8th Parliament · 1st Session
The President (Senator the Hon T. Givens) took the chair at 3 p.m., and readprayers.
The following paper was presented: -
Public Service Act. - Appointment of R. E. J. Cromwell, Department of Trade and Customs.
– Has the Minister representing the Department of Home and Territories any reply to the question I asked on the subject of a labour dispute in connexion with the Murray River Waters Commission?
– The answer supplied to the honorable senator’s question is: -
The position is that the States submit to the River Murray Waters Commission proposals, plans, and estimates of works. These aresubject to approval by the Commission. When the construction of work’s is authorized by the Commission, the execution, including employment and fixation of wages, is a matter for the State construction authorities.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Works and Railways, upon notice -
What is the intention of the Government in the matter of providing’ better housing accommodation for the men engaged on the running service and maintenance work on the transcontinental railway?
– The question of housing accommodation along the line, and at Port Augusta, has not been overlooked, and the matter will be further considered in connexion with the Estimates for the next financial year.
In Committee (Consideration resumed from 17th March, vide page 450).
Divisions 142 to 145, and 149 (War Services), £3,251,545; Division 35 (Refunds of Revenue), £41,000; Division 36 (Advance to Treasurer), £450,000, agreed to.
Preamble and title agreed to.
Bill reported without request.
Motion (by Senator Millen) proposed -
That the report be adopted.
– I understand that in Committee on the Bill, when the matter of the officials of Parliament and. their wages was under discussion, you, Mr. President, proposed to recommend that the officers of Parliament should be handed over, to the Public Service Commissioner.
– Order! The matter to which the honorable senator refers might furnish a good reason in support of a motion for the recommittal of the Bill; but it is not a proper matter for discussion on the motion for the adoption of the report. The honorable senator would be in order if he were speaking to a motion for the recommittal of the Bill for the purpose of the reconsideration of any part of it.
Senatorde Largie. - Would Senator Thomas be in order in moving that the part of the Bill covering the matter to which he desires - to refer should be recommitted for further consideration?
– Certainly, he would.
– I take it, sir, from what you have said that I would have to ask for the recommittal of the Bill, and say what I desire to say as a reason for doing so. I do not care to proceed in that way.
– I may explain to Senator Thomas that on the motion now submitted the Senate is asked to agree with the report from the Committee, and that report is that the Bill has been agreed to in Committee without request. On the motion for the adoption of the report it is open to any honorable senator who is not satisfied with what was done in Committee in connexion with any clause of the Bill or any schedule attached to it to move that the Bill be recommitted for the purpose of reconsidering that part of the measure. That is the proper course for the honorable senator to adopt.
– Shall I be in order in making a personal explanation?
– A personal explanation can always be made provided it does not interrupt a speaker, or by leave of the Senate.
– As one of those who last evening asked the Minister for Repatriation (Senator Millen) to report progress on the Supply Bill in order that I might bring under notice certain matters connected with his Department, I wish to say that I very much appreciated the honorable senator’s courtesy in agreeing to my request. I very muchregret - although I am sure the. Minister does notshare in that regret - thatI was not here when the Committee stage of the Bill was resumed
– The honorable senator is forgiven in advance.
SenatorFoll. - I wish to apologize for any apparent discourtesy to the Minister.
– I move -
That the Bill he recommitted for the reconsideration of Part 1 (The Parliament).
My reason for submitting the motion is that I wish to have something to say upon the desire expressed by you, sir, to hand over the messengers and servants of this Parliament to the Public Service Commissioner.
– I ask the Senate not to support Senator Thomas’s motion, because no advantage can be gained by discussing the -matter. The mere intimation, by the President that he proposes to recommend the Government to take a certain course does not mean that it will be adopted. I think I am correct in saying that before anything can be done an amendment of the Public Service Act will be necessary; and, therefore, the recommittal of the
Bill for the consideration of the proposal will not affect the position in any way. Senator Thomas will have the opportunity he desires to discuss this matter if the President’s proposal materializes and takes shape in a proposed amendment of the Act.
– We might prevent the matter going so far as that.
– I appreciate Senator Thomas’s desire to save time, and submit that it would be a waste of our time to discuss the matter at this . stage.
– I move-
That Item No. 108, Navigation, be added to the portion of the Bill recommitted for reconsideration.
I do not wish to give my reasons now, but I may point out that a Department, for which Parliament has given no authority, has been created, and there is a proposed expenditure of £425 for this year.
– After the Minister’s assurance that we shall have an opportunity of discussing the matter to which I have called attention before anything definite is done, I desire leave to withdraw my motion. It is very desirable that Parliament should have an opportunity, of dealing with the proposal before any such drastic action is taken.
– Honorable senators will understand that while I have intimated that I intend to recommend the Government to take a certain course of action, the question -whether the Government will adopt the recommendation, and whether, subsequently, the Parliament will ratify it, is another matter.
– But such a serious statement as that, coming from the President, should be debated.
– If the honorable senator had been present last evening he would have had ample opportunity for discussing the matter then. The fact that he was not present was not my fault. Is it the pleasure of the Senate that Senator Thomas have leave to withdraw his motion?
– Leave cannot be granted, as the decision of the Senate must be unanimous.
– I hope Senator Guthrie will not press his amendment.
– I am going to.
SenatorRUSSELL. - I am afraid the honorable senator is under some misapprehension. As he is aware, the first Director of Navigation died, and the vacancy was not filled until recently. It is not a question of the Navigation Act coming into operation at once, as the honorable senator must know, but a certain amount of . preliminary work has to be done. The honorable senator, who has been so enthusiastic in regard to bringing the Navigation Act into operation, is now objecting to certain incidental expenditure which must be incurred before this can be done. He is, therefore, unintentionally, no doubt, attempting to do something which will delay the accomplishment of that which has been his chief desire for the last ten or fifteen years.
Question - That item 108, Navigation, be added to the portion of the Bill recommitted for reconsideration (Senator Guthrie’s amendment) - put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . . . 2
Question so resolved in the negative.
Question - That the Bill be recommitted for the reconsideration of Part 1 The Parliament (Senator Thomas’ motion) - put. The Senate divided.
Majority …. . . 4
Question so resolved in the negative.
. - Shall I be in order in submitting another motion for the recommittal of the Bill?
– The honorable senator having already moved an amendment to the motion, has exhausted his right to speak upon it.
– Can I not move that the Bill be recommitted for the purpose of reconsidering item 136, which relates to “ salaries,” the “ conveyance of mails,” and “ contingencies,” under the Department of the Postmaster-General ?
– The honorable senator will not be in order in moving more than one amendment.
– I think that I have a right to take the course which I have outlined.
– The honorable senator had better ask another honorable senator to submit a motion on his behalf.
Senator Millen’s motion . agreed to, and report adopted.
Bill read a third time.
The Wheat Pool : Wheat for Home Consumption : Prices : World’s Parity: Sales to British Government : Losses through Deterioration - Western Australia : Shipping Facilities and Navigation Act.
Motion (by Senator Millen) proposed -
That the Senate do now adjourn.
– I desire to make a few observations upon two subjects, one of which is of vital importance to a large number of producers of the Commonwealth, while the other affects the people of the western State. I refer to the marketing of wheat in Australia, and to the shipping facilities provided for the people of Western Australia. With regard to the first matter, I wish to deal with the prices ranging here for wheat used for home consumption. I want to say at the outset that I am not here to attach a vestige of blame to the Government for the manner in which -they conducted the Wheat Pool or to comment in. any way adversely on their participation in that business. Eather do I compliment the Government on the action taken during the war period in getting for the farmers of this country a price for their wheat, which, I believe, would never have been obtained but for their intervention. I do not join in the chorus of those who, on every platform during the recent election campaign, indulged in the wildest of wild statements merely in an endeavour to enter this Parliament. I give the Government the fullest measure of credit for the way they handled this huge business and disposed of the surplus stocks of wheat in the Commonwealth. My reason for referring to the price of wheat for home consumption is with the idea of obtaining some information. A large section of the community is engaged in wheat-growing, and is now busy preparing ground for next year’s crop. As these men possess a good deal of business instinct, they very reasonably wish to know the price they are likely to receive for next year’s harvest if they are fortunate enough to have one. Many of us are interested in the welfare of the producers of wheat, and we desire to know why they cannot receive what is commonly known as the world’s parity. If it is intended they should not, I am pleased that the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), when outlining the Nationalist policy before the electors, laid it down clearly and definitely that he would not be a party to paying less than the world’s parity for our primary products. May I quote the Prime Minister when speaking at Elmore, in his own constituency? He said -
If the policy of fixation of prices was carried on by the Government - he made that important qualification - he would agree to the fixation of prices, but not so as to give less for the primary products, of this country than the world’s parity would award.
When the Prime Minister laid down that doctrine he adhered to a sound principle, and made it clear, without a shadow of doubt, that the producers would get the full value of their products, less, of course, the cost of landing them in the consuming centres of the world. It is astounding to realize that we have in this country newspapers openly advocating that those who leave our crowded and pestiferous cities should not receive the world’s parity. Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the American Declaration of Independence, said that big cities were the festering sores of civilization That statement, made in the eighteenth century, is full of truth, and applies to a greater degree to Australia to-day in the twentieth century. Here we have a vast continent of 3,000,000 square miles, and ‘ practically one-half of the population are either located in the cities or are trekking towards the coastline. Notwithstanding this, we have important daily newspapers, which should express wise public opinion, actually havingthe temerity to tell their readers that those who leave the big cities behind them, and engage in the hardest of occupations,, should receive less than the world’s parity for their labour. A press that voicessuch opinions does not know the A. B.C. of economics, and is not voicing the true sentiments of the people of the Commonwealth. The Prime Minister voiced the true sentiment when he said that he would agree to the fixation of prices with the important condition that the peopleengaged in primary production should not get less than the world’s markets awarded.
I am engaged in wheat-growing, and consider it the most important primary industry in this country, bar none. There are 230,000 adult persons gaining a livelihood from agricultural production, a-nd wheat-growing constitutes practically 80 per cent, of that number. This is sufficient to show that no other industry can be compared with that of wheat-growing, as it is directly-, responsible for the employment of a very large section of the community. It has. to be remembered, also, that the wheat. industry is on© that can be carried on in the four wheat-growing States within the temperate zone, and its opportunities are almost limitless. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are not prepared to leave the crowded cities and engage in pioneering work as did their forefathers, and who, unfortunately, remain hugging and polishing city verandah posts to no good purpose. The present tendency is to encourage such members of the community to remain in the gas-lit areas, instead of proceeding to the country, where they could perform a useful service, not only to themselves, but to the whole Commonwealth. These press organs - I refer to the Melbourne Age in particular - have the hardihood to tell their readers that Australia should pay less than the world’s parity for its primary products. May I inform the Age, and such other newspapers as adopt a similar attitude, that if we are not to insist on the world’s parity for primary products, the same principle should be applied to ploughs, harrows and other implements required for other industries, and manufactured in the Commonwealth. I merely refer to this to show what would be the result if this insane and suicidal doctrine were seriously adhered to.
There are in Western Australia to-day, or there were until recently, 600 idle farms that were the subject of application, and on which men had engaged in hard, laborious toil, but which they had thrown up for various reasons, especially when the war started. The holders either enlisted, or turned back into the city, or went east; but, whatever the reason, the fact remains that they gave up the struggle to make ends meet on those farms. There is the prospect of 600 idle homesteads tumbling down and rusting in the western State, all because of what then appeared to be the hopeless outlook for wheat cultivation. Now that the scale has turned in our favour slightly, some people have the front and injustice to suggest that the salt of our race, the pioneers, the men who go out and do things, just when they begin to get a little of their own back, should receive less for their labour than the free market of the world will give them.
So far as our old friend parity of prices is concerned, I am out for information more than anything else. I do not blame the Government unless the Government is blameworthy. I am just as free to blame this as any other Government if I think it is justly entitled to its share of blame. I am here as a supporter of the Government, but not as a thick-and-thin supporter, if the facts show that the Government has lent itself in the least degree to the policy which, has been attempted to be preached in this country, that .the primary producers should get less for their labour than a free market will give them.
When the sale of 1,500,000 tons of wheat was made last year to the British Government at 5s. 6d. per bushel, we all felt glad that the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) had succeeded in selling the first instalment of that very large quantity. The first sale of 1,000,000 tons at 5s. 6d. per bushel was made on the 7th July of last year. Of course, before that period large consignments were sold to different countries and to the British Government, but . I am concentrating attention now on the total sale of 1,500,000 tons last year, in order to ascertain, if possible, from the Minister why the price for ‘home consumption remained so long at the old level. We were told in the Argus of the 7th July last that the Prime Minister had sold 1,000,000 tons to the British Government, and had also given them an option over 500,000 tons more. The Treasurer (Mr. Watt) said that the sale was a great relief as giving a chance to get rid of the wheat from the 1917-18 and 1918-19 or 1920 Pool. He added that the arrangements for shipping were now satisfactory. It would appear, therefore, that in the early, part of July last year 1,000,000 tons of Australian wheat were sold to the British Government for 5s. 6d. per bushel. The price then obtaining for home consumption was 5s. The balance of July passed, and in the month of August the British Government exercised their option over the remaining 500,000 tons, which they took at 5s. 6d. per bushel. The selling price for home consumption remained at 5s., and it did so until the 1st October of last year. Senator Russell, the Chairman of the Australian Wheat Board, then announced that an increase of the local price to 5s. 6d. had been decided upon, but from 7th July to 1st October, three months all but six days, the price to the Australian consumer was 6d. per bushel less than the British Government contracted to pay. I am anxious to know why it remained at that level when we had been offered a higher price almost three months before. The consumption of the Commonwealth, based on the average of previous experience, 6 bushels per head of our population of 5,000,000, amounts to 30,000,000 bushels, leaving out of account what is required for seed and other purposes. Now 30,000,000 bushels at 6d. per bushel represents £180,500, which, in the absence of a satisfactory explanation to the contrary, was, I maintain, denied to the growers of wheat in Australia.
– Have you thought that the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) may have obtained from the British Government 6d. per bushel more than the world’s parity at that date, and presented that large sum to the Australian wheat farmer !
– Does the honorable senator mean that the British Government paid more than the world’s parity?
– If it can be demonstrated that that view is correct, I am willing to accept it.
– The price was higher than wheat from the Argentine could have been bought at on that date.
– Our experience of the British Government over the wool transaction shows that they could drive just as hard a bargain, and were probably just as keen a.:nd alert in the buying of wheat as the Prime Minister was on our side in selling it. Was 5s. 6d. really more than the world’s parity? The world’s parity at the time was a very uncertain quantity. My case is that for almost three months the Australian consumers enjoyed their own wheat at 6d. per bushel less than the British Government contracted to pay for it. In pre-war days even a small rise on the London market was instantly reflected in the price of our wheat in Australia. I would therefore have expected in this instance that when the rise occurred in London we should get the benefit of it in Australia. If the Minister can show me clearly that the British (Government paid more than the world’s parity, I shall be satisfied, but not before.
I find from the Auckland “Weekly News, of 26th February, probably the latest issue to hand by mail, that in New Zealand the normal price of wheat is 10s. 6d. per bushel ex store, and that good fowl wheat is 7s. 8d. per bushel there. I speak subject to correction in this matter, because I do not know what the price is at this moment in the Dominion. In Australia the price ex store is 7s. 8d. per bushel, as fixed by the Australian Wheat Board. The difference between that and the 10s. 6d. obtaining in New Zealand is nearly 3s. per bushel, a very serious matter to the Australian wheat-growers. The’ 7s. 8d. fixed by the Australian Wheat Board does not come net to the grower by- any means, as he has to pay various charges. I admit that a special effort is being made in New Zealand to encourage wheat cultivation. The Government there is going much further out of its way to encourage wheat cultivation than any Government in Australia is doing. I understand that 7s. and more has been offered by way of special guarantee for the cultivation of wheat in New Zealand. AH that I am concerned with here is to compare the present price of wheat in New Zealand with the price in Australia, and the figures I have given go to prove that the New Zealand wheat-grower gets something like 3s. per bushel more than does his unfortunate fellow producer in Australia.
I am aware that the question of freight will obtrude itself at every point of the argument, and I am waiting to hear what the Minister has to say on that subject. In Canada, the wheat producers secure a very satisfactory reward, indeed, for their labour. I quote from Broomhall’s Production, which is a standard authority on the grain markets of the world. I find that, on 5th January cif the present year, when the wheat-growers of this country were getting about 6s. per bushel, before the increase to 7s. 8d. per bushel took place, according to Broomhall
The Canada Wheat Board has raised the price of wheat to the millers by 50 cents per bushel, making the price $2.80, which will involve an increase of lj cents to 2 cents in the price of the 2-lb. loaf in Canada.
Se that, in the early part of the present year, the Canadian wheat-grower was get> ting something in the neighbourhood of lis. 8d. per bushel, less, of course, incidental expenses. There is a vast difference between that price and the price which the Australian wheat-grower was receiving at the same time. I know that transport is a factor which has an important bearing on these matters, but I am just now pointing out the fortunate position of the Canadian people at the time to which I refer as compared with the wheat-grower in Australia.
– Is the honorable senator aware that the Canadian Government stopped giving the world’s parity because the price went so high, and took charge of the wheat.
– Is that since January last?
– I was not aware of that. When the Canadian Government fixed the price at lis. 8d. per bushel, less ordinary expenses, there was no attempt made in Canada to compel the primary producer to accept less than the world’s parity for his wheat. If. as the Minister says, the Canadian Government have taken action in that direction since, I was not aware of it.
I have here a statement kindly lent to me by the Minister, which gives an outline of the doings of the Australian Wheat Board. There is an item which I should like the Minister, in the course of his reply, to explain, and which is set out in the following paragraph -
The local Pool of each State consists of proceeds from sales for local consumption, and with the* exception of losses through deterioration, ‘should afford the same return on seaport basis throughout the States.
I am anxious’ to learn whether that paragraph indicates that the large amount of deterioration that has taken place in the wheat stacks is debited only to the wheat that goes into home consumption, or is charged also to the wheat exported and sold to the British and other Governments abroad.
– Each local State carries its own responsibility for local deterioration and local mismanagement, it any.
– There i3 a certain production of wheat in each State, and a portion of that production goes into local consumption. I wish to know whether that portion alone is debited with the whole of the loss through deterioration, and whether the portion of the product exported is not called upon to bear any loss at all cn that account. 1
– The Australian Wheat Board receives f .a.q. wheat at the wharf. That is what we are responsible for, and we have had no deterioration except by transport.
– The paragraph I have quoted is, I think, clumsily worded ; and it would .appear from it that the portion of Australian wheat production that goes into home consumption is to be saddled with the whole loss by the damage done, and to that extent the local .consumers must derive benefit from the purchase of wheat at depressed prices. Whatever be” the loss due to deterioration, it should have been debited pro rata to the wheat that has been exported as well as to that consumed locally.
– I wish that Western Australia adopted that system, because there has been a greater proportion of export from that State than from any other State in the Commonwealth.
– And it is as well looked after as in any of the other States also.
– I am glad to say that it is.
– I do not want the home consumers to be paying less for what they consume than the price fixed by the free markets of the world. If the policy that they should be required only to pay less is to be adopted, I want that policy applied all round to every requirement of the people. If the farmers’ products are to be sold for less than the world’s parity, then I want the farmer’s plough to be bought at a correspondingly low price as compared with the world’s parity. If that policy is not to be generally adopted, I want to know why the farmer in Australia should not be given a free market for his products.
I want now to refer to the lack of shipping facilities in Western Australia. This is a matter which, because of its geographical position, very seriously affects the western State. One has only to glance at a map of Australia to understand how heavily handicapped the State has been owing to the manner in which shipping was controlled in this country in the immediate past. When I tell, honorable senators that goods intended for Western Australia have been left on the Melbourne wharfs for nine months awaiting shipment, and I believe the same thing applies to Sydney also, they will realize the extent to which the western State is handicapped by reason of its isolation. I may be told that we have a railway to Western Australia, but honorable senators can imagine for themselves what it would cost to transport goods 2,000 miles from here to the western State. I have ascertained by personal inquiry that merchandise for Western Australia has been held up on the wharfs here for nine months. First of all we had the seamen’s strike, and that occurred after the wharf labourers’ strikes in the different States. The seamen’s . strike ended on the 25th August, and we then had two months of quiet when another strike broke out. Taking the last twelve or eighteen months in this country, it would seem that industrial warfare is our normal state,- and that industrial peace in Australia is abnormal. In this connexion no State has suffered so much as has Western Australia. If I am asked why Western Australian people do not make use of the transcontinental railway, the answer is that it costs ever so much more to transport goods 2,000 miles by rail than it would cost to transport them over the same distance by sea. Senator Guthrie is well aware of that.
– That is so, but that was not the honorable senator’s argument when he was asking for the EastWest Railway.
– I may have more to say on the railway than the Senate would care to hear. In Western Australia we have a further difficulty to contend against in the great extent of coast line north of Perth, which, by the way, lias been very badly served up to date. It may shock some honorable senators to remind them that the strip of coastline north of the capital of the State is no less than 2,000 miles in length, and there are a number of ports along that vast extent of coastline. Two thousand miles of coastline represents more than the entire eastern seaboard of the United States. One of the problems of Western Australia to-day is how to provide adequate shipping facilities for the settlers spread over the vast area known as the northwest of Western Australia. Not only has the Western State been badly handicapped by the continual upheavals in the industrial field, but the north-west of the
State has been particularly hard hit as a consequence of those industrial disturbances. To give honorable senators some idea of the way in which the people in that part of the country have been treated, let me say that if the southern boundary line of the Northern Territory were projected through to the coast of the western State the part of that State north of the line is occupied by a population of some 15,000 to 20,000. In the Northern Territory there are only 5,000 of a population, and they have 5,000 grievances, or, perhaps, 5,000 grievances per head of their population. We- hear nothing at all about the 15,000 people in the north-west of Western Australia in a corresponding latitude unless when representatives of the western State on certain occasions raise their voice here on their behalf. Up to date, the people of that vast area have hot received the sympathetic treatment which they deserve, and which I should like to see them get.
Western Australia is in an entirely different position from that occupied by the States on the eastern seaboard of this continent, where- they have ocean liners coming down the coast from Thursday Island and dealing with a very great proportion of the seaborne traffic on the eastern coast. The western State is also vastly differently situated from a State like Victoria, any part of which can be reached in a day’s railway journey from Melbourne. The same may be said of New .South Wales and also of South Australia. In Western Australia one may leave the capital of the State and travel for 2,000 miles north along the coast,, taking nearly two weeks to do it, and in that northern district there is to be found the hardiest brand of pioneer settlers in Australia, who have been very badly treated in the past because of the lack of shipping facilities.
We hear much of the grievances of people in the Northern Territory, but let me say that they have not a tithe of the troubles which the settlers in the northwest of Western Australia have to contend with. For instance, Wyndham, which is a port with a population of about 2,000, has been shut off from the outside world ever since December, and is possibly shut off to-day. There is a matter of ten weeks during which 2,000 people had no com- munication with, the outside world, yet they are bearing their burdens with patience. I venture to say that if that had happened in the Northern Territory the whole continent would have resounded with the shout of protest we should have heard. If in Victoria any community of 2,000 persons were cut off from intercourse with the rest of Australia for the same period, the Melbourne Age would put on a red shirt, and head a revolution. And much the same thing would happen in New South Wales.
– But you are working your coastal trade with blackfellows. There is no White Australia there.
– And until conditions become normal I intend to ask for the suspension of the Navigation Act, in so far as the north-west portion of Western Australia is concerned. Otherwise I shall advise the settlers in that portion of the Commonwealth to come away, and no longer sacrifice their lives for others who are better housed, paid, and cared for than they.
– No more White Australia then.
– I say for Western Australia that no other State has sacrificed so much for the Federation right from the time she entered the Union; and no other State has benefited less by Federation. All the other States have got some substantial advantage from the act of union. I am not going to suffer all this talk about coloured labour on our coasts without inquiring into the true position. And I am entitled to ask Senator Guthrie what his own State got from Federation. Up to the present the people of South Australia have not expressed much gratitude for relief from the burden which the Commonwealth lifted from their shoulders, and which; by the way, my vote’ helped to lift. The Northern Territory was South Australia’s nightmare - a crushing incubus - for years until the Commonwealth made it the chief concern for the whole of Australia. The Commonwealth also took over that derelict railway ‘ which for 700 miles stretches to the north from Quorn, and upon which a train runs only once a fortnight, and which, I may add, kept the railway finances of South Australia in a hopelessly chaotic condition. Victoria and New South Wales likewise benefited from Federation. In this State the factory chimney stacks were almost tumbling down. They were, in fact, the resting places for the owls and bats, but with the advent of Federation the industries of the eastern States flourished, while those in Western Australia, being unable to stand up against eastern competition, declined. It required no prophetic insight to realize that in an economic and financial sense Western Australia stood to lose much by Federation, but the spirit of nationhood had a more vigorous growth there than in the other States, and so we were prepared to face the loss for the greater common gain. The young industries of Western Australia, as the records prove, were strangled in child-birth; but we were content that that should happen in order that, by entering the Union, we should help to complete the symmetry of the national design. What benefit did Western Australia derive from Federation when we get down to “ brass tacks,” if I may be allowed to use the American vernacular ?
– You have the Henderson Naval Base, which is a waste - of money.
– And the transcontinental railway.
-The railway has been mentioned. I thought Senator Senior was more logical than to cite the railway as an apparent boon conferred upon Western Australia. A boon, as I understand it, . is something which some person cannot acquire for himself, and I remind Senator Senior that before the Commonwealth built the. railway Mr. Wilson. the then Premier ‘of Western Australia, proposed to construct the Western Australian portion. I repeat that, up to date, Western Australia has ‘ not obtained a brass farthing from Federation, and has sacrificed much more than any other State for the sake of unity. However, we were perfectlysatisfied to pay the price. All we ask is that the eastern States shall remember that, by entering the Union, our young industries were strangled, and our primary producers penalized, for the sake of building up industries for the eastern portion of the Commonwealth. We have been hit both ways. I want to emphasize what I say about the railway, because Senator Senior is suggesting that by its construction. Western Australia was the only State that stood to gain anything.
– South Australia did not stand to gain by it.
– Why did the honorable senator mention it? I want to pulverize this fiction that the transcontinental railway was a kind of boon dropped from the bountiful hands of the Federal authorities into the mouth of Western Australia, If, as Senator Senior and Senator Guthrie are trying to make out, heavy loss has been incurred by the Federal authorities in respect to the transcontinental railway, I cannot help wondering why Government after Government have proposed to increase that loss by building an additional 400 miles to take the Commonwealth railway to the sea-board from Kalgoorlie.
– If you will allow me to be an arbiter, I would describe the East-West railway as an Australian railway.
– An attempt is being made to show that Western Australia, with respect to this railway, was pleading, like some ragged mendicant, for a grudging patronage at the bar of the Federal authority; whereas the true position is that one Commonwealth Government after another expressed a desire to continue it to the seaboard. Even Queensland, the State which you, Mr. President, come from, got something - and with my vote - from Federation. I may add that I shall continue to support all national undertakings; but I am not going to vote for the maintenance of any policy which will confer greater benefits on one industry over another, and pay infinitely higher rates of wages than obtain in other industries, if this end is to be achieved at the expense of the general community. I want to be clearly understood on that matter.
– Seeing that I brought this fire upon myself, may I ask what industry the honorable senator is referring to?
– The sugar industry of Queensland.
– During the last five years the sugar industry gave more to the people of Australia than it has cost this country for twenty years.
– It is true that we have had cheap sugar, and equally true that we have been able to get meat at a fair price ; but only because of the natural fertility of the soil and the encouragement given by a paternal Commonwealth Government. It is only natural that, with this combination, those engaged in these industries should be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour and give some benefit to the general community. If, however, we turn to the wheat industry, we find the position is not at all so satisfactory. What are the pioneers on the frontiers of our civilization getting? Senator Senior knows that settlers beyond Goyder’s line of rainfall are in an infinitely worse position than are the sugar-planters of Queensland, , In the northern State, land which, twenty-seven years ago could have been obtained for 7s. per acre, is worth to-day many pounds per acre, because of an appreciation in the profits of the sugar industry. Those engaged in wheat-growing cannot show the same rate of increase by a long way.
– I know wheat land that has been sold for £60 per acre.
– The honorable senator is referring to isolated instances, whereas I am speaking of average land. The fact that the total area under cultivation for wheat has shrunk from 12,000,000 acres to 8,000,000 acres is a sufficient answer to Senator Senior’s interjection. But I was engaged in pointing out that Queensland had done very well out of Federation. The value of the sugar industry at the inauguration of Federation was a little over £1,000,000, on a basis of £14 per ton; whereas to-day the value is well over £6,000,000 per annum. All this is the outcome of a wise public policy, which has converted jungle land into places where white men can live and thrive. But I do not want the sugar-growers of Queensland to grow fat at the expense of their fellows in other portions of the Commonwealth. I do not want the wheat-grower to be sweated, to see his land values stationary or receding, while others are inflated beyond calculation. I do not propose to stand idly by while those engaged in other industries grow inordinately prosperous, when, others, like our wheat farmers, are having a lean time.
I am sorry that Senator Guthrie is not in the Chamber, because as a seafaring man he is familiar with some of the disabilities to which settlers on the northwest coast of Western Australia are subjected. The western State has been very severely hit owing to lack of adequate shipping facilities. But the Commonwealth Government can come to its’ assistance if they desire to do so. Up to date, however. the Federal authority has extended no benefit to Western Australia. In that respect in the metropolitan area of that State I can point to industries in which large numbers of workmen used to be employed. But those industries are at a standstill to-day. They are closed clown. In the mining, timber, and pastoral industries of that State men are cheerfully bearing heavy burdens for the sake of supporting industries in eastern Australia. Western Australia embraces an area of practically a third of the Commonwealth. The very best type of pioneering settlers are to be found there, and they should most certainly derive some advantage, seeing that they have suffered so patiently whilst assisting to ‘build up substantial industries in other States. T recollect two occasions upon which Tasmania received financial assistance from the Federal Treasury, although she could have righted her troubles had she chosen to do her own shopping at home. Had she been more patriotic and selfsupporting, she would not have needed Commonwealth assistance. ‘ Upon the other hand, Western Australia has received nothing except that for which the Federal Constitution barely provides. I suggest that when the Government suspend the provisions of the Navigation Act they should afford the settlers on the north-west coast of Western Australia an opportunity to make ends meet by continuing the suspension until adequate shipping facilities are available, so as to prevent the residents of that area being shut off from communication with the outside world, as the people of Wyndham have been. Ministers should exhibit good-will towards the western ‘State by suspending the provisions of the Navigation Act for a period of five years, or until normal conditions return. The alternative to these remedies is that those pioneer settlers will grow heartless in the struggle and leave it to others to take their turn in holding the territory that they have so long and courageously held for Australia.
At the present time the Commonwealth is running a . line of steamers . of its own, and I understand that it is intended to increase the size of that fleet. Those vessels are carrying goods from eastern capitals to other parts of the world. If they are not engaged in transporting wheat at the present time, there is less excuse than there would otherwise be for their employment in ordinary trading operations, because of the openings which exist” upon our own . coast. The north-west coast of Western Australia extends for a distance of 2,000 miles. Along that immense stretch ports are dotted at intervals, but there are no vessels trading there, with the exception of one which belongs to the State Government, captured from the Germans, and unsuitable for the trade. All that she can do to serve the requirements of the people of that area is very little. There are from 15,000 to 20,000 people settled in the territory I have described, and they are being denied fair play. The Commonwealth can well afford to send a ship or two there, and by that means insure the retention on their holdings of these pioneer settlers. The national aspect of this matter has to be .borne in mind. In the north-west portion of Western Australia there is a territory greater than that to be found in any other portion of the Commonwealth. Its population of 20,000 souls, by reason of the defective occupancy of that area, is entitled to special consideration. I therefore appeal to the responsible Minister and to the Government to despatch two of the vessels of the Commonwealth fleet to- the northwest coast of Western Australia, in order that the settlers in that area may be given a chance to effectually hold it for Australia.
– I think Senator Lynch will credit me with having listened most attentively to his observations, but I shrink from attempting to give effect to many of the proposals that he has put before us. He has spoken about the employment of certain vessels upon the north-west coast of
Western Australia. But, unfortunately, ports are not made to order, and ships have to be built to suit the conditions which obtain in our ports. After very considerable difficulty I managed to come to the aid of Western Australia some time ago by employing the only ship which was suitable for the purpose to carry meat to Perth from the north-west coast of the western State. In Western Australia’s hour of trouble the Moira is now being fitted up with a view to performing the same task. It seems that the Western Australian Government were not sufficiently keen when purchasing ships to. see that they were suitable for the trade along its coast, and - consequently those vessels are to-day engaged in the oversea trade. Nobody has a greater sympathy with the residents of the north-west coast of Western Australia than I have, and as soon as shipping becomes normal, more attention will be devoted to that portion of our country. But to-day the fact is that we cannot get ships. We were never so short of them. It is easy for Senator Lynch to say how we should do things, but when I tell honorable senators that we are at least twenty vessels short on our Australian coast they will realize how difficult it ds to develop new country.
– The West Australian Government had ships and they sent, them away. The Minister knows that. Where is the Kangaroo to-day ?
– Senator Guthrie ought to know that, by reason of her draught, the Kangaroo is not a suitable vessel to enter many of’ the ports on the West Australian coast. Had she ‘been, I would scarcely have requisitioned privatelyowned vessels. We are all sympathetic with Senator Lynch, and I trust that, upon our return to normal conditions, greater attention will be paid to the development of these outer ports than has been paid to them hitherto. The Government are already committed to an expedition for the purpose of inspecting some of the land to which Senator Lynch has referred.
I rather trembled when the honorable senator proceeded to discuss the administration of the Wheat Pool, because, despite all our critics, I am of opinion that that Pool has not only been a success, but that it proved the salvation of the agricultural population of this country. Senator Lynch seemed to be particularly concerned about the Australian farmer re ceiving the world’s parity. I have been studying this question for four years, and I experience great difficulty to-day in discovering what is the parity. In normal times the world’s parity means the price which goods realize oversea, less the cost of transit, insurance, and all incidental charges. But nobody can tell me what is the world’s parity for wheat, because the price is influenced by so many outside factors. To-day the British Government are charging 150s. per ton for the transport of wheat. But they did not write down the ordinary world’s charges a million sterling for the purpose of giving it to the Australian farmer. Britain’s idea was to provide her people with cheap food, and consequently her action came more or less into conflict with Australian interests. I defy any honorable senator to tell me where there is a single ship which we can charter at a price that will enable us to profitably transport wheat that we have not already got. In regard to shipping, we have exhausted all possibilities. I remember bringing cornsacks to Australia at 80s. per ton on the British and Commonwealth fixed rate. But when we were threatened with a shortage of shipping the best offer I could get was £25 per ton, although the British and Australian vessels were charging only 80s. per ton. If the Australian farmer had been obliged to pay the world’s parity- for his cornsacks he would not have obtained them for less than £1 per dozen. Senator Lynch has asked why, when the British Government bought wheat for 5s. 6d. per bushel, we did not immediately put up the price locally. But if the parity is to be in reality a parity, it must operate continuously. We cannot alter the conditions which arose out of the war. When wheat was ‘being sold locally at 4s. 9d. per bushel I heard no cry about the farmer getting the world’s parity, because at that time one could not get 2s. 6d. per bushel for it overseas. Yet the consumer did not complain. He paid the price, and he is entitled to some consideration. Upon the very day that the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) sold Australian wheat at 5s. 6d. per bushel the price which he obtained was higher than that at which the British Government could have purchased wheat from the Argentine. Had Britain been moved solely by commercial considerations she would have purchased wheat in the Argentine and elsewhere. We were totally dependent upon Britain as she was the only country that could pay for our wheat and supply the necessary shipping to transport it overseas. We could have sold at higher prices to other countries, but if Ave had done that we would have had to raise the money in Australia to make advances to the farmers, and that was practically impossible. We had very little option in the matter, and considering all the circumstances Britain was the only buyer available for the vast quantities we held. Britain treated us well, and we are indebted to the Imperial authorities for the manner in which we were treated in connexion with these deals. We owe Britain a great deal more than she owes us.
Senator Lynch referred to the New Zealand guarantees. It was all very well giving guarantees, but New Zealand is still dependent upon Australia for her daily crust. We entered into an agreement with New Zealand for the sup-, ply of a certain quantity of wheat, and that .Dominion is still taking wheat from us at 5s. 10-^-d. per bushel, to which must be added about ls. 6d. per bushel for freight. Notwithstanding this, New Zealand is not offering her farmers +d. per bushel more than the price she is importing it at from other countries. Australia is not in that position.
– Is New Zealand still getting wheat at 5s. 10½d. per bushel?
– Yes, under an old contract; but she could not obtain it at that price to-day. New Zealand is not offering the world’s parity to her farmers to encourage them to produce more. If New Zealand should be in the market again - and she probably will be before her next harvest is garnered - she will find that a much higher price will have to be paid than when she made the last deal eighteen months ago. The parity of an importing country is somewhat different from that of an exporting country, and Australia does not want to bc importing wheat-
– How is it that the Australian consumers obtained wheat at 6d. per bushel less nhan the British Government contracted to pay?
– Simply because the Prime Minister obtained more than the world’s parity at that time. It was not the quality of the wheat that- was responsible for these sales being effected, the Australian producer receiving payment on this basis. It was Britain’s co-operation with this country in her hour of trial that enabled satisfactory sales to be completed.
The war has now been brought to a successful termination, and Britain is fairly well stocked with wheat, but we still have to receive £6,037,806, which will be distributed amongst the farmers.
– What is the overdraft?
– It is a little over £3,000,000.
– It was £12,000,000.
– Yes, but it has been reduced. We have £6,000,000 worth of wheat still ‘to be delivered, which will make our overdraft something in . the vicinity of £9,000,000. This has all been distributed amongst the farmers of the Commonwealth.
– The overdraft is £9,000,000.
– The overdraft is £3,000,000, but we owe £6,000,000 on previous contracts.
In connexion with the difficulty of getting the world’s parity I wish to quote the freights ruling in December last. The Joint Chartering Agents state: -
British steamers continue to be fixed to lift Imperial-purchased wheat at 105s. Aus. - U.K.
The freight has gone up 45s. since then, and is now 150s.
This is, of course, a “ directed “ rate, as i» evidenced by the fact that the French Government competing for tonnage in the open market have had to pay 240s. for steamersAustralia to France and 150s. for sailers.
We would not be able to sell much wheat when such freights are ruling if we had to go on the open market for tonnage.
There is some inquiry for tonnage to lift barley, Australia to United Kingdom and Continent, at about 180s. per ton. From Australia to South Africa, 130s. on the dead weight is now offered. Australia to Egypt, charterers offer 125s., free owners asked 200s. Coal freights from Newcastle, New South Wales, are firm at 70s. to 75s. to’ Java, &c. ; 80s. to S5s. to the West Coast of South America; 75s., Hong Kong. The Eastern market generally is quiet. Calcutta to Dundee, 170s. on dead weight; Bombay, 120s. on dead: weight; Persian Gulf to United Kingdom, 180s. on dead weight; Java sugar continues steady at 285s. on dead weight.
The rates I have quoted refer to neutral ships, as the freights on those controlled by Great Britain are fixed.
– And all this since the combination of shipping interests in the Old Country?
– I am not likely to have anything to say in defence of the shipping combination. The rates I have quoted relate to neutral ships over which Great Britain has no control. When it. is remembered that freights ranging from 200s. to 250s. per ton are being charged it will be seen that we could have exported hardly a bushel of wheat from the Commonwealth had it not been for the co-operation of the British Government.
– What is the freight from the Argentine to theUnited Kingdom ?
– For heavy grain from the River Plate to the United Kingdom the freight is 170s. per ton.
– For one-third of the distance ?
– Lord Inchcape is controlling the situation.
– If Senator Guthrie or any other honorable senator can suggest a means whereby the combination of shipping interests can be defeated I am sure no one will be more ready to assist than I. It is no use continually insinuating that others could do better than we have done. We have not always been selling wheat at 5s. and 5s. 6d. per bushel, and we have been compelled to turn down magnificent offers because we had not the transport facilities. The countries willing to pay higher prices than we received were not in a position to obtain ships. To-day we have contracts in hand covering 3,000,000 tons, and Great Britain, recognising the problems confronting us as a result of loss through long storages, has allowed us on those contracts a reduction of 66,000 tons. We are not compelled to deliver the full quantity I have mentioned, and the Imperial authorities have made us a very fair allowance, which represents practically £1,000,000 worth of wheat. Does this look as if the Mother Country is adopting sharp practices, and is en- ‘ deavouring to reduce the price? Similar consideration has also been shown in the matter of storage, as Great Britain has allowed us3/8d. per bushel per month for every bushel of wheat held in Australia on her account. Great Britain realizes the serious problem of preserving vast quantities of grain - quantities unheard of before the war - and after paying month after month has said we have done well, and has made us an allowance which will be of material benefit to the farmers.
Of the second contract of 1,500,000 tons we have delivered 911,902 tons, leaving, approximately, 500,000 tons still to be delivered to complete our contract with the Imperial Government. Frequent reference has been made to the prices at which the British contracts were let, but it must be remembered that sales have been effected at as high as l1s.¼d. per bushel, and others at similar prices would have been effected had shipping been available. There is still £455,000 worth of wheat sold to New Zealand at 5s. 7½d. per bushel to be delivered. Sales representing 25,000 tons have been effected in Egypt and Greece at 11s.1¼d. per bushel, but we do not hear the farmers’ representatives referring in complimentary terms to such deals. Sales have also been made to Japan - it is not my intention to refer to the quality of the wheat that has been shipped there - and there is still 50,000 tons, sold at 8s. 8d. per bushel, to be shipped to that country. In addition to the foregoing quantities 2.000 tons have been sold to South Africa at 8s., and a quantity under contract, No. 235, at 5s. 6d. These contracts show that had shipping been available, as I indicated earlier, business could have been done in other directions ; but we had no option in the matter. We have also sold a quantity to Roumania, clearly indicating that the Government has never missed an opportunity of disposing of wheat at the highest ruling prices when there was a prospect of collecting the money. If the Government has not always received for the Australian farmers what has been termed London parity, we were very near it on some occasions. I may remind Senator Lynch and the farmers of the Commonwealth generally that there were occasions when they were receiving above the world’s parity.
– For small parcels only.
– There were occasions when we were charging1s. per bushel more for wheat sold for local consumption than it was bringing overseas. The Wheat Pool had the backing of the whole community, and in view of all the circumstances it was practically impossible to operate on any other basis. If the farmers had conducted a pool themselves probably they would have had all the benefits of an ordinary trading concern; but this was not an ordinary trading venture, but a war necessity, which was absolutely essential to carry the country through a most disastrous period. It was an arrangement that has proved of great advantage to the farmers.
– The Collins-street farmers dealing in scrip.
– I know nothing about that, but I may repeat that I have never dealt in wheat scrip in any shape or form. During the recent election campaign I stated that. I would be delighted to give particulars of the transactions of the Wheat Pool to any one who was desirous of obtaining information. One dear ‘ old lady in writing to me said that she had appreciated all that I had done, and wished to know whether “B” wheat scrip at the then ruling price was a good investment. Up to the present I have received only two letters from persons desirous of obtaining information. Great Britain has been selling, and will sell, some of this 1,500,000 tons of our wheat bo other countries, and where this is done we get the full profit., Great Britain bought it from us at 5s. 6d. If she sells any of it to Holland or Denmark, as I believe she is doing, we get the full price from her. She is not selling it on any partnership basis, but it is a clean sale on our behalf. I have no doubt that a number of such sales will be made.
The other important consideration is this: We have stacks of wheat in Australia, containing so many bags; but no man, however expert, can tell what weight of wheat we have on hand until it is finally cleaned and weighed. The reason letters appear in the press is that if stockbrokers and scrip investors could only tell what weight of wheat we had in Australia, the value of the scrip could be exactly and mathematically demonstrated. I have refused to guess, and have asked every officer of the Wheat Board to refrain from guessing, because if there is a gamble about scrip on guess-work, we must take the responsibility if people win or lose money by it. As soon as the stacks are cleaned up, which will probably be in August or September, we shall be able to say practically to a farthing what each of the Pools is going to work out at ; but until I know a fact is a fact, I decline to make public statements, or to let any officer of the Board make public statements, which can only be guesses at the best, as to the possibilities of the stacks in Australia. That is the only point remaining on which there is any little mystery. I cannot clear it up, and if any one will show me a practical way to do so, no one will be more ready than myself to accept it.
– ‘Why not give the farmer a dividend out of the money you have in hand?
– If the honorable senator had been listening, he would have heard me say we had no money in hand. We have an overdraft of £3,000,000. We have no money belonging to the farmers in our Pool, but the farmers have £9,000,000 which belongs to the Pool. I have paid up to the highest dividend on each Pool in . the various .States which the States will take responsibility for as not being an over-payment. Nobody can do more than that. If the honorable senator is interested, and can get his State Government to agree - that is, if they want a further dividend paid, and say they have the wheat and the security for it - then I believe we can still pay another dividend-
– All the A, B, and G wheat in South Australia has been sold.
– All the wheat has not been sold.
Senator Lynch dealt with a number of questions which are not exactly responsibilities of the Commonwealth. He says that Western Australia has not had quite a fair deal. Western Australia, like other places, may have had some bad luck ; but the north of Queensland has had the same difficulty, and Tasmania has been isolated for a considerable time through circumstances over which Governments have had no control.
– There is a subsidized line of boats trading to North Queensland, so that they are not badly off there.
– They have been wanting flour. 1 take it that when responsible men in those parts send me telegrams saying that there is no flour left in different ports in the north of Queensland, because we have no ships available owing to strike conditions, they are stating the truth. We bad no power over those industrial troubles, and could not prevent .shortage in isolated places. As the Minister in charge of shipping, I oau assure Senator Lynch that Western Australia is obtaining her fair proportion of ships, as compared with all the other States. If at any time he can show me that Western Australia is not receiving a fair share, nobody will be more ready than myself to make up the deficiency from whatever sloping is available.
– You should put a Commonwealth ship on that coast.
– A few years ago, when Senator Lynch was supporting the Government which started to build ships, we would have been told to pull out of the field if we had attempted to put Commonwealth ships on the Western Australian coast, because the State was doing the work very well already. After our experience of the last few years, I think there is a clearer recognition of the dangers that we run in Australia, both from war conditions and from industrial disturbances. We have seen the necessity for adequate provision and insurance for our producers, and this, I am sure, will be undertaken by the States or the Commonwealth at the earliest possible moment.
– How is the damaged wheat apportioned ?
– I am glad the honorable senator has mentioned that point. Probably the word “ Pool ‘ is a little deceptive. We are no more a common Pool in the ordinary sense than this Federation is a Unification. Certain functions distinctly, and rightly, ‘belong to the States. The State collects, protects, and handles the wheat, and controls local supplies. That constitutes first the bulk of the work of the Pool. We, the Australian Wheat Board, as a federation, are responsible for the oversea sales, the finances and general supervision, but not for control within the borders of a State. After the State has gathered up its local supplies, which form the basis of the Pool, the Commonwealth takes all the wheat sold overseas and distributes it on a common per bushel basis for each year among the States according to the amount of wheat they have contributed to that Pool. Consequently, one State may have an average of 6s. and another of 5s. 4d., because each State is individually responsible for the care of the wheat. It is only fair that the State in which proper action is not taken to protect the wheat - although I admit that through some act of nature or other stroke of bad luck a loss may be caused - should bear the consequences. If New South Wales failed to take proper care of its wheat against the mouse plague, it is not right that Victoria, which spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on iron to protect its wheat, should pay part of the penalty of the neglect of New South Wales. In the case of Western Australia the exportable surplus was entirely a matter for the Australian Pool, which was formed to enable us to more effectively control shipping in order that we might get our wheat overseas.
– Does that include any wheat that we could export to other States?
– Yes. All wheat shipped from one State to another, or shipped overseas, is part of the Australian Pool. Owing to the smallness of the population, Western Australia has very little local consumption. It amounts, I think, to only about 2,000,000 bushels per year, while that of New South Wales would probably be about 19,000,000 bushels. On a local consumption basis, New South Wales would swamp Western Australia. As Senator Lynch indicated, Western Australian wheat, whether by good luck or judgment, or by splendid work, has-been kept in a condition quite equal to, if not better than, that of most of the other States. Victoria is in the same position. That result has been achieved here, as I know from personal experience, by hard work and attention. We must penalize carelessness in handling wheat, and those States which take the proper and the most effective means of preserving their wheat are certainly entitled to the full reward for their industry and enterprise.
– Do you contend that, on the whole, we are getting for wheat for home consumption what a free market would give us?
– Not only do I contend that, but I assert, without hesitation, that we are getting more to-day for our wheat from Great Britain, and from the local price of 7s. 8d., than we would if shipping and everything else were free under existing conditions. I am not able to prove to a fraction what parity is. We cannot talk about the free parity of wheat when it is being carried in ships the freight of which has been knocked down at least 50 per cent, below what the shipping companies would charge to-morrow if they were free to do what they liked. I believe the Fool has saved the farmers, aud if it was not perfect in all its details, it was at least a great experiment, and showed what a people can do <by collective action in a very dangerous and critical period.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 5 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 18 March 1920, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1920/19200318_senate_8_91/>.