7th Parliament · 2nd Session
The President (Senator the Hon. T. Given) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers .
The following papers were presented: -
Commonwealth Bank Act 1911. - Aggregate
Balance-sheet of Commonwealth Bank of Australia at 30th June, 1910; together with Auditor-General’s Report thereon.
Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Act 1911. - Dealings and Transactions during the year ended 30th June, 1918.
Papers presented to British Parliament -
Adult Education Committee - Third Interim
Report - Libraries and Museums.
League of Nations Covenant, with Com mentary thereon.
National War Savings Committee - Third Annualeport.
Out-of-work Donation Scheme - Interim Report of Committee of Inquiry.
Women’s Employment Committee - Report.
Women holding temporary appointments in Government Departments - Report of sub-committcc appointed to consider position.
Peace Treaty Bill. - Copy of Bill introduced into British Parliament for carrying into effect the Treaty of Peace with Germany.
Public Service Act 1902-1918- (Regulations Amended.:- Statutory Rules 1919, Nos. 216 and 218.
Insufficiency of Accommodation
– I ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General has his attention been called to a statement appearing in the press wherein Mr. Justice Powers is reported to have complained of the difficulty of obtaining a suitable place in which to hear cases before the Conciliation and Arbitration Court 1 If so, will the Minister take steps to provide the necessary accommodation so that the work of the Court may not be unnecessarily delayed 1
– Has the VicePresident of the Executive Council, a reply to the question I asked him some time ago regarding deportations)
– I hope to be able to reply on the motion for the adjournment of the Senate.
– I ask the Acting Minister for Defence whether he is yet in a position to make a statement in connexion with the charges concerning the Remount Branch of the Defence Department, to which I referred on the ‘ motion for the adjournment on Friday last?
– I am having the fullest inquiry made into the matter. The latest information I have, which, was received about half-an-hour ago, is that the officials have been unable to trace the report referred to by the honorable senator. I shall continue- the inquiry, and let him know the result at the earliest opportunity.
– Arising out of the answer to my question, and the Minister’s reference to the official statement that they are unable to trace the report, I should like to know whether that has created in his mind the impression that there is no such report ?
– I shall continue to hold the fullest faith in the statement made to me by the officers of the Department that there is no such report until the contrary is proved.
Commonwealth Bank and War Service Homes - Applications for Homes
asked the Minister for Repatriation, upon notice -
– The answer is -
No such conditions have been authorized or laid down by the Commissioner, who is placing himself in communication with the Governor of the Commonwealth Bank on the subject.
asked the Minister for Repatriation, upon notice -
– The Commissioner has supplied the following answer : -
The desired particulars are being obtained, and will be furnished in due course.
Redistribution of Electorates
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Home and Territories, upon notice -
– The answers are -
asked the Minister in charge of the Wheat Pool, upon notice -
What is the total number of bushels of wheat represented by the uncashed certificates still remaining in the 1918-19 Wheat Pool?
– Inquiries are being made, and a reply will be furnished in due course.
asked the Min ister representing the Minister for the Navy, upon notice -
– The answers are -
asked the Leader of the Government in the Senate, upon notice -
Will he lay on the table of the Senate the recommendations of the late General Pethebridge regarding the control and development” of the Pacific Islands?
– No report of the nature indicated can be traced as having been received by the Minister of Defence, although it is understood that the late administrator had in preparation such a report. Further inquiry will, ‘however, be made.
– I move -
That this Senate approves of the Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany, signed at Versailles, on the 28th June, 1919.
In moving the motion it is not my intention, even if I were competent to do so, to refer to the great and stirring events which ledup to the shaping of this agreement, or to those scarcely less dramatic happenings which accompanied the completion of that document. Honorable senators have recently had the opportunity of hearing from the lips of the man most . competent, to tell the story of that side of this im.oortant event. I shall confine myself to dealing with the Treaty - what it is, and what it does - and in doing that I shall endeavour to be as brief as the magnitude of the subject will permit. Yet I feel that it impossible, when we recognise what the presentation of this Treaty, and our acceptance of it, really means to ignore the thoughts and emotions which will spring tip in the minds of most of us. For over five years Australia, in conjunction with the allied and associated Powers, was engaged in the most titanic struggle known in the history of the world. During that period the people whose representatives we are were engaged in a tremendous effort, making great sacrifices, faced always with the menace of great danger, and not infrequently confronted or overshadowed by great fears. Now that we are passing from the turmoil of war and. are approaching the goal of peace - that goal towards which our eyes have been so steadfastly directed and our hearts have been bent - we should be other than the men we are if we were not conscious of the feelings of profound relief, of devout thankfulness, and of justifiable pride. If we would correctly assess the value of this Treaty to ourselves, let us for a moment consider what the position would have been had the situation been reversed, and, instead’ of being asked to ratify ‘ a treaty imposed on a beaten
Germany, we had been called on to accept one dictated by that country in the position of a victor. Only by endeavouring to visualize the situation which would then have been created can we clearly understand the tremendous im,port of the action we are now taking.
The mere presentation of this document represents a charter of a higher national life for Australia. Hitherto, whilst we have enjoyed the full measure of domestic freedom, our rights and opportunities of participating in the foreign policy of the Empire have been negligible. It is true that during the last few years, by Imperial Conferences and other gatherings, there has been a recognition of the fact that Australia and the other Dominions had reached that point at which their magnitude and their resources rendered it requisite that they be regarded, not merely “as dependants and children of the Mother Nation, “but as co-partners of the Empire . to which they belong. But never,’ until this present moment, have we in so formal a manner had our status as’ almost that of an independent nation so fully and frankly recognised, not only by the Mother Country, but by the nations associated with her, by being asked independently to say whether we will or will not ratify this Treaty.
In approaching this larger measure of national life, we are bound to remember those by whose efforts this exalted position has been made ours. As we proceed to step upon this pedestal, we recall with gratitude that it was created by their efforts and consolidated.. by their sacrifices. We should be unworthy of what they have done if we did not make a strongresolution to be worthy of the larger opportunities which they have assured to us and to turn them to the highest possible purpose.
I turn now to the Treaty itself. The document- we .are asked to ratify is, broadly, capable of being divided into two main portions. There is, in the first place, the Treaty of Peace itself, which embraces the terms and conditions under which the present state of war is ended, and a state of peace set up. In addition, an integral portion of the document is the Covenant of the League of Nations, and the ratification of one means the acceptance of the other. But for the purpose of consideration it is desirable to deal with them independently, and I propose, therefore, to take the Peace Treaty first, although in the document the Covenant of the League of Nations occupies priority of place.
In the Peace terms there are many pages of clauses dealing with the frontiers of European countries, waterways, and quite a multiplicity of things which are of no direct interest to Australia except in so far as they may help to insure more harmonious relations’ between European nations, and to that extent give us a greater guarantee of peace. I do not propose to refer to them further, and shall limit myself to those matters which, directly and immediately affect Australia.
Viewed in that way, there are three things which stand out prominently as compelling our attention. The first is tha-t by the ratification of the Treaty we terminate officially the war with Germany, and bring about again a condition of peace with that country. The next matter with which we are concerned is- the future control of the islands in the Pacific, and the third matter is that of reparation. I shall deal first with the question of the Pacific islands, and I would remind honorable senators that this Chamber has already, on two occasions, expressed an opinion regarding their future. In this connexion Senator Bakhap very opportunely submitted a motion to this Chamber, and, for reasons which will appear a little later, I propose to read that motion. It reads as follows : - . .
That was before the Armistice was signed. Shortly afterwards, as honorable senators will probably remember, questions regarding these islands figured in the European press, and references to them were cabled to Australia. Conse- quent upon that, and with a view to strengthening the hands of the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) and his codelegate, Sir Joseph Cook, I, on behalf of the Government, submitted the following motion to this Chamber : -
That the Senate of the Commonwealth of Australia declares that it is essential to the future safety and welfare of Australia that the captured German Possessions in the Pacific which are now occupied by the Australian and New Zealand troops, should not, in any circumstances, be restored to Germany ; and that in the consideration and determination of proposals affecting the destination of these islands, Australia should be consulted.
A similar motion was submitted to the other branch of the Legislature. This Chamber passed the motion, I believe, unanimously, and’ I want now to stress the fact that both the motion submitted by Senator Bakhap and that which I have just read were a protest against the restoration of the Pacific Islands to’ Germany rather than a claim that Australia should be given control of them. There was a very strong feeling, as strong then as I believe to-day, that Australian interest in the islands was safety, and not added acres or territory, and the motion which I submitted could not be regarded as an attempt to grasp valuable Possessions from other people, but was rather an attempt to safeguard us from a danger which might arise if at any time the islands passed into the hands of a power unfriendly towards Australia. The Prime Minister and Sir Joseph Cook, at the Conference, asked that the islands south of the equator should be handed over to Australia, but their request was not complied with. Objections, founded, I believe, upon the pronouncement of President Wilson, in what are known as his “ Fourteen Points,” were taken against annexation - a policy which, I believe, had some measure of support in this country. But whilst the handing over of the islands to Australia, in the sense of their annexation, was not complied with, Australia has, in the mandate given to her, something which, for all practical purposes, is just as- good. Owing to the difficulty which arose in the Conference between” those who wished the annexation of those islands, and other territories, and those who were against annexation, the idea of a mandate was developed to meet the needs and circumstances- of the territories which would come under them, and in connexion with the islands referred to, Australia is receiving- the highest form of mandate in the sense that the mandatory power gives this Government the fullest possible authority over the islands.
Honorable Senators. - Hear, hear!
– The mandate gives us practically everything we could have secured if the islands themselves had been handed over to us. They will pass under our control, and we shall, subject to certain conditions which I shall refer to in a moment, have the fullest right to legislate concerning them. Under this form of mandate we shall have authority to deal with all those matters which are probably most important to our welfare, including the regulation of immigration, trade, and navigation. These three matters embrace all the probable sources of inconvenience .or danger to Australia. Before I deal further with this subject let me remark that it is interesting to note that in an article dealing with this matter Germany formally renounces all rights of possession in the islands, and therefore if something should happen so that Australia did not exercise this mandate, the islands would not go back to Germany. This renunciation of German property in the islands is contained in Articles 119 and 120.
– That is only a scrap of paper.
– It might be as only a scrap of paper if Germany were strong enough to tear it up. I want honorable senators to note the conditions of the mandate in order to make as clear as possible the exact nature of the authority which we shall be able to exercise over the islands. Article 22 makes this reference to the territories -
There are territories such as South-West Africa and certain of the. South Pacific islands which, owing to the sparseness of their population, or their small size, or their remoteness from the centres of civilization, or their geographical contiguity to the territory of the Mandatory, and other circumstances, can be best administered under the laws of the Mandatory as integral portions of its territory, subject to the safeguards abovementioned in the. interests of the indigenous population.
I want to stress those words, “ can be best administered under the laws of the Mandatory.” The mandate given to Australia with respect to these islands, vests the Parliament of the Commonwealth with the right to impose whatever laws it may think proper, just as it has the right to’ make laws ‘for the Commonwealth itself. The safeguards referred.to are those which we would impose ourselves if the Conference had not thought fit to do so. One safeguard is the prohibition of the slave trade. It was hardly necessary to put that safeguard in, but no one can have any possible objection to it. Another is prohibition of trading in arms and liquor with the natives. Another, and an extremely important one, is the prohibition of the establishment of fortifications, or Naval or Military Bases, and of the training of the native population for other than police and defence purposes. That is important, because we have to remember that a similar mandate is to be given to our Ally and neighbour, Japan, respecting the islands north of the equator. The Prime Minister made a loyal effort to gain full possession of the islands ; but I would like to point out that the mandate Has in itself many advantages. If the islands were handed over to Australia in any other form, it is a reasonable assumption that the islands north of the equator would have been given to Japan, and this restriction upon Australia with regard to fortifications will equally apply to Japan with respect to the islands to be placed under her charge. Therefore it seems to me that, in all the circumstances, the mandate has this great advantage: But for it there might, at some time or other, arise circumstances which would induce Japan to fortify the islands north of the equator, when we should be called upon, as a measure of selfprotection, to fortify those south of the equator. Under the mandate we are relieved of that obligation, because the prohibition resting upon us rests equally upon Japan. To that extent the mandate is an advantage.
Before I pass from the subject of the mandate, I desire to tell the Senate of the arrangement made by the Prime Minister with the- Imperial authorities and with the Government in New Zealand regarding the island of Nauru. As honorable senators are, no doubt, aware, that island contains very fine deposits of phosphatic rock, and it is proposed ‘by a convention or agreement between the Imperial authorities, New Zealand, and Australia, that the island shall be worked under a three-cornered partnership, Great Britain finding 42 per cent, of the capital,
Australia the same share, and New Zealand 16 per cent. The share of each country in the deposit will be in similar proportions.. It is proposed to appoint a Commission to work the phosphatic deposit as a business undertaking, and each of the three parties concerned will draw, at cost, the quantity which it may need for its own requirements. This will be, in the case of Great Britain,’ 42 per cent.; in that of Australia, 42 per cent. ; and in that of New Zealand, 16 per cent, of the deposit. Each country, however, will be allowed to draw that percentage only if it requires so much for its own use, within the country itself. Any surplus which may be available after fulfilling the needs of the three countries will’ be placed upon the world’s markets to fetch the highest possible price.
– What will be the period for determining the 42 per cent. ? Will it be an annual .term ?
– Each, individual year. I do not suppose that the authorities would cut down the supply, upon the 31st December, to a matter of an ounce. I do not think the arrangements will create any great difficulties; but, if in the course of any one year, it is found that Australia, for example, has not required the whole of its share for its own use, the balance will be sold in the markets of the world - not at the price which Australia would have paid for it, for she would get it at cost, but to the best advantage possible. And, if any portion of the surplus is thus sold, Australia will share in the proceeds in the. ratio of 42 per cent.
-Has any payment to be made by Australia in connexion with the possession of that island t
– Yes ! Some interests, which have been working the deposits, are to be bought out, and Australia will be required to advance her share of the purchase price to the extent of 42 per cent, of the capital necessary. Although this matter will form the subject of a special Bill, I considered it only proper that I should inform the Senate of what is in the mind of the Government.
I shall deal now with that part of the Peace Treaty having to do with reparation. It is in- regard to that section, possibly, that a larger measure of disappointment will be experienced than, will be felt in relation to any other feature of this important document. If we ‘ are disappointed, in view of what Australia may have hoped to obtain’ under the reparation clauses, we should recognise that in” no sense can that disappointment be attributed to failure on the part of our delegates. Mr. Hughes <and his colleague ma.de a magnificent fight; ‘and, if they did not succeed, the responsibility cannot honestly be laid at their doors. One of the chief difficulties in the way of securing acceptance of the claim made in our behalf was that embodied in the fourteen points of President Wilson. I need not say anything more with regard to that, for I do not desire to introduce any debatable matter here. When the document embodying those points was issued from Washington, with its plain statement of opposition to indemnities, those who had gone to the Peace Conference seeking indemnities were placed under a very great disability. I stress that point since I .feel that, no matter how great may be our disappointment, we are disappointed, not because our delegates were failing ;n their duty, or in their efforts, but because^ the circumstances were such that there was really little hope of success.
– Strictly speaking, it is an American peace.
– With the honorable senator’s usual gift of phraseology, he has put the situation in a .nutshell. I propose to read Article 231 of the Treaty, which is the first of those articles bearing upon reparation. It is, perhaps, as well to include it in the records’ of the Senate, in” that it throws some light on the nature of. the peace which Germany has accepted, and expresses full recognition of some of those matters which have been the cause of controversy throughout the whole period of the war. Article 231 reads -
The Allied and Associated Governments affirm, and Germany accepts, the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected, as a consequence of the war imposed upon them ‘by the aggression of German)’ and her allies.
That is important; and it is comforting, in a sense, to know that Germany admits - as she does by signing this document - that she was the -cause of the war, and that she should be made responsible for its entire Cost. The document proceeds to point out, however, that, in the opinion of the delegates to ‘the Conference, Ger many’s resources are not adequate to foot the whole bill; and the subsequent articles set down those matters in respect to which Germany is to be called upon to make payment. There is a schedule in which those matters are stated in great detail. They comprise compensation for all damage done to civilians, both to their person and to their property; that is, for injury, death, cruelty, maltreatment of prisoners, and injury to the capacity of civilians to work; the payment of pensions and compensations allotted by each of the Allied Governments to their fighting forces ; payment for assistance rendered by the Allied Governments to their prisoners of war; for allowances made to dependants of mobilized persons; and for damage to all property, whether of individuals or of governments, except in the case of military property. There is to be the restoration of what I shall - without any apology - call stolen property; that is, the goods and chattels, the cash and securities, which Germany looted from the countries which she overran in the course of her campaigns. Also, there is to be the return of fines and levies imposed upon cities and towns occupied by her troops. Germany is further required to make reimbursement of all sums which Belgium borrowed from the Allied and Associated Governments - particularly from the Imperial Government - after Belgium’s entry into the war, and which were used for the purposes of carrying on the war. Germany also- admits liability to restore, ton for ton, the shipping whose destruction 6he has brought about. She will not be! able to do> that, according to the statement”, in the Treaty itself, but she is required to hand over immediately all vessels over 1,600 tons, and a portion - I think one-half - of the vessels of lesser tonnage. In addition, she is called upon to build, in her own shipyards, and at her own cost, 1,000,000 tons of new shipping within a period of five years, at the rate of 20.0,000 tons per annum ; that is, in addition to the tonnage now in existence and being handed over. Germany is also to forego her rights . in certain cables - in all, I believe, in which she has any proprietary interest. Those cables are to be handed over to the Allies. While the list of matters in . respect to which she must make payment is fully set down, the sum involved has not yet been determined. The classes of claims are, all fully enumerated; but, necessarily, it was not possible, within the time available, to say what total sum would be involved in giving effect to article 232. The amount which Germany must pay is to be determined by an Inter-Allied Commission, which will discover the grand total which Germany will be called upon to. furnish under all the various headings. The findings of the Commission as to the amount of damage are to be concluded and notified to the German Government on or before the 1st May, 1921 ; and, by that date, the Commission is to determine the terms and conditions of the payments - the amounts, the dates due, and the amount- of the instalments. The final period contemplated is thirty years from the 1st May, 1921. The Commission, having determined the yearly or other periodical instalments which Germany shall pay, may modify the terms
Or the instalments; but it cannot cancel any part of the debt except with the concurrence of the nations concerned. It will charge 5 per cent, interest on Germany’s indebtedness as from the date I have mentioned. One cannot hazard a guess as to the amount which the Commission will assess as Germany’s liability under the Treaty. But what concerns us more immediately is what we may hope to recover under it. It is here that our disappointment becomes more than ever acute. In a sense it is fortunate for us, this agreement being what it is, that we should have so little to claim . The bulk of the claim against Germany will be made as the result of war operations against the nations who are her chief creditors under the Treaty. It is fortunate that we have escaped that experience, that we have had no towns devastated, that none of our civilians have been maltreated, and that neither the life nor honour of a single individual in Australia has- been disturbed or injured by the invasion of any German force. It is fortunate, therefore, when we compare our position with that of Servia, Belgium, or Northern Prance, that our claim will be so small. But it is equally unfortunate that, owing to the terms of that compact, we are not able to charge against Germany a larger amount of that indebtedness which we have incurred in consequence of her aggression. It is not possible to say how much we may hope for. I shall presently quote the clause which will show how we may hope to participate in these demands when determined. Towards the liquida tion of the indebtedness which will be assessed by the Inter-Allied Commission, Germany is required to make first payments during this year, next year, and during the first four months of 1921, amounting to £1,000,000,000. Out of that, however, she will be allowed todivert the costs demanded of her for the maintenance of the armies of occupation and for the imports of food and raw materials which the Allies may assume to be necessary for her maintenance. These two deductions do not mean that Germany will be let off the payment of a single penny, but merely that she will be required to provide £1,000,000,000, out of which she will be allowed to retain the amounts required to cover the maintenance of the armies of occupation and other matters, only the balance going to her credit against her “main debt.
– It was considered that £1,000,000,000 was all she can pay.
– After feeding herself and paying for the armies of occupation the balance will. be available for the reduction of her main debt. The method of distributing anything obtained from Germany amongst the Allies is set out in Article 237, which reads–
The successive instalments, including the above suras, paid over by Germany in satisfaction of the above claims, will be divided by the Allied and associated Governments in proportions which have been determined upon by them in advance, on a basis of general equity and of the rights of each.
I am bound to say that that is not very definite, but it is all that there is in the Treaty. Assuming, as we are entitled to do, that the spirit as well as the words of the article are maintained, we must assume that we shall receive an amount which will bear the same proportion to that received by other nations as our expenditure under the headings which are recognised as a liability against Germany bears to the expenditure of our Allies. In other words we shall share and share alike with them. These two matters - the islands and reparationare the two which most directly concern us. But I should not like to pass from the Treaty without making a reference to something which does not appear in it, but which is of equal importance with what does appear in it. Owing to the success of our delegates in keeping out of the Treaty certain proposals which it was sought to insert, we know that this document in no sense impairs our full autonomous powers. To-day we have the same right to say who shall become fellow citizens with us as we had before the war. All our economic powers and privileges remain the same as they were previously, and the fact that there is no reference in the Treaty to these things is a matter of some importance to us.
I wish now to pass on to the Covenant of . the League of Nations. It is necessary to note that the acceptance of thi? Treaty constitutes membership of the League. It is not possible for Australia or any other country to say it will accept the peace embodied in the Treaty, but will decline membership of the League, or viae versa. Any country can, of course, having become a member of the League, withdraw from it after the lapse of a certain period. . But to-day this Treaty, if ratified, will make us a member of the League of Nations. That League i3 a compact, and yet it is not. The nearest thing to which 1 can liken it is something in the nature of a gentleman’s agreement, of which we have heard something when discussing economic problems.
– An honorable understanding. .
– Yes, a moral obligation. Whether the obligation will be met or whether it will be sacrificed will depend entirely on the way in which the signatories to the document regard it.
– It is desirable, in the interests of Australia, that it should be observed.
– I agree with the honorable senator, but there is no force at present in existence which can compel its observance. . It seems to me that we may base our hope for its success upon a recognition of the fact that no nation to-day can regard itself as safe. The largest measure of safety it can get springs from a genuine understanding amongst the nations that they will do whatever they can to avoid anything likely to lead to war - that whenever troubles arise they will refer them to arbitration and to the friendly offices of intermediaries, with the view of seeing if it is not possible to secure their settlement without drawing the sword itself. There are certain obligations imposed by this agreement which I would like to set out. There are three primary ones. The first is that each member of the League undertakes and pledges itself -
In conjunction with these three provisions, it is only proper that I should remind honorable senators- of the purport of Article 10. That Article reads -
The members of the League undertake to respect and preserve, as against external aggression, the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all members of the League. In case of such aggression, or in case of any threat or danger of such aggression, the Council shall advise of the means by which this obligation shall be fulfilled.
– Does that include any territory acquired under a mandate?
– I should say that, undoubtedly, it would. Obviously, these islands are given to us to be for all practical purposes part of Australia, and are given to us to secure our safety. It would be as serious a menace to Australia if they were invaded as if Australia itself were invaded. One would be but the stepping stone to the other.
Under that Article it will be noticed that no nation undertakes to provide any armed force. I do not think that, at this stage, it could have been expected that any nation would do so. But there is an undertaking that they are, first of all, to proceed by these early stages to discussion, in the hope that by discussion and publicity war may be avoided. There is also the undertaking implied in Article 10, which the members of the League undertake to respect and preserve. That is a pledge only but I venture to express the hope that it will be found as binding and as useful a pledge as many embodied in definite treaties between nations of the earth in times gone by.
This League of Nations does not govern. It does not attempt to do so. It would have failed if it had attempted to do so. I do not think that there is any nation which to-day would give up its rights of self-government to a body so nebulous as this covenant of the League of Nations has brought into being. It can only recommend and advise the machinery which, in the event of a misunderstanding arising through any possible cause of unrest, should be adopted ‘ to secure a settlement of the question at issue. Machinery is provided in much the same way as by our Conciliation and Arbitration Court. It is quite true that the establishment of that Court has hot prevented strikes. It is probable that strikes will continue to occur in spite of its existence. But the Court has on very many occasions been extremely useful in settling disputes. Because it is not working now with the full results which we hoped for, that does ‘ not justify for a moment the statement that it has not done some good. Profiting by the experience of the present, we may hope that we can go on improving that machinery, shaping it to meet changing circumstances as they arise, and in the same way it is surely not too much to hope that the League of Nations will in this way improve as time goes on and the years roll by, and from the experience gained be able to establish more complete machinery than is now set up by this document to enable it to deal with any misunderstanding that may arise between one nation and another. At any rate, I am sure that honorable senators will agree with me in expressing the hope that that is the future before it.
I ought, perhaps, to. say that there is a distinct prohibition against the League of Nations, or its governing machinery, interfering in any way with the domestic policy of any of its .members. That is very important to that league of nations within the League of Nations, the’ British Empire. We would, I think, be the last to entertain a suggestion that under this covenant the League of Nations might interfere in any matters which, for instance, might create a controversy between ourselves and Great Britain. We would prefer to handle such matters ourselves.
I wish to say a word or two as to the machinery by which it is hoped that the covenant of the League of Nations may be made effective. There will be, first of all, the Assembly, which is the name given’ to the primary body. The Assembly will consist of representatives of members of the League, and there are some thirty-three members at present, or will be, if all ratify this agreement. Each of these members, Australia being one, will be entitled to three representatives, but only one vote, in the Assembly. Australia is a full member in the sense that it will have the same representation and vote as any other member of the League. The methods of selecting the representatives of any country are not touched upon in the covenant itself. It is, therefore, safe to assume that it has been left to each signatory to determine them’ as it thinks fit. If that is the intention, it seems to me an entirely proper one. It is very much better that each country should adopt its own method of selection than that some central body should lay down hard-and-fast rules on the subject to be observed by members of the League.
Prom the Assembly is to come a Council, which will consist of representatives of the five principal Powers - Great Britain, America, Prance, Italy, and Japan- with whom will be associated four members elected by and from, the Assembly. The Assembly can elect the representatives of any country it pleases, except those of the five principal Powers, they being already provided for as members of the Council. Pending the first meeting of the Assembly, the delegates for the time being have appointed to assist the representatives of the five principal Powers in constituting the Council representatives of Belgium, Brazil, Spain, and Greece.
There is a very useful clause included in this portion of the covenant, which provides that any member of the League - that is to say, any country - not represented on the Council shall be given the opportunity to send a representative there when any matter affecting the interests of that country is under consideration. That is an elastic provision, which is not only just in itself, but is bound, in course of time, to ‘be found extremely useful. It will give a nation directly concerned in any particular matter a full opportunity of participating in the discussion of that matter, and of shaping the decision arrived at upon it by the Council. Neither the Council nor Assembly will have legislative or executive functions. All that they can do is to meet and discuss a matter ‘on its merits, and submit a finding, as it were, or a recommendation to their Governments or to the peoples of the world, to show what view they take of the matter, and the course which they think ought to be adopted to deal with it. They will have no power to compel anybody to do anything, and their decisions must be unanimous on major matters, if they are to lead to the exercise of the powers suggested in Article 10.
Although they are very few, I do not propose to detain honorable members by referring in detail to the exceptions in connexion with which a unanimous decision is not to be required. They comprise quite minor matters; but in all major matters the decision of the Council must be unanimous, except that it need not include the adherence of the member whose case is, as it were, under consideration. Apart from the delegates directly concerned in a particular, matter, the decision upon it must be unanimous. That is both a strength and a weakness. It is a’ strength in the sense that it is possible that some of the larger nations would decline to come in if they felt that they might be liable to be bound by the decision of a larger number of the small nations. The provision for unanimity is to give them the safeguard which, no doubt, they wanted. At the same time, it represents a measure of “weakness, because it is frequently found in other spheres of life that, whilst it may be possible to secure practical unanimity in a body of men, it is not always possible to secure absolute unanimity. We must address ourselves to circumstances of that kind, should they arise, in the spirit of the covenant, and with the hope that .that spirit will move the delegates gathered round the Council table. Everything depends on that. If they are not prepared to work the covenant in the spirit in which it has been submitted, it will represent only so much waste ink on waste paper. On the other hand, if there is a genuine desire to substitute reason for force, and justice and equity for the more selfish motives which have moved men and nations in the past, there is little ground for fear that great good will not come out of this covenant. If such a motive did not underlie its operation, no scheme or constitution of the kind could be .drawn up that would be worth five minutes’ serious consideration.
Another matter to which I should like to direct attention before I conclude is that the Council has thrown1 upon it im- mediately two distinct obligations. It is required to formulate plans for the creation of a Court of International Justice, to which the nations can go as to a Court of Arbitration. The Treaty, whilst not definitely laying down what are the -fixed subjects to be submitted to that Court gives an indication of the type of matters which, in the judgment of those who have proposed the establishment of this covenant, might properly be taken to it. There is no compulsion upon any nation to adopt the course of going to the International Court, or alternatively of Submitting its cause to the Assembly itself. Each nation will have the alternative of arbitration, if it pleases, a reference to the International Court of Justice, or of going direct to the Council.
The other matter upon which the Council is required to act is the formulation of plans for the reduction of armaments. Here, again, T make no apology for reading the Article itself. Article 8 provides that -
The terms of the League recognise that the maintenance of peace requires the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety,* and the enforcement by common action of international obligation. The Council, taking account of the geographical situation and circumstances of each State, shall formulate plans for such reduction for the consideration and action of the several Governments.
We are all interested in seeing some scheme evolved by which armaments can be reduced, and “we can avoid the waste - because, from the economic stand-point, it is waste - which is rendered necessary by devoting so .much of the time, energy, and wealth of the country to maintain it. What we now have to look for is this : The Council has given to it the task of formulating plans to attain that desirable objective. We have to see what those plans are, and here again we can only hope that, in some way or other, reason, and the sense of the fitness of things will prevail with the peoples of the world, and if the. Council is at all successful in submit-: ting a practical scheme for the solution of this problem, there will be behind it such a measure of universal public approval that we may look forward to the time when ai very great measure of relief will be given to the people of the world who are overburdened by the taxation imposed upon them for the maintenance of naval and military armaments.
There is no power under this article given to the Council to dictate to any nation. It will merely put forward its proposals, and the nations concerned may reject or accept them, as they see fit. Again, we may hope that sweet reasonableness will prevail. If the nations as a whole are satisfied that every nation is going tOT reduce its armaments, they will feel justified in their turn in doing so. No nation with any sense at all would consent to reduce its own armaments, if at the same time it had the knowledge that other nations were continuing theirs. The whole thing is based upon a mutually acceptable agreement, and let us hope that .we shall meet with a full measure of success from the efforts of the Council in this regard.
Perhaps I should mention another matter which will be referred to in discussing another motion on the business paper, which it will be my duty later to move. I may say that, amongst certain members, France particularly, there were some fears that before the League of Nations could get fairly into the saddle, if I may use the expression, it was possible that there might be some further attack upon the integrity of France.’ Whether the statesmen of Great Britain and America shared that fear or not, I cannot say, but it is quite clear that they recognise its substance so far as France is concerned, because they have entered into an agreement by which they undertake to come to the assistance of France if that nation should be wantonly attacked by Germany. That agreement 16 6et out in the terms of the motion it will be my business to submit later, but I make this reference to it now, although it must be embodied in a separate piece of legislation because it is, though not part of the Peace Treaty, part of what comes to us from the Conference at “Versailles.
– We should have to contribute soldiers if any trouble arose between France and Germany?
– Not quite that. If ‘ Prance were the aggressor, we should be exonerated, but we should be compelled to assist Prance if Germany made an unprovoked attack upon her. It was pointed out very forcibly on behalf of France that the League of Nations was not in existence. Her representatives said, “ We hope it will materialize, and we shall do our best to that end - but in the meanwhile where do we stand if we sign this Treaty with Germany?” It was, therefore, a natural thing for Great Britain and America to say to Prance, “ Pending the formation of the League of Nations, we will give you this guarantee, that if Germany wantonly attacks you we shall come to your assistance.” That agreement is dealt with in a separate motion which I shall submit to the Senate later on.
The only other point in connexion with, the League of Nations to which I shall now refer is the Labour Covenant. This is a new experiment, and an effort to secure fair and- humane conditions for the mass of people who earn their bread by the sweat of their brow. It is proposed to create an organization to deal with labour and industrial problems, with the idea not. only of improving the conditions, but of making them more uniform throughout the world. The value of that to Australia is very great indeed. At present we can fairly claim that industrially we are practically in the lead, but our chance of success in maintaining it is very frequently and materially impaired by other peoples with a lower standard of living.
An event happened in this country some time ago which illustrates very forcibly the position in which Australia stands in comparison! with other nations which .are not so progressive industrially. Honorable senators will recollect an award in connexion with the boot industry, in which the rate in Victoria was fixed at 9s. per day. Then the operatives in New South Wales approached the Court there, and the Judge said that be thought that in view of the circumstances in New South Wales, the rate for similar work should be 10s. per day. He realized, however, that if he gave an award of 10s. per day for New South Wales, when the rate was 9s. in Victoria, the Victorian manufacturer, if an enterprising man, would have every prospect of taking the trade from New South Wales.
We have secured a high standard of living, and if called upon to compete with other nations whose standard is lower we may be in the same position as Sydney would have been in the case I have mentioned.
One of the objects of the organization will be to secure greater uniformity, although, that cannot be done absolutely. Australia has everything to gain from the material stand-point as compared with any other country in the world. She will obtain greater benefits than other nations which are behind her if they bring their conditions into line with the conditions which prevail here.
– Will the conditions of primary producers, as well as those engaged in other industries, be dealt with ?
– The experiment will apply to everything. Our wheat farmers are paying a reasonable wage, and in normal times, when their wheat is placed on the markets of the world, it has to compete with wheat grown by cheap labour. That is a disadvantage to them, and would drive them out of business, if all the other conditions were equal. In proportion as the labour cost elsewhere is raised, undoubtedly Australia will benefit.
– I do not know. Some economists would not assent to that.
– Senator Mulcahy challenges the statement, but to-day there has been in the minds of most thoughtful people in Australia - he will agree with me and he will not resent me including him in that category - the grave doubt that in certain lines of manufacture we may not become exporters, because the labour costs abroad are cheaper than they are here. If the labour costs elsewhere are on a parity with our own we will be in a better position to compete.
There will be a periodical conference, and an International Labour Office which will be at the seat of the League of Nations. There will be a Central Council, and the Conference, which will meet periodically, will consist of representatives of employers, of organized labour, and of the Governments of the countries which are members of the League of Nations. The first of these Conferences will be held in Washington in October of this year.
– That is next month.
– Yes. That was a provision made, and I assume that whatever action the United States may take an regard to the Treaty, the Conference will still meet there. The agenda-paper figures in the Treaty itself, and if honorable senators peruse it they will see that in the main those things for which other nations are striving ‘ are in operation here. At that Conference we should be in a position to say to other nations, “ Come on,” and not, “ Go on.” It is a position that is not unflat tering to Australia. Each member of the League is to send four delegates, two of whom are to be appointed by the Government, and two by the employers and the representatives of labour.
– Order! The honorable senator’s time has expired.
Time extended,on motion of Senator Earle.
– I thank honorable senators for the courtesy extended to trie. The Conference will be composed, as I have stated, and already steps have been taken to get into communication with the bodies concerned, and they have been asked to nominate delegates.
– Moral effect is the utmost that can be expected.
– Of course, the Conference will have no legislative or executive authority, and can, after discussion, merely make recommendations to the various Governments through the delegates. Still I am hopeful that even in that way much good will be done. It is increasingly evident, as we have seen with greater directness in the last few years, how one trade dovetails into another, and it is almost impossible that the conditions of one. industry can be seriously disturbed , without affecting nearly every other industry. In the same way the world is being very closely linked up, and we shall be bound to take a deeper interest in the circumstances under which industries are carried on elsewhere, as people in other countries will be increasingly interested in what is being done in Australia.
– Will the Minister explain how the delegates representing Labour are to be elected ?
– I think I explained that the Government are asking bodies representing organized Labour to nominate delegates for that purpose. In Australia we have no single body which can speak for the whole industrial community and elect a delegate. There are six Trades Halls in the various States’, as well as large bodies of organized Labour not affiliated with the Trades Halls, so that it is not possible to get a common selection. The Government have therefore asked the Labour organizations to send in names, and from those the Government will select representatives.
– The Government will select?
– There is no other way of doing it. It is unfortunate that there is insufficient time to take any other course. But I am not saying that the course followed this year will be the one to be adopted in the future. It is an emergency plan to meet the circumstances. It is not possible today to ask the representatives of organized Labour to make a common selection, and we can only ask them to submit names. Perhaps it may be possible for them, by using the telegraph, to agree upon one man. Some one has to make a choice and say who is to be the representative of Labour.
– What organizations were communicated with ?
– The Trades Halls in each State, and those Labour organizations not affiliated with the Trades Halls.
– The Trades Hall of New South Wales represents only the Trades Hall, and not the Trades and Labour Council.
– It is the Trades and Labour Council that I mean.
– The Government must be the umpire in the matter, as it is an international matter.
– I have endeavoured to sketch, perhaps rather scrappily, what the agreement implies, and the obligations imposed on us, and I ask the House to ratify it. There may be some doubt in the minds of honorable senators as to how it will work, out, and as. to whether it goes far enough. But there is one thing that would be infinitely worse than the acceptance of this agreement, and that is its rejection. Australia, of all countries in the world is, I think, deeply concerned to see the League of Nations or some corresponding institution created. We are to-day in a very vulnerable position. We do not desire war : we want peace. If by means of this machinery we have improved the chance of securing; the peaceful settlement of international disputes, Australia, of all. countries, apart from ethical reasons, has most to gain by the adoption of the proposal. I feel confident the Senate will accept the Treaty. Whether it realizes our ideals or not, it certainly embodies them. Whatever other nations may do, our simple duty is first to ratify the Treaty, and from now onwards to do what we can to back it up, and to see that every possible chance is given for fulfilling the duty for which the League of Nations has been called into existence.
Debate (on motion by Senator Gardiner) adjourned.
– I do not propose to do more than move the motion standing in my name, because what I have already said is, I think, quite sufficient to place this matter fully before the Senate. I move -
That this Senate approves the Treaty made at Versailles on the 28th June, 1919, between His Majesty the King and the President of the French Republic whereby, in case the stipulations relating to the left bank of the Rhine, contained in the Treaty of Peace with-Gerraany signed at Versailles the 28th day of June, 1919, by the British Empire, the French Republic, and the United States of America, among other Powers, may not at first provide adequate security and protection to France, Great Britain agrees to come immediately to her assistance in the event of any unprovoked movement of aggression against her being made by Germany.
Debate (on motion by Senator Gardiner) adjourned.
Economy - War Debt - Peace- Loan - Mr. Hughes and Returned Soldiers - Position of Parties - Sir Joseph Cook - War Casualties and Reinforcements - Northern Territory : Dr. Gilruth’s Administration; Admission of Foreigners; Judiciary; Conflict of Laws; Mr. Justice Bevan; Mr. Atlee Hunt; Parliamentary Representation - Queensland: Cost of Living; Regulation of Cane Prices- -Anti -Profiteering - Amendment of Constitution : Decentralization - Loyalist Workers - Race-Suicide - Delivery of Budget - Mr. Hughes’ Speeches - Tariff - Labour Senators’ Accommodation - Electoral Rolls - Parliament at Canberra - “ Australia’s “ ‘ Imprisoned Seamen - Old-age Pensions - Land Taxation.
Bill received from the House of Representatives.
Motion (by Senator Millen) proposed -
That this Bill be now read a first time.
.- I understand that this is a measure which we may discuss at this stage, and bring before the Senate and the country those matters of public importance that should be referred to.I do not think I would be justified in complaining that the Minister did not make a lengthy first-reading speech, in view of his very excellent effort on the Peace Treaty. I think, however, that he should have made some statement which might have been instructive, not only to the Senate, but also to the people of Australia - particularly as this is the first Supply Bill submitted to Parliament since Ministers have returned from overseas - as to what economies the Government propose to effect. We are confronted with the most serious situation that has faced us since the war commenced; a situation financially so grave, commercially so threatening, and industrially and socially so entangled, that the finest statesmanship must be exhibited if Australia is to achieve as great a victory in the realms of finance and administration as she and her Allies achieved in war. It would have been of advantage if the Leader of the Senate had given us some slight indication of the direction in which the energies of the Government would be bent in trying satisfactorily to handle those problems which, I may say without exaggeration, threaten to overwhelm us. I am not particularly alarmed at the enormous burden of debt which the war has compelled us to carry. Nor do I so underrate the resources of Australia as to imagine that, if properly exploited, and if all sections of the community were working together, they would be unequal to the demands made upon them. When we speak of war obligations, pensions, and housing schemes for soldiers, we are not understating the truth when we estimate that our annual interest charge will be about £25,000,000, and that is a sufficiently heavy burden for a community even so prosperous as Australia. One would almost have thought, now the war , is over, that the Government would have been bending their energies in the direction of linking up all those activities which will help pull the load, and place it as lightly as possible on the business and producing interests of Australia. This country could then be developed in such a way that, with the increase of population that will come to our shores in the near future, the burden would be lightened materially. The Go vernment would have been well advised if they had faced the facts that confront us with a view to dealing seriously with the financial problem. To my . mind, the first duty of the Government is economy and retrenchment. I am not using the latter term in the sense of curtailing the salariesof the Public Service. I am referring to those extravagances that have helped to leap this burden upon us.
– Jervis Bay, for instance.
– I do not. want to be led into a discussion concerning the small expenditure of the Government in the State which I, in company with other honorable senator’s, represent; but I may say that if there has been some expenditure which some honorable senators seem to regard as extravagance in New South Wales, it has not been at all commensurate with the sacrifices in connexion with Federation which the people of that State have made. Although many years have gone by, I can say that if the expenditure on Jervis Bay is regarded as an extravagance, there has been no indication on the part of Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, and Queensland that they are going to carry out their promises to New South Wales. I hope Senator Keating will remember that. I say unhesitatingly that if there has been any extravagance at Jervis Bay, it is no more justified than extravagance in Melbourne; but it appears that, whilst thousands of pounds may be squandered in Melbourne without protest, the slightest expenditure in any other part of the Commonwealth is looked upon as extravagance.
– No protest is raised against expenditure here until the money has been spent.
– I am much obliged to the Minister for ‘his interjection. He declares that no protest is raised in Melbourne until after the money has been expended; and I venture to say that Senator Keating himself must take his share of responsibility for any extravagance that has been committed at Jervis Bay.
– I know the ease with which the honorable senator can shift his responsibility on to some one else; but I affirm that the financial posi- tion is such that it’ must be a matter of concern1, if not of anxiety, to all who have the producing and business interests of this country at heart. I acknowledge that, from the figures to hand, the Government appear to have effected a considerable amount of economy by their activity in repatriating our soldiers from France and Great Britain, but even when complimenting the Government upon the rapidity with which that work is being carried out, I venture to say that some clear, well thought-out programme for the limitation of unnecessary expenditure is highly essential, particularly in connexion with the Defence Department in Australia. Highly-paid officials, who did good work when the war was raging, should, immediately the Armistice was signed, have been released for their civilian occupations again.
– I think the Government have already taken action in that direction.
– Nearly twelve months have passed since the Armistice, and a few months have elapsed since Peace was signed, and it has been well within the knowledge of the Government; for many months that the war was over. The sooner that, highly-paid officials are allowed to return to their private business occupations, the better it will be for the people and the taxpayers of this country.
Another matter which should be faced squarely is whether the huge financial commitments of the Commonwealth are to be met by increased taxation or by some system of loans, by which the immediate burden will be lightened, and those who come after us will pay their share. I do not advocate any drastic method of immediately paying off our war debts. I am rather of the opinion that some system should be evolved - whether in the way of short-dated or of long-dated loans - which will enable those who have money available for investment to place it in productive Australian industries. The more money we are able to leave at the disposal of those interests, the better for our’ future. I am watching with deep interest the development of various phases of the aftermath of war. For more than four years there has been warfare which has threatened everything. I have taken my own personal responsibility. During the earlier period it was the rather heavier responsibility of a Cabinet Minister in a Government which was conducting Australia’s share of the war ; and during the later years it ‘ has been the responsibility of leading a party in the Senate which has so conducted itself as to have placed me in a position where I have certainly nothing to regret. We have passed through turmoil and anxiety, and now we have reached a stage in which Australia is being rapidly driven down a hill, over rough roads, and past dangerous places. Hostilities have ceased, and we are apt to lapse into a sense of false security. The brake is being removed; the pace is being accelerated, and only by careful and skilful driving can we now be saved. Australia’s position as regards economy generally must be keenly controlled, if ‘the danger which I have foreshadowed is not to fall upon us. The people are being asked to-day to advance money towards a very necessary loan. I hope the Peace Loan will -be a complete success, but there are factors which are telling against the immediate inflow of money to the Federal Treasury. There is a section of the community which has hitherto subscribed very freely and patriotically to the various loans. Time after time these people have refrained from putting their capital into investments which were practically bound to prove more profitable than the several war loans, and to-day they feel that they ‘have been placed in a false position. The Government, on the occasion of the last war loan, announced that slackers who had failed to render financial assistance would be compelled to do so. These other people, who have freely helped before, have so far refrained from investing in the Peace Loan until they shall have ascertained the intentions of the Government in the matter of compulsion. I must say at once that that is a wrong attitude : it is especially wrong for business” men. I admit that they are quite justified in their complaints concerning the Government, but the stand which they have taken is not the way in which to remedy those complaints. The fact that they have previously met national loan obligations does not justify them now in withholding further help merely so that the Government shall be forced to punish the slackers. The various loans are’ excellent investments. No doubt, private business men will not be fully prepared to agree with me when recalling their opportunities for making investments in other directions. But the Peace Loan is an excellent investment for the people, so that’ they may show to the world that the credit of Australia to-day is as high as it has been at any period throughout the war. Tt will undoubtedly be far better for. Australia if the Government does not enforce its threat of compulsion. The people should be informed of the immediate intentions of the Government in the matter of finance, ‘ taxation, and loans generally.
I intend now to make a few remarks concerning the Prime Minister. Mr. Hughes has been talking a great deal, and, in view of the reception with which he has been met, as one of Australia’s Peace delegates who had been absent for many months, it may be that one is scarcely justified in singling out from among his many speeches a statement here and there, and in giving it the degree of critical attention to which an ordinary public utterance is entitled. However, with respect to one statement, made in Sydney on Saturday last, I am bound to make some allusions, for it was so exaggerated and out of place that I must deal with it immediately. Mr Hughes is reported - and, I believe, correctly - to have said : -
I say, deliberately and emphatically, that if the Australian armies had been properly reinforced during those critical days, at least 10,O0U of those who died in France and Flanders would to-day be amongst us.
Such an assertion should not have been made by any man in Australia, and, least of all, by the Prime Minister. If it were true - and I say it is not - that one man upon whom the blood of those 10,000 must rest is the Prime Minister himself. He has been foremost among those who may be said .to have been responsible for the non-provision of reinforcements. If the responsibility can be placed upon any one individual, that responsibility is his. But it cannot be apportioned to any one man or any one party, or even to the whole of the people. The men’ in the best position to know that are those who served and who fought for Australia. We who stayed at home followed the fortunes of the war with the greatest earnestness and anxiety. We watched every step from beginning to end. The most disastrous actions, viewed solely from the point of view of Australian casualties, were those which occurred at Gallipoli and during the early days in France. The soldiers who participated in those costly engagements - disastrous as to loss of life but glorious when one sets the price paid against the nature of the achievements themselves - realized the facts. Would reinforcements have reduced the terrible death-roll of Gallipoli ?
– Military men have said that the result of - the campaign would have been different had there been more reinforcements available.
– While our men were fighting at Gallipoli there were thousands of men in Egypt. When the fighting was over and the remnants of our forces had been withdrawn, there were sufficient fresh Australian troops then in Egypt to form three additional divisions. Those new divisions comprised 60,000 men, and that new force, together with the survivors of Gallipoli, was transferred to France.
– Gallipoli was a blunder. There is no doubt about that.
– I am not prepared to go so far as to agree with that. I have studied the campaign so far as it has been possible to the present time. I have read a work bv Mr Edmund Chandler, a war correspondent, who accompanied the British forces in the Mesopotamia campaign. Chandler attributes the eventual breaking down “of Turkish resistance - subsequent, of course, to the surrender of General Townsend - to the effects of the Gallipoli campaign. He has pointed out that the finest troops of Turkey were sacrificed upon Gallipoli. Whether or not the failure to’ achieve the immediate objective at Gallipoli mav be regarded as a blunder, is not for me to say. I am prepared to wait for all the evidence. It was certainly one of those efforts which, although it failed in its immediate purpose, had a prodigious effect upon the ultimate course of the war.
– We reaped the results of Gallipoli, but not all nor as soon as we expected.
– Exactly ! Not only that, but we must not overlook the fact that the campaign on Gallipoli constituted a very direct threat to Constantinople itself. But for that campaign we can only imagine what might have been the ultimate effect upon the fortunes of the whole of the war had Turkey’s armies been free to attack Southern Russia. Therefore, looking the facts in the face, I do not desire to be led away from the point that the most serious casualties were those which had occurred up to the middle of 1916. There are many reasons advanced for that. At the present time, I find myself seriously considering whether many men were not sacrificed owing to the incompetence, or something worse, of officers who desired to use them in order to obtain for themselves the credit of being splendid leaders. These aspects of the war may be well considered, now that the struggle is over. The Prime Minister has said deliberately and emphatically that if the Armies had been properly reinforced during the critical days, at least 10,000 of those who died in France and Flanders would have been here amongst us. Yet we all know that, whilst Gallipoli was being fought, Australia was pouring men into Egypt, where they were being placed under the control of British officers as rapidly as it was possible for the transports to carry them there - and there was no shortage of shipping in those days. Three divisions of 20,000 each were formed in the December and January following the withdrawal of Bri- tish troops fromGallipoli. Therefore, lack of reinforcements had no bearing on the dreadful losses we sustained there. I come now to France. We all know the appalling losses that we suffered in France in July, 1916., We all remember the picture of those losses which was drawn by Mr. Hughes when he returned to this country in August or September of that year. We all recollect the reinforcements which he affirmed were required to maintain at the Front the number of men whom Australia thought it was necessary to maintain there. The conclusion arrived at by Mr. Hughes and SenatorPearce was that we needed 16,500 men monthly to reinforce Australia’s Army, and to fill the gaps that had been created by the enemy. We all remember the reasons which were advanced as to why this enormous number of reinforcements was asked for. I recollect the reason given by Senator Pearce in this Chamber was that in three days we had suffered 10,000 casualties. We now know, because, since the censorship has been removed, the information is being gradually spread amongst us, that in one disastrous attack - I think it was at Fleurbaix - 15,000 of our men went over the top, and within twenty-four or forty-eight hours only 5,300 came back. That was in June or July, 1916.
– The 19th July, 1916.
-With these facts before us, why should the Prime Minister persist in making such statements ? At Pozieres, for which Fleurbaix should have been an effective diverting movement, but owing to disaster was not, we suffered awful casualties. From the 25th July to the end of that month, our men were slaughtered in a manner that can never be forgotten by anybody who was following the war at that period. Nothing could possibly have been done by anybody here to prevent those disasters. They were due to war, and we have to recognise that fact. I exceedingly regret that the man who is at the head of the Government should, for some purpose which I cannot fathom, endeavour to mislead the community by making such unwarranted accusations, particularly after Peace has been signed, and when it should be the endeavour of us all to get back to the old condition of things as early as possible. Does anybody think that a statement of that character will deceive the men who fought at the Front? Does anybody imagine that the intelligence was kept from them? They were there, and they knew all about it. If Mr. Hughes, by his statement, is endeavouring to bolster up the mad attempt he made to conscript Australians-
– The “mad” attempt ?
– I say advisedly that it was a mad attempt. If ever an effort was. made which should not have been made, it was that which was made on the two occasions upon which, when Australia was doing as much as she could, the harmony that then existed between parties was broken by Mr. Hughes. To call his action a “mad” attempt to conscript Australians is putting the matter mildly. If any justification be needed for having resisted that effort, it is to be found in the fact that the rank and file of our Army, which Mr. Hughes now wishes to exploit for political purposes, carried the “ No “ vote. That circumstance cannot be denied or forgotten. .
– Where is the rank and file of the soldiers to-day? They are solidly behind Mr. Hughes, whom the honorable senator is traducing.
– I am quite willing to hear Senator de Largie, with his usual interjections. Personally, I have always refrained from discussing the question of our soldiers in such a. way as to suggest that I was looking to them for some support. Any man who has the future of Australia sincerely at heart will not be following a wise course if he at-‘ tempts to keep our soldiers banded together in any organization which will enable them to take the control of this country into their own hands. At the present moment Mr. Hughes is chiefly responsible for endeavouring to do that. Senator de Largie says that the soldiers are solidly behind him. That- remains to be seen. Since hia return to Australia Mr. Hughes has told the’ soldiers that he is with them as far as they can go, stopping only at murder and bigamy.
– That was only a jocular remark.
– It is very fortunate that we have somebody in the chamber who is able to interpret the remarks of the Prime Minister. Whether the remark was intended to be a jocular one or not, what will be the position when, as the months’ go by, these men find that the things which they expected have been withheld from them? Will they not say, “ Even if the remark which Mr. Hughes made at Perth was of a jocular character; it meant all that we deserve should be given to us, and given to us at once.” Even jocular remarks, made to inspire hope in the breasts of our returned soldiers, may become very serious matters when the anticipations of these men fail to be realized. There is very grave danger to be apprehended from raising hopes which cannot be redeemed; and, without any reservation, I say that no Government has the capacity to give effect to all the universally admitted claims of our returned soldiers.” Mr. Hughes, therefore, would be well advised if, instead of becoming the puppet of the soldiers and sailors, as was evidenced by the way in which he was carried through the streets of this city, he exhibited a more serious regard for the responsibilities of his position. Of course, his actions may be measured by the needs of the political party which he leads. But they cannot be justified. We are living in times which call for the best that is in us all. It is neither wisdom nor states manship for the Prime Minister to attempt to keep together as an organized body Australia’s returned soldiers by assuring them that he is with them in all their demands. Not only will my voice be raised against such action on his part, but I hope that his best friends will tender him similar counsel. There is nothing so calculated to inflame the minds of men as the* belief that they have been disappointed. To our soldiers who have ‘returned to this country after nobly doing their duty on the battlefields, and to the dependants of those who will never return, the utmost generosity should be extended. But to tell our soldiers that the country is theirs, and that all they have to do is to take it - I am quoting almost Mr. Hughes’ exact words - is to be guilty of conduct which is most reprehensible. Certainly the ‘country is theirs if they wish to participate in its affairs in a constitutional way. But it is not theirs if they think that the adoption of constitutional methods is too slow a procedure. Mr. Hughes’ statement causes the uneasy feeling in my mind that he is endeavouring to organize a party to lead, not’ in a constitutional manner for the benefit of Australia, but in a glaringly unconstitutional way, in order that he himself may be crowned either with the felt hat of the military or the cap of the Navy, that he may be placed upon the shoulders of our soldiers, and dictate the terms upon which this country shall be parcelled out to them.
– It hurts.
– I can assure the honorable senator that it does not hurt me’. It .will hurt only if honorable senators ‘ opposite are Tight in thinking that the soldiers will be fooled by the antics of a harlequin. They know better. The Government can give the public employees a holiday in the great cities te make a crowd, and as has been done during the last few days, they can pay away wages for work that has not been performed; but it will not have the effect they anticipate. I go so far as to say that Australia’s Peace delegates, returning to Australia, were entitled to a reception commensurate with .the position they held. Honorable senators have seen that I have not shrunk from- taking my part in the public welcome of public men, because I hold that as Australia is to be measured, her peo,p]© must mete out a measure of justice to the men who represent them in other parts of the world. The judgment of a man in these matters is not to he marred by considerations of political advantage.
We are up against .serious problems at the present time - problems of such a character that for their solution even Mr. Hughes has in his various speeches said that he is willing to let bygones be bygones. But he says that he comes back to Australia with peace in one hand and the sword in the other.
– A bludgeon in the other.
– The bludgeon is only for those who need it.
– Mr. Hughes is happy in having Senator de Largie to interpret what he says, but it is unfortunate for him that when one attempts to refer to what he has said, it should appear to be necessary for some one else to give a moderate interpretation, which Mr. Hughes himself failed to supply. -The first speech which Mr. Hughes made in Perth on his return was one referring to blood. He spoke more freely as he became more sure of his reception, and- he took very fine care that he would be sure of a reception at the hands of the SOldiers. It was one of the most finely organized bursts of spontaneous enthusiasm that I ever witnessed. The agents responsible for it took very fine care that the Prime Minister would get an enthusiastic reception. If Mr. Hughes’ speeches since his return are followed up day by day and line by line, they still convey to- the unbiased mind an uneasy feeling that he will not stop at constitutional methods to maintain his present position.
I may be held to be altogether overrating what the right honorable gentleman says, but there are very few in the public life of this country who know him better than I do. In fact, for very many years I enjoyed the advantages of hisfriendship and I have never, because of the bitterness engendered by party politics, been influenced by spite or spleen in my opposition to him. He would have no time for a man who would not try to hit hard, because he is himself altogether out of place in debate or in public statement of any kind unless he is using the forcible bludgeon or the keen-edged sword. But the position to-day should be taken in hand by the managers of these demonstrations. Mr. Hughes has said, that he does not -know if he belongs to any party now. He says that he is still a Socialist,’ and has not altered his Labour opinions. Senator Fairbairn is still with him, but has not altered him.
– Perhaps I am a Socialist, too.
– I may take it that the honorable senator is trying to tone down his Conservatism to the Socialism of Mr. Hughes. It may be that the honorable senator believes that, in the interests of the good government of the country, it is possible to see in Mr. Hughes, the Socialist, a means of restoring normal conditions. I do not wish to play upon the fact that two such wellknown Labour men as Mr. Hughes and Senator Fairbairn are found side by side. I am aware that Senator Fairbairn represents only a class and section in this community. This is the first opportunity I have had to make a public statement, on these matters since the return of the Prime Minister,- and the point I am attempting to make is that the vague statements made by Mr. Hughes, such as “ I am now without party,” “ I am the same Socialist that I ever was,” have not to be answered by me, because I welcome them, but by people who do not believe in Socialism, and have nothing in common with, and are not in agreement with, the old-time principles and Socialism of Mr. Hughes. If they can smile and say that they know the value of his words, and will take very fine care that he will not give effect to any of his Socialistic views while he is under their control and management, well and good. But if he has no party at the present time - and, so far as Labour is concerned, he has no party, and no hope of a party-
– That is not so..
– I know that, so far as Labour of the type of Senator de Largie is concerned - and I do not speak disrespectfully of it - it is not so; but so far as Labour of the type of the organized industrial unions of Australia and the political Labour organizations of Australia is concerned, Mr. Hughes has not only no following, but no hope of a following. That has to be said, and said plainly. We realize it, as Mr. Hughes himself realizes it, when he makes the statement that he has no party. I am watching, however, as I suppose we are all watching, his progress through the country, what appears to be a disturbing attempt to create a new party. It would not disturb me, if the new party were created upon political lines. Every body of men in this country has the same liberty as have those represented in this Parliament to organize and form a party, but they have not the right to organize with the intention of attaining their end by force, and resting on force all the time. The’ danger of such an organization is apparent to me.
It may be said that I am a dreamer, and am wide of the mark, and that nothing of the kind is intended or meant; but I say that statements have been made which embody big promises that cannot be relied upon, and which we know from the speed at which the present Government work, will not be carried out. The men to whom these promises are made should be given to understand that they will not be wise to anticipate too much when the time comes for the realization of those promises.
I have said that we are confronted with a financial position which will tax the energies, not only of the Government, but of the whole of Australia. We are confronted with an industrial and social position which will tax the energies of all the people of this country, leaving parties out of the question. We must draw upon all the goodwill that can be drawn upon to secure the safety of the country. If parties cannot be united, I say let those who disbelieve in Labour principles govern this country if they can, and they will be in a better position to do so if the spokesmen of Labour can tell them what Labour is seeking and requires. There is yet no common interest between us and other sections in the community. There is a general interest in which all are concerned, but there is not a sufficient common interest to merge all in one party. There is a general interest in which all are concerned, and which can be promoted within our separate parties, each fighting openly, honestly, and strenuously for what ii believes to be right. But any attempt to create a party for one purpose, and one only, that of retaining power and winning by force or by fraud, if need be, can’ have no lasting benefit for Australia, and may possibly be of lasting injury to our people and our country.
– The honorable senator will not accept the olive-branch.
– No. Senator Lynch is probably aware that the practice of pugilists shaking hands comes from the old practice of fighters offering the right hp,nd to show that they had no bludgeon in it, but Mr. Hughes from the public platform offers us the olive branch with one hand, and at the same time menaces u3 with a bludgeon in the. other. In the circumstances I. can only say that we do not accept the olive branch from him, and, speaking for the Labour party, I say that we. do not want it. We recognise that Mr. Hughes has mapped out his own career, and we know that just as he brushed us aside when we were of no further use to him, so will honorable senators on the other side meet the same fate when their existence and Mr. Hughes’ advancement are found to be in conflict. If they are willing to come under the flag of Socialism we can welcome them to the ranks of Socialists, but I do not believe that honorable senators opposite have changed their minds. I may say that, as between Mr. Hughes and myself, there has always been the distinction that I never proclaimed myself as a Socialist. In the Labour party Mr. Hughes was always extreme in statements and methods.
– The honorable senator means to say that he was always thorough in what he did.
– I do not care whether the honorable senator calls it thorough or extreme. I do not use the word “ extreme “ in disparagement of Mr. Hughes’. The point I am trying to make is that in our party he was, and I say this advisedly, kept out of the leadership for many years because the members of the party could not accommodate themselves to the extreme views he possessed.
– That is valuable information for us.
– I recognise that it is not information to the honorable senator, because he knows, as I do, that when Mr. Hughes was in the New South Wales Parliament, and in the Federal Parliament, he was kept put of the leadership of the Labour party, when lesser men intellectually held the position. The methods of the Labour party since I have been a member of it, and I was a member of it in Parliament before Mr. Hughes was a member of it in or out of Parliament, have been to put in black and white at our annual conferences what we want, and let the public take it or reject it. We never adopted the method of trying by duplicity or astuteness to avoid responsibility. We have faced facts all our lives, and will continue to face them. Although to some the less of the brilliant leadership of Mr. Hughes may be a disaster, to me it is very welcome, because we can endeavour to make up by straightforward, honest statements what we might have lost by his method of side-stepping, misrepresentation,’ and his capacity for printing things other than as they are. I am glad to see Mr. Hughes as leader of the other side, and I am more than glad to hear the statement that he leads it as a Socialist.
– A British Minister said some years ago that we are all Socialists now.
– It is quite refreshing to hear a Nationalist say that he is also a Socialist. I have never said that I was a Socialist, because I have found the definitions so varied, and so difficult to reconcile, that I do not intend to describe myself by any such word.
– Some of us can be Nationalists without being Socialists.
– At any rate you are Nationalists with a Socialist leader. A man who calls himself a Nationalist, and yet represents only a section of the nation, may think himself entitled to do so, and I do not complain of that. I hope I have given information that will make thoughtful men consider what the real position is at present, and, believing that I have done that, can well afford to let the party aspect pass. There are men here who have taunted me that I would one day find myself where Mr. Hughes is to-day, and where Senators Newland, Reid, de Largie, and Russell are. - that is, outside the Labour party.
– If the Rae party gets control you will be.
– It is only four days since the party to which I belong, and which I have represented in this Parliament for more than nine years, selected as candidates for the New South Wales seats in the Senate. Senator McDougall, Senator Grant, and Senator Gardiner - that is myself - to again represent them.
– The Rae crowd did not select you.
– I do not care, and the fact that I have been selected is an answer to the taunt.
– It is a good sign that the honorable senator’s party have shown so much common sense.
– It is a . good sign. It should be posted up where all can read it that we have put our own house in order in the interests of the country. We should therefore be free from the aspersions so frequently thrown at us during the past few years.
– By those in your own household.
– As the honorable senator’s time is limited, I askchonorable senators not to interject.
– I ask, Mr. President, how long I am allowed to speak on the first reading of this Bill ?
– An hour and a half.
– We will extend the time if necessary.
– No, you will not, because I will not ask for an extension of time.
– We will give an extension if you want it.
– The honorable senator is not in a position to pledge the Senate by offering an extension of time. The conduct and demeanour of our delegates to the Peace Conference is well worthy of notice. I take this public opportunity of daring to say to the people of this country that Sir Joseph Cook reached what was possibly the height of has ambition when he received that gracious mark of esteem from his Sovereign - a title. I do not begrudge him the honour conferred on him, nor do I envy any one whose mind is bent in that direction the attainment of his desire. I do not underrate honours that are well won and well deserved, and Sir Joseph Cook is as much entitled to the distinction he has gained as any other man in Australia. It is very many years since Sir Joseph left our party - I do not think he was expelled from it - and during all those years I have never felt any anger towards him, because, from my most early associations with him, I realized that, although environment had made him a Democrat and a Labour man, his outlook on things made him a Tory and a Conservative; and I do not use these terms disrespectfully. He always had, from my earliest association with him, Tory ideals, a Conservative outlook, and aristocratic tendencies.
– It is necessary to be conservative in many matters.
– I know that is so; and my own mind is so conservative that I would feel uneasy if I were allowed to speak without being subjected to interruption by the honorable senator. I was referring to Sir Joseph Cook, and was about to express the hope that the Prime Minister, whose aristocratic tendencies have not been displayed by the acceptance of a title from the King, might take a leafout of his book. It may be that an honour commensurate with his services and abilities has not yet been offered to Mr. Hughes; though I can scarcely believe that. I have something to say concerning Mr. Hughes as our delegate at the Peace Conference, but I shall reserve it for a more suitable occasion. I draw a very firm line between the conduct of the two delegates who have returned to us, and, in my opinion, the credit is not altogether on the side of the one who is being the more applauded at the present time. I spoke earlier of the statement made by the Prime Minister with reference to our casualties. The casualty list of Australia makes very sad reading. If we take the Forces that went overseas from Great Britain and the Dominions, Ave find that the percentages of casualties work out in the following way: - Great Britain, 43 per cent.; Canada, 44 per cent.; New Zealand, 50 per cent. ; and Australia, 63 per cent. The Australian casualties were 13 per cent, more than those of New Zealand, and 20 per cent. more than those of Great Britain or Canada. That was not due to lack of reinforcements. Had more men been sent, the casualties would have been still greater. It was due to the fact that Australiaiis were recognised as good storm troops, and were so used, unfortunately for them, throughout the war.
– A casualty percentage of 43 meant a much greater loss of life in the British Forces than a percentage loss of 63 meant to the Australian Forces.
– Not in proportion to the population.
– You must not belittle the efforts of the British Forces.
– My statement was not made to belittle their efforts, but to put the facts before the country. In the main theatre of war, Britain was fighting for months before the Australians arrived, and notwithstanding the fact that fierce and desperate battles were fought in the months before our men came into action, our casualties were greater per cent, of those engaged than those of Great Britain.
– If Great Britain’s casualties had been 63 per cent., we would have lost the war.
– Does Senator Bakhap think that such statements justify the fact3? This awful percentage of casualties will have to be explained.
– Percentages are very misleading.
– Will you give the basis of your calculations?
– Yes, without hesitation. The calculations were taken from the June issue of the Bound Table; a well written review. It was in that publication that I first read that Australia offered her soldiers to the Empire before war was declared and that statement was confirmed in an answer given by Senator Millen to a question I submitted to him in the Senate. Following upon that I consider the Round Table well-informed and a reliable authority.
We all know how Belgium has been held up to Australia, and how generously Australia subscribed to funds in her behalf - the country which the iron heel of Germany was crushing. I gave the number of Belgians killed as 20,000.. The Worker put Belgium’s losses at 16,000, but the Bound Table gives the number as 14,000. Yet Belgium has a population of 7,000,000 and Australia has only 5,000,000 citizens.
– How could they fight under the heel of Germany?
– How’ did Australia fight to keep them from coming under the heel of Germany! Invaded Belgium lost only 14,000. while Australia sacrificed 65,000 of her soldiers.
– If German forces had been present in Australia we should not have been able to send men to the theatre of war. Australia was free to send to fight all the men that she could spare.’
– I am more than convinced - I take Japan’s word and the word of her statesmen - that she has no designs on Australia. I believe Japan will keep, her word, and will learn to understand our ideals. Those who endeavour to fan the flames of war in this regard will find that, they are mistaken, as I may have been. I firmly believe that a strong commercial friendship will grow up between Australia and’ Japan, and that those who fear her political development will learn to understand her better. I take the word of Japanese statesmen that we have nothing to fear, particularly if the provisions of the Peace Treaty are given effect. I have approached this question in a mood more serious than, that in which I have ever before approached a question under discussion in this Senate. It may be that I am living in a wrong atmosphere, and speak as an idle dreamer dwelling at his ease among the cobweb fancies of the brain, and weaving dreams that practical-minded men laugh to scorn ; but, to the contrary, I may see aright the path that we should tread. However this may be, I appeal to the thoughtful men in this Senate to direct their attention to the guidance of the destinies of this country in. such a way that, peace having come, Australia may so deal with the problems confronting her that she will recover from the disastrous effects of the war, and have a bright outlook for the future.
– I desire to refer to the position in the Northern Territory, which I regard as the aftermath of the regime of misrule of the past four or five years. I had this fact impressed upon me when I visited Darwin shortly after Christmas. I went there at the invitation of the workers themselves, following upon a demonstration which had been made against the Administrator, and I was pleasantly surprised to. find that the place was really not what it is generally believed to be. I had expected to find a little sun-baked town, consisting of a few tin “ “humpies,” with the sun burning down upon them ; but, instead, I found a bright, nicely situated, little town, which should, in time become a very desirable city. I was also agreeably surprised at the treatment I received, not only from those who had expressly invited me, but from the entire population. They gave me every comfort obtainable, and in this respect they are true to the traditions of the northern part of Queensland. Travellers there find that the farther north they go the more hospitable are the people. I went to Darwin after the revolt against the late Administrator, Dr. Gilruth. Just after that ‘ event, and before my arrival - I think it was on Christmas night - a gunboat dropped its anchor in- Darwin Harbor. What for? To protect the late Administrator ! The gunboat, appropriately enough, was the Una, previously the Kaiser’s yacht, and afterwards the German gunboat Comet, captured by the Australian Naval Forces at Rabaul. It dropped its anchor, inappropriately enough, on Christmas night, and became known as H.M.S. Peace and Good-will. It was, in my opinion, a terrible travesty on the administration that it should have been necessary to send a gunboat to Darwin, and to keep the vessel there’ for a full ‘’ month. Many of the men serving on ‘ board ‘ the gunboat had seen active service in the North Sea, and they were due for >their discharge; but, instead of getting it, they were kept stewing in Darwin Harbor for a full month. During the whole of that time they were not allowed ashore, because it was thought undesirable that the sailors should fraternize with the people lest the latter should acquaint them with the true position in Darwin, and from a naval view-point that was undesirable. The restraint acted upon the men to such an extent that in the end the authorities were forced to send the Una away from Darwin for fear of a mutiny. It was not considered safe to keep the ship there any longer, so the Una was replaced by a larger vessel, the Encounter. Small numbers of men from this war vessel were allowed ashore, and some of them who accosted me in the street expressed the opinion that if the present conduct of affairs in the Navy were continued, in five years’ time there would not be a single Australian-born sailor serving in the Australian Navy. . The Australian temperament, they pointed out, was such that it could not stand all that these- men had had to go through. They resented the fact that they had been sent up to Darwin to shoot down fellow Australians, if necessary, for the protection of the Administrator, who, in my opinion, had not been working in the best interests of Australia. I mention this because it shows the extent that public feeling against the Administrator had reached in Darwin. It was generally believed there that he had been working for years in the interests of Vestey Brothers Limited, a concern which, I believe, is the American Meat Trust, and was shaping the destinies of the Territory to suit the business interests of that firm. It was the generally accepted view that, ou the termination of his Administratorship, Dr. Gilruth was to be appointed to a very. responsible position in Vesteys Limited, at Port Darwin, and the demonstration against him was a polite intimation from the men that they were not going to tolerate his appointment to the Meat Works there, and if Vesteys Limited wanted his services, they should give him some appointment outside Darwin. That belief, I understand, brought about’ the climax. The people there feared that Dr. Gilruth was to be rewarded for his services to the company.
It is a fact that the development of the Territory has been retarded in every conceivable direction. I may mention one instance. An Ordinance, or regulation, made under the Health Act, prohibited the erection of habitations in Darwin if second-hand materials, and particularly second-hand iron, were used. Honorable senators know the difficulty that was experienced during the war in securing first-grade galvanized iron, and they know also that when the Government attempted to put into force the policy of price-fixing for first-class galvanized iron, dealers in the commodity frequently punctured new galvanized iron with nails in order to convert it into second-class material, and then sold it at a price higher than that fixed for firstgrade iron. In Darwin, under this regulation, the erection of any building with that class of iron is prohibited, so far as the Europeans are concerned, but Greeks. Egyptians, and other foreigners are allowed to build houses by the dozen, although using kerosene tins, palings, bagging, and any other material.
– You know, of course, that the ruling caste must be distinctive.
– At all events, they did have a sympathetic Administrator in Darwin.
– That regulation was made because second-hand iron was dearer than first-class material.’
– First-grade iron could not have been obtained in Darwin. I do not say’ that the people could have secured such good iron as that to which I have referred, that is, the iron which dealers deliberately punctured, in order to make it second-hand iron; but, if allowed to use it, they could have obtained ordinary good second-hand material. This class of iron is very largely used in Northern Queensland.’ Recently, when in the Gulf country, I got into conversation with a man, not a carpenter or builder, who told me that in the previous year he had made £1,000 profit by buying up iron houses in Croydon, straightening out the iron, and selling it in Townsville, because first-class galvanized iron was unobtainable. Iron similar in quality to that so largely used in Northern Queensland could have been obtained in Darwin, but the Administrator would not allow it to be used, because, in my opinion, he did not want the place to progress. This is one reason why I protested against the granting of extended power to his successor, the Chairman of the Advisory Council. I fear a continuation of misrule like that of Dr. Gilruth. Another instance came under my notice. Senator Newland perhaps had the same matter brought before him. When I was in Darwin, the people showed me at the Terminus Hotel certain rooms which, prior to Government control, had been condemned as unfit for sleeping accommodation, but immediately the Administrator acquired the management of the hotel, partitions were put in, and each of these rooms was converted into two bedrooms. Senator Reid. - Why were they condemned ?
– Because they did not comply with the specifications of the Health Department. The walls were not of sufficient height.
– If they were divided into two rooms, the conditions would be worse.
– Apparently, v,hen the hotels came under Government control, the rooms were good enough for occupation when divided by a partition. Another pin-prick resented by the people in Darwin is the arrangement of hours in Government offices. I think they commence work at 8 o’clock, and finish at about 2 or 2.30 p.m. Ordinary businesses continue working until 5 o’clock. Why was that necessary ? Simply, in my opinion, to make tilings as awkward as possible for the people, so that they would become disgusted with the place and leave it. When, on the top of this, the Administrator brought in that new fad, the daylightsaving . scheme, the kiddies were going to school at 6 o’clock in the morning, and leaving at 11 or 11,30 am., Melbourne time.
– Is that undesirable in Port Darwin ?
– I think it was. I was there in February and March, which, from a climatic point of view, one might reasonably suppose to be the worst time of the year, and I did not find “the conditions any worse than in parts of Northern Queensland, and certainly not hotter than in Melbourne at certain times.
– Does the honorable senator think that white children should be attending school at Darwin in the middle of the day?
– I do not think they should be made to go to school at six in the morning and be free to play around, out in the greatest heat of the day, after the hour of noon. The point is, ‘what is the hottest part of the day ? It is not likely to be between ten and twelve o’clock in the morning, but during the early afternoon; and where would the children be if they were not at school throughout those hottest hours? They would inevitably be playing around in the sun, just like all other good Australian kiddies. My point, however, is that the Government offices were virtually closed during the middle of the day.
I came into contact with several gentlemen who had not been in the Territory very long. In fact, they had arrived during the period of the war. The question has been raised whether these newcomers were Greeks or Turks. I did not endeavour to trace their history ‘during my stay at Darwin, so I shall leave that an open question. I made certain statements, however, upon my return to Brisbane, and I desire to devote some attention to that phase of the matter. In May of last year I asked the Minister representing the Minister for Home and
Territories in this Chamber certain questions which, together with their answers, will be found duly recorded in Hansard. I desired to know what was the British population of the Territory, and was informed that there were 3,210 males and 356 females, a total of 3,566 people. I asked, also, what were the totals of people other than British, and was informed that there were 317 males and 52 females, 369 in all. I desired to be informed, further, how many of these latter had arrived in the Territory since the outbreak of the war, and the answer was 350. Of those other than British residents, thirty-five were employed on Government works, and 109 had registered for employment on the wharfs. All of these men entered Port Darwin during the war. At a meeting in Brisbane I stated that many of them were Turks. Mr. Glynn denied that, and asserted that they were good Greeks. I learned while in Darwin that the great majority of these folk - indeed, almost the whole of them - had come from the little island of Castellorizzo, which is situated close to the Asia Minor coastline of the Mediterranean. I searched in an atlas for the island, and discovered that it was a mere speck on the map. Upon investigating the authorities available in the Library of the Queensland^ Parliament, I failed to ascertain whether the residents were Greeks or Turks.
– There are both Turks and Greeks on all of those neighbouring islands.
– I have been able to secure some particulars from the Imperial Gazetteer, published in 1878, and from Murray’s Handbook : Turkey in Asia (1878). as follows: -
Castellorizzo, an- island and seaport town, Turkey in Asia. - The island’ is the largest and loftiest on the coast; it is entirely barren, and ill-supplied with water. The harbor, though small, is snug, and merchant vessels can moor within 100 yards of the town. The town, which consists of 500 or 000 houses scattered over theface of the rock, is governed by the Turkish Aga. Most of its inhabitants are Greeks.
Murray’s Handbook. - Castellorizzo is an island 60 miles to the east of Rhodes, very near the coast of Asia. The population is 5,000 - sponge-fishers and’ pirates.
From the Statesmen’s Y ear-Book, 1918, I gleaned the following information: -
The acquisition of new territories by Greece as the result of the war with Turkey from 17th October, 1912, to 30th May, 1913, and with
Bulgaria from 30th June to 10th August, 1913, have given the country a total area of 41,033 square miles, with an estimated population, in 1014, of 4,821,300. The Powers, in accordance with the Treaty of London, and of Athens, have decided that Greece shall retain all thoseEgean islands which she occupied during the war except Imbros, Tenedos, and Castellorizzo, which arc to be restored to Turkey. In the meantime, Greece is in occupation of all the islands.
It appears that Greece occupied those three islands which I have mentioned as the outcome of the war with Turkey. During the world war, however, the Allies employed those places as naval bases. Then, for some reason or other, the inhabitants were, sent to the Northern Territory. I am anxious to learn the justification of France, or whatever authority was responsible for drafting these people to Australia during the period of the war. Did France unload them upon Australia because there was a difficulty in feeding them on those barren islands? Is that the reason why they were calmly shipped to the Northern Territory? People in southern Australia may say, “ That is quite all right.” They may see no objection to these foreigners being dumped into Darwin. Such people may be interested to know, however, that these foreigners are now filtering down the coast into Western Australia, , and are making their way into Queensland. These men were brought into Australia - -
– When, the honorable senator says “ brought,” what does he mean?
– That they were allowed to come, and were admitted on the strength of the passports which they carried.
– There is a difference between coming here and being brought here.
– It is certain that they could not have come into Australia of their own volition. They could not have got here without passports. Who gave them the passports, and why ?
– The honorable senator says they were brought here. I want to know whether the Government could either have brought them here or induced them to come.
– I know this , much, that Dr. Gilruth for years had been advocating the policy, of importing southern Europeans into the Territory; and I am aware of this further unfortunate . fact, that that policy was, to some degree, at any rate, accepted and acted upon.
– From the climatic view-point, southern Europeans are the best fitted to work in the Territory.
– The honorable senator is wrong,. I made inquiries directly bearing upon that. I asked how many of these southern Europeans had settled on the land. Dr. Gilruth, in his report for 1915-16, and even previous to that, stated that these men were eminently adapted, for climatic reasons, for settlement in the Territory. I do not believe one of them has settled on the land. They have almost all congregated in little foreign townships. One of these settlements is called Salonica, and another is known as Port Said. . I complain that these people were encouraged to come here; that they were allowed to enter Australia - able-bodied men and good workmen though I believe them to be-
– Yes; I saw them punching holes in solid rock in the middle of the day.
– While Senator Bakhap and other honorable senators opposite were endeavouring to send every able-bodied man out of Australia, these other people were encouraged to come here - indeed, they were brought here. They landed in Australia when some honorable senators were endeavouring to ship out of Australia every remaining eligible man. If these folk are Greeks, it should not be forgotten that Greece was in the war just as was Australia.
– Chinamen were drafted to work in France, so that Frenchmen might be released from other duties to fight for France and for us.
– And Chinamen would have been brought into Australia, too, if the honorable senator had had his way.
– There are a good many here now. I am here, anyhow.
-If Greece was in the war, just as Australia was in the war, those men - if they were Greeks - were much nearer to the theatre of war than were Australian eligibles.
– Greece was not one of the Allies. Greece was “ anyhow.”
– Then it amounts to this - according to the honorable senator’s interjection- that there was no difference between these men and Turks. That being so, why were they permitted to enter Australia during the war ? Why were they provided with passports ? I shall not argue whether they were Greeks or Turks. Senator de Largie indicates that there is not much difference between them. I was informed, when I was at Darwin, that a lady among these newcomers had given birth to a child, and had made application for a maternity allowance in the usual way. She received the following reply -
Northern Territory of Australia,
Darwin, 16th August, 1918.
Mrs.- , near Wireless Station, Darwin.
With reference to your claim for £ 5 maternity bonus, I have to inform you that advice has been received from Melbourne to reject all claims from women born in the Island of Castellorizzo, on the ground that they are Asiatics, and therefore not entitled to payment.
Acting Deputy Commissioner of Maternity Allowances.
This lady was refused a maternity bonus on the ground that she was an Asiatic; yetshe and those who had come with her from Castellorizzo were admitted into Australia during the war. If those people are Greeks, then, clearly, they should not be refused the maternity allowance on the ground that they are Asiatics. But, if they are Asiatics, and upon that ground have been refused the maternity bonus, they certainly should not have been admitted to Australia. Responsibility devolves upon the Government to provide some explanation.
Another very important matter which is exciting controversy in the Territory has to do with the Judiciary. Request after request has been made - and Senator Newland has supported them in this Chamber - for the appointment of additional justices of the peace, to deal with petty Court cases. So far, however, there are only three gentlemen at Darwin who hold commissions as justices of. the peace. I met two of these three, in the persons of Mr. Jolly and Captain Edwards, both men of good standing in Darwin. I believe that the third justice of the peace was a Mr. Fox - another resident of high standing with whom, also, no fault could be found. Mr. Fox and Captain Edwards have been in the Territory for a long time, and the view was held by their fellow citizens that it would be a good thing to infuse a little new blood into the local judiciary. Representations were made to the Minister, and, upon the recommendation of Dr. Gilruth, it was decided to appoint two more justices of the peace from the ranks of the local civil servants. Complaints were immediately made that that would merely strengthen the hands of the administrative authorities; but Dr. Gilruth replied that the new justices would not be required to sit upon the Bench, and that their services were necessary only for duties such as witnessing attestations, and the like. Although there are shire councillors at Darwin, who have been elected by the people,those councillors are not considered worthy of appointment to the local roll of justices of the peace, so that the citizens there might have a guarantee that there would be a more impartial dispensation of justice. Again, there is dissatisfaction by virtue of the fact that Mr. Justice Bevan also acts as legal adviser to the Administration. It is a conflicting situation, and notwithstanding that Mr. Glynn, in another place, some twelve months ago, gave an assurance that Mr. Justice Bevan did not advise in any cases which were likely to come before him for decision, but merely advised as to the correct legal form of regulations, we recently saw complaints from Darwin that the council there hadbeen advised in a letter from the accountant that it could not claim rates on certain property because the Judge had so decided. Fancy the council taking action against the owner of the land - the Commonwealth Government- and the case coming before the Judge for decision in the light of the fact that it was on his advice that the accountant had expressed the opinion that the rates could not be claimed. Mr. Justice Bevan disapproves, of the existing position himself, I believe. He has openly admitted from the Bench that he is the legal adviser of the Administration, but he mitigated the situation by saying that he disapproved of that. Prior to that, however, he had taken no exception to it. There is no satisfaction amongst the people of Darwin in the dispensation of justice at the hands of Mr. Justice Bevan. This feeling of dissatisfaction has developed to such an extent that juries will not convict. At a meeting which I addressed at the Stadium in Darwin, it was openly stated that in future juries would not convict owing to the unfair attitude of Mr. Justice Bevan. Although I have watched matters closely, I have not seen any convictions recorded since that time. At the last sittings of the Court there, some half-dozen cases were tried, but in every one of them a verdict of not guilty was returned.
– Does the honorable senator think that the accused ought to have been convicted ?
– I am not in a position to judge.
– Would not the honorable senator be right in assuming that they were not convicted because they were innocent ?
– I merely mentioned the incident in passing. For years Mr. Justice Bevan has been virtually the tool of Dr. Gilruth. In regard to every proposition propounded by Dr. Gilruth he has been his lackey. That is not the position which a man who is supposed to dispense justice should occupy. Mr. Justice Bevan has virtually suspended the Habeas Corpus Act in Darwin. On one occasion he visited Adelaide, and was absent from the. Territory from November till the following April - a period of five months.
– He visited Adelaide to investigate a case of horsestealing.
– Under the existing law it is necessary for appeals against conviction by a Justice to be lodged within a period of six months. But when the Judge is absent from the Territory for five months out of the six, what chance has a man of lodging an appeal ? There were two cases which come specifically under this heading - that of a man named Madsen, and another of a Greek named Koufinyas These men were fined, with the alternative of six months’ imprisonment, upon a charge of sly-grog selling. Madsen paid his fine, but the Greek was unable to do so, and consequently served his six months in gaol.
When Mr. Justice Bevan returned from his jaunt from South Australia,’ an appeal was lodged against the conviction of Madsen. As a result. the fine which he paid was refunded to him. But there was no redress for the Greek, who had served six months’ imprisonment. Although this matter Wits brought under the notice of Mr. Glynn two months before the return of the Judge to the Territory, he did not move in the matter till some time later, when he issued an order that in subsequent cases when the Judge was absent, the term during which an appeal could be lodged should be extended until fourteen days after his return. What is required up there is a person who could fill the position of Judge without being a prosecutor. Mr. Justice Bevan occupies the position of a Supreme Court Judge, and also undertakes the duties of Crown Prosecutor. This position has been forced upon him by reason of the fact that he is the legal adviser ‘ to the Administrator. It is almost unique to see a Judge taking upon himself the duties of Crown Prosecutor. The cases which come before him are necessarily pre-judged. In Darwin, it is thought that what would best suit the requirements of the Territory from a judicial stand-point would be the appointment of extra justices, and of a person who could fill the office of a Judge, and ako discharge the duties of a magistrate. I recognise that there is already in Port Darwin a magistrate in the person of Mr. Playford,’ who is a very fair-minded official. But it is felt that one Judge could adequately fill the two positions. The idea of a Judge and a separate magistrate who would also be the registrar, is not acceptable to the residents of Darwin, who believe that it would not be in the best interests of that place. I understand that the Government did advertise a position of magistrateregistrar, for which they offered a salary of £550 a year. The people of Darwin think that if such a man were appointed, he would merely be the Judge’s factotum - that he would not dare to take up a position in opposition to the Administrator, otherwise the place would be made too hot for him. Hitherto, the practice in the Territory has not been to dismiss a man directly for taking no a position in opposition to the ruling authority, but to make the place too warm for him. It is believed that if a Judge-magistrate were appointed, he would not Irc overworked. Probably he would not be required to work more than two or three hours a. day. Provision could then be made for appeals to the High Court. Under existing circumstances, the appeals at present frequently come before the Judge himself; They are, therefore, appeals from the Judge to the Judge. There was one incident following, on the demonstration against the late Administrator of the Territory, which gave me an idea that there- is something, lacking in the- procedure- which is followed there. Owing to that demonstration, prosecutions were launched against Mr. Nelson, secretary of the Australian Workers Union, and Mr. Bald-, ing,, a member of the Reform Committee. I was in the Court-house when the cases were tried. The information was laid under the1 Federal Crimes Act. The complaint was one of interference with Nicholas Waters, the inspector of police at Darwin, in the execution of his duty. Mr. Waters is well known and greatly respected. . Of course, the real plaintiff was the Administrator. The interference with Inspector Waters consisted of two or three of the demonstrators, getting round him, and’, out . of consideration for his age, leading- liim out of the crowd and advising him to go home. The defendant counsel,. Mr. Mallam, raisedhe point that it was not a Federal Act under which the inspector of police was working, seeing that he- was appointed, under the- old Police Act of South. Australia. Consequently, while the Commonwealth Acceptance Act extended all the laws which operated in South Australia to the Northern Territory, it did not make them Commonwealth Acts. He contended, therefore, that the prosecution could- not take place under the Federal Crimes Act. The magistrate upheld the appeal’, and’ quashed the conviction. Subsequently complaints were made against the two men concerned, and they were fined. An appeal was then made to a Court presided over by Mr: Justice Herbert, who was travelling from Papua at the time. He upheld that. appeal, and showed that, there was no foundation- for the complaints which had been made- against these two men. There must be 6ome clash,, therefore,, between the Commonwealth law and the law which is operating in the Territory. Presumably the second complaint was made under the. South. Australian Police Act of 1869. I Have been asked to. ascertain by questions or otherwise where some of the Commonwealth. Acts come, in-
– When we took over the Territory, surely we took- over- all the existing laws affecting the Territory.
– A magistrate ruled that they were not Federal laws-.
– We- took over the South Australian laws- until we altered them.
-There are- territorial as- well as State laws opera-ting in the Northern Territory, but they are not Federal laws-. I. wish now to direct the attention- of Senator Thomas to a little matter connected with Mr. Justice Bev.au, who was appointed, to his present position under an ordinance- dated 20th May, 1911. That Ordinance is signed by Lord Dudley, as> Governor-General, and countersigned by ex-Senator Findley ; but E presume that. Senator. Thomas- was at that time administering the’ affairs of the Northern. Territory. I. express- the opinion in the presence of the honorable senator that if he had raked. Australia carefully he could, not have secured two men more, unsuitable for the positions to which.he appointed them,, or more ill-adapted, to the performance of the duties they were asked to carry out, than Dr. Gilruth and Mr. Justice Bevan.
– What was the matter with Mr. Justice Bevan ?
-He acted wholly in. the interests of the Administration, seconding the efforts of Dr. Gilruth, who, in my opinion, was working- in the interests of Vestey Brothers and against the interests of the Northern Territory. .
– Mr. Justice Sevan was there only to administer the’ law.
– I am not going over my contentions again merely to satisfy Senator Bakhap ; but it is my firm conviction that Dr. Gilruth was working against the* development of the Northern Territory and the best interests of the Territory and of Australia, and only in the interests of Vestey Brothers.
– And the honorable senator, believes tliat Mr. Justice Bevani was doing the same- thing ?
SenatorFERRICKS.- I believe that he backed every action taken by Dr. Gilruth.
– That is altogether, too farf etched.
– The honorable senator should go to the- Northern Territory, and make inquiries.
– I have been to Port. Darwin more than once.
– If the honorable senator mad-e inquiries there into this, matter; he would find that Mr. Justice
Bevan seconded every action taken by Dr. Gilruth in any direction.
– He was there as a Judge - that is all.
– Section 8 of Ordinance No. 9 of 1911, under which Mr. Justice Bevan was appointed, provides that -
The Judge of the Northern. Territory shall be appointed by the Governor-General by commission, and shall hold office for a period of five years or such longer period as is specified in his commission, unless sooner removed by the Governor-General on the ground of misbehaviour or incapacity.
He was first appointed for five years, and I should like to know what occult influence he used to induce Senator Thomas, when Minister for Home and Territories, to vary his appointment for five years, . and make it an appointment for life. I blame in this matter, not only Senator Thomas, but the Labour Government of which he was a member at that time.
– Does the honorable senator not see that an appointment for life made Mr. Justice Bevan quite independent of the Administrator?
– I do not think that it did.
– He was absolutely independent of the Administrator by the terms of his appointment.
– He was not absolutely independent of the Administrator when Dr. Gilruth sent a boat to bring away the product of Mr. Justice Bevan ‘s Daly River copper mine, whilst the produce of the Daly River settler’s was left on the bank of the river to be washed away by floods.
– Perhaps the ap’pointment for five years refers to the Administrator.
– No ; it refers to the original appointment of the Judge of the Northern Territory provided for by Ordinance No. 9 of 1911, to establish a Supreme Court for the Northern Territory of Australia. I have quoted section 8 of that Ordinance, and the honorable senator, as Minister at the time, varied that appointment by the issue of Ordinance No. 4 of 1912, which was published in the Commonwealth Gazette of the 9th March of that year. The section which I have quoted from Ordinance No. C was, in the later Ordinance, amended to read as follows: -
The Judge of the Northern Territory shall be appointed by the Governor-General by com mission, and shall hold office during good behaviour until he attains the age provided by law for the retirement of officers in the Public Service of the Northern Territory, unless he is sooner removed from office by the GovernorGeneral on the ground of misbehaviour or incapacity.
I complain of the action of the Minister for Home and Territories, and the Government of that day, in making Mr. Justice Bevan’s appointment a life appointment, instead of allowing it to remain an appointment for five years only. That variation has resulted in harm.
– I understand that he was appointed first of all for five years, and later for life.
– Yes. He was first of all appointed for five years, and, by Ordinance No. 4 of 1912, a year after his first appointment, he was appointed for life.
– Does the honorable senator know of any other Australian Judges who have been appointed for five years only? They are all appointed for life.
– No ; the Judge of the Arbitration Court in Queensland was appointed for seven years.
– He is the exception. The Justices of the High Court and of the Supreme Courts of the States are appointed for life.
– When Senator Thomas was Minister for Home and Territories, in 1911, Mr. Justice Bevan was appointed Judge of the Northern Territory for five years, and next year he was appointed for life under a new Ordinance.
– The honorable senator complains that Mr. Justice Bevan was influenced by, or was hanging on to, the Administrator. Can he suggest anything better than a life appointment to make him independent of anybody?
– It has not had that effect, and that is the worst of it, because he is now harder to remove. I do not know what the Government propose to do with Mr. Justice Bevan, but he should be taken away from the Northern Territory.
– Whether he be appointed for one year or for life makes no difference to the honorable senator, because he objects to the man.
– Yes ; on his behaviour in the Northern Territory, as reported to me. The fact that he has been appointed for life renders his removal more difficult; and, in my view, the- Government of the day were wrong in appointing him for life.
– The honorable senator would say that they were equally wrong in appointing him for five years.
– I suppose that he would not have given vent to his inclinations as he has since done if his appointment had been only for five years. It is common knowledge in the Northern Territory that he was interested in the Daly River copper mine, and that a boat required by the settlers of the Daly River to remove their produce was sent thei-e to bring ores from the copper . mine to Darwin. Every one was aware of that; and the wharf labourers at Port Darwin left the copper ore lying for two months on the wharf at Port Darwin. They took a hand in the matter because they knew of the injury that had been done to the Daly River settlers, whose maize and pigs were left to be washed down the river into the bay by flood. They knew that Mr. Justice Bevan was in a hurry to get his copper to market, and they decided that he would not get it there for another two or three months, anyhow ; and he did not. There- must be something in the matter when the whole of the people of Port Darwin were talking of these things, and if Senator Bakhap did not hear of them when he was up there, he must have chosen very exclusive society.
– I did not go as far as the Daly River.
– Nor did I.
– Are there any settlers on the Daly River now?
– I did not go there.
– How many settlers are there now?
-I am strongly of opinion that Dr. Gilruth would like to get the land on the Daly River for Vestey Brothers for pig-raising.
– I get very satisfactory information about the Northern Territory through Chinese settlers there.
– The late Administrator was desirous that the Daly River country should get into the hands of Vestey Brothers, as I have little doubt it will before long.
– I am assured that the chief difficulty in the Northern Territory is that they have a six months’ drought every year. Let the honorable senator put that in. his pipe and smoke it. There are too many white ants up there, too.
– I . am not going to be one to throw mud at the Northern’ Territory.
– The honorable senator should know that Port Darwin is about as poor a place as there is on the earth, from the stand-point of, agricultural or pastoral resources, though inland the Territory may be good enough.
– I did not say anything of the pastoral or agricultural resources of Port Darwin. I am speaking of the official corruption that has gone on there, and which, I fear, will continue to go on there.
Sitting suspended from 6.30 to 8 p.m.
– I have been complaining of the administration of Mr. Justice Bevan in the Northern Territory, which was conducive to much of the discontent prevailing, which acted as a coping-stone to the dissatisfaction caused by Dr. Gilruth’s misrule. On one occasion a defending counsel, Mr. Mallam, was so fully convinced that there was something wrong with the jury empanelled that he took the unusual oourse of challenging the whole array. It appeared that when he applied to the sheriff to be shown the jury list he found that it had been compiled from a list revised by the stipendiary magistrate and two justices two years before, and not from the jury list for Supreme Court cases, as required by the Ordinance of 1912. The sheriff admitted that he had compiled the list’ from the 1916 list by direction of the Judge - and it is well known that the positions of subordinates in every capacity depended upon those in authority. It was afterwards said that the list was compiled from the Supreme. Court list, but it was challenged on the grounds that it had not been impartially and indifferently prepared as required by the South Australian Jury Act of 1862. The Judge therefore was compelled to appoint two of the jurymen as triers, and after they had stated to them the true position, and counsel’s addresses had been delivered, at “was found that the Ordinance and the Jury Act required that the list should be compiled as nearly aspossible in numerical sequence. I shall give a few of the numbers to show that the jurymen were not selected in numerical sequence, and that the authorities jumped from one number to another to obtain what was, in their opinion, a favorable jury. The numbers selected were- 191, 15, 205, 94, 56, 332, 277, 311, 111, 281, 160, 144, 85, 162, 120, 352, &c. That is sufficient to show that there was something radically wrong in the preparation of the list. The two triers appointed by the Judge found that the list had not been impartially and indifferently compiled, and it was successfully challenged, which, I understand, is a rare occurrence. On that occasion it was left to the defending counsel, who describes himself as a -way -back practitioner, to expose what was undoubtedly an evil in the carrying out of justice, and eventually a new jury was empanelled. It was the same counsel who, despite contrary expressions of opinion from the AttorneyGeneral’s Department, the Crown Law Offices in Melbourne, and the Administrator’s legal adviser., who is the Judge himself, was successful in upsetting the appeal, which resulted in a dismissal of the action against two prominent menbecause ofa protest against the administration of Dr. Gilruth.Dr. Gilruth has retired from the position of Administrator of the NorthernTerritory, and I sincerely trust he will retire or be retired from any ‘Commonwealth . Government position he may hold. If he wishes to work in the interests of the Meat Trust, let ten do so straight out, and . not as an officer of the Commonwealth Government.
– -Is he not to be appointed to a mew position in the near future ?
SenatorFERRICKS.- I have heard it stated that he is to be a Director of ‘the Institute of Science and Industry, but that has been denied in “another place. In the interests of “the Commonwealth, and considering what has occurred during his period of administration of “the . Northern Territory,he should -not be appointed to any Government position. During his term o’f office in the Territory he had a splendid opportunity df proving Ms worth, but his administration was wholly detrimental to the development of that part of Australia. In . connexion with Dr. Gilruth’s administration, and the action of Mr. Justice Bevan, I am entitled to ask what is the position of the permanent Secretary, who must -have acquiesced in the Administrator’s decision? It appears that Mr. Atlee Hunt has been favorably inclined towards several recommendations sent from the Northern Territory, irrespective of representations made in opposition. Perhaps he did not know what was going on, “but if he did, he should ndt be allowed to retain his present position any longer.. I trust the Government will review his attitude in connexion with the Northern Territory during the past four or five years. Mr. Atlee Hunt has now been -appointed a member of the Commission to report on the Pacific Islands. All these evils in the Northern Territory have brought about a desire on the part of the people for some voice in the management of their own affaire. We hoped that when’the latest Ordinance was framed some measure of self-government, “in the form of an Advisory ‘Council, would have been given them. -Instead of that, we all know what the Ordinance amounts to. We pointed out “that- discontent would follow, and, according, . to the Areports of meetings held at Port Darwin, since the Government have come to a decision in this matter, dissatisfaction still exists. It is not for me ‘to aay whether those protesting against taxation without representation are right or wrong, but I know what my “attitude would be if I were a resident in the Territory. Considering that these people have no representation in -this Parliament, it cannot be said that they have not a real grievance, especially when we remember that, under the old conditions, they were entitled to two members in the South Australian House of Assembly, and also had a voice in -the election of a member for the “South Australian Legislative Council. The agitation for representation will have to be met by the Government in justice to the Northern Territory, because it has been repeatedly asserted that the development of . that part of Australia, while it lias been under Commonwealth control, has been a failure. It certainly has not been progressive, and if the people were allowed to have one representative in each ‘House of “this Parliament, through whom they could ventilate their grievaaices, it would lead to the removal of many of ‘the difficulties that now exist, andresult in a. greater measure of . content all round.
-More public money has been spent there than, in the whole Commonwealth.
– Quite so; amd while it was under the administration of Dr. Gilrutih, the Government would have continued spending money without any beneficial results, as the late Administrator did not work in the best interests of the development of the Territory. I trust these matters will not be viewed lightly by the Government, because I wish to see that part of Australiasuccessfully developed, as Iam a firm believer in its future. There are manyaspects of the Northern Territory question with which I would like todeal, but I shall refrain from doing so until the Bill is in Committee. Senator Newland will admit that there is sufficient material for a man who possesses the physical ability to speak on this question at great length. I am referring to the matter at this juncture because I consider the questions of the Judiciary and the position of the Judge and the representation of the people in this Parliament as urgent.
I desire to refer to a statement made the othernight by Senator Lynch regardingthe cost of living in Queensland, and the increase in the cost of living which hesaid occurred duringtheperiod when a Labour Government was in power. When I offered Senator Lynch an explanation, he said he had his own explanation, and gave the Senate some constitutional and legal advice. If Senator Lynch’s constitutional and “legal advice is on a par with his aibility to analyze the factsbefore him,I respect- . fully suggest that he should tryhisconstitutional and legaladvice on a dog, whichwould show, if the dog survived, it isnotas badas I supposedit to be.SenatorLynch quoted Knibbs to showthat the weighted average inthecost of living forfive of theprincipaltowns inQueensland had shown an increase from July, 1914, to May or June, 1919, of ‘61 per cent. I am taking the latest Bulletin, up to June, 1919, which shows an increase iu Queensland of 60.6 as against what it was in July, 191.4. In the middle of 1915, the DenhamGovernment was just finishing its term - the Labour Governmentdid mot , come into power until Mayfor June, 19-15 - and I feel sure thatSenator Lynch would not saddle the
LabourGovernment with the responsibility for the increase in the cost of living which occurred before, they came into power. Ifhonorable senators will refer to Knibbs’ Bulletin 76, page . 75, dated June, 1919, they will see that the weighted averages for five of the principal towns inQueensland in July, 1914, was 1,082; and in June, 1915, when- the Labour Government came into power, it had increased to 1,374. The weighted average was based on 1,000. There was an increase of 292 units, equalling . 2.5.1 per cent. The increase in the cost of living from July, 1914, to July, 1915, when the Labour Government came into power, was therefore25.1 per cent.
– Did not the LabourGovernmentcome in ; at the . end of March?
– . Speaking from memory, Ithink it was in May or June, but the last elections were in March, 1918. Although there was an- increase of . 25.1 per cent., I do not think anyone will . say it was within the power . of the Government to straightway make a reduction in the cost of living. As ia matter of fact, they did not tackle the question until August, 1915, when a Price Fixing Commission was appointed .
– -Howcan youexpect cheap living and high wages . at the so me time?
– I am going to show that a genuine effort was made to control the pricesof food. I am not advocating the bedrock purchase of commodities,because I realize that , wi-th improved conditions all round., the people who produce must receive fair prices; but there is no excuse whatever for the extraordinary -increase in the cost of living.
SenatorDe Largie. -you. are fairer than Senator Needham. He wouid take all he could get without giving a decent lfeturn.
– There is no justification whatever for the aeroplane heights which the profiteers have reached in this country. In August, 1915, theQueensland Government appointed a Board presided over by a Commissioner to go into the question of prices, and in Bulletin No. 73, page 68, the weighted average for the ‘five Queensland towns for September was 1,465,as compared with 1,082 in July, 1944,a difference of ‘383 units, equallii-g an increase of 35.2 per cent, as against July, 1914. I would like honorable senators to bear in mind that this general increase of 35 per cent, took place prior to September, when the State Labour Government set out to prevent an undue inflation of prices.
– They had been in power for six months then.
– The honorable senator is wrong.
– No; they came into power . at the end of March. The Denham Government resigned immediately after the election.
– The State Government constituted their Board in August, 1915. I am justified, in an impartial review of the situation, ‘to take cognisance of that fact. If Senator Crawford maintains that they delayed starting operations, that is another question. If we examine Knibbs on page 75, we will find that for June, 1915, the weighted average was 1,374; by June, 1916, it had increased to 1,422 ; by May, 1917, it had decreased to 1,394; and June, 1917, it had increased to 1*399. We may fairly assume that the increase from June, 1915, to June, 1916, was infinitesimal over that period. The decrease to 1,394 was also very slight, and there was a further increase to 1,399. Here is the point I am driving at.
– Hear, hear !
– Senator Lynch stated the other night that there was nothing to prevent the State Government going on with their price-fixing operations even after the Commonwealth Government had taken over this function.
– You do not deny that the rate of increase in the cost of living has been higher in Queensland than in all the other States?
– I have shown that 25 per cent, of that increase occurred before the Labour Government came into power, and that 35 per cent, had been reported before they started their price- fixing operations.
– But they could have reduced the prices if they were improperly high.
– The honorable senator will admit that there was a decrease. I feel sure that if he examines my statement in Hansard, he will be able to see the point I am endeavouring to raake.
– But there was a reason for the reduction; there was a surplus of food which could not be got rid of at the time.
- Senator Reid now mentions another reason for the reduction.
– That was the main reason.
– The fact remains that a decrease in the cost of living came about when the Government started price-fixing. Coming back to Senator Lynch’s opinion, that there was nothing ta prevent the State Government going on with price-fixing, notwithstanding that the Commonwealth Government had taken over this business, I point out that even if it were possible, which I deny, Senator Lynch or any other honorable senator will not say, surely, that there is not sufficient duplication of official work in Australia. We have duplication in land and income tax collections, a duplication in our electoral systems, and, on top of this. Senator Lynch now advocates the duplication of price-fixing.
– What is the condition of the labour market in Queensland at the present time ?
– If the honorable senator asks me that, question at some other time I shall, perhaps, be able to answer him.
– Is it not the honorable senator’s contention that if prices in Queensland come down it is because of the beneficial action of the State Government; but if they rise, it is somebody else’s fault?
– I shall prove that up to the hilt, if the Minister will have a little patience. I want first to deal with Senator Lynch’s contention. I deny that the State Government had power to continue price-fixing after the intervention of the Federal Government on 20th July, 1916.
– What is your authority?
– My authority is Statutory Rules No. 155 of 1916, regulation 17, which says: -
All orders, awards, determinations, and notifications made under any State Act which have the effect of fixing the maximum prices which may be charged for any goods, and which are in force at the date of the making of these regulations shall, so far as they are not inconsistent with any prices fixed by or. under these, regulations….. continue in force in the areas to which they respectively apply as if they were orders made under these regulations.
Senator Lynch. Hear, hear !
- Senator Lynch says “ Hear, hear,” and still declares that the State Government had power to fix prices.
– Absolutely, when the maximum was not greater than the prices fixed by the Federal Government.
– The honorable senator knows that where there is a conflict between State and Federal laws the Federal law takes precedence, and regulations made under the War Precautions Act had all the effect of the law.
– We took over all those regulations and included them in our Act.
– Yes, and Senator Lynch’s contention was that the State Government could continue operating their price-fixing scheme.
– So long as they did not fix the maximum prices higher than those agreed upon by the Federal authorities.
– But I am pointing out that if the prices are in conflict, the Federal law prevails, so what would be the use of the State Government continuing the scheme?
– That is your interpretation.
– I am giving honorable senators the regulations under the War Precautions Act. That regulation is still in force, because it is embodied in the Commercial Activities Bill, passed by the Senate a week or two ago, and the regulation, as I have already pointed out, takes all power of price-fixing out of the hands of the State Government.
– Did not the Commonwealth take over the State Commissioner also?
– That is so, but he did not stay with the Federal Government for long. He resigned1, so he told me, because he thought there was not much doing.
– He told me that he had the same complaint to make before then/ He said he did not-know what to do with himself.
– He did not resign while the State Government were operating the scheme.
– The reason he gave for his resignation was that he was going into the Upper House. I may add that I never amended any recommendation he made.
– The point I wish to make is that from June, 1916, when operations were under the Commonwealth Government, known as the Nationalist Labour Government, beneficial results were continued, but after the 1917 election, prices were allowed to rise. I invite honorable senators to examine Knibbs’ figures. If they do so they will note an undue inflation of - prices after the 1917 election; the reason, in my opinion,. being that the Government then came under the influence of the people who were affected by the price-fixing scheme. For June, 1917, the weighted average for the five Queensland towns was 1,399; in May, 1918, it jumped up to 1,496, representing nearly 100 units during a period when there was practically no restriction on the upward tendency of prices.
– There has been a greater increase in the price of fish than in anything else, and the State Government have an absolute monopoly of the fish industry.
– It is fair to take the weighted average as given by Knibbs. Surely no one will cavil at that ? If honorable ‘senators want individual items, let them provide them.
– But why should the weighted average be higher in Queensland than in any of the other States?-
– The Labour Government fixed prices for three quarters, and the National Government continued the policy for another three or four quarters. During that period there was no increase in the cost of living. On the contrary, there was an actual decrease - a negligible amount, it was true, of just on 2 per cent.
– That is not worth mentioning.
– But it is better than the increase of 100 units which took place after the 1917 election.
– But the general conditions then were altogether different.
– The weighted average jumped from 1,399 in June, 1917,. to 1,738 in June,. 1919.. Er.om. the period when the Nationalist: Labour Government - I use that phrase merely for the sake of this argument - joined, in coalition with the Liberals;, and when- the liberals were- iu the majority both among the members and within the Ministry; therewas an increase in the cost of living in Queensland amounting to- 24.2 per cent. In June; 1917, the weighted average was l,399. That was when the Hughes Government appeared as a nonentity. From June, . 1917; to June, 1919; the weighted average rose to 1,738 - a difference of 339 units, or 24.2 per cent. There was an increase of 35.2- per cent., for which the Liberal Government in Queensland’ must take the responsibility, and an increase of 24.2 per centi,. for which honorable senators on. the other side must take their proportion of the lilame.. That makes a total of 59.4 per cent, increase -whioh occurred when the Queensland Labour Government was not? in a- position to operate- under its pricefixing regulations. From the last quarter, in 1915,. to the second quarter,, in. 1917, there has been an appreciable reduction in regard to every line presented in Knibbs. The Bulletin states, under the- heading” of “ Retail prices, house rent, and purchasing power of money,” that the amount necessary to purchase a pound’s worth of goods in Brisbane during the fourth quarter of 1915 was 25s.1d. In the first quarter of 1916 it was 25s. 2d. - an increase of Id. In the second quarter of 1916 there was a decrease to 24s. Id. In. the third quarter of . 191.6 the decreased figure was. 22s. ll’d., and’ in the fourth quarter 22s. l0d. During the first quarter of 1917 the purchasing amount was 22s. ll’d.; and fox the second’ quarter of 1917 - this was . after the Federal elections - the figure was 23s. 3d. Thereafter it rose to 23s. 9d., and to 24s. 6d. - that is, when the lid was taken off; and to 25s. Id., 26s., and 27s.11d., and 2Ss.1d for the seGond quarter of 1919. .
– These variations take place in. any year.
– It is a remarkable coincidence that this station-any positionwithregard to prices in Queensland should have been during the three quarters when the State Government was operating, and during the three; quarters! when the HughesGovernment ; was in power:The cost of living is a- burnding question throughout Australia to-day. I invite any honorable senator- to challenge: my- statement, that,. during- the period of the control of prices in Queensland by the- State- Government, there was, if- not an- actual decrease, at any rate, a stationaa-y standard maintained. That state- of aiffairs. remained until, the 1917 elections, when the Liberals: were returned with untrammelled powers. The figures have risen 24.2 percent. since 1917, and they rose 35.2 per cent., before? the State Government appointed their Pricefixing. Board.
It has been said in the press, and in Parliament, that the- Government have no- power to deal with profiteers. It has been announced that the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) is thinking of appealing to the country to- secure- an alteration of the Constitution so that the Government may have power to regulate the cost of living. Wlhat restriction has there been upon the Federal Government with respect to its operations during the currency of the War Precautions’ Act and its regulations? Was any more power required than that provided under that Act?’ Surely not’! The Federal Government possessed unlimited authority, and’ has- held that unrestricted power during the past two1 years.
– Why is it that the cost of living is higher in Queensland to-day than in any of the other States?
– I am dealing with the increase in- the cost of living’ in Queensland.
– Order! The honor able senator’s time has expired.
Extension of time granted, on motion by, Senator O’Keefe.
– When the Senate, passed the Commercial Activities Bill, ‘a week or two ago we ratified the War Precautious Regulations for the fixing of prices.
– In relation to. certain; items only.
– The Gtovemvment claimed that it had the power to fix prices for certain items only. I hold, however, that if there was power to fix prices in regard to certain lines, there was equal power to do the samein every respect. The constitution’s authoritywas there all the time, and theGovernment need havehad no doubt about its powersto tackleany other subjects beside those specifically mentioned. The Government possessed the power during thepast two yearsto deal effectively and comprehensively with the cost of ‘living, and I saythat the Government has that power stall, seeing that the price-fixing regulations nave been continued under the Commercial Activities Bill. It is idle, therefore, for Mr. Hughes or any one else to say that it is necessaryto obtain permission to amendthe Constitution.
When I was speaking some days ago with regard to the regulation of cane prices in Queensland, Senator Crawford interjected that the suppliers of cane to the Colonial Sugar Refining Company’s mills , had rooted themselves outside of the scope of operationsof the Cane Prices Regulation Board. . That is to say, . the suppliers . did not , desire the awards of the Board to have effect in their localities. I have sincelearnedthat thesuppliers of cane to theHomebush Mill - a Colonial Sugar Refining ‘Company’s mill in the Mackay District - -were virtually in open revolt against signing an agreementwhich hadbeen placed before themby the ColonialSugar RefillingCompany. That agreement, which they had to sign - and Iuse that phrase advisedly - is as follows. 1 am about to quote froma copy of a similar agreement addressed to Mr. C.E.Forster, of Sydney, which readsas follows : -
I, the undersigned, hereby offeryouthe whole ofmy1918 crop ofsugarcane growing onany , part of my land assigned to the Goondi Mill underthe regulation of Sugar Cane Prices Act of 1915, on the terms and conditions set out hereunder.
The terms and conditions of the sale of the sugar cane are then given. Here is a very significant paragraph in the agreement - lf so desired, youwill make . me the customary . advances on my . cane crop, to ‘be secured by a crop lien in the usual manner; also additional advances for the purposeof effecting repairs to buildings damaged by the cyclone if approved by the manager atGoondi Mill, such additional advances to be also secured by a lien over the 1918 crops and . repayment therefrom, unless the time of repayment be- extended by you to . cover the crops of 1919.
You ‘willhold indemnified against any legal proceedings that may arise out ; ofthe regulation of Sugar Cane Prices Acts of 1915 and 1917 in connexion with the sale . to you of my crop. If you agree ‘to the . above terms, kindly signify your acceptance thereof to Messrs. Howe andMcGowan, ofInnisfail, whom . I have appointed my agents . in the matter, not later than 30th April, 1918.
That is. a formalagreement, a typewritten . copy of which was handedto (every supplier to the Colonial Sugar Refining Company’smillsby acane inspectoror other inspector early in the year, and -the purport of which was that he would undertake not to sellhiscaneto the Colonial Sugar Company’s mills-thus, possibly, beingbroughtwithin the scope of the awardsof theCane Prices Boards, but that . he (would sell to Mr. Forster. That gentleman is an (attorney. He ‘does snot buy cane for the purpose of (crushing it. The sole interest of . Mr. Forster inthis businessis that the . shall act as . a dummy between the suppliers to the Colonial SugarRefining Company’s mills . and those ‘mills. Any person who refused to sign that agreement would findhimself in the position of being turned down by the company when he desired to give a lien, over hiscrop. You will know, Mr. President,that whenever the necessityhas arisen for . a cane supplier to obtain a lien bythe help of which to tide him over a; difficult period, it hasbeen thepracticeof the mill to advancehim money,which sumwould be recouped by the grower upon the sale of his next crop.. The Colonial Sugar Refining Company, however, threatened that iftheSuppliers, failed to sign the agreement to sell their . cane to Mr. Forster in Sydney., (the companywould not . accept . any lien. The Mackay District growers were so incensed by that threat that a deputation travelled to Brisbane and asked the Government that, if theColonial Sugar Refining Company insisted upon carrying it out–
SenatorCrawford. - -The deputation representedavery small section of those growers.
– The honorable senator may have “his “views. Nevertheless, the threat of the company was that if the-suppliers to theHomebush and other mills refused to signthe agreement, the mills would not start crushing, and thus the crops ‘would be lost. Thedeputation askedthatinthe event of the company putting its threat into effect, the Government should acquire that mill and work it on behalf of the growers. And the Government agreed to do so.
– No; the reply of the Government was the very opposite.
– Senator Crawford is welcome to his own view; hut I say the Government did agree. The fact remained that at this stage the density in the cane was at its height, and the growers found themselves in such a tight position that it was imperative to get their crop off. They signed the agreement, therefore, as an outcome of what amounted to absolute coercion.
– That deputation represented fourteen out of 112 growers.
– The honorable senator is at liberty to place his own construction upon the. situation.
– I was in Mackay quite recently, and made full inquiry into the whole subject.
– The honorable senator says the suppliers did not want to be placed under the Cane Price Board’s awards.
– I did not say that. I said that a deputation of growers to each of the six mills came to Melbourne, aud asked the Prime Minister to give them the protection afforded under the agreement made with the Queensland State Government last year.
– Mr. Knox openly stated, before the Sugar Commission, in Sydney, that he disapproved strongly of the sugar legislation of the Queensland Government, and that he would evade the effect of that legislation by employing an agent to buy cane for his mills.
– I do not indorse all that Mr. Knox said.
- Mr. Knox is putting himself in conflict with the sovereign rights df a State. Surely the Senate will not stand for that sort of thing. Surely it will not permit the representative of a monopoly ‘ to defy a sovereign State by saying to it, ‘ ‘ You- shall not pass such legislation, otherwise we will evade it.” Only the other evening Senator Crawford stated that the refiners were not catered for in the operations of the Australian Sugar Producers Association. I do not think that he ex pected me to believe that. I say that the interests of the refiners are most jealously guarded by that association. It is well known that the funds for its maintenance come largely from the Colonial Sugar Refining. Company.
– That statement is absolutely untrue.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Shannon). - Order!’ The honorable senator must withdraw that statement.
– In deference to you, sir-
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - The honorable senator must unreservedly withdraw it. _ He must not debate the matter. ‘
– I withdraw it unreservedly, but the statement made by Senator Ferricks in regard to the relations which exist between the Colonial Sugar Refining Company and the Australian Sugar Producers Association is absolutely contrary to fact.
– I rise to a point of order. Seeing that Senator Crawford has been obliged to withdraw his statement, which arose out of a remark by Senator Ferricks to which he took exception, is it not only fair that Senator Ferricks should be asked to withdraw ?
– Senator Ferricks has charged -rae with making an untrue statement in regard to the relations between the Colonial Sugar Refining Company and. the Australian Sugar Producers Association, of which I have been, president for ten years. My statement was that the refiners were not catered for by the Australian Sugar Producers Association.
– And I say that the interests of the refiners are most jealously guarded by that association. Not long ago Mr. Pritchard went to London to attend a conference there.- Quite recently - about 3rd May last - the Louisiana Planter, upon page 51, contained an advertisement of the Australian Sugar Producers Association, and, further, the Australian Sugar Journal says that the refiners, owners, and growers are catered for.
– The Sugar Journal caters for them, inasmuch as it supplies information of interest to all of them.
– I have read that the cost of cane was ruled out of order at a meeting of the Australian Sugar Producers Association.
– The honorable senator’s information is absolutely incorrect.
– My authority is Mr. Cattermull.
– He has never attended a meeting of the association.
– I am informed that he has.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT.- Order ! Senator Crawford will have an opportunity of correcting any statement by Senator Ferricks to which he takes exception.
– The operation of the Cane Prices Regulation Act in Queensland has proved so beneficial that all the suppliers to other mills have been allowed to take advantage of it, but the suppliers to the Colonial Sugar Refining Company have not. That company has gone to the extreme length of engaging an agent in Sydney to purchase cane for them-
– Perhaps they get better conditions by doing that.
SenatorFERRICKS.- No. If . the growers were satisfied, there would be no need for Mr. Knox to evade the State legislation on the subject. By’ a subterfuge he seeks to obtain for the Colonial Sugar Refining Company that position of dominance which Queensland legislation has. denied it.
– How was it that the sugar-growers unanimously passed a resolution that they would hand over the industry to the Commonwealth. Government?
– The Australian Sugar Producers Association, not the sugar-growers. Because they recognised that they would get better terms out of this Government than out of the Queensland Government - because they knew that the Commonwealth Government would prove a pliant instrument in their hands. Only a few years ago the same people were howling for the sugar industry to be taken out of the hands of the Commonwealth Government and put into the hands of the State Government.
– When there was a Labour Government in office in the Commonwealth, the very same interests were demanding that the sugar industry should be. taken out of the hands of the
Commonwealth, and placed under the control of the Queensland Parliament. Now that a Labour Government is in office in Queensland, these people wish the industry to be again placed under Commonwealth control. If a Labour Government should again come into power in the Commonwealth, with a Liberal Government in Queensland, will they desire once more to transfer the industry to the State ?
– The honorable senator must remember the agitation which took place for . the transfer of the industry.
– For the abolition of the excise and bounty.
– Personally, I was. opposed to that transfer. I advised the people that it was better to leave the industry in the hands of the Commonwealth. I’ thought it was in the best interests of the industry’ itself that this Parliament should have complete control over it, seeing that it possesses control of the Tariff. The growers of Queensland, however, “ egged “ on by the millers and refiners, made a mistake. The United Cane Growers Association has done more for the growers of cane in Queensland than the Australian Sugar Producers Association ha’s done during the whole period of its existence. When Senator Crawford makes statements - and he speaks semi-officially for the Colonial Sugar Refining Company-
– I say that that assertion is absolutely untrue.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - The honorable senator must withdraw that remark.
– Tell him that it is a damned lie !
– I do not know the remark to which you, sir, refer, but I will withdraw it. At the same timeI ask you to request Senator Ferricks to withdraw his statement that I act as an agent for the Colonial Sugar Refining Company.
– I did not say that the honorable senator was an agent for the Colonial Sugar Refining Company I said that I was entitled to view his re marks as semi-official.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT . - The honorable senator for Queensland, who said that Senator Ferricks’ statement was an absolute lie, must withdraw his. remark.
-I do not know whether you, sir, are referring to me, but I did not say that Senator Ferricks’ statement, was an absolutelie. I said to Senator Crawford, “ Tell him he is a liar;”
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT.- Such remarks are quite unparliamentary.
– Under an agreement entered into between the Commonwealth and the Colonial Sugar Refining Company, certain restrictions have been imposed on the sugar industry in Queensland. In any future agreements of the kind, I trust that the State Government will ‘be able to continue its policy, which has proved so beneficial to the canegrowers of Queensland.
.. - I avail myself of this opportunity, which is the first thathas recently presented itself, , to say something concerning the strange delusion underwhich many people in. Australia are labouring,, in common with many others throughout the world. This delusion,, in all probability, will pass away like other delusions which have obsessed the minds of humanity in times past. But I am apprehensive that a too great and close, consideration of it may perhaps result, in very serious danger and! damage to the Constitution of the Commonwealth. Consequently, I am constrained to say something at this, stage aboutthetremendous outcry which has been, raised in respect of the prices of commodities- -an outcry against that which is coveed by theeneral, term “ profiteering.” It. is quite manifest that the mind’s of most ofthepeoples of the world are considerably disturbed by it. That is not to be wondered at, in view of our experiences during, the past four or five years. But it is essential that public representatives should keep their heads cool, and that they should notbe led away by any clamour, even though it may emanate from the mouths of the majority ofthose whom we represent; I will give an, illustration ofwhat I mean. In Victoria,, atthe present: time, a. Commission is inquiring into the question of alleged profiteering, and has been inatriueted toreport upon the high prices of commodities. In: the course of its rapes tjgations, an unfortunately successful - I use those words designedly - -boot manufacturer was brought before it. TheCommission learned . from him- that, twenty-eight years ago, he had started operations with a capital of £15, and that, as the result of all those years of business work, he had got together plant and property worth about £40,000. The prominence that was given to this man’s experience was not of a laudatory kind. He was not held up to the gaze of the people as an example of successful business enterprise, as a man deserving of credit for having surmounted difficulties by the dozen, such as must have presented themselves to him in the course of his career, but he was used’ to point a moral and adorn a tale in connexion with the popular cry against profiteering. It was not shown by close analysis that thisman had only made a little over £1,000 a. year in twenty-eight years, that he had re-invested a lot of his profits in . plant, and that probably during the course of the twenty-eight years he was deserving of more credit than the man who makes two blades of grass grow where only onegrew before, because he must, undoubtedly, have given employment to dozens and dozens ofmen during the quarter of a century in which he hadbeen in business. How much money had that man disbursed in wages during that time? How many men, who had started in business with capital representing thousandsof pounds had; gone into economic: obscurity during the same period ? Instead, ofthepeopleofAustralia being asked to; look upon this man’s success as something to ‘be emulated, and upon his efforts as something worthy of credit, and. indicating the possession, of qualities which! have made Australians what they are, they are invited to look upon him as practically an enemy to society. This is the sort of. thing that. I intend steadfastly to, set myself against.
A classical writer has said, “If thewhole world, happens to be a madhousey must I of necessity gibbertoo?” AndI say that if the world happens to be a madhouse in. respect of its distorted view of this economic question, in deference to my common sense, I cannot join in the clamour for originating a movement which mayimperil the Constitution of the Commonwealth by virtue ofwhich this Parliament exists, in. which I am? amoreorless temporary representatives.
– The honorablesenator cannot be here for ever..
– I do not expect to. be. I am well acquainted with the mutation of human affairs. The matter is serious, because a man of undoubted ability, such as our Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), has arrived on the scene, and has indorsed this cry of anti-profiteering. With one breath the; right honorable gentleman tells us that Australia must produce more, and tells us very sensibly that there is a gospel, namely, the gospel of work, which must be put into, practice. It is, presumably, profitable work, for I do not desire to see men put their capital into any enterprise and lose it, and have, eventually, to- seek the shelter1 of. the Bankruptcy Court. I wish to. so that Court empty of suppliants. I should like to see every company- floated in. Australia dividends-paying: I should’ like to Bee dividends . at present only 10 per cent, raisedto 20, 30, and 40 per cent.. I should: have no objection to see companies earning dividends of 10.0 and 200 per cent.
– Even though they should be crushing the- lives out of their employees.
– I do not grant that any successful business, enterprise of. necessity crushes the life out- of anybody, On the contrary, I say that a successful business enterprise is a beneficent institution and a factor in siijxporting life; If. a business enterprise- makes. 40 or 50 percunt., all the better. I would sooner see it making- 400’ or 500 per cent.., as- it would, probably, then be. employing 400 or 5.00 times the number of men- it could employ under less remunerative conditions.
– The honorable- senator should tell that to the miners in Tasmania.
– I. am prepared to tell, the- miners of Tasmania that if- the prices- of tin and lead go- up 60 or 7,0 per cent., it will be of benefit to. them. Let Senator O’Keefe tell the miners- that, they will benefit if the. price of. these metals in the world,’ s market is depressed,, and let him listen to the answer he will’ get from them.
Clearly an attempt is about to be inadei perhaps through, the ordinary, constitutional channels, and’ perhaps by application to. the State. Parliaments^, to amend the Constitution by virtue of which this Parliament continues its operations. There appears to be an. in tention to amend the Constitution, to seek powers to enable the Oommonwealth Parliament comprehensively to dead, with the economic life of the nation, to regulate profits and to limit the profits that shall be made to some supposedly sufficient standard; not to return to shareholders in any unsuccessful enterprise the capital they have- lost, but to take meticulous care that they shall not reap dividends above a certain limited percentage.
I venture to say that the two attempts - the- attempt to obtain increased Australian production and the attempt, at the same time, to secure- an amendment of the Constitution to enable the profits of enterprise to– be limited - are absolutely incompatible. What is the position at the present time of any one connected with the flotation of a company or the attempted establishment of a; successful industrial or mining enterprise? It was published some time ago that the Commonwealth Treasurer did no longer insist upon the apportionment of capital proposed to be embarked in any enterprise, but only reserved to himself the right to say whether the- enterprise should.be started’ or not; that is to say, that when asked his permission to float a company, the Treasurer might give or withhold his consent, but would’ not enter into, any analysis or criticism of.’ the scheme of flotation. Notwithstanding this, I am credibly informed that at, the present time, such criticism and analysis are indulged in. In spite of all the talk of the gospel of work and the need for increasing the production of wealth, talk which I indorse and support, I say that it is absolutelyincompatible with such an objective for the authorities to continue to act as censors in regard to every enterprise projected By industrial speculative or capitalistic people in Australia. If we are -to- increase our production of national wealth, we must at the same time strike off all the fetters which, because of war conditions, we had imposed upon capital, enterprise and initiative, and must do thatt which: it is best, for us; as legislators, to do;, and that is, give the Australian people unchecked- and unblocked channels in which to employ their initiative and in-: dustrial energies.
– The honorable senator would allow a boot manuf acturer to make a profit of 50 per cent, whilst the children of the people cannot wear boots.
– It is nonsense to suggest that because a bootmaker makes a profit of 50 per cent., the children of the people of Australia cannot wear boots. There is no community in the world, so well shod, as is the Australian community. The Prime Minister comes back here, and denounces all profiteering. If there is any attempt to corner commodities such as are essential to the well-being of the people, not for the purpose of utilizing them in industry-
– Would the honorable senator regard land as a commodity ?
– Land is the source of all commodities. If the honorable senator desires an affirmative answer from me, he is welcome to that. I was about to say that in regard to the cornering of commodities, there are certain moral features entering into the matter which require consideration; but to talk of prices being so high in Australia that the Constitution must be amended, to enable the Federal Government to interfere with the whole economic life of the country is a most exaggerated view to take of the subject. Singular to say, at the very moment when the Prime Minister is declaiming against Australian profiteers his good lady, who’ accompanied him to’ the Old World, vouchsafes the opinion, through the evening newspaper of this city, that the Australian community is one of the best and most cheaply dressed communities in the world, and the best fed. If that be so, it is difficult to understand the unsatisfactory condition of things that is said to exist in the Commonwealth.
We cannot have our cake and eat it, and we cannot have a position, in which we deem it essential to incite the initiative and enterprise, of the people to the production of greater wealth, and at the same time set up a censorious condition of things which would limit them to a petty standard of profit.
At the present time, we are told that we have a burden of war debt which exceeds in amount the total of the indemnity paid to -Germany after the disaster to France of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. It is said that Australia’s war debt, after there is subtracted from it the sum that we may possibly obtain from indemnities provided by the enemies over whom we were fortunately so victorious, will exceed the indemnity which France was called upon to pay to Germany. The obligation rests upon us to meet in proper fashion the debts we incurred as a consequence of the war. If we do not pay them, our posterity will certainly have to do so. There can be no doubt that we shall have to pay some of them, because next year the taxgatherer will make us acquainted with the fact that we must commence to pay off a portion of our war indebtedness. If that be so, we must have all our productive energies stimulated to the uttermost. Do honorable senators think that it will be an incitement to- the speculator, capitalist, or industrialist, if we permit the experience of the man who starts in a business with £15, which in twenty-eight’ years presents to us the commercial and economic appearance of a successful enterprise amounting to the accumulation of a’bout £44,000 worth of wealth, to ‘be used as an example of profiteering ? Will that foe an incentive to any man of similar temperament and resolution to go and do likewise? Who will give his life’s work to a’n enterprise which, if successful, will hold him up as an example of profiteering, of commercial piracy, and cause him to be regarded as inimical to the welfare of the nation, and its general economical and industrial life? I say that this attitude on the part of men who ought to be the leaders of opinion in Australia, instead of stimulating production, will check it, and eventually, as has occurred in other countries whose people we have held in derision, will reduce our industrial activities to almost a minimum.
I have no hesitation in declaring that I will not be a party to any attempt to alter the Australian Constitution, which I feel sure will be assumed as justified by statements- based upon the pretext that it is necessary that the Constitution should be amended to enable the Federal Government to interfere with the activities of Australian industrial life. It ds the very thing I am going to try to prevent. I am going to prevent by all possible means any attempt on the part of the Government to interfere in times of peace, as they interfered in times of war, with the commercial activities of the Australian people. Do honorable senators think I am likely to be in favour of prolonging the condi- tions, in times of peace, under which capitalists had to go, cap in hand, to the Treasurer of the Commonwealth, and ask permission to start an enterprise? Is that characteristic of the race? Is it characteristic of the great commercial activities that made our Empire what it is ? Is that characteristic of what has enabled less than 5,000,000 of Australian people to produce millions of’ wealth, which has been the envy of less favoured countries? The proper province of this Parliament, having for its legitimate object the increase of our national wealth, is to throw open the doors, to remove all obstructions, and let Australian’ commercial life flow in full through the unblocked channels of .. our national future. I make this declaration at this early stage, and I care very little whom it offends or pleases. I will not be a party to alter the Federal Constitution in such a way that it will endow the Government with power to interfere with all the activities of Australian commercial life. The Commonwealth Government are not exercising the powers they already posses?. Numerous measures have been introduced in to this Parliament, but what has become of them? Where is the Insurance Act? Where are the laws we were to pass regarding bankruptcy 1 Where is the law in connexion with matrimonial jurisdiction? Out of the thirty odd different powers vested in the Commonwealth, we have not exercised more than half-a-dozen, and yet we are continually -asking the people to .bestow on US, and stretching out our hands for, powers which legitimately -belong to the States, and which, . I hope, will long be vested in them.
– Where is the Navigation Act?
– It is not yet the law of the land, and yet the States are not questioning the -power of the Australian Parliament to pass’ a Navigation Act. The Commonwealth has not yet proclaimed it. We possess powers in many directions which we have not exercised, and yet this Parliament is continually complaining that it has not sufficient powers. I hope that many of the powers now vested in the States will remain under their control. Let us content ourselves with passing legislation we are competent to pass, and concerning which no single State has challenged our authority to handle. Then, and then alone, can we justify our request for additional authority. This is the Parliament of a continent. There is no other such Parliament, and no other Parliament which has such extensive powers vested in it, simply ignores them, and still hankers, through certain indiscreet members of Executives, for more powers that will enable it to interfere all round with industrial and commercial activities. It will not get authority or support from me in regard to such an attempt.
– Come over here.
– I know where you honorable gentlemen are, and I know your policy in regard to Unification. I am not a Unificationist, and my experience in this Parliament has made me less and less enamoured of the ideals of Unification. I am not at all in sympathy with these people who say we have too many Parliaments in Australia, and I am prepared o make a prophecy. There will come a time when there will be more State Parliaments in Australia than at present. Let us consider the United States of America, her population and Parliaments. The United States of America assumed the position of arbitrator in this great world conflict, ‘before it entered the arena with mental reservations and declarations of national power as eventually enabled it to determine the nature of the Peace that was arrived at after the Armistice was signed. The United States of America, with territory equalling about that of our continent, is not considering Unification or centralization. They are adhering to the principles of decentraliza-tion which have .marked the Constitution of their great Republic, and would laugh to scorn any one who suggested such a concentration of powers as is contemplated by some very unwise men who are the legislators of our Australian Commonwealth.
– What is the population of the United States of America?
– One hundred millions. When those States adopted their present Constitution they had 3,500,000, or less than we had when we adopted ours.
No doubt, .the representatives of Queensland and New South Wales consider that the time will come when these unwieldy States should be segmented, and should return members, not from a State asa whole, but from all these segments into which the.largerStates willhavebeen divided. Only the other iday, a gentlemanwent intoa Riverina township and started a movement which, : -I believe, ntaymakesome impression towards crea tingaRiverina State, which would be carved out of the (surplus territory of New South Wales and Victoria, and when the population increases that movement will grow. Why . are the people in. the Northern Territory icrying out for direct representation in this ‘Parliament ? They are not satisfied with the legisla-‘ tion that is passed ‘by this Parliament, which is -so ‘far removed irom fhem, and aTe declining “to pay income tax imposed by thisXegislature, ‘in whidh they have no representation. In spite of this, honorable senators -will foolishly support a movement which has for its object the concentration o’f power which is absolutely unnecessary, and which would be detrimental to the welfare of the Australian people.
-What about King Island?
SenatorBAKHAP.-The -people who iriliabit King Island ‘sometimes regret that -their capital is Hobart. They ‘have a ‘municipal form -of government, but that they ai’e legislatively represented da Hobart, “they consider prejudicial, ‘very f retfu entity to” iiteir interests, because “Hobart is so far away. The genius of the . British ‘people is,as was that of the Greeks, the ‘genius ofself-government. Is there any “member ofthis Parliament who would willingly concede the power to ‘the Imperial Government to legislate in connexion -with our internal and national affairs’?Weknow that, by-virtue o’f . Imperial consideration, we have become an almost independent nation, and have “been given diplomatic status. We are now a practically independent “nation, and our representatives have sat at the Peace Table, and become signatories of the Petrce “Treaty. Will honorable senators say that, because T believe in the Federal Parliiament and the ‘Federal ‘Constitution,. I “am the leas an Australian Nationalist? As an . Australian Nationalist, I am no less a loyal subject of the British Empire-; not only a loya’l Australian, but an . Australian National Imperialist. At the same tonne, I am -goitfg’to . ask the AustimJian rpeople to retain trhose powers of State sett’^overnanent, and to xsmenrber that the building . in which we are now deliberating, and which. cost nearly a million of money to . construct, was -erected by . the Victorian people -.to symbolize their objection to /being governed . from . New South Wales. Why . are we in possession of ‘this building ? It was erected in consequence of the desire for selfgovernment as exhibited by the Victorian people. All swe have to do in Australia is to ‘bend, onr national . energies. to filling our continent with at least 50,000,000 people, because that must be the number of our population before we can be safe. Australia will not.be safe, . and posterity will, not be in a position to -pursue a peacefiil existence, until we have a population o’f ‘50,000;000 souls. To fill Australia with 00,0.00,000 people,” we shall “have to make Australian life profitable, and that can -only be done by stimulating -our -energies, holding out incentives, and by . giving rewards. ‘Rewards . ‘for . what ? For “industrial capability , and . resolution. JRewards for perseverance, . thrift, . and everything in the w.a-y o£ national characteristics that tend to improve our national life ?and wellbeing.
There is one thing I would like to say in ‘regard “to an important matter - I ‘will n ot saya matterof firstrate importance - but tone of great consequence. I . may arouse hostility in the minds of some -honorable senators by what I am going to say,but Iknow they will ‘understand that it is being said ingood faith.Forsometime I . have been interested in seeing that those people ‘who . had -the moral courage” to come to Australia’s assistance in the time of industrial turmoil shall not be relegated to the rubbish heap when. the settlement comes. Honorable senators will understand that, although we may have peace between national belligerents, we . are not likely . to have . a cessation of internal industrial turmoil and strife for . manya decade -to come. Industry throughout the world is in a ferment, and all I cansay : to rthe Australian people in regard to the ecoaiomic question is that they should -be as kindly tempered, towards each other -as possible, and -abide by the decisions of the-tribunals established in their interests. If we are to rhave industrial disputes “that result in the “cessation of ‘work, and a -set attempt to bring about the paralyzing of our national ..activities, honorable senators will see that it willbe impossible to keepthe . wheels ofindustry going. Any individuals who ini . the interests of . the countrywere willing to take the risk of social contumely, of bodily injury of financial and labour ostracism, should be protected, and not relegatedto the national rubbish-heap in any settlement that may bearrived at. In other words, all . thosewho were willing to protect the . freedom of every citizen of . this allegedly ; free Commonwealth to pursue his lawful avocation,must in their turn be protected.Ihopethat in regard to any settlement which has been foreshadowed, ifnotactuallyachieved, due regard will be givenby theGovernment to thoseknown as the loyalist workers who came to therelief ofthenation some twoy ears ago.
– Theywill getthe rewards which theirclassalways gets.
– The interjection aptly illustrates, the mental attitude of some people -towardsthese men. We know that the Arbitration Court recognises organized labour, and that organized labour is necessary if the system of arbitration is towork satisfactorily ; but I am credibly informed that even for two years prior to the maritime disturbance of 1917 it was impossible for any man to secure work on the wharfs unless he was registered in the books of the Waterside Workers Union.
– It was not a maritime dispute in 1917; it was a railway dispute.
– It is true that it w.as a railway dispute, but, unfortunately, it was subsequently espoused by certain people connected withmaritime and waterside work.
– It was a sympathy strike.
– Undoubtedly sympatheticactionwas taken by the waterside workers, and I am credibly informed that this Waterside Workers Unionhad practically closed its books; it was, in effect, asealed association. In the first place a man desiring to work on the water front had to-be a member of that organization before he was invested with citizenship rights by the Arbitration Court, and yet it was -impossible for him to become amember of theunion. In afreecountry like Australia there is a tendency in such a state of affairsto bringabout conditions somethingworse than anarchy.No formoftyranny of which Ihaveread canbe comparableto thatstateofaffairs, whichprescribesthat amanwhoearns his livelihood must ‘becomea member ofa certain corporation, if that corporation.has’the-power torefuse him membership. You might as well banish a manaltogether, if anyorganization is invested with the power to proscribehim.
– It is . the only union in Australia that has any such rules.
SenatorBAKHAP. - Iamgladto know thatmy informant wascorrect in hisreport, . although I regretthat the information itself is, accurate, because it discloses a deplorable stateofaffairs. I adjure theGovernment totreat these loyalists loyally, aaid to reward them royally for their servicestothe community : in agrave industrial crisis.
There is one other matter which I may fittingly refer to before . Iresume my seat.Ihavesaid that thiscountry will not be safe until the inhabitants number at least 50,000,000 people, andI shallgive my reasons for arrivingat that conclusion when I discuss, as I hope to, the motion which wasso ably and lucidly moved ‘by theMinister forRepatriation (Senator Millen)to-day. How are we going to fill this continentof Australia? That isa question which, when divested of any flippancy, is one of the -most important to which aLegislature can address itself. We are 50,000,000 of people, and I repeat we shall not be safe until we number 50,000,000. Some peoplethink that we can get population by an immigration policy. Where are we going to get people . of . the white race who, like ourselves, are 9.7 . per cent, of British extraction.From Great Britain?
– We have notgiven them much encouragement, so far.
– No. I venture to say that we need not expect them from Great Britain, because, in all probability, the Government ofthe Mother Country willrecognise the necessity of keeping her people for the protection of the United Kingdom. May we expect to get themfrom Europe? Although we have succeeded in defeating the great enemy of civilization, the great enemy which had embraced the doctrine of militarism, I venture to say that there is as much bloodshed going on in Europe at the present time as when the belligerents were regularly arrayed against one another, I verily believe more human blood has been shed within the last six months than in the six months that passed before the signing of the armistice.
– In Russia, Rumania, Poland, and the Balkan States. The people of Poland celebrated their new-found nationality by murdering dozens of thousands of Jews. Have not honorable senators read that in one of the great pogroms in the Ukraine, one of the States into which the Russian Empire has beeu divided, no fewer than 150,000 Jews were murdered in a week? Europe, at . the present time, is in a welter of bloodshed, notwithstanding that we are proclaimed to be at peace, and. I am satisfied that we cannot expect to get people from Europe for a long time to come. Moreover, we . do not want to get population from those catlike races which have been indulging in the pastime - for as a pastime they appear to regard it - of murdering other people. We want in Australia people of the same race as ourselves.
The population of the Commonwealth is not increasing as fast as it should. The causes are very deep-seated.They are akin to those which brought about the downfall of Imperial Rome. All the factors which resulted in the depopulation of Italy and Greece, and which sucked the population of rural Italy into the great maelstrom of Rome are present in Australian life to-day. Therefore, it is well for us as senators, who, I think, are almost without exception married men, with fairly large-sized families, to speak from time to time in warning terms to the nation of the danger that confronts it. There is in Australia an unfortunate tendency to limit families, and while some people may hold the opinion that this is too- delicate a sub: ject for legislators to touch upon, I am going to say that infanticide, which we denounce in the people of other races, is practised to an enormous extent by ourselves.
-It is a subject that should be thoroughly thrashed out.
– It is a practice which should not be condoned, whether the operation takes place within three days, three months, or six months after the impregnation of the female. Unfortunately, there is a deterioration in professional morale amongst some of our leading men, a deterioration which enables them to lull their . consciences to sleep and accept rewards for becoming instruments towards preventing the Australian population from increasing to the extent that it should. I do not pose either as a moralist or a puritan. My knowledge is only that of a man of the world, but I deplore what I know to be a fact. I deplore the disregard of the sentiment of maternity and paternity in this community. The people of Australia are not unkindly disposed towards Australians, when born. They are solicitous, in many cases, of their welfare. I believe that the nation at large does as much for the well-being of its children as any other nation.
– Yet the birth-rate in Australia is only half what it was forty years ago.
– There has been, in recent years, a great increase in the desire for luxury. In most cases the woman, when her time of trial comes, now has expended upon her a sum of money much larger than that which was expended- upon our poor mothers when many of us were brought into the world. ‘ A woman having a child now will probably incur an expenditure of £15 or £20, and she need not be the wife of a very wealthy man to incur that expense. All these things are evidences of a desire for luxury, and inevitably they tend towards the limitation of population.
– The high cost of necessaries is also a factor.
– The high cost of the necessaries of life is balanced very largelyby higher wages. Honorable senators know that I am no advocate of low wages. I believe in a workman ‘being given all that an industry can legitimately afford to pay him. Recourse to the statistics of our Savings Banks and the information furnished by the Federal Taxation Commissioner must convince one that Australians are not an impoverished people. We have been told that last year no fewer than 150,000,000 visits were paid by adults to the picture theatres of the Commonwealth or thirty attendances per individual. With perhaps the single exception of those of the great Republic of America, the people of Australia occupy the highest position in regard to material welfare, and 1 verily believe we can compare favorably even with the people of America, notwithstanding that our population is not increasing as it should be.I remind honorable senators that the other day Lord Fisher mentioned the terrible fecundity of the Eastern races, stating that out of every four infants born into the world one is a Chinese. I noticed, also, the other day that a labour organization in New South Wales protested against the enslavement of 30,000,000 Chinese in the province of Shantung. Nobody need feel concern about the enslavement of the Chinese. They are not going to be enslaved by anybody. They never have been. Certain foreigners have ruled China, but only by a policy of non-interference with the Chinesethemselves. Chinamen have risen before and killed 400,000 foreigners in a single night, when they reckoned that the latter had become a bit of a nuisance. Honorable senators need net worry about Chinamen being enslaved. The Chinese are too fecund a race. They recognise the injunction contained in that Book which certain estimable people last week presented to this Parliament with hymn, and speech, and prayer. The Chinese obey the divine injunction to be fruitful, to multiply, andreplenish the earth. And this continent should be replenished similarly. It is, perhaps, necessary for some philosopher to arise and devote his life to inculcating in the minds of the Australian people the absolute necessity for their being fecund - for their multiplying to such an extent as will expand their numbers to ‘ at least 50,000,000 in the near future in order that this great continent may be truly a land fit for our posterity, a land of freedom, industrial, civil, religious, and national. Instead of mouthing protests concerning horse-racing, and this, that, . and the other, it is the duty of those who have constituted themselves the spiritual advisers of the Australian people to bend their ‘ energies towards arousinar’ in the minds of citizens a desire to do their duty, n desire to be truly reproductive, not only with respect- to wealth, but in regard to that essential factor of national wealth and permanence - human life.
– You will never bring that about while the living wage is being fixed on the basis of a family consisting of a man and his wife and two children.
– If the honorable senator and other’s would preach the doctrine which I have just indicated Australia would begin, to witness such . an increase of her national capital that the wages paid to Australian working men would expand to three and four and five times as much.
– While, at the same time, rents became six times as high.
– All those factors and considerations are in the hands of the people themselves: but, just as no man can achieve wealth by limiting his energies through the craven fear of being commercially great, so no nation can become rich and endure if it does not increase the number of its human units.
I was about to speak of several mat ters which, however, can . be more properly dispussed in the course of the debate upon the motion which Senator Milieu moved this afternoon. That being so. I shall content myself by expressing the hope that industrially and productively - in the sense of human life, in the sense of wealth, in the sense of sweeping away . all banners to the resource and enterprise of . the Australian people - we shall not be led away by the feverish clamour occasioned by the trials through which the world has now but passed, but that we shall be ambitious to develop ourselves and our future upon those same principles which have raised the noble British race to the great status which it enjoys to-day.
– This is the second occasion, since . Parliament resumed its sittings, following upon six months’ rest, on which honorable . senators have been, called upon to pass a Supply Bill. Even at this juncture, however, we have been given no word from the Government concerning the date on which the Biidget is to be delivered. The people of Australia have not yet been informed of the purposes of the Government so far as its future policy is concerned. There has been ample time in which, to prepareand deliver the Budget speech. The Prime Minister (Mr.. Hughes)and ‘Sir’ Joseph Cook have just returned from the Peace Conference.Since their arrival many speeches have been delivered regarding the deeds of: those gentlemen on the: other, side of the world, and their intentions on this side. I desire to refer to one or two of the statements of the Prime Minister. I have carefully read his speeches from the day of his arrival in Fremantle up to the moment of his latest utterance in Sydney.
– Good matter, too !
– Good matter, but I am stillwondering when he is: likely to express any. concrete views, upon which I may secure firm. hold. I have, summed up Mr. Hughes’ promises to- the soldiers’, and his condemnation of. profiteers. The Prime . Minister has assured the returned men that they shall get a fair deal. The inference- to be- drawn from, that promise is that the Government of- which Mr. Hughes is the head has not hitherto been dealing fairly with the returned soldiers. As a matter, of fact, I think Mr. Hughes is right. The Government has not dealt very fairly with our returned men. But why should’ Mr. Hughes wait until his leturn to Australia to make promises to the soldiers?, He has never separated himself from his Government. He has been Prime Minister throughout. If the’ returned” soldiers have not been properly dealt with, it has been Mr. Hughes’ duty to acquaint the Government of that fact. The lot of the returned soldier has not been a veryhappy one since his home coming. The Government, through Mr. Hughes, promised these men when they enlisted all manner of things - that they would be well looked after upon their return; that they would be given back’ their employment in the Governmentservices, and that private employers would hand them back their jobs. Neither the . Government nor private employers have completely kept their promises. When honorable senators read of the numbers of returned men who are unemployed throughout Australia, it must be apparent that neither the Commonwealth Government nor. the various State- autho rities, nor private employers, have fully kept their pledges-. Mr. Hughes- has madethe statement that’ he is going to combat the profiteer. In Durban, according’ to> cable messages, he said, “ Damn the profiteer. But, during that period” when’ he was in’ England, and, indeed, siheeMr. Hughes’ return to the Prime Ministership after the- elections of 191 7, profiteering has been carried on. I am wondering in what way Mr. Hughes proposes to Handle profiteers’. It has- been indicated that he intends to appeal to the people to agree to an amendment of the Constitution. “ Senator Bakhap has informed us; however, that if such an appeal, is made, he will oppose it. Mr. Hughes’ has possessed ample, powers during the past two’ and. a half years with which to deal with the profiteer:. While hei has been . representing’ Australia at the Peace Conference the profiteer hasbeen mercilessly, exploiting those soldiersfor whom the Prime Minister professes to be so greatly concerned- Thevery pension, which, this Parliament granted, to the returned soldier has been reduced’ because of the- high prices which he has had to pay for the necessaries of life. If Mr. Hughes is to- deal seriously with profiteering, he. will find- himself up against the people who helped to place him where he is to-day. The men. responsible for’ profiteering are those who financed the National party during the elections of 19-17’. I do not think Mr. Hughes will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. If he sincerely proposes to tackle the profiteer,- it is of no use his singling out some small’ retailer. He must dig straight to the root of the whole business ; he must make for those big- Combines, Trusts, and Kings which are freely operating in Australia to-day. What are they? We have the Meat Combine, the Sugar Combine, the Tobacco Combine ,. the- Shipping Ring. All these big’ institutions are behind this Government, and behind the Prime? Minister, andthey, have financed his party.
– They are behindthe country, too.
– They are running the country at the- present time; and, at the same time, are- ruining, it. Therefore, if there is sincerity in all these speeches of the Prime Minister regarding his promises to returned’ soldiers,, her could have- dealt with profiteers two years ago ;. andhe could have handled them, just as effectively while in England as if he had been here the whole time. If there is sincerity in his promises to fcacklei the profiteer “tooth and claw,” lsfc him show, his hand at once, and tell us- how, and when,, and where, he is going to- start. It is- time Australia knew exactly, the policy of the Government iu> connexion with those two matters on which Mr. Hughes has concentrated his venbal efforts since his return. My remedy is fair play and justice to the soldiers, who should not be used as pawns to secure a fresh lease of power for- theoccupants of the Treasury benches. I would never, attempt to secure the support of the returned soldiers to insure my election to this Parliament.
SenatorFoll. - Nor wouldI.
– I do not suggest, that the honorable senator would That, is the reason why I stated that, instead of being called upon to pass this Bill, we- should have had an announcement of, the- Government’s policy through the- medium of the Budget- speech. Theother’ day I asked the. Leader of theSenate if lie would inform us when theGovernment intended to keep the promise which- they made to the people in 19,17 regarding the- Tariff.. The reply was that it was not customary to- divulgethe . policy of the Government in- answerto. a question-. Evidently the honorable gentleman has forgotten, that, he is a member of a Government, which distinctly promised the electors that the existing: Tariff would be revised, and. that an effective protective Tariff would be placed on our statutebook. Yet nothing has been dome to give effect to that pledge. The honorable- gentleman would be materially assistedhas the repatriation of our soldiers if an adequate protective Tariff were in existence. Senator. Mitten is credited with, having said on one- occasion that there was no need to establish new industries in Australia.
– No man would be. such a fool as to make that statement.
– It is absolutely imperative, not only that, we should’ establish new industries, but that existing industries should ‘ be adequately protected. Before this Parliament expires, the existing Tariff should be thoroughly revised, and’ the pledge’ which the Government, made, to the electors should be honoured The lessons taught- by the war should bea sufficient guide to us in this connexion. When the tocsin sounded we found ourselves practically isolated, and, although this; is a country which is naturally rich in all things that are necessary for our national! development, we found ourselves absolutely dependent upon the outside world, for our supplies of them. We have been following a. foolish policy for years. The very raw material that we produce is sent across the seas to be manufactured, and we are compelled to pay treble its cost for the finished article when it comes back to us. We have here in Australia everything that is necessary for the development of a nation if we but choose to utilize our resources. It is incumbent, upon the Government that they should at least fulfil the pledge which they made to. the electors in. regard to. the Tariff, before this Parliament is dissolved.
– I desire to invitethe attention: of the Government. to the- paltry and insufficient accommodation which is provided forthe Labour section of the Senate in the way of a room, for its ex. elusive use. I have attempted to get this grievance remedied, privately, but, ap patently, that cannot he done. Conser quently, I intend, to direct attention to it. upon every available occasion. In the room upstairs which is set apart for the Labour; members of this branch of the Legislature, the table, supplied is quite, unsatisfactory, while- the telephone is most inconveniently situated. In practically every other- room in the huilding the, telephone is placed on the table, where it is convenient for the use of honorable senators. But in our case it is attached to the wall.
– So it . is in the Club Room, which is set apart for the use of honorable senators generally.
– But the Club Room is entirely different from the room which is set apart for the Labour section of the Senate.
SenatorMILLEN. - There is no room specially provided for the use of honorable senators upon this side of the chain ber.
– There are two rooms provided upstairs - one of which is set apart- for’ the Nationalist members of the Government party, and the other for the labour ‘section- of it.
– I have never Heard of a room for the National members-.
– Over the Senate Club Room there is a committee room, which, during the past five years, except on a very limited number of occasions, has not been utilized. With the exception of two secret sessions of Parliament, I do not recollect it having been used at all. That room should be subdivided for the use of honorable senators. It is practically valueless at present.
– The honorable senator does not suggest that Nationalist senators have more conveniences than have Labour senators?
– I do.
– I would like to know where.
– They have a very much superior room upstairs to that which is provided for members of the Labour party.
– The honorable senator’s party is highly favoured, because” it has a room specially set apart for its members.
– The. Nationalist party has a room there which I would never dream of entering.
– The honorable senator has a monopoly of the easy chairs there.
– That statement is quite in keeping with the statements which usually come from Senator Foll, and is utterly absurd. I mention this matter only because it is impossible to get our grievance redressed.
– All the telephones in the building are attached to the walls.
– I know that that statement is quite incorrect. Why, the telephone in the very first room upstairs is situated on the table.
I suppose .it is quite impossible to extract from the Government the date of the next Federal elections. But it ought not to be impossible to obtain from them a definite promise as to when the new rolls will be available. I do not suggest that those rolls are being “kept back from any ulterior motive. But every facility should be offered to the electors to get their names placed upon the rolls. I am informed on good authority that the country rolls in New South Wales- are in such a deplorable condition that 61 per cent, of the names on them are improperly there. Such a condition of affairs ought not to be continued for .a single day. The Minister in charge of the Electoral De partment should issue instructions that steps must be immediately taken for the printing of new and up-to-date rolls.
The present Government, like their predecessors, have persistently neglected to define their attitude in regard to th’e transfer of this Parliament to Canberra. I know that a number of honorable1 senators are deadly hostile to any proposal to remove the Seat of Government to the Federal Capital. But the time when the Government can make a definite pronouncement on the subject will never be more opportune than it is now. We are continually told .that the expense that will be involved in the transfer will be enormous, and that the cost of the war is such that the proposal cannot be entertained. If that be the case, and if no move is to be made to establish the Parliament at Canberra, steps ought to be at once taken to put an end to the expenditure which is going on there. I understand that Mr. Walter Burleigh Griffin is still on the pay roll of the Commonwealth, along with a considerable number of other officials. If the Capital is not to be transferred to Canberra it would be wise to end at once the expenditure which is being incurred there. But the proper course is to take whatever steps may be necessary in order that the Seat of Government may be established at Canberra forthwith. ,
– What does the honorable senator claim that Australia would gain by the transfer of the’ Seat of Government there immediately?
– If Australia will gain anything by the transference of the Seat of Government to Canberra at any time, obviously it will commence to make that gain immediately the transfer is effected.
– The honorable senator says that there is no reason why it should’ be transferred at all?
– On the contrary, I say that there is every reason why it should be transferred. Unfortunately, it was not set out in the Constitution, but it was certainly understood ‘by the people of New South Wales that the capital would be transferred to Canberra within a limited number of years. Many of the people of that State, and I believe’ of some of the other States, understood when they voted for Federation that the capital would, in the space of ten years, be transferred to the Federal Territory. So far, apparently, nothing definite in that direction has been done. If the matter is to be put off from year to year, it would be better to at once cut out the expenditure that is going on at Canberra, and let it be understood that the capital of the Commonwealth is to remain for all time in Melbourne. I refer to the matter in order that the Government may understand that there is to-day a very considerable agitation in favour of the removal of the capital to Canberra without delay. In spite of opposition which may be offered to the transfer in this, or some of the other States, I am glad to say that, from investigation,’ it would appear that there is ‘a majority of the members of this Parliament in favour of the immediate transfer of the capital to Canberra; but, for some reason or another, the Government who have control of the business refuse to act.
Some time ago, a number of boys or H.M.A.S. Australia received long terms of imprisonment for what was, to my mind, a very trivial offence. All efforts to extract from the Prime Minister or the Government what has been done in connexion with their case .have so far failed. It is ‘high time that the Government took the matter in hand and had these boys released. I have been informed, I do not say on very good authority, that the Australia was detained for a whole day at Aden in order that the officers might reciprocate kindnesses shown to them at that port ; but, because some, of the men when at Fremantle thought that kindnesses extended to them there should in the same way be reciprocated, they were pounced upon and ordered long terms of imprisonment. Their conduct cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be “ characterized as a mutiny of any serious import; and I” repeat that the Government should act in the matter and secure the release of these men as soon as possible.
The Government should, as soon as possible, give us to understand definitely whether it is their intention to increase the pension ‘now paid to old people in this country. Every one is aware that the purchasing power of the sovereign has decreased enormously. I am not prepared to deal with weighted averages to show what the actual decrease has been; but I” do say that it is such that the Government should realize that the paltry pension now being paid to our old people is altogether insufficient to meet their requirements. I suggest that as soon as possible they should introduce a measure to increase the old-age pension.
It amuses me very considerably to hear honorable senators complaining of commodities being cornered and of profiteering, when scarcely one of them is prepared to deal with the greatest profiteers of all. I refer to those who are appropriating and monopolizing the land of Australia. Some people advocate a great increase in our population, but what they are really concerned about is that the men who own the country to-day should obtain greatly increased profits without doing any work at all.’ Some honorable senators may ask what is the remedy for this. I have told them several times before, but I intend to-night to make a few remarks on the advantages of a straight-out land tax without any graduations or exemptions. I -am pleased to say that at last the Australian Labour Party, at the Conference recently held in Sydney, decided against the continuance of any exemptions in their land tax proposals.
– The Tasmanian Labour Party does not back them up in that.
– If the Ministry could be induced to bring in a Bill to wipe out the exemptions in the Federal land tax, all the senators from Tasmania would be found voting in favour of it.
– I am not speaking of the Tasmanian senators, but of members of the State Labour Party.
– I do not know what may be the views of the State members of the Labour party in Tasmania, but I know that there is no exemption provided for in the Tasmanian State land tax.
– But they do not want to have the Federal tax without an exemption.
– I have always been at a loss to understand how any man who is in favour of a State land tax without exemption can be in favour of an exemption of £5,000 in value under the Federal land tax. I am pleased to say that the recent Conference of the Labour party inSydney decided ‘by a very substantial majority to wipe out that exemption altogether, and to stand for a graduatedtax.upon all landvalues, ‘‘irrespective of ‘the -size oftheestate.
SenatorCrawford. - And for a ‘State land tax as well.
– The Labour Conference to which I refer did not deal with theStateland tax. I should like to mentionthat there are State land taxes in operation in every State of . the ‘Commonwealth to-day. In New South Wales the State land tax operates only so far as the Western Division is concerned. The land values of New South Wales, on the owners’ own valuations, I suppose, represent about £250,000;000, but the owners contribute to the “State -revenue as land-owners only -about £3,250 per year. I have -said that the State tax applies only to the ‘Western Division, and the whole of ‘ theland-owners intheCentral andEasternDivisions pay no State land tax whatever. In Queensland, with a Labour Government in power -
– And ahigh cost of living.
– Not, so far as I know,higher than in any other State.
SenatorReid. -Yes; the highest of . all the States, according to Mr. Knibbs.
– I do not think it is. I know that meat can be obtained in the . QueenslandState shops -from 2d. to 3d. per lb. . less than’ . in . private . shops, and for . much less than in the other States of the Commonwealth. That is one item of living which is very much cheaper in . Queensland than in any other part of Australia. The ‘Queensland Government, in their wisdom, have passed a land tax with an exemption of £300 in value. “In Tasmania there is no exemption under the State land tax, in South Australia Uhere is no exemption, and an Western Australia there is a small exemption of £25 in valuein the city and suburbs and about £250 in value -in the country districts.InVictoria there is an exemption of £250 in value.
It isperfectly idle for honorable senators, thePrime Minister, and other members of this Parliament to condemn profiteering -whilst they refuse to deal with the greatestprofiteers of all. What is the use of attempting -to deal with profiteers when -the -source of -all wealth is cornered, and wheneveryimprovement wemake inmachineryor transportation is reflected in thehigher cost ofland ? ThisCondemnationof profiteering may be good exercisefor some -people, flout it isperf ectlyvalueless so f air . as the -workers of the country are -.concerned. NoGoveimment in this icountry has made any isenious effort . to deal -with ithe -high cost df diving. In my ; opinion, that ds -because they know that it -is impossible to sreduce ithe ‘high cost of living to any material . extent iby fixing prices. . If they could do so it ‘would be interesting , to ‘know why -they have not attempted it. They . know that dt cannot be -done in that way, and yet they are -not prepared to deal with the . basic profiteer-
So far as Iknow, in . all . municipalities no exemption is made- in imposing . rates. No matter “how large or small an . estate may be a uniform rate per £1 “is imposed and collected. I believe that applies to Tasmania as well as to other States of the Commonwealth.
The fact that the various State Parliaments have . refused to deal with this question of land taxation, and the fact . that our returned soldiers . find it almost irnpossible to . secure land whereon to make homes’ for themselves, notwithstanding all the machinery placed at their disposal by the Repatriation Department, should be a. clear indication that there is something radically wrong with the way in which the lands to f the country are administered. I say that the State Parliaments canndt ‘be trusted to deal with this “matter in a drastic manner. The proper authority to deal with it comprehensively is the Commonwealth Parliament. “The -other day T directed the attention of the Minister rfor Repatriation . to the fact that under the present Commonwealth land tax land values to the extent of £345,000,000 escape taxation, andthat valuation is made by theowners of the land themselves.I believe that if the . various -estates . were valued for selling purposes, the evaluation would be found to beatleast double tthat amount. A land tax that exempts from taxation, even on the owner’s valuation, land values to . the extent of £345,000,000, is certainly in need of . amendment. We collect taxation upon nearly everything that comes through the Customs, and on children’s 3d. tickets of admission to picture shows, and it is time that . the Government brought -down a measure of such a character that all -the land held in . this country should be called upon to pay something towards- the. coat of government.
It. amuses- me to hear some of the arguments which, are occasionally put up in support: of an. exemption, in the levying of a land. tax. One of the latest has been submitted by the Hon. Lewis McDonald, o£ die Queensland. Parliament, who said -
Until they had: a uniform system of government in. Australia1 the State should: have a margin for. State taxation purposes. If the exemption was- abolished it would’ take from the1 States- the margin’ they now enjoy.
The statement will not bear investigation for’ one moment. If the exemption were token away; it would not prevent the States- from imposing taxation upon land. Statements of that nature do not carry any weight whatever. He opposes the elimination of the exemption until’ such time as we have a uniform system of government.. Apparently, he does not desire the Federal Government to impose, a tax at all, and the reasons given’ are flimsy, and unworthy of consideration. Mr. Theodore, another Queensland member, who is also a member of the Ministry that introduced a. land values taxation measure, permitting an exemption of £300, for State revenue purposes, said -
He considered, thai the- Federal Labour party had expressly placed the exemption at the £5,000 figure in order to allow the State Governments to tax land.
That statement is utterly incorrect. I was present at the time when the decision was arrived at, and such an argument was not used. He further stated -
If the exemption was abolished, there would be either a super tax upon the present State taxation, below that figure, or the State would be- cut oat of a legitimate tax-raising, quarter. That would have a bad effect on the finances, of the State. Until alterations were made in. the’ Federal Constitution, this legitimate field of: taxation should be left to the State.
These are the two principal opponents in Queensland of the elimination of the exemption, and statements of that kind’ should’ not be allowed to pass without correction. It would not prevent the State from imposing taxation.
– It would.
-If Senator Senior can show me where it would, perhaps- fteiwill say in what direction. The Stateimposes taxation in Queensland beyond: £5,000; and the Commonwealth ‘ also imposes ‘ taxation beyond a similar amount, as also do the . municipalities or shires. It is- absurd to say- that taxation; cannot be: imposed beiUtw the- £5,000 figure, audi arguments- in that direction cannot he substantiated. So far as I know, no. other country in. the world has an. exemption of £5,000. This Government is where the Labour Government were five- or six years ago, and where Labour used to be. If the Federal Government will introduce a measure to impose a tax commencing at a low figure, it will have the general, support of all honorable senators on this side.
– Do you know any other country where land is taxed by two different authorities?
– I do not know any country where land is not taxed By two different, authorities. We were told that Mr. Lloyd George was going to perform wonders in connexion with: the taxation of land, but, so far as I- am aware-, the land tax in operation in Great Britain to-day has been unaltered for 200’’ years, and is purely nominal in character. In Groat Britain, the local authorities- tax land as well as the Government.
– If you include the local authorities, we are taxed by three different bodies.
– Yes; but still we liave land monopolies’ here. Our present system of taxation is so detrimental to the interests of the country that it’ is almost impossible to secure land adjacent to any centre of civilization except at’ a very high price-. I mention this because I have heard of men who have been, fighting for this country, which they call their own, and who, upon their Tetum,. have had to part with their deferred pay in order to obtain m small area on -which to establish, a home. The only way to remedy this evil is for the Government to oease talking about dealing; with the profiteers, and to deal with those who are cornering; the source of all our wealth.’ The only way to handle this proposition satisfactorily and permanently is by imposing- land taxation. The Prime Minister is reported to have said that the war debt will amount to £464,000,000. If we are- to repay that colossal dkbfcy we- must consider who- is going to pay it. Should not the people who- own the country be compelled to contribute- a substantial amount? Is the paltry soza raised- in the- form- of’ Federal land tax a fair contribution’ on the part of the-peoplb who own the- countryf Had; not.’ the great war terminated in victory- for the
Allies, the land in Australia would not have . been of much value to its present owners. The latter are the people who should be called upon to pay a greatly increased amount at the earliest possible date. I hope the Government will not. contemplate increasing Customs duties without -substantially increasing the Federal land tax. We are to be invited, at an early date, to consider a Tariff Bill. Is it to keep out goods made in countries where wages are low ? The idea, I believe, is to secure a higher Tariff, and thus, to obtain additional revenue and avoid the necessity of imposing a further land- tax. That is the main object, and haB always been the chief idea in the minds of Protectionists in this Chamber.. If that is not their main object, that is how it works out, at any rate.
– Protectionists, then, in your view, are really Revenue Tariffists?
– Yes. They are anxious that goods should come here so that they may make a substantial amount out of Customs duties and avoid a straight-out, direct land tax. Confronted as we are with a war debt of £464,000,000 it is absurd, and entirely wrong, to expect to collect the bulk of the money from poor people by taxing entertainment tickets, as well as tea and other such commodities. Unless the people who own the country are called upon to pay a substantial increase, we may expect considerable trouble in various directions. It would be easy to calculate such a tax, seeing that the land is visible, and that its value can be easily -ascertained. ‘ All the machinery is available, and the system would be considerably simplified if a graduation were made in halfpennies and pence, and fractions were dispensed with. Under the present system, it is difficult to calculate the amount.
– The Department will do the calculating.
– Yesjbut every taxpayer should be in a position to calculate his- own tax, seeing that he knows the value of his land. I have indicated a way out of the difficulty, and have cleariy demonstrated that there is another source of obtaining additional revenue. It is a legitimate source, and one that would be profitable if the tax were properly applied. It is the only means by which returned soldiers, and others who need cheap land; may hope to . secure it.
– In view of the lateness of thf hour, and of the impression which Senator Grant hag probably made on th« Minister’s mind upon the important question of land tax, I think it would be wel if the Minister favoured an adjournment
– If the Standing Orders aw strictly adhered to, Senator Newland cannot enter upon a discussion in moving the adjournment of the debate, and at the same time exercise the right to speal again. The adjournment should be moved without discussion. I do not, however propose to apply that rule in this instance
Debate (on motion by Senator New land) adjourned.
Senate adjourned at 10.43 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 17 September 1919, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1919/19190917_SENATE_7_89/>.