receiving for three years a salary at the rate of £1,200’ per annum, as an actuarial calculation shows, and in the event of his death his widow, having three children, would not benefit by a substitution of compensation under the Defence Act for the war pension. There is another phase of this question which has not been mentioned previously. If honorable senators will cast their minds back they will remember that the First Australian Division had actually left Australia before the War Pensions Act was introduced, so that when Major-General Bridges departed for the front, so far as he knew, his wife, in the event of. his death, would, be entitled to compensation to the amount of his salary for three years. Between the dates of his departure and his death the War Pensions Act was introduced, and. subsequently passed by Parliament. Taking all the circumstances into consideration, the Senate will realize that by passing this Bill we shall be doing only an act of justice, and recognising to some extent the valuable services which Major-General Bridges rendered to Australia. Of course, the granting of this compensation wipes out the claim under the War Pensions Act.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time, and reported without amendment; report adopted.
Bill read a third time.
The following paper was presented: -
European War- Returned Soldiers - Recommendations of Federal Parliamentary War Committee re Employment.
Ordered to be printed.
– As a matter of privilege, I desire to call attention to a report in the Age of this morning which has some reference to myself. I am reported to have said in the Senate last night that -
The British Navy, of course, had an enfolding arm around Australia. He (Senator Story) supposed the Minister meant that we existed solely by virtue of the protection of
Great Britain, and therefore ought to be prepared to submit to any conditions that the Imperial connexion might placeupon us.
To this the Minister of Defence is reported as retorting, “ You know I mean nothing of the sort “ ; and, in conclusion, I am made to say, “Nothing else could be meant.” I am sure that every senator will support me when I say that I never made any remark of the kind. This report, in my opinion, is calculated to damage me very seriously in the eyes of the electors of Australia, and I refer to the matter now in order to give the newspaper an opportunity to give as much publicity to my denial as it gave to the report.
Sitting suspended from 8.5 to 11.30 a.m. (Saturday).
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -
That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn until 3 p.m. on a day to be fixed by Mr. President, which day of meeting shall be notified by Mr. President to each senator by telegram or letter.
– In opposing this motion, I have no wish to lay myself open to the charge of desiring to bask in the reflected glory of Senator Story and his colleagues by starting another stonewall. But on the first reading of the Supply Bill yesterday I intended to refer to the purport of the question which is embodied in that motion. In fact, I was very dubious about having time to go down town before lunch yesterday, thinking that the Supply Bill might be passed, but 1 feel now that if all the representatives of South Australia had entered into the operations of last night and this morning with equal energy, I should have been able to go to Queensland and return in time to speak. The reason why I am opposed to the present motion is that, according to the Supply Bill, the indications are that it will be about the middle of May before the Senate reassembles unless something at present unforeseen arises when you, sir, would notify honorable senators by telegram or otherwise of the desirableness of their attending here. I am opposed to the proposed long adjournment. I think that the Government should specifically set out a date on which it is intended to resume the deliberations of the session. During the impending adjournment of six months, nothing can be done to give effect to the agreement recently arrived at between the State Premiers and the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth in regard to controlling the prices of commodities, and especially foodstuffs.
– The prices are falling every day now for chaff, butter, four, and everything else.
– I do not think that is the experience of the average housewife. In that period the exactions from the people will continue, and there will be no restraining influence exercised.
– The Parliament could be called together if it were thought necessary.
– My contention is that it is necessary now, or at the earliest possible date, to bring in legislation to deal with that question.
– But we have not the power now.
– The main point of my complaint is that the Government are not taking advantage of the earliest possible opportunity to obtain that power. There is another very important aspect. When the agreement was accepted by the Prime Minister on behalf of the Federal sphere, it was generally understood at the conceding of the powers was to be agreed to by the State Parliaments before the close of this year. I think that the States intend honorably to carry out their part of the agreement. In fact, in some State Houses Bills have already been introduced for that purpose, but what is the attitude of this Parliament? It is proposed to shut up shop for six months, clearly indicating to the States that thereis no hurry in the matter. I believe that it will have a very detrimental elfect on the attitude of the State Governments. The Federal Government have been clamouring for the opportunity to put into effect powers which will control the prices of commodities and the cost of living.
– But you know that a great deal of that talk has been all makebelieve.
– I believe honestly that much can be done by the Federal authority to bring about an improvement in this direction, and for the special edification of the honorable senator let me say that I am one of those who never thought that the additional powers asked for by the National Government were to constitute a panacea for the cure of all ills.
– It is well to get in. early and do a bit of hedging.
– I have always held that view. I was favourable to the agreement arrived at. I thought it was extending the powers of the National Parliament, but I desired the powers to be put into effect as soon as they were obtained, and to be obtained at the earliest possible opportunity. I did not desire the Government to shut up shop for six months, and to say in effect that there is no hurry for the acquisition of the powers, and the putting of them into operation. A few months ago there was a great clamour in the press and on the platform about the desirableness of closing up the National Parliament. It was urged that all the energies of the parliamentarians, and of the country generally, should be devoted to the prosecution of the war, and the result was that the Government - I did not agree with their attitude in that respect - gave in to the artificial clamour. I do not consider that they did the right thing. Is there an honorable senator who will say that the adjournment of this Parliament for a long period made one iota of difference to the conduct of the war, or that any additional energy was devoted to the purpose ? I do not think that there is anybody who could make that statement. I consider that the Government are making a bigger mistake on the present occasion. I cannot reconcile their attitude in asking for an adjournment over such an extended period. Instead of closing up the National Parliament in the past, as they did, it would have been more in the interests of the nation, even if they had not the power to put into execution laws for the control of the prices of commodities, if they had put into operation the power which they already possess to erect a Tariff wall around Australia. It was said some few months ago that that could not be done, that there was too much business before Parliament, and that in the meantime the prosecution of the war had to be carried on with additional energy. But the fact remains that, although we had had an adjournment of about four weeks, nothing very much has been done since the resumption of the session. If we add four weeks to six months we get an adjournment of seven months. I think that within that period the Tariff of Australia could be rectified and made protective. I do not think that it is pro tective now. I have never thought that it was, and the best evidence that it is not must be patent to every one.
– Is the honorable senator in order, sir, on this motion, in discussing the protective incidence of the Tariff and otherwise?
– The honorable senator would not be in order in discussing the Tariff generally; but he is in order in pointing out the desirableness or otherwise of dealing with the Tariff as a reason why there should not be a long adjournment. I ask him to confine himself to that aspect of the case.
– I had no intention to go into the Tariff question, sir. The reason why I am speaking is not because I object to an adjournment of the Senate, but because I object to the adjournment of Parliament for six months. I believe that it will have a very detrimental effect upon the agreement recently arrived at with the State Premiers.
– You mean that it will show the non-necessity for seeking additional powers.
– It will not show that, but it will deprive the people of the advantages which I for one think are contained in them. But if there are no advantages, it is the duty of the Government to plainly state the fact. I do not agree with them if they take up that attitude.
– It is by no means certain yet that we will adjourn for six months.
– No; but I am taking what seems most likely to occur: The Government should come down with a definite proposal to resume operations immediately after Christmas. Why does not the Minister representing the Prime Minister tell us why the position could not be met? My reason for desiring to mention this matter on the Supply Bill yesterday was to give the Minister time for reflection. It is a great injustice that the people of Australia should be deprived during the next six months of the protection of the National Parliament. During that period the sugar monopoly of Australia will make a profit of halfamillion out of the growers on the one hand, and the consumers on the other. But the National Government say, “ We will take no action during that half-year ; we will allow the sugar monopoly to go on as before ; we are not going to interfere with the price of commodities. We will close up Parliament, because the Prime Minister is going to Great Britain.” I am very pleased that the Prime Minister is to go to London. I realize that his mission will be very important, and very important from the democratic point of view. But is that any reason why the National Parliament should close its doors? I say decidedly not.
– You want business as usual ?
– I want some business done, anyhow, and not the shop to be shut up for six months. If Mr. Hughes cannot be spared to conduct the affairs of this nation, it is a very grave reflection on the rest of the people of. Australia. I have a high admiration for his ability ; I believe that he will do good work at the impending Imperial Conference ; but if he should die we should have to get somebody in his place.
– Oh, God forbid!
-“ God God forbid “ I say, too. I contend that the impending departure of the Prime Minister for Great Britain is no reason why this Parliament should be shut up for six months.
– The Government may be defeated in the absence of the Prime Minister.
-Many things may happen. I am pleased that he is going to England, but that is no reason why Parliament should be shut up.
– It may be called together at any time.
– But the question is whether it is intended to do so. What the people want is redress from the exactions of monopolists, but the effect of this adjournment will be that the States will come to the natural conclusion that there is no hurry to put the referendum agreement into effect, and we cannot blame them, when they see that the National Parliament are not in earnest in acquiring the powers that they have the opportunity of acquiring. Delays are dangerous. I trust that my prognostications may not be fulfilled, but I think that the Government are making a mistake in having this recess of six months.
– To a certain extent, but only to a certain extent, I join in the expression of opinion we have heard from Senator Ferricks. The Prime Minister is doing the right thing in the interests of Australia in accepting the invitation given to him, but as regards the danger to Australia feared by Senator Ferricks, when he says that the closing of Parliament for five months will deprive the people of Australia of the protection of its National Parliament, we must not forget that the President, in conjunction with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has the right to call Parliament together at any moment. If anything should arise rendering advisable the calling together of Parliament for the national protection, the Ministry will still be here, though the Prime Minister may be absent.
– I was referring to domestic protection.
– I a I agree with Senator Ferricks that it is a pity that we should be delayed so long in tackling the very big task of revising the Tariff. But when the Minister of Trade and Customs is relieved of his parliamentary duties, he should have more time to go thoroughly into the Tariff, and I hope that when Parliament reassembles he will be able to bring down an amended schedule which will be more in the interests of Australia than the one now in existence. There is the contingency that the war may suddenly collapse. If that should occur before Parliament has the opportunity of revising the Tariff nothing will prevent Australia from becoming the dumping ground for German goods, a state of affairs which, I think, neither tlie Free Trader nor the Protectionist desires. A long adjournment, longer perhaps than many honorable senators may think advisable, will give the Minister of Trade and Customs the opportunity of thoroughly dissecting the Tariff, and of presenting Parliament with information enabling it to give better protection to items in regard to which Australian production would perhaps be endangered by unrestricted importation from countries with which we are now at war. It is all very well to say that patriotism will prevent this danger, but once the war is over, patriotism will wane rapidly, and cheapness will be the main question even for those who are most patriotic in their utterances at the prosent time. I hope that when Parliament reassembles we shall be in the pos: session of information with respect .to goods that have been flooding Australia coming from those countries with which we are now at war, and that we will be enabled to deal more effectively with the Tariff than we otherwise could. If the war should suddenly collapse we might well expect the Allies to levy a heavy war indemnity on the countries with which we are now fighting, and some of our Allies may try to influence outlying portions of the British Dominions not to restrict trade with countries with whom we are now at war, because SUch action might make it more difficult for those countries to pay the indemnity.
– A disquisition on international politics or upon what other countries may do has nothing to do with the question before the Chair.
– I - I bow to your ruling, Mr. President. I did not wish to transgress after your warning to Senator Ferricks, and I did so in ignorance, because I thought that the question before the Chair carried with it the point as to whether the adjournment should be long or short, an”d I thought that the longer adjournment would give the Minister of Trade and Customs further time for inquiring into these great matters. I hope that he will take into consideration what has been said, and that when Parliament reassembles we shall be possessed of information that will enable us to surround the industries of Australia with the protection of which they stand in need.
Senator KEATING (Tasmania) f 11.54 a.m.]. - If Senator Ferricks had desired to demonstrate his complete lack of confidence in the Government he supports he could not have done it more effectively than in his remarks this morning.
– Hear, hear!
– The honorable senator endorses my conception of his attitude. He has not the slightest hesitation in acknowledging his lack of confidence in the Government.
– On this question.
– The honorable senator detailed all the circumstances that might arise during the next six months occasioning a call for this Parliament’s action. He spoke of the Tariff and of the war; he spoke also of the powers with which this Parliament is to be invested by the several State Legislatures ; in fact, he covered every possible political field of the present and of the future, because he referred to the great powers with which this Parliament is to be endowed, and which he fears the Government will not ask Parliament to exercise.
– I admit that.
– He has expressed his complete lack of confidence in the Government, but the reasons on which he bases that lack of confidence are totally unsound. He claims that during the next, six months Parliament might deal with the Tariff, and the powers that are to be given to it by the State Legislatures, and he seeks to have the motion submitted by the Minister of Defence worded in such a way that Parliament shall be called together on a certain date.
– After Christmas.
– If we assemble on a definite date after Christmas, and none of the circumstances which Senator Ferricks visualizes for the future has actually occurred, there will be nothing for Parliament to do. On the contrary, the Government -have come down with a most reasonable proposition to adjourn Parliament to a date upon which Mr. President and Mr. Speaker shall assemble honorable members of both Houses. Mr. President or Mr. Speaker will not do that of their own volition or in accordance with their own impressions or opinions. They will do it on the advice of the responsible Ministers of the Crown. I believe that the members of the Government can meet all the exigencies as they arise just as effectively as Senator Ferricks can. Why are they in office? The Government take the responsibility for legislation; they take the responsibility of guiding Parliament in the matter of legislation, and of submitting legislation to Parliament. And in taking that responsibility they are motived and influenced by outside considerations as they appear to them. Should any eventuality arise, they are on the spot, and if they feel that the occasion demands that Parliament should be assembled, they can call Parliament together on the 2nd January or the 2nd February, or at any date in January or February. Is it not a very much better position that the responsible Government, the guide of Parliament, the leaders of Parliament, the body responsible for the introduction and passage of legislation, should have an absolutely free hand from the moment we rise.
– It is a better position for the monopolists.
– Evidently the honorable senator implies that the Government are friends of the monopolists.
That is why I say he has lost complete confidence in the Government he supports. The Government simply say that there are circumstances that may arise at any moment, and they cannot ask Parliament to adjourn to any particular date, because before that date it may be necessary to call Parliament together, even before Christmas. If I were sitting as a supporter of the Government, I would say they were absolutely quite right in submitting this motion, but Senator Ferricks cannot say they are quite right, because he has no confidence in Ministers. This is the most elastic form of motion for adjournment which could possibly be adopted. The whole of the responsibility is thrown on the Government. If any of the untoward circumstances which exist in the opinion of Senator Ferricks do arise, justifying calling Parliament together, and if the Government do not do so, they are open to the censure of Senator Ferricks and others. If Senator Ferricks had confidence in the Government he would have let this motion go, because the Government must accept the full responsibility for the length of the adjournment. If the circumstances warrant the calling of Parliament together on Christmas Eve, the Government must take that responsibility, or else shirk their duty. I do not think honorable senators can in any way object to the Government, which is responsible to Parliament and for the introduction of legislation, assuming the responsibility.
112.1]. - Those of us who have been here for the last twentyfive hours must envy the refreshing energy of our three friends opposite.
– Y - You stayed here voluntarily, you know.
– If I cannot display the same amount of energy as that shown by Senator Ferricks, I hope he will not charge me with a lack of interest in this matter. I ask honorable senators to look back a little and remember what has been the experience of honorable members of the Federal Parliament during the last three years. If they bring to mind the events of that period, they will remember that Parliament has been sitting almost continuously, except when it has been interrupted by a general election. During the last fourteen months Parliament has been sitting, with just a few interludes, practically continuously.
Of course, some honorable members may regard this as the normal life of the Parliament, but I venture to say that if that sort of thing is to go on, the death roll amongst parliamentarians will be largely increased, and it is already pretty heavy.
– It does not give Ministers much opportunity for administrative work.
– They have no chance at all to consider questions of policy, and very little chance of considering questions of administration. I think, also, that Senator Ferricks takes a somewhat gloomy view as to the time of this adjournment. In the first place, the length of the adjournment is not what he says it is to be. Suppose we take the longest period. That will not be seven months, but six months, because Supply will have been exhausted. Then we have to remember that the whole of that six months will not be available for legislation, because Senator Ferricks knows perfectly well that we cannot pass a single law under any of the powers he refers to until those powers have been conceded to us, and it is extremely improbable that they will be conceded before the end of the year. That means that two months have to be taken off the six months, leaving only four. I believe, also, that Senator Ferricks is as desirous as any of us that whatever legislation is passed under these powers should be well considered, and drafted in such a way as to avoid the possibility of failure. Nothing could be more disastrous than that such Commonwealth legislation should be illconsidered and hurriedly rushed through, because any weaknesses and faults exhibited would tell for all time against the permanent extension of those powers.
– My fear is that a long adjournment will be an indication to v the States that they may go slowly in regard to conceding the powers sought.
– I think that any State which took that view would be acting most dishonorably towards the agreement. It was not entered into with any qualification of that kind. It is not the duty of the States to determine the question how long or when we should use those powers. What they undertook to do was to concede the powers within a certain time, and no action of ours can relieve them of their obligation.
– We will see.
– Those powers, we assume, will be conceded to us before
Christinas, and that will leave just four months for their consideration by the Ministry. If they are to be well considered and properly framed, in view of all the circumstances, two months is not too long. They have first to be the subject of consideration by the individual Minister whose Department may be affected by the legislation. Then his views need to be given legislative effect by the Draftsman, and then Cabinet consideration must be given to them. I am now going to bring the personal element into this question, because it is one that no Labour representative can leave out ; and I say if there is one man in the Labour movement, Federal or State, in this Commonwealth who is qualified to deal with these questions, that man is the present Prime Minister, Mr. Hughes. In the interests of this country it is desirable that Mr. Hughes should have full opportunity to frame his ideas in the way of legislative enactments, and bring them before his party and Parliament. Now Mr. Hughes will be in England, it is true, but the mail service from England will not be suspended. Probably Mr. Hughes will have time to give some consideration to these matters, and possibly will issue some instructions to his officers before he leaves. Then the work which he has set going can be sent on to him, and on his return to Australia he will be able to consider and draft the proposals, the principles of which could have been laid down.
– You do not intend to give him a holiday, then?
– The Prime Minister, I think, is one of those men who, if he goes on a holiday, likes to have a Bill in his pocket to give him occupation. ^ That is his form of recreation. This procedure which I have indicated will show that two or three months of the four months can be very profitably occupied so that the matters may be brought forward in the proper way.
– P - Probably there will be no time lost at all then.
– No. I make no secret of the fact - although the” Conservative press will probably use it for political purposes - that the party which this Government represents, its future and its fate, are so wrapped up in these questions that not only should the Government have time to give them careful consideration, but the party should also have ample time to thoroughly consider them ‘ before they are brought before Parliawent
– I do not think they want four months.
– They should have ample time, and 1 know the honorable senator himself has a good deal of sympathy with that view. And he is not alone. There will be an opportunity to give the proposals this consideration in the time allowed. Perhaps there will be little more time than may be necessary, but I do not think any time will be wasted that could be profitably used. It is not necessary that Parliament should be adjourned for the full period mentioned, but it may be advisable. If, however, an emergency arises, there will be authority to call Parliament together at an earlier date, and, as Senator Keating has pointed out, that responsibility will rest upon the Government. I feel certain that when Senator Ferricks looks at the question in this light, he will agree in the view I have expressed, and will see that the end, which all of us have in view, will best be served by taking time to give careful consideration to the proposals.
– Two months could be spent profitably on the Tariff.
– It is possible, and that is a matter for the consideration of the Government. It is well worthy of consideration, but, of course, Senator Ferricks will not expect me to express the views of the Ministry on this matter, as the Government have not yet had1 an opportunity of considering it.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Sitting suspended from 12.11 to 12.50 p.m. (Saturday).
Message received from the House of Representatives, stating that it had agreed to the Senate’s amendment.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) agreed to-
That leave of absence be granted to every member of the Senate from the determination” of the Senate’s list sitting in the year 1915 to. the dato of its first sitting in the year 1916.
– In moving -
That the Senate do now adjourn,
I take the opportunity to wish you, sir, the members of the Senate, the officers, and the staff generally, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I trust that if we should not meet again this year, when we re-assemble in the new year there may be a brighter prospect of peace; that the disastrous war which is now going on throughout the world - disastrous to humanity- may have ended in a victory for the Allies with whom our interests are bound up. I have to thank you, sir, and the members and the officers of the Senate for the courtesy which has been extended to Ministers. We have, I am afraid, often exceeded what we ought to have asked for in the way of consideration; but I thank honorable senators on both sides for the consideration they have always shown to us, and the assistance they have given to us in putting through’ the legislation which has been necessary. I think that when the record of this session - the end of which we have not reached bythobye - comes to be written, it will be looked upon as one of the record sessions of the Parliament as regards, not only ite length, but also the importance of the issues dealt with.
– I cordially endorse all that has been said by the Minister of Defence as to the courtesy he has experienced throughout the session from yourself, sir, and all the officers, and with him I join in the hope that all will enjoy a very Merry Christmas, and that the New Year will be the dawning of a better era for the whole of us and for the Empire; As the Minister has said, this will be a record session. lt is already a record session. I do not think that any Parliament since the beginning of the Federation could have extended into so much of two successive years, and this one will run into a third year, and as I am- reminded by Senator O’Keefe, in the record of length of speeches the Senate has put up an achievement quite recently. There is one other respect in which I think it will be regarded in the future as a record, and that will be in regard to the unflinching, purposeful, and loyal determination of the members of all parties to do all they possibly could to enable Australia to take her part in this war with the greatest measure of success. We have hau to deal with legislation at times somewhat hurriedly. We have had to deaf with legislation precedents for which we hau not, and it was not to be expected that at the first attempt to deal with such matters legislatively we should be completely successful” The consequence of that has been that amending measures have been rapidly introduced to deal with earlier legislation of the session. I have said before that that is no reflection on the Parliament. It is no reflection on the Government; it is no reflection on the officers behind them. The circumstances we have had to deal with have been- completely unique, not alone for the Commonwealth, but for the Empire, and we have had to stop each gap, so to speak, as we found it. But that there has been unanimity of feeling and intention on the part of the members on boths sides in each House is, I think, a matter which is undoubted, and it will certainly in the future, I believe, reflect great credit on this Parliament and the Commonwealth. I sincerely hope that we shall not be called upon very much longer to apply ourselves to the unusual circumstances, but that a state of peace will prevail - not a peace which gome of those engaged in the conflict seem to wish for, but a peace which will be consonant with all the aims and objectives of the Allies.
– Before putting the question, I wish to convey to the members-of the Senate my deep appreciation of the kindly and courteous consideration vhich I have received from every one of them during so much of the session as has passed. As Senator Keating has remarked, it has been, a unique session in some ways. We met in exceptional circumstances, which have entailed long and arduous work on the members and the officers of the Senate. I desire also to express my obligations to the latter for the valuable assistance which thev have at all times granted tome, and, I may Bay, to every member of the Senate also. The Hansard staff, .too, have had rather a strenuous time occasionally, and, as usual, have more than surpassed the expectations which anybody could form of them, in the splendid service they have rendered in reporting the proceedings of Parliament. I desire to indorse the sentiments expressed by the Minister of
Defence. I hope that every honorable senator, the officers of the Senate, and the Hansard staff will have a pleasurable recess, enjoy to the full the festive season, have a very happy time, and como back refreshed by their holiday. And when we meet again 1 trust that we shall meet under happier auspices, that by that time the angel of peace will have unfolded her wings over the world, and that, after our nation has emerged victorious and triumphant from the great world struggle, our nation and our allies, and even our opponents, will enjoy an era of peace which will be unprecedented in the progress and happiness it will bring to the whole world. I wish honorable senators and every member of the Senate staff, including Hansard, a very happy and enjoyable Christmas and New Year, and the enjoyment of good health during the holidays which are now before us.
Question resolved inthe affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 12.57 p.m. (Saturday).
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 12 November 1915, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1915/19151112_SENATE_6_79/>.