8th Parliament · 2nd Session
The President (Senator theHon. T. Givens) took the chair at 3 p.m., and read prayers,
-I wish to repeat a question I addressed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate a few days ago. Have the Government yet decided the date of the elections which appear to be looming in the future?
– The Government have before Parliament a certain programme of measures with which honorable senators are familiar. It is their desire, and they think it can. be attained with the co-operation of members of this Parliament, to conclude that business by the end of next week, with a view to an election before Christmas.
It is not competent for me to mention the exact date of the election, but if. honorable senators will look at the provisions of the Electoral Act, which require that a certain number of days shall elapse between different events there set out, they can make their own calculations. There is one proviso which it is necessary to state. The Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), speaking in another place last week, announced in connexion with the threatened war, that should unhappily untoward developments occur, they might call for a reconsideration of even the matter of an election. The Government feel that if things did take a serious turn, Parliament still being in existence, it would not be right or desirable that it should be dissolved. In that case Parliament would be asked to re-assemble in order that the position developing should be placed before it for consideration. With that reservation, it is the desire of the Government that the elections should be held this side of Christmas.
Senator NEWLAND brought up a report from the Standing Committee on Public Works’, together with minutes of evidence, appendices, and plans relating to the following proposed railways: - (a) Northern Territory Railway, extension from. Mitaranka to Daly waters; (b) Extension of Port AugustaOodnadatta Railway from Oodnadatta to Alice Springs.
Bill presented, and (on motion by
Senator Pearce) read a first time.
Restrictions upon Import and Export.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -
– These questions should have been addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Health, who supplies the following answers: -
.- I move-
That the report from the Standing Orders
Committee, presented to the Senate on the 4th
October, 1922, bc adopted.
The Leader of the Senate (Senator E. D. Millen) called “Not formal” to this motion, in case any senator wished to express an opinion on the amendments of the Standing Orders proposed by the Committee. We have examined them, and they do not contain any alterations in principle. They seem to be intended to draft the Standing Orders in better form, and to make them more logical and consistent.
– 1 wish to ask a question in connexion with this motion. I find that standing order No. 31 provides that the Chairman of Committees shall take the chair as Deputy President whenever requested so to do when the President is unable to be present at a sitting of the1?) Senate. I wish to know whether either of two Deputy Chairmen of Committees may, in the absence of the President and of the Chairman of Committees, take the chair as Deputy President? I have ‘been induced to ask the question because I have noticed an alteration of the Standing Orders proposed dealing with the nomination of a panel of not less than two senators who may act as Deputy Chairman. I wondered whether it was proposed that in the absence of both the President and the Chairman of Committees one of the Deputy Chairmen might take the place of the President.
The- PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. T. Givens). - I may answer the question put by the honorable senator by saying that, according to our interpretation of the Standing Orders, and following the practice of the House of Commons, the only person entitled to take the President’s chair in the absence of the President, when requested by him to do so, is the Chairman of Committees.
– What would be the position if both the President and the Chairman of Committees had influenza?
– The Senate has always the right to appoint an honorable senator to take the President’s chair for one day.
– When I entered this chamber I was presented with a copy of the Standing Orders, but I did not closely study them. I noticed,, however, that they were passed as far back as 1914. That is eight years ago. I found, from a perusal of that copy of the Standing Orders, that a member of this Chamber was allowed to take a certain course, but, to my surprise, I was unable to follow the procedure laid down in the Standing Orders for our guidance. I should like to know if that was the latest copy of our Standing Orders.
– I cannot say, but that was the last one printed.
– It was issued a long time ago.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Debate resumed from 4th October (vide page 3139), on motion by Senator E. D. Millen -
That the Estimates of Receipts and Expenditure for the year ending 30th June, 1923, and the Budget-papers, 1922-23, laid on the table of the Senate on the 18th August, 1922, be printed.
– I am not one of those who believe in bestowing loose compliments upon the Government. Ever since I have had the honour to be a member of this Senate
I have deemed it. my duty, on all occasions when I felt criticism was wanted, to criticise, irrespective of party or person, and, of course, I shall continue to exercise that right. But this, is an occasion when I may,, without any qualification, congratulate the. Government and the Treasurer (Mr. Bruce) upon- what I believe to be the. finest. Budget- ever presented to this, Parliament. I have had-, an opportunity, following as I have for many years the. trend of polities in this country, of studying, former Budgets presented to this, and several of the’ State Parliaments, and I have also, had the privilege of being personally acquainted with many Treasurers., I. believe- this Budget to> be. almost; ideal,, and’ provided the. legislation, forecast is. carried into effect, and the promises of the Government are redeemed, the people of Australia will have, good, reason. to> be thankful that, they have had in office, for some, years at National Government that has had a close regard for the finances of the country, as well as. its industrial and commercial development. I am aware that, outside and in the press, there has been a good deal of criticism, of the Budget, but I believe, that this campaign, of vilification by certain individuals and certain sections of the press is prompted, not so much by opposition to the principles of policy outlined in the Budget - for these critics are constantly shifting their ground,, and cannot be pinned down to any definite statement - as by the. hope or in the belief that, eventually, they will, be able to find some peg on which to hang criticism that will appeal to the people and bring about the defeat of the Government. This campaign of criticism, it should be. noted, is being conducted, not by organs that ordinarily one would have expected to find opposed to the Government because it is a National Government, but by newspapers and individuals that are supposed to be supporters of the Ministry and the principles for. which the Government stand.- It reaches its highest point in the State of Victoria In the State which I have the honour to assist ihi representing the Budget has been received. with a. very great deal’ of acclamation. The press and public alike are quite satisfied, and. there is a general- feeling that, in the penson. of the present Treasurer (Mr; Bruce), we axe fortunate* in hawing- a man. who fully realizes the- necessities of the situation) and is prepared to stand up to them no matter whom he may offend or what interests he may oppose.
It. seems to me that in the preparation of this Budget due consideration, has Been given to the first essential, condition o£ all good government,, namely,,, economy, having due regard to the industrial and economic situation of the Commonwealth. No doubt,, honorable senators will’ be somewhat; at a disadvantage, in discussing this important, financial statement, because some” time- has elapsed1 since it was made in another- place and since the papers were distributed in. this: Chamber. Since then criticisms and eulogisms from all’ points’ of view have been- hurled at or ravished’ upon, the statement. It. seems to me, therefore, that, very little that is new can be said in regard to the statement. The most that, w.e who, support the Government can do is to commend the Ministry for’ what is. being done and refrain, so. far’ as possible, from indulging in any unnecessary criticism, God-given right, though it be.. It. is. wise to remember the statement, made by the Leader of the Senate (Senator B’. D. Millen), this afternoon,, that we are. on the eve of. a general election. In- a few weeks some honorable senators will be facing the. electors, and will be. called, upon’ to give an- account of. their trusteeship, during the last, six years. I am not. one of the members of the Senate who have to. face the people at- the next, elections. Whilst it might be easy for me. to pick out an item or a principle here and there in the Budget on which it would be possible for me to find ground! for criticism,. I quite realize that any comments of . that nature would be readily taken advantage of by the critics of the Government, and used’ in the big’ fight that lies ahead of us. Owing a duty both to my party and my constituents, I. feel that I should not be -serving the best interests of those who sent me here if I indulged in criticism of that character. On those points on which- I d!iffer from the Government I shall- have ample’ opportunity in the next Parliament to voice- my opinion, and I can then assist in remedying- those matters that call for attention. Therefore; I do not intend- to- join- that multitude of critics’ who are saying that the- present Government- is not the kind’ of Ministry that Australia- should1 have: On the contrary, I sincerely congratulate the G’o- vera ment upon the general principles of the Budget, and more particularly upon the way in which it has been prepared and presented. I do not think there has ever been a Budget presented to the Senate that has expressed more clearly what the financial position is, and what the intentions of the Government are. The finances have been handled in a competent way. Of course it is impossible for any Treasurer to satisfy all the critics.
We are all convinced as to the necessity for economy at present, but there are some who favour greater economies than others. Some declare that- wages should be reduced. I hope that there is no honorable senator who. holds that view. Some people preach the doctrine that hours of work should be lengthened. I sincerely trust that no honorable senator would subscribe to such a policy. I believe it is possible for the Government to keep the ship of State, as we know it, sailing along merrily with advantage to Australia and to posterity without going to extremes in the direction of taking from the people anything that they at present enjoy. It should be possible, in future, to remove a great many of the burdens to which we are subjected to-day, and to remit even more taxation than the Government propose to remit under the present Budget. The Government have to face very heavy financial commitments that have not been occasioned by any action of their own. Sheer force of circumstances has resulted in these huge financial commitments, and any Government that would refuse to meet them would be recreant to their duty and deserving of censure. When we remember what a large proportion these commitments represent out of the total expenditure of the Commonwealth, we must realize that the Government are administering the nuances economically, and doing everything that it is humanly possible to do to balance the ledger without involving any section of the people in those hardships that we wish to avoid.
I desire to refer to the proposal to make adequate and permanent provision, so far as it is possible to doi it, fora sinking fund, in order that our enormous debt may be wiped out within a reasonable space of time. There are critics who say that the provision being made by the Government is not nearly sufficient. There are those- who would saddle the present, and perhaps the next, generation with the whole burden of the tremendous war from which we have just emerged, but I believe that the war was fought in the interests, not only of the next generation or two, but oi the whole of posterity. The proposed provision for a sinking fund will wipe cut the debt in a certain period of years, and to my- mind the provision made is entirely adequate. When this matter is placed before’ honorable senators, I hope to be able to support the Government, as I support them now, on the general principle of their proposal.
There is another matter to which I desire to refer at some length. I shall be permitted to do so, I believe, in the present debate, seeing1 nhat the Budget covers expenditure for the benefit of returned soldiers, more particularly for those who have come back unfitted to follow their usual occupations, and a number of whom have been incapacitated since their return from overseas. I have specially in mind those men1 who either came back with tuberculosis, or have contracted it SInCe. I regret to say, also, that in many cases the wives and members of the families of these tubercular soldiers have contracted the complaint from the father or husband. In the last few weeks, I have been approached by some of the leading doctors of Sydney, and certain proposals have been submitted to me which I intend to bring before the Senate. It is the general opinion that the Government are not doing as much as they might in this matter. It is thought by men who ought to know that we are not meeting our obligations to the fullest possible extent by the policy at present being adopted. I realize that a very great deal is being done for the soldiers, and I congratulate the Government upon what they have done, and upon what they propose to do in future; but the matter to which I am specially referring appears to have been almost entirely lost sight of. From information given to me, there are already about fifty wives of returned soldiers who have contracted consumption from their husbands, who either came back from the war suffering from that disease, or who have fallen victims to it since. owing to the privation and exposure to which they were subjected on the other side. So far as I know the Government are not making any special provision for the wives- and children of tubercular patients.
What is being done in England? I have here some reports of the Executive Committees on the various tubercular colonies founded in Great Britain, and the work they are doing in this particular connexion is as fine as one could possibly imagine. Colonies are established at Polton, Hairmyres, Papworth, Kington, Beverley, and Nayland, where they are dealing, not only with returned soldiers who have contracted the disease, but also with the wives and families, and are performing a tremendous and splendid work. I am informed that the total cost of commencing this grand scheme was only £.10,000. I have also a report of the Interdepartmental Committee of the House of Commons in which there is a report by Sir George Newman, K.C.B., M.D., the Principal Medical Officer to the Ministry of Health, who deals with the whole subject in a very comprehensive way. Unfortunately, I have not sufficient time to quote the report; but I desire to point out that this gentleman, and those associated with him, have, in consequence of the experience gained in the various tubercular colonies, arrived at the conclusion that the system they have adopted is the best way * of dealing with this great problem. Unless we do something of a similar nature in Australia, wc shall be not only neglecting our duty in fighting this disease, but assisting in its dissemination. It is true that we have provided sanatoria for returned men, but the inmates are allowed out, and, naturally, when they leave the institutions, they visit their wives and families. Because of this fact, .and the impossibility of entirely segregating them they are spreading the disease amongst their families, find it is almost impossible for one to estimate the enormous injury being done to the general community in this way. In Great Britain, as I have said, they ha vo founded tubercular colonies, and have not only made provision for the accommodation of ex-soldiers, but also for their wives and families. The cost is almost negligible when compared with the tremendous benefit derived from the scheme. The report of the Interdepartmental Committee of the House of Commons points out that the main underlying principle is voluntary segregation, and that all cases can be effectively treated in colonies if the necessary facilities are provided. There is no reason, the report states, why the hospital, sanatorium, and colony should not all be linked together in one area. It is said by some that this would lead to a tremendous increase in expenditure.
– But voluntary segregation always breaks down.
– I know it has its objections, and that it is difficult to have compulsory segregation of the families. If we followed the scheme adopted in Great Britain, and made it possible for men, not in the advanced stages, but in the intermediate stages, to occupy dwellings in one of these colonies with their wives and families, where they would be well looked after, it would bie not only in their interests, but of advantage to the whole community. In Great Britain suitable industries are carried on in these colonies, and that could bc done here, and would be the means of assisting in making them self-supporting. It is also pointed out in the report that the family unit is preserved in the colonies, there is better and fuller observation of the contacts and of the household, better atmosphere, and that colony life is optimistic and prevents morbidity of talk and thought. That has to be provided against so far as the sufferers from this -terrible disease are concerned. It is further stated that men are able to assist in the maintenance of their families, and the danger of indiscriminate contact such as exists in Australia to-day is avoided. In coming to Melbourne from Sydney this week there were in the train two men who were returning to Melbourne from one of the tubercular institutions in New South Wales, where they had been for some time, and it was easy to see that they had the disease in a fairly advanced stage. They were travelling in a public train, doubtless to visit their friends and families; and when they arrived here they would probably be accommodated at an hotel, and would mingle freely with the public wherever they went, thus spreading tubercular germs in a way that should not be permitted in any circumstances. Surely it would be much better if they were accommodated in a small dwelling, in a colony, with their families, where they would be together and properly inspected and controlled. They would be happier with their families, and if they were helped in the direction I have suggested, the Government would not only bc performing a splendid work, but would be, perhaps, assisting in saving many valuable lives. I urge upon the Government the necessity of having some such scheme which, in the opinion of eminent medical men who have approached me on the matter, is absolutely essential. Some of ihe medical gentlemen interested in this matter include the leading doctors in Sydney, who are prepared to do anything possible to assist in founding a colony. The Government should give the matter the most earnest consideration, and ask for the co-operation of such men as Dr. Fairfax of Sydney, in order that tho work could be undertaken in a way which would be most suitable to Australian conditions.
There is another most important matter I wish to deal with, and one which I have already incidentally mentioned. I refer to the criticism being levelled against the National party in this Parliament. It is said, of course, that this party is everything it ought not to be. I have already pointed out that a campaign of vilification is being indulged in by the press, and certain organizations, without any justification whatever, no doubt with a certain object in view. That object is to bring about the defeat of the Government, and replace it by another. In doing this, however, I would like to mention that there is only one alternative to the present Government, and that is a Labour Administration. If these gentlemen, the press, and those organizations which indulge in this criticism, could be brought to realize that that is the real position, they would see that they are doing a foolish thing, and would discontinue the kind of criticism that they are indulging in and change their attitude towards the Government. It may be asserted, without any fear of denial, that it is almost impossible for these people to point to any really big question upon which they, can differ from the Government. They may find little things against which they can direct their criticism, but so far as the general policy of the Government during the last twelve months, and its policy for the future, is concerned, there is no room for this destructive criticism by that section of the community which is opposed to everything the Labour party and the Labour movement stands for. We stand solidly against the things that the Labour party stands for. They stand for the break-up of society the socialization of industry, and the destruction of those things which we believe to be absolutely essential if we wish to remain a community of moral and decent citizens. If there are people in this: community who believe in the principles that we believe in, who feel with us that the liberties that we enjoy are worth fighting for, they should stand with us against those who are attacking us. It seems to me that there is a section of the community and of Parliament which is prepared to join with anybody in doing anything at all, so long as it gives them an opportunity to vent their spleen against the Government.
– Would the honorable senator have the Government above criticism ?
– I have specially mentioned “constructive” criticism. It is the senseless, lying criticism, that we get, more particularly from the daily press of this State, that I specially resent. I welcome constructive criticism both for myself and for the Government. I have several times exercised my right to offer constructive criticism in this Senate, and when I have any constructive criticism to offer, I am always ready, and perhaps too eager, te offer it. I resent the criticism by the daily press of this city, the like of which cannot be found in any other city of the Commonwealth today. That such criticism is indulged in for a purpose, and that there is money behind it, cannot be denied.
– It is a habit they have got into.
– I cannot believe that it is a habit. When journals have been established for as long as the journals of this city, they do, perhaps, become addicted to evil habits, but I find it hard to believe that this criticism is the result of a habit. I am rather inclined to the opinion that they have ulterior motives in view. What those motives are only the future will reveal.
– They have been revealing those motives a little lately, have they not?
– I believe they have to some extent, but not their ultimate motives. I am convinced, as a keen observer, that if the campaign waged against this Government is successful, it can only result in* untold trouble and evil to the people of the Commonwealth. I do not believe that there is, in any State, any very, considerable section of the people whosubscribe to the doctrines which are being enunciated by the press of Melbourne.A return to Conservatism would not be countenanced by the democratic people of Australia. There is a tremendous danger that the campaign which is being waged against the Government by the Conservative element in the communitywill, swing a great section of the people to the other extreme, with consequent disaster from a financial, moral, and economic point of view.
I realize that with the state of business in theSenate as it is, and in view of the great necessity that exists for passing measures which the Government deems to be “urgent before Parliament concludes its labours at the end of next week, it would not be fair for me to occupy any considerable) time in discussing this or any other measure. I hope to be able to have a full opportunity of discussing the measures forecast in the Budget when they come before us in the shape of Bills in the next Parliament. I congratulate the Treasurer and the Government upon the clearness of the Budget, the way in which ithas been presented, and their record for the past twelve months.
Debate (on motion by Senator de Largie) adjourned.
Debate resumed from 29th September (vide page 2896), on motion ‘by Senator Pearce -
That this Bill be now read a secondtime.
– The Superannuation Bill is one of those measures which have been promised for a considerable time. During last session we had before us a measure dealing with the Public Service itself, and prior to that we passed two other measures that had relation to the same subject - one in connexion with a Board, and the other in connexion with an Arbitrator for the Service. This is the fourth. Bill dealing practically entirely with the Public Service. At the present time the Public Service is looming large in the work of the legislator, and it may be said that there is no justification for so much time being spent on that subject, as there are other measures of importance to the whole community which are waiting , to be passed. We must bear in mind that the Public Service is engaged in the administrative work of the Commonwealth, and that the members comprising it are distributed throughout the Commonwealth. Too much is heard by way of criticism to the effect that the Service is extremely large and that many of the individuals engaged in it are only partially employed. I venture to say, and I have expressed the opinion before,that an honest observation of the Public Service would, to a large extent, convince those members, if they are open to conviction, that their charge is not a just one. Coming to the Bill before us, I wish to congratulate the Treasurer (Mr. Bruce) without any reservation upon it. Honorable senators are indebted to the AttorneyGeneral (Mr. Groom) for his lucid explanation of the measure in another place, and also to the Minister forHome and Territories (Senator Pearce) for the admirableway in which he dealt with it in this Chamber. It greatly assists honorable senators to grasp, not only the main features of a Bill, but also its intricate details, if the Ministerial explanation is explicit and lucid. It may be admitted that this Bill is simple in its language, as simple perhaps as we could have expected lawyers to make it.
– Their constant aim is simplicity.
-All I can say is that if Bills drafted by them represent the acme of simplicity, God help those who indulge in complexity of speech.
– The honorable senator is aware that language was given us to conceal our thoughts.
– Then I have to confess that very often those who follow the profession to which the honorable senator belongs accomplish the purpose for which language was instituted. This Bill has been objected to in some quarters because of the immense commitments in which it involves the Commonwealth. The Attorney-General has stated that the estimate of its commitments is from £13,000,000 to £14,000,000.
– That figure covers the commitments extending over a period of forty years. When Parliament is asked to enact a measure committing the Commonwealth to such an extent, we have to consider that view of it. I want to meet the objection on the score of the expense involved to the Commonwealth. The Public Service is entirely unlike any private concern. Those who enter it do so knowing that it will be the sphere of their life’s work, because employment in many branches of the Public Service unfits men for outside work.
– Was not the complaint made only the other day that all the smart men were leaving the Service.
– It is true that men attracted by advantages to be gained outside the Public Service take advantage of opportunities to leave it. I find that the number of those who have left the Service each year has averaged 1,123, during the last three years. In 1919, 936 persons left the Public Service; in 1920, the number who left was 1.367; and in 1921, the number was 1,063.
– That is to say,5 per cent. of the members of the Public Service leave each year.
-Do the honorable senator’s figures include men who went to the war ?
– No, the men who went to the war did not resign. Their places were kept for them, andthey resumed duty on their return, if they were fit to do so.
– Some did not return. Are they included in the figures quoted ?
-I think not. The figures I have quoted were given by Mr. Groom.
– Were the men who left young, middle-aged, or old men?
– That information is not given, but I judge that they would, for the most part, be men of middle life, who were able to take up outside employment.
– I think Mr. Groom said that, for the most part, they were smart, young men in the Service.
– A number of officers left the Taxation Office, the Electoral Branch of the Home and Territories Department, and the Post Office, and it is possible that there mayhave been some overlapping, which was not allowed for in the figures. I must say that these figures startled me.
-Can the honorable senator give us the number of those who wanted to get into the Service?
– I do not wish to. do all the work that has to be done here, and my honorable friend can bend his energies to discovering how many desired to get into the Service.
– Some people want to get in here.
– Senator Newland’s interjection suggests that some who want to get in would be better out of the Service, just as some who want to get in here would not be the best men to have in. Parliament. I have said that employment in many Departments of the Public Service unfits men for outside avocations. When they have reached middle age, they are compelled of necessity to continue in the Service. It should be borne in mind that their work is done for the public as well as for the remuneration they receive. I have stood up for the public servants while I have been here, and, in fact, right through life, because I recognise how useful they are and how little thanks they often receive for their work. I think that justice is not always done them in estimating the value of their services.
It is questionable whether the Government would not have made a more economical bargain in instituting a fund to which they would contribute at the beginning, interest on the fund accumulating with interest on the contributions from the Service, so as to obviate the difficulty of meeting a growing demand upon the fund. Dealing with this matter in another place, Mr. Groom estimated that the demand at the present time will be very much lower than it will be later on. He supplied three tables compiled by actuaries, and quoting from the last of these tables, the statement is made that for the first year£22,000 will need to be the contribution of the Commonwealth, and during the fortieth year of the operation of the scheme the Commonwealth will be required to make a contribution of £433,000. We should bear in mind that the Service is to-day a going concern, and not one which is starting de novo. The number of persons in the Public Service at the present time is approximately 25,000. The average demand over the first five years is likely to be about the same, and the tabic supplied by the Attorney-General appeared to me to estimate a quite disproportionate demand on the Commonwealth in later years.. I cannot see that the demand is likely to increase to such an extent as is anticipated within the next forty years unless very considerable development takes place in the Commonwealth, and if it does the Service must be increased proportionately.
-brockman. - The same point struck me. Has the honorable senator looked at the figures in connexion with the New South Wales scheme?
– I have not compared the New South Wales scheme with this.
– I ask because in New South Wales they altogether under estimated the cost of their scheme
– In New South Wales they under estimated the cost, because they did not anticipate that New South Wales would develop as that State has done. I make no claim, to actuarial knowledge, but as a layman it certainly strikes me that the difference between £22,000 in the first year and £433,000 in the fortieth year represents an entirely disproportionate increase in the demand upon the fund which might bc anticipated.
– The honorable senator has quoted the estimate of actuaries.
– I am not questioning the ability of the actuaries; I would not venture to do so, but their estimate of the increase in the demand on tho fund has astonished me, and it is inexplicable to a layman.
The benefits conferred by the Bill are varied. For instance, those who have retired since 31st December, 1920, and who had been more than tcn years in the Service will como within the scope of this Bill, and be entitled to pension rights. Those who are over fifty years of age will also come within the scope of the measure, although they will not have contributed an equivalent under the scale. Employees from twenty years up to about forty years of age will, in the course of their service up to the age of retirement, contribute their equivalent, and if in the meantime they should die, their widows and children up to the age of sixteen years will receive substantial benefits under this scheme. Then there is provision for invalidity, due to breakdown in health, whether physical or mental, and it will be noted that the scheme includes female as well as male employees of the Commonwealth. We expect from all public servants whole-hearted and earnest service, and so it is incumbent upon the Government to be as liberal as possible in this superannuation scheme, and certainly not less liberal, than private firms.. Every business firm, of any standing or magnitude makes provision in this way for the retirement of those of its employees who have served them for a considerable number of years, and have reached a stage at which their services (have ceased to be profitable. Under private superannuation schemes, every care is taken of individual employees, and in some respects the advantages offered are greater than those contained in this measure. We expect, as I have stated, wholehearted service from all our public servants. They are required to devote the whole of their time to the service of the Commonwealth. They are prohibited from accepting outside remuneration, or participating in any business venture, except as a member of a company of not less than 100 shareholders. This being so, it is only reasonable that as a quid pro quo the Commonwealth should establish a scheme making adequate provision for them, when they reach the age at which they should retire from the Service. No doubt all honorable senators can recall many instances of individual hardship due to the absence of any such scheme hitherto. I know of a number of persons who, after having given upwards of forty years’ service to the State, have been totally unprovided for, owing to the fact that they were not sufficiently remunerated when in employment, with the result that they have been obliged to accept the old-age pension.
There is another point. It must be remembered that opportunities for promotion in the Public Service are not so numerous as in outside employment. In this connexion, I am glad to notice that in another place a provision was inserted in tho Public Service Bill to break down the present system of watertight compartments, so that in future it should be possible for officers of proved ability to make more rapid progress, and thus, by wider experience, become more useful servants of the State.
This superannuation payment cannot be regarded as a dole. The calculations of the actuaries who investigated the scheme are based upon the present strength of the Service, but if within the next forty years it is doubled and if the demands on the Government are increased in proportion, so also will the Government revenue be increased, because if, by reason of added population, the Commonwealth Public Service requires strengthening, it is natural to assume that the Government revenue will also increase to a corresponding degree. Therefore, the demand on the Government in respect of superannuation payments will not, in proportion, be any greater than is shown in the actuaries’ report.
The revenue for the scheme will be drawn from three sources, namely, contributions from members of the Public Service, £1 for £1 payments by the Government, and interest on the amount in the fund itself. I have nothing but eulogy for the framers of the Bill and the Government in connexion with the scheme. The Government have not sought to limit the superannuation benefits to the lowest possible point. The scheme has been so prepared that mem- bers of the Service should be able to make the contributions without any great difficulty. In the case of officers over the age of forty years, however, and especially those who, being in receipt of a fairly high salary, may be) required to contribute for a large number of units, it is possible that the demands made upon them during the remaining years of their service will be fairly substantial.
– But they will get more than the equivalent when they retire.
– I mention this in passing, and in the hope that it will receive consideration when we are considering the Bill in Committee. It is possible that notwithstanding their heavy contributions to the fund, the benefitto be derived by them may be somewhat limited, during the few remaining years of their life.
– That argument would apply to any officer who retired at the age limit, even if he had contributed over a period of thirty years.
-If we take the case of a man who at the age of, say, forty years is required to contribute for twelve units of pension, as compared with that of a man commencing his contributions at under thirty years, it will be seen that in his case the contributions will be very much heavier proportionately. It must be borne in mind that when a man reaches the age of about fifty years, in all probability he will not have many children under sixteen years of age. Therefore the pension equivalent of his contributions may not be so attractive. Another source of revenue for the fund is the subsidy by the Government. The contributions by the public servants are to be continuous, whereas the contributions by the Government will only bo continuous when the pension has to be paid. The Government contributions will be larger in connexion with the earlier demands than they will be later. Those joining the Public Service at the present time, or who have been members of it for five or ten years, will make a very large contribution towards their pensions.
– Do you know what proportion they will pay in?
– No; but it seemed to me, judging by a calculation made in the other branch of the Legislature, which I took to be correct, that, on the basis of compound interest, the proportion will be very much greater as the period of contribution lengthens, so that eventually the demands made upon the Government should decrease rather than increase.
I now come to the question of management. A Board of three is to be appointed, one of whom is to be chairman. I suppose that the chairman will be an actuary, and that a London or Edinburgh certificate will be an essential qualification for the position. It seems to me that the Bill prohibits an Australian from being appointed.
– You cannot find that in the Bill.
– The Bill provides that one of the members of the Board shall be an actuary, and “ actuary “ is defined as meaning “ a Fellow or Associate of the Institute of Actuaries. (London), or a Fellow or Associate of the Faculty of Actuaries (Edinburgh).”
– There is nothing to say that he shall not be an Australian. There are plenty of Australians with those degrees.
– Australians will not have the same chance.
– The definition limits the choice. The Government will have the power to make the appointment, and Parliament will only have the power of subsequent revision. The secretary of the Board, also, is to be made an actuary,’ or there is to be an actuary in the Department. There is a suggestion, here, of a considerable Department being built up. As far as possible it should be’ restricted, and the expenses limited to a very small amount. If the scheme were overloaded with overhead charges, the fund would not be able to give the Service the benefits intended, and upon the quinquennial examination the contributions might have to be increased.
– The Government, according to the Bill, are to bear the expenses of the management.
– I expect that the Government would, before long, naturally say that the cost of management should be borne by the fund itself. The Public Service would then have to pay- its share of that cost. As soon as the measure becomes law, the first pressure brought to bear from outside will be in the direction of making the fund bear the cost of the Board.
– If the cost of management is to be borne by the fund, should not the Service be allowed to elect its own Board?
– I am merely asking that the question should be considered on its merits. Senator Wilson’, as a business man, would naturally say that the Service was getting too many privileges from the Government.
There is provision made to enable members of the Service to hand over to the Board any insurance policies at present held by them, and to obtain the actuarial equivalent. The Board would then continue the payment of the premiums, and , when the policies matured, the amount paid in premiums would be charged against the member of the fund, at 4 per cent, interest. This is an exceedingly liberal provision.
– Are you in favour of the measure?
– Yes. I hope I have not conveyed any other impression.
– Then why not let the Bill go through?
– It is the duty of honorable senators to give due consideration to all Bills. If there is one cry outside, it is against hasty legislation.
Another provision that merits careful consideration, enables privileges accruing to members of the Service under State laws to be commuted, and the actuarial equivalent to be credited to the contributor to the fund. What the actuarial equivalent may be the civil servant does not know. I am well aware that, if one wishes to surrender an ordinary life assurance policy that has years to run, he finds that the actuarial equivalent is very much less than the face value!
– Do YOU think the Service would get better treatment from a properly organized assurance company than it would under this scheme?
– That question has two aspects. It. depends on the company selected, and on whether it is an - organization such as the Australian Mutual Provident Society, or one that is conducted purely for-profit. When the actuarial equivalent of the benefits accruing to a member of the Service under the State law had been credited to -him, he could then take up the remainder of the units to which his present salary would make it necessary for him to subscribe. Therein lies the difficulty, because the actuarial value is of a State right, and may discount it very much. I stress the point now although it is one that must be dealt with fully in Committee. If honorable senators’ will peruse the clause they’ will see that there are difficulties and dangers, and we must protect the rights of public servants who have to hand over their policies to the Board. Provision is made in clause 49 for public servants who are unable to carry on their duties for the full period and who have to retire before reaching the age of sixty-five years. Under some State laws public servants have to retire at sixty years, which is an earlier age than that specified in the Bill, in which case they will receive an actuarial equivalent of what they would receive had they retired at sixty-five.
– What of the public servants from South Australia who are seventy ?
– When they came over to the Commonwealth Service they did not lose their accruing rights, and are in a similar position to those I have mentioned who have to retire at sixty.
The High Court has ‘ruled that they -have a right to continue un’til they are seventy provided their health ‘is good, and ‘their mental capacity .unimpaired.
This is one of the most admirable Bills presented to the Senate since I have .been a senator, and I regard it as a recognition of a fair demand from the public servants and the people of the Commonwealth. Their desires have been met in a generous way, and the scheme is mutual, seeing that many public servants will receive considerably more than they pay, and others will pay more than they may receive. The measure is one that should receive the support of the Senate, as it ‘shows a genuine desire on the part of the Government to make the Service more contented, and if we do that we should expect efficient service in return. (Senator FAIRBAIRN ‘(Victoria) [4.40]. - I ‘have not perused this complicated Bill very closely ; ‘but I ^believe .all shades of political .opinion, bath inside and outside of Parliament, favour ‘the granting of adequate retiring allowances to our public servants. There would “be no risk ‘in delaying the passage of the Bill, because the members of the three political parties in Parliament appear to’ be of the same opinion concerning the necessity of such a measure, and if it should be the misfortune of the Commonwealth to have other than a National Government after the coming elections, whatever party is in power will support suCh a scheme. I would like, however, to see full and thorough consideration given to such an important Bill, not only in the interests of the public servants, but of the people who have to provide some of the money. We know what has happened in New South Wales in consequence of . a similar measure being rushed through Parliament without mature consideration, and criticisms in the press concerning the New South Wales Statute incline me to believe that something of a similar nature may happen in connexion with this Bill if the actuarial calculations are not sound. It is possible that we may, in the course of .a year or two, find ourselves faced with a much larger expenditure than is at present contemplated. Personally, when I make a bargain, I like to keep it, and Governments should do the same. If we make a mistake in this instance we may be faced with the position now confronting New South Wales, where the system is costing much more ‘than was anticipated. If ‘sufficient precautions ‘are not taken the whole thing may be a fiasco. The Minister for Justice in .New South Wales (Mr. Ley.) said -
Since -July, 1919, ‘the Ministry ‘has overpaid ?430,877, and ‘the contributions of the State are out of proportion to the contributions of the employees. In one case the -‘State contribution towards ‘a pension is ?1,052 a year, and -the contribution of the employee ?-13 2s. a year.
That is a most extraordinary situation, and one which we should guard against. Mr Ley goes on to say -
The State was induced to ‘enter into a contract on -a ‘grossly mistaken .estimate that it would cost between if.190.000 to ?200,000 a year, while the actual cost is now ?439.,000 & year, exclusive of ?75,000 paid by corporate bodies.
Mr. Ley recommends that the contributions to .the fund paid by the “State should ‘be ‘discontinued as from the 1st July, 1922, except in respect of such officers as may remain in .the scheme, and that the fund be closed -to new entrantsand a reversion made to the former system of compulsory life insurance for new entrants. He also recommends that the Ministry extend to those contributing to the scheme an opportunity to retire voluntarily, and that pensions to contributors and non-contributors over thirty years shall be equated on a sixty-year basis as from the 1st July, 1919. If these recommendations are adopted, he says an estimated saving of ?439,000 would be made in each of the first two years, and approximately ?214,000 a year afterwards. This is sufficient to show what has resulted from hurried legislation in New South Wales. Mr. Ley further says -
It is unthinkable that the Bill for the scheme would have been introduced into Parliament, or that the then Treasurer would have brought the full scheme into operation, if the actual huge and growing annual cost had been foreseen. The State having been induced to enter into the contract by misrepresentation is, therefore, entitled to withdraw on equitable terms. The continuance of the scheme is ethically objectionable, because it is a privilege given to one class of the community largely ut the expense of another class, and the members of the latter class must pay without the right of participation. The State’s contribution to the fund last year - ?514,000 - represents ?1 4s. 3d. per head of ‘the number of industrial wage-earners in the State, or Ss. 7)d. per head of the total adult male population of the State.
We do not wish to hoodwink the public servants in any way. I have always found them very reasonable men. Candidates at the next election are afraid, perhaps, that if this measure is not passed they will incur a great deal of odium. I am not a candidate at the next election, and I think the public servants would take a reasonable view of this matter and realize that it would be better to wait a little while. They could then have a scheme established on a sound actuarial basis.
– A bird in the hand, you know.
– This bird is in hand, because all political parties favour the scheme. The Minister for Home and Territories (Senator Pearce), when introducing the Bill, mentioned that many banks and commercial houses have similar schemes for the benefit of their employees. The public servants really have a bird in the cage, but I am sure they do not wish a measure to be passed which will have” to be repealed in two or three years. Is the bird going to have a short life, or will it live as long as the eagle? I am afraid that the Government has not had time to go thoroughly into the matter and see that the Bill is founded upon a firm rook. I happen to know that the Accountants Society of the sister State has examined the actuarial figures upon which the Bill is based, and has declared that they are entirely wrong. The Society says that the amount which will have to be paid will be much larger than that set out in the actuarial figures upon which the Bill is based. That statement, of course, may be right or wrong, but we do not want to make any mistake. Even if the passing of the Bill i3 delayed until the next session, it could still be dated as from the present time. I think the Government might postpone the Bill until the public is thoroughly satisfied that after this bargain has been made there will be no need to repudiate it because it has been based on false actuarial figures.
A letter, regarding payments, was published in the Argues on Monday, 2nd October, 1922. It was signed by “ Actuary,” who stated: -
It has been stated that the suggestion that tho Commonwealth superannuation scheme is on the basis of a £1 for £1 subsidy by the Federal Government is misleading, and Sir Robert Best is apparently surprised. It may assist to an appreciation of the position if I quote the actual annual amounts payable respectively by present male employees of different ages and by the Government. For a pension of £104 per annum the following are the annual contributions: -
The relation of the aggregate Government contribution to the aggregate employees’ contribution will depend upon the numbers of employees at the different ages. Presumably this information could easily be supplied. I would like to point out further that in the Bill the words “ actuarial equivalent “ frequently occur. This is a loose term, capable of different interpretations. I suggest that they be replaced by the words “ equivalent in the opinion of the actuary.”
My main object in reading the letter is to suggest to the Government that instead of paying into the fund the actual amount as at the age of twenty years, they should pay in a yearly averaged amount to a fund kept in trust. I think it would be much better, instead of paying £20,000 into the fund for the first year, to pay in an amount which would represent an average for forty years.
– That provision in the New South Wales scheme is what got them into trouble.
– I cannot understand that. Such a provision would not cause the employees to come on to the pension fund any earlier, and it would not entitle them to larger pensions. The money in trust could be invested in, say, the 6 per cent. Government securities, which would yield a very large amount of interest, upon which the Government would not have to pay any tax. By this method the load would be continually lightening. The scheme contemplates an expenditure, at the start, of £20,000 per annum, rising in forty years to £400,000 per annum. These payments could easily be averaged over the forty years. The suggestion, at least, is worthy of consideration. I want to see the measure passed calmly and deliberately, so that we shall not make any mistakes and have heartburnings in future,” between the Government and the Public Service, as must be the case in New South Wales. Strong resentment must be felt by the Service in New South Wales at the sudden abandonment of the scheme there.
I do not pretend to have thoroughly mastered the details of the Bill, but I would like to bring under the notice of the Government the case of a bachelor who is supporting a mother. If, after having paid into the fund for ten years or fifteen years, he dies, all his contributions are lost. If we intend to do justice to the public servant we should do it to the bachelor as well as to the married man. The bachelor runs the risk, of course, of getting married. I have received the following’ letter from, shall we say, an unfortunate bachelor: -
In regard to the Superannuation Bill, I would respectfully point out that in the case of a male contributor - a bachelor who is the sole support of his mother - no provision appears to have been made for the mother to draw tho pension on the death of such a contributor; whereas in the case of a married contributor provision is made for the wife and any member of the family under the age of sixteen years. In the case under notice, if a pension cannot be provided for the mother, could the amount contributed be paid over to the mother or other dependant on the death of the contributor!
That seems to m& to be -a just claim, and I would like to hear the Minister’s views upon it. There may, of course, be difficulties in granting what appears to be a reasonable request. I think the best thing the bachelors could do would be to get married.
– If a female contributor dies her personal representatives get back what she has paid into the fund.
– That makes the request on behalf of the bachelors all the stronger. Public Service Sills are always so complicated that I have never been able to grasp them thoroughly. I wish. to keep the Public Service contented and in good working condition, and for that reason I wish to avoid any possibility of a. repetition of the fiasco that has happened in New South Wales. I am afraid that owing to the suddenness with which the Bill has been brought before Parliament some flaw may be found in it after it has been passed. It ought to be allowed to stand over until next session so that it may be dealt with in a calm and deliberate way.
– After commending the Government, for introducing this measure and their determination to have it passed during the present Parliament, we should be acting somewhat deceitfully if we did anything which would tend to prevent or delay its passage. This measure has been looked forward to for many years. As one who has been connected with Federal politics for a considerable period, I have felt heartily ashamed at election time to have this matter mentioned, and to have to make excuses for the delay in the enactment of such a measure. No matter what may be the result of the coming elections, I hope that honorable senators will make sure that before this Parliament closes this measure is placed on the statute-book. We are all agreed that moderation is a characteristic of., Senator Fairbairn, but the honorable senator surely speaks in the language of exaggeration when he suggests that there is anything in the nature of hasty legislation in connexion with this measure. Its introduction has been too long delayed, and I should be very sorry indeed, if its enactment were futher postponed.
I regret that up to the present this’ Parliament has not seen fit to consider and pass a more comprehensive scheme of general insurance. We often make the boast that we are pioneers in social legislation, yet we have many things to learn from other countries. If we consider the national insurance schemes of Germany, France, and other Continental countries, and also of Great Britain, we shall find in them something which we might _ copy with benefit to the whole community. I am sorry that we have* not so far been able to pass a general insurance scheme. I heard last night from a member of the House of Commons, one of the .most remarkable statements I have ever listened to. He said something which suggested a view of the immigration question that had never been presented to 0me before. He told us that one thing which was likely to operate against the immigration of people from the Old Country to Australia, is the excellent social legislation which has been passed in Great Britain. He pointed out that a person who is unemployed, or unable to follow his ordinary occupation, may live in some comfort in the Old Country on the £2 or a little more per week which he is able to draw from the insurance schemes adopted there. This consideration, it is suggested, makes people reluctant to leave the old land and come out here to play the part of pioneers in’ our back country, where- we propose they shall settle on their arrival- in Aus,tralia That was. a new view of the. immigration question put before- members of this Parliament last night by Mr; Greene.
There is one matter to which a reference should be made,, in order to have removed any doubt as to what the Government propose. I refer to the position of the professional soldier section of our Service. I admit- that they cannot be properly included in our Public Service, but they are servants, of the community and o£ the Government, and’ as we represent the Board, of Management of their employers, we are entitled to ask the Government to explain- what they intend to do for these people. Quite a number of them have enlisted for a short period, and are re-enlisted and, to all intents and purposes, are- permanently employed in the- Service. Their enlistment for a short period differentiates them from persons who pass examinations and enter the Public Service- as boys, practically enlisting in the Service for their whole lives. I (hope that some statement will be made- of the intentions of the Government, respecting the very deserving section e-f servants of the Commonwealth to whom I have, referred. I do not propose to address myself to. the second reading of the Bill at length, recognising that the best support I can give it is to assist its speedy passage through this Chamber’.
– I think it unnecessary to speak at length on, the second, reading of this. Bill I believe that all members, of the Senate are agreed upon: the principle of the establishment of ai superannuation! fund for the Commonwealth Public Service. In common with Senator de Largie, I . should have been pleased if it had been possible for the Government to bring’ forward’ some measure under which the whole of the people’ of the Commonwealth might participate in the benefits’ of a scheme of this kind. Senator Fairbairn has expressed the hope that a fair amount of time will be given for the consideration of this Bill. It appears to me that the- test value of the measure will be the correctness of its figures. As. doubt has been cast upon them from, quite a number of quarters,, we. would naturally feel more satisfied if some, provision were made whereby, in the; event of the. figures ,pro5- ing to be incorrect, we might; retrace our steps: I am not an actuary, and it is impossible- for nae to- say whether or not the figures’ are correct.
– They were’ examined and certified to by a very competent Committee
– It was by a Committee of three, and that is a. very small number compared with the number of actuaries in the Commonwealth. I should be .pleased if the figures could! be. fully tested’ and shown to be correct before we are asked to give our assent to the Bill:
– The Committee- of Actuaries has given us a certificate that they are correct.
– It is true that, a. Committee of three: actuaries: has doneso, tout is that the best test of the correctness’ of the figures that we can get?
– Their certificatehas, been challenged.
– That, is so, and; that, is the- difficulty with which I am concerned at (present. I welcome the introduction of the Bill. I admit that such legislation is overdue. At the same time- I do not wish to commit the Commonwealth to a big expenditure, of money unless I am satisfied that the principles of the measure are sound.
It’ has been stated that a large number of persons leave the Public Service) and we have been told that during the last three years the average number leaving the Service each year has been about- 1,(200. I do not. know the cause, but I presume it is that those who. leave think that they can do belter for themselves outside. It may be that they are of opinion, that in the Public Service there is. not. the scope for a man to rise to the position to which his qualifications, would entitle him. It is sometimes said that too, much preference is’ gaven- to seniority and. too. little to, merit.. I hold that the first consideration for promotion should be, the qualification of a man -for. the- position he aspires, to-. I am- sure that the public servants desire: the passage of a measure- of this kind, and. I. know that honorable senators are: anxious to do justice to them. If the Government’- could give- us, a- little more assurance as to: the correctness of the figures involved in the measure we would be. grateful for it.
– This Bill is commended from all sides of the Chamber. I have always maintained that the State should be a model employer, and I do not depart from that attitude on this occasion. The BDI is chiefly one for consideration in Committee. It requires very .careful study, and honorable senators have been assisted by the circulation of copies of the speech’ made by the Minister (Senator Pearce) who introduced it. This is a proposal the benefits of which might well be extended to all sections of the community. There is not the slightest doubt that public sentiment is tending in that way, because it is agreed that the three evils which exist under the present individualistic system, namely, unemployment, illhealth, and old-age, require to be. alleviated by some kind of general insurance. Whatever we may think of the present social system, it cannot be denied that in earlier forms of society people were protected in a much more effective way from the evils to which I have referred than they are under modern conditions. Under the Feudal system, while it imposed certain disabilities upon the liberty of the subject, and was, perhaps, more galling In some respects to a man’s spirit than the present capitalistic system, the question of unemployment was not a matter of great concern and ill-health was not of such moment as at the present time. If there was sufficient food produced on an estate every one shared it. There was at times the dread of famine, but even under present conditions famine has still to be dreaded. However much may he said in praise of . the individualistic system,, measures of this kind are found to be necessary from time to time to relieve the hardships which have to be endured under the modern social system. This is a measure intended to help the civil servant, when he retires from the service of .his country; to enjoy a comfortable old-age. I do not begrudge this measure of relief to the public servant, but I should have preferred the Government to bring’ forward a1 scheme of general insurance applicable to the whole community, and covering not only superannuation, but ill-health and unemployment. From critics of this measure we learn that members of the Public Service- are fortunate individuals as compared with private employees. No doubt something may be said in that regard, because the general rule in the Public Service is that if a man is steady, and has fair, average ability, he is in. no great danger of losing his employment, except, perhaps, in times- of panic,’ when there may be a general demand, for economy and retrenchment in the Public Service. Generally speaking, therefore, a public servant is much better oS than a person in private employment. However, the State should be a model employer, the collective good sense, and decency of. the community pointing the way to- higher things, and that, I think, is the main feature of this Bill. It represents an endeavour to lessen the harshness of the present social system. I heartily support the Bill, and I hope that, as the years roll on, we shall find similar, provisions extended to all private industries. I do not intend to discuss the various aspects of the measure,, although I note that a little alarm has been expressed, as to the. soundness of the figures in the table presented by the Actuaries. Before giving unqualified support to the proposal, I should like a little further evidence - I presume the Minister (Senator Pearce) will be able to furnish it - as. to the correctness of the actuarial’ calculations.
I have here a couple of letters dealing with special cases which appear to me to deserve earnest consideration, and I suggest that the Minister should give consideration to the question of extending the scope of the provisions in the direction indicated by the claimants. The first case is that of an officer who was retired on the 22nd July, 1920, after twentyfour years’ service, and without any allowance. He asks that some provision should be made to meet his case. Apparently he was retired only six months before the date upon which the scheme comes into operation - it is- made retrospective to 31st December, 1920 - and therefore he is shut out From benefits. He was retired through no fault of his own, being a sufferer from the white plague. The other case I wish to mention is that of members of the Defence Forces who reached the retiring age during the war. Apparently they were not returned soldiers, but had served in the Defence Forces of the Commonwealth for a number of years, and were kept on until some time after the Armistice was signed. Some were discharged’ in October, 1919, and’ some in December of the same year, after forty-five years’ service. Certain of these men were sixtyfive years of age, and, as they are deserving cases, I trust that something will be done for them. No doubt other honorable senators will be able to cite a number of similar cases, which will be brought before the Minister, or, if not, will certainly be mentioned to candidates at the ensuing election. Having submitted these cases to the Minister, I think the best service I can do for the measure is to give it a speedy passage.
The Bill we are now discussing is one of the most important that has ever been submitted for our consideration. I intend to make a few general observations, without dealing specifically with any of the clauses which, I think, can best be discussed at the Committee stage of the Bill.
This superannuation scheme was promised by the Government a long time ago, and I am pleased that it has at last been presented. One of the most important matters that can be considered by Parliament is that of insuring at contented and efficient Public Service. We are all anxious that the Service shall be efficient, that it shall be managed ‘as economically as possible, and that every encouragement shall be given to individual unite to give of his best to his country. The main object of this pension fund is that those who apply for admission to the Public Service may be able to look forward, in their retirement, to some adequate provision being made for them, not entirely unaided. The general impression that prevails is that a lad entering the Public Service of the Commonwealth, provided he doss his duty, may expect to remain in the Service until he reaches the retiring age, unless, of course, in the progress of time it becomes necessary to re-organize the Service and reduce some of the Departments, in which case he would be called upon to retire. But even if a public servant is retired before the stipulated age, his superannuation allowance will not be imperilled.
We have to look at this matter from both sides of the fence. The public servant is in a much better position than an employee in a private firm, because the latter is dependent entirely upon the financial success of his employer from year to year, the value of trade done, and so on. Considerations of this nature do not enter into the calculations of a public servant, so there he has a distinct advantage over a private employee. But, as against that, we must remember that promotion in the Public Service is not as rapid as in many private firms, and, in addition, a public servant, by virtue . of the fact that he is applying himself to a certain class of work in a particular Department, is almost totally unfitted for the ordinary avocations outside should he be obliged to leave the Government Service after a lengthy period of employment. Therefore, provision is made in this Bill to give employees in the Public Service a distinct advantage over employees in private firms, inasmuch as the Commonwealth Treasury will subsidize in a substantial manner the personal contributions to the fund. I believe that the establishment of the Superannuation Fund will help to make the Public Service more contented than it is at the present time. We all realize, I am sure, that unless we have a contented Public Service we cannot expect the best return. We recently dealt with another Bill affecting the Public Service, and in which it is proposed to give wider powers to the Board of Commissioners, and we are hopeful that better results will flow from that measure. If by this scheme we can assist the members of the Public Service to make provision for a rainy day, the result must be very satisfactory on the whole.
While I was looking through the Bill a day or two ago, in consultation with one who takes a very great interest in the Public Service, my attention was directed to an omission with regard to the position of a public servant who may be transferred from any Department of the Service to the Mandated Territories. Apparently there is no provision for such a contingency. When we come to that part of the Bill in Committee I shall submit an amendment to insert the necessary provision to meet the case I have mentioned.
We had some observations from Senator Fairbairn this’ afternoon as to the difference of opinion held by various actuaries and banking authorities concerning the soundness of the scheme. I hope Senator Fairbairn does not contemplate opposing the second reading for that reason, because I believe that, before we deal with any of the clauses referring to the financial obligations of the Commonwealth, the Minister will do all he can to furnish us with evidence as to the soundness of the actuaries’ calculations. Doctors differ very often, and lawyers differ also. We have had ample evidence of that in this Chamber, and I cannot understand why exception should be taken if actuaries differ. I do not know the gentlemen responsible for the tables incorporated in this Bill, but I should imagine that the Government would be very careful to see that they were thoroughly competent to evolve and advise upon a scheme of this magnitude. I hope that the second reading of the Bill will be agreed to, and that the various interesting matters arising out of the large number of clauses will be discussed on their merits at the Committee table.
– As this is one of the most important Bills we have had placed before us, I want to say that I am generally in entire accord with the main purpose of the measure. The Minister (Senator Pearce) has pointed out how the great societies and industries and business firms arc adopting the principle embodied in the Bill, and if that principle is good for private firms it should be worth adopting by the Commonwealth Government. Our chief aim should be to see that the Public Service is not only well and economically managed, but that it is efficient and contented. The way to bring about contentment is to adopt some such legislation as is now proposed. There are one or two aspects to which I desire to direct particular attention. One is the hardship under which it seems that permanent soldiers would labourif the Bill were passedin its present form. Under clause 13(4) of the Bill a member of the Public Service serving at the time of the proposed Act coming into force, and who is over thirty years of age, may take up a maximum of four units at a lower rate than that laid down normally for his age, that is, the rate for the age of thirty, even if he be forty years of age. Extra units, of course, must be paid for at therate laid down for his actual age. The civil servant will, when he retires at sixty-five years of age, draw the full pension for those four units towards which he has contributed on the lower scale for a total period of contribution of twenty-five years, just as if he had paid contribu tions towards those units for thirty-five years instead of the twenty-five, that is ten years before he actually commenced his contributions. Compared with this the permanent soldier gets no benefit from this concession for the four units. He is compulsorily retired at an earlier age than sixty-five years, the retiring age depending on his rank. Under the proviso to clause 29 the soldier (a contributor “ the age for whose retirement is fixed by law at an earlier age than sixty-five”) is entitled to a pension only, which is the “ actuarial equivalent of the contributions made by him” and of the share of the pension payable by the Government. So the soldier now forty years of age who is retired at the age of fifty-five years is given the same privilege (so called in his case) as the civil servant of paying for four units at the thirty-year rate, but on retirement he only gets the actuarial equivalent of his contributions, while the civil servant who retires at sixty-five receives a pension based, not on the contributions (which, being at a privileged rate, are smaller), but on the actuarial equivalent calculated on the contributions he has actually made, plus contributions he could have made had he also contributed for the past ten years, i.e., from the time he was thirty years old to the present time when he is forty years old. It must be conceded that the soldier on retirement at the age of fifty-five years is just as unable to earn a livelihood in the commercial world as the civil servant at sixty-five years. It seems to me, therefore, that the Government should make special provision for him. In Committee, I intend to frame an amendment to add to the definition of “ employed in a permanent capacity,” the words - “ Provided that all warrant and noncommissioned officers or men who have been employed for ten years, and are still employed, are to be deemed as having been employed in a permanent capacity.”
I understand that Senator Garling has an amendment in practically the same form, and I shall support him unless the Minister (Senator Pearce) will give an assurance that the permanent soldier is to be treated on the same basis as the ordinary civil servant.
I realize the magnitude of the Bill. It will be an expensive luxury to the Commonwealth, but we should not entertain any ideas of false economy. We should look to the end and see that, just as private business people and corporations adopt forms of superannuation for their employees, so it is the duty of the Government to make similar provision for the members of the Public Service.
.-This Bill represents an item of the policy enunciated by the Ministry when they were intrusted with the reins of Government. As far as the benefit that will be conferred on the Public Service is concerned, I welcome the measure very heartily. I realize that the proposal will mean that in the next six or seven years there will be a very substantial increase in Commonwealth expenditure, but if we succeed in bringing about contentment in the Public Service, and also enable its members to provide for a rainy day, a great deal of compensation will be secured, both to the country and to the Service, under those two heads alone. It has to be remembered, however, that the Public ‘Service has been treated very fairly, and even handsomely, in the past.. When a Royal Commission was appointed to inquire into the cost of living in the Commonwealth, a report of a most extraordinary nature was furnished. It showed that that Commission could not frame ways and means of carrying its recommendations into effect without dislocating industry throughout Australia; yet the Government used that report as the reason for giving substantial increments to the Public Service. Had it been possible, at the time, to give equal benefits to other sections of employees, there would have been nothing to complain of ; but, since the .Commonwealth Public Service was the only recipient of any benefit arising from the presentation of that report, it goes to prove that the members of that Service were remarkably fortunate. I do not find fault with the action of the Government on that occasion, except that, I think, they would have been very much better advised if they had made a different choice in the personnel of the Commission. The net result was that the taxpayers were called upon to’ pay between £400,000 to £500,000 per annum in excess .of what had been declared by the Arbitration Court to be a fair wage just immediately preceding. If we could have extended the same benefits throughout the industrial field as were given to the Public Service, it would have been doing the fair thing; but, seeing that that was utterly impossible, except at the expense of turning the industries of the country into a condition of topsy-turvydon, the Public Service should be duly appreciative of what has been done. Now we have a proposal to make still heavier the drain upon the Federal Treasury, and, of course, upon the taxpayers generally. If the superannuation scheme will result’ in inculcating habits of thrift on the part of members of the Service; and if, by their example, that habit of life is extended to other sections of the community ; and if, also, the scheme produces permanent contentment in the Service, the proposed heavy expenditure will not have been sanctioned in vain.
The Bill should have been accompanied by a great deal more information than has been given. We have been supplied with lists showing the scale of payments according to the age and salary of the contributors, but I would like a corresponding table to be furnished showing what the Government will have to contribute in their payments on behalf of those members of the Service who are well up in years and who will not be called upon to contribute as much as other members of the Service to the fund. The Government propose to make up the difference, but the amount is not expressed in pounds, shillings, and pence as well might be the case. We are entitled to know just what the Government liability will be. I am glad that the Government have not adopted the advance system, as practised in New South Wales, but the arrears system. I believe that the Government have chosen a wise course, because there is no reason why they should take money out of the public pocket before the necessity arises, especially if it is borrowed money for the purpose of paying taxes.
There is a class of public servant whom I would like to see included in the scheme. I refer to non-commissioned officers in the Navy and Army, and also the rank and file, who have served beyond a certain period. There is provision made for even the latest recruit in any other branch of the Public Service, but the military or naval man’s period of ‘employment may end at any time after his stipulated term of service. He may go out long before the retiring age is reached. Men have been employed in the Naval and Military Forces for ten, fifteen, and up to thirty years, but their service is not recognised as being of a permanent nature. If that service is not permanent, I would like to know what is ; but still they are to be excluded from the benefits provided in this measure. I have heard the Minister for Home and Territories (Senator Pearce), when Minister for Defence, pay special tribute to the non-commissioned officers, and to say that, although they did not represent the brains of the Service, they were men upon whom the perfection of the scheme depended. I am sorry they have been excluded, and I trust the members of the Senate who realize as I do the service they perform will recognise the necessity of impressing upon the Government the wisdom, the fairness, and equity of including them in this scheme. It is not dealing out fair play and justice if we are to give one section of the Service special protection and allow others who have proved their worth in the past to be ignored. We are not justified in saying, “ Here is a Superannuation Bill intended to confer benefits upon one section of the Public Service, but not upon you.” The men to whom I have referred are entitled to ask that they ‘be included. It is not just, good policy, or in keeping with our expressed opinions in respect of the manner in which these men in both branches of the Service have acquitted themselves in the past to exclude them. If we lavish praise upon them, and say they have done their work well, without conferring benefits upon them in keeping with those provided for others, it will be manifestly unjust, and I trust the Government will be alert to the necessity of dealing fairly with these men, and that honorable senators will make their feelings and opinions known in no uncertain way, so that action will be taken to enable them to receive the benefits which are undoubtedly due to them.
When the Minister (Senator Pearce) was moving the second reading of the Bill, he outlined the financial responsibility of the scheme, and said that the Government’s obligations would range from £20,000 odd next year until it amounted to £400,000 forty years hence. It is quite true that many of us will not be above ground, politically at any rate, at that time; but we are indulging in substantial commitments which will have to be met by future generations. Our warrant is that we believe the public servants desire such a scheme. If such is the case, the public servants must recognise that in supporting the fund the Government are adding to the pay-roll to a” very substantial extent, and that we expect of them the most undoubted, unequivocal, and most loyal and devoted service they are capable of rendering. This is something extra and above what they have contracted for up to the present. It is all very well to confer these benefits upon them, but we must see that the whole scheme is well and wisely balanced from the people’s point of view. We are dealing with other people’s money, and while we are acting in that capacity it is our bounden duty to see that it is wisely expended. There are many who are lavish with other people’s cash, but when it comes to a question of putting their hand in their own pocket they act quite differently. Any man conducting a private business who wishes to keep in the running must see that his receipts not only balance his expenditure, but also leave something for himself. When that stage is reached it is time to be generous. If a man has made his business profitable, and is then able to be charitable, well and good. I trust the public servants of this country will recognise that this Government are treating them generously in passing this measure, because they have done well in the past by having received, in addition to their salaries, cost of living allowances and child endowments, as recommended by the Basic Wage Commission. What we want in return is loyal and conscientious service, and that they shall give of their utmost. As for the men who have retired in consequence of reaching the age limit, I recognise that they’ have done their duty to this country well, and our thanks are due to them, for the magnificent services they have rendered.
There is another point concerning public servants that I and others have commented upon. Some public offices are not conducted in a business-like way, and the remark is made “ Just like the Public Service.” This should not be so. Some public officers do not comport themselves in’ the way they should, or as employees in private concerns do. That the overwhelming majority of public servants give full measure and pressed down duty goes without saying. We should make these men, from the highest to the lowest, feel that they have been treated handsomely, and that in return we expect faithful and zealous service. I welcome the Bill, and trust that the public servants of this country will recognise what has been done for them. There must be no more “ Government stroke “ in any Department, because such methods are not countenanced in private establishments. If they were, it would be the end of them. I am not here to court the public servants’ vote. They can keep it as far as I am concerned, if the price of it is to forbear saying what is just and fair between them and the general community. I am anxious to give them fair, and even generous, treatment, but I am also here to protect the taxpayers’ interest, and to see that public servants give full weight for the remuneration and allowances they receive. I believe the Public Service Association regard this as a just measure, and I trust that its members will, on their part, do their duty. I support Ihe Bill, and trust that the best possible results will accrue and that it will be the means of making the Service contented, and second to none in any country.
– I regret that, owing to the necessity of attending to other duties here connected with some of my parliamentary duties, I have, been prevented from hearing as much of the debate as I should like to have heard. That regret, however, is tempered by the consideration that the debate could not have been, in the ordinary sense of the word, strenuous, because of the general feeling of unanimity in regard to the principal objective of the measure. I do not intend to occupy the” Senate at great length, because the Bill is one to be considered more in Committee than on the motion for the second reading. In principle, the general approval of the Senate is assured for the measure; but there may be some difference of opinion as to details, and it is for that reason I do not propose to address myself at length to the motion now before the Chair.
It has been said that the Bill has been submitted with an ulterior motive, but all who have taken the least interest in current political events in Australia must know that such a suggestion is absolutely baseless.
– The newspapers have referred* to it as a vote-catching measure.
– Why did they not make that comment when it was first placed before the public, and when the proposal was trumpeted throughout the length and breadth of the Commonwealth . at the last general election ? It was promised by this Parliament long ago. Senator Senior, myself, and other honorable senators, during this and last session, and even before then, have constantly been bringing the matter under the notice of the Government and reminding them of their promise in this regard. It is long overdue, largely because other matters arising out of the war required prior consideration by the Government and Parliament. To make the suggestion that it is a votecatching measure is not only illfounded but is very unjust, not merely to the Government of the day, but to this and preceding Parliaments, because the matter has been referred to on many previous occasions.
A great deal has been said to the effect that public servants are being singled out for special treatment. They are singled out for special treatment. They are singled out every day from the moment they enter the Service. Honorable senators who have come in contact with public officers know that there are in Government Departments, as in private businesses, men of different and varying grades, capacities, temperaments, dispositions, and abilities. Many of our public servants are highly competent, possess great skill and ability, and have devoted their energies and efforts to the Service, and if ‘ engaged in private work, would have earned ten, .twenty, or even thirty times as much as they are now receiving. They are singled out for special treatment because, when once they enter the Service, they must confine their energies and efforts entirely to the service of the public. Let any one take up at random a copy of the Commonwealth Gazette, and he will probably find a notification reading somewhat in this way: “His Excellency the GovernorGeneral in Council has been pleased, on the advice of the Minister, to allow John
Jones to take the position of choir conductor at an emolument of £10 per annum.” If a pUD110 servant wishes to engage in any work outside and receive even the modest sum of £10 per annum, or even £2 per annum, his application has to go through the head of the Department, to the Minister., then to the Executive Council, and from the Executive Council to the Governor-General, so that the authorities will be certain that he is not in any way competing with some Outsider and is not interfering with his own efficiency for the discharge of (his public duty. Are any persons in private employment subjected to such a disability ? We are told by members of the public that officers of the Public Service very often display no initiative, ability, or energy. Is there anything more calculated to damp the enthusiasm of an individual than to know that, as long as he remains in the Public Service, he will be confined within the narrow limits of a rut of some kind, and that, no matter what his ability, capacity, or industry may be, there is but a minimum of hope for him,1 He has been to school, and perhaps to college or the University, with others who have gone out into the world, and who, with perhaps one-tenth of his application, one-half of his ability, one-third of his energy, or a fraction of hia enthusiasm, have forged far ahead of him in the struggle for existence, because they have been free to apply their attention to as many opportunities for increasing their wealth as have been open to them. The public servant cannot do it, and when we propose to give him some little thing to look forward to on his compulsory retirement at sixty-five years of age, or his earlier retirement through invalidity or accident, we are told that he is being “bribed.” The community demands the whole of his services and time in the best years of his life. There is not one fraction of the opportunity for promotion and advancement in the Public Service that there is outside. I heard Senator Lynch speaking of certain officers of the Public ; Service who do not show the same qualities in the discharge of their duties as are exhibited by officers in the employment of private concerns. That is true; but, as I have pointed out, there are men of varying temperaments and varying capacities in the Public Service as in private service, and not every one who is met with in private service is a model of industry and courtesy. There can be found in private service, ‘as every honorable senator knows, men who show as much lack of those qualities as is shown by any member of the Public Service.
– They soon get rid of them in private service.
– That may be so, perhaps because the management in private service is different from the management in the Public Service. For the Public Service to be comparable with private service the management, too, must get closer to the principles of private service. Let me give an illustration of the position in which, a public servant finds himself owing to our legislation and the regulations under it. I have in mind, say, the case of a young man who enters the Public Service, and, after some time, gets into the Postal Department. He works until he becomes an acting postmaster at an office of a certain grade. He is a man who keeps abreast of the times, not merely in his own State, but he learns what is being, done in corresponding Departments in the United States of America and other countries abroad. Eventually he finds himself in the position of a relieving postmaster in a certain town, with ‘an office of a certain grade. He likes the locality, the town, and ite- people. He gets amongst the people and points out to them the advantages they can get from the facilities provided by the Post Office. He teaches them how to make use of telephone and telegraph facilities to bettea advantage than they have been doing, and by such means, let us say, he doubles the revenue of the office. The office is regraded, and he is shot out because it is too high for him. The public say, “ Why do not these officers do as they da in private service “ ?
– If the employee was not “ shot out” some member of Parliament would stand up and ask why the man who was entitled to the position had not got- it.
– It would be asked why a man who was classified to the position did not get it, and why another who was some grades below had received it. It could be shown that the mau appointed had converted the office from a 7th to a 4th or 5th grade office ; bub he would get no reward for that. I do not care how carefully we apply ourselves to the regulation of the. Public^ Service) or how minutely we elaborate the provisions, we- will always find that general principles, laid down as they must be in a Statute and by regulation, will work harshly and hardly in a number of instances. Unfortunately, the instances in which they work harshly and hardly are frequently instances in which the officers themselves are deserving and meritorious, because we can only regulate for the average officer.
The Public Service cannot be likened to private employment. Ever since I have been in this .Senate I have followed, as closely as I could, the regulation of the Public ‘Service, and I happened at one time to be the Minister through whom the Commissioner of the Public Service always addressed Parliament. I was the Minister who had to table each year the report of the Public Service Commissioner. He is freed from the control of Parliament, but he reports to Parliament, as does the Auditor-General. I was the Minister who came into direct contact with him, and I interested myself in the problems of the Public Service. As between the Public Service and private employment, there are points of similarity, but. there are points also of great divergence. The .public servant has everybody for his employer, and everybody for his critic. Although I have experienced, like Senator ‘Lynch and other honorable senators, abruptness and gruffness,. and perhaps- inattention or carelessness, on the part of public servants, I can say that that has been far from my general experience. My general experience has been quite the contrary, and I often marvel how some public servants manage to show the patience that they do show. I have often been surprised at the industry, application, and courtesy which, in the bulk, they exhibit. I. will admit that there are individual exceptions. I think we are doing to the public servants in the provision of this Bill a long-deferred justice; something that has been promised to them, and for which they have waited patiently and considerately. They have waited many years for some practical demonstration of Parliament’s intention to carry out the repeated promises of Governments.
– ‘They were treated’, in the cost of living allowance, as no other section of the community was treated.
– Those allowances were too long deferred.
– That is so, and the public servants got no more than they were entitled to. If honorable senators will look at the list of public servants of the Commonwealth, and see how many of them are amongst the lower-paid members of the community, they will be astonished. I do not intend at this stage to delay the consideration of the measure. I support the Bill, and think that it is one that can better receive consideration and attention in. .Committee than in the Senate.
– It has- been quite a pleasure for me to hear so much commendation of the Bill expressed in general’ terms from members of the Senate. There- is very little criticism to which I need reply.
Senator Fairbairn raised the question of the statement made by a New South Wales Minister (Mr. Ley) in respect to the alleged insolvency or financial failure of the New South Wales superannuation fund. As I explained in moving the second reading, the fund proposed to . be established by the Bill is based upon an entirely different system from that adopted in New South Wales. In that State they- made a calculation based upon the number of employees in the Service, the rate of retirement, the rate of death, and the rate of invalidity, and they assumed that in order to find superannuation for the members of the Service they would have to establish a fund of a certain dimension. The fund was established by contributions from the employees and from the State. That fund is invested, and the interest on it is paid again into the fund. It is obvious that, there is a greater , possibility of miscalculation in a fund of that kind than in. a fund such as we are proposing to establish, in which we. meet the liabilities, not of twenty, thirty, or forty years hence, but of the present year. The Commonwealth contribution represents the year’s liability, and is not a contribution to build up a fund to meet the liabilities of twenty or thirty years, hence. Our liability is practically known. We have experience to guide us; we have figures relating to the numbers who retire, the average of deaths, and the average of invalidity, and in those circumstances it should be easy for actuaries to calculate what the Commonwealth will have to pay in any one year.
– The statement of Mr. Ley was to the effect that the charge upon the Treasury was more -than was anticipated at the outset.
– That would quite likely (be the case. It is very much more difficult to calculate the amount that would be required for a scheme like that in New .South Wales than for our proposed scheme. The idea of the New South Wales scheme was to capitalize a fund of sufficient size to meet the yearly charges. I have a report of the New South Wales superannuation scheme for the .year 1920, in which attention is directed to a municipal scheme in New York which got into exactly the same difficulty in exactly the same way.
– At the end of five years we shall be in a position to know better how .our scheme is working, without having incurred any very heavy expenditure.
– Certainly, and any adjustments can then be made. This Bill is not intended to be like .the law of the Medes and Persians. We are laying a scheme down now, but if it is found to be actuarially unsound in five years’ time, we can then increase the contributions by the Commonwealth or the employees. ‘That is quite within the competence of any future Parliament. We are not building up a huge fund, as was attempted under the other schemes. Basing his suggestion on >that criticism, Senator Fairbairn suggests that we should delay the passage of the Bill. For what purpose? What information can we obtain that we have not now? Any one of us, if supplied with the data available, could work out this scheme and satisfy himself as to what the contribution of the Commonwealth would be. There is nothing very difficult in it. It would be merely a matter of figures, time, and some mathematical capacity. The Committee of Actuaries was composed of very competent men. They applied themselves to this work, not as the originators of the data, but as critics of data compiled by the Statistician’s Office. We have had the scheme analyzed by officers on whom we depend for all financial statis tics and by officers on whom we depend for statistics for all other Commonwealth purposes. We depend for all sorts of calculations on these two Departments of the Public Service,, and, so far, there has been no complaint that their calculations have been incorrect. I have said that there ‘is nothing very difficult about this scheme, and we may assume that the estimates of these officials are trustworthy. Delay could only be proposed for the purpose of having some further check by actuaries of the basis of the scheme. That would be necessary if we had any doubt of the competence of those who have already examined the scheme from -this point of view. I submit that, in view of the fact that the basis of the scheme has been carefully examined by officials of the Treasury, and the Statistical Branch of the Home and Territories Department, and was subsequently examined by a committee of very competent actuaries, we may be assured that, actuarially, this scheme is as sound as any scheme can be.
I agree with Senator Keating that it is absurd to say that this Bill has been sprung upon the community as a surprise. It cannot be said either that the Bill is being rushed through Parliament. It was introduced in another place before occasion arose for extreme urgency in the transaction of business there, and it received fair consideration. It has not been rushed here. Sufficient opportunity has been given for careful examination of the measure by honorable senators. The scheme proposed is not novel. There are many other superannuation .schemes with which, no doubt, honorable senators are familiar. A number of honorable senators have had experience in State Legislatures, and of the working of similar schemes. It is not difficult to grasp the principles of this scheme. I do not see how any case can be made out for delay on these grounds. A strong case might, however, be made out against delay. One of the objections to the scheme ia that, owing to the delay in the introduction of the measure, a number of officers have retired from the Service, and we are now obliged, in order to honour the promise made to them, to load the scheme unduly with Commonwealth contributions. We have two contradictory criticisms appearing in the same newspaper. It is claimed that there should be further delay, and we are reminded of the criticism of “ Actuary,” who puts his finger on this particular aspect of the Bill and explains that the Commonwealth have to pay what he considers to be an unduly large sum in respect of people who have left the. Service, but who are to receive some of the benefits of the Bill. That unduly large payment by the Commonwealth is duo to tho delay in the introduction of the Bill. Had it been introduced earlier, a strong case might have been made out for providing that the measure should operate only f r0111 the time it receives the assent of the Gover- , nor-General, and its operation need not have been made retrospective, as we have had to make it, because the Government have felt that they were bound to honour the promises made to public servants who have now retired. If we delayed the passage of this legislation for another twelve months, the number of those who will at that time bc over the age of thirty will have increased, the number who will have died will have increased, and the number who will have retired will also have increased, and, in consequence, the contribution by the Commonwealth to meet their cases must be larger. Delay must involve increased expenditure, and that is a strong argument against delay.
The outside actuary who was asked to examine the scheme was Mr. Jackson, of the Temperance and General Mutual Life Assurance Society, and Mr. Knibbs reports that he had special experience of this particular class of work, and was recommended because of his special qualifications.
I come now to deal with the letter which has appeared in the Argus, because, when it appeared, several honorable senators drew my attention to it, and seemed to be alarmed by some of the points made by the writer. First of all, the writer of the letter claims to have made a discovery. He seems to think that Parliament was not aware that the Commonwealth would have to contribute pro rata a larger amount in the case of those over the age of thirty at the time the scheme was brought into operation. That is not a discovery. It was mentioned by myself in moving the second reading of the Bill, and I am quite sure that every member of the Senate was well aware of it. But, because the scheme had been referred to as on a basis of £1 for £1, the writer of the letter based his criticism on the assumption that it was believed to be on a basis of £1 for £1 in every case. This scheme is a contributory scheme on the basis of £1 for £1 in respect of a man who commences his contribution in the year in which he enters tho Service. But, as has been pointed out, there are a number already in the Service, and a number who are just about reaching the retiring age. It was never suggested, nor was the impression ever, given in another place, or in this Chamber, that the basis of the scheme was £1 for £1 in respect of the cases to which I have referred.
– Are there any figures showing the difference between the results of the scheme as proposed and a scheme applying to all on a basis of £1 for £1?
– The difficulty of supplying such figures is that it would bo necessary to take every individual case into consideration. The following is the reply which has been submitted by Messrs. Jackson, Wickens, and Barford to the letter which appeared in the Argus of tho 20th September: -
With reference to the article which appears in the Argus of this morning (29th September) , criticising the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme, we have the honour to report as follows: -
Tho. contention that the scheme is on a £1 for £1 basis throughout has never been made as far as “»vc are aware by any one of those who wove responsible for the introduction or certification of the scheme.-
In our report of 23rd September, 1921, as an actuarial committee on the Bill, we made the following statement: - “ 6. The proposal to amend the original scheme so as to provide for the Government payments to the fund to be made in arrear instead of being made in advance w:« carefully considered, and the committee is of- opinion that such a proposal is actuarially sound. The scheme so amended may be said to provide in general for a contributory scheme supplemented by a £1 for £1 subsidy by the Government, to bc made as the allowances accrue; special concessions to be made by the Government in respect of all officers aged thirty and upwards at the initiation of the scheme.”
This statement clearly indicated that special concessions were to bo granted to officers at present in the Service aged thirty and upwards, and this has been stressed in the debate on the Bill in the House of representatives.
In this connexion, it may be said that there are three important cases in which the Commonwealth contributions are exactly £1 for £1. These are: -
All pensions in respect of officers under the age of thirty at the commencement of the scheme (more than 50 per cent, of the Service).
All pensions in respect of new entrants.
All pensions above 4 units (£104 per annum) in respect of officers aged thirty and upwards at the commence ment of the scheme.
The cases in which special concessions are granted in the matter of contributions are in respect of employees aged thirty and upwards at the commencement of the scheme, with a maximum for concession of 4 units of pension, that is, £104 per annum. . There are also cases of pensions without contribution in respect of persons who retired, who died, or who were invalided during , the years 1921 and 1922.
The principle which has been adopted in the Bill is that of increasing the concession in the matter of contribution with increasing age, to meet the difficulty which invariably arises in the introduction of sucha scheme in an existing Service. In all such cases there is a large body of employees who are unable to contribute at full cost, and varying methods have been adopted for dealing with them, a provision being made in some cases that all persons over such age as forty-five should be omitted from the scheme. The provisions in the Bill avoid any such extreme.
As regards the average amount of pension, wo see no reason to vary the amount of £104 mentioned in. our report of 23rd September, 1921. . In this connexion it must bo remembered that 80 per cent. of the Public Service is in the Postmaster-General’s Department, and on relatively low rates of pay, and that at present nearly 70 per cent. of the total Public Service is receiving less than £208 per annum.
The statement made concerning the provision of section 35 of the Bill is incorrect, though possibly it was not intended as printed. What is provided in sections 35 and 36 is that all employees reaching the age of sixty-five in 1921 and 1922 shall be entitled to pensions of £104 per annum without contribution. As he is reported, the critic appears to say that there is a free pension of £104 per annum to every employee reaching the age of sixty-five.
It may be noted that the critic does not appear to have read the Bill and its schedule carefully, since his computations of the rates to be paid by contributors of various ages are in all cases nearly twice the amounts which are actually payable.
The reference to a person making more than 100 per cent. on his money is not clear, unless the critic means - what is obvious - that with a £1 for £1 contribution by the Commonwealth, a contributor gets his benefits at half cost, or, to put it otherwise, gets 100 per cent. more than his contributions alone would purchase.
– I have here a letter which Mr. Knibbs, who was the Commonwealth Statistician when the superannuation scheme was first under consideration, addressed to Mr. Groom, then Minister for Works and Railways. It is as follows: -
The following documents are forwarded here with : -
Having discussed the matter under review from time to time with the members of the Committee, and having carefully read the report and draft Bill, I am of opinion that the whole question has been considered with great care and thoroughness, and with due regard to the interests of all parties concerned, i.e., the Commonwealth Government, the public, and the proposed beneficiaries (the’ employees of the Government) .
I now submit it, therefore, for the favorable consideration of the Minister.
One other interesting feature that has arisen is a “criticism of the alleged enormous increase in the membership of the Commonwealth Public Service. This, of course, is an attempt to create an impression that the Public Service of the Commonwealth is growing out of all proportion to the increase in population. The comparison usually made is as between the present year and the earlier years of Federation, and naturally the critics are able to show a considerable increase; but they overlook the fact that quite a number of services have either been taken over by the Commonwealth from the States, or that new services, to meet new needs, have been instituted.
-They say that even that is wrong.
– It is not a fair comparison at all. This letter from Mr. Wickens, the Commonwealth Statistician, will therefore be of interest: -
With reference to your inquiry of this morning, I find that, between the 30th June, 1919, and 30th. June, 1922, the permanent Public Service of the Commonwealth increased in numbers by about 6 per cent, in all, or, say,2 per cent. (per annum. In the case of the Commonwealth population for the period between the Censuses of 1911 and 1921, the increase was almost exactly 2 per cent. per annum,thus indicating that in the period since the war there had been a rate of increase in the Public Service which was identical with what might be termed the normal rate of increase of the Australian population.
I thought these facts might be of some interest to honorable senators and, perhaps, also to those critics who express alarm at the increase in the personnel of the Public Service.
Senator Fairbairn brought up the question of a married contributor, and suggested that we might consider the position of dependants of single contributors. The case, as stated by Senator Fairbairn, is one that- appeals at once to our sympathies. “ Here,” he says, “is an unmarried man supporting his mother. He is a contributor to the superannuation scheme, and yet if he dies hi3 mother gets no benefit from the fund, not even a return of his contributions.” A case like this naturally excites one’s sympathy, but I remind the Senate that, in dealing with a superannuation Bill which is not a pension scheme in the ordinary sense of the term, we cannot be guided entirely by sympathy. We must ascertain to what extent sympathetic considerations may commit the Commonwealth, and judge the position from that stand-point. Senator Fairbairn brought this matter, under my notice a few days ago, and I have had it examined by Mr. Wickens, who reports in the following terms: -
I furnish the following particulars concerning the question of death benefits for single males under the superannuation scheme.
The rates of contribution given in Schedule 1. of the Bill have .been based on. the understanding that, on the death of a male employee who left neither a widow nor dependent children, no payment should be made. If an alteration were made in this respect, the rates of contribution would have to be amended throughout, and tho commitments of the Commonwealth would be increased.
The range of such amendments could only he ascertained’ after considerable investigation, as there are no data available concerning the number of cases in which single employees have such obligations. The inclusion of such a provision would consequently defer the measure indefinitely.
If the benefits were extended to dependants other than widow and children of the deceased, there does not appear any good reason why such extension should not apply also to similar dependants of -the man who left also a widow and children. The cases of married men assisting parents or sisters are fairly numerous, but no exact data are available..
If a scheme were being devised with the object in view of providing a death benefit in all cases, there would be no serious difficulty, nor any objection on the ground of principle. The fact, however, is that the present scheme for males has -been drawn to cover four distinct classes of benefit, viz.: -
Children’s pension; and the contributions scheduled in the Bill have been obtained by estimating the cost of each of these separate benefits, and adding the results together. To introduce any further benefit, such as suggested, would, as stated above, involve a re-casting of the whole of the rates.
It may be said that, in respect of the single male employee, he has a vested interest in benefits (i) and (ii) of paragraph 5, and a contingent interest in (hi) and (iv) since he is subject to the risk of marriage at any age.
Under all the circumstances, the inclusion of any special provision for the death of single males does not appear practicable at the- present stage.
Senator, de Largie, and one or two other honorable senators, including, I think, Senators Keating and Benny,, referred to the position of the men in the Permanent Naval and Military Forces. Those whose period of appointment may be regarded as permanent and extending over a considerable period, i.e., the officers, come under this scheme, but officers of non-commissioned rank and petty officers of the Navy, being engaged under an entirely ‘ different set of conditions, are excluded. Honorable senators will, I think, realize that their position is entirely different from that of the average public servant who enters the Service at the age of, say, sixteen or eighteen years and may be expected to continue in the Service until he reaches the retiring age. It is a comparatively simple calculation to determine what should be the amount of their contribution to provide superannuation benefits upon retirement or death, because, it is possible to ascertain the anticipated number of deaths over a given period. Officers of non-commissioned, rank and petty officers of the Navy enlist, in some cases, for five years, in some for seven years, in other cases for’ twelve years, and, at the end of that- enlistment period, they are subject to re-engagement, which, however, depends upon two factors, both of which are uncertain - the Department and the men themselves. In the Defence Force the practice has been to engage a man as gunner for a period of five years. If within that period he does not qualify for some advancement he is not reengaged at the expiration of his term. This is done for very good reasons. By getting other men in we are training a certain number of gunners, who will be included in the civilian population of the Commonwealth, and, therefore, may be called upon in emergency. If, by ability, a gunner shows merit and obtains promotion within the first period of his enlistment, he is marked out as a suitable man for non-commissioned rank, and is encouraged to re-engage for a further term. It. will be seen, therefore, that certain of the men may engage for one period only, others for a second’ period of service, some for a third, while” some even continue in the Service for thirty years. But they are in an entirely different category from the ordinary members of the Public Service.
– Surely if a man’ serves ten years he should be regarded by the Department as a permanent employee.
– It is impossible to say whether a man is going to remain in the Service for any lengthy period. We have had this, matter under consideration, and have found it full of difficulties. It is practically, impossible to work it in with the superannuation scheme, and it appears to the Government that we shall have to evolve some special scheme to provide for these men. The Government have given an assurance in another place, and I repeat it here, that we intend to provide for these men by means of some special scheme.
– Before Parliament rises ?
– I am afraid I cannot give that undertaking; but we do give a definite pledge that a scheme to include these men will; be. introduced at an. early stage in the. new Parliament. lt will be a scheme standing by itself, and on an entirely different basis from this Superannuation Bill. I warn honorable senators that any attempt to make this superannuation scheme fit in with the special circumstances of these men will mean a re-casting, practically, of the entire Bill.
– Then we have an assurance that there will be a definite undertaking on the part of the Government to do something for them in the first year of the new Parliament ?
– Yes; the Minister for Defence (Mr. Greene), and, I think, the Attorney-General (Mr. Groom) gave that- promise in another place, and I repeat it in this Chamber.
– What if you are not here then?
– It has been stated that all parties are in favour of this proposal, and I have no doubt that there will be enough members in the new Parliament pledged’ to- support it in order to give effect to the principle.
Senator MacDonald quoted the case of a man who retired in July, 1920, and he asked whether the Bill could be made retrospective to include such a case. No matter where the Government draw the line, there are bound to be some officers excluded who have a strong case for’ inclusion. The date to which the Bill is to be retrospective has been fixed as far back as the Government feel justified in going, and I am. afraid that we cannot go- further.
Senator Payne raised a question concerning members of. the Public Service who are transferred, to positions in. the Mandated Territories. Another honorable senator spoke of members of the Service in the Northern Territory. I have had these questions looked into, and I am informed by the Attorney-General (Mr. Groom) that the risk involved in- going to the tropics would clearly affect the fund, and the actuaries did not contemplate such risk when considering the scheme. Insurance companies are not favorable to effecting insurances on the lives of persons going to live in tropical parts. The Territory of Papua has its own pension scheme. An officer joining’ the Papuan Service would come under the scheme as a matter of course. As for the Mandated Territory of New Guinea, a superannuation- scheme is proposed, and is being considered1 locally. All permanent officers, of’ the Commonwealth Service doing duty temporarily in any Territory would, of course, come under the Bill. All permanent officers- in the- Northern Territory and Norfolk Island would come under the Bill. These Territories have no Constitutions of their own and the permanent officers engaged in their Services are Commonwealth officers. I have dealt with the principal points raised, and I thank,, honorable senators for the commendation that the Bill has received.
Question resolved in. the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
Clause 1 agreed to.
Clause 2 (Commencement).
– This clause provides that the Act shall come into operation on a date to be fixed by proclamation. Will the Minister (Senator Pearce) give an assurance that the Act will not be put into operation unless the Public Service Bill also becomes law? I know that it is the desire of the Government that those two Bills should proceed on parallel lines, because they regard one as complementary to the other. Of course, we are putting the cart before the horse in dealing with the superannuation scheme first. I have given attention to the superannuation benefits largely in the belief that the Public Service Bill will be so amended as to secure greater efficiency in the Service, and at the same time to obtain for the efficient men that recognition to which their efficiency entitles them. Will the Superannuation Bill await the passage of the Public Service Bill that is expected back from the other House shortly?
– It is proposed that we shall retain control of this Bill in the Senate until we are in possession of the amend- . ments of the House of Representatives to the Public Service Bill, so that the two measures may pass through Parliament practically simultaneously. It does not mean that this Bill will be at once proclaimed. A certain amount of machinery has to be set up, and the proclamation of this Bill may precede or follow the proclamation of the Public Service Bill, but the intention of the Government is that the present Bill shall not pass unless we are assured that the Public Service Bill will also become law, because one measure is regarded as complementary to the other. The two Bills having been assented to, the date of the proclamations will bo governed by the time required to set up the necessary machinery.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 3 agreed to.
Actuaries (Edinburgh), or any other person of whose actuarial knowledge and experience the Governor-General approves;
– It was mentioned by Senator Senior that an Australian actuary would have no chance of appointment under the Bill. I do not think he is right in that respect. I think there is an Institute of Actuaries in Australia, an association that stands very high in the actuarial world, but there is an element of invidiousness about the present definition of “Actuary.” We might insert in the definition the words “ or a Fellow or Associate of the Institute of Actuaries of Australasia.”
– Is there such a body?
– I believe so.
– The last words in the definition would cover Australian actuaries.
– That is not sufficient. The definition distinguishes English and Scotch Institutes, and the fact that the definition concludes with the words, “ or any other person of whose actuarial knowledge and experience the Governor-General approves,” does not recognise sufficiently that there may be menholding Australian diplomas of equal value, and shows that the authors of the Bill have not given sufficient recognition to the Australian body.
– If there should be such a body in Australia there would bo no difficulty about appointing a fellow or associate of that Institute, because he would be embraced by the concluding words of the definition. Suppose there is no Institute of Actuaries in Australia. The London and Edinburgh Institutes have been mentioned merely because they have a world-wide reputation. The Government actuaries have recommended that the definition should be framed in this way.
– I was under the impression that there was some Institute or Association of Actuaries in Australia.
– I do not think there is.
– It is quite possible that there is, and then the clause would not include such a body. It has been pointed out that approval of an actuary could be given by the GovernorGeneral, but that would be only an individual approval. Suppose an institute or faculty was established here, and desired to be treated on the recognition basis. We could amend tho clause by adding the words, “or a Fellow or Associate of any other Institute or Faculty approved by the GovernorGeneral’
– “We may not want to confine it to an institute.
– Then we could follow on with the words, “ or any other person of whose actuarial knowledge and experience the Governor-General approves.”
– I suggest postponing the clause, or will the Minister (Senator Pearce) consent to its recommittal to-morrow, if it is discovered that there is such a body in Australia?
– If we are to single out institutes or faculties we should give recognition to institutes formed in the Commonwealth. If they are not already established, we should make provision for their recognition when they are established. I trust the Minister will not insist that this provision shall remain exactly as it now stands. Senator Duncan suggested1 that the clause could be postponed until further information is supplied either to the Minister, the departmental officers, or the Senate.
– I have just been informed that there is no examining body in Australia which can grant a diploma like those of the Institute and Faculty mentioned.
– There is an impression in the minds of some honorable senators that there is some institute or faculty in Australia which can confer these diplomas.
– There is such a body, and it conducts examinations.
– But whether <l can grant a diploma I do not know. I trust the Minister will not say that tl.ii is the last opportunity we shall have cf discussing this point in Committee.
– In view of the stage we ar<5 reaching in the session I would suggestto the Committee that it is not desirable to submit ‘amendments merely for th<? sake of doing so, because it will mean that the measure will have to be sent to another place, which is already very fully occupied. Action will not have to be taken under this definition for five years, as there is to be only a quinquennial examination by the actuaries, so we have ample time in which to ascertain if there is any examining body in Australia. If there is one - I am told there is not one that can grant a diploma equal to that of the bodies mentioned in the Bill - the matter can have further consideration. I would suggest that there is no advantage in making amendments, shall I say, merely for the sake of “ saving one’s face.”
– I hope the Minister (Senator Pearce) does not mean to imply that honorable senators are suggesting amendments merely for the sake of doing so. This is a new Bill, involving new principles and a new system, and I feel that there are certain clauses upon which 1 would like some enlightenment. The Minister has given us a general outline of its provisions.
– There is no advantage in moving amendments if no good purpose can be served.
– No. I did intend - and I may yet do so: - moving an amendment to the effect that the word “ employee “ shall include certain officers, non-commissioned officers, and men in the Naval, Military, and Air Forces of the Commonwealth who have rendered continuous service for ten years. The Minister, in referring to this particular feature of the measure, said it was found impossible for the actuaries to make the necessary provision to deal with the men I have mentioned. I would like to point out, however, that in the report of the Actuarial Committee submitted for the information of honorable senators, the actuaries have taken . into consideration the possibility of these men being included in the scheme, because I find that they have set down 313 officers and 1,882 noncommissioned officers and men in the Defence Department who might possibly be included. Paragraph 1,7 of the report of the Actuarial Committee sets out the amount which would have to be contributed by the Commonwealth if these men came into the scheme. They must have gone into the question, or they could not have arrived at those figures.
– Has the honorable senator read paragraph 16 ?
– That paragraph reads -
The ages of retirement vary very considerably in these services, ranging from fortyeight to sixty-five, and a detailed estimate of the annual cost of each to the Government would entail an amount of subsidiary calculations which could not be carried out in the time at its disposal.
– Therefore they have not been provided for.
– I desire a little further assurance than that given by the Minister on the second reading that these men, whom I would move to include in the definition of “ employees,” shall be brought in under a scheme to be submitted in the first session of the new Parliament. If I can receive a definite promise I shall not take up the time of the Committee any longer; but I am anxious to know whether we can rely upon such a measure being brought in, so that these men may receive benefits equal to those that are to be derived by others under this Bill. If I cannot receive a definite promise I shall move in the direction I have indicated in order to test the feeling of the Committee.
, - I can assure Senator Garling and the other members of the Committee most definitely that a scheme has been under the consideration of the Government, the officials, and the draftsman, to provide for the men referred to. It was only because we found that the time at our disposal would not permit a scheme which was actuarially sound being, embodied in this proposal that they have not been included. The ‘Government have given a definite promise, and I now repeat -that we are drafting a measure to provide for these men.
– And it will be submitted during the next session?
– Yea, I am prepared to make that promise.
– It was my intention to move in the direction suggested by Senator Garling, because I feel that some provision should be made for the non-commissioned officers and men of the permanent Naval and Military Forces of the Commonwealth, but I am quite prepared to accept the assurance of the right honorable gentleman that a measure will be introduced early in the next Parliament. I am assuming, of course, that this Government will be in office - and I feel it will be - and I am, therefore, prepared to accept that assurance now. If I had any doub’t on the matter I would press for their inclusion. I recognise that there are difficulties in the way of including them in a proposal framed for the benefit of a section working under different conditions. A majority of the men- affected live in quarters and barracks, and that has to be taken into consideration in fixing their pay. It is. therefore, impossible that their contributions should be on the same scale as that fixed for ordinary members of the Service. Because I recognise that there is that difference between the two branches, I shall not press for their inclusion in .this scheme; but I accept the assurance of the right honorable gentleman that provision will be made for them -early next year.
– I support what has been said previously by other speakers, that the clause defining “ Actuary “ is ‘a reflection upon our native stock, and, as a purebred native, I feel very hurt that a “ foreign’” Minister should cast an imputation upon what we can raise in this country. This particular definition is framed to include a Fellow or Associate of a London or an Edinburgh Institute or Faculty, ‘and due allowance has not been made for members of an Australian Institute. As a native, I -object to such a reflection being cast upon our native stock by gentlemen who should have the interests of our Australian people atheart. According to the definitions, “Service” means service or employment by the Commonwealth, and includes employees of the Commonwealth Bank ; that institution being an instrumentality nf government. I would like to know whether the definition is wide enough to include the employees of the Commonwealth Bank?
– I desire to bring under the notice of the Minister (Senator Pearce) certain Commonwealth employees whom I would like included in the Bill. I am anxious to know whether the police or other officers engaged in the Northern Territory in the various Services will benefit. There are also those engaged in connexion with the Commonwealth Line of Steamers.
– They are doing remarkably well.
– The shore em’ployees are working hard for small pay, and if they went to sea they would do infinitely better. I understand these men are Commonwealth employees and should be included. I am also wondering whether the employees engaged at quarantine stations, lighthouses, and such places are to benefit. There are so many ramifications of the Service that we may,’ through not being, perhaps, too well acquainted with the various governmental activities, overlook some deserving sections. Had I spoken on the second reading I would have stressed these points, but I am taking this opportunity of bringing them under the notice of the Minister.
.- What will be the position of Commonwealth employees, not only in the Northern Territory, but in Papua and New Guinea ?
– I explained that on the second reading.
– I was unavoidably absent, and shall be glad if the Minister (Senator Pearce) will briefly state the position.
– Surely no one can have been omitted except honorable senators.^ I shall shortly be retiring. ‘ Is the Minister going to put me on a pension?
– In regard to Senator Lynch’s question as to whether Commonwealth Bank employees come under the provisions of this Bill, I would refer him to section 76, which reads -
This Act shall apply to any officer of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia -
who immediately prior to his becom ing an officer of the Bank was an officer of the Commonwealth Public Service, and was appointed to the service of the Bank prior to the passing of this Act; and
The Commonwealth Bank has its own superannuation scheme, and the only persons in the employ of the Bank who come under the provisions of the Bill ar-a those who were members of the Commonwealth Public Service, and were transferred to the Bank, but do not come under the Bank scheme. All the Bank’s employees are covered either by the Bank scheme or this scheme.
The answer, to Senator Newland’s question regarding the Commonwealth Shipping Line employees is that it all depends on the terms of appointment of the persons referred to. It is not certain that any of the employees of the Line are permanently employed, but it is quite possible that the manager, or some of the officers of the Line, may be in the permanent employment of the Commonwealth, and may thus be able to comply with the definition. Those* who are permanently employed will certainly come under the scheme ; but those who are only temporarily employed, and liable to dismissal, will not.
As to whether the members of the Northern Territory police came under the scheme is, again, determined by the terms of the Ordinance under which they are appointed. I can only assume that they are permanently appointed, because I have a recollection of one officer of the Northern Territory police who is not only appointed to the age of sixty-five, but, I think, until he reaches the age of seventy. There are people who say that he looks as if he was well past that age now. I assume that the Northern Territory police will come under the beneficent provisions of the Bill.
In reference to Senator DrakeBrock.man s question, I explained, when replying to the debate on the motion for the second reading, that officers of the Northern Territory would come under the provisions of the Bill. The Mandated Territories and Papua are in a different position, because they have Constitutions of their own. The Papuan Service has its own pension scheme, apart from the Commonwealth Service. The question is being considered with a view to providing a similar scheme for the Mandated Territories. It is thought that those schemes should b<> separate from the general Commonwealth scheme, because there is a greater risk to health in the tropical services than here, and the. scheme might have to ‘be on a different actuarial basis.
Norfolk Island and the Northern Terri- tory come under the provisions of the Bill.
.- Will the Minister enlighten me and other honorable senators regarding the position of public servants who may have to be retired through retrenchments in the Service? I notice that sub-clause 3 of clause 4 states that -
Where an employee has been or is appointed, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, for a term of years to a statutory office under the Commonwealth, ihe shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed, so long *& he continues to be employed in the office (whether during or after the expiration of the term for which he was appointed.) to continue to be an employee, and the cessation of his employment by the Commonwealth (otherwise than by retrenchment, discharge, dismissal or resignation) shall be deemed to be retirement within the meaning of this Act.
There is a distinction in that sub-clause between retrenched and other officers.
– The sub-section referred to does not deal with the question of retrenchment, but it refers to such officers as the Public Service Commissioner, the Public Service Inspector, the Commissioner of Taxation, and other officers who have Been appointed from the Commonwealth Service to certain positions for a fixed term of years. Officers who are retrenched are dealt with in section 39, which says -
In the event of the retrenchment of a contributor, he shall be entitled to receive the contributions paid by him, and the actuarial equivalent of the share of pensions payable by the Commonwealth and accruing to him under this Act up to the date of his retrenchment.
– I would like some light on the paragraph relating to the age for retirement. It says - “ The maximum age for retirement “ means the age of sixty-five years, or, in the case of a contributor, the age for whose retirement is fixed ,by law at an earlier age than sixty-five years, the age so fixed.
That is governed by clause 35.
– That refers to officers of the Defence Department, for whom an earlier retiring age is fixed.
– There are some cases, I believe, outside the Defence Department where the retiring age of sixty is fixed by law. Section 35 says -
Provided that, if the maximum age for retirement is less than sixty-five years, the pen sion payable under this section shall be the actuarial equivalent of such pension payable as from the age of sixty-five years.
I would like to know what the “ actuarial equivalent “ would be. If a man is now forty years of age he would be placed at a great disadvantage if he was counted as retiring at sixty. He would be paying more, because, being older than thirty, he would have to take some units to make up the number equivalent to his salary.
– I do not intend to discuss clause 35 until we reach- it. The clause under discussion refers to officers of the Defence Department, who retire at an age earlier than sixty-five. They retire at fifty-five.
– I would like to draw attention to the definition of the word “Actuary” and the absence of any precise knowledge as to whether there is such an institution as either of those referred to in Australia. I have been unable to find any evidence of the existence of such an institution in this country. The words used in the Bill are not in accordance with information contained in the encyclopaedias. When Senator. Lynch spoke on behalf of the natives, I thought he was going to speak for the natives of hia own “ green isle.” I find that Chambers’ encyclopoedia refers to the Institute of Actuaries of Great Britain and Ireland, which was founded in 1848 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1884. and the Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland, which was established in 1856 and incorporated in 1868. Fellows of the former society are distinguished by the initials “ F.I.A.,” and of the latter society by the initials “ F.F.A.” In the United States of America no societies of actuaries have yet been established. I have obtained that information from the latest edition of Chambers’ Encyclopoedia We ought to be quite sure of our ground before we put the proposed words in the Bill.
– We have five years in which to make sure.
– It does not matter what the term is; we ought to have definite information before we legislate. I am calling attention to the words before we blunder into a mistake. Surely it is possible to get definite information on this point. If there is such an institution in Australia, is it buried in the back-blocks, so that it cannot be dug up? If it does not exist in this country, let us make sure that we are using the correct terms in regard to the institutions of the Old Country.
– It seems invidious to single out two organizations.
– It is not only invidious, but extremely stupid.
.- A Bill such as this is sure to hit somebody hard, and I want to quote a case in regard to which the Government ought to exercise its discretion. There is a man in Queensland who has been employed by the Post Office for forty-seven years. He retired in 1919, nearly twelve months before the date to which this Bill is retrospective. In the case of the Public Service Act, which allowed dual leave, he had been retired three days before the date of the commencement of the Act. He has served his country for forty-seven years, was deprived of his dual leave, and, through this Bill being delayed, he is nine months too late to come under its provisions. There should be some way of dealing with such cases on their merits. He contributed to the Queensland superannuation scheme, but it went bankrupt, and after the Commonwealth Government took over the Post Office he continued to serve for forty-seven years. When a man has been employed by the Government for forty-seven years, with nothing against his character, and has retired owing to age, his case ought to bo considered and his claims recognised in some way. He ought at least to be given his dual leave.
– The only way inwhich the man to whom the honorable senator has referred could be brought under this Bill would be by putting its operation back to 1919. If we did that a fresh set of anomalies would arise. We should find that somepersons had retired in. 1918, and they would have just as strong a claim to consideration. Something might be done for the men referred to by having a sum of money placed on the Estimates, and I suggest to the honorable senator that he might make representations to the Postmaster-General that cases such as he has mentioned might be given consideration in that way.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 5 -
. -I have circulated an amendment bo this clause. I move-
That the words “ and all contributions thereto shall be allowed as deductions in Commonwealth and State assessments of income for taxation purposes,” be left out
We feel, on re-consideration, that there is no reason why Commonwealth public servants should be placed in any better position in this regard than other sections of the community. There is an exemption provided in the Income Tax Assessment Act covering private insurance. We feel that in this respect public servants should stand on the same basis as other sections of the community. The clause, as it stands, proposes also to relieve these payments from State income tax, but we consider that that is a matter which should be left to the State Parliament to deal with. If they believe that such an exemption should be made, they are the proper authorities to make it.
– This clause sets out the payments to be made by the Commonwealth under this Bill, and I wish to direct the attention of the Committee to the following facts. The Minister (Senator Pearce), in moving the second reading of the Bill, quoted the report of the Committee of Actuaries, and concluded by saying -
Here I desire to quote the following table prepared by the Commonwealth Statistician, showing the estimated cost to the Government in successive years.
He then showed that the estimated cost ran from £22,000 in the first year, which will be next year, until it reaches the amount of £433,000, in forty years’ time. If honorable senators will recall the report tendered by the Committee of Actuaries., they will remember that these figures are based on the numerical strength of the Service remaining stationary, which is entirely opposed to all experience of what actually occurs. No one can assume that 23,400 persons, the present strength of the Service, will be sufficient to meet the requirements of the Commonwealth forty years hence.
– The Actuaries point that out in their report. They do not know how many will be appointed in the future.
– My point is that the figures which have been given are based on the assumption that the number of officers now in the Service will be the strength of the Service forty years hence.
– We cannot guess how many will be appointed in the future.
– I suppose that the figures have been placed before us for the purpose of making the Bill more acceptable.
– No, but because they were the only figures we could give.
– I have run out some calculations of my own, based upon figures I have taken from the Commonwealth Year-Book. I find that at the beginning of Federation the number of persons in the Commonwealth Public Service was 11,199. During the period from the beginning of Federation up to 1914, a period which was uninfluenced by the war in any shape or form, the number increased to 21,000, or by 88 per cent. This was an increase of 6£ per cent, per annum for thirteen years. The war occurred in 1914, and it had its influence up and down the scale. It no doubt led to a considerable increase in the number df public servants. What was the extent of the increase due to the influence of the war it is impossible for mo or any one else to say. The broad fact remains that it is proposed that the Bill shall apply to a Service numbering 23,400 persons. This figure represents an increase of 100 per cent, on the number of public servants at the beginning of Federation, and the increase over the period from the beginning of Federation up to the present time is therefore 5 per cent, per annum. I have said that the increase in the number of public servants for the first thirteen years of Federation was 6$ per cent, per annum. Now what has been the increase in our population? The figures show that the increase in the population since the beginning of Federation is 43 per cent., or a shade over 2 per cent, per annum during the last twenty-one years. The increase in the population has been 2 per cent., and the increase in the number of public servants of the Commonwealth has been 5 per cent, per annum over the same period.
– The Senate has already affirmed the principle of the Bill, and I must ask the honorable senator to confine his remarks more strictly to the clause under consideration.
– This is the vital clause of the Bill so far as the expenditure it will involve is concerned, and unless honorable senators are prepared to permit the cost to mount to any extent they should deal with this matter now. If it is their intention to impose some limit on the expenditure involved by the Bill, now is the time to consider what it should be. I have shown that since the beginning of Federation there has been an annual increase in the number of public servants of 5 per cent., and if thai increase is maintained for the next forty years the amount which will be payable by the Commonwealth at that time, instead of being £433,000, will be £1,299,000.
– Does the honorable senator anticipate anything of the kind ?
– Does the. Minister know anything to the contrary?
– I do.
– In view of these calculations, and the prospective increase in the obligation of the Commonwealth from £433,000 to £1,299,000 in forty years’ time, honorable senators will agree that this is a matter which requires very careful consideration. The figures quoted by the Minister have been put before u3 for the purpose of making the Bill more palatable, and I have put my figures before the Committee to stimulate thought as to where we are proposing to go. I repeat that if -the .5 per cent, per annum increase in the number of public servants is maintained for the next forty years we must anticipate an expenditure then of £1,299,000.
– The clause provides for the. establishment of a Superannuation Fund “ from which shall be paid the benefits provided for in this Act.” Is this system compulsory in every sense of the word, and with respect to every officer of the Public Service? Is an officer, by reason of the fact that he is a public servant of the Commonwealth, bound willy-nilly to contribute under this scheme?
– With the exception of a few favoured ones who have retired or have reached a certain age at the present time.
– I am aware, of course, of the exceptions in the case of the valetudinarians who. have retired or are about to retire. The Bill was not widely circulated in the outlying States before it came on for consideration. As” soon as it was printed, I had copies brought under the notice of the public in the State whose representation I share in this Chamber. I have received a communication, which strikes me rather forcibly, from a returned soldier, who is at present in the Public Service, and who, so far from viewing this measure as something in the nature of a bribe in connexion with the coming elections, looks upon it with a good deal of apprehension. Perhaps I may be pardoned if I read an extract from it -
May I instance my own case as an indication of what is involved. I am a Grade III. assistant, and am receiving the maximum salary of £108, with, in addition, cost of living allowance £30, and basic wage allowance of £12, making my total income £210 per annum.
Those are the additions which Senator Lynch referred to by way of interjection when I was speaking on the second reading of the Bill. This officer’s salary, it will be noted, is £168 per annum, and with the cost of living allowance and basic wage allowance, the total is £210. He goes on to say -
As a returned soldier, I have entered into a contract with the War Service Homes Commissioner to purchase from him a home, capital value£800, period twenty-five years. In this respect, I am committed to an expenditure as follows: -Interest and repayment,£568s.; fire insurance, £1 4s.; rates, municipal, £9 8s.; land tax, 8s.; total, £67 8s. Add for painting, repairs, renewals, &c., £10 per annum; total annual expenditure in connexion with this War Service home,£77 8s. Other liabilities to which I am committed are as follow: - Life assurance premium, £4 12s. 10d.; income taxes, State and Federal, £2 10s.; contribution to the maintenance of my mother, who is a widow, £104 (this includes my board). Total, £188 19s.10d. This leaves the magnificent sum of £21 per annum for all other expenses, including tram fares, clothing, medical fees, and medicine, &c.
The lowest contribution of this public servant to the Superannuation Fund would be 2s. 3d. per week, which would mean almost another £6 per year out of the £21 which is his present budget balance. He adds -
I am prepared to substantiate the above statement upon oath. … If we default in our payments to the War Service Homes Commissioner, we will be promptly ejected. If we keep our payments up, we won’t have much left to contribute to the Superannuation Fund.
– Is he a married man?
– No ; he is living with his mother.
– He is paying £2 per week for his board.
-I am mentioning this case in order to show that there is in this measure very little petting and pampering of the Public Service, ashas been suggested, for we find that the great bulk of the employees are in receipt of low salaries.
– Seventy per cent. of them.
– This Bill, I understand, will be in our charge until the other measure is also dealt with, and I want the Minister to give consideration to the position of all public servants placed in the position indicated by the writer of this letter. As the Bill stands at present, contribution to the SuperannuationFund is compulsory upon everybody in the Service. This man asks if some provision can be inserted to enable officers in his position to postpone contributing to the fund until they are in a better financial position to do so. He finds out that, having to make provision for a home, he is not in a position to contribute to the Superannuation Fund. His letter continues -
I believe that an amendment of the Bill to exempt from the operations of the Act all returned soldier public servants who are purchasing War Service Homes to be the only way of preventing undue hardship and privation to those officers who are on low salaries.
Any returned soldier in the Service could elect to contribute, but to compel one who is already definitely liable for a considerable payment to the War Service Homes Commission is to inflict a hardship.
This is not the letter of a thriftless man. It is an appeal from a very careful, thrifty, and provident public servant.
– His municipal rates appear to be extortionate.
– They are high. They represent about 6s. or 7s. in the pound. I have to pay the same proportion on a much higher valuation.
SenatorGarling. - Is he on the permanent staff ?
– I think he is. He adds -
My case is not exactly typical. I am a single man,and until last July the sole support of my widowed mother, and the Government very considerately pay me the same salary and allowance as a single man without any dependent relatives.
He refers, of course, to the allowances paid to married men with families.I hope the Minister will consider cases of this nature.
– Is he not working under anaward of the Arbitration Court?
– I could not say.
– It is practically certain that he is.
– This man, as I have said, is in receipt of £210 a year. He states further -
My objection to compulsory contribution to the Superannuation Fund may he stated as follows : - We are already carrying a burden of liability that will not permit of any increase, however small. The purchasing of a home is a definite and adequate provision for old age taken in conjunction with our existing life assurance policies.
This man is simply saying that he and other returned soldiers in his position should not be forced to contribute to the Superannuation Fund, and if they were exempted they would not expect any of its benefits.
-What does he pay for life assurance!
– He states he is paying £4 12s.10d. per year.
– He could transfer that to the Board, and it would nearly pay his contributions to the fund.
– I have not had time yet to analyze the details of his statement. All I can say is that it is a well-written and fair letter, and it is evident that he will be confronted with difficulties if he is obliged to contribute to the fund.
– It is probable that he is not aware of the conditions with regard to the transfer of life assurance premiums.
– Perhaps not. The letter, I judge, is written by a man who is rather apprehensive of, than allured by, the prospects of this measure.
– His contribution to the fund would be 2s. 3d. a fortnight, not 2s. 3d. per week.
– That would depend upon his age.
– He is complaining not against the scheme itself,, but against its compulsory provisions. As I have said, I have not had sufficient time since I have received the letter to go through the details of the proposals, and see how far his apprehensions are warranted or otherwise, but 1 thought that this was a convenient opportunity to bring the matter under the notice of the Minister in the hope that before we finalize the Bill he will be able to give considerationto all such cases.
.-The Bill provides for compulsory contributions to the Superannuation Fund. There is no doubt about that. In regard to the case mentioned by Senator Keating, I may point out that, as the writer of the letter is paying about 1s. 8d. per week life assurance, he could surrender his policy to the Board, and if he is over thirty years of age at the commencement of the Act it is probable that the surrender of his policy to the Board and his contributions to the Superannuation Fund would be a better investment than if he continued his life assurance policy.
– What clause of the Bill is the Minister referring to?
– Clause 60 provides for the surrender of life assurance policies to the Board. If this man took advantage of those provisions he would probably be a little better off than if he continued his life assurance premiums; and if he is purchasing a home from the War Service Homes Commission he is, in all probability, in a much better position than if he were paying rent, because the terms are easier, and he would be building up an asset.
Amendment agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Clauses 6 to 10 agreed to.
Clause 11 (Quinquennial investigation by an actuary).
– The Minister (Senator Pearce) stated when we were discussing clause 4 that the application of this clause providing for actuarial investigation would be postponed until the expiration of five years. Are we to understand that five years will elapse from the commencement of the Act before this clause, to use a modern word, will begin to “function”?
– Then there will be no investigation by an actuary before the/ expiration of five years ?
– No, because it is contemplated that one of the officers to be appointed to manage the fund will be an actuary.
– I mention this because at the end of five years there will be accumulated considerable contributions from members of the Public Service. From that accumulated fund,’ presumably, there will have been deducted some superannuation allowances. The fund will, at that time, comprise the total amount contributed by the Public Service, less tho amount paid out in pensions, half of which will have been paid by the Government.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 12 - (1.) Every employee shall (except as otherwise provided in this Act) contribute to the fund from such date (not being more than six months after the commencement of this Act) as the Governor-General notifies in the Gazette, or, in the case of an employee whose employment commences after the date so notified, from the date of the commencement of his employment.
Provided further that a contributor who elects, or is called upon, to retire on or after attaining the age of sixty years and prior to the maximum age for retirement may contribute, in a lump sum or in such smaller sums, and at such periods, as the Board approves, the actuarial equivalent of the amount necessary to complete his payments to the fund up to a later age (not exceeding the maximum age for retirement).
– In order to understand this clause it has to be considered in conjunction with clause 29, which provides -
Subject to this Act a contributor shall, upon retirement, be entitled to receive a pension according to the number of units for which he was contributing at the time of his retirement:
Provided that any contributor -
who has attained the age of sixty years and elects, or is called upon to retire before attaining the maximum age for retirement; or
in the’ case of a contributor the age for whose retirement is fixed by law at an earlier age than sixty-five years, retires on attaining the age so fixed, shall, as from the date of his retirement, be entitled to a pension which is the actuarial equivalent of the contributions made, or to be made, by him, and of the share of pension payable by the Commonwealth and accruing to him under this’ Act.
Clause 12 provides that the public ser,vant may contribute in a lump sum a sufficient amount to enable him to receive the full pension that he would have received if he had remained in the Service until reaching the age of sixty-five years. Can the Minister (Senator Pearce) give any indication as to the amount an officer would have to pay at the age of sixty years to enable him to get the full benefit that he would receive if he served until sixty-five years of age? Honorable senators should understand this matter fully, because there are many men in the Service who are approaching the age of sixty years, and who may desire to retire on reaching that age. Naturally, they wish to know what they would have to pay to enable them to get the full benefit under the scheme.
– I. think the joint effect of the second proviso of clause 12 and paragraph a of clause 29, is that an officer may elect to retire, or be called upon to retire, <at the age of sixty years, whereas, under ordinary circumstances, he would retire at sixty-five years, when he would have a larger superannuation than on leaving the Service at the age of sixty years. It is provided that it would be competent for an officer, retiring at sixty years of age, to make a payment into the fund that would enable him to receive as great a benefit as though he were retiring at the age of sixty-five. Senator Garling wishes to know what that payment would have to be.
– - There are two points in the conundrum raised by Senator Garling - one in regard to the amount of pension, and the other as tot the lump sum . If an officer retired before reaching the age of sixty-five years, he could in no case receive the full pension. As to the lump sum that would have to be paid, it all depends on the number of units for which the officer had been contributing. Assuming he was contributing for two units, and retired at the age of sixty years, obviously the lump sum he would have to pay would be about £30.
– Could not an officer retiring at sixty years of age, by paying a lump sum, receive the allowance appropriate to the age of sixty-five years ?
– Not the full pension. If an officer retired at ‘the age of fifty-nine years, he would receive nothing like the full pension that would have been payable to him if he had continued in the Service until the age of sixty-five years.
– The. words “ actuarial equivalent “ are used in the concluding paragraph of the clause, and I do not think that those words would convey the same impression to everybody. If there is no definition of the words, will the Minister (Senator Pearce) consider the advisability of including one?
– That term is used in the Bill ten times.
– If we are making it easy for an officer to retire at sixty instead of sixty-five years of age, and if we provide for his paying the actuarial equivalent of the contributions necessary for him to complete his payments, why should he not get what he would have got if he had remained in the Service until reaching the age of sixty-five years? If the meaning of “ the actuarial equivalent “ is not made clear, I am afraid that some ungrateful recipient of superannuation will be tempted by the ambiguity of the language employed, to demand the “ larger payment, and I can see the possibility of legal proceedings.
– I quite agree with Senator Keating that it will be necessary to have this matter more clearly expressed. Paragraph t of clause 82 states that the GovernorGeneral may, on the recommendation of the Board, make regulations - for prescribing the data in respect to mortality, conjugal condition, dependent children, invalidity, and rate of interest to be employed in determining actuarial equivalents for the purposes of this Act, and for prescribing the incidence on the several benefits of the commutations involved in determining such actuarial equivalents.
It will be necessary for the matter to be dealt with under regulations, because it cannot be clearly set out in the clause.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 13 (Scale of units of pension)1. (5.)……..
Provided that the total number of units contributed for under this sub-section by any employee shall not exceed the number of units prescribed for the salary-group to which, according to the scale contained in subsection (1) of this section, he belongs, or the number of four units, whichever is the greater. (6.) A contributor who has exercised any power of election in pursuance of the last preceding sub-section, shall pay, as from the date notified in pursuance of sub-section (1) of section twelve, his contributions for the units for which he has elected to contribute.
– I move -
That the words, “ under this sub-section by any employee “. in the proviso to sub-clause 5, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words, “ by any such employee “.
This is to make it quite clear that an officer is not compelled to contribute for two units in addition to the units at the rate per age for thirty years.
Amendment agreed to.
.- I moveThat the following new sub-clause be inserted after sub-clause 5 : - “(5a.) An employee who is. at the commencement of this Act, not less than thirty years of age, and who has not elected to take the benefit of the last preceding sub-section, may elect to contribute for any number of units, not being less than two, and not exceeding the number prescribed for the salary-group to which, according to the scale contained in sub-section (1) of this sub-section, he belongs.”
This is to clear up any doubt as to the number of units which a public servant of thirty years shall contribute for at the rate for age.
– Paragraph ii of sub-clause 5 reads -
If the period of his continuous service under the Commonwealth, or under the Commonwealth and any State, is not less than ten years, he may elect within the said three mouths to contribute at the rate appropriate to his age as provided in the schedule of this Act for units additional to those contributed for under the last preceding paragraph. lt appears that a public servant not less than thirty years of age at the commencement of the Act, by exercising this option and by contributing the additional annual sums relative to the rate appropriate to his age, as provided in the schedule, can secure for himself greater benefits. Can the Minister (Senator Pearce) state the amount which such a contributor would have to poy, having regard to his salary and assuming he was drawing £500 per annum, in order that he might secure what is, apparently, intended he should secure under these scales? Is it intended to meet the case of those now approaching the retiring age whose normal contributions will be so sin all that the compensation, as the Minister mentioned a few minutes ago, would necessarily be small? This clause appears to be giving him the option of purchasing, by means of such contributions, a higher pension.
– At what age?
– Let us assume he is drawing £500 per annum, and his age is fifty-five.
– He would have to contribute 19s. 6d. per fortnight for every two units.
– I am indebted to the Minister for the information, as it gives one some idea of the amount to be contributed.
Amendment agreed to.
Amendment (by Senator Pearce) agreed to -
That the words “ A contributor who has exercised any power of election in pursuance of the last preceding sub-section “, in subclause (6), be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ An employee who has exercised any power nf election in pursuance of either of the last two preceding subsections “
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Clause 14 agreed to. .
Clause 15 (Employee reduced in salary).
Senator GARLING (“New South Wales) [9.561. - The clause reads -
Where the salary of a contributor is reduced from one salary-group to another salary-group, the number of units for which he is compelled to contribute shall be reduced to the number appropriate to the salary-group to which bis salary has been reduced, and any contributions previously paid by him, in respect of units in excess of the reduced number, shall be credited as payments for paid-up pensions to be actuarially calculated.
Will the Minister explain the meaning of the last, two lines in the clause ? Does it mean that this is to be a paid-up pension standing, as it were, apart from the pension he will ultimately receive by reason of the contributions he pays under a reduced salary ? Is a public .servant really entitled to receive a specific pension based to some extent on a higher salary, when, as a matter of fact, such salary has been reduced ? I should have thought that no concession would be made, and that he would revert to the lower scale.
– He has paid in ex.:cess up till then.
– Is he to receive credit in the shape of a separate pension for the payments made on the salary received before his status was reduced?
– It is fairly clear that a contributor in such cases would receive on retirement the pension for which he had contributed after the reduction in salary, and. any contributions previously paid by him in excess would be credited, as payments, for paid-up pensions to be actuarially calculated.
– He would get. credit for the excess amounts? Senator PEARCE.- Exactly. Clause agreed to. Progress reported.
Senate adjourned at 10.2 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 5 October 1922, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1922/19221005_senate_8_101/>.