9th Parliament · 3rd Session
The President (Senator the Hon. T.
Givens) took the chairat8 p.m., and read prayers.
The following paper was presented: -
Defence Act -Regulations amended - Statutory Rules 1925, No. 108- No. 109.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Works and Railways, upon notice -
– The answers are as follow: -
Retrenchment of Temporary Clerks, Sydney
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -
– The information is being obtained.
Exploration of Forestry Resources
asked the Minister for Home and Territories, upon notice -
-The answer to the honorable senator’s questions is -
The report is at present in the hands of the author, Mr. C. E. Lane-Poole. Arrangements will be made to lay it upon the table of the Senate at the earliest opportunity.
Withdrawal of Stamp Licences
asked the Minister representing, the Postmaster-General, upon notice -
– The PostmasterGeneral supplies the following reply: -
Arrangements are being made for stamp licences to be continued rn those instances where they are justified’ in the public interest.
Motion (by Senator Duncan) agreed to -
That one week’s leave of absence be granted to Senator Cox, on the ground of ill-health.
Bill received from House of Representatives.
Suspensionof Standing and Sessional Orders.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -
That so’ much of the Standing and Sessional Orders: be suspended as would prevent the bill being passed- through all its stages without delay.
– Honorable senators are again £ace to face with a motion for the suspension of the Standing and Sessional Orders to enable a bill to be rushed through. Yesterday afternoon I complained that these suspensions were becoming chronic. I then said that honorable senators- on this side would not support such action. I repeat that statement in regard to this measure which was introduced in another place. It was debated there, and then sent to this cham ber. I notice that in the concluding stages of the discussion in another place certain action was taken to expedite the passage of the bill so that the Senate might consider it to-night. We should be more particular than we have been in. the past when dealing with these continuous requests for consideration without’ delay of messages from another place. If four or five days were required for the proper discussion of this legislation elsewhere, at least that length of time should be allowed to honorable senators. I suggestthat the Leader of the Senate (Senate Pearce) should treat this message in the ordinary way; that he should not persist with the motion that he has moved, but that he should merely ask the Senate to now pass the first reading of the bill, and fix the second reading for another day. I know that I shall probably be met with the statement that the Minister made yesterday, that we shall soon be welcoming to Australia our cousins from overseas, the naval representatives of the great American republic. As I said on a previous occasion, the personnel of that fleet, and the sentiment that it brings, are both welcome to Australia. But I think that legislation of this nature should not be rushed through merely in order that the national Parliament may adjourn to enable a welcome to be given to our relatives from overseas.
– Does the honorable senator think that we should do the family washing while our relatives are here ?
-! do not think anything of the sort. I have not in my mind the washing of dirty linen, which is evidently in the mind of the right honorable senator. There is no need to wash linen, but there is need to carefully discuss this legislation. The matter could easily be determined by Monday, or Tuesday at the latest. That would give honorable senators ?rom other states ample time to return to those states, and take part in the welcome to the fleet there. Honorable senators on this side will not lend themselves to this continual suspension of the Standing Orders, particularly in connexion with legislation of this nature, which will vitally affect every citizen of Australia. I see no necessity for rushing it through.
– I also object to the proposal made by the Leader of the Senate. It is useless attempting to ignore the fact that all honorable senators are well acquainted with the provisions of the bill which it is proposed to put through at a non-stop rate. I do not suppose that at this stage I am entitled to discuss its provisions, but, having paid fairly close attention to its passage through another place, I con sider that the proposal to suspend the Standing Orders, with a view to rushing it through without giving breathing time between its various stages, is an outrage that ought not to be permitted. The first part of the bill is absolutely dishonest. The second part creates a new set of offences.
– At this stage, the honorable senator is not entitled to discuss the provisions of the bill.
– I knew very well that I would not be allowed to go very far in doing so, and that you, sir, would very properly pull me up. We have already been in session for about six or seven weeks, and there has been ample time to bring forward this kind of legislation. Is it fair to this Parliament that the Government should seek to force a bill of this kind through without delay? The position would be entirely different in the case of a bill about which there was complete unanimity of opinion, but in regard to this bill there are completely divergent opinions. Possibly there is no other question upon which the people are more divided. I shall oppose the bill, to the best of my ability, at every possible stage, including the stage at which the suspension of the Standing Orders is moved. We have ample time for the discussion of all. important legislation, and I trust that this will be the last occasion on which the Minister will use the nun> bers he has behind him to suspend the Standing Orders and rush through an important bill without delay. Ministers are setting a very bad example. It is very probable that when the electors are next appealed to they will return a Labour Government to power, and Ministers .are now showing us clearly that when that happens we ought to give no right to the then Opposition to discuss anything, but should introduce bills at a moment’s notice, as was done last night and as is proposed again to-night, and rush them through without delay. But it is not fair to do this, either to the Senate or to the people, and I enter my protest against it.
.- The Government is gradually bringing the highest body in Australia down to the level of a small county council. We are sent here to consider every measure, item by item, and should be allowed at least one night to go through a bill.
– I think we are likely to have one night to consider this bill.
– The chances are we shall have two or three nights. It all depends upon the wisdom displayed by Ministers.
– It depends upon the staying power of the Opposition.
– I have seen no occasion where the Labour party could not stay in with any other party. .
– It petered out this morning.
– Yes, because about 7 o’clock we had all honorable senators on the Government side crying to us to get off the job, and applying the “gag.” During the night they were sleeping under rugs, but the representatives of labour were in the chamber all the time, as we shall always be during a fight.
Honorable senators interjecting,
– Now I hear something from Queensland. To Senator Reid I say, “ Where were you in 189 1? “
– I have repeatedly pointed out that it is not in order to address an honorable senator personally. Honorable senators can make their points quite as emphatically by addressing the Chair. To proceed in any other way is calculated to lead to disorder.
– The point I am attempting to make, despite honorable senators’ interjections, is that the Government’ is bringing the Senate down to the level of an ordinary county council, inasmuch as it is asking us, quite unprepared as we are, and at a moment’s notice, to consider one of. the biggest questions that has ever come up for consideration in this chamber.
– Why is the honorable senator not prepared?
– How did we know that this business was to come on?
We werenot told.
– Every one knew about it.
– Who knew it?
– The honorable senator’s friends in another place.
– What an admission for the honorable senator to make - that the Senate must rely for its information on another place, although we have three Ministers in this chamber whose duty it is to tell us what is going on. It is not my duty to learn anything from another place, which under the Standing Orders I am not even permitted to name. If there is one country in the world that has always stood for just laws, it is Australia.’ Yet we are being asked to legislate at a moment’s notice on a most importantmatter affecting the whole of the people.. Every Labour man would need to be a Demosthenes to be able to deal with the contents of all the bills the Government puts forward at a moment’s notice. We on this side are not lawyers. We are merely common-sense individuals, and we cannot grasp the contents of a bill at a moment’s notice; but we might do so if wo could give each important measure at least 24 hours’ consideration. Therefore, I protest against the Government rushing honorable senators in this way. There is. no need for it. The American Fleet is coming to Australia next week, . but the enactment of good and just laws is of greater benefit to the people of Australia than the visit of any fleet from any country in the world is likely to be. We’ are being asked to do this because of the go-slow policy adopted by the. Government. During the eight months in which this Parliament was out of work we could have been considering this bill, and now we are asked to work night and day, and pass at a moment’s notice, bills of paramount importance, not only to the present generation, but also to those who will come after us. I should not have a spark of manhood in mo if I did not protest against the passage of legislation without due consideration being given to it. The Government wishes to apply the “ gag.” It does not desire the people of Australia to understand what is at the back of the measure. It has loaded the dice. Let me remind Ministers that greater men than they framed the Standing Orders. They were designed to safeguard the best interests of democracy, but this Government is determined to foist on -the people a measure of a pattern that suits its party ends. I have no doubt that the numbers are up, and the Government intends to use the power it possesses. I warn it, however, that this legislation will have a boomerang effect, for assuredly there will be a Labour government in office at this time next year. The people of this country believe in the right of free speech, and the action of the Government on this occasion will indirectly rob the people of that right. Senator Reid, from Queensland, did not know the contents of the bill that was bludgeoned’ through the chamber last evening, and when its effect was explained by Senator Gibbs, he admitted that the honorable senator was right. Let our legislation be on sound lines. As a representative of the central state of Australia, I object to any government taking from me the right of free speech, thereby filching the rights of tens of thousands of people in my state whom I represent. Ministers themselves have to rely on their officers before thev understand the measures they bring down, and they cannot expect honorable senators tobe acquainted with every detail of technical bills which may have taken the officers months to prepare. Every reasonable person will protest against such a procedure. We should be given a fair chance to digest the contents of bills. It is regrettable that the habit of suspending the Standing Orders, and forcing the passage of measures through Parliament, has been formed by this Government. When honorable senators on the Labour side bring forward any sound proposal which honorable senators opposite possibly recognize as reasonable, the partv whip is cracked, and the Government’s power is put into operation. There are men who, when given a little authority, imagine that they are greater than the people who sent them here. But we, on this side, contend that the interests of the people should be paramount, irrespective of what party is in power. This is possibly one of the most important measures on which any Parliament . has been called upon to deliberate, and it should receive the fullest consideration. Why should our efforts be stultified by the Government securing the suspension of the Standing Orders, and applying the “ gag “ ? IfI were on the other side of the chamber, I should give my opponents the fullest opportunity for free discussion. The only reason for asking that the Standing Orders be suspended is the desire to push the bill through the chamber with indecent haste. This Government has made many mistakes, and no doubt will make many more, but I hope that it will not persist in the present motion.
Motion (by Senator Wilson) proposed -
That the Senate do now divide.
Question put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . . . 6
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Question - That so much of the Standing and Sessional Orders be suspended as would prevent the bill being passed through all its stages without delay - put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . 7
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -
That the bill be now read a first time.
Question put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . . . 7
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a first time.
– I move-
That the bill be now read a second time.
I regret that an hour that might very well have been given to the discussion of this bill has been devoted to other things. For that, honorable senators on this side are not responsible. This bill deals with the right of the country to decide who shall come into it, and of those who come in who shall remain here. That is the important principle underlying the whole of its provisions. It is well known that at the inception of . federation, , the people of Australia, when they became vocal through their Federal Parliament, laid down, as a fundamental principle of their legislation, their right to deter mine whoshould enter, and who should remain in, their country. It is, therefore, somewhat remarkable that. honorable senators opposite should profess dismay at this proposed legislation, as if it were a radical departure from some wellrecognized principle. Not only has the principle been always recognized in this country, but every civilized country has adopted it for its own protection. Since that principle was first established by this Parliament, there have been amendments of our immigration restriction laws, their effect being to tighten up the existing legislation, and extend its scope. In the early days of federation there was not the same power to deport undesirable citizens from this country that the legislation of to-day contains, but the very first law passed by this Parliament asserted the right of the community to deport from the country persons who, after their entry, proved to be undesirable citizens. It is true that one of the determining factors in the passing of such legislation was the commission of crime. The commission of crime, or of acts which amounted to crime, was an evidence accepted by the country that the guilty persons had proved themselves to be undesirable, and therefore unworthy of citizenship in this country. Not only was legislation enacted to enable such persons to be deported, but the powers conferred by that legislation were exercised, and persons guilty of criminal acts were deported from the country. That principle has never been successfully challenged. It still remains on our statute-book. One has only to examine the principle itself to see how necessary it is to the safeguarding of our national life. If we are to open our doors to the criminals of other countries, it is obvious that those countries will speedily make Australia a dumping ground for their undesirables.
– Is the bill being introduced with the object of keeping out criminals from other countries, or deporting respectable men who are in this country to-day.
– The object of the measure is to deal with those who, having come here, have exhibited criminal instincts, and who are endeavouring to destroy the established institutions of this country. The bill also provides certain safeguards found to be necessary in regard to our existing legislation. It gives additional power for controlling and regulating alien immigration into Australia. We have to remember that with the great Republic of America almost entirely closing its doors to certain sections of European aliens, that stream of immigration is being diverted elsewhere. During the recess the Government found strong evidence that it was being diverted to Australia. We pride ourselves on being the most British of all British communities. We are even more British than the British Isles themselves. Fully 98 per cent of our population is of British stock, and there is on the face of the earth no better stock with which to found a nation.
– Does not the present act give the Government sufficient power to prevent any one it desires to exclude from coming into this country.
– I suggest that Senator Barnes should not “exhaust himself at this juncture, since his leader will probably require his services later on. We are not opposed to the immigration to this country of suitable elements of the white race, but we are desirous of maintaining, so far as we can,’ the preponderance of the British element. We realize that we must deal with this question fairly and justly, and with due recognition of the rights of other nations. We should be foolish to. take extreme action that would offend those nations, interfere with their national pride, or constitute an affront to them; but they themselves would be the first to acknowledge our right to make a selection of the kind of people we should admit into this country.
We have, therefore, in this measure asked Parliament to grant the Government greater power than it has to-day to regulate the stream of alien immigration entering the Commonwealth. During the recess, when it became apparent that large numbers of southern Europeans, particularly Greeks, Jugo Slavs, and Albanians were arriving with insufficient funds, and without friends or relatives to look after them on arrival, the Government took prompt steps to deal with the situation. The Greek, Jugo Slav, and Albanian authorities were advised of the- conditions prevailing in Australia, and of the restricted opportunities for the employment of those unable to speak the English language of who had.no friends to assist them on arrival. The British consuls’ in those countries were also asked to issue a warning of these restricted opportunities, and to arrange, as far as possible, for the number of such immigrants to be limited to not more than 100 per month. The shipping companies were likewise warned of their responsibility in regard to the return of immigrants who subsequent to their arrival became a charge upon the public. The effect of these precautions is shown in the figures which I am now about to quote. For the three months ended the 31st December, 1924, 910 Greeks entered Australia; whereas for the three months ending the 31st May this- year, after our restrictions were put into force, the arrivals numbered only 118. For the last three months of 1924, 950 Jugo Slavs arrived, and for the three months ending 31st May, 1925, only 73. For the last three months of 1924, 176 Albanians arrived here, and for the three months ending 31st May, 1925, there were no arrivals. The net migration, that is, the excess of arrivals over departures of other than those of the white British race, was, for the quarter ended the 31st December, 1924, 4,514; whereas for the quarter ended the -31st May, 1925, it was only 2,967, showing a decrease of 39 per cent, for the latter period as compared with the last three months of 1924. It will be seen from these figures that, notwithstanding tha energetic propaganda indulged in by certain persons throughout the country to make it appear that the Government was not dealing with this Question,the prompt measures which the Government did take had the effect of regulating this class of migration to Australia.
There has been a good deal of discussion elsewhere regarding Italian migrants. It must be admitted that in numbers they have exceeded other classes of alien migrants, but there has been a general unanimity of testimony that the Italian settlers in Australia are of a good type, with standards of living almost, if not quite, equal to those of the average Australian. The Government was not in a position, when dealing recently with the problem of alien immigration generally, to place a check through the’ passport vise system, on the number of Italian migrants, because Australia . had joined with Great Britain a few years ago in an arrangement with the Italian Government, as well as the governments of France, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, for the mutual abolition of vises. It was stipulated at the time, however, that the Italian Government should refrain from granting passports to Italians desiring to travel to Australia unless they could show that they had been nominated by some one in Australia who was prepared to look after them on arrival, or unlessthey had adequate funds for their maintenance. The Italian Government has a highly organized Emigration Department, which makes itself responsible for providing that the Italians who migrate to Australia are in sound health and of good character. The Italian consular authorities in Australia also co-operate to see that such migrants are nob allowed to become a charge upon the community. Mr. Ferry, an official of the Queensland Public Service, who was appointed by the Queensland Government to report on the question of immigration, stated in a recent report that the majority of the Italians coming to Australia were from southern Italy; but the records show that, in effect. 67 per cent, of the total number of Italians who left Italy for Australia last year were from the northern provinces, and should not be confused with . the city-dwelling type such as the Neapolitans. Mr. Theodore, whose remarks were endorsed by Mr. Gillies, stated that there was plenty of room for the Italians who came to Queensland, the only objection being that they had a tendency to settle in the one district.
The Commonwealth Government has been severely blamed by the Labour party for allowing the influx of Italians and other aliens into north Queensland, and for the position disclosed in Mr. Ferry’s report that in some districts the canecutting gangs are nearly 100 per cent, foreigners. It is, however, within the power of the State Government of Queeusland to prevent a preponderance, of aliens from engaging in sugar cane farming, or in cane-cutting work. I wish to quote a letter which appeared in the Brisbane Daily Mail of the 30th June, 1.925. From Mr. E. B. Swayne. M.L.A. -
For sheer hypocrisy it would . he difficult to beat the behaviour of the present Government (Queensland State Government) as regards the influx of newly-arrived southern Europeans into our sugar districts.
Pretending to view with deep concern the displacement of the British-Australian workers, who have hitherto been engaged in the industry, by the new arrivals, it all the while has been ‘ striving to score some selfish party political advantage out of this national difficulty at the expense of the Federal CountryNational party Government because it is not immediately dealing with the problem, and is falsely stating it is entirely beyond the State Government to do so. But, by the inference, it is trying to create the impression what wonderful things it would do if given the power.
As to whether it does not. already possess the requisite authority or not, I will leave yon to sav after perusal of the provisions contained in the Sugar Cultivation Act, passed by the Denham Government in 1913 for the security of the sugar industry. In section 2. this act gives power to the Minister’ for Agriculture to authorize a dictation test in any Inmriinge he mny select to be applied to those engaged in the industry. Then, section 3 deals with cultivators as follows: -
Certain persons prohibited from growing sugar cane: -
After the passing of this Act, it shall be unlawful for any person who has not first obtained in the prescribed manner a certificate of having passed the dictation test to engage in or carry on the cultivation of sugar cane upon any land within Queensland, of which such person, whether individually or in partnership, or association with others, is the occupier. Any such person who acts in contravention of this section shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding One hundred pounds, and the crop of sugar cane so being cultivated shall be liable to be forfeited to His Majesty by order of the court before which the offence is proved.
Section 4 goes on to say, in ‘ the first two paragraphs, and including lines 12 and 13:
After the passing of this Act -
Any employer who, either directly or indirectly, or under any pretence or device, attempts to employ, or employs or authorizes or permits to be employed, in or in connexion with the industry of the cultivation of sugar cane and the manufacture therefrom of sugar, any person who has not first obtained a certificate of having passed the dictation test;
Any person who has une first, obtained a certificate of having passed the dictation test who is employed in or in connexion with such industry; shall be guilty of an offence, and shall be liable to the penalties following.
And then the Act goes on to provide penalties of from £2 to £10 per day for employers or employees breaking the Act. It wili be’ noted that State Government under this Act may practically debar any one it pleases from employing or becoming employed in this industry, and that without any reference whatsoever to the Commonwealth Government. . . .
– And there is a Labour Government in Queensland.
– Yes, this act was passed, not by a Labour administration, but by the Denham Government. It has not been repealed by the Labour Government. If it is to the detriment of Queensland that aliens should be employed in the sugar industry,” there is upon the statute-book of that state an act which, if the Labour Government had seen fit to put it into force, would have prevented their employment.
I proceed now to deal with the question of the immigration of Maltese. I am deliberately anticipating the use in this chamber of the misrepresentations that have been indulged in outside this Parliament with the object of damaging the Commonwealth Government in the eyes of the people. It has been clearly explained on many occasions that there is an understanding with the Government of Malta, under which that Government undertakes to limit the issue of passports, so that, as far as practicable, not more than twenty Maltese will seek” to land in any one state of the Commonwealth during any month. It has been misrepresented that the Government entered into a secret arrangement to import upwards of 1,200 Maltese a year. That is absolutely incorrect. The Government gives no assistance or encouragement whatever to Maltese to come to Australia.
– Did not the Prime Minister make some arrangement with the Government of Malta?
– Not for the bringing in of even one Maltese. I have already stated that the Malta Government undertook to see that not more than twenty Maltese would seek to land in any one state during any month. During the last twelve months they have not reached that quota. That was a purely administrative act, with a view to limiting the number of Maltese immigrants so that they might be readily absorbed. The steps that were taken by the Government have been effective in putting a stop to the influx of indigent aliens.
As I have previously pointed out, the immigration of certain classes of southern Europeans has been for the time being considerably checked. The Government, however, when considering the whole matter, strongly felt that it was necessary to have further power than is given in the act. In this bill, therefore, we have a clause which is practically a copy of a section of the Canadian act. Under it, the Governor-General may, by proclamation, declare that the immigration of certain classes is, for economic or other reasons, undesirable, and a limit may be placed upon the numbers of those classes that may come in. That will give the Government greater statutory power than it possesses to-day: If honorable senators opposite were sincere in the protestations that they made up and down the country during the recess, they should welcome the bill and assist the
Government to put it on the statutebook.
– The first portion of the bill is all right and no exception could be taken to it.
– Yet we shall find honorable senators “stone-walling” the first as well as the second portion of the bill. We shall see whether honorable senators opposite will facilitate the passage of the motion for the second reading of the bill, in order that, in committee, they may be afforded the opportunity to vote for those clauses which they favour and against those to which they are opposed.
– The Government al-, ready has the power for which it is asking in the first portion of the bill.
– That is not correct. I now come to the other provisions in the bill. I point out that under the act, which has been on the statute-book for some years, power is given by section 8 a to summon before a board any person who, within three years of his arrival in Australia, advocates the overthrow of the Government by force or violence, and make him show cause why he should not be deported. That provision has received the endorsement of the people of this country. Why? Because they recognize that, just as Australia must be protected against bubonic plague, small-pox, and other deadly diseases of an infectious character, that may be introduced from outside, so the body politic must be protected from those infectious social diseases by which the minds of the people of this country can be poisoned - the propagation of the deadly diseases of communism and bolshevism.
– Twenty-five years ago, under legislation of this nature, the honorable senator would have been deported by his opponents as an avowed socialist.
– There is in the bill nothing to prevent any socialist from coming to Australia, and the honorable senator ought to know that. There are in the bil] provisions by which action may be taken against persons who, after their arrival in Australia, abuse their citizenship rights by devoting their activities to the stirring up of industrial strife and the paralyzing of the industries of Australia.
We should be foolish if we shut our eves to the fact that the communist knows no country, and owes allegiance to no nation. He declaims against national pride and against all nationality. He is an internationalist, and he boasts of his internationalism. He stands for one principle, which he preaches in season and out of season, and that is the principle of destruction. He aims ‘ at the destruction of civilized society as we know it to-day. He has, unfortunately, managed to acquire political power in one of the great. European countries, Russia, and we are well aware that the whole political, power of that country is to-day devoted to the spreading of those communistic doctrines of destruction and anarchy through every civilized country of the earth. And every civilized country, knowing of that fact, would be worse than foolish if it did not take measures for its protection against such insidious and destructive doctrines. I bring witnesses to prove that this is recognized. The witnesses are honorable senators opposite. Why have they banned the communist from membership of their party? Why did the Western Australian branch of the Australian Labour party, at its annual conference held last week, by 70 votes to 40, decide to expel from its ranks Mr. Ryce, a member of the executive of the Seamen’s Union, and a communist? It was because of its recognition of the fact that the policy of the communist is destruction. Its action was dictated by the instinct of selfpreservation. And if it is right for a political organization in Australia to expel a man from its ranks because it knows that he advocates and acts upon the principle of the destruction of that political party, is it wrong for the Commonwealth Government to eXpel from Australia a man who proclaims and acts upon the same principles in relation to the national life of the Commonwealth?
We have the freest democracy in the world. Every man, every woman, who comes to Australia, after a short period of residence, obtains the same political power that is possessed . by men and women who have been born in this country. In his economic life, from the time that he goes to the schoolhouse, until he goes to his grave, every individual in this country is surrounded by the most beneficent industrial, social and economic laws ever devised. He is given free education. He works under a bene.ficent system of factory legislation, wages boards and arbitration courts.
He has the benefits of workmen’s compensation acts. All these advantages have been provided by this democracy in order that he shall have a fair opportunity to obtain his living, and be protected from the rapacity of those who would interfere with his economic wellbeing. Trade unionism is encouraged bv our industrial laws to such an extent that during the time that the Arbitration Act has been on the statute-book the membership of the trade unions of Australia has more than quadrupled. That has been due wholly and solely to the encouragement given by the act to the formation and membership of unions. That being so - these being the conditions which this democracy provides for the working classes of this country, and for all who come here - we say that any man who comes here and threatens or endeavours to destroy those advantages is an enemy to this country, and we should treat him as such. And so we say to him, “ You may hold these views, you may propagate these poisonous doctrines, if you will, but you shall not do so in Australia. Go back to your own country. The will of this country is that it shall be a democracy, based on economic freedom. All our laws are designed to that end, and yon shall not, by your anti-social revolutionary practices, and destructive methods, endeavour to shatter and destroy the edifice that this democracy has raised.”
This is merely self -protection. It is not an attack upon trade unionism. It is a protection of trade unionism. No trade union that will conform’ to and obey the laws- of this country need fear the operation of a single clause of the bill, or a section of the act. On the contrary,, every trade union that believes in democracy, and in the code of industrial laws that we have built up, should welcome this measure as a protection against that “white-anting,” by revolutionists and communists, which to-day is. going on in our midst. Every intelligent trade unionist who watches the course of events is aware that the “white-anting” process is going on. If proof of my words be required I refer honorable senators to the statements of responsible trade union leaders - to the steps the unions are taking in every state of the Commonwealth to rid themselves of those who are spreading these poisonous doctrines and to protect themselves against the “ white - anting’*’ that is going on in their movement.
In these circumstances the Government says to Parliament: “Since this Parliament and the Parliaments of the states have reared this edifice, which has the endorsement of the overwhelming majority of the people of this country, we ask you for this additional power. Just as you have already given us power under the quarantine law to close the door against any man or woman likely to bring disease into the Commonwealth, or, under the Immigration Restriction Act. against those who would come into this country and. because of their indigence, or any other reason, lower the economic standard of the people, so we ask you to arm us with this further power, in order that Australia shall not be defenceless against this menace.” “We ask for this power so that we shall be able to stop at our door the man who, to our knowledge, proposes to enter Australia for this destructive purpose. And if he evades us at the door - if he comes into the community and commences to preach his nefarious doctrines and practice his nefarious principles, the Government seeks to be armed with the power to place the hand of the law on him and send him back to the country from which he came.
These are the principles contained in the bill. In the interest of Australia and that economic structure we have reared in this country, and of which we are so proud, as well as in the interest of our democracy, I appeal to honorable senators to support the bill and place it on the statute-book. I give them an assurance that neither this nor any government would ever abuse the power the measure places in its hands. No government would dare to do so. Australia is a democracy. Both Houses of the Commonwealth Parliament are “broad based upon the people’s will.” There is no class franchise. Every adult is free and equal in the vote- given for the election of both Houses of this Parliament. It is unthinkable therefore that any government responsible to an electorate such as that could use these powers of protection as a weapon of tyranny or oppression or as a means of reprisal for political purpose. Any government that did $o would court destruction. There is no country in the world where public opinion is so responsive as it is in Australia. Those of us who know anything of the politics of our country know that if governments returned with large majorities have proved unfaithful to the trust reposed in them they have been thrown out of office - even before the electors have been called upon to pass judgment - owing to the force of public opinion asserting itself in parliament. Australia is not a country such as some people speak of where the “ proletariat “ as they call him is ignorant. Australia is an educated country. Here even the labourer who carries bricks on a building can read and write and reason. He is not a poor fool who toils in chains’ ignorant of his surroundings. He reads, he thinks, he knows. You cannot fool an educated democracy. You cannot play tricks with it. The safeguard against any possibility of tyranny in Australia is not to be found in any written law or in anything that may be provided to tie the hands of a government. It is to be found rather in public- opinion, free, unfettered, and educated. Australia is a reasoning democracy. I have heard some of these imported gentlemen telling the workers of Australia that they have nothing to lose but their chains, and that they should be class conscious. Years ago I was a trade unionist. I was a trade union leader. I helped to form trade unions, and I was one of the pioneers of the movement in Western Australia when it was unprofitable and unpayable to be a trade union leader. At that time, to occupy such a position was to bring upon oneself suffering, contempt, and the boycott.
– There were no soft billets in the movement then.’
– There were not. I was a leader of the movement then, and I was class conscious to this extent, that, although I worked for my living ‘ on a daily wage, I did not think myself inferior to any other man in the state. That was my class consciousness. Apparently the class consciousness taught by these imported gentlemen is that it is undignified to work for a wage; that it is ignoble to labour. Any man who preaches a doctrine like that degrades labour and is not worthy of bearing the name of labour. There is nothing ignoble or unworthy in working for a wage. On the contrary, there is no better citizen in this country than the honest man who works for a daily wage and can “look the whole world in the face.” Why should he talk of class consciousness as if there was a badge of servitude upon him, or as if he were in any way inferior to others? And yet these are the doctrines being taught to-day by these imported gentlemen, brought from countries where the standard is entirely different from what it is in Australia. They come from countries where there are classes which, because they rule, own the working class. In Australia no man owns the working class. Every man owns himself. He stands upright in his own dignity, and is free and unfettered. Therefore, to talk of class consciousness and of the “ chains of the workers “ in these circumstances is rubbish.
If my voice could reach beyond these walls to the trade unionists of Australia, I would say that their danger comes not from the capitalist class of Australia. If ever a clash comes between the capitalist class and the workers of Australia, the tribunals of the country will determine the issue, not on the money power of the capitalist or on the organized power of the workers, but on the bare justice of the demands made by either side. In our industrial affairs we have got rid of the doctrine of the club ; we have brought all issues into the arena of law and justice. Therefore, when the trade unionist looks round for his enemy, it is not the capitalist he sees. If he looks in the right way he will see that if Australia is to progress, . and if its wealth is to be made available, capital and labour must both play their part, and that if they co-operate they will do it more successfully than if they fight. The enemy of the trade unionist of Australia is the man who talks to him of class consciousness, and tells him that he has nothing to lose but his chains. The worker of Australia has more to lose than the workers of any other country have ever had or have to-day. And so I invite honorable senators who call themselves the representatives of labour to take this opportunity of telling these imported gentlemen that they will no longer shelter them or throw the protection of their political party around them to permit them to continue “ white-anting “ the trade unions of Australia, and to plot schemes of destruction against the Government or the legislative and economic edifice which the democracy of the Commonwealth has reared up, and of which it is so proud.
– I have listened very carefully to the speech of the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) in moving the second reading of the bill, which. I have just had, for the first time, an opportunity of perusing. As one of the humble representatives of labour in this chamber and, I hope, outside, it is my intention to address myself to the main provisions pf the measure, and reply to a few of the statements made ‘by the Minister. Let me reply to one of them at once. He waxed somewhat wrathful about what he called imported gentlemen. One would think that the bill referred to no one but these gentlemen, but I can see in it no reference to them.” I have seen in if something referring to Britishers who may come to Australia and whom, if the bill becomes an act, the GovernorGeneral will be given power to deport. It is true that the bill can easily be divided into two sections, and it might have been better if it had been introduced in that way. The first part deals with the manner and conditions in which people may enter the Commonwealth. It deals with people who desire to leave other parts of the world and come to Australia, but it is simply a bit of window dressing on the part of the Government, because Minis,ters are not so much concerned about people entering Australia as they are about those they want to send away from Australia. That being so, I shall not occupy much time in commenting on that portion of the bill which refers to people entering Australia. I shall confine my few remarks to that important section of the measure’ which refers to the power of deportation. This is the most remarkable piece of legislation ever introduced in this Parliament. The Minister laid particular emphasis on the subject of class consciousness, but I regard the bill as a shining example of class legislation. It is intended that it shall operate against one section . of the community alone - the trade unionists. I make that statement deliberately. If we try to discover the purpose, of the measure, we find that it provides for the deportation of persons not born in Australia if they are convicted of political offences. Although the Minister told us that there was already a law to deal with criminals, he admitted that the immigration clauses were designed to prevent criminals from entering Australia. He went on to say that there were criminals already here, and the Government of the day intended to send them out of the country. . The only crime of the individuals whom the Government wishes to deport is that they are endeavouring to make the lot of their fellow citizens better than they found it. If the bill becomes law, it will be possible to deport these men on the ipse dixit of the Minister or a board. They can be deported without a trial by jury. Australians pride themselves on being ultra-British in upholding the right of an accused person to a trial by a jury of his peers, which -right has come down to us from Magna Charta. If there was no law under which it was possible to deal with ‘these men, there might be some justification for this bill; but even then it should at least contain that . wellknown tenet of British law - the right of trial by jury. The bill provides for the appointment of a board by the Governor-General in Council. I point out. however, that no person coming before such a board will receive a fair trial, for he will have been condemned to deportation before his case is heard. Such a board would be composed of political friends of the party opposite, and the accused person would have no right to challenge its personnel.
– Should he be allowed to choose his own board?
– He should have the same right as that given to accused persons under the British law, which stipulates that an accused shall be deemed to be innocent until he is proved guilty. Under this bill, however, that procedure would be reversed, and the accused would have to show cause why he should not be deported. In other words, he would have to prove his innocence of the charge laid against him, instead of the Government proving his guilt. No matter how heinous the crime may be, the responsibility rests on the pro secution under the British law of proving the guilt of the person charged. But this bill is not only a travesty of British justice; it is also an insult to the intelligence of the people of Australia. The board, appointed ostensibly by the Governor-General in Council, would be composed of the nominees of the government of the day, and, of course, would be politically biased. The Minister expressed the hope that his voice would reach beyond the confines of this chamber. Through the medium of the press, no doubt, it will. This Government poses as the friend of the working class, and claims to pass legislation that will benefit all sections of the people. I regret that there ‘ was not a microphone in front of the Minister, broadcasting his remarks throughout the land.
– Hear, hear!
– So do we.
– I am sorry that his speech will not reach every home in Australia, for’ then the trade unionists of this country would understand the true purpose of the bill.
– A correct report is what they need.
– Yes. The people will be able to obtain a true account through the medium of Hansard, but a lot of printing would be involved if a copy of it were to be sent to every home in Australia. The unions of Australia consider that an attack is being made on their organizations. A person arraigned before a biased board such as is proposed would have no chance of escape. If there is’ need to try these people, let them be brought before the courts of the land. There are industrial tribunals, police courts, local courts, State Supreme Courts, and the High Court of Australia. In all these courts legal machinery is provided.’ Acts of Parliament are in existence to deal with every conceivable class of offence or crime which may be committed by any person in Australia. That being so, what is the necessity for introducing this legislation? Let us for a moment consider that great charter of British liberty which was signed in June, 1215,. and see what it has to say about trials. I am concentrating on the great defect of this bill - the absence of trial by jury. Let me be frank and say that the de- portation clauses of this bill are anathema to me. But I point out that if the Government is so anxious to rid the community of undesirables it should, at least, adopt the fundamental tenets of British justice. Chapter 39 of that great charter to which I have referred says -
No freeman shall be arrested or detained in prison, or deprived of his freehold, or banished, or in any way molested, and wo will not set forth against him, nor send against him, unless, by lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land.
Honorable senators will see that that charter provides that a man shall be dealt with not only by a jury of his peers, but also according to the law of the land. If this bill becomes the law of the land, it should contain a provision for trial by jury. Chapter 40 of Magna Charta reads -
To none will we sell, to none will we deny or delay right or justice.
Some writers have maintained that the charter does not promise trial by jury, but I desire to draw attention to certain parts of these1 chapters’ which have only one meaning. The language in chapter 39, which I have read, is plain and explicit. It undoubtedly provides that before any man is condemned for a crime or an offence he shall be tried by a jury of his peers. But, instead of that, this bill provides for a secret trial, and a man may be deported without a proper trial by an impartial court. The bill robs a man who is accused of any of the offences mentioned in it of the justice dispensed by the law courts. Sir James Macintosh, in his History of England, at pages 219 and 220, makes this statement -
In these clauses of the charter are clearly contained habeas corpus and trial by jury, the most effectual security against oppression which the wisdom of man has hitherto been able to devise.
Taswell-Langmead, in English Constitutional History, page 103, writes -
There is a breadth about the simple language employed, as if those who wrote it felt that they were- asserting universal principles of justice.
Is this Government, in the measure before us, advocating universal principles of justice? The Leader of the Government in this chamber referred to the edifice of democracy that has been erected, and which he said that certain imported gentlemen desire to destroy. There are men in this country who helped to build up that edifice of democracy, and blazed the track in Australia long before the right honorable gentleman himself took part in the trade union movement, who, under this measure, could be deported, without any trial. Simply because some political partisan accuses him of having taken part in what is called a serious industrial disturbance, he may be sent from the country. This measure, instead of upholding the universal principles of justice, violates them. TaswellLangmead goes on to say - henceforth, it must have been a clear principle of our constitution that no man can be detained in prison without a trial.
The measure before us permits a man to be taken from his home, placed on board a ship, and sent away from this country without a proper trial. He may even be placed in custody before the board which is to deal with him has any knowledge of his case. Blackstone, in his Commentaries, writes of -Magna Charta -
It protected every individual of the nation in the free enjoyment- of his life, his liberty, and his property, unless declared to be forfeited by the judgment of his peers.
There is the commentary of this learned gentleman on that great charter, which no true British subject has ever yet denied. That principle stands in every portion of the far-flung British Empire. This Government, which prates about its loyalty to the Empire, now attempts to scatter to the four winds of heaven those very tenets of British justice that have made the Empire what it is. Hallam, in his Middle Ages, writing on these chapters, said of them that they -
Protect the personal liberty and property of all freemen by giving security from arbitrary imprisonment and arbitrary spoliation.
And Creasy in his English Constitution, wrote1 -
The ultimate effect of this chapter was to give and to guarantee full protection for persons and property and for every human being that breathes English air.
I particularly wish to draw attention to those last words, “guarantee full protection to every one that breathes English air.” Are we not breathing British air in Australia?
– It is good Australian air.
– Yes. It is good wholesome Australian air which we in this wonderful Australian climate enjoy, and that air is permeated with the ideals of British justice. On the borders of Texas, or on the ice-clad Klondyke gold-fields, more chance would be given to a man who broke the laws of the mining held than this measure allows to a mau m Australia who takes part in an industrial disturbance. 1 remind honorable senators that the whole purpose of this measure is to attack men who engage in aD industrial disturbance. Why should these men be singled out? We have had industrial disturbances in the past, and there may be further disturbances in the future. The object of industrial unrest is to try to better the conditions under which men live. I do not say that our conditions in Australia are worse than those in other countries; I say that they are better. As one who under this measure could be deported - I am not . Australian boro - I desire to say that as a worker I have found the conditions in Australia better than they were in the land of my birth ; but while I say that,
I do not say that they cannot be improved. When we reach the stage where we consider an improvement is impossible, we have reached the stage of stagnation. Because these disturbances will arise from time to time, and because they cause inconvenience, the Government wants to take to itself the powerto summarily deport people from this country. The existing lawsprovide ample power to’ deal with any person engaged in an industrial dispute.
II has been freely stated that this measure has been introduced with the sole object of giving the Government the power to deport two persons at present concerned in the maritime dispute ; but ito. provisions are so comprehensive chat they can be applied to any person associated with an industrial disturbance causing an interruption in our transport services.
Instead of introducing this measure, under which certain ‘ persons who are acting on behalf of their fellow men can be deported, the Government should have brought in an amending Arbitration Act bill, making it possible for the trade unionists to approach the court without the unnecessary delays and the great expense that is at present involved. Only recently an industrial organization, after expending a large portion of its funds in placing its case before the court and receiving an award, had to incur additional expense and inconvenience in defending the award before the High Court. Would it not have been infinitely better to introduce an amending Arbitration Bill instead of this vicious measure, and thus make the path to the Arbitration Court easier than it is at present? Under the bill, power is given to deport any person deemed to have been associated with an industrial dispute. It is true that a board is to> be appointed before which such persons can appear, but- that tribunal is to be appointed by the GovernorGeneral in Council, which, of course, means the Government. The measure has been introduced with the sole object of destroying trade union organizations in Australia; and under its provisions any person born in England, Ireland, or Scotland will be regarded as an alien. The Minister for Home and Territories (Senator Pearce) and Senator Lynch were a few years ago strong advocates of trade unionism, and’ actually led a . strike in Western Australia. The Minister was almost a republican.
– The honorable senator is now straining his imagination.
– The right honorable gentleman knows that, he held republican ideas at that time.
– Never !
– If this measure had been on the statute-book when the Minister was advocating the cause of the timber-workers in Western Australia, he would have been deported.
– When men were being paid 6s. a day, and the ruling rate was 8s. per day, what else could we .do ?
– Senator Lynch must remember that 6s. per day at that time was almost equivalent to the present- daily wage.
– Does the honorable senator say that 6s. a day was a fair wage ?
– Not by any means, but the purchasing power of money has decreased.
– When the wages were 8s. per day, the men to whom the honorable senator is referring were working under the “ truck “ system,, and receiving only 6s. per day. I would lead a strike to-morrow under similar conditions.
– I say that at 6s. or 8s. per day the limber -workers of
Western Australia were on a starvation rate, and even to-day the pay of the workers generally is not commensurate with the cost of living. When a boy of twelve years old I was working in a coal mine for ten hours a day and received lOd. per day. 1 had to walk 1 miles to the colliery, descend a vertical shaft 720 yards in depth, and then walk over 2 miles to the face where we were working. A man in those days who endeavoured to ‘ improve the conditions of the boys would have been regarded as an undesirable person. When redress is impossible by constitutional means the strike weapon is absolutely essential.
– This measure is not aimed at men such as those to whom the honorable senator is referring.
– That is the construction which I am placing on the measure. There are people in Australia who have been the cause of greater industrial unrest and widespread misery than the leaders of any trade union. I refer to the profiteers whom the ex-Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) said he would shoot at the first opportunity, but from whom, instead of carrying out his threat, he cheerfully accepted £25,000. When our Australian soldiers were giving their life-blood m protecting the interests of the profiteers, these men were raising the price of the commodities they were selling in order to obtain material advantage. There were also the rack-renting landlords, who increased the rents of buildings occupied by soldiers’ wives and others, in some cases, by 100 per cent.
– 1 draw attention to the state of the Senate. [Quorum formed.]
– These profiteers and rack-renting landlords to whom I have referred cause more unhappiness and misery in Australia than any industrial leader, yet the bill does not provide for their deportation. We know also that we have in our midst combines controlling sugar, shipping, coal, timber, tiles, bricks, and many other industries. The Labour party once endeavoured to induce the people of Australia to allow the Constitution to be altered in such a way that this Parliament could deal with those people, but that proposal was rejected. The ship-owner increases freights and fares without reference to any industrial or arbitration court or wages board. He arbitrarily fixes the amount that we shall pay. to travel on his steamers, and to have our goods carried by them. Such persons act more injuriously to the public than those at whom the bill is aimed.
To emphasize the necessity for making provision or trial by jury, I shall quote from a leading article that appeared in the Melbourne *Herald of the ‘!th July, 1925, under the heading, “ The Herald’s Fight for Free Speech.” It said -
A verdict has been given that upholds the right of a newspaper to publish its honest views on a matter of public interest, however severe these ‘views ‘ may be, however derogatory and detrimental to any individual. “ In matters of public interest,” said the Chief Justice in his summing up of the case, “ not only the press but every citizen has a right to say what he thinks, no matter how injurious it may be to the other man who is affected by it. He has a perfect right to do this, and in many cases, if he is a man of courage, he ought to deal with it as a duty in addition to a right.”
The article goes on to say -
The newspaper shares that right with every citizen. Had the Herald in this case not fought for and won a verdict in its favour, the right of every citizen to express an honest opinon would have been in jeopardy.
In conclusion the article states -
It was for the protection of these rights that the Herald was compelled to fight this case, for that freedom of criticism in matters of public interest, both political and social, artistic: and in every other way, which, as the Chief Justice emphasized, is the basis of the politic and social institutions in our country. The outcome of this case means that so long as a man or newspaper expresses what he honestly believes to be the truth, he need not fear the consequences. Neither courts nor juries shall take away, either from the press or from citizens, that great fundamental right of our liberty, the right of free speech and free criticism in matters of public interest.
This bill will certainly take away that right if it becomes law. I am approach-, ing the time when, according to the Standing Orders, I must resume my seat. Therefore, any further remarks that I may have to. offer I shall reserve for the committee stage. I realize that the numbers are up, and that this bill will eventually reach the statute-book. When it does it will be a blot on the national escutcheon. I reminded Senator Wilson a little while ago that the day is not far distant when the authors, the sponsors, and the supporters of this legislation will have to appear before a jury, before whom I shall be a witness. That jury will be the people of Australia. When they have heard the evidence, their verdict will be, “Guilty of an attack upon the foundations of British justice,” and their sentence, “ Political death.” When the sentence has been carried out, those who support this legislation will be lowered into their political graves un-. wept, unhonoured, and unsung.
– I desire to express my opposition to this measure. I compliment the Minister (Senator Pearce), not on the information that he gave, but on the manner in which he withheld it. His justification for the bill is that it is necessary to preserve the institutions of Australia. The Prime Minister, when introducing the bill in another place, did not resort to camouflage. He said that its object is to enable the Government to take action in time of industrial strife, with a view to deporting certain persons who are connected with the unions which are concerned in the strife. It is quite true, as Senator Pearce said, that the Australian Labour party resolved, at its conference, to debar communists from membership of the party, whether they be of British, Australian, or foreign birth. But the Labour party has not, and will not for any consideration, take away from them the right to live in our community, to form their own organizations, and carry out their own propaganda of the principles in which they believe. T have come . in contact with many communists, and I know many personally. The majority possess intellectual talent far above that of the average man. I remind honorable senators that twenty years ago Senator Pearce spoke from a socialist platform on the Yarra bank, under a banner which had inscribed on it the words : “ Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains.” The right honorable senator said to-night that that is to-day the. slogan of the communist party. He did not tell honorable senators that it was the slogan of the party under whose banner he, twenty years ago, moved a resolution protesting against militarism and advocating internationalism. He said to-night that one of the offences of these men is that they believe in internationalism. Who does not believe in it? We all know that the future peace of the world depends upon the creation throughout the world of the spirit of internationalism. I have not heard any man speak with greater eloquence than the right honorable senator who introduced this bill regarding the necessity for preserving the peace of the world and creating a spirit of internationalism. Is it not a fact that what he urged to-night as a justification for the bill was urged against him and others who, 25 or 30 years ago, were prominent in the Labour movement? When I was a young man I remember a demonstration being held in South Melbourne to welcome two men. They were not communists. They were Messrs. Sleath and Ferguson, the leaders of a strike, who had just been released from jail in New South Wales. They were the labour socialists of the day, just as Senator Pearce at that time was a labour socialist. But because they had taken part in an industrial dispute the law as it then existed grabbed them and jailed them. During the groat maritime strike of 1890 there was not one man connected with the Seamen’s Union who belonged to1 the communist party as it is known to-day, and I know no communist in Australia to-day who has sufficient influence to create industrial strife. The only persons I have heard proclaiming themselves as communists are men who are intellectually superior to the majority of honorable senators.
– Then why were the communists expelled from the Labour party?
– I explained during Senator Pearce’s brief absence that we refused to accept communists into our ranks because the Australian Labour party has a clear and definite policy, with which the policy of the communists conflicts. But while we refuse to admit the communists as members, we do not turn round and say that, because we differ from them, and have a definite policy which is not in accordance with theirs, they should be deported. We do not say that an alien who is a communist, and happens to be a member of the executive of a union which is on strike should be treated in a different fashion from an executive officer of the same union who happens to be Australian-born. A communist from abroad who is a member of a trade union may accept his responsibility as a unionist and become a member of the executive of a union, lr he does not shirk his responsibility as an executive officer of that union during a strike, why should the Government bring in a measure to deport him when there i3 no law to inflict a penalty on the Australian-born unionist who may bf.- an executive officer of the same union? I complimented Senator Pearce, not on the infjrmatif.u he gave, but on what he witiihdd. The bill has been discussed in another plm.., where the Prime Minister, Mr. Tiruce . gave the impending shipping dispute as the principal reason for the u -icy of the measure. The right hon- oi.t.o member claimed that the Govern- Ti’’ “.-a3- justified in bringing forward i his legislation because there was a possibility of a dispute. If ever a man has been guilty of making an inconsistent statement, the right honorable gentleman was in justifying the introduction of the bill on that ground, when its real purpose is to enable Mr. Walsh, Mr. Johannsen, Mr. Garden, and others to be deported. At least two of them are Britishers.
– I understand that Mr. Johannsen is a Swede.
– I do not know his nationality. I only know that he is an executive officer of the Seamen’s Union, and that he is merely carrying out certain responsibilities placed upon him by the union - responsibilities that are also borne by other executive officers, whether they be Australian or British born. The Prime Minister made this remarkable statement -
No matter what legislation we may pass, no matter what powers we may have under this particular bill, I know and I feel that Parliament and legislation will have no effect in settling the possible dispute between the shipowners and the seamen. Nothing contained in this bill will assist us in doing it.
Then why has the bill been introduced? What have the communists of Australia as an organization or individually done to justify the Government in bringing forward this measure and asking Parliament to treat it as urgent legislation ? Senator Pearce is not in a position to say that because of the action of any communist the Government is justified in the course it is taking. We are entitled to know from him why the bill has been brought forward. My opinion is that it is a deliberate attempt on* the part of the Government, not only to incite the men, during this time of industrial uncertainty, but also to invite them to do certain things as a protest against the passage of this sort qf legislation.
– Does the honorable senator suggest that that is the reason for the introduction of the bill?
– The onus is on the Government to justify its introduction.
– “ Peace, perfect peace.”
– Whatever differences of opinion there may be between the seamen and their officers, if, as the result of the passing of this bill, the Government dares to arrest Mr. Walsh or Mr. Johannsen and deport either of them, that step will be immediately followed by the tying up of every vessel on our coast.
– That is all piffle. The honorable senator does not believe it himself.
– I say without qualification that if the vessels were running and there was a possibility of them stopping, the Government could take no action to bring about the total cessation of work with a greater certainty than they could by arresting and deporting the seamen’s leaders.
– I believe that half of them would rejoice if it were done.
– If Senator Reid believes half of the union are so inclined, they have only to go to the ballot-box and get rid of their leaders. These men hold their responsible positions to-day because they have the confidence of the members or the powerful union they serve.
SenatorFoll. - Ha.s the honorable senator read what the stewards say about the leaders of the Seamen’s Union?
– The stewards have a separate organization.
– But they are thrown out of work because of the action of Mr. Walsh and others like him, and they are just about “fed up.”.
– The stewards control their own affairs.
– I think that in the present crisis they cannot control their own affairs, because they must automatically cease work when the seamen go on strike.
– I know that when the seamen walk ashore the firemen, trimmers and deck hands stop work, and if the men in the stokehold walk out the whole ship is immediately tied up. But the Stewards Union, as an organization, has separate autonomy.
– The honorable senator seems to rejoice in the tying up of vessels.
– That is an absolute misrepresentation of my attitude on industrial matters. I do; not suppose that any person in the community would derive pleasure from the tying up of ships as a result of the present dispute. I remind Senator Foll that I can say without egotism that I speak with knowledge on industrial affairs, because I took part in the negotiations to bring about the settlement of the great maritime dispute, and have, probably taken a more important part in the settlement of industrial disputes than any other honorable senator. I look forward with dread to the possibility of any great strike, knowing only too well the awful consequences to those who are thrown out of employment. “Where is the urgency of this bill? Why has the closure been applied? The names of Messrs. Walsh, Johannsen and Garden have been mentioned in another place, but what has been done by them to justify the desire to deport them? I have no recollection of the introduction of any bill of such far-reaching importance and with so little to justify it. The Minister certainly furnished a brief history of the industrial laws of our country. We did not need to be told that there is an arbitration act as well as wages boards, and state tribunals in every part of the Commonwealth. We have workmen’s compensation acts and the Invalid and Od-age Pensions Act. But what have those measures to do with the vital principle contained in this bill ? For the first time in the history of the parliaments of the British dominions, this Government proposes to put Britishers on the same basis as aliens by enacting that if they have taken part in an industrial strike they may be ‘deponed. Where would men such as Messrs. Fisher. Hughes and Holman have been but for the industrial strikes of the past? They secured their seats in Parliament and became Ministers of the Crown as a result of industrial struggles. When the ranks of the Labour party were split on a great issue those men left us. but that did not prevent the Labour movement from achieving political suc cess, since the Labour party is now in power in five of the six states of the Commonwealth. What made our party the great fighting force it now is was the poverty and degradation of . the industrialists in by-gone years. The toilers decided that instead of sending their “bosses” into Parliament they should return men from their own ranks. The first acid test put on members of our party was that they should accept their responsibilities during the progress of strikes. The Leader of the Senate expressed no regret that he considered it necessary to introduce the bill. I cannot understand a man who has been through the industrial mill, and has led a union during a strike, enthusiastically supporting a proposal of this character, which is contrary to the spirit of Australian democracy. When I was a. member of another place, an important measure was introduced to prohibit preference to unionists in Government employmentOne of the Ministers, the present Chief Justice of “Victoria (Sir William Irvine), said that he stood for the maintenance of industrial peace, but he admitted that the time had not yet come, and probably never would, when Parliament could pass laws to take from the trade unionists the right to strike. The ex-Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) told the .House on that occasion that strikes could be prevented . by act of parliament, but Stir William Irvine, who was then Attorney-General in the Cook Government, held a different view.’ With the present Leader of the Government in this chamber, the ex-Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), as well as Mr. Andrew Fisher, I have attended trade union conferences ‘ which advocated the preservation in cur industrial laws of the right of trade unionists to strike. By the manner in . which they have approached the court, trade unionists have shown that while they will, if necessary, fight to retain that right, they will first exhaust every constitutional means of effecting a settlement of disputes. The right honorable gentleman who moved the second reading of this bill once stood for the right of unionists to strike, but he now proposes ihat a. man who in a period of industrial strife shoulders his responsibilities as an executive officer of an industrial organization, shall be liable £o be deported. The Government and its supporters would deport Walsh, but would they deport Baddeley, who may be equally guilty of an offence under this legislation? Senator Payne. - Mr. Baddeley is an Australian ; this measure does not provide for the deportation of Australian-born citizens.
- Mr. Walsh is a Britisher, and is one of the best living men in the country to-day : his personal character is beyond reproach. He has a. talented wife and six young Australian children. No matter to what extent honorable senators may disagree with his. views, they cannot point to any flaw in his character. It is a great achievement for any man at the head of an organization comprising 8,000 members to retain the confidence of nine-tenths of them. In another place the Government and its supporters were more definite-
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Newland). - I remind the honorable senator that it is against the Standing Orders to refer to a debate during the current session in another place.
– While honorable senators who sit behind the Government may be prepared to support a bill -without being in the possession of information concerning it, and at the behest of their leaders to strike a blow at a wellreccgnized principle, we, on this side, desire te have information placed before us, so that we may cast an intelligent vote.
– We know all about it.
– Then honorable senators know more about the measure than did the Minister who introduced it. The Minister ought to have attempted to justify the’ introduction of this bill.’ Certainly he gave as one reason for its introduction the refusal of the Australian Labour party to permit communists to remain in the party. For that action the Australian Labour party is prepared to accept full responsibility. But the exclusion of communists from that organization does not mean that we on this s’ide are prepared to refuse them the rights that are enjoyed by every other section of the community. Honorable senators have spoken of the deplorable conditions in Russia, and have endeavoured to show that there is some connexion between those conditions and the Labour party in Australia. We. all know that the people of Russia have undergone a trying ordeal, but the remarks made would lead us to believe that, prior to the revolution,
Russia was a country of free speech and a land of hope. We all know that it was a land of tyranny and oppression. When the people of Russia succeeded in establishing a new order in that country, congratulations were poured upon them by the Parliaments of such countries as Great Britain, the United States of America, Canada, and France, on having at last obtained their freedom. Later, an economic policy was put into operation by the communists, - who believed that they could create a new world in a short period. The fact that they failed should not cause us to exult. All that we know is that, by degrees, they are getting back to a sounder economic position. I read recently that the Russian wheat yield this season was equal to 80 per cent, of the yield in pre-war clays. Visitors to the Empire exhibition, who also visited other countries, have told us on their return of the ignorance displayed by people in Great Britain, and elsewhere, concerning Australia. When one considers ‘ the feats of Australians during the war, and, later, in the field of sport, that such ignorance should still exist is surprising. It is more than probable that the majority of the- people of Russia have never even heard of Australia. If so little is known of Australia in Britain and other countries, it is conceivable that we may not be correctly informed as to the extent to which Russia is re-establishing herself. There is no justification for the introduction of a bill to deport industrial leaders frGm this country. If legislation of this character had . been in existence some years ago. the Leader of the Government m this chamber, who to-day advocates the deportation of industrial leaders, would probably have been sent out of the country, together with Mr. Andrew Fisher. The ex-Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes), who led the waterside workers in a strike some years ago, would also have been liable to deportation under this bill. Where are the communists in Australia, to whom’ special . reference has been made by the Minister? During the period in which I have been associated with the labour movement, I have no recollection of a single man or woman connected with communism ever being prosecuted for committing an offence against the laws of the land in which we live. Many years ago the present High
Commissioner (Sir Joseph. Cook) delivered a notable speech in the New South Wales Parliament, in which he said, “I am a Republican. I stand for an Australian Republic. I hate monarchies, because in countries under the monarchial system the people become servile. The day is not far distant when the sun will shine over a glorious Australian Republic.” Sir Joseph Cook is an Englishman, and if this measure had been in operation when he made the statement which I have quoted, and when he openly advocated strikes he would have been deported. Instead of that he is to-day Australia’s representative at the heart of the Empire. Many others who have held responsible positions in our party would have been similarly dealt with. It is useless to ask the Government to withdraw the bill, because it has the numbers aicd intends to place it on the statute-book. I do not think, however; the Government will ever have the courage - it dare not do what it proposes - to deport any man for what it terms offences under this measure. It cannot logically do so when it is remembered that the present High Commissioner (Sir Joseph Cook), the Minister for Home and Territories (Senators Pearce), and an ex-Treasurer of the Commonwealth (Mr. W. G. Higgs), have committed offences similar to those with which the industrial part of the bill deals. I too have been guilty, and will in the future act as I have in the past if the circumstances justify it. This bill is an insult to the Commonwealth Parliament and to a democratic country. In moving the second reading, the Minister said we are a most enlightened democracy, and that on election day the poorest men and women in the land have rights equal to those of the rich. Will they have equal rights under this bill? The members of the communist party or any other revolutionary body have no possibility of influencing the minds of the workers of Australia in such a way as to bring about revolution. When a vote is taken, I trust that the principles which animate the minds and actions of those who are’ opposing the bill will have the support of certain honorable senators opposite, and that they will assist in preventing this pernicious measure being placed on the statute-book of the Australian Commonwealth.
– During the few precious moments that remain for me to address myself to the second reading of this measure, I wish, sir, in the first place, to direct the attention of the Senate to the somewhat curious utterances and behaviour of certain honorable senators on your left, who during the earlier stages of this discussion complained of not being given an opportunity to study the bill, to ascertain what it contains, and the effect of its provisions. They left the impression in my mind that they were entirely in the dark. Following on that, as honorable senators can plainly see, we have had from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Senator Needham) a most carefully prepared and comprehensive utterance, showing that, as far as he is concerned, nothing has been left undone in making a thorough, and exhaustive analysis of the subject which he said he had not had sufficient time to study. We have also had a most instructive speech from Senator .Hannan, showing that he, too, had gone to some trouble in preparing himself to effectively debate the bill. I have heard Senator Hannan speak before, and T can say that the ‘ speech with which he has just favoured the Senate surpasses all previous efforts. He discharged his task in a most creditable manner. I think if the honorable senator were asked his opinion of the way in which he had acquitted “himself, he would say that he had done well. Seeing that two honorable senators so far have rendered excellent speeches, notwithstanding that they had complained that they had had insufficient time to make preparations, all I can say is, they have proved up to the hilt that their complaint is without foundation.
I am sorry to have to refer to another feature of the debate. We, as elected representatives of. the people, should treat this matter dispassionately, and rid our minds of any lingering party prejudice. We should approach the performance of this most important duty as free from prejudice or bias as any judge. But, unfortunately, I am forced to believe that honorable senators opposite enter this chamber for the performance of important duties, with their minds overflowing with some lingering prejudice for or against a measure, or the government responsible for its introduction. If I were asked for a justification of that statement I should reply that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Senator Needham), for instance, stated that, this measure was aimed at the destruction of trade unionism.
– Undoubtedly it is.
– It is clear that the honorable senator has not read the bill, for if he had done so he would know that it does not contain a solitary reference to trade unionism or trade unionists. There is not a single reference to any one associated with trade unionism. Special reference, however, is made to citizens in this country who have sheltered themselves under its friendly protection,, but of which they are no longer worthy.
– To whom is the honorable senator referring?
– They may be wellpaid agitators, persons who have turned to bolshevism, or landlords of the type of the honorable senator, who- has a rent roll as long as this table, but who will not go to Russia,, because, in that country, he would probably have to walk in front of a rusty bayonet. The bill is directed at a certain class of people who are misbehaving themselves in this country, who need to be kept in order, and who, if they are not disciplined, will bring about disorder. If they cannot behavethemselves we must deport them to the land of their birth, because we cannot be responsible for . their actions.
The Deputy Leader of the Opposition and other honorable senators have said that they were compelled to approach the performance of the task of debating this measure with minds quite unprepared, but they have entered this chamber to-day loaded with party bias and prejudice. They have laid a charge against the Government. What is it? That the Government is out to destroy trade unionism, which is a foul and dastardly misrepresentation of fact, and is only in keeping with the stock in trade of the men who live by telling lies, and nothing else. These men live by political crime, and by besmirching the characters of upright men in this country. They say that I am out to destroy trade unionism.. The confounded impertinence of these wretches! I was associated with trade unionism long before this senatorial youth on my right, for instance, discarded petticoats. I refer to . Senator McHugh. Although he has only been a member of a trade union for a very little while, he refers in disparaging terms to honorable senators on this: Bide of the chamber, who were largely responsible for the establishment of the trade union movement in Australia, and who, at great personal sacrifice, raised it to its present high level. It was owing to the careful guidance, sacrifice, tolerance, and high-mindedness of the men whom he now condemns that trade unionism is what it is to-day. The honorable senator, and others who have come into the party at the eleventh hour, are ‘bringing the movement which has done so much for them to a lower level than it has ever been before. Where” are the men of the type of Mr. W. G. Spence, the late Senator R. S. Guthrie, Senator G. F. Pearce, Mr. J. C. Watson, and Mr. Andrew Fisher?
– And Senator John Barnes.
– These johnniescomelately have never done anything in either their collective or individual capacity to raise trade unionism to its present importance. Yet they try to besmirch the character of honest men. They talk to me about trade unionism ! I have , been a trade unionist for 40 years, and I am still one to-day.
– The honorable . senator is a false unionist.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Newland) . - Order !
– These men are not the friends of trade unionists. I pay my contributions regularly.
– The honorable senator is absolutely false to the cause.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - Order !
– The honorable senator knows that he is false to the cause.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - I have called Senator McHugh to order three or four times. If he does not observe the Standing Orders and obey the call of the Chair I shall have to take appropriate action.
– I realize that you, sir, will link yourself with Senator Lynch in opposition- to met.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - Order ! I shall ask the Leader of the
Senate to take the necessary steps to deal with the honorable senator if he attempts to defy the Chair.
– If von want to do it, do it.
– I was addressing myself very seriously to the position that has been created in this chamber by those who are opposing the bill. “They resort to the ancient practice of poisoning the wells. In days gone by, if an unscrupulous foe could not compete successfully against an honorable rival, he would go ahead and poison the wells so that when pursuing legions arrived to quench their thirst they had only to drink the poisoned fluid and they would be beaten before they entered the field of combat. So to-day public opinion is Being poisoned in order that a verdict may be given against us. The charge is levelled against us that we are trying to ruin tirade unionism, but neither it nor any other charge is supported by proof. Every posturer and malefactor merely makes a charge and lets the proof go hang. Let honorable senators follow up their charges with chapter and verse. This charge is on a par with other maledictions and lies that emanate from the other side of the Senate.
– On a point of order, I say that honorable senators on this side do not utter lies. The honorable senator has said that we do, and I ask that he be called upon to withdraw.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT.I ask Senator Lynch to withdraw the expression.
– I did not refer to honorable senators individually. I say again that honorable senators are responsible for these lies.
– I rise to a point of order.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT. - Will Senator McHugh please resume his seat. I have asked Senator Lynch to withdraw the expression, and he has noi! done so. Will he kindly withdraw it now.
– I withdraw it, but I say that certain persons outside this Senate and honorable senators opposite when they are not in the Senate return to the charge like a dog returns to his vomit. They heave at- honorable senators on this side one charge after another, each of which is a confounded lie, and they know it. They told the people that when the Nationalist party came into office the old-age pensions would go. That was a lie. They also said the maternity allowance would go. That was another lie, and a confounded one. Both those Labour-made laws are oh the statutebook to-day. Have honorable senators opposite no fairer means of fighting than that ? The Deputy Leader of the Labour party in another place, Mr. Anstey, at one time conducted a newspaper, the policy of which was summed up in the following statement that appeared in it:-
Truth will be admitted in these columns, but not to the exclusion of more interesting matter. We shall never recognize merit in our enemies nor vice in our friends.
In the old Labour party Mr. Anstey could not make any progress. The reason was that the standards in those days were much higher than they are now. He was always kept in the ranks. He is deputy leader of the party to-day because the standards are lower. The latter day Labour party has no regard for honour, conscience, or truth. I have proved that statement out of their own mouths. What chance has an opponent with the members of that party to-day? His chance is equal to that of the man who, having agreed to settle an argument with fisticuffs, finds that his opponent has a dagger concealed in his cloak. The Labour party to-day has a stiletto secreted in its cloak.. That is the way in which it always engages in a “battle. It has no respect for truth. What chance has any honorable antagonist against such a party? It is devoid of all sense of honour and truth. When members of that party level against us charges such as those which I have mentioned, there is only one word that can correctly describe them - they are liars, and they know it. What other charges have we had levelled against us? It was said that the Commonwealth Line of Steamers was to go, despite the fact that the vessels were put on the water by a Nationalist Government, but they are still sailing the waters under the Commonwealth flag. They would be driven out of th« service if certain poisonous elements had their way. There would be no danger of that if we could secure the co-operation of men who should co-operate with us. So far they have not done so, but on the contrary have used every means in their power to abstract the last farthing from society. The Commonwealth Shipping Line has lost half a million pounds, and the taxpayers have had to put their hands into their pockets to make up the deficiency. Is that fair play? Who is deriving the benefit? The greatest benefit has gone to those who have endeavoured to bring about the downfall of the line. Has any proof been given of the charge that this Government proposes to take the Commonwealth ships off the service? No. Yet these men do not scruple to make that charge. We have to listen to these charges and look pleasant. We are expected to be like the saints of old, and to turn the other cheek. I have not turned the other cheek, and I never will. The people outside have , to listen to these statements day after day. Honorable senators opposite admit that they have no respect for proof, for honour, or for the ordinary art of playing the game. In the days gone by it was the policy of labour to raise men from a lower to a higher level. That has now’ been reversed. What manner of men are these? They come here looking like men, but they do not behave as men should. After all, a man’s word should be the most precious thing in his life. These men break their word every minute of every hour of every day in the week in order to gain a temporary advantage. They try to besmirch the honour of honorable senators on this side’. We are here as the chosen of the people, and we have been chosen in a more honorable manner than they.
If only a tithe of the charges which are made against us were true, would we not be foolish to engage in the political life of this country? These men are poisoning the wells of public opinion, making charges, but never following them up with proofs. When we, as a party, go before the electors, we point to our record and say “That is what we have done.” We then slate what we propose to do, and ask that we be judged by our acts and not by the false charges of our opponents. We are not going to take these charges lying down. This is a free democracy. It is a place in which every man should be free to ex-. press his opinions, the only qualifications being that he must not malign his neighbour, that hemust keep himself within the law of libel, and that he must not endeavour to overturn the social order in which he lives. He must be jealous of his neighbour’s character, and see that the laws of the country are not defied. Those laws are an expression of the will of the people, and they have been passed for the protection of the weaker elements in society. Civilized law is designed and established to protect the weak fromthe strong. This bill proposes to ensurethat the law is obeyed. No longer will leniency be shown, to those who play tricks before high heaven. They must be made to see the error of their ways. They mush pay the penalty for any breach of the law. We are tired of the behaviour of these men. The bill that passedthis Chamber last night dealt with a mere handfulof trade unionists - no more than 2 per cent, of the men who are registered in the Commonwealth Arbitration Court. They pointed a pistol at the head of society and said, “ You are ours; we are your overlords.” It is about time that society said, “ We object to that. You are only a fragment of the population of this country. Your leaders are not elected by the people. It is quite true that you exercise an authority greater than your numerical strength and your intelligence warrant, but you shall not do so any longer. You have been trampling on the interests of the great majority of the people, who have suffered foryour sakes. You have not benefited by that, and you do not acknowledge it, but the time has come when we must make you acknowledge that you are wrongdoers and should suffer the penalty provided for wrongdoers in any free democracy.”
Sitting suspended from. 12 midnight to 1 a.m. (Friday).
Friday, 17 July
– Before the ad journment I was referring to some of the prophecies that have gone wrong. One was that this bill was aimed at trade unionism. I need not labour the point, other than to say that all the prophecies in regard to the Nationalist Government have gone wrong, with perhaps one solitary exception. All the laws placed on the statute-book by the old Labour party have not been impaired in the slightest. They are still intact. The only exception I have referred to was something that did not at any time find its way on to the statute-book. Whatever infringement there has been of the platform of the Labour party has been brought about by the latter-day party itself. The Labour law ‘has been so badly fractured that it bears no resemblance to what it was when it waa placed by us on the statute-book. The policy of day labour has been capsized. It is up on the beach with its ribs stove in,, and has no resemblance to the craft of years gone by. It is no longer respected. The arbitration policy of the Labour party has gone the same way. If anything has been done to prejudice the platform of Labour, it has been done by Labour itself, and not by any National Government.
In regard to the first part of this bill, I hope that the Government will not use the power now being sought with the object of lessening a well-considered and justified stream of migration to Australia. I am aware that the opponents of immigration have various methods of neutralizing the effort. They do not oppose it openly, but they do so by nonparticipation. For instance, the Theodore Government of Queensland would not come into the immigration compact arranged by the Prime Minister (Mr. Bruce), but relied on getting immigrants from the surplus in the southern states if it could. I want it to be clear that immigration is not to be used as some of the opponents of this scheme believe it is to be used - as an instrument for bringing about a lower standard in the industrial and domestic life of Australia. It cannot do so in ordinary circumstances unless there is an abnormal stream of migrants from the European area, which by unreasonable competition may bring about the lowering cif the standard of living and working in this country. On the one hand, there are those in our midst who would like to see a great stream of immigration that would give them: a chance of picking and choosing from several applicants for the one opening for employment. There are others who want the choice of half a dozen jobs when there is necessity to look for employment. These two classes are about the least worthy of our citizens. They both look at the matter from a selfish standpoint. In between the two lies the larger and more intelligent and unselfish body of citizens, who want a well-balanced and well-considered scheme of immigration that will bring to thos country a large inflow of the virile manhood of the Old Country for the purpose’ of developing the Commonwealth and adding to its citizenship. What effect has such a flow had on other countries, such as the United States of America and Canada, where conditions are similar to those in Australia?’ Instead of being in a position to support a mere trickle of immigration: amounting to a few thousand a year - such as has been1 the case here - they have introduced hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year. According to the World’s Almanac 1,135,377 people migrated from Europe to the United States of America in the years 1923 and 1924. According to the Canadian Y carBook during the ten years from 1901 to 1911 no less than 981,000 persons entered Canada, and during the- succeeding ten years no less than 511,000, a total crf 1,492,000 m 20 years. The Common wealth Year-Bo&k tells us that from 1860 to 1923, Australia attracted 1,165,262 immigrants. We all know that Australia is capable of absorbing - as big a population as Canada or the United States of America. Its natural resources: are superior to those of Canada, yet the latter country received in 21 years more people than Australia received in 63 years. The United States of America attracted to its shores im two years as much as Australia attracted in 63 years.
There are some who say that immigration should be confined to men of high standard so that the social conditions of the people of Australia may be improved. Personally I am not in a position to compare our social standard with those of Canada or the United States of America, but I can draw attention to the conditions that apply in New York, the state that receives the full impact of the great immigration stream from Europe to America, and is therefore a place where if the conditions of a country are made worse by & heavy flow of immigrants we should find evidence of it. In the first place, according to the World’ » Almanac, page 142 -
Forty-eight hours or less was the scheduled work week of over one half (36 per cent.) of the women in the- five industries. This sche- date was in effect for 74 per cent, of the women in New York city and SO per cent, of the women up-state.
Median weekly earnings of women in the four factory industries were 15.25 dollars. They were 16.25 dollars in New York city, and 14.25 dollars up-state. Median weekly earnings of women in the mercantile industry were Iti. 25 dollars up-state.
That is a record that does not obtain in Australia.
The position in Canada is much the same. It is quite clear that if there is any movement of population as between America and Australia; it is from Australia to America and not the other way. People -evidently regard both Canada and the United States of America as good places for working men, despite the fact that they receive a far greater volume of immigration than Australia gets. The history of these two countries stands oi.t in contradiction of the claim that the tide of immigration should -be lessened in order te improve our standards. Then in regard to the condition of affairs on the western side of the Continent, Mr. French, the head of a big business house in San Francisco, said to the Herald -
California’s use of ‘ motors hod progressed phenomenally with the construction of bitumen roads. Registrations were now nearing the second million, and it was estimated that there was a car lor every three inhabitants, including women and .children.
-Mr. French says nothing about the difference in prices.
– Let the Australian workmen and captains of industry join together and produce a good article just as is done in the United States of America, and it will be turned out just as cheaply as in the States. But as long as the practices that have crept in lately in Australia are continued that will never be done. We have Mr. Henry Ford’s example to follow. As the result of a visit to the Ford works, Mr. Robert Blatchford, the author of Merrie England, was obliged to recant all be had said about the Ford system and admit that he was wrong. If the price .of motor cars in Australia is high the fault lies with ourselves. Instead of the United Stales of America being a suppliant for help before any council of the nations” of the world, it has become, by virtue of the vast tide of immigration that has been attracted to its shores, one of the arbiters of the world’s destinies.
– Get down to the question of why you want to deport these men !
– I am coming to that, and when I do the honorable senator will be sorry.
– Get back to your own !
– When 1 came to this country I brought a manly frame, and the equivalent of £1 ,000. The honorable senator who interjects arrived a* a mewling and puking infant. He war probably a nuisance then, and later on. but certainly he is a. nuisance now. Ye he claims now to have superior qualities He puts himself on a higher pedestal than his good old father who ploughed the country for him.
– The honorable senator ought to have been deported long ago.
– Senator Barnes should remain quiet. By virtue of the accident of birth he claims this country as his own, and thinks himself a better man than his father was. Australia is the country of my choice; the honorable senator had. no choice in the matter. The bill also provides in concrete fashion for the preservation of the inalienable right of -all democracies to say who shall be part and ‘ parcel of themselves. When one reduces the comparison to the case of the citizen who forms part of the democracy, the same principle should be applied. The head of a household may allow a person to occupy a place under his roof, and at first this individual may appear to be a good fellow, and well-behaved, but if he afterwards shows himself to be disagreeable and undesirable, should the head of the household not have the right to eject him ? Of course he should. If such a person occupied the house of Senator Barnes, and conducted himself in a way that threatened to disturb the family circle, the honorable senator, if I know him aright, would soon heave the disturber into the street, and the disturber would bear on his ungrateful body some marks of changed affection. That is what Senator Barnes would, and ought to, do. He would ask for no law or policeman .to stand between him and his outraged sense of hospitality and justice. And just as he would as in his own case, the
Government invites Senator Barnes and those who think with him to do in the case of people living in this country who threaten to do harm to the community. This bill seeks to protect the most precious thing that has ever come within the custody of a free people - the liberty we now enjoy. We in Australia have done next to nothing to secure that grand charter of liberty. It was handed down to us after a succession of efforts in days gone by by’ other men, and we now enjoy liberty the equal of which is not known in any other part of the world. Surely it is our duty to see that that priceless heritage is preserved and handed down intact to cur successors. It is because we should jealously guard that liberty that it is necessary to keep a close supervision over those who try to undermine it. It is imperative that we should guard it with a jealousy proportionate to its value. If a man, after years of toil, had saved sufficient wealth to tide him over a rainy day. he would not strew his money by the wayside, but would take steps to prevent himself from being robbed of it.
This bill is for the purpose of putting the undesirable element in the community in its proper place. We are asked to believe that there is no danger from these people. Let me read . an. extract from the Melbourne press, which gives the names of some of the communists who subscribe to the funds of those seeking to overthrow the existing social order. The extract reads -
A Sydney communist publication recently acknowledged contributions towards its election fund. The names of the contributors were: - S. Zerkaloff, K. Chuganoff, Makaeff. Laren, N. Andru, Melkus, A. W. Lord, W. Teshkin, K. Metianen, Lozen, A. Pozokoff. M. Burlakoff, J. Savkoff, Loboleff, Klemoff, Perebedencheff, Logen, p. Wish, D. Chapero. Fesdoroff, S. Chapero,A. Baranoosky, A. Lozon, K. King, Loozin. Mrs. Goldberg, and lt. Wood.
Where are these dangerous people? Honorable senators opposite hold up their hands in horror at a proposal which their own party has already put into practice. In the Northern Territory there was an ardent section of that party who, when they found that officers entrusted with the administration of affairs there held views opposed to them, packed them off. They deported them without a trial !
– Whom did Labour deport ?
– Messrs. Carey and Evans. Although they were deported without a trial, honorable senators opposite were as dumb as Egyptian mummies. They never protested then. Why do they protest now, when Labour’s example is followed with the superadded safeguard of a fair trial, which Labour then did not give?
Some years ago a contingent of socialists left Australia for South America. They were the cream of the Labour party, and they tried to found a socialist colony. They succeeded for a time, but three of their number had to be expelled from their community. Stewart Grahame, on page 99 of his book, Where Socialism Failed, states that the following decree was issued: -
All members will take notice that– , - , and- have been expelled from the New Australia Co-operative Association for wilful and persistent violation of the clause in our mutual agreement, signed by them, relating to liquor drinking.
Lane. Chairman. loth December, 1893.
The author also wrote -
The fact that the unfortunate offenders would be stranded in an Indian country many thousands of miles from home did not move him, nor did the fact that they had contributed all their possessions to his wild-cat scheme. There was neither room in New Australia for backsliders, nor mercy for them.
Honorable senators’ opposite object to similar action being taken in Australia. From Stewart Grahame’s book, Where Socialism Failed, let me give two further illustrations of deportation from this little socialistic community in South America, which was comprised of better men than honorable senators opposite -
The annual Cosme meeting for the election of committeemen, &c., was due to be held on 13th May, 1898. On 9th May, William Lane and his nine existing committeemen met “ to take action for the maintenance of Cosine principles.” By their unanimous decision “ two members were expelled from membership for antagonism to, and violation of, the Communist principles of Cosme.” . . .
The two expelled members were allowed the princely sum of about £6 each with which to convey themselves and families back to civilization, while those who left voluntarily received, roughly, £2 10s. per family.
In July, 1901. when John Lane sailed upon his organizing campaign, the population of Cosme was 26 men, 16 women, 46 children. Total 88. By June, 1904, it had been reduced to 22 men, 11 women, and 36 children. Total 69.
In regard to the third case of deportation from this communist colony, the following appears in their official journal : -
As before, a dismissal “ for persistent defiance qf colony authority and regulations,” and subsequent secessions of ‘’ old-timers,” were largely responsible for the decrease (the expelled man was a member of six years’ standing, who it was alleged during the last four years had shown anarchistic tendencies, and had throughout failed to work in harmony with those entrusted with the direction of thu colony industries, while latterly his attitude had become increasingly find more openly antagonistic.”)
When Mr. Lane came to this country. I sheltered him under my roof, and was glad to do so. I’ saw those men going away, and they, were indeed splendid samples of Australian manhood and intelligence; I have never seen better. Yet they found it necessary to resort to deportation to preserve their social system. If it was right in their case and in the case of Labour in the Northern Territory, why should it be wrong for this Government to do the same thing ? The Government should go straight ahead, turning neither to the right nor to the left, and should not hesitate to expel from- this country any man who endeavours to destroy our social order or. brings the laws into contempt. In the past there has been too much disrespect for law and government in Australia. The men who would be dealt with by this legislation can stay here if they behave themselves, but if they continue to cause trouble they must go. If they do not go, they will bring down about our heads the glorious structure of liberty which has been erected here. For the reason that I do not wish that to happen, I shall support the second reading.
– I rise to oppose this measure, and in so doing propose to refer briefly to the concluding remarks of the honorable senator who has just resumed his seat. When speaking of a colony of socialists in South America, and the fact that they had deported some of their members, the honorable senator omitted to state that those members were expelled by the unanimous decision of the remaining members of . the community, after a trial by their peers. The measure that the honorable senator advocated so eloquently will abrogate the greatest principle of British justice! - trial by jury. I ask Senator Lynch if he is prepared to advocate throughout. Australia the abolition of that .fundamental principle of which all true Britishers are so proud ? When the Minister who introduced, the bill was speaking. I interjected that he should have presented it in two parts, so that honorable senators would have an opportunity to discuss the merits and demerits of each section separately. I (pointed out that the existing Immigration Act provided all the powers necessary to carry out the intention of the first _portion of this bill, and although the Minister said that I was wrong, I still maintain that I was right. The amending legislation of October of last year, providing for the prohibition of ‘the immigration to Australia of any persons for any cause whatever, gave to the Government all necessary power to prevent undesirable people from, entering this country. I desire nov to refer to that portion of the bill from clause ‘7 onwards. Portions of clause 7 should never have been included in any bill presented to an Australian Parliament. Among those who are privileged to si;t in this chamber are men who were not bom in Australia, but in other portions of the British Empire, some of whom have participated in industrial upheavals in Australia, even to the extent of taking a leading part in strikes. Do those, honorable senators think that it is right for this Parliament to enact legislation to prohibit their brothers - Englishmen, Irishmen, Scotchmen. Welshmen, men born in Canada, New Zealand, or other parts of the British Empire - from entering Australia or remaining here? Do they agree to their being treated as aliens, and placed on the same footing as citizens of foreign countries such as Germany or Russia. ? No language of mine is sufficient to condemn a. measure which’ contains such provisions. I believe that it has been introduced for the purpose of covering up ‘the sins of the present Government. I believe, also, that if the Government does its duty, the present industrial trouble can be satisfactorily settled* without legislation of this nature. But the Government does not desire a settlement. It is hoping that this legislation will provide its supporters with a battle-cry for the next election. That battle-cry will be heard sooner than they desire.
This legislation will precipitate an appeal to the electors. I agree with those honorable senators on this side who have expressed their belief that this bill is aimed at trade unionism.. The existing. Arbitration Act provides for the registration of trade unions, as well as organizations of employees and employers. That act was brought into operation after years of agitation, extended negotiations, and an almost desperate struggle between employers and employees, in the belief that it would be the means of abolishing industrial unrest. What has been our experience? Although we have a Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act; and amendments of it have been made from time to time, industrial unrest in Australia, as in. every other country where the principle of arbitration is observed, occurs almost as frequently as it did before legislative fiction was taken. Instead of attempting to amend the arbitration, laws in such a way as to make it easier for trade union- ists to approach the court, the Government has introduced a measure, the effect of which will be even more disastrous than the Government anticipate; it will cause industrial upheavals of greater magnitude than have ever been experienced in the Commonwealth. Honorable senators opposite have said that the passage of this bill will provide the authorities with the means of cleansing the trade anion movement, but, should that eves be necessary, trade unionists will be quite capable of doing their own work in their own way. The bill is not so much a direct attack upon Tom Walsh, Johannsen, and “ Jock “ Garden, as it is upon the leaders of the trade union movement throughout the Commonwealth. I have been associated with trade unionism for many years, and, as president of the Amalgamated Miners’ Association . in New South Wales, I conducted a strike at Cobar. in New South Wales. I was compelled to act as I did contrary to my own wishes and the vote of my executive. The men decided to strike and left their jobs, and in such instances where leaders are* not responsible for the actions of their men, they will be held liable for the conduct of the ‘. men. There ‘ are instances, of course, when the influence of the leaders of a trade union organization is sufficiently strong to direct the men in the way the leaders think best, but there are occasions when the men insist upon deciding their own course of action. Even when the leaders are not responsible for strikes they can, under the provisions of this measure, be brought before a board appointed by the government of the day, which is in a sense a party to the dispute, and, without a proper trial, deported to the country whence they came. How will deportees be regarded by the authorities in the country to which they are sent? The governments in such countries will say, “ To hell with you. You were regarded as an undesirable in the country you have left, and you cannot land here.” We all remember the unfortunate experience * of Paul Freeman, who; after being deported from New South Wales, travelled backwards and forwards between Australia and America, and eventually, at his own request, was allowed to proceed to Russia, which was not the country of his birth. Russia was the only country in which he was permitted to land, because he had been declared an undesirable by the Government of . this country. Many men, who have been resident in Australia for five, twenty, or perhaps 40 years and have married English or Australian women and reared families, may be deported under this bill and compelled to leave their wives and happy little children behind them. Is that British justice ? If such men have been guilty of breaking the laws under which they have been living, they should be dealt with in a much less drastic manner than is proposed in this measure. The Government has sufficient power to punish them for what it regards is an offence, and can effectively deal with industrial disputes under existing legislation. We know what has occurred in. the past when men have endeavoured to improve their conditions and have resorted to strikes. They have been arrested, tried, and imprisoned. This measure reminds us of the conditions which existed in England in years gone by, when men had not the right to form trade unions or to bargain with their employers for higher wages or improved conditions of working. They were brought before the court, and thousands were sent to penal settlements in Australia, the West Indies, and other parts of the world. We are also reminded of the six Dorchester weavers who were deported for some slight irregularity in connexion with the oath they had taken before the union. The outcry was so great, and public opinion go enraged, that Parliament took ‘ cognizance of the situation and repealed the act under which they had been convicted. Trades unionism was then established, unionists had the right to. combine and to strike, and the freedom which they were given under the common law of England has ever since been regarded by them as their charter of liberty. Notwithstanding the fact that we have a Conciliation and Arbitration Act on our statute-book, the right to strike still remains, and despite the legislation which this or any other government may introduce, Australian workmen will never be deprived of the right to strike. It is not a new thing for a .government to introduce legislation of this repressive, coercive character, directed at the trade union movement. Other countries and states have tried the experiment, but the result has not fulfilled the anticipations of those who were responsible for it. In 1909, Mr. Wade introduced in the Parliament of New South Wales his famous coercion act, under which, if two men met in the street, they could be termed conspirators, arrested, tried under the common law of New South Wales, and . sentenced to imprisonment. At the very next appeal to the people, the Wade Government was hurled into political oblivion, and a Labour Government took its place. The first act of that Government was to repeal Mr. Wade’s coercion act. In 1915, Mr. H. Homberg, AttorneyGeneral in the South Australian Government, introduced legislation of a similar character. Where is now the Government of which Mr. Homburg was a shining light? It has gone to the wall. If the Commonwealth Government persists with this legislation, it will be displaced by a Labour Government! which may take action against those whom it considers to be disturbers of the peace in the industrial and political spheres. In South Africa, in 1914, industrial unrest occurred. The Smuts Government was then in power. Without waiting to pass legislation, it deported nine trade union leaders, eight of whom were British subjects, the other having been born in South Africa. ‘ Martial law was proclaimed throughout the mining districts of South. Africa. Under it these men were arrested, tried, and sent out of the country. Parliament was called together later, and passed the Indemnity and Undesirables Special Deportation Act, to legalize the action of the Government There may have been some justification for that action, as revolution was rampant throughout the mining districts, and there had been bloodshed on the Band. The Government was compelled to act, and it certainly acted effectively. But there’ is not a revolution in Australia, nor has there been any bloodshed. There is no likelihood of such occurrences unless they are brought about by the repressive legislation of the Government. When the next appeal was made to the electors in South Africa, the Smuts Government was wiped out of existence. The Minister in charge of the bill stated in his second-reading speech that other countries in the British Empire had introduced legislation of this character, and he instanced Canada. Unfortunately, he did not give honorable senators the whole of the facts. In the Canadian act there is a section that reads : -
Provided that this section shall not apply to any person who is a British subject, either by reason of birth in Canada or by naturalization in Canada.
The Canadian Government probably recognized, as this Government does, that it was necessary in its political interests to suppress the trade union leaders. Its legislation, however, did not place British subjects in the same category as aliens. That was a perfectly reasonable and just position for any government to take up, and it should be adopted by this Government. It is unbelievable that a government containing men of British nationality should introduce legislation placing Australians by adoption on the same level as aliens from the southern states of Europe, and the scum that comes from the Mediterranean ports. There can be no justification for that. Senator Lynch made a rather important statement which must be challenged. He said that the Commonwealth ships were put on the water by a Nationalist Government. That is not correct. It was a Labour Government, led by Mr. Hughes before the break-away on the conscription issue, that established the Commonwealth
Shipping Line. The unions have not attempted to get rid of those ships, but had the Government been successful in its efforts, . the line would have ceased to exist. The Labour party made provision in. its platform for the establishment of a Commonwealth Shipping Line many years before that line was brought into being. That is still a plank in the platform of the Labour party, and will remain there long after both Senator Lynch and I have gone to our rest.
– Did not Mr. Lyons, the Premier of Tasmania, smash that plank to splinters by selling state-owned ships ?
– He may have sold vessels belonging to the State Government, but that had nothing to do with the Commonwealth Shipping Line. The Minister (Senator Pearce) raised the questionof class consciousness. He laid great stress on the point that certain people, whom he termed foreign agitators, are trying to instil into the minds of the workers throughout Australia class consciousness. He did not attempt to give the meaning of class consciousness. I presume he means that the trade unions in Australia preach the doctrine of solidarity, that is to say. the doctrine that if the trade union movement is to resist attempts to batter it out of existence the unions must stand shoulder to shoulder. If that is his meaning, I admit that that is the position we have always taken up. We say that injury to one is injury to all. If one section of the trade union movement is attacked all the other sections spring to its assistance and stand behind it to the uttermost. If this bill passes, and is put into operation and Mr. Walsh., Mr. Garden, . Mr. Johannsen, and others, perhaps, are brought before the tribunal proposed to be appointed, found guilty of the offences charged against them and ordered to be deported, what will happen? I am not foolish enough to believe that the Government would not have the power to send them back to the countries’ from which they came, because I realize that they could get the ships to take them away, but that would be only the commencement instead of the finish of trouble. The trade unions throughout the Commonwealth would be up in arms. Unions which at the present time are contented, having no grievance of any kind, would be dragged into the dispute because, as pointed out last night by Senator Hannan, there is an esprit de corps among them as strong as that which exists between the battalions of an army. The unions would resent to the uttermost any indignity and injustice perpetrated on any of their leaders. It would not be simply a question of what would happen to Mr. Walsh or Mr. Johannsen. Unfortunately, honorable senators opposite do not understand the psychology of the trade union movement.
– That is not so.
– The honorable senator knows that I am speaking the truth.
– The honorable senator made a general charge against honorable senators on this side. There are plenty of them who understand the position just as well as he does.
– If honorable senators expect the trade unions to remain satisfied when trade union leaders are deported, they do not understand the psychology of the movement. I am afraid that within a very short space of time we shall be faced with the unfortunate position I have forecasted, because I take it the Government would not have brought down a bill of this character unless it proposed to make use of it. It is common knowledge that Messrs. Walsh, Johannsen, . and Garden will be deported as soon as this legislation comes into force.
SenatorFoll. - I hope so.
– I hope not; because I do not want to see an industrial upheaval in Australia.
– Neither does any one else.
– But the honorable senator is going the right way about getting it. If he wants to avoid it, let him vote against the bill which proposes to give the power to deport trade union leaders.
– The bill has nothing to do with trade union leaders. It applies only to people who break the arbitration laws.
– It has everything to do with trade union leaders, because they are the only people likely to break arbitration laws. The rank and file of the unions do not break those laws. Whenever a union gets an award, and any of the men employed under it commit a breach of it, the union a 8 a whole is punished, and its leaders may be imprisoned.
– An employer breaking an award can be fined.
– An employer can be fined if he commits a breach of an arbitration award.
– So lie should be.
– But, unfortunately, he never is.
– The honorable senator said last night that he had brought thousands of cases under notice.
– I did not say thousands of cases. Let me clear up that point, so that there will be no misunderstanding. I said that I was appointed to police an award which had been obtained by the union of which I was president, and that in the early stages the award was generally observed, but that subsequently numerous complaints were lodged, and I had to take the employers to the court, where I succeeded in obtaining verdicts against them.
– And now, if this actis enforced, the honorable senator could deport all those employers.
– I would not wish to do so. The law of the land as it stands at present gives sufficient power to inflict a penalty on any person committing a breach of an award.
– How would the honorable senator punish Mr. Walsh or Mr. Johannsen ?
– That is a matter for the Government to determine. What happened to people who were interested in strikes in years gone by? We were told to-night that Messrs. Sleath and Ferguson, two industrial leaders, were imprisoned for breaking the law of the land as it existed many years ago. I sincerely trust that if this bill becomes law it will never be brought into operation. I hope we shall never see trade union leaders arrested and deported, because, if such a thing should come about, I fear that a greater industrial upheaval will take place in this country than we have ever previously had.
Senator GRANT (New South Wales) visions, one restricting immigration and the other dealing in a very drastic manner with people who may be adjudged guilty of fomenting strife of an industrial character. As a preliminary I propose to refer to the first part of the bill, dealing with the restriction of immigration. According to the figures placed at my disposal by our very capable Commonwealth Statistician, 78 per cent, of the adult population and 85 per cent, of the total population of Australia are native-born. That is to say, practically the whole of the population is nativeborn. We ought to be very careful about adopting any measure that will tend to restrict our already very much circumscribed liberties. There is, of course, a wide difference between liberty and licence. I can quite understand the desirability of having order in the conduct of any business. But my experience has been that the moment any section is given any sort of power, about the first thing it does is to perform the operation of “digging in- in order to aggrandize its position and make it more and more difficult for others to enjoy the same rights and privileges. When a new political party was born in the Commonwealth, every person willing to subscribe to its platform was regarded as eligible for membership, and was admitted. But since that time no stone seems tq have been left unturned in circumventing the liberty of the subject and making it increasingly difficult for recruits to .be enrolled. Australia has an area of nearly 3,000,000 square miles, and the population is about 6,000,000 - an average of two persons to the square mile. Yet it is seriously contemplated that greater restrictions than now obtain should be placed on citizens born in Great Britain and other parts of Europe. The immigrants who settled in Australia in years gone by came of their own free will, and those who were deported from Great Britain to this country were sent here mainly because they had come into conflict with laws in the making of which they had no voice. A strong effort is being made by this bill to restrict the liberties now. enjoyed. The presentation by Great Britain to a mere handful of her sons of the vast heritage we occupy was the greatest gift in British history; and yet after this country had been occupied by us for some time a few of the nativeborn section of the community sought to prevent other Britishers from, making their home here. The present immigration laws are sufficiently severe. Thousands of pounds a year are spent on propaganda, and the money largely goes in official salaries; but it is regrettable that much time is spent in trying to increase the difficulty confronting those who desire to come here and make Australia their home. History shows that all countries have arrogated that right to themselves. . It would be well to take a wider view than that, and consider permitting white people from any portion of the Empire to settle freely in any other part of it. If we determine to exclude our fellow British subjects in Canada and other parts of the Empire,- probably we shall soon decide to cut adrift from the Empire altogether and form a republic. During the last three months, the immigration into the Commonwealth of Europeans was only 10,468, out of which no less than 8,426 were British and 593 coloured people. There is no justification for the drastic provisions contained in the first part of the bill, but I do not think the Government is at all serious about that portion of the measure; it is chiefly concerned about the Second part. In my opinion, the bill is aimed directly at the officers of the militant trade unions. Had there been no industrial dispute imminent at the present time, neither this measure nor the Navigation Bill would have come before Parliament. We are assured by some honorable senators opposite that the trade union officials are not the target, but a cursory examination shows that they are. In this age considerable numbers of workers are daily accustomed to telegraphic, telephonic, and wireless communication. Throughout the Commonwealth the people are alert, and can get into communication with, one another with a rapidity that was impossible a few years ago. If an attempt were made to deport any trade union leader, a storm would be raised which would sweep the present Ministry from the treasury bench. From a political point of view, I cannot understand the attitude adopted by the Ministry, as the introduction of this legislation is a retrograde step which will bring discredit on all associated with them. Every honorable senator who votes for it should be pursued with undying hostility, and care taken that never again shall he disgrace the benches of the Parliament of this country. Such men are utterly unworthy to be placed in positions of trust. We have been informed that the present industrial trouble is due to the machinations of the industrial leaders. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Men who make such statements know nothing of trade unionism. I have had a long connexion with the trade union movement, and have no hesitation in saying that the Stonemason’s Society - a fairly militant trade union, of which I am a member - has at all times been in the hands of the operatives, and not of its officers. The decisions arrived at have been made by the men themselves, and afterwards carried into effect by the officers of the union. I have teen a delegate to the Sydney Labour Council, the Eight Hours Committee, and many organizations belonging to, or intertwined with, industrial unions, but I have never seen the officers leading the men. The statement that the leaders of any union control the union ja, in my opinion, entirely erroneous. If a vote of the whole of the seamen were taken to-morrow, I do not think that one of their officers would be displaced. Some of the most militant unions conduct ballots for the election of their officers, and in connexion with other matters also. In the rules and by-laws of the trade unions there is no mention of leaders. They have their presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries, and other officers, and decisions are arrived at by the vote of a majority cif the members. The proposal in the second clause of the bill to make participation in an industrial upheaval an offence which may be punished by deportation, is a relic of barbarism. The bill proposes to add a new crime to the calendar. That would be bad enough if it were to apply in the future only, but this bill proposes to make it more or less retrospective. Such an outrageous proposal should not be countenanced for one moment. If we trace the history of trade unionism, we find that every step taken by the workers to better their conditions was denounced, in the early days, from one end of the state to another, but in these days, from one end of the Commonwealth to the other, and sometimes throughout the world. In every age every effort of the workers to obtain for themselves a greater share of the wealth that they produce has been denounced, as it will be denounced to the end of time by those who are opposed to “any reform which will in any way benefit the working members of the community. A few years ago an effort to curtail the hours of labour was made in New South Wales. At that time we were told that great evils would result; but the hours were shortened, and nothing happened. Later, when efforts were made to close shops, post offices, hotels, and other places of business, at a reasonable hour in the evening, we were told that if these places were closed as proposed the country would be ruined. But they “were closed, and everyone is better for the change. Whether we consider the maternity allowance, old-age pensions, or any other reform, we know that the cry that they would sap the moral fibre of the community was raised in every instance; but nothing of the kind has happened. Much has been said about job control. The- union of which I am a member adopted the policy of job control for a number of years. It was the regularly established custom. Because of the adoption of that policy,, conditions were, to some extent, bettered; men obtained better wages, and secured a reduction in. the. number of working, hours. Later, however, a better policy was introduced by the Labour party - that of arbitration and conciliation. In most disputes, arbitration is probably the best means of effecting a settlement, but not always. No reform which has been secured by any organized body of workers has been obtained without sacrifice. Even the benefits of the arbitration court cannot be obtained without the expenditure .of more money than many people would believe is the case. If a return could be furnished showing the sums of money paid annually to members of the legal fraternity for conducting cases before the court, it would be a revelation to most people. And be it remembered that that money must be found by the men who do the work of this country: I believe that this hill is deliberately and maliciously directed against the officers of the various trade unions in this country in order to cause them to desist from further efforts to secure for the workers a greater share of the wealth that they produce. Honorable senators who were once members of our party, and are now associated with our opponents would glory in an opportunity to return to the fold.
– As I said years ago, I would not touch you with a pair of fumigated tongs.
– The members cf this party have no desire to be directly or indirectly associated with Senator Lynch.
– Order! The honorable senator’s remarks are of a personal character, and have nothing whatever to do with the bill.
– I was led away by the interjection of the honorable senator.
– The honorable senator was alone responsible for th;interjection.
– Everything done by -the workers to improve their conditions is always objected to. There are men in this chamber who spend their time in supporting the passage of bills for no other object than to enable certain persons to dip their hands deeply into the pockets of the people. For instance, wheat-farmers are always approaching this Parliament for assistance.
– Order! That has nothing to do with the bill. I have already warned the honorable senator, and I shall not do so again.
– I have no desire, Mr. President, to disregard your ruling. When a section of the trade unionists in Sydney endeavoured to deal with the rack-renting landlords in that city, a Fair Rents Court was established, and we were told that in consequence of its decisions capital would be driven out of the country.
– Order! The honorable senator knows that the matter to which he is referring has nothing to do with the bill.
– The provisions in this measure are of such a drastic and far-reaching character, that I think, you sir, will very probably allow honorable senators some latitude.
– I have already done so.
– I have no desire to wander further from the subject-matter before the Senate than have other speakers who have preceded me. In conclusion, I can only say that I look upon this measure and the Navigation Bill, which was discussed in the Senate yesterday as being calculated to bring more contempt and disgrace upon this Government than any other bills ever introduced into the Commonwealth Parliament. The Government is taking advantage of its position to bring in legislation solely with the object of defeating the aims and aspirations of a large and important section of the community.
Motion (by SenatorWilson) proposed -
That the Senate do now divide.
– I was on my feet, Mr. President, before you called upon SenatorWilson.
– And so was Senator Findley.
-It is the practice, as the honorable senator knows, to call on speakers alternately from the Government and Opposition benches.
Question put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . . . 5
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Question - That the bill be now read asecond time - put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . .. 8
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a second time.
Clause 1 (Short title and citation).
– It was not my intention to have spoken on this and some of the subsequent clauses, but for the action taken by the Minister (Senator Wilson)-
– I rise to a point of order. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Senator Needham) is reflecting upon a vote of the Senate, and I submit his remarks are irrevelant to the clause.
– The right honorable gentleman is evidently nervy and somewhat in a hurry. I was not reflecting upon a vote of the Senate. Action has been taken which invites honorable senators to discuss every clause of the bill. The committee should alter the short title to read, “ The Immigration Gag Act 1925.” I understand that an order has been issued from head-quarters that we must make post-haste, and that we are to observe a time-table. I believe that clause 1 has to be passed before 7 o’clock this morning. I could suggest a number of titles that would better fit the bill than that which has been chosen. One is “ The Bludgeon Act,” because it appears to me that the Government intends to stifle discussion and bludgeon tbe measure through at all hazards.
. - The arrangements of the Government for the passage of this measure will prevent honorable senators from fully and freely discussing the whole of its provisions. The title would lead one to believe that the bill applies solely to persons who desire to come to Australia. Because of the inappropriateness of the title we should spend some time in an effort to improve it. Those who are less familiar than I am with provisions that are embodied in acts of Parliament might be misled by the title of this bill. It is proposed that the act shall deal not only with immigrants, but also with other persons who are Australians by adoption. For how many years must a man live in Australia before he is entitled to be called an Australian ?
– On a point of order, is the honorable senator in order in discussing the whole of the bill on a clause that deals merely with the title ?
– (Senator Newland). - The honorable senator is distinctly out of order. He must confine himself to the clause, and give reasons - if he has any - for an alteration of the title.
– I shall give more than one reason. I say that the present title is a wrong one. I do not think that the Government has given to the title the consideration that the matter warrants. This is one of the most important billa that has ever been introduced into the Federal Parliament. It concerns every citizen of Australia, and contains extraordinary provisions. As to the title, a “rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” The aroma of a flower is pleasing, but there is no sweetness about the title of this bill, and the aroma associated with the bill itself will attach to Ministers for the rest of their lives.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -
That the Committee do now divide.
Ayes … … .. 16
Noes … … … 9
Majority … … 7
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Clause agreed to.
Clauses 2 to 5 agreed to.
Clause 6 (Deportation of certain persons) .
– As an Australian, a proposal zo deport certain persons is most distasteful to me. I would never be a party to deport any one from Australia unless it were a criminal who had come from another country, and about whom the Government had received certain advice. I think for our own protection we should pass such a person back to his own country. The British Empire was not founded on the deportation of certain persons.
– May I intervene? The honorable senator is discussing the clause under a misapprehension. The clause simply proposes to omit subsection 5 of section 8a of the principal act, which reads as follows: -
Any person for whose deportation the Minister has made an order in pursuance of this section shall be deported accordingly, and pending such deportation will be kept in such custody as the Minister directs.
In clause 8 this provision is proposed to be reinserted in an amended form after section 8b of the principal act, and it will be a new section. Therefore the honorable senator can discuss its provisions on clause 8.
– That being so. I need not discuss it at this stage.
– Honorable senators should know exactly what is to be done before they agree to the deletion of one provision of the act and inferentially agree to reinsert it in an amended form in another portion of the measure. With a view to seeing whether we are justified in agreeing to a deletion of the subsection quoted by Senator Pearce, I think I ought to be allowed to read the section of the principal act affected.
– The honorable senator will not be in order in doing so.
– The Minister has not given any indication of what provision he proposes to substitute for the sub-section to be expunged. In my opinion, the sub-section meets all requirements.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 7 (Deportation upon proclamation of industrial disturbance).
– This clause contains a wicked provision that violates a fundamental principle of British justice. If it is carried in its present form a person born outside Australia and associated with a trade union, if concerned in a strike, may be deemed guilty of an offence more serious than larceny, robbery under arms, burglary, false pretences, manslaughter, or murder.
– The law now provides for the deportation of any such person convicted of any of those crimes.
– Prior to the introduction of this bill, the belief was held by all classes in the community that all men were equal in the eyes of the law. The passage of this bill will shatter that belief.
– I signed an order today for the deportation of a man who had been convicted of larceny.
– Civil and criminal courts are available for the hearing of charges against persons who have committed breaches of the civil and criminal laws. The established institutions are competent to deal with all offences of the nature I have indicated, but according to this Government they are not to be entrusted with matters arising out of industrial disputes. The members of another place include a father and son, both of whom belong to the same political party. The father was born in the old country, the son was born in Australia, and both have been associated with trade unionism in this country. I refer, of course, to the honorable member for South Sydney (Mr. E. Biley), and the honorable member for Cook (Mr. C. Riley). If the honorable member for South Sydney engaged in an industrial dispute after the passage of this bill, he would not be given the justice accorded to even the worst criminal in Australia. He would not be tried before a judge and jury. He would have to appear before a board appointed not by the people but by the Government, and the board would be chosen from that section of the community which supports the Government. On the. order of such a board he could be deported. On the other hand, his son if guilty of the same offence under this measure could not be deported since he is Australian-born.
– How many people did the honorable senator deport without trial when he was Acting Minister for Home and Territories? I refer to the Chinese who deserted their ship.
– Never in the history of this country has any man been deported because of his association with trade unionism or for any offence arising out of industrial disputes.
– But the honorable senator did sign deportation orders relating to criminals.
– We are to understand from the remark by Senator Greene, which is apparently endorsed by the Leader of the Senate, that men charged with an. offence under this clause are considered criminals before they come before the board.
– Oh, no; the honorable senator is entirely wrong.
– Then, in the opinion of the Minister, they will be regarded as undesirables, because . they are associated with unions.
– No, the honorable senator is again entirely wrong.
– If they are. not criminals or undesirables, what is their offence.
– It is set out in the clause.
– Exactly ; and if certain honorable senators who intend to vote for this clause, say that it is not directed at trado unionism, I tell them that they have not read it. A . certain dispute is in progress and the bill is aimed at certain persons. Suppose that a ship were declared “ black,” and the waterside workers considered it desirable to convene a meeting. Suppose, also, that there was a discussion as to whether or not its members should unload the cargo if it were declared . “ black.” Could not this provision be made to apply to these men, and, indeed,, not only to those engaged on the waterfront, but also to men in other avenues of employment? The exPrime Minister (Mr. Hughes) was for a long time associated with trade unions, and took part in many industrial: disputes. He was born outside Australia. If he were still a member of the Labour party, and filling the same responsible position on the waterfront that he occupied a few years ago, he could, under this bill, be deported without a trial by jury.
– I did not wish to intervene in this debate, but I think it necessary to place on record at least one protest against the way in which Senator Findley has attempted to misrepresent the position in connexion with this clause. He. commenced by saying that under this clause it would be possible to deport gentlemen who had engaged in industrial disputes-, but that murderers and persona convicted of theft could not be deported. He then enumerated a long list of crimes. The honorable senator himself has signed orders for the deportation of men who have committed crimes, and he knows it.
– They were first charged before judges and juries.
– The honorable senator has signed deportation orders in the case of men who did those things.
– I want proof of it.
– The papers are in the Home and Territories Department.
– Throughout his short speech we had the same kind of misrepresentation. The honorable senator knows that cases such as those which he has submitted are not the kind which it is contemplated shall be dealt with under this clause. He would hail with joy any such action on the part of the Government, because it would furnish him with a splendid weapon with which to attack it. The honorable senator knows that no government would use the provisions of this bill unless and until it had behind it the public opinion of Australia. That is the real safeguard behind this measure. Were a Labour Ministry to use the provisions of this legislation to deport some one of the class to which he has referred, we,as members of the Opposition, would hail such action with joy, because, we, in our turn, would have, a good weapon with which to attack the Government. Every one knows, the class of person against whom this legislation is directed, and that the men in that class do not stand behind the industrial unions of Australia.
– The legislation can apply to any one in Australia.
– In practice, the provisions of this clause would not be. directed against the. men who. stand behind the great, industrial movement of Australia.
– It is aimed at them.
– For many years I have held the view that trade unionismis one of the greatest forces for good in the world. The men against whom this bill is directed are no friends of trade unionism. The honorable senator knows that they are its worst enemies. They are endeavouring for their own sinister purpose to use the trade union movement which has fought so gallantly, and won. so gloriously, the great struggle of the labouring men of the world. Instead of being aimed against trade unionism, this bill, and particularly this clause, is directed towards maintaining it.
– I assure honorable senators that I would not intentionally be guilty of misrepresentation. What I said a few moments ago Will bear repetition. I said that for engaging in an industrial dispute a man was deemed under this bill to be worse than one who had committed a major offence against the laws of the country, in that he was liable to deportation without trial by a jury, whereas the ordinary criminal had access to the courts of the land and was tried before a jury of his peers. Senator Greene then rose to say, in effect, that I had signed papers for the deportation of men who had not first been tried before a jury.
– He did not say that.
– That is what the honorable senator wished to convey.
– I undertake to say that the honorable senator has done so.
– Not for an industrial offence. What connexion has any action that I took when Acting Minister for Home Affairs with this clause in the bill?
– If a seaman deserts from a ship, is he not guilty of an industrial offence?
– I shall stand by whatever action I” took when Acting Minister for Home Affairs. Everything; that L did was done in accordance with the law. I never evaded my responsibility, nor did I, while acting ih that, capacity,, ask the Government to introduce; special legislation, to deal with any matter.. The laws that I administered were already on the statute-book when I assumed! office.. Some of them I had assisted to place there. I endeavoured, to the best of my ability, to administer those laws faithfully. Had I not done so, I should not have been doing my duty. But I shall not be a party to the passing of a clause such as this, which makes a new law for Australia unlike any law in any part of the British Empire.
– The honorable senator is very conservative.
– One of the arguments advanced by the Minister in favour of the provisions with which we are dealing, was that certain men in the community held communistic views. Is that to be a new crime in Australia 1 I point out to the right honorable gentleman that, in the mother of parliaments, there are communists, who were elected by the people of Great Britain. There are thousands of communists in Great Britain. There are also communists in the French Chamber of Deputies. Only recently I read of a meeting in France, which was preceded by a procession of 20,000 communists, accompanied by bands. In the German Reichstag, as in almost every parliament in the world, there are communists.
– There is no reference to communists in this clause.
– One reason given by the Minister for the introduction of this bill was that there were men in Australia who were acting inimically to the best interests of Australia.
– The Minister’s speech is not before the committee.
– I enter my protest, with all the vigour of which I am capable, against this clause becoming law. I never thought that in this Australian Parliament a Government, which is said to be composed of men born in Australia, would introduce a bill containing provisions that are both anti-A.ustra.lian and anti-British. We have to go back nearly 100 years to find a similar measure. This bill can, therefore, with reason be described as antediluvian. That it is a direct attack on organized labour is evident. If the men against whom it is directed were not filling responsible positions in trade unions, this measure would not have been introduced into this Parliament. It is awful to contempate that any man in Australia is to be denied that justice which is not denied him in any other part of the British Empire.
Common justice demands that every man in Australia shall be treated in the same way in respect of the same offence, but we are, in effect, providing that Australians by adoption who have probably lived in Australia longer than many honorable senators supporting the passage of this bill shall be deported for engaging in an industrial dispute, whereas those born in Australia cannot be so dealt with. The measure does not apply to only two or three persons whom the Government may consider guilty of an offence. These persons have not committed any crime. If they have broken our laws they should be given a proper trial. On many ocoasions I have heard Senator Lynch speak of fair play. If the honorable senator were on this side of the chamber would he consider it fair play to single out for special treatment and punishment unionists associated with industrial disputes?
– If the honorable senator had given unionists the same advice as I have given them there would be no need for this bill.
– That . does not justify the honorable senator opposing trial by jury, or the Government adopting a course which is repugnant to civilized people. We boast of our freedom and liberty.
– It is all a question of votes and popularity.
– I believe I can gauge the pulse of the Australian people as well as Senator Lynch, and I am satisfied that they will not stand for any kind of legislation that savors of injustice and tyranny. Certain honorable senators opposite, who were once closely associated with industrialism, did not once rigidly observe what they now term law and order. We can recall with shame what happened to the Dorchester weavers who were working for 9s. a week when others were receiving 10s. When they made representations to their employers for a similar wage, instead of receiving an increase their rate was reduced to 8s., and then to 6s. per week. They decided to form an organization, and pledge themselves to be loyal to one another, and not to work with any one who violated the rules of the society they had established. For doing this, they were brought before a biased judge and a pliant jury and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. They were transported or deported, not to Botany Bay, but to Tasmania.
– Under the system of trial by jury, which the honorable senator is advocating.
– I do not advocate trials before biased judges and pliant juries. Such was the indignation aroused that these unfortunate men were liberated after three years. “When they returned to their native village public subscriptions were raised with which farms were purchased for them. Even after 80 years had passed they were not forgotten, and a monument was erected to their memory for the pioneering work they performed in the interests of trade unionism. It was said by the presiding judge that the sentence imposed on these unfortunate men would be an example to others not to follow in their footsteps. The prosecution eventually failed, as will this legislation.
– (Senator Newland). - The honorable senator’s time has expired.
– It was my intention ‘to speak on the second reading of this measure, but owing to the motion submitted by the Minister for Markets and Migration (Senator Wilson) I was deprived of the opportunity. I am strongly opposed to the deportation of any person from this country merely because he has been associated with an industrial dispute. Many of us have pioneered movements not only in the industrial, but also in the political world, and while it is the duty of the Government to protect the community from the criminal element in our midst, it has not the right to deport persons who have once been legally admitted. I shall never be a party to assist to deport any person because of his association with an industrial dispute. Nearly every honorable senator has been engaged in industry in this country, and knows the conditions under which disputes arise. Is it our intention to disgrace and degrade Australian manhood by placing a measure such as this on our statute-book ? Surely it is beneath our dignity. An Australianborn citizen committing burglary, or murder, could not be deported, Whereas other persons charged with offences not nearly so serious are to be deprived of their Australian citizenship. Persons to whom this measure is directed are working only in the interests of their fellow men and under their direction, and should not be treated in this drastic manner. I, as an Australian citizen, have had to answer for disobeying the law of the land in respect of industrialism, and have been threatened with imprisonment by my own countrymen, but my deportation was never suggested. I am not an advocate of people coming to Australia unless they speak our own language and are accustomed to our ways, but when once we have admitted persons from other countries and they are following their occupations we should allow them to remain. Are they to be returned to a country which they were glad to leave in order to participate in the freedom which we enjoy? The people of those countries to which they are deported may say, “ They have been in Australia long enough; send them back there again.” I do not stand for the deportation of anybody. We should act like men, not like old women. The Arbitration Act provides for a penalty of ?1,000 for an industrial offence. I, as secretary of an organization, and my president, who is now a member of another place, had the experience of being haled before the court. We arp both reputable citizens and do not owe a penny to anybody. Australia ‘is our birthplace. Should we be ‘deported? Those who commit breaches of the law should be punished in Australia according to its laws. It would be a slur upon our manhood to shelve our responsibility for taking action against those who defy our laws. I think that the Government should make provision to prevent the entry into Australia of any one who is undesirable, otherwise ‘ the greatest criminal in the world may come here.
– The bill deals with criminals.
– It deals especially with industrialists.
– It deals with any one who commits a crime against the community.
– I am acquainted with the industrial history of Australia, practically from the time of my birth, and I cannot remember an occasion when, notwithstanding all -the trials and tribulations through which we have passed, anybody . in the industrial world was guilty of an action that would warrant his deportation from Australia.
– These people nre not in the industrial world, but they are living on -it.
SenatorBARNES.- The honorable senator may say so. The Arbitration Act compels my union to observe its provisions.
– The honorable senator has exhausted his time.
– I once read a book-
– A” Dead wood Dick”?
– The honorable senator might go through a book, but he would not be capable of assimilating its contents. Among other books thatI have read is For the Term of His Natural Life. I object to a man like Senator Barnes being sent away from Australia for the term of his natural life because he threatens the peace. Under this act it will not be necessary to break the peace.; if it is merely threatened the deportation provisions can be put in operation. The Australian Workers Union would see to it that Senator Barnes was not turned out of this country without some trouble being experienced by the authorities.
– The bill does not apply to those who are Australian-born.
– Senator Hays comes from Tasmania. In the olden days many convicts were sent there. For what reason ? Some of the best blood in Tasmania to-day has come down from those convicts. Some ofthe best blood on the mainland has ‘descended from convicts who were convicted under legislation as stupid as this, conceived and put into operation by men with little minds. This is the action of a little-minded Government. It thinks that an opportunity will thus : be afforded to get rid of a man who plays a big part in the ‘ industrial world. How would Senator Lynch like to appear before a board and have his liberty taken from him ? I have listened to him talking about liberty. If he could hear some of his own countrymen’s views on liberty he would not want to go before a board. The Labour party stands for a. fair trial for everybody. I should advocate a fair trial, even for Senator Payne, Senator Duncan, or Senator Reid; but I am strongly of the opinion that if any of them did wrong he should be tried before a jury of his peers.
– Senator Reid is notcapable of doing a wrong thing.
– Is he infallible? We who are members of the Labour party do hot claim to be infallible. Even Senator Thompson may do wrong. If he says that he is infallible I reply that Ido not know of any right thing that he has done. Deportation is a most serious thing. I am sorry that the Government has seen fit to introduce this measure. Many honorable senators opposite have said that it is not going to be used. If that is so, why is it necessary to introduce it? Not one individual who should be deported has been nominated. If there is one such, let the Government nominate him. Manv friends of the Government would like to see some of the big industrial leaders sent out of Australia. They would do anything to get rid of them. I remind them that when one soldier falls in the industrial lines, there is generally another soldier to take his place.
– It is the same in the political lines.
– As Senator Hays says, the same thing applies in the political world. Although the Labour party has lost some of its members to the other side, within the next three or four years not one of those men will be here, and they know it.
-The honorable senator is getting away from the clause.
– It is a dangerous power that is proposed to be given to a Minister. He may order the deportation of a person against whom he has some grudge. But what I want to know is where these people are to be sent. Thank goodness I cannot be deported. I am a native horn.
– Later on the act can be further amended to cover the native born.
– That will not be done, because the present ‘Government will soon be out of office. No party can do things unless it is in power. The Nationalist party, believing that it is likely to lose power, is anxious to place all its ‘proposed legislation on the statutebook during the . remaining monthsin which it will have control.
– We have been emphatically assured that this provision is not intended to apply to officers of trade unions, and, if that is so, the Minister is in duty bound to state clearly what people it is intended to apply to. I cannot imagine any other purpose for it than to deport officers of trade unions. When a union decides to cease operations, instructions are generally issued by some officer of the organization, and I should imagine that this provision is meant to apply to such an officer. It is unthinkable that any honorable senator of the Opposition would permit such a provision to be agreed to without exhausting all the forms of the Senate in order to show his opposition to it. It sets up a crime hitherto unknown in the Commonwealth. Despite a good deal of restrictive legislation objectionable in many respects, we have not so far disgraced ourselves by actions which disgraced the British Government years ago, when it deported some of the residents of Great Britain to Australia and elsewhere. The idea of deporting people is not confined to Great Britain. For a long number of years France has punished some of her citizens who fought strenuously for the rights of the French people by deporting them to New Caledonia. It is a severe form of punishment to members of a race who are so fond of their own country as the French are. This- provision must apply to representatives of industrial unions which, when they decide to cease operations, take some action that may tend to obstruct the transport of goods or the conveyance of passengers. It is creating a new crime or a new form of punishment so far as Australia is concerned. In any case, many a person who may now weigh 16 stone came to Australia weighing not more than 8 stone. Such a person would be physically half foreign and ‘half Australian. Which half of him would the Government propose to deport? The clause is most discreditable to the Government. It is. said that it is aimed at communists. Possibly land value taxer.s and protectionists are also to be targets. Apparently they are all equally objectionable, and when the deporting mania has developed one hardly knows who will be sent out of the coun try. The Government has entirely misgauged public opinion, and as soon as it deports one officer of a trade union it will raise a storm such as has never before been experienced. This should be called the deportation bill. The proposal to apply it to British-born citizens will have a far-reaching effect. I suppose that if federation had not been accomplished we should have seen Tasmanians deported from Victoria to their own state. During the last twelve months the Government has signed deportation orders for about SO persons who were prohibited immigrants. But .the present proposal deals with an entirely different offence.
– The honorable senator’s time has expired.
– Senator Greene stated that when Senator Findley was a Minister he signed orders for the deportation of certain persons. He tried to connect that act with the clause under discussion, and when Senator Findley was prepared to take all the responsibility for any ministerial act of his Senator Pearce interjected that the deportations were ordered for an industrial offence. Senator Findley carried out the law, but I cannot allow Senator Greene’s statement to go unchallenged, imputing as it does that Senator Findley signed deportation orders for offences similar to those contemplated by this clause. By the wildest stretch of imagination it cannot be said that there is any connexion . between any order Senator Findley made and these offencesConnected with the Eureka stockade incident at Ballarat was a man named Peter Lalor, who was not born in Australia. He was the leader of that noted industrial disturbance, the cause of which was oppression. It was contrary to law and order, and if such legislation as this .had been on the statute-book at that time, Lalor, whose name, is revered throughout Australia, could have been deported. The same remark applies to Wentworth, who is recognized as one of the greatest of Australians, although he was not horn in the country. In 1526-7 Wentworth fought strenuously against .the Government of the day. Governor Darling in one of his dispatches to England, said that he was a vulgar, ill-bred fellow, who took every opportunity of insulting the government, and described his actions as diabolical and abominable.
– That does not constitute an industrial trouble.
– No, but honorable senators opposite wish to deport men who are not Australians by birth. Senator Lynch comes from a country from which many rebels have sprung, and in his younger days, under legislation such as this, he would have been not only deported, but hanged, drawn, and quartered. No such legislation has ever previously been attempted.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -
That the committee do now divide.
Question put. The committee divided.
Majority … .. 7
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Question - That the clause stand as printed - put. The committee divided.
Majority … … 8
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 8 (Custody pending deportation) .
– In view of the progress made by the committee during the last hour, I move -
That the chairman report progress, and ask leave to sit again.
Question put. The committee divided.
Majority … … 7
Question so resolved in the negative.
Question (by Senator Pearce) pro- posed -
That the committee do now divide.
– I rule that the motion is in order.
– Up to the time that you took the chair, it was not permissible for any member of the Government to move such a motion as that moved by Senator Pearce before honorable senators had an opportunity to take their seats.
– If the honorable senator disputes my ruling, he must do so at once, and in writing.
– ls a Minister permitted to move a motion before honorable senators have an opportunity to cross the floor, and do you, Mr. Temporary Chairman, rule that that motion must be accepted ?
– The Minister who moved the motion had himself crossed the floor; he spoke from his place. In my opinion honorable senators had the opportunity to take their places
– I did not.
– I also point out to the committee that the motion cannot be debated, but must be put at once.
– On a point of order. It was only by chance that ! heard what the Minister said. I am certain that not more than five in the chamber heard him.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.That is not a point of order.
– I dissent from the ruling of the Temporary Chairman to accept the motion on the ground that it was accepted before honorable senators had time to be seated.
In the Senate:
– Mr. President, Senator Grant has dissented from my ruling, accepting the motion of the Minister for Home and Territories (Senator Pearce), “That the committee do now divide “ on the ground that it was accepted before honorable senators had time to be seated. I desire to point out, Sir, that the right honorable gentleman who submitted the. motion crossed the floor after a division and moved the motion from his place in the chamber. That was my reason for assuming that honorable senators had had time to resume their seats.
The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. T. Givens) . - In moving “ That the committee do now divide” did the Minister for Home and Territories (Senator Pearce’) interrupt any honorable senator who was speaking ?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.No.
– I have to rule-
– May we not discuss the question of dissent?
– It is for the Chair to decide whether discussion shall or shall not be allowed. If I required the assistance of honorable senators in coming to a decision I should ask for it, but the position is so clear that I shall not need it. I have no doubt, on the information contained iii the report of the Temporary Chairman df Committees, that his ruling was correct. I therefore uphold it.
– Is it not customary for an honorable senator who gives notice of his dissent from a ruling of the Chair to be allowed to give reasons for his action.
– I have already given my ruling.
– I think you have applied the “ gag.”
– Order! The honorable senator must not reflect upon a decision of the Chair. There is a legitimate way in which to challenge a ruling of the Chair.
– I give notice, sir, that I desire to disagree with your ruling.
– The honorable senator must do so in writing.
– I shall do so.
– I have received from Senator Grant the following notice of dissent: -
I disagree with your ruling, supporting that of the Temporary Chairman of Committees, on the ground that you came to your decision without hearing the case for the other side.
That is not a correct reason to submit, because the Standing Orders leave it to my discretion to decide whether or not such a course is necessary. If the honorable senator will alter his notice of dissent, and base his objection to my decision on the general ground that it is not in accordance with the Standing Orders, I will accept it. For the information of honorable senators I may explain that the Senate knows nothing of what takes place in committee, beyond that, which is reported by the Chairman, and no allusion to any debate in committee’ can take place in the Senate. That is the practice of the House of Commons on which our Standing Orders are based.
Motion (by Senator Grant) proposed -
That the ruling of the President supporting that of the Temporary Chairman of Committees be dissented from, on the ground that it is not in accordance with the Standing Prders.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -
That the question requires immediate deter mination.
Question put. The Senate divided.
Majority … … 7
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -
That the Senate do now divide.
Question - That the Senate do now divide - put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . 7
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Original question, that the ruling of the President be dissented from, resolved in the negative.
Question - That the committee do now divide - put. The committee divided.
Majority . . . . 7
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Question - That Clause 8 stand as printed - put. The committee divided.
Majority . . 7
Question so resolved in the afiirmative.
Clause agreed to.
Clause 9 (Duty of master, &c., of vessel bringing deportees to provide return passage).
Question - That the clause stand as printed - put. The committee divided.
Majority . . 7
Question so resolved in the afiirmative.
Clause agreed to.
– About three-fifths of the bill deals with deportations and the balance with immigration matters. I propose to amend the title to read “ An act to amend the Deportation Act.”
– I rise to a point of order. The amendment the honorable senator indicates would be quite irrelevant, because there is no act on the statute-book known as the Deportation Act, and because the order of leave was for a bill for an act to amend the Immigration Act.
– The point raised by Senator Pearce is quite good. There is no Deportation Act, and the order of leave is for a bill for an act to amend the Immigration Act. No amendment having been made to necessitate an alteration to the title, my ruling is that it is unnecessary, and, indeed, impossible to amend it.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -
That the report he adopted.
Question put. The Senate divided.
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -
That the bill be now read a third time.
Question put. The Senate divided.
Majority . . 8
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a third time.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) agreed to-
That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn till a date to be fixed by the President, which date shall be notified to each senator by telegram or letter.
Sitting suspended from 6.20 to 7.7 a.m.
Bill returned from House of Representatives without amendment.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed
That the Senate do now adjourn.
– I wish to bring under the notice of the Senate the case of a public servant in Western Australia who, after a service of many years, was recently dismissed summarily. I have never previously lent myself to an effort to make the Parliament of the Commonwealth a court of appeal in matters like this, but this gentleman has appealed to the authorities, and has not, in my opinion, received that satisfaction to which . he is entitled. The gentleman to whom I refer is Mr. Page, for 27 years in the Public Service and for most of that time in the employ of the Commonwealth as paymaster in the Defence Department. He was dismissed rather summarily at a time when, according to his own story, there were temporary officers employed in the department. From a reputable firm of lawyers he has obtained an opinion to the effect that he was wrongly dismissed, and that he has a substantial case for damages against the Commonwealth Government. I mention this case, with a view to drawing the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for Defence to it, in the hope that something will be done to see that this officer receives fair treatment.
– I shall have the matter referred to by the honorable senator investigated, and will let him know the position.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate adjourned at 7.12 a.m. (Friday)
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 16 July 1925, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1925/19250716_senate_9_110/>.